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An Ecology of Natural Mindlessness: Solitude, Silence, and Transcendental Consciousness

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This article attempts to define spirituality from a brain studies perspective. In holonomic and connectionist brain studies there are three possible forms of consciousness: objective, narrative, and transcendental. Objective consciousness concerns linearities, order, structure, sequentialities, linguistics, time keeping, and so on. This form of consciousness is detrimental to achieving a spirituality. Narrative consciousness is an extension of objective consciousness with the addition of metaphoria and aesthetic flow. Narrative consciousness concerns an aesthetics of silence, paralinearities, daydreaming, life stories, feelings, and the like. Solitude is necessary to achieving a deeper kind of silence because well-planned solitude helps to eliminate pervasive kinds of objective, everyday consciousness. Also, solitude is an escape from the "pathologies of speed" and clock insanities that are increasingly troublesome with an increasing exponential acceleration. Some suggestions for achieving spiritual and deeper kinds of silence within naturalistic, solitudinal environments are offered. Transcendental consciousness concerns a deep, meditative silence, or widespread, temporary cortical brain synchronizations. This more profound silence concerns deeply restful, narrative, and peaceful solitude, leading to possible synchronous brain processes, an extensive now-ness, a primitivation of time, and a sense of timelessness. I propose that these highly synchronous brain states are necessary to many kinds of spiritual journeys.
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Keywords: brain studies; consciousness; meditation; silence; spirituality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Radford University

Publication date: 2012-02-02

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  • EME explores the relationships between media, technology, symbolic form, communication, consciousness, and culture. Its scope is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. Media ecology provides a rich philosophical, historical and practical context for studying our increasingly technological and mediated society and culture with an emphasis on historical context.
    Media ecology scholarship emphasizes a humanistic approach to understanding media, communication, and technology, with special emphasis on the ways in which we have been and continue to be shaped and influenced by our inventions and innovation. The Media ecology approach is predicated on understanding that media, symbols, and technologies play a leading role in human affairs, and function as largely invisible environments affecting the way we think, feel, act, and organize ourselves collectively.
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