Edinburgh Branch of the Theosophical Society in Scotland WINTER/SPRING PROGRAMME Jan – March 2023

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre, 25 Palmerston Place EH12. (Telephone 0131 625 0700)

Admission: £3 Members / £5 Non-members. ALL WELCOME Talk: 7.30 - 8.50pm in the Sanctuary Room (Tea/coffee in Cafe from 7.00pm


12th, 19th and 26th January : Discussion led by TS Edinburgh President Mike Hall, based on a topic from the book ‘Unfolding Consciousness : Exploring the Living Universe and Intelligent Powers in Nature and Humans’ by Edi Bilimoria.


12th Jan.        “Are Humans Lumbering Robots?” (asked Steven Hawkins)

Is your brain a wet computer? “Are humans ‘Lumbering Robots?’ “ asks scientist and award winning author Professor Steven Hawkins.  'Who or What am I?' and relatedly 'Does my mind have unique characteristics that distinguish it from an animal or computer’?  During this discussion we approach the subject by describing what the brain-equals-computer analogy purports to show and try to then unravel the philosophical weaknesses and several flaws in this simile. A possible way  forward will be suggested to resolve the brain-versus-mind conundrum and close with the question of whether robots will overtake humanity as confidently predicted by several international computer scientists associated with prestigious universities or who work for Google.


19th  Jan.       The Divided Brain & The Making of the Western World

In Iain McGilchrist's conclusion to his book entitled "The Master Betrayed" his understanding is that the mind and brain can be understood only by seeing them in the broadest possible context of our whole existence and of the wider human culture in which they arise.  In Edi Bilimoria's " Unfolding Consciousness"  the author asks ‘Are we about to witness the final triumph of the left (brain) hemisphere, which is perhaps good news in a way, maybe indicating the apotheosis and subsequent decline of Kali Yuga, our present period, signalling the beginning of the Path of Spiritual Return’.


26th  Jan.       Vitalism & The Ether: Energising a Man for Life on Earth

In his book " The autobiography of a Yogi" the Indian yogi and guru Paramahansa Yogananda tells us that: 'the body of the average man is like a fifty-watt lamp, which cannot accommodate the billion watts of power roused by an excessive practised of Kriya Yoga.

In an  interior of heightened psycho-spiritual intensity the enlightened Yogi or genius must be prepared to withstand the brunt of the powerful spiritual currents so aroused.  During this discussion we will ask how do we develop the stability and strength of the body - the physical foundation - in order to sustain and harness the powers playing upon it from the higher realms as the aspirant advances on the spiritual path.


2nd Feb.         The Theosophical Society in America. An Illustrated History. (Film, 2012)

Documentary celebrating over 135 years of Theosophy in America. Includes early history of the Theosophical Society, highlighting important contributions made by H. P. Blavatsky and Col. Henry Olcott in the formation of the Society. Rare film footage and archival photos.  Appearances by presidents Joy Mills, Dora Kunz, John Algeo, Tim Boyd, and International Theosophical Society president, Radha Burnier. Revised and updated for 2012.


9th Feb.          The Systems View of Life .   Dr. David Cole

“As the twenty-first century unfolds, it is becoming more and more evident that the major problems of our time - energy, the environment, climate change, food security, financial security - cannot be understood in isolation. They are systemic problems, which means that they are all interconnected and interdependent. Ultimately, these problems must be seen as just different facets of one single crisis, which is largely a crisis of perception.” (Capra 2014)  Capra, Fritjof; Luisi, Pier Luigi. The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision (p. xi). Cambridge University Press.

This talk describes the emergence of Systems Thinking and Systems Science and how it is challenging the overemphasis on destructive scientific materialism, a world view still held by most of the scientific, business and political community. Indeed, it is I believe, possibly leading to the embracing of non-duality as mainstream.  Dr David Cole has a PhD in Computational Chemistry, University of Surrey, a Diploma in Systems Thinking, Open University, currently studying MSc in Systems Thinking in Practice (StiP), Open University.  He works for the Global Research Innovation and Discovery Centre (GRID) at Heriot-Watt University as Innovation Strategist, creating ethical technology applications that help mitigate our contemporary ecological crises systemically.


16th Feb.        Voice of the Silence (part 1).   Gary Kidgell

The challenges, the rewards and the necessary disciplines associated with treading the Spiritual Path are most beautifully and aptly described in H.P. Blavatsky’s comprehensive poetic manual of spiritual instruction The Voice of the Silence.  Our evolutionary growth is related to the unfolding of consciousness.  As we engage with this classic text our consciousness expands, penetrating new subjective horizons. The metaphorical text then reciprocates by revealing deeper layers of symbolic meaning as part of an ongoing symbiotic relationship.  This can assist us in gaining deeper understanding of the nature of the Path, and in negotiating the immense challenges that shall inevitably confront us.  In this two-part presentation Gary seeks to unravel a few of the endless layers of meaning found within this classic work. 

Gary Kidgell has studied esoteric teachings for forty years.  He is also a professional esoteric or soul-centred astrologer. Gary has lectured extensively in the U.K. and Europe where has also undertake numerous astrological consultations. He has published two books, The Inner Journey: Pathways to the Higher Self; Greek Hero Myths: Symbols of Transformation.  Gary is currently the Organising Secretary for the Theosophical Society in Scotland and Librarian for the Alex Johnston Library.  He is also an Executive Committee Member for the European Federation of Theosophical Societies.


23rd Feb.       Voice of the Silence (part 2) .  Gary Kidgell

Gary will present the second instalment of his two-part talk The Voice of the Silence.


2nd  March    Secrets of The Ancient Egyptian Alchemists.   Mike Hall

Why is the Messianic bloodline so important in understanding the true heritage of The Holy Grail, the early Pendragons - the unique royal ancestors of King David and Jesus?  This presentation draws comparisons between the biblical scripture and the historical documents from which the Old Testament derived,  so that a very different picture emerges. A picture which gives stunning insight into active longevity, the transmutation of gold and the active-gravitational science of the Pharaohs.  Mike Hall President Edinburgh TS, is a professional Qigong and Tai Chi Practitioner. His work in this field has been highlighted in the award winning book "In Praise of Slow" which reached the top ten best sellers list in the USA and UK.  His work has also been featured in New Scientist Magazine and "Frontiers" a Science series produced for BBC Radio 4.


9th March      Audio Visual Alchemy.  Dawn Eva Berry

Dawn Eva has developed a practice of “Audio/Visual Alchemy” which utilises creativity to explore topics/experiences in an empowered way. Experimenting with externalising abstract unseen forces that usually fail to be expressed adequately with words.  In this talk, Dawn will explain her creative practice, methods and how they relate to the physical and metaphysical realms, bridging inner and outer worlds, that lead to an expansion of consciousness and self-transformation.   Dawn Eva Berry is a Scottish-based artist who delves into the depths of the human experience through her audiovisual works. Her art explores the nuances of consciousness and our connection to the spiritual realm, utilizing natural imagery as a meditative tool. She invites her audience to reflect and contemplate the unseen and intangible aspects of life through her experimental films, crafted with suggestive visuals and soundscapes. She aims to evoke a sense of awe and wonder, allowing the viewer to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them, opening a pathway to self-transcendence.  Member of the Theosophical Society, International Alchemy Guild, AMORC, Order of Women Freemasons, Wing Chun SP School.


16th March    Exploring Journaling: from Dreams to Tarot, a practical way to speak with your subconscious mind.    Ilaria Patrizii Bernardi

Journaling is a simple tool to know ourselves better and improve our lives in a personal, intimate way; discovering different ways to use it can broaden our horizon of growth.   Ilaria: I'm a self taught tarot and oracle reader with a lot of curiosity for spiritual approaches and self-growth tools/knowledge; I moved here with my partner 8 years ago and fell in love with this country.


23rd March    Heart Math.    Ian Robertson                   

In this talk and practice Ian will share the importance of heart focused meditation, and what the HeartMath institute and other research groups are discovering regarding the science behind this and the health benefits we can experience.  Ian Robertson has been a member of the TS since 1988, the same year that he joined Freemasonry. He is a published author with a passion for Rosslyn Chapel, Secret Societies and Mysticism. He is currently the head of the Society of Rosicrucian's in Scotland.


30th March    Scotland and the Spirit of Sovereignty.   Iain Grimston

Sovereignty is central to all extended ideas in society, connecting the individual with the communal. Often thought of as a political concept sovereignty is, Iain will contend, in fact a spiritual one.  All countries and societies can provide examples and insights into this.

Scotland, however, gives us a rich array of spiritual examples; the Monymusk Reliquary, the Lion Rampant, the adoption of certain songs and the reverence for our own landscapes are just a few of the topics which yield this point!   Iain has given 4 previous talks to the Edinburgh TS on topics ranging from the Goddess in the landscape to the connections between Brahmins and Druids.  Since Covid Iain has worked as an Autism Practitioner. Previous to this he was a driver/guide in the Scottish Tourism industry. He has been the manager of both Rosslyn Chapel and Craigmillar Castle.




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