Tag Archives: futures studies

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.

The Journal of Non-Locality

 

For those interested in mind and consciousness, there’s a special issue of the Journal of non-locality just out today, and available online:
“THE OTHER SINGULARITY: PSI AND THE NONLOCAL MIND”.

http://journals.sfu.ca/jnonlocality/index.php/jnonlocality/article/view/75.

The journal is edited by Hong King A.I. expert Ben Goertzel, PhD. Besides building robots he hopes can think, like me Ben is very interested in the non-local properties of conscious. There are great articles by Ben and other experts in the volume, and perhaps I should mention that I have one paper, too: “Integrated intelligence as practice: ideas, insights and inspiration.” The paper includes reference to practicing futurists who either explicitly or implicitly utilise integrated intelligence in their writings, practice and workshops. These include Buckminster Fuller, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Oliver Markley, Jose and Sohail Inayatullah.

Chatting with Kelly Howell about Intuition & the Future

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I was recently interviewed by Kelly Howell on her brain-sync podcast. We chatted about integrated intelligence, futures studies and developing intuition. Here’s a brief extract from her page, and the link. Please enjoy,and feel free to like or share. 🙂 Marcus

Have you ever felt that you have a greater calling, but have never been able to put your finger on what it is? Listen to Kelly Howell’s conversation with author and post-conventional futurist Dr. Marcus T. Anthony discuss his work on Integrated Intelligence and the practice of accessing your built-in intuitive voice to draw upon an infinite source of knowledge and wisdom.

Futurists are scholars who study, analyze and deeply question the future. Dr. Anthony differs from most practicing futurists in that he focuses on spiritual realms and human consciousness rather than technology or economics.

Marcus T. Anthony | Accessing Integrated Intelligence

Futurist Tom Lombardo and Future Consciousness

Podcast link: http://mindfutures.libsyn.com/rss

On Episode 2 of The Consciousness Files I speak with futurist Tom Lombardo, Ph.D.

In this episode you will find out the best science fiction novel of all time, why cyborgs are an inevitable part of the future, why Ray Kurzweil’s idea of consciousness being uploaded onto computers is limited, and why the Benjamin Libet free will experiments are wrong in suggesting we do not have free will.

Tom Lombardo is the Executive Director of the Center for Future Consciousness, the Director of The Wisdom Page, the Managing Editor of Wisdom and the Future, and Professor Emeritus and retired Faculty Chair of Psychology, Philosophy, and the Future at Rio Salado College. He is a national and internationally recognized researcher, writer, and speaker, and he has published six books and over fifty articles on topics including: the history of scientific and philosophical thought; the future of education; future consciousness and contemporary futurist thought; and science fiction as the mythology of the future.

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Tom is also an award-winning teacher and educator with over thirty-five years of professional experience in college teaching.

Tom’s web site is: www.centerforfutureconsciousness.com

PODCAST TIMELINE

4:40 Tom outlines his brand of futures – futures of consciousness, including wisdom.

6:30. How Tom first got into futures studies, seeing an Alvin Toffler book in a department store.

8:50. How Tom became interested in the subject of consciousness – with the mind-body problem.

12:00 Tom’s solution to “the mind-body problem.”

13:00 What is consciousness?

14:00 How Tom’s theory of consciousness can assist mainstream science.

16:00 The physical environment is not separate from our interpretation of it.

18:30 Tom’s book Mind Flight discussed.

20:20 What experiences have influenced Tom’s understanding of consciousness. How weight lifting played a part.

22:50. Meteorite synchronicities.

23:50 Olaf Stapledon’s novel “Starmaker,” and why it is the best science fiction novel ever.

27:30. Why Stapledon influenced Tom’s understanding of mind and the future.

29:30. Australian sci-fi writer Greg Egan, and his novel “Diaspora.”

33:00 Sexuality in Stapledon.

34:00 Tom’s critique Ray Kurzweil and the transhumanists. They focus on technology, but fail to consider mental and spiritual evolution.

38:10. Evolution moves towards greater complexity.

40:10 Cyborgs, mobile technology and the human future. Tom relates his enthusiasm for detachable body parts.

45:50. “The Last American”. Sci fi Novel written in 1880. Persians sail to New York City in the 23rd century, only to find it has been destroyed.

47:40. The evolution of consciousness and the current American political crisis.

50:20. America lacks cultural icons of higher consciousness expression.

53:10 How can we create a more positive attitude towards the future? Collapse may be required.

55:20 Who are the positive role models we can look up to?

59:20. Does the universe have any purpose? We have begun guiding evolution.

1:02:10 We are participating with the universe in its evolution.

1:08:10 The brain operates within a cosmic ecology.

10:10.40 Thomas Nagel’s argument about consciousness as being intrinsic within the nature of the universe.

1:12:10 Spinoza and the possibility of free will.

1:15.00 Critiquing Benjamin Libet’s free will experiments. Why Libet is wrong.

1:19:40 Tom’s recommended reading and contact details.

Theme music by bensound.com

The Future of Consciousness

Some of you might recall a book I was working on which I was tentatively calling The Great Mind Shift. I then changed the title to The Great Transition. The main idea of the book is to explore the futures of the extended mind – and especially what changes might occur once this idea becomes accepted by mainstream science. I kind of became stuck on this project for a while. I didn’t give up, just put it on the back burner.

Well, I’ve had a genuine breakthrough recently, and am going great guns on the project. The shift has been simple. I have clarified the title and the audience. I am now calling it “The Future of Consciousness: Towards an Integrated Intelligence.”

Rather than try to make the book water-tight for the scientific community (which would make it too dry and detailed) I am going to aim at a more popular audience. I am going to address the science, but also move beyond scientific convention. I will focus upon practical applications of integrated intelligence in education, business, IT and social development, and even bring in a few extraneous futures such as with mental health and the military. This will allow me to combine research, critical futures studies and personal insight.

I am in the process of interviewing experts in relevant fields. I will turn the first 12 of these into podcasts – probably under the title “The Consciousness Files” – which will be made available to the general public. If the podcasts go well, I will continue to produce them. You will hear more about this soon. I hope you can join me in this adventure. It should be both fun and a great learning experience for me and my audience.

PS, if you think you have something to share in this area, especially in terms of possible practical applications of integrated intelligence, send me a message here on Facebook, and I will see if we can turn it into a podcast – and if not, it might be able to incorporate your ideas into my book, fully referenced to you, of course.

Feel free to share this post! Marcus.

The True Cost of Living Your Bliss (2)

delusional

(Cartoon image by Paul MacLeod)

In my previous post I wrote of my own difficult experience in making my way in the world using spiritual principles. I am an educator, futurist, writer and speaker whose passion is for Deep Futures – futures where the technological and economic is more evenly balanced with the deeper spiritual aspects of human existence.

In that article I wrote of how, in the years after I begun my own spiritual journey, I had more than a decade of largely positive outcomes and experiences. But this was followed by several difficult years where I struggled, primarily at a professional level. During the “good” years I found work easily, almost effortlessly gained a PhD, successfully published books, academic papers and articles. Money flowed to me easily.

Then, during the difficult years I experienced a lot of professional rejection, mostly from mainstream educational institutions. I found that all my work and passion for Deep Futures had rendered me almost unemployable in mainstream institutions. To be honest, after years of things going well, I wasn’t psychologically prepared for the challenge of being effectively unemployed. I was not quite homeless and penniless, but was forced to rent a single room and my income stream withered away to barely a trickle.

I also separated from my wife during this time, and my mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. So it was a great challenge to my sense of self and to my relationship with life and the universe. At times I became depressed and angry. It was difficult not to think that the future was bleak, and that all my years of hard work and creativity had come to nothing.

However there is no such thing as failure as long as you learn from it, or so the success gurus say. And I have certainly leaned a great deal from this period in my life. Most of all I learned of some of the unconscious errors that people who undertake a consciously spiritual life can make. And I am going to share them with you here. My hope is that you can be aware of these common pitfalls that spiritually-inclined professionals often make, and take positive action if you see any of these limitations appearing on your own journey.

Distinctions

The key distinction I have come to clearly acknowledge is this.

Just because you follow your bliss it does not guarantee you worldly success.

This is a bit of an affront to the Romantic notions of Thoreau and the new age movement, but I have concluded that it is true. Note that I did not say that success is not possible, nor even likely. I simply said that there is no guarantee.

Think about it. If worldly success inevitably follows passion, then almost every musician, artist and writer on the planet would be an international success, because the vast majority follow their heart’s calling.

A related point is that many spiritual seekers carry with them a barely-conscious delusion that “God” will reward them professionally and financially for doing “God’s work” (which they of course, define for themselves). They might even think God will grant them special dispensation for making personal sacrifices or experiencing suffering upon their journey. Sorry to break it to you, but it doesn’t work that way.

I know that in many churches and also in the movies suffering is given great value. But it has no intrinsic reward. “God” doesn’t care if you suffer! That ought to be obvious if you look at the enormous amount of suffering in the world. So if I were you I’d ditch this idea and start having a good old time of it.

Here is my second distinction.

Just because you develop psychologically and spiritually does not mean that financial and professional success will automatically follow.

For many naïve new agers and spiritual seekers there is an unconscious expectation that this will be so; and many of them get angry at God when personal success does not follow right after they became more mindful, peaceful, intuitive or whatever. Let me be clear on this. There is no guarantee one will follow now other! Spiritual maturity is not necessarily related to professional and business success. If this was the case the local Taoist monk would be a billionaire, and Donald Trump would be a homeless beggar.

Spiritual development and spiritual maturity should be valued for what they are intrinsically, not for what leverage they can grant you in the marketplace. The new age tends to conflate financial and spiritual intelligence, as do some Christian and esoteric traditions right across the world. This mindset tends to include a great deal of magical thinking – just believe it enough and it will happen.

The greatest value of spiritual development is that it awakens a new relationship with the mind, and with the world. It is a journey of love and compassion.

It is not a journey of cash. Well, not necessarily.

When naïve spiritual folks experience failure and rejection, they often take it very personally. (This is what I did, too – for a time.) They think that they didn’t believe in their dream enough to make it happen. They typically believe that they are being punished by God. They may even believe that they have become a spiritual failure. The self-talk goes something like this.

“I must have done something wrong.”

“I haven’t been spiritual enough.”

“I didn’t believe enough.”

“I didn’t clear my blocks.”

“I didn’t get rid of doubt and fear.”

In short the message they send to themselves is: “There’s something wrong with me!”

I have another take on things. Consider this another key distinction.

“God” doesn’t give a toss about your bank account or career standing.

Life rarely goes as planned. Nor does it always attune itself to our conscious expectations. As I have written elsewhere, I do believe that there is some general truth to the idea of the law of attraction. Life does generally reflect back to you your deepest beliefs and attitudes. But this is not the same thing as saying that you can always control what happens simply by focussing upon it.

We are all embedded within a greater cosmic story. We need to accept that there are many external influences upon our lives. These include social systems, cultural expectations, consciousness fields and perhaps even the very will of God itself. This is why it is important to allow yourself to mindfully acknowledge the eddies and currents of life, and to align with those currents without taking it personally. And if you go against those currents? If you judge and condemn and blame and complain? Well, by definition, there will be resistance. And when the mind resists, there will be suffering.

I am not saying that you should not challenge systems or embedded energy structures. Many of the great minds in history did just that. Sometimes it is actually necessary to do so. Steve Jobs, Einstein and Rupert Sheldrake are just three admirable figures who have challenged “the system”. Each was/is very successful; but each has had to endure some systemic persecution in order to achieve that success.

This brings me to my final distinction;

There is a price to pay for working outside the accepted worldview of dominant society. You have to be prepared for the possibility that worldly success and acceptance may not come your way. Almost certainly, such acceptance will be denied you many times and in many situations – even if you are personally and professionally successful in the long run.

So choose your battles wisely.

Listen to your intuition before embarking upon on a great conquest. Listen to your inner voice at all steps along the way, too, as it is easy to go astray. Correct your course where necessary.

Failure is often temporary, and it pays to keep in mind that the end of one story often opens up a new story. And it is often only when the new story emerges that we realise that the old story was no longer serving us. So when one story is ending, don’t hold onto it beyond its used-by-date. Don’t invest it with meaning beyond what it deserves. Judgments such as “I am a failure”, “That’s the end of everything for me!” and “I blew my chance” only lock you into the past and prevent a new story opening up.

Let it die.

Perhaps the most powerful thing I have learned so far upon my journey is how to be present to life. Presence grants the capacity to align your mind with the truth of life – not resist it. And the truth of life is whatever lies before you in the moment. If a person can ground themselves in the wonder and beauty of presence, then personal successes and failures do not have much power over him or her. The moment is where the grace of God is found, and the moment can never abandon us. It is only we who abandon the moment – through judgment. It is only we who abandon God.

Follow your excitement, but learn from your mistakes. Acknowledge your weaknesses and shortcomings. Be grateful to life for showing you these, even if the lessons are sometimes tough!

Most of all, be here now.

If you do this, your falls will be shorter in duration and less painful. Most of all you will grow in grace and wisdom.

Such an attitude is enriching. But even all this is not enough wisdom if you want to move out into the world and play games in society and in the market place. You need a little practical know-how. And that will be the subject of my third and final instalment in this little series about the price of spiritual engagement in the world.

Blessings,

Marcus

 

 

Marcus Discussing The Coming Consciousness Revolution on Hong Kong Radio

I did a phone radio interview with a Hong Kong radio station today, covering topics like parapsychology, futures studies, and spiritual experience. I also touched on the TED controversy and my new project, The Coming Consciousness Revolution (formerly The Great Mind Shift). This is mainstream radio, and the host invited me back! It was a lot of fun, and Phil Whelan is a great host!

Scroll down to the orange link with my name on it if you want to listen to it.

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.

Marvus

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The Future of Consciousness project overview

The short link to this page is: http://ow.ly/kCOGH

This is it! I have made references on previous occasions to something I have called The Future of Consciousness(formerly The Great Mind Shift). However this is the first time I have mentioned a project which I have been developing over the past few weeks that goes by the very same name: The Future of Consciousness. You can see an overview of the project below the book cover.

I have already formed a Meet Up group in Melbourne. Our first meeting just two days ago was very promising, with an enthusiastic fourteen members attending. This particular Meet Up group is for Melbournites only (unless you are willing to fly in to our meetings!). However, there will eventually be a Mind Shift web site all of its own, and anybody, anywhere across the globe is free to visit or become a member. Meanwhile, you can read regular updates here on this page.

I listed some initial practical possibilities for this project here.

Without further ado, here are the details of the The Future of Consciousness project, in its essence. Note that the project appears under its original name, The Coming Consciousness Revolution.

PS: If you wish to be kept up to date about research and developments regarding The Future of Consciousness (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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 GMS cover basics

The Future of Consciousness

What it means for the future of science, life and business

Initiated by:

Marcus T. Anthony, PhD,

Director, MindFutures

“Where will The Coming Consciousness Revolution take us, and how can we create opportunities from it?”

The Coming Consciousness Revolution refers to the fast-approaching era of science and culture which acknowledges the reality of the extended mind and the spiritual dimensions of human experience. The Future of Consciousness explores exciting developments & possibilities in a wide array of domains including business, spirituality, philosophy, social media, education & learning, the arts, health & healing biology, physics, consciousness studies, computing etc.

The Coming Consciousness Revolution heralds an era of tremendous opportunity for all those passionate about expanded human futures and the untapped potentials within the human mind.

Overview

·        Futurist Marcus T Anthony indicates a new direction of change, & outlines what it will mean for life, work, science, education & society

·        A key purpose of The Coming Consciousness Revolution is to stimulate thinking & get people to begin expanding their thoughts about what is possible with the future of mind

·        This project has a practical focus: aimed at people who would like to seize opportunities

·        The Great Transition is a stimulus to encourage those with the imagination & foresight to explore concrete opportunities in business, career, research or life orientation.

Motivation

·        A major shift is emerging – a dramatic change in what it means to be human

·        The 21st century will increasingly be an era of connectedness, both technologically & spiritually

·        Old notions of consciousness being localised in brains will be replaced by reality of the extended mind – a mind that is in dynamic relationship with other people, the environment & the cosmos itself.

Aims of the Project

·        To publish The Coming Consciousness Revolution (book), which will be a powerful reference book (updated regularly)

·       To form The Coming Consciousness Revolution group (international think tank) to bring together a group of committed, influential experts to form a pool of knowledge & resources

·       To present an overview of some of the most important current ideas and/or scientific developments in practical applications of The Coming Consciousness Rebolution

·       To make informed predictions about where each domain may develop in the coming decades as The Coming Consciousness Revolution takes more definite form

·       To suggest opportunities for learning, business and personal growth in each domain

·        To present video and text interviews with leading thinkers in each domain

·       Regular updates (www.mind-futures.com/great-mind-shift)

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

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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Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided? Important paper by Ehrlichs

I am including here an important article (click on the link below to download the PDF), which addresses the major concerns regarding possible collapse of the global economic/political system. It paints a grim picture, but is highly recommended reading for all serious researchers concerned about sustainable human futures. I have also cut and pasted the first few paragraphs, below. This was forwarded to the mailing list of the World Futures Studies Federation by Ruben Nelson, Director of Foresight Canada.

Marcus

 

Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?

Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich
Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Proceedings of the Royal Society

rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org

Cite this article: Ehrlich PR, Ehrlich AH. 2013
Can a collapse of global civilization
be avoided? Proc R Soc B 280: 20122845.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2012.2845
Received: 28 November 2012
Accepted: 7 December 2012
Subject Areas:
environmental science
Keywords:
population, consumption, environment,
agriculture, climate, culture
Author for correspondence:
Paul R. Ehrlich
e-mail:

 

Click for the PDF

Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided, Ehrlich, 2013

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Environmental problems have contributed to numerous collapses of civilizations in the past. Now, for the first time, a global collapse appears likely. Overpopulation, overconsumption by the rich and poor choices of technologies
are major drivers; dramatic cultural change provides the main hope of averting calamity.

1. Introduction
Virtually every past civilization has eventually undergone collapse, a loss of socio-political-economic complexity usually accompanied by a dramatic decline in population size [1]. Some, such as those of Egypt and China, have recovered from collapses at various stages; others, such as that of Easter Island or the Classic Maya, were apparently permanent [1,2]. All those previous collapses were local or regional; elsewhere, other societies and civilizations persisted unaffected. Sometimes, as in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, new civilizations rose in succession. In many, if not most, cases, overexploitation of the environment was one proximate or an ultimate cause [3]. But today, for the first time, humanity’s global civilization—the worldwide, increasingly interconnected, highly technological society in which we all are to one degree or another, embedded—is threatened with collapse by an array of environmental problems…