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Healing Civilization

Dr. Claudio Naranjo

Foreword by Jean Houston


Cover illustration by Jaclyne Scardova


Published by Rose Press/

Gateways Books and Tapes

(Advance copy)



Claudio Naranjo is at the forefront of those seeking to transform the world. For anyone wanting to make a difference for the better, Healing Civilization is a must-read! I heartily recommend it.”

  —Michael Toms ~ Founding President, New Dimensions Radio; author, Joseph Campbell in Conversation with Michael Toms , and A Time for Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy


“Scholar, poet of the possible, [Claudio Naranjo] is an explorer of the outer reaches of inner space. His depth soundings of the wells of history and civilization resound with the echo of one who hears the pathology while seeking the song of the new mythos of who we are, where we have been, and what we yet can be.”

Jean Houston (from the Foreword) ~ author, The Possible Human 


“In Healing Civilization, [Naranjo] has situated our crisis of civilization in a global and historical context, and presents a stirring call and an exciting foundation for a truly transformative education.

Alfonso Montuori ~ Professor, Transformative Studies/Transformative Leadership, California Institute of Integral Studies

I leave the joy of this discovery to the reader.”

Mitchell Ginsberg, Ph.D. ~ author, The Far Shore, The Inner Palace, and Calm, Clear, and Loving (forthcoming).



Dr. Claudio Naranjo

~ the world-famous pioneer of consciousness and healing who brought the Enneagram of Personality to the United States ~ now turns his penetrating and compassionate focus on healing society, based on his over 30 years working with the transformation of individuals. This book is just what our times needs, and is a book for all time.

Advance copies of Healing Civilization can be purchased now

by scrolling down to "Purchasing Details."

The official publication date is Spring 2010.



About the Book

Contents of the Book

Foreword by Jean Houston

Chapter Excerpt

Additional Books by Dr. Naranjo

Additional Information about Dr. Naranjo

Purchasing Details




The renowned Chilean-born and -trained psychiatrist ~ who pioneered much of what we now know as “the Consciousness Movement” of the 1970s, and now (in his seventies) is still looking into the depths of what human beings are capable of in leading authentic, meaningful lives ~ examines how Western Civilization, especially in the United States, came to its current, dangerous pass…


And he points us towards the real possibility of a caring, harmonious society based on whole people.


A profound, compassionate thinker, Naranjo turns his attention in Healing Civilization to the root cause of our civilization's crisis. He finds that all its troubling manifestations with which we are all-too-familiar—violence, misogyny, racism, economic injustice, religious intolerance, corporate greed, and so on—come from a single origin: patriarchy.


But this is no mere mouthing of the word, or even the concept. Healing Civilization reveals how—over the centuries—the “patriarchal mind” has made its way into all of us, causing us to discount or do violence to the other two aspects of our inner being (the Mother and the Child) in outer as well as inner forms. This steeping in patriarchal consciousness has been with us so long that we are hardly aware of it; yet its taint has touched every level of our lives, including our economies, our ways of treating children, our dependence on media distraction, and even (especially) our relation to ourselves.


Brilliantly weaving together history, anthropology, religion, economics, education, psychological development, personal growth, political oppression, and transformative awareness, Naranjo exposes patriarchy to illuminate our own current situation.


Yet for all the sobering weight of his findings, Naranjo's message is truly one of hope.

The good news is that—with all civilization's outer manifestations in politics, the economy, religion, education, and so on—healing civilization is an inside job. Each of us has the power (and necessity) to develop and integrate a balanced father-mother-child within—for our own well being and for the healing of the entire planet.


Healing Civilization is both a warning and a promise. And if we follow both, the reward will be a world we will cherish living in—a heaven on earth.




Foreword by Jean Houston

Introduction by Arno Vogel

A Preliminary Note, by Claudio Naranjo

Chapter 1: A Complex Problematique and Its Silenced Root

Chapter 2: Totila Albert and His Vision of a Tri-une Society

Chapter 3: Civilization as Hubris

Chapter 4: Patriarchy Today

Chapter 5: The Patriarchal Mind

Chapter 6: The Alternative to Patriarchal Society

Chapter 7: A Tri-Focal Education to Transcend Patriarchy

Chapter 8: Healing Educators to Transform Education

Chapter 9: Epilogue





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Foreword by Jean Houston




From Chapter 1, "A Complex Problematique and Its Silenced Root"



That civilization is in crisis can no longer be denied by anyone currently alive on our planet. And yet this is not a new situation. Less than a century ago, in Freud's final book, Civilization and Its Discontents, he proposed that civilization's malaise was the inevitable consequence of its incompatibility with human nature, and therefore with health and happiness.

Over many years, Freud's pessimism has come under criticism—not only regarding what is possible for the future, but also mainly regarding the natural goodness of human beings. Yet as we enter the third millennium, we cannot help but appreciate the truth that his great prophetic mind perceived with a lucidity unshadowed by the sentimentalism of the common man: that civilization as we know it is incompatible with health, and will continue to be so in its current form.

Yes: Human nature—which mythic language wisely declares to have been created in God's image and likeness—is incompatible with civilization, which is intrinsically anti-instinctive and pathogenic.

But also, no: for humanity will not be incapable of transcending the form of collective living that they adopted at the turn of the Bronze Age—a form that even now is transmitted through the generations to its descendants. And we have reason to hope that the implicit goodness of human nature—once it has been at least partially liberated from the prison of its blindness and millennial evil, and can leave its obsolete institutions and modes of thinking behind—may finally evolve towards a beneficial coexistence and actually find that happiness prophesied by the great spiritual traditions of antiquity.


As a professional dedicated to assisting the therapeutic and spiritual evolution of individuals, I have witnessed countless examples of how people embark on a process of transformation by becoming aware of themselves, aided by appropriate intention and effort. This process, given sufficient time and application, progressively deactivates the conditioned, pathogenic childhood personality. Beyond even that, it leads to the emergence of a deeper level of awareness than that of thinking, emotions, desires, or sensations: a more profound awareness, in which the experience of being and the felt meaning of life have their foundation. Although this constitutes our true nature, in our so-called civilized condition it ordinarily lies in a darkened, or veiled, condition—as if asleep.

My experience as a therapist working with groups over the last three decades has nurtured not only my trust in the intrinsic goodness of humans and in the individual's possibility of leaving destructiveness behind, but also my hope in collective transformation. And now that humanity is undergoing a planetary crisis, I must admit to being apocalyptic —if by this one means a person who hopes that, in spite of the life-or-death dimension of our crisis, we have what we need within us to ensure that it will not be a fatal one.

Many civilizations have risen and faded away, as Arnold J. Toynbee has well argued, and others (like our own) have been transformed through something akin to hybridization. But there is yet to be a civilization that undergoes the death-and-rebirth process that we have come to recognize as the essence of individual transformation, as manifest through the experience of those who have completed it: the prophets, enlightened individuals, and mythic heroes. In light of this vision, let us hope that the decaying structure of Western Christian civilization learns to die well, so that the regeneration of our social body may take place under the best of possible conditions.

How can we not hope for such a collective death-and-rebirth, when the commercial interests of the powerful devastate our environment, our values, our quality of life, our education, our culture, and even life itself.

And how can we not hope that the destruction of life and the human mind, to date, will at least stimulate awareness, and thus accelerate a regenerative process—in the same way that diseases indirectly cause their own cure by stimulating the organism's defenses. Funny as it may sound, the North American Sufi, E. J. Gold, did not find it at all absurd to write (in a 1980s humor magazine), “As Brother Rabbit said, maybe civilization is nature's way of telling us to slow down.”

Yes, the rhythm of life speeds up as civilization advances. And it would seem that we have no more time left for listening to the voices of the past. The very rhythm of civilization's growth seems to be gathering speed, and we feel it sweep us away in its impetuous current. Civilization even seems to feed on our energies like a cancer, without delivering the satisfactions that we expected from its progress.

It was during the mid-1960s—a cultural turning point—that I first wrote about the twilight of patriarchal civilization. The rise of a new consciousness was in the foreground, expressed through therapeutic revolution, feminism, ecology, the defense of civil rights and democratic values, and other libertarian initiatives. At the same time, however, a cultural death was also taking place: the essence of the counter-culture involved the desire to leave behind old forms of life and obsolete solutions.

Yet the new anti-authoritarianism of the sixties seemed only the most recent stage of a revolutionary process that first began in the Renaissance, continued during the Reformation, and blossomed during the Enlightenment (with the weakening of the Old Regime, the rise of the bourgeoisie, and the independence of the American colonies). This progression was to culminate in Nietzsche, whose statement “God is dead” reflected the quest for a spiritual truth beyond the forms and language of traditional religion.

However, it has only been since the 1980s that the darker aspect of our collective death-and-rebirth has emerged into the foreground. Indeed, this cultural death is evident not only in our loss of values and in the degradation of wisdom into mere information, but also in the generalized devaluation of our earlier points of reference. Much of the Western world's population is now disenchanted with governments, authorities, experts, ideologies, and even science and philosophy, not to mention religions. The cynicism of the times is mirrored in a total relativism that finds voice in the writings of the post-modern thinkers, who not only observe the world's disenchantment but also share in it. Surely, such total relativism has been a response to violence, stupidity, and injustice, and reflects a greater understanding of history. Perhaps it may even be viewed as a good thing, in light of our need to free ourselves from the chains of a past that still conditions us, even as we boast that we have left all ideology behind.

For it is evident that during the last few decades, when our collective situation has grown more critical than ever, the ideological pendulum has swung towards a new conservatism, in which conformity again prevails over the ever-rising popular impulse towards change. And although the societal illness continues, the dissonance between facts and opinions has lent it a new flavor: it deals with a vague malaise—a vague suspicion that we are sinking and there is nothing we can do about it.


Our civilization is indeed dying, at the same time that millions are spent on the art of distraction. The communications media is used to deceive us into feeling that everything is okay, and that our problems will be resolved via technology.

Yet more than just our civilization is threatened. If we persist in our way of living, over the course of a limited number of generations, our abused planet will barely allow a small fraction of our present human population to survive. Still, we hardly react. Individual interests in profit seem to prevail, far beyond people's interest in the common good. “Every man for himself” is today's prevailing stance, as before an impending shipwreck.

I believe that much of our collective impotence derives from hopelessness. And this hopelessness, itself, derives from a lack of true perception. We do not see what lies at the heart of our problems—and, correspondingly, what we can do to remedy our critical predicament.

It is the contention of this book that the root of our social problems has not been properly understood, and that therefore politics is much like the field of medicine, before scientific discoveries were made enabling physicians to properly diagnose infectious diseases and prescribe the corresponding cures. To better explain what this analogy means, I invite you to now turn with me now to a consideration of our multi-faceted problematique. This will provide a springboard for my thesis concerning the diagnosis of humanity's fundamental, yet, obscured social problem.

 Copyright © 2009 by Claudio Naranjo. All rights reserved




Claudio Naranjo is the author of 13 previous books in English, including: The End of Patriarchy and the Dawning of a Tri-Une Society (the prequel to Healing Civilization) ~ The Enneagram of Society ~ The One Quest: A Map of the Ways of Transformation ~ The Divine Child and the Hero ~ The Healing Journey ~ and others. Additional books have been published in Spanish, Italian, German, and Russian. For details and ordering information, see his website,


A psychiatrist trained in his native Chile, Claudio Naranjo was a Fullbright visiting scholar at the Harvard Center for Studies in Personality, and a Guggenheim Fellow at the University of California Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR). He was one if the three Esalen successors to Gestalt Therapy founder Fritz Perls. In addition, he has been called the “father of the Enneagram community,” in that he brought the Personality Enneagrams to the U.S.

A Fellow of the London Institute for Cultural Research and a member of the U.S.A. Club of Rome, in 2005 he was awarded a doctorate in Education honorus causae by the University of Udine. Now in his seventh decade, Dr. Naranjo continues to teach and speak internationally, catalyzing spiritual growth, emotional healing, individual transformation, educational reform, and the transformation of the world.




Healing Civilization will be officially iin print in Spring 2010l. However, you may purchase your advance copy now, and receive it before the end of 2009.

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