Mind-life continuity: a qualitative study of conscious experience

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There are two fundamental models to understanding the phenomenon of natural life. One is thecomputational model, which is based on the symbolic thinking paradigm. The other is the biologicalorganism model. The common difficulty attributed to these paradigms is that their reductive tools allowthe phenomenological aspects of experience to remain hidden behind yes/no responses (behavioraltests), or brain ‘pictures’ (neuroimaging). Hence, one of the problems regards how to overcome meth-odological difficulties towards a non-reductive investigation of conscious experience. It is our aim in thispaper to show how cooperation between Eastern and Western traditions may shed light for a non-reductive study of mind and life. This study focuses on the first-person experience associated withcognitive and mental events. We studied phenomenal data as a crucial fact for the domain of livingbeings, which, we expect, can provide the ground for a subsequent third-person study. The interventionwith Jhana meditation, and its qualitative assessment, provided us with experiential profiles based uponsubjects' evaluations of their own conscious experiences. The overall results should move towards anintegrated or global perspective on mind where neither experience nor external mechanisms have thefinal word
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Archival date: 2018-06-04
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