Swami Vivekananda, a man of scientific temperament, upheld the modern view and pleaded for a scientific approach to study consciousness in its entirety. According to him 'We must take up the study of the super conscious state just as any other science. One reason we must have to lay our foundation; we must follow reason as far as it leads, and when reason fails, reason itself will show us the way to the highest plane.' Since the unconscious, conscious, and super conscious states belong to one and the same mind, one state does not disallow the others. Moreover, it has become possible for a trained mind to intentionally cross the boundaries, leading to a transcendental state of consciousness.
The issue of Consciousness remains a major challenge for human intellect. Eminent philosophers and scientists have been exploring consciousness for years, yet it still remains, to an extent, elusive. That is one of the reasons why the Institute has made arrangements for biennial International Seminars on Consciousness.
The topics of the earlier such Seminars were: 'Philosophy and Science: An Exploratory Approach to Consciousness' (2002), 'Life, Mind and Consciousness' (2004), 'Consciousness: A Deeper Scientific Search' (2006) and 'Understanding Consciousness: Recent Advances' (2008). The proceedings of all the four Seminars have already been published by the Institute.
The fifth Seminar 'Spirituality and Science of Consciousness' was inaugurated by Swami Prabhanandaji Maharaj, General Secretary, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, on 8 January 2010. The Keynote Address was delivered by Professor K. Ramakrishna Rao, Chairman, Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New
Delhi and Dr Bikash Sinha, former Director of Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics and Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, Kolkata, delivered the Presidential Address.
Among the participants, Swami Veda Bharati and Professor Jonathan Shear were unable to attend the Seminar.
However, their papers were read out by Dr.Jan Brzezinski and Professor P.K.Mukhopadhyay respectively.
We hope that this latest book on Consciousness will be as well received as the four earlier books on the subject.
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