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The AWARE Study

The AWARE Study

The AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) study is the first launched by the Human Consciousness Project, a multidisciplinary collaboration of international scientists and physicians who have joined forces to study the relationship between mind and brain during clinical death, and is led by Dr. Sam Parnia, a world-renowned expert on the study of the human mind and consciousness during clinical death, together with Dr Peter Fenwick and Professors Stephen Holgate and Robert Peveler of the University of Southampton. The team will be working in collaboration with more than 25 major medical centers throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States.

Although the study of death has traditionally been considered a subject for theology or philosophy, recent advances in medicine have finally enabled a scientific approach to understanding the ultimate mystery facing humankind. “Contrary to popular perception,” Dr. Parnia explains, “death is not a specific moment. It is actually a process that begins when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working, and the brain ceases functioning – a medical condition termed cardiac arrest, which from a biological viewpoint is synonymous with clinical death.”

“During a cardiac arrest, all three criteria of death are present. Subsequently, there is a period of time, ranging from a few seconds to an hour or longer, in which emergency medical efforts may succeed in restarting the heart and reversing the dying process. What people experience during this period of cardiac arrest provides a unique window of understanding into what we are all likely to experience during the dying process.”

A number of recent scientific studies carried out by independent researchers have demonstrated that 10-20 per cent of people who go through cardiac arrest and clinical death report lucid, well structured thought processes, reasoning, memories, and sometimes detailed recall of events during their encounter with death.

“The remarkable point about these experiences,” according to Dr. Parnia, “is that while studies of the brain during cardiac arrest have consistently shown that there is no measurable brain activity, these subjects have reported detailed perceptions that indicate the contrary—namely, a high level of consciousness in the absence of detectable brain activity. If we can objectively verify these claims, the results would bear profound implications not only for the scientific community, but for the way in which we understand and relate to life and death as a society.”

During the AWARE study, physicians will use the latest technologies to study the brain and consciousness during cardiac arrest. At the same time, they will also be testing the validity of out of body experiences and claims of being able to see and hear during cardiac arrest through the use of randomly generated hidden images that are not visible unless viewed from specific vantage points above.

The study is being funded by the UK Resuscitation Council, the Horizon Research Foundation, and the Nour Foundation in the United States.


How Do You Reconcile the Message of NDEs With Terrorist Events?

In a time where it may seem that the NDE messages of love and compassion appear irreconcilable with recent terrorist attacks on the United States, there is a framework that may be useful for healing. There are many emotions and many questions. One of the hardest things to reconcile is how to lovingly and compassionately engage in war against terrorists and countries that harbor and train terrorists. Another problem was, how do you reconcile irreconcilable differences between two different ideologies of life? One way to heal emotions is to individually collect our own thoughts and write them down. Everyone will process the events differently. I realized that my processing came from news input and emotions as viewed through the lens of good and evil. This writing represents my struggles in reconciliation in hopes that it will help others to find their own path to make sense out of the recent events and come to peace within themselves.

At first blush, I’m not sure you can compare apples with oranges. But, on closer examination, what I see is an amazing spectrum of human behavior ranging from all that is good and compassionate in humanity, to the unspeakable horror and evil that exists within some people.

Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) represent the collective wisdom brought back when a person is resuscitated after experiencing clinical, physical death. Most people who experience NDEs come back with remarkably similar impressions of the afterlife. The messages that we read about talk of such immense “love times one million,” the interconnection of all life, and the all-knowing and all compassionate love of the infinite being. The other two remarkably similar observations are that there are lessons to learn on earth and these lessons center on the quality of our relationships with other people. The logical extension is that individual relationships are a microcosm of what we see between nations. Those who have experienced NDEs (NDErs) talk of “good” and “love” in terms of spiritual growth and our true home.

On the other hand, Dr. Peck, did an amazing expose of evil in his book, “People of the Lie.” (Simon & Schuster, NY, 1985) He talked about characteristics of evil in individuals and as a group mentality. The reason that I will spend more time talking about evil rather than the spirituality of good, is that most people, although exposed to evil, have not had the exposure of studying or classifying evil behavior. Typically, the study of evil is taboo outside religious circles and not a subject of professional discussion in our culture. A common understanding of the nature of evil is necessary before one can reconcile the message of NDEs with the current terrorist events.

The highlights of “People of the Lie,” can be summarized in a few paragraphs, but by no means does justice to the thoroughness and psychological investigation done by Dr. Peck over the past few decades. For those with more interest, I would urge them to read the entire book. For purposes of the discussion, a simplistic definition for evil acts are those that separate, fragment us from God, as opposed to loving acts which are those that bring us closer, in union with God.

Classic evil behavior is characterized as masterful hiding of evil deeds from detection. Evil is adept at being held non-accountable by deflecting responsibility for individual decisions or actions. Evil behaviors are such that evil will do anything to survive and has the highly developed skill to hide or mutate to avoid being exposed. Evil regresses thinking and reduces behavior to emotional knee-jerk responses such as anger, fear, and revenge. Moreover, evil must always be in control of all situations and so often, will exterminate the budding expressions of creativity, independent thinking, and any form of individual or collective exercising of the will in seeking to express that independent thought. Evil depends on creating its own version of the world and characteristically lives in a world based on lies. These lies, at a fundamental level, are core personality traits in all behaviors that mask truth. Essentially, these people see the world through rose-colored glasses since the evil within them prevents them from seeing the world as it truly exists. Id.

One of the psychological categories Dr. Peck describes is that these people are “malignantly narcissistic” and insist upon “affirmation independent of all findings.” Id., at 80. This brand of narcissism “afflicts the will” and characteristically tends to run in families. Id.. An interesting observation is that spiritual evolution and de-evolution are both, processes of development based upon exercising the individual will in a long series of choices. Again, those decisions that reconnect us with each other and ultimately to God, represent positive spiritual growth. Those decisions that divide and separate us from each other, and ultimately God, represent negative growth. The most important distinction for this analysis being the difference between evil acts and the people who commit the acts. For within every soul, one can find a spark of the divine that connects us all. Id.

Group evil is a macrocosm of individual evil. Id., pp 212-253. Groups tend to commit unspeakable horrors on other groups of people. Although there are people who are normally considered good who are mixed in with those who are not, there is a group mentality that will trigger bad actions even from good people. One of the causes of this phenomena is that groups are increasingly specialized. Id., pp 217-18. Specialization within a group contributes to immaturity, tends to aid ballooning bureaucracy and is amazingly effective for shifting the blame between other specialized groups. This makes it difficult for groups to accept responsibility for individual actions.

“In this way, not only does the individual forsake his conscience but the conscience of the group as a whole can become so fragmented and diluted as to be nonexistent. . . . [A]ny group will remain inevitably potentially conscienceless and evil until such time as each and every individual holds himself or herself directly responsible for the behavior of the whole group – the organism – of which he or she is a part. Id., 218.

In my own mind, I couldn’t start to parse out what would be an appropriate response to evil until I could deal with my own feelings. One of the first thoughts that went through my mind when I heard the news about the terrorist acts, was, “Retaliate! Nuke the b*******!!! Make them pay for the pain they have inflicted upon the U.S.!” A day later, when presented with the initial premise of how do you reconcile this attitude with the NDE truths espousing love and compassion for my fellow humans, I still had much the same answer and couldn’t come up with a different response. However, the question was enough to make me look rationally at what I was feeling and to determine an appropriate response more in keeping with my spiritual value system.

I dare say, everyone understands that the process was not an easy task. I felt at odds with what I mentally knew was spiritually right and the emotions of anger, outrage that someone could do this, and fear for my family’s future safety and that of my fellow Americans.

I was crying when I saw the horrific scenes of the WTC collapsing and people hurt or running in terror for their lives. I could feel the pain of those who described seeing people jump from the WTC buildings when faced with the decision on how to end their lives. I could feel the angst of the family members who described phone calls from heroic flight 93. There was sorrowful pride when they talked of their beloveds sacrificing their lives rather than let the terrorists continue on a course of certain destruction and loss of more U.S. lives. I was tremendously touched by the outpouring of courage, dedication, determination, assistance, and material goods by all facets of government and all of the individuals in the United States. America was united and focused on catching the perpetrators. The shear magnitude and speed of mobilization on the part of the American government and the citizens was staggering. There were feelings of awe and wonder to see the unprecedented scale of humanity at its best when called upon to act in times of national crisis.

I was glued to the news on television and also read the internet news. I looked at the pictures and heard the video streams. I was amazed that Yassir Arafat, a former terrorist in my mind, would donate blood to help the U.S. victims. I was touched by the world outpouring of prayers and vigils for our dead and wounded. All e-mail I received from other countries expressed their deepest sympathies and condolences for America. So many countries denounced the heinous terrorist actions and pledged to help us find the perpetrators.

On a local front, I was appalled that I heard several stories of persons residing in the U.S. who were happy that we, as a nation had gotten what we deserved. It made me angry that some U.S. citizens in Houston took it upon themselves to destroy a Muslim place of worship. I was disturbed that many U.S. citizens of Middle Eastern descent were afraid of being hassled if they went to donate blood. I was outraged that a teacher could embarrass a United States citizen of Turkish descent by interrogating the student as a terrorist suspect in front of her classmates.

One of the things that surprised me was the anti-American sentiment. We don’t usually hear these things via our media. Part of my anger came from indignation from hearing this news for the first time; part of it was the content of what was said. I was angered by the number of nations and individual people who expressed condolences for the victims, but not the United States. Many rationalized the attack was retaliation for the U.S. being such an arrogant world-bully. I couldn’t believe watching a Chinese fellow calling the kettle black in wake of Tieneman Square and mass slaughter/human rights violations of their own people. Who’s the bully? There were people shown partying in Palestine.

The Afghanistan government issued a statement to the effect that if we attacked them, there would be more terrorist attacks. The spokesperson, further, could not understand why the U.S. would want to attack such a poor country anyway. I was angry at the denial and non-accountability. Nowhere did the statement offer to stop hosting training camps for terrorists, nor any apology for supporting terrorists. It reminded me of Peck’s observation that evil regresses when responding to accusations. This was so much a childish response that, “if you attack us, we’ll attack you.” Nah, nah, nah-nah, nah, nah. The fact that he could even say there will be more terrorist attacks if you come after us, shows me that they still have ties to the terrorists and are willing to sacrifice more lives on both sides.

Hussein’s response, likewise, brought feelings of indignation to my chest. How dare he say that America and the West was the cause of world instability and for the embargo death of 1-1/2 million Iraqis without acknowledging their own national role in the embargo. How could he use this tragedy to further his own political agenda? What a classic evil response by shifting the blame and remaining unaccountable for their own actions. He failed to mention the governmental pig-headedness that would rather see their own people die in large quantities than to comply with international treaties. Iran’s statement, equally, was a classically evil response. They immediately blamed Isreal for the terrorist acts, showing that they really do live in a world of lies rather than to see the world as it really is.

I was given reason to pause and refine my initial condemnation of the Middle Eastern viewpoint by reading the questions posed by spiritual leader, Deepak Chopra and by a story related by his son, Gotham. Deepak Chopra asked many valid spiritually motivated questions, of which there were no easy answers, nor did he try to spoon-feed others with proper answers. I valued his humbleness and respect that he gave each person to answer and ponder the questions for themselves.

Gotham relayed a story from his recent visit to a Pakistan area that borders Afghanistan. The head-master of a religious school treated Gotham with respect and hospitality, as one would expect from one spiritual being to another. The Mullah spoke, “eloquently and without hostility.” He talked about “the history of the US and Afghanistan, how during the Cold War, they were allies, united fighting a war against the Soviets.” The strongest language allowing me to refine my thinking was,

“You gave us weapons and trained our men. You built our roads, fed our people. Do you realize young man that your government helps to create and to fund the Taliban because it was their interest to use Guerilla warfare and terrorist tactics against the Russians? You made us your friend. But then your Cold War ended and you deserted us. Because it was no longer in your selfish interest to have us as your allies, you abandoned us, left our people, hungry, and hateful. You turned your friends into foes because you used us like whores.”

When questioned about Mr. Bin Laden. The Mullah replied, "He's an old friend. And a good man." Gotham asked him, "Is he a terrorist?" The reply was, “We don't call him that here." Apparently, Bin Laden was more than just a terrorist. He was considered a hero by many in the Middle East. He represents ideals and lifestyles incompatible with the United States. To many, he symbolizes core Middle East values. Bin Laden espouses Fundamentalist Islamic views that they will not rest until all countries, chiefly the United States and Israel, are vacated from all of the Muslim holy places, including Jerusalem.

Two things occurred in my thinking process when trying to reconcile the message of NDEs with my thoughts and emotions as I observed the variety of scenes described above. The only framework that I could make sense of what I was seeing and feeling was through the lens of love vs. evil. Moreover, it was not as clear-cut as to what or who constitutes evil. I found that reconciliation was easier when I was able to distinguish good vs. evil behavior rather than concentrate on good vs. evil people or nations. To determine whether the behavior or actions were ultimately good or bad, I went back to the initially discussed definition of whether the action or behavior brings one closer or further away from God.

I quickly realized that it is not spiritual to retaliate as in an eye for an eye, randomized mass murder for randomized mass murder. Nor is it practical for a world superpower to “turn the other cheek.” It certainly isn’t spiritual for the United States to withdraw from the world, in favor of isolationism. Not only would this give the terrorists what they want, but it leaves our allies and the rest of the world open to complete terrorist reign. Although tempting, withdrawal does not take into account the vast amount of good that the U.S. does for and in other countries. No, you can’t “Nuke the b*******,” and the country that harbors them even if you identify the faceless cowards. This retaliatory response makes us no closer to God than bin Laden’s act of violence, since many innocent people would die. Uncomfortable though it made me, I was forced to acknowledge that it would be equally wrong for the United States to go after all terrorists if we did not also hold our own government accountable (regardless which agency is responsible) for using or sponsoring terrorism in other countries.

This line of reasoning made it easier for me to start the reconciliation process by focusing on what would constitute a loving act. All the while, I am reminded of biblical stories that even the Angels warred in heaven when Satin was cast out upon the earth. I am reminded that even the body on a cellular level produces white cells to defend the integrity of the whole body against invaders that destroy health and, ultimately, threaten the life of the body. Even if our response involves a show of force, there are justifiable uses of force when looking at proper responses to individual behaviors and other countries. We, collectively, as humans need to exercise correct choices to help humanity survive.

At this moment, the United States is perhaps among the most spiritually blessed people on earth. For out of the tragedy, the heavens must be witnessing an unprecedented outpouring of love and compassion towards fellow human beings. We have victims, but we also have heroes numbering in the thousands. If heavens were at a crossroads and considering there is nothing good left on earth to save from Armageddon, ours and other countries actions and mass outpouring of prayers show otherwise. Our human and national spirit has shown that a majority of people have taken a giant spiritual leap forward in union with God.

Opposite, and equally great in magnitude are the darkest of evil terrorist actions that fragment people and cause a tremendous loss of life. Such actions are calculated to maximize fear. Even if the attacks were a calculated “holy” war, they fail the spiritual test. Not only does the bombing cause murder, inflict human suffering on the United States, but consequences will inflict mass pain and suffering on their own people, the Muslim faith, and ultimately, the very existence of their social structure. This is not a loving act that will bring the fundamentalists closer to Allah.

It appears that God, again, is used to justify the means of continuing the reign of terrorism. Sadly, if we target bin Laden, there will just be another to take his place. This fact makes it easy to determine that future actions should reflect zero terrorist tolerance – anywhere. To do less, is to allow evil to continue fragmenting and destroying the human race.

Revenge is another fragmenting behavior. It is fed by anger and hate. It is inconceivable and insensitive that so many nations and people would bring up the faults of the United States in such a period of poignant mourning. Although some criticisms may be true, there is a time and a place to bring up such issues. Now is not the time to pour salt in the gaping wound of America. Since some other countries’ critiques are calculated to divide and fragment people, they are not spiritual actions. However proper it may be to acknowledge and change any foreign policies in the U.S., this is an action for the future rather than an immediate response to the immediate terrorist acts. Again, now is not the time to roll over and withdraw from world affairs.

Moreover, any actions that the United States or any individual takes, needs to be motivated not from anger, revenge, or hatred. A spiritual and willful choice is one that unifies and brings mankind closer to God. The golden rule is to determine what decisions will maximize the most love and growth for all people. Under this criteria, it makes sense that the priorities should be about security, rebuilding people’s lives, exposing evil, and making evil people accountable for their evil actions.

To this end, the actions to protect Americans at home by beefing up security at airports and domestically are spiritual actions. Helping to rebuild New York City is a spiritual endeavor. Those who commit evil terrorist acts need to be made to stop. I think everyone can agree that the terrorists and their camps need to be obliterated to keep the United States and others from being victimized. And in light of the revelation from the Mullah, mentioned above, I would emphasize that ALL terrorist acts or terrorist sponsorship needs to stop.

As for the need for war, it depends on who and how we fight. In a traditional war, if there are countries that are 1) willing to admit that harboring terrorists is wrong and are 2) willing to turn all known terrorist and/or information on terrorists over to authorities, then evil is acknowledged and held accountable for its actions through relatively peaceful means. If there are countries supporting terrorists that react in righteous denial, then our actions should be calculated towards losing the least amount of lives in the least oppressive manner (on both sides) to effectively eradicate the terrorists and their camps.

However, it appears that this war will be very untraditional. The evil of terrorism is pervasive in just about all nations and the mobile and cellular lifestyle of the small groups of three to five individuals makes them difficult to trace. It makes no sense to treat American Arabs like we did the Japanese in World War II. When the FBI is scrambling to get enough interpreters, it is the loyal United States citizens of Afghanistan descent that may save us all.

Terrorism is too much like a virus that mutates using the infrastructure of its host to infect humanity. Viruses infect everyone irregardless of different skin colors, religions, or ethnic origins, leaving a wide path of destruction, and weakens the body of humanity. The cure is to keep the body, mind, emotions, and spirit, healthy so that it easily fights off any hint of disease. Instead of lashing out blindly at others out of fear and anger, we have been spiritually challenged to come out of our apathetic, daily routine and to take an active part in loving ourselves and others. We have been asked to keep our eyes open and pay attention to one another. The most interesting part of this process will be spiritual growth. For in order to expose the terrorists, we will need to personally confront evil within ourselves, our families, our communities, and our institutions. Then and only then, will we be able to expose and confront the evil terrorists who choose to live as people of the lie.

When faced with making choices that will change our world forever, correct choices that bring us closer to God should be our guiding principal. The NDErs talk of lessons and relationships. One of my favorite points made by Dr. Peck is when he talks of the relationship between goodness and stress.

“He who behaves nobly in easy times – a fair-weather friend, so to speak – may not be so noble when the chips are down. Stress is the test for goodness. The truly good are they who in time of stress do not desert their integrity, their maturity [meaning they don’t regress to childish emotions and behaviors], their sensitivity. Nobility might be defined as the capacity not to regress in response to degradation, not to become blunted in the face of pain, to tolerate the agonizing and remain intact. . . . [O]ne measure – and perhaps the best measure – of a person’s greatness is the capacity for suffering.” Id. P. 222.

New Yorker’s passed the litmus test for goodness by weathering stress with the utmost integrity. It is my hope that a mature United States, although a relatively young nation, can rise to the test and not desert their values, high standards of integrity or sensitivity to the needs of others. How we respond to such a tremendous national blow is a direct measure of our nobility. We have remained amazingly intact and can do a lot of good for ourselves and the world by exercising proper choices, love and compassion. The American ingrained values of life, liberty, and justice for all are new lessons for all of us as these words take on global meaning. This is the message of NDErs and this is one way to reconcile current world events.

E-mail: Jody, NDERF


Examples of Homecoming in the NDE

amples of Homecoming in the NDE

Betty Bethard's NDE homecoming experience:

When you die you are greeted by loved ones first so that you may understand what has happened. There is a big celebration, like a birthday party, heralding your arrival. Family and friends who have gone on before you are there to celebrate your arrival. There is always good at the time of your cross-over. Even people who have lived lives of selfishness will know and understand the rejoicing. Whatever you have sown you are going to reap in terms of structuring your experiences and lessons which continue on the other side. But the first few days of cross-over (as you know time on the Earth plane) you are allowed to be with your teachers, and those who have loved you in the past. You are able to see those you left behind and to hear their thoughts and words. The first six weeks we stay very close to our loved ones on the Earth plane ... After the first six weeks the soul meets with what may be called a loving board of directors. It is composed of teachers and other higher beings who have walked with you. These beings help you review your past life, to begin to look at what was learned and not learned, and what you wish to work on or do from this point. (Betty Bethards)

Ned Dougherty's NDE homecoming experience:

I turned to my right, realizing that a group of spiritual beings had joined us on the celestial field. This event was indeed a homecoming for me. Among the group of spiritual beings, I recognized deceased friends and relatives from my life. I also recognized other friends from my spiritual life prior to my birth on Earth. I was filled with joy when I recognized my grandparents, aunts, and uncles who had died during my life. However, I was disappointed because I did not see my Dad among the group. I then recognized other friends from my life, including a girl from high school. I did not know she had died. The feelings of love and joy that I shared with these relatives and friends were far beyond the emotions I had shared with them during my life. As the child of an alcoholic and broken home, I did not communicate feelings to relatives or friends very well. In fact, I wasn't aware that I had many feelings. Most of my feelings were hidden inside. Now that I was at my homecoming as a spiritual being, the greetings were the kind that I had imagined took place in a healthy family. It seemed as if we were celebrating every major holiday, every birth and birthday, every wonderful event in all of our lives in a manner that we could never celebrate as mortal human beings. I wanted this celebration and homecoming to continue forever, but a silence suddenly fell across the crowded amphitheater. (Ned Dougherty)

Sylvia Browne's psychic revelations:

Most people, who go through the heavenly process, go through a tunnel and towards the light of God. They return home to the place they came from on the other side. Here, they have a reunion with family and friends who have departed before them. After the reunion, most of us are lead by our spirit guide to a building on the other side called the Hall of Wisdom. In a sacred room, we see our lives flash before us ... Once a person has adjusted to the transition, they can visit a place called the Hall of Records where historical data is stored such as the charts of everyone's past lives. Another beautiful structure is the Hall of Justice where people go before the Council of Elders who are highly advanced spokespersons of God who help us decide how we are to progress further into the spirit realm. Sylvia describes seven levels of advancement and they are: (1) The reunion and homecoming previously discussed, (2) The orientation process previously discussed, (3) Becoming skilled in a particular vocation, (4) Becoming creative in the arts, (5) Researching areas of progress and passing the knowledge to Earth through a process of infused knowledge, (6) Becoming a teacher or leader, (7) Forfeiting your identity as a personality by willingly absorbing into the light of God. (Sylvia Browne)

Betty Eadie's NDE homecoming experience:

Life does not end when we die. Death is a rebirth into a spirit world of light and love, a transition from the physical to the spiritual that is no more frightening or painful than passing between rooms through an open doorway. It is a joyful homecoming to our natural home. (Betty Eadie)

George Anderson's psychic revelations:

Well, according to what they say, go through the different levels of consciousness. We're working our way up. It's like, to go up to the twelfth grade, you've got to pass the first through the eleventh. When we pass on, we do go into the tunnel, we can go through these little darker levels, which can represent a form of hell or purgatory, because these are the two negative levels, or the darker ones. But if we've been a good person, we generally just seem to pass through them very quickly and then we go on through the third and fourth levels of consciousness, where average people such as ourselves go - not everybody can be a Mother Teresa, who would probably go higher up. When we go through these levels we meet our relatives and friends greeting us at the end of the tunnel, much as in the movie Resurrection, where they're waiting and they lead us into the light. And there's like a form of spiritual rejuvenation, like a reunion, like a party, 'Hey, it's great to see you again.' We recognize each other by personality. As we all have individual, unique fingerprints, we each have a very singular personality. (George Anderson)

Dr. Elisabeth Kbler-Ross' NDE research:

His entire family had piled into a family van and were on the way to pick him up when this tragic accident occurred which burned his entire family to death. He shared the shock and the numbness, the utter disbelief of suddenly being a single man, of having had children and suddenly becoming childless, of living without a single close relative. He told of his total inability to come to grips with it. He shared how he changed from a money-earning, decent, middle-class husband and father to a total bum, drunk every day from morning to night, using every conceivable drug and trying to commit suicide in every conceivable way, yet never able to succeed. His last recollection was that after two years of literally bumming around, he was lying on a dirt road at the edge of a forest, drunk and stoned as he called it, trying desperately to be reunited with his family. Not wanting to live, not even having the energy to move out of the road when he saw a big truck coming toward him and running over him.

It was at this moment that he watched himself in the street [sic], critically injured, while he observed the whole scene of the accident from a few feet above. It was at this moment that his family appeared in front of him, in a glow of light with an incredible sense of love. They had happy smiles on their faces, and simply made him aware of their presence, not communicating in any verbal way but in the form of thought transference, sharing with him the joy and happiness of their present existence. This man was not able to tell us how long this reunion lasted. He was so awed by his family's health, their beauty, their radiance and their total acceptance of this present situation, by their unconditional love. He made a vow not to touch them, not to join them, but to re-enter his physical body so that he could share with the world what he had experienced. It would be a form of redemption for his two years of trying to throw his physical life away. It was after this vow that he watched the truck driver carry his totally injured body into the car. He saw an ambulance speeding to the scene of the accident, he was taken to the hospital's emergency room and he finally re-entered his physical body, tore off the straps that were tied around him and literally walked out of the emergency room. He never had delirium tremens or any aftereffects from the heavy abuse of drugs and alcohol. He felt healed and whole, and made a commitment that he would not die until he had the opportunity of sharing the existence of life after death with as many people as would be willing to listen. It was after reading a newspaper article about my appearance in Santa Barbara that he sent a message to the auditorium. By allowing him to share with my audience he was able to keep the promise he made at the time of his short, temporary, yet happy reunion with his entire family. (Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross)

Aziz Khabirpour's research paper on NDEs:

Meeting others during a NDE is not uncommon, and often has great effect upon the person's being afterwards. The people they meet are either family members or very close friends. These people, in form of spiritual beings, are usually there to either protect or guide the person. It is not always common for the person to be seen, but usually they are more felt'. One woman who met her family when she died states, I felt that they had come to protect or guide me. It was almost as if I was coming home, and they were there to greet or welcome me. All this time, I had the feeling of everything light and beautiful. It was a beautiful and glorious moment (Moody 55). Accounts have also been reported where the dead person is guided around by his/her pet, that he/she used to have. The people one encounters with are usually people that played an important role in ones life. The people that were seen could often be described as soul mates. So this shows how only people that we have a special bond with in this life, will we encounter in the next. (Aziz Khabirpour)

Michelle Dillon's NDE homecoming experience:

And then I was Home and I knew it was Home and I wasn't afraid. I saw lots of people I knew, some of whom I've since met, and a lot of whom I knew were "related" but that wasn't what mattered. What mattered was that I KNEW them and they KNEW me and we hadn't said a word. Or, well, we had, sort of, only not SAID. But I have never since been involved in such a joyful welcome, being loved, totally loved. (Michelle Dillon)

Randy Gehling's NDE homecoming experience:

Randy could hear beautiful music playing somewhere off in the distance. "Just a little ways off I could see a bridge with someone standing on it. Beyond the bridge, I saw a golden city with towers like European castles. The whole city seemed to be shining with light that shot up into the sky like a giant searchlight. I could see that some of the domes of the city were red, others were gold, and a few were blue. The gates and walls of the city seemed to be made of bright blue, red, and violet lights." Randy asked Areo if they were going to visit the city. The angel nodded. "That's to be your new home, Randy." They began walking toward the bridge to the city, and Randy saw that the man standing awaiting them was his Grandpa Hansen. Randy ran to his grandfather and felt his strong arms close around him. Grandpa Hansen had been a farmer all of his life in Minnesota. He had died, still a powerful man, when Randy was six. Randy asked his beloved grandfather if he would now be living with him in heaven. "One day," Grandpa Hansen told him. "But not just yet." When Randy questioned his grandfather, he told him that he still had things to learn on Earth. (Randy Gehling)

Laurelynn Martin's NDE homecoming experience:

As I admired the beauty of the light, I was drawn closer, feeling the radiant warmth, infinite love and lasting peace. I felt as if I were home home in the light. Before I became further engulfed in the light, I became aware of many spirits. They surrounded, embraced and supported my journey with their gentleness, knowledge and guidance. I felt one of them approach from my right upper side. This familiar presence came forward and my feelings changed to sheer joy when I discovered my thirty year old brother-in-law, the one who had died seven months earlier from cancer. My essence moved to meet his essence. I couldn't see with my eyes or hear with my ears, yet I instinctively knew that it was "Wills." I heard his smile, saw his laughter and felt his humor. It didn't make sense, but it made complete sense. We were separate but we were also one. It was as if I had come home and my brother-in-law was here to greet me. I instantly thought how glad I was to be with him, because now I could make up for the last time I had seen him before his death. I felt sad and a bit guilty for not taking the time out of my busy schedule to have a heart-to-heart talk with him when he had asked me to. I realized I was not being judged by him but by myself. I was in his position dying, wanting to say goodbye to those I loved, and then meeting people like myself not "getting it" not getting that all the achievement, money or recognition in the world cannot be taken with you when you die. The only thing you take with you is the love you give away. (Laurelynn Martin)

Karen Schaeffer's NDE homecoming experience:

Immediately I was in the most beautiful serene place I had ever been. My grandfather, another person whom I had known in a previous life, and a guardian were ready to help me with the transition. They told me of the accident, showed me the site. It was my time to come home they said. The overwhelming love and happiness of that place was so inviting. (Karen Schaeffer)

Dr. Michael Newton's regression research:

After physical death, a soul's journey back home ends with debarkation into the space reserved for their own colony, as long as they are not a very young soul or isolated for other reasons. The souls represented in these cluster groups are intimate old friends who have the same awareness level. Members of the same cluster group are closely united for all eternity. These tightly-knit clusters are often composed of like-minded souls with common objectives which they continually work out with each other. Usually they choose lives together as relatives and close friends during their incarnations on Earth. (Dr. Michael Newton)

Barbara Springer's NDE homecoming experience:

I then became aware of a bright heavenly being. I felt as if I was in the presence of God. This being had light radiating from him and he embraced me. And when he embraced me, I could feel the most powerful love. It is the greatest love that there is in the universe. There is no greater love. It was absolute, total, real, great, engulfing love. I felt the love surrounding me. I felt it flowing through me. There really are no words. I can't find words to explain how I felt. The amount of joy I felt. The amount of love I knew I was being given. I felt as if I had come home. I knew this is where I actually belonged. Even though I love Earth and I love living here. But when I was encountered by that being, I knew I had come home. (Barbara Springer)

Barbara Marie's NDE homecoming experience:

And then there was a period of being embraced by this love and peace and serenity and knowing I had reached my final destination, that this was truly a home. It gave new meaning to the word "home." This, she realized, was where she actually belonged. This is where she wanted to permanently be. (Barbara Marie)

Arthur Yensen's NDE homecoming experience:

As the heaven-people gathered around, the oldest, largest and strongest-looking man announced pleasantly, "You are in the land of the dead. We lived on Earth, just like you, till we came here." With unbounded enthusiasm I shouted, "This is wonderful!" "It's marvelous!" they answered. Then with delight they told me how I could swim around in the lake as long as I pleased and when I came out, I'd be dry! Another one said, "You can run, jump, dance, sing and play as much as you want to and you'll never get tired!" Then I noticed that the landscape was gradually becoming familiar. It seemed as if I had been here before. I remembered what was on the other side of the mountains. Then with a sudden burst of joy, I realized that this was my real home! Back on Earth I had been a visitor, a misfit, and a homesick stranger. With a sigh of relief, I said to myself, "Thank God I'm back again. This time I'll stay!" (Arthur Yensen)


Ian McCormick's NDE


Ian McCormick's NDE

One night while diving for lobster on the small Island of Mauritius I was stung on my forearm by 5 Box-Jellyfish, which the local Creole fishermen called "invisables" A sting from a Box-Jellyfish often proves to be fatal - as exemplified in Australia where 70 people are known to have died from their stings. Many books quote this particular type of Jellyfish to be among the most venomous creatures in the world.

By the time an ambulance arrived my body was totally paralyzed and necrosis had begun to set into my bone marrow. On route to the hospital I began to see my life flash before me. At this point of my life I was an atheist - but I knew I was nearly dead and I didn't know if there was life after death or whether there was just nothing. As I lay there dying, I saw my mother in a vision praying for me, encouraging me to cry out to God from my heart and He would hear me and forgive me (my mother was the only Christian in our family.) I didn't know what to pray and cried out that if God was real, could He help me to pray. Immediately God showed me the Lord’s Prayer, and for the first time in my life I prayed from my heart and gave my life to the Lord.

Death & Hell

The ambulance stopped and they placed me in a wheel chair and raced me into the hospital. The nurse took my blood pressure twice but could not find a pulse as my veins had collapsed. The doctors tried to save my life by injecting anti-toxins and dextrose into my body, but seemingly to no avail. Within a few minutes I seemed to slip away (apparently life ceased from my body for a period of approx. 15 minutes).

During this time I found myself in a very dark place, not realizing where I was. So I tried to find a light switch, thinking I was still in the hospital - but as I reached out into the dark I couldn't touch anything. Reaching to touch my face I found my hand go straight through it. It seemed so bizarre, as I knew I was standing there but couldn't touch any part of my physical body.

As I stood there I began to sense that this wasn't just a physical darkness but that there was something else there. I could feel a cold eerie feeling as though something or someone was looking at me - a spiritual darkness. From the darkness I began to hear men’s voices screaming at me telling me to "shut up" - "that I deserved to be there" - "that I was in Hell". I couldn't believe it, but as I stood there a radiant beam of light shone through the darkness and immediately began to lift me upward. I found myself being translated up into an incredibly brilliant beam of pure white light - it seemed to be emanating from a circular opening far above me (I felt like a speck of dust being drawn up into a beam of sunlight).

The Journey

I entered this opening to find myself inside a long narrow passageway or tunnel - at the far end of the tunnel I could see the source of the light - it was so radiant that it looked to be the centre of the universe. As I continued to look towards this light it seemed to draw me towards it at an incredible speed - I wasn't walking but was being translated along this tunnel towards the source of this light. I watched as a wave of light broke off the source and moved up the tunnel towards me - as it passed through me I could feel a wave of warmth and comfort flood my soul … it was incredible. This light wasn't just physical, but was giving off a living emotion … Halfway down another wave of light - this time it gave off pure peace - followed by another wave - of pure joy. Coming out of the end of this tunnel I found myself standing in the presence of awesome light and power - it seemed as though even the constellations in the universe must find their energy source from this focal point.

As I stood there I wondered to myself if this was just an energy source in the universe or if perhaps there could be someone standing in the midst of this light!!!!! A voice immediately responded to my thought and asked me "Ian, do you wish to return?" Return, I thought!!! Where am I??? As I looked over my shoulder I could see the tunnel going back into darkness.

The Light

I thought - darkness - hospital bed - am I out of my body? - is this real? - am I standing here? - or am I in a coma having some bizarre dream? Am I in my body or out of my body?? (I could cognitively think of the two alternatives.) As I looked back towards the light, it was still there ... I responded "I don't know where I am, but if I am out of my physical body I wish to return." The voice responded "If you wish to return - you must see in a new light." "New light", I thought, "I'm seeing the light." "Are you the true light???" Words appeared in front of me "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5)." I had never read a Bible before in my life so I didn't know this was straight out of the scriptures. God is light, I thought - that is pure light - I see no darkness here, I have just come from darkness - I see no evil, no shadows - this is pure light - am I standing in the presence of God??? He knows my name and I didn't tell Him, only God could do that - He knows what I am thinking before I even speak, only God could do that. Then he must be able to see everything I have done wrong in my life ... no ... I don't want God to see that. I felt totally exposed and wanted to move away from the light and go back into the darkness where I belonged. I thought someone had made a mistake and brought the wrong person up. As I drew back towards the darkness a wave of light swept through me ... I felt pure unadulterated Love flow over me. Love I thought, how could God love me - I've taken his name in vain - I've slept around - I'm not a good man … but no matter what I said, waves of His unconditional Love continued to flow over me. I found myself weeping uncontrollably in His Presence. It was so amazing that He had totally forgiven me and accepted me as I was.

The waves of Love ceased and I wondered if I could possibly step into the light and see what God looked like. I was so close. ... I asked if I could step in. ..???.. I heard no response but thought if God could love me so much, He wouldn't mind …. As I stepped into the light I found myself disappear into it as it was so radiant - it had the intensity of laser light, yet you could look directly at it. The light seemed to absorb me into it - the centre seemed to be very bright so I aimed for it - I could feel a healing presence coming off this light that was healing my broken heart ... it was touching me deep inside my heart of hearts where no one gets to see … so beautiful.


Suddenly it opened up in the centre and standing in front of me was the most awesome sight - I could see a man standing in front of me, but he was not like anyone I'd ever seen before in my life. His garments were shimmering white in color - garments of light - I could see His bare feet and His hands were outstretched towards me as if to welcome me. I knew I was looking upon God … as I looked toward His face the intensity of the light seemed to increase 7-fold - you couldn't make out the form of his face as the light was so bright - such purity, such holiness, such beauty. I asked God if I could step closer. I felt I could, I wanted to see His face. Moving closer waves of more Love began to flow towards me, and I felt very safe. Standing, now feet away, from the Lord I tried to see His face - but I didn't know that no man can see the face of God and live. And so, as I moved my face into the radiance that surrounded His face, He moved - and all His Glory moved with Him. Directly behind Him it opened out into a brand new World - green pastures, a crystal clear stream, rolling green hills to my right, mountains in the distance, blue skies above, to my left fields interspersed with trees and flowers. As I looked at the grass in front of me I could see the same light that was on the presence of God was radiating throughout this entire creation - totally untouched by man - perfect creation. And in my heart I knew I belonged here, that God had created me to live here - I knew I was home.


I was just about to enter in and explore, when God stepped back in front of me, and asked me this question. "Now that you have seen - do you wish to step in or do you wish to return?" I thought, "I don't want to return. I wish to step in. I have no one to go back for and no one has ever loved me, all they've ever done is manipulate me and try to control me ... I have no one to go back for, I wish to step in." But God didn't move, so I looked back behind me to say "goodbye, cruel world", and standing behind me in a vision in front of the tunnel was my mother. And as soon as I saw her I knew that there was one person in my life that had shown me love, and that was my mother, and that she had prayed for me every day and tried to show me that this was the way. In my mind I thought, "if I am dead and I did choose to step into heaven, what would my mother think? Would she know I made it or would she think I went to Hell - because she knew I had no Faith? … I realized that it could break her heart and that she would have no reason to believe that God had heard my prayer in the ambulance and forgiven my sins. … I thought, "how can I do that to my mum, it would be so selfish" … and decided I wished to return.

God then spoke to me and said, "If I wished to return - I must see things in a new light." I understood that to mean that I must begin to see through his eyes of Love, Peace, Joy, Forgiveness, from His Heavenly perspective, not my temporary earthly perspective. Looking back towards the tunnel again I now could see a vision of all my family, and thousands and thousands of other people. I asked God who all these people were, and He told me that if I didn't return then many of these people would not get a chance to hear about Him….

I told God that I didn't know most of them and I didn't love them, but that I loved my mother and wished to return for her. God spoke to me and told me that He loved those people and wanted them all to come to know Him. I asked God how could I possibly return back down the tunnel and back into my hospital bed. He spoke and said "Son, tilt your head, now feel the liquid drain from your eye. Now open your eye and see." And I was immediately back in my physical body.

Back to earth

As I opened my eye, I was lying back on a hospital bed with my right leg elevated, cupped in the hands of the young Indian doctor who had been trying to save my life. He had a scalpel or some sharp instrument in his hand and he was prodding the base of my foot like a dead piece of meat. He wasn't aware that I was looking at him. I thought, "what's that man doing with my foot, what is he doing with that knife!!!!!!" At the same time something seemed to spook the doctor and he quickly turned his head to see my right eye open, looking at him… Terror struck his face and I got the distinct impression that he has just seen a dead man looking at him… My eye wasn't moving much and I could see the doctor thinking to himself that perhaps he had hit a nerve in my foot and caused the corpse to twitch, and that he had the evil eye looking at him or something. As for me, I was trying to grapple with what I had just seen. … Did I just see God, has He just given my life back??? As I lay there I heard the voice of God say "Son, I have just given you your life back." I said if that is true God, could you help me to tilt my head to the left and look out of the other eye, as I was getting sick of looking at the doctor’s terrified face. Strength came back into my neck and I opened my left eye to see a whole bunch of nurses and orderlies standing in the doorway looking at me as if the dead had just risen … As my eye locked onto theirs they began to jump backwards out of the doorway. From what I can ascertain I had been dead for a period of some 15 minutes. I prayed to God that night and asked him to heal me and enable me to walk out of the hospital. That night God completely healed me and enabled me to walk out of the hospital the next day.

I asked God what I had become, as I found my entire life was changing for good. God told me I was a Re-Born Christian and that he wanted me to read His Bible. I had never read a Bible and had never heard about being Born-Again. Over the next 6 weeks I read the entire Bible. I have never been the same, and believe that I saw our Lord Jesus Christ in His Glorified form (Rev. 1 : 13 -18)



What Is Jainism?

Numbers: One of the oldest religious traditions of India, Jainism has existed side by side with Hinduism throughout its long history. With fewer than 5 million adherents and comprising less than 1% the Indian population, Jainism has demonstrated a remarkable tenacity and endurance and continues to exert an influence far beyond its small numbers.

Founder: Jainism (the name derives from a Sanskrit word meaning "follower of the Jina, or conqueror") was established in our era by Mahavira ("the Great Hero") in the sixth century B.C.E. In fact, Mahavira is considered only the most recent in a list of 24 such teachers who brought Jainism into the world during previous great cosmic eras of time. These teachers, or "Tirthankaras," taught a path to religious awakening based on renouncing the world by practice of strict religious austerity. Mahavira established a monastic community of both nuns and monks. This community is the oldest continually surviving monastic community in the world.

Main Tenets: Jains reject belief in a creator god and seek release from endless reincarnation through a life of strict self-denial. The title of Jina is given to those who are believed to have triumphed over all material existence. As all human activity accumulates karma, the force that perpetuates reincarnation, the only way to free one's jiva, or soul, from the bondage of material existence is by reducing this activity through ascetic practice. In addition, Jainism places a special emphasis on ahimsa ("non-injury") to all living beings. The concern for life is extended to all creatures, even minute microbes that are not visible. The Jain ideal is a mendicant ascetic who takes extreme measures to avoid injuring all creatures. Monks and nuns are sometimes seen with muslin cloths over their mouths to keep out flying insects, and they are enjoined to use small brooms to gently sweep away living creatures from their path, so as to not accidentally crush them.

Main Sacred Text: The sacred texts of the Jains are called Agamas. The two main branches of Jainism share many of the same sacred texts in common, but since their split in the fifth century C.E., they have developed different traditions of textual transmission. Both branches claim that authority for the most ancient texts derives from Mahavira, who was in turn enunciating sacred truths that the Tirthankaras before him had taught. Handed down orally in the monastic communities, the sacred literature was not written down until about 500 C.E.

There are several differences between the two traditions of Jainism, the Shvetambaras ("white-clad monastics") and the Digambaras ("sky-clad monastics"). Shvetambaras believe that monks and nuns should be permitted to wear a simple white robe. Digambaras require monks to be nude.

Read more: http://www.beliefnet...x#ixzz21rQutINC


People Born Blind Can See During a NDE

People Born Blind Can See During a NDE

Dr. Kenneth Ring's NDE Research of the Blind

kenneth_ring.jpgVicki Umipeg, a forty-five year old blind woman, was just one of the more than thirty persons that Dr. Ken Ring and Sharon Cooper interviewed at length during a two-year study just completed concerning near-death experiences of the blind. The results of their study appear in their newest book Mindsight. Vicki was born blind, her optic nerve having been completely destroyed at birth because of an excess of oxygen she received in the incubator. Yet, she appears to have been able to see during her NDE. Her story is a particularly clear instance of how NDEs of the congenitally blind can unfold in precisely the same way as do those of sighted persons. As you will see, apart from the fact that Vicki was not able to discern color during her experience, the account of her NDE is absolutely indistinguishable from those with intact visual systems. The following is an excerpt from Dr. Ring's latest book reprinted by permission.

Vicki told Dr. Ring she found herself floating above her body in the emergency room of a hospital following an automobile accident. She was aware of being up near the ceiling watching a male doctor and a female nurse working on her body, which she viewed from her elevated position. Vicki has a clear recollection of how she came to the realization that this was her own body below her. The following is her experience.

I knew it was me ... I was pretty thin then. I was quite tall and thin at that point. And I recognized at first that it was a body, but I didn't even know that it was mine initially.

Then I perceived that I was up on the ceiling, and I thought, "Well, that's kind of weird. What am I doing up here?" I thought, "Well, this must be me. Am I dead? ..."

I just briefly saw this body, and ... I knew that it was mine because I wasn't in mine.

In addition, she was able to note certain further identifying features indicating that the body she was observing was certainly her own.

I think I was wearing the plain gold band on my right ring finger and my father's wedding ring next to it. But my wedding ring I definitely saw ... That was the one I noticed the most because it's most unusual. It has orange blossoms on the corners of it.

There is something extremely remarkable and provocative about Vicki's recollection of these visual impressions, as a subsequent comment of hers implied.

"This was," she said, "the only time I could ever relate to seeing and to what light was, because I experienced it."

She then told them that following her out-of-body episode, which was very fast and fleeting, she found herself going up through the ceilings of the hospital until she was above the roof of the building itself, during which time she had a brief panoramic view of her surroundings. She felt very exhilarated during this ascension and enjoyed tremendously the freedom of movement she was experiencing. She also began to hear sublimely beautiful and exquisitely harmonious music akin to the sound of wind chimes.

With scarcely a noticeable transition, she then discovered she had been sucked head first into a tube and felt that she was being pulled up into it. The enclosure itself was dark, Vicki said, yet she was aware that she was moving toward light. As she reached the opening of the tube, the music that she had heard earlier seemed to be transformed into hymns and she then "rolled out" to find herself lying on grass.

She was surrounded by trees and flowers and a vast number of people. She was in a place of tremendous light, and the light, Vicki said, was something you could feel as well as see. Even the people she saw were bright.

Everybody there was made of light. And I was made of light. What the light conveyed was love. There was love everywhere. It was like love came from the grass, love came from the birds, love came from the trees.

Vicki then becomes aware of specific persons she knew in life who are welcoming her to this place. There are five of them. Debby and Diane were Vicki's blind schoolmates, who had died years before, at ages 11 and 6, respectively.

In life, they had both been profoundly retarded as well as blind, but here they appeared bright and beautiful, healthy and vitally alive.

And no longer children, but, as Vicki phrased it, "in their prime."

In addition, Vicki reports seeing two of her childhood caretakers, a couple named Mr. and Mrs. Zilk, both of whom had also previously died. Finally, there was Vicki's grandmother - who had essentially raised Vicki and who had died just two years before this incident. In these encounters, no actual words were exchanged, Vicki says, but only feelings - feelings of love and welcome.

In the midst of this rapture, Vicki is suddenly overcome with a sense of total knowledge.

I had a feeling like I knew everything ... and like everything made sense. I just knew that this was where ... this place was where I would find the answers to all the questions about life, and about the planets, and about God, and about everything ... It's like the place was the knowing.

As these revelations are unfolding, Vicki notices that now next to her is a figure whose radiance is far greater than the illumination of any of the persons she has so far encountered. Immediately, she recognizes this being to be Jesus. He greets her tenderly, while she conveys her excitement to him about her newfound omniscience and her joy at being there with him.

Telepathically, he communicates to her.

"Isn't it wonderful? Everything is beautiful here, and it fits together. And you'll find that. But you can't stay here now. It's not your time to be here yet and you have to go back."

Vicki reacts, understandably enough, with extreme disappointment and protests vehemently.

"No, I want to stay with you."

But the being reassures her that she will come back, but for now, she "has to go back and learn and teach more about loving and forgiving."

Still resistant, however, Vicki then learns that she also needs to go back to have her children. With that, Vicki, who was then childless but who "desperately wanted" to have children (and who has since given birth to three) becomes almost eager to return and finally consents.

However, before Vicki can leave, the being says to her, in these exact words, "But first, watch this."

And what Vicki then sees is "everything from my birth" in a complete panoramic review of her life, and as she watches, the being gently comments to help her understand the significance of her actions and their repercussions.

The last thing Vicki remembers, once the life review has been completed, are the words, "You have to leave now."

Then she experiences "a sickening thud" like a roller-coaster going backwards, and finds herself back in her body.

Such reports, replete with visual imagery, were the rule, not the exception, among Ring and Cooper's blind respondents. Altogether, 80% of their entire sample claimed some visual perception during their near-death or out-of-body encounters. Although Vicki's was unusual with respect to the degree of detail, it was hardly unique in their sample.

Sometimes the initial onset of visual perception of the physical world is disorienting and even disturbing to the blind. This was true for Vicki, for example, who said:

I had a hard time relating to it (i.e., seeing). I had a real difficult time relating to it because I've never experienced it. And it was something very foreign to me ... Let's see, how can I put it into words? It was like hearing words and not being able to understand them, but knowing that they were words. And before you'd never heard anything. But it was something new, something you'd not been able to previously attach any meaning to.

"Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see." - Helen Keller

Copyright 2010 Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife


Grace Bubulka's near-death experience

Beyond This Reality

Grace Bubulka's near-death experience


Grace Bubulka-Hatmaker (www.gracehatmaker.com) is a nurse who saw the afterlife during a near-death experience 12 years ago. Her near-death experience changed her life. Nearly 10 years after her near-death experience she felt comfortable telling others about her near-death experience. Now, Grace shares her near-death experience with others through seminars and lectures. The following is an excerpt of her book, Beyond This Reality, describing her near-death experience.

From my left side the nurse said, "I can't get her blood pressure."

I could feel her trying to detect a pressure. The resident was trying on my right arm. Finally the nurse said, "I can't get it."

"&%$@!," the resident exclaimed.

With that last word, everything changed. Finally, I found that the pain had a limit and that I had been released. I felt a sensation in my stomach like a person feels when dropping down from a roller coaster peak. This type of "butterflies-in-my-stomach" feeling was a fleeting ripple inside of me. I was then looking down from above the left foot area of my bed. The distance from my bed was as though I was against the ceiling corner. I could see the backs of the staff to the left of my bed and the faces of my doctors and the Filipino nurse.

I was exasperated with them and with my futile attempt to connect with them. I had no strong feelings about my body lying on the bed. It was almost unfamiliar to me.

I just remained there with a sense of hovering for what felt like forever. It was really only for seconds or minutes I suppose but time did not make any sense. Time did not seem to apply. It seemed irrelevant. It was unattached to anything, the way I was. Time is only relevant when it is relative to the normal orderly sequential aspects of life. So I was there for a moment or for eternity. I cannot say but it felt like a very long time to me. I was aware that I was separate from my body yet somehow I continued to exist. The part of me that existed did not have anything to do with my body. I was completely comfortable and no longer in any pain. All of the distress I was in while lying in my hospital bed was gone. I felt like I was bobbing about in a warm bath.

While I was at the hospital room ceiling I was somewhat stationary. Now I was in motion. I was proceeding slowly in an upward and outward direction, slightly angled to the left. I was aware of being surrounded but I didn't know by what or by whom. At first it just seemed like a foggy grayness about me. As the speed of my upward and outward movement increased, the enclosing fog seemed to have a bright ending at the distance. I remember at the early moments of moving ahead through this enclosure a brightness to my left where I could see through the cloud-like tunnel. Beyond the walls of my tunnel was a shimmering, glowing light. The light contained an infinite number of specks within it. The specks were moving about. Some specks were going fast, some slow. They were all going in different directions yet none ever touched or impacted with each other. The only comparison I can draw with what I saw was what a person can see if you look into a sunbeam. It looked like the dust particles that ride within a sunbeam. I remember smiling to myself (or at least having a happy, knowing feeling) that I was akin to these specks and they were journeying as I was between realities.

I was also very aware of being helped through this transition. I was in the company of an innumerable amount of others who were just like me. It was as though they were family ... that I didn't know or I had forgotten. They knew all about me and were there to celebrate, comfort, ease and move me ahead. There was no sense of recognition but I knew they were there to help.

My tunnel structure thinned along the sides but the light ahead was beckoning me. I was intensely attracted to reaching the light. As the sides of the tunnel became clearer, the light ahead became brighter and closer as my speed increased.

The level of joyous anticipation I was feeling was indescribable. At this point I had no insight into what any of this was about. I did not think I was dead. I knew I felt like a spirit or a disembodied person. I knew that the real "I" continued to exist in the absence of my earthly body. I had a sense of heightened knowing, of peace and of assured expectancy.

As I neared the warm, glowing radiance ahead of me, I felt pure ecstasy. I was in the beginning of the light. I was part of the light. The light was part of me ... but the light was more. Somehow I knew there was more ahead but for now I could go no further because something was about to take place. I felt as if I had returned to something I knew before. It was as if I had come home. I had come home to the beginning of not just me but the beginning of all eternity. This is so hard to explain but it seems so important. The only thing this compares to in a way is the way it feels when it is a beautiful warm night and you look up into the clear starry sky.

When you look at the stars, there is an awe of the glimpse at the beginning of infinite space. It was like that feeling as I savored my experience.

During this experience, time had no meaning. Time was an irrelevant notion. It felt like eternity. I felt like I was there an eternity. No remnants of the tunnel remained. There was no cloud or fog. The light was pure and all-good. I needed nothing, I wanted nothing. I was in communion with all the light around me. The specks, the others and I were all part of the light that existed forever. I felt I had an infinite sense of knowing, of understanding it all. I was completely at ease.

Then from within the light was a message. I received communication. I have no idea from where or how it came to me. There was no person there. No words were spoken. The thought was there for me to receive and accept. I was being reminded of my responsibility to my two children. I had the beginning of a notion to disagree ... somehow. I did not want anything to change yet I could feel that a change had already begun. I no longer felt that something wonderful was just ahead for me. I was being "told" benevolently yet firmly of my duty. This message was the final word ... it was all there was to communicate. I remember feeling a strain to hold onto my experience, I wanted to disagree while at the same time knowing it was pointless. I knew that from within the greatest part of all light was the complete wisdom that directed me. I felt like being a very small child whose loving parent insists and directs the tired child to bed. The directive was the only point. I had to go.

At this moment, I had one last type of communication with this powerful part of the light. Suddenly, I saw it all. I saw me as I was as a baby, a child, a teen, and adult, all at once. At the same time, I saw everything I ever did, everything I ever thought, everything. I saw events and people in my life that I previously considered important. Also, I saw many things that seemed-not-so important. I was aware of everything in my life all at once and I was aware of every response that others had to what occurred in my life. It was all there for me to understand ... everything "good", "bad", or "indifferent."

For example, I remembered knowing deeply about a situation that I dealt with in first grade as a six-year-old child. I was in class and it was a few minutes before recess. Sister Celine had positioned three holy cards on the edge of her desk in the front of the room. The holy cards were to be awarded after recess in the spelling bee that our class would have. I was at the front desk and could see the holy cards well. The one in the middle depicted a gossamer guardian angel watching over two small children crossing a bridge. I wanted that card so badly. As we filed out for recess, temptation overtook me and I stole the holy car. I slipped it quickly into my uniform pocket. No one saw me. During recess, I felt sick with guilt. I snuck back into the classroom while the other first graders were playing at recess and placed the holy card back on Sister's desk.

In my near-death experience I remembered everything about that situation. What was really impressive, though, is that I was aware how very wrong that action was. Although I had made amends I "knew" of Sister Celine's dismay at having the card taken. I "knew" that other children saw only two cards on the desk for the spelling be, not three. What I really "knew" was that my action carried repercussions that affected many others.

This is the way my life was reviewed. I was deeply aware and had profound insight into everything in my life and all of my dealings with others from my birth on to the moment of my near-death experience. All those in the light were witness to this review of my entire life. I was enveloped in a loving feeling and given insight into areas of my weaknesses. I suddenly realized aspects of my life that were not compatible with eternity in the light. I also knew now how to correct this. I was charged with the accountability of the remainder of my life.

I knew that more was ahead in the light that continued forever but I could not go there now. Seeing my life left me with the impression that my life mattered and was somehow significant as to how far I could go into the light. My work was not yet finished and my work was to begin inside me and within my family.

I was able to concede to my impending return now that I fully understood the message.

Then I was given a "gift" to ease my return ... or at least that is how I interpreted this at the time. As the brightness began to dull, the image of my two children were merged into my spirit. As I held their love in me, I returned to my body in the hospital bed.

If you would like to order an autographed copy of author Grace

Bubulka's book, contact her at: gracehatmaker@netptc.net

Grace Hatmaker, RN,MSN

School Nurse, Clovis High School

1055 Fowler Ave., Clovis, Ca. 93611

(559) 327-1402

"When you start preparing for death you soon realize that you must look into your life ... now ... and come to face the truth of your self. Death is like a mirror in which the true meaning of life is reflected." - Sogyal


Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

elisabeth_kubler_ross.jpgDr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the Swiss-born psychiatrist and author who gained international fame for her landmark work on death and dying, died in her suburban Phoenix home on August 24, 2004. She was 78. Read the news articles about her passing and the Tribute to her by P.M.H. Atwater.

In 1999, Time magazine named Elisabeth Kubler-Ross as one of the "100 Most Important Thinkers" of the past century. I might add that she is also the "First Pioneer of the Final Frontier Called Death."

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was recognized as one of the leading authorities in the field of death, dying and transition. It can be said that she was the one responsible for creating this field of study. She was the author of several books including: On Death and Dying and Life Lessons. Another book of hers, On Life After Death, collected for the first time information drawn from her years of working with the dying and learning from them what life is all about, in-depth research on life after death, and her own feelings and opinions about this fascinating and controversial subject. The following is an excerpt from her book in which she described one of the most interesting near-death experiences she has encountered.

elisabeth_kubler_ross1.jpgMy most dramatic and unforgettable case of "ask and you will be given," and also of a NDE, was a man who was in the process of being picked up by his entire family for a Memorial Day weekend drive to visit some relatives out of town. While driving in the family van to pick him up, his parents-in-law with his wife and eight children were hit by a gasoline tanker. The gasoline poured over the car and burned his entire family to death. After being told what happened, this man remained in a state of total shock and numbness for several weeks. He stopped working and was unable to communicate. To make a long story short, he became a total bum, drinking half-a-gallon of whisky a day, trying heroin and other drugs to numb his pain. He was unable to hold a job for any length of time and ended up literally in the gutter.

It was during one of my hectic traveling tours, having just finished the second lecture in a day on life after death, that a hospice group in Santa Barbara asked me to give yet another lecture. After my preliminary statements, I became aware that I am very tired of repeating the same stories over and over again. And I quietly said to myself: "Oh God, why don't you send me somebody from the audience who has had a NDE and is willing to share it with the audience so I can take a break? They will have a first-hand experience instead of hearing my old stories over and over again."

At that very moment the organizer of the group gave me a little slip of paper with an urgent message on it. It was a message from a man from the bowery who begged to share his NDE with me. I took a little break and sent a messenger to his bowery hotel. A few moments later, after a speedy cab ride, the man appeared in the audience. Instead of being a bum as he had described himself, he was a rather well dressed, very sophisticated man. He went up on the stage and without having a need to evaluate him, I encouraged him to tell the audience what he needed to share.

He told how he had been looking forward to the weekend family reunion, how his entire family had piled into a family van and were on the way to pick him up when this tragic accident occurred which burned his entire family to death. He shared the shock and the numbness, the utter disbelief of suddenly being a single man, of having had children and suddenly becoming childless, of living without a single close relative. He told of his total inability to come to grips with it. He shared how he changed from a money-earning, decent, middle-class husband and father to a total bum, drunk every day from morning to night, using every conceivable drug and trying to commit suicide in every conceivable way, yet never able to succeed. His last recollection was that after two years of literally bumming around, he was lying on a dirt road at the edge of a forest, drunk and stoned as he called it, trying desperately to be reunited with his family. Not wanting to live, not even having the energy to move out of the road when he saw a big truck coming toward him and running over him.

It was at this moment that he watched himself in the street [sic], critically injured, while he observed the whole scene of the accident from a few feet above. It was at this moment that his family appeared in front of him, in a glow of light with an incredible sense of love. They had happy smiles on their faces, and simply made him aware of their presence, not communicating in any verbal way but in the form of thought transference, sharing with him the joy and happiness of their present existence.

elisabeth_kubler_ross2.jpgThis man was not able to tell us how long this reunion lasted. He was so awed by his family's health, their beauty, their radiance and their total acceptance of this present situation, by their unconditional love. He made a vow not to touch them, not to join them, but to re-enter his physical body so that he could share with the world what he had experienced. It would be a form of redemption for his two years of trying to throw his physical life away. It was after this vow that he watched the truck driver carry his totally injured body into the car. He saw an ambulance speeding to the scene of the accident, he was taken to the hospital's emergency room and he finally re-entered his physical body, tore off the straps that were tied around him and literally walked out of the emergency room. He never had delirium tremens or any aftereffects from the heavy abuse of drugs and alcohol. He felt healed and whole, and made a commitment that he would not die until he had the opportunity of sharing the existence of life after death with as many people as would be willing to listen. It was after reading a newspaper article about my appearance in Santa Barbara that he sent a message to the auditorium. By allowing him to share with my audience he was able to keep the promise he made at the time of his short, temporary, yet happy reunion with his entire family.

We do not know what happened to this man since then, but I will never forget the glow in his eyes, the joy and deep gratitude he experienced, that he was led to a place where, without doubt and questioning, he was allowed to stand up on the stage and share with a group of hundreds of hospice workers the total knowledge and awareness that our physical body is only the shell that encloses our immortal self.

Quotes by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

And after your death, when most of you for the first time realize what life here is all about, you will begin to see that your life here is almost nothing but the sum total of every choice you have made during every moment of your life. Your thoughts, which you are responsible for, are as real as your deeds. You will begin to realize that every word and every deed affects your life and has also touched thousands of lives.

As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things. To do service, you don't have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn't matter as much as how you do what you do.

Death is simply a shedding of the physical body like the butterfly shedding its cocoon. It is a transition to a higher state of consciousness where you continue to perceive, to understand, to laugh, and to be able to grow.

elisabeth_kubler_ross3.jpgDying is an integral part of life, as natural and predictable as being born. But whereas birth is cause for celebration, death has become a dreaded and unspeakable issue to be avoided by every means possible in our modern society. Perhaps it is that in spite of all our technological advances. We may be able to delay it, but we cannot escape it. We, no less than other, non-rational animals, are destined to die at the end of our lives. And death strikes indiscriminately -- it cares not at all for the status or position of the ones it chooses; everyone must die, whether rich or poor, famous or unknown. Even good deeds will not exclude their doers from the sentence of death; the good die as often as the bad. It is perhaps this inevitable and unpredictable quality that makes death so frightening to many people. Especially those who put a high value on being in control of their own existence are offended by the though that they too care subject to the forces of death.

Dying is nothing to fear. It can be the most wonderful experience of your life. It all depends on how you have lived.

For those who seek to understand it, death is a highly creative force. The highest spiritual values of life can originate from the thought and study of death.

Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death.

How do the geese know when to fly to the sun? Who tells them the seasons? How do we, humans, know when it is time to move on? As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within, if only we would listen to it, that tells us so certainly when to go forth into the unknown.

I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.

I didn't fully realize it at the time, but the goal of my life was profoundly molded by this experience - to help produce, in the next generation, more Mother Teresas and less Hitlers.

I say to people who care for people who are dying, if you really love that person and want to help them, be with them when their end comes close. Sit with them - you don't even have to talk. You don't have to do anything but really be there with them.

It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we're alive - to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are.

elisabeth_kubler_ross4.jpgIt's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on Earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.

I've told my children that when I die, to release balloons in the sky to celebrate that I graduated. For me, death is a graduation.

Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself and know that everything in life has a purpose.

Live, so you do not have to look back and say: "God, how I have wasted my life."

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

Should you shield the valleys from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their canyons.

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.

There is no joy without hardship. If not for death, would we appreciate life? If not for hate, would we know the ultimate goal is love? At these moments you can either hold on to negativity and look for blame, or you can choose to heal and keep on loving.

There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.

Those who learned to know death, rather than to fear and fight it, become our teachers about life.

Throughout life, we get clues that remind us of the direction we are supposed to be headed if you stay focused, then you learn your lessons.

Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever.

We have to ask ourselves whether medicine is to remain a humanitarian and respected profession or a new but depersonalized science in the service of prolonging life rather than diminishing human suffering.

elisabeth_kubler_ross5.jpgWe make progress in society only if we stop cursing and complaining about its shortcomings and have the courage to do something about them.

We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind's greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear.

We run after values that, at death, become zero. At the end of your life, nobody asks you how many degrees you have, or how many mansions you built, or how many Rolls Royces you could afford. That's what dying patients teach you.

When we have passed the tests we are sent to Earth to learn, we are allowed to graduate. We are allowed to shed our body, which imprisons our souls

When you learn your lessons, the pain goes away.

You will not grow if you sit in a beautiful flower garden, but you will grow if you are sick, if you are in pain, if you experience losses, and if you do not put your head in the sand, but take the pain as a gift to you with a very, very specific purpose.

Instead, the goal of life becomes not to elude death but, because one's fears do not center so much on it, rather to live in concert with it. After an NDE, the survivor finds a new lease on life; she/he is more willing to try new things and to fit as many things as possible into it because she/he is no longer so afraid of what will happen at death. After the NDE, life is more cherished, and the relationships that gave that life more meaning are emphasized upon. The NDE encourages growth and exploration; its acknowledgment helps for those in a society to desire continued testing of the limits and possibilities of life.

"I've told my children that when I die, to release balloons in the sky to celebrate that I graduated. For me, death is a graduation." - Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


People See Verified Events While Out-Of-Body

Dr. Raymond Moody's Groundbreaking Research

woman_out_of_body.jpgThe scientific method requires all phenomena to be reproducible, provide veridical details (i.e., details which cannot be explained away, which are found to be true), and undergo rigorous tests to rule out all the known alternative explanations, for a theory to be proven as scientific fact. Using the scientific method, near-death experiences have been proven to be a real scientific phenomenon because they are reproducible. Near-death experiences were first shown to be reproducible during studies involving the subjection of fighter pilots to extreme gravitational forces in a giant centrifuge. But the question is not, "Are near-death experiences real?" Even skeptics now concede that it is a real phenomenon. The question to ask is, "Are near-death experiences a phenomenon of a person's consciousness being outside of their body?" And if this can be proven true, then the next question is, "Can consciousness survive bodily death?" This last question likely cannot be proven true to the satisfaction of the skeptics using near-death research alone. This is because no matter how you define "death," the only kind of definition that satisfies the skeptics is "irreversible" death. Just the very nature of the phrase "near-death" suggests that it is not true death - where nobody comes back. However, good scientific evidence for survival can be found in other realms of research such as psychic studies, quantum physics, consciousness studies, and remote viewing - not to mention the mountain of circumstantial evidence.

Veridical Perception in NDEs

At this point in near-death studies, researchers are particularly interested in studying those NDEs that may provide an answer to the question of whether the mind can function outside the physical body. This is the first step in determining whether consciousness can survive bodily death. One way is to discover this is to examine those NDEs which are "veridical" (verifiable). Veridical NDEs occur when the experiencer acquires verifiable information which they could not have obtained by any normal means. Often, near-death experiencers report witnessing events that happen at some distant location away from their body, such as another room of the hospital. If the events witnessed by the experiencer at the distant location can be verified to have occurred, then veridical perception would be said to have taken place. It would provide very compelling evidence that NDEs are experiences outside of the physical body. Visit the NDE and Out-Of-Body research conclusions to read a large collection of veridical NDEs.

raymond_moody.jpgBesides his ground-breaking book, Life After Life, Raymond Moody is the author of the excellent NDE books, The Light Beyond, Reunions, Life After Loss, Coming Back, Reflections, and The Last Laugh. In Life After Life, Moody documents a number of veridical near-death experiences which will be described here. This veridical evidence suggests the possibility that consciousness can exist away from the body. In light of such veridical evidence, other NDE theories fall by the wayside because they cannot account for these veridical details. And although the available veridical NDE evidence does not constitute scientific proof of consciousness surviving bodily death, it does qualify as very powerful circumstantial and anecdotal evidence, the kind of evidence that is upheld every day in courts of law all around the country.

Whether or not there will ever be scientific evidence for the survival of consciousness may depend upon science itself and how such phenomenon as NDEs can be quantified. Using the strict demands of science, we can only conclude as Dr. Raymond Moody does when he had this to say:

"I don't have any idea whether there's life after death or not. I've been a follower of science all of my life, but I also have a Ph.D. in philosophy, and it really seems to me that the question of life after death is not yet ripe for scientific enquiry because it's not formulatable in a way that fits into the scientific method. I also think it's the most important question. If you think of the big questions of existence, this is the biggie."

The following are some examples of veridical NDEs documented by Moody:

Example 1: An elderly woman had been blind since childhood. But, during her NDE, the woman had regained her sight and she was able to accurately describe the instruments and techniques used during the resuscitation her body. After the woman was revived, she reported the details to her doctor. She was able to tell her doctor who came in and out, what they said, what they wore, what they did, all of which was true. Her doctor then referred the woman to Moody who he knew was doing research at the time on NDEs.

Example 2: One patient told Moody, After it was all over the doctor told me that I had a really bad time, and I said, Yeah, I know.' He said, Well, how do you know?' and I said, I can tell you everything that happened.' He didn't believe me, so I told him the whole story, from the time I stopped breathing until the time I was kind of coming around. He was really shocked to know that I knew everything that had happened. He didn't know quite what to say, but he came in several times to ask me different things about it.

Example 3: In another instance a woman with a heart condition was dying at the same time that her sister was in a diabetic coma in another part of the same hospital. The subject reported having a conversation with her sister as both of them hovered near the ceiling watching the medical team work on her body below. When the woman awoke, she told the doctor that her sister had died while her own resuscitation was taking place. The doctor denied it, but when she insisted, he had a nurse check on it. The sister had, in fact, died during the time in question.

Example 4: A dying girl left her body and into another room in the hospital where she found her older sister crying and saying:

"Oh, Kathy, please don't die, please don't die."

The older sister was quite baffled when, later, Kathy told her exactly where she had been and what she had been saying during this time.

"After it was all over, the doctor told me that I had a really bad time, and I said, "Yeah, I know." He said, "Well, how do you know?" And I said, "I can tell you everything that happened."

He didn't believe me, so I told him the whole story, from the time I stopped breathing until the time I was kind of coming around. He was really shocked to know that I knew everything that had happened. He didn't know quite what to say, but he came in several times to ask me different things about it.

When I woke up after the accident, my father was there, and I didn't even want to know what sort of shape I was in, or how I was, or how the doctors thought I would be. All I wanted to talk about was the experience I had been through. I told my father who had dragged my body out of the building, and even what color clothes that person had on, and how they got me out, and even about all the conversation that had been going on in the area. And my father said, "Well, yes, these things were true."

Yet, my body was physically out this whole time, and there was no way I could have seen or heard these things without being outside of my body.

Dr. Moody's Exceptional NDE Testimony

In his book, Life After Life, Moody documents what he calls "a rather exceptional account" which embodies many of the elements of the NDE that he describes and has an interesting veridical near-death experience. I think you will agree that it is rather exceptional:

Jack's NDE: At the time this happened I suffered, as I still do, a very severe case of bronchial asthma and emphysema. One day, I got into a coughing fit and apparently ruptured a disk in the lower part of my spine. For a couple of months, I consulted a number of doctors for the agonizing pain, and finally one of them referred me to a neurosurgeon, Dr. Wyatt. He saw me and told me that I needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately, so I went on in and they put me in traction right away.

Dr. Wyatt knew that I had bad respiratory diseases so he called in a lung specialist, who said that the anesthesiologist, Dr. Coleman, should be consulted if I was going to be put to sleep. So the lung specialist worked on me for almost three weeks until he finally got me to a place where Dr. Coleman would put me under. He finally consented on a Monday, although he was very much worried about it. They scheduled the operation for the next Friday. Monday night, I went to sleep and had a restful sleep until sometime early Tuesday morning, when I woke up in severe pain. I turned over and tried to get in a more comfortable position, but just at that moment a light appeared in the corner of the room, just below the ceiling. It was just a ball of light, almost like a globe, and it was not very large, I would say no more than twelve to fifteen inches in diameter, and as this light appeared, a feeling came over me. I can't say that it was an eerie feeling, because it was not. It was a feeling of complete peace and utter relaxation. I could see a hand reach down for me from the light, and the light said:

"Come with me. I want to show you something."

So immediately, without any hesitation whatsoever, I reached up with my hand and grabbed onto the hand I saw. As I did, I had the feeling of being drawn up and of leaving my body, and I looked back and saw it lying there on the bed while I was going up towards the ceiling of the room.

Now, at this time, as soon as I left my body, I took on the same form as the light. I got the feeling, and I'll have to use my own words for it, because I've never heard anyone talk about anything like this, that this form was definitely a spirit. It wasn't a body, just a wisp of smoke or a vapor. It looked almost like the clouds of cigarette smoke you can see when they are illuminated as they drift around a lamp. The form I took had colors, though. There was orange, yellow, and a color that was very indistinct to me - I took it to be an indigo, a bluish color.

This spiritual form didn't have a shape like a body. It was more or less circular, but it had what I would call a hand. I know this because when the light reached down for me, I reached up for it with my hand. Yet, the arm and hand of my body just stayed put, because I could see them lying on the bed, down by the side of my body, as I rose up to the light. But when I wasn't using this spiritual hand, the spirit went back to the circular pattern.

So, I was drawn up to the same position the light was in, and we started moving through the ceiling and the wall of the hospital room, into the corridor, and through the corridor, down through the floors it seemed, on down to a lower floor in the hospital. We had no difficulty in passing through doors or walls. They would just fade away from us as we would approach them.

During this period it seemed that we were traveling. I knew we were moving, yet there was no sensation of speed. And in a moment, almost instantaneously, really, I realized that we had reached the recovery room of the hospital. Now, I hadn't even known where the recovery room was at this hospital, but we got there, and again, we were in the corner of the room near the ceiling, up above everything else. I saw the doctors and nurses walking around in their green suits and saw the beds that were placed around in there. This being then told me - he showed me:

"That's where you're going to be. When they bring you off the operating table they're going to put you in that bed, but you will never awaken from that position. You'll know nothing after you go to the operating room until I come back to get you sometime after this."

Now, I won't say this was in words. It wasn't like an audible voice, because if it had been I would have expected the others in the room to have heard the voice, and they didn't. It was more of an impression that came to me. But it was in such a vivid form that there was no way for me to say I didn't hear it or I didn't feel it. It was definite to me.

And what I was seeing - well, it was so much easier to recognize things while I was in this spiritual form. I was now wondering, like, "Now, what is that that he is trying to show me?" I knew immediately what it was, what he had in mind. There was no doubt. It was that bed - it was the bed on the right just as you come in from the corridor - is where I'm going to be and he's brought me here for a purpose. And then he told me why. It came to me that the reason for this was that he didn't want any fear when the time came that my spirit passed from my body, but that he wanted me to know what the sensation would be on passing that point. He wanted to assure me so that I wouldn't be afraid, because he was telling me that he wouldn't be there immediately, that I would go through other things first, but that he would be overshadowing everything that happened and would be there for me at the end.

Now, immediately, when I had joined him to take the trip to the recovery room and had become a spirit myself, in a way we had been fused into one. We were two separate ones, too, of course. Yet, he had full control of everything that was going on as far as I was concerned. And even if we were traveling through the walls and ceilings and so forth, well, it just seemed that we were in such close communion that nothing whatsoever could have bothered me. Again, it was just a peacefulness, calmness, and a serenity that have never been found anywhere else.

So, after he told me this, he took me back to my hospital room, and as I got back I saw my body again, still lying in the same position as when we left, and instantaneously I was back in my body. I would guess that I had been out of my body for five or ten minutes, but passage of time had nothing to do with this experience. In fact, I don't remember if I had ever even thought of it as being any particular time.

Now, this whole thing had just astounded me, took me completely by surprise. It was so vivid and real - more so than ordinary experience. And the next morning, I was not in the least afraid. When I shaved, I noticed that my hand didn't shake like it had been doing for six or eight weeks before then. I knew that I would be dying, and there was no regret, no fear. There was no thought, "What can I do to keep this from happening?" I was ready.

Now, on Thursday afternoon, the day before the operation the next morning, I was in my hospital room, and I was worried. My wife and I have a boy, an adopted nephew, and we were then having some trouble with him. So I decided to write a letter to my wife and one to my nephew, putting some of my worries into words, and to hide the letters where they wouldn't be found until after the operation. After I had written about two pages on the letter to my wife, it was just as if the floodgates had opened. All at once, I broke out in tears, sobbing. I felt a presence, and at first I thought maybe that I had cried so loud that I had disturbed one of the nurses, and that they had come in to see what was the matter with me. But I hadn't heard the door open. And again I felt this presence, but I didn't see any light this time, and thoughts or words came to me, just as before, and he said:

"Jack, why are you crying? I thought you would be pleased to be with me." I thought, "Yes, I am. I want to go very much." And the voice said, "Then why are you crying?"

I said, "We've had trouble with our nephew, you know, and I'm afraid my wife won't know how to raise him. I'm trying to put into words how I feel, and what I want her to try to do for him. I'm concerned, too, because I feel that maybe my presence could have settled him down some."

Then the thoughts came to me, from this presence, "Since you are not asking for someone else, and thinking of others, not Jack, I will grant what you want. You will live until you see your nephew become a man."

And just like that, it was gone. I stopped crying, and I destroyed the letter so my wife wouldn't accidentally find it.

That evening, Dr. Coleman came in and told me that he was expecting a lot of trouble with putting me to sleep, and for me not to be surprised to wake up and find a lot of wires and tubes and machines all around me. I didn't tell him what I had experienced, so I just nodded and said I would cooperate.

The next morning the operation took a long time but went fine, and as I was regaining my consciousness, Dr. Coleman was there with me, and I told him:

"I know exactly where I am." He asked, "What bed are you in?" I said, "I'm in that first bed on the right just as you come in from the hall."

He just kind of laughed, and of course, he thought that I was just taking from the anesthetic.

I wanted to tell him what had happened, but just in a moment Dr. Wyatt came in and said:

"He's awake now. What do you want to do?"

And Dr. Coleman said, "There's not a thing I can do. I've never been so amazed in my life. Here I am with all this equipment set up and he doesn't need a thing." Dr. Wyatt said, "Miracles still happen, you know."

So, when I could get up in the bed and see around the room, I saw that I was in that same bed that the light had shown me several days before.

Now, all this was three years ago, but it is still just as vivid as it was then. It was the most fantastic thing that has ever happened to me, and it has made a big difference. But I don't talk about it. I have only told my wife, my brother, my minister, and now you. I don't know how to say it, but this is so hard to explain. I'm not trying to make a big explosion in your life, and I'm not trying to brag. It's just that after this, I don't have any doubts anymore. I know there is life after death.

Source: Moody Jr., Raymond A., M.D., Life After Life, pages 101-107, New York, Bantam Books, 1975.

"A miracle is not the breaking of physical laws, but rather represents laws which are incomprehensible to us." Guirdjieff


Some People Were Dead For Several Days

Some People Were Dead For Several Days

Rev. George Rodonaia's Unusual NDE


Natia Rodonaia-Peleaez, the daughter of Rev. George Rodonaia, has informed me that George passed away on October 12, 2004 due to heart failure. George suffered a massive heart attack in July and it was thought that he had recovered. The Reverend was on his way to fly to Dallas to tape an interview with Trinity Broadcasting about his NDE when he had a final heart attack and God called him Home. Natia would like to thank everyone who has shown an interest in him and his NDE. He will be deeply missed. George is survived by his wfie Nino, his daughter Natia, his son Greg, his son-in-law Martin, his grandson Levani, and his mother-in-law Nadia.

Rev. George Rodonaia underwent one of the most extended cases of a near-death experience ever recorded. Pronounced dead immediately after he was hit by a car in 1976, he was left for three days in the morgue. He did not "return to life" until a doctor began to make an incision in his abdomen as part of an autopsy procedure. Prior to his NDE he worked as a neuropathologist. He was also an avowed atheist. Yet after the experience, he devoted himself exclusively to the study of spirituality, taking a second doctorate in the psychology of religion. He then became an ordained priest in the Eastern Orthodox Church. He served as a pastor at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Baytown, Texas.

Rev. George Rodonaia held an M.D. and a Ph.D. in neuropathology, and a Ph.D. in the psychology of religion. He delivered a keynote address to the United Nations on the "Emerging Global Spirituality." Before emigrating to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1989, he worked as a research psychiatrist at the University of Moscow. The following is a Dr. Rodonaia's experience in his own words from Phillip Berman's excellent book, The Journey Home.

The first thing I remember about my NDE is that I discovered myself in a realm of total darkness. I had no physical pain, I was still somehow aware of my existence as George, and all about me there was darkness, utter and complete darkness - the greatest darkness ever, darker than any dark, blacker than any black. This was what surrounded me and pressed upon me. I was horrified. I wasn't prepared for this at all. I was shocked to find that I still existed, but I didn't know where I was. The one thought that kept rolling through my mind was, "How can I be when I'm not?" That is what troubled me.

Slowly I got a grip on myself and began to think about what had happened, what was going on. But nothing refreshing or relaxing came to me. Why am I in this darkness? What am I to do? Then I remembered Descartes' famous line: "I think, therefore I am." And that took a huge burden off me, for it was then I knew for certain I was still alive, although obviously in a very different dimension. Then I thought, If I am, why shouldn't I be positive? That is what came to me. I am George and I'm in darkness, but I know I am. I am what I am. I must not be negative.

Then I thought, How can I define what is positive in darkness? Well, positive is light. Then, suddenly, I was in light; bright white, shiny and strong; a very bright light. I was like the flash of a camera, but not flickering - that bright. Constant brightness. At first I found the brilliance of the light painful, I couldn't look directly at it. But little by little I began to relax. I began to feel warm, comforted, and everything suddenly seemed fine.

The next thing that happened was that I saw all these molecules flying around, atoms, protons, neutrons, just flying everywhere. On the one hand, it was totally chaotic, yet what brought me such great joy was that this chaos also had its own symmetry. This symmetry was beautiful and unified and whole, and it flooded me with tremendous joy. I saw the universal form of life and nature laid out before my eyes. It was at this point that any concern I had for my body just slipped away, because it was clear to me that I didn't need it anymore, that it was actually a limitation.

Everything in this experience merged together, so it is difficult for me to put an exact sequence to events. Time as I had known it came to a halt; past, present, and future were somehow fused together for me in the timeless unity of life.

At some point I underwent what has been called the life-review process, for I saw my life from beginning to end all at once. I participated in the real life dramas of my life, almost like a holographic image of my life going on before me - no sense of past, present, or future, just now and the reality of my life. It wasn't as though it started with birth and ran along to my life at the University of Moscow. It all appeared at once. There I was. This was my life. I didn't experience any sense of guilt or remorse for things I'd done. I didn't feel one way or another about my failures, faults, or achievements. All I felt was my life for what it is. And I was content with that. I accepted my life for what it is.

During this time the light just radiated a sense of peace and joy to me. It was very positive. I was so happy to be in the light. And I understood what the light meant. I learned that all the physical rules for human life were nothing when compared to this unitive reality. I also came to see that a black hole is only another part of that infinity which is light.

I came to see that reality is everywhere. That it is not simply the earthly life but the infinite life. Everything is not only connected together, everything is also one. So I felt a wholeness with the light, a sense that all is right with me and the universe.

I could be anywhere instantly, really there. I tried to communicate with the people I saw. Some sensed my presence, but no one did anything about it. I felt it necessary to learn about the Bible and philosophy. You want, you receive. Think and it comes to you. So I participated, I went back and lived in the minds of Jesus and his disciples. I heard their conversations, experienced eating, passing wine, smells, tastes - yet I had no body. I was pure consciousness. If I didn't understand what was happening, an explanation would come. But no teacher spoke. I explored the Roman Empire, Babylon, the times of Noah and Abraham. Any era you can name, I went there.

So there I was, flooded with all these good things and this wonderful experience, when someone begins to cut into my stomach. Can you imagine? What had happened was that I was taken to the morgue. I was pronounced dead and left there for three days. An investigation into the cause of my death was set up, so they sent someone out to do an autopsy on me. As they began to cut into my stomach, I felt as though some great power took hold of my neck and pushed me down. And it was so powerful that I opened my eyes and had this huge sense of pain. My body was cold and I began to shiver. They immediately stopped the autopsy and took me to the hospital, where I remained for the following nine months, most of which I spent under a respirator.

Slowly I regained my health. But I would never be the same again, because all I wanted to do for the rest of my life was study wisdom. This new interest led me to attend the University of Georgia, where I took my second Ph.D., in the psychology of religion. Then I became a priest in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Eventually, in 1989, we came to America, and I am now working as an associate pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Nederland, Texas.

Many people have asked me what I believe in, how my NDE changed my life. All I can say is that I now believe in the God of the universe. Unlike many other people, however, I have never called God the light, because God is beyond our comprehension. God, I believe, is even more than the light, because God is also darkness. God is everything that exists, everything - and that is beyond our ability to comprehend at all. So I don't believe in the God of the Jews, or the Christians, or the Hindus, or in any one religion's idea of what God is or is not. It is all the same God, and that God showed me that the universe in which we live is a beautiful and marvelous mystery that is connected together forever and for always.

Anyone who has had such an experience of God, who has felt such a profound sense of connection with reality, knows that there is only one truly significant work to do in life, and that is love; to love nature, to love people, to love animals, to love creation itself, just because it is. To serve God's creation with a warm and loving hand of generosity and compassion - that is the only meaningful existence.

Many people turn to those who have had NDEs because they sense we have the answers. But I know this is not true, at least not entirely. None of us will fully fathom the great truths of life until we finally unite with eternity at death. But occasionally we get glimpses of the answer here on Earth, and that alone is enough for me. I love to ask questions and to seek answers, but I know in the end I must live the questions and the answers. But that is okay, isn't it? So long as we love, love with all our heart and passion, it doesn't matter, does it? Perhaps the best way for me to convey what I am trying to say is to share with you something the poet Rilke once wrote in a letter to a friend. I saw this letter, the original handwritten letter, in the library at Dresden University in Germany. (He quotes from memory, as follows:)

"Be patient with all that is unresolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves. Do not seek for the answers that cannot be given. For you wouldn't be able to live with them. And the point is to live everything, live the questions now, and perhaps without knowing it, you will live along some day into the answers."

I place my faith in that. Live the questions, and the universe will open up its eyes to you.

George Rodonaia's Account of His Episode With an Infant During His NDE

More information concerning George's NDE account is described in Dr. Melvin Morse and Paul Perry's book entitled Transformed by the Light. Dr. Morse refers to George by his Russian name "Yuri". The following is an excerpt of Transformed by the Light which describes George's observation of an infant while George is out of his body.

"[During Yuri's NDE, he] could go visit his family. He saw his grieving wife and their two sons, both too small to understand that their father had been killed.

"Then he visited his next-door neighbor. They had a new child, born a couple of days before Yuri's "death." Yuri could tell that they were upset by what happened to him. But they were especially distressed by the fact that their child would not stop crying.

"No matter what they did he continued to cry. When he slept it was short and fitful and then he would awaken, crying again. They had taken him back to the doctors but they were stumped. All the usual things such as colic were ruled out and they sent them home hoping the baby would eventually settle down.

"While there in this disembodied state, Yuri discovered something:

"l could talk to the baby. It was amazing. I could not talk to the parents - my friends - but I could talk to the little boy who had just been born. I asked him what was wrong. No words were exchanged, but I asked him maybe through telepathy what was wrong. He told me that his arm hurt. And when he told me that, I was able to see that the bone was twisted and broken."

"The baby had a greenstick fracture, a break in the bone in his arm probably cause by having been twisted during childbirth. Now Yuri and the baby knew what was wrong, but neither had the ability to communicate the problem to the parents.

"Eventually the doctor from Moscow came to perform the autopsy on Yuri. When they moved his body from the cabinet to a gurney, his eyes flickered. The doctor became suspicious and examined his eyes. When they responded to light, he was immediately wheeled to emergency surgery and saved.

"Yuri told his family about being "dead." No one believed him until he began to provide details about what he saw during his travels out of body. Then they became less skeptical. His diagnosis on the baby next door did the trick. He told of visiting them that night and of their concern over their new child. He told them that he had talked to the baby and discovered that he had a greenstick fracture of his arm. The parents took the child to a doctor and he x-rayed the arm only to discover that Yuri's very long-distance diagnosis was right."

P.M.H. Atwater's Tribute to George Rodonaia

color_pattern_dress.jpgI knew George well; he was part of my research base and a brief version of his story is in my book "Beyond the Light." I say "brief" because what happened to George is beyond the scope of books about the near-death phenomenon and could have easily been a book unto itself. George was a vocal Soviet dissident during the time when such a stance could get you killed. And that is exactly what happened - he was assassinated by the KGB. Because his case was highly political, an autopsy had to be performed. His corpse was stored in a freezer vault for three days until then. He revived on the autopsy table as he was being split open by the doctors, one of which was his own uncle. Of all the cases I have investigated in my 26 years of work in the field, his is the most dramatic, the longest, the most evidential, and the most soul-stirring. Now our beloved George Rodonaia has returned "Home" to stay. During the years afterward, he never failed to share his story and to help others every way he could. My only regret is, he never wrote his own book about his experience. Yet, perhaps he did, on everyone's heart who ever heard him. Blessings, dear George, you will be missed. -- PMH

Other People Who Were Dead For Days

emmanuel_africanA.jpgThere are two other NDE accounts I should mention here. One of them involves an African man named Emanuel Tuwagirairmana. What is interesting about his account is that it is claimed that he was actually dead for seven days. When he returned to his body, it was partially eaten by maggots. A friend of his sent me photographs of his arm to prove it. It is such a fantastic experience that one must take keep an open mind about it.

In January of 1999, the online edition of the Russian newspaper Pravda reported on a remarkable event involving a man who revived from death after 22 days of being killed and buried. I have not personally verified whether this news article is legitimate but it did appear in Russia's premier newspaper and the best that I can do is provide an excerpt of the article and provide a link to the Pravada article for you to decide. The following was taken from the article entitled, "Man Revives 22 Days After Being Killed and Buried."

A stockman, named only as Granatkin, from a district food base in one of Russia's towns, had to have a similar, albeit a more horrible experience in his life. A man named Mechnik attempted to kill the stockman: he hit him on the head, took the body to the forest and buried it under the snow. Lumber-men incidentally uncovered the frozen body and took it to the morgue. A local pathologist refused to do the autopsy - the body was too hard. The next day the pathologist said that the man's eye pupils did not look like dead. Furthermore, the man's nails turned pink after the doctor pressed them in his fingers. The man spent 22 days lying under a thick layer of snow, but it appeared that he was still alive. The pathologist diagnosed a deep lethargic sleep, which had been caused with a blow on the head. To everyone's great astonishment, stockman Granatkin came to his senses and recovered. He was lucky to wear very warm clothes on the day of his murder; the snow saved him from severe frost too.

Talks and rumors about the lethargic sleep were widespread two centuries ago. A lot of outstanding people, including Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, were afraid of falling asleep for good. Apparently, Gogol fell into a lethargic sleep: he was buried alive, as it turned out afterwards. This disease does not occur in our times, though. The last occurrence happened in 1993, when a patient recovered from profound sleep in a US hospital. Does it mean that people have developed immunity against stressful situations? It is not ruled out that stresses have become more frequent in the modern society and destroyed the time control organ in people. On the other hand, doctors often consider their sleeping patients dead and send them to either a graveyard, or a morgue, where pathologists eventually kill them during an autopsy. A selective inspection of coffins, which had to be moved from one graveyard to another in England, discovered four skeletons, the positioning of which in the coffins showed that the "deceased" people came to their senses after they had been buried.

The above-mentioned incidents describe the anomalous, unhealthy conduct of the time control organ. Modern medicine has registered several incidents, when five-year-old children died of their old age! There are several African tribes, which consider it normal, when a girl of five or eight years of age gives birth to a child and then dies from the old age at 10-18 years.

Needless to say that the existence of the time control organ has not been proved. Scientists, however, believe that the organ is possibly situated in the brain, in the hypothalamus. Some specialists say that this organ is the so-called "third eye," others say that it is situated in the spinal cord. Most likely, it goes about a qualitatively new function of brain cells, which are interconnected with one aura, scientists say.

Our ancient ancestors were probably aware of the phenomenon. At any rate, modern shamans and yogi know how to hamper the time and come out of their bodies for a while.

"The longest journey is the journey inwards of him who has chosen his destiny, who has started upon his quest for the source of his being." - Dag Hammarskjold


Saved From Hell Rev. Howard Storm's near-death experience

howard_storm.jpgBefore his near-death experience, Rev. Howard Storm, a Professor of Art at Northern Kentucky University, was not a very pleasant man. He was an avowed atheist and was hostile to every form of religion and those who practiced it. He often would use rage to control everyone around him and he didn't find joy in anything. Anything that wasn't seen, touched, or felt, he had no faith in. He knew with certainty that the material world was the full extent of everything that was. He considered all belief systems associated with religion to be fantasies for people to deceive themselves with. Beyond what science said, there was nothing else.

On June 1, 1985, at the age of 38, Howard Storm had a near-death experience due to a perforation of the stomach and his life was forever changed. His near-death experience is one of the most profound, if not the most profound, afterlife experience I have ever documented. His life was so immensely changed after his near-death experience that he resigned as a professor and devoted his time to attending the United Theological Seminary to become a United Church of Christ minister. The following is the account of Pastor Howard Storm's near-death experience, which is an excerpt from his book, My Descent Into Death, reprinted by permission. Rev. Howard Storm Index

Rev. Howard Storm on Audio

blue_dot.gif The NDE and Life Changes (2 audiocassettes) - Rev. Howard Storm speaks at the 1998 IANDS North American Conference. Howard discusses his experience near-death and the life-changing potential of the NDE.

blue_dot.gif The Message of the Near-Death Experience (audiocassette) - Rev. Howard Storm speaks at the 1999 IANDS North American Conference. Howard discusses his experience and how the NDE is an individual's radical transformation along the spiritual journey to God. Howard understands that each of us is at a different stage of the journey. He will speak about the spiritual journey from his own experience, his study of NDEs, and theology. He has shared his story with many audiences, including those of national and regional television programs


Heaven and Hell

Dr. George Ritchie's near-death experience

george_ritchie.jpgIn December, 1943, George Ritchie died of pneumonia. Nine minutes later, miraculously and unaccountably, he returned to life to tell of his amazing near-death experience in the afterlife. His near-death experience was the one that profoundly moved Raymond Moody to begin seriously investigating the near-death experience. Since Dr. Moody is considered to be the "father of the near-death experience," Dr. Ritchie's near-death experience is in a class of its own. You will find his experience to be one of the most profound near-death experiences ever documented.

The following is a brief summary of Dr. George Ritchie's near-death experience. You can read his NDE testimony in its entirety in his ground-breaking books Return From Tomorrow and his follow-up book Ordered to Return: My Life After Dying.

George leaves his body and sees it lying in his bed. He is not aware the dead body in his bed is his. Wanting eagerly to travel to Richmond, Virginia to start college, he finds himself flying in the air toward a city. He is not sure how he acquired these strange powers of flight and transparency. He arrives at a city and discovers he has lost his solidness. He flies back to the hospital and sees his lifeless body in the morgue and realizes he has died.

Suddenly, Jesus appears emitting a tremendous light and love. George's entire life appears before him. Jesus asks, "What have you done with your life?" He realizes Jesus is not judging him, but he is judging himself.

Jesus gives him a tour of four different dimensions in the afterlife. They both fly toward a large city on Earth where they notice a group of assembly-line workers at work. He witnesses the spirit of a woman trying desperately to obtain a cigarette from the workers who are oblivious to her presence. This woman died severely addicted to cigarettes.

In a house, Jesus shows him the spirit of a boy following a living teenage girl and begging for forgiveness while the girl is completely unaware of the boy's presence. Jesus tells George that the boy committed suicide and is "chained to every consequence of his act."

Jesus shows George a bar filled with sailors who are heavily drinking. Spirits try desperately and in vain to get a drink or to control the sailors' alcoholic behavior. These spirits are from humans who die severely alcoholic. He is horrified as he observes a drunken sailor pass out and an alcoholic spirit jump into the body of the sailor.

Jesus takes him to a new dimension away from Earth and shows him a kind of "receiving station" where spirits would arrive in a deep hypnotic sleep because of their beliefs. These are spirits who believe they must sleep after death until Jesus returns.

Jesus shows him a dimension where angry spirits are locked in hand-to-hand combat, trying in vain to hurt each other. He hears verbal abuse going on. He observes some trying in vain to get sexual gratification from each other. He also sees spirits arguing over some religious or political point and trying to kill the ones who did not agree with them. Here, he realizes he is seeing hell. These are spirits who are locked into some earthly desire that went beyond the physical and which cannot be satisfied in the spirit.

He is then taken to a different dimension appearing like an enormous university. Here he observes people dressed as monks engaged in some form of artistic behavior or research. He is taken into an enormous library where all the important books of the universe are assembled. He asks Jesus if this is heaven. He replies that these are the people who grew beyond selfish desires while on Earth. George realizes these people cannot see Jesus, just as the others could not see him in hell.

Jesus takes him into outer space toward a distant city made of brilliant light of a similar description to the city in the Book of Revelation. He speculates this is the place where people go who have become Christ-like while on Earth. Here, love was the dominant focus of life. He realizes he is seeing heaven, but he is not allowed to go in. Jesus then shows him the future of the Earth. He then returns to his physical body.

"Death is nothing more than a doorway, something you walk through." - Dr. George Ritchie


People Have NDEs While Brain Dead

People Have NDEs While Brain Dead

Dr. Michael Sabom Documents One of the Most Unusual Cases

michael_sabom.jpgDr. Michael Sabom is a cardiologist whose latest book, Light and Death, includes a detailed medical and scientific analysis of an amazing near-death experience of a woman named Pam Reynolds. She underwent a rare operation to remove a giant basilar artery aneurysm in her brain that threatened her life. The size and location of the aneurysm, however, precluded its safe removal using the standard neuro-surgical techniques. She was referred to a doctor who had pioneered a daring surgical procedure known as hypothermic cardiac arrest. It allowed Pam's aneurysm to be excised with a reasonable chance of success. This operation, nicknamed "standstill" by the doctors who perform it, required that Pam's body temperature be lowered to 60 degrees, her heartbeat and breathing stopped, her brain waves flattened, and the blood drained from her head. In everyday terms, she was put to death. After removing the aneurysm, she was restored to life. During the time that Pam was in standstill, she experienced a NDE. Her remarkably detailed veridical out-of-body observations during her surgery were later verified to be very accurate. This case is considered to be one of the strongest cases of veridical evidence in NDE research because of her ability to describe the unique surgical instruments and procedures used and her ability to describe in detail these events while she was clinically and brain dead.

midas_rex.jpgWhen all of Pam's vital signs were stopped, the doctor turned on a surgical saw and began to cut through Pam's skull. While this was going on, Pam reported that she felt herself "pop" outside her body and hover above the operating table. Then she watched the doctors working on her lifeless body for awhile. From her out-of-body position, she observed the doctor sawing into her skull with what looked to her like an electric toothbrush. Pam heard and reported later what the nurses in the operating room had said and exactly what was happening during the operation. At this time, every monitor attached to Pam's body registered "no life" whatsoever. At some point, Pam's consciousness floated out of the operating room and traveled down a tunnel which had a light at the end of it where her deceased relatives and friends were waiting including her long-dead grandmother. Pam's NDE ended when her deceased uncle led her back to her body for her to reentered it. Pam compared the feeling of reentering her dead body to "plunging into a pool of ice." The following is Pam Reynolds' account of her NDE in her own words.

Pam Reynolds' NDE

pam_reynolds.jpgThe next thing I recall was the sound: It was a Natural "D." As I listened to the sound, I felt it was pulling me out of the top of my head. The further out of my body I got, the more clear the tone became. I had the impression it was like a road, a frequency that you go on ... I remember seeing several things in the operating room when I was looking down. It was the most aware that I think that I have ever been in my entire life ...I was metaphorically sitting on [the doctor's] shoulder. It was not like normal vision. It was brighter and more focused and clearer than normal vision ... There was so much in the operating room that I didn't recognize, and so many people.

I thought the way they had my head shaved was very peculiar. I expected them to take all of the hair, but they did not ...

surgery_tools2.jpgThe saw-thing that I hated the sound of looked like an electric toothbrush and it had a dent in it, a groove at the top where the saw appeared to go into the handle, but it didn't ... And the saw had interchangeable blades, too, but these blades were in what looked like a socket wrench case ... I heard the saw crank up. I didn't see them use it on my head, but I think I heard it being used on something. It was humming at a relatively high pitch and then all of a sudden it went Brrrrrrrrr! like that.

Someone said something about my veins and arteries being very small. I believe it was a female voice and that it was Dr. Murray, but I'm not sure. She was the cardiologist. I remember thinking that I should have told her about that ... I remember the heart-lung machine. I didn't like the respirator ... I remember a lot of tools and instruments that I did not readily recognize.

There was a sensation like being pulled, but not against your will. I was going on my own accord because I wanted to go. I have different metaphors to try to explain this. It was like the Wizard of Oz - being taken up in a tornado vortex, only you're not spinning around like you've got vertigo. You're very focused and you have a place to go. The feeling was like going up in an elevator real fast. And there was a sensation, but it wasn't a bodily, physical sensation. It was like a tunnel but it wasn't a tunnel.

At some point very early in the tunnel vortex I became aware of my grandmother calling me. But I didn't hear her call me with my ears ... It was a clearer hearing than with my ears. I trust that sense more than I trust my own ears.

The feeling was that she wanted me to come to her, so I continued with no fear down the shaft. It's a dark shaft that I went through, and at the very end there was this very little tiny pinpoint of light that kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

The light was incredibly bright, like sitting in the middle of a light bulb. It was so bright that I put my hands in front of my face fully expecting to see them and I could not. But I knew they were there. Not from a sense of touch. Again, it's terribly hard to explain, but I knew they were there ...

I noticed that as I began to discern different figures in the light - and they were all covered with light, they were light, and had light permeating all around them - they began to form shapes I could recognize and understand. I could see that one of them was my grandmother. I don't know if it was reality or a projection, but I would know my grandmother, the sound of her, anytime, anywhere.

Everyone I saw, looking back on it, fit perfectly into my understanding of what that person looked like at their best during their lives.

I recognized a lot of people. My uncle Gene was there. So was my great-great-Aunt Maggie, who was really a cousin. On Papa's side of the family, my grandfather was there ... They were specifically taking care of me, looking after me.

They would not permit me to go further ... It was communicated to me - that's the best way I know how to say it, because they didn't speak like I'm speaking - that if I went all the way into the light something would happen to me physically. They would be unable to put this me back into the body me, like I had gone too far and they couldn't reconnect. So they wouldn't let me go anywhere or do anything.

I wanted to go into the light, but I also wanted to come back. I had children to be reared. It was like watching a movie on fast-forward on your VCR: You get the general idea, but the individual freeze-frames are not slow enough to get detail.

Then they [deceased relatives] were feeding me. They were not doing this through my mouth, like with food, but they were nourishing me with something. The only way I know how to put it is something sparkly. Sparkles is the image that I get. I definitely recall the sensation of being nurtured and being fed and being made strong. I know it sounds funny, because obviously it wasn't a physical thing, but inside the experience I felt physically strong, ready for whatever.

angiogram_pam_reynolds.jpgMy grandmother didn't take me back through the tunnel, or even send me back or ask me to go. She just looked up at me. I expected to go with her, but it was communicated to me that she just didn't think she would do that. My uncle said he would do it. He's the one who took me back through the end of the tunnel. Everything was fine. I did want to go.

But then I got to the end of it and saw the thing, my body. I didn't want to get into it ... It looked terrible, like a train wreck. It looked like what it was: dead. I believe it was covered. It scared me and I didn't want to look at it.

It was communicated to me that it was like jumping into a swimming pool. No problem, just jump right into the swimming pool. I didn't want to, but I guess I was late or something because he [the uncle] pushed me. I felt a definite repelling and at the same time a pulling from the body. The body was pulling and the tunnel was pushing ... It was like diving into a pool of ice water ... It hurt!

When I came back, they were playing Hotel California and the line was "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave." I mentioned [later] to Dr. Brown that that was incredibly insensitive and he told me that I needed to sleep more. [laughter] When I regained consciousness, I was still on the respirator.

For practical purposes outside the world of academic debate, three clinical tests commonly determine brain death. First, a standard electroencephalogram, or EEG, measures brain-wave activity. A "flat" EEG denotes non-function of the cerebral cortex - the outer shell of the cerebrum. Second, auditory evoked potentials, similar to those [clicks] elicited by the ear speakers in Pam's surgery, measure brain-stem viability. Absence of these potentials indicates non-function of the brain stem. And third, documentation of no blood flow to the brain is a marker for a generalized absence of brain function.

But during "standstill", Pam's brain was found "dead" by all three clinical tests - her electroencephalogram was silent, her brain-stem response was absent, and no blood flowed through her brain. Interestingly, while in this state, she encountered the "deepest" NDE of all Atlanta Study participants.

Some scientists theorize that NDEs are produced by brain chemistry. But, Dr. Peter Fenwick, a neuropsychiatrist and the leading authority in Britain concerning NDEs, believes that these theories fall far short of the facts. In the documentary, "Into the Unknown: Strange But True," Dr. Fenwick describes the state of the brain during a NDE:

"The brain isn't functioning. It's not there. It's destroyed. It's abnormal. But, yet, it can produce these very clear experiences ... an unconscious state is when the brain ceases to function. For example, if you faint, you fall to the floor, you don't know what's happening and the brain isn't working. The memory systems are particularly sensitive to unconsciousness. So, you won't remember anything. But, yet, after one of these experiences [a NDE], you come out with clear, lucid memories ... This is a real puzzle for science. I have not yet seen any good scientific explanation which can explain that fact."

"The modern tradition of equating death with an ensuing nothingness can be abandoned. For there is no reason to believe that human death severs the quality of the oneness in the universe." - Larry Dossey, MD


Blind woman saw after sun miracle

Blind woman saw after sun miracle

By Jakob Marschner on Jul 17, 2012


Raffaella Mazzocchi was blind on one eye when her family persuaded her to go to Medjugorje. When she saw a sun miracle, she first turned blind on both eyes for five minutes. But she could see when she opened up her sick eye, and when she opened both, her inexplicable healing was complete.


The major sun miracle during visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo’s apparition on October 2nd 2011. After watching a similar occurence, Raffaella Mazzocchi’s sight was restored

Blinded on one eye without notice, then healed from one moment to the next. There is nothing gradual to the story of Raffaella Mazzocchi’s eye sight.

At age 16, on December 22nd 2001, the Italian girl completely lost sight on her right eye while she was at school. Doctors found her condition was due to retrobulbar optic neuritis, a virus that irreversibly destroys the optic nerve.

“It is a diagnosis without hope of recovery, and no treatment seemed to work. I was forced to leave school because I could not study. I could not even sleep, I went ahead with psychotropic drugs, and in this state I lived in a nightmare for eight years. I lost faith, and I stopped attending church” Raffaella Mazzocchi tells in her testimony at Messaggi Medjugorje.


Raffaella Mazzocchi

“One day, my aunts, my mother and my sister decided to go to Medjugorje, and at all costs they wanted to take me with them. I was reluctant but eventually succumbed to the entreaties of my family, but I had no intention of praying for my recovery.”

Raffaella Mazzocchi and her family arrived in Medjugorje and went to climb Apparition Hill on June 26th 2009. On the way down, something unusual caught the family’s attention.

“My sister noticed that the sun moved in a non-normal way, and seemed to be dancing. So I grabbed the my sister’s sunglasses and with my good eye, the left, I first clearly saw the sun rotating and pulsating, almost approaching my face and moving back again, and then changing color constantly, becoming red, blue, orange, green” Raffaella Mazzocchi recounts.


The Blue Cross by the foot of Apparition Hill in Medjugorje where many apparitions have taken place, and where Raffaella Mazzocchi got her eye sight back

“I finally took off the sunglasses and started to cry desperately because I realized that I had also lost the sight on my left eye and had become completely blind. My screams attracted many pilgrims who gathered around me but I kept screaming more and more desperately because I felt a strong burning in my eyes.”

“This total blindness lasted five minutes, the longest of my life.When she saw I was in panic, my mom got me seated and somehow managed to calm me down” the young Italian woman tells.

“While I kept my head down and my eyes closed, suddenly I felt the urge to open my right eye, the sick one, and I realized that I could see my hands. I opened the other eye and I could see very well with that, too.”


The sun miracle that Raffaella Mazzocchi saw in June 2009

“By moving my hands back and forth before my eyes, I realized that I was healed, but instead of jumping with joy, I was overcome by fear and locked. From seeing my eyes, my mother noticed the change in me and ran up to hug me. So did all the many pilgrims” Raffaella Mazzocchi tells.

“From that day, my sight has been fully recovered, and even now I have a perfect view of 11/10. And, more importantly, I also picked up the faith again because now, finally, we see in all directions.”

While the story of Raffaella Mazzocchi is relatively well-known in Italy, it has not been told in English before.


Father Taras Kraychuk: From drug dealer to Ukrainian Catholic monk

By Ramon Gonzalez

Catholic News Service


LAC STE. ANNE, Alberta (CNS) -- For years, the alcohol, the drugs, the parties consumed Taras Kraychuk.

Then, literally, he saw the light.

He's now Father Taras (Terry) Kraychuk, serving as a hieromonk -- pastor-monk -- in the Ukrainian Catholic Church and living the monastic life near Derwent, Alberta.

For 12 years, Father Kraychuk has followed God's call to serve others, he told about 2,000 participants at the Catholic Family Life Conference at Lac Ste. Anne in early July.

Father Kraychuk said his conversion came on a bus trip from California to his family in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He had decided to return home at the urging of friends who felt his hard-driving lifestyle would lead to his death.

The light appeared, he said, soon after he dumped the illicit drugs he was carrying into the toilet in the back of the bus, and he promised God that he would try not to get drunk again. Suddenly, he recalled, he realized that Christ loved him despite his decadent lifestyle.

As he looked out a bus window, Father Kraychuk said he saw God's creation with new eyes. He turned to the biker-type man behind him, with whom he had exchanged stories about the partying life during the trip, and realized something had happened to his new friend at the same time. They started to talk loudly. People came from the front of the bus to the back and sat down and listened to the pair.

"That was the moment my life turned around," Father Kraychuk said.

Not long afterward, Father Kraychuk began working in native missions in northern Canada, discerning a call to the priesthood and monastic life in the Ukrainian Catholic Church. He studied at the Benedictine Seminary of Christ the King in Mission, British Columbia, at the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Redwood Valley, Calif., and at Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Ottawa before being ordained in 2000.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Father Kraychuk was the child of a devout Ukrainian Catholic family that prayed together and attended Mass weekly.

"I grew up in the faith, but I drifted away from those roots," he told the audience attending the four-day conference. "When I was about 15 or 16, I was into the drug scene."

As Father Kraychuk put it, he rejected the land of the church and took off to find another land.

"I wanted to experience all the excitement, all the drugs, all the partying, all that belongs with that kind of life," he said.

When he was kicked out of high school, he left the church and his family and became a biker, traveling throughout much of the United States and Canada. Eventually, he landed in Southern California.

"I was living in a place where all my needs where met, selling drugs and making money," he said.

He never stopped believing that God existed but essentially abandoned himself to fate. Any time he would get in trouble, he would call on God. He constantly read his Gideon Bible, believing that if he read it often, God would protect him from the police.

One rainy day, as he looked through a window, thoughts of emptiness and suicide filled his mind.

"I really thought there was nothing to live for," he said. "I wanted to blow myself away because there was no reason; this is all absurd. This is all meaningless."

In that moment, he heard a voice commanding him to take the Bible and read it. He opened it to St. Paul's letter to the Galatians and read about those who will not make it to be with God: drunkards, fornicators, adulterers. He identified with every sinner on the list.

However, Father Kraychuk said he still rejected God and religion.

"I don't want to become a Jesus freak," he recalled thinking.

But for the next 14 months, things were different.

"It's like the Lord sent an angel, a spirit that would speak to me," he said. Every time he was ready to make a drug deal, the spirit would come to remind him his actions were against God's law.

He took off again, making his way to Florida, then to Eastern Canada, trying to shake what he imagined was depression. Returning to his friends in California the young man became even more involved in drugs and alcohol, so much that he would shake from the chemicals in his body.

"My old buddies said, 'You've got to go or you are going to kill yourself,'" he recalled.

That's when he hopped the bus to Winnipeg. Between Utah and Idaho, two biker types came onto the bus and went to the back where Father Kraychuk was sitting. They started to talk, sharing their latest adventures with drugs and parties. The conversation then shifted to God and Scripture.

He realized that the same things that had happened to him had happened to one of the bikers.

"It was like looking in a mirror," Father Kraychuk said.

After the conversation had died down, Father Kraychuk turned around in his seat and as he was sitting down he experienced the beginning of change in his life.

"It was Christ himself. And he said to me, 'Terry, there are two roads before you. You know where your road is going; you know where it leads. Now I'm offering you my road. You must choose.'"

Father Kraychuk knew then that he had to choose God, pledging "I'll try to follow you."

That's when he dumped the drugs in the toilet.

And then he saw the light.