I contemplated death, and life after death, or the lack of it, a lot as a kid.
I was brought up by atheists. They encouraged me to work out what I wanted to believe, so I tried religion for a couple of years, perhaps by way of being dutiful, somehow.
After a while, religion didn’t seem to offer me much motive for staying. On the other hand, I knew what my parents considered the smarter choice. Being viewed by them as smart was important to me, and perhaps because of that I decided to adopt my parents’ atheism.
Vanishing After Death
It didn’t take long for me to get quite fervent about it. I took up atheism as naturally, and as completely, as if I had always been an atheist.
And so, from a very young age I understood myself to be a mass of thinking, talking atoms, and I thought that death would be the end of that. I would just — vanish.
That was a pretty mind-bending idea. I thought about it a lot. How can the only thing I’ve ever known – the only thing I know for sure even exists – my field of perception – stop existing?
I think anyone can feel slightly baffled by that, even if different people come up with different interpretations. Some think that consciousness is an illusion, the illusion of a mass of atoms looking at itself and thinking, there must be something more. Other people think that the fact that it seems there is something more is no accident. It seems there is something more, simply because there is.
That strange feeling that consciousness has some special quality to it is universal. But, for sure, that feeling isn’t proof of anything in itself. Humans could just be subject to a glitch in their survival-and-reproduction programming. So, we would need something more substantial than that to come to any real conclusions.
There are three main approaches people take to life after death.
Atheists, as I mentioned, believe that when you die, you disappear and stop existing.
Religious people have fixed beliefs on life after death which come from authority figures — figures who I wouldn’t personally be so quick about trusting.
And agnostics aren’t sure. They don’t believe the fixed beliefs of either atheism or religion, observing that there isn’t any proof either way.
If I had to choose between these three options nowadays, I think I’d be an agnostic. It seems the most logical answer when you don’t know for sure.
Science, And The Evidence For Life After Death
All of this becomes unimportant, though, if we have concrete evidence of life after death.
Atheists would tell you that there is no evidence. In my experience, though, that just isn’t true. I have personally seen things which I can’t explain in any other way. And remember I used to be a fervent atheist: if I could have explained them away, I would have. I think the evidence is simply not well known, and it is mostly ignored by the scientific community.
The evidence not ignored because of it not being scientific. It is scientific. I think it’s ignored because most scientists simply feel uncomfortable with it.
Scientists are supposed to weigh up all evidence in an unbiased way. According to their job descriptions, they can’t do what I’m saying they do.
So basically? They are doing bad science. But there’s no rule saying that scientists can’t do bad science. They can and do, and historically have shown themselves to be notoriously stubborn before giving up disproved beliefs. I think that scientists denying life after death, despite the evidence, is just another one of these situations.
And it’s almost understandable. Life after death is a fraught topic. A large proportion of scientists are atheists. Atheists often have a lot emotionally invested in believing there is no afterlife, as I did.
And, in fact, religious scientists would probably be just as likely to want to ignore evidence. The evidence that exists is annoyingly unwilling to prove any one established religion as true. More like, it disproves the beliefs of most religions.
But there’s the thing. If we have evidence of life after death, then we don’t need to rely on religious faith. And conversely we don’t have to rely on an “anti-faith” disbelieving in anything that sounds a little kooky. Evidence changes everything, and it’s out there.
I started to find some random bits of evidence on life after death when I was in my long years of depression and seeking, searching for my personal answers to life.
Hearing such ideas at that time was incredibly uncomfortable for me. My atheism was almost dogmatic – I hated to be contradicted. But I wanted answers to life, and these ideas about life after death kept coming up as I searched. Bit by bit, I managed to become more comfortable with them.
In the beginning I mostly read about life after death in conjunction with other personal development ideas that appealed to me. The writers seemed very lucid in those parts of their writing that I could accept. This led me to wonder why their thinking could have had such a major lapse when it came to a belief in the afterlife which I thought was so terribly unscientific.
They didn’t seem crazy. And they didn’t seem to have any motivation to lie. And you know, I think enough of this sort of thing can be a kind of proof in itself. How many highly intelligent people who aren’t crazy and have no motivation to lie can talk so assuredly about life after death before you start wonder if they might have something going with that?
One such writer was Steve Pavlina.
You have to understand before you read on how important Steve Pavlina was to me. Steve Pavlina is a personal development writer, and in his blog I finally found answers, or key clues, for almost all of the questions that were plaguing me. Some of the things he wrote resonated with me more than anything I’d read anywhere else. What I had as simple instincts, half-concepts, he finally finally put into words for me. He was like the voice of a stronger, more intelligent part of me.
So, when he wrote about concepts that I found hard to accept, as you can imagine, I was willing to hear him out at least.
What helped, too, was that he didn’t shove his ideas in my face – he explained how he had come to each idea, and it was often his experience and not his opinion that held the most weight.When someone says “such and such is true” it’s easy to tell them to get lost. But when someone just holds up the facts and lets you come to your own conclusions, then they can sometimes be quite convincing. Particularly as Steve had used to be an atheist and a skeptic just as I had been.
So I could identify with his old self. And, as he explained how made his transition, I could identify with his caution, his skepticism, and finally his openness, in a similar way.
So, let me show you just three of the articles of his which I read. In reality, I read almost all of his stuff, and there was a lot more on this topic that helped open me up, but these three were key.
In this article he writes about how there can be more intelligent choices to viewing the world than hardcore skepticism.
Something he mentioned in that article was his subjective reality belief system. This belief system encompasses his belief in an afterlife but also goes right down to the foundations of reality. It incidentally explains how it’s so easy for an atheist to miss the proof which is out there for life after death. In this post, he explains it more in detail.
Those two were quite theoretical articles. I could nod my head to them and admit that they were logically sound, as it went. For sure, IF reality is subjective, it could be possible for it to appear not to be subjective. But it was still a theory.
It was in this post, then, that he blew me out of the water. (If you read only one of these three articles, read this one). In it, he explained actual experiments he had done, using himself as the test subject, which basically demonstrated this odd nature of reality he talked about. If he wasn’t lying – and I could see no reason why he would – and if he wasn’t crazy – I knew he wasn’t crazy – then this was… this was… proof. But it didn’t stop there.
It was a year, at least, after reading that where I was in a limbo: my rational mind could see no valid reason to doubt life after death, and yet my emotions were still attached to atheism. I still found myself judging religions and spirituality and felt uncomfortable for edging onto that territory. If anyone challenged my beliefs, I would have gotten very defensive.
Really, my process for leaving atheism, with all the self-doubt and inner struggle and defensiveness, was very very much like other people’s experiences in getting out of a religion. It wasn’t easy, and it took time. (I don’t think that’s an accidental comparison, by the way. At least for me, atheism and skepticism had been very much like a religion. I had been a very fervent believer in these non-beliefs, and quite reactionary about them).
My worldview was still in this uncomfortable limbo, then, when I experienced something which proved to me the existence of life after death first-hand.
Erin Pavlina is a psychic, the then-wife of Steve Pavlina. I had a reading with her when I was about 18 and in a very bad place in my life.
Psychics have different talents, but Erin wrote about talking with spirits in her blog and described what she had been able to learn from them about cosmology.
The reading I was getting with her would mostly channel information from certain spirits, allied with me, called my Spirit Guides. I didn’t know what to expect, but from what I had read on both her and Steve’s blog, it was going to be powerful.
This was the ultimate test. If she proved her abilities, I could no longer doubt Steve and Erin’s reported experiences.
Now for context. Just two days before the reading, I had noticed the vibe or energy at my parents’ house feeling oppressive. In order to keep it out, I did a sort of visualisation, imagining a shield around me. Then – and this is important – because I had heard that having a shield is not always a healthy thing, I made a point to specify that the shield that it would let in the light, but not the darkness.
Then came the reading. The first thing – the very first thing Erin said was, “I sense a shield around you, but… [she seemed unsure of what she was seeing at this] this one is an unusual one. Most of the time the energy form of a shield is from a trauma or something similar, and it’s unhealthy because it cuts a person off from Source energy. But this one is letting in the light… just not the darkness.”
I was stunned. Then, like a finishing move on a combat game, did a quick read of my vibe or “energy”. She told me, “Oh, (chuckle), this is one I don’t see very often. You have a renegade energy.”
This was very, very accurate for the time. Now skeptics: that wasn’t her just trying to tell me what I wanted to hear. For one thing, not many people identify as “renegades”. For another, it was very specifically accurate for me at that time. I had quit school out of a sense of principle and was unwilling to get any job which went against my values, which was, as far as I could see, all of them. I was completely a renegade from society.
And if you are wondering, no, Erin didn’t know me at all. This was done via phone and we had had no contact online previously except to set up the reading.
The Rest Of The Reading
It was an hour-long reading, and her skillful channeling didn’t let up, although the most shockingly validating pieces were those at the beginning. Or, perhaps I just got used to her saying things about me she had no physical way of knowing. That said, I think I’ve read on her blog that she often provides validation at the beginning of her readings for those who need it.
So during the rest of the reading, she told me the things I most needed to know, as channeled from my Spirit Guides.
I can think of nothing in the reading that was incorrect or I later found out was incorrect. Actually, some of what she said was stuff which didn’t ring true at the time, but which later came to make sense to me. For instance, she told me that I was a very strong communicator. This wasn’t the way I thought of myself at all. If anything I would have thought of myself as a fighter or a philosopher. But she said communicator.
And so it turned out to be. I’m now* working full time on this blog and have tried my hand at public speaking and even stand-up comedy. In all cases, I seem to be naturally talented at what many people find very hard. I had no idea about that at the time she told me it was so.
*Now as of a re-write on 12/02/2013
She also told me that I would get much healthier and stronger as I got older, recovering from my long term disease. This was something which didn’t seem so sure after some brushes with death the years previous. My doctors said I would have my illness all my life. Yet here I am, symptom free.
There were other things she said for which I had immediate validation, because I either knew it or some part of me knew it and I was able to recognise the truth. For instance, she told me I was a nomadic sort of person, and had a “transformer” energy – I was a catalyst for change in society.
Perhaps the most important thing she said to me was that I needed to get out of my parents’ house. I did the very day after, and it was an incredibly good move. My life practically started after that move.
And, while some part of me could have guessed I needed to do it, I couldn’t have managed it without her to give me that “push”.
A Magnet For Supernatural Experiences
So, that was how I came to believe in life after death, as well as a slew of related ideas. It was just impossible to deny them anymore.
As time went on, I had many more experiences of that sort. With my new openness, I seemed to attract them like a magnet.
It was just like Steve’s article said. When you don’t believe in certain things, you don’t attract them into your reality. But when you do, that’s what you experience. While skeptics would say that me and Steve have a bias towards confirming our beliefs, I don’t think that’s so. We were both skeptics and found skepticism lacking to explain our experiences. We were originally biased in favour of skepticism. We tried to find a way of being skeptical about our experiences, but it didn’t fit.
For instance, I don’t see any logical way of disbelieving in what happened with Erin. I could disbelieve in it illogically, but that would be its own bias. If I’m to honour what I’ve experienced, I just can’t deny the reality of life after death.
So since then I became a magnet for supernatural experiences. I’ve experienced telepathy, synchronicity, the clairvoyance of myself and others, predictive dreams, the Law of Attraction, energy healing, and other things.
For instance, one December I found myself back in my parents’ house for a few months after spending a time in a different city. I knew I would be plunged back into solitude again; their house is in a tiny village a long way from anywhere I could term “civilisation”, and besides, I usually need very particular people for friendship. The sort of shallow interactions I could have with my neighbours were very unlikely to satisfy me. I was aching for a romantic partner, besides. But, as I said, finding someone compatible there was fantastically improbable.
Two days before Christmas, a friend of mine had a vision. The vision was for me; in it, she saw a woman in a red dress, and a gift for me wrapped in golden paper.
I arrived at about that time. Well, it turned out that a woman was renting a room from my parents, and when I got to know her it turned out we had a huge amount in common. We got together on Christmas day.
She was my Christmas present from the Universe.
On another occasion, after working on my own psychic abilities I managed to have a very clear conversation with a dead person residing in the spiritual realm. The image I got and sensation as I connected with him were unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. As I ended the connection, I felt myself come back to my body with a sense of massive gravity, as if, in reaching him, I had extended myself very far upwards. His surviving relative, who put me up to it, confirmed with me that the words I received were likely to have come from him.
Or how about this: at one time I had just arrived in Barcelona after a spectacular misadventure. I was dejected, sick, and had nowhere to stay.
As if to top it off, as I sat there on a patch of grass in a city I realise I really needed to blow my nose, and I had no tissue.
At that very moment, a sheet of newspaper blew past. I grabbed it to blow my nose on, and as I picked it up the first words that my eyes met were a sub-headline: “TODO LLEGA”. That is a Spanish saying that means, “everything comes (in time)” and is usually used to console people who are lacking something they desire. It had a powerful double meaning for me, with a hint of humour: what I need will come in time; my “tissue” in fact just did come; and the Universe brings you what you need.
Actually, that’s a triple meaning. But yes, it was a very poignant experience, and if explained in terms of just coincidence the chances of it happening would be minute.
These are just three examples. The rest I’ll describe in depth in my second autobiographical book (I’m currently working on the first). But just so you get the idea – these were three experiences of many I’ve had since then. After opening myself up to things working in this extraordinary way, my life got very trippy and interesting.
Confirming It In Your Own Experience
But, if you have read this far and decided that I am probably not lying and probably not stupid and probably not crazy, then you’re in the same place as I was before Erin. How can you get personal experience, like I did, to confirm life after death?
Well, I recommend a reading with Erin for anyone. They are pricey, though, for sure. You can also look for other psychics who are cheaper. I get a good feeling from Becky Walsh, though I’ve never had a reading from her. She might be worth a try.
Be careful in looking for psychics by the way. A lot of them are frauds, and a fair amount of the rest of them are OK but make a lot of mistakes. In my time looking for good psychics, I think I’ve seen more fakes than real ones. That said, I think when you look online it’s a bit easier, because the good ones develop a reputation and it’s easier to stumble across them. Most of the frauds I’ve met have been offline.
Life After Death Resources
Apart from that, there are some good resources I could recommend you read. The first is this article, which blew me out of the water: Top Ten Reasons For Reincarnation.
While my personal anecdotes wouldn’t hold sway as scientific evidence, and I can understand that, some of the studies explained in this article are absolute, undeniable proof for life after death. Sometimes I find it weird that anyone can still be in the dark after this info was collected. It seems that people just don’t want to listen. The author of that post also wrote a book, which I haven’t read (yet?) but which I expect to have the same sort of mind-blowing information in it. So read both or either, for sure.
Another book I might recommend is “Many Lives, Many Masters” by Brian Weiss. “Many Lives, Many Masters” is the true story of a psychiatrist (the author) who accidentally discovered the phenomenon of past lives through hypnotic regression. He regressed his patient to her past memories… a little too far. And the results were clear and verifiable information about her previous existences.
This book is also proof if you’re ready to accept the writer isn’t stupid, crazy or lying. But as always, I think it is hard to sustain a belief in so many stupid, crazy or lying people when it’s so less far fetched to assume they could actually be telling the truth.
The book itself is a smart, detailed account that reads easily, like a novel. It’s worth a look.
Life After Death
I think it’s important to check out this information and digest it properly. Understanding that there is life after death changes a lot. Life becomes a lot less scary when you know you have eternity to learn from your mistakes.
Attached to this comes a whole new cosmology which informs your actions. Psychics have been able to put together both information about life after death and about the Universe in general. Without believing blindly in any one source, it’s possible to put together a worldview from the consistencies between different accounts.
I find this belief system gives me a lot of peace, and a sense of meaning to my life.
While it’s often noted that people with spiritual beliefs are happier on average, I couldn’t bring myself to believe in spirituality if I thought it was wrong. Yet, if you can ascertain the truth of spiritual ideas for yourself, then you don’t have to fool yourself to get those benefits.
Spirituality also empowers me. I’ve seen my beliefs in a spiritual Universe guide me to actions which have changed my life very much for the better. You would think a wrong belief would disempower you, and a right belief would empower you. If this is so, my experiences in this regard are yet another bit of proof.
Think it over, and most of all, come to your own beliefs. You don’t need blind faith; life after death is scientific. Just be your own authority and find out what you believe for yourself.