Review: On Complexity

7 Star Top 1%, Civil Society, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Environment (Solutions), Intelligence (Commercial), Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Spiritual), Intelligence (Wealth of Networks)
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Amazon Page

Edgar Morin

7 Stars Life Transformative  Foundation Work for Everything Else

This is a remarkably coherent book about the most important topic for all of us, the matter of complexity and more to the point, thinking about complexity. I certainly recommend it most strongly, along with two other books by the same author that I have reviewed:

Homeland Earth : A Manifesto for the New Millennium (Advances in Systems Theory, Complexity and the Human Sciences)
Seven Complex Lessons in Education for the Future (Education on the Move)

The Foreword by Alfonso Montuori is easily the equal of the main body by Edgar Morin, and I am totally awed by the mastery demonstrated in Montuori’s synthesis and framing of Morin’s work. I venture to say that I would not have gotten as much from the main body without the structure of the Foreword.

Montuori, always drawing on Morin, emphasizes a number of core concepts that I note down:

01 We must abandon the architectural or machine metaphor that assumes a foundation or base for what is actually a complex complete whole that can be viewed from any point.

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Review (Guest): The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture (1984)

5 Star, Consciousness & Social IQ, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Spiritual), Survival & Sustainment, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution
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Amazon Page

Frank Capra

5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant and important book. July 30, 1999

A Customer

It’s all here. Everything we ever needed to know to begin to change our world and ourselves. Totally brilliant. Many years in the making, this book covers a very wide spectrum of knowledge and is fascinating all the way through. Like The Tao of Physics, this book looks toward a world view that encompasses a balance of science and spirit. Capra is also not shy about deconstructing or critisizing popular economic and political mythology, which may disturb some readers, but he has the benefit of input from some of the greatest minds of our time and his analysis is unassailable. Female readers will probably appreciate his sensitivity and balanced approach to feminist perspectives as he discusses what’s wrong with our world and what we can do to change things.My experience was that I read his other book “Uncommon Wisdom” first, which was in large part about Capra’s experiences leading up to the writing of The Turning Point with the people and minds that inspired and enlightened him. Reading that first made all of The Turning Point flow even smoother. But Uncommon Wisdom is getting hard to find, so don’t quibble. Read Turning Point no matter what! It is still 100% relevant to today and comes from a man who has been at the forefront of cutting edge thinking since the 1960s.

This book is filled with Capra’s take on insights obtained over the years from people like Werner Heisenberg, E.F. Schumacher, J. Krishnamurti, Hazel Henderson, Gregory Bateson, Pitirim Sorokin, Stanislav Grof, Margaret Locke, R.D. Laing, David Bohm, Adrienne Rich, Lyn Margulis, and many others. With The Turning Point, you’re getting into the thoughts of a whole lot of brilliant thinkers, both male and female, that Capra has known personally or studied thoroughly.

All of Capra’s books are fascinating. Check out “The Web of Life” which is another 5 star book in my opinion.

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See Also:

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Positive Future-Oriented)

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Negative Status-Quo)

Review: The Code for Global Ethics: Ten Humanist Principles

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Economics, Education (General), Environment (Solutions), Future, Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Spiritual), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Rodrique Tremblay

5.0 out of 5 stars Humanist Manifesto Slams Religions, Foundation for Reflection, December 22, 2012

I bought this book on the recommendation of Pierre Cloutier in Quebec, and very deliberately as the first book to read on 22 December 2012 as Epoch B begins (see graphic above with book cover).

Across the entire book are what I now call E to the 5th: Empathy, Ethics, Ecology, Education, and Evolution. The bottom line of the book is clear: abandon religions as selective (and generally exclusionary) arbiters of morality, each severely hypocritical in having one morality for insiders and another for “others” (infidels, shiksas, whatever the name, moral disengagement is the rule and genocide is often the result).

When addressing really important books, I read the notes, bibliography, and index first. The notes are a second book — these are not normal cryptic notes, each note is a short exposition, and any reading of the book is incomplete without a reading of the notes. The bibliography is extraordinary, and my attention was immediately drawn to the authors honored with three or more books being cited: Karen Armstrong, Mario Bunge, Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, A.C. Graylink, Robert Ingersoll, Immanuel Kant, Hans Kung, Paul Kurtz, John Rawls, Peter Singer, Baruch SPinoza, E. O. Wilson, and Robert Wright. Among them Kurtz, Singer, and Wright are central. Roughly 1,000 books are listed by title in the bibliography.

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Review: Empowering Public Wisdom – A Practical Vision of Citizen-Led Politics

5 Star, Change & Innovation, Civil Society, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Democracy, Future, Games, Models, & Simulations, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Spiritual), Intelligence (Wealth of Networks), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Public Administration, True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
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Tom Atlee

5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Tom Paine of Our Generation,October 10, 2012

I first met Tom when I sought him out after discovering his first book The Tao of Democracy: Using co-intelligence to create a world that works for all and invited him to speak to an international gathering of information and intelligence professionals. In my view, his words to that group were as powerful as those of Howard Rheingold and John Perry Barlow, themselves speaking to the same conference a decade earlier. Since then I have read Tom’s second book Reflections on Evolutionary Activism: Essays, poems and prayers from an emerging field of sacred social change, and written my own manifesto, the second book in this series (Tom’s is the third, the first was Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness (Manifesto Series). To the extent that I have been constructively radicalized toward open everything and the core principles of transparency, truth, and trust, I owe a great debt to Tom and the Seattle wizards that I met because of him, not least Jon Ramer, Susan Cannon, and Sheri Herndon.

By way of contextual appreciation, I would also mention Harrison Owen, whose first book tom cites but whose most recent book I am compelled to present here, Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World, and Peggy Owen, whose most recent book is Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity. I am delighted that he also honors Jim Rough (Society’s Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People) and the team of Juanita Brown and David Isaacs (The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter among many others.

Tom provides both an appendix of key concepts with links for each that I have remixed and posted to Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, and an excellent list of books that I am also posting with links. The triad is easily found online by searching for Tom Atlee Public Wisdom Trilogy.

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Review: The Bhagavad Gita – The Original Sanskrit and An English Translation

4 Star, Consciousness & Social IQ, Intelligence (Spiritual)
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Lars Martin Fosse

4.0 out of 5 stars Straight Forward But Disappointing for a Lay Reader,October 8, 2012

This book’s special niche is for those who want to read the book in Sanscrit and English at the same time.

Perhaps I have been spoiled by the excellence of The The Bhagavad Gita: A Walkthrough for Westerners that was recommended to me by Harrison Owen, himself the author of several books including Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World. My review of the Gita for Westerners is a reflection of what I can get out of a book.

This one, while appreciated as a gift, and while also clearly a valuable contribution in terms of new twists on the English translation, is for me largely valuable for the ten page introduction.

I will say that the simplicity of the presentation (as in sparse sophistication demanding attention) focused my mind and I did draw out from this book the emphasis on non-attachment. In addition to the above two books, I would recommend The Zen Leader: 10 Ways to Go From Barely Managing to Leading Fearlessly, from which I drew the insight that I have been wasting time and energy trying to reform legacy systems that are too self-invested to every contemplate change, and that I should instead focus exclusively on “attracting the future” by being who I am, representing the constructive ideas that I do, and let others do with those ideas what they will.

Reading this book at a time when dark forces are conspiring to attack Iran and justify it with a variety of false flag attacks and the same kind of lies that led to the three trillion dollar war on Iraq, I try to FOCUS on the message in this book. Here is one example:

QUOTE (15): Know that this, on which all the world has been strung, is indestructible. No one can bring about the destruction of this imperishable being.

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Review (Guest): SQ 21 – The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence

5 Star, Intelligence (Spiritual)
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Cindy Wigglesworth

5.0 out of 5 stars Want less drama in your life, then develop your SQ. October 2, 2012

By Andrew D. Atwood

“Becoming fully human is a great adventure – one that requires us to grow and stretch ourselves.” So writes Cindy Wigglesworth at the opening of her book, SQ21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence.

In order to frame this review, it is necessary to identify this “great adventure” that we all share because it defines SQ as the ultimate aspiration of our human adventure, and thus the context for much of my work and my excitement about this book.

There are many models of adult human development. The one that I use most often in my work is borrowed and adapted from Sam Keen’s wonderful book, The Passionate Life. In it, Keen suggests that adults evolve from being a dependent Child, to a counter-dependent Rebel, to a co-dependent Adult, to an independent Outlaw, to an inter-dependent Lover. These “stages of loving,” as he refers to them, are the normal stages of the great human journey. For years I’ve targeted the end as the “Consciousness of Christ.” Different traditions define it in their terms, but this is the one that is most familiar to me, and the people with whom I work as a therapist and consultant to family businesses. Whether it is Buddha nature, to be like Jesus, the Pope, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Mohammed, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Thomas Merton… or to put on the Consciousness of Christ, it is the goal, the ultimate human aspiration of adult development.

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