First, thank you Dr. Menas Kafatos for a delightful and interesting interview!! And Aurora, thank for you bringing me into this conversation!
In listening to this interview, I appreciated how Menas states the missing link between science and spirituality is consciousness, creating a collaborative environment of coexistence rather than focusing on the apparent duality. In processing this interview, I was reminded of the “Getting to Know Qualia” section at the end of the book and found it helpful to use this to outline my response.
Item #30 states: “Spiritual practices fine-tune self-awareness. When the tuning is fine enough, qualia no longer mask where they come from…Consciousness sees itself and recognizes its pure, absolute existence—the pre-created state…(some of) which…gets interpreted as the paranormal, miracles, and wonders. In fact, the supernatural doesn’t exist except as a subtler aspect of nature unfolding in qualia. These outside-the-normal-qualia have as much legitimacy as the qualia that science has stamped with respectability” (244-5).
Examples Menas used in the interview to describe states of awareness included the dream state and personal experiences. This reminded me of an answer Dr. Kafatos provided to a question I posed on this forum relating to the existence of ‘paranormal’ activity; this response reminds me we’re all connected! ☺ Meditation is another great example discussed in both.
Item #31 of “Getting to Know Qualia” discusses qualia medicine, and reminded me further of the interview, relating to the fusion of eastern and western philosophy and medicine. This also made me think of Aurora’s medical-spiritual transformational work with clients!
Skipping to item #38, it reads, “Self-awareness, coming to terms with its true nature, will be the starting point for the next leap in our creative evolution as a species” (256-7). Number 39 continues, “This leap in evolution will be conscious, dictated by human aspirations,” and #40, “Qualia science could take our civilization in the direction of wholeness, healing, and enlightenment” (257). These points seem to summarize those made within the interview, and I could not be more supportive of this goal, as I agree integrating “science” and “spirit” has the potential to heal the world.
To create this fusion Menas speaks of within the interview, he declares we need to work from the wisdom that we’re ALL the observer; We Are the Universe! He asks, “Why is it science when observed on a lab table but not when we experience it in our own life?” These “two worlds” are really ONE!!
This absolutely spoke to me and of my own journey through science, such as it is today…I was a pre-vet student in a college chemistry class. We were reviewing an exam, and when we came to a question that was marked wrong on mine, I raised my hand. The question was written as an “always/never” and the decidedly correct answer was C. Why would it never differ from that, I posed aloud. Surely some environment exists, whether on our planet or another, in which that could NOT be the case. Yes, pressure and temperature have this relationship with volume, but how can this person, how can SCIENCE, say those particular observed outcomes can and will never change? “The answer is C and will never deviate from C.” At that moment, I knew the close-mindedness of hard sciences and I had to break up, because my personal experiences and my heart tell me truths the scientific community at-large seems to either deny or reject. I followed my gifting of communication, and eventually found a new academic home in sociology. Considered a “soft science,” this field allows me to consider, speak to, and even utilize my personal experiences for the sake of expanding knowledge, merging the scientific method with the spiritual nature of our existence, marrying qualitative and quantitative data. As Menas asserts in the interview, the science of separation, of this so-called objectivity, no longer serves us.
I agree with Dr. Kafatos that we are currently experiencing a shift in unity and collaboration across disciplines, universities, seas, and countries. There is a preference to interprofessional education and collaboration, from the medical field to architecture. We’re also starting to see this in the scientific community through the formation of spiritual practices into tangible tools, with awareness embedded within. An example of this is Appreciative Inquiry, an organic system of posing questions to heighten the positivity and potential of people, organizations, and ultimately our universe. Yet I find that awareness/spirituality/consciousness aspects are still being dismissed. Similarly, when I’ve shared information regarding collective consciousness, from the power of meditation and the mind to the vast communication system we’re discovering exists in trees, there seems to be a large disconnect between the “facts” (ie wavelength graphs of tree potentials) and the connection to the energy source and the larger message of how this information can and does directly impact our everyday lives.
Closing this gap is a mission about which I’m very passionate. I look forward to helping contribute to a new paradigm of aligning our minds and hearts to the unlimited reality surrounding us! And how exciting it is to think about where we as a society can be the more these truths are realized! I wonder: what will qualia science look like in the next decades?
Thanks again for such amazing, impactful work,