Sacred Quest: The Evolution and Future of the Human Soul

L. Robert Keck, Author
L. Robert Keck, Author Chrysalis Books $24.95 (292p) ISBN 978-0-87785-306-0
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Keck, author of Sacred Eyes and The Spirit of Synergy and a former Methodist clergyman who is now a self-proclaimed ""born-again pagan,"" proposes that the human Soul (with a capital S) has evolved in three stages. In Epoch I (childhood), humans were kind and innocent, practicing matriarchy, goddess worship, animism and shamanism, their hunter-gatherer societies living in harmony with nature. How does Keck know Epoch I occurred as he envisions? Through ""deep-value research,"" which entails speculating about the spiritual practices of prehistoric peoples. He acknowledges that these practices cannot be known, yet he somehow senses what they must have been and interprets scientific and archeological evidence (especially cave paintings) to support his theories, while elsewhere dismissing much modern science as unspiritual and materialist. Epoch II (adolescence) has been more turbulent, with wayward humans embracing patriarchy, the metaphor of God as father, ""institutional"" religion, and agricultural and industrial societies, all of which create violence and oppression. For Keck, fundamentalist Christianity, and conservatism in general, typify everything that is wrong with Epoch II. Epoch III (adulthood) is an emerging age of paganism in which truly spiritual people will become holistic, ecological and empowered, discover new paradigms, and even learn to talk to the animals. (Yes, really.) Readers who strongly self-identify as ""new age"" or ""cultural creatives"" may find Keck's ideas compelling, though others will wish for more evidence and fewer unsupported assertions about prehistory's halcyon days. (Sept.)
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