Cosmos and Psyche

Cosmos and Psyche

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Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas

From a philosopher whose magisterial history of Western thought was praised by Joseph Campbell and Huston Smith comes a brilliant new book that traces the connection between cosmic cycles and archetypal patterns of human experience. Drawing on years of research and on thinkers from Plato to Jung, Richard Tarnas explores the planetary correlations of epochal events like the French Revolution, the two world wars, and September 11. Whether read as astrology updated for the quantum age or as a contemporary classic of spirituality, Cosmos and Psyche is a work of immense sophistication, deep learning, and lasting importance.

World history is vast and confusing. How to find coherence? Tarnas thinks the answer lies in astrology. Possessing a tremendous amount of historical knowledge, the author correlates human history's big events and personalities with the orbits of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Why only Pluto, but not Pluto-size objects (or, for that matter, extrasolar planets) recently discovered, should reign over us goes unexamined, but be that as it may, Tarnas discusses charts, planetary alignments, and archetypal personality traits embodied by the planets so aligned. Reaching into mythology and Jungian psychology, Tarnas associates history makers with, for example, a Neptune-Pluto conjunction. Averring an empirical basis to his research, Tarnas proves a determined writer whose fortress of connected dates, historical trends, and philosophical thought defies would-be challengers to his cosmic viewpoint. Casual astrology buffs and readers of the daily horoscope may find this volume heavy going. This is a book for those who are as intrigued by and as convinced of astrology's validity as Tarnas. Gilbert Taylor
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Richard Tarnas was born in 1950 in Geneva, Switzerland, of American parents. He grew up in Michigan, where he studied Greek, Latin, and the classics under the Jesuits. In 1968 he entered Harvard, where he studied Western intellectual and cultural history and depth psychology, graduating with an A.B. cum laude in 1972. For ten years he lived and worked at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, studying with Joseph Campbell, Gregory Bateson, Huston Smith, James Hillman, and Stanislav Grof, and later served as director of programs and education. He received his Ph.D. from Saybrook Institute in 1976. From 1980 to 1990, he wrote The Passion of the Western Mind, a narrative history of Western thought which became a best seller and continues to be a widely used text in universities throughout the world. He is the founding director of the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he currently teaches. He gives many public lectures and workshops in the U.S. and abroad.

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