In his book "Consciousness Explained," Tufts University philosopher Daniel Dennett calls human consciousness "just about the last surviving mystery." Dr. Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist from the University of Southern California who has studied the neurological basis of consciousness for years, tells Big Think that being conscious is a "special quality of mind" on a base level, consciousness is the fact of being awake and processing information. "Many species, many creatures on earth that are very likely to have a mind, but are very unlikely to have a consciousness in the sense that you and I have," says Damasio.
Can We Measure Human Energy and Its Effects on Consciousness? (Written by Dr. Sam Berne)
In his book "Consciousness Explained," Tufts University philosopher Daniel Dennett calls human consciousness "just about the last surviving mystery." Dr. Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist from the University of Southern California who has studied the neurological basis of consciousness for years, tells Big Think that being conscious is a "special quality of mind “On a base level, consciousness is the fact of being awake and processing information. "Many species, many creatures on earth that are very likely to have a mind, but are very unlikely to have a consciousness in the sense that you and I have," says Damasio. "That is a self that is very robust, that has many, many levels of organization, from simple to complex, and that functions as a sort of witness to what is going on in our organisms. That kind of process is very interesting because I believe that it is made out of the same cloth of mind, but it is an add-on, it was something that was specialized to create what we call the self."
Inspired by Nikola Tesla was a multi-disciplinary genius. His discovery of the rotating magnetic field in 1882 led to a series of US Patents in 1888, which gave us the AC electric power system still in use today. This one achievement earned him the honor of being called “The Man Who Invented the 20th Century”.
But his research went way beyond what has found its way into everyday use. He is the recognized inventor of the brushless AC induction motor, radio, remote control by radio, super-conductivity, fluorescent lighting, the bladeless turbine engine and pump, the capacitor discharge ignition system for automobile engines, the mechanical oscillator, and dozens of other inventions. But he also discovered that useful energy could be extracted from the heat of the ambient air, and that electric power in the form of Radiant Energy could be broadcast to everyone in the world through the ground.
For starters, think of this as a solar-electric panel. Tesla's invention is very different, but the closest thing to it in conventional technology is in photo-voltaics. One radical difference is that conventional solar-electric panels consist of a substrate coated with crystalline silicon; the latest use amorphous silicon. Conventional solar panels are expensive, and, whatever the coating, they are manufactured by esoteric processes. But Tesla's "solar panel" is just a shiny metal plate with a transparent coating of some insulating material which today could be a spray plastic. Stick one of these antenna-like panels up in the air, the higher the better, and wire it to one side of a capacitor, the other going to a good earth ground. Now the energy from the sun is charging that capacitor. Connect across the capacitor some sort of switching device so that it can be discharged at rhythmic intervals, and you have an electric output. Tesla´s patent is telling us that it is that simple to get electric energy. The bigger the area of the insulated plate, the more energy you get. But this is more than a 'solar panel' because it does not necessarily need sunshine to operate. It also produces power at night. Of course, this is impossible according to official science. For this reason, you could not get a patent on such an invention today. Many an inventor has learned this the hard way. Tesla had his problems with the patent examiners, but today's free-energy inventor has it much tougher. At the time of this writing, the U. S. Patent Office is headed by a Reagan appointee who came to the office straight from a top executive position with Phillips Petroleum.
Tesla's free-energy receiver was patented in 1901 as An Apparatus for the Utilization of Radiant Energy. The patent refers to "the Sun, as well as other sources of radiant energy, like cosmic rays." That the device works at night is explained in terms of the night-time availability of cosmic rays. Tesla also refers to the ground as "a vast reservoir of negative electricity." Tesla was fascinated by radiant energy and its free-energy possibilities. He called the Crooke's radiometer (a device which has vanes that spin in a vacuum when exposed to radiant energy) "a beautiful invention." He believed that it would become possible to harness energy directly by "connecting to the very wheelwork of nature." His free-energy receiver is as close as he ever came to such a device in his patented work. But, on his 76th birthday, at the ritual press conference, Tesla (who was without the financial wherewithal to patent but went on inventing in his head) announced a "cosmic-ray motor." When asked if it was more powerful than the Crooke's radiometer, he answered, "thousands of times more powerful."
Roger Nelson is Director of the IONS-sponsored Global Consciousness Project (GCP), an international collaboration of scientists, artists, and citizens interested in the extraordinary aspects of human consciousness. He also coordinates research in the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) laboratory at Princeton University. Nelson's professional training is in experimental psychology and psychophysiology, supplemented by a background in physics, statistical methods, engineering, sculpture, electronic music, and multi-media production. He is a student of "alternate psychologies" which represent a wide range of transpersonal and non-western approaches to the understanding of consciousness. He feels that an inclusive and multi-disciplinary approach combining scientific, aesthetic, and spiritual perspectives is essential if we are to come to terms with consciousness as it exists and operates in the physical world.
In 1980, Dr. Nelson moved to Princeton from northern Vermont, where he was professor of psychology at Johnson State College, to join the PEAR team. Over the past two decades he has worked with the creative, interdisciplinary group in the PEAR lab to develop technologies and experimental applications to study direct manifestations of consciousness and intention. The main experiments look at anomalous information transfer (Remote Perception) and anomalous interactions of mind and machine, using sensitive physical systems such as electronic random event generators (REGs). More recently, Nelson has extended the experimental laboratory research to real-world situations, to examine group consciousness effects and related applications such as nonlocal healing. The implications of the research are that consciousness plays a subtle but important constructive role in the physical world.
Nelson has been a member since 1993 of the Esalen Institute's Center for Theory and Research working groups on Healing Interactions and Subtle Energies. He was a participant in the formative meetings for the Office of Alternative Medicine (now NCCAM) of the NIH and contributed "Meditation and Medicine" to the published report of the NIH Mind/Body working group. He serves on the Advisory Board of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, and is a councilor for the Society of Scientific Exploration.
In the past decade Nelson has focused progressively more on "FieldREG" studies, in which the technology used to study anomalous effects of intention in the laboratory is taken into field situations to examine the effects of various types of group consciousness. The results suggest something like a "consciousness field," generated by resonant or coherent interactions of groups during special moments. Drawing on this background, Dr. Nelson established the Global Consciousness Project in 1998, expanding the concepts of consciousness field research to global dimensions. The GCP's researchers have created a world-spanning network of detectors to record effects of major "global events" on a hypothesized global consciousness. There are currently about 40 detectors in all parts of the world, which take data continuously and send it over the internet to a server in Princeton.
The goal of the project is to capture indications of the first glimmerings of a "noosphere" of intelligence for the globe, in the sense of Teilhard de Chardin's vision of human evolution and purpose. Three years of accumulated data show a persistent pattern: when we are collectively engaged by powerful events, the network of REG detectors responds with a tiny correlation. The odds are about a million to one that the overall result is not a chance outcome, but an indication of something like a global consciousness field, a noosphere that we are beginning to perceive.
At least that is one viable "story" that may help to interpret the remarkable results. Beyond the formal studies, the GCP analyses include many explorations that tap into the direct perception of meaning through structure, symmetry, and beauty. The complementary combination of scientific and aesthetic perspectives is a fundamental aspect of Dr. Nelson's work, leading to an ongoing search for the story that underlies and supports rigorous research, and may be Coherent consciousness creates order in the world
Subtle interactions link us with each other and the Earth
When human consciousness becomes coherent, the behavior of random systems may change. Random number generators (RNGs) based on quantum tunneling produce completely unpredictable sequences of zeroes and ones. But when a great event synchronizes the feelings of millions of people, our network of RNGs becomes subtly structured. We calculate one in a trillion odds that the effect is due to chance. The evidence suggests an emerging noosphere or the unifying field of consciousness described by sages in all cultures.
The Global Consciousness Project is an international, multidisciplinary collaboration of scientists and engineers. We collect data continuously from a global network of physical random number generators located in up to 70 host sites around the world at any given time. The data are transmitted to a central archive which now contains more than 15 years of random data in parallel sequences of synchronized 200-bit trials generated every second.
Our purpose is to examine subtle correlations that may reflect the presence and activity of consciousness in the world. We hypothesize that there will be structure in what should be random data, associated with major global events that engage our minds and hearts.
This is essential for its interpretation. Our scientific models and theories are only skeletal approximations of the complexities that characterize consciousness, so that an enrichment of scientific research by the beauty of creative insight and the wisdom of spiritual disciplines is required, ultimately, for deeper understanding.
We are at a critical time in history, facing the necessity to transform our civilization into one that can survive by taking responsibility for our ominous potential to destroy the world we love -- but which we take for granted. I believe the GCP has a role to play by focusing an illuminating technological perspective on our deep interconnections to each other and to the earth. It is one of a thousand thought-provoking trickles that may coalesce into streams that converge into rivers of understanding of who we really are and how we may become conscious stewards of our destiny. When these rivulets reach the ocean we will have it made.
As a child, I first awakened to energy by playing with magnetism. I was fascinated when I saw that I could rearrange iron filings on a piece of paper by moving a magnet beneath the paper. Intrigued by magnets’ invisible power, I puzzled over the mystery of how they worked. When I was older and learned more about magnetism, I was still intrigued, hooked on this force that could organize matter and energy. In high school, as I began connecting what I learned about physics and chemistry with my love for astronomy, I started to wonder if life involved another level beyond the physical. And how did light fit into the equation? I would have to wait to explore that idea much later in my education.
Biofield science is an exciting part of Frontier Medicine, developed by biophysicist Dr. Beverly Rubik. Dr. Rubik coined the expression “biofield” to refer to the energy field that lies within and around the body, sometimes described as an active, organizing field of life. Kirlian photography reveals the energy fields around objects, and studying Kirlian photos of the human body, I recognized that all structures in our bodies act as antennas. We emit energies from within the body and receive energies from our environment and from the stream of light energy, or biophotons, within.
As I began to explore energy fields, I became increasingly aware of the rift between science and spirituality, and at the same time I began realizing we truly are more than just molecules. Mainstream western science says we are local, finite, material beings, period. But the new science that is emerging says that we are more than just physical bodies and that energy fields are simultaneously local and non-local. These new scientists describe energy fields that are rich in information. One example is Dr. Bruce Lipton’s research in the area of epigenetics. Dr. Lipton, a cell biologist, has expanded the field of genetics, saying that DNA is turned on and off by environmental influences. It is the energy that creates the change….
Since I started studying energy fields, I’ve discovered that many scientists are actively researching and writing about this topic. Biophysicists like Beverly Rubik and quantum physicists like Claude Swanson found that every biological structure receives energy both from the environment and from within the body, and emits energy to the environment.
More and more, the new energy sciences are proving that the fields around us are dynamic, that they convey information, and that the biofield helps regulate the body’s biochemistry and physiology. We have learned ways to measure an individual’s biofield, revealing where the field shows compressions, traumas, toxicities, the influence of electronics, and other influences. In my practice, I have observed that the energy field changes almost immediately when I apply light therapy.
~ The biofield is a bridge between the physical and metaphysical bodies.
~ The biofield is a symphony, conducted by the mind, intent, awareness, and higher self.
~ The biofield is a standing wave.
~ The biofield influences our level of coherence – how well the energy waves or particles are aligned and in rhythm with each other.
~ The more coherent our biofield, the more we are able to connect to the biolink, our bio-intelligence for healing.
I learned that there are several ways to measure the biofield. Conventional medicine uses the EKG waves of the heart and the EEG waves of the brain. Other techniques include thermography, electrodermal measurements, and Kirlian photography. I was drawn to Kirlian photography, developed in the 1940s when Seymour Kirlian, an electrician, began observing auras by running a low voltage electric current through different living things and measuring the patterns created by the discharge of energy.
For my work, I settled on the Gas Discharge Visualization (GDV) camera, a biomedical instrument invented by Russian biophysicist Konstantin Korotkov. The GDV camera is a scientific instrument whose results are quantifiable and consistent, creating digital-like Kirlian photography. This fascinating device bridges our understanding of the unseen world of energy with our knowledge of the physical world, capturing images of the living energy fields around people, other animals, plants, water, and more. It can measure the transfer and levels of photons within the body, including the energy levels in the meridians and chakras.
With this tool, it’s possible to measure the biofield of living beings, food, water, essential oils, light, sound, crystals... and more. Almost every part of the human body, including our tissues, fascia, bone marrow, lymph system, cerebral spinal fluid, and blood, is mostly fluid, and is therefore an excellent transmitter of energy. Our energies tend to be repeatable and stable and at the same time are influenced by the many cycles of our lives, including moon cycles, day-night cycles, seasonal cycles, and more. It is possible to measure the increase in the body’s energy when we add subtle energies like light, sound, or essential oils to living things. We can also measure the decrease in energy when we add synthetic products, like pharmaceuticals.
If I wanted to use my GDV camera to get an image of your energetic levels, I would ask you to place your fingertips, one at a time, on a highly charged glass plate. You might feel a slight tickle each time you place a finger on the camera lens. (We use the fingertips because they are the endpoints of the major acupuncture meridians, and the information we receive from this area correlates closely with health and disease.) The electrical charge induces a discharge of energy from each finger, which the camera captures. Its software then produces a sequence of light patterns representing the energy discharges. Through mathematical analysis and optics, it extracts the data from these patterns and plots the energy associated with the various organs, tissues, and glands on each side of your body.
A lot of qualitative thinking goes into interpreting these patterns, and once I have reviewed the data, I have access to a wealth of information about your past and present, including traumas, acute and chronic health problems from a physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual perspective, and the size and alignment of your chakras. With this information, I am better able to suggest next steps for your treatment on an energetic level.
If we measure the same person three days in a row, always at the same time and taking into account the person’s circadian rhythms, we will see identical energy patterns each time. These patterns are referred to as a person’s energetic signature.
Extensive studies conducted starting in 1997 have shown that the GDV’s results are repeatable, reproducible, and quantifiable, and it is increasingly used alongside more conventional diagnostic techniques. Its use has been accepted by Russian Academy of Science, and practitioners in this country are hopeful that it will soon be accepted here as well.
I have found that the numerical data produced by GDV science is a powerful tool, offering insight into our health on the biological level as well as the state our ecosystems on an energetic level.
Another of Dr. Korotkov’s devices, the Eco Sensor, measures light activity to give us information about the energy in spaces, structures, and the environment. Its data can help us to understand the emotions, intention, and focus of people in those spaces. Dr. Korotkov has used the Eco Sensor to research the energy of temples and other sacred spaces around the world. In my own experience with it, I have seen how our thoughts create and affect our reality. Our environment is changed by the energy we emit into the field.