The Immortal Mind

The Immortal Mind : A book by Ervin Laszlo (EL) and Anthony Peake (AP) which examines findings on the survival of consciousness beyond life, including near-death experiences, after-death communication, and reincarnation.

 
Book Overview : Evidence now points to consciousness existing beyond the brain, such as when the brain is temporarily incapacitated, as well as to the survival of consciousness after death. Conventional science prefers to dismiss these findings because they cannot be accommodated by a materialist view of reality.

Spirituality and religion embrace the continuity of consciousness and ascribe it to a nonmaterial spirit or soul that is immortal. As such, spirituality/religion and science continually find conflict in their views. But what if there truly is no conflict?

Based on a new scientific paradigm in sync with experience-based spirituality, Ervin Laszlo and Anthony Peake explore how consciousness is continually present in the cosmos and can exist without connection to a living organism. They examine the rapidly growing body of scientific evidence supporting the continuity of consciousness, including near-death experiences, after-death communication, reincarnation, and neurosensory information received in altered states. They explain how the persistence of consciousness beyond the demise of the body means that, in essence, we are not mortal–we continue to exist even when our physical existence has come to an end. This correlates precisely with cutting-edge physics, which posits that things in our plane of time and space are not intrinsically real but are manifestations of a hidden dimension where they exist in the form of superstrings, information fields, and energy matrices.

With proof that consciousness is basic to the cosmos and immortal in its deeper, nonmanifest realm, Laszlo and Peake reveal the purpose of consciousness is to manifest in living beings in order to continuously evolve…

(Infinity Beckons – Review of Chapter 1: Near Death Experiences)

So straight in with the big question, no messing around: “Could human consciousness exist in the absence of a living brain?” Isn’t that the million dollar question…

I have over the years read a lot about NDE’s (Near Death Experiences) and find the whole think quite fascinating actually. I guess if one looks for evidence of non-local consciousness, then NDE’s are the most logical place to start (hence the reason why this is Chapter 1 most likely).

EL states that once the brain is clinically dead (and by that he infers that one is clinically dead with the cessation of cerebral blood flow and oxygen), then after a period of intense “about to die” brain activity (which could be explained as the final electrical surge during the glutamate flood), one is fact dead. Deceased. An ex-human. One is indeed pushing up the daisies…

Thinking of a logical simile, death is like a computer: when it’s time to log off you prepare yourself, click Start > Shut Down and the internal parts process such a request which results in a spike of electrical activity – shutting down all services and processes before finally presenting a black screen. Once in this mode, one can move the mouse or type on the keyboard, but alas there is no response (unless you resuscitate it by pressing the power button again of course). Our computer cannot experience or store anything whilst in this mode, so I guess this is where we as humans may differ and as such the search for synthetic or artificial consciousness will be in vain.

AP details various NDE cases throughout the chapter, all of which are very interesting indeed, especially those OBE (Out of Body Experiences) where folks have witnessed items from way above their vantage points like mouse traps on high cupboards, shoes on a roof etc after all visible brain activity has ceased. No doubt there have been some seriously clever and impartial folks documenting and studying such events, and personally I would like to think that experiences like seeing deceased relatives, beings of light and tunnels are in fact evidence of something beyond this realm. If we can only experience five percent of the electro/audio magnetic spectrum of what we call reality with the limited five senses we have, then one has to conclude there is something else out there. Exactly what that is, I guess we may never know.

The more intriguing cases for me are NDE’s of the young, for surely if an infant has no preconceptions about beings of light, tunnels and the concept of death, then if in those cases they were able to describe such things in detail then for me that would indeed have to be regarded as beyond reasonable doubt.

In closing the chapter, EL states that due to the extreme variety and wealth of evidence both captured and studied, non-local consciousness based on the NDE’s presented can be regarded as being beyond reasonable doubt. Whilst I would love to agree with him, there is still something which the logical part of me questions. Take time dilation. I have first-hand experience of time dilation when “not conscious”, through vivid dreams and the Lucid Light Device (Lucia No 3) where extensive periods of dream-time occur within seconds or minutes of real-time. NDE cases could simply be experiencing “something” during that shutdown mode when the brain is hyper-active based on preconceptions or religious/spiritual beliefs of the individual. However, what cannot be accounted for I suppose is where someone is clinically dead with no visible brain activity who experiences activities in our reality (like OBE’s in the operating theatre – as some have described in great detail – the case of Pam Reynolds) once the brain has flat-lined. What could possibly explain such a scenario other than concluding one of two things: the brain can continue to function for a time after clinical death when all observable life signs have ceased, or that indeed consciousness is non-local.

I cannot say that I have had an NDE, but I can say that whilst under the influence of Lucia No 3, I had what can only be described as near death experience “experience”. I saw a tunnel. I saw white amorphous shapes what could be regarded as beings of light. A full recount of this can be read here. Could it be that by immersing oneself in total light, one can attain an altered state and voyage into the void, into what could possibly be the collective consciousness? I know also that AP himself has taken a “trip” on Lucia No 3 and he too had astral visions much more powerful than mine, visions of the astral plain, his consciousness accessing a diferent dimension altogether or was it a glimpse of Akasha?

OPINION: I do believe that people do have NDE’s. I do believe that certain NDE’s are difficult to counter given some of the incredible and fantastic evidence shared by AP. The more and more I read, the more and more I begin to believe that there is something else out there, and NDE’s help in some way to proving that. However, I would not go as far as EL to say that it is beyond reasonable doubt. No doubt if I had a full on NDE then I could be persuaded to agree with him, but I’d rather not just yet if I’m honest…

(Infinity Beckons – Review of Chapter 2: Apparitions and After Death Communication)

So straight in with the second big question, no messing around (again): “Can human consciousness exist when the brain is fully and permanently incapacitated and does consciousness exist beyond death?”

From the outset, EL concedes the point that the evidence to support apparitions and ADC (After Death Communication) is less robust than that of NDE’s on the basis that they are not direct reports from those who are having the experience, they are as it were the projections of consciousness from other people, people who no longer reside on the material plane.

There are of course countless tales of ghosts and apparitions through the ages, that being a vision (or otherwise) of someone or in some cases something that has deceased which manages somehow to manifest its non-material self into being.

In the more intriguing of cases  shared by AP (including those cited in Chapter 2), information has been presented which the viewer could not have possibly known (should indeed these be truthful counts of what actually happened). Studies into such phenomenon pre-date (and no doubt outweigh) by some way those of Near Death Experiences.

Deathbed visions feature prominently in such studies, and that in itself is something I have second-hand experience of. My gran on my mum’s side became ill and it was her decision to pass over at home, surrounded by her family (a much more common thing is those days – 1960’s). In the hours before her death, she drifted in and out of consciousness, but towards the end of her life in this place, she became very lucid, her demeanour notably changing for the good. Minutes before she died, she sat upright in bed without aid and with a smile on her face opened her eyes. Her vision was not on those physically present in the room, but on other characters, acknowledging each one in turn at the end of her bed. Once she had finished she lay back down on the bed and closed her eyes. Interestingly, such apparitions were only presented to my gran’s consciousness; no one else in the room could see what she was seeing. Within minutes the dreaded death rattle pierced the silence in the room and she was gone.

The experience was quite profound for some in the room, whilst scary for some, others fully understood the ramifications of what they had just witnessed, a full on spiritual experience.

Penny Sartori (the nurse from Chapter 1) again features in Chapter 2 (and I guess will do so through the rest of the pages) has witnessed this exact phenomena on several occasions in her then capacity of nurse and went on to study and write a book about it. Another one for my growing list…

Further second-hand experience of apparitions involved my eldest son who came in to our living room looking a little upset when he was about four. When asked what the matter was, he said that the man at the bottom of the stairs was hurt. He told us that he came downstairs and saw an old man with blood coming from his head and that we should come see and help. We followed him into the empty hallway, my son turning to us saying he had gone away now.

EL goes on to say that although apparitions may appear spontaneously (in most of the cases cited by AP in the book), apparitions or ADC can be induced either via hypnosis or deep meditation (rather than through a medium), both of which altered states of consciousness. Whilst the examples are interesting (revealing “facts” that the viewer could not have possibly known, such facts corroborated via independent means) the most intriguing case revealed by AP for me regarded a truck driver who passed away following a crash in my (our) home town of Liverpool. Three days after he passed away, his partners’ sister was left an answer machine message from the trucker. She contacted the telephone company and they said that it was impossible for the service to make a mistake in terms of the time when the message was left and that although rare, it was not the first time someone had experienced phone calls from the dead.

After Death Communications (not via mediums) is not a new thing, ancient cultures have always connected with those who have passed for guidance and advice, although it must be said that in the “Western World”, such experiences are by and large seen as esoteric and too delusional to be taken seriously, with the sharer often ridiculed. That said, in my opinion there is a shift in consciousness about consciousness itself, and hopefully this will (as EL suggests) lead to more experiences being shared, which should (in theory) lead to less cases being debunked, paving the way to prove that consciousness does in fact exist beyond the brain beyond reasonable doubt.

OPINION: I guess one of the main reasons why I took up yoga, meditation and reiki two years ago was my individual quest for the answer to the key questions posed in Chapters 1 & 2. I for one want to experience things first-hand, on the basis that one can only truly confirm or deny whether something exists if one experiences things with the sense we have (five or otherwise). I have attained altered states of consciousness via yoga/meditation, lucid dreaming and Lucia No 3 to some extent, and I will continue to do so to see what things are presented to me. I do believe that based on the wealth of evidence as well as the cases of my gran and son, that apparitions may well exist. Whether that constitutes immaterial consciousness and consciousness outside of the brain cannot be confirmed. Yet…

(Infinity Beckons – Review of Chapter 3: Medium Transmitted Communication)

The further one removes oneself from direct experience, the more difficult it becomes to believe. When we introduce a third party, and a third party who could potentially make a profit out of a situation, then the trust in the source (the disconnected consciousness) becomes stretched.

EL quite rightly mentions the word “credibility” early on in the Chapter, which is a key word when reviewing the ability and outputs of mediums. A key question for me is what exactly is the medium communing with, is it the deceased individual (perhaps even via a 4th party spirit guide), or is it the projected subconscious thoughts of the “sitter” via ESP or is it in fact an ability to tap in to the collective consciousness, the source?

So when one looks for evidence like the examples cited in Chapter 3, one must assess the credibility and accuracy of the information presented and judge beyond reasonable doubt. Tenuous links, if, buts and maybe’s hold no sway here. Most people are very sceptical when it comes to clairvoyance (on the basis of the aforementioned profit perspective), especially in this digitally connected age which makes “life” that much easier for mediums to profile future clients (should they wish to).

In the more intriguing of historical cases (including those cited in Chapter 3), the evidence is presented which the medium would have struggled to find via other means, via connections with complete strangers which includes follow-up actions in this plane of existence which bear fruit, much like the example of the medium who determined the exact location of a hidden last will and testament (sewn inside a coat of the deceased) which superseded the previous iteration, much to the chagrin of the original profiteer.

Oddly, I was reading this Chapter in my local Starbucks and after examining the case of the dead poet Roden Noel (who frequented Cornwall to write), I closed the book and headed for home, only to come across a camper van parked at the end of my road with a flag of Cornwall sticker on the back window…

On a personal note, I have been to see two public displays of mediumship. The first was Derek Acorah at Southport Theatre, a man who in my opinion is a complete and utter charlatan and a proven fraud who gives humanity a bad name let alone clairvoyance/clairaudience, clearly only in it for the profit. The second was a visit to a local spiritualist church a few years back, whereby an “expert” who had been through a Near-Death Experience of his own was brought in to relay messages from his spirit guide to certain (perhaps ‘pre-selected’) members of the congregation, again all very random and tenuous and not at all credible.

Whilst those two experiences were rather disappointing, there are two others which were a lot closer to home and a lot more accurate, both involving my wife. The first was an innocent trip to the solicitors to file for a divorce from her first husband. The area of Liverpool we resided in at the time was awash with solicitors, so after perusing the phone book (remember those?) she made her selection. Oddly, the one she selected was furthest away from our house, but pick it and went she did. The appointment was set for lunchtime which worked out well as she could pick our boy up from morning day care on the way. She was invited to sit down by the solicitor who greeted her with a smile on his face, followed by a little chuckle. He opened the meeting by saying that he was glad she turned up today as he had a message for her, my wife looking on very confused. He went on to say that he often received messages from the other side and that he had been in the presence of Mary this morning, stating that her real name was Cathleen but my wife knew her as Mary (her Grandmother was baptised Cathleen but was known by her middle name of Mary by all those who knew her). The message was quiet profound, he stated that she had told my wife not to worry about her brother going overseas and that she was there to keep an eye out for him (one week earlier my wife’s brother had flown out with the Royal Engineers to diffuse bombs in Bosnia).

My wife believes in spirits and welcomed the message, nodding and smiling. On to business and the formalities of the Decree Nisi where discussed and the appropriate documentation signed. As she was leaving, her took her gently by the arm and softly asked her “What happened with the jam tarts this morning?” Earlier in the day when she picked up our boy from day care, like any other day, she went armed with a shiny ten pence piece, in preparation for the daily cake purchase. That day was different. Instead of selecting a cupcake, “J” instead insisted that he wanted a jam tart. Knowing full well that he didn’t like them, my wife tried to persuade him to buy a cupcake, but as he was so adamant, she let him purchase one anyway and learn a valuable lesson. He took one bite of the jam tart and spat it out on the floor, demanding a replacement which never came, much to the annoyance of the little one who then proceeded to have a full on tantrum…

I have never had a direct clairvoyant experience but something was trying to help me along my way. Not only was the flag of Cornwall thrust in my face, but later in the afternoon I had to prepare an application for my son’s entertainment licence (for a TV show he appears on here in the UK). To support the application, I needed two photos, which I knew I had spare in the “purple folder” where I keep all of our household documents. I reached in for the photos and found them, but as I did some sheets of paper fell on the bed. Of the one-hundred plus documents in the folder, the one that decided to present itself was the only medium notes my wife has ever kept from a visit she made to a local clairvoyant 3 years ago…

In the evening I said to her that I wanted to visit a medium to experience the experience myself, and she duly gave me the number for a guy a few miles away who was apparently very good. Oddly the next morning, she came to me and said a friend of hers is starting up a medium reading night and would my wife like to offer her holistic therapy services as an accompaniment to the readings and could we do it from our house…

OPINION: I have always been quite sceptical about clairvoyancy, my take that there are a lot of folks out there that claim to be in touch with “out there”, purely for monetary gain and often extending the grieving process of others. That said, the examples from my wife really did have a profound effect on my judgement. Here is someone I trust with both my life and my children lives, who does not lie to me (with the exception of how many dresses she buys from eBay / Next), so I have no reason doubt, at all, that what she has shared with me is the truth. On that basis, I must therefore conclude that some folks do have the ability to make a connection with something from beyond. I look forward to my first personal clairvoyant experience, no doubt reported in full before infinity beckons…

(Infinity Beckons – Review of Chapter 4: Instrumental Communication)

When I think of instrumental communication in relation to other-realm transmissions, my thoughts instantly drift to the silver screen and visions from Poltergeist (TV) and The Exorcist (tape recorder). If such a thing as Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) exists, then what is it exactly is it?

A short while back I did some research on the electromagnetic spectrum on the basis that I had read somewhere that our senses can only perceive 5% of it, and if that was correct, then what was it that made up the rest? The electromagnetic spectrum starts off at the Extremely Low Frequency of 3 Hz (radio waves) reaching to a high of 300 EHz (gamma radiation), decreasing in wave length as the hertz increases.

With the spectrum, there are only 2 specific sections we (as the average layman) can tune into with our senses, namely VF (or Voice Frequency aka sound) which occurs between 300 Hz and 3 KHz and NUV (or Near Ultra Violet aka sight) which occurs between 300 THz and 3 PHz. What we can perceive as reality (sights and sounds) are both visible and audible within such ranges, and we have over time developed instruments which allow us to extend beyond such boundaries (via radios, Infra-Red Cameras and Spectroscopes and the likes), whose job it is to translate image and sound frequencies so we can see and hear what is being transmitted.

If communications are being projected by a consciousness(es) (or indeed the source / the singular collective consciousness) then at what part of the electromagnetic spectrum are they being broadcast on? My theory is that if indeed messages are being transmitted from another “realm”, then certain folks (like mediums, those with psychic tendencies or those who attain altered states of consciousness) have some innate ability (or otherwise in the case of the meditator) to tap in to such communications, experiencing beyond the normal VF and NUV boundaries of the aforementioned average layman. If it is the case that apparitions and messages may only appear to certain folks, which are broadcasted on different frequencies then as long as we have the ability to capture such transmissions via electronic devices, then it should be possible to prove this (should the sender of course wish to – there is always a catch)…

EL opens up Chapter 4 by stating that the number of EVP recordings is on the increase (I suspect due to the ubiquitous and affordable technology available to us), all made possible through such works of Faraday, Hertz, Tesla, Marconi and Edison. As in previous chapters, AP cites several interesting examples of EVP communications via tape recordings (Gregorian chants – the church wouldn’t lie about such matters surely?), via video (optical feedback loops recorded to reveal images of deceased German personalities) and perhaps the most interesting of all cases which involved EL himself, which broadcasted dedicated messages via a radio in front of a room full of witnesses.

EL does however concede that the use of electronic devices does open up the seed of doubt as to whether the communications which are transmitted are in fact authentic (much in the same way way mediums are due to “proof by proxy” and not direct experience), and a quick search of EVP on YouTube will reveal servers full of implausible and downright silly examples of this. Trying to find legitimate and actual proof of EVP on the internet is a pointless exercise. That said and as AP revealed, several high profile invididuals with cases of EVP (including parliamentarians) were in fact willing to go on record to declare their experience, not caring for the risk of a reputation bashing.

OPINION: My initial research into EVP revealed the exact opposite of evidence (anti-evidence?) so I must say that as of yet, I have not seen or heard anything plausible with my own lugholes and peepers, so I remain on the fence. I did attend a session at the London College of Psychics last night where I recorded an Erlendur Haraldsson lecture relating to his latest book “The Departed Among the Living: An Investigative Study of Afterlife Encounters” on the basis that if there was a location that could project transmissions from the other realm, then that was definitely one of them! I did at exactly 7:25pm get a full on surge of reiki energy shooting up and down my chakras but sadly on playback, no “other voices” could be heard. I do intend to experiment EVP on my own using some of the techniques AP revealed in one of the examples, just need to find a shop which actually sells a radio (remember them)…

I would only regard personal evidence as a success if I received targeted and specific messages contained within the EVP recording, not random voices (as these could be cross-channel communications on the radio and thus render the evidence not sound, and certainly not proof of non-local consciousness. What I am also intrigued about is reiki and what exactly (and I mean exactly) it is. I have been attuned (Level 2) and can under certain conditions bring in invisible energy forces to expedite the meditative process, but what it is I’m tapping into remains (for today at least) a mystery…

(Infinity Beckons – Review of Chapter 5: Past Life Recall)

I for one have never been hypnotised or regressed and nor have any of my family or friends for that matter, so I will have to rely on the evidence provided by both AP in the book and from other stories and accounts I have heard over the years.

Visions of a Freudian chaise-longue spring to mind when it comes to this topic, but as EL points out from the outset, Past Life Recall can be experienced in many ways once the “viewer” is in an altered state, whether they are put there by others (hypnosis or suggestion) or via their own means (meditation, deep breathing techniques, Rapid Eye Movement of in fact Lucia No 3).

Whether regressions are performed by the professional or the self is immaterial, the outputs of such events are analysed in much the same way as other mechanisms discussed in the book so far. What appears to be the case here is that certain individual under certain conditions can go beyond their “internal cache” (to quote computing terminology – the cache is the memory store / record from boot up) and experience either the past lives of their former “selves” or (as it transpires) the “selves” of others. Once in an altered state, the viewer has the ability to recall, recount or actually become their former selves, their former “experiencing consciousness”.

EL mentions an ancient Hinduism belief called Samsara (coincidentally [yeah right] I watched a documentary on Netflix last night called Samsara) which relates to the natural cycle of things, namely the birth : death : rebirth paradigm. Samsara suggests that we continue this endless cycle (a reincarnating consciousness into the material world) until one reaches enlightenment or Nirvana (which only occurs when one has completed their spiritual journey). Rebirth it seems can take both human and non-human form and personal evidence of that I do have but will choose to save that for the next chapter of the book which covers reincarnation. I recall my very first blog post many years ago which was entitled “Do amoebas have souls“. I have come quite some way since that day in terms of writing and belief, and as time progresses I am starting to believe that they may very well do.

Moving on from ancient beliefs and ideas, EL mentions the collective unconscious, a Freudian/Jungian concept by which the individual may have the ability to access (again using computer terminology) the memory or data contained within the broader consciousness, a (the?) single consciousness that contains all human experience. If my understanding is correct (which no doubt may change over the coming chapters) there is in some point in the Universe or a locked away in some hidden dimension, a record of all things which have (or indeed may well yet) taken place, and under certain conditions, can be accessed. This I believe is the Akasha. As Bill Hicks famously once said and I quote:

“All matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the Weather.”

Notwithstanding the Tom reference and his ability to predict the weather effectively, here we have the answer to the ultimate question. A single consciousness exists, we experience it locally via our matter-based receiver and life and death do not actually exist and what we see is actually an illusion. The Hicks / Samsara Paradigm. Genius…

By way of evidence to support Past Life Recall, AP cites several interesting cases, notably French Researcher Albert de Rochas who had several success stories as a hypnotist, allegedly regressing several people back through to their past lives and past ages. The case that struck a real chord for me though involved the work of American psychotherapist Roger Woolger, who believed that present life traumas and fears have their origins in past lives and not the present one. I have all my life had a phobia of tall buildings, bizarrely not standing on top and looking down, but standing beneath and looking up. I always thought it was one of the more irrational of phobias, made somewhat amusing by the fact that for a time I worked in the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, then the second tallest building in the world. There was never one incident that kick started this fear, as far as I was aware, I had always had it. The explanation by Messrs Peake and Woolger could have some bearing on where the fear actually came from, did a tall building fall on me or did I fall from a tall building in a previous life?

EL closes the chapter by stating that not all of us have the ability to experience such recollections, which in part is perhaps down to religious indoctrination or the likes (and Moses said: thou shall not believe in Samsara). What is also a possibility is that only certain types of recalls occur, extreme recalls. I went to a talk at the London School of Psychics recently where Erlendur Haraldsson claimed (post after-death survey results) that percentage-wise, past life recall and after-death communication was highest in cases of murder, suicide and traumatic events, so maybe the recall of a mundane existence (pick any Everton supporter) is not worth recalling.

OPINION: Based on the evidence suggested by AP, my own intriguing case of tallbuildingaphobia and the soon-to-be-revealed case of my grandmother and the white cat, I believe that regression to the collective unconscious may well be possible, and that at some point I would like to find out for myself via hypnosis, so that I can say that I have experienced past lives beyond reasonable doubt and that I was in fact Alexander the Great’s Chief Eunuch…

(Infinity Beckons – Review of Chapter 6: Reincarnation)

As alluded to in my review of Chapter 5, I have an indirect tale of reincarnation; whether or not it is pure coincidence is up to the reader I guess. My grandmother (from what I have been told – I never actually remember her as she had passed away when I was a baby), believed in God (Abrahamic) but also believed in reincarnation (not Abrahamic) and one day told my mother that after she died she would come back as a white cat (very specific).

When her time came (as detailed in my review of Chapter 2) she passed away peacefully at home and was later laid to rest at the local cemetery. It was on my mothers next visit to the graveyard where something remarkable took place. As my mother approached the grave, she noticed something moving behind the gravestone which was soon to reveal itself as a cat, a white cat. Of course this could have been a hallucination, a story which has morphed over the last four decades to what it is today, sheer coincidence or in fact my grandmother returning as the Hindu’s believe, in non-human form.

From a Buddhist perspective, in cases where reincarnation occurs in human (or non-human form) on the basis that the spirit “still has some work to do”, the soul is “uploaded” to the materialistic receiver on the forty-ninth day of gestation. I have for the last few years held the number seven in high regard, so much so that I have written a meditation technique around it (“everywhere I looked, I could see the number seven, seven days, seven chakras, seven colours, seven major musical notes the list went on and on”). So at day forty nine (seven circles of seven), the magic happens (allegedly).

EL quite rightly states in opening the chapter that belief systems have a major effect on the quality and quantity of accounts of reincarnation, much higher in the East than in the West. He also states that aged 8 onwards (“coincidentally” after one has journeyed through the first seven year chakra cycle), such experiences start to fade and by adolescence they have disappeared altogether (with some exceptions of course – including those which have been brought about via hypnotism and other means as described in the last chapter).

Interestingly, EL goes on to mention deja vu and deja connu as phenomena linked to reincarnation. As a reader of AP’s books, and more specifically Is There Life After Death (ITLAD), this reference intrigued me as this connection made by EL goes against AP’s theory of deja vu (or deja vecu as he calls it) in that EL refers to reincarnating souls into different receptacles, whereas AP declares his support for the Bohmian IMAX, an eternal panoramic life review seen in real-time which looks to explain deja vu instances. It would be interesting to get his views on my views, which let’s be honest could be way off with my quantum sized brain…

Before AP shares his evidence of reincarnation, EL mentions that afflictions in this life (like birthmarks) may have been associated with the previous life and left as a marker (which made me smirk and think of my wife and her nine-and-a-half toes). The yet to be seen 2014 movie I:Origins refers to this in a similar way, definitely on my watch list now…

An intriguing case shared by AP involved a Sri Lankan girl who had remembered as a child a previous life she had which was cut short by an accident, and much like my fear of tall buildings had an irrational fear, this time of buses, with personalities and likes of the previous incarnation filtering through to the current one. Even more so was the case of an Indian girl who had a skill for ancient recitals and dance that were unknown to those around her, and latterly being able to have corroborated a large amount of facts about the deceased she could not possibly have known.

In closing, EL states that coincidental markers may not be proof of reincarnation, but also states that something else (an influence from another realm/dimension) could impose such markings on a growing foetus. The key consideration is not to argue about whether reincarnation itself occurs, or in the case of past life reviews whether one can recall ones’s own or others previous experiences, but whether all of the evidence and suggestions thus far proves beyond reasonable doubt that consciousness in non-local.

OPINION: So Chapter 6 closes the first part of the book (“The Evidence”). I have to say that so far, the logic and conviction presented by EL, fused with the sheer wealth and accuracy of the evidence presented by AP in the book as well as my personal experiences lead me to believe that “we” have the ability to connect with something that is not itself connected to any living thing at this moment. What that something is, is not currently known to me, I do hope that the last two parts of the book (“The Science” and “The Explanation”) completes this wonderful consciousness jigsaw spliced rather excellently thus far by Messrs Laszlo and Peake…

(Infinity Beckons – Review of Chapter 7: The Rediscovery of the Deep Dimension)

I always knew that the science part of the book may have been quite difficult for my ZX Spectrum sized memory to take in and it didn’t disappoint. Well I’ve read Chapter 7 but I may have to read it again to understand it. And again. And Again…

(Infinity Beckons – Review of Chapter 8: Consciousness in the Cosmos)

Erm, well I’ve read Chapter 8 too, but I may have to read it again to understand it. And again. And Again…

(Infinity Beckons – Review of Chapter 9: Re-Experiencing Consciousness)

And so to the final part of the book (Part 3), and EL starts off with a bold statement, and one that based on what I have read in this book, read in other books, researched on the internet and gleaned from life experience (both mine and others) I would have to concur with, namely that a contactable consciousness beyond the brain can be accessed via several means. Since the dawn of “humanity” (which is something I will come onto later), there have been quite literally millions (most likely billions) of reported cases of for want of a better phrase (with no reference to the shoddy film series whatsoever) paranormal activities. I am not a fan of that phrase at all and I’m not sure why I chose to use it as quite often it is mocked by men of science and religion, but if there was a catalogue of all such events from NDE’s through to reincarnation the sheer volume of data would be difficult to dismiss in itself. Messrs Dawkins and Krauss would have us all believe that every single instance is at best a creation of an active materialist imagination or at worst abject delusion and paranoia.

So here we have a clear (in my opinion), robust hypothesis (and to be fair that’s all it is and all it can be) and a wealth of evidence (as provided by AP) that consciousness is non-local and exists in a place which we cannot normally access. That centralised consciousness (whether it be called the Akasha, the Zero-Point-Field, the Source or in fact God) contains all human experience to date which in itself is constantly evolving. As soon as one mentions a constantly evolving “one consciousness”, that good old Bill Hicks line comes flooding back (again); if we are in fact “one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively” via very individual and very local manifestations in the material world, then we are perhaps evolving the collective and very singular consciousness.

If each and every one of us uploads their experience to the “Source”, then the “Source” itself is a constantly evolving swirling chaotic mass of both positivity and negativity, of light and dark, of good and evil, of fear and love. This is where morality comes in as does Hollywood. Evolution of man has only come about through order and disorder (entropy). Imagine a physical realm were everything was constantly good and in perfect order, would humanity have evolved to what it is today? No. In the same manner, would the collective consciousness evolve if everything was good and in perfect order all of the time? No. There is no doubt that we live in troubled times and there is a real sense of inevitability that at some point someone will press reset button, then and only then (if there is anything left) will there be a period of calm, a period of reflection, a period of togetherness (a post-Return of the Jedi pre-Force Awakens moment)…

I have realised over the last few years that everything that I do must (not should) be good, anything negative I do is not good for the cosmos. Perhaps true enlightenment does not lie with the self, but instead lies in the collective consciousness, the “Source”. We must evolve spiritually if we are to avoid any reset button scenario. I do find it difficult and rather frustrating that the main players on the global political stage state that they all believe in God yet appear to be bereft of true spirit. They all believe in sustaining weapons of mass destruction and there really is nothing spiritual in destroying billions of “local manifestations”. It really is in the best interests of the cosmos to rid the physical realm of such things, but maybe this is all part of the master plan if there is such a thing (and whilst we are on the subject why did Global-Thermo-Nuclear-War just happen to start in my home town of Liverpool, maybe a Hollywood synchronicity?!).

Anywho, back to Chapter 9 where EL brings up the subject of consciousness entanglement, in that there is no data transfer mechanism akin to uploading a data file to DropBox when it comes to transferring our experiences to the “Source”, our local instance is forever entangled with the “Source” so our experiences are instantly available to others. Our on-board “cache” (to use another computing analogy) remains available for us to recall experiences without having to enter an altered state of consciousness to retrieve our own memories from the “Source”. EL’s cloud computing analogy is very clever (as you would expect from an established systems scientist) and easy to relate to (as I would expect after signing a multi-million pound deal with a Cloud Service provider today – another synchronicity). As AP eludes to earlier in the book, there are instances (via mediumship) where certain folks can access the “Sources records”, submissions from local manifestations which are in turn retrieved by mediums and validated by the sender (robust scenarios where the medium “could not have possibly known the facts” as opposed to tenuous links and speculation “you had a relative called Dave”).

OPINION: A very short chapter (the shortest in the book by far – just 3 pages in total) but those short paragraphs together with the cloud computing analogy is compounding my support for one of the books central themes, in that individual conscious experience is stored somewhere, and that somewhere can be accessed by someone / anyone with an ability to tune in, whether that be mediums, hypnotherapists or transcendental hippies. With all that said, one must ask the question “Does that mean that our consciousness exists after physical death?”. I’m not sure it does. EL / AP posit that recordings are made and saved to the database, and as long as one has access (via a cosmic user name and password), such recordings can be retrieved and details shared. In order to answer the question “Is the mind immortal?”, one must look to spiritual experiences gained via NDE’s and OBE’s to answer that…

(Infinity Beckons – Review of Chapter 10: Death and Beyond)

And so to the final chapter of what has been one of the best and most profound books I’ve ever read on consciousness. OK I’m not the world’s biggest bookworms so I can’t say I’m widely read, but The Immortal Mind really does go quite someway to answering my very first blog on Infinity Beckons (“Do amoebas have souls?”). So understandably it doesn’t answer the question directly relating to our single-celled-siblings, but it does provide many theories and endless examples of the extension of consciousness, which quite frankly makes it difficult to not to acknowledge that there is something out there.

Modern attitudes do not help the cause, and certain members of the scientific community do their upmost to hinder and pillory real and proper research of the immaterial. Real research and real evidence like that offered up in this book by Messrs Laszlo and Peake. I guess in a world of yin and yang they have to exist, but they do so with such a negative attitude, there is no debate, there are only volleys of verbal abuse. There is nothing romantic, esoteric or mystic about materialist reductionism; quite frankly it is all rather negative.

So what happens when we die? EL suggests that our ”reality recorders” simply stop working and our subjective experiences cease uploading data to the cloud. As with many parts of the book computer analogies are a plenty in the final chapter (and that I am thankful for being an IT Business Analyst). According to EL, subjective experience isn’t actually uploaded (via some invisible ethereal fibre-optic cable) as our local instances are entangled with the “Source”, so whatever we experience locally, exists in the “Source” at the same time.

So when our system shuts down for the last time what happens and where is the evidence to suggest something continues? One only has to look into the Near Death Experiences examples cited by AP and the extensive work carried out by Dr Penny Sartori to validate that argument. There does appear to be a journey of sorts, a transition from this realm to the hidden realm.

There appears to be a point at which consciousness migrates into and out of the physical realm, and one should look towards the religions of the East for theoretical sustenance. EL cites Buddhism and Hinduism, and describes the various states of existence (known as bardo), in which consciousness passes through various phases on its journey in and out of the “Source”, sometimes, several times over. I have had a fascination with the number 7 for quite some time, so it was no surprise to learn that Buddhists believe that the transmigration of consciousness occurs within the foetus after 49 days (7 x 7), which coincides with the maturity of the pineal gland (the anya chakra; the physical seat of consciousness). Nor is it a surprise that the Hindu’s believe we go through 7 cycles of chakras (each lasting 7 years) until things “start again”. From what I can understand, some children can recall previous iterations and incarnation during the first 7 year cycle. Several examples from AP in the book go some-way to support this.

I mentioned in the review of previous chapters that everything I do from here on in has to be good, everything I do from here on in has to be for the benefit of the cosmos, of the “Source”. If the Hindu’s are to be believed and we do reincarnate, we do go through several stages of existential evolution before we attain enlightenment, then surely everything we do should be good. I’ve operated in the positive plain of existence now for the last 3 years and I must say my soul feels a lot better for it. Can I do more, of course I can, but I think as more time becomes available I will be able to be good more often to more people. Right now my focus is on my 3 children, but that will change over time, freeing me up to do more.

Something chapter 10 doesn’t touch on (and I guess nor could it or should it) is who or what decides whether a consciousness which has existed before should return for further “localisation”, I guess only time will tell.

OPINION: The chapter ends with the question the first chapter started off with; does consciousness end with the death of the body? Based on what I have read in this book and beyond, based on the wealth of personal (albeit indirect) experience and based on the sheer volume of historic evidence which I know is out there, my answer to this simple question has to be no. Although I am yet to have absolute or direct proof of such things, I can safely say that it is beyond reasonable doubt that there is something else out there beyond the physical realm and beyond physical death…

(Infinity Beckons – Afterword and Book Summary)

It is almost as if a previous me has already read the Afterword. It is almost is if a previous version of me was the author of the Afterword, words and thoughts already captured in the chapter reviews above. The Afterword suggests the need for a new era of evolution, of change, of positivity. For surely, if society as a whole believed in life after death and that we we not just here for the moment, then a “cause and effect conscience” would make people think about the wants of the self, the needs of the now. Key concepts have been with us for millenuium, a new era of oneness and spirituality using those aeons old values is what is required. If everyone on this planet was spiritual and believed in the everlasting, believed in the continuation of consciousness beyond physical death of the current incarnation, then surely we would act as one, rather than 7 billion individuals on that little blue dot in space. Spiritual evolution would lead to more positive vibes right across the Cosmos for our time now and are time should we ever come back for a re-run. What’s not to like about that.

In closing, I have to say The Immortal Mind is one of the most enlightening books I have ever read, Ervin Laszlo and Anthony Peake realy have written an important book, a book which really has had a profound impact not only on my beliefs, but on my personal responsibility as a member of society and a key contributor to the Akashic Records. I got a little lost in the science bit if I’m honest, but that is something I need to work on and as time goes by I do understand more and more of quanta and strings.

There is a Scouse prog band called Anathema (a personal favourite of mine) and there is a line in one of their songs. For me, The Immortal Mind in a nutshell:

Life is not the opposite of death. Death is the opposite of birth. Life is eternal…

Messrs Laszlo and Peake, thank you…

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