Life After Death - The Evidence?
'I was, and am convinced that there is an existance beyond
so-called death, and that there are means of communication
between the so-called dead and ourselves.'
Sir Bernard Marshall Hall 1858 - 1927 (English lawer)
"Living on this planet should carry a health warning since it will be the death of us all! Death is an irrevocable fact of life, and yet in the Western world in particular, we
try to brush it under the carpet, treat it as a taboo subject and regard anyone who investigates it as weird. Despite the fact that over 500,000 of us die every year in the UK, we pretend it only
happens to others and ignore it for as long as possible in the hope that it will go away and not affect us. Of course it never does, and when the inevitable happens to someone we love we are
devastated and wracked with grief, particularly if the circumstances were tragic.
In our moments of despair we look for answers and comfort, but to whom and where do we look? To religion? If being told that our loved one is in heaven with Jesus or God gives us comfort, then that is fine – unless, of course, we have an enquiring mind. But as my dear friend Fred found out – the hard way – the Church is as publicly ignorant about life after death as it is about God. And let’s be honest, if there is no life after death, just oblivion, then what is the point of religion – or life?
If I explain my own personal search for evidence and proof that we survive the death of our physical body, it will help you to understand how ‘doors’ open, and how pieces of the jigsaw fall into place for those who seriously and sincerely want to know. One of the early lessons my quest taught me was that answers are not given on a plate. Life will make us search for them, as any engineer or genuine scientist will tell you. So, if we do not search then we will not find, and if we do not question then we will get no answers.
'Look and you will find it - what is unsought will go undetected.'
- 406 BC (Greek dramatist)
My parents had recently retired from their ‘open all hours’ corner shop and moved to Hitchin in Hertfordshire. In the late 1960s my mother had received healing for osteoarthritis of the hip by the laying on of hands. It was because of this that they wished to remain in contact with healers for regular ‘top-ups’ as they put it. They wrote to the National Federation of Spiritual Healers who informed them that their nearest venue was Hitchin Spiritualist Church, a short walk from where they were living.
On Easter Sunday in the spring of 1973, the family and I visited my parents who asked if we would like to attend the evening meeting. They explained that the evening would consist of singing, healing prayers, a reading, a philosophical talk and a demonstration of clairvoyance (evidence of survival) by a guest medium. Never having seen a clairvoyant demonstration before, I jokingly suggested that a medium was midway between a small and a large. The joke was to be on me. As we walked to the meeting, little did I realise that it would totally change the direction of my life.
Hitchin Spiritualist Church was a modern purpose-built brick building, and as we entered the foyer we were given a warm welcome by committee members who made a great fuss of our sons Ian and Kevin. On entering the main hall I was surprised by the amount of conversation and laughter, it was certainly not the sombre atmosphere I had imagined at such gatherings. With over 70 people present that evening most of the seats were taken, so we had to split up with us at the front and my parents at the back.
The visiting medium was introduced as Mr Alan Chantrey from Peterborough. In his early forties, slim, dark haired, 183 cm (six feet) tall and very well dressed in a dark blue blazer. Not my stereotyped image of a medium; which goes to show how wrong preconceived ideas can be!
After harmonious singing and healing prayers, Chantrey gave a philosophical talk about life, and spoke for an impressive 20 minutes in a positive and passive voice without notes or falter. Every word rang true. This man spoke my language! I was even more intrigued when he was later asked to give ‘evidence of survival’ with a demonstration of clairvoyance. Approaching the front of the platform Chantrey went to various people in the audience giving them what I assumed to be descriptions of departed loved ones. Finally, pointing to me:
AC: I'm coming to you young man - I have your grandmother here with me.
BS: Which one?
AC: (Without hesitation) Your mother's mother. She's about 90-years-of-age, five foot nothing,with greying short curly hair. She has a pronounced curvature of the spine and got very rosy cheeks - it looks like rouge. She wants to say to you: 'Wake up my lad, your only half alive, and that's not you my lad.'
The medium continued to give more personal detailsfrom Gran, puntuated every so often by the words 'my lad'.
Facts: Gran was 92-years-of-age when she died. She was five feet tall (152cm), and her short curly hair was going grey, not totally grey or even white haired, which was almost unique for a woman of her age. She was rounded od spine (osteoporosis) and did have very rosy cheeks. Whenever grangoing somewhere special she always overdid the rouge making her look a little bit like a clown. But the icing on the cake was the frequent use of the words 'my lad', very rarely Brian. It was ...."