Previous Programs

Lawrence, KS Community Group
Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)

Our IONS group began on May 8, 1999 with a meeting at Borders Book Store that invited everyone interested in the topic of consciousness. Since that meeting, which attracted nearly 50 folks, we've explored many topics related to the question "What is Consciousness?" Topics and thumbnails of programs include the following:
1. Linguistics: Because abstract thinking is the foundation of our notions of the cosmos, and because our thinking both reflects and forms our language, we've explored several topics related to linguistics.

9/16/99: Richard League, PhD, catalyzed our discussion with the topic of psycholinguistics generally, and his research on "Mantra effects on Mind" specifically.

9/21/00: World-views and "word-views." At issue is whether English and other Indo-European languages are suitable for interpreting and expressing the operations of natural systems. To explore this question, the late David Bohm initiated the first Dialogue between Native Americans, western scientists, and linguists in 1991. Recent such dialogues, organized by the late Dan Moonhawk Alford, have been held annually in Albuquerque since 1999. Don Watson and Berney Williams catalyzed our IONS dialogue by sharing what they learned at the 2000 conference.

7/18/02: In a special meeting, Philip Andrews, from England, visited Lawrence in route from the recent "Language of Spirituality" conference in Albuquerque to a workshop in St. Joseph with a Mayan elder from Guatamala. As prelude to his talk, Philip wrote: "How we can work together with indigenous cultures and their sacred sites to develop first generation intelligent Information Technology based on concepts of rocks as intelligent agents within an intelligent energy cosmos and appealing through non-locality energy communication."
2. History of consciousness theories: The recent academic interest in consciousness has finally fallen in line with thinking over thousands of years. Knowing about these historic precedents can not only keep us from reinventing the wheel, but help us to invent better wheels.
10/21/99-2/17/00: In three breathtaking, two-hour sessions, historian of science, Berney Williams, PhD, led us in a "romp through consciousness" from 5000 BC to the end of the 10th century, then a review of concepts of consciousness in the 20th century, and finally in a look forward to its "history" in the 21st century!
3. Afterlife research and mediumship: No adequate exploration of consciousness can avoid the age-old question, "Do our selves and our consciousness survive death of the body?"

11/18/99: Excerpts from the recent HBO special featuring a study by Gary Schwartz and Linda Russek with four mediums catalyzed the discussion of afterlife research.

4/20/00: This meeting centered on Near Death Experiences (NDE), with BoB Nunley, PhD, sharing his NDE with us.

5/18/00: This time, we focused on the human aura, our discussion catalyzed by a video presentation by Konstatin Korotkof, Russian professor of biophysics.

7/20/00: Our focus this month was on mediums. We watched a video of one of John Edward's programs from TV, then a private reading for Don Watson by Laurie Campbell. Laurie's talents are especially interesting to Don because her "spirit guide" is James Clerk Maxwell!

9/25/01: Under the direction of Jennifer Martin, the ad hoc Lawrence IONS Players read a portion of The Weir, a play by Conor McPherson. Here's the blurb: "On arriving at a local bar in a remote part of Ireland, Valerie finds herself spellbound by an evening of ghostly stories from the area's bachelors. Through these stories, both funny and chilling, each one of them achieves new understanding and acceptance."

2/28/02: Berney Williams reported his recent trip to Russia, where he networked with Konstantin Korotkov and investigators from several academic institutions who are starting protocols with the GDV device. He'll tell us about these studies, as well as some of his plans to apply the device.

4/25/02: Traci Bray catalyzed our discussion by talking with us about her life with the "Clairs"—Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, and whatever other Clairsentiece comes her way while doing general readings and mediumship. She also talked about how the skills came to her and her process of development.

4. Multiple personalities: Any theory of consciousness must explain, not only the consciousness of "normal" people, but of those with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), who appear to exhibit more than one personality.

3/22/01: We continued to ask, "What is Consciousness," by exploring the many faces of multiple personalities. We began with a televised video in which a person accused of a crime was featured, then discussed the clinical experiences with DID of several of our members.

6/28/01: Our meeting this month featured Mary Jo Grant, PhD, who gave much to think about (and, of course, talk about) concerning persons with multiple personalities. She was accompanied by one of her former patients, now integrated, who graciously answered our questions about her experiences.

5. Scientific Anomalies: The impetus to scientific revolutions arises from observed phenomena that prevailing theories can't explain. These "paranormal" phenomena include, not only telepathy, psychokinesis, precognition, and remote viewing, but life itself, the evolution of species, and consciousness.

11/16/00: This meeting, our interplay was catalyzed by a video providing evidence that consciousness does not require the brain. Russell Targ gave information about his research on remote viewing, and Jerry Solfvin explored telepathic healing.

1/18/01: Our first meeting of the new millenium featured a video with IONS director of research, Marilyn Schiltz, who discussed Bio-PK - the psychokinetic effects of one person on another - as in staring.

2/15/01: Our meeting this month was catalyzed by a 30 minute video featuring Jean Millay, a multi-talented parapsychology investigator. The topic is EEG and Telepathy.

1/24/02: Our program centered on a British documentary, Do Organs Remember? At issue are memories, tastes, cravings, and so forth that seem to follow transplanted organs into their recipients. The program features several recipients telling their experiences, and three scientists, two of whom were here to discuss the data. Ralph Fairchild, transplant surgeon, shared his clinical observations, and Don Watson discussed the scientific exploration of paranormal experiences.

5/23/02: Rabbi Barry Albin engaged us with "Four Healings, Three Ghost Stories, Two Exorcisms, and a Miracle." As prelude to his talk, Barry wrote: "I will talk about four healings that I think are particularly interesting because each was confirmed by a medical professional. I will talk about three ghost stories because they show how the gift grew. I will talk about two exorcisms so that one can see the nature of the beast. And the one miracle will be amazing by any standards and I was truly amazed as well."

6/6/02: Our June meeting featured Jim DeMeo, who discussed Wilhelm Reich's Orgone energy. Jim earned his PhD at KU as a grad student of BoB Nunley. While in grad school, he built and tested a cloudbuster, and has since worked on several other devices that capture and use Orgone energy. Naturally, given the history of persecution suffered by Reich, Jim's interest in Orgonomy has left him open to infestations by a wide variety of critics.

10/17/02: Karin Cremasco, a Ph.D. Energy Medicine student at Greenwich University, led a discussion of the healing methods she uses in her Biocomputer Emotional Spiritual (BES) Technique. Karin is. Her BES techniques assume that the body has an innate intelligence, inborn resistance to disease, and an ability to heal itself.

10/24/02: Pat Norris of The Life Sciences Institute of Mind-Body Health in Topeka talked about "consciousness, intentionality, creativity, and connections with self, others, cosmos, etc. as revealed by brainwave research and training over the years, especially from the standpoint of our experience at the Voluntary Controls program at Menninger."

6. Theoretical concepts: Keenly aware of our need for a paradigm shift, we focus on several theories that attempt to explain consciousness.
6/15/00: Our meeting this month consisted of a videotaped interview of Rolling Thunder with Jeffrey Mishlove, titled "The Unity of Man and Nature." This video gave us a peek into Native American science and theory.

10/19/00: To explore the materialistic approach to theories, we watched a video–"The Scientific Search for the Soul"--in which Francis Crick, Nobel Laureate, discusses his notions of the brain's role in consciousness. According to this "astonishing hypothesis," we are "nothing more than a pack of neurons."

4/26/01: We watched two videos to start our discussion: Rupert Sheldrake discussed his theory in the context of "The Universal Organism," and Karl Pribram talked about his notion of the "Holographic Brain." We discussed the strengths and weaknesses of both these approaches.

5/24/01: We kicked off this month's meeting with a second helping of Rupert Sheldrake plus a visit with Fred Alan Wolf. Fred's background is in quantum physics, but he's transcended physics to deal with more complex matters, namely his vision of the soul.

11/8/01: Most of us agree that 21st century science must differ radically from traditional science. For instance, it must address the spiritual aspects of the cosmos, and it must answer the old question, "What is life?" But saying what science must do doesn't give any idea of what future science will be like. Berney Williams and Don Watson discussed and debated various approaches to developing this science, especially against the benchmarks of enformy and TES--the theory of organization itself.

9/24/02: This meeting featured a video produced for the "Closer to Truth" TV , titled "What is Consciousness?" Joining host Robert Kuhn were physicist James Trefil, David Chalmers, John Searle, Marilyn Schlitz, and Fred Alan Wolf. We were impressed that, with the exception of IONS's Marilyn Schlitz, these experts didn't stray from the materialist paradigms.

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