Loyd and Gretchen discuss why they believe there is life after death, and the evidence to support their belief.
Loyd Auerbach is a leading expert on parapsychology and is on the Board of Directors of the Rhine Research Center. He earned his B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Northwestern University and his M.S. in Parapsychology from John F. Kennedy University.
Loyd has authored multiple books on parapsychology, appeared on several television shows and documentaries regarding the paranormal, and teaches parapsychology at several universities across the country. His knowledge and experience of magic and mentalism, coupled with his background in Parapsychology and broad knowledge of other sciences has led a number of researchers to consult with him, especially with regard to laboratory controls and where the potential for psychic fraud has existed.
Gretchen O'Neal is a spiritual accountability and empowerment coach. She owns and operates www.cometoyourself.com. Come To Yourself provides unbiased, easily accessible information from the top scholars in the fields of transpersonal psychology and consciousness studies, coupled with personal insights from successful artists, musicians, and business professionals, to anyone looking to start their spiritual journey to discover and serve their soul's mission in life
Hi, this is Gretchen from come to yourself.com with our series facts, not fiction, featuring a discussion about parapsychology with Lloyd our back. Enjoy me, just ask you the blanket question. Do you personally believe in life after death?Speaker 2:
I do. I do believe in life after death.Speaker 1:
Why do you believe in life after death?Speaker 2:
Two reasons personal experience from some of my cases , um, where there was literally to my mind, there's just no other possibility , uh , personal experience with , um, my own encounters because of, and really they were, they were like a friend of mine who died. Uh, and I had an experience with him after he died. That was the same experience that other friends of his hat in different parts of the country within a few days of each other. Um, and then also experience with my father after he passed , uh , in the hospital. So I I've had personal experience, but the, honestly the evidence is overwhelming when you start including the Apparitional experience experiences and really well investigated cases of ghosts. When you look at reincarnation cases specifically related to children who remember previous lives, especially the work of the university of Virginia and the university of Iceland. When you look at near death experiences, which strongly suggest that consciously skin separate from the body there, when you look at mediumship research that's being done right now, and I'm heavily involved in , um , an organization that works with spirit mediums, evidential meetings, once you can produce really good evidence and there's great research, that's going on, that's out there when you bring all that together, there's only two ways you can look at it. Um , if you assume that there's something more to human beings, I mean, I've heard explanations for some of this stuff that just are actually crazier than saying the psychic ability might exist or something psychic might exist. Some of the skeptics really reach in ways that make no sense. They will come up with explanations that have not been themselves , uh , demonstrated to actually exist, which is often fun. If you can play with them a little bit, which I like to do. So , um , really what we're looking at here is that one way this evidence can be interpreted is that consciousness has many more facets to it than just the brain. And that there is some indication that consciousness can either, it can certainly extend past the brain in ways that are not the way we think of them as just plain old ESP, when we're talking about near death experiences, but the consciousness can somehow survive the death of the body in one way, shape or form, and still interact at least for a time. The other way to look at it. If you're a pure materialist who is not reaching for other explanations , uh , is that ESP in some instances can be so extraordinarily powerful for one certain instance that it mimics the idea that consciousness is arrived at the body. So it's really, I think it depends on the starting point. If you are a materialist, starting from that perspective, the odds are you are going to look at the evidence one way and if you're open, you may be somewhere in the middle. Um , if you are, have really looked the evidence, you, especially, if you've had an experience, you're going to probably go the other direction like me now, what that life after death is. I don't know. You know, we talk about apparitions, they're still here. So if they go somewhere else or where they go, where the mediums are talking to them, I can't address that. Um, my feeling is it's it's to paraphrase a science fiction writer, and I'm not even sure who said this, but it's more different than we can possibly imagine. So we wouldn't even have the words to describe.Speaker 1:
Yeah, what I, what I find , um, really important about the way you speak about these things is when other people talk about , um, psychic, phenomenal life after death , um, and they want to gate it. They, you know, the word that they used was there's a scientific proof. You and I think this is really important. Don't use the word proof. We're saying evidence. There is scientific evidence of all of these things. And if we, if we, as a culture stopped using a word like proof, which has a very definitive, you know , um, impact on as believing that that all of a sudden makes it a universal truth, irrefutable, nothing is irrefutable. We don't know everything. Nobody can say they know it, but if we say instead, does scientific evidence exist of this phenomenon or that phenomenon, then your response to that is yes, there's absolutely loads of it . According to this conversation. There's loads .Speaker 2:
Yeah. Uh , and you know, part of the reason why this comes up in our culture is because the legal system, because in the legal system, you know , proof , the legal system is very different than proof the science. Absolutely. But we also see that sometimes people are proven to be murderers who evidence comes up and they've been in prison for 50 years and they shoot .Speaker 1:
Yeah. Because again, we don't know everything and we can't discount. We can't say we know everything at any given moment.Speaker 2:
Right, exactly. Yeah . And you know, honestly, one of the things I've often said is if, if some, somebody comes up with a really good , um, demonstrable explanation for ESP, for , uh , for these kids who remember previous lives, that's not reincarnation, that's not conscious of surviving death. That's not us reaching pass are , you know, past the limits of our brain or our area. Um, you know, if I were to come up with that, I'm sure that I wouldn't be more likely to get a Nobel prize than had so-called proof of ESP. Absolutely . But I , you know , I , I do have to mention one thing and that is that, and this is even something that the materialist and the parrot field , the pair of psychologists , we have materials in Tara's psychology too , who don't believe in life after death. They're interpreting the evidence of that as super ESP or just really good, you know , it just extended that. Um, but even proponents of that with rare exception in our field , um, are curious about the children who remember previous lives, because there's a lot of really big leaps. You have to take to say that it's even ESP in those circumstances. And what's really interesting to me is how these are, these cases are dismissed by mainstream science. They're immediately dismissed as fraud. Uh, the kid actually was, was, you know , coached by the family and there's any number of different explanations. And yet Carl Sagan in his book, the demon haunted world, this is one of three types of phenomena . That one of another one is what the result of the Ganzfeld experiment. Some experiments in Paris psychology, but the children remembering previous lives was a question that he had and that he felt should be looked into. So let's assume it's not reincarnation. What is it? I mean, isn't that an interesting question. If I was, I , you should be able to, in any field of science that works with children, it looks in psychology. You should be able to get grants to do, to look at that question. It's not reincarnation. What else could it be?Speaker 1:
And I think it's super important , uh, again, to point out, we're talking about children. So this isn't even a situation where we can say, Oh, an adult who has even just some general base global knowledge of things, you know, has a dream. And you know, and that's usually how that's explained away , Oh, well maybe he was dreaming something. And you know , now he believes that that was a past life. Like these are children that have no concept of a lot of the things that they are remembering. Right. You know, remembering culture , languages, historical things sometimes. Yeah .Speaker 2:
And remembering things about how they , their previous personality died. And then there's a birthmark that matches that previous personality, which is another P that's in a small number of cases. But it's enough cases that, you know, somebody has a birth mother remember being shot, and there's a birthmark of what looks like a bullet, a bullet, or , um, there was one case that one of my colleagues had Orlander Haroldson had in India where the girl remembered being a guy who was on his bicycle in Indiana, got hit by a truck. And his left side got caved in and he died. And the girl had a huge birthmark on her left side. So, and there was no connection shown that there was literally no connection between one family, the family of the person who died and this little girl's family, until she was able to take her parents to that town and knock on the door and introduce herself and her parents and know the names of everyone in that house from her past life. So you have circumstances like that. Again, if it's not reincarnation, if it's not ESP, what the hell is it? And isn't that, I mean, this, the fact that people are afraid to look at that question in their field of science, because it might be woo . You know, it can be framed pretty easily, you know, let's, let's, let's figure out what's going on. I mean, just simple as that, it's something that is happening. They say it shouldn't be happening, but it is happening. So wouldn't it be a question for science to look at why it's happening?Speaker 1:
Why do you think science is afraid to look at these things? Mainstream science?Speaker 2:
I think first of all, there's a lot of baggage to anything that smacks of religion. And of course, reincarnation is , um, both a reported experience, but also a religious belief to you over almost 2 billion people on the planet. Uh, it was even a belief of the early teachings of the early Christians. Yes . So there's that piece of it right there. The second part of that I think is because especially today, I mean, let's face it, there's so much pop culture, new age stuff. That's out there where people get bent out of shape, even question, when they tell you they had a past life and you know, it's like, how do you know? It's like, well, I just feel it. It's like, okay, good for you. Yes .Speaker 1:
That's good . You know ,Speaker 2:
Um, nothing we can do about it. You're an adult . You might've had some dreams. You might've been under hypnosis. Somebody might have said you had a past live under hypnosis. So you came up with one it's really, we have to, we still have to bring science into it when we're looking at this.