There is no mistaking the transformation taking place all around the world. More and more people are seeking out new knowledge, new experiences, new perspectives and new ways in which to learn, grow and express their deepest human essence and well-being. With all the negative news, “fake” news, people are seeking out TRUTH and a REAL experience of life. People are seeking out opportunities to experience and express their most deepest sense of the sacred, deepest sense of their hearts, deepest expression of their creative passions. People are seeking out ways in which to grow themselves and to contribute to the well-being of others, and the planet. These are pursuits of principles, values and goals which TRANSCEND the ego. These are humanistic and TRANSPERSONAL goals.

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Art: Konstantin Korobov

#psychology #wellbeing #transpersonal #spiritual #consciousness #aleftrust



Are you interested in realizing your highest potential in life?


Are you curious about the renewed interest in and science behind, the therapeutic use of psychedelics?

Would you like to keep abreast of the science, news, events, courses and programs in (spiritual) transpersonal psychology, consciousness studies and related topics such as;

– Holistic Development

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…and many more topics related to transpersonal psychology and transformational learning and living

Each month Alef Trust sends out a newsletter which lists many of the lectures, seminars, courses and events taking place around the world from the field of transpersonal psychology and related fields.

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I will be moving most if not all of my content from all my Collections, to the MeWe platform. I will also carry on my posting, writing and opining in areas of psychology, spirituality, well-being, psychedelics, philosophy, technology, sexuality and most of the other topics covered in my G+ Collections. I don’t know where this platform will go, or if I will also move to other platforms. but for now this one seems to hold the greatest promise for duplicating most of the features and functions I got used to in G+. However, I don’t see the ability to “follow” and not actually become a “Contact”. A migration in process.

PS: A system similar to “Collections” is in the works on MeWe, so for now I am not sure how you “follow” me without becoming a “Contact”. I hear public posts are coming as well.

#mewe #socialmedia





Seats remaining in some of our online-courses, 50th Anniversary of Transpersonal Psychology, talks and events with Stanislav Grof, Rupert Sheldrake and others! Check out our Feb Newsletter for more details.

FEB 2019 NEWSLETTER: http://bit.ly/2S81qwh

(1) SEATS REMAINING in a few of our Open Learning Courses!

(2) 50th ANNIVERSARY OF TRANSPERSONAL PSYCHOLOGY (April 12-14) Registration Extended to February 3rd (early bird) and February 24th, 2019.

(3) STANISLAV GROF – DISCOVERING THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE FUTURE (Feb 3rd, 4th & 5th) – FREE online event with the father of transpersonal psychology.

(4) MYSTICS & SCIENTISTS 2019 – April 6-7 2019, University of Greenwich

(5) RUPERT SHELDRAKE – WAYS TO GO BEYOND – Feb. 7 2019, London.

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP: http://bit.ly/2tRXYab

#psychology #stanislavgrof #rupertsheldrake #transpersonalpsychology #msyticsandscientists



“As we saw in the previous entry of this series, philosophers of mind usually distinguish between what (after David Chalmers) they called the ‘easy’ and the ‘hard’ problem of consciousness. The ‘easy’ problem refers to how to explain the functioning of the brain: how does it manage to do things that seem to require some higher or lower degree of consciousness, like recognizing faces, words, social rules, etc.; or to generate sentences or appropriate physical movements, etc. This functioning, as well as its explanation, could in principle be described in purely ‘objectivists’ terms, and to explain the role of consciousness in them would pass through doing something like what we saw in the previous entry: identifying the ‘physical signatures’ of conscious activity, and studying the causal connection between those physical processes and the rest of the brain activity involved in the phenomena we wanted to explain.”

Study consciousness online with Alef Trust.

Open Learning Courses, Postgraduate Certificates, Master’s and PHd programme.



#consciousness #hardproblem #psychology #aleftrust




“One of the most strongly debated philosophical problems is that of the nature of consciousness. This is no surprise, since it is probably the most difficult question, at least apparently, for naturalistic or materialistic views of the world. After all, the necessity of having a spiritual cause of the existence and order of the cosmos is far from being self evident, and also not many people would literally bet their necks for our capacities of catching abstract mathematical truths being utterly unexplainable from the mechanisms of our nervous system.”

Study consciousness online with Alef Trust.

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#consciousness #hardproblem #psychology #aleftrust


Theories of Consciousness

Theories of Consciousness

Originally shared by Todd William

A Brief Thought Experiment ~ Theories of Consciousness

Is it theoretically possible to create consciousnesses in software that is comparable (or better) to our human capacities? Are we going to eventfully write enough code that the code itself becomes self aware?

If you ask Futurist Ray Kurzweil, the answer is a definitive yes. This is precisely what Google has hired him to do.

Kurzweil happily points out that our biology is itself a software process, one that we can ultimately replicate. (1). He summarizes it this way:

“Information defines your personality, your memories, your skills. And it really is information. We ultimately will be able to capture that and actually recreate it.” (2)

Thus Kurzwel is of the impression that if we could create a virtual 3-dimensional simulation of a human brain inside a computer, right down to the atomic level, it would operate just as our physical brains do, right down to having consciousness.


Of course, not all agree. Philosopher John Searle, perhaps best known for the famous Chinese Room thought experiment, points out some limitations.

“The simulation of neuron firings no more guarantees the power of neurons to cause consciousness than the computer simulation of a rainstorm or five-alarm fire guarantees the casual powers of rain or fire.” (3)

The implication is that though we may be able to create software the emulates consciousness, deep down, there’s no logical pathway for it to actually share the experience of human consciousness.

But if you read deeper into what Searle has to say, he is saying only that creating an artificial intelligence with software alone is not logical, but developing hardware and software together to accomplish this is certainly feasible. In fact, Searle goes on to point out the following:

“The brain is a biological organ, like any other, and consciousness is as much a biological process as digestion or photosynthesis…If we can build an artificial heart that pumps blood, why not an artificial brain that causes consciousness.” (3)

Thus Searle’s point is that software alone containing AI is science fiction, yet replicating human consciousness in an artificial manner merely requires the right hardware and software combination…and a whole lot of know-how.

The Need for a Working Theory

The problem is that there’s many viewpoints, and nothing yet testable. Its all conjecture.

But there’s nothing wrong with that. Good science often begins in this manner. Think about all the theories that helped direct scientific discovery in just the last couple of centuries. Per Searle, we began with:

“…an atomic theory of matter, a germ theory of disease, a genetic theory of inheritance, a tectonic plate theory of geology, a natural selection theory of evolution, a blood-pumping theory of the heart, and even a contraction theory of the muscles.” (3)

Why not begin with a theory of consciousness?

Understanding Emergence

A theory of consciousness needs to explain how subjectivity could emerge from physical elements. How do we go from non thinking molecules, arrange them in a certain manner, and somehow produce a brain capable of first person experiences?

On the outset, this seems inconceivable. Yet Zeno’s Paradox of the Arrow provides the perfect metaphor for why exactly we should not dismiss this idea.

The paradox offers you an arrow flying through the air. (4) For it to be in motion, it must change its position from one instant to another. Yet in what individual instant can you observe an arrow moving from where it is to where it is not? Therefore motion must not be possible – yet it is.

There are many explanations to this paradox, but what’s important is recognizing the acceptability of emergent properties. In the case of Zeno’s Arrow, the property of motion cannot be described by assessing the properties of individual parts (instances).

In everyday circumstances we accept emergent properties constantly.

Liquidity – There is nothing liquid about hydrogen atoms or oxygen atoms, yet in the right mixture and temperature, they form liquid water – at what point do they go from non-liquid to liquid?

Literary Meaning – Of the 26 letters in the English alphabet, none imply anything complex. Yet arrange them with other letters to form words, sentences, and paragraphs, and meaning emerges that can illicit emotion. At what point do letters go from symbols to substance?

Motion Pictures – Take a series of still photos, spin them around on a projector wheel, and the feeling of motion fully emerges. At what point do the images go from conveying stillness to motion?

In none of the above examples do we need a defined point at which any of the final properties fully emerge to appreciate this reality. Like Zeno’s Arrow, the explanations of these phenomena are not problematic despite having no definitive points of conversion.

As Richard Feynman so famously said, “A paradox is not a conflict within reality. It is a conflict between reality and your feeling of what reality should be like.” (5)

Theory of Consciousness

Once we accept the possibility of consciousness as an emergent property, its seems natural to arrive at the idea that consciousness could be the by-product of a massive number of organized synaptic firings. This would act much in the same way the experience of motion emerges from the flow of a large set of organized still images.

If its possible that the brain integrates all of the experiences from a multitude of different sensory channels, ultimately producing a complex storm of activity out of which consciousness emerges, is there any reason to think we cannot recreate this storm artificially?

Circle of Emergence

It would seem this is the bedrock of Ray Kurzweil’s motivation (and Google’s). Of course, there is one major sticking point…

Emergent properties materialize only when they are observed by a conscious agent.

Perhaps we should really be asking how anything could become self aware without first being aware of itself. Quite the circle. And yet, somewhere between our birth to now, we each managed to cross this bridge.


1 – http://www.2045.com/news/32079.html

2 – http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business-july-dec12-immortal_07-10/

3 – “The Mystery of Consciousness” by John Searle

4 – http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/paradox-zeno/#ParMot

5 – “Ball Lightning: Paradox of Physics” by Paul Sagan


For more Thought Experiments like this, visit:


(Artwork by: Natalie Karwacka)

Self Reflected Art

Self Reflected Art

The most mysterious, profound, complex and advanced thing in the known universe, is the three pound convoluted and gelatinous blob in your skull.

#brain #neuroart

Originally shared by Jennifer Barr

Very special Neuro art on gilded microetchings exhibit in Palo Alto tonight. Created by Ph.D. neuroscientist artist Greg Dunn. On display at the @SAPAppHaus. #ArtScienceInnovation