Now for a few of what might be called science’s more audacious “Free Radicals”, those outliers within the scientist-mystic crowd who many would classify as being so outside standard circles of scientific convention as to be dubious. Yet they can also be seen to be among those who have been less reluctant to rock the scientific boat by virtue of their temperament, choice or the responses from others:
Nassim Haramein (1962- ), an independent self-taught Swiss-born theoretical physicist, raised in Montreal, who proposes our universe to be inside a black hole, that protons adhere to conditions requisite for a sub-atomic scale black hole, and that our universe may be a giant dual torus. Along with physicist Elizabeth Rauscher, he proposed a universal scaling law describing straight-line relationships between the radius and frequency of all objects at all scales. While his notion that we inhabit a super-massive black hole could do much to account for non-locality and superpositional states, his theories are discounted by many. His views threaten $cientism on many levels, including the idea that only a priestly class of the properly indoctrinated, can be credible spokespeople in matters dealing with physics. Despite being published in peer-reviewed journals and winning “Best New Paper” at an International Computing Anticipatory Systems Conference, his views have proven so dissonant to establishment science, and admittedly they are challenging, even Wikipedia refuses to list him any longer. He’s been described as a “nutter” and his work as “crackpottery”, and by his own admission, he’s been ejected from scientific conferences for raising too many discomforting or ill-founded questions.1
Albert Hofmann (1906-2008), a Swiss chemist who is best known for his discovery and synthesis of the psycho-active substance known as LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) in 1938. After accidentally absorbing a small amount in 1943 – it only takes millionths of a gram to have an effect – and experiencing a dream-like state, Hofmann concluded that the substance could possibly be used to help treat various types of psychiatric disorders and might even help in some spiritual contexts. He also isolated and synthesized another hallucinogen, psilocybin, in 1958, and then another substance from Morning Glory flowers in 1960. Though he did not openly endorse the use of LSD or other hallucinogens for recreational purposes, some would contend that his own actions undercut the believability of such claims. In 1962, he traveled to Mexico and met with a traditional female shamaness whom he convinced to preside over a ritual where he presumably used psilocybin. In so doing, Hofmann crossed an unwritten line in science where experimental scientists should never become the subjects of their own scientific experiments. Interestingly, biographers Dieter Hagenbach and Lucius Werthmüller in their book Mystic Chemist, recount how Hofmann had had mystical childhood experiences in nature.2
Terence McKenna (1946-2000), an American ethno-botanist who became a vocal advocate for the use of psychoactive substances, especially psilocybin and DMT, as vehicles to explore and expand human consciousness. He was of the view that around 100,000 years ago our ancient human ancestors likely began to deliberately and regularly use psychoactive substances as part of many proto-religious and spiritual rites of passage. In his book Food of the Gods, he contended that based on a mushroom that grew in cattle dung, our ancestors came to regularly ingest small doses of psilocybin and that this likely played a role in expanding our visual acuity, which in turn allowed them to become better hunters over the course of evolution. In his view, it also helped to expand human imagination capabilities as well. This gave rise to his ‘stoned ape’ hypothesis. Like Hofmann before him, McKenna did not however endorse the frivolous use of psychoactive substances, and felt their use needed to be contextualized within a genuine higher explorative purpose.3
Ian Stevenson (1918-2007), a biochemist and professor of psychiatry of Canadian origin at the University of Virginia. Wikipedia contributors noted how he took exception early in his career to the inability of psychoanalyst and behaviorists to take proper account of individual personality development. In a 1957 paper, he claimed Freud’s theory was too deterministic with little room for freewill. His questioning of orthodoxy displayed a man willing to speak his mind no matter the consequences. Most remembered for his investigations of children’s reincarnation accounts, he sought to know how reincarnation might supplement heredity and environment in understanding behavior and development. A $1-million donation from the inventor Chester Carlson supported a research chair that allowed Stevenson’s curiosity to drive his work. Over time he investigated over 3,000 cases of reincarnation; but as with many ISF scientists, his findings received highly mixed reviews. He authored five books on the subject, one with his University of Virginia colleague Jim B. Tucker, medical director of the Child & Family Psychiatric Clinic at the university, who also became intrigued by the subject.4
1 - What if his lack of higher education/indoctrination helped to fuel his tireless curiosity and “nothing-to-lose” approach to science? With little academic employment stresses to worry about (i.e. little Appeasing Mindset influence), this may have allowed Haramein to ponder perspectives others could not or would not allow themselves to consider, at least openly. For more on Haramein, see: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091020061534AApNmkg + http://theresonanceproject.org/ + http://theresonanceproject.org/pdf/schwarzschild_proton_a4.pdf.
2 - Hofmann, Albert, various sources: Encyclopædia Britannica overview by Richard Pallardy, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Albert-Hofmann. Also see: Hagenbach, D. and Werthmüller, L. (2013). Mystic Chemist: The Life of Albert Hofmann and His Discovery of LSD, Santa Fe, New Mexico: Synergistic Press. English translation of original German language book published in 2011 by Verlag Aarau und München.
3 - McKenna, Terence. Multiple sources including the viewing of many of his talks on YouTube. For a general overview, see Wikipedia’s listing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_McKenna#.22Stoned_ape.22_theory_of_human_evolution
4 - See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_B._Tucker and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Stevenson.