May - October 1997                                                                                                                                                                                                            






October 1999 - January 2000



2010 Summer

     Dr. Bernard J. Baars



SPRING, 2010   

 WebCourses on Science and Consciousness.                               

 Download this announcement - pdf                 



What do we really know about happiness, contentment, satisfaction, delight, pleasure, joy, and bliss?  Ten years ago the answer might have been: Not much, except for a few nuggets from the great wisdom traditions. Traditional thinking was mostly pretty negative about the possibility of happiness. Freud thought that even the most successful therapy could only produce “normal everyday unhappiness” at the best.

We now know a lot more about positive experiences and the sense of flow, as psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (“cheek-sent-me-high-ee”) has called it. We now have a lot of good scientific studies, some of them from the same people who pioneered the study of depression a few decades ago. (They’ve figured out that this is more fun.)

We also know much more about the brain in “higher” states of consciousness, including advanced Tibetan meditators, TM meditators, and mystical states in Carmelite nuns. Some remarkable patterns of brain activity have been found over and over again. There is good evidence about the brain chemistry of positive (and negative) consciousness. Dreams and twilight states are also coming into better focus as a remarkable source of creativity.

Human beings have tried to change their own conscious experiences for thousands of years. We know about a huge range of claims about higher states, drug states, hypnosis, mindfulness, states of mental ‘flow,’ deeply absorbed states, lucid dreaming, states of ecstasy, of sexual pleasure, esthetic trance, personal transformation, emotional highs and lows. A lot of those claims have been very hard to verify, but we will touch on most of them, and explore our best evidence in depth. 

This course doesn’t promise to teach how to have positive states, but we will explore what is known, what our most credible findings are, some speculations about higher states, and a lot questions that we can’t answer as yet. We do expect this course to be fun.

Webcourse registration is open to all.  

 If you take the Survey you can get free downloads with WebCourse materials --- and it is for a good cause...


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Both taught by Dr. Bernard J. Baars



course description     



link to course announcement

link to registration page - jpeg

ink - Syllabus - The WebCourse 2008




September 24 - December 14, 2007





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