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A summary prepared by Alan Rayner, March 2012
I hope to help develop a way of understanding life that makes natural sense by considering all its aspects, not just those that are specially favoured by one point of view or another. To do this, I think it is vital to liberate our imagination from present confinements that arise from thinking and perceiving in age-old ways that do not make natural sense and result in needless conflict, cruelty and environmental destruction. I think this liberation will make it possible for us to live, love and be loved more caringly, enjoyably, tolerantly and creatively.
At the heart of this understanding will need to be a change in the way many of us have been led to perceive space and boundaries respectively as empty distance and definitive limits between one thing and another thing. That perception cannot make sense of evolutionary change and so leads to paradoxical and alienating conclusions about life. It makes more natural sense to perceive space as a continuous receptive presence or ‘intangible pool’ and boundaries as energetic interfacings between distinguishable but not isolated localities within this pool. In this way we come to appreciate all forms, including our selves, as fluidly bounded flow-forms – dynamic inhabitants of our natural neighbourhood, like whirlpools in a water flow, not exceptions from it. We release our natural empathy and creativity and open the way respectively to explore beyond and resolve the abstract definitions and paradoxes that have blighted our scientific, theological, educational and governmental theory and practice for so long.
Obviously I cannot expect to be able to do this on my own. The most I can do personally is try to ease the process through living as caringly as I can, engaging with others, learning, and making my learning publicly available through my writings, artwork and oral presentations. As I do so, I bear in mind the need to see and value others’ points of view as well as for them to see and value mine. But this does not oblige me or others to accept, without reservation, the truth of views or expressions of views that do not make natural sense, no matter how well intended they may be.
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About the Author
Dr Alan Rayner is a naturalist who uses art, poetry, fluid mathematics and careful science to enquire and communicate about the evolutionary
A poetic reminder of what not to forget, which single-mindedness does its level best to forget.
A brief poetic reflection on what locks most people in to a damaging perception of reality that automatically prevents receptivity to what would open the way to a more sustainable, loving and enjoyable way of life.
Four paintings by Alan Rayner expressing awareness of self-identity as a dynamic inclusion of natural neighbourhood.