One Giant Leap
By Joshua Bagby
As we embrace the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing on July 20, 1969, many people feel great nostalgia. Anniversary specials are running all over broadcast and streaming TV.
I personally watched with great interest the American Experience 6-hour documentary Chasing the Moon on PBS. Then I took to YouTube and watched more shows and interviews including a presentation on what the future of lunar exploration looks like from here.
I was struck by the enthusiasm that many still have for space exploration. I was also struck by some of the rhetoric of how different astronauts, scientists, and pundits viewed the whole Apollo endeavor. They talked in glowing terms about breakthroughs, human evolution, and national cohesiveness.
An example from a montage spoken to uplifting music: "This is just the beginning perhaps of a new stage in the evolution of the species, something comparable to the crawling of the first amphibian creature out of the primeval swamp onto dry land."
As I listened to all of this, the observer in the back of my head wondered why the quest to reach the moon garnered so much more global interest than exploring whether an afterlife exists. Why are scientists who embraced space flight—particularly when there were so many unknowns, so many rocket failures, and such steep costs—so resistant to exploring what happens to humans when we die?
Why are we so eager to go the distance to Mars and not so eager to find out for sure what happened to our dead loved ones? Surely some scientists exist who lost a child, a mate, a beloved parent, a dear friend and who would be deeply moved to have a trans-dimensional reunion. Surely there should be a similar passion for discovery that characterizes space exploration if we thought we could speak to those we call dead.
Why are politicians and journalists and other opinion leaders generally more interested in playing hide 'n' seek with water on the moon than seeing if Neil Armstrong is still conscious? What if Edgar Mitchell, who was deeply interested in consciousness and "paranormal phenomena" after his NASA career, had much to report about his postmaterial adventures?
THE SAVE FACE RACE
If the past is any indication of the future, perhaps what the modern era needs is some good, old-fashioned international competition. The Americans got seriously into the Space Race after Russia successfully launched Sputnik. While scientific exploration was the ostensible reason for space travel, the Space Race was more the Save Face Race. US politicians did not like the idea that the Russians were making Uncle Sam look inept, and there was also the worry that Soviet satellites could carry and drop atomic bombs.
To me, the SoulPhone is a different kind of space exploration. Call it inter-dimensional space. I think it has the potential to yield so much more data about life than studying Mars and the moon to sleuth how they were made. What if postmaterial scientists within their new and greater reality have already learned far more about human existence and evolution and even other planets than their material counterparts? What if all it takes is learning how to communicate with them in a reliable manner?
Any technological breakthrough that demonstrates reliable communication with so-called spirit will be a kick in the pants to governments, a Sputnik moment. It will ruffle plenty of feathers. While fictitious, a good example of this is the movie Contact where the government swooped in and took command once a private enterprise had succeeded in making contact with extra-terrestrials.
THEY'RE WORKING ON IT
Fortunately, despite the general shoulder shrugging among the mainstream for researching the possibility of communication with so-called dead people, some independent scientists are focusing on this pursuit. One is Dr. Gary Schwartz at the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health (LACH) under the auspices of the University of Arizona.
Dr. Schwartz and his team of scientists are pursuing the goal of communication with postmaterial persons. Just like the Mercury-Gemini-Apollo programs that culminated in lunar landings, progress with the SoulPhone comes in stages of development. They have already made great strides while working on the yes/no SoulSwitch, a building block for subsequent technologies. You can read the latest (December, 2018) official description of the work here.
There is still a long way to go, just as after successful Mercury flights, there was still a long way to go. But successes have been very encouraging. Hypothesized postmaterial collaborators whom mediums have independently identified as luminaries in science have been cooperating with the research. Other labs will soon conduct research to see if they can replicate these successes.
Science moves slowly. Dramatists want fast results. But eventually science could be posed to spring unto the world news that contact has been made. Maybe Neil Armstrong will say hello. Talk about your giant leap for mankind.
Joshua Bagby is a visionary writer currently residing in Oregon. He applies afterlife research to fiction and nonfiction to envision a better life for all humanity.
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