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Radical Nature

The Soul of Matter

An exploration of consciousness in all matter--from quantum to cosmos

• Outlines theories of consciousness in ancient and modern philosophy from before Plato to Alfred North Whitehead

• Reveals the importance of understanding mind-in-matter for our relationships with the environment, with other people, even with ourselves

Are rocks conscious? Do animals or plants have souls? Can trees feel pleasure or pain? Where in the great unfolding of life did consciousness first appear? How we answer such questions can dramatically affect the way we live our lives, how we treat the world of nature, and even how we relate to our own bodies.

In this new edition of the award-winning Radical Nature, Christian de Quincey explores the “hard problem” of philosophy--how mind and matter are related--and proposes a radical and surprising answer: that matter itself tingles with consciousness at the deepest level. It’s there in the cells of every living creature, even in molecules and atoms. Tracing the lineage of this idea through Western philosophy and science, he shows that it has a very noble history--from before Plato to Alfred North Whitehead. He reveals that the way to God is through nature and that understanding how body and soul fit together has surprising consequences for our relationships with our environment, with other people, and even with ourselves.

Christian de Quincey, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy and consciousness studies at John F. Kennedy University; academic director for Conscious Evolution at The Graduate Institute; founder of The Wisdom Academy, offering personal mentorships in consciousness and conscious evolution; and an international speaker on consciousness, cosmology, and spirituality. He is the author of the award-winning Radical Nature, Radical Knowing, Consciousness from Zombies to Angels, and a novel, Deep Spirit. He lives in Half Moon Bay, California.

“One of the most important books on consciousness and cosmology to appear in decades. Anyone interested in questions about soul and nature, about the relationship between consciousness and the world of matter, about meaning in the universe, needs to read it.”

– Brian Swimme, Ph.D., cosmologist, coauthor of The Universe Story, and author of The Universe Is a Gr

“Christian de Quincey is a thoughtful and well-informed writer whose articles in the Noetic Sciences Review and elsewhere represent some of the best writing in this field. Radical Nature provides a comprehensive overview to modern debates about the nature of consciousness. It will appeal to thoughtful readers.”

– Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., author of Morphic Resonance

Radical Nature exposes the biggest con job in the history of human thought--that matter and nature are dead, mindless, unfeeling, and disconnected from ourselves. De Quincey gives us an image that is as hopeful and fulfilling as the old view was empty and depressing. Never have we needed such a view as now.”

– Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Healing Beyond the Body and Reinventing Medicine

Radical Nature is a unique book that gets right down to the essence of the challenges facing any science of consciousness. Essential reading for anyone interested in consciousness studies.”

– Peter Russell, author of The Global Brain and From Science to God

“Christian de Quincey illuminates a cosmological sense of consciousness with this accessible, pioneering work. His writing sparkles and the ideas sing.”

– Charlene Spretnak, author of States of Grace

Radical Nature is a powerful corrective to the prevalent dualisms encoded in our culture and consciousness. De Quincey articulates another way of knowing and appreciating the world that rearranges our universe in quite remarkable ways. These well-researched and thought-provoking explorations are a philosophical road map for bridging the gap between spirit and matter.”

– Suzi Gablik, author of Conversations before the End of Time

“Christian de Quincey is that rare thing: someone equally at home in analytical philosophy and in the spirit of the New Age. No one knows better how to criticize the materialist position from the inside. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Radical Nature. If anything can shake the current scientific complacency about the mindlessness of matter, this will.”

– Nicholas Humphrey, Ph.D., author of A History of the Mind and Leaps of Faith

“Aboriginal peoples of the world (wherever they’re still found intact) know that consciousness goes ‘all the way down.’ They perceive this as directly and as intuitively as we perceive the humor in a joke. For this reason, it’s not really something we can ‘discover’ any more than we ‘discovered’ America. Nonetheless, for us latecomers (for whom the concept is a stranger), Christian de Quincey has provided a delightfully accessible foundation for its rediscovery.”

– Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael

“A brilliant and much-needed book. De Quincey has produced a deep work that is both intellectually satisfying and spiritually reunitive.”

– Joseph Prabhu, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, California State University

Radical Nature is a serious, philosophical-scientific treatise that addresses the greatest philosophical issue of all times and throws light on it. The concept of matter as inert and ‘dead’ was indeed an exception in the long history of intellectual thought, but it came to be equated with self-evident truth in the modern mind. De Quincey shows that this is an aberration--that the universe is far more complex, vital, and ‘interesting’ than standard materialistic science envisages. It is time to return to the concept that there is consciousness in nature, as de Quincey says, ‘all the way down.’ The rediscovery of this perennial insight lends both fresh meaning to our individual existence and a fresh impetus to changing our attitude to nature from exploitation to participation.”

– Ervin Laszlo, Ph.D., author of WorldShift 2012 and Science and the Akashic Field

“A breakthrough in understanding humanity’s place in the community of beings. De Quincey brings together a depth of philosophical expertise with a compassionate understanding of our history. He charts a worldview that is fully in accord with the latest scientific discoveries of the role of mind in the cosmos.”

– Chris Clarke, theoretical physicist, University of Southampton

Radical Nature is thoughtful and filled with facts that clearly refute materialism and the modern scientific outlook on life. He [Christian de Quincey] deftly outlines the paradox of consciousness, including its conceptions in history back to the ancient Greeks.”

– Lesley Crossingham, New Dawn Magazine, May 2011

More books from this author: Christian de Quincey