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Cosmos and Psyche
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About the Author

Richard Tarnas is the founding director of the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he currently teaches. Born in 1950 in Geneva, Switzerland, of American parents, he grew up in Michigan, where he received a classical Jesuit education. In 1968 he entered Harvard, where he studied Western intellectual and cultural history and depth psychology, graduating with an A.B. cum laude in 1972. For ten years he lived and worked at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, studying with Stanislav Grof, Joseph Campbell, Gregory Bateson, Huston Smith, and James Hillman, later serving as Esalen's director of programs and education. He received his Ph.D. from Saybrook Institute in 1976 with a dissertation on LSD psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and spiritual transformation. From 1980 to 1990, he wrote The Passion of the Western Mind, a narrative history of Western thought from the ancient Greek to the postmodern which became a bestseller and continues to be a widely used text in universities throughout the world. In 2006, he published Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, which received the Book of the Year Prize from the Scientific and Medical Network in the UK. Formerly president of the International Transpersonal Association, he is on the Board of Governors of the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. In addition to his teaching at CIIS, he has been a frequent lecturer at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, and gives many public lectures and seminars in the U.S. and abroad.

Reviews

In this sequel to The Passion of the Western Mind, Tarnas (philosophy, cosmology, & consciousness, California Inst. of Integral Studies) opens with an overview of the "modern self," paying special attention to the impact of the Copernican revolution. He then begins a discussion of the psychological aspects of this modern self, building up to Carl Jung's analysis of the phenomenon of synchronicity. This discussion serves as the springboard for the rest of the book: cosmological archetypes and the principles of astrology. Tarnas cites an abundance of examples drawn from historical individuals, cultural eras, political events and revolutions, scientific discoveries, literary developments, and artistic innovations that correspond to various planetary alignments. He persuasively argues that a logical shift on the order of the Copernican revolution is necessary in order for modern individuals to analyze better the past and present (and to some extent the future). At times, however, the material seems to do little more than summarize planetary alignments and corresponding events. If nothing else, Tarnas succeeds in pointing out overwhelming coincidences that will undoubtedly be difficult for readers to disregard. Recommended for medium and large collections.-Jason Moore, Madison Cty. Lib. Syst., MS Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Praise for Cosmos and Psyche

"Breathtaking in the scope and scale of its vision, this extraordinary book shatters our cosmological assumptions...Spellbinding, eloquent, compelling."-Christopher Bache, professor of philosophy and religious studies, Youngstown State University

"Majestic, sweeping, and profound. This will be a book for the ages."-William Van Dusen Wishard, author of Between Two Ages: The 21st Century and the Crisis of Meaning

"This is the closest my head has been to exploding while reading a book."-Mary Hynes, CBC Tapestry

"What more important message could there be for our time? If you want to understand more deeply the currents which have shaped and are shaping our world, then this passionate, brilliant, and luminous book is essential reading."-David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network Review

"Cosmos and Psyche is an epoch-making work. It combines impeccably meticulous scholarship and extraordinary clarity of thinking and writing with deep creative vision. The evidence contained here represents the most significant challenge I have seen to the materialistic paradigm of modern science."-Stanislav Grof, author of Psychology of the Future

According to Tarnas, acclaimed author of The Passion of the Western Mind, history is on the verge of a major shift, comparable to the one wrought by Copernicus and Galileo, but a seemingly antiscientific one: an astrological turn that can only be understood thorough chronicling planetary alignments as they correlate to the rise of the modern mind over the last 500 years. Understanding planetary alignments, for Tarnas, is crucial to the world's future and requires "a genuine dialogue" with the cosmos, by "opening ourselves more fully" to "the other," to ancient and indigenous epistemologies, even "to other forms of life, other modes of the universe's self-disclosure." Filled with philosophical, religious, literary and scientific thinking ranging from Luther and Kepler through Hemingway and even Hitchcock and Dylan, Tarnas's book is not only sweeping in subject but dense and sometimes painfully slow going. It requires at once a strong background in the history of modern thought, an advanced knowledge of astrology, a willingness to withhold skepticism about the role of planetary alignments of the past in understanding life today and the avoidance of imminent world catastrophe. Tarnas's call to redefine what we consider as "legitimate knowledge" will resonate in some sectors, but it will be a tough sell with the more scientifically hardheaded. (Jan. 23) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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