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The Ascent of Humanity: Civilization and the Human Sense of Self (Anglais) Relié – 5 février 2013

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 43 commentaires
78 internautes sur 82 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Study this book and ASCEND 20 mars 2007
Par Steven A. Reid - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Eisenstein convincingly develops the thesis that humanity has succumbed to the dismal end game of the Technological and Scientific Programs. He describes the Scientific Program as the attempt to understand every phenomenon through the application of the Scientific Method -- extending reductionism, measurement, classification, and enumeration inappropriately to aspects of existence or relationships where they do not apply. The Technological Program seeks to control nature, and thereby often disrupts it through unintended consequences. The usual, and usually incorrect, response to these blunders consists of more technology; more control. He argues that cooperation between life forms may prove much more important to evolution than competition. He shows how the prevailing materialistic world view, one seeking to isolate Man from hostile nature, colours seemingly objective scientific theory.

By focusing on self organizing systems of increasing complexity, he spotlights how matter literally tends to "come alive". The Divine exists not as a remote, possibly disinterested deity, but rather in every bit of the extant World.

The time has come for Humanity's next big step. We need to recognize that only imaginary, arbitrary boundaries divide the individual from the rest of the Universe. The "out there" and the "in here" exist only as concepts, not as valid categories delimiting our physiological and mental domains. We live in a world of abundance, where cooperation, not a paranoid "me vs. the hostile other" perspective should inform our philosophy.

This book might just catalyze a paradigm shift affecting science, economics, psychology, and theology. You will find it much easier to read than this review, and a lot more fascinating.
32 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An Important Work 31 mars 2008
Par Laurie Plank - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Charles Eisenstein, a true Renaissance thinker, has written a monumental work that traces the journey of the human race from its beginnings through to present day. He has left no thought unexamined in his quest for an explanation of why and how we have come to this juncture, which is defined by a convergence of environmental, social and political crises.
Eisenstein argues that beginning with our first use of tools, we embarked on a journey of separation from nature and eventually from each other. Rather than viewing our current situation as a terrible mistake, Eisenstein believes it is an inevitable passage that will result in the birthing of a shift in perspective, an awakening of all humanity. As we emerge from the difficult times ahead, a better way of being in the world will result.
This book is incredibly broad and deep in its examination of how science, technology, religion, politics, economics, and sociology have each contributed to (and been a mirror of) our ever-greater alienation.
There were ideas presented here I have read nowhere else such as how our interest-dependent money system creates an unending need for economic consumption We literally can't stop consuming or our whole financial system collapses. No wonder environmental preservation will always be at odds with capitalism. Eisenstein not only examines what is not working, but gives plenty of concrete ideas about how to bring about real change. For example, a money system with negative interest called demurrage. Sound intriguing? Read this important book and decide for yourself.
The Ascent of Humanity will give you a clearer understanding of the current human situation as well as some real direction for how we can begin now to envision and create a better way to live that honors all life.
This is the book I had been waiting for. It deserves a wide audience. I am working on a Master's degree in Ecopsychology and have read widely. The Ascent of Humanity is in my top five. If you have a strong sense of a spiritual element in your life, but also value a well-reasoned, well-researched discourse, without a bit of fluff, you will not be disappointed in this book.
23 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
a semblance of the whole 29 octobre 2007
Par eibzion - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I'll be honest - I probably mentally reference this book on a daily basis. I am yet to find a work this complete (and this voluminous) that seems to agree with so many of my own thoughts. That's not to say that it didn't get me to think critically about them, or that Eisenstein didn't diverge from them at certain points, but it is good to know that there are others out there who share my ideas.

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.)
17 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Our World---Diagnosis & Prognosis--and for the Reader---Treatment & Healing 4 mars 2008
Par O. Brown - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
When I purchased this book, it intimidated me, as I am not an academic reader, nor do I typically enjoy intellectual books. The Ascent of Humanity (AOH) at first look appears to be a tome of scientific and philisophical ramblings and speculations---way too esoteric for me, I thought. However, I am taking a class with the author, and when I brought my concerns to him, he encouraged me to take on the book, saying that it was written "with passion".

I was convinced, and proceeded to read the book over a period of several days. I couldn't put it down. It is based upon science and philosophy, it's true, but you don't need a background in any academic discipline to read it. All you need is a desire to understand our world, what it has become, and where it is going. AOH is approachable and very readable.

However, I would describe the process of reading AOH not as a walk in the park, but as an enjoyable hike to the top of a mountain. On the way, you learn about why our society, why the world even, is in the state it is in, and what can be done about it. The author uses the analogy of the Tower of Babel to illustrate how the separation we have created has not worked; sometimes he also compares what has happened with technology and control to addiction. AOH is written with an optimistic and positive tone about potentially dark times, so that unlike other books that try to tackle the same ideas, you will not end it filled with anger and blame and despair, but filled with hope and understanding and peace---no matter what you think might happen in the future. No matter how difficult the times might be. You'll be okay inside. And you won't be fearful now.

Reading AOH for me was an experience that could best be described as a worldview exchange and personal healing that cost me only $25 and forty or so hours of my time and that, now, knowing what it is, I'd do anything for. Because it healed a precious part of me, and gave me a gift. A vital gift that I desperately needed today but that I will need even more in these times that are coming.

Highest possible recommendation.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Everything you once thought to be groundbreaking... 6 juin 2008
Par Edward Yu - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
...has just become mundane in the shadow of this soul stomping, life changing work. Ascent is a totally captivating and vital journey into the biological and emotional roots of personal and political economic dysfunction. We discover early on in the book that what environmental and political progressives thought to be the roots are merely the topmost branches. Solutions run deeper and way deeper does Mr. Eisenstein dig, reaching into the collective wisdom of not just human life, but indeed all life on the planet in its evolutionary search for union and completion. True, many have alluded to what Mr. Eisenstein so eloquently and painstakingly writes about, but such allusions have become more like cliches passed between New Age pundits, or overused quotes seen on car bumpers and refrigerator magnets. If the New Age phenomenon has given us license to pass on words of wisdom without being wise, Mr. Eisenstein injects meaning into formerly empty words (you will never read a refrigerator magnet the same way again!)
Ascent is the most honest and thorough inquiry into what it means to "trust onself" that I have encountered. Trusting oneself appears simple enough until you realize that you have to contend with the tide of intellectual giants like Bacon, Descartes, Adam Smith, Marx--indeed, ten thousand years of civilized history to discover the contortions humanity has gone through to keep us from doing so. Today, as every aspect of living is being colonized by corporations, schools and government, we are faced with an onslaught from "experts" of every imaginable field telling us what to do and how to do it. Mr. Eisenstein insightfully points out what has been staring us in the face all along: what has been left out of the equation of living is living itself. In other words, surviving by the dictates of external authorities is not living at all.
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