Rupert Sheldrake

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MalaBeads
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Rupert Sheldrake

Postby MalaBeads » Thu May 16, 2013 1:28 pm

Because the name was mentioned here, i took down my copy of Sheldrake's "A New Science of Life, The Hypotheses of Formative Causation" from the shelf and decided to give it another look (this copy is the soft cover 1981 copyright version - he may have updated it with notes in later editions, i don't know).

Its pretty good reading - not too technical (although it somewhat technical) and I'm making this post to recommend Sheldrake's work in general.

A little background: Sheldrake is a Cambridge educated plant biologist. The first draft of this book was written, as he says in the Preface, during a year and a half stay at Shantivanam Ashram in Tamu Nidal. Some more recent work, which also appeared in book form, is called "Dogs Who Know When Their Owners are Coming Home". This is a much more accessible work and if you've ever lived with a dog, not a lot thats in it will surprise you. Both are recommended reading.

Sheldrake's work is one of those things that i have not thought about in years. It would be shame if somehow it gets lost in the general overload of modern life, where people are endlessly distracted by the next big thing. I guess thats why i decided to mention it here.

I very much recommend the dog book (I no longer have my copy or I would be willing to send it on to someone) and if you have a slightly more scientific bent, then 'A New Science of Life' is quite good. You local library may have either or both also. I love libraries.

:smile:
I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

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oushi
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby oushi » Thu May 16, 2013 1:55 pm

Few days ago I came across this interview.

Maybe, somebody will find it interesting.
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MalaBeads
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby MalaBeads » Thu May 16, 2013 3:32 pm

I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

Simon E.
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby Simon E. » Thu May 16, 2013 5:46 pm

Sheldrake is interesting. As far I am concerned the jury is still out.
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Roland
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby Roland » Thu May 16, 2013 8:29 pm

I like his "Trialogues" audio files on his website. Conversations from 1989 to 1998 between Sheldrake, Terrence Mckenna, and Ralph Abraham.
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greentara
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby greentara » Fri May 17, 2013 12:02 am

Interesting to read about Sheldrakes stay at Shantivanam Ashram in Tamil Nadu. Shantivanam was Bede Griffiths ashram, Griffith was a Catholic monk who put on sanyasin robes and atttempted to look like a sadhu. He seemed to have a foot in each camp, was he attempting to convert the locals? I was never really attracted to this sort of teaching or preaching.

MalaBeads
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby MalaBeads » Fri May 17, 2013 12:12 am

I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

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Wayfarer
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby Wayfarer » Fri May 17, 2013 1:28 am

I saw Bede Griffiths speak towards the end of his life - he visited Sydney when he was very old. Wonderful man, radiant even though he was so frail. I read his biography after that, Beyond the Darkness. I met Sheldrake in the 90's too, he was a very charming, erudite and humorous speaker. His last book was called, in some markets, The Science Delusion (as a rejoinder to Dawkins' God Delusion) and in the US market 'Science Set Free'. It is basically an anti-materialist polemic. I liked it, but then I'm the natural audience for that kind of writing.

Just recently Sheldrake caused a stir at one of the TEDx conferences by giving a talk on some of the points in Science Delusion. There were howls of protest from the scientismists (I just made that up) and the video was taken off the TEDx Video Gallery, which then triggered a whole lot more controversy. There was some discussion of that over on

More strength to him, I say. I don't agree with everything that he writes but at least he has the courage to stand up against the mindless materialism of the secular culture.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

MalaBeads
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby MalaBeads » Fri May 17, 2013 1:42 am

I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby DGA » Fri May 17, 2013 2:06 am


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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby Wayfarer » Fri May 17, 2013 2:28 am

Merleau Ponty was not a materialist. He is also a critic of scientific materialism who described the scientific point of view as being 'always both naive and at the same time dishonest'.

And Sheldrake's book was aimed precisely at the likes of Daniel Dennett who are regarded as the authoritative representatives of philosophical materialism. What's 'intrusive about his 'metaphysical program' is simply that he has one.

There's another philosopher, much more mainstream than Sheldrake, by the name of Thomas Nagel, whose current book is called Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. His book - the title basically sums it up - has also triggered outrage amongst the likes of Steve Pinker, Daniel Dennett and the other evangelical atheists. Even more so, in a way, because Nagel is a professed atheist who does not appear to have strange beliefs about morphic fields and the like.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby Wayfarer » Fri May 17, 2013 2:54 am

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

MalaBeads
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby MalaBeads » Fri May 17, 2013 4:29 am

I suppose one of things that I like about what Sheldrake seems to be trying to do is he is using the scientific method to go beyond science in a sense. To look at things that have never been considered properly scientific, things like meditation, psychic phenomenon, and the like.

Its an interesting point about what happens when you do that, do you turn people, meditation, etc. into "objects" in the process and therefore lose something essential, something ineffable? Maybe so.

I know I'm not critical enough in the best sense of the word. I'm a fan. Much too subjective for the scientific world!
I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

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oushi
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby oushi » Fri May 17, 2013 7:34 am

Say what you think about me

MalaBeads
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby MalaBeads » Fri May 17, 2013 11:56 am

I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

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oushi
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby oushi » Fri May 17, 2013 12:54 pm

Say what you think about me

MalaBeads
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby MalaBeads » Fri May 17, 2013 2:16 pm

I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

MalaBeads
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby MalaBeads » Fri May 17, 2013 7:59 pm

Another resource if anyone is interested in a talk by Rupert Sheldrake on the central theses of "Science Set Free".

There is also a second part of this talk on YouTube, easily findable if you listen to the first.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0waMBY3qEA4&sns=em
I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

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oushi
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby oushi » Fri May 31, 2013 8:15 am

Very good Ted Talk. I like the approach of questioning everything.

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MalaBeads
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Re: Rupert Sheldrake

Postby MalaBeads » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:55 am

I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.


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