Why it Matters…………
A friend in the 90s, introduced me on this path with a nudge here, a hint there and this book that tries to identify and combat what may be the deepest bias of Western conceptual life.
by Fritjof Capra, Simon and Schuster, 464 pp.
The beauutiful friendship, that continues to flower, to date, set me on this path with this book; The Turning Point by Frijof Capra. A path that identifies and is sensitive [and high-lights likely solutions] to what may be some of the deepest bias of Western conceptual life and a primary source of our current ills and unhappiness.
A Revealing Path
Countless errors go undetected, because of the fog within which the pervasive Western culture envelops us. A cultural influence, that has set-up certain assumptions about the mind, the body, and the universe. And which carries with it assumptions which determine how we begin to; pose questions we ask; influence the facts we seek; determine the interpretation we give these facts and direct our reaction to these interpretations and conclusions.
According to #frijofcapra, the trouble started nearly four hundred years ago, with the conceptual paradigm of Cartesian mechanism. An approach, pervading all disciplines and characterized by an explanatory tactic, that separates, analyzes, and reduces the world to basic parts.
This strategy for explanation has been allied with a conceptual macho orientation. A belief in continual progress, and growth by exploiting the earth and all its life [which we therefore view as separate from man and available for dominion]. The basic idea that we learn in order to control and manipulate.
To halt the slide down this ~ Cartesian ~ path into an abyss of our own construction, Capra offers a new “paradigm of thought.” A thought process that seems to be arising spontaneously, among troubled and perceptive thinkers in all disciplines. The watchwords of this new way are “holism” and “ecology.” We must recognize inseparable union and interaction as basic realities. Complex systems, not separated building blocks, must be our units of explanation. We must immerse ourselves in nature and work with it, not separate it in order to exploit it.
Book in Four Parts
The Turning Point comes in four parts. The first; outlines the current crisis that Cartesianism has imposed upon us, and offers some hints for an alternative. The second; in two chapters, sets forth the Cartesian model. It then argues, by contrast, that its rationale has disappeared with advances in modern physics which reflect the ecological and interactive themes of many non-Western and mystical traditions. [Capra, a physicist by training, pursues several themes of his earlier book – Tao of Physics.] The third chronicles the dire influence of Cartesianism in biology, medicine, psychology, economics, and the politics of growth. The fourth proposes a holistic rescue.