I am at chapter... Not sure. Remember, I am Kindling via the iPhone app with my contacts out so I can read it. But I think that I'm half-way through Part II. Perhaps if I bought a real Kindle, I might know where I'm at, but I am holding out for iPad 2. (Still the Kindle app is easier to read for a half-blind person like me than a regular book.)
For the record, I think that Dr. Scwartz is correct--that personality survives physical death and can still effect changes in the material world. Why? Because I've personally had this demonstrated to me in a way that eliminates doubt. And I think that what Dr. Scwartz is trying to prove is probably the most important issue of our era. A wholesale scientific acknowledgement of this would likely transform our current institutions and shift the balance of power, as it were, away from the current controlling religious and political organizations, and toward the individual. And the "individual" would be transformed into something more significant that the current hyper-individualist. (This shift is actually predicted in a number of metaphysical texts for this era, which is neither here nor there, but it reinforces my own personal belief.)
Still, the leap that must occur, from lone individual believers like me, to a broader cultural and scientific acknowledgement, is quite broad. I don't think we are there just yet, but we may be getting there.
Part of the problem is that we are still relying on mediums. Reams of mediumistic records were collected and published in the 19th century, but they failed to transform society then, and I don't know if they would succeed now... Because when all is said and done, you're still trying to prove the difficult (consciousness survival) with another hard-to-swallow method, personal mediumship, which is prone to human error, inaccuracy, and fraud. At best, you are left with evidence strong enough to convince the sitter and a few sympathetic observers, but the evidence can be easily debunked; not necessarily successfully debunked, but debunked sufficiently to reassure the materialist skeptical mainstream.
I think that the die-hard materialist will only be convinced by material proof, and I think that, as technology advances, we can get this.
Unfortunately, the best evidence that has been offered to date of this type, the so-called Spiricom program, was most probably fraudulent... which brought a lot of discredit on the survival "movement." And the next best evidence of this sort, EVP, is intriguing and (to me) convincing, but it can also be easily debunked.
But I do think that a shift is coming. After all, if you accept the premise--as I do--that consciousness survives physical death, then proof of some sort is inevitable.
After all, science now accepts that black holes are "real," because they indeed are, but black holes existed first only in theory, and before they were theorized, they were inconceivable.
Invariably, science progresses through various stages over decades and centuries to where what is in fact "real" becomes provable.
I think that proof of survival will be embraced by the materialistic mainstream when the proof is obtained by material means, and my hunch is that this will be done, somehow, via the rapidly accelerating development of artificial intelligence. As our machines become more intelligent, refined, and "smarter," they (and we) will begin to cross over into, and observe, areas where "consciousness" currently resides. Whitley Strieber has mentioned this, and I think he's right.
The materialistic denial of consciousness survival is rooted, I believe, in a fundamental error--that consciousness is somehow a byproduct of the physical brain. But I think this is incorrect, and many cutting-edge thinkers now realize this. If consciousness doesn't reside in the brain, where does it? That's the 64000 dollar question. When we find--and scientifically acknowledge--the place where consciousness resides, we will realize that consciousness is in fact independent of physicality, and transcends it. This is, I am beginning to believe, the next technological and societal leap, which we can achieve, if we will.