Do we really live in a fundamentally physical universe? Are we essentially material beings? Essentia Foundation is a new force in the cultural dialogue about the nature of reality.
We live under a materialist metaphysics: all that supposedly exists is matter, an abstract entity conceptually defined as being outside and independent of consciousness. This metaphysics is often conflated with science itself, even though the scientific method only allows us to determine how nature behaves, not what nature is in and of itself.
The mainstream cultural endorsement of metaphysical materialism became firmly established in the second half of the nineteenth century. Since then, however, its strength has been derived mainly from intellectual habit and inherited assumptions, not from clear reasoning, evidence or explanatory power. As a matter of fact, over the past few decades evidence has been accumulating in foundations of physics, neuroscience and analytic philosophy that materialism is false.
Nonetheless, the cultural prevalence of metaphysical materialism has myriad—and arguably dysfunctional—implications at both individual and social levels: it impacts our sense of meaning and purpose, our value systems, our understanding of health, disease and death, as well as the way we relate to others, the planet and even ourselves.
Essentia Foundation aims at communicating, in an accurate yet accessible way, the latest analytic and scientific indications that metaphysical materialism is fundamentally flawed. Indeed, clear reasoning and the evidence at hand indicate that metaphysical idealism or nondualism—the notion that nature is essentially mental—is the best explanatory model we currently have. This is known in specialist communities, but hasn’t yet been openly communicated, in an accessible manner, to the culture at large. Essentia Foundation hopes to help close this communication gap.
Although we acknowledge that analytic or scientific understanding, in and of itself, isn’t life- or behavior-changing—only felt experience or knowledge by direct acquaintance is—in modern culture the intellect is the bouncer of the heart. Therefore, we aim to create intellectual space and legitimacy for the notion that, at its most fundamental level, all reality unfolds in an extended field of mentation.