Mr D

Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View (book 12 of 12)

Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View (book 12 of 12)

December 29, 2019
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At long last… I started reading Richard Tarnas’s Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View end of February, and just finished it, completing my Goodreads reading challenge of 2019 (75 books read, this is my 75th) as well as my “12 Swedish and 12 English books to read and blog about” of the year.

Cosmos and Psyche opens doors in the reader’s mind, doors towards the future. Yes, it records, analyzes, and interprets events of the past, but its primary relevance points towards the future. Its thorough research fulfills a function that is central to the genuine, hard-nosed pursuit of human knowledge: ‘the elicitation of disbelief and the celebration of surprise’ (Lewis Thomas). Richard Tarnas dares to be far ahead of conventional thought. He broadens our horizons until we suddenly see with delight vistas and connections we never expected. Here at last is a world view which – in contrast to prevailing ones – has a future.” – David Steindl-Rast

The first half of the book I read with no sense of urgency. The latter… Knowing here’s a book preferably read a chapter at a time, and not one iota more, as it is amongst the densest and rich writings I’ve as yet encountered, and knowing the five-hundred pages had to be read come new years…  Well. Let’s just say, I will be re-reading this book, and I will be mining gold-nuggets and jewels from it that I totally overlooked this first time, of that I am certain. You see, it’s easy to get cheesecaked out when reading Cosmos and Psyche which I think Tarnas (or his editor?) was very much aware of, as the chapters are mostly 8-12 pages long or so; just perfect!

“[One is reminded here of] Niels Bohr’s axiom in quantum physics, ‘The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth’, or Oscar Wilde’s ‘A Truth in art is that whose contradiction is also true’. What is difficult, of course, is to see both images, both truths, simultaneously: to suppress nothing, to remain open to the paradox, to maintain the tension of opposites. Wisdom, like compassion, often seems to require of us that we hold multiple realities in our consciousness at once.”

Cosmos.
Psyche.

Outer.
Inner.

Without.
Within.

Tarnas gives me tankespjärn to last me a lifetime or two, in the most beautiful language. I am stunned, aha-ed, confused and confounded, at times chocked, now and again in total disbelief and throughout it all, flabbergasted at the amount of meticulous work that has gone into the makings of this work. It’s far from an easy read, one I would never have picked up had it not been for the one and only Mr D (who else…). How lucky I am!

“One is unlikely to discover what one is certain cannot possibly exist.”

Being open – in mind, in heart – is perhaps the single most important insight I take with me, from reading Cosmos and Psyche. With openness, the possibility increases to discover that which does exist, however unaware I am of it.


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2019, to read and blog about 12 Swedish and 12 English books, one every other week, books that I already own.

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The deep democracy of open forums (book 21 of 26)

October 21, 2018
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“Today’s democracy is like an old dance. We need a new dance, a deeper democracy, based on awareness of what it happening inside ourselves and others.”

A couple of years ago, Mr D gave me The deep democracy of open forums, by Arnold Mindell, for my birthday, and for that, I am eternally grateful – now, that I’ve finally read it, that is! The thought behind the gift, any gift, always warms my heart. But reading it, I understand why he gifted me this book. Right up my alley, and most definitely a book with a lot of food for thought!

One of the ways I show up in the world these past 5-10 years or so, is making use of my heightened ability to look at things from different perspectives. I have gotten good at it, in many ways, and in different situations.

“Without some form of awareness training, within the privacy of our inner autonomy, most of us behave like tyrants. When it comes to recognizing different aspects of ourselves, we become dictators who simply refuse to do so. If we are strong, we ignore our shyness. If we are harmonious, we repress and/or deny our anger.”

And yet, reading The deep democracy of open forums, I realize there are many more aspects of “different perspectives” that I have yet to acknowledge. There so much more to become aware of, not in the least that which is not visibly present, and yet, so significant, for instance unvoiced sentiments and feelings, ghosts of the past or of those not physically present yet very much there, and so much more.

“Power is less important than awareness. If you have awareness, you do not need power. You need power only if you are fighting something. Awareness does not fight; it may notice fighting and other things happening, but it does not identify with or judge those things. When awareness is present, the spontaneous behavior of everyone is awakened and unpredictable processes emerge that are what’s best for all.”

This book has given me a deeper appreciation and understanding of the importance of taking all perspectives into consideration, on everything really, but I guess to narrow it down, it might be helpful if I say “all perspectives of conflicts”, even though, truly, my appreciation for where a heightened awareness comes in handy goes way beyond “simply conflict”. Awareness is always beneficial – even when it might not be immediately apparent.

“If you notice change, change happens. You need awareness, not power, to notice and follow the unceasing flow of change.” 


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2018, to read and blog about 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one book every week, books that I already own.

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A world of chance

May 15, 2018
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The-questions-echoed-in-my-head-without-answerIn a world of chance, is there a better and a worse? We yield to a stranger’s embrace or give ourselves to the waves; for the blink of an eyelid our vigilance relaxes, we are asleep; and when we awake, we have lost the direction of our lives. What are these blinks of an eyelid, against which the only defense is an eternal and inhuman wakefulness? Might they not be the cracks and chinks through which another voice, other voices, speak in our lives? By what right to we close our eyes to them? The questions echoed in my head without answer.

A paragraph from Foe, a book written by J. M. Coetzee. A book I read for The Gifted Book Club, chosen by Mr D. As I finished reading it, I wrote thisIt’s so interesting to read a book chosen by someone else (this is the book for my upcoming book club), a book I would not have picked up on my own volition. That in itself is a gift – to get to read a text written in a way that “most books I read isn’t written in”. Because it is an odd book, that’s for sure. I spent a few pleasant hours reading it last night.

What’s even more fascinating is that after, or honestly, during our conversation about the book that March evening, I felt a strong urge to reread it. To see if next time around, I would spot some of the things we talked about, things that deeply affected one or two of the other book club members, things which I didn’t pick up on at all, but definitely spark my curiosity.

That in itself is a gift – how our talk made me want to read the book again, with a different lens on. Or possibly two or three different lenses, besides my own. How wonderful: I look forward to it already!


Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”Foe” by J. M. Coetzee, which also happen to be the fourth book of The Gifted Book club, discussed March 21st 2018.

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