Led by:  Professor Richard Bogartz

Every Tuesday & Thursdays 1PM - 2PM EST

April 20, 2021- July 29,2021

Discussion Topics and Suggested Readings:

No preparation is required to join in our dialogue but feel free to click on the topics below to open suggested readings for further exploration: 

04.22.21- Ontology – What are the world, the universe, you, made of?

Dualism, Materialism; Physicalism, Idealism

Suggested reading: The sections listed below in the Wikipedia article at:

If reading Section 2 is not fun, don’t bother with it. Maybe you’ll feel like checking it out later.

Likewise for the parts of section 4. I am only suggesting the following sections: We can chat about some of these:

1 Etymology

2 Overview

2.1 Reality of things

2.2 Particulars and universals

2.3 Abstract and concrete

2.4 Ontological dependence

2.5 Identity

2.6 Modality

2.7 Substances

2.8 Properties and relations

2.9 States of affairs and events


4.1 Hindu philosophy

4.2 Ancient Greek

4.2.1 Plato

4.2.2 Aristotle

4.4 Modern

4.4.1 Descartes

4.4.2 Spinoza

04.29.21- The mind-body problem. What is it? Can it be solved?

Suggested reading: McGinn- Can we Solve the Mind-Body Problem? Harder reading: Levine - On leaving out what its like

05.04.21- T. Nagel. What is it like to be a bat?

Things can exist in the world without our being able to know them.

05.06.21- Wishon, Panpsychism Panprotopsychism and Neutral Monism

A nice introduction to alternatives as to what we and the world might be made of:

05.11.21- What is consciousness?

‘Consciousness’ is a noun. ‘Conscious’ is an adjective. ‘Losing consciousness’ is a misstatement of someone no longer being conscious. Why do we think there is such a thing as consciousness? Does the brain make consciousness? Does consciousness have a location in time, in space? Or is it perhaps that time and space are located in consciousness? What could that mean? What are the properties of consciousness? Manifest transformation; unmanifest constancy, knowing. Does consciousness “make” the brain?

05.13.21- States of consciousness

Waking Dreaming Deep sleep Pure consciousness: Pure Consciousness; Consciousness without a subject or object; Pure Being; Consciousness without content as a unique "fourth" state; ineffability. Higher states: Cosmic cs., God cs., Unity cs. Suggested reading: Central silence quotes; Merton – Pure Love; Nature of Reality quotes

05.18.21- A common consequence of many meditation methods

Suggested reading: Shear & Jevning: Pure Consciousness: Scientific exploration of meditation techniques

05.20.21- The scriptural case for pure consciousness: Consciousness in Christian Mysticism

READING: Meister Eckhart: Sermons 1, 2, 3, 6, 23, 25

05.25.21- The scriptural case for pure consciousness:  The Cloud of Unknowing;

St. Teresa of Avila: Ch. 31 of The Way of Perfection;

06.01.21- Consciousness in Hindu Mysticism: Turiya – The fourth

Mandukya Upanishad:

06.03.21- Consciousness in Hindu Mysticism:  The wise man beholds all beings in the Self and the Self in all beings; for that reason he does not hate anyone.

Isa Upanishad:

06.08.21- Consciousness in Zen;  Dhyana and Prajna;  Samadhi and Satori; Self-nature; Suchness;

SUGGESTED READING: The Sutra of Hui Neng (portions)

06.10.21- Consciousness in Zen; Samadhi and Satori

Transmission of Light

06.15.21- Consciousness in Zen; Self-nature


06.17.21- The Book of Ocean

Part I: The Ocean

06.22.21- The Book of Ocean

II. The Ocean is Empty III. The Ocean is Full IV. The Ocean is not the Ocean

06.24.21- DISCUSSION: Consciousness as an existent

Eliminating the material as an alternative to eliminating Consciousness. What is Mind, then? What is the material world if all there is is Consciousness?

06.29.21- Kastrup’s idealism

Kastrup- The next paradigm.

07.01.21- What is awareness?

How is awareness different from consciousness? Mindfulness and awareness

07.06.21- Meditation:  What is meditation?

Many kinds: Mindfulness and meditation. Transcendental Meditation

07.08.21- What is happiness?

07.13.21- What is freedom?

07.15.21- What is love?

The three: Eros, Philia, Agape. Suggested reading: A fourth: An approach to unity

07.20.21- How is love related to happiness and freedom?  Why?

07.22.21- Loving is doing:

Acting When loving Is a feeling Without a doing, It is only a dreaming Of loving. --Richard S. Bogartz

07.27.21- Love in Christianity

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.” “Love thy neighbor because thy neighbor IS thy Self.” Can verbal directions such as these work? How? Is something needed in addition? When Jesus said, “I and my Father are One,” was this purely a remark about his status, or was he exemplifying the status of everyone? John 10:30 (KJV)

07.29.21- On Love.

The Book of Ocean

If you have any questions regarding the readings or upcoming topics, Professor Bogartz can be reached via email at: