We look forward to this first event of 2017. There is much of interest
on Dr Mark Vernon's website: http://www.markvernon.com/
We are far from being an atheist culture: indeed, there is a hunger for the sacred that persists, even intensifies, in an era when knowledge is exploding. This hunger I believe is rooted in something more fundamental than intellectual confusion. Regardless of religious orthodoxies, it seems that people cannot brush aside the sense that there are things that matter and that this mattering is not a mere question of knowledge or social convention. It implies an orientation of one's life towards what lies outside it, a recognition of values that transcend the individual and even the culture ...
The boundaries of our being continue to shift as each of us introduces new faces and voices, and the scope for border disputes is endless. ... We constantly meet with faces and voices which appeal to us to help, to have compassion, or to take some practical responsibility that goes beyond what our commitments or inclinations oblige us to do.He quotes from a poem by O'Siadhail called 'Intrusion': 'But what if between our gazes/ shadows of the stricken fall,/ the stares we seem to veil/ keep on commanding us?' And the last stanza asks: 'Is love a threadbare blindfold?/ 'Yes,' say our shadows, 'unless/ you turn to face the faceless.'/ Who'll re-envisage the world?' Tempted to shield our comfort and security, we 'recognise the hard heart, the cold heart, the closed heart, the paralysed heart, even the dead heart'.
My love is your freedom. Do or die or downfall,/ it's all or nothing and I have chosen all.
Dealing with secrets shapes the most intimate aspects of our self which we call our soul. And as modern psychology and psychoanalysis have stressed, many of our life-shaping secrets are ones we are not even conscious of - they are repressed, forgotten, denied or deposited in our unconscious. Our disciplines of living must take account of these depths too.
"Ultimate curiosity, the impulse to see beyond the rim of the physical world, becomes ... a continuous driver for new discoveries within the physical world."
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
"The idea of Creation as a framing hypothesis, a rubric written over the whole physical universe, has been a thread which (though frequently becoming snagged on literalistic interpretations of Scripture and coercive attempts to police religious thinking) has run through Jewish, Islamic, and Christian thought for roughly two thousand years.
...[I]t might come as a surprise to discover the extent to which a strong slipstream of religious motivation was responsible for pulling individuals, professions, and even whole universities over that threshold."Wychwood Circle events are always open to anyone who has an interest in our varied topics. They usually happen on the first Sunday evening of the month. A retiring collection enables us to cover our costs.
The physicist, mathematician, and philosopher of science Sir Roger Penrose has cautioned against "fashion, faith and fantasy in the new physics of the universe". Nevertheless, the willingness in the world of theoretical physics to think the amazing and the seemingly absurd is, in many research institutes, unrestrained.
|Angela Tilby at Wychwood Circle - May 15th 2016|