The Skirts of Alpha
- an alternative to materialism philosophy
This is the title of a book written by Ben Strachan, condensed in it his philosophy formed from over several decades of knowledge and life experience. Ben Strachan is a former British ambassador with a successful diplomatic career. He saw war service in the armoured corps in France and Germany , where he was wounded and captured. He was wounded again in the Malayan campaign and eventually commanded a squadron of tanks. He served as an intelligence staff officer in Egypt and ended his 20 year military career as Deputy Head of MI 10 (technical intelligence) in London. He has studied widely: Classics at school, Applied Science at Durham University and the Military College of Science, Arabic in Lebanon and Pure Mathematics at Aberdeen University. .. [read more]
In his introduction to the book, Ben said:
"In my twenties, two books made a huge impression on me. One was JW Dunne's 'An Experiment with Time' which described the author's evidential experiences of precognitive dreams and attempted to propound a semi-mathematical explanation for them....
My thirties were illumined by two things: Teilhard de Chardin's 'The Phenomenon of Man' which held me spellbound and a little personal event. I was 36 and commanding a squadron of tanks in Germany . I was sitting in my bath 'philosophising', thinking about Dr Rhine's finding that people who were good at telepathy were also good at clairvoyance. Could not the link between the two phenomena be 'tapping in' to a source which knew all thoughts and all events? An omniscient Something? God?
My spare time in my thirties and forties was spent reading: books on philosophy, parapsychlogy, spiritualism, quantum physics, relativity, evolution. But it was not until I was 52 that the idea for this book came to me. I was sitting in the spring sunshine in the Bourghese Gardens in Rome , re-reading Teilhard de Chardin's masterpiece. Why? Because I had begun to forget the thrust of his arguments. I realised that I was like a leaky bucket, with all that I read gradually leaking away. I resolved to stop reading and try to make sense of it all before I forgot it. I would try to write down what I had come to believe - and why.
So, in the following years in Yemen , Lebanon and Algeria , I wrote a bit every week-end. It was a voyage of discovery: I felt increasingly confident that I was on the right track. (As I have done for forty years, I scan the 'New Scientist', every week for news of any recent scientific discovery that might invalidate my anti materialist ideas - so far, so good!) .. ".. [read more]