Radical Wholeness: The Embodied Present and the Ordinary Grace of Being
Published by North Atlantic Books (November 21, 2017). Order at Amazon.com or your favourite bookseller.
“Radical Wholeness is a practical blueprint for embodying information in the service of human welfare and survival. Our future depends on the vision Philip Shepherd powerfully and eloquently presents.”
—Larry Dossey, MD, Author of One Mind
“If you long to reconnect with your deeper self, other living beings, and the Earth, you must read this book.”
—Carolyn Baker, PhD, Author of Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse
“If there was ever a time for this book—this is it! Read it. Breathe it in. Let it change how you see and live and love your life and the world.”
—Oriah “Mountain Dreamer” House, Author of The Invitation
Also available as an audio book through Audible, iTunes and other audio booksellers.
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Radical Wholeness tackles head-on a disability deeply imbedded in our culture – and so in each one of us; a disability that affects our very way of being. Simply put, our culture is whole-blind. We do not feel the self as a whole or the Present as a whole. We don’t know what it means to think with the whole of our being, to be present to someone with the whole of our being, or to speak from it.
All of this wouldn’t matter much, except that wholeness is the nature of reality: everything affects everything, everything leans on everything. Reality is a seamless whole. To be blind to wholeness is, quite simply, to be blind to reality.
The effects of our whole-blindness can be seen all around us. We live in our heads, divided from the body’s intelligence, at odds with the reality of the natural world, and with the reality of our true natures. Not only that, but the qualities we most crave in our lives – qualities such as peace of heart, grace, spaciousness and harmony – are qualities that belong to wholeness. They cannot be achieved directly; we can experience them only as we join the wholeness of the Present.
In Radical Wholeness, Philip documents how our culture systematically desensitizes our ability to sense the whole – a sense he calls holosapience – and considers the damage that disability inflicts on our personal lives and the planet. But he also shows that each of us is inescapably whole; it’s not possible to step outside of reality’s wholeness. So he lays out simple, practical means of undoing the divisions and compartmentalizations within us that desensitize us to our living experience of wholeness.
Radical Wholeness is a user’s guide for initiating a personal revolution. By finding your way out of the head and reuniting with your body’s intelligence, you can ground yourself in a wholeness of being that feels and supports the harmonies not just of your life, but of our wakeful world.
Praise for Radical Wholeness
“Philip Shepherd shakes up our way of looking at ourselves and the world. He challenges the way we were taught to think, and offers us something that could radically change how we live. Reading Radical Wholeness offers us real hope, the kind of hope that sees a way out of the quagmire of living in a unsustainable way in our own lives and our shared world. If there was ever a time for this book—this is it! Read it. Breathe it in. Let it change how you see and live and love your life and the world.”
—Oriah “Mountain Dreamer” House, Author of The Invitation
“With words of shimmering clarity, Philip Shepherd blows the door between body and mind off its hinges. Calling us with rigor, sensitivity, wisdom and imagination towards a future grounded in resurrected human capacities of awareness, he shows not only why but also how to develop those capacities, awakening intelligence we didn’t know we had. Radical Wholeness is sorely needed and sweet-tasting medicine for a fragmented world.”
—Amnon Buchbinder, Author of Biology of Story, Professor of Screenwriting, York University
“When Philip Shepherd asked me to look at his new manuscript, I was unprepared for the extraordinary experience that awaited me—within minutes I literally couldn’t put his book down. Radical Wholeness was not just talking about, but was literally speaking to—and invoking—a deeper, more whole and healed part of myself. While I was reading, I had the overwhelming feeling that it is as if this book is a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement—real medicine—secreted by the universe itself to help us heal our collective insanity. I can’t recommend Radical Wholeness highly enough.”
—Paul Levy, Author of Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil
“Radical Wholeness is a profound, ground-opening, stunning book—a true masterpiece. Philip illuminates the madness of our Western culture and entices the reader to drop into the wholeness that is always here with a powerful/urgent/gentle invitation to live from it. The radical wholeness that Philip embodies, in my experience, is the goal of all therapy and spiritual practice. This is one of the most profound books I have read in 25 years of practice and I will be recommending it to all my peers and clients.”
—Natalie Lascelles, Integral psychotherapist and Mindfulness coach
“Radical Wholeness is an important book. It’s a ‘deep dive’ into understanding our somatic experience of being and provides a path back to wholeness. And for students of the Enneagram, this is a book not to be missed. You’ll be amazed and delighted by how what Philip reveals so exquisitely adds to the exploration of the three centers of intelligence.”
—Curt Micka, President of the International Enneagram Association (The opinions expressed here are not an endorsement by the IEA.)
“Philip Shepherd is a force of nature. Fully embodied and present in the world, he stands outside the most fundamental bias of Western culture and offers us nothing less than a new center to live from. In his hands, wholeness is no longer just an idea or a goal to strive for; it becomes a visceral experience, and one that can be accessed at will through brilliantly simple practices. Here you will find both the vision and the means to come home to your own wholeness. This luminous book is clearly a lifework. Don’t miss it. It will transform you.”
—Morgan Farley, PhD, Author of Name Yourself Feast
“This wonderful book written with tremendous clarity and profound wisdom should be in the library or backpack of every spiritual seeker. Its advice on embodiment is the best around and the practices Philip has evolved are matchlessly effective.”
—Andrew Harvey, Author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism
“This very wise book shows why it is impossible and ultimately suicidal to attempt to secede from nature, as our culture has tried to do through denying our oneness and wholeness with the world. We are nature, and there is no ‘out there’ that exists independently from our consciousness, our knowing. As Max Planck, the founder of quantum physics, put it, ‘We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness’—for consciousness, he said, is ‘fundamental.’ But do not think Radical Wholeness is merely a philosophical treatise. It is a practical blueprint for embodying information in the service of human welfare and survival. Our future depends on the vision Philip Shepherd powerfully and eloquently presents in Radical Wholeness.”
—Larry Dossey, MD, Author of One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters
“In Radical Wholeness, Philip has given us an insight into what it really means to be human, and it could very well challenge our fundamental assumptions around this. Radical Wholeness is a profoundly personal message with truly global ramifications, written at a time of great need.”
—Michael Anderson, CEO, Mediaworks, NZ
“Philip Shepherd has gifted us a book that reframes our basic understanding of getting the most out of body intelligence. It rearranges the familiar top-down authorship from cerebral brain to body and restores body presence to a borderless merging of intelligence that includes inside/outside and sensory awareness. Ingest this book and let it ruminate throughout your daily dance. Take Philip’s experiences to heart and practice the exercises he shares with us to reclaim our inheritance as fully functional breathing sensing alive awake beings.”
—Vinn Arjuna Martí, Designer of Soul Motion®, a conscious dance practice.
“As a social ecologist I highly recommend this book as a valuable guide to a new way of being whole in our fragmented world.”
—Ben-Zion Weiss, PhD, Author of The Creativity Revolution: Steps to an Ecology of Culture
“This is the best book I have read on embodiment, I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
—Jill Angelo, author Sacred Space: Turning Your Home into a Sanctuary
“In a culture as broken and fragmented as ours, this book is painfully overdue. Going beyond outdated notions of ‘holistic,’ Philip Shepherd has captured the essence of individual embodiment and its inextricable connection with everyone and everything. What our world desperately needs now are not more smart homo sapiens, but fully present and embodied holo sapiens who feel and live in grounded inter-relatedness. In this book, Shepherd has provided us with an extraordinary tool kit that tenderly and skillfully integrates mind, body, and soul with all life in the universe. If you long to reconnect with your deeper self, other living beings, and the Earth, you must read this book.”
—Carolyn Baker, PhD, Co-author with Andrew Harvey of Return to Joy and author of Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse: Cultivating the Relationships We Need to Thrive
US Book Reviews – review by Michael Radon
“Activated by the felt Present, self-knowledge is discovered when the life in which you rest quickens you to the resonance of your being.” Unlike many books regarding psychological self-examination and improvement, this text follows the author’s discoveries from a remarkable journey and implores people to avoid using their head to grow. Choosing to forego university to study Noh theater in Japan, Shepherd rode a bicycle across Europe and Asia, encountering other cultures firsthand. In this experience, he discovered that not all cultures perceive the human experience the same way and began to understand that a wholeness of being encompasses interactions with all things, not just intellectually and not just on a human-to-human level. Using this as a basis, Shepherd introduces a series of ideas from people around the world and prominent authors that complete a path to finding peace and balance within one’s self and with the nature of existence. Picking up this book will ideally lead to a more peaceful and mindful lifestyle as readers are invited along to follow the author’s conclusions and methods.
Written in a compassionate, educational tone, the author is capable of taking a complex concept and making it accessible to anybody. The emphasis on feeling and establishing a resonance with the fluid Present and being rather than analyzing may be difficult to grasp at first, but the subject is approached both immediately and gradually. There is a deep examination of how Western culture divorces the feelings of the mind from the feelings of the body, and after decades of indoctrination, it will take the reader some adjustment to align with a new way of experiencing life. That being said, the author patiently knows that same struggle and provides a new angle or anecdote to help with every obstacle. As the title implies, the exercises and perspectives of this book may throw one’s worldview into upheaval, but the increased lightness and appreciation for all things are worth that experimental change.”