Activities and Commitments

Learning for Life  | Scientific and Medical Network  |  Near-Death Experiences  |  Peter Deunov  |  International Futures Forum  |  Wrekin Trust 

Swedenborg Society


Learning for Life

From Inspiration to Aspiration

‘I am thrilled to see the creativity of young people. Far from despairing at some of the negative activities of youth, I find I am constantly surprised and humbled by their compassion and youthful wisdom.  Learning for Life is an outstanding project that will inspire our youth to reach for the stars.’

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace laureate

The aim of the very successful Learning for Life Values Poster Programme is the development of character and values in young people by helping them build a firm foundation for lifelong practical wisdom. The programme is an innovative personalised learning programme that provides a unique opportunity for young people to identify and examine their core values and character qualities. Students reflect on essential human qualities such as enthusiasm, courage, love, wisdom, generosity, trust and kindness through a mixture of text from Sir John Templeton’s book Wisdom from World Religions, quotations, biographies, poems, parables and stories. They complete a specially designed poster template with support of Internet resources for background and inspiration. Since its inception in Scotland in 2005-2006, the programme has reached over 40,000 young people. Visit the website for more information

"Working on this poster has changed the way I look at life and how I judge other people. From now on, I too will always have a positive outlook on life."

Venetia, Turriff Academy, S2

"I’ve begun to look at life in its full glory. I must say I’m not a ‘billy-no-mates’ and I don’t spend most of my day in a darkened room with my playstation. But I don’t really appreciate the world. Thanks to this poster, I now understand. This poster has in a way changed my life. I realise who I am, who I am inspired by, who I admire and what keeps me going. I can’t really say anything else but thank you for making this poster, it has made me embrace life and myself."

Matthew, Grove Academy, S1

 "I have learnt a lot by doing this poster, especially how to think positively -- a positive anything is better than a negative nothing. I have grown to be wiser and more interested than before I did this poster. I now understand why trust is so important and why we need confidence to trust, and that being calm is the best way to solve a problem."

Beth Meikle, Turriff Academy, S2


Scientific and Medical Network
Exploring the Frontiers of Science, Medicine, Spirituality and Human Experience

The Scientific and Medical Network was founded in 1973 by George Blaker, Dr. Patrick Shackleton and Sir Kelvin Spencer, based on their collective desire to reconcile scientific investigation and scientific models of reality with the spiritual dimension of life, and so to open dialogue between scientists and spiritual luminaries of all backgrounds. The vision of the SMN founders was a profoundly holistic one: an organisation confined by no "fences of thought", but instead open to insight from every kind of human enquiry.

The founders believed that neither orthodox religion nor conventional science were, in their current forms, sufficient to answer pressing questions about our existence and about the mysteries of the cosmos, and that new ways of thinking, and new interdisciplinary approaches were needed to build bridges and to search for new approaches. The Network was initially an invitation-only club, as it developed into its early form as a place for scientists and medics to debate and dialogue about questions and ideas that were considered taboo in orthodox departments, on issues such as non-local consciousness, alternative forms of healing and paranormal phenomena.

The Network has now developed into an internationally recognised organisation providing incisive conferences and publications on themes that traverse science and spiritual concerns, with an open membership policy for anyone who agrees with our aims and values. 30 years on from our birth as an organisation, scientific and medical orthodoxy is still compartmentalised, reductionist, atomistic, and still dismissive of spiritual or non-material dimensions to human experience or cosmic reality. And as yet there has developed no meta-subject in which all disciplines in science, medicine, theology and spirituality may be brought together. In this context, the SMN still has a unique and an important role to play in providing a truly trans-disciplinary, truly progressive, place to discuss, dialogue and learn about the universe in which we live and which gives us our being.

The Network seeks to provide a forum for pursuing truth, wherever it leads, to widen the intellectual horizons of science and of society as a whole; to stimulate research at the frontiers of human knowledge and experience, and to make the results of such research more widely known through its educational programmes.

The Network is committed to no dogma or creed. It encourages intellectual discernment and is wary of the ill-founded and sensational claims of 'pseudo-science'.

In asking searching questions about the nature of life and the role of the human being, the Network abides by its guidelines of open-mindedness, rigorous thinking and care for others at all times.

David has edited Network Review for over 20 years and reviews a large number of books every year – Read selected reviews from the last five years.

Visit the website for more information


Near-Death Experiences – The Horizon Research Foundation
Science at the Horizon of Life

The Horizon Research Foundation was originally the International Association for Near-Death Studies (UK), which David helped found in 1987. David has written and lectured widely on NDEs – see his downloadable books, Survival? and Whole in One.

Today, Horizon Research Foundation is a separate and independent charitable organisation that aims to provide support for scientific research and understanding into the state of the human mind at the end of life. We aim to do this by raising funds for high quality scientific projects, and provide various educational tools such as lectures, conferences and information booklets for the public and healthcare professionals.

The Human Consciousness Project

The Human Consciousness Project is an international consortium of multidisciplinary scientists and physicians who have joined forces to research the nature of consciousness and its relationship with the brain, as well as the neuronal processes that mediate and correspond to different facets of consciousness. The Human Consciousness ProjectSM will conduct the world’s first large-scale scientific study of what happens when we die and the relationship between mind and brain during clinical death. The Human Consciousness ProjectSM was successfully launched in September 2008 at a symposium held at the United Nations.  The diverse expertise of the team ranges from cardiac arrest, near-death experiences, and neuroscience to neuroimaging, critical care, emergency medicine, immunology, molecular biology, mental health, and psychiatry.

The mystery of what happens when we die and the nature of the human mind has fascinated humankind from antiquity to the present day. Although traditionally considered a matter for philosophical debate, advancements in modern science and in particular the science of resuscitation have now enabled an objective, scientific approach to seek answers to these compelling questions, which bear widespread implications not only for science, but also for all of humanity.

Visit the website for more information


Wrekin Trust

The Wrekin Trust is an educational charity which was founded in 1971 by Sir George Trevelyan Bt for spiritual education of a non-sectarian kind and in 1982 received a Right Livelihood Award for its work ‘forming an essential contribution to making life more whole, healing our planet and uplifting humanity’. Wrekin Trust is part of a world-wide movement towards personal and planetary transformation. We believe that a new awareness of reality is emerging - a new opening of consciousness.

Sir George’s vision was to found a University for Spirit in the meaning of University as turning towards the one. A way of describing this is the bringing together of all perspectives and allowing these to sit together in a creative space - to deepen knowledge, encourage new insights and fresh ideas, and develop discernment with the organising principle of love rather than of fear. From this there flows our vision of deepening spiritual connection and unity in diversity through exchange and understanding.

The main activity for the last eight years has been the development of the Wrekin Forum with the purpose of awakening and revitalizing a spiritual dimension within society by empowering and supporting a deeper connection between visionary organizations and individuals whose approach is based on holistic, spiritual and ecological principles.

Visit the websites for more information


International Futures Forum (IFF)

International Futures Forum (IFF) is a non-profit organisation established to support a transformative response to complex and confounding challenges and to restore the capacity for effective action in today’s powerful times.

The scale of global interconnectivity and interdependence has resulted in a step change in the complexity, uncertainty and speed of change in today’s operating environment. Many of the concepts we used to rely on to make sense of our world no longer have traction. In many respects we are experiencing aconceptual emergency’.

In response organisations, communities and governments are adopting familiar strategies: intensifying standard processes, strengthening the centre, sticking to core competencies, prioritising short-term results, promising only what can be delivered.

We believe these defensive approaches are necessary but not sufficient. Over the years we have developed an effective body of theory, method, practice and wide experience in taking on seemingly intractable challenges, always in a global context.

Our charitable purpose is to share the learning from our experience more broadly and to increase the capacity worldwide to realise aspiration in the operating conditions of the 21st century.

For a number of years, David was editor of Omnipedia, and all 14 editions can be downloaded free as PDF files at where you can also find an index.

Visit the website for more information


Peter Deunov

Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno, 1864-1944) is a Bulgarian sage and musician whose work is based on the perennial principles of , Wisdom and Truth.

'The first principle on which the whole existence is based is Love; it brings the impulse to life; it is the compass, the stimulus within the human soul.

The second principle is Wisdom, which brings knowledge and lights to the mind, thus enabling human beings to use the forces of Nature in a dirty way.

The third principle is Truth; it frees the human soul from bondage and encourages her to learn, work well and make efforts towards the self-sacrifice.

There is nothing greater than the three principles; there is no straighter or surer path. In these three principles lies the salvation of the world.’

All those who came into contact with him were profoundly moved by his grace and deep spirituality. His teachings are essentially a prescription for living in harmony with others, the Earth and the Divine, and are relevant to all people, whatever their faith or beliefs. These principles are expressed in his sacred dance movements called Paneurhythmy (see illustration), for which he also composed the music. It is a practice for those who wish to experience harmony in their lives since, in sacred dance, we mirror the microcosmic order.

David has edited three books about Peter Deunov:

Prophet for our Times (1991) - a compilation of his teaching (out of print).

The Circle of Sacred Dance (1991) - a book about how to dance Paneurhythmy (out of print).

Gems of Love (1994) - prayers and meditations, available from David for £4 plus £1 p & p – see book section.

‘Love is necessary for the transformation of the world. It is the only force which can bring peace between the nations, each of which has a mission to accomplish on earth. Love is beginning to appear; goodness, justice and light will triumph; it is simply a question of time. Religions need to be purified; they call contain something divine, but this has been obscured by the repeated addition of human conceptions. All believers will have to get together and agree on one single principle: to make love the basis of any and every belief. Love and brotherhood, that is the common basis.’



The Swedenborg Society

The Swedenborg Society is a publisher, library and bookshop. We organize events, lectures, and conferences, and we print a large selection of material relating to the work of the philosopher, scientist, inventor, astronomer, mathematician, parliamentary figure and visionary, EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688–1772). 

In 2010 we will be celebrating our 200th anniversary. We are currently planning a wide selection of events, publications and activities, including talks, film screenings, exhibitions, as well as other social events.

David’s Presidential Addresses can be found in the articles section.

Visit the website for more information


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