How Close is Science to Understanding Consciousness?

Published on Nov 14, 2015


Fascinating conversation with Stuart Hameroff, Julia Mossbridge, Henry Stapp and Chris Fields, Donald Hoffman facilitated by A.H. Almaas

Four different scientists with varying views of consciousness or mind. This panel will be a conversation between these different views to understand their contributions, and to see how they understand each other, and how they relate to other theories of consciousness. The point is to have a genuine deep dialogue between scientific theories of consciousness to find commonalities, and the meaning of the differences. We will explore whether scientific theories have a consensus about anything relating to consciousness, like an operating definition of consciousness. I will be facilitating with an eye from the nondual view of consciousness, to ask questions and address issues in the study of consciousness that can help in looking deeper into the assumptions and conclusions of each theory.

Report Reveals Jesus Christ May Have Benefited From Father’s Influential Position To Gain High-Powered Role As Lord And Savior

April 1, 2019 ( 

NEW HAVEN, CT—In a groundbreaking new report on one of the most revered figures in religious history, top biblical scholars published findings Monday that suggest Jesus Christ may have relied on the influence of His well-connected father, God, to land His powerful role as Lord and Savior to mankind.

Examining evidence from the Gospels, as well as recently unearthed ancient Christian and Gnostic texts, researchers at Yale Divinity School concluded that Christ’s close familial relationship to the Creator of Heaven and Earth likely contributed to His meteoric rise from obscure carpenter to high-level divinity, giving Him a leg up over candidates who may have been more qualified for a position within the Holy Trinity.

“The selection of Jesus to become the Messiah appears to be a clear-cut case of nepotism,” said noted theologian and report co-author Philip Baxter, who remarked that in first-century Judea, it was widely believed John the Baptist was the frontrunner to sit at the right hand of the Father. “Until the age of 30, Christ’s only employment had been as a laborer with His stepfather’s woodworking business. So we must ask: How does someone with no background in management suddenly get put in charge of a 12-apostle team? And how exactly does a person with no prior experience as a monarch get appointed King of Kings?”

“God likes to claim He moves in mysterious ways, but there doesn’t seem to be too much mystery here at all,” Baxter continued. “This looks like blatant favoritism.”

The scholars behind the report said revised translations of the Gospel of Luke reveal that during the Annunciation, the archangel Gabriel not only foretold the birth of Jesus but also mentioned to the Virgin Mary that he hoped soon to be promoted to Messiah and to deliver the Jews from bondage. The report states that Gabriel, with centuries of divine service behind him, was justifiably suspicious when he wound up relegated to his dead-end messenger job and the promotion instead went to Jesus, who just happened to be God’s only begotten son.

This reportedly created an atmosphere of low morale among God’s longer-tenured servants, who believed the young Jesus would never have been given such a position if His father had not been He Who Reigns Supreme Over All That Is Seen And Unseen.

“Jesus would go around telling this story of His humble beginnings, how He was born to a refugee seeking shelter in a manger, but in reality, He was a child of privilege,” said Baxter, remarking that Jesus was well aware that His father, who had created the universe and everything in it, would always be able to provide for Him. “It was easy for Him to tell people, ‘Ask, and it shall be given,’ or ‘Knock, and it shall be opened unto you,’ because that’s pretty much how life works if your dad is an all-powerful, all-knowing deity.”

“In the meantime, a lot of angels and prophets who had been angling for Jesus’s position are looking on in disgust as this ne’er-do-well son goes around from party to party multiplying loaves and fishes and turning water into wine,” Baxter added.

Leaders of several Christian denominations denounced the report, arguing that Jesus earned His role on merit and was fully qualified to bring salvation to all mankind. According to a Vatican spokesman, God was “pretty hands-off” in His son’s career, and, if anything, Jesus had to work twice as hard to get out from underneath the Heavenly Father’s shadow. Meanwhile, a representative from the Eastern Orthodox Church sought to rebut the report’s claim that Jesus never actually fasted in the desert, but instead went on a 40-day-and-night-long bender to escape the responsibilities of his ministry.

Nonetheless, the report does document occasions on which God appears to have pulled strings on His son’s behalf: For example, Jesus was allowed to retain His position as Lord and Savior despite a criminal record that came to include violating the Sabbath, multiple acts of sorcery, and disorderly conduct in a Jewish temple.

“Even after He was condemned to death and crucified, His father still intervened to make sure Jesus didn’t face any lasting consequences for His actions,” Baxter said in reference to God raising His son from the dead. “Most people don’t bounce back from a mistake like that. Most people don’t get that second chance.”

“No one swooped in three days later to resurrect John the Baptist after he was beheaded, that’s for sure,” Baxter added.

Falling In Love With A Polyamorous Man Helped Me Become Chill AF

We all have to write our own love stories.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Have you ever taken the Five Love Languages test? Just like the MBTI, I have been taking the test for about 16 years and I always get the same results. I wind up in a three-way tie for Words of AffirmationPhysical Touch, and Quality Time.

The thing is, you’re supposed to wind up with a top two when you take the test, not a top three. But I think I’ve always been a bit hungry for love. Okay, maybe even ravenous. In The Five Love Languages book, Gary C. Chapman writes how our love languages reflect the way we prefer to give and receive love. He also refers to our “love tank” veering toward empty or full, and I admit mine tends to be on the empty side.

See? Ravenous for good reason.

Of course, I’m also a very fluffy and emotional INFP. My love for words of affirmation in romantic relationships has often been unquenchable. Meaning that for the longest time, I lived for verbal affirmation from my partners. In fact, it used to dictate how I felt within the relationship and even how I felt about myself. So it wasn’t exactly healthy.

If I was getting a lot of positive affirmation, I felt good. So my mood fluctuated up and down depending upon the number of good words I was getting. It was like riding an unreliable high because some days I felt deeply loved and other days nothing was ever enough.

And I acted out accordingly.

My addiction to sweet words was clearly problematic. Sometimes partners say things they don’t mean, or don’t really think about the impact before they say it. Me being autistic, I tended to take men literally in romantic relationships. If they said they needed me, I believed it must be true because, why else would they say it if they didn’t mean it?

Another problem with riding the wave of affirmation? I tended to make many assumptions and took my relationships much further in my mind. All because I took those words to heart and I wanted them to mean more.

Looking over the trends in my past relationships, I can see where I ran into problems with unhealthy expectations. I got carried away with wanting to know the people I cared about also cared for me too.

I don’t have a great history with love, and like most other people with borderline personality disorder, I’ve had my abandonment issues. That means I’ve spent way too much energy trying to get my partners to tell me what I meant to them.

Finally, like many other INFPs and folks with a traumatic family history, I love love. I love the idea of love. I have always wanted to love and be loved. So much so that I’ve prioritized it even when I shouldn’t.

But a funny thing happened a couple summers ago. After going on a long string of dates through OkCupid, but finding no actual spark, I finally fell for a guy in Atlanta (about two hours away). Except he’s poly.

Honestly, polyamory was never my bag. I think the biggest strike against it was how many men I’ve met who call themselves poly but only treat their primary partner well. If even. There are way too many entitled “poly” men treating partners like objects and gap-fillers.

Whether I’m going to be a primary or secondary to anyone, I believe I’m a good partner who deserves a real relationship. And I shouldn’t have to settle to be anyone’s gap-filler. Nor should I put up with lies or bullshit. Which, to be fair, isn’t what polyamory is about.

Furthermore, my daughter’s dad came out as poly years ago, and I never found him to be believable or authentic about it. He has a long history of cheating since his teen years, and always justified it by blaming each woman he had an affair with. And I’ve never seen him genuinely care about more than one person at a time.

Even just one is… a bit pushing it.

So I’ve been well aware that some people use the poly label out of selfishness and that’s definitely rubbed me the wrong way.

Knowing I have these feelings, when I contemplated dating Mister Atlanta, I was pretty sure that he would break my heart. I actually pictured myself staring at the phone and crying, thinking about him wanting to be with someone who wasn’t me. So I didn’t think I could ever handle poly. I thought it would end in my pining away for someone I could never “have.”

If I hadn’t felt like we might have a real connection, I would have never agreed to meet him. But I did, and I have to say he’s one of my favorite people in the whole world.

A year-and-a-half later, I hesitate to call what Mister Atlanta and I have a “relationship” simply because we don’t see each other or even talk too much these days. I could talk to him more… but I’m so focused on rebuilding my life through writing that it doesn’t seem urgent. He also has his own career to work on and is currently pitching a series to Netflix (no, not about poly.)

At the same time, I have zero interest in pursuing any connection else with anyone else. That could change if a new connection presented itself, but for now, I’m at peace about my singleness and connection to Mister Atlanta because trying poly helped change the way I view relationships.

1. We don’t have to force a relationship to go anywhere or be anything.

It took me ages to understand that you can be in a healthy relationship without having any expectations, without labeling it, and without trying to push it through some predetermined course. Some things can simply be.

This can be hard if you’re coming from a religious background where courtship was stressed and marriage was always the goal. Dating Mister Atlanta has taught me that a relationship can be successful even if it doesn’t lead to something more, like a primary partnership, exclusivity, or marriage.

2. It’s okay to be in very different places.

Mister Atlanta is a business manager in his forties, twice divorced, and a big world traveler. I am a 36-year-old single mom of a four-year-old little girl, and I don’t drive. When we first met, my work from home was going well, but less than a year later I had to start over and begin a personal writing career.

I am now on an entirely new path. My life is complicated and in one sense tethered —since it can’t just be anything I want it to be when my daughter comes first.

I used to think that I could never date anyone in such a different stage of life, yet whenever I’m with him, I understand that the way I feel around him is the type of relationship I ultimately want long-term. I feel completely at peace and free to be myself without apology. I don’t feel like I have to perform for him at all. I feel fully valued despite our differences.

Strangely, I feel hopeful and energized to know there are men like him in the world. Guys who love to travel and get out of the house. Men who have real hobbies beyond videogames or sports. Honestly, I could get caught up in all the ways he fits my “ideal” for a partner, but instead, it makes me hopeful that I’ll meet someone in the future and eventually settle down when it makes good sense.

3. Having a connection and simply having fun is enough.

Some people are clearly people persons. I have more of a… love/hate relationship with humanity. My relationships with other people can be so complicated that it’s rare for me to meet a person who sets me at ease and makes me feel like I could be around them all the time without feeling like it was too much.

With Mister Atlanta, I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how much time has passed between us. Whenever we finally see each other again, our time together feels pretty damn near perfect. Sure, part of that is because I love him. But who knew I could love someone without seeing him or talking to him daily? Not me.

Ultimately, my day to day life is all about raising my daughter and focusing on my writing. So spending time with Mister Atlanta helps me feel good — like I’m more than just a single mom. And there’s nothing wrong with the casual nature of that.

4. We’re in charge of the way we feel about our own relationships.

I know that anytime I need to talk something out with Mister Atlanta, I can tell him and we’ll talk about it. He won’t try to avoid talking or say whatever he thinks I want to hear just to shut me up. He will see the entire conversation through. And I trust him to be real with me, which is a huge deal in my book.

Through those conversations, I’ve learned that all I really need is that bit of trust that my partner will make time to talk things out with me. Beyond that, I’m not looking for words of affirmation from my relationships anymore. I’ve learned how to feel good within a relationship without needing to hear compliment after compliment to finally believe (for a day) that I matter. The reality is that I do matter, but no partner can give me a sense of my own self-worth.

5. Boundaries matter and we can’t blame our partner for our failure to have any.

For ages, I used to have a terrible time falling in love because I lost myself every time. I gave more than I should have given, and more than my partners could return, and then I felt frustrated when they didn’t reciprocate. I didn’t understand how to make appropriate boundaries.

Seeing Mister Atlanta helped me finally set boundaries for myself in a relationship. I finally quit scheduling my life around whatever works for the other person. I started saying no, that doesn’t work for me. And I finally quit stressing out about who was giving or getting.

This has been incredibly freeing–to finally love without losing myself in that love. I now have great confidence that when someone new does enter my life, it will no longer be filled with drama or tears.

I suppose you could say that dating a poly guy in a long-distance scenario helped me learn how to mellow out about love. And how to quit seeing myself as valuable only if and when someone else loves me.

At the end of the day, we each must write our own narratives about love and no one else can write our stories for us. We can spend a lifetime expecting others to tell us who we are and what love should be, but it will only leave us unhappy and waste more time.

Am I poly? No. But I’ve learned a great deal about love after falling for a poly man. I’ve learned that I can deal with polyamorous relationships a helluva lot better than I ever guessed. I also learned how to see my relationships more honestly and clearly than in the past when I imagined or even tried to force them to be something else.

And one day I realized I was in love with a man who could never love me back. I was living in a fairy tale.

-Jenny, Big Fish

The reality is that I could have learned these lessons through other relationships, sure. Maybe it’s not specifically because Mister Atlanta is poly. But his poly nature forced me to deal with some of my relationship issues and move forward.

For most of my life, I lived in a fairy tale about love, and I couldn’t explain why I was always so unhappy about it.

Now, I am happy to say that I no longer obsess about love. I don’t obsess about Mister Atlanta or any other date that comes up. I don’t obsess about my relationship status. And I’m grateful that my positive experience with poly forced me to confront so many of my attitudes that needed to change.

The nature of consciousness – Interview with Alan Hugenot

Anthony Chene production
Published on Dec 7, 2015
An Interview by Anthony Chene:
Dr. Alan Ross Hugenot talks about his near-death experience and how he ended up being a medium. He explains the nature and capabilities of our consciousness, and why science has to change its viewpoint to really understand it.

Dr. Alan Ross Hugenot’s website :

Waiting for the Barbarians 


What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

      The barbarians are due here today.
Why isn’t anything going on in the senate?
Why are the senators sitting there without legislating?
      Because the barbarians are coming today.
      What’s the point of senators making laws now?
      Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.
Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting enthroned at the city’s main gate,
in state, wearing the crown?
      Because the barbarians are coming today
      and the emperor’s waiting to receive their leader.
      He’s even got a scroll to give him,
      loaded with titles, with imposing names.
Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?
      Because the barbarians are coming today
      and things like that dazzle the barbarians.
Why don’t our distinguished orators turn up as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?
      Because the barbarians are coming today
      and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.
Why this sudden bewilderment, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home lost in thought?
      Because night has fallen and the barbarians haven’t come.
      And some of our men just in from the border say
      there are no barbarians any longer.
Now what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
Those people were a kind of solution.

C. P. Cavafy, “Waiting for the Barbarians” from C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Translation Copyright © 1975, 1992 by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Reproduced with permission of Princeton University Press.

Source: C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems (Princeton University Press, 1975)

Stendhal syndrome

Stendhal syndromeStendhal’s syndrome, hyperkulturemia, or Florence syndrome is a psychosomatic disorder that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to an experience of great personal significance, particularly viewing art.


The Jazz of Physics: Cosmologist and Saxophonist Stephon Alexander on Decoding the Song of the Universe

By Maria Popova (

“All truth is comprised in music and mathematics,” Margaret Fuller wrote as she was spearheading the Transcendentalist movement and laying the groundwork for what would later be called feminism.

A century and a half after Fuller, theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and jazz saxophonist Stephon Alexanderexamines this dual seedbed of truth in The Jazz of Physics (public library) — part memoir of his improbable path to science and music, part captivating primer on modern physics, part manifesto for the power of cross-disciplinary thinking and improvisation in unlocking new chambers of possibility for the human mind’s intercourse with the universe and the nature of reality.


Stephon Alexander

Drawing on the legacy of Kepler, who composed the world’s first work of science fiction — a clever allegory advancing the then-controversial Copernican model of the universe through a conceptually ingenious analogy — Alexander writes:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngContrary to the logical structure innate in physical law, in our attempts to reveal new vistas in our understanding, we often must embrace an irrational, illogical process, sometimes fraught with mistakes and improvisational thinking. Although it is important for both jazz musicians and physicists to strive for technical and theoretical mastery in their respective disciplines, innovation demands that they go beyond the skill sets they have mastered. Key to innovation in theoretical physics is the power of analogical reasoning.

But while Alexander does draw heavily on analogies throughout the book, the parallels and equivalences between music and physics are often far more literal. “It is less about music being scientific and more about the universe being musical,” he writes, reminding us that stars, galaxies, and planets arose from sound waves in the plasma of the infant universe as spacetime vibrated like an instrument to produce the waves that leavened these essential cosmic structures.

Born in Trinidad, Alexander fell in love with science shortly after his family moved to the United States. Visiting the American Museum of Natural History with his third-grade class, he was mesmerized by a set of papers behind a thick pane of glass, inscribed with symbols that seemed otherworldly to his eight-year-old consciousness. Next to them was a portrait of their author — a wild-haired, mischievous-eyed oddball. This was his first encounter with Einstein, who would go on to be a lifelong hero as Alexander devoted himself to decoding the secrets of the universe.


Page proof corrections of Einstein’s paper Propagation of Sound in Partly Dissociated Gases, in Einstein’s hand. (Einstein papers, Instituut-Lorentz)

A few years later, as a teenager in the Bronx, he had a parallel experience of encountering a new, almost mystical language and recognizing it as an encoding of elemental truth. Through the gateway of hip hop and its wide-ranging influences spanning Caribbean and Latin music, Alexander discovered the saxophone and became besotted with the free jazz of Ornette Coleman. His parents eventually bought him a vintage alto saxophone at a garage sale, and so began his second great love affair with the universe. At the intersection of these two loves, Alexander found his calling. Within a decade, he was working on some of the most complex problems in modern physics by day, performing with some of the most legendary jazz musicians by night, and cross-pollinating the legacies of his great heroes: Einstein, Pythagoras, John Coltrane. He recounts a definig moment:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngAbout a decade ago, I sat alone in a dim café on the main drag of Amherst, Massachusetts, preparing for a physics faculty job presentation when an urge hit me. I found a pay phone with a local phone book and mustered up the courage to call Yusef Lateef, a legendary jazz musician, who had recently retired from the music department of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I had something I had to tell him.

Like an addict after a fix, my fingers raced through the pages anxiously seeking the number. I found it. The brisk wind of a New England autumn hit my face as I called him. At the risk of rudely imposing, I let the phone ring for quite a while.

“Hello?” a male voice finally answered.

“Hi, is Professor Lateef available?” I asked.

“Professor Lateef is not here,” said the voice, flatly.

“Could I leave him a message about the diagram that John Coltrane gave him as a birthday gift in ’61? I think I figured out what it means.”

There was a long pause. “Professor Lateef is here.”

We spoke for nearly two hours about the diagram that appeared in his acclaimed book Repository of Scales and Melodic Patterns, which is a compilation of a myriad of scales from Europe, Asia, Africa, and all over the world. I expressed how I thought the diagram was related to another and seemingly unrelated field of study — quantum gravity — a grand theory intended to unify quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of general relativity. What I had realized, I told Lateef, was that the same geometric principle that motivated Einstein’s theory was reflected in Coltrane’s diagram.

Part of Einstein’s genius, Alexander points out, was his willingness to leap beyond the limits of his particular mathematical problem and into a field of possibilities, which he explored through improvisational experimentation — gedankenexperiments, or thought experiments. Einstein himself, who believed his best ideas came to him during his violin breaks, called his ideation process “combinatory play” — a wilderness of associations reaching across boundaries of various theories and fields of thought, not as deliberate problem-solving but as unforced mental meanderings.


Art by Vladimir Radunsky from On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne.

Alexander, too, had a pivotal breakthrough in his scientific work during one such unexpected cross-pollination of ideas across disciplines, which steered the direction of his research in a way he could not have necessarily thought his way to directly and deliberately. During his time at as a postdoctoral student at London’s Imperial College, he met — at a “quantum gravity cocktail hour,” as one does — a serious-looking man with a gold tooth, dressed in black, who engaged in intense conversations about spacetime and relativity and the mathematics of waves. Alexander took him for a Russian physicist. He turned out to be the pioneering musician Brian Eno. The two soon became friends and Alexander came to see Eno as a singular species of “sound cosmologist.” He recounts the moment that catalyzed his breakthrough:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngOne of the most memorable and influential moments in my physics research occurred one morning when I walked into Brian’s studio. Normally, Brian was working on the details of a new tune — getting his bass sorted out just right for a track, getting a line just slightly behind the beat. He was a pioneer of ambient music and a prolific installation artist.

Eno described his work in the liner notes for his record, Ambient 1: Music for Airports: “Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.” What he sought was a music of tone and atmosphere, rather than music that demanded active listening. But creating an easylistening track is anything but easy, so he often had his head immersed in meticulous sound analysis.

That particular morning, Brian was manipulating waveforms on his computer with an intimacy that made it feel as if he were speaking Wavalian, some native tongue of sound waves. What struck me was that Brian was playing with, arguably, the most fundamental concept in the universe — the physics of vibration. To quantum physicists, particles are described by the physics of vibration. And to quantum cosmologists, vibrations of fundamental entities such as strings could possibly be the key to the physics of the entire universe. The quantum scales those strings play are, unfortunately, terribly intangible, both mentally and physically, but there it was in front of me — sound — a tangible manifestation of vibration.


“Behavior of Waves” by Berenice Abbott, 1962, from her series Documenting Science.

This unexpected contact with sound made tangible shone a sidewise gleam on a question Alexander had been puzzling over ever since graduate school, when he had asked his mentor — the famed cosmologist Robert Brandenberger — what the most important question in cosmology was. Rather than an expected answer, like what may have caused the Big Bang, Brandenberger surprised the young man with his response: “How did the large-scale structure in the universe emerge and evolve?” Suddenly, in watching Eno manipulate waveforms, Alexander had a revelation. He explains:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngSound is a vibration that pushes a medium, such as air or something solid, to create traveling waves of pressure. Different sounds create different vibrations, which in turn create different pressure waves. We can draw pictures of these waves, called waveforms. A key point in the physics of vibrations is that every wave has a measurable wavelength and height. With respect to sound, the wavelength dictates the pitch, high or low, and the height, or amplitude, describes the volume.

If something is measurable, such as the length and height of waves, then you can give it a number. If you can put a number to something, then you can add more than one of them together, just by adding numbers together. And that’s what Brian was doing — adding up waveforms to get new ones. He was mixing simpler waveforms to make intricate sounds.

To physicists, this notion of adding up waves is known as the Fourier transform. It’s an intuitive idea, clearly demonstrated by dropping stones in a pond. If you drop a stone in a pond, a circular wave of a definite frequency radiates from the point of contact. If you drop another stone nearby, a second circular wave radiates outward, and the waves from the two stones start to interfere with each other, creating a more complicated wave pattern. What is incredible about the Fourier idea is that any waveform can be constructed by adding waves of the simplest form together. These simple “pure waves” are ones that regularly repeat themselves.


I was enthralled by the idea of decoding what I saw as the Rosetta stone of vibration — there was the known language of how waves create sound and music, which Eno was clearly skilled with, and then there was the unclear vibrational message of the quantum behavior in the early universe and how it has created large-scale structures. Waves and vibration make up the common thread, but the challenge was to link them in order to draw a clearer picture of how structure is formed and, ultimately, us.

In the remainder of The Jazz of Physics, Alexander explores how these questions reverberate through the consciousness of our species, from Pythagoras to string theory and beyond, into the future of probing the unfathomed depths of reality. Couple it with Nick Cave on music, transcendence, and artificial intelligence, then revisit the fascinating story of the century-long quest to hear the sound of spacetime.

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