Science and Spiritual Practices: Reconnecting through direct experience


In this pioneering book Rupert Sheldrake shows how science helps validate seven practices on which all religions are built, and which are part of our common human heritage:

· Meditation
· Gratitude
· Connecting with nature
· Relating to plants
· Rituals
· Singing and chanting
· Pilgrimage and holy places.

The effects of spiritual practices are now being investigated scientifically as never before, and many studies have shown that religious and spiritual practices generally make people happier and healthier.
Rupert Sheldrake summarizes the latest scientific research on what happens when we take part in these practices, and suggests ways that readers can explore these fields for themselves. For those who are religious, Science and Spiritual Practices will illuminate the evolutionary origins of their own traditions and give a new appreciation of their power. For the non-religious, this book will show how the core practices of spirituality are accessible to all, even if they do not subscribe to a religious belief system.

This is a book for anyone who suspects that in the drive towards radical secularism, something valuable has been left behind. Rupert Sheldrake believes that by opening ourselves to the spiritual dimension we may find the strength to live more wholesome and fulfilling lives.

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About the author

Dr Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than eighty technical papers and ten books, including A New Science of Life. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, where he was Director of Studies in cell biology, and was also a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. From 2005-2010 he was the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project for research on unexplained human abilities, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge. He is currently a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California, and a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut. He is married, has two sons and lives in London. Follow Rupert on Twitter @RupertSheldrake. His web site is
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Published on
Nov 2, 2017
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Religion / Psychology of Religion
Religion / Religion & Science
Science / Essays
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
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Stimulating and often startling discussions between three friends, all highly original thinkers: Rupert Sheldrake, controversial biologist, Terence McKenna , psychedelic visionary, and Ralph Abraham , chaos mathematician. Their passion is to break out of paradigms that retard our evolution and to explore new possibilities. Through challenge and synergy they venture where few have gone before, leading their readers on an exciting journey of discovery. Their discussions focus on the evolution of the mind, the role of psychedelics, skepticism, the psychic powers of animals, the structure of time, the life of the heavens, the nature of God, and transformations of consciousness.

“Three fine thinkers take us plunging into the universe of chaos, mind, and spirit. Instead of leaving us lost, they bring us back with startling insights and more wonder than we knew we had.” —Matthew Fox, Original Blessing and Sheer Joy

"A jam-session of the mind, an intellectual movable feast, an on-going conversation that began over twenty years ago and remains as lively and relevant today as it ever was. Sadly, Terence had to leave the conversation a little earlier than planned. But the appearance of this book of trialogues at this critical, historical juncture is a reaffirmation of the potency of the optimistic vision that the trialogues express." —Dennis McKenna, brother of the late Terence McKenna

Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of many books including The Sense of Being Stared At, And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind. Ralph Abraham is a mathematician, one of the pioneers of chaos theory and the author of several books including Chaos, Gaia, Eros: A Chaos Pioneer Uncovers the Three Great Streams of History. The late Terence McKenna was a scholar of shamanism, ethno-botanist, psychedelic researcher and author of many books including Food of the Gods and True Hallucinations.

New updated and expanded edition of the groundbreaking book that ignited a firestorm in the scientific world with its radical approach to evolution

• Explains how past forms and behaviors of organisms determine those of similar organisms in the present through morphic resonance

• Reveals the nonmaterial connections that allow direct communication across time and space

When A New Science of Life was first published the British journal Nature called it “the best candidate for burning there has been for many years.” The book called into question the prevailing mechanistic theory of life when its author, Rupert Sheldrake, a former research fellow of the Royal Society, proposed that morphogenetic fields are responsible for the characteristic form and organization of systems in biology, chemistry, and physics--and that they have measurable physical effects. Using his theory of morphic resonance, Sheldrake was able to reinterpret the regularities of nature as being more like habits than immutable laws, offering a new understanding of life and consciousness.

In the years since its first publication, Sheldrake has continued his research to demonstrate that the past forms and behavior of organisms influence present organisms through direct immaterial connections across time and space. This can explain why new chemicals become easier to crystallize all over the world the more often their crystals have already formed, and why when laboratory rats have learned how to navigate a maze in one place, rats elsewhere appear to learn it more easily. With more than two decades of new research and data, Rupert Sheldrake makes an even stronger case for the validity of the theory of formative causation that can radically transform how we see our world and our future.
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