FoamInterview with Erik Davis and Maja D’Aoust on “Expanding Minds”

Self-organization, the empty cell, and the mind of the quantum foam: a wide-ranging talk with Dr. Neil Theise, stem cell specialist, complexity researcher, and practicing Zen Buddhist.

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2 Responses to Interview with Erik Davis and Maja D’Aoust on “Expanding Minds”

  1. Faustroll says:


    Thank you so much for taking the time to be on Erik’s show. I love your demeanor, enthusiasm and creative openness: it is very obvious to me that you wed both an open beginner’s mind with a practiced skill for observation and theory in your work. I enjoyed many moments in your chat. In particular, at this moment, I’m thinking of how you described your pathology work in which you look at a slide without history or expectation, allowing the data to be present, and letting an interpretation emerge from the data.

    I also appreciate how you can so succinctly summarize your work and thinking whilst also adumbrating areas in which you are still struggling or staying open enough to eventually come to a robust understanding. Here, I am thinking of how you bracketed off Varela’s discussions of sense-making as something you have deferred working with or on. Please correct me if that inference is wrong. My impression is that you did not need the ‘sense’ discussion for your work. Or that you have not needed it yet?

    I’m looking at some of your papers right now and I find them very interesting. I look forward to reading more of what you are writing and hearing more from you in the future.

    • neiltheise says:

      I’m just discovering that there were comments here on the blog! I’m a bit of a Luddite…

      Sounds like you understood me completely and that’s a great pleasure to me. Trying to be clear is the bigger task, to me, then trying to Understand Everything.

      More stuff coming! Working with Menas Kafatos on a paper that i will think will be quite a large, grand statement of our ideas. And another piece with him and Deepak C. about the nature of the “evidence” from contemplative practices and why any theory of mind that doesn’t consider that as “data” is necessarily an incomplete theory… stay tuned 😉


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