Explore the new science of spirituality in this day of talks from leading neuroscientists and professors.
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 might our most basic assumptions about who we are be wrong?
In this series of talks, we’ll explore the science and psychology of spirituality, drawing on insights from the neuroscience of yoga and meditation, the psychology of enlightenment, and the new science of interconnectedness – to question our most basic assumptions about who we really are, and our place in the world.
- The Neuroscience of Yoga and Meditation; how these ancient practices impact our cognitive and behavioural functions, cause lasting structural alterations in the brain, slow down atrophy, improve learning, memory, and decision-making processes, and boost mental health and wellbeing – Dr Sara Lazar (Harvard University)
- Neuroscience, Spiritual Experiences & Self Transformation; what brain scan studies of Brazilian psychic mediums, Sufi mystics, and Buddhist meditators have revealed about the specific neurological mechanisms underlying spiritual experiences, how you can activate these circuits in our own brain, and why these experiences often lead to profound, positive and lasting life changes – Dr Andrew Newberg (Thomas Jefferson University)
- The New Science of Interconnectedness; how our sense of identity as isolated individuals is an illusion that is becoming increasingly maladaptive in the modern world, evidence from neuroscience and psychology that challenges this paradigm, and how a scientific perspective can transform our self-identity into one which leads to both human and planetary flourishing – Professor Tom Oliver (University of Reading)