This is one of the great questions of human existence. Like that other great question- “Why are we here?- it has no single accepted answer.
For many, the survival ( or rebirth) of the individual is a deeply held matter of religious faith. For others, the notion of an immortal soul is nonsense. The wisest religious and scientific thinkers agree that they may never find mutually satisfactory answers to such questions .
Faith either makes sense or it does not, depending on one’s disposition, and science has little to say one way or the other with any great confidence.
Is there any way out of this impasse? When considering this question, it is important to note that many millions of people, from the beginning of recorded history, have reported significant experiences that gave them reason to believe in the survival of the individual after death.
Departed souls have contacted the living, have been seen and heard, and have reports on their condition. Persons on the brink of death ( or beyond) have returned with information on what they saw and experienced .”Past lives” have been recalled, and sometimes verified with astonishing accuracy.
FATE magazine was founded in 1948 to provide a forum for extraordinary experience experiences of all kinds. (The first issue featured Kenneth Arnold’s report on his “flying saucer” sighting of the previous year- the sighting that marked the beginning of the UFO era).
Contributions from readers have always featured prominently in the magazine’s content, beginning in the earliest days with a section called “True Mystic Experiences.” In 1954, the editors introduced “My proof of survival,” a department dedicated to reader’s reports bearing on the subject of life after death.
In the forty-nine years since its debut, FATE has published more than two thousand stories of this nature, all attested to be true by their authors. The FATE archives represent a tremendous resource for anyone interested in the question of afterlife survival-whether looking for evidence, or simply curious about what people believe and why. Some of the best stories from our archives are presented in this book.
communication from the Other side
What do the departed have to say to the living? Sometimes, the simple fact that a love one is able to communicate from the other side is enough. In these stories, FATE readers report messages of love, encouragement, and hope from the hereafter. (There are also some humorous accounts indicating the dead aren’t above taking offense at statements by their survivors.) These communications take varied and sometimes unexpected forms-everything from personal visits, to written messages, to levitating objects, and more.
Night of the “Living”
Our family friend of forty years died on December 3, 1993. His name was Joe G. and he lived in Sedona, Arizona. After his memorial service. I spent time at his condo packing and throwing things out. As I weeded through his possessions, I apologized out loud to Joe for having to do it.
Between tears and laughter, I teased him about how much of a pack rat he had become. In his drawers and closets were every bag and box that had come his way in the two and a half years he had lived there. Two boxes in particular were just the right size for packing dishes. So I packed them up and left for lunch.
Knowing that only the property management company and I had access to the condo helped me reason away what happened next. Upon returning I found that on each of the boxes were letters in black magic market, written in a shaky scrawl that spelled out the word “living”. Well, I thought, I must have missed that when I packed the boxes.
After more packing and cleaning , eight o’clock rolled around and I left for dinner, I couldn’t chase away my anxiety about returning after dark to stay there by myself. But I went back anyway. The same two boxes were still in the hallway, but someone or something had written “living” two more times. Now there were four words that I hadn’t seen before.
As much as I tried to convince myself that those words were there before I left, I didn’t believe it. I still had the feeling I was not alone. So I grabbed my things and stayed at a motel seven miles down the road.
I headed back to the condo the next morning thinking how silly I had been to spend the extra money. I was sure it was just my imagination.
That morning the sun was shining through the windows and the place looked really cheery. Everything was just where I had left it. Heaving a sigh of relief, I put down my purse and walked to the center of the living room to finish packing.
What I saw next took my breath away. On six of the boxes I found the word “living” written very clearly in black magic marker. I knew every single one of those boxes had been unmarked, because I had examined them thoroughly after the previous day’s scare. I truly believe Joe was there to let me know that, even though he didn’t get to say goodbye in person, he was still near, and still alive.