The modern worldview does not make it easy to believe in the afterlife. Science leaves little room for a conception of life after death. It’s much simpler, more logical, to view human consciousness as an immaterial interface that arises from neurochemical processes in the brain. Meaning there is no soul, no life after death. The universe is just atoms in the void. Concepts of heaven, hell, soul, and spirit are meaningless–as is the question, ‘where will I go when I die?’–because once we are gone, we lose our identity, our consciousness, forever. There is no life after life.
But that’s not what everyone believes. In fact, that’s not even what every scientist believes. A growing number of quantum physicists are subscribing to, and in fact finding evidence for, a different view of the universe. Dr. Stuart Hameroff, for example, believes in the Orch-OR (orchestrated objective reduction) theory, which holds that our consciousness is comprised of quantum information held in microtubules. When we die, according to this theory, our ‘quantum soul’ is redistributed back to the universe at large.
This theory would help explain the incredibly frequent incidents of near death experience, when people seem to leave their bodies after the heart has stopped beating and then return with a head full of otherworldly images. One of the most recent and noteworthy near death experiences happened to a lifelong atheist, Dr. Eber Alexander. Dr. Alexander’s incredible experience is documented in his book “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife,” which concludes that life does not end after death, that there follows the resurrection of the mind into a different state.
This kind of thinking is not new. In fact, Eastern philosophy has long sought unification of mind and matter as part of one divine, cosmic energy, speculating that consciousness experiences existence as a never-ending cycle of transition and rebirth. This idea is explored quite viscerally in the film Enter the Void, which not only explores similarities between the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the spirit molecule DMT but attempts to depict what a soul’s flight from this world to the next would be like.
And then something like this:
Meanwhile science continues to pave the way for this reality. In fact, a recent study by Nature even concluded that the universe itself grows like a giant brain and, more, that the same universal laws that dictate the electrical signals in our brains also direct galactic expansion. Curiously, this same study implicates the growth of Internet networks as partaking of these same laws.
Do these studies and theories have any effect on paranormal studies? After all, if consciousness can be said to have a fundamental role in the development of the universe, if we are in fact made of quantum information that cannot be destroyed, what does this say about the afterlife itself? It may mean that those who are no longer living still inhabit the same space-time as us and that we are all returning to the same home someday, a quantum state with no separation between mind and matter. It may mean that death will simply be the discovery that consciousness and the universe are the same thing.