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The Afterlife Explorers: Vol. 1: The Pioneers of Psychical Research download epub

by Michael Tymn

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This is the first volume in an intended four-part history of investigations into claims of continuing existence of the soul in the afterlife

This is the first volume in an intended four-part history of investigations into claims of continuing existence of the soul in the afterlife. The author is a journalist who has specialized in a study of mediums and those discarnate souls whom they claim to contact. But this book is much more than just a collection of short biographies involving mediumship.

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The reader might very well begin with the appendices of this book to get a feel for what popular author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle called the new revelation. After the formation of the SPR in 1882, this new revelation pretty much came to a halt.

118+ million publications. Pure idealism has much to say to the psychology of the future-more even perhaps. than the new physics, the ultimate, mathematical electrical physics, has said to both physics and neurology in these later years.

Journal of Near-Death Studies, Volume 33, pp 155-163; doi:10.

Physical Description. 155-163 p. Creation Information. Lawrence, Madelaine Spring 2015. Serial Title: Journal of Near-Death Studies. Series Title: JNDS, Volume 33, Number 3. Description. Physical Description.

I have been asked many times why so much of what I write about - life after death, psychical research, and related paranormal subjects is taken from research done a hundred or more years ago, and why I don't write more about modern mediums and researchers. Part of the reason is that there has been relatively very little research looking at evidence of survival after death since 1930. But that is a secondary reason. The primary reason is that I am convinced that the phenomena observed by the pioneers of psychical research, especially in the area of mediumship and, concomitantly, in the area of spirit communication, were much more dynamic and evidential than those of today. Sometime around 1920, when Professor James Hyslop, one of the key pioneers, died, the research reached a point of diminishing returns. The scientists and scholars engaged in the research began to realize that they were continually reinventing the wheel and would never succeed in producing evidence to satisfy either the scientific fundamentalists or the religious fundamentalists. As strong as the evidence was, it did not offer the absolute proof the skeptics demanded. The pioneers were followed by researchers, who, having witnessed the derision heaped on their predesessors by materialistic "know-nothings," were concerned with their reputations in academic circles. Since consciousness survival had come to be a taboo subject in academia, the new breed of researcher focused on ESP - often going out of their way to avoid the survival of consciousness issue. In fact, a fair percentage of parapsychologists, while accepting the reality of ESP, rejected the spirit or survival hypothesis, concluding that all such phenomena were somehow produced by the subconscious of the individuals involved in their experiments. Such a conclusion was much more academically and scientifically acceptable and made sure funds for further research were available. To even hint at the spirit hypothesis was to invite disdain. While a few later researchers delved into the area of past-life studies, their work received little attention from mainstream science and was ignored or resisted by orthodox religions. When, during the 1970s, research began in the field of near-death experiences, the researchers, wanting to be scientifically proper, focused more on the positive effects of the NDE than on the survival implications. It was not until late in the 1990s, when Dr. Gary Schwartz of the University of Arizona, began investigating the clairvoyant type of mediumship that survival research again resurfaced. But Schwartz came under attack by many scientific fundamentalists and research in this area was further discouraged. This volume, intended as the first of four volumes, covers the period before 1882, the year the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) was organized and more formal scientific methods were employed. The pre-1882 researchers were by no means ignorant of the scientific methods necessary to validate mediums, and it becomes clear to the discerning reader that these pioneers were very much on guard against deception and mindful of other explanations, including the subconscious theories. It also becomes apparent to the serious student of this subject that the earliest researchers went beyond the evidential aspects of mediumship and recorded many messages concerning the afterlife environment and the meaning of this life. They served as the foundation for a whole new philosophy, one that made some sense of the afterlife and gave meaning to this life.

Comments: (6)

When I first became interested in the probable survival of the human consciousness after physical death, I made a mistake.

Without any grounds for doing so, I assumed that recent investigation would be more accurate and relevant than anything done a hundred or more years ago.

I paid for this mistake by reading a very large amount of unmitigated nonsense - unsupported speculation and opinion, some of it quite irrational, plus a LOT of confused thinking. In fact, I wasted years on this rubbish.

Mercifully, I began to work my way backwards and discovered that serious and meticulous investigations had been made by people of the most formidable intellects, people who had made substantial contributions to science (not a few being knighted for their services), people who applied rigorous analysis to what they were finding and at the same time considering possible alternative explanations. And all this was a hundred and more years ago!

They drew many critics who claimed that they had simply been fooled by fraudsters but there was a noticeable disparity. The discoveries and advances in science made by these same investigators were not only unchallenged but highly praised. None of the critics could explain why these formidable minds were totally right in science but totally deceived in just this one field.

My comment on the Michael Tymn book might help people to avoid the waste of time that I brought on myself.

This book is carefully researched and well referenced. You will never regret the time that you spend reading it. It contains a huge amount of pertinent information, all presented in a very readable form. If you were unsure or incredulous about the survival of the human consciousness after physical seath, you are most unlikely to remain so after reading this serious compendium of past investigation by very intelligent people. And you won't waste time reading rubbish by starting at the wrong end of this subject.

I can't wait for Volume 2!!
The Afterlife Explorers, Volume 1: The pioneers of psychical research by Michael Tymn, White Crow Books, Guildford, UK, 2011, 174 ff

This is the first volume in an intended four-part history of investigations into claims of continuing existence of the soul in the afterlife. The author is a journalist who has specialized in a study of mediums and those discarnate souls whom they claim to contact. But this book is much more than just a collection of short biographies involving mediumship. It explores the lives of prominent individuals - a physicist, a chemist, a doctor, lawyers, a clergyman, and men of letters - and the nature of the evidence that persuaded them from scepticism or disbelief into supporters of the idea of individual afterlife existence.

Just as we are confronted with extremism in religion, so also in science. Many scientists - probably the majority - are materialists who refuse to believe in the existence of such numinous concepts as the soul or afterlife, especially since access to the spiritual realm does not usually involve any scientific methodology. The fact that people of such eminence as those featured in this book, many of whom were highly educated, and include scientists, could have their beliefs about mortal death reversed after careful consideration of the evidence should give the materialists pause for thought.

Some of the characters in this book have featured in two of Tymn's other three books on this subject (Transcending the Titanic had a specific subject), but the treatment here is rather different. There is some biographical information about each of the subjects considered, but each chapter here also contains relevant quotes made by the subjects concerning their investigations and conclusions - an invaluable piece of primary research material. There are many references to earlier books by or about the subjects, written by people who knew them. These archives stretch back for more than a century.

Tymn makes a lucid and convincing advocate of spiritualism; he has an easy writing style and presents his case like a historian, letting the facts speak for themselves. Anyone who is at all interested in spiritualism, or may feel apprehensive in their later years as to their destiny when mortal life has ended, will find this a fascinating and reassuring book.

Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of Evolution of Consciousness (Fairhill Publishing, 2012).

Spirit Communication: A Comprehensive Guide to the Extraordinary World of Mediums, Psychics and the Afterlife
The Afterlife Explorers (***1/2) is a collection of short biographies and overviews of some of the earliest serious investigators into the so-called paranormal and evidence suggestive of afterlife survival. Tymn makes two good points: most modern researchers are unfamiliar with the earliest investigations and just how good they really were, and while the investigators may have started out strictly looking for evidence of survival, much of the material that came through had more to do with trying to give an account of the afterlife state. Most modern investigators ignore these messages. I can understand why, as they are often contradictory and 'word-salady'. But Tymn has done a great job here, selecting some very interesting quotations from the mediumship of such people as Emanuel Swedenbourg, Andrew Jackson Davis, George T. Dexter, D. D. Home, and William Stainton Moses. They make for fascinating, if frustrating reading.

As for the biographical information, it was great to learn about several investigators and their research, which isn't talked about very much in modern works on the subject. They include top-class scientists like William Crookes, Alfred Russell Wallace, Robert Hare, and other notables, like Allan Kardec, Victor Hugo, Nathaniel Tallmadge, and John Edmonds. If you've read Deborah Blum's excellent Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death, this one makes a great 'prequel' of sorts, laying the groundwork for what was to come. Highly recommended for anyone interested in parapsychology and its history. Can't wait for the future volumes. That said, I recommend Stephen Braude's Immortal Remains: The Evidence for Life After Death for an in-depth, critical look at the evidence to get a better idea of just how good it is, and just how hard it is to really explain.
The Afterlife Explorers: Vol. 1: The Pioneers of Psychical Research download epub
Author: Michael Tymn
ISBN: 1908733004
Category: Self-Help
Subcategory: Relationships
Language: English
Publisher: White Crow Books (March 26, 2012)
Pages: 172 pages