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

Does the brain fully explain consciousness?

brain

You may wonder that if memories are chemically and electrically stored in the way neuroscience describes, does this mean that your brain is the be-all and end-all of your memory and that without your brain you would remember nothing after death?

A tale of two brains

A very funny presentation about the male and female brain by Mark Gungor. Men’s brains are unique. They are made up of little boxes.  A box for everything. We’ve got a box for the car, a box for the money, a box for the job. And the rule is the boxes don’t touch. When a … Continue reading A tale of two brains

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

Heart, Head & 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.”

Why do we have to suffer troubles?

We hear of thousands of ordinary people who have lost their lives or been severely traumatised by civil war, terrorism, ethnic cleansing, invasion, slavery and so on. Where is the meaning of life in this innocent suffering? If humankind has a humane spirit of care, generosity and goodwill that respects the rights of others, where does social coercion and violent aggression come from? If there is an all-powerful divine force within the universe, why are tyrants and suicide bombers allowed to cause such misery?

Similar questions arise in connection with natural events. Some people in the world, through no fault of their own, have experienced devastating earthquake, like the one in Haiti, not to mention volcanic eruption, tsunami, hurricane, flood, or famine. These events can result in much suffering and many casualties. And then there is disease. Which of us, during the course of our lives, will have to endure serious injury, congenital disability, or progressive, mental or terminal illness?

The creator seems careless about creation. If there is a perfect force that made the natural world, why are there imperfections in nature?