The Intelligent Optimist Magazine is organizing an online conference to inquire about the expansion of consciousness. In 6 sessions in March and April, some of the leading minds in the field will tackle topics like:
- Is a new era of consciousness really on its way? How do we know?
- What will it look like? What effect will it have?
- How can we be active participants in its emergence?
Participants in the conference:
- Ervin Laszlo, a systems philosopher, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize;
- Claire Zammit, an acclaimed transformative educator;
- Craig Hamilton, a pioneer in the emerging field of evolutionary spirituality;
- Lynne McTaggart, a best-selling author, researcher and lecturer who builds bridges between science and spirituality;
- Marilyn Schlitz, an ambassador for creative projects and a senior scientist at the Institute for Noetic Sciences;
- Pim van Lommel, a cardiologist at the Rijnstate Hospital in the Netherlands.
The last session, on April 30, will focus on the practice of Transcendental Meditation. John Hagelin and Fred Travis will speak about studies showing that a critical mass of advanced practitioners meditating simultaneously can result in an end to terrorism, an advance in collective consciousness and a world at peace.
Ervin Laszlo: “Our individual consciousness is part of the consciousness that pervades the cosmos. This concept (anticipated by the great spiritual traditions) is that our individual consciousness is an intrinsic part of the consciousness that resides in—and perhaps is—the deeper reality of the cosmos. The question I take up here is whether there is concrete evidence for a cosmic consciousness in the world—in the universe science tells us is the real world.
What could be evidence for the presence of a cosmic consciousness in the world? There should be some evidence, because it stands to reason that if the cosmos harbors a consciousness there should be traces of it in the world we observe. What traces should we look for? I suggest that we should look for the kind of order that characterizes the structures and processes of the universe. If the universe is “in-formed” by a cosmic consciousness, the kind of order it discloses cannot be random and transient; it must be order that embraces space and time. If we find such order in the universe we can assume that it is in-formed by something we can characterize as a mind, logos, or consciousness. Hence in searching for evidence for a cosmic consciousness we look for order in the universe that is not random and transient, and defines the way the universe is, as well as the way it evolves.” — read more
Craig Hamilton: “Modern science has in recent decades been verifying what the ancient traditions intuited long ago: that, in both tangible and mysterious ways, we are all interconnected. Any one of us can have a profound effect on the whole. Add to that the reality that we are evolving beings living in an evolving universe–that we are all part of a grand, cosmic evolutionary process–and the question of our obligation to the whole starts to cut close to the bone.
To reframe my earlier question: What if you realized that the entire human endeavor, the evolution of consciousness itself, depended on your willingness to evolve your own consciousness? How would it affect the choices you make every day if you knew that in a very real sense, those choices were either contributing to the evolution of the whole–or holding it back? At this time when it seems that our very future depends on our willingness to evolve as a species, would you have any choice but to act in alignment with the greatest evolutionary good?
The point I’m trying to make is that when we take a closer look at what spiritual work and growth is actually for, it quickly becomes clear that the path of awakening is not primarily about freeing ourselves from suffering and securing our own happiness. Sure, that’s a nice by-product. But, as long as that’s all we’re seeking, we probably won’t get very far.
Where the spiritual path really begins to get interesting is when we recognize that transforming ourselves in the deepest possible way is in fact an evolutionary imperative, with profound consequences far beyond ourselves. If we begin to embrace the fact that our lives are not simply our own to do with as we please–that in everything we do, we are in fact accountable to the Whole–something truly miraculous begins to happen.” — read more
More information about the conference