Are We Living In A Real Life Groundhog Day – Paranormal Podcast 742

Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsiHeartRadioStitcherPandoraAmazon Music

Do we live in a real life version of Groundhog Day? That’s the gist of what Anthony Peake theorizes and he is very convincing. We talk to him about this unique theory on this week’s all-new edition of The Paranormal Podcast.

You can find Anthony’s book we discuss on Amazon: Cheating the Ferryman: The Revolutionary Science of Life After Death

Thanks Anthony!


JIM HAROLD: What awaits you and me in the afterlife? Our guest this week has a fascinating theory, up next on the Paranormal Podcast.

[intro music]

This is the Paranormal Podcast with Jim Harold.

JIM HAROLD: Welcome to the program. I am Jim Harold, and so glad to be with you. From time to time when I’m doing this job – I’ve been doing this podcast for 17 years now – something will come across incredibly remarkable and really stick with you. Such is the book Cheating the Ferryman. We have spoken with the author, Anthony Peake, before, and I just listened to the latest edition of that book and I find it absolutely fascinating. We’re so glad to have him with us today.

Anthony Peake is a bestselling author, lecturer, and broadcaster whose ideas apply scientific reasoning to some of the greatest mysteries of the universe, including what happens when we die. We’re going to talk today about his book Cheating the Ferryman: The Revolutionary Science of Life After Death, the sequel to the bestselling Is There Life After Death?. We’re so glad to have him with us. Anthony, thank you for joining us, and I must say, I really enjoyed your book.

ANTHONY PEAKE: I’m so honored to hear that. I really enjoyed our last interview, and it always is really great to have feedback from people to say whether they like it or they don’t. It’s just useful as a writer to get that kind of feedback, so thank you very much. It’s really appreciated.

JIM HAROLD: Is this your tenth book? I know you have quite a few. How many books are you up to now?

ANTHONY PEAKE: This is technically my twelfth if you include a book I co-authored with Professor Ervin Laszlo, and also I edited and contributed to a book with two consultant psychiatrists on the near-death experience. So technically, I suppose, it’s my tenth book that I’ve written solo.

JIM HAROLD: So who is the Ferryman? And it appears that we’re all cheating him. Give us a little background on that.

ANTHONY PEAKE: The Ferryman is a reference to – interesting backstory here, by the way. The original book, Is There Life After Death, which came out in 2006, my publisher – who is the publisher of this new book, by the way – I wanted to call that book Cheating the Ferryman, but they decided that the potential audience wouldn’t understand the reference.

The reference is going back to Ancient Greek rituals. In Ancient Greek times, when somebody died, they would place either on the eyes two little coins called oboli, or they’d place a singular obulus underneath the tongue of the deceased person. The reason they were given this was that the person, when they were in the dead world, would be a shade and they would find themselves on the edge of a huge river. Through the mists of the river would come Charon, the boatman. Charon is the Ferryman, and his role was to ferry the dead souls from the land of the living to the land of the dead, Hades. Or the Ulyssean fields, depending upon your persuasion on that.

I argue that due to a peculiar set of neurological conditions at the point of death, we effectively all cheat the Ferryman. We never pay him his oboli, so the poor old Ferryman who’s trucking backwards and forwards in his little boat never gets any payment. Which is basically the concept of cheating the Ferryman.

But as a very quick aside, there’s more to this, because the Ancient Greeks also believed that you could get to the other side, and when you were at the other side you had a chance. You either drank of the waters of the river of forgetting, called the River Lethe, or you drank from the waters of remembering, and you became what was called anamnesis. If you wanted to go back and live your life again, you would drink the waters of the Lethe, which would wipe all your memories clean, and you’d go back across the River Styx and live your life again.

That is basically, in a nutshell, the overall hypothesis of cheating the Ferryman.

JIM HAROLD: It’s interesting because I think most of us have had the experience where there’s a voice, there’s a small voice that tells us, “Take a left here. Don’t take a right.” “Take that job. Don’t take this job.” “Date this person, not that person.” A lot of people think that’s our guardian angel, some people might think it’s God, or some people might think it’s a past loved one looking out for us.

You have a little bit different viewpoint on who that might be, and I found this particularly something that resonated and something that was fascinating.

ANTHONY PEAKE: Yeah, I argue that if my hypothesis is correct – and the science does seem to strongly support it, by the way – if it’s true that we are living effectively in a simulated reality of our lives, and we are within a third-person computer game where we’re experiencing it firsthand, we all have a game player. The game player is the person that’s played the game many times.

Imagine the scenario from my generation – well, it’s not my generation, but I used to play the game – Tomb Raider. You fire up Tomb Raider and then you see on the screen a little onscreen sprite, which is a little Lara Croft. It’s the first time you’ve played the game, so you can move Lara, and you send Lara down a corridor and she goes into a room and there’s a big monster in there, and she gets killed and she’s dead.

As far as the Lara Croft is concerned, the character onscreen or inside the game – I call that the Eidolon. The Eidolon is the person that lives life linearly and only exists for one life. At the end of it, that person dies. However, as in the computer game analogy, what happens is the game player doesn’t die. The game player then just reboots the game and starts again with a new Lara Croft, a new Eidolon. Only this time the game player remembers and knows from previous experience that going into that room was dangerous.

Now, I’d argue in the real world – what we call the real world; it’s a bit contentious as well – but the idea is in the simulation, the only way in which the game player can influence the in-game Eidolon is to either influence them in dreams or hunches or feelings or sensations. The game player I call the Daemon. This is right back to Ancient Greek myths again, particularly the Gnostics, who were a kind of schismatic Christina group in the early years of Christianity. They argued that we all have two personalities, the Eidolon and the Daemon. So this is actually based upon belief systems from a long, long time ago, but I’ve updated it.

I argue that that little voice in your head is the real you talking to you and warning you, because it knows what happened last time. You can imagine a scenario that over numerous lives, the Daemon guides various Eidolons through various adventures in one way or another, exploring places and doing things that you could hardly dream of.

Of course, this is analogous in many ways to the movie Groundhog Day. In Groundhog Day, I’d argue that the central character, Connors, is a Daemon and an Eidolon together – a term I call a dyad. If you remember in the film, every day he lives it, but he has the memories of the previous day, and he uses those memories to his advantage each day on day. In the end, he lives the perfect day. He starts off being very selfish, wants to get the girl, but he realizes that there’s a huge advantage to living the same day over and over again. He teaches himself foreign languages, he teaches himself how to play the piano, and then he starts to do good for good’s sake. He’s running around the town trying to save the little boy falling out of the tree, helping the elderly lady crossing the road.

I’d argue this is what happens with all of us. Over many, many lives, we effectively reach perfection, for want of a better term. And when that happens, we’re allowed to move on to whatever is next. But the interesting thing is I argue that this all happens in the final milliseconds of your life. It all happens while you are still alive. It’s not life after death. Far from it. It’s life at the end of life.

JIM HAROLD: So essentially, it’s kind of like a spin on reincarnation in the sense you live over and over, but you don’t live somebody else’s life; you keep living your life. As I was listening to your book – I think it was in the close, you were talking about Groundhog Day and you referenced it a few times throughout – I think that’s almost – not exactly, but almost a 1:1 correlation. I mean, it seems what you’re saying is that we live our life and then we go through the process of dying, but we don’t die as in cease to exist. Then we go back to the beginning, start all over again, and that’s how we progress. Is that right?

ANTHONY PEAKE: Yeah, that is the central argument. For me, as I’ve stressed many times in interviews, I didn’t have this idea or hypothesis or model and then went out to try to find the science to support it. It was quite the opposite. I didn’t know what I was trying to find out. I just wanted an explanation for déjà vu. When I first started writing my first book, that was my initial intention.

But as I started to dive into the science, into the quantum physics, into the neurology, into the neurochemistry, and then using examples of people who had near-death experiences and experienced what’s called a panoramic life review, I started to realize that there was more to this – that there was a scientific explanation for life after death that does not contravene in any shape or form our modern understanding of science.

Of course, as you know, at the start of the new book I argue that reincarnation doesn’t work for me. There’s a lot of technical problems, because reincarnation cannot be proved scientifically in any way at all. But that’s a null point. There’s logical problems I have with it in that if you are reincarnated as somebody else, or even an animal or an insect, either closely located to where you used to live or maybe hundreds of miles away, or maybe in a different time and a different space, how can you ever develop? Because you don’t remember the mistakes you made in your previous life. You don’t know them, so you can’t learn. The only way you can learn and develop is by some part of you knowing the mistakes you made last time and actively wanting to put them right.

I’d also argue that for me, being reborn again as somebody else in a new body, to a completely different DNA, it’s not me. Whoever it is, it’s not me. I would interface in that life with other people who I don’t know, whereas in Cheating the Ferryman I suggest that you never lose your loved ones. Your mother, your father, your grandparents, the people you loved in your previous life, you will meet them again. And you will have the opportunity to put right the things you did wrong to them because the Daemon will guide you and say, “Please don’t do this this time.”

Of course, we all have this sense, don’t we, of feeling “Hmm, this doesn’t feel right” or “I really shouldn’t do this”? This is the Daemon giving you an inkling that it’s wrong and you need to reengage. To me, I’d love to see my parents again. Both my parents are dead. This book is not a yearning for that to happen, by the way, but nevertheless there is the idea that you will meet them again. And again, and again.

Again, the important factor of cheating the Ferryman is the science supports it. There is no other hypothesis I know about life ‘after’ death that has the powerful backing of leading-edge science, and I mean really leading-edge research in quantum mechanics, cosmology, the idea of black holes, information theory, the holographic universe – all of these things support it. In fact, there is nothing I know in science that doesn’t support in one way or another the cheating the Ferryman model.

JIM HAROLD: We’re talking about Anthony Peake’s book Cheating the Ferryman, and we’ll be back right after this on the Paranormal Podcast.

The Paranormal Podcast this week is brought to you by my Paranormal Plus Club at This interview today got me to thinking – we’ve talked to so many great thinkers over the years, and many of those episodes, I can guess you’ve probably not heard because most of them are part of my Paranormal Plus Club. Of course, there is the back catalog of the Paranormal Podcast, which is over 700 episodes no longer available on the free feeds. Now, if you’ve been with me from the beginning, you may’ve heard all of those; if not, you likely have not.

That doesn’t even speak to – and this is part of my Paranormal Plus Club at that we never talk about much and really should – did you know there are hundreds of interviews that have never been on the free feeds with great experts and thinkers? For example, over 170 episodes of Ghost Insight on all things ghostly; over 180 episodes of UFO Encounters, Plus Club exclusive. Over 300 episodes of The Other Side, on spirituality and metaphysics. Also, Ancient Mysteries on the Air – ancient mysteries, self-explanatory – over 80 episodes. And The Cryptid Report, over 60 episodes. Those are all Plus-exclusive series, and you only get to listen to them as a Plus Club member over at

Did you also know you could get your first month for a buck? Actually, 99 cents. Want to be accurate here. Just go to That’s Click on the banner with my smiling face, and you’ll get all the details. It’s easy to consume; you listen through our Spooky Studio app, and really, our Plus members love it. We have great retention, great support. People all the time saying, “I wish I would’ve done this a long time ago.” So please check it out if you love these discussions.

And we haven’t even mentioned Campfire. There’s the whole back archive there, too. But if you love these kinds of discussions you’re hearing today, check out That’s That is my Paranormal Plus Club, and quite frankly, it’s a big part of why we can do what we do. So if you’d like to support the shows and get access to hundreds and hundreds of hours of great content, go over to and sign up. Thanks so much.

You’re listening to the Paranormal Podcast with Jim Harold.

JIM HAROLD: One thing that appeals to me about this is I’ve been talking to a lot of people over the years about these subjects – the afterlife, ghosts, all kinds of things – and one conclusion I’ve drawn is that reality is far deeper and stranger than we can realize. And this all certainly ties in to your hypothesis.

It’s also interesting to me how you came upon this and how this all started for you. I guess it started with a visit to a record shop, didn’t it?

ANTHONY PEAKE: It did, yeah. It was quite extraordinary. What happened was way, way back, 1989-1990, maybe, I was in a record shop in Colchester where I used to live. I’d bought a new CD. Then, for an extra 50p, I could buy another CD, which was a sampler CD which had tracks from a group of new CDs that were being brought out by new artists. I took that home, and that evening my then-wife was in the kitchen, cooking away. It looks terribly sexist; it wasn’t.

I was just checking out the music, and around about the third or fourth track in on the sampler CD, the minute it started, I recognized it with a kind of visceral recognition, almost a déjà vu sensation. I knew it in a profound way. It was a song called “Round of Blues” by the American folk singer Shawn Colvin.  I listened to this and I called my wife in, Jenny, and I said, “Jen, next weekend can we go into our solicitor’s? I want to change my will.” She said, “Why?” I said, “Because I want this record played at my funeral.” She said, “What a bizarre thing you want to do.” I said, “I know.” She said, “It’s a happy song.” I said, “I know it is, but that’s what I want.”

When, sadly, that relationship came to an end and I was with my present wife, that was one of the very first things I said to her. “This is my death song.” And of course, she thought I was very morbid. But it then came to pass I found out why.

It was many years later, and at that time I was an area human resources manager for a group of private hospitals in the UK. I had a remit and responsibility for 12 hospitals across the North of England. I was continually on the road, traveling from one place to another, and they supplied me with this beautiful sportscar, a Mazda RX-8 rotary engine, really beautiful car. (Which is an aside and of course nothing germane to this at all; just thought I’d tell you because I loved that car.)

It was one evening in late November/early December and I was driving across the motorway that joins Yorkshire and Lancashire. If you remember many years ago, there was a film called An American Werewolf in London.


ANTHONY PEAKE: Do you remember the scene where he’s up on the walls and there’s a place called the Slaughtered Lamb, which is the pub that he ends up in? It’s that area. It’s along that area.

The evening was just like that. It was misty, it was foggy, it was damp. I’m driving along the motorway, and you come over the reach of the Pennine Hills, the Pennine Mountains, and you come down towards a place called Milnrow. Now, I love my music; I always have done. And in those days I had an MP3 player, a really sophisticated MP3 player that had 16,000 separate tracks on it. I always had it on random play, always. I just love random play. It’s like having your own radio station and you want to know what the next record’s going to be. Because I was driving a lot, I really enjoyed that.

So I’m coming along the rim, coming down towards Manchester in the fog, in the darkness, and then suddenly “Round of Blues” comes on. 1 in 16,000 chance, and it had never played before on random play on my machine. A shiver went up my spine, and I thought, “Death song, death song. It’s my death song.” I suddenly found my left hand grab the wheel of the car and pull it down and pull me from the middle lane into the slow lane of the motorway.

As I did so, the van in front of me had a load of crash barriers on the back, and they were tied loosely, and they came flying off the back of the lorry and bounced in the road in front of me. Had I not had the maneuver I did, they would’ve hit my car. They would’ve gone through my windscreen. I would’ve been killed. The best I would’ve done was being seriously injured.

I sat there in the car, shaking, and I suddenly realized why that song I associated with my death. It was the last thing I heard in my last life. It was the last thing that I consciously heard before I died. Therefore, I then died at that point, was reborn again, living my life again, and I came across, years ago, that song, and something deep within my memory remembered it. My Daemon remembered it and went, “Wow, this is your death song.” That’s why I wanted to change it.

Now, what is even more uncanny is if you look at the lyrics of the song – it’s shivering up my spine now. It’s terrifying. The lyrics of the song, she says things like, “On a lost highway, looking for a better view. We look down at the lights of a fat city. I’m going round again.” And it’s called “Round of Blues.” Going round, the round of blues, the round of life.

I’ve tried to contact Shawn Colvin over this. I put something on Twitter about a year or two ago, and Shawn Colvin’s friend, the great singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega, picked up on it. She shared it because she obviously – but Shawn didn’t pick up on it. I’d love to talk to Shawn about why she wrote that song, the background to it. It’s rather like the song “Déjà Vu” by David Crosby, somebody else I’d like to speak to, to know why. That song says “We have all been here before, we have all been here before.”

It’s something we subliminally know. It’s something we all know, and that’s why there’s so many movies on this subject now. It’s something that we instinctively – it’s within the weltgeist and the zeitgeist.

JIM HAROLD: You can think about how many times you’ve met somebody ostensibly who you’ve never met, but you feel instantaneously a bond with them. Or objects, or whatever it might be, or a place. It’s like, “Oh, I’ve been here before.”

I was over in England, the only time I’ve gotten to go, and we had gone to an area and I said, “I’m pretty sure I’ve been here before.” I found out that my family way back, part of my family was from that area. But it just felt like someplace I had been before. What I might’ve actually been feeling was I was on this trip another time, or many, many, many times.

Now, some people may be saying, “Okay, this makes some sense, but philosophically or in terms of my belief system it may go against it.” What does this do to the belief in a Higher Power? Does this eliminate the idea of a Higher Power, or does it further bolster the idea of a Higher Power?

ANTHONY PEAKE: Far from it. One of the things we haven’t touched upon is very much the supporting science and the supporting philosophy. Again, many philosophers have pursued this as a philosophical concept, from Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Berkeley – so many philosophers. This is something that is a part of ancient beliefs such as the Stoics and everything else.

The argument is that in the final analysis, we are one single consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. I’m paraphrasing Bill Hicks, the famous American comedian. There’s a famous monologue he did, “Breaking news: young man on acid realizes that matter is just light slowed down to a walking speed and we’re all one consciousness experiencing ourselves subjectively. Now over to Jim for the weather.” It’s very good. It’s very well worth listening to. It’s his most famous monologue.

Of course, he’s making the point here – it’s what’s called pantheism. I contributed a chapter to a book a few years ago on pantheism, and the idea is that we are all individuations of God, for want of a better term. The argument I’ve used and my previous arguments have been: if you were God and this kind of consciousness that is everything, and you exist for all eternity, you’re going to get bored. So bored. So what do you do?

You create a simulation whereby you can hypothetically go into the simulation as an individual. You create all these emanations of yourself, and it’s like a giant soap opera. What you can then do is go into the simulation and live it like a virtual reality version of your life. But you forget who you are, and in doing so, you can live this – you can be anybody and everybody. I’d like to believe this is what we all are.

Now, again, this is not original. I wrote a book, a biography of the American science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, a few years ago. This is one of the central concepts of Philip K. Dick’s writing. For instance, he wrote a novel called The Divine Invasions where he has a young boy called Manny who’s God who’s forgotten he’s God. If you then look at the belief systems, particularly the Eastern belief systems such as the Ayurveda Vedanta, the idea is that we are all emanations of Brahman. We are all parts of Brahman.

But this is not unique. Most of the mystical traditions of all religions and all magical traditions all argue the same thing. Even in the Christian Bible, look for the God within. Look for what’s inside of you. In Gnosticism, they argue that there’s part of us that is part of the universe, that’s inside us, a shard of the universe. They argue that this existence that we’re in is an illusion. The Hindus call it maya. It’s a mind-created illusion.

But I think I’m the first writer to link the philosophy to the science, because modern science is coming to the same conclusion. More and more discoveries are being made about the true nature of what reality is, and it’s holographic in nature. This is not what it seems at all in any shape or form. There is the argument, for instance – there’s a term called naïve realism, and it’s used in perceptual sciences. This is the concept whereby those individuals who believe there’s a 1:1 relationship between what your senses tell you is out there and what is really out there is naïve realism. Because we know that whatever is out there, it’s not what is presented to us.

For instance, I use this analogy all the time, and it surprises people every time I tell them this: you never touch anything. You think you’re interfacing with the external world, but you are never in contact with anything. The reason being that when you touch a tabletop, for instance, the outer shells of the atoms in the tabletop, the outer electron – they’re electrons, and electrons are negatively charged. The outer shells of the electrons at the tip of your finger are similarly negatively charged. And you know from your school days physics that like charges repel. That’s what’s happening. What you’re feeling is what’s called electrostatic repulsion. You never touch anything, but you can never touch anything anyway. The one very absolute solid fact: the thing we think is solid matter is 99.999999999996 empty space. Every single physical object you see.

Indeed, when they made this discovery – I think it was Ernest Rutherford, who was a New Zealand physicist, and they discovered this fact when he did an experiment at the University of Manchester. He discovered that the atom was mostly empty space. There’s a story that the next morning, he was scared to get out of bed because he thought he’d fall through the floor. Seriously, that is supposedly a true story.

This has been known since the 1920s, so there’s nothing bizarre about this. There’s also a direct relationship between the act of observation and subatomic particles coming into existence. If a subatomic particle is not measured or observed, it’s a wave. But the minute it is observed or measured, it becomes a point particle, which is two completely different things. Which means that consciousness is drawing from the information field a simulation of a reality that we all share. And if we’re all one singular consciousness that’s experiencing itself subjectively, we’re all observing and creating the same thing, and we’re all within it.

So the reality is out there, and it’s not just part of us, but it is still mind-created by the collective consciousness of all observing consciousnesses.

JIM HAROLD: I’m of the age where I had a relatively early computer, and I remember you would have these games where you would walk around in different environments, but the processors were so slow that sometimes if you would move into let’s say another room, it would take a while for the screen to paint the full scene.

I guess my question is, is that essentially what we’re seeing? I turn my head to the left right now and I’m looking out my window, and in some ways my brain has taken these mathematical figures and so forth and created and painted the illusion of a window that I’m looking out of?

ANTHONY PEAKE: Correct. It’s rendering for you. Somebody who’s done some fascinating work on this and has a fascinating hypothesis is Tom Campbell in his series of books My Big Toe. It’s more and more evidential. In fact, it may astound you and your listeners to know that there’s research being done at the moment at the Perimeter Institute in Ontario in Canada, led by a guy called Craig Hogan, and they’re looking for the pixelation of space. Believe me.


ANTHONY PEAKE: And these are serious scientists. These are top, top physicists. They’re looking for the pixelation of space. What they’re trying to discover is the holographic principle – the idea that the universe is holographic in nature and there is a relationship between the observer and the observed. It’s like a feedback mechanism.

Now, in my books, I feel – and it’s going to sound vain, but it’s not meaning to be. Anybody who knows me knows I’m not like that. But I’ve written books on the out-of-body experience, iv’e written books on near-death experience, I’ve written books on entities, UFO encounters. I apply my models to all of these, and I can explain them all. I can explain, to an extent, why these things happen, what their roles are, how they manifest.

My previous book was called Hidden Universe, and it was about an examination of non-human entities. When people have encounters with Greys, when they encounter entities, when they’re doing dimethyltryptamine trips, these kinds of things, what is the role of these entities? When we’re talking to mediums, when messages come through from supposedly the dead, are they really from the dead?

I have a concept I call the Egregores and the Egregorial, and I think that, again, whatever these sentients are, they’re using us. They’re feeding on us. They’re using us to bring themselves into existence. Again, this works with the holographic model. It’s been argued for many years now that the universe is a hologram and the human brain works on holographic principles, so we have a hologram generating a hologram. Which again is really quite a strange idea.

JIM HAROLD: You touched on something there which to me is one of the most fascinating aspects of things that we’ve discussed over the years, and that is near-death experiences. I know that the skeptics and the materialists will say it’s the throes of a dying brain, this is the last thing that evolution has given us to have a kind of gentle settling as we die, and it’s all chemicals.

But then I think, then why can people – and we’ve interviewed Bruce Greyson, P.M.H. Atwater, people you’ve mentioned in your books, about this. The thing that is amazing to me is these same people that are supposedly just undergoing the throes of a dying brain can, in detail, report back what happened while they were either unconscious or dead for a short time. It’s like, how do you explain that one away?

ANTHONY PEAKE: This is the thing that always amuses me about materialist reductionists. They turn round and they say, “Oh, it’s all just chemicals in the brain. It’s things being released by the brain at the point of death.” Right, so we’re talking about chemicals in the brain – but the same scientists can’t explain how those selfsame chemicals create consciousness, how chemicals reacting with electricity in my brain create Tony Peake or Jim Harold. Our hopes, our dreams, everything about us. It’s just chemicals reacting with electricity. It’s called the hard problem of consciousness.

They hate me because of this. They very rarely engage with me because I play them at their own game. They’re saying it’s all just chemicals, and I’ll just point out, “You’re all just chemicals. That’s what you are. That’s what you believe yourself to be, just an amalgam of sentient chemicals in some way.” I’ve argued this many times to say, if consciousness is just an epiphenomenon of brain processes, at what point do we become conscious? Is it the addition of one molecule? Is it the addition of one atom? Is it the addition of one quark? Is it the addition of a down quark, an up quark? Is it a correlation between certain quarks?

Of course, they’ll argue, no, because there are things that come out of systems that are greater than the system. I don’t buy that one either. I really don’t, because whenever they use the analogies, they’re using chemical processes and things. It just doesn’t work that way.

So to me, the answer that the near-death experience is caused by chemicals in the brain I have no problems with. That doesn’t invalidate my model in any shape or form. In fact, it supports it because there’s been recent discoveries made – I don’t know if you saw the articles very recently about the guy who had died, literally died properly, while he was in an fMRI scanner. They were scanning his brain and they discovered there was a huge amount of activity in the brain as he died. And this activity, they turned round and said, was the panoramic life review. And of course, the panoramic life review is living your life again, which is part of the whole near-death experience scenario.

So to me, the scientists can’t undermine my hypothesis because it still happens in a live brain. It still happens within a brain that is functioning effectively. Do I believe that consciousness is an epiphenomenon, is something outside of the brain? Yes, I do. I believe that we are tuned in to a consciousness field. But I don’t need to even go down that route for cheating the Ferryman. And that’s why they don’t like me.

There are other people who have their ideas about near-death experiences, and you go wandering off and you meet your great-grandparents and everything else as well. I don’t need to go down that route. I don’t discredit those cases because there are too many of them. There’s no doubt the near-death experience happens. Nobody doubts that for a second. All that we are trying to understand is what its significance is. What’s its ontological value? What is its reason for being?

To say it makes people’s lives better as they die – how on earth can you square that with evolution? The idea of evolution is to make you more effective in your environment to survive. So why bother wasting chemicals on a dying brain that’s about to disappear out of it? It makes no rational sense – unless there’s something more going on.

And I would argue, and I’m working on this at the moment with associates of mine who are neurochemists and things – I believe that what takes place at the point of death is the pineal gland releases endogenous dimethyltryptamine. It synthesizes from melatonin a substance we are jokingly calling metatonin, which is endogenous DMT. And of course, as Rick Strassman has argued in his book DMT: The Spirit Molecule, he turns round there and says that DMT is our reality modulator. Reality is created by the chemicals in some way, and we are observing the effects of the chemicals.

In fact, I’m working very closely with a group of researchers at the moment at the Imperial College in London who are doing research into dimethyltryptamine under controlled conditions, and they’re getting some astonishing results. Astonishing. They are meeting entities who clearly are independent of them.

One guy went off in a DMT trip, for want of a better term, met an entity, and the entity turned round to him and said, “You shouldn’t be doing it this way. This is the wrong way to do it. Please don’t do this.” He then came back to this reality, then two weeks later went back into the laboratory again, took the DMT; the same creature came over and said, “I told you last time, don’t do it this way. You’re doing it wrongly.”

As he said to me, “If that was just a projection of my own subconscious on my own anticipations, it was contradicting what I wanted to do; it wasn’t reinforcing what I wanted to do. And it seemed to be annoyed with me.”

JIM HAROLD: Interesting. Very interesting indeed. As we come to a close here, what is the “endgame” to this? Or is there not an endgame? Does this go out into infinity? Do we just keep reliving our lives, as you said in the book, an improved version, hopefully, of our lives that we get to experience over and over? Is there an endgame? Is there a heaven? Or is this just forever?

ANTHONY PEAKE: Again, it’s one of these billion dollar questions that I genuinely don’t know. By the same token, I don’t know why there is something rather than nothing. I don’t know why I’m a conscious something experiencing something for an infinitesimally small amount of time. I don’t understand the rationale behind that either.

But I would like to believe that in some way, this is a reflection on the Tibetan Buddhist concept of the bardo state. You will probably know that in Tibetan Buddhism, which is effectively based upon a much more shamanic, older belief system called Bon, in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, you die, but before you die properly, you end up in something called the bardo state. And in the bardo state, you relive your life again. You see other things; you end up in this dream world.

What I’d argue is that we are all souls, daemons trying to perfect ourselves, and I believe that by living our life over and over again, as Connors does in the movie, we end up then living the good life. We end up becoming empathic, genuine human beings who are acknowledging that we are part of a greater something. And when that happens, we cease to be individuated in the way that the ego – the idea of Tony Peake or Jim Harold, the idea of this selfhood – and we realize that we are part of a greater something, a consciousness field, I don’t know what.

Or we actually realize that we are an emanation of God or the emanation of what I call the Godaemon. I argue, for instance, that the collective unconsciousness of humanity – in other words, the memories of all the daemons of all humanity and basically all animals – is itself a singular consciousness. And I believe that when people have regressive sessions and they go back to past lives as other people in other times in history, this is what they’re tuning in to. It’s an information field that contains everything. I call that the Uber-Daemon. It’s like Jung’s collective unconscious.

You move from the Eidolon – so the Eidolon lives one life and dies; the Daemon lives many lives till it lives the perfect life and dies; and then it moves on to becoming the Uber-Daemon, which is all of us, singularity. Then when the Uber-Daemon is ready to move on, it moves to what I call the Godaemon, and the Godaemon is the equivalent of what the Indians would call Brahman, what the Kabbalists would call the Ein Sof, and there is a similar term within mystical Islam, within Sufism.

All these great religions, at a greater level, at the more esoteric level of their belief systems, they’re all saying the same thing as what I’m saying. There is nothing different from what I’m saying to all the mystical traditions of all great religions. We are one consciousness, experiencing itself subjectively, and reality is not what it seems. I think that’s the reason behind it.

What then happens when you properly die – I’d like to argue that’s what happens. You move up through the levels. Can I ever prove that? Well, of course I can’t. But it makes sense to me, and in the final analysis, as I say to all my readers, it’s your decision. If you think that what I’m saying makes rational sense, that’s great. If you don’t, that’s great as well. What would be really good is if you could come back to me and tell me, where is my logic faulted? I’m an extremely logical person. Things have to be logically correct for me, and I have to be scientific. I do the science first, the logic second, and then I move into the hypotheses and the modeling. To me, that’s important.

So if somebody says, “Your science is wrong. Your understanding of the Schrodinger’s cat model, your understanding of the twin slit experiment, nonlocality, all these wonderful quantum physics effects” – if I’ve misunderstood them, just tell me, and I’ll revise my ideas. Because that’s not what I’m here to do. What I’m here to do is try to find answers. And that’s all I can do, and that’s what all of us can do, because we’re just here to find “What am I? What is the reason for my life? And where am I going?”

Otherwise, the whole scenario is, as I say at the start of the book, there were billions and billions of years; then something perceived something for an infinitesimally small amount of time and disappeared again for billions and billions of years. And that to me makes absolutely no sense.

JIM HAROLD: Well, I’ll tell you one thing. One thing we hope to achieve here is to make people think, and I think that we did that today. If you want to think on these big questions more, you should check out Cheating the Ferryman: The Revolutionary Science of Life After Death, the sequel to the bestselling book Is There Life After Death?. Anthony, where can people find more information about everything you do and the book?

ANTHONY PEAKE: In terms of contacting me or being involved in my work, there are various ways of doing that. My website is On there, you’ll find lots of information about me. If you wish to buy signed copies of the books, they’re all there.

But my books – I’m not self-published, I’m not vanity published. I’m traditionally published. The publishers pay me in advance and I write the book and then they go away and make the book for me, and they decide what it’s called and they decide the cover and everything else as well. So if you go into bookshops, you can go into your local bookshop and you can order my books. Some bookshops will have my book on the shelves.

You can also go onto Amazon, and on Amazon – this is the first time this has happened with any of my books – it’s out in paperback, it’s out in Kindle, and it’s also out in Audible. I just checked earlier on today, by the way, guys; the Audible book is in the Top 10 Bestsellers list on Amazon USA for near-death experiences, and that’s extraordinary. An unknown writer to be in the top 10 in America.

JIM HAROLD: It’s very, very well done. I listened to it. Anthony, thank you so much. We appreciate it, and we look forward to speaking with you in the future about what’s coming down the road. I’m sure there’ll be more.

ANTHONY PEAKE: Wonderful, Jim. Thank you very much for having me on the show.

JIM HAROLD: Thanks for tuning in to the Paranormal Podcast today. I really appreciated Anthony’s time. What a fascinating discussion and a fascinating theory, because we’re all wondering what’s up next, and Anthony has an interesting take on it indeed.

If you enjoy this show and great thinkers like Anthony, please make sure that you follow and subscribe so you never miss a free podcast as they come out. And if you want to get that back catalog we talked about earlier, go to That’s Have a great week, and stay spooky. Bye-bye. 

[outro music]