A Theoretical Analysis of Higher States of Consciousness and Meditation

  • B. D. Josephson


In higher states of consciousness the process of thinking is more finely adjusted to the demands of a situation than would normally be the case. We propose a mathematical model for this, based on the hypothesis that thoughts are created in part by an instability mechanism; learning establishes the instabilities, while when a situation has become familiar a compensating stability mechanism cuts out unnecessary thought. Meditation is interpreted as a process in which processes increasing stability dominate. The analysis should provide impetus for a wider examination of the value of higher states of consciousness.


  1. 1.
    A. Campbell, The Mechanics of Enlightenment (Gollancz, London, 1975).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Thought, action, motivation and other aspects of higher states of consciousness are discussed by Peter Russell in The TM Technique (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1976). See also Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, On the Bhagavad-Gita, (Penguin, London, 1969).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The World Organisation of General Systems and Cybernetics 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. D. Josephson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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