Updated: Mar 20
Faith in the afterlife can be extremely reassuring, but for those of us who have analytical or critical minds, exploring scientific advances in the field helps us to more easily accept the possibility that there may be more to human existence than meets the eye.
Many religions suggest that our human experience on earth is a test to determine whether a person's soul will spend an eternity in heaven or hell. Other beliefs state that earth is a kind of school teaching us valuable lessons and giving us opportunities for growth that prepare us for the afterlife. Most scientists disregard these concepts due to an absence of empirical evidence. However, one scientist claims he has conclusive proof that validates once and for all that there is undoubtedly life after death.
Professor Robert Lanza claims the answer lies in quantum physics, specifically the theory of biocentrism. The researcher, from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina, states the proof lies in the idea that death is an illusion created by our own consciousness. He goes on to say that when we start to question our preconceived ideas of consciousness and time, the implications are so massive that they could fundamentally alter the way we think about our world in such a profound way that was last seen during the 15th century debates about "flat earth".
Professor Lanza explains that biocentrism theorises that the universe exists as a result of a person's awareness of it. Life and biology create reality, which consequently creates the universe, essentially turning the traditional scientific idea that the universe creates life on its head. The same concept applies to the ideas of space and time, which Professor Lanza calls "tools of the mind". Lanza says that using this concept, the principle of death as we understand it "cannot exist in any real sense" as there are no true boundaries whereby to define it. He explains that the concept of death is something we have been taught to accept without question, yet in reality it only exists in our minds.
Lanza claims that biocentrism is similar to the concept of parallel worlds, an idea hypothesised by theoretical physicists. Parallel worlds speculates that anything that possibly could happen is happening all at once throughout infinite worlds with infinite possibilities.
Professor Lanza makes use of the double-slit experiment as evidence that the behaviour of particles can be changed by a person's observation of it. In the experiment, when scientists observe a particle move through an obstacle with multiple holes and therefore multiple potential routes, the particle moves like a bullet passing straight through a single hole. But when the particle is not observed, it passes through the holes like a wave. The mere act of a conscious being observing the particle, changes how the particle reacts. Scientists state that this experiment demonstrates that particles can exist as two separate states at the same time, testing long-standing notions of perception and time.
Professor Lanza says the theory of biocentrism can be simplified using the analogy of colours. For example, for most of us, the sky appears blue. However, if the cells in our brain were altered to make the sky appear red, was the sky ever truly blue or was it just our brain telling us that it was blue?
So how does this relate to life after death? Professor Lanza explains that, when we physically pass away, our life becomes a "perennial flower that returns to blooms in the multiverse", adding, “Life is an adventure that transcends our ordinary linear way of thinking. When we die, we do so not in the random billiard-ball-matrix but in the inescapable-life-matrix.”
Professor Lanza's theory is explored in his book Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe.