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Out of the Labyrinth: Who We Are, How We Go Wrong and What We Can Do About It Paperback – January 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Monkfish Book Publishing; 1ST edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972635769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972635769
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,955,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

For close to two decades, I have been writing about sustainable development -- the attempt to create what Buckminster Fuller called "a world that works for all." During that time, I have increasingly been plagued by the sense that something important was missing in the conversation about the problem. Self and society, one's inner life and the external world -- these were viewed, for the most part, as entirely separate matters. This split struck me, instinctively, as wrong.

And then, on March 11, 1999, I had a passing thought about the nature of personal identity that turned into a framework, or model, that proved to have enormous explanatory power for me not only in matters personal, but also in matters organizational, political, and cultural. This framework was the synthesizing perspective and "insight engine" I had been looking for. We live in a fragmented world, and we do so as fragmented individuals. Many of us, perhaps all of us, long to tie things together, to make things somehow cohere. Writing this book -- wrestling with the material in its pages -- did that for me. My hope is that it can do the same for you.

From the Inside Flap

"A riveting personal chronicle with important cultural implications. Raises the literature on sustainability to a new level. Destined to be a classic." Hazel Henderson, author, Building a Win-Win World

"Frankel tells a compelling story in a compelling way. His is a voice that must be heard and, thankfully, it's a lyrical voice that is sheer pleasure to read." Marjorie Kelly, co-founder, Business Ethics magazine; author, The Divine Right of Capital.

"Informative and inspiring, Out of the Labyrinth makes a case for attaining sustainability by establishing a right balance between inner and outer, between personal, political and planetary." Satish Kumar, editor-in-chief, Resurgence Magazine.

"Out of the Labyrinth is one of those breakthrough books that puts things into perspective. I am an environmental activist. I take my spiritual life seriously. I used to practice business law. For years I have been trying to understand and bridge the disconnect between the different worlds I know. At last Carl Frankel has given me the vocabulary and concepts to see what's going on." Stuart Auchincloss, board member, CERES

"This is the work of a first-class, learned mind and a sensitive spirit. These qualities combine to draw me into Frankel's thought and take me to a place of vision, clarity and, yes, wisdom far beyond my own. This is a magnificent book and extremely important reading for anyone who yearns for a better world." Ray Anderson, chairman, Interface Flooring Company.

"Out of the Labyrinth reflects a journey that is both personal and global toward the path of sustainability. It is a story of the search for an integral vision that is moving in its authenticity and compelling in its call for honoring the depth dimensions of ourselves. It is a book to be read with profit by all who are seeking a sustainable future for people and the planet." Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-director, Forum on Religion and Ecology

"Out of the Labyrinth blends story and philosophy into a dazzling concoction that offers powerful guidance to us all. It offers brilliant insights into personal, cultural, and national realities and possibilities. Fascinating!" Thom Hartmann, author, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight

"Written from a deeply philosophical stance, the book is at the same time accessible and practical. Frankel shows us the potential power of post-modern thinking without falling into the negative and nihilistic stance adopted by so many critics of the current state of the world. For anyone committed to positive change in the world, Out of the Labyrinth should find a spot in their library." John R. Ehrenfeld, Director Emeritus, MIT Technology, Business and Environment Program

"Brilliantly illuminates the mess of our current culture and the future that our deepest selves yearn to create. Lays out a profound and practical framework for understanding ourselves better, and for knowing what we need to be and do to truly make a difference in the world." Eric Booth, author, The Everyday Work of Art and Future Vision

In "Out of the Labyrinth," Carl Frankel has become a friend of evolution. He takes our hand and guides us through the labyrinth of ideas and possibilities, of dead ends and false paths, toward the "Integral Way" that realizes our full potential as Whole Beings. A beautiful work." Barbara Marx Hubbard, President, Foundation for Conscious Evolution

"In Out of the Labyrinth, Carl Frankel transcends conventional political ideologies to expound an approach to positive change that can be applied personally, politically, institutionally (for instance, in corporations), and even culturally. An insightful, compelling and deeply personal work with lessons that readers will find useful in many aspects of their life." Mac Bridger, President and CEO, Collins & Aikman Floorcoverings


More About the Author

Carl Frankel writes about sex and relationships, having transitioned to this new focus after decades specializing in socially responsible business and social enterprise. His works on sex and relationships include Love and the More Perfect Union: Six Keys to Relationship Bliss; Succulent SexCraft: Your Hands-On Guide to Erotic Play and Practice (by Sheri Winston with Carl Frankel); and Secrets of the Sex Masters.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sam on June 6, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carl Frankel has written a fine book describing his personal journey towards realization of a framework to make sense of modernism and approaches to sustainability. Integrating the work of Ken Wilber and many other philosophers, he has defined his approaches and metaphors, hopefully enabling dialogue and increased action towards a sustainable society.
All of the people that I know who struggle with the tensions between Wilber's holons; called the objective (science), the social, and the depth (seeker) dimensions by Frankel, struggle to put their efforts at resolving these tensions into a context that works for them and translates into a universal enabling metaphor. For Frankel, this book is a documentation of his personal journey, embracing and integrating the values in all possible approaches, hopefully resulting in a more sustainable world.
I cannot say that Carl Frankel has plowed new ground here, but what he has accomplished is very important. His personal story and his frameworks produce a sensitivity to current social disfunctions. These disfunctions must be fully realized by as many people as possbile to create the tensions that will produce a new, "Integral" reality. Frankel is clear that solutions must be new and will arise from managing these tensions. This book will help others to observe and then cross this gap.
Personally, I feel that Frankel's journey is worth the read. Everyone will develop their own set of realities defining a more sustainable society. It is a transformation that is critical as our population nears 9 billion. Can we begin to see humanity as something other than consumers? Frankel has a good set of experiences and metaphors that will help others along the way. If you have read Hawken, Anderson, Wilber, and Capra, Carl Frankel's book is another brick in your sustainable wall.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Buzzell-saltzman on May 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
Journalist, business consultant and sustainable development entrepreneur Carl Frankel has written a fascinating new book, "Out of the Labyrinth," which has gotten rave reviews from people like Thom Hartmann ("The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight"), Resurgence magazine editor Satish Kumar and economist Dr. Hazel Henderson ("Building a Win-Win World").

According to Frankel, we find ourselves in a "contemporary cultural labyrinth" which is "an especially dizzying place." He outlines three causes for this:

1) Distraction and denial. "Collectively they create a black-magic spell that is like an occupying army of the spirit. Under the thrall of this `dark enchantment' we lose sight of our highest potential, hunker down inside our anxiety and try to buy our way to happiness - all false turns in the labyrinth."

2) Rates of change. "It is difficult, if not impossible, for our animal natures to adapt to this rate of change" which has us "constantly battling, often below conscious awareness, to maintain our equilibrium."

3) Globalized postmodern culture. "If the rate of change is dizzying, our range of choices is too." The complexity can overwhelm us.

These factors "help us understand why so many people feel that things are spiraling out of control."

Frankel is an advocate of Integral Psychology, a la Ken Wilber, but takes a more easily-grasped view of Wilber's approach. Instead of "I, We and It", he talks about three sub-personalities or sets of values that must be balanced: 1) "a strategically oriented self," (the "strategist" which controls the "objective domain"), 2) "a socially oriented self (the `citizen')" and 3) a "meaning-oriented self (the `seeker')" which controls the "depth dimension.
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