This book is at once a sweeping work of intellectual history and an intimate exploration of the human spiritual psyche. It covers the enduring development of social, cultural, and spiritual values that underlies the superficial rise and fall of political structures — and provides an inspiring basis of hope for the future of humanity. Appropriate for courses in Philosophy or Religion courses.
Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, is a leading political analyst and poet. His most recent books are The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America, The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11 and the Deep Politics of War, and Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina. He has been awarded the Lannan Poetry Award, and former U.S. poet laureate Robert Hass wrote that Scott's Coming to Jakarta "is the most important political poem to appear in the English language in a very long time." His website can be found at www.peterdalescott.net
Tremendously interesting and instructive….
Reading the Dream is a unique meditation on poetry, history, religion, and politics from one of the most important poets of our time. It is the result of decades of deep thinking about the fate of poetry in human history as well as the nature of our shared human condition. Its horizon is the meeting of poetical visions with pivotal historical developments in religion and politics, and its arc of arguments bridges East and West as well as the ancient and the modern. In the midst of our current despair over political conflicts and ecological disasters, this book shows us where hope may be found. This is thinking about poetry and history at its most urgent and relevant. It is a theological poetics that we all need, now more than ever. The book has true magnificence.
Reading the Dream: A Post-Secular History of Enmindment by Peter Dale Scott is a deeply thought and personally felt study of the key role of pivotal shifts in the ethical evolution of Eastern and Western civilizations. This impressively researched work highlights in detail the enduring development of social, cultural, and spiritual values that underlies the superficial rise and fall of political structures — and provides an inspiring basis of hope for the future of humanity.
Pull a thread from the weave of history and it starts to unwind. Unless the one doing the pulling is a master of interpretation and invention like the poet, scholar and critic Peter Dale Scott. In his hand a thread of history is turned and turned until it reveals its message for our lives now. His new book, Minding, a History begins and ends with a quote from Simone Weil: “From where will a renewal come to us, to us who have spoiled and devastated the whole earthly globe? Only from the past, if we love it.” The whole book is a consideration of what such love entails. The final passage in the book details a troubling story about St. Augustine. In need of support for his new monastery, Augustine inveighs to have the Church in Rome condemn Pelagius, a British Monk whose teachings against material wealth might threaten Augustine’s relationship with wealthy patrons. But like a Talmudist interpreting a troubling piece of Torah, Scott sees a hidden meaning in this story: the dialectic at play here between salvation by deeds and salvation by grace. The transactional side of history, the continual play of bad and good rulers and those (including artists) who served them, is less important to Scott then the poetic side—the revelation Augustine brings of the primacy of grace, or what Scott calls moreness. It is a revolution of consciousness parallel to (or at times perpendicular) to the social that Scott would celebrate. A view of history that returns the poet to his place as prime mover.