Blending physics, psychology, and philosophy, internationally renowned writer, Peter Russell, leads us to a new worldview in which consciousness is a fundamental quality of creation. He is fascinated by how light is a recurrent theme in meditation, religion, philosophy and modern physics, and asks ‘Does physical reality and the reality of the mind share common ground in light?’
Throughout the ages people have felt that the material world is not all there is. Mystical visions, answers to prayer or an awareness of a power or comforting presence beyond the self have given intimations of a greater reality beyond the everyday. Might this awareness also suggest some kind of survival of death as End of Life Experiences, Near-Death Experiences and Post Death Communication seem to indicate?
Marianne Rankin looks at a range of spiritual experiences and considers the effects on people’s lives and what they might indicate about the nature of consciousness and Ultimate Reality.
Many experiences cited are taken from the archive of the Religious Experience Research Centre, now at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Lampeter, the collection initiated by Sir Alister Hardy in Oxford when he retired as Linacre Professor of Zoology in 1969. Much has happened since.
Halfway through his PhD program in neuroscience at UPenn, Greg Dunn was inspired to try a new experiment: using the brain structures he was seeing in the lab as the subject matter for his minimalist Asian-inspired paintings. When he finished his Ph.D, he bought himself a sensory deprivation tank as a graduation present. The gift marked a major life transition, from the world of science to a life of meditation and art.
Cynthia Sue Larson Interviews Seán Ó Nualláin
For the first time, an author with peer-reviewed published work in neuroscience, comparative religion, theoretical biology and many facets of cognitive science takes on the Big Issues of science and religion, as well as the current paralysis in real innovation. Seán Ó Nualláin’s latest book, One Magisterium, is here reviewed by the eminent scientist and thinker, Stuart Kauffman.
Taking his inspiration from Bartok’s ballet suite, The Miraculous Mandarin, artist, poet and writer, John Moat, transforms the story into a contemporary articulation of the alchemical Mercurius – who redeems fallen Adam.
How can you define consciousness? In his article, F David Peat looks to art and music for answers and explores how consciousness may not limited to the mind, but the physicality of the entire body. Drawing on the personal experiences from artists and musicians such as Anish Kapoor and Michael Tippet to the physicist David Bohm, he explores how the creative process resembles an alchemical cycle whereby creative ‘gold’ is generated from the mind and the body.
Does self-organisation pose a threat to theology? Or is God the facilitator of a complex world? And is there a role for thought experiments in religion? Niels Henrik Gregerson, Professor of Systematic Theology at University of Copenhagen, discusses religion’s place in a scientific world and how both science and religion could benefit from a combined approach.
In our contemporary neurobiology and much of the philosophy of mind post Descartes we are classical physics machines and either mindless, or mind is at best epiphenomenal and can have no consequences for the physical world. In this article, renowned scientist and thinker, Stuart Kauffman, discuss a large, interwoven set of topics. Much of what he says is highly speculative, some is testable, some is, at present, surely not. It is, he hopes, useful, to set these ideas forth for our consideration.
B. Alan Wallace, lecturer, scholar, writer, translator and the president and founder of The Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies, discusses how the contemplative methods of Buddhism and the scientific methods of enquiry need to come together in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the mind and consciousness.