Jointly organised by the University of Delhi and Infinity Foundation India, the fourth edition was the Swadeshi Indology Conference on Mind Sciences. Building upon Infinity Foundation’s work in consciousness studies and actively engaging with the team that was previously nurtured by the foundation, this conference was a six-day affair with scholars presenting research in addition to interactive workshops.
In addition to addressing the critical issues in Indian psychology, other major themes engaged with were research related to theoretical Models and their applications in Education, Clinical and Counseling Psychology, Organizational Psychology. Research in Indian Psychology: First person, second person, and third person and exploring shastra for Indian Psychology were additional themes. The inner sciences are empirical sciences involving the mind and all mental, sensory and cognitive powers as well as consciousness in all of its states.
They are scientific in the sense that they are based on empirical observation and experimentation with these inner phenomena. The analyses of consciousness, for example, undertaken in the Samkhya-Yoga, Advaita Vedanta and Buddhist traditions, found what we simply call consciousness to be a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, actually consisting of multiple levels of consciousness. These, ranging from coarse to subtle and very subtle levels, serve as the basis both of our sensory experience, our cognition, our sense of self-consciousness, and, ultimately, the subconscious substratum that is a unifying force not only in our own sense of continuous experience, but also as the basis for the common or collective consciousness that appears to link all living beings.
The Inner Sciences also envisioned a subtle body that unifies mind and body, avoiding the bifurcation between the two that continues to plague modern Western thought. Taking the legacy of a few millennia of India’s consciousness traditions forward – more than 50 presentations and half a dozen workshops were organised.