Foreword -- Introduction -- A word worn smooth -- Never at rest -- Four streams of experience -- From one great blooming, buzzing confusion -- The adult mind -- States and structures of consciousness -- The hierarchy of minds -- Horizontal and vertical evolution of consciousness -- The many faces of integral consciousness.
This paper discusses supportive neurological and social evidence for 'collective consciousness', here understood as a shared sense of being together with others in a single or unified experience. Mirror neurons in the premotor and posterior parietal cortices respond to the intentions as well as the actions of other individuals. There are also mirror neurons in the anterior insula and anterior cingulate cortices which have been implicated in empathy. Many authors have considered the likely role of such mirror systems in the (...) development of uniquely human aspects of sociality including language. Though not without criticism, Menant has made the case that mirror-neuron assisted exchanges aided the original advent of self-consciousness and intersubjectivity. Combining these ideas with social mirror theory it is not difficult to imagine the creation of similar dynamical patterns in the emotional and even cognitive neuronal activity of individuals in human groups, creating a feeling in which the participating members experience a unified sense of consciousness. Such instances pose a kind of 'binding problem' in which participating individuals exhibit a degree of 'entanglement'. (shrink)
The implications of Warren McCulloch's 1945 concept of heterarchy are analyzed in terms of human value and motivational systems. The results demonstrate the near-impossibility of predicting behavior on the basis of any hierarchical scheme, or even which among a set of hierarchical schemes will be selected as the basis of a behavioral choice. Thus, for example, people regularly say one thing and do another.
This article explores some experiential implications of Laszlo's Akashic Field hypothesis as well as similar information-rich field models such as those suggested by Bohm and Sheldrake. It examines the implications of such models for both ordinary and anomalous human experience, and proposes the idea that these models allow for the possibility of alternative experiential worlds as real as ordinary "material" reality. Such alternative realities are posited by many, if not all, major mythic and religious systems, and are said to be (...) directly experienced in certain contemplative and shamanic traditions as well as during postmortem and near-death experiences. We note that information-rich holographic fields may be able to store concentrated non-overlapping quantities of information that can be selectively activated by distinct eliciting stimuli. Individual human consciousness itself might constitute just such a stimulus, thus accounting for the individual and cultural variations on commonly shared motifs in shamanic, near death, and other experiences of alternative realities. (shrink)
Carl Jung coined the term "synchronicity" to describe meaningful coincidences that conventional notions of time and causality cannot explain. Working with the great quantum physicist Wolfgang Pauli, Jung sought to reveal these coincidences as phenomena that involve mind and matter, science and spirit, thus providing rational explanations for parapsychological events like telepathy, precognition, and intuition. Synchronicity examines the work of Jung and Pauli, as well as noted scientists Werner Heisenberg and David Bohm; identifies the phenomena in ancient and modern mythologies, (...) particularly the Greek legend of Hermes the Trickster; and illustrates it with engaging anecdotes from everyday life and literature. (shrink)