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Playing in the field: The nature of children and consciousness

Through their play and the extraordinary inner experiences they report, children reveal a broader, non-local, decentered and shared self. Because children are less conditioned than adults, this may be a clue to the true nature and scope of self and reality, as well as the role of consciousness within it, argues Dr. Donna Thomas.

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The timeless mind: A thought experiment

Mind cannot be reduced to matter. Therefore, instead of looking for the origin of mind, we must understand reality in semiotic terms: as a universal set of signifiers and meanings. This is the argument put forward by Massimilano Sorrentino and Daniela Panighetti in this essay.

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A psychiatrist’s perspective on dissociation and complexity

Today’s article is a master class on dissociation, from the field of psychiatry. It breaks down the complexity of this phenomenon, and shows us that it is a much more common process in life than is generally thought. Furthermore, when observed in the realm of mind and then extrapolated beyond to consciousness as a whole, it allows for a better understanding of the fundamental premise at the heart of analytic idealism.

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How to understand your mind, beyond thought

The unmediated experience of where the question “what am I?” arises in our mind is already its answer, writes Johannes Jörg; an answer that cannot be produced by thought alone. To understand our own minds, we must go beyond conceptual reasoning and explore our older, more primary mental faculties. By merely being aware of our often-ignored inner states, we can restore balance to our lives. This is because living systems are self-organizing: when dysregulation comes into awareness, it is already being regulated.

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How Idealism—and Schopenhauer—saved Tolstoy’s life

In the grip of the nihilistic ethos of late 19th-century materialism and Darwinism, Leo Tolstoy contemplated suicide. He would be saved only by finding confirmation, in Schopenhauer’s idealist philosophy, of his own earlier idealist intuitions. Idealism would go on to deeply transform Tolstoy’s life and work, reconnecting him to the simple but profound intuitions of meaning that pervade the lives of peasants. This easy-to-read essay recounts the existential difficulties of a world-famous individual who presaged both our cultural ethos today, and the transformative opportunities offered by modern idealism.

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Do we really live in a fundamentally physical universe? Are we essentially material beings? Essentia Foundation is a new force in the cultural dialogue about the nature of reality. Find out more about us.

Reading

Essays

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Consciousness, spacetime and the intelligence of nature

Closing the second day of the 2021 ‘The Science of Consciousness’ conference, dr. Jacob Jolij, dr. Esmee Gerken and Dr. Iain McGilchrist take questions and debate consciousness, spacetime and the intelligence of nature.

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Fictions and simulations: The case for idealism

A new, creative and compelling argument—even a new type of argument—for idealism is elaborated upon in this long-form essay, which is fluid and easy to read.

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Falling for naive common-sense: Russell and physical realism (The Return of Metaphysics)

The story of our falling for naive physical realism—the notion that we can become directly acquainted with non-mental entities, which are supposed to have standalone existence—in the early 20th century, and how modern thought is now bringing us back to more mature Idealism.

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Is the human brain a model of the universe? Read and commented on by Nadia Hassan

The article Nadia Hassan reads today presents documented similarities between the human brain and the cosmos, and poses the question: can either be modeled after the other? This very exciting possibility might allow as of yet undiscovered truths about both realms, and bring us closer to the Holy Grail of modern physics, the Theory of Everything.

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Is Western thought marching towards Eastern Idealism?

Prof. Grego argues that, if we extrapolate the evolutionary trajectory of Western scientific and philosophical thought since the European Enlightenment, it becomes possible to discern that it is progressing towards a consciousness-only ontology convergent with Eastern thought.

Seeing

Videos

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How can you be me? The answer is time

That you believe you were your five-year-old self is grounds to believe that you can be another person, right now, while still being you, argues our executive director in this stimulating theoretical essay.

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Interview with Dr. Iain McGilchrist, on the nature of reality (Part 2)

Here is the second and final part of our interview with Dr. Iain McGilchrist, on the nature of reality. Unmissable!

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Interview with Dr. Iain McGilchrist, on consciousness and its role in nature

Essentia Foundation’s Natalia Vorontsova interviews psychiatrist and author Dr. Iain McGilchrist about his new work, “The Matter with Things,” and the role of consciousness in nature. Unmissable!

From the archives

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The world as cognitive construct

Today’s article examines our decidedly limited mental representation of the world, and how it is fundamentally linked to the systems of meaning available to us, to our perceptual constructs. It lays out incredible data to show just how much and in how many ways our perception can be manipulated, and the role we often take in our own delusion.

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The world in mind: Transcendental idealism in Husserl and Kant

Although the philosophies of Kant and Husserl are not logically inconsistent with a hypothetical world outside mind, both deny that there is any meaning or significance to such a theoretical abstraction. Therefore, both Kant and Husserl were true idealists, argues dr. van Mazijk.

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How hyper-dimensional spacetime may explain individual identity

How can one natural consciousness appear to be many? Prof. Bernard Carr proposes that multiple dimensions of time, which can also be associated with the notion of a ‘specious present,’ can resolve the problem both rigorously and in an intuitively satisfying manner.

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