With Reality in Mind: Bernardo Kastrup with guests Michael Levin & Christopher Wallis

course non-duality philosophy idealism advaita metaphysics adventures in awareness
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The breadth of Bernardo's insight and understanding into the nature of reality and all kinds of related subjects is utterly breathtaking. Thank you Bernardo and Amir for a wonderful, inspiring, transformative four weeks.” ★★★★★  - Karen
 
You are invited to a ground-breaking series of discussions in which notions of reality, physics, biology and consciousness are transformed, in the company of world class philosophers, scientists and mystics.

These are incredibly unique opportunities to engage directly with minds that are shaping the future of our culture. 

Bernardo Kastrup is undoubtedly the world's most articulate, rigorous and well-known defender of metaphysical idealism - the notion that all reality is consciousness. 

Michael Levin is a biologist who's work is shaking the foundations of how science considers evolution, medicine and consciousness. Bernardo has said he ‘may be the most important person alive’ and others have anticipated him for a future Nobel Prize. 

Christopher Wallis is a scholar-practitioner leading the dissemination of ancient eastern non-dual philosophy to the west.

The format is simple: We meet to hear a scientist or scholar present their most innovative ideas, then together with Bernardo engage in extended discussion on their implications through the lens of metaphysical idealism. We gather questions and reflections from participants, and together investigate the most fundamental questions and experiences life has to offer. 

If you have an interest in the convergence of philosophy, non-duality and cutting edge science, you've come to the right place. 

“Phenomenal talk. Bernardo is truly a great philosopher... truly inspiring and life-changing. So thank you to Bernardo,.. and to everybody else in attendance, who consistently asked profound questions!”  ★★★★★ - Andre

The following outline is subject to change based on the evolving interests of participants:

Week 0: Group Introduction and Orientation

You will be sent video recordings of introductory material so you are ready to fully partake in the conversation. Please plan for about 4 hours of preliminary watching.

Week 0 is without Bernardo, to meet the other course members, and review our understanding of:

  1. The philosophical, logical and scientific evidence that refutes materialism as a good explanation for what we know about reality. 

    (Materialism is the belief that nothing exists except “physical things”, and that consciousness is somehow an emergent property of special arrangement. We will cover the many reasons why this artificially creates the ‘Hard Problem of Consciousness and the reasons why idealism is a more coherent approach.) 
     
  2. The rational and empirical evidence for idealism, drawing on neuroscience, physics, philosophy and basic common sense. We will revise Bernardo's unique way of expressing the idea that individuals are much like whirlpools inside one vast oceanic universal consciousness - seperate in temporary activity but not in substance.

Week 1: Michael Levin - Evolution, the future of medicine, and the platonic realm


Because Michael is willing to run experiments that science normally ignores, his work is uncovering some pretty wild phenomena. 

Memories stored outside of the brain. Bioelectrical fields that regenerate limbs and cure cancer
Living bodies completely reformed into configurations never seen before in nature.  

Biological tissues can be combined into life forms that display astonishing intelligent behaviour that cannot be explained by existing evolutionary theory. Navigating passageways, collecting material, recording information, healing themselves from injury, and even replicating for a few cycles on their own.

"For normal plants and animals, when we ask, "why does it have this shape and this behavior?", the answer is, "Eons of selection". 

Ok, so what about Xenobots and Anthrobots? There's never been any Xenobots, and no selection to be a good Xenobot. Where do these synthetic beings' form and behavior come from?"

Together we will explore the fundamental questions his research evokes about self-hood, consciousness and reality. 

Where do our goals come from? 
Why are we the shape we are?
Where is the information of reality stored?

Weeks 2 & 3: The Meaning of Life


In any given week the discussion evolves based on questions and themes harvested by the group. As the implications of idealism take root, typical themes of exploration include:

  • What does this mean for our personal relationships, our dreams and our place in the natural world?
  • How might we now understand death, trauma, health, sickness and suffering?
  • What are the implications of psychedelic, out-of-body, mystical and near-death experiences?

"Bernardo has this very rare ability of combining philosophy, science and spirituality in a holistic perspective, and communicating his vision is a clear and inspiring way that also laypersons understand. Very much looking forward to the next edition of this course!
★★★★★ - Frank Dierick


Week 4: Metacognition - the meaning of thought and imagination

Metacognition is our ability to be aware of what we are aware of. 

Although simple to say, Bernardo says even many professional scientists and philosophers fail to deeply understand what this means, and its implications for the Hard Problem of Consciousness and idealism. 

It is fundamental to human intelligence, attention, meditation and deep spiritual insight. 

Bernardo is working on a proposal that will show metacognition is fundamentally linked to dissociation - when part of our mind cannot access another part.
It may be It is the key for self-reflection 

We will discuss to meaning, purpose and implications of thought, imagination and metacognition.

Week 5: Christopher Wallis - Ego, Self, Non-Duality & Enlightenment: Convergence of East and West  

Many are quick to point out the similarities between Bernardo's worldview and ancient nondual perspectives from the east.

Christopher Wallis (aka Hareesh) is a scholar of classical tantra, an ancient system of philosophy and practise that converges almost identically with metaphysical idealism.

Christopher and Bernardo will dialogue on the different ways of arriving at and expressing these conclusions. Christopher will also introduce the ancient practices which are purported to lead to these ideas being experienced as a felt perspective, not just understood as intellectual ideas. 

 

Dates and Times

You will be sent recordings to watch in your own time before the live events to familiarise yourself with the basic concepts.
We gather on zoom over five Sunday evenings in a row, at 6pm UK time, starting Sun Feb 25th 2024

Sessions run for at least 2 hours, sometimes significantly longer. Recordings of each session are set to all participants. Occasionally a speaker requests to share some thoughts ‘off the record' and these rare sections are not recorded. 

Sun 25th Feb, 6pm UK time (Orientation week to meet the group and revise pre-recorded material)
Sun 3rd March, 6pm UK time - Live session with Bernardo Kastrup and Michael Levin
Sun 10th March, 6pm UK time - Live session with Bernardo
Sun 17th March, 6pm UK time - Live session with Bernardo and Christopher Wallis
Sun 24th March, 6pm UK time - Live session with Bernardo
Sun 31st March,  6pm UK time - Live session with Bernardo

If money is a barrier to attendance, please get in touch, stating if you require a discount or free ticket: amir@adventuresinawareness.com
No one is turned away for lack of funds. 

About Bernardo Kastrup

Photo by Pedro Henrique Casarin

Bernardo Kastrup's work has been leading the modern renaissance of the philosophical position, ‘metaphysical idealism’ that reality is essentially mental, an appearance in ‘mind.’  Bernardo has a Ph.D. in philosophy (ontology, philosophy of mind) and another Ph.D. in computer engineering (reconfigurable computing, artificial intelligence). As a scientist, Bernardo has worked for the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Philips Research Laboratories (where the 'Casimir Effect' of Quantum Field Theory was discovered). Formulated in detail in many academic papers and books, his ideas have been featured on Scientific American, the Institute of Art and Ideas, the Blog of the American Philosophical Association and Big Think, among others. Bernardo's most recent book is The Idea of the World: A multi-disciplinary argument for the mental nature of reality. For more information, freely downloadable papers, videos, etc., please visit www.bernardokastrup.com.

About Michael Levin
 

Michael Levin, Ph.D.

Michael Levin, a Distinguished Professor in the Biology department at Tufts, holds the Vannevar Bush endowed Chair and serves as director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts and the Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology. Recent honors include the Scientist of Vision award and the Distinguished Scholar Award. His group’s focus is on understanding the biophysical mechanisms that implement decision-making during complex pattern regulation, and harnessing endogenous bioelectric dynamics toward rational control of growth and form.

 

About Christopher Wallis

 

Christopher Wallis - "Shifting Paradigms and Near Enemies" — J. Brown Yoga


Christopher Wallis, (also known as Hareesh,) is a Sanskritist and scholar-practitioner of Classical Tantra with thirty years of experience. He was initiated by a traditional Indian guru at the age of sixteen, and received education at yoga āshrams, both in India and the West. 

Subsequently, he engaged in fourteen years of formal education in Sanskrit, South Asian Studies, and classical Indian religions.

His degrees include a B.A. in Religion and Classics from the University of Rochester, an M.A. in South Asian Studies from U.C. Berkeley, an M.Phil. in Classical Indian Religions from Oxford, and a Ph.D. in Sanskrit from U.C. Berkeley. 

 Hareesh teaches classical Tantric philosophy and Tantric practices, meditation, Sanskrit, and mantra-science to an engaged online community of practitioners. He is the Founder of Tantra Illuminated Online, an online learning portal where all his courses and teachings are available. He also offers workshops, retreats and classes in person in Portugal and around the world.

His teachers, mentors, and gurus, in chronological order, include: Gurumayī Chidvilāsānandā (root-guru), Paul Muller-Ortega (Śaiva Tantra and Classical Yoga); Alexis Sanderson (Śaiva and Śākta Tantra and Sanskrit); Marshall Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication); Somadeva Vasudeva (Śaiva Tantra), Adyashanti (Meditation), and others who wish to remain anonymous.

Hareesh is the author of Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition, the first comprehensive and accessible introduction to Classical Tantra in English (also available in Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian), and of The Recognition Sutras, a translation and commentary on a 1000-year-old masterpiece on experiential recognition of oneself as a direct expression of universal divine Consciousness. 
 

 

FEEDBACK FROM PREVIOUS COURSES 

★★★★★  Bernardo is a true pioneer and a brilliant thinker (and experiencer). One of my favorite aspects of Bernardo's personality is his humility and his unpretentiousness. Very enjoyable and enriching. Should follow up in 3 mos min.” - Tomas

★★★★★ “Listening to Bernardo makes my whole Being fizz with excitement. Excellent content, thank you so much for hosting this. And Amir is the ideal facilitator - curious, playful, respectful, attentive, and organised.” - Liam

★★★★★  This was a fascinating 4 weeks on the nature of consciousness. Highly recommended.” Frank I

★★★★★  It was a wonderful experience. I have learnt a lot through out this course, Bernardo is such a very articulate philosopher and Amir is such a very good coordinator. I am so grateful for having had this experience.” - Nour

★★★★★  "Great course! Very insightful and original. Impressive how Bernardo is able take a holistic/multidisciplinary perspective and is able to translate difficult philosophical and scientific concepts into everyday language. A course definitely worthwhile repeating!" - Frank 

 


 

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