The Archaeus Project
The Archaeus Project was formed in 1983 as a small discussion group that met monthly at the home of Earl Bakken. The purpose of the group was to discuss, and attempt to assess, the claims arising out of the emerging "Human Potential" movement. The group included professionals with impressive backgrounds in science, technology, business, medicine, and the humanities.

In a relatively short time, under the direction of Dennis Stillings, the size and activities of the group expanded. A membership program was instituted, a newsletter published, and a speaker program initiated. This speaker program involved inviting some eight or nine speakers a year to Minneapolis to present on a very wide range of topics related to human potential. The main requirement for speakers was that they be one of the best representatives of that particular topic on which they were invited to present. Archaeus Project took no official position on the subject matter, only that Archaeus Project would provide and open forum to discuss ideas, however controversial.

Most of these talks were recorded, and the activities of Archaeus Project, along with contributed articles, were published in the Archaeus Newsletter (later called simply "Artifex", and a larger annual publication, ARCHAEUS.

In addition to these activities, Dennis Stillings was given virtual carte blanche to investigate the Wide World of Weird. While the focus was on alternative medical practices (psychic surgery, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine, psychotronics etc.), Archaeus Project also took a look at the claims of parapsychology and even ufology—-among several other classes of anomalies.

Toward the end of the 1980s, Archaeus Project began to focus on topics relating to health care quality and costs. Alternative and holistic medicine were seen as important to quality and cost issues, and a number of meetings were organized by Archaeus Project on relevant topics.

The First Archaeus Congress was held at the Pecos River Conference Center near Santa Fe, N.M. in 1986. The theme of this meeting was the nature and function of imagery in a variety of consciousness-related processes, including imagery and healing, remote perception, pain control, biofeedback, and the martial arts. In 1989, the Second Archaeus Congress was convened on the island of Molokai, Hawaii. The theme this time "The Self and Health: Cyberphysiology and the Quality of Life" —-was much more directed specifically toward issues of health care.

WaimeaBeginning in about 1989, Archaeus Project became more and more involved with projects in Hawaii. Earl Bakken, who had retired that year, had established residence on the west coast of the Big Island, and was deeply involved in the Waimea community effort to build a critical-care hospital. WaimeaThis new facility —- North Hawaii Community Hospital(NHCH) — was to be a patient-centered, holistic hospital that incorporated the best of medicine, whether mainstream or alternative, into the care of patients. Archaeus Project did considerable research into what such a hospital might be like and had a small part in that effort. Archaeus Project partnered with NHCH, Inc. in organizing two meetings on the Big Island in 1990-one on "The Patient-Centered Health Care Environment," and the other on "Mind-Body Issues in Current Medical Practice."

By early 1992, Archaeus Project's involvement in health-related activities in Hawaii was considerable. Earl Bakken, the chief supporter of Archaeus efforts, had moved toward permanent, full-time Hawaii residency, and it seemed to make sense for Archaeus Project to move as well. In that same year, Archaeus Project published the influential book,"2010: On the Current Crisis in Health Care and Its Implications for the Hospital of the Future" (St. Paul: Archaeus Publications, 1992), which was composed mostly of edited lectures by Earl Bakken on health-care issues and patient-centered care. Also in 1992, Dennis Stillings, with input from Earl Bakken and members of the old Archaeus Project board of directors, produced the paper "A Vision of North Hawaii as a Health and Medical Center for the Pacific Rim." This paper, in manuscript form, was circulated widely and formed the basis for the establishment of the Five Mountain Medical Community which became Five Mountains Hawaii. This paper was published in 1995 in the Healing Island journal (also an Archaeus Project publication).

From 1993 to 1999, Archaeus Project was mostly involved in local health and medical projects such as the Five Mountain Medical Community, medical meetings, and the publication of Healing Island journal.

By 1999, in response to expressed interests and inquiries, Dennis Stillings initiated a project to create an "Archaeus Institute" on the Big Island — a retreat center that would cater to educational groups wanting to do programs on the island. In the process of researching what this institute should be, it was recommended by Diane Manahan (former AP board member, now deceased), that contact be made with Matthews M. Hamabata, who was then Director of Education for the California Endowment. Matt was hired by Archaeus Project, and he began by doing a community assessment on what was needed and what was wanted by the Waimea community. The community felt that improved educational opportunities was one of the greatest needs. Out of this dialogue with the community, and in cooperation with various partners both in Hawaii and on the mainland, the concept for The Kohala Center was developed. By 2002, The Kohala Center had become well established.

Beginning in January 2001, Dennis Stillings purchased the assets of the former Archaeus Project educational foundation and begain operating Archaeus Project as sole proprietor. Work continued with Five Mountains Hawaii, NHCH, and The Kohala Center until his retirement in 2006.

The term Archaeus was used for the first time by Paracelsus in his earliest work, the "Paramirum Primum," to refer to the soul-like or psychoid ordering principle of life. This idea harks back to Aristotle's term entelecheia, defined in Webster's Second as "the realization of form-giving cause or energy … ." Archaeus Project uses the term archaeus in the sense used by Johann Baptiste van Helmont to refer to that immaterial organ of the Self that directs the forms that living things take, and in which disease conditions both arise and find their cure.