Saturday, September 06, 2008

Influences on my thinking about consciousness

I've tried to make a list of some of the people and ideas that have been most influential in my thinking about consciousness, the mind, and the self. I thought I might as well share it here in this blog.


Henry P. Stapp:

Henry P. Stapp. Is certainly worth reading. This guy worked with Wolfgang Pauli and Werner Heisenberg. See if your has library has The Mindful Universe.

Max Tegmark:

Max Tegmark is also interested in consciousness and physics, but he doesn't think our brains are likely to be using quantum effects to give us consciousness (too much heat and atomic interactions to allow the stability you need for quantum effects to do much influencing, he's calculated). Some of his cosmology writings are fun.

Roger Penrose:

Roger Penrose has written accessible works such as the Emperor's New Mind, Shadows of the Mind, and The Road to Reality. Here he answers critiques of Shadows of the Mind.

Stuart Hameroff:

Stuart Hameroff runs a whole website dedicated to quantum consciousness, the new frontier in brain/mind science. He is affiliated with the Center for Consciousness Studies in Tucson and an editor of the 1996 book, Toward a Science of Consciousness.

Stephen Wolfram:

Stephen Wolfram is interested in the idea that the universe works like a series of mathematical algorithms, and we live in a computational universe. His famous book is A New Kind of Science.

Richard Evans Schultes:

I think we have a lot to learn about consciousness by studying the effects of entheogens and hallucinogens, as well as peak experiences and transformative conversion exeriences. Schultes was a pioneering ethnobotanist who studied psychoactive plants and their uses in human culture.


Transpersonal Psychology:

I earned my bachelor's degree from the Johnston Center, which was founded by some people who were interested in transpersonal psychology. There are now associations and institutes for transpersonal psychology.

The Holographic Universe an the holonomic model of the brain:

This is an interesting idea I like, and it seems to have relevance to consciosuness. Ed Mitchell, Michael Talbot, Karl Pribram, and David Bohm have contributed to this idea.

Myth and Archetype:

As a religious person and a scientist, I face the difficulty of reconciling two very different approaches to truth. I am therefore interested in folklore, myth, and the concept of the archetype. I'm interested in dreams and have even made a compilation about dreams.

Life and Evolution:

I am interested also in theories that see Life as a process of the Universe coming into self-awareness, and the unity of Life. I am especially inspired by the essays of Loren Eiseley, Rene Dubos, Alfred Russel Wallace, and Matthew Fox. I like mysticism and Panentheism as well.

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