Thursday, December 8, 2011

*THE* Book to Read on 9/11, Ten Years After

Today I have posted on Amazon.com, the following five-star review of David Ray Griffin's latest book, 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed.

For anyone not up to speed on 9/11 Truth, as well as for those fully versed in the topic, David Ray Griffin's "9/11 Ten Years Later" is currently *THE* book to read. And it almost wasn't written, for Professor Griffin--the premier researcher/author/spokesperson for 9/11 Truth--had to recover from a series of life-threatening crises before he could begin writing this superb work which highlights and summarizes the overwhelming evidence proving beyond a reasonable doubt, that 9/11 was an inside job.

A most intriguing segment of this excellent book involves Professor Griffin's addressing the issue of why "otherwise rational journalists" have endorsed the official story which is so riddled with what the author labels as "miracles," uniquely defined therein as events that contradict the laws of science. As to why journalists have failed us, the answer depends on which journalists are being discussed, but the reasons are, in sum, the fear of being discredited by their (mainstream) colleagues, and the fear of being distracted from "more important matters," according to Professor Griffin. I would add that another reason is because the most prominent news media personnel continue to work "hand in glove" with the government, as Carl Bernstein originally observed some 34 years ago in the October 20, 1977 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Or as former CIA Director William Colby once put it: `The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.'

In a separate chapter, Professor Griffin asks, "Why have Bill Moyers and Robert Parry in Particular Endorsed Miracles?" and then pays tribute to the good work these journalists have done. Later, Professor Griffin concludes that a major reason for Moyers' and Parry's abysmal failures re: 9/11 is their "nationalist faith--the mythical belief that the American government would never deliberately do anything [so] terrible" as murdering their own people on 9/11--despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. But according to Professor Griffin, also key is that Moyers and Parry have failed in their job to "follow the truth, wherever it leads," and also "have fallen for the Big Lie." (See postscript on the "Big Lie" in the final paragraph, below). To be sure, Professor Griffin's assessment would tend to explain Moyers' and Parry's "abysmal failures," however, this assessment strikes me as overly generous. In my view, Moyers and Parry appear to be nothing more than left-wing gatekeepers, carrying out the work of true reporters most of the time--thereby establishing credibility and gaining trust with the American people--and then falling in line with the State when it comes to issues of the greatest importance, e.g., what really happened on 9/11, all in a concerted effort to conceal the truth about matters the State deems absolutely essential to its existence.

In the chapter on "Building What?" - which discusses the mysterious collapse of Building 7 and how SCADS (state crimes against democracy) can be hidden in plain sight - Professor Griffin duly notes that two Fox News journalists, Geraldo Rivera and Judge Andrew Napolitano, did have the courage to challenge, on-the-air, the government's untenable position on how Building 7 collapsed. However, neither journalist followed up on this extraordinary story or its implications, probably, as Professor Griffin later notes (on page 235), because the Fox news heads "likely did let [Rivera and Napolitano] know that, unless they said no more about the matter, one or both of them would be let go." As of this writing, neither journalist has dared to speak out any further about the government's cover-up of what really happened on 9/11.

In chapter 5, Professor Griffin discusses what has become his most controversial position, the "Phone Calls From the 9/11 Planes [and] How They Fooled America." In short, Professor Griffin makes a good case for the fact that the reported phone calls--which led the public to believe that the 9/11 planes had been hijacked by Middle Eastern-looking men--were faked. Here, I was somewhat surprised to see Professor Griffin address and thereby dignify with a response, arguments made by one Erik "Loose Nuke" Larson, a prominent presence on the heavily infiltrated 9/11 Blogger website. There, in early 2011, when Professor Griffin was seriously ill and near death, Larson viscously attacked Professor Griffin and his phone-call analysis. That unprovoked attack on Professor Griffin pretty much reduced Larson's internet persona to rubble in the eyes of many, and he became in the process someone to ignore. However, in "9/11 Ten Years Later," Professor Griffin takes the high road and addresses the substance of Larson's rambling arguments, revealing them to be specious at best.

In another somewhat surprising presentation, in chapter 7, Professor Griffin calls for "a consensus approach" among 9/11 Truth activists who have long debated over what actually struck the Pentagon. The author states that the answer to this question is "quite unimportant," because the resulting friction among 9/11 truthers "allows the [State controlled] press to portray the 9/11 Movement as absurd, with members being more concerned with their battles against other truthers than with their differences from the government's account." Although I would like to have seen Professor Griffin address whether this debate is being fueled by cognitive infiltrators posing as 9/11 truthers, it's still hard to argue with his conclusion (on page 197) that "regardless of what hit the Pentagon, the Pentagon was not struck by [Flight] AA 77 under the control of al-Quaeda. And given this consensus, the 9/11 Truth Movement now has the same kind of agreement with regard to the Pentagon that we have with regard to the World Trade Center."

Chapter 8 covers "Nationalist Faith: How It Blinds America to the Truth About 9/11," and it is here that Professor Griffin is at his most insightful. The author effectively and efficiently discusses the history of false flag attacks, and presents the overwhelming evidence indicating that 9/11 was perpetrated on Americans by Americans who were (and remain) intent on blaming Muslims. For those with eyes to see, this should be most obvious. Unfortunately, not many people in this country even bother to look, for they are too invested in a nationalist faith that blinds them to the truth, Professor Griffin states. (I would add that the American people are also too involved in their own little worlds, and way too distracted by sports, entertainment, and electronic devices.) In short, Professor Griffin duly explains in a most compelling way, how and why the nationalist faith phenomenon occurs and persists.

In the final chapter on SCADS, Professor Griffin focuses on the "Professionalization of the 9/11 Truth Movement," listing many of the esteemed professionals who publicly have joined organizations, signed petitions, and indicated "their judgment that the official story is indeed false." These organizations include intelligence officers, journalists, lawyers, medical professionals, pilots, political leaders, veterans, and firefighters--all standing up for 9/11 Truth. Despite this formidable array of professionals, Professor Griffin observes that the 9/11 crime has thus far succeeded. Why? Professor Griffin persuasively discusses the reasons from three key perspectives: (1) Psychological and Sociological (involving shock and rallying around the flag, trusting the president, nationalist faith, the Big Lie, and the power of salary and status); (2) the Press, "by virtue of the fact that the [State controlled] media, rather than giving the public the available facts, have concealed such facts" (page 230); and (3) the Academy (i.e., Academia), which "has devoted virtually no attention to the apparent contradictions of the official account with scientific principles" (page 236).

As Professor Griffin points out, the failure to reveal the truth about 9/11 has not only generated perpetual war, but has also triggered an unprecedented assault on the U.S. Constitution in the form of military and secret tribunals, extraordinary rendition, warrantless surveillance, the "justification" of torture [and murder], states secrets privilege, suspension of habeas corpus, and the authority of the president to initiate war. "It is impossible to see," writes Professor Griffin (on page 241), "apart from revealing the truth about 9/11, how American political life could ever again become more than [the] hollow shell of a democracy" it is now. No doubt. But can this dire situation ever be rectified?

Professor Griffin offers some hope with the idea that more insiders will have to come forward and be willing to speak up (as a few have). And, he says, leading journalists will have to be converted. In closing, Professor Griffin warns that "If the perpetrators of this crime are not brought to justice, then they will believe that they can get away with almost anything. So unless we want continued false-flag attacks, we should do our best to uncover the truth about 9/11."

My take is that the 9/11 masterminds already believe that they can get away with anything, and sadly, it appears, they are probably right. 9/11 is proof of that. Still, it is vitally important for each of us to learn and recognize who we are and where we are, speak truth to power, and do all we can to bring about justice. No one has done more in this regard than David Ray Griffin, whose courageous and ongoing quest to discover and reveal the truth about the most horrific unsolved crime of our era has produced yet another extraordinarily powerful book, "9/11 Ten Years Later," a must-read for anyone interested in the truth about 9/11, and the land we call America.

Postscript on the "Big Lie." The Big Lie is a term reportedly coined by Adolf Hitler in "Mein Kampf," and relates to a lie so enormous that it would never come into the belief systems of ordinary people that such a colossal untruth could be told. Even though undeniable evidence exposing the lie for what it is may be presented to people with this mindset, they will continue to deny the existence of that evidence, and maintain that there must be some other explanation, e.g., the lie itself.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Plane Crash Medley

on the lighter side...here is the link to a video of the resstock revue's 50-year anniversary tribute to the late/great buddy holly, ritchie valens and the big bopper...performed live at the sheepshead bay yacht club, january 2009 (i'm on drums)...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLFWK6bVcCE

Thursday, August 4, 2011

An Extremely Valuable and Informative Book on Mysticism and Ancestral Wisdom

Today I have published on Amazon.com, the following five-star review of Hank Wesselman's new book, "The Bowl of Light."

An Extremely Valuable and Informative Book on Mysticism and Ancestral Wisdom

In “The Bowl of Light,” author Hank Wesselman, PhD, acknowledges that his writings about Hawaiian mysticism constituted "trespassing into an area that did not exactly welcome outsiders" (page 14). The validity of Hank's perspective is borne out here on Amazon.com among the one-star reviews and many of the related comments. In contrast to those reviewers and commenters, Hale Makua, a revered Hawaiian elder, saw Hank as the 'vessel-man...one of the light carriers of aloha.' Indeed, Makua went so far as to tell Hank in front of an audience in Hawaii that 'we Hawaiians need to support you' (page 18). Acting on Makua’s trust and encouragement, Hank has written "The Bowl of Light," which I find to be an extremely valuable and informative book on mysticism and ancestral wisdom.

I’ve been studying shamanism and going to drum circles and workshops for over ten years, since March 2001. As part of this ongoing journey, I’ve attended a number of Hank’s workshops which feature the teachings of Makua. "The Bowl of Light" discusses those teachings, and so much more, in the context of two best friends joyfully exchanging crucial information.

At his workshops, Hank usually presents Makua’s teachings in a way that is politically correct. But in “The Bowl of Light,” Makua’s words are often very direct. For example, when Hank and Makua are discussing the Buddhist idea that there is no such thing as self, and that the self is actually an illusion, Makua notes that 'this Buddhist idea is merely a theory. I don't believe the one called the Buddha ever said this. If he had experienced authentic initiation, and we can assume that he did...he would have known differently' (page 61). Makua expressed similar candor when providing his take on 'Your Judeo-Christian-Islamic god' which Makua viewed as a mere 'concept, a thoughtform that was created by human beings and that now resides as a guest within the human mind where it is fed and maintained by the belief systems of its followers' (page 183).

Insightful and thought-provoking are Makua's discussions of the positive and negative polarities for various life roles. For example, 'The negative polarity for the scholar is theory...but this does not mean that theory is bad...The negative polarity is where we work it all out...where we learn our lessons...The positive polarity for the scholar is knowledge’ (page 73).

To be sure, not all of Makua's teachings can be grasped easily, at least not by me. For instance, I still cannot come to grips with the idea that 'we are all actually dreaming twenty-four hours a day, that the dreamworld is the real world, and that this physical world we all take so much for granted is a manifestation of the dream, not vice versa.' Or that 'everything here, including ourselves, was sourced into existence by the dreamworld [which is] the same dimensional level as the spirit world' (page 83).

I find myself more in sync with Makua's refrain on the importance of knowing who you are and where you are (see e.g., page 95). Equally resonant for me is the idea that 'Each one of us is our own best teacher' (page 230). Also, I am in complete agreement with Makua's teaching that 'The goal for all of us is to seek truth above all things' (page 169).

Even serious students of mysticism may be surprised to read Makua’s statement that 'Hovering within the aura of Mother Earth are certain great spiritual forces and entities awaiting the opportunity to participate actively in the work of world redemption.' And many students will be prompted to inquire further about the 'three gods who are expected to appear soon.' One will appear 'at the end of the sea and land trails which are to be reopened by the trail-keepers of the twentieth century. This god will manifest as a teacher of love, wisdom, and unity, sounding a keynote of regeneration through aloha pouring forth on all, working primarily on the astral (spiritual) plane'. The second god is 'one of lesser order, due in the beginning of the twenty-first century. Its task will be the revelation and the rectification of man's relationship with the animal kingdom...in the promotion of the protection and well being of all animals.' The third deity is a 'seventh-ray god' who will appear in the twenty-first century when the seventh ray has achieved complete manifestation’ (page 96).

No less intriguing is Makua's account of the souls that inhabited humankind in the first instance. These souls 'originally came from across the universe in celestial canoes made of light...accompanied by high spiritual guardians' who would embody as dolphins and whales (page 134 et seq.), some 18.5 million years ago. 'This was a time in which the gods walked the Earth. We were those gods [but] we forgot who we really are' (page 155).

When Makua notes that 'We [as souls] descended and took up residence [on Earth] in these primitive [human] beings' (page 136), he is, I submit, essentially casting our immortal souls—our true selves—as entities who came to Earth from another dimension, and then essentially entered the beings that were already here—in a kind of benign or mutually beneficial “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” If so, it is we who are the aliens of this world. To me, this astounding message somehow rings true. But why would we souls, as such advanced beings, embark on this adventure? There are two reasons, Makua says. 'First, we were brought here to enjoy ourselves—to grow, increase, and become more than we were, in the beauty of nature of this wonderful world. And second, we are to remember our divine origins through the experience of love for one another' (page 137). Makua adds later that 'We all came into this world as holy beings, and part of our path is to remember who we are as well as where we are. We are wounded and corrupted by our experiences of this world, and our job, really, is to become holy beings once again before we check out' (page 144).

In an overall assessment of modern civilization, Makua notes (and I would most certainly agree) that 'if we take an informed look at the world today, we are all in great peril. We all seem to be anchored in the negative polarity, in fear, and this has progressively taken form in our time because of a monumental failure of our political and religious leadership' (page 166).

With all the war, inhumanity, and terror prevalent in our ultra-modern world, it would be beneficial if we had a way to deal with the insanity that engulfs us. Enter “The Ancestral Grand Plan,” the chapter in which Makua advises that ‘from the perspective of the average person who thinks in terms of earthly happiness, the plan should be something joyful as well as something that makes life easier. But from the perspective of those of us who have moved into the spiritual hierarchy, and these include those spiritual seekers who attend your [Hank's] gatherings, the plan of the ancestors involves creating those circumstances that will raise and expand the consciousness of humankind' (page 191). Sounds daunting but...'The world is really quite simple...Either you're in fear or you're in love...As we face our life's challenges and learn our life's lessons, it's love that gets us from one level to the next' (page 146), while we negotiate all of the “levels of reality” (page 153 et seq.).

In the chapter "On Becoming Gods," Hank relays Makua's shared wisdom on 'What we know about the spirit world, or what some call the divine.' This wisdom 'comes through to us while we are embodied in three primary ways: through our direct experience of nature...through our dreams and visions and insights often gained in meditation...and through the testimonials of those authentic mystics who have been gifted visions in an awakened state of consciousness...When we enter into such an awakened state...many opportunities then become available to us [and] allow us to experience the higher levels of spiritual experience. This has nothing to do with organized religion...which is why our religious traditions have always been so threatened by genuine mystics and visionaries’ (page 223).

That same chapter includes a somewhat disturbing discussion of a "the deceivers” (called “archons” by the early Gnostics, as Hank observes in a footnote on page 250). Makua describes the deceivers as those 'free-ranging psychic entities, invisible beings [not spirits] who function as mind parasites...they especially attach themselves to our political, economic, and religious leaders--to all the major players in the game.' During Makua’s discussion of the deceivers, Hank pointedly interjects, "I thought furiously and responded, 'The Christian massacre of the pagans...the Dark Ages...the Thirty Years' War...the Inquisition...the witch hunts...the Holocaust...9/11...' Makua smiled sadly and simply nodded in agreement" (page 226).

Even more disturbing than the thought that “the deceivers” are in our midst, is Makua’s assessment that ‘there is virtually nothing we as individuals can do’ about the ‘questionable machinations or our politicians...virtually all of whom are allied with the corporate world and the military’ (page 232). As a 9/11 Truth advocate working to bring about a real investigation into what really happened on 9/11, I press on in the belief that Makua may be wrong when he says that there is virtually nothing we can do. However, I would acknowledge that the effort often seems hopeless. Nevertheless, I do believe that even a cursory examination of the evidence will, at a minimum, help each of us discern who we Americans really are, and where we are—benighted subjects of an imperial nation that has masterfully used deception to create a world of terror to justify its perpetual wars and conquests. So give 9/11 Truth a look-see, if you have not already. You can start by doing an internet search for “remember building 7”.

Since the official 9/11 conspiracy myth—that 19 angry Muslims with boxcutters somehow outwitted the most sophisticated military defense system on the planet, four times in one day—is used to justify our nightmare existence, undoing this myth, or at least exposing it, should be a top priority, in my view. Pursing 9/11 Truth is also consistent with Makua’s assessment that 'For humanity at large to experience a true global awakening...we will have to accurately perceive and understand the everyday world that we all take so much for granted. And seeing it as it is, as well as what it could be, we must consciously choose to change it [and thereby escape] the dark programming of the deceivers' (page 237). Simultaneously, and/or as a backup position, I would agree with Makua that we should 'encourage, advise, and help each other to find our way quite independently of the corrupted world state that our politicians and our lobbyists [and, I would point out, a complicit media] have created and thrust upon us' (page 232).

One very special area of resonance for me is Makua's teaching—which I came across for the first time while reading "The Bowl of Light"—that 'We [humans] cannot connect with Teave ['the eternal and sacred source from which all life flows and from which the world of form came into being' (page 177)] in any way that is meaningful to us as long as we are still souls embodied in human form. We have to go through intermediaries to do that...through the spirits...These beings are like extension cords between us and the higher intelligences, and these in turn serve as links to the great Source Teave' (page 183). I resonate with this perspective because the presence of intermediaries so accurately describes a vision I experienced at a Celtic shamanism workshop a few years ago, during a suggested "journey to God."

In my view, Makua made a very wise decision when he chose Hank "to become the kahu, the caretaker, of [Makua’s] sacred writings" on ancestral wisdom (page 207). Thankfully, Hank has written "The Bowl of Light," which presents for all those who might be interested, an opportunity to encounter and absorb Makua’s true Hawaiian mysticism. Yes, Makua has noted that 'At this time few will understand this mana'o (wisdom) or its implications’ (page 208). However, if you would like to have a shot at joining this select group of spiritual truth seekers, I would strongly urge you to read “The Bowl of Light.”

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Compelling Evidence of Life After Death

The following book review has been published on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0791433161/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

Being a spiritually minded person as well as a 9/11 Truth advocate familiar with David Ray Griffin’s many excellent books on 9/11, and knowing that he was a professor of religion and theology, I became very curious to learn what Professor Griffin’s views might be on Spirituality. This curiosity led me to Parapsychology, Philosophy, and Spirituality—A Postmodern Exploration, the publication of which predated 9/11 by four years. In this scholarly work, Professor Griffin pays serious attention to the controversial subject of parapsychology, and intensely focuses on non-mainstream topics such as messages from mediums, reincarnation, and out-of-body experiences (OBEs). With seeming inevitability, Professor Griffin concludes that “there is formidable evidence of life after death.” However, it is not so much the conclusion but the analysis and presentation of the direct evidence leading to that conclusion which makes this book such an absolutely rewarding read.

Professor Griffin comes across as a bit of a rebel when identifying “the central task of philosophy: to criticize the prevailing worldview(s) and to suggest a better one,” an assessment that endeared him to this reader. And for the record, I am also in accord with Professor Griffin’s own “fully naturalistic” worldview which “allows humans again to feel kinship with the rest of nature, and…encourages reverence for life in all of its forms.”

In this book, Professor Griffin uses the term “parapsychology” as a synonym for “psychic research.” He divides paranormal phenomena into three major types: (1) extrasensory perception (ESP), the two main forms of which are telepathy and clairvoyance; (2) psychokinesis (PK), and (3) experiences such as messages from mediums and near-death and out-of-body experiences, that are suggestive of the existence of psyches apart from their physical bodies. Having set the parameters, Professor Griffin thoroughly engages the reader with “the scientific study of events” involving these three types of psychic phenomena.

Early on in Parapsychology, Philosophy, and Spirituality, Professor Griffin provides an expansive list of the well known people who have become convinced that “paranormal events do happen,” including, I was surprised to learn, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Thomas Edison, and Mark Twain. The author points out that just as the mainstream is unaware of the famous and respectable people who took the study of parapsychology seriously, “The same ignorance exists about the fact that there are long-established psychical research organizations with reputable journals and rigorous standards,” an ignorance which Professor Griffin confronts with effective summaries of the legitimate psychical research performed since the late nineteenth century.

Especially illuminating is Professor Griffin’s description of the “factors involved in the formation of opinions about controversial matters, such as the paranormal.” These factors are: one’s worldview which subjectively determines what is possible and impossible; one’s awareness of empirical data; and wishful or fearful thinking. Categorizing people’s views in this way—including the views of members of the so-called scientific community—makes their positions and thought processes easier to understand.

To be sure, some of the topics covered won’t be very easily comprehended by the average nonfiction reader, e.g., the concepts of “prehension” and “retrocausation,” and the various technical philosophies. However, Professor Griffin has a way of getting back to basics that is most welcome, and at times even poetic (e.g., defining “God” as “The Soul of the Universe”), making this a fascinating read overall.

Professor Griffin reveals that “telepathy and clairvoyance, which have been reported throughout history and were verified by tests with mediums and other people in the early days of psychical research, [also] have been verified in strictly controlled experiments in laboratories.” Previously, the only known scientific approach to the paranormal that I had been aware of was undertaken as part of The Afterlife Experiments (Pocket Books, 2002, and earlier an HBO Special) conducted by Gary E. Schwartz, PhD, at the University of Arizona. Those experiments featured a study of notable contemporary mediums, including Suzane Northrop and John Edward, and demonstrated that mediumship is real. Professor Griffin’s revelations about the prior historical research into psychic phenomena lend additional credibility to The Afterlife Experiments retroactively.

An entire chapter is devoted to the philosophical conceivability or possibility of life after death, and it is here that people’s mindsets come into prominence. While people with “data-led minds” are able to consider the evidence of life after death objectively, Professor Griffin notes, data-led minds “seem to be few and far between.”
There follows an extended and persuasive discussion of ESP and PK which buttresses the case for the possibility of life after death. But it is not until the succeeding five chapters that Professor Griffin examines the actual evidence for life after death, in the contexts of: mediumistic messages, possession, reincarnation, apparitions, and OBEs.

In the chapter on mediumistic messages, Professor Griffin states that “My purpose…is less to try and convince others of the reality of life after death than to show that there is evidence that is worthy of serious study.” Indeed, there is a substantial amount of convincing evidence present in this chapter alone. Especially noteworthy are the actual case histories of readings by the medium “Mrs. Piper,” and the so-called “cross correspondences” documented from 1901-1932 which involved “clever souls, who while living, had been involved in psychical research and wanted to provide evidence for their own survival [after their deaths] that could not be explained away in the usual manner.”

On the subject of possession, Professor Griffin concludes that this type of evidence does not contain phenomena that are in themselves “strongly suggestive” of life after death.

However, convincing evidence of life after death does exist with regard to “Cases of the Reincarnation Type.” In the chapter on this topic, Professor Griffin relies primarily on the case studies of Ian Stevenson, MD, and does an excellent job of digesting Dr. Stevenson’s extensive research—research that is most certainly indicative of reincarnation, and thus life after death. There are many general features in cases of the reincarnation type that make this evidence authentic—including the fact that the subjects are very young and innocent. Also intriguing is how often a child’s current birthmarks or wounds are reflective of the manner in which the prior personality passed away. However, I did disagree with Professor Griffin on one point posited within this discussion. Specifically, he states that “persons who are ‘reincarnated’ tend to be persons of a particular type—those who are intensely materialistic and possessive, or intensely religious—or persons who have died in a particular manner: violently (or at least suddenly), while still young, or with strongly felt ‘unfinished business.’ The crucial factor, accordingly, seems to be the intensity with which that person lived, died, or wanted to continue living.” Rather than limiting the experience of reincarnation to these “intense souls,” I would argue that intense souls may simply be the type of souls most likely to demonstrate evidence of reincarnation in a subsequent life. (My two other main areas of disagreement did not, as here, involve an assessment of what the evidence indicates, but different beliefs. Specifically, Professor Griffin takes a linear approach to the concept of time, whereas I subscribe to the theory that time (as we know it) does not exist on the “Other Side.” And contrary to Professor Griffin’s and Dr. Stevenson’s views, I still believe that the “so-called law of karma” (as Professor Griffin labeled it) does exist.)

Highlights of the chapter on “Evidence From Apparitions” include an analysis of how alternate explanations (such as “super-ESP”) don’t really negate the possibility of life after death. For Professor Griffin, the two phenomena that “tip the scales in favor of an explanation in terms of postmortem agency [i.e., life after death]” are collective apparitions (where two or more people see the same apparition at the same time), and the similarity between apparitions of the living and those of the dead.

The discussion of apparitions segues nicely into the chapter on evidence from OBEs, defined within the book as “an experience of being out of one’s body (whether one really was or was not).” Here, Professor Griffin examines the various features of OBEs and a number of case studies, and concludes that “OBEs do provide direct experiential support of an affirmative answer to the chief question at issue, which is simply whether the person (the mind or the soul, with or without some kind of nonphysical [energetic?] body) can exist apart from the physical body.”

While certain categories of the evidence are more convincing than others, it is the evidence taken collectively that is most compelling. This is so because, as the author says, “each of the kinds of evidence increases the antecedent probability of a survivalist interpretation of the others…and…some of them provide support for elements of the others.” Further, “Whereas the nonsurvivalist interpreter must come up with a variety of [often strained] hypotheses to handle the various kinds of data…the survivalist can use one hypothesis—survival with (limited) agency—to explain the basic feature of all the phenomena.” Thus, in sum, the conclusion that there is life after death is the most likely conclusion to be reached after a thorough and objective assessment of all of the evidence submitted.

When I began reading Professor Griffin’s postmodern exploration, my strong belief—based on my own experiences and studies—was that the soul survives the body’s passing. I did not expect to be persuaded otherwise upon completing this book. However, I also did not anticipate that my belief in the survival of the soul would be reinforced as a result this reading. Yet, that is exactly what happened, simply because the scientific evidence presented by Professor Griffin is substantial, compelling, and ultimately an extremely powerful indicator that there is indeed life after death.