Saturday, July 27, 2013

Consciousness without a Brain? Dr Bruce Greyson at United Nations

Beyond the Mind-Body Problem: New Paradigms in the Science of Consciousness, United Nations, New York - September 11, 2008

An excerpt of Bruce Greyson, MD, PhD, from the panel discussion "Beyond the Brain: The Experiential Implications of Neurotheology", speaking about how the brain does not equal the mind, and how near death experiences can contribute to knowledge about the mind-body connection.

Dr Greyson is associated with the University of Virginia and the Nour Foundation.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The consciential bond and cognitive surplus

In conscientiology (consciousness science), the consciential bond* refers to the link one may have with a civic organization, whereby one is motivated by participation in positive, altruistic and self-development outcomes, rather than individualistic interests. This is the kind of link between IAC (and other conscientiological organizations) and its volunteer directors, staff, teachers, researchers and writers.

In this TED talk, speaker Clay Shirky provides a term for the time that we may use to dedicate to such social-benefit causes: Cognitive Surplus, the "fuel" of organizations like ours and civic-service projects like Wikipedia, SETI, and Ushahidi. Shirky estimates there are 1 trillion annual hours of free time on Earth. 

For reflection: How much "cognitive surplus" do you have? Do you feel you use it to its maximum assistantial potential? What could you do to have more of it or to use it for greater impact in the future? What motivates you or what truly matters to you? What percentage of your effort, mental space, money is spent on civic missions?

* Consciential bond – The cosmoethical, self-aware, voluntary and polykarmic link between a volunteer and an institution. The consciential bond goes beyond the employment bond.

Video submitted by: Manori Sumanasinghe (IAC California)
Reflection by: Nelson Abreu (IAC California)


Intermission Period Friendship and Group Life Mission

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

10 Dogmas of Scientism according to biologist and consciousness researcher Rupert Sheldrake

Biologist Rupert Sheldrake is best known for his theory of morphic fields and morphic resonance and psi research involving the feeling of being starred at, parrot and telephone telepathy, dogs that know when their owners are coming home, and more. He is the author of a number of scientific papers and books, including his latest, Science Set Free (US Edition; In the UK: The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry, which was recognized by the Scientific & Medical Network with its book of the year award).  

In this book, Sheldrake offers his take on the underlying dogmatic assumptions that frame the contemporary, predominant paradigm for reality.  We have addressed some of these in previous blog entries, including the apriori assumptions that all life is mechanistic and that consciousness is a product of the brain.  Many of these assumptions are so engrained that to question them is often seen as unscientific, though science as a method of inquiry does not necessitate these dogmas, which should themselves be subject to examination and to testing. The book was the subject of a partially-censored TED talk, a polemic we covered in the blog last month as we explore different facets of scientism versus open scientific exploration.

Skeptiko interview

Deepak Chopra review in San Francisco Gate

Selection of related IAC Blog posts:

Between science and prejudice. Two articles on scientism.

Earth Day: Toward an Ecological Mind

Telephone Telepathy?

Infinite Lifespan: From Physical Life Extension to Consciential Immortality

Commentary: Of Oxytocin and Evolution

Salute to the cockroach consciousness! Consciousness-driven biologicalevolution in the news?

Ask IAC: Isn't the OBE caused by the brain?

IAC Blog Team

Saturday, July 20, 2013

IAC @ “Life Energy, Syntropy and Resonance” Conference, Viterbo, Italy, Aug 1 to 4

The World Institute for Scientific Exploration (WISE) presents the 1st International Conference “Life Energy, Syntropy and Resonance” in Viterbo, Italy, August 1 to 4.  The conference will consist of researchers from around the world and multiple perspectives at the intersection of consciousness science, biology, physics, and spirituality. Several interesting abstracts and full papers, including one by IAC's Nelson Abreu (Los Angeles), Alexandre Madurell (Milano, Italy), and Lucilla Perego (Milano, Italy), are available on the conference's website.

IAC Blog Team

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another review of an IAC course at IAC UK - Bioenergy Workout

Working with bioenergy

Since I started performing Bioenergy exercises, I have experienced much clearer and complete dream recall. This will eventually lead to better out of body experience recall, as well as more successful projective attempts.

All the experiences I describe from April 2013 onwards may make reference to my bioenergy workout routine that day, and also any energy work I may have carried out in the period immediately preceding the projective attempts.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Life-Changing Effects and Other Benefits of the Out-Of-Body Experience

by Sandie Gustus, IAC London, author of Less Incomplete 

30 years ago, Raymond Moody’s groundbreaking work on the near-death experience (NDE) entitled Life After Life was published. It was roundly criticized by the mainstream scientific community who dismissed the NDE as a type of hallucination resulting either from lack of oxygen to the brain at the moment of clinical death or as an effect of medication. Despite such formal skepticism however, an astonishing 13 million copies of the book have since sold, suggesting that people all around the world have been interested to learn of the consensus among large numbers of NDE ‘victims’ with regards to the sensations they experienced at the moment of death, where they went when they left their physical body, who they encountered, and what perceptions, capacities and level of awareness they had whilst in this non-physical state. 

© Lance Sissing 

The tunnel effect is an oft-cited phenomenon of the near-death experience 

Today, 30 years on, large-scale scientific research into the NDE phenomenon is taking place worldwide, largely putting an end to the view that the NDE is but a figment of the New Age imagination. In Britain, for example, following the lead of neuropsychiatrist Dr Peter Fenwick, a second generation of researchers is conducting experiments, interviewing patients and collating significant data from intensive care units in hospitals around the country. 

Of all the aspects common to the NDE however, perhaps the most intriguing is that the experience is for so many, a life-changing event, and not surprisingly. For to be fully aware, awake, and mentally alert yet not inside the physical body is to experience a state of being that bypasses all dogmas and belief systems, and dismantles deep-seated reference points that include only that which can be perceived with the human sensory organs as reality. For example: People are able to verify that their consciousness (awareness, soul, spirit, self etc.) doesn’t die along with the physical body This enables them to view their existence in a broader context that extends beyond the physical body and beyond this physical life, to logically include past lives, future lives and periods between lives spent in non-physical dimensions.

Many are often inspired therefore to reprioritize their life after surviving clinical death and seek ways to inject it with greater meaning. They might, for example, decide to dedicate more time to productive, positive activities or other important life tasks that had previously been neglected, such as helping others, being more loving, overcoming some weak traits of their character, developing new skills and acquiring more knowledge.

Some have interactions with more advanced, evolved Helpers (popularly known as spirit guides or guardian angels) during the NDE and return to physical life understanding that these ‘people’ are always around, interacting with and assisting us on a daily basis Others gain insights into the law of karma, (i.e. action and reaction or cause and effect), seeing that their actions in this life are not isolated, arbitrary events without consequences Most are humbled by the experience of having tapped into a whole new world inhabited by those who have already died, and return to physical life no longer fearing death and wanting to know more 

The good news for anyone who hasn’t had a NDE but who would like to experience these life changing benefits first-hand is that the NDE is a type of out-of-body experience (OBE), a phenomenon that is as natural to humans as breathing and sleeping. 

© Lance Sissing

The strong connection of the silver cord ensures that 

‘astral’ body returns to the physical body after an OBE

The results of an online survey launched by researchers Wagner Alegretti and Nanci Trivellato of the International Academy of Consciousness (IAC), to which over 9,000 Internet users have so far responded, show that many different characteristics of the OBE phenomenon are shared by people around the world, irrespective of their age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, cultural background, religion, level of education or socio-economic status. Evidence shows, in fact, that the vast majority of humanity experiences some degree of separation between their physical body and astral body (sometimes called etheric double) several times during the natural course of nightly sleep. 

The reason so few of us are aware of this fact is because we experience poor levels of awareness or lucidity whilst out of the body and partially because of this, either don’t remember what happened or confuse the OBE with a dream. These hindrances can be overcome however by anyone who has the will to do it. No particular psychic ability is required. Additional benefits of having regular OBEs and lucidly exploring non-physical dimensions include being able to: prepare for what will happen after death by visiting non-physical dimensions frequently and familiarizing ourselves with these environments. This way, when we do die, the territory will already be known and we will easily adjust to life there give assistance to those who are isolated, confused and in despair after death precisely because they weren’t prepared. Some, in such a condition, don’t even realize they are dead. 

When out of the body however, we can access the energies generated by our physical body (via the silver cord) and can use these dense energies to help others in need access details of our past lives and periods between lives, as these memories are stored in the ‘astral’ brain in which we manifest during an OBE. Among other things, having access to such information helps us to identify the weak traits of our personalities that we take with us from one life to the next, repeating them over and over again, because we never do anything about overcoming them and changing. E.g. a weak trait such as laziness may prevent us from realizing our true potential.

For those who are interested to explore the out-of-body experience further, we recommend attending a free lecture online, in person at one of a dozen IAC centers around the world and many more visited cities, or even recorded talks and interviews on Youtube.  You may also learn more about IAC's award-winning Consciousness Development Program on IAC's website as well as calendars of upcoming activities (in-person and online).

Study compares induced versus spontaneous OBE's

A study published in the Australian Journal of Parapsychology compares intentional or will-induced OBE's with spontaneous OBE accounts.  Statistical analysis confirms something very familiar to lucid projectors: that intentional OBE's have a higher incidence of the sensation of "take off." 

Australian Journal of Parapsychology
Volume 12 Issue 2 (2012)

Research note: Induced out-of-body experiences are associated with a sensation of leaving the body

De Foe, Alexander1; van Doorn, George2; Symmons, Mark3

Abstract: Individuals who have had an out-of-body experience (OBE) report that the centre of their awareness appears to, temporarily, shift to a location that is spatially distinct from the location of their physical body. Research suggests that some OBErs report a sensation of leaving their physical body prior to their OBEs, while others instead report spontaneously finding themselves outside of their body. The present study evaluated data collected from 194 participants who claimed to have had an OBE. Instances of spontaneous and autonomously induced OBEs were considered. Binary Logistic Regression identified one item that predicted whether a participant was more likely to have had an induced, rather than a spontaneous, OBE: whether a participant had experienced a sensation of leaving their physical body prior to the OBE.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to overcome fear of out-of-body experiences and other multidimensional phenomena

The best way to overcome the fear of the "astral projection" or OBE and other psi or multidimensional phenomena is to study and gradually develop these abilities, developing a new-found self-confidence, self-reliance, lucidity, universalism and tranquility that stem from overcoming the fear of the unknown and feeling less vulnerable. Steps in the process include:
  • Working with your subtle energies
  • Developing your para-perception
  • Educating yourself about the myth of dangers of psi phenomena
  • Maintaining a high-level of integrity

You can read more on the subject in this selection of IAC Blog articles:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The "Faux.B.E" Experience: Pseudo-OBE studies grab the headlines, again

Readers of this blog may have seen headlines like "Heartbeat used to generate out-of-body experience" in major international media.  Once again, closer inspection reveals that this study too is not at all about the out-of-body experience.  Some see foul play in this, as an intentional act of misinformation to back up a status quo agenda.  We do not have grounds for this type of accusation, but it certainly demonstrates that the researchers and the media that propagate this misleading information clearly do not know what the OBE is about, because of their lack of personal experiences and the resulting lack of interest in reading the rich bibliography on the subject.  One of our foundational works, Projectiology by Waldo Vieira, MD, has over 1000 pages and has a bibliography of nearly 2000 works.

Anyone with modest interest (or with personal experience) would realize that the OBE has a rich phenomenological complex and that isolating one or two aspects alone in a laboratory while people are physically awake and even standing, is not the same as having the distinct sensation of exiting the physical body, floating through the ceiling, feeling that one is in a completely different place, seeing in 360-degrees, floating, feeling light, not having to breathe, observing that our "para-arms" are luminous and translucent, and having telepathic exchange with someone else who is projected in the same environment, and later comparing notes with them and realizing that certain unlikely facts can even be corroborated.

Before this study, there was the study with virtual reality, where one saw his or her own body projected a few feet in front of them with virtual reality goggles, and somehow this was hailed as the first time the OBE was produced in a lab and that this implied that the OBE was a figment of our imagination.  Firstly, this was not an OBE. Furthermore, the first known laboratorial study on OBE was performed by Dr Charles Tart at the University of California - Davis decades ago.  And the fact that it was induced in a laboratory or even via some kind of physical or physiological trigger does not logically render the ensuing experience as illusory.  If this is not clear, again, this is a result of epistemological or metaphysical bias, itself a result of a lack of direct, personal muldimensional experiences. 

The current study, which combines the previous techniques with a pulsating "aura" or "halo" effect regulated by one's heart beat demonstrated that people identify with this external image stronger when it not only looks like them, moves in a mirrored way, and flashes in accordance to an internal sensation. The New Scientist article that covered the story quotes that the Philosopher Thomas Metzinger of the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, who studies the sense of self, is impressed by the experiment because "it tells us that human self-consciousness is anchored in interoception in a much stronger way than people have acknowledged before." While this is a very curious and inventive study and we can learn from it, it is not the creation of the out-of-body experience in a laboratory, else the person would not be standing, moving, awake, and would not require technology to create the illusions.  

We have, at least, moved forward from the time the out-of-body experience was stigmatized as a pathological state.  Today, it is largely considered a harmless, naturally-occurring altered state that 10 to 20% of the world experiences at least once in their life time.  However, more and more people are recognizing the real pathology which underpins the suffering of millions and the ongoing dessimation of our life-sustaining planet: materialism.  

The famous Canadian documentary The Corporation diagnoses the typical behavior of this "legal person" as essentially that of a sociopath.  This pathology stems from an ill, limited, distorted view of self and of the whole of reality.  Where there is life, materialism sees things, resources.  Where there is spirit or consciousness, it sees illusion.  Where there is meaning, it sees coincidence. Where there is service, it sees power.  Where there is wonder, it sees fear.  Indeed, multidimensional perception is not illusion, it is not illness: through its paradigm-shifting effects, it is the cure.

Nelson Abreu
Los Angeles
IAC California

Previous, related posts:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife - Podcast - IAC Consciousness Radio

IAC Consciousness Radio is an educational series of interviews and discussions related to the personal and scientific study of consciousness. In this third installment, IAC's Nelson Abreu (Los Angeles) interviews Victor Zammit, co-author of A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife. Victor James Zammit, B.A.(Psych.) (Univ.of NSW), Grad. Dip.Ed. (Univ. Tech.Syd.), M.A. (Legal Hist.,Constl. Law)(Univ.of NSW), LL.B.(Univ.of NSW), Ph.D., lawyer is a retired attorney (solicitor/barrister) of the Supreme Court of the New South Wales and the High Court of Australia.

We look forward to your questions and comments and hope your enjoy!