#Consciousness

Episode 62 - Paul Devereux

Paul Devereux is:

A Founding Co-editor of Time & Mind - Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture

A Research Affiliate at the Royal College of Art;

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; 

A Senior Research Fellow at the International Consciousness Research Laboratories (ICRL) group at Princeton;

And an Honorary Member of the Scientific and Medical Network.

He's also a friend and one of the world's leading researchers in the emerging field of archaeo-acoustics. 

But Paul started out as a painter, having a degree in Fine Art. He participated in numerous group exhibitions in Britain such as John Moores, Liverpool, and the Royal Academy Schools, plus travelling shows under the auspices of the Arts Council. He also exhibited in Germany. His painting became increasingly inspired by the geometry and numinosity of ancient monuments and this began to lead him deeper into an interest in archaeology. This resulted in him turning more toward writing and research with the consequence that he slowly shifted from painting and gradually relinquished his formal teaching of painting, drawing and photography.

Paul’s research interests in archaeology focus especially on “cognitive” aspects, trying to “get inside” the prehistoric mind, and this has broadened into the study of anthropological themes, especially what is known as “the anthropology of consciousness”. This in turn led him to become involved more generally in what is loosely termed “consciousness studies”. He has frequently combined these themes – such as writing a prehistory of the use of mind-altering substances, andexamining anomalous phenomena of various kinds, especially supposed psi phenomena.

This mix of archaeological, anthropological and consciousness studies interests has led him to co-founding and co-editing a new peer-reviewed, academic publication, Time & Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture.  For 20 years (1976-1996) he edited and published the legendary The Ley Hunter journal, eventually deconstructing the modern myth of “leylines”, for which he has not been forgiven in some quarters! But his authentic and documented research into spirit and death roads across archaic landscapes developed directly from his early ley interests (see SPIRIT ROADS in the On-line & Mail-order Book Sales pages). 

He has given a great many presentations on various aspects of his multidisciplinary range of subject matter to specialist, academic and general audiences in Britain, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Germany, Norway, Holland, Switzerland, Italy and France. Venues have ranged from Glastonbury New Age “fairs” to some of the most prestigious universities and institutions in England and America. His portfolio of written work includes 26 published English-language books (plus numerous foreign-language editions), many articles for popular and specialist magazines (including being archaeology columnist for Fortean Times magazine), plus a range of peer-reviewed academic papers. He has, additionally, conceived, co-produced, or appeared in television documentaries in the UK and the USA. He is currently a research affiliate with the Royal College of Art working on an audio-visual study of Mynydd Preseli,  the source area in Wales of the Stonehenge bluestones (see the Landscape & Perception pages on this website).

The world recently turned upside down. Regardless of what "side" you are on, the work Paul is doing helps to re-connect us to some longer, larger cycles of human activity. From this view, our differences fade into a rhythmic, shadowy dance of shamanic intuition and planetary consciousness. From Brexit to Trump, the old paradigms are starting to collapse. Perhaps we can look to even older models of human organization for some clues on how to move forward together with empathy, compassion and shared vision. One can only hope... 

Episode 61 - Joe Biel, Elly Blue & Joshua Ploeg (Dinner & Bikes Tour)

Well, well, well. What's been up in your lives, lately, America? Any news you'd like to discuss?

This week, we bring you a conversation with the members of The Dinner and Bikes Tour. The Dinner & Bikes is a month-long tour of the U.S. to bring people together to eat delicious food and get inspired about bicycle transportation. Here’s what happens at a Dinner and Bikes event:

As the audience arrives, they serve themselves from chef Joshua Ploeg’s seven-course gourmet vegan and gluten-free buffet spread. While the audience is eating, local advocates discuss their work and local issues and initiatives over the first fifteen minutes.

Then, Elly Blue and Joe Biel co-present a new interactive discussion and presentation including eight short films about Groundswell movements, incidences where people demand better neighborhood conditions and successfully implemented them. Stories include how Reading, PA came to be 13th on the East Coast for bike commuting without any advocacy or government spending, former gang members riding bikes to raise awareness about gang violence, Mexico City’s superhero of the streets, Peatonito, the story of the League of American Bicyclists’ equity council, how the City of Portland’s Sunday Parkways worked as a response to gentrification, and how cyclists are representing themselves and creating their own voices all over the world. Throughout the evening there are plenty of opportunities for discussion, questions, and browsing the Microcosm pop-up book and t-shirt store

Joe Biel is the co-producer/director of Groundswell, the director of the feature documentary Aftermass: Bicycling in a Post-Critical Mass Portland as well as over 100 short films.  He is also the author of half a dozen books, including Good Trouble: Building a Successful Life & Business with Asperger’s. He founded Microcosm Publishing in his bedroom closet in 1996 and has since published over 350 nonfiction books, zines, and movies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Elly Blue is the co-producer/director of Groundswell and the author of Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy and Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bicycle for Transportation (Whatever your Lifestyle). When she isn’t writing, she is the marketing director of Microcosm Publishing, producing books and zines about all aspects of feminism, self-empowerment, and bicycle transportation. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Joshua Ploeg is the the traveling vegan chef. When not touring the world, he is a personal chef and delighter of secret cafe goers in Los Angeles. His eighth and newest cookbook is This Ain’t No Picnic: Your Punk Rock Vegan Cookbook. He lives in California.

As the country and the world move into unprecedented and scary territory, we are heartened by the kinds of young people that Joe, Elly and Joshua represent. They are not looking for a savior or a political party to make the world a better place for them. They are hitting the ground and making it better themselves. They are building community and empowering marginalized voices and advocating for a world that does not constantly run itself adrift under the weight of its own hubris and apathy. 

Episode 60 - Karen Tate

As an independent scholar, speaker, radio show host, author, and social justice activist, Karen Tate's body of work blends her experiences of women-centered multiculturalism evident in archaeology, anthropology and mythology with her unique academic and literary talents and travel experience throughout the world. Her particular emphasis is on the roles of women and the study of comparative religions and ancient cultures in a modern or reconstructed context, bringing the ideals and awareness of the Sacred Feminine into the mainstream consciousness.

Tate's work has been highlighted in the Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times and other major newspapers. She is interviewed regularly in print, on television and on national public radio and hosts her own show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine Radio considered a treasure trove of insight and wisdom for our time. Her published articles have appeared in both domestic and international publications since 1995.

Karen can be seen in the 2015 documentary, Femme, Women Healing the World, produced by actress Sharon Stone and Emmanuel Itier of Wonderland Entertainment. Most recently she was honored with opportunity to moderate a panel and give a presentation at the prestigious Council for the Parliament of World Religions in Utah. Karen spends much of her time giving interviews, teaching, and lecturing at private and public educational and spiritual institutions, temples and churches such as Joseph Campbell Roundtables, The Gaia Festival, Loyola Marymont College and the American Academy of Religion. 

As an ordained minster, she guest ministers at Unitarian Universalist Churches, The Goddess Temple of Orange County and at the invitation of other groups. She has received acclaim for reviving the Cakes for the Queen of Heaven curriculum as well as the Rise UP and Call Her Name course. An associate with the Joseph Campbell Foundation, Dr. Tate currently sponsors Joseph Campbell Round Tables in Venice and Irvine to perpetuate continuing adult education in the genres of mythology, history, sociology, archaeology, psychology, religion, anthropology and the related sciences.

She was also the first person to ever put me on the air and has been a leader not only in the women's empowerment movement but also in Internet radio, starting one of the first shows ever on Blog Talk Radio. She is a mentor, a friend and a visionary and compassionate leader with the wisdom of the ages to fill her sails. Karen reminds us that the #imwithher hashtag should be a rallying cry not for any one political party or candidate, but for our strong solidarity with the women, girls and non binary folks in our culture who have been subjected to a lopsided power sharing program for many millennia at this point. We were so delighted to have her on the program, especially this last weekend before the presidential election.

Episode 58 - Caleb Stephens

Caleb Stephens is a therapist and activist in Lawerence, Kansas. He is the founder of Identifight, which he describes as "created to exemplify self-identity, encouragement, resilience, mental-health, activism, value, Hope, Truth, Justice, and empowerment."

Caleb has been an active participant in the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM-LFK): protesting police brutality towards people of color and the rising tide of indifference among the larger population at these atrocities. Recently, he spoke at a City Council meeting in Lawrence, Kansas. And then his life got really interesting.

He is a new kind of social justice warrior that is rewriting the script on how our intersections of race, gender, ability and class come together to make us who we are. Caleb is committed to bring the margins to the center. And to him, there is no neutral when it comes to creating a society that is safe, accessible and abundant with opportunity for all.

In this conversation, we discuss the horrors of "C-Day" and the move towards "Indigenous Peoples' Day," the necessity of creating spaces for people to feel safe and validated, toxic masculinity and the myth of binary supremacy, and how Luke Cage is a step forward in rewriting the script on Black heroes and bulletproof dreams. We were so honored to have him on the program...

Episode 54 - Dr. Bruce Damer

Bruce Frederick Damer is a Canadian-American multi-disciplinary scientist, designer, and speaker. He works in evolutionary biology researching the question of the origin of life and the exploration and economic development of space. He also has a practice in the design of innovative software systems interfaces and a passion for collecting and curating historical archives in computing history and leading figures of the counter-culture.

Dr. Damer performs as a storyteller on a range of subjects under the moniker science + vision = hope. He began performing in 2003 and is featured at venues such as Burning Man, and the Esalen Institute. He also performs at music and art festivals worldwide including BuddhafieldSymbiosisRainbow SerpentEarth Frequency, and Lightning in a Bottle, covering topics ranging through science, space, deep evolutionary history, questions of origins, and the meaning and future of the human enterprise. Many of these talks many be found online through podcasts such as the Joe Rogan Experience, the Psychedelic Salon, the Biota Podcast, the Space Show, the Dr. Future Show, the C-Realm, the Midwest Real Podcast, and the Tink Tink Club. A good selection of Dr. Damer's talks and philosophy as well as conversations and featured guest speakers are collected together in his own Levity Zone podcast.

In the late 1990s, Dr. Damer met the American philosopher and storyteller Terence McKenna and formed a collaboration investigating the connection between computer virtual worlds and the inner worlds experienced through alternative states of consciousness. Following McKenna's death in 2000 he worked with Lorenzo Hagerty to digitally remaster McKenna's talks and collect his last remaining papers. In 2006 he became an agent for the estate of Dr.Timothy Leary and received the remaining books, news archive, record collection, and ephemera from Leary's archives. Working with the Internet Archive he established several online libraries of historical materials: Psychedelia, which contains unique materials from counter-cultural figures and  Archiving Virtual Worlds focused on the early history of virtual worlds, and games, built in collaboration with Dr. Henry Lowood of Stanford University.

Dr. Damer is a follower of a scientific version of the philosophy of liminality occupying a liminal boundary between rational, reductionist, materialist approaches to reality but open to inspiration from alternative states of consciousness. He has built a practice of intentionally seeking visionary experiences through meditative states that can be grounded in scientific insights or guiding stories. He has refined this philosophy since childhood when he occupied himself entering imaginal worlds and expressing those worlds through his artwork. Dr. Damer is currently researching a book based on interviews with other practitioners of what he terms the "endo way", meaning insights sourced through endogenous methods who then pragmatically apply their insights to real world applications.

Find Dr. Damer on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and videos on Vimeo and YouTube

Some of Dr. Damer's scientific articles are listed on ResearchGate

Google search on Bruce Damer

Episode 52 - Bob Walter

Robert Walter is an editor and an executive with several not-for-profit organizations. Most notably, he is the executive director and board president of the Joseph Campbell Foundation (JCF), an organization that he helped found in 1990 with choreographer Jean Erdman, Joseph Campbell's widow.

In 1979, Bob began to work on several projects with Campbell, who subsequently named him editorial director of his Historical Atlas of World Mythology. Following Campbell's death in 1987, Bob served as literary executor of Campbell's estate, completing Volumes I and II of the Atlas and supervising its posthumous publication. 

With JCF publishing director David Kudler, he continues to oversee the publication of Campbell's oeuvre, including the video series Joseph Campbell's Mythos and the other works in the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series, including the 2008 edition of The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Prior to his work in publishing, Walter was a founding faculty fellow at the California Institute of the Arts; lectured widely on experiential education; and pursued a professional theater career, working for a decade as a director, production manager, and playwright. 

He has taken the Joseph Campbell Foundation to some wonderful places since Campbell's death in 1987. Here, we talk about what it's like to be responsible for the legacy of an intellectual titan, how recent discoveries in fields ranging from anthropology to neuropsychology have filled the gaps in the foundation laid by Campbell and how myth can be seen as living story, both individually and collectively. 

Episode 39 - Bryan Rill

Bryan Rill is many things. He is the president of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness: a group of academics that study the nature of consciousness from an anthropological perspective. He is a leader in the field of conscious design. He also has ties in the worlds of robotics, biomimicry, quantum physics, shamanism, electronica and cultural anthropology. But this is not the primary reason we brought him on the show.

Several years ago, Bryan suffered a horrible accident that left him without the ability to use most of his brain. He has, quite literally, rebuilt himself from the ground up. A walking model of physical, intellectual and psychic transformation, we thought his story would be perfect for the show. He credits a lot of things for his remarkable recovery, including his commitment to walking the path of Shugendo Buddhism that he learned under some pretty intense Japanese masters. It is a wide-ranging conversation that we hope you will enjoy!

Episode 35 - Gurucharan Singh Khalsa

Gurucharan Khalsa, PhD, LPC  (khalsa@chapman.edu)

Gurucharan is an expert in the design and delivery of applications of meditation and controlled breathing. He is the author of several texts on yoga and meditation including the recent “The 21 Stages of Meditation”- read and used as for meditation training worldwide. He is currently Research Professor in Contemplative Science and Transdisciplinary Dialogue at Chapman University. 

He works with the Fish Interfaith Center and the Institute of Quantum Studies to explore the nature of consciousness and human potential using meditation and the insights of science. He continues a broad based consulting and clinical counseling practice and co-authored The Psychospiritual Clinician’s Handbook.

Whether in his clinical psychology practice, his workshops on meditation, leadership or the nature of consciousness, his delight is in the application of simple, immediate and effective tools that elevate well-being and solve the daily challenges of modern life. He guides people and designs programs for intuitive decision making, personal and spiritual development, and all the challenges of stress and mood. Gurucharan has a distinctive ability to teach from 45 years of personal meditation experience while maintaining the pragmatic approach of a clinician and the skeptical approach of a researcher. His doctorate in counseling psychology, graduate studies in math and engineering and his immersion in the study and understanding of classical eastern techniques have both served his commitment to elevate people and bridge science and the human spirit.

Gurucharan is the acknowledged expert in Kundalini Yoga and he worked with Yogi Bhajan to found the Kundalini Research Institute and was its Director of Training for many years. He co-authored Breathwalk and The Mind with Yogi Bhajan. He is known for his energetic, insightful and humorous presence that delivers experiences that hit the heart and stay with your soul.

Dr Khalsa and his wife Genie Khalsa reside peacefully along the river in South Water Front in Portland, Oregon.

To contact for consults, training or other inquiries: khalsa@chapman.edu

We are proud to call him a friend of the show and an agent par excellence of creativity and transformation. Here, we discuss the quantum revolution and its implications for the understanding of consciousness, the scientific basis for practicing yoga and meditation, and how creativity is the bridge to the universal within ourselves. 

 

Episode 30 - Justin Panneck

I met this guy at an academic conference two years ago and was blown away by his razor wit, deep insight, Buddha-like compassion and academic prowess. His presentations weave together cultural analysis, anthropological analysis, psychological insights and piercing humor to reveal deep truths about human nature and culture and the complex dialectic between the two. We sat down a while back to discuss his journey into the shadow and his emergence back into a world alive with spirit, meaning and truth. And how he is working to translate those realizations into his work as a psychologist and an academic. 

Dr. Justin Panneck is an assistant professor of Psychology at Colorado Technical University as well as an instructional designer for several Fortune 500 companies. He holds a MEd in Instructional Technology and a PhD in Health Psychology and is currently finishing a counseling degree. In addition to psychology, he has lectured and taught classes on such diverse subjects as organizational psychology, history of psychology, stress management, world history, American history, American culture and American diversity. He has also published a work of fiction entitled “The Knight of Dark Wood: The Last Tree Whisperer” which included themes of mythology and consciousness. He is currently researching consciousness, altered states, dreams, ethnopharmacology and plant medicines, shamanism, mythology and alchemy, spirituality, and behavioral health. His most recent research study involved the effects of ayahuasca on consciousness, spirituality and stress coping, which has been published as a book entitled “Ethnopharmacology and Stress Relief.” 

In his spare time, Justin does everything in his power to bend social mores and societal rules, including conducting humorous and uncomfortable skits in public that expose some hidden truth or another that the culture struggles to name or integrate. He is also an avid mushroom hunter and spends a good deal of time in the woods connecting with nature. As a cultural critic and researcher, he also spends time exploring important mysteries such as the Bigfoot phenomenon and UFOs, mostly examining the psychology of those who pursue these field and the cultural meanings behind their relevance. A self-proclaimed iconoclastic oneironic psychonaut, he also spends his time exploring his dreams and consciousness by experimenting with altered states, remote viewing, bi-location, active imagination, lucid dreaming and meditation. He lives in Portland, OR by day and somewhere near the fringes of Sloan’s Wall by Night.

Episode 21 - Mikey Siegel (Consciousness Hacking)

Science is increasingly recognizing what spiritual and religious traditions have been advocating for thousands of years: through focused self-awareness we can fundamentally change our conscious experience. The keys to accessing profound joy and contentment in this world lay not in our external circumstances, but in our relationship to ourselves. Numerous peer reviewed studies on mindfulness and meditation are proving the profound benefits reaped by these long-time practices. Is there a modern enlightenment, in harmony with the media and technology that seems to constantly externalize our attention, and increase our sense of separation from ourselves and others? Can we create new forms of technology that can enhance our lives? Can we leverage existing technologies to help make us smarter, cultivate calm minds, lower stress, do our jobs better, improve our relations with friends and family, respond better to the world around us and rediscover our sense of connectedness and the simple joy of being alive here and now?

Enter Mikey Siegel and the Consciousness Hacking movement. 

Neuroscience research is beginning to deeply explore the nature of not only meditation, but of mystical and enlightened states. And these examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Consciousness Hacking is a hands-on approach to making new tools for self-exploration, in order to change the way we think, feel, and live. Consciousness Hacking is an exploration into the ways that technology can support psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being. They are a global community, building a future where technology is in service to the highest ideals of humanity. The ultimate purpose of the group is to generate a series of new technologies for cognitive enhancement to improve the way we feel and live.

It is a terrifying and exciting time to be alive and people like Mikey are working tirelessly to shift our perspectives on the nature and potential uses of technology. As a created tool, technology does not have to be simply a vehicle for perpetual distraction, commerce and mindless chatter. Technology can also be developed to transform the way we perceive the world and each other. And the Consciousness Hackers are on the cutting edge of this paradigm shift. This is an exciting movement of engineers, designers, technology experts and other creative people who are starting meet ups all over the world to inspire each other and network with the next generation of change makers. 

In this episode, we discuss fun things like the future of AI, 3D printing and medical nanobots, as well as the clinical benefits of meditation and mystical experiences. Enjoy!