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“Evolutionary spirituality” is quite fashionable nowadays in the Bay area, and so is the idea of integral consciousness. But few people actually know the roots of these concepts in the writings of Hegel, Nietzsche, Henri Bergson, Teilhard de Chardin, Jean Gebser and especially Sri Aurobindo, and Haridas Chaudhuri, co-founder and the first president of CIIS. Weaving through these personalities and the disciplines of evolutionary philosophy, transpersonal psychology and cultural anthropology, this will be a talk and open dialogue about evolution in consciousness and culture.


Allan Combs, PhD, is a consciousness researcher, neuropsychologist, and systems theorist at CIIS. He is the author or editor of over 200 articles, chapters, and books on consciousness and the brain, and is the Director of CIIS’ new CENTER FOR CONSCIOUSNESS STUDIES.

Debashish Banerji, PhD, has a doctoral degree in Indian Art History and served from 1991-2005 as the president of the East-West Cultural Center in Los Angeles., one of the earliest institutions in Southern California responsible for introducing a scholarly perspective on Indian culture and the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. At present, Banerji is Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Indian Studies at the University of Philosophical Research, Los Angeles. He is also an adjunct faculty in Art History at the Pasadena City College, Pasadena; and an Adjunct Faculty in Asian and Comparative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). Banerji has curated a number of exhibitions of Indian and Japanese art and is the author of two books: The Alternate Nation of Abanindranath Tagore (Sage, 2010) and Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformational Yoga Psychology Based on the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo (DK Printworld and Nalanda International, 2012).