Summary

January 10, 2018. Orientation: Discussion about the development of Consciousness Studies; distribution and review of "Course Outline," "Schedule and Homework Assignments," and "Grading Criteria." Lecture: Persepctives on consciousness, the hard problem, distribution of "Handout Lecture 1: Definitions," definitions of consciousness, qualia, existential qualia, the problem that consciousness poses for science. Buzz groups: Do anomalous phenomena such as remote viewing and remote influencing occur? Dean Radin has created a "Show Me" page on his web site, titled "Selected Psi Research Publications," for those who want to see the scientific evidence for anomalous phenomena: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm. These are articles in peer-reviewed academic journals of scientific research demonstrating the existence of anomalous phenomena. Writing of 1-minute essays: What are you looking forward to in this course? What do you dread about this course?

January 17, 2018. Comments about 1-minute essays: the enigmatic nature of alien abduction experiences. Rules for small groups discussions. Small groups discussions of Question 1: Discuss the contention that "Materialism is dead" (Baruss, 2007, p. 6). Lecture: two pathways to learning; the power of the confirmation bias; postmaterialism as the ideology that there are aspects of reality, notably some qualities of consciousness, that require a more comprehensive understanding than materialism allows; presentiment studies; explanation of 2-slit experiment with buckyballs (i.e., spherical fullerene molecules), delayed choice version of 2-slit experiment, quantum eraser experiments, Dean Radin's 2-slit experiments, Dean Radin's 2-slit experiments with reversed feedback, suspicious "discovery" of Higgs boson (see documentary film "Particle Fever," available in the King's library). Guest lecture by Paula Rayo: ayahuasca tourism, studying ayahuasca ceremonies in the Amazonian jungle, the chemical structure of psychoactive ingredients of ayahuasca, the transformative nature of some psychedelic experiences, existential meaning in the context of ayahuasca ceremonies (Paula's thesis: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1040&context=psychK_uht). Lecture (cont.): Plato's analogy of the cave; beliefs about consciousness and reality, correlations of transcendent beliefs with understanding and IQ. Writing of 1-minute essays: What was the most important thing that you learned today? What was the least important?

January 24, 2018. Comments about 1-minute essays: distinctions between quantum theory, quantum mechanics, and quantum field theories; special theory of relativity, general theory of relativity; Bell's Theorem, nonlocality, the notion that elementary particles do not have continuous existence. Comments about Question 1: the need to enclose directly quoted material in quotation marks, importance of integrating knowledge across different classes, play on words of "Materialism is dead," distinction between materialism and science, the dangers of disciplinary isolation. Small groups discussions of Question 2: What is inauthenticity? What is authenticity? How could a person try to change from being inauthentic to being authentic? (Optional: Describe and analyse your own efforts to be authentic.) Lecture: idle talk, social media, ambiguity, curiosity, being towards death, ways of valuing, compliance, the notion of being oneself, projective techniques, free drawing exercise, subpersonalities, subpersonality integration, the ideology of humanistic psychology, the exercise of the will, Assagioli's egg diagram, guidance as a form of inauthenticity, wholeness giving rise to meaning, proper attitude for self-development work, importance of confusion, psychological hygiene, absence of psychopathology vs presence of exceptional wellbeing. Writing of 1-minute essays. What was the most important thing that you learned today? What was the least important? Also, questions and comments.

January 31, 2018. Handing out of Practice Term Test (also found in resource box). Comments about 1-minute essays: Psychopathology vs exceptional well-being for physical health; offsetting difficulty staying focussed. Comments about Question 2: The prohibited use of singular they; inauthenticity as an alteration of consciousness, "Moonies," the practice of love balming, deprogramming, psychology of religion, fundamentalism, female genital mutilation, erosion of global wellbeing; authenticity vs genuineness. Small groups discussions of Question 3: What is authentic science? How could psychosynthesis be used for practicing authentic science? Lecture: The essence, methodology, and worldview of inauthentic and authentic science; subjective research methods; explanation of the lumpy diagram; the possible confluence of understanding with authentic science; electronic voice phenomenon, instrumental transcommunication, anomalous cell phone messages; review of definitions from handout. Writing of one-minute essays: What do you want to review next week? Also, questions and comments.

February 7, 2018. Note: Exam room change to W173 next week. Comments about 1-minute essays: The midterm test will have the same format as the practice test, the use of cue cards for memorizing material, cross-linking material between different sources. Comments about Question 3: authentic science incorporates all of the methodologies that are usually associated with scientific exploration, the notion that everything objective is actually subjective, use of material from other chapters in Ferrucci's book rather than just chapters 5 and 6. Small groups discussions of Question 4: Describe how inner knowledge could become accessible in altered states of consciousness. (Optional, as part of your answer: Describe and analyse your own efforts to access inner knowledge through altered states of consciousness.) Lecture: the notion of inner wisdom, being locked into a particular spectrum of the psyche during the ordinary waking state and unlocking that in altered states of consciousness, implicit cognition, alteration of deliberate and spontanous thinking, the creative process, the notion of multiple inputs to understanding, the use of symbols by the psyche, apparent agency of dream characters, Gillian Johnson's dream telepathy study. Writing and discussion of Practice Names and Numbers Quiz. Review: errors frequently made by students on examinations, dialectical reasoning, variations on the two-slit experiment, nonlocality. Writing of one-minute essays: Make up questions for Parts I and II of the test.

February 14, 2017. Term test. N=10; average = 80%; highest mark 93.75% (two students!).

    Part I
Please answer any 10 of the following 12 questions in essay style. Please include the question number beside each of your answers. Each question is worth 1 mark. This part of the examination is worth 10% of your final grade.
    General comment: Don’t do more than you are asked to do, but do what you are asked to do well. N=10; average=8.75, highest mark = 9.75 (four students!)

1. Draw Assagioli’s egg diagram and label any three of its components.
    Straightforward.
2. How many buckyballs at a time are fired at a plate with slits in it in a two-slit experiment?
    One.
3. What is the difference between authenticity and genuineness?
    Authenticity is acting on one’s own understanding. Genuineness, also referred to as transparency, is behaving in a way that is consistent with one’s authenticity.
4. How would dream incubation be used to solve brain teasers?
    The question is about how, so you need to say that an effort is made to prompt one’s psyche by reviewing the problem or intending to find an answer in one’s dreams, or some variation of that.
5. What is it about the two-slit experiment that challenges conventional ideas about physical reality?
    A single particle passing through two slits should not produce an interference pattern on a detecting screen thereby suggesting that the particle passed through both slits at once. From a conventional point of view, a single particle is indivisible and cannot go through two slits at once.
6. Define altered state of consciousness.
    Altered state of consciousness: A “stable [pattern] of physiological, cognitive, and experiential events different from those of the ordinary waking state” (Barušs, 2003, p. 8).
7. What is the point of the Sufi story in Chapter 3 of Authentic Knowing?
    We need to use research methods that are appropriate for what we want to know rather than just using those that are easy to use when they cannot answer the questions that we have.
8. What is the difference between materialism and science?
    Materialism is a physicalist ideology whereas science is a means of acquiring knowledge through empirical investigation.
9. State and describe one of Martin Heidegger’s characteristics of inauthenticity.
    From textbook.
10. Describe the extraordinarily transcendent position on the material-transcendent dimension of beliefs about consciousness and reality.
    From textbook.
11. Given an example of implicit cognition that could be the result of anomalous inner knowledge.
    Examples: Bessent’s precognitive dreaming; calendrical savants, could be anomalous; pulling off for gas.
12. Describe Plato’s analogy of the cave.
    From textbook.
13. What is ayahuasca tourism and what are some of its dangers?
    Ayahuasca tourism refers to people travelling to retreat centres in South America for the purpose of participating in indigenous ceremonies. There are multiple problems with this including the reliability of the administrators, shamans who don’t know what they are doing, bad trips for which a person is unprepared, and possible homicide.
14. In Gillian Johnson’s dream telepathy study, what exactly were the dream characters that “at times appeared to be acting like messengers trying to draw the dreamer’s attention to the targets directly or through evoking particular dream actions” (Barušs, 2007, p. 77).
    Wolves.

    Part II
Answer one of the following two questions in essay style. Your answer must be comprehensive in nature, it must be based on the readings and class discussions, and can include relevant observations from your own experiences. This question is worth 10 marks and this part of the examination is worth 10% of your final grade.

15. How could psychosynthesis be used to become more authentic?
    N=10; average=7.2; highest mark = 9 (two students). Access to dynamics of one’s own psyche so that one knows who one is and what one wants; supersonality work; will to implement vision for one’s life. Show the relevance of specific psychosynthesis exercises.
16. Discuss the contention that the ordinary waking state is a delusional altered state of consciousness.
    No one answered this question.

February 28, 2018. Comments about term test (see above). Small groups discussions of Question 5: "What are the techniques that can be used for precipitating transcendent states of consciousness? What are the presumed effects of the use of such techniques? (Optional, as part of your answer: Describe and analyse your own efforts to precipitate transcendent states of consciousness.)" Lecture: witnessing meditation, mindfulness, insight, intentionality, TM, concentrative meditation, attention (concepts, images, words), monitoring, volition, Herbert Benson's studies of TM, relaxation response, beneficial effects of meditation, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jeffery Martin's Finders Course, location 4. Writing of 1-minute essays: What do you think?

March 7, 2018. Comments about final examination. Comments about one-minute essays: Jeffery Martin's relationship to the Finders Course, outward appearances of people in Locations 1 through 4, the mystical journey of Bernadette Roberts. Comments about Homework Question 5: make sure to use relevant information from all of the readings and not use irrelevant information when answering the homework questions; make the distinction between Transcendental Meditation and meditation for the purposes of transcendence, make the distinction between reflexive meditation and reflective meditation; Arnold Mandell's theory of transcendence, kindling, hippocampal CA3 cells, feelings of unity, the television metaphor. Small groups discussions of Homework Question 6: Describe the transcendent state of consciousness in which Franklin Wolff found himself. What are some of the beneficial aspects of such a state of consciousness? What are some of the adverse aspects, if any, of such a state of consciousness? Lecture: Images of the Ashram on Tuttle Creek; Franklin Wolff's biography, the Great Space Center; discontinuity, infinite convergent series whose sum is 2, the First Fundamental Realization, nonduality; hyperbolic relationship between Appearance and Reality; knowledge through empirical investigation, rational thinking, and introception; transcriptive thinking; mathematical yoga; via negativa, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite; the Current, induction of transcendent states in others. Writing of one-minute essays: Write whatever you want.

March 14, 2018. Comments about one-minute essays: distinctions between surrendering, faith, and believing; transcriptive thinking. Small groups discussions of Question 7: Briefly describe the theosophical theory of reality. How useful is it for understanding self-development and altered states of consciousness? (Optional, as part of your answer: Analyse the usefulness of the theosophical theory for understanding your own self-development.) Lecture: history of the theosophical theory of reality; levels of reality, subplanes of levels, physico-etheric level of reality, acupuncture, etheric phenomena; astral level, dreaming, death, rainbow bridge, higher planes, activation and deactivation of etheric centres of energy, raising kundalini.  Writing of one-minute essays: Write whatever you want.

March 21, 2018. Comments about one-minute essays: Most of you told me how confused you were. Comments about Homework Question 7: Importance of learning to be able to read and summarize something, and then link it to other material; a theory is judged by its goodness-of-fit to the data; theosophical model is an amalgamation of previously existing ideas. Small groups discussions of Question 8: Discuss the role of altered states of consciousness in self-development. (Optional, as part of your answer: Describe and analyse the role of altered states of consciousness in your own self-development.) Lecture: life course following a crisis, lack of preparation for life's difficulties; progressive vs. regressive pathologies; Abraham Maslow's safety vs. growth needs, repression, inauthentic dismissal of spirituality, failed rotation toward transcendent anchoring, projection, compensation, desacralization, defensive pessimism, routinization, cults, dogmatization; increased sensitivity, feelings of inadequacy, excessive optimism, stirring of subconscious, overabundance of images, absolutism, abstraction; need for integrated personality; ideal model technique, discussion of the notion that "inner images have motor power;" Bill Bengston's non-contact healing experiments; meaning fields. Writing of one-minute essays: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?

March 28, 2018. Small groups discussion of Question 9: Discuss the ways in which altered states of consciousness could be useful for healing. (Optional, as part of your answer: Describe and analyse your own efforts to use altered states of consciousness for healing.) Lecture (see "Remote Healing Slides" toward the bottom of this page): Randolph Byrd's distant intercessory prayer, ME, importance of realizing how little we know, key notion in ME of making changes in the imagination, remote healing study procedure, differences in results between experimental and control conditions, correlations of experimenter's nonduality with participants' fatigue, the Philadelphia Experiment, methods and measures, changes in total health scores, changes in lability, development of profundity scale, changes of profundity during the semnar. Writing of one-minute essays: Write whatever you want.

April 4, 2018. Discussion about music and academic integrity. Comments about one-minute essays: the relationship of ME to hypnosis, dangerousness of healing, impacts of healing on the healer. Small groups discussion of Question 10: Discuss the relationship of death to self-transformation. Lecture: Martin Heidegger's being toward death as a way of changing a person, distinction between physical death and psychological death as agents of transformation. Guest Speaker, Neda: precognitive dreaming, description of near-death experience, the Pauli effect, importance of love, correct anomalous identification of future events, mindfulness, gratitude, the limitations of healing. Writing of one-minute essays: What do you want to review next week?

April 11, 2018. Running FieldREG, history of research concerning anomalous human-machine interactions at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory. Comments about 1 minute essays: The most important thing for students to learn is what they most need to learn, which might not be apparent until many years later. Comments about Question 10: still using "singular they" and, a new problem, using the singular when the plural is needed; the next step in mediumship research involves the determination of the optimal time for introducing interactions with a medium during grief; death as an agent of self-transformation and the curious cases of absence of self-transformation during death. Review: Names and Numbers Quiz; triggers of ontic experiences; pingala; the infinite series ; Franklin Wolff's hyperbolic function ; support vs. content in meditation; main themes from the Theosophical model; lability; profundity. Analysis of the results of running the FieldREG during the class. Writing of one-minute essays: Make up a question for Part I of the examination and a question for Part II of the examination.

 

Remote Healing Slides