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posted : 2008.Dec.24 @ 6.28am

» Rupert Sheldrake - Tyndale Lecture.mp3


This lecture brought my spirit and my mind very close, in a way both humbling and invigorating.  A disclaimer is that Rupert is a practicing christian and discusses elements of christian theology in this lecture, but i would encourage us not to get distracted by that (and rupert spent time in india studying and practicing eastern spirituality for some time, besides being pretty open minded overall--but you be the judge).


The part at the end about knowing our story / narrative hits especially close to home for me.  I have many thoughts on what he says here and if others are interested in this, i would love to discuss. That said, if anyone is offended or thinks that this is an innapropriate post, please message me.

posted : 2008.Dec.31 @ 1.12pm

I found this talk to be really historically informative; how western theosophy and scientific rationalism have had this magnetic dance, switching and trading realms of influence, morphing around each other's boundaries. Sheldrake drops a meta-lesson about 'knowing our story', or collective self-awareness, so that we can better understand the legacy of philosophical evolution that we have inherited. Accepting that I am highly influenced by my environment, knowing this historical context allows me to see more clearly some of the "subconcious" or less-scrutinized assumptions by which much of the mainstream western paradigm is enabled.


I've found it very fruitful to critically scrutinize our deepest, simplest and "oldest" assumptions. This practice helps me identify my assumptions in many situations, and determine their origin. If we can accept how little we actually know, and do our best to make as few assumptions as possible, perhaps we can lift some of the veil of this cultural paradigm and percieve more truth. This is ultimately a subjective process of self-analysis (in my experience through meditation). But the western theosophical and scientific paradigms are object-oriented-- the heavens, or stars above us, were once considered the actual location in which God resides. This tradition is less adept at the introspective process, so I consult the Eastern, gnostic and esoteric legacies. But there is an akward cultural-linguistic translation that happens in the process of recieving insight from historical eastern wisdom. I might not "understand the story" of some of the more subtle assumptions by which the eastern paradigm is enabled. Perhaps if I can know the story of the paradigm in which I was born, this can help me recognize when a paradigm has a different set of assumptions.


Looking back at the dawn of humanity, there might have been a time when our intelligence and recursive self-awareness reached a tipping point, and we began compiling and assembling a framework to approach this new awareness. As a species new to the experience of self-aware consciousness, perhaps we have been largely involved in this process of discovery ever since. Regardless of our conclusions about the nature of reality, it is good to simply be aware that we are a young, perhaps adolescent, species grasping for meaning and truth. I feel like we have taken a pretty good stab at that task, at least starting a few good "conversations" down through the generations. Perhaps grasping for pure truth is a fool's errand, and so our need for greater acceptance of mystery becomes apparent. Maybe Western philosophy/theosophy/rationalism just needs a minor tweak, an addition to the true/false duality: mystery. If we can honestly and clearly admit mystery, and have a protocol for interacting with mysterious::ness, perhaps we will get over the fear of the unknown that is our habitual reaction.


Cautiousness seems like a wise trait evolutionarily, but too often the paradigm siezes in fear and inaction, unwilling to dip its toes in new pools of possibility. My guess (and current assumption) is that there will always be mystery, because if we overturn all the rocks, and the whole:ness is exposed in the light of consciousness, this will be an end of sorts, because there will be no more purpose or drive to live+learn, as the entirety has been catalogued and the universe is fully predictable and saturated with self-awareness. I would like to analyze that assumption, because it has pretty a theoretical/intuitive basis. I think it might be similar to the idea of Pandora's Box....I think it has historical precedent, I just don't know the sotry......


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