Drawing on psychology, neuroscience, natural history, agriculture, medical law and ethics, Charles Foster, in Being a Human, makes an audacious attempt to feel a connection with 45,000 years of human history. He experiences the Upper Paleolithic era by living in makeshift shelters without amenities in the rural woods of England. He tests his five impoverished senses to forage for berries and roadkill and he undertakes shamanic journeys to explore the connection of wakeful dreaming to religion. For the Neolithic period, he moves to a reconstructed Neolithic settlement. Finally, to explore the Enlightenment, he inspects Oxford colleges, dissecting rooms, cafes, and art galleries. He finds his world and himself bizarre and disembodied, and he rues the atrophy of our senses, the cause for much of what ails us. This glorious, fiercely imaginative journey from our origins to a possible future ultimately shows how we might best live on earth — and thrive.
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