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Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research has just published Volume 3 Issue 4 entitled "Quantum Aspects of Consciousness" at

Table of Contents:

Articles --------

Molecular Uniqueness of Major Depression: Biological Remarks and Theoretical Implications (by Massimo Cocchi, Lucio Tonello, Fabio Gabriellir)

On the Quantum Mechanics of Consciousness: Sartre’s Contribution (by Rui Freire Lucas)

A Proposal for Memory Code (by Matti Pitkanen)

Quantum Model for the Direct Currents of Becker (by Matti Pitkanen)

Looking for the Physical, Logical, and Computational Roots of the Mind (by Paola Zizzi, Massimo Pregnolato)

Conference Report --------

The Explosion of Consciousness: TSC Conference Tucson Arizona 2012 (by John K. Grandy)

Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research has just published Volume 3 Issue 2 at

Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research Vol 3, No 2 (2012): Science of Enlightenment & Various Aspects of Consciousness

Table of Contents


The Brahma Uncertainty Principle by Pradeep B. Deshpande, B. D. Kulkarni

Science of Enlightenment by Pradeep B. Deshpande

Sexual Paradox in the Conscious Brain by Chris King

The ‘Core’ Concept and the Mathematical Mind: Part I by Chris King

The ‘Core’ Concept and the Mathematical Mind: Part II by Chris King

TGD Based Consciousness Theory and the "God" Helmet by Matti Pitkanen

Views about Free Will & the Anatomy of State Function Reduction by Matti Pitkanen

Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research has just published Volume 2 Issue 8. It is a Focus Issue on "The Possibility of Metaphysical Knowledge and Insight" edited by Graham P. Smetham, JCER Editor-at-Large.

In his Editorial "The Possibility of Metaphysics", Graham P. Smetham introduces the issue: "Although the title of this focus issue is ‘The Possibility of Metaphysics’ the first part has as its focus not only metaphysics in general but Buddhist metaphysics in particular. This is because the motivation for this focus issue was sparked by an email from a colleague who asked for my opinion of a book written by Robert Ellis. The aspect of the ‘experimental metaphysics’ of quantum theory is examined in detail in the first article "The Matter of Mindnature" The Buddhist metaphysical viewpoint tells as the nature of ultimate reality is best understood as a fundamentally interrelated and interpenetrating field of Mind-like energy, or Mindnature, and such a view is clearly supported by the quantum violation of Bell’s inequalities. In this article I examine Ellis’s notion of the impossibility of metaphysics in the light of both philosophical considerations and the implications of the quantum evidence. The next article "Taking the‘Meta’ Out of Physics" is Ellis’s response to my criticisms of his work. I leave it to readers to come to conclusions without further comment from me. It is my hope that there will be feedback concerning the issues raised as I am personally convinced that Ellis’s position is untenable but am curious to know whether my viewpoint is widely held. Certainly the last two articles from James Kowall, ‘What is Reality in a Holographic World?’, and Brian Whitworth, ‘Introducing The Virtual Reality Conjecture’, seem to support my position."

In his Article entitled "The Matter of Mindnature", Smetham discusses Bell’s Theorem Tolls for Dogmatic ‘Middle Way’ Scepticism and Rings Out for ‘Experimental Metaphysics’ and ‘Quantum Mindnature’. He states "In recent years there has developed a movement in the West which seeks to convince people that the original teachings of the Buddha were far more mundane than his later followers would have us believe. An extreme recent example of this is the book The Trouble with Buddhism in which Dr. Robert Ellis claims that every Buddhist who has ever lived has been ‘scandalously” confused about the central doctrines of Buddhism, especially the ‘Middle Way’ philosophy, which is a central teaching of all Buddhist schools. He also claims that if one takes Humean scepticism ‘seriously’, as he thinks one should do, it follows that it is impossible to know anything with any certainty. Metaphysics therefore become a ‘foolish’ dream. In fact according to Ellis it is “foolish” to think that quantum physics supplies “evidence about the universe itself.” This article considers Ellis’s claims regarding metaphysics and physics in detail, particularly focusing on the implications of the quantum violation of Bell’s theorem, in order to show that we must be sceptical of extreme scepticism."

In response to Graham Smetham’s ‘The Matter of Mindnature’, Robert M. Ellis in his Article entitled "Taking the ‘Meta’ out of Physics" defend the approach of metaphysical agnosticism on philosophical grounds. He argues that "Pyrrhonian (agnostic) sceptical approaches are distinguished from Academic ones and shown not to be contradictory provided one does not begin with unnecessary metaphysical assumptions. The burden of proof needs to be put on those who make metaphysical claims rather than those who stick to experience as a point of reference, and falsification involves a provisional, not an absolute, process of elimination of theories that do not fit the evidence. Smetham’s appeals to certain results from quantum physics as exceptional are shown to be unacceptable on the grounds that no scientific observation can confirm metaphysical claims that lie beyond their scope. A wider psychological, moral and linguistic context is given for the argument that we should avoid the adoption of a metaphysical framework of understanding."

Then, in his Article entitled "The ‘Epiontic’ Dependently Originating Process of Cyclic Existence According to Early Buddhist Metaphysics", Smetham discusses the following: "Some modern Western interpreters of Buddhist teachings and philosophy claim that the original teachings of the Pali Canon were staunchly anti-metaphysical. In this article I exa-mine the early Buddhist worldview and demonstration that this assertion is deeply mistaken. Whilst the early teachings of the Buddha clearly rejected dogmatic metaphysical positions which the Buddha characterised as being ‘extreme’, he also implicitly, yet clearly, taught a subtle metaphysical view of the process of reality which is consistent with the modern quantum ‘epiontic’ (epistemological perception creates ontology) perspective of ‘quantum Darwinism.’ Central to this viewpoint is 1) a non-materialism which indicates that the ultimate process of reality is of the nature of mind; 2) the assertion that the ultimate nature of reality lies between the extremes of ‘existence’ and ‘non-existence’, ‘eternalism’ and ‘nihilism’; 3) the assertion that the epiontic mechanism operates as ‘kamma’, or ‘karma’, a central mechanism for the functioning of conditioned samsaric (cycle of dissatisfactory lives) reality. On the basis of these fundamental insights the doctrines of ‘rebirth’ and ‘dependent origination’ are shown to be crucial metaphysical components of the overall early Buddhist worldview as taught by the Buddha. These doctrines are also shown to be consistent with modern quantum theory. On the basis of this investigation recent claims that the 3-lifetimes model of dependent origination is mistaken are shown to be desperately misleading."

Further, in his Article entitled "The Quantum Truth of the Buddhist Metaphysics of the ‘Two Truths’ or ‘Two Realities’", Smetham proposes and discusses the following: "According to the ‘Buddhist’ writer Stephen Batchelor the core Buddhist doctrine of the ‘two truths’ or ‘two realities’ is a major mistake on the part of Buddhist practitioners and philosophers throughout the ages. Although this doctrine has been central to Buddhist thinking since the time of the Buddha, Batchelor says that it is a serious mistake, and is completely unscientific. This article show that it is Batchelor who is desperately mistaken because modern quantum theory has validated the metaphysical claim that the ‘classical’ or ‘conventional’ world is an illusion which is derived from the deeper quantum realm. Thus the division into the ‘classical’ realm and the ‘quantum’ realm maps onto the Buddhist distinction between the ‘conventional’ mode of reality and the ‘ultimate’ mode of reality. Far from Buddhist philosophy being ‘unscientific’, it is Batchelor who displays ignorance of modern science."

In his Article entitled "What is Reality in a Holographic World?", James Kowell proposes the following: "The nature of a holographic world is described. This scientific description of the world is based upon the assumptions of modern theoretical physics. These natural assumptions are inherent in any unified theory, such as string theory, and in any theory of the creation of the world, such as inflationary cosmology. At their most basic level, these are the assumptions of the equivalence, uncertainty and action principles, along with the second law of thermodynamics. Any world consistent with these fundamental principles is easily shown to be a holographic world. The mathematical consistency of such a holographic world also implies something about the nature of consciousness. If that mathematical consistency is followed to its logical conclusion, in the sense of the Gödel incompleteness theorems, this scientific description of the world also has something to tell us about the nature of reality. What this scientific description of the world tells us about the nature of reality is compared to what mystics have told us about reality throughout human history."

Finally, in his Article entitled "The Virtual Reality Conjecture", Brian Whitworth suggests the following: "We take our world to be an objective reality, but is it? The assumption that the physical world exists in and of itself has struggled to assimilate the findings of modern physics for some time now. For example, an objective space and time would just "be", but in relativity, space contracts and time dilates. Likewise objective "things" should just inherently exist, but the entities of quantum theory are probability of existence smears, that spread, tunnel, superpose and entangle in physically impossible ways. Cosmology even tells us that our entire physical universe just "popped up", from nowhere, about 14 billion years ago. This is not how an objectively real world should behave! Yet traditional alternatives don't work much better. That the world is just an illusion of the mind doesn't explain its consistent realism and Descartes dualism, that another reality beyond the physical exists, just doubles the existential problem. It is time to consider an option we might normally dismiss out of hand. This essay explores the virtual reality conjecture, that the physical world is the digital output of non-physical quantum processing. It finds it neither illogical, nor unscientific, nor incompatible with current physics."

Huping Hu & Maoxin Wu

November 8, 2011

Tomorrow JCER will publish its Focus Issue on Self-Transcending Experience (Narrative & Analysis) edited by Gregory M. Nixon, Ph.D. Below is a preview of the potentially transformational messages from JCER authors contributing to the Focus Issue (links to the articles will be provided once the issue is published).

In his editor’s introduction entitled "Transcending Self-Consciousness", Nixon delivers his introduction with the following opening: "What is this thing we each call “I” and consider the eye of consciousness, that which beholds objects in the world and objects in our minds? This inner perceiver seems to be the same I who calls forth memories or images at will, the I who feels and determines whether to act on those feelings or suppress them, as well as the I who worries and makes plans and attempts to avoid those worries and act on those plans. Am I the subject, thus the source, of my awareness, just as you are the subject and source of your awareness? If this is the case, it is likely impossible to be conscious without the self (yours or mine), the eye of consciousness, and it must certainly not be desirable, for such a consciousness would have no focal point, no self-that-is-conscious to guide it, so it would be cast adrift on wide and wild sea like a boat that has broken from its anchor. Without self-enclosure, “We shall go mad no doubt and die that way,” as Robert Graves (1927/1966) expressed it."

In his first article entitled "Transformations of Self and World I: Modeling a World", Christopher Holvenstot states in his Abstract the following: "Severe seasonal depression entails the yearly collapse and reconstruction of a functional, useable, meaningful world. This radical annual transformation provides a unique perspective onto fundamental conscious processes by illuminating the cognitive elements and dynamics behind the construction and deconstruction of self-models and world-models."

In his second article entitled "Transformations of Self and World II: Making Meaning", Christopher Holvenstot states in his Abstract the following: "A theater workshop, ostensibly about acting, turns out instead to be about not acting, yet answers a lot of questions about how to act in the real world – ironically, by exploring the world of dreams. This transformational experience provides a view into the realm of the psyche, and this view is used to highlight the inappropriateness of empirical precepts in the formation of a field of consciousness studies."

In his article entitled "The Shock of the Old: A Narrative of Transpersonal Experience", Milenko Budimir states in his Abstract the following: "Here I present a description of some transpersonal experiences that occurred as a result of meditation practices as well as reflections on those experiences. I connect these experiences with some historical precedents, particularly to sources in the Eastern Orthodox Christian spiritual tradition, but also to contemporary sources as well as some 20th century philosophical ideas. Lastly, I describe how these experiences ended up shaping a new worldview, the most significant and lasting being a deep sense of interconnectedness with the world. This sense of interconnectedness further lends support to an inclusive rather than an exclusive understanding of religious belief, and correspondingly a mystical sense of the world and humans’ place in it."

In his article entitled "Background Motivations for My Views on Consciousness", Chris Nunn states in his Abstract the following: "I wish to show here that my theories, and my life in general, have been greatly constrained (though I would say enlarged) by a few, brief and unusual experiences. Equally clearly, the content of the experiences reflected to some extent my cultural and personal history. Can they be regarded as no more than a culturally determined curiosity, perhaps a bit like the dancing manias of the Middle Ages or the recent epidemic of ‘alien abduction’ experiences? My personal answer to that question is: ‘No. The experiences truly reflected aspects of Reality that we don’t often perceive and the culturally determined part of their content was just the icing on the cake – how Reality was able to express itself within my particular, very limited mind.’ That’s why I feel it has not been a waste of my time to try to build ideas that promise to integrate experiences of this sort with more mainstream Western understandings, for theories foster observations and, thus, sooner or later, fuller appreciation of truths about ourselves and our world."

In her article entitled "How Often or How Rarely Does a Self-Transcending Experience Occur?", Syamala Hari states in her Abstract the following: "Almost always, the self is involved in our perception of the world, thinking, and actions, but it does momentarily step aside now and then. I describe below a few of my experiences of self-transcendence that seem quite ordinary with nothing mysterious about them and they are all of short duration. To explain how the self is present or not in an experience, I describe some properties characteristic of the self such as its sense of personal identity and ownership of action. Manifestation of these properties in an experience indicates the presence of the self and absence of these properties indicates its absence. In an act of observation, full attention paid to what is being observed seems to push every thought, including the self, out of the conscious mind and keep it fully occupied with the act of observation. A characteristic property of the self-transcendent state seems to be that one can only recognize such a state as being free from self, but one cannot prove that it is so because the outward effect of the state may be the same as that of an alternative state where the self is present."

In his article entitled "Self-Transcendence as a Developmental Process in Consciousness", Roland Cichowski states in his Abstract the following: "After an introduction describing certain difficulties in relating the nature of self-transcending experiences, I give a narrative description of three successive episodes in which a certain relationship and development over time can be discerned. This is followed by a discussion of the impact they have had over the course of my lifetime together with observations on how they have affected my outlook. These experiences have led me to the view that it is more likely that it is consciousness generating the illusion of a material reality than a material reality generating consciousness. I consider self-transcendence to be understood as a stage in the development of the consciousness of each human being, and ultimately in the development of humanity as a whole."

In his article entitled "A Longitudinal History of Self-Transformation: Psychedelics, Spirituality, Activism and Transformation", Phil Wolfson states in his Abstract the following: "A longitudinal historical approach for portraying and examining personal transformation is presented along with a proposed instrument—the Transformational Codex—for cataloging that history and the elements that compose it. One element, psychedelic transformation, is then discussed in depth along with a schema for viewing transformations that may occur related to psychedelic use and practice."

In her article entitled "Transcending the Self Through Art: Altered States of Consciousness and Anomalous Events During the Creative Process", Tobi Zausner states in her Abstract the following: "The capacity for transcending the self through art arises from the creative process, an altered state of consciousness facilitating the occurrence of anomalous events such as precognition and interior visions that appear to be outside the spacetime of waking life. Frustration can trigger the far-from-equilibrium conditions necessary for creativity, while inspiration may seem as if its source is exterior to the artist, and the experience of flow, like a trance state, can produce an altered sense of time. Archetypes in the creative process link a single mind to the collective unconscious and works of art become self-opening worlds that create an expanded reality."

Finally, in his article entitled "Breaking Out of One's Head (& Awakening to the World)", Gregory M. Nixon states in his Abstract the following: "Herein, I review the moment in my life when I awoke from the dream of self to find being as part of the living world. It was a sudden, momentous event that is difficult to explain since transcending the self ultimately requires transcending the language structures of which the self consists. Since awakening to the world took place beyond the enclosure of self-speech, it also took place outside our symbolic construction of time. It is strange to place this event and its aftermath as happening long ago in my lifetime, for it is forever present; it surrounds me all the time just as the world seems to do. This fact puts into question the reality of my daily journey from dawn to dusk with all the mundane tasks I must complete (like writing of that which cannot be captured in writing). My linear march to aging and death inexorably continues, yet it seems somehow unreal, the biggest joke of all. Still, I here review the events leading up to my time out of mind and then review the serious repercussions when I was drawn back into the ego-self only to find I did not have the conceptual tools or the maturity to understand what had happened."

Huping Hu & Maoxin Wu

October 9, 2011