(a slightly playful take on a somewhat serious topic)
There are generally unacknowledged limits to the much-vaunted ‘scientific method.’ Leaving aside the not inconsiderable corruption quotient wherein Industry A pays for a study proving that what Industry A is selling is ‘scientifically proven’ to be effective or true or critical or whatever, the whole notion of proof is far more limited than most of us blithely assume.
For example: can science proof that life exists? If so, how? Can science definitively prove what the notion of ‘life’ is? On our level of perception, it’s pretty obvious when somebody dies; there is a clear shift. However, from the perspective of a quantum level microscope, living processes don’t end with physical death, all sorts of things – trillions of them – are zinging around with nary a pause.
Or again going quantum: can we define the exact place where our bodies end and the world outside and around them begins? No, we cannot. The quantum microscope will show zillions of things streaming out of and into the body. This is equally true for ostensibly not-living things like tables and rocks: on the quantum level zillions of particles are swimming around such that something as seemingly solid as a rock is actually more like a cloud. What we have is something resembling a crowd of supporters at a sports event: varied concentrations of differing populations – fans of Team X, fans of Team Y, family groupings, church groupings, age groupings and so on. Yes, they all comprise ‘one crowd’ but that one thing is an amalgamation of many sub-groups, all in continuous flux.
If the scientific method cannot precisely measure or define boundaries can it precisely define or measure a thing or being?
Lastly, we can look at this from the perspective of time: in our experience have we ever seen evidence that one moment does not follow from a previous one and lead into a next one? Is there a moment wherein everything just stops and there is no subsequent moment? Can the river of time freeze to a total stop?
No scientist (or ordinary mortal for that matter) has ever witnessed such a moment. It goes against all the laws of seeming reality. We may not understand how everything works (actually, of course, we understand very little), but we know that time never stops. Never. (Leaving aside the inconvenient fact that time cannot be seen or touched, merely inferred by machines which are not time themselves.)
So how can there not be something continuing after what we call ‘death?’ Just as we cannot definitely measure the exact moment of death, the exact boundary between one condition and the next, so also we cannot know for certain what happens next. That right there is some sort of ‘proof’ that something continues after death. We may not know what, exactly, but the likelihood that it’s absolutely nothing is absolutely nil.
(This contemplation also brings up the contrast between that which is seen and that which is invisible, including fascinating issues like the way masculine and feminine permeate every aspect of experience and phenomenal reality. But that’s for another article.)
Meanwhile, this ‘proof of life after death’ may not satisfy the usual norms of the ‘scientific method,’ but that’s hardly surprising given this sort of question is actually outside of their purview. From their perspective, we can say that just as there can be no scientific proof of life after death, neither can there be scientific proof that there is no life (or whatever) after death. The invisible realm is not knowable in the visible realm. So whatever realm of experience exists after life ends is not knowable in the realm of the living, at least not by science.
Since we have no evidence anywhere in the land of the living that things come to a complete halt from one moment to the next – there is always some sort of continuity or border-fuzziness principle as described above – therefore it is reasonable to conclude that something continues after physical death. Some might not call this proof, exactly, but they also cannot disprove, or falsify, it either.
It remains – as it always has done and will continue to be – an open question. We may not know what exactly continues after death, but that there are some after-effects continuing to resonate in future moments in the ongoing stream of time and being is almost certain.
As General Maximus proclaimed before the final battle subduing the German barbarians, or ‘Celtoi:’
“What we do in life echoes in eternity.”
Well said, Maximus, well said indeed!