What happens when chaos theorist Ralph Abraham, morphogenetic fields theorist Rupert Sheldrake and entheoprovocateur Terence McKenna get together to talk shop? A surprisingly lucid trialogue of crosspollinating far-flung speculation on the nature of reality, consciousness, the imagination and human destiny.
Chaos, Creativity and Cosmic Consciousness (earlier published as Trialogues at the Edge of the West) is edited from transcripts of a series of workshops held at Esalen in 1989 and 1990. The trio expound on pet theories – riffing off each other, sometimes sharpening a theory or leading it into new tangents. Jean Huston in her foreword states, “The rapidity with which ideas are here offered, plumbed, and then rewoven into new tapestries of the spirit – serves as witness to the acceleration of the psyche in our times.” Remarkably, not much of the material seems dated after a decade of bottle aging. Most of the conversations have a quality of active, cork-popping speculation that makes even the murkier or flakier meanderings enjoyable reading. Talks delve into intimations on the nature of imagination (and the imagination of Nature), expositions on morphic resonance, and vintage Terence classics like novelty theory, eschatology and the role of psilocybin mushrooms in human consciousness.
The book does an excellent job of introducing each of the chapters (titles like “Chaos and the Imagination,” “Entities,” “The Resacralization of the World”) with appetizing pull quotes from each of the trio. The range of terms in the glossary alone is liable to cast a spell on you. Those already familiar with this territory should find some interesting and amusing refinements of familiar hypotheses, others will enjoy a ride that may pique their curiosity for further fringe exploration. —Originally Published In : Trip
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