Is “life after death” real? Do our departed loved ones continue to feel love for us as we do for them? Are “visits from heaven” true? If you are a “professional” questioner and wonderer —in other words, if you happen to be employed as a full-time academic scientist—your answers will typically be qualified by tentative words such as “maybe” and “could be” and you would be cautious about drawing conclusions about the veracity of people’s personal accounts of afterlife communication experiences.
So why would an academic agnostic like me agree to write a foreword for a book that presents generally unverified “anecdotes” and ten seemingly “miraculous-sounding” if not unbelievable “stories”? And why would I consider it an honor and a privilege? There are three important reasons:
First, as described in detail in my books, The Afterlife Experiments and The Truth About Medium, there are compelling scientific reasons to predict that “visits from the Other Side” can and do occur. In other words, the emerging science is generally consistent with these stories. In fact, I reveal in my books a number of unanticipated, evidential, and inspiring “anecdotes” that happened in the context of our laboratory experiments. An illustrative and evidential “anecdote” that occurred in the context of our laboratory research is described in Visits from Heaven by Suzane Northrop, a distinguished and gifted medium. Her books include: Everything Happens for a Reason: Love, Freewill, and the Lessons of the Soul and Second Chance: Healing Messages from the Afterlife.
Second, for us to see the “big picture” and appreciate that the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” it is extremely valuable to collect and present, in one place, meaningful and memorable accounts where people from all walks of life reveal their personal experiences with visits from beyond. Visits from Heaven provides a wealth of experiences that collectively point to the conclusion that life after death is real.
And third, I have had my own personal experiences that truly happened and cannot be denied. To reject them would be to reject the very foundation of science—which is our responsibility to follow the data where it takes us. I have witnessed remarkable spontaneous “spirit initiated” visits that replicate the essence of the kinds of experiences shared in this book not only in my university laboratory but in my personal life as well.
As I confess in my latest book, The Sacred Promise, I have experienced uncanny events associated with researching “sophisticated” deceased persons which have opened my eyes to seeing new ways of designing novel experiments that can establish not only (1) how the deceased are “consciousness and alive” but (2) how they continue to have “minds of their own.”
A case in point, my adopted grandmother Susy Smith, the author of thirty books in the field of parapsychology and life after death, who used to say that she “couldn’t wait to die” so that she “could prove that she was still here,” appeared to do some truly remarkable things after she died. I share an account of how she “dropped in” unannounced to a medium in the Midwest who had previously read Susy for me on numerous occasions. What was unique was that this spontaneous visit occurred while the medium was driving her car, and furthermore, Susy had brought along a second deceased woman unknown to the medium.
Susy apparently insisted that the medium do a reading on the mystery woman and e-mail the information to me. The medium wisely pulled over to the side of the road, took detailed notes summarizing her on-the-spot reading, and later sent me an e-mail detailing the information.
It turned out that the same day that this unplanned “double-deceased drop in” occurred, unbeknownst to the Midwest medium, I was visiting with a family on the East Coast who were grieving the loss of their daughter. I had, silently to myself, wished that the family could have had the same kind of experience I was having, made possible by the skills of the Midwest medium plus Susy’s apparent persistence. In light of the uncanny timing of the medium’s surprise e-mail with my visit with the family, I wondered whether the information provided in her e-mail applied to this family’s daughter. I called the living sister; she scored the detailed information in the e-mail reading, and the overall accuracy of the off-the-road reading turned out to be more than 80 percent. After replicating Susy’s ability to bring other unknown deceased people to mediums, my colleagues and I developed the “double-deceased” research paradigm for investigating life after death.
The editor of Visits from Heaven, Josie Varga, is an expert about real life happenings that point to the existence of life after death. Josie’s remarkable personal experiences, coupled with her visionary and integrative chapters in this book, make this volume a veritable treasure of hope and inspiration. We owe great thanks (1) to Josie, the editor and integrator of this book, (2) to authors like Suzane, who together in this book provide us with incredible instances of the power of love and caring, and (3) to those in Spirit like Susy, who remind us that life is like the light from distant stars, its energies and information—its essence—continue long after the stars have “died.” A journey of wonder, opportunity, and comfort awaits you as you read this book.