Every once in a while, an IONS member blows me away with their life story. Lou Marincovich is one of our Visionary Circle members who has done just that, with his recent memoir “True North: Hunting Fossils Under the Midnight Sun.”
As a kid, I would spend time in my backyard with a set of paintbrushes, painstakingly removing the dust and dirt around rocks and hoping they would turn out to be fossils. Leafing through our full collection of National Geographic magazines was my idea of fun. If I hadn’t been a psychologist, I’d have been an archaeologist or anthropologist. You’ll understand then how I came to be a fan-girl of Lou’s.
As a world-class paleontologist, Lou documented faunal and climate changes in the Arctic over the span of 60 million years, showed that marine animals in the Arctic Ocean lived millions of years past the extinction event that killed them off elsewhere along with the dinosaurs, and solved the age-old mystery of the age of the Bering Strait (published in the prestigious academic journal Nature in 1999). As recently as 2017 he discovered a new river in Alaska and named it the Spirit River. He survived a charging grizzly, along with many other perilous adventures.
Lou was surprised by having several profound spiritual experiences during his adventures, but didn’t really know what to do with them. While alone in the middle of a punishing Arctic hurricane, he had an out-of-body experience that lasted several hours, but that he couldn’t admit to for twenty-eight years. Years later while camped in the remote Alaskan wilderness he experienced a unique vision of his soulmate, and met her the next week. Several times he experienced an ineffable sensation of oneness with Nature while working in the most remote and savage parts of Alaska.
For Lou, discovering IONS was a huge relief. He didn’t have to abandon being a hard scientist to be able to explore and benefit from these experiences. In the book, he says:
“I learned that the NDE [near-death experience] rests upon data as solid as that underpinning any competent scientific study, including my own. I pored over books and web sites that described veridical accounts of well-investigated NDEs. I was equally surprised and delighted to discover scientific works on the diverse realms of consciousness by Dean Radin and others at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California…Their ideas that consciousness is vaster than the human brain was backed up by not only a mountain of hard scientific data but, importantly for me, by my own experience.”