About me

Frank ParkinsonThe historian E. H. Carr memorably wrote that historians always have a bee in their bonnet, and the reader should be listening for the buzz. While the facts on this website should speak for themselves, it may be useful for the visitor to know where I am coming from, if only to help detect any hidden bias.

I was born in 1928, in Fleetwood, Lancashire, and started my career as a student engineer with the Bristol Aircraft Company, but left to enter education and in various ways was involved in education until my retirement. I have taught in a variety of institutions, including a military college, a Benedictine monastery, a cooperative in Switzerland and at universities in North and South America and continental Europe. Shortly before early retirement from Lancaster University I proposed and drafted what I think was the first British university degree in Human Communication. That was in 1978, and since then advances in information technology have effectively made the initial curriculum as obsolete as a mediaeval text.

After retirement I went into business, mostly in small property development for several years, and then concentrated on writing, but at the same time put myself back to school thanks to the new resources of the Internet. I believe that the evolutionary impact of this vast, accessible and open fund of information has yet to be appreciated.

The philosophy and praxis of education are my two greatest passions, but I have written on other topics within the broad field of philosophy, particularly on the need for new paradigms in science, spirituality and society, much of my work building on foundations laid by others, too many to attempt a listing, but I feel a need to acknowledge my debt to Leopold Kohr’s Breakdown of Nations, Julian Jaynes’ The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind and Fritz Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful.

Many spiritual guides have offered help at different stages of the journey. They have come from all corners and all periods, since I have found that what are usually marginalised as “mystics” in all religious traditions are all saying the same thing but with different cultural assumptions. The writers with whom I resonate most strongly are probably Meister Eckhart, Rumi and Yogananda. My religious upbringing was Roman Catholic but I was a Quaker for twenty years, have given addresses to Unitarian groups and have had fruitful association with Al Anon. Henry Hamblin says somewhere that the different religions are like trains which converge at the same junction, where all serious seekers must alight and get on the same train, to a destination they had not earlier known about or sought. There seems to me increasingly to be great wisdom in that metaphor.

I have been married to Zita for 45 years and have two daughters, Christine and Esther. My most pleasurable recreation is probably doing jigsaw puzzles with them.

 


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