BRINGING PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION INTO THE SOCIETAL REALM
By CLAUDIO NARANJO, MD. Foreword by Jean Houston, PhD.
The Doctor has taken the pulse of our modern way of life and concluded that it is very sick.
How did this come to be? And is there a cure?
In this ground-breaking book, the noted Chilean psychiatrist and consciousness pioneer Dr. Claudio Naranjo applies over 30 years of transformational work with individuals and groups to the societal realm, giving us the inspiration and intra-psychic tools to heal the world from the inside out. Because healing civilization is an inside job.
Brilliantly weaving together history, anthropology, religion, economics, education, psychological development, personal growth, and political oppression, Healing Civilization illuminates our sobering global situation.
Offering a hopeful plan for change, this meaningful guide proposes an integrated balance among the three inner aspects of our being — the head, the heart, and the instincts — and provides a transformative plan that begins with the re-education of the coming generation of children and strives to build a world that is meaningful and harmonious.
From the Healing the World from the Inside Out series in the Rose Press Collection. The books in this series seek to illuminate the connection between the inner and the outer life and show us a way to wholeness. Out of this, we may awaken, bring more compassionate awareness to our actions, and (however it shows up in us) become a genuinely healing presence in the world.
The Doctor's diagnosis:
“Our present crisis is nothing other than an expression of the destructive, and increasingly unsustainable, obsolescence of the imbalance that patriarchy introduced among the father, the mother, and the child —
in the family,
in the realm of cultural values,
and especially within the human mind.”
And the cure?
Not what you might think. Not another reactive socio-political scheme. Instead, the author gets to the real root of the problem.
To find out the cure,
we need the medicine of Naranjo's brilliant excavation of history,
and intimacy with the essential human internal makeup . . . and potential.
Healing Civilization holds that medicine.
THE INTRA-PSYCHIC FAMILY:
The head / the Father
The heart /the Mother
The instincts / The Child
Imagine what it would be like to live whole within yourself —your head, your heart, and your instincts all harmonized and working together, so that it was as if an "Inner Family" of the self had a well-functioning residence inside you.
And further imagine that this transformation into wholeness could spread to every individual on earth, so that, collectively, we could work together on every level to bring about the healing of our planet, ourselves, and our civilization (the latter, perhaps for the first time, ever!).
Wouldn't it be worth your while to find out (1) What went wrong with the human dream, and (2) What could go right?
Healing Civilization brilliantly opens this door, so that you — we — can go through it. Then, we’ll have a civilization worth living in.
"There is yet to be a civilization that undergoes the death-and-rebirth process that we have come to recognize as the essence of individual transformation, as manifest through the experience of those who have completed it." — Healing Civilization, from Chapter 1
In our times, what is more important than healing civilization? Yet the usual take on the “what” and “how” is to attempt to do something about its externalized manifestations — to look “out there” and in some way limit ourselves to trying to reform, rebut, or revolutionize how society operates.
Yet for us to address only the externalized societal ways is like a medical doctor addressing only a patient’s symptoms, giving pills for a skin rash, say, rather than going to the root cause (perhaps stress, or even exposure to toxic chemicals). Rather than continuing to shake the bars of the cage, what we need is to look into a clear mirror so we can understand what it is that we have taken into ourselves over thousands of years — which we erroneously believe to be our own nature, and which plays out so destructively on a societal level. One such clear mirror is the book, Healing Civilization, in keeping with the focus of this Rose Press series, “Healing the World from the Inside Out.”
The culprit, claims Healing Civilization, is patriarchy. Why isn’t knowing this enough to make the difference?
Because there’s something about patriarchy that we haven’t realized: This patriarchy is in our own minds. The legacy of millennia of rule by the Absolute Father has taken up all the psychic real estate in our own minds. Even if we wouldn’t consciously want it to.
We are “three-brained” beings, possessed of three centers within the body’s parameters, each with its own function and purpose: (1) the head, (2) the heart, and (3) the belly. The head (thinking center) is the internal Father, the heart (feeling center) is the internal Mother, and the belly (instinctual center) is the Inner Child. If we view this triad as an “intra-psychic family,” as Naranjo asks us to do, then these three centers need to be in balance and work together harmoniously, for true health to happen within us and in the world,
However, the patriarchal dominance we see playing out in the world also exists in our own minds. Our inner Father has been painfully dissociated from the inner Mother and Child for too long. Hobbling forth, feeling disconnected from the Mother’s tenderness and compassion and the Child’s spontaneity and innocence, the unknowingly wounded inner Father needs to compensate with tyrannical shows of strength. This is not about being a man or a woman; it’s about the distortion of the Inner Father that we all have been conditioned to carry within us. And so we see in society what is happening within our own being.
Can we hope for a remedy?
Yes, once we intimately understand the diagnosis. Learning about our dysfunctional Inner Family and bringing it into harmony may be the single most potent thing we can do to heal the world.
An Audio Excerpt from the Book
In the following audio, the book’s editor and publisher, Naomi Rose, reads an excerpt from the chapter, “The Patriarchal Mind.”
(And if you haven’t already seen the video of Naomi reading a passage about the “intra-psychic family” on the “Rose Press Overview” page, you may wish to check it out as well.)
HEALING CIVILIZATION: Bringing Personal Transformation into the Societal Realm through Education and the Integration of the Intra-Psychic Realm
Claudio Naranjo, MD. Foreword by Jean Houston, PhD. Published by Rose Press / Gateways Books and Tapes, USA
Trade paperback, $19.95
"Claudio Naranjo, one of the most respected pioneers of the human potential movement . . . has made a vital contribution to healing civilization in this perilous time of transition." — Alfonso Montuori, Professor, Transformative Studies/Leadership, California Institute of Integral Studies
A TV Interview with Claudio Naranjo, MD
In the following video, Dr. Naranjo is interviewed on ConsciousTV by Eleanora Gilbert on the subject of healing civilization. He very clearly addresses both the problem and the cure (including the role of consciousness) in ways that reflect the book but are not identical to it.
The best thing is to watch the interview (27 minutes) in all its depth. But next-best is this transcript of a portion of the interview. The words are Dr. Naranjo’s.
The Diagnosis: “The patriarchal mind is a mind where the three brains don’t operate as an integrated system, but in which the inner father is a tyrant; the mother is just a subordinate, as women have been since the days of Eve, where Eve is culprit and therefore she must serve Adam; and the third party being the snake, the inner child—the reptilian brain.
“Civilization goes against nature and desires. It doesn’t trust spontaneity, like animals trust their own appetites; and their appetites have a wisdom. So we have pretended to live beyond nature, and squished nature within us, squished the inner child that has its own preferences.
“If this is true that we have all participated in this kind of mentality—the rule of one brain over the whole territory; one brain speaking for ourselves when it’s only a kind of island within the psyche—then the remedy is not just something so vague as democracy, or something like a return to matriarchy. If you take the three-fold scheme of Father, Mother, Child—which is echoed in our inner structure—then a healthy society would be one where this balance [exists] inwardly, in each individual’s inner parts or “persons”; and where there’s balance in the family—there’s no dominance of one or the other; no enslavement of the children to the position of somebody who is not to be heard, who has no voice.
The Prescription: “I think it cannot be done if you want to change the consciousness of the adult world. . . . The world is too large, we are too politically divided. [What’s needed is] an education [of prevention], to keep us from falling from Paradise so far. . . .” Watch this interview to find out the rest of what Dr. Naranjo prescribes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Claudio Naranjo, renowned Chilean psychiatrist, writer, teacher, and internationally sought-after public speaker, is considered a pioneer for his experiential and theoretical work integrating psychotherapy and the spiritual traditions.. One of the three successors of Fritz Perls (founder of Gestalt Therapy) at Esalen Institute, he later developed the Psychology of Enneatypes from Ichazo's Protoanalysis and founded the SAT (Seekers After Truth) Institute, an integrative psycho-spiritual school. When not writing, he travels throughout the world, dedicating his life to aiding others in their quest for transformation and seeking to influence the public and the authorities with the idea that only a radical transformation of education can change the catastrophic course of history.
"A grand theory of Civilization with a capital c . . . . Naranjo works very creatively with the universal Father-Man/Mother-Woman/Son-Daughter-Child triangle and three loves: the agape of the mother, the eros of the child, and the father-male love of ideals-ideas. The last one has led to a catastrophic, pathogenic imbalance, with care and love removed. The therapy is to restore mental health: balance among the three loves, to over-come the inner dissociation between thinking, feeling, and doing." — Johan Galtung, Recipient of the 1987 Right Livelihood Award (the "Alternative Nobel Prize")
"An explorer of the outer reaches of inner space, [Naranjo's] depth soundings of the wells of history and civilization resound with the echo of one who hears the pathology while seeking the song of the new mythos of who we are, where we have been, and what we yet can be.” — Dr. Jean Houston, Author, The Possible Human; Program Director, United Nations International Institute for Social Artistry. (From the book's Foreword)
“Claudio Naranjo is at the forefront of those seeking to transform the world. For anyone wanting to make a difference for the better, Healing Civilization is a must-read!” —Michael Toms, New Dimensions Radio
“In Healing Civilization, Claudio Naranjo takes an in-depth and grand vision of humanity in its full historical span and draws conclusions about the future of our humanity.
"In this work he gives us some of his overriding insights into the malaise of our contemporary world, an understanding of where this resides and how it functions, and a vision of the way in which our human world may be brought back to a wholesome and integrated way of life. There are strikingly original contributions made here. I leave the joy of this discovery to the readers."
— Mitchell Ginsberg, PhD. Author, The Far Shore, The Inner Palace, and Calm, Clear, and Loving
“This is a grand theory of Civilization with a capital c, denounced as a pathological carrier of patriarchy, with inspiration from a matriarchal past 6,000 years ago or so and promise of a more balanced future.
“Naranjo works very creatively with the universal Father-Man/Mother-Woman/Son-Daughter-Child triangle and three loves: the agape of the mother, the eros of the child, and father-male love of ideals-ideas. The last one has led to a catastrophic, pathogenic imbalance, with care and love removed. The therapy is to restore mental health: balance among the three loves, to overcome the inner dissociation between thinking, feeling, and doing. This focus on a common factor is a very important factor in the deep culture of civilization, and a fine way of building the major correlation in violence studies — with gender — into peace studies. Bravo, Claudio!”
— Johan Galtung, Professor of Peace Studies, Director of Transcend, Recipient of the 1987 Right Livelihood Award (the “Alternative Nobel Prize”)
“Dr. Naranjo's analysis is brilliant, enlightening, and easy to catch. His integral vision of 'three-brained beings' (thinking, feeling, and doing) offers a profound vision for education in our time."
— Professor Heinrich Dauber. Former head, Center for Teacher Education, University of Kassel, Germany
“Naranjo dissects with unique skill the rotting corpse of Western Civilization, but he doesn't stop at nihilistic disillusion, for his treatment of his themes is permeated with love and compassion
"and he points at new ways of collective life, sowing hope in the astonished minds of those of us who have been feeling at the edge of an unprecedented historical abyss.”
— Alaor Passos, sociologist, Professor, University of Brasilia
“Claudio Naranjo is one of the most respected pioneers of the human potential movement. His influence has been subtle yet pervasive, and many of the most interesting developments in personal growth can be traced to him.
“In Healing Civilization, he has situated our crisis of civilization in a global and historical context, and presents a stirring call and an exciting foundation for a truly transformative education. His approach is, as always, wise and inspiring because it so clearly emerges from a tremendous depth of personal experience into the far reaches of human possibilities. Claudio Naranjo has made a vital contribution to healing civilization in this perilous time of transition.”
— Alfonso Montuori, Professor, Transformative Studies/Transformative Leadership, California Institute of Integral Studies
“Once again, Claudio Naranjo brings his unique blend of tradition and freshness to bear on the problems and possibilities of the modern world.
“His call for an education of love is not only an inspiring ideal, but it finds its practical reality in his now-famous SAT curriculum. This inspiring book shows that the transformative education of teachers is the fundamental key to a more humane world.”
— John J. Hanagan, PhD, Professor of Comparative Philosophy and Religion, Kansai Gaidai University, Osaka, Japan
“The great critics of modernity and patriarchy, from Toynbee to Adorno or Foucault, have seldom been able to offer a realistic vision of civilizational alternatives. Claudio Naranjo’s historical anthropology does exactly that.
“Putting forward the idea that the patriarchal society evolved as a pathological response of humans, as a result of very traumatic conditions in the past, that is no longer functional, Naranjo proposes a socio-therapy of ‘the patriarchal mind.’ This could only come through an alternative education for the personal and social evolution of humans by balancing and transforming them as ‘three brained beings,’ starting with the education of the educators themselves. Naranjo’s ‘culturarty’ is a significant contribution towards a science of civilizational healing — and towards a ‘politics of civilization’ envisioned by the French philosopher Edgar Morin.”
— Wilfried Graf, Co-Director, Institute for Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding (Vienna, Austria)