The Consciential Paradigm
Consciousness research attains great interest
The problem of studying consciousness
For over three hundred years, science has largely limited itself to physical objects that can be observed by multiple investigators with their physical senses and their technological extensions. This positivist or scientistic ideology led psychology away from the introspective work of William James to behaviorism which viewed humans as biological machines that respond to the environmental stimuli. Few researchers earned respect by researching the microverse, the internal actions of the mind, the feeling of what it is like to be someone, to have a thought, emotion, or experience – or what philosophers call qualia. There is still heavy censorship, self-censorship, and lack of funding for experiences that continue to challenge the materialistic worldview, such as near-death experiences.
Today, consciousness research has attained greater interest, but the majority of investigators still contend that self-awareness arose from biology through the random process of gene mutation and natural selection. Ironically, even parapsychology tends to limit itself to physical instrumentation and theories (such as quantum entanglement) because the researchers are not trained to have their multiple psychical experiences that can open them up to multidimensional reality. The problem is that mainstream science is as far as ever from an answer and prominent researchers like Steven Pinker concede that there seems to be no adequate explanation for why qualia should exist from an evolutionary biology view or how it arose. Despite receiving about one month’s worth of research funding in the past century, when compared to psychology, parapsychology has produced intriguing results, the search for “indisputable” evidence continues. Convincing scientists who have their mind made up to the point of a fixed belief has historically proved futile. Are we trying to fit an elephant into a match box by demanding physical, replicable evidence of non-physical events that are highly complex and not strictly replicable?
Can we scientifically evaluate whether the out-of-body experience is the result of neurological activity or if it reveals dimensions beyond the physical reality: a new frontier for science and human development? In short, can the OBE falsify the materialistic or physicalist paradigm, including a brain-based account of who and what we are? The OBE could allow us to study psychical processes from a multidimensional perspective that might reveal processes hidden from our usual awareness. The catch is that the scientist cannot be just an observer: investigators need to undertake hundreds of expeditions each to begin to understand the OBE and what it reveals about so-called anomalies and even about often-overlooked instances of our daily life. Clearly, a new science, a new paradigm, distinct expectations and rules must apply to phenomena that go beyond physical reality.
Projectiology treats psi phenomena in a holistic model by recognizing that they are all linked to the OBE and subtle energy, which cannot be experienced, investigated, and understood with physical senses and technology. The IAC’s research and training is based on an alternative framework – the consciential paradigm – which suggests that most scientists are having such a hard time because they are asking the wrong question, based on an inadequate perspective. Experiences like clairvoyance and the out-of-body experience can reveal to the researcher-observer that he or she (the object of the observation) is not limited to the physical body or dimension, can survive biological death, and hence is not of physical origin. Corroboration with the experience of other researchers and shared or joint experiences allow scientists to reach more objective, scientific conclusions akin to the multiple, subjective observations and analyses of conventional science. The consciential paradigm could be seen as a multidimensional logical positivism, because it is still based on the use of logical tautologies and first-person observations from experience, but without restricting the kind of experience to the physical perception.