A celebrated saga from ancient India tells of a young king who mysteriously shifts character and gambles away his kingdom. By unraveling this legend’s secret meaning, Escaping Maya’s Palace launches a sleuthing expedition into a distortion in psychological and spiritual growth that lies buried deep at the root of modern civilization. Today this undetected malady contributes to woes ranging from opioid addiction to social alienation, the rise of authoritarian populism, and environmental catastrophe.

Informed by long-lost wisdom from the Mahabharata, one of the great epics of world literature, award-winning author Richard Sclove explains how our civilization descended into this blighted condition. Integrating a missing psychological dimension into social theory and world history, this intellectually daring and engrossing work clears a path for remaking modern politics and economics, social movements, and daily life. This book’s profound insights offer renewed hope to a world in crisis.

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“Mind-blowingly insightful. . . . Sclove’s book unmasks fatal defects in economic thought together with surprising opportunities for social and environmental salvation.”

Richard B. Norgaard, Professor Emeritus of Ecological Economics, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Development Betrayed

“This is a stunning and audacious work of grand social theory. It is utterly fascinating, vigorously argued, and as evidence based as one could ever imagine. Sclove exposes modernity as a covert struggle, stretching out over four centuries, between economic growth and psychospiritual self-realization. . . . An intellectual tour de force with momentous implications.”

Penny Gill, Professor Emeritus of Politics, Mount Holyoke College, and author of What in the World is Going On

Meet Dr Richard Sclove

Richard Sclove has been the Director of Strategic Planning at the Mind and Life Institute, co-founded by the Dalai Lama, and a Project Director at the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. He also founded and for thirteen years directed the Loka Institute, a nonprofit organization working nationally and internationally to make science and technology responsive to democratically decided priorities. Richard’s book Democracy and Technology received the Don K. Price Award of the American Political Science Association honoring “the year’s best book in science, technology, and politics.” He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He …

Meet the Author

Latest News & Blog Posts

“A Silver Lining to the Coming Economic Downturn” – Richard Sclove’s new essay in Tikkun magazine

Posted on 29th September, 2022

An excerpt from Richard’s Tikkun essay, based on the argument developed in his book, Escaping Maya’s Palace: “Having studied the …

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Watch a recording of the June 14th book-launch webinar!

Posted on 15th June, 2022

I dive into “Escaping Maya’s Palace” with my wife Marcie (the brilliant host of “Going Deeper Interviews”). Afterwards, we have …

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Book-Launch Webinar June 14th!

Posted on 10th June, 2022

Please join me on Tuesday, June 14th for a book-launch webinar at 8 pm US eastern time. I’ll be discussing …

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