A Course in Consciousness

Table of contents 

(With last update date)


Foreword (August 13, 2009)


Part 1. Quantum theory and consciousness

Preface to part 1 (April 12, 2000)


Chapter 1. The three major metaphysical philosophies (September 27, 2010)

         1.1. The assumption of objective reality, a necessity for survival and for science?

         1.2. Materialism (pure objectivity): The philosophy that all is matter, or at least, all is governed by physical law

         1.3. Cartesian dualism (objectivity plus subjectivity): The philosophy that both matter and mind are primary and irreducible

         1.4.  Idealism (pure subjectivity): The philosophy that consciousness is all and all is consciousness 
         1.5. The teaching of nonduality

         1.6. The distinction between Consciousness, Awareness, and mind

         1.7.  What is Reality not?


Chapter 2. Classical physics from Newton to Einstein (October 11, 2010)

         2.1. The scientific method

         2.2. Newton’s laws and determinism

         2.3. Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics; entropy and the direction of time

         2.4. Electromagnetism

         2.5. Waves

         2.6. Relativity


Chapter 3. Quantum physics from Planck and Einstein to Bohr, Heisenberg, de Broglie, and Schrödinger (October 1, 2010)

         3.1. The beginning of quantum physics by Planck and Einstein

         3.2. The development of quantum mechanics by Bohr, Heisenberg, de Broglie and Schrödinger

         3.3. A striking example of probability measurement

         3.4. Uncertainty and complementarity 

Chapter 4. Waves and interference, Schrödinger’s cat paradox, Bell’s inequality
(August 4, 2010)

         4.1. Waves and interference

         4.2. Schrödinger’s cat paradox

         4.3. Bell's theorem, the Aspect-Gröblacher experiments, and the nonlocality of reality

         4.4. Another experimental violation of observer-independent theory

Chapter 5. Conscious mind and free will
(October 16, 2010)

         5.1. What are the characteristics of conscious mind?

         5.2. Extraordinary abilities of the mind

         5.3. The unity of the human mind

         5.4. Unconscious functioning of the brain

         5.5. Is there a test for consciousness?

         5.6. Can a machine be conscious?

         5.7. What seem to be the effects of consciousness?

         5.8. When and how does a child begin to perceive objects?

         5.9. The experiments of Libet, et al., and their implication for free will

         5.10. Brain imaging experiments on free will      

         5.11. Free will as the possibility of alternative action

         5.12. The origin of the belief in free will

         5.13. Is free will necessary for our happiness?

         5.14. Freedom as subjectivity

         5.15. If there is no free will, how do things happen?

         5.16. Speculations on the future in deterministic and probabilistic universes

Chapter 6. What does quantum theory mean?
(October 16, 2010)

         6.1. The interpretation problem

         6.2. The hidden variables interpretation: A purely objective interpretation

         6.3. The Copenhagen interpretation: A partly objective and partly subjective interpretation

         6.4. What can make a measurement in the Copenhagen interpretation?

         6.5. Wavefunction reduction in the Copenhagen interpretation; the forward direction of time

         6.6. Nonlocality in the Copenhagen interpretation

         6.7. The many-worlds interpretation: A partly objective and partly subjective interpretation

         6.8. The similarity between the Copenhagen and many-worlds interpretations

         6.9. The astonishing implications of the nonlocality of consciousness

         6.10. The interpretation of Christopher Fuchs; a minimally objective, mostly subjective interpretation
         6.11. The purely subjective interpretation

         6.12. Physics is the study of the mind!


Part 2. The metaphysics of nonduality

Preface to part 2 (October 17, 2010)

Chapter 7. An interpretation of quantum theory according to monistic idealism
(October 17, 2010)

         7.1. The physics of monistic idealism

         7.2. Schrödinger’s cat revisited

         7.3. The world in idealism

         7.4. The quantum-classical brain

         7.5. Paradoxes and tangled hierarchies

         7.6. The first identification: The appearance of sentience

         7.7. The second identification: The appearance of the "I"
         7.8. Further discussion of the unconditioned self, the ego, and freedom

         7.9. The disappearance of the ego. The experience of freedom from bondage     

         7.10. Critique of Goswami's model



Chapter 8. Transcendental realms (May 23, 2007)

         8.1. Similarities between the different transcendental realms

         8.2. The meanings of the transcendental realms

Chapter 9. Perceiving and conceptualizing
(March 13, 2011)

         9.1. A review of the physics

         9.2. What is the perceived?

         9.3. What is the perceiver?

         9.4. Many minds, one Awareness
         9.5. Objectification, the body-mind organism, and the primacy of the concept of memory 

         9.6. The hard problem in consciousness science


Chapter 10. The teaching of nonduality (October 29, 2009)

         10.1. The metaphysics of nonduality

         10.2. The practices

         10.3. The paths

         10.4. About death
         10.5. Summary diagram 

Chapter 11. The functioning of the mind
(June 13, 2009)

         11.1. The nature of duality

         11.2. The appearance of sentience within Consciousness

         11.3. Manifestation: The first level of identification

         11.4. Objectification: The second level of identification

         11.5. Ownership: The third level of identification

         11.6. Polar pairs, separation, and suffering

         11.7.The victim/victimizer polar pair

         11.8. Sin, guilt, and shame--monstrosities of mind

         11.9. The thinking mind and the working mind

         11.10. Summing up. . .


Chapter 12. Space, time, causality, and destiny (March 4, 2010)

         12.1. The concepts of space and time

         12.2. Speculations on the concepts of nonlocality in time and space

         12.3. The concept of causality
         12.4. The nature of laws

         12.5. The concept of destiny and God's Will

         12.6. We are already here now

         12.7. Maya, the divine hypnosis


Chapter 13. Some useful metaphors (November 16, 2009)

         13.1. The dream

         13.2. The movie

         13.3. The puppet and the robot

         13.4. The shadow

         13.5. The ocean

         13.6. The thorns

         13.7. Electricity and the appliance

         13.8. The gold object

         13.9. The dust in a light beam

         13.10. The mirror

         13.11. The snake and the rope

         13.12. The mirage

         13.13. The pot and the space in which it exists
         13.14. Sunlight and the dew drop


Chapter 14. Religion, belief, and nonduality (November 13, 2009)

         14.1. The difference between religion and nonduality

         14.2. Religion as the belief in a dualistic God

         14.3. A nondualistic view of God

         14.4. Religion as the belief in objective reality

         14.5. Buddhism--religion or not?

         14.6. Vipassana meditation

         14.7. Zen

         14.8. Other nondual teachings


Chapter 15. Free will and responsibility (June 7, 2007)

Chapter 16. Love seeking Itself
(April 21, 2010)
         16.1. Nondualistic vs. dualistic love
         16.2. Self-hatred and self-love

         16.3. Affirmation as self-love practice

         16.4. Flooding ourselves and others with light

         16.5. Tonglen practice


Part 3. The end of suffering and the discovery of our true nature

Preface to part 3 (November 18, 2009)

Chapter 17. How to live one’s life
(April 21, 2010)

         17.1. The problems with reading the scriptures

         17.2. Whatever happens must happen

         17.3. Meaning and purpose in life

         17.4. The will to live/the wish to die

         17.5. If suffering is to end, spiritual practice usually happens first
         17.6. The rarity of enlightenment

         17.7. How is peace realized?

         17.8. An exploration of nonvolitional living (1993), by Galen Sharp


Chapter 18. Practices and teachers (August 7, 2010)

         18.1. Why practice?

         18.2. The importance of being aware

         18.3. Some sages and the practices they teach

         18.4. Who or what is it that practices?
         18.5.  Some possibly helpful tips
         18.6. Some of the contemporary sages of nonduality who have followed the tradition of Advaita


Chapter 19. Surrender, mantra, and trust (December 2, 2009)

         19.1. Surrender and mantra practice

         19.2. Ramesh's teaching on surrender

         19.3. Trusting Awareness

Chapter 20. Understanding by direct seeing (December 2, 2009)

         20.1. The role of concepts in Advaita

         20.2. What is direct seeing?

         20.3. The use of direct seeing to disidentify from the "I"-doer
         20.4. The use of direct seeing to disidentify from "mine"

         20.5. Because there is no "I"-object, there is no other             


Chapter 21. Resistance, clinging, and acceptance (August 6, 2010)

         21.1. What are resistance and clinging?

         21.2. Repression of emotions creates physical illness

         21.3. Clinging/resistance, desire/fear, attachment/aversion
         21.4. What is Acceptance?

         21.5. When resistance ends, life becomes stress-free


Chapter 22. Disidentification from attachment and aversion (August 6, 2010)        


Chapter 23. Disidentification through inquiry (January 3, 2010)

         23.1. What is inquiry?

         23.2. Inquiry into the self: self-inquiry

         23.3. Inquiry into the Self: Self-inquiry 

         23.4. There is no suffering in the present moment
         23.5. Inquiry into the manifestation: outward inquiry
         23.6. Being Awareness

         23.7. Some loose ends gathered

Chapter 24. Disidentification through meditation (December 11, 2009

         24.1. Principles of meditation

         24.2. Buddhist meditation

         24.3. Inquiry in meditation

Chapter 25.  Love finding Itself (December 11, 2009)

Chapter 26.  Very short summary (December 11, 2009)


Appendix.  My resources and teachers (February 15, 2010)


What are they feeling? (November 8, 2008)


Yogaville Workshop (November 17, 2008)


Unity Workshop (September 1, 2008)


12-8-08 Workshop (December 8, 2008)


SAND 2009 Quantum Theory of What? (2009 Science and Nonduality Conference, October 23, 2009)


The Copenhagen Interpretation Key West Diner meeting, Manhattan, NY (November 28, 2009)


IMCC Quantum Theory of What (January 15, 2010)


SAND 2010 What Exists? (2010 Science and Nonduality Conference, October 23, 2010)


The Arrow of Subjective Time (Prepared for 2011 Science and Nonduality Conference but not presented)


Quantum Mechanics for Advaitins (May 5, 2012)