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Letters to the Editor—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, January 2019

Below email response is in connection to this reader feedback on the Penrose-Hameroff theory of consciousness remarked upon by Mary Kerfoot: http://www.apmagazine.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1242&Itemid=194

Hi All - You guys stirred my thinking. Absolutely love it!  First off, neural processes may explain functions like sensorimotor function and cognitive working memory, but it likely won’t explain why they are accompanied by conscious experiences. The main idea among neuroscientists is that the more possible links between cells, the more possible combinations there are and therefore a greater number of thoughts are possible. Consciousness, in other words, depends on physical matter but is not regulated by it. The words you are reading now are networked to your brain but is different from your brain. The meanings, feelings, and thoughts of reactions to this idea is not entirely your brain.

The brain interprets the letters and words like the computer does with 0s and 1s, but more in a quantum state than the computer. But quantum computing is not too far away. The computer though doesn’t know the meaning and intention of the sentences-its just a string of random 0s and 1s to my Acer which is on its last legs ;-)  This relates to Panpsychism which is the main theory of today that considers consciousness a universal feature of all things and even exists in molecules and atoms. Maybe as some kind of quantum mechanic effect. But you are the captain of the ship and steer the brain to filter the most important aspects of physical reality YOU wish to experience, process, interpret, and react to.

The brain determines what patterns are of most interest to you and it filters the important and meaningful information you want by sensing and presenting it for and to you. It only shows you the patterns that it thinks are most relevant to what you want to see. So, in a real sense, “you create your own reality” by crafting the brain’s representation that is of most interest to you. You don’t create the external reality that the senses are reporting on but instead direct the brain to help you experience what YOU decide to experience. In other words, YOU give rise to the physical universe. The brain processes external information for YOU to realize, process, and interpret driven by your current circumstances and memory. Your brain’s physical interpretation of incoming energy, in other words, allows YOU to act accordingly to the information received using free-will and intention. Feelings and physical sensations are capable of being transmitted from one individual to another despite the distance between the individuals. EEG studies now suggest that its’ effects may actually be associated with linked minds. This has been repeatedly shown in different ways. 

Orch Or says neurons behave as quantum computers which interact non-locally with other neurons and, along with the quantum hologram facilitate a conscious event. Maybe neurons do act as carriers of quantum properties inside the brain but then what? We have no explanation for how that process facilitates intention and free will. Maybe this energy field extends from the brain and can interact non-locally with the physical world as ESP experiments clearly demonstrate. Orch Or may be just scratching the surface and is a good place to start but we are light years from realizing how consciousness is facilitated let alone what it is, what it does, and where it originates. The paradox is that our consciousness is trying to explain what consciousness is, but we  don’t know what it is – so how can it be explained? 

It may be an issue more for philosophers to solve than neuroscientists. We will never find the answer in neural brain networks IMHO.  Thanks all for your input and considering my 2 cents worth.

Bob Davis, Ph.D


Robert Laurence 1940-2018
[See November Reality Checking: http://www.apmagazine.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1238&Itemid=194

I’ve been trying to put my thoughts and emotions together since Bob Laurence’s passing in such a way that I could bring together the exact words I want to express for this eulogy. Bob lived in a virtual hell for the past 10 years that in no way did he deserve. There are many things we don’t want to let into our lives . . . to put them in a box and never let them out . . . try to escape the pain and sadness that we don’t want to feel. As I sit here writing this, that’s what I want to do. I don’t want to face his passing and I may never fully wrap my mind around it. There is a saying we all know, “Only the good die young.” Bob is proof of this. He was just too young and too good of a person to pass. He had much more life to live and adventures to experience.

As some of you may know, Bob’s experiences started when he was a child and have been a major part of his life. In his adult years, he’s been investigated, hypnotized and even drew a star map for Mark Rodeghier and J. Allen Hynek, that he remembered from an encounter. To use a political term now often heard . . . he was thoroughly vetted by those investigating his experiences and found believable. I met Bob at a UFO conference at the Museum of Science and Industry back in the 1990’s that Mary Kerfoot had organized. I remember seeing him wandering around a little and then we spoke for awhile, exchanged phone numbers and from that point on we became very close and loving friends. Mary, Bob and I would spend many hours discussing encounters and speculating what it all meant. After a couple of years, I became part of many of his encounters. He would call me in the morning and ask what I had remembered from the night before, which was nothing, but he could tell me what I was wearing during the encounter, which was correct. For whatever reason, he was allowed some memory and I was not. But the very best was that Bob, Mary and I also just hung out as everyday friends doing so many fun things that can only now live in our memories.

One Easter Sunday, Bob called me about an encounter I didn’t remember, which included Bob, myself and my youngest granddaughter, Lexi, aged about 8 at the time. I want to stress here the importance of this because I have two granddaughters who know nothing about abductions, UFO’s and the like. I never discussed any of this with them, so I can honestly say they were totally clueless about all of it. So, after I talked to Bob that particular Easter morning, my family came over for dinner and my granddaughter Lexi came up to me to tell me about this really strange dream she had the night before that was pretty much what Bob had told me earlier. This was such a shock, but yet such an important, independent encounter validation that I could hardly believe it. There’s no way she could have made this up. I told Bob about Lexi later in the evening and he was as stunned as I was, but we were both totally amazed at what a revelation this was.

However, and I saved this part for last, I want you to know that there was so much more to Bob that made him who he was other than just his encounters and UFO’s. He was also a man who had an extraordinary life. Many of you may not know that he was absolutely brilliant. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. Degree in Aerospace Engineering and then an M.S. Degree in Celestial Mechanics. All of this eventually led him to work for NASA with a team of engineers working on the heat shields for one of the shuttle series. He then taught physics and advanced math at a college prep school in Chicago named Kenwood Academy. He taught there for years when NASA contacted him again to be a mentor to the younger Engineers who were going to start working on the NASA Mars project that was just beginning. He did decline this offer because he felt he had been out of the field too long, too much had changed and because of his age, but what an honor. These accomplishments and more Bob probably wouldn’t have told you. That wasn’t his way. He was too humble to brag or talk much about himself. Bob was very down to earth and, outwardly, just an ordinary man who was, at the same time, very exceptional. He was kind, generous, loving and fun-loving, mischievous in his own way from the stories he told us, loyal and never had a bad word to say about anyone. He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He also had several passions, the least of which being cameras that he bought up like candy, which coincided with a deep interest in medium format photography, both film & digital right up to a very highly intellectual and intense interest in mathematics of special and general relativity and quantum mechanics. On the non-academic side of Bob, he loved cars and he loved to travel. He was actually going to treat us all to a month long trip to Europe. It was going to be a surprise for Mary and I, but illness struck him down hard. I was really looking forward to spending a lot of time with him after I retired, but that was not to be and will be something I will always deeply regret. When the slogan, “Character Counts” came to be, Bob was their model of what character means. Someone very meaningful to me is now gone, but only in body, not in spirit.

So, my dearest Bob, these final words are from me and those who love and miss you most.
Who can say for certain, maybe you’re still here
We feel you all around us, your memories so clear
Deep in the stillness, we can hear you speak, you’re still an inspiration, can it be?
That you are ours’ forever more . . . and you’re watching over us from up above.
Fly us up to where you are beyond the distant star.
We wish upon tonight to see you smile, if only for awhile to know you’re there
A breath away’s not far from where you are.
Are you gently sleeping here inside our dreams, and isn’t faith believing all power can’t be seen.
As our hearts hold you, just one beat away, we cherish what you gave us everyday.
And we believe that angels breathe, and that love will live on and never leave
Fly us up to where you are beyond the distant star,
we wish upon tonight to see you smile, if only for awhile to know you’re there
A breath away’s not far from where you are.

Sue Venecek


I have read a number of beautiful eulogies for Robert. I would just like to add mine. I am his first cousin. He was two years older than me, so I have known him all my life. He was one of the nicest persons I have ever met. I don't think there was a mean bone in his body. We have always been kind of close.

One day he told me he wanted to tell me a story that he said he knew I would not believe. He told me about his alien encounter. He was shocked when I told him that I believed him. Who am I to say what's out there and what isn't? I think we became closer from that day on.

Robert was a brilliant man. He knew so many things that were Greek to me. He knew so much math. I can hardly balance my checkbook. When he started talking about math, I could feel my eyes glaze over. He knew so much about everything: astrology, calculus, physics, cosmology, I could go on and on. But through it all, we could converse. My forte was English. I was a court reporter. We had great conversations together. As he would say, "All things are relative." I would say we learned a lot from each other. I am so glad for the past couple of years we got to spend together. Although we were cousins, he was like the brother I never had. I will miss him very much.

Robert had beautiful friends, lifetime friends, but I guess beautiful people are supposed to know beautiful people. Over the past couple of years, we spent a lot of time together and he told me beautiful stories about them. They loved him dearly also!

I hope to see you again one day, Robert. Until then, you will remain in my heart!

Ivy Webster


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