Daniel Pinchbeck, was a pioneer in exploring consciousness, but now he’s sure the world will end if we don’t trade carbon credits.
photo by: Climate change collage
Welcome to Skeptiko, where we explore controversial science and spirituality, with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics. Today’s guest definitely fits in that category. Daniel Pinchbeck is a leading thinker about consciousness and he has a lot to say about science in his new book, How Soon Is Now
. So why did we wind up having a conversation that sounds like some kind of frick’n political debate? I don’t know, but I think I have some ideas and I need to talk about them, because this crap has been going on for too long now. Ever since this crazy election in the United States, a lot of people in the parapsychology, near-death experience, extended consciousness, whatever you want to call this realm, have been on tilt:
Alex Tsakiris: Well earlier on you were kind of defending the mainstream media as saying, “Hey, they don’t get everything wrong.” Certainly they don’t get everything wrong…
Daniel Pinchbeck: There is no inconsistency in my perspective, it’s highly coherent. I’ve spent years developing it. I feel that you’re not… like I don’t know, maybe we need to spend six hours haranguing this out, I don’t think it’s going to happen in one podcast. It’s highly coherent and it’s systemic. We have a systemic illness going on. People are lost, people are confused, people are scared, the whole system is designed to make them that way.
We can put this thing back into balance, but first we have to have the imagination that it’s possible, and that’s what great thinkers like Oscar Wilde and Buckminster Fuller and Hannah Arendt, to help us to have that imagination, so we have to realize that it doesn’t have to be this way, that we could actually create a harmonic system that works in resonance, in harmony with the ecology of the earth as a whole system.
We could do that, okay? Just in the same way we figure out how to fly, just in the same way we figure out how to make smartphones and extract all these rare minerals and fossil fuels from the environment. We could not turn our attention to how do we make this thing work for all human beings, for our entire human family? We have the technical capacity to do that, as Buckminster Fuller said, it’s a design problem and it’s an imagination problem.
Alex Tsakiris: Okay. I think it’s okay to disagree, so I don’t have a problem that you don’t see my ideas as coherent or even sensible or anything like that, or that I don’t see yours as coherent, I mean that’s really not the issue.
Daniel Pinchbeck: I’m going to meet you at the same level of force that you’re meeting me, because otherwise I feel that I’m not even getting a listening here. I’m sorry, you know?
Alex Tsakiris: That’s why I paused before, to make sure you had a chance to talk. So let me kind of respond to what you’re saying, in really a new way, okay, that I think relates to your book in an important way and a way that is synergistic with my approach, because is it possible that the material world, that we’re talking about right, because there’s this spiritual, extended consciousness world, that we were talking about earlier on, that may exist and may have a totally different set of rules than this material “end justifies the means” [world we’re talking about], those two worlds could be different in some important ways, that we don’t realize. I’m just throwing that out as a possibility. So, isn’t it possible that it’s true what a lot of spiritual teachers tell us,