Monthly Archives: January 2011

Memory transference in organ transplant recipients

There have been perplexing reports of organ transplant receivers claiming that they seem to have inherited the memory, experiences and emotions of their deceased donors, causing  quirky changes in their personality.  We will present a few cases and then discuss a possible explanation in the light of the occult insights of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother Mirra Alfassa.

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How can we “see” in our dreams when our eyes are closed?

In the Ask Brains Column of the Nov 2010 issue of the Scientific American Mind magazine, a reader asked the question, “How we can “see” in our dreams when our eyes are closed (since the retina is inactive)?“[1]. The answer given over there was that these dream visions originate either in the visual centers within the brain or in the latent memories residing in the brain which in turn stimulate the visual cortex.  You can read the question and the response over here.  That answer is based on current model of the brain in neuroscience; it assumes that the brain is equivalent to the mind and that consciousness is the result of brain activity.  In this post, we present the answer from the perspective of “yoga psychology”.

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Early mystic experiences of Sri Aurobindo

In the formative years of our youth, some of us experience those serendipitous and decisive moments which open new vistas and reveal to us our calling  in life; one individual may chance upon a stirring piece of music and be impelled to become a musician; another may be captivated by an enigmatic pattern of numbers and subsequently enroll in math studies; and yet another might discover an uncanny aptitude for mechanical tools and go on to build a business around it.  These are predestined moments, moments when the soul shines forth to disclose our purpose and guide us to our vocation in this incarnation.   In the lives of mystics as well, we see such transcendental moments which initiate their entry into the spiritual path.  This article presents some early mystic experiences of Sri Aurobindo as noted down in his poems.

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Embodied cognition in Yoga psychology

The Cartesian paradigm which dominated (plagued?) science for the past three centuries is gradually being jettisoned.  In the cognitive sciences, one of the latest theories being actively researched is called Embodied Cognition, which posits that the mind is inextricably tied to the environment.  It argues that higher cognitive processes are shaped by and grounded in the   bodily experience.  In the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother Mirra Alfassa, we  find unstinting affirmation for this model of cognition; in fact, their whole model of Integral Psychology is based on a fine-grained differentiation of the intricate connection between the mind, the vital and the physical parts of the human consciousness.  In this article, we present the connection between the Integral Psychology of Sri Aurobindo and Embodied cognition.

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