In a wide arc from the Paleolithic to the present day, this book explores the changing structure of human experience and its impact on the dynamics of cultures, civilizations, and political ideas.

The main thesis is a paradigm shift: the structure of human experience is not a universal constant but changes over time. Looking at the entire range of human history, there are a total of nine transformations, beginning with conscious perception and imagination in the Paleolithic and ending, for the time being, in modern times with the discovery of the unconscious. In between, this book explores six more transformations that took place in different regions and at different times, which include a sense of order, self-reflection, the eye of reason, spiritual experience, as well as the experience of creativity and of consciousness. As such, The History of Experience presents both a cross-cultural and comparative theory of experience and cultural dynamics, and an exploration of rich materials from East and West.

This book is of great use to upper-level undergraduates, postgraduates, and scholars interested in the relationship between history, human experience, culture, and political order.

chapter |2 pages


chapter |6 pages


chapter 1|12 pages

Exploring Experience

chapter 2|9 pages

The First Tree of Experience

chapter 3|26 pages

The Turn to Imagination

chapter 4|32 pages

A Sense of Order

chapter 5|25 pages

Reflections of the Self

chapter 6|32 pages

The Eye of Reason

chapter 7|16 pages

Exploring History

chapter 8|30 pages

The Life of the Spirit

chapter 9|41 pages

Creative Imagination

chapter 10|26 pages

The Turn to Consciousness

chapter 11|21 pages

The Inner Transcendence

chapter 12|4 pages

No End to History—An Epilogue