This list of resources is constantly expanding; please check back!
Books on Psychosynthesis
Assagioli, Roberto. Psychosynthesis. Amherst MA: Synthesis Center Publishing, 2000. (First edition published 1965).
Assagioli, Roberto. The Act of Will. Amherst MA:Synthesis Center Publishing, 2010.
Assagioli, Roberto. Transpersonal Development: The Dimensions Beyond Psychosynthesis. Inner Way Productions 2008.
Brown, Molly Young. Growing Whole: Self-Realization for the Great Turning . Mt. Shasta, CA: Psychosynthesis Press, 2009.
Brown, Molly Young. Growing Whole: Exploring the Wilderness Within. Mt. Shasta, CA: Psychosynthesis Press, 1997.
Brown, Molly Young. Unfolding Self: The Practice of Psychosynthesis. New York: Helio Press, 2004.
Ferrucci, Piero. What We May Be. Los Angeles: Tarcher, 1982.
Firman, John & Gila, Ann. A Psychology of Love: Psychosynthesis in Practice. Albany NY: SUNY, 2010
Firman, John & Gila, Ann. Psychosynthesis: A Psychology of the Spirit. Albany NY: SUNY, 2002.
Firman, John & Gila, Ann. The Primal Wound: A Transpersonal View of Trauma, Addiction, and Growth. Albany NY: SUNY, 1997.
Hardy, Jean. A Psychology with a Soul: Psychosynthesis in Evolutionary Context. London: Arkana, 1987.
Parfitt, Will. Psychosynthesis: The Elements and Beyond. Glastonbury UK: PS Avalon, 2006. (www.psavalon.com)
Stauffer, Edith. Unconditional Love and Forgiveness. Burbank:Triangle, 1987.
Books on Ecopsychology, the Work That Reconnects, and the Great Turning
Baker, Carolyn. Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization’s Collapse. iUniverse, 2009. [Link to book review]
Hawkin, Paul. Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement In the World Came Into Being and Why No One Saw it Coming. New York: Viking, 2007.
Lipton, Bruce & Bhaerman, Steve. Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (And A Way To Get There From Here). Hay House, 2009. [Link to book review]
LeConte, Ellen. Life Rules: Why so much is going wrong everywhere at once and how Life teaches us to fix it. Bloomington IN: iUniverse, 2010. [Link to book review]
Macy, Joanna & Brown, Molly Young. Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World. New Society Publishers, 1998.
Macy, Joanna & Johnstone, Chris. Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy, New World Library, 2012. [Link to book review]
Plotkin, Bill. Nature and the Human Soul - Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World. New World Library, 2008. [Link to book review]
Books on Systems Thinking
(In recommended order of study)
Macy, Joanna. Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory: The Dharma of Living Systems. SUNY, 1991.
An exploration of the convergent perspective on causality of Buddhist teachings and the systems view of reality, this book offers an introduction to both schools of thought and the context they provide for personal and social transformation. Chapters 4 & 5 describe clearly and concisely the basic “invariants” of how living systems work.
Laszlo, Ervin. Introduction to Systems Philosophy. Toward a New Paradigm of Contemporary Thought, New York: Gordon & Breach, 1972.
Laszlo is an influential pioneer in systems thinking and philosophy; this book remains one of the best primers in the basics. See also his A Systems View of the World.
LaConte, Ellen. Life Rules. New Society Publishers, 2012.
Ellen LaConte suggests great unravelings and great turnings have occurred several times in past millennia, many of them before humans appeared on Earth, which she calls “Critical Mass.” Each time Critical Mass has been reached, living systems have self-organized through trial and error to find new ways to function and survive. Understanding those life lessons can guide us humans through our current “Critical Mass” crisis, brought on by the global capitalist economy gone viral.
Meadows, Donella. Thinking in Systems. Diana Wright, editor. Chelsea Green, 2008.
“Dana Meadows taught a generation of students, friends, and colleagues the art and science of thinking beyond conventional boundaries. For her systems thinking included the expected things like recognizing patterns, connections, leverage points, feedback loops and also the human qualities of judgment, foresight, and kindness. She was a teacher with insight and heart. This long anticipated book, the distillation of her life’s work, is a gem.” (David Orr, Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College).
Sahtouris, Elisabet. Earthdance: Living Systems In Evolution. iUniverse.com, 2000.
A wonderfully fascinating journey through the history of EarthLife (biological evolution) and then through the history of humanity to see how we humans have seen ourselves in relation to our living planet and what that means for us now. Will we learn from Nature’s amazing four billion years of experience in creating healthy living systems to give ourselves the future of which we dream?
Sweeney, Linda Booth. Connected Wisdom: Living Stories about Living Systems. Chelsea Green, 2008.
How do we learn to live sustainably – or within the means of nature? Through this book, readers aged 10 to 110 explore, through 12 timeless folktales and modern examples, how the laws that guide living systems can also guide how we live and learn. The book was designed by renowned graphic artist Milton Glaser, recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, and illustrated by award-winning artist Guy Billout..
Charlton, Noel G. Understanding Gregory Bateson: Mind, Beauty, and the Sacred Earth. SUNY, 2008.
“This is a publishing event of the first order: an incomparably lucid exploration of Bateson’s unique insights into the nature of mind and of the living Earth. Charlton’s book, both elegant and accessible, sheds new light on Bateson’s revolutionary relevance to our time.” (Joanna Macy)
Bateson, Gregory. Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistomology. University of Chicago Press, 2000.
This classic collection of Bateson’s brilliant essays is not for the faint of heart and is best consumed in small bites, preferably in a discussion group with other explorers. It is rather like a sacred text for ecological understanding. Although Bateson does not directly address systems thinking, his insights have many ramifications for the field. See especially these chapters: “The Cybernetics of ‘Self’: A Theory of Alcoholism;” “Effects of Conscious Purpose on Human Adaptation;” “Form, Substance, and Difference;” “Pathologies of Epistemology;” “The Roots of Ecological Crisis.” Charlton’s book, listed above, provides an excellent introduction to and overview of Bateson’s work.
Other Systems Thinking Resources
(Alphabetical by author)
Fuller, R. Buckminster. Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking. MacMillan, 1975. Available as a pdf on-line.
Goldsmith, Edward. The Way: An Ecological World View. Boston: Shambala, 1993.
L’Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle in Time. New York: Dell, 1970.
L’Engle, Madeleine. A Wind in the Door. New York: Dell, 1973.
Lovelock, James. Healing Gaia: Practical Medicine for the Planet. Crown, 1991.
Olds, Linda. Metaphors of Interrelatedness. SUNY, 1992
von Bertalanffy, Ludwig. General System Theory. New York: George Braziller, 1968.
Wheatley, Margaret J. Leadership and the New Science: Learning about Organizations from an Orderly Universe, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 1992.