I recently had the pleasure to chat with Dr. Stanley Krippner about quantum logic, consciousness, and dreams. Dr. Krippner is a professor of psychology at Saybrook University, and author, editor, and co-author of numerous books including: “The Voice of Rolling Thunder,” “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” and many others.
I first met Stanley Krippner about ten years ago at the International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternative Modes of Healing, where we’ve both given presentations. I’ve long been deeply impressed with the insights Stanley shares, such as I reported in the September 2005 issue of RealityShifters, in which I mentioned some fascinating aspects of his work:
Stanley Krippner presented a thought-provoking paper at this year’s shamanism conference that summarized research findings between the differences in the dreams of schizophrenics and non-schizophrenics. Imagery in schizophrenic dreams is quite different than imagery in shamanic dreams and visions; schizophrenic dreams are more apathetic, banal, and low-energy with few clear settings or distinct outcomes. I am intrigued to note that one of the biggest differences between shamanic and schizophrenic dreams appears to be that of lucidity… that what the shaman knows for sure is something the schizophrenic has not noticed. The shaman maintains a constant sense of awareness and focus that brings greater meaning to peoples’ lives.
CYNTHIA: Thanks so much for meeting to talk with me today! I’d love to know your thoughts about the connection between quantum physics, consciousness, and dreams.
STANLEY: Montague Ullman was doing just what you’re telling me—applying quantum physics to dreaming. Especially to psychic dreaming. And he was working on that before he died. I’ve not seen the manuscript of his incomplete book, but you can get some information from an interview he did with Mark Schroll.
STANLEY: Now in the sense that I see it, it’s especially true of precognitive dreams—dreams about the future, because there will be several possible futures that the dreamer could dream about. And the psychic dreamer knows which one to dream about, so this is where the observational effect comes in. And this is why some people are able to do this and some people aren’t. Some people have the talent to unconsciously select the possible future that indeed comes true. And I wrote an article about the probable future years ago, before I knew anything about quantum physics. But in that article, I pointed out how so many dreams about the future are pliable. In other words, once the dreamer knows about what might takes place, the dreamer can make a change to prevent something disastrous from happening.
CYNTHIA: So you’re saying this happens frequently.
STANLEY: This happens frequently, yes. There’s been a study on this, years ago, by Louisa Rhine. If I remember the statistics, whenever there was a portending disaster, the dreamer was able to prevent the disaster in about three out of four occasions, which was a lot. And there was another evidence indicating that the disaster might happen, to know that this was something that was not just being made up.
CYNTHIA: Right. That would be the challenging thing, to know if it didn’t happen, would it have happened, of course.
STANLEY: One case I do remember was a woman who had a dream about a light fixture falling on her baby’s crib, killing the baby at exactly two o’clock in the morning. So she woke up and took the baby into the bed with her and husband. He was very dismissive, saying, “Oh, it’s just a dream. You were worried—you’re concerned.” But later that night, at two o’clock in the morning, this light fixture did fall into the baby’s crib.
CYNTHIA: Wow. And that’s something they would hear, and it would wake them up if they were asleep.
STANLEY: Yes, if they were telling the truth about this account, there you have an example of where the likely future had changed by human volition.
STANLEY: Now, your feeling that dreams show us the real nature of reality is something that’s shared by many indigenous groups around the world.
CYNTHIA: Yes. What I’m suspecting is that’s the best way to look at the quantum paradigm that we’re trying to understand. I think that one of the best ways to look at it is as if everything really is a dream, basically. As you know, we can’t even agree on what consciousness is to begin with. But I’m expecting that we’re making progress.
STANLEY: Consciousness is anything you define it as. I tell people instead of waiting, just take any definition that you like, and use that, and run with it! So I don’t think the issue is that we don’t know what consciousness is. The issue is we don’t have a consensus on what consciousness is. Far from it.
CYNTHIA: We recognize it when we see it, but we don’t know how to explain it or describe it fully, so that everyone agrees.
STANLEY: That’s the so-called “hard problem,” which many people don’t think exists.
CYNTHIA: How about yourself?
STANLEY: Oh, yes! I’m working with a team of people who are interested in doing a documentary on the hard problem. Are you familiar with the new movie, The Imitation Game?
STANLEY: Did you know that the protagonist had written about telepathy?
CYNTHIA: No. Wow! In real life?
STANLEY: In real life. It was Henry Stapp who picked up on that essay, and carried it a step further, in a classic article which came out in about 1972. So you might ask Henry for the article that builds on Turing’s notion of telepathy. It came out in a journal called Mind, as I recall. I have a copy of it. And it’s I think still very timely. Henry was so far ahead of his time.
CYNTHIA: Wow! So Henry Stapp wrote an article and published it…
STANLEY: Yes, based on Turing’s original article. Turing was saying, well, if telepathy exists, then it would proceed this way and that way. And so then what Henry did was to take that and show, yes, this is how it would proceed. And he was able to fill in the gap that Turing had no way of knowing about.
CYNTHIA: That’s quite useful! I appreciate the way that Henry Stapp looks at the Von Neumann cut, focusing attention on finding the place where consciousness occurs. I think of it as levels of consciousness, actually. So I agree with that. But at the same time, I’m also quite interested in the multiverse concepts and ideas, because they match the feeling of how it feels when you jump into another world.
STANLEY: They do, yes.
CYNTHIA: And you can jump in, and jump out. You can see things go back and forth, which is quite interesting to me. That’s why I want to talk to people who have experienced them, rather than people who say that you can’t do it. I’d rather trade notes with other people who’ve been there, on the SS Quantum Beagle, as we observe things from the deck, and share our notes. And then when it comes to levels of consciousness, I find that’s where some of the most interesting phenomena occurs, when you meditate a lot. I do martial arts, and I meditate a lot.
STANLEY: Keep doing both!
CYNTHIA: I think it helps. When you do martial arts, you’re honing your entire system and your ability to focus attention. I can move my consciousness and sort of expand it out. Like when I first met Eva Herr at the Portland airport and without any tips from her walked away from her to pick up her unmarked suitcase that she had not told me anything about, I was what you might call entangled with or coherent with the entire system of me and Eva Herr—and it felt very much like a dream. What it felt like to me was, “Now it’s time to go–wave at Eva. Now go this way. Now walk that way. Pick up that bag that is just now dropping onto the baggage claim carousel at the same moment you arrive. Now look at Eva and gesture to this bag to make sure it is hers.” It was her bag, and her jaw just about hit the floor, as she’d been on her cell phone that whole time, and had not given me any information about her luggage, nor was it tagged. It just felt like I was ‘in the zone’–like what athletes experience. So it wasn’t so much precognition so much as, “Here we go! This is what we’re doing.” I think a lot of people do this, and they don’t know that they’re doing it. It goes unrecognized quite a lot. And when we expand our consciousness, then you can have an effect on things like the weather, I believe. On a lot of things. A lot more than people recognize, even.
STANLEY: Two years ago I came out with the book about Rolling Thunder, the native American medicine man. I did it with his grandson, who’s also interested in quantum physics, and there are several documented instances where Rolling Thunder seemed to have an effect on the weather.
CYNTHIA: Yes, exactly! That sounds like a great book! I’ve also experienced other changes. Just on the flight to New York, we hit turbulence. The plane was just “bah-duh-duh-duh-duh” So I spread my consciousness to the plane, and the weather, and everything became all smooth. Smooth! Then my friend next to me started talking to me, and I turned and I looked at her, and it went back to “bah-duh-duh-duh-duh,” so I said, “Excuse me—I need to meditate.”
STANLEY: Really! I’m going to have to try that when I’m on a turbulent flight.
CYNTHIA: I think we often think we are the bodies that we’re in; we’re not the bodies that we’re in.
STANLEY: This is another native American concept—the concept of the “long body.” The body does not end with our skin—it extends into time, into space, and into other people.
STANLEY: William Roll wrote a whole series of articles about the long body.
CYNTHIA: That’s what I would call levels of consciousness; you can expand it, you can bring it in, you can direct it.
STANLEY: Now getting back to dreams, have you read Fred Alan Wolf’s book about dreams?
CYNTHIA: Yes, it’s quite excellent.
STANLEY: Yes, I like his book about “The Dreaming Universe,” very much.
CYNTHIA: It’s one of my favorites!
STANLEY: I have an article coming out in a European newsletter, “Transpersonal Transformative Experiences,” and I have a whole series of examples past and present TTEs.
CYNTHIA: That sounds excellent.
STANLEY: There are two types of Transpersonal Transformative Experiences. One is the spiritual, and one is the secular. In both of them, they’re transpersonal, because the person goes beyond their usual self identity. And in spiritual experiences, it’s (vertical). They go up to the upper world, and go down to the lower world, and they encounter entities or beings or energies or forces that are not part of their customary world or identity. Whereas in the secular experience, that’s horizontal. People go to Nature. They become involved with other people in a group movement. And again, they transcend their ordinary identity in sort of a group consciousness or a version of their consciousness with Nature, and that’s all observable entities and observable objects, which is why it’s horizontal. But either one can transform a person.
CYNTHIA: Yes, they can.
STANLEY: I’m going to do another version of that on the east coast. I just signed the agreement today, for the Academy of Spirituality and Consciousness Research. You should look at their website—very interesting group. And that’s happening right after the International Association for the Study of Dreams.
CYNTHIA: I’d love to ask you one last question: What would be the one thing that you would like people to be aware of with regard to everything that you’ve done, and all of your work?
STANLEY: Interconnectedness. If people see how we’re all interconnected and connected with Nature, we wouldn’t have an environmental crisis, we wouldn’t have two dozen wars all over the world. We’d honor the rest of Nature and the rest of humanity, because we’d know that those are parts of ourselves. So that’s an easy question.
CYNTHIA: Getting to the place of how we can do that is the hard problem.
STANLEY: What you’re doing, with books like yours, helps raise peoples’ consciousness. And you don’t have to have everybody agreeing with this. A small group of people who want to make change is enough to get the ball rolling.
CYNTHIA: That’s right.
STANLEY: Have you heard of Stephen Schwartz?
CYNTHIA: Stephen Schwartz—that sounds very familiar.
STANLEY: He has written several books. He has a new book coming out, “Eight Rules for Changing the World.” He gives many examples of how small groups of people in very peaceful ways can make major changes in the world, or parts of it, simply by following these eight rules.
STANLEY: His book isn’t out yet, but it will be available on amazon.com.
CYNTHIA: OK. Thank you so very much!
Cynthia 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, and BBC. You can subscribe to Cynthia’s free monthly ezine at: http://www.RealityShifters.com