I've started reading R. Craig Hogan's Your Eternal Self, and I'm finding it very interesting. It's basically a compendium of evidence for the proposition that philosophical materialism is wrong - that the mind is something apart from the brain, and therefore likely to survive the death of the brain. In a way, it's like a much less academic, much more popularized version of Irreducible Mind - though much briefer and also, thankfully, not nearly as pricey.
Much of the material is familiar to me, but not all of it, and even the more familiar stuff is still worth having in an easily accessible format, rather than scattered across dozens of blog posts and Web articles.
One story I don't think I'd encountered before concerns Jay Greenberg, a twelve-year-old musical prodigy enrolled in Juilliard.
Greenberg says that music just fills his head and he has to write it down to get it out. He doesn't know where it comes from, but it comes fully written, playing like an orchestra within his head: "It's as if the unconscious mind is giving orders at the speed of light," he reports. "You know, I mean, so I just hear it as if it were a smooth performance of a work that is already written, when it isn't." ...
In fact, at around age two, Greenberg started drawing instruments. Before he knew what a cello was, he had drawn a picture of one and had written the name ... At age three, he was drawing the notes for a cello performance. He had not been taught how to draw notes, and certainly not how to create a cello performance, yet they came to him.
In 2007, [his mother] reported that "... he told us he often hears more than one new composition at a time. Multiple channels is what it's been termed." Says Jay, "... my brain is able to control two or three different musics at the same time - along with the channel of my everyday life." He doesn't revise his compositions. They usually come out right the first time. [p. 43, Your Eternal Self]
In any book that covers so much ground, there will be room for nitpicking. The weaknesses in certain cases are not always mentioned. For instance, in a discussion of Charles Tart's experiments with a clairvoyant, there is no mention of the fact that a (very dim) reflection in the room could conceivably have allowed the subject to see the target object - a flaw that Tart himself has acknowledged. Hogan often points to the credentials of scientists who support psi, but this is a slippery slope, since there are many other scientists with equally good credentials who oppose it. And some of the authorities he cites are not the ones I would choose.
But as I said, this is nitpicking. Your Eternal Self is an important contribution to the debate over psi and life after death. It presents a wealth of specific cases, many of them quite recent, to lend credence to the idea that "you are not your brain." And it's got its own Web site, which includes additional cases like these.
R. Craig Hogan, by the way, is the coauthor with Allan L. Botkin of Induced After-Death Communication, another highly interesting and important book.