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Religion and Spirituality Science, including Evolution Mythology Politics Miscellaneous You can click on the links on this page, or you can scroll down the pages.
RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY:
NEW: I’ve just given a Zoom talk about the relationship between quantum physics and spirituality. The talk is currently available on Youtube, click here. A transcript of the talk can be found at Medium.com, click here. There is also a part 2, which contains material which could not be included in the talk for time considerations, click here.
This talks follows on, and contains some of the same material, from a long series of articles I’ve done on the same theme. (Click on the titles for links.)
6. Despite all the above, in 1984 Ken Wilber published Quantum Questions, arguing that there is no connection between quantum physics and mysticism. I discuss his book here, rejecting his argument.
There then follow several articles discussing The Quantum Self by Danah Zohar. This book is interesting because it documents the journey of one physicist grappling with the great problems of consciousness, the self, the mind/body relationship, and the meaning of life through the perspective of quantum physics.
I begin with an introduction, click here.
In her next chapter, she discusses the possibility that subatomic particles may be conscious, thus the philosophical idea of panpsychism, click here.
In her next chapter, she attempts to understand the mystery of consciousness from a physics point of view, click here.
In her next chapter, she tackles the mind/body problem, thus what is known as the Hard Problem of Consciousness, click here.
In her next chapter, she discusses the personal self, whether it is real, and whether it can be explained by science/physics, click here. (Many modern neuroscientists and Buddhists deny its reality.)
In chapter 9 Zohar turns her attention to the nature of relationships, specifically those experiences when we do not feel self-contained, when two people can overlap so that they participate in an identity bigger than their individual selves. Click here.
In her next chapters Zohar discusses some perennial themes like life after death and free will, wondering whether they can be explained from a quantum point of view. She then turns to speculations on religious and spiritual questions, whether the implications of quantum physics lead to something approaching traditional ideas about God. Click here.
In her final chapter, Zohar summarises her ideas, and offers us the worldview at which she has arrived at from the starting point of quantum physics. It is what we might call very spiritual. Click here.
In the final article in this series I discuss Carlo Rovelli’s book Helgoland. This whole series has been devoted to showing how the findings of quantum physics can lead to a spiritual worldview. In this book, Rovelli tries to deny this completely, and attempts to return quantum physics to something as close to materialism as possible. Unsurprisingly, I am highly critical. Click here.
A series about alchemy (click on the titles).
- Isaac Newton – Last of the Sorcerers. Here I discuss how his passion for alchemy inspired his scientific ideas.
- How to Turn Lead into Gold (Maybe). Here I address the question of how alchemy might be achieved.
- Alchemy Why It Matters. I make an argument as to why this is important.
- Alchemy – Those Who Might Have Succeeded. The title is self-explanatory – some historical material.
- Alchemy, Concluding Thoughts – the Future. How thinking alchemically might be beneficial for the future of science and medicine.
RECENT: I’ve recently completed a series on reincarnation, past life memories, and related birthmarks and birth defects, based on the work of Professor Ian Stevenson:
- Reincarnation – Memories of Past Lives.
- There is a follow–up to that with more evidence about reincarnation and birthmarks, click here.
- I then discuss reincarnation and birthmarks in more detail, click here.
- The series concludes with an article on reincarnation and birth defects, click here.
NEW: A Defence of Spirituality, (click here). This is a response to an article on Medium.com by Jules Evans who was claiming that much spiritual thinking is right wing.
RECENT: A series exploring the Hard Problem of Consciousness. I argue that only a spiritual understanding can solve the problem.
In the Introduction (click here), I discuss the problems of panpsychism as described by Philip Goff in his book Galileo’s Error.
In the next article (click here), I discuss dualism in the light of Goff’s rejection of it, arguing that quantum physics supports (apparent) dualism.
In the third (click here), I offer my spiritual solution.
In the fourth (click here), there are some thoughts about how the system described actually works.
In the fifth (click here), I examine the evidence for the existence of other bodies apart from the physical, as described in the third article.
RECENT: Spiritual Reflections on Simulation Theory. Discussion of the modern theory that the universe is a computer simulation.
ONGOING: A long series on the debate about whether there was a historical Jesus, or whether he is a mythical figure, as is argued by many writers. This series also explores the origins of Christianity.
Part 1, which is a response to an article on Medium.com by Benjamin Cain, which described in detail the arguments of the mythicist writers. It offers some evidence for a possible historical Jesus.
More to follow soon.
RECENT: Religion and Evolutionary Biology. This is about a discussion on Medium.com between me and Mitchell Diamond in which I argue that spiritual/religious ideas are truer than those of modern science, specifically Darwinian evolutionary theory.
Click here for part 2.
The Bible and Science, a discussion of the history of the conflict between the two.
RECENT: A series entitled The Supernatural Origin of the Natural. This is in response to a writer on Medium.com called Ted Wade, who argues that the supernatural, by which he means supernatural entities, is an illusion imagined by humans in the remote past. I argue the opposite.
Article 1. Here I outline an alternative understanding to the worldview of modern science.
Article 2. Here I discuss the fact that quantum physicists consistently say that there are hidden levels of reality beyond our material universe, what we might call the supernatural.
Article 3. Here I discuss Jung’s concept of synchronicity in relation to the supernatural.
Article 4. I discuss divination and the I Ching in relation to synchronicity and the supernatural.
Part 2 of the series discusses the possible evidence for the existence of discarnate entities.
There is an introduction, click here.
Later articles will discuss nature spirits, angels, gods and goddesses.
ONGOING: A series on Atheist Spirituality. This is inspired by a conversation between myself and another writer on Medium.com around the ideas in a book by André Comte-Sponville called The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality.
There is an introduction, click here. There follows a series of Thoughts for the Day:
In Number 1, click here, I discuss the nature of Divinity, of what we mean by God.
In Number 2, click here, I address the question of why Christians, and others, consider God to be theistic, personal, anthropomorphic.
In Number 3, click here, I note how similar the Gnostic ideas of Carl Jung are to those contained in the esoteric Jewish Kabbalah. This poses the question, would Christianity have been better served if it had based itself on this?
Number 4, click here, is a continuation of Number 2, and is my response to a communication I received from Ms. Dinesen following that. It discusses further the confusion between the personal and impersonal concepts of God.
Number 5, click here. I begin to discuss André Comte-Sponville’s book. How do we define religion, spirituality, and atheism? Taoism, Hinduism and Buddhism are also discussed in this context.
Coronavirus, Conspiracy Theories, and New Age Spirituality. This article is just on Medium.com. It is a response to, and criticism of, another writer there, who associated New Age spiritual beliefs with a tendency to believe in conspiracy theories. It also discusses conspiracy theories in general.
The Aquarian Conspiracy Revisited. A discussion of Marilyn Ferguson’s groundbreaking book, and its ongoing relevance.
A Return to Animism? And Listening to Plants. This is partly a discussion of Jeremy Narby’s book The Cosmic Serpent, and partly a discussion of an event I attended on the subject of animism.
Beyond the Robot: the Life and Work of Colin Wilson. The second part of the title is self-explanatory. It is also a review of a talk by Gary Lachman on that topic.
The Power Of Symbolism — For Good and Bad. An analysis of how symbols can control people’s lives; the main focus is upon hair.
Synchronicity: the Universe is NOT Indifferent. Meaningful coincidences suggest that the universe cares about us.
How Old is the Tarot? Click here for part 1. Parts 2 and 3 will follow.
Do Souls Exist? This is a response to an article by a writer on Medium.com who claimed that souls don’t and cannot exist. It contains an extensive discussion of the pineal gland, otherwise known as the third eye.
The Four Elements: the Source of All That Is. This is a discussion of the viewpoint of ancient people who believed that the principles of air, earth, fire and water were the building blocks of the material universe. There follows an update, discussing apparent contradictions between ancient Greek philosophers regarding the four elements, and trying to resolve them.
Consciousness Not Explained. How to Outgrow Atheism. This is a commentary on an issue of New Scientist magazine, which contained an article claiming to explain consciousness, and an interview with Richard Dawkins. It also describes an allegorical interpretation of the Exodus story in the Bible.
Four articles describing the altered-states therapy (LSD or intensive breathing) of Stanislav Grof.
There is a series called A Reunification of Science and Religion. It is more appropriate to list it under Science, please see below.
The most recent post is Christianity and the Perennial Philosophy.
There is a series discussing the meaning of Genesis, chapter 1.
2. God In Genesis 1,
There is another series The Psychology of Atheism, which explores the work of the psychologist Paul C. Vitz. This is a link to the first post, which is an introduction, to the second which explores the life of Sigmund Freud and how it has affected his theories, to the third which is about Bertrand Russell, to the fourth which is about Albert Camus. and to the fifth which is about Marx, Nietzsche and Freud.
Another series is Poets Know Better Than Scientists, in which I argue that poets, especially the Romantics, have a better understanding of reality than materialist scientists. The first post quotes William Wordsworth, the second Robert Browning, and the third Samuel Taylor Coleridge. There is then a fourth, which quotes three poets expressing a spiritual perspective on nature.
There are four previous posts:
Why are People Anti-Religion? (some possible, fairly simple explanations)
Genius of the Modern World (a post critical of the BBC series of that name.)
The Truth of Mythology – the Problem of Literalism (an interpretation of a Babylonian cosmological myth)
Magic and Clairvoyance (inspired by a poem by Jack Preston King, a writer on Medium.com)
SCIENCE: (there is a section specifically on EVOLUTION below.)
NEW: a series on quantum physics and spirituality, see above under Religion and Spirituality.
EARLIER: The Bible and Science, a discussion of the history of the conflict between the two.
What Does It Take to Get Through to a Sceptical Scientist? This discusses the refusal by some scientists to accept the paranormal, even in the face of obvious evidence to the contrary.
A series called The Secret Life of Plants. This discusses the writings of Peter Tompkins, and others like him, who believe that there is more to plants than meets the eye. At the moment there is:
Part 1. This discusses some of the material presented in the book The Secret Life of Plants, which led the authors to believe that the behaviour of plants cannot be understood from the conventional scientific viewpoint.
Part 1, Appendix. This gives more material on the extraordinary behaviour of carnivorous plants.
Part 2. This discusses the possibility of the existence of nature spirits, otherwise known as elemental beings, in order to explain some of the observations about plants in part 1 and its appendix.
I then begin a series discussing the work of various scientists who inspired the book The Secret Life of Plants. 1. The first of these discusses the life and work of Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose.
More to follow at some point.
Strong Emergence. This scientific concept suggests that a revolution is needed in the way we look at the world.
Richard Feynman’s Guide to Science and Life. A celebration of the thinking of this great physicist through five quotes.
Materialist Science – Facts or Opinions? This is a lengthy (be warned) response to an article on Medium.com by a writer advocating a worldview based on extreme scientific materialism, claiming that what he was saying is science.
A series on Big Bang theory. Is this the correct explanation for the origin of the universe?
Part 5. A further article, restating some of the above, in the light of four articles in New Scientist magazine, click here.
Part 6. Further material in the light of a response I received to part 5, click here.
Two articles on The Reality of ESP. Part 1 is a general discussion, and Part 2 describes an example from my personal experience.
There is a further article which discusses whether Uri Geller is psychic. This was in response to a claim that he is a charlatan.
There is a series, A Reunification of Science and Religion. At the moment there is an introduction, click here, and a second post on the new-paradigm scientist Brian O’Leary.
Consciousness and the Brain, a critique of materialist, neuroscientific thinking.
ALSO IN SCIENCE:
There is a series Time for a New Paradigm. At the moment there is an introduction, which I published on Medium.com on New Year’s Eve 2018, looking forward to a revolution in science. There is a second post Is the Universe Intelligent?
Continuing on this theme, there is a series on quantum physics, which is at the cutting edge of new-paradigm thinking. At the moment there is:
- Part One which examines the nature of matter,
- Part Two which has further observations,
- Part Three, a post on the idea of discontinuity in quantum physics,
- Part Four, a post which discusses, and rejects, the claim that there is very little new to discover in science.
- Part Five, Quantum Physics and the Ancient Greeks, moves on from earlier discussions of Plato to the thinking of Aristotle on these issues.
More posts and a separate section with posts on individual scientists will follow. The first of these is called Two Interesting Scientists, one who thinks atheism is a folly, and another who finds quantum physics compatible with spiritual thinking.
Is there a Liberal Conspiracy in Science? I discuss the figure of Sir John Maddox, a controversial editor of the journal Nature. The central idea is whether or not there is an Establishment in science which attempts to suppress any findings which challenge the materialist paradigm.
There is a series Poets Know Better Than Scientists, in which I argue that poets, especially the Romantics, have a better understanding of reality than materialist scientists. The first post quotes William Wordsworth, the second Robert Browning, and the third Samuel Taylor Coleridge. There is a fourth, where I quote three poets who subscribe to a spiritual perspective on nature, and a fifth which quotes the scholar Kathleen Raine, endorsing my theme.
There is a further post, called The Need for a New Romantic Revolution, which discusses the Romantic movement and the philosophy of animism, with specific reference to the poet Shelley.
The Misuse of the Word ‘Science’ – some reflections on the 2017 March for Science
Science and Superstition (discussing what counts as superstition)
In Defence of Magical Thinking (why reason is scientifically inadequate to understand the universe)
The Decline of Humanism (how the meaning of this term has changed since the Enlightenment)
The ‘Enlightenment – Where It Has Taken Us (reflections on the sad state of modern science)
The Case Against the Enlightenment (on the publication of Steven Pinker’s new book)
Richard Dawkins (some criticisms of this highly influential figure)
The Folly of Modern Neuroscience (how the worldview of modern science has led to some extraordinary conclusions about the nature of consciousness
Is the Self an Illusion? – part 2 (further material on that theme)
Alfred Russel Wallace (how this believer in Intelligent Design has been misrepresented)
The BBC and Science (examples of the BBC presenting the worldview of modern scientific orthodoxy, while neglecting important information)
OLDER: The Mystery of the Origin of Life. This is mainly to publicise a Youtube video by synthetic organic chemist James Tour, who claims that scientists have no explanation whatsoever for the origin of life.
There is a series on Darwinism, Creationism, and Intelligent Design. At the moment there is:
a third which explores the consequences of the choice that science made by favouring Charles Darwin over Alfred Russel Wallace and Alexander von Humboldt, 1859 – a Crossroads in the History of Science.
a fourth which describes Just-so stories, a way in which Darwinians convince themselves of the truth of their theory.
DOUBTS ABOUT DARWINISM:
A series about specific topics. At the moment there is an introduction, called Darwinism, Intelligent Design, Creationism — or Something Else?
Creative Evolution, Part 4, which discusses the relevance to biology of the concept of fields in physics
What’s the Point of the Word ‘Evolved’? Some thoughts upon the concept of Gaia, in the light of an observation by Michael Behe.
I received a response from someone critical of my claim that belief in Darwinian evolution is closer to faith than science. I’ve published the correspondence between us in an article on Medium.com (click here).
Daniel Dennett (a critique of one of his outrageous statements, thus a history of opponents of Darwinism)
Daniel Dennett part 2 (further material relevant to the first post)
The Seductive Lure of Darwinism (examples of scientists, philosophers, and comedians who have become, in my view mistakenly, infatuated with the Darwinian theory of evolution)
A further post referring to scientists who have doubts about Darwinism, click here. This is therefore a follow-up to the earlier posts.
Also in the EVOLUTION section, there is a story about the Natural History Museum, which outlines its transformation from a science museum into a Temple to Darwinism.
MYTHOLOGY: I believe that mythology should be an important feature of our education system. Below is a series of articles on the theme of whether we can find a new mythology to unite humanity, in an attempt to solve the world’s problems. There is an introductory section:
- The Need for a New Mythology — Introduction
- The Need for a New Mythology — part 1, the Importance of Myth
- The Need for a New Mythology — Where Do Myths Come From?
There then follows a section criticising various attempts to create a new mythology from the standpoint of modern science:
- The Need for a New Mythology — Modern Scientific Attempts
- The Case Against the Enlightenment, Reason, Science and Humanism — part 1, and part 2. These two articles criticise the ideas of Steven Pinker.
- The Mythology of Modern Science — David Christian. A criticism of his scientific vision for humanity.
- The Mythology of Humanism and the Battle Against It. A criticism of Julian Huxley, his enthusiasm for Darwinism and Eugenics.
- The Sacred Depths of Nature – a criticism of Ursula Goodenough’s book.
Then begins a section on the new mythology to come. There is first an introduction. Then follow:
- The Science of the New Mythology
- The Spirituality of the New Mythology – part 1, The Perennial Philosophy, and part 2, Western Traditions.
- Christianity and the New Mythology
- The Return of the Divine Feminine, The Divine Feminine as an Aspect of Masculine Psychology, and The Holy Spirit as Feminine
- Psychology and the New Mythology – Part 1, and Part 2
There follows a summary of all of the above, which attempts to extract the most important points in a single article.
The next section explores some of the ancient myths, to see whether they still have any relevance today.
The first in this series is about the Old Testament story of Jonah.
POLITICS: This section is mainly concerned with the lead-up to the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union. It can therefore be considered as archive material.
There is, however, one article still relevant to more recent times, about the SDP, (the Social Democratic Party in the UK).
Following the Supreme Court judgement, Did the UK Government Act Unlawfully This Week?
There is a series of eight posts about Brexit, the British people’s decision to leave the European Union:
See also, Is the European Union Like the USSR?
and two articles on Medium.com, A Brexiteer’s Update on Britain’s Never-ending Soul Search
NEW Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence. A discussion of the UFO phenomenon in relation to Carl Sagan’s famous aphorism.
- Was the Great Pyramid a Tomb? – Probably Not
- The Ongoing Influence of Plato (some examples of Plato’s allegory of the cave down the ages)
- a commentary on David Lynch’s film, Mulholland Drive