A couple of weeks ago Netflix released The Discovery. The Discovery is a movie about a scientist who discovers proof of an afterlife by measuring consciousness leaving the body at the moment of death and going somewhere. The Discovery leads to a rash of suicides as people start killing themselves to “get there”. Some are people who want to escape the circumstances of this life Some are people who are anxious to find the next thing. But, what they all have in common is they believe there will be a next life and it will be better.
Without giving away any more of the plot, I will say the movie explores themes of what the afterlife will be like and questions we’ve had like “Is reincarnation a thing?” The first time I saw the film, I missed a lot near the end because it does move rather slowly through the middle parts. I watched it a second time, after reading a fan’s theories, and it made much more sense the second time. You really have to pay attention to the dialog, particularly in the last part of the film. I’m not sure whether I believe in reincarnation at this point or not. I certainly don’t believe it is as simple as a lot of people think in that we simply keep getting recycled, over and over and over in a linear fashion. The way The Discovery explores it gives an explanation for things like reincarnation and deja vu that are more nuanced.
My biggest problem with the film is all of the effects of The Discovery on society are negative. More precisely, I should say the only effect they explore is the suicide rate. People are dying to “get there”. I’m not going to deny that proof of an afterlife would be a trigger for some already considering suicide. But, what would the other effects be? I think it would depend on your view of the afterlife and the purpose of life. What if you found out that suicide wasn’t a “go the head of the class” pass into a blissful existence, but didn’t actually solve anything and any issues you had in this life, you still had to work out either in the afterlife or with a do-over? What if you knew that after your suicide you were going to have a life review where you were going to evaluate your own success in your goals for this life, including a detailed first hand experience of how the emotional ripples your suicide left in its wake? Maybe you’d be more inclined to stick around and work through the issues you’re having in this life. After all, if you have to reincarnate to face those issues again, you’d find yourself back as a baby, starting all over with those issues about to come up instead of having gone through the hard work of making it to this point where you can hopefully learn those lesson and put them behind you. Who wants to get almost of of the way through a course only to have to start over again? I’m not saying any of these things are true of suicides, but a discovery of the afterlife isn’t a guarantee of a pass of having to do the hard work we came here to do. Knowing what i know about the afterlife makes it more likely I’ll try to stick this life out, not less.
And what of the positive impacts of knowing we don’t die? What if we knew that “killing” someone didn’t actually kill them? Would murder be the worst thing we think we can do to someone? How would our day to day lives change if we viewed every person we meet as an immortal, divine being who is wiser than we can imagine and more loved than we’ve dream of, if we knew that body wasn’t the person, just the costume they chose for this particular play? How would we react to “tragedy”, if we believed this life was a class and each tragedy was the next test of the semester? How would we deal with grief if we knew that “death” is only a transition, a “see you later”, not a “good-bye”? Maybe people would commit suicide to get there, but how many would be willing to stick it out and learn the lessons they came to learn knowing that their loved ones will still be there when they do?
With the advent of the SoulPhone, we may be witnessing the birth of The Discovery. In fact, there may be more than one Discovery. If one of these technologies produces evidence that can be examined and replicated via technology, rather than a medium, maybe that will be what it takes to reach the tipping point and shift the consciousness of this planet. There will always be hold outs. There are people who still don’t believe we went to the moon or that the Earth is round. But, what if enough people knew, not just believed? The world would never be the same. Science and philosophy are finally taking a serious look at what faith has been telling us and we are seeing leaps and bounds being made in terms of finding out how our universe works, including beyond the physical that we have assumed is the Ground of Being. I, for one, am very excited to see the changes that would make to our world.