WebCourses on Science and Consciousness

  Both will run every Saturday and Sunday, March 13 - May 16, 2010 *

Taught by Dr. Bernard J. Baars

The Neurosciences Institute



You can send in your     REGISTRATION FORM    by email, regular mail or fax.


1. Positive Conscious Experiences: An introduction

2. Advanced Seminar on Mind, Brain and Consciousness *


                 Intro Positive Conscious Experiences - Live Discussions will be 10am -12 noon, Pacific Time, Saturdays and Sundays.

                 The Advanced Seminar will be live 2-4 on Sundays, Pacific Time. (ConnectPro - links sent in advance)

                  “Asynch” Discussions will be available throughout the week. (D2L)


The Neurosciences Institute

University of Arizona, Center for Consciousness Studies.

Note: We will be using a state-of-the-art audio/video conferencing platform, with plenty of opportunity for discussion and interaction.

No more plain texting!


1.  Positive Conscious Experiences: An Introduction. (Spring, 2010)

     Dr. Bernard J. Baars

What do we really know about happiness, contentment, satisfaction, delight, pleasure, joy, and bliss?  Ten years ago the answer might have been: Not much, except for a few nuggets from the great wisdom traditions. Traditional thinking was mostly pretty negative about the possibility of happiness. Freud thought that even the most successful therapy could only produce “normal everyday unhappiness” at the best.

We now know a lot more about positive experiences and the sense of flow, as psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (“cheek-sent-me-high-ee”) has called it. We now have a lot of good scientific studies, some of them from the same people who pioneered the study of depression a few decades ago. (They’ve figured out that this is more fun.)

We also know much more about the brain in “higher” states of consciousness, including advanced Tibetan meditators, TM meditators, and mystical states in Carmelite nuns. Some remarkable patterns of brain activity have been found over and over again. There is good evidence about the brain chemistry of positive (and negative) consciousness. Dreams and twilight states are also coming into better focus as a remarkable source of creativity.

Human beings have tried to change their own conscious experiences for thousands of years. We know about a huge range of claims about higher states, drug states, hypnosis, mindfulness, states of mental ‘flow,’ deeply absorbed states, lucid dreaming, states of ecstasy, of sexual pleasure, esthetic trance, personal transformation, emotional highs and lows. A lot of those claims have been very hard to verify, but we will touch on most of them, and explore our best evidence in depth. 

This course doesn’t promise to teach how to have positive states, but we will explore what is known, what our most credible findings are, some speculations about higher states, and a lot questions that we can’t answer as yet. We do expect this course to be fun.

Some specifics:

We are currently testing ConnectPro as our teaching platform. All web conferencing platforms benefit if you have have a good headset (Skype style), and a good connection.  The textbook will be chosen by February, 2010.

Additional readings, videos, podcasts, powerpoints, lectures and images will be provided on our website or emailed to you. We will send out a weekly email to all participants.  Live Discussions will be held online on weekends, to help you to participate at a convenient time.  (Times posted are Pacific Time. See this link for your own Time Zone).    Asynchronous Discussions will be available to those who cannot join in live. 

Webcourse registration is open to all.                   

You can send in your Registration Form by email, regular mail or fax.

Please email

center@u.arizona.edu if you have any questions.

Fax: 520-626-6416

Telephone: 520-621-9317 

To be on our Center for Consciousness Studies announcements list, please email  center@u.arizona.edu .   Please type “Attn: Webcourse Notification” in the subject line.


2.  Advanced Seminar on Mind, Brain & Consciousness  (Spring, 2010)

The Advanced Seminar on Mind, Brain & Consciousness will take place on Sundays at 2 -4 pm Pacific Time. It is currently covering a huge range of topics --- the only requirement is a source of reliable evidence --- either scientific, experiential, or reliable reports about conscious experiences. (As in the case of consistently reported mystical states.)

The Advanced Seminar is tailored for specific member needs and interests.  The Seminar will be smaller and somewhat more demanding than the Introductory WebCourses, with advanced readings and a college textbook by Baars & Gage (2007) Cognition, Brain & Consciousness: An Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience. (Elsevier, Inc., Academic Press).  See Amazon or similar source.

Additional readings, videos, podcasts, powerpoints, lectures and images will be provided on our Seminar website or emailed to you. We will send out a weekly email to all participants.

We expect to use the ConnectPro platform that has worked well in the current Seminar.

For the Advanced Seminar please email Dr. Baars before registering. (bbaars@nsi.edu)  

Your Registration Form can be sent by email, phone, fax or regular mail.

To: The Center for Consciousness Studies

Email address: center@u.arizona.edu

Fax: 520-626-6416

Phone: 520-621-9317 

If you would like to be on our CCS announcements list, please email center@u.arizona.edu    “Attn:  Webcourse Notification.

(Continued from Fall, 2009. Current Seminar members will receive a continuing participant discount.)

New Seminar Members welcome. Please email Dr. Baars beforehand: bbaars@nsi.edu



Dear Consciousness Fan,

We want to know what you think!

Filling out this very brief survey (link) would help us a great deal.

 If you take the Survey you can get free downloads with WebCourse materials --- and it is for a good cause...

Please  CUT & PASTE  this  LINK into your browser:       http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=0s3v0Be3COqoJnGVEJ656g_3d_3d

Thank you kindly!