Pilgrimages to Emptiness

Rethinking Reality through Quantum Physics

with Shantena Augusto Sabbadini

October 4 – 8, 2018

This seminar, based on my latest book, published by Pari Publishing, is an invitation to recover the sense of wonder for the immensity of existence. It uses science to go beyond science, it uses the little we know to celebrate the vastness of the unknown. The lectures and discussions will alternate with walks in nature and exploring the wonders of the region.

The lectures will cover the following topics:

– The essential unity of mind and matter. We will explore some key notions of quantum physics and particularly the quantum descrption of the process of observation. We will find that, paradoxically, as we have been diving deep into the heart of matter, matter itself has been evaporating and we have been forced to reconsider our philosophical assumptions in favour of a view of mind and matter as complementary co-arising aspects of reality.

– The issue of determinism versus freedom. We will explore some basic notions of chaos theory, focusing particularly on the spontaneous emergence of order and on symmetry breaking as necessary background for a discussion of the nature of life, determinism and freedom.

– The nature of space and time. In the last hundred years our understanding of space and time has evolved enormously, moving away from an intuitive notion based on immediate perception. We will focus particularly on the arrow of time (why we remember the past, but not the future?) and we will examine some of the radical perspectives on space and time emerging from current work in progress on the unification of gravity with quantum theory.

– Finally we will compare some of the insights we gathered from the previous discussions with the perspectives of Eastern wisdom traditions, particularly Taoism.


Shantena Augusto Sabbadini (www.shantena.com) worked as a theoretical physicist at the University of Milan, Italy, and at the University of California. He was involved in research on the foundations of quantum physics and in the first identification of a black hole. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s he helped organize the Eranos Round Table Sessions and lectured at Eranos about the I Ching, physics and philosophy. He is director of the Pari Center for New Learning (www.paricenter.com). His most recent book, Pilgrimages to Emptiness, has been published by Pari Publishing.