Thursday, September 26, 2013

NDE researcher Dr Pim van Lommel's reply to reductionist "skeptic"

In his "Skeptic" column in Scientific American in March, 2003, self-described "skeptic" (professional scoffer or pseudo-skeptic, since all science is skeptical by nature, regardless of subject) Michael Shermer misrepresented research published in The Lancet, a leading medical journal, by Dr. Pim van Lommel et al in Holland. His biased interpretation painted it as evidence against the mind and the brain being separate. However, Dr van Lommel argued the exact opposite, and showed that conscious experience outside the body took place during a period of clinical death when the brain was flatlined. Furthermore, the study cast serious doubt on the tired remark used for decades by dismissive reductionists: that NDE perceptions are caused by anoxia, or lack of oxygen in the brain. In this brilliant reply, Dr van Lommel highlights many misinterpretations, assumptions and biases held by reductionists. What is a thought and where does it come from?

Interview with Cardiologist Pim van Lommel 

Dr Peter Fenwick on Death and Consciousness

Dr Peter Fenwick presentation on tanathology, the science of biological death, and consciousness at the Swedish edition of the Toward a Science of Consciousness conference, celebrating its 20th year in 2014. Dr Fenwick is well-known for his scientific and educational contributions on the Near-Death Experience. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Paper by IAC scholars in the latest issue of the journal Syntropy

The latest issue (2013, Number 2) of the journal Syntropy is now available online with the proceedings of the World Institute for Scientific Exploration (WISE) conference in Viterbo last month. You will find a number of papers related to subtle energy and consciousness, including one by IAC California's Nelson Abreu and IAC Italy's Alexandre Madurell and Lucilla Perego. Those interested in a layman's introduction to the concept of syntropy and its context in evolution of the consciousness and the material world should enjoy the opening entry by Dr Roger Taylor. The list of geniuses of humanity that have explored this concept is telling:
Pierre Theilhard De Chardin (France: theologian, paleontology), Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (France: biology), Luigi Fantappiè (Italy: mathematics), Buckminster Fuller (North American: architecture, systems theory), Erwin Schrödinger (Austria: Nobel laureate, physics), Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (Hungary: Nobel laureate, medicine), Arthur Koestler (Hungary: parapsychology, literature), and all the consciousness explorers who have realized the tendency of consciousness to create order and increase complexity and coherence or resonance or unity - Dr Taylor draws an interesting conceptual spiral from the Big Bang to cosmic unity.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ask IAC: Are Lucid Dreams the same as Out-of-Body Experiences?

Question from Slovenia: Are Lucid Dreams the same as OBE's?


The lucid dream could be said to be a type of semi-conscious OBE in the sense that we typically find ourselves already projected, floating slightly above the physical body, when we transition from a conscious dream state to the conscious projection. On the other hand, the imagery of lucid dreams is imaginary, subjective, or oneric, whereas with projections of the consciousness, we perceive a shared reality like during our waking physical lives. In this respect, they are not the same. We cover this subject in Module 2 of our Consciousness Development Program (now available in an online format), when we discuss a variety of altered states and psychical phenomena of the consciousness.

Lucid dreaming is an altered state of consciousness when you are aware that you are dreaming while you are still in the dream state. Typically, we realize that we were dreaming after the fact, when we wake up and regain more lucidity. Often, we find the sequence of mental events quite preposterous and wonder how come we did not realize it was a dream. When we have severely limited awareness, we tend to have a more instinctual and emotional and less rational behavior, which is reflected in many of our dreams. However, there are times when we enjoy a bit more of awareness and realize that we are dreaming before we wake up. 

When we realize this, sometimes we end up waking, but sometimes we can manage to remain in the dream state but now we significant control over what we experience since it is our very own subjective stage. One may, however, succeed in triggering a projection of the consciousness (OBE), whereby the dream or oneiric imagery "melts away," "evaporates," or "dissipates" giving way to non-material perceptions: typically of being in the process of "taking off" from the body. You might notice your "astral body" (psychosoma, body of emotions) was already floating above the body, but you had not been aware of it prior to this transition of awareness. Sometimes the person simply ends up waking up, sometimes finding him or herself in the state of temporary projective catalysis (sleep paralysis).

Experiencing this transition and also observing others do so from the out-of-body perspective (such as, when you wake up a friend to an OBE who is currently dreaming) has led many projectiologists (researchers of the OBE or projections) to the conclusion that lucid dreams are more likely to take place while one is already projected, floating a few centimeters above the physical body, as it often does throughout periods of the natural sleep cycle. With the consciousness less restricted by the physical brain, it can more easily experience additional lucidity and hence be more likely to question nonsensical aspects of a dream. 

As such, lucid dreams could be viewed as another effective way to have more lucid projections or OBE's, since one can transition from being more awake but still dreaming (still "in your own head") to transitioning to the consensus reality of OBE's (whereby you could visit actual extraphysical locales, make observations of physical events at a distance, or even meet other lucid projectors). There are numerous techniques to induce more frequent lucid dreams.

Many of them involve training oneself to perform frequent "reality checks," checking whether or not one is awake or asleep (or projected). For example, if you check your mobile phone or wrist watch often, this could be the moment you use to condition yourself to do these checks. A common reality check is flipping a light switch like in the movie Waking Life (2001). Another, is looking at one's own hands and maybe rubbing them together or attempting to traverse a physical object. If one was already projected, noticing translucent hands that can go through the wall would likely trigger an increase in lucidity. If one was dreaming, the very act of checking if one is awake, trying to trace back one's steps should trigger the realization that one is currently asleep. 

You may even combine this with other practices (IAC students will recognize this as an opportune moment to also do bioenergetic techniques such as the
VELO, which may culminate in the vibrational state). In fact, it is well known to practioners that the VELO technique enhances one's attention and lucidity: in and out of the body.

Nelson Abreu
IAC California

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Scientific versus Popular Meaning of Words

In consciousness science, as in all sciences, there are certain terms such as "theory" that have a different meaning than in popular language. 

An article on Scientific American runs through seven commonly misunderstood scientific terms:

Terminology #4 is "skeptic." The commentary provided is directed at self-described skeptics of mainstream scientific theories like neo-Darwinism and climate change. However, something similar could be said of those who are apriori dismissive of evidence of scientific anomalies, meaning scientific evidence that conflicts with prevailing theories and paradigms. The article reads:


"Simply denying mainstream science based on flimsy, invalid and too-often agenda-driven critiques of science is not skepticism at all. It is contrarianism ... or denial," Mann told LiveScience.

Instead, true skeptics are open to scientific evidence and are willing to evenly assess it.

"All scientists should be skeptics. True skepticism is, as [Carl] Sagan described it, the 'self-correcting machinery' of science," Mann said. 


Another expression listed is "nature versus nurture." The author points out that we are influence by both our genetic inheritance and our environment and that the environment might affect how our genetic potential is expressed or even mutated. 

Not surprisingly, the article does not consider a third influence: our own essence or consciousness, let's call it the noetic factor or paragenetics, as coined by Waldo Vieira, MD. Consider that we may not be born as a "blank slate," but rather we inherit some information, tendencies, intelligence from our own past as a pre-existing consciousness (past lives, period between lives, for example). 

In addition, rather than biological life and its evolution stemming from a God or from random events, consider that consciousness itself may be what animates and "complexifies" biological life. Some of the progenitors of the field of evolution thought this way, but their ideas have been abandoned with the rise of materialist reductionism: commonplace today, though it has been getting  increasingly  inadequate and outdated. We covered this subject in a previous post:

Read on to reflect on the other 5 commonly misunderstood scientific terms:

We look forward to your comments!

Nelson Abreu

Los Angeles

IAC Blog Team

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Accounts of teleportation among Western Desert Aboriginal people

Kim McCaul, anthropologist, IAC member and blog contributor in Australia, author of the upcoming book Multidimensional Evolution, recently presented a paper at the 17th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Manchester, UK to the panel WMW13 The extended self: relations between material and immaterial worlds.  The paper was entitled Pushing the boundaries of reality: Accounts of parateleportation among Western Desert Aboriginal people. The full paper is available online.