Wed 28 Nov, 6.30 – 8.00
Blackwell's Bookshop, 87 Park Street, Bristol.
Dr. Fiona Bowie
“Sixth sense, psychometry and spirits of place: Everyday experiences of invisible forces in contemporary Britain”
The Lecture explores the common, everyday end of the psychic spectrum in contemporary Britain. Many people claim to have a ‘gut feeling’ about something, have a pre-cognitive dream or intuition, or get a particular sensation when walking into a building or visiting a certain location. We may have knowledge of somebody or some event when making contact with a physical object associated with them or it. Having such experiences is not necessarily associated with any particular belief in the paranormal. This raises the issue of the rationalisation of psychic experiences within a secular society. Rationalist, materialist discourses dominate much of the media and academia, but exposure to a coherent system of explanation, such as that given by Theosophy or Rational Spirituality, can lead to a gradual or sudden interpretive shift. Instead of viewing psychic experiences as psychological, neurological or metaphorical, they may be seen as real events, external to the individual psyche. Many of those who testify to such experiences do so within a broadly scientific rather than religious, faith-based paradigm. Contemporary physics and cosmology are seen as proposing an expanded view of the universe that can accommodate what have hitherto been regarded as religious, metaphysical or spiritual experiences. Accounts of phenomena such as déjà vu or precognition, encounters with non-human beings or telepathic communication may be universal, but rationalisations of such phenomena change in line with other aspects of contemporary life and thought. Listeners are invited to participate in the session by bringing with them examples of such phenomena from their own experience, and to think about the interpretive frameworks used to account for them (if any).
Audio recording of the Lecture: http://anthreligconsc.weebly.com/lecture-archive.html