the end, we self-perceiving, self-inventing, locked-in
mirages are little
miracles of self-reference...Our very nature is such as
to prevent us from
fully understanding its very nature. Poised midway between
cosmic vastness of curved spacetime and the dubious, shadowy
charged quanta, we human beings, more like rainbows and
mirages than like
raindrops or boulders, are unpredictable self-writing
metaphorical, ambiguous, and sometimes exceedingly beautiful.
Douglas Hofstadter - I am a strange Loop.
is the one thing that science admits exists but cannot
explain. Why is there consciousness in the universe? For
thousands of years we have been trying to understand what
it is all about: What is the self? What is the "I"?
If we are all made of the same stuff we do we experience
ourselves as separate?
know that it is something to do with a feeling of Being-ness.
And that if we meditate or follow certain spiritual disciplines
we can occasionally lose our individual sense of 'I' and
experience ourselves as part of a much larger unity. In
India we find the concept of 'Atman' which is when you
distance yourself from all your thoughts, feelings and
experiences and merge with a universal pure consciousness.
And Atmanwhich is the universal pure consciousnessis
Brahman, which is the source of all. The essence of self
is, in other words, what some of us call 'God'.
Buddhists have a 2,500 year tradition of introspective
inquiry into the nature of mind without developing the
science of brain and behavior that we have in the West.
There is now increasing interest in bringing together
the first-person methodologies of Buddhism with the third-person
methodologies of western science. For example, scientists
can now reveal the neural networks and biochemical functions
behind emotions like empathy, but not what triggers it
or how to create it.
access consciousness through two primary ways of 'seeing'
: 1) a simple 'self-other' mirror based upon the physical
senses and the conditioning of culture, or 2) a 'concentric
seeing' that is more consistent with ancient and indigenous
views, and which allows a more dynamic sense of self as
in dynamic process with the whole. The first encourages
us to think of ourselves as separate entities at the mercy
of external influences, the second to see everything as
the movement of energetic forces with endless and unbounded
potentialities. The first seeks to fit everything into
the accepted worldview, the second encompasses a much
fuller range of experience that often transcends the accepted
person you come to is a different mirror. And since youre
just another person like them maybe youre just another
and theres no way of ever knowing whether your own
view of yourself
is just another distortion.
Maybe all you ever see is reflections.
Maybe mirrors are all you ever get. First the mirrors
parents, then friends and teachers, then bosses and officials,
and ministers, and maybe writers and painters too. Thats
too, holding up mirrors'
This is a directory of 5186 free online papers on consciousness
in philosophy and in science, and of related topics in
the philosophy of mind.
for the Scientific Study of Consciousness
Society for the Anthropology
Bibliography of Consciousness Studies
website of Alan Wallace
Dynamic lecturer, progressive scholar, and one of the
most prolific writers and translators of Tibetan Buddhism
in the West, B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D., continually seeks
innovative ways to integrate Buddhist contemplative practices
with Western science to advance the study of the mind.
Encyclopedia of Philosophy
for Consciousness Studies - University of Arizona
for Research on Concepts and Cognition
from Douglas Hofstadter's writings
Journal of Consciousness Studies
Into the Light: The Matter and Mystery of Consciousness:
a 'Science and Spirit ' Interview with Susan Greenfield
and Medical Network