Selected Bibliography of Portland Therapist Michael Nagel MA
The following is a selected bibliography of scholarly and popular articles that I have written on topics such as personal growth, personal authenticity, meditation, contemplative practice, NLP, and world affairs. Where the publisher has granted permission or where the original copyrights have expired, or where the text exists elsewhere on the web, I have included links indicate by the book icon, if you would like to read the papers.
Articles Related to Personal Growth & Therapy
Why is a Body-Centered Approach to Personal Growth Needed?
Pub: New Connexion Journal of Conscious Living, Vol. 10, No. 1, January, 2001
Abstract: The person is a body/mind unity. Therefore a person’s mental, emotional, and unconscious states are mirrored in the physical structure and chronic tensions that inhibit the flow of biophysical energy through the body. Effective lasting personal growth requires that not only the mind, but also the body change. Somatic therapy theories such as those derived from the work of Wilhelm Reich provide effective means of working not only with the cognitive, but also the somatic dimensions of personal growth. This article is adapted as a marketing article from material originally authored by Narelle McKenzie of the RADIX Institute. Read this article
Harnessing Insight to Behavioral Change
Pub: The VAK International NLP Newsletter, 1987, p. 1-9.
Abstract: Insight is a motherless child in NLP. This paper presents two techniques that combine the transformative potential of insight with the precision behavioral technology of NLP. Read this article
Articles Related to Meditation
Affirming the Human and Life with the Nondual View
Pub: Presentation to Science and Nonduality 2017 Conference, San Jose, CA, 2017.
Abstract: The innate value of the human, human experience as it is, and life itself seems to be lost to the conception of nonduality being presented by some teachers in the West. Existence conceived and discussed only in terms of “absolute and relative”, “unconditioned and conditioned”, “emptiness and form”, etc. becomes sterile, although true. The preciousness of the human person becomes only a conditioned, illusory form. The beauty of the manifold creation becomes an evanescent illusion. Nevertheless Reality seems to delight in revealing and knowing itself through innumerable created treasures. Affirming that, in this presentation we will explore how integrating the preciousness of the human being, the innate value of human experience as it is, and reverence for life can be the West’s contribution to the further evolution of the nondual vista. Download this presentation to View.
Researching Advanced Meditative States: Problems of Subject Selection
Pub: The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 11-22, 1999.
Abstract: Forty years of scientific meditation research have minimally advanced our understanding of the advanced meditative states of consciousness. In part this may be due to the methodological problem of locating sufficiently skilled participants. Meditation is shown to be a skill, and the skill required to induce advanced meditative states is relatively rare in the general population. Until this problem is attenuated, the prospects for the research of advanced meditative states of consciousness are uncertain. Read this paper.
Are State-Specific Sciences of Advanced Meditative States Possible?
Pub:(Revised) Presentation to Towards a Science of Consciousness Conference, Tucson, AZ, 1998.
Abstract: Charles Tart has proposed the state-specific science strategy as a method of researching discrete altered states of consciousness (d-ASC), such as the advanced meditative states that expert meditators report. To obviate a methodological problem that confounds consciousness research, that being a subject’s privileged access to his own consciousness, Tart suggests that the scientist himself enter the d-ASC that has been targeted for research. Therein the scientist would conduct such activities as public observation, consensual validation, theorizing, and the testing of resultant hypotheses. In the several decades since his proposal, the state-specific science method has been applied with minimal success to the research of such d-ASCs as hypnotic trance, drug intoxication, and lucid dreaming. An examination of the applicability of the state-specific science method to the research of advanced meditative states partially explains why the method has not been applied with greater success. Advanced meditative states are reported to be characterized by qualities of nonreplicabilty, transience, nondiscursivity, and vulnerability to the effects of experimentation. An exceedingly rare meditative skill is required before a meditator can reproduce a meditative state at will. A similarly exquisite level of skill is required to sustain the duration of a meditative state. It is unlikely that a state-specific scientist would acquire the meditative skill required to reproduce a meditative d-ASC at will and for a specified duration, as would be needed to conduct state-specific research. Moreover many meditative d-ASCs are reported to be mutually exclusive with discursive thought. Such d-ASCs would terminate with the onset of the discursive thought that is required for the activities of public observation, consensual validation, theorizing, and hypothesis testing that the state-specific strategy envisions occurring in-state. Furthermore, many meditative d-ASCs may be vulnerable to the effects of experimentation; the very act of in-state experimentation may alter the state, as when the single-pointed concentration that a meditative d-ASC may require is broken to attend to an experimental procedure. If the state-specific science strategy has been applied with some success to some states and not others, perhaps this suggests that the method is not a panacea for the general research of altered states of consciousness, but rather a method whose applicability is itself determined by the intrinsic characteristics of the state that is being researched. Read this paper.
Five Difficulties of Researching the Further Reaches of Meditation Experience
Pub: University of Michigan Dissertation Services. UMI Microform #: 1388340. 1997.
Abstract: Methodological difficulties that affect the research of extraordinary meditative states of consciousness were examined. More than 200 meditation and consciousness research studies were analyzed, and 7 researchers and meditation teachers were interviewed about problems of participant selection and data collection.
The exceptional skill required to induce extraordinary meditative states makes locating participants exceedingly difficult. Inadequate psychophysiological profiles of these states and crude measures of meditation skill complicate qualifying participants as being able to induce a targeted state. Differences among scientific and contemplative subcultures can hinder recruiting participants. These states’ attributes of nonreplicability, transience, nondiscursiveness, and vulnerability to the effects of experimentation undermine in-state data collection. Therefore, the applicability of Tart’s (1972) state-specific science model to extraordinary meditative states is uncertain. Post-state data collection is compromised by intrinsic and extrinsic factors that limit language’s efficacy as a data collection method. The prospects for the research of extraordinary meditative states are questionable.
Articles Related to the Spiritual Path
Establishing a Proper Relation to the Mind
Pub: The Journal of Esoteric Psychology, Volume 4, Number 3, Summer 2008..
Abstract: A critique of the emphasis upon conceptual understanding of the spiritual path as evidenced by some spiritual seekers and traditions. Read this article.
Pub: The Complete Guide to Buddhist America, edited by D. Morreale, pp. 12-14. Boston: Shamballa, 1998.
Abstract: Morreale’s book is an updated revision to a comprehensive guide to the practice of Buddhism in contemporary America. This article reflects how the practice of Buddhism inevitably is being influenced by its integration into the postindustrial West. The article describes the personal experience of being literally “hot-wired” to vipassana meditation instructor Shinzen Young during a meditation retreat.
Esotericism and the New Paradigm of Evolution, Parts 1 & 2
Pub: Beacon Magazine, Vol. 52, No. 11, pp. 344-348; Vol 52, No. 12, pp. 375-379., 1988.
Abstract: The new vision of evolutionary theory, the “Grand Evolutionary Synthesis,” that is emerging from general systems theory corroborates many of the intuitions of contemplatives such as Aurobindo, Blavatsky, Roerich, and Bailey about evolution and man’s role in the conscious evolution of life.
American Liberal Individualism
Pub: Goals for Mankind: A Report to the Club of Rome on the New Horizons of Global Community, edited by E. Lazslo. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1977.
Abstract: The Goals for Mankind project of the Club of Rome undertook to study the socio-cultural values of the world’s peoples with the purpose of understanding how those values do or do not complement the changes which the Club saw as necessary, if the world’s peoples were to successfully resolve the threats to economic and social security which the Club first identified in its famous Limits to Growth report. As part of that study, this paper evaluated how American liberal individualism would and would not complement the emergence of a successful global society.