Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wisdom, Consciousness, and the Future

As the winter blossomed into spring, and the spring heated into summer, I have been sequestered away writing with Jeanne by my side editing and re-editing a steady flow of new articles, culminating in two new books being published this summer and early fall. The first book is finished and now for sale: Wisdom, Consciousness, and the Future (WCF). You can find it at the publisher’s website. It is also up on Amazon.

WCF is a collection of essays that I have published over the last seven years brought together into one volume. The essays deal with human virtue and enhancing future consciousness; wisdom, ethics, and the future of education; the nature of consciousness and creativity; the “New Enlightenment;” and the future evolution of technology and the human mind.

Central to the theoretical vision articulated within the book is wisdom. In the essays I explain how wisdom is the highest expression of future consciousness; how it is the key ideal that should be modeled and taught within education; how wisdom subsumes all of the other important academic virtues; how wisdom aligns with our ongoing technological evolution and global-ecological awareness; and why wisdom is the appropriate ideal toward which we should strive in our individual and collective evolution.

WCF is a blueprint for a new and integrative wisdom-based model of education and the purposeful evolution of mind and human consciousness in the future.

We are planning a number of book events for the fall, including a presentation at RISE in Sun City scheduled for November 1st, from 1 pm to 3 pm. (See the listing of new talks for the fall.) The RISE event, though, will not only be introducing WCF but the second book coming out this year—Mind Flight: A Journey into the Future. We are in the final editing stage with Mind Flight, which should be released probably around September or early October.

One of the new published articles this year (included in WCF) addresses the “mystery of consciousness.” Originally published this spring in The Journal of Cosmology and titled “The Ecological Cosmology of Consciousness,” I explore in the article the nature of consciousness and the self, and how the brain, the body, and the physical cosmos fit together with the phenomenon of consciousness. This coming week I will be giving a presentation at RISE on the ideas in this new article. The date and time are: June 30th (Thursday) 10 am to noon. I will be doing two follow-up presentations on the psychology of consciousness at RISE in the fall (See fall listing of events).

Here is the description for the first presentation:

Consciousness is an amazing reality. Yet, consciousness—of which we are so intimately acquainted since we are conscious beings—is paradoxically one of the great philosophical and scientific puzzles. What is consciousness and how does it come to be? How is consciousness, which seems so totally one kind of thing, connected with the physical world, which seems to be totally of another kind of thing? There are many answers, many solutions to the varied mysteries of consciousness, but all these answers and solutions seem flawed or inadequate. Consciousness remains a profound mystery. In this presentation I will describe the various traditional mysteries of consciousness, introduce an even deeper mystery, propose a new theory of consciousness, the brain, and the physical world, and connect the whole shebang with the nature and evolution of the cosmos. This is one to really stretch your mind and expand your consciousness.

Also this fall I will be doing a new three part series on “Evolution and Progress” at Sun City Grand. (See list of dates and times) Here is a description of this series:

A description of the comprehensive and cosmic scope of evolution as a general theory of all of nature, from the physical and biological to the psychological, social, technological, and even the spiritual. We will see why scientists and philosophers believe that the universe developed into its present form through a multi-faceted dynamical evolutionary process. (And it is by no means over.) But if evolution is true, how does this general progressive process connect with our present global reality? Are we making progress or are we heading for social and ecological disaster? What, in fact, is progress and how do we define it? We will connect evolution with the question of human progress: Is humanity evolving, progressing, and moving forward, and if so, how?

As one final note, I will be on Robert Rose Internet Radio, July 1st. I will be talking about my two new books and wisdom and futurist topics in general. See:

New Books:

Definitely read:

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly, a comprehensive, evolutionary explanation of technology--a great read
Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think? by John Brockman, the pros and cons of whether Google and the Internet are having a beneficial impact on human thinking and consciousness
Exultant by Stephen Baxter, a cosmological adventure 50,000 years into the future