International "healers" and practitioners of alternative therapies converged on the Swiss city of Basel over the weekend for the country's largest esoteric congress - this year devoted to the issue of reincarnation.
Several dozen leading therapists, whose self-proclaimed disciplines range from mediumship and meditation to spiritual teaching and "past life therapy", are taking part in three days of lectures, discussions and demonstrations.
The annual "Psi Days" congress - held this year for the 18th time - is organised by several Swiss para-psychological organisations.
The issue of reincarnation has become the focus in Basel at a time when increasing numbers of westerners - and not just followers of eastern philosophies and religions - have come to believe that death is not final, but marks another stage in the development of the soul.
A recent survey by a Lausanne institute showed that one in three Swiss believe in the cycle of life and death that is reincarnation.
It also indicated that a growing number of people go to therapists for "regression" therapy. In these sessions, the therapist helps the client, induced into a semi-trance, to examine "previous life" experiences with the aim of helping to explain issues or problems in "this" life.
Thousands of people come each year to the congress, held at the Basel exhibition centre.