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The Patterning Instinct

A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Length: 19 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 37.59
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Publisher's Summary

This fresh perspective on crucial questions of history identifies the root metaphors that cultures have used to construct meaning in their world. It offers a glimpse into the minds of a vast range of different peoples: early hunter-gatherers and farmers, ancient Egyptians, traditional Chinese sages, the founders of Christianity, trailblazers of the Scientific Revolution, and those who constructed our modern consumer society.

Taking the listener on an archaeological exploration of the mind, the author, an entrepreneur and sustainability leader, uses recent findings in cognitive science and systems theory to reveal the hidden layers of values that form today's cultural norms. Uprooting the tired clichés of the science-religion debate, he shows how medieval Christian rationalism acted as an incubator for scientific thought, which, in turn, shaped our modern vision of the conquest of nature. The author probes our current crisis of unsustainability and argues that it is not an inevitable result of human nature, but is culturally driven: a product of particular mental patterns that could conceivably be reshaped. By shining a light on our possible futures, the book foresees a coming struggle between two contrasting views of humanity: one driving to a technological endgame of artificially enhanced humans, the other enabling a sustainable future arising from our intrinsic connectedness with each other and the natural world. This struggle, it concludes, is one in which each of us will play a role through the meaning we choose to forge from the lives we lead.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Jeremy Lent and Fritjof Capra (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but ultimately over ambitious

A wide ranging journey of ideas familiar and new (to me, at least), the book takes an interesting perspective on humanity's fundamental nature. This will appeal to those who enjoyed Harari's Sapiens.

However, over the course of the (literally) hundreds of chapters, the underlying thread of "The Patterning Instinct" becomes harder and harder to discern. It ends up seeming like more of Jeremy Lent's thoughts on everything, ranging from areas where he has clear expertise, to one's where the depths of his knowledge is more threadbare.

Although interesting, the meandering journey ultimately dilutes the thesis. Worthy of a read for the many thought provoking paths it leads you down, but nevertheless lacking the satisfactory oomph of an idea well and conclusively argued.

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  • David Carter
  • 2017-10-24

Best science and philosophy read ever.

This is by far the most thought provoking book of its kind of which I heard. The historical, scientific, phylosophycal, and theological aspects brought to light are boundless. I am on my third listen and am continuing to enjoy the concepts presented.
Anyone that wonders about the history of great ideas involving the evolution of thought throughout history will be entertained for hours.
This audiobook should be required listen for all secondary science teachers as well as history teachers.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • 2018-03-29

Wonderful book! Changes your perspective on the human race and where we might be going.

I really enjoyed this book, to the point where I had to go out and buy a hard copy. Having been very depressed about the state of our nation and the world in general, reading this book has shifted my perspective, given me a sense of something to work towards, and a deeper understanding of

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew R. Nairne
  • 2019-03-11

Absolutely fabulous book.

this book surpass Sapien and Deus as the best book I ever read. unbelievably good!!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-01-07

Great perspective on human past, present & future

A must read/listen for anyone interested in a brief, but coherent account of how modern western societies got to be the way they are today. Also provides a compelling perspective on living a better life and how to leave a better world to future generations.

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  • Jose J Olivo
  • 2018-12-13

A fantastic venture

I purchased the book but couldn't stand not to be reading it while driving , so got the audiobook as well. The material was totally worth the price I paid and I have been raving about this book to anyone who will listen.

The audiobook's performance was so spot on it became the voice in my head when I'm reading the actual book.

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  • Takatin
  • 2018-06-02

Wow, this is a great book, i learned so much!

i love how there a story for every point, i also felt there was a steady flow of thought that lead to the point. i learned the growth of philosophy from different global regions and how they influence the philosophy of today's world. i would like to thank the author for putting the time and effort into creating this book!

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  • JUAN R. BUJOSA BRUN
  • 2018-01-30

60 por ciento habla de religión

No es lo que esperaba. El titulo confunde. Los primeros capitulos estan bien. Luego explica las distintas religiones.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lars Bünning Daugaard Larsen
  • 2018-03-08

Wordflooding

A lot of words, a lot of history of ancient philosophy and religion. Ordinary content, masquerading as a new original take on human nature.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful