In February 2022, I was accepted onto Alef Trust’s PhD programme in partnership with Liverpool John Moore’s University (LJMU). Fortunately, I live in the UK, in Great Malvern, about a three-hour train journey to the Uni. Last year I attended a Postgraduate Research Festival organised by LJMU to bring together research students for mutual sharing and presentation of their work. One of these elements is a poster competition, where there is an opportunity to present one’s work in a visual format. I decided to enter the competition this year, and the poster below shows my designed presentation.
My research project is Hypnotic Regression Therapy (HRT) because, as a process, it provides a window into the deeper layers of our psyche. I am still in the early stages of this particular research, so it seemed appropriate for the poster to present the background into the field, which I have indicated through studies into consciousness, before looking at definitions of the transpersonal and finally looking at my research theme of HRT.
One of the elements I picked up in the first section is Young’s famous double-slit experiment into light, which was conducted to determine whether light expresses itself as a particle, which was considered by Newton to be true, or as a wave. Young’s experiment in 1801 showed that light exists as waves of energy. However, in the early 1900s Einstein was able to show that photons of light were also particles, for which he gained a Nobel Prize. This has led to the famous discovery of quantum mechanics that sub-atomic particles, such as electrons, exist primarily as waves and only become particles when measured. Furthermore, observation itself causes the collapse of the wave element of electrons when fired through the double-slit experiment.
One of the problems with materialism is explaining how consciousness emerges from that which is not consciousness. From this perspective, consciousness is usually considered in terms of human brain function. However, one way to get around this problem is to suggest that some form of proto-consciousness exists in everything, including sub-atomic particles. This might explain why they collapse from their wave state when observed. Moreover, when an individual electron is fired from a gun through the double-slit, it moves instantly into a wave state where its position cannot be accurately predicted when observed again. This is called the ‘measurement’ problem within quantum mechanics and caused much controversy among the early physicists exploring these fields. It led to Einstein’s famous quote, “God does not play dice”, because he could not understand how the particles made a seemingly random choice that could not be determined, in the same way as Newtonian physics. The idea that everything is an aspect of mind or consciousness is called ‘panpsychism’, literally meaning ‘all mind’.
Taking this idea one stage further, I sense that our consciousness could also be considered to express a wave/particle duality state. The particle part of our mind is well understood in terms of brain function, but not so in its wave state, where ripples of conscious thought can flow out from us and become entangled with other minds and consciousnesses, allowing a subtle level of exchange of ideas, thoughts and feelings. How often have you been thinking of someone, only for them to ring you or a message to drop into your phone or mailbox?
Please zoom in to make it legible!