Writing this section has taken me back to my early adult years, when my dad and I used to read books about the mind and sit for hours talking about all the new ideas and concepts we had discovered. He introduced me to Gendlin’s Focusing, which both of us used to practice, and he also found Robert Assagioli’s writings on psychosynthesis fascinating and helpful.
When Marilyn Ferguson’s book Aquarian Conspiracy came out, neither of us could put it down or stop identifying with it. In his mid thirties Dad had had a mystical experience, but no ‘religious’ people could help him understand what had happened. Only when he learned about holography and laser photography did his a-ha moment come. His favorite book became The Holographic Universe.
Eventually, I also read books by Lawrence Leshan, Gary Zukov, and Peter Russell. Each one made connections between mind and science, and though I didn’t understand everything I read, I could see some patterns starting to emerge. Dad died in 1995, but I continued learning what I could about body/mind/spirit and the relationship between spirituality and science.
Another thread that began in my early teens was exposure to the Arthurian myths and legends, including the Grail. In 8th grade, students were called the Squires, and in high school, we became the Knights and Ladies. As a teen, reading T.S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Wasteland’, inspired me to ‘heal the wasteland’ by immersing myself in Civil Rights, the Peace Movement, and other social justice issues.
In the 1990s I discovered the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the research they were conducting, and I’ve followed and supported their work since then. Shortly after moving to Scotland in 2001, I joined the Scientific and Medical Network in the UK, and for several years participated in their Spirituality and Consciousness conferences.
In recent years I’ve learned about the work of Iain McGilchrist, Paul Gilbert, Daniel Siegel, Candace Pert, and Ron Hanson. They, too, make connections between science, neuroscience, consciousness, and spirituality. Likewise, my sociometry trainer Ann Hale has creatively integrated some of these neuroscience discoveries into the sociometric cycles she designed and uses in training. I use them, too.
In the early 1990s I was fortunate to be trained by The Pacific Institute as a facilitator for their Investment in Excellence (IIE) program, which we used successfully with numerous groups at the Union Pacific Railroad, where I worked. Based on continually updated mind research, IIE helps people look at their habits, attitudes, beliefs, and expectations and how those elements help or hinder their goals, life, and work.
In the mid 1990s I began attending Mystery School gatherings with Jean Houston. Her focus on ‘the power of the possible’ and the capacities we have within us is truly energizing to me. Jean is now Chancellor of Meridian University, where she’s started taking her work into academia. I find that hopeful.