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Philosophy and Life

Recent writing and occasional thoughts on assorted matters.

  • How to be Christian – Jordan Peterson & Jonathan Pageau Mar 3, 2021- Some reflections on the fascinating conversation between Jordan Peterson and Jonathan Pageau: - Maybe it's not how to be a Christian but to realise how you already are - Why symbology, developmental maps and archetypes become as many rabbit holes - That the beginning and ground matters as much as the end and theosis - CS Lewis and what he…
  • Freedom to be – on Iain McGilchrist and Rowan Williams Feb 26, 2021- Iain McGilchrist and Rowan Williams were in dialogue on Friday 19th February 2021, a beautiful exchange that was sadly not recorded. Here I offer some thoughts on it, particularly in the light of reflections offered by Matt Segall. It concerns transcendence and immanence, being and becoming, eternity and processes in space and time - or to put it another way,…
  • Panpsychism – a conversation with Rupert Sheldrake Feb 19, 2021- The discussion of alternative worldviews, from various forms of materialism to types of idealism, has exploded in recent years, and the notion of panpsychism is in the middle of the debate. In this episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon explore the different types of panpsychism being proposed, from more conservative forms that are linked to materialism,…
  • Identity Crisis – on culture wars and the spiritual self Feb 18, 2021- My column from The Idler, Nov/Dec 2020. Cancel culture or keep culture? Where do you stand? Third positions seem excluded when it comes to these intense disputes, which inflame public debates over everything from gender identity to national history. Only, there are alternative responses, and an important option is found in wisdom traditions. Ancient philosophers wrote about it, and it…
  • Some thoughts on love Feb 11, 2021- This article is on Perspectiva's website... Many stories have been told about love, exploring the way it works, the way it pains, its delight and promise. It is a confusing subject, at once a self-evidently “good thing”, perhaps the most important capacity possessed by human beings, and simultaneously a confusing feeling, which can lead people astray as well as direct…
  • Dante, awakening, and erotic love Feb 7, 2021- Dante’s journey is all about erotic love, through ugly possessiveness, and powerful passions, to the realisation that love is usually experienced as an ignorance about what we desire, to which he awakens. The Divine Comedy is, therefore, a crucial resource for understanding this energy that surges through us. The poem is rare in the western Christian tradition in embracing eros,…
  • Light – a conversation with Rupert Sheldrake Jan 15, 2021- We naturally talk about seeking the light at the end of the tunnel, or hoping to be enlightened. But are such phrases that reference light more than metaphors? In this episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon explore how light is both physical and spiritual, and note the remarkable harmony between scientific and mythical ways of exploring…
  • Preview of my new Dante book! Jan 12, 2021- In case you'd not heard, 2021 is the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante, author of the great Divine Comedy. My book, which is a guide for the spiritual journey presented as a narrative retelling and interpretation, will be published in September 2021, in time for the actual date. To have a sneak read of the introduction, and sign…
  • Dante 2021 – Top 10 Spiritual Insights Jan 5, 2021- We will learn a lot about Dante's language, love, politics and humanism in 2021, the 700th anniversary of his death. But perhaps not so much about the spiritual insights he felt charged by heaven to communicate in his Divine Comedy. My top 10 spiritual insights are: 10. Comedy transcends, not excludes tragedy 9. Morality gets you nowhere, insight leads everywhere…
  • Could 2021 offer more than healing? Dec 31, 2020- Reverting to normal is a missed spiritual opportunity As 2020 ends and 2021 begins, people are talking of healing. There is a strong desire to recover from the suffering of the year and return, as speedily as possible, to normal life. The yearning is right, and the remarkably speedily development of vaccines promises to make it possible. The pain of…

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