Dr. Rupert Sheldrake on Mysteries of the Extended Mind

In our most recent episode on the HumanCurrent podcast, we aired our interview with the brilliant Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist, English author, and researcher in the field of parapsychology. He has been named one of the world’s most innovative scientists and  “a pioneer who is paving the way for the future of the sciences” by Deepak Chopra.

Dr. Sheldrake’s most recent book, Science Set Free, exposes the dogmatic nature of modern science and questions how many scientific assumptions are impacting the future of humanity. He provides very unique perspectives throughout his book, which arise from personal experience and scientific research.

We believe there is profound truth and power in his ideas because he continually backs them up with history, philosophy, and scientific evidence, but what we love most about Dr. Rupert Sheldrake is that he questions everything, even his own assumptions. He is a complexity thinker and a curious mind through and through, and we truly hope our listeners will grab a copy of his wonderful book, which we were lucky enough to have personally signed by him at the recent IONS conference.

Dr. Sheldrake was a featured guest speaker and presenter at the IONS conference. He is a fellow at IONS and is deeply involved in the science and discussions around human consciousness. Angie and I approached him after his presentation and he graciously agreed to take a few minutes out of his busy conference schedule to speak with us for an interview.

We felt honored to have any amount of time to chat with Dr. Sheldrake privately. Our excitement was so grand, it was challenging to decide what we should discuss with him. We had so many questions we wanted to ask him and so many topics we wanted to cover, yet we had many constraints to navigate, including time and location. We soon realized we would need to tame our curiosity and be more strategic.

Haley & Dr. Sheldrake at the IONS conference

Haley & Dr. Sheldrake at the IONS conference

We studied the context, we listened deeply, and we waited for the right time to act. Ultimately, what emerged was a deep and concise conversation about theories of human consciousness, paranormal phenomenon, mystical experiences, and spirituality.  

Haley interviewing Dr. Sheldrake

Haley interviewing Dr. Sheldrake

Angie and I found it very interesting that Dr. Sheldrake began his career as a biologist studying plants and animals and is now deeply involved in research and discussions about human consciousness. We wanted to know more about how he became so fascinated with consciousness, paranormal activity, and other unexplained powers of the human mind. 

When we asked him about this, he described a natural progression of curiosity throughout his life. He first studied homing pigeons, then dogs with the ability to detect when their owners were coming home, and that research lead him to study "paranormal" human capabilities like telepathy. He said during his interview, “the most surprising thing is that paranormal activity is not paranormal, it’s normal.”

We also asked Dr. Sheldrake how his work is changing the world, and he responded by advocating for the theory that our minds are more extensive than our brains. He stated that this idea of an extended mind “enables us to escape from the prison of the brain, the idea that the mind is imprisoned inside our skull, which is a very isolating idea. It disconnects us from each other and from the world around us, and it’s also false.” He also addresses the extended mind theory in his book, Science Set Free, where he shares a number of stories about telepathy, premonition, and the sense of being stared at, all of which provide evidence that our minds really can extend beyond our brains. 

We have learned so much from our interview with him, including news that he is releasing a new book called Science and Spiritual Practices, which will be available in the UK this November. He is also working on a range of experimental projects online, which anyone can participate in, so we urge you to continue learning. Become a research scientist by testing out the experiments on his website.

You can listen to the HumanCurrent podcast here and don't forget to subscribe in iTunes. Be sure to check out our recent interview with Dr. Rupert Sheldrake!