I went with a specific agenda and lots of reservations. I’ve felt since attending the 2nd meeting in ’92 that the organization would be unlikley ever to live up to its title. However, I’ve only just recently realized, I always thought that one of the Ss in the title was for "scientific" — silly dyslexic me.
My specific agenda to meet Elizabeth Rauscher and ask her a bunch of questions about her recent "Balance Equation" paper with Nassim, talk with Norm Shealy about maybe presenting my work at next year’s meeting, and seeing if I might get wind of what Mark Comings was up to. Otherwise the program looked to me like pretty much the same old stuff going round and round.
Ran into Norm shortly after we arrived and we set a date to talk later that day. We had a nice chat that made clear that my interests in "theoretical frameworks for subtle energies" was not something of particular interest to him. We talked about all kinds of things including his interest in the "Club of 300" about which I’ll be learning more, I’m sure. At one point, as I brought the conversation back to my work, he reached over and tapping me on the knee, asked, "when is your birthday?" "February 3rd, 1946," I replied. He sat back with a big grin and said, "ah, yes, a butterfly chasing a rainbow!"
I was a bit taken aback by what seemed like a dismissive generalization regarding us wonderful Aquarian types, but we parted with a friendly agreement that I’d keep working on my stuff and let him know by November if I thought I had something that would fit into next year’s theme: "energy, intention and healing."
The next morning, my Hypnopompic Eye revealed two big things: I should stop presuming that the people at this conference were "just a bunch of New Age fringe types" and instead I should practice the Guru Yoga and "expect a miracle" (in effect). The second thing: "butterfly chasing a rainbow" fits rather perfectly given the famous "butterfly effect" of modern chaos theory, my sense of being on the "bleeding edge" in my instincts re "a robust theoretical framework," and finally, the central role of the rainbow in my STS work. Maybe Norm was right on after all!
So the day (Saturday) took on an air of magic. The morning featured the remarkable force of Maori healer Rose Pere, the fascinating live video web-cast by John Hagelin that I discussed in yesterday’s blog entry, along with a strong buzz with Jon Cunnyngham (more on him later), a lovely panel discussion with Jim Oschman and Bev Rubik, followed by a wonderful three hour personal schmooze-fest with Elizabeth that I recorded on the little Sony digital recorder that Susan got me just before we left California. She answered all of my prepared questions and a whole bunch besides. I’ll be posting more about all that soon.
By comparison, nothing much of note took place on Sunday: Larry Goldberg’s presentation had a nice feeling to it, but nothing particularly new; Freddy Silva’s talk on crop circles was amusing enough, but not probing enough for my taste; and the workshop with Rose Pere made clear to Susan and me that she is a most courageous woman, but not really working much on the Yoga or the Science side of our interest.
Monday morning featured a nice presentation by former ISSSEEM President Jeff Levin on "the many theoretical perspectives" that have been advanced in the peer-reviewed literature regarding the link between spirituality and health. However, he admitted to me privately later that none of these have become "consensual" in the way that we would like a "robust theoretical framework" to be if it is to be "worth its salt" for subtle energies and energy mediciine.
I spent the rest of the morning in a high-intensity conversation with Puran Bair — former student of Pir Vilayat Kahn and currently head of a program in Tuscon featured at www.appliedmeditation.org. I suspect he and I will be continuing this conversation in the future — he has much interesting experience as a former electrical engineer and long-time Sufi practitioner as well as a heart-based approach.
The Annual Business Meeting and luncheon was a treat: I got to sit next to Jon Cunnyngham and we continued the high-buzz conversation we’d initiated on Saturday. Between courses he ran off to his room to burn me a CD with a ton of his sacred geometry work — turns out he has a close working relationship with Michael Bradford in Columbus whose work with the Genesis machine I found so fascinating when I visited with him in 1991. More to come there, I’m sure.
Elizabeth was awarded the Alyce & Elmer Green Award for her many years of serious contributions to the field. I managed to get a good shot of the two of us after giving her my congratulations (tbp here asap).
Began to get the feeling that maybe this organization still has a future — new money, new faces, open to new ideas still.
So, Susan and I headed back to California feeling the trip had been a most successful one.