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Who Have Accepted
the Evidence for the Afterlife
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from Victor Zammit's site, compiled by Michael Tymn
Distinguished researchers found evidence for survival
Judge John W. Edmonds - Governor Nathaniel P. Tallmadge - Professor Augustus De Morgan - Dr. Robert Hare - Professor James J. Mapes - Allan Kardec, Esq. - Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace - Sir William Crookes - The Rev. William Stainton Moses - Sir William Barrett - Frederic W. H. Myers, Esq. - Sir Oliver Lodge - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Dr. Richard Hodgson - Dr. James H. Hyslop - Dr. William James - Professor Camille Flammarion - Dr. Charles Richet - Dr. Cesare Lombroso - Baron (Dr.) Albert Von Schrenck-Notzing - Dr. Hamlin Garland - Maurice Maeterlinck, Esq. - Professor William R. Newbold - Dr. Carl A. Wickland - Edward C. Randall, Esq. - Dr. Isaac K. Funk - The Rev. Charles Drayton Thomas - Dr. William McDougall - Dr. T. Glen Hamilton - Dr. Robert Crookall - Dr. C. J. Ducasse - Dr. Raynor C. Johnson - Dr. Gardner Murphy - Dr. Hereward Carrington - Dr. Harry Price - Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D. - Barbara R. Rommer, M.D. - Gary Schwartz, Ph.D.- Jon Klimo, Ph.D. - David Fontana, Ph.D.
Judge John W. Edmonds (1816-1874) – After serving in both houses of the New York legislature, including president of the Senate, Edmonds was elevated to the New York State Supreme Court and became its Chief Justice. He began his investigation of mediums in 1851, assuming that he would expose them as frauds.
But all this, and much, very much more of a cognate nature went to show me that there was a high order of intelligence involved in this new phenomenon – an intelligence outside of, and beyond, mere mortal agency; for there was no other hypothesis which I could devise or hear of that could at all explain that, whose reality is established by the testimony of tens of thousands, and can easily be ascertained by any one who take the trouble to inquire…
Governor Nathaniel P. Tallmadge (1795-1864) – Educated as a lawyer, Tallmadge served as a United States Senator from New York and as Governor of the Territory of Wisconsin. He initially considered mediumship a “delusion,” but was prompted to investigate by the testimony of Judge John W. Edmonds. He soon began communicating with the spirit of his old friend, John C. Calhoun, former vice-president of the United States. On one occasion, Calhoun asked him to bring a guitar.
I have received numerous communications from [Calhoun] from the time of my commencing this investigation. They have been received through rapping, writing, and speaking mediums, and are of the most extraordinary character…I have heard the guitar played by the most skilful and scientific hands, but I never could have conceived of that instrument being able to produce sounds of such marvelous and fascinating beauty, power, and even grandeur as this invisible performer that night executed.
Professor Augustus De Morgan (1806-1871) – Considered one of the most brilliant mathematicians of the 19th Century, De Morgan became chairman of the mathematics department at University College in London at age 21. He introduced “De Morgan’s Laws” and was a reformer in mathematical logic. He began sitting with mediums in 1853.
I have seen in my house frequently, various persons presenting themselves [as mediums]. The answers are given mostly by the table, on which a hand or two is gently placed, tilting up at the letters…I have no theory about it, but in a year or two something may turn up. I am, however, satisfied of the reality of the phenomenon. A great many other persons are as cognizant of these phenomena in their own houses as myself. Make what you can of it if you are a philosopher.
Dr. Robert Hare (1751-1858) – An emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania and world-renowned inventor, Hare denounced the “madness” being called “Spiritualism” and set out in 1853 to prove that the raps, taps, and table tilting purportedly bringing messages from the dead were either hallucinations or unconscious muscular actions on the part of those present.
I sincerely believe that I have communicated with the spirits of my parents, sister, brother, and dearest friends, and likewise with the spirits of the illustrious Washington and other worthies of the spirit world; that I am by them commissioned, under their auspices, to teach truth and to expose error.
Professor James J. Mapes (1806-1866) – A professor of chemistry and natural philosophy at the National Academy of Design in New York and later at the American Institute, Mapes is best remembered for his inventions in sugar refining and artificial fertilizers. He set out around 1854 to rescue his friends who were “running to mental seed and imbecility” over the mediumship epidemic. After investigating many mediums, Mapes changed his views. Moreover, both his wife and daughter became mediums.
The manifestations which are pertinent to the ends required are so conclusive in their character as to establish in my mind certain cardinal points. These are: First, there is a future state of existence, which is but a continuation of our present state of being…Second, that the great aim of nature, as shown through a great variety of spiritual existences is progression, extending beyond the limits of this mundane sphere…Third, that spirits can and do communicate with mortals, and in all cases evince a desire to elevate and advance those they commune with.
Allan Kardec, Esq. (1804-1869) – Educated at the Institute of Pestalozzi at Yverdum, Kardec, whose given name was Hippolyte Léon Dénizarth Rivail, was an educator, lecturing on chemistry, physics, comparative anatomy, and astronomy. Under his given name, he authored a number of books aimed at improving education in the public schools of France. He began studying mediums in 1854.
Experience gradually made known many other varieties of the mediumistic faculty, and it was found that communication could be received through speech, hearing, sight, touch, etc., and even through direct writing of the spirits themselves – that is to say without the help of the medium’s hand or of the pencil.
Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) – Co-originator with Charles Darwin of the natural selection theory of evolution, Wallace, a naturalist who provided Darwin with his parallel theory, including the “survival of the fittest,” before Darwin went public with their two theories, was a hard-core materialist until he began investigating mediums in 1865. He soon became one of Spiritualism’s greatest missionaries.
My position is that the phenomena of Spiritualism in their entirety do not require further confirmation. They are proved quite as well as facts are proved in other sciences.
Sir William Crookes (1832-1919) – A physicist and chemist, he discovered the element thallium and was a pioneer in radioactivity. He invented the radiometer, the spinthariscope, and a high-vacuum tube that contributed to the discovery of the x-ray. He was knighted in 1897 and served as president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He set out in 1870 to drive “the worthless residuum of spiritualism” into the “unknown limbo of magic and necromancy.” However, after thorough investigations of Daniel D. Home and Florence Cook, he changed his views.
[The phenomena] point to the existence of another order of human life continuous with this, and demonstrate the possibility in certain circumstances of communication between this world and the next.
The Rev. William Stainton Moses (1839-1892) – While remembered primarily as a gifted medium, Moses, who received his master’s degree at Oxford before becoming an Anglican minister and English Master at University College in London, was the first vice-president of the Society for Psychical Research. He was searching for answers about his own mediumistic powers as well as those of others. Before his own powers manifested in 1872, he considered all mediumship either fraudulent or demonic.
Bit by bit, here a little and there a little, the evidence came, as my mind opened to receive it. Some six months were spent in persistent daily efforts to bring home to me proof of the perpetuated existence of human spirits and their power to communicate.
Sir William Barrett (1844-1925) – Professor of physics at the Royal College of Science in Dublin for 37 years, he developed a silicon-iron alloy important to the development of the telephone and in construction of transformers. His research on entoptic vision contributed to the invention of the entoptiscope and a new optometer. He was knighted in 1912 for his contributions to science.
I am personally convinced that the evidence we have published decidedly demonstrates (1) the existence of a spiritual world, (2) survival after death, and (3) of occasional communication from those who have passed over.
Frederic W. H. Myers, Esq. (1843-1901) – After graduating from Cambridge in 1864, he became a lecturer in classical literature there while also serving as inspector of schools at Cambridge. Although not educated as a psychologist, he developed, independent of Freud, a theory of the subliminal self. University of Geneva psychology professor Theordor Flournoy opined that Myers name should be joined to those of Copernicus and Darwin, completing “the triad of geniuses” who most profoundly revolutionized scientific thought. He was one of the founders of the Society for Psychical Research.
I will here briefly state what facts they are which our recorded apparitions, intimations, messages of the departing and the departed, have, to my mind actually proved: a) In the first place, they prove survival pure and simple; the persistence of the spirit’s life as a structural law of the universe; the inalienable heritage of each several soul; b) …they prove that between the spiritual and the material worlds an avenue of communication does in fact exist; that which we call the dispatch and the receipt of telepathic messages, or the utterance and the answer of prayer and supplication; c)…they prove that the surviving spirit retains, at least in some measure, the memories and the loves of earth…
Sir Oliver Lodge (1851-1940) – Professor of physics at University College in Liverpool, England and later principal at the University of Birmingham, Lodge achieved world fame for his pioneering work in electricity, including the radio and spark plug. Dr. Lodge was knighted in 1902 for his contributions to science. He became interested in psychical research in 1884 and sat extensively with Leonora Piper and Gladys Osborne Leonard.
I tell you with all my strength of the conviction which I can muster that we do persist, that people still continue to take an interest in what is going on, that they know far more about things on this earth than we do, and are able from time to time to communicate with us…I do not say it is easy, but it is possible, and I have conversed with my friends just as I can converse with anyone in this audience now.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) – A physician turned writer, Doyle was knighted for his service as a historian during the Boer War, but he is best remembered as the creator of Sherlock Holmes stories. Highly skeptical, he began investigating psychic phenomena in 1886.
Healthy skepticism is the basis of all accurate observation, but there comes a time when incredulity means either culpable ignorance or else imbecility, and this time has been long past in the matter of spirit intercourse.
Dr. Richard Hodgson (1855-1905) – After earning his M.A. and LL.D at the University of Melbourne, Hodgson moved to England and entered the University of Cambridge as a scholar studying moral sciences. Upon graduation, he taught poetry and philosophy at University Extension, then the philosophy of Herbert Spenser at Cambridge before becoming a full-time psychical researcher in 1887. He had hundreds of sittings with Leonora Piper over 18 years.
I had but one object, to discover fraud and trickery. Frankly, I went to Mrs. Piper with Professor James of Harvard University about twelve years ago with the object of unmasking her…I entered the house profoundly materialistic, not believing in the continuance of life after death; today I say I believe. The truth has been given to me in such a way as to remove from me the possibility of a doubt.
Dr. James H. Hyslop (1854-1920) – After receiving his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1887 and his LL.D. from University of Wooster, Hyslop taught philosophy at Lake Forest University, Smith College, and Bucknell University before joining the faculty of Columbia in 1895. He authored three textbooks, Elements of Logic (1892), Elements of Ethics (1895), and Problems of Philosophy (1905) before becoming a full-time psychical researcher.
Personally, I regard the fact of survival after death as scientifically proved. I agree that this opinion is not upheld in scientific quarters. But this is neither our fault nor the fault of the facts. Evolution was not believed until long after it was proved. The fault lay with those who were too ignorant or too stubborn to accept the facts. History shows that every intelligent man who has gone into this investigation, if he gave it adequate examination at all, has come out believing in spirits; this circumstance places the burden or proof on the shoulders of the skeptic.
Dr. William James (1842-1910) – Considered one of America’s foremost psychologists, Professor James wrote widely in psychology, philosophy, and religion while teaching at Harvard for 35 years. His Principles of Psychology, first published in 1890, became the seminal work in the field. His Varieties of Religious Experience is also a classic. His comments below refer to sittings with the medium, Leonora Piper, whom he is credited with “discovering” in 1885.
One who takes part in a good sitting has usually a far livelier sense, both of the reality and of the importance of the communication, than one who merely reads the records…I am able, while still holding to all the lower principles of interpretation, to imagine the process as more complex, and to share the feelings with which Hodgson came at last to regard it after his many years of familiarity, the feeling which Professor Hyslop shares, and which most of those who have good sittings are promptly inspired with.
Professor Camille Flammarion (1842-1925) – A world renowned astronomer, Flammarion founded the French Astronomical Society and was known for his study of Mars. He was a pioneer in the use of balloon to study the stars. He investigated psychic phenomena, including mediumship, for more than 50 years.
I do not hesitate to affirm my conviction, based on personal examination of the subject, that any man who declares the phenomena to be impossible is one who speaks without knowing what he is talking about; and, also that any man accustomed to scientific observation – provided that his mind is not biased by preconceived opinions – may acquire a radical and absolute certainty of the reality of the facts alluded to.
Dr. Charles Richet (1850-1909) – Professor of physiology at the University of Paris Medical School, Richet was considered a world authority on nutrition in health and in disease. He won the Nobel Prize in 1913 for his work on allergic reactions. While convinced of the reality of mediumship, he remained publicly agnostic toward survival. According to Sir Oliver Lodge, his good friend, Richet privately accepted survival before his death.
It seems to me the facts are undeniable. I am convinced that I have been present at realities. Certainly I cannot say in what materialization consists. I am ready to maintain that there is something profoundly mysterious in it which will change from top to bottom our ideas on nature and on life.
Dr. Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909) – Professor of psychology at the University of Turin and Inspector of Asylums for the Insane in Italy, Lombroso was a pioneering criminologist. He became known worldwide for his book, The Criminal Man. He began investigating psychic phenomena in 1891.
I am ashamed and grieved at having opposed with so much tenacity the possibility of psychic facts – the facts exist and I boast of being a slave to facts. There can be no doubt that genuine psychical phenomena are produced by intelligences totally independent of the psychic and the parties present at the sittings.
Dr. Enrico Morselli (1852-1929) – An Italian neurologist, he was Director of the Clinic of Nervous and Mental Disease at the University of Genoa.
If for many years academic science has depreciated the whole category of facts…so much the worse for science. And worse still for the scientists who have remained deaf and blind before affirmations, not of credulous sectarians, but of serious and worthy observers, such as Crookes, Lodge, and Richet. I, myself, as far as my modest power went, contributed to this obstinate skepticism until the day when I was enabled to break the chains in which my absolutist preconceptions had bound my judgment. I was a bitter skeptic with regard to the objective reality of the phenomena. Today, furnished with an experience, after long and mature reflections on what I have seen and touched with my hand, I have changed my belief.
Dr. Gustave Geley (1868-1924) – Professor of medicine at the University of Lyons, he gave up his practice as a teacher and physician in 1919 to become director of the Institute Metaphyschique International in Paris to investigate mediumship.
[The facts revealed necessitate] the complete overthrow of materialistic physiology, [and that] the materialistic conception of the universe is false and cannot be reconciled with our present biological knowledge.
Dr. Julian Ochorowicz (1850-1917) – Professor of psychology and philosophy at the University of Warsaw, he helped establish the Polish Psychological Institute in Warsaw and served as a director for the International Institute of Psychology in Paris.
I found I had done a great wrong to men who had proclaimed new truths at the risk of their positions. When I remember that I branded as a fool that fearless investigator, Crookes, the inventor of the radiometer, because he had the courage to assert the reality of psychic phenomena and to subject them to scientific tests, and when I also recollect that I used to read his articles thereon in the same stupid style, regarding him as crazy, I am ashamed, both of myself and others, and I cry from the very bottom of my heart. ‘Father, I have sinned against the Light.’
Baron (Dr.) Albert Von Schrenck-Notzing (1862-1929) – A forensic psychiatrist and member of the German aristocracy, he became interested in psychical research in 1889. He collaborated with Richet, Lombroso, Lodge, and others in many investigations for over 30 years. While he was reluctant, apparently out of scientific conservatism, to link valid mediumship with survival, he was nonetheless convinced of the reality of mediumship.
Finally, in the case of many phenomena, the nature and evanescence of their appearance, their flowing, changing and fantastic shapes and their mode of development until they reached their final form, argues against any possibility of a fraudulent production of them – even if one would assume that one of those present would have tried to deceive his fellow observers.
Dr. Hamlin Garland (1860-1940) – A Pulitizer Prize-winning author of 52 books, Garland was intimately involved with major literary, social, and artistic movements in American culture. He was one of the original members of the American Psychical Society, formed in Boston in 1891. In his 1936 book, Forty Years of Psychic Research, Garland states that he was an agnostic and student of Darwin and Herbert Spenser when he began his investigation of mediums.
I concede the possibility of their (spirits’) persistence, especially when their voices carry, movingly, characteristic tones and their messages are startlingly intimate. At such times, they seem souls of the dead veritably reimbodied. They jest with me about their occupations. They laugh at my doubts, quite in character. They touch me with their hands.
Maurice Maeterlinck, Esq. (1862-1949) – Winner of the 1911 Nobel Prize in literature, Maeterlinck, a Belgian, was primarily a poet, author, and playwright but he was also a psychical researcher.
Of all the explanations conceivable, that one which attributes everything to imposture and trickery is unquestionably the most extraordinary and the least probable.
Professor William R. Newbold (1865-1926) - Professor of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania when he was appointed to the advisory council of the American Society for Psychical Research, Newbold had numerous sittings with Leonora Piper.
Until within very recent years, the scientific world has tacitly rejected a large number of important philosophical conceptions on the ground that there is absolutely no evidence in their favor whatever. Among those popular conceptions are those of the essential independence of the mind and the body, of the existence of a supersensible world, and of the possibility of occasional communication between that world and this. We have here [in Mrs. Piper], as it seems to me, evidence that is worthy of consideration for all these points.
Dr. Carl A. Wickland (1861-1945) - A member of the Chicago Medical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and director of the National Psychological Institute of Los Angeles, Wickland specialized in cases of schizophrenia, paranoia, depression, addiction, manic-depression, criminal behavior and phobias of all kinds. His wife, Anna Wickland, was a trance medium.
Spirit obsession is a fact – a perversion of a natural law – and is amply demonstrable. This has been proven hundreds of times by causing the supposed insanity or aberration to be temporarily transferred from the victim to a psychic sensitive who is trained for the purpose, and by this method ascertain the cause of the psychosis to be an ignorant or mischievous spirit, whose identity may frequently be verified.
Edward C. Randall, Esq. (1860-1935) – A prominent Buffalo, New York trial lawyer who served on the board of directors of a number of large corporations, Randall began studying the direct-voice mediumship of Emily S. French in 1890. He had more than 700 sittings with French over 22 years.
Hundreds, yea thousands [of spirits], have come and talked with me, and to many whom I have invited to participate in the work – thousands of different voices with different tones, different thoughts, different personalities, no two alike; and at times in different languages.
Dr. Isaac K. Funk (1839-1912) – After serving 11 years as a Lutheran minister, Funk turned to editorial work and co-founded the publishing firm of Funk and Wagnalls. He was the editor-in-chief of the Standard Dictionary of the English Language. Funk began investigating psychic phenomena after hearing about the mediumship of Emily French from Edward C. Randall.
About 14 years ago I became acquainted with [Emily French]. I was sure her phenomena were the result of fraud and I determined to expose it. After many sittings and exacting experiments, I became convinced that they were genuine, and finally at the suggestion of the spirit intelligences, I had fitted up a séance room in my own house in which my wife, the medium, and myself held séances, and we have done this now for more than a dozen years. I have tested Mrs. French in every way I can think of, and am thoroughly convinced that the phenomena are what they claim to be.
The Rev. Charles Drayton Thomas (1868-1953) – A graduate of Richmond Theological College, Thomas was a Methodist minister who served on the Council of the Society for Psychical Research in London for 19 years. Beginning in 1917, he had more than 500 sittings with Gladys Osborne Leonard, probably England’s most famous medium. The Book Tests and Newspaper Tests are Thomas’ primary contribution to psychical research. Along with the Cross-Correspondences, they are considered the best evidence of the reality of spirit communication.
Perhaps it will be asked what benefit may be expected from a general acceptance of this evidence for survival. I think it will do for others what it has done for me. It has supplemented and reinforced my faith, both in times of bereavement and in the prospect of old age and death. Also, it has further emphasized the value of personal religion.
Dr. William McDougall (1871-1938) – Born and educated in England, McDougall taught at Cambridge, University College in London, and Oxford before moving to the United States and holding the chair of psychology at Harvard for seven years. He then headed the psychology department at Duke University for 11 years, encouraging and helping Dr. J. B. Rhine to establish the parapsychology laboratory there. He served as president of the Society for Psychical Research in England and later as president of the American Society for Psychical Research.
There seem to be overwhelming strong reasons for accepting, as the best working hypothesis of the psycho-physical relation, the animistic horn of the dilemma.
Dr. T. Glen Hamilton (1877-1935) – A graduate of Manitoba Medical College, Hamilton had a private medical practice while also teaching clinical surgery at Winnipeg General Hospital. He became interested in psychic phenomena in 1918 and conducted extensive studies on Canadian mediums.
…we hold the survival theory to be valid in accounting for every fact known in regard to the trance personalities. It accounts for their stated opinions that they were indeed deceased (discarnate) individuals. It admits of the possibility that they, as discarnate persons, shared some manner of inter-communication, which enabled them to plan, to co-operate, and to commit themselves to organized activities in the séance room, activities which extended over a period of many years.
Dr. Robert Crookall (1890-1969) – After taking his Ph.D., Crookall lectured at Aberdeen University before joining the staff of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, specializing in coal-forming plants. He resigned from his geological work in 1952 to devote the rest of his life to psychical research.
The whole of the available evidence is explicable on the hypothesis of the survival of the human soul in a Soul Body. There is no longer a ‘deadlock’ or ‘stalemate’ on the question of survival. On the contrary, survival is as well established as the theory of evolution.
Dr. C. J. Ducasse (1881-1969) – The French-born American philosopher came to the United Stated as a teenager and eventually became chairman of the Department of Philosophy at Brown University. He had many sittings with mediums and lectured extensively on psychical research.
Some of the facts we have considered suggest that the belief in life after death, which so many persons have found no particular difficulty in accepting as an article in religious faith, may well be capable of empirical proof. That the occurrence of paranormal phenomena does appear to have such implications, is, I submit, sufficient reason to give them far more attention and study than they have commonly received in the past.
Dr. Raynor C. Johnson (1901-1987) – A physicist, Johnson was educated at Oxford and received his doctorate from the University of London. He lectured in physics at King’s College, University of London, before becoming master of Queen’s College at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
For myself, I can only say that my intuition, such as it is, supports (Frederic) Myers, and my attempt to evaluate the data of psychical research and form a critical judgment leads me to conclude that if survival of death is not rigorously proven, it is nevertheless established as of that high order or probability which, for practical purposes, can be taken as the same thing.
Dr. Gardner Murphy (1895-1979) – While at Harvard, Murphy accepted the Hodgson Memorial Fund research grant. He served as president of the American Society for Psychical Research for 20 years. He taught psychology at Columbia University and served as chairman of the psychology department at City College of New York.
It is the autonomy, the purposiveness, the cogency, above all the individuality, of the sources of the messages, that cannot be by-passed. Struggle though I may as a psychologist, for forty-five years, to try to find a ‘naturalistic’ and ‘normal’ way of handling this material, I cannot do this even when using all the information we have about human chicanery and all we have about the far-flung telepathic and clairvoyant abilities of some gifted sensitives. The case looks like communication with the deceased.
Dr. Hereward Carrington (1880-1958) – After moving to the U.S. from Great Britain in 1899, Carrington served as assistant to Dr. James H. Hyslop at the Society for Psychical Research. His first of many books on psychical phenomena was published in 1907 and explained the fraudulent practices of physical mediums. However, Carrington came away from his investigation of Eusapia Palladino convinced of the reality of some of the phenomena. In 1921, he founded the American Psychical Institute and Laboratory.
I myself have observed materializations under perfect conditions of control, and have had the temporary hand melt within my own, as I held it firmly grasped. This hand was a perfectly formed physiological structure, warm, lifelike, and having all the attributes of the human hand – yet both the medium’s hands were securely held by two controllers, and visible in the red light. Let me repeat, this hand was not pulled away, but somehow melted in my grasp as I held it.
Dr. Harry Price (1881-1948) – Founder of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research, later organized as the University of London Council for Psychical Research, Price is best remembered as a debunker of fraudulent mediums. However, he clearly believed in genuine psychic phenomena.
The fact that I have devoted many years of my life to experimentation; have studied thousands of reports dealing with the subject; have traveled thousands of miles all over Europe for obtaining first-hand experience of ‘phenomena’; and have spent a fortune in seeking the truth or otherwise of psychic manifestations, must surely entitle me to a sympathetic hearing. And if I were not convinced of these things, I would not waste another moment of my time or penny of my money in further research...The greatest skeptic concerning paranormal phenomena is invariably the man who knows the least about them.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D. (1926-2004) A Swiss-born medical doctor, psychiatrist, and thanatologist, Dr. Kübler-Ross was an internationally renowned authority in the area of death and dying. She authored a number of books on the subject, and was one of the first researchers of the near-death experience.
Many people are beginning to be aware that the physical body is only the house or the temple, or as we call it the cocoon, which we inhabit for a certain number of months or years until we make the transition called death. Then, at the time of death, we shed this cocoon and are once again as free as a butterfly to use the symbolic language that we use when talking to dying children and their siblings.
Barbara R. Rommer, M.D. (1944-2004) A founding member of the Holy Cross Medical Group in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Rommer practiced medicine from 1974 until her death in 2004. She was also a researcher of near-death experiences, authoring two books on the subject, including Blessings in Disguise, published in 2000.
I believe that the only part of us that dies is our physical body, once referred to as our ‘husk’ by a Catholic priest who related his own near-death experience to me. The body is physical matter but is not our true essence. Our true essence, our soul, our spirit, our life force, and our very being, that part of us which has a personality, most probably does not die. I must admit that I have received what I consider to be confirmation of this from my husband, Salvatore (Sonny) Pepitone, who entered his spirit form on June 25, 1997.
Gary Schwartz, Ph.D. (1944 - ) After receiving his doctorate from Harvard University, Dr. Schwartz served as a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Yale University. He then became director of the University of Arizona’s Human Energy Systems Laboratory, where he conducted extensive research with mediums. His book, The Afterlife Experiments, published in 2002 detailed these experiments.
I can no longer ignore the data [on research into the survival of consciousness] and dismiss the words [coming through mediums]. They are as real as the sun, the trees, and our television sets, which seem to pull pictures out of the air.
Jon Klimo, Ph.D. (1942 - ) The author of Channeling: Investigations on Receiving Information from Paranormal Sources, Dr. Klimo has been teaching on the graduate level continuously for more than 30 years, most recently at the San Francisco Bay Area campus of The American School of Professional Psychology, Argosy University. As a lifelong multi-disciplinarian, he has done extensive research, writing, teaching, and presentations in psychology, parapsychology, consciousness studies, new paradigm thought and new science, ufology, metaphysics and the transpersonal domain.
I personally choose to believe that we do meaningfully survive death and can communicate back through mediums and channels, although, as I said, perhaps only a percentage of what is thought to be genuine mediumship or channeling actually is, and right now we just do not have any kind of definitive litmus test to ascertain authenticity.
David Fontana, Ph.D. (current) A professor of transpersonal psychology in Great Britain, Dr. Fontana is a past president of the Society for Psychical Research and a fellow of the British Psychological Society. He has done extensive survival research and is the author of many books, including Is There an Afterlife? published in 2002.
Ultimately our acceptance of the reality of survival may not come solely from the evidence but from personal experience and from some inner intuitive certainty about our real nature. We are who we are, and at some deep level within ourselves we may be the answer to our own questions. If your answer is that you are more than a biological accident whose ultimately meaningless life is bounded by the cradle and the grave, then I have to say I agree with you.