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Philosophy and Life

Recent writing and occasional thoughts on assorted matters.

  • Can the present shape the past? And other questions in physics. A conversation with Bernard Carr Sep 27, 2022- An audio version of this talk is at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds. Bernard Carr is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Queen Mary, University of London. He has worked on black holes with Stephen Hawking, alongside other aspects of cosmology, and has also been president of the Society for Psychical Research. I begin this…
  • Dante’s Divine Comedy and Spiritual Intelligence. Two new online courses this autumn! Sep 16, 2022- Spiritual Intelligence in Seven Steps online course - full details here: https://www.markvernon.com/events/spiritual-intelligence-in-seven-steps Dante's Divine Comedy online course - full details here: https://www.markvernon.com/events/dantes-divine-comedy-an-introduction-to-the-spiritual-journey For more about Mark Vernon - www.markvernon.com
  • Awakening in a Caroline Age. King Charles, William Blake & Kathleen Raine Sep 9, 2022- An audio version of this talk can be found at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, via podcast feeds. The text is below. With the death of Queen Elizabeth, the character of King Charles is being pondered and pressed. Many feel they know his views on ecology and architecture, medicine and agriculture. Some are worried that his passion for these matters…
  • Nice and Easy does it. Thoughts on Zeno’s paradoxes Sep 4, 2022- My new column in the Idler magazine. Have you heard why the fastest never catch up with the slowest, why the amblers always outpace the sprinters? The reason for this counterintuitive conclusion is one of the oldest proofs in philosophy, drawn up Zeno. The argument as to why going slow is best can be put like this. Imagine a speedy…
  • How can we transhumanise? And why we need to Aug 28, 2022- An audio version of this talk is at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds. Dante coined the word "transhumanise" in the Divine Comedy, 700 years ago. "Trasumanar" is the transformation he will undergo in order to share in the life of paradise. Today, the word has associations that are strikingly related to Dante's; partly quite similar, though…
  • Where is heaven? A response to Sam Harris & Jonathan Pageau Aug 25, 2022- An audio version of this talk is at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds. Sam Harris raised the question of the location of heaven, not least in the space age, when "up there" is not straightforwardly a good answer. Jonathan Pageau responded eloquently, noting that up is, of course, an analogy that might guide us towards the…
  • Nope. What’s the movie about? With thanks to Carl Jung Aug 22, 2022- An audio version of this talk is at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds. I enjoyed Jordan Peele's movie, Nope. But what is it saying? NOTE: This comment is full of spoilers!
  • Nature, politics, humanity. Three hard sayings of William Blake Aug 21, 2022- An audio version of this talk is at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds. William Blake saw himself as a prophet, which means that his writings challenge, even repulse, on occasion. However, Blake's harding sayings are the moments when his greatest vision stands before us. They are worth wrestling with, if he is to become more than…
  • Of Selfhood and Awakening. William Blake and the Book of Job Aug 2, 2022- An audio version of this talk is at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds. The Book of Job has been used to retell the Christian story, as with Carl Jung's Answer to Job. It can also be sought for what it says about suffering. The Hebrew tale inspired William Blake in a distinctive, brilliant way. It helped…
  • Spinoza’s Nondualism. Clare Carlisle talks with Mark Vernon about her book, Spinoza’s Religion Jul 27, 2022- An audio version of this conversation is on my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds. Baruch Spinoza is widely regarded as either a God-forsaking atheist or a God-intoxicated pantheist, but Clare Carlisle says that he was neither. In her latest book, Spinoza’s Religion, she reads his masterpiece, the Ethics, to show that being-in-God lies at the heart of…

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