In 2004 I attended a small conference centered on the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson. In preparation for that conference I did some study on Emerson. I was aware of Emerson as an American literary figure, but reading his essays I discovered a rich and profound teaching of spiritual awakening.
This conference led to many years of study that expanded to include other members of Emerson’s intellectual circles, and the next generation of thinkers. I read feverishly and posted every week on a blog called, Philosophy Is Not a Luxury for the next five years.
What I discovered is that so many of the alternative spiritual ideas had roots in classical American philosophy. Emerson and his contemporaries were combining Eastern mystical traditions and idealistic philosophies to create a spiritual path that offered an alternative to the traditional churches of the time.
I could hardly contain myself as I discovered the illuminated wisdom contained in the writings that I found.
Later when I read about the American philosophy of Pragmatism, I found that it was based on a profound spiritual awakening to the possibility of consciously participating in the universal process of evolution.
Like Emerson, William James and John Dewey were names that were well known to me, but never had I been presented the true depth of their realizations.
I was almost angry. The roots of the alternative spiritual path that so many of us have been following for decades has deep roots in the tradition of American philosophy.
The possibility of attaining our full human potential and spiritual enlightenment has been explored by prominent and respected American thinkers for two centuries.
This discovery compelled me to study and write about this undervalued aspect of American philosophy and the end result has been 'American Awakening: Evolutionary Spirituality, Non-Duality, & Free Thinking in the Tradition of American Philosophy' .
I believe that it is important for all of us, particularly, but not only Americans, to know that the alternative spiritual paths that so many of us follow have a long and profound history.
We can draw strength for our own journey, by knowing the roots that are feeding us.
Please join me for the American Awakening book launch event and find out much more.
In American Awakening, meditation teacher and mystical philosopher Jeff Carreira takes you on a journey through the revolutionary and evolutionary wisdom of American philosophy. From Transcendentalism in the mid 19th century, through the rise of Pragmatism, right up to the late 20th century ideas of Richard Rorty, you will discover a radical understanding of reality based in a deep recognition of the inherent unity of mind and matter. You will be amazed to see how many of the notions of contemporary alternative spirituality were incubated and developed by some of America’s most prominent thinkers. Complex and subtle conceptions are elucidated clearly and simply so that you leave the reading of this book feeling enlightened and enriched. This is not philosophy the way you might have learned it in school. This is an exciting adventure through the lives and thoughts of some extraordinary individuals and an exploration of the deeply mysterious nature of life. The story you will discover in this book reveals a seldom recognized American tradition of spiritual enlightenment.
contains a Magnificent Vision...
When I speak to people — including Americans — about American philosophy, people often look back at me somewhat bewildered. Americans are not known for their philosophy. And yet the truth is that we do have one, and it contains a magnificent vision of a universe that grows as one dynamically interconnected whole. We are not separate from the universe any more than our mouths are separate from our faces. We grew out of the universe like a leaf grows out of a tree.
This book presents an awe-inspiring vision of reality that was initiated by Ralph Waldo Emerson and later expanded upon in the philosophy of pragmatism. As you read, you will discover a new way of thinking about reality, not as a collection of interconnected parts, but as single living event that has grown - from the inside and out — since before time.