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durham ASCI 2015 trip report

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by tradingdavid, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. Just in case anyone thinks about going to another one I thought I'd write up a trip report. Would have been better directly afterward but I drove to DC to visit some relatives afterwards and have been catching up after I got back.

    Durham trip report

    Arrived Wednesday night and attended the first keynote with Susanne Gieseman a medium and former navy commander entitled "Getting Out of the Box: Redefining What is Real". Overall, it was an interesting presentation that covered some personal synchronicity that had occurred recently plus a plea to think outside of the material reality paradigm that was a bit preaching to the choir given the audience. Ms. Gieseman comes across as a very sane and credible person and motivational person which made me slightly distrusting since she seemed like the kind of person who could convince me to do something unwise like a really good insurance salesman or a military commander wanting me to charge a machine gun nest.

    Later I ended up going to dinner randomly with the parent's of a young man who passed away who is in one of her books. They seemed like very grounded people so I was wondering if the universe was sending me some sort of message.

    I also attended a big meeting where Ms. Giesman channeled an entity named Sannaya. Overall it was interesting but I didn't get much since it was so similar to all the other channeled stuff which is an interesting data point on it's own.

    Thursday morning I got up and saw Stanley Kristine a parapsychologist who was giving reports on some meaningful dreams. I found it the kind of illuminating data point that helped fill in possibilities for me. I liked how Mr. Kripner seemed to be conservative in making conclusions.

    Later in the Day I saw PMH atwater give a presentation on NDE's. During the presentation some slides from drawings NDE people made of their experiences were shown. Some weren't surprising (figure above in daylight) but some seemed interesting.

    Sally Rhine Feather gave a presentation on case report collecting at the Rhine institute. I thought it was very interesting hearing how these were collected and the importance of asking for types of experiences. Also the history of the institute and care taken was informative. This research has a history behind it.

    Robert Waggoner gave the evening keynote on lucid dreamings potential for healing. He had some interesting techniques I never thought to try like asking characters in the dream why they are doing what they are doing.

    Lee Lawrence gave an interesting demonstration of some sort of energy healing involving memories stored in physical space surrounding people. Sort of like an aura. According to Lee memories exist in a physical shell surrounding us. It was interesting, but I would have like more explanation about how he arrived at a conclusion about how he does what he does. I find the most interesting/important thing about any of this is that something seems to be happening rather than the mechanism itself but the mechanism is interesting. I'll admit I'm very careful about believing things so just because someone can do something it doesn't necessarily follow that they know how they do it.

    I then went and saw Kevin Todeschi give a talk entitled an “Overview of the Edgar Cayce Material.” While interesting I was a bit disappointed in the talk since it didn't match the title. I was hoping for a categorization/overview but it was more of a brief history followed by general teachings which I assume came from Cayce but didn't really inform me in what I was looking for. For example Cayce seemed to talk mainly about healing, but also talked about Atlantis and things. I would have like a numerical and date based breakdown.

    The following Morning Mr. Todescho gave an interesting talk on dreams and techniques such as a past life visualization and a cooperative psychic came which were both interesting.

    I then attended a breakout with Nandini Kapur gave a presentation on some EVP she received from her husband following his death. She flew in from India. Overall I didn't gather a lot but I felt she was a very grounded person who legitimately tried to verify the phenomenon and it was good to see someone from across cultures had an experience.

    Nancy Zingrone gave a great case study of some hauntings which had occurred over the years. While some sort of mass hallucination or something could be possible these kind of what I consider high fidelity reports happening multiple times are certainly evidence that in my mind would validate that consciousness survives.

    Gary Schwartz gave a keynote about the soul phone which is about him getting responses from spirits after asking them to generate light bursts using a silicon photomultiplier which is a device to detect light in very minute amounts. Overall I thought it was very impressive but unfortunately I think he's probably a bit overoptimistic in thinking he can get a working phone, perhaps more of a telegraph would be possible though.

    Later he gave a dinner address where he recounted his experience with a co-collaborator he worked with who passed away. He went through in ebullient detail about all the little tests and experiments he conducted to verify that the spirit was real and the mediums were actually passing along.

    After the dinner I was feeling really tired and thinking of skipping the last address which was “healing the residue of past life trauma” by a lady named Donna Eden. I heard she was an energy healer which is probably what to me seems the hardest to gather good data from of any phenomenon except perhaps orbs. However, I was interested in past lives and figured I had paid for the conference so why not.

    As the presentation set up I realized this lady was some sort of big deal in whatever she did as lots of people appeared to be attending for just this presentation.

    She started and said she was primarily an energy healer but did this past life thing as a related issue. She then asked if everyone was at least somewhat familiar with energy healing most hand seemed to go up and then she asked who wasn't since that seemed go to the heart of the question. I raised my hand since I tend to be compulsively honest. She was about to give a brief explanation but thought better and thought it would be faster to demonstrate.

    So I wondered up on stage. So she had me stick my hand out and then tried to push it down without much success. Then she stood in front of me and walked toward me waving a finger. Then I stuck my hand out again and she moved it down with basically no effort as I tried to hold it up. It was a very strange feeling as though I couldn't get the command to stay up to the arm. I was like huh. Then she stood in front of me again and did a different finger wavy thing and my hand worked normal again.
    The whole process was very enlightening.

    She later went over how she works with past lives which had a very spatial element that reminded me of Lee Lawrence's presentation but with a much smaller scale. Thus I wonder if the spatial element would be more of a function of an individual's visualization of whatever they are doing rather than the actual function.

    The last session I attended was with Alan Huguenot who is a medium and a naval engineer with a PHD. He had an excellent presentation that approached survival from a scientific angle. I felt perhaps he was a bit aggressive saying that quantum physics proved consciousness is fundamental and survived. (I go the shows it's possible, there are a bunch of different interpretation of QM) I felt he was a very good speaker and a great thinker and very unique in the area as he is very left brained. I even bought one of his books which was quite good.

    A major highlight for me was afterwards I went to the Rhine institutes for a tour. I was the only one who showed up for the first 1.5 hours so I got a personal tour and discussion. Actually laying hand on some of the equipment was really enlightening and makes reading about some of the parapsychology experiments much more real. As a sidenote Ganzfeld rooms are amazing. For some reason I felt awesome while I was standing inside one!

    In what seemed like an interesting synchronicity one of the latest experiments they were doing involved energy healing. Apparently the researcher's were finding that a certain percentage of energy healers would generate photon bursts when they though they said they were doing energy healing. Given my experience the day before it seemed like a poke from the universe to look into it more.

    There wouldn't necessarily be any physical phenomenon if there was a conscious universe but I just keep stumbling on more and more verifiable physical phenomenon that leads in that direction.

    Chapel Hill Durham were very nice as well and there's a Mediterranean Deli downtown that was awesome and had about 30 prepared vegetable dishes that were yummy especially this eggplant squash stew.

    So in conclusion feeling an effect by someone doing energy stuff, the Rhine tour, and I felt Gary Schwartz were the highlights of the conference but the majority of speakers seemed very informative. Also, just seeing someone of the speakers during the conference really enforces. Schwartz for example participated in many panel discussions and it's hard to think of him as a person pulling off some sort of complicated money oriented stunt like many skeptics intimate after seeing him in person with all the enthusiasm and input.
  2. janef

    janef Moderator

    Thanks for the update on the conference tradingdavid, sounds like it was alot to take in and a great experience. Are you still going to Scottsdale in Sept? If so, I will see you there!
  3. I'm still planning on it.
  4. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Hooray!! Please be sure to introduce yourself and let me know who you are!!
  5. janef

    janef Moderator

    Great... maybe Roberta can introduce us. Hope we both get chosen for the David Thompson seance. :)
  6. Me too. We should all go to dinner one night.
    Actually at durham it would have been neat to plan dinners with signup sheet for various places. i've seen other conferences do that.
  7. janef

    janef Moderator

    That is a great idea, look forward to meeting you.
  8. So looks like I'll be able to make it. My food was giving me issues for a couple weeks there. I wanted to suggest anyone from the forum might want to get together and go to dinner one night. Or just sit in the lobby but a good dinner outing can be fun. I'd suggest Friday or Sunday for lunch after the presentations.
  9. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Hello TD and everyone! I gather that a few people from this forum will be at the conference, which delights me! I would love to plan a lunch or dinner - or even a breakfast - where we can sit around a table and just chat and laugh together! My thing is that for the first time ever I'm going to have a date for this conference: my husband of 43 years is joining me. So I'll be easy to spot! I'm the harried-looking older woman with the tall, white-haired guy ;-). Ours is a field in which Edward has little interest and even less knowledge, but he is being supportive. That's nice!

    We will arrive on Thursday afternoon, and we'll be leaving on Sunday right after my Liberating Jesus workshop. This hotel isn't near other restaurants, so practically speaking it makes sense to plan to do something on-site. Lunch is likely the best bet, on Friday or Saturday? Or the hotel has a terrific full breakfast that comes with the room, so we might even meet for breakfast one morning. Please, please, if you see me, come and introduce yourself by your forum name! I feel as if we're all old and dear friends. I'm excited to finally meet you!

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