The SPR’s 38th International Annual conference will be held at Vanbrugh College, at the University of York between Friday 5 and Sunday 7 September 2014. University of York is on the edge of the city centre and has very easy links to transport and all the attractions of this historic city, so we hope you will enjoy the location. As always, our full conference programme will address a broad range of topics, covering both spontaneous cases and laboratory research. In addition to the talks, conferences are a marvellous opportunity to network and share views, and there will be time to socialise over lunch and the regular coffee breaks, not to mention during the President’s drinks reception on Friday evening and Saturday’s conference banquet. Speakers will come from all over the UK, as well as from Europe and around the world, making it truly an international event. Those who attend, whether this is their first conference or their thirty-eight, can be sure of having both an informative and a very enjoyable time. We look forward to seeing you in York!
Campden Hill Road
Spirit Release Therapy, as a clinical alternative to religious exorcism and traditional shamanistic practice is largely unknown by mainstream medical practice and psychiatry. This is due to several interrelated factors. Primarily, materialistic science does not recognise any concept of a spirit world and doctors are therefore not yet trained in SRT principles and techniques. SRT sits uncomfortably between the disbelief of a materialist secular society and the subjective experience of spirit possession: whether that experience is a symptom of psychosis, symbolic representation, socio-cultural expectation or a veridical manifestation. In contrast to the monism of mechanistic science, every culture and religious belief system throughout human history has its traditional beliefs of spirit possession in some form or another with corresponding rituals for the release or exorcism of spirit entities. It is common knowledge that Christianity has its angels, devils and demons (although the majority of modern so-called Christians probably don’t believe they really exist). Islam has its Jinns and the Hindus have a variety of evil spirits.
The conflict between the epistemologies of modern science and religion lies in the conceptual differences in perception that are arrived at through empirical data and radical empirical experience. In short, it is a difference between what we believe to be true and what we know to be true.
- Department of Psychology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Science thrives when there is an open, informed discussion of all evidence, and recognition that scientific knowledge is provisional and subject to revision. This attitude is in stark contrast with reaching conclusions based solely on a previous set of beliefs or on the assertions of authority figures. Indeed, the search for knowledge wherever it may lead inspired a group of notable scientists and philosophers to found in 1882 the Society for Psychical Research in London. Its purpose was “to investigate that large body of debatable phenomena… without prejudice or prepossession of any kind, and in the same spirit of exact and unimpassioned inquiry which has enabled Science to solve so many problems.” Some of the areas in consciousness they investigated such as psychological dissociation, hypnosis, and preconscious cognition are now well integrated into mainstream science. That has not been the case with research on phenomena such as purported telepathy or precognition, which some scientists (a clear minority according to the surveys conducted http://en.wikademia.org/Surveys_of_academic_opinion_regarding_parapsychology) dis-miss a priori as pseudoscience or illegitimate. Contrary to the negative impression given by some critics, we would like to stress the following:
Horsley Park, East Horsley, Surrey.
MYSTICS AND SCIENTISTS
4 April 2014 – 6 April 2014
Venue: University of Warwick
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. The conferences always provide a highly engaging and creative opportunity to come together with like-minded people in a spirit of exploration and dialogue. This year we are looking at various aspects of our conscious experience of time, drawing on physics, neuroscience, philosophy, phenomenology, psychology and parapsychology. Bernard Carr, Natalie Depraz and Barbara Magnani have different approaches to the relationship between physical and psychological time, while Jacob Needleman considers the spiritual mystery of time in relation to the practical problem of time. David Luke asks if we can in some sense transcend time in precognition. James d’Angelo and David Lorimer offer an experience of music, rhythm, movement and dance. We greatly look forward to your participation.
Therapeutic Issues of Spiritually Transformative Experiences
About the Conference
ACISTE provides education and certificate training for mental health professionals, pastoral counselors, spiritual counselors and other professionals who wish to increase their competency and develop their expertise in working with clients who may have psychological, spiritual or mental health challenges related to their spiritually transformative experiences (STEs). STEs may include, but are not limited to, near-death or similar experiences, spiritual emergencies,out-of-body, kundalini, after-death communications and anomalous, paranormal or exceptional human experiences, etc. The conference brings together top researchers, experiencers and practicing professionals to present their expertise and insight into in this growing field of specialization and awareness.
- Clinical Social Workers
- Marriage and Family Therapists
- Professional Counselors
- Addiction Counselors
- Pastoral Counselors
- Spiritual Directors
- Spiritual Life Coaches
- Psychiatric Nurses
- Psychological Assistants
The book is out. Get your copy here:
Anthropologists, exorcists and psychiatrists all approach the enigmas of spirit possession from differing perspectives and unsurprisingly fail to arrive at a consensual explanation for the phenomena. This creates problems for therapeutic interventions for perceived spirit possession cases. However, the 19th century researcher F.W.H. Myers developed a conceptual framework using rigorous scientific methods that provides a unified theory to explain all forms of spirit possession across all cultures, religions and societies. Myers declared that all so-called paranormal and supernatural phenomena are natural and normal, and all such experiences exist on a continuum of human experience. Discarded, forgotten and denied by mainstream science until now, Myers is being re-discovered by 21st century psychology. Using Myers scientific framework, this book fills the gaps in knowledge left by the inadequate theories of anthropology and psychiatry, and gives religious exorcism and clinical practice an alternative approach to research and intervention that is grounded in pragmatic and proven clinical experience.