Book Review – The Afterlife Experiments – Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death
What if you could have a scientific reason to believe what you already in your heart know is true? The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life after Death (Pocket Books) by Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D., offers such a gift for those who know that life is eternal, that the soul survives death of the physical body. A professor at the University of Arizona, Dr. Schwartz and his groundbreaking, double-blind experiments have attracted a lot of attention. His methodology removes all the skeptics’ objections to survival research except one – that he does such research in the first place.
As a scientist, Dr. Schwartz likes to develop hypotheses and test them. He believes that his work offers evidence that supports the hypothesis that living info-energy systems, once produced, continue indefinitely – i.e., that there are eternal souls. He doesn’t say he has “proof” of life after death. How can you prove to someone else, he asks, that you love a particular person? Not by what you say, nor by what you do, because those words and actions could be motivated by something other than love. You just “know” inside that you love that particular person, but how do you “prove” it to someone else? That’s one problem. Another problem is this: How do you know that you are correctly interpreting what you experience as “love”? Maybe it is really something else. Dr. Schwartz replies that the scientific course of action allows us to infer the existence of things we cannot detect directly, to affirm the existence of the unseen, such as gravity. Science also allows us to evaluate interpretations of our experience, to reject some interpretations while allowing others to keep viable.
We all know that experiments in mediumship cannot “prove” the existence of life after death, because there are too many different interpretations of the data. For one thing, perhaps the medium, or psychic, has tremendous clairvoyant abilities and can simply “know” the answer to any question posed, without having to receive information transmitted from an actual spirit of a deceased person. This “Super Psi” hypothesis is almost impossible to refute. The double-blind experiments Dr. Schwartz reports do provide evidence of “anomalous information move,” for sure, but no experiment can absolutely “prove” that the information comes from non-material souls. Instead, Dr. Schwartz considers the details in the information exchanged. For example, when a medium relays some information from the deceased to the sitting relative, the spirit often corrects the medium, jokes, and interacts with the medium. If the medium were simply picking up on information, and were not in actual dialogue with an intelligent being, this kind of event would not occur. The bottom line is that the simplest explanation for all the data is that the anomalous information move is coming from living souls. So he has the scientific data that allows us to believe what we already know to be true. So what?
Gary Schwartz has a grander vision than proving that life survives death. His research has provided reason to speculate that it is love that is behind it all. It is love that motivates the information move – the communication between the loved one in spirit and the loved one in the physical body. Sir Isaac Newton, the man who discovered gravity, declared that this force of allurement that existed between all things in creation was a manifestation of God’s love. In other words, Newton equated gravity with love. Love is the universal energy, asserts Professor Schwartz.
Love puts a human confront on energy; on the info-energy systems we call souls. He also notes that it is love that motivates most of the communication between the psychic medium and the info-energy system, aka soul. In many instances of his experiments, the spirit would communicate information that had less bearing on the experimental requirements than it had on communicating love to the living relative. As much as a spirit may have shown motivation to help the experiment succeed, and would relay the required information, there would be the other communications that were motivated by the spirit’s strong desire that the living relative know the love that nevertheless emanated from the deceased relative to the living.
As Dr. Schwartz tells the tale of how he got involved in this research, it was his love for a colleague’s love of her deceased father that inspired him to probe the afterlife hypothesis. There was intellectual curiosity, but per haps not enough to warrant the criticism such research would generate among his colleagues. It was love that propelled him into action. As a bonus to the success of his experimental design in demonstrating the feasibility of a scientific exploration of the survival question, his work clearly revealed the eternal presence and infinite strength of love in binding creation together, making communication and communion not only possible, but vital to life itself.