Humankind’s understanding of our place in the universe has been stunted. We have grown intellectually at remarkable speed in the last 400 years, but advancement in understanding our spiritual nature and our place in the universe that should have paralleled our intellectual development has been thwarted. Today, humankind, especially in the West, is intellectually precocious and spiritually retarded. The result is that those areas of our lives based in technology are advanced and those that rely on understanding the meaning of life are primitive. People are engineering moon landings during their work days and going home to family conflicts, financial stress, and fear of death that leave their lives full of tension, fear, and unhappiness. The dissonance between our intellectual lives, flush with achievement and satisfaction, and our personal lives, filled with discontent, anxiety, and stress, is extraordinary.
But all that’s changing now. In just the last three decades, some of the most brilliant minds in a broad range of disciplines have begun to use the methods of science to understand who we are in the universe, what our connection is to each other, and what happens to us when the body dies. And what we’ve been discovering has been beyond anything humanity could ever envision. Now we know. The facts are available for us to understand ourselves as we never could before.
Today, humankind has evolved far beyond having to accept understanding about the nature of humankind and the universe based on "faith." Kierkegaard described the "leap of faith" a person must make to believe in anything beyond the physical world. Evidence, he explained, takes a person to a certain point. Beyond that, evidence is not available, leaving a chasm looming before the seeker, who must then make a "leap of faith" across the chasm of the unknown to belief. Conviction about the afterlife and the unity of all life was once assumed to require such a leap of faith—evidence for both was lacking.
That is no longer true. We need make no leaps of faith without evidence. The evidence from corroborated testimonies, carefully recorded observation, and meticulously controlled studies provides a firm roadway to the conclusion that we are eternal spiritual beings having a physical experience. We are not the temporary, disease-ridden bags of flesh that we see when we look at each other. Instead, we are eternal selves temporarily using bodies.
When humankind finally realizes that and begins to live life based on it, the family stresses we’re feeling will dissolve; our children will attend schools where love and compassion are the dominant sentiments; conflicts ending in murder and wars from differences in nationality, ethnicity, and creed will extinguish; deception and dishonesty will become unknown; fear will be replaced by love as the primary emotion on Earth; personal security in life will cease to be a worry; and we will have no doubt that we are eternal beings who will never be separated from our loved ones. We will be living together as a brotherhood of man in a heaven on Earth that we create for ourselves.
Humanity just needs to hear, understand, and believe what we who study the literature now know to be true. The evidence is now available.
This book is based upon evidence. Later conclusions are rooted in the evidence and facts in earlier chapters. At times, the findings derived from the carefully controlled research studies will leave you in awe and wonder. However, as audacious as the conclusions may sound, they are all based on verifiable data.
Where you see evidence, test it. Look at the credentials of the researchers; examine the methodologies; analyze the conclusions; rely on the body of evidence, not on one or two studies alone. Perform your own research by doing searches on the Web using the key words in the studies. Additional reading is available at http://youreternalself.com. Read with an open, but critical mind.
Listen to what anyone who may disagree with the research may say about it. Let their statements and evidence broaden your understanding. Apply the same standards to their statements that you apply to examining the research in this book: What are their credentials? What is the evidence they cite that refutes the evidence in the studies summarized in this book? What methodologies did they use to gain that evidence? Are their conclusions warranted based on the results of the studies they cite? Do they ignore the rest of the body of evidence by citing only one or two studies that confirm their biased conclusions and hide the rest in a file cabinet?
Stay with the evidence. Reject straw man arguments that have no evidence and have no carefully designed studies behind them. Reject emotional statements that are baseless made by anyone: New-Age believers, uninformed and biased skeptics, religious fundamentalists, or people who include with their name a title identifying them as functionaries in a religious organization. Be cautious of anyone who comes to the investigation with rigid, prejudicial viewpoints, looking to proselytize you to their belief system or prove yours wrong without regard for evidence.
Evaluate the credentials and credibility of the researchers. You will find that the researchers cited in this book are highly regarded physicians, scientists, psychologists, professors of humanities, investigative journalists, theologians, and a broad range of other highly educated, competent, intelligent professionals. None have motives to fabricate evidence. All have professional careers at stake in describing the clear findings of their research.
The book is meant to challenge the assumptions most of us learned as we grew up. If you follow the roadway paved with evidence keeping an open mind, you will come to the same conclusions a vast body of scientists, philosophers, theologians, scholars, and researchers have come to today, and you will join the rapidly growing ranks of those who understand that the conclusions of radical materialism based on the Enlightenment are ignorant anachronisms; the evidence will speak to you compellingly if you just read it with an open mind.
And you will certainly come to know your eternal self.
Additional readings and links with valuable information about the subjects of the chapters are on the Web site at http://youreternalself.com. This book lists the links to the youreternalself.com Web pages containing information for the chapters so you can go directly to the resources for any chapter.
The links to other Web resources are on the youreternalself.com chapter pages instead of being in this book because link addresses change and Web sites sometimes go away. I will change the links for you so they're up to date even if you're reading this book five years after it was published.