If the so-called survival instinct genetically existed, absolutely nothing could induce a person to go to war. We are taught that death is the ultimate enemy, to be fought to the bitter end. We envision death in only negative terms — the Grim Reaper, a skull and crossbones.
The Last Frontier : Exploring the Afterlife and Transforming Our Fear of Death
Our associations with it are just as horrendous. Terms like the dead, death knell or deathbed, grave, tomb, coffin, corpse, even funeral are taken as macabre and sinister. Such dark attitudes never occur to other animals. The fear of death traps us in a playing-it-safe existence in which we no longer actualize our natural audacity to live up to our own ideals.
What sort of changes do you see if we lose our fear of death? JA: First, we would be in a position to truly grasp immortality. Then everything changes. Our inner awareness of what is really important for the planet and all its residents, now and in the future, would resurface. Dying would no longer be the end but a small turning point in the life of the eternal self. Studies show that people who have lost this fear have measurably increased mental, intellectual, and psychic capacities.
They become more reflective, more spiritual, more altruistic, and more sensitive to nature and the environment. They also develop a hunger for knowledge. The desire for success and material gain recedes, as does the need to compete. People feel, instead, a sharpened sense of personal life purpose, typically involving service. Imagine a world populated by people like this!
You are an academic. What brought you to write a book about the afterlife? JA: I am an academic, which is why this book includes research. But I have also been a professional medium, with years of experience to draw on. The inspiration came when Michael, a man very close to me, died while I was in graduate school. I was with him in intensive care and was able to watch him leaving his body, coming back during resuscitation and then leaving again.
After his death, communication was spectacular, lasting over an hour at a time. We had real dialogue, we argued, we laughed. Although I had long been talking with the dead, I never realized it could be that compelling, that deep and involved. It changed my life. Just as important was seeing what it did for Michael. He went from panic to euphoria when he realized someone could still see him and hear him. So many of the dead have an urgent need to communicate, a need we deny. Many of us also deny their very existence. I understood the overwhelming significance of communication for both the living and the dead and felt a strong need to write about it.
Some communicate so clearly that I can type what they are saying word for word while they are saying it. The dead help me enormously and I help them when needed. JA: Not at all. Everybody talks to the dead secretly anyway, even atheists. But we are taught to disbelieve in the validity of it. According to surveys, somewhere between 42 percent and 72 percent of people polled had spontaneous after-death communication, and this is not counting deathbed visitations, which are very common, induced communication and communication through mediums and with children.
Seventy-five percent never mention the experience because of fear of ridicule. If these polls are representative of the general population, at the very least, more than half of the population is aware of having contact with the dead. Many more have it without realizing it. After-death communication is largely a process of telepathy, an innate human ability.
In The Last Frontier , I explain all this and give point-by-point directions on how to use those inborn tools to make direct contact with the departed on your own. How do we know that after-death communication is not just wishful thinking or fantasy? JA: Statistical studies show that people are not wishing for an encounter when they happen spontaneously. In encounters when people do not know of the death of the discarnate visitor, wishful thinking can be ruled out.
What the dead do and say almost always takes us by surprise anyway, which shows that they are independent of our thoughts. Wishful thinking does not save lives, but warnings from the dead do. Something else that cannot be attributed to wishful thinking is the all-over body sensation of tingling that I and others feel when the dead are present. JA: Only in the movies! From untold thousands of after-death communication testimonies collected by researchers, not one records a harmful incident.
Visits from the dead are respectful and almost always intended to help the living.
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Even the dead who were criminal in life appear out of remorse rather than malice. The antiquated notion of deranged earthbound spirits preying on the living is just plain poppycock. Fear of communication is partly the result of the biblical injunction against necromancy, which was punished by stoning. The injunction arose not to protect the living from the dead, but because the dead were considered elohim, meaning gods or divine spirits.
Since the Yahweh cult did not tolerate other gods, communication with divine spirits was outlawed, as was ancestor worship. Another source of fear is the feeling that contact with the dead will pull you over to the other side. That is about as logical as believing that talking to someone on the phone from North Dakota will automatically transport you there, never to return. If this feeling were based in fact, statistically, more than half of the American population would be dead.
Certainly no medium would be left alive. What then are the benefits of after-death communication? JA: The instant alleviation of grief is number one. Knowing that relationships between the living and the dead continue to grow and contact is normal transforms the way we die and the way we live. Contact also brings us face-to-face with immortality, a life-changing event.
More specifically are the messages we get from the dead, the reassurances, encouragement, warnings, asking for forgiveness or giving it — the list is long. If allowed, the dead will help us reset our values to build a better world. As communication develops we will be able to tap into the greatest resource of knowledge imaginable about anything you can name, science, the arts, history, including the nature of reality itself. How can a person overcome grief? JA: Some amount of mourning is natural and necessary.
Still, nothing alleviates grief more than contact with our departed loved ones. Formerly, bereavement counselors recommended an abrupt break with the departed. Bumped up from 3 to 4 after actually trying to contact someone by her instructions. Pretty amazing. I don't agree with her per cent, but this book could easily be a life-changer.
A universe-changer. Bumped up again to a 5. The ideas in this book continue to influence me. I really want to check it out again. Or perhaps just buy it. View all 3 comments. Feb 01, Linda Brunner rated it it was amazing. Best contemporary book on the topic that I have read. And I have read a few. Dec 02, Sydney rated it it was amazing Shelves: have-read , read-in I love books that make me think and ponder why I believe what I believe — this is such a book.
A fascinating journey. Jan 24, Ellen rated it it was amazing. Far and away the best book I've read on this subject. A fascinating and IMO ground-breaking work! May 20, Sevenponds rated it really liked it. The Last Frontier is an attempt to explain, mystify and appreciate the death, dying, and, most prominently, the after-death experience, and there could perhaps be no one more qualified than Assante to tackle what seems so impossible a field. With a PhD from Columbia University, she describes herself as a mystic, medium, therapist and scholar, a heady combination to be sure.
For the most part her writing is lucid, engaging and unpretentious. Jul 02, Dominic rated it really liked it. While a bit "out there," this book provided me comfort, particularly so soon after my Mom's passing. I am skeptical regarding some of the topics, like means of communicating with the dead, but if you r Fascinating.
I am skeptical regarding some of the topics, like means of communicating with the dead, but if you read this with an open mind, accepting that while some of the subjects might seem far-fetched or unlikely, they are no more so than any other belief or theory regarding what happens after we die, including there being nothing. Why not consider a more comforting perspective? The book is a fairly quick read and is structured so that you look forward to what comes next.
The author clearly knows the topics well and fully believes what she writes, enough so that at times it is difficult to doubt her. She covers each topic briefly but thoroughly, and provides sources for most of what she refers to, a number of which I checked successfully, lending credence to her positions. If your mind is open to possibilities, I highly recommend this book.
Julia Assante: Exploring the Afterlife - Presentation and workshop: Friday 2/15 & Saturday 2/16
However, if you are certain that we have no soul and our fate is to be "worm-food," refusing to accept any other possibility, then don't bother. Mar 23, Andrew Ashby rated it it was amazing. I've been reading on this subject for twenty years. This book makes for a great summary of those twenty years. We have evidence, albeit anecdotal, going back thousands of years that consciousness survives death, regardless of belief.
Our culture refuses to accept this as fact, yet, one hundred years of looking at surface temperatures, combined with statistical manipulation, most people believe in global warming, rephrased as climate change. If everyone believed in an everlasting conscienceless, I've been reading on this subject for twenty years. If everyone believed in an everlasting conscienceless, imagine the positive change that could make.
Aug 25, Rupeet Malhotra rated it it was amazing. I read this book while I was deeply grieving the loss of someone very close to my heart, and still refer to it from time to time. I count this amongst a few books that saved my life during that difficult time, others being Hello from Heaven and Many Lives Many Masters. This book is extremely well researched and written by someone who had a lot of authority on this subject, making us aware of our mortality and yet, telling us how not to be scared of it, but embrace it and accepting it.
Remarkable I read this book while I was deeply grieving the loss of someone very close to my heart, and still refer to it from time to time. Sep 26, Pam rated it really liked it. It's a big book, and full of history and ideas, so be prepared to take your time and soak in all the information that Julia Assante shares. I learned a lot, and appreciated the depth of research and level of knowledge that Ms Assante put in writing. Nov 03, Alan rated it it was amazing. Right on target. Useful info and helpful. Sep 09, Mikki rated it really liked it.
This will shake up your worldview about death and where we 'go' when we die. Aug 28, Michael rated it it was amazing. At least for now, the computer need not contend with all the nearly infinite number of universes out there but deals with only of them. So when you submit something to it for calculation, it will compute that calculation in dimensions, meaning different universes, on different computers, simultaneously.
Consequently, what could take a conventional computer many millions of billions of years to find out would take a quantum computer about twenty minutes. Theoretically, in the future it should be able to compute in 10 universes at once, that is, the number ten followed by five hundred zeros. Because the quantum computer is beginning to work, many scientists now believe that the multiverse interpretation is no longer just an interpretation of how reality works but a fact.
Since there is no law in physics that prevents time travel, some of the greatest minds in science are beginning to consider interaction between different time dimensions of past and future with the here and now. Because the multiverse theory, string theory, and the hidden-worlds theory specifically propose invisible, interactive dimensions adjacent to our own, they may very well lay the foundations for future investigation of that other, all-important dimension called the afterlife. The zero-point field theory is leading to a new way of looking at communication.
The old view was mechanical or chemical: subatomic particles and atoms attract or repel by virtue of forces, mainly electromagnetic; molecules, cells, and genes, by virtue of something like chemical hooks. Now some scientists think that what is really going on has to do with frequencies of quantum waves. These waves are believed to be spread out through time and space into infinity and to connect every point of the universe to all other points. Such a conceptual breakthrough is a prerequisite for the investigation of consciousness as well as telepathy, the existence of which has been proved ad nauseam in clinical trials.
He is not the only one in the sciences arguing that consciousness, not materiality, is the primary reality. All in all, these current theories seem to be preparing the way for scientific investigation of the afterlife. Does the evidence we have now from near-death experiences, after-death communication, and reincarnation constitute proof of survival?
If we consider it objectively, what has been garnered so far does satisfy most scientific standards:. Unfortunately, deductions made by individual researchers from different fields have not been coordinated, nor are they individually or collectively considered sufficient reason to invest in a large-scale study of perhaps the most pressing issue we face in life. By contrast, we have invested some ten trillion dollars, the entire output of the nineteenth century, on developing the atomic bomb.
We also have no problem sinking billions into the Large Hadron Collider, a particle accelerator sponsored by several governments. Compare this high-level coordination and mind-boggling expense with the small-scale, uncoordinated, usually private and unfunded investigation of life after death.
Can science prove life after death?
If only 0. The problem is really science 's ideology: there is no life after death. A scientist pursuing this line of investigation runs the risk of ridicule and loss of funding and even position. Despite this, consciousness itself has become a big topic in many scientific circles, especially neurobiology. Symposia convene to discuss what it is and how it can be applied. In fact, the development of a conscious computer has already been thrown onto the table.
One researcher has even combined living brain tissue with electronics in order to locate consciousness. Wouldn't it be better to study consciousness where it operates unhindered by matter — during manifestations of the dead? If my own body can register the presence of discarnates so dramatically, then surely science, especially the applied sciences, can come up with something sensitive enough to register nonrandom electromagnetic patterns in the atmosphere where an encounter is taking place.
Even if an instrument could reliably detect intelligence, we still have to find ways to distinguish the intelligence's identity from a personality, say, inhabiting one of the zillions of multiverses in which the dead still have no official existence. That means we have to communicate with it, get it to identify itself. This too has often been done, as you will find in the chapter on after-death communication chapter 4. Proof of identity presents a conundrum that we will look at fairly closely in the pages to come. If what a deceased person gives as proof of his or her identity can be verified by records or by testimony of the living, the fact that the sources of verification already exist in our world disqualifies the information.
So, if I were to drop dead in the next few minutes and start communicating with you tomorrow, giving you my full name, the date and place of my birth, my professional publications, and my private particulars, such as while I was writing these very words I was sitting on a red velvet couch at a friend's house on the rue Daval in Paris with a dog named Lulu by my side, critics could throw it all out, because you, the receiver of this information, could have uncovered it by "normal" means, as unlikely as that might be. Others propose that you could come by the same information by less normal means, such as clairvoyance.
You might have picked it up telepathically from the living, the dog perhaps or, better, her owner, and not from the dead.