ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ALAN HALL

There are two important aspects of my life history which have combined to form the inspiration for this website. The first of these is my experience over the last forty-five years of meditation and the interest that this has sparked in me of both the Buddhist and Advaita Vedanta traditions. The second comes out of my academic training in the field of social and economic history. In my youth I completed a Ph.D in social history, followed by several years of post-doctoral research. My particular area of interest was the social impact of technological change.


At first glance these two strands might seem quite distinct; indeed, initially this seemed to be the case for me too. But I slowly began to realise that there is a specific connection. With the first I began gradually to see that what lies on the inside, in the inner view, is quite misleading; we are not really atomised units of selfhood, not forced to continually look inward to find meaning. With the second I found that the world we currently occupy is the product of technological changes, and human responses to those changes, that are as old as human history itself; they go back as least as far as the cognitive revolution of some 70,000 years ago when modern humans first emerged.

As an adult these two themes have continued to fascinate me. Even after I had I exchanged my academic career for one in business, and pursued the traditional and much-cherished values of marriage, home and family, they continued to haunt me and occupy much of my thinking. In so doing, I came to see that two things- an understanding of our innate identity and the way that, based on such an understanding, we might respond to our changing technologies- can help us to solve many of our current difficulties. Of course, I acknowledge that these are many and various, and must include climate change, inequality, poverty, over- population, political tribalism, the rise of artificial intelligence and many other pressing issues. But I think that progress can be made in finding solutions to all of them by beginning with the subject of our, that is each individual’s, innate identity. I believe that our true identity is to be found not through introspection but by looking out at everything that is not the self.

 

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