Center for Theory & Research

Volume V: Corps of Discovery

About the Authors of Beyond Physicalism

Harald Atmanspacher has been an associate fellow at Collegium Helveticum in Zurich since 2007. He received a PhD in physics at Munich University in 1986 and worked as a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics at Garching until 1998. He then served as head of the theory group at the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health in Freiburg until 2013.

He is the current president of the Society for Mind–Matter Research and editor-in-chief of the interdisciplinary journal Mind and Matter.

His areas of research are the theory of complex systems, conceptual and theoretical aspects of (algebraic) quantum theory, and mind–matter relations from interdisciplinary perspectives.

Loriliai Biernacki is Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She studied at Princeton University and received her PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Biernacki’s research interests include Hinduism, ethics, gender, and the interface between religion and science. Her first book, Renowned Goddess of Desire: Women, Sex, and Speech in Tantra (2007), won the Kayden Award in 2008. She is coeditor of Panentheism across the World’s Traditions (2014).

She is currently working on a study on the eleventh-century Indian philosopher Abhinavagupta in relation to wonder, the new materialisms, and ideas of the body and the body–mind interface.

Bernard Carr is Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Queen Mary, University of London. He studied for his doctorate under Stephen Hawking at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology.

He was elected to a Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1976, took up a Senior Research Fellowship at the Institute of Astronomy in 1980, and moved to Queen Mary in 1985. He has also held visiting professorships at Kyoto University and Tokyo University and is a frequent visitor to institutes in America and Canada.

His professional area of research is cosmology and relativistic astrophysics, and includes such topics as the early universe, black holes, dark matter, and the anthropic principle. His recent books are Universe or Multiverse? (2007) and Quantum Black Holes (2014).

He has a long-standing interest in the relationship between science and religion, and especially in psychical research, which he sees as forming a bridge between them. He is Chairman of the Scientific and Medical Network and a former President of the Society for Psychical Research.

Adam Crabtree has been a practicing psychotherapist for forty years, specializing in dissociative identity disorder and the dissociative disorders in general. He has written books in the area of the history of animal magnetism and hypnotism, as well as the history of psychodynamic psychology.

Two of his books are Animal Magnetism, Early Hypnotism, and Psychical Research, 1766–1925: An Annotated Bibliography (1988) and From Mesmer to Freud: Magnetic Sleep and the Root of Psychological Healing (1993). He has a book in press: Memoir of a Trance Therapist: Hypnosis and the Evocation of Human Potential.

He has a special interest in the philosophies of William James and Charles Sanders Peirce. He lives in Toronto and is on the faculty of the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy and the LingYu International Psychology Centre. He is an associate of the Esalen Center for Theory and Research.

Wolfgang Fach is a psychologist and certified psychotherapist. Since 1999 he has worked as a counselor for individuals reporting exceptional experiences and as a research scientist at the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health.

His research fields are the phenomenology and mental representation of exceptional experiences, with particular emphasis on the role of complementarity within the philosophical framework of dual-aspect monism.

Michael Grosso, presently an independent scholar, received his PhD in philosophy from Columbia University where he also studied classical Greek. He has taught humanities and philosophy at Marymount Manhattan College, City University of New York, and City University of New Jersey.

He is actively affiliated with the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia and on the Board of Directors of the American Philosophical Practitioner’s Association and a past editor of the Journal for that Association.

His published books include The Final Choice (1985), Frontiers of the Soul (1992), The Millennium Myth (1995), Soulmaking (1997), Experiencing the Next World Now (2004), Irreducible Mind (2007, coauthor), and The Strange Case of St. Joseph of Copertino: Ecstasy and the Mind–Body Problem (forthcoming).

Edward F. Kelly is currently a Research Professor in the Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) at the University of Virginia. He received his PhD in psycholinguistics and cognitive science from Harvard in 1971, and spent the next fifteen-plus years working mainly in parapsychology, initially at J. B. Rhine’s Institute for Parapsychology, then for ten years through the Department of Electrical Engineering at Duke, and finally through a private research institute in Chapel Hill.

Between 1988 and 2002 he worked with a large neuroscience group at UNC-Chapel Hill, mainly carrying out EEG and fMRI studies of human somatosensory cortical adaptation to natural tactile stimuli.

He returned full-time to psychical research in 2002, serving first as lead author of Irreducible Mind (2007), and has now returned to his central long-term research interest – application of modern functional neuroimaging methods to intensive psychophysiological studies of psi and ASCs in exceptional subjects ( ).

Paul Marshall is an independent researcher with interests in mysticism, philosophy and psychology of religion, science–religion relations, and consciousness studies. He read Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and received his PhD in Religious Studies from Lancaster University.

He is author of two books, The Living Mirror: Images of Reality in Science and Mysticism (1992), and Mystical Encounters with the Natural World: Experiences and Explanations (2005). He is currently bringing to completion a third book, in which he takes further his explorations of mystical experience and its significance for understanding the nature of consciousness, self, and world.

Michael Murphy is cofounder and Chairman Emeritus of Esalen Institute, and now serves as director of its Center for Theory and Research (CTR).

He is the author of four novels and several non-fiction works: In the Zone (1995), an anthology of extraordinary sports experiences, coauthored with Rhea White; The Life We Are Given (1995), a book about transformative practice, coauthored with George Leonard; The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation (1988), coauthored with Steve Donovan; God and the Evolving Universe (2002), coauthored with James Redfield and Sylvia Timbers; and The Future of the Body (1992), a large-scale study of human capacities for transformation.

In the 1980s he helped organize Esalen’s pioneering Soviet-American Exchange Program, which became a premiere vehicle for citizen-to-citizen relations between Russians and Americans, and in recent years he has helped foster the program of long-term integral transformative practices (ITP) he founded with George Leonard.

David E. Presti is a neurobiologist and cognitive scientist at the University of California in Berkeley, where he has taught in the Molecular and Cell Biology, Cognitive Science, and Psychology programs for more than twenty years.

For more than a decade (1990–2000) he also worked in the clinical treatment of addiction and of post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD) at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco.

His areas of expertise include the chemistry of the human nervous system, the effect of drugs on the brain and mind, and the neuroscience of consciousness. He has doctorates in molecular biology and biophysics from the California Institute of Technology and in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon.

Since 2004, he has been teaching neuroscience to Tibetan monastics in India, part of a dialogue between science and religion initiated by the Dalai Lama.

Gregory Shaw is Professor of Religious Studies at Stonehill College, Massachusetts. He is the author of Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus (1995) and a number of articles on the later Neoplatonists and on Iamblichus in particular.

He is currently working on a manuscript that explores the embodied aspects of later Platonic philosophy and its similarity to the tantric traditions of South Asia. The theurgical Platonism of Iamblichus presents a radically nondual vision that defined the Platonic tradition from the late third to the sixth century CE. It was an embodied Platonism very much at odds with the dualism that has been identified with Platonic philosophy.

Henry P. Stapp received his PhD working under Nobel Laureates Emilio Segrè and Owen Chamberlain. His thesis work is the basis of our current understanding of the low-energy properties of the nucleon–nucleon system.

He has worked closely with the founders of quantum mechanics Werner Heisenberg and Wolfgang Pauli, and with John Wheeler, and less closely with David Bohm.

He has written extensively in journals, compendiums, and edited books about the foundations of quantum mechanics, and about the issue of faster-than-light transfers of information arising from the works of A. Einstein and John Bell, and about the basic issue of free choices, which are forbidden by classical mechanics but are a key element of quantum mechanics.

He is the author of three books on these topics: Mind, Matter, and Quantum Mechanics (1993); Mindful Universe: Quantum Mechanics and the Participating Observer (2007); and On the Nature of Things: Human Presence in the World of Atoms (forthcoming).

Eric M. Weiss, MFT, received his PhD in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2003. His dissertation was entitled “The Doctrine of the Subtle Worlds: Sri Aurobindo’s Cosmology, Modern Science, and the Metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead.” Prior to that, Dr. Weiss studied and taught Tibetan Buddhist practices for seven years under the direction of Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche.

He has been on the faculty of CIIS and the Sophia Center at Holy Names University. He is also a distinguished scholar at the Esalen Center for Theory and Research, where he is engaged in the study of reincarnation and the survival of bodily death by the personality. He has recently published a book entitled The Long Trajectory: The Metaphysics of Reincarnation and Life After Death (2012).

Ian Whicher is a Canadian and earned his PhD from the University of Cambridge. A long-time Yoga practitioner, Dr. Whicher is a Professor and Head of the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada.

He specializes in approaches to spiritual liberation in India and the Yoga tradition, and is the author of several books and articles including The Integrity of the Yoga Darśana (1998), and coeditor of Yoga: The Indian Tradition (2003).

Dr. Whicher is currently writing a book on The Yoga of Intelligence and is frequently invited to speak at conferences, public venues, and workshops throughout the world.