Patrick Ryan and Stephen

These recordings – transcripts given above the audio tape recordings – were in private but noisy settings and not under studio conditions. They are bracketed together in one section as they are not ‘full-bodied’ discussions with a key focus but general conversations in which occasional philosophical points are teased out.  Greta’ joins’ the discussion at the tail-end and is on video.

Stephen:  In philosophical history one of the most important moments was when John Wray, the naturalist, in his history of plants puts the lowest plants first and finishes up with the highest plants.  I think everybody before him had put a hierarchy with God at the top, then angels, and then, going down, man, a top-down view of life, whereas John Wray in the early seventeenth century took the other view.  I think he has not received sufficient acclamation for that. He was a religious man himself.  He had a theological position at Oxford.  We start from the lowest rather than from the highest. That is the reality. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in high morals.  High Divinity, I’m totally against, I don’t think it is the reality.  Reality is my test.  I’ve thought very little about Religion which seems to me an unimportant question. Its surprising in a way. I’ve been surrounded by religious people.  My mother was a convert to Judaism in 1934, (ironical tone) a good date to be converted to Judaism. One of my friends was a deeply religious person.   It didn’t worry her that I wasn’t.

Ryan:  In answer to the question ‘What is important to me?’ I would say: True love, not the love of sex, not casual friendships or relationships. etc, but true love, finding a soul mate, and including true friendship, without that what we call Life for me doesn’t seem to have too much purpose at all. The second thing is candour – with yourself.  Relative comfort in your skin, who you are and what you represent.  A sense of humour is important.  It gets things perspective and to be able to laugh not just at things but at yourself.  One regards one’s identity which is very difficult to define as worth perusing as we are not only Nurture/Nature; we are not only the apple that falls from the tree but the tree itself.

Freddie (Audio Tape not posted up due to distracting background noise):  Meaning moves from one place to another. It is a motive thing.  It is directed, I think, by Will. You are not even aware of it.   We have reason and imagination but its completely sterile without Will. It is all three.  People who can simply reason and rely on it without thinking are in deep trouble.  I think what I want. You need willpower.  Find meaning without engaging the will from we have reasons and imagination and its completely sterile without Will.  Your will directs your thinking and you are not even aware of it.   You can train your Will.  How does Will work?  Reason Imagination and Will; you need all three.  You can’t have one without the others. But Will directs it.  You can train your thinking to yourself as to why you do things.  It’s a bit of a mystery because people don’t think about these things

…In my dream I was trying to work out some connundrum and the solution was revealed in the dream.  I woke up having made progreess at 5.00am and carried on straight away. it felt like hunting or paddling in a canoe.

Patrick (a general speculative conversation in which the following point appears):  People don’t understand the importance of silence. The important thing in meditation is silence.  Where there is absolutely no noise.  One should just shut your eyes.  Noise is distracting.  One can meditate in bed.

Beneath:  Greta puts in her own way the idea: ‘To thine own self be true!