The truth is, there are a wide assortment of valid experiences that seem to STRONGLY suggest that there is an afterlife. Most of these experiences have very little to do with religious beliefs, or dogma, or what we were taught as children growing up.
NDS's, or near death experiences, have gained lots of popularity in the last 30 years, due to 2 very important developments:
1 - Advances in science are allowing more and more people to be "brought back" from the brink of death, especially in cases of cardiac arrest and patients who were previously clinically dead and NOT retrievable
2 - Huge public interest as a result of books like "Life after Life" and "Beyond and Back" has spawned an avalanche of publications on the near death experience... some very good and scientifically strong, and others, silly and hard to believe
Other afterlife experiences include psychic mediums, who are as popular today, and as believed credible, than at any other time in recent human history. (some say that belief in an afterlife is pushing 75% around the world, and that has gone UP even while belief in organized religion has gone down)
TV shows like "Medium" and "Ghost Whisperer" and even the many ghost hunting programs have made the topic of psychics, and the afterlife VERY in vogue... that much we can all agree is true.
But are these experiences BELIEVABLE, or are they simply wishful thinking?
My own experiences prove to me that something very special, very hard to define and even life changing takes place during an afterlife event. People who have NDE'S, for example, are almost uniformly no longer afraid to die, and seem to change their entire lives as a result.
People who see, speak to or even interact with loved ones who have crossed over report similar changes - a loss of fear of death, grief relief, comfort and a firm belief that they will see their loved ones again... after this life is over.
The truth is, you have to sort of seek out answers for yourself, rather than read articles like this one, if you truly want to open yourself up to the magic, and the mystery of what may await us all. I am a believer... ONLY because I've had experiences that cannot be explained away... PERIOD. I've spoken to mediums by phone and in person who I am 100% convinced, by what they shared, were in communication with spirits or loved ones who are "with" me each and everyday.
I've had out of body experiences. I've had a few "ghostly" encounters as well..:-)
To me, the best examples of these cases suggest that we are MUCH more than a physical body, but rather we are ALL spiritual beings having a very embodied experience and our mission is to explore, to investigate and to ENJOY this life so that we may learn, grow and continue on in the next one! (The benefit of all of this is - I'm now NOT afraid to go... but I still look forward to lots of exciting years HERE as well. :-)
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For more information, you might enjoy reading my book, More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife. Purchase paperback on Amazon.com. It's also on Amazon as an e-book for those who have Kindle or Sony Readers. The audio book is now available!