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Philosophy and Life

Recent writing and occasional thoughts on assorted matters.

  • The Meaning of Psi and other strange experiences Aug 6, 2020- Did you know Albert Einstein advocated telepathy research or that Marie Curie attended seances? In this edition of The Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon discuss, The Flip, a new book by Jeffrey Kripal. The title refers to the range of experiences, from precognitive dreams to NDEs, that “flip” individuals from a mechanistic and materialist worldview. They become much…
  • Owen Barfield: Imagination and Spiritual Sight, Pt 3 Aug 5, 2020- Having considered the insights of William Blake and Carl Jung in the first two talks of this series, I now turn to those of Owen Barfield. He presents the biggest possible story for the imagination, integrating it into nothing less than our creation and return to the divine. What is fascinating is that he arrived at this conclusion from his…
  • Carl Jung: Imagination and Spiritual Sight, Pt 2 Jul 30, 2020- The power of the imagination runs all the way through the depth psychology of Carl Jung. It is liberates because it is not axiomatic or discursive but perceptive. It goes beyond reactions and settled patterns of behaviour, to discover a new worlds. But it needs fostering, discerning, trusting. In this talk, I begin with the case of Albert Einstein, whose…
  • Awaking from the Meaning Crisis QnA Jul 29, 2020- I spoke with the group that meets on Discord to discuss John Vervaeke's work on awakening from the meaning crisis. Here's a breakdown of the questions that came up. 1.42 Christianity, Owen Barfield and John Vervaeke 8.20 Owen Barfield’s take on Christianity 9.50 How do Plato’s views on virtue relate to his views on knowledge? 11.40 What’s going on in…
  • William Blake: Imagination and Spiritual Sight, Pt 1 Jul 22, 2020- William Blake argued that the imagination is the key human faculty for knowing fourfold vision, life to the full, and our divine destiny. But he also knew it needed cultivating, training, discerning. In this talk, I look at Blake's images that can become part of such a training. I also describe the schema of Ulro, Generation, Beulah and Eden-Eternity, which…
  • The Inklings and the Evolution of Consciousness: a trialogue Jun 27, 2020- Jeremy Johnson writes: In this much anticipated episode, Becca Tarnas and Mark Vernon return to the Mutations podcast for a trialogue on the Inklings and the evolution of consciousness. Together we explore the prescience and relevance of J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, and Jean Gebser respectively, during a time when history and myth appear to be intersecting, intensifying. I was honored…
  • Rupert Sheldrake & Mark Vernon on David Bohm & Infinite Potential Jun 26, 2020- A new film, Infinite Potential: The Life and Ideas of David Bohm, has just been released for free online. In this episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon discuss its excellent telling of the dramatic life and revolutionary insights of this deep scientific thinker. Rupert first met Bohm in 1982 soon after the publication of his book…
  • Dante’s Divine Comedy and Spiritual Sight Jun 20, 2020- This is a recording of a richly illustrated talk I gave online as part of St Albans Cathedral's online adult education programme. My canto by canto podcasts and YouTubes of the Divine Comedy are online.
  • A New Way of Seeing with John Vervaeke Jun 20, 2020- My discussion with John on spiritual intelligence and perceiving wider reality: covering shifts of consciousness, the links between ascent and descent, simplicity and unity, 4E cognition, the transformation of freedom, and the centrality of love in knowing and participating.
  • Psi and the Limits of Science Jun 15, 2020- This piece was written for The Idler. The modern world swears by science. If your intervention or idea is not evidence-based, you risk instant dismissal. So it’s odd when the same mindset refuses to acknowledge phenomena supported by way more evidence than, say, intergalactic dark matter or the chemical soup theory for the origins of life. I’m talking about psi…

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