White Robed Monks of St. Benedict

NOTE: Under the copywrite of Neti Net Media, LLC. and with permission,
the following abstracts appear from the Program and Research Abstracts prepared for
the Science and Nonduality Conference,
held in San Rafael, California, USA, October 21-25, 2009, Thank you.

1.0000 Philosophy

1.0100 Advaita-Vedanta
1.0101 No-mind and No-brain? Examining the Advaita Vedanta notion of consciousness
Stephen Kaplan (Manhattan College)
In the current edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion (June 2009), I argue that the Advaita Vedanta — neuroscience dialogue need not fear the "reductionism debate" which has marked so much of the scholarly literature on religion and the neurosciences. Advaita is non-dualistic; it does not presume the mind/body dualism that has underscored western theology and philosophy and that has fueled this fear of mind to brain reductionism so prevalent in the west. Advaita informs us that all is the non-dual, atman/brahman, self-illuminating (svaprakasa) consciousness (cit). This state of consciousness is realized when the mind stops moving, when the duality of grasper and grasped produced by grasping ceases, when mind becomes no-mind (amanibhave). If cit is realized when mind becomes no-mind and if cit is the all pervading atman/ brahman, then why are all mindless things not in a state of self-illuminating consciousness? Why is moksa the special province of humans with minds and brains, yet it is minds and brains that produce avidya, the ignorance which obscures cit? This paper commences by examining and challenging the aforementioned Advaita assumptions in order to illuminate their claims to non-dualism. Questions regarding comparative neuroanatomy and comparative psychology have been treated in the Advaita, Indian context by reference to karma and rebirth theories. This paper will reverse this trend by utilizing both Advaita philosophy of mind and the insights from contemporary neurosciences to illuminate the Advaita notion of the non-duality of cit. This paper will do this by looking at, what is in the Advaita-Indian context, "the hard problem"— why all things are not enlightened?
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1.0102 The traditional teaching of Advaita
Vedanta Sri Vijay Kapoor (Arsha Vidya Center)
Advaita Vedanta means the "The essence of Vedas — non duality'. It declares that one cannot become free. One must already be free. The reason is that freedom means infinity. And infinity cannot be 'reached', because that is a contradiction. So if I cannot 'become' free, then there is nothing to be done. Actions will not help. But there is something to be known. This presents a paradox. If I am already free, yet I do not 'feel' free. The teaching says there is a difference between feelings, or experiences, and knowledge. One can experience something and yet interpret it wrongly. The contradiction between the experience of the rising sun and the knowledge that it does not really rise, needs to be reconciled by understanding. An understanding of one's experiences must be done through enquiry. Here an appearance of truth must be distinguished from truth itself. The tools of enquiry need to be employed. In life's normal experiences of relative joy and suffering one may not need these tools. But to achieve absolute joy, the nature of unconditional freedom, such tools are necessary. How can this knowledge be imparted? Infinity is not an object, so it cannot be seen, heard or touched, and therefore not inferred. Without these how can one know? The answer is, through words. Words can give two types of knowledge: One is indirect knowledge — this is applicable to experiences that are remote and can come later, such as Hawaii. But infinity cannot be remote. Two, words can give direct knowledge, through right introduction - such as a person I may be wanting to meet, but one who has been sitting right beside me all the time, un-introduced. This can only be given by a knowledgeable person, through direct teaching. It cannot be done through self-study etc.
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1.0103 The logical structure of consciousness under mental monism
Peter Lloyd (Metatopia)
One of the possible 'non-dual' approaches to the Cartesian mind-body problem is mental monism — the thesis that, ultimately, consciousness is the only reality and that the entire physical world (including a fortiori the brain) is a secondary construct. The basic argument in favor of this position has been defended elsewhere (Lloyd 2005). In this paper, I address a some fundamental technical problems that arise if one takes mental monism seriously. I place them under the rubric of the 'logical structure' of consciousness. One of the most basic problems is that of individuation. This includes the inter-mental individuation of personal minds, and the intra-mental individuation of parts of the sensorium. An example may make this clearer: under the familiar world view of physicalism, your mind is distinguished from mine by virtue of our minds' being embodied in spatially separated brains; but in mental monism there is no such thing as space, so minds cannot be individuated by spatial separation. So, what kind of naturalistic explanation for the separation of minds is possible? A related problem is that of perceptual space. Under the familiar physical model, the two-dimensional arrange- merit of my visual field can be explained in terms of the spatial structure of the retina and the visual cortex; but in mental monism there is no brain, so what is perceptual space grounded in? The converse problems of binding also arise: if there is nothing but consciousness, what glue binds together the visual field? A dynamic set-theoretic model is proposed as a framework for formulating of these problems in a more precise way and articulating possible solutions. Interestingly, this model leads in a natural way to a framework that captures in modern terms the pre-modern concepts of the Vedanta. Lloyd, Peter B , in Batthyany & Elitzur, "Non-Reduc-tionism approaches to mind" 2005.
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1.0104 Revolutionary Nondualism
Daniel Pinchbeck
How do we make use of nondual awareness to bring about a new planetary society, where resources are shared equitably, where human activity is harmonically intermeshed with the cycles of nature? How does nonduality become a political force? Some theorists argue that the mass adoption of nondualist philosophy in the contemporary West has led to a retreat from political commitment. For the critic Slavoj Zizek, yoga, neo-Vedantism, and Buddhism provide an ideology that "enables you to fully participate in the frantic pace of the capitalist game, while sustaining the perception that you are not really in it... what really matters to you is the peace of the inner self to which you know you can always withdraw..." Zizek goes so far as to propose, "the onslaught of New Age 'Asiatic' thought... is establishing itself as the hegemonic ideology of global capitalism." There is a strain in Vedantic thought that leads to a form of nondualist nihilism, where the belief that the "bodymind organism" is a conditioned vehicle justifies inaction, turning inward, or avoidance of social responsibility. There is also a movement in the consciousness community toward "spiritual activism" that consists of synchronized meditations on peace and similar gestures. Such psychic experiments have validity, but do not directly oppose the system of domination chat has brought the world to the brink of ecological ruin. Could the realization that we are all expressions of a unified field of consciousness inspire a new satyagraha movement, where techniques of active nonviolence are utilized, on a mass scale, to interrupt the smooth, suicidal functioning of the status quo? We will also consider the viewpoint of shamans and occultists, who recognize levels of supersensible beings, a daemonic reality that has a direct bearing on our world. How do we reconcile the shaman perspective with nonduality?
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1.0105 Trauma, Body, Energy, and Non-Duality
Raja. Selvam (President, Trauma Vidya Faculty)
According to Advaita Vedanta, one of the important qualifications for attaining enduring enlightenment or non-dual wisdom is the ability to tolerate opposites on all levels of the psyche. Because awareness has a tendency to constrict to levels of being that are lacking such capacity, transcendent non-dual awareness beyond those levels can be hard to maintain. And because awareness also has the opposite tendency to abandon levels of being lacking such capacity, it can be difficult to have imminent awareness of all levels of psyche that is characteristic of the non-dual state. Traumatic experiences that fragment our physical and subtle bodies can severely compromise our ability to tolerate the opposites on both levels of the psyche. Contacting and working through the polarities in traumatic experiences that are often split off offer potential opportunities for greatly enhancing the physical as well as subtle body container for extreme physical, emotional, and relational experiences. The increase in the ability to maintain the non-dual level of awareness from a greater ability to tolerate opposites on all levels of the psyche, with minimal constriction to or splitting of from any level of the psyche, can make available the incomparable non-dual wisdom to self and others on a more consistent basis in every context including psychotherapy. In the workshop, Raja will present the above ideas in depth through lectures and demonstrations using the Integral Trauma Resolution (ITR) approach. ITR is a neurophysiology and energy based approach for treating symptoms of stress, trauma, emotion, and attachment that is precise, efficient, consistent, embodied, and evidence-based. It has been developed by Raja Selvam, PhD from treating such symptoms in cultures as diverse as the U.S., Europe, Brazil, Israel, India, and China; and from teaching and further developing Somatic Experiencing (SE), a trauma resolution approach initially developed by Peter Levine, PhD.
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1.0106 Nisargadatta Maharaj: Advaita-Vedanta and the role of science
Stephen Wolinsky
The questions to be asked and answered are: What is Advaita-Vedanta? Can Science Play a Role? Is there a way "there"? Advaita translates as NOT TWO or more commonly as ONE SUBSTANCE NOT TWO, and is the cornerstone of nonduality. Advaita had existed in other forms, such as Nagajuna's Madhyamaka Buddhism in the 2nd Century, Vedanta is translated as the end of the Vedas, and can be summarized by two words neti- neti, translated as not this not this. These two words point to a process of discarding all perceivables and conceivables as not this not this until the "Real Self "emerges. In the 20th century through both Ramana Maharisi in the first half of the century and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in the 2nd half Advaita-Vedanta began to take a foot hold in not only India but also in the West. There are two ways to appreciate this unique approach 1.) Neti Neti through discarding or deconstructing all 2.) Identification with the underlying consciousness, prior to thoughts, memory emotions, associations, perceptions. Science, over the last 100 years has inadvertently touched Advaita-Vedanta in general and specifically the teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, by providing an understanding to unpack and deconstruct the veils or layers which "conceal" the underlying unity, which we already are. This very brief 30 minute overview represents almost 40 years of meditation and study, including 2 1/2 years (1979-1981) under the direct mentorship of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj while living in India for six years, (1976-1982)
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1.0200 Behaviorism
1.0300 Buddhist Philosophy
1.0301 Consciousness, Compassion and Transcendence in Science and Buddhism
Jeremy Hayward (Dorje Denma Ling, Shambhala Buddhist Meditation Center)
Buddhism has been called the inner science of mind, and there are both meeting points as well as differences between the Buddhist and conventional scientific investigations of mind. Conventional dualistic science has emphasized third-person investigation of a so-called 'objective' world which is believed to be real while it can never be experienced directly. Using powerful methods of first-person investigation Buddhists have focused on direct experience of the observing mind itself. Now the two are finding meeting points as mind scientists realize that a full investigation of mind must include first-person experience, and Buddhists find much that is valuable in the detailed dualistic knowledge gained by science. We will discuss three particular meeting points: first, the role of dualistic consciousness in creating a self and its world moment by moment; as eminent cognitive scientist, Richard Gregory, has said "the outside world is a hypothesis". Secondly we will touch on neuroscientific investigations of compassion, focused and openness meditations, particularly as they indicate the efficacy of these methods for investigation of the nature of the mind. Finally, from the points of view of quantum physics and Buddhism, we will discuss the transcendent ground of non-dual awareness within which moments of self-created self and world arise. We see this last topic not so much as a direct meeting but as indicating significant correlations in seemingly opposite approaches, the one asking for the ground of matter and the other for the ground of mind.
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1.0400 Consciousness
1.0401 A Digital Solution to the Mind/Body Problem
Ralph Abraham, Sisir Roy (Mathematics, University of California Santa Cruz)
We will present a new mathematical model for the universal field of consciousness. Basic features of our model coincide closely with historical models from the spiritual traditions of ancient Greece and India. This is a computational model, similar to a cellular automaton. It has been adapted from recent joint work of Sisir Roy and Manfred Requardt, who developed a model for the quantum vacuum, and the emergence of spacetime at the Planck scale. A very small version of the model runs as a computer graphic program on a personal computer. We will demonstrate simulations running on a laptop that make the model easy to comprehend. This approach gives rise to a digital solution to the mind/body problem, and provides a convenient basis for understanding paranormal phenomena.
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1.0402 Theory of Consciousness Theory of Knowledge
Edouard Asseo
"The Theory of consciousness" is a thesis of Doctorate in Philosophy. The Theory of Consciousness is a mathematical reformulation of the Hegel system. It gives a vision of the universe as an all-inclusive whole comprising the objective world and the subjective world. The Hegel system is based on the duality of the Being and the Nothing. Our theory preferentially starts from the concept of knowledge formulated as a mathematical function. The most apparent duality in knowledge is subjectivity/objectivity. Science is based on the postulate of objectivity, if we expect science to consider subjectivity, we have to call this postulate into question. This leads to a comprehensive theory encompassing both subjectivity and the objective world, that physics addresses. Thus, we start by thinking about a very simple mental experiment by which we express this postulate. This leads to taking into account the so-called knowledge function C{X) by which the object X is known. It quickly appears that C(C) should be defined. The conditions to which the function C(X) should comply are expressed and called the Conscience relations. The theory is composed of three elements. 1) Theory of knowledge The Conscience relations are developed mathematically and it is shown that the fundamental laws of modern physics can be derived from the Conscience relations. This yields a new paradigm in physics. 2) Theory of consciousness We define consciousness as : - knowledge of knowledge - knowledge of being and existing -knowledge of something else. It is shown that the knowledge function complying to the Conscience relations bears these properties. 3) Conscious systems A conscious system is a system which implements the Conscience relations. The main characteristics of human subjectivity are connected to the Conscience relations ; the principle of operation of the brain and the corresponding architectures are derived. The duality mind and matter is derived from the Conscience relations.
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1.0403 Higher states as a figure-ground switch between the "I" and the world of objects
Bernard J. Baars (The Neurosciences Institute)
The experiential literature on higher and altered states is vast and continuous over many centuries and cultures. One ever-present theme has to do with the relationship of the self to the objects of experience. As meditators have more experiences of "pure consciousness," (known by various names), the awareness of that experience becomes established throughout everyday life. The three forms of higher consciousness in Vedanta have different names than in Buddhist tradition, but the practices are similar. I will discuss brain studies that help to cast some light on these experiences. The guiding hypothesis is that the experience of the self develops and finally "flips" with the experience of pure consciousness. That "flip" is a reversal between the everyday ego and a pervasive sense of pure consciousness, as the "ground of experience." The "flip" is comparable to many ambiguous Gestalt phenomena, in which figure and ground can flip, with the object of perception becoming background, and the background becoming objectified in consciousness. We now know a little bit about the brain processes involved in Gestalt figure-ground flips. We can therefore begin to design brain-based studies to find neural correlates of higher states, which may support (or falsify) the hypothesis.
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1.0404 Applications of an Integrated Mind-Body Model of Consciousness
Wolfgang Baer (Information Sciences, Naval Postgraduate School)
The best concept of consciousness is modeled as a self-measurement-explanation cycle in which mental sensations are processed into explanations that are then measured to produce expectations of those sensations. The loop amplifies correct explanations into stable everyday experiences. The process idea was originally suggested by William James and built into the foundations of physics by Alfred Whitehead. Whitehead replaced fundamental particles with fundamental events that incorporate self-awareness. I will show that quantum physicists execute such a loop when processing observable mental sensations into quantum physical explanations. Therefore by studying how quantum theory is applied a quantitative physically based mind-body model has been identified. This model can then be used in two ways. First, as a physical description of the first person "I" experience and, second, as a model of conscious activity seen from the external third person point of view. The difference is that if the loop is "I", the first person, as Douglas Hofsteader also suggests, then time flows through ones self and one only experiences the Now part of the whole event. This whole event accommodates the rest of the universe by displaying exterior influences as objects moving in the Now part. The whole self can only be experienced symbolically. In its symbol, time is mapped around a spatial loop. Thus, the whole can be understood, but alas, only as a model of the actual flow. The good news is that immediate engineering applications can be identified when the mind-body process is seen from an external third person point of view. I will discuss research being pursued on self-referential algorithms being tested as potential replacements for cognitive decision elements in advanced command and control applications. The most mature application utilizes a self-stabilizing feedback loop to provide image understanding and vision-based navigation for advanced unmanned aerial vehicles.
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1.0405 In the end there can be only one: The Third Scientific Revolution as a synthesis of dualities
James Beichler (Retired)
The scope and limit of science were first established during the Scientific Revolution when Descartes separated the realms of Mind and Matter. Mind was relegated to Religion and Science took over Matter. While the boundaries were set, they were not set in stone. As Newtonian science became more successful it incorporated areas of inquiry that had originally been relegated to Mind and religion. This trend reached a climax in the late nineteenth century as Newtonian science rose to the zenith of its successes, but not without unintended consequences: The evolution of Newtonian science fostered a new revolution in science. However, scientists and culture had also gone too far in their speculations about the ultimate natures of matter and consciousness (mind) and a backlash emerged in the form of empirical positivism just as the Second Scientific Revolution developed. The new paradigms that overwhelmed Newtonian science, the quantum and relativity theories in physics and behaviorism after the birth of psychology were never allowed to reach their full potential. Recent advances in both physics and science in general have reopened questions regarding the fundamental sources as well as the ultimate natures of both consciousness (mind) and matter, causing a new shift in emphasis from the duality of Mind and Matter to the more fundamental duality of internal and external reality. The real fundamental question in all of science and human thought deals with the one and only 'thing' that counts - reality -and recent discoveries in science have brought us to a new brink where we must find answers to whether reality is an internal or external 'thing', if it is a 'thing' at all. To do so, science needs to distinguish between 'matter' and the consciousness (mind) that measures and interprets 'matter'. In the end there can only be one.
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1.0406 Whitehead on Autopilot: Surveying Hameroffs Conscious Pilot Program in the Capacity of (ANWs) Actual Entities and Stapp's Reconciliation with rQFT
Jesse Bettinger (Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Claremont Graduate University)
Combining the recent scholarship of Stapp and Hameroff with the contemporary philosophical scheme found in AN Whitehead's Process and Reality to explore 1.) the ontological modeling of the Actual Entities (AE's) in terms of relativistic quantum field theories (specifically Yang Mills and quantum chromodynamics)— and 2.) to survey the possibility of defining these AE's in the quantitative spectrum of 40hz, per Hameroff and Penroses Orch OR, and HamerofFs more recent, Conscious Pilot-model. This aim of this presentation will be to convey a consilient model that draws from the philosophical heuristics gleaned from the properties of rQFT's and AE's in order to set up the basis for a model of qualitative consciousness and cognition that builds a case for establishing a bridge from proto-mentality to ionic, atomic, and molecular brain activity in the range of Hameroff's celebrated research and results — in conjunction with Whitehead's AE's and Stapp's critical contributions to Whitehead's work. An overarching and original, interactive diagram is introduced in order to model these connections, handle information pictorially, and to understand the interrelations between theories.
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1.0407 The Enlightened Dualist Approach to Monism: The Consciousness Trail from Qualia to Quanta
Stephen Deiss (Neurobiology Section, UC San Diego)
I have developed a new approach to the so-called "hard problem" in the scientific study of consciousness. That problem, in a nutshell, is to explain how there can be personal experience in a physical world of dead senseless mechanisms. Why should electro-chemical brain activity, for example, be accompanied by experience of color or sounds? While others have tackled this problem with research hoping to find some new measurable physical pattern that emerges out of lower level mechanisms, this new approach tackles our concepts of mechanism, causality, self, ego, and others related, to show that the problem results from naive realism in science coupled with medieval conceptual baggage. At the core of this new solution is the understanding that everything we can know results from our conscious process of interpreting sensations. The approach is scientifically sound, intuitively undeniable, and one of the essential lessons of meditation. From this epistemic learning process arise all the theoretical dualities we learn to both cling to and despise over a lifetime. This consciousness process is universal and scale free like the recursive patterns in a Mandelbrot set. Realizing this universality is liberating and creates a satisfying ecological way of looking at all 'things' as kin in the universal processes of change. The history of quantum theory is strewn with attempts to understand what the theory is about, what is in fact real, and whether there are any matters of fact about it - a confusion that continues to this day. The sensation-interpretation view of consciousness presented here offers a new constraint on theoretical discussions by recognizing epistemological limits. It suggests a new direction that is inherently a type of monism based upon discrimination of differences and acting on them while system state evolves in a relative way.
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1.0408 We are our architecture - the material world and how it is part of our consciousness
Jan Golembiewski (Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Sydney)
Unlike the food we eat or the company we keep, the constructed environment never leaves us. But like food or company, it nourishes us or leaves us hungry. And without environmental/architectural sustenance our mental health really sufTers. Environmental starvation or abuse leads to a host of mental problems, sometimes severe enough to cause paralysis or death. The environment is the stuff of duality. It is quite literally the material world. It is all that we are not — and yet — the architecture around us is very much part of our most subtle selves. Our neurochemistry affects and is affected by all we perceive. Neurological processes link us to the world in a way that we're only just beginning to understand. There is now evidence to show that we are part of our ecology and the environment — it is not separate from us - it is part of our thinking process. And how we feel about ourselves and the spaces we are in will dictate what we take from (and give back to) the spaces we inhabit. The built environment is part of the human organism. We cannot be separate from our architecture any more than a shellfish can be separated from its shell. The Hindus have the notion of Purusha - the masculine force of consciousness, which is ecstatically interwoven with the feminine Prakriti - everything manifest. Similarly, our environment cannot be separated from consciousness. We've developed great sensitivity to the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Now it's time to start developing sensitivity to the built environment that has such a dramatic effect on our consciousness.
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1.0409 An invitation to Quantum Activism
Amit Goswami (Center for Quantum Activism)
Quantum physics in the form of its famous observer effect (how an observation transforms quantum possibilities into actual experiences in the observer's consciousness) is forcing us into a paradigm shift away from the primacy-of-matter to a new paradigm: the Primacy of Consciousness. Quantum Activism is the idea of changing ourselves and our societies in accordance with the transformative and revolutionary message of quantum physics. This change is taking its cue from the emergence of a new paradigm within science; the paradigm of a consciousness based reality as articulated by Quantum Physics. So what are the transformative messages of quantum physics? First, consciousness is the ground of all being, and all objects of our experience (sensing, thinking, feeling, and intuition) are quantum possibilities for consciousness to choose from. Second, if we choose from what is known, that is to say, what is conditioned in us from prior experiences, we are choosing from our ego-consciousness. But if we choose what is unknown, what is unmanifest in our prior experiences, we are choosing from what spiritual traditions call God- conscious ness (in scientific language we call it quantum consciousness). Choosing from God-consciousness requires quantum leaps (movement from point A to point B without going through intermediate steps), nonlocality (signalless communication), and tangled hierarchy (causal relationships of circularity) The third message of quantum physics is the evolution of consciousness, and it is taking us toward a greater and greater capacity for processing the meaning of our lives and the world around us. The immediate future of evolution is promising to take us from our current preoccupation with the rational mind to an intuitive mind that values the archetypes; such as Good, Beauty, Truth, Justice, and Love, and gives us the ability to process the meaning of our lives through these archetypes.
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1.0410 Dualism and Phenomenology of Sensations
Dmitry Ivanav (Philosophy, Moscow State University)
The really hard problem for dualism of substances is not the problem of mental causation as many philosophers believe, but the problem of sensations. The problem of mental causation results from the physicalist assumption about the causal closure of physical domain. A dualist can avoid this problem simply by rejecting this assumption. But under certain conditions you can't establish dualism, even though you are not a committed physicalist. The problem of sensations for a dualist can be formulated as follows: are sensations something mental or physical According to Descartes, sensations are the modes of mental substance. But when we try to delve deeply into the nature of sensations we face with the fact that there is something in sensations that resists our attempt to detach them from the body and present as faculties of pure mental substance. Probably Descartes noticed the problem. Turning to phenomenological considerations Descartes demonstrates that sensations are not just qualitative mental states, but that they are qualitative mental states that are closely connected with the body. Further phenomenological reflection reveals that dualism fails if we accept three intuitions: (1) sensations are qualitative mental states, (2) they require bodies, and (3) they are substantially the same as other cognitive abilities. The consequence of the acceptance of these intuitions is disaster for dualism. If we believe that sensations and other mental faculties are of the same nature and that sensations require bodies, then it means that we can't divide mental substance from the body. In conclusion, it is important to emphasize that phenomenology of sensations doesn't argue against metaphysics of dualism. It rather allows us to argue against conceivability of a certain situation. The point is that if we accept mentioned phenomenological intuitions we can't even conceive the possibility of dualism of substances.
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1.0411 A logical explanation of why a mystical experience occurs and how it can be attained
Emmanuel Karavousanos (—, Author)
Nonduality, ultimate reality and the mystical state are one and the same. In the East, it is Nirvana and Brahman. How and why does this phenomenon occur? The mystical experience, the precursor to the mystical state takes place when one analyzes familiar, obvious and already known things, things the ordinary mind accepts, takes for granted and ignores. The basis is in Heraclhus, Huxley, Whitehead and others. Whitehead wrote, "Familiar things happen and mankind does not bother about them. It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious." Aldous Huxley, much like psychologist Ichheiser offered that most humans have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. As children we learn that we think. The thinking process becomes a "familiar thing" that is obvious, constant, taken for granted and ignored. Goethe and historian James Harvey Robinson stressed that we must think about our thoughts. The paths mystics followed with their "unusual minds" focused (unconsciously perhaps) on what others took for granted and discounted completely. To become enlightened, the Buddha held that we must be in the right frame of mind. Richard Maurice Bucke wrote that to receive the "exalted endowment" one must have the right mental attitude. The right mental attitude is developing the curiosity of the "unusual mind." Thus, self-discipline is needed to analyze "familiar things" — thoughts! This presentation will provide cases of discoveries made through analysis of things already known. Through examples on consciousness we will realize science and religion - contrary to the belief they oppose each other — work together. We will hear key questions that will trigger mystical insight to anyone in "the right frame of mind." With the foundation provided by the brilliant people mentioned above, we can, individually and collectively, test and aspire for that healthy mentality — Nonduality.
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1.0412 Duality / Non-Duality - The next level of human consciousness
Loibon Le Baaba
In our western/occidental society, we have a strong tendency to see and think of things in the context of them being separate and unconnected, departmentalized. We also have a natural but strong tendency to view things, believe, and live our lives according to a more personal or "egotistical" perspective. We proudly call this perspective our "Individualism," "Freedom," or "Personal Rights." Hence, the occidental mind is very comfortable with, and accustomed to 'DUALISTIC' values as being the basis by which we define ourselves, live, and establish our concepts and precepts of REALITY, as being the result of what is understood by most. The crux of the problem with this rests in the fundamentals of the Western/Occidental thinking process. Positivism and Empiricism are the heart of Anglo-American/Anglo-Saxon (Occidental peoples) thinking. The positivist mind dislikes, refuses to accept or understand, and in fact attempts to refute, 'abstract theorizing,' and any serious or real investigations into first and final cause (i.e. Sanskrit, 'kama'— desire, and 'karma' — periodicity and action). A positivist way of thinking is opposed to a true 'deductive' method of thought, and by this, it is rather a superficial 'inductive' way of thinking - preferring to strictly ascribe all knowledge to the result of scientific, experiential, linear or empirical evidence. Positivist thinking is characterized by a general dislike of theorizing and (abstract) systematic thinking in favor of pragmatism, which is all stemming from a form of dualistic and separative thinking. Dr./Loibon - Ol Doinyo Laetoli le Baaba, aka. Sadhu - Kali Baaba, a tribal elder, mystic, and occultist, will speak and answer questions concerning the scientific, spiritual, philosophical, and primitive (primal) — indigenous people's understanding, content, meaning, and application of the ancient, often obscured, or even obtuse knowledge of reality and non-duality.
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1.0413 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Vedic Science, Eight (8) States of Consciousness and Quantum Models
John Louvitakis
According to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Vedas are not simply ancient obscure texts, but actually a rigorous Science of Consciousness; rich with comprehensive and systematic knowledge as well as technologies for allowing anyone to effortlessly and naturally experience not only Consciousness' unbounded silent wholeness but also to live all of its infinitely dynamic aspects within that wholeness as well. For Maharishi's Vedic Science, our human physiology is the Veda and therefore is already engineered to experience not only the waking, sleeping and dreaming states of consciousness, but even higher states of consciousness, each more sublime, more blissful than the other. These higher states of consciousness (Cosmic, God, Unity and Brahman Consciousness) systematically unfold based upon one's experience of a 4th state of consciousness, called pure consciousness, turiya, Atma, or simply the Self. This 4th state has its own unique physiological characteristics and according to the Maharishi, physicists will eventually verify that this pure consciousness is, indeed, the quantum ground state of everything, the Unified Field. In this presentation, we will: 1. Describe these higher states of consciousness, their steps of unfolding and distinguishing experiences, with special focus for the conference on the nondual Brahman Consciousness in which the infinite unbounded established Atma experiences all objects now as they a truly are, as impulses of itself; as pure consciousness reverberating wholly within itself. It is in this style of human physiology that the statements "Atma is Brahman" and the Mahavakyas (I Am That, Thou Art That, All This Is That, That Alone Is) are actualized and living realities for the individual, and 2. Explore apparent correlations between generating superfluidity or superconductivity and experiencing pure awareness, and these higher states of consciousness, and 3. Explore the possibilities Maharishi's Vedic Science holds for each individual and the human race as a whole.
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1.0414 Subjective Consciousness Science and Objective Science Consciousness, what difference may each make?
NoelMcInnis, Ben Young (Global Brain Network)
If Identification with Dualism shapes our worldview", which is a suggested assumption for this Conference, and because Science has relied on "Dualities for "Either/Or" choices as a decision making methodology, then Nonduality "based on subjective introspection" (intuitive direct knowing such as meditation, yoga, and mystical experiences suggest that these dichotomies are false, and "identification with common dualisms avoids recognition of a deeper reality", as quoted in the preface for Poster Sessions. Therefore, whichever of the foregoing word framings we use can make a big difference as either an expansion or limitation on whatever follows. When Consciousness Science is used as the framing, it connotes Consciousness is primary and Science needs to find a way to include the duality reality forming sources of both Subjective Consciousness as well as Objective Consciousness form the Nonduality of Consciousness Science... When Consciousness Sciences is used as the framing, it connotes that Science is primary and Consciousness needs to be identified in a way that fits Science. Thus the heart of our duality and nonduality exchanges needs to identify both the subjective and the objective and the duality and nonduality common framings and languigings within which to communicate.,. NOEL MCINNIS is a former managing editor of Marilyn Ferguson's Brain/Mind Bulletin. BEN YOUNG is a longtime Noetic Consciousness practitioner.
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1.0415 Building a bridge over the explanatory gap: An engineering approach towards creating a metaphor to link the phenomenal world to the physical world
Dieter Mueller
We haven't found yet the right metaphor to link the mental to the physical world. By using the engineering approach of 'building a bridge' a metaphor for conceptually linking the mental and the physical realms is constructed. The construction site for the bridge is within our world, which is one, and can be cut into pieces according to different world views. Choosing the right 'construction site' corresponds to choosing the right explanatory level. Choosing the appropriate building material amounts to searching for the best concepts nearby which are useful in closing the gap. Building the bridge has to take account of the environment and the way of connecting the building blocks. Starting with Popper's three worlds, a link from the physical world to a middle pillar is constructed based on information science and the carrier - signal approach. This leaves the mind — mind problem according to Jackendoff. The missing link from the middle pillar to the subjective world involves a phase transition of the spatio-temporal neural patterns by which consciousness emerges as a "living information structure". The strength of the bridge is tested by heavy traffic: thought experiments using the new conceptual link to explain the oneness of the subjective and the physical world.
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1.0416 Consciousness matters: Mapping the process of transformation and non dual awareness
Marilyn Schlitz (Institute of Noetic Sciences)
For more than a decade, IONS researchers have been mapping the process of individual and collective transformations. Based in a large qualitative study involving 60 masters from many world traditions, surveys of over 2000 people, and a longitudinal study of Integral Transformative Practice, we have developed a naturalistic model of transformation. This model includes both the predictors, catalysts, practices, and outcomes associated with transformation. One important outcome involves nondual awareness and orientation towards the world. Marilyn will overview this model and consider the implications for science and society.
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1.0417 Taking non-dualism seriously: Quantum mechanics, yogis, qualia, and the need for empirical evidence
Jonathan Shear (Philosophy, Virginia Commonwealth University)
Mind-body dualism, a well-entrenched feature of everyday awareness, developed in normal children by age four, has been challenged by non-dual experiences reported by advanced meditators and yogis. Meditation-compatible models of perception suggest that the appearance of non-duality might be expected as a mere artifact, however. Dualism has also been challenged by standard interpretations of the "collapse" of quantum wave-functions. Analysis of Shroedinger's paradox shows that the notion of consciousness used here is too naive to be useful. Parallels between quantum-mechanical descriptions of the deepest levels of matter and meditative descriptions of the deepest level of mind suggest they have a common source. These parallels are merely qualitative, outside the ability of ordinary people to evaluate objectively, and unconvincing by themselves. Non-dual theories should explain how matter and features of mind such as qualia can have a common source. But attempts to develop non-dual theories accounting for qualia remain unconvincing. Positing "proto"-qualia as basic to matter seems merely ad hoc assertion, rather than argument. Idealist non-dualisms encounter physics' presumption that matter existed prior to minds. The unity of individual awareness and the subject-object "intentional" structure of experience appear more promising. Both are topological-structural rather than qualitative, and quantum-mechanical approaches (a la Stapp, Penrose and Hameroff, Hankey, etc.) may be able to locate physical correlates supporting non-dual theories. Such correlates are not enough to establish non-dualism however. Direct empirical evidence is needed. Decisive experiments, using yogis as described in traditional texts, are easy to design. But such yogis do not appear to be locatable — if they exist at all. The experimental protocols themselves nevertheless show that non-dualism is in principle empirically determinable. If non-dual theories remain unconvincing, strong arguments can be made for the value — affective, ethical, political and environmental — of non-dual experience. This may be non-dualism's ultimate importance.
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1.0418 Quantum Theory of What?
Stanley Sobottka (Physics, University of Virginia)
In physics, objective reality is defined as that which exists whether or not it is being observed. A fundamental problem with this definition is that it can never be verified by observation because all of our observations, without exception, are purely subjective and can never go beyond the mind. Classical physics is assumed to describe objective reality as it is. There is broad agreement among physicists on what classical objective reality is. However, quantum theory is purely mathematical and requires an interpretation to relate it to some form of reality. Most interpretations relate the theory to some kind of objective reality, even if the reality consists only of objectively real brain states. Since there are many interpretations and hence many objective realities, how are we to know which one is correct? Fundamental to the assumption of an objective reality is the assumption that spacetime exists. In quantum theory, spacetime is the context in which everything happens. In general relativity {gravity theory), spacetime appears in the content of the theory, not as context. The two theories are incompatible because context is not content. Hence, a unified theory of quantum gravity has not been found and probably will not be found unless context and content can be reconciled. One way to resolve this incompatibility is to see that spacetime is purely subjective rather than objective. If spacetime is a concept in the mind rather than the context of the mind, then objective reality is also a concept because separation between objects must occur in spacetime. This viewpoint is consistent with the teaching of nonduality, in which separation is conceptual, not real. A purely subjective interpretation of quantum theory would relate the theory to mind states, not brain states, would avoid the problems of objective reality, and thus be consistent with nondual teaching.
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1.0419 Quantum NonDuality
Henry P, Stapp (Physics Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Labor, University of California)
The French philosopher Rene Descartes articulated the idea that our conscious thoughts, ideas, and feelings are fundamentally different from the physically described aspects of nature. He believed, however, that those conscious aspects were connected causally to physical processes in our brains. This dualistic idea led eventually to a theory of nature called classical mechanics. That theory set forth a causally closed conception of the physical universe that left consciousness completely out. Our conscious thoughts had to be simply tacked on, ad hoc, as causally inert witnesses to the flow of the mechanically determined physical events. According to that still widely held classical idea, the connective structure that links together your distinct conscious thoughts is your evolving physical brain, which, simply grinds mechanically along, with your thoughts and conscious efforts merely reporting what the brain is doing. An alternative was proposed in 1909 by William James, who suggested that "The directly apprehended universe needs .. .no extraneous trans-empirical connective support, but possesses in its own right a concatenated or continuous structure." James's suggestion, here, is that our thoughts are linked together by a structure that is, itself, thought-like in nature. This sounds perhaps like Bishop Berkeley's idealism, which was hard to reconcile with the spectacular empirical successes of matter-based classical mechanics. However, by 1930 the basic precepts of classical mechanics had been found by the physicists themselves to be fundamentally incorrect. That theory was replaced at the fundamental physical level by quantum mechanics. According to this new theory, the structure that links our conscious thoughts together is, although mathematical in form, no longer matter-like in character. It is essentially thought-like in nature, just as James had proposed. Moreover, the quantum laws have a causal gap.
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1.0500 Cosmology
1.0501 The Anthropic Cosmological Timeline Is Basis for The Science of Nonduality
Scott Anderson (Yoga Research & Education Foundation)
The Anthropic Cosmological Timeline (ACT) is the now-origin logarithmic timeline of all possible times past: from the Planck time, through the photon-proton transit time and the heart beat, to the Big Bang. ACT turns conventional cosmology inside-out and depicts an observer-centered universe. Conventional cosmologists prefer Big-Bang-origin timelines that avoid the "anthropomorphism" they eschew. However, now-origin timelines are equally valid, and the logarithmic version expands the moments past but closest to now. Initial analysis of the ACT reveals a number of unexpected features. First: fully 2/3rds of cosmic time scales lie within our bodies with the "outer world" comprising the remaining l/3rd. This is a decidedly "embodied cosmology." Second: delimited by the range of electromagnetism in the middle, we note three nested domains of time spanning -20 orders of magnitude each: outer, inner, & innermost. Within each we find predominance of a distinct kind of: experience: outer environment, living body-mind, non-local form; structure: material, energetic, informational; system: dissipative, autopoietic, reflexive; mathematics: (e.g., the algebras) complex, quaternion, octonion; geometry: fractal, non-commutative, non-associative; orders of intrinsic complexity: complex, hyper-complex-one, and hyper-complex-two. Finally: we discover that the ACT does not portray "history." Rather, all three domains are always arising simultaneously — nested in every Planckian instant as a cosmically entangled non-reducible event arising within a timeless context. Thus life experience is a vast flow-ensemble of such Planckian instants. ACT is thus a nondual scientific cosmology and a foundational framework within which a scientific revolution may unfold — a novel cosmology within which matter, energy, space, time, life, mind, self, and consciousness may all find a technical alignment. The Big Bang echoes in the body, here, now. The heart beat entrains the body, here, now. The apparently "separate self" arises in the heart, here, now; in the nondual space of timeless awareness.
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1.0502 Based on the recently published book by Duane Elgin, The Living Universe: Where are we? Who are we? Where are we going? The view of a non-living universe has led to rampant materialism and environment
Duane Elgin
Based on the recently published book by Duane Elgin, The Living Universe: Where are we? Who are we? Where are we going? Summarizing: Science has traditionally viewed the universe as made of inert matter and empty space. At one time this perspective was liberating, part of the Enlightenment-born rationalism that helped humanity free itself from superstition. However, the view of a non-living universe has also led to rampant materialism and environmental destruction. To transform our planetary crises we need to move past a paradigm of separation and exploitation and learn to live sustainably on the Earth, in harmony with one another, and in communion with the universe. A "living universe" perspective together evidence from cosmology, biology and physics to suggest that the universe is not fragmented and dead but rather unified and alive — an insight that is in harmony with all of the world's major spiritual traditions. A living universe perspective radically transforms our concept the cosmos, the nature of our identity, and our understanding of the evolutionary journey of the human family: 1) Where are we? The combined wisdom of the sciences speaks with stunning clarity — we live in a universe that is almost entirely invisible, flowing with an immensity of energy, continuously emerging anew, and brimming with sentience. 2) Who are we? Eife exists within life. Our life is inseparable from the aliveness of the living universe. With renewed feelings of wonder, we can open to a larger sense of self that connects into the subtle aliveness of a living universe. 3) Where are we going? Humanity is growing up and growing into the understanding that we are beings of both biological and cosmic dimension. We are on a heroic journey of awakening — learning how to live in a living universe.
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1.0503 Existence and Non-Existence as Relation in a Self-Similar Space-Time Cosmology
John Kineman (Ecosystem Sciences, Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, University of)
"Relational Theory" based on the mathematics of'modeling relations' and natural 'surrogacy' developed by Robert Rosen, corresponds with the ancient Vedic concept of relation between 'non-existence' and 'existence,' from which all reality was said to emerge. The Vedas, to which many quantum physicists credited insights, are thus an early statement of relational complexity involving a general unity of locally opposite domains of reality with implicit properties of consciousness. Relational theory provides a rigorous and general way of describing nature in terms of such 'modeling relations,' or 'holons' — a generative relation between 'localized' (measurable) and 'non-localized' (inferable) aspects of all systems; living, complex, and non-living. An important mathematical expression and test of the theory is possible in Cosmology by modeling relational space-time geometry by analogous relation between real and imaginary number domains. The model is ultimately non-dual but locally dual between perceived and experienced dimensions of interaction. It predicts a numerically complex space-time geometry that is a self-similar, self-producing (autopoietic) radial Minkowski space that expands along the local time axis. It conforms precisely to Special Relativity with logistic scaling of the "Hubble" expansion and thus infinite acceleration at the apparent origin. Self-similarity across scale makes the model locally invariant with respect to uniform gravitation (average mass density), reversing the traditional roles of General and Special relativity in cosmology. The model corresponds with recent observations of the Hubble expansion and makes testable cosmological predictions. It may be consistent with the HamerofF-Penrose idea of "orchestrated space-time selections" in the explanation of consciousness in that independent space-time domains (as 'knowable realities') may be instantiated at any scale or mass, as a consequence of the degree of causal isolation, as occurring in microtubules. Spin as proposed by Haramein, may explain non-locality. These results suggest a view of nature as a unified, complex, psycho-physical reality.
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1.0504 Non-duality: The Ultimate Reality
Avtar Singh (Center for Horizon Research)
Non-duality is demonstrated to be the fundamental property of the universe that resolves the existing mysteries of the observed universe in cosmology and the unresolved paradoxes of science. Non-duality represents the well-established principles of the equivalence of mass and energy, space and time, and wave-particle complimentarity (often known as wave-particle duality). Such non-duality existing in nature and universal phenomena is described via a holistic relativistic model that explains the inner workings of quantum mechanics resolving its weird and unexplainable anomalies such as multiple universes, non-locality, quantum gravity, dark energy, and dark matter etc. Non-duality is mostly considered to be a philosophical or spiritual understanding that dualisms obscure a deeper reality of non-separation and fundamental oneness. On the other hand, the mainstream science depends on empirical data leading to reductionism, materialism and apparent dichotomies. The discoveries in quantum physics, brain sciences, consciousness studies, biology, and cosmology that point to non-duality in science remain paralyzed by paradoxes and internal inconsistencies inhibiting the bridging of mysticism and science. The results presented in this paper eliminate the gaps in scientific theories such as quantum mechanics, relativity, and Newtonian theories based on duality of matter and non-matter. Non-dualistic approach also provides a new perspective on time and evolution. The model presented in the paper provides a comprehensive non-dualistic model of matter, mind, and consciousness based on a mass-energy-space-time continuum. Close agreement is shown with the observations of the universe vindicating the non-dualistic model as a universal scientific model bridging the existing theories of science, cosmology, and mysticism.
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1.0505 True Nature: An Experiential Exploration of the Boundary Where Spirit and Matter Meet
Jessica Zeller (Transpersonal Psych)
Learning to be in nature without conceptual barriers of self and other, inner and outer, we can come to rest in our True Nature as unconditioned awareness. We fully enter this moment, totally present in this home of our soul, Earth. Natural meditation will be our base camp. Unconditioned awareness is the balm that allows for our healing and transformation. The body is Earth's local representative. As we learn to track the flow of energy between the inner and the outer worlds, we open the membrane of perceived bodily boundaries and learn to cross the bridge between the seen and the unseen. We then become the bridge then become nothing other than what is, allowing the world of living form to be in the presence of pure awareness. In this workshop, participants will experience a shift in how they view the natural world. Through Natural Awareness Meditation, people learn to be more present with their environment. Using our body as our laboratory, we can track the flow of sensory input co arising in each moment. By attuning ourselves to interior subtle states of awareness, we can practice looking in to the mirror of our environment and then practice the inquiry of "who is looking"? As the physical environment and psychic structures mirror each other, we can reconsider the habitually assumed duality of person and place, reconciling the perceived duality of form and emptiness as body, nature, earth, and self melt in to the presence of awareness in this moment. We ourselves embody the truth of the unity and interconnectedness of all.
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1.0600 Deconstruction
1.0700 Eastern philosophy
1.0800 Emptiness
1.0801 Joyful irony and western emptiness teachings
Tomas Sander
Within Buddhism, the emptiness teachings systematized by Nagarjuna are often said to be the highest expression of the nondual nature of reality, as well as the surest route to the liberation from suffering. Yet these teachings have been notoriously demanding to study. I will be introducing the framework for Western emptiness teachings, which combine soteriological savvy from the ancient East with examples and antidotes from the modern West. To see one's self as empty is to joyfully affirm one's membership in an essenceless, interdependent web of dependencies. But for someone interested in pursuing emptiness teachings, it can be hard to find them presented in a stepwise, systematic way. And even then, the teachings can be difficult to understand. They are sometimes given in the Tibetan Buddhist curriculum, and rarely found anywhere else. But the West has its parallels to emptiness teachings, articulated by anti-foundationalist, non-metaphysical teachers, beginning with the Greek Pre-Socratics. I will discuss three modern examples of this kind of teaching: Ludwig Wittgenstein on the notion of meaning, W.V.O. Quine on the notion of objectivity, and Kenneth Gergen on the social construction of the self. When pursued wholeheartedly in a supportive context, Western analogues to Buddhist emptiness teachings can result in an open-hearted, life-affirming "Joyful Ironism." The joy arises when one experiences new life-options made possible by the cessation of existential anxieties. The ironism is not the literary trope, but the combination of full engagement in the world with the deep-rooted knowledge that the world lacks a metaphysical foundation. Joyful irony is ironic not only about reality, but also about views and descriptions, including the very notion of "joyful irony" itself, which is regarded as no less empty than anything else. This talk is based on joint work with Greg Goode.
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1.0900 Enlightenment/Liberation/Realization
1.0901 What Enlightenment Means: A Qualitative Study of Nondual Consciousness as Experienced by Teachers of Nondual Mysticism
Michael Costeines
The intention of this dissertation was to qualitatively study nondual consciousness, known in nondual mystical traditions as enlightenment, by examining the lived experiences of purportedly enlightened spiritual teachers. Nondual consciousness was theorized as the culminating stage of psycho spiritual development. The literature review surveyed transpersonal theory, research, and mystical literature related to nondual consciousness, which was contrasted with egoic consciousness. Sixteen participants were interviewed in depth, using a semistructured format. Participants were spiritual teachers of nondual mysticism. Attention was focused on gathering a rich thematic description of the essential qualities of nondual consciousness. Thematic analysis identified key themes. Themes among participants described gradual transition from egoic consciousness to nondual consciousness through the process of nondual realization. Stable traits associated with mature nondual consciousness included nondual ontology, disidentification from mental constructs, timeless awareness, mental lucidity, nondual action, beatific peace, spontaneous joy, absence of neurotic suffering, unitive relationships, unitive love, awareness of spiritual immortality, and awareness of positive cosmology. Results help define the most advanced stage of transpersonal development discussed in the noetic literature and carry implications for the study of consciousness and human potential.
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1.0902 The #1 stumbling block to nondual realization
Greg Goode
This will be a practical session, like a lab, with graphical illustrations and experiments. When one does self-inquiry, there are many possible stumbling blocks along the way. The most common one I have seen while facilitating the inquiry of others is what I call the container metaphor. This is the web of everyday assumptions about human nature according to which we are something non-physical enclosed in something physical, like a Ghost in the Machine. According to this metaphor, based largely on the 17th century philosophy of Rene Descartes, our awareness is on the inside of the container, and objects existing apart from awareness are on the outside the container. This metaphor not only causes everyday feelings of finitude, fear and separation, but also conditions the way we interpret nondual teachings. Even advanced inquirers can interpret awareness as something localized and contained, akin to the sensory and cognitive field. This interpretation is a stumbling block that causes gross problems in one's inquiry, such as feelings of confinement and the fear of solipsism, and subtle problems such as the "intersubjective impasse" and the thought that being awareness means we need to shoot for omniscience. In this session we will do several experiments in awareness that dissolve the container metaphor. We will see that our direct experience is never one of containment or separation, but rather that we are always unbounded and free. We will discover the nature of our experience as loving, open, uncontained awareness.
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1.0903 Spaciousness and the Phenomenal World of Enlightenment: A Heuristic- phenomenological Inquiry
Kevin Krycka (Psychology, Seattle University)
This presentation takes as its starting point my relationship with two persons claiming enlightenment: one, a female Tibetan Buddhist teacher with whom I remained both student and phenomenological researcher for nearly a decade, and the other her younger brother. My journey into subtle and expanded states of consciousness as their student certainly informs my understanding of what is called enlightenment, yet it is their and my bodily apprehension of their enlightened living that forms the central axis of my inquiry and this presentation. Thus, I have two data points: my embodied experience and what I can know of theirs. Through systematically applying a heuristic-phenomenological method to my formal and informal exposure to these two persons, I have come to formulate an understanding of self-in-transcendence that places as its most fundamental possibility spaciousness, or what we might technically call transcendent bodily felt experiencing. This view of self illuminates transformational aspects of the human condition in general through attending to those experiences as felt, a starting point that is largely ignored by traditional psychology and philosophy but full of potential and excitement for our species. My analysis is grounded in the philosophical works of Eugene Gendlin, who underscores the legitimacy and primacy of experience as concretely felt. It assumes an existential position of 'experience first.' As such, an emerging theory about the fundamental experiential spaciousness of self can be made which accounts for embodied transformation that is not only descriptively honest but also reflexively instances the felt experience of enlightenment. Finally, a theory that is rooted in felt understanding thereby extends individual meaning into a conceptualization of Self that is essentially non-dual: both opening and grounded, now and future, terrestrial and non-terrestrial.
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1.1000 Epistemology and Knowledge
1.1001 On acquaintance with oneself
Jesse Butler (Philosophy and Religion, University of Central Arkansas) It is commonly thought that there is something special about our phenomenal knowledge of our own conscious minds. In order to account for this privileged kind of self-knowledge, a variety of philosophers (e.g. Ber-trand Russell, Earl Conee, David Chalmers) have appealed to the concept of acquaintance, claiming that our knowledge of our own conscious mental states comes about through an intimate acquaintance relationship that we hold with regard to those states. I, however, argue that this appeal to acquaintance is fundamentally misguided. It erroneously assumes a dualistic relationship between oneself and one's own conscious mental states, evoking a dichotomy between the knower and the known with regard to conscious self-knowledge. In contrast, I propose that in the case of our phenomenal knowledge of our own conscious mental states, the knower and the known are one and the same. We do not know our own conscious mental states by being acquainted with them, but rather by actually being composed of them, such that the immediate privileged knowledge we have of our own conscious mental states consists of those states themselves. This conception of phenomenal knowledge provides a more accurate understanding of the unique knowledge we have of our own conscious minds and may also help establish some connections between analytic philosophy and other disciplines involved in the study of consciousness and knowledge.
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1.1002 The nondual foundations of science
JoelMorwood (Non-profit educational)
Ours is a scientific age. If we are ever to have a real rapprochement between science and the nondual wisdom of the mystics, we must answer the question — why does science work? — from a nondual perspective. In this talk I will explore the mystics' claim that all distinctions are the imaginary products of our thought and language, superimposed on a fundamentally nondual reality. I will then suggest that, historically, science's extraordinary power has derived from its increasing utilization of an extraordinary new kind of language — mathematics — which focuses on creating quantitative rather than qualitative distinction. By superimposing evermore precise quantitative distinctions on an underlying nondual reality (both theoretically and observationally), mathematical science has allowed us to divide and reassemble phenomena in evermore precise and predictable ways.
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1.1100 Free will and Nonduality
1.1101 Ramana Maharshi and Einstein both said "Everything is (Predetermined" — Does contemporary science support such a controversial proposition?
Gary Weber
In response to "...are trifling acts also (predetermined), such as...moving from one part of the room to another?", the Indian non-dual sage Ramana Maharshi replied "Everything is predetermined." A similar quote comes from a surprising source: "Everything is determined... by forces over which we have no control.. .Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper." Albert Einstein Does contemporary science support these statements? Do we really have control of our actions and can we make intelligent, rational, meaningful decisions? As regards control of our actions, in 1983 Libet demonstrated that movement is initiated 550 milliseconds before it occurs; participants became aware of this 300 milliseconds later. Recently, brain states associated with complex "aha/Eureka" insights were detected up to eight seconds before becoming aware of the "aha". If action is initiated before we are aware of it; what does "free will" mean? Recent work demonstrated that thoughts and behavior are determined by our learning, environment, and increasingly genetics. What decisions are possible are determined by what your "nature" already is. Choices are made with your existing I, which "you" did not consciously assemble. Modern neurophysiology has revealed that the "I" is a construct of ad-hoc memories, mistakenly taken as a reality. Results from complex systems/chaos theory, which yielded the metaphor of a butterfly causing a hurricane, show conclusively that our "processors" are hopelessly inadequate for assembling the mountains of data needed for even simple decisions. Those processors are also incapable of then determining the effects of those decisions on all possible future interactions with others. Examples from everyday life, chess, the Bhagavad Gita, and quantum mechanics will demonstrate how this scientific work reveals the impossibility of intelligent choice and the illusion of "free will", sin and karma.
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1.1200 Hermeneutics
1.1300 Idealism
1.1400 Language and Nonduality
1.1401 Approaching non-duality via metaphor creation
Mei-Yan Chiang (Institute of Transpersonal Psychology)
Various Eastern spiritual traditions, such as Vedanta Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism, identified one crucial factor to attain the non-dual reality. By purifying our perception and ceasing identification with the temporal phenomena, we can potentially attain the impartial, perfect perception, and experience reality as it is. Our hidden perceptions, as suggested by recent studies in linguistics and neuroscience, are formed by the root metaphors that we use to structure our experiences. In other words, these metaphors describe and prescribe our realities. In this phenomenological study, the primary researcher conducted 7 interviews in which co-participants articulated their internal processes of moving from literal expressions to metaphorical expressions for past meaningful experiences. Findings from this study suggest that creating metaphor: (a) externalizes and makes visible the hidden perception, (b) moves the participant to the observer position, (c) reveals the nature, the structure of the issue, (d) evokes embodied emotional processing, (e) offers choices of viewpoints; and thus, increases the participant's mental flexibility, and (f) often elicits a transcendental state of being, which is accompanied by an expanded sense of self, a feeling of connectedness to the universal consciousness, a profound sense of relaxation and rootedness in the body, and a sense of clarity, competency and openness in the mind. This study will be presented dialectically with a mix of experiential elements, philosophical discussions, and applications and implications for the fields of education, psychotherapy, spiritual guidance, and business and social policy making.
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1.1402 Laws of Form and the Logic of Non-Duality
Louis Kauffman (Mathematics, University of Illinois at Chicago)
Every discrimination is inherently a process, and the structure of our world as a whole comes from the relationships whose exploration constitutes that world, s a reflexive domain. There is no place to hide in a reflexive domain, no fundamental particle, no irreducible object or building block. Any given entity acquires its properties through its relationships with everything else. The sense of such a domain is not at all like the set theoretic notion of collections of unrelated things, or things related by an identifiable property. It is more like a conversation or an improvisation, held up and moving in its own momentum, creating and lifting sound and meaning in the process of its own exchange. Conversations create spaces and events, and these events create further conversations. The worlds appearing from reflexivity are worlds nevertheless with those properties of partial longevity, emergence of patterns, emergence of laws, that we have come to associate with seemingly objective reality. This talk will trace how a mathematics of distinction arises directly from the process of discrimination and how that language, understood rightly as an opportunity to join as divide, can aid in the movement between duality and non-duality that is our heritage as human beings on this planet. The purpose of this talk is to express this language and invite your participation in it and to present the possibility that all our resources physical, scientific, logical, intellectual, empathic are our allies in the journey to transcend separation.
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1.1403 Where do our ideas come from? - An exploration of creativity, non-duality and the sacred.
Bent Le Hunte (English, Sydney University)
More often than not it is the poetic mind of any culture that is called upon to speak of life's mysteries. Throughout the history of poetics words have helped humans conceive and imagine the potential of a non-dual reality - a unified field. The Word is conceived in many religious traditions as a singular, undivided concept — a kind of cosmic soup from which all prophesy, all manifestation exists in synchronic time - all together, all at once. This is the place of universal story — the undivided symmetry or source. Linguists have explored the unified field of language — its ability, on a structural level, to exist in a pure, generative form. Mythologists have explored the universal story and its urge to transcend duality. Studies of creation myths often begin with a universal substance, like the milky oceans that were first stirred at the beginning of time for the Hindus. My work explores how literature actually demands a cohesive unity in order to express diversity in a powerful, meaningful way. Every story of universal import has to refer the reader back to universal, shared meaning. Good literature works as a revelation, presenting the timeless, universal field in a fresh, transforming way every time. Ultimately, literature is about communication, and the word 'communicate' has the concept of 'union' at its core. Perhaps words have the power to communicate precisely because humans have this primal ability to spin a yarn that creates their cosmos. Our creativity constructs the world we inhabit. And what tools we have in metaphor and rhyme! When the imagination conjures up 'caverns measureless to man,' it is hardly talking of the dualistic world that wears us down in familiarity. I believe it is giving us glimpses of possibilities well beyond those that tally in binary form.
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1.1404 Folk theory of nondual enlightenment
Jody Radzik
In the late 19th-century, the European spiritualist movement came into contact with the idea of nondual spiritual enlightenment. With only native Western conceptual structures to work with, the idea spawned a folk theory of nondual enlightenment in the West. The 19th-century spiritualists were particularly enamored of Pa-tanjali's Yoga Sutras, with its description of the fantastic siddhis. When this became the main selling point of a number of New Age progenitors, the folk theory became the genesis meme of practically all New Age religion. This constellation of speculative and superstitious notions about experiential nondual understanding is comprised mainly of images one might arrive at upon considering what it would be like to be the entire universe, God, or simply nonexistent, and is a reflection of a much older folk theory of enlightenment in the East. The result has been a stream of miracle and prosperity cults like "The Secret," as well a very long line of celebrity gurus, fakes and flimflammers. But could there be an even more insidious effect to these notions? The presence of nondual awareness is ongoing, according to Zen, Dzogchen, and Vedanta. Yet knowing it appears to be very uncommon. There have been many reasons proposed as to why. To these I would add that it's possible ideas about what nondual enlightenment is like as a subjective experience may actively prevent the understanding from coming to subjective awareness. Perhaps the ideas, in their form as neurological impulses, somehow occlude nondual awareness from being recognized as our own consciousness. The rope becomes a snake. Thus, the ideas many use to bring themselves to greater understanding could be the very things that stand most in their way, and yet to see this provides a foil against which we can begin to create new tools of understanding.
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1.1500 Materialism and Nonduality
1.1501 Strengthening opposites (duality) may help the realization of nondual awareness
Eric Mein (BioQuantum Medical, LLC)
An example of the importance of dynamic opposites is found in the physiological variable known as heart rate variability. Vitality in this measure is defined as strong input from both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which operate in direct opposition to each other. A decrease in the strength of this oppositional interplay is associated with illness and aging. This micro principal appears to reflect a broader macro principal enunciated by physicist Neils Bohr: "The opposite of a great truth is also true." Reflecting the polarization of the Absolute in our material world into dueling opposites, it may also hint that arriving at nondual awareness is best achieved by enhancing and fully appreciating these opposites rather than seeking the middle ground. In the same manner that stimulating both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems in synchrony can produce a state of bliss, it may be that it is in the gap, the place of emptiness between the fullest manifestations of opposing "truths" that nondual awareness is realized.
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1.1502 Divinity — Representation of Supra Mental Patterns
Vicky Suri, Dr. Monika Graven Dr. RajniA. Suri (Center for Biomedical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi)
Abstract Generally when humans talk about divine conscious, they consider it spiritual conscious. Generally when we say Spiritual, it can be considered Supra Mental. This lies between sensible and spiritual truth. Supra Mental enhancement can be considered as transformation from sensible reasoning to perceptible reasoning. In this paper an attempt has been made to explain spiritual enhancement and representation of Supra Mental Patterns. Introduction Generally conscious is considered as subconscious and conscious. Now some Scholars like J. Donald Walters propose Superconscious. The subconscious is based on part memories and past patterns of memory. Conscious can be considered - Sensible Intellect. That is, it is based upon inputs from the sense organs. Superconscious can be considered as Divine Conscious. Generally superconscious is considered the cleansing agent of subconscious. Moods According to floating Conscious Body has various sources of energies. They are called energy centers. Generally, they can be broadly classified in the following manner. A) Fine Energy Center: The energy from the center is very subtle and is required for mild and deep thinking process. B) Neutral Energy Center: The energy of this energy center is neutral in nature and is required for normal daily activities. C) Gross Energy Center: The energy from this center is gross and coarse. The conscious floats from one energy center to another according to will and according to situation and circumstances. When this floating process is desynchronized, then the person suffers from mood disorders. Basic Logical Representations of Supra Mental Some Logic Equations 2 representing Supra Mental Patterns are shown below. 1. Neither This nor This (Neti Neti) Philosophy: Value^System = TRUST (X) X - - TRUST (X) 2. Good & Bad (God and Satan) Philosophy: Value_System - TRUST (X) X = - TRUST (Y) Here X and Y represent a list of values in a human value system. Good and Bad philosophy is generally followed in all societies. But the seekers of True Knowledge seek Neti — Neti Philosophy.
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1.1503 What is consciousness in both material duality and immaterial nonduality settings?
Ben Young, Marilyn Schlitz; NoelMclnnis (Administration, Relationship Management Development Institute RMDI)
In addition to understanding consciousness from an objective scientific perspective, it is essential to understand knowing IONS mission is to advance the science of consciousness and human experience to promote individual and collective transformation, and that this Panel consists of three contributors to the new IONS Facebook Page on "What is Consciousness"? ,will be worth knowing as a help in orienting to the approach used in addressing this subject matter. Marilyn Schlitz is IONS President and CEO, Ben Young is a long time Noetic Consciousness practitioner, and Noel Mclnnis, is the ex Brain Mind Bulletin Editor, and Consciousness practitioner. Each will present a one sentence Statement of their current cutting edge, focus on consciousness, and then we will open the workshop up to participants in dialogue... Marilyn Schlitz 1 "Is it possible that consciousness, rather than being an end-product of material evolution, was here first?"; Ben Young 2 "Consciousness is a Milieu of Enforming and Informing Potential, rather than a Mechanism"; Noel Mclnnis 3 "Operationally, consciousness simultaneously both records and projects whatever is within its purview, and the relationship between these two operations may be irreducibly ambiguous."
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1.1600 Miscellaneous
1.1700 NeoAdvaita
1.1800 Nondual Inquiry
1.1801 Into the light: Seeing through identifications and the realization of oneness - The role of individual sessions
GailBrenner (Private practice)
Identifications are constellations of thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations that develop into a story that the mind believes to be true. They are automatic, unexplored, deeply entrenched habits that are at the root of separation. Most people who experience spiritual awakening continue to be distracted by identifications for some time. When these habits are fully investigated, they are seen to be false and fall away naturally. Individual sessions with an experienced practitioner can be a useful modality for a deep and precise study of identifications that facilitates their release and creates the possibility for the realization to stabilize. A true willingness to investigate everything is a prerequisite for this inquiry. The practitioner offers an open and accepting space and guides the client to: 1. deconstruct the identification into its elements, e.g., thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, energetic aspects; 2. welcome the components of the pattern by directly experiencing them in conscious awareness; 3. continue allowing the experiences as they change, shift, or deepen until the pattern is seen through fully; 4. illuminate the underlying beliefs that support the story of the identification; and 5. acknowledge the historical antecedents of and rationale for the pattern (may require additional healing work). Once the identification is seen for what it really is, the client is invited to consider, "What do I really want?," which invariably is freedom from the suffering invoked by the pattern. In addition, the client's attention is pointed to the space of awareness in which the entire play occurs. This process of direct inquiry either uncovers or eliminates resistance and brings a great deal of awareness to a habitual arising. With each repetition, the identification softens, and Reality is known even more deeply - fresh, alive, and unconditioned.
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1.1802 The Myth Or Seeing
Cee Elbert (Present Nonexistence Foundation)
The Myth of Seeing Stories, poems, and satsang would be the offering at this years symposium by Cee, a meditation teacher in the Advaita Vedanta tradition. She has written "The Way of Knowledge" a practical guide to knowing the Self through Advaita Vedanta and "The Myth of Seeing" nondual fiction. If you understand how all objects are perceptions And all perceptions are thoughts You have arrived You can take off your seat belt Stretch your stiff legs Stand up Get off The cramped plane going nowhere The presentation will invite participants to experience how everything seen is illusory, exactly like a dream. Knowing this allows the great freedom of BEING what is prior to all the dreaming. Sometimes I slither, sometimes fly Sometimes important Mostly not Enduring pain or dancing blithely No matter what dream I wake into I am always here Immeasureable space without a single thought Here Tension in your shoulders Here Single cell amoeba Here I put on civilizations And take them off like underwear Whatever Matter Appears I Am.
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1.1803 Who Wants to Know? Earnest Self-Inquiry in Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta
Marty Heitz (Philosophy, Oklahoma State University)
This paper explores the features peculiar to the investigation known as "self-inquiry" in the spiritual teaching of Sri Ramana Maharshi and explores the unique place and meaning of "earnestness" in this inquiry, especially as spoken of in the work of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. It is shown that by inquiring into the self one discovers that it is neither a thing separable from other things nor is it to be found in the temporal stream of thinking, and so this form of inquisitive attention differs from every other investigation into "what is." It also reveals the double-sided aspect of earnestness as both negatively spurred by the realization of the limitations of and suffering produced by the egoic self as well as positively driven by the uncovering of the unlimited dimension of being that arises simultaneously.
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1.1804 "The Meaning of Life in 13 Minutes" A short humorous film about the origins of the persistent illusion of separation and some of its implications
Chuck Hillig (Black Dot Films, Locust Grove, VA)
The core of nondualism holds that everything is, quintessentially, only One. However, any meaningful presentation of this ineffable subject still requires us to use words that are fully grounded in a dualistic world. Every attempt to, seemingly, divide the indivisible utterly fails because of the inherent paradoxical nature of the Truth. In short, how can we step outside the Oneness if there's really no "outside" to be stepping into? As Alan Watts used to say, "A fingertip cannot point at itself." The overarching challenge in this whole nondual area, of course, lies in creating new and innovative ways to present this "non-material." The little film, "The Meaning of Life in 13 Minutes," is based on Chuck Hillig's classic book, "Enlightenment for Beginners." By avoiding the use of esoteric words or complicated ideas, the film succeeds in bypassing the mind's desire to logically "figure -it-all-out." This deceptively simple story reveals how and why you've been cleverly imagining yourself to be only a separate and limited Being. After first identifying the Viewer as "Black Dot #1," the film then shows how your life becomes a fascinating game of pretending to NOT be "Black Dot #2." Using easily-understood words, drawings and music, this animated film invites the Viewer to discover in their he art-of-hearts that they really are "who" it is that they've been looking for.
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1.1805 "The End of the Fairy Tale and Trie Beginning of Happily Ever After, A Nondual Exploration of Romantic Relationship
Lynn Marie Lumiere, Marlies Cocheret De La Moriniere
The Nondual Truth is that there is an appearance of an "other," but in truth, there is only one Consciousness manifesting itself in many forms. If there truly is no "other," then there really is no such thing as personal relationship. This workshop will be an inquiry into the implications of this Nondual Truth within romantic relationship, as well as couple's therapy. We will explore the myths or "fairy tales" that are commonly believed individually and collectively. We will contrast these beliefs with the Nondual Truth. For example, most clients who come to therapy believe on some level that love is found outside themselves. The Nondual Truth is that we are love itself. Therefore, there is actually no "one" outside ourselves from whom to seek love. In addition, we will examine the different qualities of relationship lived from separation vs. relationship lived from Nondual Truth. Relationships that are believed to be between two separate identities are based in fear, need, dependency and attachment, in varying degrees. A relationship based in Nonduality is impersonal and has qualities of freedom, wholeness, detachment, and appreciation. We will include a discussion of sexuality that moves from Oneness vs. sexuality based in egoic and physical needs. The workshop will also demonstrate and discuss different aspects of working with relationship issues from a nondual perspective in a clinical setting. This exploration will include a live demonstration of couples therapy. In addition, we will include experiential dyad exercises that will facilitate a sense of the nondual in relationship. The audience will have an opportunity to experience what it is like to sit in the therapist seat from a non-dual perspective. Case examples of working with this new evolution of relationship will be included along with a handout, which includes ways to work with couple's from this perspective.
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1.1806 Nonduality and tarot divination: A convergence in TNP
Art Rosengarten (Paragon House)
NONDUAL INQUIRY refers to teaching techniques designed to "thin-out" or dissolve thought-identifications so that the capacity for conceptual elaboration is seriously undermined. Direct seeing is then possible. Typically words and language itself supply the "net" through which constructions are initially made, questioned, and, in turn, deconstructed or dissolved. An example is the checking question "What is this?" ostensibly leading a student to discover the ultimate "unfindability" of self or objects existing independently from their own sides. PICTURES WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS Tarot invites interesting possibilities as a tool of nondual inquiry. The press of a tarot card stimulates a "resonance" intended to instill emotional connection to its meaning. An unusual and captivating energy is then released. Owing to its essential visual-symbolic composition, pictures (not words) supply "image nets" through which conditioned experience is interpreted. This immediacy and versatility generates an efficient vehicle for nondual transmission. Experientially, as Alan Watts observed: "The ear cannot detect as many variables at the same time as the eye, for sound is a slower vibration than light." Tarot spreads can be built and dismantled as contemplatively as Tibetan Sand Mandalas, confronted as paradoxically as natural koans, or appear as mysteriously timely as hexagrams from The I Ching. Tarot is further primed for this work by its unique: pocket-sized portability, non-reliance on language, simultaneity of deep meanings, effortless delivery, unmoving stillness in contemplation, and acausal/atemporal source of entry, namely, synchronicity via natural divination. Tarot of the Nine Paths (TNP), an original deck created by psychologist/author Dr. Art Rosengarten, is especially well-suited for deconstructive work. Adhering to tarot's major arcana though crafted contemplatively from Jungian Sandplay, TNP is a perfect matrix of twenty-seven principles based on the magical properties of number nine, a symbol which, paradoxically and nondualistically, behaves like both a something and a nothing.
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1.1807 Relaxation: the royal road to non-duality in a three level model of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy
PaulSoons (Dep. of Medical Psychology and Neuropsychology, Faculty of Social Sciences)
Kwee (1996) tentatively postulated a model of seven basic emotions, which constitute three levels. On the first level there are negative emotions:(l) depression, (2) fear and (3) anger. On the second level there are positive emotions: (5) joy and (6) love. Finally on the third level there is (7) silence or non-duality. On the first level you can work with cognitive behavioral therapies like Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (Ellis)and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (Beck). Also Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (Segal, Williams, Teasdale) functions on this level. In these therapies patients ate treated with DSM-problems. On the second level there are psychotherapies who promote positive and higher emotions. Positive psychology (Seligman) and Cognitive Humanistic Therapy (Nelson-Jones)operate on this level; some cognitive behavioral techniques derived from Buddhism, like those based on the Brahma Viharas (Soons, 2006) function on this transpersonal level. Level one and level two aim to enhance the observing self or the observing function (Soons, 2008). The final level of non-duality goes beyond the observing self; there is no "I" or self anymore. There is only silence, equanimity, serenity and ultimate relaxation. In this abstract is postulated that relaxation exercises from different origins can contribute to realizing Buddanature. When psychotherapists work with their clients on the highest level, then this can have a beneficial effect on problems on the other lower levels. - Kwee, M.G.T. (1996). A multimodal systems view on psyche, affect and the basic emotions. In: M.G.T. Kwee, & T.L.Holdstock (Eds.). Western & Buddhist psychology: Clinical perspectives. Netherlands: Eburon. - Soons, P.H.G.M. (2006). Emotional changes in REBT and in Buddhist Psyhcology. In: M.G.T. Kwee, KJ. Gergen & E Koshikawa (Eds.). Horizons in Buddhist Psychology: Practice, research & Theory, Taos Institute Publications,Ohio. - Soons, P.H.G.M. (2008). The witness in CBT and Buddhist Psychology. In: T.P.S. Oei & C.S.K. Tang (Eds.). Current research & practices on CBT in Asia. University of Queensland, Austtalia.
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1.1808 What is the reality of our experience?
Francis Lutille
Francis invites questions from the audience and responds spontaneously. The session will begin with a short period of silence followed by a brief introduction on the reality of our experience.
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1.1900 Personal Identity and Nonduality
1.1901 Authenticity and the Play of Unconditioned Presence in Psychotherapy
Ken Bradford (Graduate School for Holistic Studies, John F. Kennedy University)
This presentation will explore the meaning of authenticity and how it is cultivated in psychotherapy. It follows Heidegger's early understanding of authenticity as "resolute searching" to his later sense of it as "release-ment". This development reflects a deepening appreciation of human nature as essentially unconditioned, and opens a way to engage in therapeutic exchanges as healing play. This is congruent with the Buddha's recognition of human nature as empty-openness, which thus allows for the spontaneous release (rang-drol) of fixations. Implications for psychotherapy practiced according to this knowledge are far-reaching. For instance, the idea of seeking an "authentic self" or "true self" will be contrasted with authenticity as a being-open, or selflessness, which can yield to unconditioned liveliness (tsal-wa). The differences and complementarities between a "resolute search" for authentic truth involving the effort of will, including the willingness "to fight for one's life", and the potentiality of "natural release" that occurs effortlessly through undistracted yet non-intentional presence will be discussed. Distinctions will be drawn between "evenly-hovering attention", "mindfulness", and "unconditional presence". The therapeutic difference between a search for meaning vs. neither searching for nor not searching for {and constructing) meaning will be considered. This presentation will include an experiential exercise in dyads: "Listening from the heart of silence", which provides an opportunity for participants to distinguish conditioned searching from unconditioned letting-be, and to evaluate this difference. Pitfalls and confusions of resolute searching and natural release will be considered as they arise. NDC 5
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1.1902 Lucid Living: Waking up to oneness and celebrating separateness
Tim Freke (Hay House)
Based on an experiential investigation of the present moment, Tim Freke argues that reality is predicated on 'polarity'. A polarity consists of opposites which can only exist together. He suggests that reality should not be seen as either dual or non-dual but both dual and non-dual. To help us reconcile our human experience of separateness with the awakened 'gnosis' of oneness, Freke investigates the ancient idea that 'life is like a dream'. We appear to be separate individuals within the life-dream. But when we become conscious of our deeper nature, we realize there is one awareness, dreaming itself to be everyone and everything. He calls this awakened state 'lucid living' because it is comparable to 'lucid dreaming'. When we dream lucidly we continue to experience the dream, but we are conscious that the person we appear to be is only our dream-persona. Our deeper nature is the dreamer. Similarly we can live lucidly by becoming conscious that there are two poles to our identity in the waking state. We appear to be separate personas in the life dream, but essentially we are the oneness of awareness within which everything is arising. Freke suggests that to become conscious of oneness we don't need to reject separateness, but to celebrate our individuality, because it is only through the experience of separate-ness that the One can come to know itself. Lucid living is consciously appreciating both the essential oneness and the apparent separateness. It is not either/or... it is both/and.
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1.1903 The Man In Trie Maze: Masculine Spirituality, Balance and Meaning
David Holan (Transformative Studies, Calif. Inst. of Integral Studies) The idea of male spirituality often conjures up images of men in some private place in the desert or woods, in a circle beating their drums, getting in touch with their inner wild man or warrior. While there is something primitive and primal about such a ritualistic experience, does it encompass the totality of a man's spiritual life? Is that all that pains the modern man, this suffering from the grief of the lost need for the wild man? It is suggested that male spirituality goes much deeper than just the loss of this primal need and its related grief. This presentation identifies eight areas of interest related specifically to male spirituality, and utilizes the metaphor of the Man-in-the-maze icon (of southwestern Native American origin) as a map to address them. These areas, identified from previous researchers by Castellini, et al. (2005) are: 1) the need for male bonding; 2) the need for men to have their masculinity affirmed by other men; 3) a sense of self in relationship to one's God; 4) a sense of isolation and existential loneliness; 5) a sense of abandonment by one's father; 6) a lack of rites and rituals to celebrate and recognize stages of life, i.e., the initiation into manhood; 7} a lack of coping strategies for stress; and 8) comfort from fear and grief. The symbol, seven concentric circles surrounding a center transitional point, correlate well with these eights areas. This presentation suggests a holistic view of male spirituality in contemporary Western culture, and discusses an approach to nondual mindfulness. Discussion will center around the eight factors mentioned above, and will suggest definitions and concepts from a variety of bodies of knowledge, especially the difference between soul and spirit and how they can best be balanced by psyche.
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1.1904 Logic, Nature and the Town Council
Marvin Kirsh (Anthropology)
Suppose at a town meeting, instead of discussion, debate, and vote on issues relevant to the services of a town, consider a meeting on a topic referenced with respect to faces, the town hall, the town, the delegates, the issues, and more important the faces of processes, activities, of the town hall and its' constituents as a concerted unit with the new domain, faces of "Town Faces of Nature Science Meeting", and to be framed, measured/divided in reference to the qualia of possessing the characteristic efface" in all aspects. I will hope to demonstrate that inherent with the attribute description "face" is cause to suggest an inherent logic to its' cognitive assembly that is characteristic and universal, and of all of the possible divisions of nature, of divisions to those divisions, that are able to comprise a cogent, complete, potentially existing in reality, relationship of town council members to any of the processes of city hall, to themselves, to a topic effaces or to logic . The face(s) of processes regardless of their identity are here made into existence as the rangefinder on a split image camera brings into focus a coherent view from flexible divides that are, in this example, willed, focused into meaning by the operator of the camera. At this juncture of a framing means and its' analogy to the mechanical framing of a camera, I will try to bring to light the divided topic of the endeavors of science as they are applied to explanation of the world, to demonstrate that whether the topic is the town or science, the town or science meeting hall, or the faces of nature, or the faces effaces or a universal 'logic', that all facets bear the same natural 'logic' to describe them when referenced this way.
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1.2000 Philosophy (Eastern)
1.2001 Varieties of Nonduality
Brant Cortright (Integral Counseling Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies)
What is known as nonduality in the west is but a small sliver of nondual systems. Nonduality is a much richer, more inclusive perspective than is popularly conceived. Shankara and Ramana Maharshi are the two most well known teachers of what is popularly called nondualism and see the Divine as a vast, Impersonal consciousness, with this world an illusion and the path to this Impersonal Reality through mindfulness or jnana. But there are numerous other nondual systems with a very different view of the Divine and the path to the Divine. Some of these reveal the Divine to be not just Being but a Being, an infinite Personal Being of which our individual soul is a portion. The path to realization is through the heart - bhaktl, love, devotion. And this world is real, the body of the Divine, not an illusion from which we need to escape as soon as possible. This presentation widens the frame of nondualism and explores what these other systems have to offer. Sri Aurobindo's integral yoga and integral philosophy provide an integrating framework which is evolutionary and has broad implications for human growth, psychology, and daily living.
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1.2002 Spirit and Matter: A Graded Reality not Duality
Mohammad Sadegh Zahedi (Philosophy, Imam Khomeini International University)
Is there unity or plurality? Is plurality an Illusion and there is nothing but an absolute existent? Does spirit fundamentally differ from matter? Is spiritual world separated from material one? The challenges between monism and pluralism are still alive among philosophers. According to our common sensual belief which has been the foundation of our classical modern science, plurality is true and reality is a collection of separated things. But the question whether there is a unity behind these separated things and whether all things have a common rote are still live philosophical questions. In this paper I'm going to explain the philosophical views of the most influential philosopher in the Islamic philosophy since 17th century till now; Sadr -al -Din ai- Shirazi (Mulla Sadra). According to Mulla Sadra, there is just one reality not realities and this unique unified reality is a graded one. Mulla Sadra does not consider spiritual reality as opposed to material one. In his view reality begins with spirituality and ends to material one and the common rote of all things is existence. His theory is called Transcendental Existentialism which I'm going to explain it in my paper.
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1.2100 Philosophy (Western)
1.2101 Science and spirituality: A relational model for exploring the nature of reality and bridging dualisms
Julia Bystrova (Independent) This presentation offers that the most basic operative at work in the world is the dynamic of relating, or "relationality". This claim offers it as more foundational than many of the scientific or spiritual views on the cosmos and life. I first offer a basic model for understanding this relationality and then explore some significant ways we see it at work in science, philosophy and religion. Building on this commonality to both science and spirituality, I build a philosophical language and understanding that promotes a meta-view on the nature of reality. This meta-view recognizes the ultimate nonduality of consciousness and all life, yet it also recognizes the need to accommodate some dualistic ideas for functional reasons. Relational concepts assist in integrating the splits in our thinking. Bringing together in mutual importance the rational processes of our mind with the our experience of the body will help to bridge the split in the perceived mind-body dualism. In this way, it is my hope that I can offer some tools to facilitate our thinking towards more nondualistic concepts while maintaining the respect and integrity of the scientific process. Relational thinking can also promote dialogue between diverse perspectives and, ultimately, to support the evolution of consciousness of our species.
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1.2102 From the Fieldpath to the Forest Clearing Where Nothing Nothings and We are Not: "Explorations into Martin Heidegger's Concepts in Light of Nondual Teaching of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj."
Mila Makal
We use an analogy from Martin Heidegger's "Hie Fieldpath" to explore various concepts, including access point, concealment, clearing, and open region. A question, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" will take us back to pre-Socratic Greece, where "being" was still a philosophical question. As Heidegger explores the unquestioned assumptions and contaminated concepts, Nisargadatta Maharaj, offers succinct pointers for interpretation from the nondual point of view, Both are concerned with "being", presented in a manner characterized by Heidegger as, "rigor of meditation, carefulness in saying, frugality with words." Heidegger starts his destruction of the Western metaphysical concepts where the "Being" has been forgotten or covered up across the history. Heidegger uses his phenomenology, as a path to unfolding, liberating and revealing of what was concealed. From the void, prior to being and non-being, Nisargadatta encourages such discarding of concepts, until the clearing opens us to our "Ek-sistence." "To exist means to be something, a thing, a feeling, a thought, an idea. All existence is particular. Only being is universal, in the sense that every being is compatible with every other being." Western and Eastern thinking does not speak the same language. However, for Heidegger and Maharaj the way is more important than method. While Heidegger dismantles all contaminated concepts, Maharaj is unapologetically dissing the whole of thinking. Nothing you can perceive or understand can be of any value! Heidegger's thinking opens the possibility of a dialogue. Sayings like, "Nobody gains it, who does not have it," motivated Chang Chung-Yuan to state that, "Heidegger is the only Western philosopher who not only intellectually understands but has intuitively grasped Taoist thought." Furthermore, when Heidegger states, "A person is not a thing or a process but an opening through which the absolute manifests," we can see that there is something worth looking into.
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1.2103 Non-Duality in the Platonist Tradition (Plato, Plotinus, Hegel, Emerson, and the Romantic Poets)
Robert Wallace
Platonism is widely assumed to be dualistic, but Plato in fact sought to subsume his famous matter/Form and body/soul dualities within a higher unity. This is why Plato's great followers — Plotinus, Hegel, Emerson and others — are not dualists. Instead, they show how to _do justice to what motivates_ dualistic thinking, while going beyond it. Romantic poets such as Blake, Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Rilke and Mary Oliver follow in this central western non-dualist Platonic tradition. Thus while we can obviously learn from eastern traditions such as advaita vedanta and from quantum physics, we can also learn a great deal from western philosophy and literature about how to go beyond our dualistic habits of thinking. Speaker: Robert M. Wallace, PhD (Cornell University, Philosophy), author of _Hegel's Philosophy of Reality, Freedom, and God_ (Cambridge University Press, 2005), website: ww.robertmwallace.com.
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1.2104 The Phenomenological Self
Ben White
If philosopher poets are welcome at your gathering, I offer an abstract - 125 words of a 745-word poem, "The Phenomenological Self." The complete poem can easily be put into a three-panel, nine-square poster presentation with a reading and discussion session: The Phenomenological Self Bracket me in the present moment The past happened Or didn't happen Anyway I say Or think Or believe It did or didn't And I can even argue And disagree With the historians And the experts Who say Or think Or believe Differently — And the future, Oh, the future, The future May not happen at all But if I open up And allow possibility To enter my realm — And the I in me Can suppose it all To be my realm — There may be A novel emergent That enters into being — Its being My being The being A being in itself Of itself For itself, But by then It will be the present moment again So bracket me in the present moment.
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1.2200 Postmodern Approaches
1.2201 Non-Dual Economics, or "How Money Surfs the Collapse of the Quantum Wave Function: a Multi-Disciplinary, Mystical, and Activist Perspective."
Alex Gordon-Brander (Global Currency Project)
When we look under the dismal surface of economics into the true nature of money, we find a strangely shamanic situation. Our culture has collectively empowered a set of symbols with creative potency, and then allowed those symbols to shape the manifestation of reality. Totems called "banknotes" and "bank accounts" direct the unfolding of billions of tons of matter into specific patterns and shapes in the material world, despite being nothing more than a few pieces of paper or magnetized strips on a hard drive. Traditional Economics was concerned with understanding how these patterns and shapes of matter and information were distributed, between individuals and around the world. Ecological Economics expanded that scope by locating the economic system within a broader ecology and the constraints of physics, and asked ethical questions such as "is it okay for us to use up all the good stuff before our grandchildren are born?" Now, Non-Dual Economics takes economic discourse beyond goods, services, and rational actors, behind even the physics of matter, to examine Money as an aspect of the mystical process of Creation itself. Drawing from a wide range of sources including quantum physics and the wisdom traditions, the role of money in the metaphysical process of manifestation of the reality we experience around us will be explored both conceptually and through visualization and inner experience. Money will be shown to be a prime mover in the space prior to creation, revealing the global economy as a self-creating, self-manifesting entity with a destructive shadow. Finally, Non-Dual Economics will be shown to be an inherently practical discipline; the author will discuss some of his own attempts to hack economic reality from a non-dual, taoist and kabbalistic perspective, revealing economics as dharma, or 'tikkun olam', the healing of the world.
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1.2300 The Concept of Nonduality
1.2301 A Sufi perspective on "non-duality"
Kabir Helminski
The language and metaphysics of the Quran has served as an extraordinary vehicle for the communication and exploration of non-duality among the mystics/contemplatives of Islam. One of Islam's central concepts is "Tawheed." This has sometimes been mistranslated as "monotheism", as if Tawheed were merely a remedy for polytheism (which equates to "idolatry" in the Muslim framework). But Tawheed is Absolute Oneness, and one of the most important Surahs of the Quran, "Ikhlas", is a profound, succinct statement that can be understood to mean: IT IS ONE, ALLAH, NEITHER "BORN" NOR "GIVING BIRTH" AND NOTHING COMPARABLE EXISTS. We will explore the ways in which Sufis understand Tawheed as the "Oneness/Unification of all levels of existence."
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1.2302 Stumbling into Nonduality
Jerry Katz (Nonduality.com)
This talk has three main points: "You stumble into nonduality — You pursue nonduality to self-realization — Your work life and creative life may give rise to "nondual perspectives." "I myself do not know how I stumbled into this so how do you expect me to give it to another?" U. G. rCrishnamurti The word "stumbling" is often seen in spiritual teachings. People stumble into nonduality, into truth, into grace, into the mystical, into "this." The stumbling is not rare. What is unusual is the valuing, the sensing of worth and importance in what was stumbled upon. For many it is too difficult to integrate the stumbling into everyday life, so it is mostly forgotten. The pursuit of nonduality may take many forms. You may investigate the teachings of many people. You may explore various traditions. You may experiment with different practices. You may get exhausted with searching and have another stumbling: "You don't find truth as much as you stumble upon it when you have cast away your illusions." Adyashanti Self-realization is living from the ground of being or "I Am." It can be accomplished, stumbled upon, through the pursuit of nonduality. A primary practice is self-inquiry, as taught by Ramana Maharshi ("One should know one's self. For that, the path of knowledge, the inquiry of the form 'Who am I?', is the principal means.") and recommended by Nisargadatta Maharaj ("Watch the sense 'I am', find your real Self."). Living from self-realization, some people create works that could be classified as nondual perspectives. They may be identified in a number of fields including psychotherapy, education, neurology, physics, ecology, martial arts, art, and literature. The assumption is that each person in the audience has already stumbled into the nondual. They are asked, even challenged, to intensely value and pursue their stumbling toward self-realization.
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1.2303 Not-duality is not the same as Non-Duality
Kali Ma (School of Yogic Buddhism, The School of Yogic Buddhism)
In the search for non-duality, spiritual seekers will often instead slip into a mind-set of not-duality, which is another version of dualism, couched in exalted spiritual language. This paper highlights the hidden dualistic assumptions that arise in the journey into non-dual experience as summarized in the Buddhist Dzogchen teachings on the four philosophical extremes, the four ways that the meaning of non-duality is confused. It exposes how non-duality is often confused as monism or nihilism and how these views differ from the realization of non-duality as set forth in Dzogchen. It suggests a path out of dualistic paradigms through embracing the experience of ambiguity and paradox in which non-dual experience and dualistic conceptions both take place. It suggests that the key to the discovery of non-duality relies on entering wakefully into the experience of dualism rather than denying it.
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1.2304 Visions of Nonduality and Quantum Consciousness in William James' "Subjective Effects of Nitrous Oxide"
Keith Turausky
The reputation of William James as the Great American Philosopher remains a commonplace in consciousness studies, even a century after his death. But it is a sign of how much society has changed that an intellect of James' eminence could ever have unabashedly written on such a topic as the "Subjective Effects of Nitrous Oxide" — much less using entirely anecdotal data collected from his own recreational use of the anesthetic! It is a sign of James' truly *phenomenal* genius, though, that even these now-risque explorations bear out history's glowing remembrance of his prognostic abilities. When he published 1882's "Subjective Effects of Nitrous Oxide" (among several of his writings on the subject), James could know nothing of relativity, much less quantum mechanics; what he knew was that nitrous oxide engendered a powerful vision of nonduality he could describe only, to his chagrin, as "Hegelian." Nevertheless, an informed modern reading of the essay suggests James might have caught a glimpse of the forces at work in the quantum model of consciousness known as Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR. Whether or not the Orch OR model is precisely accurate, it is backed by solid evidence that anesthetics such as nitrous oxide (N2O, a.k.a. laughing gas) affect the physical brain at the quantum level. If one accepts this much, it stands to reason that the phenomenology of nitrous oxide-induced conscious states would likewise involve quantum strangeness, manifested perhaps as a vision of nonduality. One with the intellectual stamina to *take notes* on the scene thus revealed would be a rare genius indeed, but such an accolade would come as nothing new for the great William James.
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1.2305 The way of unification: A dialog with non-duality
Nikos Yiangou (Beshara)
The "Oneness of Being" is the articulation of a perspective attributed to the great master Ibn 'Arab! to explain the integral unity of all things. In this view, oneness is considered the actual state of being, in which all beings in relationship, including our own, are tied together in a very real way. Our experience of our existence, however, suggests a duality of aspects, of self and other, good and bad, inner and outer. What is the basis of this apparent duality, and how can the barriers to an essential vision of oneness be overcome so that our consciousness of our selves and the world becomes consciousness of the real, in a true context of no-otherness? Can the teaching of oneness contribute to the dialog on non-duality? Is there something to be learned from the core spiritual teachings of those who have traveled the path of unification? This paper will attempt to explore some of these ideas, and offer a perspective to promote a deeper understanding of the meaning of non-duality. We will explore how the importance of articulating a framework of oneness can be instrumental in providing a context for realizing the full potential of the human condition. Within a context of oneness, a duality of aspects has a meaning and significance if those aspects are the faces of the same being; how this knowledge is applied in our lives, as seekers, lovers and aspirants is the science of the soul, the transformational work of the inner life. Psychology, the feminine, and science are a few of the areas in which this approach may offer some fresh insights into the ongoing dialog. It is a vision that attempts to be inclusive of all views, in which the diversity of knowledge may be correlated and synthesized into a truly holistic vision.
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