The Evidence for Survival After Death
As far as we know, all cultures from the remotest past to the present believed in a life hereafter. In the last century and a half, however, whether individual identity survives the body has come under debate in the West. Before World War II, proving survival occupied some of the most prominent people of its day, including the English Prime Minister, Arthur Balfour, and several Nobel-Prize winning physicists. Since then, the respectability of this research, the respectability of exploring an issue that weighs on us all, has plummeted dramatically.
Nonetheless, the evidence for survival is mounting daily. Here I can only give you a short summary of what I cover in my book, The Last Frontier. Although the evidence may not yet constitute solid proof according to the standards set by science, the sheer amount of it, the variety of sources, the inner consistency would overwhelmingly stand up in any courtroom, as Victor Zammit, author of A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife, has pointed out.
As you probably already know, everything that seems to us to be matter is, in fact, almost entirely energy in the form of forces and oscillations. That means there’s not much difference from us and the energy bodies of our discarnate loved ones. We can and do communicate without the use of the physical brain, from one consciousness to another directly by telepathy. For that matter, a few neurobiologists are beginning to admit that the mind, the seat of consciousness, is independent from the brain. This has been demonstrated over and over in clinical experiments on telepathy, precognition and remote viewing, all of which occur outside the brain’s immediate domain. Quantum biology is now looking at highly efficient intelligence in organisms that lack both brains and nervous systems.
Near Death Experience studies have shown definitively that the mind, all that we hold as our identity, can and does operate when separated from the body. There are many documented cases in which people who are clinically dead, whose EEGs and EKGs have flat lined, continue to perceive and think while outside their own bodies. What they see and hear going on in operating rooms, on hospital rooftops and in waiting rooms has been confirmed by attending medical personnel. Yet most physicians involved in this research will still hedge the medically impossible by proposing that the brain is not really dead but continues to function at a level too low to track. What they fail to take into account is that during these experiences the congenitally blind can suddenly see for the first time in their lives and they see, like the normally sighted, with a supernormal accuracy. (For more, see Mindsight: Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in the Blind, by Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper.) So far, no one has argued that their visual function was in dormancy only to come awake for those moments or hours out of the body. That a person can see without eyes, perceive without a brain and move around without a body is of enormous significance to the survival issue.
Another avenue for settling the question is reincarnation. The past-life accounts meticulously investigated by Dr. Ian Stevenson, founder of the Division of Perceptual Studies in the Department of Psychiatric Medicine at the University of Virginia, combined with past-life memories furnished by regression therapists represent many thousands of instances in which recall of an earlier life is lucid and demonstrably accurate. Most startling are the many incidences of xenoglossy, in which people spontaneously speak in a foreign language not known to them in their present lives.
The best source for survival research is obviously the dead themselves. Since the beginning of recorded history, individuals with developed mediumistic abilities have served as their spokespeople. Experiments with mediums performed under brutally controlled conditions before and during World War II yielded mind-bending results. Today, Gary Schwartz is successfully continuing that work at the University of Arizona.
As author Dianne Arcangel tells us, surveys estimate that up to 72% of today’s American population has had spontaneous encounters, primarily with deceased relatives. More testimony is collected daily from people who have no previous inclination toward the mystical. Nor are they misfits or dreamers, or prone to hallucinating. Instead they are people who effectively and responsibly operate in the “real world.” Spontaneous encounters are neither expected nor longed for. Nor do they bear the characteristics associated with hallucinations or wish-fulfillment fantasies. What happens during an encounter often takes a person by surprise. And in many cases, the living were not even aware that the appearing deceased had passed. Because of these encounters, lives have been saved, crimes forestalled, lost objects found and futures foretold.
All in all, there is an enormous body of evidence for survival after death. You can read about the problems and possibilities of scientific proof in this website by clicking here on: “Can Science Prove Life After Death?”
If you have already had communication or any other experience with the departed not mediated by a professional, I want to hear about it. I look forward to reading your stories or comments and answering any questions you might have.
Morgan Freeman Hosts a Show, “Is There Life After Death?” | The Last Frontier
March 8, 2012 @ 7:47 pm
[…] Two other posts on this site relevant to this topic are Can Science Prove Life After Death and The Evidence for Survival After Death. […]
February 8, 2014 @ 9:05 am
Thank you for your amazing and inspiring website. I looked at a couple of sites, and was drawn to yours immediately because of your lovely writing style, your sincerity, intelligence and academic background.
After being an agnostic for many years, and now facing a life crisis in the family, I decided to take a serious look to see if perhaps there is more to existence after all. I want so much to believe in the Afterlife! I felt uplifted and happy these past couple of weeks, reading your blogs and articles. Today I thought to look at the link you gave to Gary Schwartz’s exciting research, which I’ve heard praised elsewhere as great proof too. I read the Wikipedia link and followed the link from there which deals with some controversy about how his experiments were conducted. The article explains in depth why his experiments were flawed in so many ways: http://www.csicop.org/si/show/how_not_to_test_mediums_critiquing_the_afterlife_experiments//
If you read it, you’ll see why other academics were unable to accept Prof. Schwartz’s findings. I must say, I can’t blame them. Poorly conducted experiments sadly take away from the credibility of the whole Afterlife research field. I’m thinking that you didn’t know about this issue with the experiments, as you probably wouldn’t have included the link about Gary Schwartz, but maybe instead have used someone else’s work as an example of proof.
I sincerely hope that you don’t think I’m disrespectful or arrogant. It’s just that I get doubtful and disheartened when wonderful proof turns out to be false hope. I’m scared to delve too deeply into checking any more facts, in case they too turn out to be flawed….
I believe that you are sincere in all you do and am looking forward to reading your book soon.
With warm regards,
February 8, 2014 @ 5:52 pm
Veroni, we just friended each other and here you are! In The Last Frontier, I work through the whole issue of proof versus evidence and what constitutes real proof. Very little, I’m afraid. The reason is, however, the lack of research funding and support, nothing else. You should read Dean Radon’s books that explain what psi-researchers are up against, the biases, the expectations and requirements that no other field has to meet. I think I posted an interview with him in which he briefly discusses the problems psi-researchers have to deal with. Even when there is proof, statistically, it is still not accepted.
November 7, 2014 @ 12:44 am
I’m just curious, you said in one of your blogs that scientists conducted experiments to test the science behind NDE’s and all patients had a positive outcome. However, I heard of many cases where people have had hellish NDE’s – how do you explain that?
November 8, 2014 @ 10:19 am
Zoe, I don’t know where you read that. If I did write that somewhere, I was referring to a specific test group. I am quite aware that there are hellish NDEs and uncomfortable ones. Furthermore, the profile of the ideal NDE: the tunnel, the being of light, etc., fits very few NDEs, especially cross-culturally. I’m glad you brought this up. The mainstream literature on NDEs too often promotes a very distorted, never analyzed and way too idyllic view of NDEs in general.
Check Shyong Quek
January 2, 2016 @ 11:19 am
I myself have experienced after death communications after the passing of my mother which are olfactory and auditory in nature. The olfactory one was the strong scent of Jasmine which was particularly more citrusy and fresh-smelling than real Jasmine flowers which I experienced in her bedroom 10 days after her passing. After that, I did some research and found out that Dr Anderson, the author for Appointments with Heaven, also had experienced such fragrance throughout his career and life which confirms that such experience is universal irrespective of geographical location or race. For the auditory ones, I have so far heard my mother calling me 7 times already since her passing in December 2013 and it always occurred in the morning at about 10 which woke me up and I could still remember that I was dreaming of something else and not about my mother prior to being awoken by her voice calling me externally into my left ear which seemed to be younger-sounding but without a shadow of a doubt, was definitely hers. I would like to do further research into this at the University of Michigan which offers Metaphysics as such phenomenon has entered into mainstream scientific research. But above all, it is one that I would like to find out for myself if I could truly voluntarily communicate with my mother by myself and the true “spiritual” methodology” for it instead of just leaving it to chance and hoping for it!
January 4, 2016 @ 11:46 am
Thank you for posting your interesting experiences. Why don’t you look at the bottom of my homepage which features a how-to model for after death communication. There are many ways to approach communicating. The one just mentioned is for personal use between two deeply related people. Others are more professional, such as some that I use regularly in my work. I have had great success is teaching people how to make contact namely because it is natural to us. Good luck. Let me know what happens.
January 20, 2016 @ 10:21 pm
I’m interested in your views on why some NDEs are such highly negative experiences?
January 28, 2016 @ 9:46 am
Adrian, that’s a provocative question! You might also ask why are other NDEs so positive! What is remarkable is that whether positive or negative, NDEs seem to have the same effects on people. I don’t think there is one answer to your question. My general take is that NDEs tend to work with deep unconscious material, in the same way as after-death experiences do. There is too a strong relationship between NDEs and Out-of-Body Experiences. Although NDEers claim they are different, I don’t really see that if you read enough of the literature on both. So, given that relationship, OOBEers are rarely able to control where they are going. Frequently they land in “negative” realities, just as we do in dreams. If they are trained, all they do is say “next level” and they are out. If more was known about NDEs, people in negative ones could probably have enough awareness to get them selves out. As it is, we believe that NDEs are something that happen to us, outside of our control. That is not at all the case. In fact, they are highly determined by cultural and personal beliefs.