Galileo Commission Summit VII – Synchronicity and the Nature of Consciousness
The Galileo Commission and the Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences proudly present this ground-breaking event!
In his 2006 book Cosmos and Psyche, the cultural historian Richard Tarnas writes about synchronicities and introduces them as observed coincidences in which two or more independent events, having no apparent causal connection, nevertheless seem to form a meaningful pattern. He notes that, on occasion, the patterns may strike an individual as being so unusual that it is challenging to believe the coincidence was a result of chance alone. This is because the events give the clear impression of being carefully and invisibly orchestrated. Carl Jung invented the word synchronicity, a term derived from the Greek syn (with or together) and chronos (time). Thus, synchronicity means together-in-time.
Since Jung coined the word synchronicity, he and others have adopted a multidisciplinary approach to its study. These areas of research have included physics, biology, psychology, philosophy and spirituality and research on anomalous phenomena. One of the fascinating areas of research has included the way in which Jung’s work, including his exploration of synchronicity, responds to a pervasive dis-ease in modern culture, the feeling of disenchantment and malaise brought about by our current societal and scientific embrace of materialism as a worldview. We propose that there is a lag in this developmental trajectory in both the scientific and general academic community, due to the grip of the materialistic worldview in these areas, and how its mechanistic and reductionistic perspective affects the willingness of this community to even entertain the idea of meaningful synchronicity.
In this groundbreaking summit, our speakers will relate some personal experiences and respond to the question: What kind of universe makes synchronicity possible? They will consider possible interpretations/explanations and implications of these synchronistic events for a deeper understanding of consciousness and the interconnected nature of reality in terms of epistemology and ontology. The Synchronicity Working Group will be producing a multi-author volume next year and you are welcome to send in some personal accounts to add to our database to [email protected]
Friday 27th – Saturday 28th October
Timezones: • UK, BST: 4:00-8:30 PM • Pacific Time: 8:00 AM-12:30 PM
Day 1 – FRIDAY (all times UK, BST)
4:00 pm: Chair, Marjorie Woollacott
4:05 pm: Prof Bernard Beitman – The Practical Uses of Synchronicity
4:45 pm: Dr Joan Walton – Synchronicity as a Merging of Matter and Mind
5:25 pm: General Discussion/Q&A
6:00 pm: PAUSE
6:30: Chair, David Lorimer
6:35 pm: Prof Richard Tarnas – The Significance of Synchronicity in Our Postmodern Age
7:15 pm: Sophia Demas, Monica Bryant, Prof Marjorie Woollacott – A panel of speakers exploring their own synchronicity experiences and how this transformed their world views: implications
7:45 pm: Discussion/Q&A
8:30 pm: CLOSE
Day 2 – SATURDAY (all times UK, BST)
4:00 pm: Chair, Dr Edi Bilimoria
4:05 pm: Prof Roderick Main – Experiencing, Interpreting, and Explaining synchronicity: some suggestions for future research
4:45 pm: Dr Bethany Butzer – Synchronicity, Psi and Meditation
5:25 pm: Discussion/Q&A
6:00 pm: PAUSE
6:30 pm: Chair, Monica Bryant
6:35 pm: Prof Gary Schwartz – Super Synchronicities
7:15 pm: Dr Edi Bilimoria, Dr Vasilieos Basios, Jessica Corneille – A second panel of speakers exploring their own synchronicity experiences and how this transformed their world views: implications
7:45 pm: General Discussion/Q&A
8:30 pm: CLOSE
Please note: This event is donation-based, and you may register for free, if you are not able to make a donation. However, if you can, we would greatly appreciate your contribution, which will continue to allow us to move forward with our mission.
All bookings will receive a link to view the RECORDING.
Bernard Beitman, MD, is the first psychiatrist since Carl Jung to systematize the study of coincidences. A graduate of Yale Medical School, he did his psychiatric residency at Stanford University. The former chair of psychiatry of the University of Missouri-Columbia medical school for 17 years, he writes a blog for Psychology Today on coincidence and has edited two issues of Psychiatric Annals on meaningful coincidences. The founder and president of The Coincidence Project, he lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Bethany ButzerPsychologist, lecturer
Bethany Butzer, PhD writes, teaches, and does research in the fields of positive psychology and transpersonal psychology, which emphasize the development of human strength and potential. Bethany received her PhD in psychology from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She has worked in the corporate world and in academia, and she also spent several years as an entrepreneur. From 2013 to 2015 she was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School, where she studied the effects of yoga in school settings. Bethany lives in Prague, where she recently completed a position as a Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of New York in Prague. She is currently a Lecturer for the Alef Trust MSc programme in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology and she is also the Assistant Director of the Alef Trust PhD programme in Applied Transpersonal Psychology. Her research focuses on yoga and mindfulness for youth, as well as transpersonal topics such as synchronicity, parapsychology, and ecopsychology. She teaches undergraduate and Masters-level courses on topics such as research methods, positive psychology, consciousness, and career development. Learn more about Bethany at www.bethanybutzer.com.
David LorimerWriter, Lecturer, Poet, Editor
David Lorimer, MA, PGCE, FRSA is a writer, lecturer, poet and editor who is a Founder of Character Education Scotland, Programme Director of the Scientific and Medical Network and former President of Wrekin Trust and the Swedenborg Society. David is also the Editor of Paradigm Explorer, and Chair of the Galileo Commission, which seeks the expand the evidence base of science of consciousness beyond a materialistic world view.
Originally a merchant banker then a teacher of philosophy and modern languages at Winchester College, he is the author and editor of over a dozen books, including Survival? Death as Transition (1984,2017) Resonant Mind (originally Whole in One) (1990/2017), The Spirit of Science (1998), Thinking Beyond the Brain (2001), The Protein Crunch (with Jason Drew) and A New Renaissance (edited with Oliver Robinson). He has edited three books about the Bulgarian sage Beinsa Douno (Peter Deunov): Prophet for our Times (1991, 2015), The Circle of Sacred Dance, and Gems of Love, which is a translation of his prayers and formulas into English. His book on the ideas and work of the Prince of Wales – Radical Prince (2003) – has been translated into Dutch, Spanish and French. His most recent books are A Quest for Wisdom and his collection of poems, Better Light a Candle.
Born in India and educated at the universities of London, Sussex and Oxford, Edi Bilimoria presents an unusual blend of experience in the fields of science, the arts and philosophy.
A student of the perennial philosophy for over half a century, Edi has published extensively in the disciplines of science, engineering and the esoteric philosophy. In 2007, his book The Snake and the Rope was awarded the Book Prize by the Scientific and Medical Network (SMN). In 2023, his four-volume work Unfolding Consciousness: Exploring the Living Universe and Intelligent Powers in Nature and Humans was awarded the SMN’s Grand Prize. Edi serves as an Advisor to Board, a Trustee of the SMN, and an Adviser to the Galileo Commission of the Network. He is also a Trustee and a Council Member of the Francis Bacon Society.
Gary E. SchwartzProfessor, Author
Dr Gary E. Schwartz has been a Professor of Psychology, Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Surgery at the University of Arizona for more than thirty years. He was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and a tenured Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Yale University. His integrative research bridging mind-body medicine, energy medicine, and spiritual medicine has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, and numerous private foundations. He has published more than 500 scientific articles and chapters and authored or edited 25 books. He directs the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health at the University of Arizona and served as the founding president of the Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences
Jessica CorneilleResearch Psychologist
Following her own sudden non-dual experience one morning in February 2016, Jessica Corneille, MSc decided to change the course of her life by quitting her career in the arts/cultural heritage preservation (and as an aspiring art curator), to play her part, instead, in helping to de-stigmatise, de-pathologise and raise awareness around spiritual awakening, enlightenment, and non-dual experiences within mainstream psychology.
She graduated with Distinction from a Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Greenwich, where she focused her studies on the psychology of exceptional human experiences (transpersonal, anomalistic and parapsychology), under the guidance of Dr David Luke. She is now a fully-qualified research psychologist specialising predominantly in spiritual awakenings of a spontaneous nature, as well as other non-ordinary states of consciousness. Jessica has presented her work at a number of academic conferences, including with the British Psychological Society. She also works for the Scientific and Medical Network, is a member of the Galileo Commission steering committee, a collaborator of the Emergent Phenomenology Research Consortium and Spiritual Crisis Network, and a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher. She also runs peer-support groups for people undergoing spiritually transformative experiences, both with the Psychedelic Society UK and Spiritual Awakenings International.
Her greatest missions in life are to challenge the default pathologisation of awakening experiences by helping to inform and encourage mainstream psychology to look beyond the current designated spectrum of ‘normality’, to encompass the transpersonal as something that is intrinsic to the human experience, and in helping individuals come to the realisation of their highest human potential.
Joan WaltonUniversity researcher and educator
Dr Joan Walton’s first degree was in Social Theory and Institutions (University of Bangor, North Wales). Following University, she travelled for a year in India and South East Asia, including working in one of Mother Teresa’s children’s homes in Calcutta. Her early professional career was in social work, mainly working with children and families in residential and community settings. In 1995 she established an independent Centre for Action Research and Education, which enabled her to be involved in a wide range of staff development and research projects in the public, private and not-for profit sectors. Following completion of her PhD in 2008, she had a career change, and entered the academic world, initially at Liverpool Hope University, and now at York St John University in the School of Education.
Marjorie WoollacottResearcher, Author
Dr Marjorie Woollacott has been a Professor and Chair in the Dept. of Human Physiology and a member of the Institute of Neuroscience, at the University of Oregon. In addition to teaching courses on neuroscience and rehabilitation, she taught courses on complementary and alternative medicine and meditation. Dr. Woollacott has received over $7.2 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health and other research agencies for her research in child development, aging, rehabilitation medicine and meditation. She has published more than 200 scientific articles and written or co-edited eight books, the most recent being Infinite Awareness: The Awakening of a Scientific Mind. She has recently (2017) accepted the position of Research Director for the International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS) and is the President of the Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences.
Monica BryantIndependent researcher
Monica Bryant, BSc (Hons), MA, has provided her leading-edge Evolutionary Consulting and Coaching since 1994, offering a transpersonal perspective to support inner and outer evolution. Her evolutionary approach is soul-based and helps to unveil deep patterns, cycles and meaning to support wholeness and well-being. With more than 40 years of experience in archetypal psychology, Monica has a Master’s degree in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred based on transformative learning and transpersonal research methodologies. She is an independent researcher and writer who has a transdisciplinary approach to the evolving holistic worldview.
Her work draws on her life experiences in the fields of human and planetary potential, new paradigm sciences and natural health. She has a background, since 1972, in the Scandinavian and Germanic naturopathic and homeopathic traditions. In the 1980s, Monica pioneered probiotics and symbiosis-restoring approaches to our inner microbial ecology. At the University of Sussex, she taught her unique courses for four years, which included The New Microbiology and encouraged transformative learning.
Internationally, Monica has trained natural practitioners in regenerative biological healing and also published many articles in this field. As an entrepreneur, she has imported health-related, eco-friendly products which are kind to humans, animals and nature. She has also devoted three decades to organic gardening and ecological land management to support wildlife, bees and wild flowers.
Richard Tarnas is a professor of philosophy and cultural history at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he founded the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He teaches courses in the history of ideas, archetypal cosmology, depth psychology, and religious evolution
Roderick Main, PhD works at the University of Essex, UK, where he is a professor in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies and Director of the Centre for Myth Studies. His books include The Rupture of Time: Synchronicity and Jung’s Critique of Modern Western Culture (Brunner-Routledge, 2004), Revelations of Chance: Synchronicity as Spiritual Experience (SUNY, 2007), and, most recently, Breaking the Spell of Disenchantment: Mystery, Meaning, and Metaphysics in the Work of C. G. Jung (Chiron Publications, 2022).
Sophia Demas, M.Ed., has enjoyed three diverse careers: a decade in architecture that included working with notable 20th century visionary Dr. R. Buckminster Fuller, running her own couture fashion business, and working as a mental health therapist in private practice. She also created Living a Fearless Life, a twelve-workshop program. She is author of two books. In The Divine Language of Coincidence, Sophia chronicles the miracles she has experienced since the age of 19. After discovering the key in turning a coincidence into a potential miracle, she was propelled to share with the world how miracles are accessible to anyone. By paying attention to divine nudging and taking action, not only did she receive, against her free will, what was best for her, but had her marriage saved from the brink of divorce, was saved from almost certain death, and many other extraordinary events that have led her to her true purpose. Her experiences related to death and after-death communications are included in her second book, Consciousness Beyond Death, recently released.
Vasileios BasiosPhysicist, Senior researcher
Dr Vasileios Basios is a physicist, conducting interdisciplinary research on the foundations of complexity science and nonlinear systems, self-organization and complex matter. During his formative years, he was tutored by Ilya Prigogine (Nobel Laureate) at the Solvay Institutes in ULB and by Emilios Bouratinos on meditation and philosophy. He is interested in the complex interface between action and information and the history of ideas in science and their role in the transformation of science beyond the prevailing naïve materialistic reductionistic world-view. With others from PEAR Lab, he initiated the Mind-Matter-Mapping Project and has since published essays for ICRL where he now serves as a Trustee. He is a member of the Board of the Scientific and Medical Network and the Steering Team of the Galileo Commission.