05/29/2017 at 12:14 pm #6364
Menas KafatosModerator41 votes@menask
05/29/2017 at 12:38 pm #6365
This was a very interesting interview, thank you Menas! It was great to hear about your background, about the cooperation with Deepak, how you avoided the G-word (ha!) and why science and spirituality are such natural companions to you. It is always inspiring to hear the point of view of scientists who are open and inclusive of all dimensions of the world, inner and outer.
Am also glad to hear that you share the conclusion I too have arrived at, that the soft and hard sciences both are starting to open up and accept the deeper insights human beings have actually had for centuries. I wonder what our friends @robin @lilianna-deveneau @lindzyb or @duckduckbearbear think, if they have noticed such an opening in science circles, to ancient spiritual insights albeit clothed in new terms.
I had not thought of the shift you mention, from the usage of the term “consciousness” to “conscious awareness”. I think it is a welcome shift, and in my conversations on this issue in Swedish and other languages I find it amusing how no corresponding term actually expresses the reality behind it. Words denoting concrete things are easy, it gets harder with abstract concepts, but when we arrive at the source of all concepts… I am not sure any word will ever work. On the other hand, when those conversing have the experience, they don’t even need words, a silent smile can be enough 🙂
Thank you Menas for enriching our knowledge and experience, I look forward to more interviews from you!
05/29/2017 at 2:53 pm #6368
Diane E. HarperParticipant12 votes@diane-e-harper
It helps to learn of another’s view. Thanks for this. I get that I am a part of something larger than myself and that a page is turning for everyone.
How can one express fully the wonder and awe as we slide, float, skid and fall into our future? We are all learning to dance on air and juggle atoms.This post has received 1 vote up.
06/02/2017 at 7:22 pm #6417
Lindsay BrinerModerator17 votes@lindzyb
Thank you Menas! Great to hear more of your perspective on YATU. If consciousness is where science and spirituality meet, it could inform a more complete ontology of human development — which we are so lacking in the Western culture. The current status only includes a model of linear development, “growing up” yet we lack what so many other cultures include, such as the nondual and transcendental states of post-egoic development, “waking up.” I am so grateful for the YATU team to be generating and instituting perhaps the beginning
foundational stages of filling this gap. Thank you!This post has received 1 vote up.
06/10/2017 at 4:27 pm #6536
Hi Lindsay, I very much like your observation about our current ontology being focused on “growing up” and having no awareness of the “waking up” aspect- and that has a lot to do with people being focused on the time-bound level of world and self I think. I also hear what @menask is saying about the Greek philosophers who had a much deeper understanding.
But in my view, Western civilization at large has actually developed constantly and continues to do so. Collectively, in earlier times our “unity” was instinctual but not intellectual, and we created myths about divinity. This was our collective childhood with its God-stories, stories told by people who could only imagine a concrete world and God. Later, with the development of the intellect, of modern science and technology, those childhood myths were thrown away and the world started to look cynically barren and mechanical, a moral desert matching the meaninglessness of physicalism. The concrete still dominated, but the capacity for abstraction had developed enough to include thoughts, ideas, emotions into the idea of self, world and God. The youth of humanity maybe, with its immature know-it-all attitude? 🙂 Many scientists are still there today.
But now… something is happening lately, a collective maturation. We don’t believe in myths anymore, and we are no longer content with a mechanical, meaningless world as our challenges grow. So what next? I believe that it is here that the work of people like Menas and Deepak naturally comes in, it is the rational bridges to the miraculous that are helping humanity move forward. Not empty myths of God and not an empty world devoid of God, but a whole new understanding of what divinity even is. I believe our capacity to realize the fully abstract nature of our world, self and source has now matured and so the right people with the right language have appeared, to shape the new collective understanding.
To me, it looks like we’re constantly moving forward precisely as we should. Of course, every youth is foolish and can bring her/his own destruction… but somehow evolution finds ways through all the dangers, for any species. Even if we’re arrogant teens playing with atom bombs, I believe we have as good a chance as ever to reach the maturity of waking up.
06/03/2017 at 12:50 pm #6420
Menas KafatosModerator41 votes@menask
This lacking you are referring to, correctly, is a fairly recent development in Western culture. It came about most strongly in the twentieth century, continuing into the present century, although it originated in the “Age of Reason” and the classical Cartesian paradigm. It was not the case in ancient Greece. The lacking of the current paradigm is witnessed by the breakdown of just about every institutionalized structure. However, today’s “Western” paradigm is dominant in the entire world. The egoism you are referring to starts from a false identification of the individual and extends to societal, ethnic, national and even homo sapiens’ identification with the local, the transient, the external. Not that these attributes are wrong in their own way, they are not however the complete picture. When we say “false” we mean believing that these attributes are all there is. We are way more than that. We are the Universe!
With love and respect to all,
06/03/2017 at 9:37 pm #6426
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,
LiliThis post has received 1 vote up.
06/11/2017 at 9:38 am #6542
Dear Lili, thank you so much for your beautiful thoughts! I love your enthusiasm and am so happy that you have followed your heart to a path that is more in tune with your gifts and talents. I have no doubt that you are already and will continue to be contributing to the creation of the bright world you envision!
I loved the way you described how the soft sciences are more open, that is my experience too, coming from social work. If the hard sciences have focused on “facts”, on objects which are simply snapshots of frozen mind and matter, and on the relationship between these objects, the soft sciences are aware of the more subtle realm of the individual and collective psyche, observing the connection of mind and matter and even going as far as theories of the social construction of reality- which of course, have no steady ground due to lack of knowledge or experience of that which is constructing. The bold ones like existential or transpersonal psychology are the exceptions but as you and also Menas affirm, there has to be a meeting of soft and hard sciences, a common understanding, if we are to move forward with full power.
So let’s hope that the meeting continues, I know that I’m doing all I can to further soften “soft” scientists, reluctant to both the hard sciences which are honestly not very popular in those circles, but also to what is beyond the psyche, awareness itself, still mostly unknown and unexplored territory. I know many others are doing this work too, each one in their own way. After all, we are not separate, we are not connected, but we are actually the same undivided awareness in a process of increasing self-awareness. It’s fun! 🙂
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.