The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge


Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
Bellevue Literary Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.2 X 0.7 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Jeffrey J. Kripal holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University and is the associate director of the Center for Theory and Research at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. He has previously taught at Harvard Divinity School and Westminster College and is the author of eight books, including The Flip. He lives in Houston, Texas.


Praise for The Flip

"[The Flip] synthesizes some of the most recent speculations about the nature of the cosmos and the human, proposing a renewed mutual engagement of the sciences and humanities. . . . With its visionary notions and revisionary potential, The Flip merits a wide readership, across the academy and outside of it." --Houston Chronicle

"Wonderfully rich. . . . Reading this book is an embodied experience; it is yoga for the mind." --Reading Religion

"[The Flip] will ignite conversations about the limits of science and the potential for dramatic shifts in perspective." --Publishers Weekly

"Offers plenty of points to ponder." --Kirkus Reviews

"Makes the baffling notions of quantum mechanics and neuroscience digestible. In this respect, The Flip is similar to The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher by Lewis Thomas. . . . The research incorporated into the book is well thought out, and ranges from writer Philip K. Dick to mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Kripal even discusses how Joni Mitchell came up with the idea that 'we are stardust' ten years before Carl Sagan popularized it. . . . The Flip did open my mind to the fact that there are leading experts in both the field of science and religion (Kripal himself) who are pushing toward unification and the extinction of out-dated knowledge." --NewPages

"In The Flip, Jeffrey J. Kripal reflects deeply on non-ordinary experiences that transform people's way of understanding themselves and the world. Kripal uses an imaginative transdisciplinary method that weaves together contemporary thought in ecology, quantum physics, evolutionary biology, philosophy of mind, comparative mysticism, and first-person experiential accounts. The result is an eminently readable manifesto for the role of the humanities in integrating emergent thought in these many domains. Prophetically, the larger goal is nothing less than transforming humanity toward a greater wisdom community that can move beyond many of our most intractable problems and dysfunctions." --Bradley Lewis, author of Narrative Psychiatry: How Stories Can Shape Clinical Practice and Depression: Integrating Science, Humanities, and Culture

"Kripal is one of the most important voices pushing the academy to broaden its perspective beyond the secular: to take seriously the idea that reality is more complex. He is slowly winning the argument and changing the terrain of debate without making an argument for any one religion. This is a remarkable achievement. The Flip is worthy of a wide readership." --T. M. Luhrmann, author of When God Talks Back and Our Most Troubling Madness

"One of the most provocative new books of the year, and, for me, mindblowing." --Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and How to Change Your Mind

"The Flip lucidly lays out a way of thinking about the enfolding of mind and reality that is at once empirically scientific and at the same time consistent with all we know from some of our most sophisticated philosophical and spiritual traditions. Kripal provides a practical guide to a deeper and more effective understanding of ourselves and our world. Read this book if you want to actively contribute to the development of a worldview that will be of extraordinary benefit to humankind and our planet." --David E. Presti, author of Foundational Concepts in Neuroscience and Mind Beyond Brain

Select Praise for Jeffrey J. Kripal

"[Kripal offers] a genuinely hopeful vision of what we yet could be in the mirror of what we have been." --Deepak Chopra

"Kripal makes many sympathetic points about the present spiritual state of America. . . . [He] continues to believe that spirituality and science should not contradict each other, and that the Cartesian split between mind and body can be transcended." --New York Times Book Review

"[Kripal] effortlessly synthesiz[es] a dizzying array of dissonant phenomena (Cold War espionage, ecstatic religiosity), incongruous pairings (Darwinism, Tantric sex), and otherwise schizy ephemera (psychedelic drugs, spaceflight) into a cogent, satisfyingly complete narrative. That he reconciles all this while barely batting an eye is remarkable; that he does so while writing with such élan is nothing short of wondrous." --Atlantic

"Kripal prompts us to reflect on our personal assumptions, as well as the shared assumptions that create and maintain our institutions: materialism is called out as dogma, at odds with the spirit of empirical inquiry, as is unreflective religious faith. . . . [His] work will likely become more and more relevant to more and more areas of inquiry as the century unfolds. It may even open up a new space for Americans to reevaluate the personal and cultural narratives they have inherited, and to imagine alternative futures." --Los Angeles Review of Books

"[Kripal] is a serious intellectual, but one who wears his heart on his sleeve. He writes with sensitivity and self-deprecating humor." --New York Journal of Books

"Kripal's writing glows with insight and enriches our understanding of humanity's gnostic dignity." --Library Journal

"[Kripal] is an engaging storyteller." --Publishers Weekly

"Kripal has one of the most distinctive, interesting voices in the humanities today." --Choice

"Kripal's work is playful, engaging and original. His references to both 'high' and 'low' culture are reminiscent of prominent intellectuals such as Susan Sontag and Slavoj Zizek." --Times Higher Education

"According to Kripal, mysticism is very much a praxis, a set of techniques that lead to a goal, inner depth and self-knowledge. . . . [His work] can bring much-needed clarity and depth, and no little intelligence, to the 'subjectivity wars' of postmodernity." --Journal of Religion

"[Kripal] make[s] the case that excluded, silenced, lost perspectives need to be heard in twenty-first century academe and also in our spiritual quests." --Harvard Divinity Bulletin

"[Kripal's work] suggests methodologies that can integrate the humanities and the sciences, the brain/mind distinctions, contemporary neuroscience, and psychical research." --Journal of Contemporary Religion

"A trickster-guide, Kripal lures his readers through mirrored doors and ironic tunnels into the inner chambers of the study of religion. There he conducts a disconcerting initiation. The mysteries of his religious studies are an antidote to the imperial certainty, the bombastic piety, of too much religion." --Mark D. Jordan, Harvard Divinity School

"Kripal [is] in the grand tradition of Ludwig Feuerbach: showing us how we have projected our own superhuman potential into a world of gods and monsters, and pleading with us to recall that potential from exile. However, Kripal tops Feuerbach in at least one column: he has an infectious sense of humor about the whole charade." --Charles M. Stang, Harvard Divinity School

"[Kripal] argues incisively and in detail in ways that seek to shake our materialist and rational foundations at their base, so that our defensive walls come tumbling down." --Catherine L. Albanese, University of California, Santa Barbara

"[Kripal] explores key ideas and thinkers in their respective contexts. In the process, the reader is introduced to the largely rejected knowledge of the psychical, the sacred is resurrected in the paranormal, and lazy skepticism is challenged. . . . [He] will, I suspect, become a key figure in the development of new trajectories in the study of religion." --Christopher Partridge, Lancaster University

"Jeffrey Kripal is an epic' imagination trapped in an historian's body." --Joseph Donahue, author of Dark Church

"In Kripal we have a classic Romantic thinker/writer who is formulating--in a conscious meld of the subjective and objective that is the hallmark of Romantic writing--his own distinctive and highly original Biographia Spiritualis." --Victoria Nelson, author of The Secret Life of Puppets and Gothicka

"[Kripal] bridges the gap between spirituality and its sometimes seedy outcroppings in pop culture, and forges--or rather, reveals--a synthesis that was really there all along." --Roy Thomas, writer of The Uncanny X-Men, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, and more

"Always scholarly yet never stuffy, always fun but never superficial." --Doug Moench, author of Batman and The Big Book of the Unexplained