Sunday, January 7, 2024

Gödel's reasons for an afterlife

Alexander T. Englert, “We'll meet again,” Aeon, Jan 2, 2024,

“As the foremost logician of the 20th century,  Kurt Gödel is well known for his incompleteness theorems and contributions to set theory, the publications of which changed the course of mathematics, logic and computer science. When he was awarded the Albert Einstein Prize to recognize these achievements in 1951, the mathematician John von Neumann gave a speech in which he described Gödel’s achievements in logic and mathematics as so momentous that they will ‘remain visible far in space and time.’

“By contrast, his philosophical and religious views remain all but hidden from view. Gödel was private about these, publishing nothing on this subject during his lifetime. And while scholars have grappled with his ontological proof of God’s existence, which he circulated among friends towards the end of his life, other tenets of his belief system have received no significant discussion. One of these is Gödel’s belief that we survive death.

“Why did he believe in an afterlife? What argument did he find persuasive? It turns out that a relatively full answer to these questions is buried in four lengthy letters written to his mother, Marianne Gödel, in 1961, to whom he makes the case that they are destined to meet again in the hereafter.

“Before exploring Gödel’s views on the afterlife, I want to recognize his mother as the silent heroine of the story. Although most of Gödel’s letters are publicly accessible via the digital archives of the Wienbibliothek im Rathaus (Vienna City Library), none of his mother’s letters are known to have survived. We possess only his side of their conversation, left to infer what she said from his replies. This creates a mystique when reading his letters, as if one were provided a Platonic dialogue with all the lines removed, except for those uttered by Socrates. Although we lack her own words, we owe a debt of gratitude to Marianne Gödel. For, without her curiosity and independence of thought, we would have one less resource in understanding her famous son’s philosophy.

“Thanks to Marianne’s direct question about Gödel’s belief in an afterlife, we get his mature views on the matter. She asked him for this in 1961, a time when he was in top intellectual form and thinking extensively about philosophical topics at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, New Jersey, where he had been a full professor since 1953 and a permanent member since 1946. The nature of the exchange compelled Gödel to detail his views in a thorough and accessible manner. As a result, we have (with some supplementation) the equivalent of Gödel’s full argument for belief in an afterlife, intentionally aimed at comprehensively satisfying his mother’s questions, which appear in the series of letters to Marianne from July through to October 1961. 

"While Gödel’s unpublished philosophical notebooks present a space in which he actively worked out views and experimented through often gnomic aphorisms and remarks, Gödel wanted these letters to be understandable and to provide a definitive answer to an earnest inquiry. And because the correspondence was private, he did not feel the need to hide his true views, which he might have done in more formal academic settings and among his colleagues at the IAS.

“In a letter dated 23 July 1961, Gödel writes: In your previous letter you pose the challenging question of whether I believe in a Wiedersehen. Wiedersehen means ‘to see again’. Rather than the more philosophically formal terms of ‘immortality’ or ‘afterlife’, this term lends the exchange an intimate quality. After emigrating from Austria to the United States in 1940, Gödel never returned to Europe, forcing his mother and brother to take the initiative to visit him, which they first did in 1958. As a result, one can intuit here what must have been a deep longing for lasting reunification on his mother’s behalf, wondering if she would ever have a meaningful amount of time with her son again. Gödel’s answer to her question is unwaveringly affirmative. His rationale for belief in an afterlife is this:

If the world is rationally organized and has meaning, then it must be the case. For what sort of a meaning would it have to bring about a being (the human being) with such a wide field of possibilities for personal development and relationships to others, only then to let him achieve not even 1/1,000th of it?

“He deepens the rhetorical question at the end with the metaphor of someone who lays the foundation for a house only to walk away from the project and let it waste away. Gödel thinks such waste is impossible since the world, he insists, gives us good reason to consider it to be shot through with order and meaning. Hence, a human being who can achieve only partial fulfillment in a lifetime must seek rational validation for this deficiency in a future world, one in which our potential manifests.

“Before moving on, it is good to pause and capture Gödel’s argument in a nutshell. Assuming that the world is rationally organized, human life – as embedded in the world – ought to possess the same rational structure. We have grounds for assuming that the world is rationally organized. Yet human life is irrationally structured. It is constituted by a great potential but it never fully expresses this potential in a lifetime. Hence, each of us must realize our full potential in a future world. Reason demands it.

“Let’s linger first with a key premise of the argument, namely, the claim that the world and human life, as part of it, display a rational order. While not an uncommon position to hold in the history of philosophy, it can often seem difficult to square with what we observe. Even if we are a rational species, human history often belies this fact. The first half of 1961 – permeating the background of Gödel’s awareness – was filled with rising Cold War tensions, violence aimed at nonviolent protestors during the civil rights movement, and random suffering such as the loss of the entire US figure-skating team in a plane crash. Folly and unreason in human events seem the historical rule rather than the exception. As Shakespeare’s King Lear tells Gloucester when expounding on ‘how this world goes’, the conclusion seems to be: ‘When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.’

“It would be a mistake, however, to think that Gödel was naive in his insistence that the world is rational. At the end of a letter dated 16 January 1956, he asserts that ‘This is a strange world.’ And his discussions in his correspondence with his mother show that he was up to speed on political topics and world events. Throughout his letters, his opinions are informed and critical, albeit imbued with optimism.

“What is tantalizing, and perhaps unique, about his argument for an afterlife is the fact that it actually depends on the inevitable irrationality of human life in an otherwise reason-imbued world. It is precisely the ubiquity of human suffering and our inevitable failures that gave Gödel his certainty that this world cannot be the end of us. As he neatly summarizes in the fourth letter to his mother:

What I name a theological Weltanschauung is the view that the world and everything in it has meaning and reason, and indeed a good and indubitable meaning. From this it follows immediately that our earthly existence – since it as such has at most a very doubtful meaning – can be a means to an end for another existence.

“Precisely in virtue of the fact that our lives consist in unfulfilled or spoiled potential makes him confident that this lifetime is but a staging ground for things to come. But, again, that is only if the world is rationally structured.

“If humanity and its history do not display rational order, why believe the world is rational? The reasons that he gives to his mother in the letters display his rationalist proclivities and belief that natural science presupposes that intelligibility is fundamental to reality. As he writes in his letter dated 23 July 1961:

Does one have a reason to assume that the world is rationally organized? I think so. For it is absolutely not chaotic and arbitrary, rather – as natural science demonstrates – there reigns in everything the greatest regularity and order. Order is, indeed, a form of rationality.

“Gödel thinks that rationality is evident in the world through the deep structure of reality. Science as a method demonstrates this through its validated assumption that intelligible order is discoverable in the world, facts are verifiable through repeatable experiments, and theories obtain in their respective domains regardless of where and when one tests them.

“In the letter from 6 October 1961, Gödel expounds his position: The idea that everything in the world has meaning is, by the way, the exact analogue of the principle that everything has a cause on which the whole of science is based.

“Gödel – just like Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, whom he idolized – believed that everything in the world has a reason for its being so and not otherwise (in philosophical jargon: it accords with the principle of sufficient reason). As Leibniz puts it poetically in his Principles of Nature and Grace, Based on Reason (1714): ‘[T]he present is pregnant with the future; the future can be read in the past; the distant is expressed in the proximate.’ When seeking meaning, we find that the world is legible to us. And when paying attention, we find patterns of regularity that allow us to predict the future. For Gödel, reason was evident in the world because this order is discoverable.

“Although unmentioned, his belief in an afterlife is also imbricated with the results from his incompleteness theorems and related thoughts on the foundation of mathematics. Gödel believed the world’s deep, rational structure and the soul’s postmortem existence depend on the falsity of materialism, the philosophical view that all truth is necessarily determined by physical facts. 

"In an unpublished paper from around 1961, Gödel asserts that materialism is inclined to regard the world as an unordered and therefore meaningless heap of atoms. It follows too from materialism that anything without grounding in physical facts must be without meaning and reality. Hence, an immaterial soul could not count as possessing any real meaning. Gödel continues: In addition, death appears to [materialism] to be final and complete annihilation

"So, materialism contradicts both that reality is constituted by an overarching system of meaning, as well as the existence of a soul irreducible to physical matter. Despite living in a materialist age, Gödel was convinced that materialism was false, and thought further that his incompleteness theorems showed it to be highly unlikely.

“The incompleteness theorems proved (in broad strokes) that, for any consistent formal system (for example, mathematical and logical), there will be truths that cannot be demonstrated within the system by its own axioms and rules of inference. Hence any consistent system will inevitably be incomplete. There will always be certain truths in the system that require, as Gödel put it, some methods of proof that transcend the system. Through his proof, he established by mathematically unquestionable standards that mathematics itself is infinite and new discoveries will always be possible. It is this result that shook the mathematical community to its core.

“In one fell swoop, it terminated a central goal of many 20th-century mathematicians inspired by David Hilbert, who sought to establish the consistency of every mathematical truth through a finite system of proof. Gödel showed that no formal mathematical system could ever do so or prove definitively by its own standards that it was free of contradiction. And insights discovered about these systems – for instance, that certain problems are truly non-demonstrable within them – are evident to us through reasoning. From this, Gödel concluded that the human mind transcends any finite formal system of axioms and rules of inference.

“Regarding the incompleteness theorems’s philosophical implications, Gödel thought the results presented an either/or dilemma (articulated in the Gibbs Lecture of 1951). Either one accepts that the human mind (even within the realm of pure mathematics) infinitely surpasses the powers of any finite machine, from which it follows that the human mind is irreducible to the brain, which to all appearances is a finite machine with a finite number of parts, namely, the neurons and their connections. Or one assumes that there are certain mathematical problems of the sort employed in his theorems, which are absolutely unsolvable. If this were the case, it would arguably disprove the view that mathematics is only our own creation

"Consequently, mathematical objects would possess an objective reality all its own, independent of the world of physical facts which we cannot create or change, but only perceive and describe. This is referred to as Platonism about the reality of mathematical truths. Much to the materialist’s chagrin, therefore, both implications of the dilemma are very decidedly opposed to materialistic philosophy. Worse yet for the materialist, Gödel notes that the disjuncts are not exclusive. It could be that both implications are true simultaneously.

“How does this connect with Gödel’s view that the world is rational and the soul survives death? The incompleteness theorems and their philosophical implications do not in any way prove or show that the soul survives death directly. However, Gödel thought the theorems’s results dealt a heavy blow to the materialistic worldview. If the mind is irreducible to the physical parts of the brain, and mathematics reveals a rationally accessible structure beyond physical phenomena, then an alternative worldview should be sought that is more rationalistic and open to truths that cannot be tested by the senses. Such a perspective could endorse a rationally organized world and be open to the possibility of life after death.

“Suppose we – cynics and all – accept that the world, in this deep sense, is rational. Why presume that human beings deserve anything beyond what they receive in this lifetime? We can guess that something similar troubled his mother. Gödel says in his next letter’s theological portion: When you write that you pray to creation, you probably mean that the world is beautiful all over where human beings cannot reach, etc. Here, Marianne might have agreed that much in creation appears ordered, but challenged the assumption that all of reality is so ordered, in particular when it comes to human beings. Must the whole world be rational? Or might it be that human beings are irrational aberrations of an otherwise rational order?

“Gödel’s response reveals extra degrees of nuance to his position. In the first letter, Gödel had only loosely referenced a wide field of possibilities that go underdeveloped but which demand completion. In his subsequent letters, he details what it is about humanity that requires existence to continue – that is, what is essential to humanity.

“It is first important to explain what Gödel meant by an essential property. We have, of course, many properties. I have the property, for example, of standing in a relationship of self-identity (I am not you), of being a US citizen, and of enjoying the horror genre. Although there is no unanimity on exactly how to understand Gödel’s use of ‘essential’, his ontological proof for the existence of God includes a definition of what he means by an essential property. According to that definition, a property is essential of something if it stands in necessary connection with the rest of its properties such that, if one possesses said property, then one necessarily possesses all its other properties. It follows that every individual has an individuated essence, or as Gödel notes in the handwritten draft of the proof: any two essences of x are nec. [sic] equivalent. Gödel, like Leibniz, believed that each individual possessed a uniquely determinable essence.

“At the same time, even if essence is defined as individual-specific in the proof, there is evidence that Gödel thought that essences could also be kind-specific. He thought all human beings are destined for an afterlife because they all share a property in virtue of their being human. There are sets of necessary properties that hang together and that are interrelated across individuals such that the possession of this set would entail something being the kind of thing it is. In his ontological proof, for example, he defines a God-like being as one that must possess every positive property. As for human beings, I am a human being in virtue of possessing a kind-specific set of properties that all human beings possess necessarily and that at least some of which are completely unique to us (just as only a God-like being can have the property of possessing every positive property).

“In Gödel’s letter of 12 August 1961, he points out the crucial question, which is too often overlooked: We not only don’t even know whence and why we are here, but also don’t know what we are (namely, in essence and seen from within). Gödel then notes that if we were capable of discerning with scientific methods of self-observation’, we would discover that every one of us has completely determined properties

"Gödel playfully in the same letter remarks that most individuals believe the opposite: According to the common conception, the question ‘what am I’ would be answered such that I am something that has absolutely no properties in its own right, something along the lines of a coat rack on which one can hang anything one pleases.’ That is, most people assume that there is nothing essential about the human being and that one can ascribe to humanity any trait arbitrarily. For Gödel, however, such a conception presents a distorted picture of reality – for if we have no kind-specific essential properties, on what grounds can categorization and determination of something as something begin?

“So, what essentially human property points towards a destiny beyond this world? Gödel’s answer: the human ability to learn, and specifically the ability to learn from our mistakes in a way that gives life more meaning. For Gödel, this property hangs necessarily together with the property of being rational. While he admits that animals and plants can learn through trial and error to discover better means for achieving an end, there is a qualitative difference between animals and human beings for whom learning can elevate one into a higher plane of meaning. This is the heart of Gödel’s rationale for ascribing immortality to human beings. In the 14 August 1961 letter, Gödel writes:

“Only the human being can come into a better existence through learning, that is, give his life more meaning. One, and often the only, method to learn arises from doing something false the first time. And that occurs of course in this world truly in abundant quantity.

“The folly of human beings mentioned above is perfectly consistent with the belief in the world’s rationality. In fact, the world’s ostensible senselessness provides an ideal set-up to learn and develop our reason through the contemplation of our shortcomings, our moments of suffering, and our all-too-human proclivities to succumb to baser inclinations. To learn in Gödel’s sense is not about our ability to improve the technical means for achieving certain ends. Rather, this distinctive notion of learning is humanity’s capacity to become wiser. 

"I might, for example, learn to be a better friend after losing one because of selfish behavior, and I might learn techniques for thinking creatively about a theoretical approach after multiple experimental setbacks. An essential property of being human is, in other words, being prone to develop our reason through learning of the relevant sort. We are not just learning new ways of doing things, but rather acquiring more meaning in our lives at the same time through reflection on deeper lessons discovered through making mistakes.

“All this might lead one to infer that Gödel believed in reincarnation. But that would be overhasty, at least according to certain standard conceptions of it. An intriguing feature of Gödel’s theological worldview is his belief that our growth into fully rational beings occurs not as new incarnations in this world, but rather in a distinct future world:

“In particular, one must imagine that the learning occurs in great part first in the next world, namely, in that we remember our experiences from this world and come to understand them really for the first time, so that our this-worldly experiences are – so to speak – only the raw material for learning.

“And he elaborates further:

“Moreover, one must of course assume that our understanding there will be substantially better than here, so that we can recognize everything of importance with the same infallible certainty as 2 x 2 = 4, where deception is objectively impossible.

“The next world, therefore, must be one that liberates us from our current, earthly limitations. Rather than recycling back into another earthly body, we must become beings with the capacity to learn from memories that are latently brought along into our future, higher state of being.

“The belief that it is our essence to become something more than we are here explains why Gödel was drawn to a particular passage in St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, which I discovered when perusing his personal library at the IAS. In a Latin, pocket-sized edition of the New Testament, Gödel jotted at the top of the title page in faint pencil: ‘p. 374’. Following this reference, one is led to Chapter 15 of St Paul’s letter where Gödel marked verses 33 through 49 with square brackets and drew an arrow to one verse in particular.

“In the bracketed verses, St Paul describes our bodily resurrection. Employing the metaphor of crops, St Paul notes that sown seeds must be destroyed in order to grow into plants that it is their nature to become. So too, he notes, will it be with us. Our lives and bodies in this lifetime are only seeds, awaiting their destruction, after which we will grow into our ultimate state of being. Gödel drew an arrow pointing at verse 44 to highlight it: ‘It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.’ For Gödel, St Paul had apparently arrived at the correct conclusion, albeit by prophetic vision as opposed to rational argument.

“We are left largely to wonder about Marianne’s reaction to her son’s views on the hereafter, though it is certain that she was puzzled. In the letter dated 12 September 1961, Gödel assures his mother that her confusion about his position has nothing to do with her age and much more to do with his compact explanations. And in the last letter, from 6 October 1961, Gödel objects against the claim that his views resemble ‘occultism’. He insists, on the contrary, that his views have nothing in common with those who would merely cite St Paul or discern messages directly from angels. 

"He admits of course that his views might appear ‘unlikely’ at first glance but insists that they are quite ‘possible and rational’. Indeed, he arrived at his position through reasoning alone, and thinks that his convictions will eventually be shown to be ‘thoroughly compatible with all known facts’. It is in this context that he further presents a defense of religion, recognizing a rational core to it, which he claims is often maligned by philosophers and undermined by bad religious institutions:

“N.B. the current philosophy curriculum doesn’t help much in understanding such questions since 90 per cent of contemporary philosophers see their primary objective as knocking religion out of people’s heads, and thereby work the same as bad churches.

“Whether this convinced Marianne or not, we can only guess.

“For us who remain with both feet still in this world, Gödel’s argument presents us with a fascinating take on why we might continue to exist after shuffling off this mortal coil. Indeed, his argument glows with an optimism that our future lives, if reason is to be satisfied, must be ones in which we maximize certain essential human traits that remain in a paltry state here. Our future selves will be more rational, and somehow capable of making sense of the raw material of suffering experienced in this life. Can we assume that Kurt and Marianne are now reunited? Let us hope so.”

Robert Traer, January 7, 2024


Sunday, January 29, 2023

Thomas Berry: Views of death

Thomas Berry

“The challenges of life demand our full attention and concern, so I don’t normally entertain questions about death, or life after death. My basic orientation is that death is an intrinsic dimension of life. I am certain the universe will take care of us in death just as it has in life,” Thomas said. “But all of us end up reflecting on this question sometime or other and perhaps now is that time for you. I’ll give you my theory of death, and then you can tell me yours. No, let’s start with Teilhard de Chardin’s theory, which I believe is unique in the tradition of reflections on death and the afterlife primarily because he is thinking in the context of a developing universe. The vast majority of human reflection on death, including that of Thomas Aquinas and Dante, takes place in the context of a fixed cosmos.


“Teilhard’s thinking is that a complete annihilation at death cannot be the case because in order for humans to embrace the evolutionary challenges, they must have the sense that there is a way forward, that the future is open. If humans came to regard death as their end, they could still find value in caring for their families and others in need, certainly, but it would be nothing like what they would experience were they convinced their actions had eternal significance. In his later years, Teilhard’s deep concern became the activation of energy. He saw nihilism not as a moral mistake but as a cosmological dead end. His primary objection to the notion that the universe is meaningless is that such a conviction enervates humanity.


“There you have it. Teilhard’s faith in the universe’s development leads to his sense of immortality. Teilhard felt humanity as a whole will one day achieve a deep conviction of immortality and this will be on the order of a major evolutionary achievement, along the lines of aerobic respiration or photosynthesis. It will lead to a massive influx of energy into the human adventure.


As for myself,” Berry has said, “my thinking is darker, not in the sense of cynicism or depression, but in the sense of an appreciation for that which lies beyond language. I don’t believe that at our stage of development we humans have the cognitive capacities for understanding the deepest dynamics at work in the universe. Perhaps we will someday, but at the present time, the complexity of the universe far outstrips our theories."


Thomas Berry was a cultural historian (1914-2009) and a Catholic priest. His views are presented in a dialogue with cosmologist Brian Thomas Swimme in Swimme's 2022 book, Cosmogenesis (pp. 291-292). Catapult. Kindle Edition.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, 
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

John Newton, 1725-1807

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

The author of these words, John Newton, was a former slave ship captain. After surviving a fierce storm at sea, Newton became an Anglican priest and abolitionist.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Being thrown from a horse altered her life

I worked on a horse farm as well as having horses at home and being a lifelong rider. I 'took the rough out' of thoroughbred horses who had started at the track, and this particular day was no different: I was taking a young horse out under saddle for a ride. About a mile from the house and yards he threw me headfirst (by injury and marks on the road, I landed almost directly on top of my head) onto the hardpacked travel and clay road. I seemed to become aware of everything very acutely-- the sun, the wind, the grass blowing in the fields-- from where I was; I was far from the barns and house, but somehow I could see what was going on there. I saw everything that had happened that day from getting up at home several miles away, to starting my day at work feeding and mucking, saddling the horse I'd been riding, all as if I were an observer but I could see up close from above, see even myself, heard the conversations I had with others, everything.

I saw, as if watching from my, nowhere; everywhereness, myself riding out away from the house and getting thrown. I saw myself lying in the road and was curious and calm. I saw the horse make the additional 2 miles around the road back to the barn lot and another worker catch him; mind, this was miles from other houses. I saw my friend and employer look the horse over, look out over the fields for me, and get in the truck to head out on the road looking for me. I was not sure how this was possible but it was not distressing. I was glad that the horse went home. I remember watching myself be found and thinking that I must have died, yet I felt no pain. I saw people at my house miles away get a phone call, I saw the ambulance, and I just moved effortlessly from one place to another. I didn't seem to question why I wasn't in my body at all. I apparently started having difficulties in surgery and went somewhere.

I was on the road where I'd been thrown again, but I was walking and the sky was getting dark. A friend of mine who was deceased was walking with me, talking about my life and I knew that we were going together somewhere. The road became unfamiliar to me and the landscape desolate and cold. A lady of unintelligible age that I did not recognize sat at a crossroads; she told me it wasn't my time and that I had things to do before I could go any further. My friend went past this woman and told me that when it was time, she would be waiting for me. This lady I understood to be some kind of gatekeeper or something. She was not impatient but was firm with me. Suddenly I was seeing myself on a bed, my parents, and medical personnel and I could hear what was said.

My body was 'asleep' but my consciousness was alert. I went into my body and could feel pain and seemed to enter a dream state. I came around at some point and eventually told what I had experienced, which was validated. I had terrible difficulties with my memory for months after the accident but the things I had seen stayed clear as a bell even when I couldn't remember what I had heard in conversation a few minutes before. The emotional aspects of my experience while observing have never left me in the 27 years since. I had a lot of trouble with my vision, memory, headaches, and did a lot of physical therapy , and by the grace of God I wasn't paralyzed as initially suspected that I might be.

I have found that I have the same effect on human patients and for some time after becoming a nurse I chose hospice care to provide whatever comfort the dying seem to sense within me. I haven't talked about that with anyone ever because almost everyone I meet notices something they can't name but some are made uncomfortable by it, and for the first several years I felt like a freak. So much so that I spiraled downward in my late teens and attempted suicide. I was again spoken to by the same entity and assured that I had some purpose to fulfill. I'm not crazy, I don't have brain damage, and I'm not psychotic. I have had psychological tests done for my own peace of mind and understanding. As I have gotten older and experienced life more fully I have accepted that something extraordinary happened to me and it cannot be explained by the rigid narratives of organized religion. I have a deeply held spirituality of the interconnectedness of all life.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Korean worker's near-death experience

It happened when I was working at a construction site carrying bricks, as I was financially responsible for my family at a young age.

It was early morning when I was carrying bricks on my back and going up the zigzag stairs made temporarily against the outer wall of the four story building when I fell with the bricks to the bottom. Afterwards, I was lying on a bed covered with a white sheet over my face and I saw my younger sister collapsed and wailing on the ground. Simultaneously, I was going up in the sky and saw the city of Seoul. Over in the distance there was a commercial airplane getting ready to land at the airport and I went in and flew around on top of the heads of the passengers and looked around, even inside the cockpit. Then, I looked at the Christ the Redeemer statute at Rio de Janeiro, the Eiffel Tower, London Bridge, Sydney Opera House, and places around Hong Kong.

Suddenly, I saw in front of me images like a movie, playing everything I had ever done in my life from the time I was too young to remember any of them. When I was shown times when I had stolen a radish from a field because I was hungry, when I swore at someone, when I spat on the ground, and hitting my younger siblings etc. I felt tremendous pain in my heart when those actions were displayed in front of me. I remember vividly trying to avoid watching it but it was to No avail. While watching those scenes, I felt repentance for the bad actions I had taken deeply from my bones. Like being blown by a strong wind, I was inside a pastel colored deep fog which blew me to an extremely clean bright light in the distance. When I arrived, this color like of a baby chick, encompassed me with feelings of extreme peace and I conversed with an existence that I could not see and talked with feelings of thought and felt the answers. I knew there was an existence, a being, that was in the distance but could not see. I had No physical body, I just existed inside extreme peace with great sounding music coming from somewhere.

Suddenly, I remembered my siblings and thought of wanting to see them, and as soon as I thought this I was with my siblings in our hut and while looking at their faces, I felt nothing. As soon as I thought of a place I was instantaneously there, and while listening to the stories inside the bright light, I felt and realized that it was love.

I saw overwhelming lights of fireworks in the darkness outside a window. I wanted to go and see it so I struggled off the bed I was lying on and fell to the floor. My body felt limp like it had No bones and I couldn’t make any sounds to ask for help. I don’t know how long I was on the cold floor but someone laid me back on my back and it was then that I was told that I returned from the morgue.

When I was discharged from the hospital, I was known as the child that died and came back to life, so the hospital deputy director and the nurses all came out and sent me off., translated from Korean

Monday, January 9, 2023

Meets guardian angel in near-death experiance

I was in the middle of giving birth and in complete pain, when the pain just vanished. My body floated upwards. I looked around to see the room and the nurses panicking because I wasn’t breathing.

I seem to be pulled away from watching to see a domed, very large entrance with figures dressed in pure light. They were walking towards me. I really didn’t want to leave because it was peace such as I had never experienced before. I had a two-year-old son and was giving birth to a much-wanted second son. I just knew everything would be ok. I thought about what it would be like not to go back and I knew that everything and everyone would be fine. It was then that I looked to my side to see an angelic presence. The angel told me it wasn’t my time to go yet, I was still needing... I didn't hear the rest as I seemed to fall back into my body at extreme speed. I was greeted with extreme pain and nurses shouting, 'We got her back!' Then I was told to push. It took me fourteen years to talk about this experience because my son was not expected to live.

It was many years later, after going through multiple transformations in my life and health that I met that angelic presence again. He is my guardian angel and my guide who I talk to. I’m now a shamanic healer self-taught with so many beautiful experiences with the angelic realms and many other experiences. Before my near death experience, I was in an extremely unhappy relationship, and it was my guardian angel who came to my aid and gave me the strength to leave it.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Dying woman experiences death & resurrection

I was feeling deep despair caused by an incurable disease that was diagnosed by the doctors. It seemed to me that I had no chance to live a normal and pleasant life, filled with happiness and joy. I was desperate. My despair was so deep that every night I prayed to God to take me. I hoped never to wake up again. At the time, I thought that death was permanent and I didn't believe in life after death.

I used to live in a small studio on the ground floor in Paris. I was living from social aids and wasn't able to work because of my disease. The medical treatment was extremely tiring. Despite brilliant studies at the university and the beginning of a doctorate about a great French writer, I passed my time to wandering through the city, visiting some friends and being unable to find a meaning to existence. So it happened that I walked for hours in the city. I was trying to wear out my last vital energy and hoping every night that God would put an end to my existence. I don't know if I died on that evening, but before going to bed I was in an extreme state of physical and mental fatigue. My pulse seemed to be hanging by a thread. So, in bed I said my usual prayer. “Please God, call me back to you.”as I fell into a deep sleep.

On waking the next morning, I opened my eyes looked at my room. I felt extreme well-being, and very full of light. I realized that I was about one meter above my body. All around myself an unbelievable light was shining; white and very luminous, like a fluid. My body consisted of white, very strong light. Surrounding my light-body, there were magnificent white flowers. They smelled so wonderful, that I couldn't explore their scents completely. It was as if they was bouquets of lilies all around my body and they were also emanating light. I felt light and it was not a dream, my room was as I knew it, perfectly real around myself and behind the curtains morning dawned.

I understood that I wasn't in my body but hanging slightly above it. I felt alive and very light, happy and perfectly at ease. I had no fear, but knew that my physical heart might have stopped and that life was continuing outside of the body. Everything was so soft, so light; and so good and pleasant.

I sensed a presence at my right. This presence wasn't really distinct from me. It was a perfect, loving, sweet and pleasant, nice and sensitive part of myself. It was like an intimate companion knowing me from time immemorial, and yet was also myself. This presence that I thought was Jesus, was whispering something into my ear that I don't remember exactly. I was something like, “You/we have to go back now to the physical body, as I love you and everything is well.” Then I remember thinking, “I'm coming back.” I agreed to come back to my physical body.

My return to the physical body was so gentle and so simple. It was like a river gliding gently down into its bed. I remember that I laid down in my physical body, so tenderly, so gently and pleasantly. I was again back in my physical body when the echo of my sentence, 'I'm coming back' called for a follow-up, something like a goal about existence. Coming back why? I had been so happy and so calm. Then I remember saying, this time with my mouth in my physical body. “To love the world.” Such was my assignment. Then, I looked at my room, everything around me seemed calm and serene. Everything was as I left it the evening before, but there was an atmosphere of indescribable peace and simplicity. I saw that I was well awake and a choice came to me. I could go back to sleep to keep this experience deep down, or I could get out of bed and try to understand it. I decided that everything was ok, that what I came to experience was a gift. I looked at my room, slightly illuminated by the morning sun, and closed my eyes and went to sleep in perfect peace.

I experienced several strange experiences since, but this one remains engraved in my memory. It seems to me that I was resurrected on that morning by the grace of God. I keep in mind this sensation of peace and perfect well-being, that I try to find and/or to recreate as soon as I can by prayer or meditation, or simply by coming back towards my heart. I take very seriously my new 'mission' to love the world. As it seems to me that that's what we are here for - to learn to love.

Even though other experiences happened in my life (of which one was quite amazing), I keep this first experience as a proof of life after death and that we shouldn't worry at all. We are known, loved, supported and guided. We are loved so much, in such a gracious and gentle way, without any setbacks or suffering. If only we knew how much we are loved, and especially with this very subtle and strong quality, like the infinite scent of the flowers, like a gentle and perfect breeze. We are loved in all our details, in our tiniest aspects and everything in us that loves is called to exist for ever. Of this I'm convinced today.

Gödel's reasons for an afterlife

Alexander T. Englert, “We'll meet again,” Aeon , Jan 2, 2024,