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Institute Shadows

Coming soon to a podcast near you

  I’ve been embarking (virtually) on a publicity tour for my book Collective Wisdom in the West: Beyond the Shadows of the Enlightenment, and the essay The Equality Complex sharing the perspectives that I developed in these works. Jacob Kishere’s Sense Space, the Mourning Talk show with Aaron Parker are recorded with Buddhist Geeks coming […]

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Institute

“The Master and His Emissary” – The Fate of Iain McGilchrist’s Magnum Opus

by Dr Liam Kavanagh Since its 2009 publication, many have been captivated by Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and His Emissary (TMAHE). The book, whose jacket is decorated by approving quotes from famous thinkers and neuroscientists, provides a compelling exploration of the curious division of the brain into two hemispheres. It also relates this hemispheric divide, […]

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Contemplative Activism Salons

Universalism: do we dare question it?

Life Itself Salon Saturday 6th February 6pm – 7:45pm CET Recent political events have made the fact that we live in an experiment more palpable. It is a daring experiment, there is perhaps nothing more experimental in our culture than the idea of achieving equality here on earth before judgement day.  One particular question has […]

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Institute

Word Laundrette 1: Nirvana

I feel Nirvana is as close as we could get to a fully perfected first choice for the word laundry, as it might be the hardest word ever to keep clean. I cannot wash the word “Nirvana” by explaining it to you clearly, no one can explain it in words, not even the few people […]

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Institute

Friends, this is still not working (but congrats, Joe.)

Van Jones was able to call the most important result of the 2020 US Presidential election quickly on Tuesday night ─ there will be no moral victory. Those of us gutted by the climate of hatred in America, the increasing use of racial slurs, the normalisation of limitlessly bald-faced lying and distortion will not see […]

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Contemplative Activism

Contemplative Activism: A Primer

We are proposing that contemplative awareness, skills and practices can inform our responses to our collective cultural process of deep and lasting change. We set out some of our initial ideas in our first paper. Here we are exploring in more depth that some of the proposals might mean. There are some ways in which […]

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Collective Wisdom Contemplative Activism

This uncoordinated Western dance should give us all cause for pause

The metaphor of the dance is something that has occured to a number of people who have described our response to the corona situation. But the institutions, and the wider populations of the West have been engaged so far in a really uncoordinated, frankly hard to watch group dance. Rather like watching a bunch of […]

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Contemplative Activism

Letting go of Being Enlightened

It is strange for me, at this time, to be putting the last touches on a paper on collective wisdom, which argues that to navigate the future well, we Westerners must grapple with our deep attachment to some of our foundational ideas. Is now the time when we start to truly realise that, when we […]

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Contemplative Activism

Contemplative Activism Recap

Contemplative Activism Gathering: Recap and Takeaways from Our First Gathering Just previous to Christmas, Art Earth Tech hosted a gathering on a subject that could almost be oxymoron in our culture – contemplative activism. Thankfully, a great set of people saw promise in this idea and came along – activists from Extinction Rebellion and Transition […]

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Collective Wisdom Contemplative Activism

Collective blind spot #3: the equality complex

This blog series has focused on three revolutionary ideas that have slowly turned into dogmas: the faith in the power of rationality and scientific inquiry, individualism, and equality. I am arguing that seeing these enlightenment concepts as “the truth” has created our most dangerous collective blind spots. Equality is the most difficult of these ideas […]