A Convergence of Minds
A recently recorded dialogue with Rupert Spira and one of his favourite conversation partners, Bernardo Kastrup, will be the culminating event of The Weekend University’s upcoming and highly anticipated Holistic Recovery Summit. This free online event, running from 27 November through 2 December, promises to be a significant contribution to TWU’s mission to promote psychological well-being and reduce human suffering.
The captivating and informative conversation with Rupert and Bernardo – titled ‘Materialism & Nonduality: The Role of Worldview in Addiction & Recovery’ – is moderated by TWU’s founder, Niall McKeever.
Bernardo has two PhD degrees, one in computer science, with extensive work in the field at CERN, where he engaged with artificial intelligence and physics; and the other in philosophy, continually exploring deep questions about consciousness and reality.
Regular visitors to this website may already know that Rupert, who speaks and writes regularly on non-duality, the pathless path to inner peace and happiness, places great interest in exploring the everyday, the ordinary, rather than the kinds of exotic experiences that tend to be labelled ‘spiritual’.
Niall, describing himself as “a writer and entrepreneur with a passion for making great ideas more accessible”, shared his views on non-duality and consciousness in a detailed essay that can be found here.
A Mutual Interest in the Nature of Reality
In recent years, Rupert and Bernardo have engaged in several fruitful dialogues, recorded as podcasts (which you can view by clicking here and here). The two have expressed their deep mutual interest in exploring the nature of reality, a topic that aligns more with philosophy than with science, and which tends to focus more on describing how things behave rather than what they inherently are. They agree that there is a unified, indivisible reality and share an ongoing fascination with the convergence of philosophical and scientific understandings of consciousness and reality.
Their most recent dialogue for the November event covers a vast array of topics related to consciousness, the nature of reality, and the implications of the non-dual understanding for those seeking to recover from various forms of addiction.
Among the many key themes:
- The Perils of Misunderstanding the Source of Happiness
Happiness is not the result of attaining objects but from the temporary halt of the mind’s constant seeking. Unfortunately, the many who misunderstand this are led into the trap of addiction. They repeatedly seek external means to experience happiness, mistaking those external means as the source of their joy.
Rupert poetically describes true happiness, our essence, not as an emotion or a transient experience but as an ever-present background. Like the constant blue sky obscured by clouds, our true nature is always there, waiting to shine through when the activities of thinking and feeling momentarily cease.
- Aligning Desires with True Nature
Recognising this truth is paramount. Understanding that external objects or experiences are not the source of true happiness is the first step towards breaking free from the chains of addiction. Once this clarity sets in, individuals no longer seek fulfilment from external sources. While they might still pursue experiences, the intention is no longer rooted in the hope of attaining happiness
It’s not about abandoning desires, but about purifying them from the influence of separation. When your desires stem from a deep understanding of true nature, they become potent. They are in harmony with the universe, and as Rupert puts it, “the whole then conspires to help you.” The remedy for addiction doesn’t lie in the streets of our cities but in the corridors of our minds. The shift from seeking happiness in the external to recognising it within can pave the way for a life of true fulfilment and purpose.
- A Rich Exploration of How to Live Happily
Other topics include: the unifying concept of non-duality, how our perceptions do not actually show us reality, how to better understand the cosmos by better understanding our mind, the double-edged sword of metacognition, and the profound value of seeing our seemingly separated self as in service to a larger force.
Careful listeners are likely to discern the underlying theme uniting all the various and vital topics: The importance of living one’s life in alignment with a deeper understanding of existence. The hallmarks of a life well-lived, as they suggest, are not material achievements but a feeling of purposeful direction as an expression of inner harmony and a sense of universal connectedness.
You can attend the free online Holistic Recovery Summit by clicking here.