Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Richard Geller, modified 9 Years ago.

Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 42 Join Date: 7/29/11 Recent Posts
Hi,

One thing that would be fascinating is to have Richard or anyone else who has achieved AF get brain scans.

It would be fascinating to see if there is a difference between them and "normal" people.

Since it is not realistic to think that something like this will happen anytime soon, I was wondering...

Is there anyone on here with enough knowledge of these things to make some predictions of the outcomes and conclusions?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
i predict the results of said brain scans wouldn't affect your practice much... =P
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Richard talks about some tests he had done years ago on the website. I once read from someone on here that he had elevated levels of serotonin or whatever.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Actually (pun intended) this has already been done at Yale with fMRI studies of a number of meditators from the DhO, KFD and other places and more are in progress. Results are not yet available, but it will be very interesting to see what they are. I was scanned as one of the subjects, and it was actually really cool, as they had real-time (actually about 8-second delayed time) feedback for parts of it that was great fun to play with.

Daniel
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Willoughby Britton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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I am a collaborating neuroscentist, and I am at Yale right now discussing various contemplative maps and how to assess them in the scanner. If you have some reliable high-level attainments, please consider "meditating for science"!
I was also a subject in the study, and it was a blast. We will cover your travel, feed you and give you a stipend for participating.

If you are interested, email thomas.thornhill@yale.edu
Richard Geller, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 42 Join Date: 7/29/11 Recent Posts
Willoughby Britton:
I am a collaborating neuroscentist, and I am at Yale right now discussing various contemplative maps and how to assess them in the scanner. If you have some reliable high-level attainments, please consider "meditating for science"!
I was also a subject in the study, and it was a blast. We will cover your travel, feed you and give you a stipend for participating.

If you are interested, email thomas.thornhill@yale.edu


Cool! I personally have no special attainments yet.

But what would interest me greatly is to have people who have achieved Actual Freedom, and are listed as being confirmed on the AF website, participate in this.

And it would become tremendously more interesting if Richard himself participated, since for him it just happened. The others reached it through his method.

Comparing Richard with the others would be an absolutely essential part of doing an in-depth study into Actual Freedom in my opinion.
Mikha Rlin, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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I really don't understand how this helps in any way to get to actual freedom from the human condition. Is this forum about talking about things related to improvement on the path and motivation?
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Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
Mikha Rlin:
I really don't understand how this helps in any way to get to actual freedom from the human condition. Is this forum about talking about things related to improvement on the path and motivation?


When I was a fanatic Buddhist, I'd often cite scientific studies done on meditators as a compelling reason for other ordinary/non-spiritual people to study Buddhism themselves, or to make them think that I am not into some sort of cult or fooling myself. Science has a special authority among modern intellectuals, so us intellectuals - with our feeling of belonging - naturally want to validate our belief systems (which could be AF itself) by wanting other intellectuals (who are not practicing AF yet) to believe it through the then authoritarian entity which is science (hence brain scans).

Brain scans of AF people could only satisfy one's curiosity, but this doesn't help one's personal AF practice at all. Getting over one's skeptic disinclination towards AF (through the authority of neuroscientists) doesn't even come close to the numerous other hindrances (primarily the social identity) to applying the AF method.

Practice AF because you want to be happy and harmless, not because you want to do the "right" and "smart" thing (being an instinctual being one is already corrupt and stupid).
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
Harry Potter:
Mikha Rlin:
I really don't understand how this helps in any way to get to actual freedom from the human condition. Is this forum about talking about things related to improvement on the path and motivation?


When I was a fanatic Buddhist, I'd often cite scientific studies done on meditators as a compelling reason for other ordinary/non-spiritual people to study Buddhism themselves, or to make them think that I am not into some sort of cult or fooling myself. Science has a special authority among modern intellectuals, so us intellectuals - with our feeling of belonging - naturally want to validate our belief systems (which could be AF itself) by wanting other intellectuals (who are not practicing AF yet) to believe it through the then authoritarian entity which is science (hence brain scans).

Brain scans of AF people could only satisfy one's curiosity, but this doesn't help one's personal AF practice at all. Getting over one's skeptic disinclination towards AF (through the authority of neuroscientists) doesn't even come close to the numerous other hindrances (primarily the social identity) to applying the AF method.

Practice AF because you want to be happy and harmless, not because you want to do the "right" and "smart" thing (being an instinctual being one is already corrupt and stupid).


How do you know that practicing AF (or rather, actualism) will make you happy and harmless? Is there any authority on which you base the idea that AF is a condition of happiness and harmlessness?
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Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Nad A.:
How do you know that practicing AF (or rather, actualism) will make you happy and harmless?


No, I don't know so (I haven't had a PCE) - but I do find it "worthy of further investigation".
http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/abditorium/PrimaFacieCase.htm

Is there any authority on which you base the idea that AF is a condition of happiness and harmlessness?


No, I never promoted that idea, as I was only talking about actualism, not AF (I haven't had a PCE). Although that idea does seem very likely, at this stage, I'm focused on better how I apply the method (there is much to be done for a more sincere approach). Until then, I refrain from recommending actualism to anyone. As they say, I've got nothing to lose anyway.

The final sentence in my previous post was written with regards to one's intent only.
Richard Geller, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 42 Join Date: 7/29/11 Recent Posts
Mikha Rlin:
I really don't understand how this helps in any way to get to actual freedom from the human condition. Is this forum about talking about things related to improvement on the path and motivation?


This helps if the scientific findings confirm AF, show how it works in the brain and allows for further exploration,
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Richard Geller:
And it would become tremendously more interesting if Richard himself participated, since for him it just happened. The others reached it through his method.


Just thought I would be a bit pedantic here: as richard claims in his web-site, the method "How am I experiencing this moment of being alive" was devised by him, following a very large PCE that happened under the influence of mescaline, and put to full effect with the purpose of understanding what was preventing such an experience from occurring in everyday life.
Richard Geller, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Bruno Loff:
Richard Geller:
And it would become tremendously more interesting if Richard himself participated, since for him it just happened. The others reached it through his method.


Just thought I would be a bit pedantic here: as richard claims in his web-site, the method "How am I experiencing this moment of being alive" was devised by him, following a very large PCE that happened under the influence of mescaline, and put to full effect with the purpose of understanding what was preventing such an experience from occurring in everyday life.


Aha. I was under the impression that it just happened for him. I remember him talking about a feeling of turning over at the nape of the neck and that was it.

I didn't know that he had already done the AF method, I thought he devised it after it happened for him. Based on that experience, creating a method for others to follow and to get to his state of being.

Anyway, some people question the usefulness of the scientific exploration. I'd say it's usefulness is potentially tremendous.

Learning how the brain of the person who has achieved AF works.
Conclusions about the nature of human functioning.
The difference between the "normal" brain and the person being AF -> leading to possible better methods.
Understanding more about humanity to begin with.
Etc.
Etc.
Etc.

Such a study would be very valuable imo.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
Richard Geller:
Anyway, some people question the usefulness of the scientific exploration. I'd say it's usefulness is potentially tremendous.

Learning how the brain of the person who has achieved AF works.
Conclusions about the nature of human functioning.
The difference between the "normal" brain and the person being AF -> leading to possible better methods.
Understanding more about humanity to begin with.
Etc.
Etc.
Etc.

Such a study would be very valuable imo.


I think so too.

I think that (AF-) Richard's reason for not wanting to undergo such tests is remarkably stupid.

AF Richard:
A psychologist who has followed the course of my condition for about four years has often been desirous of me undergoing scan-type tests ... but I decline to be a guinea-pig for people who are not going to do anything about their own malice and sorrow regardless of the outcome of the tests.


http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/sundry/frequentquestions/FAQ25a.htm#3
Richard Geller, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Nad A.:
Richard Geller:
Anyway, some people question the usefulness of the scientific exploration. I'd say it's usefulness is potentially tremendous.

Learning how the brain of the person who has achieved AF works.
Conclusions about the nature of human functioning.
The difference between the "normal" brain and the person being AF -> leading to possible better methods.
Understanding more about humanity to begin with.
Etc.
Etc.
Etc.

Such a study would be very valuable imo.


I think so too.

I think that (AF-) Richard's reason for not wanting to undergo such tests is remarkably stupid.

AF Richard:
A psychologist who has followed the course of my condition for about four years has often been desirous of me undergoing scan-type tests ... but I decline to be a guinea-pig for people who are not going to do anything about their own malice and sorrow regardless of the outcome of the tests.


http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/sundry/frequentquestions/FAQ25a.htm#3


Well, it depends on the context. It makes a difference whether you have a skeptic psychiatrist just wanting to prove you're insane or whether you have an open-minded one.

I believe the scientific inquiry should be done, for all the reasons I've named. And this is not just about AF, it's about anything interesting and that has wide-spread interest.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Richard Geller:
Nad:
I think that (AF-) Richard's reason for not wanting to undergo such tests is remarkably stupid.

AF Richard:
A psychologist who has followed the course of my condition for about four years has often been desirous of me undergoing scan-type tests ... but I decline to be a guinea-pig for people who are not going to do anything about their own malice and sorrow regardless of the outcome of the tests.


http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/sundry/frequentquestions/FAQ25a.htm#3


Well, it depends on the context. It makes a difference whether you have a skeptic psychiatrist just wanting to prove you're insane or whether you have an open-minded one.


Of course, but that's not what AF Richard wrote, is it? The quote I gave was very clear.

It makes no difference whether or not you have a psychiatrist who intends to end their own malice and sorrow because of the outcome of the tests.

There may exist good reasons not to participate in a particular test, perhaps like the one you gave, but AF Richard's reason is absurd.
Richard Geller, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Nad A.:
Richard Geller:
Nad:
I think that (AF-) Richard's reason for not wanting to undergo such tests is remarkably stupid.

AF Richard:
A psychologist who has followed the course of my condition for about four years has often been desirous of me undergoing scan-type tests ... but I decline to be a guinea-pig for people who are not going to do anything about their own malice and sorrow regardless of the outcome of the tests.


http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/sundry/frequentquestions/FAQ25a.htm#3


Well, it depends on the context. It makes a difference whether you have a skeptic psychiatrist just wanting to prove you're insane or whether you have an open-minded one.


Of course, but that's not what AF Richard wrote, is it? The quote I gave was very clear.

It makes no difference whether or not you have a psychiatrist who intends to end their own malice and sorrow because of the outcome of the tests.

There may exist good reasons not to participate in a particular test, perhaps like the one you gave, but AF Richard's reason is absurd.


Yeah, now I look at it, he does seem a bit sensitive about it. Especially the part where he seem as a guinea pig (big deal, it's the results that count) and the fact that he would prefer those people work on their own getting happy and harmless.

But as far as I can tell, scans could possibly greatly improve his credibility, which would mean that more people would be motivated to follow this path.

Anyway, too bad he doesn't want to do it. Maybe others will.
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Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Richard Geller:

But as far as I can tell, scans could possibly greatly improve his credibility, which would mean that more people would be motivated to follow this path.


This indeed seems to be the belief behind a few people requesting AFers to undergo a brain scan. As I noted above, it would merely satisfy the initial curiosity - which satisfaction hardly compares to the social identity based obstacles one has to overcome in order to progress.

I can equally hypothesize[1] that most of such "motivated" free thinkers would eventually give up practicing because of one or more of the social identity obstacles. It is the intent to be happy and harmless that counts. From a naive point of view, don't you think it is silly to count on brain scans of, say, people enjoying festivities in order to "motivate" oneself to partake in one?

[1] hypothesizing is all we are doing in this thread
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Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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By the way, Geller, could you posit on what results of the scans could possibly greatly improve his credibility? Is it the proof of lack of affective faculties? Wouldn't normal people anyway question the value of life without feelings?

Scan my brain on weed, I'm pretty sure that would convince none to smoke pot. ;-)
Richard Geller, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Harry Potter:
By the way, Geller, could you posit on what results of the scans could possibly greatly improve his credibility? Is it the proof of lack of affective faculties? Wouldn't normal people anyway question the value of life without feelings?

Scan my brain on weed, I'm pretty sure that would convince none to smoke pot. ;-)


I'm no expert on brain scans, but know some things. You can tell which areas of the brain light up in response to stimuli. Or see how it is functioning.

You can compare this to the functioning of the brain of the average person.

I once saw this program about a musical savant. They could see a whole area of his brain light up where there was no activity in "normal" people when it comes to music.

With brain scans you can in fact determine which parts of the brain are active and which aren't. Which then would tell you a lot about the way the person functions.

For example, Richard says that he cannot visualize. He says to have lost that ability. This could easily be tested by asking him to visualize and then see if there is activity in the visual cortex.

Or feeling fear, anger, lust, desire, affective feelings... there are many different ways in which a brain scan can show how and if these are present.

They use these scans for lie detection too now as well. They can figure out most everything about how a human functions with them nowadays.
Richard Geller, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 42 Join Date: 7/29/11 Recent Posts
Harry Potter:
Richard Geller:

But as far as I can tell, scans could possibly greatly improve his credibility, which would mean that more people would be motivated to follow this path.


This indeed seems to be the belief behind a few people requesting AFers to undergo a brain scan. As I noted above, it would merely satisfy the initial curiosity - which satisfaction hardly compares to the social identity based obstacles one has to overcome in order to progress.

I can equally hypothesize[1] that most of such "motivated" free thinkers would eventually give up practicing because of one or more of the social identity obstacles. It is the intent to be happy and harmless that counts. From a naive point of view, don't you think it is silly to count on brain scans of, say, people enjoying festivities in order to "motivate" oneself to partake in one?

[1] hypothesizing is all we are doing in this thread


Well, it would offcourse have many more benefits than satisfying curiosity. And simple scientific proof of the reality of AF would greatly increase the number of folks trying it.

And, as I said, the potential benefits would be immense.

About the hypothesizing, I'd like to point out that one contributor to this thread has offered spots in a scientific study on this topic, so it's not just hypothesizing, it's about thinking into making solid scientific evidence and conclusions available. Which is highly practical.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Richard Geller:
Well, it would offcourse have many more benefits than satisfying curiosity.


The main one being significant advances in neuro-scientific understanding. It's unbelievable that anyone who claims AF and claims to actually care about fellow humans wouldn't insist on participating in as many ways of helping out in the scientific understanding of our brains as possible.
Richard Geller, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Nad A.:
Richard Geller:
Well, it would offcourse have many more benefits than satisfying curiosity.


The main one being significant advances in neuro-scientific understanding. It's unbelievable that anyone who claims AF and claims to actually care about fellow humans wouldn't insist on participating in as many ways of helping out in the scientific understanding of our brains as possible.


I agree Nad. It's the brain that holds the secrets to human functioning. Not all of it, in fact estimates are, a lot of it, hasn't been figured out.

If the brain was no longer a mystery, one day all mental illnesses could be solved with surgery. They already do this for the most treatment resistant forms of anxiety disorders.

Richard could make a deal. The docs get all the information they need. Have talks with him. Read his site.

Then he could get all the tests necessary.

There is a great deal of patient confidentiality. No need to worry about that.
Richard Geller, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Willoughby Britton:
I am a collaborating neuroscentist, and I am at Yale right now discussing various contemplative maps and how to assess them in the scanner. If you have some reliable high-level attainments, please consider "meditating for science"!
I was also a subject in the study, and it was a blast. We will cover your travel, feed you and give you a stipend for participating.

If you are interested, email thomas.thornhill@yale.edu


Bumping this one in the name of science. emoticon

As for me, I'm enlightened in the official way. I've seen that there is no self.

Hardly anything worth investigating...

But,...

Bump, bump, bump.

Anyone with some real attainments, please consider participate in some legitimate studies!
Richard Geller, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 42 Join Date: 7/29/11 Recent Posts
Willoughby Britton:
I am a collaborating neuroscentist, and I am at Yale right now discussing various contemplative maps and how to assess them in the scanner. If you have some reliable high-level attainments, please consider "meditating for science"!
I was also a subject in the study, and it was a blast. We will cover your travel, feed you and give you a stipend for participating.

If you are interested, email thomas.thornhill@yale.edu


This one seems to be a fake. Sent an email to be sure, but the mail apparently couldn't get delivered.

No credibility here.
Jim Noyes, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 12/6/09 Recent Posts
Richard Geller:
Willoughby Britton:
I am a collaborating neuroscentist, and I am at Yale right now discussing various contemplative maps and how to assess them in the scanner. If you have some reliable high-level attainments, please consider "meditating for science"!
I was also a subject in the study, and it was a blast. We will cover your travel, feed you and give you a stipend for participating.

If you are interested, email thomas.thornhill@yale.edu


This one seems to be a fake. Sent an email to be sure, but the mail apparently couldn't get delivered.

No credibility here.




I think Dr. Willoughby Britton is the woman in the Daniel Ingram videos. http://vimeo.com/user5471775/videos

Here is some information about her: http://www.brittonlab.com/people/willoughby.html

Thomas Thornhill appears to be the recruiting contact for these studies at Yale:
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01144689

Regarding the fMRI studies I have to agree with some others that I don't understand why there would be reluctance to participate in these types of studies on the part of those who are AF or of Actualists during a PCE. I myself am one who both practices Actualism and who is also very interested in the neurobiology of its effects. There is a lot of writing on the AF Trust website theorizing about what happens in the brain during a PCE, during self-immolation, and becoming AF. But we really don’t know unless we study it. I’ve been reading a lot lately about the “seeking” or “wanting” center (or structure or circuit) in the brain.* Recall from Psych 101 the experiments done in the 50’s of those rats that pressed a lever over and over stimulating a part of their brain ignoring food and sex until they collapsed from exhaustion. The assumption until fairly recently I think is that the rats were stimulating the pleasure center of the brain. But it turns out that’s not the case. They were stimulating what’s now called the “seeking” or “wanting” center (one might also call it the “craving” or “desire” center), a place in the brain very different from those areas which are associated with experiencing pleasure. Maybe permanently turning off this brain circuit is related to AF. Or perhaps vipassana dampens this center. It’s a theory that can be tested. In any case, even if the neurobiology musings on the AF Trust website turn out to be incorrect that doesn’t mean that the result (Actual Freedom) of the practice or method is invalid. It just means that the physical explanation or description is wrong.

Stephanie Dunning wrote the following when discussing how different people apply the HAIETMOBA method: “i think this is why i have hard time with "mapping" experiences; there is so much interpretation even when things are stated as precisely as possible, and each person seems to interpret things differently and each person experiences things differently.” I think the same can be said for the subjective experience of the PCE. One of the benefits, it seems to me, of objectively studying the brain during PCE’s, ASC’s, or other related peak experiences is to more clearly nail down what these states really are and how they differ from each other. We would have the verbal descriptions of PCE’s and ASC’s from individual’s as well as the brain states mapped out in the fMRI machine. We’d be able to see what happens in a single brain when a full blown PCE kicks in and how it differs (if it does) from that person’s normal everyday consciousness. Perhaps we would better understand certain characteristics of the PCE, like the dramatic increase in perceptual clarity and the lack of need for sleep.

Neuroscientists have been actively studying the positive effects of meditation for awhile now and the result is meditation is getting the scientific respect that it deserves. I think it may be time to turn scientific attention onto Actual Freedom as well.

*See the work of Kent Berridge on incentive salience and Jaak Pankseep, author of Affective Neuroscience.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Willoughby is not a fake. Amazing how quickly and on how little information it can take for people to jump to such conclusions.
Trent ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
with one's legs fettered by doubt, one is unable to take a step down the path.
with one's mind blinded by the hindrance of doubt, heedlessness prevails.
with one's arms predisposed to fending off mara's vast, mirage-like army ...
one feels cornered, with nowhere to turn. and so obsession takes hold ...
self doubt and doubting others ... doubt here, doubt there, doubt everywhere.
where to find a foothold for this onslaught? where would 'i' feel the safest?
'my' world ... identity views, ritual attachments; 'my' accumulated beliefs.
and so 'i' seek to solidify this foothold ... "credibility! credibility! credibility!"
yet it is this grasping, this clinging, this attachment to identity views, beliefs,
ritual attachments, and doubt itself which perpetuates the misery and mayhem;
and it is their very abandonment which assures entry into the wondrous stream.

the above is written with a decidedly buddhist flavor, but there is also much to
read on the topic on the actual freedom trust website under the library topic "doubt."

here are a couple of particularly relevant paragraphs:

richard:
RICHARD: Having the ‘courage of your convictions’ has nothing to do with believing, trusting, hoping or having faith that it be possible. I, for one, never believed, trusted, hoped or had faith that it was possible, for such an action of believing, trusting, hoping and having faith perpetuates the believer, the truster, the hoper and the faithful. On the contrary, I could no longer believe that it was not possible – which is a different action entirely to believing, trusting, hoping and having faith that it is possible – thus dispensing with the believer, the truster, the hoper and the faithful. Do you see this?

For example: Doubt is believing it not to be possible ... doubt is actually an action of believing, which supports the believer. Faith is believing that it is possible ... which also supports the believer ... and thus, either way, the believer pushes freedom away into an ever elusive future.


one sure way to win out in this predicament is naivete, unlocked via sincerity.

trent
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Trent .:


one sure way to win out in this predicament is naivete, unlocked via sincerity.

trent


And one great way to unlock it is via the sweet spot, if you can.


http://nickdowntherabbithole.blogspot.com/2011/08/conversations-sweet-spot.html
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Results in yet? Keeping up the pretence of actually wanting to help humanity? Or not?
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Nad A.:
Results in yet? Keeping up the pretence of actually wanting to help humanity? Or not?


Hi Nad,

If you wish to read about what has been officially released to the public then you can check this link for some info. There are other articles that Gary has written that touch on the studies at Yale. Gary participated in the study as well.

http://happinessbeyondthought.blogspot.com/2011/11/folk-who-meditate-decrease-mind.html

Nick
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
Nikolai .:
Nad A.:
Results in yet? Keeping up the pretence of actually wanting to help humanity? Or not?


Hi Nad,

If you wish to read about what has been officially released to the public then you can check this link for some info. There are other articles that Gary has written that touch on the studies at Yale. Gary participated in the study as well.

http://happinessbeyondthought.blogspot.com/2011/11/folk-who-meditate-decrease-mind.html

Nick


Hi Nick,

So, nothing relating to AF then? I guess actual freedom can't be that important for humanity if nobody is bothering to look into it. If you yourself claim actual freedom (no malice, no sorrow) then you're surely trying every day to request more scientific tests, right? Anyone who actually cared about their fellow humans would not stop screaming about this to researchers, since billions of people are suffering every day.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Nad A.:
Anyone who actually cared about their fellow humans would not stop screaming about this to researchers, since billions of people are suffering every day.

(EDIT: I feel my sentiments were better expressed in the delusion of no-delusion thread by End in Sight so I'll just leave it at that.)
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Nad A.:
Anyone who actually cared about their fellow humans would not stop screaming about this to researchers, since billions of people are suffering every day.

(EDIT: I feel my sentiments were better expressed in the delusion of no-delusion thread by End in Sight so I'll just leave it at that.)


Your sentiments? End in Sight made a completely different point so which 'sentiment' was that, exactly?

You said that my last post was as bad an argument as saying someone concerned with poverty should give every last cent to charity. My point wasn't intended as a tight philosophical argument, more a plea (with deliberate exaggeration). But note the difference between being 'concerned with poverty' and 'knowing the ultimate cure to poverty'. Actualists claim to have the ultimate cure to suffering. If someone knew the absolute solution to poverty, one which nobody else seemed to be aware of, what would you suggest they do?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Nad A.:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Nad A.:
Anyone who actually cared about their fellow humans would not stop screaming about this to researchers, since billions of people are suffering every day.

(EDIT: I feel my sentiments were better expressed in the delusion of no-delusion thread by End in Sight so I'll just leave it at that.)


Your sentiments? End in Sight made a completely different point so which 'sentiment' was that, exactly?

You said that my last post was as bad an argument as saying someone concerned with poverty should give every last cent to charity. My point wasn't intended as a tight philosophical argument, more a plea (with deliberate exaggeration). But note the difference between being 'concerned with poverty' and 'knowing the ultimate cure to poverty'. Actualists claim to have the ultimate cure to suffering. If someone knew the absolute solution to poverty, one which nobody else seemed to be aware of, what would you suggest they do?

Yes, apologies. I realized after my edit that End in Sight was indeed making a different point, but didn't want to keep re-editing this, and felt that I was basically not calm enough to reply sensibly. But since you bring it up I'll try.

Let's assume the ultimate cure to suffering is for everybody to become Actually Free. The question then is: what's the best way for everybody to become Actually Free? You think the best way is for those who claim the condition to be thoroughly studied by scientists. But, there's no way to know that is the best way. Maybe it's to make a website telling people about it and post discussions people have about it for everybody to see. Maybe it's to post on the DhO a lot. Maybe it's to help everybody who is currently seeking and asks you for advice (which Nikolai has actually done.) Those might be more effective in the short- or long-run than being studied by scientists, or they might not be. It's a matter of personal opinion. Just because someone's opinion differs than yours on what is best to do, does not mean they don't care about their fellow humans. (EDIT: Also, Nick did indeed participate in a brain scan...)

That's what I was attempting to get at, earlier. The analogy with poverty is: clearly the solution for poverty is for nobody to be lacking in basic needs. What's the best way to do that? Some might think it's to devote their lives serving in soup kitchens, helping others. Some might think it's for everybody to donate what they can to charity (absurd extreme: everyone keeps donating everything they have to everyone else, repeatedly.) Some might think it's to run successful businesses to create wealth in an economy, improve production, etc. A charity-donator might think the businessman is not helping the poverty problem, while the businessman might think the charity-donator isn't. That doesn't mean they aren't actually attempting to solve the problem.
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Hi Nick,

So, nothing relating to AF then? I guess actual freedom can't be that important for humanity if nobody is bothering to look into it. If you yourself claim actual freedom (no malice, no sorrow) then you're surely trying every day to request more scientific tests, right? Anyone who actually cared about their fellow humans would not stop screaming about this to researchers, since billions of people are suffering every day.


Hi Nad,

By Richard's standards, I am not AF so any research done on my noggin will not be showing you anything about AF. Did you not read Tarin's thread? If you wish for some help in reigning in your own mind, go to the Hamilton Project blogspot, and check the contact details or start your own practice thread here and you will get help. If you aren't interested in practice, there is not much I can do from where I sit. There is not much I can do about the research either at the moment.

The research will come out when it has been peer reviewed. Some of it already has. But it seems more geared towards showing 'experienced meditators' versus non-meditators. Since I am not anti-buddhist meditation, I like that this type of info went around the world.

I am not pushing any AF agenda these days, if i ever was. I just utilized some of their tools. End of suffering though is something I am interested in helping others with if they are interested. Just to be clear, I don't consider that my path has reached an end at all. That is pretty clear in my online journal. Contact me for a skype and we'll chat about practice if you want help.

Nick
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Steph S, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 647 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Richard Geller:
Willoughby Britton:
I am a collaborating neuroscentist, and I am at Yale right now discussing various contemplative maps and how to assess them in the scanner. If you have some reliable high-level attainments, please consider "meditating for science"!
I was also a subject in the study, and it was a blast. We will cover your travel, feed you and give you a stipend for participating.

If you are interested, email thomas.thornhill@yale.edu


This one seems to be a fake. Sent an email to be sure, but the mail apparently couldn't get delivered.

No credibility here.


You may want to check to make sure there wasn't a typo or something when you emailed. I emailed the address above on Monday and Thomas sent me an email reply from that same address this morning.
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Brain scans of people who are Actually Free?

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Here is a new podcast from the Hamilton Project blog. It is an interview with a neuroscientist Judd Brewer, a researcher at Yale University who is doing brain research on advanced yogis. I will be going to Yale at the end of the year to participate in the research myself. I do believe other yogis here and other sites have already participated. It is also a call to any other advanced yogis with a path or two or AF who wish to participate.

http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com/2011/08/meditating-in-big-magnetic-tube-part-ii.html

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