Visionary Worlds

The Making and Unmaking of Reality

By Lee Irwin

Subjects: Transpersonal Psychology
Series: SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions
Paperback : 9780791428627, 222 pages, March 1996
Hardcover : 9780791428610, 222 pages, March 1996

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Table of contents

1 Creating the World
Myths of Beginning
History, then Civilization
Patterns of Truth
Falsehoods, then Denials
2 Destroying Illusion
Time Is Not Lineal
Space Is Not Empty
Life Is Not Suffering
Dreams Are Not Fantasy
3 Chaos and Confusion
Fear, Isolation, Death
Anger, Jealousy, Violence
Love, Passion, Possession
Ecstacy, Joy, Trauma
4 Recreating the World
Recalling the Past
Foreseeing the Future
Forgetting the Present
Unweaving the Woven
5 Accepting the Unacceptable
Neither Self Nor Selflessness
Neither Ignorance Nor Knowledge
Made, then Unmade

Considers the role and significance of imagination and the myth-making processes that engage human beings in constructing a viable, living world of meaningful relations, beliefs and social interactions.


Visionary Worlds examines the role and significance of imagination and the myth-making processes that engage human beings in constructing a viable, living world of meaningful relations, beliefs, and social interactions. In this process of "world-building," we each draw on a wide variety of ideologies--religious, philosophical, aesthetic or scientific--which often conflict and clash with one another in the struggle to evolve a coherent and meaningful worldview. This unpredictable and fallible process often requires considerable readjustment or revisions as the complexities of an increasingly pluralistic society impinge upon us with greater divergence and multiplicity. This work examines the ways in which we all make and unmake our reality as part of the challenge of seeking greater spiritual maturity and relatedness to others.

Lee Irwin is Director of the Religious Studies Program at the College of Charleston.


"We need a trans-global vision, and it is this kind of vision that the author presents. It's a brilliant poetically-rational argument for the need to bridge the countless 'two culture splits' that fragment the global human community (from competing spiritual paths to the more recent religion-science debates). Instead of bemoaning the lack of absolute certainty or embracing the dark vision of an utterly meaningless cosmos, the author shows us ways in which we can grasp the opportunities offered by the 'horizon of becoming as a dynamic transformation in which plurality is a healthy necessity for growth and evolution. '"--Ingrid H. Shafer, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

"The book is interesting to read, especially the pervasive elucidation of the visionary power of the human spirit in the 'affirmation of the mysterious, mystical, and vastness' of the deeper possibilities of being and the deconstruction of limited horizons, dogmatic theory, and absolute beliefs. The topic is a "The work is useful for personal growth and development, especially conveying understandings about a higher order vision based on cooperation, reflection, non-violence, and justice. Irwin envisions 'new patterns of relatedness with all life, all sentient beings, all planetary worlds. ' This viewpoint is useful for raising the consciousness of human beings, thus, promoting personal growth and nurturing a higher quality of life. " -- Ermel Stepp, Marshal University