Have you ever felt you went beyond your ordinary self and felt connected to something bigger than you?
In a 2016 UK survey, over 84% of respondents (including atheists, agnostics, Christians, and Buddhists) said yes to this question.
So what’s going on?
In the complex web of modern life, we’re conditioned to embrace our rational minds and spend every second of our conscious hours in search of opportunities and threats. We are encouraged to get ahead, win friends, influence people, attract praise, avoid blame and generally focus on satisfying the individual everyday ego.
Indeed, the idea of a “self”, as a unique and coherent individual, has existed ever since humans began to live in groups and become sociable.
But is this egoistic view of ourselves scientifically accurate?
Or is there something more to the human experience? And could our most basic assumptions about who we are be wrong?
In this series of talks, we explore the psychology of the ‘self’, drawing on perspectives from developmental psychology, Carl Jung and his approach to the psyche, and the latest scientific and cultural research – to question our most basic assumptions about who we really are, and our place in the world.
The format will be similar to a TED event, but with in-depth lectures and focused on the psychology of ‘The Self.’
- 10:00am – 12:00pm: Session 1
- 12:00 – 1:00pm: Lunch break
- 1:00pm – 3:00pm: Session 2
- 3:00pm – 3:15pm: Afternoon break
- 3:15pm – 5:00pm: Session 3
Lectures & Speakers
The Science of Spiritual Experiences – Jules Evans
Ever society in human history, except ours, accepted the basic human need to lose control, go beyond the ego, and connect with something bigger than ourselves. This experience became known as ecstasy.
In this talk, Jules Evans explores various forms of ecstatic experience, argues that transcendence is good for us and through proper practice, can help us find healing, inspiration, connection and joy.
Drawing on personal experiences, the work of both ancient and modern philosophers and scientific and cultural research including interviews with radical Jihadis, the Bishop of London, Brian Eno and new-age Wizards, Jules examines how modern westerners find ecstatic experiences today, be it in churches, raves, galleries, sports, meditation and political movements, and what we can gain from mastering the art of losing control, in ways that are good for both us and for our society.
Jules Evans is Policy Director at the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London and a leading researcher into ecstatic experience. He also runs the world’s biggest philosophy club, the London Philosophy Club, which has over 6,000 members. Jules’ first book, Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations was published in 19 countries and was selected by Matthew Syed as a Times Book of the Year. He has written for The Times, Financial Times, Guardian, Spectator and WIRED and is a BBC New Generation Thinker.
C.G Jung & His Approach to the Psyche – Dr Kevin Lu, PhD
In this talk, Dr Kevin Lu will explore Jung’s model of the psyche, with special attention to the definitive concepts differentiating analytical psychology from Freudian psychoanalysis. In particular, the talk will critically assess Jung’s formulation of the archetypal Self, which acts as the end goal of the individuation process.
While critiques of Jung’s search for universal patterns of human experience and action — which in turn may have limited his appreciation of the influence exerted by social and contextual factors — are duly noted, Dr Lu suggests that the true contribution of Jung’s psychology cannot be divorced from one of its major limitations: it seeks to say something both general and specific about the human condition. What Jung yearns for is not an imitation of old, worn out patterns, but a creative engagement with them that allows us to experience the fullness of life in all its complexities.
Dr Kevin Lu, PhD, is Director of Graduate Studies and Director of the MA Jungian and Post-Jungian Studies in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex. He is a former member of the Executive Committee of the International Association for Jungian Studies.
The Self Illusion: Why There is no ‘You’ Inside Your Head – Professor Bruce Hood
Most of us believe that we are unique and coherent individuals, but are we?
The idea of a “self” has existed ever since humans began to live in groups and become sociable. Those who embrace the self as an individual in the West, or a member of the group in the East, feel fulfilled and purposeful. This experience seems incredibly real, but a wealth of recent scientific evidence reveals that this notion of the independent, coherent self is an illusion – it is not what it seems.
In this talk, Professor Bruce Hood reveals how the self emerges during childhood and how the architecture of the developing brain enables us to become social animals dependent on each other. You’ll learn how the self is the product of our relationships and interactions with others, and it exists only in our brains. Prof Hood argues, however, that though the self is an illusion, it is one that humans cannot live without.
Prof Bruce Hood is the Professor of Developmental Psychology in Society in the School of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol. He has been a research fellow at Cambridge University and University College London, a visiting scientist at MIT and a faculty professor at Harvard. He has been awarded an Alfred Sloan Fellowship in neuroscience, the Young Investigator Award from the International Society of Infancy Researchers, the Robert Fantz memorial award and voted to Fellowship status by the society of American Psychological Science. He is the founder of the world’s largest expert speaker database Speakezee.org, and the bestelling author of ”Supersense”, ‘The Self Illusion”, and the ”Domesticated Brain.’ His new book, “Possessed” is published by Allen Lane in 2019.
What TWU attendees are saying:
Great initiative! For people that like myself are passionate about psychology but wouldn't commit to long term course or training it's a wonderful opportunity to listen to qualified professionals in the area in a relaxed atmosphere.
Just attended my second Weekend University day of lectures at Birkbeck, this time on Memories, Dreams and Existentialism. A great mix of speakers, styles and content which left me wanting to go home and find out more about two out of the three subjects. Fantastic to see Emmy Van Deurzen in action - she's a bit of a heroine of mine! One tip would be to ask the audience to fill up the rows of seats before the start as inevitably some people arrive late (like I did) and it was all a bit chaotic at the back of the auditorium. There were empty seats near the walls but no way to get to them without having four or five people stand up.
Great initiative. Eminent speakers, fascinating talks.
Another amazing day of learning! Thank you Niall.
I just wanted to say what a fabulous day it was on Sunday. The presenters were all highly engaging and the material fascinating. I am ever so grateful to have been able to attend and look forward to any future similar events with 'zest'!
I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was a well organized event with fantastic informative talks by knowledgeable and charismatic speakers. Looking forward to future events.
Great event, 3 fantastic lectures presented
I found the 3 speakers to be extremely well prepared, professional, charismatic, authentic in their delivery of there content. They all had something to share. They were very clear on the "takeaways" which I found in important for such a long day. They all 3 were also very generious in spending time after their talk, to answer more 1-2-1 questions on the side of the room. Very generious. I look forward to future weekend university days.
Just to say that I was so impressed with the quality of the lectures today. It is rare to find that kind of substance, and I imagine you looked long and hard to choose. You are doing a great job. I will definitely come again and tell those I know who would be very interested.
I have attended lots of psychology workshops and would rate this organisation very highly. Interesting, engaging speakers and well run course at an affordable price. Well done Niall. You deserve to do very well
What an intense and heartening day, Jan 28th at Birkbeck U venue. Despite being crowded (testiment to the desire for these events and the calibre) we were comfortable enough to be riveted by the material for hours. I appreciated the free coffee, because the day was long for those like me who come from outside the city. I look forward to the slides being sent to fill out my notes. Fellow audients were warm and attending for a variety of reasons, and are the second fab reason to be there for the day.
Just attended Scientific Behaviour Change - Ancient Wisdom & Modern Psychology and had the most fantastic, enlightening and inspiring day. All three speakers were at a tremendously high level and (to echo the reviewer below) the variety of approaches and theories around a single topic gave great insight. I've already booked for next month.
Today's event was so good, I immediately booked for next one in February!?
The day of Psychology was really insightful, it has inspired me to start researching into all spectrums of mental health & psychology. Something I particularly liked about the day, was the contrast and variety of theories and approaches by each of the three speakers
Interesting lectures on a variety of areas of Psychology and well organised.
A really good mix of topics. I was engaged all day and i'm looking forward to the next one!
TWU 100% Money Back Guarantee
The Weekend University seeks to guarantee an excellent learning experience. If you are not fully satisfied with the day, you will receive 100% of your money back, and we will cover the cost of your travel to and from the venue.
Speakezee is the world’s largest searchable database of expert speakers. At its heart is the desire to help speakers engage with their audience and to make it easier for organizers to find relevant experts to talk at their event, whatever the size. It also allows speakers to showcase talks, share materials and collect evidence of impact from the audiences in the form of comments and discussion.