“Life After Death”: the geography of the Afterlife (Martin)

I received, from author Stephen Hawley Martin, a complimentary review copy of his Second Edition (2017) “Life After Death: Powerful Evidence You Will Never Die”.  I think the first edition was in 1995.

The author believes that consciousness generates the Universe and permeates it.  Consciousness exists apart from matter and energy – you could wonder if it has anything to do with dark energy, or with unused dimensions in string theory.  Consciousness tends to aggregate into concentrates that seek some sort of physical vehicle for expression.  Since ultimate conscious entities can make choices, in theory conscious entities – expressed (on this planet at least) with reproductive life forms, oppose entropy, which would cause the Universe to degrade.

Human being (and animal) individual consciousness comes about as genetics and “morphogenetic” influences cause a “soul” or conscious entity to become expressed or “received” by a physical body.  Many other sources talk about “free will” and self-awareness as connected to microtubules within neurons able to deal with quantum uncertainties.

Martin’s book, which is a bit random in its presentations style, focuses most on evidence from “near death experiences” or NDE’s, and many examples of reincarnation.  He mentions AMORC, or the Rosicrucian Order, as well as the Monroe Institute (20 miles south of Charlottesville VA) which he says the CIA has used to train agents in remote viewing. He cites cases of intelligent people with very little cerebrum matter, and notes that even plants can “behave” despite not having brains.

I think there is a logical question.  Do most newborn babies develop a “new” soul, or are most actually reincarnations?  If the universe expands infinitely and has infinitely many centers of consciousness, there could be an “infinite series” of reincarnation – but then again, some series will converge! He mentions AMORC’s (Rosicrucian) teaching that typical reincarnation cycles last about 140 years.

The author suggests that homosexuality may result when the person was of the opposite sex in the previous incarnation (although this idea runs the risk of confusing sexual orientation with gender identity or fluidity, very different concepts).  It’s all too easy to imagine the “Putin” argument that acceptance of homosexuality can lower procreation (and give returning souls another chance).

He also talks about “life between lives”, as being “what you want”.  Some souls “get stuck” as “asylum seekers” and become ghosts.  The sites “Afterlife Knowledge” and Mike Pettigrew’s give a geography of the Afterlife.  Note the “hollow heavens” available to those with strict religious beliefs;  “Focus 27” seems to be the most advanced level.   The author notes that a lot of souls got “stuck” after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, but not after 9/11, because the deaths were more instantaneous. That would suggest that the way you die does affect your next course in the Afterlife.

The  soul life might be the “real life”, whereas earthly life is like a “dream” (as in the song “Row your boat”);  In a dream during sleep, you don’t remember how you got there, although you know who you are.  This is the concept of Christopher Nolan’s movie “Inception” (2010).  Other films worth mention here are “Cocoon” (Ron Howard, 1985), or even  the “Chiller”, “The Disembodied” (1957). The appropriate term for a person who has passed away is “discarnate”.  We could also ponder “Our Home: Astral City” (2011, Brazil), “What Dreams May Come” (1998, Robin Williams), and “Defending Your Life” (1991).

Martin mentions the “life review” that occurs at time of passage, that seems to give the person access to every moment in his or her life as if on a video.  The term reminds me of “content evaluation” in the POD book industry.  As evidence of his theory, Martin also notes that people with Alzheimer’s disease often become lucid and get most of their memory back just before they pass on, as if the memory came from a repository of cosmic consciousness.

Martin also talks about Grace as a cosmological concept that matches up with that in the Christian and other faiths, as organizing nature.  He explains telekinesis (or maybe self-teleportation as with young Clark Kent in “Smallville”) as instances of “mind over matter”.

He does mention angels a couple times, and I’ve wondered if these are immortal physical beings, or maybe someone like Jason Ritter’s hero character Sean Walker in NBC’s series “The Event“, someone who doesn’t know he is an alien, and almost immortal, until the end.  In my own novel manuscript “Angel’s Brother” I play with the idea that a soul could experience another (younger) person’s body through “consolidation” (through a fictitious virus) but the process backfires when one of the persons separates as piece of ball lightning and then reconnects himself.

Martin mentions the Myers-Biggs personality charts (p. 173), and considers himself “INTJ” (introverted-intuitive-thinking-judging), about 2% of the population.  I fall into that category (“feminine subjective” by Rosenfels), and can be unpopular, viewed as a spectator rather than a participant.

I think the concept of relation between soul and living person can be put into analogy with a phonograph recording of a performance of a music work.  This concept may have been more applicable in the past before the Internet and digital age with cloud storage.  But an “instance” recording of a work can wear out (bad styli in the past) and need to be replaced, but the actual work and performance still lives forever.  You could even draw a comparison to object-oriented programming, with “classes” and “instances”, where rebirth is “instantiation” (or “construction”).

I have visited the grounds of the Monroe Institute (Aug. 2014), but you have to arrive very early for a one day event.   The long sessions with Hemi-Sync require a considerable time commitment.   I visited the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose CA in 1975.

Author: Stephen Hawley Martin
Title, Subtitle: “Life After Death: Powerful Evidence You Will Never Die”
publication date 2017, 1995
ISBN 978-1543134322
Publication: Oaklea Press, Richmond Va; Paper, 13 chapters, 206 pages
Link: sales

(Posted: Monday, March 20, 2017 at 9:15 PM EDT)

“A Dog’s Purpose”: their lives are richer than we know; do they experience reincarnation?

Ever wonder what it is like to “be” a family pet?  Especially a dog?

A Dog’s Purpose” is indeed a fable that purports to show us what animal consciousness is like’ but by introducing dog reincarnation, creates a tender story about how, by returning after remembering his past lives, a dog can repair the loneliness of his former owner’s life.

In the movie, Bailey (Josh Gad as the voice) has five incarnations.  In the first one, as a puppy, he wonders why he is “here’ and if life is just about having fun, until the dogcatcher stops him.

Then he goes through some kind of astral gateway, and “I’m back”. This time, a loving family on the Canadian prairie rescues him from a hot car of a reckless abusive owner.  The boy, Ethan, convinced dad (Luke Kirby), a traveling salesman, to let him keep “Bailey”.  There follows a 40-minute story, the longest in the film, some of it centered on a slapstick situation comedy scene where dad and mom have the boss home for dinner in their farm house.  While the film style here is faithful to the situation genre of the 1950s, the issues are not;  the Cuban Missile Crisis gets mentioned over the black and white TV.

Then we see Ethan as a mature teen (K.J. Apa).  You have to say he is a terrific kid, protective of his family.  He has a personality like that of Smallville’s Clark Kent.  But he has gotten a football scholarship, and his girl friend Hannah (Britt Robertson) has gotten an academic nod.  But another local teenager, after a dispute, “accidentally” sets the house on fire.  Ethan rescues Barney and his mom but breaks his own leg in escaping.  So much for football.  (Clark Kent was never allowed to play football, either.)

But Bailey emphasizes the bond he developed with Ethan growing up with him over ten years.  Finally, Ethan goes away to agricultural school, sees less of Bailey as he grows old and is finally put to sleep.

But then, “I’m back”.  As a girl, this time a police dog in Chicago.  After she (Elle) rescues someone and saves her owner’s life, she gets shot.  His fourth life is with a low income but happy black family (with a big wedding).  Yet, not a lot comes out of that episode.  His finale is in a low income working class white neighborhood.  After some abuse, he runs away and discovers Ethan’s farm , which he remembers over his past lives.  And he finds an aging Ethan (Dennis Quaid) who is very much alone.  Ehtan was not quite superman after all.

Humans don’t normally recall past lives very easily.  Could it be different with animals?  You wonder about dolphins and orcas, who biologists say may be capable of shared or distributed consciousness.  That raises another question:  why am I who I am, and not someone else?  Could I experience “being” someone else, even for an hour?  There was a Smallville episode where Clark and Lex exchanged bodies for a day.

There was some controversy about the film, including boycott calls, because of a reported incident on the set (USA Today story).  Hollywood Reporter carries an apology by producer Gavin Polone here.

Apa was great as the teen Ethan, but I though the role could have been cast by Reid Ewing, because of his work with dogs.

Name:  “A Dog’s Purpose”
Director, writer:  Lasse Hallstrom (book by W. Bruce Cameron)
Released:  2017
Format:  2.35:1
When and how viewed:  Regal Ballston Common, 2017/1/26, small audience, evening
Length:  100
Rating:  PG
Companies:  Amblin, Walden Media, Universal
Link:  official

The film has several shots of Winnipeg, which I visited in September 1997 (picture).

(Posted: January 27, 2017 at 10:45 PM EST)