MILLENNIUM: Glimpses into the 21st Century by Alberto & Ken Dychtwald--Eds. Villoldo

MILLENNIUM: Glimpses into the 21st Century

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Psychologist Dychtwald had a dream of writing about mankind's future. He met fellow psychologist Villoldo in Washington, D.C., and discovered he shared the dream. The result was a partnership to edit a volume not of ""timid and conservative"" ideas, but of ""uncertain, unproven, risky"" ones. Somewhat stacking the deck, they asked Karl Pribram, Carl Rogers, Harvey Cox, Timothy Leafy, Jean Houston. . . . They included chapters on parapsychology, love, sexuality, art, and science. The results are curious: not unmitigated optimism; sometimes a troubling, narrow vision; sometimes running off at the mouth into nonsense. Salk's essay on intelligence is a polite plea to encourage the evolution of wisdom--to learn insight and foresight by observing the laws of nature. Frederik Pohl's essay on politics is a noteworthy appreciation of American democracy which includes a few interesting debatables: earmarking taxes in $100 units to particular areas by paying a five percent surcharge; a selective service Congress; a universal Town Meeting. Willis Harmon on Work and Don Mankin on Leisure are essayists who complement each other in that both are concerned about the need for fulfilling activity, and worried about unrewarding play or the ennui of leisure. Pribram's hologram theory of the brain is a twice-told tale by now, but well expressed here. Houston's educational dreams froth with the enthusiasm of someone who has re-invented Maria Montessori. Cox on religion--like many others in the volume--spends more time looking back than forward, discussing Freud, Marx, Lenin, and concluding on a dualistic note that religion should offer hope of a limitless future but mankind is daunted by the prospect of species suicide. Marilyn Ferguson writes a good Eriksonian essay on Love contrasting ""protection"" with ""growth"" values, the latter involving the trust that enables self-transcendence. Editor Dychtwald contributes a leadoff essay on Aging which views the prospects before us with optimism. Villoldo is similarly sanguine about Healing, espousing the self-control and holistic approaches he practices at his Biological Self-Regulating Project in San Francisco. Interspersed are a few dreary essays on sex, a rather uninspired approach to the future of art, and a few way-outs--including a Leary plug for the mind-changing drug specialists as the new saviors. Not a miraculous millenium by a long shot, but a mixed bag--with no common denominator, no cohesion as a whole.

Pub Date: July 13th, 1981
Publisher: Tarcher--dist. by Houghton Mifflin