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Life After Death: My Observations

As readers of my articles here at Mysterious Universe will know, I write a great deal on UFOs, alien encounters, strange creatures (such as Bigfoot, the Chupacabras, and werewolves), and the Men in Black. But two areas of the paranormal I rarely ever get embroiled in are the matters of ghosts and life after death. Quite a few people recognize this and I often get asked why I don’t, now and again, write a book or several on the subject. Or even an article.

Well, as to why I don’t write about such matters, it’s all very simple: there are numerous people – far more learned than me – who have worked in the field of the afterlife for years. So, with that in mind, what’s the point of me blundering around in an area of research I have never been involved in? The answer is: there is no point!

Such observations and questions then usually lead people to inquire what my views are on such matters. Am I a believer in life after death? Do I accept the existence of a literal Heaven and Hell? Have I ever seen a ghost? Do I think we have souls that, after death, go to…well…somewhere? Or, am I a complete non-believer? Since I have never really addressed such things – to a large degree, anyway – in a public forum, I thought why not do so? Which is what you are now getting!

Like what I have to say or like it not. As Lemmy said: “It’s all the same to me.”

I’ll start with the matter of life after death. Like most people, I suspect, I have experienced a couple of curious things right after someone has passed away. I seriously doubt there is hardly anyone who hasn’t had a weird experience after a loved one, friend, or family member has died. And even if they haven’t experienced it, the chances are high they know someone who has.

For me, it was an experience with a much-loved pet, Charity the Shar-Pei, who died suddenly at the age of eight in December 2003. That she came back – in some form, at least – I am not in any doubt whatsoever. In the days that followed her passing, the tapping of her nails on the hallway tiles could be heard at night, a profound wet-dog smell came out of nowhere on one occasion, and a spate of Charity-connected synchronicities occurred. You can find the full story of Charity in Josh Warren’s book, Pet Ghosts.


A Shar-pei

Now, the skeptic would say it was my subconscious trying to make things easier and more comfortable at a sad time. Complete and utter crap. Anyone who has experienced anything similar will immediately understand when I say that I know the difference between wide-awake reality and a subconscious need for something that isn’t real. It was the experience with Charity that changed a lot of my perceptions on the issue of life after death.

Then, the next question comes: what, exactly, do I think survives bodily death? Well, I guess we can call it the soul, the spirit, or the life-force. But it all amounts to the same thing: some form of consciousness that – very often, and for just a short period, maybe days or weeks – seems to linger among the living before finally letting go.

How do I explain the notion that something survives physical death? I don’t, because I can’t. I only know it does survive. I don’t have the answers and I absolutely refuse to get caught up in specific belief-driven concepts that lack any proof.

On occasion – often on many occasions – that something, whatever it might be, interacts in extremely strange ways with the surviving, grieving family and friends, before moving on. That brings yet another question to the table: to where do I think we go? Before, I answer that, I should preface things by saying I am not a fan of organized religion of any particular persuasion – at all. My main reason is because organized religion is not about embracing the mysteries of life and death. Instead, it is all about controlling people via two issues: fear and guilt.


Organized religion is – let’s be blunt and to the point – a tool of control. And it does control people – very successfully, too. On top of that, different religions have wildly varying beliefs. They clearly, then, cannot all be correct, in terms of their teachings. Yet their followers will tell you their teachings are correct, and it’s the other guy who has got it wrong. Meanwhile, that other guy is sure he has it right. And that’s why we have so much fighting: opposing religions inflame opposing religions. Then, before you know it, some maniac is setting off bombs left, right and center.

But there is one thing that unifies the world’s religions: the belief that physical death is not the end and that there are other realms, or stages, of existence beyond the one we currently inhabit.  For some, there is a literal Heaven and Hell. For others, there is just one “place.” Millions believe that reincarnation is the answer. Some will tell you that only people have souls, to which I say absolute bullshit.

I have had people tell me that the experiences with Charity couldn’t have occurred as I assumed they did because dogs lack souls. And how do they know that? Their preacher told them! And how did he or she know that! They read it in a book! That’s the problem: belief is a powerful tool, one that is just as powerful as denial of something that doesn’t fit neatly into one particular paradigm. Words on a page, which are then forced down a person’s throat, are even more powerful.

And when I hear that the supposed return of some essence is actually not a close friend or a member of the family, but a hostile, deadly demon masquerading as such, I have to laugh – because such a conclusion is just an article of faith, one for which there is no proof at all.


The problem (as I see it, at least) is that over thousands of years the nature of these “places” (or “place”) has been altered, mutated, maliciously misrepresented for purposes of the control of society, and dumbed down to the point where they have become one-dimensional caricatures of whatever it is they really are.

So, yes, I do believe that living creatures (perhaps even all living creatures) possess something that does not die when the physical body finally shuts down for good. Maybe it moves to there, or to somewhere, or perhaps it forever hangs around here, but only showing itself now and again. I don’t know. But I do know there is something. And, until I one day find out what exactly, that’s good enough for me.

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  • Kudos to you for deciding to stick to your specific skill base and not just books for the sake of it, but you have plenty of fans who would be happy to read pretty much anything you decided to write about (including me). Except maybe model trains…
    As someone who has had essentially no experience with the paranormal (except one full on prophetic dream years ago) but is verging on obsessively interested in the area of life after death, the first hand experiences are fascinating but ultimately inconclusive to me on a personal level. I find it hard to explain how I can genuinely believe that someone is recounting an experience truthfully but still not see it as evidence in a wider context but I guess thats my own issue!
    I must say that reading the book “Return To Life’ that was discussed on the show last year was is probably the thing that has made me go; ‘Yeah, OK. Fair point well made. This is for real’,

  • ivr

    Well said. I believe many people share your view, that is to say they believe there is something more to ‘life’ than our physical boundaries but are in no rush to find out: time will tell.

    The question I ponder along these lines is not so much if there is an afterlife, but how long does it last? And, does one continue the life/death type of cycle after one has past from one existence to another? On one hand knowing this could bring a certain peace of mind if in only knowing what to pack! But then again there many truly only be one way to find out, In which case I can wait.

  • spnmonster

    i agree with you completely on both religion and the afterlife, Nick. For a couple of months after one of our cats died, we heard and saw things that indicated he was still around. Even the other cats would react to the sounds and movements my husband and I experienced. We are both convinced that it just took him awhile to move on.

  • Murday

    Life will never trully end, when a living organism dies it is reborn into another different living organism, this is the cycle of life. Our universe is infinite and growing, life on other planets is not only true but it has purpose, people will say that “God” created the Earth and the universe, but for those of us that know better, know that there are lots of other planets like Earth and are capible of sustaining inteligent life, when you die, it will not be the end, you will be reborn maybe as another person, or as an animal, or as another species from another planet. As we all know Humanity is destroying itself, Earth only has so much resources, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. If Human technology advances so far as building ships to leave Earth and explore other planets and perhaps other galaxy’s maybe we will have the chance to see this other life, maybe then we will know for sure what really happens.

  • xintheline

    My dog Sancha stayed around for about a month or so after her death. I came home from work about a month after her death and my landlady (I live in her basement) asked me to introduce her to my new dog that she could hear barking. I told her that there was no new dog to introduce her to and that it was my Sancha that she could hear. It freaked her out!! I told her it shouldn’t and that Sancha was still there and that she had no reason to be afraid. That gave me a lot of comfort to know that her spirit/soul still existed and she stayed on for a bit.

  • hell rider

    well i will tel u the absolute truth ,that is is neither is ther helll nor heaven when u die there is a black light but u wish there is a heaven or hell , i am the absolute truth ,u died just like a ant or earthworm we exist in this medium because this is the stage between the eltima and lusiesiac which u will know when u die if u ask urself what u did before u died tell them u were a son who give what ever he have to the person that deserve more but you are not that person i know god what his like but why should i tell u guys who are reading this passage

  • a real yankee is from new engl

    I had a dog growing up, when i moved out the dog stayed with my dad the dog later died. the day after my father died i heard the click of dog feet on hard wood flooring. figured it was my dad and the dog (simon) coming by to check on things. I also feel the same way about organized religion. and usually tell people don’t believe in anything, but there have absolutely been circumstances i can’t explain away. keep up the great page.

  • Ruth Beaty

    I cannot say that anything “mysterious” has happened to me after the deaths of beloved family members or pets. And I don’t particularly care for organized religions (un-postive effects, you might say). That being said, I was exposed to many beliefs growing up, Lutheran beliefs that there may not necessarily be a heaven and hell except of our own making on earth, reincarnation, Jehovah’s Witnesses who believe that death is the end and we shall all arise on judgement day. I simply believe in doing what is right as much as possible, and Karma is a bitch at times because you get back what you put out there!

    The only thing I can say for sure that happened is after the death of one of my dogs when I was still living at home. We had taken in an abandoned old poodle who then lived with us for several years. When she died my mom told me that she had heard you could sometimes see the spirit of animal out of the corner of your eye in their old places. So I went outside to one of her places and I could just see her, although maybe it was a trick of my eye?

    This year, one of my cats died. Several months bfore his death, I would see him going by me or in another room, and I knew he wasn’t there. I found that seeing a doppelganger of a is sometimes a sign of impending death.

    I have to admit to wondering about some of my family deaths, if I would see a ghost or a sign, especially with my grandmother whom I was very close to. But nothing ever happened. Of course, these were old fashioned people who were very religious, so they may not have believed in coming back!

  • deixoembranco

    Life after death has nothing whatsoever to do with religion. The day is soon approaching when main stream science will embrace it as a matter of science. If you research it, you will find that there have been several prominent scientists in the past 100 years who have delved into this subject and have proved it objectively to be real even though it is not yet accepted by main stream science.