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Metaphysical Mind-Body Relations - Science topic

The relation between the mind and the body in a religious, social, spiritual, behavioral, and metaphysical context. This concept is significant in the field of alternative medicine. It differs from the relationship between physiologic processes and behavior where the emphasis is on the body's physiology ( = PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY).
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As far as I know, these ideas have been used mainly in theological discussions. However, it seems to me that such ideas would also have application in more general discussions of Cartesian dualism and the mind–body problem, e.g. they could be used to describe what happens to the Cartesian soul or mind when one is sleeping dreamlessly or when one is unconscious.
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Interesting. I will search for information.
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Be it resilience, communications, leadership, diversity & inclusion, etc., many of us have been provided soft skills training. Some of which we used and some of which we did not. If you are over 18 years old, have had any type of soft skills training and would be willing to share a few minutes with me to answer a few questions concerning why you used or did not use the soft skills learned, please use the link below to contact me. For anonymity please do not volunteer in the comments area of this post.
Thank You, Ricky
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It has to do with the way in which we, as homosapiens, regard any subject matter, situation, object, person, etc. Whenever we're making choices about anything, we subconsciously gravitate towards the choice that is 'perceived' as the stronger or more aggressive one. Evidence-based research in healthcare teaches us this time and time again. If there is evidence to support a more passive treatment approach, we will still discount it in favour of a more active, agressive form of treatment - even when it is not evidence-based. So, by the very virtue of the title 'soft skills', we readily and subconsciously discount them as being 'less worthy' and therefore not useful.
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In a recent years, Many scholars and philosophers start advocating that consciousness exists outside the brain.
  1. Stuart Hameroff - Orchestrated objective reduction
  2. Neil Theise
  3. Dean Radin
  4. Robert Spira
  5. And various others
Does Non-local consciousness exist or it is an emergent property of physical process inside the brain?
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Please take a look at this useful RG link.
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I want to know how spirtuality control the biological pathway involved in immune function.
would it be possible to refrence some articles about this subject?
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Kindly go through this useful PDF attachment.
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Karl Jaspers use the term cipher for the path to universal transcendence.  How does relate to the symbols of a syllogism?
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Don't use words.  Use signs, symbols or whatever is necessary to make your idea clear.  Fill out the content of C and A explicitly, and mediate.
Best,
J
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The reason I ask this question is because somewhere or the other there seems to be a similarity with what each of these mean but in their own area of research. These seem like jargons that are being used to portray the importance of a subject with no knowledge or correlation with the other. I am open to all kind of speculation and criticisms to this understanding.
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Mariano, the soul is not only that of Catholic origin and Jesus himself had a soul....the soul has been in many religions for many years and has been metaphorically used in the way an individual would want to write his or her scripture. I do agree that science does not approve of the soul....but who and what is science to not approve of the soul...is it just because the soul cannot be reduce to the reductionist approaches of science. Therefore seeking the mind in the brain cannot help, as the mind is that which created the brain. The mind resides in every part of the body just like the soul and has, is and will drive every bit of creation. @Beatrice, the nervus vagus is a transmitter of the soul or the mind; the built in microtubule network can help understand why it is better than the nerve cells or any other networking
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There is an underlying paradox within the current psychophysical reductionist framework, which may be harder to get out of than many researchers imagined. In short, the paradox is that once conscious states become an object of examination, they become a part of the physical world, thereby losing their subjective attributes and content; likewise, when we finally attain its subjective content, we cannot express it without necessarily losing it, leaving it incapable of being examined objectively. This paradox is achieved by creating the distinction between mind and world, or equivalently, between the subject (expresser) and object (expression), and between substance and content. Thus, it appears that the current neuroscientific framework endorses a dualistic ontology by affirming these erroneous distinctions.
What conceptual transformations must be called upon that aim to advance our understanding of the relation between humanity and nature, and between mind, brain and body?
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Dear Alfredo,
You are wandering off the point and being very Procrustean, I think. My point was that Descartes's soul was essentially a unit of force. Physics uses words like matter and energy but I doubt you will find anyone who denies it also deals with force. Moreover, in modern physics 'matter' is probably only talked about in television programmes for the layman. The subject of study is considered to be the interactions between dynamic field units and fields of potentials - which are Aristotelian formal causes.
Only laymen and philosophers think physics is 'restricted to matter' - maybe because they want room for something more airy fairy. Modern physics has confirmed Leibniz's deduction that our intuitive sense of matter arises from the interactions of force units. Unless something exerts or responds to force it is unknowable. If a physicist discovers some evidence for an aspect of reality that does not fit in the current knowledge about forces she does not say 'oh that is not matter' but instead immediately makes room for it and calls it 'dark matter'. Matter just means anything that can cause through force. Moreover, the ultimate yardstick of what it causes is experience, so thinking and experience are integral to physics in that sense too. 
I agree that modern neurophysics has lost touch with where thinking and feeling fit into the force based model - that was exactly my point - that Descartes did a better job, even if his results were crude. But that does not mean that thinking and feeling are outside a more enlightened neurophysics. If you talk to someone with a broader perspective like Semir Zeki he is quite comfortable with a place for experience in physics. 
And you cannot say that thinking processes are not causal in the sense of modern physics. If I think I will have another cup of coffee I find myself caused to go to the coffee machine and make one. Physics suggests that the causes involve neurons firing and integrating signals.
And you don't seem to have read my first paragraph properly. I deliberately phrased it so that both common uses of the word physics are included - the schema of ideas or study, AND what is being studied. I am allowing the reader to take whatever metaphysical position they prefer and, as you know, I think Kant is an irrelevant dumber-down in all this.
I stick to my contention that for Descartes the soul was within his physics and that if you read Passions of the Soul you will see that he was intending to explain as much as he could in very much the sort of reductive causal relational terms we are used to in our own physics. He just found the soul incompatible with billiard ball collision mechanics - which we can now understand very easily since such mechanics has been abandoned at the fundamental level.
Best wishes
Jo
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Making the creator supreme is part of the quest for the ego for a super-identity. The ego identifies with greatness in order to glorify itself. This lays the foundation for Narcissism in religious thought.
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Yes I agree, but religion and a supreme being are also a manifestation of man's frailty, weakness, fear and feeling of helplessness. Man "creates" a super being that will give back life to a loved one, protect one from natural disasters and calamities, rescue him from poverty, violence and threats, and bring him to a heavenly paradise.
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My current project is called “Maturity levels of Self-development”.
In this project I am gathering information from sciences [philosophy, psychology, Neuro-sciences etc.] as well as from spiritual and even magical literatur including other religions too.
My starting point is the 2000 year old “Gnothi seauton” or “Know Thyself”.
So the basic vocabulary I am dealing with is (extract): psyche, self, conciousness, unconciousness, mind, body, emotions, feelings, will, archetypes, development, transformation, individuation, etc.
I am convinced that the popular word “comfort zone” describes a very helpful construct for my project work, insofar, as each level of maturity has its own comfort zone, all of which are qualitatively different.
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We need more information to help you, how do you give a levels of maturity?, it is mixed.
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Most of the available cognitive assessment tools are for abnormal people.
I am trying to grade the cognition in normal people.
I am interested in doing research on effect of yoga on cognitive abilities in normal population.
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It depends on the outcome(s) you are hypothesizing.  There are all sorts of batteries you could use that are designed for typically developing adults, e.g., Wechsler IQ tests, Kaufman assessment batteries, etc. for overall cognitive ability.  But maybe you're wondering about potential changes in attention or memory, or nonverbal reasoning, in which case you would look at other measures that focus specifically on these abilities.  (There are no risks of ceiling effects unless you are somehow anticipating that your sample is either atypically gifted or that yoga will have a very large effect, as these tools are normed on reasonably large, representative samples.)
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Does anyone know any experiments on metaphors? How to do the experiments? And what kind of questions would be better to ask?
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Certainly I can explain, Yanxia.  A ballet dance expresses meaning with different positions of her body. She becomes a living metaphor, so that her own body represents the forms of something difficult. A sword is straight and cuts. Therefore she can extend her two arms upward placing them together and pointing them straight over her head. In this fashion she resembles a sword as much as a human body can! She may even use cutting, angular movements with her extended arms to imitate the slicing movements of a sword.  Does this make my meaning clear?   "Crayonné" signifies something like "scribbling" or crayon markings.
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There are several research on Transcendental Meditation (TM), for example, has found reduced blood pressure and insulin resistance, slowing of biological aging, and even a reduction in the rates of heart attack, stroke and death. The American Heart Association, which last year released a statement saying that decades of research indicates TM lowers blood pressure and may be considered by clinicians as a treatment for high BP.
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There are many aspects to this question, such as who, exactly, will adopt and offer meditation programs to the public, are all public meditation programs the same (and if not, how do they differ), and whether research on the effects or benefits of a specific technique (such as Transcendental Meditation) can be generalized to apply to other forms of meditation or other teachings.
The question as it stands is general, yet does not review all relevant research. For example, increased resistance to infectious diseases, mediated by TM, is not mentioned.
When considering public meditation programs, comparable observation, measurement, and experimentation need to be done to compare and contrast the various programs and techniques that could be made available to schools, medical facilities, or other institutions in society. Frankly, we are missing the kind of easily imitated standard research design (such as using the STAI Form Y inventory for measuring state and trait anxiety) that could be used by an independent research group to evaluate mindfulness, Zazen, transcending, and other such practical programs in a way that permits direct comparison of public benefit. These programs are not all the same in their mental or physical benefits.
Costs also need to be considered, as any effective meditation program will involve teaching, support, and other administration overhead that must either be purchased by institutions, donated by nonprofit organizations, or paid for by government agencies.
When considering expenses, for example, Transcendental Meditation (TM) is not the only organization that makes courses in transcending available to individuals and organizations. The little-known and unpublicized alternative, Natural Stress Relief (NSR) provides quality instruction and support for learning transcending, at only 7% of the TM course fee, by eliminating the need for providing trained teachers for each student, patient, or client. (NSR could also be tapped for research subjects; two papers have been published on the results of NSR, and another is in preparation.)
Since the underlying mechanism of transcending is the creation of a unique state of deep rest (which has physiological markers that show it as distinct from deep sleep or dreaming), a state which, with regular practice, dramatically reduces not only anxiety, but also all other stress-related disorders such as fear, anger, feelings of inadequacy, lack of autonomy, lack of self-direction, and lack of self-satisfaction, inability to relate socially or in a love relationship, low self-esteem, low productivity, bad habits such as substance abuse, and so forth, the public benefits of transcending certainly don't need to be limited to the treatment of non-contagious diseases.
But, as a place to start, using transcending as an adjunctive intervention to lower blood pressure is a good way to begin the introduction of transcending as an accepted and standard procedure for improving general public mental and physical health.
Disclaimer: I am president of Natural Stress Relief/USA and I help to conduct research into the effects and benefits of NSR meditation. I take no salary for this work, and NSR/USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational and research charity.
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Is anyone aware of literature that considers what could perhaps be thought of as perceptual mereology? What I mean by this is a parts-whole account of how we perceive and understand our worlds, how we bring the parts we apprehend together to form the whole worlds as meaningful experiences? This question arose out of another question I posted and I wanted to share this with a wider audience.
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Dear Paul,
The problem of 'bringing perceptual parts together' is discussed in a wide variety of places from Descartes to contemporary neuroscience. The question is where to start and what aspect to home in on. The key source texts that immediately come to mind might be:
Descartes in Meditations and Leibniz in Monadology make it clear that a perceiving subject must have a single indivisible relation to the totality of what it perceives so that relation cannot be of a familiar mechanical sort. So it would seem that there cannot be any parts - just complexity, and Leibniz spends a lot of time justifying this.
William James worries about the 'combination' of what might be called microexperiences as parts of a total experience on a panpsychist background in Principles of Psychology. He concludes that there is no plausible basis for this.
The Gestalt movement also focused on the totality and indivisibility of experiences but I am not familiar with the literature.
In more recent times a number of neuroscientists have suggested that the elements or parts of a 'scene', such as the features of various objects, might be brought together as a whole through synchronisation of cellular firing. This has become a confused area because it is almost certainly true that synchronisation is used by the brain to 'triage' features to different objects during processing. However, although the champions of synchronisation often imply that this is the same as 'bringing perceptual parts together into a totality' it is not and the same mechanism cannot achieve both. Almost certainly synchronisation cannot itself achieve perceptual 'binding' for the simple reason that the synchronised signals are in different places.
A whole group of people have also tried to 'bring perceptual parts together' using the concept of unified fields within the brain. A number of the theories that venture into quantum theory involve this - Frohlich's 1968 paper, Hameroff and Penrose, and others. Others like Pribram, McFadden and Freeman deal with fields in a more general way. (The relevant references should pop up on Google fairly easily with the names.) I have recently written a paper in Journal of Consciousness Studies looking at the problems of theories invoking 'unified fields' and have suggested, rather like Descartes, that what we need is not a unified field but a unified relation between a field and some 'indivisible substance' which in modern physics would be a mode of excitation. My website (linked to by my RG page) goes into my background reasons in various ways.
Within neuroscience perhaps the most popular theories of what makes certain signals co-contribute to experience are those of Tononi (Integrated Information Theory) and of Changeux and Dehaene. To my mind there is still a locality problem for these, but C&D propose some very plausible background requirements.
So there's lots of stuff, but to my mind the most interesting thing is that we are still not agreed on what could be feasible within biophysics.
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If energy is neither created nor destroyed, then how did energy come about in the first place? Energy perceived by consciousness is information. Consciousness is a form of energy that is self aware. There are states of consciousness that can include individual states to cosmic states of consciousness. Buddha becoming enlightened entered the cosmic state of consciousness which is the highest state where one becomes aware of the witness that does not change. Consciousness includes the mind and intelligence which is a projection from the physical brain, however, consciousness is not just a biological process as consciousness remains after the death of the physical brain. Personality is a attribute of consciousness that changes with time and experience. Emotions are attributes that that also change with time and experience. The core of consciousness (witness) remains the same.
Consciousness is software and the mind is an essential component of this software responsible for generating thoughts that are based on experience to evaluate the world around us. The brain is the hardware. The data (experiences) from the software is stored in the server (cloud) and when the hardware is faulty and breaks down, the experiences in the cloud remain. Consciousness does not die with the death of the physical body and energy is neither created nor destroyed, consciousness transforms.
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"Consciousness is software and the mind is an essential component of this software responsible for generating thoughts that are based on experience to evaluate the world around us. The brain is the hardware."
"Consciousness does not die with the death of the physical body and energy is neither created nor destroyed, consciousness transforms"
What I have seen on RG, more often than I would like, is people with expertise in one field talking about another in which they have little expertise, and feel justified to hold positions which are non-scientific. I find these two claims above to be of this class.
First, the mind/body = software/hardware equation, while it was the foundation of mid C20th functionalism, smacks of an unreconstructed Cartesianism and has been abandoned by most cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind. The Mind/body distinction is a belief with no evidence to support it.
Second, 'consciousness' assumes non-conscious processes, so the distinction is false.
Third, the immortality of consciousness is a religious postulate with no evidence to support it, just like the mind/body dualism.
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Physicists, artists, musicians, and mystics all conceptualize the fourth dimension differently and for different purposes. The mystique of the fourth dimension appeals to all who contemplate it.
The fourth dimension lies beyond our daily experience. So, visualizing, exploring, and understanding it seems at first impossible. Such understanding would require us to develop an intuition about a world that we will never see.
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Time is a subset of resonance, which is caused by half spin matter. Only matter experiences time. When you observe the physical matter of the Universe, it does appear that time is flowing in one direction, because matter misses the backward flow of time due to its half spin nature.
But when you explore your own mind, you realize that you are always right here and right now.
Thus we could reason that mind experiences a constant "vibration" of time where it is oscillating one quantum moment into the future and then one quantum moment into the past, with the net result that it exists in the present. Mind would then be existing in a five-dimensional reality and linked to the four-dimensional reality of matter through the body.
The phenomena of "memory" and "foresight" could have physics, which could be residual effects in the link between physical matter and mind.
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Is abstraction possible without perception
The impossibility of abstract thinking without the processes of perception is a highly debated issue in the literature of the philosophy of mind. Contentious arguments are galore in the research corrigendum of whether such a possibility of abstract thinking without the processes of perceptional experience, or pure perception is possible or not. I extend my theory and a complementary explanation that the issue still remains unresolved, but in terms of artificial thinking and artificial perception, the proposition holds good that there is no abstraction possible without the process of perception, and that perception is an independent process which is essential for abstract thinking, albeit in AI thinking. But what about in humans?
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John,
You are right -- "perception" should not be restricted to vision and audition. But as for the Kantian (and perhaps earlier) ideas about pre-ontogenetic basic ideas -- this is a tough task for behavioural/neuroscientific research to prove by traditional research methods. But as I am not a philosopher, I better will not try go into some well-informed discussion on these matters.