Two of our Sages and Scientists Speakers who met at SAS13 — Congratulations to Fran and Shiva on their wedding!
By Deepak Chopra, M.D, FACP, and Menas Kafatos, Ph.D.
We are so used to assigning consciousness only to human thought that it takes some adjustment to see it as universal, or cosmic, applying at all levels. But the label applied to mystics, saints, and sages, both East and West, really denotes those who have escaped the limitations of everyday perception. Their experiences supply abundant evidence – thousands of years’ worth – that the mind can look at itself and experience what consciousness is.
If you strip away all religious associations, higher consciousness is observational and experiential; the mind looks directly at itself rather than outward at things. Things constitute Maya in the Indian tradition, a word somewhat misleadingly translated as “illusion” but which works better if understood as “appearance” or “distraction.” It also implies impermanence. The world “out there” appears to be self-sustained, distracting us from the truth: Without consciousness, nothing is experienced, either “in here” or “out there.”
Cosmic consciousness, then, isn’t just real – it’s totally necessary. It rescues physics and science in general from a dead end – the total inability to create mind out of matter – and gives it a fresh avenue of investigation. The Higgs boson has gotten us a bit closer to a unified field theory – only a bit – but we are still far away from a full theory of quantum gravity. In many versions of superstring theories, the so-called M-theories, it is deduced that a vast number of parallel universes exist, all forming what is called the multiverse. But the multiverse cannot be an explanation of why this particular universe of ours is what it is. Having a vast number of universes emerging from empty space still does not explain why consciousness is what it is in our universe.
Quantum theory has reached the point where the source of all matter and energy is a vacuum, a nothingness that contains all the possibilities of everything that has ever existed or could exist. These possibilities then emerge as probabilities before “collapsing” into localized quanta, manifesting as the particles in space and time that are the building blocks of atoms and molecules. (more…)
Description: Our definition of success as composed mainly of money and power is no longer sustainable; it is time for a third metric.– one founded on well-being, wisdom, our ability to wonder, and to give back. Money and power by themselves are a two legged stool — you can balance on them for a while, but eventually you’re going to topple over. And more and more people, very successful people, are toppling over.
Success the way we’ve defined it is no longer sustainable. It’s no longer sustainable for human beings or for societies. To live the lives we want, and not just the ones we settle for, the ones society defines as successful, we need to include the Third Metric.
Description: Bringing the Execution Excellence of Business and the Compassion of Philanthropy together to maximize impact.
Businesses live in a free market economy where the customers have a choice. As a result the process is very Darwinian. To survive Businesses have to excel in execution. But at times, they lose their way and get totally disconnected from the community and the world they live in. On the other hand, non-profits have plenty of compassion, but their beneficiaries usually do not have a choice. Because of lack of the driving force from their customers, there is no pressure on them to execute. For survival they only have to please their donors. Therefore if we find ways to combine the two, we get businesses and non-profits that are not only functional but truly make it a better world. The speaker will talk about examples of organizations that have combined the compassion and execution. (more…)