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The Biology of Transcendence: A Blueprint of the Human Spirit Hardcover – April 1, 2002
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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". . . an engaging blend of scientific research and personal accounts of altered states, [this book] outlines the anatomy of levels of consciousness." (Fran Shaw, Parabola, Fall, 2003)
"This is a masterpiece of science and spirit, love over law, and the stunning biological truth of the capacity for transcendence that the universe has placed within us. There is much in this work that could solve the problems of history. Here, in brilliant and incisive words is the foundation for a new mind and a new world." (Jean Houston, author of A Passion for the Possible and Jump Time)
"The Biology of Transcendence will transform your worldview and change forever your understanding of our past, present, and future. Riveting, insightful, and penetrating, Pearce has laid out one of the most startling and powerful visions of our future. . . . You won't be able to put this book down, and when you've read it, you won't be able to stop talking about it with everybody you know." (Thom Hartmann, author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight)
"I've spent over thirty years pioneering wellness programs, always trying to grasp why it is such a struggle for people to attain and maintain the well-being that is their birthright. In the last decade I finally came to appreciate what Pearce discovered long ago: that the heart and key to wellness lies in how we nurture our young--enabling them to thrive, rather than merely survive." (John W. Travis, M.D., M.P.H., author of Simply Well and Wellness Workbook)
"Joseph Chilton Pearce has profoundly altered my view of religion and culture and has left me with both the understanding and the tools to go beyond limitations to the joy of love and all its possibilities." (Carla Hannaford, Ph.D., author of Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head and Awakening th)
"Rarely does a single book encompass such far reaching vistas and disturbing revelations as The Biology of Transcendence." (Robert Simmon, The Metaphysical Guide to Tucson Gem & Mineral Shows 2004)
"Revolutionary significance for anyone...seeking clues on how to develop the magnificent but frustrated potential that is ourbirthright." (Charles Eisenstein, Progressive Health, Summer 2004)
"...a survey of spiritual transcendence so linked to science that it earns a place of respect in the spheres of science, health, and metaphysics." (The Midwest Book Review)
"This book must be read by anyone wanting a better future for the world." (Dr. Roger Taylor, Caduceus, April 2007)
From the Back Cover
NEW SCIENCE / PHILOSOPHY
“The Biology of Transcendence will transform your worldview and change forever your understanding of our past, present, and future. Riveting, insightful, and penetrating, Pearce has laid out one of the most startling and powerful visions of our future. . . . You won’t be able to put this book down, and when you’ve read it, you won’t be able to stop talking about it with everybody you know.”
--Thom Hartmann, author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight
“This is a masterpiece of science and spirit, love over law, and the stunning biological truth of the capacity for transcendence that the universe has placed within us. Here, in brilliant and incisive words, is the foundation for a new mind and a new world.”
--Jean Houston, author of A Passion for the Possible and Jump Time: Shaping Your Future in a World of Radical Change
Why do we seem stuck in a culture of violence and injustice? How is it that we can recognize the transcendent ideal represented by figures such as Jesus, Lao-tzu, and many others who have walked among us and yet not seem to reach the same state?
In The Biology of Transcendence Joseph Chilton Pearce examines the current biological understanding of our neural organization to address how we can go beyond the limitations and constraints of our current capacities of body and mind--how we can transcend. Recent research in the neurosciences and neurocardiology identifies the four neural centers of our brain and indicates that a fifth such center is located in the heart. This research reveals that the evolutionary structure of our brain and its dynamic interactions with our heart are designed by nature to reach beyond our current evolutionary capacities. We are quite literally, made to transcend.
Pearce explores how this biological imperative drives our life into ever-greater realms of being--even as the cultural imperative of social conformity and behavior counters this genetic heritage, blocks our transcendent capacities, and breeds violence in all its forms. The conflict between religion and spirit is an important part of this struggle. But each of us may overthrow these cultural imperatives to reach “unconflicted behavior,” wherein heart and mind-brain resonate in synchronicity, opening us to levels of possibility beyond the ordinary.
JOSEPH CHILTON PEARCE is the author of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Magical Child, and Evolution’s End. For the past twenty-five years, he has taught about the changing needs of children and the development of human society. He lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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This review is from: The Biology of Transcendence: A Blueprint of the Human Spirit (Kindle Edition)
This book is an extraordinary work of scholarship and writing, reads with the excitement of an adventure, and is a true learning expedition. It will be most rewarding for a reader who can identify with experiences of unconflicted behavior and the creator- created dynamic. Thank you Joe for all of your wonderful books. This one is truly a work of great magnitude.
Many books have one or a handful of fundamental concepts. This book has dozens, woven together in a powerful fabric to provide intelligent clothing for a new paradigm of transcendence. A major argument of this book is that transcendence, the ability to go beyond limitation and restraint, is our biological birthright, built into us genetically, and blocked by enculturation. It is an inspired and heretical work as all great truths are heretical in the context of the culture that encounters them.
Depending on your cultural and religious background, it will be either joyful or somewhat disturbing to read. Nevertheless, for those who deeply understand its profound implications, The Biology of Transcendence can be a blueprint for a new paradigm in child development.
In this powerful work, Pearce draws on research from a wide range of the physical, social, biological, and medical sciences. His bibliography contains over 100 sources from Frederick Leboyer on birth and bonding to Paul MacLean on the brain, Jean Piaget on development, John and Beatrice Lacey on the heart, the Holy Bible on religion, David Bohm and Rupert Sheldrake on science, and Rudolph Steiner on spirituality.
Joseph Chilton Pearce reveals the biological and neurological underpinnings that help us discover the underlying principles of our own deepest nature.
This is a book which can be productively read numerous times, each time grasping more of the interrelationships among the fundamental concepts and understanding their implications for our own lives and those of our children.
This book deserves to be a best seller, yet even as the Bible is a best seller, the Bible is often not read by those who own it - or if read, may be fundamentally misunderstood. In the same way that the Bible is a profound affirmation of spiritual possibility and an indictment of "the world", The Biology of Transcendence is an affirmation of our transcendent birthright and an indictment of cultures which oppose this birthright.
An important goal of culture is to inhibit destructive impulses and behaviors. Unfortunately, culture can result in a failure in nurturing and a consequent failure in the brain development of the child's prefrontal cortex - the brain system which, when developed and integrated, internally inhibits the same destructive impulses and behaviors in children and adults which culture has failed to externally control.
Pearce offers evidence of the growing failure in nurturing of children in the United States and the increase in destructive impulses and behavior. By the end of the 20th Century, 6000 American children and teens were being killed annually by their peers. Further, suicide has become the third highest cause of death by youth between ages 5 and 17, with suicide attempts in this age group occurring on the average every 78 seconds.
Pearce shares many of the transcendent experiences of his own life of 83 years, which provided his powerful personal motivation to understand the true nature and source of these experiences and the framework of child development principles which can open this potential to our children.
In explanation of "unconflicted behavior" he describes two such instances from his own life that occurred due to his discovery in his early 20s of how "to bypass my body's most ancient instincts of self-preservation, which resulted in a temporary absence of all fear and subsequent abandonment of all caution. This enabled me, at particular times, to accomplish things that would have been considered impossible under the ordinary conditions of the world," (1) such as sleep and operate a check-proofing machine at the same time plus take customary coffee breaks and (2) climb a sheer cliff straight up from the ocean with an overhang at the top. His implicit trust in the force of unconflicted behavior operated the check-proofing machine and propelled his body up through an avalanche of dust and debris. Unconflicted behavior allows no space for doubt.
Pearce sees these fundamental concepts as part of the process of building lifeboats to ferry humankind out of a growing chaos and into a new realm of transcendent possibility. These concepts provide affirmation of the innate intelligence of mothers who possess strength and self-confidence, who are deeply spiritual in a personal sense, who exhibit freedom, and who exude inner security, confidence, and the intelligence of the heart. For fathers, their most important role is to provide mothers with a safe space, free from fear during pregnancy, childbirth, and their son's or daughter's early childhood years, so that the child's safe space is never in question. After the first three years, the father provides the model for bridging between the nest and the world.
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