Esquire Magazine, publication date 12/10

The Other Side

One of the toughest realities of life is the inevitability of its end. For many, life has already been horribly punctuated by the loss of a loved one; for others, death is a specter that might provoke fear, morbid fascination, or its own kind of denial. Within the scientific and medical community, there is a schism between two theories of death: Those who believe that our essence is extinguished with our final breath, and those who believe that there might be something more on the other side. As we carefully put this issue together—loss has been a pervasive theme for many goop staffers—we looked at the evidence for both sides, and were surprised to discover that there is more evidence for the latter. These doctors and scientists believe that much like electromagnetism or quantum theory, consciousness may be an energetic phenomenon that exists just outside the scientific framework that we work with today, that our brains are simply a filter to give it a physical shape. In their minds, it is the next frontier in science, the next big discovery.

What this suggests is quite staggering. If life does not end in the way that many of us have been conditioned to believe, what does that say about the purpose of our time here, and the very nature of reality? What does it mean for those who we have lost? These are fascinating questions, and we hope that the stories below can both shed some light and provide comfort to those who are hurting, or simply curious. While the concept of an afterlife will never obviate grief, it does create a new framework for understanding life and hopefully eliminates some of the fear that the end can bring.