Wednesday, 25 April 2012 09:47

Are you interested in survival?

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Many ghost hunters and paranormal investigators are interested in ghosts and hauntings for various reasons. One of them is to gain evidence to prove the existence of life after death. However, there are other areas that one can study in order to determine if there is life after death. So, let’s briefly look at some of these other subjects in the realm of survival related phenomenon.

Mediums and Channeling

The first area that deserves mention includes mediums. Now, one could argue that this should be included under the ESP section since that would explain more about how they receive their information. Still, mediums claim to be able to communicate with the spirits of people who have died so they make a good way to study the survival phenomena.

Mediums can be differentiated into three different types. The first include the physical mediums, which are able to receive verbal messages from the dead and produce physical disturbances during their sessions. The physical disturbances can be levitation, object movement, and knocking or rapping. The second category of mediums are the mental mediums. These mediums speak with the dead mainly by going into a trance and becoming ‘possessed by the dead person’s spirit and a control entity. The third and final class of mediums are the psychic mediums. These are similar to but slightly different than the mental mediums in that they do not go into a trance and remain fully conscious during their communications with the spirits. Well known psychic mediums include John Edwards, James Van Praagh, and Sylvia Browne.

Another more vague and encompassing term that includes mediums is channeling. Mediums are said to channel the spirit of the deceased. However, channeling also entails contacting and communicating with non-human entities such as aliens and other dimensional beings.

Another survival related phenomenon that involves mediums is automatic writing. This is when the medium’s hand writes a message without the conscious control of the medium. It is thought that the medium’s hand and/or mind are being guided by the spirit of the deceased.

Out-of-Body Experiences (OBE)

OBEs are very similar to clairvoyance and remote viewing except that the person having the experience feels as if they leave their body. This enables them to view their physical body as well as the rest of the world around them. In the metaphysical world this has been called astral projection and the reports are very similar except those describing astral projection report being tethered to their body by a silvery cord.


Reincarnation involves the soul or disembodied consciousness of someone who has died being reborn in another person or even an animal. Reincarnation is a strongly held belief in Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. The strongest evidence for this is when very young children remember a past life of which they should know nothing, and have not been exposed to the information. This phenomenon is studied by collecting information from the people who claim to have been reincarnated and then trying to verify the facts of the case.

Near-Death Experience (NDE)

People who are clinically dead for a short period of time experience this phenomena. They report a similar sequence of events in the majority of the cases reported. This includes the following: hearing a buzzing noise; having a sense of peacefulness; leaving one’s body; traveling through a tunnel towards a bright light; meeting dead relatives, friends, and/or religious figures; seeing one’s life pass quickly before their eyes; and a feeling that this is a truly wonderful experience which they don’t want to end. The interesting thing is the main aspects of the experience seem to be similar across different cultures. There are slight differences that mainly concern the type of religious figures present in the experience.

It is possible to attribute the NDE to brain states triggered by cardiac arrest and anesthesia. Also, the patients may not have been truly dead since there was still electrical activity in the brain. Other arguments against the paranormal nature of a NDE are that NDE type experiences have been triggered in living people by the following: severe psychosis; drug usage such as LSD and DMT; electrical stimulation of the temporal lobes and thus the hippocampus; and decreased cerebral perfusion which results in cerebral hypoxia. This is a common condition for jet pilots that experience incredible forces when going extremely fast and vertical.

However, it can be argued that if the experience is truly due to neurochemistry of the brain, then why are the experiences all not exactly the same? Why are the experiences very specific to the individual? These are questions that can only be answered with future research.

Induced After Death Communication (IDAC)

A new therapy discovered by Dr. Allan Botkin, which is used by psychologists as a therapy to reduce trauma, stress and grief, could be a new area for survival-related research. It involves using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Dr. Botkin revised the EMDR and called it ‘core-focused EMDR.’ Dr. Botkin discovered that during the core-focused EMDR that patients could be induced to have an IDAC by following a specific sequence of events. The IDAC allows people to deal with their grief by enabling them to communicate and reconnect with their dead loved ones. Dr. Botkin has pointed out that IDACs have much in common with NDEs and spontaneous after death communications (ADCs). Even though the paranormal nature of IDACs is uncertain, it does provide yet another avenue for exploring the possibility of life after death.

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