My lecture on The Jewish View of the Afterlife on March 11th went rather well. That was my personal feeling as well as the feedback I received from those I know and respect. The most interesting part for me, however, was when I had the opportunity to ask the audience what their beliefs were and WHY they had them. I was essentially 'fishing' for those precious EEAs [extraordinary experiences of awareness]. These are the ADCs [after-death communications] or even NDE's, revelatory dreams and epiphanies.
I was not disappointed. The most powerful EEAs are known as veridical. That means that information is obtained which could not have been know about by any other means.
Critics and/or analysts of a belief in the afterlife [survival of consciousness, a soul] will point to the ability of mediums and psychics to offer information that could not possibly be known as representing 1] true communication with a spirit OR 2] some kind of [as yet unexplained or even proven] super ESP known as super PSI.
The accuracy of mediums is clearly beyond 'guess work' and has been studied extensively. The so-called 'hot or cold' readings phenomena which imply either client naivete or actual illicit information given to the medium cannot be invoked anymore [the evidence is clear in many readings that neither situation applies]. The suggestion that mediums do not connect with such spirits but instead either do 'mind reading' of the subject or tap into some universal memory bank is a weak explanation in my opinion.
Professor Stephen Braude and others has analyzed the issue and the evidence and ultimately comes down on the side of believing that mediums DO what they have always claimed to do, namely connect with disembodied intelligences.
The issue of the metaphysical existence of an after life and souls is less easily turned into a similar argument when it comes to ADC's involving dreams. In such cases there is no 'middle man' [ie psychic / medium] who can possibly interfere or intervene in an such communication.
Now–finally to tell the story the entire assembled group heard on Wednesday from the woman herself. I'll call her Laverne. I'll paraphrase,….My Mother died. I few months later she came to me in a dream. Very realistic. I knew this was a real communication. I asked her why she was 'bothering' me. She did it in life so I"m not surprised she's doing it it death. She seemed agitated and told me to tell my Father to look into the back of her closet and find her white pocketbook. She was quite insistent that he do this. The next morning I called my Father and told him of the dream. He said he had looked through ALL her stuff–clothes, drawers, pocketbooks–everything. He said he found nothing and was about to give it all away to charity.
I asked him to look again, deep in the back of the closet for the white pocketbook. He agreed to do so. He called me back a few hours later. His voice was quivering. 'I found it—-there was $50,000 in it !!
To the reader of this blog posting–do you believe this story ? I would probably understand any skepticism you might be feeling. If I hadn't heard it from 'the horse's mouth' I might be with you.
I fact this phenomena which I have called the Credibility Quotient is unavoidable and undeniable.
The truth is this–the closer anyone is to the actual experience, the more credible it is.
There is no doubt in my mind that everyone in the room, who heard Laverne tell the story herself KNOWS it was true. However, once the story is re-told, as in this blog, or verbally, it looses its potency. There is no way to retrieve the power of that first-hand experience of being present, feeling the emotion, the power of the words, realizing there is nothing to be gained by fabricating any of it.
So take this dream as more than a dream. I firmly believe it is an afterlife communication. There is no other reasonable explanation in my judgment. But I do suggest that all metaphysical seekers do their own 'homework'. Seek to find those you know, can be in their presence when they do describe their EEAs.