Enthusiasm – How to find it?

enthusiasm

How keen are you to get up in the morning and follow your ordinary day? Have you the enthusiasm needed to do what is fulfilling and good? “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher) With inspiration, and the enthusiasm that goes along with it, we have energy for living life to … Continue reading Enthusiasm – How to find it?

Preventing disease

beholding art

Nature, art and spirituality can reduce disease. It has been long established that a healthy diet, sufficient sleep and physical exercise bolster the body’s defences against physical and mental illness. However, research is now showing the benefits of certain other activities. Psychologists at University of California, Berkeley have been studying a direct influence on health … Continue reading Preventing disease

Heart, Head & Hands ebook

Heart, Head & Hands

Heart, Head & Hands is written by Stephen Russell-Lacy, the editor of Spiritual Questions ezine. It draws on the spiritual philosophy of Emanuel Swedenborg, as well as on current ideas in therapy and psychology, to throw thought-provoking light on, and help with, personal problems. The content is practical with a focus on the whole person … Continue reading Heart, Head & Hands ebook

Practising awareness of the Divine

Now that sounds unbearably pompous or over pious. But in fact it it is the name that the early Fathers of the Christian (yes there were also early Desert mothers too)  church gave to their meditation or prayer life. The most well known was Anthony the Great, who moved to the desert in 270–271 and … Continue reading Practising awareness of the Divine

Organised religion – beyond its sell by date?

organised religion

The World Values Survey, which is claimed to be the most reliable survey of beliefs across the globe, suggests that there has been a substantial cultural change. William Bloom writing in The Complete Encyclopedia of Mind Body Spirit reports that in modernised and free societies, where people have access to diverse views, up to seventy per cent of the population has moved away from a single faith tradition. Many seem to be acknowledging a spiritual dimension to life without affiliating with organised religion.

Psychology of the Future

by Stanislav Grof, Suny Series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology, State University of New York Press. 2000. ISBN 0 7914 4622

This book is about modern consciousness research. It is written by one of the founders of transpersonal psychology and covers his ideas regarding non-ordinary states of consciousness. His term for these is ‘holotropic’ experience which signifies ‘moving towards wholeness.’ His discussion draws on for example such fascinating human states of consciousness as past-life experiences, peak experiences, communication with spirit guides and channelling, near-death experiences, crises of shamans like witch-doctors, states of possession, and awakening of Kundalini. He also reports findings from his original research into ‘psychedelic therapy’ and ‘holotropic breathwork’.

One critic has commented ‘If more psychiatrists could be persuaded that human consciousness transcends the limitations of the physical brain and instead is but an aspect of what may best be described as ‘cosmic consciousness,’ we could not only expect treatment modalities to change, but we could also anticipate the possibility of culture-wide rethinking … about the nature of personhood.’

Heart, Head and Hands

An Interpretation of Swedenborg’s Writings in Relation to Psychological and Spiritual Well-being
by Stephen Russell-Lacy. Seminar Books, 2008. 978 0 907295 36 5. (paperback) 180pp £10

“A fine little work … that will warm the hearts of the general public and all practicing Swedenborgians who are of a non-technical bent. …We find ourselves understanding a text while feeling that, at the same time, we are liberated by just reading it. This happens in many places in the narrative. Traditionalists will love the book, as it preaches the straight and narrow with regard to doctrine, but in places it almost unconsciously breaks out into a kind of semi-restrained wildness that reminds us of Swedenborg’s own mind – rational but also inward, intuitive, deep, creative, and as our British cousins are wont to say, spot on.”

“It’s a pretty comprehensive attempt to offer aid in meeting life’s many challenges. On Time Magazine’s ‘read, skim or toss’, scale for books, this is definitely a read – and keep handy for future reference.”