Death and Parapsychology–Research and Resources

The Self Does Not Die; Titus Rivas; Near-death experiences | Parapsychology


In this interesting book Titus Rivas, Anny Dirven, and Rudolf H. Smit address one of the most important aspects of near-death experiences (NDEs), veridical manifestations such as obtaining verifiable information during the experience.

This interview is with the first author, Titus Rivas. He has masters degrees in psychology and in philosophy and is a freelance author who has published over 20 books, among them, Reincarnation: The Evidence is Building (with Dr. K.S. Rawat). Furthermore he has published many articles about psychical research, and other topics, such as animal rights and veganism.

titus-rivasTitus Rivas

The Self Does not Die: Verified Paranormal Phenomena from Near-Death Experiencesis available here.


Can you give us a brief summary of the book?

The book consists of a compilation of over 100 cases of near-death experiences with externally confirmed paranormal aspects. These concern ESP (clairvoyance and telepathy), encounters with known and unknown historical deceased persons, lucid consciousness that is not supported by sufficient cortical activity (according to the dominant materialist or physicalist paradigm), “miraculous” healings, perception by others of the NDEr while the latter is out of his or her body, and paranormal abilities (including psychokinesis) after the NDE. It also contains empirical, theoretical and philosophical analyses and a thorough evaluation of various arguments defended by “naturalistic” skeptics.  

It is a book in the tradition of early psychical reseachers such as Camille Flammarion, F.W.H. Myers, and Ernesto Bozzano, and we are also indebted to contemporary investigators such as the late Ian Stevenson, Mary Rose Barrington, and Erlendur Haraldsson.

Together with my co-authors Anny Dirven and Rudolf H. Smit, I wanted to present a collection of all strong cases of NDEs with paranormal aspects that are directly confirmed by a third party. I regard such cases as scientific or scholarly evidence rather than just so-called anecdotal material without any solid implications. By collecting all strong cases, including a few new ones that we directly investigated ourselves, we’ve tried to demonstrate that the evidence for paranormal phenomena linked to NDEs is very strong, and certainly cannot be explained away anymore.

Rudolf Smit has even written a whole chapter about the desperate attempts of pseudo-skeptics (or “debunkers”) to immunize their world view against this kind of evidence. They have done everything they could, but they’ve simply failed miserably. This means that materialism is not a serious theoretical option anymore for NDEs as a whole, and even deserves to be abandoned in all respects, something that had been concluded before by colleagues such as Charles Tart, and Chris Carter, and by the authors of Irreducible Mind.

We also tried to show that the evidence we collected, particularly concerning consciousness and veridical perception in NDEs during cardiac arrest, really leads the conclusion that there is an non-physical self that survives clinical death. It must be a personal self, which retains its consciousness, episodic and semantic memory, cognitive faculties, and psi abilities.

We indicate why extrapolation of this conclusion to the self’s condition after irreversible physical death is purely rational and parsimonious, and why alternative theories such as super-psi or living agent-psi are really less plausible in this particular case. We base this analysis both on cases of consciousness during cardiac arrest and on NDEs that involve paranormal encounters with deceased persons.

Consciousness Without Brain Activity: Near Death Experiences – Dr. Bruce Greyson – YouTube

he United Nations, New York – September 11, 2008
Beyond the Mind-Body Problem: New Paradigms in the Science of ConsciousnessAn excerpt of Bruce Greyson, MD, PhD, from the panel discussion “Beyond the Brain: The Experiential Implications of Neurotheology”, speaking about how the brain does not equal the mind, and how near death experiences can contribute to knowledge about the mind-body connection.

Does Consciousness Depend on the Brain? – Graham Hancock Official Website

We are very pleased to welcome as December 2010 Author of the Month researcher and author Chris Carter. His new book Science and the Near Death Experience explains why near-death experiences (NDEs) offer evidence of an afterlife and discredits the psychological and physiological explanations for them.

Chris Carter received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Oxford. The author of Science and Psychic Phenomena: the Fall of the House of Skeptics, Carter is originally from Canada and currently teaches internationally.

The brain is not an organ that generates consciousness, but rather an instrument evolved to transmit and limit the processes of consciousness and of conscious attention so as to restrict them to those aspects of the material environment which at any moment are crucial for the terrestrial success of the individual. In that case such phenomena as telepathy and clairvoyance would be merely instances in which some of the limitations were removed.5

Dream Meeting of Dead Friend

My best friend, Mike, was in a car accident and for approx. a month was in a coma. One night I dreamed that he came to my parent’s house. The dream was extremely vivid. We sat and talked for what seemed about an hour, about all kinds of subjects. Mike told me about the wreck, that his girlfriend had not died instantly (like the papers had reported) but that she was okay now, and that he was fine and would see me again one day. The odd thing about the dream was that it was completely real, but not surreal like most of my ‘vivid’ dreams. It really felt like reality. When Mike got up to leave, he mentioned that he wouldn’t see me again for a long time, but that I wasn’t to be upset, because he was fine. As he walked out the door, he looked back and said that his mom was about to call, and to let her know everything would be okay. I awoke with a start from the dream, and sat up in my bed. About one minute later, at around five in the morning, the phone rang. I had a room downstairs that had been a family room, and it had a phone. I got to the phone before the third ring and answered it. It was Mike’s mother. She simply said Mike had died earlier that morning. I was still quite groggy from my sudden awakening, and all I could think of to say was, “I know. He told me.” She started crying and hung up the phone.
The thing that struck me about this incident was that at the time, it did not seem odd at all. It was simply a fact that Mike and I had talked prior to his leaving. It did not surprise me that Mike had died, because we had talked about that in our conversation, and Mike had told me that his mom would call, so the call did not even seem notable. I did notice a sudden change in my attitude after this event. Prior to Mike’s death, I had been consumed by fear of death, often crying myself to sleep worrying about dying, even though I was brought up in a church environment that taught that death was not to be feared. After this incident, I lost my fear of death, but more than that, I gained a love of life, the absence of which had stifled my childhood.

The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death

Professor of psychology, medicine, neurology, psychiatry and surgery at the University of Arizona and director of its Human Energy Systems Laboratory. After receiving his doctorate from Harvard University, he served as a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Yale University, director of the Yale Psychophysiology Center, and co-director of the Yale Behavioral Medicine Clinic. He has published more than four hundred scientific papers, edited eleven academic books, and is the co-author, with Linda G. Russek, Ph.D., of The Living Energy Universe. His most recent book is a highly controversial study of eveidence for life after death, based on a scientific investigation of communications through mediums, The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life after Death. 
More on Gary Schwartz

Meeting Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather

In 1965 I had finished my tour in the service and was working as a reporter for both 
The Daily Press and the Times Herald in Hampton/Newport News, Virginia, when a man my age — about 23 — showed up at my family’s farm. Strangers showing up was very unusual since we lived at the end of a long lane, at the end of a n unpaved school bus road in Gloucester County, then very rural. Paul Ronder was a newly minted graduate of a New York film school who had gone to Williamsburg to produce a movie about the Revolutionary Period. We got to talking and the end result was that I agreed to write his movie with him.

We launched into the work with a will and I started making frequent trips to Williamsburg. What made the project particularly intriguing is that my mother’s family had been in the area since the 1600s and I was told that there was even a house in the colonial restoration area where a great-great-great-great grand father of mine had lived.

I got into the habit when I was down there of walking through the old town late at night, when all the tourists were abed, and the streets and houses, looked much as they had in the 1700s. One night in the fall I was walking and came around a corner. About 100 feet in front of me a man was walking. He was dressed in colonial garb with a tricornered hat. I took him to be an employee of the Williamsburg Foundation walking home after a long day. The employees who work in the restored area live in the houses, and wear period clothing.

We went along for a while companionably; nothing was said, and I thought he was unaware that I was behind him, although my footsteps on the brick walk seemed very loud to me. Since I walked faster than he, the distance between us shortened, and I was only a few feet behind him when he stopped at one of the houses and walked up the stoop. As he got to the door, he turned and, in the light of the moon, for the first time seemed to see me. We made eye contact which we held for a beat or two. Then he smiled, doffed his hat and turned back to the door. He reached out his hand for the knob… and walked through the door. Through the door. It never opened. I was left standing on the street with goose bumps and a dawning sense of what I had just seen.

The next day I went over to the Foundation offices to see the historian who had been assigned to help me with the details of the story. I told him what had happened. He asked which house and he looked at me very oddly. Then he left the room and came back with a large book. “Was this the man?” he asked. It was. John Watson, my grandfather many times removed.

And She Came Back

 Irene and I were married during 1966. Twenty-six years later (1992) we had three beautiful daughters and a wonderful marriage. In April she was diagnosed with cancer. She died November 19, 1992. The last eight months were among the best and the worst of times. We seemed to be more and more in love as she slowly slipped away. We were rarely apart. While Rene knew she was dying, she did not want to know about the nitty gritty of it. She wanted me to take care of “all that palliative stuff,” and so I did. During her last seven days I never left her side except to use the bathroom. And then she was dead.

We were both confirmed agnostics: She was a former Presbyterian and I was a Roman Catholic until I turned atheist at age 15. By 25 I was an agnostic because it was the only reasonable position. Death, we agreed, was probably the best night’s sleep a person ever got. According to her wishes she was cremated in something like a cardboard box and we remembered Rene as she lived — not in death. Out of respect for her wishes there was no memorial service. I cite these behaviors and ideas to indicate the firm belief we both had in agnosticism.

However, as any good agnostic would do, I said to her two days before she died and while she was conscious, that if she continued after death I would sorely want to hear from her. I anticipated a very long lonely road. Rene in her usual, somewhat humorous way, raised one eyebrow as she looked at me in the way she would do when she nonverbally queried if the other person seriously meant what they said. We did not discuss it any more than that.

Two weeks after her death I was going through the motions of acting as though life had meaning. Two of our daughters were still at home and “Dad” was needed to be there for them. Our family is about as close as five people could be and Rene had been the center of our collective universe. I was sleeping a lot, as depressed people are likely to do. I knew I was clinically depressed, fought it for the girls’ sake and tried to live a normal life — under the circumstances. I entertained no notions of seeing or hearing from Rene again. The black hole was deep and appeared to be never ending. I was learning to accept the idea that the major part of my life was over and only cleaning up was left to do.

As best I can remember, I was lying on the couch about 11:00 PM. I was probably in a hypnogogic state when I got up to answer a knock at the front door1. The girls were young adults and I expected any 20 something male or female at that time of night. I opened the door and was startled, surprised, taken aback. There stood Rene in the long red velvet cape I had bought several years ago. I loved her in that red riding hood cape. She was statuesque, regal, and commanded attention whenever she walked into a room. I was proud just to be with her when she wore that cape. Need I say that she only ever wore it at my insistence.

My stupid comment was, “What are you doing here at the front door?” The thought in my mind was, “You are dead – how can you be here?” But I was trying to be tactful2. She answered with, “You know why — I don’t live here anymore.” There was a smile of love and kindness and also of hesitancy. She turned and walked across the porch to leave3.

I was dazed, confused and “came to” standing in the living room. I had closed the door but do not remember doing it. The event was unbelievably real – “more real than real” as the people who have Near Death Experiences say. By the next morning I had pretty well dismissed the whole event. Had to be some kind of hallucination. Though I have never, to my knowledge, hallucinated4 or suffered anything worse than the depression I was now in. It seemed that maybe I had better straighten up and get on with my life before my daughters noticed how strange their father had become.

And yet — every memory of it was as though it were real. To say I was confused is to put it mildly. Over the next few days I seemed to become more confused, more depressed. Think of the possibilities – maybe she still lived in another world, maybe I would see her again after I died. No, the dead were – well – dead. This hallucination, if that is what it was, was more torturous than not having it. Was she alive — was she not alive? Does she love me, does she not? Like picking the petals on a daisy, though far more painful than such adolescent musings: I was contemplating the center of my universe. By turns I was elated, hopeful, a little giddy and alternatively deeply depressed missing her, anticipating a dismal future, helpless and hopeless. I felt like I was going around the proverbial bend. “Definitely a sharp left turn,” I said to myself.

About ten days later I was in my study / therapy office. Our home was in the country and I had a separate wing for my research and practice. This night, as had been common over the last few weeks, I slept wherever I found myself. I just could not bring myself to sleep in our bed. I had worked all day, and I had worked hard to try and loose myself in something other than my own depression. By 11:00 PM I was literally falling asleep as I sat reading on the couch. I nodded once, opened my eyes and there stood Rene where it was impossible for her to stand in a six inch space between two file cabinets. In front of her was the wheel chair that I had pushed around for the last four months (In reality the chair had been returned to the supply company). Some how the chair was now gone and we were in a long embrace that seemed to last 20 – 30 minutes. I have never felt so loved and cared for in my life5. We did not talk about anything of consequence. In fact I don’t really remember what we said. I do know that the conversation was not in words and I also knew she was “dead” and I was not. 

Eventually a woman got my attention and said she wanted to show me something that Rene had made. The lady was kind, I did not want to be rude, so I walked into the other room so she could show me whatever it was. She showed me some sort of other world crystal carving of a butterfly or something similar. I tried to be polite, said it was beautiful6 (which it was) but that I had to get back to the other room. When I got back, Rene was gone.

During this whole interaction I was aware of someone else in another corner of the room where Rene and I met. A man who seemed to be there to help Rene do what she wanted to do (see me) and make sure that everything went as it should. He never spoke or communicated in anyway but I sensed he was there to help her in some way unknown to me. In thinking about the presence of this other person I have the idea that his function was to insure that I did not remember some of the things that Rene and I discussed. I know we talked about the kids and loving each other. I am also sure that I would have had a million questions about what it was like to be dead. However, I do not remember any of the content of our discussion and that is not like me. In some way, completely unknown to me, this other person had the ability to make sure that Rene and I could get together and that I would take away from that meeting only the information presented here.

All this could be a hallucination, or a dream and indeed if I were to hear it in my clinical practice I would place much emphasis on the hypnogogic state on both occasions. However, it happened to me and I know it was real as well as I can know anything. The ramifications have been long acting for now all of my non-teaching time is spent in studying after death experiences. In the last seven years I have read and studied more about parapsychology, after death, near death and dying than I ever read for a PhD in developmental psychology.

In lucid dreams I have seen and spoken with her. I have talked with her again and I have very clearly heard her say to me (at 10:AM) about two years later as I was coming down stairs in the morning. “Well, you have had that dream three times. Are you going to go and get Beth and bring her home now?” When I heard her voice as clearly as I hear anyone speak who is standing three feet behind me, my hair stood on end, and yet I was comforted and I knew what had to be done. Her voice brought the importance of those forgotten dreams back to the surface.

At the time I did not consciously consider that my youngest daughter was having problems – she was, I got her, and Beth did move back home. I could have known that Beth was having problems from her nonverbal behaviors, her clothes and her quiet attitude. The conscious side of me was trying to accept her and her ways as she matured into adulthood carrying that deep sense of loss for her mother. I could have determined that she was having a very difficult time but it took Rene’s comment to bring it to the surface and make me realize in a startling manner that action was needed now.

To me these experiences are real. So real they have changed my life. My depression was gone – absolutely lifted, after the second instance. I have never looked back7. I know she lives on somewhere and that life after what we call death is far to important a topic to leave for soft headed people to think about.

Now from a hardball scientist who teaches multivariate statistics, research methods and one who wrote computerized diagnostic software, I have joined the paranormal set. I am sure that some of my colleagues think I have indeed gone round that bend when they hear about my public talks and workshops exploring the issues as we in the sciences are prone to do.

And that little agnostic side of me creeps in and says, “Even if you are deluded, the positive affects of after death experiences are too therapeutic to ignore.” They sure can be life changing.

Near-death Experience – Campaign for Open Science

Bruce Greyson

Founder and Past President of the International Association for Near-Death Studies, Dr Bruce Greyson discusses NDEs, complex consciousness with minimal brain matter, memories of past lives and other research supporting consciousness apart from the brain: from the Cosmology and Consciousness Conference – Mind and Matter 2011, hosted by Upper TCV, Dharamsala.

Mitch Liester, Robert Mays, Suzanne Mays, and Jan Holden

A panel discussion from the 2015 IONS conference on what topics should be the focus of future NDE research, and challenges in conducting such research. Participants include Mitch Liester, Robert Mays, Suzanne Mays, and Jan Holden.

Nonlocal Consciousness: A concept based on scientific studies in NDE 

Pim van Lommel

For more than twenty years, cardiologist Dr Pim van Lommel has studied near-death experiences (NDEs) in patients who survived a cardiac arrest. In this presentation he reviews his research and how it relates to non-local consciousness.

A Neurosurgeon’s Journey through the Afterlife 

Eben Alexander

In this intimate and powerful re-examination of his best-selling book “Proof of Heaven,” Dr. Alexander looks at the past two and a half years of his life spent in trying to reconcile his rich spiritual experience with contemporary physics and cosmology. This presentation was part of the 128th Summer Convention of the Theosophical Society in America, 2014.

Peer-Reviewed Research Papers – Windbridge Institute, LLC

Beischel, J. (2012). A quarter century of applied research. Journal of Parapsychology, Special Issue Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Journal of Parapsychology: Where Will Parapsychology Be in the Next 25 Years? Predictions and Prescriptions by 32 Leading Parapsychologists, 76 (suppl.): 9-10.

Boccuzzi, M., & Beischel, J. (2011). Objective analyses of reported real-time audio instrumental transcommunication and matched control sessions: A pilot study. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 25, 215-235.
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Beischel, J., & Rock, A. J. (2009). Addressing the survival vs. psi debate through process-focused mediumship research. Journal of Parapsychology, 73, 71-90.
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Rock, A. J., Beischel, J., & Cott, C. C. (2009). Psi vs. survival: A qualitative investigation of mediums’ phenomenology comparing psychic readings and ostensible communication with the deceased. Transpersonal Psychology Review, 13, 76-89.
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Rock, A. J., & Beischel, J. (2008). Quantitative analysis of mediums’ conscious experiences during a discarnate reading versus a control task: A pilot study. Australian Journal of Parapsychology, 8, 157-179.
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Beischel, J. (2007). Contemporary methods used in laboratory-based mediumship research. Journal of Parapsychology, 71, 37-68.
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Rock, A. J., Beischel, J., & Schwartz, G. E. (2008). Thematic analysis of research mediums’ experiences of discarnate communication. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 22, 179-192.
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Beischel, J., & Schwartz, G.E. (2007). Anomalous information reception by research mediums demonstrated using a novel triple-blind protocol. EXPLORE: The Journal of Science & Healing, 3, 23-27.
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Skeptical of Skeptics, Chris Carter Tackles Near Death Experience Science

 Chris Carter: Yeah. You said earlier that the near-death experience poses a threat to mainstream science. I really don’t see it that way at all. In fact, if you do surveys of scientists, the vast majority of them are remarkably open to the existence of human abilities such as telepathy.

A large number are open to the possibility that the near-death experience really is a genuine separation of mind from body-that the mind can continue to function even after the brain stops functioning. So, you know, I think that cardiologists and physicists and neuroscientists, like everybody else, they really are a mixed bag of different opinions.

Alex Tsakiris: You know, I’m not sure I quite agree with you on that last point. And I think it’s kind of an interesting cultural point that maybe we can dip into for a minute.

I think when we undersell the significance of the near-death experience phenomena and the findings in terms of it overturning fundamentally and impacting–again fundamentally– just about every area of science we can imagine, I think if we undersell that too much by saying, “Oh, it’s clearly no big deal here.”

I think that causes more confusion and really becomes part of the problem in this debate. Doesn’t NDE science really turn everything on its head? I can’t think of an area of science that it wouldn’t significantly impact to say that consciousness is not only separate from our here/now brain, but somehow in some way we don’t understand, it survives our bodily death. To me that seems pretty earth-shattering.

Chris Carter: I agree with you in that it’s earth-shattering and may have earth-shattering results for society, but I do not agree with you that the acceptance-say of telepathy, or the acceptance of the near-death experience as a genuine separation of mind from body, I do not think that would challenge any aspect of science. I don’t think it would change the way that neuroscientists come in and do their jobs.

I think that everything would be exactly the same. They’d continue looking for the same chemicals, the same neurotransmitters, the same areas of the brain that light up. They’d still be trying to work with split brain patients and patents who have damaged brains. I don’t think that anything would change.

Except, yes, their conversations down at the pub on weekends would change. Absolutely. The philosophical conversations would change. But I really don’t think that it would impact anything in science simply because modern neuroscience is completely neutral as to whether the brain produces the mind or whether the brain acts as a receiver/transmitter for the mind.

Alex Tsakiris: I just can’t quite get there because to me it’s almost like having a microscope or not having a microscope. Or having an MRI or and FMRI device or not having it.

If we have this whole other area that is completely unexplored, which is your consciousness as it exists on some other plane, in some other dimension, and that that’s somehow interacting with you on this what appears to be a very fundamental level-and we didn’t know about it and now we accept it. I think if you’re a neurologist you have to go back and look through every study you’ve ever done, every building block of assumption you’ve ever made, and re-examine it in the light of this new finding that this consciousness seems to emerge from some other dimension.

Let me give you a final thought on that and then we’ll move on, because I really want to talk about skepticism and near-death experience because I think that’s really right up your alley.

Chris Carter: Okay. I’d just like to say something briefly about that, because what you’re talking about is the relationship between Materialism and science. You know, Materialists sometimes like to claim successes in modern science have been due to a Materialistic outlook. You’ve probably heard that before. But this is nonsense.

The three men most responsible for the scientific revolution, Galileo, Keppler, and Newton, were not Materialists. One of the reasons Galileo recanted his views is because he feared the Church would excommunicate him. Newton spent the last half of his life writing on theology. I mean, Materialism is an ancient philosophy that basically asserts that everything has a material cause. Therefore, the brain produces the mind

This dates back at least to Democratists in ancient Greece. It was thought to gain support from the physics of Isaac Newton, although Newton himself did not agree. Newton himself instead followed the Dualism of Renee Descartes. It was really the 18thcentury philosophes such as Diderot and Voltaire who spread the doctrines of Materialism and Mechanism. They did this in order to combat the religious fundenaticism and superstition and persecution that were common in their time.

So I really don’t think that there’s anything in modern science, or even for that matter in classical science, which would be strongly contradicted by these results.

Alex Tsakiris: Okay. Let’s talk a little bit about skepticism. This skeptical mindset that really goes beyond the skeptical community, but we always wind up focusing on the skeptical community because to their credit, they’re the ones who are brave enough to stick their chin out there and say, “Come on, this is the way that it is.” Now we’ve talked to quite a few of those folks on this show and have tried to create this dialogue and find out what they’re really saying.

We’ve talked to anesthesiologist G.M Woerlee;  we’ve talked to University of Kentucky Professor Kevin Nelson, who has an alternative theory on what causes near-death experience. We’ve talked to Yale neurologist Steve Novella.

And the story’s always the same-that “Hey, there’s a conventional explanation for all this, guys, just hang in there a little bit. We’re figuring out that this is all explainable with conventional medicine.” What do you think about this skeptical response to this point to near-death experience science?

Chris Carter: Well, in my second book, Science and the Near-Death Experience, I’ve got several chapters devoted to these attempts to explain away the near-death experience within a Materialistic framework. In a nutshell, I’m not the slightest bit impressed at all. The more I read about it the less impressed I become.

Essentially, this debate is not about evidence. The debunkers and the deniers are defending an outmoded world view in which psychic phenomena and the separation of mind from body are simply not allowed to exist. It’s essential to realize that most of these deniers and these phony skeptics are militant Atheists and secular Humanists. For various reasons these people have an ideological agenda, which is anti-religious.

One of the pillars of their opposition to religion and superstition is the doctrine of Materialism. That is, the doctrine that all events have a physical cause and that the brain therefore produces the [mind]. If they conceded the existence of psychic ability such as telepathy, if they conceded the existence of the near-death experience as a genuine separation of mind from body, then Materialism, this pillar of their opposition to religion, would crumble. This explains their dogmatic denial of all the evidence that proves Materialism false.

Evidence for the Afterlife


Many scientists have conducted their own research into the afterlife and found the phenomena are real. Several Nobel Prize winning scientists, including Max Planck, Erwin Schrödinger, Wolfgang Pauli, Brian D. Josephson, Marie Curie, Pierre Curie and others believed that consciousness or psychic phenomena cannot be explained by mainstream scientific explanations. (see the chapter on: Eminent Researchers for more information and links). These scientists were not fooled by magic tricks. Highly skilled stage magicians have investigated many mediums and have found them to be genuine (see the chapter on Skeptical Fallacies for more information and links). Studies have shown people with more education are more likely to believe in the afterlife, and most medical doctors believe in the afterlife (see the chapter on Skeptical Fallacies for more information and links). These highly educated and intelligent people are right, there is no death. Departed loved ones are not gone, they continue to live in a higher realm.

World War I Soldiers Helped by Their Dead Comrades – The Last Frontier

 I recently finished Michael Tymn’s book,  Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I. The book is a review of channeled messages received from newly fallen soldiers in The Great War. Two of its most interesting features are the variety of messages and views, and the strange mixture of sophisticated accounts of the afterlife with simplistic accounts.

But what is fascinating is how these dead soldiers continued to interact with the battlefield, swiftly coming to the aid of comrades who are either dying or have just died. We get a glimpse of what war is like from the point of view of those who just died. Some offer their understanding of the purpose of World War I, from their perspective. And we learn how some soldiers adjusted quickly directly after their deaths and some did not. Those who did, immediately began rescue work for those who were dying in battle. Those who did not were helped with compassion and understanding.

Mr. Cook found no evidence of spectral visions during training or among soldiers in non-combat roles. Instead, the phenomenon was reserved exclusively for the front lines, in what he calls the “borderland between life and death.”

Myth: Brain Produces Mind – Campaign for Open Science

 Prof. Alexander Moreira-Almeida MD, PhD talks about the mind-brain relationship, showing that it is an open scientific and philosophical question and that it has not been established that mind is just a brain product.

Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science – Campaign for Open Science

 10. Conscious mental activity can be experienced in clinical death during a cardiac arrest (this is what has been called a “near-death experience” [NDE]). Some near-death experiencers (NDErs) have reported veridical out-of-body perceptions (i.e. perceptions that can be proven to coincide with reality) that occurred during cardiac arrest. NDErs also report profound spiritual experiences during NDEs triggered by cardiac arrest. It is noteworthy that the electrical activity of the brain ceases within a few seconds following a cardiac arrest.

11. Controlled laboratory experiments have documented that skilled research mediums (people who claim that they can communicate with the minds of people who have physically died) can sometimes obtain highly accurate information about deceased individuals. This further supports the conclusion that mind can exist separate from the brain.

12. Some materialistically inclined scientists and philosophers refuse to acknowledge these phenomena because they are not consistent with their exclusive conception of the world. Rejection of post-materialist investigation of nature or refusal to publish strong science findings supporting a post-materialist framework are antithetical to the true spirit of scientific inquiry, which is that empirical data must always be adequately dealt with. Data which do not fit favored theories and beliefs cannot be dismissed a priori. Such dismissal is the realm of ideology, not science.

13. It is important to realize that psi phenomena, NDEs in cardiac arrest, and replicable evidence from credible research mediums, appear anomalous only when seen through the lens of materialism.

14. Moreover, materialist theories fail to elucidate how brain could generate the mind, and they are unable to account for the empirical evidence alluded to in this manifesto. This failure tells us that it is now time to free ourselves from the shackles and blinders of the old materialist ideology, to enlarge our concept of the natural world, and to embrace a post-materialist paradigm.

c) Mind (will/intention) can influence the state of the physical world, and operate in a nonlocal (or extended) fashion, i.e. it is not confined to specific points in space, such as brains and bodies, nor to specific points in time, such as the present. Since the mind may nonlocally influence the physical world, the intentions, emotions, and desires of an experimenter may not be completely isolated from experimental outcomes, even in controlled and blinded experimental designs.

d) Minds are apparently unbounded, and may unite in ways suggesting a unitary, One Mind that includes all individual, single minds.

e) NDEs in cardiac arrest suggest that the brain acts as a transceiver of mental activity, i.e. the mind can work through the brain, but is not produced by it. NDEs occurring in cardiac arrest, coupled with evidence from research mediums, further suggest the survival of consciousness, following bodily death, and the existence of other levels of reality that are non-physical.

Dr. Charles Tart’s Study of Verified Perception in Out-of-Body Experiences

 The following is an excerpt from an article by Dr. Tart which was published in theJournal of the American Society for Psychical Research. In it, Dr. Tart documents the out-of-body experience of a young woman who was one of his research subjects. What makes this particular out-of-body experience remarkable is that she was able to leave her physical body and read a 5-digit number, which was at a significant distance, and correctly give it to him upon return. The odds of guessing a 5-digit number correctly is 1 in 100,000. Her OBE a good example of “veridical perception” where verified events are observed while in an out-of-body state.

Dr. Charles Tart, and, is a transpersonal psychologist and parapsychologist known for his psychological work on the nature of consciousness (particularly altered states of consciousness), as one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology, and for his research in scientific parapsychology. He earned his Ph. D. in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1963. His first books, Altered States of Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychologies, became widely used texts that were instrumental in allowing these areas to become part of modern psychology. Dr. Tart has been involved with research and theory in the fields of hypnosis, psychology, transpersonal psychology, parapsychology, consciousness and mindfulness since 1963. He has authored over a dozen books, two of which became widely-used textbooks; he has had more than 250 articles published in professional journals and books, including lead articles in such prestigious scientific journals as Science and Nature, and provides regular public speaking appearances.

Survival After Death Information

Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century by Edward Kelly and Emily Williams Kelly

Irreducible Mind book coverCurrent mainstream opinion in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind holds that all aspects of human mind and consciousness are generated by physical processes occurring in brains. Views of this sort have dominated recent scholarly publication. The present volume, however, demonstrates empirically that this reductive materialism is not only incomplete but false. The authors systematically marshal evidence for a variety of psychological phenomena that are extremely difficult, and in some cases clearly impossible, to account for in conventional physicalist terms. Topics addressed include phenomena of extreme psychophysical influence, memory, psychological automatisms and secondary personality, near-death experiences and allied phenomena, genius-level creativity, and ‘mystical’ states of consciousness both spontaneous and drug-induced. The authors further show that these rogue phenomena are more readily accommodated by an alternative “transmission” or “filter” theory of mind/brain relations advanced over a century ago by a largely forgotten genius, F. W. H. Myers, and developed further by his friend and colleague William James. This theory, moreover, ratifies the common sense conception of human beings as causally effective conscious agents, and is fully compatible with leading-edge physics and neuroscience. The book should command the attention of all open-minded persons concerned with the still-unsolved mysteries of the mind.

Near Death Experiences–Recommended Reading

 Fenwick, Peter & Elizabeth Fenwick (1995). The Truth in the LightNew York: Berkley Books.  Report by a well-respected neuropsychiatrist and his wife, based on a careful study of over 300 NDEs in the United Kingdom. See his article, “Science and Spirituality”, on this web site.


Moody, Raymond (1975). Life After Life. New York: Bantam. The book that began it all. Easy reading, basic. An excellent phenomenological treatment of NDEs. While some findings have since been clarified and expanded by further research, this book remains the basic work in the field of near-death studies.


Long, Jeffrey & Paul Perry (2010). Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences. Long presents nine lines of evidence that we survive bodily death, based on an analysis of 1,300 NDE accounts from his NDERF web site.


Ring, Kenneth (1982). Life at Death: A Scientific Investigation of the Near-Death Experience. The first quantifiable attempt to describe the NDE itself. Most other researchers have corroborated the basic findings reported in this book.


Ring, Kenneth (1999). Mindsight: Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in the Blind. Palo Alto, CA: William James Center for Consciousness Studies. Evidence that the blind can see during NDEs and OBEs and that during NDEs sight has a different quality and is a kind of “transcendental awareness” referred to as “mindsight”.


Sabom, Michael B. (1984). Recollections of Death: A Medical InvestigationA clearly written and fascinating discussion of the first physician-conducted study of near-death experiences, with special attention to verifiable out-of-body experiences. Highly recommended. 


van Lommel, P. (2010). Consciousness Beyond Life: The science of the near-death experience. Scientific evidence that the near-death phenomenon is an authentic experience demonstrating that consciousness can be experienced separate from the body.


Holden, Janice Miner, Bruce Greyson, and Debbie James (Eds.) (2009). The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation. A summary of what has been discovered about NDEs in the first three decades of research; presentations from the historic 2006 IANDS conference at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Comprehensive, scholarly.


Carter, Chris (2010). Science and the Near-Death Experience: How Consciousness Survives Death. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions. Philosophical argument based on evidence from NDEs, physics and consciousness research that consciousness survives death.

Beauregard, Mario (2012).Brain Wars: The scientific battle over the existence of the mind and the proof that will change the way we live our lives. New York: HarperOne. This book presents near-death experiences as one of several lines of evidence that “strongly challenge the mainstream neuroscientific view that mind and consciousness result solely from brain activity”.


Beauregard, Mario and Denise O’Leary (2007). The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul. New York: HarperOne. 

Division of Perceptual Studies – University of Virginia School of Medicine

Founded in 1967 by Dr. Ian Stevenson, the Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) is the oldest and most productive university-based research group in the world devoted exclusively to the investigation of phenomena that challenge current physicalist brain/mind orthodoxy – including investigation of phenomena directly suggestive of post-mortem survival of consciousness.

Through its research, DOPS strives to challenge this entrenched mainstream view by rigorously evaluating empirical evidence suggesting that consciousness survives death and that mind and brain are distinct and separable.

As we expand our leading edge research, we believe mainstream academia will become more accepting of survival psi and that science will enlarge to take on new challenges in studying the nature on consciousness and its interaction with the physical world.

Notable NDE Research

ABSTRACT: Many studies in humans suggest that altered temporal lobe functioning, especially functioning in the right temporal lobe, is involved in mystical and religious experiences. We investigated temporal lobe functioning in individuals who reported having transcendental “near-death experiences” during life-threatening events. These individuals were found to have more temporal lobe epileptiform electroencephalographic activity than control subjects and also reported significantly more temporal lobe epileptic symptoms. Contrary to predictions, epileptiform activity was nearly completely lateralized to the left hemisphere. The near-death experience was not associated with dysfunctional stress reactions such as dissociation, posttraumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse, but rather was associated with positive coping styles. Additional analyses revealed that near-death experiencers had altered sleep patterns, specifically, a shorter duration of sleep and delayed REM sleep relative to the control group. These results suggest that altered temporal lobe functioning may be involved in the near-death experience and that individuals who have had such experiences are physiologically distinct from the general population.
ABSTRACT: Near-death experiences are profound subjective events frequently reported by individuals who have come close to death. They are of importance to mental health professionals, not only because they often happen to patients under our care, but because they have been reported to produce widespread and long-lasting changes in values, beliefs, and behavior that dramatically affect the experiencers’ attitudes toward living and dying (Bates and Stanley 1985; Bauer 1985; Flynn 1982; Greyson 1983b; Noyes 1980; Ring 1984). Several studies, including surveys of recently resuscitated hospitalized patients (Ring 1980; Sabom 1982) and a nationwide poll of the general population (Gallup and Proctor 1982) have estimated that near-death experiences are reported by 30%-40% of individuals who come close to death, or about 5% of the adult American population.
ABSTRACT: This paper explores the prevalence of ‘near death experience’ phenomena associated with a resuscitation event and examines the current state of evidence for causation. Patients’ reports of unusual recollections associated with a period of unconsciousness (perceived as approaching death) have fascinated individuals and the medical fraternity. Near death experiences (NDE) are reported in 4-9% of general community members and up to 23% of critical illness patients, although they can occur in healthy individuals who may think they are in peril. One explanation is that paranormal visions that include seeing bright lights, a tunnel and having feelings of peace may be a stage of enlightenment as death approaches. More objective explanations point to neuro-chemical changes in a stressed or dying brain as explanation for nearly all the elements of near death experience. However if this is so, NDE should occur in all patients who are critically ill and near death. In general, patients report positive psychological outcomes after a near death experience. Nurses can support patients during a time of crisis by assisting them and their families to comprehend the experiential event using effective communication and listening skill.
ABSTRACT: Near-death experiences, unusual experiences during a close brush with death, may precipitate pervasive attitudinal and behavior changes. The incidence and psychological correlates of such experiences, and their association with proximity to death, are unclear. We conducted a 30-month survey to identify near-death experiences in a tertiary care center cardiac inpatient service. In a consecutive sample of 1595 patients admitted to the cardiac inpatient service (mean age 63 years, 61% male), of whom 7% were admitted with cardiac arrest, patients who described near-death experiences were matched with comparison patients on diagnosis, gender, and age. Near-death experiences were reported by 10% of patients with cardiac arrest and 1% of other cardiac patients (P<.001). Near-death experiencers were younger than other patients (P=.001), were more likely to have lost consciousness (P<.001) and to report prior purportedly paranormal experiences (P=.009), and had greater approach-oriented death acceptance (P=.01). Near-death experiencers and comparison patients did not differ in sociodemographic variables, social support, quality of life, acceptance of their illness, cognitive function, capacity for physical activities, degree of cardiac dysfunction, objective proximity to death, or coronary prognosis

Science, Death, and Consciousness – Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing

Dutch cardiologist Pim Van Lommel estimates that 4.2% of the American public has experienced a NDE and reported it. The actual number is much larger since many NDEs go unreported to medical records, but that is still over 13 million people.4x4Van Lommel P. Consciousness beyond life : the science of the near-death experience. New York: HarperOne, 2010.

See all References4 And as resuscitation medicine advances with closer and closer monitoring, physicalist arguments about dying brains and hallucinations seem out of date, and not consistent with the observed evidence. One thing is certain, as more physicians become sensitized to near death, the more aware they are of NDEs, the greater the likelihood of cases being recorded. The data just keeps piling up.

The Spirit World

The Spirit World:

Descriptions by Early Spiritualists

Barbara N. Starr

Atlantic University, 2000

Advisor: Douglas G. Richards, Ph.D.

Spiritualism as a religion was at the peak of its popularity in the late 1800s and early 1900s, primarily because mediumship was providing answers to questions about life after death. This study explores the beliefs of the Spiritualists in that time period, and provides their answers to what the spirit world is, how it operates, and how it looks. Early Spiritualists believed the spirit world is divided into various levels and spheres, and each sphere is different, depending on one’s spiritual development and growth. Specifics of physical surroundings, homes, clothing, food, relationships, occupations, education, and religion are discussed.

The information comes primarily from mediums who were communicating with those in the spirit world. Descriptions were often different because not all mediums, nor those with whom they were communicating, interpreted information in the same way. However, there is general agreement on what the spirit world looks like and how it operates.

Neuroscience, and Near Death: An Emerging Paradigm Incorporating Nonlocal Consciousness – Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing

This work is pushing toward a new paradigm, one that is neither dualist nor monist, but rather one that postulates consciousness as the fundamental basis of reality. Max Planck, the father of Quantum Mechanics, framed it very clearly in an interview with the respected British newspaper, The Observer in its January 25, 1931 edition. Context is always important, and Planck understood very well that he was taking a public position, speaking as one of the leading physicists of his generation, through one of Britain׳s most important papers. He did not mince words: “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”2x2Interview with Max Planck. The observer. January 25, 1931.

See all References2

Two corollaries flow from Planck׳s assertion: first is the existence of nonlocal consciousness. An aspect of consciousness independent of space-time and not resident in an organism׳s physiology. Second that all consciousnesses are interdependent and interconnected.

A sign of the power of this trend is that most scientists doing research concerning consciousness tend to cite in their articles only work within their own discipline, or a closely related one. Physicists rarely cite physicians, and physicians rarely cite physicists. As a result separate literatures dealing with consciousness, both local and nonlocal, are developing independent of one another. It is only when seen collectively, however, that the emerging paradigm this research is producing becomes clear. A paradigm incorporating nonlocal consciousness.

The validation of Planck׳s perception proceeds on four fronts.

Seven Surprising Things You’ve Never Heard About Near Death Experiences (NDEs)

7 Surprising Things You’ve Never Heard About Near Death Experiences (NDEs)

by GOSTICA · January 10, 2017

7 Surprising Things You’ve Never Heard About Near Death Experiences (NDEs) Parapsychologists have been studying Near-Death-Experiences (NDEs) for many years, however, most of us aren’t familiar with what they’ve been finding.

We are familiar with the idea that many see a tunnel or a light in the distance, see or meet passed on loved ones, and then return with perhaps a new outlook on life, but what else do you know?

Here are some of the more interesting phenomena scientists have reported:

1.) People can have NDEs when they are brain dead.

A famous case occurred during an operation referred to as a “standstill,” where one’s body temperature is reduced to 60 degrees (F), the heartbeat and breathing stop, and blood drains from the brain – in other words, a person is put to death to perform surgery.

In Pam Reynold’s case, she left her body, observed the operation and also entered the tunnel and met with deceased loved ones, before returning to her body.


2.) People born blind experience sight during an NDE.

In the book “Mindsight,” researchers documented 31 cases of the blind experiencing normal vision during NDEs and reporting identical experiences to those who experienced NDEs with normal vision.

3.) Scientific discoveries have been brought back by people having NDEs.

7 Surprising Things You’ve Never Heard About Near Death Experiences (NDEs) One instance happened when Lynneclaire Dennis returned from an NDE describing a three dimensional geometric structure of light she called “The Pattern” and explained was “the the essence of all being.”

Recommended: The 5 Ghosts You’re Most Likely to See

The “Mereon Matrix”, as it is called, has been studied by world-renowned mathematician Dr. Louis H. Kauffman, who concluded that a Ms. Dennis, non-scientist, had described in detail a complex geometric structure that coincided with knot theory in physics and did so without any prior knowledge of geometry, knot theory, or science.


4.) NDEs can be shared by groups of dying people.

A fascinating example is that of a crew of wildland firefighters that took place in Colorado in 1989. Trapped by a change in conditions, firefighters had to take refuge in individual foil shelters while the fire burned around and over them.

It was during this time in the shelters (known as “turkey cookers” in this field), that one firefighter found himself above this scene looking down.

As he looked around, he saw his fellow firefighters gathered near him, doing the same. He went on to witness the bright light and meet his deceased loved ones, but upon returning, discovered that several other firefighters had the same experience – they had experienced a group NDE!


5.) Some have had visions of the future during NDEs that later came true.

In 1975, Dannion Brinkley was struck by lightning while talking on the phone during a thunderstorm. During his NDE, he was shown 12 future events, presented to him almost as if he were watching the news on T.V.

One event Brinkley had predicted was the nuclear melt down and explosion that occurred at Chernobyl in 1986. 


Morphing with Light

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