"This is not science it is religion. It has a clear agenda and I don't see it as much more than an old religion cashing in on modern scientific discoveries to add to its own credibility. A good theory makes testable predictions. Does this theory make any predictions we can test? If it does we can start to assess whether any or all of it is a good model for consciousness."
I'll tack on a few Scientific results of late which may clarify a bit more for you.
I do find it an exciting possibility that our human minds can gain access to this underlying unified field of consciousness. It all seemed so shrouded in Mystery before.
Do you see this as a Human possibility?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Vol. 17, #19, June 26, 2002
Copyright 2002, Maharishi University of Management
This is the final issue of The Review for the academic year. We'll be back in September.
Research on Cosmic Consciousness Rivets Audience
Participants at a recent annual conference on consciousness were "riveted" by the experiences of Cosmic Consciousness of subjects in a study conducted by Fred Travis, director of the EEG lab and dean of the graduate college.
Dr. Travis presented his recent research at a plenary session to an audience he described as riveted when he read the self-reports of individuals describing their experiences of higher states of consciousness.
The conference, held in Tucson, includes researchers from around the country who are involved in the study of the science of consciousness.
Dr. Travis's research compared a group of 17 subjects experiencing Cosmic Consciousness as a result of their practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique to a control group of short-term meditators and non-meditators.
His findings indicate that during the performance of challenging tasks, subjects who have reported integration of Transcendental Consciousness with waking and sleeping states exhibit distinct brainwave patterns and more efficient performance on complex cognitive activities.
"These findings are highly significant because they offer empirical verification of the practical benefits of living enlightenment--greater efficiency in action--and suggest neural mechanisms that may underlie these benefits," Dr. Travis said.
In his Tucson presentation, Dr. Travis introduced the concept of the experience of self awareness without mental content--transcendence. He said the audience was very engaged by this idea, which contradicts the traditional understanding in Western psychology that consciousness always needs an object. He explained that meditation traditions are designed to lead to the state of "pure consciousness," in which consciousness is aware of its own structure.
Dr. Travis then briefly outlined the research on the experience of transcendence in meditation as a prelude to his main point: the study of subjects who report the permanent integration of transcendent and waking experience, or Cosmic Consciousness.
He then read the self-reports of his subjects of their experience of "sense of self" and "awareness during sleep"--the reports that he said the audience found riveting. The group that didn't practice the Transcendental Meditation technique described themselves in terms of cognitive style ("open to change . . . adventurous . . . compassionate towards others") while the individuals reporting experiences of enlightenment reported an abiding, pervasive wakefulness.
One person said, "There's a quality that is so pervasive about the Self that I'm quite sure that the I is the same I as everyone else's I." Another said, "We ordinarily think of my self as this age, this color of hair . . . but really my experience is that my self is a lot larger than that. Actually it's immeasurably vast . . . on a physical level. I look out and see this beautiful divine intelligence . . . you could say in the sky, in the tree, but really being expressed through these things . . . and these are my self."
Dr. Travis then presented the EEG data, which was very well received. "Many people came to me and were interested in learning more about the Transcendental Meditation technique and asked about collaborating in research," Dr. Travis said,
"Transcendental Meditation opens the awareness to the infinite reservoir of energy, creativity, and intelligence that lies deep within everyone."
"By enlivening this most basic level of life, Transcendental Meditation is that one simple procedure which can raise the life of every individual and every society to its full dignity, in which problems are absent and perfect health, happiness, and a rapid pace of progress are the natural features of life."
The Transcendental Meditation (TM®) technique is a simple, natural, effortless procedure practiced for 15-20 minutes in the morning and evening, while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. During this technique, the individual's awareness settles down and experiences a unique state of restful alertness. As the body becomes deeply relaxed, the mind transcends all mental activity to experience the simplest form of awareness, Transcendental Consciousness, where consciousness is open to itself. This is the self-referral state of consciousness.
The experience of Transcendental Consciousness develops the individual's latent creative potential while dissolving accumulated stress and fatigue through the deep rest gained during the practice. This experience enlivens the individual's creativity, dynamism, orderliness, and organizing power, which result in increasing effectiveness and success in daily life.
The Transcendental Meditation technique is scientific, requiring neither specific beliefs nor adoption of a particular lifestyle. The practice does not involve any effort or concentration. It is easy to learn and does not require any special ability. People of all ages, educational backgrounds, cultures, and religions in countries throughout the world practice the technique and enjoy its wide range of benefits.
Over 500 scientific research studies conducted during the past 25 years at more than 200 independent universities and research institutes in 30 countries have shown that the TM program benefits all areas of an individual's life: mind, body, behavior, and environment.
The research findings include:
Reduced high blood pressure
Reversal of biological aging
Reduced crime and improved quality of life in society
The research has been published in such major scientific journals as Science, the American Journal of Physiology, Scientific American, Lancet, the Journal of Counseling Psychology, the International Journal of Neuroscience, the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, the British Journal of Educational Psychology, and the Journal of Conflict Resolution.
Research indicates that TM technique Meditators on average have the biological age of a person 5 to 12 years younger, as well as significantly reduced incidence of illness and risk of heart disease. Studies also show that TM technique Meditators have warmer interpersonal relationships, less anxiety, increased self-esteem and self-confidence, increased problem-solving ability and greater creativity. The individual spontaneously radiates a purifying and nourishing influence of positivity and harmony in society as a whole.
Landmark Brain Research Gives New Insights into Human Potential
Dr. Alarik Arenander and Dr. Fred Travis
For over a decade, Dr. Fred Travis, Director of the EEG Lab at Maharishi University of Management and a member of the Institute’s Brain Research Institute, has been studying brainwave patterns associated with the experience of “transcendental consciousness”— a “ground state” of human cognitive function that many ancient traditions say is the basis for culturing “enlightenment,” the highest state of human potential.
Dr. Travis’s research has led to many important new discoveries about the nature of human development and the total potential of human brain functioning. His findings indicate that enlightenment, which in the West has often been considered to be an abstract goal outside the scope of systematic scientific investigation, can now be shown to be a natural, attainable human condition that confers many practical benefits in daily life.
Last month, Dr. Travis presented his most recent research at a scientific conference entitled “Science of Consciousness” in Tucson, Arizona. His findings indicate that, during the performance of challenging tasks, subjects who have reported integration of transcendental consciousness with waking and sleeping states exhibit distinct brainwave patterns—specifically, higher frontal EEG coherence, higher global EEG alpha power, and more efficient performance on complex cognitive activities.
“These findings are highly significant,” Dr. Travis said, “because they offer empirical verification of the practical benefits of living enlightenment—greater efficiency in action—and suggest neural mechanisms that may underlie these benefits.”
According to Dr. Travis’s research, the continuous experience of transcendental consciousness—the Self—across the 24 hours of each day is associated with increased coherent functioning of the frontal cortex and with increased global alpha power. Brain researchers consider the frontal cortex to be critical in the control of cognitive activities and especially in the development and maintenance of one’s sense of self. The finding of higher frontal brainwave coherence thus gives empirical support to the description of “enlightenment” as a state of self-realization—a fuller sense of who we really are.
In addition, the increased global alpha power found in these subjects during performance of waking tasks has also been found during deep sleep in other subjects who reported inner wakefulness during the night (see research published by Dr. Lynne Mason in Sleep 20(2): 102-110, 1997). Since global alpha is seen both during experiences of transcendental consciousness alone and during the integration of the transcendental state with waking and deep sleep, this brain activity may represent a fundamental mode by which transcendental consciousness becomes self-sustaining across waking, dreaming, and sleeping states of consciousness.
On the basis of this research, Dr. Travis created an Integration Scale, a new brain-based measure of physiological integration that charts the transformation in cortical functioning corresponding to increased integration of transcendental experiences and waking-state activity (see graph). Dr. Travis combined three cortical measures—EEG coherence, amplitude, and the style of task performance—into a single, composite value for each subject. These values are plotted in the graph, with individuals on the left side of the scale reporting rare or no transcendental experiences and individuals on the right side reporting continuous integration of transcendental and waking experiences. Note in the graph that the upward-sloping line reflects a general trend for individuals who report higher degrees of integrated experience to display higher frontal EEG coherence, higher global EEG alpha power, and more efficient performance on complex cognitive activities.
Integration Scale, showing the relationship between enhanced cortical functioning and the integrated experience of transcendental consciousness and waking state.
“Conference participants from all over the world greatly appreciated the research behind the Integration Scale, as well as the large body of published research on the Transcendental Meditation® technique that supports the growth of coherent brain processes,” Dr. Travis said. “We feel this Scale could be used to explore the contribution of integrative experiences to success in business, arts, and sciences.”
“This landmark research presents the first ever empirical evidence for higher states of consciousness,” said Dr. Alarik Arenander, co-author of the research study and Director of the Brain Research Institute. “Dr. Travis is to be congratulated for guiding this work. The prefrontal cortex is in a position to exert nearly total control over brain function. Development of high levels of prefrontal EEG coherence through TM® practice could result in long-term, beneficial changes in neural functional interconnectedness, which in turn could help establish coexisting brain mechanisms supporting the simultaneous experience of silence and dynamism—total brain functioning or ‘enlightenment.’
NEW COLOR MOVIES OF BRAIN ACTIVITY DURING TRANSCENDENCE
Dr. Alarik Arenander, Director of the Institute’s Brain Research Institute (BRI), has spent the last two weeks analyzing brain imaging data to create the first-ever 3-D, color movies of changing electromagnetic fields in the brains of subjects experiencing “transcendental consciousness”—an experience leading to what many ancient traditions call “enlightenment.”
Dr. Arenander worked with scientists at the Henry Ford Hospital Neuromagnetism Lab in Detroit, using scientific equipment available in only seven other advanced brain research centers in the United States. Dr. Arenander acquired this remarkable data during a visit to the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, under the sponsorship of the company that manufactures these neuroimaging machines.
The 3-D brain movies being created at the BRI from Dr. Arenander’s data will display the moment-by-moment reconfiguration in the brain of billions of electromagnetic signals during the shift from normal perceptual activity to the experience of transcendental consciousness, the unified field of consciousness. The movies will provide an invaluable research tool to study in detail this transformation in the brain and its effects on human potential.
Dr. Arenander analyzed data from magnetoencephalography (MEG) brain scans of subjects who were experiencing periods of spontaneous breath quiescence during their practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique. Breath quiescence, or breath suspension, is an objective physiological measure that has been scientifically correlated with subjective experiences of “transcendental consciousness” or “unbounded awareness.”
  
A single frame from a computer-generated, 3-D color movie (top-down view) showing the brain’s electromagnetic activity patterns (in blue) during the experience of the Transcendental Meditation technique. A top-down view showing the distribution of magnetic potentials across the brain during meditation.
“Transcendental experience has been considered mystical by modern science, something beyond rational comprehension,” says Dr. Arenander. “But now we have the technology to help us begin to systematically access and understand this level of human experience—an experience that could be vital in creating a strategy to develop the full potential of the human brain physiology.”
The first landmark research on the nature of transcendental consciousness was published in Science 30 years ago by Dr. Robert Keith Wallace, who identified physiological correlates of the experience and called it “a wakeful hypometabolic state.” Since these first studies, Dr. Fred Travis at Maharishi University of Management and other researchers have been examining autonomic and cerebral changes during meditation. The BRI’s new color movies represent yet another breakthrough in understanding the nature of brain functioning during the experience of transcendental consciousness.
“This is exciting research,” says Dr. Arenander. “It clearly reveals a unique style of holistic, global functioning in the brain. These findings will ignite interest among neuroscientists around the world, boost participation in such studies, and help facilitate an understanding of the link between science, consciousness, and spirituality.
“This research is especially important given the current, fragmented context of brain research associated with the study of consciousness and spirituality,” he added. “Most research on spirituality has not located any holistic basis for such experiences; instead, the research has contributed to an increasingly fragmented viewpoint. A thorough scientific understanding of the nature of consciousness will transform and enlighten the field of neuroscience itself—and will provide dramatic evidence about the fundamental nature of human awareness at the basis of all our thinking, feeling, and behavior.”
The Institute wishes to thank the supporters of the Brain Research Institute and the BRI’s Neuroimaging Research Program. We encourage others to contact the Institute and learn how they can participate in the unfoldment of this landmark research, which will have a profound impact on our understanding of human potential and the neurophysiology of peace.
|A Field Theory of Consciousness..#1||206||Astikapati||07-Jul-02 09:54|
|A Field Theory of Consciousness...#2..#1||147||Astikapati||07-Jul-02 10:00|
|Re: A Field Theory of Consciousness...#3(conclusion)||155||Astikapati||07-Jul-02 10:06|
|Exerpt from a book||80||Fuzzy||07-Jul-02 10:35|
|This is not science||81||B L Zeebub||07-Jul-02 12:48|
|Zee, bub it looks like Science to me :))||94||Astikapati||08-Jul-02 04:39|
|Scientific rigour||80||B L Zeebub||08-Jul-02 09:47|
|Re: Scientific rigour||73||Hoppy||08-Jul-02 11:47|
|Re: Scientific rigour||71||B L Zeebub||08-Jul-02 13:41|
|Re: Scientific rigour||74||mephisto||09-Jul-02 02:50|
|Re: Scientific rigour||96||B L Zeebub||13-Jul-02 12:25|
|Re: Scientific rigour||74||Hoppy||14-Jul-02 21:43|
|Re: Scientific rigour||58||B L Zeebub||14-Jul-02 22:30|
|Re: Scientific rigour||155||Astikapati||09-Jul-02 06:02|