Evolution and Consciousness, Revised Edition, 2023
From a Barren Rocky Earth to Artists, Philosophers, Meditators and Psychotherapists
This volume is a newly revised and updated edition of Evolution and Consciousness (Brill, 2019) and provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the emerging concept of the evolution of consciousness. The simple, but dynamic, theory of evolving consciousness blends the powerful insights of modern science with the deep wisdom of age-old cultures, synthesising the traditions of East and West, of the head and heart, of male and female and of science and spirituality. To borrow a phrase from American philosopher Ken Wilber, it is a concept that “transcends and includes” all that has gone before. By integrating diverse multi-disciplinary approaches, it provides an overarching and transcending model that moves us to a new level of meaning and understanding of our place in the world, and in so doing deepens our work as psychotherapists.
Thoughts are like waves breaking on the shore of the mind-sea.
And just like the energy of those waves, thoughts may have origins from distant times and places, hidden from consciousness.
Where thoughts are associated with distress, it is the work of those offering psychotherapy to support the client/patient towards understanding and personal growth. There are many approaches to these aims.
This book is absolutely breath-taking in the extent of its exploration of concepts and theories, ranging from the Western psychotherapies to Eastern traditions of mindfulness and meditative practice. But even more amazing and exciting is that it weaves interconnections with a range of other disciplines, including physics, cosmology, genetics, neuroscience and philosophy. In so doing, it questions much of currently accepted wisdom.
These ideas are presented clearly and coherently, accessible to the general reader as well as to clinicians, therapists and scientists.
The book is a tour-de-force, written by highly experienced clinicians who are also well-versed in mindfulness and meditation practices and the most recent scientific developments. For anyone interested in the nature of the mind and the great mystery of consciousness, this book is a must-read. It cannot fail to take you on a thought-provoking and rewarding journey.
Many people today struggle with issues such as anxiety, self-esteem, low mood, lack of confidence, intermittent depression and insomnia. Modern life can be stressful, demanding, judgmental and unforgiving. It is easy to feel at a loss about how to address the insidious and debilitating symptoms that hold us back from developing our true potential. Luckily, it is entirely possible to build a foundation of physical and emotional stability that provides a buffer against life’s constant demands. For the first time, this book clearly explains the essential link between mental and physical health and gives practical, evidenced-based tools for developing a lifestyle that prevents illness and supports mental and physical well-being.
Stable mental functioning is predicated on three very practical, fundamental elements: nutritious food, restorative sleep and regular exercise. These three elements work together to ensure that the body’s biochemistry (i.e. the complex combination of chemicals that keep us feeling well) is functioning at optimal levels. Three further elements, daily practices of meditation, mindfulness and compassion, have been shown to have powerful therapeutic effects by calming, nurturing and fortifying the heart and mind. The seventh element, counselling, is a process that can help consolidate this synthesis of healing principles, facilitating and sustaining long-term change.
“How to Be Happy and Healthy – the Seven Natural Elements of Mental Health” comprises seven stand-alone chapters, one devoted to each of these critical elements. This landmark book is essential reading not only for those with mental health concerns but also for their families, health professionals of all disciplines, and anyone who wishes to take control of their mental and emotional well being.