April 15, 2014
Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
From The Huffington Post. By Dr Michelle K. Nielsen
We've all heard of the placebo affect, but what exactly is it and why does it work?
Can our beliefs really change our health, our brain or perhaps our whole reality?
These are certainly interesting questions to ponder.
So what exactly is the "placebo effect"?
Put simply, it is when you are literally tricked into healing yourself. In the gold standard of scientific testing (the double blind randomized control study) patients are divided into 2 groups. One group takes the "real medicine" and the other group (known as the placebo or control group) takes a "sugar pill" which does not contain any pharmacological or chemical agents.
In many cases, people in the control group (who are convinced that they are taking the real pill) get better. In fact, across the board, the placebo has an overall 15% success rate! That's pretty impressive, considering that a 2007 article in the British Medical Journal's "Clinical Evidence" found that after reviewing over 2,500 medical treatments, many reported a mere 13 % success rate. (BMJ, 2007).
The placebo effect is no small or insignificant statistical aberration. In fact, it has been estimated that the placebo cure rate ranges from a low of 15 percent to a high of 72 percent. Additionally, the longer the period of treatment and the more visits to the physician, the greater the placebo effect. In other words, as the patient's belief of the treatment grows, the effectiveness of the "fake treatment" increases as well.
Finally, the placebo effect is not restricted to subjective self-reports of pain, mood, or attitude. Physical changes are real and can be documented. For example, there's a striking new study that's a real game changer. It shows that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients were able to dramatically improve their symptoms by taking placebos-- even though they knew full well that the medication they were given was a placebo, not an active drug. Our brains and bodies are our own biological pharmacy that can mimic the drugs we take on a daily basis. There's evidence to prove it.
Belief can be so strong that pharmaceutical companies not only use double- blind, but also sometimes triple-blind randomized studies to try to exclude the power of the mind over the body when evaluating new drugs.
The nice thing about the placebo is that it doesn't cost anything and doesn't come with any harmful side effect....Perhaps our thoughts are more powerful that we realize.
Your brain is an amazing processing unit, controlling and co-ordinating the 7 trillion cells in your body into a symphony of well-coordinated activity. When your body is balanced and in equilibrium, it is a self-regulating and self-healing mechanism. The placebo effect shows us that a strong belief or faith can initiate this natural healing response, known as the innate intelligence of your body.
In his book, You are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter, Dr. Joe Dispenza explores the history and the physiology of the placebo effect as he asks the question:
Is it possible to teach the principles of the placebo, and without relying on any external substance, produce the same internal changes in a person's health and ultimately in his or her life?- Dr. Joe Dispenza
He answers this question with the techniques layed out in his book, and then he shares scientific evidence (including color brain scans) of amazing healings from people who made a concerted effort to change their beliefs and successfully "thought themselves back to health."
Many techniques are discussed, including meditation. Like hypnosis, meditation is a way to bypass the critical mind and move into the subconscious. The whole purpose of meditation is to take your attention off your outer world, your body, and time--and to pay attention to your inner world of thoughts and feelings. In terms of the placebo effect, it takes a similar high degree of suggestibility to be greater than the body and greater than the environment for an extended period of time--that is, to accept, believe, and surrender to the idea of your inner world being more real than your outer world.
Truly intriguing stuff!
The placebo effect will continue to fascinate scientists and patients for years to come and makes for an interesting area of study. The nice thing about the placebo is that it doesn't cost anything and doesn't come with any harmful side effect.
Perhaps our thoughts are more powerful that we realize.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi:
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.
April 07, 2014
Brain regions activated by the out-of-body experience include the supplementary motor area, the cerebellum, the supramarginal gyrus, the inferior temporal gyrus, the middle and superior orbitofrontal gyri.
It may sound like the plot of the Twilight Zone, but a psychology graduate student at the University of Ottawa says she can voluntarily enter an out-of-body experience. This was a lucky break for scientists, who were able to scan her brain during the episode.
A unique experience
The study — which only involved this one person — was published Feb. 10 in the journal Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, a peer-reviewed open access publication. The researchers are members of the School Of Psychology at the University of Ottawa.
According to the paper, this woman enters her out-of-body state right before sleeping, visualizing herself from above. She started doing so during naptime in preschool, they write. She currently only does it sometimes.
The researchers wrote in the paper:
She was able to see herself rotating in the air above her body, lying flat, and rolling along with the horizontal plane. She reported sometimes watching herself move from above but remained aware of her unmoving "real" body...
She told the researchers:
I feel myself moving, or, more accurately, can make myself feel as if I am moving. I know perfectly well that I am not actually moving. There is no duality of body and mind when this happens, not really. In fact, I am hyper-sensitive to my body at that point, because I am concentrating so hard on the sensation of moving. I am the one moving – me – my body. For example, if I ‘spin’ for long enough, I get dizzy. I do not see myself above my body. Rather, my whole body has moved up. I feel it as being above where I know it actually is. I usually also picture myself as moving up in my mind’s eye, but the mind is not substantive. It does not move unless the body does.
The brain out of the body
The researchers did a fMRI before and after asking her to enter her out-of-body state to find out what that looked like in the brain. They compared these to when she was imagining, but not actually entering, the state.
Interestingly, the pathway that seemed to be activated during her out-of-body experience is also involved in the mental representation of movements.
She didn't have any specific emotions surrounding this experience, and it seems to be a kind of hallucination she can turn on at will.
Even if there is no soul stuck in our bodies, this woman isn't making this up. There's obviously something happening in her brain that is making her experience the world in a different way — but researchers can't yet say exactly what it is. Plus, this study was about one woman's out-of-body experience, not all out-of-body experiences.
Still, the changes they observed could be similar to how the brain can be trained using meditation. The researchers even suggested that this could be something many kids can do, but that with practice could be carried into adulthood.
Interestingly, the researchers suggested that this kind of experience may be much more common than we thought. The woman in question actually "appeared surprised that not everyone could experience this," the researchers wrote....
March 26, 2014
Gravitational waves detected in the aftermath of the Big Bang suggest one universe just might not be enough.
This illustration depicts a main membrane out of which individual universes arise; they then expand in size through time. Image credit: Moonrunner Design.
From National Geographic Daily News
By Dan Vergano
Bored with your old dimensions—up and down, right and left, and back and forth? So tiresome. Take heart, folks. The latest news from Big Bang cosmologists offers us some relief from our humdrum four-dimensional universe.
Gravitational waves rippling through the aftermath of the cosmic fireball, physicists suggest, point to us inhabiting a multiverse, a universe filled with many universes. (See: "Big Bang's 'Smoking Gun' Confirms Early Universe's Exponential Growth.")
That's because those gravitational wave results point to a particularly prolific and potent kind of "inflation" of the early universe, an exponential expansion of the dimensions of space to many times the size of our own cosmos in the first fraction of a second of the Big Bang, some 13.82 billion years ago.
"In most models, if you have inflation, then you have a multiverse," said Stanford physicist Andrei Linde. Linde, one of cosmological inflation's inventors, spoke on Monday at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics event where the BICEP2 astrophysics team unveiled the gravitational wave results.
Essentially, in the models favored by the BICEP2 team's observations, the process that inflates a universe looks just too potent to happen only once; rather, once a Big Bang starts, the process would happen repeatedly and in multiple ways. (Learn more about how universes form in "Cosmic Dawn" on the National Geographic website.)
"A multiverse offers one good possible explanation for a lot of the unique observations we have made about our universe," says MIT physicist Alan Guth, who first wrote about inflation theory in 1980. "Life being here, for example."
The Big Bang and inflation make the universe look like the ultimate free lunch, Guth has suggested, where we have received something for nothing.
But Linde takes this even further, suggesting the universe is a smorgasbord stuffed with every possible free lunch imaginable.
That means every kind of cosmos is out there in the aftermath of the Big Bang, from our familiar universe chock full of stars and planets to extravaganzas that encompass many more dimensions, but are devoid of such mundane things as atoms or photons of light.
In this multiverse spawned by "chaotic" inflation, the Big Bang is just a starting point, giving rise to multiple universes (including ours) separated by unimaginable gulfs of distance. How far does the multiverse stretch? Perhaps to infinity, suggests MIT physicist Max Tegmark, writing for Scientific American.
That means that spread across space at distances far larger than the roughly 92 billion light-year width of the universe that we can observe, other universes reside, some with many more dimensions and different physical properties and trajectories. (While the light from the most distant stuff we can see started out around 14 billion light-years away, the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, stretching the boundaries of the observable universe since then.)
"I'm a fan of the multiverse, but I wouldn't claim it is true," says Guth. Nevertheless, he adds, a multiverse explains a lot of things that now confuse cosmologists about our universe.
For example, there is the 1998 discovery that galaxies in our universe seem to be spreading apart at an accelerating rate, when their mutual gravitational attraction should be slowing them down. This discovery, which garnered the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics, is generally thought to imply the existence of a "dark energy" that counteracts gravity on cosmic scales. Its nature is a profound mystery. About the only thing we understand about dark energy, physicists such as Michael Turner of the University of Chicago have long said, is its name.
"There is a tremendous mismatch between what we calculate [dark energy] ought to be and what we observe," Guth says. According to quantum theory, subatomic particles are constantly popping into existence and vanishing again in the vacuum of space, which should endow it with energy—but that vacuum energy, according to theoretical calculations, would be 120 orders of magnitude (a 1 followed by 120 zeroes) too large to explain the galaxy observations. The discrepancy has been a great source of embarrassment to physicists.
A multiverse could wipe the cosmic egg off their faces. On the bell curve of all possible universes spawned by inflation, our universe might just happen to be one of the few universes in which the dark energy is relatively lame. In others, the antigravity force might conform to physicists' expectations and be strong enough to rip all matter apart.
A multiverse might also explain away another embarrassment: the number of dimensions predicted by modern "superstring" theory. String theory describes subatomic particles as being composed of tiny strings of energy, but it requires there to be 11 dimensions instead of the four we actually observe. Maybe it's just describing all possible universes instead of our own. (It suggests there could be a staggeringly large number of possibilities—a 1 with 500 zeroes after it.)
Join the "multiverse club," Linde wrote in a March 9 review of inflationary cosmology, and what looks like a series of mathematical embarrassments disappears in a cloud of explanation. In a multiverse, there can be more things dreamt of in physicists' philosophy than happen to be found in our sad little heaven and earth.
Life, the Universe, and Everything
The multiverse may even help explain one of the more vexing paradoxes about our world, sometimes called the "anthropic" principle: the fact that we are here to observe it.
To cosmologists, our universe looks disturbingly fine-tuned for life. Without its Goldilocks-perfect alignment of the physical constants—everything from the strength of the force attaching electrons to atoms to the relative weakness of gravity—planets and suns, biochemistry, and life itself would be impossible. Atoms wouldn't stick together in a universe with more than four dimensions, Guth notes.
If ours was the only cosmos spawned by a Big Bang, these life-friendly properties would seem impossibly unlikely. But in a multiverse containing zillions of universes, a small number of life-friendly ones would arise by chance—and we could just happen to reside in one of them.
"Life may have formed in the small number of vacua where it was possible, in a multiverse," says Guth. "That's why we are seeing what we are seeing. Not because we are special, but because we can."
March 18, 2014
“Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real”
– Niels Bohr
From Collective Evolution.
Nikola Tesla said it best, “the day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. To understand the true nature of the universe, one must think it terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” Swami Vivekananda was Tesla’s mentor, an Indian Hindu monk and chief disciple of the 19th century saint Ramakrishna.
...I want to make it clear that my intention of presenting this information is to demonstrate that thoughts, intentions, prayer and other units of consciousness can directly influence our physical material world. Consciousness can be a big factor in creating change on the planet....
“Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real” – Niels Bohr
“The hypothesis of modern science starts from matter as the basic reality, considering space to be an extension of the void. The phenomenon of creation of stable cosmic matter, therefore, goes beyond the scope of present science. The theory also neither pinpoints the source of cosmic energy that resides in the structure of matter, nor can it explain the cause of material properties that are experienced with the behavior of matter. These are, in brief, the limitations of modern scientific theories at the most basic level of the physical phenomena of nature. When a scientific theory cannot cope with the question of the very origin of the universal matter and energy, how could it ever grasp and explain the phenomenon of consciousness which is evident in living beings?” – Paramahamsa Tewari (0)...
1. The Quantum Double Slit Experiment
The quantum double slit experiment is a great example of how consciousness and our physical material world are intertwined. One potential revelation of this experience is that “the observer creates the reality.” A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Essays explains how this experiment has been used multiple times to explore the role of consciousness in shaping the nature of physical reality. (2)
In this experiment, a double-slit optical system was used to test the possible role of consciousness in the collapse of the quantum wave-function. The ratio of the interference pattern’s double slit spectral power to its single slit spectral power was predicted to decrease when attention was focused toward the double slit as compared to away from it. The study found that factors associated with consciousness significantly correlated in predicted ways with perturbations in the double slit interference pattern.(2) For visual demonstration of this experiment, click here.
“Observation not only disturbs what has to be measured, they produce it. We compel the electron to assume a definite position. We ourselves produce the results of the measurement.” (2)
“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” (R.C. Henry, “The Mental Universe” ; Nature 436:29,2005) (1)
2. Government Sponsored Psychokinesis Experiments
Psychokinesis, also known as PK, encompasses the possible influence of human consciousness on the behavior of physical or biological systems or processes, and comprises several loosely related classes of effect characterized by different scales of energy, forms of manifestation, replicability and statistical behavior. (3)
In 2004, a United States Air Force research project declassified a paper titled Teleportation Physics Study, authored by Eric Davis, Ph. D., showing that psychokinesis and other parapsychological phenomenon have been subject to rigorous research and documentation by several researchers and institutions. (4)
One particular example was the work of professional aerospace engineer Jack Houck, along with Army Colonel J.B. Alexander. They were responsible for holding a number of PK sessions, where attendees were taught the PK induction process and how to initiate their own PK events using various metal specimens like forks and spoons. Individuals were able to completely bend or contort their metal specimens with no physical force being applied whatsoever. (5)
These events were held for government science advisors and senior military officials. They took place at the Pentagon, at officers’ and scientists’ homes, and at U.S Army Intelligence & Security Command locations all over the world. Commanding generals, colonels and more were always in attendance. What was witnessed by all was spontaneous deformation of mental specimens, which caused “a great deal of excitement” amongst those present. (4)
“We will need a physics theory of consciousness and psychotronics, along with more experimental data, and discover the physical mechanisms that lay behind the psychotronic manipulation of matter.” (4)
3. The Global Consciousness Experiment/Random Number Generators
The global consciousness experiment is an international, multidisciplinary project between multiple scientists and engineers.(7)(8) It originates from Princeton University, in conjunction with the Institute of Noetic Sciences. It collects data constantly from a worldwide network of physical random number generators located all over the planet. The data is transmitted to a home base, which now has more than 15 years of data stored in it.
“Our purpose is to examine subtle correlations that may reflect the presence and activity of consciousness in the world. We hypothesize that there will be structure in what should be random data, associated with major global events that engage our minds and hearts.”(7)
RNGs are systems created by Princeton researchers that are sensitive to and respond to the intentions of individuals, in other words, the influence of consciousness. They also respond to marked shifts in attention occurring in their environment. Peaks of order are commonly recorded during moments of shared attention and emotions. RNGs also responded, and had the largest effects ever recorded by the Global Consciousness Project during major world events, like 9/11. (6) Other large recordings have occurred on presidential inaugurations, tsunamis and the deaths of public figures. These findings stirred deep questions about the nature of consciousness and it’s connection to our physical material reality.
You can read more about RNGs here
4. NSA/CIA Remote Viewing Experiments In Conjunction With Stanford University
Remote viewing is the ability of individuals to describe remote geographical locations up to several hundred thousand kilometers (even more) away. This concept has been proven, demonstrated and documented a number of times.
In 1995, the CIA declassified and approved the release of documents revealing its involvement in the program that lasted for more than 25 years. (10) (9)
Ingo Swann, one participant in this experiment was able to view specific rings around Jupiter before NASA was about to take pictures of it with their pioneer 10 craft. This was documented in the research. Individuals were also able to view objects and people in separate rooms that were completely blocked off from their present physical location. The fact that some have/ had the capability to project their consciousness elsewhere from their present physical location is quite amazing.
These projects occurred for decades, while some of the mainstream world continued to view them as “pseudoscience,” the Department of Defense takes them extremely seriously, and keeps them extremely secret. This program was part of a program called “STARGATE” and was unexpectantly shut down. (11)
5. Thoughts and Intentions Alter The Physical Structure of Water
Experiments over the past four decades have investigated whether human intention alone affects the properties of water. (12)
This question has been around for a while in the alternative medicine realms, because the human body is made up of approximately 70% water. According to the Institute of Noetic Sciences, researchers have suggested that intentionally influenced water can be detected by examining ice crystals formed from samples of that water. Consistent results commonly point to the idea that positive intentions tend to produce symmetric, well-formed, aesthetically pleasing crystals, and negative intentions tend to produce asymmetric, poorly formed and unattractive crystals. (12)
If thoughts and emotions can do this to water, just imagine what they can do to us.
Many people point out that this experiment was a fraud, but it’s been conducted multiple times and replicated by some highly respectable individuals in the field of science. The paper I am citing here is from Dean Radin, who has published multiple research papers in peer-reviewed journals. The experiment was conducted at the Institute for Noetic Sciences and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University. (12)
This also correlates with a study that examined the role of intention and belief on mood while drinking tea. It explored whether drinking tea “treated” with good intentions by monks would have an effect on mood more so than drinking ordinary tea. The study was done under double-blind, randomized conditions, and results proved positive. (13)
6. The Placebo Effect
It’s been well documented that we can change our biology simply by what we believe to be true. The placebo effect is defined as the measurable, observable, or felt improvement in health or behavior not attributable to a medication or invasive treatment that has been administered. It suggests that one can treat various ailments by using the mind to heal. Many studies have shown that the placebo effect (the power of consciousness) is real and highly effective.
A Baylor School of Medicine study, published in 2002 in the New England Journal of Medicine, (1) looked at surgery for patients with severe and debilitating knee pain. Many surgeons know there is no placebo effect in surgery, or so most of them believe. The patients were divided into three groups. The surgeons shaved the damaged cartilage in the knee of one group. For the second group they flushed out the knee joint, removing all of the material believed to be causing inflammation. Both of these processes are the standard surgeries people go through who have severe arthritic knees. The third group received a “fake” surgery, the patients were only sedated and tricked that they actually had the knee surgery. For the patients not really receiving the surgery, the doctors made the incisions and splashed salt water on the knee as they would in normal surgery. They then sewed up the incisions like the real thing and the process was complete. All three groups went through the same rehab process, and the results were astonishing. The placebo group improved just as much as the other two groups who had surgery.
A Baylor School of Medicine study, published in 2002 in the New England Journal of Medicine, (14) looked at surgery for patients with severe and debilitating knee pain. Many surgeons know there is no placebo effect in surgery, or so most of them believe. The patients were divided into three groups. The surgeons shaved the damaged cartilage in the knee of one group. For the second group they flushed out the knee joint, removing all of the material believed to be causing inflammation. Both of these processes are the standard surgeries people go through who have severe arthritic knees. The third group received a “fake” surgery, the patients were only sedated and tricked that they actually had the knee surgery. For the patients not really receiving the surgery, the doctors made the incisions and splashed salt water on the knee as they would in normal surgery. They then sewed up the incisions like the real thing and the process was complete. All three groups went through the same rehab process, and the results were astonishing. The placebo group improved just as much as the other two groups who had had surgery.
Another great example of the placebo effect came from the United States Department of Health and Human Services in 1999. The report discovered that half of severely depressed patients taking drugs improve compared to the thirty-two percent taking a placebo. Don’t forget about all of the side effects and dangers that have been associated with antidepressants every year. Don’t forget that the ‘depression industry’ alone is a multi-billion dollar one.
A 2002 article published in the American Psychological Association’s prevention & treatment, by University of Connecticut psychology professor Irving Kirsch titled, “The Emperor’s New Drugs,” made some more shocking discoveries(15)(16). He found that 80 percent of the effect of antidepressants, as measured in clinical trials, could be attributed to the placebo effect. This professor even had to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get information on the clinical trials of the top antidepressants.
“It became known to myself, along with several colleagues both inside and outside of government, that anomalous teleportation has been scientifically investigated and separately documented by the Department of Defense.”
A paper published in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) in September 1981, in the journal Ziran Zazhi (Nature Journal)tilted “Some Experiments on the Transfer of Objects Performed by Unusual Abilities of the Human Body” (Shuhuang et al., 1981) reported that ‘gifted children,’ were able to cause the teleportation of small, physical objects from one place to another.(4) Objects included watches, horseflies, other insects, radio micro-transmitters, photosensitive paper and more. The participants never touched the objects beforehand. The experiments were done under both blind and double-blind conditions, and the researches involved came from various colleges and sectors of the Department of Defense. This is an exceptional case, because it was deemed necessary that an unclassified Intelligence Information Report be prepared for public viewing.
More research was done by the Aerospace Medicine Engineering Institute in Beijing, in July of 1990. It was published in the Chinese Journal of Somatic Science (Kongzhi et al., 1990: Jinggen et al., 1990; Banghui; 1990). This study reported several experiments involving high speed photography video taping, which was able to capture the transfer of test specimens like nuts, matches, nails, pills and more through the walls of sealed paper envelopes, sealed glass bottles and tubes, sealed plastic film canisters and more without the walls of any of these containers being breached. All of these experiments reported using gifted children and adults to cause the teleportation of various materials. (4) You can read more on teleportation here
8. The Science of The Heart
The heart generates the largest electromagnetic field produced in the body. Researchers have analyzed the spectrum analysis of the magnetic field that’s produced by the heart, and results have shown that emotional information is encoded into this electromagnetic field. So, by shifting our emotions, we are changing the information that is encoded into these electromagnetic field that are radiated by the heart. This can impact those around us. When we are feeling emotions of compassion, love, gratitude and understanding, the heart beats out a very different message.
9/10 And Beyond
There are numerous studies documenting how consciousness and our physical material reality are intertwined, in so many different ways, with many different examples like the ones listed above. I am going to leave you with a long list of selected peer-reviewed journal publications on Psi research. This involves anomalous processes of information or energy transfer, telepathy and other forms of unexplained phenomenon that have observable, repeatable outcomes in the lab.
Consciousness plays a very important role in changing our planet. Just having these thoughts alone would contribute to the massive shift in consciousness that’s occurring. Find your inner peace, be peace, be love, acting and living your life from such a place plays a very important role in changing the world.
Click on images to view source.
March 04, 2014
Virtual Reality is becoming acceptable physics...Consciousness is the Computer – Tom Campbell
In the early days of Robert Monroe's investigation and development of the now world-renowned Hemi-Sync® audio guidance system, a young physicist named Tom Campbell was one of a small group of deeply curious scientists and consciousness explorers who ushered into existence that life altering technology.
“Tom Campbell: Shedding Light on the Speed of Light: The Implications of Variances.”
Interview by Donna Aven
In this audio interview, Tom Campbell shares his insights on the recorded variances in the speed of light discovered by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (Science Set Free) when examining official records in the London Patent Office.
Tom explores why and how the speed of light, presented by mainstream science as an unshakeable constant, might actually change. Tom explains the implications of this information on our existence in reference to quantum mechanics, technology, the probability of travel to other universes, and its relation to human evolution and purpose.
Tom Campbell is a Large Complex Systems Analyst and consultant for NASA as well as an explorer of the realms of Consciousness. His research and expertise in both fields has continued for more than forty years. He is the only known physicist to have simultaneously excelled at analyzing both large complex systems as a physicist and exploring the large complex system we call reality. These unique abilities led him to derive a Big TOE [theory of everything] from outside the box of mainstream physics.
My Big TOE - The Complete Trilogy
by Thomas Campbell
My Big TOE was recently translated into German by Thomas Hasenberger, a residential facilitator and Outreach trainer with The Monroe Institute and out-of-body experiencer. View a video interview with Hasenberger and Campbell ...
February 13, 2014
I loved the idea of dead people becoming something you can touch and enjoy the sight of.
From Motherboard.Vice.com. By Gian Volpicelli
Rinaldo Willy's job is to transform dead people into precious stones.
Willy, 33, is the founder and CEO of Algordanza, a peculiar funeral home based in the lovely town of Domat/Ems in western Switzerland. Algordanza—which in the local Romansch language means “remembrance”—is one of the leaders in the production of so called “memorial diamonds.” If you fancy a blinged-out eternal sleep, Algordanza will put the latest technologies at your service to convert your ashes into a synthetic diamond.
The price for this transfiguration ranges between 4,500 and 20,000 Swiss francs ($5,000-$22,000), depending on how big a diamond you want to become. That includes the packaging of your shiny remains into what the firm’s website describes as a “noble wooden box.” But it will then be up to your loved ones to decide whether to leave you in your noble box or put you on a ring or pendant so they can carry you around with them.
Every year, 850 former-people enter Algordanza’s laboratory to emerge some years later as a precious gem. While shortage of land and increasing population are calling the traditional cemetery model into question, perhaps the future of corpse management could lie in this unusual blend of mortuary science and jewelry.
To further investigate, I caught up with the man himself, Rinaldo Willy.
Motherboard: So, can you tell us how you got the idea of making diamonds from corpses?
The idea first struck me ten years ago, when I was a student of economics. One of my teachers gave me an article by a Russian scientist to read; it was about the production of synthetic diamonds to be used in the semiconductor industry. The article explained how such diamonds could be made from ashes, and I misinterpreted it, thinking it was referring to human ashes–while in fact it was talking about vegetable ashes.
I liked the idea, and I asked my teacher for more information on that process of transforming human ashes into diamonds. He quickly told me that I had got the whole thing wrong. But he found that my mistake was quite intriguing, so he got in touch with the author of the article, who just happened to have some diamond-making machines here in Switzerland. Together, we started to set up what would become Algordanza.
What was so compelling about turning human ashes into diamonds?
Diamonds are precious, pure, clean. They couldn’t be more different from today’s cemeteries, which are places crammed with too many graves, very often neglected, and where you can’t have a real relationship with the dead. I loved the idea of dead people becoming something you can touch and enjoy the sight of. I also like the fact that a diamond remains, can be kept and passed down from generation to generation. It’s not something that you just scatter away at some point, like sometimes happens with ashes from cremation.
In other words, you think that “diamonds are forever.”
I don’t want to use that term, since “forever” recalls the concept of eternity, which belongs to the Church’s terminology. We prefer the word “unzerbrechlich,” which in German means “indestructible.” Our diamonds are indestructible tools of remembrance, but, at the end of the day, it depends on a person’s loved ones to keep their memory alive.
Let’s get a bit technical. What is the procedure to transform human ashes into a synthetic diamond?
The whole process takes place here in Switzerland. After a person is cremated, we receive their ashes; according to the legislation of the country the dead person is from, we either receive the ashes in a single urn or in two urns shipped at two different times to avoid the situation where, in case of accident, all the ashes are lost.
We treat the ashes with particular chemical agents to extract all the carbon from them. Next, carbon is heated to high temperatures and converted into graphite. Finally, we place the graphite in a machine that essentially reproduces the conditions that are given in the depths of the Earth, where natural diamonds form over thousands of years: extremely high pressure and temperatures around 1500 degrees Celsius. After some weeks, or months, we obtain the diamond.
How big are the diamonds that you can create in your laboratory?
Usually they are four carats when they are rough and 1 carat after they’ve been cut. There have been diamonds as big as 1.6 or 1.8 carats, but they were exceptional cases.
Why do some people become bigger diamonds than others?
In general, the dimension of the diamond depends on how long you keep the graphite in the machine: the longer the process, the bigger the diamond. But it also depends on the quality of the ashes. For example, if a person used to wear dentures, or a prosthesis, or they used to take certain medicines, their ashes would be less pure and the quality of the diamond would be inferior.
Such things can also influence the color of the stone. For example, people who have been treated with chemotherapy usually wind up being diamonds of lighter colors. But we still don’t know what determines the color of the gem: our diamonds are usually blue because of the presence of boron traces in human body, but every person changes into a different and unique diamond, ranging from crystal-clear to almost black.
What’s the difference between one of your diamonds and a real diamond?
Our diamonds are real diamonds. They have all the physical and chemical properties of diamonds. Obviously, synthetic diamonds are less valuable than natural ones, since they’re man-made. But you can’t tell our diamonds from natural ones with the naked eye. Not even a jeweler could. The only one way to distinguish between them is a chemical screening – a gemologist may help you with that –which will find out that the stone was made artificially.
...Is it possible to make more than one diamond from the same person, in order to avoid a scenario in which you lose the diamond, thereby losing your dead relative forever?
Yes, it is possible, since just two grams of carbon are sufficient to produce a diamond. In fact, some of our customers, especially in Japan, ask to make many memorial diamonds from the same ashes, one for each member of the family. Theoretically, and depending on the quantity and quality of the ashes, we could churn out up to 50 diamonds for every person; practically, the best we’ve done so far is nine diamonds.
How big are you in Japan?
We are huge in Japan. It accounts for 25 percent of our sales. I think that it’s mainly for two reasons: in the first place, they have a much stronger cult of ancestors than we have in Europe; they have a very close relationship with their dead. Secondly, it’s a question of numbers: more than 99 percent of Japanese people are cremated after death. That means that there are many more ashes to be transformed into diamonds.
In general, why do people resorting to your services decide to be transformed into diamonds?
In many cases they don’t decide, since it’s their relatives—usually their mothers or wives—who come to us. The reason given by the relatives is typically that they want to keep the deceased always with them. But there are also people who choose to become diamonds while they are still alive. Often they are people who are aware that they’ll die soon, like for example someone with a terminal illness.
One of the reasons they give us is economic—they want to avoid the costs of burial in a cemetery. In other cases, they’re people living alone and very far from the place where they were born, who are afraid that nobody would properly care for their grave if they were buried.
Are you going to become a diamond, too?
I don’t know. Hopefully it will be up to my relatives, to my wife and children, to decide whether I will. They’re the ones who will have to choose the best way to cope with the grief and loss.
Images credit: Algordanza
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