The fullness of life. A conversation with Rupert Sheldrake

An audio version of this conversation is at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds.

At school, we learn that being alive is to possess certain functions, from respiration to reproduction. But what is life and why can the word “life” be used more widely than referring only to biological life?

In the latest episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon consider the meaning of saying that stars have a lifecycle, and that rocks and atoms can be ascribed a biography, in that they undergo processes of becoming.

They discuss A.N. Whitehead’s argument that so-called inanimate objects need to be considered as organisms and that life must also include the experience of being alive, which is to say consciousness and mentality. The powers of nature and the connection of all life, not least in terms of the idea of Gaia, lead them to ask how God can be said to be the origin and sustainer of life.

Asking what life is dramatically expands the notion of life and the awesome nature of being alive.

For more conversations with Mark and Rupert see…