Stephan A. Schwartz

NONLOCAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGIONS AND SPIRITUAL PRACTICES.  
This presentation presents an anthropological assessment of religions  and spiritual practices stripped of their sectarian dogmas. It discusses  them not on the basis of faith, but as systems of empirical  observational science developed over generations for the purpose of  allowing followers the opportunity to open to nonlocal consciousness.  The paper describes how religions begin as the result of a single  individual having a nonlocal, or a series of nonlocal, consciousness  experiences, laying out the steps by which that single personal  experience becomes a religion, and then examines and explains why the  spiritual rituals and practices common to religions across time,  geography, and culture grow from the experiences of the founder. It  describes all of this using scientific experimental  research from many  different disciplines to show how the empirical sciences of religions ,  and the spiritual practices they engender are, in fact, supported by a  myriad of studies, showing in the process: why water and wine are so  often a part of religious rituals ; why healing is so common across  religions; why sacred spaces are significant, and how they are created;  and why scriptures, and even the manner in which they are written,  matter in these empirical systems.