Posted On: Mar. 23, 1997
The following is a transcript by Edmund Salinger, Doctor of Parapsychology -- a fictional character and recurring NPC in a campaign I'm GMing. This write-up was inspired by some recent discussions on the list.
Spiral -- "The Man Who Knew Too Much..."
by Dr. Edmund Salinger, P/Psy.
Ever since the dawn of civilization, humanity has clung to notions of the preternatural -- ranging from concepts of magic, arcane bestiaries, and the afterlife. Every documented social structure throughout history has exhibited some varying degree of belief in the mystical unknown. This has led to the rise and fall of religions, the architecture of elaborate mythos and legends, and a belief in supernatural beings that govern, at least to some degree, all of existence.
It was not until the early nineteenth century that society at large began to open itself the notion that a rational science, and not an unexplainable mysticism, was the foundation for the universe. Indeed, the scientific progress of that hundred years only solidified that position in many. And, as the twentieth century neared, the killing stroke was, perhaps, placed on Western spiritualism through the writings of Charles Darwin, who presented theories through which the structure of the universe could be explained without magic.
But we were wrong. Magic, at least on some studiable level does exist. While this had primarily been the a debate soley for philosophers and religious leaders, the scientific community awoke to the realities of magic as a viable science in the early seventies. It was pioneered through the work of my esteemed colleague, Victor Lazlo, and the researchers he assembled at his "Lazlo Agency" that first produced documented cases of magic -- or as the scientific community is now calling it: "Thaumaturgic Wave Energy". Doctor Lazlo helped chart the flow of key "Ley Lines" and centers of Ley energies. But this was certainly not a total mystery; for wherever science had documented it's criteria for magical energies, peoples of civilizations long gone had already placed sacred objects, burial mounds, and monuments.
It is at this point that my research begin. Doctor Lazlo's ground-breaking work had laid the foundation for a plethora of new questions, each begging to be answered. And so, what began as a doctoral research project soon developed into what was to become my life's work: the definition of the afterlife. It is a topic that will, undoubtedly, stir much controversy, but I believe my research to be complete enough to finally present to both the scientific community, and to the world at large.
My studies begin with the documented phenomenon regarding the termination of a subject's life and the simultaneous increase in that subject's Thaumaturgic Wave Energy (editor's note: Dr. Lazlo has begun to call this personal reserve of TWE "Potential Psychic Energy" or "PPE", but his reasons for this hinge on ongoing studies of psychic phenomenon). In my early research I discovered varying levels of increase in a subject's Personal TWE. This, I attributed to the normal, varying levels of Personal TWE in each person. However, I also noticed another difference: a mystery I was not to solve until much later. It seemed that, in certain people, the Personal TWE rose sharply after death, only to quickly subside moments later. In quite a few others, however, this Personal TWE rose sharply, only to linger for hours, sometimes days. In one case, the amount of Personal TWE released was evident for three weeks after the death of the subject! This perplexed me, and I decided that there must be two types of Personal TWE. Simply dubbed Type 1 TWE and Type 2 TWE, I decided that there must be some way, yet undiscovered, to pre-determine the type of TWE a given subject possessed. This is how I directed the research that followed.
In researching the differences between the two types of energy, my research team and I decided to backtrack and scrutinize our studies over the previous three years. After two months, we were still unable to distinguish any difference between the actual energy itself. So research was directed towards the subjects themselves.
Over the course of three years, we had witnessed and recorded the deaths of over 250 subjects. This, we surmised, was adequate for a broad-ranged scientific study, and we decided to do profiles (whenever possible) of each of the deceased persons. This took a considerable amount of time, mainly due to the fact that every time we found a "lead", it would prove to be inconclusive, or even contradictory. We did studies regarding race, national origin, sex, and hundreds of other cross-relational criteria. In the end, we could not come up with a cohesive matrix that would allow us to determine the cause of our two varying types of TWE.
It was decided that a larger test sample would need to be taken. And so, my team and I went back into the field to continue our macabre task of recording death. This we did for another year, until on February 23, 1998, we made our breakthrough discovery.
Subject 317 was a young, Hispanic female. Her death was caused by multiple gunshot wounds. My team and I recorded her, just as we had done hundreds of times before. As the death completed it's term, the standard increase in Personal TWE occurred, and we tentatively identified it as Type 1. The dissipation of energy was standard to the type and we began to take our final notes. Then, sixteen minutes after death, the subject revived herself. Thirty seconds later, we had begun recording again, this time taking care to record every detail of her new reserve of Personal TWE. At first, one of my technicians attributed the entire episode to equipment malfunction, but a later diagnostic proved his theory to be incorrect. It would seem that our subject had indeed "died", but had returned -- refilled with her lost TWE.
Later interviews with the subject indicated that she had experienced an "episode". She resolved that it was a "near-death" experience, complete with white light and glowing figures. Our sensors seemed to confirm this, at least on some level. Both the electroencephliogram (EEG) and electrocardiogram (EKG) that was placed by the hospital staff, as well as the ionization sensors and magnetometers that were part of my standard equipment, had confirmed that Subject 317 had, indeed, been void of life. Her presence alluded to otherwise.
I hope you will excuse my sarcastic tone. This was, perhaps, the hardest notion for me to accept. I could fathom that there was a supernatural world, powered by things unknown, but ultimately explainable. But the hint that a life energy HAD left her body, only to return minutes later, challenged my skeptical beliefs.
This one discovery gave the momentum back to my research team. We reconstructed our case profiles, this time taking into account psychological and social factors. And the answer, as I had suspected, came almost immediately. In virtually every case of Type 1 TWE -- the type that would dissipate immediately following death -- the subject claimed to have strong religious or spiritual ties. Inversely, the Type 2 subjects were almost exclusively atheistic and estranged to spiritualism or mysticism. It is important to note that no one religious, spiritual, or mystic train of thought dominated the Type 1 category. It seemed equally distributed among all "believers".
It was at the conclusion of this portion of research, that one of my assistants, Elliott Strom, did some study of his own. He cross-referenced key events in the past with some of the unexplainable supernatural phenomenon that had occurred in the past two decades. What he found was extraordinary. There was a documented rash of psychic phenomenon after several events in the past decade, including the bombing of the World Trade Center and the Mardi Gras Fire of 1999.
In conjunction with the studies we had done up till now, we concluded that previous events, such as wars and other catastrophies, had no lingering TWE due to the religious nature of the societies. The Japanese that were atomized at Hiroshima were bound by a religious ancestral belief that explained the dispersal of TWE. The same applies to most wars -- from a sociology standpoint, religion seems to rise with crisis. The catastrophes, on the other hand, struck urban areas typically associated with a non-religious community. The implications were staggering.
In conclusion, I can only offer speculation. My colleague, Dr. Lazlo, has reviewed these documents and has suggested some interesting theories. He believes that magic is within the very nature of our being, and that death activates that inner magic, to takes us to the "Judge" of our choosing, who will be usher us to whatever Heaven or Paradise or Nirvana we chose in life. I can only assume by his phrasing, that the inverse would also be true, and that this "Judge" may also send souls to a place of suffering, or Hell.
I am not sure that I believe this, though it seems valid -- as rational an answer as one can expect when studying the supernatural. I do not know how this has affected me. It has shaken my beliefs in the universe around me. I find myself, once again, coming into touch with the religious upbringing of my childhood. Meanwhile, the research is essentially at and end. Further studies would require the ability to pierce the veil between life and death. And so, once again, it seems as if an "answer" only provides more questions.
An-Analysis-Of-Death-And-The-Mystic-Soul.php -- Revised: January 27, 2021.