The Houston Lodge
CONSCIENCE & CONSCIOUSNESS
Deacon Robert Hesse, Ph.D.
Consciousness study is on the scientific frontier. Only those in the forefront of deep scientific exploration understand and work in the emerging area of consciousness. Some think consciousness is in the brain while others think it is elsewhere. Yet consciousness, together with conscience, determines our ability to make valid moral judgments. The informed conscience includes the biological, informational, and spiritual, yet often the biological aspect is overlooked in moral theology. This discussion will include how our biology, along with facts and spiritual belief systems, inform and impact our decisions. Hesse makes the case that our loose use of the term “sin” must be tempered especially in light of biological case studies on conscience and consciousness. Prayer, particularly contemplative prayer, will be discussed as a way to overcome “confirmation bias.”
Deacon Robert J. Hesse, Ph.D.
Robert Hesse is an ordained Catholic deacon and Co-founder and President of Contemplative Network (CN) dedicated to interdenominational Christian contemplative prayer. He is an ex-officio board member of CN and is a practicing contemplative in the Trappist Christian tradition. He was inspired at Gethsemani Trappist monastery, at the time home to Trappist monk Thomas Merton. He was appointed by Trappist monk Thomas Keating, Commissioned Presenter/Co-coordinator, Contemplative Outreach Ltd. and Emissary to the M&L Institute for research on contemplatives, in response to an invitation by The Dalai Lama to Keating. Bob is Vice Chairman and Faculty member, Institute for Spirituality and Health (ISH), which at 59 years is the oldest such organization in the U.S.A. located in The Texas Medical Center (TMC) the largest medical center in the world by multiple times. He is also Visiting Instructor, Rice University and Pontifical University Rome, and Adjunct Professor, University of St. Thomas (UST). He has served on the Deacon Spiritual and Community Life Committees of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. He has been retreat team member, Holy Name Retreat Center; founding Advisor, The WorkFaith Connection; Speaker, Rothko Chapel, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; St. Luke’s Hospital, and Bowen Center; and Co-founder, Faith-Science Initiative, UST. Interests include the convergence of science and religion: physics-metaphysics, chemistry-life, biology-consciousness, and psychology-mysticism. He has special interest in healing suffering from mental illness. He has given numerous presentations internationally. He holds a B.Th. in theology from UST and a B.S. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from St. Louis University. He was President/Founder of energy consulting company HEI having traveled to over 60 countries often establishing international consortia. His last engagement was Project Manager on the planning of two major energy projects in Israel. He is widowed with 2 children and 4 grandchildren.
Annual General meeting held after morning lecture.