Of course, "life after death" -- the concept that some aspect of us (soul/conscience/spirit) lives on after our biological form ceases to live-- is the basis of many religions.
However, generally, if you have studied religion, much of their basis is illogical bullshit and rests on unproven mythology, so it's all hard to accept, particularly when there are so many different religions claiming they are the true religion. Indeed, I've been a solid atheist for many years because of this. I define "atheist" as not being religious in any way and not having any belief in god. I think to a high probability that no god exists in the tradition of any of the major religions, however, it's possible there is some sort of "god" out there, depending on exactly how you define god.
In any case, as an atheist, I have tended to not believe in "life after death", and certainly, in terms of our standard understanding of the universe, it's hard to know how "life after death"could occur.
But still, I do have an open mind on all topics (to wit this blog) and I am interested in claims of "life after death".
Thus, I have recently read this book "Surviving Death" by Leslie Kean
It's possible the most amazing non-fiction book I have ever read, as basically Kean puts together a fairly compelling case for some aspect of our soul/conscience/spirit living on after death of our corporeal body.
The book has 4 basic types of evidence for "life after death", and each type is reasonably convincing in its own right as presented in the book:
1) cases of "re-incarnation", where a soul from a dead person has taken up residence in a new body.
2) accounts of out of body experiences after near death experiences (clinical or medical accounts) of people, indicating an intelligence can survive outside the body.
3) well-documented cases of specific ghost personalities or manifestations.
4) the ability of "mediums" to channel information and even spirits from the afterlife.
I am assuming what Kean says is true, as she does seem down-to-earth and believable and honest. Importantly for me, everything she presents is free from religion and religious connotations and is presented in a detached, journalistic and even scientific manner. In fact, as she writes, there are a lot of scientists who are studying this amazing subject of life after death.
I'll also bring up this interesting case of visitation after death, involving Forry Ackerman and Paul David's
, that I had posted about over a year ago
. And I have not checked these out to any extent, but there are a shitload of videos on Youtube talking about "life after death". Many of these have a religious take, so I avoid those.
In nay case, without going into the specific cases and evidence, the key question
if we assume everything she says is true, is HOW???? What is going on that allow our spirit to survive death?
Recently, I posted an idea I had about "Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence on the Electromagnetic Spectrum = "ETIES"
, which actually was based partly on an interview I heard with Kean (as well as some other interviews on paranormal cases). I think there still may be something to the ETIES hypothesis. However, what is happening as presented in this book seems to go way beyond that.
Specifically, I had speculated that there were a select number of these ETIES that only infected a relatively few humans, but in the case of "surviving death", it seems as though every person ever born has a spirit that can go to the afterlife. The idea then is that there is something very special about the human brain/human consciousness that allows for our spirit to survive outside our bodies. So this happens to all of us (in theory, though I can't rule out that just a fraction of us can actually survive death based on some unknown variable).
What is it then that allows us to "survive" after death?
1) we live in a type of computer simulation, in which everything we see and experience is not "real" but an amazing, massive, advanced electronic simulation. So we can never truly die, as our virtual memory can survive after we die as computer code. I have never liked this idea for a variety of reasons, but it is hard to completely rule out.
2) our consciences are an energy (e.g. brainwaves) that can exist in independent of our body in some way, and that can manifest under the right circumstances.
3) our consciences exist in an alternate dimension of reality, even while we are living, and survive on there after we die.
From what I read about mediums in Kean's book, there are some interesting clues to what is going on.
-- there are only a few "real" "bona fide" non-fake mediums who are able to channel spirits, so it takes a special skill
-- the ability to channel spirits takes a lot of time to develop and a lot of patience; the person needs to be in a special state, have the right state of mind
-- typically mediums aren't able to just summon anyone but work through a spirit intermediary that they regularly can tap into, and that spirit can find other specific deceased people in the spirit world.
-- some spirits can manifest physically in this world, but again, this seems to be a special ability and not easy for even the strongest spirits
-- the spirit communication is difficult and transient, not always fruitful; it is hard to get extensive answers
-- there is no talk about god or heaven or hell, but the deceased always seems to be in a better place
So my take on this is that:
1) there are a few strong "spirits" who can more easily span this world and the "afterlife realm", for whatever reason. Maybe they have their own special ability or are higher energy souls or just prefer to stay connected to our world.
2) it is not clear that these spirits are immortal. People who go to a medium to find a deceased loved one have had that person die within 50 years, typically much less than that. I didn't see any evidence that mediums could channel spirits from hundreds of years ago. So it's possible that most spirits are somewhat short-lived phenomenon... perhaps the energy dissipates after a while for most spirits.
3) this phenomenon does seem real-- there are some completely mind-based personal memories that survive after death that can be tapped into by the right type of spirit or living human.
4) it's a nice thought of course, that we can live after death, even though it's all so vague what exactly this means, what kind of existence that would be and how long-lasting it is.
5) this spirit world is likely connected to other bizarre paranormal phenomena and may explain certain types of UFOs and alien presences, though I don't think explains all UFO activity by any means.
6) clearly our current science and understanding of physics and the universe can't explain this phenomenon, but that doesn't mean it isn't real.
7) Is there an actual conspiracy to cover up this phenomenon? Mediumship is widely thought to be debunked, and viewed by conventional science and society as bogus. So it's all viewed much like UFOs or alien abductions or 9/11 conspiracies or the fake moon-landing. But there is a standard template used by the powers that be-- debunk an obviously bogus example or piece of evidence for each of these topics and use it to discredit the whole field.
8) religions have apparently hijacked this life after death phenomenon for their own ends, as ways to control people and to make money.
9) One example I like is for artists, how at times they can tap into a "muse" for inspiration or for great performance. Is this a related phenomenon of tapping into the spirit world?