Science and Spritiual Practices and How They Contribute to Human Flourishing

On Thursday 20th September 2018 Dr Rupert Sheldrake spoke at a meeting in Tunbridge Wells addressing the above topic. During the talk Dr Sheldrake referenced the mounting evidence of the connection between spiritual practices, health and well-being.

Rupert has been a Fellow of Clare College Cambridge, a Research Fellow of the Royal Society, and is currently Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California and of Schumacher College, Devon. He has written 12 books including “The Science Delusion” and his latest book “Science and Spiritual Practices”

Rupert gave a very well received talk covering several of the spiritual practices presented in his book “Science and Spiritual Practices”. Please see the article below for more details of the talk.


About 60 filled the hall to hear biologist, author and practising Anglican Rupert Sheldrake, currently Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences In California, and of Schumacher College, Devon.

Dr. Sheldrake’s subject was Science and Spiritual Practices, drawing from his book of the same title, and another of his books The Science Delusion. He explained how science can authenticate spirituality by validating seven practices on which all religions are built and which are themselves more important than specific beliefs. These are meditation, gratitude, connecting with nature, respecting plants, rituals, singing and chanting, and pilgrimage. Many atheists now acknowledge religious and spiritual practices generally make people happier and healthier, as seen in the growth of atheist churches.

Time precluded expanding of them all, but he suggested ways we can explore these fields for ourselves. For example, gratitude can be expressed by simply saying grace before a meal. Meditation can alleviate many medical conditions and is increasingly available on the NHS. It can involve not only exploring the mind within, but potentially connect you with the Ultimate Mind, or the divine. Tourism can be a debased form of pilgrimage, but real value can be experienced by a simple days walk ending at a holy place, such as a cathedral, which symbolically links heaven and earth.

After the talk, Dr. Sheldrake fielded some searching questions from the floor. There was great interest in his views but some concern of his advocacy of using psychedelic drugs in carefully controlled circumstances. The lasting impression was however that this had been a most interesting and stimulating evening.

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– Report supplied by Stephen J. Greenhill

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