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Well done overview of a complex topic. Gallup, George. Proctor Adventures in Immortality: A look beyond the threshold of death. Overview of NDEs in the context of a Gallup study of American beliefs about death and life after death. Frequently referenced in other works. Kason, Yvonne. Toronto: iPublishing. Comprehensive description of the varieties of potentially spiritually transformative experiences, their aftereffects, and suggestions for coping by a physician who has had more than one transformative NDE.
Contains hard-to-find information on the sometimes alarming symptoms of kundalini energy. Kellehear, Allan New York: Oxford University Press. A cross-cultural and sociological approach to NDEs, their cultural and psychological response and why they occur. New York: Ballantine. Sabom, Michael Has an evangelical Christian perspective. Distressing Bush, Nancy Evans Most interpretations of hellish NDEs assume the experiences exist as punishment. What if evidence shows that's not entirely true? This book seeks to understand distressing NDEs in the context of NDEs in general, to understand the concept of hell, and to find alternative ways to approach distrssing NDEs through religious ideas and psychological insights.
Ellwood, Gracia Fay New York: Lantern Books. Deeply thoughtful analysis of NDE phenomenonThough actually a book that addresses in general the implications of NDEs, with a good chapter 4 on, and subsequent discussion of, "painful" NDEs. Rommer, Barbara. Blessing in Disguise: Another side of the near-death experience. Paul, MN: Llewellyn. Houston, Texas: Emerald Ink, Two hospice nurses describe the experiences of dying patients. Kircher, Pamela Love is the Link: A hospice doctor shares her experience of near-death and dying. Burdett, NY: Larson. Unique perspective from an author who is, herself, a childhood NDEr.
The classic book that raised American consciousness about the experiences and needs of the dying. Brain Wars: The scientific battle over the existence of the mind and the proof that will change the way we live our lives. New York: HarperOne. This book presents near-death experiences as one of several lines of evidence that "strongly challenge the mainstream neuroscientific view that mind and consciousness result solely from brain activity". Blackmore, Susan Dying to Live: Near-Death Experiences.
Explains NDEs as a product of brain function. Barbara Bradley Hagerty New York: Riverhead Penguin. New York: Tarcher. Suicide Rogers, Sandi.
What We Can Learn from the Near-Death Experience
New York: Warner. An autobiographical account from a woman whose NDE occurred when she attempted suicide. Hello from Heaven. Summarizes reports of the incidence and types of after-death communication. Kelly, Edward et al.
Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21 st Century. Comprehensive and detailed empirical proof that the reductive, materialistic belief that mind equals brain is not just incomplete but false. A major scholarly work. James, William. The great classic study of religious and spiritual experiences, by the great classic scholar and pioneer in psychology.
Newton, Michael. Using a special hypnosis technique to reach the hidden memories of subjects, Dr. Newton discovered some amazing insights into what happens to us between lives. Newton presents 70 additional case histories of people who were regressed into their lives between lives. He also provides more details about various aspects of life on the other side. Parnia, Sam. What Happens When We Die? London: Hay House. Up-to-the-minute data and theory about what is known about mind, brain, and consciousness as demonstrated by NDEs.
Excellent information, especially for the scientifically minded reader. Parnia reveals that death is not a moment in time. Death, rather, is a process—a process that can be interrupted well after it has begun. Innovative techniques have proven to be effective in revitalizing both the body and mind, but they are only employed in approximately half of the hospitals throughout the United States and Europe.
Schwartz, Robert. Schwartz explores the premise that we are all eternal souls who plan our lives, including our greatest challenges, before we are born for the purpose of spiritual growth. Schwartz develops the idea of pre-birth planning further by exploring the pre-birth planning of spiritual awakening, miscarriage and abortion, caregiving, abusive relationships, sexuality, incest, adoption, poverty, suicide, rape, and mental illness.
Swedenborg, Emmanuel. I wound up spending many months traversing barren lands and boarding rickety aircrafts. My travels customarily took me to the many diamond deposits laden throughout Africa.
Lessons from the Light: What We Can Learn from the near-Death Experi…
Despite the intense feeling of anxiety , I began mentally preparing for the long day ahead. Boarding the plane, the anxiousness only increased as thoughts of my parents and six-year old daughter inundated my mind. I chose to ignore the sickening feeling in my gut, telling myself to pull it together for the forty-five-minute flight.
The plane took off, ascending above the endless landscape of the African jungle. The familiar hum of the propellers, the oppressive heat, and the vibration of the aircraft quickly relaxed me and I drifted off to sleep.
Minutes later, my mind realized that the buzz of the flight had ended and there was nothing but complete silence. The creaking and clanking of the plane in the breeze was the only sound. But above all, I regretted leaving my six-year-old daughter. I anguished over the idea of never seeing her bright eyes and shiny smile again, nor being with her at the happiest and hardest moments of her life. These split-second reflections were quickly replaced by a jolt of consciousness that returned me to the moment of impact.
A terrible screeching sound, a jerk and then… nothing… darkness…. I felt a blinding light shining through my eyelids and the sounds started breaking the stillness. Am I alive?? It was a miracle—the carpet of jungle had saved us all during the crash by acting like a trampoline and absorbing the impact.
During the next eight hours as we trudged through the jungle, I had time to contemplate where I was in my life. Normally we take our time when approaching a task, rushing in the final moments to accomplish it and fearful we might fail in the face of a looming deadline. Understanding urgency has changed my life. I no longer postpose anything that is important to me. I use the words I love you with greater frequency and take every opportunity to express my appreciation for those who are in my life, especially my mom and my daughters.
No more excuses, and no more waiting for them to reach out to me.
I regularly host dinners where those dearest to me can enjoy a warm conversation and a hearty meal. I no longer earn as much as I did. As one near-death experiencer told me:. No matter what I did to any person — no matter what that action might be, good or bad — that action would react not only upon me but also on others around me. I knew that every action was its own reaction. What we do for or against another, we do to ourselves. I fully understood what Jesus meant when He said, "As ye do it unto the least of these, you do it unto me.
Another way of putting this would be to say that the life review demonstrates that, psychologically and spiritually, there is really only one person in the universe — and that person is, of course, yourself. Every act, every thought, every feeling, every emotion directed toward another — whether you know the person or not — will later be experienced by you. Everything you send out, returns — just as Tom Sawyer felt each of the thirty-two blows he had viciously rained down on his overmatched victim.
Remember what one of the persons quoted above said to pithily encapsulate this lesson from the life review: "I was the very people that I hurt, and I was the very people I helped to feel good. I don't know about you, but pondering these implications of the life review makes me think about justice in a new way. It occurs to me, what could be a more perfect form of justice than this — everything you do becomes yours. It is not that we are rewarded for our good deeds or punished by our cruel ones; it is simply that we receive back what we have given out, and exactly as we have done.
Unselfish love given to your child is love you experience as bestowed on you. And likewise, a careless word that wounds somebody's feelings cuts into you. Measure for measure, perfectly, with no possibility of error. What Solon could devise anything fairer? These reflections in turn suggest a revisioning of one aspect of the near-death experience that seems to give many people trouble. Very often, following a lecture on NDEs, a question is raised to the effect of whether everybody will eventually find himself in the presence of the Light and receive the incomparable blessings that the Light seems to extend to anyone who comes within its embrace.
Behind the question, there is usually the implication that some persons should be disqualified for this experience — rapists, for example, or others who have led morally reprehensible lives or with some fundamentalists, persons who are "unsaved". The answer I have heard several near-death experiencers give to this question is unqualified: Everyone, they say, will come into this light.
The Light is unconditional and plays no favorites. This reply invariably stirs an agitated response in some members of the audience, and someone will then play the trump card. I remember an answer that was given to this query by a near-death experiencer who, as a child, had suffered severe sexual and physical abuse from her father.
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When she found herself in the Light, she asked it telepathically, "Does everyone come here? But when she told of her encounter with the Light, she also happened to mention the other side of the coin — the life review. Remember what we have already been told by the persons I have quoted: "Multitudinous actions or thoughts, derived from my own meanness, unkindness, or anger, caused me to feel the consequent pains of other people.
Another person, echoing comments I have heard from other near-death experiencers, said that having to re-experience what she did to, thought, and felt about others, was hell itself for her. And a prisoner, not previously quoted, who actually had a long criminal career said, in a passage whose relevance to Hitler's atrocities cannot be overlooked, "Apparently nothing was omitted in this nightmare of injuries, but the most terrifying thing about it was that every pang of suffering I had caused others was now felt by me as the scroll unwound itself.
Again, seemingly perfect justice. From this perspective, can you imagine what Hitler's life review must have been like? One may even wonder whether it is over with yet! Such reflections, however much they serve our need to see justice done, especially to figures of world-historical moral depravity, are nevertheless very disquieting for most of us. None of us, obviously, has lived a blameless life; we have all done things of which we are deeply ashamed and now must live with the knowledge that the shadow of these deeds will haunt us like an unexorcised ghost.
And then there are actions of whose consequences we may remain unaware, but whose effects, not always pleasant, we will be forced to experience for ourselves during the life review. Such thoughts — and maybe you had them when you were doing your writing — are likely to be disturbing, even deeply distressing, to many of us. Even to think about them now is a burden no one would wish to carry, and yet there seems to be no honest way to shake it off. But there is a way to come to terms with this problem that threatens to weigh us down with gloomy and fearful anticipations of almost Dickensian proportions.
And it is one that may come as a surprise almost too good to be believed. For the incontestable fact is, in these life reviews, justice is seemingly always tempered by a kind of mercy that allows most of us to re-experience our lives without teeth-gnashing anguish and remorse. There is never any condemnation — you are not judged. You are in the presence of a being who loves you unconditionally. You are treated with total compassion. You are already forgiven. You are only asked to look at your life, and to understand. Although the life review may be the price you pay for entrance into the Light, the presence within the Light helps you through it with the greatest and most tender compassion and love and, even at times, humor.
You are not being punished; you are being shown, so that you can learn. Just to illustrate the benignity of this process, let this one example speak for many that might be cited. A man who had quite a hard time looking at his life during his review commented:. I feel strongly that the whole life review would have been emotionally destructive I could feel that love.
Every time I got a little upset, they turned it off for awhile and they just loved me. Their love was tangible. You could feel it on your body, you could feel it inside of you; their love went right through you. The therapy was their love. My life review just kept tearing me down. It was pitiful to watch, just pitiful But through it all was their love. Finally, just to show how knowledge of these experiences can actually affect one's conduct in everyday life, let me conclude by citing a letter that was sent to me by a friend named Judy. Though she had never experienced an NDE, Judy had thought about the lessons stemming from these life reviews.
In her letter, she described this incident:. A friend, two recently acquired acquaintances and I met at a restaurant one evening. The four of us found ourselves sitting at a table in such a way that no general conversation inclusive of all of us could be held — and the decibel level in the crowded room also precluded that.
A woman named Michelle was seated to the far left; my friend, Jim, was immediately to her right; I was positioned next to Jim; and another woman, Kathleen, was next to me on the far right-hand side of the table. Jim and I were eager to talk with Michelle because we were very interested in her work and knew we would not have a chance to see her again for a long time since she was soon to go to Europe for an extended period.
However, a four-way conversation being impossible under the circumstances, I gradually gave up trying to chime in, especially since I had become aware that Kathleen seemed somewhat removed from the developing situation. It would have been difficult for Kathleen to participate, anyway, because Michelle, who is something of an "entertainer" and always "on," quickly dominated the conversation.