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Professional Biography of Phil Norfleet

 

Formal Education

Phil Norfleet was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. After graduation from high school, he matriculated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts. While at MIT, he studied science, mathematics and philosophy. During that era, the MIT faculty included many notable individuals in many academic fields; however, there were two men who had a truly significant influence on his intellectual development. These men were Jerry Fodor and Giorgio de Santillana.

Although at the time Phil studied under him, Jerry Fodor (Born 1935) was only a young instructor in Humanities; Fodor subsequently became one of the most important American philosophers of the late Twentieth Century. Fodor was the person who first taught him about some of the greatest ideas of Western Civilization, particularly the thought of the ancient Greek philosophers, historians and playwrights; such as Plato, Thucydides and Aeschylus.

When Phil was at MIT, Professor de Santillana (1902-1974) was a senior professor of Humanities and an internationally renowned authority regarding the history of science. It was Professor de Santillana who introduced him to the profound epistemological ideas concerning the connection between astronomical science and the great mythologies of ancient civilizations.

Rutgers University Philosophy Professor, Jerry Alan Fodor, in the year 2007.

MIT Humanities Professor, Giorgio de Santillana, in the late 1960s.

View of the main MIT Campus on the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

View of the University of Colorado at Boulder, from Flagstaff Mountain.

Phil had intended to study electrical engineering at MIT but, upon encountering his first courses in that subject, he concluded that he really had absolutely no interest in any of the engineering disciplines. He changed his major to mathematics but soon realized that his talent in that area was insufficient for a successful professional career. For that reason, as well as significant financial considerations, Phil transferred to the University of Colorado (CU) during his junior year. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from CU in 1966. Subsequently, Norfleet entered the CU Graduate School where he studied for a doctorate in the areas of Computer Science and Business Administration. Unfortunately, although he completed all required course work, he never completed his thesis and thus never received his advanced degree.

 

Human Consciousness Studies

 

G. I. Gurdjieff in 1949, a few months before his death.

In 1978, Phil Norfleet began to actively investigate the possibility of attaining higher states of human consciousness; in particular, he began to study the writings of the noted Fourth Way teachers G. I. Gurdjieff and P. D. Ouspensky. From 1979-1981, he participated in activities of the Denver branch of the Prosperos - a Fourth Way Group founded by Thane Walker.

Upon his relocation to Belgium in 1981, he made contact with the Institute Gurdjieff in Paris which was then led by Mme. Jeanne de Salzmann, one of Gurdjieff's senior students. As time permitted, he studied with a former member of the Paris group who had established an independent Fourth Way group located in Brussels, Belgium. This study continued until he moved to Naples, Italy in 1986.

Between 1986 and 2002, Phil continued to study Fourth Way writings but was not involved with any formal groups. However, while temporarily residing in New Mexico intermittently during the period 2003-2005, He participated in the activities of a Gurdjieff Foundation group located in Albuquerque and subsequently with a group founded by Professor Paul J. Watson of the University of New Mexico. Professor Watson's group sought to integrate Fourth Way teachings with the latest findings of scientific research into human consciousness.

Since 2006, he has resided in Gainesville Florida where he continues to study human consciousness. His personal goal is to integrate the teachings of the Fourth Way with Neoplatonic Philosophy and Rosicrucianism. He hopes that the result will be an effective and practical system of exercises which serious seekers may employ to achieve higher states of conscious awareness.

 

Career with the United States Government and NATO

 

Photograph, taken in the late 1960s, of the entrance to the Martin Marietta Plant near Denver, Colorado. Components of a Titan IIIC Launch Vehicle are ready to be transported from the plant to the launch site at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

In 1968, Norfleet took a position with the United States Air Force (USAF) Contact Management Division; ultimately becoming the Chief of Contracts at the Air Force Representative Office at the Martin Marietta Corporation, Denver Division in 1976. While with the Air Force, he was involved in the contract management of several major missile and space projects including Titan III Launch Vehicles, MX Missile, NASA Skylab, Space Shuttle and Viking Mars Lander Programs. In all, he remained with the Air Force for about twelve years.

 

 

 

In 1981, Phil accepted a position as Contracting Officer for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); he was located at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) near Mons, Belgium. While at NATO, he was responsible for the contract management of several major Command, Control and Communication Intelligence (C3I) Systems. In particular, he was the contract manager for the development of the Status Control Alerting and Reporting System (SCARS) Program, a Strategic C3I program for the control of all the nuclear assets assigned to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR). Norfleet also was involved in the acquisition of a command and control system to process NATO early warning radar information and a Tactical C3I system for the Allied Forces Central Region (AFCENT) headquarters located at Brunssum in the Netherlands. He worked at SHAPE for approximately five years.

SHAPE Headquarters near Mons, Belgium.

 

Photograph of Mount Vesuvius taken from the balcony of Phil Norfleet's residence on the Vomero Hill in Naples, Italy.

In 1986, Norfleet relocated to Naples, Italy to take a position as the Director of Contracts for the United States Navy in the Mediterranean and the Middle Eastern Regions. While at Naples, he was involved in several major international undertakings such as negotiating an agreement between the US Navy and the Turkish General Staff; organizing an economic symposium in Athens, Greece; and establishing an organizational detachment for the Navy on the Island of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.

 

Phil Norfleet returned to the United States in 1988 and took a contract management position for the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) located in Norfolk, Virginia. While at SACLANT, he was responsible for major system acquisitions including the contract management of a "Strategic Level" B-3 (per the Orange Book) Secure, Command, Control and Communication Intelligence (C3I) System. He also was involved in the acquisition of a digital communications system for the NATO Base in Keflavik, Iceland and a "Theater Level" C3I System for the NATO Iberian Atlantic Command (IBERLANT) in Portugal.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the end of the Cold War, work for NATO and the US Department of Defense seemed to diminish in significance. Accordingly, Phil took an early "bonus retirement" from Government service in 1994 to devote his remaining years to other interests, which were important to him, but had been placed on the "back burner" during his many years of service for the US Government and NATO.

SACLANT Headquarters at the Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia.

 

Post Retirement Activities

 

Upon retirement, Norfleet relocated to Panama City Beach, Florida. During the first 12 years of his retirement (1994-2006), he traveled extensively throughout the United States while pursuing philosophical, historical and genealogical research. Main topics of that research included the Revolutionary War in the South Carolina backcountry; Bell Witch Folklore in Middle Tennessee; and the genealogies of the Norfleet, Campbell and Mayfield families. Since the year 2003, he has been primarily involved in metaphysical studies and art history.

Phil has created a total of twenty-four Web sites pertaining to his various areas of interest. As of 2011, four of these sites were still under construction.

At the present time, he resides in Gainesville, Florida where he is principally involved in the study of Neoplatonism and Rosicrucianism.

Phil Norfleet with his new Saturn in February 2008.

 

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