In this classic from our archives, William Irwin Thompson considers the evolution of consciousness through the four cultural ecologies of western civilization: the Riverene Mediterranean, Atlantic and Pacific. The role of literary masterpieces is considered in their ability to express the evolution of consciousness. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between myth and science as entwined narratives of human identidy.
"All descriptions of the past are in the present; therefore, history tells our descendants more about us than it does about the imaginary creatures we like to call our ancestors. Like an image before us in the rear-view mirror of a car, the picture of where we have been keeps changing as we move forward in space and time. The narratives of the past from even so short a time ago as the beginning of our own twentieth century now no longer describe us, and so each generation must reinvent the past to make it correspond to its sense of the present."
William Irwin Thompson gives a fascinating talk on this transformation by examining four cultural ecologies.
Running time: 1:06:14
ISBN Digital Download: 978-1-61544-871-5
Thompson spent his life communicating his understanding of the deep currents underlying the political, economic and social issues facing our human family. He described these currents in an evolutionary framework. He saw the resolution of the external issues as essentially an extension of the inner journey.
In this interview, done a few years before his death in 2020, you get a flavor of his articulate multidiciplinary prose. Maybe it will encourage you explore deeper. He says towards the end of the interview that he came to "do some peace corp work with the humans". He leaves behind the manual, words from decades ago relevant to the world of today and tomorrow.