It is time we explored more radical alternatives. This does not mean giving up on science, it just means broadening our conception of what science is. This issue of Philosophy Now samples the work of four philosophers who specialise in consciousness (including myself). Each of us explores alternatives to conventional materialism. It is early days in the science of consciousness, and time will tell whether any of our approaches will bear fruit. But at the moment the spirit of free enquiry needed to make progress on consciousness is being hampered by an ideological insistence on the materialist paradigm – an ideological insistence not so dissimilar to that experienced by Galileo from the 17th century Catholic Church.
A regenerative culture will have to facilitate the healthy personal development of a human being from ego-centric, to socio-centric, to species-centric, to bio-centric, and cosmos-centric perspectives of self. This means paying attention to how our culture and education system shape our worldview and value system. We need to encourage life-long learning and personal development through supportive community processes and ongoing dialogue, guided by questions rather than answers. We need to live these questions individually and collectively to co-create a new narrative.
As the multiple converging crises we face are creating an accelerated climate of transformation, where change is no longer a possibility to entertain but an inevitable consequence of our collective actions, we are called to switch out of the mindset that created these crises in the first place. In doing so, we undergo a species-level rite of passage that offers us a new and more mature perspective on our intimacy with, and responsibility for, all of life. We are “coming home”