Saturday, 28 November • 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (GMT)
Full price – £15
Concessions – £7.50
Reductionism and literalism are often acknowledged as problems bequeathed to us by the 18th century Enlightenment. They foster tyrannical attitudes that disqualify ways of knowing widely enjoyed by our ancestors.
Owen Barfield called it “camera consciousness”: the ability to look at but not into things. It has become so powerful that even those pursuing imaginative and intuitive modes of perception can run aground on the rocks of spiritual materialism, which can be defined as the tendency to collapse life’s multiple dimensions onto a flatland of mechanical existence.
What is lost is an ability to enter into the felt presence of the world. There is an art to experiencing life across vertical as well as horizontal aspects of reality. It is, at times, troubling as well as liberating, and requires not only challenging modern epistemologies, but embarking on journeys of personal transformation that foster the trust and discernment required to participate fully in the meaning of events and encounters.
This day will suggest ways to recover and evolve a wider, expansive consciousness. It will explore how the power of symbols and synchronicities, divination and everyday intimations of more might be reappraised as forms of knowing that have their own kind of relevance and validity, and help to make sense of our times. These modes of consciousness are crucial in our times. They can reintroduce us to other worlds that are already here.
A message from Mark Vernon:
10 am: Issues
Angela Voss, David Lorimer and Mark Vernon on alternative ways of knowing and the need for them today.
11.00 am: Short break
11.15 am: Practices
Mary Attwood and Geoffrey Cornelius discuss and demonstrate two practical alternative ways of knowing.
12.15 pm: An exercise
Louise Livingstone introducing and offering a practice to explore a symbol in small groups.
1.00 pm: Lunch
During which speakers will be available for questions.
2.00 pm: Discoveries
William Rowlandson and Jules Evans on personal transformation and encountering the psyche.
2.45 pm: Short break
3.00 pm: Flipping
Jeff Kripal interviewed by Mark Vernon and David Lorimer on the presence and meaning of other dimensions of reality.
3.40 pm: Concluding thoughts and questions
4.00 pm: Finish
Mary Attwood is an art historian, author, lecturer, teacher and business creator. She emphasises the importance of awakening to the potency of art beyond rationalising analysis, categories and styles. Her work and research focuses on multi-disciplinary learning to offer a broader understanding of the ways in which works of art in general can awaken consciousness and epistemologies, which are in danger of being forgotten altogether. She is a qualified practitioner of yoga, meditation and mindfulness, and is a co-founder of Iain McGilchrist’s official web platform, Channel McGilchrist, as well as a founding member of the new Centre for Myth Cosmology and the Sacred. For more information, see: www.maryattwood.com.
Engaging with symbol has been a cornerstone of the work of Geoffrey Cornelius over many years, as a practising astrologer and student of divination. He has also studied the hermeneutics of medieval Christianity, together with its resonant parallels in alchemy and hermeticism. He has worked in adult education and academia, in particular developing pioneering masters programmes on, myth cosmology and divination at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Jules Evans is a writer and research fellow at the Centre for the History of Emotions, Queen Mary University of London. He is heard regularly on broadcast media, and writes for various publications. His books include Philosophy for Life and other Dangerous Situations, The Art of Losing Control and Breaking Open, which is a study of spiritual emergencies. He has been involved in the Modern Stoicism and Stoic Week Project and also ran the London Philosophy Club. He recently launched the Bristol Philosophy Club. For his regular blogs and more, see: www.philosophyforlife.org.
Louise Livingstone is the founder of the Heart Sense Research Institute based in the UK. It aims to bring heart-centred thinking into the conversation at the socio-political level, with a wider view of transforming thinking around human relationships with nature. Louise is also one of the founding members of the Centre for Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred, which has arisen from her work at Canterbury Christ Church University. Her current research explores the idea that heart knowing is a vitally important human capacity.
David Lorimer is a a writer, lecturer, poet and editor who is a Founder of Character Education Scotland, Programme Director of The Scientific and Medical Network and former President of Wrekin Trust and the Swedenborg Society. He has also been editor of Paradigm Explorer since 1986. Originally a merchant banker then a teacher of philosophy and modern languages at Winchester College, he is the author and editor of over a dozen books, as well as three edited books about Beinsa Douno. He is also Chair of the Galileo Commission which seeks the widen science beyond a materialistic world view.
Jeffrey J. Kripal is the Associate Dean of Humanities and holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University and is the associate director of the Center for Theory and Research at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. He has previously taught at Harvard Divinity School and Westminster College and is the author of eight books, including The Flip: Who You Really Are and Why It Matters. For more information, see: www.kripal.rice.edu.
William Rowlandson is currently Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at the University of Kent in Canterbury. He is the author of several books on themes ranging over Latin American cultural and political history, Cuban literature, Borges, Swedenborg, mysticism, psychedelics, the Imaginal, Faery, and the Daimonic. He is co-author with Angela Voss of Daimonic Imagination: Uncanny Intelligence. He is also co-founder of the Canterbury Climate Action Partnership, as well as being a composter, vermiphile, mycophile.
Mark Vernon is a psychotherapist and writer. He contributes to programmes on the radio, writes and reviews for newspapers and magazines, gives talks and podcasts on figures from Owen Barfield to Dante. His most recent book is A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling and The Evolution of Consciousness. Previous books have covered themes including friendship and God, ancient Greek philosophy and wellbeing. He works as a psychotherapist in private practice and used to be an Anglican priest. For more information, see: www.markvernon.com.
Angela Voss has been involved in devising and teaching masters programmes in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred at two universities in Canterbury UK for the last fifteen years. Her passion for Renaissance music and culture led her to delve into the magical world of the fifteenth century magus Marsilio Ficino, and from there to the Western esoteric traditions and the power of the symbolic to awaken the human soul. She has written extensively on these themes and more recently on transformative learning, She is a founder of the Centre for Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred and also practices as an astrologer and tarot reader. For more information, see: www.facebook.com/imaginalcosmos.