by Jacob Needleman
What is the Earth and why are we on it? What is the purpose of life and of our consciousness of it?
Jacob Needleman explores these questions in his book, An Unknown World. As a philosophy professor and the director of the Center for the Study of New Religions in Berkeley, Needleman is equipped to look at these classic questions, interweaving the worlds' many schools of thought, with personal experiences, revelations and even dreams. He contends that we are here on purpose and calls us to look at our role in the biosphere of life, of which we are an integral part. Through his investigations, he reminds us that ours is not an intelligence in any way separate from the one intelligence that created it all, and that we are thus required to listen to and act from that greater intelligence. Needleman encourages us not to try to dispel the mystery that is life, but to recognize ourselves as a player in it; to be globally and personally open to our role on earth and in creation itself. He proposes that we need to continually be aware of how we are living, to see if it contributes to and not detracts from this biosphere into which we are created.
Review by Rev. Ruth Barnhart, a staff minister at Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa.
An Unknown World is available from Stepping Stones Books and Gifts.