Billionaire Offers $1 Million for Proof of Afterlife
This past January, wealthy entrepreneur Robert Bigelow announced a contest: provide the best evidence of “[T]he survival of consciousness after permanent bodily death” for almost $1 million in prize money. Over 1,000 entrants entered the contest, seeking to prove life after physical death.
Dr. Jeffrey Long has studied near-death experience (NDE) for 20 years and was a runner-up in the contest. In his essay, Dr. Long broke down 12 lines of evidence for life after physical death common among near-death experiencers around the world. Of the three most important, the first is cardiac arrest and brain death.
“Immediately, when your heart stops beating, of course, blood instantly stops flowing to the brain,” Dr. Long said, “10-15 seconds after blood stops flowing to the brain, maybe up to 20 seconds, the electroencephalogram (EEG), which is a measure of brain electrical activity goes absolutely flat — there’s no measurable electrical activity going on in the brain — it should be, in those circumstances, impossible to have any kind of a lucid memory at that time. Yet, by the hundreds, we have people reporting NDEs exactly at that time, highly lucid and organized experiences consistent with NDEs occurring at all other times, and that should be medically, absolutely impossible.”
Next, comes the sensation of floating above the body.
“The initial event is what we call an out-of-body experience. Consciousness rises above the physical body and from that vantage point they can see ongoing earthly events, or hear them, and they are often visualizing people frantically trying to bring them back to life. What they see in that out-of-body experience is overwhelmingly accurate, down to the finest details. Even if their consciousness leaves the area of their body and goes someplace far from their physical body, far from any possible physical sensory awareness, what they can see and hear is almost invariably — and I’m talking about my study, I’m talking about 98 percent — accurate down to the finest details.”
His third line of evidence is NDEs in the blind.
“I’ve studied and interviewed an individual who was born totally blind. When she had her NDE it was stunningly visual. I have a series now of people who are severely visually impaired or legally blind, and in all of those cases in my series, their vision during an NDE is either normal or even supernormal awareness; dramatic, supernormal vision, supernormal sensory awareness that we see over and over again in NDEs that would be absolutely beyond what anybody could normally imagine. All lines of evidence and others that I have all converge on that conclusion that NDEs are, in a word, real.”
What can we learn from the phenomena of shared NDEs?
“We now have a series of about 16 NDEs where two or more people had a simultaneous life-threatening event — they had NDEs and remarkably they were aware of each other, during the time that their consciousness was apart from their bodies, able to communicate with each other typically and able to talk, aware that their physical bodies were down there. In general, in this series of shared NDEs, one person dies irreversibly, they’re not resuscitated, the other person comes back to life and is able to share a remarkable shared NDE. Now, that’s important because that’s some of the strongest evidence we have so far, from any source, that what’s described in an NDE may well be that initial step toward permanent irreversible death for all of us.”
The biggest unanswered question: why do some people have an out-of-body experience while others do not?
“There was a NDE that was like the Rosetta Stone of understanding why some do and don’t, but this very dramatic NDE was in an unearthly, heavenly realm, and they were communicating with what they very firmly believed to be God. They asked God directly — it was an overwhelmingly blissful, peaceful, loving experience, with emotions beyond anything they could have experienced beyond Earth, which is very common in NDEs — and because this was such a positive experience, she asked God directly ‘Why me? Why was I so special that this should happen to me?’ And God answered to her in the NDE ‘Love falls on everyone equally, this is what you needed to live your Earthly life,’ so that’s a possible reason why some have NDEs and some don’t.”
Dr. Long hopes the field of NDEs will move from reactive study to proactive study; being able to speak to people after being resuscitated about anything they may have seen or felt, while technically dead, as standard operating procedure. Perhaps then, humans can definitively prove there is an afterlife.
Contacting the Dead Through Psychomanteum Mirror Gazing
Is it possible to connect with loved ones after they’ve moved on from this lifetime? Sure, it may be common to have seen a ghost or felt the presence of an otherworldly spirit at some point in life, but those experiences are often spontaneous or fleeting.
Through séances and psychic sessions, some claim to have had initiated intentional connections with the departed, but there is another way that one might be able to make contact, drawing on a method originally developed in ancient Greece. It turns out that many people have reported successful contact through the use of a simplified psychomanteum. This modernized practice of mirror gazing has been developed by Dr. Raymond Moody, a man who has devoted his life to studying near-death experiences and, through this process, has had some profound results.
The Ancient Greek Psychomanteum
In ancient Greece, people would go to a Necromanteion, a ziggurat-like temple that was devoted to Hades, Persephone, and the dead, in order to contact the spirits of their departed relatives. Necromanteion translates to “oracle of the dead,” with the Temple of Ephyra being the most recognized.
During a ceremony, subjects would take part in a ceremonial meal, undergo a series of rituals, and perform animal sacrifices. Inside the Necromanteion there would be a long hallway in which a bronze cauldron full of water and was polished often, to be as reflective as possible. The hallways would be dimly lit by lamps that cast flickering light and diffuse reflections on the water, creating a reflective surface like a mirror, in which the Greeks believed they could see the spirits of the dead.
Dr. Raymond Moody’s Mirror Gazing
Within more recent history, Dr. Raymond Moody has brought the concept of the psychomanteum back as a medium for contacting the dead through the simple use of a mirror and without animal sacrifice. Moody, who coined the term near-death experience, is a famous philosopher, physician, and psychologist who has dedicated his life to exploring NDEs and contact with the spirit world.
Mirror gazing with a psychomanteum is similar to the practice of scrying and is sometimes referred to as catoptromancy, or the use of a reflective psychic medium, much like the stereotypical fortune teller looking into a crystal ball. It is used for divination or to uncover messages related to personal development, epiphanies, and prophecies.
How to Contact the Dead & Communicate with Spirits by Mirror Gazing
Moody has developed a technique for easily recreating a personal psychomanteum at home, or wherever one may desire, with the necessary tools. The following are his recommended steps for a successful mirror-gazing session to contact the dead:
- Food – Get into a serene state of mind by eliminating caffeine and dairy the day before. Eat simple meals leading up to your session, such as fruits and vegetables.
- Location – Go to the quietest part of the house, where you can truly relax. Unplug all clocks and phones in that room.
- Clothing – Take off all jewelry including watches; wear loose, comfortable clothing.
- Mirror – Place large mirror in front of a comfy chair, and place it so you can gaze at it comfortably. It’s best if you cannot see your own reflection.
- Chair – Sit in your chair with your head supported.
- Awareness – Ease into your transition to an altered state of awareness.
- Posture – Relax your posture.
- Mood – Soothe yourself with aesthetically pleasing material for about 15 minutes by looking at works of art or listening to soft music, in order to stimulate awareness.
- Memories – Gather photographs and personal items of the loved one you wish to contact. Touch them and remember your loved one. Imprint your loved one firmly in your mind. Family films and videos can help, or anything else that you associate with them.
- Light – At twilight, light a candle and place it behind you. A dim light from behind you is ideal but experiment with the light for proper adjustment. Twilight is best because it typically stimulates altered states, especially for first-timers.