Friday, March 28, 2008
Jan's Conference Journey: Day 0
Even though I've only traveled from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, which everybody says only takes an hour (yeah, right), I feel like I've made the journey in a covered wagon - and climbed La Bajada on foot to give the oxen a rest. Did I tell you I'm not crazy about traveling? In fact, I think it's a major pain: organizing my stuff; deciding what to leave in and what to leave out; packing; loading the car; fighting traffic; getting lost while trying to follow the Google map; skipping lunch so I'd be on time, etc. etc. Plus, I'm really picky. I changed hotel rooms twice to get the one I could be comfortable (quiet!). Good for me that I stood up and took care of myself; and really good for my hosts, the Lamplighter Inn, for being so helpful and accommodating. Of course, this is just about my favorite hotel in all the world, for reasons I'll share later, so they should be!
Whining aside (okay, one more bit: I don't like to travel because I miss my kitty-cat!), I am really glad to be here and sharing this experience. I'm attending and serving as a door monitor at the 2008 International Conference on Science and Consciousness. This is a big event in the metaphysical and advanced-science world. I've attended this and similar conferences before, but never as a working participant. Even as a "just" a door monitor - meaning I get to tell people to wear your badge or you can't come in! and take your loud cell-phone conversation far away from here! - having this humble role makes me feel much more connected than simply attending as a consumer. The volunteers form a community, and I'm already starting to feel I fit in.
Today's major activity was handling the registration table, and getting our assignments for monitoring the workshops that begin tomorrow. The big buzz among the volunteers at my table-shift was, "Who do you want to go see?" The next four days will offer us three separate workshops running concurrently, morning and afternoon, so you have to make a choice. None of us is advanced enough to be in three workshop rooms at once! Some of my fellow volunteers had definite preferences, and everyone wanted to see our major keynote speaker, Rupert Sheldrake. Myself, I surrendered to the scheduling gods and spared myself the need to make that decision - and I drew the workshop I wanted most, anyway. See how it all works out?
Rupert Sheldrake, for those of you who don't know, is one of those crossover-scientists that I absolutely adore. He served as Director of Studies in Cell Biology at Cambridge, among other notable accomplishments. He will be speaking on "Memory and Morphic Resonance," which I believe will summarize his major contribution - the theory of morphic fields, which explains how we really, truly are all connected. But that comes four days from now, on the last day of the conference.
Why do I love the crossover-scientists, people like Larry Dossey, Andrew Weill, Stanislav Grof, and all those who've reached the pinnacle of their profession, then leapt to another peak outside the mainstream? Because they're brave, and visionary, and willing to speak the truth. Because, in a sense, that's what I've done although on a much more modest scale. Because a true scientist is willing to explore phenomena that defy normal explanations, rather than dismiss it because "science" (meaning old-style Newtonian physics) doesn't allow for it. I always say, if a person thinks this metaphysical stuff isn't scientific, they need to update their science - at least to quantum physics, which is only say 70+ years old.
Enough of my rambling! Tomorrow is going to be long day starting at 9 am with the first keynote, and going into the evening with Brooke Medicine Eagle: Dance the Golden Dream. I'll be staying up for that one, and I need to get my beauty sleep. Time for some hot tea, and bath, bed. Goodnight, travelers.