The Dynamics of Transformation
Tracing an Emerging World View
By Grant Maxwell
“Remarkable and nearly unique in its mastery and scope.”
Allan Combs, Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina-Asheville
“An inspiring vision.”
Richard Tarnas, author of The Passion of the Western Mind and Cosmos and Psyche
“By the time one reaches the end of the argument, one has the sense of having undergone a kind of initiation into an ever-widening community of seekers for whom value and meaning, pattern and purpose are the real stuff of which worlds are made.”
Sean Kelly, Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies
“Nietzsche’s Zarathustra said I would only believe in a god who knows how to dance; Maxwell traces out those dance steps, which he calls the dynamics of transformation.”
Timothy Desmond, author of Psyche and Singularity
“An important and insightful contribution to understanding the creative transition into a new paradigm of intellectual thought.”
Keiron Le Grice, Professor at Pacifica Graduate Institute
In the tradition of books like William James’ Pragmatism, Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos, The Dynamics of Transformation is a concise and clear presentation of a radically novel theory with the potential to transform the reader’s view of the world. The book offers twelve concepts that trace the contours of an emerging world view after the postmodern. Drawing on the work of a wide range of theorists, from Hegel, Carl Jung, Henri Bergson, and Alfred North Whitehead to Jean Gebser, Richard Tarnas, Ray Kurzweil, and Terence McKenna, it provides a framework for understanding how processes change over time. Synthesizing ideas ranging from quantum discontinuity, fractals, and archetypes to qualitative time, teleology, and exponential acceleration, Maxwell shows how these concepts relate to one another in a complexly intertwined network. He suggests that these theoretical approaches are all confluent streams that have gradually been converging over the last few centuries, and that this increasingly potent conceptual flood appears primed for a dramatic entrance into the preeminent currents of academic and intellectual culture.
Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, Issue 6
Edited by Grant Maxwell
We appear to be undergoing a collective psychological and cultural death-and-rebirth initiation on an unprecedented scale, and of unique historical significance. The Uranus-Pluto square, in orb from 2007 to 2020, is correlating with unexpected and deeply disruptive changes in many spheres, but it is also providing a rare opportunity to overcome these pervasive crises to usher our cultures into a new world view that is more just, compassionate, mindful, and sustainable than the apparent dead-end to which the habitual assumptions of late modernity, once so productive and inspired, have led us. The articles included in this issue of Archai are profoundly optimistic, showing possible ways forward in both the cultural and theoretical domains, perhaps especially correlating with an alignment of Jupiter, the planetary archetype of expansive, optimistic elevation, in a T-square with Uranus and Pluto from late 2016 through mid-2018. The contributors–including Richard Tarnas, Becca Tarnas, Kent Bye, and Michele Maynard–write about subjects ranging from Alfred North Whitehead’s cosmology, Aristotelian causation, Jean Gebser’s concretion of time hypothesis, and Ray Kurzweil’s theory of exponential technology to virtual reality, Marilyn Manson, the hip hop movement, and sustainability. This issue looks beyond our moment of crisis to new directions for the theory and practice of culture, suggesting the many ways archetypal cosmology can play a significant role in the transformation in which we are collectively engaged, providing orienting purpose, cosmic intelligibility, and a capacity for greater awareness of the qualitative dynamics informing our experience, at once liberating, heartening, and illuminating.
Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, Issue 5
Saturn and the Theoretical Foundations of an Emerging Discipline
Edited by Grant Maxwell and Becca Tarnas
Saturn structures the rites of passage and initiations of life: at the precise time of birth Saturn fixes the natal chart, and it stands at the threshold of death. James Hillman’s essay “On Senex Consciousness” provides the foundation for this issue of the Archai journal: it is an homage to the Saturn archetype, forming the backbone for the entire volume. The contributors—including Richard Tarnas, Keiron Le Grice, Jessica Garfield-Kabbara, and Drew Dellinger—offer articles on such subjects as the potential for a feminine re-visioning of Saturn, a philosophical investigation into the three modalities of time, the relation between psychological and archetypal complexes, the connection between participatory theory and archetypal cosmology, a review of Sean Kelly’s book Coming Home: The Birth and Transformation of the Planetary Era, and archetypal analyses of Dante’s Saturn return, the Saturn-Neptune complex in the life and works of Virginia Woolf, and the relation between karma, collective field dynamics, and the Saturn-Pluto complex.
The Relativity of All Things
By Laurent Nottale
Translated into English for the first time, this brilliant French bestseller by eminent astrophysicist Laurent Nottale presents the theory of scale relativity, which offers a framework for the unification of quantum theory and relativity through fractal geometry. Updated and revised, with a new preface by philosopher of science Charles Alunni, The Relativity of All Things is the first of Nottale’s non-technical philosophical works available to English-language readers.
Nottale is a director of research at the French National Center for Scientific Research and a researcher at the Paris Observatory. His technical works which have been translated into English include Scale Relativity and Fractal Space-Time and Fractal Space-Time and Microphysics. Charles Alunni is the director of the Laboratoire Disciplinaire Pensée des Sciences at the École Normale Supérieure.
Psyche and Singularity
Jungian Psychology and Holographic String Theory
By Timothy Desmond
“The most original and important contribution to the integration of Jungian psychology and physics since the original collaboration between Jung and Pauli.”
Sean Kelly, Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies and author of Coming Home: The Birth and Transformation of the Planetary Era
“Psyche and Singularity is one of the most profoundly significant books I’ve had the pleasure to read. Tracing striking parallels between string theory and Jungian thought, Desmond provides the most compelling explanation for how synchronicities work that I’ve encountered.”
Grant Maxwell, Author of The Dynamics of Transformation: Tracing an Emerging World View
According to Stanford physicist Leonard Susskind, our three-dimensional universe is essentially a holographic movie, an illusion projected by one-dimensional threads of energy from a two-dimensional holographic film at the cosmic horizon, where every bit of information from the past, present, and future is eternally superimposed. Psyche and Singularity demonstrates how Susskind’s string theory of holographic information conservation at the event horizons of black holes, and at the cosmic horizon of the universe, corroborates a number of psychologist Carl Jung’s most profound ideas.
Timothy Desmond argues that Susskind’s inside-out black hole model of our Big Bang universe forms a geometrically perfect mandala: a central Singularity encompassed by a two-dimensional sphere which serves as a universal memory bank. In precise fulfillment of Jung’s theory about the unifying quality of the mandala image as the “archetype of wholeness,” Susskind used his black hole model of the universe to reconcile the notoriously incommensurable paradigms of general relativity and quantum mechanics, providing in the process a mathematically plausible explanation for Jung’s near-death experience of his past, present, and future life simultaneously at the cosmic horizon. Susskind’s theory also provides a plausible cosmological model to explain Jung’s theory of synchronicity—meaningful coincidences may be tied together by strings at the cosmic horizon, from which they radiate inward as the holographic “movie” of our three-dimensional world.
How Does It Feel?
Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Philosophy of Rock and Roll
By Grant Maxwell
“Grant Maxwell examines the recorded music of popular culture with the same subtlety and care as he brings to the literary and philosophical texts of high culture. He seeks not just breadth of knowledge but coherence of insight; not just accumulation of knowledge but depth of understanding.”
Richard Tarnas, author of The Passion of the Western Mind and Cosmos and Psyche
How Does It Feel? traces the significance of rock and roll through the early careers of Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan, drawing on some of the most profound philosophical ideas of the last few centuries. Through the artists’ own words and intimate accounts, the book suggests that archaic modes of thought, including those associated with mysticism, alchemy, shamanism, and ecstatic spiritual practice, and even with often trivialized phenomena described by words like “magic,” “destiny,” and “prophecy,” are vitally important for understanding how these musicians were able to catalyze the inception of an epochal revolution in human consciousness.
From the recording of Presley’s first hit at Sun studio to the Beatles’ primal Hamburg initiation to Dylan’s “transfiguration,” Maxwell shows how rock and roll has enacted the return of relational modes repressed since Descartes’ equation of thought with human being in the seventeenth century. Although the privileging of rationality, materialism, and science has apparently been in service to the development of humanity’s intellectual capacities, this “ascent of man” has come at the expense of intuitive, affective, and embodied ways of knowing.
However, nothing can be repressed forever, and rock and roll appears to have been a compensatory reaction to the modern rationalization and disenchantment of culture. Through an engaging retelling of the familiar narratives from a novel philosophical perspective, How Does It Feel? illuminates how the renewed attention to bodily experience performed by these musicians has opened the door to even more deeply repressed premodern modes, mediating what appears to be the emergence of a new world view that integrates modern and premodern premises.
Written by Grant Maxwell
Illustrations by Susan Edwards
“The Walk is one of those special children’s books that you will enjoy reading just as your little one will love hearing the comforting words and seeing the wonderful illustrations over and over again.”
The Walk is an illustrated book that helps children fall asleep and have sweet dreams. Grant Maxwell developed the story night after night as he put his son, Mason, to bed. Realizing he had created a story that other people might enjoy, Grant enlisted his mother-in-law, artist Susan Edwards, to paint the beautiful illustrations. In the story, a little boy named Mason and his dogs, Muffin and Lloyd, decide to go for a walk in the woods. They find a cave that leads down to a great cavern with an underground lake. At the edge of the lake, they find a rowboat and row out into the center of the lake, where they find an island with a little tower. They climb the stairs and, at the top, they find a little room…
After finding a broad readership in the United States, The Walk has been translated into Portuguese by HarperCollins Brazil.
Around the World
Written by Grant Maxwell
Illustrated by Susan Edwards
Alphabet Snakes teaches children the alphabet while introducing them to stories and myths of snakes and serpents from around the world. From Eve and Thor to Quetzalcoatl and Medusa, readers are carried along by the clever rhymes and beautiful illustrations from Ancient Egypt to an American snake farm, from the depths of the oceans to the heavenly heights, and through the cultural and religious traditions of India, Haiti, Europe, Africa, China, the Middle East, and the Americas. A book for children who are curious about other places and other times, Alphabet Snakes is a fun and informative addition to any family’s collection.