Living Ethics:
The Way of Wholeness

by Donivan Bessinger

Contents , Comments

In today's complex world, thinking sincerely about ethics requires globalizing awareness, raising consciousness to encompass all of life. In this carefully documented integrative study, Dr. Bessinger gleans lessons from physics, biology, depth psychology and philosophy, and draws upon a surgeon's awareness of homeostasis, to offer "a basic primer for understanding the wholeness of creation," and to correlate the worldview of wholeness with Schweitzer's organic concept of reverence for life.

This internet version 2000 is an update with new introduction, of the work originally printed as Emerging From Chaos: Wholeness, Ethic, and New World Order, Orchard Park Press, 1993.

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Introduction to Living Ethics, 2000
Introduction to Emerging From Chaos, 1993

Part One: Wholeness and Ethic

1. How should we live?
2. Ethics and civilization
3. Worldview and ethics
4. Self view and ethics
5. World as system
6. The material cosmos
7. Biological systems
8. Human systems
9. Psyche as system
10. The collective unconscious
11. The collective conscious
12. Emerging from chaos

Part Two: Living Ethics

13. The Emerging worldview
14. The Psychological problem
15. Approaches to natural ethics
16. Good, ethics, and evil
17. Reverence for life and natural ethic
18. The ethical field
19. Metaethics
20. Comparative ethics
21. The ethical model
22. Ethics and the individual
23. Ethics and society
24. Ethics and new world order

Notes and Sources


Norman Cousins (Human Options; Albert Schweitzer's Mission) commented on Dr Bessinger's paper "Medical ethics and reverence for life", writing, "You penetrated through to the essence of Schweitzer's philosophy and I congratulate you."

Dr. David C. Miller, who worked with Schweitzer and later married Schweitzer's daughter, writes of Emerging From Chaos: "Dr. Bessinger did not work at Lambarene or personally know Schweitzer, but his book clearly attests to the profound understanding of Schweitzer's ethical philosophy he has gained in four decades of studying it. From his knowledge of general systems theory, quantum physics and Jungian psychology, and from his own formidable thinking, Bessinger develops from the basic precept of Reverence for Life a set of ethical principles appropriate for the kinds of medical decision-making demanded by the conditions of today."

Copyright 1993, with revision copyright 2000
by Donivan Bessinger. All rights reserved.

Originally printed as
Emerging From Chaos: Wholeness, Ethic, and New World Order
Orchard Park Press, 1993

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