The Biology of Transcendence

A Blueprint of the Human Spirit

The Biology of Transcendence

Uses new research about the brain to explore how we can transcend our current physical and cultural limitations • Reveals that transcendence of current modes of existence requires the dynamic interaction of our fourth and fifth brains (intellect and intelligence) • Explores the idea that Jesus, Lao-tzu, and other great beings in history are models of nature’s possibility and our ability to achieve transcendence • 17,000 sold in hardcover since April 2002 Why do we seem stuck in a culture of violence and injustice? How is it that we can recognize the transcendent ideal represented by figures such as Jesus, Lao-tzu, and many others who have walked among us and yet not seem to reach the same state? In The Biology of Transcendence Joseph Chilton Pearce examines the current biological understanding of our neural organization to address how we can go beyond the limitations and constraints of our current capacities of body and mind--how we can transcend. Recent research in the neurosciences and neurocardiology identifies the four neural centers of our brain and indicates that a fifth such center is located in the heart. This research reveals that the evolutionary structure of our brain and its dynamic interactions with our heart are designed by nature to reach beyond our current evolutionary capacities. We are quite literally, made to transcend. Pearce explores how this “biological imperative” drives our life into ever-greater realms of being--even as the “cultural imperative” of social conformity and behavior counters this genetic heritage, blocks our transcendent capacities, and breeds violence in all its forms. The conflict between religion and spirit is an important part of this struggle. But each of us may overthrow these cultural imperatives to reach “unconflicted behavior,” wherein heart and mind-brain resonate in synchronicity, opening us to levels of possibility beyond the ordinary.

The Bond of Power

The Bond of Power

Asserts our ability to reject the emptiness and alienation of our society and restore the bond with our fundamental selves, providing examples from physics, poetry, and Swami Muktananda's teachings

The Biology of Religious Behavior

The Evolutionary Origins of Faith and Religion

The Biology of Religious Behavior

Offers a fresh and detailed take on the evolution of religious behavior from a biobehavioral perspective, promoting a new understanding that may help build bridges across the religious divide.

The Biology of Consciousness

Case Studies in Kundalini

The Biology of Consciousness

Kundalini is a biological actuality, a primordial energy in every human being that is capable of modifying DNA in a single lifetime. It’s trans-national, trans-cultural, and, most important trans-denominational. All of which speaks to a unified cosmology of life, that we are really intertwined in so many ways, in spite of the self-imposed barriers we erect to separate us from each other and from the super-consciousness that permeates all of existence. If individuals are to achieve self-actualization during a single lifetime, Kundalini will be the gating agent for this evolutionary leap. Whether it’s practicing ancient methods of meditation or newly developed methods, Kundalini is the trigger. Meditation may provide the shortest path, but there are other means of achieving the same results, including cases where individuals do absolutely nothing, but are still visited by a spontaneous Kundalini awakening. The one element all these experiences share across the board is a change in metabolism, induced by a process known as sexual sublimation, even though, in some instances, the individuals neither detect nor feel any sexual activity. Some way or other, the subject’s metabolism produces a distilled form of sexual energy that gets released into the brain, activating Kundalini, which, managed correctly, restores health, stimulates creative abilities, alters negative behavior patterns, retards the aging process, and expands consciousness. Normally, human growth proceeds in a linear pattern. However, disease, environmental factors, biochemical changes can create genetic mutations, ultimately modifying DNA. Depending on the type of stimulus, these mutations are either beneficial, harmful, or neutral. Kundalini awakenings bring about major beneficial mutations in their subjects which get passed along in DNA code to the next generation. The Biology of Consciousness examines the idea (for physical scientists, the hypothesis) that consciousness exists outside the body, always has and always will. It is the driver of evolution, among other things, what Gopi Krishna termed “the evolutionary impulse.”

Tug of War

Tug of War

A madman stalks the participants of a winter intramural competition at a boarding school in the Adirondack Mountains.

Biology of Wonder

Aliveness, Feeling and the Metamorphosis of Science

Biology of Wonder


The Heart-Mind Matrix

How the Heart Can Teach the Mind New Ways to Think

The Heart-Mind Matrix

Activating the compassionate intelligence of the heart to reconnect to the universe and our spiritual future • Shows how the heart is connected to our prefrontal cortex and offers a balancing counterweight to the calculating intellect of the lower brain • Explains how we are stuck in reactive behavior loops resulting from the loss of the nurturing culture of our ancestors • Reveals how the Heart-Mind Matrix connects us to the universe and is the engine of spiritual evolution Expanding the revolutionary theories of mind explored in the bestselling The Crack in the Cosmic Egg and The Biology of Transcendence, Joseph Chilton Pearce explains how the heart provides the balancing intelligence to the brain’s calculating intellect, an innate system of emotional-mental coherence lost generations ago through a breakdown of the nurturing culture of our ancestors. By severing ourselves from our heart intelligence, we are left with our selfish, survival-oriented reptilian brains, which create and reinforce “strange loops” between potential and actual reality, leading to our modern world’s endless cycle of self-inflicted disasters and societal crises. Pearce explains that in order to break these cycles and transcend a life focused solely on surviving the results of our own reactive patterns, we must reconnect with the compassionate intelligence of the heart. Offering a rich variety of evidence, Pearce explores neurological research, lost and enduring nurturing cultures, personal experiences, and accounts from the lives and writings of modern sages such as Jane Goodall, Maria Montessori, and Rudolf Steiner. He shows that by activating the original matrix of the Heart-Mind--the engine of our spiritual evolution and our innate connection to the universe--we can teach our brains new ways to think, amend our destructive behavior loops, and enter into a future of peace, spiritual connection, and conscious evolution.

The Crack in the Cosmic Egg

New Constructs of Mind and Reality

The Crack in the Cosmic Egg

The classic work that shaped the thought of a generation with its powerful insights into the true nature of mind and reality. • Defines culture as a "cosmic egg" structured by the mind's drive for logical ordering of its universe. • Provides techniques allowing individuals to break through the vicious circle of logic-based systems to attain expanded ways of creative living and learning. The sum total of our notions of what the world is--and what we perceive its full potential to be--form a shell of rational thought in which we reside. This logical universe creates a vicious circle of reasoning that robs our minds of power and prevents us from reaching our true potential. To step beyond that circle requires a centering and focus that today's society assaults on every level. Through the insights of Teilhard, Tillich, Jung, Jesus, Carlos Castaneda, and others, Joseph Chilton Pearce provides a mode of thinking through which imagination can escape the mundane shell of current construct reality and leap into a new phase of human evolution. This enormously popular New Age classic is finally available again to challenge the assumptions of a new generation of readers and help them develop their potential through new creative modes of thinking. With a masterful synthesis of recent discoveries in physics, biology, and psychology, Pearce reveals the extraordinary relationship of mind and reality and nature's blueprint for a self-transcending humanity.

Spiritual Initiation and the Breakthrough of Consciousness

The Bond of Power

Spiritual Initiation and the Breakthrough of Consciousness

Explains the phenomenon of shaktipat, the spiritual transmission of power from a teacher to a devotee • Shows how technology has eroded personal power and how insight and awareness can play a higher role in our lives • Reveals how insight is the vehicle for profound self-transformation Shakti is the creative force, the bonding power, that holds the universe together. Shaktipat is the moment when enlightenment is conferred upon a student instantaneously by his master’s touch. The guru conferring shaktipat creates a bond of power in those who have accepted him or her as their teacher. In Spiritual Initiation and the Breakthrough of Consciousness Joseph Chilton Pearce describes his experience of shaktipat from his teacher Swami Muktananda. From this awakening Pearce experiences a dramatic shift of mind and comes to the realization that perception is reality and that insight is our only vehicle for profound self-transformation. Oneness with God is the birthright of every individual, though we are culturally vaccinated to resist experiencing this higher consciousness. Our search for objective truth has lead us not to wholeness, but instead to the belief that we have no bond to each other, to God, or to an inanimate, physical world. Our technology reduces our ability to experience revelation and leads us instead toward the chatter of confused thinking. The challenge faced by modern humanity, which is the challenge Muktananda gave to his students, is to passionately gather up the scattered fragments of our lives and channel them into the creative realm, where with insight or revelation we will be able to become more than ourselves.

The Death of Religion and the Rebirth of Spirit

A Return to the Intelligence of the Heart

The Death of Religion and the Rebirth of Spirit

Social visionary Joseph Chilton Pearce’s indictment of cultural imprinting as the cause of humankind’s cruel and violent behavior • Refutes the Neo-Darwinist assumption that violence is inherent in humanity • Identifies religion as the sustaining force behind our negative cultural imprinting • Shows how infant-adult interactions unconsciously block the creative spirit We are all too aware of the endless variety of cruel and violent behavior reported to us in the media, reminded daily that in every corner of the world someone is suffering or dying at the hands of another. We have to ask: Is this violence and cruelty endemic to our nature? Are we, at our foundation, really so murderous? In The Death of Religion and the Rebirth of Spirit, Joseph Chilton Pearce, life-long advocate of human potential, sounds an emphatic and convincing no. Pearce explains that beneath our awareness, culture imprints a negative force-field that blocks the natural rise of the spirit toward its innate nature of love and altruism. Further, he identifies religion as the primary cultural force behind this negative imprinting. Drawing from recent neuroscience, neurocardiology, cultural anthropology, and brain development research, Pearce explains that the key to reversing this trend can be found in the interaction between infants and adults. The adult mind-set effectively compromises the infant’s neural and hormonal interactions between the heart and the higher evolutionary structures of the developing brain, thus keeping us centered primarily in our most primitive and defensive neural foundations, generation after generation. Pearce shows us that if we allow the intelligence of the heart to take hold and flourish, we can reverse this unconscious loss of our true nature.