The Survival of Human Consciousness

Essays on the Possibility of Life After Death

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SKU: 9780786427727 Categories: ,

About the Book

According to several recent polls, more than 80 percent of Americans believe in life after death. Of those, many adhere to their beliefs because of religious faith. Beyond religion, though, there is increasing scientific examination of life after death hypotheses. Both religious and secular believers are more frequently using empirical research to answer the key questions of how consciousness may transcend corporeal life and death. These essays from leading survival theoreticians scientifically assay the issues and evidence. Interdisciplinary in nature, it covers diverse topics including the origins of life after death hypotheses; theoretical, methodological and empirical approaches to afterlife research; hallucination experiences; evidence for consciousness survival; birthmarks and previous-life memories; suicide; and spirit participation. Concluding chapters discuss the future of afterlife research and offer a new interpretation of consciousness survival.

About the Author(s)

The late Michael A. Thalbourne worked in the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit in the School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide in South Australia.

Lance Storm works in the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit in the School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide in South Australia.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Lance Storm and Michael A. Thalbourne

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 319
Bibliographic Info: 19 photos, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2772-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by James Houran      1
Preface      5

SECTION I. HISTORICAL ISSUES
1. Refutation of the “Denial of Death” Hypothesis      9
2. Mystical Experience and the Afterlife      31

SECTION II. THEORETICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL ISSUES
3. Mind, Matter and Death      47
4. Conversations About Survival: Novel Theoretical, Methodological, and Empirical Approaches to Afterlife Research      75
5. Hallucination Proneness and Experiences Related to Survival      94
6. Constructing Time After Death: The Transcendental-Future Time Perspective      107

SECTION III. EVIDENTIAL ISSUES
7. Evidence for Survival from Recent Research into Physical Phenomena      127
8. On Apparitions and Mediumship: An Examination of the Evidence That Personal Consciousness Persists After Death      142
9. Getting Through the Grief: After-Death Communication Experiences and Their Effects on Experients      174
10. Birthmarks and Claims of Previous-Life Memories: The Case of Purnima Ekanayake      194

SECTION IV. SOCIOLOGICAL AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL ISSUES
11. What the Channeled Material of Suicides Tell Us About the Afterlife      207
12. Some Observations on Spirit Participation in Medium-Sitter Interaction and Its Organization      222
13. Origins of Belief in Life After Death: The Ritual Healing Theory and Near-Death Experience      242

SECTION V. CONCLUSIONS
14. Where Do We Go from Here?      263
15. A Solution: Radical Survivalism      285

About the Contributors      301
Index      307

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “belief in an afterlife may be one of the most persistent human traits…an eclectic collection of intriguing material…a wide range of phenomena exists that demonstrates human hopes and experiences of an afterlife”—PsycCritiques
  • “a key book…there can be no volume to be recommended more highly”—Network Review