Mystics & Scientists 40 – Abstracts

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.

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.

Moreover, scientific research is progressively demonstrating that from dynamic in-formational patterns embedded on a holographic boundary and arising from deeper non-physical realms, our entire Universe exists and evolves as a unified entity. Our Universe is literally in-formed and holographically real-ised.

Restating and reunifying the nature of reality at all scales and levels of existence, this scientifically-based wholeworld-view also transforms our awareness by recognising that consciousness isn’t something we have – it’s something we and the whole world are. Offering a radical re-envisioning of not only how the world is as it is, but why it grounds physical reality in more fundamental realms of intelligence, causation and meaning and in doing so it also confirms Einstein’s view that our Universe is fundamentally; ‘As simple as it can be but no simpler’.

Dr Fritjof Capra (by Skype): Mystics and Scientists in the Twenty-First CenturyScience and Spirituality Revisited

At the 40th Anniversary of the “Mystics and Scientists” Conference and of his groundbreaking 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.

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?

The scientist weighs up the pros and cons of a situation, is interested in facts, evidence and reproducibility.    The poet comes from experiential subjective truth, the realm of the heart – of emotion, intuition and dreams.  The mystic sees the bigger picture, universal laws, macrocosm reflecting microcosm and has the inner wisdom.

These are three separate realms of knowing and being.   The scientist, poet and mystic within must talk to each other.  Sometimes the relationship between them is unbalanced.  We can see that there might be arguments on the bridges between the realms but this is good.   There should be no attempt at synthesis – no attempt to merge, blend, integrate, or reconcile. They are already reconciled!   And as for conflict, they are not even in same ball park!

I will speak about science and scientists, my own path over 50 years as an academic research scientist, the clinical applications of my research, and the various influences of my poet and my mystic on my life as a scientist.

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.