Some Sources for Your Enquiring Mind
Our title, ZENLP, as glib as it might sound, has an emerging scientific basis. Or at least there's a lot of new science and much theorising around now about who we are.
The Emerging Mind is the topic of the BBC's renowned Reith Lectures this year, presented by
Vilayanur S Ramachandran who is Director of the Centre for Brain and Cognition. Some NLP people have already remarked on Dr Ramachadran's piece on synesthesia in a recent Scientific American.
In the 5 lectures he explores a variety of recent research, including issues of self and synesthesia. Anyone interested in the most recent research into how our brains work, and the philospohy behind it will find much of interest here.
The ABC, Australia's equivalent to the BBC, has also been exploring similiar topics. Natasha Mitchell investigates new evidence that our brains form new circuits very quickly in response to stimulus, including psychotherapy here.
As you're probably aware this is our attempt to explore the cross over from the rapidly expanding knowledge about the brain to the deepest mystical traditions of Buddhism.
One inspiration for this is consilience, an interesting concept popularised by biologist Edward O. Wilson in his book of the same title.
Prof Wilson is one of America's most respected scientists, and the winner of two Pultizer Prizes.
He defines consilience as "the 'jumping together' of knowledge by the linking of facts and fact based theory across disciplines to create a common groundwork of explanation".
He admits that this is not yet science, but rather a metaphysical world view, which he admits is a minority one, shared by only a few scientists and philospophers.
Not surprisingly, he spends some time discussing cognitive neuroscience, also known as the brain sciences. It is the field of neurobiologists, cognitive psychologists, and neurophilospohers.
He poses the question: what are the cellular events that compose the mind?
We ask: how can we best explore the consilience between meditation and modern neuroscience?
Douglas R Hofstadter's book,'Godel, Escher, Bach, an Eternal Golden Braid', has for the past two decades perplexed and inspired. Its complex of logical, mathematical and linguistic conundrums puts it in the Top 10 of Unread Best Sellers.
Behind all the cleverness and insight pumped out by Porf Hofstadter's fertile genius is a simple question that's not always glimpsed by those who get caught by the Mensa-ness of the book.
It's there on the back cover of the 20th anniversary edition: "What is self, and how can a self come out of inanimate matter?"
There's another clue in 'Sq: Connecting with our Spiritual Intelligence', by Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall.
As Publishers Weekly says about the authors (and Amazon.com repeats):
Science may still be a long way from measuring the quality of human consciousness, but it can already detect its presence in the brain's electric frequencies. Drawing on research of neuroscientist Rodolfo Llinas, which connects consciousness with the presence of 40 Hz neural oscillations in the human brain, the authors attempt to conceptualize the spiritual state of "higher consciousness" within the realm of quantum physics.
We think there are some very good ways that all this fits together, and we hope to explain them in some detail, as our practise allows.
NLP and Zen is the most accessible and useful starting point. But you could be confident that this is the beginning of one of the most interesting voyages of discovery of our age.