Overview

An interdisciplinary exploration of the perennial questions facing humanity

Inspired by the life and work of the late Ostad Elahi—a contemporary thinker, jurist, and master musician who devoted his life to the pursuit of self-knowledge and the perennial questions facing humanity—the Foundation presents an array of informed discourse rooted not only in sound theories, but in the shared commonality of our personal experience as well.

Ostad Elahi
Exploring Meaning & Commonality
in Human Experience

In an age dominated by information and technology, where can we turn to find an existential roadmap, one that can address the enduring questions of our existence while helping us to navigate the myriad challenges and dilemmas of daily life? How can the rational pursuit of meaning and spirituality be integrated into the demands and exigencies of our contemporary lives?

Upcoming Series

An in-depth investigation into the nature of the human mind, from its origins and functions to its cultivation and development

Spirituality in the Age of Science: Conversations on God, Transcendence & Mortality Hosted in the elegant Morgan Library and Museum, this thought-provoking series features Wisconsin Public Radio’s Steve Paulson in conversation with three leading thinkers and scientists: anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann, physicist Alan Lightman, and physician Sam Parnia. Over the course of an unforgettable evening, each will share the results of their ongoing work and unique insights into the nature of spiritual experience, the quest for meaning and transcendence, and the question of consciousness beyond death. Learn More
  • Rethinking Mortality: Exploring the Intersection of Life and Death
    A Conversation with Sam Parnia Wednesday, February 7, 2024
    Scientific advances in the 21st century have led to major breakthroughs in the understanding of death. One in five survivors of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) who are revived back to life recall experiencing a heightened and transcendent state of consciousness that often follows a specific narrative arc. What can these remarkable experiences ultimately tell us about the nature of human consciousness?
  • Spiritual Materialism: Transcendent Encounters with the Sacred
    A Conversation with Alan Lightman Tuesday, December 5, 2023
    What is the origin of our transcendent experiences? How should we interpret feelings of being connected to nature and the cosmos, of being part of something larger than ourselves, of being overcome with awe and wonder? Can such feelings arise from the forces of natural selection and the human brain, or must they be derived from some all-powerful Creator?
  • The Spiritual Impulse: Understanding the Experience of God
    A Conversation with Tanya Luhrmann Tuesday, October 10, 2023
    Numerous polls have consistently shown that most people around the world believe in the existence of God or some higher power. Indeed, many of these people not only believe in a deeper reality, but also claim to experience God directly. Can social science explain how rational people come to believe in God and experience the divine as real?

Featured Events

A collection of thought-provoking discussions on such topics as the nature of reality and the mystery of human consciousness

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