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Themes in Metahistory
Suggested Reading: 15 books

Sacred Nature

Blackfoot Physics by F. David Peat compares indigenous views about Nature to the ideals and assumptions of modern science.

Inanna, by Diana Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer recovers in vivid erotic language the mystique of the Goddess central to all pagan and indigenous societies.

Voices of the First Day by Robert Lawlor presents a deep and far-reaching evaluation of the worldview of Australian Aborigines, heirs to a 40,000-year-old cultural tradition in which all aspects of spiritual and practical experience are based on symbiosis with Sacred Nature.

 

Opposition

Cosmos, Chaos and World Order by Norman Cohn describes the dualistic religion of Zoroaster from which the three fundamentalists faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) derive their concepts of good and evil, as well as their doctrines of cosmic justice and apocalypse.

The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich is a unique study of the biological basis of fascism as it manifest in two deviant tendencies, mysticism (religious fanaticism) and militarism.

The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness by Erich Fromm is perhaps the most complete psychologically oriented overview of the question of violence in human society.

Origins

Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock is a survey of the historical enigmas surrounding the rise of civilization in different parts of the world, presenting evidence pointing back to a global maritime network that existed before the last Ice Age, that is, before 9000 BCE.

The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe by Marija Gimbutas changed our view of the past by showing that civilized, goddess-based societies in which warfare seems to have been lacking existed before large-scale urban civilization as such.

The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara Walker is a massive compendium of information on the pagan origins of civilization, presenting leads to alternative scenarios of history as well as recovering many beliefs that were lost or suppressed with the rise of Christianity.

Moral Design

The I Ching, translated by Richard Wilhelm, is an ancient Chinese book of divination that contains many profound reflections on the nature of chance, change and choice.

Voices of Our Ancestors by Dhyani Ywahoo is a modern summation of the sacred wisdom of the Cherokee peoples. It describes in an exemplary fashion how native-mind cultures conceive the link between humanity and other dimensions, as well as how they define of the moral responsibility of humanity relative to the earth, revealing a unique balance of magical and moral factors.

Homo Ludens by Johanna Huizinga is a scholarly study of the essential role of play in the maintenance of human society and the creation of culture

Technology

For the argument on all the wonders soon to be achieved by technology in all fields of human endeavour see Visions by Michio Kaku. For a more critical and sobering view of technology the suggested reading is:

Coming to Our Senses by Maurice Berman is a wide-ranging discussion of the atrophy of human faculties due to the rise of technology, including some thoughts on how to recover the direct experience of Sacred Nature.

Technopoly by Neil Postman is a critique of humanity’s current tendency to surrender to technology, closely paralleling Berman’s argument but with an emphasis on restoring educational values in society and schooling.

In the Absence of the Sacred by Jerry Mander is an inquiry into the way corporate and technological control of human life intentionally negates and undermines the human bond to the Sacred in Nature.

 

 

 



Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2017 by John Lash.