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Pagans and the Living World

By Gus diZerega

[Snip] My reading has shifted from politics to exploring recent studies exploring how our world is truly conscious “all the way down.” So long as materialist reductionism dominate the intellectual conversation, with irrational monotheism as the alternative, we will be regarded as exotic outsiders, and not taken seriously. This conversation desperately needs widening. More and more people are becoming aware of the inner bankruptcy of the Enlightenment project and its monotheistic alternatives, and so are open to views such as that of many Pagans if they are skillfully presented.

Mainstream philosopher of science Thomas Nagel’s short Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, argues materialistic reductionism will not work and suggesting possibilities with more promise. All involve making consciousness in some sense a fundamental aspect of reality “all the way down.” Coming from the perspective of process philosophy, Christian de Quincey’s Radical Nature: The Soul of Matter is a more demanding work making the positive case that nature is conscious. After Nagel demolishes, de Quincey builds. These two books are an excellent beginning, and for most, probably a good ending to seeing how a Pagan friendly outlook helps solve problems in the contemporary worldview, and does so from the perspective of contemporary thinking.

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