RUPERT KINGLAKE TOWER writes: The North London Group held a meeting at the house of Baroness Edmee di Pauli on 24 September. Owing to an administrative mix-up we were bereft of our planned speaker that evening, which allowed for spontaneity and discussion of various interest topics ranging across the power of mind, the influence of thought on bodily function, the measurement of psychic phenomena, and the effects of prayer. Several themes emerged in the process of discussion, particularly the nature of scientific enquiry, and whether current measures had sufficient sensitivity in identifying psychic events, and to what extent the conscious and unconscious agenda of the experimenter ultimately will affect the outcome of psychical research. For many of the 22 attendees present, it was agreed that there was a fundamental need to understand the underlying aetiology of psychic phenomena over and above that of
proving its existence to the scientific establishment. The meeting was also used as a forum to exchange thoughts on future group developments, in terms of varying content and format to include social/discussion sessions, workshops/debates focused on member interest themes, and the fostering of deeper interactions between group members.
Tony Pritchett writes: On 20th May, the North London Group met at RUPERT SHELDRAKE
S house in Hampstead, where JUDY JACKA from Australia talked about<i>Healing Through Earth Energies.</i> Judy described herself as mainly a natural therapist, using a mixture of techniques. In 1980 she learnt about Vivaxis from its Canadian originator Fran Nixon. Vivaxis was defined asthe name given to the geographical point where a permanent magnetic alignment was introduced into the atomic structure of our bones as they solidified before birth
. She told us how our bodies need to maintain a subtle-energy link with this place on the earths surface, no matter how far away from it we travel, and that we suffer health problems due to interference with this link, electromagnetic pollution being one amongst many causes. Methods of restoring the Vivaxis link are many and various, ranging from meditation to taking a shower. It seems to be important to know the precise direction of one`s Vivaxis while undertaking many of these exercises, and she demonstrated how one could determine this by dowsing.
Rupert Tower writes: A fascinating and compelling evening was held in North London at the home of RICHARD and LOUISE GRAHAM on the 9th July. Forty-five people attended in a joint meeting with members of the West London Group. The speaker was YOICHIRO SAKO of the ESPER Laboratory, Sony Corporation, Japan, who reported on the company
s recent experimental research into clairvoyance. The talk focused upon the methodology and results of two specific experimental approaches - clairvoyance trials ofseeing
letters and drawings, and three double-blind trials utilizing Chinese characters on paper hidden within three hundred orange ping-pong balls. In the latter experiment, the adult female participant concentrated for one hour per trial, and each time managed tosee` the item successfully – the chance of correct recognition being one in twenty-seven million. Mr. Sako concluded his talk by calling for a new scientific paradigm – the cross-fertilization of Modern Knowledge and Ancient Wisdom, and Western Science and Oriental Thought.
West London Meeting
CLIVE HICKS writes: Clive Hicks is abroad at present, so only a brief report is possible from the West London Group. The group held meetings on the second Wednesdays of February and March, both on psychological subjects – for Bryce McKenzie Smith on ‘Why Psychotherapy?’ and then Beata Bishop on ‘Facing the Shadow’. Both evoked deeply probing discussion. The group will meet on the second Wednesdays of May and June – details will be available near the time from Clive Hicks (0181 997 7974, or email [email protected]) or Anushka Jordan (0181 578 4431).
West London Group Report, August 1997
Clive Hicks writes: The West London Group of the Network met in May and decided that in future there will be six regular meetings a year, on the second Wednesday in February, March, May, June, October and November, a Christmas party in December and possibly occasional other meetings, some perhaps in ccnjunction with other groups.
The group held a well attended meeting in June, with several new members, when ALAN SMITHSON, a memberof the group, introduced his new book The Kairos Point – The Marriage of Mind and Matter – recently published by Element. His approach to the subjects of wholeness and dualism, finite and infinite, good and bad will, attention, and the idea that our own wholeness is identical with the wholeness of others, provoked a searching discussion, and the question raised by one of the new members:
Why do I choose wrongly?, was so relevant to each of us that we decided to make it the generating point for our next meeting, on October 8th, which will be introduced by Peter Hewitt under the title The Pilgrim and the Psyche with a subtitle taken from Benjamin Franklin,
The Means and Manner of Obtaining Virtue. The meeting will be held at 1 Lambourne Avenue, Wimbledon, London SW19 7DW Our hostess will be Moyra Bremner – please let her know in good time if you are coming (0181 946 9288). A meeting was also held in July in conjunction with the North London Group, in whose report it will be covered.
The West London Group is now in touch with both the North London Group and the Chilterns Group, and it has been suggested that the group co-ordinators meet to discuss matters of common interest. The group meets in members
homes, starting at 7.30 for light refreshments (and discussion), with the meeting itself beginning at 8.30. Network members, local or visiting, are welcome to join us for any of our meetings, but please let us know in advance. Each person attending contributes £3 towards the cost of refreshments and Network administration.Synchronicity and Parapsychology
<h3>Meeting Report - North London Group</h3>
<i>Rupert writes:</i> On May 23rd we gave a warm welcome to PROFESSOR VIC MANSFIELD, who gave us a talk on
at the new home of our kind hosts, Richard and Louise Graham. The previous year, Vic had been scheduled to speak on a similar subject, but had been forced to cancel due to terrible storms in the U.S. Vic described Synchronicity as an acausal connection of meaning between an event in the outer, external world and an event in the inner, internal world of subjectivity (typically manifested by feelings, intuition, and dreams). Vic focused upon the inner dimension of the process of finding meaning through synchronous events, and shared some examples of this within his own life. He emphasised that synchronicity reflected the natural maturation process of the psyche, as manifested in Jungs individuation process, the guiding intelligence of dreams which act as a compensatory, re-balancing mechanism of the unconscious, or James Hillman`s notion of the acorn as the potential seed of growth and the impulse of soul-making. Finally, he explored two widely known experiments in Parapsychology, and showed that while both Synchronicity and Parapsychology express acausal connections between events, a synchronicity is unique and unrepeatable, whereas many parapsychological experiments can be replicated widely both within and across cultures.
In July, MIKE KING gave us a riveting talk examining the relationship between Science and the Spiritual/Transcendent, by focusing on a particular form of the spiritual impulse epitomised by the Buddha, and its relation to the emergence of science in the 17th century. Mike
s thesis, which was discussed with great vigour and interest within the group, is that the non-devotional spiritual orientation (jnani) came to be repressed in the Christian world, and that the spiritual energies that are associated with jnani in the East emerged instead as science in the West. Mike explained that those who have sought transcendence over the ages have chosen to do so by way of two spiritual paths, either transcendence through progressive identification with existence (via positiva), or through progressive dis-identification with existence (via negativa) as achieved by the Buddha. He then went on to explore the lives of selectedlost Buddhas of the West`, many of whom chose a via positiva, and embraced the freedom of a non-devotional path which science seemed to offer. These included extraordinary men of their time, such as Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Socrates, Plotinus, Eckhart, Spinoza, and Walt Whitman. Finally, Mike summarised several parallels between Science and the Transcendent – disciplined enquiry, the holding of paradox, patience, humility – but gave his personal view that both were different domains of human experience, which demanded great respect, but ultimately would and should be resistant to synthesis.