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What is the Best Proof of an Afterlife..?

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Author Topic: What is the Best Proof of an Afterlife..?  (Read 544 times)
Dawn Moline
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« on: June 09, 2014, 11:16:56 pm »

I ask this of anyone who might have an answer for it. We'll all get there someday, death, I mean, do our souls go on, or do we just die?  And if we don't just perish, what proof do we have of that? It is a riddle that has baffled the ages.


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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 05:02:47 pm »

Easy - ghosts..! Ghosts have been seen in every country, throughout every age. Something must be to that. If there was no afterlife, there would be no such thing as ghosts, or probably proof of Heaven and God either, for that matter.
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2014, 06:05:35 pm »

Ghosts are little proof, as their existence hasn't been verified either. Just as every generation has seen its ghosts, so, too has every generation had its share of overactive imaginations, the mad, the over wrought and the attention-seekers.
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2014, 09:47:21 pm »

There is no proof of an afterlife.  It's nothing more than wishful thinking that we carry on brought on by the fear of death.
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Trevor Proffitt
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2014, 10:44:39 pm »

The religious argument aside, there is no proof of the afterlife if you believe all the people who claim to have seen ghosts are full of BS. Sorry, that is too much of a coincidence to me. That can't all be due to imagination.
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2014, 05:11:16 am »

I wouldn't say it is "proof," but it makes sense that death would simply be the visitation or passing on to another dimension, like that episode from the Outer Limits, "Borderland," where a scientist figures out a way to cross over in the afterlife, and gets his hands switched around in the process!  Grin
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April Kincaid
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2014, 02:36:48 am »

4 Weird “Clues” That Parallel Universes Exist
By Rob Schwarz on May 24, 2013 at 11:43 am

The scientific possibility of parallel universes first arrived with Hugh Everett III’s Relative State Formulation in 1957. Not long after, Bryce Seligman DeWitt renamed Everett’s theory and introduced it to the masses, bringing us the popular term Many-worlds Interpretation.

But there are others, each attempting to solve the quantum measurement problem and, in this case, Everett’s formulation. These include the Many-minds interpretation and, my personal favorite, Many-histories.

Interpretations of interpretations, yeah. It’s very messy.

But for now, any thoughts of dimension-hopping adventures and parallel universes are relegated to science fiction. It’s just not possible.

Or is it?

Well, probably not. But let’s ignore the science for a moment and take a quick look at some of the weirder “clues” that maybe, just maybe, we’re living in one of many worlds.
1. Ghosts & Paranormal Activity

Ghosts and parallel universes

So here’s a snapshot of an alleged ghost that popped up at the 16th Century palace of King Henry VIII. It appeared on CCTV footage after security guards were notified of someone repeatedly opening the fire exit. (And I’m not saying this is an actual ghost…just using it as an example).

Beyond ghostly photographs, though, many of these sightings could have an even more exotic explanation: parallel worlds bleeding into one another. A ghost, a specter, the haunting visage of the deceased — perhaps this person is alive and well in another world, and you’ve simply caught a glimpse into their universe.

Or perhaps this particular “parallel universe” is the realm of the dead, itself!
2. Déjà vu & Alter vus

A Déjà vu is one of several strange phenomena of the mind (including Déjà vecu and Déjà Visité, among others). Déjà vu, in particular, is the uncanny sensation that you’ve experienced something before, that an event is repeating itself. With Déjà vecu, you may even feel that you know what’s going to happen next.

An Alter vu, as well, is a term that popped up during the John Titor saga to describe when someone remembers their worldline differently. Conflicting memories, something changed about the world they live in. Think about Marty McFly at the end of Back to the Future; he’d remember the name of the mall as Twin Pines Mall, but due to his time travel, it’s changed to Lone Pine Mall.

He remembers both realities.

Both experiences have neurological and memory-based explanations, but is it possible that Déjà vus are “memories” from other versions of ourselves in other universes, or that Alter vus are truly memories from altered worldlines?
3. Dreams & Parallel Universes

If sleep is a little slice of death, then what are dreams?

Some dreams we remember, most we don’t. While the mechanism for dreaming is fairly understood (they tend to occur during REM sleep), we still don’t know their true purpose, if there is one. A glimpse into the unconsious mind, a way for our brains to sort out information?

Or could they be windows into another world?

Read more about the strange nature of dreams: Lucid Dreaming and the World Within Your Mind // Time Traveling In Your Dreams
4. Parallel Universe Stories

Believe it or not (probably not), but there have been a few cases of individuals who claim to belong to another world, or whose origins otherwise could not be traced. True, false, I don’t know.

Consider these two stories:

1. Lerina García, who woke up one day in a world — our world — that did not belong to her.

According to the story, as her day progressed she continued to notice “small incongruities,” little things that were just off. But there were big things, too:

    “So I went to work in my car, which was parked where I’d always parked, and it was the same office I’d worked in for the last 20 years. But when I got to my department, it wasn’t my department. It has names on the door and mine wasn’t on it. I thought I was on the wrong floor, but no, it was my own floor. I went over to the office’s wireless section and looked myself up. I still worked there, but in another department, reporting to a superior I didn’t even know.”

2. A strange man who arrived in Tokyo in 1954 with a passport from a country that didn’t exist, called Taured. Japanese customs officials detained the man, but his passport was not a fake: it had the proper stamps, was issued by the country of Taured, and even included Japanese stamps from a previous visit. The man swore that Taured was a European country that had existed for 1,000 years, and he also held other papers, such as bank statements, with the country’s name on them.

After several hours, customs officials eventually placed the man in a hotel, with security nearby to ensure that he did not leave his room, while they checked things out.

The next morning, he was gone. No trace. A manhunt ensued, but there was no point; he had simply vanished.

Obviously, the veracity of these two stories can’t be confirmed, at least to my knowledge. But you work with what you have, you know?

So, do parallel universes exist?

The above “clues” are just some possibilities that I find intriguing, not that I believe any of them. But the universe is a strange place. What do you believe?
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2014, 12:12:44 am »

Quantum physics proves that there IS an afterlife, claims scientist

    Robert Lanza claims the theory of biocentrism says death is an illusion
    He said life creates the universe, and not the other way round
    This means space and time don't exist in the linear fashion we think it does
    He uses the famous double-split experiment to illustrate his point
    And if space and time aren't linear, then death can't exist in 'any real sense' either

By Victoria Woollaston

Published: 10:08 EST, 14 November 2013 | Updated: 07:37 EST, 5 February 2014



Most scientists would probably say that the concept of an afterlife is either nonsense, or at the very least unprovable.

Yet one expert claims he has evidence to confirm an existence beyond the grave - and it lies in quantum physics.

Professor Robert Lanza claims the theory of biocentrism teaches that death as we know it is an illusion created by our consciousness.
Professor Robert Lanza claims the theory of biocentrism, also known as the theory of everything, teaches death as we know it is an illusion.

Professor Robert Lanza claims the theory of biocentrism teaches death as we know it is an illusion. He believes our consciousness creates the universe, and not the other way round, and once we accept that space and time are 'tools of our minds', death can't exist in 'any real sense' either

Professor Robert Lanza's, pictured, theory is explained in his book Biocentrism

Professor Robert Lanza's, pictured, theory is explained in his book Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe

'We think life is just the activity of carbon and an admixture of molecules – we live a while and then rot into the ground,' said the scientist on his website.

Lanza, from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina, continued that as humans we believe in death because 'we've been taught we die', or more specifically, our consciousness associates life with bodies and we know that bodies die.


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His theory of biocentrism, however, explains that death may not be as terminal as we think it is.

Biocentrism is classed as the theory of everything and comes from the Greek for 'life centre'.

It is the believe that life and biology are central to reality and that life creates the universe, not the other way round.

This suggests a person's consciousness determines the shape and size of objects in the universe.

Lanza uses the example of the way we perceive the world around us. A person sees a blue sky, and is told that the colour they are seeing is blue, but the cells in a person's brain could be changed to make the sky look green or red.

Biocentrism is classed as the Theory of Everything and comes from the Greek for 'life centre'. It is the belief that life and biology are central to reality and that life creates the universe, not the other way round. 

Lanza uses the example of the way we perceive the world around us.

A person sees a blue sky, and is told that the colour they are seeing is blue, but the cells in a person's brain could be changed to make the sky look green or red.

Our consciousness makes sense of the world, and can be altered to change this interpretation.
The universe is a construct of our minds, claims Lanza

By looking at the universe from a biocentric's point of view, this also means space and time don't behave in the hard and fast ways our consciousness tell us it does.

In summary, space and time are 'simply tools of our mind.'

Once this theory about space and time being mental constructs is accepted, it means death and the idea of immortality exist in a world without spatial or linear boundaries.

Theoretical physicists believe that there is infinite number of universes with different variations of people, and situations taking place, simultaneously.

Lanza added that everything which can possibly happen is occurring at some point across these multiverses and this means death can't exist in 'any real sense' either.

Lanza, instead, said that when we die our life becomes a 'perennial flower that returns to bloom in the multiverse.'

'Bottom line: What you see could not be present without your consciousness,' explained Lanza. 'Our consciousness makes sense of the world.'

By looking at the universe from a biocentric's point of view, this also means space and time don't behave in the hard and fast ways our consciousness tell us it does. In summary, space and time are 'simply tools of our mind.'

Once this theory about space and time being mental constructs is accepted, it means death and the idea of immortality exist in a world without spatial or linear boundaries.

Similarly, theoretical physicists believe there is infinite number of universes with different variations of people, and situations, taking place simultaneously.
Lanza cites the double-slit experiment, pictured, to backup his claims.

Lanza cites the double-slit test, pictured, to backup his claims. When scientists watch a particle pass through two slits, the particle goes through one slit or the other. If a person doesn't watch it, it acts like a wave and can go through both slits simultaneously. This means its behaviour changes based on a person's perception

In the experiment, when scientists watch a particle pass through two slits in a barrier, the particle behaves like a bullet and goes through one slit or the other.

Yet if a person doesn't watch the particle, it acts like a wave.

This means it can go through both slits at the same time.

This demonstrates that matter and energy can display characteristics of both waves and particles, and that the behaviour of the particle changes based on a person's perception and consciousness.

Lanza added that everything which can possibly happen is occurring at some point across these multiverses and this means death can't exist in 'any real sense' either.

Lanza, instead, said that when we die our life becomes a 'perennial flower that returns to bloom in the multiverse.'

He continued: 'Life is an adventure that transcends our ordinary linear way of thinking. When we die, we do so not in the random billiard-ball-matrix but in the inescapable-life-matrix.'

Lanza cited the famous double-slit experiment to backup his claims.

In the experiment, when scientists watch a particle pass through two slits in a barrier, the particle behaves like a bullet and goes through one slit or the other.

Yet if a person doesn't watch the particle, it acts like a wave, This means it can go through both slits at the same time.

This demonstrates that matter and energy can display characteristics of both waves and particles, and that behaviour of the particle changes based on a person's perception and consciousness.

Lanza's full theory is explained in his book Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe.
Read more:

    Robert Lanza » Biocentrism / Robert Lanza¿s Theory of Everything

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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2014, 12:16:45 am »

Top Five Phenomena That Offer Evidence For An Afterlife
Posted by Greg at 11:53, 09 Dec 2013

Near Death Experience

In the modern age, the debate over the possibility that our consciousness might survive the physical death of our body is often reduced to a false dichotomy of science vs religion. As such, scientists sadly often ignore and ridicule reports of strange phenomena from those who have approached, and in some cases gone beyond, the threshold of death, even though such experiences have a profound effect upon those who undergo them. Do these phenomena offer evidence that we might live on in some way past the demise of our physical selves? Here’s a list of five areas, taken from the book Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife (Kindle/Paperback), which suggest that it might just be so:

1. Veridical NDEs

The near-death experience first shot into the limelight in the 1970s after the publication of Raymond Moody’s best-selling book Life After Life, to the extent that nearly everyone today knows what an ‘NDE’ is. But while many people took the near-death experience itself as proof of a life beyond death, orthodox science has judged (rightly or wrongly) the heavenly visions of the NDE to be simply hallucinations brought on by the various physical and psychological burdens put on the brain by its imminent demise.

One area that has the potential to change that opinion, however, is research into what are termed ‘veridical NDEs’. This is where, during the ‘out-of-body experience’ stage of the NDE, the experiencer sees things – and later reports back on them – that they should not have been able to perceive. There are many anecdotes of veridical NDEs, such as the case of ‘Dentures Man’, which was mentioned in the respected journal The Lancet. In this case from 1979, a 44-year-old man (‘Mr. B’) was brought into the emergency department at Canisius Hospital in the Netherlands by ambulance, after being discovered comatose, hypothermic and without a pulse in a cold, damp meadow in the middle of the night. Hospital staff, including the senior nurse (‘T.G.’), were beginning resuscitation on the patient when T.G. noticed that Mr. B was wearing dentures, so removed them and placed them on the ‘crash cart’ so that he could put a ventilation mask on the unconscious man. After Mr. B was successfully ‘brought back’, he was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, and so T.G. did not see the man again until a week later while doing rounds distributing medication. T.G. was astonished when, as he walked into the room, the patient he had brought back to life suddenly exclaimed ‘‘Oh, that nurse knows where my dentures are!’’. Seeing the look of surprise on T.G.’s face, Mr. B explained himself: since coming back to consciousness, Mr. B. had been looking for his dentures. ‘‘You were there when I was brought into hospital and you took my dentures out of my mouth and put them onto that cart,” he said. “It had all these bottles on it and there was this sliding drawer underneath and there you put my teeth”. T.G. was confused by this, as he remembered that he had done this when the patient was unconscious and undergoing CPR to bring him back to life:

    When I asked further, it appeared the man had seen himself lying in bed, that he had perceived from above how nurses and doctors had been busy with CPR. He was also able to describe correctly and in detail the small room in which he had been resuscitated as well as the appearance of those present like myself. At the time that he observed the situation he had been very much afraid that we would stop CPR and that he would die. And it is true that we had been very negative about the patient’s prognosis due to his very poor medical condition when admitted. The patient tells me that he desperately and unsuccessfully tried to make it clear to us that he was still alive and that we should continue CPR. He is deeply impressed by his experience and says he is no longer afraid of death. Four weeks later he left hospital as a healthy man.

How did Mr. B ‘see’ the resuscitation room, and in particular the head nurse’s face, when his brain was apparently shut down? While this account alone is puzzling, it is just one of a long list of ‘veridical NDE’ reports through the years. Another patient, Al Sullivan, was undergoing emergency heart surgery when he had a classic NDE with the well-known elements of the tunnel, ‘the light’, and a meeting with his dead mother. But during the out-of-body experience stage he also apparently ‘saw’ the operating room while under a general anaesthetic: “I was laying [sic] on a table covered with light blue sheets and I was cut open so as to expose my chest cavity… I was able to see my surgeon, who just moments ago had explained to me what he was going to do during my operation. He appeared to be somewhat perplexed. I thought he was flapping his arms as if trying to fly...” It tuns out this ‘flapping’ motion was an idiosyncratic habit of the surgeon, who after scrubbing in would point at things using his elbows to avoid contamination of his hands. The list of similar cases goes on; researcher Janice Miner Holden collected some 107 cases from the NDE literature, and concluded that “the sheer volume of anecdotes that a number of authors over the course of the last 150 years have described suggests [veridical NDE perception] is real.…the cumulative weight of these narratives [should be enough to] convince most skeptics that these reports are something more than than mere hallucinations on the patient’s part”.

In fact, the evidence from veridical NDEs has been so strong that a large study has now been undertaken, involving various hospitals around the world, that is attempting to answer the question of whether near-death experiencers can truly ‘see’ while having an out-of-body experience. In the AWARE study, patients who survive a cardiac arrest are being asked if they underwent an out-of-body experience during their brush with death, and if so, whether they were able to see certain ‘hidden targets’ placed in the room that can only be seen from a vantage point near the ceiling. The AWARE researchers will soon release their first official scientific report , and have just secured new funding that will ensure this area continues to be investigated.

2. Peak-in-Darien Experiences

In an 1882 book that described a number of strange phenomena reported by the dying titled The Peak in Darien, author Frances Cobbe wrote of an incident “of a very striking character” that occurred in a family with very tight bonds. A dying lady suddenly began showing emotions of recognition and joy, before telling how, one after another, three of her brothers who had long been dead had appeared in the room. Then, strangely, a fourth brother appeared to her as dead, despite the fact that he was believed by those present to still be alive and well at his residence in India – the suggestion that he had passed away was enough to cause one person to run from the room in shock. Being the late 19th century, there was no instant way of checking on the brother’s health, but sometime later letters were received announcing his death in India at a time before his dying sister appeared to recognize a vision of him at her bedside.

The title of Cobbe’s book has since become the unofficial name for accounts of this type, those where the dying have visions of deceased individuals who were thought to be alive at the time of the vision: Peak-in-Darien experiences. And like veridical NDEs, there are a surprisingly large number of them recorded in the literature. They have even seeped into popular culture: in recent times, the popular TV show Grey’s Anatomy brought such an experience into the public consciousness when the main character, Meredith Grey, had an NDE in which she had a vision of her mother, whom she thought was alive but had actually just passed away elsewhere in the hospital. The scene has a number of parallels with real life events.

For instance, in 1968 a female near-death experiencer reported having the classic OBE view of her hospital room from outside her physical body, before finding herself in ‘heaven’ with an angel and a familiar-looking young man. “Why, Tom, I didn’t know you were up here,” she said to the close family friend, with Tom replying to her that he had just arrived himself. Not long after returning to her body, and life, her husband received a phone call with the unfortunate news that their friend Tom had died in a car accident.

In another case, a 9-year-old boy in Pittsburgh suffering from meningitis woke up the next morning and said he’d been in heaven and saw his grandparents and uncle, as well as his older sister, saying “she told me I have to come back, but she’s going to stay there with grandma and granddad”. The boy’s father became upset with him, rebuking the lad before assuring him that his sister was alive and healthy at college in Vermont, as he had spoken with her the previous day. Concerned at the father’s state, the doctor told him to go home and get some rest, at which time he found that the college had been trying to call him all night long with the tragic news that his daughter had been killed in a car accident the night before.

Though it’s likely Peak-in-Darien experiences will never convince the most **** of skeptics, the sheer number of puzzling accounts of this type should certainly have any open-minded person curious as to whether they are evidence of some sort of life beyond death.

3. Mediumship

While the idea that certain people can ‘talk’ to the dead is a popular one in modern culture – witness the success of recent television shows such as Medium and Ghost Whisperer, not to mention hit movies like Ghost – such individuals are not as popular with scientists and skeptics, who tend to view them with contempt. The reason for this is no doubt the long association between mediumship and unscrupulous charlatans taking advantage of the bereaved, of which there have been more than a few. But mediumship proper goes back into prehistory, when shamans went into trance and acted as the conduit between the dead and the living. And right up into modern times, there have been certain individuals who seem to have had this ability. In the late 19th century, the Society for Psychical Research (S.P.R.) – a group comprised of some of the most respected academics in the world – set out to investigate claims of mediumship to try and ascertain the truth of the matter. And while they certainly found their share of frauds, they also uncovered rare gems. They assigned one of their toughest skeptical minds, an Australian by the name of Richard Hodgson, to the peculiar case of an ostensibly normal Boston housewife, Mrs. Leonora Piper, who would go into trance and allow ‘the dead’ to channel communication through her (at one point, three conversations could be held simultaneously between living and deceased individuals, one through the voice, one through writing with the right hand, and another with the left!). Hodgson investigated Piper for almost twenty years, using detectives to shadow her and her husband, arranging sittings anonymously and taking numerous other precautions. He collected thousands of pages of testimony and analysis, and reams of evidence suggesting that Mrs. Piper had access to information beyond her normal senses. Hodgson’s official conclusion was paradigm-shattering. He was, he said, convinced “that the chief ‘communicators’...have survived the change we call death, and... have directly communicated with us...through Mrs Piper’s entranced organism”.

Hodgson was not alone in his summation. Another researcher who devoted a number of years to studying Mrs. Piper, Professor James Hyslop, concluded that her mediumship provided solid evidence “that there is a future life and persistence of personal identity”. Frederic Myers, one of the founding members of the S.P.R., said of his own sittings that they “left little doubt – no doubt – that we were in the presence of an authentic utterance from a soul beyond the tomb”. And yet, in the last century, these findings have been forgotten, so that in recent times scientists tend to react only with disdain when the subject of mediumship is raised.

However, in recent years other researchers have taken on the yoke of investigating mediumship within a scientific framework. Dr. Emily Kelly of the University of Virginia and former hospice chaplain Dianne Arcangel undertook a study of the information given by mediums to recently-bereaved persons, the results of which were published in early 2011 in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders. Some of Kelly and Arcangel’s findings do appear to offer tantalizing evidence for the validity of mediumship.

In one experiment, Kelly and Arcangel employed nine mediums to offer readings for 40 individual sitters – two of the mediums doing six each, while the other seven mediums did four readings each (each sitter had just one reading done). The sittings were done without the actual sitter present (the researchers acted as a ‘proxy’ to keep a blind protocol), and audio recordings of the mediums’ statements were later transcribed. Each sitter was then sent six readings – the correct reading, and five ‘decoy’ readings drawn from those given for others in the group – but were then asked to rate each overall reading on how applicable they thought it was to them, and comment on why they chose the highest rated reading. Thirty-eight of the forty participants returned their ratings – and, amazingly, 14 of the 38 readings were correctly chosen (while at first sight ‘less than half correct’ may seem a rather poor success rate, given there were six readings to choose from, this is actually a number significantly above what would be expected by chance). Additionally, seven other readings were ranked second, and altogether 30 of the 38 readings were ranked in the top half of the ratings. What’s more, one medium in particular stood out above the others: all six of this person’s readings were correctly ranked first by each sitter, at quite astronomical odds! Sitters, asked to explain why they chose the correct readings, often cited the specific, personal details that stood out. For example:

    ...the medium referred to “a lady that is very much, was influential in his [the deceased person’s] formative years. So, whether that is mother or whether that is grandmother... She can strangle a chicken.” The sitter commented that her grandmother (the deceased person’s mother) “killed chickens. It freaked me out the first time I saw her do this. I cried so hard that my parents had to take me home. So the chicken strangling is a big deal...In fact I often referred to my sweet grandmother as the chicken killer”.

Other researchers have also returned positive results from research with mediums. Dr. Julie Beischel has spent more than a decade investigating mediumship, and she has become convinced by the evidence. “When I applied the scientific method to the phenomenon of mediumship using optimal environments, maximum controls, and skilled participants”, she states, “I was able to definitively conclude that certain mediums are able to report accurate and specific information about discarnates (the deceased) without using any normal means to acquire that information”.

4. Death Bed Phenomena

Strange experiences reported at the time of death, including near-death experiences and death-bed visions, are often dismissed by skeptics as artifacts of the dying patient’s misfiring brain. But such explanations are confounded by the fact that, in some cases, other quite healthy people present in the room with the dying also experience the ‘veil’ to the afterlife being lifted.

For example, there have been numerous cases in which carers for the dying have described seeing a bright light surrounding the dying person, exuding what they relate as “a raw feeling of love”. What sort of numbers are we talking? Researcher Peter Fenwick was amazed to find in a survey that one in every three palliative carers reported accounts of “a radiant light that envelops the dying person, and may spread throughout the room and involve the carer”. In a similar Dutch study, more than half of the carers surveyed reported witnessing this ‘light’! Meanwhile in a questionnaire put to palliative care nurses in Australia, one respondent told how he, another nurse, and the patient’s husband saw a blue-white light leave the body of the patient and drift toward the ceiling. “As she died we just noticed like an energy rising from her...sort of a bluey white sort of aura,” the nurse explained. “We looked at each other, and the husband was on the other side of the bed and he was looking at us... he saw it as well and he said he thinks that she went to a better place”. As is often the case, this experience was transformative for the nurse: “It probably changed the way I felt about people dying and what actually happens after death”. In fact the researcher responsible for the Australian survey, Deborah Morris, was herself originally inspired to investigate death-bed experiences further by her own experience of seeing ‘the dying light’. “There was a young man who had died in the room with his family and I saw an aura coming off him,” she recounts. “It was like a mist. I didn’t tell anybody for years. I’ve never seen it again”.

Peter Fenwick relates an instance in which a person, at the time of their brother’s death, witnessed “odd tiny sparks of bright light” emanating from the body – and what’s more, these ‘sparks’ were also seen by another person in the room. In another case, a carer awoke in the darkness of early morning to the sight of “a flame licking the top of the wall against the ceiling” above her dying father’s bed. “I saw a plume of smoke rising, like the vapour that rises from a snuffed-out candle, but on a bigger was being thrown off by a single blade of phosphorus light”, the witness recounted. “It hung above Dad’s bed, about 18 inches or so long, and was indescribably seemed to express perfect love and peace”. She switched on the light to investigate further, but the light instantly vanished; “the room was the same as always on a November morning, cold and cheerless, with no sound of breathing from Dad’s bed. His body was still warm”. This sighting of a vapour-like substance leaving the body at the time of death is another element that is often reported:

    As he died something which is very hard to describe because it was so unexpected and because I had seen nothing like it left up through his body and out of his head. It resembled distinct delicate waves/lines of smoke (smoke is not the right word but I have not got a comparison) and then disappeared. I was the only one to see it. It left me with such a sense of peace and comfort. I don’t think that we were particularly close as my sister and I had been sent off to boarding school at an early age.

    I do not believe in God. But as to an afterlife I now really do not know what to think.

Family, carers and physicians have also reported various other phenomena occurring at the time of death, from the sounds of angelic choirs singing through to visions of the already deceased at the dying person’s bedside. For example, one woman reported that as she watched her mother pass away...

    …Suddenly I was aware that her father was stood at the foot of her bed. My mother was staring at him too and her face was lit up with joy. It was then that I saw her face appeared to be glowing with a gold light. The light began to leave through the top of her head and go towards the ceiling. Looking back to my mother’s face I saw that she was no longer breathing.

Similarly, Peter Fenwick was told by one lady that while sitting at her dying husband’s bedside there was suddenly “a most brilliant light shining from my husband’s chest”. The light began to rise toward the ceiling, and she began hearing “the most beautiful music and singing voices”, filling her with an overwhelming feeling of joy. At this point, the nurse interrupted with news that her husband had just passed, and the light and the music instantly disappeared, leaving the woman bereft at being left behind, after being shown just the barest of glimpses ‘behind the veil’.

Certainly, those witnessing the death of another person are sure to be under psychological stress, so perhaps in some cases we could explain cases away as some sort of hallucination. However, in cases where multiple witnesses in the same room describe the same vision, we really do being to feel as if we’re reaching for mundane explanations.

5. Crossovers between Mediumship and Near-Death Experiences

After days of struggle against the disease that had struck him down, Dr. Horace Ackley could take no more. All of a sudden, he felt himself gradually rising from his body; as his organs ceased functioning, Dr. Ackley suddenly found himself in a position slightly above his lifeless physical body, looking down on it and those who had been in the room with him. Then, without warning...

    …the scenes of my whole life seemed to move before me like a panorama; every act seemed as though it were drawn in life size and was really present: it was all there, down to the closing scenes. So rapidly did it pass, that I had little time for reflection. I seemed to be in a whirlpool of excitement; and then, just as suddenly as this panorama had been presented, it was withdrawn, and I was left without a thought of the past or future to contemplate my present condition.

Dr. Ackley realized that he must have died, and was gratified to learn that it seemed a rather pleasant experience. “Death is not so bad a thing after all,” he said to himself, “and I should like to see what that country is that I am going to, if I am a spirit.” His only regret, looking down on the whirl of activity in the room, was that he was unable to inform his friends that he lived on, to set their minds and hearts at ease. At this point, two ‘guardian spirits’ appeared before Dr. Ackley, greeting him by name before leading him from the room into an area where a number of ‘spirits’ whom he was familiar with had assembled.

Those familiar with accounts of near-death experiences might well be saying to themselves “ho-hum, another stock-standard near-death experience”. They might guess that Dr. Ackley then woke up in his resuscitated body and told an NDE researcher about his experience. But if they did, they would be wrong. Dr. Horace Ackley truly did die that day, never to return to this life. The report that you read above was an account of his death, allegedly given by him through a spirit medium – one Samuel Paist of Philadelphia. And what makes it truly remarkable is that it was written down by Paist in his book A Narrative of the Experience of Horace Abraham Ackley, M.D., and published in 1861 – more than a century before the near-death experience had come to the attention of researchers and the general public. And yet Paist/Ackley tells of an OBE shortly after death, a “panoramic” life review (the exact word “panoramic” is found in many NDE reports), and being greeted by spirits who subsequently guided him to an afterlife realm!

But the after-death narrative of Dr. Horace Ackley is not an isolated instance. More than a decade before the publication of Raymond Moody’s Life After Life – the book that started the modern fascination with near-death experiences – another scientist had already investigated and written at length on the topic. In a pair of relatively obscure books – The Supreme Adventure (1961) and Intimations of Immortality (1965) – Dr. Robert Crookall cited numerous examples of what he called “pseudo-death,” noting the archetypal elements that Moody would later bring to the public’s attention as the near-death experience. What’s more however, Crookall also compared these tales of ‘pseudo-death’ with accounts of the dying process as told by ‘communicators’ through mediums – and found a number of these same recurring elements, well before they became public knowledge through Moody’s Life After Life.

For example, Crookall showed that, according to ostensibly dead ‘communicators’ talking through mediums, the newly- deceased are usually met by other deceased loved ones: “Usually friends or relatives take the newly-dead man in charge”. This of course may not be considered a surprising thing for a medium to say – it’s probably what most people would expectantly hope for upon entering the spirit realm. But the common elements continue, and include some of the more idiosyncratic features of the NDE. For instance, Crookall noted that, as with the case of Dr. Ackley above, communicators often declare through mediums that “in the early stages of transition, they experienced a panoramic review of their past lives”. In one case the communicator recounted that shortly after death “the scenes of the past life” are revealed; another said that upon ‘waking’ his “entire life unreeled itself”. A dead communicator by the name of Scott told medium Jane Sherwood that his thoughts “raced over the record of a whole long lifetime”, while another communicator said that he saw “clearer and clearer the events of my past life pass, in a long procession, before me.”

Beyond the meeting with the familiar dead, and the past life review, Crookall’s research also found that mediumistic communicators regularly make note of the out-of-body experience component. For example, one communicator noted that he “seemed to rise up out of my body”. According to another, “I was not lying in the bed, but floating in the air, a little above it. I saw the body, stretched out straight”. Furthermore, they also describe the familiar element of traveling through a tunnel! “I saw in front of me a dark tunnel,” said one communicator, before travelling through it and then stepping “out of the tunnel into a new world”. Another communicator noted that they remembered “a curious opening, as if one had passed through subterranean passages and found oneself near the mouth of a cave... The light was much stronger outside”. And once through the ‘tunnel’, the environment is once again familiar to anyone who has perused a catalogue of NDEs: “I was with ‘B’ [her son, killed in the War]: he took me to a world so brilliant that I can’t describe it”.

The common elements are compelling. For anyone familiar with the NDE literature, these reports through mediums are startlingly similar to the accounts of near-death experiencers – and yet Crookall collected them years before the archetype of the NDE became common knowledge. And what’s more, not only do they seem to offer support for the validity of the near-death experience, they also hint that there may well be more to the much-maligned subject of mediumship.

For more detailed discussion of all these fascinating topics, grab your copy of Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife as either a Kindle ebook or in paperback.
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2014, 12:17:56 am »

'Afterlife' feels 'even more real than real,' researcher says
By Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 5:21 AM EDT, Wed April 10, 2013

Scans compare neurological activity in a brain that is healthy, one that is comatose and another that is dead
Scans compare neurological activity in a brain that is healthy, one that is comatose and another that is dead

    Near-death experiences can be vividly real to those who have them
    Many people who were in comas remember having them
    One need not die to have an out-of-body experience
    Belgian researchers want to see more empirical research on NDEs

(CNN) -- You're about to go to "heaven" and live to tell about it. And your story will become the subject of scientific research.

It's the perfect day. You're strolling down a sidewalk, listening to an ensemble of bird songs, soaking up a balmy breeze fragranced with fresh spring flowers, and gazing up at a cloudless sky of pure azure.

Pleasantly distracted, you step off the sidewalk into the street. Brakes screech; horns blare; people shriek in horror. You snap back to reality ... just as the truck hits you.

You fly for yards like a rag doll; you land hard. You're numb all over and fading fast. It's all over; you know it. Your life flashes before you like an epic movie. The End.

You leave your body and look down at it. People are bending over it. Someone is sobbing uncontrollably. As the ambulance rushes up, a blinding light surges above you. It beckons you softly.

You follow it through a tunnel to a place much more vividly real and spectacular than the banner Sunday afternoon you just left behind. You are sure you have arrived in the hereafter.

Weeks later, you wake up to the steady beeps of an EKG monitor next to your hospital bed.

Secrets spilled in life's final minutes

The scientific journey begins

If your hospital is in Belgium, Dr. Steven Laureys may pay you a visit, interested to hear what you remember from your NDE, or near-death experience.

He tells you that many people have gone down this road before you and that you can trust him with your experience.

"Patients in intensive care are scared to tell their stories," he said. They are afraid people won't take them seriously, especially doctors and scientists.

Laureys heads the Coma Science Group at the university hospital in the city of Liege. He and his colleagues published a scientific study on NDEs late last month.

People who go on these fantastic journeys are often forever changed. Many seem to come back happier and no longer fear death, he said. The experience becomes a cornerstone of their lives.
Results of a psychological test reveal memories of Near Death Experiences to be more vivid than any other memoryResults of a psychological test reveal memories of Near Death Experiences to be more vivid than any other memory

NDEs feel "even more real than real," Laureys said. It's this sparkling clarity and living color of the experience, which many have when they lose consciousness, that he and his team have researched.

But he doesn't think it comes from a spirit world. Laureys is a scientist, he emphasizes. He prefers not to mix that with religion.

His hypothesis is that near-death experiences originate in human physiology. "It is this dysfunctional brain that produces these phenomena," he said.

Laureys and his staff are interested in how the brain creates the mind and its perception of reality. "Our main focus is consciousness research in comatose patients," he said. His team hopes to raise the quality of their comfort and care.

The same story, again and again

Over the years, many patients have awakened from comas to tell Laureys about trips to the hereafter.

Their stories all have elements that are the same or very similar.

"After being close to death, some people will report having had an out-of-body experience, having seen a bright light or being passed through a tunnel; all well-known elements of the famous Near-Death Experience," according to the study by Laureys and his team of six scientists.

Raymond and Nadine, both from Belgium, had heart attacks. When oxygen was cut off from their brains, they had out-of-body sensations, Laureys said.

"I felt as if I were sucked out of my body at one point," said Raymond. "I was going through a completely black tunnel, very, very quickly, a speed you cannot express, because you just don't experience it."

When Nadine's heart attack came on, she could see herself from outside her body. "It's as if you are on a cloud, even if it's not really that," she said.

It eluded her control, and that frightened her. She went into a dark hole. "You wonder if you will really return to your body," she said.

A light appeared at the end of Raymond's tunnel. He, too, was at first afraid and resisted. The light was female, and she "communicated" with him.

He surrendered to her. "I realized that I shouldn't struggle, and I let myself go. It was at that moment that the experience took place."

Psychological test

Scientific research on people having NDEs is tough, because the exact instant that they occur is unknown, making them nearly impossible to observe, Laureys said.

It would also be cruel to run brain scans on someone who was possibly facing the moment of death.

So, Laureys and his team studied the near-death memories of people who survived -- in particular those of coma patients -- with the help of a psychological examination.

The Memory Characteristics Questionnaire tests for sensory and emotional details of recollections and how people relive them in space and time. In other words, it gauges how present, intense and real a memory is.

They compared NDEs with other memories of intense real-life events like marriages and births, but also with memories of dreams and thoughts -- things that did not occur in physical reality.

The researchers paralleled new memories with old ones. And they compared the patients who had NDEs with groups of others who didn't.

Memories of important real-life events are more intense than those of dreams or thoughts, Laureys said.

"If you use this questionnaire ... if the memory is real, it's richer, and if the memory is recent, it's richer," he said.

The coma scientists weren't expecting what the tests revealed.

"To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors," Laureys reported.

The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality. "The difference was so vast," he said with a sense of astonishment.

Even if the patient had the experience a long time ago, its memory was as rich "as though it was yesterday," Laureys said.

"Sometimes, it is hard for them (the patients) to find words to explain it."

True believers

The questionnaire asks people about their level of certainty that a remembered experience was a real event and not imagined or dreamed. "They (the patients) are very convinced that it is real," Laureys said.

A simple Internet search reveals hundreds of accounts of near-death experiences -- some real, some perhaps invented. Many people are convinced they are proof positive that an afterlife exists outside of the physical realm -- and that it is wondrous.

There are reports of religious images appearing at times in NDEs, but they are not limited to one single religion, and they don't always appear. Sometimes Buddha, Jesus or Mohammed appear, but usually they don't, Laureys said.

Nevertheless, an NDE can make a convert of a skeptic. Dr. Eben Alexander is a well-known case of an agnostic scientist who became convinced of the existence of the spiritual.

He has often shared his story in television interviews with journalists and expressed his views in lectures and in books and video presentations, which he sells on his website.

Alexander, a neurosurgeon, according to his autobiography, has described his experience in the same terms as the Belgian researchers: "hyper-reality," "too real to be real."

In the beginning, he tried to interpret his experience as a brain function, he wrote on his website, but he became increasingly spiritual. He has come to the conclusion that people are reincarnated.

Alexander says his experience could not have been a hallucination, because the parts of the brain necessary to produce his experiences were basically dead when he had them.

It's your brain, Laureys tells you

Laureys strongly disagrees. "There is no evidence there can be conscious experience without brain activity," he said.

Lying in your hospital bed, you have become a true believer, and you are happier for it.

But your brain never died, the doctor tells you. You were in a coma. Perhaps your heart stopped for a while; maybe it didn't. But that's not even necessary to have an out-of-body experience.

"Many individuals having had NDEs were not physically in danger of death suggesting that the perception, on its own, of the risk of death seems to be important in eliciting NDEs," the study said.

It's enough just to think you're dying to have one.

Mapping the brain, exploring its secrets

The American Psychological Association concurs. It defines near-death experiences as "profound psychological events with transcendental and mystical elements, typically occurring to individuals close to death or in situations of intense physical or emotional danger."

In the case of coma patients, the brain producing the NDE may be functioning minimally, but it is still alive, Laureys hypothesized. He said one can stimulate certain parts of the brain to produce single elements of the experience.

It's a vivid hallucination, Laureys' report surmises. "It was a normal brain activity that produced their extraordinary perceptions."

Needs more research

Though the results of his studies were marked and consistent, the Belgian research team has tested only a small number of patients so far.

And it has not been able to scan brain images of patients having NDEs to get hard data on the hypothesis of the physiological nature of the experience.

Laureys' research alone is not enough. He wants to see more scientists get involved. As a doctor, he feels it's the compassionate thing for them to do.

Too many people have the experience for serious researchers to ignore it, he said, and a lot of people are afraid that their consciousness will linger long after they pass away, making them witnesses to whatever happens to their bodies.

"The public is historically afraid to be buried alive," Laureys said. "People are afraid to sign up as organ donors." They are scared they may have to watch them being extracted from their bodies.

There are more than enough spiritual models for NDEs, he said -- and superstitious ones. "There are a lot of crazy explanations out there."

It's high time for more hard science, Laureys said. A high percentage of his coma patients report having had NDEs, and he believes many of us go through these "afterlife" experiences when we die.

Laureys doesn't want to speculate on the existence of heaven or hell, but he does say that only a small minority of near-death experiences are horrifying. Most of them are pleasant and uplifting.

From his accounts, it sounds like more people go to "heaven" than to "hell."
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2014, 12:18:32 am »

Results of a psychological test reveal memories of Near Death Experiences to be more vivid than any other memory
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« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2014, 11:10:07 am »

I've posted all of this before, but my youngest son who is now 19, was my older brother who drowned in 1951 at the age of six, when I was a year old. When my youngest son was three years old he recounted and described in vivid and great detail about his former existence as my older brother...................."it don't get much better than that." I could share again the entire story with anyone wishing all of the details. Blessings and Namaste, Tom Gilbert 
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2014, 12:33:41 am »

That must be a bit odd, are the personality traits the same?
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2014, 06:59:06 am »

Yes and No..............Gordon (my older brother), was a Capricorn, and he also had a very brief lifetime in Bosnia (between Gordon and Gwydion) as a Scorpio before coming here as my son Gwydion, who is a Libra. So with their charts being very different, they are of course different [imagine a really good actor playing very different roles and seeing the very different characters being portrayed; at the same time you know who the actor really is], but there are so many deep similarities it is crazy.
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2014, 12:15:05 am »

Any memory of what may have occurred between the two lifetimes?

Do you also  feel that you have been here before..?
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