Sunday, April 24, 2016

The next development in man


The next development in man

Although written in the 1940s this book is well worth reading for the beautiful prose and brilliant overview of history. My old copy has fallen into 3 pieces as I've read it but it is still in print so I've ordered a new hardback because I'll definitely read it again. Its not an easy read perhaps but he is never obscure or boring. The main theme is how for reasons based in biology, western man(kind) developed, from the time of Plato, what he calls the "European dissociation" - a form of cultural and individual consciousness which embodied a split between the spontaneous, instinctive mode of thinking and the isolated subjective sense of the self as an ego separated from its body and environment. He traces this theme through history and shows how the collapse and "abdication" of Europe represented by the two world wars, was the logical outcome. In contrast, his vision of "unitary man" inspires his integration of all these threads going into the future.

No comments: