The Extension of Mind Through Space and the Sense of Being Stared At: Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogue 82

21 days ago

Rupert Sheldrake
Nov 13, 2023
The Extension of Mind Through Space and the Sense of Being Stared At: Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogue 82
The Sense of Being Stared at and the Extension of Mind Through Space: Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogue 82

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:

Dr Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, is a biologist and author best known for his hypothesis of morphic resonance. At Cambridge University, as a Fellow of Clare College, he was Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology. As the Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he carried out research on the development of plants and the ageing of cells, and together with Philip Rubery discovered the mechanism of polar auxin transport. In India, he was Principal Plant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, where he helped develop new cropping systems now widely used by farmers. He is the author of more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and his research contributions have been widely recognized by the academic community, earning him a notable h-index for numerous citations. On ResearchGate his Research Interest Score puts him among the top 4% of scientists.

Dr Mark Vernon is a psychotherapist and writer with a rich academic background in physics, theology, and philosophy. He contributes to programmes on the radio, writes and reviews for newspapers and magazines, gives talks and podcasts. His books have covered themes including friendship and God, ancient Greek philosophy and wellbeing. His new book, out August 2019, is "A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling and the Evolution of Consciousness". He has a PhD in ancient Greek philosophy, and other degrees in physics and in theology, and works as a psychotherapist in private practice. He used to be an Anglican priest.

Mark's latest book is...
A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling, and the Evolution of Consciousness

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