All times shown are local UK time (GMT)

THURSDAY
3rd
November

Thursday Evening – Pre-conference Film and Live Panel
AWARE: Glimpses of Consciousness

Chair: TBC

5:30pm

Suggested start time to watch virtual film

Vimeo link is sent out the day before, 2nd November

7:30pm – 9pm

Live Zoom panel

Frauke Sandig, Eric Black, and Monica Gagliano

Note: The pre-conference film must be selected separately when purchasing your conference ticket!

FRIDAY
4th
November

Friday Session 1

Chair: TBC

10:00am

Introduction

David Lorimer

10:30am

Are Indigenous Knowledge Systems Key to Understanding the Nature of Consciousness?

Dr Natasha Tassell-Matamua (New Zealand)

Talk synopsis (click to expand)

Quite possibly. While Western science continues to deny the valence of spirituality to the lived experience of being human, many Indigenous cultures work from the basic premise that spirituality, or more specifically a greater consciousness, is in fact, ultimate reality. When working from this ontological perspective, the need to assess the validity of the claim that consciousness exists beyond the brain is negated, because it is a self-evident aspect of lived experience. The challenge for Indigenous peoples and their knowledges, which are often marginalised and touted as juxtaposed to ‘real scientific’ knowledge, is instead existing with this perspective within the confines of systemic and systematic structures that privilege a materialist reductionist reality grounded in Western science.

While arguments against the dominance of the scientific paradigm are justified, research focussed on exploring why such a paradigm is problematic is often grounded in the very paradigm it is aiming to dismantle – that of Western science. Using Indigenous Māori understandings of ontology, this presentation discusses the possibility that evidence for consciousness existing beyond the brain may already be embedded within Indigenous narratives. Therefore, rather than verifying consciousness beyond the brain using evidence based in Western science, it poses the question of whether our understandings of what constitute ‘evidence’ should instead be refined to accommodate Indigenous knowledge systems.

11:30am

BREAK

11:45am

The Leap – Spiritual Awakening and the Evolution of Consciousness

Dr Steve Taylor

Talk synopsis (click to expand)

Drawing from his recent books The Leap and Extraordinary Awakenings, Steve Taylor will explore the connection between spiritual awakening and evolution. The evolution of consciousness was a central concern of philosophers such as Hegel, Sri Aurobindo and Teilhard de Chardin. As living beings become more complex physically through evolution, their inner life expands and deepens. They become more sentient and conscious. Spiritual awakening is an expansion and intensification of awareness (including an extension of identity beyond the brain and body), and so is a continuation of this evolutionary process.

Evidence suggests that spiritual experiences are being reported more frequently. One of the great cultural trends of our time is an increasing interest in self-development and spirituality. In his book Extraordinary Awakenings, Steve has shown how common it is for people to undergo spiritual awakening amidst intense psychological turmoil (e.g. following bereavement or a diagnosis of serious illness). Does this mean that the human race may be undergoing a collective evolutionary leap? It may be that such a “leap” in our collective consciousness is the only means by which we can transcends our present global crisis and continue to flourish as a species.

12:45pm

LUNCH

Friday Session 2

Chair: Jessica Corneille

02:00pm

The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future Science of Consciousness

Jules Evans interviews Prof Jeffrey Kripal (US)

03:15pm

Introduction to Wider Horizons and experiential chanting session

Ben Gross

03:45pm

TEA BREAK

04:00pm

Kundalini Awakening and Near-Death Experiences: Are They Related?

Dr Yvonne Kason

Talk synopsis (click to expand)

Many NDE researchers have speculated about the possible relationship between Near-Death Experiences and Kundalini Awakenings as described in the yogic tradition. Dr. Yvonne Kason will share the story of her own 1976 Kundalini Awakening and her powerful 1979 Near-Death Experience in a medevac plane crash, which propelled her to study if they might be related.

Dr. Kason will share what she has learned from 40 years of research and describe the classic features of a kundalini/spiritual energy awakening: 1. energy rising up the spine and body; 2. inner sounds such as “OM” or the roar of a waterfall; 3. light sensations; and, 4 culminating in a mystical, psychic, or inspired creative experience. She will share the powerful long-term after-effects of a kundalini awakening on body, mind, and spirit, which are signs of a long-term spiritual transformation of consciousness happening.

Dr. Kason will describe the yogic model of consciousness, birth, and the death, which tells us we are souls/spiritual beings, encased in three “bodies”, our causal body, astral body, and physical body. She will compare the progressive features of a Near-Death Experience with the progressive symptoms/experiences of a soul/consciousness l rising up the chakras of the astral spine, as it withdraws from the body at the time of death or near-death. Dr. Kason will show the marked similarity in after-effects of a kundalini awakening and a white-light type of Near-Death Experience, which led her to conclude that Near-Death Experiences may indeed sometimes awaken the kundalini/spiritual energy mechanism in experiencers.

05:00pm

Dialogue and Q & A

SATURDAY
5th
November

Saturday Session 1

Chair: Dr Paul Filmore

Short invited talks from SMN members and Galileo Commission affiliates/friends

• “Entangled Hearts” – Evidence for local and nonlocal, energetic communication in loving relationships through the measurement of heart rate variability synchronisation.
Peter Granger and Gavin Andrews, HearthMath UK and IRL

• The changed cosmology of Colombian near-death experiences.
Natalia Sánchez

• An analysis of the writings of Chico Xavier, a Brazial medium.
Alexandre Caroli Rocha, Marina Weiler and Raphael F. Casseb

10:50am

Introduction to the Scientific and Medical Network

11:00am

BREAK

11:30am

Love, Light, Consciousness and the Search for Truth Beyond the Brain

Siegmar Gerken PhD, ECP, HP

Talk synopsis (click to expand)

Near Death Experience, Extraordinary Perceptions, the Human Energy Field, Shamanic Dimensions, Meditative Experiences in States of Non-Duality, Bio-Photons, Organismic Reactions to Information from Beyond the Brain and the Holographic Universe.

Since his first conscious perception in life of greeting the sun at birth and his NDE when he drowned with 5 years old, and his commitment to come back to ‘bring light into people’s body’, Dr. Gerken lived with a knowing, that there is more than contemporary science could explain.

As a down-to-earth body-oriented, trauma-informed and Mindfulness-centred Psychotherapist he knows about the realm of interconnectedness between body and brain. However, his expanded practice of Transpersonal Psychology made him also clearly aware of the limitation of this realm. Besides that, life presented and still presents him with continuous Extraordinary Perceptions, Shamanic Dimensions and Meditative Experiences of Non-Duality that deeply motivates him to bridge spirituality and science with his research into the Human Energy Field and Bio-photons that he conducted with Acupuncturists, Medical Practitioners and the late world renown physicist and researcher on biological light, Prof. F. A. Popp.

Dr. Gerken will share some of his experiences and research in this comprehensive lecture, culminating in the exploration where does Mind and Awareness come in as participatory forces to connect to the larger field of Consciousness – the totality beyond space-time and with that also beyond the brain.

12:30pm

LUNCH

Saturday Session 2

Chair: TBC

01:30pm

Voice-Vibration Sounding & Sonic Meditation Session

Judith Quin Experiential Session

Talk synopsis (click to expand)

It’s time to get out of your logical mind and back into your body, time to re-energise, rest, and raise your vibration. Even if you have never meditated before or have found meditation challenging in the past – this is different, it’s an interactive session to shake off and reset before the next brain-led sessions. Sounding is not singing; there is no right or wrong note, and you will have your mic turned off so you won’t be heard by others. In this session Judith will guide you through breath and humming into sounding your voice – this might be challenging for you but if you go with it you will feel the benefits of this physical, mental, emotional and energetic release of any ‘stuckness’ – we then take a few minutes to rest in silence and stillness – and this is where the reset happens.

02:15pm

Deep Time in the NDE and DMT Experience

David Lorimer interviews Dr Eben Alexander III

03:30pm

BREAK

04:00pm

The Best Evidence for Post-mortem Survival

Dr Jeffrey Mishlove

Talk synopsis (click to expand)

This presentation will cover highlights from Jeffrey Mishlove’s Bigelow Grand Prize essay. As most SMN members are likely to be familiar with the arguments for a post-materialist science, the presentation will largely focus on the strongest evidence for reincarnation, possession, near-death experience, after death communication and mediumship.

05:00pm

Dialogue session with all speakers

SUNDAY
6th
November

Sunday Session 1

Chairs: Prof Les Lancaster and Dr Jessica Bockler (Alef Trust)

09:30am

Introductory talks

10:00am

Alef Trust and Students Short Talks

11:10am

BREAK

11:30am

Consciousness – what it is and why it is not in the brain

Dr Oliver Robinson

Talk synopsis (click to expand)

In the first half of the talk, Dr Robinson will present a definition and model of normal waking consciousness in human beings, based on three interdependent parts: the observer, the observed and the knower. This definition is influenced by the distinction between dreaming and lucid dreaming, with the latter being closer to normal waking consciousness than the former. He will also explain why identifying consciousness with subjective experience is problematic, arguing that the subjective/objective distinction is in fact a division within consciousness. In the second half of the talk, he will present a series of linked rational and empirical arguments to show that consciousness is definitively not in the brain. He will go on to provide an answer to where it is, on the basis that it is not in the brain.

12:30pm

LUNCH

Sunday Session 2

Chair: Dr Peter Fenwick

01:30pm

Meditation

Dr Peter Fenwick

02:15pm

ESP: Case Closed

Mitch Horowitz

Talk synopsis (click to expand)

PEN Award-winning historian and popular voice of esoteric ideas Mitch Horowitz presents a full-circle perspective of the most compelling psychical research and lays to rest all controversies and rhetorical dramas: vetted and longstanding evidence abounds for the extra-physicality of thought. The question we face is: what to do with it? As Mitch explores, the philosophy of materialism is today a position of sentiment. Now that we possess gold-standard evidence for nonlocal cognition, it falls to our generation to construct a view of life that persuasively encompasses the extra-physical.

03:30pm

BREAK

03:45pm

The Noetic Signature: Our Unique Expression of Nonlocal Consciousness

Dr. Helané Wahbeh

Talk synopsis (click to expand)

Dr. Helané Wahbeh will share about the IONS Channeling Research program and how the Noetic Signature concept arose for its studies. The Noetic Signature is the unique way that we tap into information and energy not limited by our conventional notions of time and space. Dr. Wahbeh will review the studies that went into developing the Noetic Signature Inventory that allows people to discover and explore their Noetic Signature. She will also review the 12 characteristics that make up the Noetic Signature.

04:45pm

Dialogue and Q & A

05:15pm

Closing remarks

David Lorimer