Author and professor Jeffrey Kripal joins Terry to explore the multidimensional, psychophysical nature of reality, as well as the potential of new kinds of agency, cooperation, and co-creativity. They begin by noticing the stranglehold that materialism still seems to have on our popular imagination, and also acknowledge the recent emergence of what Jeff calls “the flip” — a paradigm shift from imagining consciousness as an accidental epiphenomenon to recognizing that it is quite likely more fundamental than matter to the nature of reality. Then, they consider how popular acceptance of the reality of paranormal phenomena, UFOs, NDEs, and other “impossible” experiences may serve as an essential pivot in the larger cultural project of transitioning to a new story — especially as we’re reaching the dead-end of the old materialist story. Already it is beginning to open the collective mind and clearing space for new voices, new stories, and new ways of being together.
Jeffrey Kripal holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University where he also chairs the department. He has also long served on the Board of Trustees of the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Jeff is the author of eight influential books, where he has freely ranged across religious, spiritual, cultural, and paranormal realities — from Eros (passion) to Gnosis (esoteric understanding) to Nous (discernment) to Theosis (the divinization of the human) including, most recently, the wonderful short book, The Flip: Who You Really Are and Why It Matters. If you’ve read his books you are grateful for the kind of scholarly wisdom that makes his books such a pleasure to read. He writes as simply and comprehensibly as possible, emphasizing the meaning, significance, and relevance of ideas, key thinkers and mystics, and their history.
Here are some of the questions Jeff and Terry explore in the episode:
- How can our popular discourse about reality expand beyond highly-credentialed intellectuals and academia to include the countless extraordinary experiences of ordinary people?
- What evidence suggests that people are making “the flip” to a new understanding of consciousness?
- As we recognize the limits of materialism, which new stories are emerging? (Dr. Kripal helps us understand panpsychism, dual-aspect monism and evolutionary panentheism.)
- Is there a philosophical and scientific basis for “flipped” individuals to “dream a new dream?” What about groups “co-creating” from transpersonal consciousnesses?
For more information on Jeffrey Kripal and Terry Patten, check out the following resources:
- Jeffrey Kripal’s website
- Jeff’s recent book, The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge
- State of Emergence podcast website
- Terry Patten’s nonprofit, A New Republic of the Heart
- Terry Patten’s personal website
Would you like to join the conversation?
If you haven’t already joined us, I want to officially invite you to become a Friend of State of Emergence. You’ll receive access to live discussions and Q&A with me every month about our podcast episodes and you’ll also help our podcast become financially sustainable. A vibrant, intelligent, and caring community is already gathering around State of Emergence and we’d love for you to join us as we explore these conversations in greater depth. Our next Q&A event will be on Tuesday, April 13th at 12 PM noon PST (recording will be available). Sign up here.