On Friday 18 May, a brand new season of talks commenced with TAP’s own council member Ian Stevenson who enthralled his audience with his presentation Cutting Edge Spirituality Take Two in which he built on the theme of TAP’s 2017 conference of `Connections between Spirituality and Psychotherapy`. Ian is a senior counsellor at the Somerset Counselling Centre and has been a driving force at TAP for many years, filling many roles.
Ian grabbed the audience’s attention by positing the question ` Do we think we are part of a universe where we are connected across space and time or are we are like a man standing on a melting ice floe in a universe that is unaware of us?
Addressing the idea that spirituality might be a nice concept Ian asked what do we mean by spirituality? How do we encounter it? What it is we encounter? And is there is any evidence for a dimension outside of our physical world; the metaphysical. Offering the thought that as religious faith has declined, people have investigated what has often been viewed to be the supernatural. Near death experiences, past life memories and telepathy were examined in Ian’s presentation together with the reason for resistance to these ideas and the concept of a paradigm shift.
The audience heard how another Ian Stevenson existed between 1918-2007 and that he was a Canadian-born U.S. psychiatrist who worked for the University of Virginia School of Medicine and was a founder and director of the university's Division of Perceptual Studies, which investigates the paranormal. Stevenson became known worldwide for his research into reincarnation, the idea that emotions, memories, and even physical bodily features can be transferred from one life to another. He travelled extensively over a period of forty years, investigating three thousand cases of children around the world who claimed to remember past lives.
Our own Ian Stevenson recounted an experience from his younger days when he was part of a group that sat around a table. In time honoured fashion they placed their hands upon it and in due course found it to be moving. The mystery as to how it moved continues to this day with no one admitting to causing it to happen.
As with all unexplained phenomena, humans instinctively search for meaning and answers and Ian offered the thought that Quantum physics might give us clues.
Unsurprisingly, a lively question and answer session followed Ian’s thought provoking presentation and after a vote of thanks by TAP vice chair Andrew Wilcox, the discussion continued over tea and coffee.
For Ian's list of resources useful to pursue your interest in this subject see HERE for a downloadable Word document.
The next TAP Talk takes place on June 15th 2018 when Max Dalda Muller presents: Black Mirror: the influence of technology and social media on the therapeutic relationship.
All are welcome.
David Trott TAP Council Member