SAND Europe 2012: the Nature of the Self

29th May – 3rd June, 2012

Zonheuvel Conference Centre

Doorn, The Netherlands

SAND Europe 2012

The very vibrant and dynamic Science and Non-Duality conference will come to Europe for the first time.

Douwe will not be able to participate at the weekend due to a previous commitment, but he will be giving a pre-conference presentation on Tuesday, May 29th at 7:00. The abstract is here below. Hope to see you there.


Non-duality: beyond the reach of science and self

What is the nature of science, self and non-duality?

Different kinds of non-duality can be discerned. “Unity” (1) receives the greatest recognition: the unity of external reality as a basic energy or system (1a), the unity of an internal reality as primordial consciousness (1b), and the unity of both in non-duality (1c). Of these, non-duality (1c) and that which is its origin (2) is the most important. We’ll investigate science and self in order to understand non-duality.

Science concerns itself with a particular area of knowledge and action: the natural world. Due to its methodology this specific area is revealed – and not another. Central to its methodology is observation, the experience of objects at a distance. These objects and their interactions are conceptualized in theories and models which themselves become mental objects. The scientist as the observing subject tries to maintain a distance from the natural world he investigates. It’s not possible for science to say anything about a real subject, because its epistemology only allows for perception of objects and object processes. The highest achievement of science is its demonstration of perceived reality as a unity (1a). Science remains fundamentally dualistic.

The self, in science and in daily life, partially belongs to the natural world. It’s a mixture of both subject and object phenomena. In returning to its origin, the self can be aware of losing more and more properties which had previously been objectified. The self attains the level of the witness consciousness (1b). Through surrendering this level, a non-dual unity (1c) arises which is characterized by an internal sense ‘I am’ without predicates. The realization of the highest non-duality (2), concerns the surrender of this ‘I am’ to, and merging with, the absolute as groundless openness.

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