Near Death Experiences
Can We Survive Death?
Many children and adults have what is called a ‘near-death-experience’ or NDE. This may occur while they are ill, or due to an accident. For instance 11-year-old Brad Steiger was caught in the blades of a large piece of machinery on his parents farm in Iowa. He suffered several skull fractures as the metal blades hit his head. While on this borderline state between life and death, Brad felt himself drift away from his body and was able to watch what was happening from a distance. He could see his injured body on the ground, and saw his sister run for help. He could both watch his father carrying him, and feel something of the sensations of being in his father’s arms all at the same time. While out of the body he also became aware of knowledge beyond his usual ability, being able to see the patterns or processes in life. Although young, he felt he had been shown a plan of the universe and people’s life in it. He wanted to tell people that we are all part of eternal life, and are not alone in the universe.
Near death experiences suggest that our awareness can at times reach far beyond the limitations of our seeing, hearing and feeling. We live in a universe in which our mind is still a largely unknown territory. Scientifically we have travelled further within our solar system to map and understand it, than we have within the huge space of the human mind.
Near Death and Out of Body Experiences are very Similar
When I was eighteen and living in German, I was woken from sleep one summer evening by a sensation of rushing upward in darkness and a release from pressure. When I could see, I was looking down on my sleeping body and experienced terror because something was happening to me I had no explanation for. Then suddenly I realised I had read that some people experience leaving their sleeping body. That is what was happening to me. I had left my body behind and was still conscious and independent of it. The terror disappeared and I found myself curled up with my arms around my knees, flying over the countryside, still light because of the summer evening. But suddenly I was in my home in London, standing behind our couch. I felt more awake than I had ever been before in my life, was amazed at what was happening. I seemed as solid as ever, despite having no physical body. My mother was sitting knitting, alone except for our Alsatian dog asleep in front of the gas fire. I was so excited I called to my mother, “Look what’s happening mum.” She paused for a moment but carried on knitting. This puzzled me as I seemed completely solid and real to myself and couldn’t understand why she couldn’t see me. So I shouted to attract her attention. She carried on knitting, but as I shouted the dog heard me, awoke and came bounding to me, barking and howling to see me. I later found out my mother had been alone that evening, and the dog had suddenly rushed to the back of the settee barking and howling.
The Story of Katie’s defeat of Death
Dr Melvyn Morse specialises in the care of young children. Katie, a young girl, had been found floating face down in a YMCA swimming pool was brought to Dr Morse apparently dead. A CAT scan revealed that her brain was abnormally swollen. If not dead, she was certainly in a deep coma, and was placed on a machine that breathed for her.
In his book Closer to the Light, Dr. Morse describes how Katie made a full recovery, and because he had to find out how Katie came to be face down in a swimming pool, Dr Morse had to interview her. To his amazement Katie described the operating theatre in which she had been placed while in coma. She also described the other people who were working on her and what they did. While this was happening she told Dr Morse that she knew what was going on in her family home and could described in detail what her brothers and sisters were doing. In fact it seemed as if she existed in a different state of time and space.
An Investigation of Hundreds of Cases of Near Death Experience
Dr. Morse went on to investigate hundreds of such experiences. He did this as a long term study, and also followed up on the children he had investigated and recorded their experience of out of body awareness during their apparent death. Of course, many authorities try to explain such experiences away if they have not experienced it themselves. But Dr. Morse examined the possibilities of drugs influencing the brain, and other possibilities and found these did not apply. Again and again, people could witness and report actual happenings around them while they were apparently unconscious or without a heartbeat.
His long term finding discovered that all of the children who had an NDE show an absence of any drug use. They have little rebellion against authority, and showed a keenness to learn and be active in the world. Their maturity and wisdom was marked, and they each claimed that during their NDE they had learned profound lessons about how to live and the meaning of their life.
Because we often believe that what we see in the physical world is an ultimate truth, we hold the concept that distance takes time to cover, and that our body is the very foundation of who and what we are. Many people do not believe that there is anything to learn from within them. The hold the view that there is only one reality and that is the physical world and all it offers. They believe this despite the fact that consciousness is an extraordinary miracle, and imagination a profound argument against all being in the exterior world. Such ideas have given rise to mistaken views of the world that we enter in lucidity. As can be seen from my own and Katie’s experience, when released from the domination of her five physical senses she had a completely different relationship with time, space and her environment.
The Astounding Possibility that we can Exist Beyond Time and Space
This points to an astounding possibility – beyond the limitations of the world we know through our five senses, our mind or core consciousness can move around and live in a world not limited by time and space, or the needs of the body. In this world of experience within us lie enormous resources of information that are deeply relevant to who you are. From it you can gather insights that clarify the most important lessons you face in this life, and your greatest talents and best direction.
Some aspects of modern physics suggest that at a fundamental level the separate parts and units of the universe are totally and immediately connected beyond distance or time. If we add awareness to this, it is saying that consciousness fills the entire universe beyond the limitations of space and time. It also suggests to us there are possibilities open to us beyond our imagination – if we reach out for them! Near death experiences, out of body experiences, and lucidity, give us entrance into that world of timeless and spaceless existence.
Ned Dougherty’s Meeting with Death
Ned Dougherty was a most successful nightclub owner and lived life in the fast lane. Despite his religious upbringing as a Roman Catholic, he had no interest in a spiritual life because he didn’t believe in an afterlife. He was too busy searching for a good time to be bothered with such things. This all changed when he had a near-death experience resulting from a heart attack during a heated fist fight with a business associate. His near-death experience gave him a conscious awareness of his mission in life. The following is an excerpt from his book:
As a massive field of energy began to form in the sky directly in front of me, I heard a loud, grinding mechanical noise as the mass of energy shaped itself into a cylinder funneling upwards. It seemed as if the darkness of the sky turned into liquid as the mass of energy curled like an ocean wave and formed a perfect tunnel that stretched into the heavens.
As I stared into the large and imposing tunnel of energy, a shimmering, luminescent-blue field of energy began to float down the tunnel toward me. As it rapidly approached, I watched the luminescent-blue field mass into a form and begin to materialize into an image of a human being. As the image composed itself, I found myself face to face with an old friend. His name was Dan McCampbell, but I had never expected to see him again. After all, he had been killed in Vietnam.
As Dan and I communicated, I realized that we did not speak to each other as we had communicated in our earthly lives. As soon as I thought, “Dan, I recognize you,” it was communicated to him. We were communicating telepathically, which connotes a communication of words between minds by means other than by vocal communication, but such a description falls short of the spiritual communication we were experiencing. We were not only communicating with words; we were communicating with feelings and emotions. As we thought, we also emoted our thoughts. Both thoughts and emotions were being communicated telepathically and spiritually in a manner that far surpassed normal human communication.
Dan communicated to me, “You are on the threshold of an important journey. Each of these places and events that are before you are for you to absorb as much as you can. It is important that you remember everything that you see before you. You will be going back, and you must go back with what you experience. You have a mission ahead of you in your life, and this experience will guide you on that mission.”
Suddenly, I was enveloped in this brilliant golden light. The light was more brilliant than the light emanating from the sun, many times more powerful and radiant than the sun itself. Yet, I was not blinded by it nor was I burned by it. Instead, the light was a source of energy that embraced my being.
I was alone in the glow of this light and suspended before a magnificent presence. I immediately believed that I was in the presence of God, my Creator. I felt that God was embracing me, and he had love for me, a love greater than any love I had ever known on Earth. I realized that God was bestowing his light of love on me, as his light transformed from a brilliant golden light to a pure white light. As I became more accepting of God’s love, the light of God became brighter, of a pure whiteness beyond description. When I sensed that my spiritual being had received God’s love to the point of overflowing, I became aware that God was stabilizing and energizing my being in preparation for my mission. I realized that I would be returning to earthly life and that God was preparing and orienting me for that return.
God began to imbue me with universal knowledge. I realized that I had always thirsted for this knowledge and I wanted to absorb as much as I could. As I remained suspended in God’s light, I felt this knowledge penetrate and absorbed by my spiritual being. This knowledge was flowing through me in the same manner as God’s love, pulsating through my being. Dan was back at my side again. We descended together from God’s light into a universe of bright stars. We were again in the deepest void of space, but now I felt comfortable in this environment as well as in my spirit body, and I felt at home in this celestial location. As Dan and I continued to descend, I was startled by the magnificent ethereal structure directly below us. The heavenly structure resembled an amphitheater similar to those found in ancient civilizations. This amphitheater was made of a brilliant, crystal-like substance that radiated multi-colored waves of energy throughout its form. The amphitheater was suspended in the void of space in the same fashion that a space station might hover in space. The amphitheater was similar in size to a sports stadium and conveyed a great majesty.
As Dan and I descended closer to the amphitheater, I realized that it was filled with thousands of spiritual beings. We hovered directly over the structure, and I felt a vibrant energy envelop me. The energy seemed to come from the crystalline structure of the amphitheater. The lower we descended, the more I was drawn to the energy.
I sensed that the thousands of spiritual beings there were also absorbing this energy. They were sending out waves of energy to one another as well as to Dan and me. We were now descending onto the celestial field, which was surrounded by the large arc of the amphitheater. Although I first felt it as energy, I recognized that the energy emanating from the crystalline structure was also a symphonic sound.
Soon Dan and I were suspended in the center of the celestial field which meant that we were the focus of attention for the thousands of spiritual beings positioned throughout the amphitheater. Above, below, and behind us was the deep void of space. In front of us, thousands of spiritual beings were communicating, by musical sounds, feelings of goodwill to me. Their sounds of greeting were in harmony with the symphonic sounds of energy emanating from the amphitheater. Once I settled onto the celestial field, I could look directly into the crystalline surface of the amphitheater and watch as multi-colored prisms of light pulsated through the structure.
I was overwhelmed by the awesome sight before me, but the feelings of love that were conveyed to me by the spiritual beings were even more overwhelming. The spiritual beings were cheering me, conveying loving encouragement and support. “You are doing wonderfully. We are here to support you. Continue to do good work, and we will help you. You are part of us, and we are part of you. We stand ready to come to your aid when you need us, and you will. Call us. Beckon us. We will flock to you when the time comes!”
Frankly, I was confused by all the attention. There wasn’t anything wonderful about the way I had conducted my life. Perhaps the spiritual beings were speaking of what was yet to come. They certainly could not have been speaking of earlier events in my life. I thought, “How can I be doing wonderfully? I almost killed someone tonight. Could I be justified in what I tried to do?”
Sanjay Gupta Says He cannot Explain Everything Scientifically
When Gupta was asked how a physician deals with such apparent medical miracles, he fell into the fallacy of the argument from ignorance: “When I was researching this for a long time, I thought I was going to explain it all away physiologically. But things that I heard and validated and subsequently believed convinced me that there were things that I could not explain. There were things that were happening at that moment, that near-death experience moment, that simply could not be explained with existing scientific knowledge.” A quote from Scientific American March 2010.
Summary of after death experience
Because after death we are still in an dream like existence, we tend to create around us those thins we expect to see or experience. So someone who has no previous information about death may wander around for awhile confused. A Christian may see Christ welcoming them, so the beginnings are very varied. But there is some sort of life review. This is about harvesting all of value from the life experience. It seems as if there is a great difference between existing in a body and surviving in the grand world of the spirit. For here there has to be found something that will link the life with giving and receiving from others, and of course the integration with a greater purpose.
Many people say they go along a tunnel toward a great light, and then great spirit leads them through life review.
Having lost their body and its appetites there may be a period of adaptation to a life in a world without boundaries. Also because the spirit world is similar to the world of dreams, you create around you an environment made up of your own inner state. So if you are full of hate, murderous impulses and selfishness, you create a world like that; usually called hell. We are not ‘cast into hell’ we create it ourselves.
The same with heaven, it is created out of all the attitudes and ideas and feelings that are in harmony with the way the universe works or is. As a friend told me after his death, “I cannot escape myself. This is because everywhere I look is like a mirror. Every direction I find a reflection of me. It is three-dimensional. It doesn’t matter if I look up or down, left or right, all I see are expressions of who I am.”
At first one will look much as you did at death, except if you are old or ill, then you have quickly gained a more youthful and healthy appearance. But of course that is only your physical shape, and you will create that because that is who you think you are. But a great and probably slow swing over will occur. Because your body is gone, and you are moving toward the spiritual being that has always stood behind your life and witnessed it and given it impulses to try to live out. So gradually you may lose any sense of being male or female.
It is possible some people will not make it that far, but go into a sleep state until their next life in the body. But if they can maintain consciousness as they meet these changes they will slowly become a greater being, and have an awareness that could be seen as super human, touching all around them. This is why some dead relatives come back to us in dreams and visions and tell us things they would never have normally been capable of knowing.
Another conversation with a dead friend stated some of this:
It seems to me that things are different for me now. I feel something that is difficult to understand. I seem to be getting less and less of the me I knew; yet at the same time more of who I am. More of me is being lost, but at the same time more of me is being gained – a strange paradox.
Then there is the going beyond even more barriers toward what can be called real spiritual awareness.
In the next region, one sees how the person’s life has accorded not only with their own Self, but with the ‘true being of the world’. We see ourselves as we exist, in or out of harmony with that world consciousness, that essence of all beings, sometimes called the Christ, or Krishna, or Buddha. Here is the judging, the self judging, of the ‘quick and the dead.’
And finally, in this withdrawal, the seventh region is reached, ‘quick or dead’, asleep or awake to the highest in us. ‘The man stands here’ says Steiner, ‘in the presence of the “Life-kernels”, which have been transplanted from higher worlds, in order that in them they may fulfil their tasks.’ These ‘tasks’, expressing through the self, mediated by the soul, and materialised by the body, usually motivate us unconsciously through our body organs. In this seventh region, if consciousness remains, we know ourselves as the whole cosmos of sun, moon, planets, and stars; as all beings, creatures and kingdoms. When we look at these through our physical eyes, we are looking at our own wholeness. The ‘Life kernel’ is the doorway to other ‘cosmic beings’. ‘The life between death and a new birth, and is really a living through the world of stars: but this means, through the spirit of the world of stars,’ not the physical stars.
Coming back to earth
Having made this ascent to the innermost of our nature, the essence of the whole cosmos, there now comes for most of us, a return to a fresh physical experience.
There awakens a ‘desire’ or direction, to perfect one’s own being and that of the earth. ‘Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven,’ is an impulse from this region. Depending upon what fruits were brought to each region, this descent enables certain things, qualities or strengths to be ‘claimed’ from each level of our being. A new spiritual ‘seed’ or ‘germ’ is fashioned which will play its part in fashioning our body. The essence of the future personality chooses the hereditary line and its parents. Steiner says the parents provide a seed bed of physical substance, impregnated with their own characteristics of body and psyche. At conception, the material substance is broken down into the germinal level of chaos, in which all physical form is dissolved. The spirit ‘germ’ of the new being takes hold of this.
At birth the ‘germ’ of the future personality and body, is clothed with physical substance drawn from the parents, along with inherited temperamental qualities. Working with these as materials is the essence of the past life and death experience. This spiritual impulse, takes the ‘model’ given by the parents, and works into it the pattern it brings from its central experience. So there comes into being, through life and death, another life upon the earth.
Just as there was a reliving of life at death, so just prior to birth there is a reliving of death. ‘He sees a tableau which this time displays all the hindrances he must remove, if his evolution is to make further progress. And what he sees becomes the starting point of forces that he must carry with him into a new life.