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Contemplative Activism

Tending the seeds of a “new” culture — Hope, History, and Humility

We started Life Itself in 2016 because it seemed time for seeds of another culture to sprout. My hope was actually largely based on what was falling apart. Disturbing elections were happening, faith in capitalism was shaken, news about global warming was worsening. Death makes room for life, and chaos and lost faith mean new […]

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Uncategorized

Self-Burning Confronts Us With Radical Concern, If We Let It.

Activism’s most inspiring power is to transmit the greatest aspirations of humanity to people who have no intention of receiving these aspirations. When activists grab our attention their consciousness can sometimes bleed into ours. Ultimately a different consciousness must be transmitted among ourselves if humanity’s most self destructive habits are to change. That is why […]

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Events Programs

Insight, Interbeing and Science, May 2022

Humanity needs a kind of spirituality that we can all practice together. Dogmatism and fanaticism have been the cause of great separation and war. In the twenty-first century … it will be possible to establish a cosmic religion based not on myth, belief, or dogma, but on evidence and the insight of interbeing.” Thich Nhat […]

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Uncategorized

A Teacher of Eternity: A lasting afternoon with Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh lives on in his community, world wide influence on mindfulness practice, and his books. “He will never die”, but it is natural for his passing to be sad – personal contact with Thich Nhat Hanh was a very rare form of contact with thousands of years’ contemplation of the eternal. My heart […]

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Sustainable Wellbeing

The Politics of Sustainable Wellbeing: A Primer

Sustainable well-being (SWB) ─ the notion that wellbeing is our top priority and future generations’ wellbeing should be as good or better than ours ─ is an obvious organising principle for our society. However, the climate action/sustainability and wellbeing movements do converge on this message. On the whole, climate debate does not center discussion of […]

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Sustainable Wellbeing

Conservative Planning for Social Well-being

True conservatism involves planning for storms on the horizon. The conservative assumptions required of financial planners allow them to help plan for clients’ financial welfare in all reasonably forseeable scanarios. This means being pessimistic about how rosy the future will be. Yet a different and perhaps unfortunate use of the term “conservative” prevails in climate […]

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Policy Sustainable Wellbeing Wellbeing

Life Itself Conversations: Sustainable Wellbeing

Sustainable wellbeing is an obvious organising principle for society: that we should live in a way that enables future generations to enjoy being alive as much as us (or more). Yet this ethos is not truly at the heart of either the environmental movement or the well-being movement – or society as a whole. Why […]

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Life Itself Labs

Goodby Institute, Hello Labs

Introducing Life Itself Labs: the new version of our research wing Life Itself’s research wing is renaming itself from the Life Itself Institute to Life Itself Labs. This reflects our entry to a phase of pragmatic experimentation – though one still informed by deep reflection. The effort is also getting a new online home at: […]

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Institute Shadows

Coming soon to a podcast near you

  I’ve been embarking (virtually) on a publicity tour for my book Collective Wisdom in the West: Beyond the Shadows of the Enlightenment, and the essay The Equality Complex sharing the perspectives that I developed in these works. Jacob Kishere’s Sense Space, the Mourning Talk show with Aaron Parker are recorded with Buddhist Geeks coming […]

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Institute

“The Master and His Emissary” – The Fate of Iain McGilchrist’s Magnum Opus

by Dr Liam Kavanagh Since its 2009 publication, many have been captivated by Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and His Emissary (TMAHE). The book, whose jacket is decorated by approving quotes from famous thinkers and neuroscientists, provides a compelling exploration of the curious division of the brain into two hemispheres. It also relates this hemispheric divide, […]