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Spooks – Science of the Afterlife

Review on Mary Roachs “Spooks”

Throughout history, countless individuals have hypothesized about the nature of the life faced after physical death. A variety of religious belief structures have over the centuries constructed entirely diverse viewpoints of the concept. For instance, the afterlife of a Roman Catholic fundamentally differs from the outlook of a Buddhist Monk. The law evidently supports the notion of equality and diversity, as any other option would equal mass genocide. As previously within recorded history.

Each individual possesses the divine right to practice their own religious or spiritual philosophy. Yet, ultimately the enquiry would be, is there merely one accurate belief system? According to several eastern philosophies, the universe is of a mental nature, therefore the very fabrics of reality are subject to the thoughts, emotions and expectations of each individual, forming a collective consciousness that does not merely include the human species. Considering the vastness of the multi-verse, parallel universes or any other forms of existence, there is most likely an infinity of diverse versions of the afterlife.
Furthermore, over the years numerous individuals have attempted to construct a connection to the great beyond in order to obtain more detailed information to confirm the survival of the soul. As expected, the results vary, dependent upon social and cultural background, including religious faith. In addition, it should be noted that certain religions believe in the doctrine of reincarnation, to be reborn, whereas others prefer to view life as a singular phenomenon. However, can there only be one solution? Perhaps, each soul treads its own path. Physical life has its difficulties and challenges as well as invaluable lessons, still many are repelled by the mere notion to return to a more physical existence. Within Western civilisations, the idea is often ridiculed. Numerous cases of monetary fraud in regards to false claims of reincarnation have evidently tainted the occasions in which it truthfully has occurred.
In India, life is more often not a fleeting experience. Hunger, poverty and other factors increase the rate of death. Needless to mention, the recent increase of earthquakes, simultaneous lightning strikes, floodings and landslides. The loss of children in frequency becomes a regular occurrence, within the belief structure of rebirth, it is merely natural to wish to be reunited with the former loved one. Thus, claims of reincarnation often attract many individuals and word of mouths spreads even faster. The average age of remembrance for a child is approximately between 3-5 years old.

In my professional opinion, it should be noted that the more traumatic the cause of death, the more likely is the occurrence of the memory surfacing. During sessions, involving past life suicide victims, that particular memory appears to cause a large amount of unconscious tension. Once actualized, the individual often experiences a profound of release of emotions. Nevertheless, in cases, in which the memories surface at an early age, the child may not be able to communicate the events in terms that adults are able to clearly understand. Additionally, in reference to Ian Stevensons research, emotional imprinting may affirm the claims made, as the scars often mirror the wounds received during ones previous physical death. Within western society, however, such claims are more often than not disacknowledged or shrugged of as child’s play. Unfortunately, I have discovered that the strict Catholic faith often does not allow space for expansion. In fact, as it defies their religious standpoint, the individual is frequently labelled with some kind of mental illness. It should be mentioned, that visitations from the great beyond also fall into this very category for many. Yet overall, a larger number of individuals find it more acceptable, by societal standards, to believe in the existence of ghosts, yet still deny or easily explain away other forms of paranormal occurrence, for instance, spirit orbs that at times occur on camera. For countless sceptics, to see is to believe, often in order to avoid the bitter betrayal of blind or unquestionable faith. Yet, one may not always be able to adequately comprehend what one has observed.

However, can one truly trust the evidence of ones own eyes, if one only perceives that which one expects to perceive? All visual data is previously processed by the visual cortex, thus the probability that certain reality or belief shattering information may be edited out to preserve a functioning state of mind appears fairly plausible. Since the beginning of recorded history, individuals have in various manners constructed methodologies and rituals to establish contact with the ancestors and non-corporeal entities. For instance, the heritage of numerous ancient cultures relied upon the practices of the local shaman. It is often stated, that one cannot learn to become a shaman, one is born as one. The initiation rites involve the ingestion of Ayahuasca in Mongolian tribes, that results in a drug induced near-death experience, during which the shamanic practitioner often travels the lower or upper worlds in order to acquire spirit helpers to perform healing rituals, foresight, necromancy and so forth. The ingestion of all ancient plant concoctions, as they possess highly psychedelic properties, requires at least one observer and several mixtures capable of counterbalancing the possible side effects. Once the veil between dimensions is parted, one does not merely encounter the random deceased individual, but there is also a large possibility to be recognised by darker creatures. Due to the documentation of various case studies that ended with fatal consequences, involving Ouija boards and mediumship, the existence of less kind-hearted beings has been extensively evidenced. Therefore, it would be only logical to create the inference that positive interaction is possible.

Preceding a bereavement, the process of mourning can be accompanied by the occurrence of after-death communication. For example, dreams of the deceased during the adjustment period are rather common, although they also frequently provide the grief-stricken individual with a degree of comfort and occasionally a personal message for those left behind. Numerous great mind across history have held a firm belief in the survival of the soul after death, such as Einstein, Tesla, Watson, Lincoln and Socrates. And many were not in fear of pursuing their conceptions of reality on a scientific basis. To the present day, it is still rumoured that Tesla was the first individual to successfully construct a time-machine, even though it should be noted that the experiment leading up to the fact almost cost him his life, as a bolt of lightning penetrated his shoulder. If his assistant had not terminated the proceedings, he himself stated, he would not have lived.

For instance, Duncan Macdougall, a respected surgeon and physician around the year of 1901 attempted to evidence the existence of the human soul. He had awaited his opportunity for four years in order to perform the experiment. The patient was placed upon a scale and Macdougall was anticipating the time of death. Concurrent with death, the beam end dropped with an audible stroke hitting against the lower limiting bar and remaining there with no rebound. The loss was ascertained to be three-fourths of an ounce, which is equivalent to twenty one grams. Over the years, Macdougall repeated the experiment with five more patients, followed by the publication of his findings in the journal of American Medicine in 1907. In the succeeding months, an exponential amount of criticism and explanations for the fact was received by Macdougall. He is said to have countered each statement with evidence. He also stated that he had accounted for insensible losses, which describes the body weight that is continually being lost through evaporating perspiration and water vapour in ones breath. During his first experiment, he had documented that the patient lost water weight at the rate of an ounce per hour, which appeared to be far too slowly for the insensible loss to justify the sudden twenty one gram drop at the time of death. In conclusion, Macdougall weighed approximately six patients in total, yet only the first one stands as a profound example of the phenomenon. The data that was gained from patient number six had been corrupted as the individual passed on whilst they were lifting him on top of the cot, whilst the scale was being adjusted. Interestingly, it was also evidenced that the loss of weight of a dog at the time of death is much less than the weight shed by a human. At first, no weight change was measured as all, which fuelled the misconception that animals do not possess souls. However, this experiment allowed me to arrive at the inference that perhaps for more instinctual creatures, the energy of the soul may be distributed differently across the multi-dimensional layers of this particular reality. Yet conclusively, the measuring of the soul within modern society would more likely be resultant in more accurate and detailed readings. For instance, to detect or analyse the particular type of energy that the spirit consists of. Such experiments could be easily conducted with an individual that is capable of conscious astral or out of body projection, which often requires several years of regular training. Or perhaps frequency detection equipment, which has been previously used in the analysis of the chakra system.

Furthermore, thousands of Americans and Europeans are of the belief that tape recorders are capable of capturing the voices of the dead. This is termed as electronic voice phenomenon. In frequency, the voices are not audible during the period of recording, but only when it is being replayed. One can discovered hundreds, if not thousands, of recordings and case studies regarding this particular phenomena. As expected, some more impressive than others. The EVP movement began around 1959, when Friedrich Juergenson, a former opera singer and painter, recorded a mysterious male voice, as he was attempting to tape his birds. The male voice was speaking of bird songs at night, and shortly after he was heard humming volare. At first, Jurgenson assumed that he had picked up on errant snatches of a radio broadcast, since tape recorders can act has receivers, especially if the transmitter is located close by. He concluded that this was unlikely, as for the succeeding two weeks, the voices would address him by name and continue their interaction with him. In consequence, he developed his own techniques. Jurgenson mostly taped radio static, which is the obnoxious hissing rasp between stations. Naturally, many individuals questioned the possibility that he may be simply recording radio broadcasts, which was clearly disproved as he evidenced conversations that occured in foreign languages, such as Latvian and German. He further continued his research, allowing others to follow in his footsteps.

Moreover, before the discovery of electricity and the alternate current, electromagnetic impulses seemed to provide the missing explanation for the science behind medumistic communication. Even the inventors themselves viewed the etheric and the electric as being increasingly similiar. Thomas Watson, for example, in his autobiography referred to electricity as an occult force. And truth be told, numerous individuals in modern day take the luxury of light, cellphones, radio and television for granted, it has become the status quo of living within western civilisation. It should be noted that within Mongolian gers and countless other locations upon the planet, the possession of a functional, connected television or even a singular light bulb is a rarity. Nikola Tesla himself was an individual that thought outside the box, to the dislike of many, including Bell, yet he was considered to be a mad workaholic. An insane genius that built the foundation of modern society. All invention from thereon out was  derived upon his concepts in one way or another. Therefore, it could be concluded that electricity is as much a force of nature as fire. Ultimately, how can it be confirmed that there is only one kind of electricity? Tesla showered individuals in a bath of electricity to purify their body without harming them, but did he apply the same kind of electricity that is used so frequently within modern society? For instance, other forms of energy such as zero-point energy or fifth force energy could be generated by similar means, yet until the nature of the energy is understood, it will appear as a mysterious force to the entirety of humanity.

Nonetheless, Thomas Watsons spiritual beliefs are rumoured to have greatly influenced his outlook of science. He viewed mediums as individuals in the possession of special powers to transform bodily radiations into a mechanical force, increasingly similar to the manner in which a telegraph transforms pulses of electricity into audible bursts of Morse code. The science of electromagnetic forces offered a logic for the highly illogical phenomena, such as the rappings or table tiltings during the performance of a séance. It should be noted that Thomas Watsons faith in mediumship was unique amongst the great electricians. Although Edison, Bell and Tesla were all of the opinion that the soul survived death and travelledlike a wireless impulse to a kind of etheric realm, yet they did not engage as much in mediumistic claims. Although Tesla did in fact suffer the loss of his mother, there is no evidence to suggest that he engage in the design of an apparatus that would enable after death communication. However, Thomas Edison did, which he described in his Diary and Sundry Observations. He defined this machine as a sort of megaphone. He reasoned that the physical power possessed by those in the next life must be extremely slight. And that they require a certain level of amplification in order to make themselves heard. Unfortunately, Thomas Edison departed the phenomenal world before the completion of the contraption was possible. Due to his amplifier project, Thomas Edison is often credited with the invention of the Psycho-Phone, which was the inspiration behind the ultrasonic transceiver that is meant to facilitate two way, real time communication with the dead. It is also referred to by the acronym of TEC, which stands for Thomas Edison Communicator.

Within a study published in the year of 1988, Michael Persinger compared thirty seven years of dated Fate magazine hauting reports with the geomagnetic activity for those dates. He discovered a pleasant correlation and in a similar study three years later at the University of Iowa, psychologists Walter and Steffani Randall examined monthly fluctuations in solar sinds, which influence the earth geomagnetics in order to observe whether they reflected monthly ups and downs in humanoid hallucinations. In fact, both showed peak occurrences around the months of April and September with a trough in between. Persinger then turned his attention to man made electromagnetic fields. In 1996, Persinger investigated the mysterious happenings in a couples house in Sudbury. True to his theory, the electromagnetics of the house were in a dreadful state. The wires were poorly grounded and circuits overloaded with eletronic equipment. Not only were the eletromagnetic fields most intense in the places where the couple had experienced apparitions, yet they also displayed that which Persinger termed as telltale irregularities, that he came to know as the hallmarks of haunt-promting fields.

Throughout the advancement of medical science, the mortality rate of humanity has risen. Yet, once one has returned from the dead, what are the consequences? Numerous individuals have described accounts of having departed their body during the time of their body’s clinical death. Many are capable of describing the occurrences within the operation room, others are able to repeat entire conversations. Near-death experiences have evidenced an increased rate of lucid dreaming and out of body experiences after the act. Even Mary Roach has been confronted with a particular near-death experience that was increasingly difficult for her to rationalize and explain. However, once one examines further accounts of such occurrences throughout history, it’s repetitive nature becomes evident. In frequency, the description of the event depicts the individual standing over their body, floating near the ceiling or even floating higher and higher away from their body. Yet, all accounts contain a distinct emotional state of the deceased or the dreamer, it is a calm, content state of mind, although the individual is rarely aware of the reason for the state of bliss, countless eventually do not wish to return to their body but are not provided with any other choice. Henceforth, some are of the opinion that they still had “unifinished business” on this planet, others prefer to view them as lessons not yet learnt. Ultimately,  the meaning of life appears to differ for each individual in the terms of mental, emotional and spiritual development, however in essence, each unit of consciousness is continually evolving and learning throughout the process of physical incarnation. May it be once in a blue moon or repeatedly through history. Although the existence of the soul still remains unproven, it is a belief that is as widely spread as the myth of Santa Clause. In practicality, very few individuals are comforted by the idea of pure nothingness after the point of death. The notion of physical death seems painful enough to accept for most, thus each individual may unconsciously yearn for their personal message from the great beyond for their own reasons.

Within child development, succeeding a traumatic experience, the first recognition that the infant is alone in the phenomenal world without the ability to depend upon their parental figures for survival is indeed a terrifying and challenging one to actualize. No one truly relishes being completely abandoned within any circumstance. However, according to countless eastern philosophies, although one may perceive oneself as being alone, one is constantly interconnected with all within existence. Osho once stated that “Each person comes into this world with a specific destiny. One has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has to be completed. One is not here accidentally. One is here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind oneself. The whole intends to do something through the individual.”

Even though, one may not be able to objectively deciffre the intention behind ones own life, one is clearly able to recognize that there are certain types of unexplained phenomena that demand further time to be fully understood. The division between science and spirituality in regards to tackling the matters of the afterlife appears to maintain a twisted form of objectivity, but also prevents the finding of a more generalized answer towards the subject.

In conclusion, scientific experiments throughout time have evidenced that a connection with the other side is fairly possible, even without the application of technology. However, one may wish to humour the possibility that when one communicates with the dead, one communicates across dimensions. Such a connection does not merely require amplification, yet also the comprehension that the concept of time and space may be applicable within the etheric planes of the afterlife. More often than not, a spirit engages in communication for a particular purpose, for instance, the discovery of an unsolved murder, one final goodbye or to assist the living in potentially harmful situations. According to the Vedic scriptures, the etheric realm to which the soul travel pertains multiple dimensions. The individuals experience is dependent upon the sum of their actions. Dissimilar to the Roman Catholic concept of hell-fire and brimstone, the suffering is customized to the individual. As the old saying goes, one mans hell is another one mans heaven. For instance, a pyromaniac  would be most comfortable within the environment of hell. However, there are exceptions, such as the realms of the “hungry ghost”. Nonetheless, the scientific investigation involving specific detailed descriptions of the afterlife and the spiritual properties of human beings are resultant in a variety of contradicting outcomes, when attempting to compare near-death experiences, regressive hypnotherapy and so forth. Several individuals refer to it as being similar to a school environment within the book Life Inbetween Lives, whereas others are taken by the hand by an apparition of Jesus, Krishna, Shakti, Shiva, Mohammed, Fatima and so forth. In my professional opinion, the expectation of the life lived after physical death equals that which actually occurs. Although there are claims of Jews and Muslims that were visited by Jesus Christ during a near-death experience, which could be explained by unconscious components of their psyche. Needless to mention that the three main religion of the modern world are derivatives of one and the same concept.

Furthermore, the progression of science within this particular field has evidently advanced over the millenia, yet mankind is still seemingly expectant of a singular two dimensional plane on the other side. In my personal opinion, I am convinced that the afterlife is not of a static nature. As all other parts of existence, it would be ever-changing, ever-evolving. However, it should be noted that I have witnessed one common denominator within after death interactions is that spirits have attempted to communicate the difference of worlds, as it may, which is often expressed in claims that thoughts and wishes more easily influence the after death terrain. Similiar to the astral plane during dream-time.

In sum, science has achieved a great degree within the paranormal, yet it is still a field that is more often than not frowned upon by the common populus. Subsequently, the objective observation in order to discern the false cases from the genuine ones is essential within modern society. The field of para-science has been shaped through all the above examples, and is continually being refined and improved with further research. Yet I am certain that the fundamental conceptions will be further adjusted as time progresses and technology that used to appear as inconceivable will become to exist. However, there is still much bias attached to the field of the paranormal. In reference to Spooks, Science Tackles The Afterlife, nothing can be gained by upholding an outdated roman-catholic philosophy in the matter, one requires to approach the manner with an open mind, as an observer, before one can form ones final assessment. Henceforth, the principle of Mediocrity states that no phenomenon is special, privileged or exceptional. Not the evolution of the solar system, nor the evolution of humankind. I mean this as a philosophical statement. That it is appropriate to assume mediocrity in the matter of the paranormal and the unexplained, in particular, the afterlife. One may easily be able to assume that a more advanced, more psychically connected version of humanity would quite easily perform such tasks. Yet, the subject also carries such a large stigma, as it is an emotional one. A personal one. Anyone that has experienced love and has lost through death would yearn for further contact. Yet, the experience of fraud for financial gain can then put one entirely off the subject. Within a corrupt society, the actual occurrences of countless paranormal phenomena are truly invaluable. If the belief in the phenomena were to rise, naturally collective of the species were to seek it, preferrable in an objective manner, and consequently discover it. However, only few individuals truly know what the future of the human race may hold, and even that can be altered within the blink of an eye.