January, 2013 Newsletter
New Visions of the Afterlife
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a number of leading scientists conducted robust research geared toward proving postmortem death. For them, admitting disbelief in an afterlife was tantamount to denial of the very tenets of Christianity, and therefore unthinkable. Predictably, the data collected were read in the light of Christian traditions and Frazerian-style Darwinian theory, which heavily influence afterlife interpretations to this day.
During the atomic age, an overstated materialist explanation of the universe displaced religions and discouraged belief in after-death survival, especially within scientific communities. Scientific inquiry into this all-important question was, and still is, ridiculed and came to a halt. Ironically, the hard sciences of quantum mechanics and astrophysics as well as new technologies, particularly communication technologies, are inadvertently fostering the plausibility of an afterlife.
Science and technology are providing the conceptual vocabulary to articulate afterlife experiences, such as near-death experiences and after-death encounters. And technology is training us to open formerly closed modes of perception that enable afterlife communication. The voices of individual experience are speaking more convincingly than religion or science of this wondrous nonlocal reality. From them we also gain a new understanding of telepathy, time, and consciousness itself.
TIME: Friday, 7:30 p.m., JANUARY 25, 2013
PLACE: Unity Community Church – Y.E.S. Hall, 3391 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto
(Doors open at 7 p.m.)
Julia Assante, PhD, is the author of "The Last Frontier: Exploring the Afterlife and transforming Our Fear of Death (http://www.juliaassante.com/about-the-book-the-last-frontier/). She has been a practicing, clinically-tested intuitive and medium for almost four decades and teaches a variety of workshops on psychic development and conscious death in the US and Europe. Julia is also a scholar of the ancient Near East (PhD Columbia University), with comprehensive knowledge of religious and magical practices beginning with the dawn of writing in Egypt and Mesopotamia. She has taught at Columbia, Bryn Mawr, and the University of Munster, published in many academic journals, and lectured worldwide.
• Meeting Flyer
AN FMBR WORKSHOP
Julia Assante, PhD
Saturday, January 26, 2013
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Los Altos Masonic Lodge, 146 Main St., Los Altos, CA
Communication with the deceased is a remarkably common experience. It is also extremely easy since the tools you need are the tools you were born with. Afterlife communication can change your life. It transforms grief into euphoria. It heals old wounds. Best of all, it puts you in touch with immortality.
In this workshop you first learn how to recognize the many ways the dead try to signal their presence. The signs can be subtle, such as a shift in thought or a familiar smell, and therefore missed or dismissed as imaginary. You learn how to work with these signs to coax them into extended contact. A set of simple exercises prepare you for the second step -- initiating afterlife communication on your own. Specific techniques are designed to bring you into sustained two-way communication with the person you most need to meet.
• Workshop Flyer:
When the Spirit World Speaks
William C. Gough
Part 1 written before the election
As I watch the huge storm Sandy begin to hit the East Coast I began to think of "weather spirits" that shaman interact with and respect. In our Western culture we don't recognize the intelligence of such spirits and their ability to interact with us. I think of the Republican Presidential Convention and how those attending laughed at the possibility of global warming and that human actions could affect the weather. Both presidential candidates have avoided discussing the human impact upon the weather, and one has proposed actions that would significantly accelerate this impact. Now if I held the belief system of a shaman I would be speaking to the weather spirits with respect and not ignoring or insulting them.
How might intelligent weather spirits react to our actions during this presidential campaign? The spirits just might create weather conditions that would shut down the economic heart of our financial system, the NY Stock Exchange; close down the heart of our government in Washington, DC; stop our transportation systems from running; and turn off our electrical power. Such interactions could cause us to stop thinking solely about jobs and instead begin thinking about life on this planet, including our own life. And just for fun the spirits could throw in an October surprise for our whole U.S. electoral process.
Part 2 written after the election
I began to think some more about weather spirits. What about hurricane Isaac, a storm that changed course for reasons that are not understood. It ended up heading towards Tampa, Florida, the site of the Republican Convention. The first day of the convention was canceled and the official schedule seriously disrupted -- the video biography "introducing" Romney to the nation and the GOP star Marco Rubio were both bumped off prime time TV coverage. Then just a little over a week before the election hurricane Sandy struck -- over Halloween. The presidential campaigns went into "freeze" mode while Obama swung into "commander in chief" mode. The positive surge that Romney had been experiencing was suddenly also frozen.
Most would say that the timing of these weather events was accidental. But what if there were weather spirits with intelligent intent that observe us and can work with the weather systems in the physical world?
I looked at Sandy. It did not behave as one would normally expect. There were three weather systems that had to "cooperate" to produce the superstorm. There was a strong ridge of high pressure centered over Greenland that blocked Sandy from going north or east, and there was a cold front on the mainland that was drawing the storm westward. Was this amazing combination of meteorological factors just an accident or could it be three "intelligent beings" working in harmony to produce an effect? Yet, how could an organized weather system consisting of water and air be "alive" -- it's nothing but inorganic material. But then we are up to 60% water, our brain is 70% water and our lungs are nearly 90% water, and we can't live without air. But, don't you need a heart and brain to have "intelligence"? Not necessarily. We will all agree that a jellyfish is alive, yet it has no heart or brain or bones, is 90% water and has been smart enough to survive for more than 650 million years, longer than the dinosaurs.
There was a time when I thought that the spirit world couldn't really affect us. Could we be unknowingly interacting with intelligences that are powerful and could get mad at our stupidity and lack of respect? I've had experiences where the spirit world expressed itself and made me think twice about this possibility (See my introduction to the paper "What Science Can Say and Can't Say About Spirits" (fmbr.org/what-science-can-and-cant-say-about-spirits/) by Gough & Shacklett, 2000/2001.
After Sandy and the election, society again began to seriously talk about global warming. Our 44th president in his inaugural speech now addressed the topic. "We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But American cannot resist this transition. We must lead it." The weather spirits smiled. For a short time the grey skies over Washington, DC changed -- the sun shown though. Maybe we humans are finally beginning to listen to what the shaman and weather spirits are trying to tell us.
William C. Gough, FMBR CoFounder and CEO Emeritus.
Why the Institute for the Advancement of Science and Consciousness?
The Foundation for Mind-Being Research was established in 1980 to assist in the evolution of integrated models that encompass the physical, mental and spiritual. The objective was to bring the then new field of consciousness studies into wider recognition as a bona fide field of science. Mind-Being is defined as the bridge between our mind (and heart) and our (higher) being. The development of the connection to our true being represents our spiritual journey- this is the Mind-Being connection that creates the awareness of one's higher consciousness. Based on the studies and explorations we have participated in during the past 32 years of the organization, it is now clear that we, and all of nature, are deeply interconnected. Because an awareness of mind-being and consciousness is now both accepted and integral to the thinking of more people and organizations in the world, we are aware that much of the Foundation's initial goal has been accomplished.
In response to an evolving feeling of alignment with a broader vision and an awareness that we are living in truly transformative times, FMBR co-founder Bill Gough and long-time Chairperson Emeritus, Edie Fisher, called a meeting of FMBR board members early in 2012 to discuss and plan for the future of the foundation. We are aware that we are part of a rapidly expanding movement of pioneers in service to the evolution of human consciousness for the betterment of the individual, society and the planet. As a result, Bill and the Board felt the need to expand the goals of FMBR to include a broader educational component --to hold and teach the implications of our learning for the good of society and the world. We believe that science can be instrumental in helping to change the current dominant worldview from one of separation, scarcity and competition, to one of connectedness, partnership and synergy. Teaching what we know is one contribution we can make to expanding this worldview, so we are preparing coursework that can be accessed online. Research and the science of consciousness are, of course, integral to our planning. New research studies are being designed and implemented.
As we expand our scope and outreach, we thought it best to form an Institute, but to keep the name and meaning of FMBR with the lecture series and workshops. We all felt, including Bill, that as we go national and international, people might not understand or easily find the word/concept of "mind-being" in their searches on the web. We spent many months thinking about what to name our next step in the evolution of FMBR. We finally agreed upon the Institute for the Advancement of Science and Consciousness (IASC). IASC will encompass and expand the goals and dreams of FMBR. We are now searching for the appropriate logo for the name.
FMBR has focused, and, with IASC, will continue to focus its attention, intention and research upon the leading edge of scientific exploration of the connection process, drawing from pioneering scientific and technological discoveries and from ancient wisdom traditions in order to elucidate a positive way forward for humanity and the Earth.
Jerry Gin, Chairman FMBR
Judy Kitt, President FMBR
FMBR Home Page:
INFORMATION ABOUT THE
FOUNDATION FOR MIND-BEING RESEARCH
The Foundation was established in 1980 to assist in the evolution of consciousness studies and to help bring this new field into wider recognition as a bona fide science. The interdisciplinary nature of the field is reflected in the activities of the organization and in the breadth of interests of its members who currently represent areas of engineering, science, medicine, the humanities, and the arts.
With its major focus on facilitating the development of an integrated model of consciousness, the Foundation provides encouragement and resources to a rather unique group of creative researchers and scientists with the objective of betterment of the individual, the society, and the environment.
Because of the special nature of scientific inquiry in this area, the Foundation is interested in building its regular membership with competent individuals who:
- are open to a multidisciplinary approach to knowledge
- recognize they are an integral part of any experiment in which they choose to participate
- know and are prepared to expand their own level of consciousness
The intention is to develop high standards of credibility in all research activities and publications.
Donations made to the Foundation are tax deductible.
The Foundation is incorporated under the laws of the State of California and operates as a non-profit scientific research organization under IRS code 509 (a)2 with tax exempt status under section 501 (c)3.
Foundation for Mind-Being Research
P.O. Box 449, Los Altos, Ca 94023-0449