University of Oulu

Beyond the physical realm of mindfulness : the nature of reality and concept of mind in traditional eastern philosophy of Sufism and the quantum paradigm

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Author: Mat Sham, Anis1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.5 MB)
Pages: 142
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : A. Mat Sham, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-04-18
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Räsänen, Rauni
Reviewer: Jokikokko, Katri
Järvelä, Maria-Liisa
Räsänen, Rauni


The pandemonium seizing the world is not so much a physical one, rather a reflection of the chaos in the human mind. As a result, a plethora of concepts have been proposed to address this need in society, one being mindfulness. Central to this concept of mindfulness is the nature of reality and notion of mind. Yet, contemporary mindfulness literature is sparse in addressing these fundamental aspects and instead tends to be undergirded by scientific evidence-based approach which is rooted in modern science also known as Classical Science. This trend is not only widespread in the contemporary mindfulness studies but is the sine qua non of the larger social sciences and humanities research traditions. Despite this prevalence, science has moved into a promising, contemporary branch of science of the Quantum where the non-physical, non-material reality is the default state. This new model of reality introduces a more holistic thought tradition of “both/and” probabilistic thinking perspective instead of “either/or”. Adopting this Quantum Science reality, this thesis explores the nature of reality and concept of mind in contemporary mindfulness and Sufism, comparing both frameworks to that of Quantum Science.

Findings demonstrate parallel tenets with regards to the nature of reality, the nature of human and the concept of mind between Quantum Science and Sufism, ultimately bridging the gap between spirituality, religion and science. Furthermore, the thesis uncovers that the perpetual implicit assumptions underpinning contemporary mindfulness are still largely based on the axioms of Classical Science emphasizing physical matter. These axioms continue to assert influence in many academic disciplines even though it had been shown not to be a concrete, default view of science but resulting from historical circumstances. As such, contemporary mindfulness assumes that the mind is an epiphenomenon of the brain. Contrarily, both Sufism and Quantum Science demand a deeper and richer understanding of reality and matter that goes beyond the physical. Neither of them subscribes to the perspective that mind is an emergent property of the brain. Instead, the mind or consciousness, is metaphysical in essence. This significance given to the metaphysical inadvertently provides scientific legitimacy to philosophies, theories, methodologies, approaches and others that center around subjectivity like in education, better capturing the essence of the human.

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Copyright information: © Anis Mat Sham, 2019. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.