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Consciousness Defined

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.”
— Albert Einstein

What is the brain? What is the mind? What is consciousness? Are mind and consciousness merely the bi-product of physical brain processes or are they something that transcends brain functioning? Does any aspect of this phenomenon extend beyond or brain and can any survive beyond the physical body? There seems to be no single or universally accepted view that adequately explains consciousness. Why is it that something we are all so intimately familiar with so difficult to explain?

I act like you act
I do what you do
But I don't know
What it is to be you.
     - David Chalmers

However it is defined, there is a considerable and growing body of evidence suggesting that some core aspect of our consciousness transcends the natural boundary of our physical body and our normal sensory mechanisms. This is what we refer to as " non-local consciousness/em>". This conclusion is based on a considerable and growing body of evidence that is now available from contemporary science and medicine that suggests that consciousness is much more than the modern scientific world view can account for using our existing main stream world view about the nature of consciousness (see consciousness issues ).

Since the 17th century science has been based on the belief that all phenomena are the results of blind but predictable interactions with matter. This concept has led to a reductionist view of reality and a materialistic focus – one of consumption, competition, conflict and domination. However, by the end of the 20th century, new scientific evidence has emerged from several new fields of study such as quantum mechanics, non linear thermodynamics, systems and chaos theory and the study of so-called supernatural phenomena that render the reductionist and materialist view of reality not only untenable, but incorrect as well.  Instead, a new paradigm is surfacing which:

  1. Places great emphasis on consciousness and its role in the creation of physical reality;
  2. Reality is a holistic, interconnected matrix;
  3. Information, once gained is never lost;
  4. These concepts are true at a deep and fundamental level of existence.

Throughout the ages great spiritual teachers from all traditions have spoken of reality being a limitless, transcendent and holistic consciousness.  Partly as a result of the legacy of the French philosopher Descartes and the separations of the domains of religious and scientific thought, the spiritual view of reality has been ignored by modern science. Yet, our spiritual teachers have taught us for millennia that we all have the ability to experience transcendent states of awareness and intentionality and that they are demonstrably resident in the human condition. These states are now beginning to be understood as fundamental properties of our consciousness. 

These transcendent states have been visited and described for millennia by both our ancestors and contemporaries. Enlightened individuals have been called by many names including avatars, mystics, sages, saints, gurus and shamans. By whatever name they have been called, all held a similar world view and advocated oneness, unconditional love, living harmoniously with nature and one’s fellow humans and recognizing the interconnectedness and interdependence of all creation. 

This hypothesis of interconnectedness, proposed by ancient sages from many pre-scientific cultures has never been rigorously explored or tested by modern mainstream science. To create the fundamental shift in consciousness necessary to preserve civilization, experimental and theoretical investigations are needed to fully understand and test these unifying approaches to nature. The goal of these investigations must be to fully integrate the reductionist, and purely materialistic view, characterized by classical Newtonian science, with the holistic view emerging from promising scientific disciplines in a manner that also addresses consciousness and transcendent states of awareness. This holistic view can then be applied to the macroscopic world including living systems and social phenomena.

It is for this reason that the Eternea Consciousness Council focuses on researching and understanding consciousness with emphasis on those aspects of it that include interconnectedness along with those that may extend beyond the physical brain (e.g. non-local consciousness). In particular the Council focuses on the following aspects of consciousness:

Mechanisms of Consciousness

  • Fundamental constructs of consciousness
  • Higher consciousness primitives
  • Various aspects of higher consciousness
  • Theories of consciousness

Manifestations of non-local Consciousness

More details will be provided at a later date.

Check out the Consciousness Council organizational structure here

Articles on Consciousness

Leading Edge Science on the Survival of Consciousness

Science on Controversies in Consciousness and in Understanding Reality

Papers on Consciousness

Does Consciousness Depend on the Brain?

Why Materialist Science cannot Explain Near-Death Experiences

Dr. Larry Dossey: "Consciousness: / Why Materialism Fails"

Other Scientific Articles on Consciousness and Survival

For an excellent article entitled "Near-Death experiences between science and prejudice"  by Enrico Facco and Christian Agrillo on mainstream science, its underlying assumptions and its views on NDEs and why it has it wrong: click here  

Check out additional references in our Recommended Readings Page

Check Out Scientific Papers on Consciousness in our Members Area

For the lastest on consciousenss research, please access our Members Area to read the paper "Towards and Understanding of The Nature of Reality and the Nature of Existence" by Edgar D. Mitchell, Sc.D. and Robert Staretz, M.S.

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Once you become a member you will be free to access it and all other papers located in our member area. For membership opportunities click here