FROM MODERNITY TO COSMODERNITY: Science, Culture, and Spirituality
Albany: SUNY, 2014. 280 pages.
I am calling this Fourth Way related though it has very little direct reference to Gurdjieff’s ideas or students. However, the author has been a student of the Gurdjieff ideas and there are many correspondences in the ideas of the book and Gurdjieff’s ideas. Such as, the law of seven and its intervals (the gap allows the intervention of consciousness) and the law of three (“The Hidden Third”) presented here through the ideas of Jacob Boehme, levels of being or consciousness, significance of the verticality of man, reciprocal maintenance, and on. He includes a chapter on the theater of Peter Brook to present a perspective on the living dynamic exchange of energy, movement and interrelations.
Basarab Nicolescu argues that quantum, biological, and information revolutions of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries should have thoroughly changed our view of reality, yet the old viewpoint based on classical science remains dominant, reinforcing a notion of a rational, mechanistic world that allows for endless progress. In practice, this view has promoted much violence among humans. He heralds a new era, cosmodernity, founded on a contemporary vision of the interaction between science, culture, spirituality, religion, and society. Here, reality is plastic and its people are active participants in the cosmos, and the world is simultaneously knowable and unknowable. Ultimately, every human recognizes his or her face in the face of every other human being, independent of his or her particular religious or philosophical beliefs. Nicolescu notes a new spirituality free of dogmas and looks at quantum physics, literature, theater, and art to reveal the emergence of a newer, cosmodern consciousness.