Talks, Audio, & Film

Here you will find a new selection of the many talks and events hosted by The Study Society over the years. We hope you enjoy the multidisciplinary perspectives of artists, film directors, poets, scientists, writers, musicians, dervishes, philosophers, actors, singers, professors, doctors, dancers, scholars and teachers who share our non-dual philosophy.

James D’Angelo

THE VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY OF DR ROLES & LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN

In this talk James D’Angelo and Friends explore and, in some sense, compare the writings of Dr Roles in his book The Voyage of Discovery and the many sayings of Beethoven as found in his letters, journals and conversations with others.

Dr. Roles was the powerful  guiding force of The Study Society from 1947, the year of his teacher PD Ouspensky’s death until his own death in 1982.

In 1960 he met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who, in turn, introduced Dr. Roles to Shantananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of North India. First and foremost the Shankaracharya initiated the doctor into transcendental meditation, a practice which has been a great cornerstone for many of the Society’s members.

For 20 years Dr. Roles maintained an inspirational relationship with His Holiness, visiting India many times. The result was the acquisition of an enormous body of knowledge of Advaita Vedanta which, through  the leadership of Dr Roles, the members of the Society then assimilated. 

James D’Angelo has had a multi-faceted career in music as a lecturer (City University of New York), classical/jazz pianist, organist, composer, workshop leader and writer on therapeutic sound and metaphysical subjects. James holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and a PhD from New York University. In 1984 he emigrated from New York to London, England and eventually took up a teaching position at Goldsmiths College.

This talk was given in July 2022 as part of the Good Company series

The Master and his Emissary: Iain McGilchrist

The asymmetrical brain and the way it has affected the history of western culture and thought.

“The true importance of the distinction (between the two hemispheres) is hard to overestimate. And if it should turn out that one hemisphere understands metaphor, where the other does not, this is not a small matter… it goes to the core of how we understand the world, even ourselves”

This Study Society talk was given by Iain McGilchirst and is based on his book ‘The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World.”

The book argues that the differences lie not in the ‘what’ skills each hemisphere possesses, but in the ‘how’ each uses them, and to what end. Drawing on a vast body of experimental research, McGilchrist argues that while the rational strategic left brain makes for a wonderful servant , it is a very poor master. As he shows , the right hemisphere, which views the world and reality as interconnected and whole, is more reliable intuitive, and insightful. Without these essential qualities we see our world and the cosmos as a machine made up of separated parts. The current scientific and medical paradigm in many ways demonstrates this view. He argues that our society for thousands of years has been suffering from the consequences of an over dominant left hemisphere, losing touch with its natural regulative “master” the right hemisphere.

Iain McGilchrist is a psychiatrist, writer, and former Oxford literary scholar.

The Gift of Alzheimer’s: Maggie La Tourelle

Insights into the meaningful care of Alzheimer’s

When people with Alzheimer’s can’t remember what they have just said it is easy to presume they can’t think. I challenge this assumption on the basis of things my mother and others have told me. The following comment demonstrates my mother was still capable of thinking even when she was forgetful: ‘I know my thoughts are clear, I’m confused when I can’t remember.’

– Maggie La Tourelle

This Study Society talk given by Maggie La Tourelle is based on her book ‘The Gift of Alzheimer’s. It charts the 7 stages of the disease as it developed in her mother. Here she describes how to manage dementia so that it can become a meaningful journey and examines a difficult and relevant subject in a most approachable, informative, and moving way. Maggie is a writer, speaker, therapist and educator in the field of holistic healthcare and wellbeing. She has lectured at leading universities in the UK and has been running professional training courses in healthcare for many years. Maggie continues to maintain a holistic therapy practice in London.

‘The Science Delusion’ by Rupert Sheldrake,PhD

Should science be a belief system, or a method of enquiry?

Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, is a biologist and prolific author of more than 85 scientific papers and 15 books. He is perhaps best known for his hypothesis of ‘morphic resonance’ in which he contends that the memory of each species is not limited to the brain. Rupert studied natural sciences at Clare College Cambridge where he became a Fellow. He was also Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society, and Frank Knox Fellow at Harvard University.

Rupert gave this talk at The Study Society following the publication of his groundbreaking book ‘The Science Delusion’ in 2012 (the latest edition was published in 2020). Here Rupert presents ten reductionist beliefs that continue to influence modern scientific thinking to this day. According to these principles, the world is a machine made up of inanimate matter, nature is purposeless, and consciousness is nothing but the physical activity of the brain. In this talk, Rupert explores the more life affirming ways in which studies of science and consciousness can unite to co-create new perspectives on the nature of reality and our place in the universe.

A Unified Vision of Reality
by Anne Baring

The journey in search of soul is difficult and even dangerous because it requires that we relinquish the certainty of what we think we know and what we have been taught for generations to believe. It means surrendering the desire to be in control and opening ourselves to a quest, a path of discovery – Anne Baring, The Myth of the Goddess

Anne Baring is a Jungian Analyst and one of the great pioneers of the Divine Feminine. She is author of seven books, one of the most famous being The Myth of the Goddess and the most recent being The Dream of the Cosmos: A Quest for the Soul, an absolute masterpiece which took twenty years to compile.

This talk was given to the Study Society in 2004 yet remains entirely relevant to this day. Anne presents a new vision of reality, the three stages of human consciousness, the myth of the Fall of Man and the loss of our instinctive participation in the Cosmic Soul of the universe. It displays a marvellous marriage of profound learning, mystical experience, and a vivid gift of communication. We are opened to a beautiful vision of reality and reminded of the issues facing humanity at this crucial time.

Winter Solstice Highlights:

Return to the Light, December 21, 2020

‘Return to the Light’ brought together thought provoking reflections on the solstice along with interludes of Mevlevi Turning from The Study Society’s whirling dervish community. 

In Love with the Light

Philip Marvin

December 21st 2020

Listen to Claire van Kampen share her unique insights into the music of the planets and their influence on earthly souls.  This highlight includes the exquisite short film she directed in honour of the 2020 winter solstice.  It is beautifully narrated by Mark Rylance with music from the Marini Consort.

Philip Jacobs describes Mevlevi Turning as a ‘cosmic dance’ so we have added one of his talks to our dervish community on the meaning of Turning in the context of non-dual philosophy.

In his meetings, Rupert explores the perennial, non-dual understanding that lies at the heart of all the great religious and spiritual traditions, such as Advaita Vedanta, Kashmir Shaivism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mystical Christianity, Sufism, Zen etc., and which is also the direct, ever-present reality of our own experience. This is a contemporary, experiential approach involving silent meditation, guided meditation and conversation, and requires no affiliation to any particular religious or spiritual tradition. All that is required is an interest in the essential nature of experience, and in the longing for love, peace and happiness around which most of our lives revolve.

Given at the Monday Meeting 10.02.2020

The Essence of Non-Duality

by Rupert Spira | Good Company @ Colet House

Highlights from the Belief and Beyond Belief Festival at Southbank

On the last day of the Belief and Beyond Belief festival at Southbank, The Study Society was invited to create an experiential event for the general public in the Clore Ballroom. This vast open space lies at the epicenter of The Royal Festival Hall in London.

Over 500 people joined us in an integrated journey of stillness through a non-faith sharing of Rumi poetry, Mevlevi Turning (Whirling Dervishes) Kirtan Chanting and silent meditation. Here are some highlights.

Gerry Webber the station manager for Sino radio UK happened to be in the audience that afternoon and asked us to come in and talk about the history of The Study Society. Click here for his radio interview with trustee Margaret O’Keeffe.

Sino radio UK: Interview on history of the charity: 20 minutes

Sino Radio Interview

by Margaret O'Keeffe | History of The Study Society Charity