Tag Archives | Consciousness

Psychedelics, Consciousness, and the Birth of Civilization

I’ve been very lucky; I feel I’ve been blessed; I’ve lived a blessed life. I’m grateful to the universe for giving me the chance to live this life.

But why am I here? Why are you here? Why are we all here on planet earth? Why are we conscious? What are our lives for?

In answer to such questions, I can’t offer any facts. I can only give you my view, which is that this world is a theatre of experience and that consciousness is fundamentally nonphysical and one of the driving forces of the universe like gravity or electricity. My guess is that consciousness has chosen to manifest in physical form and perhaps has invested in a very long process of manifes­tation on the earth—a four-and-a-half-billion-year process using evolution.


Graham Hancock. Photo: Travis Nobles (CC)

So . . . I’m not against evolution. Evolution is obvious. It’s a fact.… Read the rest

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Network theory sheds new light on origins of consciousness

The black dots correspond to the 264 areas of the cerebral cortex that the researchers probed, and the lines correspond to the increased strength of the functional connections between each of these brain areas when subjects consciously perceive the target. The "hotter" colors are associated with stronger connections. This figure illustrates that awareness of the target corresponds to widespread increase in the strength of functional connections (Credit: Marois / Godwin).

The black dots correspond to the 264 areas of the cerebral cortex that the researchers probed, and the lines correspond to the increased strength of the functional connections between each of these brain areas when subjects consciously perceive the target. The “hotter” colors are associated with stronger connections. This figure illustrates that awareness of the target corresponds to widespread increase in the strength of functional connections (Credit: Marois / Godwin).

Melanie Moran Via Medical Express:

Where in your brain do you exist? Is your awareness of the world around you and of yourself as an individual the result of specific, focused changes in your brain, or does that awareness come from a broad network of neural activity? How does your brain produce awareness?

Vanderbilt University researchers took a significant step toward answering these longstanding questions with a recent imaging study, in which they discovered global changes in how brain areas communicate with one another during awareness.

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The Book of the Law & the Gnostic Concept of the Holy Trinity

darksideofthesun1If you’ll recall, about a month ago I read Gary Lachman’s new book about Aleister Crowley (totally worth checking out) and ranted off about how I personally can’t stand the self-proclaimed Great Beast. But I must confess that my motivations for being that snarkingly harsh were quite similar to why I was such a Christianity-hating, angry, metal dude in my late teens and early twenties (it was the 90’s after all). I grew up believing in the church. When I got older, I started contemplating it a bit more and realized that I literally couldn’t go all-in believing in dogmas. I was pissed. This happened to me quite some time ago with Crowley, but dealing with dicks on the internet, the sorry state of the modern Occult, and reading Lachman’s book rekindled the fire.

In the course of all this, something quite interesting did go down, though. While bored at work one day, I pulled up a PDF of The Book of the Law, which I hadn’t read in about 6 years.… Read the rest

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The Matrix is Crashing

Still from The Matrix

Still from The Matrix.

Via Zen Gardner at Waking Times:

It is. It’s outdated programming and the engineers of deceit can’t keep up. The vibrational changes are exceeding their capabilities. You know how your phone or computer’s software goes out of date, and new programs can’t operate? It’s the same thing. The imitators of creation can’t maintain a current operating system any longer in the face of this Universal shift.

And it’s driving them nuts.

Just look at the desperation we’re witnessing. Crude military and police state maneuvers are only one aspect. The biggest clue is seeing the previously incremental and now hyperbolic use of monstrous lies that are becoming so transparent and unbelievable to just about anyone. Agreed, there are the entranced apathetics who swallow anything, but we’re witnessing a meltdown before our eyes.

If you can’t see it, look again.

You Want Proof?

First of all you’re in the wrong mindset if you’re looking only for data or left brained evidence, although it’s out there for those who can see.

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Vancouver, Montreal researchers use magic to explore consciousness

Pablo (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pablo (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Bethany Lindsay at the Vancouver Sun:

Can questions about something as fundamental as the existence of free will be answered with a simple magic trick?

It may sound strange, but a new study from researchers in Vancouver and Montreal uses magicians’ mind tricks as a gateway to exploring human consciousness and decision-making.

In a street magic experiment, lead author Jay Olson asked 118 strangers to pick a random card as he riffled through the pack, intentionally showing one card for longer than the rest.

The results were remarkable. Ninety-eight per cent of people picked the target card, and an impressive 91 per cent believed that they had made that choice freely, without any influence from the magician.

“It was pretty cool,” said co-author Ronald Rensink, a psychology and computer science professor at UBC. “This would seem to be supporting the view that your conscious mind doesn’t really decide.

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Aleister Crowley was a Total Hack Magickian. Just my Opinion.

dowhatthouwiltAbout a month ago Marcie asked me to design a Disinfo.com magick poll and I came up with a quick one in like 5 minutes. I wish I would have put more thought into it and included people like John Dee, Peter Carroll, and Lon Milo Duquette but, you know, I admittedly half assed it and fired off an e-mail all quick like. It’s not like this is something I had been contemplating or planning on writing about at the time.

Here’s where I confess that the topic chosen was ultimately designed to help me gauge whether the modern Occultists I look up to and respect have exceeded the popularity of the self-proclaimed “great beast” Aleister Crowley. It was my suspicion that they hadn’t, but even I was sort of disappointed that Crowley got more votes than both Alan Moore and Grant Morrison combined (Moore edged out Morrison by 2 votes and they came in at #2 and #3 respectively).… Read the rest

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Liam Wilson of The Dillinger Escape Plan on Midwest Real | Rabbit Holes Never End

Via Midwest Real

Liam Wilson of The Dillinger Escape Plan talks fatherhood, consciousness and nomadic, otherworldly, head-sucking Ayahuasca shamans. 


somespaceshitbrightliamLiam Wilson is a successful musician, psychonaut, yogi, meditator,traveler and writer (by no means does he live an unexamined, life). Yet, nothing has prepared him one bit for the trajectory-altering, love-filled uppercut to the nethers of your ego that is fatherhood.

As if that weren’t nuclear enough, Liam just participated in a two-day Ayahuasca ceremony run by a mysterious, otherworldly, head-sucking, nomadic shaman. An experience that has left him reconsidering even the most basic anchors we ground our very realities with.

Liam is a contributing writer at Talkhouse. If you’re a fan of heavy music and somehow haven’t listened to his band The Dillinger Escape Plan, what in the name of Satan’s gnarled beard is wrong with you? 

Get in touch!  Follow Midwest Real on Twitter and  Facebook.Read the rest

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Why Can’t the World’s Greatest Minds Solve the Mystery of Consciousness?

Consciousness. What is it? No one knows, but many intelligent people have tried to explain it. Here’s the Guardian‘s take (note, it’s a long, #longread):

One spring morning in Tucson, Arizona, in 1994, an unknown philosopher named David Chalmers got up to give a talk on consciousness, by which he meant the feeling of being inside your head, looking out – or, to use the kind of language that might give a neuroscientist an aneurysm, of having a soul. Though he didn’t realise it at the time, the young Australian academic was about to ignite a war between philosophers and scientists, by drawing attention to a central mystery of human life – perhaps the central mystery of human life – and revealing how embarrassingly far they were from solving it.

The scholars gathered at the University of Arizona – for what would later go down as a landmark conference on the subject – knew they were doing something edgy: in many quarters, consciousness was still taboo, too weird and new agey to take seriously, and some of the scientists in the audience were risking their reputations by attending.

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In Search Of A Science Of Consciousness

Capture Queen (CC BY 2.0)

Capture Queen (CC BY 2.0)

Via NPR:

Any color you choose can be matched by a mixture of short, medium and long wavelength light (i.e., blue, green and red light). This perceptual observation led to the formulation, early in the 19th century, of a neurophysiological hypothesis: The eye contains three kinds of distinct color-sensitive receptors (cones); just as colors themselves can be composed of lights of different spectral character, so we can see the vast range of visible color thanks to the joint operation of only three distinct kinds of receptors.

This is a beautiful example of the primacy of experience in the study of the brain-basis of consciousness. Before you can even begin to think about how the brain enables us to see or feel or (more generally) experience what we do, you need to pay careful attention to what our experience is actually like.

And, so, it was further attention to the experience that led scientists to realize the shortcomings of what came to be known as the Trichromatic Theory of Color.

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