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A New Outlook on Evolution and the Future of Man


Gerald Heard

Monkfish Book Publishing reissue now available

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"History may be interpreted as the symptoms of a mental evolution," writes Gerald Heard in Pain, Sex and Time. "Man’s civilization is the shadow cast by his evolving consciousness." The evolution of his psyche is the sequel to the evolution of his physique. This mutation in his psyche, in consciousness, is a spiral of ascent, of continuing evolution. He must leap forward or sink, either mutate or hypertrophy.


"In man is a store of evolutionary energy and that energy can give rise to his further, purely psychical evolution. Pain and pleasure, agony and lust, are the two fundamental polar sensations which lie at an equally rudimentary level. Only when this dazing sensationalism is transcended, can consciousness experience sustained intensity of being. This process indicates a possible ending of pain, a possible solving of the problem of sex, and also the possibility of a completely new step in evolution."


By means of "a specific training" this evolutionary change can be brought about. Then humankind’s purpose will be revealed: "The only possible meaning of life is that here, under Time, human consciousness discovers itself. The Universe exists for the emergence and development of free creative consciousness." By this advance in consciousness we, "are able to reinterpret correctly the experience which we call Time and, doing so, we see Reality no longer distorted, but as it is. Then we shall have fulfilled the purpose of our Being, the meaning of evolution," concludes Gerald Heard in Pain, Sex and Time.


Read excerpts of Gerald Heard's Introduction to Pain, Sex and Time


Synopsis of Pain, Sex and Time

by Dr. (Hon.) Rhea A. White


    "Heard's thesis is that in pain and sex we can tap the unused energy that could enable humans to reconnect with their capacity to evolve further, not physically but in the development of our consciousness. He reviews the techniques used throughout history to enable us to become aware of "a reality beside which the life left behind was a stifling shadow." This major shift would allow us to abandon our selfish ego-wishes and give us the means to build a new world in which rampant competition is replaced by willing cooperation and the conscious realization that to save ourselves we must save all others first."

- January 2004



Featured review of Pain, Sex and Time

by noted yoga authority

Georg Feuerstein


    "I first encountered Heard's 1939 book some thirty years ago back in England, Heard's land of birth, and was greatly impressed by its originality. I am delighted that this work is back in print, because it still packs a lot of punch.

    "Heard's work—and he published a number of insightful books—was one of the ideological sources of the human potential movement and was also instrumental in the spreading of Vedanta in the Western hemisphere.

    "As with several of his other publications, Heard adopted a broad evolutionary perspective in Pain, Sex and Time that was catholic enough to still hold appeal today. More specifically, he argued that in its march through the ages, humanity acquired an increased vitality that not only makes us more sensitive to pain but also pushes us beyond mere biological evolution to the transformation of our mental capacities.

    "Enormously learned, Heard—who was the only intellectual that H. G. Wells would listen to on the radio—had at his fingertips a vast array of cultural data and philosophical ideas, which make Pain, Sex and Time informative and entertaining reading even today, though we may not always agree with him.

    "His plea for conscious self-transcendence and self-transformation remains vitally important, and given the predicament of our present-day world is arguably more urgent than ever."


Used by kind permission of Georg Feuerstein. Copyright © 2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form requires prior permission from Traditional Yoga Studies. Dr. Feuerstein's new book is Green Yoga, coauthored with Brenda Feuerstein.


      Pain, Sex and Time was the favorite book of legendary screen icon James Dean.

     (source - James Dean: The Mutant King by David Dalton, Straight Arrow Books, 1974, p. 263.)



PAIN, SEX AND TIME is available for purchase at the sites below:


Barnes & Noble

Bodhi Tree


Vedanta Press














Reviews of



Aldous Huxley

"Gerald Heard's book represents a significant attempt to reinterpret in contemporary terms and in the light of modern knowledge the teachings, practical no less than theoretical, of the traditional religious philosophies, with their profound optimism about human potentialities, their empirically justified pessimism about man and society as they mostly are and have been. At a moment like the present, when the humanistic philosophy of progress is revealing itself as hopelessly unrealistic, and when ever-increasing numbers of reflective people are sinking through bewilderment into despair, the publication of Pain, Sex and Time seems particularly opportune."


Professor Huston Smith from his Foreword to the 2004 edition of Pain, Sex and Time

"Overnight, the book in hand converted me from the scientific worldview to the vaster world of the mystics. I applaud the decision to bring this book back into print."


E. M. Forster in The Listener

"One could spend all one's time praising the book but that is not what the writer wants. He wants to help the human race. These are the problems to which he brings his selflessness, his erudition, his great intellectual powers."


Dr. (Hon.) Rhea A. White

"Although published in 1939, this book was way ahead of its time. It should attract a large readership in this third millennium whose minds it will open to new ways of thinking about pain, sex, time, and a leading-edge spirituality that may just now be coming into its own."


Michael Murphy

"Gerald Heard was a prime catalyst in the founding of Esalen. Heard’s evolutionary mysticism, as encapsulated in Pain, Sex and Time, represents the basic worldview that I believe is trying to emerge in the world today. I am very pleased to see this book re-issued, and I heartily recommend it as a classic that has stood the test of time."


Harry Allen Overstreet

"Exciting reading to any one who has learned to despair of what we have liked to call our human achievements."


Marvin Barrett in Parabola (read the entire review)

"It is my hope that the youth of a new age every bit as threatening and chaotic as the one I faced in the 1940s will find in these pages an illuminating vision of where the human race came from and where it might still aspire to go."

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