Consciousness Unbound: Liberating the Mind from the Tyranny of Materialism | 24 & 25 September

This latest Galileo Commission Summit will feature a series of roundtables with contributors to Consciousness Unbound , the third volume to emerge from one of Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory and Research projects. Building on the groundbreaking research presented in Irreducible Mind (2007) and Beyond Physicalism (2015), Edward F. Kelly and Paul Marshall gather a cohort of leading scholars to consider the significance of extraordinary experiences for our understanding of reality. Currently emerging as a middle ground between warring fundamentalisms of religion and science, an expanded science-based understanding of nature finally accommodates empirical realities of parapsychological and spiritual sorts while also rejecting rationally untenable overbeliefs.

Friday 24th September • 4:00 – 8:30 pm (UK, BST)
4.00 – 4.10 pm • Consciousness Unbound and the Sursem Project
Prof Edward F. Kelly – Introduction to the Sursem research project and the trilogy that came out of it: Irreducible Mind , Beyond Physicalism , and Consciousness Unbound.
4:10 – 6:00 pm • Expanding Empirical Research Horizons • Chair: Emily Williams Kelly
Prof Bruce Greyson – Near-Death Experiences
Prof Jim Tucker – Cases of the Reincarnation Type
Dr Bob Rosenberg – Precognition
6:30 – 8:30 pmMysticism and the Evolving Divine • Chair: Paul Marshall
Prof Edward F. Kelly – Mystical Experience and Panentheism in the Sursem Project
Dr Glenn Alexander Magee – A Neo-Hegelian Theory of Mystical Experience and Other Extraordinary Phenomena
Prof Roderick Main – Mystical Experience and the Scope of Jung’s Holism

Saturday 25th September • 4:00 – 8:45 pm (UK, BST)

4:00 – 6:00 pmLiberating Mind from the Tyranny of Materialism: Toward A New Metaphysic • Chair: Marjorie Woollacott
Prof Max Velmans – Is the Universe Conscious? Reflexive Monism and the Ground of Being
Dr Bernardo Kastrup – Analytic Idealism and Psi: How a More Tenable Metaphysics Neutralizes a Physicalist Taboo
Federico Faggin – Consciousness Comes First
6:30 – 8:45 pm • The Emerging Vision of Consciousness and Why It Matters • Co-Chairs: Prof Edward F. Kelly and John Cleese
Dr Paul Marshall – Mind Beyond Brain: Surveying the Metaphysical Landscape
Prof David E. Presti – Expanding a Science of Consciousness
Prof Jeffrey J. Kripal – The Future of the Human(ities): Mystical Literature, Paranormal Phenomena, and the Contemporary Politics of Knowledge
Pointing the Way Forward – David Lorimer

Note: It is mentioned that, upon sign-up, the recording will be available for those not in attendance. You may sign-up by clicking the link above.


I have recieved a copy of the book, a gift from a very special friend. I’ve signed up for the conference and hope we can sponsor a conversation. Would you like to lead this conversation, Doug? Thank you for bringing attention to this important event.


Yes, though humble about the word ‘lead’. I have no qualms about taking the lead on the set-up for the Café page(s).

I have browsed the table of contents for Consciousness Unbound. The program for the event essentially aligns with the chapters of the book. I like the Title of Jeffrey Kripal’s essay “The Future of the Human(ities): Mystical Literature, Paranormal Phenomena, and the Contemporary Politics of Knowledge” (available in fragments here which will, perhaps, continue in the vein of The Flip and mine aspects of mind, putting Descartes before/after/above/below/around/through/inside/about/on/within/beyond the horse . . . I am, therefore I think). When the recordings are made available (potentially) we may wish to select from one or more of the presentations and bring this to the Café. I like the idea of following our exploration of Nature with aspects of Supernature.


This is a good idea. Kripal mentions the development of Superhumanities in his essay, the idea ( much like Aurobindo’s Supramental) that we are destined for Godhood. Another volume that resonates with this is Murphy’s Future of the Body. Also, Bernardo Kastrup is at his best in the essay he offers on Analytical Idealism. This volume is a treasure, and has come at a good time, as the madness of materialism becomes more obvious, and a meta-philosophical trajectory is starting to take shape, as our foray into grammar might suggest . Our group has worked with these authors of the impossible before and I am more confident that we are up to speed. After the conference we can sort out our preferences. This is a feast of co-evolving ideas.


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