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Science, Order, and Creativity - second edition

Following the completion of this book (first published in 1987) David Bohm and I met at The Baily Farms Institute near Ossining New York. Originally a hobby farm, the area consisted of a two houses, a small lake and wooded and grassed areas where Dave and I could sit and talk.

Because we were the only guests over that period we had plenty of time to ourselves. It was October, warm and sunny at midday, but cool enough for a good walk in the morning and late afternoon. This was important for it was while walking and talking that David Bohm often did the major work of his day.

Having finished the first edition of this book we were left with a more leisurely period and our walks were filled with discussions on consciousness, and new ideas about a pre-space structure and its relationship to general relativity. Bohm also talked about Hegel and emphasized the way his philosophy concerned the mechanisms of thought. Bohm's long term companion, Basil Hiley, once remarked that Bohm's thinking was like a spiral - for a time he would focus on one area and then appear to leave it for some quiet different interest only to return, months or even years later, with a much deeper sense of the original topic.

His new focus on Hegel seemed yet another aspect of this process. And so we talked about the dialectic and binary oppositions in thought, and about the way people tend to adopt fixed non-negotiable positions. This was also a time when Bohm took a somewhat pessimistic position regarding the future of the human race. He wondered if there was any way out of our present predicaments or if we were doomed to succumb to the implications of our fixed positions.

During these discussions we did not always agree - indeed, if we had been in complete accord then there would not have been much point in writing a book together. I did not share Bohm's pessimism for the future of humanity nor did I share his enthusiasm for the dialogue process that, he believed, could show us a way out of our general predicament. At all events sufficient creative tension was generated for us to want to work together again.

But what would we write about? The number of topics we had covered was too vast. How to pin them down? How could we group them around a single framework? For several days our discussions revolved around this point.

Then one morning, while walking down the driveway from the house to the main gate, the plan of the book appeared to us both in its entirety. By the time we reached the gate we knew what we would be writing about. We turned back to retrace our steps and confirm what we had decided. That afternoon I typed up the notes of our discussion. I have them now before me - 24 single spaced pages beginning "Why are we writing this book?" This material provides the inspiration for this new and final chapter.

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