Thursday, September 17, 2009

Consciousness, Creativity & the Brain

Exploring the frontiers of Consciousness, creativity and the Brain - a discourse by Professor John Hagelin Phd. Professor Hagelin is one of the present day's Geniuses as far as understanding Consciousness from both scientific and Spiritual perspectives goes. Professor Hagelin is also a member of the Maharishi Foundation.

John Hagelin (born June 9, 1954) is an American scientist who was a researcher at the European Center for Particle Physics (CERN) and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), is an educator and author, and has been the Natural Law Party candidate for President of the United States three times. Hagelin is Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management, Executive Director of the International Center for Invincible Defense, President of the US Peace Government, Raja of Invincible America, and executive director of Global Financial Capital

Watch Lecture - Exploring the frontiers of Consciousness, creativity and the Brain

In 1981, Hagelin received his Ph.D. from Harvard, having already published five serious papers on particle theory. That same year, Hagelin won a postdoctoral research appointment at CERN (the European Center for Particle Physics) in Switzerland, and in 1983 was recruited by SLAC (the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), CERN's North American counterpart.

In 1984, Hagelin shifted his appointment from SLAC to Maharishi International University (MIU), where he continued his research in physics, pursued a long-time interest in brain and cognitive science research, and established an accredited doctoral program in theoretical physics. Hagelin’s move to MIU in 1984 surprised and puzzled his colleagues. Howard Georgi and John Ellis tried to talk him out of it. But, according to Georgi, Hagelin "continued to do good physics anyway.” Nobel Laureate, Sheldon Glashow was quoted in a 1992 article as saying, “His papers are outstanding. We read them before he went to MIU and we read them now.” Hagelin remained in contact with colleagues from Harvard, Stanford, and CERN, and continued to collaborate with them. While at MIU, his contributions to the field of theoretical physics were supported by funding from the National Science Foundation.

Currently, Hagelin teaches physics as Professor of Physics at Maharishi University of Management (formerly MIU) and serves as Director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at that institution. Hagelin is also identified as the Founding President of Maharishi Central University, which was announced in 2007. Central University was under construction in Smith Center, Kansas at the site of a previously-announced Peace Palace until early 2008, when, according to Hagelin, the project was put on hold while the TM Organization dealt with the death of the Maharishi.

In 1987 and 1989, Hagelin published two papers in the MUM's Journal of Modern Science and Vedic Science on the relationship between physics and consciousness.These papers discuss the Vedic understanding of consciousness as a field and compare it with theories of the unified field derived by modern physics. Hagelin argues that these two fields have almost identical properties and quantitative structure, and he presents other theoretical and empirical arguments that the two fields are actually one and the same—specifically, that the experience of unity at the basis of the mind achieved during the meditative state is the subjective experience of the very same fundamental unity of existence revealed by unified field theories.

Part of the evidence Hagelin presents for this explanation is the body of research on the effects that practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation technique and of the more advanced TM-Sidhi program (which includes a practice called "Yogic Flying") have on measured parameters in society. This phenomenon is called the "Maharishi Effect". In these two papers he cites numerous studies of such effects, and in the summer of 1993, he himself conducted a large scale study of this type. Hagelin recruited approximately 4,000 TM-Sidhi program practitioners to the Washington D.C. area, where they practiced the TM Sidhi techniques twice daily in a group. Using data obtained from the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department for 1993 and the preceding five years (1988–1992), Hagelin and collaborators followed the changes in crime rates for the area before, during, and after the 6 weeks the group was gathered in Washington DC. In 1999, the study, which showed a highly statistically significant drop in predicted crime, controlling for effects of temperature changes, was published in Social Indicators Research.

Physicist Victor J. Stenger wrote in The Humanist that John Hagelin talks about "quantum consciousness" and that quantum consciousness is a "myth" that "should take its place along with gods, unicorns, and dragons as yet another product of the fantasies of people unwilling to accept what science, reason, and their own eyes tell them about the world."

Peter Woit writes in his book, Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory And The Search For Unity In Physical Law, that "Virtually every theoretical physicist in the world" rejects Hagelin's attempt to identify the "unified field" of superstring theory with the Maharishi's "unified field of consciousness" as "utter nonsense, and the work of a crackpot"

In 1992, Hagelin was honored with a Kilby International Award for his work in particle physics leading to the development of supersymmetric grand unified field theories, for his innovative applications of advanced principles from control systems theory and optimization theory to digital sound reproduction, and for his research on human consciousness. Chris Anderson questioned the value of the award in an article about Hagelin published in Nature.

In 1994, Hagelin was selected for the Ig Nobel Prize for Peace, an annual parody award given for achievements that “first make people laugh and then make them think." The award was given for the experimental conclusions drawn from the Washington, D.C. study.

Wikipedia - John Hagelin

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