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SEMINAR SERIES | Cartography of the Brain

EVENT: SEMINAR SERIES | Cartography of the Brain

DATE: 18th July 2019

TIME: 12.00-2.00 pm

VENUE: Swedenborg House, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH

SPEAKER/S: David Lister

18 July | 1 August | 15 August | 29 August | 12 September

We are delighted to have Dr David Lister return to give another seminar series at Swedenborg House following the success of his 2017 lecture series ‘Anatomy of Heaven’. More details will be forthcoming but put the dates in your diary as these seminars are not to be missed! To book your place for these free seminars, just email

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1. Map-making | 18 July, 12-2pm

This introductory session will explore the formation of maps in a broader sense. Map-making capacity is shown by honeybees, who orient the position of flowers with reference to their hives using the sun’s position and perform a kind of dance on returning to their hive to send other bees in the right direction. Homing pigeons and migrating birds are examples of the same phenomenon. Humans use map-making on a grand scale; the pyramids of Giza map the stars of Orion’s belt and the Milky Way mirrors the course of the Nile as it flows past the pyramids.

As well as the purely physical aspect, maps have an emotional aspect. There is an interesting resemblance between the Sphinx, which guards these pyramids, and the cherub described by Genesis as guarding the entrance to the Garden of Eden, and whose significance Swedenborg explains. To understand the maps of heaven and hell you need a certain moral or emotional orientation. Dante, a man in love with Beatrice, in his Divine Comedy describes the mountain of Purgatory jutting out like a cone into the southern hemisphere, making room for the inverted cone of hell. Dante takes off with Beatrice from the top of the mountain of Purgatory, the earthly paradise into an equally well-mapped series of celestial spheres each governed by a planet until he reaches the empyrean, the home of the Prime Mover, map-maker, or God.

DAVID LISTER is the current chairman of the Swedenborg Society and a member for the past 19 years. David was a medical missionary in India and then a surgeon in Denmark, before returning to England to practice as a GP for the latter part of his career.