Finnish Mystic’s Visions of Afterlife Match NDE Research Share Tweet SHARES0 Dr. Antti Savinainen’s new book on the Finnish Mystic, Pekka Ervast adds to our understanding of the afterlife. photo by: Skeptiko (scary music and sounds from Jacob’s Ladder) Where do you go when you die? Actor, Tim Robbins got a glimpse in this cult classic, Jacob’s Ladder. And I guess that’s how it is with the afterlife. I mean, we know it’s probably going to work out okay, but what if it doesn’t? So, we keep asking the questions, we keep looking for the answers and once in awhile we come across people who seem to know. Dr. Antti Savinainen: There are no devils in hell, there are just human beings who have evil thoughts and habits and then, as Richard mentioned, there are some kind of thought forms, which are formed by people, but using those evil and murderous, those kinds of thoughts, and they have so much power that they exist there for some time. If a person has, kind of an affinity, harboring those negative feelings and thoughts throughout their life, or at least to some extent, then it might be that this is somehow attracting these lower levels in afterlife. I find it interesting that negative near-death experiences, they tend to reveal that these stages are felt by people who go briefly to the other side, so to speak. That’s today’s guest, Dr. Antti Savinainen, who’s written a new book about the Finnish mystic, Pekka Ervast who, back in the 1890s had a series of amazing mystical experiences that revealed to him what really happens after we die. It’s an interesting book because it has so much overlap with the modern-day near-death experience research. And it raises some of the same questions we always come back to, regarding science and materialism and our need to try and know and understand this topic from reason, and at the same time, our appreciation for the fact that we know, deep down, reason can’t really get us there. In this interview we’re also joined by the very excellent biblical scholar and spiritual scholar, Richard Smoley, who wrote the introduction for this book. So it was great having him on as well. Before we get started with the interview, let me just mention that Antti has informed me that the book is available, actually right now, as a free eBook. It’s an excellent book, I’ve read it, it’s nicely formatted, it’s not like a cheap freebie, throwaway kind of thing, well-researched. Again, with an excellent introduction by Richard Smoley, it’s just a great book that’s available for free (From Death to Rebirth). So, that’s kind of a cool thing and I’ll of course have the links to that in the show notes. This was a fun interview for me, we talk about all sorts of topics, all the way from the idiosyncratic nature of these mystical experiences and how much are we to trust, My Big Toe, kind of simulation theory, kind of things, versus a total full-blown spiritual or even Christian mystical experience. We talk about backdoor materialism and medicine in particular and whether a proposed head transplant, that’s supposed to happen in 2018, will reveal anything more about how we might understand consciousness. Then, we even venture off into biblical scholarship and biblical studies, just a little bit, because when you have a chance to talk to Richard Smoley, you can’t miss the opportunity to talk about that stuff as well. So, don’t let this creepy music and creepy introduction freak you out too much. It’s really kind of an upbeat and fun interview. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you stick around for this episode of Skeptiko.