The following correspondence relates to those who seek evidence for life after death. These are divided into two main groups: Spiritualists, who take a religious approach, and Survivalists who are scientists, atheists, agnostics, etc. who take a completely rational approach but are convinced by the growing evidence of survival.
Email from aÂ fellow Survivalist:
Tony, You sum up the destruction of the once scientifically minded Spiritualist movement very well. This is why our deadly enemies are having a field day. I shudder to think what Arthur Findlay must make of these religious fanatics who have successfullyÂ infiltrated the Arthur Findlay College.
The thing that worries me is that we who are investigating survival thru mediumship and scientific experimentation in order to gather evidence, are now in danger of splitting up into small factions attacking each other.Â We should be trying to convince those who either believe that death is the end, or who base their belief in the after-life on ancient religious texts (the fabled 72 virgins, expectations of sitting at the feet of theÂ mysterious Three-In-One, angels with harps floating on clouds and all the rest of it.)
I am reminded of the far left political factions which spend so much time attacking each otherÂ for heresy, they have very little influence on the general public. So we don’t really want to get too deeply into arguments similar to whether it was Leon Trotsky or Joseph Stalin who betrayed the Great October Socialist Revolution, or in our case, whether Spiritualism betrayed the scientific approach to seeking evidence of survival by adopting the trappings of religion in general, and Christianity in particular.
However, itÂ is worth remembering that since we survive death, if Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, etc. were all historical figures, then they too survived death. This does not make them ‘divine’, but they may well continue to existÂ in some form or other.Â So we should not be too dismissive of religious people who claim to have ‘seen’ the founder of their religion, it is possibly merely further evidence of survival. But we should also bear in mind that any Catholic, for instance, who sees a vision of a woman will automatically assume it’s the Virgin Mary, whilst a Christian, Moslem or Jew who sees the vision of a man will probably assume it is one of the founders of their particular religion.
What we all agree on isÂ the important thing, i.e. the gathering of evidence of survival thru mediumship, scientific experimentation and study of OOBEs and similar phenomena.
Spiritualism in UK at least has gotten itself into a terrible muddle. The 5th Principle of Spiritualism about Personal Responsibility, for instance, is in direct opposition to the Christian belief in salvation and ‘redemption of sins’ thru the fabled death and resurrection of the founder of the religion (who in any case, according to the latest evidence, probably survived the crucifixion and died in the Far East at the age of about 80.) Yet many Spiritualist centers in UK insist on calling themselves Christian Spiritualist churches, and evenÂ display Christian symbolism such as that barbaric instrument of execution, the cross, and pictures such as Christ as the Light of the World.
The 1st Principle of Spiritualism about the Fatherhood of God is the really troublesome one, since it perpetuates the ancient myth of a male super-being who knows everything and who created life and the universe. It is this 1st Principle which divides Spiritualists from those of us who take an entirely scientific approach to the study of survival.
Atheists and agnostics cannot possibly accept this 1st Principle of Spiritualism, nor the trappings of Christianity which the movement has adopted such as Christian hymns and terminology, and the Lord’s Prayer. Spiritualism in any case should be all-embracing, basing its belief in survival on evidence. It should embrace those of all religions and none. It is very sad that, in UK at least, it has aligned itself firmly with monotheism and Christianity, which as I describe above, is incompatible with the 5th Principle of Spiritualism about taking personal responsibility for our actions.
Despite all this, it is very important that all those working to gather evidence of survival work together, or at least do not spend so much time attacking each other for committing ‘heresy’, that we lose sight of our main objective: to spread the word that survival of death is a reality which can be proved by study of the growing scientific and other evidence.
Most mediums describe themselves as Spiritualists, and most believe in the traditional idea of a monotheistic ‘god’ as described in the 1st Principle of Spiritualism, though some would argue that this ‘god’ is not male. Despite the trappings of Christianity, most Spiritualists do not believe you will end up in the fabled Hell if you don’t accept Christ as your personal Savior. So they do themselves no favors by expecting Hindus, Moslems, Jews, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, etc. to swallow all the trappings of Christianity when seeking evidence of survival.
Spiritualism is also tainted by all the charlatans which have discredited the movement in the past. The image of loopy old women groaning in darkened rooms whilst pieces of cheesecloth, trumpets and tables are dangled in the air from wires, persists.
The scientific approach to discovering and examining evidence of survival must be pursued, and I would encourage the establishment of more non-religious scientificÂ centers dedicated to demonstrating and investigating some of this evidence open to the general public, who now have an increased interest in this subject as religion loses its influence and relevance.
We should be able to unite and investigate this fascinating subject, and not worry too much about whether the medium demonstrating clairvoyance, clairaudience, physical phenomena or whatever is a Spiritualist, a Survivalist or a member of the Aetherius Society convinced that Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed are whizzing around in flying saucers based on Venus.
So long as they are genuine mediums producing convincing evidence of survival, we should cooperate in examining this evidence, and demonstrating it to the wider community.
However it would be wise for the more scientific minded Survivalists to take on the task of convincing scientists, and leave it to the Spiritualists to concentrate on Christians and those in other religions.
In this way we can perhaps cooperate to defeat the two common myths: one that death is the end, and two that we are ultimatelyÂ all bound for the mythical Heaven or Hell described in ancient religious texts.
Proof of survival is what we must concentrate on. Other questions such as whether there is a God, many gods, or none, can be put on the back burner, or left to individual preference.
Personally I feel that Charles Darwin’s approach in ‘Origin of the Species’ was basically correct, but am not convinced that Natural Selection can adequately explain the complexity of the various life forms and their internal organs. Nor do I believe there is evidence of an all-wise Creator who planned all life-forms. I feel the truth lies somewhere in between, and that the fact that we survive death is the vital clue. In other words Darwin’s theory of evolution continues to apply after death. From very simple beginnings all life-forms are evolving, gathering experience and learning. This process continues after death.