Rupert Sheldrake PhD – Science and Spiritual Practices

Although traditional religion has declined in Europe, recent studies have shown that spiritual experiences are surprisingly common even among those who are non-religious, including near-death experiences and spontaneous mystical insights. Meanwhile, the effects of spiritual practices are now being investigated scientifically as never before, and many studies have shown that such practices generally make people happier and healthier. Rupert Sheldrake will discuss several practices which are part of all religions, and which are also open to people with no religious affiliation, including meditation, chanting, rituals and pilgrimage.

Dr Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 85 scientific papers and 12 books, including Science and Spiritual Practices, to published in November, 2017. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, a Research Fellow of the Royal Society, and from 2005-2010 the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project, funded by Trinity College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, California, and of Schumacher College in Devon. His web site is www.sheldrake.org

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Rupert Sheldrake PhD: Science and Spiritual Practice

Science is now transcending the materialist philosophy, and pointing toward a new sense of a living world. The cosmos is no longer like a machine running down; it is more like a developing organism with an inherent memory, and so is our planet, Gaia. The old idea of determinism has given way to indeterminism, chaos and complexity. The laws of nature may be more like habits. Minds may extend far beyond brains. Memories may not be stored as traces in our brains, and may not be wiped out at death. Mental causation may work from the future towards the past, while energetic causation works from the past towards the future. New experimental research points to the reality of our mental connections to the world around us. These new paradigm shifts in the sciences shed a new light on spiritual practices like pilgrimage, ritual, prayer and the survival of bodily death. In this workshop we will explore some of these many implications.