The Illusion of Separation

Exploring the Cause of Our Current Crises

The Illusion of Separation
Giles Hutchins By (author)
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6.3 X 9.3 in
160 pg

PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition


Our modern patterns of thinking and learning are all based on observing a world of “things,” which we think of as separate building blocks. This worldview allows us to count and measure objects without considering their innate value; it provides neat definitions and a sense of control over life. However, this approach also sets humans apart from one another and from nature.

In reality—in nature—everything is connected in a fluid, dynamic way. “Separateness” is in fact an illusion we ourselves have created, and it is fast becoming a dangerous delusion that infects the ways we relate to business, politics, and other key areas of our daily reality.

Giles Hutchins suggests that the source of our current social, economic, and environmental issues springs from the misguided way we see and construct our world. With its roots in ancient wisdom, this insightful book sets out an accessible, easy-to-follow exploration of the bases of our current crises, offering ways to rectify those issues at their source and pointing to a new way ahead. 

C O N T E N T S:



1. The Short Story of Consumerism
2. A Dog-Eat-Dog World
3. The Cartesian Separation
4. The Formation of Western Philosophy
5. The Fall
6. The Evolution of Western Ways of Attending


7. Nature’s Way of Relating
8. Quantum Reality
9. Beyond Dualism
10. An Awakened Way of Relating
11. Awakening the Self
12. The Heart and Soul of It
13. Indigenous Wisdom
14. Crossing the Threshold


15. The Communion of Opposing Tensions
16. Natural Inclusion
17. The New Paradigm
18. The Awakening



“Ultimately, this well researched and timely book joins the call for a transformation of Western culture that is gradually gaining ground, as the reference base of this study demonstrates. It is a call for a different way of being, knowing perceiving and relating that corresponds to new scientific and philosophical developments. We ourselves have a role to play in this process by the way we lead our lives and relate to others as an expression and embodiment of Nature—this book provides some sensitive guidance about how best to do this while overcoming our historical conditioning.” —David LorimerNetwork Review 

“In this wonderful book, Giles Hutchins helps us to understand the cultural roots of the current crisis and suggests modes of leadership that can help us to find a more fruitful relationship with nature. Well written, well researched and full of insight, this book will open your heart and mind to a deeper way of being in the world.” —Stephan Harding, Head of Holistic Science, Schumacher College, author of Animate Earth 

“Giles Hutchins takes us on an amazing tour de force, the intellectual tour of our lives. With ease and incredible clarity, he reveals simultaneously the history and the philosophy and the implications of the dire plight Earth is now within. It is, in many ways, the history of greed, greed as the obsessive desire to have and control life. He does not let us hang there, however, for with equal engaged clarity, he shows us the alternative at hand, right before our noses, so close that it is like looking for our glasses, not seeing they are right on our face. Never before, that I know of, has the choice of life, true life, or the path of degradation been put before us with such clear equanimity.” —Robert Sardello, PhD, author of Love and the Soul: Creating a Future for Earth 

“The Illusion of Separation is a richly thought-provoking journey which teaches us how we can rediscover our humanity, and become inspirational leaders and authentic co-creators.” —Simon Robinson, author of Holonomics 

“This is a powerful and timely work that asks the most important question of all… Have we evolved from Homo sapiens sapiens (so good we named ourselves twice) into Homo hubris—the ape that lost its nature.” —Tim Smit, KBE, founder of The Eden Project 

“This is a well-expressed book on a fearfully important topic. Read it!” —Mary Midgley, Honorary PhD, author of Are You an Illusion? 

“As the world cries out for the shift in perception we know is needed, this is a positive response to the deep-seated crisis we face. We may be aware of being, but we have lost contact with the ‘beingness’ of which we are aware. But how do we "opt in" rather than opt out? How do we ‘participate’ in creation, rather than seek its control and mere consumption? Here lie the answers. Ours is not the generation to enjoy the fruits of such a shift. As this book so ably demonstrates, it is our task is to make the turning possible. The brilliance of it is that it explains how.” —Ian Skelly, broadcaster and writer, coauthor of Harmony by HRH the Prince of Wales 

“A treasure of a book that I will share widely; brilliantly written to uncover the truth about who we are and what we’ve done as a species. Should an intelligent extraterrestrial arrive one day to ask, ‘What happened?’ this insightful tour de force might well be the best guide available today.” —Chris Laszlo, PhD, author of Flourishing Enterprise: The New Spirit of Business 

“Giles Hutchins’s new book The Illusion of Separation took me on a roller-coaster journey of ideas, distant memories, broken dreams, and new horizons. He has spread a map at our feet and dares us to look. We, the prodigal species, who with Prometheus’ help, stole fire from the gods and imagined ourselves superior. And where does he leave us? Giles is on a personal journey walking home and the path is wide with room for me and you, and all our friends. Home to our true place of belonging.” —Tim “Mac” Macartney, Founder of Embercombe and author of Finding Earth, Finding Soul 

“Cutting through habitual denials and academic evasions, Giles Hutchins exposes the delusion at the root of our planetary crisis. And with a holographic richness of resources and disciplines, he discloses—indeed, activates—the attitude that might just provoke our needed evolution. This is a wise and urgent text: may it be heard, and soon!” —Catherine Keller, Professor of Constructive Theology, Drew University, author of On the Mystery 

“With clarity and insight Giles Hutchins analyses the roots of our present collective mind-set of separation, and yet shows how science and spirituality point to a deeper, inclusive consciousness. Here are signposts for a future that is vitally needed in the present moment, if we dare to cross the threshold and awaken to a direct experience of a world alive with love.” —Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, PhD. Sufi teacher and author, Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth 

“The biggest challenge facing our world today is the urgent need for the human species to evolve its collective ways of thinking. Not since reading the work of Fritjof Capra, have I read a book that so clearly brings together many of the ideas, research and writing that provide the ingredients to help us explore the transformation in our ways of seeing, thinking and being. The Illusion of Separation is medicine we all need.” —Peter Hawkins, author and Professor of Leadership, Henley Business School 

“I believe the thought revolution Hutchins describes in these two books [Illusion of Separation and Future Fit] are at the core of an emerging renaissance.” —Joseph H. (Jay) Bragdon, author of Companies that Mimic Life

All reviews

Author Bio

Giles Hutchins has twenty years of business experience, formerly as a management consultant for KPMG International, and more recently as Global Director of Sustainability for Atos International and as co-founder of BCI: Biomimicry for Creative Innovation. He speaks and writes about the transformation to new business methods, inspired by and in harmony with nature. His first book—The Nature of Business—received much praise on both sides of the Atlantic.