What is an NDE?
As some of you know I recently went to a conference in Orlando on Near Death Experiences (NDEs). These are experiences by people usually under extreme stress resulting from bodily injury, a medical emergency or condition such as cardiac arrest or coma, or just an overwhelming situation. Many people have heard of occurrences, for example, where a person “dies” during an operation and views the scene from above. Things are seen and heard that later prove to be remarkably veridical (congruent with reality), and cannot be easily explained by traditional, materialistic understanding.
Although the experiences are never the same from one to another and across cultures, times, and religions, the following themes are recurrent:
- Feelings of utter peace, bliss, acceptance, and love, absent all pain, irritation, and worry
- Feelings of hyperreality. Seeing, hearing, and feeling better than ever
- Feelings of having returned to one’s true home
- A beautifully inviting, consciously loving, mega-intense light brighter than 1,000 suns
- Other persons, beings, religious figures, deceased relatives, and angels
- A life review played in an ampitheatre or through physical revisitation
- A sudden remembrance that Love was why we came, and that this was home
- Upon returning, permanently heightened psychic and extranormal awareness
- Life transformation, from mild to magnificent
And perhaps the most common theme is the complete loss of fear of death.
One Becomes Fearless
One understands that this life is extremely brief, to be enjoyed fully in the moment, in the now, despite the attendant sorrows of physical existence through which we must struggle. There seems to be an indelible peace that the experiencer brings back that completely changes one's outlook for quite the better.
To be sure, some experiences are the darkest of hells, places that experiencers come back to testify on, places that they would never wish on even their foulest enemy. Although literal descriptions vary, often being of fire and stench, the underlying theme is the heartbrokenness of knowing one has forever spurned Love and now exists in an infinite negative feedback loop of misery with like-minded souls. And these souls, would they just look up and call out to Spirit, would be free. Yet they won't. They are completely absorbed in their misery and in sharing their misery. Yet even those who have seen, felt, touched, and smelled these abominable depths often come back dramatically changed for the better with a renewed love of life, and with words of warning to those who have turned their back on Spirit.
I have collected some of my favorite NDEs here for you to view.
Although NDEs have occurred throughout history and throughout cultures and religions, we are now witnessing an increased tempo of reports. Dr. Raymond Moody is considered the father of the modern NDE movement, having exploded the phenomenon into social consciousness with his 1975 groundbreaking classic, Life After Life. Whereas before, near death experiencers tended not to report their experience for fear of ostracism and social estrangement, more and more they are coming forward. In 1978, the International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS) was founded to meet the needs of researchers in the burgeoning field. Today it enjoys membership in every continent except Antarctica.
So I did a little travelin’ to beautiful Orlando, FL to “meld with members of my species” at the IANDS 2016 Conference. As one six-time experiencer rejoiced, “It was a big lovefest!” I agree. Listened to, met, and talked to some pretty cool people, like Nancy Rynes and Anita Moorjani. Really warm hearts in these women. Very approachable. They are spreading God’s Message. (It's a real simple one, oft repeated, somewhat trying to understand, extremely difficult to put into practice: Love God, love this world, love yourself, and love your neighbor like yourself. There's really only one word you need to memorize in this.
At the conference there were physicians, nurses, physicists, hospice caregivers, patients, philosophers, cognitive scientists, biologists, anthropologists, musicians, and just plain ol’ seekers of truth sharing the joy. I got to know four of them in particular. In a word…fascinating. (Thank you, Mr. Spock)
K had experienced something remarkable during a motorcycle accident that never happened. It changed his whole outlook on the nature of time. It also completely reprioritized his life, and he and his wife have just come to an understanding and acceptance how wonderfully different things will be from now on.
A is a friendly and joyful guy, who has a deeply touching story about a life’s love whom he discovered to be otherworldly. The right words heard one evening triggered recognition of an echo from the past. Suddenly he knew!
Robert is a quiet and meditative man…very young at heart and full of the warmth of Jesus and the Buddha…true bodhisattvas this world has been graced with knowing. It takes time, but the seeker eventually finds Peace.
And the lovely Southern Belle, Tamara, whose picture gathered my attention. Nothing brilliantly different than others’, but nonetheless subtly engaging. An interesting story of hide and go seek transpired, which we did both win as the seeker and the hider (although such things are prearranged). Interesting options before me now lie. I must confess, seeking—some call it praying, but I’ve cursed as much as prayed, if not more—seeking eventually finds. Knock knock and the door shall be opened, does appear to actually work, although in my opinion the hinges are kind of squeaky and difficult to open. Someone should fix that.
Tamara is an evidential medium with abilities to access Spirit in positive, healing ways. She sees and hears what most cannot and brings this evidence to the seeker in ways that give comfort and guidance. There are many in your soul group giving you aid daily. Some call them guardian angels. Some are family. Regardless, they are otherworldy. You may not know all of them, but they know all of you. There is renewal in the assurance that those who have passed and those who remain are separated by but a thin veil.
And that veil is thinning even now, on a global scale. Something unique in the history of the world is occurring. People's agitation and desperation is completely evident in the political and social scene. Even the weather agrees. They are looking for something that assures them the foulness we have willingly put and allowed to be put in our world and our lives is only temporary...an illusion. Yes, something incredible is about to be unleashed. Is it good or bad? It depends on what you want.
And then there was Laurin Bellg, the doctor who heals not only the body but also the spirit; Alan Hugenot, the no nonsense, animated physicist who explains that modern physics requires a pre-existing Observer to collapse the wave function potential into the birth of our universe (the big bang); Anita Moorjani, the cancer survivor who discovered “God isn’t a being…God is a state of being”; and so many brilliant others. Pretty much all revealing the same singularly fundamental revelation that God is Love, and we are here to enjoy our lives, to live fearlessly, to understand, help, comfort, and heal one another. It is our mission, as Howard Storm explains, to show Love as did Lord Jesus and to show Compassion as did Prince Siddhartha.
Science, Religion, and Truth
You have to be willing to reposition fundamental “certainties” in order to arrive at the truth; even then, you haven’t arrived. The more you think you know, the more you profess, the more you believe…the more points of control you are bound by. These become an anchor. If you are seeking absolute truth in science, in religion, in yoga, in any person or endeavor namable by the tongue, you will be disappointed. These are a means to truth, shadows and breath of the Divine, but not the Absolute. Nothing man can name, think, or create is the Absolute. It is beyond all of these.
So instead of asking what is true and what is false, ask yourself how do you know anything at all? The answer is that you are conscious. Expressed more eloquently, I Am. You may attempt to ‘splain it in terms of neuronal response, electrochemical inversion, circuits of potential gradient igniting a meat-matrix called the brain into the “emergent” and illusory phenomenon of being self-aware, i.e., conscious. But you’re going in circles and haven’t 'splained anything. Science doesn't discover causes. Cause is a human preference—prejudice even. It is often first assumed without the slightest introspection; then, when science demonstrates correlation, a premature and unexamined conclusion is accepted. Correlation is not causation; causation is nothing more than the preference for left- or right-handedness.
Hello? Are you alive or not?
Yes, you are. You need absolutely NOTHING to know that. No intense logical analysis, no ritualistic chantings or blessings, no scientist in a white frock.
Acknowledging this is the fundamental act of Loving God and Loving all Creation, because acknowledging this is the fundamental act of loving yourself--selflessly. Knowing you are alive and not merely biologically functioning means you recognize that you are free of the prison of time. And all the greedy, graspy, lustful, spiteful, nasty behavior fades, replaced by care, concern, empathy, and enjoyment of the imperfections of science, religion, and each other.
Since you know that, you also know that any assertion by "science" to the contrary is false. It doesn't mean science is wrong. It means one's assumptions underlying that science are. Niels Bohr, one of the pioneers of atomic structure and quantum electrodynamics, came to appreciate this in a well-known quote: The opposite of a fact is a falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth.
So, may we lay to rest the vacuous assertion Science and religion are in contradiction? You simply need to be aware of your assumptions--keenly so. This is profoundly difficult and seldom accomplished, because your assumptions virtually define who you are. And if you think it's difficult to recognize a foundational assumption, you can believe that it is just as difficult to change it. It takes a willingness to reposition—even reverse—fundamental "certainties." They aren’t that solid anyways if you look closely. So let’s look at one closely. . .
The Arrow of Cause and Effect
Whether we can yet explain NDEs, consciousness, and other spiritual phenomena is irrelevant to the first hand experiential knowledge of their truth. Let me rephrase that. Do you really think that when “experts” declare they understand how the illusion of consciousness is produced by organic matter (your brain), that you will cease to believe in your existence? Isn’t that a little radical? Isn’t it more reasonable to recognize that temporospatial correlation does not imply causation? That the arrow of presumed cause-and-effect might be pointing in the wrong direction? Besides, the literature is so full of accounts of veridical out-of-body experience that cannot be explained except by the obvious: We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. It’s way more of a straight and short line than the materialistic pretzel-twisting route of supposing superhuman performance of mere human sensory apparatus while in the OR sedated, without a pulse, and flatlined.
So the problem isn’t with science. Science, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and computers are God's gifts, and the Cheese would not give you anything less than Utterly Beautiful. The problem is with the assumption that matter causes the illusion of consciousness. Well, I’m not one to know anything for sure, so that is possible. But it’s also pretty laughable. If there is nothing to start with except totally inert and lifeless matter, how does putting that together—in as complicated way as you please—ever turn into you, the experience? See, it’s laughable.
So turn the arrow of cause and effect around: Consciousness—Spirit—causes the illusion of matter. Absolutely nothing stopping you from making that assumption Maybe the brain doesn’t cause consciousness; maybe instead, consciousness—Spirit—just Is, and the brain transduces its energy and motion into physical energy and motion. And now it falls into place and makes sense. Occam’s razor draws blood. Put another way,,,
It’s ALL about Belief.