A Dangerous Book

A Dangerous Book
Catalog # SKU1599
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.50 lbs
Author Name Rodger Stevens


A Dangerous Book!
Rodger Stevens

This book is dangerous because it declares, as openly and clearly as possible, that people-and that means you, me, and everybody else-are not on this earth to wave a flag, or kill for God, or flip burgers, or convert the riches of the planet into scribbles on a ledger.

32 Mind Opening Chapters!

There is a story, probably apocryphal, in which a handful of French policemen were in hot pursuit of a thief, who eluded them by ducking into a large building. They soon realized that there were more exits from this building than there were policemen to cover them, and that without more help, the thief could be expected to escape through an unguarded door. Next to this large building there was a smaller one with only a few exits, so the police converged on this building instead, confident that the thief would not be able to evade them ...after all, they had all the exits covered.

So they confidently assured the public that they had the situation well in hand. This story is a parable about the official solutions to the problems we humans face today. In our case, the thief might represent the solutions to our global, environmental, social, and personal problems, the building the thief escaped into might be the unapprehended situation, and the policemen the experts of all stripes who would fix our problems for us, and whose occasionally clever but ultimately detrimental advice has had the effect of compounding the severity of the problems they have not really addressed (the thief got away and did more mischief). This parable is about why the state of the civilized world is moving swiftly to a new arrangement radically different from what we are all used to.

Civilization is reaching a turning point. The technological successes of the past few dozen centuries, culminating in this most stupendous twentieth century, have not only empowered humans beyond their wisdom, but also severely changed forever, and in unknown and perhaps unknowable ways, the very biosphere in which all life as we know it exists.

Doomsday scenarios are numbing, but viewed from a higher perspective, life is very generous, providing each and all of us the perfect laboratory for carrying out our human experiments. Ironically, the very conditions which threaten the status of life on the planet are also those which we living humans now require in order to learn what we each need to learn; otherwise, our life situations would be other than they are. The availability of information and alternative perspectives on life and the living of it has never been greater in history. The electronics revolution is bringing more people within reach of more information than ever before. With all these choices, and with more people promising us salvation or heaven or Nirvana, who should we believe?

Whose views of life are the most correct, and therefore the most useful?

Theologians? Business experts? Politicians? The uncertainty arising from the popularity of all these alternatives reaches into the deepest corners of our lives, leading more and more of us to begin to question the root assumptions of our modern modes of life and the things we take for granted-continuous growth, annual crops of new electromechanical toys, more powerful wonder drugs, more and more of everything. All this comes at a cost far higher than the initial purchase price; it is a cost which has never been factored into the selling price, but a cost which "the nature" of the world nevertheless assesses. And mankind's bills are coming due with crushing insistence.

For generations, until the habit has thoroughly permeated the fabric of our culture, we have been taught to expect more and more. Of course, we've usually gotten something other than we bargained for, but that's quickly forgotten with every new wave of flowery promises. The staggering costs of our consumptive life-styles are coming due, and are expressed in the rapid social and environmental change we find occurring all around us today. The foundations of modern life (meaning the family, the community, and the state) are not nearly as stout as we have been led to believe and expect. Drastic change, unforeseeable and uncontrollable by any human agency, is touching every area of our lives, and when our pillars crumble, we begin searching for something we sense that we should have looked for much earlier.

The growth of the self-discovery industry over the past several decades loudly proclaims the need for more than just more. As usual, however, when a good idea gets organized, it ceases to be alive, so these too have begun to grow into institutions and become pillars of their own sort, begging us to rely on them, when in fact they themselves are operating by the same old rules: growth as an indicator of worth, and as a source of ever-increasing income for those on the inside. These new pillars are only props, and quickly crumble when stressed. The Earth quakes in many ways when stresses get out of bounds.

This is a dangerous book because it calls into question some of the root assumptions which we Westerners have held for centuries, if not millennia, about the nature of human existence and our place on the planet. Calling these assumptions into question isn't dangerous in and of itself, but when a lot of people do so, the underpinnings of any artificially erected social arrangement are seriously compromised. The truth about the Emperor's new clothes is no longer a secret.

Softcover, 8¼" x 5¼", 330+ pages

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