Wednesday, January 20, 2010

When They Prove Ghosts: What Next?


Suppose you’re watching TV when you get home from work, flipping through the channels and see a “Special Report” message. You stop and wait to see if it’s some disaster or shooting somewhere. No, this ends up being introduced not by a local, but a national reporter. The tone is serious. The message is stupifying, it must be a prank!

“A press conference is about to begin. Scientists from Yale University are going to discuss a finding that, well,” his voice deepens, “this is hard to say, but reportedly proof of the afterlife has been discovered and these top scientists in their field will be making an official announcement.” The reporter turns to the other reporter at the desk. “Did you ever think this day would come?”

The other reporter clears his throat. “I-I can’t imagine what can constitute proof of afterlife, but apparently we’re about to hear. They’re ready to speak.”

The screen then switches off to a room with a panel of men and women at a table, one standing at the lectern, leaning into a cluster of microphones, his eyes rather stricken, his body tense, his hands trembling slightly as he shifts his papers and waits for the reporters to quiet down.


At this point, I leave you to your imagination. As a hunter of the paranormal, I can’t imagine what “proof” would be irrefutable, as even an answering spirit could be interpreted as a hoax. Still, the day might very well come where the lines between our world and the next level of existence will be probed by science and perhaps, if we’re lucky, it will probe back and contact will be made.

We spend a lot of time talking about finding proof of the other side, but like the question of who we’ll clone when we clone people overrides the question of whether we should clone people, sometimes we get ahead of ourselves. Do we really want to clone the DNA of those who had their time on earth and do we really know what it will mean if we chase ghosts and we finally catch them?

Every aspect of our lives would change should we prove the afterlife.

That might sound like a silly statement. After all, those with faith believe in the afterlife already. Yes, they have belief, but with proof comes a conflict. What if the afterlife proves to be unconditional of what we practiced religiously on earth or perhaps even if we believed at all? Should you no longer be obliged to have a faith or practice a faith, what becomes of churches? Religious wars?

Some might say that without faith and the guidelines of one’s religious doctrines, the world would go mad with chaos and evil. Not true! I know a huge group of atheists, some of the kindness and most considerate and “Christian-like” people I’ve ever known. Their morals are deeply seated and cannot be bribed by heaven or greed. The roads would not fill with mayhem and looting, but the way we handle our lives might change dramatically.

Supposing there was no lingering doubt that you could be part of an eternal world without pain and hunger? Would a large group of sickly and elderly opt out of physical life? Would communication with the dead make it so families no longer grieved their dead? Instead, they simply wired themselves into the system and caught them up on their lives? Would the dead then become "slaves" to our need to continue to "keep them alive" by contacting them constantly? Would they have any "rest" in the afterlife?

These questions are the basis of a Sci-Fi novel I started many years ago and keep meaning to finish finally. I’m thinking of picking it back up and finishing it off finally, but I’d really like to pick your brilliant minds (I really do have the smartest followers in the blog world) to find out what you think the ramifications would be?

12 comments:

  1. Personally I think that even if the existence of the afterlife could be proven scientifically not everyone is going to believe it. Already religion tries to separate itself from science because the deeply religious believe that science takes people away from God. And maybe they are right to some extent, if only because science teaches people how to think for themselves! Back in the day almost everyone in your town would have the same belief and so it would be only natural you would too, not knowing there was any other options. As science expands so does information from around the globe and freedom of thought, this is what scares religious leaders and the extremely devout. I think any religion whose view of the afterlife was not the same as the one discovered is likely to resist it. This could lead to even worse religious wars.

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  2. Good points. In my SciFi story, the world does unite its churches into one and that church controls the machines that speak to the other side. If you want to talk to your relatives, you must follow their guidelines and be a church member. Those who are poor and can't pay the fees to be members get 2 days a year they can talk to the dead. I agree about religiosity and science. If they are truly afraid of it, then every machine they use, every medicine they take--they should stop because they were all born of science and if God exists and He/She/It gave us knowledge, consciousness, and self-awareness, as well as intelligence, then the greatest honor we can do is be a bright child and excell at learning (doesn't every parent want that?) It really comes down to financial gain and we know who controls our spirituality and who gets the cash...

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  3. I can relate to what Panademona just said in her comment. Growing up Catholic we were taught that ghosts, spirts, psychics was dealing in the occult and was contrary to God's belief.

    I've had a psychic reading and OMG... this man was right on. He told me so many things about things past. Anyways, that's a whole other story. I love this site as I learn so much.

    I've watching "psychic kids" and my heart goes out to children. Parents do not believe them, they are scared to share their experiences with friends and not to mention that they are just down right scared.

    So much to learn in this area. I love reading this blog. I don't always comment because -- well, I just don't know enough to have anything worth saying.

    Have a great day.

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  4. Paula;
    I'm so glad you're following my blog and it's just fine if you have nothing to say. Soak it up. I do the same on other blogs. I can relate with the psychic kids. From digging up relics where I grew up, I learned to read the objects. It was something that I thought every single person could do. Like a sense that we don't talk about. We don't often discuss how something feels when we touch it, and I figured no one really talked about the information they got when they touched stuff. My mother thought I had a vivid imagination but my father had a psychic sister and had a very respectful feeling about such talents. I was lucky that I wasn't seeing or talking to dead people, just gathering people's memories from their objects. I put the talent away a long time because I'm so practical and didn't want to be known as a psychic or a ghost hunter even, because people roll their eyes. I understand how they feel, many in the field have made it rather embarrassing. I am at a place in my life where I've learned that what I can do is perfectly normal and perfectly natural. I hope to start trying my hand and doing paintings of the visions I see in my head when I touch objects--they are often very collage-like with lots of different tidbits of info. When I start getting that going, I'll be posting some of the images. I think with maturity you just say "I don't care what people think" anymore. "I really care that I'm true to myself." Hope you continue to pop onto my blog and check out what I'm up to. I expect this Sunday to be reporting on a new ghost hunt and its results (fingers crossed).

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  5. A lot depends on how the discovery is made or proven. Is a cooperative, intelligent spirit going to volunteer for scientific study, a tour, and a few press conferences?
    What if the afterlife is proven, yet it turns out to be nothing any of us expected?
    In one of the Cal McDonald stories, he's summoned to a lab where scientists have managed to capture a person's soul at the moment of death. The soul is MOST unhappy with being held captive, and the result is a whole lotta carnage.

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  6. Burt;
    Totally! In my scenario, a machine is devised by a physicist and a psychic medium that helps to figure out the pathway by which the spirits thoughts can be captured. They create machines that make it possible to sit and talk with the dead. The only question is, much like the internet, who do we know we're talking to? We assume they're all in heaven, but what if they're not???

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  7. I believe that eventually ghosts will be proven. Science pulls the veil back on all mysteries over time. Many things we take for granted would have been considered nonsense a few hundred years ago. But I think Pandemona is right, ghosts may be proven, but not everyone will believe. There are still people out there that don't believe in evolution and think the world is 10,000 years old. People believe what they want to believe and all the scientific evidence in the world won't change that.

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  8. Jessica;
    This is the problem with the hero in my story. He actually is an engineer who designs the machines, but he has his doubts about their efficacy, as does a psychic he teams up with who tells him perhaps all the voices from the other side are not necessarily happy heaven inhabitors (say that three times fast!) I love your insights. You always have such a balanced and healthy attitude about hauntings and human nature.

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  9. I have a hard time imagining what the 'proof' might be myself. As you said, even an answering spirit could still be interpreted as a hoax.

    What constitutes proof for one person doesn't necessarily constitute proof for everybody. For everybody to be convinced, it would have to be some pretty amazing proof. For some, there's already enough proof.

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  10. I think every person probably has their own level of proof. I hunt ghosts and have had some truly exceptional incidents that for anyone else would be plenty enough for proof, but I don't take stories people passed down about what ghosts are as the bible. I tend to ask questions. Who wrote this book on ghosts and what they are? We don't know. We only make assumptions. I want more than assumptions. However, in the case of this scenario, anyone can talk to their relative and get complete conversations from them. Eventually, it goes from a teletype machine to one with a computer voice but man wants more, so we begin to catalog people's voices so when they pass, their voice can be used. Then, as in this story, the reluctant hero has to invent a holographic image of granny so she can sit with the family. Yikes! This is really a story about belief. People believe they're talking to heaven's occupants. The problem is secrets...like the church locks out people who committed suicide, even though they aren't in purgatory but are able to communicate. The hero begins to wonder, if that's so, then people in hell could also be talking to them. Coincidentally, no one seems to have relatives in hell, but no one questions that. It's really a story about blind belief and whether we should build technology before having the social implications handled first.

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  11. I have a REALLY long answer for this. Would you like me to email you? It's kind of ridiculous really. Just figure I'd check.

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  12. Grim;
    Yeah, I'd like to hear your response.

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