A Tribute to H. Dean Brown
by Jeffrey Mishlove
Dean Brown was one of the most versatile people I have ever known. More
than that, however, he was a person of great love, humility, and
generosity of spirit.
I thought of Dean as my best friend during the past ten years or so. We
spent hours every week together in conversation - even after I moved
from California to Nevada. And, during the time I hosted the "Virtual
U" radio program for the Wisdom Network, Dean was my most regular
guest. We did fifteen, two-hour interviews together that are still
preserved on tape. Here are the topics:
The Unity of Wisdom and Knowledge (three parts)
Misconceptions of the Twentieth Century
Why is Physics Mathematical?
Cosmology, Creation and Consciousness
Science and Wisdom: Quantum Mind and Ego Mind
Symmetry in Nature: A Metaphysical Principle
Hierarchy vs. Parity
The Inner Discipline of Investing
The Immensity of the Universe
What Does it Mean to be Human?
Sexuality in Nature
Sexuality in Spirit
He was a sanskrit scholar. A few years ago the Philosophical Research
Society published his translation of the Upanishads and Yoga Sutras.
More than that, he was conversant with many all of the world's great
spiritual texts. And, he studied them in their original languages. At
one time he counted 25 languages with which he was familiar. He passion
was to find the "invariants" within all of this literature - the
metaphysical underpinnings of world spirituality.
But, it would be a mistake to simply classify Dean as a student of
metaphysics and religious traditions. He was a physicist of the highest
order - making contributions to the development of the hydrogen bomb
and designing the fuel element for the Nautilus, the world's first
nuclear submarines. In his youth, he worked at the Institute of
Advanced Studies in Princeton - and was a friend and colleague of
Albert Einstein. They enjoyed playing "Go" together as a way of
exploring Von Neumann's game theory.
Dean was also a computer scientist. He is actually the first person,
back in the 1950s, to suggest that computers would have applications in
the field of education. He worked with the United Nations for several
years introducing this technology to various countries around the
world. One project involved installing computers throughout the
educational system of Spain. At this time he wrote a fascinating little
book on the essentials of learning.
Dean was a founder of Zylog, Inc., a company that manufactured one of
the first microprocessors, the Z80 chip - which is still in use today.
Dean was instrumental in designing that chip. Another company that he
founded, Picodyne, is still active today in the field of educational
Dean had many other interests. He believed that one could find God in
the details. So, he loved to study the details of most everything. On
one occasion, as we were walking together on a trail in Marin County,
Dean was pointing out and naming each of the plants. I was astonished
and said, "Dean, I'll bet that you can name every plant in California."
"Yes I can," was his response. "My gosh," I exclaimed, "that must be
over ten thousand different plans!" "No," he responded. It's only about
7,000." Then, he added, "but I can actually name all of the plants in
the United States - and that would be about 11,000."
Dean and his wife, Wendy, actually kept a collection of grasses that
they collected from all over the world. They enjoyed comparing them and
noticing the tiny differences in different species of grass. On one
occasion, when I was visiting Papua New Guinea, I brought back a
handful of grass that I picked up near a sidewalk. They were thrilled
to have it. I couldn't have found a finer gift.
Dean also was a composer, and student, of music. He created various
musical compositions for children's software. He introduced me to the
concept of a "MIDI" system, that enables one to pick out tunes on a
keyboard and then writes down the musical score. Now, because of his
influence, I am also composing music.
In addition, Dean was an artist. One of his last gifts to me was a
prophecy he made for me just a few weeks ago. When I told him about the
music I was composing, he said, "Jeffrey, I predict that soon you will
start painting." And, now, I am developing a whole series of new
Rainbow YinYang images - based on the graphic ideas expressed in the
Intuition Network logo (as seen on our website). (In fact, Obadiah
Harris at the Philosophical Research Society has even offered to host
an exhibition of these images. This is a major breakthrough for me -
and I owe it to Dean's magical inspiration.)
I can also credit Dean Brown with the fact that I happen to be a
registered Commodity Trading Advisor. It has he who stimulated my
interest in the financial markets - virtually taking me by the hand and
teaching me his theories of investing. Naturally, once he got me
started, I had to take things even further by studying other
approaches, so I could compare them with his. More than simply teaching
me strategies of investing, Dean showed me that there was really no
difference between the worlds of business and finance and the world of
You see, at heart, his approach was Tantric. He believed that there
were ultimately no dualities or hierarchies. All was unity. And he
lived his life based on this principle.
There is so much more to say. He was, for example, the main inspiration
behind the new University of Philosophical Research that we helped to
create in partnership with Obadiah Harris. Dean is the one who pointed
out to Obadiah the possibilities for a distant learning university
using audiotape, videotape and computer conferencing. Now the program
is several years old. The courses (offered in partnership with the
Holmes Institute) are required for those wishing to become ministers of
the United Church of Religious Science. And, Dean, himself was known as
the "resident sage" of the university. He was most beloved by students
Dean was also a futurist. He worked with Willis Harman (former
president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences), at SRI International,
back in the 1970s and there he helped to create a famous study called
"Changing Images of Man." This report was widely read throughout the
business and intellectual communities. It argued that people were
developing new identities that included psychic and intuitive
awareness. I think that one of the main projects he was working on at
the time of his death was an update and revision of that report. This
he was doing in conjunction with Oliver Markley, one of the original
researchers on the study, who has been living with the Browns in their
While working at SRI, Dean became closely involved with the
parapsychology research of physicists Russell Targ and Hal Puthoff.
This was at the time when they were doing their first studies with the
famous Israeli psychic, Uri Geller. Dean's role in this project was to
become Uri's friend and confidant -- helping him to feel comfortable in
the California think tank. As a result of this encounter, Dean and Uri
have been good friends for the last thirty years. And, Dean has learned
much about psychic functioning himself.
In fact, Dean and Wendy Brown, were both excellent remote viewers --
and remote viewing judges. Together with Russell Targ and Jane Katra
they participated in an important research study, showing how
successful intimate friends and couples can be in the remote viewing
Dean's intellectual hero has always been C.S. Peirce, who along with
William James, was the founder of the American "pragmatic" movement in
philosophy. About two years ago, Dr. Walter Semkiw astonished me by
suggesting that he believed I was William James (my intellectual hero)
in a past lifetime. Walter suggested that I could test his idea (which
he later confirmed in a psychic reading with Intuition Network board
member Kevin Ryerson), by seeing if any of my close friends and
colleagues seemed to match up with close friends and colleagues of
James. Naturally, I thought about Dean and C.S. Peirce. And, Ryerson's
spirit guide not only confirmed this connection - but the connection
between Peirce's wife, Juliet, and Dean's wife Wendy.
Dean and Wendy, to their credit, were open-minded about this
possibility - and gave Walter permission to publish this ideas in his
recent book, Return of the Revolutionaries. But, in all honesty, I can
say that (like myself) Dean was ambivalent about the connection. I
think he was even a bit embarrassed by the association - in spite of
his desire to support Walter's potentially breakthrough research. The
reasons for this are undoubtedly quite complex. But, perhaps they are
best explained by a statement Dean once made to me. He believed that
his goal was to walk through life without leaving any footprints.
In spite of his enormous accomplishments in the worlds of science,
business and education - Dean was happiest just sharing small pleasures
with his friends, students and family. And, he never failed in his
generosity to those of us in the Intuition Network who sought his
advice and counsel.
I know I will never be able to replace Dean Brown in my life. But,
somehow, it seems as if our time together was so rich and full, and our
conversations so cosmic and eternal, that I have complete confidence we
will one day meet again and simply pick up the conversation where we