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Philosophy and Life

Recent writing and occasional thoughts on assorted matters.

  • 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…
  • Carl Jung. An introduction to his insights, including dreams & archetypes, the Self & synchronicity Jul 22, 2022- An audio version of the talk is at my Talks and Thoughts podcast, available via podcast feeds. This is a talk I gave at the Weekend University. For more on my book about Jung - https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/19267016-carl-jung 0:00 His distinctiveness 10:02 Dreams 16:34 Archetypes 29:41 The Self and Collective Unconscious 39:40 Synchronicities
  • William Blake in 42 Images. A new course at The Idler. Jul 19, 2022- Full details here. William Blake was a genius poet and an astonishing visionary. But he was also a brilliant thinker with a developed analysis of what was going wrong in society. Blake’s analysis is profoundly relevant to our own times coupled as it is to a sharp vision of what we lack, and what we can find in life. In…
  • A Path Through Suffering Jul 16, 2022- An audio version of this talk is on my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds. The labyrinth at Penpont offers a chance to reflect on suffering, with thanks too to William Blake.
  • William Blake and the Future of Christianity Jul 16, 2022- An audio version of this talk is on my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds. A talk give at St Matthew's Church, Wimbledon, London on 12th July 2022.
  • Science with Soul. Reflecting on Rupert Sheldrake’s 80th Birthday Celebration Jul 14, 2022- An audio version of this discussion is at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds. The Scientific and Medical Network organised a gathering on Friday 8th July to mark Rupert’s 80th birthday and reflect on his work. In this episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert and Mark Vernon discuss the day, recalling remarks made by speakers including Merlin…
  • Freedom, power & the spiritual commons. More thoughts on The Dawn of Everything by Graeber & Wengrow Jul 10, 2022- I was delighted to meet David Wengrow at the Idler Festival. His coauthor, David Graeber, was a great friend of the Idler. David Wengrow and I spoke about their revolutionary, fascinating and inspiring book, The Dawn of Everything. It challenges the concensus history and prehistory of humanity, as found in writers such as Steven Pinker and Noah Yuval Harari. As…
  • Dante, cosmology, and a conversation at Rupert Sheldrake’s 80th do Jul 9, 2022- Bernard Carr is a leading cosmologist who worked with Stephen Hawking and now investigates time, multidimensionality and consciousness, amongst other things. Bernardo Kastrup cites him as at the vanguard of the great task to integrate matter and mind. So I was delighted to get the chance to ask Bernard about images from Dante. We talked about relational cosmologies as advocated…
  • “Death and life are asymmetrically joined. Therein lies hope.” – article in YoHo Jul 6, 2022- This is a response to an article by Richard Beck in the new YoHo Journal. Richard Beck introduces us to “hope sickness”. And I agree: the world suffers from desperate delusions as to the nature of our story. However, I would advocate a slightly different antidote to this materialist poison. What the dominant worldview can’t comprehend is that the purpose…

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