JAZZ 455 - Creat&Consciousness
Section: 001
Term: FA 2010
Subject: Jazz & Improvisational Studies (JAZZ)
Department: Music School
2 (Non-LSA credit).
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

What might the engineer, biologist and athlete have in common with the sculptor, the poet and the jazz improviser? This course explores the idea that creative processes in seemingly disparate disciplines may share a common basis in the transformations in consciousness — also termed "peak experience", or "transcendence" — which are reported by individuals engaged in a wide range of activities. The connecting principle is the self-referential, integrative nature of consciousness, as captured in Lord Krishna's statement in the Bhagavad Gita: "Curving back on my self, I create again and again." In meditation, this curving back manifests in the merging of the personal self with an unbounded, oceanic experience of wholeness. In action, this curving back enables, in peak moments, an extraordinary flow, and both optimal access to oneís internal reservoir of skills and concepts, as well as freedom from conditioned use of those resources.

The course will combine meditative exercises, creative exercises, readings and discussions which explore the inner mechanics of how consciousness is transformed from an ordinary to a heightened state. A variety of philosophies of consciousness will be considered, ranging from materialist/reductionist perspectives which view consciousness as a byproduct of matter, to the idealist vantage point in which consciousness is the primary "substance" of the universe out of which all creation emerges. A special consideration is made of compelling (yet generally marginalized in academia) empirical research done at Princeton and elsewhere on anomalous phenomena (e.g., ESP, remote viewing, precognition) which suggests the existence of a nonlocal, field aspect of consciousness. We will also consider Dr. Ian Stevensonís empirical studies on reincarnation, and studies suggesting that collective meditation may result in possible harmonizing effects on the environment. Among the other themes taken up are the relationship of creativity and consciousness on human relationship, environment and ecology, education, the art-science-religion relationship, and change.

One of the features of the class many students have found most appealing in the past has been the wide diversity of students who participate, and the insights one gains about one's own discipline from having the opportunity to reflect on the ideal conditions and obstacles to creativity from diverse perspectives.

JAZZ 455 - Creat&Consciousness
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
W 6:00PM - 8:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Any edition of Narby is fine
ISBN: 9781591430582
Sacred plant medicine : the wisdom in Native American herbalism, Author: Buhner, Stephen Harrod., Publisher: Bear & Co 2006
ISBN: 0575066148
The cosmic serpent, DNA and the origins of knowledge, Author: Jeremy Narby., Publisher: V. Gollancz 1998
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