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Radical Wholeness: The Embodied Present and the Ordinary Grace of Being Kindle Edition
Drawing from neuroscience, anthropology, physics, the arts, myth, personal stories and his experiences helping people around the world to experience wholeness, Philip Shepherd illuminates what true wholeness means and offers practices designed to help readers soften into the intelligence of the body. Radical Wholeness is a call to action: to recover wholeness and experience a new way of being.
—Vinn Arjuna Martí, Designer of Soul Motion®. A conscious dance practice.
“Radical Wholeness is an important book. It’s a “deep dive” into understanding our somatic experience of being and provides a path back to wholeness. And for students of the Enneagram, this is a book not to be missed. You’ll be amazed and delighted by how what Shepherd reveals so exquisitely adds to the exploration of the three centers of intelligence.”
—Curt Micka, President of the International Enneagram Association (IEA). (The opinions expressed here are not an endorsement by the IEA.)
“With words of shimmering clarity, Philip Shepherd blows the door between body and mind off its hinges. Calling us with rigor, sensitivity, wisdom and imagination towards a future grounded in resurrected human capacities of awareness, he shows not only why but also how to develop those capacities, awakening intelligence we didn’t know we had. Radical Wholeness is sorely needed and sweet-tasting medicine for a fragmented world.”
—Amnon Buchbinder, author, Biology of Story, Professor of Screenwriting, York University
“This very wise book shows why it is impossible and ultimately suicidal to attempt to secede from nature, as our culture has tried to do through denying our oneness and wholeness with the world. We are nature, and there is no ‘out there’ that exists independently from our consciousness, our knowing. As Max Planck, the founder of quantum physics put it, ‘We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness’—for consciousness, he said, is ‘fundamental.’ But do not think Radical Wholeness is merely a philosophical treatise. It is a practical blueprint for embodying information in the service of human welfare and survival. Our future depends on the vision Philip Shepherd powerfully and eloquently presents in Radical Wholeness.”
—Larry Dossey, MD, author, One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters
“In a culture as broken and fragmented as ours, this book is painfully overdue. Going beyond outdated notions of ‘holistic,’ Philip Shepherd has captured the essence of individual embodiment and its inextricable connection with everyone and everything. What our world desperately needs now are not more smart homo sapiens, but fully present and embodied holo sapiens who feel and live in grounded inter-relatedness. In this book, Shepherd has provided us with an extraordinary tool kit that tenderly and skillfully integrates mind, body, and soul with all life in the universe. If you long to reconnect with your deeper self, other living beings, and the Earth, you must read this book.”
—Carolyn Baker, PhD, co-author with Andrew Harvey of Return to Joy and author of Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse: Cultivating the Relationships We Need to Thrive
“When Philip Shepherd asked me to look at his new manuscript, I was unprepared for the extraordinary experience that awaited me—within minutes I literally couldn’t put his book down. Radical Wholeness was not just talking about, but was literally speaking to—and invoking—a deeper, more whole and healed part of myself. While I was reading, I had the overwhelming feeling that it is as if this book is a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement—real medicine—secreted by the universe itself to help us heal our collective insanity. I can’t recommend Radical Wholeness highly enough.”
—Paul Levy, author of Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil
“Philip Shepherd is a force of nature. Fully embodied and present in the world, he stands outside the most fundamental bias of Western culture and offers us nothing less than a new center to live from. In his hands, wholeness is no longer just an idea or a goal to strive for; it becomes a visceral experience, and one that can be accessed at will through brilliantly simple practices. Here you will find both the vision and the means to come home to your own wholeness. This luminous book is clearly a lifework. Don’t miss it. It will transform you.”
—Morgan Farley, PhD., author of Name Yourself Feast
“As a social ecologist I highly recommend this book as a valuable guide to a new way of being whole in our fragmented world.”
—Ben-Zion Weiss, PhD, author of The Creativity Revolution: Steps to an Ecology of Culture
“In Radical Wholeness, Shepherd has given us an insight into what it really means to be human, and it could very well challenge our fundamental assumptions around this. Radical Wholeness is a profoundly personal message with truly global ramifications, written at a time of great need.”
—Michael Anderson, CEO Mediaworks NZ
“Radical Wholeness is a profound, ground-opening, stunning book—a true masterpiece. Shepherd illuminates the madness of our western culture and entices the reader to drop into the wholeness that is always here with a powerful/urgent/gentle invitation to live from it. The radical wholeness that Shepherd embodies, in my experience, is the goal of all therapy and spiritual practice. This is one of the most profound books I have read in twenty-five years of practice and I will be recommending it to all my peers and clients.
—Natalie Lascelles, Psychotherapist and mindfulness coach
“This wonderful book written with tremendous clarity and profound wisdom should be in the library or backpack of every spiritual seeker. Its advice on embodiment is the best around and the practices Shepherd has evolved are matchlessly effective.”
—Andrew Harvey, author The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism
“This is the best book I have read on embodiment, I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
—Jill Angelo, author Sacred Space: Turning Your Home into a Sanctuary
“Philip Shepherd shakes up our way of looking at ourselves and the world. He challenges the way we were taught to think, and offers us something that could radically change how we live. Reading Radical Wholeness offers us real hope, the kind of hope that sees a way out of the quagmire of living in a unsustainable way in our own lives and our shared world. If there was ever a time for this book—this is it! Read it. Breathe it in. Let it change how you see and live and love your life and the world.”
—Oriah “Mountain Dreamer” House, author of The Invitation
From the Back Cover
- ASIN : B06XBKGPM2
- Publisher : North Atlantic Books (December 5, 2017)
- Publication date : December 5, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 748 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 329 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1623171776
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #212,672 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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It is, without a doubt, one of the most intriguing books I have read this year. By the time I finished I had highlighted far more passages than I would normally highlight in a dozen books. The content is raw and rich and extremely well thought out and presented. Really well done.
To understand the “radical wholeness” concept you must have the context. And even though Shepherd is an articulate and efficient writer it took him almost 300 pages to lay it out. I couldn’t do it justice here and won’t try. The author deserves your effort.
To give you just the whiff of a flavor, however, he argues that Western culture has become completely head-centric in its worldview, distorting our understanding of the world in a direction that is male-dominant, segmented, obsessed with control, and far too pre-occupied with abstract reasoning and the accumulation of knowledge and data. We have, as a result, created a culture built on boundaries, analytics, the supremacy of mechanics, domination, and acquisition in which we are disconnected from our female selves, where connection is achieved, understanding is felt, and self-knowledge is realized and retained through attunement and the achievement of harmony. (Again, take my summary as a clumsy and infantile attempt to express what you must really read in its entirety to understand.)
He makes a very convincing case, which I admit I was predisposed to embrace, that “science cannot save us,” we are generally not attuned to each other or the world around us, the universe is not knowable in any entirely objective way that we currently comprehend, the self and the universe are living processes rather than things, the human conscious is not mechanical, and that there is some binding element to the universe that gives it a kind of consciousness and intelligence but which we don’t currently understand and have no language to express.
Science can’t save us, in Shepherd’s view, because the knowledge it provides only reinforces the myth that “humankind is evolution’s crowning achievement and was born to rule the earth and command nature—and that the role of science is to provide us the means of fulfilling that destiny,” through knowledge that is not self-knowledge.
In the end, however, I found Shepherd’s expression of his model to be challenging, if not problematic. He maintains that there are many centers of intelligence in the body, but that the two main ones are the brain, where the analytical male resides, and the pelvic bowl, centered by the perineum, where the feeling female resides.
It is in the pelvic bowl, moreover, where awareness, through surrender, finds and experiences wholeness. “Bringing the center of your awareness to rest on the perineum carries it into the realm of your consciousness that feels wholeness.”
In the beginning, Shepherd quotes Dr. Jonas Salk. “What people think of as a moment of discovery is really the discovery of a question.” And I believe that is true. There is nothing that is dividing Western society today more than our sense of false certainty. And much of this has to do with what biologist Rupert Sheldrake describes as “the science delusion”; that reality is a giant machine that we can understand and manipulate through scientific discovery.
The world is not discrete or static, in my experience. Self, I genuinely believe, knows no boundaries and that it is our attempt to divide, control, and manipulate the self that is at the heart of our current alienation, disillusion, and rancor, documented quite fully by the daily news.
I further accept that everything is inter-connected, as the Buddhists have long maintained. I stop short of accepting, however, that “the universe is observing us,” that “The energy of the world flows through your senses, nourishing your being,” or “By flowing through your senses, the world’s energy enables you to experience its reality,” in any literal sense.
In the end, Shepherd relies heavily on etymology to make his case, but even that ultimately fails him. As he points out, English just wasn’t designed to support his worldview. This is, as a result, not a book to skim and you will have to slog through the terminology with patience and an open mind.
Because Shepherd is offering us a worldview, there is, by necessity, a political agenda. And it is decidedly progressive. And you might be inclined to conclude at times that he puts aboriginal and Eastern culture on a pedestal. I honestly believe, however, that he is not denigrating Western culture so much as he is offering an alternative perspective (although he dislikes that term).
So, should you read this book if you haven’t attended one of his workshops or read one of his prior books? Why not? It is decidedly out of the mainstream but I think it is intellectually sincere and it is certainly well researched and coherently presented.
He didn’t quite get me over the goal line, pelvic bowl-insensitive as I undoubtedly am, but I do believe the time and money I invested in the book was well spent. He certainly made me think, and that’s why I read.
Top reviews from other countries
In Shepherd's new bestseller, he delves into finding true wholeness of being. Wholeness is a new, more enlightened way to experience the earth around us. By attaining wholeness, you can begin a transformative journey to becoming your best self and living every moment in awareness of the world around us. By adapting to a whole way of living, you can find a connection with nature and gain clarity for improved relationships and interactions.
Philip describes the modern way of living as 'whole-blind', something that he considers to be a disability. Radical Wholeness is a 'call to action'. By awakening to wholeness - by once again attuning to the wholeness in which you live - you can change your very way of being in the world. And nothing at this point in human history is more desperately needed.
Phillip Shepherd’s work has been genuinely life changing for me. He introduced me to the concept of our head/body split in New self, new world, and Radical Wholeness takes the reader even deeper into a felt understanding of wholeness. I would be lying if I said I instantly grasped Shepherds work when I was first looked into it, at times it was frustrating because I couldn’t fully connect in with what he was saying but I could sense that it was profound. That was when I realised that this book has been written from a completely embodied place, whereas I was attempting to grasp it mostly from my head. Reading this book and trying to understand it purely intellectually simply wont work. The more I worked on coming back to wholeness within myself the more Radical Wholeness spoke to my heart. Ive gifted this book to a few people because I genuinely believe that it is medicine, however it is a medicine that the reader must be ready to receive.
I am so grateful for Philip putting this crucial work out there I can’t wait to see him live in his workshop next month in Australia