Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Science, Magic & Meaning: Deepak Chopra Interviews Rupert Sheldrake & Jill Purce

Wild genius conversation is a rare thing these days. This fresh, psychedelically-shot new interview of (the recently ‘banned’ by TED) biologist and former Cambridge professor Rupert Sheldrake and author of Dogs Who Know When There Owners Are Coming HomeThe Sense of Being Stared AtThe Science Delusion, and 8 others books and 80 scientific papers, by Deepak Chopra is just that–a virtuoso romp through the cutting-edge of our understanding of consciousness. Sit back and enjoy two men delighting in the sharing of ideas. Able to fluidly float through areas of mystery and unknown territory, they never fall into the reflexive pitfall of always needing to be the-man-with-all-the-answers that traps most authority figures in our culture.
In the first video, Rupert describes his educational beginnings and how he’s always seen the pervasiveness of consciousness throughout nature. He explains the genesis of his theory of morphogenetic fields through his recognition that chemical reaction in plants is not enough to explain how the same cells produce their different parts, and suggests these fields as a kind of form memory in nature. To Rupert’s clear delight, Chopra then introduces a corresponding example from Vedanta. How refreshing it is to see two icons actually listening to each other. They place their views into each other’s models without ego getting in the way and their mutual enjoyment of the dialogue is palpable.

Science Beyond the Superstitions of Materialism


The second video begins with a cheesy joke at Richard Dawkins’ expense and then proceeds into a revelatory undermining of the view of human beings–and animals–as biological robots. Rupert points out the evidence of purposiveness and intention in animals and extends that demonstration into a meaning-filled view of the whole of existence.
“I’m taking the radical view that living organisms are living organisms–not machines. They’re just what most people would think they are . . . I think the whole universe is like an organism.  It’s born small in the Big Bang, it’s like the hatching of the cosmic egg and after that it grows and as it grows new forms and structures appear within it, like a developing plant or animals.  It’s not like any machine we know.”
This view highlights the deep hubris of our culture–we use human-made metaphors (robot, clock) to (mis-)understand the world around us.  He goes on to recount how our mistaken view of the world as a random meaningless machine comes from a reverse engineering of the materialists, who started by looking at plants and animals as machine and were eventually forced to take the same view of people. The error here is easy to see as machines have no purpose, but people, and all living things do have goals, desires and intentions. “And if the Universe isn’t a machine, it’s an organism then why shouldn’t the whole universe have a purpose? ”
The dialogue continues to be gripping as Deepak recounts his correspondence with renown physicist Freeman Dyson. It finally peaks in a discussion of creativity as “the ultimate mystery.”

Science Set Free


A truly incredible journey into the power of the voice to enchant and transform is served up next in Deepak’s conversation with the formative Jill Purce. They discuss the sound’s capacity to invoke healing and dissolve boundaries. Speaking literally on the out-of-tune nature of the Western harmonic system, Purce conjures images of that fact’s deeper symbolic truth. The potency of this dialogue is difficult to sum up with the words; watch it for yourselves and see what I mean. The strength of tone she summons in her demonstration is impacting at first and then transforms into a tonal prism–it’s a sonic magic trick, yet healing too and hard to forget; sound is made to produce “an induction of order.”

The Healing Voice


I invite you to a conversation bursting with life-filled, embodied intelligence. You will be moved. You’ll feel smarter–and better connected to the world’s true wonder–after you watch it. Rupert Sheldrake and Jill Purce will be speaking together, along with (the also recently ‘banned’ by TED) Graham Hancock and others, at the SYNCHRONICITY: Matter & Psyche Symposium in Joshua Tree, CA this September.