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Towards a New Renaissance
29 minutes | Oct 2, 2021
In this episode I review two highly significant new volumes on a post-materialist science of consciousness - Is Conscious Primary? sponsored by the Academy for the Advancement of Post-Materialist Sciences (www.aapsglobal.net) and Consciousness Unbound, emanating from the Esalen Institute and the Department of Perceptual Sciences at the University of Virginia. Both books provide persuasive evidence and cogent arguments (and the first some accounts of personal experiences) to challenge the dominant scientific materialism that cannot adequately account for such evidence, choosing instead to ignore or dismiss it - without realising its congruence with quantum physics.
24 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
A Gnostic Revival
In this episode I review two books about the marginalisation and return of gnosis. The first is a masterpiece by classical scholar Peter Kingsley – Catafalque – subtitled ‘Carl Jung and the End of Humanity’ about the inner decay of Western culture that has lost touch with its primordial roots. The second – The Gnosric New Age – by Rice University scholar Prof April DeConick describes how a countercultural spirituality and way of knowing has acted as a transgressive but creative impulse for spiritual renewal.
20 minutes | Apr 9, 2021
In this episode I review three books on health and healing – the first an extraordinary autobiographical account by Dr Erica Elliot about her time with the Navajo – Medicine and Miracles in the High Desert. Then a book by Maria and Istvan Sagi entitled Healing with Information building on the work of Erich Korbler and advancing the field of vibrational medicine. Finally, another autobiographical account of Janet Edwards healing journey through the cancer minefield – Choosing to Heal. Each of these books contains powerful messages about our capacity to heal ourselves.
20 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
Technology and the Future
This episode reviews two significant books giving wider historical and philosophical understandings of technology and technological patterns of thinking. The first is The Metaphysics of Technology by David Skribina and the second In the Shadow of the Machine by Jeremy Naydler, who has recently published a sequel entitled The Struggle for a Human Future. The key question is: what does it mean to be human? And in our time I regard it essential to reaffirm our spiritual nature and the validity of spiritual experience giving us deeper insights into the nature of reality.
15 minutes | Nov 30, 2020
The Regeneration Revolution
In this episode I review an important book published in 2012 - Global Awakening, by Michael Schacker. This follows on from a webinar last week with Dr Jim Garrison of Humanity Rising where he spoke of the need for regenerative, not simply sustainable development. He echoes the call by Sir David Attenborough in his recent 'witness statement' A Life on our Planet' for the restoration of the biodiversity that we as the human species have destroyed. The book sets out a roadmap for the necessary Regeneration Revolution as an evolutionary imperative for future human flourishing in the biosphere we share with the whole of life.
14 minutes | Oct 21, 2020
Hermann Hesse - the Wanderer
In this episode I review a magisterial biography of Hesse by Gunnar Decker, discussing Hesse's influence on my life and my communication of his message to my pupils at Winchester College in the 1980s. Themes include beginnings and endings, nationalism and internationalism, and the spiritual quest as an inner journey home. Then I read a wonderful short essay on the wisdom of trees in terms of stillness and endurance: "home is within you or home is nowhere at all."
20 minutes | Aug 15, 2020
Secular and Mystical Spirituality
In this episode I review two books on spirituality, the first, Secular Spirituality, by Harald Walach, and the second, Belonging to God, by Will Keepin. Both books are important contributions to the field of science and spirituality with an emphasis on inner experience as a means of accessing other levels of reality, as one sees for instance in near-death experiences. Harald's book provides a lot of historical background, with fascinating insights into Roger Bacon, while Will draws of 35 years of spiritual practice while referring to classic mystical texts in a number of traditions.
28 minutes | Jul 14, 2020
Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychology
This episode reviews two landmark handbooks in psychology: The Oxford Book of Psychology and Spirituality and The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Transpersonal Psychology, both of which call for an expansion of the field beyond scientific materialism. Then the third book - I - Reality and Subjectivity by David Hawkins MD, PhD is one of the most brilliant and profound explanations of the relationship between the nonlinear and linear realms - the very fabric of our experience - that every seeker should read and study.
25 minutes | Jun 13, 2020
The Will to Power
In this episode I review two books by American philosopher of religion turned foreign policy analyst Prof David Ray Griffin, whose work took an unexpected turn when he was asked to write an article to debunk ‘conspiracy theories’ surrounding 9/11. The further he looked into this, the less plausible and adequate the official accounts appeared. He has written over ten books on the subject, the last two of which I review here. His latest book is A Christian Gospel for Americans.
15 minutes | Apr 15, 2020
Religion, Metaphor and Justice
In this episode I review a book by Australian scholar David Tacey on religion as metaphor, where he steers a middle path between religious and scientific fundamentalism, promoting a symbolic approach instead; also a biography and DVD of the American theologian and social activist Reinhold Niebuhr, perhaps best known as the author of the Serenity Prayer.
13 minutes | Apr 6, 2020
Dr Albert Schweitzer
This first episode reviews a recent biography of Schweitzer by Nils Ole Oermann - my interest in him goes back to the 1960s when I first heard his Bach organ recordings then I subsequently became interested in his Ethic of Reverence for Life developed at his hospital in Gabon.
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