Each month Jeff Carreria shares on topics of philosophy and culture at the Aligned Center in Irvington, NY. These are not merely lectures, they are mini-workshops in Experiential Philosophy. Yes, you will be introduced to new ideas, but you will also be guided to contemplate these ideas so they shift the way you experience yourself and the world.
These sessions are offered free of charge and we ask that you RSVP for any of the events you plan to attend. Please RSVP to any of the lectures by using the corresponding forms below and we will be sure to remind you to come two weeks before the date.
1 Bridge Street, Suite 64
Irvington, NY 10533
For audio recordings and description of past events in this series, please see here
The Evolution of Love Through Human History
Ask anyone what is love and you will get a different answer and yet all of the answers will be similar. Did you know at one time you could be killed for believing that you were in love with another person? For much of Western History only God was thought of being capable of loving and worthy of being loved and it was considered blasphemous to think otherwise. How about self-love? Today most people agree that it is good to love yourself, in fact it is generally considered an essential aspect of a happy and health life. But the idea that self-love is a good thing only developed about a century or so ago. In this talk you will be treated to the fascinating history of how our conception of love has grown and evolved over time and you will be introduced to some of the revolutionary lovers who created love as we know it today.
Radical Inclusivity, Non-Duality and Oneness
Radical Inclusivity can be thought of as the discovery of an inside that has no outside. It is also a way of accessing and understanding the spiritual experience more often called non-duality. Non-Duality means literally not-two. It is the experience of Oneness, or what the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce called Firstness. In moments of non-dual awareness people report recognizing that there is no separation and all of reality appears to be an indivisible profoundly interconnected whole. In this talk we will explore the nature of awakening to Oneness and you will see how even the merest glimpse of this radical perspective on reality can change your entire life
The Myth of the Individual Achiever and the Reality of Creative Emergence
We have all been trained to think of ourselves as individual achievers. We imagine ourselves to be isolated beings who go through the world make choices and doing things. This talk will present you with an alternative view. Maybe the things that we appear to do are not actually happening due to us. Maybe they are emerging out of the entire circumstance that we find ourselves in. In this talk we will use examples from the worlds of sports and music to explore how things really happen. In the end you will leave realizing that you are never a solo actor in the universe. The entire universe is alive and intelligent and it does things – and some of the things that it does happen with your help.
Listen or download past events in this series
Descriptions of past events in this series
- Jan 23: John Dewey and the Evolution of American Education
John Dewey was the greatest American philosopher of the Twentieth Century. In this lecture you will discover how he founded progressive education in America based on a life-changing insight that he had from his reading of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. His insight was that growth has no endpoint, it does not end, it goes on forever and so should our education. Dewey conceived of education not as a training toward specific goals, but as a way to continually expand our potential for learning more. Join me for this talk and you will be fascinated to recognize how much of your education is directly attributable to John Dewey.
- Feb 27: Introducing Charles Sanders Peirce: America’s Most Original Thinker
The most original thinker in American philosophy was undoubtedly Charles Sanders Peirce. Peirce was the originator of the philosophy of Pragmatism, the founder of the field of Semiotics. He was an extraordinary logician and scientist. He was the first American inducted into the French Academy of Sciences and he influenced the thinking of more intellectual giants than there is space here to mention. In this talk you will take a journey into an extraordinarily creative mind.You will get dizzy trying to keep up with the fearlessness and freedom of his way of inquiry, and you will discover that there is much more to reality than you ever imagined.
- Mar 20: Ralph Waldo Emerson and The Nature of Nature
In 1836 Ralph Waldo Emerson published a small book called Nature. In it he described the bountifulness that the natural world affords us and laid out the basic tenets of Transcendentalism. He also used this little book to detail how unity with nature can be achieved. Its publication ignited a dramatic backlash from conservative churches in Boston and launched a cultural revolution that resulted in the progressive culture in America. In this talk you will explore the major themes of Emerson’s important work and see how some of the ideas he introduced have been incorporated into our current worldview while others are just as revolutionary today as they were nearly two hundred years ago.
- Apr 24: Hippies, Hipsters and other Romantic Revolutionaries
The philosophical history of the past few hundred years reveals how cultures revolve between periods of progressive growth followed by times of Romantic upheaval. These romantic revolutions call for a return to more traditional sources of meaning and value. The original romantic movement was born in the late18th Century in response to the failure of the French Revolution and the hardships of the Industrial Revolution. In this talk you will learn about the nature of Romantic Revolutions and explore the similarities between the English poets of the 18th Century, the Transcendentalists of the 19th Century, the hippies of the 1960’s and Hipsters of today. You will see that the original romantic movement is still alive and well even if it periodically goes underground for a time.
- May 15: William James, Evelyn Underhill, Magic and Mysticism
Evelyn Underhill lived in England at the turn of the century and her book simply called Mysticism is widely recognized today as a classic spiritual study on a par with William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience. James was a scientist who was concerned with amassing evidence in the form of first had accounts of spiritual experience. Underhill was a mystic who drew from her own unending wealth of first hand experience. In this talk you will explore both James’ and Underhill’s approach to the mystical realms and see why they both felt that the pursuit of the miraculous was crucial to the expansion of love and goodness in the world. These two enormously influential figures have similarities and differences and yet both leave you swimming in a sense of awe and mystery.
- Jun 19: William James, Jeffrey Kripal and the Secret History of Paranormal Experience
William James was the first president of the American Psychical Society and he spent a great deal of time studying supernatural abilities. Mainstream American culture today tends to assume that paranormal experiences are fringe events experienced by strange people. In this talk you will discover how one modern academic, Jeffrey Kripal, is putting together the pieces of a secret history of the paranormal and the sociological and economic reasons why it has largely been ignored. Kripal’s contention is that we all have more mystical and paranormal experience than our current belief system allow us to recognize. In his own way Kripal is continuing James’ intellectual pursuits. You won’t necessarily walk away believing in UFO’s or remote viewing, but you will leave knowing that the world is more mysterious than we are taught to imagine.
- Jul 17: Timothy Morton and Reality Beyond the Human Perspective
Timothy Morton of Rice University is Speculative Realist. That means he is a philosopher who believes in the power of wild speculation about the nature of reality. Morton is driven by his concerns around global warming and he believes that the solutions to our ecological crisis will never be found within the bounds of normal thinking. We need to learn to see beyond our current mental attitudes and the inherent limitations of the human experience. The global challenges we face were produced because human beings became a globally influential force while still seeing reality exclusively from our point of view. In this talk you will explore what it means to experience beyond the human perspective and why it is crucial to the future that we do.
- Aug 21: Spontaneity, Flow States and the Philosophy of Peak Performance
Spontaneous actions occur immediately without deliberation or preconception. In Chinese philosophy spontaneity is seen as a source of wisdom and power. William James believed that spontaneity linked us to universal awareness. Modern art was born out of a belief that spontaneous expression gave us access to true novelty. Psychologist and best selling author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has spent a lifetime exploring spontaneous flow states and their relationship to peak human performance. In this talk you will learn about these flow states and explore how they are accessed and utilized. We will take a journey into the wild world of extreme sports where entering into a flow state can literally be a matter of life and death and we will also see how our capacity to act spontaneously can dramatically transform human life.
- Sep 18: Art and the Evolution of Human Culture
What is Art? Why is it important? and How do we know it when we see it? Works of art are not just attractive objects. Artists are cultural innovators. They present us with images, sounds, performances and objects that challenge our unconscious assumptions about life and reality. Art is a kind of philosophy and philosophy is a form of art. In this talk we will explore ideas about the nature and function of art from such luminaries as Leo Tolstoy, John Dewey and the contemporary philosopher Alva Noe. You will discover the central role that artistic endeavors have always played in shaping human culture and you will undoubtedly see yourself as an artist in ways you never imagined.