In October of this year I had the good fortune of being able to attend the SAND (Science and Nonduality) Conference in San Jose, which brought thought leaders such as Deepak Chopra together with a number of scientists in the fields of physics and neuroscience. You can read an in-depth review that I put together of the event as part of the November issue of CE Magazine via the following link: SAND Review.
Now only eight weeks away, I am also very excited to be able to attend the Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco from February 14th-17th. This conference will be bringing together notable thinkers such as Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie with business and technology leaders from Silicon Valley and beyond.
Since my own background as a writer has been mainly in business and computer software -aside from my work with Collective Evolution -I am particularly interested in the potential synergy between spiritual leaders and technologists that this event would offer.
It was my own epiphany with respect to how our biological operating system (DNA) operates in the same way as computer programs that first really opened me up to the works of Eckhart Tolle. (Read more about this epiphany)
Prior to seeing Juan Enriquez’s TED video (playable below) which referred to an apple as a computer application, my interest in philosophy and metaphysics was purely intellectual; I enjoyed reading about the pyramids and other esoteric subjects but the material had never truly “landed.”
At that point it had occurred to me that if DNA is software, then “who” is the programmer. Having written a bit of code, and having had the experience of “disembodied intelligence” training me to run a word processor –when I went through a series of disks that taught me how to use the machine , I had a strong sense that DNA, just like software, could not have “evolved” from inanimate matter.
For me this is not an argument for Intelligent Design or God or fundamentalism, it is rather a deeply felt sense of the awe and mystery of WHAT IT IS that is infinitely vast and more intelligent than what “we” think it is.
Now I am particularly interested in how this sort of inquiry strikes the successful leaders of the technology companies that have opened themselves to a conference like Wisdom, and will listen to the inspirational likes of Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie.
In my opinion, it is obvious that a “shift” is happening among many intelligent people, with tech workers being of no exception to this. This shift is directly motivating philanthropy and ecological concerns to take precedence over the simple need for material compensation.
A great example of this are tech companies like Facebook and Google, which call their offices “campuses” and provides both day care and recreation apart from many other outside of the box amenities to their employees. More significantly, mindfulness practice has started to make its way into these centers of technology as well.
In some ways, of course, many of these strides are at least partially motivated by the hope of creating increased productivity, but I truly believe that more is at work when a conference like Wisdom 2.0 can provide the conditions for real inquiry and communication among these sorts of minds.
As many of us know technology is a double-edged sword. On one side it can lead to mass control, media manipulation or suggestion and on the other it can be like a planetary nervous system, connecting us all and providing the means for research and discovery on a scale never before possible. As Jack Kornfield infers in his quote on the main page of the conference, so much of the emphasis in the tech world has been on the tools—and the cool factor of the “apps”—but now the focus is shifting to the potential effect on the human BEING.
Where the technology and contemplative communities hash out the best ways to incorporate these tools into our lives -and keep them from taking over. – Wired Magazine
So many of us sense that it is exactly the “reprogramming” of our own “operating systems” that can save us as a species, and also lead to the kind of fulfillment that many of us crave in our work and relationships—beyond the material satisfaction that the media may attempt to substitute for our human needs.
Finally, in my opinion a big part of the problems that face us are the very powerful barriers that exist between various worlds, and the labels of “philosophy,” “spirituality,” as well as “science and technology.” What is the human body and brain? Aside from being the most exquisitely advanced technology ever known. And by whom is it known? Only by us “scientifically.”
Wisdom 2.0 features four “disciplines” that the conference blends together – Business, Tech, Wisdom and Society –with thought leaders from each area slated to share their insights. Why? Because we yearn for a deeper comprehension, which is why conferences like SAND and Wisdom 2.0 that blur the distinctions between thought leaders and promote a deeper inquiry are in my opinion vital to our future.
As we might do with a hard drive –much like meditation does to our brain –we need to “defragment” the distinctions between these various disciplines until we find deeper meaning –or as the ancients knew –a “sacred science” might yet reemerge. As Soren Gordhamer, the founder of the conference and author of Wisdom 2.0: New Movement Toward Purposeful Engagement in Business and in Life writes:
The tools that were once my humble servants and that I had enjoyed had become my overbearing master, directing much of my life…
A quote that’s wisdom is remarkably similar to what Eckhart Tolle says about the Ego/ Mind: that it is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.
Just as society assumes that science is objectively correct in many of its assumptions, so too do we assume that the next version of software “must” be installed –but it seems that this conference will be more so about profound reflection and challenging many assumptions that filter our understanding. I feel that we truly need to confront and break through our scientific assumptions and deepest beliefs that separate us from life, reality and from one another.
In this way we might be able to make both computer technology and the circuits in our bodies and brains align with our deepest needs and desires—which would help both our individual transformation and planetary survival. I think this conference will rock and I am very grateful to be invited to participate and I encourage you all to stay tuned for an in-depth review here on CE.
For those that are interested in attending, the early bird deadline for registration is December 15th; for more information you can visit the Wisdom 2.0 Summit web site.
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