Browsing by Author "Cranson, Robert"
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- ItemIntelligence and higher states of consciousness: a longitudinal study(1990) Cranson, Robert; Alexander, Charles; Orme-Johnson, David; Gackenbach, JayneWhen William James (1890) introduced the concept of consciousness into American psychology, he argued that beyond the range of normal waking consciousness there is the possibility of exceptional states of consciousness that are completely "discontinuous" with discursive thought. He argued that these heightened states of awareness could be induced under specifiable conditions, could influence thought and behavior profoundly, and could be adaptive for the individual. He challenged psychology to investigate these states scientifically. The onset of the behaviorist revolution almost completely overshadowed this field of psychology (Hilgard, 1980). However, some groups of investigators continued to investigate these states, particularly the Jungian school (1956, 1960, 1980); Abraham Maslow (1968, 1977) and his school of humanistic psychology; and the movement known as transpersonal psychology (Grof, 1983; Rothberg, 1986; Sutich, 1976; Wilber, 1980). These experiences, called "peak experiences" by Maslow, have also been referred to as "transpersonal experiences," "flow," and others. Recently, a larger number of researchers have again begun to recognize and investigate these phenomena (e.g., Alexander, Davies, et al., in press; Alexander, Druker, & Langer, in press; Csikszentmihalyi, 1982; Hilgard, 1980; Hunt, 1989; Kramer, in press; Pascual-Leone, in press-a, in press-b; Pribram, 1986; Shapiro & Walsh, 1984; Wilber, Engler, & Brown, 1986). James (1902/1960, p. 386) suggested that exceptional states could be systematically cultivated, and he pointed to the ancient Indian tradition of yoga as a source of such practices. He thus anticipated a promising research area: the experimental investigation of meditation and associated psychophysiological changes. In 1957 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced Transcendental Meditation (TM) as a simple mental technique derived from the Vedic tradition of India (Maharishi, 1963, 1969; 1972a). He proposed that through this procedure [Editors Note: See discussion by Charles Alexander in the Lucid Dreaming and Higher States of Consciousness Panel Discussion for a brief explanation of the procedure], a "fourth major state of consciousness" can be regularly experienced. This fourth state is referred to in Maharishi's Vedic psychology as transcendental consciousness (Maharishi, 1969; Orme-Johnson, 1988) because it is said to transcend or be discontinuous with the three ordinary states of waking, dreaming, and sleep, as typically described conceptually and psychophysiologically (e.g., see Natsoulas's sixth definition of "normal" waking consciousness: 1983, p. 49; see also, Gackenbach, 1987; Rechtschaffen & Kales, 1968).
- ItemLucid dreaming, witnessing dreaming. and the Transcendental Meditation technique: a developmental relationship(1986) Gackenbach, Jayne; Cranson, Robert; Alexander, CharlesThe recent growth of interest in dream lucidity, reflected in descriptive and experimental research, has led to a consideration of the theoretical and practical significance this type of dream experience might have. Whereas some researchers have suggested that lucidity offers an important phenomenological tool for the investigation of dreaming processes (LaBerge, 1985), others have emphasized the similarities between lucidity and certain types of meditative states and have suggested that they may promote psychological development in related ways (e.g., Hunt, 1985; Hunt & Ogilvie, in press).Alexander, Boyer and Orme-Johnson (1985) have recently postulated a theoretical model placing dream lucidity as a bridge between formal operations and "post-conceptual or post-language" development. They argue that the Maharishi Technology of the Unified field manifested by the practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) promotes development of consciousness beyond symbolic thought. Specifically, they say, "We speculate that lucidity as typically experienced may reflect the further developmental de-embedding and generalization of higher order self-reflective thought such that it can function in some form during the dream state. It is our impression that many if not most lucid dreams may result from activation of such functions of the intellect and ego .Nevertheless, some lucid experiences which have been reported may be of the purely self-referral witnessing type described by Vedic psychology (p. 82)".Dream witnessing is similar to dream lucidity in that there is awareness of dreaming while dreaming. However, there seems also to be clear conceptual differences in that witnessing the dream also involves an "unbounded awareness," which is quiet, peaceful and nonparticipative.