Higher Consciousness

August 18, 2013
(was 12.09.2012)

Suppose neuroscientists map the billions of neural circuits in the human brain....are we any closer to cracking the great existential mysteries - like meaning, purpose or happiness?  Scientists, contemplatives and religious thinkers are now exploring the connections between neuroscience and contemplative practice, and creating a new science of mindfulness.

  1. Richard Davidson, The Emotional Life of Your Brain

    Neuroscientist Richard Davidson is a leading expert on the science of mindfulness.  He's teamed up with the Dalai Lama to put Buddhist monks in brain scanners, and he's developing a new scientific model for studying emotion. 

    You can also listen to the EXTENDED interview, and read the extended transcript.

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  2. Monk Matthieu Ricard on Happiness

    Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard has been called "the happiest man in the world."  He shares a few thoughts on finding resilience in a crazy world.

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  3. Justin Barrett on Born Believers

    Psychologist Justin Barett thinks most children have a natural aptitude for religious belief.  He says it's not surprising that so many people believe in spirits or supernatural beings.

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  4. Karen Armstrong on The Spiral Staircase

    Karen Armstrong is one of the world's best-known writers on religion, but her own spiritual path hasn't been easy.  She tells us why she joined a convent and then left - and how she later came to appreciate religious texts.

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  5. Christof Koch on Consciousness

    Could the Internet feel happy or depressed?  That's a distinct possibility, says renowned neuroscientist Christof Koch.  He talks about computer consciousness, God, and the frontiers of brain science.

    You can also listen to the EXTENDED interview, and read the extended transcript.

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  6. Susan Blackmore on Zen Consciousness

    Susan Blackmore is a British psychologist who's written books on consciousness, memes and Zen Buddhism.  She says her daily practice of meditation has revealed truths that have eluded the scientific study of consciousness.

    You can also listen to the EXTENDED interview, and read the extended transcript.

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