Friday, September 30, 2011   4:00 PM

Missed the PA? Come to "Parapsychology and Consciousness" October 14th-16th in Virginia Beach!

I just finished writing a monster blog for the Parapsychology Foundation's website that reviewed the PA Convention that took place this past August in Curitiba, Brazil. My main goal in that blog was to highlight the amazing legacy of the Parapsychology Foundation and its centrality to the field, even now in these tough economic times. In the first part of that blog I focused mainly on which grant recipients and former Perspectives Lecture and International Conference speakers had also contributed to the most recent PA. In the second part of the blog I did the same thing with the amazing group of speakers who will be presenting at Atlantic University's"Parapsychology and Consciousness" conference in a couple of weeks. If you're interested in reading through that blog, go to www.parapsycholgy.org and click on "News" for the Breaking News page, or click the "blog" button at the bottom of the home page. If you're impatient just click this link and you'll wend your way to the blog itself.

Three Good Reasons to Come to Virginia Beach for “Parapsychology and Consciousness” on October 14th ...

Atlantic University is not going to be doing parapsychology conferences every year. Our Annual Conference series which starts with “Parapsychology and Consciousness” is conceived of as a way to feature aspects of our existing program in a unique setting. Our Masters of Arts in Transpersonal Studies has a number of tracks: Consciousness Studies in which parapsychology lives is only one of them. So if you think you can give our conference a miss this year because there will be another one next year, think again. Next year, our conference will focus on Leadership; the next few years after that it will focus on creative writing, dream studies and dream work, and/or transpersonal arts, among other possible topics. We don't anticipate being able to return to scientific parapsychology for many years.

So this is a once in a lifetime event, er .. uh ... well, at least at AU it is a once-in-a-decade kind of opportunity!

Another good reason: because of the economy we have broken out our $395 ($375 for seniors/students) price into day prices and evening prices, so you can choose to attend the evening lectures ($30 each), or just Friday afternoon ($80), or just all Saturday ($160) or all day Sunday ($160) depending on which presentations interest you the most. And because it is off season here in Virginia Beach, rooms in our conference hotels — the Wyndham and the Holiday Inn Express — are less than $100 a night. The Holiday Inn Express also  includes a hot breakfast in the room price in case the Continental breakfast we are serving at the conference is not enough, not to mention an ocean view. Try booking that during the season for less than $200! (Lots of other hotels are arrayed along both sides of Atlantic and Pacific Avenues and some of them are even less expensive this time of year.)

But the best reason to come to Virginia Beach for “Parapsychology and Consciousness” from October 14th through 16th is the line up!

The conference starts Friday, October 14th at noon with a reception and continues through Sunday evening at 6:15pm. Himself, Carlos S. Alvarado (two-time past President of the Parapsychological Association and Scholar in Residence at Atlantic University, and well, my husband ...) organized the speakers. They are: Dean Radin, Roger Nelson, Ed May, Julie Beischel, Jim Carpenter, John Palmer, Loyd Auerbach, Bob Van de Castle, Christine Simmonds-Moore, Doug Richards, Frank Pasciuti, Ginette Nachman, Henry Reed, David McMillin and of course, Carlos and I. We had hoped to include Steve Braude too but he had to cancel.

So the conference kicks off at noon on Friday October 14th with a reception, registration and opportunities for book-signing in the lobby of the Visitor's Center at Edgar Cayce's Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) at 6700 Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Kevin Todeschi, an Atlantic University (AU) graduate, and the CEO of both Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. and AU, will convene the conference proper in the Main Auditorium around 2pm with welcoming remarks, followed by comments from Carlos and I. The first speaker on Friday afternoon is Christine Simmonds-Moore, who in addition to being a faculty member at Atlantic University and a researcher attached to the Rhine Research Center, has recently taken up a tenure-track position in the Department of Psychology at the University of West Georgia. Her presentation “How do Synesthesias relate to Anomalous Experiences” will cover an online survey of synesthesia experiences and a laboratory experiment in which strong synesthetes were compared with matched controls on an ESP task. For abstracts of both this talk and one Christine will give on Saturday click here.

Following the coffee break, Ed May is the next speaker up. He is well-known in our community as a physicist, the founder of Laboratories for Fundamental Research, and for his decades spent managing the Stargate Program. Ed will give an invited address called “Application of Fuzzy Sets to Natural Anomalous Cognition (a.k.a Remote Viewing) Targets.” For abstracts of both this talk and his contribution to a panel discussion later in the program click here.

Conference attendees will break for dinner after Ed’s talk — we have provided a great list of all the terrific restaurants up and down Atlantic Avenue and elsewhere in Virginia Beach and the seafood in this area is truly exceptional!  After dinner we will hold our fourth quarterly Visiting Scholar Lecture, this time presented by invited speaker, Roger Nelson, formerly of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Laboratory and the founder of the Global Consciousness Project. For an abstract of his update on the GCP, click here.

On Saturday morning, October 15th, the second day of the conference will start with an invited address by long-time AU faculty member, Doug Richards. He will review the way in which scientific parapsychology has been intertwined with the history of Atlantic University and the A.R.E. since the rebirth of AU as a graduate school in 1985.  For an abstract of both of his talks click   here.  Following Doug’s presentation, James Van Auken, a faculty member at both Atlantic University and the  Cayce/Reilly School of Massotherapy, will moderate a panel called “What a Masters in Parapsychology Should Look Like.” I will give a talk called “Designing a Curriculum for a Masters in Parapsychology.” Following my presentation, three of our faculty members, Carlos, Doug and Christine will give talks on courses they designed for the existing Masters of Transpersonal Studies degree: “Atlantic University’s Principles of Parapsychology Course” (Doug),“History of Parapsychology” (Carlos) and “Psychology of Psychic Experiences” (Christine). (As you click off to these abstracts you may have to scroll down, if the presentation listed here is not the first presentation the speaker is giving in the conference.) Because of the recent ruling from our accrediting agency (see my previous blog), both of the last two courses mentioned are back on the drawing board as we search for a wider focus on this difficult topic.

On Saturday afternoon in a paper session entitled “Parapsychology and Psychology,” Atlantic University’s own Henry Reed will talk about “Intimacy and ESP.” Henry is well-known in the International Association for the Study of Dreams and has been serving as a faculty member since before the University was reborn as a graduate school in 1985. (If you're interested, you can view a powerpoint on the history of the school I put together in 2010 with the help of CEO Kevin Todeschi, in honor of the 80th anniversary of the founding of the school.) The second speaker in the paper session, John Palmer, is well-known to the PA community having served as both past-President and Board member.  His paper will tackle a persistence problem for scientific parapsychology, the “Source-of-Psi” problem. Jim Carpenter, also well-known to PA will present his“First Sight” theory. The last paper in the session will be given by Frank Pasciuti, a clinical psychologist from Charlottesville, Virginia, who will examine the relationship of his discipline to parapsychology. (For Frank's biography and abstract click  here.)

Saturday evening, Atlantic University will present Dean Radin, the Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and author of The Conscious Universe andEntangled Minds, among other important publications. Dean's lecture is called “Before the Tipping Point: Reconsidering the Nature of Consciousness.” (For the abstract of Dean’s presentation click here.)

Sunday, October 16th is the last day of the conference and will begin with a paper detailing research that I conducted with Carlos and our colleague from the University of Virginia, Natasha Agee. The research, funded by the Bial Foundation in Portugal, looked into the relationship of psychic experiences, the psychology state/trait of absorption and adult memories of childhood imaginary companions. My talk will be followed by a talk by Loyd Auerbach, PA member, well-known field investigator, faculty member at both Atlantic University and John F. Kennedy University, and chocolatier! Loyd’s talk, “The Haunting of USS Hornet,” will provide an update on an on-going investigation. (For an abstract of this and Loyd’s other talk click here.) A panel discussion on the future of the field will follow with presentations by: Bob Van de Castle, like Henry Reed, a decades-long active member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, a decades-long active member of the PA as well, and with appointments both on the faculties of the University of Virginia and here at Atlantic University; Carlos; Ginette Nachman, an MD/Ph.D. who has been on the Board of the RRC; and Ed May. The talks will be: “The Mutlifaceted Nature of Psi Dreams: Some Suggestions for the Future” (Van de Castle), “Researching Out-of-Body Experiences” (Alvarado), “Biomedical Aspects of Psi” (Nachman), and “The Future of Psi Research: A Physics Perspective” (May). (Again you may have to scroll down the linked PDFs if the paper listed here is not the first presentation of the conference for that speaker.)

After lunch on Sunday, the final session of the conference will include two papers and an invited address. In the papers, David McMillin of the Meridian Institute will present a talk called “Edgar Cayce’s Psychic Process.” This will be followed by Loyd Auerbach’s “The Field Investigators’ Best Tech: Psychics and Mediums as Paranormal Sensing ‘Technology’.” Finally, Julie Beischel, one of the founders of The Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential, will present her invited address, “Modern Mediumship Research: Experiments, Experiences, and Explanations.”

The conference registration page contains prices for the entire conference ($395 full price, $375 for students and seniors), and for segments of the conference (Dr. Nelson’s Visiting Scholars Lecture and Dr. Radin’s Saturday evening lecture are $30 each, Friday afternoon attendance is prices at $80, and all day Saturday and all day Sunday at $160 each). The conference information page also has click throughs to the hotels, both of which are in the $80-$95 range in October. More information is available on the Atlantic University website. If you download the Media Press Kit you’ll find not only the conference brochure and schedule but also the abstracts booklet.

Come and join us! It’s going to be a unique and exciting conference in a wonderful venue!
 

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