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Consciousness Society: Validation of First and Second Person Methods for Inquiry.

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Consciousness Presentation - May 31, 2014 First and Second Person Subjective Qualitative Approaches to Achieving Whole Brain Synchrony for Peak Experience and Peak Performance Whole brain synchrony is a well-known and sought after state which has the capacity to beneficially shift consciousness to states of flow whereby right and left cerebral hemispheres and prefrontal and brain stem regions work in harmonious union, e.g. brainwave patterns are synchronous or in phase. The benefits of entering whole brain synchronous states are numerous including a sharpening of mental clarity, enhanced ability to problem solve, and resultant measurable subtle increases in creativity, intuition, and insight. Importantly, whole brain synchronization induces a Relaxation Response that automatically reduces pain, stress, and anxiety in the body through the secretion of helpful homeostatic neurochemicals such as oxytocin, dopamine, endogenous morphine, and cyclic nitric oxide. Dr. Wrights presentation will explore and make a case for the scholarly community to re-consider the historical normal science bias against first and second person subjective methods for inquiry especially the requirement that a researchers own experience be bracketed out in a quest for objectivity.

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First and Second Person Subjective Qualitative Approaches to Achieving Whole Brain Synchrony for Peak Experience and Peak Performance with Robert Wright, Jr., PhD, COFT (TSD, '13) Consciousness Society San Francisco, May 31, 2014 www.StressFreeNow.info Studies are peer reviewed.Studies are peer reviewed. Study outcomes are tested for replicability.Study outcomes are tested for replicability. Random assignments and blinding are used to reduceRandom assignments and blinding are used to reduce experimenter biases.experimenter biases. Control groups are used as a way to help and correct forControl groups are used as a way to help and correct for data interpretations.data interpretations. Hypotheses are used to suggest explanations for observedHypotheses are used to suggest explanations for observed phenomena.phenomena. Statistical measures are used to shift data results forStatistical measures are used to shift data results for reliability and statistically significant correlations in anreliability and statistically significant correlations in an attempt to validate or invalidate results.attempt to validate or invalidate results. Emphasis on maintaining objectivity by measuring fromEmphasis on maintaining objectivity by measuring from 3rd person perspective.3rd person perspective. There are many good things about the way scientificThere are many good things about the way scientific and scholarly inquiry is currently conducted using theand scholarly inquiry is currently conducted using the scientific method paradigm:scientific method paradigm: Why We Require New Approaches to InquiryWhy We Require New Approaches to Inquiry This approach to scientific and scholarly inquiry hasThis approach to scientific and scholarly inquiry has resulted in many remarkable discoveries but asresulted in many remarkable discoveries but as quantum science shows, there may not be any trulyquantum science shows, there may not be any truly objective approach to inquiry; according to thisobjective approach to inquiry; according to this view, all inquiry is subjective.view, all inquiry is subjective. For over half a century, modern neuroscience has been on aFor over half a century, modern neuroscience has been on a reductionist path, breaking things down into ever smaller parts withreductionist path, breaking things down into ever smaller parts with the hope that understanding all the little pieces will eventuallythe hope that understanding all the little pieces will eventually explain the whole. Unfortunately, many people think that becauseexplain the whole. Unfortunately, many people think that because reductionism is so often useful in solving problems, it is therefore alsoreductionism is so often useful in solving problems, it is therefore also sufficient for solving them, and generations of neuroscientists havesufficient for solving them, and generations of neuroscientists have been raised on this dogma. This misapplication of reductionism leadsbeen raised on this dogma. This misapplication of reductionism leads to the perverse and tenacious belief that somehow reductionism itselfto the perverse and tenacious belief that somehow reductionism itself will tell us how the brain works, when what is really needed arewill tell us how the brain works, when what is really needed are attempts to bridge different levels of discourse.attempts to bridge different levels of discourse. ---Ramachandran and Blakeslee, 1998, p. 264---Ramachandran and Blakeslee, 1998, p. 264 3rd Person Emphasis In terms of human science research, the standardIn terms of human science research, the standard paradigm for inquiry emphasizes the 3rd personparadigm for inquiry emphasizes the 3rd person perspective; regardless of whether the study method isperspective; regardless of whether the study method is quantitative, mixed, or qualitative [Wilber Quadrant 3].quantitative, mixed, or qualitative [Wilber Quadrant 3]. The 3rd person perspective operates by and emphasizesThe 3rd person perspective operates by and emphasizes bracketing out the researchers own influence orbracketing out the researchers own influence or experience in an attempt to maintain objectivity and/orexperience in an attempt to maintain objectivity and/or reduce biases.reduce biases. This necessarily results in a knowledge gap since not allThis necessarily results in a knowledge gap since not all phenomena is measurable as quantifiable data. Moreover,phenomena is measurable as quantifiable data. Moreover, certain types of Statebound experience can only becertain types of Statebound experience can only be known or witnessed in or at that Statebound level from aknown or witnessed in or at that Statebound level from a 1st or 2nd person perspective, e.g. How do you measure an1st or 2nd person perspective, e.g. How do you measure an idea or where ideas come from? How do you measure theidea or where ideas come from? How do you measure the source of the mind or where the mind ends or begins?source of the mind or where the mind ends or begins? (Fisher, 1971, 1973; Momen, 1984).(Fisher, 1971, 1973; Momen, 1984). My Mother Died When I Was 9 Years Old.My Mother Died When I Was 9 Years Old. Hospitalized for Stress Burnout.Hospitalized for Stress Burnout. Experimented with Holistic Solutions forExperimented with Holistic Solutions for Wellness.Wellness. Stumbled Across Field ofStumbled Across Field of Psychoneuroimmunology.Psychoneuroimmunology. Successfully Used Applied Guided MentalSuccessfully Used Applied Guided Mental Imagery.Imagery. My Unexpected Journey to the Land of 1st & 2nd Person Method Completed Masters Level Studies inCompleted Masters Level Studies in Neuropsychology and Psychophysiology of StressNeuropsychology and Psychophysiology of Stress Reduction.Reduction. Dear Friend Commits Suicide Unexpectedly.Dear Friend Commits Suicide Unexpectedly. Friends Death Triggers Motherloss & ExistentialFriends Death Triggers Motherloss & Existential Grief.Grief. Completed Dissertation Study on Motherloss &Completed Dissertation Study on Motherloss & Existential Grief Recovery.Existential Grief Recovery. Wellness/Stress Reduction Coaching, Author,Wellness/Stress Reduction Coaching, Author, Speaker.Speaker. My Unexpected Journey to the Land of 1st & 2nd Person Method Meaning and Point of Catastrophic BifurcationMeaning and Point of Catastrophic Bifurcation This is any place where an event occurs and your life isThis is any place where an event occurs and your life is never the same afterwards, e.g. Anne Mariesnever the same afterwards, e.g. Anne Maries unexpected suicide re-triggers my Motherloss andunexpected suicide re-triggers my Motherloss and Existential grief and leads to clarity of meaning andExistential grief and leads to clarity of meaning and direction for my study.direction for my study. Why continue in the doctoral program and do the workWhy continue in the doctoral program and do the work entailed to complete a doctoral dissertation if it had noentailed to complete a doctoral dissertation if it had no real meaning for me? Combs (2002, p. 51) refers to thisreal meaning for me? Combs (2002, p. 51) refers to this type of liberating dilemma as a point oftype of liberating dilemma as a point of catastrophiccatastrophic bifurcationbifurcation.. Consequences of Over-ThinkingConsequences of Over-Thinking and Complexityand Complexity Gregory Bateson (2000, 2002) and Edgar Morin (2008) concludedGregory Bateson (2000, 2002) and Edgar Morin (2008) concluded that human beings have suffered as a result of our over-reliance uponthat human beings have suffered as a result of our over-reliance upon thinking processes. Both Bateson and Morin indicate that thinking,thinking processes. Both Bateson and Morin indicate that thinking, especially over thinking, is a disease which has inflicted much painespecially over thinking, is a disease which has inflicted much pain and sorrow upon humanity.and sorrow upon humanity. Bateson (2000, 2002), Krishnamurti (1975, 2007), and Morin (2008)Bateson (2000, 2002), Krishnamurti (1975, 2007), and Morin (2008) all say that as complexity increases, the need to remove the diseaseall say that as complexity increases, the need to remove the disease of thinking increases. During the film panel discussion, Dr. Leslieof thinking increases. During the film panel discussion, Dr. Leslie Combs intimated that movies which seemed complex when firstCombs intimated that movies which seemed complex when first viewed years ago; viewed years later, no longer presented themselvesviewed years ago; viewed years later, no longer presented themselves as being complex. This may be an example of the mind reorderingas being complex. This may be an example of the mind reordering itself to higher levels of complexity.itself to higher levels of complexity. Ken Wilbers Four (4) Quadrants of KnowledgeKen Wilbers Four (4) Quadrants of Knowledge for Stress, Anxiety, Physical Pain and/or Grieffor Stress, Anxiety, Physical Pain and/or Grief Adapted from Wilber (1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004). Upper Left Quadrant 1 Interior - I Intentional Subjective Question: What is my experience (feeling) of my stress, anxiety, physical pain and/or grief? Upper Right Quadrant 2 Exterior- you (it) thinking self Behavioral Objective Question: What is the experience (essence) of my stress, anxiety, physical pain and/or grief? Lower Right Quadrant Interior We Intersubjective Cultural Question: What is the experience (essence) of our stress, anxiety, physical pain and/or grief? Lower Right Quadrant Exterior Them (it) Interobjective Social Question: What is the (systemic) experience of societal stress, anxiety, physical pain and/or grief? Wilber Quadrant 1 Experience: how you feel in yourWilber Quadrant 1 Experience: how you feel in your body Bodily Feltsense interior subjective.body Bodily Feltsense interior subjective. Example: What is my experience of my stress? What isExample: What is my experience of my stress? What is my experience of my anxiety? What is my experience ofmy experience of my anxiety? What is my experience of my physical pain? What is my experience of my grief?my physical pain? What is my experience of my grief? Wilber Quadrant 2 Experience: how you describe yourWilber Quadrant 2 Experience: how you describe your feeling objective thinking self exterior objective.feeling objective thinking self exterior objective. Example: What is the experience of my stress? What isExample: What is the experience of my stress? What is the experience of my anxiety? What is the experience ofthe experience of my anxiety? What is the experience of my physical pain? What is the experience of my grief?my physical pain? What is the experience of my grief? The Phenomenological Experience Gap Missed By 3rdThe Phenomenological Experience Gap Missed By 3rd Person Reductionist/Deconstructionist Methods: WhatPerson Reductionist/Deconstructionist Methods: What does it FEEL like in your body to live the experience,does it FEEL like in your body to live the experience, not merely quantify or describe the essence of thenot merely quantify or describe the essence of the experience? e.g. Bodily Feltsenseexperience? e.g. Bodily Feltsense Quotation What is heart-breaking about the paradigm-shifting process is that people tend to believe that the values they hear expounded about by the new worldview...can simply be incorporated into the Newtonian worldview. This would be like putting four-dimensional vision into an animal that has only three-dimensional faculties. A paradigm shift is not a matter of fine tuning what we already use, or even seeing it in greater detail. Instead, an entirely new dimension(s) emerges to show us that the world is very different from what we had previously envisioned. --Miller, 1996, p. 31 Examples of 1st & 2nd Person MethodsExamples of 1st & 2nd Person Methods Heuristic InquiryHeuristic Inquiry Heuristic Self Search Inquiry [HSSI]Heuristic Self Search Inquiry [HSSI] DreamingDreaming FocusingFocusing IntrospectionIntrospection Lucid DreamingLucid Dreaming MeditationMeditation PhenomenologyPhenomenology Modified Neuropsychological/PsychophysiologicalModified Neuropsychological/Psychophysiological HSSIHSSI Range of Experience:Range of Experience: Global Hyper-Hypo Arousal ModelGlobal Hyper-Hypo Arousal Model According to Fisher (1971, 1973, 1975) and MomenAccording to Fisher (1971, 1973, 1975) and Momen (1984), all experience can be classified as either hyper(1984), all experience can be classified as either hyper or hypo Statebound experience. These researchersor hypo Statebound experience. These researchers indicate that there are two (2) directions in whichindicate that there are two (2) directions in which consciousness can be altered.consciousness can be altered. First, the Ergotropic pathway represents experiencesFirst, the Ergotropic pathway represents experiences which engender increases in arousal, culminating in thewhich engender increases in arousal, culminating in the extreme of mystical ecstasy.extreme of mystical ecstasy. Second, the Trophotropic pathway representsSecond, the Trophotropic pathway represents experiences where decreased arousal culminates inexperiences where decreased arousal culminates in deep trance.deep trance. The next diagram presents a visual comparison of theThe next diagram presents a visual comparison of the Ergotropic and the Trophotropic pathways representingErgotropic and the Trophotropic pathways representing aspects of human experience as Statebound knowledge.aspects of human experience as Statebound knowledge. Ergotropic Pathway Tropotropic Pathway Hyperarousal Hyper- Stimulatory Levels of Statebound Experience Hypoarousal Hypo-Stimulatory Beta Brainwave State Routine Activity Ordinary Waking Consciousness Beta Brainwave State Hi Beta Brainwave State Excitement Daydreaming/Rel axation Hypnotic Trance Alpha Brainwave State Unknown Brainwave State Anxiety/Mania Hypnopompic/ Hypnogogic Imagery-Twilight State Theta Brainwave State Unknown Brainwave State Mystical Experience Ecstatic Trance Bidirectionality Abreaction Mystical Experience Deep Trance or Samadhi Delta Brainwave State Statebound Experience: Comparison of Ergotropic and Tropotropic Pathways Adapted from Fisher (1971, 1973, 1975); Momen (1984). Humans were never meant to see the world through a lens of chronic fear or other negative emotions. We were meant to experience the world directly as it is. We were meant to form deep connections to other human beings. With attention trainingwe can open our hearts to experience the fullness of our senses, and reconnect with forgotten parts of ourselves. We can experience moments of unity and transcendence and find the world has been reenchanted. It will be a watershed moment in human evolution when we are able to pay attention to how we pay attention, control our attention, and take personal responsibility for the creation of our own realities. ---Fehmi and Robbins 2007, p. 8 Quotation Whole Brain SynchronyWhole Brain Synchrony Parts of brain begin to work together harmoniously.Parts of brain begin to work together harmoniously. Brain resonance occurs when neurons begin toBrain resonance occurs when neurons begin to vibrate at the same frequency.vibrate at the same frequency. Neural pathways tend to fire more rapidly.Neural pathways tend to fire more rapidly. Brainwave patterns are in phase or synchronized.Brainwave patterns are in phase or synchronized. Also known as Whole Head Synchrony or WholeAlso known as Whole Head Synchrony or Whole Brain Functioning or Hemispheric SynchronizationBrain Functioning or Hemispheric Synchronization or Whole Brain Synchronization (Fehmi & Robbins,or Whole Brain Synchronization (Fehmi & Robbins, 2007).2007). Why Whole Brain SynchronyWhy Whole Brain Synchrony is a Desired and Sought After Stateis a Desired and Sought After State Increased Creativity.Increased Creativity. Increased Insight.Increased Insight. Increased Intuition.Increased Intuition. Increased Relaxation Response.Increased Relaxation Response. Increased Accelerated Learning Abilities.Increased Accelerated Learning Abilities. Increased Mental Clarity.Increased Mental Clarity. Increased Ability to Problem Solve Successfully.Increased Ability to Problem Solve Successfully. Increased Compassion and Empathy.Increased Compassion and Empathy. Increased Parasympathetic Nervous System Reactivity.Increased Parasympathetic Nervous System Reactivity. Whole Brain SynchronyWhole Brain Synchrony Viewed as a Way of Paying AttentionViewed as a Way of Paying Attention Experience of whole brain synchronization enhancesExperience of whole brain synchronization enhances healthy well being.healthy well being. Open Focus is one way to achieve whole brainOpen Focus is one way to achieve whole brain synchrony without equipment.synchrony without equipment. Prolonged and excessive stress can negatively impactProlonged and excessive stress can negatively impact almost every aspect of your life.almost every aspect of your life. Maintaining a narrow focused attentional style for longMaintaining a narrow focused attentional style for long periods often leads to chronic stress and pain, and leftperiods often leads to chronic stress and pain, and left unattended to, turns into disease states.unattended to, turns into disease states. Developing attentional flexibility gives you the capacityDeveloping attentional flexibility gives you the capacity to enter a beneficial homeostatic state of whole brainto enter a beneficial homeostatic state of whole brain synchronization volitionally.synchronization volitionally. NO Flatlining NO Spiking Fully Associated Mental Clarity Emotional Clarity Euphoria Mild Delirium Transpersonal Transcendent Experience Sense of Unity Grief/ Mourning/ Bereavement Yes No Yes No No No No No Stress Yes No Yes No No No No No Healing No Yes Yes Yes Yes Possible Possible Possible Dopamine Spike No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Oxytocin Spike No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Serotonin Spike No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Possible Endorphin Spike No Yes Depends Yes Yes Yes Yes Possible Attention: Open Focus Global No Yes Depends Yes Yes Possible Possible Possible Pain Yes No Yes No No No No No Fear/Anxiety Yes No Yes No No No No No Lucid Dream State Unknown Unknown Depends Yes Depends Unknown Unknown Unknown Example of Richness of Data Collection with Modified HSSI MethodExample of Richness of Data Collection with Modified HSSI Method Elements of Peak Performance State where an individual performs to the maximum of her ability. Enhanced levels of self awareness. High levels of confidence and focused concentration upon task or goal completion. Accomplishment is seemingly effortless. Individual experiences a flow state of being in the zone of excellence. Elements of Peak Experience Transpersonal and ecstatic state. Sense of Unity, Oneness and Awe. Sense of interconnectedness. Time perception may be altered to witness time elongation, time quickening and/or timelessness. Altered State of Consciousness (ASC). Therapeutic increases in creativity, compassion for self and others, and personal locus of control (stress reduction). Self actualization state or individuation (Maslow Level 5). Personal growth, intrinsic meaning and purpose. Stress-Anxiety-Physical Pain Scale Rate your current state on a scale from 0 to 10 0 you feel great, have no pain, have no distress 10 you have unbearable pain and are in distress Category Stress Anxiety Physical Pain Mental Clarity Before After Stress Reduction Exercises Open Focus Technique. 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Neurophenomenology. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3(4), 330-348. Varela, F. (1999). Ethical know-how: Action, wisdom, and cognition. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Varela, F., & Shear, J. (1999). First-person methodologies: What, why, how? Retrieved from http://www.imprint.co.uk/pdf/VFW_introduc.pdf. Watkins, L., & Mayer, D. (1986). Multiple endogenous opiate and nonopiate analgesia systems: Evidence of their existence and clinical implications. In D. Kelly. (Ed.). Stress-induced analgesia (p. 273-299). New York, NY: New York Academy of Sciences. References Watt, D., Verma, S., & Flynn, L. (1998). Wellness programs: A review of the literature. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 158(2), 224-230. Watzlawick, P., Weakland, J., & Fisch, R. (1974). Change: Principles of problem formation and problem resolution. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. Webb, N. (1993). Helping bereaved children: A handbook for practitioners. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Wegner, D. (2003). The minds best trick: How we experience conscious will. Trends in Cognitive Science, 7, 65-69. Wilber, K. (1996). A brief history of everything. Boston, MA: Shambhala. Wilber, K. (1997). The eye of spirit. Boston, MA: Shambhala. References Wilber, K. (2000). Integral psychology: Consciousness, spirit, psychology, therapy. Boston, MA: Shambhala Press. Wilber, K. (2002). The spectrum of consciousness. Boston, MA: Shambhala Press. Wright, R. (2006). Lifting the veil on success, high achievement, and what makes winners and champions win: A neuropsychological examination of the underlying mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual correlates which lead to successful peak performance outcomes; elucidation and analysis of the experience of being in the flow state or in the zone which results in remarkable achievements. (Unpublished Research Paper). Montpelier, VT: Union Institute & University. Wright, R. (2007). Stress related health disparities in African American communities: Can Open Focus provide a modicum of ameliorative stress relief? (Unpublished Masters Thesis). Montpelier, VT: Union Institute & University. References Wright, R. (2009). Using transcendental phenomenology for describing the experience of unresolved grief arising out of the death of ones mother: A pilot study. PowerPoint presentation for Research Paradigms, Methods, and Designs. California Institute of Integral Studies. Wright, R. (2012). The role of endogenous cyclic nitric oxide spiking in Motherloss and Existential grief recovery: A modified neuropsychological and psychophysiological Heuristic Self Search Inquiry approach to stress reduction, homeostasis and healing. (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest May 30, 2014: http://gradworks.umi.com/35/39/3539752.html Wright, R. (2013). Orgasmic relaxation: Unleash the power of your mind to relax using the Tension Relieving Technique (TRT). Sunrise, FL: Quiet Lake International, LLC. http://www.amazon.com/Orgasmic-Relaxation-Unleash- Relieving-Technique-ebook/dp/B00EBZUN4S First and Second Person Subjective Qualitative Approaches to Achieving Whole Brain Synchrony for Peak Experience and Peak Performance Whole brain synchrony is a well-known and sought after state which has the capacity to beneficially shift consciousness to states of flow whereby right and left cerebral hemispheres and prefrontal and brain stem regions work in harmonious union, e.g. brainwave patterns are synchronous or in phase. The benefits of entering whole brain synchronous states are numerous including a sharpening of mental clarity, enhanced ability to problem solve, and resultant measurable subtle increases in creativity, intuition, and insight. Importantly, whole brain synchronization induces a Relaxation Response that automatically reduces pain, stress, and anxiety in the body through the secretion of helpful homeostatic neurochemicals such as oxytocin, dopamine, endogenous morphine, and cyclic nitric oxide. Dr. Wrights presentation will explore and make a case for the scholarly community to re-consider the historical normal science bias against first and second person subjective methods for inquiry especially the requirement that a researchers own experience be bracketed out in a quest for objectivity. Attendees will experience a demonstration of Open Focus and the Brain Pattern Interrupt technique as a way of showing experientially how conscious attention can be shifted such that attendees can know [ontologically] and feel via bodily feltsense both Wilber Quadrant 1 & 2 phenomena in order to validate the potential rigor of self reporting as researcher(s). Robert Wright, Jr., Ph.D., COFT www.StressFreeNow.info Robert Wright, Jr., Ph.D., COFT (TSD, '13) is an author, speaker, and Stress Management Wellness Coach. His passionate goal is translating the significance and implications of scholarly stress and nitric oxide spiking research into language and practical techniques which can improve the healthy well-being of the general public. Dr. Wright's most recent eBook is entitled Orgasmic Relaxation: Unleash The Power Of Your Mind To Relax Using The Tension Relieving Technique, and he is the author of the forthcoming book entitled Orgasmic Relaxation: Finding Your Sweet Spot Using The Brain Plasticity Enhancement Technique.

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