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Ways to Go Beyond and Why They Work

Seven Spiritual Practices in a Scientific Age
Narrated by: Rupert Sheldrake
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (67 ratings)

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Summary

By the author of The Science Delusion, a detailed account of how science can authenticate spirituality.

To go beyond is to move into a higher state of consciousness, to a place of bliss, greater understanding, love, and deep connectedness, a realm where we finally find life's meaning - experiences for which all spiritual seekers seek. Dr Rupert Sheldrake, writing as both a scientist and a spiritual explorer, looks at seven spiritual practices that are personally transformative and have scientifically measurable effects.

He combines the latest scientific research with his extensive knowledge of mystical traditions around the world to show how we may tune in to more-than-human realms of consciousness through psychedelics, such as ayahuasca, and by taking cannabis. He also shows how everyday activities can have mystical dimensions, including sports and learning from animals. He discusses traditional religious practices such as fasting, prayer and the celebration of festivals and holy days.

Why do these practices work? Are their effects all inside brains and essentially illusory? Or can we really make contact with forms of consciousness greater than our own?

We are in the midst of a spiritual revival. This book is an essential guide.

©2019 Rupert Sheldrake (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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A Revolutionary Scientist, a Lovely Writer and an Important Spiritual Teacher

I think Rupert Sheldrake has aparently thought much more deeply about the nature of reality, and about the nature and purpose of consciousness, than the majority of people, including scientists, and although he is a scientist and an active researcher using the scientific method, he demonstrates the rare ability to go bravely where the evidence leads and to speak out about his thoughts and ideas without fear of professional reproach. He is in good company but they are relatively small in number those scientific researchers who approach with a non-dogmatic attitude, but through the methods of empirical evidence gathering arrive at a nonmaterialistic concept of reality. I first heard Rupert's name mentioned in a book about psychiatric research which was written by Stan Groff the Czech psychiatrist who conducted many thousands of psychedelic psychotherapy sessions and healings using LSD, before it was made illegal. LSD Psychotherapy. Veridical NDEs and veridical out of body experiences were so common in his research sessions with patients that many of his conventionally trained research assistants chose to step back from that research in order to preserve their common sense and sanity, so troubling and irreconcilable was the conflict with their materialistic world view. Stan wrote; "Behind the barrier of negative instinctual forces associated early biographical traumas and hellish realms of the perinatal matrixes, there exists vast transpersonal realms of the superconscious mind and a system of positive universal values not dissimilar to Abraham Maslow's metavalues. In the psychedelic model, the human mind is not limited to biographically determined elements of the Freudian unconscious, it has no boundaries or limits and it's dimensions are commensurate with the entire universe. From this point of view it is more accurate to see human nature as divine than as bestial." Stan is a conventionally trained MD with all the right credentials but he too, like Rupert was strong enough to follow the evidence and not try sweep it under the rug. Carl Gustav Jung was another example of a great thinker and genuine truth seeker, and while his elder contemporary and friend, (later estranged) Freud, was a great thinker and a major contributor to our knowledge of the human psyche, I don't see the same honesty in him, but rather, ambition and concern with personal image and what would be his historical legacy in the (conservative) annals of the mainstream psychology. Case in point, Freud toyed with the idea of anxiety having it's roots primarily in the birth trauma, but then abandoned the idea. His friend and colleague Otto Rank later developed the idea and wrote a book telling nothing to Freud until the book was published, and then handed a copy to Freud. Upon reading it, oul Sigmund went into a state of shock which lasted for four months during which time he felt that Rank had stolen his historical stage, and that, in retrospect Rank's contribution would be seen as more important than his own. Eventually he was able to make a fair statement acknowledging the importance of Rank's theory and stated, that it was second only to the discovery of psychoanalysis by himself. Freuds piers and adherents warned him that the new theory was very explosive and that it could split the psychoanalytical community in half, and so Freud eventually excommunicated Rank and the theory never really made it into the mainstream. I personally see Jung as a deeper and more thorough thinker and a man concerned with truth, over ego or personal image. Jung unlike Freud believed in a spiritual dimension to human consciousness and was a Christian. So this is the good company I refer to, in which I see Rupert, a category of uncompromising truth seekers, serious thinkers and thought leaders, and major contributors to our understanding of reality and the human experience. I sense when a passenger in my car is looking at me from behind and when they are not looking, and I often check by glancing and I will see them look away or I will see them engrossed in their phone. A real effect which Rupert shines light on and which is incompatible with philosophical materialism. The phenomena Rupert attributes to Morphic Resonance are real and evident to me in my own life also, through various observations. I think it is just a simple repetition based on familiarity and recurrence in this unfolding reality. Similar to new neural pathways and neural plasticity in human minds but in this case, in Gods mind. I don't feel that there is, as naturalistic an explanation as perhaps Rupert does but he is right to search using the scientific method, our best lenses for looking at nature. I've always though of this unfolding reality as like a daydream in the Great Mind. Created by consciousness, manifesting in a quantum field of infinite possibilities, observed into existence moment by moment by an infinite eternal consciousness just like physicists can observe subatomic particles into existence simple by looking,(collapsing the wave function). Perhaps Spoken into Existence is a better metaphor. But either way we are all just characters in the play, or the dream, but each with our own separate awareness and free will and contributing to the story in a reciprocal exchange of interacting consciousness and based on beliefs expectations faith and emotions. In the beginning was the word and the word was with God, And the word was God.. An God was a man in the dream, The word was made flesh. In his own dream, his name was Jesus, and Jesus was God.

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beautiful Book

A wonderful well informed book by Rupert Sheldrake I can not stop recommending this book to friends and acquaintances. A Beautiful book.

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Rupert Does it Again!

Another great book from Rupert Sheldrake, laced with his usual razor sharp insights and a wonderful breadth of "ways to go beyond" woven into the fabric of the book. What Rupert does with this book is to help the reader to literally re-cognise the spiritual elements of every day practices; building on the theme of his previous book, Science and Spiritual Practices. In this era, where scientific-materialism is the dominant system of thought among many of the world's academics and their publications; and modern spirituality is often denounced as "New Age mumbo jumbo", Rupert provides a discerning bridge to allow the open-minded thinker to find a logical place for spiritual practices within their daily lives.

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It's like syrup... concentrated

Straight to the point, loud and clear. Love the way it is short but rich.

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Fascinating dive into less traditional...

This has been a fascinating dive into less traditional forms of spiritualism... or at least practices that aren't viewed as spiritual yet give us access to spiritual experiences... like sports, communing with nature or fasting. This has been an interesting exploration. I'll be investing in other books by Shaldrake as a result of this book.

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Good challenge to conventional thinking

As usual, Rupert Sheldrake courageously takes us beyond the lazy ways of interpreting the world that we experience. Rather too many quotes from scriptures for my liking, but worth enduring these to get to some profound insights, particularly in the last chapter.

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Modern spirituality

A n interesting exploration of modern spirituality supported with research and lived experience. Great listen.

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  • Elan Sun Star
  • 27-01-19

Superlative Sequel!!

This is a rich well of research and insight....A bold venture for a scientist who has been attacked by militant atheists and self proclaimed science experts who consider all life and consciousness to be accidental and reductionist . Bravo for this courageous exclamation of historical virtues and optimum Being and wisdom. For anyone seeing negative reviews remember the lack of foundation that all materialists stand upon and where so called science can justify so called genetic selfishness,..all concepts....all disproven If you value your own quality of life and mind and wellness then ignore any bad reviews..... Incorporate this timeless wisdom and the contemporary compilation of a worthy tome based on experience and true values. Thank you Rupert Sheldrake! And to those who vehemently react to this book I must retort with a quote from Shapespeare..... "....Me thinkest thou protesteth too much!"

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  • Ron Worthington
  • 17-03-19

Must read for atheists who know they are missing something

Sheldrake is a great scientific and philosophical thinker of our time. He paid his dues to atheist materialism as a young man, but decided that the disconnect between his spirituality and materialistic science had to be resolved. This book is his second or perhaps third volume to draft a manual to assist a similar transition for the rest of us. It works for me.

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  • Samuel Castonguay
  • 08-03-19

very validating

Well done audio book, but the content here is gold. In an age where one can either be Christian or Atheist, this book lends credence to the feeling that you can practice spirituality without the overwhelming pressure to revere only the Abrahamic God. Although, the author does seem to carry a preference for this God and even pushes the argument a bit in the last chapter. The most important thing is the effect of the practices. Highly recommend this book for other spiritual seekers.

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  • Dave
  • 16-02-19

Fascinating book

Rupert Sheldrake is one of the greatest scientific minds of the 21st Century. This is one of his two available audiobooks.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-09-20

Fine book

It is a fine book by a great thinker. Yet, I expected more studies and scientific evidence in the book.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 19-01-20

exellent

this is my favorite anti ism scientist :) the american sounds like a ga'e show announcer. Rupert, read it yourself.. yor voice works :)