Saturday, April 2, 2011

Challenging the Breadth of Scientific Inquiry and the Mind Sciences

In a discussion of what he calls the "three strands of deep science, integral theorist and philosopher, Ken Wilber, examines different scientific epistomologies (or, the methods by which we gain knowledge) and concludes they can be used to look at interior phenomena, and not just the exterior phenomena that rational empiricists would restrict them to.

For those who have been following this blog, Wilber's talk is a valid response to, and a continuation of Alan Wallace's challenge to mind scientists, urging them to "pick up the gauntlet thrown down by William James" one hundred years ago, and to examine "what" the nature of consciousness truly is.

While Wilber arguabluy remains outside of the "mainstream" of science, he does encourage (as Wallace does) mainstream mind scientists to challenge the existing predominant paradigm that consciousness is a correlate and product of the bio-chemical processes in the brain.

In a popular, interesting, and rather entertaining video, below, Wilber, a long-time meditator, pokes a finger in the ribs of mainstream science, and throws down his own guantlet, by consciously "stopping his brainwaves," as measured on a portable EEG (electro-encepholograph) machine during meditation.

The obvious question this raises, is if one can consciously shut down brain activity with the mind, how can the mind be shut down by what it allegedly produces? Neurological research on long-time meditators and contemplatives has, indeed, picked up in the last 5 years. Nevertheless, one wonders if this research is being done at all outside the dominant scientific paradigm that the brain causes consciousness.

Do you have any thoughts on this? If so please leave a comment.

No comments:

Post a Comment