Wednesday, 7 October • 7:30–9:30 PM
What if science and academia ‘flipped’ into post-materialism?
Join Jeff Kripal to learn about the dramatic transformations of scientists and academics following a ‘flip’ – a reversal of perspective often born of an extreme, life-changing experience. Jeff’s book gives us a visionary new worldview of the cosmos, human consciousness and their intimate connection.
Jeffrey Kripal brilliantly shows how all human experience – and even the history of science itself – is often inspired or driven by an epiphany of mind, when we realise that everything in the cosmos is alive and connected. There is a large, scattered but remarkably consistent set of stories about extreme live-changing experiences that intellectuals, scientists and medical professionals have been reporting for centuries. We meet the people past and present who have made this visionary, intuitive leap towards new forms of knowledge, including Mark Twain’s prophetic dreams, Marie Curie’s séances, AJ Ayer’s near–death experience, and Einstein’s cosmically attuned mind.
Without surrendering an iota of our remarkable scientific and medical knowledge about the material world and the human body, Kripal argues for a profoundly new view of mind and the cosmos. He provides the evidence that direct and personal contact with a deeper reality causes a life-changing ‘flip’ of viewpoint, often resulting in new scientific and technological discoveries, that makes mathematical discovery and scientific knowledge possible at all.
Kripal also addresses and attempts to heal the academic antagonism between the sciences and humanities, arguing that both are responsible for the modern rejection that there is consciousness, meaning or purpose in the universe. If that is true, then questions about what is mind or what is consciousness “don’t matter – we are literally talking about nothing”.
But if we flip this view, and can conclude that consciousness or mind is fundamental and probably even cosmic, then questions of the soul and human destiny become real, and this, he asserts, is “a more interesting world to live in.”
Praise for the book
“One of the most provocative new books of the year, and, for me, mind–blowing” – Michael Pollan
“Weaves together contemporary thought in ecology, quantum physics, evolutionary biology, philosophy of mind, comparative mysticism, and first-person experiential accounts – a manifesto for the role of the humanities in integrating emergent thought in these many domains” – Bradly Lewis, author of Narrative Psychiatry
“One of the most important voices pushing the academy to broaden its perspective beyond the secular” – TH Luhrmann, When God Talks Back
“A practical guide to a deeper and more effective understanding of ourselves and our world” – Presti, Foundational Concepts in Neuroscience
“A warmly vivid account of various science-minded people who have experienced the “Flip”… and a polemical defence of the importance of the humanities in an era when it is blithely assumed that every important problem can be solved with the scientific method … Kripal is passionate and often funny” – Guardian review by Steven Poole
“A radical new understanding of consciousness” – on Freethinking, Radio 3, shared by BBC Art & Ideas podcast on BBC Sounds
“Kripal is not anti-science so much as anti-materialist. Science offers great insights about the world, as does religion, in his view, although neither has all the answers. The Flip attempts to set out a third way between the dogmatism of both” – Mike Marinetto, THES , May 14
Asa taster for the webinar watch this discussion of the book by Rupert Sheldrake and Mark Vernon.
Professor Jeffrey Kripal
Jeffrey J Kripal holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University and is the associate director of the Center for Theory and Research at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. He has previously taught at Harvard Divinity School and Westminster College and is the author of eight books, including The Flip. He lives in Houston, Texas.
‘Prof Jeffrey Kripal – The Flip: Who You Really Are and Why It Matters’ is an evening webinar on Wednesday, 7 October, 7.30-9.30, PM (BST).
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