We explore the idea that perceptual experiences do not approximate properties of an “objective” world, but provide a simplified, species-specific, user interface to the world. Donald Hoffman introduced it as the Interface Theory of Perception. Hoffman also introduced his Conscious Realism thesis: the objective world consists of a social network of ‘conscious agents’ and their experiences. Thus consciousness creates all objects and properties of the physical world, reversing the traditional mind-body problem.
Using evolutionary game theory, we support interface theory with a theorem saying that perceptual strategies reporting the truth will, under natural selection, be driven to extinction by those tuned instead to fitness.
A mathematically precise definition of “conscious agents” is proposed, leading to a non-dualistic, dynamical theory of conscious process in which both observer and observed have the same structure, with many possible interfaces.
In support of conscious realism, we then discuss two theorems showing that a conscious agent can see geometric and probabilistic structures that are not necessarily in the world but properties of the conscious agent itself and different agents may see the world as having different (even incompatible!) structures. We will also discuss a way in which interfaces represent a dramatic compression of information which is functional to the agent.
This suggests that space-time is a description of location and dynamics on the perceptual interface of human conscious agents; that the “objects” of Physics are akin to icons on that interface; and that “phenomena” appear as the interactions those icons seem — to us — to be having.
What motivates a species to evolve its particular interface? Federico Faggin has proposed a mechanism for the evolution of interfaces: that it is the desire for comprehension, or self-knowing, that drives this evolution. What is required next is a theory of the process of self-knowing.
To think of the human stage as simply for enlightenment shortchanges the potential of humanity.
The “awe-full” qualities of horror and terror may share essential roots with those underlying transformative states such as flow, awe, presence, timelessness and ecstasy.
Daniel Siegel answers questions from the audience at SAND18 US.
What may or may not be appropriate behavior for a spiritual teacher?
Donald Hoffman reminds us that we can predict people's choices up to seven seconds before they are conscious of making that choice.
Awakened living realizes that the absolute and the relative dimensions of our Being are simply “not-two.”
In the midst of a global lion crisis that treats Africa’s most sacred animals as a killing commodity...
Daniel Siegel introduces the Wheel of Awareness, a representation of the structure of mind. Research…
21st-Century science is on the verge of recreating the processes that may have brought life into being
When we know ourselves as this whole which subsumes everything, we cease to diminish or dismiss the mystery of being human
How do the different spiritual traditions view being human?
The source of capacity to optimize our experience...
The mystery and power of the creative process can perhaps be best understood through the lens of the birthing process.
In this memorable conversation from SAND 18 Peter Levine, the father of trauma therapy work, and Thomas Huebl, a spiritual teacher known for his work integrating healing of collective trauma, discuss the relationship between healing trauma and...
At the 2018 SAND Conference, David Ellzey physically and wordlessly tells the story that resolves the seeming paradox of being both human and transcendent.
What does it take to recognize our true human qualities and express them in the world?
Peter Russell in conversation with the audience at SAND18 US.
This presentation will explore the nature of the psychic realm, where it fits into the spiritual spectrum, and how to avoid the common pitfalls and potential to get stuck there.
James Fadiman fieds questions at SAND18 US
Charles Eisenstein answers questions from the audience at SAND18 US.
Cognition, or mind, is the very process of life itself, which requires neither a brain nor a nervous system
Creativity can be seen as a state of natural flow...
Our human-ness will become more and more threatened by AI
Mirabai Starr in conversation with the audience at SAND18 US
Bob Thurman delights the audience at SAND 2018 with his lighthearted approach to the wisdom and the…
Unveil the obstacles that block creativity and host them in a way...
Rupert Spira in conversation
Philosopher, scholar and longtime observer of culture and behavior the world over, Jean Houston shares…
How the experienced self is put together out of memories and feelings.
Is there any behavior that we can say for certain is unique to humans?
Being fully human requires the awakening of the deep Heart as well as the full embrace of the vulnerable human heart.
What if we put into every day practice the scientific truths that we know?
When we engage in the distortion that the relative plane is separate from the absolute, we ignore the reality of the illusion.
This talk explains current research into the structures within the brain
Dzogchen, the bardo, sleep and the yoga of dreams
Can you live "IN" the Dream world with absolute integrity and authenticity
Women mystics and wisdom beings across the spiritual traditions
Discover the world of magic mushrooms
How can there be intelligence without consciousness?
As the outdated patriarchal structures rise up in backlash to their inevitable downfall, the need for a more sustainable world paradigm couldn’t be greater
A four-billion-year-old cycling evolutionary engine of creation lifted us improbable and beautiful human beings into existence.
Fritjof Capra answers questions from the audience at SAND18 US
Silent awareness is mostly drawn to light, sound, color, beauty, movement, patterns and contrast.
Nonduality and Healing from Trauma - The Realization Process
Peter Russell explains that most human beings—unlike animals—focus on the past and the future, which means they spend their time in a state of discontent.
An "immersion" lecture into the world of psylocibin, mycelium and evolution of consciousness
How we can uncover the traumas embedded in our social body and work together to heal these wounds
So how does our brain create this illusion of stability?
An exploration of a groundbreaking assertion of a new paper published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Taking a long view of life on Earth, Robin Wall Kimmerer explores how mosses—ancient beings who transformed the world—teach us strategies for persisting amid a changing climate.
While constellations and the stories attached to them have obvious artistic and spiritual significance, they also represent an elegant and effective solution to the problem of understanding complex physical environments.
How does our biology give rise to the experience of consciousness?
Exploring how the mind extends beyond the physical self.
I am a body plus. A body plus trauma, plus illness, plus pollen, plus spores, plus caretakers and friends and loved ones and wild kin.
Which determines traits like sexual orientation, intelligence and behavior: genes or environment?
Theorem showing that quantum mechanics really permits instantaneous connections between far-apart locations
Let’s start with Anaximander, who said everything forming in Nature incurs a debt which it must repay so that other things may form, which I see as the essence of evolution and a fascinating take on Dying to Live.
While scientists can anticipate how climate change will affect larger regions, predicting the fate of a given 100-acre forest plot can be trickier.
New research with MDMA could lead to deeper therapeutic uses of the drug
“Definitely these galaxies are a big deal, but it remains to be seen how exciting they will look in the context of a few months’ progress with JWST,” Carnall says. The best is yet to come.
Every creature lives within its own sensory bubble, but only humans have the capacity to appreciate the experiences of other species. What we’ve learned is astounding.
The complex behaviors may have a shared evolutionary origin
Comparing the foundational base of Blackfoot knowledge to quantum physics to an attentive audience at The Banff Centre as part of the Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science: Contrasts and Similarities event.
the challenge of choosing deep-focus work and connection over superficial distraction and stimulation
A well-documented feature of trauma, one familiar to many, is our inability to articulate what happens to us.
Excerpts from Advaya: the role of mythology, stories, art, and poetry in cultivating kinship. How do stories create/relate to belonging?
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