Science and Spiritual Practices: Transformative Experiences and Their Effects on Our Bodies, Brains, and Health (Hardcover)

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I have personally adopted many of the practices Rupert describes in his book and experienced more love, joy, empathy, gratitude, and equanimity as a result. We are all indebted to Rupert, who has tirelessly brought us deep insights from both science and spirituality." ―Deepak Chopra

The effects of spiritual practices are now being investigated scientifically as never before, and many studies have shown that religious and spiritual practices generally make people happier and healthier. In this pioneering book, Rupert Sheldrake shows how science helps validate seven practices on which many religions are built, and which are part of our common human heritage: meditation, gratitude, connecting with nature, relating to plants, rituals, singing and chanting, and pilgrimage and holy places.

Sheldrake summarizes the latest scientific research on what happens when we take part in these practices, and suggests ways that readers can explore these fields for themselves. For those who are religious, Science and Spiritual Practices will illuminate the evolutionary origins of their own traditions and give a new appreciation of their power. For the nonreligious, this book will show how the core practices of spirituality are accessible to all.

This is a book for anyone who suspects that in the drive toward radical secularism, something valuable has been left behind. Rupert Sheldrake compellingly argues that by opening ourselves to the spiritual dimension, we may find the strength to live more fulfilling lives.

About the Author

RUPERT SHELDRAKE, PhD, is a biologist and the author of more than eighty-five scientific papers and twelve books. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, a Frank Knox Fellow at Harvard University, and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. From 2005 to 2010, he was the director of the Perrott-Warrick Project, funded by Trinity College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, California, and of Schumacher College in Devon, England.

Praise For…

Praise for Science and Spiritual Practices

"I have personally adopted many of the practices Rupert describes in his book and experienced more love, joy, empathy, gratitude, and equanimity as a result. We are all indebted to Rupert, who has tirelessly brought us deep insights from both science and spirituality." —Deepak Chopra

"I love this book! For its clarity, its first-person stories and applications, its science and experientially based facts, its timeliness, its humor, its blunt questions and challenges put to the guardians of die-hard scientific materialism, its breadth of topics and depth of insights historical, philosophical, religious, and spiritual. Few living scientists have the courage and the chops to ask the questions Rupert does, research them, and deliver answers in language all can understand. Be prepared as you read this book for an exciting and free-ranging ride, a sort of scientific pilgrimage journeying into spiritual practices and how they have benefited and can benefit humanity." —Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing and A Way to God and founder of the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality

"Urgent, vital, gently devastating, and an exhilarating read. Buy it, read it, and give it to all your friends and all acolytes of scientism. Sheldrake will help us stay alive and be more alive. We all need his help." —Charles Foster, Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, and author of Being a Beast

“Erwin Schrödinger, the Nobel Prize–winning physicist, lamented, 'The scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us.' Today this 'ghastly silence' is experienced by millions, as modern life has become increasingly desiccated and disenchanted, drained of meaning and purpose through a materialistic view of life and consciousness. If you hunger for an increase in the juice and tang of your life, biologist Rupert Sheldrake’s Science and Spiritual Practices is a magnificent starting point. It is CPR for modernity’s starved and sagging spirit—and is therefore crucial for our survival.” —Larry Dossey, MD, author of One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters

"Rupert Sheldrake is not only a consummate scientist, but is a person alive to the spirit. I am personally grateful for the writing and publication of Science and Spiritual Practices, and not only endorse it wholeheartedly, but look forward to the support and depth it will bring to my own life.” —Marc Andrus, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California

Praise for The Science Delusion (Published in the US as Science Set Free)

"Thirty years after his first heretical books, Sheldrake's new one, Science Set Free, is a landmark achievement. No science writing has inspired me more." —Deepak Chopra, San Francisco Chronicle

"Isn't it nice to have some mystery back? Isn't it nice to have doubts?" ––Esquire

"Rupert Sheldrake shows very convincingly the way that time and again scientists refuse to look at anything outside a very limited set of possibilities. Sheldrake shows powerfully how some professional skeptics simply have no interest in looking into claims for anything outside of our current scientific understanding. A valuable and powerful message." ––Popular Science

"The author, a biologist, takes issue with the idea that science already understands the nature of reality - and in doing so, frees up the spirit of enquiry." ––The Times

"Rupert Sheldrake does science, humanity and the world at large a considerable favour." ––Colin Tudge, The Independent

"Sheldrake powerfully reminds us that science must be pursued with an open mind." ––Robert Jackson, former UK Minister for Science

"There is something rather odd about the current state of science. For Rupert Sheldrake, [it is] facing a 'credibility crunch' on many fronts. He presents this challenging argument by identifying 'ten core beliefs that most scientists take for granted.' He then interrogates each in turn by reformulating it, in the spirit of radical scepticism, as a question. This Socratic method of inquiry proves surprisingly illuminating. A serious mind-expanding book." ––James le Fanu, The Spectator

"Certainly we need to accept the limitations of much current dogma and keep our minds open as we reasonably can. Sheldrake may help us do so through this well-written, challenging and always interesting book." ––Crispin Tickell, Financial Times

"We must somehow find different, more realistic ways of understanding human beings - and indeed other animals - as the active wholes that they are, rather than pretending to see them as meaningless consignments of chemicals. Rupert Sheldrake, who has long called for this development, spells out this need forcibly in his new book. He shows how materialism has gradually hardened into a kind of anti-Christian principle, claiming authority to dictate theories and to veto inquiries on topics that don't suit it, such as unorthodox medicine, let along religion. He shows just how unworkable the assumptions behind today's fashionable habits have become. The 'science delusion' of his title is the current popular confidence in certain fixed assumptions - the exaltation of today's science, not as the busy, constantly changing workshop that it actually is but as a final, infallible oracle preaching a crude kind of materialism... His insistence on the need to attend to possible wider ways of thinking is surely right." ––Mary Midgley, The Guardian

"A fascinating, humane and refreshing book that any layman can enjoy, in which he takes ten supposed scientific 'laws' and turns them, instead, into questions... Dr. Sheldrake wants to bring energy and excitement back into science... he has already done more than any other scientist alive to broaden the appeal of the discipline, and readers should get their teeth into the important and astounding book." ––Country Life

"For those of us who are suspicious of the claims of materialism it's astonishing, and also heartening, to hear a scientist agree that it's a hidebound ideology, dismiss the belief in determinism as a 'delusion' and call on the 'high priests' of science to abandon their 'fantasy of omniscience'." —Robert McLuhan, author of Randi's Prize

Praise for The Sense of Being Stared At

"[Sheldrake's] genius lies in his taking well-attested anecdotal phenomena like telepathy, the sense of being stared at and anticipating alarm calls, then puts them to the scientific test. In doing so his work not only extends - indeed stretches - the mind, it extends science in a new and creative direction." ––David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network Review

"Dr. Rupert Sheldrake continues to chart a new course in our understanding ...The application of this understanding has the potential to heal our world." ––Deepak Chopra, M.D., founder of the Chopra Center for Well-Being and coauthor of Super Brain

"Rupert Sheldrake's The Sense of Being Stared At will change forever your concept of the nature of consciousness, not just in humans but in other creatures as well. It expands the reach of perception beyond the physical senses and beyond the constraints of space and time. What emerges is a new vision of human potential based not in fantasy but in cutting-edge science. This will prove to be one of the most important books of the 21st century." —Larry Dossey, M.D., winner of the 2013 Visionary Award and author of One Mind

"Sheldrake has given us a solid body of evidence that our minds extend beyond our brains and 'our intentions stretch out into the world around us, and also extend into the future.' We eagerly await the next installment in this scientist's fascinating studies." —Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice

"Sheldrake offers another round of profound case studies as a bridge to documenting such rarely considered but common human phenomena as 'telephone telepathy,' lifesaving premonitions, and the phenomenon that gives this utterly compelling and gratifying book its title: the power of the gaze . . ." —Booklist

"Sheldrake offers another round of profound case studies as a bridge to documenting such rarely considered but common human phenomena as 'telephone telepathy,' lifesaving premonitions, and the phenomenon that gives this utterly compelling and gratifying book its title: the power of the gaze . . ." —Library Journal

"The Sense of Being Stared At And Other Unexplained Powers of Human Minds belongs in new age, science and spirituality collections alike, and provides an updated edition sharing the author's 25+ years of research into telepathy, the power of staring, remote viewing and precognition...From the social roots of telepathy to how our minds extend beyond our bodies, this is a fascinating survey highly recommended for a wide range of collections." —California Book Watch

"Important, thought-provoking, and exciting. Sheldrake's combination of good science with an open mind and his willingness to dig deeply where others fear to tread makes for a fascinating, un-put-downable read." —Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of the Gods and Supernatural

"You will certainly never take the miracle of the senses for granted again." ––Dr. James Le Fanu, The Tablet

"Sheldrake uses many case studies, along with scientific theory, to support his research, and the result is, quite literally, mind-expanding." ––The Good Book Guide

Praise for Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home

"Delightful . . . this book will turn our understanding of animals inside out" ––Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of When Elephants Weep

"Wonderful . . . splendid and thought-provoking" ––Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dog

"An open-minded inquiry into animals' precognitive capabilities from Sheldrake (Seven Experiments That Could Change the World, 1995), attentive to the evidence and thoroughly investigative, conducted in the belief that science can be fun and rigorous, inquisitive as well as skeptical.Sheldrake is a pleasure not just because he roams way beyond the mechanistic theory of nature, but because he appreciates worthy new questions as well as answers, one such being the time-honored Why?" —Kirkus Reviews

"The book is enriched with stories from animal owners about their animals' abilities, such as the cow who broke out of her pen and tracked down her newly sold calf miles away or German pigeons that always flew away half an hour before the Allied bombs fell. Whether or not the reader believes in the psychic abilities of animals, all will be fascinated by the weight of the evidence and by Sheldrake's clear commentary. Extensive notes and a thorough bibliography round out what will be an extremely popular book." —Booklist

"Sheldrake's conclusions may cause you to be surprised, dismayed, or disbelieving, but you will never be bored. For millions of pet owners, Sheldrake's book will affirm what they already know that animals have abilities that have been lost by modern humans. This book is highly recommended and will be in demand by readers of Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas." —Library Journal

"While there have been many books on pets' psychic powers and on animals' seemingly paranormal abilities, English biologist Sheldrake's distinctive contribution is to set forth a theory that begins to make sense of this baffling realm. His study is filled with marvelous stories of missing pets finding their way home over unfamiliar terrain; of cats and dogs responding emotionally, sometimes at a great distance, to the suffering or death of their owners; of animals' precognitive warnings of earthquakes, impending epileptic seizures, bombing attacks and other imminent dangers; of cats, dogs and parrots responding to the ring of the telephone whenever a particular person calls. Skeptics may scoff, yet the cumulative weight of evidence Sheldrake assembles is impressive, and an appendix outlines simple research projects animal lovers can conduct to test whether their pets have psychic powers. This pioneering study throws a floodlight on an area largely ignored by institutional science." —Publishers Weekly

Praise for Seven Experiments that Could Change the World

"In any generation, there are only a handful of people whose ideas contain the possibility of significantly altering the course of human history. Dr. Rupert Sheldrake is such a person. His ideas offer a real chance for humanity to regain its spiritual bearings. We have been blessed with a rare genius." ––Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Space, Time and Medicine

"A well-reasoned, accessible and provocative book. Illustrations." ––Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Rebirth of Nature

"The Rebirth of Nature is a breakthrough book, beautifully written and spiritually oriented. It shows our intimate relationship with the universe—that we are a part of a breathing, living, thinking cosmos and that intelligence is a pervasive reality inseparably one with nature. This book will take everyone who reads it to new heights of understanding."––Deepak Chopra, M.D.

"A beautifully written, deeply felt, and sinuously argued challenge to many habits of thought." ––Booklist

Praise for The Presence of the Past

"Engaging, provocative ... a tour de force" ––New Scientist

"One of the most profound and far-reaching books of modern scientific philosophy ... eminently accessible to the general reader." ––Fortean Times

Praises of A New Science of Life

"An inspiring read, with ever more to offer an awakening humanity." ––Positive News

Product Details
ISBN: 9781640091177
ISBN-10: 1640091173
Publisher: Counterpoint LLC
Publication Date: August 28th, 2018
Pages: 240
Language: English