Collective Wisdom in the West: Beyond the shadows of the Enlightenment

Author:   Liam Kavanagh
Publisher:   Perspectiva
ISBN:  

9781914568022


Pages:   138
Publication Date:   01 June 2021
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   To order   Availability explained


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Collective Wisdom in the West: Beyond the shadows of the Enlightenment


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Overview

This book contemplates current crises guided by a core Buddhist teaching: the roots of deepest suffering lie in what we grasp most tightly. Thus, tightly held ideas from 'the enlightenment' - rationality, individuality, equality and secularity - are considered as sources of suffering: technocracy, broken politics and 'moral acrimony'. Freedom lies not in accepting or rejecting these views, but in seeing where they've become dogmas, feeding cultural addiction to certainty and control. Liam Kavanagh is an embodied cognitive scientist, deeply influenced by Zen, who directs research at Life Itself, a community of people for a wiser, weller world. Past work in development economics convinced him that recognising and unlearning ideology is the most important step towards imagining futures worth creating. He helps create opportunities for this by organising residential learning communities, dialogues between Science and Zen, and contemplative activist groups.

Full Product Details

Author:   Liam Kavanagh
Publisher:   Perspectiva
Imprint:   Perspectiva
Dimensions:   Width: 12.90cm , Height: 0.80cm , Length: 19.80cm
ISBN:  

9781914568022


ISBN 10:   1914568028
Pages:   138
Publication Date:   01 June 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Forthcoming
Availability:   To order   Availability explained

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Reviews

In this important and timely book, dense with insight, Liam succeeds where many others have failed, to not only accurately diagnose the root causes of the brokenness that so many of us intuit at the heart of Western scientific materialism, but to indicate the path towards a remedy. Courageously and compassionately teasing apart the roots of our attachments to reason, individuality and equality - notions we would often prefer to take as read, so painful are they to explore - Liam skilfully navigates the reefs and shoals of our reactivity, creating a space for real understanding and a new turning of the wheel of cultural evolution. In this work, Liam models the solution he proposes, by drawing in equal measure on wisdom arising from his own direct, first person meditative investigation, balanced by intellectual rigour and a thorough grasp of developments in neuroscience, psychology and the history and philosophy of science. Brother Phap Linh, Dharma Teacher, Plum Village Zen Monastery Liam Kavanagh mobilises brilliantly the insight that attaching to one's sectional or intersectional identity is precisely what wisdom traditions across the world have warned against doing since they began. Such wisdom traditions have earned wide respect in diverse cultures for a reason; Kavanagh extends one's sense of why they are needed. 'Identity politics', whether of the Left or the Right, is a receipt for unwisdom, a guarantor of resentment, anger, incivility and unsatisfactoriness in life; while the path beyond it is a path of freedom. This is a brave and important book for our time, a time when we direly need to find the wisdom to overcome such identities and divisions, and find each other, freely and together. Professor Rupert Read, former UK national spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion and author of Wittgenstein's Liberatory Philosophy


Author Information

Liam Kavanagh is an embodied cognitive scientist, deeply influenced by Zen, who directs research at Life Itself, a community of people for a wiser, weller world. Past work in development economics convinced him that recognising and unlearning ideology is the most important step towards imagining futures worth creating. He helps create opportunities for this by organising residential learning communities, dialogues between Science and Zen, and contemplative activist groups

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