Cup of Nirvana Philosophical and Contemplative Explorations

Unphilosophical Fragments

Since the publication of my book on empirical arguments for life after death in November 2015, I’ve been very busy with a range of personal and professional responsibilities.  But I thought I’d post a brief message12341424_1831752917051164_1600449960497450069_n about recent and upcoming events that may be of interest to subscribers, as well as a change of direction in my writing.

First, on Friday April 8, I will appear on The Q.Psience Project ( at 6:00pm-8:00pm (pacific standard time). Host Jill Hanson and I will discuss my recent book on arguments for life after death, as well as the future of empirical research into the question of survival.  I encourage subscribers to listen in.

Second, I’ve written one paper related to my book that will appear in the Journal of Scientific Exploration this summer, and I’ll be writing responses to some reviewers of my book as we move into the summer. I’ve also committed to writing an entry on “defeaters” for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which I suppose will appear near the end of the year.

photo copy 20During spring break in March I gave a talk on near-death experiences at the University of Portland.  Dr. Andrew Eshleman was kind enough to invite me up north to give a talk to his philosophy of religion class, a thoroughly enjoyable experience.  This was my first visit to Portland, and also the first time I read Stephen King in a philosophy class.  “Afterlife” (in Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams is a whimsical and thought-provoking short story on near-death experiences and reincarnation.

Finally, for a number of years I’ve wanted to write more popular books on topics (philosophical, religious, and psychological) that interest me.  That’s something I’ve broached in my blog, which has allowed me to express a broader range of my writing, from more analytical/scholarly pieces to contemplative and poetic works. I still have an interest in writing “scholarly” works (and will do so), but at age 50 it’s time for a change in direction.  So I’m moving into more popular publishing markets.  

For me, writing must be something more than a job to keep one’s job and beef up one’s CV.  In the end, what really matters is whether my writing has honestly expressed life as I’m living it, and whether it’s helped bring other people back to life.

While I’m interested in writing a popular book on survival (in the near future), at present I’m experiencing a revival of my interest in fiction, an interest that goes back to my teenage years. I’m presently writing a novella (now halfway complete) and a novel (I hope to finish this summer).  Both involve journeys to the underworld of the human psyche, and each is inspired by my own confrontation with the darker side of experience, which for me has always been the more profound source of light.

“Good writing, good stories, are the imagination’s firing pin, and the purpose of the imagination I believe is to offer a solace and shelter from situations and life passages which would otherwise prove unendurable.” – Stephen King

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