Well this is quite big, really.

Ok. Right-oh.

I’m ready to state categorically and definitively that I do now believe in life after death.

That’s it.

If you’re waiting for the punch-line then don’t bother because there isn’t one.

No, God hasn’t spoken to me and I haven’t seen a ghost or had a NDE. As I’ve always protested and lamented, my much longed for belief would have to come with one of those circumstances preceding it. There’s no way that I would just take other people’s experiences or claims as truth without seeing the reality for myself.

Arrogant? Maybe. But to me this whole area is much too important to just jump on a bandwagon willy-nilly.

As I suppose I could have expected, I’ve finally read myself into belief and there is one book that, just last week, finally made me go; These people aren’t lying. This man is legit. This is really happening.

The book is Return To Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives and it’s pretty amazing. Back in my seriously Skeptic-Atheist days I could debunk a claimed reincarnation at 50 paces but the cases in here are absolutely mind-boggling. And I just realised ‘This stuff is for real’. And then I re-read Holy Ghsots and Grave’s End and the fascinating books by my favourite Karina Machado and I realised that people aren’t delusional, or manipulative or ignorant or any of the other words used to describe people who believe in God or spirits or ‘other realms’.

The simple explanation is, it’s true. Not everyone can sense these things, not everyone feels a direct connection to God, but that doesn’t mean that they are not valid. I have a seriously awesome sense of direction. My sister gets lost going to the shop. I can’t explain my ability to her, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

So I’m not quite sure what this all means. I feel that I should be writing a more profound post, but this is what we’ve got. I know some of you will be disappointed that this does not neatly segue into my being a Christian. Sure, culturally that would make sense but I think I’ll just sit with my new understanding for a while.

14 thoughts on “Well this is quite big, really.

  1. the book that convinced me there is more to this world than we understand in a material way was Randi’s Prize:
    http://www.amazon.com/RANDIS-PRIZE-sceptics-paranormal-matters/dp/1848764944
    The author is a journalist looking at how sceptics view the paranormal. He started as a sceptic but continued to uncover quite convincing, scientific proofs that something more was going on in a number cases.
    Its only $2.99 Kindle at the moment if you need more reading.

  2. I’d suggest you have some long serious conversations with a neurologist who works with memory and seizures. Not to de-convince you, but to give you some more data before you get too carried away. The brain is the most fascinating place in the universe–other than the far end of the galaxy closest to the edge of its expansion.

    • Point taken, but the author of Return to Life is Jim Tucker, who is Bonner-Lowry Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia.
      That’s going to have to do I’m afraid, as I don’t know any neurologists in real- life.

  3. I wouldn’t dismiss NDE or any out-of-body experiences straight away. My problem with them is that they have very little to do with my daily struggle be it intelectual-spiritual or more mundane. It may be an interesting read but so is Kant’s “Critique of pure reason”. They are good for keeping the grey cells in shape though.

    • Yes, I’m really not sure why it is so important to me to find answers to all these things. I spent yesterday wondering ‘well what difference does this make to my life now? Is there a paradigm shift here?’ Certainly a sense of relief but anything further?

  4. Eva, I love your blog and the concept of “searching for a God who’s playing hard to get (dang! wish I had thought to say that). I’m working my way back from a hard-nosed materialism to something, I’m not sure exactly what.I’ve not made it back all the way to belief in an afterlife as you have, but at least I’m not quite as skeptical as I was not so long ago.

    • Doug, I’m so glad to cyber- meet you and thrilled to be introduced to your blog; I love it already! My little afterlife epiphany is just a week old, but it’s been a long hard slog to get here. I look forwards to following your journey 🙂

  5. “Back in my seriously Skeptic-Atheist days I could debunk a claimed reincarnation at 50 paces but the cases in here are absolutely mind-boggling.”

    What does this mean? Did the things you used to say to debunk reincarnation claims not apply in these cases, or did you just decide not to apply those critiques here? Was there better evidence? (What evidence?) Were you simply overwhelmed by the number of anecdotes?

    Maybe your next task should be reading books about alien abductions. They have lots of stories, and lots of “experts” vouching for their stories, too.

    • I don’t remember the stories that I read previously being as compelling as these ones to be honest, but if they were I imagined that I said to myself ‘ well yes they sound convincing but because I know absolutely that Materialism is the only way then there must be another explanation’. I alway found that my absolute knowledge and inflexibility that mainstream science explanations were always the answer meant that I didn’t explore other possibilities.
      The fact that he author of the book is very well regarded academic always helps, of course.

  6. Hi Eva, I’m truly honoured to be one of your favourite authors, thank you. I enjoyed your post, it tallies very much with the conclusion I’ve arrived at post three books on the subject. One of my favourite quotes, as you know, is Shakespeare’s, “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” I also quite like the idea that not all mysteries can be solved. 🙂 Have a lovely weekend, and I hope your son is well!

    • Thanks so much for your input – I am continually lending your books to my friends but it’s just occurred to me that I should make them buy their own copies!

  7. Pingback: Why we believe. | The Aspirational Agnostic

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