THOSE GIVEN TO DARK HUMOR will hopefully appreciate the title of this post, which is a play on that universally famous line of Darwin’s in relation to his theory of evolution, namely that it – the theory – essentially boils down to the “Survival of the fittest”.
While it is commonly understood that this well-known encapsulation is essentially apt, I intend to offer commentary on a subject that no hardcore evolutionist would give any credence to in any form; namely, that human consciousness survives once we pass from this earth.
I recently read a most remarkable volume on the topic by the investigative journalist, Leslie Kean. Her book is entitled, Surviving Death. It begins with the fascinating account of James Leininger who from the age of two had an obsessive interest in airplanes and eventually began insisting that he had died in one. For several years, he had nightmares about crashing and burning during an air battle. Without revisiting all of the details of this incredible story with its wealth of accurate memories from James’s previous life as a pilot (all of which proved absolutely true once the historic record had been pursued), I will just note here that researchers have by now documented hundreds of cases of children who have been plagued by past life memories. I say “plagued” because most these cases involved a tragic death that left the person in a kind of limbo with their life unresolved, which is why they were – or are – so haunted by those memories.
Past life memories that can be corroborated, of course, greatly bolsters the claim that we humans live many lives as those who espouse reincarnation have long insisted.
As appropriate, Leslie Kean also goes into great detail on the anecdotal reports of those who have had what are known as “near-death experiences”. A near-death experience is where a person suffers some acute trauma and, by every marker at medical science’s disposal, is declared dead. There is no detectable brain activity in these instances, nor any evidence of respiration or heartbeat. Despite all of that, these persons insist that they retained a form of consciousness while in that dire condition and witnessed many events that they should not have been able to see. Many of these people report floating above their body, for example, and looking down on it, as well as observing the medical professionals attending them. They hear what is said by these medical personnel and witness certain procedures that they could not possibly have seen with their eyes closed and no brain activity. Yet, their subsequent reports, upon resuscitation, prove accurate.
Many near-death returnees also subsequently report going to what is essentially another dimension where they meet deceased loved ones and sometimes angelic beings of light or other spiritual figures. Almost invariably, these “souls” are told that it is not yet time for them to leave their earthly life and so they return to their body, and eventually return to conscious awareness.
Intriguingly, most of those who experience this phenomenon are never again afraid of death and say that life on the “other side” is actually even more real than life in this world.
There are, of course, scores of books on this particular topic and many are to be recommended, but I wish to concentrate solely on Leslie Kean’s book for a reason. The journalist goes a step further than others have in any of the other books that I’ve read about the so-called “afterlife”.
In brief, Kean carries her investigation into the generally murky realm of psychic readings and what is known as “mediumship”, actually daring to pursue the possibility that some people are genuinely able to communicate with the dead. She attended numerous sittings in order to witness this phenomenon first hand and does so with what seems to be credible objectivity.
While many a reader might immediately dismiss this entire category of activity, Leslie Kean investigates this phenomenon in a very persuasive manner. She deals exclusively with persons who come off as both sincere and believable. Above all, she discovers that there is historic evidence that those with whom the mediums speak were once human beings like ourselves who lived at a specific time and place, and the facts bear out such contentions. These beings on the “other side”, it seems, have a powerful desire to assure those of us alive on this earth at this time that consciousness does, indeed, persist after the body ceases to function. They want that especially for their loved ones and what is most reassuring for attendees are little details that only the person who has passed and the bereaved could possibly know.
Here is the really good news: Not only do we live on, according to this fascinating volume, we live on with our personality whole and intact. In other words, we are the same person on the “other side” as we are here, which I believe is a wondrous thing.
Yes, even the “deadest” among us live on! By that I am playfully referring to scientific materialists and hardcore evolutionists who believe that oblivion is what awaits us upon our passing from this world. Quite amusingly, Leslie Kean visits with two different mediums for the express purpose of communicating with a particular close friend of hers who has died. He was a man who had insisted all through his many conversations with the journalist prior to his passing that there was no afterlife. In short, he absolutely refused to believe that consciousness can survive the death of the body, but apparently found out otherwise and said so via both mediums. Thus, upon being contacted, the man blurted out that Kean was right. This along with many other details convinced the journalist that we humans do, indeed, live on elsewhere once we pass from this earth, and we do so with our personalities and memories fully intact.
There is a wealth of corroborating details in all of the above cases that I have touched upon here, as well as many others, and it is well worth one’s time to study those details in order to satisfy one’s curiosity on this crucially important subject.
Death, of course, is a matter which affects us all in a decisive way. What we believe about the possibility of continuing on also affects us, for we will live our lives one way if we think that it is but oblivion that awaits us once we die and quite another way if we believe that we are eternal beings who live life after life.
The latter case carries the corollary that there are consequences to our actions beyond our mortal life span, either in a karmic sense or in the sense of divine justice.
Believing that one will go on, however, can bring welcome peace of mind, not only for oneself, but in relation to lost loved ones. How reassuring to know that we can be together again with our loved ones, for they too live on!
To gain such reassurance about our loved ones and ourselves is quite possibly the most life affirming insight one can ever enjoy.
Above all, it can transform every life into one of eternal significance.