The widespread turmoil in the human community today is a symptom of the dominance of unchecked desire, or Greed. This book distinguishes two ancient concepts of love (the Greek ideas of agape and eros) and explores how agape, the driver of evolution, when put into play through the harmonious action of eros, displays the true essence of love – Evolutionary Love– that alone is the antidote to the ravages of Greed.
“In this beautifully written and profound work, Adam Crabtree engages in phenomenological descriptions of: several types of community, the intertwining of eros and agape, the current victory of greed in the church and the university, the use of psychodynamic and psychoanalytic insights, and the prospects for the future of agape. His distinctions between eros and agape go beyond the shop worn polemics of some traditions and comes out on the side of agape as it provides the encompassing ground for eros. Using C. S. Peirce's notion of "evolutionary love," Crabtree goes beyond Peirce's formulations and evokes agape in much richer ways. Like Peirce, he sees agape as a cosmic force, not merely something humans can achieve on a rare occasion. Agape permeates all of the cosmos and gently moves humans to post-tribal thinking. Yet eros is not slighted or cast in a demonic light. Quite to the contrary, Crabtree shows the utter value of eros in its drive for connectedness and a rich life. He displays his own clinical material to enhance his conceptual framework and this adds grounding to the work as a whole. Finally, he applies psychological insights into communal and social behavior, thus going beyond a one-sided focus on the individual.”
--Robert S. Corrington, Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Philosophical Theology, Drew University
“This is a gem of a book with many glistening facets. From one angle, it is a philosophical primer on unconditional and erotic love and how these drive biological, cultural, spiritual, and, ultimately, cosmic evolution--Dante’s love “that moves the sun and the stars.” From another angle, the book is a reflection on the power of trance as both the psychosomatic means to access extraordinary human capacities and creativity, but also as the primary mechanism of social, economic, and religious control. From another angle still, the book reveals a world awash in signs, meaning, and purpose, whose human interpretation literally and truly evolves both the world and us. Adam Crabtree is our moral conscience and ethical guide here, but also our cultural trance-breaker and our practical guide to a new (and yet very old) practice—the practice of actualizing human potential.”
--Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion
“Adam Crabtree has given us a thoughtful, original, nuanced, and both philosophically- and psychologically-wide-ranging exploration of the two basic forms of love--agape and eros, emphasizing the primacy of the former and its critical role in the advancement of humankind. At the same time, his book is also a valuable contribution to the study of philosopher Charles Peirce. Crabtree's discussions of the varieties of greed and the manifestation of greed in the group mind of religious institutions are especially penetrating. And his trenchant critique of institutions of higher learning is especially timely.”
--Stephen Braude, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Maryland
About the Author:
Adam Crabtree is the author of books on hypnosis and the history of psychotherapy and dissociative disorders, such as multiple personality. He is on the faculty of the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy, Toronto.