Conscious Energy

 Conscious Energy by Joseph P. Provenzano

Conscious Energy
by Joseph P. Provenzano

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Read more about Conscious Energy:

  1. Blurb. Written by the world-renowned Bodhi Tree Bookstore of Los Angeles
  2. Review. See what “The Journal Bridging Science and Religion” has to say.
  3. Preface. Lifted right from the book itself.
  4. Synopsis. Written by the author.
  5. Three Reading Strategies.


1. What the Bodhi Tree has to say about us…According to Provenzano, What is it all about? and How should we live? are the “Two Big Questions” philosophy should answer if it is to benefit the human race. He continues to say that modern philosophy has strayed away from these questions; but his Philosophy of Conscious Energy returns to fundamentals and provides positive answers. Provenzano’s philosophy is based on the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin whose basic philosophical insight was that the universe is evolving toward higher consciousness and complexity. The Philosophy of Conscious Energy develops the philosophical implications of this Law of Consciousness and Complexity and includes a brief history of the great philosophical theories leading up to it. Provenzano shows how his philosophical direction gives meaning to previous philosophical theories and how this direction will help humanity find its proper place in nature. The Philosophy of Conscious Energy is a challenging and thought-provoking work that once again places the “Two Big Questions” at the center of philosophical inquiry.


2. Review of “The Philosophy of Conscious Energy”
“The Teilhard Review — A Journal Bridging Science and Religion”
Autumn 1993 (Book Review Section–page 33)Coinciding with the preceding book review, [note: other books were reviewed in th is British publication] the arrival of this book from America also pursues the quest for “ultimate explanations”. This approach however, is through the development of philosophy, culminating in Teilhard de Chardin. I am going to straight away nail my colours to the mast, and say that I feel this book provides what we all need so much at the present moment, namely, an advanced primer to Teilhard’s thought. Provenzano, who works at the California Institute of Technology, focuses his book on getting philosophy to measure up to providing answers to the “Big Questions”–What is it all about? How should we live?
The criteria that he uses to examine each philosopher’s stance are:
1. A philosophy should rest on a fundamental insight that is intuitively pleasing.
2. A philosophy should be internally consistent.
3. It should not contradict the findings of modern science.
4. It should reinforce the notion of the importance of the individual person.
With these criteria in mind, he commences to chart the evolutionary development of philosophy from Thales in the seventh century B.C. to Aquinas, Kant, Darwin, Kierkegaard, and Ayer in the twentieth. All in all, he examines thirty three major philosophers en route. But, he leaves the “piece de resistance” to the last–Teilhard de Chardin who he maintains, provides a breakthrough in relating philosophy to the “Big Questions”. He provides an immediately understandable portrayal of the key concepts of Teilhard’s thought and of its implications. This summary is without doubt the clearest that I have read on Teilhard. He then continues in truly evolutionary manner, to develop those concepts a little further into what he calls, The Philosophy of Conscious Energy. This he bases on four assumptions:
1. The Law of Consciousness and Complexity is the most fundamental law in the universe.
2. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the universe except energy, in one form or another.
3. The transformation of energy from one form to another, sometimes results in differences so great that the two forms are actually two distinct states of energy. This transformation must be thought of as a change of state.
4. All “laws” are potentially state dependent as a consequence.
From here he moves out to chart his philosophical system as moving through four states of evolutionary development–from Radiation to Matter, to Conscious Energy to Self–Conscious Energy. He applies his criteria (see above) to his own philosophical thought and makes therefore very clear links with everyday living. This ranges from putting the social crimes current in our lives such as drugs, into an explanatory context of consciousness–(because society has reached a state of higher consciousness, some wish to reduce consciousness and this is evil at a higher state)–to understanding the reason for evil; to explaining the drive for scientific research; to understanding God’s “composition”; to the immortality of the soul. In short, a mind blowing book, yet very practical in its charting of implications, an extremely rare combination. Reviewer: Tom Baxter, editor


3. Preface from “The Philosophy of Conscious Energy”There was a time when philosophy was concerned with questions that mattered to everyone–questions about the nature of the universe and how people should lead their lives in order to be happy. It seems on the surface that those times have passed forever. Most people have long since forgotten about philosophy, because philosophy forgot about them. It is my opinion that there has been a breakthrough, that it will change the situation in philosophy, and that the change will be dramatic.This is a book about philosophy, but it is a book for everyone–everyone who has ever wondered about the meaning of the universe and human life. This is not a religious book; it is based on what we can best understand by purely human means. It can be read equally well by believers, non-believers, Americans, Africans, Europeans, Asians, Communists, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddists, and even Republicans and Democrats. It discusses a basic outlook which–I believe–will become common to all of these diverse groups. The human race does not currently have such a fundamental vision, and that is why these diverse groups cannot have meaningful discussions on tough issues like human rights, abortion, and so forth.

Attempting to gain this fundamental vision was a goal of the philosophers of yesterday. However, they did not have the knowledge of the universe that we have today. For a number of reasons, most of the philosophers of today have abandoned this goal, and are concerned with matters of much less importance to the average person.

In my opinion, we have reached a critical point in human history. Not only can we once again think about the meaning of the universe and human life, but we can–for the first time ever–get some real answers. This type of thinking is like that of the great philosophers of yesterday, and can best be described as a “Return to Philosophy.” The breakthrough I mentioned in the opening paragraph provides these answers in the form of a new fundamental vision, or philosophy, of the evolving universe.

There is no quick way to fully convey this new vision. It should be seen in the light of previous philosophical efforts. Therefore, the early and middle chapters address the past and present philosophers and my opinion why each has never been able to gain universal acceptance. I have tried to pull all of this together in the final few chapters and explain this new fundamental vision–a vision that provides real insights into the meaning of the universe and the role of human life.


4. Synopsis of “The Philosophy of Conscious Energy”The basic theme of this book is that it is now possible to develop an integrated view of reality which allows us to answer the ultimate questions: What is it all about? and How should we live? These are exactly the questions that almost all modern philosophers have considered unanswerable. The answers provided are based on a fundamental insight, which is clearly explained and presented assuming no previous knowledge of philosophy. The book is divided into three parts: What is Philosophy?, The Evolution of Philosophy, and The Philosophy of Conscious Energy.Part I (Chapters 1-2) introduces the “Two Big Questions” as a convenient way to discuss the ultimate questions of reality. The first deals with what is most basic about the universe: What is it all about? The second deals with ethical aspects of human life: How should we live? Although philosophers since the time of the early Greeks have tried to answer these questions, we still do not have universally accepted answers. In fact, most modern philosophers have said that we should quit trying. However, a breakthrough has finally been made that will allow the development of a universally accepted philosophy which answers the Two Big Questions. In order to be fully appreciated, this breakthrough should be seen in light of what has previously been tried in philosophy.

Part II (Chapters 3-11) presents the previous efforts in philosophy by providing a look at the important philosophers from before the time of Plato to the present. Thirty-three different philosophers are discussed, and each is presented using the same format: background, insight, theory, conclusions/ethical implications, and, finally, comments about what is keeping that philosopher from being universally accepted today. Part II ends with the surprising conclusion that no philosopher is universally accepted today because none of their fundamental insights (i.e., starting points) corresponds to what actually is *most* fundamental about the universe.

Part III (Chapters 12-14) covers three distinct areas. Chapter 12 presents the basic insight of the geologist, paleontologist, philosopher, and Jesuit priest, Teilhard de Chardin. He called his insight the “Law of Consciousness and Complexity.” It states that the most fundamental aspect of the universe is that it contains an inherent tendency to produce entities that are increasingly complex and conscious. Chapter 13 introduces the Philosophy of Conscious Energy. It starts with Teilhard’s fundamental insight — but uses none of his religions assumptions, and adds the notion of “Conscious Energy.” This same chapter then paints an integrated picture of *everything* in the universe. This integrated view is then used to develop purely philosophical answers to the Two Big Questions. The answers provided are potentially acceptable to “almost everybody.” Chapter 14 (optional reading) then goes on to explore some religious possibilities and discusses the future of philosophy.

Three Reading Strategies

5. Three Reading Strategies – This book introduces a new way of looking at reality, which is called the Philosophy of Conscious Energy. However, many of the chapters are of a background nature, and not everyone will want to read them. Therefore, the book is organized so that it can be read in more than one way.

Complete Reading: Chapters 1 through 14.
This is the only way to fully understand and appreciate the Philosophy of Conscious Energy. It allows the reader to first see how some of the great philosophers have looked at and explained reality, before reading about the Philosophy of Conscious Energy.

Author’s Warning:
In spite of all my efforts to make it interesting, some readers may get bogged down somewhere in the swamp otherwise known as the history of philosophy. If that happens to you, please jump to Chapter 13 and read it immediately.

Short Reading: Chapters 1, 2, 11, 12, 13, and 14.
This approach is for the reader who is somewhat curious about the history of philosophy, but does not want to read about it to the depth provided in the middle pages of the book. Chapters 2 and 11 will give the desired summary, and Chapter 12 provides additional background about the Philosophy of Conscious Energy.

Minimum Reading: Chapters 1, 13, and 14.
This approach is for the reader who is not interested in the history of philosophy — but is interested in reading about a way of looking at reality that allows us to answer questions about the meaning of the universe and human life.