Saturday, March 30, 2013

The "Out of Planet" Experience: the Overview Effect and the OBE

"Both the 'out of body' and 'out of planet' experiences are profoundly integrative, expanding our sense of oneness with fellow beings, with the very fabric of multidimensional Reality"
Nelson Abreu
The topic of the mentalsoma (mental body, causal body, body of discernment) generates interesting practical and theorical discussions during our Consciousness Development Program Module 3 and other classes.  One of the aspects discussed is the expansion of awareness caused by (at least) a partial non-alignment or separation of this vehicle of manifestation from the more rudimentary ones - the psychosoma (emotional or astral body), the energosoma (etheric or energy body), and the soma (physical body). 

This most advanced of out-of-body experiences, the projection of the mentalsoma, whether partial or not, can take place in between physical life times, when we are extraphysical; during our intraphysical state; or during a "regular" out-of-body experience (projection of the psychosoma). As mentioned in a previous post, the 6th man to land on the moon, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, describes a hightened state of awareness and interconnectedness triggered by the sight of the Earth from outerspace. 

The Overview Effect

A documentary called The Overview Effect features several astronauts attempting to describe their awe-inspiring, paradigm-shifting exoplanetary experiences. As orbital tourism nears commercial feasibility, we can look forward to more and more people seeing the Earth as it is: a glistening blue, living space ship with a thin, thin protective layer that we must protect, without borders, but with more and more visible scars.  It is no wonder that, as
Neil deGrasse Tyson posits, the ecological movement (and interest in science and engineering) got a huge boost after the first images of Earth from outer space entered our collective holothosene, zeitgeist, morphic field, or collective information field.

The paradigm shift afforded by lucid projections of the consciousness or out-of-body experiences is just as impactful.  It is similar in the way that we see our "home" from the outside and have the chance to reconsider it.  It also broadens our sense of universalism and triggers serious questioning of reality and our place in it. Both experiences bridge theory and visceral experience, as beautifully described in the film The Overview Effect.  In other words, unlike the outdated view of the OBE as a dissociative experience, it is quite the opposite. Both the "out of body" and "out of planet" experiences are profoundly integrative, expanding our sense of oneness with fellow beings, with the very fabric of multidimensional Reality.

The difference is that we tend to identify too much with this body and not enough with our life-sustaining planet.  The projection shows us that while the fragile, mortal, breathing, walking, sleeping, hungry, hormonal, instinctual body is a precious vessel for us to evolve in this dimension, it is certainly not who or what we are.  In fact, we realize that we are much more vast and eternal than this useful scaffold meat suit: at least as cosmic as the physical cosmos that surrounds our Earth.

Now, imagine the impact of an exoprojection, an "astral projection" outside the Earth. You don't have to imagine. You could start saving up for your space ticket, or add this experience to your OBE list of goals. If you have the drive for it, it is within your reach!

The Projectarium at IAC Campus, Portugal

Nelson Abreu
IAC California

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top-3 Psychic Anomalies according to Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan is arguably one of the most relevant science educators of all time.  He inspired a generation to engage in scientific inquiry and exploration and to imagine a better future in our space ship Earth, our "pale blue dot."  He was the embodiment of a balance of a sense of ethics, a sense of wonder, and open-mindedness.  His wonder was often aimed at the physical cosmos and not so much at the world of psychic phenomena. In fact, he was a founding member of the skeptical society CSICOP.

However, he was able to maintain neutrality in a way that is not common among self-described skeptics.  For instance, in the 1970's, he turned down signing a manifesto against astrology "because I felt (and still feel) that the tone of the statement was authoritarian." He refrained from dismissing possibilities just because they were not popular with colleagues, even when others engaged in ad hominem attacks (questioning character, qualifications).  Claims should be accepted, rejected, or even held in indefinite doubt depending on the available evidence. This is evidenced in the following quote:

At the time of writing, there are three claims in the ESP field which, in my opinion, deserve serious study: (1) that by thought alone humans can (barely) affect random number generators in computers; (2) that people under mild sensory deprivation can receive thoughts or images "projected" at them; and (3) that young children sometimes report the details of a previous life, which upon checking turn out to be accurate and which they could not have known about in any other way than reincarnation.

There is no evidence that he was personally motivated to do such research or to attempt to experience these or any other projectiological phenomena. Clearly, Sagan did not think psi and the survival of consciousness beyond death would ultimately be verified. However, he was intellectually honest enough to grant that serious scientists had gathered enough evidence on these three phenomena to warrant further investigation. 

The relationship between the first research program, conducted principally at Princeton University, and projectiology is covered extensively in my course Consciousness and Physical Reality and in Filters and Reflections: Perspectives on Reality. The subject of transmission of information through "non-normal means," relates to phenomena such as psychometry, which is being investigated by IAC researchers who created a workshop for students.  The third recognized research is discussed in this other blogpost and relates to the theory of existential seriality, which is presented in Wagner Alegretti's course and book Retrocognition: An investigation into memories of past lives and the period between lives.  The survival and cyclical existence of the immortal consciousness is also covered in Module 4 of the Consciousness Development Program, which includes an overview of psi phenomena in Module 2.

Stay tuned to our live and online events through our event calendars on our home page or through our Facebook page!

Sagan, Carl. The Demon-Haunted World, Random House, 1995

Nelson Abreu
IAC Instructor
Los Angeles

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

New Insights into Reverse Neural Signals

Backwards signals appear to sensitize brain cells, rat study shows

National Institutes of Health (NIH) study indicates reverse impulses clear useless information, prime brain for learning

When the mind is at rest, the electrical signals by which brain cells communicate appear to travel in reverse, wiping out unimportant information in the process, but sensitizing the cells for future sensory learning, according to a study of rats conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

During waking hours, electrical signals travel from dendrites—antenna-like projections at one end of the cell-- through the cell body. From the cell body, they then travel the length of the axon, a single long projection at the other end of the cell. This electrical signal stimulates the release of chemicals at the end of the axon, which bind to dendrites on adjacent cells, stimulating these recipient cells to fire electrical signals, and so on. When groups of cells repeatedly fire in this way, the electrical signals increase in intensity. Dr. Bukalo and her team examined electrical signals that traveled in reverse―from the cell’s axon, to the cell body, and out its many dendrites. The reverse firing, depicted in this diagram, happens during sleep and at rest, appearing to reset the cell and priming it to learn new information.

The finding has implications not only for studies seeking to help people learn more efficiently, but also for attempts to understand and treat post-traumatic stress disorder―in which the mind has difficulty moving beyond a disturbing experience.

During waking hours, brain cells, or neurons, communicate via high-speed electrical signals that travel the length of the cell. These communications are the foundation for learning. As learning progresses, these signals travel across groups of neurons with increasing rapidity, forming circuits that work together to recall a memory.

It was previously known that, during sleep, these impulses were reversed, arising from waves of electrical activity originating deep within the brain. In the current study, the researchers found that these reverse signals weakened circuits formed during waking hours, apparently so that unimportant information could be erased from the brain. But the reverse signals also appeared to prime the brain to relearn at least some of the forgotten information. If the animals encountered the same information upon awakening, the circuits re-formed much more rapidly than when they originally encountered the information.

“The brain doesn’t store all the information it encounters, so there must be a mechanism for discarding what isn’t important,” said senior author R. Douglas Fields, Ph.D., head of the Section on Nervous System Development and Plasticity at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH institute where the research was conducted. “These reverse brain signals appear to be the mechanism by which the brain clears itself of unimportant information.”

The researchers studied the activity of rats’ brain cells from the hippocampus, a tube-like structure deep in the brain. The hippocampus relays information to and from many other regions of the brain. It plays an important role in memory, orientation, and navigation.

The classic understanding of brain cell activity is that electrical signals travel from dendrites—antenna-like projections at one end of the cell-- through the cell body. From the cell body, they then travel the length of the axon, a single long projection at the other end of the cell. This electrical signal stimulates the release of chemicals at the end of the axon, which bind to dendrites on adjacent cells, stimulating these recipient cells to fire electrical signals, and so on. When groups of cells repeatedly fire in this way, the electrical signals increase in intensity.

Dr. Bukalo and her team examined electrical signals that traveled in reverse―from the cell’s axon, to the cell body, and out its many dendrites. This reverse firing happens during sleep and at rest, appearing to reset the cell, the researchers found.

After first stimulating the cells with reverse electrical impulses, the researchers next stimulated the dendrites again with electrical impulses traveling in the forward direction. In response, the neurons generated a stronger signal, with the connections appearing to strengthen with repeated electrical stimulation.

This pattern appears to underlie the formation of new memories. A connection that is reset but never stimulated again may simply fade from use over time, Dr. Bukalo explained. But when a cell is stimulated again, it fires a stronger signal and may be more easily synchronized to the reinforced signals of other brain cells, all of which act in concert over time.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ask IAC - How objective is the OBE? - London, UK

These questions came from Caz Coronel (London, UK).
This time we have two sets of answers.


Our current paradigm dictates that we are living in the physical world and that we have a physical body. We appear to have a consciousness that mostly resides inside our body. The OBE gives us the experience where we are leaving the body. The IAC teach us how to "leave our bodies" amongst other wonderful skills. I am presuming, but I maybe incorrect, that IAC believes that it is this consciousness that controls the movements of the body. There are some issues with this model of reality.

1. how does a non-physical energy have any impact on something physical?

2. Why is that we can OBE without having any experience of 'leaving the body?

3. Why can we OBE without any vibrations?

Could it be that we just believe in this current paradigm so strongly that it is useful to think in its terms. This belief would dictate the nature of our experience in the 'OBE". However with different beliefs we can have a different experience all together. If we think of the physical as a dream then we don't really have a body at all. "Energy" is not made from anything different to "physical" its all dream stuff!


All evidence does point to the fact that it is "this consciousness" that controls the physical body.

In response to the specific questions:
1. Through the chaining together of the different bodies through various energetic connections and a gradual "densifying" of the energies that occurs in this process. So to cut a long (but fast) story short, what starts out as an extremely subtle thought can be transformed into a semi-physical energetic interaction (in the energosoma) and then a physical interaction due to the energosoma being deeply embedded and interwoven in the physical body.
2. The point here to remember is that we can leave the body and be lucid throughout the process. The fact that sometimes (more commonly than we may like) we are not lucid - only indicates our incompetence in mastering the projective process.
3. The vibrations vary for a number of reasons - the condition of our energosoma, our level of attention, the extraphysical environment we are in.  Again being more experienced in managing energies and ourselves while out of the body is the solution to this situation.

Different beliefs will certain change our experience - but as you may be aware the ideal is not to believe anything. Think for yourself, have your own experiences, see if the thing is logical for you, replace beliefs with direct personal experience. Of course the challenge is in having those experiences and interpreting them in the healthiest way possible - easier said than done, but not impossible.

You could look at the physical like a dream, indeed when you have more lucidity than you are accustomed to you see physical life in that way. The challenge (yes another one) is to integrate the extraphysical realities and exeperiences into our physical lives in a mature and balanced way, without alienating ourselves in any way.

Jeff Lloyd was born in New Zeland. He is currently an IAC instructor in Iguassu Falls, Brazil.


Hello, Caz. I think the essence of your inquiry is whether there is a difference between subjective and objective reality; you may also be wondering about the relationship of consciousness and its perceived reality (whether physical or beyond).

The way we establish reality is through means such as reason, consensus and consistency of observation.  Take Trafalgar Square, for instance. If you get 100 visitors to describe this location, there will be some variation in the accounts due to different "scales of observation" and individual "filters," but there will be a fair amount of consensus, whether they visit individually or as a group.  The same could happen if we had projections of the consciousness (OBE's) to this location.  Now, if I have never been to or learned about Trafalgar Square and I merely dreamt about a place of my mental creation, it would probably not match this consensus because it is an oneiric creation of my inner reality alone. 

If I burn a piece of paper, i cannot reserve this chemical reaction in the physical reality. In a dream, anything goes. There is a sound basis for distinguishing reality from fantasy and this is the basis for all knowledge, for science and, indeed, for ethics. In a dream, one cannot effect harm on anyone, as all characters are imaginary. In the real world, whether physical or extraphysical, we could pollute an environment with our negative influence or, in the case of the physical world, even inflict physical harm.  The very cycle of birth, intraphysical life with a body, death of the body, the intermissive period between lives, followed by another birth and so on is a reflection of this reality.

It is important to emphasize that the consciential paradigm is the result of experience, of observation and not the other way around.  We discuss multiple realities, multiple vehicles of consciousness ("bodies") including subtle energy and the astral body as models for our experience. Do these structures, does the whole of reality exist independently of consciousness, though? This is not a question that can be scientifically answered since it is outside observation and hence cannot be verified or, rather, refuted.  However, it seems reasonable to me and many others that since all we know about is what we can observe and these observations take place "within" us, the "external" world appears to be our collective creation.  This appears to be the case of extraphysical communities of thought-forms and may well be the case for physical reality.  However, we must still distinguish dream or fantasy from this consensus, multidimensional reality where there are real consequences, this framework or scaffold for our evolution.

Yes, the consciousness itself may be cosmic, practically unlimited, beyond the confines space and time as we sense them, but in our state of limited awareness the physical body is very real (ever hit your finger with a hammer or try to stay awake when your body insists on sleeping?) and the astral body and energies, then, are just as real since we can verify their existence and their properties through individual and consensus experience.  They may not obey some of our linear or preconceived expectations, but they appear to be real or objective, beyond useful didactic constructs.

Regarding your very interesting questions:

1. how does a non-physical energy have any impact on something physical?

First, consciousness is not energy, in a similar way that a DJ is not sound.  Without an intelligent principle (e.g. DJ Caz Coronel), there would be no music. There might be random noise, like dialing between two radio station frequencies. Energy can be transformed into other kinds of energy and does not have attributes like will, memory, attention, intention, and so on. Consciousness, that which we are, is beyond energy. But energy is a useful concept to describe changes in the universe we perceive, which we use to manifest, to communicate. 

That said, this question is arguably one of the most pressing ones in projectiology. We can sense that there is a substance we call "bioenergy" (the biofield, etheric body, energosoma, chi, prana) that acts as a two-way information and vitality link between the "astral body" and the physical body. We can observe this through clairvoyance and OBE's, for instance. What exactly is it or rather what is the "physics" of this process? We are actively researching this through a combination of experiential and laboratorial techniques. Wagner Alegretti published a pilot of one such study in issue 42 of the Journal of Conscientiology and is currently writing about a breakthrough in this area.

To give this some context, though, imagine what a 11th century human would think of our technology: how does voice, video, and more come out of a tiny box without wires? We have also used fire and observed gravity and electricity long before we had a minimal understanding of these phenomena. So, just because there is not yet a comprehensive model to describe how, it does not negate the consensus observation. In my course Consciousness and Physical Reality and in the book Filters and Reflections, I discuss how insights from OBE's and bioenergy experiences relate to the experiential, experimental, and theoretical evidence that consciousness can affect physical devices and events, even across vast distances and, in some cases, apparently retrocausally.

It is not like conventional science has a better explanation. The search for the seat or source of the self and its thoughts continues unanswered, because most are looking in the wrong place. If you open a computer up and study its parts and systems looking for the source of Gangnam Style, you will never find the entertainer PSY in South Korea. And let's not forget that, even in physics, energy is still elusive and quite mysterious. It is a principle, a calculated theoretical quantity, rather than something can be directly observed and measured. It's relationship with consciousness can be approached through the study of entropy and its lesser-known complement: negentropy or syntropy, which I discuss in my courses on consciousness and biological life and the physical reality.

 2. Why is that we can OBE without having any experience of 'leaving the body?Indeed, we are not really in or out of the body. As such the OBE is a misnomer, except that this is typically how we perceive it. We perceive ourselves as being behind our eyes because our of physical senses. Often, we can perceive a gradually separation of the astral body, as if it evaporates from the body or separates like velcro. However, as you point out, this transition does not have to be gradual every time. It can be practically instantaneous, as can the return. Other times, we simply blackout or lose conscious awareness of this process. Here, I have to remind you that there is no reason why a process should happen the same way every time. So, why not? However, if we study factors, one of the most prominent ones would be the condition of our energy (how loose, fluid it may be); our mental state (motivated, focused with a specific target in mind or not; lucid or semi-aware); whether it is a spontaneous, intentional, or assisted projection (facilitated by another consciousness, such as an extraphysical helper)
3. Why can we OBE without any vibrations?
As you can see, the vibrational state is not a requisite for projections (the one and only causal factor), but it can facilitate it.  At times it is merely a concomittent state, occurring spontaneously.  It can be triggered by will or through other means and techniques. You might yawn when you are sleepy, but not always, and the yawn does not cause sleep. The projection is ultimately a matter of will. Other factors such as physical relaxation, psychological and emotional harmony, energetic optimization, application of techniques act as facilitators at our reduced level of evolution. No human experience is alike: from physical experiences of pain or pleasure or happiness to psychical or projective experiences -
each is unique.

Thanks for your thoughtful questions and I hope this feedback is helpful.

Nelson Abreu was born in Portugal. He is currently an instructor at IAC California in Los Angeles, USA.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ask IAC - Question on Past Lives - Idaho, USA

A question from Sandpoint, Idaho, USA:
Hi! I wanted to ask you if seeing a past life is considered an OBE... Also, is it possible to see somebody else’s life? I’ve heard about the Akashic records so not sure if that’s how it happened. I did a past-life regression and saw a life but just not sure if it was mine. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Dear M.Thank you for your interesting questions.

Retrocognition is a phenomenon of the consciousness whereby we appear to relive, to various degrees, an event of a past life or a period between lives. Retrocognition can take place during various altered states or states of consciousness: the waking state, during a dream, during an OBE, and even in the period between lives when we do not have a body.  We typically recall our own past experiences, but it is not impossible to access information of someone else’s.  This could happen in a group session of past life regression, through hypnosis (recalling the hypnotist’s or someone else near the area of the session).  Therefore, it is advisable to perform retrocognitive attempts in isolation and in an energetically-optimized environment. 
If one actually intends to access another’s past memories, this can be facilitated by an intentional, prolonged and intense auric coupling or temporary merging of two individuals’ energy fields.  I suggest this interview with Wagner Alegretti and his book as excellent sources to study this phenomenon in depth and its application to spiritual development.
Akashic records are a metaphor more than an actual “place,” at least as evidenced by the consensus of our researchers. This concept refers to the idea that we can tap into a vast wealth of knowledge and memory of all living things and of all time.  This concept, however, is related to a very distinct experience from the retrocognition: the so-called projection of the mental body or cosmic consciousness experience.

The veracity of recall of past lives is among the most difficult to verify among psychic phenomena.  Healthy skepticism or hesitance in accepting a single experience as a real memory is a discerning attitude.  We can have more certainty about particular hypotheses as we accumulate multiple experiences and other corroborating evidence (such as an analysis of our interests, personality traits, and more).  Again, this aspect is covered very well by Alegretti in his book.  Certain experiences, however, are very vivid and visceral re-enactments of events that tend to be emotional, impactful, highly significant in molding who we have become.  If the purported memory seems foreign, does not fit into any of your salient characteristics, and was not particularly poignant, chances are it was not a retrocognition at all.
Nelson Abreu
IAC California