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Posts Tagged ‘Consciousness’

The Consciousness Project – Hopeful Solutions for Epic Problems

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 2, 2013

By Deepak Chopra, MD and Jim Walsh

Deepak-chopraAs founders and backers, we are announcing a major initiative to solve the epic problems that the world faces. Leading the way is global warming, with its eventual threat of mass extinction if worse comes to worst.

But climate change is linked to globalization, economic upheaval, overpopulation, and hostile tensions in the world’s hot spots. The link, we believe, is consciousness, and the only way to solve our epic problems is to arrive at an understanding of consciousness that will benefit humanity.

Whether in the short run or the long run, the choice is between a deteriorating planet or a new paradigm.

The existing paradigm is scientific, as we all know. Objective science is the hallmark of society today. It has an unrivaled power base. Its description of reality has molded the modern world. Its worldview holds sway over universities, governments and the public at large. Everyone who participates in the consensus view of reality has been touched by it. But the role of the observer has puzzled and intrigued physics since the quantum revolution a century ago. We feel that this issue offers a crucial opening for expanding the role of science.

As a counterpoint to the science juggernaut, there is another view of reality supported by loosely aligned groups in religion, philosophy, and a minority in science. Their worldview is consciousness-based. Whatever their differences, supporters of consciousness place mind first in Nature and matter second. Such a worldview has no significant financial backing comparable to mainstream science. It has been excluded from experimentation in major universities and all but banished from respectability, depending on the rich heritage, East and West, of saints, sages, and seers who fall outside the scientific method. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tweets From the Cosmos: Tune In

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 21, 2013

By Deepak Chopra

Deepak ChopraWhen Twitter first appeared, I responded to their idealistic side, which aimed to form a global community that could create change beyond national boundaries. Tweets are now used for a million reasons that don’t aim as high. But it occurred to me that tweeting might be an excellent way to test the shift in consciousness that has been long awaited and equally long pooh poohed.

Who is right, the skeptics who see no evidence that consciousness is rising on a mass scale or the futurists who foresee a completely altered humanity? It’s impossible to measure such a huge phenomenon, but I decided to start small. On a daily basis for the past two or three years I’ve tweeted about cosmic consciousness, mind outside the brain, the nature of reality, the failure of materialism to explain awareness, and other Big Ideas on the edge of acceptability by mainstream science.

To my surprise, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Each tweet starts a dialogue almost the instant the tweet starts circulating. Naysayers and skeptics also participate, but instead of dominating the conversation — or crushing it — which is what you’d find in official scientific circles, the main result is open, eager curiosity.

Here are the three most popular tweets from a day last week:

1. Photons have neither color nor brightness. The world is made manifest through the light of awareness.

2. Taking existence for granted & assuming that science or religion are the path to truth are the greatest impediments to awakening.

3. The perceived physical world is a representation of a perceiving physical brain. Both the world and brain are immaterial in their essence.

Although each one states my own viewpoint, the statements are broad enough to be good debating topics, and each touches on a mystery that needs exploration. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Conscious Lifestyle: Awareness Skills – Diving Deep

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 27, 2013

By Deepak Chopra

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This is the fourth in a series of posts about skills in awareness; the first three skills were being centered, paying attention, and holding focus. You might want to review them since all four skills make a totality. The reason I’m calling these “skills” is that most people pay very little attention to the quality of their awareness – they are too distracted by the contents of the mind, the constant flow of thoughts, feelings, and sensations. But if you think about it, the ability to remain centered in a crisis is a skill, as is the ability to pay attention to what is happening in a complex situation and to remain sharply focused on the problem at hand.

To complete the set of awareness skills, there is the ability to dive deep into your mind when you need answers and solutions. Decision-making depends on this skill, since bad decisions are mostly made when someone’s mind is anxious, confused, conflicted, or superficial. It’s crucial to get past these obstacles somehow.

When I think of my mind, I see the image of a river. On the surface there are lapping waves, and the current flows fast. Dive beneath the surface and the same river flows slower; there are no waves agitating the water. Keep diving, and the water slows even more, until at the bottom there is hardly any motion at all. Yet it’s all the same river. Most people spend 90 percent of their waking hours at the surface of the mind, which is tossed and turned by daily events. It would be easy to believe that this restless activity is the mind. There is nothing else until you dive deeper and experience it.

Dreamhawk.com Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Inspire Your Brain

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 4, 2012

By Deepak Chopra, Co-author, ‘Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being’; founder, The Chopra Foundation

 GYI0000667336.jpgWe’ve entered a golden age for brain research, but all these new findings haven’t trickled down to the individual. Yet there are broad discoveries that make it possible to everyone to improve their brains. Let me state these succinctly:

• Your brain is constantly renewing itself.
• Your brain can heal its wounds form the past.
• Experience changes the bran every day.
• The input you give your brain causes it to form new neural pathways.
• The more positive the input, the better your brain will function.

In a new book, Super Brain, I and my co-author, Prof. Rudolf Tanzi of Harvard Medical School, expand upon the neuroscience behind these broad findings. The old view of the brain as fixed for life, constantly losing neurons and declining in function, has been all but abolished. The new brain is a process, not a thing, and the process heads in the direction you point it in. A Buddhist monk meditating on compassion develops the brain circuitry that brings compassion into reality. Depending on the input it receives, you can create a compassionate brain, an artistic brain, a wise brain, or any other kind.

However, as Prof. Tanzi and I see it, the agent that makes these possibilities become real is the mind. The brain doesn’t create its own destiny. Genetics delivers the brain in a functioning state so that the nervous system can regulate itself and the whole body. It doesn’t take your intervention to balance hormone levels, regulate heartbeat, or do a thousand other autonomic functions. But the newest part of the brain, the neocortex, is where the field of possibilities actually lies. Here is where decisions are made, where we discriminate, worship, assess, control, and evolve. Read the rest of this entry »

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From Quanta to Qualia: The Mystery of Reality

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 9, 2012

By Deepak Chopra

This piece was co-written with Menas Kafatos, Ph.D. and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D.

Wherever reality leads, science follows. The two are inseparably linked, as they must be when science is our way of knowing reality. Reality shifts in ways that are unpredictable and strange. Time and space took very strange turns a century ago, for example, while cause and effect turned into a game of probabilities, and the solid physical universe dissolved into invisible energy clouds. Quantum theory had arrived, keeping pace with where reality led it. What Einstein called the “spookiness” of activity at the quantum level has only become spookier since.

Now it appears that reality is about to lead us into new, unexpected paths once more. A hint of the future was provided decades ago by one of the most brilliant quantum pioneers, Wolfgang Pauli, when he said, “It is my personal opinion that in the science of the future reality will neither be ‘psychic’ nor ‘physical’ but somehow both and somehow neither.” By using a word that science shuns, “psychic,” Pauli was pointing to a kind of ultimate mystery. The vast physical mechanism we call the universe behaves more like a mind than like a machine. To thousands of working physicists, the riddle of mind and matter doesn’t apply to their research. But the founder of quantum physics, Max Planck, had no doubt that mind would eventually become the elephant in the room, an issue too massive and obvious to ignore. Planck is worth quoting in full: “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

The reason that mixing mind with matter disturbs many scientists isn’t a secret. Mind rules the subjective world, while matter is the basis of the physical world, and science is dedicated to gathering objective data from it. Subjectivity is fickle, individual, shifting, and prey to all kinds of bias, if not outright delusion. Consciousness therefore has been systematically excluded from scientific consideration; it’s simply a given that all of us are conscious, and a given doesn’t need to be factored into the equation. Read the rest of this entry »

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God Will Be Back Tomorrow (Really)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 2, 2012

By Deepak Chopra, Author, ‘Spiritual Solutions’; founder, The Chopra Foundation

Can a secular age return to an age of faith? No. Despite the hopes of people who still follow traditional religions, the modern age is too entrenched in its values to ever regain faith as it was once known. The issue isn’t church attendance, which has been declining in every developed country for decades. Nor is it fundamentalism, which is like a family squabble among believers. The core issue that has led to the decline of religion has to do with reality itself.

In the modern age, reality has been defined by science, and wherever science goes, so will God. Many people assume that God has no chance of returning, that science has permanently vanquished the reality defined by religion. But the story is more complicated than that. Let me look at the picture in the broadest terms. What would it take to make the universe a living thing? What would it take to make it human once again, a secure home for us instead of a cold, meaningless place? What would it take to give God a future?

As disconnected as these questions may seem, the deeper one looks, all three issues – a living universe, a human universe, and a universe that holds a place for God – start to merge. If they actually do merge, our view of reality will radically shift. There have been great physicists who were deeply religious, such as Sir Isaac Newton, or who had a religious feeling when confronting the universe, such as Albert Einstein, but God isn’t the right place to start with these huge issues. No matter who or what created the universe, it’s here now, and we have to relate to it.

How? One of the oldest ideas, which can be found in every culture, holds that Nature is a mirror. We relate to it by seeing ourselves, but not passively. Messages are constantly going back and forth about birth and death about constant change and the bond between our life and Nature itself. To the ancients, a natural disaster – fire, flood, earthquake – showed that the gods were angry. If the gods were appeased, the harvest was good and the sun shone. It was unquestioned that the universe meant something, and usually it meant that a loving deity had created a special place for his children.

It’s astonishing how quickly a timeless worldview was utterly destroyed by science. Now we relate to a completely mechanistic universe devoid of purpose, one that operates through random chance perfectly meshed with evolution operating through random genetic mutations. The mirror has shattered. We no longer see ourselves in it, because there’s nothing meaningful to see, no purpose, no Creator. Even more absurd is the notion that Nature is sending us messages – from the collision of quarks to the collision of galaxies, nothing is happening “out there” to reflect human existence. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Consciousness-Based Science

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 13, 2012

By Deepak Chopra, M.D., FACP, Menas Kafatos, Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor in Computational Physics, Chapman University, and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)

The greatest mystery of existence is existence itself. There is the existence of the universe and there is the existence of the awareness of existence of the universe. Were it not for this awareness, even if the universe existed as an external reality, we would not be aware of its existence, so it would for all practical purpose not exist. Traditional science assumes, for the most part, that an objective observer independent reality exists; the universe, stars, galaxies, sun, moon and earth would still be there if no one was looking. However, modern quantum theory, the most successful of all scientific creations of the human mind, disagrees. The properties of a particle, quantum theory tells us, do not even exist until an observation takes place. Quantum theory disagrees with traditional, Newtonian physics. Most scientists, although respecting quantum theory, do not follow its implications. The result is a kind of schizophrenia between what scientists believe and what they practice. When we examine this hypothesis of traditional science, we find it more a metaphysical assumption than a scientific assertion.

How can we assert that an observer-independent reality exists if the assertion itself is dependent on the existence of a conscious observer? This raises the additional dilemma of who or what is the observer and where is this observer located? When scientists in general describe empirical facts and formulate scientific theories, they forget that neither facts nor theories are an insight into the true nature of fundamental reality apart from any observer. What we consider to be empirical facts are entirely dependent on observation, in agreement with quantum theory. The scientific observer in this case is an activity of the universe called Homo sapiens usually with a Ph.D. in physics. However, many scientists have never really asked the question “Who am I?”

Most neuroscientists who still don’t believe that quantum theory has anything to do with the brain would assert that “I,” the conscious observer, is solely an epiphenomenon of the brain, that consciousness is produced by the brain, just as gastric juices are produced by the stomach and bile is produced by the gall bladder. The problem with this of course, is that any neuroscientist worth his/her tenure will tell you that there is no satisfactory theory in neuroscience that explains how neurochemistry translates into conscious experience. How do electrochemical phenomena in the brain create the appreciation of the beauty of a red rose, the taste of garlic, the smell of onions, the feeling of love, compassion, joy, insight, intuition, imagination, creativity, free will, or awareness of existence of self and the universe? There is no physicalist theory based on classical physics to explain these subjective experiences. Nor is there any obvious means for coming up with one.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Einstein on Science and Religion

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 25, 2012

[Einstein is not only the Greatest Scientist, but also Great saint. We should not hesitate to claim this from his writes up.]

The Meaning of Life

This excerpt is taken from Einstein’s book The World as I See It, p. 1. It is the first essay in the book, and the shortest as well


What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it? I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.

Further Words on the Meaning of Life

The following excerpt is taken from Hoffman and Dukas, pp. 26 – 27.


This excerpt is a letter written by Einstein in response to a 19-year-old Rutger’s University student, who had written to Einstein of his despair at seeing no visible purpose to life and no help from religion. In responding to this poignant cry for help, Einstein offered no easy solace, and this very fact must have heartened the student and lightened the lonely burden of his doubts.

Einstein at 1933 Pacifist ConferenceHere is Einstein’s response. It was written in English and sent from Princeton on 3 December 1950, within days of receiving the letter: Read the rest of this entry »

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Did God Discover the God Particle?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 30, 2012

By Deepak Chopra, M.D., FACP, Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, and Menas Kafatos, Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor in Computational Physics, Chapman University

The possible discovery of the Higgs boson would not have been splashed across every major media if the tag “God particle” weren’t attached to it. Physicists hate the term, but they love the publicity. There are huge government grants at stake as well as the prestige of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland. After you read the headline, however, there’s little doubt that a general reader cannot actually grasp what a Higgs boson is (or a large hadron accelerator, either).

If you watch enough PBS programs and listen to a few physicists, some clarity emerges that a non-physicist can understand. The Higgs boson discovery adds validation to a mathematical model of force fields in the universe. It attaches a real particle to an expectation, the expectation that buried inside force fields was the key to why subatomic particles have mass. Mass would be acquired as a particle meets with resistance when it moves through the vacuum of space, a kind of “molasses” that slows it down.

This molasses is very elusive. It took many billions of colliding protons in the huge CERN accelerator, backed up by 100,000 computers around the world, to analyze the data before the discovery seemed real. Even then, most physicists are guarded about whether this new particle actually is a Higgs boson. They are equally guarded about whether its properties will uphold the Standard Model of force fields or in fact create more problems. Read the rest of this entry »

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Deepak Chopra- Learn How to Meditate (Nauči meditirati)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 9, 2012

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Deepak Chopra, Michael Shermer, Chapman University

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 14, 2012

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Who or What Is God?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 26, 2012

By Peter Baksa, Investigative Journalist/Entreprenuer/Author of ‘The Point of Power’

“The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion, as well as, all serious endeavour. He who never had this experience, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced, there is a something that the mind cannot grasp; whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly; this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious.” — Albert Einstein

The laws of physics have conspired to make collisions of atoms produce plants, trees, animals and humans. In fact, these laws produced collections of atoms that don’t just obey Newton’s laws in a passive way. Some jump, mate, run and think. The laws of physics, working through Darwin’s natural selection, have produced these gigantic collections of apparently purposeful beings who look as though they have been designed. Once Darwin determined how to get complicated, designed beings from the simplest of forms, he gave us an intellectual foothold to begin to see a process that we refer to as evolution. We know since 1859 how this all happens.

Math and science use principle-centered, complex frameworks to describe and understand phenomena on all scales of time and space. Reality, on the other hand, operates at all intervals simultaneously. Our existence, as we see it, is an illusion.

“We are spirit having human experiences not the other way around.”

A starving child, longing for food, has no clock to measure the movement of the sun and the earth around their shared center of mass. Looking down from my high-rise in Chicago I often look over the hundreds of people mulling about on the beach, each existing from a particular point, their own universe if you will. A fly’s eyes have hundreds of different facets. It is able to detect the briefest flickers of movement, perceiving reality under a completely different guise than we humans.The mind of an Alzheimer’s patient cannot use the human construct of time. For such a person, the chronology of existence is broken, living without the element of time or memory to assist in formulating their reality. Time is an illusion, as is space. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can Your Brain Fall in Love?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 10, 2012

By Deepak Chopra

This post is co-authored by Deepak Chopra, M.D., FACP and Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School Director, Genetics and Aging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

The human brain is an exquisitely sensitive instrument. It registers the slightest nuance of any experience you have ever had. This is no more evident than in love. Imagine someone whispering, “I love you.” In romantic terms these are desirable words — probably the most desirable any of us will ever hear. The brain responds to “I love you” with an orchestration of positive reactions. People who are in love feel less stressed; their blood pressure goes down. When a couple who enjoys a long-term loving marriage hold hands, even their response to physical pain is strengthened.

These points and others in the same vein were detailed in a recent New York Times opinion piececalled “The Brain on Love” by writer-poet Diane Ackerman. We found it an empathic article, one that celebrates human bonding from the first moment a newborn baby imprints on its mother. Bonding takes place via complex brain mechanisms that follow us throughout our lives. The sense of oneness that characterizes a strong mother-child relationship morphs over time. It persists among happily married adults and gives such pleasure, as well as a sense of security, that our brains seek “at-one-ness” the way an addict seeks cocaine. Ackerman is quick to point out that love isn’t exactly the same as cocaine use, but her argument involves the same receptors for morphine-like chemicals in the brain as well as an impressive description of hormonal responses and other neurological particulars.

Yet the basic premise of the article is problematic. She doesn’t crudely claim that your brain is in love and therefore you are, too. (We suppose that’s why the article is titled “The Brain on Love” rather than “The Brain in Love.”) But at bottom it’s still the standard materialist argument, bolstered by tons of data from neuroimaging, which fails to separate brain from mind. When a person experiences love, the brain registers and expresses that experience through electrical and chemical reactions, the way a radio playing music registers and plays every note that Mozart wrote. But the brain isn’t in love any more than the radio is enjoying music. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Personal Mission: Define Your Wellness (Part 2)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 31, 2012

   

By Deepak Chopra, Author, ‘War of the Worldviews’; Founder, The Chopra Foundation

 Step 6: Realistically Plan for Setbacks

No one walks a straight line on the journey to wellness. Most studies of lapses in fitness, nutrition and recovery programs show that you can get back on track more easily if you have scripted the way you will recover. It’s also known that those who are successful in breaking highly addictive habits, such as chain smoking, tried and failed any number of times before finally succeeding. So persistence counts, and so does avoiding the familiar excuse of “I’ve tried everything.” The answer is to go back and try everything again.

In planning for setbacks in a realistic frame of mind, the Mayo Clinic recommends taking these steps:

  • Take charge. Accept responsibility for your own behavior.
  • Buy time. If you’re tempted to keep indulging, wait a few minutes and see if the desire passes. Try distracting yourself — call a friend or take the dog for a walk.
  • Be gentle with yourself. Practice self-forgiveness. Try not to think of your slip-up as a catastrophe.
  • Ask for and accept help. Asking for help is a sign of good judgment, not weakness.
  • Work out your guilt and frustration with exercise. Use it to elevate your mood and recommit to your goals — never use it as punishment for a lapse.
  • Problem-solve as you go. Identify the problem and create a list of possible solutions. If you try one that doesn’t work, try the next solution.
  • Recommit to your goals — review your goals and make certain that they are still realistic.

Step 7: Reaching Your Goal

Reaching a wellness goal, once it has happened, is a big deal. Make sure you mark it accordingly. If you have given up smoking for a long period of time, treat yourself to new shoes or a great book. If you’ve lost weight, buy yourself a new outfit. You deserve to be rewarded, while making sure that you don’t rationalize going on a credit card binge or eating a huge meal as some kind of false reward. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Use and Misuse of Gratitude

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 22, 2012


Without being able to bring more and more misusers into users it could be very hard to make the world wonderful.

By Deepak Chopra

Once a self-help term becomes shopworn, it needs to be refreshed. I think this is true of terms like faith, compassion, unconditional love and gratitude. Let me address the last one. How is gratitude a useful expression of spirituality? No one argues that it makes others feel good if you are grateful, but is that useful to their personal growth and yours? Many people find it much easier to give than to receive, for example, which makes it hard for them to feel grateful when they are on the receiving end of a gift, favor, appreciation or love. They look embarrassed and uncomfortable instead.

Until we get to the bottom of why gratitude is so hard, we cannot really understand what gratitude actually is. A few points need to be made.

  1. You are genuinely grateful when your ego gets out of the way.
  2. Real gratitude isn’t passing and temporary.
  3. Gratitude takes openness and the willingness to set your ego aside.
  4. No one is grateful for things they think they deserve. Therefore, gratitude is unearned, like grace.
  5. When it is deeply felt, gratitude applies to everything, not simply to goodies that come your way.

These points focus on gratitude as a state where “I, me and mine” has been set aside. In a grateful state you are vulnerable, as the ego sees it. In reality, this feeling of openness must exist in order to receive grace, love, beauty and inspiration. More than one painter and composer has thanked God formally, knowing that there is a higher source — something beyond the isolated individual — that brings inspiration. There is a spiritual reason for such a sense of receiving from “on high,” and it doesn’t need to involve God or religion. Read the rest of this entry »

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