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The Ascent of Humanity: Civilization and the Human Sense of Self Paperback – February 5, 2013
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"Yale graduate, professor, speaker and author, remove the letters "se" from his surname and you have an idea just how brilliant a thinker Eisenstein is considered to be."—Montreal Gazette
"This is an extraordinary book. Eisenstein has put his finger on the core problem facing humanity—namely: separation. All the crises that humanity now faces are grounded in the belief that we are separate—separate from each other, separate from the biosphere that sustains us, separate from the universe that has brought us forth. This is a tour-de-force filled with astounding insight, wit, wisdom and heart."—Christopher Uhl, author of Developing Ecological Consciousness: Paths to a Sustainable Future
"Quite marvelous, a hugely important work... This book is truly needed in this time of deepening crisis."—John Zerzan, author of Future Primitive and Elements of Refusal
"A radical awakening as to how we arrived at our current crisis and how we can more effectively redefine the path of our evolutionary journey."—Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief
"Brilliant and original, with great depth of insight and understanding, Eisenstein's Ascent of Humanity easily ranks with the works of such giants of our age as David Bohm, Julian Jaynes, Jean Gebser, Whitehead. It is a profoundly serious, indeed somber portrait of our times, even as it opens a door of honest hope amidst the dark destiny we have woven about us. Accept the challenge of this major accomplishment and discover the light shining within it."—Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Magical Child, Evolution's End, and The Biology of Transcendence
"This is one of those rare books that moves the goal posts. Eisenstein pulls together a wide array of insights to show that what we thought was the solution is also the problem. It is eye opening fodder for conversations with everyone I meet. As a technologist and a human being, I believe this could well be one of the most important books of the decade."—Garret Moddel, professor of electrical engineering at UC Boulder; chairman & CTO, Phiar Corporation
About the Author
Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His writings on the web magazine Reality Sandwich have generated a vast online following; he speaks frequently at conferences and other events, and gives numerous interviews on radio and podcasts. Eisenstein graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, and spent the next ten years as a Chinese-English translator. The author of Sacred Economics (EVOLVER EDITIONS, 2011), he currently lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Top customer reviews
I've been writing a similar yet unique edition on this theme my Self, and, again, I am surprised, impressed, delighted, and deeply moved - moved because I believe that as yet another of us transcends the magnetic pull of the tides of thought as it collectively exists as a system, that system is transformed. Only thought that is generative and Life-affirming can lead to human action that is regenerative! Eisenstein has been astute and thorough in this critical examination of many widely held and rarely questioned assumptions...
So what is it about? Well, everything really. He brings together science, art, religion, work, play, school, and everything in between. We start off in the familiar and end up somewhere unexpected every time. And that's probably the best description I can give.
The book isn't flawless, of course. His discussion of autism, for example, leave a bit to be desired. But we're not left with the impression that he writing from the perspective of "truth" - the book is a chronicle of opinion and insight, not objective science. It's more a narrative about how things can be than about how they are - or maybe it's about how things are what we make them to be.
So ultimately, I felt the only shortcoming of the work was that the ideas I read here weren't particularly new - that is to say, I didn't read many things that I hadn't already read or heard about elsewhere. But that's not really what this book is about. Eisenstein weaves together many different sources and with them creates a coherent, unified idea. And that, in my opinion, seems to be what is needed more than anything else right now.
(Also, to anyone who enjoyed this work, I'd highly recommend reading "Immediatism" by Hakim Bey - very similar ideas, with a little more poetic flare... And lots of room for imagination.)