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The Brain: The Mystery of Consciousness The young women had survived the car crash, after a fashion. In the five months since parts of her brain had been crushed, she could open her eyes but didn't respond to sights, sounds or jabs. In the jargon of neurology, she was judged to be in a persistent vegetative state. In crueler everyday language, she was a vegetable. So picture the astonishment of British and Belgian scientists as they scanned her brain using a kind of MRI that detects blood flow to active parts of the brain. Falling Awake YouTube - Mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founder of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at U Mass, and he's highly regarded for his role in bringing mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine. He's also an illuminating writer and speaker on the ways that mindfulness meditation can improve health and reduce stress. I really enjoyed this hour-plus talk Kabat-Zinn delivered at Google last year. It's a terrific introduction to meditation that includes a long portion where you can "meditate along," learning how to follow your breath and become more aware of being in the moment. (I doubt I'm the only one who'll benefit from that bit of help today).

Table of contents (With last update date) Cover Foreword (August 13, 2009) Part 1. Quantum theory and consciousness Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD The Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit (BPRU) is a broad-based substance abuse clinical research program encompassing both human laboratory research and outpatient treatment research. The scientific view of the BPRU is that a common feature linking most substances of abuse are the pharmacological agents that function as behavioral reinforcers that, in turn, support self-administration. Thus, while also studying and elucidating the differences between substances and the differences between different types of substance use disorders, the unit has concurrently maintained a central focus on studying and understanding the commonalities among substances of abuse. Consequently, the BPRU research program spans a very broad array of abused substances: BPRU is one of very few laboratories that directly studies the effects of such a broad range of drugs administered under controlled circumstances to human volunteers in the laboratory. Major themes of BPRU research include:

Consciousness 1. History of the issue Questions about the nature of conscious awareness have likely been asked for as long as there have been humans. Neolithic burial practices appear to express spiritual beliefs and provide early evidence for at least minimally reflective thought about the nature of human consciousness (Pearson 1999, Clark and Riel-Salvatore 2001). Preliterate cultures have similarly been found invariably to embrace some form of spiritual or at least animist view that indicates a degree of reflection about the nature of conscious awareness. Sri Mrutyunjaya Sri Mrutyunjaya Mantra for Healing PLEASE READ THIS CORRECTION Om Trayambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvarukamiva Bandhanat Mrtyor Muksiya Mamrtat Om we praise the Lord of the three worlds Who sustains them and fills them like a perfume May he deliver us from the shackle of death Like a ripe cucumber drops from its stem But may he not keep us away from immortality

Higher consciousness Higher consciousness is the consciousness of a higher Self, transcendental reality, or God. It is "the part of the human being that is capable of transcending animal instincts". The concept developed in German Idealism, and is a central notion in contemporary popular spirituality. Spiritual effects of hallucinogens persist, researchers report In a follow-up to research showing that psilocybin, a substance contained in "sacred mushrooms," produces substantial spiritual effects, a Johns Hopkins team reports that those beneficial effects appear to last more than a year. Writing in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, the Johns Hopkins researchers note that most of the 36 volunteer subjects given psilocybin, under controlled conditions in a Hopkins study published in 2006, continued to say 14 months later that the experience increased their sense of well-being or life satisfaction. "Most of the volunteers looked back on their experience up to 14 months later and rated it as the most, or one of the five most, personally meaningful and spiritually significant of their lives," says lead investigator Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor in the Johns Hopkins departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Neuroscience. "This is a truly remarkable finding," Griffiths says.

The Nature of Consciousness: How the Internet Could Learn to Feel - Steve Paulson "Romantic reductionist" neuroscientist Christof Koch discusses the scientific side of consciousness, including the notion that all matter is, to varying degrees, sentient. If you had to list the hardest problems in science -- the questions even some scientists say are insoluble -- you would probably end up with two: Where do the laws of physics come from? How does the physical stuff in our brains produce conscious experience? Even though philosophers have obsessed over the "mind-body problem" for centuries, the mystery of consciousness wasn't considered a proper scientific question until two or three decades ago.

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