Articles Alphabetically

  • “Laudato Si…” Respect for our Earth June 2015. Pope Francis’s recent encyclical, “Laudato Si” is likely to go down as one of the most significant documents published in our time. No other is likely to have comparable impact on our society.  Most important, it is more than a document. This is church teaching that may reach far into societies that are ...
  • A Broader Look at the Spiritual Emergence Experience: Implications for Consciousness Studies Galbraith (1999) has provided us with a fascinating account of the Spiritual Emergence Experience, for which she uses the acronym SEUS (spiritual experience up spine). As she points out this is also known as the rising of the kundalini energy (KE) in certain Eastern traditions. The nature of such experiences can be benign and relatively ...
  • A Critical Take on Psychical Research
  • A Critical Take on Psychical Research This extended review was among the last things David Fontana wrote. Here David provides a critical response to a sceptical book on parapsychology. PSEUDOSCIENCE AND EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS OF THE PARANORMAL: A CRITICAL THINKER’S TOOLKIT Jonathan C. Smith Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, 410 pp.,   £23.99, p/b – ISBN 978-1-4051-8122-8 On page 262 of Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal the author ...
  • A long-term prospective study to investigate the incidence and phenomenology of near-death experiences in a Welsh intensive therapy unit
  • A New Renaissance – A Point of View How are we to make any meaningful practical contribution to the healing of this world, assaulted as it is by societal and environmental problems that threaten our very survival? Eleanor Stoneham calls for wise tolerance, healing and the infusion of a compassionate and spiritual literacy throughout our lives, alongside a more holistic education for our ...
  • A Quantum Shift? – Where we seem to be now on Life after Death With over 100 years of research into the nature of death and survival of consciousness, a more sophisticated way of looking at the evidence seems to be emerging. Based on a number of interviews and wide reading, Lance Butler outlines a new understanding based on science as well as spiritual experience. Even Life after Death changes; ...
  • Albert Schweitzer – A Life as an Argument: the Plight of the Individual in Modern Society
  • An Image of Global Integrity: The parameters of an enlightened global society – Part 1 There is a growing awareness of the need for a systems shift in humanity’s relationship to the planet, and that our present global trajectory is unsustainable. Tony Hodgson offers an alternative analysis. Introduction Despite growing concern over the impact of humanity on the systems of life, and despite accelerating knowledge of the predicament, we appear to remain ...
  • An Image of Global Integrity: The parameters of an enlightened global society – Part 2 There is a growing awareness of the need for a systems shift in humanity’s relationship to the planet, and that our present global trajectory is unsustainable. Tony Hodgson offers an alternative analysis.  If you missed Part 1 you can read it here. A Framework for Practical Analysis There are a number of obstacles to clear analysis of these ...
  • An Open Eye on Early Education Grethe highlights a disturbing development in educational policy. You may not know that in 2007, private as well as state-funded nurseries, were made to apply an educational curriculum including reading, writing, numbers and basic computing, designed by the government (with minimal consultation) and enforced by Ofsted inspection.  In 2009, 4 year-olds entered formal education, following the ...
  • Are you afraid of the dark? Notes on the psychology of belief in histories of science and the occult ABSTRACT The popular view of the inherent conflict between science and the occult has been rendered obsolete by recent advances in the history of science. Yet, these historiographical revisions have gone unnoticed in the public understanding of science and public education at large. Particularly, reconstructions of the formation of modern psychology and its links to ...
  • Art and Mysticism – Part 1 Paul introduces the reader to the mystical experience of art – direct perception of beauty, which we can all experience. I confess from the outset that I am uncomfortable with the word “mysticism.”  It is an important word, there is no doubt about it, but it has taken on meanings in addition to the one that ...
  • Art and Mysticism – Part 2 Paul continues his critique of the mystical experience of art, the direct perception of beauty open to all of us. The Interior Now let’s return to State of Life for another level of interpretation.  What makes Perrault’s work so captivating is that it symbolises the aspect of reality most important to us all: the ...
  • Beehives Funded by the Scientific and Medical Network Installed in Kenya A letter from Dr. Lucy King, speaker at the SMN Mystics and Scientists Conference 2015. In response to her presentation, members collected £2,015 toward beehive fences to protect two Kenyan villages against elephant incursions. I hope all is well! I just wanted to send you a file of images to show you photos of all the ...
  • Can we Resolve the Tension between Science and Spirituality? – The Double Star of Truth In his opening editorial: The Challenge of the New (Network Review, Summer 2010), Professor Bernard Carr stated that ‘the polarity between science and spirituality has, of course, always been a central issue for the SMN. Maintaining the right balance is not easy…’ Here is a story that suggests how the problem of ‘maintaining the right ...
  • Can Yoga and Meditation ward off Alzheimer’s disease? We’re all used to hearing that a course in yoga and meditation can make you feel better. Help you cope with stress. Now a new study headed by Helen Lavretsky of UCLA and published in the May edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Research indicates yoga and meditation may also forestall the cognitive impairment that often precedes the development ...
  • Commission for Extended Science Dear Friends and Colleagues Under the auspices of the Scientific and Medical Network (www.scimednet.org) and following the publication of a number of manifestos calling for a wider and deeper science, we are proposing to establish a Commission for Extended Science. You will see the rationale and remit of the Commission at the beginning of the attached document. ...
  • Conceptualising spirituality for medical research and health service provision Michael B King1* and Harold G Koenig2 *Corresponding author: Michael B King [email protected] Author Affiliations 1Department of Mental Health Sciences, University College London Medical School, Royal Free Campus, Rowland Hill Street, London, UK 2Duke University Medical Center, Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA For all author emails, please log on. BMC Health Services Research 2009, 9:116  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-116 The electronic version ...
  • Consciousness in the Brain Even at the stage of the retina, a division arises between the dorsal and the ventral stream. The dorsal stream is responsible for movements in relations to objects, and is unconscious. The ventral stream has specialised modules for different aspects of vision. This processing happens at a still unconscious stage, with consciousness only found at ...
  • Death and the Human Animal Here Mary Midgley, now in her 90s, reflects on the profound implications of attempting to abolish death. The more one thinks it through, the less desirable the prospect seems. An earlier version of this article appeared in Philosophy Now, March-April 2012 Till lately, people discussing death didn’t have to consider the idea of actually abolishing it.  ...
  • Deconstructing Dawkins – Richard Dawkins and The Fallacies of Mechanistic Science Richard Dawkins is the high priest of popular science, this country’s unofficial scientist laureate. His theories have helped to form the generally accepted scientific ‘rational’ worldview of our culture, which most of our institutions, our media, and our respected intellectuals accept as ‘reality’. The main tenets of this worldview can perhaps be summarised as follows: •   ...
  • Dolphins Talk When Performing a Team Task Do dolphins have language skills similar to ours? Do the vocalizations of bottlenose dolphins mean anything? Are the dolphins conveying useful information or just having a good time? While primates such as chimpanzees can be taught sign language, there is a great deal of scepticism as to whether they are using language that has a ...
  • Dowsing: A Review Dowsers have recently defined dowsing as ‘the art of knowing’. This reflects the fact that it was traditionally known as water divining and was a commercially important means of locating water and minerals, but it is often used today to detect a much wider range of apparently ‘unknowable’ information, from medical diagnosis to the location ...
  • Epigenetic Tags can be passed on to the Next Generation Epigenetics — the science of gene expression is a moving target. Over the past thirty years geneticists recognised that the way a gene is expressed can be influenced by environmental factors. A mother’s obesity, diabetes stress or even mental illness can be passed onto her offspring even if the condition is acquired by her diet ...
  • Essay Review: Tibetan and Western Models of Mind Any attempt to help neuroscientists and Tibetan Buddhists to understand each other is of potential value. At the very least, such an attempt is likely to help scholars on both sides to enter discussions from informed positions rather than from ignorance. Thus these three books deserve a warm welcome, though readers may vary somewhat in ...
  • Exploring the Frontiers of Consciousness – Peter and Elizabeth Fenwick 80th Birthday Celebration It is a real pleasure to be speaking on this splendid occasion in celebration of Peter and Elizabeth, whose friendship means a lot to me, as for many of us here, I know. Peter and I were both at Trinity College, Cambridge, where we studied Natural Science (there was no medical school in Cambridge in those ...
  • Extending the Range of Science – by Chris Thomson Chris Thomson has worked as an economist, a researcher in Chinese, a lawyer, and in think-tanks in Scotland and the USA. He now lives in the Catalan Pyrenees, and devotes himself to writing, mentoring and trying to make the esoteric exoteric. The following article argues for a new extended approach to science to improve our ...
  • Finding a New Central Purpose Do you have a purpose, in your life, or in your work, or both? Perhaps this is something you never ask yourself. Or perhaps it changes from day to day as you try to grapple with the challenges that life seems to throw at you. I have found that having a clear purpose is immensely ...
  • From Particles to People TAM 2012 (James Randi Educational Foundation annual meeting, Las Vegas) …I was fortunate enough to find myself last week in Geneva, at CERN, the home of the Large Hadron Collider, watching the experimental physicists there announce the discovery of the Higgs Boson – or at least something very much like it. We think it is the ...
  • From Water Memory to Digital Biology ‘And the demonstration* of all these things is so certain that, though experience apparently contradicts them we will have more faith in our reason than in our senses.’ René Descartes, Principles of Philosophy *(springing from the mind, inspired by God) The principal mission of DigiBio is to bring a clear and irrefutable answer to the controversy ...
  • Head Transplant or Body Transplant? Would you like to donate your head to science along with your other organs?  Or have a head transplant because you don’t like the shape of the rest of your body? Is that a head transplant or a body transplant? The question is by no means academic nor whimsical.  According to the Daily Mail, Valery ...
  • Homeopathy: The therapy that dare not speak its name? According to modern pharmacology, there can be no biochemical basis for homeopathy because substances diluted out of existence should not have any effects, let alone therapeutic ones. So to practice or partake of homeopathy is tantamount to believing that nothing has the power to do something, i.e., homeopathy is magic. Although many homeopaths would no ...
  • How Private are our Thoughts? The nature of the human biological field (Biofield) and its relationship to the Earth’s field is a rapidly developing area of neuroscience research. Several recent studies of Michael Persinger and others at Laurentian University indicate that our thoughts may not be all that private after all. That we share our neurological patterns with others close ...
  • In Accordance With Their Own Nature: Women and Equality in the Catholic Church   By Jo de Groot BSW PhD DipEd 30th March 2017 Introduction In this paper I present the historical development of the Catholic Church’s position on the acceptance of priesthood for males only. Whatever the reasons given, they are without reasonable foundation. I show that the Church is not keeping up with the generally accepted fact that women are ...
  • It’s Happening Now The new psycho-spiritual paradigm The Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists was founded just over 10 years ago by a number of Network Members, and now has over 2,000 members. Interestingly, this makes it the largest SIG within the College. Larry Culliford has been actively involved in this group and outlines in this ...
  • Jewels Made From Diamonds or Plastic? Whenever we have been furnished with tar baby ostensibly stuffed with jewels, and warned that it will be dishonourable and irreverent to disembowel it and test the jewels, we keep our sacrilegious hands off it. We submit, not reluctantly, but rather gladly, for we are privately afraid we should find, upon examination, that the jewels ...
  • Late Thoughts; After 90 years Editor’s Note:  Member Professor Erland Lagerroth celebrated his 90th birthday this year. As you will see from the autobiography and article below, he has been a prolific and pioneering author in Swedish. He was prominent enough to attract the attention of Swedish skeptics, who awarded him the title of ‘Misleader of the Year’ – a ...
  • Less is Better – A Powerful way of Being Intelligent We sometimes hear the phrase “less is more”, and we probably know what it means. In fact, less is not more. More is more! However, less is often better. This is very significant, because we in live in times when many people believe that “more is better”, a belief that is probably at the root ...
  • Light is Better than Mosquito Repellent: Honey is Better than Poison On Monday, 28th June 2015 I attended the 80th birthday celebratory visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the opening of the Buddhist centre in Aldershot, this being an area identified as having the largest population of Buddhists in the UK, and having strong links to the Gurkha and Nepalese community. The packed event ...
  • Living Energy Resonators: Transcending the Gene to a New Story of Light and Life Science has yet to solve major mysteries concerning life’s spontaneous selfassembly into intricate patterns. While explanations may one day be found by focusing entirely on genes and molecules, an elegant alternative already exists. For living beings have the capacity to behave as energy resonators, trapping spatially patterned light (electromagnetic energy) within them. This patterned energy ...
  • Living Philosophy and the Joy of Life The art of living is second to none. The art of understanding is also important: it should help us not only to comprehend the ways we have been bound and imprisoned, but also to find a path to liberation, to freedom, to fulfillment. We need to start with assumptions about the world in which we are ...
  • Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science We are a group of internationally known scientists, from a variety of scientific fields (biology, neuroscience, psychology, medicine, psychiatry), who participated in an international summit on post-materialist science, spirituality and society.  The summit was co-organized by Gary E. Schwartz, PhD and Mario Beauregard, PhD, the University of Arizona, and Lisa Miller, PhD, Columbia University. This ...
  • Mind and Neurons: Consciousness and the Brain in the 21st Century The nature of consciousness has become a hot topic in the last fifteen years. For nearly 30 years, Larry Dossey has been exploring the outer reaches of consciousness in an important series of books, where he marshals the best research evidence indicating the need for a wider and deeper understanding of consciousness and its role.  What ...
  • My Experience of Publishing Positive Health PH Online for >22 Years David Lorimer’s invitation to describe the impact of publishing Positive Health PH Online for >22 years has provoked within me an intense period of reflection and introspection. Twenty-two+  years is, after all, a fairly long time in one person’s life. Technologically speaking, thinking back to pre-1994, this was just about the very onset of emails; ...
  • Psyche and Cosmos: the emergence of order out of chaos Recent developments in the fields of complexity, self-organising systems and cosmogenesis have revived interest in the anti-reductionist idea of emergence, and this paper will examine some of the implications of this idea for our understanding of the human psyche, with particular reference to Jung’s thinking. In recent years there has been a growing interest in emergence ...
  • Rebalancing the Masculine and the Feminine
  • Reflections on the Reception of Unconventional Claims in Science As a sociologist of science I remain outside of the controversies surrounding unconventional claims in science. My commitment is to the judicial process within the scientific community rather than the resolution of specific debates. My general concern is to try to foster an interdisciplinary program, best called anomalistics, on the study of facts that seem ...
  • Science and Wisdom – Compassion   It has surprised me that so many people who are convinced of the universal and objective nature of scientific knowledge work so diligently to find in the latest discoveries of the sciences an exclusive vindication of statements in the Vedas or in the Qur’an or of dogmas accepted by the Church Councils at some stage ...
  • Seeking for whom the bell tolls: Exploring mind-matter interactions on a global scale Is there a global mind? Could it be detected quantitatively? In an empirical approach to this question, over the last decade a half-dozen researchers have examined the outputs of electronic noise-based, truly random number generators (RNG) before, during and after highly focused or coherent group events. (See video). The group events studied included intense psychotherapy ...
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