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Philosophy and Life

Recent writing and occasional thoughts on assorted matters.

  • The Day of the Dead, a discussion with Rupert Sheldrake Oct 28, 2020- Most, perhaps all, cultures have moments of the year for fostering links with those who have died. In the western Christian world, the days of the dead are Halloween, All Saints and All Souls Day. In this Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogue, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon ask about the significance of this time. They take a lead from the Pixar film, Coco,…
  • Mark on The Sacred Podcast Oct 12, 2020- I talk with Elizabeth Oldfield on The Sacred Podcast about breakdowns, the power of psychotherapy, the emergence of Christianity, the imagination, the future of science, sensing the divine. Amongst other things.... 'Ultimately what you want people to do is realise they are far bigger than they realise and to become more aligned with the biggest, most expansive and divine parts.'…
  • Pseudo-science, a discussion with Rupert Sheldrake Oct 2, 2020- The accusation of pseudo-science is often made against those involved in the New Age, and sometimes rightly so. But as Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon discuss in the latest episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, there is a lot more to the sneering and ridicule than meets the eye. They explore how science itself might morph into pseudo-science, which is perhaps…
  • Revelation, discussed with Rupert Sheldrake Sep 4, 2020- World religions and inspired individuals alike say they are the recipients of divine revelation. But what might that mean? In this new episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon discuss the nature of revelation. They explore how revelation is a means of channelling and connecting with insight and intelligence in the domains of both religion and science.…
  • The Four-Fold Vision of William Blake Sep 4, 2020- The Four-Fold Imagination is an essay I've had published at Aeon. The YouTube below is a complementary look at some of Blake's images, conveying a felt sense of single vision, two-fold, three-fold and four-fold vision. Do read and share the essay!
  • 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…

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