To think about: Does consciousness exist outside the body? Is biology necessary to make consciousness live?
What happens when we ‘die’? We can’t really answer that question, but maybe we can say that at least something is happening. The evidence for reincarnation , for example , is quite overwhelming. There are already a number of cases of children remembering their past lives very clearly, who can describe in detail their former family and how they died, and all sorts of other factors that are endorsed by their alleged previous family. That’s exactly why Carl Sagan said reincarnation is “worth scientific investigation.”
Other research on near-death experiences suggests that consciousness does not depend on our biology, as people who are nearly dead or even declared dead and then come back to life, who then tell stories and describe details about their environment that they experience would not have been able to perceive that moment if they had not stepped ‘outside’ their bodies. This information was submitted to the United Nations; you can read more about it here and watch the full video presentation.
Anything can happen when someone dies. Maybe their soul can take multiple routes, if it has a choice? Perhaps consciousness is something separate from the soul? Perhaps bits of our consciousness keep ‘sticking around’ as our soul embarks on a new adventure? Who knows, but the evidence suggests that what’s happening is quite interesting, to say the least.
An investigation from a few years ago added to this mystery. Researchers from the University of Milan found that there is a “very high prevalence” of people receiving messages from their deceased loved ones, both verbally and visually. However, this study labeled these as “hallucinatory processing experiences,” and the researchers didn’t seem open to the idea that these experiences could be real.
From their work they learned that 30 to 60 percent of people have this kind of experience, at least among the widowers/widowers. Their findings have been published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
Jacqueline Hayes, an academic at the University of Roehampton, has been researching the phenomenon for years. She has interviewed people from all over the UK, all of whom have lost partners, parents, children, siblings and friends. She told the Daily Mail : “People are talking about visions, voices, touch, smell and something we call a sense of presence that is not specifically linked to the five senses. I’ve seen these experiences sometimes be healing and transformative, such as hearing your loved one apologize for something that happened — and sometimes it painfully emphasized the loss and grieving.”
This report is consistent with research from the University of Southampton that suggested there may be something like life after death. That study , published in 2014, found evidence that consciousness can persist for minutes after someone is declared clinically dead, something previously thought impossible.
Russel Targ, a noted physicist and co-founder of the STARGATE project, a collaboration between the US government and Stanford University, also shared an interesting experience he had with his late daughter. During a formal meeting with people he had little to do with, his daughter asked one of these people to give a message to her father, Russell. This experience convinced him that consciousness really does survive death. He shared this event in an interview with UFO researcher Richard Dolan and can be seen in its entirety here .
The scientific research of mediumship started about 150 years ago. Members of the British and American Societies for Psychical Research conducted in-depth research involving many prominent physiologists, psychologists, and scientists.
In the last few years, scientific research into mediumship has become more and more popular. This may be because recent research has confirmed that mediumship is unrelated to conventional dissociative experiences, psychosis, dysfunction, pathology, or an overactive fantasy. In fact, a large percentage of mediums are very intelligent individuals.
Paul Mills of the University of California, Julie Beischel and Mark Boccuzzi of the Windbridge Institute, and Arnaud Delorme, Dean Radin and Leena Michel of the IONS collaborated to design and conduct a study that collected psychometric and electrophysiological data from six individuals. . All participants provided accurate information about deceased individuals under double-blind conditions, and did so again in this study. Correlations between the accuracy of the mediums’ claims and their electrical brain activity were studied, and the difference in brain activity was examined when they consciously evoked four subjective states: perception, remembering, inventing and communication.
Each participant completed two tasks with their eyes closed. In the first task, the participant was only told the first name of a deceased person. Then they had to answer 25 questions about them. After each question, the participant was asked to silently perceive information relevant to the question for 20 seconds and then to answer verbally. Each answer was recorded and then judged for accuracy by people who knew the deceased.
Of the 4 mediums, the accuracy of 3 was significantly higher than chance. The correlation between accuracy and brain activity during those 20 seconds of alleged communication with the deceased was excellent. Researchers found that brain activity during the 20 seconds of silent mediumship communication was significant in a participant’s frontal theta waves.
These results (and scientists) do not provide definitive proof of mental communication with the deceased, but the accuracy in the tasks and the uniquely measured brain activity during the second task certainly require further scientific research into this under-researched phenomenon.
The idea that consciousness exists beyond the physical world is still greeted with harsh criticism, but with all that interesting evidence, it shouldn’t be. It should be examined with an open mind. Unfortunately, it remains true that no matter how strong and plausible the evidence for something is, it often only meets resistance and ridiculous if it interferes with our common knowledge. Countless ‘ordinary’ people have had experiences that suggest that their loved ones are not really ‘gone’, but simply in a different place; why then do we assume that these are just hallucinations? Why do we jump right to that conclusion and not pay attention to the idea that maybe there really is some kind of life after death, even though we haven’