Elemental Mind – Human Consciousness & The New Physics

By Nick Herbert in Scientific Background on September 8th, 2006 /  No Comments »

Elemental Mind: Human Consciousness and the New PhysicsNothing in this world is so mysterious as the human mind. Where does our ordinary perceptual experience come from? How do our minds – mere spirits – move muscles? And where do our minds go in deep sleep, under general anesthesia and at the moment of death?

In the past three hundred years science has made immense progress in comprehending the physical universe at all scales from quark to quasar. But the inner life of humans (let alone other conscious beings) is still an intellectual black hole. It’s not that we possess bad, partial or flawed theories of the inner life. We have no such theories at all. Instead we possess only vague fantasies, philosophical hunches, and diffuse, speculative, untestable guesses. We do not even have any BAD THEORIES OF MIND. Make no mistake. We enter the new millenium at the kindergarten, sandbox stage of a true science of inner life.

Two major conjectures dominate scientific discussion about the nature of mind:

1) mind is an “emergent feature” of certain complex biological systems.

2) mind is the “software” controlling the brain’s computer-like hardware.

“Elemental Mind” explores a third hypothesis,that – far from being a rare occurrence in complex biological or computational systems – mind is a fundamental process in its own right, as widespread and deeply embedded in nature as light or electricity.

“Elemental Mind” surveys what we know about the mind’s outer dwelling place and certain tentative maps we have made of our own inner experiences. EM develops criteria for a true science of mind and shows how important such a science will be not only for science but for philosophy and religion. But the real meat of the book consists of descriptions of tentative pioneer proposals concerning possible ways consciousness might manifest as an elementary force in nature.

Two approaches are particularly stressed: those that stem from Einstein’s special relativity theory – such as the notions of Jean Charon and of James Culbertson – and those based on extensions of quantum theory–such as the ideas of John von Neuman, Sir John Eccles and Henry Stapp. An entire chapter is devoted to Culbertson’s little – known spacetime reductive materialism (SRM) hypothesis: one of the few mind models that actually tries to explain the fine details of inner experience such as what goes on in the world to make the experience of red different from the experience of green. Of this chapter Culbertson has commented: “Nick, you understand my theory better than I do.”

Most of the book is devoted to quantum theories of mind. Three features of quantum theory are especially suggestive for understanding how mind might enter matter at the quantum level. Coincidentally, these three features – randomness, thinglessness, and interconnectedness – were precisely the features that Albert Einstein, one of quantum theory’s founding fathers, found so bizarre that he could not accept them.

These three Einstein – abhorred features, however, have continued to play an increasingly important role in quantum thinking; quantum connectedness in particular has been securely confirmed by recent experiments motivated by the famous theorem of Irish physicist John Bell. “Elemental Mind” makes a plausible case from biological, psychological, and parapsychological evidence that these three features of supposedly inert matter are the external signs of three basic features of mind: free will, essential ambiguity, and deep psychic connectedness.

Elegantly written and startlingly original, “Elemental Mind” offers a fresh approach to the riddle of consciousness, which has challenged philosophers and scientists for centuries. Its implications are nothing short of revolutionary.

“Quantum possibilities contribute in a significant way to the gross motion of matter in only two situations: when the energy of the interaction is small, as in the case of atoms or molecules, and in “quantum razor” situations where the system’s possibility wave is split into two or more disjoint parts, each having drastically different experimental consequences, such as Dr. Schreodinger’s legendary live/dead cat.”

“The passage of a quantum system from the thingless world of vibratory quantum possibilities into the ordinary world of fixed actualities takes place in two stages, which we might call “reality construction of the first and second kinds”. Reality construction of the first kind consists of the choice of a measurement context. This choice, under the control of the observer, cause the formerly seamless quantum wave world to split into a family of definite possibilities.Reality creation of the second kind (also called “collapse of the wave function” or “quantum jump”) occurs when one of these possibilities becomes an actual fact.”

“One of the major mistakes of the medieval philosophers was their underestimation of the size of the physical world. This cozy earth, the seven celestial spheres, plus Dante’s concentric circles of Hell: that was the full extent of the universe in the medieval imagination. No one at that time even dreamed of other solar systems, let alone galaxies like dust clouds in a vast room billions of light-years in diameter.

I believe that modern mind scientists are making this same medieval mistake by vastly underestimating the quantity of consciousness in the universe. If mind is a fundamental force in nature, we might someday realize that the quality and quantity of sentient life inhabiting just this room may exceed the physical splendor of the entire universe of matter.”

Available at Amazon: Elemental Mind: Human Consciousness…

MindSpa Audio-Visual Stimulation for Brain Enhancement

By Joe Ditta in Product Reviews on September 7th, 2006 /  4 Comments »

A spa for the mind? With what we put our brains through, we had to try it. Based on the Mind Spapioneering work of Dr. Ruth Olmstead, a noted psychologist in the field of audio-visual stimulation (AVS) therapy, MindSpa uses brainwave entrainment from Dr. Olmstead’s years of work improving relaxation, attention span, and cognitive performance with thousands of clients.

MindSpa has 12 programs that range in length from 10 to 40 minutes and use alpha, beta, and theta frequencies intended to help you focus your mind, relax, learn, problem solve, increase creative thinking, enter expanded mind states, and more.

How Does It Work?
MindSpa uses the principle of frequency following response (FFR), the mind’s natural tendency to entrain to rhythmic photo or audio stimulation. Olmstead has shown that AVS improves attention, memory, mood, and cognitive performance in children with learning disabilities including ADHD and ADD.

These MindSpa protocols (programs 9 through 12) work by “stretching” your mind from very low (theta) to very high (upper beta) brainwave states several times per week. In this respect, it’s like working out any other muscle in the body – you might not see instant results (a minimum 4- to 6-week commitment is advised), but the eventual benefits are sustained. O n the other hand, the relaxation protocols included in MindSpa (programs 2 through 4) as well as the Alpha Recharge (program 1) offer much more immediate effects.

What’s the Research Behind MindSpa?
Mind Spa KitIn addition to Dr. Olmstead’s extensive peer-reviewed, published research since 1991, there are two MindSpa studies currently under way in China to determine its effectiveness in improving English, Chinese, and mathematics performance by middle-school students.

Initial results showed significant increases in learning ability, focused attention, and mood improvement among students. In addition, studies are being conducted at Moscow University to determine if MindSpa can help with quitting smoking and other addictions. Finally, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) co-creator Richard Bandler uses the MindSpa personally and with clients to facilitate trance induction and relaxation, and to shift mind states.

Is MindSpa Effective?
Publisher Tami Simon and I both found that the Alpha Recharge (program 1) provides a definite rejuvenating effect when used in the mid-afternoon in place of a cup of tea or coffee. It only takes 10 minutes, and there are no “caffeine jitters” to deal with. I also tried the Alpha Recharge during a mindfulness meditation practice taught by Thich Nhat Hanh, and was surprised by the results. Usually when I meditate it takes me several minutes to get physically settled or find my seat, but with the MindSpa, I was able to sit on my zafu without fidgeting the physical calming effect I experienced was significant.

Andrew tested MindSpa for 6 weeks. He found the Advanced Focus for Adults (program 12) very good before doing vipassana “body scanning” meditation, which requires a high degree of focused, alert attention. (he also found this program very helpful before playing tennis!) He also used the Cognitive Enhancement protocol (program 10) daily over a period of 4 weeks. He reported feeling a strong sense of mental clarity that developed gradually and that persist throughout the day.

Several testers deemed the theta protocols superb for entering vivid waking dream states (sitting meditation posture worked best) or for self-hypnosis. Our traffic manager Kristina tried MindSpa with Dr. Steven Gurgevich’s Self-Hypnosis Home Study Course trancework sessions and found it powerfully aided her in entering trance. Andrew also found the theta protocols very effective for falling asleep, but I found these sessions increased alertness, and prefer to fall asleep with Deep Alpha Relaxation II (program 4).

One more effective use for MindSpa: Kristina tried the relaxation programs on an airplane and found them incredibly helpful in easing travel stress.

Highlights

  • Easy-to-use, light and sound brainwave training tool
  • 4 pre-set performance enhancing programs for mental sharpness, memory enrichment, advanced attention, and more
  • 7 pre-set progressive relaxation programs allow you to determine your optimal “de-stress” session
  • 10-minute “Alpha Recharge” program for fast and effective revitalization
  • Re-conditions the mind to make falling asleep easier

Available at: Sounds True

Wisdom Quest – Interactive Personal Biofeedback Program

By Thomas Herold in Product Reviews on September 1st, 2006 /  1 Comment »

Wisdom Quest is a continuation of The Wild Divine Project’s first product, The Journey to Wild Divine: The Passage, a revolutionary product featuring personal biofeedback for consumer use.

Wisdom Quest Biofeedback ProgramLaunched roughly a year ago, The Journey to Wild Divine teaches people of all ages meditation, breathing and yoga techniques in an interactive and entertaining way, giving them the ability to take control of and improve their mental, physical and emotional health.

The Journey’s three biofeedback sensors (which plug into a computer’s USB port) gently attach to the fingers to monitor skin conductance levels and heart rate variability. As the player advances through the biofeedback activities they are trained to control different states of their energy from exhilaration and joy to relaxation and deep meditation.

Once they master a particular skill (meaning their heart rate and skin conductance hit the targeted level for that activity), they can move to the next training event. Because of the biofeedback element, there is no way to use these products without truly letting go of the day’s stress.

Wisdom Quest builds on the initial lessons of game one. Through a powerful storyline, Chopra is featured in Wisdom Quest as your guide, Rama, teaching deeper lessons about the mind-body connection and how to apply them in every day life. Concepts from Chopra’s The Book of Secrets are highlighted throughout the game adding a new dimension to the overall experience of mind-body training.

New technology has been added to the program that allows users to set their own levels of difficulty (one through five, with five being the most difficult) and new complex events have been added that use multiple biometrics, helping to develop even deeper levels of mind-body mastery the more players practice. Also, the addition of a new guided activity mode and training manual will enable the user to easily access and practice the biofeedback events to increase the impact the training can have on their daily lives.

Wisdom Quest package is software only and will sell for $59.95. It launches to consumers on September 30, 2005. The biofeedback hardware necessary to play the game (The LightStone) is sold only with The Journey to Wild Divine: The Passage. Wisdom Quest will through www.wilddivine.com and preferred online and in store retail outlets nationwide in both Mac and PC versions.

The Journey to Wild Divine has attracted significant attention over the past year from medical professionals and researchers. The company expects Wisdom Quest to generate even further excitement about the technology. In fact, Dr. Dean Ornish, an internationally recognized authority in heart health, is also featured in Wisdom Quest, sharing his proven techniques for improving heart-health through relaxation and meditation. According to Ornish, “The Journey to Wild Divine and subsequent games take important elements necessary for general good health, and wraps them into a form of entertainment that can easily become a part of day-to-day life and can ultimately lead to long-term health benefits.”

More than 30 years of research supports the effectiveness of biofeedback and currently more than 150 different conditions are treated using biofeedback. Researchers from renowned medical centers across the country are now looking at how The Wild Divine Project’s products can be used to treat migraine headaches, chronic pain, autism, post traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, ADHD, depression and obesity. One study underway at New York University is being conducted to determine how playing the game will affect acute pain following surgery. More than 20 medical and research organizations have proposals to use The Journey to Wild Divine in clinical studies or other research.

For more information please visit: www.wilddivine.com

Latest Research Reveals That Beliefs Control Our Genes

By Thomas Herold in Scientific Background on August 26th, 2006 /  2 Comments »

The Biology of Belief is a groundbreaking work in the field of New Biology. Author Dr. Bruce Lipton is a former medical school professor (University of Wisconsin) and research scientist (Stanford University School of Medicine).

The Biology Of Belief: Unleashing The Power Of Consciousness, Matter And MiraclesHis experiments, and that of other leading-edge scientists, have examined in great detail the processes by which cells receive information. The implications of this research radically change our understanding of life. It shows that genes/DNA do not control our biology; that instead, DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts.

Dr. Lipton’s profoundly hopeful synthesis of the latest and best research in cell biology and quantum physics is being hailed as a major breakthrough showing that our bodies can be changed as we retrain our thinking.

Dr. Bruce Lipton is an internationally recognized authority in bridging science and spirit. He has been a guest speaker on dozens of TV and radio shows, as well as keynote presenter for national conferences.

Dr. Lipton began his scientific career as a cell biologist. He received his Ph.D. Degree from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville before joining the Department of Anatomy at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine in 1973. Dr. Lipton’s research on muscular dystrophy, studies employing cloned human stem cells, focused upon the molecular mechanisms controlling cell behavior. An experimental tissue transplantation technique developed by Dr. Lipton and colleague Dr. Ed Schultz and published in the journal Science was subsequently employed as a novel form of human genetic engineering.

In 1982, Dr. Lipton began examining the principles of quantum physics and how they might be integrated into his understanding of the cell’s information processing systems. He produced breakthrough studies on the cell membrane, which revealed that this outer layer of the cell was an organic homologue of a computer chip, the cell’s equivalent of a brain. His research at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, between 1987 and 1992, revealed that the environment, operating though the membrane, controlled the behavior and physiology of the cell, turning genes on and off.

His discoveries, which ran counter to the established scientific view that life is controlled by the genes, presaged one of today’s most important fields of study, the science of epigenetics. Two major scientific publications derived from these studies defined the molecular pathways connecting the mind and body. Many subsequent papers by other researchers have since validated his concepts and ideas.

Dr. Lipton’s novel scientific approach transformed his personal life as well. His deepened understanding of cell biology highlighted the mechanisms by which the mind controls bodily functions, and implied the existence of an immortal spirit. He applied this science to his personal biology, and discovered that his physical well-being improved, and the quality and character of his daily life was greatly enhanced.

Dr. Lipton has taken his award-winning medical school lectures to the public and is currently a sought after keynote speaker and workshop presenter. He lectures to conventional and complementary medical professionals and lay audiences about leading-edge science and how it dovetails with mind-body medicine and spiritual principles. He has been heartened by anecdotal reports from hundreds of former audience members who have improved their spiritual, physical and mental well being by applying the principles he discusses in his lectures. He is regarded as one of the leading voices of the new biology.

Summary:
Genes/DNA do not control our biology. Instead, DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts.

Available ay Amazon: The Biology Of Belief

More information at the authors website: http://www.BruceLipton.com