Science and Spiritual Practices - Dr Rupert Sheldrake
SCIENCE & SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Science is now transcending the materialist philosophy, and pointing towards a new sense of a living world. Meanwhile, scientific studies of a range of spiritual practices reveal that they have remarkable benefits for health of mind and body, and give a greater sense of connection with the more-than-human world. In his talk Rupert Sheldrake will discuss several practices including psychedelics, meditation, gratitude, rituals and pilgrimage and show how these are available to people of all religions and none.
Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and eleven books, and was listed among the top 100 Global Thought Leaders for 2013*. He studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, winning the University Botany Prize, and philosophy and history of science at Harvard University as a Frank Knox Fellow. After his doctorate in biochemistry he became Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology. As the Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he carried out research on the development of plants and the ageing of cells.
Dr Sheldrake continued his research as a Royal Society Leverhulme Scholar at the University of Malaya and later as the Consultant Plant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, where he helped develop new cropping systems now widely used by farmers.
Since 1981, he has continued research on developmental and cell biology. He has also investigated unexplained aspects of animal behaviour, including how pigeons find their way home, the seemingly telepathic abilities of dogs, cats and other animals, and the apparent abilities of animals to anticipate earthquakes and tsunamis. Although some of these areas overlap the field of parapsychology, he approaches them as a biologist, and bases his research on natural history and experiments under natural conditions, as opposed to laboratory studies. He subsequently studied similar phenomena in people, including the sense of being stared at, telepathy between mothers and babies, telepathy in connection with telephone calls, and premonitions.
From 2005-2010, Sheldrake was Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge University, and is now a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California, a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut, and a Fellow of Schumacher College in Devon, England.
* as ranked by the Duttweiler Institute, Zurich