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 Conversations Toward a New World View: Explorations in Consciousness 
 
Interview with Dr. Edgar Mitchell PhD
   as interviewed by Russell E. DiCarlo

So there have been a lot of people whose ideas have influenced me. But by and large, it has been a process of pulling all of it together, making my own observations of the way the brain/mind works to produce the so-called "bizarre" manifestations of mind/consciousness, and then discovering that those are real and explainable. They are valid. They are very hard to test under existing scientific protocol, but that's because scientific protocols aren't designed to deal with subjective realities. Now that we are starting to change that a bit, we can test these things in quite different ways.

Since we know that our perceived reality is produced by all these filters, the only way we can establish reality is through some sort of consensus among serious, knowledgeable observers.

DiCarlo: What do you think about those skeptic organizations that try to discredit any bona fide investigation of consciousness?

Mitchell:Well, they are very rapidly falling by the wayside. They are under enormous fire because they are wrong. I won't say they are in full retreat, but it's pretty darned close. The implications of quantum mechanics and other discoveries in science totally undermine that position, which is strictly a classical position.

DiCarlo: Why is it taking so long for the quantum reality to influence us in how we live our day to day lives?

Mitchell:Because we can still get by with classical mechanics at the macro level pretty well. Most physicists-the "cook-book" physicists-didn't want to consider the philosophical implications of a universe in which there can be action at a distance. It undermines a large number of the basic assumptions of science. Particularly positivism. Now, one must be a reductionist at times to get things down to simple and understandable terms. But the notion of positivism is that if you reduce the universe into its simplistic elements, you can build it back up and understand the entire universe. And that's simply not true. We must go beyond mundane applications and look at the larger implications.

The universe has characteristics at complex levels that are not predictable from the parts.

You have to consider not only the finite pieces of the universe-even down to the quantum level-but you also have to understand the interactions at the level of the organism, which exhibit different characteristics than they do as isolated parts. That concept is shaking up classical, traditional scientists, to no end. Quantum physicists have been wrestling with the problem for 70 years, but the biological and life sciences-and chemistry to a small extent-have been able to get along quite well with classical notions. But we see that falling apart too. So many people are turning to Eastern medicine and to alternative medicine just because they realize classical Western medicine is painting itself into a cul de sac.

DiCarlo: So do you think that energy medicine is the emerging medicine?

Mitchell:Energy medicine is "an" emerging medicine. Western medicine is wonderful as crisis intervention at the last minute in many cases. Energy medicine is more focused on health maintenance than crisis management.

DiCarlo: What would you say to the average individual then who doesn't see in their own personal lives a whole lot of change going on, and they are very skeptical about all this.

Mitchell:Then they are being like the ostrich with their heads buried in the sand. I don't see that anymore. In recent years, I have seen nothing but shocked increased awareness everyplace I go, without exception. People are recognizing that the institutions are crumbling. They are not serving the needs they were set-up to service. Our Western institutions were built upon Newtonian-Descartian principles, whose assumptions are being demonstrated to be flawed. And if your foundational assumptions are flawed, then your whole system has to be re-worked. That's what's happening. And those that don't want to recognize it are playing the dinosaur or the ostrich, as the case may be.

DiCarlo: What are the implications of all this at the level of the individual, community, nation and world?

Mitchell:Let's start with the individual. Everything starts with the individual because it's the thought process that is the fundamental issue. So people are going to have to become more aware. They are going to have to become more knowledgeable. They are going to have to understand these rapid changes that are taking place. We do not live in a deterministic, linear universe as the classical notions would have. We live in a non-linear, feedback, evolving, creative universe. And we are participants in it, not observers. Once individuals become aware and more knowledgeable, the institutions will take care of themselves.

DiCarlo: Do you have any advice for a person who is only now starting to go through their own transformation process?

Mitchell:Yes. Be flexible. Be adaptable. Grow and learn. Learn, learn, learn, learn, learn. The age we are in is vastly different from the past, where one could live a life with the knowledge gained in childhood. As we approach the end of this century and the beginning of another, that is no longer possible. You cannot. It's a lifelong learning experience. Change is accelerating so rapidly, what we use to call the "generation gap", exists year to year now in kindergarten. That's how fast things are moving.

DiCarlo: Do you feel it's not only a change in degree, but a change in kind as well?

Mitchell:I don't no how to place it in that characterization. It is definitely a paradigm shift and that means a change in belief. It's a change in perception. A change in meaning. Let me define this for you. "Meaning" is assigning new relationships to information. "Meaning", is the creation of relationships between new bodies of information. And what we are doing is assigning new meanings to so much of the old information. That results in changed belief. And belief is one of the major filters that separates our perceptions from objective reality.


Excerpted from the book Towards A New World View: Conversations At The Leading Edge with Russell E. DiCarlo. The 377-page book features new and inspiring interviews with 27 paradigm pioneers in the fields of medicine, psychology, economics, business, religion, science, education and human potential. Featuring: Willis Harman, Matthew Fox, Joan Boysenko, George Leonard, Gary Zukav, Robert Monroe, Hazel Henderson, Fred Alan Wolf, Peter Senge, Jacquelyn Small, Elmer Green, Larry Dossey, Carolyn Myss, Stan Grof, Rich Tarnas, Marilyn Ferguson, Marsha Sinetar, Dr. Raymond Moody, Stephen Covey and Peter Russell.

Russell E. DiCarlo is a medical writer, author, lecturer and workshop leader who's focus is on personal transformation, consciousness research and the fields of energy and anti-aging medicine. His forthcoming book is entitled "The Definitive Guide To Anti-Aging Medicine" (1998, Future Medicine Publishing). DiCarlo resides in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Copyright 1996. Epic Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

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