On Sentience

A new small book of Essays|Drawing by Peter Reason and Sarah Gillespie.

What would it be like to live in a world of sentient beings rather than inert objects? How would we relate to such a world? And what, then, would art and creativity be like? This a world of communication and interaction of which we can be a part, in which trees, crows, and rivers may grace us with a response to our attention and our call. Of course, we do live in such a world, although modern culture tragically fails to acknowledge this. The writing and drawing in this booklet draw directly on our explicit and implicit adoption of this perspective. If we open ourselves, if we call, the world will respond. The place of art is to foreground this perspective.

On Sentience draws together writing and drawing reflecting on the living presence of the world, a world experienced not as a collection of inanimate objects but as a community of life we can encounter and of which we are a part. This beautiful and engaging pamphlet aims to convey some of this experience to readers, taking deeper the exploration we started in our earlier booklet On Presence.

Peter has been regularly sitting with the River Avon in meditation, drawing on invocation and ceremony to address the River as a community of sentient beings: “If I call to the world as sentient being, what response may I receive?” He also crossed the North Atlantic is a classic sailing ketch continuing his quest for ‘moments of grace’ that he wrote about in his earlier books on sailing pilgrimages. His inquiry draws on panpsychic philosophy, a formal articulation of a sentient world, which views mind as a fundamental aspect of matter just as matter is a fundamental aspect of mind.

Sarah makes paintings, drawings and engravings that aspire to a quality the Japanese call Hosomi.  Always giving primacy to the natural world, Hosomi describes an emotional delicacy, attention and determination to overlook nothing. The practice requires an emptying of the self, a stepping aside, a degree of modesty in order to make something more like a mirror, or lens of oneself – the better to reflect the subtler depths of beauty to which we are so often blind.

Published by The Letter Press. ISBN: 978-1-9163664-1-1

To purchase a copy of On Sentience please send your name and address and £10.00 plus postage and packing (£2.50 UK; £4.50 Europe; £7.00 Australia & New Zealand; £6.00 USA & rest of World) through PayPal to studio@sarahgillespie.co.uk

For more work by Peter Reason please look at: https://peterreason.net/


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