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Dualities and Non-Duality

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Event Series Event Series: Dualities

March 6, 2022 @ 6:00 pm 8:00 pm CET

Dualities and Non-Duality

with Mauro Bergonzi and Shantena Sabbadini

Sunday March 6, 2022
9:00 PST | 12:00 EST | 17:00 GMT  |  18:00 CET

2-hour session

The session is live and you will be sent the RECORDING.

What is the ultimate nature of reality? In our contemporary scientific culture reality appears to consist of a multiplicity of interacting parts. That multiplicity exhibits some fundamental dualities: being and becoming, particle and field, mind and matter.

On the other hand the main stance of non-duality (advaita in sanskrit) points to the simple fact that in reality there are endless differences, but no separation at all: reality is regarded as an indivisible whole, while the perception of isolated entities is just a mental construct without any cogent ontological foundation (including the idea of a separate ‘ego’ dwelling ‘within’ a single body/mind).

Not even the boundary between subject and object is real: according to non-duality, the opposing terms ‘consciousness’ and ‘world’ are just two different conceptual descriptions (in terms of the ‘first’ or of the ‘third’ person) of one and the same indivisible reality, just as ‘ascent’ and ‘descent’ are two different words for the same slope, depending which way one is going. So the alleged separation between ‘subject’ and ‘object’ is only an illusory mental construct.

This non-dual perspective has unfolded through a wide range of different forms not only in Eastern thought (mahāyāna buddhism, advaita-vedānta, tantrism, daoism, etc), but also in Western philosophical tradition, albeit frequently in more implicit forms (e.g Parmenides, Plotinus, Cusanus, Berkeley, Spinoza, Shelling or even Hegel), which may engender new prospects of dialogue with some challenging issues of contemporary scientific thought.

To see the Full Dualities Program

Mauro Bergonzi taught “Religions and Philosophies of India” and “General Psychology” from 1985 to 2017 at the University of Naples “L’Orientale”.  He is also a member of  I.A.A.P. (International Association for Analytical Psychology) and of C.I.P.A. (Centro Italiano di Psicologia Analitica). He is author of academic essays and articles on Oriental Philosophies, Comparative Religion, Comparative Philosophy, Psychology of Mysticism and Transpersonal Psychology. Since 1970, for about 25 years he has been practicing  meditation (mainly within Buddhist, Taoist and Vedānta traditions), always preserving a non-confessional and non-dogmatic approach, until only a radical non-duality prevailed. From then on, he has been regularly invited to lead spiritual groups in Italy. A survey of his non-dual communication is available in his book Il sorriso segreto dell’essere (Mondadori) and in his website: https://sites.google.com/site/ilsorrisodellessere/.

Shantena Augusto Sabbadini graduated from the University of Milan in 1968 and was awarded his PhD in physics from the University of California in 1976. In Milan he researched the foundations of quantum physics, laying the base for what is currently known as the decoherence interpretation of quantum physics. At the University of California, he contributed to the theoretical work behind the first identification of a black hole, the X-ray source Cygnus X-1. In the 1990s he was scientific consultant for the Eranos Foundation, an East-West research center founded under the auspices of C.G. Jung in the 1930s. In that context he produced various translations and commentaries of Chinese classics in Italian and English, including the Yijing and the trilogy of Daoist classics, the Laozi, the Zhuangzi and the Liezi. From 2002 onwards he collaborated with F. David Peat running the Pari Center for New Learning and in 2017 he succeeded his friend and colleague as director of the center.

Shantena leads workshops and courses on the philosophical implications of quantum physics, on Daoism, and on using the Yijing as a tool for introspection. His most recent book in English, Pilgrimages to Emptiness: Rethinking Reality through Quantum Physics, was published by Pari Publishing in 2017.


March 6, 2022
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm CET