Arquivo da tag: Espiritualidade

The Dos and Don’ts of Living in a Haunted House (New York Times)

Anna Kodé

Many Americans believe that their home is inhabited by ghosts, a conviction that researchers attribute to the rise of paranormal-related media, a decline in religious beliefs and the pandemic.

A man with short brown hair and a salt-and-pepper beard sits at a dining room table. His face is illuminated by a chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Several paintings and photographs hang on the walls. The room includes a large window and a chair and small buffet. All furnishings are antique.
Shane Booth in his dining room where he said the bulk of the paranormal activity happens at his home in Benson, N.C.Credit: Eamon Queeney for The New York Times

Oct. 26, 2022

How to Live With a Ghost

On a routine afternoon, Shane Booth, a photography professor living in Benson, N.C., was folding laundry in his bedroom, when he was startled by a loud, crashing noise. He stepped out to find a shattered front window and his dog sitting outside it. He was confused, how could his dog have jumped through the window with enough force to break it?

After cleaning up the glass, Mr. Booth came back to his room, where all of the clothes he had just folded were scattered and strewn about, he said. “That’s when I thought, this is actually really scary now,” said Mr. Booth, 45.

In an interview, Mr. Booth described several other inexplicable, eerie encounters that have led him to believe that his century-old house is haunted. Pictures that he’d hung on the wall he’d later discover placed perfectly on the floor with no broken frames to indicate a fall. He noticed vases moved to different locations, had momentary sightings of a ghost (an old man), and heard bellowing laughter when no one else was in the house. “There’s so many little things that sporadically happen that you just can’t explain,” he said.

Many Americans believe that their home is inhabited by someone or something that isn’t a living being. An October study from the Utah-based home security company Vivint found that nearly half of the thousand surveyed homeowners believed that their house was haunted. Another survey of 1,000 people by Real Estate Witch, an education platform for home buyers and sellers, found similar results, with 44 percent of respondents saying that they’ve lived in a haunted house.

Researchers attribute increasing belief in the supernatural to the rise of paranormal-related media, a decline in religious affiliation and the pandemic. With so many people believing that they live with ghosts, a new question arises: How does one live with ghosts? Are there ways to become comfortable with it, or certain actions to keep away from so as not to disturb it?

In a person’s left hand is a cellphone showing a black and white photograph of a small white church with a steeple and a human figure standing in front of it.
Mr. Booth holds a cellphone showing a photograph of the church that is now his home in Benson, N.C.Credit: Eamon Queeney for The New York Times

Mr. Booth’s house was originally built as a Baptist church in 1891, he learned through some digging online. The religious ties made him think that maybe the unearthly happenings could be because he was gay, and the spirits weren’t welcoming of that. However frightening those experiences may get at times, Mr. Booth has made a sort of peace with it.

“I love this house. I’ve made it my space, and I don’t want to let anything kick me out,” Mr. Booth said. “When things happen, I talk to it and say, ‘Hey, calm it down.’”

While cohabiting with a spirit could be a fearful experience, some people enjoy it or, at the least, have learned how to live with it.

“I’m not opposed to a little bit of weird,” said Brandy Fleischer, 28, who lives in a house that was originally built in the 1800s in Genoa City, Wis. Ms. Fleischer said that she believes the house is haunted, and that one of the ghosts is named Henry. This, she figured out by placing a pendulum above a board with letters on it and asking the spirit to spell its name, she explained. “He likes to play pranks. He’ll move shoes around,” she said.

Ms. Fleischer wasn’t always so comfortable with the phantoms, though. “The very first time I walked in the door, it felt like I was walking into a party that I wasn’t invited to. It felt like everyone was looking at me,” she said, “but I couldn’t see them.”

An upstairs hallway has worn hardwood floors and a wooden banister leading to stairs. Two large windows of two different rooms can be seen through open doors.
The interior of Brandy Fleischer’s home.Credit: Via Brandy Fleischer

She compared living with ghosts to having roommates — these just happen to be ones she didn’t ask for. Ms. Fleischer has been able to get a sense of what to avoid in order to coexist harmoniously with Henry. In particular, when people in the house are squabbling, it bothers him, she said. “He’s slammed a drawer to interrupt an argument,” she said.

Some people believe that ghosts can follow them from one house to another.

Lisa Asbury has lived in her home in Dunlap, Ill., for three years now. But the paranormal activity she’s observed began in her old home in 2018, following the death of her husband’s grandfather, and is identical to what she’s been experiencing now, she said. Ms. Asbury, 43, said that she’s seen objects fly off shelves, lights flash in multiple rooms and fan blades start turning suddenly. “I hear my name being called when I’m alone, phantom footsteps, our dogs barking while staring at nothing,” she added.

But nothing has felt aggressive, Ms. Asbury said. Just attention-seeking. “I believe our spirits to be family,” she said. “I get the feeling that we have different family members visit at different times.”

And though it was unsettling for a while, she’s figured out how to live within the ghostly milieu. “Usually if something occurs, we will acknowledge it out loud or just say hi to the spirit,” Ms. Asbury said.

For sellers, paranormal murmurings could also be a helpful marketing point. Earlier this year, the three-bedroom Rhode Island house that inspired the “The Conjuring” horror movie sold above asking price for $1.525 million. In 2021, a Massachusetts property that was the site of the infamous Borden family murders sold for $1.875 million without any open houses or showings. Dozens of Airbnb listings advertise phantasmal experiences as well, such as a “second-floor haunted oasis” or a “Phantoms Lair.”

“Embracing a home’s haunted history may be a scary good seller strategy in the race to go viral,” said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert. “Unique homes captured the imagination of Zillow surfers during the pandemic — the more unusual a listing, the more page views it can generate.”

Sharon Hill, the author of the 2017 book “Scientifical Americans: The Culture of Amateur Paranormal Researchers,” added that “many are no longer fearful of ghosts because we’ve been so habituated to them by the media.”

Haunted houses can also be “a way to connect to the past or a sense of enchantment in the everyday world,” Ms. Hill said. “We have a sense of wanting to find out for ourselves and be able to feel like we can reach beyond death. To know that ghosts exist would be very comforting to some people.”

Still, most sellers and agents are wary of taking that strategy. Of the over 760,000 properties on Zillow in the last two weeks, only two listings had descriptions that implied the home could be haunted, according to data provided by Zillow. One property is a six-bedroom hotel in Wisconsin where the description boasts that it was recently the subject of a Minnesota ghost hunter group’s investigation. The other, a rundown three-bedroom in Texas built in 1910, reads, “If your dream has been to host a Haunted Air BNB look no further. Owner has had ghost hunters to the house twice overnight.”

A two-story, brick building is painted red with white trim. It has several windows on both floors and a white porch. An American flag is hanging in front, and storage for ice is also in front. Two cars, one dark-colored and one red, are parked in the front on the street.
A six-bedroom hotel in Wisconsin is for sale, and a description on Zillow boasts that it was recently the subject of a Minnesota ghost hunter group’s investigation.Credit: via Zillow
A rundown house has chipped, white paint. It has lush green lawn that is not manicured, and bushes and vines in front of the house are also growing wildly.
“If your dream has been to host a Haunted Air BNB look no further. Owner has had ghost hunters to the house twice overnight,” reads a listing on Zillow for a dilapidated three-bedroom house in Texas built in 1910.Credit: via Zillow

Most states don’t mention paranormal activity in real estate disclosure laws, but New York and New Jersey have explicit requirements surrounding it. In New Jersey, sellers, if asked, must disclose known information about any potential poltergeists. In New York, a court can rescind a sale if the seller has bolstered the reputation of the home being haunted and takes advantage of a buyer’s ignorance of that notoriety.

There are generational differences in who believes in ghosts. In the Vivint survey, 65 percent of Gen Zers (defined as people born between 1997 and 2012) who participated in the survey thought their home was haunted, while 35 percent of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) surveyed thought the same.

“With so much conversation on TikTok about true crime, podcasts about haunted things and crime documentaries, we thought that could be spreading this trend among younger people,” said Maddie Weirman, one of the researchers of the Vivint survey.

Gen Z “might be searching for meaning in new places,” Ms. Hill said. “If the modern world they live in isn’t providing food for the soul, if capitalism is a system that drains us of personal enlightenment, it’s not hard to figure out that younger people will search elsewhere for that and find the idea of an alternate world — of ghosts, aliens, cryptids, et cetera — to be enticing to explore.”

The pandemic also played a role in society’s relationship with houses and ghosts.

The salience of death in our culture increased, igniting a desire for evidence of an afterlife for some people. “Think of all the sudden, and often not-sufficiently-ritually-mourned deaths during Covid. Many times people lost loved ones with no last contact, no funeral,” said Tok Thompson, a folklorist and professor of anthropology at the University of Southern California.

A sleek black cat sits on a table in the middle of a room painted red with white trim. The room includes a grandfather clock with two rifles hanging on a wall above it.
Shane Booth’s black cat Bullet poses for a photograph in the foyer of his home this week.Credit: Eamon Queeney for The New York Times

“People weren’t normally around all the time to notice the normal noises of a house as it heats up from the sun during the day and then cools in the afternoon. With everyone inside, there was even less noise outside to drown out the typical sounds,” Ms. Hill, the author, said.

Many experts also attribute a decline in religious belief to fostering a belief in the paranormal. A 2021 Pew Research Center survey found that nearly 30 percent of Americans were religiously unaffiliated, 10 percentage points higher than a decade ago.

After all, the same comfort or understanding that religion can bring people can also be found in paranormal beliefs.

Karla Olivares, a financial consultant living in San Antonio, Texas, said that growing up in a house she believed was haunted has made her more accepting of the unexplainable happenings that have occurred in other places she’s lived or visited.

“When I feel something now, I acknowledge it. It’s also made me become more spiritual myself,” Ms. Olivares, 27, said. “Now, I feel that it’s all around me, and I won’t get surprised if I feel something again.”

Psi and Science (Psychology Today)

Why do some scientists refuse to consider the evidence for psi phenomena?

Original article

Posted June 17, 2022 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

Key points

  • In a 2018 survey, over half of a sample of Americans reported a psi experience; a 2022 Brazilian survey revealed 70% had a precognitive dream.
  • Some scientists will not engage with the evidence for psi due to scientism.
  • The ideology of “scientism” is often associated with science, but leads to a lack of open-mindedness, which is contrary to true science.

Psi phenomena, like telepathy and precognition, are controversial in academia. While a minority of academics (such as me) are open-minded about them, others believe that they are pseudo-scientific and that they can’t possibly exist because they contravene the laws of science.

However, the phenomena are much less controversial to the general public. Surveys show significant levels of belief in psi. A survey of 1200 Americans in 2003 found that over 60% believed in extrasensory perception.1

This high level of belief appears to stem largely from experience. In a 2018 survey, half of a sample of Americans reported they had an experience of feeling “as though you were in touch with someone when they were far away.” Slightly less than half reported an experience of knowing “something about the future that you had no normal way to know” (in other words, precognition). Just over 40% reported that they had received important information through their dreams.2

Interestingly, a 2022 survey of over 1000 Brazilian people found higher levels of such anomalous experiences, with 70% reporting they had a precognitive dream at least once.3 This may imply that such experiences are more likely to be reported in Brazil, perhaps due to a cultural climate of greater openness.

How can we account for the disconnect between the dismissal of psi phenomena by some scientists, and the openness of the general population? Is it that scientists are more educated and rational than other sections of the population, many of whom are gullible to superstition and irrational thinking?

I don’t think it’s as simple as this.

Evidence for Psi

You might be surprised to learn that the evidence for phenomena such as telepathy and precognition is strong. As I point out in my book, Spiritual Science, this evidence has remained significant and robust over a massive range of studies over decades.

In 2018, American Psychologist published an article by Professor Etzel Cardeña which carefully and systemically reviewed the evidence for psi phenomena, examining over 750 discrete studies. Cardeña concluded that there was a very strong case for the existence of psi, writing that the evidence was “comparable to that for established phenomena in psychology and other disciplines.”4

For example, from 1974 to 2018, 117 experiments were reported using the “Ganzfeld” procedure, in which one participant attempts to “send” information about images to another distant person. An overall analysis of the results showed a “hit rate” many millions of times higher than chance. Factors such as selective reporting bias (the so-called “file drawer effect”) and variations in experimental quality could not account for the results. Moreover, independent researchers reported statistically identical results.5

So why do some scientists continue to believe that there is no evidence for psi? In my view, the explanation lies in an ideology that could be called “scientism.”


Scientism is an ideology that is often associated with science. It consists of a number of basic ideas, which are often stated as facts, even though they are just assumptions—e.g., that the world is purely physical in nature, that human consciousness is a product of brain activity, that human beings are biological machines whose behaviour is determined by genes, that anomalous phenomena such as near-death experiences and psi are unreal, and so on.

Adherents to scientism see themselves as defenders of reason. They see themselves as part of a historical “enlightenment project” whose aim is to overcome superstition and irrationality. In particular, they see themselves as opponents of religion.

It’s therefore ironic that scientism has become a quasi-religion in itself. In their desire to spread their ideology, adherents to scientism often behave like religious zealots, demonising unwelcome ideas and disregarding any evidence that doesn’t fit with their worldview. They apply their notion of rationality in an extremist way, dismissing any phenomena outside their belief system as “woo.” Scientifically evidential phenomena such as telepathy and precognition are placed in the same category as creationism and conspiracy theories.

One example was a response to Eztel Cardeña’s American Psychologist article (cited above) by the longstanding skeptics Arthur Reber and James Alcock. Aiming to rebut Cardeña’s claims of the strong evidence for psi, they decided that their best approach was not to actually engage with the evidence, but simply to insist that it couldn’t possibly be valid because psi itself was theoretically impossible. As they wrote, “Claims made by parapsychologists cannot be true … Hence, data that suggest that they can are necessarily flawed and result from weak methodology or improper data analyses.”6

A similar strategy was used by the psychologist Marija Branković in a recent paper in The European Journal of Psychology. After discussing a series of highly successful precognition studies by the researcher Daryl Bem, she dismisses them because three investigators were unable to replicate the findings.7 Branković neglects to mention that there have been 90 other replication attempts with a massively significant overall success rate, exceeding the standard of “decisive evidence” by a factor of 10 million.8

Beyond Scientism

It’s worth considering for a moment whether psi really does contravene the laws of physics (or science), as many adherents to scientism suggest. For me, this is one of the most puzzling claims made by skeptics. Tellingly, the claim is often made by psychologists, whose knowledge of modern science may not be deep.

Anyone with a passing knowledge of some of the theories of modern physics—particularly quantum physics—is aware that reality is much stranger than it appears to common sense. There are many theories that suggest that our common-sense view of linear time may be false. There are many theories that suggest that our world is essentially “non-local,” including phenomena such as “entanglement” and “action at a distance.” I think it would be too much of a stretch to suggest that such theories explain precognition and telepathy, but they certainly allow for their possibility.

A lot of people assume that if you’re a scientist, then you must automatically subscribe to scientism. But in fact, scientism is the opposite of true science. The academics who dismiss psi on the grounds that it “can’t possibly be true” are behaving in the same way as the fundamentalist Christians who refuse to consider the evidence for evolution. Skeptics who refuse to engage with the evidence for telepathy or precognition are acting in the same way as the contemporaries of Galileo who refused to look through his telescope, unwilling to face the possibility that their beliefs may need to be revised.


1. Wahbeh H, Radin D, Mossbridge J, Vieten C, Delorme A. Exceptional experiences reported by scientists and engineers. Explore (NY). 2018 Sep;14(5):329-341. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2018.05.002. Epub 2018 Aug 2. PMID: 30415782.

2. Rice TW. Believe It Or Not: Religious and Other Paranormal Beliefs in the United States. J Sci Study Relig. 2003;42(1):95-106. doi:10.1111/1468-5906.00163

3. Monteiro de Barros MC, Leão FC, Vallada Filho H, Lucchetti G, Moreira-Almeida A, Prieto Peres MF. Prevalence of spiritual and religious experiences in the general population: A Brazilian nationwide study. Transcultural Psychiatry. April 2022. doi:10.1177/13634615221088701

4. Cardeña, E. (2018). The experimental evidence for parapsychological phenomena: A review. American Psychologist, 73(5), 663–677.

5. Storm L, Tressoldi P. Meta-analysis of free-response studies 2009-2018: Assessing the noise-reduction model ten years on. J Soc Psych Res. 2020;(84):193-219.

6. Reber, A. S., & Alcock, J. E. (2020). Searching for the impossible: Parapsychology’s elusive quest. American Psychologist, 75(3), 391–399.

7. Branković M. Who Believes in ESP: Cognitive and Motivational Determinants of the Belief in Extra-Sensory Perception. Eur J Psychol. 2019;15(1):120-139. doi:10.5964/ejop.v15i1.1689

8. Bem D, Tressoldi P, Rabeyron T, Duggan M. Feeling the future: A meta-analysis of 90 experiments on the anomalous anticipation of random future events. F1000Research. 2015;4:1188. doi:10.12688/f1000research.7177.2

Recalled experiences surrounding death: More than hallucinations? (Science Daily)

Global scientific team publishes consensus statement and new guidelines

Date: April 12, 2022

Source: NYU Langone Health / NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Summary: Scientific advances in the 20th and 21st centuries have led to a major evolution in the understanding of death. At the same time, for decades, people who have survived an encounter with death have recalled unexplained lucid episodes involving heightened consciousness and awareness. These have been reported using the popular — yet scientifically ill-defined — term ‘near-death experiences’.

Scientific advances in the 20th and 21st centuries have led to a major evolution in the understanding of death. At the same time, for decades, people who have survived an encounter with death have recalled unexplained lucid episodes involving heightened consciousness and awareness. These have been reported using the popular — yet scientifically ill-defined — term “near-death experiences.”

A multidisciplinary team of national and international leaders, led by Sam Parnia, MD, PhD, director of Critical Care and Resuscitation Research at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, have published “Guidelines and Standards for the Study of Death and Recalled Experiences of Death,” a multi-disciplinary consensus statement and proposed future directions in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.Thisstudy, which examined the accumulated scientific evidence to date, represents the first-ever, peer-reviewed consensus statement for the scientific study of recalled experiences surrounding death.

The researchers on the study represent many medical disciplines, including the neurosciences, critical care, psychiatry, psychology, social sciences and humanities, and represent many of the world’s most respected academic institutions including Harvard University, Baylor University, University of California Riverside, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Universities of Southampton and London.

Among their conclusions:

  1. Due to advances in resuscitation and critical care medicine, many people have survived encounters with death or being near-death. These people — who are estimated to comprise hundreds of millions of people around the world based on previous population studies — have consistently described recalled experiences surrounding death, which involve a unique set of mental recollections with universal themes.
  2. The recalled experiences surrounding death are not consistent with hallucinations, illusions or psychedelic drug induced experiences, according to several previously published studies. Instead, they follow a specific narrative arc involving a perception of: (a) separation from the body with a heightened, vast sense of consciousness and recognition of death; (b) travel to a destination; (c) a meaningful and purposeful review of life, involving a critical analysis of all actions, intentions and thoughts towards others; a perception of (d) being in a place that feels like “home,” and (e) a return back to life.
  3. The experience of death culminates into previously unidentified, separate subthemes and is associated with positive long-term psychological transformation and growth.
  4. Studies showing the emergence of gamma activity and electrical spikes — ordinarily a sign of heightened states of consciousness on electroencephalography (EEG) — in relation to death, further support the claims of millions of people who have reported experiencing lucidity and heightened consciousness in relation to death.
  5. Frightening or distressing experiences in relation to death often neither share the same themes, nor the same narrative, transcendent qualities, ineffability, and positive transformative effects.

“Cardiac arrest is not a heart attack, but represents the final stage of a disease or event that causes a person to die,” lead author Parnia explains. “The advent of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) showed us that death is not an absolute state, rather, it’s a process that could potentially be reversed in some people even after it has started.

“What has enabled the scientific study of death,” he continues, “is that brain cells do not become irreversibly damaged within minutes of oxygen deprivation when the heart stops. Instead, they ‘die’ over hours of time. This is allowing scientists to objectively study the physiological and mental events that occur in relation to death.”

So far, the researchers say, evidence suggests that neither physiological nor cognitive processes end with death and that although systematic studies have not been able to absolutely prove the reality or meaning of patients’ experiences and claims of awareness in relation to death, it has been impossible to disclaim them either.

“Few studies have explored what happens when we die in an objective and scientific way, but these findings offer intriguing insights into how consciousness exists in humans and may pave the way for further research,” Parnia adds.

Journal Reference

Sam Parnia, Stephen G. Post, Matthew T. Lee, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Tom P. Aufderheide, Charles D. Deakin, Bruce Greyson, Jeffrey Long, Anelly M. Gonzales, Elise L. Huppert, Analise Dickinson, Stephan Mayer, Briana Locicero, Jeff Levin, Anthony Bossis, Everett Worthington, Peter Fenwick, Tara Keshavarz Shirazi. Guidelines and standards for the study of death and recalled experiences of death––a multidisciplinary consensus statement and proposed future directions. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2022; DOI: 10.1111/nyas.14740

Ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin: Indigenous knowledge serves as a ‘connective tissue’ between nature and human well-being (Mongabay)

by Rhett A. Butler on 31 January 2022

  • As a best-selling author, the co-founder of the award-winning Amazon Conservation Team, and an acclaimed public speaker, Mark Plotkin is one of the world’s most prominent rainforest ethnobotanists and conservationists.
  • His experiences in Amazonian communities led Plotkin, along with Costa Rican conservationist Liliana Madrigal, to establish the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) in 1995. ACT took a distinctly different approach than most Western conservation groups at the time: It placed Indigenous communities at the center of its strategy.
  • ACT’s approach has since been widely adopted by other organizations, and its philosophy as a whole is now more relevant than ever as the conservation sector wrestles with its colonial roots.
  • Plotkin spoke of his work, trends in conservation, and a range of other topics in a January 2022 interview with Mongabay founder Rhett A. Butler.

As a best-selling author, the co-founder of the award-winning Amazon Conservation Team, and an acclaimed public speaker, Mark Plotkin is one of the world’s most prominent rainforest ethnobotanists and conservationists. Plotkin has worked closely with Indigenous communities–including traditional healers or shamans–since the 1980s, first as an academic, then as a member of a large conservation organization.

His experiences in Amazonian communities led Plotkin, along with Costa Rican conservationist Liliana Madrigal, to establish the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) in 1995. ACT took a distinctly different approach than most Western conservation groups at the time: It placed Indigenous communities at the center of its strategy, working in deep and sustained partnerships with Indigenous elders and leaders to strengthen recognition of their rights through a combination of traditional knowledge and mapping technologies. These efforts have resulted in vast swathes of Indigenous territories across rainforests in Colombia, Suriname, and Brazil securing better protection, both functionally and legally. They have also helped elevate the public’s consciousness about the value and importance of traditional Indigenous knowledge.

Mark Plotkin with Captain Kapai (middle) and Captain Aretina, members of the Tiriyo tribe.
Mark Plotkin with Captain Kapai (middle) and Captain Aretina, members of the Tiriyo tribe.

ACT’s approach has since been widely adopted by other organizations, and its philosophy as a whole is now more relevant than ever as the conservation sector wrestles with its colonial roots and the associated issues around discrimination, inclusion, and representation. Put another way, ACT’s longtime model has gone from being seen as fringe to being mainstream.

Plotkin welcomes these developments, but cautions that it will take more than lip-service and money to drive meaningful shifts in how conservation groups work with Indigenous communities.

“Claiming you are going to do something difficult and then carrying it out successfully are not the same thing,” Plotkin told Mongabay during a January 2022 interview. “In my experience, partnering effectively with tribal colleagues and communities does not happen on a western timeline and is certainly not expedited by simply throwing lots of money at the process.”

Jonathan, head of the indigenous park guard program for Kwamalasamutu, on patrol in the Amazon rainforest.
An Indigenous park guard on patrol near Kwamalasamutu, Suriname in the Amazon rainforest. Photo credit: Rhett A. Butler

Plotkin has been working to broaden public interest in Indigenous cultures and knowledge through a variety of platforms, from books to speeches to films, as a way to create a stronger constituency for Indigenous-led conservation. Last year he launched a podcast, “Plants of the Gods: Hallucinogens, Healing, Culture and Conservation”, to reach new audiences with this message.

Plotkin says that the podcast’s emphasis on medicinal plants, especially hallucinogenic plants, serves a purpose.

“I believe that hallucinogens and shamanism represent some of the most important ‘connective tissue’ between tropical nature and human well-being,” Plotkin told Mongabay.

Mark Plotkin podcasting. Photo credit: Mark Plotkin
Mark Plotkin podcasting. Photo credit: Mark Plotkin

As with his books, Plotkin leverages his storytelling abilities to engage his audience. These skills, he says, are critical to maximizing your effectiveness, whether that’s as a conservationist or something else.

“I have spent much of my career working with Indigenous peoples where… storytelling represents an essential craft,” he said. 

“Our industrialized society and our educational system have long undervalued the importance of telling an effective story. Whether you are a prosecutor trying to convince a jury, or a fundraiser trying to convince a donor, or a conservationist trying to convince a government official, you must be able to convey the information in a clear and compelling manner.”

Plotkin spoke of his work, trends in conservation, and a range of other topics in a January 2022 exchange with Mongabay founder Rhett A. Butler.

Mark Plotkin conversing with Yaloeefuh, a Trio shaman. Plotkin has worked with  Yaloeefuh since 1984. Image credit: Amazon Conservation Team
Mark Plotkin conversing with Yaloeefuh, a Trio shaman. Plotkin has worked with Yaloeefuh since 1984. Image credit: Amazon Conservation Team


Mongabay: You launched a very popular podcast last year. As a biologist and a successful author, what moved you to start podcasting?

Mark Plotkin: When I was a kid, there were only three channels of television, meaning an important message that appeared on any one of these channels would be seen by tens of millions of people. Such is no longer the case. If you want to disseminate a message widely, you have to work in a variety of media. I launched “Plants of the Gods: Hallucinogens, Healing, Culture and Conservation” with the intent of reaching a new and broad audience beyond just the folks who visit the Amazon Conservation Team website or have read my books.

Mongabay: Why the focus on hallucinogens and shamanism?

Mark Plotkin: First and foremost, because I am an ethnobotanist, and these are topics that I have found endlessly fascinating since I first wandered into a night school class taught my mentor Richard Schultes, the so-called “Father of Ethnobotany,” in September of 1974.

Secondly, because I believe that hallucinogens and shamanism represent some of the most important “connective tissue” between tropical nature and human well-being.

Mark Plotkin with Akoi, Sikiyana medicine man. Photo credit: ACT
Mark Plotkin with Akoi, Sikiyana medicine man. Photo credit: ACT

Thirdly, because of timing: Every week brings more news about how tropical hallucinogens like psilocybin and ayahuasca (both covered in episodes of “Plants of the Gods”) offer new hope in the treatment—and, sometimes, the cure—of intractable mental ailments ranging from depression to addiction.

Mongabay: Is this why ayahuasca tourism seems so out of control in places like Peru?

Mark Plotkin: This question brings to mind more than one cliché: “It is the best of times; it is the worst of times.” “When God wants to punish you, she answers your prayers.” “When it rains, it pours.”

Look, every biologist as far back as Linnaeus noted the expertise of Indigenous peoples regarding use of local flora and fauna. And most ethnobiologists as far back as Schultes in the late 1930s observed that these cultures used these species to heal in ways we could not understand, that – in the cases of hallucinogenic plants and fungi – shamans were employing psychoactive plants and fungi as biological scalpels to diagnose, analyze, treat and sometimes cure ailments that our own physicians or psychiatrists could not.

It therefore comes as no surprise that people whose medical, spiritual and/or emotional needs are not being met by western medicine or organized religion are traveling to places like Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon to be treated by “indigenous shamans” – some of whom are not Indigenous and many of whom are not shamans.

Sunrise over the Amazon rainforest
Sunrise over the Amazon rainforest. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

The combination of remote areas, linguistic challenges, emotionally unstable people, altered states and money is a combustible one, and resulted in many problems and some fatalities. In my pal Michael Pollan’s book, “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence,” he makes a compelling case as to how and why emotionally fragile people are the ones most at risk in these ceremonies purchased via websites.

Of course, there is a win-win scenario here in which shamanism remains an honored profession, Indigenous people are compensated fairly for their healing knowledge and practices, the rainforest is better protected and cherished, and sick people are cured. Yet achieving these goals have proven more difficult than many had anticipated.

Mongabay: Which brings to mind my next question: The Amazon Conservation Team has put Indigenous communities at the center of its work since inception. Now the conservation sector as a whole is putting much more emphasis on the role Indigenous peoples play in achieving conservation and climate objectives. In your view, what has driven this shift?

Mark Plotkin: It is all too easy to say that the only news that is coming out of the environment in general – and the rainforest in particular – is bad. That people in general and large conservation organizations are now realizing the central role local societies must be empowered to assume is highly encouraging. That the Indigenous peoples themselves are pointing out that they are the best stewards of their ancestral ecosystems is likewise long overdue and to be celebrated.

Nonetheless, claiming you are going to do something difficult and then carrying it out successfully are not the same thing. In my experience, partnering effectively with tribal colleagues and communities does not happen on a western timeline and is certainly not expedited by simply throwing lots of money at the process. For example, for almost four decades, I have been working with the great shaman Amasina – who has been interviewed by Mongabay – and he is still showing me new treatments. Trying to learn information like this in a hurry would have failed.

Amasina in 1982. Photo credit: Mark Plotkin.
Amasina in 1982. Photo credit: Mark Plotkin.
Mark Plotkin with Amasina in Suriname. Photo credit: ACT
Mark Plotkin with Amasina in Suriname. Photo credit: ACT

Another personal example: about five years ago, I was invited (as an observer) to attend a gathering of Indigenous leaders in northeastern Brazil. On the first afternoon, I was approached by Captain Aretina of the Tiriyo people. He said, “I have not seen you in over 30 years. You were my father’s friend. When I heard you were going to be here, I traveled five days from my village to attend. May I give you a hug?” And we embraced, warmly and tearfully.

You cannot create this type of bond when you land at a small rainforest airstrip, tell the pilot to wait for you, have a brief meeting with the village chief, offer him lots of money and then get back on the plane and fly off.

Mongabay: The Amazon Conservation Team’s work in Colombia has significantly expanded over the past decade. What is the impact you’re most proud about in Colombia?

Mark Plotkin: The Amazon Conservation Team just celebrated its 25th Anniversary and Colombia was our first program and remains our largest. The accomplishments there are legion: Gaining title to more than two million acres (an area larger than Yellowstone) for the Indigenous peoples themselves, creation of the first Indigenous women’s reserve (“Mamakunapa”) in the northwest Amazon (with the assistance of my friend Tim Ferriss), and helping craft and pass legislation to protect uncontacted tribes and their ancestral rainforests.

One of the most meaningful achievements for me personally involves the expansion of Chiribiquete National Park where Schultes worked and collected. So stunned was he by this spectacular landscape after he first visited in 1943 that he began lobbying to have the region declared a protected area as soon as he returned to the capital city of Bogotá. In close collaboration with Colombian colleagues in both academia and government, this first came to fruition in 1989.

During the past decade, under the leadership of Northwest Amazon Program Director Carolina Gil and ACT co-founder Liliana Madrigal, we have partnered with local Colombians, (including Indigenous colleagues), to expand Chiribiquete to become the largest rainforest protect area in the Amazon (if not the world). At more than 17,000 square miles, it is twice the size of Massachusetts and protects a multitude of flora and fauna, the worlds’ largest assemblage of Indigenous painting, and at least three uncontacted tribes.

Meseta de Pyramides, Chiribiquete, Colombia. Photo credit: Mark Plotkin

Mongabay: And what about beyond Colombia?

Of course, there are other signature projects elsewhere. In the northeast Amazon, we have successfully partnered with local Indigenous peoples to help them bring no fewer than five non-timber products to market, with more in the pipeline. As far as I know, our Indigenous Ranger Program in the same region is the one of the first and longest running programs of this type in lowland South America. And our Shamans and Apprentices Program – facilitating the transfer of intragenerational healing wisdom within the tribe has been similarly effective.

And mapping: We are extremely proud of the fact that ACT – under the leadership of our ace cartographer Brian Hettler – has partnered with over 90 Indigenous groups to train them to map their own lands.

Furthermore, we have created highly innovative “Story Maps” for a variety of purposes. My two favorites are “The Life and Times of Richard Schultes” and “Lands of Freedom focusing on the oral history and history of the Matawai Maroons of Suriname, a landmark in documenting the African American diaspora.

Mongabay: Returning to the subject of Colombia, despite relatively progressive policies around Indigenous rights and conservation, Colombia’s deforestation rate has been climbing. What do you see as the key elements to reversing this trend?

Mark Plotkin: Apparently, the Presidents of both Colombia and Costa Rica were hailed as heroes at the recent COP meetings, based largely on programs and projects largely enacted by predecessors.

Tree cover loss and primary forest loss in Colombia from 2002 to 2020 according to data from Hansen et al 2021.
Tree cover loss and primary forest loss in Colombia from 2002 to 2020 according to data from Hansen et al 2021.

We need both the carrot and the stick to move forward in the sense that positive moves need to be celebrated while destructive moves are punished by economic responses, not just in the tropics but here in the industrialized world as well.

The concentration of wealth also needs to be called out: That more and more of the world’s wealth is the hands of the few, especially those few who have little connection to nature, bodes ill for the future. It is encouraging to see more billionaires writing checks for progressive causes but — with some very noteworthy exceptions — they are not giving their support to the most effective grassroots organizations, despite a lot of blather about “impact investing.”

The bottom line: We need to more effectively celebrate or criticize politicians and businesspeople for their actions. We also need to make sure much more training, opportunity and support are reaching communities at the grassroots level. And we need to do what we can to reorient our society and our economy to stop glorifying profits at all costs and promoting short-term gratification planning, thinking and operations which is fouling our global nest at an ever more frantic pace.

Mongabay: Beyond what you’ve mentioned so far, what do you see as the biggest gaps in the conservation sector? What is holding conservation back from having greater impact?

Mark Plotkin: One need is better analysis: What is the cost of pouring mercury into the Amazon in terms of human suffering and increased cancers? Of course, presenting the cost-benefit equation alone as a simple solution is far too reductionist. Throughout the course of human prehistory (e.g., the overhunting and extinction of animals as varied as the American mammoth and the Steller’s sea cow) and history (deforestation of the Mediterranean countries, DDT as a pesticide, voting against one’s economic self-interest, etc.), people have always carried out self-destructive practices.

Gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.
Gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

Yet better explanation of costs and benefits, better elucidation of the spiritual components of environmental stewardship and better prosecution of environmental destroyers would bode well for the future. Many environmentalists forget: It was evangelicals who spoke in support of and fought to protect the Endangered Species Act when it was threatened in the 1980s. Better bridge-building in our ever more politically polarized world in the U.S. could conceivably bring many benefits.

Mongabay: Do you think the pandemic will teach us anything about how to do conservation better?

Mark Plotkin: I penned an editorial for the Los Angeles Review of Books, titled “Conservation and Coronavirus,” that described the link between the rise of the novel coronavirus and the abuse of nature in general and the wildlife trade in particular, and asserted that the best way to head off the next pandemic was to reset and rethink much of the unethical and needlessly cruel exploitation of Mother Nature, from deforestation to cramming animals into fetid cages. Many, many others have spoken to the same issues. Time will tell if there were lessons learned from the pandemic. In the short term, I am not seeing the changes necessary.

Mongabay: You’re the author of several acclaimed books, have appeared in numerous documentaries, and host a successful podcast. What would you tell younger colleagues about the importance of storytelling?

Mark Plotkin: I start with two advantages. First, I hail from New Orleans, where good storytelling is a highly celebrated practice. Not only is it a city where many great writers and storytellers were born, but even some of our most celebrated authors who weren’t raised there, like Twain and Faulkner, had their careers and abilities turbocharged by spending time in New Orleans. I have also spent much of the past four decades working with traditional storytellers in Indigenous cultures where being able to make a point through a tale well told is of paramount importance.

Secondly, I have spent much of my career working with Indigenous peoples where (once again) storytelling represents an essential craft.

The single best book I have every read about learning how to tell a story – whether it is while sitting around a campfire in the wilderness or composing a script for Netflix – is “The Writer’s Journey,” by Chris Vogler. The author explains Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” through the prism of Hollywood films and explains why and how “The Wizard of Oz,” “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” are the same basic story. Every storyteller should read this book!

Mark Plotkin with Amasina and other medicine men. Photo credit: ACT
Mark Plotkin with Amasina and other medicine men. Photo credit: ACT

Finally, I would say that our industrialized society and our educational system have long undervalued the importance of telling an effective story. Whether you are a prosecutor trying to convince a jury, or a fundraiser trying to convince a donor, or a conservationist trying to convince a government official, you must be able to convey the information in a clear and compelling manner.

Mongabay: What advice would you give to a young person considering a career in conservation?

Mark Plotkin: It is very easy for everyone – not just young people – to be discouraged by the global environmental situation: deforestation, wildfires, pollution, climate change, etc. – the list is long and seemingly endless. However, nothing is worse than doing nothing because you can’t do everything.

Monumental change IS possible, although you do not often see it featured in the media. Just look at Mongabay: even with the all the heartbreaking stories, there are always accounts of new ideas, initiatives, and successes. I concluded my most recent book as follows: “When I was growing up in the 1950’s and 1960’s, people habitually threw litter out their car windows, smoked cigarettes in offices and on airplanes, shunned seatbelts and assumed the Berlin Wall would never come down. With enough changed minds come changed policies and realities.”

Rainforest creek in the Colombian Amazon. Image by Rhett A. Butler.

So to modify a much quoted aphorism: be and create the change to want to see. The shamans with whom I have had the honor and privilege to learn from for almost four decades insist on the interconnectedness of all things, be it deforestation or racism or elephant poaching or poverty or climate change. I certainly believe the world needs more ethnobotanists and other boundary walkers who can straddle different cultures and belief systems, but I also know that we need more lawyers and politicians and spiritual leaders and politicians and artists and businesspeople to join the cause. Environmental justice and stewardship are way too important to be left solely to environmentalists!

Mônica Bergamo: Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral diz ter sido chamada para desencalhar navio no Canal de Suez (Folha de S.Paulo)

31 de março de 2021

A Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral, entidade esotérico-científica que diz controlar o clima, afirma ter sido acionada por uma seguradora internacional para ajudar no desencalhe do navio que entalou no Canal de Suez por dias.

Retroescavadeira tenta auxiliar no desencalhe do navio, mas ele está preso desde o dia 25 de março.

Empresa Evergreen Marine, que opera o cargueiro, atribui a mudança de rumo do navio uma forte rajada de vento.

Sobre fenômenos paranormais no apartamento de Millôr Fernandes e no IUPERJ

Opinião – Ruy Castro: Fim do mistério (Folha de S.Paulo)

Ruy Castro, 6 de setembro de 2020

RIO DE JANEIRO”‚Solicitado além da conta pelas mesquinharias do Aquém, tive de me dedicar também nos últimos anos a certas intervenções do Além. Refiro-me aos fenômenos ocorridos recentemente num apartamento de Ipanema onde, por 50 anos, manteve seu estúdio um amado jornalista, escritor, cartunista, dramaturgo e pensador. A listagem dessas categorias e o fato de ser um personagem de Ipanema podiam levar à sua imediata identificação —Millôr Fernandes, claro—, mas mantive seu nome em segredo na primeira vez que escrevi sobre o caso (“Abraçado a este mundo“, 31/5/2017).

Millôr morrera havia cinco anos, em 2012. Seu acervo já tinha sido levado e o apartamento estava passando por reforma para ser alugado. Mas a obra se arrastava porque nenhuma turma de operários durava muito tempo. Móveis, ferramentas e apetrechos pesados anoiteciam num lugar e amanheciam em outro, sem que ninguém entrasse lá de madrugada. Coisas assim. E, a qualquer hora, ouviam-se suspiros vindos de aposentos vazios.

A custo a reforma terminou e um americano alugou o apartamento para morar. Era fã de Millôr, mas nem isso impediu que o inexplicável continuasse a acontecer, como lâmpadas acendendo e apagando como numa coreografia e livros se pondo de cabeça para baixo quando ninguém estava olhando. O americano também deu no pé e, já autorizado a dizer o nome, escrevi que, pelo visto, Millôr não se empolgara com o outro mundo e queria voltar para o nosso (“A volta de quem não foi“, 20/4/2018).

Em fins do ano passado, o apartamento foi alugado de novo. Mas algo benigno deve ter rompido a cadeia de mistério, porque, desde então, ele nunca mais foi palco do insondável. Suas atuais inquilinas vivem lá tranquilamente com seu cachorrinho, a que deram o nome de Millôr.

Trata-se de um shih tzu, originário da China, com mil anos de linhagem e considerado sagrado. Só pode ser isso.

Opinião – Ruy Castro: A volta de quem não foi (Folha de S.Paulo)

Ruy Castro, 20 de abril de 2018

Há tempos escrevi aqui sobre um apartamento, em Ipanema, de certo intelectual morto em 2012 e que, na iminência de ser ocupado por um novo morador, começou a acusar fenômenos estranhos —como se o antigo proprietário ainda estivesse por ali, inconformado por ter morrido e surpreso por constatar que, ao contrário do que sempre acreditara em vida, parecia existir, sim, um “outro mundo”.

Que fenômenos? Eram objetos deixados pelos operários num lugar e que reapareciam em outro, vasos sanitários que davam descarga por conta própria e lâmpadas que se acendiam e se apagavam seguindo uma coreografia. E os suspiros, gemidos e pigarros, que se podiam identificar como sendo do falecido morador. Era como se o homem estivesse tentando se comunicar com o nosso miserável mundo —ele que, por 70 anos, escrevendo e desenhando em jornais, revistas e livros, enriquecera este mundo com seu gênio e rigor implacáveis.

 Pois aconteceu que um jovem americano alugou o apartamento. Sabendo quem morara ali, quis conhecer seus textos e cartuns. Isso pode ter aplacado a situação, mas não por muito tempo. Logo os livros começaram a aparecer ao contrário na estante e os quadros a amanhecer de cabeça para baixo. O americaninho estava disposto a aguentar até que, há poucas semanas, uma parte do teto desabou. O rapaz pegou o boné —largou tudo e voltou para os EUA.

Foi preciso fazer nova obra no apartamento. E terá sido coincidência que, no dia 27 de março último, sexto aniversário da morte de nosso amigo, o chão do apartamento tenha afundado? Não há dúvida —ele quer voltar e, pelas amostras, deve ter muito a dizer.

Até hoje omiti seu nome, mas fui finalmente autorizado a revelá-lo: Millôr Fernandes. Não acredito nessas coisas, mas, se Millôr voltar, você pode me aguardar, de barba, cajado e túnica, pelas ruas do Rio.

Fenômenos paranormais no IUPERJ

Postagem no Facebook de Luiz Eduardo Soares de 7 de setembro de 2020

Meu materialismo radical e meu amor pela ciência não me impedem de reconhecer a realidade do que não sei explicar. Pelo contrário, me obrigam à humildade ante o mistério. A coluna de hoje do Ruy Castro conta a saga inexplicável do apartamento do Millôr, depois de sua morte. Equipamentos pesados de reforma se movendo, livros virando de ponta cabeça, os sons nos aposentos, ao longo de anos. Os enigmas do real e o real dos enigmas desafiaram as mais céticas testemunhas. Foi parecida minha experiência noturna no IUPERJ, onde lecionei por 15 anos. O casarão da rua da Matriz ficava vazio de madrugada. Eu gostava de entrar noite adentro, naquela paz, lendo e escrevendo. Eram meus momentos mais concentrados e produtivos. Minha única companhia era o porteiro, uma noite seu Raimundo, outra, seu Manoel. Minha salinha ficava no segundo andar, longe da entrada, onde um dos dois atravessava a madrugada, atrás da mesinha de madeira, no escuro. Essa foi minha rotina por bastante tempo, até que, certa vez, bateram à porta, batidas claras e distintas, uma, duas, três, quatro. “Pode entrar”, eu disse, virando a cabeça para trás, à espera do sorriso largo de seu Raimundo, ou da circunspecção gentil de seu Manoel, aproveitando a ronda pela casa pra me levar um cafezinho. Nada. Eu insisti: “Entra”. Mesmo com o ar-refrigerado desligado, às vezes não se ouvia. Aumentei o volume: “Pode entrar”. Nada. Levantei e abri a porta. Ninguém. Liguei a luz do corredor, “Oi, estou aqui, quem é?”. Andei de uma ponta a outra. Salas vazias, portas fechadas, nenhum sinal de vida. Gatos não batem à porta. “Seu Raimundo?” Nenhuma resposta. Voltei à minha leitura. Alguns minutos depois, o enredo se repetiu. Dessa vez, liguei para a portaria: “Tem alguém na casa, seu Raimundo?” Só o senhor mesmo. Contei a história. O porteiro não se abalou. Respondeu um “acontece”, que não entendi, nem me esforcei por entender. A informação me bastava. Não havia ninguém e pronto. Voltei ao estudo, mas tive o cuidado de trancar a porta. Felizmente, não houve mais batidas, ou melhor, por cerca de uma hora li sem interrupções, até que a rodada de batidas e procura por quem teria batido recomeçou. Decidi tirar aquilo a limpo. Desci as escadas, depois de dar uma olhada no terceiro andar e deixar as luzes acesas, no segundo. Na portaria, puxei uma cadeira, me servi do café no copinho de plástico: “O que o senhor quis dizer quando me disse acontece?” Ah, isso é comum, seu Raimundo explicou, é normal. E emendou uma fileira de casos daquele tipo, que incluíam derrubada de livros na biblioteca, sem gatos ou vento. Ele tinha suas teorias sobrenaturais. Preferi ficar estacionado na perplexidade. Não compro teorias conspiratórias nem políticas nem metafísicas. Nem por isso nego evidências. Ainda insisti com uma derradeira tentativa de encaixar as batidas na porta com meu código de construção cognitiva da realidade: “Será que eu dormi e sonhei com as batidas, seu Raimundo?” Foi isso não, ele disse. Essa noite, tá muito movimentado no segundo andar, dá pra ouvir daqui gente correndo, feito crianças apostando corrida. Volta e meia é assim. Fui pra casa. No dia seguinte, as cenas se repetiram e minha conversa foi com seu Manuel, que confirmou o testemunho do colega. O senhor não tinha reparado? Eu nunca tinha reparado, mas, a partir daquela noite, passei a ser importunado com frequência, até a noite em que, antes das batidas, ouvi os passos se aproximando. Em vez de dizer “entra”, abri a porta abruptamente. Não havia ninguém. Olhei para um lado e outro. Fechei. Ainda de pé, alerta, pronto para abrir a porta e surpreender o engraçadinho, aguardei. De novo, batidas firmes, fortes, para não deixar nenhum resquício de dúvida. Em um segundo escancarei a porta. Nada. Confesso que o coração bateu mais forte. Desisti de atravessar as madrugadas no casarão da rua da Matriz. Interessante foi perceber, depois de consultar as bibliotecárias, que nada daquilo era novo e que nós, os professores, as professoras, com nossos PHDs, jamais havíamos nos dado conta de que, ao nosso lado, havia todo um universo de crenças, valores, experiências e relatos, universo habitado pelos trabalhadores que nos serviam e que jamais haviam compartilhado conosco suas incríveis aventuras, algumas mais fascinantes do que nossos tratados sociológicos, talvez porque temessem nossa ironia, talvez porque temessem que desdenhássemos de sua “ignorância”. Em nosso senso de realidade não cabia toda a realidade. Nossa acuidade racional longamente apurada nos era muito útil, mas também nos blindava contra o que perturbasse nossas convicções. E no entanto, bastava deixar-se estar por mais tempo na casa e conviver com o outro lado do cotidiano ordenado da instituição. Com o outro lado de nossa classe social. Bastava arriscar-se um pouco além do prazo de validade do dia de trabalho, bastava desligar as formalidades que nos mantinham próximos e distantes desses outros companheiros e dessas outras companheiras de trabalho. A materialidade ultrapassava os domínios da racionalidade que lhe atribuíamos. Enquanto isso, outros modos de saber se mostravam mais flexíveis e capazes de reconhecer a extensão incognoscível e incontrolável dos fatos. Entretanto, disso nunca tratamos com nossos alunos.

Médium garante controlar o clima e atendeu governos do Brasil e do exterior (RedeTV!)


Médium garante controlar o clima e atendeu governos do Brasil e do exterior

Em rara aparição na TV, Adelaide Scritori, da Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral, fala sobre a parceira com políticos brasileiros e estrangeiros. Além de garantir que pode controlar o clima, ela mostra documentos para provar que alertou o governo dos EUA sobre o atentado às Torres Gêmeas, Saddam Hussein da Guerra do Golfo e diz que avisou Ayrton Senna sobre o acidente que ele sofreria em Ímola.

Publicada: 19/01/2018


Brasília contrata Cacique Cobra Coral para conter crise no desabastecimento de água (O Globo)


30/03/2017 07:45

Congresso Nacional em Brasília

Congresso Nacional em Brasília | Reprodução

Brasília também se rendeu ao Cacique Cobra Coral. Com risco real de desabastecimento de água na cidade, e às vésperas de sediar o Fórum Mundial da Água em 2018, o governo do Distrito Federal decidiu fechar parceria com a fundação esotérica que teria o poder de controlar o tempo. A parceria foi sugerida pelo governador do Rio, Luiz Fernando Pezão.

Segue a história

O governador do Distrito Federal, Rodrigo Rollemberg, já encaminhou a minuta do contrato para a CAESB (Companhia de Saneamento Ambiental do Distrito Federal), que ficará responsável pelo convênio com a entidade.


8 COMENTÁRIOS (em 3 de abril de 2017, às 15h57)


J Figueiredo



Marco Passos


Esses cars não ficam com medo nem em tempo de lava jato. Tomara que não demore muito a ser preso.

Marco Passos


É muita falta de vergonha.

Vitor Cunha


Certamente a família Maia está levando comissão!

Cristiano Lima


vocês desejam que volte a ter água em qualquer lugar do Brasil, então PLANTE MUITAS ARVORES E A NATUREZA VAI AGRADECER!

Pablo Arceles


Eles teriam o poder de controlar o clima não o tempo, nossa eu que sou burro faria umas reportagens melhores do que alguns jornalistas do Globo.

José Soares


Religião cada um tem a sua… Há quem não tem nenhuma. Outros tantos são agnósticos ou ateus. Não é brinquedo não, prefeitos do Rio César Maia e Paes, e o governador Pezão assinarem contrato com a Fundação Cobra Coral para prestar assistência espiritual a fim de tentar reduzir os estragos causados por temporais; a ONG é comandada por Adelaide Scritori, que afirma ter o poder de controlar o tempo. Dória outsider inteligente foi na onda; o governante da vez é de Brasília. E assim a médium vai faturando, às custas de contribuintes… Vixe!

Roldão Filho


Só falta contratar o Dr. Janot Pacheco para jogar sal nas nuvens para que chova.

Rollemberg diz manter ‘contato informal’ com Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral (G1)

Governador do DF afirmou, em rede social, que relação não prevê contrato ou pagamento; entidade contesta. Fundação diz ter montado ‘QG’ no Entorno para estender temporada de chuvas.


Postagem do governador Rodrigo Rollemberg em rede social, com referência à Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral (Foto: Facebook/Reprodução)

Postagem do governador Rodrigo Rollemberg em rede social, com referência à Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral (Foto: Facebook/Reprodução) 

O governador do Distrito Federal, Rodrigo Rollemberg, afirmou nas redes sociais que tem “mantido contatos informais” com a Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral – entidade esotérica que teria o poder de controlar o clima –, em busca de soluções para a crise hídrica que atinge a capital. Segundo Rollemberg, as conversas não incluem contrato ou pagamento, mas “toda ajuda é bem-vinda”.

A publicação foi ao ar nesta sexta-feira (31). Na quinta (30), reportagem do G1 mostrou que a fundação tinha montado um “quartel-general” em Luziânia, no Entorno, para adiar a chegada da estiagem ao Planalto Central. A informação foi confirmada pelo porta-voz da entidade, Osmar Santos, mas, naquele momento, a Caesb e o Palácio do Buriti informavam “desconhecer” o convênio.

Na postagem, Rollemberg diz que, “como católico”, tem “rezado muito para que chova bastante no DF”. As atividades da Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral estão relacionadas a contatos com o plano astral e com o espírito do cacique que nomeia a entidade – e que já passou pela terra como Abraham Lincoln e Galileu Galilei, segundo o grupo.

Questionado pelo G1, Santos disse que a fundação se define como “entidade esotérica científica, ou espiritualista”. Segundo ele, toda operação tem apoio técnico de dois cientistas voluntários – um da Universidade de São Paulo (USP), e um do Centro de Previsões e Estudos Climáticos do Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (CPTEC/Inpe).

Ao contrário do que afirma o governo, a Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral diz que um contrato será fechado, e terá de ser publicado em Diário Oficial. O acordo não prevê repasse de dinheiro público – as atividades são custeadas por empresários e mantenedores, afirma a entidade.

Fotografia de longa exposição de raios e tempestade no Distrito Federal (Foto: Felipe Bastos/Arquivo pessoal)

Fotografia de longa exposição de raios e tempestade no Distrito Federal (Foto: Felipe Bastos/Arquivo pessoal) 

Fé contra a crise

Segundo o porta-voz, a operação será similar à que foi empregada em São Paulo e no Rio de Janeiro, em 2015, para conter a crise hídrica que secou os reservatórios daquela região.

Em fevereiro, o blog “Gente Boa”, do jornal “O Globo”, informou que o prefeito João Doria tinha fechado nova parceria com a fundação. “Quem nos indicou para o governo de Brasília foi o governador [do Rio], Luiz Fernando Pezão, que tocava essa operação por lá”, diz Santos.

“Começamos há uns 20 dias. [A intervenção] Consiste em prolongar esse período chuvoso por mais uns dias, para tornar o outono e o inverno mais úmidos. Também queremos antecipar o período chuvoso já para setembro.”

Em anos “normais”, a temporada de chuvas no DF começa em meados de outubro, e se estende até o mês de março. Se o clamor ao cacique for atendido, as nuvens devem continuar sobre a capital federal por, pelo menos, mais dez dias.

“É um processo gradual, porque você não pode mexer com a natureza de qualquer jeito, causando efeito colateral. Mas vão ser as águas de abril, e não de março, que vão fechar o verão.”

Além do socorro às crises hídricas, a fundação já foi acionada pelos governos estaduais, pela União e até por outros países para garantir o céu limpo em grandes eventos – Rock in Rio, festas de réveillon e Olimpíadas, por exemplo.

37 COMENTÁRIOS (3 de abril de 2017, 13h57)

  • Lazaro Castro


    honrar compromisso que é bom nada né governador lamentável


    • Saulo Weslei

      HÁ 5 HORAS

      Quando um governo é extremamente incompetente recorre a estas coisas.

    • José Rodrigues

      HÁ 2 HORAS

      kkkkkkkk……….é cada piada esse governo imprestável!!!!!

  • Jose

    HÁ 15 HORAS

    Ma che bello administrador ! kkkk

  • Bruno Silva
    HÁ 16 HORAS

    Por que nunca resolveram o problema do sertão nordestino? Precisava transpor o velho Chico com uma “solução” prática dessa?

  • George Rocha

    HÁ 19 HORAS

    Só pode estar desdenhando!


  • Ivam Silva

    HÁ 24 HORAS

    Me recuso a acreditar nessas asneiras. So mesmo nesse Brasilzinho.


  • Laechelndfuchs


    Os surdos correm grande risco de serem picados pela cobra coral…


  • Carlos Leonel



  • Cleanto Sena


    ouvi dizer que a tal entidade vai também atuar na saúde ,segurança ,transporte, e economia do DF pois os últimos governantes não deram conta


  • Marcio L.


    sera que pra trazer chuva os caras vão fazer a dança da chuva kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk


  • Renato Abreu
    HÁ 2 DIAS

    Caique coral é uma entidade da bruxaria. Governador, não amaldiçoe ainda mais nossa terra. Vc não faz idéia do mal que vc está se fazendo e a toda população do DF. Vai procurar Deus, vai orar, pede a Jesus Cristo, pq ele sim é quem faz chover para pecadores e justos.


    • Galega

      HÁ UM DIA

      rindo até 2050 kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

    • Cesar Schmitt

      HÁ UM DIA

      Te informa direito, antes de dizer besteira,

  • Ricardo Cardoso


    Aqui a mallandragem não tem por onde.

  • Milton Oliveira


    Governador do DF Rodrigo Rollemberg … é um exemplo do baixo nível dos gestores do nosso dinheiro no Brasil …Energia esotérica contra a crise hídrica ??? Só para um incompetente sair com essa … Vamos varrer essa gente da vida pública


  • Francisco Rocha

    HÁ 2 DIAS

    Parece piada do Sensacionalista.


    • Leandro

      HÁ UM DIA

      pois é, por um momento até achei que tava no portal errado.

  • Andre Ramos



  • Vicente


    Agora, o Brasil inaugurará a CORRUPÇÃO espiritual !!


  • Veterano


    A primeira vez que ouvi sobre essa Fundação, faz anos… Foi notícias vindas do RJ, onde o Governo pagava para essa Fundação ajudar a NÃO chover no Réveillon. Demorei um bom tempo para acreditar no que lia, achei que tinha enlouquecido de vez.


    • Veterano

      HÁ UM DIA

      A tal Fundação “trabalhou” no Rock in Rio?! De qual ano??? Em 2011 choveu tanto que pro Guns and Roses tocar tiveram antes que retirar muita água do palco com rodo.

  • Andre Campos

    HÁ 2 DIAS

    Eu sinceramente estou a defecar e a andar para o fato do Rollemberg (e a globo) ter fé em qualquer coisa ou achar isso bonito. Eu quero é que ele cumpra as promessas de governo, que até agora não chegaram em nem 20% do prometido.


    • Loucs Silva

      HÁ UM DIA

      Cara, não tem 5 meses de cargo…

  • Michele Junior

    HÁ 2 DIAS

    No centro espirita, preciso de chuva no distrito federal, atençao caral musical do centro vamos la voce deve esta pensando, ela foi embora, mais ja deve esta voltando, nao demora, ou ela foi pra muito longe, felicidade, felicidade? erramos que maldade, onde esta que nao responde, pois minha ALMA geme por voce, geme geme u por voce geme geme ha, ha ha ha a chuva nao vai chegar


  • Daniel Dutra
    HÁ 2 DIAS

    O que é “contato informal”?


  • José Oliveira

    HÁ 2 DIAS


  • Hamitlon Júnior

    HÁ 2 DIAS

    Me paga que eu faço a dança da chuva todo dia ao meio dia!


    • Jane Lucas

      HÁ 2 DIAS


  • Francisco Silva
    HÁ 2 DIAS

    Manda esta organização pro nordeste,se resolver o problema recebe, se não resolver ela paga o prejuiso.


    • Jane Lucas

      HÁ 2 DIAS


  • Edson Mendes

    HÁ 2 DIAS

    E muito obscurantismo em pleno século XXl


  • Pedro Passos

    HÁ 2 DIAS

    Só o que faltava! Fala sério?


Gol pagará R$ 4 mi a índios pela queda do avião em 2006 (UOL)


A Gol pagará indenização de R$ 4 milhões por danos ambientais, materiais e imateriais ao povo Mebengokre Kayapó, da Terra Indígena Capoto/Jarina, em Peixoto de Azevedo, a 629 quilômetros de Cuiabá, por causa da queda de um Boeing da companhia, em setembro de 2006, que deixou 154 mortos. Segundo as crenças e tradições do povo Kayapó, a área tornou-se uma “casa dos espíritos” após a tragédia.

O acordo foi fechado em 28 de outubro, intermediado pelo Ministério Público Federal, e veio a público ontem. O avião da Gol fazia a linha do voo 1907, entre Manaus e Rio, e caiu após se chocar com um jato Legacy que seguia para os Estados Unidos, com sete pessoas a bordo. Os pilotos e ocupantes do Legacy conseguiram pousar, sem sofrer maiores danos. Passageiros e tripulação da Gol morreram na queda do Boeing.

Após a tragédia, a área afetada pelo acidente tornou-se “imprópria para o uso da comunidade, por razões de ordem religiosa e cultural”. Segundo as crenças e tradições do povo Kayapó, passou a existir ali uma “casa dos espíritos”. “Naquele lugar nós não vamos caçar, não vamos fazer roça, não vamos pescar. Nós respeitamos os espíritos que moram lá”, explicou o cacique Bedjai Txucarramãe.

A Gol definiu que cabia aos índios discutirem a indenização pela terra perdida. “Para a sociedade branca ainda é difícil entender a vida religiosa e espiritual dos povos indígenas. A conclusão da empresa, após diversas reuniões, é que somente a própria etnia Kayapó poderia valorar os danos passados e futuros sofridos.

Entenda-se esse acordo como gesto de respeito para com a comunidade e a cultura do povo Kayapó, pelo qual a empresa, com absoluta boa-fé, busca realizar a reparação integral dos danos decorrentes do acidente aéreo”, ressaltou um representante da Gol.

Uso dos recursos

A proposta de indenização aceita pelos índios também recebeu aval do diretor de Promoção ao Desenvolvimento Sustentável da Fundação Nacional do Índio (Funai), Artur Nobre Mendes, durante a reunião do dia 28. O uso dos recursos será gerido pelo Instituto Raoni, que também deverá prestar contas à Procuradoria da República em Barra do Garças, comprovando que a quantia resultou em melhorias ou benefícios para o povo Mebengokre Kayapó.

O procurador da República Wilson Rocha Fernandes Assis, que atuou na intermediação da negociação, ressaltou no site oficial do MPF o protagonismo da comunidade indígena na celebração do acordo. Segundo ele, caberá ao MPF a elaboração de um laudo antropológico para esclarecer quais lideranças vão formalizar o acordo.

As informações são do jornal O Estado de S. Paulo.

09/07/2016 20h32 – Atualizado em 09/07/2016 20h32

Índios kayapós querem indenização por queda de avião da Gol em MT (G1)

Índios alegam que local virou ‘casa de espíritos’ e vedado ao uso da tribo.
Avião da Gol caiu na terra indígena Capoto-Jarina em setembro de 2006

Lislaine dos Anjos, Do G1 MT

Cacique de laptop cobra até US$ 10 mil para espantar chuva (Folha de S.Paulo)

Ilustrada. São Paulo, quarta-feira, 06 de outubro de 2010


O índio citado pelo diretor artístico do SWU é uma das figuras mais bizarras do show business nacional. Segundo Roberto Medina, o empresário por trás do Rock in Rio, é o trabalho dele que tem segurado a água que invariavelmente jorra do céu toda vez que um festival de música acontece. Embora o assunto seja tratado com discrição, os eventos costumam reservar uma cifra para contratar os “serviços meteorológicos” da Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral (, uma entidade “científica esotérica especializada em fenômenos climáticos”.

Na prática, trata-se de uma dança da chuva ao contrário. O cacique, com métodos que não revela, garante manter as nuvens carregadas longe do local do show.
Medina conta que, no caso dele, o cacique nunca falhou – desde a primeira vez que foi contratado por sua empresa, a Artplan, na edição de 2001 do Rock in Rio.

Apesar da mítica deixada por Woodstock, onde a lama foi protagonista, Medina queria seu festival seco. Mas faltava uma semana para os shows e chovia torrencialmente. Foi quando uma assessora lhe falou do cacique “que fazia parar de chover”.

“Imaginei que chegaria uma pessoa com cocar, mas entrou um sujeito de terno, com laptop”, diz. “Ele pediu US$ 10 mil e eu negociei: “Te pago dois agora e, se não chover mesmo, te pago os oito no final”.”

O que mais o impressionou foi o fato de só não chover onde acontecia o festival. “Na outra esquina chovia sem parar, mas ali não caiu uma gota.”

Quando faz festivais fora do Brasil -como o Rock in Rio de Lisboa-, Medina carrega junto o cacique.

Procurada pela Folha, a Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral diz que tem como norma não identificar seus clientes e só dá entrevistas por e-mail.

“Nossa agência elabora boletins que sinalizam os melhores dias para os shows”, afirma Osmar Santos, da FCCC. “Tais boletins são elaborados por cientistas-meteorologistas, com base em modelos matemáticos e previsões numéricas.”

“Muita gente contrata [esse serviço]”, diz Pablo Fantoni, do Planeta Terra. “Eu não acredito. Se existe uma pessoa que tem poder sobre o tempo, seria um desperdício ele estar sendo usado em festivais de música e não para resolver a seca no Nordeste.”


Hoje no Rock: Rock in Rio, 25 anos (Caio Mattos Experience)

Segunda-feira, 11 de janeiro de 2010

Hoje a primeira (e vamos combinar, a única) edição do Rock In Rio, completa 25 anos. Lembro bem da excitação da época e dos boatos, incluindo uma profecia de Nostradamus. O G1 preparou esta lista com 10 curiosidades bem legais. Taí pra voces!

No dia 11 de janeiro de 1985, os portões da Cidade do Rock se abriram para fazer história, inaugurando a era dos megafestivais de música pop no Brasil.

Há 25 anos, por dez dias, o Rock in Rio reuniu 29 artistas e 1,38 milhão de pessoas vibrando com o metal do Iron Maiden, se emocionando com James Taylor e quase nadando na lama nos dias mais chuvosos. As contas gastronômicas ajudam a dar a dimensão do evento – foram consumidos 1,2 milhão de sanduícules, 33 mil pizzas e 1,6 litros de cerveja, chope e refrigerante.

Além dos dados, nem todo mundo conhece outras histórias por trás do Rock in Rio, e o G1 selecionou alguns dos momentos mais curiosos do livro “Metendo o pé na lama”, escrito pelo diretor de arte Cid Castro, funcionário de Roberto Medina e criador da logomarca do festival. Confira abaixo dez curiosidades sobre o Rock in Rio I:

1 – Nostradamus x Bola – Circulavam boatos na época de que uma profecia de Nostradamus diria que um festival na América do Sul acabaria em tragédia. Para combater os rumores, a organização contratou um astrólogo, chamado Bola, para fazer o mapa astral do Rock in Rio. Ele disse que seria um festival tranquilo e acertou em cheio os resultados, até nos pontos baixos (falta de lucro e mau tempo).

2 – Era uma vez um pântano – A Cidade do Rock, arrendada em um campo ao lado do Autódromo de Jacarepaguá, levou três meses só para ter a base pronta. Em novembro de 1984, o pântano de 85 mil metros quadrados havia se transformado em uma área urbanizada com ruas, saneamento, área de lazer e heliporto. Foram necessários 55 mil caminhões de terra para adubar o aterro.

3 – Apostando tudo – Os potenciais patrocinadores do festival avisaram que só entrariam com o dinheiro depois que 50% das atrações internacionais estivessem confirmadas. Sem dinheiro para começar os trabalhos, Roberto Medina teve que dar o prédio de sete andares da agência Artplan como garantia para um empréstimo bancário.

4 – ‘Paitrocínio’ – O festival quase não aconteceu por falta de atrações. Apesar da experiência da Artplan, que já realizara shows de artistas como Barry White, Julio Iglesias e a apresentação lotada de Frank Sinatra no Maracanã com 160 ml pessoas, Roberto Medina passou 40 dias em Nova York correndo atrás de artistas, sem sucesso. Só depois da intervenção de seu pai Abraham Medina, preocupado com o sucesso da operação, é que as coisas começaram a andar – ele publicou matérias pagas em jornais estrangeiros e organizou um cocktail em Los Angeles, e então os contratos começaram a ser fechados.

5 – Jeitinho brasileiro – Para dar agilidade na troca de artistas do festival, que tinha apenas um palco, o cenógrafo Mário Monteiro criou uma estrutura móvel com três “palcos” distintos, correndo sobre trilhos – enquanto uma banda tocava, o equipamento da outra era preparado no tablado lateral.

6 – Saúde é o que interessa – Sem bebidas alcoólicas no camarim, os metaleiros do Whitesnake tinham direito a personal trianer e aquecimento com ginástica antes do show, correndo pela área de camarins. Completavam o time um nutricionista e um massagista.

7 – New wave – A baixista Tina Weymouth e o baterista Chris Frantz, casal que na época integrava o Talking Heads, tocaram como convidados especiais dos colegas da new wave norte-americana B-52s.

8 – Fazendo média – Matthias Jabs, guitarrista do Scorpions, tocou com uma guitarra com o corpo com o formato da América do Sul, inspirado no logo do festival. Para não fazer feio em cima do palco, a banda ainda contava com um coreógrafo, e cada pulo e giro de microfone era ensaiado.

9 – Sinos do inferno – O sino que o AC/DC tocava no início de “Hell’s bells” pesava 1.500 quilos, e teve que ser trazido de navio. Mas, na hora de subir no palco, não deu: a estrutura não aguentaria o peso. A solução foi uma réplica de gesso do sino, e a badalada foi disparada eletronicamente.

10 – Proibido comer morcegos – Com medo de que Ozzy Osbourne cometesse alguma loucura como comer morcegos no palco, a organização o proibiu contratualmente de abocanhar qualquer animal vivo durante o show. Para garantir que a cláusula fosse cumprida, membros da sociedade protetora dos animais fiscalizaram o show.

Postado por Caio Mattos às 02:54 Marcadores: Hoje no Rock, rock in rio


2 comentários:


Danfern disse…

Po, essa história da pajelança do Bola eu não sabia!
E eu achando que Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral era ‘privilégio’ dos nossos tempos…rs

New Research Shocks Scientists: Human Emotion Physically Shapes Reality! (IUV)

BY  /   SUNDAY, 12 MARCH 2017

published on Life Coach Code, on February 26, 2017

Three different studies, done by different teams of scientists proved something really extraordinary. But when a new research connected these 3 discoveries, something shocking was realized, something hiding in plain sight.

Human emotion literally shapes the world around us. Not just our perception of the world, but reality itself.


In the first experiment, human DNA, isolated in a sealed container, was placed near a test subject. Scientists gave the donor emotional stimulus and fascinatingly enough, the emotions affected their DNA in the other room.

In the presence of negative emotions the DNA tightened. In the presence of positive emotions the coils of the DNA relaxed.

The scientists concluded that “Human emotion produces effects which defy conventional laws of physics.”


In the second, similar but unrelated experiment, different group of scientists extracted Leukocytes (white blood cells) from donors and placed into chambers so they could measure electrical changes.

In this experiment, the donor was placed in one room and subjected to “emotional stimulation” consisting of video clips, which generated different emotions in the donor.

The DNA was placed in a different room in the same building. Both the donor and his DNA were monitored and as the donor exhibited emotional peaks or valleys (measured by electrical responses), the DNA exhibited the IDENTICAL RESPONSES AT THE EXACT SAME TIME.


There was no lag time, no transmission time. The DNA peaks and valleys EXACTLY MATCHED the peaks and valleys of the donor in time.

The scientists wanted to see how far away they could separate the donor from his DNA and still get this effect. They stopped testing after they separated the DNA and the donor by 50 miles and STILL had the SAME result. No lag time; no transmission time.

The DNA and the donor had the same identical responses in time. The conclusion was that the donor and the DNA can communicate beyond space and time.

The third experiment proved something pretty shocking!

Scientists observed the effect of DNA on our physical world.

Light photons, which make up the world around us, were observed inside a vacuum. Their natural locations were completely random.

Human DNA was then inserted into the vacuum. Shockingly the photons were no longer acting random. They precisely followed the geometry of the DNA.


Scientists who were studying this, described the photons behaving “surprisingly and counter-intuitively”. They went on to say that “We are forced to accept the possibility of some new field of energy!”

They concluded that human DNA literally shape the behavior of light photons that make up the world around us!

So when a new research was done, and all of these 3 scientific claims were connected together, scientists were shocked.

They came to a stunning realization that if our emotions affect our DNA and our DNA shapes the world around us, than our emotions physically change the world around us.


And not just that, we are connected to our DNA beyond space and time.

We create our reality by choosing it with our feelings.

Science has already proven some pretty MINDBLOWING facts about The Universe we live in. All we have to do is connect the dots.

– Science Alert;
– Heart Math;
– Above Top Secret;

Nobody understands what consciousness is or how it works. Nobody understands quantum mechanics either. Could that be more than coincidence? (BBC)

What is going on in our brains? (Credit: Mehau Kulyk/Science Photo Library)

What is going on in our brains? (Credit: Mehau Kulyk/Science Photo Library)

Quantum mechanics is the best theory we have for describing the world at the nuts-and-bolts level of atoms and subatomic particles. Perhaps the most renowned of its mysteries is the fact that the outcome of a quantum experiment can change depending on whether or not we choose to measure some property of the particles involved.

When this “observer effect” was first noticed by the early pioneers of quantum theory, they were deeply troubled. It seemed to undermine the basic assumption behind all science: that there is an objective world out there, irrespective of us. If the way the world behaves depends on how – or if – we look at it, what can “reality” really mean?

The most famous intrusion of the mind into quantum mechanics comes in the “double-slit experiment”

Some of those researchers felt forced to conclude that objectivity was an illusion, and that consciousness has to be allowed an active role in quantum theory. To others, that did not make sense. Surely, Albert Einstein once complained, the Moon does not exist only when we look at it!

Today some physicists suspect that, whether or not consciousness influences quantum mechanics, it might in fact arise because of it. They think that quantum theory might be needed to fully understand how the brain works.

Might it be that, just as quantum objects can apparently be in two places at once, so a quantum brain can hold onto two mutually-exclusive ideas at the same time?

These ideas are speculative, and it may turn out that quantum physics has no fundamental role either for or in the workings of the mind. But if nothing else, these possibilities show just how strangely quantum theory forces us to think.

The famous double-slit experiment (Credit: Victor de Schwanberg/Science Photo Library)

The famous double-slit experiment (Credit: Victor de Schwanberg/Science Photo Library)

The most famous intrusion of the mind into quantum mechanics comes in the “double-slit experiment”. Imagine shining a beam of light at a screen that contains two closely-spaced parallel slits. Some of the light passes through the slits, whereupon it strikes another screen.

Light can be thought of as a kind of wave, and when waves emerge from two slits like this they can interfere with each other. If their peaks coincide, they reinforce each other, whereas if a peak and a trough coincide, they cancel out. This wave interference is called diffraction, and it produces a series of alternating bright and dark stripes on the back screen, where the light waves are either reinforced or cancelled out.

The implication seems to be that each particle passes simultaneously through both slits

This experiment was understood to be a characteristic of wave behaviour over 200 years ago, well before quantum theory existed.

The double slit experiment can also be performed with quantum particles like electrons; tiny charged particles that are components of atoms. In a counter-intuitive twist, these particles can behave like waves. That means they can undergo diffraction when a stream of them passes through the two slits, producing an interference pattern.

Now suppose that the quantum particles are sent through the slits one by one, and their arrival at the screen is likewise seen one by one. Now there is apparently nothing for each particle to interfere with along its route – yet nevertheless the pattern of particle impacts that builds up over time reveals interference bands.

The implication seems to be that each particle passes simultaneously through both slits and interferes with itself. This combination of “both paths at once” is known as a superposition state.

But here is the really odd thing.

The double-slit experiment (Credit: GIPhotoStock/Science Photo Library)

The double-slit experiment (Credit: GIPhotoStock/Science Photo Library)

If we place a detector inside or just behind one slit, we can find out whether any given particle goes through it or not. In that case, however, the interference vanishes. Simply by observing a particle’s path – even if that observation should not disturb the particle’s motion – we change the outcome.

The physicist Pascual Jordan, who worked with quantum guru Niels Bohr in Copenhagen in the 1920s, put it like this: “observations not only disturb what has to be measured, they produce it… We compel [a quantum particle] to assume a definite position.” In other words, Jordan said, “we ourselves produce the results of measurements.”

If that is so, objective reality seems to go out of the window.

And it gets even stranger.

Particles can be in two states (Credit: Victor de Schwanberg/Science Photo Library)

Particles can be in two states (Credit: Victor de Schwanberg/Science Photo Library)

If nature seems to be changing its behaviour depending on whether we “look” or not, we could try to trick it into showing its hand. To do so, we could measure which path a particle took through the double slits, but only after it has passed through them. By then, it ought to have “decided” whether to take one path or both.

The sheer act of noticing, rather than any physical disturbance caused by measuring, can cause the collapse

An experiment for doing this was proposed in the 1970s by the American physicist John Wheeler, and this “delayed choice” experiment was performed in the following decade. It uses clever techniques to make measurements on the paths of quantum particles (generally, particles of light, called photons) after they should have chosen whether to take one path or a superposition of two.

It turns out that, just as Bohr confidently predicted, it makes no difference whether we delay the measurement or not. As long as we measure the photon’s path before its arrival at a detector is finally registered, we lose all interference.

It is as if nature “knows” not just if we are looking, but if we are planning to look.

(Credit: Emilio Segre Visual Archives/American Institute Physics/Science Photo Library)

Eugene Wigner (Credit: Emilio Segre Visual Archives/American Institute of Physics/Science Photo Library)

Whenever, in these experiments, we discover the path of a quantum particle, its cloud of possible routes “collapses” into a single well-defined state. What’s more, the delayed-choice experiment implies that the sheer act of noticing, rather than any physical disturbance caused by measuring, can cause the collapse. But does this mean that true collapse has only happened when the result of a measurement impinges on our consciousness?

It is hard to avoid the implication that consciousness and quantum mechanics are somehow linked

That possibility was admitted in the 1930s by the Hungarian physicist Eugene Wigner. “It follows that the quantum description of objects is influenced by impressions entering my consciousness,” he wrote. “Solipsism may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics.”

Wheeler even entertained the thought that the presence of living beings, which are capable of “noticing”, has transformed what was previously a multitude of possible quantum pasts into one concrete history. In this sense, Wheeler said, we become participants in the evolution of the Universe since its very beginning. In his words, we live in a “participatory universe.”

To this day, physicists do not agree on the best way to interpret these quantum experiments, and to some extent what you make of them is (at the moment) up to you. But one way or another, it is hard to avoid the implication that consciousness and quantum mechanics are somehow linked.

Beginning in the 1980s, the British physicist Roger Penrosesuggested that the link might work in the other direction. Whether or not consciousness can affect quantum mechanics, he said, perhaps quantum mechanics is involved in consciousness.

Physicist and mathematician Roger Penrose (Credit: Max Alexander/Science Photo Library)

Physicist and mathematician Roger Penrose (Credit: Max Alexander/Science Photo Library)

What if, Penrose asked, there are molecular structures in our brains that are able to alter their state in response to a single quantum event. Could not these structures then adopt a superposition state, just like the particles in the double slit experiment? And might those quantum superpositions then show up in the ways neurons are triggered to communicate via electrical signals?

Maybe, says Penrose, our ability to sustain seemingly incompatible mental states is no quirk of perception, but a real quantum effect.

Perhaps quantum mechanics is involved in consciousness

After all, the human brain seems able to handle cognitive processes that still far exceed the capabilities of digital computers. Perhaps we can even carry out computational tasks that are impossible on ordinary computers, which use classical digital logic.

Penrose first proposed that quantum effects feature in human cognition in his 1989 book The Emperor’s New Mind. The idea is called Orch-OR, which is short for “orchestrated objective reduction”. The phrase “objective reduction” means that, as Penrose believes, the collapse of quantum interference and superposition is a real, physical process, like the bursting of a bubble.

Orch-OR draws on Penrose’s suggestion that gravity is responsible for the fact that everyday objects, such as chairs and planets, do not display quantum effects. Penrose believes that quantum superpositions become impossible for objects much larger than atoms, because their gravitational effects would then force two incompatible versions of space-time to coexist.

Penrose developed this idea further with American physician Stuart Hameroff. In his 1994 book Shadows of the Mind, he suggested that the structures involved in this quantum cognition might be protein strands called microtubules. These are found in most of our cells, including the neurons in our brains. Penrose and Hameroff argue that vibrations of microtubules can adopt a quantum superposition.

But there is no evidence that such a thing is remotely feasible.

Microtubules inside a cell (Credit: Dennis Kunkel Microscopy/Science Photo Library)

Microtubules inside a cell (Credit: Dennis Kunkel Microscopy/Science Photo Library)

It has been suggested that the idea of quantum superpositions in microtubules is supported by experiments described in 2013, but in fact those studies made no mention of quantum effects.

Besides, most researchers think that the Orch-OR idea was ruled out by a study published in 2000. Physicist Max Tegmark calculated that quantum superpositions of the molecules involved in neural signaling could not survive for even a fraction of the time needed for such a signal to get anywhere.

Other researchers have found evidence for quantum effects in living beings

Quantum effects such as superposition are easily destroyed, because of a process called decoherence. This is caused by the interactions of a quantum object with its surrounding environment, through which the “quantumness” leaks away.

Decoherence is expected to be extremely rapid in warm and wet environments like living cells.

Nerve signals are electrical pulses, caused by the passage of electrically-charged atoms across the walls of nerve cells. If one of these atoms was in a superposition and then collided with a neuron, Tegmark showed that the superposition should decay in less than one billion billionth of a second. It takes at least ten thousand trillion times as long for a neuron to discharge a signal.

As a result, ideas about quantum effects in the brain are viewed with great skepticism.

However, Penrose is unmoved by those arguments and stands by the Orch-OR hypothesis. And despite Tegmark’s prediction of ultra-fast decoherence in cells, other researchers have found evidence for quantum effects in living beings. Some argue that quantum mechanics is harnessed by migratory birds that use magnetic navigation, and by green plants when they use sunlight to make sugars in photosynthesis.

Besides, the idea that the brain might employ quantum tricks shows no sign of going away. For there is now another, quite different argument for it.

Could phosphorus sustain a quantum state? (Credit: Phil Degginger/Science Photo Library)

Could phosphorus sustain a quantum state? (Credit: Phil Degginger/Science Photo Library)

In a study published in 2015, physicist Matthew Fisher of the University of California at Santa Barbara argued that the brain might contain molecules capable of sustaining more robust quantum superpositions. Specifically, he thinks that the nuclei of phosphorus atoms may have this ability.

Phosphorus atoms are everywhere in living cells. They often take the form of phosphate ions, in which one phosphorus atom joins up with four oxygen atoms.

Such ions are the basic unit of energy within cells. Much of the cell’s energy is stored in molecules called ATP, which contain a string of three phosphate groups joined to an organic molecule. When one of the phosphates is cut free, energy is released for the cell to use.

Cells have molecular machinery for assembling phosphate ions into groups and cleaving them off again. Fisher suggested a scheme in which two phosphate ions might be placed in a special kind of superposition called an “entangled state”.

Phosphorus spins could resist decoherence for a day or so, even in living cells

The phosphorus nuclei have a quantum property called spin, which makes them rather like little magnets with poles pointing in particular directions. In an entangled state, the spin of one phosphorus nucleus depends on that of the other.

Put another way, entangled states are really superposition states involving more than one quantum particle.

Fisher says that the quantum-mechanical behaviour of these nuclear spins could plausibly resist decoherence on human timescales. He agrees with Tegmark that quantum vibrations, like those postulated by Penrose and Hameroff, will be strongly affected by their surroundings “and will decohere almost immediately”. But nuclear spins do not interact very strongly with their surroundings.

All the same, quantum behaviour in the phosphorus nuclear spins would have to be “protected” from decoherence.

Quantum particles can have different spins (Credit: Richard Kail/Science Photo Library)

Quantum particles can have different spins (Credit: Richard Kail/Science Photo Library)

This might happen, Fisher says, if the phosphorus atoms are incorporated into larger objects called “Posner molecules”. These are clusters of six phosphate ions, combined with nine calcium ions. There is some evidence that they can exist in living cells, though this is currently far from conclusive.

I decided… to explore how on earth the lithium ion could have such a dramatic effect in treating mental conditions

In Posner molecules, Fisher argues, phosphorus spins could resist decoherence for a day or so, even in living cells. That means they could influence how the brain works.

The idea is that Posner molecules can be swallowed up by neurons. Once inside, the Posner molecules could trigger the firing of a signal to another neuron, by falling apart and releasing their calcium ions.

Because of entanglement in Posner molecules, two such signals might thus in turn become entangled: a kind of quantum superposition of a “thought”, you might say. “If quantum processing with nuclear spins is in fact present in the brain, it would be an extremely common occurrence, happening pretty much all the time,” Fisher says.

He first got this idea when he started thinking about mental illness.

A capsule of lithium carbonate (Credit: Custom Medical Stock Photo/Science Photo Library)

A capsule of lithium carbonate (Credit: Custom Medical Stock Photo/Science Photo Library)

“My entry into the biochemistry of the brain started when I decided three or four years ago to explore how on earth the lithium ion could have such a dramatic effect in treating mental conditions,” Fisher says.

At this point, Fisher’s proposal is no more than an intriguing idea

Lithium drugs are widely used for treating bipolar disorder. They work, but nobody really knows how.

“I wasn’t looking for a quantum explanation,” Fisher says. But then he came across a paper reporting that lithium drugs had different effects on the behaviour of rats, depending on what form – or “isotope” – of lithium was used.

On the face of it, that was extremely puzzling. In chemical terms, different isotopes behave almost identically, so if the lithium worked like a conventional drug the isotopes should all have had the same effect.

Nerve cells are linked at synapses (Credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki/Science Photo Library)

Nerve cells are linked at synapses (Credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki/Science Photo Library)

But Fisher realised that the nuclei of the atoms of different lithium isotopes can have different spins. This quantum property might affect the way lithium drugs act. For example, if lithium substitutes for calcium in Posner molecules, the lithium spins might “feel” and influence those of phosphorus atoms, and so interfere with their entanglement.

We do not even know what consciousness is

If this is true, it would help to explain why lithium can treat bipolar disorder.

At this point, Fisher’s proposal is no more than an intriguing idea. But there are several ways in which its plausibility can be tested, starting with the idea that phosphorus spins in Posner molecules can keep their quantum coherence for long periods. That is what Fisher aims to do next.

All the same, he is wary of being associated with the earlier ideas about “quantum consciousness”, which he sees as highly speculative at best.

Consciousness is a profound mystery (Credit: Sciepro/Science Photo Library)

Consciousness is a profound mystery (Credit: Sciepro/Science Photo Library)

Physicists are not terribly comfortable with finding themselves inside their theories. Most hope that consciousness and the brain can be kept out of quantum theory, and perhaps vice versa. After all, we do not even know what consciousness is, let alone have a theory to describe it.

We all know what red is like, but we have no way to communicate the sensation

It does not help that there is now a New Age cottage industrydevoted to notions of “quantum consciousness“, claiming that quantum mechanics offers plausible rationales for such things as telepathy and telekinesis.

As a result, physicists are often embarrassed to even mention the words “quantum” and “consciousness” in the same sentence.

But setting that aside, the idea has a long history. Ever since the “observer effect” and the mind first insinuated themselves into quantum theory in the early days, it has been devilishly hard to kick them out. A few researchers think we might never manage to do so.

In 2016, Adrian Kent of the University of Cambridge in the UK, one of the most respected “quantum philosophers”, speculated that consciousness might alter the behaviour of quantum systems in subtle but detectable ways.

We do not understand how thoughts work (Credit: Andrzej Wojcicki/Science Photo Library)

We do not understand how thoughts work (Credit: Andrzej Wojcicki/Science Photo Library)

Kent is very cautious about this idea. “There is no compelling reason of principle to believe that quantum theory is the right theory in which to try to formulate a theory of consciousness, or that the problems of quantum theory must have anything to do with the problem of consciousness,” he admits.

Every line of thought on the relationship of consciousness to physics runs into deep trouble

But he says that it is hard to see how a description of consciousness based purely on pre-quantum physics can account for all the features it seems to have.

One particularly puzzling question is how our conscious minds can experience unique sensations, such as the colour red or the smell of frying bacon. With the exception of people with visual impairments, we all know what red is like, but we have no way to communicate the sensation and there is nothing in physics that tells us what it should be like.

Sensations like this are called “qualia”. We perceive them as unified properties of the outside world, but in fact they are products of our consciousness – and that is hard to explain. Indeed, in 1995 philosopher David Chalmers dubbed it “the hard problem” of consciousness.

How does our consciousness work? (Credit: Victor Habbick Visions/Science Photo Library)

How does our consciousness work? (Credit: Victor Habbick Visions/Science Photo Library)

“Every line of thought on the relationship of consciousness to physics runs into deep trouble,” says Kent.

This has prompted him to suggest that “we could make some progress on understanding the problem of the evolution of consciousness if we supposed that consciousnesses alters (albeit perhaps very slightly and subtly) quantum probabilities.”

“Quantum consciousness” is widely derided as mystical woo, but it just will not go away

In other words, the mind could genuinely affect the outcomes of measurements.

It does not, in this view, exactly determine “what is real”. But it might affect the chance that each of the possible actualities permitted by quantum mechanics is the one we do in fact observe, in a way that quantum theory itself cannot predict. Kent says that we might look for such effects experimentally.

He even bravely estimates the chances of finding them. “I would give credence of perhaps 15% that something specifically to do with consciousness causes deviations from quantum theory, with perhaps 3% credence that this will be experimentally detectable within the next 50 years,” he says.

If that happens, it would transform our ideas about both physics and the mind. That seems a chance worth exploring.

Cobrada pelo mau tempo, Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral diz que não falhou (O Globo)

Representantes da organização garantem que não houve falhas em sua operação

Apesar da operação da Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral os jogos do Rio tem registrado mau tempo, com provas tendo que ser adiadas Foto: Jorge William / Agência O Globo

Apesar da operação da Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral os jogos do Rio tem registrado mau tempo, com provas tendo que ser adiadas – Jorge William / Agência O Globo


10/08/2016 15:53 / atualizado 10/08/2016 16:17

RIO – Regatas na Lagoa adiadas, sessões de tênis remarcadas, transtornos provocados por ressacas que invadem instalações na Praia de Copacabana… Credenciados pelo Comitê Organizador Rio-2016 para acompanhar as condições climáticas durante a Olimpíada, os integrantes da Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral, que garantem ter poder sobrenatural para controlar o tempo, afirmam que não houve falhas na operação espiritual para garantir o sucesso da Olimpíada.

A médium Adelaide Scritori, que afirma incorporar o espírito do Cacique Cobra Coral, já circulou várias vezes pelo Parque Olímpico. O porta-voz da fundação, Osmar Santos, garante que o desempenho até agora da entidade é digno de medalha de ouro. Segundo ele, as prioridades foram direcionar o tempo para garantir a cerimônia de abertura sem chuvas e que os ventos soprassem de forma a a garantir que as regatas da Baía de Guanabara ocorressem em raias sem lixo:

Segundo Osmar, no domingo, quando uma forte ventania atingiu a cidade causando estragos e adiando provas do remo, Adelaide sequer estava no Rio. A médium, segundo ele, estaria na Região Serrana, encerrando a operação da Cerimônia de Abertura. O porta voz da médium argumenta que as demandas espirtuais da entidade são inúmeras e não se limitam a Olimpíada

– O grande legado nosso da cerimônia de abertura foi o desvio da Frente Fria que estava no Rio e foi desviada para Minas erais onde despejou 30 milímetros de chuva em pleno agosto no Vale do Jequitinonha. Isso para o cacique é muito mais importante. Agora vamos abrir um corredor para as frentes entrarem pelo continente e apagarem as queimadas no Pantanal – disse Osmar.

De acordo com Osmar, o mau tempo de hoje está relacionado com o atraso na entrada da frente fria na cidade para garantir a limpeza da Baía

Essa não é a primeira vez que a Fundação atua numa Olimpíada. Repórteres do GLOBO encontraram integrantes da Fundação em Londres, em 2012, credenciados inclusive para uma visita da presidente afastada Dilma Roousseff durante um evento oficial do Comitê Olímpico do Brasil. Adelaide também estava em Copenhague (Dinamarca) em 2009 quando o Rio foi eleito cidade sede da Olimpíada de 2016.

A Fundação também, é chamada para outros eventos como o Réveillon e o Rock in Rio. Nas últimas edições das Olimpíadas, no entanto, chegou a chover forte alguns dias. A Fundação Cacique Cobra Coral nas duas ocasiões alegou que ficou retida antes de chegar à Cidade do Rock por problemas no credenciamento do carro que transportava os integrantes.

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Médiuns têm perfil diferente daquele apresentado na literatura científica (USP Notícias)


Estudo com 115 médiuns kardecistas de São Paulo indica que a maioria possui alto nível socioeducacional, perfil que se enquadra no último censo do IBGE. Segundo a pesquisa, eles não apresentam problemas mentais

Na literatura científica, muitas vezes os médiuns (que se comunicam com espíritos) são descritos como pessoas de baixa escolaridade e renda. Sua mediunidade deve ser entendida como um “mecanismo de defesa contra as opressões sociais”, ou como manifestação de algum quadro dissociativo ou psicótico.

No entanto, um estudo realizado pelo psiquiatra Alexander Moreira de Almeida com médiuns espíritas da cidade de São Paulo mostrou um perfil diferente: os médiuns apresentaram um alto nível socioeducacional e uma prevalência de transtornos mentais menor do que a encontrada na população em geral.

Almeida constatou que 46,5% das pessoas tinham curso superior, 76,5% eram mulheres, menos de 3% estavam desempregados, e a idade média era de 48 anos. A maioria era espírita há mais de 16 anos, vieram de famílias não-espíritas e as vivências mediúnicas começaram na infância.

“Esse perfil sociodemográfico se encaixa no último censo do Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), que mostra um crescimento da proporção de espíritas conforme aumenta a escolaridade da população”, comenta o psiquiatra, que apresentou sua tese de doutorado à Faculdade de Medicina (FMUSP), com orientação do professor Francisco Lotufo Neto.

Os participantes do estudo atuam em nove centros espíritas kardecistas da Capital, pertencentes à Aliança Espírita Evangélica. O médico aplicou um questionário sóciodemográfico a 115 médiuns antes e depois das sessões espíritas. Eles também responderam a questões referentes à atividade mediúnica. Almeida ainda utilizou os questionários SRQ (Self-Report Psychiatric Screening Questionnaire), que rastreia a presença de transtornos mentais, e o EAS (Escala de Adequação Social), que mostra como a pessoa se relaciona em sociedade.

A partir dos resultados foram selecionados 24 médiuns. Eles foram analisados pelo SCAN (Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry), um tipo de entrevista psiquiátrica padrão e pelo DDIS (Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule), um questionário que detecta transtornos dissociativos (quando uma parte da mente funciona de forma independente). “É nessa categoria que os transes mediúnicos são habitualmente encaixados”, explica o médico.

“Os médiuns apresentaram, em média, quatro sintomas de primeira ordem para diagnóstico de esquizofrenia, mas a presença desses sintomas não indicou a existência de nenhuma doença mental”

Transes X esquizofrenia

A escala DDIS investiga a presença de 11 sintomas de primeira ordem para o diagnóstico de esquizofrenia – vozes dialogando na sua cabeça, vozes comentando as suas ações, ter suas ações produzidas ou controladas por alguém ou algo fora de você, entre outros. “Os médiuns apresentaram, em média, quatro deles, mas a presença dos sintomas não indicou a existência de nenhuma doença mental”, afirma. “Além disso, eles também apresentaram uma boa adequação social e demonstraram ter uma saúde mental melhor que a da população em geral”. Não houve correlação entre freqüência de atividade mediúnica e problemas mentais ou desajuste social.

O médico ressalva que os resultados da pesquisa se referem especificamente a médiuns em atividades regulares em centros espíritas. “Para eles trabalharem nos centros são necessários dois anos de cursos, além da participação semanal nas reuniões mediúnicas”, afirma.

Almeida é membro do Núcleo de Estudos de Problemas Espirituais e Religiosos (Neper) do Instituto de Psiquiatria do Hospital das Clínicas da FMUSP. O núcleo tem como objetivo estudar as questões religiosas e espirituais segundo o enfoque científico, sem vínculo com nenhuma corrente filosófica ou religiosa.

“Durante muito tempo a Psiquiatria encarou a mediunidade como um transtorno mental”, conta. “Só a partir das décadas de 50 e 60 é que houve uma mudança de mentalidade, e essas manifestações passaram a ser vistas como sendo não-patológicas quando vivenciadas dentro de uma religião.” De acordo com Almeida, o último censo do IBGE mostrou que o espiritismo ocupa a quarta posição entre as religiões praticadas no Brasil, país com a maior população espírita do mundo. A tese está disponível para consultas no Portal Conhecimento.

‘No doubt’ Iceland’s elves exist: anthropologist certain the creatures live alongside regular folks (South China Morning Post)

Construction sites have been moved so as not to disturb the elves, and fishermen have refused to put out to sea because of their warnings: here in Iceland, these creatures are a part of everyday life

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 May, 2016, 8:01am

UPDATED : Sunday, 15 May, 2016, 6:40pm

Since the beginning of time, elves have been the stuff of legend in Iceland, but locals here will earnestly tell you that elves appear regularly to those who know how to see them.

Construction sites have been moved so as not to disturb the elves, and fishermen have refused to put out to sea because of their warnings: here in Iceland, these creatures are a part of everyday life.

Watch: Iceland’s elves, a force to be reckoned with

But honestly, do they really exist?

Anthropologist Magnus Skarphedinsson has spent decades collecting witness accounts, and he’s convinced the answer is yes.

He now passes on his knowledge to curious crowds as the headmaster of Reykjavik’s Elf School.

“There is no doubt that they exist!” exclaims the stout 60-year-old as he addresses his “students”, for the most part tourists fascinated by Icelanders’ belief in elves.

What exactly is an elf? A well-intentioned being, smaller than a person, who lives outdoors and normally does not talk. They are not to be confused with Iceland’s “hidden people”, who resemble humans and almost all of whom speak Icelandic.

To convince sceptics that this is not just a myth, Skarphedinsson relays two “witness accounts”, spinning the tales as an accomplished storyteller.

The first tells of a woman who knew a fisherman who was able to see elves who would also go out to sea to fish.

One morning in February 1921, he noticed they were not heading out to sea and he tried to convince the other fishermen not to go out either. But the boss would not let them stay on shore.

That day, there was an unusually violent storm in the North Atlantic but the fishermen, who had heeded his warning and stayed closed to shore, all returned home safe and sound.

Seven years later, in June 1928, the elves again did not put out to sea which was confusing because there had never been a fierce storm at sea at that time of year. Forced to head out, they sailed waters that were calm but caught very few fish.

“The elves knew it,” the anthropologist claims.

The other “witness” is a woman in her eighties, who in 2002 ran into a young teen who claimed to know her. Asking him where they had met, he gave her an address where she had lived 53 years ago where her daughter claimed she had played with an invisible boy.

Most people tread lightly when entering into known elf territory

“But Mum, it’s Maggi!” exclaimed the daughter when her mother described the teen.

“He had aged fives times slower than a human being,” said Skarphedinsson.

Surveys suggest about half of Icelanders believe in elves.

“Most people say they heard [about them] from their grandparents when they were children,” said Michael Herdon, a 29-year-old American tourist attending Elf School.

Iceland Magazine says ethnologists have noted it is rare for an Icelander to really truly believe in elves. But getting them to admit it is tricky.

“Most people tread lightly when entering into known elf territory,” the English-language publication wrote in September.

That’s also the case with construction projects.

It may prompt sniggers, but respect for the elves’ habitat is a consideration every time a construction project is started in Iceland’s magnificent countryside, which is covered with lava fields and barren, windswept lowlands.

Back in 1971, Skarphedinsson recalls how elves disrupted construction of a national highway from Reykjavik to the northeast. The project, he says, suffered repeated unusual technical difficulties because they didn’t want a big boulder that served as their home to be moved to make way for the new road.

“They made an agreement in the end that the elves would leave the stone for a week, and they would move the stone 15 metres. This is probably the only country in the world whose government officially talked with elves,” Skarphedinsson says.

But Iceland is not the only country that is home to elves, he says. It’s just that Icelanders are more receptive to accounts of their existence.

“The real reason is that the Enlightenment came very late to Iceland.

“In other countries, with western scientific arrogance [and] the denial of everything that they have not discovered themselves, they say that witnesses are subject to hallucinations.”

Paranormal beliefs can increase number of dé jà vu experiences (Science Daily)

April 27, 2016
British Psychological Society (BPS)
A belief in the paranormal can mean an individual experiences more déjà vu moments in their life.

A belief in the paranormal can mean an individual experiences more déjà vu moments in their life.

This is one of the findings of a study by 3rd year undergraduate student Chloe Pickles and Dr Mark Moss, of Northumbria University, who will present their poster today, Thursday 28 April 2016, at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Nottingham. Over 100 participants completed surveys relating to perceived stress, belief in paranormal experiences and beliefs about déjà vu. Analysis of the results showed a strong link between belief in paranormal experiences and the frequency, pleasantness and intensity of déjà vu experiences. Stress was linked significantly to intensity and duration only.

Chloe Pickles said: “Our study calls in to question whether stress increases the number of déjà vu moments for an individual. Previous research had not considered the impact of belief when experiencing the feeling that this moment has happened before. Déjà vu might be a normal experience for those more open to it as well as (or instead of) a consequence of a negative life events.”

Fantasmas que pegaram táxi em Ishinomaki, depois do tsunami, são tema de monografia (IPC Digital)

Por Anna Shudo – 22/03/2016


Crédito: Divulgação

SENDAI (IPC Digital) – Yuka Kudo, 22 anos, natural da província de Akita, é uma jovem formanda do curso de Sociologia da Universidade Tohoku Gakuin, de Sendai (Miyagi). Seu grupo de 7 pessoas escolheu como tema da monografia para colação de grau, como as pessoas lidam com a morte após o Grande Terremoto ao Leste do Japão, em 11 de março de 2011. Até iniciar o trabalho de pesquisa, ela via as mortes provocadas pelo tsunami como “milhares de pessoas que perderam a vida”. Depois de iniciar as entrevistas, descobriu que muitos dos taxistas de Ishinomaki (Miyagi) tiveram a experiência de terem como clientes os fantasmas de pessoas que provavelmente perderam a vida na tragédia.

Ela conta as histórias que ouviu durante suas entrevistas. Um taxista, na faixa dos 50 anos, relatou que no começo do primeiro verão após o tsunami, uma senhora vestida de casaco, o que lhe chamou à atenção, pediu para ser conduzida até Minamihama. Ele teria feito uma pergunta para confirmar: “lá, praticamente, só tem terras vazias, pode ser?”.  Com a voz trêmula, a mulher lhe pergunta “eu morri?”. Assustado, quando olha para o assento traseiro a passageira que transportava não estava mais lá.

Outros taxistas contam histórias semelhantes, afirma a estudante. Um deles relata que um rapaz, também vestido de casaco, aponta sentido Hiyoriyama e pede para ir até lá. No destino final, não havia cliente dentro do carro. Segundo seu levantamento junto aos motoristas de táxi, a maioria desses passageiros fantasmas eram jovens, homens e mulheres, quase todos vestidos de casaco. “Os jovens costumam ter um forte sentimento de desgosto de ter deixado pessoas que amam. Devem ter escolhido um espaço reservado como o táxi para transmitir esse sentimento insustentável”, pensa a jovem formanda.

Com a voz trêmula, a mulher lhe pergunta “eu morri?”

Para ela e para os entrevistados, essas histórias não são uma viagem da mente, há realidade. Os motoristas lhe mostraram diários, com registros de perda de corrida e que tiveram que pagar do próprio bolso ou do taxímetro que foi ligado até o destino.

Ela conta que sentiu na pele a dor da perda das pessoas de Ishinomaki. Um outro motorista lhe contou que perdeu familiares no tsunami e declarou “não é nada surpreendente que aconteça esse tipo de coisa. Se aparecer mais alguém vou transportar sim”. Todos os entrevistados não contaram suas experiências com medo. Ficou impressionada com o sentimento de reverência, como uma experiência importante que guardavam dentro do peito.

Com essas entrevistas quase que diárias, revela que aprendeu o que é a dor da perda e do luto. “Quero transmitir o peso da morte de cada uma das pessoas que partiu, com respeito”, declarou.


Yuka Kudo, a formanda que pesquisou sobre os fantasmas que pegaram táxi em Ishinomaki

Fonte e foto: Asahi Shimbun | Foto de Ishinomaki:

Os saberes indígenas, muito além do romantismo (Outras Palavras)



Não se trata de opor um fantasioso “espiritualismo” a um materialismo ocidental. Mas de desafiar nosso regime de sociabilidade com outras ideias, disposições e possibilidades

Por Ricardo Cavalcanti-Schiel

Houve um tempo em que falar de índios no Brasil era um exercício romântico. Tão romântico quanto fantasioso.

No começo do século XX, alguns doutos paulistas saíram pelo seu estado batizando os lugares com nomes tupi, do Anhangabaú a Araçatuba, movidos por ímpetos eruditos, não necessariamente por remissões mais escrupulosas à realidade. Quando a região de Guaianases, na cidade de São Paulo, foi batizada com esse nome, havia centenas de anos que os Guainá, que ali teriam sido aldeados à força no século XVI, já não mais existiam para contar qualquer coisa a respeito da sua história. Os índios daqueles eruditos paulistas, cultores do “tupi antigo”, eram algo bastante postiço. Realizando com perversa ironia os ideais antropofágicos dos mesmos tupi, que séculos antes iam à guerra, entre outras coisas, para caçar, para seus futuros filhos, os nomes daqueles que comeriam, acabaram eles agora transformados em não mais que nomes, desta feita como que nomes em conserva, para serem usados nessa curiosa salada toponímica.

Enquanto isso, no oeste paulista, a partir de Bauru, travava-se uma guerra pela expansão da fronteira agrária, empurrada pela ferrovia. Era um legítimo cenário de bang-bang, e as principais vítimas do extermínio, operado por “bugreiros” e outros agentes, eram os Kaingang e os Xavante, genericamente chamados de Coroados, gente da família linguística jê (muito diferente da família tupi, portanto); extermínio que a história oficial paulista fez questão de sepultar sob a tampa de concreto do silêncio, escrevendo, em seu lugar, o relato fantasioso de uma simples saga de imigrantes. Assim, Araçatuba, por exemplo, terra kaingang, hoje capital do boi gordo, no extremo-oeste paulista, pôde, também ela, ganhar seu bucólico nome tupi: bosque de araçás.

Note-se: não estamos nos confins selváticos e geograficamente obscuros de uma imensa Amazônia; uma Amazônia quase que alheia e que nem parece ter fim (e que daí, pela “lei” da oferta e da procura, se presuma como tão… barata). Estamos no hoje pujante e urbanizado oeste paulista, há não mais que cem anos atrás, apenas vinte anos antes de São Paulo embarcar em uma aventura militar contra um incipiente governo nacional antioligárquico.

De romantismo em romantismo, chegamos aos anos 80, em que os índios, eternos candidatos a nobres selvagens, passam a ser agora heróis ecológicos. Esses, pelo menos, ainda estavam vivos. É bem verdade que a relação dos índios com aquilo que chamamos “natureza” é muito diferente da que a nossa sociedade tem, a começar pelo fato de que, como nos ensina a antropologia amazonista hoje, eles não a reconhecem como “natureza” ― como objeto exterior e à parte, feito para ser usado, apropriado e apenas eventualmente “preservado” como coisa patrimonializada ―, mas como “gente”, como uma multiplicidade de sujeitos imprescindíveis de uma relação sem a qual o mundo habitado não é compreensível nem poderia existir. No entanto, transformar os índios em heróis da “nossa” natureza, incorporados como parte daquele objeto à parte, e igualmente alheio a nós, pode não ser mais que uma dessas nossas projeções, tão românticas quanto utilitárias, de ver Peri beijar Ceci… e morrer em seguida. Parará tim bum bum bum.

Se o novo romantismo ecológico ao menos chamou os índios para a agenda enquanto eles ainda estão vivos, sua tônica acanhadamente preservacionista os fez equivaler, mais uma vez, ao passado; a um passado de aparente pureza florística e faunística que precisaria ser sempre revivido ― ou “resgatado”, como gosta de usar a terminologia patrimonializadora em voga ― de forma idealmente imutável. Mais uma vez, os índios parecem entrar na (nossa) dança sob a clave do embalsamamento, mesmo que, agora, sob a agenda de uma patrimonialização talvez tão fetichista quanto a toponímia mítica dos velhos eruditos paulistas.

No entanto, nos últimos tempos, os últimos lastros românticos que ainda pareciam nos avalizar a existência dos índios parecem estar ruindo, o que não nos augura necessariamente algo virtuoso, porque ficamos mal-acostumados a depender dos romantismos para assegurar uma (traiçoeira e manhosa) legitimidade simbólica desses Outros Nacionais (como os chamou a antropóloga Alcida Ramos) e, por consequência, garantir as bases institucionais da sua existência enquanto povos acolhidos e protegidos ― não falemos sequer ainda de “respeitados”, porque o respeito à diferença não é algo que se aprenda por meio de projeções românticas.

Não é preciso lembrar, para as pessoas razoavelmente informadas, o estado de coisas em que andam as políticas de governo… e os horizontes obscuros das políticas de Estado… com relação aos povos indígenas. Também já é quase ocioso lembrar o quanto um e outro (políticas de governo e projetos de política de Estado) têm se estimulado mutuamente, para promover o etnocídio indígena por meio do solapamento dos direitos. Seja para quem for, qualquer solapamento de direitos é sempre um sequestro da cidadania. Daria até para lembrar, parafrasticamente, aquele poema de Brecht: “primeiro levaram os índios…”.

O que alenta e justifica essa marcha implacável nós também já sabemos o que é: a velha ideologia desenvolvimentista repaginada pelo avatar inquestionável do consumo como critério, seja de teórica “inclusão” seja de teórico “bem-estar”. Assim, no coração dessa nova ideologia desenvolvimentista encontra-se uma operação utilitarista singela: trocar a cidadania pelo consumo. E, nela, o único lugar para os índios ― uma vez corroídas, por esse realismo neoclássico rasteiro, as amarras românticas que os sustentavam ― é o de se tornarem, eles também, modestíssimos consumidores, apoiados por programas assistenciais do governo, depois de entregarem seus “meios de produção” a quem realmente interessa, como aqueles que, vencidos, entregaram outrora o que são hoje terras de boi gordo.

Claro que os que já se renderam inteiramente à coisificação utilitarista do consumo (e provavelmente se esqueceram até de ser gente) vão dizer: melhor boi gordo do que índio ― e no estado em que chegamos, isso é exatamente o que muitos pensam, sem que tenham a necessidade de pronunciá-lo. No entanto, a troca utilitarista, na sua racionalidade de meios e no seu afã predatório, quer apenas ganhar hoje, para a aventura de uns quantos, o que o bem comum poderia, de outra forma, ganhar multiplicado amanhã, se sobreviver até lá. E é aí que a equação que move as curvas de utilidade se alarga para variáveis e horizontes impensados pelos mecano-economistas.

No atual estado de coisas, entretanto, parece haver apenas duas alternativas para salvar a (potencialmente subversiva) diversidade existencial dos Outros Nacionais da sanha desenvolvimentista de moê-la e transformá-la em salsicha: ou reciclamos as projeções românticas em algum novo (e duvidoso) feitiço encantatório das nossas narrativas nacionais, ou tiramos os índios do alheamento passadista a que sempre foram condenados e os reconhecemos como uma aposta sincera no futuro; num futuro não apenas deles, como também não apenas nosso, mas num futuro de diálogo, para além do alheamento, no qual eles também são, necessariamente, sujeitos de fala ― não “eles” a pessoa x ou y, ou a “representação” w ou z, mas, ainda mais radicalmente, as suas visões de mundo. A primeira alternativa, a da reciclagem das projeções românticas, sempre foi aquela imediatamente sedutora, e, com ela, chega-se até mesmo a lançar mão de alegados exotéricos. A segunda, por sua vez, é a que reclama uma reflexão antiutilitária, mas estratégica, que talvez seja exatamente aquilo pelo qual muitos de nós, antropólogos, trabalhamos.

Em 1952, num texto escrito para a Unesco, Lévi-Strauss defendia que as sociedades só sobrevivem porque aprendem umas com as outras. Uma sociedade que se isola na certeza das suas verdades fenece diante dos problemas para os quais sua visão de mundo não alcança soluções. As “soluções” de grande alcance, portanto, não são meramente tecnológicas, mas conceituais. São as ideias que dimensionam a técnica e que dão uso às ferramentas, ou, segundo a fórmula famosa do epistemólogo Georges Canguilhem: o microscópio não é a extensão da vista, mas a extensão da inteligência. Sem o conceito de micro-organismo, o que se veria pelas lentes de um microscópio seria apenas um conto de fadas.

Evidentemente que as tecnologias ajudam, mas o que está sempre por detrás delas são as ideias. De pouco adiantaria, para a expansão europeia dos séculos XV e XVI, o astrolábio que os europeus aprenderam dos árabes, se alguns deles não dispusessem do novo e herético conceito de uma Terra redonda. Descobrir a América, nesse sentido, foi a consagração de uma grande heresia, frente a uma doxa tão potente à sua época quanto os mitos econômicos atuais e suas leis inquestionáveis. E as coisas não pararam por aí, evidentemente, porque, como também nos lembrava Lévi-Strauss, isso é a história, e os europeus, casualmente, não se encontravam na situação dos Mayas em torno do ano 1.000, quando, orgulhosos e isolados, viram suas opulentas cidades colapsarem por conta de uma crise ecológica, por eles mesmo provocada, e para a qual nem o refinamento do conhecimento dos seus astrônomos e sacerdotes tinha uma solução a dar.
150507_Palacio Nacional 09b

Ainda assim, um milênio após o fim do período Maya Clássico, o muralista Diego Rivera pintaria em uma das paredes do Palácio Nacional do México a lista do que a tradição ameríndia mexicana havia legado ao mundo: uma lista de cultivos alimentares que, além de cacau, tomate e feijão, é encabeçada, evidentemente, pelo milho, cuja notável diversidade genética dos cultivares meso-americanos a Monsanto está tratando hoje de eliminar, por meio de seu milho transgênico com patente “made in USA”. Não apenas o milho, mas sobretudo a batata, levada dos Andes pelos europeus, produzem muito mais calorias por hectare plantado que o trigo, nascido na Mesopotâmia e levado para a Europa. O cultivo desse tubérculo, rapidamente estimulado e expandido no Velho Continente, foi responsável por eliminar a fome endêmica e medieval da Europa, e constituir a base demográfica sem a qual a Revolução Industrial não teria sido possível e, com ela, a nossa arrogante modernidade.Por trás da domesticação dos tubérculos nos Andes há um enorme conjunto de ideias sobre como a mãe-terra gera seus frutos, como o trabalho comum os recolhe, como eles podem ser acumulados e conservados, e como devem ser distribuídos. À época da Conquista, os indígenas dos Andes eram muitíssimo mais bem nutridos e saudáveis que os europeus. Diante dessa diferença evidente, estes últimos aproveitaram apenas um produto específico, o que, para eles, já foi muito. Há quem acredite que o socialismo e o Estado do bem-estar social teriam sido inventados alguns séculos antes se os europeus, além das batatas, tivessem levado as ideias.

Apostar nos índios, e portanto na diversidade cultural, como nosso futuro comum de não-alheamento, não significa meramente apostar que a erva de algum pajé possa trazer a cura para o câncer. Expor nossas ideias ao contato com outras visões de mundo pode nos curar de coisas muito piores: nossos próprios e mesquinhos limites.

Quando comentávamos antes que o militantismo ecologista, ao trazer intuitivamente os índios à baila, acabou descuidando do que eles poderiam pensar a respeito da “nossa” natureza ― apenas para servirem ao que nós continuamos a pensar dela e da sua “preservação” enquanto objeto ―, sugeríamos também que a recusa, por parte dos índios, à sumária objetificação dessa “natureza” corresponde ao reconhecimento dela, por eles, como sujeito de uma relação. Conceitos como animismo, perspectivismo e multinaturalismo (por oposição a multiculturalismo) vêm sendo testados pelos antropólogos para descrever o sentido da socialidade indígena na Amazônia e a sua maneira de reconhecer os agentes das relações. Esse fenômeno, no entanto ― como tentamos demonstrar em nossas pesquisas nos Andes ―, pode, na realidade, se constituir como um traço ameríndio generalizado, continental. E o que ele desafia não é apenas a nossa forma de relação com uma “natureza” dada, mas sim a forma como nós a conceituamos, para, em seguida, nos sentirmos à vontade para subjugá-la, a partir de uma relação sujeito-objeto em que a extensão do uso e da posse (a simples destruição incluída) se define pelos casuísmos de uma racionalidade instrumental.

Se aquele tipo de perspectiva sobre a socialidade tem uma incidência efetivamente ameríndia, continental, e se a dimensão do seu desafio pode e deve ser posta em larga escala, então quem nos manda o recado político é o movimento indígena equatoriano, que inspirou em boa medida a elaboração da última Constituição do país, referendada em 2008. Nela, pela primeira vez no mundo, a Natureza foi reconhecida como sujeito jurídico de direito, para que em seu nome e da sua integridade, seja defendida como parte interessada em qualquer ação judicial visando garantir sua “existência, manutenção e regeneração de seus ciclos vitais, estrutura, funções e processos evolutivos” (Art. 71). Talvez seja ocioso se prender a emblemas ou ressentimentos étnicos: se essa Natureza corresponde tão somente, ou não, à Pachamama, a mãe-terra dos andinos, tal como explicitamente a nomeia o mesmo artigo 71… Estamos, antes, em um terreno de fecundas heterogeneidades discursivas, no terreno do desafio das ideias. E é aí que se fazem as grandes apostas no futuro, porque é isso que, para o bem ou para o mal, com a lista de Diego Rivera e muitas outras, e também com toda a precariedade das experiências, constituiu o Novo Mundo.

O desafio posto pelo pensamento ameríndio de reconhecer a socialidade como espaço de interação necessária de muitos sujeitos, que faz o mundo girar não por conta de alguma hierarquia natural ou do imperativo de marcas de origem que definem privilégios, mas por conta das diferentes maneiras de vê-lo e de tecer acordos, nos sugere que viver em não-alheamento significa reconhecer que o Outro é, inescapavelmente, parte de qualquer consideração que se faça sobre si mesmo. Como já o enunciava, bela e sinteticamente, o professor Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, “para os ameríndios, o Outro não é apenas pensável, ele é indispensável”. Talvez não tenhamos lição melhor, para começarmos a repensar seriamente o que possamos entender por cidadania, em um contexto flagrado por iniquidades; um contexto que não será reformado se se insistir apenas no polo da objetificação alheadora, no fetiche da mercadoria e, em último termo, na dispensabilidade dos outros.

Não se trata de opor um fantasioso “espiritualismo” indígena a um materialismo ocidental “realista”. Trata-se de desafiar um certo regime de socialidade (o nosso, ocidental e moderno) com outras ideias, disposições e possibilidades. Algumas delas é bem provável que até já tenhamos aprendido inconscientemente, ao longo de nossa história cultural, afinal o território mais largo da cultura, a parte submersa desse iceberg, é, como também dizia Lévi-Strauss, esse inconsciente. Os índios que os portugueses aqui encontraram, com quem conviveram e que permanecem no (apenas aparente) subterrâneo das nossas mestiçagens, não legaram aos brasileiros de hoje simplesmente tapioca, rede de dormir e outras coisas. Legaram-nos também um modo de nos relacionarmos quotidianamente, que, muito diferente dos europeus, não parte do princípio do reconhecimento do lugar social e pertencimento de alguém sempre e necessariamente pelas suas marcas de origem ― algo que tanto prezam nossas elites senhoriais, que se querem mais “europeias”. Se os brasileiros aprenderam a se abrir cordialmente aos outros, digeri-los e abrasileirá-los como parte de um nós possível (ainda que muitas vezes perverso e hierárquico ― mas a hierarquia não é, com certeza, um legado indígena), isso seguramente não foi aprendido dos europeus.

E se se trata ainda de desafiar um certo regime de socialidade com outras ideias, disposições e possibilidades, então, levar a sério o não-alheamento diante da diversidade significa garantir aos muitos da cidadania um lugar ativo, ouvi-los mais detidamente e deixar-se desafiar pela possibilidade da invenção, pela potencial complicação do que parece já estar dado pelas nossas formas institucionais, recusando a simples tentação de domesticá-los às formas prévias, a uns quantos programas assistenciais, quotas e representações de fachada. Afinal de contas, o que é, por exemplo, o ideal político do “Buen Vivir” (ou, em quéchua, “Sumaq Kausay”), alentado pelas novas disposições constitucionais do Equador e da Bolívia, senão uma enorme complicação para a planura desenvolvimentista; uma complicação ainda a reclamar um ou vários Amartya Sen para lhe inventar indicadores por agora imponderáveis? Mas, e o que é também o ideal político do “Buen Vivir” senão um desafio em nome da “imanência da suficiência”, dos índios, contra a voraz e predatória “transcendência da necessidade”, do Ocidente capitalista, de que nos falava Eduardo Viveiros de Castro [1]?

Talvez seja também preciso dizer que encarar seriamente a opção do não-alheamento significa, com bastante probabilidade, molestar alguns lugares comuns tidos hoje como “politicamente corretos”, e que são aqueles tributários do multiculturalismo neoliberal, quais sejam, suas obsessões com fronteiras bem acabadas, identidades amuralhadas e os contratos de patrimonialização. Os verdadeiros diálogos não se realizam sobre a prévia domesticação dos seus termos por gramáticas unilaterais ― ou uma pretensa universalidade habermasiana. Eles não são uma mera exibição de emblemas, para marcar posição dentro de um mercado contratualista ― ou uma economia contratualista da alteridade. Os verdadeiros diálogos são aqueles em que nos “contaminamos” e nos arriscamos com as razões de ser dos outros. Os pós-estruturalistas talvez tenham nisso razão ao usarem o termo “devir”.

A Constituição brasileira de 88 consagrou os direitos coletivos indígenas como base positiva do direito à reprodução cultural. Sequestrar os primeiros é também sequestrar este último. O que perdemos todos com isso é mais do que uma diversidade meramente nominal, a diversidade passiva do multiculturalismo objetificador. Estaremos perdendo possibilidades de cidadania. E estaremos perdendo possibilidades de futuro. Pois é aí, e não num passado romântico ou instrumentalmente ecológico, que os índios deveriam sobretudo ser vistos.


Consciência pode permanecer por até três minutos após a morte, diz estudo (O Globo)

Cientistas entrevistaram pacientes que chegaram a ter morte clínica, mas voltaram à vida


Cena da novela "Amor Eterno Amor" da Rede Globo retrata a experiência de quase morte estudadas pelos cientistas da Universidade de Southampton Foto: ReproduçãoCena da novela “Amor Eterno Amor” da Rede Globo retrata a experiência de quase morte estudadas pelos cientistas da Universidade de Southampton – Reprodução

RIO – Aquele túnel com uma luz brilhante no fundo e uma sensação de paz descritos por filmes e outras pessoas que alegaram ter passado por experiência de quase morte podem ser reais. No maior estudo já feito sobre o tema, cientistas da Universidade de Southampton disseram ter comprovado que a consciência humana permanece por ao menos três minutos após o óbito biológico. Durante esse meio tempo, pacientes conseguiriam testemunhar e lembrar depois de eventos como a saída do corpo e os movimentos ao redor do quarto do hospital.

Ao longo de quatro anos, os especialistas examinaram mais de duas mil pessoas que sofreram paradas cardíacas em 15 hospitais no Reino Unido, Estados Unidos e Áustria. Cerca de 16% sobreviveram. E destes, mais de 40% descreveram algum tipo de “consciência” durante o tempo em que eles estavam clinicamente mortos, antes de seus corações voltarem a bater.

O caso mais emblemático foi de um homem ainda lembrou ter deixado seu corpo totalmente e assistindo sua reanimação do canto da sala. Apesar de ser inconsciente e “morto” por três minutos, o paciente narrou com detalhes as ações da equipe de enfermagem e descreveu o som das máquinas.

– Sabemos que o cérebro não pode funcionar quando o coração parou de bater. Mas neste caso, a percepção consciente parece ter continuado por até três minutos no período em que o coração não estava batendo, mesmo que o cérebro normalmente encerre as atividades dentro de 20 a 30 segundos após o coração – explicou ao jornal inglês The Telegraph o pesquisador Sam Parnia.

Dos 2.060 pacientes com parada cardíaca estudados, 330 sobreviveram e 140 disseram ter experimentado algum tipo de consciência ao ser ressuscitado. Embora muitos não se lembrassem de detalhes específicos, alguns relatos coincidiram. Um em cada cinco disseram que tinha sentido uma sensação incomum de tranquilidade, enquanto quase um terço disse que o tempo tinha se abrandado ou se acelerado.

Alguns lembraram de ter visto uma luz brilhante, um flash de ouro ou o sol brilhando. Outros relataram sentimentos de medo, afogamento ou sendo arrastado pelas águas profundas. Cerca de 13% disseram que se sentiam separados de seus corpos.

De acordo com Parnia, muito mais pessoas podem ter experiências quando estão perto da morte, mas as drogas ou sedativos utilizados no processo de ressuscitação podem afetar a memória:

– As estimativas sugerem que milhões de pessoas tiveram experiências vivas em relação à morte. Muitas assumiram que eram alucinações ou ilusões, mas os relatos parecem corresponder a eventos reais. E uma proporção maior de pessoas pode ter experiências vivas de morte, mas não se lembrarem delas devido aos efeitos da lesão cerebral ou sedativos em circuitos de memória.


Read more:

Near-death experiences? Results of the world’s largest medical study of the human mind and consciousness at time of death (Science Daily)

Date: October 7, 2014

Source: University of Southampton

Summary: The results of a four-year international study of 2060 cardiac arrest cases across 15 hospitals concludes the following. The themes relating to the experience of death appear far broader than what has been understood so far, or what has been described as so called near-death experiences. In some cases of cardiac arrest, memories of visual awareness compatible with so called out-of-body experiences may correspond with actual events. A higher proportion of people may have vivid death experiences, but do not recall them due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory circuits. Widely used yet scientifically imprecise terms such as near-death and out-of-body experiences may not be sufficient to describe the actual experience of death. The recalled experience surrounding death merits a genuine investigation without prejudice.

The results of a four-year international study of 2060 cardiac arrest cases across 15 hospitals are in. Among those who reported a perception of awareness and completed further interviews, 46 per cent experienced a broad range of mental recollections in relation to death that were not compatible with the commonly used term of near death experiences. Credit: © sudok1 / Fotolia

The results of a four-year international study of 2060 cardiac arrest cases across 15 hospitals concludes the following. The themes relating to the experience of death appear far broader than what has been understood so far, or what has been described as so called near-death experiences. In some cases of cardiac arrest, memories of visual awareness compatible with so called out-of-body experiences may correspond with actual events. A higher proportion of people may have vivid death experiences, but do not recall them due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory circuits. Widely used yet scientifically imprecise terms such as near-death and out-of-body experiences may not be sufficient to describe the actual experience of death.

Recollections in relation to death, so-called out-of-body experiences (OBEs) or near-death experiences (NDEs), are an often spoken about phenomenon which have frequently been considered hallucinatory or illusory in nature; however, objective studies on these experiences are limited.

In 2008, a large-scale study involving 2060 patients from 15 hospitals in the United Kingdom, United States and Austria was launched. The AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) study, sponsored by the University of Southampton in the UK, examined the broad range of mental experiences in relation to death. Researchers also tested the validity of conscious experiences using objective markers for the first time in a large study to determine whether claims of awareness compatible with out-of-body experiences correspond with real or hallucinatory events.

Results of the study have been published in the journal Resuscitation.

Dr Sam Parnia, Assistant Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Director of Resuscitation Research at The State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA, and the study’s lead author, explained: “Contrary to perception, death is not a specific moment but a potentially reversible process that occurs after any severe illness or accident causes the heart, lungs and brain to cease functioning. If attempts are made to reverse this process, it is referred to as ‘cardiac arrest’; however, if these attempts do not succeed it is called ‘death’. In this study we wanted to go beyond the emotionally charged yet poorly defined term of NDEs to explore objectively what happens when we die.”

Thirty-nine per cent of patients who survived cardiac arrest and were able to undergo structured interviews described a perception of awareness, but interestingly did not have any explicit recall of events.

“This suggests more people may have mental activity initially but then lose their memories after recovery, either due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory recall,” explained Dr Parnia, who was an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Southampton when he started the AWARE study.

Among those who reported a perception of awareness and completed further interviews, 46 per cent experienced a broad range of mental recollections in relation to death that were not compatible with the commonly used term of NDE’s. These included fearful and persecutory experiences. Only 9 per cent had experiences compatible with NDEs and 2 per cent exhibited full awareness compatible with OBE’s with explicit recall of ‘seeing’ and ‘hearing’ events.

One case was validated and timed using auditory stimuli during cardiac arrest. Dr Parnia concluded: “This is significant, since it has often been assumed that experiences in relation to death are likely hallucinations or illusions, occurring either before the heart stops or after the heart has been successfully restarted, but not an experience corresponding with ‘real’ events when the heart isn’t beating. In this case, consciousness and awareness appeared to occur during a three-minute period when there was no heartbeat. This is paradoxical, since the brain typically ceases functioning within 20-30 seconds of the heart stopping and doesn’t resume again until the heart has been restarted. Furthermore, the detailed recollections of visual awareness in this case were consistent with verified events.

“Thus, while it was not possible to absolutely prove the reality or meaning of patients’ experiences and claims of awareness, (due to the very low incidence (2 per cent) of explicit recall of visual awareness or so called OBE’s), it was impossible to disclaim them either and more work is needed in this area. Clearly, the recalled experience surrounding death now merits further genuine investigation without prejudice.”

Further studies are also needed to explore whether awareness (explicit or implicit) may lead to long term adverse psychological outcomes including post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr Jerry Nolan, Editor-in-Chief of Resuscitation, stated: “The AWARE study researchers are to be congratulated on the completion of a fascinating study that will open the door to more extensive research into what happens when we die.”

Journal Reference:

  1. Parnia S, et al. AWARE—AWAreness during REsuscitation—A prospective study. Resuscitation, 2014 DOI: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.09.004

Ancient Man Used “Super-Acoustics” to Alter Consciousness (… and speak with the dead?) (Phys.Org)

June 16th, 2014 Linda Eneix

Ancient Man Used “Super-Acoustics” to Alter Consciousness (... and speak with the dead?)

Research team members enter the “Oracle Room” of the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, Malta (ca. 3600 BCE)

A prehistoric necropolis yields clues to the ancient use of sound and its effect on human brain activity.Researchers detected the presence of a strong double resonance frequency at 70Hz and 114Hz inside a 5,000-years-old mortuary temple on the Mediterranean island of Malta. The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is an underground complex created in the Neolithic (New Stone Age) period as a depository for bones and a shrine for ritual use. A chamber known as “The Oracle Room” has a fabled reputation for exceptional sound behavior.

During testing, a deep male voice tuned to these frequencies stimulated a resonance phenomenon throughout the hypogeum, creating bone-chilling effects. It was reported that sounds echoed for up to 8 seconds. Archaeologist Fernando Coimbra said that he felt the sound crossing his body at high speed, leaving a sensation of relaxation. When it was repeated, the sensation returned and he also had the illusion that the sound was reflected from his body to the ancient red ochre paintings on the walls. One can only imagine the experience in antiquity: standing in what must have been somewhat odorous dark and listening to ritual chant while low light flickered over the bones of one’s departed loved ones.

Sound in a Basso/Baritone range of 70 – 130 hz vibrates in a certain way as a natural phenomenon of the environment in the Hypogeum, as it does in Newgrange passage tomb, megalithic cairns and any stone cavity of the right dimensions. At these resonance frequencies, even small periodic driving forces can produce large amplitude oscillations, because the system stores vibrational energy. Echoes bounce off the hard surfaces and compound before they fade. Laboratory testing indicates that exposure to these particular resonant frequencies can have a physical effect on human brain activity.

In the publication from the conference on Archaeoacoustics which sparked the study, Dr. Paolo Debertolis reports on tests conducted at the Clinical Neurophysiology Unit at the University of Trieste in Italy: “…each volunteer has their own individual frequency of activation, …always between 90 and 120 hz. Those volunteers with a frontal lobe prevalence during the testing received ideas and thoughts similar to what happens during meditation, whilst those with occipital lobe prevalence visualized images.” He goes on to state that under the right circumstances, “Ancient populations were able to obtain different states of consciousness without the use of drugs or other chemical substances.”

Hal Saflieni (ca. 3600 BCE)

Credit: Mediterranean Institute of Ancient CivilizationsWriting jointly, Anthropologist, Dr. Ezra Zubrow, Archaeologist and Psychologist, Dr. Torill Lindstrom state: “We regard it as almost inevitable that people in the Neolithic past in Malta discovered the acoustic effects of the Hypogeum, and experienced them as extraordinary, strange, perhaps even as weird and “otherworldly”.

What is astounding is that five thousand years ago the builders exploited the phenomenon, intentionally using architectural techniques to boost these “super-acoustics”. Glenn Kreisberg, a radio frequency spectrum engineer who was with the research group, observed that in the Hypogeum, “The Oracle Chamber ceiling, especially near its entrance from the outer area, and the elongated inner chamber itself, appears to be intentionally carved into the form of a wave guide.”

Project organizer Linda Eneix points to other features: “The carving of the two niches which concentrate the effect of sound, the curved shape of the Oracle Chamber with its shallow “shelf” cut high across the back, the corbelled ceilings and concave walls in the finer rooms are all precursors of todays’ acoustically engineered performance environments.” She says, “If we can accept that these developments were not by accident, then it’s clear that Ħal Saflieni’s builders knew how to manipulate a desired human psychological and physiological experience, whether they could explain it or not.”


It was demonstrated at the conference that special sound is associated with the sacred: from prehistoric caves in France and Spain to musical stone temples in India; from protected Aztec codexes in Mexico to Eleusinian Mysteries and sanctuaries in Greece to sacred Elamite valleys in Iran. It was human nature to isolate these hyper-acoustic places from mundane daily life and to place high importance to them because abnormal sound behavior implied a divine presence.

In the same conference publication Emeritus Professor Iegor Reznikoff suggests that Ħal Saflieni is a link between Palaeolithic painted caves and Romanesque chapels … “That people sang laments or prayers for the dead in the Hypogeum is certain, for a) it is a universal practice in all oral traditions we know, b) at the same period, around 3,000 BC, we have the Sumerian or Egyptian inscriptions mentioning singing to the Invisible, particularly in relationship with death and Second Life, and finally c) the resonance is so strong in the Hypogeum already when simply speaking, that one is forced to use it and singing becomes natural.”

Drs. Lindstrom and Zubrow hint at a more hierarchal purpose for the manipulation of sound. “The Neolithic itself was characterized by cultures focused on new invention…enormous collective collaborations over extended periods of time. For these large-scale projects of agriculture and building, social cohesion and compliance was absolutely necessary.”

The same people who created Ħal Saflieni also engineered a complete solar calendar with solstice and equinox sunrise alignments that still function today in one of their above-ground megalithic structures. There is no question that a sophisticated school of architectural, astronomic and audiologic knowledge was already in place a thousand years before the Egyptians started building pyramids. Eneix believes that Malta’s Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is a remnant of a rich cultural tradition carried by the Neolithic migrations that spanned thousands of years and thousands of miles.

Voices of Brazil: the spiritual medium (The Guardian)

‘The country has woken up to its responsibilities and people are slowly winning their rights as citizens,’ says Divaldo Franco, Brazil’s most popular spiritual medium

Gibby Zobel

The Observer, Sunday 26 January 2014

Divaldo Franco

‘Spiritualism is growing in Brazil because it attends to the cultural, emotional and spiritual needs of society’: Divaldo Franco

Eighty-six years old and looking not a shade over 60, Divaldo Franco is Brazil’s most important spiritual medium, selling more than 10m books worldwide. His home is in the middle of one of Brazil’s most violent favelas, Pau da Lima, on the outskirts of Salvador. But Franco’s world is serene and peaceful.

It’s set inside the physical embodiment of his life’s work, the Mansão do Caminho – an institution which provides housing, education and care for children and young people. Where once stood a giant rubbish dump the Mansão is a vast, ultra-modern community complex. The building is regarded as untouchable by the drug traffickers as many of them, or their families, use its services.

Hundreds of mothers drop their kids off every day at the free crèche. More than 30,000 children are estimated to have passed through the Mansão over the past 60 years. A large part is financed by the sale of Franco’s books. He claims to channel spirits and transcribe their words in a method known as “psychography”.

It all came about because of a vision he had in 1948, aged 21. “I saw a huge number of children and an old man,” he recalls. “I went up to the elderly man. He turned around and I realised it was me in old age. And a voice said to me: ‘This is what you will do with your life.'”

He was later introduced to the doctrine of spiritism, coined by the French writer Allan Kardec in 1857, which believes in the existence of, and communication with, spirits through mediums. “Spiritism is growing in Brazil because it attends to the cultural, emotional and spiritual needs of society,” he says.

Over the years, Franco has adopted more than 600 abandoned children, many of whom now have their own children and grandchildren, and Franco sees hope in that youngest generation.

“We are living through a remarkable moment,” he says. “The country has woken up to its responsibilities and the people are slowly winning their rights as citizens and moving towards democratic freedoms and social justice. The country has consciously prepared for 2014, when the whole world will be following the football, to show that the nation has higher values, above those of carnival or even football, and that it is a strong nation that is ready to take on the here and now.”

Despite his age, the diminutive Franco still packs his own suitcase and travels the world alone, as he has done for decades, delivering hundreds of lectures.

“These trips open doors for those who will come in the future,” he says. “My message is of love, of hope, of caring. To say to people that our lives have a meaning and that we are not on the Earth to suffer.'”