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11:35 AM on 07/07/2010
continued from previous ...thoughts of hatred are not rational so maybe thoughts about empirisism are not rational , who knows ?

Newberg has anew book based on SPECT computer assisted positron emission functional MRI or some such thing :

"How God changes your brain "
from .andrewnewberg.com/
..."...Based on new evidence from their brain-scan studies on memory patients and meditators, survey of people's religious and spiritual experiences, analyses of adult drawings of God, neuroscientist Newberg, therapist Mark Robert Waldman et al conclude that active positive spiritual belief changes the human brain for the better.... atheists who meditate on positive imagery can obtain similar neurological benefits........Contemplating a loving God rather than a punitive God reduces anxiety, depression, stress and increases feelings of security, compassion, love.
Fundamentalism, in and of itself, is benign and can be beneficial, but anger and prejudice generated by extreme beliefs can permanently damage brain......"

the critique i make is that the benefits from meditation which Newberg mentions mostly are from research using Transcendental Meditation (TM) which is proven unique and uniquely effective

the notion that every experience changes your brain probably originates with Dr fred Travis

pudding knows the pudding but can we know the pudding

illicit drug use is not a sustainable source of spiritualism drug use is bad for the brain ;many years of proper meditation TM is required to undue the damage, the stress, dark night of the soul
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RedDogBear
11:30 AM on 07/07/2010
Dr. Beckwith can you define "quantum consciousness"? If not I really wish you and your other new age colleagues would stop using the word quantum. It has a very specific scientific meaning which I don't think you have a clue about. Call it "cool consciousness" or "awesome consciousness" or something else but please stop using scientific terms that have no bearing on what you are talking about.
11:55 AM on 07/07/2010
Totally agree, people think it means big or great when it means the smallest unit. "A Quantum of Solace" was the smallest bit of solace. I think the TV show Quantum Leap confused people on its meaning.
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12:26 PM on 07/07/2010
Good point. I think there is a name for what happens when a word becomes its complete opposite but I have forgotten. The show Quantum Leap actually should be The Smallest Leap Possible.
09:42 AM on 07/09/2010
I have an undergraduate physics degree and even after few quantum classes I still don't know how to explain quantum mechanics or what it exactly is. :)
billstewart
Not a micro-biologist
11:00 PM on 07/07/2010
But... but,,, but calling things "Quantum" makes the speakers sound so Authoritative and Knowledgeable, and lets them inappropriately appropriate the reputations of people who *do* know what they're talking about. There are some people who know they're doing that, and their dishonesty in doing so contradicts the "spirituality" many of them claim to have, and there are others who are well-meaning but just clueless.

"Dr. Science knows more than you do!"
11:17 AM on 07/07/2010
Dr Newberg is rational .. Andrew is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology and Psychiatry and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Nuclear Medicine, and Nuclear Cardiology. He is the director and co-founder of the Center for Spirituality and the Neurosciences..

Dr john Hagelin , world leading superstring theorist and quantum mind aficionado , is rational

empirical data is from research research is from funding and money money money funding for research is from whom ?

in order to have empircal data about quantum mind one needs scientific minds who ask for funding for doing the search for empirical data is quantum mind measurable

how can consciousness measure consciousness consciousness is subjective purely subjective who funds subjective research ? the machinery of consciousness the brain/body is an object assuming the brain is all there is

can the brain measure itself

there is no empirical evidence for virtually everything we eat but we eat

and despite empirical evidence we dont drink enough water and too much alcohol drinkin gless alcohol and drinking more water is good for the brain

if we are empirical creatures then asking for empirical proof before doing anything would be rational

i love because i am rational
09:47 AM on 07/09/2010
"Dr Newberg is rational"

"Dr john Hagelin , world leading superstring theorist and quantum mind aficionado , is rational "

These people are basing assumptions on no physical evidence. How is that rational?

"in order to have empircal data about quantum mind one needs scientific minds who ask for funding for doing the search for empirical data is quantum mind measurable"

Can you show me the experiments that contain information about quantum minds or healing?

The so called scientist you mentioned do not have any physical evidence to back up their claims, thus very very bad science.
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Ian Rennie
Harmful if swallowed.
10:47 AM on 07/07/2010
it's enough to know the garden is beautiful. Why do we feel this need to populate it with fairies?
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ZenGardner
I only disbelieve the unbelievable.
11:17 AM on 07/07/2010
Well, someone has to fill the buttercups with butter...
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whirlpool
founder walnut tree congregation
11:27 AM on 07/07/2010
Then don't Rennie. There is no law says you must.
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Ian Rennie
Harmful if swallowed.
11:44 AM on 07/07/2010
perhaps you misunderstood the word "we". I was talking about "we" as humans. Why, when the natural world is so unbelievably fascinating, do we feel the need to add a trite fantasy to make it work?

We're like the anecdotal old man who thought his television worked because it was filled with little men, who after having cathode ray tubes and the wonders of broadcasting explained to him decides that this is all well and good but there's probably still just a few little men in there.
10:30 AM on 07/07/2010
What does this have to do with science?

Why does HP have a section called "Religion and Science: A contemporary discussion" yet not one scientific article that cites experimental evidence.
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Ian Rennie
Harmful if swallowed.
10:46 AM on 07/07/2010
what it has to do with science is that a certain class of person loves the trappings of science but doesn't want the bother of doing the work.
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DBtv
11:58 AM on 07/07/2010
Actually, there is quite a lot of scientific research taking place investigating quantifiable aspects of meditative states. The Mind & Life Institute is one center for this science.

http://www.mindandlife.org/initiatives_section.html

Be informed before you snark.
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05:35 PM on 07/07/2010
"Religion AND Science"?

How about "Religion OR Science"?

There, fixed it.
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meeks
Perfectly my flawed self at all times
10:25 AM on 07/07/2010
My co-worker and to a lesser degree myself have been teaching EFT (emotional freedom tech.) and Quantum Entrainment to prison inmates for about a year. Those who catch on and practice have not only healed some of the "issues' that brought them to prison but when they have not re-offended in the year that they have been released. . It seems to work best with individuals with PTSD and addictions. Have not seen any difference in individuals with Dissociative Disorder. As I see it working, I have started to branch further into Quantum Energy Medicine in concert with CBT. Thank you this article. My coworker is working on her research paper to document the year and her success rate.
10:31 AM on 07/07/2010
Can you tell me the biological mechanisms that cause Quantum Energy Medicine to work?
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meeks
Perfectly my flawed self at all times
11:20 AM on 07/07/2010
I can try. Not so good with the explaining all the time. Think of the physical manifestation of all your emotions and what happens to you on a biological level. You feel happy or sad etc. The emotion that is triggered has a receptor site in your brain that you experience as an emotion. So on average day you feel your emotions and think nothing of it. We use the QEM is to interrupt some of those automatic emotional responses for people who are having negative behavior as a result of their emotional response. The Quantum Energy tech helps to change the emotion that is triggered and in theory creating new receptor sites (still having a hard time with this part) Lets talk about it in terms of anger issues. When people with intense anger issues are triggered, the person is responding to current stimuli but also past trauma that imprinted the anger in the first place. The QET with various techniques help slow/stop the automatic tech thus providing a different outcome in a person's behavior. At first I thought "Oh, this is just the hippy version of Cog. Beh. Therapy". But as I study more, their is more of a spiritual side to it. Better resource : Freedom at your fingertips by several people but Ron Ball is my fav. If you are pure science minded like I was this all takes time to get. But once I saw it working it caught my interest.
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whirlpool
founder walnut tree congregation
11:28 AM on 07/07/2010
Can you tell me the fundamental nature of gravity?
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Marcus01
It all just seems like it's real
08:05 PM on 07/11/2010
If it works? Then that is fantastic. I have some experience with EFT and know how powerful it is.

No need to fall into the trap of having to provide a rational, scientifically-provable explanation for it. Ignore the naysayers and others who would sap your energy through having you bow down before their ego-minds.

If it works for you then rejoice and keep on doing it.
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paleoimage
I'm happy to live in a fact based world
10:07 AM on 07/07/2010
My brain hurts from reading this ... too much wild speculation and not enough empirical data for what the author implies.
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Cautious
09:56 AM on 07/07/2010
Until the phenomenon of consciousness is studied with the same rigor as something like, say, physics, we will not know the answers to these questions, although some questions are stated better than others.

Within the past few hundred years, we had Newtonian physics, Einsteinian physics, and we are now beyond Einsteinian phyisics.

Until methods are developed to study the phenomenon of consciousness with the same amount of energy and rigor, we just won't really know.
05:16 AM on 07/08/2010
How much energy does it take to study a field/structure of energy of unknown quantities?
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seanny53
Things fall apart, the center cannot hold
09:54 AM on 07/07/2010
Jill Bolte Taylor's experience is what really interests me. Locked out of her left brain by the stroke, she experienced what some would describe as the full enlightenment experience in her right brain. She saw herself and the universe as a single energy field and, much more importantly to me, entered a state of pure bliss. The overall experience was life-changing for her.
Now that all may be just a trick of the right brain that occurs when you can get your left brain to shut up for awhile. It may have nothing to do with the reality of the universe (although the Tao of Physics is pretty interesting in that regard). I don't care. The experience itself is real enough, and pure bliss sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
billstewart
Not a micro-biologist
10:40 PM on 07/07/2010
Pure bliss is a great thing. Losing a large chunk of your brain to a stroke and having to relearn how to make your body work again is not so good, and who knows what she lost mentally that she just can't tell, and breaking your head in the hopes that you'll end up with bliss rather than pain or death strikes me as a really bad experiment.

If religion and love aren't giving you bliss, and you don't want to spend decades meditating in hopes that that'll do it for you, you could always try psychedelics. They're mostly harmless for most people, and you've got the added advantage that you can be sure that all the Really Cosmic Stuff you're seeing is just from the drugs tricking your brain, not from the Real Cosmos, so you can deal with the experiences appropriately. (It's kind of like going to a Penn and Teller show - they tell you up front that it's not really magic, it's tricks that they can do because they're smarter and faster than you, and even when you know that they're still really good tricks.)
05:24 AM on 07/08/2010
"British and Belgian scientists studied the brain of a woman who had suffered severe brain damage. She was in a vegetative state. She could open her eyes but did not respond to sights, sounds, or being poked. A functional MRI of her brain showed the same patterns as a normal person when she was asked to imagine playing tennis: the associated areas of movement were activated. The areas associated with navigating space were activated when she was asked to imagine visiting her home. People in vegetative state were not thought to be conscious. Now scientist are revisiting their definition of consciousness.'

Powell, M. D. (2006)
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JohnFromCensornati
Wake up! It's 1984.
08:54 AM on 07/07/2010
"Gradually, we shaped a hypothesis that suggests that spiritual experience, at its very root, is intimately interwoven with human biology."

Really? Is it intimately interwoven with chimp, goat, or cockroach biology? How about extraterrestrial alien biology? Or is The At-Onement of the Self-Aware Supra-Intelligent Unified Collective Consciousness only concerned with humans? Did humans evolve our One Mind? Has the One Mind gene that chimps don't have been identified?
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ZenGardner
I only disbelieve the unbelievable.
09:11 AM on 07/07/2010
I don't see an issue with the statement.

It suggests that the human brain evolved to a point where it could even begin to create complex thought. And with that evolved brain, early man developed culture, and a need to explain things he didn't understand - such as lightning and thunder... death.

Now, what the author does with that statement - well that is not credible.
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JohnFromCensornati
Wake up! It's 1984.
09:31 AM on 07/07/2010
I don't have any issues with your statement, but I do with his.

"Experiencing" The At-onement is different from "a need to explain things he didn't understand".
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bklynsparrow
creating reality from unreal things
09:58 AM on 07/07/2010
Divine Hive-mind. I thought that went out with the Borg.

I started reading the article thinking it would be about the science of faith. I had read about Jill Taylor awhile back so I was expecting more than just using her to bolster a new agey faux science theory.

Years ago I read The origin of Consciousness and the breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. I don't know what the present assessment of his work is today but that is more of what I was looking to find.
billstewart
Not a micro-biologist
10:43 PM on 07/07/2010
Why would you expect somebody like that to treat Jill Taylor with any more respect than he treats Schroedinger and Heisenberg? It's all just shiny stuff used to make you think that he knows more than you do.
08:52 AM on 07/07/2010
So, as humans we have a large visual cortex, which makes us great pattern analyzers and applicators. We are a social and curious species and that curiousness extends onto ourselves; we are self-aware and usually at first that makes us extremely subjective when we study "us". Transcending self isn't some mystical skill that makes us one with the universe, simply, it is applying objectivity to not only what you are studying at any given time, but also to yourself and other humans. Objective is something we can all strive to be; lessen the ego and really examine the universe to see it patterns free from mysticism. We don't have to work to be "one with the universe" we are the same "stuff" that the universe is made of, but the universe isn't a conscious and we can't plug into it. The sun (insert any cosmic body or event really) is not an operator and spiritual leaders aren't cellphones. Again, reconciling your rational mind with your irrational mind isn't divine...a person gets a rush over conquering their fears and the unknown...the problem is you can conquer the unknown with crap you can make up and be content with it. The universe for everyone is a really, really big unknown and it is easy to make big stuff up to fill our gaps in knowledge and understanding...the universe is interesting enough. Please stop filling it with nonsense.
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bklynsparrow
creating reality from unreal things
10:11 AM on 07/07/2010
"We don't have to work to be "one with the universe" we are the same "stuff" that the universe is made of,"

I love what you just said. It is exactly right- and I think people forget just how awesome a fact it is, instead of worrying about the reason or meaning of existence. Our existence is the meaning- and our everchanging relationship with the universe as we go through the cycle of life is full of awe inspiring beauty and amazement at the fact that we even exist. I find that both scientific and spiritual without anthropomorphizing the universe or demanding there be a reason for it. I love science- the more we learn, the less we know. Or maybe,
we are the stuff dreams are made of." In a quantumy/physicy kind of way :-)
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meeks
Perfectly my flawed self at all times
10:31 AM on 07/07/2010
Really like this bklynsparrow. Very cool.
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01:14 PM on 07/09/2010
Having extensive experience in the psychedelic world (hundreds of frequent flier miles) ranging from the 'fun trip' to experiencing 'god', and being raised (indoctrinated from birth through high school) a fundamentalist SDA I had to explain the dichotomy of experience and belief for/to my self.

The need to understand is motivating and can lead one to explore even the most unusual explanations as possible... what I found for myself, is personal honesty demands I examine/question EVERYTHING as suspect. Once I found my belief in "Truth" was just that... belief, I began to see things from the perspective you so elegantly stated. Of course one must have an 'Objectivity muscle' developed enough to handle the work load, and that is something I rarely discern when reading these posts. Thanks for sharing yours.
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nikanj
free the fnords
11:28 PM on 07/06/2010
I am wondering,
what is the difference (if any)
between the One Mind
and the Hive Mind ?
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ZenGardner
I only disbelieve the unbelievable.
08:57 AM on 07/07/2010
"One Mind" was simply Huang Po's way of expressing noumena (as opposed to phenomena). It has nothing to do with a collective mind, like ants or bees.
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hollybork
04:02 PM on 07/09/2010
Kant also spoke of noumena and phenomena. I once stayed up for 72 straight hours writing a paper on Kant. At the end of that experience, I believed I had passed from phenomena to noumena, and hoped I would be able to make the return trip. But sleep eluded me until I became so intoxicated, I passed out. Then I didn't care. Fortunately, that was long long ago. I recovered enough only to remember the two terms, but not much else!
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bklynsparrow
creating reality from unreal things
09:59 AM on 07/07/2010
Resistance is futile?
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BOBinPS
Really?
06:11 PM on 07/06/2010
Yes, human brain activity controls perception.

Yes, humans, as social animals, have a genetically determined, and evolutionarily developed internal moral compass. Accessing that instinctual compass can lead to feelings of self. Psychiatrists have continually reminded us that happiness involves awareness of our feelings.

Why isn't this enough? There is absolutely no need for a "cosmic consciousness" nonsense.
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sandalwood
songs of the shamans...
01:07 AM on 07/07/2010
Enough? The scientific attitude would be to find out 'what goes on', irrespective of what someone feels a "need" for. Your dismissive attitude is unbecoming in the face of the great mystery which we are part of, which we are, which everything is. Have you got it all figured out?
08:36 AM on 07/07/2010
the point being made is that speculation is cheap. useful hypotheses are few and far between. the piece in question is the former. if the writer comes up with the latter I am sure we will stand ready to investigate.
11:02 AM on 07/07/2010
It also needs evidence and testable hypotheses, rather than rank speculation and flights of fancy.
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whirlpool
founder walnut tree congregation
11:32 AM on 07/07/2010
Really? Genetics built an internal compass inside of us. Can you see it in X rays?
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Julia Bailey
02:41 PM on 07/07/2010
No, like most of our genetic traits you see it in expression, and by studying quantitative genetics along with evolutionary biology and even a bit of anthropological genetics. There are actually text books describing the genetics of the 'moral compass' inside us. Its not even a particularly new theory.