In this episode, I am joined by chief mycelium enthusiast and advocate, Merlin Sheldrake. We recorded in person at the Center for Process Studies’ 50th Anniversary event in Claremont, CA. Come dive beneath the forest floor as we venture into the intricate and mesmerizing realm of fungi. Dr. Merlin Sheldrake, renowned biologist and author of the critically acclaimed book “Entangled Life,” pulls back the curtain on the hidden networks that underpin our ecosystems, nourish our trees, and have the potential to reshape our understanding of the world around us. Not only that, but we unpack the ways his research has inspired a larger process-relational vision.
Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist, writer, and speaker with a background in plant sciences, microbiology, ecology, and the history and philosophy of science. He received a Ph.D. in tropical ecology from Cambridge University for his work on underground fungal networks in tropical forests in Panama, where he was a predoctoral research fellow of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He is a research associate of the Vrije University Amsterdam, works with the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN), and sits on the advisory board of the Fungi Foundation.
Merlin’s research ranges from fungal biology, to the history of Amazonian ethnobotany, to the relationship between sound and form in resonant systems. A keen brewer and fermenter, he is fascinated by the relationships that arise between humans and more-than-human organisms. He is a musician and performs on the piano and accordion.
In the conversation, we discuss…
- Merlin’s intellectual origin story
- How did studying the history of science reveal unexamined metaphysical prejudice within the sciences
- How “nothing but” scientific explanations and blinds us to a deep account of experience
- Why the bifurcation of nature isn’t helpful for science or the humanities
- The many invisible lives of plants, fungi, & soil
- The moment Merlin found the need for a process style metaphysic
- How growing up a Sheldrake shaped his religious and spiritual outlook
- Why Godsplainers are the worst;)
- Don’t kill the questions!
- Spiritual experiments in truth
You may remember when Merlin’s Dad, Rubert Sheldrake, was on the podcast. You can listen to it here: From the Science Delusion to Psychedelic Religion.