Patterns of Connection
Essential Essays from Five Decades
I am delighted to announce that a collection of my essays, Patterns of Connection, will be published by University of New Mexico Press in October 2021. The essays in this book reflect the evolution of my thinking during the last five decades. Many contain materials that never made it into any of my books, and quite a few have never even appeared in print.
These essays combine and interrelate the two sides of my professional life as a scientist and science writer, on the one hand, and as an environmental educator and activist on the other. Hence, they reflect not only the trajectory of my career but also the history of several movements for social change — from the counterculture of the 1960s to the New Age movement of the 1970s, the emergence of Green politics in the 1980s, and the rise of the global civil society from the 1990s to the present.
My research of the change of paradigms in science and society culminated in the grand synthesis published in the textbook The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision, coauthored with Pier Luigi Luisi. Unlike The Systems View of Life, my new book is not a summary of my worldview, but rather a personal account of my intellectual journey, documented by a series of essays together with extensive commentaries that interweave the essays and provide historical and philosophical context.
Patterns of Connection shows the evolution of my thinking long before acceptance by the academic and political establishments. The essays illustrate my fascination with the philosophy of quantum physics and my encounter with Eastern mysticism, which culminated in the writing of The Tao of Physics; the change of focus of my research from physics to the life sciences; my 25-year-long project of formulating a grand synthesis of the systems view of life; and my activities as an environmental activist and educator.