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A Neuroscience of Enlightenment?

Posted Nov. 25, 2013 by dustproduction in Open

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commented on March 10, 2014
by dustproduction

Quote

57

Can enlightenment be traced to specific neural correlates, cognition, or behavior?

"In the existing research on health outcomes of mindfulness-based clinical interventions, for example, there have been almost no attempts to scientifically investigate the goal of enlightenment. This is a serious oversight, given that such profound transformation across ethical, perceptual, emotional, and cognitive domains are taken to be the natural outcome and principle aim of mindfulness practice in the traditional Buddhist contexts from which these practices are derived."

"In order to carefully assess the potential effects of meditative interventions it is of singular importance to ask whether enlightenment can be traced to specific neural correlates, cognition, or behavior."

http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00870/full

  • 57 Comments  
  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Mar 10, 2014

    I have re-invited the author of this paper to comment of this discussion

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 03, 2014

    RE: Is "scientific experimentation something less than an 'actual experience'?

    Is it obvious to others that scientific experimentation is experiential (an actual experience)?

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 02, 2014

    G'day Dusty

    You are being overly aggressive here I believe far too aggressive for this site in my mind, try answering others peoples questions first before demanding they answer yours. A bit of common courtesy goes a long way you know!!

    RE:"Is "scientific experimentation something less than an 'actual experience'?"

    Youse your own nogging, one isn't looking for an answer the other isn't, one is theorising the other isn't!! Theory isn't fact or am I wrong with that as well?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 02, 2014

    edit,

    Is "scientific experimentation something less than an 'actual experience'?

    Let's establish that much.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 02, 2014

    Are "scientific experimentation is something less than an 'actual experience'?

    Let's establish that much.

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 02, 2014

    G'day Dusty

    Once again you are going off topic to badger me, try not to make it personal all the times, please. What I stated was within what you produced in the first place was it not but you have gone off on your own perusal crusade against me!!!!

    Scientific experiment conclusions are theory based remembering science isn't about facts.

    There is no way anyone not reasoning like you is going to appease you in any way are they? Attack, attack, attack, not very constructive to these discussion at all.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 02, 2014

    re: I like actual experiences because they are fact when they occur.

    Hmmmm? (As if scientific experimentation is something less than an 'actual experience').

  • mrmathew1963 Jan 02, 2014

    G'day Dusty

    This is good Dusty, you do at times come up with a diverse range of info.

    There is nothing mystical about meditation & it's great to see science constructively researching such spiritual practices.

    I like actual experiences because they are fact when they occur, I'm constantly refer to actual experiences as apposed to theories in my discussions when I can or when appropriate.

    I've been in chronic pain since I was six yrs old, I am now fifty yrs old & I don't take any sort of pain killer taking into consideration the injury that is causing the chronic pain is getting worse as I get older. I worked at jobs in the past able people thought too hard to do, it's amazing stuff but it's not mystical in the true sense of the word.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 02, 2014


    The Brain of Buddha
    An encounter with His Holiness the Dalai Lama
    and the scientific study of meditation

    http://www.klab.caltech.edu/koch/CR/CR-Brain-Buddha-13.pdf

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Dec 07, 2013

    Ahh, my error in misreading the word. (note to see eye doctor for new lens prescription)

    "Ordinary state", is different from original state, but I think you might see where I was going; certain neuron pattern are set down are developmental stages, and after the window closes of that development we are force to alter our patterns in a much different way. Learning language is an example; beyond a certain point we acquire an additional skill with out the co evolving skill of pronouncement. The result is that we learn the new language but speak it with an accent. We may also need to cognitively translate back and forth between languages.

    Something similar seem to be happening in these areas of growth; our cognitive-cultural networks resist the new interpretation of reality, with good reason.

  • frequencytuner Dec 07, 2013

    Christ consciousness is the natural state, just like the heart works to pump blood, the brain twitching random impulses is the ordinary state, just to clarify.

  • frequencytuner Dec 07, 2013

    Ordinary state implying the normal neurological functioning of the brain for the average person on an average day under average circumstances. Thus ordinary means to be in a state of imbalance as the average person is functioning at this level.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Dec 07, 2013

    By "original state" do you mean the state of the brain at birth?
    I have speculated that we are at a tipping point of neuroscience in understanding that the brain's of baby is not a "blank slate." This affords us the view that what passes as learning in babies is really a limitation on potential. This brings as back to the set up of cognitiive-culture influences and the "collective imbalance" you write about.

  • frequencytuner Dec 06, 2013

    Brain hemisphere synchronization and gamma wave frequencies are neurologically detectable. If we imagine the brain, in it's ordinary state, apparently randomly firing and reacting to thought patterns and stimulation, then with practice, the entire brain can learn to function as a united whole. When this occurs, the neuro pathways are rearranged and the "Christ" consciousness is awakened.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Dec 03, 2013

    A Glimpse into the Meditating Brain*

    Bryan Williams

    University of New Mexico

    Abstract: Meditation has served as a traditional Eastern technique to transform consciousness and gain higher insight by focusing attention and introspectively observing one’s own mental processes. Some research now suggests that regularly practicing meditation may also benefit health and well-being by helping to calm the mind and body. With encouragement from the Dalai Lama, neuroscientists are currently studying the meditating brain in order to learn more about how it works, how it changes, and how it can promote mind-body health. In this paper, a basic overview of the latest findings relating to the possible brain correlates of meditation is presented, and the implications of these findings for health and the psychological quest to better understand subjective conscious experience are discussed.

    http://earthvision.info/meditatingbrain.html

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 30, 2013

    "David,
    I am excited by the research you are doing into "A Neuroscience of Enlightenment" Great work. I saw the link to IONS on your blog and thought you might like to know that I posted a discussion of this research there. Sadly, the reearch was not well received by that community. Perhaps you will drop by and visit the discussion. All the best, - -------"

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 30, 2013

    Here is one of the more interesting things about this post, which others have selfishly tried to spam.
    The author of the research paper has his own blog page that includes a link to IONS. I think I will contact him to request that he join me in discussing his research.

    http://contemplativemind.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/can-enlightenment-be-traced-to-specific-correlates-of-the-brain-cognition-or-behavior/

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 29, 2013

    This is about enlightenment, not me.
    Fell free to start a separate discussion about be however, if you must.

  • mrmathew1963 Nov 29, 2013

    G'day Dusty

    This is where you are so consistently wrong with me, when did I ever say I'm trying to aspire to a/my higher self? In fact on numerous occasions I have stipulated otherwise. As usual Dusty you are making preconceived assumptions, just because I call myself spiritually aware or I might now & again agree with other spiritually aware people's views you have me labelled so & so.

    You brought the topic to light did you not? You are a part of the topic obviously are you not? Your own reasoning or lack of is a part of the topic because again reasoning has everything to do with neurology & enlightenment is it not?

    ION rules, when have you taken notice of ION rules?

    I answered all your questions at one point so repay the courtesy & answer mine sensibly one by one as I did without prolonged assumptions.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Nov 29, 2013

    Dustproduction,

    You have spammed several of my topics, to the degree that rational discussion was either ended or never began. What is the cause of your vendetta against me? Analyze that and you may recognize that you have a problem.

    Your constant criticisms of everyone’s comments are the reason I left Discussions about a year ago. I am not wrong about that because I informed IONS why I was leaving.

    I have been in email contact with former participants in Discussions and you were also the reason why they left.

    I did a Google search for Spiritual Emergency Network and it has grown considerably; there now are many branches and phone numbers.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 29, 2013

    Re: "people will talk about you"

    And why is that? I cannot top that, you certainly do not have to engage in it. It is not a part of the higher self you aspire to.
    We are allow to post anonymously for a reason; it's not about me, its about the topic.

    Re: rules, what are the IONS rules?

  • mrmathew1963 Nov 29, 2013

    G'day Dusty

    So once again your setting the rules, fair enough however if you leave yourself open because of your own provocations people will talk about you, at least Jim & I did it openly & no we didn't go off the topic in my mind.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 29, 2013

    RE: why are you spamming EVERYONE'S discussion when you can

    Stay on topic. Post your comments, and stop engaging to these personal side conversations about others. Your better than that.
    If you live by those rule so will I

  • mrmathew1963 Nov 29, 2013

    G'day Dusty

    You should really ask, why are you spamming EVERYONE'S discussion when you can? And no I don't think I'm wrong Dusty however there is a small possibility that I could be. Neuroscience & enlightenment has everything to do with reasoning by the way & that is what Jim & I are talking about.

    Yes I am expressive of the ego because I have no fear in expressing the ego so you better try a different tact/attack here!!

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 29, 2013

    Re: If it’s the same bloke as a few years back,

    It's not! You are wrong again. Now I am asking a simple question, why are you spamming this post? This is your ego that is being disruptive here.

  • mrmathew1963 Nov 29, 2013

    G'day Jim

    I'm quite sure that Dusty & I had altercations a few years ago which ended up not so good for him sadly enough, he just doesn't know how to stop the ego controlling him. It's actually his ego conversing with us not himself I believe.

    Dusty's quite knowledgeable but he's ego distorts his reasoning process. If it’s the same bloke as a few years back, which I’m quite sure it is, yes it did seem to get to the stage of psychotic episodes sadly enough. It’s hard enough reasoning with egotism but it’s nearly impossible to reason with psychosis. If Dusty is the same bloke I’m talking about he’s suffered with chronic pain for some time which can bring on all sorts of problems social & otherwise.

    The funny thing is the reason I left IONS a few years ago is because of the ego, I had problems with other people expressing the ego because at that point I listened to others portraying the ego as just being bad but I soon leant it’s not. Yes the ego can be too controlling but it does have it’s place.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 29, 2013

    Your comments are little more than spam. How you two nothing better to do?

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Nov 29, 2013

    Hi Mathew,

    Again, I agree with you.

    He seems to be in a nether nether land. After nearly two years of what appeared to be ridged atheism his recent comments have looked favorably upon Buddhism, Meditation, the Dahlia Lama and he even made an attempt at quoting Jesus.

    It will be interesting to observe either a transformation to spirituality, back to dedication to scientific materialism or a possible psychotic break.

    A psychotic break can occur when the ego is caught between two conflicting paradigms; this is frequently accompanied by some form of paranoia.

    Of course, I’m not a shrink. My views are the result of observing this occurring in several friends, a neighbor and casually brushing against the experience myself about thirty years ago.

    I don’t know if it still exists, but there was a group that offered help in such a situation; I believe it was called the spiritual emergency network.

  • mrmathew1963 Nov 29, 2013

    G'day Jim

    RE: "Do you notice anything strange?"

    Dusty is battling with his ego big time, he thinks it's with us but it's between he's conscious & subconscious I believe, what do you think? It's funny, when someone is in denial they will battle it out with anyone who is trying to convince them of such a denial for the main reason there subconscious is also trying to reason with them. The ego in control is a nasty little critter at times.


  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Nov 28, 2013

    Good article on the benefits of meditation.

    Your second post is also interesting. When I was a member of the Albert Hoffman Foundation in the eighties, we were provided a lot of literature on the benefits of psilocybin and meditation.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 28, 2013

    Engineering enlightenment: Ben Goertzel Interviews Jeffery Martin and Mikey Siegel on Neurofeedback and Non-Symbolic Consciousness:

    This quote is taken directly from the interview Ben Goertzel did with Jeffrey Martin. (look them up)

    Ben asks, " Can you say a little also, about the specific brain regions that are most implicated in the different functioning of these networks in “enlightened” people’s brains? Of course I know the brain is all about networks and complex circuits, not so much about localized functions specific to particular brain regions. But still, it’s interesting to know what regions are most centrally involved in each mental phenomenon….

    Martin response: "Within the default network there are two or three areas that seem to be consistently indicated as related to this phenomena. These include parts of the medial pre-frontal cortex (mPFC), the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and the insula. The one that has received the most ongoing research to date is the PCC. Much of the work going on in this area is underground, but everyone’s findings are very similar so the handful of publicly available work is plenty for people to pursue right now. On the scanning and neurofeedback side, your readers can find out more by looking up work by Zoran Josipovic at NYU, Jud Brewer at Yale, and Kalina Christoff at the University of British Columbia for example. There has also been work by us and others on directly stimulating these brain regions using electromagnetic fields and direct current. And there is quite a bit of parallel work, such as Katherine MacLean and her collaborators work on psilocybin that seems to relate to these overall findings. She is at Johns Hopkins . Overall it is a very exciting time with a lot of interesting data converging. We’re very privileged to be the organization that is talking to everyone and helping to put the pieces of the puzzle together."

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 28, 2013


    What is strange is how some are afraid to look at any evidence while others read all the evidence.

    "Neuroscientist Richard Davidson wired up the monk's skull with 256 sensors at the University of Wisconsin as part of research on hundreds of advanced practitioners of meditation.
    The scans showed that when meditating on compassion, Ricard's brain produces a level of gamma waves - those linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory - 'never reported before in the neuroscience literature', Davidson said.
    The scans also showed excessive activity in his brain's left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, giving him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity, researchers believe."

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2225634/Is-worlds-happiest-man-Brain-scans-reveal-French-monk-abnormally-large-capacity-joy-meditation.html#ixzz2m0uXIHWA

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Nov 28, 2013

    Mathew,

    Do you notice anything strange?

    I take a twenty minute nap; Dusty makes a 180% turn, creates two new topics, posts four comments and apparently has time to watch a one hour video.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 28, 2013

    Weisman adds this thought in the essay.

    The problem is that there’s no evidence for an immaterial thing that gets reincarnated after death. In fact, there’s even evidence against it. Reincarnation would require an entity (even the vague, impermanent one called anatta) to exist independently of brain function. But brain function has been so closely tied to every mental function (every bit of consciousness, perception, emotion, everything self and non-self about you) that there appears to be no remainder. Reincarnation is not a trivial part of most forms of Buddhism. For example, the Dalai Lama’s followers chose him because they believe him to be the living reincarnation of a long line of respected teachers.

    Why have the dominant Western religious traditions gotten their permanent, independent souls so wrong? Taking note of change was not limited to Buddhism. The same sort of thinking pops up in Western thought as well. The pre-Socratic Heraclitus said, “Nothing endures but change.” But that observation didn’t really go anywhere. It wasn’t adopted by monotheistic religions or held up as a central natural truth. Instead, pure Platonic ideals won out, perhaps because they seemed more divine.

    http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/buddhism_and_the_brain

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 28, 2013

    This is a thoughtful essay that applies to this research:

    "MANY OF BUDDHISM’S CORE TENETS SIGNIFICANTLY OVERLAP WITH FINDINGS FROM MODERN NEUROLOGY AND NEUROSCIENCE. SO HOW DID BUDDHISM COME CLOSE TO GETTING THE BRAIN RIGHT?"

    OPINION / BY DAVID WEISMAN

    Despite my doubts, neurology and neuroscience do not appear to profoundly contradict Buddhist thought. Neuroscience tells us the thing we take as our unified mind is an illusion, that our mind is not unified and can barely be said to “exist” at all. Our feeling of unity and control is a post-hoc confabulation and is easily fractured into separate parts. As revealed by scientific inquiry, what we call a mind (or a self, or a soul) is actually something that changes so much and is so uncertain that our pre-scientific language struggles to find meaning.

    Buddhists say pretty much the same thing.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Nov 28, 2013

    Before I take a nap, I should point out that my lengthy comment to Dusty was a response to his question and comment to me relative to my making things up relative to consciousness connecting individuals and their brains etc.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Nov 28, 2013

    Mathew,

    I see the value in your comment and how it applies to the communication problems in this topic.

    Your grasp of the problem with reference to how egotistically stubborn the conscious self is to their subconscious is particularly informative.

    Now that I believe that you have defined the problem, I am befuddled as to what can be done about it.

    I think I’ll take a nap and allow others to sort out this dilemma.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 28, 2013

    Re: "it is impossible for anyone to reason beyond their own reasoning processes"

    This works both ways I assume; those that choice not to review scientific data cannot reason "beyond their own reasoning processes"

    Mathew, please stay on topic. Jim has an SM thread: DISCUSSIONS AND REVOLUTIONS Your welcome to post these comments there.

  • mrmathew1963 Nov 28, 2013

    G'day Jim

    Well conversed however it is impossible for anyone to reason beyond their own reasoning processes however the subconscious works in quite a different way to the conscious self so it's worth a try & in fact you’re probably making more of a difference to the recipient than the recipient realises. It really comes down to how egotistically stubborn the conscious self is to their subconscious.

    Ghosts & spirits interact with us without a human physical brain; I wonder how they would do this if consciousness doesn’t exist outside the human physical brain? My whole family experienced ghostly interactions so they weren’t delusional even though some unaware people would like them to be to support their own beliefs.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 28, 2013

    Jim,

    The thread is to discussion the neuroscience research the topic references.
    Stay on topic please. You have started plenty of your own discussion so go rant on those.

    Best,

    "d"

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Nov 28, 2013

    dustproduction

    The critics of Dean Radian’s work are devotees of Scientific Materialism and their reasons for disputing his research range from tenure, funding, fear of criticism by other scientific materialists and ego considerations etc. Their criticism is prejudiced, but it is an understandable expression of self defense.

    You once again have sidestepped the issue that you personally have not viewed the evidence for psi presented by Dean Radin, referred to in my previous comment.

    Regarding you’re questioning of my statement “IONS science supports that consciousness connects individuals and their brains and therefore, consciousness exists outside of the brains of individuals."

    If you have the courage to personally explore the evidence provided by Dean Radin, pointed out in my previous comment, please answer the following questions:

    Can you explain why the evidence for psi, does not show that consciousness connects individuals and their brains? Also, please explain why this evidence does not reveal that consciousness exists outside or beyond the brains of individuals.

    You should be aware that Discussions is sponsored by IONS. What is amazing to me is how you could be the most active participant in Discussions for nearly two years and not accept the cornerstone of IONS science. I must ask what motivates you to be the most active participant in Discussions. I’m beginning to understand why this topic is your first.

    Anyone familiar with the cornerstone of IONS science and willing to be sufficiently brazen to speak out will take the position that Scientific Materialism’s view that consciousness is imprisoned within the human brain is an obsolete and invalid paradigm.

    Rather than bow to the authority of Scientific Materialism as you do, I suggest that you enter phrases such as Consciousness and the Brain, Consciousness and psi, Scientific Materialism, Consciousness Revolution, The end of Materialism, Enlightenment, Direct Knowing and Teleseminars etc. into the search engine of this website. If you do this, you will come upon over 500 articles, videos, audios and books that support IONS and any reasonable person in your position should begin to realize that they are in bed with a primitive and obsolete paradigm.

    It that is too much of an assignment for you, read Dean Radin’s first book “Entangled Minds”, Stan Grof’s book “Beyond the Brain” and B. Alan Wallace’s book “The Taboo of Subjectivity”.

    If you can’t do that much, you have no right to be critical of the comments of others that refer to Spirituality or elevated states of Consciousness. Also, you should begin to feel a bit insecure if you continue to copy and paste the words of Scientific Materialists and represent them to be “authorities”.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 27, 2013

    There are two curiosity in this discussion

    The first is that there are those that believe that research of this type is a waste of time, (even though it is not their time that is wasted). Neuroscience is certainly not a waste of time to the Dali Lama, he embraces it for whatever it will find.

    Neuroscience and the Emerging Mind: A Conversation with the Dalai Lama
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgtz4RuH7II

    Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. "Science" also refers to a body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied.

    I have in the past been critical of those that are dismissive of science while subscribing to BELIEFs that have no organization of framework and in fact provides for concepts and ideas (even within the same individual) that are conflicting.
    Science does not provide for this, it evolves and self-corrects. It does not claim to be the answer, it is only the process.

    The second curiosity is that many preach the doctrine of a "singular coherence," that is, the way they see the world is "the way" to see the world. Or consciousness, or enlightenment, etc. (fill in the blank.)
    It occurs to me the the world seems to be a multi coherence, where "all roads lead to Rome" as the saying goes, or to enlightenment as the case might be.

    If we don't know, then how is it that some are quick to toss stones at the approach others take to investigate phenomena, such as enlightenment?

    My question is fear.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 27, 2013

    Re: "supports that consciousness connects individuals and their brains and therefore, consciousness exists outside of the brains of individuals."

    "Supports" is an interesting, (although meaningless) choice of words. It tells me that IONS has little more than theories to support this position. See the list of "evidence."

    Jim,
    It honestly seems to me the you make this 'stuff up on the fly. It certainly isn't supported by any academic citation (which I have requested in the past from you). While you continually point at the "the evidence" your yourself include none in your arguments, leading one to conclude that perhaps you have not read or absorbed it.

    I am going to again point out a comment by someone who's writing I have read:

    "First, even a lot of well meaning people are not going to take the time to analyze the studies that are posted (which doesn't mean this isn't a good idea - just thought i'd repeat that in case someone is skimming this for a 5 second sound bite:>)!!

    Second, even if people who are untrained try to take the time, they will still have difficulty understanding it (which doesn't mean it shouldn't be done!!)

    Third, even qualified people won't necessarily understand it (as 40+ years of Hyman, Alcock, Marks, Wiseman and the rest make all too clear).

    (which doesn't mean it isn't a great thing)"

    These comments are posted in response to Radin's "Show Me the Evidence."

    So, a question, which research on that page does no employ scientific materialism:

    Clues: "Searching for Neuronal Markers of Psi -" studies that look at "Electrocortical activity" or "Electrophysiological Evidence"

    I am generous enough to afford you your BELIEFs if and when you decide to express your ideas as such, (as others do). But even then, others are entitled to their BELIEFS and their "evidence."

    Right?

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Nov 27, 2013

    Scientific Materialism, which this topic supports, clings tightly to the following premise:

    The unit of consciousness in each brain is imprisoned within each individual brain, is isolated from the consciousness in all other brains and does not exist outside of the brain.

    This premise of Scientific Materialism is only an assumption. Scientific Materialism offers no evidence for the premise to which it clings tightly; it offers theories, but not evidence.

    Because of this assumption, it believes that Enlightenment must occur within the brain and therefore should be detected by examining the brain.

    The science of the Institute of The Institute of Noetic Sciences supports the premise that that consciousness is not imprisoned within individual brains. It supports that consciousness connects individuals and their brains and therefore, consciousness exists outside of the brains of individuals.

    The Institute of Noetic Science offers evidence for this premise.

    At the top of this page click NOETIC NOW and you will come to a page listing several topics.

    Click the topic “SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE”.

    You will come to three paragraphs where Dean Radin discusses evidence for psi. At the end of those three paragraphs, click “See the evidence” and you will be taken to nearly one hundred Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications on Psi Research. There are also suggested books and videos that you can view.

    A problem facing The Institute of Noetic Sciences and its affiliates is that not only will dogmatic devotees of Scientific Materialism not comment on the evidence; they simply refuse to examine the evidence.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 27, 2013

    Re: There's no subjective interpretation involved when you are truly there

    Take that argument to the Buddhists? Where"there" is is exactly what the neuroscientist are trying to measure since "there" seems to occur, to large part, in the brain.

    Re: Why look for Enlightenment in the brain...

    There is a physical aspect to whatever enlightenment is if we are experiencing it in some subjective way. Why shouldn't science attempt to measure it?

  • mrmathew1963 Nov 27, 2013

    G'day All

    I'm with Ros.

    It's strange to me we just can't accept some things as being just is, I know a lot of people, especially wholly logically minded people, think we have to measure everything for it to exist but to people like me that isn't necessary because I accept it just is (isness). I think once you experience a certain conscious state there is no need or desire to prove everything especially to yourself.

    The funny thing is here, once you start to experiencing enlightened episodes you understand enlightenment more than if you tried to prove it exists or try to measure it in some way & in fact the more you try to measure enlightenment the less one will know of enlightenment I believe.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Nov 27, 2013

    This topic draws us into the paradigm of Scientific Materialism.

    Again, refer to the topic DISCUSSIONS AND REVOLUTIONS to see that the revolution occurring in science between Scientific Materialism and The Institute of Noetic Sciences is occurring right here in Discussions.

  • Anonymous Icon

    RealityOverScience Nov 27, 2013

    btw...

    Why look for Enlightenment in the brain if you don't even know what Enlightenment actually IS in the first place?

    How would you even know what to look for, let alone where?! What are you going to measure? What would be your controls?

    It would be trying to find a haystack in a needle.

    "Do the (direct) work" required to truly realize Enlightenment, first, and only THEN go looking for it in the brain. Otherwise, you're only looking for Agernipstipoziley, and good luck finding that! You will never, ever figure it out by keeping it safely projected away from yourself! That just sets up a math/physics position that locks in your being forever denied and blocked away from it!

    Junk in, junk out!

  • Anonymous Icon

    RealityOverScience Nov 27, 2013

    There's no subjective interpretation involved when you are truly there, where you can see the entire Universe and all its parts and particles running, in action, like a well-oiled machine! You'll have more than a front row seat to what it's doing, once there, an incredibly humbling experience when you are aware of yourself within it!

    Why spend forever debating what it is, from a safe distance that will never be anything more than he said/she said guesswork?!

    Go INSIDE it, and experience it DIRECTLY for yourselves!

    Neurologically, it is extremely important to connect that the waking/sleeping "correlates" of every day and night life reveal that there's a lot more going on in those areas of the brain than simply snoozing to or being jolted by an alarm clock!

    Multidimensional language/mathematics and their exponential multiplying "tell on" neurological constructs at their most complex, but if you don't know how to process reality multidimensionally you're not going to hear it.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 26, 2013

    Re: "Apparently even the Buddhists steeped in "objective" tradition argue over subjective interpretation over who and what is enlightened."

    Yes, indeed and this is why I brought the discussion here.
    There is a "No" and a qualified "Yes" to the question, "Can enlightenment be traced to specific neural correlates, cognition, or behavior?"

    Thank you for exploring the research.

  • A.R.K. Nov 26, 2013

    Apparently even the Buddhists steeped in "objective" tradition argue over subjective interpretation over who and what is enlightened.

    From article: Some of the most virulent disagreements over what counts as genuine awakening occur between closely related practice traditions, such as the debates between various Theravāda Buddhist traditions in Burma over which states are to count as realizations of nibbāna and which are instead to be counted (merely) as states of deep concentration.:

    So from what I can gather, the goal of this study of enlightenment by MRI is to have a kind of process map of meditational entrainment states compared to "normal" states such as sleeping and monkey mind. From Article: "Once biomarkers are established for progress along the paths outlined in particular traditions, these can be used as feedback or for therapeutic targets in the context of neuropsychiatry." While it's good to draw maps from real data.....why not take a "satellite" picture. A 3d rendering of Em wave propagation?

    Interesting to read that the state described as cessation is accompanied by a spike in polar frontal cortex activity. "For example, the frontal polar cortex (Brodmann area-10), a specialized area for higher cognitive functions (Koechlin et al., 1999; Ramnani and Owen, 2004), showed dramatic increases in functional activity (>50% BOLD signal change) that were not as large for the other meditators. As interesting as this preliminary finding is, we can not simply say we found the neural correlate of cessation, but rather a potential neural marker for the experience of “Gone” in Young's system of training that is relative to the baseline state of mind wandering in this individual.

    What i really want to see are the 3d holographic super imposed images of the differing brain wave states, not linear read-outs or 2d number stats of some obscure brain region. It is said a picture is worth a thousand words, how many more is a 3d topographical hologram worth? So much more can be intuitively gathered from such representation. As reality and wave propagation through it is 3d. Our information on it should be as well. The brain is producing specific wave forms that propagate into the surrounding environment....what do they look like? Science has done this for music and the revelation is beautiful, violins surrounded by spheres and harmonic spikes. Where as if you were deaf you could visually get a feel for the different types of sounds from different instruments. I think similarly with different humans and all the different mind states we can occupy.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Nov 26, 2013


    The intention of this discussion is to focus on the research paper that the quotes are taken from.
    It appears that the commenters, so far, feel no need to read the paper in it entirety.
    Subjective perspectives of the word, "Enlightenment." are limited at best.

  • Anonymous Icon

    RealityOverScience Nov 26, 2013

    btw...

    All those stereotypical "chicken scratch" formulas that little old men of science pour their lives over in notes or on chalkboards...can be processed in blip-second timing in the brain, with Consciousness, because the brain processes soooo multidimensionally, so mathematically and linguistically, etc., exponentially, that time and space are completely redefined to non-existing.

  • Anonymous Icon

    RealityOverScience Nov 26, 2013

    Enlightenment is the fluent awareness of one's own, and the Universe's, multidimensionality, through the processing of language, mathematics, etc., likewise multidimensionally.

    The brain is a relay station of that multidimensionality, receiving and transmitting the internalXexternal exchange.

    Because the physics of that exchange multiply exponentially in every direction, all the while never losing the integrity of the Core Truth, the brain has evolved to reflect the processing of that necessary complexity. Sleeping and waking, for instance, don't just relate to our crawling into bed at night or when the alarm goes off in the morning! The pons, brain stem, prefrontal cortex, etc., are processing and responding to far more complex processes than "surface" interpretation, in other words.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Nov 25, 2013

    It stimulates the memory of what we are when I attempt to describe enlightenment:

    Enlightenment is detachment from the human mind; enlightenment cannot be described because descriptions require conceptual thought and conceptual thought is a characteristic of the human mind.

    Enlightenment exists in the domain of experience and not in the domain of beliefs inherent to the human mind.

    Enlightenment is the experience of direct knowing that what we truly are is something that was not born and will never die; conceptual thought is nonexistent in direct knowing. It is also nonexistent in the experience of awe that accompanies the direct knowing of what we are.

  • mrmathew1963 Nov 25, 2013

    G'day A.R.K.

    Yes, enlightenment, to me anyway, is remembering who/what we truly are, point blank. The problem with science measuring such things is again to do with the ego, how could it just be remembering who are, what accolades is in this for us & surely it's way more complex than that?

    The more we are controlled by the ego the more complex & chaotic life is in my mind because it's the control or lack of control that defines our perception & of course the more logical we are for instance the more this defines the ego being in control I feel.

  • A.R.K. Nov 25, 2013

    What is the definition of enlightenment? Is it the sense of inner peace? Or the discipline of the will/mind to cease the thought production/reflection/internal monologue of the brain? In that case may be more measurable by the absence of brain activity than the presence.

    Or is enlightenment a certain thresh-hold of knowledge and wisdom that result in fractal similarity with the structures of Reality and unshakable certainty is attained by direct experience and communication with what is invisible to the eye? Is enlightenment knowing "The Truth"?

    Or is enlightenment an inner union with the part of you that is eternal only to find out that you are the part and it is the whole, and it's a whole lot bigger than you expected! Is enlightenment that final ease into your own skin, knowing that you have always been and always will be and we shed our persona sheaths until scales become feathers....

    How can it be measured that one has become a brand new being? One that has always been....

    I would venture to say look at the joy in their life and that will tell you much about their enlightenment.

    Perhaps an individual life is like the polishing of a gem facet on a great gem. Enlightenment would be when one's face is clear and perfectly reflective and the inner light shines through to inform "you" of all the other facets. The central light has always been shining there, and is momentarily occulted by the accumulas of the ego. So I would say the goal of enlightenment is both a work and a surrender. A self creation, destruction and resurrection. The end of physical birth amnesia.

    IMHO; The goal of enlightenment is soular re-membrance and re-joicing!

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