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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions Bear and Company; 2nd edition (17 Dec. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892819774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892819775
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"One finishes "Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness" with a sense of heightened awareness and wonder."

About the Author

Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., the author of several books including "Seven Experiments That Could Change the World," "A New Science of Life," and "The Rebirth of Nature," lives in England. Terence McKenna (1946-2000) was the author of "Food of the God"s and "The Archaic Revival." Ralph Abraham, a Ph.D. in mathematics and a professor at the University of California, is the author of "Dynamics: The Geometry of Behavior"; he lives in California.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a gripping series of conversations between the three authors discussing various aspects of the psyche, the universe, the role of chaos theory in the dynamics of creation and the rediscovery of ancient wisdom. The authors, all three of whom stood at the cutting edge of their respective disciplines, challenge the reader about our current views of reality, morality and the nature of life. The sometimes breathtaking insights emerging from this will not fail to move the reader. The chapters on creativity, the imagination and chaos are amongst the most compelling, and deal with theories like the cosmic imagination as a higher dimensional magnet that pulls the evolutionary process to itself, the Omega Point, and imagination arising out of the womb of chaos. Other fascinating topics include indeterminism in nature, nature's organising fields as mathematical representations, and the encoding of information in crystals and in written language. The chapter "Light and Vision" is one of the most poetic, dealing as it does with physical light and the light of consciousness, the theory that one's thoughts are a measurable field emanating from the eyes, the similarities between electromagnetic and mental fields, the concept of a world soul, and morphogenetic fields as a medium of divine omniscience. Incorporeal intelligence and non-human entities are discussed - are the latter merely inhabitants of the psyche or do they have an independent existence? Scientists and inventors like Kekule, who received answers in dreams, are referenced here. The book concludes with a glossary, bibliography and biographical information about the authors. It is a stimulating text in which the power of the mythical imagination, scientific observation and innovative speculation combine to create a thought-provoking reading experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Chaos, Creativity and Cosmic Consciousness, by Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna and Ralph Abraham, Park Street Press (Inner Traditions), Rochester, Vermont; 1992, 2001; 208 ff.

In this book we eavesdrop as it were on a discussion between the three authors – a discussion that had gone on since 1982 and, more intensively, in public and private discussions at the Esalen Institute, California, in 1989 and 1990. For readers, it could be regarded as a companion volume to the discussion by Ervin Laszlo, Stanislav Grof and Peter Russell published in 1999 as ‘The Consciousness Revolution’. Ralph Abraham is a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Santa Cruz; the late Terence McKenna was an explorer, philosopher and ethnologist; and Rupert Sheldrake is a biochemist and plant physiologist who studied, taught and carried out research respectively at Cambridge, England, at Harvard, and at the International Crops Research Institute in Hyderabad, India.

On page 1, Sheldrake confronts us with a fundamental scientific dilemma: Are there eternal and unchanging laws of the universe, or is every facet of the universe constantly changing, developing, evolving – including the ‘laws of physics’? What then was the role of the Big Bang, if such an event occurred? Are there unchanging universal templates as suggested by Plato, or is there continual ongoing creativity, as suggested by Henri Bergson?

Chapters Two and Three deal with how chaos – both in mathematical theory and in practice – can lead to definitive solutions, and how these ideas relate to human creativity and imagination. The latter chapter introduces us to C.H. Waddington’s concept of chreodes – grooves or runnels which our speakers speculate exist within the (hypothetical) morphogenetic fields.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By justjilly on 11 Sept. 2012
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A most fascinating book and certainly thought provoking. Would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has an open mind!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harry on 27 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a brilliant book, well written and goes deep into the subject, its the kind of book you will be reading more then one time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Cutting-edge Cosmology 1 Oct. 2002
By Peter Uys - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a gripping series of conversations between the three authors discussing various aspects of the psyche, the universe, the role of chaos theory in the dynamics of creation and the rediscovery of ancient wisdom. The authors, all three of whom stood at the cutting edge of their respective disciplines, challenge the reader about our current views of reality, morality and the nature of life. The sometimes breathtaking insights emerging from this will not fail to move the reader. The chapters on creativity, the imagination and chaos are amongst the most compelling, and deal with theories like the cosmic imagination as a higher dimensional magnet that pulls the evolutionary process to itself, the Omega Point, and imagination arising out of the womb of chaos. Other fascinating topics include indeterminism in nature, nature's organising fields as mathematical representations, and the encoding of information in crystals and in written language. The chapter "Light and Vision" is one of the most poetic, dealing as it does with physical light and the light of consciousness, the theory that one's thoughts are a measurable field emanating from the eyes, the similarities between electromagnetic and mental fields, the concept of a world soul, and morphogenetic fields as a medium of divine omniscience. Incorporeal intelligence and non-human entities are discussed - are the latter merely inhabitants of the psyche or do they have an independent existence? Scientists and inventors like Kekule, who received answers in dreams, are referenced here. The book concludes with a glossary, bibliography and biographical information about the authors. It is a stimulating text in which the power of the mythical imagination, scientific observation and innovative speculation combine to create a thought-provoking reading experience.
76 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining and Enlightening, Intellectual 60s style 11 May 2003
By TforTennessee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book while on jury duty. Because I ran out of reading materials, I went back over it and decided to write down some of my favorite quotes. Here is one example, by Ralph Abraham. "I find the whole idea that the world's soul is confined in a space/time continuum of four or ten dimensions extremely claustrophobic." So, you all get the idea. This was not a book to summarize, so I kept writing down quotes and buzz words. What gave me a lot of chuckles were the interspersed references to psychedelic drugs and various qualities of mushrooms, and the use of mushroom examples and so forth. I don't know much about mushrooms, but it helps date these guys, even while they are talking about ten dimensions being claustrophobic. I will say this-- they must have had some good trips.
I don't pretend to understand a lot of their references, mushrooms aside, but it is an easy book to read as long as one doesn't feel the need to follow up every lead and reference. Their approaches seem to be kind of cutting edge, but dated, if there is such a combination. I am particularly interested in Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields, which is what led me to the book. My attention span tends to be a little short, so I wanted a kind of breezy overview. Although I enjoyed the book a lot, I don't think I got much out of the morphic fields discussion. So I will look elsewhere for that.
I lent this book to my daughter, who is enthralled by it, particularly since she just took a bunch of final exams, some having to do with statistics and econometrics, so their discussions of modeling were most interesting to her.
And who wouldn't go for the idea of creativity coming out of chaos? Aren't our lives in chaos most of the time anyway? There must be a purpose for it. That's it. I get more creative after every chaotic event!! The discussions about beginnings, endings, various attractors, etc. were really fun to read. Not sure which ones came from their imaginitive minds (resulting from chaos), or their super intelligent brains, and which ones were from the mushrooms.
Oh, here's another Abraham quote I absolutely loved. "As the waves pass the rock, their shape is changed. There is a hologram of the rock within the wave that comes forward and crashes on the beach, then there's a reflected wave back."
Ok, that was cool!! All things considered, if you have some extra time (either on the beach, or on jury duty) read this book. They weaved in references from all aspects of experience-- mythology, mushrooms, science, waves, psychology, philosophy, history, etc. I love that!! I consider a book a success for me if I get one good idea from it. And I got more than that from this one, although I am not any more inclined to take psychedelics than I was prior to reading the book.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Mind blowing 15 April 2007
By Geoffrey Sato - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have read McKenna's other books, The Archaic Revival and The Invisible Landscape, True Hallucinations, and to me, this seems even better! Perhaps McKenna's best book! By page 10 I was flipping out, and it only got better. If you like McKenna, hallucinogens, metaphysics, forward type thinking, if you have ever pondered the mysteries of the universe, you will love this book. Dont mess around! Buy it now! Thank cosmos later.
64 of 81 people found the following review helpful
TRICKY MARKETING BY PUBLISHER- + Dishonest 7 Feb. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Well I just received my book and come to find out it is the exact same book I already own under a different name + graphics. This book is originally titled "Trialogues at the edge of the west".
I would not have bought this book if I knew I already owned it. I find the publisher, Park Street Press, completely dishonest for not informing the "would be buyer" what this book really is.
I was friend's with one of the authors, Terence mckenna, and I find this to be just another way for corporations and individuals to capitalize on his death-
such a shame.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"Creative Thinking" 9 Dec. 2009
By Curious Jack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have always respected the open mindedness of all three thinkers and found the material in this book consistent with that as it was far from dogmatic. It inspired me to consider new ways of looking at the old concepts. On the negative side. I think some of the ideas showed a little lack of critical thought. Some of the topics were philosophically based notions and, as that is my field, I felt that it was a little lack of awareness of the problems that have been worked out by some other thinkers(I wish that they would have at least mentioned those ideas then debated the point). Specifically I wish they would have acknowledged the issues that have come up in transpersonal psychology. Overall, I feel most interested in these issues (the evolution of consciousness and mind and critique of the modern post modern views) will enjoy the creative thinking they share. C.J.
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