QUESTION: I saw that you mentioned afterlife in your profile. I'm neither a believer nor a non believer. So I'm sort of on the fence about this. I'm writing because having a few friends that have passed away, and a good friend who lost her child at the age of 6, is why I'm curious. And someone told me about this site. So I thought I'd ask. My friend even though, her child died quite a few yrs. ago, still grieves as any parent at certain times... his birthday his date of death etc. she's looked into afterlife info. she also went to psychics. But as she said, when you look into these afterlife experiences almost all the stories are from evangelists. NO!! we are not insulting the religion, this isn't what she or I are doing. She just wants to know info. from someone else. I lost both my parents as well as other people close to me. I'd like to think they are all right and happy and I'll see them again, but it's hard to think that. Why is it she can't feel her son, around her and I can't feel my relatives. I dreamt of them when they passed. I was told it's a visit. But it could also be because they were so much on my mind at that time... what can you offer to help us understand this better...Is there an afterlife? Is her son happy? thank you
ANSWER: Hello there,
Thank you for writing to me at All Experts, Paranormal Phenomena with your concerns regarding the afterlife. If you are getting "evangelical" answers then you are asking people with a bias. One of the reasons that I am an atheist is so that my opinion is not swayed in one direction or the other. In science, particularly in parapsychology and theory physics there exists a term, the "experimenter factor" also called "research bias" that states that the actions, thoughts and personal biases can influence the outcome of any given experiment. Hence, the fewer my biases, the lessor my influence on results. Particularly in the fields of parapsychology, the paranormal and afterlife studies does this factor run wild, from fanatical belief where nothing can dissuade one's beliefs that the phenomena exists without doubt to the hardcore pseudo-sceptical cynic where nothing can persuade any change in their belief system to look at anything other than what is placed right before their noses.
To be honest, I, nor anyone else can state for certain the emotional state of your friend's deceased son. Two reasons are that 1- I am not a psychic medium, and true ones are extremely rare, EXTREMELY RARE! And 2- I do not know where the child went after his passing.
Not much help so far is it. But it is the truth and I won't stare into a crystal ball and charge you a small fortune to give false hope... gee, in other words, lie to you and give you "answers" that can not be proven. So I will have to rely upon years of study and avocational experience to give you some possibilities as I see (and profile) your and your friend's concerns.
Just as there is no way at this moment to absolutely prove an after life continuance of the soul and personality, at this moment there is absolutely no way to disprove it. People like myself are working hard to explore and find answers while those harshly critical do nothing except sit on their cynical butts and nay-say anything outside of their closed comfort zone. The fact of the matter is is that because of the amount of research done in afterlife studies, particularly pertaining to Near Death Experiences [NDE] that the possibilities of an actual life after death seems more factual than fictional.
Although I started out in my fields of expertise as an open minded skeptic [as in the original Greek meaning of the word] I have to, through experience, lean toward the belief of an afterlife. Still an open minded skeptic, I can not turn head nor ignore the empirical data when it is right in front of me... I have to except the truth as the truth.
What is most interesting about NDE is when the events occurred to children in the death realm. They are less subject to prior knowledge, biases nor be too shy to assume that by telling their story that others will label them. Their accounts of the "other side" are amazingly accurate when compared to research studies. Their very innocence and naivety are the very things that add validity to their explanation of their extraordinary experience. I will not bore you with the research that has been done on this subject, giving life after death evidence, as you can find that information on my web site at:
This is my educated opinion, and it will be the same for both you and your friend. Because of the lack of attempted contact between the deceased and the living I will state that they are content where they are and that means that they were lead into the light. This means that they are not ghosts lost in the realm between the world of the living and the spirit world of the light. As spirits, they continue to evolve as beings, grow, learns and live happy, loving and peaceful lives. It was likely that your friend's son's pre-deceased relatives and his spirit guide took him into the light, just as it was likely that friends and pre-deceased relatives of your parents lead them into the light [which ever parent left first was the one to help the other when their turn came. As I do not know about your friends, I can not make a statement, some may have gone into the light, others may have stayed earthbound for whatever personal reason they have.
I have a feeling that it is the "going / gone into the light" part of the explanations that you may feel are "evangelical" in its essence. It is not so. Thousands of people, of all races and religions [yes, even us atheists] have reported the light as a major part of the death/dying experience. Most report going into a dark tunnel with a warm light at the end of it. Upon reaching this brilliant light they feel its warmth and it is not blinding [given the fact that their "living" eyes are not functioning, what may be blinding to us would not be so to the dead]. They often hear a sound, sometimes described as the rush of a waterfall while in the tunnel and "astral" sounds beyond description when in the light. Bear in mind that in both cases of the audio and visual phenomenon that we are no longer inhibited by the limited frequencies that can be seen and heard while living.
The passed are usually subject to a life review, if they make it into death this far. The life review is a personal thing between you and your conscience and your guide. He is not there to pass judgment. He is there to show you the errors that you made along the way, as well as all of the times that you helped others. Often times people explain seeing a barrier such as a river, bridge or field that must be crossed by those in death but still able to return to life that must be crossed to finalize the death as irreversible. The light is not "Heaven" except for those who believe is such a place. The guide is not "God / Jesus / Allah / Buddha / et.al" unless your belief in such a diety is strong. One's belief system biases who they see or where they think that they are although it is the same place for all. So you can see that answers depend upon whom you question. But that's the same about everything come to think of it. The fact as I know it through research is that religion does not exist in the spirit realm, including, ironically, spiritualism! Deities as we think of them do not exist although there are those who are more evolved who exist. One of these evolved beings is the spirit guide that we are all born with, as well as our guardians [angels or otherwise]. And to top it off on a good note, Hell does not exist.
As long as nobody that you have mentioned remained behind in the ghost realm, and my profile does not see that as much of a possibility, then yes, all are blissfully happy, engaged in activities that they enjoy[ed], and at peace. There are those who have passed over and been brought back to life who have given their doctors royal hell for bringing them back from the most beautiful, loving and peaceful place that they have ever been. These people no longer fear death, nor do they go out of their way to encourage it. But most life a fuller life because of it.
If the deceased are in the light, evolving as spirits [as opposed to ghosts] they are able to return to the realm of the living and their presence is often felt on special occasions, or when one is down and our and needs a hug. I will say that if the grieving process for your friend is unchanging, then I highly suggest grief counselling, not as an option, but as a must, as it will become a psychological problem. It is good to grieve, it is necessary to grieve and it is human to grieve. And everyone will grieve in their own way and at their own comfortable pace. But if it gets to the point where it becomes an obsession or abnormal, well... thats why help exists.
To end, can I prove what I have said, not yet. Can others disprove it - never. Once you look into the matter of life after death then it's reality seems very possible on so many levels and areas of science. But as a person in my position, I will say that all is right and well. You'll see that when it is your turn to leave behind your living shell and "YOU" are greeted by all who held a special place in your heart to bring you home.
If you should have any further questions or concerns, I'm here to help. You may also find helpful information on another of my All Expert pages:
Director of Parapsychology, Afterlife and Paranormal Studies,
Eidolon Project Canada
Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Mr. Pocha I'll try to be brief...I agree with much of what you said. I guess a guide would be for some a guardian angel. In the past couple of yrs. I've lost a few friends. some I've known most of my adult life. One friend was only in his 50s. too young I think. I'd like to think he's happy wherever he is. As for children. I did read a story a while back about a little girl I think about 6 or 7. who drowned and was considered dead for a while. She has always been someone people were more apt to believe. Because of the way she related the story. One EMT was extremely impressed by the way she described what was going on. She's now of course grown up. But she said she was in a beautiful place and was with a I guess you'd call it a guide. She believed her guardian angel. (her belief system). Then she asked the guide will my mother be here. And the guide said not now so she decided to come back. She seems to think we make a choice. You mentioned that some people talk about a bridge. I know of a woman who had a heart condition. And had an episode where she was considered dead for a minute or two. She said she saw her parents and they were on the other side of a small bridge. She wanted to go to them they said no you can't come right now. She felt it was because she had a son who was still in his teens. And as far as hell, I'm not sure what that means. everyone perceives it as punishment burning etc. How can we feel pain if were not in a body? Personally whatever anyone sees as God I don't believe in a vengeful one. We all like to believe we'll see our love ones again. hopefully we will. As for my remark about evangelists, we didn't mean it as being bias. Anyone is free to believe in what they like. As they say those who believe no explanation is necessary for those who don't no explanation is possible. Thank you for the information.
There isn't any Hell. That man made location is about as real as man made belief systems. Originally it does have origins in the Torah, as the place where garbage was burned, in the valley of Hinnom, later called Gehenna. From garbage dump to mythology that has influenced masses of people... go figure.
When man was moving from polytheistic beliefs [many gods] to monotheistic beliefs [one god] things got confusing and that started people asking questions. When a group is trying to establish a monopoly, questions are not welcome, as they require answers. One question would be, if "god" is so loving, peaceful, and benevolent, why all of the suffering and hardship. The working in mysterious ways wasn't answer enough for some. So to make god the all round nice guy that he was supposed to be a scapegoat was needed. Of course the scapegoat had to be one of gods creations as he was the "one and only". So a fallen angel was established to take the blame for all of the other stuff. In the polytheistic world, there was a god for things good and things bad, so blame and praise could be placed on the corresponding god. Things were okay if the sacrifices were sufficient. But a single god meant that blame was solely his, unless...
...a 'satin' was created to take the blame for everything evil, malevolent, and negative. Now no longer the work of mysterious ways, it was the work of the devil. [I am deliberately not capitalizing the first characters of the "nouns"].
I tend to follow the teachings regarding the Tibetan Book of the Dead. It teaches that the demons one faces and the "hell" that one is in is only a belief, a self-made mental image. That it is not real and exists only in the mind of the dead. Once the deceased has realized this and hell and it's demons are recognized for what they are, imagination, and the journey continues without incidence. From the lyrics of The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel, "...a man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest."
In this case, the pain is not physical, that is a man made concept [Gee, thanks Christ, Dante and Milton]. With the later two the depictions of hell are macabre at the least. It is here that the burning flames [based on a garbage dump], the torture, the eternal suffering sprang to life. As well, in the cases of new religions, fear is a great factor in brainwashing the masses. My way or "Highway to Hell".
Any suffering would then be mental, as it is the mind and personality that survives death. According to most accounts there is no such place as hell. There are however different levels of existence in the light, from lower ones where the more evil of mankind would live among their own kind, to the highly evolved plain. The thing is is that if one is willing, they can learn from their errors, however severe, and evolve their way up the spiritual ladder. In the light, the judgment and "salvation" is placed on the individual, not on some big wig on a throne. Albeit, I have read of accounts of those who have had NDE where they found themselves at the edges of the theoretical, mythical hell, and came back to preach about it. Remember that these were hard core Christians to begin with, and you are what you believe. In parapsychology we use a phrase, "As in life, so in death". The mind does not change immediately when one passes. We carry the baggage that we packed with us into death.
Well, so much for my unbiased opinion persona. But this is what I see as the truth after half a lifetime of study. My fiend, unless it is self imposed, nobody deceased is suffering, and there is help for those who want it. We will all know what lays behind the veil that separates the living from the dead. To quote the lyrics from yet another song, this time from The Phantom of the Paradise by Paul Williams "...to conquer death we only have to die."
Well, that's a crappy note to end a reply with; so I will assure you that the people of whom you care so much about are happy if they had entered into the light, and able to go if they haven't. They need only look upwards... the light never leaves us. In closing, I'm happy to answer any more concerns you may have; you know how to find me.
Director of Parapsychology, Afterlife and Paranormal Studies,
Eidolon Project Canada,
Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada,