2006 was an eventful year for my Yoga Science project – culminating with the extended SummaTime Scale and associated subjective/objective correlation alignment that I’ve been exploring since.
To begin the ’07 Fall Review, it seems useful to recap the major events of ’06 that set the stage for the developments of this year.
Monthly thumbnails (rough chronology):
Jan: finally read Varela, Thompson, and Rosch’s ’92 classic The Embodied Mind (read out-loud during breakfast with Susan over a period of several weeks – has since become a favorite practice for us when we run across a book we really like). Further explored “embodied philosophy” by reading Lakoff & Nunez’s Where Mathematics Comes From: how the embodied mind brings mathematics into being.
Feb: e-dialog with psychologist Alan Bashers led to reading of Dynamic Patterns by J. A. Scott Kelso and Complementary Nature by Kelso & Engstrom and discovery of Hakken’s Synergetics – together representing state-of-the-art of one major school of applied complexity research here applied to motor behavior; reviewed literature on sinoatrial node electrophysiology and developmental dynamics – confirmed appearance of heart-beat (as first self-organized motricity) at approximately day 23 of embryonic life.
March: extensive dialog with physicist, theologian, and school mate Andrew Porter (www.jedp.com) re time and history. One key author we both admire is Mircia Eliade – discovered the marvelous opening of his classic Yoga: Immortality and Freedom which speaks to the West’s chronic “problem of history”; toured the Game Developer’s Conference in San Jose and discovered “serious games”; met with Rollin McCraty at HeartMath re his research plans; met with the Shamatha Project’s PI Cliff Saron re their research plans.
April: met with AI expert and philosopher Ben Goertzel who referred me to “embodied philosopher” Thomas Metzinger’s Being No One (I bogged down early in this one); attended the AAPB conference in Portland and took the HRV seminar there with Paul Lehrer and Richard Gevirtz. Still a small struggling group – heard opinion that recent success of HRV biofeedback has “saved the field.”
May: follow-up discussion with Paul Lehrer re my “Heart Harmonics” review. My feeling is that international HRV standards are missing important higher-frequency components of the FFT of the EKG. Paul is not convinced. (McCraty did not seem to want to talk about this in our March meeting and I did not press him.) Read through Vol. 10 of Subtle Energies – a comprehensive review of Elmer Green’s pioneering contributions to psychophysics, psychophysiology and biofeedback, and his creation of the Menninger Clinic Voluntary Controls Lab, AAPB, and ISSSEEM.
June: In response to Shamatha Project I outline a “cognitive neurocardiology” — basic notion: cognition is embodied and rooted in motricity which self-organizes first in embryologic heart primordium. Extensive phone discussions with Jon Cowan re the state-of-the-art in biofeedback-based attention training.
July: in-depth review of Edmund Jacobson’s scientific work with particular focus on the subvocalization work of his student McGuigan and EJ’s book The Human Mind – A Physiological Clarification – their work has been, imho, under-recognized as a contribution to the embodied view.
August: began breakfast reading of Ken Wilber’s Integral Spirituality. Susan and I hash out a critique of Wilber’s own “performative contradiction.” My sense that the STS is “AQAL-orthogonal” deepens.
September: Did an interview with Edmund Jacobson Jr. at his home in Mill Valley – hoping to edit and transcribe at some point – he made some important points that helped me understand why his father’s work has been effectively buried. Further exploration of “somatic disciplines:” Jacobson’s Progressive Relaxation, various forms of body work, somatics, Gendlin’s focusing , etc… (I was myself getting a course of Thomas Hanna’s Somatics work during this time.)
October: Read Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near. I provisionally diagnosed serious case of “premature (logarithmic) extrapolation” and “machineophilia” syndromes — not a Yogi — too bad so many are enthralled with his view.
November: finally extended my SummaTime Scale to the Planckian (STSe) on a wall-sized white board graphic and the Yoga Science leaped out at me (details in Documents/Yoga Science Project section of this site). Idea reinforced by discovery of Roger Penrose’s ”What is Reality” article in the 20th anniversary issue of New Scientist.
December: further explorations of STSe and the Yoga~Science “line up.” After reading selected chapters of The Road to Reality, wrote to Penrose on Christmas Day re parallels between my three domains of SummaTime and his “Matter, Mind, and Math.” (Later got his polite thank you.)