Sunday, May 16, 2010

TEDxUKZN - Prof Kriben Pillay

Prof Kriben Pillay's presentation was "A Magic Trick of Perception".Taken from the speaker's bio from the TEDxUKZN site, a synopsis of his talk ~
Using personal experience and the latest findings from cognitive science, the presenter demolishes the notion that Consciousness/Being is a material phenomenon of the brain, and yet, paradoxically, is in agreement with science that the personal self is an illusion. All of this is illustrated through story and entertaining thought experiments.
Prof Pillay is a humourous, captivating and charming speaker.  I was trying to hang onto his every word, at the same time trying to take notes of his presentation. Some points he raised:

  • Magic can teach us something about the way our brains work.
  • We watch a movie and get taken in by it - the laughter, tears, immense pathos etc...but we don't realize the movie has been skillfully put together by artists.
  • Illusion doesn't mean something doesn't exist. It means, "not seeing what it really means."
  • Primary Illusion > The separation of the self and the world is real - both are illusions.
  • Once we change the orientation of our perception, we will actually realize what the great spiritual traditions in their pure forms were talking about.
  • Ask the question, "Is it true?"
  • If we don't examine our illusions, we will constantly be caught in delusions.
Click here to go back to TEDxUKZN 2010 - Africa, Change, the World

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