Bionoetics: Life, Mind, and the Sacred

Bionoetics is the result of decades of work by some of the world’s finest minds — physicists, cognitive scientists, biologists, medical doctors, neuroscientists — ranging from a physics Nobel laureate to a Missouri rancher with an IQ tested at 190+. From 2014 to 2018, parts of the work in progress were premiered at eight public conferences and published in the open access peer-reviewed journal Cosmos and History; the reader is invited to peruse it there free of charge. As you can see there for yourself, the outpouring was immense in terms of both quality and quantity; with respect to public response, the huge download and page-view stats may never be equaled.


A radically new vision of the cosmos and humanity began to emerge: one that places us again in an enchanted space. We are now in a position to share the worldview, one that does justice to the furthest reaches of quantum-mind speculation, as it does to the new physics that allots to mind the capacity to change the present and influence the past.


We began with the classical Bionoetics theme of construing knowledge as being continuous with biological adaptation. While it is inevitable that quantum mind presents a challenge to those asserting such a naturalistic path, what will become clear to you, the reader, is that current approaches to both biology and cognition that disregard quantum effects will look mediæval by the end of this century. Field effects in neuroscience are needed to exemplify the omni-pervasiveness of the biofield; the alternative search for “neural codes” more elliptical than math is perhaps the greatest and most expensive absurdity in a century already replete with such scientific absurdity.


The fact that water is a dipole makes us watery creatures the sport of quantum effects; the role of conscious observation in turning NP-complete problems into something tractable may yield a stunning technology. The fact of the causal role of chi/prana/neart (to use some of the ancient terms) is accepted in medical practice as the sine qua non for healing and has awaited a the kind of field theory with dissipative systems we have formalized to begin to acquire theoretical traction.


On more prosaic levels, it is proved that the failure of current science as practiced in the highly subsidized academies is guaranteed due to its ignorance of ontology; the continuance of outdated paradigms is guaranteed by the power asymmetries between those scholars calling themselves “professors” and everyone else who end up with massive debt and little additional knowledge. Moreover, the dominance exerted by these academies is complemented by the gold rush of the internet giants, sacrificing for profit not only the privacy and security of their often unwitting “users,” but taking advantage of the dogmatic relativism of the universities to assert a symbolic world devoid of either moral or aesthetic norms. The reinstatement of such norms in the context of the perennial search for the sacred has been one of our main goals.


All our work has been done in radical intellectual freedom, and we have members from literally all creeds, and ethnicities, including those who answer “none” to such questions. We did not accept either state or corporate funding, but only individuals’ donations. Apart from the work here, we run a student-driven summer school, accredited by a top 400 university, and share online courses that reflect our members’ advanced seminar teaching at Stanford and — just in case — freshman seminars in Berkeley! We invite you to share this breakthrough with us as we continue our focus on consciousness, quantum mind, cognitive science, theoretical biology, the foundations of physics, biolinguistics, comparative spirituality, and ecology.


Our founder and director is also a professional musician who, while living in the San Francisco Bay Area, had the honor of regularly playing and being interviewed on African-American jazz radio like the show hosted on Saturday nights on KPFA by the late, great Doug Edwards. His arrangements of Irish airs have been played on BBC Radio 3 and numerous other outlets. In another surprising development, we found a group of young elite dancers with no previous exposure to Irish dance becoming entranced by the rhythm. This exploration will undoubtedly form a new theme.


We believe that the universality of mystical experience is indeed striking. The use of paradox to point to ultimate reality emerges in Hinduism, in Buddhism, and in the via negativa of Christianity championed by Eriugena. The ultimate mystical state as immersion in a godhead who is Being itself, yet does not act; single yet ubiquitous; Absolute and yet immanent in everything; that which emanates the universe and yet beyond time and space, is common to Buddhism, Eckhart, Sufi pantheists, and those like Schrödinger who attend carefully to the quantum revolution. The consequences of that revolution and our growing sense of the specialness of what we are as a biosphere/Gaia, species and individuals, is a natural outcome of modern physics whose spiritual ramifications we invite you to explore.

Our medical theme is continued with the first investigation of pranna using three different physical media by Beverly Rubik and her team. Beverly’s fellow Berkeley PhD Philip Shinnick, former captain of the US track and field team, produces some revolutionary findings on how health can be conceptualized as the capacity to maintain a low entropy regime in a far from equilibrium environment. While Philip’s work is currently the subject of a patent application, our Italian colleagues address the issue of how the Hippocratic system supplanted a more comprehensive health system that included thaumaturgy. Along with Chris Langan on the semiotics theme, Nobel laureate Brian Josephson discusses the insights of agential realism. The legends of the classic text How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival, Fred Alan Wolf and Jack Sarfatti, in many ways have the last word. Fred discusses how the Schrödinger equation has application in neuroscience beyond the classic equivalence with Heisenberg matrix mechanics. Jack uses the resources of theoretical physics to exemplify a formal theory of consciousness. While the mathematical device used is the classical Lagrangian, the insight from David Bohm of a pilot wave with a back reaction from the organism producing the qualia of individual consciousness hits the bullseye of what third-millennium science and spirituality will look like.

Read the Papers, and More


Premium Membership gets you access to the complete set of papers, our video archive, and other benefits. Our new proceedings volume featuring Chris Langan (whose interview with Spike Jonze can be seen here), Paul Werbos (who invented deep learning), and many others, is also included in the Premium package. These are peer-reviewed papers not available elsewhere.

Order Premium Membership to access all of the above resources, or Foundations of Mind 8 Selected Papers for a significant sampling.

© 2019 by Seán Ó Nualláin