While you may not remember life as a toddler, you most likely believe that your selfhood then—your essential being—was intrinsically the same as it is today.
Buddhists, though, suggest that this is just an illusion—a philosophy that’s increasingly supported by scientific research.
“Buddhists argue that nothing is constant, everything changes through time, you have a constantly changing stream of consciousness,” Evan Thompson, a philosophy of mind professor at the University of British Columbia, tells Quartz. “And from a neuroscience perspective, the brain and body is constantly in flux. There’s nothing that corresponds to the sense that there’s an unchanging self.”
Neuroscience and Buddhism came to these ideas independently, but some scientific researchers have recently started to reference and draw on the Eastern religion in their work—and have come to accept theories that were first posited by Buddhist monks thousands of years ago.
One neuroscience paper, published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences in July, links the Buddhist belief that our self is ever-changing to physical areas of the brain. There’s scientific evidence that “self-processing in the brain is not instantiated in a particular region or network, but rather extends to a broad range of fluctuating neural processes that do not appear to be self specific,” write the authors.
Thompson, whose work includes studies of cognitive science, phenomenology and Buddhist philosophy, says this is not the only area where neuroscience and Buddhism converge. For example, some neuroscientists now believe that cognitive faculties are not fixed but can be trained through meditation. And there may be scientific backing to the Buddhist belief that consciousness extends into deep sleep.
“The standard neuroscience view is that deep sleep is a blackout state where consciousness disappears,” Thompson says. “In Indian philosophy we see some theorists argue that there’s a subtle awareness that continues to be present in dreamless sleep, there’s just a lack of ability to consolidate that in a moment-to-moment way in memory.”
Written by Olivia Goldhill
You might wonder, at some point today, what’s going on in another person’s mind. You may compliment someone’s great mind, or say they are out of their mind. You may even try to expand or free your own mind.
But what is a mind? Defining the concept is a surprisingly slippery task. The mind is the seat of consciousness, the essence of your being. Without a mind, you cannot be considered meaningfully alive. So what exactly, and where precisely, is it?
Traditionally, scientists have tried to define the mind as the product of brain activity: The brain is the physical substance, and the mind is the conscious product of those firing neurons, according to the classic argument. But growing evidence shows that the mind goes far beyond the physical workings of your brain.
No doubt, the brain plays an incredibly important role. But our mind cannot be confined to what’s inside our skull, or even our body, according to a definition first put forward by Dan Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine and the author of a recently published book, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human.
He first came up with the definition more than two decades ago, at a meeting of 40 scientists across disciplines, including neuroscientists, physicists, sociologists, and anthropologists. The aim was to come to an understanding of the mind that would appeal to common ground and satisfy those wrestling with the question across these fields.
After much discussion, they decided that a key component of the mind is: “the emergent self-organizing process, both embodied and relational, that regulates energy and information flow within and among us.” It’s not catchy. But it is interesting, and with meaningful implications.
The most immediately shocking element of this definition is that our mind extends beyond our physical selves. In other words, our mind is not simply our perception of experiences, but those experiences themselves. Siegel argues that it’s impossible to completely disentangle our subjective view of the world from our interactions.
“I realized if someone asked me to define the shoreline but insisted, is it the water or the sand, I would have to say the shore is both sand and sea,” says Siegel. “You can’t limit our understanding of the coastline to insist it’s one or the other. I started thinking, maybe the mind is like the coastline—some inner and inter process. Mental life for an anthropologist or sociologist is profoundly social. Your thoughts, feelings, memories, attention, what you experience in this subjective world is part of mind.”
As sound healing becomes more popular, more and more people are starting to experiment with it. You have people learning how to chant, listening to specific frequencies, and using singing bowls. It’s not just those of us who are interested in spirituality and New Age concepts that are looking into this ancient Eastern knowledge, but scientists as well, studying these sounds and how they affect the body.
Though sound healing is only now beginning to enter into the mainstream, it’s been used as an ancient healing modality for many centuries in different religions. Even scientists such as Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein spoke of the importance of viewing everything in terms of vibration, energy, and frequency.
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
– Nikola Tesla
Science has proven that everything is made up of energy and that everything holds its own vibration and frequency, which can then be increased or decreased. One person’s vibration that they’re emitting can then affect another person’s energy, and science has proven this interrelation through studying quantum mechanics and our electromagnetic fields or auras. You can read more about the research The HeartMath Institute is conducting on the heart’s aura and how we affect other people here.
With that logic, since sounds also hold their own frequency, wouldn’t it make sense that a specific sound’s frequency would affect that of our own?
The Science Behind Sound Healing
Dr. Herbert Benson, professor, author, cardiologist, and founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute, studied how sound healing, specifically mantric chanting, can help induce the Relaxation Response. The Relaxation Response is defined as an individual’s ability to prompt their body to release chemicals and brain signals that cause muscles to relax, respiration to slow, and blood pressure to drop.
The Relaxation Response can reduce symptoms of IBS and counteract the physiological changes of stress and the fight or flight response, including muscle tension, headache, upset stomach, racing heartbeat, and shallow breathing.
Dr. Ranjie Singh, a neuroscientist, writer, businessman, and global educator, found that chanting specific mantras releases the hormone melatonin, and this in turn offers many benefits, including tumour shrinkage and enhanced sleep.
Chanting has been found to oxygenate the brain, reduce heart rate, improve blood pressure, and calm brainwave activity. It can even cause the left and right hemispheres of the brain to synchronize.
Jonathan Goldman, American author, musician, and teacher in the fields of harmonics and sound healing, says:
Dr. Alfred Tomatis has utilized the sounds of Gregorian Monks to stimulate the ears, brain and nervous systems of clients. His work is very important with regard to the scientific and medical uses of sound and chant. He found that certain sounds that are particularly high in vocal harmonics will stimulate and charge the cortex of the brain and the nervous system. Some years ago, there was a very popular recording of Gregorian chanting that occurred just when this research was being made public. I know that many other types of chanting from different traditions have very similar effects. These are just a few of the hard physical phenomenon of mantric chanting that have been observed. There certainly are others, as well.
Another study performed in 2006 looked at the effects of transcendental meditation (TM), a form of meditation whereby the practitioner continuously repeats a mantra or chants, and concluded that TM can improve blood pressure and cardiac autonomic nervous system tone and decrease risk of coronary heart disease.
[A]s far as we can tell, each brain center generates impulses at a specific frequency based on the predominant neurotransmitter it secretes. In other words, the brain’s internal communication system—its language, if you like—is based on frequency… Presumably, when we send in waves of electrical energy at, say, 10 Hz, certain cells in the lower brain stem will respond because they normally fire within that frequency range.
Additional research upholds the beliefs of mind-body medicine in this sense, stating that brainwaves being in the Alpha state, 8 to 14 Hz, permits a vibration allowing for more serotonin to be created.
Why You Should Consider Listening to A=432 HZ Music
Most music worldwide has been tuned to A=440 Hz since the International Standards Organization (ISO) promoted it in 1953. However, when looking at the vibratory nature of the universe, it’s possible that this pitch isn’t actually harmonious with the natural resonance of nature and may generate negative effects on human behaviour and consciousness.
“We choose to examine a phenomenon which is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way, and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics. In reality, it contains the only mystery.”
– Richard Feynman, a Nobel laureate of the twentieth century (Radin, Dean. Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences In A Quantum Reality. New York, Paraview Pocket Books, 2006.)
The concept of “time” is a weird one, and the world of quantum physics is even weirder. There is no shortage of observed phenomena that defy our understanding of logic, bringing into play thoughts, feelings, emotions — consciousness itself — and a post-materialist view of the universe. This fact is no better illustrated than by the classic double slit experiment, which has been used by physicists to explore the role of consciousness in shaping/affecting physical reality. The dominant role of a physical material (Newtonian) universe was dropped the second quantum mechanics entered into the equation and shook up the very foundation of science, as it continues to do today.
“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulating consciousness.”
– Max Planck, theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918
There is another groundbreaking experiment that has tremendous implications for understanding the nature of our reality, and more specifically, the nature of what we call “time.”
It’s known as the “delayed-choice” experiment, or “quantum eraser,” and it can be considered a modified version of the double slit experiment.
To understand the delayed choice experiment, you have to understand the quantum double slit experiment.
Tiny bits of matter (photons, electrons, or any atomic-sized object) are shot toward a screen that has two slits in it. On the other side of the screen, a video camera records where each photon lands. When scientists close one slit, the camera will show us an expected pattern, as seen in the video below. But when both slits are opened, an “interference pattern” emerges — they begin to act like waves. This doesn’t mean that atomic objects are observed as a wave (even though they recently have been observed as a wave), they just act that way. It means that each photon individually goes through both slits at the same time and interferes with itself, but it also goes through one slit, and it goes through the other. Furthermore, it goes through neither of them. The single piece of matter becomes a “wave” of potentials, expressing itself in the form of multiple possibilities, and this is why we get the interference pattern.
How can a single piece of matter exist and express itself in multiple states, without any physical properties, until it is “measured” or “observed”? Furthermore, how does it choose which path, out of multiple possibilities, it will take?
Then, when an “observer” decides to measure and look at which slit the piece of matter goes through, the “wave” of potential paths collapses into one single path. The particle goes from becoming a “wave” of potentials and turns into one particle taking a single route. It’s as if the particle knows it’s being watched. The observer has some sort of effect on the behaviour of the particle.
You can view a visual demonstration/explanation of the double slit experiment here.
This quantum uncertainty is defined as the ability, “according to the quantum mechanic laws that govern subatomic affairs, of a particle like an electron to exist in a murky state of possibility — to be anywhere, everywhere or nowhere at all — until clicked into substantiality by a laboratory detector or an eyeball.”
According to physicist Andrew Truscott, lead researcher from a study published by the Australian National University, the experiment suggests that “reality does not exist unless we are looking at it.” It suggests that we are living in a holographic-type of universe. (source)
Below is one video out of thousands floating around on the internet of supposed footage of unidentified flying objects. Keep in mind, many pictures and videos of these crafts have been published and analyzed thoroughly, so there is no shortage of verified footage and pictures. (More information on that can be found below the video.)
This one in particular comes from Dr. Steven Greer, founder of The Disclosure Project and the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI). Known to some as the “Father of the Disclosure Movement,” he was instrumental in bringing forth hundreds of military whistleblowers of all ranks, with verified backgrounds, to share their experience and testify on the UFO/extraterrestrial phenomenon.
There is, admittedly, plenty of disinformation being spread within the UFOlogy field, and many people seeking to manipulate the evidence and public opinion, which makes it difficult to assess what information is legitimate and what is not. It unfortunately comes down to doing your own research and using your best judgement.
Greer has had meetings with high level people in the Pentagon, according to himself, Dr. Edgar Mitchell (Apollo 14, who accompanied him on some of these meetings), and many more.
Dr. Greer has been doing these types of outings for quite a while, and he’s not the only one. Last year, a couple of CE members made a trip out to a gathering of researchers, whistleblowers. and enthusiasts, and witnessed something similar.
When you get to that level, and hang around those types of people, your going to draw attention, and anybody who draws massive amounts of attention will be praised, as well as vilified. Within the UFO movement, there are those that disagree and don’t associate with each other, which is very weird and shouldn’t be happening.
I think it’s safe to say that UFOs are no longer a fringe topic, as their existence has been verified in the mainstream world, but beyond that, most people are still in the dark. It’s important to keep in mind that a decade ago you were considered a conspiracy theorist for even believing in the existence of UFOs. Things have changed since then, but believing that some of these craft are extraterrestrial in origin is still considered ‘out there.’
This is why so many scientists around the world have been urging the scientific study of UFOs for decades. The Sturrock Report, for example, an effort that gathered the world’s top minds, was put together in the form of a paper urging that, if “the analysis of physical evidence turns up very strong evidence that objects related with UFO reports were manufactured outside the solar system, then one must obviously consider very seriously that the phenomenon involves not only extraterrestrial vehicles, but probably also extraterrestrial beings.”
Their main objective was to examine any possible physical evidence, and have it carefully collected and analyzed. These objects have been commonly photographed, as well as tracked on air/ground radar.