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Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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Brain Waves

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December 6, 2003

Conscious Opinion

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Medpundit, who practices medicine on the front lines, has some worthy thoughts and links on our quest to understand consciousness on TechCentral. Check it out.

Comments (2) | Category: Mental Health Issues


1. coolmel on December 8, 2003 10:14 AM writes...

"Our science is no closer to understanding consciousness, but our society is more confident that those living in altered forms of it are closer to death than to life."

In my opinion, the above quote from the TechCentral article reflects the lack of understanding of "Western" science on consciousness. The keywords are "our science" and "our society". Other cultures have deeper understanding of consciousness in the subjective domain. For example, the Tibetan tradition have studied consciousness for thousands of years and have a grand model of consciousness that is now only being explored by Western scientists. The problem of course with most Western science is that it attempts to explain the subjective using "only" the objective . This approach results in the mind-body problem. An Integral Theory of Consciousness attempts to address this problem without collapsing the subjective into the objective, and vice-versa:

In the field of medicine, the Integral Medicine model addresses the physiological causes and treatments of diseases, the subjective and objective dimensions of patients, and more importantly, the subjective and objective dimensions of health-care providers.

Only the western culture is arrogant enough to assume that people who are "living in altered forms" of consciousness as we know it is closer to death. Other cultures see these "altered forms" of consciousness as a way of life.

My two cents.

"Consciousness is a singular, the plural of which is unknown." - Erwin Schroedinger

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2. Robert Duberg on July 7, 2004 8:31 AM writes...

Wilber does indeed succeed more than anyone perhaps in western culture in addressing the consciousness question in a way which allows our classical rational method to continue while introducing additional and more sophisticated compilmentary methods of thining as well.

I learned along time ago that consciousness is much like the big bang in cosmological study. We can pinpoint an IT by our own experience being fully immersed in IT, yet past that envelope and the various cultural applications of graffiti to the cave wall all the rest do not recognize and never will, we have for real a spot in which what appears unlimiited in scope and direction and power stops and instead begins just like the rest of creation.

My hope is that some mystic will come along and answer my post with some channeled explanation about the other side of that veil just to keep it all interesting.

My only two cents.


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