Colleagues Share Memories of Skip Atwater
Virginia "Ginna" Colburn, LLC, former Board of Directors Chair
I could go on forever about how important Skip has been to TMI. If not for Skip after Laurie died, I truly do not think TMI would still be in existence, and if so, certainly not as the strong, nonprofit corporation that it is today. He was instrumental in carrying TMI forward to the next level of excellence. Even after Paul Rademacher arrived, Skip remained an integral part of TMI's development. As long as I have known Skip, he has shown love, passion, and dedication for TMI, working many hours beyond the call of duty. Yes, his contributions are legion.
Shirley Bliley, former Director of the Professional Division
In 1988, I joined the staff of The Monroe Institute as HUMAN-PLUS Coordinator. That same year F. Holmes "Skip" Atwater was hired to head the brain-mapping project.
I was a complete "newbie" but Skip already had a long association with Robert Monroe due to his participation in Bob's consciousness experiments at Whistlefield, his estate in Afton, Virginia. Due to his input, Bob had decided to purchase one of the new brain-mapping devices that would allow real-time assessment of brain-wave changes during exposure to binaural-beat stimuli.
Internal reorganization in 1993 led to my taking on the duties of Professional Division Director and responsibility for editing the TMI Focus and Hemi-Sync Journal and moving to an office in the Bob Monroe Research Lab, which was Skip's bailiwick. His support, knowledge, and research expertise were invaluable to me in the discharge of my new tasks.
While performing his own binaural-beat research, Skip also assisted professional members in planning and conducting their independent research, a prerequisite for professional membership. This insured a steady flow of quality papers published in the Hemi-Sync Journal.
At that time the Professional Seminar where members shared ideas and planned projects was held annually. Its organization and execution were a real challenge, and it could not have happened without the support of Skip and his wife, Fay. At each event, Skip could always be counted on to give a high-quality presentation on his own research that engaged the members and stimulated lively discussions.
After twenty-four years of service to The Monroe Institute, Skip's retirement is well-deserved. Bon voyage, Skipper!
Franceen King, Residential Program Trainer
I've enclosed my favorite photo of Skip. This was taken at the 2008 Trainers' Meeting. He served as Program Director (and coordinator of trainers) for a year or two...early 90s, as I recall. One thing I always appreciated about Skip was that he expressed appreciation for our role and was consistent throughout the years in making sure that trainers were included socially, and informed about things going on at TMI. I always felt that he viewed us individually and collectively as an integral part of the team. And certainly in the years during Laurie's illness and after her passing, I knew I could always count on him. While Skip was never inclined toward casual chit-chat or gossiping, he was very responsible about making sure that he included us and communicated appropriately.
Another of Skip's accomplishments was leading TMI into the internet age. Not only did he create and maintain our website for many years, I recall our weekly live chats with TMI grads on Compuserve in the mid-late 90s. I think this encouraged all of us to get up to speed with the internet at an early stage, and conveyed to our grads that we were going to stay at the "cutting edge" of technology. In that regard, I also greatly appreciated the live-stream of the Professional Division Meeting two years ago.
Franceen King, Ph.D., LMHC
Penny Holmes, Residential Trainer
i always look forward to Skip coming on Tuesdays of the Gateway Voyage program. Skip introduces himself, stays for lunch to answer participant questions, then conducts the lab tour and makes a brief presentation on the technology.
He tells the now famous story of meeting Bob for the first time, being taken into the lab at Whistlefield, and being placed in a prehistoric CHEC unit, lights turned off, ocean surf sounds coming in, and lying there wondering what as going to happen. Suddenly he feels the rumble of the bed and being lifted, moving through a flavor straw, and coming into a white light out of the flavor straw, then finding himself looking at himself imerging from the flavor straw. and finally, as the session was ending, the amazing hydraulic lift lowering him to the ground. He describes Bob bursting into the room while he was on his knees looking for the amazing hydraulic lift — and then Bob bustling him out and taking him to lunch at HoJos on Afton Mountain, where he asks Bob, what about that hydraulic lift in the special room? And Bob quizzically looking at him not knowing what he was talking about. Then ultimately, the great dawning in Skip's mind that there had never been a hydraulic lift and the amazing discovery of the potential for Hemi-Sync® for the remote viewing program. I've heard that story so many times and I still look forward to it.
Paul Rademacher, former Residential Trainer and Executive Director
For me, the greatest thing about Skip is his generosity. From day one of my full time work at TMI, both he and Fay invited me into their home and into their hearts with such open and loving embrace that it was like manna from heaven.
One of the most difficult aspects of being TMI’s Executive Director was finding myself cut off from the moorings of place and family. Skip and Fay became the family I missed so deeply and provided a place where I could laugh, talk and be fully myself. Plied with wonderful food (Fay is an unbelievable cook and hostess) and great wine, we often found ourselves embroiled in truly inspired conversation while priceless relationships unfolded amidst gathered guests, children and grand children. Their home was a sanctuary of love.
While I was a facilitator at TMI, I didn’t know Skip very well. He was a little hard for me to read and I didn’t quite know how to approach him. But during his Remote Viewing class I caught a first glimpse of a man who was much more than I had previously thought. At one point when he was speaking to us in the White Carpet Room, explaining something of global significance, his voice broke, his eyes misted, and he paused, unable to speak. I knew right then that here was a man of depth and compassion. I also knew he was someone I wanted to know better, never dreaming that we would soon be working together on staff.
To walk into Skip’s lab office was to enter new dimensions of space and time. He would say things that would suddenly shift the entire context of our discussion, and he would do it in an incredibly disarming and matter-of-fact way. He would toss out things like, “Well, you know, Paul, information travels both backwards and forwards in time,” as if it was completely obvious.
Or he would speculate about how we construct our view of reality: “Our brain flips between the everywhere/everywhen and physical reality about 40 times per second. That means we are refreshing reality at a specific rate. What if we could change that rate?” And we would begin another wild ride on the universe’s magic carpet, spending precious hours bouncing ideas off one another. To sit down with Skip was the highest privilege because it was the doorway to wonder.
Often we would be embroiled in fascinating discussion on the nature of the universe, when he would suddenly look up and to the left, and become frozen, as if listening to voices from afar. Indeed he was. For he knew that our conversations were being attended by more than just the two of us and he took the care to listen to discarnate input in a way I had never seen before. He taught me that intuition is real and that it must be treated with the utmost care and respect.
Perhaps it was because he was a military man that he got more done in a shorter period of time than anyone I have ever known. His day never ended when he left the office but continued at his home computer into the wee hours of the morning. I often worried about his health and wellbeing, but gradually I began to understand that he liked checking things off his list. Combine that with his insatiable curiosity and you have a man who not only loved what he was doing, but made countless vital contributions to TMI that he never took credit for. I could not have done what I did without him.
He was always thinking about something new. More often than I could count, to my constant delight, he would call me over to his workspace and unveil the latest innovation he had been working on. It is no understatement to say that Skip is a genius.
I often wondered how I could ever repay Skip and Fay for all they gave to me. Gradually I realized that was a needless question, for they are not the kind of people who keep score. Their joy in giving is complete and an end in itself.
I have often wished the rest of the world could see Skip as I know him. But that may not be possible, because he’s one of the best-disguised angels I have ever met. Though few recognize it, he carries within one of the biggest hearts I have ever seen.
Both he and Fay touched me more deeply and completely that words can convey. I wish them great joy in retirement and unending fascination in watching their children and grandchildren grow and flourish. It is my fondest hope that their loving generosity will come back to them multiplied many times over.