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Roadmap to Reality:  Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit.

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Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
Testing Assumptions: Quest for the Real Reality
      Layers of Consciousness: Preconscious | Magical | Mythical | Sequential | Systems | Holistic
            The Road to Sentience: Mystical | Observer | Nonlinear | Universal
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Roadmap to Reality
Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
by Thomas J. Elpel
Illustrated by Bonnie Andrich

Monkey on Tiger's back sketch.

      What if our entire experience of reality were based on a false assumption? In Roadmap to Reality, Thomas J. Elpel tests the assumption that we are a sentient (self-aware) species, and finds evidence suggesting otherwise. Like automatons, we copy beliefs and behaviors from generation to generation without consciously evaluating why we do what we do. We absorb a definition of reality and act on it, without ever questioning the source of that definition. In short, we don't act; we react.

      Roadmap to Reality is the quest to unravel the illusions to discover what reality really is. The journey follows the link between technology and thought, showing how hunter-gatherer, agricultural, industrial, and informational societies define reality in predictable ways. In essence, production technology dictates how we perceive cause and effect, how we solve problems, and how we approach parenting and governing. Roadmap to Reality sequentially follows simple ideas and commonsense logic to reveal how consciousness and worldviews evolve in layers over time.

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      Roadmap to Reality enables the reader to step outside of ordinary reality to obtain a fresh perspective on culture, government, prosperity, sustainability, and meaning. The quest takes the reader to the ends of the universe with a casual writing style, peeling back the layers of consciousness to discover the reality beyond. Roadmap to Reality will change your perspective of history and world events, and it will change you, enabling you to let go of preconceived notions about the nature of reality to discover a more holistic, more satisfying life experience. ISBN: 978-1-892784-29-2. May 2008. 260 Pages. Lavishly illustrated by Bonnie Andrich. Printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Cost: $30.

About the Author:
      Thomas J. Elpel's interest in wilderness survival skills and nature evolved into a quest for planetary survival and sustainability. Initial research in ecology and architecture led to questions about economics and decision-making.

      Elpel discovered that it is easy to achieve sustainable prosperity, but we are incapable of seeing the answers. This realization led to questions about psychology, worldviews, and the insight that our actions are driven by perceptions of reality. Elpel wrote Roadmap to Reality to help readers percieve reality from resourceful new perspectives. Elpel has also authored books on wilderness survival, botany, house-building, and economics.

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Roadmap to Reality:  Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit.       I finally got a chance to read Roadmap to Reality from cover to cover. I enjoyed it very much. It was very interesting and informative. Personally, I really enjoyed the parts about primitive cultures and how they processed information to form their views of the world around them. The later chapters were particularly interesting to me because I have been exploring the concepts of higher consciousness for quite some time.

      What I thought was the best thing about this book is it's ability to reach almost everyone at every level to some extent. Most of the other works about different world views or expanded consciousness are only going to reach readers who are primed and ready to receive them. The thing that your book does so brilliantly is to get the reader primed and ready in the earlier chapters for the broader and deeper messages of the later chapters. I believe this book is the perfect starting point for anyone to use to move farther down their path, no matter where they are on their path today.

      Roadmap to Reality, along with your other books, has added greatly to my expanding world view. I hope and expect that our paths will cross again someday.

--Clay Rhoden

Read Chapter One on-line:
- Quest for the Real Reality -

Table of Contents


Part I: Testing Assumptions
1. Quest for the Real Reality (full chapter)
2. Are We a Sentient Species?
3. The Illusion of Free Will
4. Language and Metaphor
5. Growing Up
6. Cultural Evolution

Part II: Layers of Consciousness
7. Preconscious Processing (summary)
8. Magical Processing (summary)
9. Mythical Processing (summary)
10. Sequential Processing (summary)
11. Systems Processing (summary)
12. Holistic Processing (summary)

Part III: The Road to Sentience
13. Transcendence
14. Mystical Processing (summary)
15. Observer Processing (summary)
16. Nonlinear Processing (summary)
17. Universal Processing (summary)
18. The Awakening

End Notes
Layers of Consciousness

Layers of Consciousness drawing.

Tour Summaries of the Layers of Consciousness

Dear Tom,

      As I read Roadmap to Reality I thought about how I would have liked to read this back when I was 23 years old, to go along with Daniel Quinn, Ed Abbey, John Muir, and Joseph Wood Krutch. Then, as I got halfway into the book, I realized that I am benefitting from it now at 38 years old. Your book is a fabulous text for facilitating one's exploration of human's role on Earth, past, present, and future. I dove head first into the journey. Throughout the journey, I considered if I am living a life of free will or rather mimicking cultural norms, and questioned what level of self-awareness I exercise from day to day.

      I like that you provide examples and discussions of sustainable living, and how humans can live more peacefully with each other and the land. It was refreshing to read about your challenge of wanting to make a positive difference in the world, while trying to blend relationship development with your family into the equation. I can relate with that. Roadmap to Reality is hopeful and inspiring because you explain the realistic options for solutions. Thanks, Tom, for guiding me on this intimate and critical path of awareness and thoughtfulness.

--Kevin Taylor

Outdoor Educator, Wilson, Wyoming

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      Looking for life-changing resources? Check out these books by Thomas J. Elpel:

Green Prosperity: Quit Your Job, Live Your Dreams.
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids

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