The two hemispheres hypothesis, championed by Iain McGilchrist, has become well-known. But what light does it cast on modern society and our direction of travel? The nature of overweening bureaucracy, technologies of control, and the narrowing of freedom are explored in this conversation between Iain and Mark Vernon. They discuss issues from the legacy of the Covid pandemic to the story that modern humanity has come to tell itself about who we are. It turns out that now is a moment to be concerned and to ask again about fundamental matters, from the reality of evil to the meaning of death. To understand more is to find space to respond more imaginatively with a deeper, more expansive awareness of nature, the sacred, and life.
Iain McGilchrist is a psychiatrist and philosopher, and author of The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World and his new book, The Matter with Things. For more see https://www.channelmcgilchrist.com
Mark Vernon is a writer and psychotherapist, whose most recent books are on Dante’s Divine Comedy and the Significance of Christianity. For more see https://www.markvernon.com
Modern Western biomedical research and clinical practice are primarily focused on disease. This disease-centric approach has yielded an impressive amount of knowledge around what goes wrong in illness. However, in comparison, researchers and physicians know little about health. What is health? How do we quantify it? And how do we improve it? We currently do not have good answers to these questions. Our lack of fundamental knowledge about health is partly driven by three main factors: (i) a lack of understanding of the dynamic processes that cause variations in health/disease states over time, (ii) an excessive focus on genes, and (iii) a pervasive psychological bias towards additive solutions. Here I briefly discuss potential reasons why scientists and funders have generally adopted a gene- and disease-centric framework, how medicine has ended up practicing “diseasecare” rather than healthcare, and present cursory evidence that points towards an alternative energetic view of health. Understanding the basis of human health with a similar degree of precision that has been deployed towards mapping disease processes could bring us to a point where we can actively support and promote human health across the lifespan, before disease shows up on a scan or in bloodwork.
Keywords Health · Medical care · Genomics · Personalized medicine · Energetics · Preventative medicine
Discussion between authors of a revolutionary new article. Read More
Are we a species at war with itself? What does our African unconscious reveal about all of us? Dr. Edward Bruce Bynum urges people to come together in his new book Our African Unconscious: The Black Origins of Mysticism and Psychology. Science, evolution, and deep religion all point us in the same direction. According to Dr. Bynum, ultimately, we must love each other or die.
He also a licensed psychologist and Diplomat in clinical psychology, and a senior fellow in the National Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. His focus is psychosomatic medicine, hypnosis and individual psychotherapy.
20 min presentation on the law of sustainability, presented by Sally Goerner, Bernard Lietaer and Robert Ulanowicz.
- Why we need this law: our world is not sustainable.
- The law of sustainability and its key terms defined: flow of energy, matter and information; sustainability; resilience; efficiency
- More important for mankind than Newton’s law of universal gravitation.
Abstract: This presentation reviews key concepts in sustainability and asks deep questions about why there are so many symptoms of environmental crises present in the world today (climate disruption, mass species extinctions, nitrogen cycle disruption, ocean acidification, crises with food, energy, and water, and many more). These symptoms relate to the prevailing approach, in which we use reductionist mental models and treat living and environmental systems as if they are mechanisms. However, contrary to machines, ecological systems show much resilience and capacity to self-organize, regenerate, increase their organization and complexity, and improve their environment over time. We propose that achieving a sustainable world will require a shift in the way we approach life and life sciences. The good news is that such a shift is possible now, without the need of waiting for new technologies, and is limited only by our willingness.
How Can We Christians Choose to Follow Jesus, The Prince of Peace, in a Chaotic World?
The theme for Crossan’s remarks is Divine Violence in the Christian Bible. The morning lecture, from the Old Testament, is on Sanction Theology or Sabbath Theology. The afternoon lecture, from the New Testament, is on Peace through Victory or Peace through Justice.
Abstract This essay is an invitation to take up the nature and problematics of hospitality in its materiality. It begins and ends with the Marshall Islands, at the crossroads of two great destructive forces: nuclear colonialism and the climate crisis. In the after-math of sixty-seven US nuclear bomb “tests” visited upon the Marshall Islands, the concrete “dome” built on Runit Island by the US government was an act of erasure and a-void-ance — an attempt to contain and cover over plutonium remains and other material traces of the violence of colonial hospitality that live inside the Tomb (as the Marshallese call it). Taking the physicality of the hostility within hospitality seriously, and going into the core of the theory that produced the nuclear bomb, I argue that a radical hospitality — an infinity of possibilities for interrupting state sanctioned violence — is written into the structure of matter itself in its inseparability with the void.
Karen Barad (1956 – )
Karen Barad is Professor of Feminist Studies, Philosophy and History of Consciousness at the University of California Santa Cruz and co-director of the Science & Justice Graduate Training Program, funded by the National Science Foundation. As a feminist-physicist-philosopher her influence in the fields of new materialism, new material feminism, science studies, queer studies, and posthumanism has been profound. Barad’s PhD in theoretical particle physics was awarded by SUNY Stony Brook in 1984 with her thesis entitled ‘Fermions in Lattice Gauge Theories’. Her work has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Hughes Foundation, the Irvine Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2016, she was awarded an honorary doctorate in the Arts at Gothenburg University in 2016, and is on the faculty of the European Graduate School.
She is the originator of agential realism as a new and distinct, posthuman and performative approach to knowledge-making practices. Barad’s central thesis with agential realism is that post-structuralism and its theoretical predecessors have placed far too much emphasis on language and representationalism and not enough on the materiality of discourse and the role of matter in understandings of how the world is configured. From her doctoral thesis, through her early work on feminism and science pedagogies, and her subsequent development of agential realism, Barad has been instrumental in intellectual moves to put questions of how matter comes to matter centre stage. Agential realism, based on the insights that nothing exists in and of itself, that everything is always-already in relation, and that matter and discourse are co-constitutive, has been widely taken up as a paradigm-shifting analytical move which works through the challenges posed by quantum physics to Cartesian epistemology and the Humanist ontologies which underpin it. Barad’s lexicon – agencies, intra-action, entanglement, the cut, phenomena, apparatus, diffraction – deriving in part from the language of quantum physics, offers social science researchers a new range of conceptual resources for putting agential realism to work to investigate the world in new ways. Central to agential realism is the necessity of developing an ethico-onto-epistemological stance which entangles what Humanist approaches have illegitimately dis-entangled.
Both the quantum physicist and the poet make prescient guides to living into the mystery, the unsettled, the unknown. Never simple abstraction, such exploration has material consequences for how we live and make the world; it opens new ways and doors to examine what it means to be a self and to work towards justice together. Reaching out to explore intimacy, interconnection, and intra-action, to feel the touch and hear the voice of the void, the quantum physicist feminist theorist Karen Barad writes from within and deeper into the quantum indeterminacy that is the space of all possibility. In this lecture, we will follow Barad into the inhuman and the infinite, finding the vastest of multitudes in the smallest particle, and spirited ghosts teetering in the void.