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Come and join us at the 2019 Mystics and Scientists conference – for over 40 years these meetings have been dedicated to forging a creative understanding of the complementary roles of scientific and mystical approaches to reality. Our topical theme this year is the relationship between technology, spirituality and well being. Speakers include Iain McGilchrist, Jules Evans, Jeffrey Martin and Dr Julia Mosbridge. Is technology always an impediment to our well-being? Can technology sometimes help us on our journey to flourishing? What can tech like virtual reality do to help us find transcendence? This two-day conference is organized in partnership with the Scientific and Medical Network, which is devoted to the emergence of a more enlightened world – a world in which the wisdom of spirituality and the thoughtfulness of philosophy balance the power of science and technology. The conference is happening at the Royal Naval College at the University of Greenwich. To find out more and to book tickets go here: https://explore.scimednet.org/index.php/events/event/mystics-and-scientists-42-2019/#booking
To buy tickets for this event, go to this eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/john-gray-godless-mysticism-tickets-58073752156 In this talk and discussion, leading philosopher John Gray will explore what he calls godless mysticism. In this type of atheism, the world is like God in some negative versions of theology - it is beyond thought or definition. All our concepts are just tools we use to grasp a reality we cannot truly understand. What would it be like to live according to this view? If you accept that neither "God" nor "humanity" describes anything that exists, what will be your values? Will you try to change the human world, or look beyond it? If language is misleading as a guide to reality, what other means can you use to capture what is around you? These and other questions will be considered against the background of John Gray's claim that atheism comes in many varieties, some of the most interesting among them semi-forgotten and little known, but well worth studying. He will draw on philosophers including Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and the Buddha. As usual, there will be breaks for group discussion. This talk will launch the paperback edition of Gray's 'Seven Types of Atheism', a Sunday Times best-seller. 'A highly readable, fascinating book that jerks the debate on religion versus atheism right out of its crusted rut into the light of serious intellectual scrutiny' Observer 'An impressively erudite work'. Terry Eagleton in the Guardian 'John Gray is the great Schopenhauerian Buddhist of our age. The radical core of Gray’s work, unfashionable as it might seem, is a strident defense of the ideal of contemplation against action, whether the bios theoretikos of Aristotle or the ataraxia of the Epicureans. '. Simon Critchely in the LA Review of Books. This talk is presented in partnership with the Experimental Thought Co, at Cafe 1001, a bohemian and atmospheric venue at the heart of the Truman Brewery, near Shoreditch High Street and Liverpool Street stations. The venue has a bar. The talk will start at 7 prompt. Tickets are £15.
It’s a story we can’t stop telling ourselves. Once, humans were benighted by superstition and irrationality, but then the Greeks invented reason. Later, the Enlightenment enshrined rationality as the supreme value. Discovering that reason is the defining feature of our species, and we named ourselves the ‘rational animal’. But is this flattering story itself rational? Philosopher Justin E.H. Smith and psychoanalyst Josh Cohen will attempt to illuminate unreason at a moment when the world appears to have gone mad again. Justin E.H. Smith is professor of the history and philosophy of science at the University of Paris. His new book 'Irrationality: A History of the Dark Side of Reason' will be published in April. Josh Cohen is professor of modern literary theory at Goldsmiths and a practicing psychoanalyst. His latest book 'Not Working: Why We Have to Stop' was published in January. £5 (3 for concessions). At the door.