As funding permits, Eternea will make grant awards to sponsor rigorous research efforts at major medical centers and universities around the world. These projects will be carried out by some of the most prominent and respected scientists of our time under the auspices of its Frontier Science Forum (FSF), using designs, protocols, instruments of data collection and methods of data analyses which it has approved. This research will be focused on Spiritually Transformative Experiences (STEs) and Non-Local Consciousness Experiences (NLCEs) explained in the Focus & Scope section.
FSF will be an enclave of leading scientists and scholars from around the world who are focused on the scientific study of STEs and NLCEs. FSF establishes research designs and protocols; determines research priorities; oversees research projects and grant funding provided to them; conducts peer review of scholarly articles and books; publishes a scientific journal; referees academic debates; critiques alternative explanations in relation to STEs and NLCEs; credentials researchers and scientific investigators; maintains a current database profiling leading scientists actively doing research in this field, as well as their research findings and progress reports concerning ongoing investigations; organizes scholarly seminars, conferences and symposia; and sponsors technology development and incubation projects.
With the best tools science has at its disposal, research funded and sponsored by Eternea under the purview of its Frontier Science Forum, will rigorously explore STEs and NLCEs, the nature of human consciousness, as well as its relationship to and influence upon matter. Many unanswered questions will be addressed through its work in order to advance the current body of knowledge in this area, as well as to look at new methods of researching these phenomena.
The first research priority to be undertaken under the direction of the Forum is The Global Census Project for Spiritually Transformative Experiences. Another major priority for the Forum and the scientific research it oversees will be to ascertain the validity of Eternea’s Seven Statements and to test the validity of various alternative explanations which have been postulated to explain STEs and NLCEs in a conventional scientific manner. The importance of these studies to Eternea’s overall mission and vision is truly incalculable.
To exemplify the kinds of future research projects that could be undertaken in the singular area of near-death experiences alone, the following highly meritorious initiatives are highlighted:
1. Global Prospective Basic NDE Study at multiple medical centers spanning six continents implemented simultaneously and involving prominent physicians at prestigious medical centers around the world using a standardized protocol and the similar instruments of data collection, observing the exact same study parameters;
2. Studies Involving Clinically Controlled Cardiac Arrest, Induced Cardiac Arrest & Standstill Surgeries wherein documented clinical death is deliberately achieved for compelling medical reasons, providing an opportunity to further explore veridical perception;
3. Retrospective/Historical/Cross-Cultural Ethnographic Studies;
4. Community Survey – Retrospective Epidemiological Study to probe true NDE incidence rate, as well as type, intensity and duration of after-effects;
5. Nearing-Death Awareness, Deathbed Observations & Shared-Death Studies in hospice settings and other appropriate settings; and
6. Cross-Cultural Longitudinal Studies of STE Transformative After-Effects.
Through studies such as these by top caliber scientists and researchers, the body of knowledge about STEs, NLCEs and the nature of consciousness will greatly expand. New findings and insights will emerge that will either uphold, refute or challenge The Seven Statements and the various important hypotheses associated with them. Results will be disseminated in scientific journals, popular media and at eternea.org.
Inarguably, much is already known about STEs, NLCEs and consciousness from very credible scientific work spanning the last half-century. But still, much remains unknown. And, although this has been stated before, it deserves repeating: All of Eternea’s expressed positions, including the The Seven Statements, are evidenced-based or data-driven scientific premises, postulations, deductions, inferences, propositions and extrapolations, subject to modification if and when new findings from future research so dictate. We infer The Seven Statements are true, but this is not yet a certainty.
Eternea does not claim to know truth, or the absolute nature of true objective reality. It is a seeker of truth through science. As such, The Seven Statements are presented for debate, reflection and consideration as inferred or postulated truths based on current knowledge and understanding of the existing impressive body of data. However, they are subject to change based on future findings, which is one key reason why research in this area is so vital to Eternea’s interests.
Eternea’s goal is to discover truth, verify truth and embrace truth by acting at all times in accordance with it. Therefore, The Seven Statements are not presented as unwavering “truth” but rather as plausible observations, postulations and hypotheses which are all evidence-based and firmly predicated on a solid foundation of credible scientific work performed by many reputable investigators. However, they could undergo revision, reinterpretation and revaluation as new data emerges.
It is equally important to emphasize that until or unless new data presents itself which invalidates some or all of the premises set forth in The Seven Statements, Eternea assumes they are accurate descriptions about the nature of absolute objective reality. Therefore, Eternea believes it is prudent to accept them as guiding principles and to regard them as true until or unless proven false.
It is only through the ongoing process of future robust scientific research, which is highly dependent on adequate funding, that we will learn whether these premises and hypotheses will be upheld or invalidated by new data. Eternea firmly believes new data will only support and reinforce The Seven Statements, but this is simply conjecture awaiting further research.
Eternea confidently predicts that as the body of scientific evidence grows in the future through better research, the case for upholding the validity of The Seven Statements will become more convincing and compelling, making a stronger basis for widespread public and scientific acceptance of them.
Nevertheless, Eternea believes further research is needed to provide more answers and further insights, but expects that future findings will only further reinforce the observations reflected in The Seven Statements. As more and better scientific research findings come forward, Eternea predicts that The Seven Statements will likely demonstrate their validity throughout the course of time.