Consciousness comes to Times Square

Beginning last Thursday (21 April, 2011) the million of residents and visitors that pass through Times Square in New York City experience a brush with consciousness. Actually, it was the blue face of a child tattooed to represent many views of the world and asking some of the most taboo questions studied by science:

  • Is there life after death?
  • Can thoughts heal?
  • Can we see the future?

These and similar questions are being studied by one of the world’s most renowned yet largely unknown consciousness research institutes. Unlike most research institutes studying the preternatural, the Institute in Noetic Sciences (IONS) has decided it is time to go public and they have done it in a very big way, with a video ad in Times Square.

The 15-second spot, sponsored by Men’s Warehouse, will appear once every hour for 90 days on CBS’ “Spectacular” screen on 42nd Street in Times Square. IONS hopes the ad will awe and inspire the large tourist population to inquire about consciousness research and help neutralize the taboo sentiment sometimes associated with it. They also hope to garner support of IONS research and education programs.

“We are at a tipping point in consciousness research,” said Dr. Marilyn Schlitz, a Ph.D. anthropologist and social and behavioral psychologist. “Research overwhelmingly supports a more universal belief systems that includes mind-body interaction, emotional and intuitive intelligence, spiritual engagement, ancient cosmologies and psychic insight. We have come into Times Square to nudge that tipping point toward a more profound beneficial influence on a culture seeking a new hope for humanity.”

The Times Square appearance is the second time in two years that IONS has gained widespread public exposure. Dan Brown’s best-selling novel, The Lost Symbol, published in September 2009, prominently features the organization and the benefits of consciousness science to social and humanitarian good.

According to Dr. Schlitz, who, along with her colleagues at IONS pioneered consciousness research  that adheres to standard research protocols, “While science has explored the powers and potentials of consciousness for centuries, our research has gained legitimacy in the last few decades as real, tangible benefits have been applied to modern institutions like medicine, personal and mental health, social service, business and sustainability efforts.”

Some visible progress is being made. a 2005 Gallup survey found that more than half of all Americans believe in the healing powers of the mind. Three-quarters believe in at least one paranormal phenomena and 41 percent cite ESP, or extrasensory perception, as a plausible phenomena.

“[M]or people are better educated, social taboos are abating, the media is more democratic and the public has unlimited access to information,” Dr. Schlitz says. “These conditions translate into more scientists openly reporting their consciousness research, mainstream science journals publishing it and traditional and emerging media feeding the public’s increasing interest in it.”

The Institute of Noetic Science was founded in 1973 by Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell. Today it is a nonprofit research, education, and membership organization supporting individual and collective transformation through consciousness research, educational outreach and engaging a global learning community in the realization of our human potential.

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