The Small Communities Solution
Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters)
In these turbulent times when wars, religious strife, stifling bureaucracy and urban decay threaten our very humanity, reducing us to social statistics, a fresh approach to the creation of a truly viable society is desperately needed.
In this intellectual tour de force, Swami Kriyananda analyzes with deep insight the views expressed by many of the great thinkers in the West, including Plato, Copernicus, Machiavelli, Malthus, Adam Smith, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud. He studies their conceptions and misconceptions about the individual's relationship to himself and to society. He shows where the influence of these thinkers has proved adverse, then offers deeply considered, fresh alternatives. Kriyananda urges the reader to resist the hypnosis of "intellectual authority." Seek the key to a happy and fulfilled life, he says, in personal integrity.
In his last chapter he draws on his own experience in developing cooperative communities. He describes how these communities can encourage a commonsense way of life, deepen human relationships, and inspire people to fulfill their own higher potentials. Hope for a Better World! offers compelling solutions to many of the challenges that face humanity today. Indeed, it succeeds—originally and excitingly—in offering real hope for a better world.
What Others Are Saying
"A splendid book to dispel the cynicism of our times and to re-assert the practical idealism of cooperative life."
—Robert V. Hine, Professor of History, University of California, Riverside and Irvine, and author of California's Utopian Colonies
"Kriyananda takes us on a fascinating journey backward in time in order to explore the future of human relationships. He guides us through the history of Western thought to arrive at a deep understanding of our evolutionary moment—the expansion of human consciousness. Like a good storyteller, Kriyananda leaves us waiting breathlessly to hear more, and how we can put ourselves on this path to a better world."
—Louise Diamond, PhD, President of PeaceTech and author of The Courage for Peace and The Peace Book
"An original thinker who is passionately hopeful for humanity, Kriyananda examines why intentional communities so often fail, even when sincere, enthusiastic people set out with determination to build community . . . . Kriyananda reveals hidden legacies from philosophers of the past that influence our thinking today—how their conceptions of the individual in relation to society directly affect our current relationships . . . . [His] intention is to clear out deadwood, but also to supply us with fresh building material. With shifts in thinking that are not that difficult, more and more successful communities could blossom. This book cries out for further study and commentary."
"I am amazed by this book. Kriyananda examines why certain societies of the past failed, and how others in future might succeed. His reflections are the most persuasive I've ever encountered."
—Milton Staackman, University of Hawaii, from the Foreword
"Kriyananda brings us new hope by pointing to human potentials deeper than materialistic and Darwinian expectations. This is not a 'utopian' work. Its reasoned analyses are based on clear and demonstrated facts."
—Maria Donzelli, Professor of the History of Philosophy, Oriental Institute of Naples, Italy
"Kriyananda reviews the thinking, conclusions, and errors of many of the great, significant minds of past centuries, and culls from that rich body of information insights for a better world, seeded in the cooperative community."
—David Feinstein, PhD, co-author of The Mythic Path
"As we enter the 21st century, there is a need for a reevaluation of the various philosophical paths that have brought us to this point in history, not to critique the past, but to throw light on new opportunities for creating a better future. Kriyananda performs this task in admirable fashion. He gives us an important testament to the strength and promise of cooperative communities as stepping stones to that future."
—David Spangler, author of Everyday Miracles and Reimagination of the World
"[A] timely proposal towards crossing the morass of meaninglessness found in so much modern philosophical and scientific interpretation. It is also deceptively simple, as profound ideas often are: cooperative communities. As a college instructor in the behavioral and social sciences, I look forward to sharing his message with my own students to stimulate their own thinking."
—Patricia Kirby, Ed.D., M.A., Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland University College
"Often I have asked myself is this apparently impossible dream [of a better world] capable of being realized someday? Reading, understanding, and enjoying this book has given me the hope that a world like that is truly a possibility."
—Dr. Nora Tomosoiu, Academy of Academic Studies, Bucharest, Romania
"This uniquely fascinating book distills insights on how we, as individuals, can achieve the fulfillment to which all of us aspire. Though ideal forms of society have been discussed and debated for thousands of years, never before have they been presented as Kriyananda has done, thanks to his thirty years of experience as the founder of communities that actually work. He has inspired countless people around the world to hope that a better future may await mankind."
—Maria Donatella Caramia, Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Rome
"This is a remarkable book. If you are someone who has studied history, philosophy, or the sciences, and have an interest in the future of the human race, you will find this engagingly written book fascinating and a 'must read.' Every college and university should make this required reading for their students."
—Peter Van Houten, MD, Medical Director, Sierra Family Medical Clinic
"In this groundbreaking new book Swami Kriyananda explores with deep insight and intuition the thinking of some of the West's most influential minds. He then takes us 'out of the box' in an exhilarating journey that profoundly questions these conclusions and puts forth some simple yet powerful alternatives. Kriyananda is eminently practical. In the last chapter, he shares his vision of cooperative communities as a way for the individual to move forward spiritually, while thriving in an environment of kindred souls and rich, caring human relationships."
—New Renaissance Books
"In these turbulent times when wars, religious strife, stifling bureaucracy, and urban decay threaten our very humanity, reducing us to social statistics, a fresh approach to the creation of a truly viable society is desperately needed. . . . [Kriyananda] analyzes a variety of viewpoints on society and draws on his own experience in developing cooperative communities, describing how they can encourage a commonsense way of life, deepen human relationships, and inspire people to fulfill their own higher potentials. Hope for a Better World! offers compelling solutions to many of the challenges we face today. Indeed, it succeeds—excitingly—in offering real hope."
—The Light Connection