Article in Society / Philosophy
Quotes from my new book exploring how to unlock our natural empathy and creativity by changing the way we perceive self and world and developing a more artistic and intuitive approach to science based on the fluid boundary logic of 'natural inclusionality'


Unlocking Our Natural Empathy and Creativity

By Alan Rayner

O-Books, 2011. ISBN 978-1-84694-980-7


"All the signs are that thousands of years of abstract thought have led modern human cultures to become neglectful to the point that we no longer know how or why to care for one another and the natural world" (p.11).

" Once aware of this receptive presence we recognise the impossibility of defining or measuring anything in absolute numerical terms anywhere, because all form has both a 'figural', energetic inner-outer interfacing or dynamic boundary, which makes it distinct, and a 'transfigural' - through the figure - spatial reach that cannot be sliced or limited" (p.13).

"Evolution can only proceed through natural inclusion - the co-creative, fluid dynamic transformation of all through all in receptive spatial context" (p.14)

“Natural inclusionality radically changes our perception of the source of human vulnerability and recognizes this also as vital to our ability to live, love and be loved. This source is nothing less than the receptive space and creative potential that all definitive ways of thinking intransigently ignore or deny” (p.24)

“We move from angrily declaring our autonomous right to be happy and not to suffer, or serenely denying the distinctness of our bodily selves, to accepting our receptive human need for love and care” (p.25)

"There is something about the nature of infinity that defeats the purpose of a controlling mind: a permissiveness that makes room for all kinds of unpredictable possibilities in the long run" (p.33)

"Within this limitless pool and its vital inhabitants we find an understanding that for us brings hope of a more creative, sustainable and loving future for humanity and our companions" (p.39)

"To sustain this understanding depends on the imaginative capacity to hold both the figural (local energetic configuration of space) and transfigural (non-local continuous depth/openness of space) simultaneously and dynamically (i.e. fluidly) in mind" (p.40).

"Beneath all, I am suggesting that we need to learn or re-learn how to live and love a little more, and conflict a lot less, if we are to attune co-creatively with our ever-tranforming natural neighbourhood" (p.124)

"Such is the paradox that has been built into the foundations of human thought for millennia through the mental dislocation of matter from space - that we preach the virtues of tolerance at the same time as fearing that it will expose us individually and/or collectively to enfeeblement and evil forces" (p.144).

" The dynamic inclusion of receptive space in natural fluid flow is the basis for the 'logic of the including middle' or 'inclusionality', which has the effect of transforming the rigid intolerance of abstract rationality into a much more permissive and creative view of life and evolutionary processes" (p.155).

" Something, or rather somewhere vital gets overlooked when striving to preserve life by encapsulating it, whether in some integral whole or in the set apart part that implies the existence of such a whole" (p.170).

"We cannot live without breathing. Yet in opening ourselves up to natural energy flow we also lose some of the local self-definition that would otherwise isolate our insides from our outsides as discrete objects" (p.171).

"Each is variably open to others' energetic influence. It has no need to oppose what ultimately and inescapably includes itself, open to endless creative evolutionary possibility" (p.172).

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About the Author 

Alan Rayner
Dr Alan Rayner is a naturalist who uses art, poetry, fluid mathematics and careful science to enquire and communicate about the evolutionary

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