A recent headline—A Ninth Planet May Exist Beyond Pluto, Scientists Report—rekindled my thinking about a possible scientific basis for the afterlife. Given how little we currently know about the universe and how stars, planets and galaxies form or how life comes to be on planets like Earth, is there nevertheless a scientific case to be made?
My starting point is the human brain—that marvelous, near inexplicable device or system we exist within from birth to death—and how the human brain cannot possibly accomplish all that we know it does without it being somehow connected in unobserved ways to many other things and perhaps other entities. Neither science nor medicine has yet to come up with a factual basis for human consciousness, but we can say that there must be an underlying science to not only how the human brain really works and what it is connected to outside of our human form, but also how consciousness occurs and is maintained, apparently automatically. Automatically! That’s the point—we are conscious automatically; therefore, there must be a system in place that science hasn’t yet discovered that makes that happen in and for all of us.
The other idea we might agree on is that if there is an afterlife that we will experience individually, then there must be a brain structure available to each of us in that afterlife that will permit consciousness to resume for each of us. Certainly, I prefer the idea that we get a much better brain to work with there than we have here.
The next question is how our consciousness gets from here, Earth, to there, the place where we regain consciousness after death. Let’s assume that ‘there’ is some other planet. Many of us believe that we get to wake up perhaps just a few days after we die on Earth, which, if true, suggests that the next world we regain consciousness on can’t be ridiculously far away. Some reliable mechanism must exist to transport all of our essential personality, memory and consciousness components after we die. Now, if indeed there is a large, unseen and undiscovered planet well beyond where Pluto is (and the scientists estimate that it may be as much as 10 times the size of Earth, and following a path that takes it from 20 billion to 100 billion miles away from us), wouldn’t that be a very logical candidate for the next world for us all?
We all dream of space travel, visiting other planets, meeting other beings. But we already know that the human body cannot be transported any faster than the speed of light, which means that it would take something like 1,200-6,000 days (3-16 years) to get us to this possible outer world (that some are already calling ‘Planet 9’ until we get more data and it gets a name) even at that speed. We also know that the human body cannot survive for long in space travel as we know it now, and our muscles and bones start to deteriorate within days after we are placed in a minimal gravity or weightless environment. We are physically built for life on Earth and nowhere else, it seems, but we are plainly able to imagine so much more, including life on other worlds and an afterlife.
Perhaps we become space travelers only in the afterlife—when we have been transported elsewhere and been given new bodies and brains—and not before. Perhaps the universe is intentionally structured in such a way that celestial powers essentially control space travel, by transporting us (our individual personality, memory and consciousness components) through the cosmos and by giving us new bodies and brains at whatever intervals, and if that were the true picture, then at some point science will start to discover evidence of it. After all, what is a planet 10 times the size of Earth possibly doing so far away from our solar system, yet evidently still part of it? How did it wind up there? This may just be the first discovery of many that will completely challenge not only scientists, but all of us.
Serge Jusyp is author of OTMA 82—The First Day: Trial and Resurrection, a novel (Website, https://sergejusyp.wordpress.com/; Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/sergejusyp/; Twitter, @Jusyp; email, firstname.lastname@example.org)