Why the World Doesn’t Seem to Make Sense is an eminently down-to-earth, practical, and non-technical response to the urgent questions posed by contemporary science and philosophy. This book aims for an intelligent general audience. It does not require readers to have any familiarity with modern or classical physics, philosophy, formal logic, or any other specific body of knowledge.
The book takes the reader on a journey that examines our most basic assumptions about reality; focuses on fundamental questions of knowledge, perception, and belief, both in the light of quantum research (which yields contradictions) and ancient wisdom (which anticipated such contradictions); and ultimately suggests not only a new way of seeing the world, but a set of practical and ethical principles for living in it and experiencing it, free of mind-boggling contradiction.
Why the World Doesn’t Seem to Make Sense addresses the two-not-two paradox that other works only identify. It is through reliance on perception rather than conception that we have an opportunity to resolve this essential paradox, and through which we can establish an effective moral, philosophical, and intellectual framework for living our lives. The primary purpose of this book is to help readers learn to perceive the world directly — as it is, not how they conceive it to be. It is through this perception that each of us can answer profound moral questions, resolve philosophical and ethical dilemmas, and live lives of harmony and joy.
Excerpt from Why the World Doesn’t Seem to Make Sense
The two-not-two paradox is extremely subtle, yet it pervades virtually all of human experience resulting from conceptual thought. Thus it has generated many of the great, seemingly intractable problems of Western philosophy. This paradox not only accounts for the appearance of the wave/particle duality in physics, it also accounts for such long-standing problems in philosophy such as free will vs. determinism, the mind/body problem, the organism/environment problem, the problem of appearance vs. reality, the problem of "other minds," etc. It even accounts for the "brother's keeper" dilemma in ethics. Indeed, our confused response to the two-not-two paradox fosters many, if not most, of the social and political ills of humankind.
It is through reliance on perception, rather than conception, that we have an opportunity to resolve this essential paradox, and through which we can find an effective moral, philosophical and psychological framework for living our lives. But, as we shall see, we're commonly confused about conception, and habitually mistake it for perception.
The primary purpose of this book is to help us learn to perceive the world directly-as it is, and not merely as how we conceive it to be. Ultimately, it's only through learning to recognize-and through learning to rely on-perception that each of us can answer profound moral questions, resolve philosophical and ethical dilemmas, and live lives of harmony and joy.
What others have said about Why the World Doesn’t Seem to Make Sense:
An unusually stimulating and exhilarating book, of profound value to those seeking to clarify the essential nature of everyday existence—in short, all of us.
Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard
In crisp, no-nonsense prose, Steve Hagen demonstrates that Reality is not to be found in complex, philosophical, or religious formulations, but is immediately available to those with eyes to see, as plain as the nose on your face. Hagen, as cosmic opthamologist, retrains our eyes to see again the Original Vision and shows how to use the power of bare attention to experience how consciousness recreates the world moment-by-moment. Read this book: it will change how you look at things.
Nick Herbert, Ph.D., author of Quantum Reality
For those who are certain that objectivity and intellect are the ground floor of all knowledge, this can be a valuable trip to the sub-basement.
Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Hagen cuts cleanly through the duality of mind and body, perception and conception, science and religion, and takes us on a spell-binding journey through what we know—and what we only think we know—that ultimately provides a fresh, effective, and remarkably simple grounding for living our lives. Why the World Doesn’t Seem to Make Sense is original, breathtaking, and beautiful.
Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones