Tim Wheater is a New Age musician and delighted us with an enchanting opening to the conference. The speakers came from all kinds of backgrounds, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, researchers, medical doctors and scientists, six from Brazil and three from the UK. The auditorium was filled with people from many nations, including
Denmark and Sweden.
Many Spiritists attended because the Brazilian speakers are all practising
Spiritists, a faith closely aligned to Spiritualism. Spiritism is highly
popular in Brazil where there are many automatic writing mediums. They are
lucky enough to have entire hospitals that are based on Spiritism, a religion
that accepts life after death and that spirits want to contact us. It is based
on channelled answers to questions which were posed and codified by Allan
Kardec, a French educator of the mid eighteen hundreds. These teachings explain
where we come from, what the purpose is of our existence and where we go after
physical death. Also explained are other factors, such as spirit possession and
how to protect the self against psychic attack.
Dr Marlene Nobre led the Brazilian, Spiritist delegation. She discussed the link between medicine and spirituality and emphasised the importance of holistic attitudes towards health. We should not see the body as separate from the mind or emotions as all aspects of the self are under the governance of the eternal spirit.
Dr Julio Peres is a clinical psychologist and is undertaking research into changes that take place in the mediums’ brains whilst they receive written communication with their spirit guides through automatic writing (this is called psychography in Brazil). Dr Peres took ten writing mediums to a neuro-imaging laboratory at the Centre for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. It was discovered that the mediums’ brains showed reduced activity when they were receiving documentation from their spirit guides, indicating that spirits are involved in the activity rather than the mind of the medium. Dr Peres is also involved with regression work, taking patients back to their previous lives for healing of past life difficulties.
Dr Andrew Powell led the
delegation. Dr Powell is the founder of the Spirituality and Psychiatry Special
Interest Group and, as a psychiatrist, it is refreshing that he understands
about the importance of spirituality and how to work with people who are
affected by spirits.
Dr Alan Sanderson is the founder of the Spirit Release Foundation and presented case studies on how patients can be relieved of spirit influences using spirit release techniques.
Dr. Peter Fenwick, author of ‘The Art of Dying’, specialises in training staff who work with the terminally ill to comfort to those who are dying. He also spoke of how the spiritual world often appears to people who are at the end of their physical existence.
As you can gather from this personal review, there was a wide range of topics covered by the congress, offering outstanding insights and perspectives. The conference was a huge success with 271 people attending. The atmosphere was inspirational. Many interesting discussions and conversations arose between lecturers, participants and volunteers. Spiritists are looking forward to making bonds of fraternity.
Wendy Stokes is the author of 'The Lightworkers Circle Guide' www.wendystokes.co.uk