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Menas C. Kafatos  Ph.D. 

Expanding the Horizons of Science for Society

2016 Esalen Workshop

Science and Spirituality: The Missing Link
March 4-6 , 2016

The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both. — Carl Sagan

Science and spirituality have been at odds since the time of Galileo because of dogma and lack of dialogue. Yet they are two primary lenses through which we can explore who we are and illuminate the mysteries of the universe, while attempting to solve the current problems facing humanity.


A new paradigm is emerging today in spirituality, which is grounded in direct experience and informed by the latest scientific findings. Ancient spiritual concepts are more and more directly intertwined with modern-day science, especially quantum physics. In fact, the founders of quantum mechanics, Heisenberg, Bohr, and Schrödinger, were avid readers of the Vedic texts and observed that their experiments in quantum physics were consistent with what they had read in the Vedas. Vedic texts such as the Bahgavad Gita and the Upanishads were collectively considered the most influential books ever written by eminent people like Thoreau, Kant, Schopenhauer, Schrödinger, Heisenberg, Tesla, Einstein, and others.


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Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas, May 2 – 4, 2015 

The most positive action we can perform to contribute to the momentous task of bringing our planet back into balance is to start changing ourselves.

—Swami Vishnudevananda

The universe is much richer than our senses tell us. The underlying reality is universal Consciousness, operating at every level of existence of the universe, founded on the fundamental I-awareness, which is the true Self. The Self projects the universe out of its own infinite existence, through a series of fundamental principles, in what appear as infinite numbers of objects. However, it never loses its own I-ness. Qualia, the collection of vast numbers of subjective experiences, play a fundamental role.

The sages of ancient monistic schools, the philosophers, taught through practical steps the experience of the Self. Its names are infinite, its nature mysterious because it can never be studied through perception or through the mind, however, the creative process can be experienced in one’s own being.

The Nature of Consciousness

A Science & Spirituality Symposium
April 17 — 21, 2016

The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat provides an immersion into the daily practices of a yogic lifestyle. We are a traditional yoga ashram for contemporary yoga study and practice. Surrounded by the bounty and beauty of nature, the ashram is a place where people come from around the world to expand and deepen their knowledge of yoga.


Join leading scholars and scientists to explore the newly emerging scientific study of consciousness and its relationship to human spirituality.


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Toward a Science of Consciousness (TSC)

Toward a Science of Consciousness (TSC) is the largest and longest-running interdisciplinary conference emphasizing broad and rigorous approaches to the study of conscious awareness. Topical areas include neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, biology, quantum physics, meditation and altered states, machine consciousness, culture and experiential phenomenology. Cutting edge, controversial issues are emphasized. Held annually since 1994, the TSC conferences alternate yearly between Tucson, Arizona and various locations around the world.

  • Invited workshop at Towards Science of Consciousness 2013, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India, March 2-9, 2013, titled “The Self in Science and Indian Monistic Schools”, given on March 5. 
  • Invited plenary lecture at Towards Science of Consciousness 2013, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India, March 2-9, 2013, titled “The Mystery of the Self”, given on March 7.
  • Towards Science of Consciousness, Tucson, AZ, 21 – 23 April, 2014. “Qualia and the Mathematics of Consciousness”.