What Is Life?
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A conversation between me and Tim Freke:
A few weeks ago, I had a wide-ranging conversation with Tim Freke for his “What Is Life?” series. We talked about an evolutionary perspective that values human individuality as well as indivisible wholeness. We talked about some of the common fallacies in nondual messaging. We had a fascinating exchange about choice and choicelessness that kept unfolding as the conversation went along, and which eventually opened up a new perspective for me, one that embraces both choice and choicelessness in a way I found very exciting. We talked about whether the past accumulates or disappears. We even touched on politics, and how we both, as long-time progressives, have popped out of the left bubble in the last several years and have been listening to a much wider range of perspectives, moving from what Tim calls a monological (one-sided) way of thinking to what he calls a paralogical (both/and) approach. We talked about the immense social progress we’ve both lived through and the danger of falling into negative, dystopian, apocalyptic thinking and closing off possibilities that currently seem impossible. We even talked briefly about what, if anything, survives death. I think it’s a conversation you’ll find interesting.
Tim is a philosopher, author and teacher who lives in the UK. His perspective is that everything is the One in relationship with itself in an evolutionary process of realizing ever-more emergent levels. He proposes that being has evolved from information into physical matter, then into biological life, and on into the imaginal realm of human consciousness. He sees individuality as an important aspect of this evolutionary process, not something to be denied. Tim is well grounded in history, philosophy and science; he has a brilliant intellect as well as a delightful spirit; and he seems to bubble over with joy, love and humor. While we don’t agree on everything, Tim’s perspective has opened my mind to new possibilities and shifted some of my more entrenched views. I’ve really enjoyed all my recent conversations with him, and I’m happy to share this one with all of you. Tim’s website is https://timfreke.com.
(Corrections on two things I said in the video: I mistakenly said that Thomas Sowell was raised by Marxists, but that was actually someone else. However, it is true that Sowell was a Marxist in his youth before he became a conservative. I also misremembered the title of his new book that I’ve been reading—the correct title is Social Justice Fallacies.)
I’m reading an extraordinary little book given to me by two very dear friends—The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. The title alone was enough to intrigue me, and the first few chapters brought tears they touched me so deeply. It’s a true story. During the time that the author, Elisabeth Tova Bailey, was bedridden with a serious, mysterious and disabling illness, a friend brought her a snail in a small pot with some field violets and placed it at Elisabeth’s bedside. Thus began an amazing relationship between the author and a snail, in which a very curious person, whose world has become extremely limited and small due to illness, discovers infinite wonder in an unexpected companion. You’ll never see snails the same way again. I’m reading it very slowly because each chapter touches me so deeply, so I haven’t yet reached the end. I recommend it very, very highly. A rare jewel.
A favorite haiku by Issa to brighten your day:
On a branch
a cricket, singing.
I’m still in the midst of replacing my computer and intermittently taking some quiet time to be in silence. You’re welcome to leave comments, and I will read them all (as I always endeavor to do), but I may or may not be responding at this time, and if I don’t, you’ll know why.
Love to all…
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