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Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake, a fresh take

Posted by: Tedstaff

We’ve been reviewing the response this past weekend to our decision to move two TEDx talks off the TEDx YouTube channel and over here onto the main TED Blog. We’d like to recap here what happened and suggest a way forward.

UPDATE: To discuss the talks, view them here:

The debate about Rupert Sheldrake’s talk
The debate about Graham Hancock’s talk

Four years ago, TED began an experiment in which we granted free licenses to people who wanted to organize their own local events in which ideas could be exchanged, with talks captured on film and uploaded to YouTube. These events use the brand name TEDx, where x stands for “self-organized.” Organizers pledge to work within a set of rules, but then they have freedom to run the event themselves. Speakers are invited without our pre-approval. Requests to hold TEDx events poured in from all over the world, and to date, more than 5,000 have been held, with around 8 more every day. There’s been TEDxBoston, TEDxAmsterdam, TEDxBaghdad, TEDxKabul, TEDxSoweto, and so forth, a thrilling explosion of idea sharing that has spawned more than 25,000 recorded talks on YouTube (uploaded there by the organizers themselves, without our prescreening). We have selected more than 200 TEDx talks to appear on ourmain TED.com homepage, where they have attracted millions of views. This growth is made possible by our deliberately open approach.

The obvious question is “how do you ensure the quality of these events”?

Our approach is to empower organizers to achieve greatness, by providing detailed guidelines – and guidance – on what works and what doesn’t. And we’re constantly amazed at how good most of these events are. But we also count on the community to help when things go wrong. Occasionally a TEDx event will include a speaker who causes controversy or upset. When that happens, someone in the community will flag the talk, and we have to decide how to respond.

One option would be to have an “anything goes” policy. We could just say that these events are the responsibility of the local organizer and wash our hands of it. The problem with that stance is that we would soon find the TEDx brand and platform being hijacked by those with dangerous or fringe ideas. And eventually credible speakers would not want to be associated with it. TED’s mission is not “any old idea” but “ideas worth spreading.” We’ve taken a deliberately broad interpretation of that phrase, but it still has to mean something.

The hardest line to draw is science versus pseudoscience. TED is committed to science. But we think of it as a process, not as a locked-in body of truth. The scientific method is a means of advancing understanding. Of asking for evidence. Of testing ideas to see which stack up and which should be abandoned. Over time that process has led to a rich understanding of the world, but one that is constantly being refined and upgraded. There’s a sense in which all scientific truth is provisional, and open to revision if new facts arise. And that is why it’s often hard to make a judgement on what is a valuable contribution to science, and what is misleading, or worthless.

Some speakers use the language of science to promote views that are simply incompatible with all reasonable understanding of the world. Giving them a platform is counterproductive. But there are also instances where scientific assumptions get turned upside down. How do we separate between these two? We have done two things as a tentative answer to this question:

- we’ve issued a set of guidelines to TEDx organizers.

- and we’ve appointed a board of scientific advisers. They are (deliberately) anonymous, for obvious reasons, but they are respected working scientists, and writers about science, from a range of fields, with no brief other than to help us make these judgements. If a talk gets flagged they will advise on whether we should act or not.

When Sheldrake and Hancock’s talks were flagged, the majority of the board recommended we remove them from circulation, pointing out questionable suggestions and arguments in both talks. But there was a counter view that removing talks that had already been posted would lead to accusations of censorship. It’s also the case that both speakers explicitly take on mainstream scientific opinion. This gives them a stronger reason to be listened to than those who simply use scientific sounding language to make nonsensical claims. So we decided we would not remove the talks from the web altogether, but simply transfer them to our own site where they could be framed in a way which included the critique of our board, but still allow for an open conversation about them.

What happened next was unfortunate. We wrote to the TEDx organizer indicating our intention and asking her to take the talks off Youtube so that we could repost. She informed the speakers of what was coming, but somehow the part about the talks staying online got lost in translation. Graham Hancock put out an immediate alert that he was about to be “censored”, his army of passionate supporters deluged us with outraged messages, and we then felt compelled to accelerate our blog post and used language that in retrospect was clumsy. We suggested that we were flagging the talks because of “factual errors” but some of the specific examples we gave were less than convincing. Instead of the thoughtful conversation we had hoped for, we stirred up angry responses from the speakers and their supporters.

We would like to try again.

We plan to repost both talks in individual posts on our blog tomorrow, Tuesday; note a couple of areas where scientists or the community have raised questions or concerns about the talks; and invite a reasoned discussion from the community. And there will be a simple rule regarding responses. Reason only. No insults, no intemperate language. From either side. Comments that violate this will be removed. The goal here is to have an open conversation about:

- the line between science and pseudoscience

- how far TED and TEDx should go in giving exposure to unorthodox ideas

We will use the reasoned comments in this conversation to help frame both our guidelines going forward, and our process for managing talks that are called into question.

Both Sheldrake and Hancock are compelling speakers, and some of the questions they raise are absolutely worth raising. For example, most thoughtful scientists and philosophers of science will agree it’s true that science has not moved very far yet in solving the riddle of consciousness. But the specific answers to that riddle proposed by Sheldrake and Hancock are so radical and far-removed from mainstream scientific thinking that we think it’s right for us to give these talks a clear health warning and to ask further questions of the speakers. TED and TEDx are brands that are trusted in schools and in homes. We don’t want to hear from a parent whose kid went off to South America to drink ayahuasca because TED said it was OK. But we do think a calmer, reasoned conversation around these talks would be interesting, if only to help us define how far you can push an idea before it is no longer “worth spreading.”

Comments (418)

  • m mahmood commented on May 20 2013

    censorship is never good….especially on a forum which propagates new ideas….

  • Heather Dyer commented on May 18 2013

    The reasons for the censorship of this talk seem petty, since these points were not made strongly and were not the focus of his talk. The decisions for censorship smack of fear, rather than fair play. Disappointing, given how wonderful TED is.

  • Dan O'Brien commented on May 14 2013

    I think removing these talks is opening a can of worms. I have seen many ted talks and I am sure that many of the facts can be disputed as not being scientifically verified. Furthermore I have seen many talks that contradict each other. Some predict a bleak economic future while others present an optimistic one. Is the board going to review those talks as well for the accuracy of the economic facts. Does Ted advocate the idea that our economic future is bleak or bright? Does the tag line “ideas worth spreading” mean that TED must agree with the idea or merely that the idea is worthy of discussing? The remarks by the board seem to indicate that you must not only consider the idea worthy of debate but also one that the board has made a judgement as to its value to society. By removing this talk Ted seems to be implying that it is not of value to society. In reality the arguments against the value of these talks practically non existent but those that are there are vacuous and weak. What Ted is doing here is making a biased judgment. I would claim that the rebuttal made by Ted is much more poorly argued then the talks that were censored which I found to be quite intriguing and presenting with much more unbiased reasoning then the rebuttals themselves. I suggest that you apply your own standards to your rebuttal and remove them from this site. Your initial remarks that you subsequently crossed out is highly revealing of the biased reason for censoring the talks. Yes and don’t kid yourself Do you honestly believe that the readerships does not consider what you did to be censorship? Without getting into the exact semantics of that word lets just say that what you are attempting to do is to suppress the distribution of the talk so that it will not reach a wider audience.

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  • Brian Steere commented on Apr 28 2013

    Science can easily become a ‘Dalek’s eye’ view of a Relational Wonder.
    It is a tool and not the defacto way the Universe see itself. As expressions of such a Universe, it is not the way we see ourself, but is a way of thinking that can be used creatively.

    It is clear that the medieval mind resisted the expansion of awareness and communication, and the scientific mind followed a path of breaking out from false constraints, bringing an expanded perspective – and accessing new experience and yet eventually undermining the sense of cohesion and meaning with a set of mental constructs, that are witnessed to by powers to manipulate the world, and our bodies, hitherto unimaginable.

    The religious mind can be seen for its modus of mind-control, for the mentality that seeks power to manipulate uses whatever is to hand, yet there is within the spiritual sense, an intuitive apprehension of discernment and wisdom – which is not within the range of the mind that would ‘lord it’ over life.

    Science tries to be free of the personal bias, yet its exclusion is the loss of the evidence via which the process of discernment occurs.

    I see all of the essential mind-control aspects associated with religion (in many scientists) alive and active through the scientific endeavour.

    The study of Mind, is not realistically going to be undertaken by a virtual mind that thinks to separate itself out and then ‘observe and measure and deduce’. Yet I feel the study of Mind is the willingness to be guided in the uncovering of a greater perspective than any framework our own thinking can manufacture. For it is the transformative ‘undoing’ of the virtual self-sense that lies beneath the addictions and blindness of the programmed or conditioned mechanism we take as our self and our world (when we subscribe to a materialist definition of our experience of be-ing).

    The personal identification with a modus of power or control is a coercive distortion upon a Universal Field of awareness and discernment.
    Yet observed AS such, is like seeing a movie as a movie rather than engaging it within its drama.

    Speaking to one who is dreaming may well be interpreted within the drama of their dream, or ignored or resisted by the desire to persist in dreaming. But there is no struggle except in the dreamer’s imagination. One is simply inviting awakening.

    Cultural shifts can be recognized by the symptoms. But if the ground (of Consciousness) has changed, there is no basis to be what we once took to be reality. Though we can hold on to personal assertion in the face of invalidity for as long as we can tolerate pain of a pervasively conflicted joylessness.
    Ingenuity can make such pain seem to be ‘out there’ and distract with wars against the ‘problem’ in order to protect the primary investment of an independent (loveless) personal identity – which justifies itself to itself because that is its ‘job description’.
    Set mind free from self-serving justifications that imprison and deny us – by noticing them and not be seeking to define them out in absolute terms.
    The deceiver is adept at the arts of protection from the fears it sows in our own heart. “Steal a kingdom”? – no steal the mind! “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws”.
    This pattern can be uncovered in our own mentality. The world reflects back to us, the activity of mind of which its experience is actually constituted. Studying the world IS studying the Mind. The personal sense IS a vitally inherent aspect of evidence. The perspective that observes it is resisted or denied or defended against as a fundamental expression of survival. Yet can an illusory dramatic overlay be said to be ‘alive’?

    • Don Wesley commented on Apr 28 2013

      Hi Brian Steere,
      This is just an honest question from old guy.
      It relates directly to your first paragraph – the following:
      “It is clear that the medieval mind resisted the expansion of awareness and communication, and the scientific mind followed a path of breaking out from false constraints, bringing an expanded perspective – and accessing new experience and yet eventually undermining the sense of cohesion and meaning with a set of mental constructs, that are witnessed to by powers to manipulate the world, and our bodies, hitherto unimaginable.”

      My question is – What does todays pscychiatrict pill do, that is different from the medieval-mind?

      • Brian Steere commented on Apr 28 2013

        Hi Don, firstly, I could say that my point is that there are common elements in both regarding a control mentality, even if via different channels of expression.
        I don’t claim expertise in psychiatry. I have the sense that where there is a desire and capacity for breakthrough, such pills can be suppressive of an emerging basis for a greater integration. But where the disintegration is of a nature that doesn’t allow enough stability to function safely, then they can serve a useful purpose.
        My sense is that real relationships are the context in which things can be found that help meet a real need.
        The attempt to manipulate and control life – whether using drugs or guilt, propagandistic conditioning or appeal to higher powers, is always a substitute for honest relating.
        We humans do not find it easy within our ‘self’ nor therefore with each other. This is another way of saying we are mentally ill.

        Surviving or coping within a hostile, loveless, and deceptive world is not easy for anyone. While its foundations remain unchallenged, the search is for ways to make it less intolerable, so as to normalize what is actually a state of alarm or dis-ease.

        The purposes we hold dictate the uses to which we put tools and indeed the kind of tools we develop. The purpose of reintegration of our consciousness is the natural movement of life and yet runs counter to the defence mechanism we call consciousness. So there are conflicting movements in our society and in our minds. “Medieval man may have appealed to magical means and “Rational” man may try to reduce and subordinate all things to human reason. But reason is truly a word for sanity and is as far beyond human rationality.

        Lovelessness is an aspect of human consciousness that science cannot address, because love is the unified expression of life and science is a specialisation of ‘divide and rule’ – unless it is only practised in a true spirit of service to life – as discerned and not in conceptual substitutions for the Living.

        The powers that I referred to have tended to cost us our ‘Soul’; that is our present capacity to feel and know life directly – as is upheld by the true religious or spiritual sense – as distinct from the wishful make-believe that so often passes muster.

        I feel that humanity is at a coming of age – that is to say it is no longer possible or appropriate to be regressively dependent, or pretentiously independent. Lawlessness is firstly a matter of the heart.
        To truly honour the life that we are – and share – calls for more than scientific materialism. But I feel we need to expand our perspective – and not reduce it. Not to throw out the baby with the bathwater!

        I feel there are many who seek to bring science out of the dark ages. At root it is the search for truth, but has sought it ‘out there in the world’. Maybe there is another way of looking at this…

  • Bill Miller commented on Apr 27 2013

    On the heels of the above controversy, I listened to a related controversy – the talks by Richard Dawkins and Deepak Chopra – wherein Dawkins’ talk was posted and Chopra’s was not. I can see why a conservative scientist might take issue with some of Chopra’s language about purposefulness and intelligence in matter. Yet the Dawkins’ talk is little more than a diatribe against those he disagrees with — and would certainly have been pulled, except for his credentials and prior history as respected scientist.

    Accordingly, I propose an additional screening criterion for evaluating future talks under the TED/TEDx banner. Reject talks that:

    - Primarily consist of vilification of other persons, groups, or philosophies, and rely significantly upon ad hominem attacks, derisive, emotionally laden language, “snarky” attitude, and the use of the most extreme, absurd examples as a characterization of the whole group or movement.

    • Marcus T Anthony commented on Apr 27 2013

      Great suggestion, Bill. Dawkins and many skeptics are serial offenders in such regards, and many of their formal presentations and almost all of their public discourse would have to be scrapped if we applied decent standards of human civility as criteria. I can only assume that intolerance and prejudice are only unacceptable when perpetrated by people with “irrational” thinking.

    • Brian Steere commented on Apr 28 2013

      Wisdom cant be applied after the fact and what you say here is wise – for if its foundation expresses a personal mythology of identification that feeds and is fed by attacking the ‘person’ rather than engaging in both listening and speaking the principles involved, then it is delusional or insane – no matter what facts it calls on – from whatever discipline.

      But I pause to include the one who has let their mind slip into such dogged delusion, because they are no less worthy of the appreciation and awareness of truth than anyone else – AND I have frequent opportunities to notice some form of this same behaviour in myself!

      It is so very easy to drift a moment into a personal ‘satisfaction’ of indulging our own story. If we can generate a culture that can call this out in a desire to correct so that communication can flow clearly, rather than react as a sin to be vilified for in likewise reactions!

      I agree wholeheartedly with your suggestions for discernment of such behaviour as unnacceptable and self-invalidating.

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  • commented on Apr 26 2013

    What we call “conspiracy” typically amounts to no more than “competitive de-selection”

    Sheldrake and Hancock were a little too left of center and TED flinched at the possibility of having their name associated, unless the association was on their terms.

    Did they flinch too much? Probably. But flinching isn’t an exact science.

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  • Henry Dixson commented on Apr 23 2013

    Dear TED, please in your guidelines take a page out of Behavioral and Brain Sciences: have an Open Peer Commentary section (not anonymous) followed by an Author’s Response section. See any BBS journal article for an example. This is how science works, corporations have boards. Keep them if you must, but consider this much needed mechanism. Below is my reasoning towards this.

    Stephen Collins: “The level of belligerence and sense of entitlement on the part of the presenters is mind boggling.”
    Also said: “As I said elsewhere (in slightly different words) – we talk it out, players state their positions, others join in, we limit hyperbole and arm-waving and in the end either consensus, or an agreement to disagree results.”

    I don’t believe you’ve made the case: a conclusion isn’t an argument. I would like to see a cogent argument as to why they are ‘belligerent’ and ‘a sense of entitlement’ is pure ad hominem.

    http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/14/open-for-discussion-graham-hancock-and-rupert-sheldrake/comment-page-10/

    Here, both Sheldrake and Hancock provide cogent defenses of their criticisms. You have mentioned ‘expert peer reviewed journals’ having anonymous reviewers, what you’re not mentioning is that open peer commentators are not the same thing as anonymous review. The analogy is inappropriate. The journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences ends their articles with an Open Peer Commentary section (which makes their articles really great to read). Then the Open Peer Commentary closes with an Author’s Response. So civilized, so scientific. I love it.

    TED has done the equivalent of a Closed Peer Commentary, far better characterized as a gesture of sanction than open scientific discourse. And when the Author’s Response part comes around, you accuse them of being too ‘thinned skinned’ and, perplexingly, ‘belligerent’. This isn’t really in line with my understanding of proper scientific discourse.

    TED says “TED is committed to science. But we think of it as a process, not as a locked-in body of truth.” I wholeheartedly agree. In that vein, consider balancing out the institutional power of your “board of (deliberately anonymous) scientific advisers,” with a refreshing, much more scientific Open Peer Commentary section and Author Response. You’ll truly have something special then, and to my mind, something that can only augment TED, because it is the open scientific discourse that we all want here.

  • Brian Steere commented on Apr 22 2013

    I am one whose life has been an exploration of Consciousness – although I feel that its nature is not an exploration of a human intellect or personality – but a willingness to be guided through my own mind by honest observations amidst a perspective that is from outside the mappings and control mentality (these tend to be one and the same thing).

    I feel that a scepticism of one’s own thinking is healthy – but a scepticism of Life itself is an absolute block to knowing anything real.

    The extension of trust is not gullibility, but a willingness and capacity to put aside our own thinking and actually pay attention.
    From such an act, an intelligence is accessed that communicates something of the nature of reality – not as a definition or analysis – but as and expression of integrity, helpfulness, or wholeness. Not because there is a communication from a God to a personal mind in fragmentation and dissociation from its Mind or true inherence in reality, but because an undefended appreciation of reality releases some of the distorting bias or filters that could be called a ‘war on Consciousness’ – excepting there is no battle but a mind at war with itself in identification with image and symbol and concept of reality or self.

    The assertion and experience of the material basis for existence is a defence mechanism that is needed until there is a willingness to release it – whether its disintegration occurs via drugs or via a series of honest observations that are NOT censored but allowed to be held open despite the sense of threat to one’s established identification.

    One could see the limitations as a womb or egg to be grown out from – or indeed as a straightjacket that cannot be undone until there is a fundamental trust restored.

    Idea are the stuff of all else. Every culture is an exploration and embodiment of ideas, ad the world is an exploration of many and conflicting ideas – yet the term world there was used for an experience and not for the Actuality that is both beyond definition – and therefore cannot be experienced as any kind of object – and yet is the ONLY THING going on – right where ideas of self, of time and space and non-self, arise and form experience.

    The human mind has defaulted to look ‘outside’ because its identity as an independent explorer of an unknown reality serves as a mask against the revealing of its foundationlessness as a power or entity in its own right. This it equates with death and its first drive is to prevail against the very Life that is its source of its sense of existence: survival of self within definition. Yet the laws of the nature of Mind cannot altogether be lost but are applied to that which self conficts and yet self protects both. This is a sort of riddle for trying to maintain incongruent and untenable conditions requires maximal ingenuity to keep inherent futility from awareness, as well as to create substitutions for a sense of Meaning of relation, connection and identity such as to keep a promise of fulfilment amidst what can never actually fulfil.

    The Universe that our minds can understand – in the scientific sense, will be revealed to be our minds themselves – in ways that we don’t expect, because the mind works to deny and project out from itself that which it seeks to disown in order to prevail or survive (in its own terms) and yet all that is denied has become the matrix of its own experience… unrecognized, and remapped or redefined in terms of the drive to exploit it. All things and relationships are thus reduced to a means of validating a sense of self-separation or limited consciousness amidst One Mind.

    Yet for any who come to look not out there as if it really is out there – but see their own non-existence or pseudo-identity, not as conceptual fodder but directly as an ultimate humiliation to any capacity to maintain their image and control over their experience – a transformation occurs; a shift in which something actual has replaced what was before conceptual.

    The ‘mind’ habit usually ‘restores normal service, such that intuitive insight and revelation is as if a timelessness that get covered in time – yet it cannot be the ‘solid’ reality that it once took for granted and a process of metamorphosis now occurs because there is some part of the mind that is awake to that it is a direct expression of Actuality – no matter how much else is brought to bear.

    The self of the ego personality tries to use all things to make its identification valid or solid- be they apparently material or apparently spiritual, and yet in the process reveals itself step by step in its strategies and intent. Once one knows, one cannot live as if one knows not except as a lie and with the cost to truth that defending a lie demands. So we are progressively undone of what once we thought real – and yet become more open to communicating or expressing a passion and a presence of life in whatever fields our movement uncovers and shares in – if we release the blocks of a false self-protectivism in embracing what we feel called to engage in.

    Life Works, in that we cannot escape our ultimate self-inclusion – but from the posture of reactive self-interest in feigned relative innocence or feigned insignificance, it doesn’t work – even if warring is given sanction by its high priests, and psychological sickness is redefined as healthy, and the whole mess massed into the ‘human condition’ and given over as a problem to be endlessly engaged in distractive preoccupation.

    Whatever the presumption of self is – or the presumption of reality is – the mind will extend out from in support of its premise.
    Change the foundation and all else MUST shift.

    There cannot really be a war in our mind, but only an interpretation that conflicts with itself and yet is maintained as if in compartmented thought.

    Yet the identification with our thought should not be underestimated and the tragic misery and pain of fighting such war is an isolation of meaninglessness that really operates as if it is winning – or holding the fort – or being persecuted, betrayed or abandoned.

    We do what we can with what we have. Both fear and the light of awareness are in our mind and much of the fear is hidden beneath layers of fear disguised as protection, for it is the fear of light that keeps our mind tiny and ineffectual.

    Science is expanding our vision but it also feeds the mentality of control. To try to keep both is to re-enact stark insanity.
    A true control is not imposed upon a wholeness – but operates within it as its own process of communication.

    I read most all the commentary here and join with the willingness to reach for better ways of communicating. It is I feel a wholly worthy goal and a very relevant skill.

    But it is true that the new foundation cannot ‘talk’ to the old and nor can the old ‘talk’ to the new. So no need to polarise in failure but simply be alert for all signs of life and join with willingness wherever it can be discerned.

    My first experiences of opening consciousness were terrifying, because in simplest terms, the love of life was not expressing and the attempt to control was dominant.

    Yet an honesty of not knowing is the condition in which true learning occurs, and that remains so no matter what we think we have learned or become. Not knowing is the resting in the emptiness of self definition or assertion such that it is full of the edgeless intelligence of being.

    One doesn’t learn how to be – though one may have to learn to release the blocks to its native awareness.

  • Bill Miller commented on Apr 22 2013

    I simply want to commend Mr. Anderson on the quality of the revised response. I realize what a difficult position it must be to meditate thousands of reactions. “Science” may be the ideal, but at the same time we live in a world requiring balance with human passions.

    I’d like to suggest a new branch of the TED offerings that is directed toward more “exploratory” topics and research, while remaining generally within the guidelines about commercialism, demagoguery, political suasion, and the like. Perhaps call it TEDeXp (“exploration” and “experiment”).

    Wow, I’d love to curate such an effort!

  • Ilija Prentovski commented on Apr 22 2013

    TED = Tediously Engineered Dogma

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  • Brian Berneker commented on Apr 21 2013

    Where does the dismissive Ayahuasca slur come from, and what does it have to do if anything with what Sheldrake asserts in his talk?

    Throughout the presentation he is perfectly on-topic, and where he cites his own work, he plainly states the assertions are of his own hypothesis. There is no bad science in articulating that you have a working theory and some supporting research that you are asking the community to consider.

    Also, as a matter of procedure, the anonymous panel should be identified and identifiable to the public as the voices behind the judgement. Supreme court judges offer more transparency in their process than TED has in this case.

  • peter blumenauer commented on Apr 21 2013

    Organizations, such as TED, are destined to fail in their mission because they are political. Just as the embodied unknown of the conscious/spiritual dimension is hammered into religious dogma, the ‘thinking’ construct of science is at the same opposite as religion and limits the the awareness which can only come through union and not through analysis.
    The hard struck analytical mind is due it’s respite and yet seldom takes it, as it is itself, married to it’s madness. The map is not the territory, however, and if TED could realize this reality then it could move beyond its formidable self-imposed constraints… To do so, though, it would have to leave it’s populace serving message behind and step with the rest of us into the unknown…. With this comes the risk of the unknown.. which is what keeps us all at bay..
    So love, love, love and observe your transcendent outcomes.

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  • Soul Dancer commented on Apr 20 2013

    As our species awakens to it’s full potential, it does so in balance by adapting to learning in ways ancient scientific models will one day embrace.

    Divide and conquer, a tactic all to common of religious dogma, spiritual development and scientific glitterati.

    What one person feels is right for them (providing they release the pathology to mandate what they postulate or prostitute) is right for them with zero need to prove or discredit their feelings. If others are naturally attracted to similar feelings, so be it. TEDsters are wise enough to follow their noses.

    Beings who follow those who’ve become one with the glitterati of any faction are subject to the divide and conquer practice. As our species discovers the assets retiring this ancient game, we evolve more effortlessly.

    In gratitude I bow to all who share their wisdom with passion and glee!

  • Jesus Nebot commented on Apr 20 2013

    I truly enjoyed Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock’s talks questioning some old paradigms that are at the core of our scientic understanding of our world.
    I found both talks to be well informed, eloquent and very much in line with your philosophy to give a platfrom to ideas worth spreading.
    To that end I was surprised to find out TED had decided to remove these talks from youtube and trust that in the spirit of promoting cultural diversity, and thinking outside of the box, TED will reconsider its decision. There are many of us that feel your action is undermining a new worldview that is emerging that emphasizes the sacredness of all life as well as the profound interconnectedness that unites us all. It is time to review our unexamined assumption that we are separate from each oher which is very much rooted in our traditional understanding of science. I thank you for your kind consideration and for your great educational service to promote wonderful ideas that support our evolution as human beings.