The extension of mind through space and the sense of being stared at. Conversation with Rupert Sheldrake

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

Do our minds reside solely inside our heads, or perhaps bodies? Or do they extend into the wider world, perhaps even reaching to the stars?

In this episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon discuss the extended mind theory, taking a lead from recent work of Rupert’s on the sense of being stared at, and also the problems that contemporary science has with understanding vision.

The discussion considers new research carried out by Rupert and others, as well as the theories of A.N. Whitehead. The way in which science since Maxwell has considered light as moving backwards as well as forwards in time is explored, alongside the way that William Blake described how we see, which itself fits the ancient understanding, that seeing is an active process of engagement, not a passive mode of reception.

Rupert references two published papers. One is on the nature of visual perception, co-written with Alex Gomez-Marin, online here –

The other is on directional scopaesthesia, co-written with Pamela Smart, online here –

For more dialogues between Rupert and Mark see and