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Exploring the Powers latent in Humankind

June 17, 2022 - June 19, 2022

Research has shown that 51% of population in western countries have had exceptional experiences, such as clairvoyance, telepathy, lucid dreams, near-death experiences, contact with deceased and mystical or spiritual experiences. As exceptional as these experiences may be, from a sociological point of view they are quite normal. They are not only part of the postmodern world in which we live, but also of the Wisdom Traditions of all cultures. Investigating these experiences has been one of the objects of the Theosophical Society since its foundation in 1875. During a two-year programme of Seminars and Study Days, new insights in science, religion, philosophy and therapy are being presented. During Dutch language Study Days, a broad range of unusual experiences are being explored. The 2020 International Seminar aims to give an overview of several of the most important scientific developments in this field.

Exceptional Experiences
Exceptional experiences may occur when the common limitations of time and space of the personality fall away, after which unknown territory is entered. As a result, enhanced ideas on humankind, life, psyche or cosmos can emerge at different levels. They can emerge spontaneously, or are the result of specific preparations, spiritual or otherwise. Often, they are an enrichment of the personal life, but can also be meaningless, sensational or frightening, thus even creating problems. Insight is required to be able to test, evaluate and integrate these experiences
in the personal life. This insight is not only important for those undergoing these experiences, but certainly also for professional spiritual counsellors, psychiatrists and psychologists, being faced with related questions.

Exceptional Experiences and Latent powers
Some experiences, such as clairvoyance, are the result of latent powers which can present themselves spontaneously. Other powers are being gradually developed. The Wisdom Traditions make clear that only those powers are wholesome which are the natural result of an inner transformation. This is a gradual process. Forcing of such is not advisable and can even be dangerous.

The Programme
The International Seminar aims to inform and give an overview of several of the most important scientific developments that are placed in the rational structures of science and the Wisdom Traditions. Theosophy Offers a Safe Environment to Investigate These Issues Theosophy, or Divine Wisdom, is hidden knowledge or knowledge of the hidden. Anything observed by the senses has also a hidden depth. The surface of subjects, their external horizon, is just the boundary. The development of spiritual intuition is necessary to achieve a synthesis between inner and outer. This requires a “safe container”, concepts and environment, within which people can develop for themselves that synthesis.

You can download the PDF file here: Exploring the Powers latent in Humankind  | Download the Registration form here (Word file)


Friday June 17

Afternoon: arrival
18.00 Dinner
20.00 Meeting in Besant Hall

Saturday June 18

9.30 Coffee in Besant Hall
10.00 Opening

10.10 Exploring the Powers Latent in Humankind
Prof. dr. Hans Gerding (philosopher, transpersonal psychologist, Institute for Philosophy, Leiden University & Institute for Parapsychology, Utrecht)

Introduction to the theme of this seminar. Latent abilities manifest themselves in a wide variety of extraordinary experiences. This is happening en masse in our Western society. These experiences often lie at the heart of our culture, in religion, philosophy, science and art. In addition, they can also be dangerous and ask for in-depth research.


10.20 Experience and Integration
Tim Boyd (President Theosophical Society)

Paranormal and mystical experiences are a natural occurrence among people. Because these experiences lie outside of what we accept as “normal”, they can be unsettling, and exist as
foreign bodies, fragmenting our sense of self. What is their role in unfoldment? And how can we integrate them into our consciousness?


11.15 Challenge to Mainstream Psychology: Integrating the Transpersonal
Prof. em. dr. David Lukoff (Sofia University (Formerly Institute of Transpersonal Psychology). Founder, Spiritual Competency Academy)
During its 50-year history, transpersonal psychology’s challenging stance has kept it on the margins of academia. Yet this small movement has helped legitimate spiritual and exceptional experiences as important areas of inquiry in psychology. It has also pioneered the inclusion in therapy of a client’s spiritual and exceptional experiences, strengths, and conflicts as well as altered state of consciousness experiences.

12.10 Lunch. For Day visitors: bring your own sandwiches


13.30 The Magic of Zarathustra’s Eyes of the Heart
Dr. Ann van Sevenant (PhD Philosophy Brussels), author of “Thus Replied Zarathustra” (Mimesis International, 2020) and of twenty books on philosophy in Dutch, French, English, Italian. She taught Philosophy at the University College of Antwerp (Belgium), and she is an international guest speaker and independent researcher).
The Persian thinker Zarathustra highlighted the potential of the human mind and heart to connect to the inner space and cosmic universe. This latent capacity is activated by the “eyes of the heart” and transforms itself in an intuitive understanding. This process of growing interconnection between mental and bodily experiences allows us to develop our connectivity with the world and with others.


14.25 Exceptional powers and presences. Questions about their reality from an intercultural perspective
Dr. Angela Roothaan (VU Amsterdam, focuses in her research on African intercultural philosophy and spirit ontologies. Recent book: Indigenous, Modern and Postcolonial Relations to Nature. Negotiating the Environment (Routledge 2019).
Stories of exceptional powers and presences can be found in all cultures. These cultures however value them very differently – as subjective claims or as shared realities. Is it possible to gain a shared intercultural understanding of such powers and presences?
How would such an understanding make us see ourselves: as rational animals, as spiritual beings, or a spirited animal?

15.15 Tea break


15.45 Alterations of consciousness and expanded human capabilities. Fact and fiction

Etzel Cardeña (Ph. D., holds the Thorsen Chair at Lund University. His research focuses on altered consciousness. His more than 400 publications include Varieties of Anomalous Experience and Altered Consciousness)
Altered consciousness has been linked to enhanced functioning. Some proposals lack empirical support, but others do. Studies on meditation, hypnosis, sensory homogenization, psychoactive drug ingestion, and spontaneous alterations of consciousness show their potential to enhance physiological (e.g., control of somatic systems) and psychological (e.g., perceptual sensitivity) functioning. Controlled parapsychological (psi) research also indicates that altered consciousness relates to psi functioning.

16.40 Closing, possible with short forum
18.00 Dinner

Evening programme

19.30 “Nothing is Beautiful but the True”
Natalia Abdel Fattah (Saint-Joseph University of Beirut, Ph. D. student, translator, French language and literature professor, painter)
“Nothing is Beautiful but the True,” said Boileau, the French poet, and critic (1636-1771). Painting can be described as the quest for Beauty and Truth. It may be considered as an exceptional experience where inspiration, intuition, clairvoyance, ecstasy, and creation give access to “Presence”.


Sunday June  19

9.30 Coffee in Besant Hall
10.00 Opening

10.10 Spiritual Competence
Prof. em. dr. David Lukoff (Sofia University (Formerly Institute of Transpersonal Psychology). Founder, Spiritual Competency Academy)
Research has established that for many people, spirituality is a strength and a resource for their wellness and recovery. Also, the evidence for the value of spiritually oriented interventions such as mindfulness and yoga has created an awareness of the need for therapists to provide more spiritually inclusive care to clients. How can therapists be prepared to develop a more compassionate and skillful place within themselves to provide spiritually competent care?


11.05 A biophoton field may unite Western and Eastern medicine
Dr. Roeland Van Wijk (studied biophysical chemistry and lectured molecular cell biology at Utrecht University. He founded MeLuNa Research BV to study the human biophoton field in health and disease).
Human ultra-weak photon emission can be studied after dark-adaptation utilizing a highly sensitive photomultiplier. The spontaneous emission of a human shows a common anatomic pattern. The lecture explains the origin of the light field and the characteristics of the “language” of the photon signal in relation to the Western biomedical knowledge as well as to traditional Eastern energy medicine.

12.00 Lunch. For Day Visitors: bring your own sandwiches


13.15 Healing integration instead of exclusion in dealing with paranormal experiences – The work of the parapsychological counselling office.
Dr.rer.nat. Dr.phil. Walter von Lucadou (Assistant-professor at the Institute of Physics (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg), Assistant-professor at the chair of “Psychology and
border areas of psychology” at the University of Freiburg.; visiting professor at the Parapsychology Laboratory at the University of Utrecht. Since 1989 Director of the “Parapsychologische Beratungsstelle” (parapsychological counselling office) at Freiburg; Since 1998 Lecturer at the Technical University, Furtwangen, Germany. Member of the „Institut für medizinische Ethik,
Grundlagen und Methoden der Psychotherapie und Gesundheitskultur (IEPG) (Institute for Medical Ethics, Psychotherapy and Health Culture)“ at Mannheim, Germany).

In the case of exceptional experiences, the contradictions between alternative or holistic world views and the paradigms of conventional science become particularly apparent. Those affected experience and suffer this “first hand”. Without reconciliation of the world views (magical and scientific) and without mutual understanding, there is no end to uncertainty and suffering. The concepts of entanglement and embodiment may serve.


14.10 Inspiration and original experience
Dr Rico Sneller, (has been teaching philosophy at the universities of Utrecht, Leiden, and Eindhoven. His research focuses on the philosophical reception of exceptional)
Inspiration is an original yet latent human experience. It should be associated with what Plato describes as ‘Eros’. Philosophy and art are greatly determined by the original experience of inspiration or Eros. But what is this ‘Eros’? Is it a cosmic power which exclusively expresses itself in bodies? Or is it a purely spiritual power?
Or (3rd possibility) does it make sense at all to distinguish here between ‘body’ and ‘spirit’ as separate entities?

15.05 tea break


15.25 Spiritual Powers Latent in Humankind.
Tran-Thi-Kim-Diêu, (post-graduate from Montpellier University (France) in Pharmaceutical Engineering. Chairperson of the Theosophical Society in Europe, gives programmes including spiritual silent retreats on the Ageless Wisdom in many countries, showing that spiritual life cannot be separated from ethical daily living and meditation).
A human being is part of the process of evolution, interacting with the whole Universe of which reflection on its manifested ‘side’, its ‘other side’, and its real structure will be exposed. The question of ‘matter’ and that of ‘space-time’ will be examined in relation with the powers latent in a human being and with ‘mind’ and meditation.

16.20 Closing, possible with short forum

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. ~ Albert Einstein

The number of places is limited. We therefore use the following registration procedure:
• Registration for the full seminar can only be done before June 1st.
• Reservation will only be made final after payment of the fee.
• Your reservation will then be confirmed.
• Cancellation before June 1st results in refund minus € 50.
• In case you intend to sleep at home but come every day, you need to register as well.

Download the Registration form here. Please fill in your application and sent to activities@itc-naarden.org .
Entrance of the activities at Meentweg 9, 1411 GR Naarden. For route description please look at our site.

Retreat Tran-Thi-Kim-Diêu
Following the seminar an additional retreat is organized with Mrs. Tran-This Kim Diêu on Spiritual Powers Latent in Humankind. In case you like to stay the option is available on this registration form. You need to register for that seminar separately.


June 17, 2022
June 19, 2022
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ITC Naarden
Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland (TVN)


Besant Hall
Meentweg 9
Naarden, Noord-Holland 1411 GR Netherlands
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+31 (0)35 – 694 51 21
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