As can be seen from the announcement on the official blog of the Owen Barfield Literary Estate, I have been given the 2018 Owen Barfield Award for Excellence!
This award is mainly for my work on this blog; which has accumulated about a hundred posts since it began in November.
The OB Award is a great satisfaction to me; especially since it was made by Owen A Barfield, grandson of, and literary executor to, the great man; and Jane Hipolito, one of the premier Barfield scholars and a good friend to Barfield.
Understanding and extending the work of Owen Barfield has been a major focus for the past few years; but I must again acknowledge the crucial stimulus I had from reading the group Inklings biography The Fellowship, by Philip and Carol Zaleski. Until I read The Fellowship, I had struggled to get attuned to Barfield's mind - although I had bought and read many of his major books.
But the Zaleski's book 'unlocked' Barfield for me; and since reading it I have felt very-much 'on Barfield's wavelength', sharing his world view and his concerns - and this to a greater extent than any of the other Inklings.
When considering the Inklings as a spiritual group of souls linked by a kind of implicit destiny - Barfield's work intuits, theorises and makes explicit what the others did in creative terms. By a fairly close and appropriate analogy; Barfield was Coleridge to JRR Tolkien/ CS Lewis's Wordsworth!
I therefore feel it is no exaggeration to claim that understanding and extending the major theme of Barfield's work on consciousness and its development, constitutes the single most important issue in the Western world today.