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Foundations of Mind V conference: The New AI Scare?

The Foundations of Mind V (FOM5)”The New AI Scare?” conference was hosted by the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS) by the CIIS Center for Consciousness Studies in San Francisco on Nov 3-4, 2017. It featured presentations by: Henry Stapp, Fred Alan Wolf, Seán Ó Nualláin, Cynthia Sue Larson, Stanley Klein, and Beverly Rubik. This fifth Foundations of Mind conference was scheduled to coincide with and celebrate the release of Henry Stapp’s new book, “Quantum Theory and Free Will.”

People registered through Foundations of Mind (FOM) participate in an ongoing series of conversational threads in areas related to consciousness, quantum interpretations, neuroscience, and higher education.

Aamod Shanker

Quantum Mind

Aamod Shanker presented ideas from traditions of eastern mysticism, particularly those describing vibrations (spanda) from Kashmiri Shaivism, and yogic ideologies of Patanjali, together with principles from wave/quantum mechanics, electromagnetics and principles of symmetries, structure and logic. There was a great deal of spirited conversation about this topic, with discussion about there being many words for consciousness in the east.

Kiril Popov

Reality, Truth, and Computation at the Boundary

Kiril Popov talked about the importance of boundary conditions, and design principles for the mind. There is a requirement that intelligent beings predict things before they happen, which requires memory. Boundary interfaces provide a kind of building block, with access to fields becoming possible via boundary conditions.

Brian Swimme

Mind and World 
Session chair Brian Swimme discussed cosmogenetic consciousness, and what that entails. He encouraged conference participants to experience a visceral sense of wonder with respect to speciation events that some scholars speculate are based on not just genetic mutations, but conscious intention and activity as well. When viewing evolutionary developments through this lens, we can thus recognize important distinctions between evolution of the bison and the horse, which evolved very differently from a common genetic ancestor–by attending to different streams of attention and intention. We can hypothesize that what gets brought forth through evolution is what it’s all about.

Menas Kafatos

Menas Kafatos Commentary on Quantum Theory and Free Will

Menas Kafatos presented a summary of important points from the orthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics as described in numerous publications by Henry P. Stapp and summarized in his new book, “Quantum Theory and Free Will: How Mental Intentions Translate into Bodily Actions.” Nature has values, including life–so we might ask how our values express themselves in a physical universe. Our universe is quantum on every level, although it appears classical, and the observer role is central in quantum physics.

Henry P. Stapp and Seán Ó Nualláin

Syamala Hari on Voluntary Action, Conscious Will and Readiness Potential

Syamala Hari discussed neural correlates of consciousness, neural models, and ways to interpret quantum mechanics in such a way that intention does activation.


Henry Stapp and Cynthia Sue Larson

If Artificial Intelligence Asks Questions, Will Nature Answer?

Cynthia Sue Larson considered how Henry Stapp’s orthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics suggests that when a question is asked, Nature answers–and then pursued this line of thinking to contemplate what happens if Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) asks a question. The impact of such a dialogue between AGI and Nature were explored, with consideration of humanity’s optimal role.

Stan Klein

Stan Klein on New Approaches to the Measurement Problem

Stan Klein provided an introductory overview of Quantum Electro Dynamics as necessary foundational groundwork prior to reviewing the importance of recognizing the selection problem in quantum physics. When we consider a moveable cut, we may well ask, “Who is the observer?”

Tania Re

Tania Re discussed research findings from the field of ethnogenic healing, with support from quantum physics indicating there is growing evidence to recommend consideration of psychotropic substances for therapeutic use.

Seán Ó Nualláin

Reterritorialization and Mental Health

Foundations of Mind founder Seán Ó Nualláin described the issues facing Ireland based on the background presented in his book, “Ireland, A Colony Once Again.” Since the 1990s, there has been a disturbing trends including encroachment of state, increasing suicide rates of the Irish populace, and a kind of illegal status quo–resulting in a Good Friday agreement that brought peace, and also a result that Ireland became a state with no land.

Phillip Shinnick

Phillip Shinnick discusses nature’s influence and mind training in QiGong

Phillip Shinnick described some of the research he has done to address difficulties in inorganic and organic measurement of QiGong energy. Mind and Qi appear to be separate, and Qi does not need mind activity to ‘do its own thing.’ Man cannot govern Dao Yin (nature), but rather nature is involved, and teaches us. Practicing QiGong produces measureable energetic effects, and changes the way we observe reality.

Wolfgang Baer

Wolfgang Baer

Wolfgang Baer presented a talk about “why I’m not afraid of A.I.,” introducing his Cognitive Action Theory where activity is at the center, and action does the activity–rather than emphasizing roles of ‘observers’ and ‘things.’ From this perspective, we feel we are together when we are moving together, and experience is explained by process. From this view, each of us is an event that contains time. We thus live in a world of interacting action cycles–a multiverse of persons.

Vipul Arora

Vipul Arora

Vipul Arora described how observations are essential building blocks of the world. We can quantify experiences in time according to predictable relationships in kinematics. We notice primary properties, or aspects of experience, which are different from emergent properties, and in so doing, we might well ask whether we can distinguish between different sources (tungsten, mercury, sodium lamps). Speech recognition started with higher emergent properties, but those results are limited and moving toward lower emergent properties. We see that limitations of detectors can undermine the importance of primary properties.

Fred Alan Wolf

Fred Alan Wolf

Fred Alan Wolf discussed self-referential consciousness, quantum mechanics, and Gödel numbers to demonstrate that minds can do what automatons cannot do, by transcending rules. There is something about ‘Gödelization’ that shows it is an unalgorithmic procedure, with measurements that are inherently unalgorithmic. Put in other words, we can’t consistently mathematize quantum wave function collapse.


Stan McDaniel

Stan McDaniel

Stan McDaniel talked about the philosophy of continuity, time, and opposition of the dominant paradigm consisting of mechanistic reductionism, physical time, and neoDarwinism. Stan pointed out that memory is used for two things: remembering, and bits of data stored somewhere. This leads us to consider whether a computer can look at it’s own memory, whereas humans are involved in a state of functional reciprocity with nature and the world.

Beverly Rubik and Harry Jabs

Beverly Rubik & Harry Jabs

Beverly Rubik talked about ways Artificial Intelligence can automate obtaining human health information from bio-well finger scans, and then potentially also provide specific balancing frequencies that have been shown effective in reducing stress and improving health. Harry Jabs described ways that A.I. might emulate humans, though robots lack emotions and also will lack a human biofield.

Karla Galdamez

Karla Galdamez

Karla Galdamez described her study of intention at a distance as a source of information transfer and wave function collapse in a recent experiment. This particular experiment involved a Zen meditator in an electromagnetically shielded room, and a remote helper, connected via internet. 




Additional photos and news announcements from the Foundations of Mind IV conference can be viewed at the Foundations of Mind facebook page.

QuantumJumps300x150adCynthia Sue Larson is the best-selling author of six books, including Quantum Jumps. Cynthia has a degree in Physics from UC Berkeley, and discusses consciousness and quantum physics as the host of her radio show Living the Quantum Dream, and as a guest on numerous shows including: the History Channel, Coast to Coast AM, the BBC, Gaia TV, and One World with Deepak Chopra. You can subscribe to Cynthia’s free monthly ezine at:

Foundations of Mind IV conference: Quantum Mechanics Meets Neuroscience

The Foundations of Mind IV (FOM4)”Quantum Mechanics Meets Neuroscience” conference was hosted by the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS) by the CIIS Center for Consciousness Studies in San Francisco on January 27, 2017. It featured presentations by: John Hagelin, Stuart Hameroff, Ruth Kastner, Henry Stapp, Russell Targ, Jack Sarfatti, George Weissmann, Elizabeth Rauscher, Leslie Allan Combs, Fred Alan Wolf, Shelli Joye, Seán Ó Nualláin, Cynthia Sue Larson, Stanley Klein, and Chris Cochran. This fourth Foundations of Mind conference was scheduled to coincide with what would have been Walter Freeman III’s 90th birthday.

People registered through Foundations of Mind (FOM) have joined in numerous conversational threads in areas related to the quantum paradigm, consciousness, quantum interpretations, neuroscience, and higher education.


Seán Ó Nualláin


Foundations of Mind founder Seán Ó Nualláin began the conference by talking about the history of Foundations of Mind, starting with a humble initial budget of $55 a few years ago. In just a few years time, Foundations of Mind has grown to an organization that has created over a hundred peer-reviewed papers–with 79 papers published in just the past three years–all the while providing researchers full rights. The tremendous success of Foundations of Mind is obvious when witnessing the exponential increase in online views and downloads of it’s published research papers, with over 28 million views of all papers published through Cosmos and History in 2015 alone.

Ó Nualláin shared insights and breakthroughs associated with Walter Freeman III’s work that will likely continue for many years to come. Ó Nualláin elucidated the differences between Pribram and Freeman’s work from his unique perspective of having had the opportunity to work closely with both of them. Ó Nualláin explained how Pribram’s holonomic approach arises from consideration of the “microscopic” level–such as individual neurons–while Freeman’s research focused on mass action at the “mesoscopic” level. Ó Nualláin emphasized Freeman’s point that a critical mistake neurologists often make is in supplanting ‘neural fields’ with ‘neuron doctrine,’ as he called for a return to neural field research. Ó Nualláin emphasized that there are important clues to discerning between consciousness and awakeness that can be found in gamma synchrony, with characteristically brief (about 3 seconds at most) synchronous states attained through meditation that requires less energy than other mental states. 


Shelli Joye

Tuning the Mind 

Shelli Joye presented a talk about how quantum field theory can be applied to the electromagnetic field, resulting in quantum electrodynamics. A hypothesis of consciousness residing in the frequency domain is congruent with David Bohm’s implicate order, which appears to provide support for experiences of mystics and psychonauts.


Chris Cochran

Wolfgang Pauli’s Background Physics

Chris Cochran talked about conversations between physicist Wolfgang Pauli and psychologist Carl Jung mostly centered on the topic of Pauli’s dream interpretations. The notion of background physics was presented as a method of psychoanalytic interpretation applied to foundations of quantum mechanics–comprising a practice of self knowledge that emerges in relation to knowledge of quantum mechanics. One of the more interesting conclusions from this rather unique quantum interpretation is that Pauli took complementarity to express the impossibility of final determination of the categories of ‘physical’ and ‘psychic,’ resulting in a conclusion of it being an impossibility for there to be mere ‘physical’ grounding for science. Cochran reminded us of Carl Jung’s suggestion to note that “Only from his wholeness can man create a model of the whole.”

Stuart Hameroff, Jack Sarfatti, and Cynthia Sue Larson

Stuart Hameroff, Jack Sarfatti, and Cynthia Sue Larson

Consciousness in the Universe

Stuart Hameroff presented the “Orch OR” theory that he and physicist Roger Penrose devised to provide a physical explanation for where consciousness might be found to reside. Hameroff began his talk by describing how most modern science is based on an ‘integrate and fire’ neural model that has led to brain mapping, which so far has not been very fruitful. When Penrose suggested the idea that microtubules might be capable of processing information along the lines of a kind of biological quantum computer, we gained an idea for how human memory might work. Hameroff noted that consciousness is definitely not a computation, stating that Penrose used Gödel’s theorem to show conscious understanding is non-computational. Penrose points out that ‘self-collapse’ is consciousness, and we can imagine our conscious minds as something akin to an orchestra warming up.


John Hagelin

Search for Consciousness

John Hagelin presented a summary of recent theories and evidence refuting the
“objective” or “OR” component of “Orch OR.” Hagelin asserted that the OR portion of Orch-OR needs a closer look, since once it is considered in light of recent developments in theoretical quantum physics, the OR portion doesn’t stand up. Hagelin was quick to point out that this does not mean that quantum mechanics does not play a role in consciousness. He continued that he feels the absence of any mechanism suggests that there might not be any wave function collapse; instead we may have the emergence of a multiplicity of parallel viewpoints via decoherence within a single wave function, all operating within a single universal consciousness.

Lively Discussions

A lively panel discussion with Stuart Hameroff, Stan Klein, Henry Stapp and John Hagelin followed the morning sessions, with Ruth Kastner stating that the matter of the collapse of the wave function needs to be addressed, and advising against “shoving the collapse under a different piece of furniture in the room.”


Russell Targ

Nonlocal Remote Perception

Russell Targ talked about the long and successful history of the remote viewing program that he managed for many years at SRI, and showed a movie clip from the forthcoming documentary film, Third Eye Spies. Targ discussed some of the more remarkable discoveries from nonlocal remote perception (aka “remote viewing”) such as he oversaw at SRI in the 1970s. Targ emphasized that “remote viewing is so easy that even a scientist can do it.”  Targ’s ability to provide prompts to those learning to do remote viewing for the first time proved especially fruitful, such as asking a viewer to “show me the surprising images that come into your mind.”


Stan Klein

Testing Psychic Phenomena

Stan Klein presented his talk on, “Using Psychic Phenomena to Test Walter Freeman’s Devotion to Connecting Neuropil to Hard Problems.” Stan made a call for more and better experiments investigating findings in psychic phenomena in the future.

How Hippies Can Save the 2nd Quantum Revolution

Cynthia Sue Larson introduced the afternoon sessions devoted to presentations by Ruth Kastner, Elizabeth Rauscher, George Weissmann, Fred Alan Wolf, Henry Stapp, and Jack Sarfatti.


Cynthia Sue Larson and Ruth Kastner

Science Hasn’t Disproven Free Will

Ruth Kastner presented a different perspective on the topic of free will than the currently prevailing view amongst most quantum physicists–that there is no such thing as personal choice; it’s all probabilities. Kastner contends that we do have free will, as she guided us through an exploration of considering oneself as a ‘quantum system’ in a ready state. It’s clear when envisioning this scenario that each person is enormously complex while existing in an open (rather than closed) state. Choices are not really quantum observables, and each choice option is not represented by an eigenvalue. It is thus physically inaccurate, for example, to call a choice made by Hitler a “quantum defined observable.” Kastner reminded us of a quote by Freeman Dyson, “… mind is already inherent in every electron, and the processes of human consciousness differ only in degree but not in kind from the processes of choice between quantum states which we call ‘chance’ when they are made by electrons.”


Elizabeth Rauscher

Paradigm Shift Number II Ready to Happen

Elizabeth Rauscher talked about how she and George Weissmann initially formed the Fundamental Fysiks Group at UC Berkeley in 1975 to delve deeper into the mysteries of quantum physics beyond the “shut up and calculate” point of view. Quantum concepts were explored with talks by David Bohm and some Nobel prize recipients. Rauscher discussed the idea of quantum reality, showing how EPR fits in with Bell’s Theorem, and what happens as our previously accepted notions of reality fail. Rauscher explained how there is a notion of approximate reality associated with the quantum realm, sandwiched between improbabilities, in a narrow slice of physical ‘exact reality.’ Rauscher provided an overview of subjective versus objective aspects of reality, and the value of precognition in bringing information from the future back to the past, as described in more detail in her books and papers.


George Weissmann and Elizabeth Rauscher

The Quantum Paradigm

George Weissmann discussed the nature of paradigms, and the way presuppositions are implicit unconscious assumptions that often have a dangerous way of sneaking into our theories unquestioned–going mostly unnoticed and ignored. Weissmann stressed that it is absolutely critical in these times to become paradigm-aware. One fundamental assumption to examine more closely is that of objectivity: that there exist such things as objects. When we challenge assumptions, it’s not the same thing as negating it, but rather challenging can be understood to be a process of questioning. In the case of objectivity, we can then keep track of subject and object with every distinction being made. Classical physics is always about ‘external things,’ while quantum is not about external things. Quantum theory is a process, and the arena is in the mind… which leads us to wonder, “Which mind?” We thus begin to gain a sense of relational quantum theory that is personal and not idealistic (mind VS matter), since experience consists of both subject and object. Dreams can thus provide us with a good metaphor for the quantum paradigm, with an implicit sense of One Mind cosmology, in which the quantum paradigm can qualitatively explain and predict.


Fred Alan Wolf

Ontology, Epistemology, Consciousness, and Closed Timelike Curves

Fred Alan Wolf discussed some ideas behind quantum computers having to do with viewing the universe as a multiverse along the lines of what David Deutsch suggests, with closed timelike curves in the multiverse, and wormholes connecting universes in the multiverse. Such a conceptualization of the multiverse transcends linear dynamics, so everything can be considered as being part of parallel universes, where previous time travel paradoxes no longer wreak the kind of havoc we’ve come to expect. Both the “knowledge paradox” and “grandfather paradox” can be resolved through chronological-respecting qubits and consistent time-looping qubits. What comes out of one wormhole thus goes into another world, with entanglement being preserved overall throughout the multiverse.


Henry Stapp

Backward-in-Time Effect in Orthodox Forward-in-Time Relativistic Quantum Field Theory

Henry Stapp pointed out that the present exists “now” and this representation of reality is represented by density matrix. Density matrix is ontological, and represents potentialities with statistical weights, evolving smoothly through time. When considering experiments such as Daryl Bem’s “feeling the future” precognitive experiments, an upsurge of conductance occurs before the stimulus is applied–which seems to provide evidence for backward-in-time causation. When considering such experiments, we must understand orthodox von Neumann quantum theory in a way that is not normally considered. We thus need to better understand ‘actual past’ versus ‘historical past’ so we understand and appreciate that history does not create us.



Jack Sarfatti


Recent Advances in Post-Quantum Physics: The Third Revolution

Jack Sarfatti advocated considering an earlier Bohmian pilot wave view of quantum physics, utilizing John Bell’s “be-ables” in conjunction with the work of Sutherland. Quantum information waves can thus be considered to actually be mental waves, so there is an ontological physical field that manifests as quantum potential, Q, as “will” or “volition.” Mental waves do not have qualia unless the matter they act on reacts directly to them. There is thus a kind of post-quantum action-reaction that has much in common with the wormholes and closed timelike curves presented by Fred Alan Wolf. As soon as you have wormholes, you have consciousness, operating in a block universe. Both future and past are located on the horizon.

Informal Conference Conversations

Melanie O’Reilly with Corca Baiscin

Conference attendees got a chance to mingle with others during breaks, at lunch, and after the conference. An evening musical performance by Corca Baiscin (pronouced Kurka Boshkin) featured vocalist Melanie O’Reilly’s beautiful Celtic jazz. “Kurka Boshkin/Corca Baiscin” combines Irish traditional music with a Celtic-Americana contemporary twist, interwoven with jazz improvisation. Corca Baiscin is the name of the ancient territory now known as County Clare on the west coast of Ireland; you can hear a sample of Corca Baiscin playing “The Tamlin” in this video clip: and Melanie O’Reilly sing “The Diamond Rocks” here:


Some presenters and attendees continued to enjoy a meal and post-conference conversation at a nearby restaurant.

Additional photos and news announcements from the Foundations of Mind IV conference can be viewed at the Foundations of Mind facebook page.

QuantumJumps300x150adCynthia Sue Larson is the best-selling author of six books, including Quantum Jumps. Cynthia has a degree in Physics from UC Berkeley, and discusses consciousness and quantum physics as the host of her radio show Living the Quantum Dream, and as a guest on numerous shows including: the History Channel, Coast to Coast AM, the BBC, Gaia TV, and One World with Deepak Chopra. You can subscribe to Cynthia’s free monthly ezine at:

Foundations of Mind III conference: Science as if Being Mattered


Some presenters and attendees at Foundations of Mind III

The Foundations of Mind III (FOM3) conference took place in Berkeley May 18-20, 2016, featuring presentations by Menas Kafatos, Fred Alan Wolf, Edward Frenkel, Leslie Combs, Henry Stapp, Jacob Needleman, Arnaud Delorme, Peter Duesberg, Glenn Hartelius, Shelli Joye, Beverly Rubik, Judy Gardiner, Wolfgang Baer, Seán Ó Nualláin, Cynthia Sue Larson, Ashok Narashimhan, Neil Theise, Jack Engstrom, Glenn Aparicio Parry, and many more. With two full days of conference proceedings, this year’s conference was a veritable feast of interdisciplinary ideas, wisdom and information from around the world.


The first Foundations of Mind book


The FOM3 conference happily coincided with the release of the first Foundations of Mind book, Dualism, Platonism, and Voluntarism, edited by Seán Ó Nualláin. This book features discussion and dialogue with Henry Stapp and Walter Freeman, among others, and is now available for purchase through the publisher’s website.

Videos from the FOM3 conference presentations will be available through the Foundations of Mind website, and papers will be published in the future, too. People registered through Foundations of Mind are joining in several threads of on-going conversations begun at the conference, and moving forward to explore topics of the quantum paradigm, consciousness, biosemiotics, and higher education.

Honoring Walter Freeman

The remarkable lifetime achievements of Walter Freeman were honored at the start of this year’s conference, with his certificates and diploma on display. Melanie O’Reilly read some words of remembrance written by Seán Ó Nualláin, who got to know Walter while was a visiting scholar in Walter Freeman’s lab at UC Berkeley.


Menas Kafatos

Edward Frenkel, Henry Stapp, Seán Ó Nualláin, and Menas Kafatos

The Nature of Consciousness

Menas Kafatos chaired a session on consciousness, featuring talks by: Menas Kafatos, Arnaud Delorme, Glenn Hartelius, Henry Stapp, Edward Frenkel, Ashok Narasimhan, Neil Theise, Shelli Joye, and Leslie Combs. Arnaud Delorme discussed his work with Dean Radin at the Institute of Noetic Sciences involving experimental approaches to studying possible nonlocal properties of consciousness.

Allan "Leslie" Combs

Allan “Leslie” Combs

Glenn Hartelius discussed the challenges of measuring consciousness. Henry Stapp presented his thoughts about quantum mechanics and the role of the mind. Edward Frenkel called for ethics while discussing artificial intelligence and reasons of the heart. Menas Kafatos talked about fundamental awareness and the foundation of the universe. Ashok Narasimhan explained how we can understand consciousness through qualitative content. Neil Theise encouraged us to think about fundamental awareness and the self-organizing universe. Shelli Joye outlined the Pribram-Bohm holoflux theory of consciousness. Leslie Combs delved into the real hard problem of consciousness. Menas Kafatos led a spirited panel discussion that included Seán Ó Nualláin, following individual paper presentations.

Judy Gardiner

Judy Gardiner


Further Explorations of Consciousness

Judy Gardiner chaired a session that continued our exploration of consciousness, with consideration of patterns, thresholds, and patterns featuring talks by: Judy Gardiner, Jerry Gin, Zann Gill, Ryan Castle, and John Engstrom. Judy Gardiner talked about consciousness without constraint, exploring the ways dreams and real life intertwine, and Aha! moments of revelatory insight can arise. Jerry Gin discussed connections between fundamental pattern and consciousness. Zann Gill talked about fundamental pattern and consciousness. Ryan Castle discussed universal consciousness factors. John Engstrom discussed deep ontic and epistemological parsings.



Jacob Needleman and Seán Ó Nualláin

Jacob Needleman asks Questions of Being

Seán Ó Nualláin engaged in a dialogue with Jacob Needleman that many found to be one of the highlights of this conference, delving into the difference between problems we face and how we ask questions that are not related to our immediate concerns. Questions of being such as, “Are we alone in the universe?” “Is there such a thing as God?” “Who am I?” “Why do we live?” “Why do we suffer?” “Is death the end?” “Why is there evil?” “What can we hope for?” “What can we know?” and “How shall we live?” are the great questions that cannot be answered from a problem-solving state of consciousness.


Fred Alan Wolf

Is the Mind/Soul a Platonic Tachyonic Quantum Field?

This was the question posed by Fred Alan Wolf, aka “Dr. Quantum.” Wolf speculates that the mind/soul may be an information field as perhaps envisioned by Plato—the platonic tachyonic quantum field (PTQ)—possibly what the ancients called the Akashic record, interacting with “real” matter fields. Though no material objects manifesting from appropriate quantum fields can travel at or faster than the speed of light, Wolf speculates that the putative platonic mind/soul exists as a PTQ that interacts with such slower-than-light-speed “real” matter through the intermediary of imaginal imaginary-mass objects—tachyons. It is the interaction between the PTQ and matter fields that leads to the physical world and the experience we know as mind/life force.



Shirin Kaboli

Neurodynamics and Ecopsychology

Seán Ó Nualláin chaired this panel featuring talks by: Seán Ó Nualláin, Glenn Aparicio Parry, Sebastien Benthall, Anthony S. Wright, Tiff Thompson, and Shirin Kaboli. Seán Ó Nualláin described work done in conjunction with Karl Pribram between 1999 and 2002, modeling the brain as a harmonic oscillator. Glenn Aparicio Parry said a prayer, and spoke of remembering the true source of our consciousness. Sebastien Benthall described how social scientists are coming to terms with technology through critical algorithm studies and computational social sciences. Anthony S. Wright talked about transforming knowledge into wisdom, describing components of wisdom: flow, ethics, empathy, compassion, and flexibility. Tiff Thompson described her work in the field of EEG neurotherapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy. Shirin Kaboli presented her paper on wholeness and the implicate order in materials science, and its implications for consciousness studies.


Wolfgang Baer

Observer Inclusive Physics

Henry Stapp

Henry Stapp

Wolfgang Baer chaired this panel seeking to explore the so-called “rose-colored glasses” effect, in which observer characteristics may be inadvertently assigned to observed systems. Papers were presented by: Wolfgang Baer, Henry Stapp, William Bushell, Eric Stanley Reiter, Michelle Kathryn McGee, Cynthia Sue Larson, and Shiva Meucci. Henry Stapp took a fresh look at a way of redesigning Daryl Bem’s ‘sensing the future’ experiment. William Bushell considered how long-term training in highly focused forms of observation potentially influence performance. Eric Stanley Reiter posed a challenge to quantum entanglement through experiment and theory. Michelle Kathryn McGee played with the intersection between matter and energy and light and dark. Cynthia Sue Larson examined evidence of complexity science in quantum phenomena.



Beverly Rubik


Peter Duesberg

Biology Panel and the Work of Peter Duesberg

Beverly Rubik chaired the biology session, which began with a keynote talk by Peter Duesberg, about his work on aneuploidy in cancer. Duesberg presented a case for carcinogenesis being a form of speciation. Peter argues that cancer involves aneuploidy—dysmorphia at the chromosomal level—rather than simple oncogenes. Beverly Rubik discussed her research on distant healing intention on plant growth. Phillip Shinnick discussed how science can help improve the human condition. Glen Rein described a nonlinear optical model of consciousness. Karla Galdamez discussed her research with photon-eye interaction.


Cynthia Sue Larson, Tomoko Parry and Glenn Aparicio Parry


Pre-conference informal social gathering

Interdisciplinary Exchange of Ideas

This third Foundations of Mind conference provided the opportunity for the exchange of ideas with presenters and attendees from many different countries and disciplines over the course of three days during conference proceedings, and at lunch and dinner breaks. From a delightful informal pre-conference gathering Wednesday night at Jupiter, to conference lunches at the International House and a post-conference dinner at Britt-Marie’s, this conference nurtured relationships with old friends and new!


Corca Baiscin featuring vocalist Melanie O’Reilly, Jane Lenoir on flute, and Seán Ó Nualláin on guitar

One of the most memorable highlights of our last evening together was enjoying the musical performance of Corca Baiscin (pronouced Kurka Boshkin) featuring vocalist Melanie O’Reilly, Jane Lenoir on flute, Seán Ó Nualláin on guitar, and Deirdre McCarthy on percussion. “Kurka Boshkin/Corca Baiscin” combines an exhilarating sound of  Irish traditional music with a Celtic-Americana contemporary twist, interwoven with jazz improvisation. Inspired by Corca Baiscin, the name of the ancient territory now known as County Clare on the west coast of Ireland, the band inspired many of us to clap and sing along. You can hear a sample of Corca Baiscin playing “The Tamlin” in this video clip: and Melanie O’Reilly sing “The Diamond Rocks” here:


Additional photos and news announcements from the Foundations of Mind III conference can be viewed at the Foundations of Mind facebook page.

QuantumJumps300x150adCynthia Sue Larson is the best-selling author of six books, including Quantum Jumps. Cynthia has a degree in Physics from UC Berkeley, and discusses consciousness and quantum physics on numerous shows including the History Channel, Coast to Coast AM, the BBC and One World with Deepak Chopra. You can subscribe to Cynthia’s free monthly ezine at:

Foundations of Mind II Papers Published in Cosmos and History

Foundations of Mind conference 2015Foundations of Mind II: A Dialogue of World Views Issue of Cosmos and History

Papers from the 2015 Foundations of Mind II: A Dialogue of World Views conference held at UC Berkeley are now published in Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy in Volume 11, Number 2.

This is the second special edition of Cosmos & History on Foundations of Mind (FOM), which was held at the University of California, Berkeley between August 13th and 15th 2015.

The foundations of mind (FOM) project actively produces solutions to 21st century crises in education and research and resolving ecological and social concerns, through a new approach to mind and society. Foundations of Mind runs an annual conference and an online college, and produces peer-reviewed work in neuroscience, HCI, cognitive science, biology and philosophy that have received the highest accolade of being accepted both to be taught for credit and formally academically sponsored at both Stanford and UC Berkeley.

Abstracts and full-length papers from the 2015 Foundations of Mind conference can now be read at:


Introduction to the Special Issue: Foundations of Mind II: A Dialogue of World-Views ABSTRACT PDF
Seán Ó Nualláin 1-7


The Neoclassical Interpretation of Modern Physics and it Implications for an Information Based Interpretation of Spirituality ABSTRACT PDF
Shiva Meucci 8-27


An Entangled Dream Series: Fragmentation, Wholeness and the Collective Unconscious ABSTRACT PDF
Judy B. Gardiner 28-46


Beyond Conception: Ontic Reality, Pure Consciousness and Matter ABSTRACT PDF
Leanne Whitney 47-59


The Circle of Explanation in the Sciences ABSTRACT PDF
Seán Ó Nualláin 60-82


The Biofield: Bridge Between Mind and Body ABSTRACT PDF
Beverly Rubik 83-96


The Emergent Dualism View of Quantum Physics and Consciousness ABSTRACT PDF
Christopher Tyler 97-114


QEEG Studies of the Acute Effects of the Visionary Tryptamine DMT ABSTRACT PDF
Juan Acosta-Urquidi 115-129
Fractal Cognitive Triad: The Theoretical Connection between Subjective Experience and Neural Oscillations ABSTRACT PDF
Justin M. Riddle 130-145


Quantum Mechanics & the Brain, and some of its Consequences ABSTRACT PDF
Acacio de Barros, Gary Oas 146-153


A Review of the Method of Using the Scalp Electric Field in EEG Analysis ABSTRACT PDF
Claudio Carvalhaes, J. Acacio de Barros 154-159


On the Necessity of Including the Observer in Physical Theory ABSTRACT PDF
Wolfgang Baer 160-174


Fundamental Mathematics of Consciousness ABSTRACT PDF
Menas Kafatos 175-188


Biophotonic Route for Understanding Mind, Brain and the World ABSTRACT PDF
Rajendra Prasad Baijpai 189-200


Measurements and Knowledge ABSTRACT PDF
Carlos Montemayor 201-204


The Origin of Thinking: Restoring the Living Roots of Rational Consciousness ABSTRACT PDF
Glenn Aparacio Parry 205-213


Streams Touching Consciousness: Sensoriality and the Ontology of Repetition ABSTRACT PDF
Katja Pettinen, Myrdene Anderson 214-227


Transcultural Perspective on Consciousness: a bridge between Anthropology, Medicine and Physics ABSTRACT PDF
Tania Re, Carlo Ventura 228-241


The Systems View of Life A Unifying Conception of Mind, Matter, and Life ABSTRACT PDF
Fritjof Capra 242-249


The Absence That Gives Rise to Our Presence: Humanity’s Capacity to Share a Common Sense ABSTRACT PDF
Sperry Andrews, Jennifer Tayloe 250-268


The Physics of Symbols Evolved Before Consciousness ABSTRACT PDF
Howard Pattee 269-277


Highest Ground ABSTRACT PDF
Rodney Ferguson 278-289


The Science of Biogeometry ABSTRACT PDF
Jerry Gin 290-309


FOM: On the Nature of Quantum Dynamical Variables ABSTRACT PDF
James R. Johnston 310-325


Primacy of Quantum Logic in the Natural World ABSTRACT PDF
Cynthia Sue Larson 326-340



Videos from the conference presentations will be available through the Foundations of Mind website, and papers will be published in the future, too. Register through Foundations of Mind to join in on-going conversations exploring topics of the quantum paradigm, consciousness, biosemiotics, and higher education.


QuantumJumps300x150adCynthia Sue Larson is the best-selling author of six books, including Quantum Jumps. Cynthia has a degree in Physics from UC Berkeley, and discusses consciousness and quantum physics on numerous shows including the History Channel, Coast to Coast AM, the BBC and One World with Deepak Chopra. You can subscribe to Cynthia’s free monthly ezine at:

Guest blog: The Bionoetics Manifesto

SeanONuallainCynthia2015oct23I spoke recently with Dr. Seán Ó Nualláin, whom I’ve interviewed on this blog before. Seán holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Trinity College, Dublin Ireland. He was a visiting scholar at Walter Freeman’s lab at UC Berkeley, and also faculty at Cal and Stanford. Seán is the author of several books, including “One Magisterium,” and he runs the Foundations of Mind project.

One of the ideas mentioned in One Magisterium is the notion of bionoetics, a term Ó Nualláin first coined in a paper published in 2007 in a review of Gunther Witzany’s The Logos of the Bios. Ó Nualláin’s idea of bionoetics was subsequently described by Witzany as a method, “at one with the universal laws of nature without embracing scientific reductionism, but instead looking at the whole. New generations of science, fine arts and spirituality, freed of former dogmatic traditions, will be able to do justice to this approach.”

While the idea of Bionoetics may seem so novel as to be at first hard to imagine or fully comprehend, Ó Nualláin has now written a manifesto on  Bionoetics, which I am honored to reblog.


The bionoetics manifesto

Aside from massive student debt and risible employment prospects for Ph D’s, the early 21st Century University has other profound problems. The disciplinary structure is a mess of different geological strata, excluding the 21st century and its urgent need for focused departments dealing with hitherto “interdisciplinary” subjects like Cognitive Science.

In the age of the ubiquitous smartphone, students are asked to perform an acting job in pretending that their professors are more competent than those available through a single click on a browser. In the age of readily available neatly archived knowledge, a mafioso level scam is implemented with “anonymous” review , cartels of professors introducing their students to the fleshpots of the conference circuit, and interlocking boards of capi–sorry, journal editors. Of course, this feeds into the “tenure “ scam, where a historical deal between the state and scholar to secure academic freedom for the latter is now a dead letter.

The solutions are blindingly simple. All basic courses are now available for minimum charge of the web. Academic articles can transparently be posted for equally transparent peer review and appropriately edited by the original writer, who might alternatively agree to disagree or ignore. Cui bono the present system? The corporation-dominated university and immensely profitable journals to start with.

Yet there is a darker agenda at work. The demonic social forces unleashed by the attempted neoconservative coup of 2000-2008 have been transmuted into a paralysis of political will. It suits purveyors of neoliberalism that students of political science can be indoctrinated to look away from the Wiki leaks revelations of how diplomacy actually works. It suits them also that psychology students are not taught the elements of objective math models of reality and the real political order.

All this can easily be changed, and this is but a short foray into the area. Apart from the crisis in replicability of results and consequent retraction of papers that characterizes 21st century science, there are vast swathes of potential  knowledge  that remain unexplored as a result of the idiot savant microfocus of current science. “Dark energy” and “dark matter” are too well-known to be rehearsed here, are suggestive of a stage of crisis in science, but are mirrored in other areas. Examples are the fact that the “dark energy”/default network of the brain is currently suggested as absorbing metabolic process even when no cognition is taking place; linear models of the neuron are clearly too simple; the “dark nucleotides” result in non-coding rmas that actually code by any computing definition; and so on.

The recent accidental (sorry, “serendipitous”) discovery of CRISPR mechanisms now means that gene-editing is at the stage that Monsanto assured us a generation ago they had achieved. This opens a Pandora’s box of speculation about corporate influence on science, already accepted in medicine to the extreme that corporations have gotten so concerned about academics whoring themselves that they have started to do their own replication studies.

Contemptible as such influence is, the problem is deeper still. It is clear, after the bail-outs post-2008, that the  number one value in our society is the right of quants to fiddle with numbers and, by financializing the economy, introduce what has become a neo-feudal system. The state pays for this economized status quo–using taxpayers’ money against them–and then requires that the universities produce graduates to work in this Procrustean Uber/taskrabbit dystopia in the name of “competitiveness” in a market that has been carefully jury-rigged.

The result is that talented  artists are being removed from the gene line as it becomes too expensive for them  even to afford the white picket fence, let alone the house. It should be the duty of universities to ensure that humanities and arts graduates assert the transcendence of the realities to which great art points, be that transcendence achieved through language (like Mallarme) or conceived of as contact with an objective reality (like Beethoven). Nothing of the sort happens; indeed. this writer has sat at seminars with classical music students forced to endure disquisitions about Beyonce videos. If it is all about feelings – as distinct, say, from exploring the stack depth in Beethoven’s recursive motif in the fifth –  why bother with reality and value judgement?

Similarly, the social sciences feature instruction in Atheism 101 (using the Dover trial as a straw man) and – more subtly – an injunction to the students to regard political facts only insofar as they are relative to psychology. Famously, the Kerry 2004 campaign was ill-advised along these lines. Of course, you may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you, and such  weak epistemological fences  are easily breached later in life.

So what can be done? It is clear that we cannot proceed further without looking at the goals of the larger society, which should include human beings living healthily in safe communities and free to explore their relation with a reality conceived of as wonderful. Tertiary education is a critical part of this, and has become subverted. So we can insist on total transparency in all research and pedagogy as a first step. We do not have to resort to new age woo-woo whose only virtue is a radical assertion of the reality of subjectivity; the current structure of the academy leaves unexplored  many fertile areas of research on things meaningful to people. We can in fact build a structure of research and teaching built on a set of ineluctable  propositions about humanity’s relation to reality that cannot, even in principle, ever contradict best practice in science

michelangeloOne is to insist–the central Bionoetics propositions–that we humans are a process in which the universe has come to know itself, and that math exemplifies this. Before the acceleration of mathematical knowledge in the renaissance, we built sophisticated societies based on co-operation through language; since then there has been a vast acceleration Mathematics is neither more nor less than the most elliptical and precise expression of the cosmos knowing itself through us. This is irrefutable (as distinct from true, a slippier concept); the index of access to an objective reality through all the travails of constructivism, psychologism etc is the litmus test of math models working in areas like QM.  Math  contains access to entities historically conceived of as Platonic (cosine, pi, etc) as well as reflections of our cognitive  and social systems.  Indeed, math may be illogical as anyone who struggled with infinities knows; it may work in contexts it shouldn’t with “bad” methods like non-converging infinities and QFT; underlying its success is surely something deeper than “cognitive” operations.

In the social sciences, students should indeed be taught the techniques of graph traversal that constitute modern literacy. Yet it should be done in a context in which it is made clear to them that in the political sphere they are objects more than subjects, not to believe everything they think as our century has witnessed development of expertise in implanting narratives. In the arts it should be insisted that artists are often consumed by a vision of a reality transcendent to them, and the formal techniques they use (like Beethoven’s stack, and his innovation of the diminished chord)  should be explicated in properly respectful fashion.

Medicine should indeed focus on health rather than illness and preventive rather than cure or (the other extreme) “prospective medicine, with Prozac being introduced to countries newly told they’re depressed. Biology is in such crisis that it is the poster child for new explanatory schemas in science. Psychology does not yet exist, 150 + years after its initial replicability crisis. For the moment, we might insist on “psychological’ concepts like simultaneity copying their correlates in physics.

Now, of course, we have to make money. Or do we?  For it is clear that the current model involves burdening students with debt so they will later  be dutiful consumers. If there is a revenue stream, it will be in interdisciplinary degrees with max $1k a year fees and astutely chosen research topics like those mentioned above.  That may never make much money, but presenting it as an alternative is a radical and salutary acy.

However, there is another possibility; introducing the scheme to students of science and the arts  as an entrée into a vast, numinous, transcendent reality unavailable to them in the other colleges they are contemplating. For social scientist aspirants, we might point out that the activism that most of them are drawn to requires intimate knowledge of the forces in our complex society, and being told it is all relative to their minds is useless. For performing artists, we can stress that sophisticated performance is likewise a profoundly  revolutionary political  act and one for which they should demand respect.


Dr. Seán Ó Nualláin holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Trinity College, Dublin Ireland. He was a visiting scholar at Walter Freeman’s lab at UC Berkeley, and also faculty at Cal and Stanford. Seán is the author of several books, including “One Magisterium,” and he runs the Foundations of Mind project.


Cynthia Sue Larson is the best-selling author of six books, including Quantum Jumps. Cynthia has a degree in Physics from UC Berkeley, and hosts Living the Quantum Dream on the DreamVisions7 radio network. She discusses consciousness and quantum physics on numerous shows including the History Channel, Coast to Coast AM, the BBC and One World with Deepak Chopra. You can subscribe to Cynthia’s free monthly ezine at:

Reparsing Nature at Foundations of Mind II

Foundations of Mind reception with Cynthia Sue Larson, Seán Ó Nualláin, Beverly Rubik, and Maria Syldona

Cynthia Sue Larson, Seán Ó Nualláin, Beverly Rubik, and Maria Syldona at the Foundations of Mind reception

The Foundations of Mind II conference may be over, but the conversation is heating up.

The Foundations of Mind II conference took place at UC Berkeley this month, featuring presentations by Fritjof Capra, Stuart Kauffman, Henry Stapp, Bob Doyle, Howard Pattee, Jacob Needleman, Walter Freeman, Stuart Hameroff, Jonathan Schooler, Glenn Aparicio Parry, Beverly Rubik, Acacio de Barros, Carlos Montemayor, Len Talmy, Bob Petr, Judy Gardiner, Julia Bystrova, Maria Syldona, Leanne Whitney, Tania Re, Wolfgang Baer, Markate Daly, Justin Riddle, Seán Ó Nualláin, and many more. With three information-rich days of conference proceedings, and ongoing conversations that ran long into most nights, this year’s conference was a veritable feast of interdisciplinary ideas, wisdom and information from around the world.

Videos from the conference presentations will be available through the Foundations of Mind website, and papers will be published in the future, too. People registered through Foundations of Mind are joining in several threads of on-going conversations begun at the conference, and moving forward to explore topics of the quantum paradigm, consciousness, biosemiotics, and higher education.

Cynthia Sue Larson and Fritjof Capra

Cynthia Sue Larson and Fritjof Capra

A Systems View of Life

Fritjof Capra talked about moving from a mechanistic to a systemic network view of life, in which there is a more unified view of mind, matter, and life. “Evolution is no longer seen as a competitive struggle, but a cooperative dance.” Capra described the theory of autopoiesis, which defines biological life as a pattern of self organization within a boundary of its own making. With this definition, Capra pointed out, “plants have consciousness, too!” The Santiago Theory of cognition is a non-representational (non-symbolic) theory that identifies cognition–the process of knowing–with the process of life. Life and cognition are inseparably connected, and perception and behavior do not require a brain or nervous system. The Santiago Theory overcomes the Cartesian division of mind and matter, so that mind is not a ‘thing,’ but instead represents the self-organizing process aspect of life, and matter represents the complementary aspect of structure.

Stuart Kauffman

Stuart Kauffman

Biology and Evolution

Stuart Kauffman pointed out that there is no propositional system to determine the number of uses for a screwdriver. The number is necessarily infinite, since new functions can exist that could not be determined in advance. Functions are important to us, so we have hearts that pump blood, yet biological systems cannot be reduced to physics. Kauffman stated, “What’s propagating is not DNA or genes–it’s functional sufficiencies.” The key point is that new actuals constantly arise that enable–rather than cause–new possibilities. Once a swim bladder develops in a given animal, for example, a new function–buoyancy–begins to exist. And once that swim bladder exists, it’s possible for bacteria to live in that swim bladder. Here we see that reductionism must fail, since biological evolution creates new actuals that nobody can foresee, which were all enabled by what came before.


Gurdjieff View of Consciousness

Jacob Needleman described how George Ivanovich Gurdjieff spoke of consciousness as being pure presence, with many levels. Only when all three minds (mental, feelings, and instinctive)–all three centers of perception–work together can real consciousness begin. Gurdjieff describes the “many I’s” present in each of us, but for most people experiencing this, it comes as a tremendous shock to the ego. Needleman pointed out that, “Man is here for some reason, and everything serves a purpose. What does mankind serve on Earth?” Gurdjieff explained that a transmitting station operates through man’s consciousness, which Earth needs: “Awakened man can change the world.”

Leanne Whitney

Leanne Whitney

Living the Quantum Paradigm

Sky Nelson and Jim Johnston kicked off the conference with dialogue about how it feels to experience synchronicity, love, and connectedness while living in keeping with the quantum paradigm–as physicists themselves. Judy Gardiner talked about dreams and dream symbols, Shiva Meucci summarized key points of focus in consciousness and physics, Cynthia Sue Larson presented the paper, “Quantum Logic is Primary in the Natural World,” Leanne Whitney delved into Patanjali’s concepts of the purusa ontic reality, Jim Johnston talked about quantum dynamic variables, Maria Syldona provided an experience of consciousness from Kashmir Shaivism, and Julia Bystrova presented a poetic transdisciplinary perspective.

A Veritable Smorgasbord of World Views

Walter Freeman

Walter Freeman

Leonard Talmy provided insights into how language structures concepts; Seán Ó Nualláin talked about education, mindfulness and high performance; Justin Riddle led an exploration into the fractal cognitive triad; Jonathan Schooler invited us to ponder how an additional subjective dimension of time might provide a meta-perspective bridging science and experience; and J. Acacio de Barros investigated quantum mechanics by encouraging us to more thoroughly contemplate who has a mind.

Henry Stapp discussed the quantum zeno effect, and the intriguing way that if you keep asking the same question repeatedly and rapidly enough, it stays in the “yes” answer mode. Walter Freeman discussed four steps by which animals create knowledge and meaning from microscopic sensory information. Beverly Rubik described the importance of the biofield hypothesis for appreciating how consciousness is the conductor for the energetic ‘symphony.’ Howard Pattee pointed out that we can’t have just one model that handles everything–we need complementary models. Bob Doyle described the temporal sequence to free will, starting first with “free,” followed by “will.”

Stuart Hameroff at Foundations of Mind 2

Stuart Hameroff

Sebastian Benthall talked with Seán Ó Nualláin about ideas for improving higher education, and the notion of one magisterium. Glenn Aparicio Parry discussed the value of considering original thinking–that which was there first–from an indigenous perspective, in terms of accessing the full continuum of consciousness. Markate Daly described how three moral qualities of trust, reciprocity and care contribute to provide social order. Petr Bob asked whether the non-classical mind exists, pointing out that the binding problem anticipated by Descartes still exists. Wolfgang Baer reviewed the compatibility of physical assumptions with the foundations of mind. Frank Heile presented a three agent theory to explain religion, spirituality, and enlightenment. Jeffery Martin talked about the wonders of transformative technology. Karla Galdamez described experimental apparatus for measuring wave function collapse.

Stuart Hameroff discussed the “quantum pleasure principle,” in which consciousness creates a flow of time. Juan Acosta-Urquidi discussed positive neurophenomenology affects from medicinal qualities of plants. Tania Re described a bridge between anthropology, medicine and physics in the way cultures access different state of consciousness for healing. Yoshio Nakamura shared research findings about mindfulness meditation and nondual awareness. Jerry Gin presented biogeometry tools, materials and ideas. Sperry Andrews discussed humanity’s capacity to share a common sense. Rodney Albert Ferguson brought joyful levity to a spirited discussion about how alive, conscious, and free we truly are.

Fiachra Meek

Fiachra Meek

Music and Socializing at FOM2 Reception

There were lots of opportunities to socialize and connect at the Foundations of Mind party featuring music by a famous young Irish uliieann piper, Fiachra Meek, whose video filmed on an Irish bus recently went viral, with Irish journalists commenting “Only in Ireland.” Fortunately for those of us at Foundations of Mind, we enjoyed hearing many beautiful Irish uliieann songs!

QuantumJumps300x150adCynthia Sue Larson is the best-selling author of six books, including Quantum Jumps. Cynthia has a degree in Physics from UC Berkeley, and discusses consciousness and quantum physics on numerous shows including the History Channel, Coast to Coast AM, the BBC and One World with Deepak Chopra. You can subscribe to Cynthia’s free monthly ezine at:

Foundations of Mind Conference August 13-15 2015

Cynthia Sue Larson at UC Berkeley

Cynthia Sue Larson at UC Berkeley

The next Foundations of Mind conference is coming to UC Berkeley August 13th through the 15th, and I’d love to see you there!

Foundations of Mind: Dialogues Between Worldviews creates interdisciplinary dialogue about Mind/Nous in a way that transcends a reduction of Mind to psychological process. This project asserts that the proper study of mind is the most important scientific venture in which humanity has engaged. We are also aware that humans have struggled with explaining mental actions for thousands of years, and indeed that the products of mind are available around us as the arts, as science, and as social organization. In recent years, there has been progress in neuroscience and in computer simulation of behavior, and also a growing sense through quantum mechanics that something is missing in our objective explanations of physical nature. This somehow seems to be linked with the mystery of subjectivity — why each of us feels that “I am.”

FOMheaderFoundations of Mind II Conference: Dialogues between Worldviews
FOM 2 3105 Tolman Hall, UC Berkeley, Aug 13-15, 2015
Early bird registration of $200 due by June 1, 2015 to:

DSCN0213Confirmed plenary speakers/panelists include:

Stuart Kauffman (Systems Biology, Seattle)
Jacob Needleman (SFSU)
Kevin Padian (UC Berkeley)
Walter Freeman (UC Berkeley)
Swami Prasannatmananda (Vedanta society)
Seán Ó Nualláin (UOI)
Stanley Klein (UC Berkeley)
Beverly Stokes (Amazing babies moving)
Cynthia Sue Larson (RealityShifters)

More speakers will be added; we are also pleased to host members of the Biohackers and consciousness hackers communities in the Bay area.


Foundations Of Mind Conference Sessions Include:

Living the Quantum Paradigm
3105 Tolman Hall UC Berkeley
Aug 13  2015  10 am to noon
Chair: Cynthia Sue Larson
This session invites interdisciplinary dialogue and exercises addressing the underlying philosophy and logic of quantum physics, and approaches to living in accordance with quantum principles. Questions about the nature of reality require inclusion of quantum physics beyond the historical “shut up and calculate” approach, which has provided multiple interpretations of quantum physics without agreement on the philosophical quantum paradigm foundation. Whereas quantum physics challenges scientists to comprehend whether, how, or where a boundary between classical and quantum physics may exist, philosophy promotes critical thinking and clarity about arguments, terminology, and ideas. Scientific philosophy can lead the way toward development of new theoretical approaches and alternate interpretations, while finding conceptual weak points in theories and arguments. Experiential approaches to living in accordance with quantum principles provide unique opportunities for appreciating the feeling of levels of consciousness and the dream-like nature of reality. In Vedanta, the body is a synonym for sensations and the mind for thoughts; both are presented to consciousness, the fundamental eternal reality. Yet exercises are also proposed to maintain this insight, which otherwise does not persist.

Session on Ontology
3105 Tolman Hall UC Berkeley
Aug 13 1pm to 3pm
Chair: Michael Ranney
It is our belief that much grief, and waste of taxpayers’ money, could be avoided with an appropriate reparse of nature that acknowledges there are rifts between the quantum and classical physical realities, and further ontological discontinuities at the biological and intentional thresholds. It is further our belief that the relative failure of the HGP, and imminent debacle of both the Obama and “Blue brain” neuro initiatives, are dues to precisely this unwillingness to cater to ontology. Moreover, even incessant crawling of the web has failed to yield anything other than at best mediocre results in machine translation. Finally, this tendency manifests itself in the social sciences with psychologism, the reduction of exigent social dynamics to cognitive and other psychological theories of how these forces are processed. This has led on the one hand to the non-engaged intellectual; on the other, to bewildering interpretations of postmodern thinkers geared mainly to giving instructors a free pass. This session invites papers that address technical issues in science and the arts under this rubric and/or consider the question of authentic political engagement. In particular, the latter category of papers may explore the fact that reality is relative to consciousness and yet transcends it, As we act, we become aware of being objects in a social space that yet can be magicked away in a classroom.

In the Absence of Theory; Return to Villa Serbelloni?
3105 Tolman Hall UC Berkeley
Aug 13 3-30 to 5-30
Chair: Seán Ó Nualláin
Several decades before the HGP was initiated, a diverse group of scientists convened at Villa Serbelloni to tackle the troubling lack of theory in biology. The solutions they proposed were various, from an untroubling emphasis on hierarchy to a reinstatement of Aristotelian material and final causality to a network-based approach to the interaction of metabolism and genetic code. It is fair to say that the HGP to its cost – and that of the public who paid for it – ignores these guidelines. Is it time for a fresh period of reflection?

Session on Hacking consciousness; non-invasive probes into subjectivity
FOM 2 3105 Tolman Hall UC Berkeley
Aug 14 2015 10 am to noon
Chair; Justin Riddle (Ph.D. candidate, UC Berkeley)
While a century ago dreams were regarded as revelatory of true psychic dynamics, a later generation took to drugs for that same purpose. A new ethos is stressing invasive methods that essentially involve consent forms being signed by patients already stressed by imminent surgery.

While the results of this has been mixed, the fact remains that there already exists an array of tools that can shape experience without the risks of drugs or surgery. This session will investigate these  tools,  like TMS and EEG, and their results. It will feature discussion of synchronized gamma and whether it indeed is the signature of consciousness that many claim it is.

1pm – close Submitted papers
FOM 2 3105 Tolman Hall UC Berkeley
Aug 15 2015 10 am to noon


DSCN0208Submitted papers
12-20 conference Keynote ; Stuart Kauffman

The following is intended as a non-coercive guideline for themes for paper submissions ie other themes are welcome;
Title; “One Magisterium; a new science-religion dialogue”

A Magisterium is an area of teaching authority. As we celebrate the 450th anniversary of Galileo’s birth, it seems clear that science has prevailed over superstition. The “new atheists” claim that there is indeed one Magisterium, that of science.

At first glance, it seems that science will continue its march to victory over the epistemological claims of religion, eventually reducing them to the null set. More consequentially, it is increasingly accepted among religious “thinkers” as among scientific such that the magisterium, the teaching authority, of science trumps that of religion. The result is a consensus that state power, based as it should be on natural law, itself a reflection of the natural order of things, will increasingly base itself on science.

The evidence seems overwhelming; on the positive side there are physical theories accurate in their predictions to a part in a trillion, print-outs of one’s genome for a few dollars, a steadfast adherence to the notion that the mind IS the brain and that the brain is being mapped. On the negative side there is in the epistemological domain the clear absurdities of the biblical account of creation and the notion of transubstantiation, let alone reincarnation, and in the social domain the horrors of religious terrorism and institutional child abuse.

Yet things are now not quite so simple. It would be a pity if citizenship was reduced to following the dictates of scientists we cannot understand; yet its mythic poverty is not the only limitation of science. For a start, “science” itself means knowledge and that gives little clue that science reflects a set of practices based on a set of logico-mathematical insights and related physical observations, from which it takes its impetus; most of its practitioners are not versed in the philosophy of science and are not aware of the controversial status of theory.

However, that type of brake put on the progress of “science” may only be the beginning. The Victorian universe was eternal; the modern one features creation from a single point, rough-hew this how we may. Indeed, the cosmos shows fine-tuning of physical constants in a manner that leads to complex conscious creatures driven to understand said cosmos, all the while debating furiously how these constants came to be just so. The Darwinian biosphere was atomistic chance and biological necessity; ours features far-from equilibrium conditions like the gaseous contents of the atmosphere that facilitate our existence. In fact, man is right back at the center of things in a way no-one dared to predict.

There are many other issues that beg explanation along these lines; in fact, it could be argued that we have gotten good enough t science to become aware of its limitations. For example, Goedel DID point out paradoxes about cognition in mathematical systems and the puzzling ontological status of infinite sets that indeed suggest access to processes that are outside the Turing/Church realm. It also is arguable that the observer is still enmeshed in state-vector reduction, with attempts to dispense with him still highly controversial

Indeed, the hitherto “subjective” notion of information is now immanent in third-person physics, as the idea of code is in biology. As we explore in mathematical physics, we find that concepts like symmetry, far from being psychological mechanisms, seem almost to have a deus ex machina status, guiding us to ever deeper insights into nature. Conversely, in areas like quantum field theory, we sometimes do “bad math”, with non-converging infinite series, where any number could be obtained, and yet it works. Both subtle and devious is the Lord.

This is not an attempt to re-introduce creationism; it is rather an attempt at broadening the debate. We can continue along the lines above. Folk psychology, rather than eliminative materialism, will prevail precisely because it is a more effective algorithmic compression for most people than eliminative materialism and it is attested in its strengths and weaknesses by tens of millennia of human societies. People striving for self-development will passionately, head and heart together, seek through the intellect the ground of Being, and/or attempt to eviscerate the self through compassionate action/observing it to death, and/or attempt to change the world, if necessary through artistic creation.

We can call such activities attempts at “ontological self-transformation”, in the manner that James Carroll characterizes his training for the priesthood as requiring that he “ontologically” transform himself. We can then speculate how this this notion of “ontological self-transformation” might map onto evolutionary as onto scholastic thought.

All these activities exist in the broader society outside the academy – indeed several of them, like the arts arguably work better outside it. This allows us to introduce a critical distinction between different movements in society, of which the academic is just one. In fact, as of the early 21st century, the academic sphere is mutating its role in society so quickly that it behooves us to attempt a prediction of its role; the academic sphere will fall to whoever can attract the brightest and most free-spirited young adults to spend 3-4 years under their discipline. The web means we no longer need a physical premises; the paralysis of science in controversies about the status of the “gene”, “dark matter and energy”, the “central dogma” and so on means that the truth-seeking passion of these kids can better be satisfied without state funding that turns them into idiot savants.

So much for the academic “magisterium”; it is in fact mainly an environment for the pedagogical process. According to thinkers like Drummond, there is but one magisterium in society; it unifies the movements misread as “science” and “religion”; it invokes as its highest value the further evolution of man singular, and humanity as a whole; it accepts the political and scientific progress made since the renaissance, and embraces scientific discovery; it does not accept greedy reductionism aka scientism. While its community, culture and ceremonies are yet to be formed, the notion that something must be considered as sacred, be it the organic psychological development of our kids or the integrity of the biosphere, is accepted. It is also clear that the corporate destruction of our higher nature requires a reply, and that the political space still exists for both an activist and a quietist response, with much of the tools still available free in western societies.

Papers are invited which:

– address any of the themes suggested above, whether agreeing or disagreeing – even if strongly – with the implicit and explicit contentions

  • address the issue of overlapping, singular, or no magisteria
  • address the issue of reductionism, failed or successful;
  • consider the issue of ontology;
  • contrast approaches to the fine-tuning problem
  • Address such controversies as the horizon problem
  • comment of the appropriateness in science of biology’s “central dogma”
  • Propose mechanisms for macro-evolution, if necessary through code biology
  • Propose appropriate types of reduction, for example from Biology to physics/chemistry and from psychology to neuroscience
  • Consider the issue of truth, state power and authority in the space initially opened up by thinkers like Hobbes;
  • Consider the ontology of Buddhism as expressed in the Pali canon vis a vis its psychologyQuantum fluctuations and God of the gaps for example what are  the implications of the quantum mind hypothesis if true?
    Lost and esoteric Christianities–for example,  does Exodus 17:7 refer to an experience transcending Yahweh?


DSCN0209Registration & Submission Deadlines

June 16, 2015–500 word abstract and/or panel suggestion to:

June 28, 2015–notification of acceptance

June 30, 2015–Early bird payment of $200 at
The fee thereafter is $300 with $50 for individual panels. The conference is free for Cal students.


QuantumJumps300x150adCynthia Sue Larson is the best-selling author of six books, including Quantum Jumps. Cynthia has a degree in Physics from UC Berkeley, and discusses consciousness and quantum physics on numerous shows including the History Channel, Coast to Coast AM, the BBC and One World with Deepak Chopra. You can subscribe to Cynthia’s free monthly ezine at:

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