Beyond Flatland – A day on transformative ways of knowing
Reductionism and literalism are often acknowledged as problems bequeathed to us by the 18th century Enlightenment. They foster tyrannical attitudes that disqualify ways of knowing widely enjoyed by our ancestors.
Owen Barfield called it “camera consciousness”: the ability to look at but not into things. It has become so powerful that even those pursuing imaginative and intuitive modes of perception can run aground on the rocks of spiritual materialism, which can be defined as the tendency to collapse life’s multiple dimensions onto a flatland of mechanical existence.
What is lost is an ability to enter into the felt presence of the world. There is an art to experiencing life across vertical as well as horizontal aspects of reality. It is, at times, troubling as well as liberating, and requires not only challenging modern epistemologies, but embarking on journeys of personal transformation that foster the trust and discernment required to participate fully in the meaning of events and encounters.
This day will suggest ways to recover and evolve a wider, expansive consciousness. It will explore how the power of symbols and synchronicities, divination and everyday intimations of more might be reappraised as forms of knowing that have their own kind of relevance and validity, and help to make sense of our times. These modes of consciousness are crucial in our times. They can reintroduce us to other worlds that are already here.