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Ecology of Consciousness

Ecology of Consciousness
The Alchemy of Personal, Collective, and Planetary Transformation





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ISBN: 9781626256194
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$29.95In Stock
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About the Book

Who are we, really? In The Ecology of Consciousness, a Harvard scholar and pioneer in the field of consciousness studies—well known for his groundbreaking psychedelic research with Ram Dass and Timothy Leary—presents an expansive work culminating decades of research in Eastern philosophy, shamanism, and more to guide you along the path of true consciousness and transformation.

Questions surrounding consciousness have intrigued humankind throughout time, and have been addressed through a wide range of perspectives and traditions. From age-old philosophies to New Age spirituality, consciousness—and its various forms—has been the topic of much contemplation. This unique book is a comprehensive exploration that covers a wide range of disciplines and subjects within the framework of psychospiritual and consciousness studies.

The Ecology of Consciousness revives ancient alchemical knowledge, spiritual traditions, and thoughtful theories about consciousness—drawing on ancient Eastern philosophy, shamanism, mythology, and others sources, and covering topics such as personal growth and reincarnation—to give you an expansive foundation for self-inquiry and transformation. Written by a leading authority, this book will give you a deeper understanding of consciousness, show you how to access your own spiritual intelligence, teach you about shamanic and alchemical traditions and connect them to healing practices of today.

With this consciousness-expanding book, you’ll explore the human life cycle from a spiritual perspective, reflect on your own personal journey, and discover which pathway guides your life purpose for your ultimate fulfillment, growth, and well-being.


Ralph Metzner (Author)
Ralph Metzner, PhD, is a psychotherapist and professor emeritus at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. A recognized pioneer in studies of consciousness and its transformations, he collaborated with Timothy Leary and... Read more

Books by Ralph Metzner


“A comprehensive synthesis from the life work of one of our true explorers of consciousness. There is theory, visionary understanding, and skillful practice to discover here.”
Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
Ecology of Consciousness is an inspiring display of enormous erudition, by one of our culture’s keenest observers of how our consciousness is integrated with our world and universe. This superb book is an antidote for the alienation, distrust, and fear that threaten our future existence as a viable species on Earth. This book is not only about healing, it is healing. For all our sakes and that of our descendants, it deserves universal readership.”
Larry Dossey, MD, author of One Mind
“Ralph Metzner has been thinking creatively about the mysteries of human consciousness since the dawn of the psychedelic sixties. This thought-provoking, cross-cultural anthology covers half a century of exploration into the human potential and political ramifications of what can happen when we radically change our minds.”
Don Lattin, author of The Harvard Psychedelic Club
“This work is a masterful presentation of the awareness and attention necessary to move humanity out of its anthropocentric, subject-object orientation, toward a holomorphic, embodied way of knowing. Holomorphic wisdom is embedded in our evolutionary soul, and with it arises a new consciousness able to create a new human—Eco sapiens. The book is a primer for inner as well as group leadership.”
Philip Snow Gang, PhD, author of Rethinking Education, historian, and founder of The Institute for Educational Studies
“Ralph Metzner, in Ecology of Consciousness, opens up the pathways to expanded individual and collective awareness. His amazing work represents over a half century of sensitivity, practice, and deep understanding of what it means to be fully human. Metzner explores the unlimited possibilities of life-path self-actualization and metaphysical maturity without imposing prescriptions. His work gives empowerment to individual freedom of choice for personal consciousness, social justice, and connection with the divine.”
Peter Phillips, PhD, professor of sociology at Sonoma State University, and coauthor/editor of many of the Project Censored yearbooks
Ecology of Consciousness is a fascinating compilation of Ralph Metzner’s seminal writings exploring the inner and outer realms of human experience. Through his comprehensive and vibrant contributions, Metzner illuminates with vital insight and meticulous clarity the myriad paths and implications gleaned from the world’s great myths, spiritual traditions, and contemporary psychedelic research. It is a uniquely personal expression from one of the modern era’s most gifted and prolific pioneers of human consciousness, an offering of inestimable value to a time and culture challenged with survival and struggling to achieve its personal and collective destiny.”
Charles S. Grob, MD, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles; director of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute; editor of Hallucinogens; and coeditor of Higher Wisdom
“How we choose to conceptualize consciousness impacts everything about who we believe we are and how we act in the world. Embracing a radically empirical perspective, Ralph Metzner guides us through the distilled wisdom and practice of a lifetime spent in the deep study of consciousness, articulating ways to work with consciousness that have profound positive potential at both the individual and societal levels. As a neuroscientist interested in the study of consciousness, I find this book to be a deep breath of fresh air!”
—David Presti,PhD, teaching professor in the department of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Foundational Concepts in Neuroscience
Ecology of Consciousness is a remarkable anthology revealing Ralph Metzner’s undeniable genius as he portrays the changing states of awareness, perception, and consciousness through cultural perspectives, politics, technology, psychedelics, and more. He illustrates a pathway to develop inner awakening through spiritual practices and mythological teachings, but most importantly by illuminating the journey of the human soul. Metzner stands as one of the great ‘thought leaders’ of our time. This compendium will be a treasure for consciousness-seeking generations to come.”
—Jamy Faust, MA, and Peter Faust, MAc, coauthors of The Constellation Approach
“Not since Virgil showed Dante around Hell and Purgatory have we had as gifted a guide as Ralph Metzner help us comprehend and appreciate the major realms of consciousness. His blend of erudition, wisdom, common sense, and personal experience makes each approach he describes (from Alchemy to Buddhism, Agni Yoga through psychedelics, and more) inviting, understandable, and enlightening. In addition, the practices he presents to open these many gates make this not only an illuminating book, but give each of us a way to investigate, experience, and ultimately decide for ourselves our own best path or paths. The book fulfills Metzner’s intention, ‘to awaken spiritual intelligence and bring about a deeper connection with our essential nature.’”
—James Fadiman, author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide
“Ralph Metzner’s Ecology of Consciousness marries the scientific and the spiritual in a mutually beneficial relationship that gives birth to an expansion of human consciousness and inspires us to restore, preserve, and protect life on Earth. He recognizes the Earth as the Black Goddess, the Generative Mother, who provides the material substances of science, and the spiritual inspiration at the heart of mythology, divination, shamanism, and the ritual arts, present in all cultures since the beginning of time. He applies a medicine to the Great Wound of Western Civilization—that is, Post-Inquisition Spiritual Trauma that has stripped us of our divinity, polluted our imagination, and threatens to lead us down a path to annihilation. He rescues Nordic mythology from the ravishments of Nazi interpretation and perversion, makes it embraceable, and recovers its shamanic origins and natural uses.”
—Luisah Teish, author of Jambalaya, and coauthor of On Holy Ground
“A masterful work, integrating years of valuable research, brave exploration, and unusually creative speculation by one of the great minds of our time. An interdisciplinary treasure trove, overflowing with rare information and powerful insights, Ralph Metzner dispels common misconceptions and offers jewels of wisdom. I couldn’t possibly recommend this important book more highly.”
—David Jay Brown, author of Dreaming Wide Awake and The New Science of Psychedelics

“In Ecology of Consciousness, Ralph Metzner, a true Argonaut of the soul, leads us on an amazing quest through the myriad of ecosystems that reside within the wonderlands of our own undiscovered selves. On our way, we encounter myths, scientific discoveries, intuitions, dreams, legends, art, the cycles of life, visitations, visions, quests, healing rituals, spirit, psyche, and much more. This is a book to be kept next to a hiker’s field guide to flora and fauna; the one volume to express the miraculous diversity of the outer natural world, and the other to take the happy camper into the boundless depths of his own inner being.”
—Thomas Armstrong, PhD, author of The Human Odyssey

Ecology of Consciousness is a remarkably comprehensive and profound illumination of human consciousness and the nature of reality. No single book has heretofore described with such insight and depth how subjective and objective reality intertwine to create the world we ‘see’—our worldview. Ralph Metzner is a wise elder, a shaman, and a lifelong consciousness explorer, generously sharing his soul to benefit us. We Homo sapiens have progressively deepened our comprehension of the nature of reality since we appeared on Earth 200,000 years ago. Ecology of Consciousness is perhaps the most comprehensive and profound wisdom ever compiled in one volume addressing life’s grand creative mystery.”
—Andrew Beath, social justice and environmental activist: board president of EarthWays Foundation, Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, and 18th Street Arts Center; Amazon Watch founding board member; and author of Consciousness in Action and The New Creation Story

“Ralph Metzner’s alchemical flame burns incandescent in his new book, Ecology of Consciousness, as he activates and illuminates intricate processes of the ‘great awakening’ emerging in these times. His work helps transform and expand our worldview, as page by page, Metzner’s magnum opus awakens spiritual intelligence that brings deeper connection with our living essential nature, as the ancient alchemists called it, ‘the quintessentia’—the divine indwelling incarnating uniquely in each living being. Ralph Metzner, one of the greatest alchemical explorers of consciousness in our time, with this publication, challenges and catalyzes our awakening to not only what is possible, but to what, as we join him in this work with the imagination, is indeed happening.”
—Monika Wikman, PhD, Jungian analyst, astrologer, director of the Center for Alchemical Studies, and author of Pregnant Darkness

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