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This week’s chief entry, which will arrive in a couple days, was originally going to be something in a comic vein; but my heart was not in it, for reasons one might deduce from my last post. Instead I shall be releasing something drier and more academical, concerning Bernard Lonergan, philosophy of mind, and the theology of grace (all of which, strange to say, have some relation to one another). A regular reader of Leaves in the Wind, Andrew Don, asked me in a comment box, “Besides Insight, what by Fr. Lonergan has proved most useful to you on consciousness?” This seemed an invitation to post some material here that had been on the back burner for some time. It consists in passages from two separate lectures delivered some years ago.
It is to me a sobering and somewhat melancholy realization that, as of five days ago, Dark Side of the Moon is 50 years old. Whatever you might think of it—whatever memories, ordinary or extraordinary or psychedelic, it might evoke for you—it is impossible to deny that its continued and continually renewed popularity after half a century is a remarkable phenomenon, and one that tells us something about how thoroughly that era’s popular music established its own enduring genre, but also apparently exhausted its highest potentials. I hope it will not come as a shock when, as I cannot resist doing, I get around to writing about the album, and about how old it makes me feel to be reminded how long ago it appeared. Inevitably, of course, that means discussing “Time,” which is not only exquisitely appropriate to the theme, but which enjoys the distinction of being perhaps the most depressing (and truest) rock song ever recorded.
I recently sat for an interview with a podcast called Acid Horizon (which is a somewhat Pink Floyd-ish name, now that I think of it), run by Zero and Repeater Books. The conversation concerned AI, cybernetics, philosophy of mind, and capitalism. I did not have a professional condenser microphone with me to match those of my interlocutors, due entirely to my own oversight, so excuse the occasional feedback. The link is below. My four interviewers may seem like habitual denizens of a just-off-campus hipster coffee bar, or perhaps pirates, but do not be deceived: they are displaced Romantics, searching the world for sparks of transcendence.