Susan Blackmore on Zen consciousness - UNCUT

July 24, 2012

Susan Blackmore is a British psychologist who's written books on consciousness, memes and parapsychology. She's also fascinated by what Zen Buddhism can tell us about the mind. In this EXTENDED interview, she says her daily practice of meditation has revealed truths that have eluded the scientific study of consciousness.

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Two questions:
1. How can a scientist ever purport to explain consciousness when all of his or her experiments and thoughts about them occur within a consciousness, namely their own? Isn't there some inevitable circularity there?
2. I have had the repeated experience during meditation of a physical sensation that occurs invariably just before my decision to breath in. Does this invalidate free will or does it just mean the decision occurs first at a level deeper than what I consciously experience as "me" but "I" am still the decider?