Founded by Dr Paul Evans in 2003 the Sapphire Institute is a thought leadership exchange for the scientific study of consciousness.  The mission of the Sapphire Institute is to foster enlightened discussion and open minded dialogue about consciousness and human potential. The Institute and its international partners seek to promote an exploration of the nature of humankind, primarily as reflected in the disciplines of biological science, technology, philosophy, ancient history, literature and religious studies.

 

 

 

SCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Agra, India 2013

TOWARD A COMPRESIVE EAST-WEST THEORY OF MIND AND REALITY

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 Hong kong Science of Consciousness

Consciousness And The Technological Demiurge

Paul Evans, June 12, 2009 Hong Kong

In this presentation transhumanism and the role of machines in consciousness are explored as a central Zeitgeist of the early 21st century. Literary works of Paolo Bacigalupi, Robert J. Sawyer and the technical writing of Ray Kurzweil are examined in the light of today’s dominant movie genres and such films as Blade Runner, The Matrix, Terminator and Avatar. Also, emerging roles of virtual experience on Facebook, Second Life, and even modern drone warfare are suggested as vehicles for abstracting humans from face-to-face community and as surrogates for real life. The ideas that technological singularity will enable humans to become embedded with nanotechnology, wireless interfaces to pharmaceuticals, and the ability to procreate solely outside of the body are explored in relation to Gnosticism and the ancient concept of the Demiurge. Human abstraction from nature and embracement of a new kind of Gnosticism and the attraction of the technological demiurge are suggested as driving forces of this Zeitgeist in contemporary literature, philosophy, entertainment, and perhaps even warfare.

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Singularity , Entrainment, and Altered States—Stockholm 2011

Over the last twenty years acceleration of technology has been the central feature in most discussions of human enhancement. The future development of technological entities with greater than human intelligence has been called a ‘Singularity’, where old models of reality must be discarded for new ones.

Yet, beyond machine intelligence, other technical advancements are proceeding very naturally and in most cases are not even recognized by their developers for what they are. More specifically, as our ability to refine techniques of consciousness enhancement through brain entrainment progresses, we may achieve an amplification in human consciousness essential to human survival in the post-Singularity world.

In fact, as the gap between computing and human cognition continues to shrink, the gap between machine and human consciousness could indeed widen by application and development of emerging entrainment technologies. Ultimately, routine adoption of entrainment technologies could lead to greater human/computer symbiosis combining and amplifying the machine intelligence of computers and the esthetic and emotional sensibility of humans.

In this presentation entrainment technologies and the role of machines in altered states of  consciousness are explored. The unfolding of machine consciousness, from 18th century automata to modern nanotechnology, is examined. Similarly, the evolution of entrainment technology (from the drum beating shamans and the photonic stimulation of Ptolemy— to hundreds of consumer electronics entrainment products today) is discussed. Suggestions are made as to how various technologies might be more fully integrated into daily use in decision making, creativity, relaxation and enlightenment in the post-Singularity world.

ScienceNonduality

Science and Nonduality Conference, Doorn, Netherlands – May 28 – June 2, 2013

The Noosphere, Altered States and Consciousness Evolution

Paul Evans

This presentation examines some of the more subtle epigenetic “extensions” of human consciousness. The first extension is that modern consciousness was developed and refined out of language (Jaynes, 1976). Here higher order consciousness is built up with a vocabulary or lexical field whose terms are all metaphors or analogs of behavior in the physical world. Its reality is of the same order as mathematics. That modern consciousness is developed out of language means that critical biological / neurophysiological scaffolding was necessary for language or higher order consciousness to occur and this platform combined with genetic or epigenetic factors hastened the process.

It is further argued that humankind is currently undergoing the second major shift in consciousness evolution. This extension will come about as the result of escalating interaction with machines and developments in biotechnology and genetics that will create a new kind of mentality even more significant than that created through human use of language.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1955) was perhaps the first to discuss the acceleration of technological progress to a Singularity in which human intelligence will become super-intelligence with its spread into the universe and its amplification into a cosmic-like consciousness.  In fact, it was Teilhard de Chardin who was first to provide us with the image of the noosphere—a bubble of human thought that envelopes the earth like a virtual atmosphere. His work advocated both biotechnologies (e.g., genetic engineering) and artificial intelligence technologies.  He also envisioned the emergence of a global computation-communication system.

In addition to the review of Janyes and his language base for higher consciousness mentioned above, my goal is to present some of the ideas of Teilhard de Chardin (and other theorists who have explored altered states of consciousness) and link them with current research in microbiology and epigenetics.

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Julian Jaynes Conference

 Julian Jaynes, the Noosphere , Altered States and Consciousness Evolution

Paul Evans

Some contemporary neurologists and philosophers have hypothesized that consciousness is an emergent phenomena related to underlying neurophysiology, biochemistry and perhaps even electromagnetic radiation. Other scientists and researchers have explored the origins of consciousness and have focused attention on its evolutionary unfolding from single cell organisms to non-human animals and finally to modern humans. This evolutionary account also suggests an emergence of consciousness but to different degrees among living things dependant perhaps upon natural selection, environmental, nutritional, and genetic or even epigenetic factors.

This presentation examines some of the more subtle epigenetic “extensions” of human consciousness. The first extension is that modern consciousness was developed and refined out of language (Jaynes, 1976). Here higher order consciousness is built up with a vocabulary or lexical field whose terms are all metaphors or analogs of behavior in the physical world. Its reality is of the same order as mathematics. That modern consciousness is developed out of language means that critical biological / neurophysiological scaffolding was necessary for language or higher order consciousness to occur and this platform combined with genetic or epigenetic factors hastened the process.

In this presentation it is further argued that humankind is currently undergoing the second major shift in consciousness evolution. This extension will come about as the result of escalating interaction with machines and developments in biotechnology and genetics that will create a new kind of mentality even more significant than that created through human use of language.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1955) was perhaps the first to discuss the acceleration of technological progress to a Singularity in which human intelligence will become super-intelligence with its spread into the universe and its amplification into a cosmic-like consciousness.  In fact, it was Teilhard de Chardin who was first to provide us with the image of the noosphere—a bubble of human thought that envelopes the earth like a virtual atmosphere. His work advocated both biotechnologies (e.g., genetic engineering) and artificial intelligence technologies.  He also envisioned the emergence of a global computation-communication system.

In addition to the review of Janyes and his language base for higher consciousness mentioned above, my goal is to present some of the ideas of Teilhard de Chardin (and other theorists who have explored altered states of consciousness) and link them with current research in microbiology and epigenetics to show how they can be leveraged today and adopted to further our scientific understanding of the nature of consciousness and its continued evolution.

Teilhard de Chardin, P. 1955. The Phenomenon of Man. Trans. B. Wall. New York: Harper Collins.

Jaynes, J. 1976a. The evolution of language in the late Pleistocene. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 28, 312–325.

Jaynes, J. 1976b. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Boston:Houghton Mifflin.

 

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