85 episodes

Dr Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author best known for his hypothesis of morphic resonance. Mark Vernon is a psychotherapist and author. Together they discuss: consciousness, prayer, angels, science and spiritual practices, magic, dreams, hell, the unconscious, rituals, enlightenment, atheism, materialism, and more.

The Sheldrake Vernon Dialogues Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 43 Ratings

Dr Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author best known for his hypothesis of morphic resonance. Mark Vernon is a psychotherapist and author. Together they discuss: consciousness, prayer, angels, science and spiritual practices, magic, dreams, hell, the unconscious, rituals, enlightenment, atheism, materialism, and more.

    The Nature of Energy

    The Nature of Energy

    Energy is a key organising principle in modern science, the conversation of energy being a grounding and universal law. But what is energy? In this episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon examine the history of the idea and the word. In science, energy is a relatively recently notion, emerging in its current form in the 19th century, drawing much on mechanics. The word itself was coined by Aristotle, in the 4th century BCE, carrying a sense of vital actuality and living presence. That meaning is still remembered in Orthodox theology, which describes the energeia of God. The conversation ranges over the promiscuity of energy in the natural world to the spiritual notion of energy, including the subtle energies of the body. The implications of shaping the idea of energy through mechanical metaphors also has important ramifications, from the descriptions of economics and the efficacy of psychology to the experience of God. Further, the most recent physics argues that energy is not conserved after all as the universe expands.

    Watch on Youtube: https://youtu.be/rp3QRl23clI

    • 36 min
    The Speed of Gravity

    The Speed of Gravity

    Isaac Newton is best known for his theory of gravity. And yet, the great scientist also insisted: "the cause of gravity is what I do not pretend to know.” In other words, notions like gravity, and force in general, are deeply mysterious phenomena. In this episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon ask just what gravity might be. The conversation begins with a feature of gravity that is typically overlooked by physicists, namely that gravity has a speed. According to the physicist Tom van Flandern, the speed of gravity is at least **20 billion times faster than light**!
    https://www.intalek.com/Index/Projects/Research/TheSpeedofGravity-WhattheExperimentsSay.htm


    They consider how gravity might be linked to the notion of levity, a link that can be renewed again. Newton himself was inclined to regard gravity as the divine will in the cosmos and was also influenced by the belief in daemons, particularly the entity called Eros or love. These are go-betweens in the universe, in the case of Eros, attracting all things and securing the many as a whole. Panpsychism and final causes are other themes that arise. Contemplating the mysteries of modern science, often hidden in plain sight, leads naturally to deeply meaningful considerations about the nature of the world in which we live.

    ------
    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.

    https://www.sheldrake.org/about-rupert-sheldrake?svd=84

    ------
    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
    http://www.markvernon.com/books/a-secret-history-of-christianity?svd=84

    • 32 min
    Humanity’s role in nature. Are we more than just a problem?

    Humanity’s role in nature. Are we more than just a problem?

    Environmental degradation caused by technological progress is in the news almost everyday. So can any sense be made of an ancient intuition that human beings are not just part of nature but have a distinctive and positive role to play in nature? In this episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon discuss issues from the significance of consciousness to cosmic emergence in order to explore a vision of humanity in nature that goes well beyond our life being the meaningless byproduct of random processes. Humanity contributes to the diversification and beautification of the natural world, even as monocrops undermine that enrichment, too. Alternatively, religious traditions add a layer of meaning to natural processes that science alone can’t provide, from expressing divine creativity to returning that blessing in the praising of God. Panpsychism, strong emergence and Charles Darwin’s appreciation of the excessiveness of nature are other themes in the conversation, making a case for humanity’s place as participant in the remarkable abundance that surrounds us.

    • 35 min
    The Extension of Mind Through Space and the Sense of Being Stared At

    The Extension of Mind Through Space and the Sense of Being Stared At

    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:
    https://www.sheldrake.org/files/pdfs/papers/The-Nature-of-Visual-Perception.pdf

    The other is on directional scopaesthesia, co-written with Pamela Smart, online here:
    https://www.sheldrake.org/vision

    ------
    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.

    https://www.sheldrake.org?svd=82

    ------
    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
    http://www.markvernon.com/books/a-secret-history-of-christianity?svd=82

    • 42 min
    Can we do without organised religion?

    Can we do without organised religion?

    Churches are in decline, certainly in the western world. People tend not to turn to a priest for spiritual insight or advice. But is a lived relationship with the sacred and wisdom traditions denuded as organised religion disappears? In this Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogue, Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon talk about religious institutions for good and ill. Rupert picks up on a new book by Alison Milbank, Once and Future Parish, to ask how churches can maintain connection with the seasons, place and community, and speak to the whole of our humanity in its rituals and rites of passage. The conversation explores why many people are wary of organised religion, and are inclined to treat religion more as a threat than a visionary promise. The perils of a privatised spiritual questing are set alongside the paucity of contemporary church life, though if it can be hard to live with organised religion, it seems also hard to live fully without it.

    • 37 min
    How to Teach Prayer

    How to Teach Prayer

    Prayer, alongside meditation, is an integral part of religious traditions. God can be prayed to but also saints and angels. In this episode of the Sheldrake-Vernon Dialogues, Rupert and Mark ask whether and why prayer is not widely discussed, how prayer can be practiced, and what prayer might be. They share personal practices of prayer and explore the agency of angels and saints. They ask about the entities that people report encountering when using psychedelics, alongside other questions such as how to pray for people and what can be expected from prayer. The desire to pray seems to be an almost universal human impulse. Much more might be made of it.

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

James E B 1974 ,

Thought provoking and illuminating

Hearing these two intelligent minds conversing on vital questions of living in such lucid and ways that are not so circumscribed by narrow materialism is as refreshing as it is illuminating. Thank you.

ribz ten ,

Two beautiful minds

I listen to each one of these at least three times and let them resonate.

The Octave Doctor ,

A great listen

Have been listening to this podcast for years - fascinating to listen to two obviously highly intelligent and interesting people discuss topics in detail. Highly recommended

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