Welcome to our Video Library! Here Laura Lee and Paul Robear host wide-ranging conversations with leading-edge researchers spanning the arts and sciences from our current Conversation4Exploration Zoom interviews. “With every conversation, with every ‘aha moment’ a piece of the Grand Puzzle of Life comes into focus,” says Laura, “as those age-old questions beckon: who are we, where did we come from, where are we going? We go exploring from the microcosm to the macrocosm, from the personal to the collective, and we find the edges of our worldview, ready to be stretched a bit, particularly rich turf.
Guest: Thomas Riccio, Professor Visual & Performing Arts, Theatre, University of Texas, Dallas
The exploration of the shamanic origins and power of live theatre continues with a slideshow of rituals around the world. Thomas shares his work with indigenous cultures in Alaska, Africa, Russia, China, exploring their ritual traditions through theatre and performance.
The language of theatre crosses all barriers, and reaches deep into our collective past, while speaking to us today. From generation to generation, indigenous performance of stories, songs, dances, acting, props, costumes and mask traditions were passed on, evolving over time. Thomas finds his way to the roots of myth revealing the origins of a culture’s expression, adapted for today.
Thomas Riccio, is a performance and media artist, writer, and creator. He is from Cleveland, Ohio, where he grew up in a working-class Italian-American neighborhood. He received his BA in English Literature from Cleveland State University, his MFA from Boston University, and studied in the Ph.D. program in Performance Studies at New York University.
He is a Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to Dallas, he was a Professor of Theatre at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and director of Tuma Theater, an Alaska Native performance group where he devised and directed several performances.
Guests: Joel Primack & Nancy Abrams
Joel Primack & Nancy Abrams’s illustrated tour through the Cosmos highlights how we humans enjoy the very rare gift of being aware of not only our own evolutionary history, but that of the Universe, and how precious we, all of life, and our home planet are in the grand scheme of things. Along with a new story of the Universe, its inspiring to see a new role for humanity. What gifts, what responsibilities, what opportunities, what future does this evidence-based, long-range knowledge afford us?
Joel Primack is emeritus professor of physics at the University of California. Nancy Abrams is a writer and lawyer with a background in the history, philosophy, and politics of science.
Guest: Jame Elworthy
The frame drum is among our most ancient musical instruments and one of the first percussive instrument invented and used widely, for prayer, ritual, ceremony, personal wellness and healing, beyond music. Many consider it far more than a musical instrument — a living spirit that calls us back to our origins and relationship to Creation.
Jane Elworthy shares an illustrated talk on the long history of the frame drum and women drummers, and will demonstrate the various rhythms, strokes and beats of the drum that give voice to the elements. Jane’s 30-year journey as frame drum maker, teacher and performer began in 1992, while teaching theatre in Santa Fe, and working with drummer Glen Velez. Today she facilitates retreats in the US, France, and Australian Outback. She is based in Sydney and Broken Hill in NSW, Australia.
Guest: Scott Ortman – Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado
The Cuyamungue Institute hosted a collaborative project of the ancestral Tewa site on our land, with our neighbor, the Pueblo of Pojoaque, and the project lead, Scott Ortman, who brought in teams from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Scott presents his illustrated talk, Cuyamungue as a Center Place, to turn back the clock on the once thriving village known as K’uuyemugeh (the traditional spelling, translated as ‘place where the rocks slip’ or ‘stones falling down place’) The project’s goals: “increase awareness of local ancestral sites in contemporary Pueblo communities, to strengthen local community identities, and to integrate archaeological, historical and traditional knowledge in telling the story of the land of the Cuyamungue Institute,” says Scott. His work focuses on the contemporary relevance of archaeological research, historical anthropology, and integrating theory and data from many fields to better understand the long-term histories of indigenous peoples. From Tewa Pueblo origins in the Northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico, to the growth and collapse of villages in the Mesa Verde region of Colorado, he is especially interested in the causes and consequences of major transitions – periods when new societies formed, old ones collapsed, or new scales of organization emerged. What insights from the past can we apply to our present and future, as, on a global scale, we reach unprecedented rates of growth, change, and complexity?
Scott Ortman holds many posts: Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder, Research Affiliate of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, Associate Editor for Anthropology and Archaeology with Science Advances, Faculty Affiliate with CU Population Center, and Director of the Center for Collaborative Synthesis in Archaeology within the Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado Boulder. He is author or co-author of numerous papers on Pueblo Indian historical anthropology, archaeological demography, and complex systems approaches in archaeology. His books include Winds from the North: Tewa Origins and Painted Reflections: Isomeric Design in Ancestral Pueblo Pottery.
Guest: Shane Farnsworth – Max-Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics.
Let’s explore the idea of a multi-dimensional universe! In some models, mathematical consistency hints at many more than the everyday 3 or 4 dimensions we can detect. How does the math arrive at the existence of 11 dimensions, or perhaps 26? Why don’t we see these extra dimensions, and what might they be, and how might we detect them? What’s the relation to dark matter and dark energy? How do gravity and the other forces fit into this story? Have we spanned all of our technology, all of our means of detection, to further explore the unseen realms of the Universe? Let’s see what the universal language of mathematics can reveal of the secrets of the Universe.
Here, we continue to search for the underlying patterns of the Universe, upon which all is built, including ourselves! This week we turn to theoretical physics, which utilizes new tools in the age-old quest to understand the nature of reality. Shane Farnsworth specializes in using mathematics, and in particular geometry, to search for patterns in our best descriptions of nature, from the smallest scales of particles and forces, to the largest, astronomical scales. He cites, among the many challenges of science, pet theories that can cloud one’s vision, testing theories in realms beyond the immediate, and wondering if we have all the needed bricks in the foundation of our premise, to build on. Patterns found again and again certainly hint at some of those foundational principles. Shane also hosts the fantastic `Escaped Sapiens’ science podcast that explores big ideas at the leading edge of science.
Alexandru Anton & Jane Elworthy
Here we are challenged to reopen the playground inside yourself, to rediscover the spontaneous, natural flow of rhythm, sound and voice that you’ve been carrying within all this time, even before you produced your first sounds. Let’s engage the power of rhythm and and open ourselves to our authentic voice.
Alexandru Anton graduated with a degree in Psychology and then pursued training in shamanic techniques and systemic constellations. He is also a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, and is training as an Cuyamungue Institute Community Host. He says, “It was in 2010 that I had my first live encounter with throat-singing and ever since I’ve been fascinated by this singing style and how it affects our psyche. I have traveled to Tuva, Yakutia, Altai and Mongolia and for the past 10 years I have been leading workshops and supporting people to open up their voice and sing, and some to throat-sing.” Alexandru is based in Romania. “Freeing your Authentic Voice” Workshop May 10th 2022 https://www.cuyamungueinstitute.com/product/freeing-your-authentic-voice-workshop/
Jane is in private practice as a sound healer, rhythm consciousness and voice teacher, as well as teaching creative expression for team building and skill development in community and corporate organizations. While teaching theatre in Santa Fe in 1992, Jane was called to study the ancient Frame Drum and has spent 30 years as a frame drum maker, teacher and performer of this powerful instrument. Jane facilitates Retreats in France and in the Outback of Australia and the US. Jane is based in Sydney and Broken Hill in NSW, Australia.
Metapatterns: Tyler Volk, Professor Emeritus of Biology & Environmental Studies.
Tyler returns to go deep in his research on Metapatterns which embrace both nature and culture, those grand-scale patterns that help explain the functioning of our universe. Spheres, Sheets and Tubes, Borders, Binaries, Centers, Layers, Calendars, Arrows, Breaks, and Cycles head the chapter list in his book Metapatterns Across Space, Time, and Mind. To reveal how the form-building and relational and many layered aspects of these archetypal patterns of space, Tyler draws upon on an astounding range of material from art, architecture, philosophy, mythology, biology, geometry, and the atmospheric and oceanographic sciences. Prepare to be dazzled with his slide show.
Tyler Volk is also the author of Quarks to Culture, CO2 Rising, and Gaia’s Body. An Emeritus Professor in the departments of Environmental Studies and Biology at New York University, Tyler’s areas of interest and research include principles of form and function in systems, environmental challenges to global prosperity, CO₂ and global change, biosphere theory and the role of life in earth dynamics.
After the Light: The Spiritual Path to Purpose
Guest: Kimberly Clark-Sharp, MSW, LCSW.
After the Light: The Spiritual Path to Purpose. What have we learned over the last few decades, with the acknowledgement of the Near Death Experience (NDE)? Kimberly Clark-Sharp has served as the head of the Seattle chapter of IANDS for over three decades, and recounts her own NDE in her book, After the Light: The Spiritual Path to Purpose. She was also my very first guest to launch my radio talk show, so this catch up visit is a personal as well as a look on how our understanding and acceptance of the NDE has evolved of late. “Death is nothing to fear-and life without fear can be lived to the fullest. This is Kimberly Clark Sharp’s message from her extraordinary experience during the time after her heart suddenly stopped beating and she lay on the sidewalk, not breathing, and without a pulse. Swept into a peaceful loving place of brilliant golden light and warm comfort, she saw, for the first time, the meaning of life-and death. Founder of Seattle International Association of Near-Death Studies, the world’s oldest support group for near-death experiencers, since 1982”
Christine VanPool, Professor of Anthropology
Fredrick Smith, Professor of Religious Studies
Thomas Riccio – Professor of Visual and Performing Arts
We bring three frequent guests together, all of whom have shared encounters in their field work, that they cannot explain by conventional means. We will hear their first-hand, real-life stories, and ask how we can decipher and interpret that which points to the boundaries of our worldview.
Tyler Volk, Professor Emeritus of Biology & Environmental Studies.
Can we correct course by getting a new view of big picture, one that hints at a new story about our world and our true place in it? What new hope can we find in a Universe on an evolutionary mission? How big is the big picture — one that uses the same evolutionary forces to shape, guide, nudge, and challenge us, along with all Life, along with the very fabric of the cosmos? Science helps us see farther and deeper, and Tyler Volk has woven the pieces from several disciplines into a roadmap of the greater whole.
“Our world is nested, both physically and socially,” he writes, “and at each level we find innovations that are necessary for the next. Consider: atoms combine to form molecules, molecules combine to form single-celled organisms; when people come together, they build societies. What can we say about this beautifully complex whole? How does one stage shape another, and what can we learn about human existence through understanding an enlarged field of creation and being?”
Guest: Corinne Dempsey, Professor of Religious Studies
Corinne Dempsey was a skeptic before a friend insisted she visit Iceland’s community of healers and seers. Impressed and intrigued, she spent months looking into the history of “andleg mal” — spirit work — and how those she met are continuing this ancient folk spiritual traditions, and making them meaningful and effective in our modern world.Corinne shares stories and first-hand accounts of the practice for trance and healing, Her book, Bridges between Worlds also explores its origins in Icelandic history.
Corinne adds “I currently view Icelandic spirit work, known as andleg mál, as a multi-tiered bridge, generally known for easing the distance between earth and spirit realms, likewise spanning histories, worldviews, and cultures. I documented the tradition as shaped by pre-Christian Icelandic traditions, folk beliefs, and Spiritualism that arrived late to Iceland after its boom and bust in North America. Andleg mál also brings skeptics and believers into conversation, especially in healing contexts where spirit-adverse clients place their last hopes in its practices and where healers and medical professionals who share patients encounter a collision of worldviews.”
Guest: Bianca Harle
Intention, is more than making goals. A goal is more mind-orientated where as the true power of intention comes from the heart. – an expanded awareness. Intentions are powerful.The art of intention can cultivate a more sustainable approach to transformation in our lives and effect the world around us by aligning ourselves together with collective intentions, and with the power and grace of the universe.
Bianca Harle conducted various experiments with focused, premeditated intention in personal and group settings for well over a decade before participating in a group intention experiment with a single group over a 2 year period. She has invited a few members of the group to share the parameters of the experiments and the results, both what worked and what didn’t. These were not scientific experiments, but conducted in the “lab” of real-life, and our discussion will focus on the insights gained in the many ways we all use intention, its power, and what it all means. “Intention is the starting point – a part of our creative power,” she says. “The power of Intention can teach us that mistakes become opportunities to learn, and empowers us to effectively change on energetic and other levels.
Hosted by Laura Lee and Paul Robear. Conversation4Exploration, Conversation 4 Exploration, Conversation for Exploration, Cuyamungue: Felicitas D. Goodman Institute, The Laura Lee Show
Guests: “Jee” Dhamindra Jeevan, Christa Mariah
The Metaverse has dramatic implications that call us to claim a role in shaping the worlds within the world that is being created. Who is going to be building, and therefore controlling, the metaverse? Most of the mainstream news is following this topic from the corporate angle. However there are two sides to the story of the Metaverse. Our guests point out that while it is important for all of us to be aware of the perils, there may be greater possibilities – ‘we can create a metaverse that allows communities to gather together ‘for unprecedented ways of learning and wondrous experiences.’
As a digital matte painter, Jee’s art spans the otherworldly landscapes he’s created for Hollywood movies. With partner Christa Mariah, who teaches entrepreneurship and creativity on the academic and personal level, they are using the new tools of the digital realm to create a spiritually immersive and interactive experience. These two visioneers will describe the goals and values of their “Treeverse” and we’ll compare the Alternate Reality we know from our work with the Meta experience and ask if we are collectively recreating an “inner technology” lying dormant in each of us, as the Universe speaks to us and through us all, in ways new and old.
Guest: Christina Grozik, Alexandru Anton, Michael Hovancsek
Sound is all around us, and inside of us. Ancient cultures and indigenous peoples have used sound to heal and to transform and today there is rapid advance in the the field of acoustic research documenting the healing properties of sound.
Christina Grozik traveled widely while writing, filming, and producing “Going Om”, a documentary exploring the potential to raise or lower the vibrations around us, and various modalities using sound for well-being. She writes, “Will sound, vibration and frequency be the medicine of the future? What if your words could literally change the world around you? Would you choose them more carefully? Are we capable of healing or hurting through sound vibration?”
Alexandru Anton graduated with a degree in Psychology and then pursued training in shamanic techniques and systemic constellations. He is also a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, and a Cuyamungue Institute Community Host. He says, “It was in 2010 that I had my first live encounter with throat-singing and ever since I’ve been fascinated by this singing style and how it affects our psyche. I have traveled to Tuva, Yakutia, Altai and Mongolia and for the past 10 years I have been leading workshops and supporting people to open up their voice and sing, and some to throat-sing.”
Mr. Michael Louis Hovancsek, PC, M.ED. is a counselor in Kent, OH and also visual artist filmmaker published author and musician. He has been performing exhibiting his art and producing art events for 30 years.
Guest: William Halal
William E. Halal is Professor Emeritus of Management, Technology, and Innovation at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. An authority on emerging technology, strategic planning, knowledge, innovation, and institutional change, he has worked with General Motors, AT&T, SAIC, MCI, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, International Data Corporation, the DoD, the Asian Development Bank, foreign companies, and various government agencies.
Guest: Lawson Malnory, Ethnomusicologist
Sonic driving plays a key role in the ritual used by the Cuyamungue Institute, and in rituals around the world. Traditional cultures around the world use the rhythmic sounds of percussion instruments—drumming, rattling, tapping a stick, and even rhythmic chanting—to draw them into trance.
Laura Lee writes: Sound is relayed through the stirring of molecules, of pressure waves flow through the air and into our ears, processed by our brain. And certain sound, with ’sonic driving’ we are nudged to process in way that delivers us into an altered state. I used to think that I was ‘imprinted’ to the particular quality of sound, hard to describe, that ‘swish’ of our gourd rattle, the reverb of our native drum. What ethnomusicologist Lawson Malnory presents is a compelling evidence that we are all tuned to this same ’timbre’, our physiology is tuned to the nuances, patterns, and rhythms of Nature’s voice, and our ancestors designed a range of instruments to echo, to imitate, to celebrate the songs of Mother Earth. Lawson makes his case with a widely sourced range of audible samples, digital imagery of sound analysis, neurological research, and personal experience, going far beyond the more readily accessible beat-per-minute, rhythm, and monotone, we’ll discern the subtleties of sound’s pull on our psyche, the inner doors it pries open, it’s transcendent power.
How does ritual work? What are the active elements and dynamics that lend ritual its transformative power, that allows us to go further and deeper? Riccio’s work with shamanic and indigenous groups around the world afford him a global perspective on these universal elements. Riccio analyses what he has witnessed first hand in a wide range of spiritual practices, and applies in his theatre work. What frames of reference are set up, and how? What is the narrative sequence, and relation to theatre and performance? What cultural and archetypal roles are evoked, what spiritual and societal duties fulfilled? How is the audience prepped to enter the safe container of the sacred space, and set up expectations?
Wisdom is a gift of ritual, it provides the power to ground and stabilize us, keep us focused and purposeful. Wisdom is the unfolding of our consciousness, in which we drop the search for answers, and embrace the great mystery of life.
Guest: David Elkington
We have turned the corner of the seasons, and with the days getting longer, its time to celebrate the return of the light. Let’s do so with the mythic Green Man. Our guest David Elkington notes, “as the ghosts of winter fade, the Green Man pours forth his/her influence upon us, speaking with joy and love for those who love our Earth. And with terror for those who do not. We see that in the root word of terror/terre.” David points to ritual designed to activate our pineal gland and sync our biorhythms with the Earth’s, and to the Green Man’s influence seen far and wide in his counterparts: Robin Hood, dressed in green, Isis, “the original Maid Marion” and Osiris/Orion, painted green by the Egyptians to denote his role as the vegetative god of rebirth.
David Elkington is an academic researcher, mythologist and historian. He is the author of “The Ancient Language of Sacred Sound.” See our previous conversation with David on sacred sound. He has lectured at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and appeared radio & television programs.
Guest: Edwin Turner, Professor of Astronomy, Princeton University
We celebrate the season with a Tour of the Cosmos with Professor Ed Turner. It’s an exciting, wondrous beat: The birth and death of stars giving rise to complex matter and life, new tools to detect exoplanets, astrobiology and the search for life out there to better ponder if we’re alone or living in a Cosmic Womb of Creativity, the imminent launch of the James Webb Telescope to see further back into time, which, by the way, theoretically behaves quite differently than we experience it. Dark matter, black holes, the limits of reductionist science, AI the best candidate to go where humans are not designed to (Sorry Capt Kirk). The nature of consciousness (ultimately, the real final frontier) — we go exploring!
Ed Turner is Professor of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University, and a member of the Galileo Project and the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative. We begin with a report on the James Webb Telescope by Tony Hull, Adjunct Professor of Physics and Astronomy at University of New Mexico,
Guest: Mauro Zappaterra
How does our physiology support altered states of awareness? What dynamics are activated in our physical anatomy to activate this remarkable ‘inner technology’? Surely the spine and brain are involved, and a key role may be played by the cerebrospinal fluid (CFS) that bathes and connects them. Mauro Zappaterra wrote his PhD thesis on the CFS, and continues to chart the many roles of CSF: as a conduit to convey source information to the body, the embryonic origins and composition similar to sea water and amniotic fluid, the melatonin and DMT content, as well as those functions known, and those only hinted at, in descriptions by yogis and sages, “in being conscious of our beingness”.
Mauro’s focus is on “optimizing human performance through regenerative medicine, nutrition, mind-body exercises, mind-training, and biofield therapies,” he says, and utilizes various complementary medicine modalities. He earned his MD and PhD at Harvard Medical School, is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, and designs new programs and techniques to help alleviate pain, improve function, and increase quality of life. He has published scientific papers and medical book chapters on CSF, disability and pain management, as well as children’s books for all ages.
Guest: Lawson Malnory. Lawson who has a illustrated, in-depth, report on the results of his online survey of the efficacy of monotone beats with a range of instruments for induction of ASC. Paul contributed four sound files from the drum and rattle collection we use for Ecstatic Trance / Ritual Body Postures — we’ll see how those rated! This report brings up the many questions around the role of sound in ASC, and featured in Lawson’s Thesis for his MA in ethnomusicology, and he credits his participation and time with the CI events and community for key insights and questions.
This is just the beginning of his study of the specific and nuanced characteristics — the beat, rhythm, pitch, frequency, timbre and more — of ritual’s sonic driving.
Humankind discovered, utilized, and ritualized the power of sound so very, very early in our history. And I wonder, is it through trial and error? Did we adapt to the sound, or did we adapt the sonic driving to us, to tune in and amplify something deep within? Are we culturally habituated to the first ASC inducing sounds we hear, within the proper ceremony? Or is it an individual thing, wherever one’s pre-set physiology lands us on the bell-curve of efficacy?
It was that bell curve, found through trial and error, that CI’s founder, anthropologist Felicitas Goodman, clued into early on, to determine the optimal beat of the sonic driving we use in her revival of the ancient tradition at the heart of our work at CI.
Guest: Bernard Beitman. The Science of Synchronicity and Serendipity in your life. As the “veil thins” this time of year, are you finding more synchronicity in your life? Might the coincidences lining up in our life be one of the many ways the Universe ’speaks’ with us? What serendipitous moments do you have to share?
Bernie Beitman’s Coincidence Project is a repository of real life, self-reported incidents, and we’ll want to hear yours, and he defines coincidence, synchronicity and serendipity, and cites the range of their hallmarks, messages, frequency, circumstances, and more. Bernie’s book is “Connecting with Coincidence: The New Science for Using Synchronicity and Serendipity in Your Life” How do we explain this occurrences? One perspective is Synchronicities are meaningful coincidences.. Some cite the “red car” phenomenon — the likelihood of noting the other red cars when driving down the road in one — and some cite quantum theories of time more two-directions and fluid. Everything in the universe is in sync with everything, without which the activity happening across the creation can’t sustain. The energy and the nothingness together are holding everything in the world – like a canvas holds the painting.
Guest: Alex Van Den Heever – Tracker Academy, South Africa “There are only four or five authentic, genuine Bushman trackers left,” says our guest, tracker Alex Van Den Heever, who seeks to revive “the indigenous knowledge that was once a part of our landscape”. It’s a most ancient oral tradition, and those keeping it alive are tracking animals through the bush for research and for ecotourists to shoot, with cameras. And documenting it lest it disappear. I’ve long been curious about the range of the knowledge, skills and senses employed to pick up the often minute, barely-there clues trackers read, and the concentration, powers of observation, intuition, and endurance it takes to decipher the habits, movements, and location of their quarry.
What new insight can this lend to our earliest ancestors, their traditional knowledge, their deep attunement to their environment? What is that experience like? Are some parts of our eyes, ears and brain picking up clues beyond our conscious awareness? What skills might we apply to our own journey through the ‘wilderness’ of modern life? Alex shares all this and more, drawing from his years in the bush as a ranger at Southern Africa’s Londolozi game reserve and co-founding the Tracker Academy with fellow tracker Renias Mhlongo, offering an ind-depth, year-long course. Alex is the author of Tracker Manual: A Practical Guide to Animal Tracking in Southern Africa and Changing a Leopard’s Spots.
Guest: Brigitte Veiz, psychologist, Gestalttherapist, Dramatist What happens when a psychologist analyzes Munich’s favorite beer festival? Brigitte Veiz put two years of research and decades of self-experience on the Oktoberfest and Germany’s many Volksfests into the socio-psychological diploma thesis for her PhD. She details the hidden mythos behind the fun, the songs, the symbols, the beverage, why the traditional costumes, the Dirndl dress and Lederhosen, are ritual garments, why Oktoberfest begins in September, and the mythic ties of Dionysus the God of Ecstasy and Trance, to the “Bavaria” statue, the Goddess of the festival.
Evidence of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth?
Guest: Avi Loeb Prpfessor of Astronomy Harvard University “It would be arrogant to think we’re alone in the Universe,” says Harvard Professor Avi Loeb, theoretical astrophysicist. His conjecture on the anomalous, shiny, elongated space object (dubbed “Oumuamua”, Hawaiian for “scout”) that wandered through our inner solar system in 2017 fit the evidence, yet stirred up quite the controversy. It looked and behaved not like an asteroid or cement, but a solar light sail, just as we’d design for a space probe. He details why in his book, Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth. “We should not rule out technology from an advanced, extraterrestrial civilization just because the notion is unpopular among the academic community,” he argues. This did lead to private funding for Avi’s “Galileo Project” named for that other daring astronomer. We talk about new strategies to detect life in the Cosmos, the goals and hopes for his project, the role and limits of science, what we know and don’t know, his philosophy of life, tackling the big questions, the impact on society’s advancement, the filmmakers interested in his work, and more. Three astronomers in the audience pose their questions and comments, including one who worked on the Hubble Telescope.
Art & Iconography of NW Coast Native Culture
Guests: Lee Brooks, Gallery Curator / Rande Cook, Native Artist The power and spirit of the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest has a long, deep history, and continues today. Tribes in British Columbia, Alaska, Washington and Oregon each have their own history, culture and religious traditions, represented in their art, stories, songs and dances. Lee Brooks, curator of Arctic Raven Gallery has long championed Native art and artists, and brings Rande Cook to share the iconography and deep meaning and history of his art and culture. We’ll see a dazzling array of carvings and sculpture of wood, stone, bone, shell from many native artists, and more and learn the deeper meaning.
Female Shamans: Spirituality & Healing Practices in Peru
Guest: Bonnie Glass-Coffin, Professor of Anthropology /Affiliate Professor of Religious Studies at USU. Bonnie shares her deep look into the female shamans of Peru and their spirituality and healing practices, past and present. She also leads an initiative to find common ground among the different faiths and spiritual paths, and this include non-human consciousness! She also has insight on tackling life’s big questions. Male shamans, she concludes, rally forth into the spirit world to do individual combat with the sources of spiritual illness, whereas female shamans try to involve their patients more directly in their own healing
ART: The Metaphysical Message of Geometry & Perspective
Guest: Kurt Wenner, Renaissance Artist. To find sacred aspects within Western art, we turn to Kurt Wenner, a self-taught artist who learned classical drawing directly from the Renaissance masters by studying and drawing Greek and Roman sculptures in the Vatican Museums. Decoding the secrets of perspective, he is celebrated worldwide for his innovative 3D illusions. He has revived the skill sets and inside secrets of not only the Renaissance masters, but the Greeks. His classically inspired figures and architecture also carry deeper meaning: “Classical tradition is not a style, so much as a Language of Form based on a profound knowledge and appreciation of our physical universe,” he says, outlining the creative principles within geometric design as unity, duality, polarity, equilibrium, and proportion. Kurt has worked with the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian, Disney Studios, Warner Brother Studios, and holds a Kennedy Center Medallion for outstanding work in arts education. His book is “Asphalt Rennaissance”
Says Host Laura Lee: We’ve been celebrating the revival of lost “languages” and bodies of knowledge, to gain a peripheral but appreciative sense of the various ways of navigating our world, developed over the long arc of our human journey: the tradition of star navigation across the Pacific, watching the waves, bird, and constellations. Decoding the petroglyphs and ‘sun daggers’ of the ancient Skywatchers who left solar calendars across the American Southwest. What expert trackers read in the subtlest clues left by an animal’s passage. I add Kurt Wenner’s work to this list, in his revival of a lost ‘language of form’ shared by the artists of old so we may better understand how they did what they did. I also appreciate its evolution as Kurt take those skills and deep understanding into our modern vernacular to create art that bridges then and now.”
GUESTS; Brantley Baird, Tori Baird. Several of the postures we use come from petroglyphs, and we recently toured one of the world’s largest collections, dating from 5,000 BC to 1400 AD. Near Winslow Arizona, over 3,000 petroglyph grace the walls of a small, easily accessible two-mile long canyon that runs through Rock Art Canyon Ranch, the home and 5,000 acre cattle ranch of 83 year old Brantley Baird. It’s long been a sacred site, where hunting and gathering groups and semi-nomadic farmers left their mark, with hogans and sweat lodge still used by local tribes. Brantley and god-daughter Tori also offer access to archeologists and to the public of on-site tours of the canyon’s rock art, the pots and artifacts he found on the land, and pioneer relics, as well as to us with their photos and stories.
While the wide spectrum of ASC and the ecstatic trance state of our own work has a 50,000 year track record, over time our culture lost both the practice and the language around it. Is the common meaning of the term “ecstatic trance” and “religious trance”, used by the previous generations of anthropologists from our own Dr. Felicitas Goodman to Mircea Eliade, in transition as more and more of us are adopting and adapting practices to engage in these states? Are we ‘hardwired’ to seek such states? What can we learn from the 1960’s survey of the beneficial attributes of visionary states funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (to which Dr. Goodman contributed by translating many of the ethnographies studied) and why did the West divorce itself from these practices? Why were shamanic states ever viewed as a pathology? How are ecstatic states being revived and enjoyed today? What will bring ASC back into the mainstream? We are joined by Todd and Christine VanPool, Dept of Anthropology, University of Missouri
Art of Storytelling; The Power of our Personal Story
GUEST: Richard Schwab, Mythologist. Myth and story is one way our ancestors kept wisdom traditions alive and intact. “Story is the operating system of human consciousness,” says Richard Schwab. He has worked with prisoners to uncover the mythical threads in their own lives. For the Joseph Campbell Foundation and Center for Symbolic Studies he has studied mythology and folklore motifs as applied to our lives and ‘rites of passage’ journeys. His TEDx talk was on the use of story in today’s world. Today he is designing online means for empowering a better understanding of our own story, to bring our passions and gifts into the world.
Real Magic: From Ancient Wisdom to Modern Science
GUEST: Dean Radin, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Science “Magic is a natural aspect of reality, and what was called magic two thousand years ago is turning out to be scientific fact today” says Dean, after forty years conducting controlled experiments that demonstrate the surprising power of our thoughts and intuition. He defines magic and the influence of our thoughts, intention, and intuition in our everyday life, citing the results of hundreds of experiments with Extra Sensory Perception, and a genetic test with surprising results that hints at how widespread and natural these abilities are. Dean’s books include The Conscious Universe, Entangled Minds, and Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe. Dean’s research and his 100-plus academic articles in peer-reviewed journals is helping to expand the current paradigm and gain wider acceptance for work such as ours.
The Quantum Concept of Consciousness
GUEST: Brenda Dunne, International Consciousness Research Laboratories. When will science offer theories that fully contain and explain all our experiences and the questions that arise — Is there life after death? How does my mind affect my experience, and the physical world reflect my expectations? Are seeming coincidences in life random, or purposeful on some level? Where do spirit and matter meet? Brenda has spent decades tackling these questions and more. She worked alongside Robert Jahn at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab (PEAR) where they co-wrote three textbooks on consciousness-related anomalies and conducted mind-over-matter experiments, and today heads the ICRL with over 80 scientists exploring the role of consciousness in the formation of physical reality.
Sustainability: Past and Present. Our Eco-spirituality Series
Anthropology of Gender and the Two-Spirits Tradition
GUEST: Mikaela Deimeke, Cultural Anthropology Graduate Student at University of Missouri.
We’re undergoing a cultural revolution, with gender playing a key role. Women reclaiming power roles at all levels of society. Gender fluidity with new pronouns. “Two Spirits” embodying both genders. Anthropology reveals gender’s many roles in history, from “access to resources, clothing and appearance, identity and personality, status and power, and social roles in different communities” says our guest. She is studying ‘Two-Spirits’ who embody both masculine and feminine spirits. “Traditionally, they participated in both male and female gender roles, which makes these individuals liminal beings that have the ability to mediate between this world and the spirit world, with high status. Many individuals Two-Spirit identity begins with the spiritual world, being called through some sort of supernatural sanction (i.e a vision or dream) while others show a proclivity for both male and female tasks early on in life. Two-Spirits held a prestigious role in their communities prior to extensive influence from outside cultures. They held roles as mediators, healers, helpers, and many other things.” Mikaela is joined by her anthropology professors Todd and Christine VanPool.
Science of Sound & Nature’s Poetic Patterns
GUEST: Jeff Volk, Cymatics
A lively conversation on Jeff’s four decades carrying forward the art and science of making visible, the invisible hidden patterns of Nature. As publisher of the seminal works, Dr. Hans Jenny’s groundbreaking books Cymatics, Vols. I & II as well as video documentaries, Jeff broadens our understanding of how audible sound can create harmonic, geometric patterns as found in intricate life forms, and in the art and architecture of the world’s wisdom traditions. He also makes clear its relevance to our lives, and how it expands our notion of what exists around and within us. Time to stretch our concept of the Cosmos and our place in it!
Besides being an author, producer and publisher, Jeff Volk is also an evocative poet. Jeff’s 1992 documentary, Of Sound Mind and Body: Music and Vibrational Healing, won the Hartley Film Award through the Institute of Noetic Sciences. It quickly became IONS’ most popular membership premium, which encouraged him to begin producing the first “sound” conferences, exploring the manifold effects of music and sound on consciousness and healing. He continued to produce The International Sound Colloquium annually throughout the 90’s, and then re-directed his focus to the business of publishing, which he continues doing to this day. To explore books and videos related to Cymatics and sound therapies published and produced by Jeff Volk, visit: www.cymaticsource.com
Subtle Energies & The Fourth Phase of Water
GUEST: Dr. Gerald Pollack, University of Washington
Dr. Pollack, author of The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor, will share revolutionary secrets on the nature of water that have profound implications for our health, the origin of life and cell biology, and speaks to the seeming miraculous design of our life-supporting Universe. And, satisfactorily explains how capillary action manages to raise water up a 100 foot tree! He describes how water transforms itself from H2O to H3O2 when in contact with living tissue, as water molecules line themselves up in layers with a gel-like consistency, and dramatically different properties. As an electromagnetic charge builds, the water structures an “exclusion zone” the repels impurities and where light activates our cells as a kind of battery.
Skywatchers: Ancient Solar Calendar
GUEST: Ken Zoll, Executive Director at Verde Valley Archaeology Center.
Methods of timekeeping are as old as the hills, which were often employed as solar calendars marking the passage of the year with the Solstices and Equinoxes. Just outside Sedona, Arizona, on a long vertical rock face with over a thousand petrolgyphs, Ken Zoll decoded an ancient solar calendar. It was left by the Sinagua, ancestors to the Hopi, who too charted the sun’s annual trek across the sky with a calendar marking when to celebrate, when to plant, when to harvest. They symbolically tied this sacred ceremonial site to their sacred mountains, by knapping a vertical rock edge to cast a shadow in its outline.
Ken takes us on his personal journey of gathering the clues to identify and document the story of the Sun Watchers of a thousand years ago. His books include Heart of the Sky: Ancient Skywatchers of Central Arizona, Understanding the Rock Art of Sedona, and Sinagua Sunwatchers: An Archaeoastronomy Survey of the V Bar V Heritage Site and the Sacred Mountain Basin
Symbol, Art and Altered States
Christine VanPool, Professor of Anthropology
Mississippian Culture: Solar Calendar of Mound Builder
- What are your experiences telling you, be it with Ecstatic Trance Postures, spontaneous mystical moments, or with the various ASC and consciousness raising techniques in your repertoire?
- What does it tell us about what’s missing from our conventional, shred worldview, and where it needs to expand?
- When might we as a society get there?
- What will it share with our early ancestors?
- How will this new view, this new story, read?
- Will a better world come about once we do so?
A lively discussion looking at the the significance of integrating the mystical to develop and restore ourselves and embrace the world of a mythic life.
Life After Life. The Near Death Experience.
Dr. Raymond Moody & Lisa Smartt. We will explore the evidence for life after life, and the last spoken words of many about to cross over. Dr. Moody is the leading authority on the ‘near-death
experience’—a phrase he coined in the late seventies. Dr. Moody’s research into the phenomenon of near-death experience had its start in the 1960’s. The New York Times calls him “the father of the near-death experience.”
Lisa Smartt, MA, is the author of “Words at the Threshold: What We Say as We’re Nearing Death” and has worked closely with Raymond Moody, guided by his research into language, particularly unintelligible speech. They have co-facilitated presentations about language and consciousness at
universities, hospices and conferences.
The Ancient Language of Sacred Sound
The connections between the Earth’s resonant frequencies, Sacred Sites & Human Consciousness
Guest: David Elkington. The Earth resonates at an extremely low frequency. Known as “the Schumann Resonance,” this natural rhythm of the Earth precisely corresponds with the human brain’s alpha wave frequencies–the frequency at which we enter into and come out of sleep as well as the frequency of deep meditation, inspiration, and problem solving. Sound experiments reveal that sacred sites and structures like stupas, pyramids, and cathedrals also resonate at these special frequencies when activated by chanting and singing. Did our ancestors build their sacred sites according to the rhythms of the Earth?
Animism In a Living Universe. Guest:Christine VanPool, Anthropologist, University of Missouri
What is animism? Broadly defined, animism is the belief that everything has a spirit: trees, birds, rainstorms, rocks. Animism encompasses the beliefs that all elements of the material world have life. It is a foundational aspect of the sacred traditions of indigenous peoples worldwide. Most of the world is made up of animists. Almost all of Africa, Southeast Asia, rural China, Tibet, Japan, rural Central and South America, indigenous Pacific Islands–pretty much everywhere embraces animistic beliefs–except Western Europe, the Middle East, and North America.
CI’s founder, anthropologist Felicitas Goodman, incorporated animism into the ritual of Ecstatic Trance Postures — she invited the spirits to participate in our rituals for without their help, we cannot enter the Alternate Reality. Goodman “activated” rattle and spirit masks by “feeding” them blue cornmeal and blessing them. Christine will elucidate the long tradition and global practices of animism, and the worldview where all is animate and alive and sacred in an intelligent Universe.
Call of the Wild: The Human-Animal Bond throughout Time.
Guest: James Tyrrell, Safari Ranger/Photographer/Blogger, Londolozi Game Reserve, Skukuza, South Africa
We once lived among the wild animals, knew their stories and habits, enjoyed a respectful and perhaps mystical relationship with them. Africa’s Safari rangers, guides and trackers are those now who know them best. What might a close up look and stories of encounters with these beautiful beings stir up from our ancestral memory banks? James Tyrrell has stunning photos and fascinating stories to share of living among South Africa’s wild lions, leopards, elephants, white rhinos, hyenas, hippos and more. (Note that lions, rhinos, elephants and camels once roamed North America, too)
James earned an honors degree in Zoology, snowboarded and climbed Colorado’s mountains, surfed Australian and Indonesian waters, and wandered across Africa, his home country, before settling down at the Game Reserve Londolozi, Zulu for “Protector of all living things” in the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve within the Greater Kruger National Park. If an African Safari is on your bucket list, consider this a preview visit, and chance to appreciate our fellow members of the Web of Life.
Voices in Balance – Authentic Communication… Inspiration by Shakespeare
Guest: Ellie Nichols. The Bard endures for the many attributes of his genius, one of which is his memorable, daring female characters, which Ellie will elucidate through performance and discussion. Shakespeare’s representation of women, and the ways in which his female roles are interpreted and enacted, have become topics of scholarly interest. Strong, attractive, intelligent, and humane women come to life in Shakespeare’s plays. They not only have a clear sense of themselves as individuals, but they challenge accepted patterns for women’s behavior.
Ellie says “My work revolves around gendered communication and how the patriarchy can challenge authentic relationship. As a performer, I the work through Shakespeare’s plays, with a deep dive into the text to reveal what the bard can teach us about female voices, male vices and authentic communication—how do things shift when we say what we mean, and we mean what we say?”
And there are those who say the work of Shakespeare speaks of shamanism. Shakespeare is a visionary artist who utilized the pageantry of theatre to offer a glimpse into the unconscious. The American writer and mythologist Joseph Campbell, believed that artists have taken up the role of the shaman. Both art and shamanism use the realm of metaphor where feeling is expressed and where healing happens.
Ecstatic Trance / ASC connection to Past Shamanic Cultures.
Guest: Christine VanPool – Professor Anthropology University of Missouri
Comparing the current experience of Ecstatic Trance – ASC (Altered States of Consciousness) with that of ancient shamanic cultures. Shamanism, an ancient spiritual practice of indigenous cultures throughout the world, has been used for physical, psychological, and spiritual healing since the Paleolithic era. We will look at its universality in ancient civilizations and the connection to the increasing popularity and acceptance in the present day. Assisting us in putting into perspective the direct experience of ASC visions, emotional healing and spirit journeys in our Ecstatic Trance Posture Experiences.
Acoustical Experiment in a Templar Chapel: Activating Sacred Sites. Guest: David Elkington.
Exploring the acoustic connections between the Earth, the human brain, and sacred spaces, David shows how humanity maintained a direct line of communication with Mother Earth and the Divine through the construction of sacred sites. We’ll revisit the St Catherine’s Chapel Cymatics Experiment that we participated in with David, and go deeper into his research of how ancient cultures the world over knowingly, cleverly set up temples to better tune into Earth’s resonance, via the natural tuning of our brain waves. COMPLETE Article on the St Catherine’s Chapel Cymatics Experiment: https://www.cuyamungueinstitute.com/articles-and-news/sacred-soundscape-a-12th-century-chapel-reveals-its-sonic-secrets-and-a-new-theory-of-art/
Trance States in Ancient India. Frederick M. Smith – Professor, Sanskrit & Classical Indian Religions.
The focus of his research is looking at ritual, practice, or text over centuries or millennia. Example of this are his studies in the performance of Vedic ritual in modern times, which utilize several millennia of texts in addition to his own “Vedic fieldwork,” or in the textual history of deity or spirit possession, supplemented by both modern ethnographic writing and his own forays into the field.
Energy Medicine & Trance. Our Ecstatic Trance Posture experiential sessions work so beautifully with our community spread around the globe. How does this work at a distance? Is there more to the Universe than Science has recognized? What might we learn from other energy medicine modalities that also work at a distance? What’s the common denominator? What role does the Placebo Effect have? We’ve asked members of our CI Community who practice both ETP and long-distance energy medicine, to discuss their work, Maria Dolzer with Healing Touch and Barbie Maraviov with Reiki. Joseph Goldfedder, acupuncturist, brings in his experience with, and science of, energy meridians and archeologist Christine Van Pool shares insights from historical and neurological studies.
Chaco Canyon: Mysteries & Magic with GB Cornucopia and Cherilynn Morrow.
Guest Speakers GB Cornucopia and Cherilynn Morrow. GB was the Principle Interpretive Ranger at Chaco Culture National Historic Park for 33 years. Cherilynn Morrow is an astronomer, solar astrophysicist, and former NASA Educator.
Between them, they have put in 50+ years studying the message writ into the design and placement of Chacoan’s structures. With a beautifully illustrated slide-show they present an overview, the advanced stonework, and Solstice and Equinox alignments and well as research into the special acoustical properties of one section of canyon wall. Here we find additional relational alignments perhaps denoting use as a ceremonial space, at the ‘center of the center’. Though this culture did not leave a written record, there are clues to a sophisticated, elegant, and far-reaching cosmology in what they left behind. Naked eye astronomy and the view of the night sky at the few remaining dark-sky locations help us understand the importance of the cosmos to ancient peoples worldwide.
Not yet had the chance to visit New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon? They recommend these two videos. Both offer stunning visuals and a good introduction and overview to this extraordinary site.
“Exploring Chaco Canyon: Mysterious Ancient Site and the Archaeological Wonder of the USA”
A young man and his cell phone delivers a fast-paced and engaging overview of Chaco Canyon (42 mins) https://youtu.be/kpG2wqCMii4
“The Mystery of Chaco Canyon” narrated by Robert Redford. Featuring Native voices, aerial photography, archaeoastronomy and the Sun Dagger. (55 mins) https://youtu.be/IqZwxSu7_tQ
Anthropology & Trance States. Christine VanPool, Professor of Anthropology. Christine VanPool, Anthropological Archeologist, on the contributions to the field made by Anthropologist Felicitas D. Goodman, founder of the Cuyamungue Institute, and what new insights today’s advances in the field may shed on this work. This Cuyamungue Institute Q&A / Lecture Series with special guest Dr. Van Pool, Professor of Archeology at the University of Missouri, was recorded via Zoom on 09/06/2020. For the entire list of our YouTube and Podcasts visit https://www.cuyamungueinstitute.com/media/
Where Science & Spirituality Meet. Steven Hecht, philosopher joins Sister Margaret O’Rourke, Catholic Nun and a few scientist/mystics to explore the meeting point of science and spirituality. Why having a personal relationship with a higher power need not limit our conceptualization, and how direct personal experience can inform us. Science finds organizing principles underlying universal laws of physics and life, is this a glimpse of a Creator’s handiwork? This Cuyamungue Institute Q&A and Lecture Series was presented via Zoom on 10/04/2020. For more: www.cuyamungueinstitute.com/media and for the extensive list of books and film mentioned: https://www.cuyamungueinstitute.com/articles-and-news/the-case-for-a-creator-reading-list/
Illustrated Tour of A New Story for the Universe. Brian Tucker takes us on a mythopoetic and beautifully illustrated journey of new findings in science prompting an exciting rethink of our place in the Universe, encompassing the underlying patterns of the Universe that evolves with us in exciting new ways. This Cuyamungue Institute Q&A and Lecture Series with special guest Brian Tucker was presented via Zoom on 08/16/2020. For more visit www.cuyamungueinstitute.com/media
We are thrilled that the work of CI is under investigation by both in theory and in practice by anthropological archeologist Christine Van Pool. We’ll discuss the contributions to the field of CI’s founder, and what new insights today’s advances in the field may shed on this work, and what this work may contribute to new understandings in anthropology. https://www.cuyamungueinstitute.com/media/
Illustrated Tour of A New Story for the Universe. Brian Tucker takes us on a mythopoetic and beautifully illustrated journey of the new findings in science that demand an exciting new rethink of our place in the Universe.
Solstice Aligments: Tony Hull. Adjunct Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of New Mexico. Tony is our featured speaker for this hour in our on-going educational sessions. Enjoy Tony’s lecture, with slides, on the Solstices, the importance to ancient cultures, and the profound yet simple tools our ancestors used to align ceremonial sites to the heavens. Tony will show you how you can build our own Solstice Marker of any size, with a few simple items found easily around the house or your backyard.
SIX MINUTE Introduction to the work of Dr. Felicitas D. Goodman and the Cuyamungue Institute. The Cuyamungue Institute is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization committed to transforming consciousness through the ancient wisdom of Ecstatic Trance Postures. The Institute promotes public awareness and teaches the powerful use and effectiveness of these postures throughout the world. The Institute continues to cultivate new avenues of learning, using a prescribed method by which ordinary individuals are able to enter an expanded state of consciousness, and promote the safe use of this method. We are also dedicated to preserving our 472 acres in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a sacred center and worldwide archival and research headquarters.