afterlife science (af'ter·lïf' sï'ens) n. The study of phenomena associated with survival of consciousness after death; including near death experiences, after death communications, life after life (death), and reincarnation.
Belief in life after death is certainly not a modern-day concept. Many ancient cultures incorporated such knowledge into daily activities and long term planning. Traditional scientific thinking most often discounted the possibility that consciousness could survive physical death, instead asserting that since consciousness was a by-product of the brain, when the physical brain ceased to exist so did consciousness. In other words, our thoughts, memories, and soul were forever extinguished.
There are those who remain steadfast in their conviction that there is afterlife solely due to their religious teachings. These beliefs are usually not evidence based, but are the result of blind faith. Similarly, some people who are simply spiritual and do not subscribe to any particular organized religion, simply possess an inner knowledge of life beyond physical death.
Forever Family Foundation is interested in scientific evidence that supports the premise that we are much more than our physical bodies and do indeed survive physical death. Although such evidence remains unknown to the majority of the population, it is compelling and plentiful. Such evidence can be found through many disciplines of research, and include Near Death Experiences, Deathbed Visions, Mediumship, Electronic Voice Phenomena, Reincarnation, Apparitions, and various other forms of After Death Communication. In addition, there are other types of phenomena that show that the mind can act independently of the brain, thus laying the groundwork for survival. Such areas of study include telepathy, remote viewing, distant healing, intention and other types of psi phenomena.
Near Death Experience
A near-death experience refers to the phenomenon of those who are clinically dead and subsequently revived reporting personal experiences suggesting an afterlife. Although every experience is different, some common themes include detachment and looking down at one's body, presence of a bright light, moving through a tunnel, encounters with deceased people, feelings of warmth and peace, very clear thinking, life reviews, unlimited knowledge, etc. Many are told by various entities to return to the physical world as it is not yet their time to transition. Most experiencers return being absolutely convinced that they visited another realm and therefore lose all fear of death. There are many cases of veridical NDEs, where experiencers report seeing things going on at others locations such as another room or building. They return with information that can be verified by researchers, such information that they could not have known by ordinary means. Recent developments in cardiac resuscitation techniques have enabled reports of such experiences to increase. There are also near death experience reports from people who were not close to death but faced imminent danger.
There are many well-credentialed researchers of near death experiences who have amassed a wealth of data. The list is quite extensive, but the list includes Bruce Greyson, M.D., Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D., Kenneth Ring, PhD., Raymond Moody, M.D., Pim van Lommel, M.D., Peter Fenwick, M.D., P.M.H. Atwater, PhD (Hon), and Michael Sabom, M.D.
The study of mediums by scientists is certainly not a new undertaking. During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, there were quite a number of eminent scientists engaged in such exploration. Such well respected researchers, including William James, Sir William Crookes, Sir Oliver Lodge, Frederic Myers, Charles Richet and many others conducted exhaustive research that utilized scientific experimental protocol. Despite the overwhelming evidence confirming communication with discarnate entities, their findings were not embraced by mainstream science.
Modern day research continues to take place and, like their predecessors, scientists have replicated studies validating the fact that mediums can glean information from discarnate entities. Such studies are conducted using strict blinding protocol, and support the survival hypothesis. Gary Schwartz, PhD and Julie Beischel, PhD conducted groundbreaking mediumship studies at the University of Arizona, and Dr. Beischel and Mark Boccuzzi continue such research at The Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential (www.windbridge.org). Mediumship studies have also been conducted by others, including Emily Williams Kelly, PhD at the Division of Perceptual Studies, University of Virginia Health System.
Mediumship evidence can be scored and put under statistical analysis. This video features an extremely evidential medium at work. Viewers should watch for a groundbreaking new workbook/video course, Love Knows No Death, written by Dr. Piero Calvi-Parisetti for Forever Family Foundation - available soon
Instrumental TransCommunication including Electronic Voice Phenomena
There is an impressive amount of evidence that suggests discarnate entities can "imprint" a voice on recording devices, or images in various mediums. During the Electronic Voice Phenomena recording process the spirit voice is not heard live, but appears later when the tape is played back. During Instrumental TransCommunication the non-physical entity is able to project an image that can be seen and recognized by the viewer. Such images appear on non-broadcasting TV stations, as reflections in water, and various other physical matter. Similar to mediumship, the mechanism that allows this communication to take place has yet to be discovered. Skeptics claim that such communication does not come from the deceased, but is merely a result of the brain's natural process of creating meaning out of random noise and coherent visual images out of random patterns. However, when certain EVPs are played for a group of people, or images are shown, and all are able to discern the same message or see the same image, it tends to discount the theory that such messages can be attributed to brain process interpretations. Others contend that although voices or images are imprinted, they are the result of psychokinesis from the living. Whichever the case, in many "Class A" examples of EVP, the voices appear to be crystal clear and immediately discernible. In addition, some EVP's seem to be responsive to experimenter requests.
Many see EVP and the broader Instrumental TransCommunication, as being important in survival of consciousness research due to the fact that there is tangible evidence in the form of a recording or image. Since "psi" phenomena tend to be spontaneous in nature they present obstacles to scientists in a laboratory setting. It is hoped that Instrumental TransCommunication will prove to be one of the keys to understanding the nature of consciousness.
Extensive EVP research continues to be conducted by Tom & Lisa Butler at the Association TransCommunication (www.atransc.org). Other past and present researchers include among others, Marcello Bacci, Friedrich Juergenson, Konstantin Raudive, George Meek, Sarah Estep, Hans Otto Koenig, and Mark Macy.
Daniel Drasin has produced the above excellent documentary about Instrumental TransCommunication. This is his description of his work and the project:
"Calling Earth" probes the puzzling phenomenon of Instrumental Trans-communication -- apparent messages from the "other side" received through modern electronic and photographic devices. "ITC" has been well documented by researchers at least as far back as the 1950s when tape recorders first became available to the general public and unexplained voices began to show up in people's recordings.
When I first became aware of this research in the mid-1990s I was highly skeptical. But the accumulated evidence eventually transformed my doubts into curiosity, and in 2001 I started filming a documentary on the subject. Between 2004 and 2009 I was joined by co-producer Tim Coleman, with whom I traveled across the US and to England, Scotland and Spain, filming various facets of ITC as well as other aspects of modern afterlife research. Tim then went on to complete his own documentary, "The Afterlife Investigations," while I continued to produce "Calling Earth." My last excursion, in February 2014, took me to the Netherlands, where I spent a week filming an extraordinary young man whose ability to make visual ITC happen under controlled conditions is impressive to say the least.
The notion of an "other side" or an "afterlife" makes no sense from the perspective of modern materialism, just as the notion of a solar system made no sense in Medieval times when the Earth appeared to be the center of things. But our understanding of the natural world has always evolved and expanded as we've mustered the courage to follow the evidence where it leads.
Sometimes a simple shift of perspective is all we've needed to enlarge our understanding of reality and let our minds comfortably encompass things formerly deemed inexplicable or nonexistent by the academic and ideological gatekeepers of the day. Come the Renaissance, putting the Sun at the center of things transformed our view of our place in the universe. Today, the willingness to consider consciousness as primary and independent -- as interactive with the brain rather than somehow being manufactured by it -- seems to set the stage for welcoming many so-called paranormal phenomena into the natural order of things. From this perspective, the notion that consciousness might also interact with sensitive electronic equipment may not be as great a stretch as one might imagine.
Most people think of reincarnation as a philosophical or religious concept, but there has been extensive scientific research suggesting that one’s soul or consciousness has the ability to be reborn into the physical world in a new body. Most of this research was conducted by Ian Stephenson, MD at the University of Virginia as he investigated children’s past life memories. He investigated 3,000 of these cases over forty years as he traveled around the world. He concluded that certain abilities, illnesses, phobias and personalities could not be explained by heredity or environmental causes. He also reported birthmark cases that corresponded to a wound on the deceased people that were recalled by children. His research is now being continued by Jim Tucker, M.D at the same University.
Deathbed Visions & End Of Life Experiences
Although well-known to those who spend time with and around the dying, many are unfamiliar with the fact that those who are close to death often see and have conversations with loved ones who are deceased. This usually occurs anywhere from a few weeks before to the day of physical death. Those who appear to be “straddling two worlds” have clear and lucid conversations with entities that are most often unseen to others in the room. In fact, the dying usually cannot understand why others cannot see the same loved ones. Medical doctors and other mental health professionals unfamiliar with the phenomenon most often attribute such experiences to hallucinations and dismiss them. Other professionals who know that the visions are real explain that the visitors are most often close relatives, the most common of which are mothers. They also know that these experiences are not hallucinatory in nature, but lucid communication not induced by medication.
The implication of such evidence is that we are all assisted by others as we prepare to make the transition. It is quite possible that we all have a deathbed vision before dying, even though those that are physically or mentally incapacitated cannot express this to others in the physical.
The first formal scientific research of the subject started in the 1920s by Sir William Barrett, a professor of physics. He published a book called “Deathbed Visions” and noted several consistencies in the cases. He concluded that it didn’t make a difference if the patient believed in an afterlife, most of the patients studied were receiving no medications, and the patients stated that the visitors were there to take them away. Dr. Karlis Osis did a study in the 1960s that confirmed Barrett’s findings. In the 1970s Dr. Osis was joined by Dr. Erlendur Haraldssen in studies that resulted in the publishing of “At The Hour of Death,” in which they conclude that out of those conscious before death, one half to two thirds report such visions. Carla Will- Brandon, PhD has reexamined the prior work and published numerous books on the subject.
Ghosts and Apparitions
Since the dawn of man people from around the world have been reporting seeing visions of the deceased. In addition to being seen, some report being able to touch, hear or smell the ghost. Some apparitions appear to be solid and others semi-transparent. Often times the apparition appears to be so “real” that the perceiver has no idea that the entity is deceased. Apparitions appear in all stages of chronological age and dress, and can sometimes communicate telepathically. There are many cases of “crisis apparitions,” where people report seeing friends and loved ones who they believe to be still alive, but later find out that, at the same time of the vision, the loved one has died. Similar visitations in the same circumstances are reported through dreams, voices, or physical sensations. Those ghosts who are able to interact with the living certainly appear to be deceased entities that, through a process yet unknown, are able to manifest physical form to appear to the living. Others who are simply seen with no interaction are theorized to be the result of place memory, merely an imprint left in the environment.
Although there is a current proliferation of “ghost-hunters,” there are many credible researchers who have been studying the subject for decades. Paranormal researcher Loyd Auerbach, MS is an authority on the subject (www.mindreader.com). Some other researchers include William Roll, PhD, Alan Gauld, PhD, and Barry Taff, PhD.
After Death Communication
People in spirit communicate with those in the physical realm in many different ways. One of the most common methods is through dream visitations, which may occur because we are most receptive to communication during certain stages of sleep. People report being visited by deceased relatives in a fashion that differs substantially from other dreams. Such visits are clear and vivid and are not forgotten upon wakening. During such visits one is often able to speak with and touch their loved one in spirit.
Such contact is not limited to dreams. People also report a sense of presence, touches, smells, voices, telephone calls, electrical anomalies, movement of objects, and meaningful synchronicities. There has been much credible research on the subject, with studies published by Dianne Arcangel, MS, Erlendur Haraldssen, PhD, Louis Lagrand, PhD, and Sylvia Hart Wright, PhD.
Psi is a broad term that incorporates different types of psychic phenomena that can’t be explained by traditional physical principles. Theoretically, if our minds were limited to and contained within our heads, such phenomena should not exist. And yet they do.
Remote viewing is the process by which one can give details about a distant target, even though the viewer has no way of discerning such information due to distance, time, or shielding. For example, the viewer could be in New York and the target in Europe. Even though the viewer has never been to Europe, he/she is able to provide specific details of the target, or even describe an event that happened there in the past or will happen in the future. Remote viewers have been used in the past by the CIA for spying purposes, and continue to be used for other practical applications. A few of the scientists who are experts in the field include Russell Targ, Hal Puthoff, PhD, Edwin May, PhD, and Stephen Schwartz.
Remote Viewing & The Afterlife
People commonly report knowing about future events. Such knowledge is often the result of dreams or other altered states of consciousness. Sometimes people simply report unexplained feelings about the future. Both precognition and presentiment have been studied in laboratories by credentialed scientists. Dean Radin, PhD is world renowned in these areas of study. He is joined by many colleagues as they study other psi phenomena such as telepathy (mind to mind communication), psychokinesis (direct influence of matter by mind), and clairvoyance (receiving information about distant objects beyond the physical senses). There have been an abundance of scientists who study psi phenomena and altered states of consciousness, including Charles Tart, PhD, Stephen E Braude, PhD, Stanley Krippner, PhD, J.B. Rhine, PhD, Louisa Rhine, PhD, Frederic Myers, Robert Jahn, PhD, Brenda Dunne MS, Claude Swanson, PhD and Arthur Hastings, PhD.