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Afterlife: An Investigation Paperback – September 16, 1987

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; Reprint edition (September 16, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385237669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385237666
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,804,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By OAKSHAMAN VINE VOICE on April 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
_When Colin Wilson started the research for this book he was still a skeptic on the subject, by the time he finished it he was convinced in the reality of life after death. He isn't alone, for as this book shows over and over, even researchers that wish that there was no survival after death, who can see no logical reason for it, have been forced to conclude on the basis of the evidence that it is a fact. In his introduction to this second edition the author points out that after rereading his work he is more struck than ever by the consistency of the evidence. Case after case reveals a consistent pattern. All I can say is that after rereading it after five years, I still think that it is one of the best-written, most comprehensive books on the subject.

_There is an incredible amount of evidence packed into this book. Swedenborg and Steiner (two scientific converts) are examined early on. They keep popping up since there is so much independent verification of their teachings by others. The entire 19th century phenomenon of Spiritualism is carefully reexamined (the Fox sisters, Daniel David Hume, Andrew Jackson Davis, etc.) Then the history and files of the Society for Psychical Research are also covered. This is also true for the Theosophical Society. This continues on to modern day research in out-of-body phenomenon and the near death experience. Actually, there is just so much information here, much of which even I was unfamiliar with, that this list doesn't do it justice. Some might say that he is just rehashing the old material. NO, that is not the case- he is re-examining the old material with a fresh and objective eye. You will be surprised at how much you thought you knew about these cases that is just plain wrong.

_The evidence presented in this book should convince any reasonable person.

"I didn't say it was possible- I said it was true." Sir William Crookes
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By W. R. Buckley on September 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Wilson's writing style is quite lively, which makes for enjoyable, fast-paced reading. Wilson's greatest strength in this book is his ability to describe, explain, and summarize many classic psychical cases, research, and other writings (ranging from the early 19th century to mid-to-late-20th century), including many of the most important ground-breaking works by key members of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). Wilson's research is extensive, and his analysis is convincing. His characterization of historical materials is even-handed and accurate, which should be readily apparent to those who have read the original cited works. (His writing encourages the reader to seek and absorb the classics he cites.) Whether you are just beginning to read "life after death" (or other psychic or paranormal) literature, or whether you are already well-versed in this field of study, you will enjoy Wilson's engaging style and exhaustive examination of a multitude of outstanding primary sources.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By New Age of Barbarism on February 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
_Afterlife: An Investigation of the Evidence for Life After Death_, published in 1985, by British researcher and author Colin Wilson provides an interesting study of evidence for life after death and the rise of spiritualism as an occult phenomena. Colin Wilson (1931 - ) has previously written on the occult and existentialist philosophy and has maintained that there is a separate imaginative faculty within the human mind that he calls Faculty X. This book provides a fairly detailed study that makes a compelling case for life after death and examines various phenomena that have occurred as part of spiritualism and that were largely investigated by such organizations as the Society for Psychical Research in the last century. Wilson considers arguments of both skeptics such as the late philosopher Bertrand Russell and the infamous atheist Richard Dawkins as well as arguments made by believers in life after death. I should add that while this book does not provide a religious focus, in the sense of religion as traditionally understood such as orthodox Christianity, it nevertheless provides a useful source of evidence for life after death and makes a compelling case for such evidence that may be interpreted through the lens of traditional belief and faith.

The first chapter of this book is entitled "Voices in the Head" and examines the near ubiquitous phenomenon of auditory hallucinations which frequently arise even in normal people during stressful situations. Wilson examines for example the case of Dr. Adam Crabtree, a psychotherapist who dealt extensively with patients who experienced auditory hallucinations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RL Marcum on March 25, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a fan of Colin Wilson's work, especially "The Outsider" and "The Philosopher's Stone," both mesmerizing books. He writes very well and always pays his readers the compliment of assuming them to be interested, educated, and intelligent. In this book he compiles historical research and anecdotes into a truly fascinating exploration of the question of the existence of life after death. The bibliography alone is worth the price of admission. I recommend this book to any who seek to know more about this difficult, controversial subject.
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