Books by Ralph H. Abraham

This is the comprehensive list of English editions. The most recent editions in reverse chronological order, with links to Titles available as ebooks marked ***.

Books, History & Philosophy

Schism: The Madness of Crowds, Toxicity of Social Media, Social Polarization, and Political Violence; A Cybernetic Approach,
Epigraph Books, Rhinebeck, NY, 2023.

This book targets the crisis in regulating the mechanisms of violence. It's goal is to bring modern mathematics, specifically catastrophe theory, to bear on the problems of social polarization, division, and the onset of civil war in the United States of America at the time of writing, Fall 2022. We will try to connect catastrophe theory to these problems with a minimum of mathematical mystification.

Vibrations and Forms: Finding from Psychedelic Adventures,
Epigraph Books, Rhinebeck, NY, 2021.

This book is a collection of writings, from 1973 to 2018, on a vibrational theory of mind. Here, mind includes higher mind, or cosmic cosciousness. The word vibrations is a material metaphor applied to an immaterial realm. This way of thinking is sometimes called emanationism. The material metaphor is derived from cymatics, a branch of acoustic physics dealing with the emergence of form from sonic vibrations forced upon a fluid.

Bolts from the Blue: Art, Mathematics and Cultural Evolution,
Epigraph Books, Rhinebeck, NY, 2011.
Six episodes from the history of mathematics.

This book is about the role of mathematics in the evolution of culture, and the evolution of mathematics itself. It aims to clarify the question: What is mathematics, and who is a mathematician? We believe that everyone has a native mathematical talent, before it is tainted in school by math anxiety.

Chaos, Gaia, Eros: A Chaos Pioneer Uncovers the Three Great Streams of History,
Epigraph Books, Rhinebeck, NY, 2011. Reprint of the 1994 edition.

This book collects evidence for a theory. Rather than expand this collage of information into a pretense of normal narrative, for you to recondense in your own mind, I have kept it in condensed form. The information is not in linear (one-dimensional) order. Its natural order is multidimensional: one-dimensional time, twodimensional space, plus many-dimensional ideas. Thus the same theme may be traced through time, over space, or through an evolution of ideas or myths. Wittgenstein wrote in the Preface to his Philosophical Investigations, The very nature of the investigation . . . compels us to travel over a wide field of thought criss-cross in every direction. Thus this book is really only a collection.

Demystifying the Akasha: Consciousness and the Quantum Vacuum,
Epigraph Books, Rhinebeck, NY, 2010.
Joint with Sisir Roy

In this book we prepose a mathematical model for the quantum vacuum, originally due to Requardt and Roy (see Chapter 6), as a model for consciousness. Although we have taken this model from the physics of the quantum vacuum, we do not mean to suggest that the quantum vacuum is identical to the field of consciousness. Rather, we take a mathematical model for the quantum vacuum and repurpose it as a model for cosmic consciousness. We were attracted to this model for its potential to incorporate several effects.

The Evolutionary Mind: Conversations on Science, Imagination, and Spirit, ***
Monkfish Books, Rhinebeck, NY, 2005. Reprint of the 1999 edition.
Joint with Rupert Sheldrake and Terence McKenna.

We have called this book The Evolutionary Mind because this title best summarizes the common themes of our discussions. Most are strongly influenced by the idea of evolution — of life, science, technology, culture, and indeed the entire cosmos — and also by the prospects for a greatly enlarged understanding of minds, expansion of experience, and transformations of consciousness beyond anything we can at present conceive. An earlier version of this book, called The Evolutionary Mind: Trialogues at the Edge of the Unthinkable, was published by Trialogue Press, Santa Cruz, in 1998.

Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness, ***
Park Street Press, Rochester, VT, 2001.
Joint with Rupert Sheldrake and Terence McKenna.

What is this book? A concerto of cosmologists? An atelier of thought dancers? A marching society of the ancient Gnostic order of metaphysical inebriates? Or have the spirits of Thomas Aquinas, Peter Abelard, and Saint Bonaventure come back to run rampant through the polymorphous parade of intellectual possibilities felt and known by each of these fellows? These trialogues are surely a minefield of mind probes, a singular sapient circle of gentlemen geniuses at their edgiest of edges. Their metaphors alone would leave a Muse in a muddle. Meeting yearly and, more recently, publicly with each other at Esalen, they raise through their conversations the rheostat of consciousness of them selves and their listeners. They cut loose from whatever remains of ortho dox considerations and become minds at the end of their tethers, who then re-tether each other to go farther out in their speculations. In so doing, they have figured out how to achieve one of the best of all possible worlds: the sharing of mental space and cosmic terrains over many years of deep friendship and profound dialogue. From the Foreword by Jean Houston.

Revised 17 March 2023 by Ralph