Meditation researches have been focusing so far on neural or physiological correlates of meditative states. A task Force was launched at IONS (Institute of Noetic Sciences) to explore further the field of meditation researches. Meditation has been identified as one of the key practices for cultivating positive transformations in consciousness. The findings and recommendations of the study were published and are available here, together with an online training course on meditation.
Near-Death experiences may have been depicted in the 16th century (Ascent of the Blessed, painted by Hieronimus Bosch). The today scientific community is trying to identify explanations for this phenomenon, using comparisons with drug-induced trances. The materialistic paradigm which underlines most of the researches lead to a purely physical account for it. To date, no theory has been able to fully account for the whole NDE phenomenon. A recent scientific study (March 2019), reported by the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, gives a good mapping of the contents of such experiences.
Recent astronomical observations (since 2014) are showing “strange” synchronized galaxies movements and “abnormal” alignments of supermassive black holes at the core of quasars. This discovery indicates that large-scale structures in the universe are influencing the dynamics of galaxies and supermassive black holes, even when they are separated by billion light years. It looks as if they are connected by a vast unseen force. There is currently no scientific explanation and this observed behavior may jeopardize the current basic assumption about the physical universe model (the cosmological principle). More observations are required before drawing any conclusion.
Here is an interview of Edward Witten, the physicist who proposed, back in 1995, the M-Theory as a Theory of Everything (TOE), a mathematical model describing the physical universe as a combination of strings and gravity in seven-dimensional space. As of today, string and super-string theories, including the M-theory, have not had any experimental confirmation. It is a theory which cannot be falsified (proved wrong), and some physicists are starting exploring other theories and models who could also describe the physical world. At the end of the interview, to the question : “Do you have any ideas about the meaning of existence ?”, Edward Witten answered : “No.” . . .
Source : Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research
Date : 2017
Universal Consciousness became a subject for scientific researches. In 2011, David Chalmer introduced the concept of panexperientialism, derived from panpsychism. Panpsychism is the doctrine where everything in the universe has a mind. For example, fundamental physical types like a quark or a photon are endowed with consciousness in this theory. From this concept, Prof. Gregory Matloff, a physicist specialized in interstellar travel, is proposing to put this theory to test in order to verify – or not – the existence of a universal consciousness. His approach is based on the existence of a Universal Proto-Consciousness field which, through the pressure of the vacuum fluctuations ( Casimir effect ), gives birth to atomic matter. Current astronomical observations reveal that some young stars are abnormally altering their galactic trajectory (Parenago’s Discontinuity). The author of the paper is suggesting that this is the result of a deliberated action from a minded star. Satellite’s observations (Gaia) are in progress to verify the volitional star hypothesis.
Fossil hunters have been digging up remains of extinct species on Earth for centuries. Now the work is about to begin on Mars. Using hyper-spectral imaging spectroscopy from the surface of a Mars crater (Jezero crater) where a paleolake has been identified, a team of scientists reached the conclusion that the carbonate signal they detected may indicate the presence of microscopic bio-signatures like the ones from stromatolites (fossils of cyanobacteria, single cell microbe). This finding may confirm the possibility for some primitive life activity on Mars four billion years ago. The next space mission to Mars (Mars Rover 2020) will land in this crater to confirm (or not) this detection in February 2021.
Analysis of ejected material from Enceladus, one of Saturn’s Moon, has identified nitrogen and oxygen-bearing compounds. These components are identical with the ones which produces amino-acids, through chemical reactions. Amino-acids are considered as building blocks of life on Earth.
A recent debate on panpsychism (mind-everywhere) addresses how physical science is trying to describe Reality . . . and fails to do so, where introducing consciousness gives a holistic view of it. Panpsychism is presented as a middle path between materialism and dualism. Rupert Sheldrake discusses possibilities to explain consciousness using panpsychism, highlighting the limitations of this theory.
Madame Blavatsky (draft article from the Adyar Archives, published in The Theosophist, Vol. XLVI, No 11, August, 1925, pp. 632-634) explained that ” The special organ of consciousness is of course the brain, and is located in the aura of the pineal gland in the living man. During the process of mind or thought manifesting to consciousness, constant vibrations of light take place . . . What consciousness is can be defined psychologically. We can analyze and classify its works and effects – we cannot define it, unless we postulate and Ego distinct from the body.”
Quantum entanglement, one of the astonishing outcomes of quantum theory, predicts that all matter in our universe is interconnected via an energetic field of unknown qualities which does not obey current physical laws, allowing information to be transmitted between two particles at faster-than-light speed. Experiments have demonstrated that two entangled particles – particles which have interacted together – can react immediately at a distance – whatever the distance – to any stimulus on one of the particles. During the Big Bang event – the creation of physical matter in our Universe – all particles emanate from a single source. Therefore, all existing particles today are entangled for ever. This is what is called ONENESS.
The way Nature is producing symmetry and order in our world is still a mystery. According to current Science paradigm (entropy), behavior should be completely random. Some 30 years ago, the concept of Morphogenic Fields was introduced and swiftly dismissed by scientific community. A new study identifies a similar concept called Holomorphic Info-Entropy. This concept links information with entropy, and the study reveals that prevalent geometric configurations which can be observed in our world are the results of this theory : the double-helix and the double logarithmic spirals . On the small scale, the DNA double-helix, and on larger scale, the shape of spiral galaxies are examples of the application of this new model. This theory also reveals that the postulation of dark matter is but a result of this entropy force, and therefore dark matter is a superfluous concept and will not be detected in space.
A climate simulation to determine the temperature at the surface of Venus during its early life was done, using data from a space probe (Magellan), orbital parameters and hypothesis like athmospheric composition, solar spectral irradiance, ocean volume,… It concludes that Venus could have had moderate/habitable surface temperatures – an average of 11°C to 56°C – during its early life, up to 715 million years after its formation.
A new theory of cosmology of the universe was published, which main feature is the cyclic aspect – expansion-contraction. Compared to previous identical theories, the characteristics of this new one matches with current observations. The cyclic evolution is dominantly classical; it does not require quantum domination period, therefore eliminating the multiverse hypothesis, well-known for its impossibility to be demonstrated (10 to the power 500 possible universes…). At the end of the contraction phase, dimensions never cross the Planck scale limits, therefore eliminating also the singularity of the current General relativity model.
One of the latest theory on Gravitation (Quantum Gravity) is displaying a deep connection with Taoist Cosmology. A paper published by Steven M. Rosen proposes a comparison between some of the key concepts of both theories. Emphasis is put on similarities between Symmetry Breaking in Modern Physics (Strings Theory) and the Yin-Yang mechanism in Taoism. The proposed model includes the evolution of elementary particles through cycles of expansion and contraction of a spiraling universe.
Stress-related diseases like major depression is causing visible alterations on the individual’s genome. A recent study demonstrated that stress and adversity can cause mtDNA amount and telomeric length reversible changes. One possible hypothesis linking stress/adversity to molecular changes could be through the hypothalamic pituitary axis.
Madame Blavastky explained to her students that : “The fourth cavity of the brain is the Pituitary Body, which corresponds with Manas-Antaskarana, the bridge to the Higher Intelligence; it contains various essence. The pituitary Body is the organ per se of the psychic plane.” (Collected Writings, Vol. XII, p. 697)
A new study published in Current Biology reveals that religious belief has a negative influence on children’s altruism and judgments of other’s actions. The survey covers some of the monotheistic religions only (Christian’s and Moslem’s). This study report was later on retracted from publication, but can still be accessed here.
Madame Blavastky wrote an article in The Theosophist, Vol. V, N° 2 (1883) about morality and religion : “Exoteric religions base their morality on the hope of reward and fear of punishment at the hands of an Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe by following the rules he has at his pleasure laid down for the obedience of his helpless subjects; in some cases, however, religions of later growth have made morality to depend on the sentiment of gratitude to that Ruler for benefits received. The worthlessness, not to speak of the mischievousness, of such systems of morality, is almost self-evident.”