Category: Blog

Lecture on the evolution of consciousness and Owen Barfield

It’s been noted that the human experience of life has changed over time, and that during an “axial age”, in the middle of the first millennium BCE, a consciousness that is akin to our own first began to emerge. It’s

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Confronting a crisis the idle way

This piece was written for The Idler magazine. One of things that happens when countries, organisations and individuals fall into crisis is that they lose the power to imagine how things can be different. They feel that there’s no happy

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Psychedelics: Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogue 46

Rupert Sheldrake and I have published the latest in our discussions, on psychedelics. Many people today seek an expansion of mind with them. So what other worlds, intelligences and entities are being encountered and sought in such experiences? We focus

Posted in Blog, Science Set Free, Talks

BBC Radio 4 Lent Talk

“I feel nervous if I’m called a Christian. It feels like being boxed in. But I can also see that buried within Christianity lies a transformative wisdom. But what is it, and how might it work? Well, take the figure

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The presence of angels

This article was written for Christian Today in response to the publication of Angels: A Visible and Invisible History by Peter Stanford. Angels are popular. Many people believe in them and, for a supposedly secular age, a surprising number of

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Pilgrimage – a discussion

Rupert Sheldrake and I have published the latest in our dialogues, on pilgrimage. Millions of people around the world make pilgrimages. In a supposedly secular Europe, the spiritual practice is booming too. We discuss the revelatory experiences that people have

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Owen Barfield – new FAQ intro

I’ve put together an introduction to Owen Barfield’s life and ideas, from the soul of words to the evolution of consciousness, running through these questions: Who was the last Inkling, Owen Barfield? Why did C.S. Lewis call Barfield his “anti-self”?

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Romantic Philosophy – new online course

The Idler Guide to Romantic Philosophy with Mark Vernon explores a way of engaging with life that is often eclipsed in a world of utility, science and the rational. The Romantics were convinced that feeling opens reality to us and

Posted in Blog, Courses

Icons, religious and secular

I hugely enjoyed this conversation on Radio 3’s, Free Thinking, particularly picking up the parallels between religious and secular icons with my fellow interlocutors. Much can be explained by remembering how religious icons exceed themselves – they’re material objects speaking

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Smile at New Year resolution slips

Failing already at your New Year resolutions? I’ve a piece published here on why that could be a blessing. In short: willpower is a trap. It perpetuates the fight between the parts of you at odds with one another. But

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