Anthony Peake discusses his book Time and The Rose Garden: Encountering the Magical in the Life and Works of J.B. Priestley. This is a two-part interview. Part one is here
(Stream / download audio at bottom of page)
Active from the early 1900s almost until his death in 1984, English playwright and novelist John Boynton Priestly – when considered at all – is generally regarded as an old fashioned, outmoded relic of a bygone literary age. However, as Anthony Peake shows, Priestly was often far ahead of his time as a thinker, and was an avid explorer of the great existential mysteries which have occupied some of the greatest minds for millennia. Peake draws out common themes in Priestley’s work which strongly suggest that time, space, and matter are not what they seem. In this strange, surreal and, for most people, largely unfamiliar view of reality, mind and matter are intimately intertwined, opening up a panorama of bewildering possibilities. Do past, present and future exist simultaneously in an eternal now? If so, is the past still accessible under certain circumstances, and under similar circumstances, can we foresee the events of the future?
The emergent picture is one of reality as a holistic system in which every part is interconnected with and accessible by every other part. Mind and matter anywhere in the Universe have the potential to affect mind and matter anywhere else in the Universe, instantly, and irrespective of location in either space or time. In this light, psychic phenomena such as precognition, telepathy, and telekinesis suddenly seem possible, and disturbing anomalies such as time-slips, deja vu, ghosts, and UFOs appear less bizarre. As cutting-edge physics continues to construct a scientific framework on which to hang such largely subjective experiences, Peake’s book calls for a reassessment of Priestley’s work and his contribution to our ongoing struggle to comprehend the unfathomable complexities of the cosmos.
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