Category: Blog

Philosophy as Awakening: Stoics, Epicureans and others

Ancient philosophy is radically unlike modern philosophy, in ways that are fascinating and potentially life-changing. It’s clear that pre-socratics such as Pythagoras were more like monks than professors, and Socrates set an agenda that Plato embraced as a remaking of

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New online guide to the imagination

My new online course with The Idler is The Idler Guide to the Imagination. It’s available at half price until Monday 3rd September. It’s a practical and passionate plea for an imaginative approach to life. – It shows how imagination

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Understanding the ego

I’ve begun a new series of talks on inner life and seeing with the eye of the soul called How To See Spiritually. Previous talks have looked at why spirituality is important, soul, wonder, interiority, scepticism and parables. Now I

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Transcendence and ecstasy

The BBC Radio 3 Proms Plus conversation I had with Christopher Harding and Hette Howes on ecstatic states, that ranged from Plato to Catherine of Siena to Timothy Leary, is online as a podcast.

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William Blake’s eternal vision

I wrote this piece for Christian Today, following the unveiling of the beautiful new gravestone for William Blake in Bunhill Fields. On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered in a damp, London cemetery called Bunhill Fields for the unveiling of a

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Spiritual evolution

We live in an unprecedented age for spirituality. Spiritual practices that were originally confined to relatively isolated traditions are being used and investigated by numerous individuals and an increasing number of scientists. In this latest Sheldrake-Vernon dialogue, Rupert and I

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The meaning of the selfie

I’ve a piece published in the Church Times on the selfie and its Christian origins. A taster: THE precursors to the selfie are part of what is now called art. Take the haunting Fayum mummy portraits: these naturalist likenesses, painted

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Understanding parables

I’ve begun a new series of talks on inner life and seeing with the eye of the soul called How To See Spiritually. Previous talks have looked at why spirituality is important, soul, wonder, interiority and scepticism. Now I turn

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How do I learn to see spiritually?

I very much enjoyed speaking with Kenny Primrose, of examinedlife.com. Our conversation focused on the question, How do I learn to see spiritually? It’s online here and ranges over psychotherapy and music, poetry and Plato. A taster: “We don’t appreciate

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Why spiritual people avoid church

This article was originally published in the Church Times. I often give talks to people sociologists refer to as “nones” or “spiritual but not religious”. We meet at summer festivals or evening groups. And the reaction to a mention of

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