Dr. Jeffrey Long Proves Life After Death. Now What?

Posted: July 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

http://solawriters.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/jeff-picture-white-coat-and-stethescope

For those of you who do not know Dr. Long’s work, please read the interview with him on skeptiko.com, part of which I quote below. It’s so compelling and convincing, that I can’t imagine it won’t change how science understands consciousness.

This is who he is:

Alex Tsakiris: Dr. Long, fill people in real quickly, a quick sketch, of your bio, your background, both as a physician and as someone who’s become quite a well-known near-death experience researcher.

Dr. Jeffrey Long: Sure. I’m a physician practicing the medical specialty of radiation oncology, which is the use of radiation to treat cancer. I’m practicing at a premier cancer center in small town, Houma, Louisiana. I started my near-death experience research about ten years ago when I set up a Web site devoted to having people who have had these exceptional experiences fill out a questionnaire and then we would post their experience on the Web site, anonymously of course, with their advanced permission, and share it with the world.

For over a decade, this was a non-profit organization. It actually cost us quite a bit of time and money to run it. Just very recently we realized we had such an extraordinary message that we absolutely were compelled to share with the world, and hence several years ago I began work on Evidence of the Afterlife, the Science of Near-Death Experiences.

This is by far the largest scientific study of near-death experience ever published. It has over 1,300 near-death experiences and because we’re studying so many near-death experiences, we have the ability to come to some understandings about near-death experience that we just simply couldn’t come to before with less extreme data than we have now.  I might add, the near-death experiencers, not only are there so many of them, but the questionnaire they fill out, the current version, has 150 questions. It’s also a huge number of near-death experiencers studied and they’re also studied in enormous depth.

http://www.skeptiko.com/94-jeffrey-long-near-death-experience-research/

Now, I won’t summarize the interview or the book here; my purpose is to comment upon the implications of Dr. Long’s work and what it means for paranormal researchers. The heart of what Dr. Long has accomplished is this: he has proven by systematically refuting all arguments to the contrary, that consciousness exists outside of brain activity. By examining thousands of Near Death Experiences, he has discovered that the content of those experiences occurred during states of clinical death. He has also confirmed that the details reported from those out-of-body experiences were correct in over 92% of the cases. In other words, what the “experiencers” reported seeing in and outside of the hospital turned out to be true in the vast majority of patients.

No one can refute that Dr. Long has engaged in rigorous, scientific research and that his results were obtained following the highest standards of his profession. The criticism that so many paranormal researchers must combat—that we are a ‘pseudoscience’ that doesn’t follow the scientific method—cannot be applied in this case. The highest aim of paranormal research—proving survival of consciousness after death—has been achieved. Maybe now we can relax a bit, knowing that hard science has given us the study that will back up what he have been struggling to prove for so long.

How has this affected me and what the Paranormal Housewives do? This study gives us a scientific backing for our investigations. I knew that much of the paranormal was not amenable to replication in a laboratory setting. Most paranormal phenomena occur independently of the strictest of controls, since we are working with human energies that respond to us in unpredictable ways. In any case, we didn’t have the proper background, training or funding to pull off a strictly controlled test of our EVPs, for example; that didn’t negate the reality of what we were encountering, only limited us from “proving” to the skeptics that life after death was not only possible, but a common experience.

We don’t have a lab. We don’t need a lab. We have critical thinking skills and academic backgrounds. We can use other methodologies to arrive at the truth of a haunting, or the veracity of an audio or video clip. When we combine our skills, the odds are in our favor that we are not mistaken, deluded, or engaging in wish-fulfillment fantasies. When we find anomalies over and over again and patterns of unexplained phenomena, we can trust that we are on to something. Defining the “something” is the impetus and passion of our team. If we can accept what Dr. Jeffrey Long’s research tells us—that human consciousness can and does exist independently of physical processes—then we are engaged in furthering that research, attempting to gather more evidence in order to clarify exactly what that consciousness is capable of and how it might manifest itself in various locations.

That is incredibly exciting work. Paranormal researchers CAN come to solid conclusions about the spirit, soul or consciousness if they are rigorous in their approach and critical in their analysis. Most teams I am familiar with are responsible in their collection and review of data. The impressions of psychics and mediums are generally used to back up what we already know, or their knowledge can be investigated and verified. There are many paths to the truth. We do not always have to bow down to Science when we seek answers from beyond this life, and especially not now, with Dr. Long’s invaluable contributions to after death research.

While Dr. Long has proven that consciousness can exist independently of the brain, he has not told us how long that consciousness lasts, where it is “located”, what it experiences outside of the NDE, if there is a true “afterlife” and if so, what it might look/feel like. He does not address reincarnation in this book. There are now more questions than answers. How exciting, however, to have addressed this basic issue and laid it to rest: we continue on after our bodies cease to function. Just who “we” are at that point is still a mystery. All signs point to the fact that we continue to be who we always were; but I assume that there is some transformation, evolution, or extension of our identity. We want to know more; we want the details. I am not content to say that those details must remain an eternal conundrum; there is more we can know than we ever thought possible.

Paranormal researchers, do not despair. We are on the right track. We have strong, scientific backing for our work. We are not whistling in the dark. What we do and what we find matters. Now the task is for us to believe that ourselves, and abandon the lingering doubts or insecurities surrounding the most exciting journey we could possible take: life, this one and the next, and whatever may lie beyond the limits of our comprehension.

–Kirsten A. Thorne, Ph.D/PHW

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