The Science of Consciousness Conference
April 25-30, 2016, Tucson
Impact of Yogic Practices on Spiritual Consciousness
by Prem Pyari, Anoop Srivastava
Many studies have proved positive influence of yoga in enhancing overall consciousness. Yoga being understood as a set of certain physical exercises, surat shabda yoga refers to well established spiritual exercises practiced in India for spiritual advancement. Therefore, positive impact of yoga on surat shabda yoga and in turn of the two on spiritual consciousness is highly likely. But absence of a properly validated and reliable questionnaire to assess spiritual consciousness has remained a hinderance in the assessment of Spiritual consciousness so far.
Though a component of Spiritual consciousness is included along with components of Physical, Emotional, Mental and Social consciousness, and of the consciousness of the Self in a composite measure of consciousness given by psychometrically reliable and valid Consciousness Quotient Inventory (CQI) (Brazdau, 2009), an assessment of Spiritual consciousness alone can also be made through the relevant portion of CQI. Accordingly, this paper attempts to highlight the impact of yogic practices on Spiritual consciousness.
Religiosity and Conscious Experience in University Students
by Kavita Kumar, Kanti Singh Pawar
Religion first appears, or is learned or embraced, through the operation of ordinary, automatic, cognitive processing. Religious ideas, like all kind of ideas, owe their existence to a raft of specialized tools used in the brain’s mental workshop to interpret and organize the world. However, the consciousness can be defined as a state of awareness, wakefulness, the ability to experience or to feel, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind. It has been widely understood by cognitive scientists that religious ideas and behaviours sustain on human cognitive and psychological processes.
In the present paper, the investigators have aimed to study the Religiosity and Consciousness of university students. Hundred students from Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India, have been selected and administered Religiosity and Spirituality Scale for Youth by Hernandez (2011) and Consciousness Quotient inventory by Brazdau (2013). The data has been analysed on the basis of multiple regression. Hence, the present study is valuable for the individual’s overall enhancement of mental, social, emotional and spiritual growth. It will also be beneficial to get a better insight into the various components of consciousness and its predictors.
Correlational Study of Nature and Eastern Mind: The Philosophy and the Science
by Pooja Sahni, Jyoti Kumar
The open air, natural habitats and forest trees have a special fascination for the Eastern mind as symbols of spiritual freedom. The Eastern approach to nature requires that we first understand how the world of nature is viewed, which is very different than that of the predominant western religions. The Vedic vision of unity is the basis for an ecological approach in which we need not protect nature as we would an inferior creature. We honor nature as our own greater life and expression. In Radhasoami faith, there are several texts available that vouch for the pertinent connection of nature and human consciousness. According to Buddhist teachings there is a very close interdependence or inter-relationship between the environment and the inhabitants. Inspite of its historic and religious importance, in the past few decades the worth of nature and the contact with the natural world has diminished and this has caused many a problem for urbanized dwellers.
The CQ-i questionnaire was administered to 50 subjects from urban settings and response from 43 (38% male) were retained for analysis ( 7 were rejected based on incomplete information), with ages ranging from 18 – 70 years (M =36.9 and SD=9.02) out of which 76.7 % were unmarried. Assurance about response confidentiality was given and the consent to use the questionnaire data for research purposes was obtained. The test was administered through Paper -Pencil.
Significant correlations between Consciousness Quotient and the pro-Environmental behavior (r= 0.738, p<0.01) was demonstrated. Further analysis also deduced that pro- environment behavior among subjects correlated positively with the spiritual consciousness( r=0.761, p<0.01) inner growth ( r=0.736, p<0.01) and cognitive or mental consciousness ( r=0.641, p<0.01)- sub-factors of Consciousness quotient.
This research further delves into deeper issues of what drives the human consciousness, behavior and actions vis-a-vis environment. Once this strong link is understood and established interaction with natural environments could potentially help in therapeutic and optimal cognitive functioning.
A Fuzzy Logic Based Framework for Measurement of Consciousness Quotient
Consciousness is an enigma that is as difficult to define as it is to quantify. In recent past, it has been considered to be comprised of the following seven dimensions for determining the value of overall Consciousness Quotient – Physical, Emotional, Cognitive, Spiritual, Social-Relational, Self and Inner Growth. In this paper, factors that contribute in varying the value of each of these dimensions are defined. The contribution of any factor towards a dimension of an unquantifiable entity such as consciousness in this case, can be viewed to be dependent upon the following three variables: First, its relative importance (or weightage) vis-a-vis other factors, i.e., the extent of change that it can bring about in that dimension of consciousness and eventualy in the overall Consciousness Quotient.
Therefore, if the relative importance of a factor is high, it has higher potential of causing a significant change in the CQ, even though it might presently not be exhibited in a considerable amount. Second, a factor’s present manifestation level in the individual, i.e., an assessment of the state in which it presently exists. Accordingly, if the current level of manifestation is low, it will require a commensurately large change in its present state in order for it to bring about an increase in that dimension and correspondingly in the overall Consciousness Quotient.
Third, the state change efficiency for a factor, i.e., a measure of the efficiency with which its manifestation level in the individual can improve. A factor possessing a high state change efficiency can transit from a low to a higher level with a relatively low effort level expended in the process. This paper presents a novel fuzzy logic based approach for measuring consciousness that exploits linguistic variables for quantifying the contribution of factors affecting dimensions of consciousness.
Towards this end, such factors are identified and a framework, for measuring their contribution for their respective dimensions in order to compute the Consciousness Quotient, is given.