So much has been going on since the last newsletter that I hardly know where to begin. I’m preparing for a European tour with two workshops in England (Stroud on Nov 18/20, and Forest Row on Nov 26/27) and one in the Netherlands (Dec 3/4). And yesterday I just returned from a month in Australia with five workshops and various talks – more on all that later.
The most significant major event in my recent life, though, is something I’ve looked forward to for almost five years: I’ve signed a contract with North Atlantic Books to publish my new book, Radical Wholeness: The Embodied Present and the Ordinary Grace of Being. As you might imagine, this is a huge milestone. When I finished New Self New World I thought I’d never write another book again – but then this one started working on me, and I’ve let it have its way, and my time with it has been a massive adventure.
Writing provides me with a very special way of feeling my way into the world. When I have the sense that I’m dulled by a wall of assumptions, like a cloudy film between me and the real world, I begin writing and questioning, burrowing beneath the wall to surface on the other side, to see with new eyes. Every day I spend writing liberates me just that little bit more into a freedom of being.
Radical Wholeness is very different from my first book. For starters, it’s a shorter and, I have been assured, easier read. And unlike New Self New World – which looks in detail at how every aspect of our thinking and culture reflects our dominating relationship with the body, and has done so throughout history – Radical Wholeness concerns itself with just one issue: what wholeness is; how our culture has so desensitized us to it that we no longer notice it; and what we can personally do to reclaim that sensitivity for ourselves. Our whole-blindness, I argue, is the single issue that underlies most of the challenges we face: environmental, social, economic and spiritual. What gives this oversight of ours such potency? Let’s put it this way: wholeness is the nature of reality – everything belongs to and affects everything. To desensitize yourself to wholeness is to desensitize yourself to reality; and when that happens, you remain committed to a fantasy that can only do damage.
Here’s a little description of Radical Wholeness that I sent to the publisher:
“There are qualities we all yearn to experience in our lives – qualities such as peace, simplicity, passion, grace, connection and clarity. What makes those qualities elusive or transient for us is that each of them comes from an experience of wholeness – and we live in a culture that has obliterated its sensitivity to wholeness. As products of that culture we struggle to feel the wholeness of the body, of the self, and of the world around us. We struggle to feel the present as a whole. On the face of it this is strange, because wholeness is inescapable – it is the nature of reality. Everything depends on everything else, everything is in relationship with everything: there is only wholeness. To be blinded to wholeness, then, is to be out of touch with reality. And yet we have been systematically trained to numb ourselves to wholeness and contract our attention within the boundary of the self. We have been taught to live in our heads, disconnected from the body and at odds with the world. We have learned to accept that it’s normal for our lives to feel fragmented, reactionary and stale.
But how do you recover wholeness for yourself when you have been unknowingly taught to turn away from it? That is the concern at the heart of Radical Wholeness. The book brings together resources from neuroscience, anthropology, physics, art and myth – as well as from Philip’s extensive work as an international embodiment expert – to show you how our culture’s limitations live within your body, and to help you transcend them. The book concludes with original exercises to help you reclaim the birthright of your wholeness, and begin to dwell within the qualities that come with that experience. Radical Wholeness is an invitation to a new way of being.”
The publication date for the book is November 2107. Stay tuned!!