India Awakens Conference

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India Awakens Conference
Kolkata, India
Kolkata, India
Duration 10am - 7pm
Date February 12, 2017
Venue Shivananda Hall, Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture
Location Kolkata, India

NEW WEBSITE: INDIA AWAKENS CONFERENCE

The India Awakens Conference will explore the convergence of Eastern and Western science and spirituality, with speakers representing both geographic and thematic sides - East and West, science and spirituality, and the intersections thereof. The Conference will take place in Kolkata, India, on Sunday, February 12, 2017, from 10am to 7pm, in the Shivananda Hall of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture.

We hope you will join us in Kolkata, an amazing city full of history and spirituality, home of Rabindranath Tagore, whose insights illuminate modern science. "After these conversations with Tagore, some of the ideas that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense," said Werner Heisenberg referring to the origins of quantum physics. "Tagore is, I think, saying that truth is a subtler concept than Einstein realizes," noted Brian Josephson. "Curiously enough, the present evolution of science is running in the direction stated by the great Indian poet," said Ilya Prigogine.

In Tagore's words:

"A firmament of sun and stars, a planet filled with life,... That eternal beat of time,... In awe-struck marvel therefore, surges up my song."

At the Conference, a global group of visionary thinkers will explore the intersections of spirituality and science. For those who can't join, we will provide live video streaming and produce professional video recordings of all talks.

The Conference is dedicated to the memory of our dear Rumjhum Munshi Pundit, and inspired by the hope to be reunited with her.

We will soon launch a crowdfunding campaign to cover the Conference's costs. Backers will receive benefits including admission, full video proceedings and extras on DVD, and access to live video streaming.

Invited Speakers

The speakers below have agreed to give talks:

Prof. Ralph Abraham

Prof. Ralph Abraham is a top mathematician and maverick scientist who, besides the acclaimed textbook "Foundation of Mechanics" on advanced mathematical physics, wrote about esoteric aspects of mind and physical reality with Terence McKenna and Rupert Sheldrake. In "Demystifying the Akasha: Consciousness and the Quantum Vacuum" (review), written with Prof. Sisir Roy, Abraham proposed a template mathematical model of reality, compatible with current scientific knowledge, which includes an Akashic information and memory field.


Prof. Robert Geraci

Robert Geraci, PhD, is Texan, but living, teaching, and writing in New York City, where he is Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College. His research investigates technology as a meaning-making enterprise, a reconfiguration of the world to make it purposeful. This includes the toadstool circles, the ancient temples, and the soaring cathedrals of our religious imagination, as well as the dark tunnels of mining and rapid transit. He visits mountains, deserts, temples, laboratories, factories, virtual realities... the places where magic enters the world. He is the author of "Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality" (Oxford 2010) and "Virtually Sacred: Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life" (Oxford 2014). He has been awarded research grants by the National Science Foundation, the American Academy of Religion, and the Fulbright Association. Thanks to the latter, he is composing his third book, an exploration of religion, science, and technology in contemporary India.


Dr. Ben Goertzel

Dr. Ben Goertzel is a researcher in Artificial Intelligence and the intersection of science and spirituality. Goertzel, who authored several books including "The Hidden Pattern" and "A Cosmist Manifesto: Practical Philosophy for the Posthuman Age," is working on a new framework for the nature of mind, the foundations of physics, and the scientific foundation of psi phenomena and other anomalous phenomena such as instances of apparent survival after death and reincarnation.


Dr. Amit Goswami

Dr. Amit Goswami, a leading quantum physicist and philosopher, is the author of many best selling books on theoretical physics and spirituality, including "The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World" and "God Is Not Dead: What Quantum Physics Tells Us About Our Origins and How We Should Live." A PBS documentary film titled "The Quantum Activist" is dedicated to Dr. Goswami work.


Michael LaTorra

Michael LaTorra, an ordained Zen priest, is the author of the book "A Warrior Blends with Life: A Modern Tao" and the recent article "What Is Buddhist Transhumanism?," published in Theology and Science. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.


Prof. Sisir Roy

Prof. Sisir Roy, a physicist interested in the geometry of quantum space-time near the Planck scale, is the author of "Statistical Geometry and Applications to Microphysics and Cosmology." A Professor of Physics and Applied Mathematics at the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, Roy co-authored with renowned mathematician and spiritual thinker Ralph Abraham a book, titled "Demystifying the Akasha: Consciousness and the Quantum Vacuum" (review) which covers a huge territory including Western and Eastern philosophies and religions, the foundations of quantum physics, and recent advances in quantum gravity theories and the digital physics of discrete space-times.


Prof. Frank Tipler

Prof. Frank Tipler is a mathematical physicist and cosmologist. A Professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University since 1981, Tipler is the author of many books and papers on highly imaginative science and future technologies. In his book "The Physics of Immortality," Tipler presented his "Omega Point" theory of technological resurrection. He expects that our descendants, including AIs and uploads, will eventually move out into space and ultimately transform the universe with space-time engineering. We will be brought back into existence as computer emulations in the far future.


We will directly invite other speakers. We are open to proposals for presentations at the Conference, please contact us if you wish to submit a proposal.

Conference Venue

Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, photo by Biswarup Ganguly
Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, entrance, photo provided by Nupur Munshi

The India Awakens Conference will be held on 12 February 2017, from 10am to 7pm, in the Shivananda Hall of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture (RMIC), located in Gol Park, in the southern part of Kolkata. The Institute, home of the "Vivekananda Study Circle" scientific forum, is a branch of Ramakrishna Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda, aimed at "the harmony of religions of the East and the West, the ancient and the modern, spiritual fulfillment, all-round development of human faculties, social equality and peace for all humanity without any distinctions of creed, caste, race or nationality."

"The sun reflected from millions of globules of water appears to be millions of suns," saidSwami Vivekananda. "There is but one Infinite Being in the universe, and that Being appears as you and as I; but this appearance of divisions is after all a delusion. He has not been divided, but only appears to be divided. This apparent division is caused by looking at Him through the network of time, space, and causation."


Organizers

The India Awakens Conference is produced by Turing Church, a working group at the intersection of science and religion, with the support of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. Besides planning, fundraising, and production, the main organizers below will give talks at the Conference.

Lincoln Cannon

Lincoln Cannon is a technologist and philosopher, and leading advocate of technological evolution and postsecular religion. For over a decade, he has written and presented on topics at the intersection of technology and philosophy, with emphasis on Mormonism and Transhumanism. He is a founder, board member, and former president of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, and a founder and advisor of the Christian Transhumanist Association.


Nupur Munshi

Nupur Munshi has over ten years teaching, writing and research experience and is presently working on Poetry as a means for Health Promotion with a publication of the same at the Journal of Indian Health Psychology. Worked at the Indian Institute of Psychometry, Kolkata, India, Research and Development section with experience in subjects as Comparative study of Tagorian and Wordsworthian philosophy of Nature. She has a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Calcutta, India.

Nupur dedicates her work for the Conferenve to the loving memory of her sister Rumjhum Munshi Pundit, the second of the three daughters of her parents Sakti Sadhan Munshi and Bandana Munshi.


Giulio Prisco

Giulio Prisco is a writer, technology expert, futurist, cosmist, and transhumanist. A former manager in European science and technology centers, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Prisco writes and speaks on a wide range of topics, including science, information technology, emerging technologies, virtual worlds, space exploration and future studies. He is especially interested in the convergence of science, religion, technology, and spirituality.


Kathy Wilson

Kathy Wilson is an artist and has been a business owner of several small businesses. Currently she is the owner of Sego Art and Frame in Salt Lake City. She is the mother of five children and a grandmother. Her interests other than the Arts and Humanities are issues regarding well-being through understanding the health and evolution of the human body. Her community involvement includes politics, projects supporting the Arts as well as organizing and fund raising for non-profit and educational programs.