Center for Sacred Sciences
Matt Sieradski is a teacher in the Hunyuan Taijiquan tradition and is a spiritual teacher and minister at the Center for Sacred Sciences in Eugene, Oregon. Matthew also practices as an acupuncturist, herbalist, and craniosacral therapist. In this issue of Holos, Matt explains and elucidates the principles of taiji practice from a mystical perspective, connecting them to our own experience and the universal principles of the mystical traditions of the world.
Vic Mansfield, author of Tibetan Buddhism and Modern Physics: Toward a Union of Love and Knowledge was a professor of physics and astronomy at Colgate University from 1973 until his death in 2008. In this article, Vic explores how Buddhist philosophy and modern physics can mutually illuminate each other, focusing in particular on the interrelated concepts of time, impermanence, emptiness, and interdependence. With down-to-earth examples, Vic shows how understanding of these can open our experience up to greater compassion and sense of connection with the entire cosmos across all time and space.
Sarah Voss, author of What Number Is God?, shares the story of her diverse life as a mathematics professor, a Unitarian Universalist minister, and a mediator. Drawing from her unique background, Voss discusses her insights into how mathematics provides valuable metaphors for understanding and communicating paradoxical religious teachings, and how this is especially important in our time. She holds a Doctor of Ministry from the Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago.
From sacred music and philosophy in Ireland to ethics and university building in Uganda, this interview traces the life and work of Professor Deirdre Carabine, author of The Unknown God: Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition: Plato to Eriugena and John Scottus Eriugena. Carabine shares her insights into the mystical teachings of Christianity, how they have influenced her own life, both professionally and personally, and what wider significance they have for our world today. She is currently Vice Chancellor of the International Health Sciences University in Kampala, Uganda.
In this fascinating and dynamic discussion of the mysteries of quantum physics, Holos editor Tom McFarlane interviews Bruce Rosenblum, Professor Emeritus of Physics and former Chair of the of Physics Department at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Rosenblum is a coauthor of Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness, which is based on a popular university course that he has taught for many years. Using simple experimental demonstrations that can be directly understood without any knowledge of math or physics, Rosenblum explains the two quantum enigmas: the dependence of reality on observation and the instantaneous connection between remote events. Through both of these quantum enigmas, Rosenblum argues, physics encounters the mystery of consciousness.
In this interview, Professor Joseph Lumbard of Brandeis University discusses the importance of revitalizing the heart of Islam by reconnecting with its traditional roots in the classical scholarship of Islam. He also shares his perspective on the historical factors related to the modern turn away from tradition, and ways that the recovery of the essence of Islam can be fostered. The interview touches upon other topics, such as the nature of Gnosis in the philosophy of Ibn al-Arabi, and the relationship between this type of knowledge and scientific knowledge.
This unique article demonstrates how the primordial act of distinction provides a foundation for a universal language that unites all mystical traditions and links them to the mathematical language of science. The introduction by Joel Morwood discusses the relevance of this to the creation of a new sacred worldview in which science and mysticism can be seen as compatible ways of describing the same underlying Reality.
Religious Studies Professor Harold Roth talks about his research in ancient Taoism and Taoist meditation techniques, some of the important aspects of the Taoist worldview, and their relevance to the modern West. Roth also discusses his experiences introducing first-person investigation (such as meditation) into both his teaching and research, and why it is so important that it be more widely accepted and integrated into the field of Religious Studies.
Holos editor Tom McFarlane interviews philosopher, writer, and Zen practitioner David Loy on a broad range of topics, including a detailed discussion of Professor Loy's innovative notion of lack and how it relates to our selves and society. Our sense of lack, Loy explains, arises as a kind of "shadow" of our sense of self. The flip side of our attachment to self is our aversion to our ungroundedness or emptiness of self. And this manifests as a sense of lack which we often find manifested both individually and culturally as futile projects to try and make ourselves real in the world. The implications of this on the personal and collective levels are profound and shed light not only on our history, but on current events in our world today.
Published in 2004 just before Holos was launched, this interview with Buddhist scholar and teacher Alan Wallace includes a discussion of his personal background followed by his provocative and inspiring views on science, religion, and their relationship. He concludes with an ambitious and optimistic proposal for a future science of consciousness, and describes the steps he is currently taking to make that vision a reality.
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The online journal Holos: Forum for a New Worldview publishes articles and interviews that help promote the development and dissemination of a new sacred worldview. The subject matter encompassed by Holos includes topics related to mystical teachings, especially those demonstrating the unanimity of the testimony of mystics across traditions, cultures, and times; the relationship between scientific and mystical truths; the development of a sacred worldview; mathematics as a sacred language that can provide a link between scientific and spiritual ways of understanding the world; and the nature of mystical truth and its relationship to contemporary society, philosophy, and science. Holos appeals not only to scholars but also to the educated spiritual practitioner, spiritual teachers, and the clergy in various spiritual traditions.
Holos: Forum for a New Worldview is a publication of the Center for Sacred Sciences, Eugene, Oregon, USA