50 minutes | Nov 20, 2020
Episode 42: Psilocybin, Addiction and Consciousness with Dr. Garcia-Romeu
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Albert Garcia-Romeu, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins and a Guest Researcher at the National Institute on Drug Abuse Intramural Neuroimaging Research Branch, where he studies the effects of psychedelic drugs in humans, with a focus on psilocybin as an aid in the treatment of addiction. We discussed his work with psilocybin, what it means to be addicted, and what insight his work has given him into the mystery of consciousness. So, please enjoy this episode, with Dr. Garcia-Romeu. We discussed: You did some work in treating addiction to tobacco with the aid of psilocybin. Can you tell us a little about that study? Matt JohnsonHow do you think psilocybin actually worked in creating those amazing results?What is the key to breaking an addiction? Ego dissolution; mysticalOther psyches and addiction: ibogaine/opioids?Cognitive behavioral therapy; Counselling; 3 monthsDoes psilocybin help with addictions of all kinds? Alcohol? Gambling? Etc.?Can you tell us about dosing psilocybin for treatment of addiction?Is it just a pill the patient takes, or is there more to it? See aboveWhat other long-term effects did you notice in your patients? Spirituality? Mystical effects? Other changes?Any relationship between dose and mystical effects? Challenging experiences and dose, i.e. a bad trip?Any comment on the relationship between the mystical experience and one’s consciousness?How is psilocybin metabolized in the human body? Did you administer doses based on body weight?[how do these measurements relate to a single mushroom?]What about other psychedelics, such as LSD, Ayahuasca? You’ve recently published some papers on Kratom? “Kratom” — how do you pronounce that one (krat-um)? Do these also help with addiction?What insights do psychedelics give, through altered states of consciousness, into their underlying neurobiological mechanisms?What are the neurobiological mechanisms of consciousness?Let’s step out into the philosophical aspect of consciousness, given your insights into non-ordinary states of consciousness. What are your thoughts on trying to answer the Hard Question of Consciousness — why the phenomenal experience of, say, seeing a red apple?Is consciousness a function of the brain, of our hardware? Mind/body duality?What else? What haven’t I asked? Center for Psych and Consciousness Johns Hopkins; What’s next for you, what are you excited about?Hopkinspsychedelic.orgUnlimited Sciences collaboration; real world psilocybin use; 3,000 enrolled; The post Episode 42: Psilocybin, Addiction and Consciousness with Dr. Garcia-Romeu appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
66 minutes | Nov 3, 2020
Episode 41: Consciousness and Psychedelics with Dr. Dennis McKenna
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Dennis McKenna, an ethnopharmacologist, research pharmacognosist, lecturer and author. He’s also the founder of the McKenna Academy and a board member at the Heffter Research Institute. We talked about psychedelics and consciousness. So, let’s hear what Dennis McKenna has to say about human consciousness, including psychedelics’ role in our evolution. We discussed: ethnopharmacologist, pharmacologist Start with a discussion of consciousness. Mind/Brain duality. Universal consciousness. The hard question. What is consciousness, in your opinion?The reality hallucination; brain creates realityDefault mode network as a filterA fundamental property of nature?In that context, what is a non-ordinary state of consciousness, like that which results from a psychedelic experience?Disrupt neural gating (DMN); opens up what we have suppressedReset DMN, brainWhen you say that plants and fungi can expand our consciousness, what do you mean by that?Set and Setting; medicine; doseWhat role did the plants play in the evolution of human consciousness?Can we deliberately change and evolve our consciousness (individual, collective)? With plants/fungi, something else?Stoned Ape TheoryNeural plasticityEpigeneticsSynesthesia as a basis of language; triggered by psilocybe cubensisLanguage basis of consciousness, cognitionShare/transmit information/knowledge through time2001 Space Odyssey, MonolithWe’re at the doorstep of a global transformation in human consciousness, yes? (Please explain)When somebody says ‘higher consciousness’, what does that mean?Any thoughts on neural correlates of consciousness? Under non-ordinary states of consciousness?Teonanacatl – flesh of the godsBook: American Holocaust What are your thoughts on reality…what is real versus perceived? What didn’t I ask? Immersed in symbiotic relationship with the plants/fungiTools to help us discover what we already knowCognitive partnersWhat’s next from you? What are you excited about?McKenna Academy – psychedelic universityA place for learning, integrating, exploring these ideasHelp people learn how to think, not WHAT to thinkAchieve their own consciousnessRemind people to remember to be astonished, experience wonder (nature) The post Episode 41: Consciousness and Psychedelics with Dr. Dennis McKenna appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
75 minutes | Oct 23, 2020
Episode 40: Consciousness as Fundamental to Reality with Dr. Donald D. Hoffman
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Donald D. Hoffman, who is a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine. His writing has appeared in Scientific American and Edge, and his work has been featured in the Atlantic, Wired, and Quanta. He resides in Irvine, California. Be sure to check out his latest book, The Case Against Reality, available just about everywhere. So, what is real…and how does that help answer the Hard Question of Consciousness? We discussed: There is a false assumption out there that you take head on: ‘That we see reality as it is.”You think that’s wrong? What is real, then?Simulations/equationsWhat about two people perceiving the same thing?Your letter exchange with Dr. Crick and The-thing-in-itself versus the-idea-of-the-thing: does this get to the heart of answering the hard question?How big of a gap is there between perception of reality and reality? Is that knowable?What is a conscious agent? [Something that perceives, decides, and acts — what does that mean?]Do spacetime and physics arise from the dynamics of conscious agents?Is reality a network of conscious agents, with consciousness a fundamental property in the universe?What do physicists say about this idea?You mention some interesting findings with split brain studies. What interested you about those studies, and how did that play a part in developing your theories?The one consciousness split into two consciousnesses, but the two then act as a single conscious agent, right?Do you and I act as a single conscious agent? Do we all combine into one universal consciousness?Is perception the result of the brain building models/schema? Do these models then create phenomenal experiences (consciousness)?There is a quantum basis to this, too, correct? Measurement/observation, entanglement? Is has to do with information (i.e. Hawking)?We re-construct what we perceive, in our brains?3D cube in circles. Necker Cube.This is driven by evolution? Not perceiving the world accurately gives an advantage? The good old Hard Question: that gap in between the physical brain and our phenomenal experiences (qualia).Does your Interface Theory of Perception (ITP) explain this gap? How?How does this explain “something it is like to be a bat”?How does your theory do with non-ordinary states of consciousness, like dreams, psychedelics, etc.?Your analogy: Computer desktop as a representation of reality.We see an icon on the desktop that represents a document or email. That’s our reality, that this graphic icon is our document. But, there are software engineers and graphic designers creating a thing-as-it-is reality behind that. What are those designers and coders analogous to, in reality?What didn’t I ask?Distinction between living and non-living things.What about the transition between living and not living?What’s next from you? What are you excited about? The post Episode 40: Consciousness as Fundamental to Reality with Dr. Donald D. Hoffman appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
28 minutes | Sep 29, 2020
Episode 39: Ketamine, NDE and Consciousness with Dr. Sam Ko
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Sam Ko, owner of Reset Ketamine. We discussed his insight into consciousness while working with Ketamine and his East-meets-West approach to healing. This is also the first episode that is also published on my other podcast, The Stoned Ape Reports, which covers healing with psychedelic medicines. So, please enjoy this episode with Dr. Sam Ko. We discussed: Tell us about your practice, so, first, tell us about your practice, Reset Ketamine. Treatment resistant depression, PTSD, eastern-western approach to medicineKetamine is used to help treat suicidal ideation and prevent suicide, correct?You mention that ketamine infusion treatment produces a dissociative experience known as a, “ketamine-induced non-ordinary state of consciousness.” Can you explain what that is? Eli Kope, Out of Body ExperienceHave you had patients who experience a near death experience in treatment? Dr. Marshialle real NDEs and stories about them; compared reports to 15,000 reports from DMT, Ketamine, other substances; How is ketamine’s effect on the brain and consciousness different from other psychedelic medicines?Treatments allow one to access the unconscious part of the mind — memories, emotions, stories. What do you think is going on there which allows this experience to occur? Freud’s icebergKetamine blocks the default mode network. What happens to one’s experience of consciousness when this occurs? Similar to deep meditatorsEgo? Pollan’s bookHow does that relate specifically to one’s consciousness?How has your work with Ketamine shaped your idea of human consciousness?Physical, mental, spiritual concentric circles?Universal consciousness; connectednessCarl Jung: dreams access universal consciousnessBio-psycho-social medicine + spiritualCan you share a couple stories of outcomes from ketamine treatments?You mention that the spiritual part of us can get injured: what does that mean?Anything else you want to share regarding consciousness? Healing with Ketamine? Other ‘plant medicines’? Your practice? Askp.org KetamineHelps.com The post Episode 39: Ketamine, NDE and Consciousness with Dr. Sam Ko appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
54 minutes | Jul 31, 2020
Episode 38: Quantum Physics, Reality, and Consciousness with Dr. James Glattfelder
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. James Glattfelder. Dr. Glattfelder is a physicist turned quant, turned complexity scientist, with a pinch of data science and a philosophical bent. He has a Ph D in Complex Systems from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and is interested in fundamental theories and real-world complexity. We discussed quantum physics and consciousness, the concept of reality, panpsychism and more. Please enjoy this episode with Dr. James Glattfelder. Could there be a quantum mechanical element to human consciousness? If so, could that allow a collective intelligence/consciousness in humans, like we see in termites? Could it save the plant? Is the fundamental element/property of consciousness be information? We discussed: Some, like Depak Chopra and others, some that I’ve interviewed, use “quantum physics” as an answer to what consciousness is, or how it binds to the brain. With your knowledge of both consciousness and quantum physics, do you see a possible connection there? How would that work?Panpsychism, Integrated Information Theory: consciousness is everywhere; Freeman Dyson; Max PlanckThe laws of physics: quantum (super small), general relativity (huge), classical (everyday life-sized): They’re not all compatible with each other. How might consciousness fit in there, if at all? [David Bohm’s Implicate Order theory, quantum potential, hidden waves, enfolding/unfolding]Self organization and complexity; Stephen Wolfram – simple rules; teleological force of universeTime is an illusion, doesn’t really exist; anthropic principle;Eastern traditions; Hinduism (lei-la); Buddhism; Shamanism; Christ Bache (high-dose LSD sessions, LSD and the Mind of the Universe)What role could non-locality, quantum entanglement play? The interconnectedness of everything: Can this explain “cosmic consciousness” or other phenomena of expanded consciousness? Information entity, space and time not relevantThe collective intelligence of ants, for example?So, what is real, then? Reality is actively constructed by the brain?Are hallucinations just as real as…reality?Emmanuel Kant – what is real, space and timeInformation is the most fundamental thing“Neuroscience, consciousness and spirituality” bookLiving in a simulationIn that context, what is “self”, then?Default state, default mode networkCan we even ask, what is consciousness?Does consciousness arise from the human brain-computer?Centered in my universe; panpsychism; field of consciousness; birth/death; Is time real? How does time relate to consciousness?Other loose concepts:Something else I hear a lot of, is that everything is energy. What does quantum physics say about that?We create reality (quantum/buddhism)Each observer has their own universe; the observer effectLooking for reality in the mind is going the wrong wayWhat didn’t I ask?Intelligence; why are we destroying the biosphere; termites – function as a collective organism; why aren’t humans becoming more ‘collective’? Find consciousness within ourselves. What’s next from you? Digital transformation in financial interaction; blockchain; good blueprint for creating collective intelligence; decentralized ledgers; eventually come back and reflect on these topics in a book in normal; The post Episode 38: Quantum Physics, Reality, and Consciousness with Dr. James Glattfelder appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
58 minutes | Jun 19, 2020
Episode 37: An Inside View of Consciousness with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Dr Jill Bolte Taylor. Dr. Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist who experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain in 1996. It took eight years to completely recover all of her physical function and thinking ability. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey. We discussed left-brain, right-brain and what that means for our understanding of consciousness. Please enjoy this episode with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. Stroke of Insight Signs of a Stroke (CDC.gov) We discussed: You became a neuroanatomist for personal reasons — your brother? Can you tell us what a neuroanatomist is, what you study?I’m sure most people listening know your story, but could I trouble you to give us a recap of your stroke experience?As a neuroanatomist, what do (and did) you know about the roles of the two hemispheres of the brain?What did you learn about them as a result of your personal experience?During your stroke and during recovery — and today — how did you experience your consciousness?“At one with the universe”? Loss of left brain, amazing being, life!You still live right-brain/left-brain, and friends can tell which one just walked in the room? Can you control this? [now you eat squash? Can’t see that happening for me]What is your opinion on consciousness and the brain? Is consciousness created by brain matter? Something else?How did your experience help form that opinion? Ego? L/R?Consciousness is numerous programs running all at the same time?Consciousness in the cells of our body…expand on that?Two hemispheres, two consciousnesses?What happens when they recombine?[Right mind/brain: no time, now, creative, out-of-the-box][Left mind/brain: sequences right brain experience in time; inner voice; self/ego; patterns & predictions; literal]You describe your body as a portal for the ‘energy’ that you are? That you’re just visiting?Is that “real” or a perception of your right brain?What do you mean, that we are ‘energy beings’?How has this experience helped you to help others?“I believe the more time we spend running the deep inner peace circuitry of our right brain, then the more peace we will project into the world, and ultimately the more peace we will have on the planet.” I assume we can learn that from you in the book? Any teasers you’d like to share?Whine time? Listen to left-brain chatter. Observe and dismiss it.Other mechanisms are in the book, things to divert away from the negative activities of the left brain.Not subject matter of this podcast, but your advice in loved-ones working with those who’d suffered similar strokes is great info, very warm and importantWhat’s next from you? New book next year (April 2021) on the practical use of this information. Anything else you want to share? The post Episode 37: An Inside View of Consciousness with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
66 minutes | May 30, 2020
Episode 36: Mind Versus Consciousness & The Split Brain with Dr. Chris Niebauer
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Chris Niebauer. Dr. Niebauer the the author of No Self, No Problem: How Neuropsychology Is Catching Up to Buddhism. He earned his Ph.D. in cognitive neuropsychology at the University of Toledo, with a focus on the differences between the left and right sides of the human brain. He is currently a professor at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, where he teaches courses on consciousness, mindfulness, left- and right-brain differences, and artificial intelligence. We discussed mind versus consciousness and the link to Eastern philosophy. Please enjoy this episode with Dr. Chris Niebauer. No Self, No Problem: How Neuropsychology Is Catching Up to Buddhism We discussed: What is consciousness? Is it neurological, within the brain? The morphic field? What do you think?Asking the right questions about consciousness?Daniel DennettHow is consciousness different from mind? A selfish question: Consciousness and Taoism…what is the connection, how is one’s consciousness part of Taoism?Right brain yin, left brain yang?You studied split brains as part of your doctoral work. What can the split brains tell us about our existence?How do the two sides differ?There are two radically different types of consciousness resulting from the left versus the right brain?Is there an ethical consideration, then, with two separate consciousnesses?What about our combined left-right brain? Your book has several ways the two sides work together — language, visual, beliefs, etc. What implications do these hold for our consciousness and our egos?Where did this “mind” originate from?How does knowing this help us go beyond it? What is the nature of the self and how does the mind create this?The self, or ego, is an illusion?Is that voice in our heads our self/ego?No Self, No Problem: How Neuropsychology Is Catching Up to Buddhism: How does the Buddha’s teachings fit so well with modern neuroscience? Observe the mind! You can change or train the inner thoughts.You refer to intuition as “another valid form of consciousness.” What do you mean by that? What is intuition?And creativity? Where do creative ideas come from?How is mind related to AI, but consciousness isn’t?Other thoughts?What’s coming in the study of consciousness that excites you?What will you be studying or writing about in the near future? Book coming next summer — consciousness and mind. “Learn to use the mind, or the mind will use you.” A Quick and Easy Exercise he recommends: One conscious breath. Breath in, slowly breath out. For a moment, you’re not your thoughts — here & now. Check out Dr. Niebauer’s YouTube channel The post Episode 36: Mind Versus Consciousness & The Split Brain with Dr. Chris Niebauer appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
64 minutes | May 2, 2020
Episode 35: Past Life Regression, NDEs with Dr. John Webber
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. John Webber. Dr. Webber is a practicing Psychiatrist whose patients have experienced past-life regression and near-death experiences. He is also the author of The Red Chair, the story of John and his patient, Judy, who discovered past lives and a connection with spirituality, which led them to the healing they had previously thought impossible. We discussed near-death experiences and other psi phenomena as they relate to consciousness Please enjoy this episode with Dr. John Webber. Questions we discussed: Son-in-law mediumPast livesPsychic phenomenonReincarnationConsciousness precedes matter, universal consciousness, source of physical beingBrain is the filter, narrow bandwidthNear death experiences (NDE)PsychedelicsHypnosis, past life regressionsWhat kind of shift happened in your mind when presented with this evidence?Between lives stateMany lives many masters Brian WeissWhat is reality? The post Episode 35: Past Life Regression, NDEs with Dr. John Webber appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
49 minutes | Apr 4, 2020
Episode 34: Alien Information Theory with Dr. Andrew Gallimore
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Andrew Gallimore. Dr. Gallimore is a neurobiologist, chemist, and pharmacologist, with a focus on the relationship between psychedelic drugs, the brain, and consciousness as they relate to the structure of reality. He is currently based at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan. We discussed his Alien Information Theory and more. Please enjoy this episode with Dr. Andrew Gallimore. Questions we discussed: Alien Information Theory: what is that?What sparked your curiosity, what excited you about DMT and reality?What is the relationship between DMT, the brain and consciousness?What is reality? I hear people, after a psychedelic experience, ask, “Was that real?”Does consciousness originate from the brain, or from outside the brain?From a fundamental code?The brain constructs our subjective experiences?The brain evolved to represent the informational structure of any world that appears [to its] consciousness?Alien DMT reality…what is that?DMT is an ancestral neuromodulator…again, what does that mean?Practicality: What insight does DMT provide into reality?We’re playing in a cosmic game?How does DMT work in the brain?How does it affect consciousness?With DMT, we can become interdimensional “citizens” in hyperspace. What does that mean? How does that work?What’s next from you?What breakthroughs do you see coming in understanding consciousness?What outcomes can we expect from Alien Information Theory?What else?Paper with Rick Strassman to use anesthesia to extend the DMT experience The post Episode 34: Alien Information Theory with Dr. Andrew Gallimore appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
51 minutes | Feb 29, 2020
Episode 33: Subjective versus Objective experiences of Consciousness with Tom Clark
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Philosopher Tom Clark. Tom hosts Naturalism.Org, one of the Web’s most comprehensive resources on worldview naturalism, its implications and applications. He is also a research associate at the Institute for Behavioral Health at Brandeis University, working on solutions to drug addiction and other behavioral disorders. We had a great conversation about the subjective versus objective experiences of consciousness, neural correlates of consciousness, death, and more. Please enjoy this episode with Philosopher Tom Clark. Read more from Naturalism.og on the subjects we discussed: Consciousness: https://naturalism.org/philosophy/consciousnessDeath: https://naturalism.org/philosophy/death Questions we discussed: The empirical “nature” of naturalism must present some challenges when describing phenomenal, non-observable experiences of consciousness. Why don’t we start with your thoughts on consciousness, what’s your understanding of consciousness? Is that possible to do?Your analogy to fish: Something it is like to be a hooked fish. The point is we can’t observe pain, like we can observe a physical wound that causes private (conscious) pain. Right?You describe a notion of privacy constraint on consciousness, that an experience is held private, not for the public to observe. How does that play into the understanding of consciousness? We can’t objectify consciousness?Do you think we will find “neural and functional correlates of consciousness”?Metzinger The Ego Tunnel, Being Nobody — promising theory of consciousness; Minimal Phenomenal Experience (MPE); More reading: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.03064/full So, what causes qualia, phenomenal experiences? Is that even a relevant question at this point?Thoughts on Panpsychism?You see promise in IIT (Dr. Tononi and Koch)? Do you think their attempts to measure consciousness (even in an apple) will be successful?Illusionism, Keith FrankishLet’s take a stab at death. Please share your thoughts on death and consciousness.What else, what haven’t I asked you?Andy Clark, Predictive Coding; Stan Harris’ meditation appWill you be exploring any other areas of consciousness soon? Representational contentAny breakthroughs coming, possibly, that excite you? Correlates of consciousness; Anil Seth The post Episode 33: Subjective versus Objective experiences of Consciousness with Tom Clark appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
43 minutes | Feb 8, 2020
Episode 32: Turning Science On Its Head with Mark Gober
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Mark Gober, himself the host of a podcast about consciousness. Mark is a Board member at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), Partner at Sherpa Technology Group in Silicon Valley, former New York investment banker and now also an author and podcast host. His book, An End to Upside Down Thinking, shines the light on a different way of understanding consciousness. We had a great conversation and covered consciousness as a fundamental property, psi phenomena, and more. Please enjoy this episode with Mark Gober. Questions we discussed: First, tell us a little bit about your book, “An End to Upside Down Thinking.” [I think from the subtitle, we can get an idea of your position on consciousness, but please give us an overview.]What is the central idea here that will rock the scientific world?You’ve gotten some pretty impressive endorsements. Any from hard scientists such as physicists, neuroscientists, etc.?If not, why do you think that is?What about your ideas could or should change the way we treat each other?What is consciousness?How does this explain things like:Near death experiences (NDEs)Psychic abilitiesOther psi phenomenaYour position is that consciousness is fundamental, that is creates all material reality, yes?Can you explain how that works, or expand on the idea for us?What role, if any, does the brain, the body, neurons, etc. play in our consciousness? A filter.My ‘identity’ is my consciousness, not my body. Does that mean my consciousness existed outside the timeline of my earthly life, before and after?What kind of power do I have then, with my consciousness? Can I intentionally change my reality?How do consciousnesses (say yours and mine or that of the non-physical and mine) interact?What’s next for you after this book?What breakthroughs do you see coming in the next 5-15 years with our understanding of consciousness?What else? The post Episode 32: Turning Science On Its Head with Mark Gober appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
48 minutes | Jan 11, 2020
Episode 31: NDEs, Death and Consciousness with Psychic Dr. Debra Diamond
In this episode, I interviewed Dr. Debra Diamond, a former Wall Street money manager, CNBC commentator and host of a CNN radio program who left a high profile job to pursue a life of spirituality and purpose. She is a graduate of the Holistic Studies Institute of New York, has completed mediumship training at the Arthur Findlay College in the UK and trained at the Carl Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. She is a writer, artist, thinker, and psychic and provides a unique perspective on human consciousness. We discussed the survival of consciousness, universal consciousness, and more. Please enjoy this episode with Dr. Debra Diamond. We discussed: So, you left a high profile life to pursue a life of purpose and spirituality. What was the catalyst for that change?What is a hospice “Death Doula”? Others?Can you share a couple examples of your experiences as a death doula, as it pertains to your understanding of consciousness?You’ve studied those who came through near death experiences with extraordinary skills, powers, changes. What did that teach you about human consciousness?You also mentioned that they come back a little heavier (gassed up) in the physical:consciousness ratio. Are you able to communicate to other through consciousness?After the body dies, you say that “our ego dissolves and our consciousness emerges and carries on in an expansive environment not dependent on the physical body.” How does that work? What do you mean by the ego dissolving and consciousness emerging?What is the ego?You can see consciousness travel to new realms from a dying body. What are these other “realms” and “frequencies” that you have access to?So, once consciousness has left the body, it goes to the universal consciousness? What is the universal consciousness?You can tap into it?Can those without your skills/talents (like me, for example) tap into that universal consciousness?Does consciousness have an eternal existence? Before/after the physical body?What is this time on earth in this physical existence, then?What’s your take on altered states of consciousness (dreams, psychedelics, etc.)?Correlation to brain activity?You have unique insight into consciousness. Outside of your work, have you contemplated, philosophically, scientifically, NEURO-scientifically, what consciousness is and how it works? How do you define/describe consciousness? How do you think it works? Dualism? Physicalism? Is consciousness the soul?What else do you want to share in the context of consciousness?What’s next for you, after this new book? IntuitionWhat else? The post Episode 31: NDEs, Death and Consciousness with Psychic Dr. Debra Diamond appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
56 minutes | Dec 15, 2019
Episode 30: An Exploration of Consciousness with Dr. Riccardo Manzotti and author Tim Parks
In this episode, I welcome back previous guest, Riccardo Manzotti, along with his friend and co-author, Tim Parks. We discussed their new book, Dialogues on Consciousness, in which the two discuss the nature of consciousness. Buy at O/R Books TIM PARKS, novelist, essayist and translator, is the author of nineteen works of fiction, including Europa, shortlisted for the Booker. He is a regular contributor to both The New York Review of Books and The London Review of Books. He lives in Italy, where he teaches literature and translation studies at IULM in Milan RICCARDO MANZOTTI is a philosopher, psychologist, and robotics engineer who has written more than 50 scientific papers and several books, among them The Spread Mind: Why Consciousness and the World Are One. A former Fulbright Visiting Scholar at MIT, he is now visiting professor at UAEU University (Emirates). We had a great conversation. Please enjoy this episode with Dr. Riccardo Manzotti and author Tim Parks. We discussed: Please tell us about these dialogues between you two. How did they come about? Tim, you want to start us off with that?Tim, I’m curious about your curiosity with consciousness. Where did that come from?Riccardo, any new revelations in the book for you, anything that builds on the Spread Mind, beyond it?Okay, let’s start off like your book. What is consciousness?You use the term “internalist”, whereas I’m used to terms like “physicalist” or “materialist”. Is there a difference?You can’t deduce “mind” from looking at neurons. What does that tell you/us?Is mind within the skull? What about memories and information? How exactly are memories stored and recalled?If the mind is not internal, how do changes in the physical/internal brain affect consciousness? What is the connector between internal brain and external mind?Red/white square experiment…It’s fascinating to essentially eavesdrop on your conversation in this book. Over the years that you two had these conversations, did either of you experience a change in how you understand consciousness?What do you two agree on, and where do you disagree with each other?I’d like to ask you about “The Now.” Dreams, hallucinations, even thoughts in my mind, are made up of experiences I’ve already had. But don’t I experience those in my consciousness right now? Even if the sun shined eight minutes ago, aren’t I experiencing it, phenomenally, right here, right now?Sensory events are not simultaneous, right? Light hits my eyes before sound enters my ears. My brain puts the model together, combines the consciousnesses of multiple properties of an object (say, a train). Then, I experience the train in my now. Isn’t that “the now” of all of my phenomenal experiences? No? There is no “now”?The body facilitates, or selects, the objects and their connected experiences. What is different in this selection/facilitation process during altered states of consciousness, such as dreams or psychedelics or meditation?Somebody asked you, Tim, about the properties of objects floating “through the air” to the brain. That sounds too literal of a way to describe this. But let me put it another way. I hear about the brain being like a radio receiver, and the transmitted signal is a greater, universal consciousness that we tune in to. The brain as a receiver sounds compatible with Spread Mind. Is it? Anything there? Do objects “transmit” their properties via a universal consciousness medium? Is there a source?So, what is the ego? What is one’s self?What’s happening when I have a thought? How does that relate to objects? And what about creativity or inspiration?Do I have any control at all over my thoughts, my actions, my desires?Are you two still having these conversations? Is there more to come for us fans of consciousness? What other topics are you exploring?Looking to the future of our understanding of consciousness, what are you two excited for, what breakthroughs or discoveries or advancements?What else? The post Episode 30: An Exploration of Consciousness with Dr. Riccardo Manzotti and author Tim Parks appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
42 minutes | Sep 16, 2019
Episode 29: Near-Death Experience (NDE) and Consciousness with Dr. Pim van Lommel
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with cardiologist Dr. Pim van Lommel. For more than twenty years Dr. van Lommel has studied near-death experiences (NDEs) in patients who survived a cardiac arrest. In 2001, he and his fellow researchers published a study on Near Death Experiences in the renowned medical journal The Lancet. He, then wrote the bestseller Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience in 2007. We had a great conversation and covered Enhanced Consciousness, NDEs and more. Please enjoy this episode with Dr. Pim van Lommel. Questions we discussed: You are known for your extensive work with NDEs; however, your book is titled, Consciousness Beyond Life. It’s a book about consciousness. So, if it’s okay with you, let’s start there.Medical Doctors generally see consciousness as either on or off. In your first experience with NDE’s in 1969, you saw consciousness differently, as more than just that waking consciousness. Is that correct? Can you expand on that for us?So, the idea — that NDEs lead you to — is that there is a special state of consciousness, an enhanced consciousness?And this is technically, medically impossible during cardiac arrest, but observed/reported.What is the difference between normal, waking consciousness and enhanced consciousness? [no time, no space, non-local]. Are there other ways to access enhanced consciousness, such as Psychedelics?Speaking of psychedelics, you mention DMT a few times in your book, as having a role in consciousness. What role in consciousness do you think DMT plays?You sought to answer the question, “What is the biological basis of consciousness?” Within that question, though, is a pretty significant assumption — that there is a biological basis — which you point out, has never actually been proven…we all just kind of ran with it. So, how do you answer that question today?You say that the brain facilitates consciousness, it does not produce or create it.So, then, what is consciousness and where does it come from, then?When/how does consciousness bind to the brain? Mind-brain binding? When does that happen in a new human life? Is Quantum Mechanics the ‘missing link’ between the brain and consciousness? Might we find a particle, the conscioutron? Gravity?You have an analogy of the brain being like a radio – a relay station – tuning into the Consciousness channel, with waking consciousness being a single channel and enhanced consciousness being all channels at once. Can you expand on that a little? Aldous Huxley, and his book, Doors of Perception, describes the brain as a filter for a cosmic Consciousness, Universal knowledge. Is there any correlation there to your idea of the brain’s tuning into consciousness? NON-LOCAL CONSCIOUSNESS: “The content of an NDE suggests that consciousness may be nonlocal.” What is a nonlocal consciousness? In quantum physics, you mention, that everything is connected. Is it that way for our consciousnesses? Is that endless consciousness?DNA is the ‘mobile phone number’ of consciousness, or IP address?Does non-local consciousness enable connections between minds? Collective consciousness is unlimited, and connects each individual with everything else, past, future, everything. Is there a way to access this greater Collective consciousness?What about the living and the dead, can they be connected?In your view, then, what is death, then, a simple change in consciousness?Would it be possible to bind, or affix non-local Consciousness to a new brain? Perhaps, a mechanical brain? DNAI think you reference this in your book…but you are familiar with the study on brain activity in rats…just before cardiac arrest…the burst of activity, with George Mashour and others. What do you make of this activity as it relates to you ideas of non-local consciousness? Is that a sign of consciousness releasing and re-binding to the body, before and after the NDE? Since writing the book, have you seen any new information or recent discovery out there that is causing you to either second-guess or reaffirm your ideas on consciousness? What breakthroughs do you see coming in the study of consciousness and NDEs? What else, what haven’t I asked you, in the context of consciousness? What’s next from you? The post Episode 29: Near-Death Experience (NDE) and Consciousness with Dr. Pim van Lommel appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
67 minutes | Aug 4, 2019
Episode 28: The Hard Science and Philosophy of Consciousness with Dr. Berit Brogaard
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Berit Brogaard. We discussed science and consciousness, brain waves and neural correlates of consciousness, and her work with synesthesia and savant syndrome. Dr. Berit “Brit” Brogaard is a Professor of Philosophy and the Director of the Brogaard Lab at the University of Miami. Her areas of research include philosophy of perception, philosophy of emotions, and philosophy of language. She is the author of several books, including Transient Truths and The Superhuman Mind. We had a great conversation and covered topics ranging from philosophy to hard science, all in the context of mind-brain duality. Please enjoy this episode with Dr. Berit Brogaard. Questions we explored: You come at this with a varied background – from philosophy to neuroscience. Maybe we can start with your overview of what consciousness is and how it works. I saw part of your interview with Deepak Chopra and you touched on panpsychism. Is that part of your view (definition of) on consciousness?What makes you think Science WILL explain it?What about dualism? Physicalism?Survival after physical death?Uploading consciousness?Neural Correlates of Consciousness/Brain Waves:What’s happening in our brain when we have thoughts and/or phenomenal experiences? How do these relate to brain waves? Delta, Alpha, Beta, Theta, Gamma, etc. Maybe first tell us what those brain waves are?Altered states of consciousness, meditation?How do these brain waves affect neurons? Microtubules?How does this relate to phenomenal consciousness? Can you correlate brain activity with ‘something it is like’-ness?Are you able to separate (mathematical) components of these brain waves in such a way that you can observe ‘consciousness’?Does this relate to memory and schema — groups of neurons firing together to form a memory?I think about Giulio Tanoni’s Integrated Information Theory (IIT) research when we discuss brain waves. What are your thoughts on their work with IIT and brain waves? Christof Koch mentioned in our interview that they might be able to measure the consciousness of a stone one day. Thoughts on that?What has your work shown you about mind-brain duality (or alternately, physicalism)?You believe that science will be able to explain consciousness? How/why?What have you observed in your laboratories regarding consciousness and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)?You study Synesthesia and savant syndrome, among other things. What has that taught you about consciousness?What is happening in the brain with a synesthete?Does this provide insight into the neural correlates of consciousness?Anything else you’d like to share, anything that I missed?What will you be working on in the near future?Do you see any breakthroughs coming in our understanding of phenomenal consciousness? The post Episode 28: The Hard Science and Philosophy of Consciousness with Dr. Berit Brogaard appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
70 minutes | Jul 12, 2019
Episode 27: The Spread Mind with Dr. Riccardo Manzotti
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Riccardo Manzotti. We discussed his explanation of consciousness, which he terms The Spread Mind. With a background in Electrical Engineering, Robotics, and Computer Science, Dr. Manzotti was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Department of Linguistic and Philosophy, MIT and is currently an Associate Professor in Theoretical Philosophy, IULM University, Milan and a Google Scholar. We had a great conversation and covered The Spread Mind and mind-object identity, as well as virtual reality and physicalism. Please enjoy this episode with Dr. Riccardo Manzotti. Your can order his book through Amazon. Also, check out his cartoons! The Spread Mind by Riccardo Manzotti on Amazon.com We covered the following questions: Please give us an overview of The Spread Mind theory.How did you come up with this theory, what inspired this? Computer scientistPhenomenal experience is a property of the object?Sounds like the Buddhist notion of becoming one with that which you love. Any connection to Buddhism?The mind is larger than the body of the observer?What is the mechanism that connects our brains to this consciousness?Mind-object versus mind-body: Consciousness not connected to neural activity. Please explain the difference (if you haven’t already). Virtual reality.What if you and I are experiencing the consciousness from the same object. Is that “spread object”? Is there any possibility of our personal ‘consciousness’ crossing over, sharing, combining?If we are the external objects, how can you explain that we may see reality in different ways? How does your theory address the issue of subjectivity and privacy of experience?If consciousness is not neural, how do changes in the brain end up affecting consciousness? How does your theory connect with neuroscience? What about brain injury, split brain, sleep, altered states, etc.?Does the apple experience me, the object being me — flipping the frame of reference? Does it work both ways, like gravity?Is this panpsychism? Illusionism?You mention that Spread Mind is part of Naturalism: nothing supernatural exists. Is that right? So you are a physicalist? But you claim consciousness is not in the brain and thus that we are not our bodies, how can both things be true?A very popular alternative theory about consciousness is Tononi’s integrated information theory (IIT) and other computationalist approaches. Why is your theory different? What’s the connection with information?What are the bigger ramifications of this theoryIf this turns out to be true, how can we use this information?Are there spiritual components?What else are you working on? What’s in your future? What big breakthroughs in understanding consciousness do you see coming in the next 10-20 years? The post Episode 27: The Spread Mind with Dr. Riccardo Manzotti appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
45 minutes | Jun 7, 2019
Episode 26: Neuropharmacology of LSD, Psilocybin and Consciousness with Dr. Katrin Preller
In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Katrin Preller, a Visiting Assistant Professor at Yale Medical School and a team member at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics at the University of Zurich, where she received her PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience. Her research interests are centered around the neuropharmacology of emotional and cognitive processes such as social cognition in health and psychiatric illnesses, as well as (pharmacological) neuroimaging analysis methodology, including studies with psilocybin and LSD. We had a great conversation and covered neuropharmacology and LSD, altered states of consciousness and even a little philosophy. Please enjoy this episode with with Dr. Katrin Preller. Questions: Why the interest in LSD, psilocybin and altered states of consciousness? What do the Swiss know about LSD anyway? Loved your joke about mountains, chocolate…LSD.Most of what I read covers your studies with LSD and some psilocybin. What about other psychedelics?You found that LSD alters directed connectivity within CSTC pathways* in humans. Can you explain what that means and what significance it has?* LSD reduced connections between regions of the brain that govern cognitive processes while simultaneously increasing connectivity in brain networks associated with sensory functions.Thalamus is the door of perception?5-HT/2A receptors — can you explain, in a layperson’s terms, what is happening at these receptors normally, and then how LSD affects them, and propagates to other brain functions/experiences — sensory, psychologically, etc.?Any relation to the default mode network?Thalamus (thalamic filter) opens up, sensory overload.Subjects assigned ‘meaning’ with LSD (music). Can you expand on that and what it…means?In the general study of phenomenal consciousness, there is the concept of qualia — what seeing red feels like. It’s Chalmers’ hard question. So, does LSD’s effects on the serotonin receptors provide insight into these phenomenal experiences? Seems like it might. If we can watch those experiences — self awareness/reporting of those experiences — change (like that wolf image), doesn’t that shed light on phenomenal consciousness?What, if anything, have your studies on LSD/psilocybin and altered states of consciousness taught you about what human consciousness is, how it works?What are the direct effects of LSD on human consciousness?What role does the CSTC loop play in consciousness? Mental disorders?One article quotes you as saying that LSD reduces the borders between the experience of our own self and others, and thereby affects social interactions. Can you expand on that notion?It seems that many users of psychedelics report back feeling connected to other, to the universe, to nature, etc. Is that what’s going on here?There’s not ACTUAL connectedness. It’s a feeling of being connected, internally, right?What insight, or opinions, do you have on ego or ‘self’?What are you working on now, or what’s next for you?What, if any, breakthroughs in your field of study do you see coming in the future?What else would you like to share? The post Episode 26: Neuropharmacology of LSD, Psilocybin and Consciousness with Dr. Katrin Preller appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
51 minutes | Apr 30, 2019
Episode 25: Artificial Intelligence, Psychology and Consciousness with Dr. Jim Crowder and Dr. Shelli Friess
In this episode, I have the honor of speaking with two experts, a father-daughter team working on Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Psychology. Dr. Jim Crowder is a Systems Fellow at Colorado Engineering, where his projects include Research, Development and Deployment of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Intelligence and Machine Learning systems and applications. He’s also the creator of the famous Maxwell AI bot. Dr. Shelli Friess completed her doctorate at Argosy University in Counselor Education and Supervision and is a faculty member at Walden University’s School of Counseling and Human Services. Her research interests include artificial intelligence, counselor development and wellness, trauma, and vicarious trauma. We had a great conversation and covered AI, Artificial Psychology, Artificial Consciousness, ethics and morals, and much more… Please enjoy this episode with with Dr. Crowder and Dr. Friess. Questions we covered: So, you’re a Father-Daughter team, pairing work in Artificial Intelligence and Psychology. Tell me more about how you two came to work together. It’s pretty unique.Are you the first team to pair these two disciplines together?Dr. Crowder, can you tell us about Maxwell? What’s Maxwell up to today?Artificial Intelligence & Artificial Psychology: tell us a little about the two concepts and how they relate to each other?How do they relate to consciousness, in your opinion? [AI:Brain, AP:Mind?]Do you each have different views of what human consciousness is?Where does ‘self-awareness’ come in? You mention that we won’t be able to ‘achieve people’ but that we’ll get close. What is that line between the two?You mention the Artificial Cognitive Neural Framework, with a artificial cognition, artificial prefrontal cortex and memory. You also mention modelling. How does this tie together to create this ‘psychology’?How do you go about mimicking the brain’s architecture? Is there a difference between recreating a physical brain and recreating a psychology/consciousness?And again, what about ‘consciousness’?Reacting to failure? What about the emotional piece? Dr. Friess, you mention emotion and AI. What are your thoughts on that?In Consciousness, phenomenal experience, or qualia, is central to the ‘hard question’ of consciousness. Emotions seem to be central to the sensation of experience. How does that play into your work? Ramifications to consciousness, self-awareness, psychology?Will robots need therapists?You mention being able to ‘trust’ an AI. What do you mean by that?What are the ethical considerations of building a psychological, even conscious, intelligence?What will you two be working on in the future?What breakthroughs do you see over the horizon in your fields?What else would you like to share? The post Episode 25: Artificial Intelligence, Psychology and Consciousness with Dr. Jim Crowder and Dr. Shelli Friess appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
37 minutes | Mar 19, 2019
Episode 24: Consciousness and Out of Body Experiences with Dr. Susan Blackmore
In this episode, I have the honor of speaking with Dr. Susan Blackmore, who is a psychologist, lecturer and writer researching consciousness, memes, and anomalous experiences. She is a Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth, as well as a TED Talk lecturer, blogger for the Guardian, and often appears on radio and television. Her book, The Meme Machine (1999) has been translated into 16 other languages; more recent books include Conversations on Consciousness (2005), Zen and the Art of Consciousness (2011), Seeing Myself: The new science of out-of-body experiences (2017) and a textbook Consciousness: An Introduction (3rd Ed 2018). We had a great conversation and covered out of body experiences, mind-body duality — or more accurately, monism, and more. Please enjoy this episode with Dr. Susan Blackmore. Questions we discussed: So, where do you stand on consciousness? What is it?What are your thoughts on near death experiences and out of body experiences?You believe in life after death? Dualism?More like an NDE: how are they different?Astral projectionWhat is happening in the brain? How do you explain these experiences?What implications do these have on our understanding of consciousness?Her advice: Enjoy the experience!In an article in Psychology Today, you discuss the notion of being conscious only when you’re aware of your consciousness, like the light in the fridge. Are we only conscious when we’re aware of our consciousness? [sleep]If not, what are we in those moments?Does brain activity change? Any other insights into this idea?Any relation to ‘altered states of consciousness’, i.e. is it a spectrum or some other direct relation?What else, what haven’t I asked you?What’s in your future, what else will you be studying or publishing?New book on Memes to follow the 1999 publication, “The Meme Machine”. The post Episode 24: Consciousness and Out of Body Experiences with Dr. Susan Blackmore appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.
69 minutes | Feb 22, 2019
Episode 23: The Arizona Psychedelics Conference
This episode is a little different from what you’ve come to expect. I recently covered the Arizona Psychedelics Conference here in my home state of Arizona, hoping to learn from the insight gained by those who work in the healing world of psychedelic therapies. I had a chance to sit down with three incredible people who work in the field and get their ideas on human consciousness, based on their personal experiences and those with their patients and clients. The first segment is with Kyle Buller, the co-founder of Psychedelics Today. Kyle has a BA in Transpersonal Psychology from Burlington College where he studied the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness by exploring shamanism, plant medicine, Holotropic Breathwork, and psychedelic psychotherapy. We discussed his own Near Death Experience and what he learned about his own consciousness. You can learn more about his practice at www.settingsunwellness.com. We covered: BreathworkTranspersonal breathwork, Stan and Christina GroffVehicle to reach non-ordinary state of consciousnessTranspersonal layers, non-waking consciousnessNDE, and Kyle’s ExperienceAccess to new information; new view of the world; map of how the world workedWhat is consciousness? Spirit? Body.What does it mean to be alive?Is the body a manifestation of a higher consciousness?Non-ordinary states of consciousness, altered states of consciousnessThe body is a receiver of consciousness, like a TVMind-body spirit connection; body experience produces emotions, mind changesCryptography of the human psyche The second segment (at 48:50) is with Veronika Gold, co-founder, therapist, and consultant at Polaris Insight Center, San Francisco based clinic providing Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy We also had a great conversation on her clinic’s therapies, which are important to me, as a survivor of my son’s suicide, and she also shared her insight into human consciousness. We covered: Ketamine, suicide and my storyCzech Republic, Revolution, Russian InvasionTranspersonal Conference, Stan GrofHolotropic breathwork and non-ordinary states of consciousnessFundamental consciousnessRealization Process, Judith BlackstoneNon-ordinary versus Altered States of ConsciousnessKetamine’s insight into out-of-body or NDE The third segment…isn’t here…I fat finger deleted it after the interview. So awful, because my conversation with Dr. Sam Ko was amazing. Dr. Ko is is a Board Certified Emergency Physician and founder of Reset Ketamine (www.resetketamine.com) in Palm Springs, CA. We really got into consciousness, layers of consciousness from the brain to human consciousness to universal consciousness. He really got me thinking and shed new light on my own perception of consciousness. I sure hope I can get back and re-do that interview. So, please enjoy my conversation with Kyle Buller, followed by my interview with Veronika Gold. The post Episode 23: The Arizona Psychedelics Conference appeared first on The Consciousness Podcast.