Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.
William James, Varieties of Religious Experience, 1902.
Studying consciousness tells us more about how the world is fundamentally strange. I think we have a few revolutions to go yet before we get to the bottom of it.
Research into the exact nature of the relation between the brain, consciousness, and energy proves to be very interesting. When all the functions of the brain have stopped and physiological conditions have disappeared, it would seem that a form of the process of consciousness continues to exist.
HH The Dalai Lama
What is the problem with consciousness? What is the relationship between consciousness and the brain? What is the function of consciousness? What is the relationship between consciousness and matter? Does consciousness continue after death?
With Consciousness in Mind (Part 2) explores these questions, with exclusive interviews and articles from some of the world’s most renowned thinkers. In this issue philosophers, neuroscientists, scientists and artists explore the issue of consciousness.
In Brain, Consciousness and Neuromania, Raymond Tallis, philosopher, poet, novelist and cultural critic, discusses the relationship between the brain and neuroscience, consciousness and time, and what it means to be human.
Max Velmans has been involved in consciousness studies for around 40 years, integrating work on the philosophy, cognitive psychology and neuropsychology of consciousness, and, more recently, on East-West integrative approaches. In Understanding Consciousness, he discusses his ideas on consciousness and his theory of reflexive monism.
Iain McGilchrist’s seminal book, The Master and his Emissary, is a fascinating exploration of the differences between the brain’s right and left hemispheres and their effects on society, history and culture. In an exclusive interview he discusses the book and explores the question, ‘Why is the brain divided?’
B Alan Wallace explores the relationship between Christian and Buddhist meditative practices, in Exploring the Nature of Consciousness, showing that, though Buddhism and Christianity differ in their belief systems, their methods of cognitive inquiry provide similar insight into the nature and origins of consciousness.
In Life, Death, and the Quantum Soul, Marilyn Schlitz Ph.D explores the topic of death and dying and offers an expanded understanding of self that bridges both our physical and our metaphysical beliefs.
The very notion of consciousness and its relationship to the brain has been a rich source of inspiration to a number of contemporary artists. In Passing Thoughts, Susan Aldworth discusses her interest in neuroscience and the interactions between art and science.
The integration of consciousness and quantum mechanics is explored by Wolfgang Baer in his article Pan-psychic Consciousness in Mass-Charge Interactions.
Further discussions on consciousness are explored in the magazine blog, Talking about Consciousness 2, featuring HH The Dalai Lama: The Relation between Matter & Consciousness ; Alva Noë : Why is Consciousness so baffling? ; Marvin Minsky on Consciousness ; J Krishnamurti: On the relationship between thought and consciousness ; and Peter Russell: The Reality of Consciousness.
And in Generation Next, young adults respond to the questions ‘Why is it so difficult to understand consciousness?’ and ‘What can be done to understand it better?’