Report on Tuscon III Conference on Studies in Consciousness

by Jim Lyons

This 3rd bi-annual Conference organised by the University of Arizona at Tucson during the last week of April was attended by something approaching 2000 delegates from all over the world.  Their background ranged through a large number of disciplines reflecting the very broad interest that this subject is now generating.  Many well-known speakers were present, including Paul Davies, Karl Pribhram, Geoffrey Cairns-Smith, Richard Gregory and many more. The theme areas were so large that around 700 papers in various forms were presented, ranging from Plenary Sessions to Specialist Groups and Poster Presentations.  Clearly, selectivity of individual presentations became a difficult task.

Much progress has been made in understanding the detailed functioning of the brain using, in particular, the latest PET scanning methods.  Most neurological work concentrated on the visual system as the key to elucidating perception and brain functioning.  There was a great deal of mention of the topic of  `qualia`, the difficult problem of modelling subjective experience.  In terms of hard science, the theme of Quantum Theory raised its head many times with good presentations being given by Basil Hiley on latest developments in the Bohmian interpretation of Quantum Theory.  Stuart Hammeroff extending his joint microtubule theory with Roger Penrose to now include possible ideas in Quantum Computing further expounded the topic of the source of Quantum effects in the brain.  These latter two topics have significant implication on Theories of Dowsing and their developments should be closely monitored.

My own paper, which was a Poster Presentation, was received extremely well, way beyond any expectations.  Its title: – DowsingA Gateway to quantifying non- localised effects in Consciousness Studies indicated its leanings towards obtaining numerical descriptions of the dowsers technique of projecting his consciousness towards a remote object and extracting information therefrom.  The Posters described the basics of dowsing for the uninitiated (the majority) and led the viewer to the concepts of earth energies and the wave motions emerging from the magnetic/gravitational energy balance. Detection of the earth energy waves by the pineal gland was described and related to the quantum effects detectable by microtubules.  In particular, the experimental work indicating how the brain detected magnetic vector potential fields was very well received by the Quantum physicists pursuing this approach.

On a more anecdotal level but perhaps of more direct interest to the majority of dowsers did many physicists coming across dowsing for the first time show the interest?  I taught several of them the fundamentals involved with a general reaction of total amazement when they went off doing it on their own!  I could do no other than wholeheartedly agree with a Professor of Physics who confessed to me that having carefully studied what I was doing, he would have to re-think the fundamentals of physics – just what I have been preaching for years. 

The head of the experimental laboratories at the University of Arizona confessed that it was one project they wished to look at themselves but seeing that we were already a long way down the road, invited me to participate in their research programme and offer any of our research studies for their perusal and comment.  It felt at long last that a degree of respectability was creeping into the topic of dowsing.  Its connection with the projection of consciousness was at last being recognised.

Overall, the conference was an excellent opportunity to review the state of art of the developing science of Consciousness and to get the feeling that dowsing had far more than a passing contribution to make towards this ultimate of scientific endeavours.

© J W Lyons & BSD EEG