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Spiritual Awakenings International®

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1 PM Eastern Time, 10 AM Pacific, 6 PM in the UK, Sunday 7 AM in Auckland, NZ

Jessica Corneille had a “spontaneous spiritual awakening” (SSA) that changed her life and led her to research mystical experiences and help others with similar experiences.   In this presentation, she will explore what we know so far about the psychology of spontaneous spiritual awakenings, touching on her research on their individual differences, and effects on well-being. She will discuss the importance of ‘de-mystifying’ mystical experiences within mainstream psychology, and how these experiences, their research, and the act of “coming out of the spiritual closet” might help facilitate humanity’s progress toward a more compassionate, understanding and united world.

Jessica will describe the central feature of SSA mystical experiences – a sudden sense of direct contact, union, or communion with the universe, ‘God’, or the divine. In this ‘enlightened’ or ‘nondual’ state, the experiencer transcends their ordinary sense of self, ‘knowing’ or ‘remembering’ their true essence as part of a greater truth or reality, in perceived oneness and self-realization. The scientific community is only just beginning to acknowledge the healing potential of mystical experiences and they have scarcely been explored within the scientific framework. To date, mainstream psychology has tended to pathologize these experiences by default, and the topic is still largely misunderstood and misinterpreted in the West, despite much anecdotal evidence of their long-term positive impacts on perception, cognition, behavior, and well-being.

Jessica Corneille, MSc, is a UK-based Research Psychologist specializing in spontaneous spiritual awakening experiences. She has a Master’s Degree in Psychology (Distinction) from the University of Greenwich, where she focused her studies on “exceptional human experiences” (aka Spiritually Transformative Experiences). With a passion to bridge the worlds of science and spirituality, her mission is to challenge the default pathologizing of spiritual awakening experiences by helping to inform and encourage mainstream psychology to look beyond the current designated spectrum of ‘normality’, to encompass the transpersonal as something that is intrinsic to the human experience.

Jessica is also dedicated to helping individuals come to the realization of their highest human potential and fulfills part of this mission both as a Kundalini Yoga teacher and contracted leadership and empowerment coach. Jessica has presented her work at a number of academic conferences, including with the British Psychological Society, and has published articles for the Psychedelic Society, Paradigm Explorer, and Towards a New Renaissance, as well as a chapter in a new book that explores Spiritual Awakenings among members of the Scientific community. She also works for the Scientific and Medical Network (A Spiritual Awakenings International Affiliated Group), is a member of the Galileo Commission steering committee, and a collaborator of the Emergent Phenomenology Research Consortium and Spiritual Crisis Network. Jessica runs regular sharing circles/peer-support groups for individuals undergoing a profound spiritual transformation in central London, England.