More of a Feeling: Exploring the Nature of Spiritual Emotions – Dr Oliver Robinson

Spirituality has been defined by many as the pursuit of particular kinds of feeling. This talk will present a way of understanding spiritual emotions by categorising them into a set of five types, and then exploring what all five have in common. The five types are positive, aesthetic, ecstatic, sublime and mystical. Positive emotions in spirituality pertain to the pursuit of happiness and overcoming suffering as central to the spiritual path; aesthetic feelings in spirituality relate to experiences of profound beauty and harmony and the feelings of spiritual profundity that these bring; ecstatic feelings are exceptionally intense passionate experiences that are typically induced during trance states; sublime feelings are those in which a sense of awe and numinous wonder brings a mixture of fear-and-trembling allied to reverence and positive feeling; and mystical feelings are peaceful and unitive feelings of bliss and love. I will argue that spiritual development ideally involves cultivation of all these types of feeling and their harmonious integration with thought.

Dr Oliver Robinson is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich, specialising in lifespan development. He is co-editor of A New Renaissance: Transforming Science, Spirit and Society, and is currently writing a book on the interaction of science and spirituality, to be published later this year.

We are delighted that Olly is able to speak to our group again – some of you will remember his extremely interesting talk in 2014 – Spirituality Beyond Religion  which examined the way in which Spirituality evolved over the ages , influenced by each era’s interpretation of religion and social landscape.

I really hope that you will be able to support this event and would appreciate you letting me know as soon as possible if you are able to attend. For confirmation and details contact Yvonne Louis 01634 614100

Venue – INTRA (Community Art Company) 337 341 High Street Rochester, ME1 1DA

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Dr. Oliver Robinson: ‘Both-and’ thinking: On embracing paradox in spirituality, philosophy and science

Dialectical ‘both-and’ thinking is key to resolving paradox and integrating ideas in ways that avoid reduction of one idea to the other. In this talk, the history of such thinking in the West and East will be explored, including the Chinese yin-yang model, Hegel’s dialectical reasoning, Jung’s exploration of opposites within alchemy and the psyche, Erikson’s dialectics of psychological development, dialectical behaviour therapy, and both-and thinking in quantum physics. A dialectical model of the relationship between science and spirituality will be discussed.