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KFA Explorations Conference 2017

KFA Explorations Conference 2017

An enquiry into the nature of the “self” and its implications for how we understand ourselves and our relationships to others and the world

Friday, April 28 - Sunday, April 30, 2017

Reflections on the Self

What is the sense of “self, “ what are its various implications in our lives, and is “freedom from the self” a possibility?

The experience of oneself as being conscious in a first person perspective is ubiquitous. This sense of “self” plays a key role in how we experience and live our lives.

The goal of this conference is to critically inspect the various facets of this sense of self, its origins, and its operation, in order to unearth a more coherent view of ourselves, our relationships with others and with the world around us. We also will examine what the notion of “freedom from the self” might or might not mean, and its various implications.

The conference will bring together individuals across different disciplines who share an interest in studying these questions. The event will feature a series of formal presentations and discussion sessions, with ample opportunities for additional informal exchanges.



Pathik PadhwaThomas Metzinger - Keynote Speaker
Director of the Theoretical Philosophy at Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz 

Thomas Metzinger is one of the foremost thinkers and researchers in the philosophy of mind. Metzinger presents a rigorous philosophical argument against the conception of the self as an entity. Rather than being a metaphysical essence that exists outside the body, he says, the self is an experience: the result of processes occurring within the body and brain. The vivid, conscious experience of being a self, which all of us know, Metzinger says, is a kind of useful hallucination. He explains, “The body and the mind are constantly changing. Nothing in us is ever really the same from one moment to the next. Yet the self represents a very strong phenomenal experience of sameness, and it’s clear this would be adaptive or helpful for a biological organism that needs to plan for the future. If you want to hide some food for winter or you want to save some money in your bank accounts or work on your reputation, you’re planning for future success, and you wouldn’t do that if you didn’t have the very strong feeling that it’s going to be the same entity that gets the reward in the future.”

Pathik PadhwaPathik Wadhwa
Development and Health 

Pathik D. Wadhwa, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Pune in India, and his doctorate from the University of California, Irvine.

Pathik’s research examines the interface between biological, social, and behavioral processes in human pregnancy, with an emphasis on outcomes related to fetal development, birth, and subsequent newborn, infant, and child health. His work has been continuously supported by research grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and other agencies.  He has a long-standing interest in formulating and examining questions.

Jaap SluijteJaap Sluijterr has a long-standing interest in the questions raised by J. Krishnamurti. Currently, Jaap is the Executive Director of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America. Previously, he lived and taught for several years at the Brockwood Park School in England.

“The study of Krishnamurti’s work is the study of our own life, to observe our own minds in action and to become aware of the multitude of stimulus-response patterns in the network of our thoughts. His questions draw attention to the very perspective from which we view our lives. We are so used to having problems and to solving problems. Then Krishnamurti comes along and asks, 'Is it possible to not make a problem out of anything?' A question like this brings in a totally new perspective, and has the possibility of turning the mind towards its own movement, creating the potential for a new direction.”

Mark LeeMark Lee

R. E. Mark Lee grew up in Santa Barbara, California, and received a master's degree in education from the University of California in 1977. Most of his professional career was spent in schools in India and America. He was principal of the Rishi Valley Junior School from 1965 to 1972 and founding director of the Oak Grove School in Oai, California, from 1975 to 1985. He served as executive director of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America for twenty Years ad was director of Krishnamurti Publications for five years. He was the chief editor of the seventeen volumes The Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life, and The Little Book on Living. From 1995 to 2010, Lee was the owner-publisher of the Edwin House Publishing, which specialized in memoirs of Krishnamurti's associates. His interests include architecture, gardening, travel, and reading. For the past forty years, he has lived with his wife and daughters in Ojai.


Program Schedule

    Fri. April 28 Sat. April 29 Sun. April 30
Session 1 9:30 - 10:30 AM Introduction by Jaap Sluijter

Talk by Thomas Metzinger

Discussion with the speakers
  10:30 - 11:00 AM Break Break Break
  11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Exploration Exploration Exploration
Lunch 1:00 - 2:30 PM Lunch Lunch Lunch
Session 2 2:30 - 3:30 PM Talk by Mark Lee on the nature of the Self Talk by TBD

Closing Session
(2:30 - 4:30 PM)

  3:30 - 4:00 PM Break Break
  4:00 - 6:00 PM Exploration Exploration
Evening 6:00 - 8:00 PM      



$225 for full event (with lunch)

$85 for separate days (with lunch)