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There is no self: the periodic table of experience

Theologian Dr. Asher Walden argues that the self can be accounted for purely as a momentary aggregate of mental factors. Although we normally think of experience as some kind of relation between a subject and an object, in truth there is just experience.

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This ‘zero-worlds’ theory might just be crazy enough to be true

Journalist Hans Busstra interviews physicist Dr. Markus Müller on his so-called ‘zero-worlds’ theory, which was not meant as a proof of idealism, but does ‘give you idealism for free.’

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The activity theory of consciousness

Prof. Vladimir Serkin discusses a theory of consciousness whereby the latter is not regarded as merely a product of physiological function. His isn’t an idealist approach and, therefore, we at Essentia Foundation reserve judgment about it. However, the theory is undoubtedly scholarly and reveals the remarkably interesting directions in which Russian academia is pursuing an explanation for mind. They aren’t as held back by physicalist prejudices as similar efforts in the West, and thus deserve our careful attention.

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Dissociation and complexity: A psychiatrist’s perspective

The claim that individual human consciousness is a segment of a universal mind, separated from it via dissociation, is supported by the neurobiology of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), according to psychiatrist Dr. Yulia Perch. In this essay, complexity science and Dr. Perch’s own clinical experience are used to demonstrate that dissociative processes in a living psyche are not specific to DID, but widespread and inevitable.

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What’s out there when our brains quit telling us stories?

If the reality we think we inhabit is but a story confabulated by the brain’s ‘default mode network,’ what is the world ‘out there,’ and the self ‘in here,’ when the inner storytelling is subdued through meditation?

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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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Near-Death Experiences during cardiac arrest

In this short and powerful essay, cardiologist Dr. Pim van Lommel summarizes and discusses four rigorous studies of Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) carried out in clinical settings. He concludes that, on a scientific basis, the materialist notion that brain activity somehow is or generates consciousness is not adequate to accommodate and make sense of the empirical evidence available.

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Is it possible to make a conscious computer?

Science fiction and certain voices in academia have manufactured cultural plausibility for the notion that we should, one day, be able to build a conscious computer. But is this idea even coherent to begin with? Who best to ask but the creator of the microprocessor and artificial intelligence pioneer, Federico Faggin.

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Can a physicist embrace idealism?

Is science in general, and physics in particular, compatible with a consciousness-only worldview in which matter is merely an appearance of extended mental processes underlying all nature? Physicist Dr. Claus Metzner doesn’t see why they shouldn’t.

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Re-thinking identity: Children’s experiences of self

Dr. Thomas argues that children, before a conceptual, culture-bound notion of self is inculcated in them, have a more spontaneous, broader sense of identity that defies our current worldview. She argues that their more natural, fluid self is more conducive to overcoming the despair characteristic of our present situation, and that it has much to teach us about reality itself. 

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What is consciousness?

Consciousness is more fundamental than, and precedes, higher-level mental activity such as thoughts and emotions. Therefore, it is possible that consciousness—as a kind of primary ‘operating system’—is present even in the complete absence of recognizable mental activity, argues dr. Woerlee with the authority of an anesthesiologist. We may thus be conscious even during states of seeming unconsciousness, which is relevant for metaphysics—such as idealism—that consider consciousness fundamental.

Seeing

Videos

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The physics of first-person perspective: An interview with physicist Dr. Markus Müller

After Dr. Müller’s extraordinary presentation during Essentia Foundation’s 2020 online work conference, we, the editors, felt the need to interview him and explore his ideas further. If you haven’t watched his presentation already, we recommend you do so before reading on. The video is linked.

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Hello, we are Essentia Foundation

In this inaugural editorial, we introduce ourselves to you by discussing our perspective on an urgent challenge facing our society, our vision for how to address this challenge, and how we hope to contribute to the solution.

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The Flip: Recalibrating the humanities and the sciences around extraordinary experiences

There are extraordinary experiences that, although commonplace, contradict the current materialist metaphysics. This is what Prof. Jeffrey J. Kripal argues in his presentation during Essentia Foundation’s 2020 online work conference. 

From the archives

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The primordial quantum language

Consciousness is the inner reality of the world, governed by the laws of coherent quantum systems, while matter is but an expression of the meaning inherent in this inner reality. The classical world of matter conforms to the statistical properties of a primordial quantum ‘language’ spontaneously used by the inner quantum reality to express itself. These are the insights of physicist—and inventor of the microprocessor—Federico Faggin in this captivating essay.

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The flip, and the flipped: leaving materialism behind. An interview with Jeffrey J. Kripal.

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Hans Busstra interviews Prof. Jeffrey J. Kripal on ‘the flip’: the sudden change of worldview away from the materialist paradigm that is increasingly experienced by scientists, scholars and academics the world over.

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Contact with universal consciousness through the research of human mentality

One of the most respected psychologists in the Slavic world—where materialist prejudices are less pronounced—Prof. Victor Petrenko, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, discusses his views on the nature of mind and reality. He shows, through remarkable experiments, that our very perception is conditioned upon our ability to tell ourselves, conceptually, what we are perceiving. It is possible that we simply do not perceive what we have no conceptual categories to make sense of. This way, we may be immersed in effectively alien aspects of reality that we cannot cognize. This captivating essay introduces to a Western audience the high-quality—and arguably less metaphysically biased—scholarship of the Slavic world in an area of knowledge whose relevance to our lives cannot be overestimated.

Let us build the future of our culture together

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