Shaping Reality through Consciousness: A Live Exploration at Stanford University

Hacking Consciousness at Stanford University - Do We Create Our Reality

The Maestro of Consciousness: Dr. Frederick Travis

“Reality” is more than a philosophical concept or a tangible state; it’s a physical manifestation sculpted by the mind. This understanding lies at the heart of Dr. Frederick Travis’s groundbreaking research. As the Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition, he posits that the idea of “We create our reality” is more than a metaphysical hypothesis—it’s an undeniable physical reality rooted in neural plasticity. This principle asserts that every experience, no matter how mundane, alters our brain. Therefore, by choosing transcendental experiences, we naturally pave the way to higher states of consciousness.

Shaping Reality: The Role of Neural Plasticity

At the “Hacking Consciousness” event at Stanford University, Dr. Travis provided a live EEG demonstration, emphasizing that our everyday choices directly impact our brain’s development. For over 23 years, he’s extensively studied brainwaves, publishing over 70 papers, and establishing correlations between the frontal lobe coherence and performance across various activities, whether in sports, business, or other fields.

We Create Our Reality – Hacking Consciousness at Stanford University

Road to Processing: Low Road and High Road

Dr. Travis explained that our processing of information takes two distinct paths: the low road and the high road. The low road leads to the brainstem, the most primitive part of the brain, triggering automatic responses that induce moods. These moods can span from positive to negative and instigate approach or avoidance behaviors. Concurrently, the high road facilitates the actual processing of information, forming the foundation of our conscious experiences.

The Pruning Period: Essential for Mental Development

Dr. Travis discussed the synaptic pruning process that takes place in the brain during the ages of 10-18. Drawing parallels with garden pruning, he explained that the brain eliminates connections that aren’t fruitful, diverting resources to strengthen the more beneficial neural connections. This pruning process, much like the gardener’s artful snipping, fosters a more robust, efficient brain that supports higher cognitive functions.

The Experience of Pure Consciousness

Dr. Travis further delved into the state of ‘pure consciousness’—a unique, transcendent experience. Drawing on the work of psychologist Abraham Maslow, who studied peak experiences, he explained that this state is a mind-state, an aspect of the source of thought, which is always present and responsible for our wakefulness. It is possible to spontaneously access this state and experience pure consciousness.

However, the permanence of this experience, known as cosmic consciousness, depends on our brain’s ability to maintain the delicate balance between unbounded silence and focused activity. Dr. Travis proposes that the regular cultivation of this balance through practices like meditation could result in a persistent experience of higher consciousness.

Last Updated on July 3, 2023

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