Reflections on Ken Wilber's The Religion of Tomorrow (2017) - Parts I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII - PDF
INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
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Don Salmon and Jan MaslowDon Salmon, a clinical psychologist and composer, received a grant from the Infinity Foundation to write a comprehensive study of yoga psychology based on the synthesis of the yoga tradition presented by 20th century Indian philosopher-sage Aurobindo Ghose. Jan Maslow, an educator and organizational consultant, has, with Dr. Salmon, given presentations, classes and workshops in the United States and India on this topic. Both have been studying yoga psychology for more than 25 years. .

THE CHALLENGE OF
WRITING ABOUT
SRI AUROBINDO'S
INTEGRAL PSYCHOLOGY

Don Salmon & Jan Maslow

PART I: THE CHALLENGE OF INTEGRATING SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY

My wife (Jan) and I recently published a book entitled, Yoga Psychology and the Transformation of Consciousness: Seeing Through the Eyes of Infinity (Paragon House). We used the psychological vision of the Indian poet/yogi Sri Aurobindo as our basis - a vision which for more than 60 years has been referred to as "integral psychology". However, we drew widely from the Indian tradition as a whole and because of this, we eventually settled on the term "yoga psychology" as one which embraced both Sri Aurobindo and the general Indian yogic tradition.

Jan and I found that writing about yoga psychology presented many challenges, the greatest being how to present the full metaphysical impact of the tradition without alienating the rational reader who may tend to associate anything in the least metaphysical with religious dogma.

In recent years, many have attempted to make the teachings of yoga "safe" for modern consumption - i.e., to "sanitize" the traditional teachings by presenting non-material realities as 'merely' subjective aspects of objective (i.e. "real") physical phenomena. For example, chakras are explained as the "felt experience" related to the endocrine or nervous system; various meditative experiences are explained (or explained away) as nothing more than a by-product of complex brain activity.

But in our understanding, the full power of the yogic tradition is lost as a result of this attempt to avoid challenging the prevailing materialist perspective. Jan and I were aspiring to present yoga psychology as a way of what we called "seeing through the eyes of infinity". In other words, we wanted to write in such a way that everything - the evolution of life and the cosmos; the process of human development, both individual and social, the movement of every thought, feeling and sensation - could be seen as a movement of an infinite Divine Consciousness.

We realized there was no rational way to persuade the reader of this point of view - nor did we wish to be persuasive in that way. We chose instead to invite the reader on a journey which we hoped would provide an experiential glimpse of the view from infinity; that is, intimations of the Divine Consciousness present in every moment of experience.

But acutely aware of the degree to which a materialist bias permeates our culture, and out of respect for the caution with which the rational reader approaches things spiritual, we felt it was critical to begin by demonstrating that there is no inherent conflict between the metaphysics of yoga psychology and the findings of modern science. By showing the scientific method, when properly understood, must remain entirely neutral with respect to the ultimate nature of things, we hoped to open the door for an open-minded consideration of the yogic perspective.

We set out first to clearly dispel the notion that science is inseparably wedded to a materialistic view of the universe. As neuroscientist Donald Hoffman put it, scientific observations and theories are compatible with any number of seemingly contradictory views of reality - including the idea that everything can be reduced to matter and energy (materialism, or physicalism), everything is made up of some combination of mind and matter (depending on the formulation, dual-aspect monism, dualism, panpsychism or panexperentialism) and the idea that everything can ultimately be reduced to mind (idealism).

Toward this end, we devote an entire chapter to what we called "the hard problem of matter". Philosopher-mathematician David Chalmers had framed the dilemma as "the hard problem of consciousness". The easy problem, according to Chalmers, concerns the relationship between physical brain processes and various aspects of cognition and emotion.; the hard problem is understanding how a purely physical brain gives rise to conscious experience. To put this in a larger context, Chalmers is addressing the problem of how a universe of purely unconscious, nonliving matter and energy gives rise to consciousness in the first place.

We suggest a reversal of Chalmers formulation - since consciousness is the means by which we know all that we know - including what we know about matter - it would seem that a dogmatic belief in self-existing, non-conscious matter requires an unwarranted leap of faith.

Occasionally, scientists will acknowledge what may seem to some to be a rather surprising degree of "not-knowing" with respect to the nature of what they study. For example, chemist A. G. Cairns states "We know now for sure that we do not know at all what matter is." Richard Feynman, considered by many to be one of the most brilliant physicists of the twentieth century, says, "It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge of what energy is." As Cairns sums it up, "It is a fundamental mistake to identify a model with reality... Force, field... mass, energy... space, time... particle, wave [are simply elements in the scientific model]." In light of these admissions on the part of scientists that they don't "know" what energy or matter is, we pose the question: is there any reasonable basis for asserting that a wholly non-conscious, non-intelligent matter or energy exists?

We've found over the years that even long-time meditators who consciously hold a spiritual vision of themselves and the world have in some significant ways unwittingly bought into the materialistic assumptions of the modern scientific age. To help counter these assumptions, we present a number of experiential exercises designed to challenge our ordinary sense of the material world - exercises, which by the way, are based entirely in the factual findings of the science of perception.

In the following chapter we continue to challenge the conventional understanding of science as wedded to a materialistic view. We first look at unquestioned assumptions about "laws of nature", citing Wittgenstein's comment that "the whole modern conception of the world is founded on the illusion that the so-called laws of nature are the explanation of natural phenomena." We then look at unquestioned assumptions about randomness and chance as an explanation for the evolution of the universe, as well as life on earth. And we examine unquestioned assumptions about the relationship between conscious experience and the brain.

But it was in the field of parapsychology that we found a particularly fruitful way to challenge the materialistic assumptions so often wrongly assumed to be the foundation of scientific endeavor. We don't ask the reader to believe that parapsychological research disproves those assumptions; merely to keep an open mind - allowing that perhaps the materialists are right, but from the perspective of actual scientific findings, that it is equally possible they're missing something. In the next section of this essay, I'll describe what I found as I did the research for the section on parapsychology.

PART II: Keeping An Open Mind? - Exploring Our Assumptions About Mind

We open the section of parapsychology with a series of quotations that bespeak the level of irrationality often found behind the critiques, if not outright rejection, of psi research findings:

Neither the testimony of all the Fellows of the Royal Society; nor even the evidence of my own senses, would lead me to believe in the transmission of thought from one person to another independent of the recognized channels of sense. [1] -- H.L.F. von Helmholtz, psychophysiologist, late 19th century
Why do we not accept extra-sensory perception as a psychological fact? [Parapsychologist] Rhine has offered us enough evidence to have convinced us on almost any other issue... I cannot see what other basis my colleagues have for rejecting it... My own rejection of his views is in a literal sense prejudice. [2] -- Psychologist Donald O. Hebb, 1951
This is a subject that is so intellectually uncomfortable as to be almost painful... I end by concluding that I cannot explain away Professor Rhine's evidence and I cannot accept it.[3] -- Warren Weaver, mathematician, 1963
There are some things we know are not true, and precognition [foreknowledge of the future] is one of them; therefore, in this case, experimental data is irrelevant. [4] -- Director of a major nuclear physics institute, some time in the 1980s
I wouldn't believe it even if it were true. [5] -- Contemporary scientist speaking to researcher Willis Harman upon being told of successful remote-viewing [formerly known as "clairvoyance"] experiments.

So what is it that's so threatening about psi that drives otherwise rational scientists to such levels of irrationality? Based on the anti-psi psychologists I've spoken with, one of the main reasons is what one might suppose - they believe that paranormal phenomena like telepathy or precognition threaten the sacrosanct, centuries-old materialistic foundations of science. Yet, as physicist Henry Margenau points out, skeptics, when challenged, are often hard pressed to specify which "laws of nature" would be violated by psi phenomena. And as Nobel Prize wining physicist Brian Josephson observes, what we now think of as "laws of nature" could be modified without necessarily undermining existing scientific findings.

However, we might speculate that in addition to throwing into question a cherished theory or idea, there may be a deeper threat. If telepathy and precognition are in fact latent capacities of the human mind, more than an idea is in jeopardy. What stands to be questioned, is our whole sense of ourselves as separate beings contained within a physical skin, the linearity of time, and our ideas about cause and effect which govern the world as we've (in modern times) come to understand it.

Given the widespread and for the most part, unquestioning adherence among cognitive scientists to the dogma of materialism, one might be led to think there was irrefutable evidence to the effect that consciousness is nothing more than a phenomenon of the brain. However, the reality is that there is wide-spread perplexity regarding the nature of consciousness. I was pleased to find a leading psychologist, Ronald Melzack, and two leading philosophers of mind, who actually admitted to their utter perplexity in this regard. According to Melzack, one of the leading researchers on the psychological aspects of pain, "The field of psychology is in a state of crisis. We are no closer now to understanding the most fundamental problems of psychology than we were when psychology became a science a hundred years ago... some neuroscience and computer technology have been stirred in with the old psychological ingredients, but there have been no important conceptual advances... We are adrift... in a sea of facts and practically drowning in them. We desperately need new concepts, new approaches."[6]

Psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker, when asked how scientists might go about studying consciousness, commented, "...beats the heck out of me. I have some prejudices, but no idea of how to begin to look for a defensible answer. And neither does anyone else."[7] Jerry Fodor acknowledges that philosophy may not be of much help either: "Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material [such as the brain] could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how anything material could be conscious. So much for the philosophy of consciousness."[8]

Keeping in mind the aim of the chapter - i.e., to encourage the reader to keep an open mind, rather than persuade them to take one position or another - I was delighted to find the following from psychologist Ray Hyman, for decades the leading critic of parapsychology:

"The case for psychic functioning seems better than it ever has been. The contemporary findings... do seem to indicate that something beyond odd statistical hiccups is taking place. I... have to admit that I do not have a ready explanation for these observed effects."[9]

There it was - what a fitting quotation for our chapter. Hyman, having combed the parapsychology research for more than 30 years for the least flaw, finally admitted that he couldn't refute the findings on methodological grounds. In the same journal in which Hyman makes the above statement, he goes on to say he doesn't necessarily believe this proves that consciousness somehow transcends the limits of time and space. (Or as he put it in more academic jargon, "Inexplicable statistical departures from chance, however, are a far cry from compelling evidence for anomalous cognition" - [that is, cognition that transcends the barriers of material time and space]).

But from our point of view, Hyman's admission that "something" is happening while refusing to take a metaphysical stance on what it is, is ideal. That is, much as we recommend for our reader, Hyman takes an admirably, neutral, agnostic stance with regard to metaphysical questions .

I found another rather striking instance of Hyman's open-mindedness that I felt was important to include in the chapter. In 1995, he was hired, along with statistician Jessica Utts, to analyze the results of 20 years of remote viewing experiments conducted by the CIA. Utts wrote the following:

The statistical results of the studies examined are far beyond what is expected by chance. Arguments that these results could be due to methodological flaws in the experiments are soundly refuted. Effects of similar magnitude to those found in government-sponsored research...have been replicated at a number of laboratories across the world. Such consistency cannot be readily explained by claims of flaws or fraud...It is recommended that future experiments focus on understanding how [remote viewing] works, and on how to make it as useful as possible. There is little benefit to continuing experiments designed [simply] to offer proof [of the validity of remote viewing].[10]

Hyman fully agreed with Utts' primary conclusion that "the statistical results of the experiments ‘are far beyond what is expected by chance.'" He also acknowledged that he could not "provide suitable candidates for what flaws, if any, might [have been] present."[11] I spent some time searching the net for critiques of these conclusions and found quite a few. However, I couldn't find any which offered a reasonable critical response. For example, psychologist Joseph Alcock, who responded to Utts' comments in a special Journal of Consciousness Studies issue entitled, PSI Wars, typified those critics in that he attacked her conclusions without providing a single specific piece of contrary evidence.

In my review of the research, I came across only one example of a legitimate critique of the CIA remote viewing experiments as well as Utts' and Hyman's analyses, and that was from an article published in the Journal of Parapsychology! I wrote to a cognitive psychologist (I'll call him John) who, though a long-time meditator, was rather passionately anti-psi. I asked him if he knew of any findings refuting Utts and Hyman's conclusions regarding the remote viewing experiments. He directed me to a 1997 article, written by two parapsychologists, who, concerned about misrepresentations of the research, had scrutinized the 11 most successful of those experiments. They found five which could be considered, by the most stringent standards, to have at least some minor methodological flaws.

This left six remote-viewing experiments which were, by all accounts I could find, essentially flawless. I rather naively believed that when presented with this data, skeptics would take pause and perhaps begin to give serious consideration to what Utts recommended: that future experiments focus on understanding how [remote viewing] works, and on how to make it as useful as possible...[rather than] continuing experiments designed [simply] to offer proof [of the validity of remote viewing].[12]

But I found few who were willing to take Hyman's reasoned, neutral stance - that is, to acknowledge that something is definitely going on, something that doesn't fit our current materialistic paradigm and which can't be explained away by fraud or faulty methodology. Hyman leaves open the possibility that some day it will be explained in physicalist terms - and leaves no doubt that he fervently wishes for this. But Hyman does not deny the possibility that the inexplicable may never be explained by physical mechanisms.

Along with Hyman's admirably open-minded (and metaphysically neutral) comments, we presented a brief overview of the studies published to date. As long ago as 1978, Charles Tart, in an address to the American Psychological Association, reported that more than 600 experiments had been conducted providing "first-class scientific evidence of the existence of ...extrasensory perception (ESP) .. that cannot be explained in terms of brain processes..." By the 1980s, leading scientific journals, including Physical Review and Foundations of Physics, American Psychologist, Psychological Bulletin, Brain and Behavioral Sciences, and Proceedings of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers, were publishing articles demonstrating evidence of telepathy, and clairvoyance, among other parapsychological phenomena.

British psychologist Julie Milton of the University of Edinburgh analyzed 78 studies published between 1964 and 1993, "in which people attempted to acquire information [by means which cannot be explained in terms of our ordinary understanding of the working of] the physical senses. These experiments had been reported in fifty-five publications by thirty-five different investigators and involved 1,158 subjects... Milton found the overall effects to be highly positive, with odds against chance of 10 million to 1."[13]

At this point in the chapter, we figured the reader who had stayed with us this far may well be thinking,"Okay, so the guy who is the leading psi critic, a psychologist with an impeccable understanding of statistics and a strong motive to find flaws, admits that there are plenty of paranormal experiments that have been flawlessly conducted and which cannot be explained within the present materialistic paradigm. So I can't reasonably rule out psi altogether. But if there really are paranormal phenomena, why are they so hard to demonstrate and why does it take thousands of trials to come up with such trivial results?"

The first answer I found was that parapsychology has actually done amazingly well considering the level of funding it has received. According to parapsychologist Dean Radin, the total funding available for psi research during the past 125 years is equivalent to roughly two months of funding in mainstream experimental psychology. What might we see, Radin muses, if we were to double the funding, much less match that of mainstream psychology. (When I e-mailed Radin's comment to Charles Tart, Tart wrote back with the additional statistic that the total funding for 125 years of psi research is less than that allocated to cancer research every two hours!)

But this point didn't satisfy the critics I spoke to, even those familiar with the flawless methodology of many psi experiments. They remained convinced, bolstered by the minimal effects seen in these experiments, that a purely physicalist/materialist explanation would eventually be found.

So I turned to the yoga tradition for an answer. What do the yoga texts say about what is required for the development of paranormal abilities?

About 10 years ago, I took a Dzogchen workshop with Tibetan Buddhist teacher Alan Wallace (Dzogchen is a Tibetan form of meditation similar to Zen, aimed at cultivating pure "non-dual" awareness). In addition to teaching meditation, Alan is also deeply involved in the science-Buddhism dialog, and is currently conducting an intensive training program to develop professional contemplatives to serve as participant-subjects in scientific research. During the retreat, Alan briefly mentioned (though he is wisely careful not to speak too loudly or at too great a length about such things) something about what is thought to be required for the development of paranormal abilities to such a degree that one might call upon them pretty much at will.

Before I tell you what Alan said,I invite you to try the following experiment. It will give you an experiential sense of what's involved (you can do this with eyes open or have someone read the instructions to you):

Sit quietly with your eyes focused on a neutral (not overly distracting) object. Start by focusing on the sensations of breathing, feeling the flow of air as you breathe in and out. This will help focus your attention. Do this for about 60 seconds.
Now, let go of your focus on the breath. Try as hard as you can for about 10 seconds to stop thinking - that is, try to have no verbal thoughts... Most likely, you will only be able to stop your thoughts for 1 or 2 seconds, if at all. Try again - now for about 30 seconds - to stay strenuously focused on the task of trying to stop thinking...
Pause for a moment... Take about 10 seconds to relax... Try once more to keep all your attention focused on the task of attempting to stop thinking. This time, while you're engaged in this effort, notice that various thoughts, feelings and images continue to arise in your awareness. Your main aim now is to remain mindful of the fact that these thoughts, feelings and images come into your mind without requiring any conscious effort on your part.
Once you have some sense of the fact that most of the content of your mind arises on its own - without conscious effort - go on to the next step: Do nothing. Thoughts, feelings, images, sensations will continue to arise and pass through your mind. Let them come and go, recognizing that "you" - the conscious "you" - are not calling them forth or controlling them in any way. To the extent the content of the mind is allowed to simply "be," there may arise a momentary sense that there is no "doer" or "thinker."

Were you, for even one minute, able to maintain the awareness that thoughts, feelings, etc. were arising and passing away without your "doing" anything?

According to Alan, one of the basic requirements for reliable exercise of what we call ‘paranormal" abilities is precisely the ability to maintain this awareness - unbroken - for at least several hours. Traditional yogis have generally considered that, along with this ability, a profound ethical development is also essential - honesty, sincerity, humility, etc.

I am not aware of any psi studies that come even close to training their subjects to achieve such an inner state. So given that the subjects chosen for psi research have either little training (or often, have none at all) with regard to meditative awareness - even if they've demonstrated some spontaneous psychic ability, we shouldn't be surprised to find such meager results.

Imagine, in the days before Roger Bannister ever broke the 4-minute mile record, that scientists had conducted research to determine whether it was within the human capacity to do so. And suppose for their subjects they chose people at random off the street and tested them for their running speed. Given the lack of training we know is required for Olympic athletes, it wouldn't be surprising to find that amongst thousands of subjects, there would have been no one who could break the 4-minute record. One might also imagine that, in spite of the evidence, there would have been a group of die-hards who continued to believe it was possible for humans to break the 4-minute barrier, and that they might be countered by a group of skeptics convinced the whole idea was a myth, one unsubstantiated by scientific data.

It may be some time before parapsychologists are able to train subjects to meet the stringent requirements described above. However, Alan Wallace's Samatha Project, which we describe in the Social Transformation chapter of our book, may, in the very near future succeed in doing so. It is the first large-scale effort to train contemplative researchers who will become researcher-subjects for experiments in psychology, neuroscience and other related fields - and perhaps one day soon, parapsychology as well.

***************

So between the rather limited funding available to psi researchers, and the extremely limited training given to psi subjects, it is really not in the least bit surprising that parapsychology has had such limited success. As even Ray Hyman has been forced to admit, failure of psi research to produce more robust results is not in itself a basis for rejecting it. But suppose one day, Alan Wallace's contemplative researchers succeed in producing (and reliably reproducing) significant paranormal phenomena, how will this be explained? Will it actually require a non-materialistic explanation?

At this point in the book, we do venture beyond our neutral stance to suggest a non-physicalist point of view. Some, like parapsychologist William Roll, have suggested that it may be possible to explain paranormal phenomena while staying within the confines of the view from nowhere, the materialist view. However, it seems to me that such results will end up going the way of Ptolemy's epicycles - increasingly strained attempts to maintain the old paradigm which is destined to eventually give way to an altogether new way of understanding the relationship of consciousness and matter.

But we're not there yet. Parapsychologists are still looking to physics and biology for an explanation of psi phenomena. Non-locality, for example - the idea that "objects that are apparently separate are actually connected instantaneously through space-time"[14] - has often been suggested as a good candidate.

Dean Radin is one of several parapsychologists who have used this idea (which he combines with a more recent, but related idea, known as "quantum entanglement") as an explanation for paranormal phenomena. However, at this point in time, most quantum physicists do not accept the idea of consciousness as a causal factor in the material world (although some non-scientists - such as those who have seen the film "What the Bleep" - hold the erroneous belief that quantum physicists universally accept consciousness as a causal factor in the material world). And even among those few that do, none has found a way to conduct a direct investigation of the workings of consciousness using the methods of natural science. As physicist (and former president of the Anthroposophical Society in America[15]) Arthur Zajonc points out,

Physics, chemistry, and neuroscience provide accounts for the mechanism of consciousness but say nothing about the experience of consciousness itself[16]... Every science, if it would move beyond purely formal mathematical relationships, must incorporate qualities [i.e., subjective experience] into itself. All meaning inheres in qualities. The qualitative connects the formal treatment with experience... If our interest ultimately is consciousness, then we will require a means of investigation that is able to include the full range of conscious experience, and not merely a reduced set of variables easily amenable to quantification.[17]

In the course of searching for a contemporary scientific explanation of psi that is in harmony with the yogic vision, I found a very interesting series of more than 50 parapsychology experiments conducted by neuro-physiologist Jacobo Grinberg-Zylberbaum which point toward a deeper explanation of what is happening with such things as telepathy, remote viewing and other paranormal phenomena..[18]

In these experiments Grinberg-Zylberbaum had subjects meditate together for 20 minutes. They were then placed in separate rooms known as "Faraday cages," which are both soundproof and electro-magnetic radiation proof. One of the subjects ("Subject A") was presented at random intervals with a series of 100 stimuli including flashes of sound and light. The other subject (" Subject B") received no stimuli. He was instructed to stay relaxed, to try to feel the presence of the other, and to signal the experimenter when he was relaxed and believed he was able to feel the other's presence.

When the experiment was completed, the EEG brain wave records of the two subjects were examined and compared. The brain wave patterns of Subject A showed the expected responses to the stimuli of light and sound. What is remarkable is that the brain waves of Subject B showed responses corresponding in time to the responses of Subject A, even though Subject B had not been presented with any stimuli. One of the most interesting outcomes occurred in the brain wave patterns of a young couple who reported "feeling deep oneness... Their EEG patterns remained closely synchronized throughout the experiment." [19]

Robert G. Jahn, the director of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory (PEAR), has conducted experiments for a number of years reliably demonstrating psychokinesis - the power of mind over matter; or, in the case of his experiments, mind over machine. He also noted that the most successful subjects reported a kind of "resonance" with the machine they were trying to influence, "some sacrifice of personal identity in the interaction - a ‘merging,' or bonding with the apparatus."[20]

While Dean Radin has proposed borrowing the theory of quantum entanglement derived from physics, physician and alternative medicine researcher, Larry Dossey, proposes a truly radical explanation for paranormal phenomena. Dossey suggests there may be an extremely close relationship between the nonlocal connections of subatomic particles and the feelings of empathy described above. "Nonlocal connectedness... is manifested between subatomic particles, mechanical systems, humans and machines, humans and animals, and humans themselves. When this nonlocal bond operates between people, we call it love. When it unites distant subatomic particles, what should we call this manifestation? Should we choose a safe, aseptic term such as nonlocally correlated behavior, or bite the bullet and call it a rudimentary form of love?" Dossey is not claiming that human beings and subatomic particles have the same experience of love. Rather, he suggests that what manifests as a purely impersonal connection at the level of matter may be, in essence, the same phenomenon as that which occurs between loving human beings, and that both connections reflect a deeper conscious reality pervading the universe.

We ask in the book whether this is perhaps what William James was hinting at when he wrote:

We with our lives are like islands in the sea, or like trees in the forest. The maple and pine may whisper to each other with their leaves...but the trees also commingle their roots in the darkness underground, and the islands hang together through the oceans' bottom. Just so there is a continuum of cosmic consciousness, against which our individuality builds but accidental fences, and into which our several minds plunge as into a mother sea... [21]

In writing about parapsychology, and about Sri Aurobindo's yoga psychology in general, Jan and I sought to ground it in such a vision of an all-pervading Divine Consciousness manifesting as all that we experience, a way of seeing which we have called "seeing through the eyes of infinity". Seeing everything and everyone in this way is, in Sri Aurobindo's words, to see that "all are in the Divine, all are the Divine and there is nothing else in the Universe."[22].

As I wrote in the opening of this essay, our ultimate aim in the first several chapters of our book was to prepare the way for an open-minded consideration of the inherently metaphysical vision of yoga psychology by showing that there is no inherent conflict between such a vision of an all-pervading Divine Reality and the findings of science - contrary to what the more dogmatic materialist scientists would have us believe - and contrary to what our unconscious assumptions, conditioned by a culture dominated by materialistic assumptions, may lead us to believe. It was an extraordinary challenge to do so in a way that fully honored both the integrity of the scientific endeavor and the radical vision of the yoga tradition. Jan and I would be very interested to hear from you if you feel that we have succeeded in any measure.

REFERENCES

[1] Helmholtz, H.L.F. von, in Leshan, L. and Margenau, Einstein's Space and Van Gogh's Sky, p. 206.

[2] Hebb, D.O., in Radin, D. The Conscious Universe. p. 214.

[3] Weaver, W., in Leshan, L. and Margenau, Einstein's Space and Van Gogh's Sky, p. 206.

[4] In Hayward, J., Perceiving Ordinary Magic, p. 73.

[5] In Harman, W., Global Mind Change, p. 61.

[6] Melzack, R., Phantom Limbs, pp. 1-2.

[7] Pinker, S., in Varghese, Wonder of the World, p. 56.

[8] Fodor, J., "The Big Idea: Can There Be A Science of Mind?", Times Literary Supplement, July 3, 1992, p. 5.

[9] Hyman, R., in Dossey, L., Healing Beyond the Body, p. 237. Hyman concluded with a neutral observation, writing, "Inexplicable statistical departures from chance, however, are a far cry from compelling evidence for anomalous cognition."

[10] Utts, J., in Targ, R. & Katra, J., Miracles of Mind, p. 25.

[11] Hyman, R., in Radin, D., The Conscious Universe, p. 103.

[12] Utts, J., in Targ, R. & Katra, J., Miracles of Mind, p. 25.

[13] Radin, D., The Conscious Universe, pp. 105-106;

[14] Radin, D., The Conscious Universe, p. 277.

[15] Associated with the work of Rudolf Steiner

[16] This is not to say that it is not helpful to conduct research providing understanding of the mechanisms of consciousness. Psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz and physicist Henry Stapp have come up with an intriguing theory that attention serves to collapse two co-existing quantum possibilities in the brain - "release neurotransmitter" or "don't release neurotransmitter." Their fascinating description of the way in which this may work is in Schwartz' "The Mind and the Brain." In this book and in an article for the Journal of Consciousness Studies, Schwartz takes the step - quite bold within the current world of neuroscience - of asserting that the mind has causal efficacy in regard to the brain.

[17] Zajonc, A., Toward An Adequate Epistemology and Methodology for Consciousness Studies, at http://www.infinityfoundation.com.

[18] Laszlo, E., Science and the Akashic Field, p. 96.

[19] Laszlo, E., Science and the Akashic Field, p. 96.

[20] R. Jahn, in Dossey, L, Healing and the Body, p. 249.

[21] James, W., in Laszlo, E. Science and the Akashic Field, pp. 103-104.

[22] Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, p. 112.





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