As the paperback edition of An Unknown World hits the shelves it has also recieved a Nautilus Book Silver Award.
The truth is that at first, in those early years as a professor of philosophy, I never took the cosmological doctrines of traditional religion or ancient philosophy as anything more than inspired speculation. Deep down, I grimly accepted that the scientific picture of the universe was the literal truth-- the picture of the universe as a vast dead sea with consciousness and purpose residing only in the lonely vessel of mankind, a wandering speck of meaning adrift in a meaningless universe. An Unknown World, 138
And what modern technology ultimately serves, honorable as it may often be in its original aims, is the part of the human mind that seeks safety, self-love, comfort, power, recognition, wealth, etc. The love of knowledge, which is actually the yearning for Being, may be present in the individual scientist, but it is almost always hijacked by the aims and purposes of a culture in which humanity is increasingly at the mercy, inwardly and outwardly, of elements which have no interest in the development of consciousness. An Unknown World, 71
What was Kierkegaard saying on every page, every sentence of his inspired writings? For man, he was saying, inwardness is all. Man’s uniqueness consists in his capacity to turn his attention to himself, his capacity to turn his attention to itself and dive deeper and deeper into the ocean of individual human consciousness. He was born to choose that work, that free movement of self-discovery. Self-birthing. Only human beings are called to that. An Unknown World, 86
On Earth, inner evolution takes place uniquely in man and depends on elements uniquely defined by the type of words used by Kierkegaard: inwardness, self relating to itself, or, rather, that in the relationship which, grounded in the eternal, relates the self to itself-- and thereby brings forward into human life, into the human body, what the great teachings call the Self--in other words, the soul. And in order for this process of inner evolution to begin, what is required is the sustained activation of capacities not yet, if ever, measurable by the science of our era: capacities such as a truly conscious attention; genuine freedom or creativity; objective conscience; the genuine force of will; and impartial love.
Summing up these elements, we may speak of the evolution of man as the process by which human beings become able consciously and voluntarily to serve the purposes of higher, perhaps the highest, intentions in the universal world, intentions that create and maintain worlds upon worlds in the universal world. And here we may boldly speak of the intentions of the Earth. An Unknown World, 132
According to the teachings of the Path, this hidden intelligence comes into being and grows into an active force only through a specific form of voluntary struggle. And “sacred” ideas are intended not only to attract that hidden intelligence but therefore to support the struggle against attachment to all forms of psychic automatism, especially on the level of emotion and feeling. We are thus asked to understand that a “great idea” is not simply an idea about “great things” such as the soul or freedom or the cosmos.
A Sense of the Cosmos, 118