Tag Archives: intuition

Chatting with Kelly Howell about Intuition & the Future


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

The Consciousness Files, Peter L Nelson: Seeing Beyond the Ordinary


http://mindfutures.libsyn.com/rss (click to go to the podcast page)

This is the very first episode of The Consciousness Files, where I regularly chat with some of the world’s most interesting thinkers, feelers, seers and be-ers. The subject is the human mind and its limits (if there are any).

My very learned and perceptive guest on Episode 1 of The Consciousness Files today is Dr. Peter L Nelson – author, psychologist and seer. Peter is an explorer of non-ordinary awareness, a very similar notion to what I’d call integrated intelligence. In Peter’ case, this allows him to directly know someone’s psycho-emotional state and the forces that shape it.

Peter began his scientific career in the early 1960s, exploring perception and consciousness. Later he became a social scientist and focused his research on how people create a picture of reality, including the visions of mystics and the highly intuitive, who seemed to be able to see directly into the minds and thoughts of others, as well as the last and future.


I stumbled upon Peter a year or so ago, when I read his wonderful book, The Way of a Seer. Peter’s explanation of how he employs integrated intelligence is incredibly insightful. There are a lot of philosophers and scientists who cover this topic these days, but not so many who actually know how to facilitate the art of the seer, and who have extensive personal experience of using it.

I caught up with Peter a few days ago. In my chat with him you will find out why he threw in a perfectly decent and potentially promising career as neuroscientist, why he believes that Rupert Sheldrake is wrong about morphic fields, and how reading a letter sent ten years into the future changed his life forever.

Please enjoy the show!


Peter’s web site:www.socsci.biz

Royalty free music by www.bensound.com.



3:57 What is a seer?

4:30 There is a non-ordinary stream of consciousness which seers can tap into.

4:50 The difference between a “psychic” and a “seer.”

5:50 “How did you become interested in these other ways of knowing, given your science background?” Peter tells the remarkable story of how he was inducted as a seer.

6:40 Peter re-tells of a dream he had as a young man, of flying over rolling hills. He immediately recognised the place as Devon, England. He came to this realisation the following evening at a movie. He then had a very strong urge to travel to England.

10:00 While working as a graduate programme in neuroscience, Peter meets a wealthy woman, who helps take him to England.

12:30 Peter quits the programme and flies to England with the woman.

12:50 Peter decides to look up two groups in England which were interested in the psychic domains.

15:40 The psychic medium tells him to “go to the other place.”

18:00 Librarian says she has some interesting notes from a trance medium, Peter refuses.

18:45. Librarian again insists he sees the notes, reads him incredible details of his life.

25:00 She offers to train him.

26:10 Example of Alice (his teacher) reading his and another woman’s mind. (Good example of mind reading).

27:10 There are two streams of perception. Inwards and outwards.

28:50 Difficulty in social adjustment, offending people. Alice taught him.

31:00 Peter had to learn to keep quiet, and avoid scaring others with his perception.

31:00 While appearing on a German TV show Peter accidentally shocks a contestant by revealing facts about his brother’s suicide.

39:30 He had to learn how to properly articulate what he saw in others as a seer.

40:30 The nature of fields, biofields. These are not the four known fields of nature.

42:40. You have to learn to feel the field. Only a higher order system can detect the field, e.g. a human being.

44:40 Fields define living things. We impregnate things with our fields, such as a place where a person dies violently.

47:40 Peter critiques Rupert Sheldrake’s morphogenic fields. e.g. How a fertilised egg becomes a blastula, does not require fields.

53:00 Why Deepak Chopra is on the wrong track.

54:00 What I’m interested is the psychology of attention. I’m not interested in training psychics.

54:30 Discussion about attention. Fixed attention vs expanded perception.

Why fluid attention is very important.

59:50 This is very useful for any people in problem solving fields.

1:03:00 Our society teaches us to pay attention to certain things, esp competition, making money and so on.

1.04:30 Education. We don’t train for attention. Students are shaped. High achievers are usually highly fixed. But this is useful for certain things.

1:05:40 Steve Jobs and his fixed perception

1:07:30 Peter recounts his Albert Einstein dream, and how it influenced him to question whether special relativity theory is theory of perception?

1:11:30. Why theorising is arrogant,

1:14:40 Peter states that we can never really know the world. That’s outside of human knowing. He interested in engaging experience deeply.

1:17:10 Is there an evolutionary process with consciousness?

1:18:10 “What is the benefit for humanity in developing our capacity for seeing?

What is Integrated Intelligence?


I often refer to the term “Integrated Intelligence.” For example, it is a central part of The Future of Consciousness project and book of the same name, as well as my podcast The Consciousness FilesHowever, not everyone who visits this blog has read my books or knows what I mean by this term. So in today’s post I am going to give a succinct little summary of what Integrated Intelligence (or INI) is. I’m also going to outline what you can actually do with it, and give some fascinating examples.

Before we even begin to define Integrated Intelligence, we should stop for a moment to ask what intelligence is.

Intelligence is the mental ability which allows you to function successfully in a given situation

– and nothing more. Academics and philosophers have been arguing about this for centuries, and still can’t agree on much more than the definition I give you.

It’s from this definition of intelligence that I define Integrated Intelligence as:

The ability to draw on the extended mind and all its intuitive capacities to function successfully and solve problems.

The extended mind, in turn, is:

Consciousness that extends beyond the individual’s brain, and connects us with spiritual realms.

So basically Integrated Intelligence is using more of your mind, including the intuitive, to do what you really want. This does not exclude the “rational” functions of the mind, because both the intuitive and the rational have their valid functions.

It also follows that Integrated Intelligence is not the same thing as “enlightenment” or spiritual evolution. Nonetheless, Integrated Intelligence can be employed towards these ends. INI is typically described as being part of higher states of consciousness, as reported in many spiritual traditions. And the more acute these states, the more developed Integrated Intelligence tends to be.

Using INI
Let’s get a little more practical. How can you actually apply INI? There are at least seven core mental functions that INI allows you to perform.

Connectivity. This is the ability to sense the connections between and amongst things. Connectivity has several forms, and is probably not a single cognitive process (perhaps I will break it down in later writings). It includes the higher order enlightenment experiences where the individual‘s sense of self expands out beyond her immediate body.

A classic example comes from Maurice Bucke’s Cosmic Consciousness (1905), where he reported a profound mystical experience.

I was losing my consciousness, my identity, I was powerless to hold myself. Now came a period of rapture so intense that the Universe stood still, as if amazed at the unutterable majesty of the spectacle! Only one in all the infinite Universe! The All-loving, the Perfect One! The Perfect Wisdom, truth, love, and purity! And with the rapture came the insight. In that same wonderful moment of what might be called supernatural bliss, came illumination… What joy when I saw there was no break in the chain — not a link left out — everything in its time and place. Worlds, systems, all bended in one harmonious whole. Universal light, synonymous with Universal love!

Location. This is the capacity to sense where things are, without necessarily having prior information.

This can occur through a feeling, or might be visual in nature. Once I lost my credit card, and couldn’t find it for days. So I did meditation, putting myself into a light trance state. I kept asking where the card was, and after a few minutes a clear image came to me of the back pocket of a black pair of jeans. I got up immediately and went to the cupboard where my only black pair of jeans was hanging, and found the credit card in the back pocket.

Diagnosis. Diagnosis is the ability to intuitively find the cause of problems.

A friend of mine who worked for steel giant BHP some years back, reported that he used his intuition to repair machinery. Rather than trying to rationally analyse why a machine had broken down, he would often just stop, and allow the answer to come to him. He claimed he could do this anywhere, and referred to an incident when he was on a friend’s boat, and the engine stopped. He told the boat owner what he felt was wrong, and as soon as the problem was investigated, his hunch was proven to be correct.

Recognition is being able to immediately know some­body or something without ever being told about them or it.

In Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda tells a story from his childhood. One day he was walking along a street and saw a yogi (Indian wise man) walking towards him. He was filled with a deep and immediate knowing that this yogi was to be his master. He fell to his feet, and was full of tears. This began a teacher-student relationship which lasted many years till the yogi’s death – and even after, according to Yogananda (He was able to communicate with his master in spirit form).


Precognition. When you sense what is going to happen in the future, this is Precognition.

A few years ago when I was on the phone to a friend of a friend. We were trying to arrange a meeting to discuss a certain issue which could help my wife. The guy in question told me he’d ring back to see if he could find the time to meet me that afternoon. When he hung up I asked my wife if she felt he would meet us (I was encouraging her to develop hr intuition). She said she had no idea. I then told her there was more chance of Dalai Lama becoming the next president of China than that guy taking the time to meet us. I could feel his complete lack of intention. He called back three hours later to say he was busy.

Evaluation. Evaluation involves being able to intuitively determine the wisdom or value of different options and choices.


In Discover Your Soul Template I tell the story of a very long and protracted meeting at a school I worked at in Hong Kong, where we teachers and administrators sat through a tedious four-hour meeting, listening to representatives of text book companies give their pitch. After a couple of hours, and almost falling asleep, I simply felt the energy of the four options, and saw straight away that there was only one real choice. There was another meeting the following week before the admin finally chose that same book.

Inspiration. This term refers to creative knowledge and ideas that come to you from spiritual sources, not your conscious mind.

Many creators, artists writers and even scientists have reported being guided by inspiration that was beyond their conscious volition. William Blake, for example, said that angels inspired his poetry. For the writing on my thesis, I used a process I call Integrated Inquiry, which allowed me to write prolifically.


There are also two outcomes which emerge from the successful application of INI.

Wisdom. Wisdom results from the capacity to use INI to create a life that is deeply meaningful and in alignment with a person’s highest needs.

Transformation. A core shift, lifting the person towards greater wisdom and intelligence, and creating a higher level of consciousness. This causes a transformation of hisa/her entire being.

So that, in a nutshell, is Integrated Intelligence


Is the Force Really With You? (Star Wars)

Star Wars is generally considered science fantasy (as opposed to science fiction) as it incorporates elements of both mysticism and mythology. Many hard-core science buffs assume that its primary themes have no real-life equivalent in the extant universe. After all, ideas like the Force and the Dark Side (good versus evil) are mere human projections. Human values are arbitrary impositions painted onto an impersonal and mechanistic cosmos devoid of purpose or meaning.

Conscious Cosmos or Machine Universe?
Yet I believe that this latter take on a mechanical cosmos is in itself a kind of pathetic fallacy; a case of human beings projecting their own worldview out onto the cosmos and depicting it in the contours of their own psyches. My understanding emerges from several decades of having explored human consciousness at a first-person level, spending many thousands of hours in meditation, mindful presence and non-ordinary states of consciousness. I have also worked with some very powerful and gifted seers, and my understandings have been mediated by their wisdom.

Good versus evil
Good versus evil, light versus darkness are assumed by many to be human archetypes, primal motifs which exist within the mind, but which do not reflect actual properties of life and cosmos. Yet I have come to conclude that this assumption is false. The images of light and darkness are metaphors through which the human psyche represents the play of energetic consciousness structures which are central to the experience of life and probably to the existence of the universe itself.

Ironically, the idea of a mechanical universe grinding out a purposeless existence according to preset cosmological laws is neither “rational” nor “scientific.” It is pathetic fallacy. Since the dawn of the industrial revolution the machine has become an archetypal image within the human psyche. The machine is probably now the most common single phenomenon that we encounter in our daily lives. As I write this in the Black and White coffee shop in Shenzhen, not far from Hong Kong, I am writing on my iPad. Outside the big window to my right shiny metallic machines glide past (cars). Above me and in my foreground is a large television set, and music plays softly through the sound system.


Machines are everywhere. Today, in the twenty-first century, most people spend a large proportion of their free time with their eyes glued to the screens of the little machines they hold in their hands (and then put in their pockets when they are finished gazing at them). In days of yore human beings used to attribute acts of nature to human qualities. The volcano was angry; the thunder God cantankerous; that bit of bad luck arrived because the cosmos was in a bad mood. Yet in the modern era human beings are just as likely to attribute mechanical functions to natural events, projecting the idea of the machine onto the fabric of the universe. Could both the pre-modern and modern takes on cosmic operations be equally fallible?

The answer is that there is now an abundance of scientific evidence which suggests that consciousness (mind) plays an important role in life and perhaps in the nature of the universe itself. The evidence for ESP (clairvoyance, remote viewing, telepathy and so on) is strong, and supported by well-documented reports from both history and the modern world. There are certain (though not clear) parallels with quantum physics, and these suggest that non-locality may be an important aspect of both cosmos and psyche. The universe may possess an innate intelligence. The question then becomes, what is our relationship with that cosmic “mind”?

Is the Force Really With Us?
This brings us to the idea of “the Force?” Can human beings tap into some kind of cosmic intelligence (with good or evil expressions) and employ it in their lives in ways that are either creative or destructive? The idea, of course, is not new, and it certainly isn’t exclusive to the Star Wars franchise. The idea that human beings can align their minds with the currents of universal intelligence is found in many religious and spiritual traditions. Sometimes this is given personified form, as with the ideas of God, Jesus, Allah and so on. In other traditions the universal mind appears to be similar to that represented in Star Wars, more a kind of impersonal intelligence that one can tap into.

Perhaps the closest classical equivalent in that of The Way (Tao) in Taoism, the ancient Chinese teachings which emerged from the spiritual master Lao Zi, half a millennium before the birth of Christ. Taoism drew strongly form Budddhist thought. Lao Zi spoke of a kind of feminine or receptive power that could be aligned with, but not grasped in the sense of more patriarchal expressions of power. Without leaving the room, one could know the world. One could be a master of men, but not by rising above them, but by lying below them. Softness could be strength. In silence all could be revealed.

My own experience as a mindful individual is that this intelligence is indeed an extant quality of life and can be activated and subtly employed. I call it Integrated Intelligence, and it has both an impersonal nature (reading the tones of fields) and a personal aspect (personal spiritual guidance from conscious spiritual entities). I have experienced a great deal of both, as I outline in my book Discover Your Soul Template.

It is, however, a skill that may require a lifetime of mastery, as the human mind is prone to impose its own wilful delusions upon the cosmos. We must learn to listen carefully with the heart, follow our deepest intuitions, and acknowledge the many errors we will inevitably make. In the Buddhist traditions they say “Not this way, not that way” as one follows the middle path. This means that we must be constantly mindful in each moment, even as the mind tends stray from the path. Another way of thinking of this is that the mind has a propensity to leave the real world of the present moment and travel to imagined fearful or expectant futures. Or it will return to painful pasts and the self-limiting beliefs embedded within hurtful memories. Once this habit is concretised, we become lost in the mind and its delusional thinking.

To the Dark Side!
And what of the dark side of the Force? Is there any real-life spiritual equivalent? The bad news is yes, and in many ways it is very similar to that depicted in Star Wars. All life is embedded within fields of intention, within consciousness fields. Each species and life expression has both an individual and collective field. In fact, we are all embedded within multiple fields: such as family, race, religion, the human collective and so on. Each field contains a general “tone”, or energy structure. These tend to have a controlling or normative aspect. If your mind is part of the Chinese collective, for example, that collective will tend to pull your mind along with it. It is our beliefs, judgments and unconscious needs to belong that attach us to such collective fields. It is very, very difficult to pull one’s mind out of a collective field in which it is embedded. The simple recognition of being controlled by the group mind is insufficient to free one. The individual must first look long and hard within himself and identify exactly why it is that he has given his power away to the group. This is much, much more difficult in practice than in theory.

It is very possible for people to become ensnared within dark fields of intention without conscious knowledge. The most common reasons for this are twofold. The first is desire for power and control, and again this is similar to what we see in the Star Wars movies. Darth Vadar is the classic example, driven by anger and lust for power and domination. In this scenario the human ego seeks to set itself above others, to elevate itself in importance, status, hierarchy.

Given that many cultures on this earth explicitly operate according to honour, face and status it is unfortunately quite the norm for human beings to fall into collective dark fields of intention in this way. In fact, virtually all of you reading this article will currently be “possessed” by several fields in such a manner. We human beings like to think of ourselves as “good” (or victims of bad others), and have a strong tendency to deny acknowledgment of our own manipulative and deceitful intentions. But we all have such propensities. In fact, it is not a question of whether you are a “dark” human being. It is a question of how “dark” you have unconsciously allowed yourself to become. I believe that if we were beyond these dynamics of power, control and self-deception we would not be here on this plane of experience. For it is our relationship with this reality that defines much of the human experience here.

If we think of it like this, enlightenment or awakening becomes about fully acknowledging the unconscious parts of our minds that we generally prefer to avoid. This realisation is quite a shock to the human ego at first, because such awareness requires that you acknowledge how far you have turned away from the truth of yourself, of your life. Can you do this without self-judgment, without condemning the others who have unconsciously cooperated with you in your story of deception? Can you forgive humanity, life, and ultimately God for this development? For at the bottom of the human story many of us find an unspeakable rage at “God” for allowing us to fall so far into darkness. This is certainly what I found within myself, and I have witnessed it within many other human psyches as well.

What about the practical employment of such universal intelligence? Can we, for example, employ it in going about setting and pursuing goals, in creating our ideal lives? The answer is yes. But… and there is a caveat… the power that this afford us as individuals is directly proprtional to the degree to which we surrender our personal will to it. This is an irony, no? It means the more you seek power via the universal mind, the less available it is. It becomes increasingly unreliable as we turn away from the light.

Nonetheless, there are forms of human intuition which can be readily employed regardless of intentionality. You can employ these intuitive modes of awareness no matter whether your intention is to serve the light, or to serve the separated consciousness of the darkness. All you have to do is relax and allow your mind to sense the tone of a field in order to make its essential nature known to you. In this sense both Hitler and the Dalai Lama can simply focus upon the same field and get pretty much the same “data”. However, it is far more likely that the minds of the Hitlers of this world will be manipulated by the malevolent intentions of the darker fields of intention that they are connected to.

While dark consciousness fields are impersonal in much the same way that a destructive tornado is impersonal, the truth is that such darkness is channeled via individual minds. This means that certain individuals can become channels for demonic energies. They then become ensnared with a pool of minds with similar intent via the deceitful stories that they have come to invest with their intention. These other “dark” minds can be either other living human beings, or they can be discarnate entities. This is one of the most terrifying realities to personally witness. I wish I could write that it is a fantasy, but this would be a lie.

The Other Side of the Dark Side
The best way to avoid dark energies is to ground yourself in presence, in your body and to witness your own mind’s lust for power and control over others. But take note. And here we come to the second way that “the Dark Side” can ensnare us. Much of the power and control of dark energy structures is not a classic lust for wealth, status and political power. It’s not simply a Hitleresque lust for world conquest. Much of the darkness emerges from a desire to control others such that we do not have experience our terror of abandonment and death. In other words we unconsciously seek power and control over others so that we do not have to experience the painful state of separation. We then seek to gain power over others for this purpose.

Now here is a very important point. Such power and control over others is primarily achieved through the projection of two contrasting human manipulative tactics: shame and flattery. Shame is an attempt to make the other feel worthless and “dirty.” The projection of sexual and toilet shaming is central to this. This represents body shaming. The light cannot shine through us while we are embodied in a physical system that we feel is dirty and disgusting.

Flattery is also unconsciously employed as a means to ensnare minds, as the human ego is particularly susceptible to the perceived elevation of status.

So the idea of going to the Dark Side as depicted in Star Wars, is accurate. It is just that the dynamics that underpin the process are more complex than than Star Wars suggests.

Success and Failure
Ultimately, what we humans consider success and failure may not comply with a greater cosmic appreciation of success. For Hitler, the invasion of Poland was a success. On a less demonic scale, your becoming CEO may be your definition of success. But from a deeper and more expansive perspective, there may be other factors at play in such scenarios which do not mirror your (nor Hitler’s) personal value hierarchies. When you become CEO your mind might become ensnared in your company’s story of power and control of a certain financial market. You might get rich. But from a universal perspective you may be playing a part of your soul group’s learning about the abuse of power and control. And there may be suffering in that, both for others and yourself.

So, we can indeed say “May the Force be with you!” as we go about living our lives. Yet to some degree it is a matter of grace as to how this plays out. We can invite such “awareness” through prayer and meditation, and by grounding ourselves in the truth of the present moment. But the rest is up to the cosmos. And if you fight that reality, well, you are resisting “what is” and this rejection and anger may open pathways to the “darkness.” It’s all a little unfair from the mind’s point of view. But that is the way it is. The best thing you can do is relax, surrender, be as transparently honest as you possibly can be, and enjoy the journey.


Is Following Your Passion Dangerous? (2)


In a recent post I reviewed Cal Newport’s excellent book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You. Newport adopts a well-researched, “rational” approach to the issue. His main findings are that:

• It is foolish to dash headlong into a new career without first establishing career capital (skills, knowledge and connections).
• Innate passions which can be transferred into paid work are rare and it is better to experiment with life to find work you can become passionate about.
• If you cannot see any pre-existing people being paid for your “passion”, don’t try to turn it into work.
• By developing rare and valuable skills, a person’s work will be in demand.
• It is necessary to use deliberate practice to develop such high-level skills in your area of work. This may not be fun at all, and mastery typically takes some 10 000 hours of practice.
• A person needs to develop a mission which helps them focus their work into a precise area, and to avoid scattering one’s energy.
• Patience is required. It takes time and a great deal of work to become great at something.
• Newport heavily criticises the popular self-help-book suggestion that the most important step in developing blissful work is having the courage to quit your job and begin your new, passionate career. This is foolish and likely to lead to failure and rejection if it is done before a person has established career capital in his new field.
These are all common sense, and very useful insights.

However, having mentioned so many positives in that previous post, let me now move onto several reservations I have about Newport’s approach to finding passionate, meaningful work.

Spinning the cherries
Newport cherry picks his case studies. The fact that he does not offer a single exceptional case – one that contradicts his thesis – suggests that his conclusions may be exaggerated. He also appears to “spin” these cases to ensure that they support his argument, highlighting those aspects which are affirmative, but explaining away those things which might potentially contravene his line of argumentation.

For example, he dismisses the case of Steve Jobs – whose Stanford graduation speech on following one’s passion has twenty million hits on YouTube – as evidence for the passion hypothesis. Newport points out that in his youth Jobs studied literature, physics and history at Reed College, a liberal Arts school, and not business or electronics. Jobs was also passionate about spirituality, consciousness expansion and Eastern mysticism. If he’d followed his own advice, writes Newport, Jobs would have become a zen teacher. Newport says that all the Jobs’ biography proves is that it’s good to be passionate about what you do.

But is this really a fair assessment of Jobs’ innate passions?

Newport appears to be playing a semantic game here. Can Newport’s term “electronics” really encapsulate the passion of Steve Jobs? And is not “business” what most self-starters do to turn anything into a successful career? Perhaps terms like “creative inspiration” or “design” are more appropriate descriptions for the innate passions of Steve Jobs. His work at Apple would then seem like an apt fit. And clearly Jobs felt he was living his passion. This is not something that can be so easily dismissed.

In my own life I have found that my passion centres around my work as a writer and explorer of consciousness and spirituality. I certainly didn’t know this when I was twenty. In fact, I never had any genuine spiritual understanding till I was about twenty-six – I was actually a sceptic before that time. I studied English and History at University and loved sport as a kid. Thus it may appear to an outsider that my life affirms Newport’s thesis.

But the truth is that I was always deeply introspective. I just needed life experience to bring that out. So in a sense Newport is both right and wrong. It did require the travails of life for me to discover my calling. But I do not feel that this passion was created by my life experience: that passion was always extant. It was a mere potential.

Therefore I am not in full agreement with Newport that we may as well stick a list of ten appealing pastimes on a wall and throw a dart at them to choose which one to explore as a great career (as he states on a Youtube video). I believe that we must also develop an inner wisdom, and use that intuitive intelligence to help us develop our calling in cooperation with life.

Another problematic case study brought forward by Newport involves the story of Ryan and Sarah’s highly successful organic farm at Red Fire, Grandby. Ryan is a former banker who quit his job to set up the farm. According to Newport, Ryan stumbled into his new profession – he literally “grew into it.” However, this is not a logical assessment. From Newport’s description of Ryan, it appears the man always had an innate enthusiasm for working in nature. The fact that he followed a path consistent with his inner world is therefore indication enough that he had a passion for it.

Such problematic interpretations are one of the key limitations of Newport’s thesis, as he regularly twists passion-positive case studies to ensure that the passion hypothesis is nullified.

To be more specific, Newport dismisses the idea of “passion” in relation to Ryan’s work because there were a series of steps over many years as Ryan discovered his “calling.” Such passion only ever develops over time, insists the author. Yet my sense is that Newport is playing word games again when he implies that any unfolding process that is not instantaneous cannot be called “passionate” in the same way that an innate enthusiasm can be.

Obviously it is true that a person’s life process can help reveal his deep passions, as has been true in my own life. Yet it is not simply the case that such passions are conditioned by the life process, which is what Newport suggests. Newport’s thesis is thus sometimes too black and white, adopting an unnecessarily strict dichotomy between careers sustained by passion versus those developed via craftsmanship.

Nonetheless, Newport’s statement that an individual has to acquire significant skills and career capital to succeed in new career directions remains very valid – and Ryan did just this over many years.

Out with introspection
Another significant shortcoming of Newport’s book is that he appears to have little practical understanding of introspection or human intuition. He is a successful university professor, and so his education has clearly valorised “rational” and scientific ways of knowing. He tends to dismiss personal insight and human intuition, often with subtle contempt or even ridicule.

A good example occurs very early in the book, when Newport begins with story of Thomas, a zen practitioner with a master’s degree in comparative religion.

In interview, Newport relates that Thomas, is reluctant to communicate the meaning of a specific zen koan. Newport gets around this by googling the koan. He then essentially treats it with contempt, apparently failing to consider the possibility that the Zen masters might be correct in suggesting that most people would have trouble truly understanding it with a standard analytical approach.

It is here that Newport is at his weakest. Sometimes he mirrors the arrogance of modern scientific “skepticism”, apparently believing that he does not need to undergo any introspective education or training in order to develop greater depth of intuitive perception. This attitude is epitomised when he announces that he has “debunked” the passion hypothesis. He contemptuously denounces the idea as an “occupational fairy tale.”

Newport appears to be on a kind of semi-religious quest to ensure that the passion hypothesis is killed off. Personally, I do not believe that things need to be taken that far.

Further, Newport does not entertain the possibility that science may be limited when it comes to understanding passion and innate human drive. A common criticism of modern brain science is that it is delimited. Empiricism and third-person approaches to dealing with human intention or consciousness cannot really get inside a person’s head. They can only map the correlates of consciousness. In short, science is incapable of truly understanding the spiritual dimensions of life.

To find the answers to the questions he asks, Newport consults academic journals and avoids introspective domains. Is it any surprise then that he completely dismisses and sometimes ridicules passion and introspection? Newport’s argument ultimately becomes circular. Introspection is inadequate, therefore introspection will be avoided as a means of insight into the problem of insight.

Is this shortcoming simply a lack of introspective intelligence on Newport’s behalf?

Fine distinctions
Newport’s analysis does not distinguish between passion and intuitive intelligence – what some might call spiritual guidance. Likewise, the Canadian college students who were surveyed about their “passions” were likely not introspective types in general, being mainstream-educated. The survey, and Newport, fails to discern the difference between the excitement of personal interests and the “excitement” which emerges from an inner sense of guidance.

There is no evidence in the book, nor in the public presentations that I have seen, that Newport has a well-developed inner world. Newport’s world is apparently random and the individual is soul agent of his life. Yet there are inner and mystical journeys where inner voice is crucial. The failure to address this is a prime shortcoming of Newport’s book. He seems to deny all inner guidance, seemingly completely ignorant of its existence. Founding his work only on science, it remains delimited by its boundaries. Modern science has actively denied intuition and introspection for centuries, and Newport unquestioningly follows in its footsteps.

My sense is that both the strengths and limitations of Newport’s book stem from his being an academic. He does a wonderful job in drawing attention to the pitfalls of blindly following your bliss. But he is singularly incapable of comprehending the subtleties of the inner intelligence of the wisdom traditions. By limiting his approach to academic analysis of research papers and personal case studies, Newport effectively silences many of the wisest men and women of history. Thus So Good They Can’t Ignore You remains very good, but limited; just as Newtonian physics was a wonderful approximation of an observable universe, but woefully inadequate once finer cosmic truths had been gleaned.

Excellent but flawed
So Good They Can’t Ignore You is an excellent book. I will be recommending this book to my own clients (I advise people on how to activate a broader range of human intelligence in developing an ideal life – especially intuitive intelligence). The book systematically addresses many of the common pitfalls that “life of passion” advocates experience (including my own). Given that these are very rarely addressed in self-help and new age philosophies, Newport’s book is an invaluable addition to those wishing to develop such a lifestyle. It’s conclusions remain strong, based as they are on science and relevant case studies. However, I would encourage readers to be mindful of Newport’s personal biases and limited understanding of introspection and human intuition.

Newport’s “complete rejection” of the passion hypothesis is understandable given his worldview, but nonetheless premature. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Some important distinctions upon the road to you bliss


Despite what some well-meaning enthusiasts say, just because you follow your bliss does not guarantee that you will succeed. In fact, such a philosophy is full of possible roadblocks. These are almost never discussed in new age or popular self-help books, so I am going to share a few of them with you here.

In his well-researched book So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal Newport states this argument well. Although the author has little understanding of introspection or mindfulness, he brilliantly describes the most common errors that some naïve new agers make in this regard. Much of what I have learned from first-hand experience strongly supports many of Newport’s arguments. Here are several of the most relevant.

  • While many of us do have general innate passions and abilities, it is naïve to believe that you have only one true calling, or that you have to put your life on hold until you find that one thing. In fact, as Newport writes, people often develop their great passions after they begin to master a skill or craft. They often learn to love what they do. So don’t wait until life finds you. Bring love and presence to whatever you do, and you will find your “purpose” in the light that shines through you.
  • The courage culture is a simplistic fallacy. The “courage culture” is the naïve idea – popularised in many well-meaning self-help books – that the most important step in living your bliss is having the courage to make a sudden change of life orientation, such as quitting your current job or moving to your dream location. Having courage is not enough. You need to be well prepared, and ideally, have some career capital in your new field (see next point).
  • It can be disastrous to try to suddenly change professions without having established any “career capital” in your new field. You cannot expect to instantly demand credibility in an entirely new field. Just because you love software, does not mean that software companies will open their arms to you when you quit your day job as an office clerk. In such a scenario, the wannabe-IT guy would need to gradually develop a reputation and connections in his new field.
  • It is erroneous to believe that expertise will come simply because you love doing something; because you spend time doing the thing you love. In other words, you need to appreciate the need for “deliberate practice”. Many people believe that you need about 10 000 hours of quality, focused, systemic time to master a field. Are you prepared to be that focused and to work that hard?
  • Believing that following your passion is always joyful is naïve. Firstly, there will be times when things will be difficult, where you will face failure and rejection. And secondly, all that time required to develop mastery via repeated practice can be less than exciting!
  • Trying to develop a business out of a skill or service that nobody is willing to pay for is futile. If you don’t know of anybody who can “buy” your passion, it’s not a business. It’s a hobby. That in itself is fine – as long as you are not depending upon it to pay the bills!
  • The popular idea of following your bliss can create obsessive self-interest, rather than generosity of spirit. In other words, the naïve new-ager may come to see his calling as being about self-gratification. In fact, many of the great masters of passion that we hear about – Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Martin Luther King, Einstein, da Vinci and so on, focused on being of service to others, not on satisfying themselves.

I’m not suggesting that you abandon the idea of working in your dream job or doing what you love. After all, my book Discover Your Soul Template is all about doing just that. But do keep your feet on the ground, and take into consideration the realities of the world of money and markets.


Note: This post is a short extract from my upcoming book Champion of the Soul.


The True Cost of Following Your Bliss (3)

There is a price to pay for following your bliss, especially if you choose to deliberately and publicly advocate an alternative philosophy that challenges mainstream opinion and the dominant worldview. In the first of these articles I described my own problems as a futurist with an alternative take on looking at the future, and how difficult it has been to gain a voice in the academic world despite having a PhD. In the second article I outlined some distinctions I have come to learn from my travails; perhaps the most notable being the error in thinking that success would follow automatically just because I followed my heart and publicly shared what I believe to be deeper truths about life and cosmos.

In this article I will offer some practical advice about setting yourself up while living your bliss. My suggestions follow on from my previous insights. After all, these three articles are aimed at helping people who want to develop their own career, business or professional interests while sharing an alternative or spiritual worldview.

I’m not going to go into details about how to set up a business or sell an idea. There are already many teachers and books who have put great materials out there. Instead I am going to focus on a few common issues typically faced by spiritually and mystically-inclined entrepreneurs and creatives.

Take action

If you want to develop an idea it takes time, energy and commitment. Yes, that means you have to work!

Here’s an interesting question for all those of you who have at least some idea of your own calling in this world – doing what you love for a living.

How much action have you taken towards actualising that calling?

In many cases people have a fair idea of what they want to do. They just never bother to do it!

One simple way to begin to eliminate procrastination is to write down three things per day that you can do towards making your dream real. Then do it!

No action = no dream.


As I outlined in Discover Your Soul Template, I am a great advocate of introspection as a means to bring a deeper level of consciousness to life. But don’t become such a navel-gazer that you forget to do stuff in the world. Don’t let the conspiracy theorists fool you. You live in a time where the individual is empowered as never before, and where the knowledge and understanding available to you is simply incredible. Don’t waste it!

Deliberate Practice

If you take a look at the most successful people they tend to be very highly skilled at something. And in most cases they had to work really hard to practice and develop those skills. Most had to engage in what some people call “deliberate practice”.

Deliberate practice is the intelligent application of repetition in order to improve performance. New age “go with the flow” philosophies may delude some people into thinking that hard work and good old-fashioned practice are not required to achieve success and excellence in a particular field of endeavor.

Let me assure you that intelligence, sustained commitment, and hard work will almost certainly be required if you are to turn your “calling” into a profession. The truth is that this is a very competitive world, and that standards of performance and excellence have increased dramatically in many fields in recent years. Certainly, if your goal is to reach world-class status, then deliberate practice cannot be avoided.

I highly recommend Geoff Colvin’s Talent Is Overrated as a good introduction to this topic. It shows that deliberate practice is what often separates genius from very good. Colvin outlines the following features of deliberate practice.

  • Deliberate practice is hard work. It is not what we normally think of as practice, such as when you strum a guitar for a bit of fun. You have to move out of your comfort zone to perform deliberate practice.
  • Deliberate practice is designed specifically to improve performance. This means intelligent thought is put into the practice session, so that deliberate and conscious goals for improving performance are met. This in turn requires you to carefully define the elements of your skill that require enhancement, and then go about working at those. Benjamin Franklin, for example, wanted to be a great writer, but realized that his vocabulary was lacking, so systematically set about improving it.
  • Practicing something systematically and intelligently is highly demanding. It requires a great deal of focus and concentration. Studies have shown that excellent violinists practice a lot more than those of lesser skill. Keep in mind that research indicates that practice sessions of more than ninety minutes at a time are counter-productive.

Still, it is entirely possible to do such “hard” work in alignment with Spirit, keeping your mind present and mindful when deliberate practice is required. When I was studying for my PhD I was also working full-time. I used to get up at 5.00 a.m. and write 500 words on my thesis every day. Although commitment and hard work were required, I enjoyed the whole process because more often than not I was fully present and in a state of flow. I completed my doctorate in less than four years (including publishing a dozen journal articles and a book) The whole process went so well that I developed the idea of Integrated Inquiry, an intuitive and creative approach to research.

Develop people skills

I know this will not go down well with many mystically-inclined folks, but you are just going to have to suck it up I’m afraid.

The necessity to take action means you are going to have to get out into the world. You are going to have to work with other people. You are going to have to develop people skills. Yes, that means you! If you have been meditating on a cushion in the garage for the last twenty years you are just going to get off your bum and learn some new skills.

Communication skills can be developed. You do not have to be a natural extrovert or carry on like Anthony Robbins. It is not difficult to learn how to give a public talk, develop your elevator pitch or talk up your idea to a level of competence. Remember what I said about deliberate practice?

Think of social intelligence as being like any other ability, not merely an innate, immovable trait.

The requirement to develop people skills might mean that you have to get rather uncomfortable. But if you don’t like discomfort, I suggest you go back to that cushion in the garage for another twenty years. Because without crossing beyond that comfort threshold regularly, you ain’t going nowhere.

Yes, living your bliss requires discomfort. It’s not a contradiction. It’s just life.

Think about this related point. In his book The Luck Factor, Richard Wiseman indicates that one of the four traits of “lucky” people is that they typically have a wider circle of friends and acquaintances. In other words, they are not lucky in the classical sense. They just rub shoulders with more people, so serendipity is mathematically more likely to flourish.

Be intelligible

You have to take the time to study your market and to deliver products and services that are either needed or attractive to people. As futurist John Naisbitt says, if you move too far ahead of the parade, then nobody is going to be able to see where you are. When you are dealing with other people you need to work in a space, and with ideas and tools that allow those people to understand who you are and what you are doing.

Futurist Sohail Inayatullah once gave me some great advice on how to introduce spiritual concepts to public talks. He said he always begins with the mundane, and with ideas and concepts that the audience is familiar with. Unless it is a central focus of his subject matter, he waits til near the end of his presentation to introduce spiritual concepts. Inayatullah says this works very well. I have followed his advice, and found it to be true. People can become suspicious if you appear to be too other-worldly right from the start.

I know this runs counter to what you read in many new age philosophies, but let me be blunt. When you embark upon a spiritual journey the world will not change to accommodate your readjusted spiritual worldview. You have to make your ideas fit the system.

If your ideas cannot be understood, then nobody will listen to you. It doesn’t matter how grand or brilliant they are; it remains a universal truth. I learned this the hard way. Much of my academic writing is just too far beyond the system to be attractive to universities. When I was applying for jobs in Education faculties my CV featured scores of papers about mind and cosmos. Other candidates had one or two papers about things like classroom management or educational leadership. Who do you think got the job(s)?

Sure, you might change the world by dramatically shifting perceptions, paradigms and markets. Steve Jobs did just that, to a certain degree (as I shall mention below). He helped revolutionise the computer industries, mobile devices, animation and music.

But you still have to sell your stuff. You still have to speak a language that other people can understand and relate to. And if your idea is unintelligible or poorly designed or presented, nobody is going to buy it.


It is vitally important to listen to the feedback you get from the client, the marketplace, and the cosmos. If nobody is buying your stuff or employing your services then there is no use complaining and calling them stupid. You have to find a niche, a way to get a foothold in the market. To do this you will have to frame or market your product in a way that is attractive to people, and that they can understand.

I highly recommend Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. As you may know, Jobs was quite alternative in his thinking. He dropped LSD as a youth, then went to India in search of spiritual enlightenment. He had a liking for Buddhism and often used terms like “karma”, “a calling” and “following your intuition”.

Now, if we are to believe the naive law of attraction advocates, then Jobs – a multi-billionaire and one of the most successful men ever to step on the planet – should have been a laid back character who spent most of his time blissing out while visualising manifesting his destiny as Apple CEO; then calmly waiting for the cosmos to drop everything in his lap.

In fact Steve Jobs was almost the precise opposite. By all accounts he was a temperamental control freak with an obsession for having his way with almost every detail. He was obsessed with quality, and often flew into a rage when he saw work being done that he considered “shit”. He railed and verbally abused co-workers in a ways that would be considered inhumane by many.

And as Isaacson’s book indicates, Jobs was scared. He was full of doubt and fear. He was terrified of failure and not being good enough. Orphaned at birth, this instilled in him a great fear of rejection.

According to the naive law of attraction, the universe should have spat Jobs out and left him impoverished and abandoned on the street.

Instead it made him unimaginably wealthy.

What does this tell us? It tells us that stuff doesn’t happen by magic. Detail, precision, and understanding of the market place are vital to success. Nor does having doubt and fear prevent you from living your bliss. If you go out into the world thinking that the cosmos owes you a living just because you are following your dream or you have cleared out all your “blocks”, the world is likely to spit you out.

Don’t be an angry mystic

I have heard numerous mystically-inclined people say something like “Capitalism sucks! I’m not doing this for money! I’m spiritual!”

They have an attitude problem.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong about money and markets. Money can do just as much good as evil. Exchanging cash is just the way the system works.

What would you rather do? Would you rather be sitting at home on social security (hmm, that’s money, no?) and ranting against a world that is evil and materialistic, even as all your talent and soul aptitudes remain untapped? Or would you rather be joyfully sharing your gifts with the world, while accepting a little of that filthy lucre at the same time?

I believe that it is important to work with the system. It is not necessary to blindly accept it and to sell your soul. You can work within it without being a part of it. Play in the system, keep your values, listen to your heart and do no harm. That can’t be so hard, can it?

Many new agers and spiritual folk talk about love and peace. But if you actually listen to them you soon discover that they hate the world and they hate people. There is an anger, blame and judgment burning within them – often rage. “I am not one of the mindless sheeple! I am spiritual!” They reject the world.

It is not necessary to reject the world. Part of your journey is to forgive this place. All judgment is a mental act of annihilation. Judging the world is no different. How can you shine your light in the world if what you really want to do is annihilate it? What kind of message is that sending out to the universe?

I say get off your high horse and forgive the world! Acknowledge your own anger and pain, because that is your responsibility. Learn to shine your light from within, and then move out into the world. What greater gift could you possibly give?

Back to that price

There is no guarantee of professional success if you follow your calling. But if you shine your heart light, you will at least offer something to the world that you cannot by sitting at home and meditating and grumbling about how shitty the world is.

All this is not easy. This world is not for sissies. Acknowledge your weaknesses and delusions. Stand up for yourself and for what you believe. Take action, work hard and work smart. Be prepared for failure, and don’t take it personally. Step out into the world lightly, joyfully and with courage. Be strong, be noble and be as loving as you can.

Forgive others when they don’t understand what you are doing. Most of all, take note of their feedback. It just might be useful.

Living your bliss is sometimes not as blissful as you think! Your great idea will not manifest itself without you applying your God-given intelligence and work ethic in the real world.

Sorry to burst the new age bubble. But somebody had to do it.

Journey to the Blue Stone


Here’s a little story that might have meaning to some of you here. I wrote this very simple story myself, but it is adapted from a tale I heard many years ago – so I cannot claim originality. I don’t recall all the details of the story, so I embellished it creatively. I wrote the story as part of a job application I made recently, to work with a team of creative writers. I did mention that the essence of the story was not mine. The reason I chose this story was because the job application asked for a one-page answer to the question “What makes you content, and why.” This was about 75% of my answer, with a little at the end explaining its relevance (which I haven’t included here. You can find your own meaning as you wish).

So, here it is…

In Indian lore there is an ancient a story of a young man who had a most profound dream one night. In the dream he was digging into the earth with his bare hands. As his tired fingers brushed aside the moist earth, he suddenly came upon a most brilliant blue stone. Its luminance was such that he had to shield his eyes for a moment. As his eyes adjusted to the lustre of the magnificent stone, he found himself gazing upon a gem so radiant that it seemed to be full of the life force itself.

The man awoke. When he realised that he had only been dreaming his heart was filled with great despair. He fell back to sleep, tears falling from his cheeks.

The following morning the excitement of the vision remained fresh in his mind. He was convinced that the dream was a direct message from God. Surely it meant that he would be rich beyond imagination and have all his wishes fulfilled! He knew within his heart that the blue stone was real, and that it would soon be his.

So that very day the man set out from his tiny village house, riding upon an old donkey which he had bought with the last of his money. He travelled all across India from village to village, scouring every hill and valley with his little pick and shovel. Upon his way he perused every gem store, seeking the blue stone that he knew was his by divine right.

The man’s search went on for many years. He was so possessed by his quest that he barely felt the passing of the years. Then one day as he left yet another gem store empty handed, he caught sight of his reflection in the shop window. He was shocked to see an old man staring back at him. It was then that the man suddenly realised that his entire life had passed him by, and so possessed had he been with finding the blue stone that he had forgotten to live. He fell to his knees in despair, right there in the street. He began to sob.

For some reason – perhaps because there was nothing else that he could do, so old and poor had he become – he began to meditate. His mind fell into a deep silence. For days he sat upon the street, breaking his meditation only occasionally to eat and drink the little food that was left there from the passers-by who took pity upon him. Then one night as he sat in meditative silence, there appeared before his mind’s eye a great blue light. At first it looked like a distant star. But slowly it grew and grew until its light engulfed his entire spirit. With that light there came the greatest peace imaginable. The brilliance of the experience was such that he knew that his quest was over. He was home.

The old man lived for many more years, and the brilliance of the blue light within never diminished. Then one night he passed away peacefully. For he was content, knowing that he had found the great blue stone that God had promised him.


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Integrated Inquiry: Mystical Intuition and Research

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


Title: Integrated Inquiry: Mystical Intuition and Research

Author: Marcus T Anthony

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

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


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

Mystical intuition and research



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

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

History of Rational and Intuitive Ways of Knowing

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

Mundane and Mystical Intuition

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

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



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

Integrated intelligence, or INI, is:

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

In turn the extended mind is defined as:

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

Finally, integrated inquiry is:

The deliberate application of integrated intelligence during research and learning.

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

Table 1: The Core Operations of Integrated Intelligence

(Adapted from Anthony 2008, 14-18)


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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



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


Integrated Intelligence as a Provocation

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

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

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

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


The Five Tools

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


The Intuitive Diary

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


Free-form Writing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Meditative States

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

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

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

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


Developing The Feeling Sense

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Embracing Synchronicity

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


Core Operation: Integrated Perception

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

An extract from my Intuitive Diary exemplifies this.

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

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

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

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


Core Operation: Evaluation, Recognition, & Location

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Core Operation: Diagnosis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Core Operation: Creativity and Innovation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Core Operation: Fore-sense

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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