February, 2008 Newsletter
Creative Problem Solving:
A Fresh Approach
Has a problem been weighing on your mind? Having trouble making a decision? Facing a life question? Dr. Arthur Hastings and a team of graduate students at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology have developed a problem-solving process that appears to facilitate understanding and change for personal dilemnas and issues. Their research over the past year shows statistically significant shifts in reactions to problems and unresolved questions, some that have persisted for years.
The process is based on three elements. The first is formulating the situation as a specific question. The second is talking about its meaning, significance, and the feelings that surround it. The third is sitting in the psychomanteum booth and letting your mind gently reflect on the question, or even detach from it.
The psychomanteum booth is a contained, dimly-lit booth with a chair to sit in and relax. A mirror or an empty space can be used for gazing. Sitting in the booth is like incubating. It is also a way to step outside the usual pressures of the problem at hand. The experience provides new perspectives, insights, and shifts of feeling for most of the sitters.
At February’s meeting, Dr. Hastings will describe using the process to resolve various problems, and will perform a demonstration with us that is a virtual replica of the three-fold process. He invites you to compose a question about your life or a situation that you are currently facing. This can be an existential question, a difficult decision, something that you have been puzzling about, an inner conflict, or a choice that you need to make. You won’t have to voice it in public, and an answer won’t be guaranteed. The question is for your own personal reference as you move through the process. The creative problem-solving research is continual, and FMBR members will be given opportunities to be participants in on-going sessions at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
- Friday, 8:00 p.m., February 22, 2008
- The Great Sophia room
- at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP)
- 1069 E. Meadow Circle, Palo Alto, CA
- Dr. Hastings is a professor and the Director of the William James Center for Consciousness Studies at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
- Dr. Hastings has spoken at FMBR in years past regarding his work with the psychomanteum booth to resolve bereavement. He continues to do research in this specialized area.
Students with ID, a $5 donation is asked
From 101 Take the San Antonio Road off ramp, in Palo Alto. Turn right on Charleston Road, the first cross street. Take the first right on to Fabian Way. At the first street, turn left on East Meadow Drive. Continue across the first intersection on to East Meadow Circle. The ITP building is on the right, as the street turns
From 280 Take the El Monte/Moody Road off ramp in Los Altos. Turn toward SF Bay on El Monte. Turn left on Foothill Expressway. Turn right at the first corner, on to San Antonio Road. Go approximately 3 miles ( almost to Bayshore ). Turn left on Charleston Road. Take the first right on to Fabian Way. At the first street, turn left on East Meadow Drive. Continue across the first intersection on to East Meadow Circle. The ITP building is on the right, as the street turns.
From Alma St. in Palo Alto Turn toward the Bay on East Meadow Drive. After crossing Louis Road, continue one block, turn left on East Meadow Circle. The ITP building is on the right, as the street turns.
The Chaos Point: The World at the Crossroads
Review by Bill Gough
The Chaos Point: The World at the Crossroads, by Ervin Laszlo (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Co., Inc., 2006, 175 pp. Paper: $16.95) is an inspirational book, a call for action, and a basis for hope. We have entered a window of opportunity that the author brilliantly illustrates using the concepts of chaos theory.
Dr. Ervin Laszlo, a unique scientist who founded systems philosophy and general evolution theory, starts the book with a Chinese proverb that warns, “If we do not change direction, we are likely to end up exactly where we are headed.” The author then summarizes the problems the world is now facing and their causes. He emphasizes that we are at a critical juncture in history. We now face a “decision-window.” We are headed on a path towards global breakdown where societies will experience accelerating terrorism, crime, wars, intolerance and an inhospitable biosphere for human life. Thus, there will either be a global breakdown of civilization or a breakthrough to a better future for our children and us.
The author points out that we can’t use linear extrapolations of existing trends to predict the future. Humans, human society and the planet are all non-linear systems...like the weather. To understand how such complex non-linear systems develop, he believes that we need to use modern system theory. This involves the application of “chaos theory” to help us understand future options. Chaos theory shows us that the evolution of a complex non-linear system always involves alternating between periods of stability and instability, between order and chaos. When you reach the chaos point, the present state of the system breaks down and a split or “bifurcation” occurs. The entire system is launched irrevocably on a new trajectory.
Data indicates that human civilization and the planet are now approaching a chaos point as the world becomes ecologically, socially, and economically unsustainable. Since the 1960s the process taking us to the chaos point has been accelerating – there is no going back – the bifurcation point is coming, some predict around the end of 2012. However, there is great opportunity at such times as now. In periods of relative stability, the system tends to dampen our change. But that is not true in the period just prior to reaching the chaos point. Although chaotic systems are linked to past actions, the future is open during the window of time just before we reach the chaos point. As the system reaches the limits of its stability, chaos theory shows that the smallest “push” or “fluctuation” can impel the system to develop into a new and different trajectory.
Because of this super sensitivity in the system, even a small fluctuation produces large-scale effects. This is the legendary “butterfly” effect: i.e., a butterfly flaps its wings in San Francisco and a storm is produced in Beijing, China. Thus, this time in history presents a window of unprecedented freedom for those who are consciously aware, to become midwives for a new world that is struggling to be born.
Chaos and system theory discloses that the transformation of society follows a recognizable pattern of major phases. In society, fundamental change is triggered by technological innovations that destabilize the established structures and institutions. Although technology can be powerful and sophisticated, it remains a tool. Its utility depends on how it is used and that is determined by the wisdom we possess.
The author emphasizes that society is culturally and not genetically coded. We can mutate our culture whereas we cannot change our gene pool. Such a change of culture can be willfully launched and consciously oriented to create a new civilization. This process depends upon the evolution of our own consciousness. A more evolved consciousness stimulates new thinking, which in turn is the key to the emergence of a new civilization. This is why the Club of Budapest “is dedicated to the proposition that only by changing ourselves can we change our world.” This evolution represents a precondition for our collective survival. It is supported by two key conclusions that come out of both physics and consciousness research: interconnectiveness permeates the universe, and thoughts/intentions have the power to affect the physical world.
As Jonas Salk stated, “Our future evolution will not be decided by the survival of the strongest but by the survival of the wisest.” Dr. Lazlo has written a book that is a call to action for all those who can see the problems that humanity will face in the near future. Now is not the time for despair, or for optimism or pessimism. It is a time for action! As Dr. Lazlo states, “We live at a time when we have unprecedented power – and hence unprecedented responsibility – to decide our destiny... A critical mass of people in society must take an active role. That means you and me, and others around us.”
Dr. Laszlo the founder and president of the Club of Budapest, an informal association of highly creative people who use their insight to enhance awareness of global problems and human opportunities.
William C. Gough is the Chair/CEO Emeritus of FMBR. Article to be published in the Journal of the Society for Scientific Exploration.
Bill Gough will be a participant in the core Global-Shift University (GSU) discussions the week of February 10th, 2008. The meetings, to be held in San Francisco, will explore the new GSU initiative. GSU is at an early stage of development with Dr. Ervin Laszlo, Chancellor-designate, and Dr. A. Harris Stone, University President-designate.
The focal areas for the GSU are:
1) Ecological Sustainability, 2) Inner Growth (Personal Development), 3) Corporate Culture Development, and 4) Social and Political Transformation. For additional information, go to:
Special Event Recap
FMBR is pleased to have sponsored Dr. Natalia Shareyko, MD, PhD, and Vice President of the Institute of Biosensory Psychology, St. Petersburg, Russia, during one of her rare trips to the U.S. last month. Dr. Shareyko facilitated both an interactive session and workshop entitled Feeling Beyond Your Usual Limits.
From the Editor
There is currently a national anxiety that the U.S. is losing its national identity and infrastructure. Those at the top of the old systems – fighting to keep their wealth and power separated from those at the bottom – continue to apply bandaid surgery to our failing infrastructure but that isn’t cutting it anymore. The old structures have reached their peak, are ineffective, and are imploding. As a result, many individuals are breaking away from the old systems to forge a new direction, a new identity, and a new infrastructure, in keeping with the chaos theory.
What we are confronting at present, as suggested by the Mayan Calendar, is a major end cycle that is occuring at multiple levels. It is the end of time as we’ve consciously understood it. Because the universe, the planet, and humanity go through life/death cycles on a regular basis, it appears that a new time/space continuum, with opportunities for consciousness busting, is emerging in its place.
San Francisco bay area organizations, driven by Silicon Valley technology, are consciousness busters that are now creating the planet’s future sustainable models. These new models are largely based on initiatives to replace our dysfunctional local systems. We are building new structures driven by eco-consciousness and idealism, which will create new foundations and opportunities for future living. We are developing the structures that we dreamed about in the 60s and 70s. We are thinking globally and acting locally.
As consciousness busters, we are being tasked to take our highest visions and implement new and improved solutions consciously, steering them to completion. The future is ours to create, as is our choice of whether or not to consciously birth our highest vision. FMBR invites you to participate in this unprecedented opportunity to create the future.
Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
Events and Meetings
Feb. 20: 5PM – 6:30PM (ITP Date Correction)
ITP Specialization Panel (Career Resource Center and Spiritual Guidance Department, Great Sophia Classroom)
Join us at this late afternoon Wednesday event for the opportunity to discuss with ITP alumni how they use their ITP specializations -- Spiritual Guidance, Creative Expression, Coaching and TERS programs -- in their current professional careers.
Feb 29: 7PM-10PM
Transformation through Forgiveness: Living with
the Spirit of Ubuntu (Circles of Inquiry Presentation, Great Sophia Room) Refreshments Served.
Tickets: General - $25, ITP Alumni - $15, and
Students - $10
Please join us for an evening of conversation with Linda Biehl (Co-Founder of the Amy Biehl Foundation) and Dr. Fred Luskin, Ph.D (ITP Core Faculty) who will speak about transformation through forgiveness. Hear about traumatic experiences of loss, and how – with an act of forgiveness and reconciliation – many lives and even world policy were changed. Admission Free.
To register: 650-493-4430 ext. 269.
Smart Life Forum
Cubberly Center, Rm H–1
4000 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA
Feb. 21: Dawson Church, Ph.D
The Genie in Your Genes and Epigenetics
March 20: Karl Knopf, Ed.D
Fitness for Seniors
April 15: Stephen Strum, M.D
Related Health Issues to Prostate Diseases
INFORMATION ABOUT THE
FOUNDATION FOR MIND-BEING RESEARCH
The Foundation was established in 1980 to assist in the evolution of consciousness studies and to help bring this new field into wider recognition as a bona fide science. The interdisciplinary nature of the field is reflected in the activities of the organization and in the breadth of interests of its members who currently represent areas of engineering, science, medicine, the humanities, and the arts.
With its major focus on facilitating the development of an integrated model of consciousness, the Foundation provides encouragement and resources to a rather unique group of creative researchers and scientists.
Because of the special nature of scientific inquiry in this area, the Foundation is interested in building its regular membership with competent individuals who:
* are open to a multidisciplinary approach to knowledge
* recognize they are an integral part of any experiment
* know and are prepared to extend their own level of consciousness
The intention is to develop high standards of credibility in all research activities and publications.
Donations made to the Foundation are tax deductible.
The Foundation is incorporated under the laws of the State of California and operates as a non-profit scientific research organization under IRS code 509 (a)2 with tax exempt status under section 501 (c)3
Foundation for Mind-Being Research
P.O. Box 449, Los Altos, Ca 94023-0449
Cofounder/CEO Emeritus - - William C. Gough
Chairman of Board - - - - - Edie Fischer
President - - - - - - - - - Greg Yau
V.P. PR/Marketing - - - - - Dawn Abel
V.P. Commmunications - - - Kenneth Morley
Director of Operations - - Yevgeniy Gorodetskiy
Treasurer - - - - - - - - - Austin Marx
Secretary - - - - - - - - - Amber Balk
Audio-Visual Manager - - - Francis Lee
Director At-Large - - - - - David Allen
Director At-Large - - - - - Jerry Gin
Director At-Large - - - - - Tiffany Schneider