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Int J Neurosci. 1999 Jan;100(1-4):77-89.

Pure Consciousness: Distinct Phenomenological and Physiological Correlates of "Consciousness Itself"

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Psychology Department, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, IA 52557.


This paper explores subjective reports and physiological correlates of the experience of "consciousness itself" - self awareness isolated from the processes and objects of experience during Transcendental Meditation practice. Subjectively, this state is characterized by the absence of the very framework (time, space, and body sense) and content (qualities of inner and outer perception) that define waking experiences. Physiologically, this state is distinguished by the presence of apneustic breathing, autonomic orienting at the onset of breath changes, and increases in the frequency of peak EEG power. A model, called the junction point model, is presented that integrates pure consciousness with waking, dreaming, or sleeping. It could provide a structure to generate a coherent program of research to test the full range of consciousness and so enable us to understand what it means to be fully human.


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