Category Archives: Integrated Inquiry

Wanted: Courageous Pioneers for The Coming Consciousness Revolution (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this two-part post I stated why I think a shift in human consciousness is emerging, a shift which will revolutionise the way we view the nature of consciousness. Inevitably this will transform the way the human race views its relationship with nature, the cosmos and life itself. Here in Part 2 I will focus upon the practical side of the shift: what you can do about it, what difficulties you might encounter and the ideal attitudes to take. This is a long post, so I have used sub-headings to allow you to pick and choose what you want to read. Feel free to comment on this exciting topic! Marcus

 

The aftermath of the recent TED censorship saga strongly suggests that the way greater society views the human consciousness is starting to shift. Rupert Sheldrake, one of the speakers who had his TEDx talk censured by TED, states this clearly ín a recent interview on Alex Tsakiris’ Skeptico blog.

The internet is a big part of the shift that is occurring. In the pre-internet era, information was far less democratic. People basically could only read, listen to or watch what the media and publishing houses thought was suitable for consumption. Now podcasts and blogs, often run by one individual or a small team, can experience great popularity for no other reason than they meet the approval of an audience.

Self-publishing and the proliferation of e-books is another part of this expanded capacity for people to disseminate knowledge and opinion.

Those on the fringes of society finally get to have a greater voice, albeit often in a secluded corner of the internet. And one domain of knowledge which has greatly benefited is that devoted to spiritual life and a deeper understanding of consciousness. The blogs and podcasts range from those with a more rigorous scientific/academic bent (e.g. Dean Radin, Rupert Sheldrake, Richard Milton) to those with a more popular slant (e.g. Synchrosecrets, Craig Weiler, and Leonard Jacobson). All of these blogs have their own niche, but each puts forward the idea that the spiritual dimensions of human experience are genuine. It is true that there are plenty of more conservative – even skeptical – choices on the internet, but the popularity of spiritual discourses shows that we cannot go back to the way we were. Not ever. A comment written by Jason Orion on the TED site epitomised the sentiments of so many voicing protest at TED recently.

The philosophy of material reductionism is being challenged all over the world, along with its long held institutions. And that’s what this censorship is about: those institutions suppressing a growing sentiment. People are getting sick of being told they are just machines and there is nothing more to this universe than mechanics.

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

But where might this shift lead us?

 

What will happen?

Despite the impressive technologies that have arisen from it, the truth is that our current science is crude. There is much that is simply not amenable to our senses in a normal state of consciousness, nor by the machinery contained within laboratories. But this technology will improve in the future. And the future is a very, very long time. It is logical to assume that we will one day be able to detect aspects of the extended mind – consciousness which extends beyond the body to connect with other people, the environment and spiritual realms. Experimental evidence in parapsychology will likely only strengthen.

Inevitably there will continue to be conflict between those who wish to retain a foothold in the old system, and those wishing to extend the boundaries of the known. This is significant, because the system still generally rewards those with a conservative bent. It rewards them with status, employment, money and power. Those challenging the system will continue to face resistance.

Old school thinkers can wield a considerable amount of power. Hardcore skepticism is compatible with certain modern scientific and academic disciplines. Some have power within such institutions, and in turn they may have influence over powerful private groups. They may also wield influence in government and in the development of public policy.

This is exactly what has happened with the censoring of Sheldrake’s and Hancocks TED talks, and with TED’s recent decision to cancel the TEDxWestHollywood event. The latter gathering was given a now familiar label by TED: “pseudoscience”. The event featured people like Russel Targ (research scientist investigating ESP), Larry Dossey (alternative medicine), and Marilyn Schlitz (a parapsychologist associated with the Institute of Noetic Scientists).

Conservative neo-Darwinian thinkers Steven Pinker and Daniel Dennet are closely affiliated with TED, and are probably part of TED’s anonymous “science advisory board”. Notably, the recent censorship was initiated by pressure from committed skeptics Jerry Coyne and PZ Meyer, and their followers.

So if you are to develop a role in the great mind shift, you cannot expect to be received well by such people. You will just have to develop a thick skin. Better still, cultivate the art of mindfulness. Mindful presence will reduce your mind’s tendency to engage in drama with others with a differing opinion.

Still, as I wrote in my previous blog post, I predict that eventually the weight of evidence and public opinion will push ideas that are now “alternative” into the mainstream.

And that means opportunities will arise.

 

Endless possibilities!

Once the extended mind is an accepted fact and human spiritual experience is reinstated into education and society as a whole, it will open the floodgates in all manner of scientific fields, fields of philosophy, religious and spiritual movements, media/social media organisations, business and numerous other spheres. The opportunities for those with knowledge and understanding of these domains will be massive.

Just imagine the possibilities in computing, intelligence theory, evolutionary theory, cosmology, sociology, design, neuroscience, the military, healing work, writing, the arts, gaming, leadership, communication theory, teaching and learning… There are also many practical possibilities in research, as I outlined in my book How to Channel a PhD.

The possibilities are endless. I’ll just mention a few possibilities here. Feel free to use and expand any of them. If you can’t expand upon these, then you aren’t really trying!

  • Why not rethink the very nature of capitalism? Steve and Chutisa Bowman, authors of No More Business as Usual, have found abundant work traveling around the world teaching organisations the concept of “prosperity consciousness”. They see the world as being full of endless opportunity and wealth, and that the obsession with lack and competition keeps organsiation locked in an old world paradigm.
  • The Bowman’s work is also strongly related to conscious leadership. Surely it is time to rethink the nature of what it means to lead!
  • Think of the possibilities in education! How might teaching and learning be changed to allow students to acknowledge their intuitive side? If the extended mind really does allow us to tap into other times, places and fields of information, how might students be encouraged to creatively explore their subject matters? There have been recent studies into mindfulness and synchronicity in the classroom and education in general.
  • Artists, writers and film-makers may be able to seize an opportunity as the public becomes more open to spiritual subject matters. How might they employ integrated intelligence to create their works? I have been using this intelligence for years. I wrote Discover Your Soul Template that way.
  • Mind shifting bloggers and social media creators can make an impact. Just take a look at the London Real podcasts, Rob and Trish MacGregor’s synchrosecrets and Dancing past the dark, Nancy Bush Evan’s blog about distressing near death experiences.Many of these people have their own books and other services or products.
  • Mindfulness in business and education. How might decisions be made in business meetings if the intuitive mind is acknowledged? How might teachers and professors conduct a class if there is an acknowledgement that all can connect with the subject matter non-locally? If mindfulness can facilitate non-judgmental awareness, how might that shift a social science class examining racism, war, crime, misogynist projections and so on? Margaret Peterson, a psychotherapist, does exactly this in California, teaching mindfulness to groups of up to 1200 people! Another mindfulness practitioner is Gary Weber, an advocate non-dual consciousness in the Eastern enlightenment traditions. He is a strong advocate of neuroscience in the discussion on enlightenment.
  • If you are philosophically inclined you might like to consider the many possibilities as a futurist! The domain of Futures Studies that I work within – Critical Futures Studies – is very open to innovative ideas. Check out the thinking of Sohail Inayatullah, Willis Harman and Richard Slaughter.
  • It is reasonable to assume that eventually greater amounts of funding for research into alternative medicine and healing will be made available (although this will probably take decades). Do you practice a healing modality that could be of assistance to others?
  • I am no expert in computing. But surely the idea of the extended mind could have implications for this field. Although people who link consciousness to quantum physics get lashed by skeptics’ groups, entanglement and non-locality may ultimately prove to be highly fruitful ideas in computing, artificial intelligence and even in the transhumanist movement – those folks such as Ray Kurzweil, who fancy the idea of uploading their minds onto computers.
  • What about biology? Currently it is one of the most conservative of all the sciences, but once the idea of the extended mind gains scientific foothold, biology will have no choice but to make a radical upgrade. Rupert Sheldrake has been leading the way with his idea of morphic resonance. Sheldrake cops a bit of a lashing from colleagues, but I predict that in time at least some of his thinking will prove seminal in breaking the reductionist/materialist stranglehold in the field. Elisabet Sahtouris is challenging neo-Darwinism. Another fairly recent example of progressive research in this area is a paper published in the prestigious science journal Nature, by Elisabetta Collini and colleagues. That paper, entitled “Coherently wired light-harvesting in photosynthetic marine algae at ambient temperature”, provides evidence that quantum level coherence exists at room temperature in living systems. It suggests that that long-range quantum coherence between molecules can occur in living systems, even at low temperatures.
  • Once biology begins to shift, neuroscience and psychology will have no choice but to widen the scope of its thinking as well. This is because thinking in modern neuroscience is heavily linked to biology, and dominant thinking in psychology is in turn founded in neuroscience. Take a look at Stan Grof’s Holotropic mind and the wonderful work of Peter Fenwick on near death experiences. Or check out veteran researcher David Loye’s expansive take on a wide variety of related matters including re-thinking the legacy of Darwin.
  • Physics (and systems theory) is probably one of the most open-minded fields of inquiry. The list of physicists and systems thinkers probing a possible link between consciousness and the cosmos is long. They include Nobel prize winner Brian Josephson, Oxford’s Roger Penrose, and Fred Alan Wolf. Ervin Laszlo has been doing deep thinking in systems theory for many decades. Presently, these scientists and philosophers often have to face the slings and arrows of outraged fellow-physicists. Yet what immense possibilities lie here once consciousness is restored to its rightful place in the scheme of things?
  • Of course the field that stands to gain most by the great mind shift is parapsychology. As Dean Radin has stated, those working in this field at present face huge obstacles in gaining acceptance in the broader scientific community. Radin often says there is a “psi taboo”. Yet the field will inevitable boom once the great mind shift occurs.

These are just a few areas that provide possibilities. The world is an abundant place, and your imagination is vast. Get working on a few more!

 

No easy ride

That all sounds good, doesn’t it? But don’t expect an easy ride just because you follow your bliss and start putting time, energy and money into your brilliant idea. I do believe that things will improve gradually, but regular failures and rejections are very common experiences for many professionals in the areas I have listed above. In my previous post I mentioned by own struggle with acceptance in academia, despite having completed my PhD and publishing an enormous amount of work in academic journals and books. Let me tell you from personal experience that repeated rejection can be a real test of character! You really need to be committed to your idea. (Skeptics will probably agree with the idea of my being committed ;-).

Your personal shift will take time. If you are transitioning into work or a career which is part of this shifting mindset, remember to keep your feet on the ground. Keep your day job for the time being! Build your expertise, business or craft slowly on the side at first. Make connections, develop skills, learn how to communicate and sell – whatever it takes! For years while pursuing my doctorate and work as a Futurist I have worked in education, mostly full-time as a secondary high school teacher. This has simply been necessary, as the income from my books has not been sufficient to live on. Besides, the pay for blogging and writing academic articles is, well, precisely zero.

When I began research for my doctorate, my supervisor (a wonderful futurist named Sohail Inayatullah) told me that my research was ten years ahead of its time. Well, it is now a decade since he said that. Has anything changed, except for my having more grey hair? As I have suggested, I think things are shifting. The huge public support for Sheldrake and Hancock after the latest TED censorship drama is evidence enough. Still, it has to be acknowledged that such paradigm changes take time. Human egos will come into play, and when the human ego takes the stage there will always be struggles for power, betrayals, deception and unconscious projections at the other. Most power shifts involve upheaval or violence of some kind, though not necessarily physical violence.

If you decide to commit time and energy to being a part of the great mind shift, you are going to have to learn to be resilient and courageous. Don’t expect everything to be fair. Be prepared for a bit of ridicule and misrepresentation from those who would prefer things to remain as they are.

 

Beyond religious zeal

Another important piece of advice I would like to share here is to avoid the mindset that you have to convert anyone to your worldview. The desire to convert others or change their thinking stems from the ego’s fear and insecurity. Instead, begin with the attitude of sharing knowledge with enthusiasm. That will win far more hearts than the hard sell. Nobody wants another person to shove ideas and opinions down their throat. You see, there is a different kind of approach needed here. Science has been all about being “hard”, about detaching from intuition and emotion and seeing the world and its life forms as mechanical. Put the specimen on the slab and start cutting it up. Certain traditional religions have also tried to convert others, sometimes violently. I am suggesting that there is another way, a more gentle approach. It is quintessentially spiritual in nature. It requires a light heart and a light step. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid conflict. As you might note, most of the individuals involved in academic struggles for knowledge ever change their minds. In the so called psi-wars, people changing sides is rare. Skeptics and psi-proponents alike tend to stick to their guns.

The gentle approach does not mean being weak. You will need courage and resilience to stand up when the current is strong.

 

Don’t fight them

A related point is that it isn’t necessary to be against anybody or anything to launch a project or career in this area. That is a mistake an awful lot of people interested in this kind of path make. Don’t waste your energy on the extremists. Hardcore skeptics are never going to listen to an idea which is in any way connected with spirituality or subtle experience. So don’t even try. Remember, although their voices can be loud, and although some do exercise power and influence, these people are a small minority.

 

The importance of communication

With the great mind shift, there will be opportunities for people who are able to communicate with the large number of people who lie in between the extreme ends of pro-psi and skeptics crowds. As a practitioner, you will need to be able to convince the common people that your idea or product has value. A strong sense of audience is necessary to move out into the world. You need to learn to connect with people. So if you have been meditating away for twenty years, be prepared to learn a whole new skill set! This is not necessarily the easiest thing to do, so persistence is necessary.

The idealists and the pro-psi crowd can be the starting audience for your idea, but eventually you will probably want to expand your work into other “markets”. Marketing skills are always helpful, but this will not be the hard sell. The hard sell is violent and manipulative by nature, and incompatible with the new mind movement. Now there is a marketable idea in itself: the new spiritual way of selling!

 

Finally…

The fact is that the system will probably not be favorable for some time to those who follow their passion and work to help facilitate the great mind shift. I expect there will be breakthrough moments when new research or new media stories add value to all those working here. But you have to expect some resistance from the system in the meanwhile. I do not know exactly when the hard wall of scientific materialism will release its grip on the world. Most likely it will be a slow process, with a few gusts of rapid change here and there. Perhaps there will be a Berlin Wall moment, a sudden collapse of the existing order, and the floodgates of a greater understanding will open. For most, that would be what we futurists call a “wildcard”, something quite unexpected. But it will not be unexpected to those of us who have been walking the walk of spirit all these years. Nor should you be unprepared, given what I have written above!

Yes, committing time, energy and money to the great mind shift is a risk. We don’t know precisely what is going to happen, nor how quickly. I simply urge you to follow your calling. Is there a strong voice within you, inviting you to move into working, teaching or sharing knowledge within the great mind shift? If so, why not follow that voice of spirit? After all, that is the essence of the spiritual journey.

The great light illuminates the path but a short distance ahead. Do you have the courage to step forward?

PS: If you wish to be kept up to date about research and developments regarding The Coming Consciousness Revolution (interviews, videos, the book project, important links to other works etc.) just email me at newsletter@marcustanthony.com, and I will send you updates every month or so.

Marcus

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Grooving with the Idiots: How to Learn Something #2

Here it is, the long-awaited second installment of “How to Learn Something” (The first installment is here). In this video you will learn how to be an idiot, just like Marcus. I recount an interesting story about my time in Taiwan, the music teacher whom I terrified, and reveal the long-lost fifth member of the Bee Gees. It’s been worth the wait.

OK, well I actually dread sharing this, but it’s gotta be done, in keeping with the spirit of being an idiot. The idiot bit is me singing.

Marcus

 

 

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New book trailer for “The Mind Reader”!

I am delighted to present a new book trailer for my novel “The Mind Reader”. I made it using Windows Movie Maker. It’s the first time I have used the programme, so consider it a prototype! Feel free to give any feedback. The book tells the story of a university student who experiences a shift in consciousness, and subsequently develops extraordinary intuitive abilities. The novel is semi-autobiographical, and based on real-life experiences. Watch the video below, or just click on the link.

Marcus

http://youtu.be/kgpgkCcSgYU

 

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Marcus chats with Dia Nunez on H20 Network

Yesterday I chatted with Dia Nunez on the H20 Network. Amongst other things we talked about my new book The Mind Reader, the importance of the intuitive mind and using inspiration for writing and research. You can her the complete talk via the link below. Happy listening! Marcus
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theh2onetwork/2012/10/02/author-marcus-t-anthony-talks-about-new-book-mindreader

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Free-Form Writing: The 4 phases

In my previous blog post I described how writers and researchers can use a stream-of-consciousness tool which draws upon Integrated Intelligence (similar to spiritual intelligence) to write up a thesis or book. I call that process Freee-form Writing. But what does that actually look like when you go about completing the thesis or book? In this blog post I am going to get more specific and show you exactly that. What follows is an extract from by Kindle book How to Channel a PhD (which can also be found in multiple formats on Smashwords.com). Enjoy your studies!

Marcus

 

*          *          *

Here I am going to briefly outline the stages of thesis writing that you will go through, as you employ Free-form Writing. For more details on each of the phases, I strongly suggest you purchase Joan Bolker’s (1998) Writing your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day. Bolker describes a similar process. The following scheme will be most suitable for those using a qualitative methodology. If you have field work and data collection, obviously there may be some differences. But these are the basic phases.

  1. Free-Form Writing. Write, write, write! As soon as you have made a decision to enroll set aside at least fifteen minutes a day, at least five days a week, to do Free-Form Writing. Alternatively, set a minimum word count, as I did. I wrote five hundred words a day. I describe this stream of consciousness approach to writing in Part 4, above. The key is to JUST WRITE! The only rule is that it has to be about your intended thesis topic. If all that comes to you is a bunch of gut feelings or “I don’t knows”, well, that is what you write. If you can’t remember the citation or writer’s name, it doesn’t matter. It might look something like this:

“Phil Wots ‘Is Name? made a similar argument about evolutionary psychology, I think? But is he talking about the same point?? I’ll have to read his book “The something? Syndrome?” to clarify that. But I really like Phil’s stuff, and I could write about that in a later chapter. Education systems are too rigid, and I really want to find more thinkers who have practical suggestions about how to fix that. Professor L at uni would be good to talk to in that respect.

Remember though, you should be reading extensively during this early phase of your enrolment. The more you read, the more you will have to write about. Quite often what you write will be a lot clearer and more detailed than my example above, and that is great. In fact some of it should be good enough to form part of your first draft. By all means, file the daily writings under headings (or in different files) to keep it all organized. Just don’t worry about dotting the “I”s and crossing the “T”s at this point. It’s going to be messy, and that’s okay!

2.      First drafts. At some point you will want to begin to put together a draft of a chapter of your thesis. The time frame will vary, depending on whether you are a part-time or a full-time student, and also according to all the variables that go with embarking on a thesis. Generally, I think the sooner you start writing a first draft the better. If you have more than fifty thousand words of free-form writing stashed away on your computer, that probably means you are ready to start putting together a first draft. Naturally, you will have to modify your writing to make it more precise, focused, and academically rigorous. Of course you can still continue to do Free-form Writing during this time if you want. It could be related to your chapter, or not. That’s up to you.

When you have your chapter done, there then comes the moment when you send it off to your supervisor. Expect criticisms. There are usually plenty of them. Don’t take them personally, and don’t let them sap your confidence in your intelligence and intuitive wisdom. Listen, and make the required changes. If your confidence takes a beating, try some of the Affirmations and Creative Imagination, as I outline in Part 6.

3.      Later drafts. When you have made the requested changes to your first draft, it doesn’t end there! You will most likely have to re-submit the chapter(s) to your supervisor repeatedly. I think I probably did ten to fifteen drafts for all my thesis chapters! Yes, this is the dry end of thesis production, and the bit where many candidates start to go a bit batty! But bear with it. It does end – eventually.

I highly recommend you find a third party (other than your supervisor) to read your thesis before you submit. This should be someone you trust, who has a doctorate themselves and knows what they are doing. I did just this, and the comments were priceless. I ended up cutting thirty thousand words out of my thesis. The finished product was a whole lot tighter and more readable as a result!

Finally, get an academic editor to proof-read your thesis, to make sure it adheres to all the academic protocols. They will also pick up all the typos and grammar errors you and your supervisor have missed (and you will miss some).

4.      Changes after examination. It’s quite likely your examiners will ask for changes after submission of your thesis. Hopefully they will be minor, but major changes are often required. Again, don’t take it personally. Just keep working away, one day at a time.

As your candidature progresses, the whole process will become less creative and inspirational, and more about the nuts and bolts of thesis production. This is inevitable. This can be slightly torturous for creative and intuitive types (and if you are reading this book, you are probably one of them). But don’t you dare think of quitting just because this part is not as much fun! It’s just the price you will have to pay if you want the tile of “Dr.”

Having said this, listen to your intuition throughout the duration of the thesis, even towards the end. You will probably still get bits and pieces of inspiration, maybe even dreams and visions in meditative states. Keep writing them down in your Intuitive Diary – and honor them!

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How to write an inspiring book, article or research paper

Probably most people embarking on a higher degree, or starting out researching a book or article think that the task lying before them is going to be fairly dry and laborious.In this post I am going to explain to you why this isn’t necessarily so. Researching books, papers and articles can actually be an exciting and inspirational process. The key is being able to tap into your natural capacity for inspiration at will. And you can do that with what I call “Free-Form Writing”. Free-form writing is stream-of-consciousness prose, written fluidly, quickly and without immediate editing or too much conscious analytical thinking. It is essentially ‘effortless’ writing. I detail this inspirational writing process in my book How to Channel a PhD, but here I am going to let you in on the secret for free! You can use Free-Form Wriitng for any research, not just for writing doctoral theses.

I used Free-Form Writing extensively throughout the writing of my doctoral thesis, but particularly in the first two years of enrolment. A book which inspired me greatly in developing this process was Joan Bolker’s (1998) Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day. Bolker’s book is about writing a thesis through approximately four stages: the zero draft, first draft, second draft, and beyond.

In something of a synchronicity, I first came across the book while scrolling through Amazon.com. Even before I had formally enrolled in my doctoral program in Australia, a friend told me about Phillips and Pugh’s How to Get a PhD (which I also recommend for the logistical and technical aspects of obtaining a PhD). So I went to Amazon to check it out. I did in fact buy Phillips and Pugh’s book, but just happened to see Bolker’s book there too. The title looked a bit gimmicky, but I felt a strong urge to buy it (a case of The Feeling Sense). So I did

It was Bolker’s concept of “the zero draft” which really me. Bolker recommends writing from day one of the doctoral enrolment. Bolker suggests writing at least fifteen minutes a day, no matter what. The principle here is basically that you condition yourself to write habitually, so that on days that you do not write you actually feel bad! The “zero draft” involves writing whatever comes to you, and without editing, proof-reading or censoring yourself. There is no going back, not even for typos! Whatever ideas come into your mind about the thesis topic – connections, distinctions, hypotheses, questions, guesses, confusions, whatever – you write it down during your daily writing time.

Bolker’s argument is that inevitably, amongst all the ramblings of the mind, some useful ideas will come out. Even if the good bits represent a mere ten per cent of what you write, you will still have a lot of potentially usable writing after six months. In Bolker’s system, it is only later on that you begin putting together a first draft. That is when the process begins to look more like a traditional approach to writing a thesis, with a succession of drafts. I highly recommend Bolker’s book for anybody in the early stages of writing a thesis. In fact, I highly recommend it to any researcher in any discipline.

Bolker does not link her idea of a “zero draft” to mystical inspiration. However I adapted Bolker’s method to my understandings of Integrated Intelligence. Previously I had used Free-Form Writing when writing poetry and stories. I just wrote whatever came to me, and went back later to see if it was any good. Bolker made me realize I could use a similar process in the early stages of thesis writing – or any academic writing for that matter. Thus when I actually began typing, I simply allowed myself to enter a fluid stream of consciousness, and let the words pour out. I typically found that there was just so much wanting to be released from my mind, that fifteen minutes was just not enough. I adapted Bolker’s system so that I set myself a goal of writing five hundred words a day, every day, first thing in the morning.

Just as Bolker argues, I found that this writing process really clarified my thinking. During my Free-form Writing time ideas came together, and links between people, ideas, and historical and philosophical concepts suddenly began to make sense. I did not stop to check if the ideas were valid. I just kept writing.

This is thinking as you write, not thinking before you write.

As is obvious from this booklet’s subject matter, my worldview is rather mystical. I believe that there is a greater intelligence which contributes to the evolution of humanity, and indeed to the entire cosmos. So, where I differed from Bolker is that I adapted the process to my mystical/spiritual perspective. Before I started my daily writing session I began with a prayer or affirmation to Spirit. The word “Spirit”, for me, has both an impersonal and a personal dimension. The impersonal aspect emerges from the innate connectedness of all things, and is not mediated by any individual or spiritual entity. But I have also long had a strong sense of personal spiritual guidance also, and I believe that we can call upon spiritual guides for help – including during research! So when I engaged in my little morning prayer, it was both made to ‘the universe’ and to whatever spiritual guides may have been tuning in.

At the beginning of a writing session I would say aloud something like this (using examples from my own research).

Spirit, lead me through this writing process, so that this work that I am writing may be in alignment with Spirit.

There were often questions I would ask, and sometimes write down, to guide the whole process. For example:

  • I don’t understand how Wilber’s thinking fits in with ancient thought like that of Lao Zi. Is it even the same thing?
  • Where can I find evidence that the mind is not localized to the brain?
  • Why is this psi taboo so pervasive in intelligence theory?
  • How can I create a schema which helps situate all these theories of intelligence into a system that will make sense to my examiners?

Or the questions might be more general in nature

  • I need help in turning this chapter into a coherent whole.
  • Please help me make sense of Eric Jensen’s “g” concept. I’m struggling with it.
  • I’m stuck with my writing. Please help it to flow.
  • Would it be best to continue to research Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences right now, or is there more energy on investigating Sternberg’s successful intelligence?

After putting out one or two questions (don’t ask more than a couple at one time, as it is too much for the mind to process at once) I would begin to write.

Note that in the very last question I used the term “energy on”. For me this is a general term which helps me to gain a sense of where the intuitive flow is heading at any given time, so that I can move along that river of ‘energy’. Of course I use the term ‘energy’ loosely, as it doesn’t refer to any of the four known forces of physics. What this flow is in scientific terms I do not know. All that I can say is that from my long experience in working with Integrated Intelligence, consciousness can align itself with a greater intelligence, and in doing so access the path of least resistance. When I am seeking “the energy on” a particular research route, I am therefore seeking that path of least resistance. I’ll write a little more about how to tap into optimal research paths a later in this booklet.

When beginning your Free-Form Writing (or any aspect of your research project which requires clarification) I suggest you use an affirmation or prayer that you feel comfortable with, one that reflects your particular worldview and belief system. And you don’t need to verbalize them, just in case you are in a public place.

Due to some administrative issues, my enrolment at The University of the Sunshine Coast (Queensland, Australia) was delayed by several months. Thanks to my habit of Free-form Writing, by the time I came to my official enrolment date, I already had about forty thousand words written on my computer, all related to my thesis topic. Later I began to put the ideas into longer arguments about certain aspects of the thesis as I saw it developing. Almost all of this initial work came together easily, if not effortlessly.

I emphasize that at least initially, I wrote about things that I was drawn to, to that which moved me – filled me with a sense of excitement (using The Feeling Sense – see below). In those early days I rarely even thought about what I was going to write before I sat down to write. Sometimes I would wake up in the morning and an idea would come into my head, and I would go with that. Other times I would begin with nothing. This may be difficult to believe, but there was not a single time in my entire period of enrolment when I had writer’s block.

Just as Bolker suggests, I went through drafting phases. Without doubt I enjoyed the earlier part of the writing process more than the later stages. I am naturally creative, but not much of a natural stickler for detail! When it came to the endless editing of chapters, it became a real test of self-discipline for me. I also found that my sense of connection to Integrated Intelligence dropped off as the process became more and more left-brained. This is probably an inevitable part of the thesis writing process. Inspiration is not really needed when you are crossing endless ‘T’s and dotting endless ‘I’s!

My policy of writing consistently paid off. I completed my thesis in less than four years while working as a teacher and administrator very full-time (up to twelve hours a day of working/commuting at times). When I enrolled in August 2002, I had not a single academic publication. By the time I was granted my PhD I had a total of over a dozen publication credits (either published or about to be published), including several book chapters. I had also completed the writing for my book Integrated Intelligence, which was based on my thesis research (Anthony 2008a).

In my next and final blog post on Free-Form Writing I will outline in more detail how to move from the zero draft to arrive at your final thesis, book, paper or article.

Marcus

How to Channel a PhD is available as a Kindle book; or in multiple e-formats at Smashwords.com. Read the first part of the book here for free!

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The Mind Reader: The latest novel by Marcus T Anthony

 

What if you could see into the unknown country within men, to the dark places that even they dare not venture…?

Greg Marks is an extraordinary young man. After having several incredible paranormal experiences, the formerly average university student finds that his mind can access an undreamed of intelligence: the light. Yet Greg struggles to understand his newfound abilities. He joins a mysterious group which teaches him how to harness his intuitive abilities – to read minds and receive communication from mysterious spiritual realms. But just when it seems that he has scaled undreamed of heights, he is confronted by dark forces that threaten his very mind and soul. For Greg Marks has become a threat to those who would prefer his knowledge not be revealed to the world.

The Mind Reader is the exciting semi-autobiographical novel by futurist and mystic Marcus T Anthony, detailing many astounding events that really happened to him.

Review by: Doug on Aug. 05, 2012 :
If you are a seeker on the Path, seek no further, at least for the moment. Maybe you’ve come here for a reason. Marcus Anthony’s newest work, Shadow Light is required reading. There are many books out there that will point you in the right direction, but few accomplish what Anthony has done here. In addition to being an edge-of-your-seat spiritual semi-autobiography (no small feat in itself), Anthony alerts the reader to dangers along the Path that he (or Greg Marks) was fated to encounter but that we, if we listen carefully to his message, can hopefully avoid. Shadow Light is such an engaging read that at the end I couldn’t quite believe that I’d sailed through 500 pages in three days in my spare time. From Marks’ struggles with closed minded university professors, to searching for love in some very wrong places, to barely escaping losing himself completely to a New Age group with some scary power issues of its own, Anthony’s novel is a welcome addition to the ranks both of paranormal thrillers and cautionary spiritual classics. Namaste, and Happy Reading!

The Mind Reader, MindFutures. $2.99. Click here to buy. (Amazon.com adds $2 to the price in some regions)

Integrated Inquiry: Mystical Intuition and Research

ACADEMIC ARTICLE: The purpose of this paper is to initiate a broader dialogue on the use of integrated intelligence (or INI) in formal research. The application of INI in research is referred to as integrated inquiry. The idea of integrated intelligence, and its  applications, can be viewed as genuine cognitive processes, or for the more skeptical, as provocations to inspire the researcher toward greater creativity. The first part of this paper briefly defines important terms and situates the idea of integrated intelligence within a historical and civilisational perspective. Finally, the most important section of this paper outlines specific and practical ways that INI can be used by the modern researcher. The five INI tools are the Intuitive Diary, Free-form Writing, Meditative States, The Feeling Sense, and Embracing Synchronicity. The essential argument of this paper is that integrated inquiry can greatly enhance research.

 

Title: Integrated Inquiry: Mystical Intuition and Research

Author: Marcus T Anthony

Publication details: The Open Information Science Journal, 2011, 3, 80-88

Note: The contents of this paper have been expanded and presented in greter depth in Marcus T Anthony’s practical eBook How to Channel a PhD.

 

Read the text, or click on the link below to download the PDF

Mystical intuition and research

 

INTRODUCTION

Most academic researchers have spent many years and made great sacrifices learning their trade. The vast majority have advanced degrees and have spent two decades or more as students in the modern education system. This educational process shapes not only the way they use their minds and conduct their research, but creates strong beliefs about what constitutes valid ways of knowing. They have learned to identify problems, design projects, ask questions, construct experiments, conduct literature reviews, collect data, calculate, analyse, cite sources, and report findings. These processes and their “rational” ways of knowing are all part of the formal research process.

Such is the constrictive nature of conventional research, and the training process so long, that by the time a researcher has come to write up his/her first paper, it is likely that he/she has forgotten about other ways of knowing. These are the ones who have been left off the map of modern research, and forgotten by the entire modern education system, our science, and our developed civilisations, both East and West. For underpinning the modern research project is a hegemonic process which has both retarded and silenced mystical/spiritual ways of knowing, and removed potentially invaluable information from the research process.

History of Rational and Intuitive Ways of Knowing

Western civilisation has established critical/rational ways of knowing as the dominant cognitive processes which underpin modern Western knowledge. 1 The development of modern science has brought a rapid increase in our ability to process and develop knowledge and technologies. Yet this tremendous progress in the hard and soft sciences has come at a great price. It has created a split in the Western mind. 2 By the turn of the twentieth century another realm of knowledge had become suppressed, silenced. For it was by this time that the once influential Romantic Movement lost momentum. Its prime ways of knowing had involved intuition and an emotive relationship with the cosmos: the deep connection of knower and the known. This affective cognitive process stood in complete contrast to the detachment of the emerging scientific method, which necessitated that the observer be disconnected from the subject of observation. Even in the analytical and humanistic disciplines, academics were eventually forced to remove affective language and first person references. Cultures with their own mystical traditions and intuitive ways of knowing, such as the Indic, Islamic, and indigenous, have remained as an effective other to dominant Western scientific discourses.3 The modern researcher has lost the deep connection with his/her intuitive and emotional cognition.

Mundane and Mystical Intuition

Yet, what exactly is “intuition”? For the sake of manageability I have broken intuition into two main categories. The first is mundane intuition, which is the subliminal processing of information in the brain. This intuition makes itself known through subtle feelings which bubble up from just below the surface of cognition. This kind of intuition has not been widely investigated, but there is a body of legitimate research available. 4 Because this intuition is explained in terms of known brain physiology, it does not challenge mainstream scientific thinking about the mind and brain.

It is the second kind of intuition, mystical, which is central to the ideas presented in this paper. Mystical intuition has been featured little in research, and is thus poorly understood. Few researchers want to touch it, because mystical intuition contains references to spiritual, mystical, and religious experience. It brings in discussion of psi phenomena and the paranormal, and the idea of the extended mind—that consciousness transcends the brain. There is an effective “psi taboo” in modern science, making this domain of research unattractive for most researchers. 5

 

WHAT IS INTEGRATED INTELLIGENCE?

Integrated intelligence, in which the individual draws upon transpersonal information, has been a key theme of my research. I have not merely investigated the process intellectually by reading, analysing, and writing papers. I have, in the tradition of the “shaman investigator” systematically applied these alternative ways of knowing during my life and my research. 6 The result is the theory of integrated intelligence, which incorporates a more complete range of cognitive processes and ways of knowing than typically found in mainstream discourses on mind and intelligence.

Integrated intelligence, or INI, is:

The deliberate and conscious employment of the extended mind, such that an individual can solve problems or function successfully within a given environment.

In turn the extended mind is defined as:

The state of personal consciousness whereby individual awareness is infused with a transpersonal awareness that transcends the confines of the individual mind and the limits of the sensory organs.

Finally, integrated inquiry is:

The deliberate application of integrated intelligence during research and learning.

There are seven core operations and two end states of integrated intelligence. The core operations of integrated intelligence are “integrated perception,” “location,” “diagnosis,” “evaluation/choice,” “fore-sense,” “creativity and innovation,” and “recognition.” The end states are “wisdom” and “personal and social transformation.”  Tables 1 and 2 (below) list these, and provide applications, evidence, and exemplars.[ii]

Table 1: The Core Operations of Integrated Intelligence

(Adapted from Anthony 2008, 14-18)

 

Cognitive Process Potential Applications
Integrated Perception Integrated perception of the underlying order & meaning of systems, & “intelligence” within those systems—including cosmos.

Enhancing “spiritual” worldview; meaning & sense of relationship with nature & cosmos.

Perceiving the connection between & amongst concepts & schemata.LocationDetermining location of important objects. 7   Also location of information & data for research; finding relevant people & places.DiagnosisDiagnosis of medical & mechanical problems; safety, health & environmental hazards; & sources of human error. 8   Spiritual & psychological introspection.Evaluation/

ChoiceEvaluating design & construction alternatives, investment choices, research strategies, & technology alternatives. 9   Evaluation of life, career, & relationship choices.Fore-senseForesight of natural disasters, political conditions, technological developments, wear conditions, & investment opportunities. 10   To determine consequences of choices.Creativity & InnovationThe individual draws upon transpersonal modes of consciousness to facilitate increased inspiration & creativity in work, business, research, competition, or leisure.RecognitionHaving an intuitive sense of “knowing” somebody or something, without conscious awareness of having seen or met them before.

 

Table 2: The End States of Integrated Intelligence (Adapted from Anthony 2008)

 

Cognitive Process Potential Applications
Wisdom Having intuited underlying causes, meaning & functions of various life processes, the individual is able to make intelligent choices which enhance happiness, well-being & spiritual development of self & collective.
Personal & Social Transfor-

mationOptimal human & cosmic evolution; may include aspects of all core operations, with purpose of evaluation of personal goals & choices within a greater planetary & cosmic dynamic. Potential for increased hope & meaning.

It is my argument that in paradigmatically rejecting the extended mind and psi experience, mainstream consciousness and intelligence theorists have failed to accommodate the totality of human cognition. Despite this, there is nothing stopping individual researchers from experimenting with integrated intelligence in their personal research. This is the focus of the following section.

 

APPLYING INTEGRATED INQUIRY

As I began my own research, and in particular my doctoral program, I set about systematically incorporating integrated inquiry into my research, informally. In doing so, I learned key distinctions, developed key tools, and clarified functional processes. Most importantly, I felt it enhanced my research and writing greatly. In this section I will explain this in greater detail.

 

Integrated Intelligence as a Provocation

One way to consider initiating integrated intelligence into research is to think of it as a deliberate provocation. “Provocation” refers to the employment of an idea or suggestion which lies outside our normal experience or understanding. There is a mathematical necessity for provocation in any self-organising system; otherwise the system gets stuck in equilibrium. For the researcher, “the system” is the critical/rational worldview and its self-limiting knowledge boundaries and ways of knowing. 11

Thus the provocation becomes: “Minds extend beyond the brain and are part of an intelligent cosmos, and humans have the capacity to consciously draw information and guidance from that system.” We do not necessarily have to insist that integrated intelligence is “real,” but as a means of lateralising our thinking, seeing what creative outcomes can be achieved, and how it can make our research better.

In the world of conventional science and academia, research is conducted with the implicit assumption that knowledge is localised in a random universe without intrinsic intelligence, meaning, or purpose. When we use integrated intelligence, either as a “believer” in INI, or as a provocation, we go about research assuming that consciousness is non-localised in an integrated, intelligent, and deeply meaningful cosmos.

Therefore, it is in the accessing and processing of information that the idea of integrated intelligence provides unique opportunities for researchers. Integrated intelligence is an invitation to employ methods, tools, and behaviors that stretch far beyond those accepted in conventional research. There are specific integrated intelligence tools.

 

The Five Tools

The five INI tools are The Intuitive Diary, Free-form Writing, Meditative States, The Feeling Sense, and Embracing Synchronicity. In this section I am going to describe them, then outline some specific applications using the core operations of INI.

 

The Intuitive Diary

This is a diary in which the researcher records his/her intuitive feelings, images, prompts, dreams, and so on. He/she can also record his/her interpretations of these sources of information. I suggest the researcher buy a good quality diary, as he/she may later want to be able to look back on what has been written (sometimes it makes more sense then). The Intuitive Diary helps to establish the connection between rational and intuitive cognitive processes in the brain. Writing down intuitions and intuitive experiences not only helps the researcher understand them better; it sends a message to the psyche that these “data” count.

 

Free-form Writing

Free-form Writing is stream-of-consciousness prose, written fluidly, quickly, and without immediate editing or too much conscious analytical thinking. It is essentially “effortless” writing.

I have used Free-form Writing extensively in all my writing, including my doctoral thesis. I adopted this idea from Joan Bolker’s Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day. Bolker’s book is about writing a thesis through four stages: the zero draft, first draft, second draft, and beyond. 12   Bolker recommends writing from day one of the doctoral enrollment. She suggests writing at least fifteen minutes a day, no matter what.

The “zero draft” involves writing whatever comes to you, and without editing, proofreading, or censoring yourself. The writer simply transcribes whatever idea comes into his/her mind about the subject matter—connections, distinctions, hypotheses, questions, guesses, confusions, etc. After the zero draft phase, the researcher can begin to put together a first draft.

I adapted Bolker’s method to my understandings of integrated intelligence. When I began typing, I simply allowed myself to enter a fluid stream of consciousness, and let the words pour out. However, instead of writing for fifteen minutes, I set myself a goal of writing five hundred words a day, every day, first thing in the morning.

I found that the zero draft helped clarify thinking, as did Free-form Writing. As I wrote, ideas came together. Links between people, ideas, and historical and philosophical concepts suddenly began to make sense. I did not stop to check if the ideas were valid. I just kept writing. This is thinking as you write, not thinking before you write.

Before I began my daily writing session I began with a prayer or affirmation. It would often go something like this.

Spirit, lead me through this writing process, so that what that I am writing may be fluent and truthful.

For those with no spiritual belief structures, I suggest a suspension of disbelief here. The writer might like to remind himself/herself that the process is a provocation! He/she can use an affirmation or prayer that he/she feels comfortable with, one that reflects his/her particular worldview and belief system.

I also highly recommend writing down key questions, to help shape the whole process. The researcher can say or read them aloud, if he/she likes.

In the early phases of the thesis writing, I wrote about things that I was drawn to, or which moved me. This is what I call using The Feeling Sense (another INI tool, as I shall explain below). Sometimes I woke up and an idea would come into my head, and I would go with it. I never suffered from writer’s block.

My policy of writing consistently paid off. I completed my thesis in less than four years while working full-time. By the time I was granted my Ph.D. I had a total of eighteen publication credits (either published or about to be published), including several book chapters, and had completed the writing for my book, Integrated Intelligence. 13

 

Meditative States

Meditative States can help cultivate non-ordinary states of consciousness, facilitating access the intuitive mind. 14 15 16 17  The process I suggest is to quiet the mind, put out questions, and wait for the answers to come in any sensory modality—images, auditory prompts, subtle feelings, etc.

Meditative States are an intimate part of the development of integrated intelligence and integrated inquiry. Researchers can familiarise themselves with this INI tool through deliberate meditation, or by taking advantage of the drowsy state between sleeping and waking—the hypnogogic state. This state occurs naturally when falling asleep and waking up.

To bring about the sleepy state, the individual can sit quietly in a chair (or sit or lie wherever he/she feels comfortable) and relax. He /she should focus on his/her breath, and breathe deeply in and out. As thoughts move into his/her mind, he/she should just allow them to pass. He/she can imagine them being placed inside balloons and floating away. When just shy of sleep, he/she can put questions out to Spirit/the subconscious mind (as he/she prefers). Then he/she can observe what emerges in the form of feelings, images, sounds, and words.

Meditative States should be used in short bursts lasting no more than a few minutes. When the meditation is complete, the researcher should record what he/she has experienced in his/her Intuitive Diary. Later, these can be analysed.

 

Developing The Feeling Sense

Just as with using intuition in general life, you can also allow your feelings to guide you as you research. The more you become comfortable with inner worlds, the easier it will become to distinguish amongst the many subtle feelings from within. You have to learn the difference between a “true” intuitive pull and other competing voices from within—the ego, desire, wishful thinking, fear of the unknown, and so on. This is not really something that can be taught. It is something you learn by trial and error.

I suggest using The Feeling Sense to help choose the subject of investigation, what is read, and when it is read. During the time of writing this paper, I was walking past a small bookshop not far from my workplace in Hong Kong. This shop has no more than a few dozen English titles (almost all books are in Chinese), so I rarely go in there. However, on this occasion I felt a subtle sense of excitement as I walked past (something I have trained myself to notice). I walked in and immediately found Edward de Bono’s, Think! Before It’s Too Late. I picked it up, and again felt that same sense of excitement. 11   I knew the book was right for me. I bought it.

de Bono’s book helped me clarify some crucial distinctions for the writing of this paper. In the instance above, I combined The Feeling Sense with another INI tool—Embracing Synchronicity (explained below). In traditional research, conducted within the critical/rational worldview, this entire scenario would be considered absurd, deluded, or perhaps even insane. Personally, I choose not to trouble myself too much with such judgments. The skeptical reader might like to think of this as part of the provocation.

The key point to using The Feeling Sense during research is to go with what excites the researcher. Here, I invite the contemplation of another provocation. The researcher should not read or investigate anything that does not excite him/her within any given moment. When we force ourselves to study something that we are not truly interested in, we may lose the flow of the research, and we may become stuck. I suggest that unless the researcher has been assigned the reading by a teacher, or it is an absolute “must read,” that he/she put it aside. He/she may well find that at a later point it does feel right to read. This is about doing the right thing at the right time. It reminds us of the Chinese idea of the Tao, or aligning with “the will of Heaven”. 18   Water does not try to flow uphill.

There are many specific ways the researcher can apply this idea. When looking through the bibliography of a text, he/she should allow any subtle feelings about the listed books and articles to “grab” him/her. If he/she sees a reference within the text of a book or article, and it evokes a strong feeling of excitement, he/she should take note and get hold of it.

A good way to begin is to prepare a selection of, say, five books or papers the researcher might like to read for his/her research project. Then, the researcher can sit with the books/papers in front of him/her, breathe deeply, and relax. Next, the researcher should verbally state the research questions that he/she is trying to answer. He/she should then allow himself/herself to get a feeling about each book/paper. He/she might even like to pick up the books/papers and sense how they feel to read. If it feels exciting, he/she can return to them later.

The researcher can do the same when choosing which chapters, sections, paragraphs, and sentences to read within texts. He/she can work through a book much more quickly by reading only that which draws him/her in.

It can be seen that this process is quite different from standard research. In normal research, the researcher analyses and judges with the “rational” brain, and selects and ignores data accordingly. With integrated inquiry, the conscious mind is led by something ineffable and subtle, something that it cannot quite see or know, but which nonetheless can be felt and sensed. One is led to dip into, or skim past, information by an integrated intelligence. This is something that will initially be uncomfortable for a conventional researcher. Yet provocation is meant to cause discomfort.

In summary, the more researchers honour intuitive feelings, the stronger the intuitive voice becomes. Employing intuitive feelings can cut a lot of hassle out of the research process, save much time and energy, and lead to an invigorating experience in research and writing.

 

Embracing Synchronicity

Synchronicities are meaningful coincidences. Carl Jung is perhaps the best known theorist of synchronicity.  19 20 For Jung, the cosmos was not the great machine of the modernists. His principle of synchronicity transcends the mechanistic paradigm. Synchronicity is fully compatible with the mystical/spiritual worldview, where matter and consciousness are in interplay in an “intelligent” cosmos.

Personally, I have found that a serendipitous and adventurous approach to research facilitates synchronicities. The synchronicity I described above, where I discovered de Bono’s book on thinking, was exciting. It was fun. Getting too serious and trying too hard are counter-productive to synchronicity.

A key point with synchronicity, and with allowing The Feeling Sense to come into play, is to bring the mind fully into the present moment. This is somewhat akin to the state of “flow,” usually reported in mainstream psychology. 21   When the mind is too cluttered, the intuitive feelings from within cannot be heard.

Being present and having fun with things may pose a challenge to researchers, many of whom are used to being “in the head” and working in institutions that tend to be extremely competitive and serious. A change of attitude is required.

The experience of synchronicity is, in its most exalted form, almost a kind of spiritual rapture. It is a direct affront to the critical/rational worldview. If the researcher can suspend disbelief, synchronicity facilitates serendipities which can be an invaluable aid to research.

 

USING THE CORE OPERATIONS OF INI

In this final section I am going to outline specific applications of the INI tools. I will describe ways in which researchers can apply the core operations of INI. They can be used in conjunction with standard research methods and tools (quantitative and qualitative methods, computers, search engines, indexes, and so on).

This is not an exhaustive list of potential applications. Imagination and experimentation by the researcher can produce many more.

 

Core Operation: Integrated Perception

Integrated intelligence can help in coming to an understanding of the connections within fields of knowledge. It is important in the writing of an article, book, or thesis to appreciate the way that things fit together, and to grasp the relationships between various facets of the research problem. Such understandings often come in leaps of intuition, or “Aha!” moments.

An extract from my Intuitive Diary exemplifies this.

I awoke a little early this morning, and lay half awake. Suddenly it all came together. Everything about the education chapter and the thesis just began to weave itself into one great whole. I saw the model of integrated education, the dynamic model/diagram with self at centre, and the universal feedback loop. I saw M. Scott Peck’s ideas of synchronicity and psychotherapy as spiritual growth weaving in with James Moffett’s and Michael Peters’ ideas of healing/growth/transformation/learning. It all came together in a new vision.

Notice that the entire process was quintessentially inspirational. I was following my sense of excitement. There was a sense of wonder at participating in something more expansive than my conscious mind.

The diagram referred to in the extract ended up in my thesis, and also in the final chapter of my book, Integrated Intelligence. 13   Diagrams and images may come to the researcher in dreams and meditations. Kekule “saw” the molecular configuration of the benzene ring in a dream. 22   Synchronicity and The Feeling Sense may play a part here, as with “Aha!” moments, when an image in a book, on an advertising billboard, or in a TV programme suddenly “jumps out” at the researcher.

The researcher can also be proactive, and deliberately seek to find connections. He/she can ask a question in meditation or during a reflective moment, and wait for an answer of some kind. Free-form Writing can also be used in the same way.

 

Core Operation: Evaluation, Recognition, & Location

Here I have combined three core operations into one, because recognition and location can be seen as subsets of the idea of making choices in your research.

With the information explosion there is an often overwhelming amount of data, and as intuition experts such as Gladwell , Klein, Rowan, and Gigerenzer suggest, the world today is just too complex to comprehend using only the analytical mind. 23 24 25 26   Integrated intelligence can help us recognise, locate, and select information.

You can use INI when you have several research options to choose from. At the beginning of 2009, I was working on two books simultaneously, Sage of Synchronicity and Beyond the Frontiers of Human Intelligence. They are two quite different kinds of books. For a while I was working on Frontiers. Then I suddenly had the feeling to get back into writing Sage. The writing flowed well and then, just a few days later, I awoke in the middle of the night, and there was a song playing in my head. I “listen” to all intuitive prompts, and this includes music. The song was “Gold,” by the 80s pop group Spandau Ballet. The words to that song have strong personal meaning for me, and I felt strongly that this was a vindication of my decision to work on Sage. I made a commitment to follow through and complete the book, which I did. I postponed the completion of Frontiers for six months or so.

INI can also be used in numerous ways to locate data. For the writing of my thesis, I stored hundreds of files on my computer. The search function on Microsoft Office was not so great in those days, so I often used INI to decide which files to open and dip into.

One method I used was to state the question I wished to answer out loud. Then I would open a relevant file on my computer screen, one that might contain dozens of documents. I then ran my finger over the screen. When I felt my finger being “attracted” to a file, I would stop and open it. I would often feel a tingling in my finger; at other times it felt as if there were a “wall” which stopped my finger from moving past a particular file. The key to this process is to “let go,” trust the process, and not try too hard to determine the outcome.

A related method is to stand back a little from the computer screen, relax, and take a deep breath. Next, ask a question and wait for some sense of which file to select. Here, I pay close attention to my inner world—what I see, feel, or hear within my mind. Sometimes a document on the screen will seem to “flash,” “come alive,” or become “attractive.” I then open that file. Other times I just have a strong feeling to open a certain file.

The researcher can use all these kinds of processes when deciding upon which books, chapters, articles, web pages, or even paragraphs to read.

The researcher should be aware that when using the core operations of evaluation, recognition, and location in his/her research, he/she has to be clear about what to look for. A clear set of questions is crucial. It is well known that the brain is a self-organising system, and the introduction of integrated intelligence does not change that fact. 11

This maxim is even true of the very beginning of a research project, although the questions might be quite general at that time.

  • What really interests me about this topic?
  • What areas of this topic really require further research?
  • What am I really drawn to as a possible focus of my research?

As the researcher clarifies his/her research topic, the research questions should become clearer and more specific.

When I initiated my doctoral research and chose my research topic, I allowed The Feeling Sense to direct me. I chose what excited me most. I believe that intuitive intelligence works best when we are “on purpose” with our research, and with our lives.

The Feeling Sense can also be used to good effect in determining where (location) to direct your attention. One morning, about one year into the writing of my thesis, I was sitting on my sofa, relaxing. Suddenly I had an urge to read the book, The Search for the Pearl, by Gillian Ross, which was sitting on top of a pile of books on my coffee table. It was almost as if I were being compelled to pick it up. So I did just that. As I flipped through the book I noticed that it had a section which was highly relevant to the second chapter of my thesis.

Note that I had no conscious awareness of what I might find, or what the outcome would be, no idea of why the action was required. I just went with The Feeling Sense. Conventional researchers might find such a non-linear process difficult at first. I encourage the researcher to gently persist with exploring such alternative means of “research.” The process might well cause confusion. Yet I prefer to see confusion as an integral part of most learning processes, not as a signal to give up. Provocation and confusion go hand in hand. The key is pushing oneself toward discomfort, but not going so far as to create a level of chaos which leads to the breakdown of the whole process (or the researcher!).

I recommend the researcher retain a clear research plan, and keep up a careful consideration of where he/she is going. This will help him/her “return to base” when he/she finds he/she is pushing himself/herself too far. Nonetheless, using integrated intelligence means being open to being taken to places one might not expect or want to go. This is a requirement for “letting go.”

 

Core Operation: Diagnosis

Diagnosis, as part of integrated intelligence, is the immediate realisation of the nature or cause of a problem. This kind of diagnosis does not necessarily follow considered analysis. The knowing is received. The knower and the known become one, if only for an instant.

Still, there is typically a requirement for the researcher to be active, or at least to focus attention on the problem. A relaxed, receptive state of mind works best, and here Meditative States can be deliberately employed. This does not necessarily mean that one needs to be so precise. One can encourage intuitive experience through developing a relaxed and reflective state of mind, such as when walking in nature or when going to sleep and waking.

The following extract, again taken from my Intuitive Diary at the time of my doctoral enrollment, exemplifies the process.

While meditating on today’s study session the word “Skinner” came into my head. It feels right to go with it, so I’m going to write up some stuff on (B.F.) Skinner. It doesn’t feel right to get into the next chapter at this stage, as the info seems too specific. I need to see the big picture, not get lost in the details.

The meditation session I did on this occasion had no specific goal beyond trying to get a sense of what to study that day. To determine my focus, I sat down and went into my feelings.

I often do this during my research. The key distinction is that the process is receptive, but not passive. In the example above, after the meditation was complete I used my Intuitive Diary to reflect further and choose the best way forward. The final choice was made with the conscious, “rational” mind, but my intuition informed the decision. I did not have any conscious understanding of why it was right to go in that direction. I simply aligned with an intelligence greater than my ego, and allowed it to guide me.

The researcher can also be quite specific in his/her focus as he/she uses Meditative States. He/she can center upon one particular question, problem, or issue. Here you put yourself into a deep state of relaxation and repeat the question or problem in your mind. The key is to keep the mind focused on the issue, while still permitting moments of inner silence to allow any ideas to flow freely through the mind. Some discipline may be required to keep the mind on track.

 

Core Operation: Creativity and Innovation

In the Romantic tradition, angels and muses were said to inspire creativity and writing. For example, William Blake credited angelic inspiration for much of his poetry. There are also many recent theorists and thinkers who ascribe to this idea as a literal reality. 27 14 28 29 30

Still, the idea of non-physical, spiritual realms and spiritual guides is anathema to the modern scientific worldview, and likely to remain that way for an indefinite period. Given this, we can think of the idea of spiritual inspiration as a more specific provocation within the broader provocation of integrated intelligence. The goal here for the researcher is not spiritual belief, but an enhanced creativity, and the permitting of a broadening of ways of knowing. If the researcher prefers to use a more conventional explanation for what I am referring to, he/she might like to call it by the more mundane term, “flow”. 21

At a personal level, after my initial experimentation with inspiration and creativity using Free-form Writing, I found that my prose flowed almost effortlessly.

The process behind inspiration and creativity may be alien to many academic researchers. It requires a connection to a stream of thoughts, ideas, and inspirations which lurk just beyond the conscious mind. One requirement is that the researcher carefully observe the recurring thoughts and images that come to mind at all phases of the research process. The Intuitive Diary can be used for this purpose. Another entry in my research journal indicates how a recurring idea became important to the argument of my thesis.

The word “love” keeps coming verbally into my mind. I recall Ken Wilber writing that Eros has been extracted from the world of modern science. Maybe this has led to certain distortions in the modern worldview, and its depiction of intelligence.

The idea that modern science has extracted “feeling” from the world also keeps popping up. Of course, feelings are seminal in intuitions. The eradication of feelings leads to the eradication of intuitions, and a distorted and limited depiction of consciousness, and esp. rationality.

The procedure I used combines so-called left- and right-brained thinking. The intuition, based upon a strong feeling, was completed by analysis. For my philosophically-based doctorate, I argued that a full appreciation and employment of intuition requires an acknowledgment of emotion as a cognitive process. I posited that the devaluation of emotionality in modern Western science had, in turn, led to the devaluation of intuition. The last sentence in the extract above encapsulates the position that I ultimately took.[iii]

After the initial burst of creative insight, and the influx of ideas which Free-form Writing often provide, later research and writing can be shaped according to conventional academic protocols. Inevitably, this will be a more mundane and left-brained process. Nonetheless, it is my experience that creativity and inspiration remain a part of the entire process right through till the final period is posited on the page.

 

Core Operation: Fore-sense

Can information move through time, and be sensed by biological organisms? Consider the following provocation:

I can sense the results of my research decisions, and alter “the future” as I perceive it unfolding before me.

 

It is arguably the most outrageous provocation contained within this paper, according to the critical/rational worldview. Yet there is increasing evidence for the existence of the human capacity for precognition. 31 15 16  The idea is also consistent with certain theoretical developments in quantum physics and systems theory—namely the concept of non-locality, where space and time lose their discrete definitions. 32  Recall, though, that to be useful, provocations require no proof, merely functional applications.[iv]

Meditative States and The Feeling Sense are keys to employing Fore-sense. The following exercise has been designed by me to activate Fore-sense in research decision-making.

To begin the process, the researcher should be relaxed. This could be the case during the hypnogogic state (early morning, late evening) or during meditation. Let us imagine that he/she is an evolutionary biologist, researching the historical development of the theory of evolution. He/she wants to sense whether his/her argument might be strengthened by reading more deeply into the life of the nineteenth century evolutionary theorist, Alfred Russel Wallace. He/she can imagine himself/herself in the time and place where the decision he/she is making is already completed; that is, after he/she has completed his/her reading of Wallace. He/she should feel himself/herself in that future place, yet imagining that the event is occurring in the present. The intuitive information he/she seeks might come in the form of feelings, images, auditory prompts, and so on. He/she may have an intuitive sense of the “rightness” (or otherwise) of the decision. This could be experienced as positive feelings (happiness, confidence, ease, etc.), or negative feelings (fear, frustration, failure, etc.).

After the meditation, he/she can then choose whether to trust his/her intuitions as he/she plans his/her future research, or to ignore them.

Dreams and non-ordinary states of consciousness can also contain fore-sense. I regularly dream about my research, and history contains many examples of researchers being inspired by dreams and visions. Alfred Russel Wallace himself developed a theory of evolution remarkably similar to Darwin’s, and at the same time. Darwin spent twenty years in the field to develop his understanding. The culmination of Wallace’s ideas came to him during a malaria-induced fever.14

I suggest recording any dreams related to your research in your Intuitive Diary. Even if they do not make sense at the time, they may later become more meaningful. This process also helps strengthen the link between the conscious mind and the psyche.

The following extract from my Intuitive Diary contains a precognitive element, and assisted me in clarifying an aspect of the precise nature of the Western epistemology.

Two days ago the word “Deutschland” came to me in big letters just as I was waking upit was a visual image, not auditory: very large white letters on a black background. Later that day I was cleaning out the study room, tidying some papers. The book “Freud and Man’s Soul” by Bettelheim kind of jumped out at meit was lying under some books. I felt it was right to look at it. Later as I was reading it, I recalled the vision of “Deutschland,” because much of the book is about Freud’s Germany. One crucial distinction that comes from the book is that in Germany there are two distinct types of “sciences”one that is empirical, and one that is softer and deals with less quantifiable phenomena. The Anglo West is very positivist, and sees quantification as a central theme in its natural sciences. This is one reason why Freud has been misunderstood (says Bettelheim). Anyway, the book is absolutely wonderful for my thesis.

Researchers do not need to have extraordinary gifts to employ fore-sense. There no need for grand visions, or to be a practicing psychic. In its simplest form, fore-sense is about trusting feelings: feelings for where your research decisions might lead you. The intuitive researcher must learn to follow his/her gut feelings when making choices. Experience has taught me that The Feeling Sense and its fore-sense can put one on the right path without the need for conscious awareness of the reasons why one is headed in that direction. The more the researcher trusts it, the more it “guides” him/her.

 

Finally

My own research is related to the discipline of Postconventional Futures Studies. Futurist Richard Slaughter writes that it is the duty of futurists to offer dissent to mainstream discourses. Readers might like to view this article in that light.  33   If the reader decides to employ integrated intelligence during research, he/she might also consider it a silent act of dissent; a deliberate provocation to inspire the researcher to greater heights of creativity and insight. Integrated inquiry can also be viewed as a personal experiment with genuine cognitive capacities. [v]

The entire experience also requires a complete inversion of the self’s relationship with the world. Personal and planetary transformation is a core outcome of the development of integrated intelligence. The researcher employing integrated inquiry is engaging the world in an act of spiritual intimacy. Even if he/she is doing so as an act of provocation, the successful application of the cognitive skills involved is likely to transform the way he/she sits with the world.

It is my hope that eventually the value of integrated intelligence as a cognitive set, for both individuals and humanity as a whole, will be vindicated. The way forward from the impasse created by the split in the modern mind is not to critique and analyze more books, papers, and ideas. This is a self-limiting approach. The critical/rational mind is not capable of delivering the deep knowing required. The best way to truly understand integrated intelligence is through praxis, via the direct employment of integrated inquiry. This is the central provocation of this paper.

I believe that INI is crucial to our futures, as it is a mindset which connects us with vast realms of information—information which has the potential to situate our research, and the human story itself, within a greater spiritual context.

Notes

 

       1.  Pickstone, J. (2000). Ways of knowing: A new history of science, technology and

medicine. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

       2.  Tarnas, R. (2000). The passion of the western mind. London: Pimlico.

      3.  Sardar, Z. (1998). Postmodernism and the other. London: Pluto Press.

4.  Torff, B., & Sternberg, R.J. (2001) (eds.) Understanding and teaching the intuitive mind.

London: LEA.

      5.  Radin, D. (2006). Entangled minds. New York: Paraview.

      6.  Varvoglis, M. (2003). Scientists, shamans, and sages: Gazing through six hats. The

Journal of Parapsychology, 67 (1).

      7.  Targ, R., & Katra, J. (1999). Miracles of mind: Exploring nonlocal consciousness and

spiritual healing. Novato, CA: New World Library.

      8.  Targ and Katra, 141.

      9.  Targ and Katra, 139.

    10.  Targ and Katra, 142.

    11.  de Bono, E. (2009). Think! Before it’s too late. London: Random House.

    12.  Bolker, J. (1998). Writing your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day. London: Holt

Paperbacks.

    13.  Anthony, M. (2008). Integrated intelligence: classical and contemporary depictions of

mind and intelligence and their educational implications. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

    14.  Grof, S. (2000). Psychology of the future. New York: State University of New York Press.

    15.  Sheldrake, R. (2003). The sense of being stared at and other aspects of the extended mind.

London: Arrow Books.

    16.   Radin, Dean. (2006). Entangled minds. New York: Paraview.

    17.   Radin, D. (2008). Science and the taboo of psi. On-line video lecture. Retrieved from

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=qw_O9Qiwqew.

    18.  Jiyu, R. (ed.) The book of Lao Zi. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press.

    19.  Jung, C. (1973). Synchronicity. New York: Bollingen.

    20.  Jung, C. (1989). Memories, dreams, reflections. New York: Vintage.

    21.  Czikszentmihalyi, M. (1994). A psychology for the third millennium. New York: Harper

Perennial.

    22.   Kafatos, M., & Kafatou, T. (1991). Looking in seeing out. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books.

    23.  Gladwell, M. (2005). Blink: The power of thinking without thinking. London: Allen Lane.

    24.  Klein, G. (2003). The power of intuition. New York: Doubleday.

    25.  Rowan, R. (1991). The intuitive manager. New York: Berkley.

    26.  Gigerenzer, G. (2008). Gut Feelings. London: Penguin.

    27.  Fox, M., & Sheldrake, R. (1996). The physics of angels. San Francisco: Harper San

Francisco.

    28.  Kubler‐Ross, Elizabeth. (1997). The wheel of life. New York: Simon and Schuster.

    29.  Mack, J. (1999). Passport to the cosmos. New York: Three Rivers Press.

    30.  Weiss, B. (1985). Many lives, many masters. New York: Fireside.

    31.  Braud, W. (2003). Distant mental influence. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads.

    32.  Sheldrake, R., McKenna, T., & Abraham, R. (2001). Chaos, creativity, and cosmic

consciousness. Rochester, MN: Park Street Press.

    33.  Slaughter, R. (2006). Beyond the Mundane—Towards Post-Conventional Futures

Practice. The Journal of Futures Studies, 10 (4), 15-24.

    34.  McTaggart, L. (2007). The intention experiment. New York: Free Press.

Anthony, M. (2006). The case for integrated intelligence. World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution, 64 (4), 233-253.

Anthony, M. (2009). Futures research at the frontiers of mind. Foresight, 11 (1), 61-80.

Bettelheim, B. (2001). Freud and man’s soul. Sydney: Pimlico.

Peck, M.S. (1984). The Road Less Travelled. New York: Arrow

Ross, G. (1993). The search for the pearl. Sydney: ABC Books.

Wilber, K. (2000). Sex, ecology, spirituality. Boston: Shambhala.


[i] Some elements of this paper have also been covered in another paper, “Futures Research at the Frontiers of Mind”. However, with the exception of two of the diary extracts, no parts have been copied.

[ii] For a more thorough examination of evidence for such cognitive processes, see Sheldrake, Radin, and McTaggart. 15 16 34

[iii] My book, Integrated Intelligence, is based upon my doctoral research. 13 For a more reader-friendly treatment of the same subject matters, refer to my upcoming book, Beyond the Frontiers of Human Intelligence (available late-2010, from Benjamin Franklin Press Asia).

[iv] To make my own position clear: I believe that humans do have the cognitive capacity for fore-sense, particularly where decisions are deeply meaningful and emotively laden. This is tentatively supported by research into telepathy and precognition. 15

[v] Slaughter has argued that Futures Studies has evolved towards the Postconventional. This incorporates the idea of transpersonal modes of awareness, and is directly taken from the philosophy of Ken Wilber. My personal perspective is that this is a philosophical position and a personal value judgment, and is in no way meant to imply an inevitable evolution