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KRISHNAMURTI FOUNDATION – Coming to the Ultimate: Science and the Ground of Being

Program description

Coming to the Ultimate: Science and the Ground of Being

At its core, science is interested in discovering what is, how things actually are. In this regard, scientists are delving deeper into the very nature of existence itself, its fundamental basis. At quantum and cosmic scales, they have found strange phenomena that do not match with our everyday experience, such as entanglement and non-locality, instantaneity, superposition, multiverses and so on, all of which put into question the very foundations of our experience. Scientists are also inquiring into the nature of consciousness, with some theorizing a link between this and the essence of existence. This endeavor seeks to capture in scientific terms the nature of existence in order to come to a fundamental understanding of everything.

All this raises a question: Will science ever come to such a fundamental understanding? Or, will it discover no endpoint, delving deeper into existence and the cosmos, in an unending search for the essence of space-time, matter, consciousness, etc? Or will science at some point come to a kind of limit to what it can grasp in scientific terms? And ultimately, what in fact will science actually capture?

Importantly to each of us, is this scientific endeavor a reflection of something moving in us as well, as human beings? Are we also seeking something that we perceive will give us the answers to life, possibly bringing us to our ground of being?

Krishnamurti pointed out that the observer is the observed. Does this have any bearing on what science is observing and seeking in its endeavors to understand actuality? Is it possible that science, and we, tend to look through a conditioned perspective that in turn frames what is seen? Are our perceptions and scientific observations of reality in fact a reflection of a perspective that creates for itself space-time, separate objects (including self) etc as an experience, even as it moves?

In seeking the Ultimate, is science in fact in search for itself, without knowing it? Are its findings actually revealing the hidden assumptions that underlie its very perspective? Is such a revealing an inevitable outcome of scientists’ search for the basis for everything? Might this have something to do with coming to the Ultimate, unexpectedly?

In this program, we will explore these and other questions as they arise, and how all of this relates to our own lives. This exploration is not about presenting or reaching conclusions. It is an invitation for the unexpected revealing of our unconscious assumptions and the actuality of our inner movement, in the moment.

Facilitator

Dan Kilpatrick is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems, and the Program in Neuroscience, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He has had a long-time interest in our shared, underlying nature and inquiry into how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. The insights of J. Krishnamurti and others have been an invaluable part of this journey, helping to reveal that the opportunity for self-discovery is present in each and every moment and does not depend on circumstance. Coming to see that ours sense of self is something in which we all share, not as a conclusion, but as an immediate and living fact, is also perhaps our greatest challenge.

Dan received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at San Diego in chemistry and his doctorate degree in biochemistry from Duke University. His research focuses on how self-organizing gene networks controlling development and its timing give rise to emergent properties of the nervous system.

What to expect

  • A discussion of science as a point of departure for spontaneous group inquiry and dialogue
  • Openness to what is arising within the group, without judgment
  • A potentially enlivening movement of self-discovery
  • Coming to see ourselves and our inner workings as a truly shared movement
  • The falling away of expectations and assumptions through their seeing, unknowingly

Who is this for

  • Those interested in exploring deeply into the question of consciousness and the scientific perspective, non-scientists and scientists alike
  • Anyone interested in putting aside their ideas about consciousness, and ourselves, so as to look afresh
  • Students who may know a lot (or little!) about consciousness, or who have questions about its nature, or who may never have considered such questions(!)
  • Any person or group with an earnest intention to understand themselves through shared inquiry