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What the Channeled Messages of Suicides Tell Us About the Afterlife
The Survival of Human Consciousness: Essays on the Possibilities of Life After Death
 

Jon Klimo and I wrote the eleventh chapter, "What the Channeled Material of Suicides Tells Us About the Afterlife," for an anthology of essays edited by Australian parapsychologists Lance Storm and Michael Thalbourne. The book is The Survival of Human Consciousness: Essays on the Possibilities of Life After Death. It collects together fifteen chapters by well-known authors and leading lights in the field of parapsychology today. It is divided into five sections. These are: (1) historical issues, (2) theoretical and experimental issues, (3) evidential issues, (4) sociological and phenomenological issues, and (5) conclusions.

Our chapter in the book is not only a LOT shorter than the material in Suicide: What Really Happens in the Afterlife?, but also looks at the material from a slightly different perspective, focusing on what are the phases of the afterlife that all spirits seem to go through. The book is 311 pages long, and was released in October 2006.

Editor Lance Storm describes the material in the book in the following way:

Many of you reading this review may have come across our other review for the book Parapsychology in the Twenty-First Century. In that review we said: "This book was compiled by us [Lance Storm and Michael Thalbourne] with a very clear purpose in mind - to combat the unsubstantiated accusations that are passed off as healthy skepticism against the psi hypothesis." That statement only applies to the book The Survival of Human Consciousness if we change "the psi hypothesis" to "survival research." Insofar as skeptics regard the work of psychical researchers and parapsychologists as misguided or not valid, we claim, with great confidence, that our procedures are thoroughly scrutinized by experts inside and outside the field. To prove it, we feature some of the best scholars in the world on survival research.

James Houran sets the ball rolling by stating our position that "the reality and nature of bodily survival is anything but a moot and unimportant question." Then Keith Chandler explodes the myth that our ancestors believed in the afterlife purely because they were afraid to die. Christopher Moreman looks at survival from the point of view of various religions and cultures, and he introduces `mystical experience' - "a key to understanding that all minds are somehow united, even in death." Following that chapter, Douglas Stokes then argues that pure consciousness can survive the dissolution of our bodies and personalities.

William Braud creates a scenario with a fictional friend Erica and together they discuss "some fresh re-conceptualizations of the afterlife, and some innovative methods of testing, and even working with, discarnate entities." Michael Thalbourne shows that the relationship between paranormal belief/experience and hallucination proneness is rather weak, and therefore afterlife experience can't simply be a delusion. John Boyd and Philip Zimbardo use a scale that measures the `transcendental-future' (i.e., the time after death) and they "find that the motivations of many religious people may have more to do with their transcendental-future time perception, and less to do with religious belief per se."

David Fontana follows with a looks at some real evidence from the past from mediums such as Eusapia Palladino and D. D. Home, and he believes that the physical evidence for survival ought be accepted by now. William Roll reviews the apparition and mediumship literature showing that many people have seen apparitions, and he considers the normal and paranormal explanations of this phenomenon. Stanley Krippner introduces After-Death Communications, which are usually positively rewarded in some way because depression or grief can be dissolved upon having such an experience of communication with departed loved-ones.

Icelandic research Erlendur Haraldsson presents an unusual case of a young girl from India that suggests a reincarnation interpretation. Pamela Heath and Jon Klimo then present reports of afterlife experiences from suicide victims, which show a remarkable consistency, suggesting a "commonality of humankind's underlying psychology." Robin Wooffitt shows "how insights into speech interaction can be gained by a close analysis of the conversations that transpire between medium and sitter." James McClenon demonstrates how our species has evolved a number of psychological and physiological responses that protect us from extreme trauma and stress. Finally, Lance Storm reviews the ideas and language used to describe afterlife phenomena, and he presents a new interpretation of evidence.

The above authors, whose chapters make up The Survival of Human Consciousness, come from such diverse research fields as medicine, psychology, parapsychology, sociology, and philosophy. This mix of backgrounds and experience has resulted in a series of well-argued and thoroughly researched essays on the afterlife. If you want the latest, up-to-date evidence, theories, and cutting-edge ideas on life after death, then you can't go past The Survival of Human Consciousness.

The book is 311 pages long.
 
Publications | MMI Book | Handbook to the Afterlife | Suicide Book | PK Zone | Experiential Chapter


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