The Remarkable Evolution of Myth, Cosmology, and the Sacred in Human Culture

with Professor Richard Tarnas

Tuesday 21st March 2023, 6.30-8pm UK time via Zoom 


In this evening’s illustrated lecture, Richard Tarnas will offer a brief overview of the ways in which humanity’s experience of the three terms of myth, cosmology, and the sacred have evolved in the course of history. We will trace the journey from what appears to have been a relatively undifferentiated unity of that trinity in early human societies, through their gradual differentiation in the wake of the rise of archaic civilizations and then the extraordinary Axial Age of religious and scientific awakening during the first millennium BCE, finally leading to the enormous cosmos-disenchanting revolution wrought by the modern mind. 

We today, reflecting from within the highly pluralistic zeitgeist of our own postmodern era, and drawing upon significant recent developments on several fronts both scholarly and cultural, can perhaps discern a striking evolutionary throughline that shines new light on this long and dramatic journey of human consciousness. 

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Richard Tarnas is a professor of philosophy and cultural history at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he founded the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He teaches courses in the history of ideas, archetypal cosmology, depth psychology, and religious evolution. He is the author of The Passion of the Western Mind, a history of the Western world view from the ancient Greek to the postmodern that is widely used in universities. His second book, Cosmos and Psyche, received the Book of the Year Prize from the Scientific and Medical Network, and is the basis for the ten-part documentary series The Changing of the Gods.



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