Ever since I was a little, I’ve been fascinated (some might say obsessed) with death and dying. I didn’t realize until maybe college that my daily thoughts on the subject were possibly unusual. As long as I can remember, I would play out scenes in my mind. (Did I subconsciously have a death wish?) I don’t know, but I would just picture scenarios where, for example, I would get hit by a car, or the man across the street suddenly points a gun at me and shoots, among many, many others. They weren’t frightening to me, it was just my way of acknowledging many different possibilities. It would just flash through my consciousness, and then pass, and it was so common to me that it had no effect. It was just a thought that crossed my mind. It was almost as if they were fantasies and it wasn’t until I realized what I was doing that I started to be able to control it. It’s just always been the question of “what if?” and I try to think of all possible scenarios. Maybe it’s just that the negative ones were more interesting and thus stand out more. Even now, I still wonder what it’s like; an unknown experience.
I’ve been thinking about happiness lately and how it’s always seemed to elude me. Of course I’ve experienced it in moments, but mostly I seem to deny myself. I usually have to force myself to do the things I know that I enjoy, as if I feel I don’t deserve it. Being sad or depressed is such a natural state for me, I fight with it on a regular basis. Sometimes it can be weeks before I realize it and then it’s only through symptoms. I’ll notice that I’m not eating, or I’m sleeping more, to the point where I’d rather be asleep than awake, or I lose interest in things I usually enjoy. It is only then that I realize and can begin to come out of it. As if by acknowledging it, it loses its control over me. I don’t remember a lot from my childhood, I only remember fragments; as if I’m remembering someone else’s dream. It always amazes me how much other people seem to remember. Maybe those were happy times for them; but I was always searching for an escape. Which I found in books; I could forget everything around me, my entire life, and become part of a different world. Until the book ends and forces me to return to this place. Dreams are another escape for me; in them I have completely different experiences; apartments, a whole other life that only exists in fragmented pieces in my mind; only accessible to my spirit, my sense of self, or my dream body so to speak. But back to happiness; it seems so fleeting to me, like a fragile state that can be shattered at any time and has to be treasured because it never lasts. I wonder if maybe for others, it is more stable…
So I’m pretty excited! I’ve been working on self-publishing a book of my writing including some of the poetry that you see here. It will be called Fragments of a Fading Dream and it’s a collection of some of my writing throughout the years on various topics such as dreams, illusion, reality, consciousness, science, love, etc. I am publishing it as an e-book as well as in print and it will be available for purchase via all the major e-reader sites as well as in print on this website and Amazon.com. The cover art is tentative, still working on it… Let me know what you think.
This is to all of you who are wondering, and as a reminder to myself: This is my personal statement for the Consciousness Studies program at JFK University…
To dream the impossible dream, that is my quest.
– Don Quixote
The mysteries of the world have long fascinated me. Ever since I was very young, I have been fascinated by questions of why things are the way they are; why I exist; who I am; why am I the way I am; and who is this person inside my body; is the place I visit in my dreams real? What about the characters I read about in books? I remember feeling this strange incredulity that I am actually alive, a part of this world, and that one day I would die. Like it was some cruel joke to be thrown into this world about which we actually know very little; and forced to make our way through this thing called life knowing all the while that we will die, but still not knowing exactly what that is. My quest is to learn as much as possible, my dream is to understand my world.
There are many worlds in which we live; there’s the one that we see as our main reality, the one while we are awake; there’s the one we visit at night while we sleep; there’s the one we create for ourselves as seen through the lens of our thoughts and experiences; there’s also the worlds that are created by others around us in which we simply play a supporting role.
In the world that I have created for myself, I consider myself a creative, artistic, curious person who is interested in philosophical and scientific inquiry as a means to understand the world. I have always immersed myself in books; learning as much as I could, exploring different worlds, all in my quest to understand as much as I can.
My quest has taken me down many roads…I began with psychology because I wanted to learn about behavior and why we do the things we do, but I realized that although it’s interesting, I didn’t want to be a psychologist. I studied international relations because of my love of traveling and languages, but found it wasn’t challenging enough. After reading a book that combined fiction with quantum physics, I pursued my newly rekindled interest in physics and, after obtaining a job in a biology lab, began to study that as well. My undergraduate degree is in Unified Science (a field that combines biology, chemistry and physics). I have taken courses in molecular and cell biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, modern physics, differential equations, neuro-engineering, physiological psychology, cancer biology, epistemology, metaphysics, critical reasoning, philosophy of science, various other science courses and some French and Russian language courses.
I worked in biology research for a while studying the Epstein-Barr virus, Kaposi’s Sarcoma related Herpes virus, HIV, antibody treatments for cancer, & the tropical disease Schistosomiasis. I have performed experiments which have been included in multiple publications on which I am listed as co-author, and one in which I am first author.
I have found all of the research that I have done interesting, and it is all a part of my quest for knowledge. Most recently I have worked as a sleep technician in a clinical and research capacity; in which I perform sleep studies as a diagnostic assessment and treatment for people with sleep disorders and as part of various research studies.
The state of consciousness known as sleep has become very interesting to me. I started in this field due to a long lost interest in neuroscience and the brain. A few years ago, I decided to pursue this interest and took a course to learn about sleep and sleep disorders, became a sleep technician and have been working in this field ever since. And while I enjoy it and have learned a lot about sleep, it is not exactly the route that I want to take. Most of the research in sleep that I am involved in as a sleep tech is related to breathing related sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, whereas my interests lie more in the realm of REM sleep, and dreams (especially lucid dreams).
At night, we close our eyes; we sleep; we dream, then wake up to a new day.
The world of dreams can seem strange and impossible when viewed through the lens of what is our waking reality; but in relation to itself, anything is possible and even normal. I have had a few very strange ones: ones in which I have traveled back in time and met younger versions of people I know now; or gone into the future to see future versions of them. I have traveled to China, and Italy, been able to fly, visited a land in which water was a suitable surface on which to walk, driven on roller-coaster highways, been a pirate, been shot and killed, etc. And each felt as real as if it had actually happened. It sometimes feels as if it is one place, as if I have been there before; and I can only remember previous dreams in detail when I am dreaming…
I want to know more, I want to know what it all means.
I am interested in the current theories on consciousness, the scientific study of consciousness, various states of consciousness, e.g., waking, dreaming (REM sleep), Non-REM sleep, hallucinations, coma, and other altered states of consciousness, including those present in various psychological disorders. I am also very interested in lucid dreaming, time travel through dreams as well as dream therapy. I want to know why we dream and what it means; as in what is a dream really? Is it a real place? It seems as real as anything else while we’re in it. Or could we all just be characters in someone else’s dream while living our own reality? These are just some of the questions I have and would like to explore. I think that the program in Consciousness and Transformative studies and especially the Dream Studies concentration can help me move forward on my quest to understand my world.
Not only am I interested in the various states of consciousness, I am interested in the spaces between those states, such as when people transition between various stages of sleep, or the state in between being asleep and being awake. As well as various ideas of reality. Take, for example, a person with schizophrenia; their idea of reality is probably very different from someone without schizophrenia. Does that make either reality any less real? What is it about our consciousness that creates our world? These and other questions are ones that I would like to explore.
The mysteries of the brain are fascinating to me. I want to know how it is possible that most dreams feel as real as when you’re awake? And if they feel real and our experience of them is real, what is it that makes it not real? Dreams have always been a fascination of mine; along with consciousness, behavior and what it means to be alive or dead. Questions of why and how we exist have long been of interest to me. I hope to learn more about these topics and one day develop my own view of what all of this means.
A couple of my favorite movies, Waking Life, and Inception, have posed some interesting questions. The first of which tells the story of a boy who is dreaming and has various dream conversations but can’t seem to ever wake up. The second poses the idea of shared dreaming and the ability stealing or implanting ideas through dreams. I don’t know if any of that is possible, but I would like to learn more and contribute to the scientific study of dreams.
I have always loved school and have wanted to return to for a while, but have had difficulty in finding the right program. I feel that this program would give me a good foundation to pursue my interests and contribute to future developments in consciousness research. I have always had an interest in consciousness, but never saw it as a practical venture. I just know that I want to study it and learn more and I have finally found the courage to follow my dreams; to take that risk and do exactly what I want to do without knowing exactly what the future will hold. I am very excited to take this next step along my journey and about learn what I can about the study of consciousness and dreams.
We like for things to make sense, to be in an order we can recognize. Dreams are not necessarily either of those things, which may be why they are sometimes disturbing. Maybe what our waking brain does is to organize the information we receive into an order that makes sense to us and at night when we dream we get a glimpse of the unorganized, unedited version which is why our rules don’t exist there…
Ok so I know I haven’t posted in a while…
I could say that it’s because I’ve been so busy, but that’s not it. Usually I just don’t really know what to say, or if anyone is reading it anyway, but tonight I seem to be in a different kind of mood.
I’ve been thinking about the things we do in private that would probably seem crazy or strange to other people, but have become completely normal for us because we do them all the time.
Ok so here’s one. I talk to myself. A lot. I don’t think it’s that strange since I spend a lot of time alone and have no one else to talk to. I don’t really think there’s someone else there. Sometimes I imagine there is, or I fantasize about conversations with people in my head, but I know they’re not really talking to me. Sometimes I catch myself doing it in public though, but I usually don’t care.
I talk to my cat too. She doesn’t usually talk back though, except when I’m dreaming
I had a dream once that I met a man in a playground with building blocks who knew all the answers. I asked him and he told me everything I wanted to know, but when I woke up, I couldn’t remember.
Oh and I think time travel could be possible, in our dreams…seriously
And I think dream worlds actually exist and that everything that happens in our dreams is real, just in a different way
I usually leave my tv on when I’m at work at night or on vacation so my cat won’t feel alone and I program it to turn to different channels depending on what I would watch if I were there…
sometimes I think I would enjoy being in prison…lots of time to read/write, don’t have to make too many difficult decisions, maybe I’d feel a connection with the other inmates since everyone is in pretty much the same situation – same goes for a mental institution
Oh, I would like to have an hallucination, or hear voices, or actually live in a dream – I have seen ghosts before when I was young, but didn’t get a chance to talk to them, maybe next time
I think that words are very important, that the specific words we use have meaning. There are many ways to express ourselves and the words we choose say something about how we see the world
I think that is it possible that the people we say have mental disorders may actually be seeing or experiencing a different form of reality
I think that characters in books/movies may actually exist, maybe on a different plane or dimension and our view of them is only a glimpse into their lives
I think it’s possible that each of us are characters in other people’s dreams, and other people are only characters in our own dream that we call reality
I’m not sure if I believe in coincidence, or true randomness
I don’t care for conflict, never have. Most of the conflicts in my life stems from people trying to force me to share something before I’m ready. But I have always stood up for my right to my privacy. In school, I used to write extremely small so the teacher couldn’t read what I was writing from over my shoulder…
I only really feel alive when I’m traveling…I think I see myself differently then, like I can be anyone – I don’t have any restrictions on my life – like all the possibilities are superimposed as in a quantum state, whereas when I’m at home, everything is determined, the box is open…maybe that’s the key…
maybe I need to be able to create that uncertainty anywhere – I’ve always loved the idea of being an actress or a spy, so I could be many different people, live multiple lives…
No wonder I’m not satisfied with just one profession…
I’m interested in a lot of things, but I get bored after a while. I don’t remember facts unless they’re of some specific importance to me. I don’t debate things because I know I’m not an expert and don’t wish to be.
I’m starting school in the fall for Consciousness & Dream studies – don’t quite know where it will lead, I just like to think about stuff like that.
I don’t like to do things I don’t want to do, so I do my best not to do them
I like to work and do things that make me feel useful, otherwise what’s the point?
I don’t have a favorite of anything, it changes all the time
I don’t believe that anything is permanent, or that I have ultimate control over the future
I think it’s possible that everything we “know” is an illusion
That everything I see could be created in my mind
That if I think it, I can possibly make it real
That belief is extremely powerful
That we create our own reality
And that maybe
Well that’s it for now
Until next time…
It is human nature to find ways to connect with other people, to form groups. It is those of us on the outside, who have never fit into these groups who best see their divisive quality.
We are complex beings it is impossible to simplify us into a few minor qualities…sometimes we forget that we are all essentially the same, that we are all human and that we can find something in common with every single person on this planet if we are willing to try a little harder and look past the small differences that separate us.
The future is like Schrödinger’s cat, its state of existence uncertain, holding within it the possibility of multiple realities. Time is the quintessential observer, causing one particular reality to come into focus as it passes. There is a kind of freedom in that uncertainty; in the possibility of various outcomes. Not only does time uncover the present as it passes; it’s also changing the pool of possibilities for the future.
Sometimes it takes a personal paradigm shift to see that…
The future consists of a pool of probabilities
The World as ‘I’ Know It
(a poetic interpretation of the Being Human Conference)
There once was a world
and in that world there was an ‘I’
‘I’ have a body and a brain and something called a mind
all of which ‘I’ use to interpret the signals that surround me
these signals tell me that ‘I’ am a human
and that there are millions of others like me
and that they, like me, are human too
and share my world
that they also have bodies, and brains and minds of their own
and that each of these bodies and brains and minds are different
that they interpret the signals around them differently than ‘I’ do
and perceive the world (that we share) differently
can ‘I’ be sure that they really exist
that they aren’t just my mind’s interpretation of the signals that surround me
so ‘I’ learn how to communicate with them
discover some similarities
they are as real to me as anything else ‘I’ know
‘I’ know that our bodies work in a similar way
the mirror neurons in my brain allow me to empathize
to see myself in them; to imagine their experiences as my own
to become their reflection
‘I’ am able to trick my brain, even though my mind knows better
to alleviate my phantom pain
my contextual reality, how easy it is to trick the brain
it still believes the illusion, even when the mind is freed
our thoughts and experiences shape our world
how we interpret the information we have been given
they comprise our chosen deception
they are the filters through which we perceive
‘I’ can essentially “see myself see”
which is awareness you see
but ‘I’ cannot see how ‘I’ see
that is the unconscious me
thus ‘I’ cannot see the unconscious me
due to oversimplicity
you see the conscious me
only knows the summary
to understand the full story
would require many more words
than are in my vocabulary
to understand the unconscious me
would require the entire dictionary
‘I’ have been informed that there is a sense of self
that exists within my brain
that ‘I’ project onto this body
but can also be transposed
onto a different body
to trick my brain
into thinking it is me
how is it that my brain
cannot see the holes in its own reality
these are just simple deceptions
that my mind can see through
but what about something more complex
something like my unconscious me
that my mind cannot fully understand
how do ‘I’ know
if what ‘I’ think ‘I’ know
or is my ‘reality’ just a projection
of my unconscious me…?
It is because Humanity has never known where it was going that it has been able to find its way.
~ Oscar Wilde
We are all human beings being human – a characteristic that all who are reading this share (as far as we know). But what does it mean, to be human? Is it the set of characteristics that set us apart from other beings? What does our ‘humanity’ consist of? Is it just our common biology; that we are not primates?, What is it that about us that makes us distinctively ‘human’ and not monsters (vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc…) Does it have to do with our sense of self, our awareness, our consciousness? Could it be the space in between, the capacity to use these tools to create, to imagine alternative possibilities? Or our compassion, our ability to empathize and become a mirror for the experiences of others? The speakers at the Being Human conference sought to provide some insight into this .
We as humans are a conflux of seemingly conflicting dualities; we have the capacity for rationality, but still act irrationally,we have the capacity for logic, but are driven by emotions; we create complex machines to mimic ourselves, yet have little understanding of how our own machinery works, we have the capacity to build and the capacity to destroy, to love, to hate, for compassion and for intolerance, to become architects of greatness or destruction. We live in a world that isn’t exactly as it seems; a world where colors can appear different depending on context alone, where phantom limbs can cause real pain; where a lesion in a particular part of the brain can essentially change who you are; and our sense of self can be easily transposed to an avatar. How easy it is to trick ourselves, it comes as no surprise that we become complicit in our own deception.
We trust in our senses to transmit information, which is the basis for how we perceive the world. The information enters through our senses and is presented to the brain for interpretation. The brain looks for relationships in the information in order to provide meaning, giving it context. The brain relies on experience and history in creating these relationships. Without context, the information is meaningless. Through feedback from experiences, we adapt and create a sense of normalcy consistent with our worldview. The awareness that we have, the ability to ‘see ourselves see’ allows us to see the illusions; to see that our perceptions are dependent on context and experience. It also allows for us to see the possibility of other viewpoints, since other people’s perceptions are based on their experiences; to have compassion for their view of the world.
There are many ways in which we can trick the brain. Optical illusions are easy enough to see through once you know the truth behind them, but there are others. Perceptual sensory illusions aka phantom limbs are another. This phenomenon occurs when the loss of a limb is not acknowledged by the brain, so the brain still monitors the limb as if it is still there. One can consciously know that the limb is gone, but the conscious mind can’t communicate that information to the brain. There is a gap between the conscious and unconscious processes. One consequence of this is that these phantom limbs can cause real pain, which is very disconcerting since there is no limb which can be treated. It has been shown that one way to relieve this phantom pain is to hold up a mirror to the opposite limb and perform actions to relieve the pain while looking in the mirror. The brain accepts the sensory information as seen in the mirror as real even though one ‘knows’ it’s just a mirror. This is one example of the duality between the conscious mind and body. Rama (V.S. Ramachandran) described a patient who had phantom pain in her thumb, but felt relief of her pain while watching her husband massage his corresponding thumb. One explanation for this could be due to the existence of mirror neurons – a cluster of neurons in the brain that fire in response to an action perceived to happen to anyone. For instance, if you see someone get stabbed with a needle, the same neurons fire in you as in them, the only difference is that your skin sends feedback to the brain telling you that it is fine and not to feel pain. In someone with a phantom limb, there is no feedback response, so you would feel as if it had actually happened to you. These cells mirror the cells in another and allow us to empathize, to see ourselves in others.
Thomas Metzinger posits that the self is not a thing but a process and that there exists, a global representation of the self in the brain. In a rubber hand experiment it has been shown that when one’s own hand is replaced by a rubber hand, the visual illusion is enough to convince your brain to think that it belongs to you. And in other experiments through work with a group called Virtual Embodiment and Robotic Re-Embodiment (VERE) in Israel, this sense of self has been shown to be able to be transposed into virtual avatars and perceiving robots where using an fMRI the avatars/robots were able to be controlled remotely by thought. He also talked about the element of transparency: how we don’t see the neurons firing but only what they represent for us; we are unaware of the medium through which information reaches us. The combination of the self model and transparency create a concept of selfhood. There is a kind of uncertainty as to how information gets to us, it’s as if we are looking through a window without actually seeing the window only what is outside of it.
As Beau Lotto stated, the brain is presented with uncertainty because we have no direct access to the physical world other than through our senses. The brain can only rely on experience to provide meaning. It is the awareness of perceiving that allows us to choose how to interpret the information that is presented to us; which experiences to use as filters what lens to use to view the world.
David Eagleman’s talk reminded us that everything we do is beyond the scope of conscious awareness. There is a gap between the conscious and unconscious mind. The conscious mind is just a summary of what the brain does; an abstract representation. It is in this conscious/unconscious gap where uncertainty lies. When we try to observe these unconscious processes, we find that we don’t quite get it right, that we don’t really know how we do the things we know how to do. We cannot observe ourselves accurately, the act of observation can change it/ruin it. The conscious mind cannot observe the unconscious, it does not have the tools, so the act of trying to make sense of it simplifies it to a point where it doesn’t work anymore – conscious interference.
When you think about the awareness that we have, the ability to ‘see ourselves see’ as Beau Lotto put it, it allows us to choose the ways in which we perceive. Allows for us to, in Richie Davidson’s words, ‘envision alternative possibilities’, which I think opens the doors to imagination and creativity. Each of us share a common biology, a common form, but have vastly different histories and experiences through which we view the world, thus creating many completely different worlds. Through our awareness of this process we are able to have compassion; our bodies are made with mirror circuitry built in, giving us the ability to empathize with others. Our conscious minds create an image of the self in our brains and along with our senses, through which we transmit information, allow us to develop a sense of selfhood and choose the world in which we live. The ultimate uncertainty is that life has no blueprint, no guide and in that uncertainty is freedom. Freedom in not knowing, freedom to to make our own choices and the capacity to envision alternative possibilities.
Richie Davidson is the Founder and Chair, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison http://www.investigatinghealthyminds.org/
Beau Lotto is a Biologist and Performance Artist http://www.lottolab.org/
V.S. Ramachandran is the director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego http://cbc.ucsd.edu/ramabio.html
Thomas Metzinger is a professor of Theoretical Philosophy at Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz http://www.philosophie.uni-mainz.de/metzinger/
David Eagleman is a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine http://www.eagleman.com/
Make sure to check out my previous post which is a list of books by the presenters from the conference where you can find more information about some of the ideas presented here. http://www.ladylxa.com/archives/327
On a related note, I just finished David Eagleman’s book of stories “Sum”. Very interesting and goes along with the idea of our ability to envision alternative possibilities. It is a series of 40 stories that imagine 40 different scenarios for what the afterlife is and provides context and meaning for the world as we know it. And each and every one could be a very real possibility!
culture is the shared interpretation of information.
what if no one person exists
all aspects of the mind of god
all parts of the hologram that contains the whole in each
one aspect of the whole,
we surround ourselves with ‘people’ who are similar to us, who share the same worldview, who interpret the world in a similar way to us
what if there are no people, there is no one else
maybe the purpose is creativity, to create our world
i think therefore i am – i cannot be sure about you
how do i know that you really exist, that you share my world
that you are not just in my mind
a trick, an illusion
how do i know if i see you as you really are
or is what i see only a projection, my interpretation of the information of you
As I sit here contemplating my future, I’m wondering if I ever really gave it a chance. I’ve been planning my escape for as long as I can remember…
Am I just running away again
or are things different this time?
At least this time maybe I’m a little wiser…at least that’s what I hope…
I just know that something needs to change and maybe this is the catalyst…
gravity…interesting way to put it. is there really a force that can pull you toward someone, like if you feel drawn to someone or something? actually that’s not a good analogy since gravity is a weak force, but what about a magnet? can we subconsciously detect other people’s electromagnetic fields? Auras?
Why is it that when we find people who experience the world differently, everyone is so quick to label them as being in some way abnormal, and call it a disease or disorder?
So I’m going to San Francisco this month, and this is my excuse! There’s a Being Human conference entitled The Science of Human Experience on March 24, 2012. The panel of speakers include scientists, artists, poets, philosophers, and others whose work relates to the human condition. They will be discussing current research and theories on various aspects of human nature and what it means to be human. Visit their website www.beinghuman2012.org for more info or to register. Books by each of the featured speakers are listed below. I’m going to pick up a few of them before the conference and I’ll post my impressions. Also book reviews, etc. coming soon!
Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D.
Founder and Chair, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
[amazon asin=1594630895&template=iframe image][amazon asin=1572249684&template=iframe image]
Author and Founder, The Baumann Foundation
[amazon asin=1604075732&template=iframe image]
David Eagleman, Ph.D.
Neuroscientist, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine
[amazon asin=0307377334&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0307389936&template=iframe image]
Paul Ekman, Ph.D.
Manager, Paul Ekman Group, LLC
[amazon asin=0805083391&template=iframe image][amazon asin=1883536367&template=iframe image]
Anne Harrington, Ph.D.
Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University
[amazon asin=0691024227&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0393333973&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0691050503&template=iframe image]
Prize-winning International Poet, Translator, and Essayist
[amazon asin=0307595420&template=iframe image][amazon asin=B0057IYMF4&template=iframe image][amazon asin=1852247975&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0060929480&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0060779195&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0060951699&template=iframe image]
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Founder, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society
[amazon asin=1572249684&template=iframe image][amazon asin=1604076585&template=iframe image]
Beau Lotto, Ph.D.
Neuroscientist and Artist, Founder of Lottolab Studio
[amazon asin=0878935967&template=iframe image]
Hazel Markus, Ph.D.
Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University
[amazon asin=0871547953&template=iframe image][amazon asin=039393070X&template=iframe image][amazon asin=1557984875&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0840033001&template=iframe image]
Thomas Metzinger, Ph.D.
Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
[amazon asin=0465020690&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0262633086&template=iframe image][amazon asin=090784510X&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0262133709&template=iframe image]
V.S. Ramachandran, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California-San Diego
[amazon asin=0393340627&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0688172172&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0131872788&template=iframe image][amazon asin=1861973039&template=iframe image]
Founder, Jewel Heart, Tibetan Buddhist Center
[amazon asin=1573229520&template=iframe image][amazon asin=1841812064&template=iframe image]
Laurie Santos, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology, Yale University
[amazon asin=0199216894&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0199250995&template=iframe image]
[amazon asin=0316134023&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0142405450&template=iframe image][amazon asin=0143119508&template=iframe image][amazon asin=078513249X&template=iframe image]
I open my eyes
searching for pieces of me
lost long ago
and close them
to the only place
that makes senseContinue reading
My name, you ask
all I know is what they call me
I had a different name once
when I belonged to their world
but those days are distant memories
slowly fading into the fog
it’s hard to tell
between my reality
Trapped in this prison
of my own making
my ultimate escape
because no one
in the dark recesses
of your heartContinue reading
sometimes I wish I didn’t love you
being away from you
wouldn’t hurt so muchContinue reading
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