The Passionate Mind Revisited:
Expanding Personal & Social Awareness
by Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad
We invite you on a liberating journey of discovery that can change the way you view yourself and the world. Exploring new ways of looking at who we humans are and how we work can enrich our lives and reveal different approaches to personal and social challenges. Joel’s 1974 book The Passionate Mind: A Manual for Living Creatively with One’s Self illuminates the workings of thought, igniting an awareness that can move one beyond thought’s mechanical aspects. What began as a modest plan to revise the book to reflect changes in us and in our worldview turned into a much broader endeavor connecting the personal, mental, genetic, and social. This changes the nature of the original inner inquiry and expands it to include societal and global concerns.
We view humanity’s current predicament as a function of its adolescence, not its essence. Many traits that made humanity dominant are now threatening to destroy us. Thus evolving socially is not only humanity’s best hope—it’s imperative. Examining our complex dual nature—altruistic /self-centered, caring /indifferent, cooperative /competitive, benevolent /aggressive—illuminates our obstacles and potentials.
Unlike biological evolution, social evolution can occur quickly through changes in consciousness. Humanity’s evolutionary challenge requires questioning the worldviews, values, and identities underlying our precarious situation. Examining deep-seated and subjective beliefs is vital for unleashing creativity. We believe the perspectives in this book reflect the human condition and the world’s complexity better than traditional spiritual worldviews or reductionist scientific materialism, thus enabling one to better handle rapidly changing realities.
The book is designed to let you either follow its continuity or go where your interests take you. Each section can largely stand on its own; the “Map of the Book” is useful for finding the parts that draw you. We wish you a rewarding journey that opens doors to hope and possibility.
— Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad, April 2013
Read the Book Introduction download pdf
*The “Invitation” & “Map” are in the e-book & will also be included the book’s 2nd printing. Until then, we hope readers of the book will find them on our website.