Advanced Neuroscience and Consciousness Study Group 2020

How High Can We Fly? How Low Can We Go?

An Exploration of the Edges of Consciousness

Join us for our FOURTH annual deep dive into the neuroscience of consciousness where we’ll look deeply at both the highest reaches and the deepest depths of human awareness.

Prerequisite: Completion of all four modules of Neuroscience, Consciousness and Transformational Coaching

When: 8 sessions over 12 months, beginning Jan. 7

Where: Zoom

What really is the highest level of awareness humans are capable of?

Do we have any idea what it actually takes to reach the highest level?

What examples do we have of people who have truly ascended, both in current times and throughout history?

Conversely, what depths are part of the human experience?

Why are things like narcissism and anti-social personality disorder on the rise?

What causes this level of disintegration?

What is our role when we encounter it?

In our fourth annual deep dive into the neuroscience of consciousness, we’ll look deeply at all these questions and more. This year, we’ll be combining the best of the previous three years—a combination of book chapters, articles, videos, interviews, and an optional team project.

The details

Program Overview

We’ll start January 7 and meet virtually via Zoom 8 times throughout the year. (See below for specific dates and content.) We’ll stay connected as we read as well as having time to discuss. Here’s what you can expect:

✔  Suggested reading and viewing schedules–what to focus on each week;

✔  Study guides and my “Cliff Notes” on each section to help you work your way through (including what is essential and what is skippable);

✔  A Facebook group with resources and reflection questions for each week as we move through the books;

✔  A community of passionate learners who share a neuroscience and consciousness background and perspective!

Program content

The Sessions

In the time-honored BEabove tradition, we’ll start with below the line the first part of the year and end with above the line in the second half. I want to note that while I have been researching, reading and thinking about our topics for the past six months, both my library and understanding continue to evolve.

What I have noted below is a rough overview and general focus of where we will be going in each session. My commitment is to get you books, articles and video links, as well as my notes a month before each call.

All sessions Tuesdays, 2:00–3:30 pm EST.

Session One: Jan. 7, 2020

What is Evil?

Session One Details

In this session we’ll explore the question of what really is evil, and how is it manifested in the brain? Our readings, videos and discussion will include:

  • The neuroscience of evil and the role of oxytocin, testosterone, and dopamine, the default mode network, and the two hemispheres
  • The empathy circuit in the brain and the relationship to disrupted behavior
  • Evil: nature or nurture? Attachment, abuse, neglect, and inherited tendencies

Session Two: Feb. 4, 2020

Toxic People and Environments, Part One

Session Two Details

In this session we’ll explore where and why we and our clients may encounter toxic people and environments. Our readings, videos and discussion will include:


  • The categories and red flags or “tells” of a toxic/disordered person
  • The research on the relationship between disordered people and those who are highly empathic (and other positive “super traits”)
  • The biochemical impact of disordered people and environment (on non-disordered people)

Session Three: March 17, 2020

Toxic People and Environments, Part Two

Session Three Details

In this session we’ll explore how to stay above the line with difficult people and in difficult environments, as well as how to help clients in these relationships and situations. Our readings, videos and discussion will include:


  • Personal (intimate) relationships
  • Family and friendships
  • The workplace

Session Four: May 5, 2020

Wrapping Up with the Below the Line Levels (Hopelessness, Fear and Frustration)

Session Four Details

In this session, we’ll map what we’ve learned to the lower levels of consciousness. Our readings, videos and discussion will include:


  • Dis-integration, dis-inhibition and consciousness
  • The powerful impact of shame
  • The role of prediction in the

Session Five: July 14, 2020

Love Makes the World Go ‘Round (but what is Love?)

Session Five Details

In this session, we’ll look at love from a neuroscience perspective. Our readings, videos and discussion will include:


  • Love as a dynamic, creative state
  • The role of oxytocin
  • The right hemisphere and the default mode network role in love

Session Six: Sept. 8, 2020

Climbing the Ladder

Session Six Details

In this session, we’ll look at research findings that point to human’s ability to change and grow and evolve. Our readings, videos and discussion will include:


  • The research correlates to “leveling up” – what does science really say about moving up the ladder?
  • What examples do we have from history and present of higher levels of consciousness? What might their brains look like?

Session Seven: Oct. 20, 2020

What is Enlightenment?

Session Seven Details

In this session, we’ll look at the research on mindfulness, especially as it relates to what we might think of as “enlightenment.” Our readings, videos and discussion will include:


  • Is enlightenment the level of Synchronicity, or are they separate?
  • Is a mindfulness practice necessary to achieve the higher levels of consciousness?
  • What are the mechanisms of mindfulness practice that create higher states of awareness (as an example, strengthening the Task Positive Network)?

Session Eight: Dec. 1, 2020

What is Happiness?

Session Eight Details

And ultimately, perhaps the most important question is, what is happiness? In this session, we’ll look at the research on happiness and how it fits with Courage, Engagement, Innovation, and Synchronicity. Our readings, videos and discussion will include:


  • The findings from Positive Psychology and how they fit with our other research this year
  • The biochemical states of the higher levels and how that fits with happiness research
  • Resiliency, recovery and hope

Authors and thinkers

Reading Materials

Authors and thinkers will include (we will reading selections, I will provide PDFs unless it is a large part of the book—you will need to buy no more than 3-4 books total however):


  • Barbara Frederickson, Love 2.0
  • Dr. Richard Davidson (mindfulness research)
  • Paul Zak, The Moral Molecule
  • Randi Hutter Epstein, Aroused (hormones)
  • Julia Shaw, Evil
  • Candace Pert, Molecules of Emotion
  • Amir Levine and Rachel Heller, Attached
  • Simon Baron-Cohen, The Science of Evil
  • Sandra Brown, Women Who Love Psychopaths
  • Lisa Feldman Barrett
  • Dan Seigel
  • David Hawkins
  • And many more…

Join Us

Register for $695!

Dates: Eight Tuesdays: Jan. 7, Feb. 4,
March 17, May 5, July 14, Sept. 8, Oct. 20, Dec. 1

Time: 2:00-3:30 pm EST

Platform: Zoom, all sessions recorded

(There is no requirement for minimum number of sessions attended.)


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