Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Consciousness, Design and the Nature of Reality

Dr. Lyle Culver (Miami-Dade College), Nelson Abreu (IAC instructor), and Manori Sumanasinghe (architecture designer, IAC volunteer) begin a discussion between consciousness and the built environment from cave paintings to Steiner's Goetheanum to IAC's Projectarium (Miami Dade College TV, 2010).

Consciousness, Design and the Nature of Reality

by Nelson Abreu 

Philosophers and consciousness scholars have a particular interest in what it is like to be or experience something, or qualia. The very existence of qualia continues to be the vexing problem of reductionist approaches to consciousness. In other words, if awareness of self and our surround was developed according to the predominant biological evolution theories, is awareness just another accident of evolution, an illusion that ends when the brain ceases to exist? The persistent question remains: is there even a biological survival advantage to experiencing qualia? The most respected intellectuals in the field have come up short, as witnessed during the 2004 Tucson Toward a Science of Consciousness, where some resigned the problem as impenetrable (Pinker) and others simply argued it does not exist (Dennett), comparing it to the psychological value of financial stock market shares. 

The latter argument states the obvious: color, taste, love, pleasure, curiosity, motivation, creativity, humor, beauty and other subjective experiences may have physical correlates, but they are not physical per se. Since most consider reality to be limited to what can be repeatedly, objectively measured, they reach the conclusion that everything else is not real. This is an epistemological bias, rather than a scientific conclusion.

For instance, while it is challenging to scientifically demonstrate that consciousness can exist beyond the brain, it is supported by a growing body of evidence (eg. remote viewing, near-death experiences and out-of-body experience research, anomalous physical effects) and a long history of anecdotal evidence from around the world. On the other hand, it may be impossible to demonstrate that thought originates in the brain, for instance. All we can show is that there are neural correlates to mental experience.

Consider, for instance, the nature of color. We can attempt to study color in objective terms such as the frequency of electromagnetic waves in the visible light spectrum. This frequency can be measured in a scientific way, but it is not color itself. Color is subjectively experienced and observed and it is known that two or more people can interpret visible light of the same frequency in different ways for biological and subjective reasons. Color, then, exists only in our minds and could be viewed as an extension of ourselves.

Physics is the study of laws that govern reality, engineering attempts to manipulate those laws to solve challenges though technology, and architecture is the study of the built environment: each approaches color a different way (for instance, as frequency, as a signal, as an aesthetic element). We may judge it in purely objective terms, but our judgment of color, spaces, forms, our experience of the built environment (or of anything in our physical reality for that matter) is something inherently internal. The logical progression is to view everything we consider “solid” or “physical” as an extension of ourselves. More than a poetic statement, we challenge anyone to successfully argue otherwise. 

For instance, when we admire a beautiful sunset, the sense of beauty exists only in our microcosm. However, sight (of the form and color of the sun), though facilitated by physics and physiology, is experienced internally, as is the warmth we feel on our skin. The sun is particularly interesting, as the light that reaches our eyes and skin has had to travel for minutes and then processed for milliseconds before it comes to our visual and tactile awareness. However, if we were concentrated on driving a vehicle, our eyes might receive the same light energy but not be consciously aware of the sunset, let alone awed by its perceived beauty. How do we know the sun exists? We base the conclusion that it exists in some objective way on the consensus that others also perceived it and share similar, though, not identical, experiences of the sun. This means that we base our perception of an objective reality on subjective observation. 

In fact, there is no way to prove that something exists independently of observers, as our judgment of reality relies on some form of observation or measurement, which is itself ultimately internal. This view is supported by quantum physics as argued by some of the greatest minds in history, like physicists Bohr, Schoedinger, Pauli, and Wigner. In a Letter to the Editor of the Journal of Conscientiology and his recent book The Observer Effect, Swiss consciousness scholar and physicist Massimiliano Sassolli de Bianchi stated that particles studied by physicists do not exist. They “appear” into existence when we make a measurement. In other words, they are an interpretation of our interaction with nano-scale reality. There is no evidence that they exist as real corpuscular entities that are independent of the observational process.

Everything we consider physical, including the natural and built environment, and our own bodies is composed of this same energy and is, therefore, intimately tied to our microcosm. External reality makes no sense without internal reality, each one giving meaning to the other, acting as two complementary aspects of one reality. The surround, the theater is inside us, it is us, and we are therefore not limited, localized entities, as is also supported by remote perception research.

When we experience our subtle energy field, we can sense that we can expand our perception and sense of self beyond the limits of our skin. In fact, our bodies sometimes feel “ballooned.” With the out-of-body experience, we realize are not our bodies and can “travel” or manifest far beyond it with senses that dwarf physical capacities. Finally, the mentalsomatic projection or experience of cosmic consciousness temporarily melts down our relative illusions of separation and of space and time altogether, while we sense a powerful connection and identity with everything and everyone and every time.

This brings us to the conclusion that the physical world, including what is human-designed, is an extension of consciousness.  What we design is a reflection of our inner essence. Art, therefore, can play an important role, complementary to science in the understanding of reality.

Consider, for instance, how Art has been used to better convey important ideas such as Liberty, Human Rights, and Ecology. Story-telling through artistic expression such as poetry, drama, song, painting, sculpture, and literature is often more effective for (or an important part of) educating and effecting change, when compared to a scientific paper or a prosaic lecture.

It could be argued that Art, when stemming from a mentalsomatic intention or more purposeful, can be a powerful complement to Science for the promotion of human evolution: songs against the Apartheid, novels that expose the horrors of slavery through story (Uncle Tom’s Cabin); film that increases awareness and concern for the environment (The Lorax); fictional novels and screenplays that suspend prevailing paradigms and immerse people in alternative realities and ideas (Astral City); documentaries that visually express scientific theories (PBS’ Nova); paintings that depict the tragedies of war in a way that statistics cannot (Picasso’s Guarnica); photography that artistically captures natural beauty and motivates us to preserve endangered species (National Geographic Society’s magazine); there is even art in public speaking, even on intellectual matters. In other words, the creative and effective use of techniques, analogy, metaphor, and even data is a craft or art of the clarification task, beyond mere instinctual or emotional catharsis, stimulation or consolation.

Art is increasingly part of our everyday lives, starting with the unique ways we manifest ourselves, like the way we speak, dress, and solve personal or career challenges. We also see that along with an increased level of automation and analysis performed by computers, comes a special relevance and competitive advantage for human intuition, creativity, and – yes – artistic expression, as can be witnessed by the pervasiveness of Design. It is no longer enough to produce a pen, a computer, a vehicle, a house or a chair that works well or a meal that is nutritious. 

We see that as affluence and education reaches more individuals and there is an abundance of choices, those who employ design principles make things and services that not only address an objective problem in Space and Time, but also consider the Subjective world of the individual (for noble or often self-interested reasons). There is increased attention to the internal aspect of humans that responds to comfort, user-friendliness, taste, aesthetics, sense of purpose, belonging, status.

The wealthiest company in the planet at the moment, Apple, owes its popularity in large part to Steve Jobs, who is now considered a genius of historical proportions. Part of his genius may be the realization that people appreciate the “luxuriousness” of design and are highly responsive to beauty.

Certainly, a high standard of quality, excellent customer service and effectiveness of a product are highly relevant, but the consumer’s microcosm also responds to the fact that someone else takes the time and effort to feed his or her senses: wheather it is a beautiful meal, “coffee art,” humor in an otherwise expressionless moment, or the spectacular shell of a public building. He also sought to “invent” the future, rather than survey what people thought they wanted with their current paradigms. In other words, design can be considered a way to honor the fact that we are more than our bodies, for it recognizes our intangible dimensions that separate us from machines and most pre-human animals. In fact, the idea for this essay stemmed from reading an article in American Way magazine about airport art and later enjoying one example of it in the airport rail tunnel at Denver International Airport.

Airport art depicted in an article
in American Way magazine

Nelson Abreu is an IAC instructor and scholar with a background in electrical engineering. In Filters and Reflections: Perspectives on Reality he joins other thinkers in describing how the “external” world we sense may not be as indifferent to our consciousness as we might think. In the related IAC course by the same scholar, Consciousness & Physical Reality, participants often re-evaluate their understanding of what is “solid” or “real” through insights from various fields, with an emphasis on consciousness-related physical or engineering anomalies. His evolutionary duo, architecture scholar, designer Manori Sumanasinghe and fellow IAC volunteer provided invaluable inspiration for this article.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ectoplasm and Materialization Phenomena (Physical Psi Phenomena)

An educational film on history and projectiological theory behind
ectoplasm and its related phenomena (Portuguese, English sub-titles)

Students of IAC's CDP are often fascinated with physical effects like psychokinesis, materializations (apports, apparitions), healing (spontaneous remission, psychic surgery) as they relate to the waking state or even the out-of-body experience.  While such phenomena, which are discussed in class 5 of the CDP, are rare they have been reported by credible individuals, including respected academics from diverse fields and even at least one Nobel Prize laureate. These phenomena are classified as ambivalent phenomena in projectiology.

IAC offers four courses on this subject: Wagner Alegretti's Ectoplasm course is an excellent theoretical treatment of the subject; another IAC scholar's course on the history of psychical phenomena and research has rich historical content on the subject as well. For a practical experience of ectoplasm, IAC students (and instructors) eagerly await the annual CDP Advanced 2: Assistantial Energetic Field courses in North America and Europe led IAC's consciential epicenters: an advanced kind of mediumship. IAC's modern version of the turn-of-the-19th-century séances is the Multidimensional Praxis: Ectoplasm & Clairvoyance, held exclusively at our IAC Campus, an environment specialized for psi phenomena in Portugal. Keep an eye out for these opportunities to learn more, first hand!

Friday, October 25, 2013

1 x 7 Billion = 1 Global "Mind" - Larry Dossey, MD on HuffPost

In a recent article, Dr Larry Dossey discusses evidence that Earth's over seven billion individual humans are intertwined in what some have called the noosphere (de Chardin), the Earth's holothosene (Vieira, MD), the global zeitgeist, the human morphic field (Sheldrake, PhD), global consciousness (Roger Nelson, PhD / Dean Radin, PhD). 

Dr Dossey's article is on Huffington Post:

Those who study bioenergy, like IAC students, or who have had experiences related to it, will find personal examples of sympathetic experiences, distant mental communication, evoking, or influence. OBE's, NDE's, mentalsoma expansions highlight how connect we are as well, leading experiencers to expand their sense of universalism and leas identification with labels. 

All of these experiences show is that thought and intention are actions: personal, interpersonal and global ripples, adding to our personal karmic account balances and the tides and pressures of the invisible yet powerful information fields we are embedded in. Let us add to the positive (cosmoethical, evolutionary) side of that ledger!

IAC California

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Presentation on OBE and Bioenergy research and the Consciential Paradigm by IAC Italy's Alexandre Madurell in Viterbo

IAC Italy's Alexandre Madurell presented some of our research, including Wagner Alegretti and Nanci Trivellato's fMRI research on bioenergy detection and the neuroscience of the vibrational state, in the context of the Consciential Paradigm at the basis of IAC's approach to consciousness and bioenergy science at the Viterbo Conference on "Life Energy, Syntropy and Resonance." A video of the presentation is now available online, along with other talks from the WISE conference.

The International Academy of Consciousness (IAC) is a non-profit research and education organization dedicated to investigating consciousness and helping people develop their human potential. At IAC, great emphasis is placed on the rational study and development of psychic and energetic abilities, especially the out-of-body experience (OBE), as a means of understanding the multi-dimensional fabric of our reality and learning how to live better within it.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Breathing and Bioenergy (Chi)

Breathing has an evident connection to vital energy, for our body is unable to survive without breathing for more than a brief duration of time.  Additionally, it has been known for centuries that breathing in particular patterns can facilitate awareness of subtle energy and the attainment of certain altered states of consciousness, including the out-of-body experience.  However, often times there is a preconception that bioenergy techniques must involve breathing exercises.  In the same fashion that chi can be mobilized without the use of physical movements or visualizations, it can similarly be directed solely through our will, intention, or attention, without altering our normal breathing patterns.

One common condition faced during basic mobilizations of energy is the unintentional synchronization of the direction of bioenergy flow with that of our breath.  For instance, when exteriorizing energy in waves or pulses, as trained in some of IAC's courses, one may have the tendency to time these outward emanations with exhaling or breathing out.  Similarly, there is a natural tendency to time intentional absorptions with breathing in.  This may not be the most effective moments in the breathing cycle to absorb or exteriorize energy. This synchronization also imposes limits on speed (or frequency) and duration (or duty cycle) of these waves or pulses of bioenergy. The breathing sensations and movements may also mask some subtle sensations correlated to the bioenergy flows.

To overcome this tendency, practioners can try to absorb energy from their healthy surroundings through intention alone, as they breathe out, without the use of forced physical movements or visualizations.  Then, they can try a sequence of bioenergy exteriorizations or emissions when they breathe in.  This inversion can help break the strick adherence to the direction of breathing.  Another strategy is to time the pulses of absorption or exteriorization with the peaks and valleys in between exhalation and inhalation.  

Alternatively, one can hold the breath for a brief duration of time and perform a couple of mobilizations of bioenergy during the pause and then as one resumes normal breathing, and when rested again during another pause, and so on.  During discussions in this weekend's CDP Advanced 2 course in Los Angeles (with participants born in 23 countries), IAC's Wagner Alegretti suggested yet another exercise: practicing the basic mobilization of bioenergies underwater.  Exteriorizing, absorbing, or performing the VELO underwater without a breathing apparatus for as long as one can hold his or her breath could provide an interesting variation.

You are invited to learn and pratice basic to increasingly more advanced bioenergy techniques at IAC, starting with the Consciousness Development Program and progressing through courses at our Campus, which aims to promote the condition known as total, permanent intrusionlessness.

January 18 - 16, 2014 at IAC Campus, Portugal

Nelson Abreu
IAC California

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Non-Physical Reality: The Final Frontier. IAC's CDP now online!

You are invited to join the next eCDP session! 

Live online course starting 
October 28, 2013, at 6:30PM (Pacific Standard time)

This course is the live online version of IAC's main OBE-training course, the Consciousness Development Program or CDP. The Online CDP, a 30-hour program, is designed to provide participants with information for learning to leave the body with control, and to be able to take advantage of all the spiritual-development benefits that come with that ability. 

The CDP has received international acclaim and awards as a transformative and beneficial program in the life of the participant. This course has been designed for those individuals who do not live close to an IAC center

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What if you had at most "One Last Year of Life"?

What if your doctor revealed to you that you had approximately one more year left to live?  How would you live those final months? Individuals who have simulated the situation applying the One More Year of Life Technique adopt a posture of having only a single year of physical life remaining, substantially increasing self-awareness, application of effort and re-prioritization of life typical of an individual facing such circumstances in reality.  Have you ever applied this technique? If you haven't, how do you think your life would change if you did? What would you do more of or less of? What reconciliations and other "unfinished business" would you prioritize?

Some cases of real near-death reflections have made a significant impact. Their insights can help us live a better life without necessarily being at the end of this lifetime. Do you know any cases that have inspired you?

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs: "Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life"

Former KPMG CEO Eugene O'Kelly 

Mattie Stepanek, the "boy poet"

Zach Sobiech, teen musician 


Ryan White, boy AIDS awareness campaigner

Having an out-of-body experience, a near-death experience, witnessing an ectoplasmic materialization of an extraphysical consciousness, clairvoyance or other ostensive personal evidence can lead one to lose the fear of death and to live more fully.  The resulting consciousness-centered paradigm helps us to understand and cope with life, death and dying in a healthier way and to understand their role in our spiritual evolution. While appreciating that the consciousness may be forever, we urge you to act on current opportunities for growth and making a difference as these are ephemeral.

Previous IAC blog posts have dealt with aspects of this theme: 

C. G. Jung on Desoma ("Death" or De-Activation of the Soma or Human Body)

OBE and Overcoming of Fear and its Political Influence

Commentary: Why thoughts of death may be good for you

Encounter with persons who have passed away

Infinite Lifespan: From Physical Life Extension to Consciential Immortality

VIDEOS: Luis Minero @ KMVT South Bay Community TV & IANDS - International Association for Near Death Studies

The Scientific Mystery of Transplant Cellular Memory: Projectiological Hypotheses

Extraphysical Assistance

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

Sunday, October 6, 2013

How to distinguish an O.B.E. from an ordinary dream, Coast to Coast interview and more with author Sandie Gustus

For further discussions on how veridical or objective the OBE might be, check out these previous discussions.You may also enjoy a recent piece distinguishing the lucid dream and the lucid OBE.
You can acquire your copy of Sandi Gustus' acclaimed introduction to the science and personal development of out-of-body experiences at IAC educational centers or your favorite book retailer (also available as an e-book). For video and audio previews related to Less Incomplete, enjoy the interviews and lectures below with OBE author, IAC London volunteer Sandie Gustus.