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Conversation with Uwe Michael Neumann on General Philosophy and Unusual Experiences: Member, CIVIQ High IQ Society (5)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2021/10/15


Uwe Michael Neumann developed a love of photography when he got his first camera, a Polaroid, at the age of eight years old. From 1982 to 1988, Neumann diverted from photography, studying law at Cologne State University. But his love of photography, driven by curiosity and the desire to see new things and discover and show their beauty, always called him back. He conducted his first photo tour in Provence, France in 1992. In 1998 he visited New York where he further developed his photographic style; experimenting with verticals and keystone/perspectives. Launching into the field of international cooperation he combined his daily work with his photography in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Finland, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden and Ukraine. In November 2014, Neumann attended the wedding of a daughter of the Sultan of Foumban, Princess Janina, in Foumban, north-west of Cameroon. There he met and became friends with the famous French photographer and producer, Alain Denis who inspired him to become a professional photographer, instructing him in portrait and landscape photography. After his life-changing visit to Cameroon in 2014 Neumann returned there in February 2015 taking photographs of Central Africa’s unique nature and everyday life, which differed greatly from Europe, and even tourist destinations in Africa like Kenya and the Republic of South Africa. During his stay in Central Africa, he lived in Yaoundé, Cameroon and travelled frequently to Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Chad and Congo Brazzaville, among the poorest countries in the world. He also visited and photographed Algeria, Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo), Benin, Kenya, Egypt, Mauretania and the Republic of South Africa. Neumann focused on often-overlooked treasures in nature, the environment, and beauty in places seemingly dominated by poverty. In October 2017, Neumann returned to Berlin and worked on over 90,000 photos from Africa, launching his first exhibition in May in ‘Animus Kunstgalerie’, Berlin. In October 2018 his exhibition ‘Inner Africa’ in GH 36 gallery in Berlin was focused on Central Africa displaying not only a huge variety of photographs, but also traditional masks from different regions. In 2019 and 2020, other exhibitions at Bülow90, Berlin and Nils Hanke, Berlin followed. In Ghent, Belgium, he was a speaker at the European Mensa Meeting 2019 on Africa and presented some of his works.  He was also invited to present his works in the online exhibition e-mERGING a r t i S T S. and again at GH36 in the exhibition No Time. One of his photos was on the title page of the Norwegian magazine Dyade in 2019. His photos have also been featured several times in the online Magazine Foto Minimal & Art. In December 2021 his works were part of an exhibition at Basel Art Center in Basel, Switzerland. He discusses: general philosophy and unusual experiences.

Keywords: IQ, Peter Fenwick, philosophy, Rupert Sheldrake, Uwe Michael Neumann.

Conversation with Uwe Michael Neumann on General Philosophy and Unusual Experiences: Member, CIVIQ High IQ Society (5)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, we’ve talked about early life morbidities, co-morbidities, intelligence, some professional life, and also some of the philosophy behind the photography. Another aspect that I like to typically dive into with some of the individuals in this particular small subtheme on higher IQ people of this series in the journal is the ideas individuals have developed over time. Some people who I interview are of a younger age and others are of a more advanced age. So, there’s a wide range of amount of experience and time and reading and intelligence to think about a wide range of things not only about their own life, but about human affairs generally insofar as philosophy is concerned. So, some other questions that I might have would be around those more abstract notions: Do you have any thoughts on general philosophy? More reliable at this moment is to come to an ontological stance about the world or even some metaphysical or theological notions about how the world is. What are some of your thoughts there? And this is an open forum. So, it’s not going to be restricted in any way.

Uwe Michael Neumann[1],[2]*: Yes. Actually, I’m thinking a lot about that. I think I have a very particular view because what I see is that many IQ people, high IQ people are very much into science. I’m not saying that science is bullshit and so on. But sometimes I think that’s like religion. I mean, science is good for many things, but I think that science cannot explain everything. And I have had, how to say, experiences that are very strange and which make me think about metaphysical things like only in my life; I’m almost 60 now. But I never had any accident. But I once had almost an accident when a car was coming behind me and I was crossing a zebra crossing. And seconds after I crossed the zebra crossing, the car was coming at very high speed and stopping, braking. And the thing is that this was one time in my life so far.

And one other thing happened one time in my life is that I had an inner voice that told me, look to the left. I was walking on a busy street on the pavement. There was one street leading to the busy street, a one-way street. And I was crossing this one-way street. I was looking to the right because the cars could officially only come from the right, but to my surprise, I heard a voice saying to me, “Look to the left.” And I said to myself, “What, am I crazy now”? since it was one way street.  And the voice said again, “Look to the left.” I thought now. Then it said it again, “Look to the left,” and I looked to the left, and there was nothing. And I went on, I crossed the zebra crossing and seconds afterwards I heard brakes screech. I turned myself. I saw a car that just stopped there. It had entered the one way street from the wrong side.

And I was really like this. And those things, these two things only happened so far once in my life and they happened together. So, that made me think about it. That was one experience, and another was when my grandmother died. I was standing at her bed. She was lying in her bed. I was standing there for one hour and then said, “Goodbye.” And then I went to bed at some point. And in the night I woke up, we were living on the second floor. I woke up because there was some knock on the door. And I woke up. It was also very strange. Maybe it wasn’t anything extraordinary, but when you’re in that situation, you think, “What is that?” And so, I started reading about some near-death experiences. Peter Fenwick and also Rupert Sheldrake, I find very interesting. So, I think science is good. It’s developing. But it cannot explain everything at the moment.

And I think it will never be able to explain everything because we are not able to understand everything. Also, reasoning is not always good. When you are very intelligent, you tend to be very rational and to think about it. But actually, in human interactions, people don’t act rational all the time. Otherwise, nobody would drive a car drunk also at high speeds, because that’s not rational. But people do it constantly and also I do it, not drunk, but I drive too fast sometimes. So, I mean, you cannot always act rational. And I think that is also disadvantageous because you tend to act rationally and to try to convince people of rational things, to do it rationally. But this is not working. That’s my experience because humans are not rational. I think it’s useful, some for some things, but not for everything. And I would also say that rational thinking leads into depression.

What I mean is that when I look at myself, “OK, I’m 59 now. I can calculate. Maybe, I live 15 years on and I live here in this house and the environment situation, the climate change, and so on.” When you take all this into account, the world looks very depressed, negative. So, because, usually, you don’t see the positive sides; when I was at school, Germany was still divided. Europe was still divided. And I had told my teacher that I wanted to talk about the reunification at that time with him, at some point, he was looking at me like I was talking about landing on Mars or something. Because in 1982, when I was doing my schooling, the world was still divided. There was a wall and most people couldn’t imagine that this wall would fall. And especially, they could not imagine that it would fall seven years later.

And if I had told him in 10 years, I will work in Berlin and Potsdam, and I will go across the border every day because it doesn’t exist anymore. They would have called me completely nuts. That would be like if I was talking about living on Mars next year or something. So, I mean, rational thinking. Yes, it has its limits.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, CIVIQ High IQ Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 15, 2021:; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2022:

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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