For the last 50 years, a major focus in my life and work has been building bridges between genuine, open-minded science and genuine, open-minded spirituality. The basic result has come together in my new book, The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal is Bringing Science and Spirit Together, official publication date of April 2, 2009. I’ll say more about the book in other categories of this blog, but basically it’s about why it’s rational and reasonable to be both scientific and spiritually inclined, rather than feeling invalidated, as far too many people do, because we think science long ago proved that all spiritual stuff was nonsense. Yes, there’s nonsense in the religious and spiritual areas of life, as in all areas of life, but there’s a reality core that’s very important!
I will note that I’m kind of amused that the official publication date of the book is April 2nd, but they couldn’t bring out a book mentioning parapsychology on April Fools day, could they? <g>
So why start blogging now? Well, while I hope I will write some more books – the 14th, on explorations of spirituality is already partly planned in my mind – I’m admitting to myself that I’m getting older and don’t have the energy I used to, so maybe there won’t be more books. On the other hand, I write lots of smaller things for my students and others on consciousness, altered states, meditation, parapsychology and Transpersonal Psychology, to mention my main foci, and these “micro-writings” may sometimes be helpful to people in general. So I’ll put them on this blog and see if that works out well, or is just a fantasy of mine.
I also feel like writing in a more personal style. I’ve done the oh-so-very-factual style of science for a long time, it’s fine, but there’s more to me than that, and perhaps sometimes sharing some of that personal me will make my writings more useful.
I’m frankly ambivalent about blogging, though, as I do hope to write more books and give more major lectures and the blogging may become too much of a distraction. This is especially true when it comes to readers’ comments. My mother, bless her soul, taught me that basic politeness requires that you answer all letters addressed to you, but I can’t take the time for that. So I hope to spark useful discussion among you readers with some of my posts, but I will try to discipline myself to only occasionally respond to your comments. Most of the material I’ll be writing about is just so darn interesting anyway, I shouldn’t need to encourage thinking about it and discussing it.
This blog is aimed at thoughtfulness, rather than speed. I will post a main item each week, but the other items and my comments will be irregular, affected by my writing and lecturing schedules. I’ve been told there’s no place for thoughtfulness on the web: I don’t accept that…
I’m going to do my main start by posting material each week from one of my classes at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP), my basic Mindfulness class, in the Transpersonal category. This has been only lightly edited, so can give you the flavor of what classes are like at one of the most unique institutions in the world, ITP, as well as providing a lot of basic information on how to live a more mindful life and understand more about how our minds function.
Lightly edited? In real life I start too many sentences with “And…” but I can’t stand to see this in print, so that kind of editing, but mainly for clarity. One of ITP’s graduate students, Randy Fauver, does the initial editing and I do a final tweak. Randy has an impish sense of humor and created the headings for the various class discussions…Enjoy!
Charles T. Tart