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The Dynamics of Transformation: Tracing an Emerging World View Paperback – January 2, 2017
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And, what is so visionary and important is that Maxwell begins to suggest where we are all headed; what type of mentality might come next, and whether both the mythological, rational and other orientations might not only need each other but need to transcend themselves into a new paradigm, which he also suggests. He gets across visceral and essentials truths about our world, and the content of the perceptual "modern" paradigm that we take for granted..
As for what resonated with me personally--I take it to the political yet this is not primarily a book about politics--but is about so much more As hard as things are these days, this book, out in 2017, gives me great hope for what's to come.
Though Maxwell traces the roots of his ideas to Jung, James, Whitehead, Tarnas and others, I really don't know how he came up with all of this in quite the way he did. As you may gather from my review, I'm grateful... Suffice to say that when a writer as brilliant as Maxwell tackles these complex aspects of the human condition, it is a literary moment to be cherished.
The ingression or invasion of consciousness and novelty into our time and space is big medicine and may even be cause for a little math-based hopefulness. Evolving or changing has four causes according to Aristotle - material, efficient, formal and final. What a thing’s made of, its precedent, the nature of change (eg. octave is 2:1) and the ultimate purpose respectively.
This is just the beginning of what I learned from Grant Maxwell’s The Dynamics of Transformation. Clearly smarter now, and with a totally expanded perspective on my life and my own desperate philosophical exercises, I’m glad I barreled through the intellectual obstacle course that composed the introduction.
Abstract concept after abstract concept, vividly elucidated by a world-class wordsmith though it is, the feeling is of a precarious acid trip with Lord Alfred North Whitehead. However, once the intro’s behind you (escape velocity) and when more time is taken, though time itself takes a beating in this thing as well, the author is able to bring the intellectual level down to a comfortable sprint and it becomes a lot more fun. Whereas Rick Tarnas illustrates the ingression of archetype into our world through countless cultural and historical examples, Maxwell has a far more ambitious philosophical agenda.
Whitehead, Nietzsche, Plato, Aristotle, Heidegger and the late teleoligist Terrence McKenna, heavyweights all, forge the bedrock of Dr. Maxwell’s explorations and intimations for a new mode. A shift is suggested, like the big bang perhaps, or life on earth, or smart monkeys or whatever it is we have become since, perhaps with a formal cause of reverse bifurcation and unification between subject and object – the fundamental goal of yoga. Something new, moving at last through the archaic, magic, mythological and mental mode of scientific rationalism into an ontology, an epistemology that integrates and expands on its precedents.
If post-modernism can be summed up as the collapsing of the meta-narrative of scientific rationalism evolving into utopia into a fragmented mosaic where people are simply the product of social and economic forces, and, like me, you find this depressing – here’s a way forward, plausible and elegantly reasoned.
English professor Harold Bloom defines sublime as “sacrificing easy pleasures for more difficult ones.” The Dynamics of Transformation is no easy pleasure, but once your brain bootstraps itself into the necessary frequency it is a unique and groundbreaking philosophical roller coaster.
Some of the book is very difficult, some of it dealing with long debated issues and unresolved matters. The Introduction is particularly tough as it summarizes information that is not easy to compact into a paragraph or two. Don't let that scare you off, there is a lot here that doesn't require years of prior involvement in this area of thought to understand and incorporate into your own worldview.
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I feel that Dr. Maxwell's attempt to synthesize so many disparate philosophical stances is, if nothing else, daring and to be applauded in its ambition and...Read more