David Lorimer MA - France
The classical scholar Peter Kingsley has argued that the origins of Western philosophy are to be found in direct experiences of mysticism and gnosis [STEs] rather than in Socratic dialogue and reasoning, which was a later development. We have lost our roots and centre represented by the Self, and our identity is primarily shaped by outer factors corresponding to the third person and quantitative perspective of modern science. This also corresponds to what Iain McGilchrist would understand as the cultural dominance of the left-brain hemisphere at the expense of the right. The last 50 years have seen the rise of interest in Mystical and Near-Death Experiences and their significance for the nature of consciousness and reality. I will suggest that these are one expression of non-dual gnosis that can give us an insight into deeper structures of consciousness, where head and heart come together, pointing to an overall participatory approach beyond the dichotomy of subject and object.
David Lorimer, MA, PGCE, FRSA is a writer, lecturer, poet and editor who is a Founder of Character Education Scotland, Programme Director of the Scientific and Medical Network. He has also been editor of Paradigm Explorer since 1986. He was the instigator of the Beyond the Brain conference series in 1995 (www.beyondthebrain.org) and has co-ordinated the Mystics and Scientists conferences every year since the late 1980s. Originally a merchant banker then a teacher of philosophy and modern languages at Winchester College, he is the author and editor of over a dozen books, most recently A Quest for Wisdom. David is also Chair of the Galileo Commission (www.galileocommission.org) which seeks the expand the evidence base of science of consciousness beyond a materialistic world view. His personal website is www.davidlorimer.co.uk