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The Passion Of The Western Mind


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The most lucid and concise presentation of Western thought. The writing is elegant and carries the reader with the momentum of a novel. 'It really is a noble performance.' - Joseph Campbell

About the Author

Richard Tarnas, Ph. D., is Distinguished Rockefeller Faculty, Professor of Philosophy and Psychology, at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and is director of its programme in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. A graduate of Harvard University and Saybrook Institute, he was formerly director of programmes and education at Esalen Institute.


As Tarnas charts the development of Western thought from the ancient Greeks' ``archaic mythological consciousness'' to Stanislav Grof's depth psychology, which ``ratifies Jung's archetypal perspective on a new level,'' interactions among religion, science and philosophy continuously emerge. Former director of education at Esalen Institute, the author identifies such signposts in this evolutionary process as the Greek Sophists' systematic doubting of belief, the Platonic revival of the Renaissance and modern philosophy's ``transfer of allegiance from religion to science.'' Exposing the ``pervasive masculinity'' of the West's spiritual, cultural and scientific traditions, Tarnas maintains that a ``reintegration of the repressed feminine'' is now possible. An intellectual adventure, this challenging synthesis throws a sharp light on ideas central to the modern outlook. (June)

"I have never read a book about the ways in which we think that was clearer or more exciting" -- John Cleese
"Quite brilliant" * Guardian *
"[This] magnificent critical survey, with its inherent respect for both the 'West's mainstream high culture' and the 'radically changing world' of the 1990s, offers a new breakthrough for lay and scholarly readers alike... Allows readers to grasp the big picture of Western culture as if for the first time" * San Francisco Chronicle *
"30,000 years of Western thought distilled into a powerful, enthralling narrative" * Sydney Morning Herald *
"An extraordinary work of scholarship. It not only places the history of Western thought in perspective, but offers new insights concerning the evolution of our thinking and the future of the whole human enterprise" -- John E. Mack, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

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