Consciousness at Play: A Writer Wednesday Post

irene and her spectrum

Irene and Her Spectrum, photo by Nick Doyle all text ©Irene O’Garden 2012

Had a great time in Denver last week attending the conference and performing Stand-Up Dreams. The picture above was taken during the show as I discuss what I call a spectrum of consciousness: dreams at one end, waking life at the other and various shadings in between, including daydreams and the creative state.

I enjoy playing with my consciousness and expressing it in physical form and at this conference it was fun to see how others play, particularly in areas well beyond my ken. While I apply my consciousness regularly to the arts–whether literary, graphic, dreaming or domestic – some scientists are exploring the effects of consciousness in medicine, biology and physics, and they came to Denver to talk about it.

These reports from scientific frontiers may not be for everyone, but I find them fascinating. Whether consciousness does affect physicality or not is actually immaterial to me. I am happier and consequently more effective when I behave as if it were so.

Evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris skyped her presentation from Majorca. In addition to sharing her vision of cooperative (beyond Darwinian) evolution, she reminded us that many responses we see in politics, government and business are juvenile and adolescent behaviors (No! Im not listening! I wont do anything you say!) These are just stages toward maturation and something we will outgrow. (Especially comforting in this election year!)

We heard from a software engineer, Feichi Shih, who wanted to understand life and to that end studied molecular biology, with a special interest in the mutation of genes causing cancer. But as she sliced up cells and genetic material in the lab, she realized that because it was necessary to kill the cells to examine them, she was not actually looking at life after all. A family illness prompted her to explore the work of Dr. Tien-Sheng Hsu in Taiwan, a medical doctor and psychiatrist trained in orthodox Western medicine who pairs traditional cancer treatment with explorations of thought, emotions and their effects on health. Many of his patients have enjoyed successful outcomes using this approach. (I heard him and some of his former patients speak in New York last year, and he is a remarkable presence.) Feichi is now helping translate more of Dr. Hsu’s books into English.

I was also tickled by a description of a well-designed, as-yet unperformed experiment to discover if thought alone can reverse the spin of an electron.

Theoretical physicist Dr. Ron A. Bryan, Professor Emeritus at top-ranked Texas A&M University, described his proposed experiment. As I understand it, an isolated ion of magnesium is dyed with a laser, making it fluorescent. While not visible to the naked eye, the near ultra-violet light is detectable on computer through a photomultiplier. If a person can lower the energy of the electron with thought, the ion will reverse its spin, and the light will disappear. One could then create patterns of on and off light, like Morse code, so that the spin would be seen to be influenced by thought.  Ron told me that because this experiment requires an ion trap–a complicated, expensive instrument– we are two years away from completing it, but then results can be replicated in any lab with an ion trap. (For all the physicists reading my blog, here is his technical article.) Sounds like fun to me!

Many of us are exposed to a great deal of media which tries to direct our consciousness solely for corporate or political gain. Our consciousness is always our own, however, and enjoys playing, seeing what it can create.

How do you like to play with your own consciousness?

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