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GUEST EDITORIAL

Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science


| Mario Beauregard, PhD, Gary E. Schwartz, PhD, Lisa Miller, PhD,
Larry Dossey, MD, Alexander Moreira-Almeida, MD, PhD,
Marilyn Schlitz, PhD, Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, and Charles Tart, PhD |
From its inception, science has con- with classical physics. Materialism distorted and impoverished under-
tinually evolved because of a funda- the idea that matter is the only standing of ourselves and our place
mental reason: the accumulation of realityis one of these assumptions. in nature.
empirical evidence that could not be A related assumption is reduction- 6. Science is rst and foremost a non-
accommodated by entrenched views.
ism, the notion that complex things dogmatic, open-minded method of
The resulting changes have often be-
en minor, but sometimes they have can be understood by reducing acquiring knowledge about nature
been titanic, as in the quantum-rela- them to the interactions of their through the observation, experimen-
tivistic revolution of the early dec- parts or to simpler or more funda- tal investigation, and theoretical
ades of the 20th century. mental things such as tiny material explanation of phenomena. Its
Many scientists believe a similar particles. methodology is not synonymous
transition is currently required, 2. During the 19th century, these with materialism and should not
because the materialistic focus that assumptions narrowed, turned into be committed to any particular
has dominated science in the mod- dogmas, and coalesced into an ideo- beliefs, dogmas, or ideologies.
ern era cannot account for an ever- logical belief system that came to be 7. At the end of the 19th century,
increasing body of empirical nd- known as scientic materialism. physicists discovered empirical phe-
ings in the domain of consciousness This belief system implies that the nomena that could not be explained
and spirituality.
mind is nothing but the physical by classical physics. This led to the
The following Manifesto for a Post- activity of the brain and that our development, during the 1920s and
Materialist Science by a group of
thoughts cannot have any effect early 1930s, of a revolutionary new
contemporary scholars and researchers
attempts to visualize what an emer- upon our brains and bodies, our branch of physics called quantum
ging scientic view may look like. actions, and the physical world. mechanics (QM). QM has ques-
Larry Dossey, MD, Executive Editor 3. The ideology of scientic material- tioned the material foundations of

W
ism became dominant in academia the world by showing that atoms
e are a group of internation- during the 20th century. So domi- and subatomic particles are not
ally known scientists, from a nant that a majority of scientists really solid objectsthey do not exist
variety of scientic elds started to believe that it was based with certainty at denite spatial loca-
(biology, neuroscience, psy- on established empirical evidence tions and denite times. Most
chology, medicine, and psychiatry), who and represented the only rational importantly, QM explicitly intro-
participated in an international summit view of the world. duced the mind into its basic con-
on post-materialist science, spirituality, 4. Scientic methods based upon ceptual structure since it was found
and society. The summit was co-orga- materialistic philosophy have been that particles being observed and the
nized by Gary E. Schwartz, PhD and highly successful in not only increas- observerthe physicist and the
Mario Beauregard, PhD, the University ing our understanding of na- method used for observationare
of Arizona, and Lisa Miller, PhD, ture but also in bringing greater linked. According to one interpreta-
Columbia University. This summit was control and freedom through ad- tion of QM, this phenomenon
held at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Ari- vances in technology. implies that the consciousness of
zona, on February 79, 2014. Our pur- 5. However, the nearly absolute dom- the observer is vital to the existence
pose was to discuss the impact of the inance of materialism in the aca- of the physical events being
materialist ideology on science and the demic world has seriously con- observed and that mental events
emergence of a post-materialist paradigm stricted the sciences and hampered can affect the physical world. The
for science, spirituality, and society. the development of the scientic results of recent experiments support
We have come to the following study of mind and spirituality. Faith this interpretation. These results sug-
conclusions: in this ideology, as an exclusive gest that the physical world is no
explanatory framework for reality, longer the primary or sole compo-
1. The modern scientic worldview is has compelled scientists to neglect nent of reality and that it cannot be
predominantly predicated on ass- the subjective dimension of human fully understood without making
umptions that are closely associated experience. This has led to a severely reference to the mind.

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8. Psychological studies have shown 11. Controlled laboratory experiments world and operate in a nonlocal
that conscious mental activity can have documented that skilled (or extended) fashion, i.e., it is
causally inuence behavior and that research mediums (people who not conned to specic points in
the explanatory and predictive value claim that they can communicate space, such as brains and bodies,
of agentic factors (e.g., beliefs, goals, with the minds of people who have or to specic points in time, such
desires, and expectations) is very physically died) can sometimes as the present. Since the mind
high. Moreover, research in psycho- obtain highly accurate informa- may nonlocally inuence the
neuroimmunology indicates that our tion about deceased individuals. physical world, the intentions,
thoughts and emotions can markedly This further supports the conclusion emotions, and desires of an
affect the activity of the physiological that mind can exist separate from experimenter may not be
systems (e.g., immune, endocrine, the brain. completely isolated from experi-
and cardiovascular) connected to 12. Some materialistically inclined mental outcomes, even in con-
the brain. In other respects, neuroi- scientists and philosophers refuse trolled and blinded experimental
maging studies of emotional self- to acknowledge these phenomena designs.
regulation, psychotherapy, and the because they are not consistent with d. Minds are apparently unboun-
placebo effect demonstrate that men- their exclusive conception of the ded and may unite in ways sug-
tal events signicantly inuence the world. Rejection of post-materialist gesting a unitary One Mind that
activity of the brain. investigation of nature or refusal to includes all individual,
9. Studies of the so-called psi phenom- publish strong science ndings sup- single minds.
ena indicate that we can sometimes porting a post-materialist framework e. NDEs in cardiac arrest suggest
receive meaningful information with- are antithetical to the true spirit of that the brain acts as a transceiver
out the use of ordinary senses, and in scientic inquiry, which is that of mental activity, i.e., the mind
ways that transcend the habitual space empirical data must always be ade- can work through the brain but is
and time constraints. Furthermore, psi quately dealt with. Data which do not produced by it. NDEs occur-
research demonstrates that we can not t favored theories and beliefs ring in cardiac arrest, coupled
mentally inuenceat a distance cannot be dismissed a priori. Such with evidence from research
physical devices and living organisms dismissal is the realm of ideology, mediums, further suggest the sur-
(including other human beings). Psi not science. vival of consciousness, following
research also shows that distant minds 13. It is important to realize that psi bodily death, and the existence
may behave in ways that are nonlo- phenomena, NDEs in cardiac arrest, of other levels of reality that are
cally correlated, i.e., the correlations and replicable evidence from cred- non-physical.
between distant minds are hypothe- ible research mediums, appear f. Scientists should not be afraid to
sized to be unmediated (they are not anomalous only when seen through investigate spirituality and spiri-
linked to any known energetic signal), the lens of materialism. tual experiences since they repre-
unmitigated (they do not degrade with 14. Moreover, materialist theories fail to sent a central aspect of human
increasing distance), and immediate elucidate how brain could generate existence.
(they appear to be simultaneous). the mind, and they are unable to 16. Post-materialist science does not
These events are so common that they account for the empirical evidence reject the empirical observations
cannot be viewed as anomalous or as alluded to in this manifesto. This and great value of scientic achieve-
exceptions to natural laws, but as failure tells us that it is now time to ments realized up until now. It seeks
indications of the need for a broader free ourselves from the shackles and to expand the human capacity to
explanatory framework that cannot be blinders of the old materialist ideol- better understand the wonders of
predicated exclusively on materialism. ogy, to enlarge our concept of the nature and, in the process, rediscover
10. Conscious mental activity can be natural world, and to embrace a post- the importance of mind and spirit as
experienced in clinical death during materialist paradigm. being part of the core fabric of the
a cardiac arrest [this is what has been 15. According to the post-materialist universe. Post-materialism is inclusive
called a near-death experience paradigm: of matter, which is seen as a basic
(NDE)]. Some near-death experien- a. Mind represents an aspect of rea- constituent of the universe.
cers (NDErs) have reported veridical lity as primordial as the physical 17. The post-materialist paradigm has
out-of-body perceptions (i.e., percep- world. Mind is fundamental in the far-reaching implications. It funda-
tions that can be proven to coincide universe, i.e., it cannot be derived mentally alters the vision we have of
with reality) that occurred during from matter and reduced to any- ourselves, giving us back our dignity
cardiac arrest. NDErs also report pro- thing more basic. and power, as humans and as scien-
found spiritual experiences during b. There is a deep interconnec- tists. This paradigm fosters positive
NDEs triggered by cardiac arrest. It tedness between mind and the values such as compassion, respect,
is noteworthy that the electrical activ- physical world. and peace. By emphasizing a
ity of the brain ceases within a few c. Mind (will/intention) can inu- deep connection between ourselves
seconds following a cardiac arrest. ence the state of the physical and nature at large, the post-

Guest Editorial EXPLORE September/October 2014, Vol. 10, No. 5 273


materialist paradigm also promotes We invite you, scientists of the world, to Advances in Consciousness and
environmental awareness and the read the Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Health, Department of Psycho-
preservation of our biosphere. In Science and sign it, if you wish to show your logy, University of Arizona, Tucson,
addition, it is not new, but only support (see http://opensciences.org/). USA. Email: mariobeauregard@email.
forgotten for 400 years, that a lived The Manifesto for a Post-Materialist arizona.edu.
transmaterial understanding may be Science was prepared by Mario Beaure- Note: We considered two ways of
the cornerstone of health and well- gard, PhD (University of Arizona), Gary referring to the emerging paradigm pre-
ness, as it has been held and pre- E. Schwartz, PhD (University of Arizona), sented in this Manifesto: the hyphe-
served in ancient mindbodyspirit and Lisa Miller, PhD (Columbia Univer- nated version (post-materialism) and
practices, religious traditions, and sity), in collaboration with Larry Dossey, the non-hyphenated version (postma-
contemplative approaches. MD, Alexander Moreira-Almeida, MD, terialism). The hyphenated form was
18. The shift from materialist science to PhD, Marilyn Schlitz, PhD, Rupert Shel- selected for the sake of clarity for both
post-materialist science may be of drake, PhD, and Charles Tart, PhD. scientists and lay people.
vital importance to the evolution of The Summary Report of the Interna-
the human civilization. It may tional Summit on Post-Materialist
be even more pivotal than the CONTACT Science, Spirituality and Society can be
transition from geocentrism to For further information, please contact found at the following address: http://
heliocentrism. Dr Mario Beauregard, Laboratory for opensciences.org/.

274 EXPLORE September/October 2014, Vol. 10, No. 5 Guest Editorial