Tag Archives: education

Finding Gratitude & Abundance in a Disgruntled World

Recently I have been thinking about gratitude, and how important it is to experience abundance, prosperity and happiness in this life. I realise that most of you reading this will understand this already. And I realise that many of you will tend to forget that same understanding from time to time. Maybe even most of the time,

One of the reasons why it is so difficult to live this simple understanding is that we live in societies that focus upon lack, and which exacerbate the state of desire. Such is the nature of capitalism . Every day we are bombarded with reminders that we do not have enough. Are not enough. Every time you walk down the street, turn on the TV or computer or read a newspaper of magazine, we are told there is something we should have to make us feel more complete.

There is also an unfortunate side-effect to the dominant ideology of postmodern thought which saturates our media, universities and education systems. These philosophies instill in us the belief that we are deeply oppressed, that someone or some system is stealing our light. And if you are one who is fortunate enough to have been born into privilege via your skin colour, gender or other innate qualities, you should live in a state of guilt, hourly “checking your priviledge.” Conspiracy theories have a similar effect. Someone out there is cheating us, stealing our lives.

Though the postmodern perspective has a legitimate starting point, and it is sometimes true that governments and institutions can conspire against our greater good, these philosophies have now morphed into a pathological form which is greatly distorting our sense of life today.

The greatest problem is that they instil a narrative which places the mind in a state of perpetual discontent, finding the source of its misery in other people, or in innate qualities which cannot be changed.

I believe it is a mistake to begin with a narrative which teaches lack, fostering constant blame and shame for that lack. In doing this we have conditioned large segments of society into a state of angry discontent. This is despite the fact that most of us live lives which are far longer, more prosperous and safer than almost any in human history.

I believe it would be better to begin by teaching gratitude and compassion. One of the best ways to do this is to teach people how to be present to the truth of life in this moment. It is from this point that compassion and generosity arise spontaneously, and then that compassionate state can reinforce the societal and institutional legal structures which promote justice and equality.

Let me conclude by sharing a quote. The following is from Tony Robbin’s book Money: Master the Game. This is a book about abundance, in its fullest meaning. The following words are worth reflecting upon.

I interviewed Sir John Templeton for the first time when I was 33 years old. Remember, he was the multibillionaire who started with nothing and made all of his money when everyone else was afraid, during the worst times in history: WWII, Japan after the war, and in the late 1980s and early 1990s when massive inflation hit parts of South America. When others were fearful, he went out and invested. I asked him, “What’s the secret to wealth?” And he said, “Tony, you know it, and you know it well. You teach it to everyone. It’s gratitude.” When you’re grateful, there is no fear; when you’re grateful, there is no anger. Sir John was one of the happiest and most fulfilled human beings I have ever known. Even though he passed in 2008, all these years later his life continues to inspire others. If you want to be rich, start rich.

What can you be grateful for today? Who can you be grateful for today? Could you even be grateful for some of the problems and the pain that you’ve been through in your life? What if you took on the new belief that everything in life happens for a reason and a purpose, and it serves you? What if you believed in your heart of hearts that life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you? That every step along the way is helping strengthen you so that you can become more, enjoy more, and give more. If you’ll start from that place, money won’t be the source of your pleasure or your pain. Making money will just be a fun journey of mastery, and wealth a great vehicle to achieve what matters most in life.

 

 

Integrated Intelligence as Practice

Can we deliberately employ the non-local properties of mind in creativity, business and education? I recently argued that we can in an article published in the Journal of Nonlocality. Here is the full version of the article, with links up front.

J. Nonlocality: Special Issue on Psi and Nonlocal Mind, 2017

Integrated Intelligence as Practice: Ideas, Insight and Inspiration Marcus T. Anthony
Bryant College, Beijing Institute of Technology (Zhuhai)
The PDF file of this article can be found here:

AbsractInspiration and insight in the sciences, education, business and arts are typically assumed to be founded upon neuro-centric cognitive processes. Personal experience and sensory data are often believed to be all that an individual may draw upon in the creative process. Yet the idea of non-local mind invites us to consider the possibility that inspiration and insight may utilize information and experience beyond that of the individual, and beyond the present moment, drawing upon past, present and future information fields. This paper highlights reports and deliberate invocations of non-local mind, including several current applications in the field of Critical Futures Studies. Some of the common tools and applications are briefly described. Finally, this paper identifies some of the typical problems that may arise from deliberate activation of the extended mind. The argument is situated within Anthony’s theory of integrated intelligence.

 

Integrated intelligence yesterday and today

Integrated Intelligence is the deliberate employment in problem-solving of a wide range of human cognitive abilities spanning not only the scientifically accepted, neuro-physiological cognitive processes, but also including the non-local mind. It is my argument that integrated intelligence is processed through the brain, such that the cognitive functions are similar to those represented in scientifically accepted models of creativity and intuition (Anthony 2008, du Tertre 2012). Integrated intelligence therefore incorporates mental functions which might be deemed “psychic” or “supernatural” by mainstream science, and thus typically derided or simply ignored.

Despite the current predominance of scientific skepticism, integrated intelligence has been widely accepted throughout human history, in all cultures (Markley 2015a). Markley argues that this intuitive faculty is often misunderstood, assumed to be accessible only to the gifted (such as seers, oracles, medicine people, prophets and so on); yet various spiritual disciplines have maintained that it can be developed through meditative discipline (Markley 2015a).

Acknowledgment and deliberate employment of integrated intelligence has featured strongly with many scientists, scholars and philosophers in the western world, including Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, Aquinas, Kant, and Bergson (Markley 2015a). Even though after the advent of the scientific and industrial revolutions the intuitive mind has tended to be discarded by many modern thinkers and organizations (Markley 2015a), there are many exceptions in recent history. Just a few individuals who have acknowledged the extended mind include psychiatrists Carl Jung and Stan Grof (2000), R. Buckminster Fuller, ecologist Barbara Marx Hubbard (2015), physicist Brian Josephson, systems theorist Ervin Laszlo, and futurists Oliver Markley (2015a,b) and Sohail Inayatullah. Outside of the accepted science of creativity, numerous popular ideas and programs either explicitly or implicitly embrace the ideal of the non-local mind. For example there are thousands of new age, self-and-spiritual development philosophies which hold to this ideal.

Finally, as outlined below, some western (and non-western) governments, organizations and individuals have attempted to tap into the non-local mind to facilitate enhanced foresight, strategy and problem- solving. My practical examples will focus particularly upon some examples from the field of Critical Futures Studies.

My purpose here is not to endorse such teachings as being non-problematic, merely to point out that beyond the accepted parameters of western mainstream science and education, such ideas are widespread. They are commonly found in almost all societies. For example, in the technology industries in Asia, many entrepreneurs and organizations regularly consult the IChing when making important business decisions, as will be outlined below (Chang 2015).

How much of the insights gleaned from such books, programs and apps are actually enhanced by non-local mind? How much can be attributed to neural-based incubation or pure self-delusion? Such questions are left for the contemplation of the reader.

The rejection of integrated intelligence In the western world, integrated intelligence was once commonly accepted as normal. However, with the advent of materialist science and experimentalism (Pickstone 2000), along with the industrial revolution of the mid-eighteenth century, science and psychology turned away from the inspirational, focusing upon physiological explanations for conscious experience. By the mid twentieth century any “parapsychological” or spiritual explanations or experiences were treated with hostility (Sheldrake 2014).
The emergence of the aggressive skeptic communities only reinforced the non-receptive nature of the intellectual environment. Perhaps the most telling case involved the widespread hostile decision which was directed at Nobel Prize winning physicist Brian Josephson, when he publicly acknowledged the rigorous work of the discipline of parapsychology in Great Britain. Josephson has since become a veritable pariah of the scientific community, suffering a virtual excommunication (Sheldrake 2014).

The oft-dismissal of integrated intelligence in modern science and neuroscience has created an unnecessarily delimited model of “mind.” This narrow representation does not acknowledge the greater range of non-local data which may be at the disposal of human beings. It has also been argued that the framing of mind in such impoverished terms is psychologically unhealthy, as the dissociation of “self” from the world creates a sense of alienation. Some have stated that this is central to the dilemma of human beings in the modern age (Sheldrake 2014, Tarnas 2000, du Tertre 2012).

Visionary experience in science, and the peculiar case of de Grasse Tyson A recent case highlights not only the potentially powerful insights that integrated intelligence may provide, but also the difficulty in discussing such ideas in some mainstream scientific circles. In the first episode of the documentary series Cosmos (2014), eminent scientist Neil De Grasse Tyson describes a seemingly psychic experience involving Giordano Bruno, the sixteenth century Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, and astrologer.

Bruno was deeply influenced by his visionary experiences. However, at that time the Church was incredibly powerful, and heavily intolerant of any challenges to its sun-and-God-centered map of the cosmos. As in Cosmos, Bruno had a powerful vision which shaped his decision to leave the Church and push for ecclesiastical reform. In the dream Bruno experienced himself leaving his body, and flying out into the universe. There he felt he personally witnessed the limitless nature of the cosmos. What he experienced convinced him that Copernicus was right in positing the sun at the centre of the universe. Cosmos recounts Bruno’s dream as follows:

“I spread confident wings to space and soared toward the infinite, leaving far behind me what others strained to see from a distance. Here, there was no up. No down. No edge. No centre. I saw that the Sun was just another star. And the stars were other Suns, each escorted by other Earths like our own. The revelation of this immensity was like falling in love” (Cosmos 2014).

Thus Bruno became convinced that the God of the Church was far smaller than the extant God of all existence. He believed that the sun was just one of many stars, and speculated that many worlds might lie beyond the Earth and that they too might be inhabited. This got Bruno into a lot of trouble, and he was imprisoned for eight years as a heretic, before being cruelly burnt at the stake by the Inquisition. It is said that his tongue and palate were pierced with iron stakes (Tarnas 2000). Despite years of persecution, Bruno refused to renounce his beliefs, famously stating to his inquisitors, “Perhaps your fear in passing judgment on me is greater than mine in receiving it” (Cosmos 2014). The relative accuracy of Bruno’s vision helped him to develop ideas that would become highly influential in the development of modern science, and in the development of the secular state. Yet in Cosmos Neil De Grasse Tyson dismisses Bruno’s vision as: “…a lucky guess, and like all guesses it could have been wrong.” (Cosmos 2014). De Grasse Tyson’s take on Bruno suggests that he may understand little about the way the human mind functions in non-ordinary states of consciousness.(i)

There are two factors which challenge the claim that what Bruno experienced was merely “a lucky guess.” The first factor is perfectly accepted in cognitive science, and it is the process of incubation (Benedict 2014). The brain can unconsciously process information on a subject matter even when we are not paying attention, when relaxed, or when focusing upon something unrelated. We receive immense amounts of data each moment, and we are unaware of most of it. The brain can go about processing this data, regardless of our conscious volition. The result can be personal insight, the synthesis of connected subject matters and creative inspiration (Benedict 2014; du Tetre 2014). If we consider this incubation process, the relative accuracy of Bruno’s visionary experience may have been the result of his brain taking in all the data it had received, and converting it into the best map of the universe it knew how to construct. Given that Bruno was an obsessive reader of science, philosophy and theology, this vision would have been anything but a “guess.” Perhaps it could be described as a “data-based intuition.”

The second important cognitive function that challenges de Grasse Tyson’s “guess” statement concerns a factor that is not yet widely accepted in modern science: that consciousness is not confined to the brain and is in constant interplay with the world about us, and possibly with the very expanse of the universe itself. This has been given various names including nonlocal mind (Dossey 2014), the extended mind (Sheldrake 2013, 2014), the psychic realm (du Tertre 2014) and so on. If we consider this, then during his dream, Bruno’s mind may not have been delimited by his personal experience, including by his readings of science. What he “saw” in his visionary state may have been his mind engaging the intelligence of the cosmos itself.

Neil de Grasse Tyson’s rejection of Bruno’s visionary capacities in Cosmos is perplexing. How is it possible that such a learned man as de Grasse Tyson, extensively educated and employed at the world’s finest universities (Harvard, Columbia, Princeton) can be so dismissive of the often unconscious nature of perception and creativity via non-ordinary states of consciousness? We could mention the self-limiting nature of the mechanistic paradigm in mainstream science (Grof 2000, Sheldrake 2014, Tarnas 2000). We might suggest the pressure that the Cosmos series producers may have felt to please their “scientifically- literate” audience. Yet the answer may simply be that one of the world’s most eminent scientists has never experienced such states of awareness. After all, our “best” educational institutions also tend to be our most conservative. Science in modern educational institutions is taught and conducted with logical, detached and analytical ways of knowing. The emotive and subjective elements of perception have been systematically and deliberately erased from the scientific method, a process instigated to avoid personal bias and misconceptions (Sheldrake 2014).

Experiences which appear to evoke an integrated intelligence are widely reported amongst mystics in many spiritual traditions and with transpersonal experience in general, although the nature of the knowledge gleaned may not always be along the “scientific” lines that Bruno experienced. The history of science also has many similar reports. Kekule envisaged the benzene ring in a dream. Neils Bohr dreamt a planetary system as a model for atomic structure that led to his Nobel prize (Markely 2015a). Biologist Alfred Russell Wallace, a firm believer in an integrated intelligence in nature, pieced together the essence of his model of evolution while in a fever-induced trance. Wallace did this at the very same time in history that Darwin was finalizing his ideas about evolution. Michael Flannery claims that Darwin plagiarized parts of his thesis from a long letter sent to him by Wallace, just months before Darwin published The Origin of Species (Tsakiris 2014).

Renowned biologist Barbara Marx Hubbard (2015) has recently revealed her own experiences of the spiritual inspiration behind her scientific work, as detailed in another section, below. She argues that the rational mind works best when “higher or intuitive mind receives inspiration, guidance and insights…” (Hubbard 2015 p 111). She also tells of conversations with Buckminster Fuller, where the late architect and inventor shared his experiences of transpersonally-inspired invention. Buckminster Fuller’s integrated intelligence included direct communications with other spiritual realms (Hubbard 215).

What are we to make of this? The easy solution is to dismiss the accounts as delusion or insanity. Yet as mentioned above, many cultures throughout history have had an entirely different relationship with such “other” ways of knowing.

Inspiration as guidance

Inspiration is not necessarily an immediate revelation of data for the purpose of enhancing a specific project. Many scientists and technological experts report a sense of overall guidance across their entire life, as if they are being compelled towards some greater purpose.

Ecologist and biolologist Barbara Marx Hubbard regularly employs integrated intelligence. She rises early and meditates with a “sensitive open consciousness, expectant, curious, but not driven.” She describes getting answers from “the higher mind… expanded knowing” (Hubbard 2015, p111). Hubbard believes that she gets intuitive insights to deep life questions. These can be life changing. She relates one anecdote, when in 1980 she was researching a new book about the future of humanity. While walking by a beautiful monastery in Santa Barbara staring out to sea, she contemplated the question of what kind of person could be entrusted to handle the incredible power and technology that human beings were developing.

“Tired, I sat upon the stone wall, looking at the great arc of the shining sea, the mountainous Earth arisen, and then, mysteriously, magically, hang-gliders – human butterflies – appeared, afloat above the Monastery at Mt Calvary in an ecstasy of freedom and weightlessness. Mass metamorphosis! We shall all be changed. Suddenly an intuition occurred to me – The resurrection was real. He did it. And so will all of us who are willing to do as he did, all who are willing to follow the commandment of love… It seemed to me that Jesus was a future human, an evolutionary template. His demonstration lodged in us an expectation of a personal future in a transformed body, in a transformed world, in a universe of many mansions. The capacities to do as he did have been activated by the expectation. Now is the fullness of time” (Hubbard 2015, p 112).

Hubbard then consulted the Bible, which in turn inspired her to write 1600 pages. “The thoughts were literally coming to me by some higher knowing beyond the mental mind, yet seemingly logical from the point of view of the new powers of humanity”(Hubbard 2015, p 112).

Hubbard then used this inspiration to make great contributions to both futures studies and ecology. She refers to this deliberate employment of integrated intelligence as “intuitions (which) go far beyond ordinary methodology.” For her, this is a kind of co-creative process between the individual and spiritual intelligences. Such intuitive process is a key in collective “conscious ethical evolution,” she writes. It enables us to “infuse our new powers with love,” where “powers,” refers to modern technologies (Hubbard 2015, p. 112).
When Hubbard related her experience in Santa Barbara to Buckminster Fuller one day, Fuller told her that he had had a very similar experience. Fuller then went to the New Testament and wrote “almost the exact same evolutionary interpretation” that Hubbard had written. Notably, he never published them, because language such as “Christ” and “God” were effectively forbidden within the scientific and engineering communities (Hubbard 2015, p 112).

In Hubbard and Fuller’s case, there is a direct sense of personalized spiritual guidance associated with their integrated intelligence. They believe that there are beings in other realms of existence passing on direct and indirect inspiration as they went about creating and innovating.

Whether the source of data is believed to be personalized or impersonal (as with Kekule and Bohr) both kinds of inspiration entail a source that is beyond one’s immediate locale, and perhaps temporal position.

One further aspect of inspiration where integrated intelligence has many possible powerful applications is that of research in general. There are several researchers, thinkers and authors who advocate what I call “integrated inquiry” (Anthony 2012, Ferrer 2000, Hart 2000, Nelson 2014, Puhakka 2000). Integrated inquiry is the deliberate employment of the nonlocal, intuitive mind while conducting research, either formally, or informally. In other words, integrated inquiry is integrated intelligence within research contexts. (ii)

Visionary experience in the arts, humanities and business

Creative and spiritual inspiration are far more readily discussed outside of mainstream science – in the arts, humanities and sometimes in business. There is a long history of creative geniuses claiming to be inspired by spiritual sources and/or altered states of consciousness: Keats, Blake, Coleridge, Huxley, Emerson, Thoreau and many more.

This has varied according to the sway of history and culture, and location. In the US in the 1950s at the height of behaviorism and scientific progressivism, any non-rational experience would likely have been frowned upon, especially in scientific and academic circles. However, in California in the 1960’s, it would almost have been surprising if a creative individual had not claimed some form of spiritual or divine inspiration for her works of music or literature.
Creative inspiration can be deeply personal. Ash Vadher (2015) is a former politician who both served in the British parliament and worked with Nelson Mandela in South Africa. After making the decision to leave politics, he found himself in a difficult financial position, with his family at risk. His two sisters stood to lose their life savings, perhaps around five million dollars. One night during this time Vadher went to sleep in his London apartment, which overlooks the Thames river and the houses of parliament. As the night unfolded he had a dream where he gazed out onto the river, and it was shimmering. It seemed to Vadher as if a great energy was trying to force its way up from beneath the water and communicate with him. Vadher felt intuitively that the shimmering represented wealth, like diamonds and gold.

At that time Vadher had been contemplating getting into the gold trade as a means to address the family debts, and the dream led him to commit to that decision, especially into business opportunities in Africa. Two months later, while in Nairobi pursuing a major investment, he found himself being shown through a great vault, with metal boxes of gold. As he reached into one of the large boxes, he pulled out a pencil box, opened it and saw it was full of uncut diamonds. As he gazed at the sparkling rocks before him, it struck him that what he was seeing was the unfolding of his recent, profound dream. Though there were many setbacks, he was able to experience much success in the business, and earn back the money his sisters had lost (Vadher 2015).

Significantly, for Vadher his Thames river vision was no ordinary dream. For him, as a man of Indian ancestry, it was the grace of God speaking to him. He saw it as a kind of divine guidance, and acted accordingly.

In East Asia the traditional idea of the harmonious society was one where the emperor had access to divine guidance, facilitating great insight, foresight and wise decision-making. According the Taiwanese technology trader William Chang (2015), it is still common for ninety per cent of companies in that part of the world to use divination when making key business decisions. In particular, the I-Ching is often consulted to determine if particular companies and individuals can be trusted to provide harmonious business relationships, and success. The worldview is quintessentially Taoist. Rather than attempting to impose themselves on the world, the wise businessperson listens receptively to what the universe is urging, Chang (2015) observed 2015.

Nowadays, this divination process has evolved into electronic form, using mobile device-based versions of the I-Ching. Chang (2015) finds that such divination is now used by the vast majority of Chinese business leaders and investors, including in mainland China, where he says that business people and leaders are hungry to re-learn traditional Chinese business wisdom. In the West, such practices are perhaps most similar to those adopted by the new age community, in such business teachings as those found in John Kehoe’s Mind power (2007), Rhonda Byrne’s The secret (2006) and in Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and grow rich.

Such divination practice is suggestive of an integrated intelligence, a kind of on-tap synchronicity. If divination is more than simple delusion, then it must entail some form of entangled consciousness, the intertwining of the mundane and the “divine.”

Policy, Strategy and the Future

The focus of this paper now turns toward the deliberate practice of integrated intelligence. Perhaps the most famous systematic employment of integrated intelligence in the modern West was in the Stargate program, a formerly secret government program operated by the US Defense Intelligence Agency, which ran from 1978 till 1995. The purpose of this program, initiated during the Cold War, was to determine whether psychic perception, and in particular remote viewing, could be harnessed to gain military advantage over the Soviets.

The program was abandoned after seventeen years. The official reason given was that it never gleaned any useful data, but several of the remote viewers who worked there including Joseph McMoneagle, Hal Puthoff, Russel Targ and Ingo Swann have come forward to passionately dispute this (McMoneagle 2002, Targ 2012). However, this project has already been widely debated, so the rest of the discussion on practical applications of integrated intelligence will focus elsewhere. In particular, attention will now turn to several practitioners within the field of Critical Futures Studies. This analytical field of Futures Studies focuses not so much upon predicting the future, but on disrupting unchallenged images of the future and in positing possible and preferred futures (Inayatullah 2015). It is important to note that the practitioners referred to below are atypical of the field in that they openly embrace the intuitive mind.

Most critical futurists do not do so in such an open way. In Critical Futures Studies, a number of practicing futurists both acknowledge the importance of the intuitive mind in thinking about the future, and apply practical tools to help organizations and individuals to develop strategy and policy. These futurists tend to draw upon an existing body of literature and practice that has emerged amongst certain ‘fringe’ thinkers and strategists in the western world in recent decades. These include Gawain (2002), Hendricks & Ludeman (1996), Miller & Miller (1976), Carl Simonton, and Elise Boulding (1988).

The Futurists

Futurist Ruth Miller (2015) has employed a process she calls Appreciative Inquiry in her futures consultation business. These are intuitive methods associated with imaging. They “provide access to an inner awareness… and… non-local possibilities that normal processes avoid” (Miller 2015, p 107). Miller employs relaxed states of consciousness, facilitated by breath control. This is followed by focusing upon images and any auditory, olfactory prompts which emerge from the psyche (Miller 2015, p 104). Similarly futurist Jose Ramos (2015) uses guided imagery as a means to use intuition practically with groups of clients.

Sohail Inayatullah (2015) is an Australian-based futurist who regularly incorporates relaxed, imaginative meditations into his futures workshops with organizations, corporations and governments. He gets clients to close their eyes, relax and “feel their way into the future” (Inayatullah 2015, p 116). Inayatullah believes that such a process gives clients permission to move away from the overly “cerebral” aspects of Futures work, and to tap into the collective mind of the group. His visioning process sometimes involves entering a six story building, each floor representing a chakra of Indic lore, with the sixth story representing the third eye of intuition. Here he invites participants to meet their future selves, and to glean wisdom from that wise old man or woman (Inayatullah 2015).

Inayatuallah also deliberately engages his intuition in journal writing, which allows him to gain insight into his life problems. Finally, as he facilitates his workshops, he often brings himself “present”, where he finds he can tap into intuition most readily, “read” the feeling of the room, and make spontaneous decisions about how to proceed next (Inayatullah 2015).

As the author of this article (Anthony 2008, 2015) I have written widely about integrated intelligence, as well as having employed it in my workshops and research. I have long advocated the need to synthesize “rational” and intuitive cognitive functions in modern education. I have also written theoretical and practical papers and books detailing how to activate integrate intelligence, including utilizing it during the research and writing process (Anthony 2011, 2013, 2015). The tools which I have focused upon teaching include activating feeling-based intuition, recording dreams, practicing meditative states, keeping an intuition diary, and harnessing synchronicity (Anthony 2013).

One of the longest-serving futurist practitioners in academic and corporate settings is Oliver Markley (2015a, b). Markley developed a Visionary Futures course at the University of Houston, Clear Lake in the 1980s, where he used guided imagery accessed in relaxed states of consciousness in his Futures Studies programs. The process involved both self suggestion and facilitator-guided instruction. Markley makes clear that he sees consciousness as a non-localized phenomenon which enables human beings to tap into an integrated intelligence, across both time and space, including tapping into minds and fields of collective intelligence far beyond that of human civilization. This includes inter-dimensional and alien consciousness (Markley 2015c).

Notably, Markley was very open about what he was doing. He was able to gain the trust of administrators, and wrote up his methods very clearly in his curriculum documents (Markley 2015b). He reports that students were receptive to his futures programs, which were conducted within an atmosphere of trust and respect for the students.

Prior to his work at UHCL, Markley was also part of “skunk-works” at Stanford University, which worked with organizations in developing strategy and policy. This is where he learned and refined his “imaginal” tools. The participants and senior staff at Stanford included Willis Harmon and Ruth Miller (Markely 2015b, Miller 2015).

On the basis of his long experience, Markley maintains that these future-oriented applications of integrated intelligence can be used for problem-solving, policy analysis and strategic planning, both personal and corporate (Markley 2015b, c).

Markley refers to a pertinent example from his time at UHCL involving a team from a large automotive and electronic data systems corporation. The group had come to the group “to learn the state-of-the-art tools of applied futures research” (Markley 2015b, p 124). The group included senior members of staff. The discussion turned to visionary futures research methods, and the group expressed a desire to experience one of Markley’s preferred tools: Mental Time Travel. The focus of the session was to be the company’s ‘‘Third World’’ policy, specifically the question: What would the future of our company and of the world look like if major ‘First World’ Corporations such as us… strategically embrace the poverty- stricken ‘Third World’ nations and cultures as customers? (i.e., not just as the source of low-cost labor) (Markley 2015b, p 125).

Two UHCL futures faculty and several graduate students and alumni also joined the exercise. All participants were invited to relax and focus. Then two Mental Time Travel journeys, one for each policy option, were facilitated by Markley. The stakeholders imagined journeying through two different futures: the first being the ‘‘do’’ option, then one representing the ‘‘do not’’ policy option. The results were clear- cut. All participants, both corporate team members and academic participants, experienced much the same thing. Writes Markely:

Our conclusion? Globally, ‘‘the chain’’ of human systems is only as strong as its weakest link. In the very long term, sustainable growth and well-being is dependent on the well-being of all nations, not just the ones that have a good shot at becoming prosperous. Thus, it is clear that developing a Third World customer base is essential. The corporate team, in mulling this over came to an additional conclusion: The strategic question that should be focused on is not: Whether or not the corporation should move in this direction; Rather, it needs to be: How might it be feasible to help leaders at all levels in our corporation to experience and see this for themselves, so that meaningful progress in this direction might become feasible to achieve? (Markley 2015b, p 124-125).

In this instance, the work enabled participants to gain new insights, and importantly, to reframe the questions which underpinned their strategy. This ultimately led to a core shift in the organization’s relationship with workers in the developing world (Markley 2015c).

Markley maintains that such work can be framed around secular or spiritual frameworks. Secular models might include Sheldrake’s morphogenic fields, Bohm’s implicate order or quantum physics. Spiritual framework can involve numerous spiritual traditions, including Christianity’s the Holy Spirit, Judaism’s Shekinah, Sufism’s barakah, and the Buddhist’s Alayavijnana (Markley 2015b). These processes do require a skilled facilitator or crafted programs of recorded guided imagery instructions, an appropriate mental set (Ramos 2015) and an appropriate, receptive institution (Anthony 2015; Ramos 2015).

The implications for the art and science of inspiration Human intelligence is not merely a function of the individual, but of the society and social networks that a person is connected to. Prolonged schooling constitutes part of the social setting of most people in the modern world. Modern education facilitates the expression of creativity and innovation, particularly in any domain which requires complex base knowledge, such as in science, technology and mathematics. Similarly is also true that without extensive modern education systems, various expressions of intelligence could not reveal themselves. For example, Russian psychologist Luria conducted research which revealed that Siberian peasants in the early twentieth century had very little capacity for abstract reasoning. Their formally uneducated lives had granted them no exposure to tasks requiring those skills. They struggled to make even essential generalizations about other places in Russia, even when provided with concrete facts about those places. Today the capacity for abstract reasoning is widespread across the developed societies of the world (Flynn 2007). In this case we can see that abstract reasoning is a latent human ability that requires education or at least social encouragement in order to flourish.

Similarly, integrated intelligence is probably a cognitive set that can be enhanced through acknowledgment of the facility, and encouragement (Targ 2012, du Tertre 2012). Having conducted numerous workshops aimed at developing integrated intelligence, and having seen first-hand what is required to do so, it is my belief that the reason why most people fail to develop their integrated intelligence is because modern education systems and other modern social settings typically provide little or no exposure to related ideas, experiences and activities. (iii)

The idea of the non-local mind and socially-enhanced intelligence invites us to contemplate the broader implications for creativity and innovation, including in organizational and corporate settings. How can we deliberately employ these entanglements with other people, places, things and times? The examples posited in the field of Critical Futures Studies, above, provide some insight.

Problems and ethics

Deliberate facilitation of the non-local mind brings forth some problems. These are practical as well as ethical.

An important issue which is sometimes glossed over by those who research or work in fields related to integrated intelligence is that of ethics. If we accept that we really can glean information from other places, times and people, then we are immediately invited to consider the issue of whether it is right or wrong to do so.

Joseph McMoneagle, the former military remote viewer, was adamant that a well-defined ethical system was necessary for remote viewing. He believes that governments will tend to use psi for whatever purposes they feel fit (Broderick & Goertzel 2015). McMoneagle revealed that the original six remote viewers in the Stargate program established their own ethical guidelines founded on the values and limits within the U.S. Constitution. When government representatives wanted to push beyond those, McMoneagle resisted (Broderick & Goertzel 2015). Clearly some other organizations and individuals may also abuse integrated intelligence for their own purposes. So when doing this kind of work, one must set clear ethical boundaries.

A related issue is that of privacy. How will stakeholders feel if they are exposed to a group of people whom they suddenly realize may be able to read their minds, or at least sense aspects of their cognition, including personal pasts, psychological and spiritual issues? The degree of trust required in such settings is immense, and not to be dismissed. I witnessed this personally in the late 1990’s when I worked with a healing group of about forty other people in New Zealand. Integrated intelligence became a vital aspect of the diagnosis of group and individual problems. What I saw is that this level of transparency is too much for many people. It creates a radical destabilization of the worldview, including how we relate to other human beings. With my healing group, some participants chose to leave, and in short time. I personally found it extremely challenging, but persisted because of a strong personal motivation, wanting to work on some of my biographical issues.

Of course, it is not necessary to tear open the heart of every participating individual in groups and workshops exploring integrated intelligence for specific purposes. Markley’s (2015b) work with students at UHCL, and his participation in “skunk works” there and at Stanford were focused on organizational problem-solving. Still, inevitably, once the intuitive mind is developed, personal privacy is reduced.

Another important question to ask if we are to attempt to tap into the non-local mind, and use the data to solve problems or construct strategies and preferred futures, is how are we to know the precise source of the information we are using? If we are indeed entangled within consciousness fields, can we be certain the source of data is reliable? Possible self-limiting non-local input might come from:

• a competitor, work colleague or administrator wishing to sabotage our success. • someone who is unconsciously afraid of our success (say, an elderly parent who fears your success might take you away to another location). • collective fields of intention, such as familial, racial, religious and cultural. These might contain ingrained beliefs which form effective attractor fields. • impersonal, self-limiting “habits” of the consciousness field, analogous to Sheldrake’s (2014) morphic resonance. • discarnate entities with their own intentions.

While the language of the last category might invite immediate incredulity, the idea is not incompatible with the idea of non-local mind. In almost all introspective spiritual traditions there are warnings regarding engaging manipulative disembodied minds or spirits (Grof 2000). Some advocates such as Le Shan (2007), believe that the non-local mind can only be used for the betterment of all, as if some cosmic law has been ordained that it only be used this way. Yet this is a naive conclusion, and my own experience also leads me to conclude that it is incorrect.

There is evidence to support my perspective from reports into near death experiences, where NDEers see or experience thought structures as being potentially harmful or destructive. NDErs often experience expanded, non-local awareness after they sense themselves leaving the body. Some “return” from their experience convinced of the importance of assuming responsibility for one’s emotional projections and judgmental thoughts towards others (van Lommel 2011).

There are other ethical considerations in the deliberate activation of integrated intelligence. Again mirroring the research into near death experience (van Lommel 2011) acknowledgment of the non-local dimensions of mind often leads to a shift in self-concept; and while most new age literature describes this in transformative and positive ways, the reality may be more nuanced. The sense of self may begin to weaken, or dissipate. Should those who are susceptible to mental illness engage in such practices? Are workshop practitioners to be made liable for any mental discomfort or pathology that emerges in the wake of doing such program?

Beyond a possible shift in self-concept, there may also be increased problems in relating to others and to society at large. When one’s personal experience of mind and life is non-local, even as one’s colleagues, family and friends live in a “localized” world, how is one to make sense of that? Does one’s sense of isolation (ironically) expand as one becomes increasingly different from others? This is precisely what Peter L Nelson (2014) reports in Journey of a Seer. For Nelson, this sense of being different emerged in childhood, and became exacerbated in his early university years as he came to conclude that his experience of non-locality was not an illusion, and that it was society that was deluded. This sense of alienation has lasted into his late life (he is now in his seventies).

The limits of intuition Intuition is a fuzzy intelligence. It makes itself known primarily through what I call “the feeling sense” (Anthony 2013). Integrated intelligence may also operate through all the known sense modalities (du Tertre 2012). Yet even with images, auditory and olfactory prompts, the feelings associated with these are often key to their understanding.

Nor does intuition exist in a perfectly demarcated cognitive zone separate from “rational” expressions of intelligence. Many intuitive researchers have pointed out that intuition works best when employed along side the rational mind (Inayatullah 2015, Markely 2015b, Ramos 2015, du Tertre 2012). Further, intuition is particularly susceptible to be led astray by desire (Inayatullah 2015). Others simply call this “the ego.” The key point is that it is not always easy to know from which place within the human mind any given feeling or image has emerged. Therefore, self-deception is always a working issue with the employment of integrated intelligence.
Credibility An ethical consideration for an individual or organization which employs integrated intelligence is whether to acknowledge the process to the broader community.

It has been observed that the employment of integrated intelligence in corporate and educational settings is politically sensitive (Anthony 2015, Markley 2015b, Nelson 2014). Notably, participants from the large motor vehicle and electronics company in the case described by Markley (2015b), above, decided that the process of Mental Time Travel, though practical, was “too politically risky” to bring to their company leaders. So the idea was vetoed (Markley 2015b, p 126) . Nonetheless, the organization eventually adopted the more globally responsible policy initiative that their visionary experience suggested, and with good results (Markley 2015c).

Markely (2015b) advises several ways of addressing the credibility problem when using integrated intelligence with organizations:

1. Production of high quality media materials on the topic. 2. Co-creation of an informal, experiential community of practice where intuition can be explored, developed and mentored by those who are qualified or interested; and using both personal/professional concerns and workplace problems as experiential R&D. Do not publish the outcomes unless, or do only if it is politically expedient. Carefully document them for later possible release. 3. Recruit one or more “champions” from senior staff, professional, managerial and executive ranks. The people should be interested and willing to mentor the community of practice in the tactics and strategy of organizational change management. 4. Talk discretely in increasingly public circles about the work, communicating successes and struggles, while avoiding embarrassing those who might not wish to have their names associated with the work. 5 . Publish in academic and professional circles, communicating notable successes (Markley 2015b, 125-126).

Conclusion

The great irony is that the scientific revolution which Bruno’s visions helped bring about and ultimately died for has also disowned the very cognitive processes which drove many of his insights. This rejection has created the split in the modern mind, where we tend to disown our essential connection to nature and the cosmos, and to our inner worlds. Yet there remains a strong undercurrent of research and practice in science, the arts and business in both the West and Asia, standing in contradiction to this.

Perhaps to bridge the current “split” we need another Bruno to rise like a phoenix from the flames of history and reignite – or at least re-legitimate – our integrated intelligence. We know from history and counter-culture that such experiences and practices are common to all eras, and amongst all kinds of thinkers and creators. Perhaps that day is not far away.

References

Anthony, M. 2008. Integrated intelligence. Copenhagen, Sense. Anthony, M. 2011. “Integrated Inquiry: Mystical Intuition and Research,” The Open Information Science Journal. 2011, 3: 80-88. Anthony, M. 2013. How to channel your dissertation. Hong Kong, MindFutures. Anthony, M. 2015. “Classical Intuition and Critical Futures Studies.” Journal of Futures Studies. JFS.2015.20 (1): 131-138. Byrne, R. 2006. The Secret. Los Angeles, Atria Books. Broderick, B. & Goertzel, B. 2015. “The future of psi research,” in Broderick, B. & Goertzel, B. (Eds) 2014. Evidence for psi: thirteen empirical research reports. Jefferson, North Carolina, McFarland & Company. Boulding, E. 1988. Building a global civic culture. Syracuse University Press, New York. Carey, B. 2014. How we learn. New York, Random House. Chang, W. 2015. Interview as part of an interview for the Futures of Consciousness project, on 24.09.15., Hong Kong. Cosmos, A Personal Voyage 2014. Television series, Fox National Geographic Channel. Santa Fe, New Mexico, Dossey, L. 2014. One mind. New York, Hay HouseDu Tertre, N. 2012. Psychic intuition. Pompton Plains, New Page Books. Ferrer, J. 2000. “Transpersonal knowledge.” In Hart, T., Nelson P. & Puhakka, K. (Eds), Transpersonal knowing. New York, Suny. Flynn, J. 2007. What is intelligence? New York, Amazon Digital Services. Gawain, S. 2002. Developing Intuition. New York, New World Library. Grof, S. 2000. Psychology of the future. San Francisco, Suny. Hart, Tobin 2000, “Inspiration as transpersonal knowing,” in Hart, T., Nelson P. & Puhakka, K. (Eds), Transpersonal knowing. New York, Suny. Hendricks, G. & Ludeman, K. 1996. The corporate mystic: A guidebook for visionaries with their feet on the ground. New York, Bantam. Inayatullah, S. 2015a. “Intuiting the future.” Journal of Futures Studies. JFS.2015.20 (1): 115-118. Inayatullah, S. 2015b. What works: Case Studies in the Practice of Foresight. Tamsui, Taiwan, Tamkang University Press. Kehoe, J. 2007. Mind power into the twenty-first century. New York, Zoetic Books. Le Shan, L. 2009. A new science of the paranormal, London, Quest. Markley, O. 1994 “Experiencing the Needs of Future Generations.” In Thinking About Future Generations. Kyoto: Institute for the Integrated Study of Future Generations. Markley, O. 2007 “Mental Time Travel.: A practical business and personal research tool for looking ahead.” Futures, 40(1), 17-24. Markley, O. 1992. “Using Depth Intuition in Creative Problem-Solving and Strategic Innovation.” Selection Forty in Sidney Parnes (Ed), Source book for creative problem-solving. Scituate, MA: Creative Education Foundation. Markley, O. 2015a. “Introduction to the symposium on ‘Intuition in Futures work.’” Journal of Futures Studies. JFS.2015.20 (1): 83-90. Markley, O. 2015b. “Learning to use intuition in Futures Studies. Journal of Futures Studies. JFS.2015.20 (1). 119-130. Markley, O. 2015c. Interview with Marcus T Anthony as part of The futures of consciousness project, July 27, 2015. Marx-Hubbard, B. 2015. “Intuition and Evolution – How I find it essential to use intuition in my futures work.” Journal of Futures Studies. JFS.2015.20 (1): 111-114. McMoneagle, J. 2002. The stargate chronicles:Memoirs of a psychic spy. Charlottesville, VA, Hampton Roads. Miller, R. 2015. “Applying intuitive methods in explorations of preferred Futures.” Journal of Futures Studies. JFS.2015.20 (1): 101-110. Miller, J.P., & Miller, R. 1976. Enhancing Policy Development through the use of Intuitive Methods. San Jose, CA: San Jose State University Press. “Neil deGrasse Tyson,” 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2016. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_deGrasse_Tyson Nelson, P 2000, “Mystical experience and radical deconstruction.” In Hart, T., Nelson P. & Puhakka, K. (Eds), Transpersonal knowing. New York, Suny. Nelson, P. 2014. Way of a seer. Nevada, Empiricus. Pickstone, J. 2000. Ways of knowing. Manchester, Manchester University Press. Ramos, J. 2015. “The inner game of Futures Studies.” Journal of Futures Studies. JFS.2015.20 (1): 91-110. Rothberg, D. 2000 “Spiritual inquiry,” in Hart, T., Nelson P. & Puhakka, K. (Eds), Transpersonal knowing. New York, Suny. Sheldrake, R. 2013. The sense of being stared at. London, Park Street Press. Sheldrake, R. 2014. Science set free. Los Angeles, Deepak Chopra. Targ, R. 2012, The reality of ESP. Wheaton, IL, Theosophical.
Tarnas, R. 2000. The passion of the western mind. London, Ballantine Books. Tsakiris, A. 2014. Why science is wrong about almost everything. San Antonio, Anomalist Books. Vadher, A. 2015. Interview with Marcus T Anthony as part of The futures of consciousness project, June 27, 2015. Van Lommel, P. 2011. Consciousness beyond life. London, HarperOne. Washburn, M., 2000. “Transpersonal cognition in developmental perspective.” in Hart, T., Nelson P. & Puhakka, K. (Eds), Transpersonal knowing. New York, Suny.

Notes

i It cannot be claimed that de Grasse Tyson is entirely contemptuous of the importance of first person experience when conducting science. On Wikipedia (Neil deGrasse 2016), he is quoted as describing himself as an “agnostic,” and rejects the label of “atheist.” Further, he uses the word “spiritual” in relating his emotive relationship to the cosmos. Yet he makes it clear that he is not referring to religious experience, but a sense of awe and connectivity.

ii Though there is not space to explore this area here, I have written several related papers (Anthony 2011), and a popular book (Anthony 2012).

iii There is an argument that the development of psychic experience emerges as part of collective human consciousness evolution, moving through pre-personal, personal, and transpersonal levels of cognition. The most well-known advocate of this model is Ken Wilber (2000). Washburn summarizes this perspective, arguing that transpersonal illumination occurs as part of “a deep, psychic transformation” (Washburn 2000, p 2007). However, perhaps we need to distinguish between simple intuitive and psychic experiences, and profound personal cognitive shifts. It is my belief and experience that no great shift within the psyche is required in order to tap into human intuition. The fact that most ordinary human beings claim to have had psychic experiences (Sheldrake 2014), is suggestive of the validity of this argument.

Are You Ready For the Coming Consciousness Revolution?

As I write this I am sitting in a street-side cafe in Bangkok. It’s the Landmark Hotel cafe, actually. I wish I could say that I am staying at the Landmark, but alas I find myself resident at the less resplendent Belaire Hotel, just across bustling Sukhumvit Road.

It’s very busy around these parts. The area is a sea of noisy traffic – old buses, taxis, mini-vans and tuk-tuks idle past. On the narrow footpath just below me, people – mostly western tourists – stroll past, their relaxed pace a measure of their leisurely holiday-mindedness.

Bangkok is rather crazy, with no apparent order. Street vendors pop up like mushrooms every few metres, and I have to wonder whether anybody regulates anything around here. Certainly, I have seen no uniformed police or other officials during my time here.

It’s madness, and yet this great leviathan of a city has its own perfection. There’s a kind of serenity in the hustle and bustle of life in this politically-turbulent Buddhist country.

As I sit here, cooling my body and mind with an ice-coffee, I watch the show roll on by. And I am contemplating the nature of time, space and free-will. And there’s a reason why I am deep in such existential thoughts. For I just came from my hotel, where I was following the result of an international cricket game played between Australia and New Zealand. The game played was part of the World Cup of cricket, so it was a major sporting event for the two antipodean nations. But for me there was something else about the game that was far more profound.

The thing is, precisely one week ago I awoke early in the morning and had a premonition about the outcome of the game. I often have these kinds of premonitory visions, as I have previously stated in my writings. The premonition of the game wasn’t so much a dream or a mind-movie. It was more a flash of immediate knowing, where information is pumped into the brain – from who knows where. In such experiences the knowing is immediate. It often requires no verbal input or sequencing of events. It’s just arrives uninvited, like a mysterious stranger knocking at your door than just as suddenly vanishing into the night.

The content of the vision was very clear. It indicated that the upcoming Trans-Tasman game of cricket would be a very exciting game. Australia would come very, very close to winning. Indeed, at the last minute they would be on the verge of victory. But ultimately NZ would snatch victory.

image

Since many of my readers are North American, I won’t distract you with too many details of the game. As it turned out, today Australia batted first and posted a paltry 151 runs. In cricket terms, this is pathetic. Therefore when New Zealand began their innings (teams only bat once) I was feeling a little annoyed. It looked like my premonition was not going to unfold. The New Zealand batsmen raced away and were charging towards an easy victory, before they had a massive batting collapse. This meant that right at the last minute they were looking like losing. But I knew better. As the match reached its exciting crescendo I knew exactly who would win. NZ. And they did – by the narrowest of possible margins, one wicket.

I’ve had premonitory dreams and visions up to one month before sporting events. So it really does beg the question. Is the future already set? Is there really any such thing as free will? After all, players on a sporting field are making all kinds of choices. Some are well-considered, while others emerge from finely conditioned reflexes or pure inspiration. Yet if in the big picture the game is already won and lost before the first ball is kicked or hit, how can anyone really be making any choices at all? It’s a philosophical conundrum that would confound Confucius.

It gets juicier. The implications move well beyond the philosophical. What does the existence of premonitions tell us about the nature of time, space and consciousness itself?

Currently in psychology and neuroscience the dominant intellectual position is that there is no free will. This is based primarily upon one famous experiment. In the 1980s Benjamin Libet showed that our neurones fire a fraction of a second before we think we make a decision.

Despite this, and despite my experience with precognition, I believe that free will does exist. In fact, I believe that activating its full potential is central to human existence.

But there is nothing in mainstream science which accounts for human premonitions. Premonitions are considered “paranormal”, and not taken seriously. This is because they aren’t thought of as normal. Some have pointed out that this is circular reasoning.

So anecdotes and experimental evidence which pertain to seeing or sensing the future are rejected a priori, and often ridiculed. Yet millions of people continue to experience what they believe to be premonitions; and many also claim “paranormal” cognitive experiences related to ESP – intuitions that seemingly operate outside of localised space and time. I like to call this range of cognitive functions Integrated Intelligence, because I believe that they are a valid aspect of human mental life, and that they can enhance our mental capacities.

The scientific taboo against serious discussion of these matters is more than just a pity. It’s a cultural tragedy. For as we deepen our awareness and begin to fully understand that mind has non-local properties, it inevitably changes our worldview. Even more profoundly, it transcends our relationship with time and space. When we permit a full range of mental experiences to unfold, we begin to realise our deep connection to the world, to nature, and to other human beings.

Ironically, it is the philosophical and experiential refusal to allow such understandings that prevents so many of our academics and leaders from perceiving these things directly.

As I sit here, typing these words by a chaotic street in South-East Asia, there is a kind of deep tranquility which fills me as I simply allow what is happening around me, both in time and space, to be exactly what it is. This is the state of surrender that so many mystics have poeticised down through the ages. And therein lies our greatest capacity for free will.

And it’s a state that is not available to those who live within the delimited mechanistic representation of time and space which has come to dominate economically developed societies the world over.

I have no doubt that one day soon science will catch up with all of this. Although the precise pace and timing of the shift is unclear, I believe we are already in the initial stages of transition. The time will come when the evidence for Integrated Intelligence will outweigh the outmoded arguments of head-centric academics. Then slowly we will begin to correct this gargantuan cultural blind-spot which today has so deeply damaged the human psyche. Just think of how society will change, how people will occupy spaces in cities, town and in rural settings, once this deeper awareness filters into our hearts and souls. Science too, both as procedure and culture, will be forever different.

The transformations will be profound.

How such a future might look we cannot be certain. Perhaps, though, one can intuitively feel it.

What exactly are the limits to Integrated Intelligence? How might such an expansion of consciousness impact our lives, our societies, and our education systems? Our world? That is what I continue to explore with The Coming Consciousness Revolution project. I invite you to accompany me along the way, via these e-spaces which connect us all. If you would like to be a part of the project, please email me, marcus@marcustanthony.com, and I will keep you posted via my monthly newsletter. Or simply join me here as I blog regularly about related ideas, events and people. It promises to be a great adventure.

Marcus

Are Asians Smarter?

There’s a lot of talk in Western countries about the success of Asian students in schools and universities. This debate extends beyond mere culture to incorporate the idea of human intelligence. The question then becomes, are Asians simply smarter? Asians do tend to score slightly higher than Caucasians in IQ tests, and significantly higher than blacks.

This is a complex question, and here I’m just going to raise a couple of main points. I will focus upon Asian culture and schooling here. There are of course a host of related issues in Western education.

It is indisputable that environment has a significant effect on the expression of human intelligence. (The debate is over just how much).

The way that most intelligence tests are constructed favours pencil and paper type intelligence, and of course people who spend more time doing pencil and paper tests will do better. Most intelligence tests test favour verbal/linguistic, mathematical/logical intelligence and spatial awareness. Given the culture of most Asian societies – endless study and playing computer games – it’s only natural these facets of human intelligence will expand. It’s important to note that intelligence is very plastic, as The Flynn Effect clearly shows – at least in terms of measured IQ. (The Flynn Effect refers to the massive increase in measured Intelligence in developed countries since World War Two). Russian psychologist S Luria showed that Russian peasants early last century had almost no capacity for abstract conceptualisation. Now almost everybody is proficient, given the demands of modern society. This is just one facet of such intelligence expansion.

Consider how IQ scores might change if intelligence tests incorporated other variables not well-developed in Asian cultures.

  • Creativity.
  • Idea generation.
  • Question generation.
  • Lateral thinking.
  • Hypothesis formulation.
  • Self-reflective awareness.
  • Social intelligence.
  • Emotional and spiritual intelligence (includining what I call Integrated Intelligence).
  • Embodied intelligence…*

I suspect that if these factors were taken into consideration when assessing human intelligence, then Asians would then fall back considerably in the tests scores. Not because of innate lack of intelligence, but because of cultural delimitation.

Most notably, many of the attributes in the list above are present in the worlds great thought leaders. So why do they they not constitute a part of most intelligence testing?

If you look at the development of human civilisation it is hard to argue that Asians are smarter. In fact, given that there are far more Asians than any other race, they are under-represented in human design and creativity, especially in the past several centuries. Few Asians, for example, have been represented in the awarding of Nobel Prizes. Some suggest that this is due to the cultural bias of the awarding body. However, I don’t think this is the entire reason.

There’s no doubt that there were impressive cultures and societies built in centuries past. And there was a great deal of introspective wisdom in Buddhist, Taoist, Indic thought and so on.

I think we can assume that the same genetic pool was available in China during its years as “The Sick Man of Asia” as there is today – when we see China flourishing economically and technologically. Clearly then the same DNA can produce the gleaming skyscrapers and fast trains of twenty-first century China – but also the mind boggling stupidity of Mao’s Great Leap Forward, which led to China’s economic collapse and the deaths of perhaps fifty million people.

Intelligence is the capacity to solve problems. Where culture and society and behaviour promote any given cognitive capacity, then it will flourish – and whatever mental abilities are not valued will diminish. This is what is happening with the East Asian cultures at present – but only in certain cognitive domains. The reason why high IQ scores and scholastic aptitudes don’t necessarily translate into genius is because intelligence tests and schooling focus on a delimited range of human mental abilities. These abilities will get you good grades and into good universities and decent jobs, but the entire process is self-limiting.

It often comes at the cost of the cognitive abilities which Asian parents do not value because they have little academic or social/financial value.

The entire East Asian social structure also creates a high degree of co-dependence, which means most people are unwilling to step outside the boundaries of what is socially approved of. I predict that this will eventually lead to social stagnation (as is happening in Japan), because ultimately there will be too many managers and not enough leaders (especially thought leaders).

There is an increasing awareness of this issue in Asia. Singapore in particular has incorporated creativity into its classrooms. In Hong Kong, the Education Department is attempting to do the same.

Ironically, the greatest hindrance to change is the social structure. Parents, administrators and teachers all want high test scores. But most are not willing to sacrifice upward social mobility for the sake of some abstract concepts like creativity or emotional intelligence. So parents keep drilling their kids and sending them to tutoring classes after school and on weekends. And students get good scores. But at what cost?

 

* No doubt you will be thinking this list is highly subjective. And you would be correct. These variables simply reflect my personal perception based on experience in East Asian cultures. I’m sure some might take offence at suggesting that, say, social intelligence is not well developed. This needs to be contextualised. There is a growing issue in many Asian countries with young people – especially males – becoming disengaged from society. For example, in China there is a derogatory term – “diaosi” – used to describe young men who have limited social skills, no girlfriend, and who spend most of their spare time playing computer games. This problem is not unique to China, but is exacerbated in China because young men with no connections to power or influence often have limited social and professional options.

 

Guerrilla War, Unfair (Part 2)

three-paths

This is the second part of a three posts I am writing about this topical issue.

  • In the first post I described the problem regarding the presence of hard-core skeptics, and their undue control of Wikipedia pages related to spiritual and psi phenomena.
  • In this second post I will outline three different approaches to the problem, and the merits of each. I will also write why certain approaches are likely to be counterproductive – and potentially spiritually regressive.
  • In the final post I will provide some more practical tools and strategies, and suggest how this entire situation can be of great benefit to anybody on a path of awakening.

Before I get down to business and make some suggestions about how to approach the problem of Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia, allow me to clarify a personal position which is central to my perspective.

In my own life I have gone through phases of personal development. At first I was a skeptic, refusing to take anything seriously that dint have hard science behind it. But over time that attitude slowly softened. In my mid-twenties I explored the visionary realms through dreams and meditation. Several years later, when I finally admitted to myself that I had spiritual and psychological which issues I needed to address, I worked on self-healing and the emotional body. This involved a great deal of inner child work. Finally, I came to appreciate the importance of mindful presence.

One thing I learned in recent years is that a belief in the spiritual or psychic realms keeps one locked in “the mind”. Simply adopting a spiritual worldview – as opposed to, say, a scientific materialist worldview – is not enough to transcend the dichotomies that have created the split in the modern mind (reason vs intuition).

Developing intuitive, visionary or psychic cognition is not particularly beneficial in itself. It is true that these abilities will let you know that the modern world and science has got the big picture very wrong. And they can be helpful in decision making, especially regarding the big life choices. But they won’t free you from the grip of mind (ego, if you prefer). All visionary experiences and even the most profound peak experiences quickly pass, leading one back into the mind’s world of doubt, fear and separation. Unless a person becomes fundamentally established in presence, the mind will always cut back in.

This brings me to my specific point about what to do about Guerrilla Skeptics. Here I am going to simplify things and present just three distinct possible approaches, and the benefits and drawbacks of each. The points I make here are going to be general. I will keep more specific suggestions for my next post.

Fight the bastards

This is – either explicitly or implicitly – the stance that many advocates on either side of the “psi wars” adopt. The idea is to take up effective arms, man the computers, and start hacking your opponent. The benefit seems to be that you can get out there and really get your teeth into your opponent. There is the sense that you can make a genuine contribution, and stand up for the truth. It is, in theory, a noble path. But there is a problem.

The danger with this approach is that it tends to ensnare the individual the mind, in a battle for control and power. In other words, it can lock you in the little world of the ego, and all its suffering.

Pro-psi folks on a wisdom path who start fighting skeptics and “unbelievers” may pay the price of sacrificing their own spiritual awakening. I maintain that you cannot fully awaken into presence while you are fighting anyone or anything, or rejecting the world in any way. Those who fight the darkness typically become ensnared in it.

I saw a classic example of this recently on Facebook, where an influential psi-psi proponent let loose with a torrent of rage that was so obscenity-laden I thought I was reading a script from a porn movie. He must have used the word “fuck” a dozen times in one short post. It was fuck him, fuck that, fuck them all. His rage against the other was obvious and extreme.

Here I use an extreme example, but if many pro psi-proponents are perfectly honest, they will admit that at times their own minds degenerate into similar waves of rage and hatred – against critics. In other words, they are still playing the same game as the fundamentalists and skeptics – “Destroy the other guy, because he is deluded and evil!”

Are you really willing to sacrifice your own awakening, your own peace of mind, just to satisfy your mind’s need to be seen to be right? Personally, I don’t think it is worth it.

Let them be. It’s all in divine perfection

It is not uncommon for mystics and spiritually-inclined people to prefer to avoid confrontation with people, society and ideas. A common position is that the greatest gift we can offer the world is our own awakening (I agree with this last point). Because all minds are connected, by merely awakening from the dream of mind, you already help shift the world in a very powerful way. Indeed, by fighting the world, you may lose your own awakened state, and thus delay the conscious evolution of our species, if only by a little. Perhaps then, the greatest contribution you can make, looking at the big picture, is not to fight people like the Guerrilla Skeptics (they are not going to listen to anything which challenges their position anyway), but to enlighten your own mind.

There are other rational reasons for just letting mainstream science, society and even the skeptics coast along as they are, or at least with minimal resistance. It is my conviction that eventually the evidence and arguments for the reality of many so-called “paranormal” cognitive abilities will win out. They will win out because there a profound truths which underpin the arguments and the evidence will only get stronger. History also tends to go in cycles, and when waves of development become unbalanced – as with the Deckard Confusion and the mechanistic paradigm – eventually people tire of the extremes and things begin to rebalance. This is already clearly happening in regard to the public acceptance of psi phenomena, as we saw with the huge backlash against TED organisation when they (effectively) censored talks by Sheldrake and Graham Hancock. So it is logical to assume that this trend will continue.

But then again, how long will that take?

Engaged presence

What if there are more specific issues at stake, such as the professional credibility of hard-working and brilliant people like Rupert Sheldrake and Dean Radin? Should Wikipedia just be permitted to be overrun with misguided and power-crazed skeptics who do not understand many of the discourses they seek to control?

In at least some cases, it is both desirable and necessary to take concerted action. My position is that the key is to engage, but gently, and from a position of genuine power. And the kind of power I am referring to here is something that comes from within. This mirrors my preferred way of dealing with unconsciousness in others, and the various social, political and institutional problems which emerge from it.

It is possible to confront much ignorance and aggression with a powerful yet non-confrontational approach which I call engaged presence. This is essentially the same means that underpinned the non-violent resistance of Gandhi and MLK. Here you engage those who are committed to disempowerment, destruction or colonisation, but from a default position of peace – what I call profound presence. But before I describe this, let me make an important point.

A multi-layered perspective

I like futurist Sohail Inayatullah’s approach to dealing with change and the creation of possible futures. Inayatullah acknowledges that problems and discourses are multi-layered.

First there is “the litany” – the readily observable or measurable aspects of the problem. With Guerilla Skeptics on Wikipedia, this would be arguments over the data.

Then there is “the system” in which the problem is embedded. Referring to debates about psi phenomena, we might point out that academic journals and universities tend to have rigid systems and political structures which make it difficult to challenge the status quo.

Thirdly, we have “the paradigmatic level” – implicit and often invisible knowledge structures. We might note that the mechanistic paradigm is implicitly accepted are being “real” by the Guerilla Skeptics, including its founding presuppositions (e.g. that matter is the foundation of the cosmos, rather than say, intelligence or consciousness).

Finally we have “the myths and metaphors”, which are again embedded within the discourse and often unacknowledged. If you read many science magazines, they often use the term “hard-wired” when describing genetic encoding in the brain. This tends to reinforce the idea that the mind/brain is a computer – without actually acknowledging that this might be a self-limiting metaphor which obfuscates important dimensions of the subject matter.

I personally like to add a fifth level to Inayatullah’s model, that of “consciousness”. This is where much of my writing is focussed. The fifth level is where you work on your own fundamental nature, the way you employ your mind. Engaged presence is grounded at this level. Mindfulness requires self-awareness, including of the way that the mind seeks power and control over the world and information. The mind’s goal is to ensure that its worldview is not threatened.

The most important aspect of Inayatullah’s way of examining problems at depth is that both analysis and action can occur at all levels. Indeed, in order for the most powerful insights into a problem to occur, all levels need to be addressed. Long-lasting and powerful change occurs when we address an issue deeply, not just at the superficial or surface level.

In this sense, typical challenges to Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia often involve just two levels. They involve debating the data, and also working at the systems level – as Wikipedia is part of the system. Such an approach can be useful, but it remains limited if the deeper levels of the problem are not accessed.

Engaged presence is profound because it not only incorporates the deepest levels of a problem or discourse – it is grounded in the deepest level – consciousness.

Beginning with presence – not power and control

There is an expression of consciousness which exists beyond mental construct. It is silent and peaceful, and requires no attachment to beliefs, ideas or ideologies. Those people who develop the capacity to access this embodied presence rarely feel the need to overpower or control others at the mental level. They can begin any engagement from a position of silent power, because they do not need anything from others, and there is little or no desire to wrestle for control of information or interpretation.

Engaged presence is not possible while you remain deeply attached to your beliefs, regardless of how truthful you might think they are. If you have a spiritual worldview and an aggressive skeptic attacks your idea or work, it is perfectly normal to feel afraid – and then angry. My experience leads me to conclude that this is a physiological process, and it is hard to avoid. I personally find such a reaction to be automatic when anything that I have a belief about is threatened by an aggressive other.

Such reactions tend to be strong because the opponent is aiming at nothing less than destruction of your “mind” – your thoughts and beliefs. Likewise, when you attack your opponent, she will typically feel frightened and angered. The result is that both of you take offensive mental positions, and the whole thing just descends into “drama”.

If you begin with an agenda to overpower an “opponent”, then you are engaging in an act of cognitive violence.

With engaged presence you begin with stillness. If you do not begin with this – if you are not fundamentally grounded in presence – you will simply be fooling yourself – faking engaged presence while harbouring an agenda to annihilate the other. And destruction of the opposition is the covert agenda behind all judgment.

With engaged presence you begin by accepting that the person you are engaging is entitled to their own belief structures.

You also accept that you have the right to maintain and express your understandings.Engaged presence also assumes that you have the right to create preferred actions and preferred futures that you see as being more truthful or of greater wisdom than other possible intellectual stances and life paths.

Perhaps I should state that engaged presence does not guarantee victory in a debate or conflict. You may still “lose”. You might even find out that you did not have the complete story, that you have been partially or wholly misguided. But because you begin with peace, this is not taken personally.

Imagine that! Imagine that you could begin a debate or conversation topic with someone who holds diametrically opposed views to you – while feeling no threat from them – nothing but complete acceptance. Imagine that you could feel completely at peace, empowered and untouchable even when discussing the most evocative of topics! Imagine that you could listen to the other guy instead of fighting him, instead of hating him!

That would be engaged presence.

But how is that possible, at a practical level?

That is the topic of my next post.

Marcus

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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Wanted: Courageous Pioneers for The Coming Consciousness Revolution (part 1)

In this two-part post, I am going to outline why I think there is a dramatic shift in human consciousness coming, and how this will provide great opportunities for those courageous enough to invest time and commitment into this field knowledge.

 

I bill myself as a futurist. I have published and presented around forty papers and book chapters in Futures Studies journals and in several Futures-related books. I’m also a member of the World Futures Studies Federation, and speak regularly AT WFSF conferences. So I feel I’m perfectly entitled to call myself a futurist. The domain of Futures Studies in which I work is often called Critical Futures Studies. This branch of Futures is not so much concerned about prediction, but with analysing images of the future, looking to see who controls the power, and in particular asking “What is missing?” from ideas and visions of tomorrow. Futurist Richard slaughter introduced the term “Postconventional Futures Studies”, to accommodate critical futurists like me who like to think well outside the box; in particular exploring other ways of knowing (OWOK) and the spiritual and mystical dimensions of human experience. Those OWOK include the intuitive and spiritual cognitive processes that conventional science and education has tended to ignore.

I am happy to be labelled within either of these categories.

Despite the fact that these domains of Futures Studies are not focussed on prediction, one of the first questions I typically get asked when I tell people I am a futurist is “So, what is going to happen in the future?” I normally just explain what critical futures studies is, and don’t give a solid answer. After all, predicting the future is considered to be a fools game by many.

But sometimes I do like to prognosticate.

In my TEDx Hong Kong talk “Mind, Cosmos and our Brilliant Futures”(which mercifully hasn’t been taken down yet ;-). I actually make five predictions about the future. I present two of them here on the very slides I used in my talk.

1 slide

This is not exactly a brave prediction, is it? If there is one thing that the history of science and philosophy shows us, it is that knowledge expands from one era to another in ways that can barely be imagined by those in the era preceding such shifts. Being knowledgeable is of little assistance here. In 1900, Lord Kelvin, who was one of the most knowledgeable and highly informed men of his day, famously stated that “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” Just five years later Einstein published his seminal paper on relativity theory, and by the late 1920s the quantum field theory was initiated by Paul Dirac, throwing a huge spanner into the works of the mechanical universe. If a highly learned man like Lord Kelvin can be so wrong, it is logical to assume that you and I are also capable of such poor foresight.

By definition, we can’t know what we don’t know we don’t know (that’s not a typo – think about it!). We tend to see knowledge as expanding in a linear fashion. To borrow from Foucault, modernity always sees knowledge as progressing from a primitive past to the inevitable outcome that is the advanced and superior present. In 1900 the known universe was precisely one galaxy big. Now we know of an estimated 100 billion galaxies. And this is not even taking into consideration that dark energy and dark matter may comprise 95 per cent of the universe. Lord Kelvin could only go on what was known then.

What big shift is going to happen next? “Oh, the internet will expand to become incredibly powerful!” many would say. But no, that would not be a paradigm shift in my meaning of the term.  The idea of a super-internet is an extrapolation based on the most obvious recent historical game-breaker. It is an observable trend. On the other hand, paradigm shifts involve sudden changes in the very way we view knowledge itself. The publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859) and the theory of natural selection is a classic example. The idea of “evolution” is common-place today and used in multiple contexts, but before Darwin’s time the word – and the concept – was rarely used.

I believe that we are in the midst of another paradigm shift at this moment in history. And rather than a single thinker being behind it, the power of the internet is driving it.

This leads me onto my second prediction, which is really the one that is the real game-changer today.

Slide 2a

Once the extended mind is acknowledged, it will radically shift the way humanity sees itself, including its place in the cosmos. The implications for science, philosophy and society will be enormous. The extended mind is the idea that consciousness extends beyond the confines of the brain and skull, and is in relationship with the environment – including other people, places, times and spiritual dimensions. Integrated intelligence is my term, and describes the way that the conscious application of the extended mind can make us smarter and help solve problems. Most significantly, the expansion of Integrated Intelligence creates an inevitable shift in worldview, because one can no longer operate under the delusion that self and world are totally separate.

 

Why I believe this shift will occur

You might ask why I am so confident that this shift is coming?

The first reason is that the scientific evidence for the extended mind is strong, and it will only get stronger. The field that scientifically investigates concepts related to the extended mind is typically called parapsychology. As just one reference, Dean Radin is perhaps the foremost scientist doing such work. His meta-analysis of ganzfeld experiments – which test whether human beings can sense the contents of another’s mind at a distance – has produced the most impressive results. 0ver 122 experiments conducted in 20 labs and with 4674 sessions have yielded results of 300 trillion quadrillion to one (the latest results were published in Psychological Bulletin in 2010). Radin summarised these experimental procedures and the data gleaned from them in a talk he gave at the Electric Universe conference not long ago. The two videos are available on YouTube, and well worth watching for those who wish to familiarise themselves with the research done in this field.

It has to be admitted that the amount of money spent on this kind of research is miniscule, and the volume is insignificant compared to that spent on such fields as medicine and neuroscience. Further, there are various ways the research can be criticised (I will not detail those here, but parapsychologists have done a good job in countering those criticisms to date). Still, there is enough evidence here to make the claim that there is something very important worth investigating here. This is the only “rational” take on the research, in my opinion.

The second reason why I feel that an expanded conception of consciousness is inevitable is that there is just so much anecdotal evidence, with countless tens of thousands of reported cases. People throughout history and across all civilisations have reported experiences which can only be explained by the extended mind hypothesis. These experiences include crisis visions, near death experiences, premonitory visions and dreams, out of body experiences, ESP, remote viewing and so on.  While skeptics complain that “the plural of anecdote is not data”, only the most stubborn materialist could dismiss all these reports without at least some consideration of the possibility that many of these cases are genuine. Many defy any materialist explanation.

My third and final reason for optimism in the coming mind shift is by far the strongest for me. For over twenty years I have been exploring consciousness through meditative and visionary experience and have seen that the extended mind is a perfectly normal domain of human consciousness. After a period of committed scepticism in my early twenties I began meditating at the age of 26. I immediately discovered the world of psychic experience. I could not dismiss the many visions and experiences of connection with other minds and spirits that came to me. Five years later I began a systematic period of exploration of my emotional body, where I managed to dredge up unimaginable pain and hurt from within my psyche. This was not because I am masochist by nature, but because I sought healing of that pain. Although I barely read a book or watched any media, the knowledge that this six year period bought forth for me was profound, and helped me to understand in far greater depth the psychic experiences I’d had in the first phase of my spiritual development. But there then came a third phase of insight where I lessened my focus upon psychic and emotional experience, and began to allow longer periods of simple mindfulness. In bringing the mind into deep, silent presence, I came to understand at even greater depth the knowledge that I had received during the previous two phases of my spiritual development.

If I can summarise what I learned from all this exploration, it is that the human mind is embedded within a vast sea of consciousness, and that the way we experience “self” in modern society is but the surface level of the mind in its entirety. Twenty-first century life and education conditions us into a very constricted experience of consciousness, cutting us off from our essence. My inner journey helped me to see clearly that modern science and education have led us to a dead end. Scientific materialism has hit a wall that it cannot cross – at least not without a great shift in its core processes and in cooperation with those who have explored the human psyche in depth.

Science brought humanity out of mediaeval ignorance, but as currently practiced it is the single greatest hindrance to the advancement of human knowledge. Humanity has gone as far as it can go in the delusion of separation. As Huston Smith so elegantly put it, the twentieth century was the century of disconnection, the century where humanity lost touch with its spiritual essence. The previous century was the age of the talking head, where our elders and truth-tellers became detached from both the body and the human spirit. It was a century of spiritual trauma. It is time for the healing to begin.

And this is what I will explore in greater detail in part 2 of this topic. Join me in my next post as I suggest in greater detail what this means for us in our everyday lives, and how the coming mind shift can be a tremendous opportunity for those of us who are willing to pioneer the way 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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How to Learn Something # 1: Explore the New

And now for something completely different (as the Monty Python team used to say). Just for fun, I am putting together a series of videos about how to learn quickly and effectively. It’s rather humbly called”, “How to learn Something”. Over the years I have learned a lot of new things quickly and effectively, including many things I once thought were impossible. On a not quite so humble note, I call my learning theory the Anthony Learning Method. I’ve deliberately kept the videos low key, because these are principles that are simple and don’t require any dressing up. There will be more videos, which will follow at irregular intervals. Each video will introduce a new principle.

Happy learning,

Marcus

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Book Trailer: Discover Your Soul Template

Discover Your Soul Template is my most successful book, and I am happy to present this book trailer, which I created myself. Please feel free to spread the word about it, and give me any feedback! Twenty years of intense spiritual discipline and research went into the writing of this book, which I am very proud of.

Happy New Year!

 

Marcus

 

 

 

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Marcus T Anthony’s PhD thesis: Integrated Intelligence

ACADEMIC:  This is my doctoral thesis, which I completed in 2006. It examines dominant mainstream theories of mind and intelligence, and contrasts them with alternative Eastern, mystical and indigenous conceptions. In particular the thesis presents the theory of integrated intelligence: that the mind extends beyond the brain, and that individuals can tap into that greater intelligence to live more meaningful lives and develop greater wisdom.

Thesis Title: “Representations of integrated intelligence within classical and contemporary depictions of
intelligence and their educational implications.”

Author:
Marcus T Anthony

 

Click on the link below to download the PDF

Marcus T Anthony thesis
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