Summary

January 11, 2017. Orientation: Distribution and review of "Course Outline," "Schedule and Homework Assignments," and "Grading Criteria." Lecture: Persepctives on consciousness, qualia, existential qualia, the hard problem, definitions of consciousness, the problem that consciousness poses for science, definitions of "altered states of consciousness" and "alterations of consciousness." Buzz groups: Do anomalous phenomena such as remote viewing and remote influencing occur? Distribution and review of "Handout Lecture 1: Definitions." Definitions of "self-development" and "self-transformation." Lecture: Beliefs about consciousness and reality. Writing of 1-minute essays: What are you looking forward to in this course? What do you dread about this course?

January 18, 2017. Comments about 1-minute essays: concern about having beliefs challenged, being able to stay in a state of not knowing. Rules for small groups discussions. Small groups discussions of Question 1: Discuss the contention that "Materialism is dead" (Baruss, 2007, p. 6). Lecture: explanation of 2-slit experiment with buckyballs (i.e., spherical fullere molecules), Cheshire cat experiments, politics of science, care with which research concerning anomalies is done, Michael Shermer's apparent after-death communication experience, Plato's analogy of the cave. Writing of 1-minute essays: What was the most important thing that you learned today? What was the least important?

January 25, 2017. 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," falsifiability as a requirement of scientific exploration, explanations using mental representations as explanans are usually embedded in a materialistic worldview, explanation of Bell's theorem and experiments with polaroid filters, Kochen-Specker theorem. Rules for small groups discussions. 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, ambiguity, curiosity, being towards death, ways of valuing, compliance, the notion of being oneself, the exercise of the will, the importance of interactions with others, being present to others, the interplay of effort and surrender. Writing of 1-minute essays. What was the most important thing that you learned today? What was the lesat important?

February 1, 2017. Handing our of Practice Term Test (also found in resource box). Comments about 1-minute essays: clinging to inauthenticity as a way of protecting ourselves from the dark side of our natures, society as a nested series of cults, being present for a person as a person. Comments about Question 2: the importance of writing about one's own understanding fearlessly; the prohibited use of singular they; inclusion of an introduction in essays; inauthenticity as an alteration of consciousness; contrast of authenticity and genuineness; the difficulty of being authentic; the problem of antisocial behaviour for authenticity; inputs to understanding: physical snesations, memory, implicit cognition, logical thinking, precognition, anomalous perception, insight. Small groups discussions of Question 3: What is authentic science? Explain how science could be used to study precognitive dreaming. Lecture: the essence, methodology, and worldview of inauthentic and authentic science; the role of beliefs of scientists in experimental outcomes; explanation of the lumpy diagram; the possible existence of a shared universal consciousness; existence versus mechanism studies; precognitive dreaming. Writing of one-minute essays: What do you want to review next week? Also, questions and comments.

February 8, 2017. Comments about 1-minute essays: the problem of evaluating the personal integrity of researchers. Comments about Question 3: authentic science incorporates all of the methodologies that are usually associated with scientific exploration, psychology's apparent efforts to emulate physics, precognitive dreaming not being a problem for determinism, inability to alter the attitudes of those who are convinced of their ideas such as true believers in materialism. 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: restriction created by the ordinary waking state, opening of the ethical aperture in altered states of consciousness, explanation of material on page 66 of multiple inputs to understanding. Writing and discussion of Practice Names and Numbers Quiz. Review: Definitions of consciousness, three aspects of science, SQ, dialectical reasoning, puppet of god, review of information from the first lecture in light of subsequent material, Roberto Assagioli's egg diagram and theory of subpersonalities. Writing of one-minute essays: Make up questions for Parts I and II of the test.

February 15, 2017. Term test. Answers:

1. In what way do judgmental heuristics contribute to inauthenticity?
Judgmental heuristics are automatic ways of reasoning that preclude actual understanding and, hence, contribute to inauthenticity.
2. What is the relevance of psychedelic drugs to self-development?
Psychedelic drugs, such as ayahuasca or psilocybin can give users experiences of transcendence or meaning that could serve as conversion experiences or assist them in self-development.
3. Give an actual example of symbolism in a precognitive dream.
The obvious one is the author's dreams of scoring goals playing hockey referring to the publication of academic papers and books in waking life.
Some of you confused precognitive dreams with dream incubation.
4. Define talking white. Give an example of talking white.
Talking white refers to people only saying those things that are consistent with the normative beliefs of the group to which they belong. Lots of examples, such as students in university courses saying that the mind is a byproduct of the brain so as not to get into trouble, even if they have doubts about that.
5. Given an actual example of implicit cognition that is unlikely to be the result of anomalous inner knowledge.
Lots of examples. Calendrical savants getting the correct days of the week when given the dates.
6. How would a person practice concentrative meditation?
Concentrative meditation consists of directing one’s attention to a chosen mental construction and confining one’s thinking to thoughts associated with that mental construction for some period of time.
7. What does Bell’s Theorem tell us?
Bell’s Theorem tells us what the behaviour of photos must be when they encounter polarizing filters set at various angles, based on probability and logic, if the photons were to be carrying the information about what they will do with them.
8. Describe the conservatively transcendent position on the material-transcendent dimension of beliefs about consciousness and reality.
Individuals associated with the conservatively transcendent position tend to believe that meaning and religiosity are important in life; in particular, that consciousness gives meaning to reality and provides evidence for the existence of a spiritual dimension.
9. Describe how dream incubation could be practised.
Dream incubation could be practiced by asking oneself a question before falling asleep with the intention that the answer will show up in one’s dreams. Henry Reed developed an elaborate ritual involving symbolic rituals and sleeping in a tent in order to promote dreaming a solution to a question.
10. What is the point of the Sufi story in Chapter 3 of Authentic Knowing?
Just as in the story, in which the man will not find his keys by looking where the light is because that is not where he lost them, so we will not learn about consciousness by using methods that are not appropriate to the study of consciousness.
11. What is the point of Plato’s analogy of the cave in Part I of Science as a Spiritual Practice?
The point of the analogy is to illustrate the difficulty of readjustment back in into society of those who have had transcendent experiences.
12. What does it mean to say that the ethical aperture opens wider when we are asleep?
To say that the ethical aperture opens wider when we are asleep is to say that our ability to see who we really are so as to be able to make ethical decisions is increased when we are dreaming.
13. Discuss in depth whether materialism can be authentic.
Materialism is authentic for the person whose understanding is that of materialism. However, materialism becomes inauthentic if it is simply accepted dogmatically. Scientism is the institutionalized acceptance of materialism as dogma curtailing genuine scientific exploration that could reveal that materialism is a false theory.
14. What are some of the ways that altered states of consciousness can be useful for self-development?
Lots of altered states in Part II of Science as a Spiritual Practice that can be used for self-development. Also, one student pointed out that realizing that one must do one’s own dying (an altered state) can lead to authenticity (which is critical for self-development).

March 1, 2017. Comments about term test (see above). Small groups discussions of Question 5: 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.) Discussion of the usefulness of dreams for healing, the relevance of altered states of consciousness for healing, Bill Bengston's healing experiments, alien head technique, terminal decline, and apparent interpersonal transfer of illnesses. Lecture, following PowerPoint presentation: distant intercessory prayer, description of ME, Remote Healing Based on Techniques Derived from ME Experiment 1, Remote Healing Based on Techniques Derived from ME Experiment 2, changes in self-reported energy levels as criterion measure, results indicate remote influence, correlation between non-duality of experimenter and participants' self-reported energy, Alteration of Consciousness at a Self-Development Seminar, measures and procedure, interview and written comments, change in total health scores, changes in lability, profundity, differences in profundity between the stage and the floor, increases in profundity with the progression of the seminar, falling down. Writing of 1-minute essays: What do you find easy to accept? What strains your credulity? Also, any comments and questions.

March 8, 2017. Comments about final examination. Comments about one-minute essays: understanding that we are treading at the cutting edge of consciousness research, falling to the ground, the Toronto blessing, ostensibly taking on someone else's illness. Comments about Homework Question 6: writing is clearer, better organized; the role of beliefs in healing; the role of energy in healing; somatic sensations associated with remote healing; availability of symbols in altered states of consciosuness; distinction between remote healing and imaginary visualization. Small groups discussions of Question 6: 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.): types of meditation, extraordinarily transcendent beliefs about consciousness and reality, flow states, layers of infinities, horizontal vs. vertical meaning, regression in cults. Lecture: the history of meditation practices in North America; intentionality, aboutness; concentrative meditation, support vs. content, attention, monitoring, volition, concepts, images, words; witnessing meditation; Dzogchen, Longchempa, shamatha, trekcho; reflexive meditation. Writing of one-minute essays: Comments and questions.

March 15, 2017. Comments about one-minute essays: enlightenment, self-development, self-actualization; intentionality, self, objects, directedness, aboutness; shamatha, witnessing meditation, mindfulness, substrate consciousness, techko, pristine awareness, Longchenpa, Dudjom Lingpa. Small groups discussions of Question 7: 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: reading from "Franklin Merrell-Wolff: An American Philosopher and Mystic" by Doroethy Leonard (Xlibris, 2017); infinite convergent series whose sum is 2; mathematics, philosophy, and yoga; substantiality is inversely proportional to ponderability, transcriptive thinking; via negativa, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite; discontinuity, imperience, introception; high indifference; escalating self and Assagioli's egg diagram.Writing of one-minute essays: Write whatever you want.

March 22, 2017. Comments about one-minute essays: stewardship, mirages, and the escalating self; when striving ceases; Euler's formula, Núñez and Lakoff's theory of mathematical reasoning. Small groups discussions of Question 8: 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, etheric phenomena; astral level, dreaming, death; rainbow bridge; discrepancies between theory and autoscopy in near-death experiences; activation and deactivation of etheric centres of energy. Writing of one-minute essays: To what does it all boil down?

March 29, 2017. Comments about one-minute essays: invariants; what it all boils down to; involutionary vs. evolutionary movement; validation of past lives, James McCready Huston Jr.'s crash site in Futami Ko, Chichi-Jima, Japan; the "new age;" discernment; after-death states. Comments about Question 8: Exercise in reading, summarizing, and making connections among diverse material; replacing religious belief with knowledge; the importance of goodness-of-fit for a theory; symbolism and myth as the language of hidden parts of the psyche; the privileging of people who study theosophy; the aftermath of suicide. Small groups discussion of Question 9: 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: progressive vs. regressive pathologies; the surfacing of non-conscious material, free drawing exercise, evoking images of subpersonalities, subpersonality integration, psychosynthesis; practicing dying. Writing of one-minute essays: Tell me what you want to review. Also questions for final exam.

April 5, 2017. Erratum: James M. Huston Jr.’s final resting place was Futami Ko, Chichi-Jima which belongs to Japan but is in the North Pacific Ocean about 1,000 km south of Japan. Comments about Question 9: the importance of directing oneself to answering the question, abstension from the use of singular they, conceptualzation of inauthenticity as possession by a materialist subpersonality. Review: Names and Numbers Quiz; Franklin Wolff's philosophy, introception, imperience, nonduality, high indifference, substantiality is inversly proportional to ponderability, convergent infinite series, mathematical yoga, surrender; ontic experiences, absorption; chakras and connectivity; pingala, ida, and sushumna; the Toronto blessing; profundity scale, lability scale. Writing of one-minute essays: Did my idea for this course work, looking at altered states of consciousness in the context of self-development?

Remote Healing Slides