The classical scholar Peter Kingsley has argued in a series of books that the origins of Western philosophy are to be found in direct experiences of mysticism and gnosis 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 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 is a a writer, lecturer, poet and editor who is a Founder of Character Education Scotland, Programme Director of the Scientific and Medical Network and former President of Wrekin Trust and the Swedenborg Society. He has also been editor of Paradigm Explorer since 1986. 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, as well as three edited books about Beinsa Douno. He is also Chair of the Galileo Commission which seeks the widen science beyond a materialistic world view.