Home/Main Menu     Site Map

Human Development/Consciousness Evolution
Record Type: Review   ID: 804

The Future of the Body: Explorations Into the Further Evolution of Human Nature

Murphy, Michael

This work is a compendium of the latest information on the transformative capacities of human nature. The impetus for this marvelous volume is best expressed by Murphy himself: "By gathering data from many fields—including medical science, anthropology, sports, the arts, psychical research, and comparative religious studies—we can identify extraordinary versions of most, if not all, of our basic attributes, among them sensorimotor, kinesthetic, communication, and cognitive abilities; sensations of pain and pleasure; love; vitality; volition; sense of self; and various bodily processes. These grace-laden analogues of our normal attributes, which arise spontaneously or as products of particular practices, can be cultivated. Indeed, the evidence assembled here suggests that we harbor a range of capacities that no single philosophy or psychology has fully embraced, and that these can be developed by practicing certain virtues and disciplines and by building institutions to support them. Though every enduring religion has affirmed something analogous to Judeo-Christian doctrines of grace, none has acknowledged the larger spectrum of grace that a collection of this kind begins to reveal" (p. 3).

This large volume is in three parts. The first is entitled "Possibilities for Extraordinary Life." In it Murphy presents the general theoretical structure of his thesis. Part 2, "Evidence for Human Transformative Capacity," is the heart of the book. Here he presents all of the farflung data he could gather, all of it checked with experts. The disciplines drawn on are psychosomatic changes, placebo effects, spiritual healing, extraordinary capacities of disabled people, mesmerism and hypnosis, biofeedback, psychotherapy and image strategies, somatic disciplines (e.g., Alexander Technique, Reichian therapy), adventure and sport, martial arts, religious adepts, the charisms of Catholic saints and mystics, and scientific studies of contemplative experiences. The third part catalogues various "Transformative Practices," blending them together so as to promote balanced human development. There are 21 appendices that provide additional information and sources about some of the subjects dealt with in the book. The bibliography is so expensive it could stand on its own. Murphy has painstakingly and lovingly compiled and recompiled this sourcebook and guide for those who want to become all that humans can possibly be. It is the equivalent of Gray's Anatomy for the Extraordinary Capacities of human nature.

Publisher Information:Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1992. 785p. Bibl: 676-761; Chap. bibl: 634-675; Glossary: 587-589; Index: 765-785; 2 tables
Previous Record Previous
in this

List All Titles in This Category (19)

Book Reviews Menu
in this

Click a section below to move around the EHEN website.
Home/Menu       About EHEs      EHE Autobiographies      EHE Book Reviews      EHE FAQ      EHE Network      Email Talk      Experiences Library      Info/Contact      Join Us!      Living EHEs      Parapsychology      Rhea White      Web Links      Web Talk      What's New     

All website graphics, materials and content copyright © 1997-2003
by EHE Network. All rights reserved. For permissions
please contact EHEN's Executive Director, Rhea A. White.

Web Media Management by Palyne Gaenir of ScienceHorizon.

Exceptional Human Experience Network
Exceptional Human Experience Network