A breathless attempt to catch all the Utopian straws in the wind and build them into a splendid house. It's interesting,...


THE AQUARIAN CONSPIRACY: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s

A breathless attempt to catch all the Utopian straws in the wind and build them into a splendid house. It's interesting, even inspiring, but what about the Big Bad Wolf? The ""Aquarian Conspiracy"" is the unheralded, but large and rapidly growing network of creative individuals (you may be one) who are all in their own different way struggling to topple the decrepit social, political, economic, educational, sexual, etc., structures of society and bring on the millenium. Ferguson wrote The Brain Revolution (1973), publishes the Brain/Mind Bulletin, and may be safely described as a religious believer in psychotechnology--the art of changing the world from the inside out. This book is a rich, sometimes bloated, compilation of reports about what European and American (especially Californian) psychotechnologists are doing, and the implications of their work for the future. Ferguson talks about areas where science and human values, once separate, now blend, such as ecology, holistic medicine, E. F. Schumacher's ""appropriate technology,"" physical-metaphysical speculation by writers like Teilhard de Chardin and Fritjof Capra; but above all she summarizes and interprets recent brain research (by, for example, Karl Pribram of Stanford). What everybody is finding, in brief, is that most of our problems come from fighting our mind's natural bent, instead of cooperating intelligently with it: suppressing the wisdom of the right side of the brain, thwarting the mind's powers to heal and harmonize the body, blindly ignoring the exquisite homology linking the mind and the universe, and so forth. Ferguson goes on for too long, but she does after all have a large message, and much of the time she delivers it with a combination of lucidity, enthusiasm, and broad moral concern. But at critical points she lapses into such starry-eyed naivetÉ that it practically destroys her case. Judaism and Christianity have failed, but hip California groups with names like ""Self-Determination"" and ""Groundswell"" will succeed. Once we all get the Aquarian paradigm in place between our ears, everything will be O.K. Though ultimately untenable, Ferguson's thesis is provocative and intellectually generous--noble and silly at once.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1980


Page Count: -

Publisher: Tarcher--dist. by St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1980