Posts in category Academic

Why the right (brain) is right…

Are you a right-brain or left-brain type of person? Is there such a thing? Are there differences between our left and right brain hemispheres? Does it matter? Research into the left and right brain hemispheres was popularised in the 1970s, it exaggerated and reified the two sides of the brain as if some people were "right-brain" dominant: creative, image-based, intuitive, emotional; and other people were "left-brain" dominant: mathematical, language-based, logical. Research has since found Read more [...]

Alan Watts’ ‘dramatic model’ and the pursuit of peace

My latest academic publication - on the work of my favourite philosopher of all time: Alan Watts, and how his "dramatic model of the universe" can contribute to peace 🙂 Abstract This article explores the contribution of Alan Watts’ ‘dramatic model of the universe’ to the pursuit of peace. It locates Watts’ critique of dominant Western worldviews alongside process philosophers, ecologists and peace theorists who have made similar claims. It focuses on Watts’ proposition that understanding the Read more [...]

“Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization”

After two years of anticipation, in June this year I attended a conference called "Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization", which brought together many of my favourite scholars. I was like a teenager anticipating a music festival with all their favourite bands. Such a geek! Around 2000 people attended the conference from around the world, splitting into 12 sections and 82 groups to workshop different ideas, uncover deeper understandings of the causes of the ecological crisis, Read more [...]

A Wattsian Message of Happiness for 2015

In 1940, as the Second World War began its violence, a 25-year old Alan Watts published a book called The Meaning of Happiness. Its subtitle was the quest for freedom of the spirit in modern psychology and the wisdom of the East. This book shares the same essential message of  countless books, articles and lectures that followed: you are not only what is inside your "bag of skin", you are what is outside of it too. To kick off the new year, let me explain what this means and how it relates to Read more [...]

Thoughts, actions, habits, destiny

In yoga last week my teacher drew attention to our thoughts. She said something along the lines of "our thoughts become our actions, our actions become our habits, our habits become our character, and our character determines our destiny." This related to my current research project that is looking at connections between narratives and peace (which I have been madly trying to finish for the last year, hence the lack of blogging...) Our thoughts are made up of narratives. Because we live in Read more [...]

Global wealth pyramid – Credit Suisse

If your total wealth is over 1 million dollars you are in the top 0.5% of the global wealth pyramid. If you have between 100k and 1m, you are in the top 7.5%. If you have somewhere between 10k and 100k, you are still in the top third of the global pyramid. If you own over 50 million dollars worth of assets, you are one of only 81,000 people on this planet. If over 10 million you are still one of the richest 1 million people out of 7 billion people. Not to say I know many people with Read more [...]

What is Fundamentalism?

The word "Fundamentalism" might make you think of people with unwavering beliefs who refuse to consider alternative views. You could be thinking of people committed to a political ideology on the far left or far right, or maybe a form of religious fundamentalism. The word is often used interchangeably with "Extremism", which may make you think of suicide bombers, hate crimes against gays, sexual discrimination against women—anyone who use a "Holy Scripture" to justify violence. Yet you might Read more [...]

Panentheism: Reframing the God debate

Rather than debating "Is there are God?" shouldn't it first be clarified "what exactly one is referring to by this word "God"? Can Panentheism provide a new slant on the God debate between New Atheists and Fundamentalist Christians? I am having a mini thesis crisis - overwhelmed by wanting to say too much on too many things, referring to too many theorists, so I thought I'd share part of it with you and see if that helps. Some of the questions I ask myself: Does "God" need to be understood Read more [...]

Life is a Conversation

Life is '“a conversation that has gone on for centuries,” that one comes in and one tries to hear others both dead and living, and eventually may add to the conversation. “But there comes a time to leave the conversation and the conversation will go on.”'[1] Paul Ricoeur saw his life as a conversation, and his was a conversation I can only dream to join... Ricoeur was a French philosopher (aren’t they all?) who wrote over 50 books and is one of the top five most important philosophers Read more [...]

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