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The Fundamentalist Mind – How Polarized Thinking Imperils Us All

20 november 2019

By Stephen Larsen, Foreword by Phil Cousineau.

248 Pages | Copyright 2007 | Softcover | Quest Books, U.S.A. | ISBN: 9780835608503.

The revered images and sacred narratives of the world's religions render existence meaningful. However, when interpreted literally rather than symbolically, the spiritual essence of religion loses its creative potential and can become a destructive force. Fundamentalists of any faith, says author Stephen Larsen, are in a rapture of certainty, secure in their righteous belief and an exclusive convenant with God. Our world today is embroiled in a 'clash of fundamentalisms' as predicted by the great mythologist Joseph Campbell, and, in the words of Dr. Huston Smith, 'all -isms end up in schisms.'

Such thinking exists not only in religion and the 'other' but in all of us - cultural creatives, left-wingers, scientists, and secularists alike. We all have an inner fundamentalist: It can originate right there in the amygdala, a tiny, almond-sized organ in the midbrain, that triggers the fight-or-flight response to danger. It also originates in the tendency to split thinking and feeling that exists throughout the brain. Larsen shows us how to free our minds by identifying polarized thinking in ourselves as well as others. He suggests a 'natural spirituality': the awareness of the God force in everything, the humility to admit mistakes, flexibility instead of rigidity, and a willingness to tolerate differences.

From Chapter Nine - 'Natural Religion' (p. 211 & 212):


" How you drove a chariot in battle
How you walked as a pilgrim,
one-eyed and with a broad flopped hat,
How one day you went naked
black and female and wore
a terrible necklace of skulls
to wake us up.
How you danced wearing
a bear mask.
How you went down into the
Underworld, to sit as a Judge of men.
How, hawk-winged,
you carried the sun to its zenith.
How as a beautiful youth you died again an again,
how many times have we wept for you,
sung holy dirges, and made sweet things
for your birth.
We were the voice from the whirlwind,
You were the golden calf,
and He who threw down the calf.
You were Mother of us all,
and how many times you wept
for all your children.
The fire from your terrible waking eye
ignited the God of Love
to holy ash.
When you dance your Rapture
the universe becomes a burning ground.
Let those who feel that day is upon us
Learn to find patience and compassion for
All that live in our fragile, beautiful world.
Let us use your terrible sword to slay our egos,
not our brothers. "

auteur: Larsen, S.
ISBN: 9780835608503

Prijs: € 23,50

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