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Conan Doyle - The last laugh?, 20 May 2009
Conan Doyle: The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes
It's a shame that biographers treat Doyle's quest to find out the truth about what happens when we die with such disrespect.
It is understandable that Joe Public might, but they are not claiming to know or understand Doyle as biographers often do, and if you don't believe in the survival which Arthur did, there is no real point in trying to make him look stupid when he's not here to defend himself.
Andrew Lycett's visit to Rochester Spiritualist church is quite funny really.
Picture the scene. "Arthur, are you there? I'm writing a book and telling people you were deluded because you believed in life after death, even though i have no idea what will happen to me when the day comes, and if you could just confirm you are there maybe i will re-write my book?"
What did he expect to happen, did he really thing Arthur would be sitting there ready to contribute? it's hysterical when you think about it...
A popular misconception is that Doyle was involved with afterlife studies because his son died. Were this true it would be a good motivation for investigating, but the fact is that he started investigating in 1887 when he visited a spiritualist church in Portsmouth. He then studied the phenomena for 29 years before writing his first book on the subject, The New Revelation which came out in March 1918. I'm not a Doyle expert but as far as i am aware, His son Kingsley died on October 28th 1918. Maybe he had a premonition about it and that's why he was upset :-)
Another statement often made is that Spiritualism has been completely debunked. Spiritualism claims that some part of us (Our spirit) survives physical death, or putting it another way, that consciousness is not a product of the brain, that it is primary, and that the mind and the brain are separate. This is one of the BIG questions that is still being investigated today, and if it has seriously been disproved, will the person responsible please let everyone know how, because there are a few billon people around the world who would like to know... I wonder what they will all do on Sundays?
Another statement made is that there has never been any evidence of anything psychic ever happening. This is also a misconception.
There are studies that have been going on for years showing evidence for clairvoyance, remote viewing, telepathy, near death experiences, if anyone cares to go out and look for it.
Lastly, there are millions of sane rational people round the world who experience psychic events every day that shouldn't happen to them according to the materialist paradigm.
But these experiences often stay with them and change their lives, and to say they are stupid or talking `mumbo jumbo` is not only disrespectful but often said in ignorance.
Of course sometimes Doyle got it wrong, the Cottingley fairies being a good example, but that doesn't change the truth, and he was just trying to discover the truth about who we are and why we are here.
It is easy to be a sceptic, but if one doesn't investigate thoroughly or if one dismisses the evidence, even when its there, the sceptic is not being honest, but just falling back on his or her materialist belief system, which after all is just another faith based system.
The great thing is it doesn't matter what anyone of us think, because eventually we will all die and we will all find out the truth, and Arthur may just have the last laugh.