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My wife's father, RD, died in January 2012. In October 2011 he went into the hospital and had a heart pacemaker installed. While in the hospital he picked up C-diff (Clostridium difficile) a bacteria that causes serious diarrhea.

His doctors would treat RD with antibiotics and get the C-diff under control but as soon as they would stop the antibiotics the C-diff would come back. He had become progressively weakened by his weakened heart and the C-diff and the doctor told Vangie (MIL) that if they put RD in a nursing home he would die in a couple of months.

A day or so before RD died he said very quietly, "if you shoot that vine in the corner all this will soon be over. I don't know how I know that but I know it's true." The family made the decision to let RD go on ahead and die there in the hospital.

He was 87 years old at the time. RD's birthday was January 9th and he hung on till January 10th, 2012 - I'm sure so that he'd get to 88. If you knew RD you'd know he hung on on purpose. I can just picture RD doing something like that. He was proud of how old he lived to be and used to say that he lived longer than any other member of his family and if any of them lived to be older than him he didn't know about it.

So a few days after RD died my wife's sister, Pam, had a dream where she was in the hospital and RD was still alive in the hospital bed. In her dream Pam exclaimed "Daddy you're still alive! We have to tell the nurses and let them know!" At that moment, in her dream, Pam turned towards the door and saw RD and another man (who we don't know who it was) walking together through the doorway into the brightly lit hallway.

I of course, being a believer, believe Pam's dream was "real" and it was RD telling Pam "I'm okay and I'm with my Father (or one of his brothers) in Heaven, and RD's exclamation about "shooting that vine in the corner" was referring to all the tubes they had him hooked up to that were keeping him alive. He was telling us that he wanted to go on ahead and die and that he'd be all right.

One other quick story. About 10 years ago my sister Linda's husband Ed died on Easter Sunday. A few years after Ed died their daughter Heather had a dream where her father appeared to her and she said to him, "Daddy what are you doing here you're supposed to be dead?" He replied to Heather "I missed you and thought I'd come for a visit." Heather told us that Ed looked just like he always did.

Now the interesting thing is that Heather and Ed didn't get along well and in life were somewhat estranged. Heather is a big loud girl with some of the symptoms of asperger's. Ed couldn't control or deal with Heather and they just didn't get along well. So it was a bit of a surprise that Heather was the person that Ed came to in a dream and told her he missed her.

I think Ed was letting Heather know he loved her and that the estrangement they experienced in this life doesn't or won't exist in the next.

My sister Linda, who was Ed's wife, told me she doesn't remember any of her dreams so that may be why Ed didn't come to her in a dream. Linda told me can't remember anything of her dreams. Ed did appear to me one time in a dream and he told me that he "got lost" when he went out of his body and couldn't find his way back to it.

I told Linda about my dream and she said to me "oh yeah, Ed had a horrible sense of direction and got lost one time when he was only 3 blocks from their house." That was something I didn't know about Ed and I didn't know he had a horrible sense of direction but in my dream Ed came and told me he "got lost" when he left his body and couldn't find his way back. It might have just been something Ed told me so that Linda would know my dream was real.

Thank You for sharing this very personal story. I can really relate to it. We recently had a death of a close family member that was unexpected. Several of us went to see a medium recently, and the experience was not at all confirming or accurate to lead me to believe any real communication was had. It left me feeling empty, devastated and filled with doubt. I suppose that no matter how much we read or search for evidence, and at times may sway back and forth between belief and doubt, when death hits us closely, we will be left with some level of uncertainty and can only hope when it is our own time to pass, everything we had read about and hopes to be true, in fact actually is.

Greg,
I suppose that the majority of people who die have no inclination to come back to earth especially if they have been ill for a long time and are ready to just rest for a while. If they are presented with newer horizons to conquer then perhaps their earthly life is quickly forgotten.

Many of us want proof that the soul or consciousness survives somewhere and anything---even a strange light in the room at the time of death or some muffled words from the lips of the dying are enough to provide proof of survival for grieving relatives. Maybe so! When one hears their voice as you have heard or as I heard when my deceased father called my name the day before my mother's death, then one takes heart that perhaps survival is a fact. Over time that reassurance fades and becomes just one of the many, many bits of 'intimations of immortality' suggestive of an afterlife but not conclusive.

I think that one shouldn't be too demanding of the recently departed and allow them to go on without being pulled back to earth to provide reassurance to those left behind that they continue to live. The time will come when one will have that reassurance ---or not!

Pictographs often appear in my mind of those who have recently passed on. Such images usually show them in their prime as restored people perfect in every way, whether as youths or adults at the height of their powers. It's just a fleeting image but it provides comfort to me that all is well and I too need to go on with my life.

And sometimes if we turn our attention to other things, like the butterfly of happiness, the soul of our loved ones will come unexpectedly and quietly sit on our shoulder and whisper in our ear.

My condolences to you and your family Greg. Time will soften your loss but never erase it completely. - AOD

Ah, interesting story. I still remain neutral on the post-mortem survival question despite having heard so many testiomonials, many more in-your-face than the above. It seems to be one of those things that despite evidence read one must experience NDEs/ghosts/mediums/etc for themselves.

If I haven't before, I'd recommend The Long Trajectory by Eric Weiss. Deals with the metaphysics of how such a thing as survival could be possible. So not proof, and imperfect in parts (not sure QM requires observers), but helps to remove the materialist conditioning/brainwashing.

Michael

Thank you for posting this and for the candle graphic. A really a beautiful touch. More importantly though, I was wondering what your thoughts, and others, are on this topic. Not so much on the personal loss, but on how our beliefs and hopes hold up when confronted with stark reality. A while back you stated that the evidence convinced you of a life after death and I too thought that I was convinced, now I am not so sure. It seems my beliefs are hanging on to a mother’s voice calling from the darkness. This is the same type of voice that many would say is a trick of mind. I am not so sure. I ask for a sign and it came. Your thoughts?

GregL

Greg, you brought tears to my eyes. That was your mother. I should also say my father recently passed away. He was one of the best people I ever knew; other people said the same thing. The process was very similar to yours. I wish I would have an experience like yours. But I did have two wonderful dreams. Thanks for sharing this with us, and for Michael to post it. And by the way, my father's experience was very similar to what you describe, peaceful, and very loving.

"I was wondering what your thoughts, and others, are on this topic. Not so much on the personal loss, but on how our beliefs and hopes hold up when confronted with stark reality."

At this point I'm pretty much convinced of life after death, and I basically take it for granted as part of my worldview. The death of my mother a few years ago didn't change my feelings -- actually, it somewhat reinforced them, because of some unusual occurrences that took place immediately afterward, and because of an evidential sitting I had with a medium sometime later.

As an example of these unusual occurrences, very soon after she passed, I was thinking that an afterlife could be proved by the standards of civil court but not criminal court - preponderance of evidence vs. absence of reasonable doubt. A short time later I turned on the TV at random to test the remote, and the first thing that came on was a character on a soap opera explaining the difference between the standards of evidence used in criminal and civil cases. There were other things - quite a few, including vivid dreams and some electrical phenomena. I made a list at the time.

In the reading, I asked the medium (Georgia O'Connor) what I had said to my mother as she lay comatose in the ICU. Without hesitation, the medium supplied the correct answer. Could she have guessed? It's possible. I hadn't come up with any sort of "Houdini code." But given the wide range of possible answers and the lack of any "fishing" on her part, I think guesswork is unlikely.

These days, my interest is not so much in proving the afterlife (I really think there's more than enough evidence for anyone willing to be persuaded), but in trying to understand it better. Are things as seemingly simple and reassuring as they are made out to be in Spiritualist literature, or is the picture more complicated and disturbing? Do we go to a "better place," or are the troubling visions of DMT and LSD trips a more accurate forecast? Do we reincarnate, and if so, do we lose our present identity or somehow retain it? How does physical reality interface with the spiritual realm? What's the meaning and purpose of it all?

I'd be very surprised if, somehow, life after death were disproved. There is such a mass of evidence in favor of the hypothesis that I can't conceive of an alternative explanation that would cover all of it - except possibly super-psi, but there are many, many problems with that idea. (See Carter's "Science and the Afterlife Experience" for a good discussion.)

P.S. Besides DMT and LSD trips, there are also so-called "alien abductions," which strike me as probably being OBEs that are misinterpreted by the experiencers. If they are OBEs, they are further evidence that some nonphysical realms are scary and threatening.

Abductions have several points in common with DMT experiences - most notably, a terrifying encounter with insectile creatures that perform experiments on the abductee and make surgical incisions. Similar imagery involving surgery or vivisection also crops up in vision quests reported by shamans.

On alien abductions -> That they bear similarities to shamanic initiations - as noted by Graham Hancock in his book Supernatural - is rather striking.

That said I disagree with Hancock's ideas about this meaning there are interdimensional hybrids. Seems more like a metaphorical encounter meant to initiate the experiencer though maybe I'm wrong about that.

Greg,
I am not convinced of life after death in spite of the voluminous reports suggesting spirit survival. I am suspicious of all of the so-called 'evidence' no matter if that evidence was provided to me or esteemed people such as Frederic Myers, Edmund Gurney, William James, Oliver Lodge, Conan Doyle, Eleanor Sidgwick, Henry Sidgwick, James Hyslop, Richard Hodgson, Chico Xavier, Stephen Braude, Ian Stevenson, Raymond Moody, Pim Van Lommel, Brian Weiss, Michael Newton, Christopher Stillar, to name a few.

Who am I to question these learned people?

Well--I do question them! I question everything that comes through the mind of man. There are too many chances for bias, fraud, hidden agendas , unconsciousness role-playing and well-intentioned but misguided efforts for me to be too trusting. I have lived long enough to get to know how human beings operate and I must say that most humans are looking out for their own interests, either, as in these cases, to be convinced of their own survival or the winning of notoriety, fame or wealth.

Otherwise, why go public? Why suffer the scientific criticism?

I know it is of little interest to most people but for me the one enigmatic case with the least amount of taint, strongly suggesting that the human mind is much more than is currently understood is the case of (you guessed it!) Pearl Curran and Patience Worth. This one case stands head and shoulders above all others in my opinion, But in order to come to that conclusion it is imperative that one reads and studies all of the written materials including notes of dictation, 'table talk' of Patience Worth, her aphorisms, plays, short stories and novels. All of this 'evidence' is first hand, available for anyone to peruse. Perhaps all of these materials taken together are left as a giant puzzle requiring us to question our current materialistic paradigms in order to come up with an explanation.

This compendium of work allegedly from Patience Worth strongly suggests to me that someone or something other than Pearl Curran, either in the consciousness state or unconscious (subconscious) state created and dictated these materials. The volume of this work and the rapid method of delivery demand an explanation.

Whether or not it was a disembodied spirit has not yet been proved but neither has it been proved that Pearl Curran was a fraud in any way, unknowingly or otherwise

But if 'Patience Worth' was not a spirit, then what? For information to come out of the subconscious mind or secondary personality of Pearl Curran there must be input of that information into that mind and to date, no one has been able to document that Pearl Curran ever learned, either directly or subliminally the detail of history, places and language she used in her writings

Overall, it is not just the significance of the presence of the physical remnants of what Patience Worth and Pearl Curran did but more importantly it is their spiritual philosophy and thoughts about man, God and the universe that sets them apart from other mediums and gives me strong encouragement to believe that there just might be some other existence after my current one.. - AOD

In regards to the deceased wanting to communicate with us.... Time on the other side doesn't exist like it does on this side. On the other side past, present, and future all exist together at one time. You experience what you focus your attention on. On this side we only experience time going in one direction but on the other side it's not like that. We get bored or lonely or sleepy or and our lives are ruled by time but on the other side time only exists "all at once" and so when they communicate with us they would have to pick the time they want us to "hear" them.

The physics of heaven will be very different from the physics we experience here. It is the physics of holographic film versus the physics of the projection from that film.

From Time and the NDE on near-death.com
""When you die, the fixed measurement of Earth time becomes soft and flexible. It stretches and shrinks like a rubber band. Entering the spirit realm feels like you were there just a few moments ago. Your time on Earth seems like only a brief instance. You can examine the events of your past with great clarity and detail than you ever could in life. You can linger in your past for what seems like hours. When you are done, it seems like no time at all went by. Time can contract and centuries can condense into seconds. Millenniums can shrink into moments and the entire history of civilization can pass by in the blink of an eye. Time and space is no obstacle. You can go in and out of worlds and stay there for as long as you desire. You feel eternal once again. There is no way to tell whether minutes, hours or years go by. Existence is the only reality and it is inseparable from the eternal now." (John Star)
http://www.near-death.com/experiences/research13.html

from Michelle M's NDE:
"I felt an understanding about life, what it was, is. As if it was a dream in itself. It's so very hard to explain this part. I'll try, but my words limit the fullness of it. I don't have the words here, but I understood that it really didn't matter what happened in the life experience, I knew/understood that it was intense, brief, but when we were in it, it seemed like forever. I understood that whatever happened in life, I was really ok, and so were the others here."
http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/NDE_Experiences/michelle_m%27s_nde.htm

from The Universe as a Hologram by Michael Talbot:
"At its deeper level reality is a sort of superhologram in which the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously."
http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html

A few months after my father passed, I was sitting in the living room. I heard his voice say "HELLO". Very clearly, very obviously him. I stood up and looked at my wife in the kitchen. She was standing there with her mouth agape.

Before I could say anything, she said "I just heard your dad say "HELLO".

So we both heard it. Hard for that to be a brain trick. Oh, and the TV and radio weren't on.

Bill, you know exactly how I feel. My Dad died a few years back and I tried a famous medium(Lori Campbell) my results were also disappointing. I did, however have a powerful dream about him which made me feel better at the time.

Art, I have read many of your posts on the holographic universe and that the purpose of this life is to learn “separation.” The separation from my mother is not what will haunt me. Strangely enough, it will be her acts of trying to comfort ME (gently rubbing my forearm) as she lay dying. My only concern is for her and all of the loved ones mentioned in these comments. I want them to be safe. Without a life after death I would rather the universe never happened.

AOD, your original comments in a previous post prompted me to write to Michael in the first place. I am glad you heard your Dad call you. It is a shocking phenomena when it happens and, as you know, it is something to hang on to. You mention “pictographs” in your mind. I also get these when I am near sleep, hynagogic imagery. I have also seen some of my relatives who have passed on, whole and healthy in these images. What to make of them, I don’t know.

Sciborg, I already downloaded the book. Thanks. The observer effect interpretation for this Esalen group comes directly from Henry Stapp who is a big influence there. It does tie in nicely to the possibility that mind is indeed separate from the material world.

Cathleen you have reached out and touched my heart. I hope you get to see your Dad again. Take your dreams and hold on to them, like I will hold on to my mom’s voice.

Michael, yes, a nonphysical reality must be vast and complex, containing all manner of realities, some not so friendly. The only theory that I think may make some sense of the whole thing is the “virtual reality” theory advanced by several recent authors, including yourself.

A few years ago I had a mutual dream with my mom about a visitation from my brother, who had died several years earlier. The dream was highly evidential and I described it here several times. I was pretty close to being convinced of life after death then. However, I never watched a loved one die before. It is hard to maintain that belief, even with mountains of evidence, in the stark face of death. Michael, you have been able to do just that. I hope I can also get to that point. I like your take on the judicial preponderance of evidence, as nothing is ever truly “proven” in science is it. Only in mathematics, I guess. I did read Carter’s book, maybe the best of its kind. I think Alan Gauld also takes a good look at the super psi hypothesis. I also discount it as an explanation. Too silly.

Thanks for the kind thoughts.
GregL

Jacques Vallee said "Our universe is a subset of something else". We come from that something else at our birth and return there upon our death. I think the only point in contention is whether we meaningfully remember our journey - it would seem to be a waste of our (and our Creator's) time for us to forget what we learn here.

Greg L, here's how I see some of this. In the past I have had some quite spectacular spiritual experiences, but over time I see them as less exciting. I've had a few, so its kind of normal now. I think part of it too, is how the brain works i.e. all memories fade overtime.

But really, most of us are rationalist's, that's all we have come to know and understand and I don't think rationalising is all that reliable either. I know from my uni studies, in crime scenes for example, if there is a gun, people zero in on it and fail to see much else, two people at one crime scene will often see it quite differently etc.

And I know Harold Puthoff the physicist involved with Stargate said with remote viewing, that they often put drawings on one side that came through first, as these were often less reliable, as viewers frequently resorted to analysing. Similarly Pam Coronado the police psychic when asked by the policewoman did she see a statue in front of the church, said no, but she certainly does now.

How I see it is that with a lot of spiritual experiences we all tend to default to rationalising, some more than others.

So I think rationalising although helpful at times, is not necessarily truth and connecting with our gut instinct, intuition etc, can be more so.

The experience with your mum is heart warming, so I hope you can come to see it that way. All the best. Lyn x.

" I still remain neutral on the post-mortem survival question despite having heard so many testiomonials, many more in-your-face than the above."

I see no reason to stay neutral, unless it is not known in detail the relevant literature.

"It seems to be one of those things that despite evidence read one must experience NDEs/ghosts/mediums/etc for themselves."

No, I have never perceived an phenomenon indicative of an afterlife, but I think that the most likely is that there is an afterlife on the basis of what I've read, this depends on the way of being of each, but I think I'm in the minority here.

What I have clear is that experimenters have the first word, but not the last, because it is likely that in many cases of apparently paranormal phenomena are involved the misperceptions, illusions, selective memory, etc. The key is that some know that not all of these cases can be explained reasonably of this way and thus it is not enough the experience, but also the rational and scientific research.


Art,
Thanks for those excellent links. I must say that I get a better education on this blog site than I ever did in 6 years at college.(Maybe I just pay attention more now than I did when I was in school.) I especially like the explanation of the theory proposing a holographic reality. Michael has presented this idea before here and I admit that I didn't stop to consider it seriously. But this article at 'Earth Portals' is very well written and easy for me to understand. I second your referenced link. - AOD

P.S.
RE: Patience Worth

A holographic reality might easily explain how Pearl Curran was able to write her poems, novels, plays etc. with detailed knowledge and rapidity. If she were able to tap into the underlying information contained in the hologram, then doing what she did would be effortless (as it seemed to be) and just a matter of reading off what was already written on the skein of 'time', so to speak, within the holographic universe.

Curran really didn't have to know what she was doing, she was just fortunate to be able to do it without knowing how or why.

Maybe with a paradigm shift we will all be able to eventually do that! - AOD

GregL - Ah, good point about Stapp's interpetation of QM. I found his ideas in Beyond Physicalism to be very worthwhile. There's also another interesting take on QM including subjective perspectives in Wired by the physicist Fuch's:

http://www.wired.com/2015/06/private-view-quantum-reality/

Also for those interested here's Weiss' page, which includes a prepublication version of The Long Trajectory:

http://ericweiss.com/ideas

I also enjoyed his Doctrine of Subtle Worlds on that site. Note the full published version of TLTajectory (just $3.99 for Kindle) contains two more chapters about Involution & Evolution. I'd say he's an author worth supporting. :-)

Juan - apologies didn't see your post directed toward me. Like AOD, it's hard for me to shake all the possibilities that might account for experiences that seem like post-mortem survival.

I accept this doubting may just be a personal defect of mine. :-)

AOD thank you so much for your encouragement. That is the nicest and most decent response on any message board I have ever posted on. It was so positive and non contentious. I needed that.

I know that my way of writing can be dialectic and preachy sometimes and I apologize for that. I attribute that to my "touch of aspergers." I've taken several online autism tests and I test well into the spectrum which explains some the problems I've had managing people and teaching. Thank you again,

First off Greg, my condolences on your mother’s passing. Whatever the spiritual facts of death are, here on terra firma we must contend with the reality of our loved ones physical absence. In one of his Sonnets Shakespeare said “If the dull substance of my flesh were thought, injurious distance should not stop my way. For then, despite of space I would be brought from limits far remote where thou dost stay.” Lodged as we are in the dull substance of flesh, the injurious distance of death seems to present an unbreachable barrier to communion with those loved and, by all appearances, lost to us.

My 90 year old mother died last year. It was her time to part our company, and she left this world living in her home of 70 years up to her last day. Though I no longer take her shopping on weekends, my inner relationship with her remains unchanged. I am glad that she no longer suffers the insults of age and my concern for her happiness and well-being continues. Though I cannot summon evidence that my parents remain living, I regard them as such and honor the unbroken continuance of our familial bond.

I inherited an extensive collection of prints and negatives of the family photos. I’ve been scanning them recently, viewing images of my parents in their prime as I knew them in my childhood. It is said that our loved ones “live on in memory”, but I don’t experience love for my parents as a memory, it is a present fact. Just as love for others continues on through childhood and all the transformations that time visits on our aging bodies, it doesn’t stop when a body becomes ash or is interred in a grave.

Most people who believe in an afterlife don’t really give it much thought. Either it’s a matter of faith or a common sense intuition that they don’t question. A small minority is compelled, for some peculiar reason or other, to delve more deeply into the great mystery of immortality in search of firmer ground than faith or intuition can offer. For me, this journey has increased my sympathy for others who may avoid all thought of death, or in contemplating it bemoan the brevity of earthly existence. For many, death is real, and tragic, and final; and I agree with that sentiment, in the sense that whatever lies beyond the veil of death, our time on earth is incredibly brief and precious.

When my mother came close to death 3 years or so ago I - having read all of this stuff- took her frequent references to visits from her own mother and my father (both dead...no living person was ever imagined, nor was their dead status referenced), often silently sitting or standng there at some point before visitors arrived, as classic Death Bed Visions...and they continued with her combination of dementia and frequent urinary tract infections over many months. Had she in fact died I'd have been reporting them as such, the comforting evidence one longs for...but she didn't and hasn't and appears immortal! Which begs the question..if you can have death bed visions without death, are they DBVs at all?

Nontheless like you I am so immersed in the lore of the paranormal and psi that I thoroughly expect and ancipate when the day comes that she does go "something" extraordinary will happen. But what if it doesn't? Will I lose all conviction?

As an aside there was one interesting incident during her months of occasional lapses into "hallucination". One day she claimed my father's mother - dead before I was born - had been to see her..that she stood in the bedroom door, talked about the house she now lived in, and how (I think she said this) she looked after my mother..but she had to go as there were all these other people waiting behind her....

“I am not convinced of life after death in spite of the voluminous reports suggesting spirit survival. I am suspicious of all of the so-called 'evidence' no matter if that evidence was provided to me or esteemed people….”

AOD, you made me smile. You just might be more skeptical than me, except I even question my own experiences! We may be wrong though, AOD, with too skeptical an attitude I wonder if any progress in any science would even be possible. There could be no acceptance of any experimental result, we would have to duplicate it ourselves. How could we believe the word of another human with their prejudices and ulterior motives? Then, if you are like me, you would doubt your own result! No moon landing unless NASA puts me personally on the moon! Ah, but then I might be dreaming….

I’m poking fun at myself, not you. I guess that at some point we must trust our experience and trust the reports of, as you said “esteemed” people, especially if there are other validations from other trustworthy individuals. I wonder if “ life after death” falls into the “too good to be true” category, so wonderful, that some of us (me) just can never believe it even when presented with powerful evidence. The good thing is we will never know if there is no afterlife, only if there is. So at least we will always have hope.

GregL

Greg,
On Victor Zammit's Friday Report he has a video of medium George Anderson's session with Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman who lost their son Eric in an automobile accident. Scroll about three quarters of the way down for the video.

http://victorzammit.com/June26th2015/

It's pretty convincing stuff for me. I have always thought that George Anderson is the 'real thing'. - AOD

I took many classes in evidential mediumship a few years ago. One highlight of a number took place when the teacher told class members she would be holding a "seance" for a small group and would "get" whoever each attendee desired.

The stated intention of this kind of mediumship is healing and involves a 3-way connection: Medium, sitter, and "spirit."

It's also called direct mediumship, making it different from what is sometimes seen on TV wherein an alleged medium "gets" details and multiple members of a large audience raise their hands, as each knew someone, deceased, who was tall, thin, had a mustache, etc. In direct mediumship "spirit" is associated only with the sitter.

"Evidential" refers to acquiring five pieces of information -- this could be physical details, interests, favorite cities, nature of final illness, etc. If the sitter assents to five such items, the medium proceeds to communication; if not, the process ends.

As the intention is healing, "spirit" is inevitably a dearly departed relative or loved one, someone the sitter was close to and knew well.

I bent the rules a bit, carefully studying obituaries and other material found in web searches the night before the event.

This was held in the teacher's kitchen, around the kitchen table; she went around the table, "connecting" with the desired discarnate personality for each of the other students. She came to me last, and when she asked me who I wanted her to "get," I said nothing more than "Ken."

I said "Yes" to the required five pieces of evidence, then found myself having a fascinating conversation, through the medium, with Ken Olsen, founder and CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation, which once manufactured minicomputers. Ken died in 2011; the "seance" took place in 2012.

I didn't know Ken, personally, when he was alive; the closest I'd ever been to him was at a press conference announcing the Vax Cluster in 1985 or so -- I'd been in the audience.

The medium is younger than I am and has no knowledge of or interest in Massachusetts high technology companies, past or present. She said, afterwards, that she'd never heard of Olsen, when I told her who she'd been conveying information to and from. She was also a bit shocked to realize she'd communicated with a "famous" person.

Olsen was a very bright engineer; the medium, when not engaged in teaching or practicing mediumship, leads groups of those engaged in "spinning" (furiously pedaling stationary bicycles) and provides instruction in the barre (a strenuous exercise activity) or women's weight lifting classes. She's no engineer, in other words.

As she connected with Olsen, she marveled at the mind she was encountering, which to her was filled with numbers and such things. Slightly tranced out, she also said the word "Atlantis."

Among other things, Olsen said he'd always been fascinated with the sort of activity taking place in the medium's kitchen, but as no one in his engineering, business, family, or church circles had pursued such interests, this was his first direct exposure.

I asked him if he thought this kind of communication could be accomplished by electronic means. He thought it possible, but suggested I might need to enlist venture capitalists if I were to experiment in this direction, as he expected it would not be a cheap undertaking.

I'm very much aware of "ITP" and "EVP" activities these days but suspect there are better ways to do this. I'm also quite aware of the nature of contemporary electronic technologies, quite different in certain respects -- size, cost, power consumption, etc. -- from the glory days of DEC.

I'm also fond of the teachings and exercises of Seth, after attempting to meditate for the first time, decades ago, and "seeing" -- with my mind's eye -- a persistent full-cover image of the cover of _Seth Speaks_ then in print. Seth's "You're as dead now as you'll ever be" is quite pertinent here.

My name for what is a part-time, occasional hobby: "The Dead Techie Project." I hope to enlist just a few of the endless dead hardware, software, and computing engineers -- with more dying every day -- in a project that would facilitate the creation of improved electronic communication between the living and the dead.

Greg, I'm actually glad to read that other people haven't had mystical or otherworldly events in hospitals or at the bedside of their dying loved ones. It sounds cruel, but I think it shows we're not alone. Like you, I was once at a hospital with a very sick family member, and after reading hundreds of books and hundreds of NDE, medium, and out-of-body experiences, I was so sure I'd sense, detect, or see something paranormal. However, nothing happened. I didn't see any flashes of light, angels, or premonitions of death. In fact, it was the opposite. There was an elderly woman in a nearby room who was constantly shrieking, yelling, and calling out for her son, all while having a panic attack. It was so heartbreaking that I was left shaken and wondering where all the angels, deceased loved ones, and other beautiful things I had read about were. And as you put it so perfectly, the "evidence" for an afterlife is trivial when we actually face death.

However, while the experience threw all my beliefs into doubt, it actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as I dived into searching and studying harder than I ever had before, and came across new ideas and concepts that I had never heard of before; it's almost like that visit to the hospital was the trigger that started a new phase of personal growth. Painful? Yes, but in the long run it was a very valuable experience.

Perhaps we don't experience the paranormal when we expect because the lack of it spurs us to redouble our own searching. I remember reading in one medium message that a spirit, when asked why he hadn't come back to comfort a loved one right after his death, explained that his absence was an opportunity for her to start pursing the spiritual and forge her own beliefs. If he had appeared, it would have negated all that growth. Perhaps the same is happening to you. Still, I'm sorry for your loss, but I thank you for sharing your story, and letting so many of us know we're in the same boat.

I've recently experienced..or rather had updates/reawakenings of...two seemingly seperate sagas each highly suggestive of post mortem communication through the manipulation of events. Both are long tales, but benefit from their length as the complexity removes the suspicion of meaningless chance as an explanation. One tale, perhaps the longer of the two, is very much suggestive of a specific identifiable deceased individual making his presence known. The other however is more perplexing...it is too complex to be pinned on one "spirit", just as it is too contrived to be "coincidence". So just to stir things up a bit I'll post that latter more bewildering story here......

2003, 18 months after my dad had died. My father's name, take note, was Gerry, short for Gerard.
He'd given my mother a cross to replace a previous one on a necklace chain. She knew it was still around her neck in her bedroom but became suddenly aware in the living room that it had vanished from the chain, and was distraught. And I searched every inch of floor on my hands and knees, including her bedroom. It was not there. I did something unlikely...having read of such things recently I privately addressed the air and "them" requesting "they" please return the cross. A few minutes later walked back into her bedroom and there it was right slap bang in the middle of the empty bare small plain tiled floor. This abbreviated version cannot convey the absolute certainty that this was not a case of just not noticing, like the glasses on top of your head or the pencil behind your ear, but that something truly startling had occurred with all the spectacle of a parlour trick. It was a great little story but it never once occurred to me to think of it as related to the dead.

2012
On one day three things happened. My mum, seemingly recovered from the confusions of another bout of urinary tract infection a few days earlier was suddenly fully back in a state of rambling dementia bordering on delirium and referred, cheerfully enough, to my dad having been standing by her bedroom door and saying nothing. Secondly that day I received in the post a book I'd ordered on a very specific subject that had intrigued me lately...the claim that synchronicity and multi-layered coincidences are organised and arranged by the "spirits" to show they live on and to guide you. I was only a few pages in when I read this paragraph:

"Jeri Gerard recalls an encounter with a lost or trapped spirit in a house where she was living: 'It was something very heavy and annoying that wanted my attention. One day, my favourite pen disappeared, a Cross pen, a gift from my mother. I knew that I had left it on the made bed, but it was no longer there. I searched the bed, then the room, then the house, Finally, I turned to the living room and fiercely ordered my pen to be returned. When I went back to the bedroom, it was precisely in the middle of the bed'. "

It took a couple of reads for all the layers of this startling parallel to sink in. The incident, the location, the search, the process, the resolution...the emphasis on the pen being a "Cross" and the woman's name Jeri Gerard. And all in a book about synchronicity.

To me startling in the extreme. I wrote it all down to someone I'd been corresponding with on the subject in the previous few days, who had first drawn my attention to the claim that these things are arranged by the deceased. Within half an hour of doing so.....

My mum - who knew nothing of this - became agitated and started demanding "the tin box". There's a tin box in her bedside drawer, but she'd not have seen it for months, I keep nothing in it but old near empty tablet packets and her state of mind being what it is she oughtn't even be aware it's there so surely was either rambling or meant something else, but she got more and more agitated and demanding so only getting this particular box out would placate her. She started rummaging through the packets as if searching for something and pulled out with an expression that appeared to say "see!" ...the chain with the cross on it. No explanation, but satisfied she calmed down and everything could be restored....

And that, for the last few years has been my personal best paranormal experience. The obvious implication that my father was behind events presented an insoluble problem of course..how could he be responsible for the american lady being called Jerri Gerard decades earlier, or an incident on another continent that took place before he died! Still it was easy enough to overlook this. Until last week when a third chapter of the story emerged...

2015

As Michael mentioned on her several weeks ago The author of the Exorcist, William Peter Blatty, has written a book called Finding Peter about his conviction that his real life dead son has been showing signs of survival through coincidences and eerie happenings. I've not read or sent off for it yet but it obviously is of interest So I've sent the link to the book to several people suggesting this could be interesting.. and at the back of my mind I knew, just knew, there would be something in his book that was directly relevant to my own experiences or interconnected with them in some way. Well last week I found a detailed review of the book which includes summaries of a couple of the incidents Blatty reports....


"Among the many “paranormal” events Bill and Julie experienced was the lost, and then found, miraculous medal that once belonged to Peter. Bill had taken the medal and worn it around his neck after Peter’s death, only taking it off to get through airport security. One morning he woke up to find the medal was missing, and only the chain lay around his neck. He and Julie scoured the house, paying special attention to the shower, going over and over the small space several times.

A few days later, Bill got in the shower very nervous about a speech he had to give to a large audience. He saw something shiny on the floor and reached down to find Peter’s miraculous medal.

“Let’s go over it again: the glassed-in, brightly-lit shower stall measured a little less than four feet by four feet. Julie and I had separately entered the shower and meticulously searched it in broad daylight at least three times, in my case at least five.”

********************
WE now have three inter-related tales from three unconnected people. The instinct that - whether supernatural or not - they're connected only by the shared experience of something disappearing and then being found would be mistaken. Remember in my case it was Christian cross on a chain around my mother's neck, in the American woman's case it was a CROSS pen from her own mother, and in Blatty's case it was a religious medal from a chain around his neck. Religious medal, you say?

At first reading the reviewer's repeated references to the "miraculous medal" sound like a descriptive adjective relating to the mystery of its reappearance. But no. Blatty is a devout catholic and I suspected and confirmed online the next morning that a "miraculous medal" is an actual proper name for an unofficial catholic talisman based around a 19th century vision of the Virgin Mary. On one side it shows Mary, on the reverse, a cross.....

Still not finished.

Even as I read it and saw a picture of one on Wikipedia I thought oh ****!...you've got to be kidding me. Ever since my incident I've kept the chain with the cross on it in a top coat pocket like a lucky charm and never looked at it. But as I read the description I just knew...I went and fetched the chain and confirmed there are two items attached to it, the second of which has always been there but I've never paid any heed to before. The little cross and...a "miraculous medal".

Expletives deleted.

I can't make any sense of this at all - there can be no single "ghost of Mr X" behind each of THESE events (Peter Blatty was alive when my incident occurred, just as my father was alive when Jeri Gerard's happened) yet they are too clearly and intricately interconnected to find “coincidence” a more rational option.

Something is going on.

Isn’t it?

Many years ago my grandmother passed away. The night after the funeral, my mother and her sister,at a certain point of the night, saw an intense light coming from the next room. They had not the courage to open the door. But they knew that it was their mother who had come to greet them for the last time.

When my sister passed away 4 years ago nothing happened. Only dreams where I asked how it was on the other side...

My apologies for a glaring typo in my comment. "ITP" should have been "ITC" (Instrumental Transcommunication).

Info on what was once much more of an obscure fringe area is easily found on-line today.

This includes the 1970s-era experimentation by George Meeks (and the unique "Spiracom" device) and his non-profit MetaScience organization, as well as European work of the same era from which ITC sprang. See The ITC Journal, based in Portugal.

There are other related examples, likely discussed here at some time, such as The Scole Experiment and the later Norfolk Experiment (UK), in addition to scads and scads of YouTube clips featuring "EVP" (Electronic Voice Phenomenon).

'Something is going on.

Isn’t it?'

Time is an illusion?

I feel the notion of an afterlife to be rather fanciful, even though intellectually I subscribe to it. I wrote about it here:

http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/an-afterlife-is-so-fanciful.html

Incidentally if anyone can spot the poll on the right hand side asking "how likely do you feel there's a "life after death", do feel free to vote. Don't think it can be seen on a mobile. Only one other person has voted apart from me since I put it up yesterday. They voted 100% certainty! I voted between 70-90% likelihood.

On the subject of Time, I think we know very little about it. Check out Tallis's Youtube Presentation "Killing Time":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J7BOoaFfbA

He quotes the physicist Richard Smolin who's noted in his books that he doesn't see how the Present could be incorporated into physics. Smolin even muses about a Principle of Precedence, where observation is what fixes the laws of the universe over time.

I personally like the quote "Things are not in Time, but rather Time is in things." though I forget who the saying should be attributed to.

I like that blog post Ian. I'm with you on the "fanciful" idea of an aferlife, but the evidence coming in can be pretty convincing.

I gave you 30-70%. I'm at 51%. Preponderance of the Evidence. I used to be at Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. As a criminal prosecutor, I work with that standard all the time, and I still get plenty of 'doubts', or second guessing, at times even with convictions. So saying "Preponderance of the Evidence", to me, is not that high at all. I rely almost exclusively, at times, on witness testimony (sometimes just one witness), to prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt that a crime was committed.

Obviously, there are 100s of witnesses who are telling us that something else is going on outside of our worldly existence. Most of the people I've read about, listened to, or spoke to myself, seem just as credible as the college kid I had on the stand the other day that was describing a tragic event that occurred a few years ago that now leaves him forever changed. He didn't get all the specifics right, or couldn't remember, and I freely admitted that, but the event itself was crystal clear, and nobody doubted it happened, based soley on this young man's testimony.

I guess my bias about the subject matter of this blog causes serious hesitation to accept the standard credibility 'triggers' that I use to analyze witnesses involving other events. My bias perceives all of this stuff as so "unnatural", "it can't be true!" "This stuff is for weirdos! Uneducated folks think this way!" So, like the juror who insists that CSI and Law & Order are the way things work in the real world, I insist that the burden for the paranormal be higher than I would for any other type of evidence. Walking a witness/victim through an event, you can experience it, you can be there with them, you can imagine it just like it happened to you (which, I guarantee you, is emotionally and mentally taxing to a degree I never thought possible).

With this kind of stuff, I can't do that. I've never had it happen to me. Nothing like it. Not even a little suspicious happening. Its more likely than not, but that near certainty that some people fall into so easily, I could never fully grasp...

If we were all witnesses to deathbed visions, wouldn't that ruin the whole "game?" Then we'd all know for sure that there is an afterlife, and that we'd probably have to account for, or at least acknowledge, our unkind actions in this life. Everyone would be forced to be on their best behavior because we know the sanctions would come. There's no growth or learning in that (I do of course acknowledge that there are cases of witnesses at the deathbed seeing deceased relatives, angels, etc., but they are so rare).

I admit I was kind of looking forward to that with my own father, but no. The thing that did strike me was how much he was remembering friends from the the distant past - his U.S. Navy buddies from World War II. It actually kind of confused me that he was thinking of people from so long ago - that's about 70 years ago! And he had been quite rational the whole time. It did comfort me though that he was thinking about and mentioning them. Perhaps they were waiting for him, and it did seem natural that all of them, who had gone through so much together, would greet each other in the afterlife.

Sciborg I read the Qbism piece, a little hard to grasp. Sounds like each one of us lives in a slightly different reality. Almost like the many worlds theory happening in one world. He also seems to be saying reality is s process, not a place or thing. I don’t know how a life after death fits this theory, it seems to fit more easily in Stapp’s ideas, probably not ruled out of Fuchs either.

“Though I cannot summon evidence that my parents remain living, I regard them as such and honor the unbroken continuance of our familial bond.” David, a beautiful sentiment. I am one of that minority that searches for a firmer ground to place my belief in immortality. I hope we find it.

“When my mother came close to death 3 years or so ago I - having read all of this stuff- took her frequent references to visits from her own mother and my father…”
Similarly, a year or so ago my own mother had a brush with death; I heard her talking to my brother, who had died many years ago. I actually felt something touch me that night, but I dismissed it as she survived. I now think that maybe, just maybe, we can receive these visitations, and they can be valid (not hallucination), during times other than death, times of extreme illness and stress. I just wish she would have had a visit this final time.

AOD, I saw the video on Victor Zammit’s site. It is impressive. It is even more impressive when information not known at the time, or known only to the deceased at the time, is given. I too always thought George Anderson was the most believable of the current mental mediums. There is also another video there, it is a summary of the main evidence for life after death. Not bad either. The cross correspondence cases are discussed and always seemed to be strong evidence to me.

“Perhaps we don't experience the paranormal when we expect because the lack of it spurs us to redouble our own searching…” Ian, you are so right. The only way to navigate this grief for me is to redouble my efforts and research. I hope to “prove” life after death, at least to myself. I am actually going to try a medium or two. I hope to get better results than my first time.

GregL

Does anyone here have any thoughts about what it would take to make them believe that the afterlife is an absolute reality?

Yes Julie, when I die and I find myself in some afterlife realm!

"Does anyone here have any thoughts about what it would take to make them believe that the afterlife is an absolute reality?"

Julie, I feel fortunate in having a variety of proofs, each of which supports the others and helps to explain them.

Reading about NDE's was the wedge that opened the door just a sliver. Until then, the idea of life after death seemed absurd to me. But these accounts didn't fit into my model of how the world worked, so they forced me to think again.

On the other hand, I may not have taken NDE's seriously if I hadn't had an experience with LSD twenty years earlier. Back then, it had made no sense at all. I had no way of understanding how ingesting a drug could bring about an experience of such unworldly beauty and profound love (and also, because I was in a completely unsupportive setting, immense fear).

20 years later, though, when I discovered NDE's, some part of me resonated with what these people were saying. Yes, I have felt such unexplainable love. I have seen such beauty.

And when I learned that psychedelics have been used for thousands of years around the world for exactly that purpose -- to enable people to re-connect with the spiritual realm -- suddenly NDE and LSD both made a lot more sense.

But there was a problem. Despite my will to believe, my daily experience was so far removed from the magical world of psychedelics and NDE, that I kept slipping back into the suspicion that maybe I was fooling myself. Where were these psychic phenomena NDErs and other mystics kept talking about? I had never seen a ghost, remembered a past life, experienced telepathy -- and that lack of first-hand confirmation was disconcerting.

That is, until I began taking a closer look at my dreams. An experiment I've been conducting for the past 23 years (following in the footsteps of J.W. Dunne) has convinced me, beyond a doubt, that a surprising percentage of my dreams correlate with future events in multiple, precise, ways.

Now that's a form of magic I experience regularly. As I see it, it's the spiritual world contacted nightly, no drugs or near-death necessary.

And by implying *timelessness* -- proving it, actually -- precognitive dreams confirm one of the most commonly-reported aspects of NDE and psychedelic experience, making them both harder to dismiss.

So uncovering my psychic dreams was a turning point. Together with the research into NDE's, and my own experiences in altered states, they provide a level of certainty I feel grateful to have.

@Julie:

A personal experience that is clearly not a hallucination and can be clearly distinguished from any other tricks of the mind. NDEers claim they've had it. I believe they believe that, but that's as far as I can say with 100% certainty.

"Does anyone here have any thoughts about what it would take to make them believe that the afterlife is an absolute reality?"

What would convince most of the scientific community would be reproducible apparitions of deceased, that they can be studied and exchange information with scientists, or a device that enables a robust communication between the living and the deceased, to which should be added a theory explaining how an afterlife is possible, what is its nature, and answer questions as to why we have a body if we can be conscious without it and what is the relationship of afterlife and evolution. For example, a theory that predicts the existence of a new type of particle that can carry with a mind after death, or that the brain is a quantum computer and is connected to a subquantum network that endures after death and can carry the psyches of the deceased beings. This last possibility is the most plausible I see materialize in a future...

How about a profound personal paranormal experience that defies a rational materialist explanation, Julie ? I'd settle for that !

Oh and I want to add, that I would like to receive this profound paranormal experience while I'm still youg enough to retain my full mental faculties, and also whilst in a sober state and not under the influence of any other mid altering substances or emotional distress. Not that I drink or partake in any form of drug taking, but the latter occasionally re visits me even now more than 3 years since my wife's suicide

So how do any of you here know if anyone really loves you?

Julie: "Does anyone here have any thoughts about what it would take to make them believe that the afterlife is an absolute reality?"

Ian's answer works for me, too, but after decades of unusual experiences and experimentation I'm reasonably convinced, although I'm of the opinion that the "I" that survives is different, in certain respects, from my present physically focused "I" and that no one -- living or dead -- stays always the same; that is a kind of illusion, as far as I'm concerned.

As far as proving this to those who are wedded to a materialist perspective goes -- now that's quite the challenge. Many of them would doubt even the most convincing evidence, as this would conflict with their beliefs concerning the nature of reality.

Even so, as posted, I believe electronic communication between the living and the dead already exists but could stand for some improvement. Again, even the transmission of ascii files, were it to be accomplished, would be questioned by those who strongly believe such things aren't possible and that the idea of an afterlife is part and parcel of religious myth.

@Greg

Personally, I have no doubt that we survive death and that's not just based on the evidence (which I think is overwhelming) ...it's based on my remembrance of coming here more than five decades ago. I can't demonstrate the authenticity my thoughts/ memories about that but I know what I know and that's what caused me to realise the significance of the NDE which I've studied for forty years, along with all the other stuff, DBV's, reincarnation, ADC etc.

The passing of your mother is hard to bear (as it is for everybody) and I'm slightly surprised nothing "happened" so to speak as she left this world....but what she was experiencing would have been probably the same as the patients in Michael Sabom's NDE study, suddenly finding themselves out of their bodies and very much aware of their surroundings and loved ones etc but unable to communicate with anyone, which they find very frustrating and is often the cue to abandon the area and move into the tunnel to the next world.

I'll keep this short but an ex of mine who worked with the dying (and who was not religious and didn't like to talk about death) told me more than once (during an argument about the metaphysical, no doubt) ...that "Right, okay yes ... the dying DO see their dead relatives before they die, all of the nurses who work on the ward know about it...they'll (the dying) say something like, "Oh so and so is here, well I'm not going with him, tell him to bring my sister so and so, I'll go with her etc !"
And then they wait for "so and so" to come and "so and so" comes and they go with them. I'm not exaggerating, I promise you, this happens everyday in hospitals, all the nurses witness it that work with the dying. The doctors don't see it so much.

It's not hallucinations, drugs or fever, their minds are often clear as a bell. They see something so joyous and significant to them that they die without complaint. That must mean something.

While I'm on a roll, I'd like to present some rather unusual evidence for life after death, which is forever ignored, left down a mine you could say, in Sheppton 1963.

Two miners David Fellin and Henry (Hank) Throne along with Louis Bova (who died and is still buried 300 feet down there) were the victims of a cave in and trapped in a very confined space called a monkey, believe it or not.
There was obviously no natural light down there but both miners experienced the same visions of men with lights helping them, doors and steps to "heaven" etc and many other things but perhaps the most amazing, they both saw Pope John the 23rd and a large gold cross (with a hook on it). They saw this the whole time they were down there until rescued.

Fellin (a Catholic but not religious) was aware of it first but didn't want to say anything in case he caused his younger workmate to panic being in the presence of a dead man (The Pope had died 3 months before)
In fact Hank Throne had already seen it and remarked "Who's that Fella, Davey?"

Not only that but they both saw the same gold cross with a hook on it that illuminated the monkey (which is a miners hole about the size of large refrigerator) and provided them with light all the time they were there.

Naturally, this story is often dismissed as hallucination due to sensory deprivation but that doesn't account for why the men both saw the same things amongst many other incredible visions too many to list here.

Hank Throne had never seen a picture of the Pope (He was a non practicing lutherian) and described the man only by his red cape and cocked hat with papal garb as...fancy clothes.

I found this video of Hank Throne being interviewed by Don Perchance many years ago and here he is confirming the vision. If anyone would like any information on this, I have a stack of it including the separate interviews with Navy psychiatrists after they were pulled out. They were both deemed to be perfectly normal of sound mind and their testaments matched perfectly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLm-AWrbLtc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLm-AWrbLtc

Go to 21.40

Duck Soup, Thanks for your thoughts. Do you mind telling a little more about your remembrance of “coming here.” I don’t quite understand what you are saying.

Julie, I can say that I know someone loved me. She tried to comfort ME as she lay dying. I can’t think of any better proof than that.

Bill Ingle, I agree that ITC type communication can be a pretty solid proof of an afterlife, if the messages are more than just platitudes. The recent ITC history (Riverworld etc) seemed rife with some pretty unbelievable characters. I think it is possible that Gary Schwartz may be on to something with his photon based “soul phone” experiments.

GregL

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