Out of the Labyrinth

For close to two decades, Frankel’s professional focus was on sustainability—the attempt to create what the visionary thinker Buckminster Fuller called “a world that works for all.” During that time, he was increasingly troubled by the sense that something important was missing in the conversation about the problem. Self and society, one’s inner life and the external world—these were viewed, for the most part, as entirely separate matters. This split instinctively struck Frankel as wrong.

On March 11, 1999—he remembers the exact date—he had a passing thought about the nature of personal identity that turned into a framework with enormous explanatory power in matters in matters organizational, political, cultural and personal. This framework was the synthesizing perspective and “insight engine” he had been looking for. It is premised on the notion that we all have three subpersonalities inside us. We have a strategist who pursues goals, a ‘citizen’ who engages with others in the world, and a seeker who makes meaning out of the inputs our life experience gives us. The interplay of these three selves animates not only our own character development, but also the structures we overlay on the world.

This exploration is grounded in a very personal narrative about the author’s relationship with his father, the philosopher Charles Frankel, who with the author’s mother was murdered by home invaders in 1979.

“A riveting personal chronicle with important cultural implications. Raises the literature on sustainability to a new level. Destined to be a classic.” Hazel Henderson, author, Building a Win-Win World

“Frankel tells a compelling story in a compelling way. His is a voice that must be heard and, thankfully, it’s a lyrical voice that is sheer pleasure to read.” Marjorie Kelly, co-founder, Business Ethics magazine; author, The Divine Right of Capital.

“Informative and inspiring, Out of the Labyrinth makes a case for attaining sustainability by establishing a right balance between inner and outer, between personal, political and planetary.” Satish Kumar, editor-in-chief, Resurgence Magazine.

“The work of a first-class, learned mind and a sensitive spirit. These qualities combine to draw me into Frankel’s thought and take me to a place of vision, clarity and, yes, wisdom far beyond my own. This is a magnificent book and extremely important reading for anyone who yearns for a better world.” Ray Anderson, chairman, Interface Flooring Company.

“Out of the Labyrinth blends story and philosophy into a dazzling concoction that offers powerful guidance to us all. It offers brilliant insights into personal, cultural, and national realities and possibilities. Fascinating!” Thom Hartmann, author, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight

In “Out of the Labyrinth,” Carl Frankel has become a friend of evolution. He takes our hand and guides us through the labyrinth of ideas and possibilities, of dead ends and false paths, toward the “Integral Way” that realizes our full potential as Whole Beings. A beautiful work.” Barbara Marx Hubbard, President, Foundation for Conscious Evolution

Buy Now