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Dr. Charles T. Tart has been involved with research and theory in the fields of hypnosis, psychology, transpersonal psychology, and parapsychology since 1963. In the first half, he discussed his latest work on parapsychology and its connection to spirituality. He also delved into such topics as out-of-body experiences (OBEs), the survival of consciousness after death, and meditation. Many people turn against religion for one reason or another, and that’s a shame, “because a lot of our strength, power, and meaning is tied up in spiritual kinds of stuff and if we deny it wholesale, we lose it,” he remarked.
OBEs are real and quite distinct from a dream, Tart noted, adding that they feel like how the mind normally works, with thinking and remembering things, but “you happen to realize that you’re someplace other than where your physical body is.” Often, when people have an OBE and travel to where their friends or family are, he continued, they get frustrated because others do not seem to have an inkling of their presence. Regarding near-death-experiences (NDEs), there is quite a bit of commonality across cultures, yet some intriguing differences, he reported. For instance, in India, they don’t usually see an initial being of light as they do in the West, but rather four figures in black come to take them away.
In the latter half, President of the Shroud of Turin Education Project, Inc. Russ Breault talked about his mission to advance the knowledge of the Shroud to a new generation, and how it has remained one of the top ten great mysteries in the history of mankind. The Shroud is a 14 ft. linen cloth kept in Turin, Italy that bears the front and back image of an apparently crucified man. “The pattern of bloodstains on it matches what happened to Jesus, according to the Scriptures,” he said. One theory, which Breault subscribes to, is that the image was inexplicably burnished into the cloth when Jesus underwent the resurrection.
In an interesting historical side note, Hitler was in Turin in 1938, and was said to ask a lot of questions about the Shroud. It was subsequently hidden away in a secret compartment, and in 1943, Nazis were not able to obtain it, when they stormed the monastery it had been kept in, Breault recounted. Referring to the Shroud as “the X-Files of Christianity,” he believes it’s evidence for the “greatest paranormal event of all time,” and the fact that its remained a mystery after many years of research supports its authenticity.
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