1 TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts

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1 TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts
TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts
Vision Talk
Rhythms of Macrocosmic Universe and Human-Microcosm :
Consciousness Systemology Perspective
Prof. Prem Saran Satsangi
Leader of Radhasoami Faith, Dayalbagh
and Chairman, Advisory Committee on Education,
Dayalbagh Educational Institutions
Dayalbagh, Agra, India
The Eastern Philosophical aphorism “Sat (the truth of love or inseparability) Chit ( the conscious
knowing (the reality of immortal existence)) Anand (Bliss of love (experiencing the joy of unity
consciousness))” captures the triad of consciousness of the grand macro/ micro-cosmology
ranging from the ephemeral physical / material reality of science of outer experience at the
tertiary level, through the semi-abstract (real / abstract) cognitive science (transcendental
meditation) of outer-inner experience at the secondary level, to the eternal abstract spiritual
science (ultra-transcendental meditation) of ultimate inner experience at the primary level.
The central idea is that system modelling is important for study of consciousness as rhythms or
frequencies of oscillation, both in macrocosmic universe as well as in human microcosm
(considered to be a perfect analog of macrocosm). We refer to it as O-Theory (Omni-Quantum
Theory-based system modelling of consciousness in cosmology).
TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts
Consciousness as a property of the universe
Stuart Hameroff
Professor, Anesthesiology and Psychology
Director, Center for Consciousness Studies
The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
In philosophical terms, feelings and conscious awareness are composed of mental features
termed ‘qualia’ whose essential nature remains a scientific mystery. The mainstream view in
neuroscience and Western philosophy contends consciousness and qualia emerge from complex
computation among many simple brain neurons, implying consciousness appeared on earth as an
adaptation of biological evolution, and may eventually be replicated in silicon. But these views
are based on cartoon-like abstractions of actual neurons, neglect the question of what life is, and
fail to provide testable predictions, falsifiability or validation. These failings have pushed some
computationalists toward philosophical panpsychism, the assertion that qualia are properties of
matter, or deeper, intrinsic features of the universe, features underlying matter, charge, spin, and
various cosmological parameters. In these views, mental features would have preceded life,
perhaps prompting its origin and driving evolution. The makeup of the universe, ‘fundamental
spacetime geometry’, remains unknown, but approached in fields such as quantum gravity,
general relativity and string theory, and characterized as spin networks, vibrating strings, twistors
and/or topological sheaves. It does appear that spacetime geometry extends inward to the Planck
scale at 10-33 cm, and may support 1/f scale-invariant self-similar resonances transcending scales.
But in looking inward in search of qualia, panpsychism encounters the quantum boundary, i.e.
‘collapse of the wave function’, where superpositioned possibilities reduce to material reality.
Penrose suggested superpositions collapse by ‘objective reduction’ (‘OR’, given by E=h/t),
processes in fundamental spacetime geometry producing proto-conscious qualia, e.g. occurring
ubiquitously, but randomly. When ‘orchestrated’ (by inputs, memory and resonances) in brain
microtubules (‘Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR’), qualia are integrated to give moments of full, rich
conscious experience, with causal action. Such views are consistent with Eastern philosophy in
which consciousness is intrinsic to the fine scale structure of the universe.
TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts
Conscious Mental States and Essential Self-Awareness
Rocco J. Gennaro
Professor and Chair, Philosophy Department
University of Southern Indiana
Several contemporary theories of consciousness, such as the higher-order thought (HOT) theory
(Rosenthal, Gennaro) and self-representationalism (Kriegel), hold that there is an essential “selfawareness” that accompanies each conscious mental state. Other major figures, such as
Brentano and Sartre, have also embraced a similar position. This view, or something very close
to it, is interestingly also found in some Indian philosophy whereby consciousness is taken to be
“inherently reflexive” and cognition is thought to have a “dual-aspect” (such as in Dignāga). In
this talk I will lay out some of the similarities and differences among these views and explain
why I opt for the way that HOT theory accounts for such self-awareness.
TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts
Sin- Adi Karma, Fall of Angel- Spirits from Spirit Consciousness: Christian and
Oriental Radhasoami Spiritual Philosophical Perspectives
Bani Dayal Dhir, V. Prem Lata
Department of English Studies
Dayalbagh Educational Institute (Deemed University)
Dayalbagh, Agra, India
Key words: Altered states of consciousness, Adi karma, Original sin, Material consciousness,
Pure Consciousness, Region of Pure Spirituality.
“The serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he
was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (Revelation
12:9)
O Satt Purush! My Merciful Supreme Lord!
Grant me a separate kingdom to rule,
Also grant me the seed of spirit ansa.
Dwelling here no more fascinates me,
Thy region no more appeals to me .
Hearing that, replied the Supreme Lord,
O you destroyer of the mansion ! Go out!
Create thine own kingdom in the lower planes,
Remain there and enjoy thy rule.
(Prem Bani, Scripture of Radhasoami Faith)
Much has been written, is still being written about ‘Altered States of Consciousness’ from
psychological perspective. Psychologists have deduced that man in his life time oscillates
between negative altered states of consciousness viz., fragmented, hysterical, dream, trance
including many more and through prayer, meditation, yoga and other means strives to experience
Profound or Transcendental or higher altered states of consciousness viz., rapturous, calm, God
consciousness and integrative consciousness.(Charles T Tart ,1990, Andrzej Kokoszka,2008)
The present study makes a departure from the current ongoing research on ‘Altered states of
Consciousness’, by plunging deep into the very cause of man’s entanglement in these ‘Altered
States of Consciousness’ which has yet not found space in the psychological study of states of
consciousness. Within an intercultural- inter-theological hermeneutical paradigm it explores
questions whose answers must be sought to provide a corrective to the notion of states of
consciousness – What led to the fall of spirits from Cosmic consciousness- ‘blissful pre
creational state’ to alternation between different states of material consciousness? How can the
spirit re-gain and re-experience the lost “Spirit Consciousness”?
It would juxtapose
interesting parallels
desire to mix with
doctrine of original
the two divergent oriental and western strands to bring to the fore some
and also contrasts with special reference to the concepts of Adi karmamatter as explained in Radhasoami Spiritual philosophy and Christian
sin, Kala Purusha and Satan who never allow man to ‘rise’ , Five evil
TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts
tendencies of human mind – kama (lust), krodh (anger), lobha(greed), moha (attachment) and
ahamkar (ego) and the concept of ‘seven deadly sins’.
The paper would endeavour to bring out some major points of contrast which would illuminate
the notions of “Pure Consciousness” and “Spirit Consciousness” as explained in Radhasoami
Spiritual philosophy. Though Adi Karmas are held responsible for the spirit’s downfall from the
Region of Pure Spirituality (Nirmal Chetan Desh), a clear scientific and spiritual path i.e. Surat
Shabd Yoga is prescribed for the annihilation of theses karmas, for attaining “Pure
Consciousness” by experiencing communion with The Supreme Lord Radhasoami Dayal in the
Region of Pure Spirituality (Nirmal Chetan Desh), who is Supreme Truth, Supreme intelligence
and Supreme Refulgence, thus getting rid of perpetual cycle of birth death and rebirth. Christian
philosophy refers to the ancestral sin i.e., original sin, sinful nature of man, suggests ways to get
rid of it but there is no mention of how the fallen angels can attain “Pure Consciousness” and
thus get out of the cycle of birth -death forever. It is also observed that over a period of time it
has acquired different interpretations by different sects of Christianity.
The concluding part would elaborate the difference in the paths suggested by Christian
philosophy and Radhasoami Spiritual Philosophy for the redemption of spirits from ‘material
altered states of consciousness’. As long as ‘mind’ and ‘matter’ exist, the alternation between
‘altered state of consciousness’ will continue. With reference to the revelation of four grand
divisions of the creation in Radhasoami Spiritual Philosophy, an attempt would be made to probe
into the differences in the levels of “spiritual consciousness” when the two philosophies are
juxtaposed.
Thus to sum up the latter excerpt from eastern philosophical scripture marks the origin of
banishing corrupt spirits from the region of the Supreme Being along with like-minded spirits
from the Kingdom of Supreme Being. The first excerpt from Christian philosophy refers to
enactment of similar expulsion at another level of hierarchy of consciousness of devilish Satan
from the kingdom of heaven.
TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts
Creation through Observation and the Quantum Zeno Effect: Comparative Analysis of
Two Theories from East and West
Subhash Kak
Regents Professor
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA
This paper examines the parallels in eastern and western approaches to consciousness by
considering ideas on how observation can lead to creation. In the east, the theory of observationcreation is called Drishti-Srishti Vada and it is credited to Prakashananda who is thought to have
lived in the sixteenth century or earlier. In the west, the Quantum Zeno Effect is sometimes seen
as an example of acausal interaction between consciousness and matter. Prakashananda advanced
his theory to address the criticism that Advaita admits a duality between the unchanging
Brahman (ground-stuff of reality) and the changing material world. So he denied this materiality
and claimed that the existence of an object is nothing more than its perception. This position of
extreme idealism has antecedents in the Yoga Vasishtha and in the Buddhistic school of
Vijnanavada. Both the Drishti-Srishti Vada and the acausal Quantum Zeno Effect lead to their
own difficulties. For example, if ideas are primary, where do they reside. Likewise, the process
of interaction between an agent and an apparatus when analyzed leaves no room for anything
extraneous.
TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts
Matrix mathematics and its tools as a foundation of eastern philosophy of art, science and
spiritualism: A comparative perspective of the west
Anirban Bandyopadhyay
National Institute for Materials Science
Tsukuba, Japan
The core of Indian philosophy, which is as old as the Sumerian's materialistic world that defined
Greek's materialistic philosophy, and have got everything ranging from art, culture, science, just
like the pure materialistic world. In the infinitely expanded matrix of truth that forms the basis of
Indian philosophy, Turing and Darwin's core material based binary arguments, that form the
basis of western civilization, are just one point. These two religions of science stem from a
fundamental ground "matter" and binary true/false argument, whereas, "matter+energy" duality
is the key for the Indian philosophy. We analyse west and the east in the light of our new
invention of "invincible rhythm" (or Ajeya Chhandam in Sanskrit, shortly AjoChhand) concept
that disregards the materialistic philosophy and binary arguments, where the logical statements
are composed of multiple truths. Hence there is nothing as the truth and nothing as the false, to
hold and process a matrix of truths with analogue values, we need matter+energy duality, then,
no arguments are isolated, everything is interconnected. This leads to the philosophy of
information fractal, —very different from the fractal holographic universe and other fractal
models of the human brain and that of the universe. Here, a point carries infinite numbers of
scales inside, but just by reading it one cannot explain the entire universe. AjoChhand world of
computation has one argument, one energy packet, one Turing like tape, one clock, one rhythm,
one oscillator that encompasses the entire universe, but if we enter inside, we find millions of
those inside, the journey continues forever to the Planck scale. The zoom-journey inherits a
fractal culture, but there is no absolute self-similarity at any scale.
TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts
A Possible Universal Source of Proto Consciousness
Mani Bhaumik
Physics and Astronomy
University of California at Los Angeles
While studies of brain functions are very important for understanding how consciousness works
in individual beings, it will be instructive to explore the possibility of a cosmic protoconsciousness that may be the progenitor of consciousness, a source that evokes awareness in
our brain utilizing its unique neural structure. A search for such a universal source naturally leads
to the ultimate source of everything, which is the quantum vacuum and the Quantum Field
Theory (QFT) that deals with it. The stunning scientific discoveries of the twentieth century,
supported by QFT, reveal that the quantum fields, which are the primary ingredient of everything
in this universe is present in each element of space-time of this immensely vast universe. The
most intriguing question is what keeps the immutability of the fields intact throughout the
universe for all times. Does it not suggest the existence of some sort of self-referral scheme that
is responsible for maintaining the fidelity of the quantum fields? Self-referral is an inherent
feature of the self-interacting dynamics of the non-Abelian quantum fields. For example, the
non-Abelian gluon field strongly responds to its own presence. The self-interaction aspect of the
quantum fields would be much more pronounced at fundamentally shorter distances, where
gradually increasing unification of the fields is expected to occur. The robust self-interacting
feature of the unified field near Planck’s dimensions can be imparted to ambient dimensions by
means of quantum entanglement. This attribute of self-interaction, self-coupling, selforganization or self-referral is also the hallmark of proto-consciousness. Penrose proposes that
our brains have somehow contrived to harness an as yet undiscovered element embedded in
primary reality that is responsible for evoking our own awareness. It would be plausible to
identify this unknown feature to be the proto-consciousness that is apparently associated with the
quantum fields for keeping their immutability for all times.
TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts
Consciousness: Down the Rabbit Hole
Entanglement, Space-Time Wormholes, and the Brain
John Hagelin
Maharishi University, USA
Using a rigorous but bizarre new principle from M-theory known as holographic duality, we
explain the “spooky action-at-a-distance” nature of quantum entanglement, showing that it is a
direct consequence of space-time wormholes—tunnels through space. (i.e., we show that EPR =
ER.)
We use these same, state-of-the-art principles to show that human consciousness originates deep
within the physical realm—in quantum gravity and M-theory. i.e., while some scientists (e.g.,
Penrose) have speculated that consciousness originates from Planck-scale mechanisms rooted in
quantum gravity, we demonstrate this explicitly. We show how Planck-scale mechanics directly
relate to brain-scale cognitive functioning, thus providing a bridge between the Planck scale (the
unified field) and the brain: how Consciousness enters the brain.
We explain the key difference between content-free consciousness (Samadhi) and waking
consciousness (awareness of content), which is key to experiencing both Samadhi and perpetual
Samadhi—Enlightenment.
TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts
EEG-guided meditation – some preliminary results
Tarja Kallio-Tamminen
University of Helsinki
EEG-guided meditation is a practical method that combines western science and eastern
philosophy. It can be used to find out objective results given by various meditation techniques as
well as for designing optimal training protocols for different kinds of individuals.
Meditation is an age old method to promote personal growth and spiritual purification. It has
been used within religions and on atheistic bases. Nowadays, many scientific studies consider
meditation as a set of self-regulatory techniques which are meant to achieve well-being and
serenity through the enhancement of control over mental and some physiological processes
(Walsh and Shapiro, 2006). There is an increasing body of evidence suggesting positive clinical
outcomes of meditation. It has found to improve e.g. mood, ability to focus and concentrate and
to reduce anxiety, depression and stress which has recently been linked to the development of
broad spectrum of disorders. Meditation might be useful as a therapeutic method but all
particular practices may not be suitable for everybody as indications also for negative effects,
such as panic attacks, anxiety, depersonalization, confusion and disorientation have been found.
Modern digitalized EEG provides reliable information on brain functions and their mental
correlates. Thus EEG can be used to adjust suitable meditation practice for different kinds of
individuals. The BrainMind Audit tool (based on EEG-screening) has been constructed to reveal
the weak and strong cognitive skills in a screened individual. The resulting profile contains 9
parameters such as tonus level, speed of cognitive and memory performance, internal
concentration and stress resistance whose values (deviation from the optimal) can be used to
adjust a suitable meditation practice for every particular individual. When the screening
procedure is later repeated it is possible to detect the actual effects gained by the training.
Until now 20 persons who have decided to meditate 20 minutes a day for four months have been
screened in the beginning and after the given period using such BrainMind Audit tool. Some of
them have followed their own meditation technique whereas others were given a personally
tailored training protocol. The results are promising for the purpose to maximize the positive
effects and minimize the negative effects of meditation, and make it suitable for clinical use, too.
TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts
Towards a deeper integration of Western and Eastern views of Consciousness
Max Velmans
Goldsmiths, University of London
The relationships among consciousness, mind and the physical world have been much disputed
in the East just as they have in the West over millennia, so it is not possible to give a simple
characterization of either Eastern or Western views. Fundamental East-West divergences
nevertheless persist. Currently dominant Western views about the nature and function of
consciousness appear to be entirely opposed to those that have been classically dominant in the
East, for example within Advaita Vedanta and various forms of Buddhism. Western materialist
reductionists commonly assume the universe both in its primal form and its manifestations to be
entirely physical. Consequently they view phenomenal conscious states as being either illusory
or reducible to states or functions of the brain. By contrast, various forms of classical Eastern
philosophy view ‘pure consciousness’ to be the primal state of the universe and view physical
phenomena to be concretizations of that consciousness that are, in a sense, illusory (maya),
projections of the mind, or ‘empty’ (in the sense of having no autonomous self-existence). These
foundational ontologies also support very different views about the function and evolution of
consciousness. In the West, the function and evolution of consciousness is commonly thought of
in Darwinian terms, while in the East the evolution of consciousness is thought of as a deepening
realization of the nature of one’s own ground of being.
In this talk, I will introduce a number of aspects of Reflexive Monism, a non-reductive analysis
of the relations among consciousness, mind and brain that allows one to integrate many facets of
these apparently opposed philosophical systems.
Suggested readings (available online):
Velmans, M. (2008) Reflexive Monism, JCS, 15 (2), 5-50;
Velmans, M. (2012) Reflexive Monism: psychophysical relations among mind, matter and
consciousness. JCS, 19 (9-10), 143-165;
Velmans, M. (2013) How to arrive at an Eastern place from a Western Direction: Convergences
and divergences among Samkya Yoga, Advaita Vedanta, the Body-Mind-Consciousness
(Trident) Model and Reflexive Monism. In B. S. Prasad (ed.) "Consciousness Gandhi and Yoga:
Interdisciplinary, East-West Odyssey of K.Ramakrishna Rao" New Delhi: D.K.Printworld, pp.
107-139.
TSC 2015 East-West Forum Plenary Talk Abstracts
Quantum biology, nanotechnology, and the implications for an integrative medicine
Douglas E. Friesen
Department of Oncology
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
The study of consciousness has profound potential for understanding chronic disease. The
placebo effect and the field of psychoneuroimmunology point to the importance of our belief
system, our emotions, and our focus in maintaining health. To cure or prevent a disease, finding
the root cause of the problem or stressors in the biological system will determine the solution.
Thus, we need to know as much about an organism as possible, and have a framework as
encompassing as possible to find the root issues and correct the problem. In this context,
integrating the role of consciousness is paramount to advancing medicine. In this talk, I discuss
how quantum biology and biosensors arising from nanotechnology have the potential to expand
our knowledge of the health of the organism as a system in the key areas of information
processing, energy metabolism and transfer, and organization. I discuss our work on information
processing in microtubules and how microtubules, actin, and collagen may form a continuous
matrix throughout the body to form an organism-wide communication system. I also discuss the
topic of information storage in an organism, which plays a key role in understanding trauma, the
memories our consciousness is built on, and the concept of accessing our “inner wisdom”,
“higher self”, “intuition”, or “gut feeling”. Nanosensors able to detect electromagnetic signals
and effects in our bodies, combined with therapeutic modalities able to rewire our brains to
overcome trauma, provide a compelling vision of integrating consciousness into Western
medicine to provide a highly effective integrative medicine to prevent chronic disease.