Dirk Dunbar’s Renewing the Balance is a crucial and comprehensive account of how traditional cultures maintained a healthy balance that preserved our natural world and how our modern technocratic, economic ideology has produced a culture that is dangerously out of balance. It is at once a diagnosis of our dis-ease and a prescription for healing our collective psyche, polis, and environment. A truly fascinating philosophical adventure.
— Sam Keen Author of 12 books, including The Passionate Life and Hymns to an Unknown God
Renewing the Balance brings depth and breadth to our efforts to understand how Western culture evolved as it did and to appreciate the many streams that now flow into our efforts to manifest ecological wisdom in a hypermodern world.
— Charlene Spretnak Author of The Resurgence of the Real
In Renewing the Balance, Dirk Dunbar claims that he, like most of us in the industrialized world, has ‘lost touch with the sacred in the natural.’ His efforts to confront the sources of this disconnect and find ways to heal contemporary forms of environmental dysfunction make his book, in his own words, ‘a quest as well as a treatise.’ It is a quest on which we all should embark. A powerful addition to the literature that seeks to expose and transform the psychological maladies and religious boundaries behind Western culture’s alienation from Nature, Dunbar connects the reverence for Nature’s balance in ancient Earth wisdom traditions with current revolutionary attempts to reintegrate the long-suppressed feminine, ecological impulse. Thoroughly researched, filled with insight, and a delightful read, this book gives new meaning to the emerging ecocentric paradigm and proffers realistic hope for a world in peril.
— Michael Dowd Author of Thank God for Evolution and host of “The Future Is Calling Us to Greatness”
Renewing the Balance is a learned, compelling answer to David Byrne’s question, “Well, how did I get here?” Partly academic, partly personal, and partly mystical, this book provides crisp, soundly detailed summaries of the philosophies that got us from the ancient world to the unbalanced present. From ancient Daoism, to Native American experience, to near eastern philosophy and myth, to the “fault lines” of Christian thinking, to the Enlightenment, postmodernism and rock music, Dunbar argues the 1960s counterculture was a turning point in an authentic effort to regain a spiritual sensibility in a chaotic materialistic culture. That turning point led to contemporary currents of thought in ecology, feminism and self-identity that Dunbar views as likely avenues out of the social, moral and spiritual chaos we now face. To state it simply, Renewing the Balance is a well-balanced contribution to the effort to save the planet. There could not be a more praiseworthy route for a philosopher to run.
— Dana Wilde Columnist and Naturalist Author of three books including The Other End of the Driveway and 40 articles
In his newest work, Renewing the Balance, Dirk Dunbar has delivered another extraordinary contribution to the study of the evolution of human consciousness and culture. The theme is vast, but the writing lucid and approachable. The three sequential paradigms that center the work are brilliant, and help readers see the value in Earth wisdom and the aboriginal reverence for nature, the limits of progress, growth, and human dominion, and the spiritual and political ramifications of the 1960s revolution. His ability to address current issues through multicultural and interdisciplinary lenses adds to the urgency as well as the acumen of the work. Dunbar does not rehash or duplicate material already on the market, but represents a new voice with unique, fascinating, and valid insights. Renewing the Balance is a must read for anyone concerned with the prospects of peace, cultural healing, and a potentially sustainable future.
— David Darst Author of 7 books and 80 journal articles