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Chase Chance And Creativity

Author: James H. Austin
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262250108
Size: 64.63 MB
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This first book by the author of Zen and the Brain examines the role of chance in the creative process. James Austin tells a personal story of the ways in which persistence, chance, and creativity interact in biomedical research; the conclusions he reaches shed light on the creative process in any field.Austin shows how, in his own investigations, unpredictable events shaped the outcome of his research and brought about novel results. He then goes beyond this story of serendipity to propose a new classification of the varieties of chance, drawing on his own research and examples from the history of science--including the famous accidents that led Fleming to the discovery of penicillin. Finally, he explores the nature of the creative process, considering not only the environmental and neurophysiological correlates of creativity but also the role of intuition in both scientific discoveries and spiritual quests. This updated MIT Press paperback edition includes a new introduction and recent material on medical research, creativity, and spirituality.

Chase Chance And Creativity

Author: James H. Austin
Publisher: Mit Press
ISBN: 9780262511353
Size: 12.27 MB
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A personal story of the ways in which persistence, chance, and creativity interact in biomedical research.

Chase Chance And Creativity

Author: James H. Austin
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 31.32 MB
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An account of the haphazard, complex nature of scientific research as it applies to the author's and other scientists' work examines aspects of creativity of significance for our understanding of ourselves

Zen And The Brain

Author: James H. Austin
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262260350
Size: 57.23 MB
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A neuroscientist and Zen practitioner interweaves the latest research on the brain with his personal narrative of Zen. Aldous Huxley called humankind's basic trend toward spiritual growth the "perennial philosophy." In the view of James Austin, the trend implies a "perennial psychophysiology"—because awakening, or enlightenment, occurs only when the human brain undergoes substantial changes. What are the peak experiences of enlightenment? How could these states profoundly enhance, and yet simplify, the workings of the brain? Zen and the Brain presents the latest evidence. In this book Zen Buddhism becomes the opening wedge for an extraordinarily wide-ranging exploration of consciousness. In order to understand which brain mechanisms produce Zen states, one needs some understanding of the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the brain. Austin, both a neurologist and a Zen practitioner, interweaves the most recent brain research with the personal narrative of his Zen experiences. The science is both inclusive and rigorous; the Zen sections are clear and evocative. Along the way, Austin examines such topics as similar states in other disciplines and religions, sleep and dreams, mental illness, consciousness-altering drugs, and the social consequences of the advanced stage of ongoing enlightenment.

Living Zen Remindfully

Author: James H. Austin
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262336464
Size: 60.47 MB
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This is a book for readers who want to probe more deeply into mindfulness. It goes beyond the casual, once-in-awhile meditation in popular culture, grounding mindfulness in daily practice, Zen teachings, and recent research in neuroscience. In Living Zen Remindfully, James Austin, author of the groundbreaking Zen and the Brain, describes authentic Zen training -- the commitment to a process of regular, ongoing daily life practice. This training process enables us to unlearn unfruitful habits, develop more wholesome ones, and lead a more genuinely creative life.Austin shows that mindfulness can mean more than our being conscious of the immediate "now." It can extend into the subconscious, where most of our brain's activities take place, invisibly. Austin suggests ways that long-term meditative training helps cultivate the hidden, affirmative resource of our unconscious memory. Remindfulness, as Austin terms it, can help us to adapt more effectively and to live more authentic lives.Austin discusses different types of meditation, meditation and problem-solving, and the meaning of enlightenment. He addresses egocentrism (self-centeredness) and allocentrism (other-centeredness), and the blending of focal and global attention. He explains the remarkable processes that encode, store, and retrieve our memories, focusing on the covert, helpful remindful processes incubating at subconscious levels. And he considers the illuminating confluence of Zen, clinical neurology, and neuroscience. Finally, he describes an everyday life of "living Zen," drawing on the poetry of Basho, the seventeenth-century haiku master.

Selfless Insight

Author: James H. Austin
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262260360
Size: 23.16 MB
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When neurology researcher James Austin began Zen training, he found that his medical education was inadequate. During the past three decades, he has been at the cutting edge of both Zen and neuroscience, constantly discovering new examples of how these two large fields each illuminate the other. Now, in Selfless Insight, Austin arrives at a fresh synthesis, one that invokes the latest brain research to explain the basis for meditative states and clarifies what Zen awakening implies for our understanding of consciousness. Austin, author of the widely read Zen and the Brain, reminds us why Zen meditation is not only mindfully attentive but evolves to become increasingly selfless and intuitive. Meditators are gradually learning how to replace over-emotionality with calm, clear objective comprehension. In this new book, Austin discusses how meditation trains our attention, reprogramming it toward subtle forms of awareness that are more openly mindful. He explains how our maladaptive notions of self are rooted in interactive brain functions. And he describes how, after the extraordinary, deep states of kensho-satori strike off the roots of the self, a flash of transforming insight-wisdom leads toward ways of living more harmoniously and selflessly. Selfless Insight is the capstone to Austin's journey both as a creative neuroscientist and as a Zen practitioner. His quest has spanned an era of unprecedented progress in brain research and has helped define the exciting new field of contemplative neuroscience.

The Creativity Question

Author: Albert Rothenberg
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822303541
Size: 51.57 MB
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Albert Rothenberg, a psychiatrist, and Carl R. Hausman, a philosopher, have prepared a truly comprehensive interdisciplinary book of readings on creativity. This group of selections from the works of writers in psychiatry, philosophy, psychology, psychoanalysis, and education brings together, for the first time, major theoretical works, outstanding empirical findings, and discussions of the definition and nature of creativity. The organization of The Creativity Question is unique: it illustrates the various approaches and basic assumptions underlying studies of creativity throughout the course of history up to the present time. The main body of selections appears under the categories of descriptions, attempts at explanation, and alternate approaches. As specific orientations to creativity can be traced to particular initiating thinkers and investigators, there is a special chapter on seminal accounts containing selections from the works of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Galton, and Freud. Another chapter includes recent illustrations of special types of exploratory trends: creativity of women, brain research, synectics, extrasensory perception, behaviorism, and creativity computer programming. This organization highlights the tension between strictly scientific accounts and alternative approaches offering new ways of understanding. The editors have provided for the books as a whole and for each chapter explanation and discussion of the basic issues raised by the various approaches to creativity.

Zen Brain Horizons

Author: James H. Austin
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262027569
Size: 69.19 MB
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In Zen-Brain Horizons, James Austin draws on his decades of experience as a neurologist and Zen practitioner to clarify the benefits of meditative training. Austin integrates classical Buddhist literature with modern brain research, exploring the horizons of a living, neural Zen.When viewed in the light of today, the timeless wisdom of some Zen masters seems almost to have anticipated recent research in the neurosciences. The keen attentiveness and awareness that we cultivate during meditative practices becomes the leading edge of our subsequent mental processing. Austin explains how our covert, involuntary functions can make crucial contributions to the subtle ways we learn, intuit, and engage in creative activities. Austin begins by looking back at ancient Buddhist narratives. He then weaves together the major themes of self, attention, emotion, language, and insight. He goes on to examine Zen and psychology as cultural developments, including recent information about how a clear, calm awareness can change the meditating brain. He considers the pathways through which intuitions develop on their way to becoming realized, exploring the phenomena of the spontaneous color imagery that arises during meditation. Looking out even further into the future, Austin discusses the universal themes of creativity, happiness, openness, and selflessness. Along the way, he bows in homage to William James, explores "Buddhist Botany" and "Avian Zen," demonstrates why living Zen means much more than sitting quietly indoors on a cushion, and provides simplified advice that helps guide readers to the most important points.

Meditating Selflessly

Author: James H. Austin
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262015870
Size: 72.33 MB
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Based on the Zen philosophy about focusing away from the self, a guide to "neural Zen" meditative practices draws on recent findings in brain research to outline recommendations for various methods of pursuing a balanced, selfless state of heightened awareness.

Informal Reasoning And Education

Author: James F. Voss
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136463526
Size: 52.58 MB
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Based on extensive reasoning acquisition research, this volume provides theoretical and empirical considerations of the reasoning that occurs during the course of everyday personal and professional activities. Of particular interest is the text's focus on the question of how such reasoning takes place during school activities and how students acquire reasoning skills.