Sources: An anthology of contemporary materials useful for preserving personal sanity while braving the great technological wilderness by Theodore Roszak (50th anniversary)

by Bob Schwartz

Scholar and novelist Theodore Roszak is most famous for the book The Making of a Counterculture (1969), his appreciation, analysis and hope for a nascent alternative society. In 1972, he compiled a cornucopia of the most creative visions of that culture in Sources: An anthology of contemporary materials useful for preserving personal sanity while braving the great technological wilderness (out of print, no digital version available).

From the Introduction:

What are these sources for? I suppose for the only revolution I can see within this technocratic order still strong with contrived consensus: an accelerating disaffiliation and internal restructuring which will in time become the new society shaped and tested within the shell of the old.



Thomas Merton. Rain and the Rhinoceros
John Haines. “Poem of the Forgotten”
Kilton Stewart. Dream Exploration Among the Senoi
Carlos Castenada. The Psychedelic Allies
Meher Baba. Undoing the Ego
MANAS. The Mists of Objectivity
Abraham H. Maslow. I-Thou Knowledge
Michael Glenn. Radical Therapy: A Manifesto
Denise Levertov. “During the Eichmann Trial: When we look up”


Norman O. Brown. The Resurrection of the Body
Kay Johnson. Proximity
Paul Goodman. Polarities and Wholeness: A Gestalt Critique of “Mind,” “Body,” “External World”
Michael McClure. Revolt
Charlotte Selver. Awaking the Body
Pablo Neruda. “To the Foot from Its Child”
Dennis Saleh. “The Psychology of the Body”


Martin Buber. The Organic Commonwealth
Stanley Diamond. The Search for the Primitive
George Woodcock. Not Any Power: Reflections on Decentralism
Murray Bookchin. A Technology for Life
E. F. Schumacher. Buddhist Economics
Bill Voyd. Drop City
Peter Marin. The Free People
Patsy Richardson. No More Freefolk
Wendell Berry. “To a Siberian Woodsman”
Gary Snyder. “Amitabha’s vow”


Anonymous. “Smokey the Bear Sutra”
Edward Hyams. Tools of the Spirit
Joseph Epes Brown. The Spiritual Legacy of the American Indian
E. F. Schumacher. An Economics of Permanence
Gary Snyder and Friends. Four Changes
Ecology Action. The Unanimous Declaration of Interdependence
The Berkeley Tribe. Blueprint for a Communal Environment
Theodore Roszak. “Novum Organum”
Kenneth Rexroth. From “The Signatures of All Things”


R. D. Laing. Transcendental Experience
Herbert Marcuse and Norman O. Brown. Mystery and Mystification: An Exchange
Herbert Marcuse. Love Mystified: A Critique of Norman O. Brown
Norman O. Brown. A Reply to Herbert Marcuse
Lancelot Law Whyte. Morphic Man
Dane Rudhyar. The Zodiac as a Dynamic Process
Ronald V. Sampson. The Vanity of Humanism
Harold C. Goddard. William Blake’s Fourfold Vision
Alan Watts. Tao
Kathleen Raine. “The World”
Theodore Roszak. “Loyalty”

You may not be familiar with most of the authors, though you will be richer for knowing them. Some are essential (such as Thomas Merton, poet Gary Snyder and others). Some may be a bit more of their time, but creative and provocative and worth knowing. You may (hopefully not) dismiss this as tired nonsense circulating in the old days that has been proven silly and wrong, now favored and promoted only by nostalgic older people. It wasn’t wrong and isn’t silly.

We are, if you haven’t noticed, stuck. If it was obvious fifty years ago or five years ago, it is undeniable now. We are stuck, and if we are stuck while time moves forward, we are moving backward. If you think we have all the ideas and strategies we need to actually move forward, think again.

I’ve quoted Bobby Kennedy quoting Tennyson’s Ulysses before, and will for all my days. You should know it too:

Come, my friends,
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

Please let me know your thoughts.