THE FUTURE OF THE BODY: Explorations Into the Further Evolution of Human Nature
By Michael Murphy.
Jeremy P. Tarcher: Los Angeles, 1992.
602 pp. $30.00 (hardcover).  


Michael Murphy has written three novels—Jacob Atabe, Golf in the Kingdom, and An End to Ordinary History—but this book is his nonfiction magnum opus, the fruit of seventeen years of study and research as well as his experience as founder and guiding spirit of Esalen, the ongoing labo­ratory of transformation on Amer­ica’s western edge. His exhaustive scholarly research into the varieties of transformation and their history, inspired by his hands-on involvement in experiments with transfor­mative practices, has led him to hopeful conclusions:

Taken in its entirety, the material presented in this book suggests that human nature harbors extraordi­nary attributes that may appear in sickness, healing, or programs for growth, either spontaneously or through formal practice.

One of Murphy’s main messages is that we are not taking advantage of the knowledge we have on this crucial subject because it remains largely compartmentalized:

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