Scientific Program

Day 1
May 19 2017
Day 2
May 20 2017
Day 3
May 21 2017

Opening Ceremony

Analaura Trivellato

In Search of the Psychosoma

There are two points of view about out-of-body experiences. On the one hand are those who have lived the phenomenon directly and affirm that the consciousness is separated from the physical body, to establish a more subtle body called psychosoma. On the other hand are those who affirm that these experiences are only hallucinations and that the whole experience happens internally. The problem is that there is no irrefutable evidence to confirm or deny the existence of a psychosoma. This research shows the evidence of sensory processing recorded electroencephalographically, which would correspond to the existence of the psychosoma. Carlos Bernal earned a PhD in biomedical sciences, and the title of medical surgeon from the “Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM).  His research specialty is neuroscience, and he has conducted research with epilepsy and Alzheimer’s patients. Currently, he is a full-time researcher at UNAM medical school, and serves as the director of research, methodology, and operations at Neuromarketing S.A.
Carlos Bernal

A Unified Theory of Contact with Non-Human Intelligence

This study, conducted by the Dr. Edgar Mitchell Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters (FREE), represents the first comprehensive multi-language investigation on individuals who have reported to have had unidentified flying object (UFO) related contact experiences with non-human intelligence (NHI). Our research methodology utilized two comprehensive quantitative surveys totaling more than 600 questions administered in 3,057 subjects. This study addressed several topic areas which included a diverse range of physical, psychological, perceptual, and anomalous aspects of claimed contact experiences. The results revealed complex interactions with perceived NHI that involve physical changes, altered states of consciousness and paranormal experiences. What may be the most significant aspect of the results is that over 85% of the study population claimed to have had very similar major positive behavioral transformations as a direct outcome of their UFO related contact experience(s) with NHI. The Quantum Hologram Theory of Consciousness (QHTC), which explains the nature of our reality and non-ordinary states of consciousness, may provide the foundation for understanding the interrelationship between the various “contact modalities” (e.g., UFOs, near-death and out of body experiences, telepathic communication, channeling, remote viewing, orb sightings, etc.) within a multidimensional reality.   Reinerio (Rey) Hernandez is one of the four co-founders of FREE (The Dr. Edgar Mitchell Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters).  The other three co-founders include the late Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Dr. Rudy Schild, an Emeritus Professor of Astrophysics at Harvard University, and Mary Rodwell, a leading Australian UFO and Contact phenomenon researcher Rey and his entire family have experienced conscious physical contact with non-human intelligence in their family home.  All of the family members have also had various contact experiences with large UFOs. In one instance, a football stadium-sized craft only 30 feet from Rey, his daughter, and 3 adult witnesses, hovered over them in silence for more than 45 minutes.  His family has also had numerous paranormal experiences beginning in March of 2012.  Before these experiences Rey was ignorant of UFOs, ET Contact and the paranormal, and identified as an atheist and material rationalist. He is now a deeply spiritual person who has been completely transformed by his experiences. Robert Davis, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized scientist in the field of Neuroscience and served as a professor at the State University of New York for over 30 years.  He graduated with a B.A. and M.A. from the City University of New York and with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from The Ohio State University. Dr. Davis has published over 40 articles in scholarly journals, lectured at national and international conferences, and was awarded several major grants to fund research in the neurosciences. He has also lectured on the concepts of life after death, ufology, consciousness, and quantum physics at national and international conferences. Dr. Davis also serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Research Team of the Dr. Edgar Mitchell Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters (FREE).  FREE was established to provide a scientific exploration of the relationship between advanced physics and the various “modalities of contact” including individuals that have had UFO related contact with nonhuman intelligent beings. Dr. Davis has written two books entitled The UFO Phenomenon: Should I Believe? and Life after Death: An Analysis of the Evidence.
Reinerio (Rey) Hernandez

Mind Body and Quantum Mechanics

This presentation will discuss the following: 1) The causal closure of classical physics implies that consciousness in a classical physics brain can at best be epiphenomenal. 2) Quantum mechanics can break the causal closure of classical physics in two ways: measurement and a newly discovered Poised Realm. 3)  Kauffman suggests a new interpretation of non relativistic quantum mechanics, similar to Heisenberg, based on ontologically real possibles, Res potentia, and ontologically real actuals, Res extensa, linked by measurement. This proposal may account for non-locality. 4) Conscious experience may be associated with quantum measurement. He proposes experiments to test this. 5)  Entanglement may solve the “binding problem”.
Stuart Kauffman
12:20 pm - 2:20 pm


A Study on the Benefits of OBE Development and Practice

What benefits do OBE practioners experience above the general population?Does assistantial/altruistic motivation, general overall health, or deeper understanding of spiritual growth improve with this phenomena, and how much? Do benefits increase as people become long-term practitioners or OBEs vs. short-term practitioners? This presentation seeks to create a bridge between overwhelmingly subjective accounts on out-of-body experiences (OBEs) and more objective and measurable results, in order to better understand the tangible benefits that individuals derive from these experiences. It will present the results of a survey of individuals who either participated in OBE-related courses and/or who have had OBEs. This preliminary survey utilized several standardized psychological tests to measure the alleged benefits of OBEs, such as understanding life purpose, death acceptance, level of spirituality and profundity of the experience and others. The survey was administered to 377 people in 3 languages. Luis Minero currently serves as President of the International Academy of Consciousness (IAC). He is a chemist, and has been an IAC instructor and researcher since 1995. Minero has also served as the global director of IAC’s administration department (2006-2012), and of the education department (2012-2014). He has decades of personal experience with paranormal phenomena, including out-of-body experiences (OBEs). He is the author of the book “Demystifying the Out-of-Body Experience.” His scholarly papers on the study of OBEs and consciousness have been published in the Journal of Consciousness, and he has lectured at major congresses and taught thousands of classes throughout North and South America, Europe, and Australia. Minero’s main areas of research include assistance, intuition, evolutionary intelligence, universalism, acquisition of experience, and nonphysical entities.
Luis Minero

Biophoton Emission from Subjects In Energy Healing and Altered States of Consciousness

The ultraweak light known as “biophotons” emitted from organisms may convey information central to life. To explore this, we designed and built a custom photon counting detector system with a walk-in dark closet that can sit 3 persons comfortably.   This system measures the light emitted from humans and other organisms either alone or during human interaction. Our experiments show that various regions of the human body, including the palm of the hand, forehead, heart, and abdominal regions, emit photons in the visible spectrum at an extremely low rate (less than 100 counts per min), in line with published values. We measured the light emitted from mind-body practitioners of qigong, meditation, yoga, and various types of energy healing, such as Reiki, external qi, VELO and the vibrational state, among other forms. In some cases, these practitioners were able to alter their own energy emission dramatically, for example by “opening” and “closing” the “third eye” region. In another study, we examined 3 patients pre-post energy therapy that was conducted by an energy practitioner outside of the photon counting chamber. We found that the photon count rate from the patients’ forehead, heart, and abdominal regions became more balanced immediately post-therapy. In addition to discussing studies conducted within our biophotonic chamber, we will demonstrate the Bio-Well device, a digital form of high voltage electrophotography from Russia, which measures the induced light emitted from the fingertips and reveals information about health and healing states. Beverly Rubik earned her Ph.D. in biophysics at the University of California at Berkeley. She is internationally renowned for her research at the cutting edge of science and medicine and has received several awards for her research.  Since 1996, she is president/founder of Institute for Frontier Science in Emeryville, a nonprofit laboratory. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine; Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine; and The Journal of Vortex Science and Technology.  She is a professor at Energy Medicine University; adunct professor at California Institute of Integral Studies and Saybrook University; a consultant to industry on maverick wellness products; and a holistic health practitioner advising clients on enhanced self-care. Harry Jabs holds two masters degrees in experimental physics: one from the University of Hamburg, Germany (X-ray and crystallography), and one from Texas A&M University, Texas (nuclear). Currently he works as Senior Scientist/Engineer with Dr. Beverly Rubik of the Institute for Frontier Science, a nonprofit laboratory in Emeryville, California.
Beverly Rubik
Harry Jabs

Poster Presenters

Ashley Melidosian
Nick Kartvelishvili
Nelson Abreu & Joel Tortolero
Nelson Abreu
Hooshmand M. Kalayeh
Archit Goel
Analaura Trivellato
Thomas D. Abraham
Beverly Rubik
Harry Jabs
4:45 pm - 5:35 pm

Coffee Break – Poster Session I

On the Locality of Consciousness

Evidence from numerous “death-related anomalous experiences” (DR-AEs), such as near-death experiences, after-death communications, reincarnation cases and mediumship experiences, strongly suggests that consciousness is fundamentally nonphysical. Based on this evidence, a number of researchers, including cardiologist Pim van Lommel and anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff, hold that consciousness is “nonlocal” in character. In this view, consciousness exists outside the brain and body in a diffuse state beyond space and time. A more extreme view asserts that ancient Hindu teachings still hold true: after many lifetimes, one’s consciousness merges again with the Godhead and ceases to exist as an individual. We argue that the DR-AE evidence actually suggests the opposite: that a person’s consciousness continues to exist as a localized, individuated nonphysical entity. Furthermore, modern esoteric teachings from both the West (Rudolf Steiner) and the East (Sri Aurobindo) hold that direction of world evolution is for human beings to continue to evolve as higher, individuated spiritual beings and ultimately to transform the physical Earth to a transcendent state. Rather than losing individual identity, human beings will evolve to become “like Gods,” dwelling on a spiritualized Earth. Kenneth Arnette is a graduate student at the University of Memphis, Department of Philosophy. He holds previous Ph.D. degrees in physical chemistry and in clinical psychology, and has been working in the field of consciousness and anomalous experiences since 1991. He has published three articles and a book chapter on the relationship between consciousness and the near-death experience, and is currently expanding his research into the areas of philosophy and religious studies. Robert G. Mays, B.Sc., is a retired senior software engineer, and Suzanne B. Mays, A.A., is a Certified Music Practitioner who provides palliative care to hospitalized patients. They have studied near-death phenomena together for more than 35 years. Their research interests include (1) veridical perceptions during NDEs and apparent interactions between the NDE and physical reality; (2) neurological evidence of the nonmaterial mind during ordinary consciousness, especially the neural correlates of the mind’s activity in the brain; and (3) experiments demonstrating interactions of the human bioenergy field with physical processes such as photographic film and paper.
Kenny Arnette, Robert Mays, Suzanne Mays

Emotional Sentience & the Nature of Consciousness

When examining phenomenal experience through the lens of physics, several conundrums emerge: Specificity of mind-body interactions, feelings of free will in a deterministic universe, and the relativity of subjective perception. The new biology of “emotion” can shed direct light upon these issues. It suggests that all organisms are endowed with an ancient “emotional sentience”, informative feelings that serve the crucial function of sensory-motor self-regulation – a profoundly misunderstood evaluative guidance system, one that offers an active role in evolution and still undergirds all human values. Careful examination of the biophysics involved, however, requires further investigation into the fundamental nature of “the self” (as the subjective observer in quantum mechanics), perhaps one with an ultimately creative “self-actualizing” role in a participatory universe. Profound implications flow from this new view, into nearly every social science, into public health and criminal justice – with promising portent for vibrant physical, mental, social and spiritual human flourishing. New science will be presented that introduces human emotion as an ancient sensory system – one that both moves the body and guides the mind, processes that the vitalists once attributed to spirit or soul. While this new “emotional vitalism” is undergirded by hard science facts and dovetails with evolutionary theory, it also suggests deeper, more complex dimensions of human “self” identity. Implications for human values, spiritual experience, and consciousness will be discussed. Katherine T. Peil is the founding Director of non-profit EFS International, whose mission is fostering global emotional wisdom. From a background in Pantheistic spirituality and clinical and social psychology, her lengthy interdisciplinary inquiry into the biophysical substrates of emotion led to the identification of its previously mysterious biological function: as an ancient “self-regulatory sense” – an evaluative perceptual mechanism through which living systems directly participate in self-organizing and evolutionary processes, and one that invites deeper inquiries into the physics of consciousness. This new science also casts light upon innate “biovalues, which scientific methodology has long avoided, as well as vital processes that in-form common spiritual experiences, and the healthy development of empathic moral conscience. It provides a biophysically informed vision of “naturalistic spiritualty”, one that echoes the common wisdom across the great religious traditions, while challenging such time honored assumptions as “sin” and the “good and evil” dichotomy. A former affiliate of Northeastern University and the Harvard Divinity School, Ms. Peil has spoken internationally on the function, evolution, physio-chemical, and informational nature of emotion, as well as its central role in optimal health, human development, moral reasoning, universal spiritual experiences, and its informative value toward creating nonviolence in a global village.
Katherine Peil
8:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Congress Dinner Party

Therapeutic and Evolutionary Implications of Retrocognitions

DAY 2 Saturday May 20th 9:00am – 9:35am Therapeutic and Evolutionary Implications of Retrocognitions The emergence of a new, consciousness-based paradigm allows for the academic study of past life phenomena. However, when is an exploration into personal past lives therapeutically indicated? If it is, what benefits can be expected in terms of healing and personal growth? The qualitative analysis of cases from the author’s own practice show that changes unfold on three distinct levels: cause and effect (simple causality), synchronicity (acausality) and syntropy (retrocausality). Viktória G. Duda, Ph.D. with an academic background in law, anthropology and clinical hypnosis, is a practicing hypnotherapist and writer. Her main area of interest is applied practical hypnotherapy (for sports, language acquisition, personal empowerment and conscious evolution). In her approach, hypnosis itself is largely removed, and only techniques of relaxation and visualization are retained. Viktória is the author of several books, as well as the personal development course Metanoia, which includes multidimensional aspects of evolution. She is member of the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis.    
Viktória G. Duda

How to Talk About Subjectivity

Our discussions about subjectivity are ambiguous, because we use nouns to refer to what is essentially activity or process and we try to use public language to talk about what is essentially private. This talk will propose a better terminology. It will give an operational definition of the term “subjectivity,” and then recommend usages of the terms “experience,” “conscious” and “aware”. The approach will be both from a first-person point of view, as that is the essence of subjectivity, and from a third person point of view, as the use of language is inherently public, involving both speakers and hearers. After proposing definitions of salient terms, the talk will give suggestions for reframing confusing language, chief of which is to avoid the term “consciousness” altogether in favor of the phrase “being conscious.”   Bill Meacham, Ph.D., is an independent scholar in philosophy and the author of the books How To Be An Excellent Human and How to Exert Free Will, both available on his website, After earning a Ph.D. in Philosophy he spent many years in computers and data processing. He brings the precision required for good software development to the analysis of philosophical concepts and to the deep questions posed by philosophy: What’s real? How do we know what’s real? And what shall we do about what’s real?
Bill Meacham

Implications of Many Worlds Theory for our idea of human personality structure and disorders

Multiverse theories have many implications for our ideas about consciousness, the paranormal, and psychological disorders. Resent multiverse theories suggest that there are weak interactions between parallel realities and that “bleed through” may occur between them. This might explain various phenomena that heretofore have resisted an explanation such as Multiple Personality Disorder. This talk specifically looks at multiple personalities and similar phenomena such as channeling as a manifestation of the multiverse.
Simeon Hein

Multiplex Realism

When studying the strange behavior of quantum and relativistic entities, we must surrender to the evidence that our three-dimensional Euclidean space, or four-dimensional pseudo-Euclidean spacetime, are just temporary crystallizations of theaters for reality, where the macroscopic material and energetic entities can take ‘a place’ and meet with each other. According to the view of multiplex realism, different theaters can be conceived and constructed, to stage the whole of our reality. This has consequences not only for our understanding of the nature of the physical world, but also for our understanding of the phenomena underlying the manifestation of the consciousness, such as that of precognition, which would simply originate from the possibility of accessing a more abstract web of connections, beyond those that are describable in spatiotemporal terms. Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi, PhD. graduated in physics from the University of Lausanne (UNIL), Switzerland, in 1989. From 1990 to 1991, he was an Assistant in the Department of Theoretical Physics (DPT) of the University of Geneva (UNIGE). In 1992, he joined the Institute of Theoretical Physics (IPT) at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), as a Ph.D. candidate. He received the PhD. degree in physics from EPFL in 1995. Since 1996, he has been working in the private sector and as an independent researcher. His research activities are focused on the foundations of physics, quantum theory, and consciousness. He has written essays, popular science books, children’s stories, and has published numerous research articles in international journals, both in physics and the study of consciousness. He is a life member of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers, as well as a full member of the Society for Scientific Exploration and the International Academy of Consciousness. He is currently the director of the LAB – Laboratory of Basic Self-research, and the editor of the Italian journal AutoRicerca. Diederik Aerts received his MSc in Mathematical Physics in 1975, from Brussels Free University (Vrije Universiteit Brussel – VUB). For his doctorate he worked at the University of Geneva with Constantin Piron on the Foundations of Quantum Theory, obtaining his PhD in Theoretical Physics in 1981 from VUB with Jean Reignier. In 1976 he started working as a researcher for the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (NFWO), where in 1985 he became a tenured researcher. Since 1995, he has been director of the VUB’s Center Leo Apostel  for Interdisciplinary Studies (CLEA) and in 2000 he was appointed professor at the VUB. From 1990, he has been a board member of the ‘Worldviews group’, founded by the late philosopher Leo Apostel. In 1997 he became Editor-in-Chief of the international ISI and Springer journal ‘Foundations of Science (FOS)’. He was the scientific and artistic coordinator of the ‘Einstein meets Magritte’ conference, where some of the world’s leading scientists and artists gathered to reflect about science, nature, human action and society.  
Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi
11:45 am - 1:50 pm


Whose Truth Is It Anyway? Social and Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Disagreement

As an enterprise based in reason and objectivity, scientific inquiry should be humanity’s greatest engine of consensus. And while science has yielded insights which are now common to much of humanity, disagreement still frequently occurs between scientists and scientific groups. This presentation will discuss why these disagreements arise, considering factors from both philosophy of science and sociology. This topic will then be examined through the lens of conflict resolution, in order to better understand how agreement may be catalysed in the future.
David Collura

The Fundamental Nature of Reality

This presentation will describe the CIP Framework, a new conceptual model about the nature of reality with surprising explanatory power. In this framework, ontology belongs to Energy, the self-aware “substance” out of which everything that exists is made. Energy has two irreducible aspects: a symbolic and a semantic aspect. Extra-physical and physical universes emerge from the interplay of these two aspects. The ultimate purpose is for Energy to know and fulfill itself and this urge drives all evolution.
Federico Faggin

Quantum Mechanics, Wholism, and Psi

We might make progress toward solving the measurement problem within quantum mechanics through inspection of metaphysical or underlying assumptions.  Bohm’s implicate order merits consideration for understanding the paradoxes of quantum mechanics.  However most physicists resist this because of several unpalatable features it possesses. Chiefly among these are the the way it treats consciousness as fundamental and its lack of mathematical structure.  However the metaphysical assumptions that appear to conflict with such “unpalatable” features should be questioned, especially given the radical nature of several alternative explanations.  Further, Bohm’s implicate order appears to fit very well the growing evidence of consciousness anomalies (psi).
George Williams
4:00 pm - 4:40 pm

Coffee Break – Poster Session II

Bioenergy detection via proton spectroscopy NMR

Alegretti shares new findings and results of his ongoing research pursuing means to detect and measure bioenergy (biofield, subtle energy, prana, chi, life force) via nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). New series of experiments have been conducted with eggs and samples of collagen, this time using one of the NMR variants — proton spectroscopy. The encouraging results are relevant and support previous findings, since this technique is not subject to the statistical complexities and common problems normally encountered in the fMRI, more specifically with the BOLD technique, which was used in his previous experiments. Said results suggest that a willful transmission of energy, similar to a “healing” session, at least in some circumstances, can change some properties of matter. Progress in this line of research have the potential to, in the future, help to understand if/how consciousness can act over the physical brain and body, and develop a theoretical framework for understanding such bioenergy and its effects. Wagner Alegretti is an electronic engineer and worked with electricity generation, medical equipment and software development prior to dedicating to teaching and researching into consciousness and its phenomena. He has been instrumental in furthering consciousness science into the international arena, since he left Brazil and moved to the USA in 1994, and also in the establishment of the International Academy of Consciousness and its research campus, organization of which he was president from 2001 to 2014. He presented at many international congresses, courses and events, including TEDx and The Science of Consciousness conference (Tucson, Arizona, USA). In 1984 Alegretti started working on the development of bioenergy transducers and continues in his pursuit of finding means for its detection and understanding, including recent experiments done with fMRI and other forms of NMR. Alegretti authored the book “Retrocognitions”, published in English, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.
Wagner Alegretti
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Self-Expansiveness for Exploring the Outer Boundaries of Consciousness:

Self-expansiveness is a construct referring to how a person can identify with aspects of the world not usually seen in the West as part of the ordinary self, and this construct is accompanied by a scientifically well-validated measure, the Self-Expansiveness Level Form (SELF), which has been used in considerable empirical research. In particular, the SELF’s Transpersonal Scale, which focuses on extreme levels of self-expansiveness — such as identifying with all of humanity or even all that exists, provides a model for understanding a number of phenomena related to the outer boundaries of human consciousness. This presentation will explore the construct of self-expansiveness and its accompanying measure, as well as summarize the empirical research supporting it and its many implications in terms of both further research and applications.
Harris Friedman

A Mind-Object Identity Theory

So far, mind-body identity theories and neurosciences have failed empirically. To the best of our understanding, neural activity and consciousness does not match. Is there any alternative physical entity? I suggest there is, only it is not one’s body or any property of it – it is the external object. The proposal is straightforward – one’s conscious experience of an object is the object one is conscious of. I will address classical cases and objections – e.g., perceptual error, hallucinations, illusions, phosphenes, mental imagery, direct brain stimulation, afterimages, and dreams. I will show that such cases can be explained in terms of identity with actual external objects.
Riccardo Manzotti

Persistent Non-Symbolic Experience

Non-symbolic experiences have been reported for millennia and are generally attributed to spiritual and religious contexts, although atheists and agnostics also report them. Popular terms for them include: nondual awareness, enlightenment, mystical experiences, peak experiences, transcendental experience, the peace that passeth understanding, unity consciousness, union with God, and so forth. This presentation will provide an overview of the results from a decade-long, global psychology research project into persistent forms of this experience.   Jeffery A. Martin is the founder of the Transformative Technology space, and a social scientist who researches personal transformation and the states of greatest human well-being. He’s spent the last decade conducting the largest international study on persistent non-symbolic experience (PNSE), which includes the types of consciousness commonly known as: enlightenment, nonduality, the peace the passeth understanding, transcendental consciousness, unitive experience, and hundreds of others. More recently, he has used this research to make systems available to help people obtain profound psychological benefits in  a rapid, secular, reliable, and safe way.   A bestselling author and award-winning educator, Jeffery has authored, co-authored, or co-edited over 20 books and numerous other publications. His work has regularly been featured at leading academic conferences worldwide, as well as major public forums such as Deepak Chopra’s Sages and Scientists Symposiums, Wisdom 2.0, the Science and Nonduality Conference, World Happiness Summit, the Asia Consciousness Festival, and TEDx. He has been covered in media as diverse as Fast Company, the South China Morning Post, and PBS’s Closer to Truth, and been an invited speaker at many leading universities including: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, University of California, University of London, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the National University of Singapore.    
Jeffery A. Martin

Children’s Psi Experiences: an analysis of parapsychic phenomena experienced by children and how they are affected

Cases of children describing events they could not know or behaving as if they were perceiving a reality subtler than our ordinary material world often puzzle parents. In some instances, such experiences take a toll on the child who feels fear and/or insecurity. The in-depth interviewing that has been carried out to investigate these cases focuses on the traits that distinguish those children, the type of phenomena that are more often reported, the common elements in these experiences, and the consequences they may produce during childhood and later, in adult life. Subjects examined include children just over 2 years old, to adults who remember these experiences as a child.
Nanci Trivellato
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Near-death Experience and Non-local Consciousness

According to our current medical concepts, it is not possible to experience consciousness during a cardiac arrest, when circulation and breathing have ceased. But during the period of unconsciousness due to a life-threatening crisis like cardiac arrest patients may report the paradoxical occurrence of enhanced consciousness experienced in a dimension without our conventional concept of time and space, with cognitive functions, with emotions, with self-identity, with memories from early childhood and sometimes with perception out and above their lifeless body. In four prospective studies with a total of 562 survivors of cardiac arrest between 11% and 18% of the patients reported a near-death experience (NDE), and in these studies it could not be shown that physiological, psychological, pharmacological or demographic factors could explain the cause and content of these experiences. How could a clear consciousness outside one’s body be experienced at the moment that the brain no longer functions during a period of clinical death, with a flat-line EEG?  There are now good reasons to assume that our consciousness does not always coincide with the functioning of our brain: enhanced consciousness can sometimes be experienced separately from the body. I have come to the inevitable conclusion that most likely the brain must have a facilitating and not a producing function to experience consciousness. By making a scientific case for consciousness as a nonlocal and thus ubiquitous phenomenon we must question a purely materialist paradigm in science.  Moreover, recent research on NDE seems to be a source of new insights into the possibility of a continuity of our consciousness after physical death.
Pim van Lommel

Children’s Reports of Past-Life Memories

Researchers at the University of Virginia, beginning with Ian Stevenson, have investigated children’s reports of memories of previous lives for the past fifty years, studying more than 2,500 cases from around the world. Common features in the cases include a child talking about a past life at a very early age, behaviors that appear connected to that life such as phobias related to the mode of death, and sometimes birthmarks or birth defects that correspond to wounds the previous person suffered. The presentation will include a review of the research and the details of two recent American cases.
Jim Tucker

Closing Ceremony

Analaura Trivellato