Consciousness and health studies at U of Arizona explore new paths
By Steve Hammons
(This article originally appeared on the Transcendent TV & Media site at http://tvtranscend.blogspot.com.)
The shootings in Tucson earlier this year resulted in many broken hearts. Loved ones passed on and others were seriously injured. The rest of us were shocked, angry and tried to understand how and why this happened.
What resources, knowledge and information are available to help us make sense of this and other terrible situations and move forward constructively?
In addition to having an excellent medical school and medical center, UA is home to two forward-leaning programs that may be useful to familiarize ourselves with at this time.
One is the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the UA College of Medicine led by well-known physician and health educator Andrew Weil, MD. This program explores blending concepts and practices of traditional medicine with additional approaches to health.
The other is UA's Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health led by Gary Schwartz, PhD. This activity explores human consciousness in relation to personal and social health as well as leading-edge research into the nature and properties of human consciousness, including theories about life after death.
An examination of these programs and other advanced research may be very useful.
Forward-leaning research at University of Arizona
BREAKTHROUGHS IN HEALING
Modern medicine is making tremendous advances every day. For example, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been funding studies to learn if we can regrow amputated missing limbs, much like a salamander or newt.
When these creatures lose a limb, they create new "progenitor cells," also called "precursor cells." These cells gather at the site of the injury, forming a "blastema." The blastema continue to grow and specialize into cells that form the nerves, bones, cartilage, muscles and skin to create a new limb.
Will we soon be able to do this for people who have lost limbs or have had other significant injury to various body tissues?
Other research in the medical community and the news is also promising regarding ways to regenerate damaged or lost tissue. The UA medical school is certainly in the loop on these state-of-the-art developments.
In addition to these kinds of research efforts around the country and internationally, the website of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine explains about other aspects of health and healing. "Since its inception, the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine has focused its efforts on three domains: education, clinical care, and research – with the primary emphasis on education."
The website notes the "Defining Principles of Integrative Medicine:"
1) Patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process.
2) All factors that influence health, wellness, and disease are taken into consideration, including mind, spirit, and community, as well as the body.
3) Appropriate use of both conventional and alternative methods facilitates the body's innate healing response.
4) Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive should be used whenever possible.
5) Integrative medicine neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically.
6) Good medicine is based in good science. It is inquiry-driven and open to new paradigms.
7) Alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount.
8) Practitioners of integrative medicine should exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development.
FRONTIERS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Our understanding of human consciousness is rapidly advancing. One good example is the U.S. defense and intelligence community program known as Project STAR GATE.
The potential of human consciousness and the way it operates stunned the researchers in Project STAR GATE even as they began to utilize mysterious advanced perception in national defense tasks.
Though not a health or medical research effort, this activity showed that our minds, perception and awareness can be much more robust and unconventional than what we normally believe. It seems clear that there are significant health and medical considerations involved in the discoveries and accomplishments documented by Project STAR GATE.
In research that seems to dovetail significantly, the UA Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health also investigates advanced concepts that seem both fantastic and full of hope.
The program's website outlines some major points, noting "Our universal or metahypotheses include: Consciousness exists and can be investigated scientifically. Consciousness is in a dynamic state of change and evolution."
Their efforts include "eight specific consciousness research areas that are controversial in society as well as in mainstream scientific disciplines, including psychology:"
1) Evolution of Consciousness and Understanding
2) The Role of Consciousness in Health and Healing
3) Survival of Consciousness After Death
4) Quantum Holographic Consciousness
5) Group and Global Consciousness
6) Animal Consciousness
7) Other Worldly / Higher Spiritual Consciousness
8) Universal Intelligence Hypothesis
As we think about Tucson, American society and the human race on planet Earth, it is easy to become discouraged and angry at times. The violence, destruction, injuries and disease, mental illness, poverty, hunger and other challenges seem overwhelming.
Yet, by carefully examining and testing new theories and discoveries about human beings and human consciousness, it seems clear that the potential exists to transcend many of these problems.
While conducting research for a graduate-level paper at the Marine Corps War College several years ago, a Navy SEAL officer coined the phrase "transcendent warfare." He was referring to possible outcomes of discoveries from Project STAR GATE and similar advanced research.
Taking his concept further, it is not much of a leap to consider that transcendent breakthroughs in science, medicine, health and healing, and many of the other areas of human endeavor are not so far away.
In fact, we could soon possibly reach a tipping point that makes many kinds of breakthroughs a reality.
NOTE TO READERS: Hammons is author of the novels Mission Into Light and the sequel Light’s Hand. Please visit his sites Joint Recon Study Group at http://jointreconstudygroup.blogspot.com and Transcendent TV & Media at http://tvtranscend.blogspot.com.