Dr Fritjof Capra, Dr Jude Currivan, Prof Marilyn Monk, Prof Ravi Ravindra, Dr Merlin Sheldrake
Music: Cosmo and Merlin Sheldrake
Chairs: Dr. Peter Fenwick, David Lorimer
Mystics and Scientists 40 – The Continuing Quest for Unity and Integration
The Mystics and Scientists conferences have been held every year since 1978, and are dedicated to forging a creative understanding of the complementary roles of scientific and mystical approaches to reality. This year we are celebrating the 40th Anniversary of this flagship series of conferences that have featured many of the leading scientists and mystics of the time. We are especially delighted that Fritjof Capra is able to join us live by Skype, as the only speaker from the original conference, which was the 1978 ‘May Lectures’ and simply entitled Mystics and Scientists. Fritjof had published The Tao of Physics in 1976 and his title was The Implications of the New Physics for the Scientific Reality of our Time. I attended his lecture at Trinity College, Cambridge, around the same time – the event was organised by Prof Bernard Carr, then a Fellow.
The conferences always provide a highly engaging and creative opportunity to come together with like-minded people in a spirit of exploration and dialogue. Our theme of unity and integration applies not only to science and spirituality but also to the integration we seek within ourselves. Our speakers bring together world views from physics, biology, philosophy, psychology and spirituality, and they will address the theme from their various angles of expertise. We are very glad to be bridging the generations by featuring our first speaker still in his 20s, Dr Merlin Sheldrake – Rupert first spoke at this conference in 1983. We very much look forward to you joining us for this celebration of 40 years of exploration and dialogue.
Building upon the success of this format for the Beyond the Brain 2015 conference, and Mystics and Scientists 2016, this meeting will be a participatory experience. We will use café style seating to help initiate table discussions and sharing of experiences. Speakers will provide practical reflections and exercises along with a sharing of their expertise. In addition, there will be optional meditation and movement each morning, time for small group exchanges and optional workshop sessions after lunch on Saturday and Sunday. All in all, it promises to be an unforgettable weekend.
SPEAKERS and PROGRAMME
Friday 7th April
Opening wine reception, followed by dinner, welcomes from the President, Dr. Peter Fenwick and the SMN Chair Dr. Paul Filmore. Programme Director David Lorimer will introduce the conference with a talk on The Quest for Unity – a Continuing Journey.
The quest for unity and integration applies not only at the theoretical level in science, philosophy and psychology, but also to our own lives, especially in a spiritual sense, to the journey from separation to wholeness, from self to Self. In this sense it is important for a so-called theory of everything to include consciousness, as Max Planck stated as far back as 1931 – ‘everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.’ The process continues, there is no final point of arrival but a constant cycle of transformation that involves living with presence in the Now.
Saturday 8th April
Prof Ravi Ravindra – Eternal Spiritual Wisdom and Modern Science
This talk will explore the fundamental differences and similarities of some of the basic universal principles and associated practices of eternal spiritual wisdom and the assumptions and practices of modern science. The search for unity and integration needs to take place in an individual practitioner’s soul much more than in the external abstractions of science and mystical insights. Full abstracts.
Dr Jude Currivan: Restating and Reunifying Reality: our in-formed and holographic Universe
Recent discoveries ranging from cosmology, information theory and complex systems analyses to biology and quantum physics are accumulating and converging to create a 21st century scientific revolution. The latest scientific insights are showing that the information whose existence, flows and interactions are the basis of all our technologies is exactly the same as the universal in-formation that is all we call physical reality. Full abstracts.
Dr Fritjof Capra (by Skype): Mystics and Scientists in the Twenty-First Century – Science and Spirituality Revisited
At the 40th Anniversary of the “Mystics and Scientists” Conference and of his ground breaking book The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra will explore the relationship between science and spirituality from the perspective of twenty-first-century science. He will emphasise in particular the importance of distinguishing between spirituality and religion, and the urgent need for an ethics that respects the entire community of life. Full abstracts.
Charlotte Lorimer Reconciling Art, Science and Spirituality in the work of Gustav Klimt
Charlotte Lorimer has recently completed her dissertation which accounts for the popularity of The Kiss (1907-1908) by Gustav Klimt. Her interdisciplinary approach explored Art, Science and Spirituality, particularly appropriate to fin-de-siècle Vienna which strove to integrate the arts, sciences and humanities. This philosophy was also adopted by the Secession, the group of artists led by Klimt. The intention of the Secessionists was to regenerate and reconnect divided Vienna through their art, especially through symbols, myths and archetypes.Full abstracts.
Evening Musical Event with Cosmo and Merlin Sheldrake
Cosmo Sheldrake is a 26-year-old multi-instrumentalist musician, composer and producer. Much of his work is concerned with play, nonsense and the sonorous environment. Cosmo has toured internationally and written music for theatre and film. He is signed to Transgressive Records, with whom he released his debut E.P. ‘Pelicans We’. He is currently working on a performance for the Cartier Foundation, which will incorporate recordings of endangered and extinct ecosystems in collaboration with Bernie Krause. See a selection of his music videos here
Sunday 9th April
Prof Marilyn Monk – Scientist, Poet and Mystic – Complementary Ways of Knowing and Being
Over the years I have spoken at SMN gatherings about ways of knowing and being in science, the arts and mysticism, and the conflicts that arise between these ways of knowing and being both within and without. We hear of science versus religion (or spirituality) and vice versa. We experience anti-science comments (reductionist, materialist, mechanistic, sceptic) and indeed anti-spirituality comments (flaky, subjective, unproven, speculation). However, if we look within we might see that we are all three-dimensional beings. We are all – each of us – scientist, poet and mystic. If there is conflict within, will this conflict also be reflected without? Full abstracts.
Dr Merlin Sheldrake: Underground Connections: fungal networks and the Wood Wide Web
Almost all plants form intimate symbiotic relationships with fungi in their roots. These fungi extend into the soil and connect plants together in large and complex collaborative networks. Merlin Sheldrake will explore some of the implications of the ‘Wood Wide Web’, and the ways in which it may lead to an ever more interconnected understanding of plants, forests, and the evolution of cooperative relationships. Full abstracts.
The Scientific and Medical Network was founded in 1973 by George Blaker, Dr. Patrick Shackleton, Dr. Peter Leggett and Sir Kelvin Spencer. The founders believed that neither orthodox religion nor conventional science was sufficient to answer pressing questions about human existence and the cosmos, and that new ways of thinking were needed.
The Network provides interdisciplinary education exploring the frontiers of science, consciousness and spirituality. It draws on a worldwide community of scientists, doctors, psychologists, engineers, philosophers and theologians to provide events, publications, and courses that link insights from the spiritual traditions and the arts, with the study and application of science and medicine.
The Network assumes that there are many ways of knowing the world and ourselves, of which science is just one, albeit one highly effective and reliable, way of gaining knowledge. In order to do justice to the full spectrum of human experience and the complexity of the cosmos, it encourages dialogue and interaction between the spiritual, the scientific, the philosophical and the arts in open-minded enquiry.
Venue: Horsley Park is based around a grand Victorian mansion built in 1828 and is set within 70 acres of beautiful parkland, and leisure facilities include a health and fitness club with gym, sauna and indoor swimming pool. It was once the home of Ada Lovelace, the brilliant 19th-century mathematician who worked with Charles Babbage and is credited with inventing the first computer language.
Accommodation – All rooms are en suite and have free high-speed Internet access.
Fees: Fees include accommodation (for residential delegates), lecture programme, and all meals (excluding breakfast for non-residents). They are payable in full on booking. Vegetarian meals provided.
Cancellations: A fee of £25 will be retained, or £75 after 15th March; after 31st March, no refund.
Booking: Places are strictly limited so early application is essential. Detailed information about the venue will be sent with the booking confirmation. Some concessions and full-time student rates available – please contact the office.
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