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Introductory Address

Queen’s College Science of Self Club

Mike Lydon

 

To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Mike Lydon and I'm an upper senior at QC. My majors are in
philosophy and psychology. I have one year left to complete my degree,
and within that time period I wish to give something back to the school.
My idea is to start a club that studies transcendental and psychic
experiences in a scientific manner. I wish to investigate these
experiences because they change people's lives and expand our sense of
who we are as human beings. Unfortunately, they are not taken seriously
in many academic settings (although this is slowly changing), and this
is all the more reason to start a student organization that does take
them seriously. I feel that this will help people enrich the quality of
their lives and expose them to new dimensions of human potential.
What do I mean by transcendental and psychic experiences?
This would include, but would not be limited to:
1. Altered states of consciousness. An altered state of consciousness is
one that is qualitatively different from our normal waking state.
Examples include cosmic consciousness, expansions of consciousness,
heightened states of awareness, near death experiences, and out of body
experiences or astral projection, etc. I'm personally more interested in
these experiences as a natural (non-mystical) phenomenon, and am
interested in the possibility that they can be induced without drugs or
ritual, and that they have implications as to the nature of human
consciousness and the meaning of our lives. If you were to discover that
you were more than the sum total of your physical processes and neurons,
how would this affect your life?
2. Subtle energies. Perhaps some of you have heard of reiki or qi gong.
These are different schools which study bioenergy, or the subtle energy
that permeates all living things. Bioenergy is a subtle form of matter
that transmits emotions and thoughts. Its effects have been verified by
researchers such as Zuyin Lu and Yan Xin in China
(http://twm.co.nz/DrYan_qi.htm) , Gyorgy Egely in Hungary, and Bernard
Grad at McGill University in Quebec. Many universities now are offering
classes in bioenergies, and recent scientific advances have allowed
biologists in Germany to photograph certain aspects of this energy,
which they call "biophotons" (see
http://www.transpersonal.de/mbischof/englisch/webbookeng.htm). Energy
medicine is an emerging field which aims to study the energetic aspects
of illness and wellness. Many medical doctors and clinical psychologists
now are also incorporating the manipulation of bioenergy into their
practice. Click this link for more info
http://www.wholistichealingresearch.com/ .
3. Psychic phenomena in general. In some way or another most of you have
probably been exposed to telepathy, remote viewing, telekinesis, and
other forms of psychic phenomena - often referred to under the blanket
term "psi" - either through the media, scientific literature, or your
own experiences. I'm interested in the research being done on these, and
how they can contribute to our understanding of ourselves. Telepathy is
the one form of psychic phenomena that is most widely accepted in
academia. The studies that have been replicated the most and have had
the tightest controls have been the ganzfeld and autoganzfeld
experiments. In the meta-analysis, the overall hit rate was 33%, when
the chance hit rate would have been 25%. The overall odds against the
hit rate being a "chance" phenomenon is a over a million billion to one.
Check here for more info.
(http://comp9.psych.cornell.edu/dbem/does_psi_exist.html).
I'm interested in these experiences as natural human abilities that can
increase our sense of meaning, well-being and happiness, and I wish to
facilitate the study of them in a rational, scientific manner. I aim to
create an interactive atmosphere of constructive discussion on many
aspects of human existence, in a natural and friendly way, free of
prejudice and mysticism. Also, I would want to bring together guest
speakers and representatives from different organizations and the
general population around common issues for constructive, mediated
discussion.