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Activity report 2017-2020

Activity report for Quantum Civilization

October 2017 – March 2020

Overview: 

This report is intended to provide a brief overview of the activities undertaken by Quantum Civilization at a local, national, and international level over the past three years of activity, since its inception in late 2017. It is structured in three parts, Part A covering our efforts in education and transdisciplinary engagement, Part B covering part of our research efforts and Part C providing closing remarks. 

You can download the PDF version of this report here: Activity Report Quantum Civilization 2017-2020.pdf

Click on the below titles to expand for more information.

A) Education & Transdisciplinary Engagement

Sponsored by DJST Timiș, in October and November 2017 we organized two different kinds of  two-day workshops for young students in Timișoara across four weekends – Critical Thinking for high school students and Philosophy for Children (P4C) for gymnasium students, both using philosophical tools for engaging the participants.

Philosophy helps us master innovative thinking processes by allowing the exploration of different approaches, an easier comparison of ideas and situations, and applying knowledge in different fields.

During these workshops, using tools appropriate for each age group, we created an environment in which students could learn to think clearly and independently, ask appropriate questions, bring arguments for their perspectives, and communicate better. By working with hands-on examples from daily life, we analyzed the foundation of ideas, declarations, and arguments, and learned to understand and work with different opinions. 

The feedback was excellent, the participants stating that they have learned to think from new perspectives, ask the appropriate questions, summarize and extract ideas and information, and spot and avoid logical fallacies. However, these workshops have confirmed our worries, too, namely that the traditional Romanian education system does not engage and develop students’ critical thinking and philosophical abilities. Using tests to quantify their abilities, we concluded that most participants overestimated their critical thinking abilities, and moreover, the mean level of the students was not a passing level. This only makes our case for the necessity of such activities stronger

A link to a local newspaper article covering our workshop can be found here:

http://ziarultimisoara.ro/actualitate/3734-workshopuri-de-filosofie-aplicata-pentru-copiii-si-tinerii-din-timisoara?fbclid=IwAR2JzTv-1b7fBYhelQb9OeS4tVkdWnl850c9qMBvwZljr6j9jq9YSAp56Mk

After completing our series of four two-day workshops with high school students, teaching them applied critical thinking and problem solving, we had the chance to present the results of this endeavor at a local ProPsiho meeting in the presence of some university professors and psychologists in December 2017. Below are snippets from the actual results and here is an executive summary of the results:

  • Despite high initial confidence in their capacity for argumentation, the awareness for logical errors is small and about a third of high school students that participated did not have any prior chance to develop their critical thinking skills 
  • The majority of students did not get a raw pass mark in their critical thinking tests, whilst at the same time reevaluating their critical thinking skills by a wide margin 
  • Feedback was great from the student and albeit learning a lot in the workshop, they concluded that learning is a lifelong journey 

Source: Quantum Civilization Surveys 2017

Part of the same DJST Timiș project, in April 2018 we offered again the Critical Thinking and P4C workshops, but this time on our offer was also the Cognitive Biases workshop. Each event spread over a weekend. 

The first two events ran similarly to the 2017 version. During the Cognitive Biases event, in a high-level approach designed for university students and adults, we highlighted the prejudices and biases that we all inherit from the way society is built. We used an open-ended approach, engaged in debating the nature and cause of such biases, and discussed solutions for understanding and overcoming them. By proposing models for understanding the nature and perspective of these biases, these workshops aim to free the mind from the chains of unexamined misconceptions, leading to significant personal development.

Our first presence at Plai Festival consisted of three main activities:

1. Workshops on:    

States and structures of consciousness

Based on Ken Wilber’s work, we presented theories of consciousness through which we can understand the evolution of society and of the self (structures of consciousness) and the different states in which we can experience our- selves and the world (states of consciousness). The purpose was to create a common language through which we can talk about deep levels of consciousness.

Misconceptions about meditation

Meditation is becoming more and more popular, and when finding out about it or trying it for the first time, most people wonder what it is and have no guidance on this path. Usually, the only way to find out is through individual practice. However, we thought that it might be insightful to discuss what meditation is not in order to better understand what meditation is. This workshop was inspired by our own meditation journey in Nepal and our personal practice inspired by Buddhism and Yoga. 

 

2) The Alice in Wonderland Experience

During this event organized in collaboration with our colleague Diana Panța and young actors from NIL Theater Timisoara, participants could enter the ‘Wonderland’ and meet some of the story’s main characters, such as the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts. Each character, through their specific way of talking and behaving, and using philosophical counseling tools, allowed the participants to find themselves in insightful situations about their own life and way of being. 

 

3) Integral philosophical counseling

This activity was happening in between workshops and alongside the Alice expe- rience. Our tent  was a place where anybody could come and philosophically discuss different worldviews, theories of consciousness, spiritual practices, and philosophies.  

Together with Minds Hub, in the frame of the Health Edu Initiative, we organized a seminar on the topic of Intimacy on the 19th of February 2019. Our scope was to mediate discussions in an open, inclusive and integral manner, encouraging the participants to come up with ideas, problematizations and solutions which touch the spectrum of intimacy – from love, health, sexuality, abuse, and death, to the way in which those topics were (or weren’t) presented to us by our families and teachers, to the consequences of this approach to the personal and collective scale. As we are amongst the first generations who are starting to discuss these topics freely outside of a strictly medical environment, we are positive that such events have the potential to bring about great change at the individual and collective level.

 

At the first edition of Codru Festival, we were present with Pandora Star – a stroboscopic lamp functioning on a new technology from 2010, based on 12 white light LEDs which are programmed to flicker on different frequencies (from 0.5 HZ to 200 Hz). Participants could individually try the lamp by laying down under it with eyes closed and experience the effects. These can vary from mild, calming effects, to trance and meditative states, and even to spiritual and out of body experiences, depending on the chosen program and the individual meditative abilities.

Across 3 days, more than 50 people could experience the lamp, each session varying from 10 to 30 minutes. Those willing could also try to have their brain waves read with a portable EEG device, and try a reading with the Crownscope, an experimental non-invasive technology for reading the inner energetic potential.

Not long after Codru, in September, we joined Plai for the second time, with the same setup from Codru. Again, about 50 people could experience Pandora Star over the two days in which we were there, people being interested in the technology and giving positive feedback. 

On the 26th of September 2019, at Nokia in Timisoara , Andrei introduced the Global Sales Services Center of Competence community to Theory U developed by Otto Scharmer. He presented the main challenges that humanity is dealing with and encouraged the community to drive change at the source in order to help solve these global challenges.

Here is a link with Andrei’s full talk given at Nokia: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DaTT-kMj1Y&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1Bfrb16KsF4BH5txu_MZfBBW3_fRCFoC07qjd88LW3SzL6RRN4lEp8gq0

While the video breaks up before going into the reflective questions, for those of you who wish to reflect you can find the questions below. These questions are meant to be answered within 1 to 1.5 minutes. Thus, please when you do this exercise yourself do not try to write long and convoluted answers. Write short and concise answers. Late on, if you wish, you can of course further elaborate on them.

  • Where are you experiencing a world that is Ending/Dying?
  • Where are you experiencing a world that is ready to be Born?
  • What did you notice about your own process of opening or closing yourself to the change?
  • How do the ecological, socioeconomic, and spiritual-cultural divides show up in your personal experience of work and life?

As part of our educational endeavor we always try to bring back to society the things that we discovered. Over the last 2 years, Andrei has been researching on the societal implications of AI and decided that it was time to share with the local community some of the insights. Starting from Martin Ford’s ‘Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future’, one of the more famous books that discusses the potential implications of full AI automation and which makes the case for a high probability future in which all jobs will be transferred over to cognitive system, Andrei launched into a presentation that showed some of the most challenging aspects that result from a society that moves away from human driven production and services model into robotic or AI based production and services model. In the process we looked at what parts of society are most at risk, we discussed about some of the technology that is already on the market working to automate various fields from music production, to sales analytics, to the generation of physical laws. The aim was for people to understand that while full automation is very likely to happen at the limit, as technological development approaches infinity, in the present only parts of the world is at risk of being replaced by cognitive systems. However, even if we are not yet threatened by full automation we already need to act in order to change our taxing system so that it will extract more taxes from capital and our education system so that it will create more critical and creative thinkers with a deep intrinsic desire to explore and discover. Beyond this we need to work on changing the source of our value and our identity away from production as this will become ever more outsourced to cognitive systems.

Here is the link for the presentation (in Romanian): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuxUHdn0_Gg&t=443s

 

 

B) Research

As part of our research efforts over the past three years we have been fortunate enough to receive support in securing a Pandora Star Light Machine and two MUSE EEG devices. We first encountered a Flicker Light Stimulation (FLS) machine at the Beyond the Brain conference, London 2018 where the results obtained using it were impressive. 

To put matters into perspective, we at Quantum are looking to do research not only in structures of consciousness but also in states of consciousness. To our understanding, states of consciousness like mediation, lucid dreaming, psychedelic visionary experiences and the like are under-researched. As legal and medical impediments do not allow us to do research on psychedelic states, we were always in pursuit of finding alternative legal and safe means of inducing and working with altered states of consciousness. The Pandora Star light machine proved to be a good starting point in this direction. 

Below you can see the lamp as well as one of our colleagues whilst having an experience with the machine. 

 

It is important to state that all our research efforts so far have been directional, guided more by intuition rather than a very rigorous method. We have had experiences with the lamp with over 100 different individuals so far and amongst our core group, some of us had over 50 individual experiences trying out most of the available settings and programs. 

What we can reliably say so far is that, if proper set and setting are respected, approximately 95% of individuals that had a session also reported an alteration in their normal perception of time, an alteration in their inner visual field, reporting different arrangements of light, colour, and patterns and either profound relaxation or increased inner arousal in the case of experiences of a more profound mystical nature. Approximately 10% of participants had such profound experiences, reporting feelings of going outside their bodies, reporting powerful energy currents and states of ecstasy. 

Adding to the subjective experience reports of the participants, we also gathered EEG data during the experiences for most subjects using our MUSE EEG headbands. It was very interesting to note that virtually in all cases where deeper relaxation was reported, we encountered higher levels of alpha brainwaves (corresponding to increased relaxation and less thinking, normally associated with beta level brainwaves). More so, in experiences involving more extraordinary subjective reports, we encountered significant bursts in Gamma brainwaves (associated with experienced meditators and profound experiences). An example of this can be seen in the EEG reading of a light experience below: 

With this combination of light machine and EEG device, it is much easier to make connections and confirm subjective experiences and hence not only get a better understanding from a research perspective but also be in a better position to show the individuals that they actually did have an altered state of consciousness. 

All these results have inspired us to continue to do more in depth research with this technology and to continue to promote it on our platforms. One of our colleagues will be doing an in depth MSc. dissertation exploring the Pandora Star Light machine from a mixed method research design perspective, the results of it should become available in the summer of next year. 

As part of our research efforts, we are committed to studying neurotechnology and biofeedback technology that can bridge the gap between our inner dimension and outer observable data. During the 2019 EUROTAS conference held in Bucharest, one of our colleagues got the chance to learn more about a rather new type of such technology, namely a new model of a GDV camera called Crownscope. At first we were skeptical of such a device and the technology behind it, the term pseudoscience or something of the like coming to our minds. However, due to the presentation at EUROTAS and the potential of such technology we decided to give it a try and research it on our own to make up our minds. 

Upon completing readings of over 70 individuals, most of them known to us and correlating their results with what was already known we could identify valuable patterns of information that convinced us that the results did indeed have meaning. More so, two of our colleagues had over 100 readings done each in different circumstances. The analysis revealed three markers of information that can be potentially researched further and that show us what kind of data such a device can provide.

The three relevant aspects were: 

Fullness of energy centers → Measure of internal energy levels that are accessible: strength of immune system, potential capacity to do things in the outside world 

Balance of energy centers → Measure of inner harmony: internal wellbeing and balance of polarities 

Overall area → overall energy potential, to be compared with Fullness of centers: 

  • if equal, then the potential is met; 
  • if area greater than fullness, then the energy body is not optimally tuned, unused energy and
  • if area is below fullness, then high efficiency of energy body, however also potentially high source of stress on the energy body

Figure 1

Individual reading example (Figure 1): 

  • Left are the chakras with their respective balance and fullness in visual form and right are the raw values for each chakra in terms of balance and fullness. In the centre is a color-coded point of view on balance and fullness on each chakra, giving meaning to the raw values at hand. 

Figure 2

Adding to these measures which could be visualized in Figure 1, we also did readings on specific individuals before, during and after specific energy tuning practices like yoga, entheogens, or other practices with results similar to the ones above in Figure 2. We could see an increase in the energy level of a previously exhausted person that received such treatment and also a greater internal balance. 

These results are nothing more than indicative, a full study being needed to confirm more, however we think that such a device does indeed have potential for use as a diagnosis device in transpersonal psychology amongst other aspects. 

C) Closing Remarks

 

What an incredible ride we had in these past three years! We founded this organization with high hopes and ambition and with little experience, and whilst we did manage to deliver part of our promise, we also learned so much along the way, both at an individual as well as collective level. We gathered experience in organizing events as diverse as a seminar on critical thinking, the Alice in Wonderland experience and sessions to explore alternative states of consciousness with our Pandora Star lamp. All these events we organized and participated in would have not been possible without the efforts of our friends and supporters that helped us in numerous ways. We would like to thank them and express our sincere wishes for even better future collaboration. More so, we would like to also thank our sponsors for providing us with funds to organize events and conduct research, much of which would have not been possible without their efforts. 

As we plan to start a new phase of our collective endeavor, we hope that these next years will see us more experienced, more focused, and more connected with each other and the community we wish to serve. 

 

Quantum Civilization Co-founders,

Ramona Todor                                      Andrei Nutas                                        Victor Jivanescu 

 

 

 

You can download the PDF version of this report here:

Activity Report Quantum Civilization 2017-2020.pdf

 

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