Re: VI. The Transformation of the Modern Era
Believe it or not I'm still reading The Passion of the Western Mind
though now getting very close to the end. It's a very dense and challenging book, yet in many ways highly rewarding. I've been taking my time with it.
Given that most if not all of our actions can be described as bio-chemical responses to environmental stimuli it has been speculated that humans don't really have free will. I have thought this myself and found it to be very depressing. And yet we have all heard also that maintaining a positive attitude is important and we can see that our thoughts and how we look at things can actually affect our reality. In a sense the placebo effect proves this. We also hear stories of people diagnosed with cancer or other illness who can seemingly affect their outcome simply by maintaining a positive attitude.
Anyway, this passage on pg. 406 I think shows where Tarnas is going with his book. It's a very positive message. I was reading this chapter this morning and I think it gave me a surge of endorphins.
-Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View