John Holden is President of the Leicester Lodge of the TS. He has been a research and development engineer, a clergyman, a college lecturer and a Jiu Jitsu instructor. He is currently a Shiatsu practitioner and is Course Team Leader for the Diploma in Theosophy in the Midlands region.
Reincarnation: A Personal Odyssey
Personal recollections of past life experiences and consideration of related issues such as soul group recognition, split souls, life between lives, future life planning and the transmigration of the individuality.
Glimpses of Divinity. (Pilgrims Digress)
An appraisal of thirteen years as a clergyman and how a series of philosophical, psychic and spiritual insights led me to become an atheist existentialist, a devoted Zen and martial arts student and finally a Theosophist.
Hypnotic Regression of Past Lives and the Life Between Lives
An examination of the work of Dr Michael Newton and Dr Brian Weiss. Their many case studies of hypnotised subjects reveal astonishing similarities with theosophical beliefs, irrespective of the subject’s cultural and religious background. Has this ground breaking work been ‘given to us’ to assist our evolution now we are in the Age of Aquarius?
Chinese Energy Pathways
An introduction by an experienced Shiatsu practitioner to the meridian system and acupuncture/acupressure points and to the major internal channels used to assist meditation and spiritual insight. The Chinese Falun Gong sect will be appraised as will emerging medical research into the healing potential of meridian treatment. You will have the opportunity to explore a few points on your own body. Fear not; propriety will not be compromised.
Chinese Qigong (Chi Kung) Meditation Exercises
An interactive session (not too demanding) in which some moving and some static (zhan zhuang or jan jong) exercises will be practised. Emphasis will be placed on tuning in to the Great Breath and opening the Golden Flower. Tai Chi teachers often teach Qigong but few explore its spiritual Daoist dimension. Hopefully you will have some fun too.
The movie and the idea of transposition of consciousness. Where does consciousness reside? Is the body its location? Is brain the same as mind? How does the divine incarnate and why? An appraisal of consciousness exploring some of the ideas of modern philosophy, neurology and theosophy, sometimes expressed in the language of science fiction.
Psychic or Psycho?
Psychic readings have become a national hobby. Two TV channels have regular psychic programmes. They operate at a very low level and seem to concern themselves with pithy advice, often of a very general nature that could easily be examples of cold reading. Sometimes they may put you in touch with a deceased person but that person gives very earthy reassurances and never answers the big question about where they are now, if they know themselves and assuming it is really them at all. Psychic insights are as old as man. Shamanism has given them an accepted place in animistic societies. Extra dimensions of the senses will be examined. HPB herself was very psychic but she seemed to have little time for these abilities compared with her greater mission. What are we to consider about our own psychic abilities? Are they mere steps on a greater ladder? Could we be just plain nuts?
Back to Basics.
The new Diploma in Theosophy has attracted over 20% of the TS national membership in its first two years. Many newcomers have joined. Their experience has been very positive. The course provides a skeleton to hang flesh upon. Some older members have found it difficult to return to an overview and may be too close to the trees to see the wood. Have you ever groaned when asked the question ‘What is Theosophy?’ This talk is an attempt to see the answer with Beginner’s Mind and will contain many personal insights from one who has great sympathy with outsiders’ perspectives.
C G Jung – The Private Dimension
Only recently on the publication of ‘The Red Book’ has Jung’s private world of psychic insights and archetypal imagery entered the public domain. However, a thorough reading of ‘Memories, Dreams and Reflections’, an autobiography that has been available for decades, reveals that he had a profound psychic and intuitive dimension that he kept private for fear that his professionalism as a psychiatrist would be harmed. His fascination with Gnosticism, Alchemy and Eastern Wisdom reveal a strong sense of spiritual purpose. His ‘Seven Sermons to the Dead’ and his prefaces to Willhelm’s ‘I Ching’ and ‘ Secret of the Golden Flower’ have become well known.
The recent film ‘A Dangerous Method’ reveals some of his early professional life and his relationship with Freud. Only now, years after his death. has the private man come to the fore. Like so many great figures, he was far ahead of his time.
Elements of the Dao (Tao)
The West is familiar with a romanticised version of Taoism through translations of the ‘Tao Te Ching’ and popular books like ‘The Tao of Physics’ and ‘Tao, the Watercourse Way’. But Taoism is older than Buddhism and is an integral part of Chinese philosophy and folk culture. It is an essential world view that effects Chinese medicine, politics and martial arts. Yin and Yang and Wu-Wei (non-action) are central to it’s teaching and it’s influence on art is profound. This talk will examine the three most important Taoist scriptures and how their timeless relevance might influence our thinking beyond the Western restrictions of scientific materialism and religious dogmatism.
A recent TV series on pilgrimage has restricted itself to the Christian tradition only. This talk will explore traditions in Tibet, Japan and Australia aboriginal culture (walkabout). Bunyan’s ‘To be a pilgrim’ hymn will be set in a geographical context with ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’. Chaucer’s Canterbury tales will be considered, together with the mind set of the motorcyclist for whom it is better to travel than to arrive. Route 66 is a modern pilgrimage route. And what of the journey of the soul through countless incarnations?
Consider the ideas that ‘the truth is a pathless land’ and ‘the journey is the goal’.