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The Electromagnetic Brain

EM Field Theories on the Nature of Consciousness

Foreword by Dean Radin
Published by Inner Traditions
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

An exploration of cutting-edge theories on the electromagnetic basis of consciousness

• Details, in nontechnical terms, 12 credible theories, each published by prominent professionals with extensive scientific credentials, that describe how electromagnetic fields may be the basis for consciousness

• Examines practical applications of electromagnetic-consciousness theory, including the use of contemporary brain stimulation devices to modify and enhance consciousness

• Explores the work of William Köhler, Susan Pockett, Johnjoe McFadden, Rupert Sheldrake, Ervin Laszlo, William Tiller, Harold Saxton Burr, Sir Roger Penrose, Stuart Hameroff, Mari Jibu, Kunio Yasue, Karl Pribram, Alfred North Whitehead, and James Clerk Maxwell, as well as the author's own theories

In this scientific exploration of the origin of consciousness, Shelli Renée Joye, Ph.D., explores 12 credible theories, each published by prominent professionals with extensive scientific credentials, that describe how electricity in the form of electromagnetic fields is the living consciousness that runs through the brain. Each of these theories supports the idea that the electromagnetic field itself is the basis of consciousness and that this source of consciousness peers out into the space-time universe through our human sensory systems, flowing with awareness throughout the bloodstream and nervous system. Following her exploration of electromagnetic-consciousness theories, Joye then examines practical applications, describing how electric fields might be manipulated and controlled to modify and enhance the operation of consciousness in the human brain. She explores the use of contemporary brain stimulation devices that offer benefits such as decreased addiction cravings and anxiety, reduced depression and chronic pain, enhanced mathematical abilities, accelerated learning, and greater insight during mindfulness meditation.

Revealing the cutting edge of consciousness studies, Joye shows that consciousness is not an isolated function of the individual brain but is connected to the larger electromagnetic field that not only encompasses the entire physical universe but also is deeply involved in the creation of matter and the material world.


From Chapter 5. The Power Within

As part of traditional spirituality, natural magic respects the creative life force in all things. According to the natural magical worldview, being human does not give us the right to dominate and destroy nature. Rather, it teaches us to be mindful that all things are interconnected, that polar opposites are actually two sides of the same unity. Meditation on this leads us to a new understanding of our human existence, for without this worldview, we cannot work natural magic.

Might and Main
Traditionally, the powers of the body are seen as embodied in two separate but linked qualities: might and main. Might is the physical strength of the body: the energy within it that enables it to live, powering its movements and actions. Main is the inner strength that empowers the personality. Without main, might is useless, for main includes the will to live. It is main that enables a person to exert his or her will in all realms of life. It empowers the magical arts of the human being. We must have both might and main in order to live effectively. Without one or the other, we are close to death.

Natural magic enables us to fully utilize our might and main in a creative way through spiritual empowerment. Spiritual empowerment is the harmonization of the body and mind with the all-encompassing power of the cosmos. It can be achieved by means of spiritual exercises that bring the functions of body and mind into alignment with each other, and then into alignment with eternal forces. There are five stages in the spiritual exercises of natural magic, as follows.

First, sit in an alert, yet relaxed position, either with legs crossed, or with the legs beneath the body. Next, regulate the breath. Once the breath is under control, regular and slow, banish all unwanted thoughts. This is not easy for the beginner. Firstly, by closing your eyes, withdraw your attention from all external objects and distractions. Suppress inner mental images, too. Then, let your bodily sensations gradually fade and become unimportant.

It is possible to banish unwanted thoughts by concentrating on a specific thought, perhaps the visualization of a symbol. This can be something spiritual that has personal meaning. Use it regularly, and it will become part of your consciousness.

Once you are in a meditative state, then the next step is sound, in the form of chant or song. The sacramental energy present in words is recognized throughout the world. An appropriate chant, spell, or song that comes from within will raise that energy and empower the singer. Once the activity is finished, there must be a re-awakening, a re-entry to the everyday world. This is accomplished in the reverse order, consciously bringing each part of the body and mind back to “normality.” The body, as well as the mind, will feel revitalized at the end of the process, giving us a greater awareness of our surroundings, and our creative possibilities.

Elemental Alignment
A good way of gaining bodily and mental familiarity with the four material elements, and the fifth non-material one, is to use them in meditation. Like other magical activities, you should perform these meditations inside a protective boundary. Each time you work with an element, use the same technique. Begin with the densest element, Earth, then proceed to the lightest, Fire, in the sequence Earth, Water, Air, Fire.

Earth Meditation. Put some earth in a ceramic or glass bowl, and place it in a convenient location. Sit in a meditational posture, and focus your attention on the earth in the bowl. Explore in your mind the many possibilities of earth symbolized by this small sample. When you have done this, allow your consciousness to enter the earth. Become at one with it. Experience its heaviness, its many variant forms and possibilities, and the feelings that they bring.

Water Meditation. Pour some natural spring or well water into a bowl, and place the bowl in a convenient location, as before. Focus your meditation upon the water. Explore the many forms of water: wetness, rain, streams, puddles, lakes, and the sea. When you have done this, allow your consciousness to enter the water. Become at one with it. Experience its fluidity, its many variant flowing possibilities, and the feelings that they bring you.

Air Meditation. Light some incense. It is best to use one that you have collected yourself, such as resin from a tall conifer. Burn it on charcoal in a fireproof dish. Place the dish in a convenient place, as before. Then focus your meditation upon the smoke that indicates the invisible air. Explore the many forms of air: the atmosphere of places, breezes, winds, storms, hurricanes, and whirlwinds. When you have done this, allow your consciousness to enter the air. Become at one with it. Experience its freedom and motion, and the feelings that they bring.

Fire Meditation. For this, light a candle, using struck fire. It is best to use a fire-colored one, deep orange or red. Watch the brilliant flame, and focus your awareness upon the qualities and forms of fire and flame: heat, flickering light, red-hot metal, volcanic eruptions, and the power of the sun. Then imagine yourself as part of the fire, experiencing the feelings that this generates.

The Subtle Power Meditation. Sit as before, visualizing the natural empowerment of all existence, the flowing energy matrix upon which all things are patterned. Envisage it as ever-changing, flowing geometrical colors and forms, like the rainbow patterns on the surface of a bubble.

When you have finished each meditation, direct your consciousness away from the object. Return to a full awareness of the things around you. When you begin, it is best to work several times with each element, until you feel ready to move on to the next one. Once you have worked through all five, you will find that your understanding of the subtle realms has been greatly empowered.

About The Author

Shelli Renée Joye, Ph.D., attended Rice University on a physics scholarship and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduation, she worked with John Lilly on interspecies communication and pursued contemplative practice with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. She completed her doctorate in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies. The author of several books, including Tuning the Mind, she lives in Italy.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Inner Traditions (October 27, 2020)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644110928

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Raves and Reviews

“Shelli Joye’s book raises one of the fundamental problems of philosophy--what is the display that appears to us when we look at ourselves and the world? Something does, and we call it mind or consciousness. This book claims that it is the electromagnetic field. Her book merits being read, pondered, and explored in reference to the ever-increasing storehouse of knowledge about the physical world in general and the electromagnetic field in particular.”

– Ervin Laszlo, author of The Immortal Mind

The Electromagnetic Brain is a bold, brave effort to pull together and present important alternative views to what has become the dominant paradigm in the fields of neuroscience and brain science--a paradigm that arbitrarily assumes that consciousness and the mind arise from physical, neuronal activity in the brain and that they are limited to these processes. The nature of consciousness or subjective awareness is a challenge to science and to much of what we take for granted in our ordinary lives. Joye’s work is thorough, extensive, well written, and fascinating. It will ultimately challenge its readers to examine who we truly are, and this is why it is so important.”

– Menas C. Kafatos, Ph.D., coauthor of The Conscious Universe and You Are the Universe

“Joye dives into the epic, unsolved scientific question--not simply of the nature of the observed, but rather observation itself. The unfolding story of enfolded field theories of consciousness is delivered with Joye’s unique genius and heart. These consciousness insights are presented with a minimum of specialist jargon; thus the book connects subtle concepts to a wide audience.”

– Christopher Papile, Ph.D., founder of BraneCell

“In clear, cogent prose Joye has written the first book to survey electromagnetic theories of consciousness. Long neglected by the academic establishment in favor of more material models, electromagnetic perspectives stand poised to make substantial contributions to our scientific understanding of consciousness. Joye’s knowledge and writing style render complex topics readable and accessible for a general audience, thus facilitating the cross-disciplinary dialog necessary to approach the complex phenomena of consciousness.”

– Kerri Welch, Ph.D., author of A Fractal Topology of Time

“Beautifully written and comprehensive in scope. Pribram and Bohm are the two major figures here, and you will not find a better description of their work anywhere. It is clear that current approaches to the brain and consciousness are several orders of magnitude too simple, and this book is perhaps the best way to begin to rectify that.”

– Seán Ó Nualláin, M.Sc., Ph.D., author of The Search for Mind

“. . . Shelli Joye’s most complete and informative work to date. This is a fascinating book! Shelli has a way of making the technical and controversial easily digestible--and enjoyable. The material collected here will be a great aid for anyone interested in the nature of consciousness--scientist and layperson alike. Highly recommended!”

– Michael Pryzdia, Ph.D., senior lecturer at Arizona State University

The Electromagnetic Brain bridges the world of consciousness research with physics, electrical engineering, and stories about those exploring human consciousness. These approaches to an understanding of electromagnetic fields of consciousness are presented with fascinating biographies, references, and numerous diagrams to reveal new frontiers of research.”

– Lauren Palmateer, Ph.D., electrical engineer

“In The Electromagnetic Brain, Joye takes the daring position that consciousness is not only generated in the brain but also partly received by the brain, being embedded in a physical information field as earlier proposed in the holographic approaches of David Bohm and Karl Pribram. These pioneering ideas are now reborn in the era of quantum biology, with its groundbreaking concepts in modern biophysics. An excellent presentation that mirrors the ongoing quest for understanding our participatory role in bringing the cosmos we live in to self-understanding, emphasizing our own responsibility for the survival of our precious planet.” Dirk K. F. Meijer, M.D., M.

– Dirk K. F. Meijer, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D., professor emeritus at the University of Groningen

“At this time when the limitations of a purely materialist approach to comprehending consciousness are increasingly evident, The Electromagnetic Brain reads like a breath of fresh air. Joye describes top cutting-edge theories delving into how consciousness might best be viewed in terms of energetic fields. While many of these theories do not yet include complete physical mechanisms by which interaction between fields of consciousness and human brains occur, Joye’s new book constructs a foundation upon which future consciousness research in this most promising direction can emerge.”

– Cynthia Sue Larson, Ph.D., author of Quantum Jumps and Reality Shifts

"My advice to the reader is not to be 'put off by the seemingly technical verbiage. The important things are the concepts, and beneath the words-they are straightforward and powerful. I give this volume very high remarks and highly recommend it to anyone who is curious about the true nature of reality."

– Alan Glassman, New Dawn Magazine

"... an excellent literature review of work spanning a century from about 20 multidisciplinary and independently funded scientists, all of whom believe that Consciousness (big ‘C’, meaning the life force) is primary. They all address the question: what is the mechanism by which we are subjectively consciously (small ‘c’) aware?"

– Paradigm Explorer

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