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Why so many people–including scientists–suddenly believe in an afterlife

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posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 12:17 PM
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Why so many people – including scientists –suddenly believe in an afterlife



Okay, folks, this one is about NDEs, reincarnation, evidence for both, and the 'debunking' of the "purely materialist" notion that when the brain dies, we die.

Many members seem to be of the persuasion, still, that life and all its accoutrements simply are OBLITERATED at death.

I have spent the last three years (plus) totally immersed in the available science, theories, and philosophies of death and what happens afterward. My father's passing was the catalyst that reignited this interest into active study once more - it was something I'd pursued off and on in depth for my entire life.

I believe with every scrap and cell of my earthly being - AND within my 'higher self' - that death is NOT the end. I believe that what lots of people call "woo" or "New-Agey mumbo-jumbo hocus-pocus" has been around since, well, HUMANITY; and when one spends time looking at it from ALL the angles;

psychology
physiology
sociology
neuroscience
cultural studies,

the answer is clear. It is proven. It is real, and it is indisputable. In my frustration at trying to get this information out there, I've been surfing wherever my imagination takes me on the webz, and have read probably a score of books dating from the 8th century
Tibetan Book of the Dead(Free Online Here),
to the turn of the 20th: William James' classic
"Varieties of Religious Experience"(Free Online Here)

to very recent studies and titles.

Twenty years ago, life-after-death was pooh-poohed by "science", when the study of consciousness was in its barest infancy. MUCH has happened since then. Modern medical technology has resulted in MANY people being "revived" (up to 600 per day across the USA!), and open-minded inquiry and active listening to those who have EXPERIENCED "death" and returned to tell about it (while being careful to thoroughly vet and verify) leave no doubt in my mind that consciousness DOES INDEED continue after "death" of the body.

Currently, I am reading P.M.H Atwater's last title (published 2011)

"Near-Death Experiences - the rest of the story; what they teach us about living, dying, and our true purpose."

I have not finished it yet, but will say that it pulls together the last several DECADES of "woo" thoughts and modern "Case studies", and ALSO resonates with ancient texts and "mystic"/Eastern thought.

This article I just came across today.

I'd love to discuss the afterlife from an OPEN-MINDED perspective here. No, it's not a "new idea" - far, far from it....but it IS being more widely accepted by "hard scientists."

My chosen profession was mental health and behavioral/social science; I am now retired, but still insatiably interested in following current neuroscience, psychology, and brain development.

Have a look at this article (it's not long), and if you like, let's discuss!!


Heaven is hot again, and hell is colder than ever
by Brian Bethune on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 8:39am -
The Heaven boom

Death, it seems, is no longer Shakespeare’s undiscovered country, the one “from whose bourn no traveller returns.” Not according to contemporary bestseller lists. Dreams and visions of the afterlife have been constants across human history, and the near-death experiences (now known as NDEs) of those whose lives were saved by medical advances have established, for millions, a credible means by which someone could peek into the next world.

.....

We seem to be moving inexorably from a society where organized religion dominates issues of morality—and mortality—but not to the secular promised land of reason. Rather, we are orienting ourselves to a more personal spirituality, at once vague and autonomous. Ordinary sinners increasingly don’t believe that they deserve judgment, let alone hell. Theists and atheists alike dispute any earthly authority’s right to judge, and both feel NDEs give them reason to hope for something beyond the grave. And many believers confidently expect that God isn’t judgmental either.


The article lists MANY experiences and how scientists are responding now to this information. I couldn't find an excerpt that 'encapsulated' the new trend, but the above extexts are the beginning and ending paragraphs. I highly urge you to take the time to read it.

There are MANY titles available of recent copyright date, and I have linked LOTS of them in other threads and posts.

Can we have a healthy, open discussion about this, please? I hope so!



edit on 11/1/13 by wildtimes because: linkies in
edit on 6-11-2013 by SkepticOverlord because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 12:35 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Wildtimes,

I am a strong believer in Genetic Memory, and you are right, the brain does not die, but its cells get passed on to subsequent generations.

Even Carl Jung proposed this idea. Scientifically, Genetic Memory is now accepted among biologists.


I know my genome, it has been tested and analyzed. There are things I have found I am connected to genetically.

But an NDE has nothing to do with DNA. You and I probably would agree on that one, it is something beyond the natural.

But they have discovered how much information DNA can store




posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 12:43 PM
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Science and The Near Death Experience
is my most recent "find" and on my reading list.

Another I read during my dad's decline was Evan Harris Walker's The Physics Of Consciousness: The Quantum Mind And The Meaning Of Life

There is a HUGE quantity of research being done, and anecdotal experience being published, into the phenomenon of NDEs, reincarnation, etc. Genetic Memory is not incompatible with continued Consciousness, not at all.

I don't see any reason to separate the two.
Thanks for your response, Indy.



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:00 PM
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Within Roman Catholicism, notes Smith College world religion professor Carol Zaleski, the last three pontiffs, including Pope Francis, have all been supportive of the late Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, who taught that Catholics have a duty to hope and pray for an empty hell, for the salvation of all.

Even those Protestant traditions that have historically been more attuned to the gulf between the elect and the damned have seen vigorous theological debate about the afterlife, and the defence of ideas that effectively weaken the severity of divine wrath.

Conditional immortality, for one, says true eternal life is reserved for the saved; souls in hell will eventually—and, in this context, mercifully—be annihilated.

“Most people are no longer afraid of being seized at an unguarded moment,” judged wanting and flung into the fiery pit like Edwards’s congregants were, says Zaleski. “We are now more creatures of anxiety than of guilt.” The anxiety, as well as the interest, is surely tied to the greying of the Western world too, as our thoughts, conscious or not, increasingly turn to what’s next, whether we think that’s oblivion or some kind of afterlife. Baby boomers, by sheer force of numbers, have always driven cultural trends, from the lowering of voting and drinking ages in their youth to the politically untouchable status of retirement benefits today. It’s hardly surprising to see them favour not just the existence but the congenial nature of an afterlife.

From the OP link.

Sure, it's not "surprising" - but the thing is: IT MAKES SENSE!
A wrathful, angry, jealous God is incompatible with what we know about compassion, love, honesty, and the virtues that we, as humans, are born with.



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


This is probably the most difficult topic on ATS. Personally I don't believe there is any more after death than there was before birth but since humans have such a narrow range of experience and knowledge I try to keep an open mind.

People who have NDE report many of the same things that's true. They also have in common that their bodies may not have been as dead as believed. Yes their heart stopped, no brain activity, etc but just because medical science of today says that's dead doesn't make it so. IMO.

It may also be true that during an NDE a people have similar out of body experiences. Does that energy simply remain bound (as a soul) or does entropy effect it as it does everything else within the physical universe causing it to dissipate? This seems more logical to me anyway.

Now if as some seem to suggest the "soul" translates to another dimension, universe or whatever then that brings us to a new level of metaphysics which frankly I have no idea about.



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:08 PM
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From Carter's book: Science and The Near Death Experience

The scientific evidence for life after death.


Predating all organized religion, the belief in an afterlife is fundamental to the human experience and dates back at least to the Neanderthals. By the mid-19th century, however, spurred by the progress of science, many people began to question the existence of an afterlife, and the doctrine of materialism--which believes that consciousness is a creation of the brain--began to spread.

Now, using scientific evidence, Chris Carter challenges materialist arguments against consciousness surviving death and shows how near-death experiences (NDEs) may truly provide a glimpse of an awaiting afterlife.


• Explains why near-death experiences (NDEs) offer evidence of an afterlife and discredits the psychological and physiological explanations for them

• Challenges materialist arguments against consciousness surviving death

• Examines ancient and modern accounts of NDEs from around the world, including China, India, and many from tribal societies such as the Native American and the Maori



Using evidence from scientific studies, quantum mechanics, and consciousness research, Carter reveals how consciousness does not depend on the brain and may, in fact, survive the death of our bodies. Examining ancient and modern accounts of NDEs from around the world, including China, India, and tribal societies such as the Native American and the Maori, he explains how NDEs provide evidence of consciousness surviving the death of our bodies. He looks at the many psychological and physiological explanations for NDEs raised by skeptics--such as stress, birth memories, or oxygen starvation--and clearly shows why each of them fails to truly explain the NDE. Exploring the similarities between NDEs and visions experienced during actual death and the intersection of physics and consciousness, Carter uncovers the truth about mind, matter, and life after death.


This one. It's on my 'reading list next'. There is more and more evidence that what NDErs experience is akin to what happens with those who do NOT resuscitate. I find it very compelling.



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by Bassago
 


Are you willing to spend some time looking into it? This stuff is "mind-blowing"....but after the initial "nuh uh!" reaction wears off - it has LOTS going for it.

You know about the "veil of forgetfulness", right? We are born again with only "higher-self" memory of our past lives and what lessons we come here to learn. And by "born again" I mean REINCARNATED. None of that Fundie stuff about "accepting Jesus." -- although, lately, I suspect that Jesus himself knew this stuff, and it is what happened to him.

The stories of people being dead for HOURS, and coming back, make very compelling evidence.
A few are cited in the article.
edit on 11/1/13 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:12 PM
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WarminIndy
Even Carl Jung proposed this idea.

I like Jung. He thought outside the box.


I hope OpinionatedB comes on and shares her NDE.
What she experienced is much what I would expect 'on the other side'.

For those interested - Near Death Experiences from everyday people -
Read Here



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:15 PM
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reply to post by FlyersFan
 



I like Jung. He thought outside the box.

Yep, I like him, too!!

VERY insightful man. We need more people like him alive now....
(or...maybe we HAVE them, but they just are considered "woo nutjobs". Still, closed minds get rusted shut.)



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 




Are you willing to spend some time looking into it? This stuff is "mind-blowing"....but after the initial "nuh uh!" reaction wears off - it has LOTS going for it.

Absolutely. I found this from your most recent link very interesting.

Using evidence from scientific studies, quantum mechanics, and consciousness research, Carter reveals how consciousness does not depend on the brain and may, in fact, survive the death of our bodies.

I obviously have more reading to do.



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:23 PM
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reply to post by Bassago
 


Yup, I'm going to order it right now....
a must-read.

Also, check out the link to Atwater's title (I just added it to the OP), for an experiencer/researcher's views on NDEs. Quite compelling.

I'm so glad you chimed in!!



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:28 PM
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Bassago
reply to post by wildtimes
 
Personally I don't believe there is any more after death than there was before birth



Which means what? Do you really believe there was nothing before your last physical birth?

I think it's time for you to visit a decent hypnotherapist to put this in a different perspective for you.



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:31 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 




I read where You mentioned "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" May | recommend another book off of that One? it's title is "The Tibetan Book Of Living and Dying" by Sogyal Rinpoche. | finished it a few weeks ago and can send it Your way if You'd like (| have no "attachment" to it)

namaste



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by LewisStulePhD
 


Hadn't heard of that one. Is it online? Do you have a link? Thanks!!



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:41 PM
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the (previously) undiscovered country is a place of unconditional love. Several of the writers pause, sometimes for pages, to stress the adjective as much as the noun. None express the message more clearly than Alexander, who writes that “the only thing that truly matters” was communicated to him in three parts. He boils those down to one word—love—but the key phrase may be the third sentence of his longer version:

You are loved and cherished.

You have nothing to fear.

There is nothing you can do wrong.


That’s fodder for cynics and skeptics, of course.


That's from the OP article (first link)......

I think this is the truth; or at least as close as we can come to it FOR NOW. We will ALL get there.

Cheers!



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:50 PM
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NDE'S are an interesting phenomenon, and fascinating subject.

Who can say 100% there is an afterlife?

I don't think anyone can, because the only way to find out absolutely involves a one way trip.



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by SasquatchHunter
 



because the only way to find out absolutely involves a one way trip.

But see? That's the thing. There are NDEs reported by people who had rigor setting in. Who had been dead for hours....even DAYS in morgue lockers.....

Once you start looking at the stories and sifting through the "hoaxed" ones and the genuine ones, it starts to become crystal clear. Hell, that may even have been what happened to Jesus!!

But yeah, utterly fascinating. You know? To be honest I don't think it will be much "fun" in the future when all these deep questions have been answered......I like being here NOW. Will I be back? Probably....but this is an awesome roller-coaster!



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 02:08 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I've already mentioned my inclination towards belief in an interlife, rather than an afterlife. Seems to me that living once, dying, and spending the rest of eternity in a fixed location/state is contrary to everything we've observed in this universe. Even if some things take longer to change than others, nothing stays the same forever.

So I'm inclined to believe that if there is an afterlife, it's just as finite and purposeful as the life preceding it. Maybe a review session between lifetimes to get our bearings in the larger picture and reassess what we're doing in relation to it, before we go ahead and commence our next lifelong "training course", or class, or educational session, or whatever you want to call it. I also feel that the various NDE's we've heard/read/watched all depict a sort of transitional process by which we are offered a chance to either linger and learn...or move on. To what? Who knows?

Something tells me NDE's are a result of higher awareness, of recognizing intangible concepts and exploring them, of opening ourselves up to new sensations, new trains of thought, new philosophical doors that grant us the psychological flexibility to experience such encounters. Call it "spiritual puberty". Something is changing inside of us, and as a result, our relationship with the world beyond/above/within/etc this world is also changing.
edit on 1-11-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 02:16 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 



|'m afraid |'m "Old School" | meant the book, book. With the paper and ALL that jazz..



posted on Nov, 1 2013 @ 02:31 PM
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SasquatchHunter
Who can say 100% there is an afterlife?
I don't think anyone can, because the only way to find out absolutely involves a one way trip.


I dunno about that. The number of spooks I've ran into tells me that there absolutely is an afterlife. Just today ... I was sitting here in the living room and someone was walking around in the bedroom upstairs that is over this room. Only thing ... I"m alone in the house except for the fish and a lame beagle who can't go upstairs. I think all the Halloween energy juiced up the spooks .. they were very active today.





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