Science, Self-Knowledge & Spirituality
Pictures On My Pillow
About the Author
Patrick Bernard Crean
Following his whaling adventures, Crean immigrated to Canada in 1953 to further his education with a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto. These studies led to employment with the Fisheries Research Board of Canada and a number of projects conducted by the Fisheries Technological Laboratories on the West and East Coasts. During this time, he married, began a family and settled on the West Coast. Eventually Crean accepted a position with the Pacific Oceanographic Group and completed a Doctorate in Physical Oceanography through the University of Liverpool, England.
In 1983, the Canadian Hydrographic Service published Dr. Crean's Current Atlas: Juan de Fuca Strait to Strait of Georgia that remains in common use to this day and received the 1986 National Award for Applied Oceanography from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. He was also a senior author in collaboration with two colleagues of Mathematical Modeling of Tides and Estuarine Circulation: The Coastal Seas of Southern British Columbia and Washington State, published by Springer-Verlag in 1988. The mathematical model used in that work would subsequently be adapted and employed for oil spill predictions in the 1991 Gulf War.
Crean retired in 1988 to sail the waters he had spent so many years studying, and to concentrate on writing up his years of personal study in the areas of theology, philosophy and psychology. He subsequently completed Science, Self-Knowledge and Spirituality: A Feedback Model of Bernard Lonergan's Philosophy of Human Consciousness followed by his autobiographical account which integrates the feedback model with his own life, entitled Pictures On My Pillow: An Oceanographer's Exploration of the Symbols of Self-Transcendence, both published in 2011.
About Science, Self-Knowledge and Spirituality
The practical philosophy and worldview outlined by one of the 20th century's foremost theologians is the subject of Dr. Patrick B. Crean's new book, Science, Self-Knowledge and Spirituality: A Feedback Model of Bernard Lonergan's Philosophy of Human Consciousness (ISBN 978-1-897435-60-1).
This creative, concise book is a perfect primer for those curious about, or challenged by, the works of Bernard J.F. Lonergan, SJ, CC (1904-1984), the Canadian philosopher, theologian and economist best known for his worldview of the universe which brings together science, self-knowledge and spirituality.
Crean not only captures the essence of Lonergan's major works, such as Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (1957) and Method in Theology (1972), he also extends it - through a unique feedback model of human consciousness - providing a practical and life-changing application of Lonergan's thought.
The topic is introduced through the notion of a human spacecraft as a metaphor for human consciousness and what goes on in it, illustrating that to operate such a "vehicle" successfully on its journey through life, one must have a practical grasp of how to make it function properly.
Crean invites others to join him in a compelling inquiry into the nature of their own consciousness and the direction and meaning of their life that will most surely evolve. "Seek and you shall find." But where shall we seek? What shall we find?
In the book's introduction, Crean asks, "Can one ever know, really know, what life is all about? My answer would be that, though you can't have all the answers to all the questions, you can certainly get enough answers to leave the mind utterly entranced by the magnificence of that to which one has access through the gift of consciousness."
An autobiographical account that applies the working model can be found in Crean's accompanying book, Pictures On My Pillow: An Oceanographer's Exploration of the Symbols of Self-Transcendence (ISBN 978-1-897435-61-8).
Making the mind and heart of these books your own will be personally transformative.
About Pictures On My Pillow
Pictures On My Pillow: An Oceanographer's Exploration of the Symbols of Self-Transcendence is the entertaining, lucid and thought-provoking autobiography of Dr. Patrick B. Crean, a Canadian ocean scientist and accomplished amateur philosopher/theologian.
Written frankly and with great period detail, Crean's accounts are buoyed by an inimitable wit and a poignant recounting of his childhood, between the great wars, in rural England. The family home was a cottage on the expansive grounds of Alexander Pope's famous villa and grotto, in Crean's day a convent school on the banks of the River Thames. Thus were his protective friends and life-long supporters fondly remembered as the 'kitchen sisters'.
The formative years of this bright lad would include an innocent recognition of the influence of dream imagery, hence the book's title, as well as being steeped in the benign qualities of faith lived with sincere practicality and authenticity. The latter in direct opposition to what he later experienced as the surd of religious, personal, professional politics - intransigent authoritarianism.
In 1944 he was accepted into a marine engineering apprenticeship in an Admiralty shipyard and in 1946 attended University College Dublin. These years would culminate in grand adventure involving three expeditions to the Antarctic whaling grounds with United Whalers' Anglo-Norwegian fleet as a chemist and a summer season at a South African shore station. Crean's professional life in the fields of chemical engineering and physical oceanography would continue with his immigration to Canada in 1953.
In 1958 Crean met the Canadian Catholic theologian/philosopher Bernard Lonergan whose vision of the universe would encourage him to develop a foundation from which his own eventual feedback model and worldview would emerge. Thus Pictures On My Pillow provides a practical application of the feedback model that Crean presents in Science, Self-Knowledge and Spirituality: A Feedback Model of Bernard Lonergan's Philosophy of Human Consciousness (ISBN 978-1-897435-60-1).
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Advance reviews for Science, Self-Knowledge & Spirituality
"It is clear that this work has a place in the Lonergan canon and would be an invaluable asset to students, scholars and devotees of the discipline... This is not only an erudite disquisition on Lonergan and other philosophical and scientific schools of thought, but also the writing and life work of a man who clearly approached his 'primer' with intelligence, authority, respect and a refreshing humility rarely found in academic scholars. ... As for the notion of a memoir, [this] manuscript contains any number of personal anecdotes, reflections, reminiscences and musings that could be drawn upon and expanded upon in a life story of the author... [such] a story of a multilayered and fascinating life would be compelling and of interest to a variety of readers - including those who have, as the author relates, grappled with personal and career frustrations, isolation, questions of identity and have endured, in the words of St. John of the Cross, the 'dark night of the soul' - which is to say, most every human being." -- Gordon Thomas, Granville Island Publishing Ltd.
"The working model is, of course, Patrick Crean. And that is as it should be. He is a scientist who caught Lonergan's strange pointings in 1958, and behaved like the great Irishman Stephen McKenna when he discovered Plotinus: 'this is worth a life!' No other follower of Lonergan has moved as Crean the scientist has done in the half-century since, seeking and reaching an integral grip on pilgrim progress. It is a grip that is deeply his own, but an invitation to lonely searchers of our times to take heart in weaving into their own consciousness." -- Philip McShane, M.Sc., Lic. Phil., S.T.L., D.Phil. (Oxon).
"Thank you for sharing with me what you wrote about 'The Divine Office.' Your words have the quiet power of someone writing from authentic knowledge." -- personal note to the author from Huston C. Smith, Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Syracuse University.
"I think this is a splendid piece, lucid and pungent, and accurately reflecting Bernard Lonergan's position." -- Hugo Meynell, PhD, Professor of Religious Studies at University of Calgary 1981 to 2001, author of Redirecting Philosophy: Reflections on the Nature of Knowledge from Plato to Lonergan.
Advance review for Pictures On My Pillow
"This autobiography is of a piece with Crean's other work, on Science, Self-Knowledge, and Spirituality. It is a travel tale for our times, when our search needs be, not for global regions undiscovered, but for our glad hearts within." -- Philip McShane, D.Phil. (Oxford), Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax
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