Sydney Group

Meetings are organised by Lindsay Mell. Please use the contact form below to register your interest in joining the Sydney Local Group.

Forthcoming Meetings

The meetings will now be arranged by Lindsay Mell.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years.
Jean Ingman

Meeting of the Sydney Group held on Saturday 14th April 2018 Speaker  Lindsay Mell Topic “The Time of Our Lives How the Dimensional Realm of Time has become Evident through the Perception and Perspective of our Mutual Relationship Experience.”

The meeting will be held at 5 Donegal Road, Killarney Heights 2087 from 2.00 p.m. until 5 p.m. with a short break for afternoon tea. A small vegetarian/vegan item for tea would be welcome but is not necessary. Friends are very welcome to come.

Local Groups are autonomous groups of members and their guests, meeting together for lectures and discussions. They are not a formal part of the Network.

Report given to the Scientific and Medical Network Sydney Group by Lindsay Mell on 20

Beyond Duality – Towards Transformation Part 2.

There were six people present and five apologies.

Lindsay’s presentation was about Vasubandhu, a Buddhist monk who lived in the 4th century BCE and a philosopher who was considered one of the most influential thinkers in Indian Buddhist philosophy.

Lindsay talked about how all things, being subject to causes and conditions, could therefore be impermanent, from this perspective, because change would be logically impossible. All things persist for only a moment. Vasubandhu shared such a view and established Momentariness, things must self-destruct because of cause and effect. Each moment is different but giving the appearance of continuity as illustrated by the apparent motion on a movie screen.

Vasubandhu, had philosophical problems and like his forbears had to account for continuity, memory and karma, across many lifetimes, which was difficult to reconcile with the doctrine of impermanence.

Lindsay then went on to talk about Vasubandhu’s disproof of a creator god. The 8 fold path, right speech, right action, right livelihood etc. The world is inconsistent with a single creator from Vasubhandu’s perspective. Vasubandhu postulated that things are not caused by a unity god but by one of god’s many desires. Everything depends on mind or many minds. Vasubandhu was an idealist, everything dependent on mind, everything is mind. Lindsay continued with a discussion of the 8 consciousnesses, starting with the mental storehouse consciousness and the seeds of experience, universal ontological idealism.

Vasubandhu was only an idealist in the realm of conventions. Appearance being all there is and all that appears being a false construction of self.

A very interesting discussion followed regarding these concepts and included David Bohm’s Implicate/Explicate, and the question “Are we living in a hologram”? The gestalt consciousness concept of how realities and personalities are created as outlined in seemed to have much in common with Vasubandhu’s theories.

Vasubandhu agreed with the Mahayan tradition, each moment is new, the previous has gone, it has moved to a different dimension but reality is still connecting through continuity, the process of linking.

The afternoon was extremely interesting with plenty of interaction and discussion taking place for which we thank Lindsay.

Report of the Meeting of the Scientific and Medical Network Sydney Group February 26

David Burfoot talked about his book “Finding the Elephant. Subspace, the Mega-Phenomenon.”

We welcomed David to the meeting which was attended by 13 people with two apologies for absence.

Following introductions David talked about how he came to write his book. He wanted to find out more about life following the deaths of his mother and two brothers, and his experience working in special development situations overseas. He started researching the possibility of having a TV show bringing together people from different disciplines to debate big questions

What he found that separated them was not so much the subject matter, but the politics between different disciplines. This gave him the idea of using the fable of the six blind men and the elephant to show how if people worked together they would find out a lot more. The fable helped people examine information outside their own speciality and interest, without them feeling as though they were going to lose something in the process. Like the blind men and the elephant if knowledge is pooled modern research can combine to reveal interesting phenomena, like ‘subspace’.

The discussion continued with heuristics and how learnt behaviour and biases can get in the way of decision making.

We were then shown a variety of images to show how the brain “makes things up”. David went on to talk about the brain being a ‘middle man’ between reality and the subjective perceiver, ie, and that various bias like ‘moral licence’ and a ‘self-serving’ bias, meant that he mind will favour self in providing information to the perceiver.

The discussion then turned to Daniel Kahneman and fast and slow thinking. Expertise can blind you to innovation. With fast thinking the memory is working automatically, effortlessly, while the slow thinking mind calculates and supervises. Mostly fast thinking works well but we need to recognise when to think carefully and not be overconfident.

David went on to talk about Einstein, space/time and relativity. Max Planck and quantum physics which turned science upside down. The awareness of the moment and the ability of consciousness to affect the outcome. The placebo effect working throughout medicine. The Ganzfeld effect and psi research and connectivity. Neuroplasticity and reprogramming the brain. Multiple personality disorder with physical as well as mental changes, and global consciousness being effected by major world events such as 9/11 or Princess Diana’s death. NDE’s, etc.

The discussion then centred on delayed choice quantum eraser, particles becoming waves, the observer effect and information travelling both forward and backwards in time. Past present and future are one. This prompted considerable discussion especially regarding whether we can change our past.

Then followed talk about TRIZ, TIPS, Ken Wilbur and Integral Theory, Edward Witten and M Theory and String Theory. Integral – everyone is right in some way, the blind men and the elephant, but partially, imagine society which is truly inclusive replacing conflict with harmony.

An extremely interesting discussion by the author of a very informative, entertaining up to the minute book with brilliant illustrations. The afternoon was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

Report of the SMN meeting held on 26th November 2016 and details of the next meeting 26th February 2017
The next meeting of the Scientific and Medical Network Sydney Group Sunday 26th February. Speaker David Burfoot

Our next meeting will be held on Sunday 26th February 2017. The speaker will be David Burfoot, the author of the book “Finding the Elephant” Sub Space, the Mega Phenomenon. The topic will be “Finding Our Elephants”

David would be interested in other people’s perspectives about how they find the different disciplines coming together and what spurred their membership of the Scientific and Medical Network Sydney Group, as well as any other research happening out there that could be relevant that he is not aware of. David will talk about his journey with writing the book and hopes to find areas of interest with others.

As David has not been to the group before it would be good to see as many people as possible so please bring your friends or let anyone else you think may be interested know about the meeting. I would be grateful if you would let me know if you are coming.

The meeting will be held at 5 Donegal Road, Killarney Heights from 2.00 p.m. until 5 p.m. with a short break for afternoon tea. A small vegetarian/vegan item for tea would be welcome but not necessary.

If you are coming by public transport you are welcome to get here early.

Jean Ingman

Local Groups are autonomous groups of members and their guests, meeting together for lectures and discussions. They are not a formal part of the Network.

Meeting reports

Report of the meeting held on November 26th.
At the meeting on November 26th  Lindsay Mell spoke on the topic  Beyond Duality – Towards Transformation.

Lindsay began by quoting the song by Neil Diamond, “I am.. I said.  He then talked about Vasubandhu an early Buddhist philosopher. Vasubandhu composed many works on the main Buddhist schools and also argues with non-Buddhist , Orthodox (Hindu) positions. He went on to discuss the Major Arguments from the Treasury of the Abhidharma and the “Disproof of the Self” and his exclusive dichotomy (real & causal vs unreal & conceptual) which serves not only as a tool for refusing a separate self but also as a method of denying apparent subject/object relations or apparent substance/quality relations and translating them into linear, causal series. Lindsay outlined the principles regarding  Momentariness and Continuity. A lively discussion ensued.

We thank Lindsay for an interesting afternoon.