The Afterlife Experiments by Gary Schwartz

Gary E. Schwartz with William L. Simon. The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Live after Death. New York: Pocket Books, 2002. Hardcover, 374 pp.

So, what about all those mediums who claim to be able to talk to dead relatives and friends for you? Are they simply fantasizing, making good money, or tricking gullible people? Or is there something to this? Is there in fact any evidence to support the widespread belief that the dead are not really dead and communicate with the living? If you are a sceptic, this book will introduce you to startling facts. If you are a believer, it will be fuel for your metaphysical passions.

When it come to paranormal evidence, it is good to know who is making what claims. In this case, the principal researcher—Prof. Gary E. Schwartz—could not have better credentials. He is a professor of psychology, medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and surgery at the University of Arizona, who received his doctorate from Harvard University and previously held a professorship in psychology and psychiatry at Yale University. He is also the current director of the Human Energy Systems Laboratory at the University of Arizona and has published over 400 scientific papers.

His present book was written with William L. Simon, a well-known screen and television writer, which guarantees its high readability.

The extraordinary research reported in The Afterlife Experiments was triggered by the deep love between Dr. Linda Russek, who served for many years as his research collaborator, and her departed father with whom she felt she was still in communication. At the risk of alienating his professional peers and being laughed out of the academic establishment, Prof. Schwartz embarked on a venture that had all the makings of a grand personal disaster. It proved, however, to be otherwise.

Devising ever more sophisticated ways of preventing trickery and avoiding bias and misinterpretation, including the employment of highly qualified stage magicians to spot slight-of-hand, Prof. Schwartz and his team conducted a whole series of experiments with some of the best known mediums in North America, which revealed startling facts about after-death realities. You could say that his findings were statistically overwhelmingly significant.

This riveting book includes excerpts from the transcripts made of the mediumistic readings along with Prof. Schwartz’s illuminating commentary and background material. More technical matters are confined to the appendices, so that the reader is not distracted. What strikes one throughout the book is the author’s emphatic insistence on integrity and his ability to suspend judgment until all the evidence is in.

Was Prof. Schwartz himself, then, convinced by his own cumulative evidence of the existence of life after death? I’ll let you read the book yourself to see his wise conclusions.

This is easily the most fascinating and instructive book on the subject that I have read thus far, and I have waded through a whole lot of them. I can highly recommend it.

Copyright ©2008 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
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