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Scientists Discuss Their Research into Mind Beyond Body and the Survival of Consciousness After Death

2017 marks fifty years since Dr. Ian Stevenson founded the Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) at the University of Virginia – the oldest university-based research group in the world devoted exclusively to “the investigation of phenomena that challenge current physicalist brain/mind orthodoxy”, including research into the possibility post-mortem survival of consciousness.”

To mark the occasion, four of the staff -Jim Tucker, Bruce Greyson, Kim Penberth,. and Edward F. Kelly – gave presentations on their research (discussing, respectively: children who remember past live; near-death experiences; the mind-body relationship; and the Division’s research and challenge to the physicalist paradigm) recently at the University of Virginia’s ‘Medical Center Hour’, and I’ve embedded video of the event above. It’s an excellent introduction to these topics, and the exciting research being done by DOPS.

(Note: I discussed DOPS a little and talked to Dr Bruce Greyson about near-death experiences in Stop Worrying, There Probably is an Afterlife, so check that out too if you’re interested in the topic of survival of consciousness.)

  1. Great summary of research, as
    Great summary of research, as is Greg’s Book – Stop Worrying, which I bought and read and will refer to into the future…

    When I was young 3,4,5 or so…I used to have a recurring nightmare/distressing dream that would fill me with an overwhelming sense of dread. I was drifting in a vast sea of darkness, I most related it to a sea/ocean…but it was more like space or a void. As far as I could perceive there were black whispy “sheets” (souls?) waving/floating/drifting all around me. There was an overwhelming sense of loneliness, hopelessness, loss… Then I would wake up.

    Other than this dream, I never had any other recurring nightmares or unpleasant dreams. I actually had quite an active, fun, often lucid dreaming life. My interpretation since (I’m turning 50) is that perhaps this was a memory of my time between lives, in some netherworld, waiting to be reincarnated. Afterlife research indicates there are spheres higher and lighter, lower and darker, where one gravitates to after death depending on their spiritual growth in the prior life. Perhaps this was one of my lower ones…hopefully I’m doing better this time around ;-P

  2. Well…….
    I have no doubt about there being an afterlife, or, at least, another plane of existence. I have experienced some small part of that other plane in the recent past.

    On July 20th of 2015, I was diagnosed with Heart Disease brought on by the formation of blood clots that blocked 3 of my major arteries. When my Cardiologist performed an Angioplasty, I came close to Cardiac Arrest, and afterward, his examination of the images found tiny blockages forming in the other 3 arteries. As a result, I was moved to another hospital that specializes in cardiac Surgery.

    10 days later, on 30 July 2015, I underwent Heart Bypass Surgery and received 6 bypasses during a 7-hour operation.

    During that procedure, I had an Out-Of-Body experience, where I could see the entire operating room. What I saw was not only the doctors and staff, as well as myself on the table, but other beings standing among and about them, 6-10, probably, though I never actually sought to count them. I recognized them as being there, and they recognized me, though I cannot say how that occurred. I just KNEW that I was welcome among them.

    What amazed me was that I could HEAR them, and their voices sounded like children at play. Full of happiness and laughter, a higher-pitched sound, and as I live and breathe, all I could think of was “Fairies”. They weren’t dancing around, or flitting here and there, mostly just an amorphous whitish bright to pale green colored beings standing about, or slowly moving.

    At some point, I returned to my body and my next recollection was in the operating room. On either side of me, I could slightly see, but seemed more to sense, 3-4 similar beings. These were right by my head and I could hear them talking to one another, as well as to me. I distinctly recall two of them talking about how strong I was, and how I would be just fine. They had the same child-like voices, and they were incredibly comforting.

    I know these were separate from the nursing staff in the recovery room, and later in the ICU, as I could clearly hear THEIR voices and see them as my sight returned.

    I know that some folks will claim it all to be hallucinations as the result of the anesthesia, or some other delusion or dreams, etc. But it was clear to me, and incredibly comforting, not at all dreadful or concerning.

    Since then, I have been quite at peace with life, more so than at any other point in my existence. Perhaps it’s knowing that this physical life is only one stage in what I would call the journey of our souls. I can’t say what lies beyond with any certainty. perhaps we are reborn again and again, or rise to higher planes with each life, and perhaps, lessons learned. I don’t know.

    I only know that death isn’t final, just one stop on the journey. I don’t WANT to die just yet, as I still have much to do, but when that time comes, I know I won’t fear it.

    Anyway, those are my experiences. Maybe for everyone it’s different. Who knows? But it’s my own experience, one I can attest to.

    Sorry for the length of the story, but I thought you all might be interested.

    1. Thanks!
      [quote=Gwedd]I have no doubt about there being an afterlife, or, at least, another plane of existence. I have experienced some small part of that other plane in the recent past.[/quote]

      Man, I could listen to people’s experiences on this topic all day, fascinating. Thanks for sharing your story Gwedd, appreciate it!

      1. Thank You
        I had hesitated on whether to post this or not, but decided that I should probably share it, to at least add my own voice to the discussion.

        Along the same lines, my mother, who was from Murwillumbah, always told us kids about things she knew that had happened, were happening, and would happen in the future. It was a matter-of-fact situation with her, and she had said that she’d always had “The Gift” as she called it, saying that her mother and her mother’s mother ere somehow related to the Sidhe.

        She also had no doubts about an afterlife, as it were, and added that what she had learned from her mother was added to by a couple of the Aboriginals who worked on their station.

        Although she missed Oz and the Tweed River so very much, still she was pretty happy in the states, and gave to us kids not just a wonderful childhood, but an appreciation for things beyond our normal sight, and encouraged us to explore all such subjects.

        It’s one of the reasons, I suspect, why I’m a Grailer. 🙂

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