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Life after death is a subject that is no longer taboo. Researchers are discovering that the conscious does live on after death.

When investigating journalist Leslie Kean decided to examine the matter further, what she found was remarkable. Her landmark book, Surviving Death, offers chapters written by medical doctors, psychiatrists and probed the universal question: "Do we really survive death?"

Kean based her book on scientific papers, studies and her own personal experiences with the unknown. She reported case studies and records on ghosts and children having past lives. Personally, she encountered another dimension of hearing from her own brother after his death through a medium. 

Life after death is no longer hocus-pocus or a plot for a film script. As spiritual beings, we simply can't explain everything. The famed author of the New York Times bestseller talked to us about her comprehensive new book, Surviving Death: a Journalist Investigates Evidence of the Afterlife

"I don't know 100 percent of what the reality of all this is, but certainly I am convinced that it is perfectly rational to believe in it," she explained. "I was fortunate enough to have experiences happen to me while researching the book and the combination of the two was really powerful." 

Kean was a skeptic at first.

Her perspective changed after contacting a medium named Laura. There is little information on the people Kean had on her mind that day of her phone reading. The two people on the journalist's heart were her friend and her brother--both who passed away. The medium was verified by the Forever Family Foundation, which test's mediums for competency through a barrage of tests and scoring systems and was referred to the reporter by the volunteer-based organization.  

What the medium was told to convey was nothing short of stunning: "You were right. You were right," Kean knew it was her friend Budd. "He wanted you to know that you were right about the other side," the medium explained. This was a private matter as Kean and Budd discussed the subject of life after death, but he didn't seem interested in another world. 

This was pretty chilling.

There was more. Budd also said "Happy Birthday."

That day was Kean's birthday, by the way. She was astonished at the accuracy since Laura knew nothing about her. Then a gentle spirit nudged forward. Her brother Garry came through during the session. The medium detailed a picture the family took and her brother said: "Thank you for keeping my secret." This involved a private matter between the siblings and a secret she kept from the family. 

"Mediums gave me phenomenally accurate information and portrayed the personalities and provided private obscure information from two people in my life who died recently. They conveyed their personalities as well as factual information." 

It could be that this was truly a presence coming through “or the medium having psychic abilities that enabled them to have factual information,” Kean also suggested.

The following scene was not taken from "American Horror Story." 

Kean said she experienced objects moving in her kitchen and electronics going haywire for no reason. This usually happened after she meditated and asked for something to be shown to her.  "Then there was an apparition that appeared, which I did not ask for and did not appreciate it because it happened in the dark," she said with trepidation. 

The author also wrote about the topic of physical mediumship, which is mindboggling said Kean, who admitted that it has a reputation for being fraudulent. She reported that not all of it is a hoax. 

"There have been studies in science rooms with genuine mediums that were studied by scientist and rigorously controlled. She nervously laughed, "I experienced things that are not supposed to be possible, but they are. There is the personal aspect of that and the journalistic aspect of that. How can you interpret it?" 

She couldn't explain another occurrence that shocked the senses. 

"There was a living and moving hand that I witnessed. I know it because there was enough light to see it, but I also touched this hand. I watched it form out of nothing. How do you explain that? These were really personal experiences that I had that were really transformative. I do bring forth a lot of research to those types of experiences in the book." 

Kean shared research done by Stephen E. Braude, who wrote The Limits of Influence, a detailed examination and defense of the evidence for large scale psychokinesis. Braude examined the reasons "why experimental evidence has not, and perhaps cannot, convince most skeptics that PK is genuine, and it considers why traditional experimental procedures are important to reveal interesting facts about the phenomena." Researchers may use cameras or have skeptics keep people accountable in a controlled setting to test mediums and events. 

While investigations continue to take place on the supernatural, the question is asked about the source of these manifestations. Are they evil? 

"There was no shred of that having that kind of energy to them," she said regarding her own experiences. "There are poltergeists, which I cover a little bit in the book. They have little to do with survival, but they do occur and a lot of those are very negative for people. I am sure there are situations of ghosts and hauntings, in which bad things happen." 

After her investigation, Keen said that there is proof that these experiences do occur. 

But... 

"What we don't have proof of is whether they represent some proof of the afterlife or where they can be explained in some other way. We don't know exactly what their causes are. There are other things that could explain this phenomenon." 

The mystery still stands as man tests the spirit world for clues to life after death. Kean found through her research that the afterlife remains an enigma for us and we may never fully understand the complexities it entails. 
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