Talk at Watkins Books online

What is the meaning of the disenchantment of our age? Is the ego a clue to a way forward, not a hindrance? What might the next steps in the evolution of human consciousness look like?

These questions, and more, were explored by Owen Barfield. He was a member of the famous Oxford literary group, the Inklings, and the one whom C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were said to have had the most innovative ideas.

In this talk, drawing from his new book A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling, and the Evolution of Consciousness, I outline Owen Barfield’s ideas and what they tell us about ancient philosophy, mystical Christianity and our spiritual flourishing today.

Barfield studied how the meaning of words changes over time, and saw that they were fossils of consciousness. The evolving human perception of ourselves, others, nature, the cosmos and the gods can therefore be traced and, moreover, its meaning understood.