Evidence of Life after death?

One of life’s biggest mysteries is the existence of life after death. It’s a controversial subject for many and a huge challenge for researchers and scientists alike. Why is proof of life after death so difficult to obtain? And what qualifies as proof?

The idea that a part of us still lives on after we have died is a comforting one too many people. The phenomenon known as near-death experiences and out-of-body experiences might hold relevant key information for us that could be used in researching the possibilities. Moreover, Clairvoyance skills and psychokinesis may play a bigger part in this mystery than initially believed. The Journal “Survival or Super –PSI” has shed some valuable information on this topic that could help shape further future research (Braude’s 1992). Metzinger has done incredible research on the phenomenon of OBE (out-of-body experience) that cannot be overlooked. William Roll who wrote about the Poltergeist Phenomena makes logical counterarguments explaining these phenomena from his point of view. Furthermore, the authors of the Journal of Scientific Explorations Vol 12 produced multiple case studies on NDE (Near death experiences) which in detail explains the subject’s experiences and the aftermaths that followed it. It is important to try and stay as open-minded as possible, but at the same time, logical reasoning must not be taken for granted.


Skepticism and doubt arise around the possibility that proper investigations weren’t conducted on many of the case studies regarding NDE (near-death experiences). Emily Cook and co-authors believed that researchers and case study investigators got sidetracked and lost focus on what was really the aim of the investigation and what it was that the researchers were really supposed to focus on (Cook, Greyson, Stevenson 1998). Many of the case studies surrounding NDE published by the University of Virginia hold significant information and events that were almost impossible to have been fraudulent and deserved more attention and research than what was initially given. NDE is not the only phenomenon used as a tool to research the possibility of life after death though. OBE (out-of-body experience), clairvoyance skills, and mediums have also been involved and contributed to the research. Alternatively, PK (psychokinesis) too seemed to propose many explanations and reasoning.

The human anatomy concerning the brain provides a logical theory for how humans interpret the possibility of life after death and near-death experiences. Religion and culture may play a key role in one’s belief when it comes to what it is that one can expect when one passes, but ultimately the answers may well be more scientifically based than initially thought. Statistics show that a very small amount of people outside of Western cultures actually experienced the OBE or NDE phenomenon than non-Western cultures. Could this be a result of a modernized world where imagination is contagious and very much influential? However, it’s the outline of one’s brain that may actually hold the key to the answers we seek and as to why some have seen and experienced what they perceived to have been visions of the afterlife. One possible theory for OBE is known as the phantom-limb experience (Metzinger 2003). The phantom-limb experience (a feeling that a limb that is no longer attached to the body is still perceived as being there and operating as usual) could apparently be mistaken as an Out of body experience. “There is a well-known class of phenomenal states in which the experiencing person undergoes the untranscendable and highly realistic conscious experience of leaving his or her physical body, usually in the form of an ethereal double, and moving outside of it” (Metzinger 2003) Metzinger goes on to say “these states correspond to a class (or at least a strong cluster) of intimately related phenomenal models of reality characterized by a visual representation of one’s own body from a perceptually impossible, externalize third person perspective plus a second representation of one’s own body, typically freely hovering above or floating in space. The phenomenal self model concept is what it’s referred to here.

PSM (phenomenal self module) is an integrated, conscious representation of the organism as a whole, including not only its spatial features, but also those of its own psychological properties to which it has access” (Metzinger 2003). Basically this means we as humans are not able to recognize it for the module that it is, and therefore we activate PSM by ourselves in our own central nervous system. The OBE would then be a phenomenological way of seeing yourself-a perceived self, the object –component which is a system-module, but not a subject-module) formed by a visual representation of your body. The OBE has two self modules and (Devinsky et al 1989) wrote “differentiated between autoscopy in the form of a complex hallucinatory perception of one’s own body being external with the subjects consciousness, and a second –the classic OBE-the feeling of leaving one’s body and viewing it from another vantage point”.
Psychokinesis (the ability to move objects with one’s mind) and Clairvoyance (perceiving things or events in the future or beyond normal sensory contact) could be providing a misguided perception on proof of life after death. Not one of these two phenomena’s had ever been successfully studied or understood before. The possibility that someone with clairvoyance skills may be unintentionally obtaining information telepathically from their subject and perceiving it as a message from the other side is very much a possibility. (Stevenson 1972) believed the human personality to be penetrable and that there was evidence to support it. In other words the medium’s ESP (extrasensory perception) abilities would allow for them to integrate personalities from deceased individuals, and wherein the cases of rebirth subjects are concerned (reincarnation cases) the medium would have done the exact same except on a continuously method.

However Braude believed people with extraordinary PSI abilities could communicate intellectually with people who have passed away, and infiltrate even their memories (Bruade 1986). Braude was a huge believer in the work of mediums and their capabilities. He wrote “I have argued elsewhere that probably the best evidence for psi of any kind is the evidence of physical medium ship.” He also went on to say “paranormal powers of living persons can better explain the evidenced of the survival of human personality after death than the idea of such survival”. Braude however also believed that one should accept the possibility that there could in fact be life without the means of survival.

Does this mean it’s possible that it’s only our consciousness or memories that outlive us?

Then there is the theory of Psychometry (which is the ability a person posses by providing specific information about an object and the memories surrounding/ attached to it as well merely by holding it), this would suggest that our memories could leave an imprint in this world long after we have left (Ryzl 1982). Moreover experiments in the past have been conducted where the memory in planarian has been transferred to other planarian by means of cannibalism (Harty & Leigh 1964). The same theory applied to the research of (Ungar, Desiderio, 1972). Apparently the fear- phobia of the dark was successfully transferred via injecting peptides from one animal to another in an experimental procedure. In accordance to those results could this mean that memories and even feelings could theoretically be transferred genetically? Regardless Driesch a German biologist believed that psychometry is evidence that physical objects other than the brain can hold memories (Driesch 1933). Memories are connected to the brains of their owners before death and may be connected to other physical object after death” (Roll 2006) Leaving the possibility in the open that one’s consciousness may in fact be able to survive after death.

Also argued is that OBE could be a mere hallucination as well. Hallucinatory imagery occurs under certain physiological or psychological conditions. “The consensus of many people who study the evidence for life after death has been that NDE’s may have something to contribute to the study of altered states of consciousness, but not to the problem of survival” (Cook, Greyson and Stevenson 1998). To challenge this theory psychologist (Osis and McCormick 1980) decided to design a visual target that could only be identified if viewed from one particular visual perspective. They recruited someone who were believed to be skilled with the ability to willfully induce a OBE‘s episode. The success of their experiment led Osis and McCormick to conclude that the subject had accomplished doing this by having had the actual ability to view the target while in fact having to be out of his/her physical body at the time, rather than by any type of clairvoyance means as been suggested before (Osis and McCormick 1980). The “Peak in Darien” affect also discards the hallucination theory (Cobbe 1882). The Peak in Darien affect is said to occur during a NDE moment. The individual undergoing the NDE would at that time be able to see or be reunited with a close friend or family member that had coincidently unexpectedly passed away at that exact moment the individual is having a NDE without anyone’s knowledge of that person’s passing been known yet, expect to the individual who is undergoing the NDE.

Their knowledge of someone else’s passing then comes to light as soon as the experience is over.
Poltergeist activity (German for noisy ghost is a type of ghost or other supernatural being supposedly responsible for physical disturbances, such as loud noises and objects being moved or destroyed) has had many people believe that this could be a sign of spirits returning and therefore be perceived as proof for life after death for many. However new evidence show that Poltergeist activity might actually be connected to one’s psychokinesis abilities (the ability to move objects by mental effort alone) Investigators such a Stevenson, Gauld and Cornell determined that it’s really a form of psychogenesis establishing itself when a person is experiencing some type of emotional turbulence in their life (Gauld and Cornell 1979). “Most researchers are convinced that the incidents are due to psychokinesis by the living people who are at the centre of turmoil” (Roll 2006).
Stevenson and fellow researchers did not however discard the possibility that a discarnate entity (something without a physical body) could in fact also be a possibility and that theory should not entirely be dismissed.

Additionally (Stevenson 1972) theory was that if the psychological tension was released from whoever was responsible for creating the poltergeist activities, it could in fact be stopped with the help and treatment of psychotherapy. RSPK (recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis) would theoretically allow for both types of explanations when it comes to psychometry and poltergeist activity. Alternatively another possibility was presented by Gauld and Cornell, who had adapted a theory from Stevenson’s hypothesis that energy could be radiated from an individual on to an object, or place and stays there even after this person has left. In most such cases feelings such as repressed anger could be what causes the energy to build up and eventually manifest itself and having enough power to possible move or shift objects.

Listing only a few of the theory’s and having taken a look at some of the pro’s and con’s of all the phenomena’s that could potentially act as proof for life after death, there are many more explanations and theories yet to be examined. Not much is known on survival research as not enough research has been spent on it. Cook and co authors wrote “that most researchers-both those interested in NDE and those interested in survival research have neglected to address the question whether NDE do provide evidence for survival?”

I agree with these researchers that too much time has been spend on the psychological aspect of these cases rather than the actual evidence presented and the further attention it requires.

Hopefully in the years to come our society would have advanced its research methods into these phenomena’s that will ultimately lead us in the right direction.

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