Nicolás Fraisse – translation of interview with researcher
(Thanks to Eduardo for providing the translation of the original article)
The existence of the soul revealed in Geneva?
03.11.2016 by Raphaël Zbinden
Nicolas Fraisse, a Frenchman in his thirties, says his mind can get out of his body and explore his environment. Hallucination or reality? A 10-year Geneva study of his case has just been published in a book. These results could, according to the researchers, overturn our conception of consciousness and the current materialistic dogma.
A chance on 69 billion trillion billion that the answers could be found at random. This is the result of a test carried out under supervision of a bailiff by the Swiss Institute of Noetic Sciences (ISSNOE) in Geneva. Since 1999, the center has been studying the so-called “non-ordinary” modified states of consciousness. By using his supposed extrasensorial capacities, Nicolas Fraisse had to identify target images placed in sealed envelopes. The young Frenchman found 79 out of 100. A result considered as inexplicable from the point of view of current science. Sylvie Déthiollaz, PhD in molecular biology, and Claude Charles Fourrier, psychotherapist, both responsible for ISSNOE and authors of the book Travel the borders of conscience (Guy Trédaniel editor), explain to cath.ch the implications of this research.
Given the results of your research, have you demonstrated the existence of the soul?
Sylvie Déthiollaz: Here, we want to be perfectly clear and honest: we have not scientifically proven anything. We have, however, shown that consciousness has much more extensive capacities than those which are commonly accepted. Faculties that modern science can not explain. Our experiences confirm that it is possible to access information without going through our five senses. According to the feeling of our “experimenters”, it would sometimes be a relocation of the consciousness. But we leave that point to subjectivity. Even if we are personally open to the concept of soul, this word has a religious connotation that goes beyond the scientific framework. We prefer to speak, as far as these phenomena are concerned, of consciousness. One can not therefore speak of “proof” of the existence of the “soul”. But we can speak of a “cluster of evidences” that brings us to this possibility.
Claude Charles Fourrier: First, we must remember that science, absolute proof does not exist. To the question “have we revealed the existence of the soul”, one can answer objectively no. Subjectively, then, each one can bring his own interpretation to the results that we present. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that consciousness can exist beyond the physical body. It is an element that goes in the direction of the existence of a “soul”, as it is conceived in many religions, and especially Catholicism.
What kind of experiences have you had with Nicolas Fraisse?
SD: There were actually two different types of experiments. Our main objective was to check the reality of the out-of-body exits that Nicolas assured us could do. We wanted to make sure that they were not hallucinations. For this purpose, we have established a very strict double-blind scientific protocol to validate these perceptions. In a first series of tests, started in 2007, Nicolas had to identify images projected by a computer, in a place outside his field of vision. At the end of 2008, 40 such tests had been carried out. Nicolas had managed to “see” 7 times the images. Of these 7, all responses were good. The success rate was therefore 100%.
“I am afraid that the scientific community is not interested at all”
CCF: The other type of experience happened by chance. The Odier Foundation, which financed us, wanted us to carry out other tests to check the capacities of “clairvoyance” of Nicolas. At first sight, these experiences seemed to us less interesting. Yet, they are the ones that have produced the most convincing results. And also at the spiritual level, something very strong happened during these sessions, which upset us all. This experiment called on another faculty of Nicholas, which was hitherto unknown to him, closer to what is called, in a somewhat “New Age” jargon, “channeling”. To his surprise, and to ours, he “heard” from an indefinite external source information about the contents of the envelopes. The probability obtained, a chance on 69 billion billions of billions that the result is due to chance, has finally convinced us of the extrasensorial capacities of Nicolas.
But why did not he find, in these two tests, all the images?
SD: That’s difficult to answer. In the clairvoyance experiment, the descriptions he gave images were sometimes so abstruse that they could not be linked to one of the contents present. Perhaps he had simply “misunderstood” certain answers. We’ll never know.
It is clear that these modified states of consciousness are difficult to grasp completely. There is always a part that escapes us a little. It is impossible to trace our patterns of sensory perception. All the experimenters assure us in any case that in these states of consciousness the mind works differently.
CCF: To test the projected images, it is important to state that Nicolas has never said he saw an image that would be proven wrong. On the other hand, it has not always managed to see the image, because the phenomenon of the OBE is difficult to control. First, it was difficult for Nicholas to direct his mind to the desired place. It is an exercise in which many factors, including psychological factors, are involved. It certainly can not work at all times, as would be the case with an elementary physics experiment.
Are you not afraid that the validity of your results will be called into question?
SD: I fear more than the scientific community are not interested at all. The fact that the results are published in a book (link here) will not help. In general, anything not published in a scientific journal is not taken seriously. But we very much hope that scientists are interested in it, that they are looking for further study. The original objective was of course to be published in a scientific journal, but for that we would have had to continue our study, involving in particular external observers. It would certainly have taken several years of research and new funding. We preferred to start by writing a book, so as to help and enlighten all the experimenters, who generally ask a lot of questions about their condition.
“With the right means, we could have extraordinary results”
CCF: Many scientists will undoubtedly have a hard time accepting our conclusions. Although it depends on their specialty. Neurologists are usually extremely refractory. Quantum physicists will probably be more open.
Is your study still unpublished in the world? How is it distinguished from others of the same kind?
SD: As regards the experience of “channeling” under supervision of a bailiff, to my knowledge we are the pioneers. Concerning EBOs, there have been studies of this kind. But I think we are the ones who went the furthest in the field, and who brought the most significant results.
CCF: And we could go much further if we had the necessary financing. If we consider that Nicolas has now greatly improved his ability to control his OBE, with the appropriate means, we could have extraordinary results.
In your institute of Geneva, have you had other convincing cases than that of Nicolas Fraisse?
SD: We also observed at ISSNOE a case of telekinesis (moving objects by thought). Unfortunately, we did not have time to put in place a protocol for scientific validation. We preferred to focus on the OBE, believing that they could tell us more about the nature of consciousness.
We receive dozens of requests from people with extraordinary abilities who would like us to test them. But for lack of resources, we can not do it. If we had as many resources as conventional research, we could undoubtedly bring results that would totally challenge our current conception of consciousness.
CCF: In the past, studies were also made by the CIA and the KGB on extrasensory abilities. Some have been declassified and the results corroborate the fact that the human mind possesses powers that go well beyond the usual conceptions.
What other data can corroborate your findings?
SD: In the field of scientific parapsychology, there have been numerous studies with extremely significant results support the idea that human consciousness would have capacity currently very undervalued. There we are not at all pioneers, we are part of a long line of researchers who have done extremely serious work, such as Russel Targ, Dean Radin, or Ruppert Sheldrake. In their various fields, they established with a high degree of reliability that the mind had abilities that current science can not explain. Some of his studies have been published in prestigious scientific journals.
“Science is not neutral”
CCF: It should be added that certain concepts of quantum physics and physical information can explain the experiences of experiencers. Without going into details, it is impressive to see that the latest scientific findings corroborate concepts about the soul or the universe, which have existed for millennia in the great religious traditions, especially the oriental ones. All this together gives a coherent landscape, which makes us think that we are on the right path. But these elements have not yet changed the dominant paradigm over consciousness.
One of the chapters in your book is “The End of Materialism”. Are we moving towards a new paradigm on the nature of reality?
SD: I do think that the paradigm is still changing. But this change will have such an important impact that it will take a lot of time. There is a lot of resistance. For contrary to what one would have us believe, science is neither neutral nor totally objective. It is subject to “a priori”, habits, egos and personal interests. In neuroscience, in particular, people have based their entire career on the model in place. If consciousness is not reducible to the brain, then there will be no means for them to study it. This is a hypothesis that destabilizes many researchers.
Moreover, if the phenomena of OBE turn out to be real, this opens up incredible perspectives. If one can actually get out of one’s body, it gives man an inconceivable freedom that he would certainly have difficulty accepting and managing. With, in perspective, social and economic upheavals that can frighten.
It may be necessary to wait for the supporters of the old paradigm to disappear. The new model that emerges will undoubtedly sound the death knell of materialism. This form of thought has been very useful, it has brought a lot of things, but it is becoming increasingly clear that it is unable to fully explain our reality.
“Millions of people are experiencing these phenomena”
CCF: Currently, we see that science puts blinders regarding these phenomena. This is the problem of the human in general. He clings to his habits. He always wants to be reassured by what he already knows and the unknown scares him.
The science also likes the return on profitability. The subjects of study on which there is nothing to gain are less interesting for researchers. Science does extraordinary things, but it is not free, it remains dependent on those who finance it. It should already accept, on the basis of statistics, that millions of people are experiencing these phenomena, both in terms of experiences of imminent death and out-of-body exits. It is clear that there is something important that can not be ignored. There are classical scientists, of course, who study these phenomena. But often they are conditioned in advance by the schemes in place. RZ
Besides the tests of discovering hidden images, the young Frenchman was the object of more physiological research. He has undergone several types of neurological examinations in hospitals in French-speaking Switzerland. They first demonstrated that the brain of Nicolas Fraisse showed no pathology or dysfunction. They then established that the brain activity of Nicolas Fraisse was significantly modified when he was in OBE (out of body experience). “Even if this kind of analysis does not prove the reality of the out-of-body phenomenon, it suggests that a neurologically healthy individual can spontaneously alter entire networks of his brain,” ISSNOE officials say in their book Journey to the edge of consciousness.
On the scale
Another experiment, more unusual, brought Sylvie Dethiollaz and Claude Charles Fourrier to “weigh the soul” of Nicolas Fraisse. They had heard of amazing works suggesting that when consciousness leaves the physical envelope, for example at a death, the body instantly loses several tens of grams, the “weight of the soul.” Without much belief, the two researchers still tried the experiment with their favorite candidate. After installing the young man on a very high precision scale, they enjoined him to make an OBE. Thus, on the occasion of a decorporation, the balance suddenly displayed a decrease of 45 grams. Despite the inexplicability of the case, ISSNOE experts did not want to draw any conclusions from this experiment, considering that they would have been too speculative. (Cath.ch-apic)
ISSNOE, a unique place in the world
The Swiss Institute of Noetic Sciences (ISSNOE) was created by the merger between the Noêsis Association (created in 1999 by Sylvie Dethiollaz) and the Odier Foundation of Psycho-Physics (created in 1992 by Marcel and Monique Odier).
According to the institute’s website, ISSNOE aims to study the Consciousness through the so-called non-ordinary modified states of consciousness and the encouragement of a multidisciplinary research on them, as well as the study Methodical and scientific relationship between mind and matter, between psychology and physics.
Support for Experts
ISSNOE also provides assistance to people who have experienced an “unusual” altered state of consciousness, as well as their entourage (reception, listening, advice, information, meetings with other witnesses, Psychological and psychotherapeutic support).
The institute develops a program of scientific research aimed at better understanding these phenomena, taking into account their psychological and spiritual components. It disseminates objective information about altered states of non-ordinary consciousness to the general public, to the scientific community and to professionals and organizations working in the field of general health and palliative care in particular.
ISSNOE Promotes a different approach to death and end-of-life that takes into account the transpersonal dimension of the human being, explains the website. It is a unique place in Switzerland, and even in the world, which brings together professionals who have developed over the years a great deal of expertise in the field of modified non-ordinary states of consciousness.