Neuro-environmental Cognitive Spiritual Phenomenology

Vision Talk delivered by Revered Prof. Prem Saran Satsangi Sahab at the

Special Forum on 'Quantum Theory and Science of Consciousness' at the

International School on Quantum and Nano Computing Systems and Applications (QANSAS 2012) organized at Quantum-Nano Systems Centre, DEI, Dayalbagh

November 28, 2012

 

            Good morning everybody. Normally, there should be no further reference to the title of the talk, but I find a bit of mismatch between the title on the screen and the title printed in the Abstract Book. There is a bit of juxtaposition and it reads in the Abstract Book as 'Spiritual-Cognitive-Neuro-Environmental Phenomenology'. This is a bit of lapse in not correcting it on the title of the talk displayed here.

            (Satsangi P.S. (2003), "Reality and Truth vis-a-vis Wisdom (via Aparavidya (Natural Science) and Paravidya (Phenomenology : Experiential Science))," Invited Talk at the International Conference of the Association of Asia-Pacific Operational Research Societies at Hotel Grand International, New Delhi on 8.12.2003 represents my first public discourse laying the emphasis on integrating inner experience with the epistemology of natural sciences, i.e. scientific methodology. Over the years, it has developed into an "Omni-quantum theory for spiritual consciousness system modeling in cosmology" (Satsangi P.S., 2011, CONCENT 2011). The important point that I would like to make here is that the inner experience provides an alternative way to study the macrocosmic phenomena. Rather than soaring into space in search of macrocosmic secrets, one turns inward and discovers some of the secrets otherwise not revealed in the world outside. However, it is necessary to bring to bear upon such first person experiences the testing methodology of third person natural sciences, particularly neuro-science in the last twenty years or so.

            Earlier this month, I had an opportunity to read the book by Price D. and Barrell J. titled 'Inner Experience and Neuroscience' (M.I.T. Press, 2012). The reason I am quoting this book is that unexpectedly, our approach to integrating inner experience with scientific methodology has been similar to what Price and Barrell have mentioned. They use four fold paradigms for this purpose, such that the first one is noticing the content of specific experiences, that is, observing first person inner experiences; the second is describing these experiences from a first-person perspective, i.e. reporting as a sort of co-investigator, rather than being presented as a third-person report from somebody else; the third is understanding these experiences through discovering common factors and their inter-relationships (e.g., factors could include even such mental aspects as anxiety, pain etc.); and lastly applying quantitative psychometric methods to test generally the functional relationships between these common factors (i.e. propose certain hypotheses and subject them to the test of scientific methodology). We fully subscribe to this four fold methodology and find it very similar to our approach. I thought it best to excerpt it from this remarkable book.

            "The first three are unique in that the investigators are often included as participants of their own research study (i.e., co-investigators). Questions, not hypotheses, guide the first three stages, so it is not necessary to frame the hypotheses in advance, but it is through first person account of phenomenology that these hypotheses are later formulated and tested and the last stage is where the scientific methodology comes in using psychometric methods and for quantitative purposes, psycho-physics."

            Since the model that we have in mind is also quantum-theoretic model, I might briefly allude to two leading approaches to quantum theory as far as consciousness is concerned. One is due to von Neumann-Stapp formulation and consists of three processes of choice, causation and chance, while the other is the celebrated Penrose-Hameroff Orchestrated Objective Reduction theory which has three parts, the Godel Part, the Gravity Part and the Microtubule Part.

            Chris Fields, in his paper on 'A model theoretic interpretation of environmentally induced super selection, or einselection', published in November 2012 in International Journal of General Systems explains the resulting classicality on making observation in any quantum system. He shows logically that observer independent environmentally induced super-selection is a myth and does not produce classicality. So there is no observer independence which is possible in quantum theoretic systems. Rocco J. Gennaro, in his book, "The Consciousness Paradox", also published recently by the MIT Press in 2012, defends the so-called Hot Brain thesis, HOT standing for Higher Order Thoughts. He maintains that what makes a mental state conscious is that a suitable Higher Order Thought is directed at that mental state. In the Eastern Philosophy of Saints, particularly of Radhasoami faith, higher order consciousness of spirit force acts at the lower order consciousness of spirit forces, as well as further lower order consciousness of mind or mental states and still lower order consciousness of material or physical states to make them conscious, so that is the philosophy which we hold and which we want to subject to scientific enquiry. In fact, inspired by these recent developments, I would like to propose HOT- Consciousness : SCANE Correlates, where HOT-consciousness stands not for Higher Order Thought, but Hierarchical Order Theory of Consciousness and SCANE Correlates stand for Spiritual, Cognitive And Neural-Environmental Correlates.

            I want to emphasize that we use a one-to-one correspondence in proposing this spiritual system theory framework with the Physical System Theory. Physical System Theory (Koenig, Tokad and Kesavan, 1966) has its fundamental axiom, so does the Spiritual System Theory framework (Satsangi P.S., 2006) which also starts with a Fundamental Axiom of Spiritual Consciousness. I am not going into these details as it will take far too long. In the Physical System Theory referred to by Koenig, Tokad and Kesavan and published in their book from McGraw Hill, 1966, there are, additionally, certain component postulates and system interconnection postulates to formulate the system model equations. Here also, in the Spiritual System Theory modeling framework, we have used comparable postulates regarding the constituent parts of the system, i.e. its subsystems and components and then their interconnection with each other. (These are (1) Macrocosm-Microcosm Consciousness Interaction Postulate, and (2) Universal Consciousness Realization Postulate). So there are postulates comparable to those in the Physical System Theory and then we come up with a system schematic model (Figure A), deduced from either Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) proposed by Saaty (Saaty T.L., ISBN 0-9620317-6-3) or Warfields's Interpretive Structural Model (ISM) (Warfield, J.N., 1973) and then we have certain qualitative analysis possible at this stage of the resulting system graph representation (Figure B). Notice that since the observations turn out to be classical ones in any quantum system, the final classical solution is quite simply obtained as a deterministic solution, if we take the switches which are resonance-operated "sound-current" switches as having a definite qualitative linguistic state of closure in fuzzy sense.

            All theories have certain fundamental axioms and postulates and then they develop certain system model predictions and it is verification of these model predictions which would decide whether theory holds or not. So that is what I suppose is the scientific framework in which we are carrying out our integrated epistemology of combining first-person experiences with third-person scientific methodology and so long as the predictions are not shown to be inconsistent, the theory holds.

 

 

 

Figure A is, therefore, the system model we have come up with based on the first person phenomenology, Broadly speaking, it has three major sub-systems. Apart from the physical universe (the Region of Universal Matter), in the macrocosm, it envisages the Region of Universal Mind and the Region of Universal Spirit. Accordingly, there are the corresponding three main sub-systems showing the human microcosm which is a perfect analog of the Macrocosm. Each subsystem is further divided into an hierarchy based on consciousness, deduced as I have already mentioned through Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) as well as Interpretive Structural Model (ISM). For the sake of symmetry, we have kept six sub-divisions for each of the major sub-systems of the grand cosmos. What is significant is that in order to investigate the outer cosmos through inner experience, there is a basic tenet that the human framework is a perfect analog at the microcosm level of the whole macrocosm and therefore by turning inwards, we experience the macrocosm. Roughly speaking, the supposition is that there are ganglia or nerve centres or channels of communication to access macrocosm through microcosm, viz., the human frame consisting of human body, guided by its brain, human mind, and human spirit. So this human microcosm is a perfect analog of the macrocosm and by turning inwards and concentrating on certain ganglia in the physical body or nerve centres in the brain, in the human microcosm, one is revealed or made privy to the secrets of the macrocosm. The model (Figure A) that we have put up is in fact very simple and consists of esoteric potential sources, as well as certain specified current sources. There is an "omni-quantum spiritual force field" and as a result of this all-pervasive spiritual force field, we have these spiritual potential sources (which are enclosed within red rectangle on the left) and the other set of spiritual current sources (outside the red box), but notice that these are not physical electric potentials and currents. These potential sources of the spiritual quantum force field are constituent potential sub-reservoirs or sources at the various levels of hierarchy of the omnipresent quantum force field. A super positive pole at the top corresponds to the prime spiritual potential reservoir of all spirit forces and is the primary source for the spiritual energy in the macrocosm. This energy, when it comes in contact with other medium like mind or matter, then takes the form of forces or consciousness relating to mind, as well as those relating to matter. For instance, the four fundamental forces of nature would be relevant to speak of in the physical universe, and among these electromagnetic field is the one which we have been using for sensing the various correlates in the immediate physical environment of the human frame to test our hypotheses. It is quite commonplace to test such hypotheses by way of neural correlates in the human brain. Neuroscientists are all greatly fascinated by the neuro-scientific studies through fMRI, MRI and other scanning procedures. Similarly, as I go along, I should point out that we have also been exploring, over the past decade, the immediate environment of the concerned human beings (as meditationists) to learn about the environmental correlates in terms of the electromagnetic fields which pervade in the immediate environment of all humans and particularly during their meditation through a variety of sensors. These display certain features of the macrocosm via the modality of inner experiences. There is no attempt here to try and explain how the system model (represented by system diagrams A and B) works, but it is just to give you some feel of the approach that we have taken. Eventually, as in any quantum system, any observations turn out to be classical ones, that is determinate ones. Therefore, the final solution is quite simply obtained in terms of the system graph (Fig. B) and its implied solutions. However, going back to the original system schematic diagram (Fig. A) once again, I should like to point out that there is one other major component-category, viz., resonance-operated switches, in the system schematic (Fig. A) apart from the potential sources and the current sources which have already been mentioned. The currents associated with sources are of two kinds, known as spirit current sources (outward and downward flowing currents passing through the various potential sources) and sound currents (inward and upward flowing current sources). The outward currents, that is the ones flowing from top to bottom are spirit currents (through the various potential sources) and the ones flowing inward and upward, such as current sources outside the enclosed red box or orange box are the sound currents. In the human microcosm, which is an analog of the macrocosm and is drawn on the right hand, as enclosed in the green box, we have similar arrangement and that is what we are observing phenomenally. We are not observing the macrocosm as such, because humanly it is not possible to go beyond the physical universe. All that we can do is to explore physical universe outside but to explore regions lying beyond the Physical Universe, viz., Region of Universal Mind and Region of Universal Spirit, there is no other way except to turn inward through meditation. This has been done by scanning brains of Tibetan Lamas or Franciscan nuns, or meditationists of so many other schools of spiritual practices whose neurology has been widely studied by neuroscientists lately, in order to learn about these transcendental phenomena.

            The other interesting component here are the switches. These are the switches just underneath the current sources which are shown on the extreme left outside the red or orange enclosures. Some of these switches are ordinarily closed. The ones in the physical universe are closed ones. Outside that, even the first switch is a great achievement to close. It is only by meditational practice of the correct kind that one gets entry beyond the physical universe into the Region of Universal Mind, and this is possible as experienced by Yogis or Meditationists. So it is the first person observing experiences as well as reporting, which should be the basis of investigating these inner experiences and establishing them through hypotheses which could be tested. These switches that I spoke of are in fact resonance operated switches. These switches close when the meditationist is in resonance with the concerned frequency of the particular stage which he is trying to reach inside his own self. So, as you adjust your frequency through meditational concentration and match the frequency of the macrocosm at various levels, you are able to gain consciousness about those particular levels in the macrocosm. In fact, that is the whole philosophy behind it. [The state of closure of the switches, (described typically by fuzzy linguistic variables), controls the intensity of flow of sound currents through the corresponding current sources.]

            Some of these frequencies, which in our measurement of environmental correlates in the physical world as indirect measurements of the electromagnetic fields surrounding the meditationist in the immediate environment, are : 4.5 Hz, 76 Hz, 108 Hz and 126 Hz. These are the four frequencies which are repeatedly shown as being exhibited by meditationists in the individual sessions as well as group prayer sessions. This is again another unique feature that our group is investigating. Normally, the studies that neuroscientists make are on individual brains of the meditationists by actually wiring them. They, in fact, do not use procedures which would be non-intrusive. We have used procedures which do not disturb the meditionist at all because these do not touch the human frame but only make measurements in the immediate environment by sensing the electromagnetic field intensity and then analyzing its frequency spectra, and measuring the various amplitudes of the concerned frequencies. As I said earlier, these four frequencies appear to be relevant ones. The first three seem to belong to the Region of Universal Mind and the 126 Hz frequency seems to belong to highest Region of Pure Spiritual Content with no impurities of mind or matter. It is a well established scientific practice that there is a conscious freedom on the part of experimenter or observer as to how to act and what to learn from experiments to be performed and there is a growing realization in the last decade of the aptness and applicability of quantum theoretic modelling to cognitive domain of mind science. It follows as a natural corollary to suggest extension of the quantum theory to the domain of spiritual (i.e. meta-psychological) psychophysical dynamics. Psychophysical dynamics is under investigation increasingly, but there are very few groups who are investigating the spiritual psycho-physcial dynamics and we are particularly concerned with this unique feature.

            It would require separating the spiritual-self (or entity) of the observers (or experimenters), describing a stream of conscious experiences that are experiential sides of a sequence of events, from the psychophysical sides of the observed system, including not only the physical bodies and brains of all observers but also their psychological minds as part of the observed system, such that these would be described by quantum theory and measured as neural environmental correlates in the physical universe and as cognitive correlates in the psychological domain of mind science. There are various tests for psychophysical domain or psychological domain in particular, for instance, tests like : Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI); or Consciousness Quotient Inventory (CQI) Test; Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI) Test, Extraordinary Experiences Quotient Test (EEQ). These tests have been developed by psychologists and are considered scientific way of testing the consciousness of the persons experiencing certain levels of consciousness.

            In Discourses on Radhasoami Faith (M. Sahab, 2004), it is stated that at each step of elimination of the media that surrounds the spirit in human frame (viz., mind as well as matter of the human body including brain, that is at each of its subtler form), its inherent functions manifest themselves in a highly increasing progression and that eventually the spirit force comes out unalloyed (in its purest subtlest form), as the source of prime energy, intelligence and bliss (what is known in Eastern Philosophical literature in Sanskrit as Sat Chit Anand. This is what would represent the inner consciousness experiences in the phenomenological investigations. Echoing similar sentiments, Swami Ved Bharati, (one of the meditationists of repute who has even submitted his own brain during meditation as a subject of study for a number of tests by neuroscientists) in one of his papers titled 'Consciousness : Measurable or Immeasurable' (2011) says that principle in nature is that the subtler (substance) can observe the grosser entity, but the grosser can never observe the subtler. Body cannot observe mind but mind can observe the body. (Brain being part of the body, it implies that brain can never observe the mind, but mind can observe the brain. Similarly, spirit can observe the mind as well as brain, but neither mind nor brain can observe the spirit.)

            The definition of the "subtler" given in Eastern Philosophy as in the Spanda Sashtra is that energy or force-field which is higher frequency than any relatively lower slower ones. Accordingly, among the four frequencies we have identified, viz., 4.5 Hz, 76 Hz, 108 Hz and 126 Hz; the 126 Hz frequency would represent the highest spiritual consciousness and it would be possible for an entity which has characteristic or natural frequency of 126 Hz to be able to observe those at 108 Hz, 76 Hz or 4.5 Hz but not vice versa. [In fact, Einstein's famous equation in the context of photoelectric effect is : E = hv, (E standing for energy, v standing for frequency and h being Planck's constant) which shows that higher the frequency (v), the more the energy (E). Thus, it turns out that when the spirit force is not alloyed by mind and matter (i.e. corrupted by mind and matter), then it has maximum energy. It is as a pure spirit, the most capable one, most energetic one, most intelligent one and most blissful one. So, the basis is that the higher the frequency, greater the consciousness and therefore greater the spirituality.

            It is very difficult to communicate at this stage as to what would be the necessary and sufficient common factors to verify the inner experiences during meditation. These have not been usually catalogued, but as I said, by observing the reports of the first person phenomenologies of co-investigators, who should be able to identify these factors, the necessary and sufficient factors, for identifying the different levels of hierarchy of consciousness as underlying the model presented herewith, will now be displayed in the form of a sound clip along with Table 1.

            What you just now saw and heard (Table 1 and accompanying sound clip) is a simulation of spiritual correlates which one experiences during meditation. The factors which are considered necessary and sufficient are mystic words which resound within you as you experience these internal phenomena. These mystic words for the nine higher regions (in the hierarchy of cosmic consciousness) are the well known five mystic words, Niranjan at the lowest Brahman (the first Brahman of the Vedas) at Sahasdal Kamal (the thousand-petalled rose), Om at the next Brahman (the second Brahman) at the so-called Trikuti, and then the third one, corresponding to the third Brahman at Sunna, viz. Rarang. These are regions of the Universal Mind. Then beyond these, there are two mystic words, for the purely spiritual region, which is the highest one. This is Soham at the gateway or the first portal of the purely spiritual region, viz. Bhanwar Gufa; and then Sat which is the most resplendent form of the Sat Purush Radhasoami. (Radhasoami itself is having no form, no shape and no colour. It is the source of pure energy, truth, intelligence and blissfulness.) There are these five mystic names plus the original mystic name Radhasoami, which is like a universal password for access to all levels of hierarchy of cosmic consciousness. The first five would secure access for the regions to which they belong or ones below their own, but not the higher ones. However, Radhasoami is the original mystic word from which all these other five mystic words in the Religion of Saints have arisen. Vedas list the first three, while the last two are beyond Vedas and are only known in Eastern Philosophy in Religion of Saints. Apart from mystic words, which resound in the higher cosmic regions, one hears certain unstruck celestial musical instruments as listed in Table 1. What we presented to you in the sound clip was simulation of these mystic words and accompanying celestial unstruck sound, as it is called, which was played to give you some feel of what it would be like internally so that you would verify yourself if you experience those things internally. So these are spiritual correlates. Not everybody will be privy to them unless one is able to experience the inner self fully (upto the highest pure and unalloyed spirit-entity). For others, it is the other correlates which would speak about them, viz. cognitive correlates and neural correlates as well as environmental correlates. So we are trying to test them through appropriate hypotheses by using the tests of psychological kind or cognitive kind. Some of these tests, referred to a little earlier also, measure the effects on the brain itself. The various parts of the brain get activated as a result of these experiences. However, let me dispel the incorrect conclusion that establishing neuro-correlates would be identical to the spiritual experiences. You see ontologically these are different entities and unless the relationship is symmetric, two entities cannot be ontologically equivalent. That is, unless you can also show that the brain phenomena, would also be sensed and predicted by the spiritual phenomena, there is no question of saying that these two entities are ontologically same, epistemologically yes, you can reduce the spiritual experience to its full neural correlates and even assume that these have causal functions which they do not have. The cause lies with the higher entity, not with the lower entity, but this is what the neuroscientists assume by and large that they have learnt everything there is to learn by measuring the neural correlates of spiritual phenomena which they consider as epiphenomena of the neural phenomena. Anyway, that is something which can be logically proved to be wrong. As I said, you cannot have two things ontologically equivalent unless there is a symmetrical relationship; since the neuro-scientists are not bothering about the other kind of reverse relationship between the spiritual kind and neural correlates, so how can they say that the two are ontologically equivalent. Obviously they are not, but epistemologically fine, you may establish one-to-one correspondence.

            In the last fifty years or so, neurophysiology and neuro-medicine have made very rapid strides, so also cognitive psychology and therefore we are likely to learn a lot about spiritual phenomena by studying the correlates in cognitive sense and neuro-environmental sense.

I have already mentioned that we use the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) for characterization of cosmic consciousness in a hierarchy. We used the attributes / criteria of consciousness as noted in Table 2 (with the translation of Hindi terms in English). I have already mentioned that there are other factors which accompany them. These are the refulgence or the light associated with the regions, Shabda or word or mystic word that I have already spoken about, Anahad Nad or celestial unstruck music which I have tried to present to you as a simulation. Then we have these alternatives as given in Table 3, with their various divisions whose consciousness we are rating based on criteria in Table 2 using the Operations Research procedures of Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) or Warfield's procedure for Interpretive Structural Modelling (ISM). Both methodologies lead to the same structure as I have presented to you earlier in Figure A. In the last edition of the "Toward a Science of Consciousness (TSC)" conference in 2012 at Tucson this paper was presented by my colleague and co-author, Dr. Vishal Sahni. Anyway, this structuring has also been done through fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (fuzzy-AHP) in the aforesaid paper.

 

 

The experimental approach that we take has been refined over the years. As I have already mentioned these inner experiences can be measured indirectly through their environmental correlates such as electromagnetic forces or any of the other three fundamental forces of nature, viz., gravitational force or strong nuclear force or weak nuclear force. An indirect measurement of spiritual phenomenology or consciousness is therefore scientifically feasible by measuring electromagnetic forces and waves in the neighbouring physical environment, which are relatively easier to sense. Such a preliminary systemic study of spiritual consciousness of Dayalbagh community, during congregational meditation-cum-prayer meetings in the Community Hall, had been carried out over the past several years through relevant, repeatable, non-intrusive, non-invasive scientific experimental procedures employing random number generators, electric circuits such as RC filters (low pass, band pass and high pass), tuned LC circuits, RC phase-shift circuits, and a diode bridge square law modulator circuit. Admittedly, these are all crude devices to measure spiritual phenomenology and we were confronted with the criticism that they would not be sensitive enough to be able to screen off the likely feeble signals from noise that is inherent in the surrounding environment. Furthermore, the kind of correlates that the neuroscientists get through MRI, fMRI and SPECT are much more reliable. However, these neuro-correlates suffer from the limitations of using invasive and intrusive brain-scanning. So we homed in on the use of SQUIDs, the Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices, which have very sensitive magnetometers used to measure extremely small magnetic fields based on superconducting loops containing Josephson junctions and this improved the quality and sensitivity of indirect measurement of spirituality. Irrespective of relatively crude or sophisticated devices used for reporting results over the years, everytime we turn up with the detection of the same four frequencies, viz., 4.5 Hz, 76 Hz, 108 Hz and 126 Hz characterizing the group of meditationists at Dayalbagh.

Figure C shows that the circuit which SQUID gradiometer uses. Until recently while we employed the results of the SQUID measurements, we did not have adequate shielding. However, the results were comparable to what we had obtained through simple devices, viz. RC filters and various resonant circuits as mentioned earlier. The salient observations from the previous studies are summarized in Table 4.

 

You see the word resonance is very meaningful here. Earlier a reference was made to a major component in System Model Schematic in Figure A, viz., resonance-operated switches which establish communion of the meditationist with different levels of spiritual states in varying degree depending on the quality of closure of these switches. It is important for us to measure frequencies at which meditationists resonate, that is the ones where you get the maximum gain as measured in decibels. If you find that the frequency spectrum consists of several frequencies which peak, then you pick up the dominant frequency at which the maximum peaking level occurs in terms of decibel (dB). Accordingly, we have the Hertz (Hz) and decibel (dB) as two important correlates for each individual in defining spiritual state. Just as you have these EEG-based brain scans and they are being used as neuro-correlates, we are also privileged in using a rather sophisticated 30-channel MagnetoEncephaloGraph (MEG) facility which was available at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam near Chennai where we made a trip earlier in the month (November 2012) for a few days along with a whole group of co-investigators. We carried out our experiments with the cooperation of the scientists at the IGCAR. The MEG facility at IGCAR for SQUID based measurement of biomagnetic fields comprises of a Magnetically Shielded Room with a shielding factor of 70 dB at 1 Hz (improving to 110 dB at 100 Hz) connected by shielded waveguides with a shielding factor of 110 dB at frequencies above 1 MHz. The magnetically shielded room houses a flat bottom liquid helium cryostat constructed from Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) as shown in Fig. D.

 

            We have a SQUID device here also at the Quantum-Nano Centre of DEI and we are in the process of equipping it with relevant shielding as is done in the Magnetoencephalograph setup at Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam. We are likely to have this facility in operation early next month (December 2012). We should then be able to get more or less the same level of shielding as well as accuracy as realized at the leading Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR, Kalpakkam).

            The use of MEG facility is non-invasive in the sense that the helmet does not touch the human frame. It stays a little above the head, and therefore, does not disturb the meditationist, unlike EEG measurements which require to fit electrodes in the head directly, but measurements are just as good. So, rather than measuring the electroencephalogram, we measure the magentoencephalogram and that is much less intrusive and non-invasive technique. IGCAR MEG facility was used both for individual scanning as well as for group scanning, the latter being a unique distinctive feature of the experimental results carried out at DEI in measuring the environmental correlates of spirituality. The measurements are in terms of electromagnetic field in the neighbourhood of co-investigator-meditationists whether individually or in group. These experimental correlates of spirituality have consistently shown the presence of the four identified meditational frequencies in our prayer and meditation meetings of the congregation and are therefore supportive of our results so far. Fig. E shows the behaviour of 126 Hz under various group test conditions. One may wonder that while there are a whole lot of frequencies in the spectrum, why do we pick up these four identified frequencies only. These are the ones at which resonance takes place for the various individual participants who have also separately undergone these tests individually. Accordingly, we have recorded these dominant frequencies where the individual co-investigators resonate. Figure F shows the dB (Gain) Hz (frequency) response of the Mentor for his unique characteristic stages of meditation. We carried out also some experiment to show that these correlates are subject to inverse square law, such that as the distance varies, the field intensity divided by the distance square remains constant (as shown in Fig. G), and that is what is the property of electromagnetic fields, whether they are electrostatic fields or magnetic fields.

 

 

 

 

Figure H : Individual Gain-Frequency Responses of 11 Co-investigator Meditationists

Table 5 shows the behaviour of 108 Hz in a group prayer session. The dB-gain response is summative. It is suggestive of the possibility that there are several participants in the meditation-group who apparently resonate at 108 Hz each (whether or not it is dominant frequency for individual meditationists) at modest level. However, it is the summation which shows up in group-response. Similarly, 76 Hz and 4.5 Hz also exhibit summative responses in a group meditation session. Figure H shows Individual Gain-Frequency Responses of 11 co-investigator meditationists. In terestingly, all these individual responses peak at the single dominant frequency of 4.5 Hz, while other "characteristic" frequencies are presented in the response graphs, but those are not the peaking frequencies or dominant resonant frequencies. Accordingly, the important concomitant of the phenomenal spiritual experience recorded here is the identification of the dominant resonant frequency for each meditationist. The dominant frequency is identified as the characteristic resonant frequency each of meditationists where they get highest decibel gain during meditation session. The dB-gain achieved at the dominant frequency representing the MEG-correlate of an individual meditationist can vary in dB-gain on different occasions depending upon the mood, concentration and the ambience, but the dominant frequency in Hz would remain the same in the sense that it corresponds with the maximum dB-gain at resonance at that frequency.

 

Figure I shows the disposition of 40 sensors or channels in the headset of the MEG facility at the IGCAR of which 10 channels were non-operative, while 30-channel data are with us sampling a whole host of frequencies. As already stated, we are interested in just the four characteristic frequencies of interest and promise in our meditation sessions. Figure I shows the distribution of the data-channels of the four lobes at the right as well as left hemispheres of the brain. Highlighted channels in yellow (including the central channel 1) appear to be particularly relevant to the measurement of the four identified frequencies of interest in higher spiritual meditation (referred to in Eastern Philosophy as "Turiya" and "Turiyateet" states of meditation).

 

The 126 Hz frequency plots for dominant dB gains in Figures J and K respectively for Group-meditation sessions and indicated meditation phases of the Mentor support the hunch that it is the Parietal Lobe which is most interesting for meditation at the higher spiritual levels. Admittedly, these are preliminary observations subject to rigorous hypothesis formulation and testing.

Table 6 is culled out from Price and Barrell (2012) showing how a science of human experience can be developed through a strategy. Since I have already exceeded my time, I will only show this power law equation in Figure L (excerpted from Price and Barrell (2012)) which is widely used in psycho-physics to measure perceived line length, which is a linear relationship; perceived pain which has a cubic exponent; perceived brightness which has an exponent of one-half. It is through such psycho-physical tests that quantitative hypotheses can also be laid down, if not fully quantitative, at least fuzzy qualitative hypotheses can be made and verified.

 

 

            

            I do not think there is adequate time, but let me just point out very quickly a few things about the work of Price and Barrell (2012) which is very interesting. One is the phenomenon of associative thinking which happens when you ask the participants to rest their brain and mind, and not think anything. However, contrary to this instruction, one finds a lot of activity in the brain when you ask people to rest and not engage in any active thought. The brain's "default activity" during associative thinking is a condition that is approximately described by the term "mind-wandering" [Price and Barrell, 2012] or "mind-rambling" as you might call it. So they have investigated this phenomenon and there are a network of cortical areas [Fig. M], the areas which get activated when your mind is supposed to be at rest, when your brain is not supposed to be active. Indeed, these are very active areas in the brain during associative thinking.

            Similarly there is another paradigm, let me mention before I close, and that is the paradigm of second pain. There is the psychological correlation at the first-person experiential level between pain and the feelings that you get, viz., depression, frustration, anxiety, anger as a result of pain. On the other hand, you have third person neural mechanism, viz., neural pathways going from brain stem to the spinal cord. This model of Price and Barrell (2012) serves as a useful example for correlating first person and third person approaches for explaining a conscious experience. This second pain is another very interesting phenomenon. A single intense stimulus often gives rise to an impulse input from faster conducting A-delta axons, followed by inputs from slow conducting C-axons. The former and latter, respectively, cause first pain, and second pain; and the recurrence of second pain is often worse [Price and Barrell (2012)].

            Finally, I would like to draw your attention to this quote from Dalai Lama, "Certainly physics designed the bombs; biology, the germ warfare; chemistry, the nerve gas; and so on, but it will be the unhealthy emotions of individuals that will trigger these horrors. These emotions can only be controlled, reshaped and re-channeled by technologies developed from successful inner science." So it is important to integrate inner experience with scientific investigations and develop what one might call inner science or experiential science or phenomenological science. With this telling quote, I close here having already exceeded my time considerably.

            Thank you.

 


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