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Iguassu Falls, Brazil: Ecological Research in Paradise

Kevin de La Tour

Ecology has been called "the last fad," and with good reason: as goes the Earth, so goes the human race.

The International Institute of Projectiology and Conscientiology (IIPC), a Brazilian, non-profit institution of research and education dedicated to studying consciousness and the out-of-body experience (astral projection), has long been known for its ecological focus. As early as 1992 (the Institute was founded in 1988), IIPC participated in the widely recognized '92 Global Forum, that caught the world's attention, focusing a collective planetary gaze on the new sense of hope generated by an event that brought together government and non-government organizations alike to brainstorm solutions to our common planetary problems, ranging from pollution to civil rights. The event was a huge success, achieving even greater visibility for the already famous country and people of Brazil and IIPC was there, contributing no less than 14 presentations to the official calendar of events and participation in a myriad of others. IIPC's presentations on that occasion focused on the issues of pollution created by human consciousness: how mankind creates a toxic environment through the thoughts, emotions and energies that it produces.

While the cause of ecology flows and ebbs for many, IIPC continues to take an ever more active role in promoting Brazil's contribution to global ecological research, education and solutions, that will serve to enhance the condition of the Earth for a great time to come.

The Institute has recently begun construction of its Center for Higher Studies of Consciousness, a research and educational facility in Iguassu Falls, located in the state of Paraná, in the south of Brazil.

IIPC chose this area largely for ecological reasons and this location has many attractive factors, not the least of which is that it contains one of the largest complex of natural waterfalls in the world (150-300, depending on the flow of the Iguassu River). It is also a national symbol of ecological preservation. Iguassu National Park, of which the famous falls is a part, was declared a Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO on November 17, 1986 -- thus establishing its value as a global ecological keystone, and assuring its continued preservation.

IIPC also chose this area as it is one of the greatest centers of bioenergy (life force) on the planet. The city of Iguassu Falls is located over one of the world's 3 largest basalt formations and has a large concentration of water and natural forests. As the Institute is committed to researching human consciousness and its energetic interaction with nature -- an integral part of this research relying on "geo-energy" or the Earth's naturally occurring subtle bioenergies -- Iguassu Falls was a logical choice.

Another salient point of Iguassu Falls is that it is located at Brazil's border with Argentina and Paraguay, and receives a constant flow of individuals from the world over, thus allowing access to the South American market and the global community, the result being that it is the third largest commercial center in the world -- surpassed only by Hong Kong and Miami. Indeed, Iguassu Falls is Brazil's second largest touristic center, boasting the country's third largest concentration of hotels.

Although Brazil has the largest tropical forest in the world, it is also the country most in need of botanical gardens -- having only eight, which were created in the nineteenth century. This fact has motivated the Institute to install new ecological reserves to better accommodate its continuing research projects. Thus, IIPC is in the process of constructing an experimental campus-laboratory-school with the objective of recuperating degraded areas, using ecological reforestation processes, preserving the remaining species of the Atlantic Forest in that area and cultivating medicinal, frutiferous, exotic, and energy accumulating species of plants for scientific study. IIPC's Center for Higher Studies of Consciousness is a scientific and cultural project that occupies an area of 24.2 acres (9.68 hectares), of which 35% is reserved for reforestation and preservation.

The planned facets of the Center for Higher Studies of Consciousness include: research laboratories, a library with an initial 100,000 books projected, educational facilities, auditoriums, a book store, park area, leisure area, publishing house, a kindergarten-to-college school system, hotel, restaurant and a shopping facility. The Center will serve to promote educational activities with ecological awareness in view and will be open to the public. In response to this project's large scale, which includes a residential project that will ultimately include 100 homes, the city of Iguassu Falls has recently installed a bus line dedicated to serving The Center.

The Center is already partially operational, having accommodated the Institute's 1996 annual year-end meeting with an attendance of almost 400 teachers, students and researchers. Indeed, many students of IIPC's international offices are making plans to visit the Center to take special courses offered by the Institute only in Brazil, and some already have.

Iguassu Falls contains a wealth of attractions that lure many types of national and international visitors. When the Center for Higher Studies of Consciousness is completed, this city will also house one of the most advanced centers of research and education in the world. It will then attract scientists, researchers and curious individuals from the world over and provide a new kind of tourism: intellectual.