This Life, Next Life: Documentary by Keith Parsons

This is a documentary by Keith Parsons on the subject of the evidence of life after death.  Britain has a long history of spiritualism and investigations into the question of life after death, most notably the SPR (Society for Psychical Research).

I was grateful that Mr. Parsons echoes the question that many of us fear regarding mediumship demonstrations – are mediums truly contacting the dead, or are they simply using telepathy?

Mr. Parson discusses the interesting case of one of the members of the SPR, Mr. Frederick Myers who passed away, then provided his own evidence of the survival of death by virtue of automatic writing to various mediums in several countries, including India and the United States.  Separately, these scripts meant nothing.  However, the mediums were directed to send the scripts to a location in England where the pieces together would provide the message.  These are called “The Cross Correspondences“.

The SPR, though a thorough treatment is not within the scope of this documentary, is nevertheless deserving of more research for any serious searcher for life after death.  I heartily recommend doing your own research on the history and results of The Scole Experiments from this fascinating group.

I appreciated that Mr. Parsons seems to review historical research and evidence of life after death that has been largely forgotten.  Most documentaries focus on the current research and experiences in the modern day which can make us forget that a great many people have been trying to gather evidence and proof for centuries, if not for the whole of recorded history.  Although the question of life after death was debated by Plato, the rigors of the scientific method was not yet established.  Man was determined to seek answers by philosophy alone which, unfortunately, does not offer much evidence beyond anecdotal stories.

A great many discoveries in the 19th and early 20th centuries are typically overshadowed by the many frauds who also capitalized on the renewed interest in spiritualism at the time.  Personally, I have a great deal of skepticism myself about the ectoplasm-producing mediumship supposedly displayed in Victorian parlors. I do not doubt there may have been genuine mental mediums at the time, however, the vast majority of fraudulent activity has damaged the credibility of the whole.  I believe it is suspect that ectoplasm is no longer used in mediumship today, where it was ubiquitous in the Victorian era.  Thus, I have to look at all mediums that used ectoplasm as the major component of their display as suspicious.

Even if you truly believe in life after death, it is worthwhile to remain skeptical when weighing evidence for and against.  The worst outcome of any search for truth would be a belief based on false assumptions.  If I am to believe that life after death exists, I want to be absolutely sure that the evidence I am basing my belief on is beyond the shadow of a doubt, true evidence, not wishful thinking.  I would admonish all of you to adopt the the same standards in your own search for truth.


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