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This issue is a recap of the Denver conference, looking into the mysteries of the near-death experience. Hosted by International Association For Near-Death Studies (IANDS), there were so many speakers, all I could do was pick and choose. These notes I offer to give you some of the flavor of what was offered, and to pass information on.
NANCY EVANS BUSH -
As far back as the Bronze Age, and even earlier, people have tried to express their perceptions of God. Overtime, a pattern to these mystical experiences has proven to be consistent:
2. Noetic quality - profound knowledge revealed
3. Transient - these experiences don't last
4. Passivity - swept up on a power greater than self, immersed in the sacred
6. Sense of conviction that brings a sense of mission
With Scripture authors in the Bible, none of their circumstances are known to us. We don't know settings. The writings seem to rise up out of nothing. The only exception is the Book of Ezekiel, as it is a story narrative. Near-death experiences are the opposite in the sense that we know the preface, settings are embedded in the narrative stories.
You can't fake radiance, nor can you keep it. The Greek word for "sin" actually means "you missed your mark." That's what sin is - a mistake, a missed opportunity or goal.
Saul/Paul is actually a very good writer. He was hunting for the Jesus freaks, wanting to rid the region of them, when he was struck by lightning on the road he traveled. Blinded, he hears a voice. "Why do you persecute me?" He is led to Damascus to recover, goes into seclusion, then to Arabia and back to Damascus. Over this period of time, he changed his name from Saul to Paul, and was transformed. Part of his transformation was the horror he felt for the blasphemy and disgrace of Jesus ever having been crucified. Twenty years after he wrote his first letter, the transformation he went through became evident. This is typical of an NDEr - 20 years to understand the impact of what happened.
All of the great religions of the world, except Hinduism, originated from visionary experiences of a single person.
In turbulent times, people always head for some form of fundamentalism, or, a personal spiritual experience.
JIM MACARTNEY, Ph.D. -
80% of the theory, text, and practice in Psychology today excludes the transcendence. Our science leaves out the heart.
The worse the problem, the more growth can ensue. When you let go of your safety net, you let go of structure, there is a natural expansion into the truth of who we are. We don't GET anywhere. We EXPAND.
Awakening experiences fundamentally change your relationship to the universe, your sense of being. Young children ARE in higher states of being.
If you can transcend the fear of death, your life will change - every moment of your life will change for the better.
JANE KATRA, Ph.D. -
After-death communications are normal. They occur more often than we hear.
Evolution: the development of the human being is passing from one level of consciousness to another. The unfoldment of the soul in form:
Read Temple Grandin's book, "Animals Make Us Human." She has high-functioning autism and has excelled as an expert in animal behavior. All animals/humans have a "seeking behavior." From Grandin: "The reason that cocaine feels good is that it is intensely stimulating to the seeking system of the brain, not the brain's pleasure enter."
Study "Sacred Contracts" by Caroline Myss. She speak of soul clarity: the capacity to recognize that the events and relationships of our physical world are here as props or parts of our service in the world. Stages of Sacred Contract:
The mind: non-local consciousness.
The organization, Forever Family/Windbridge Organization , certifies mediums - ethics and abilities. Refer to book, "Is There An Afterlife" by David Fontana. This book is the "bible" of evidence. Phone calls from the dead are real and happen fairly often. "Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain" by Sharon Begley is excellent. We now know scientifically that our brain's circuitry is "plastic" in the sense that it can be altered by our habitual thoughts and experiences AT ANY AGE. In science, this is called "neuroplasticity." People with just eleven hours of meditation training can significantly change their brains. According to Katra, "We can override the influences of our environment with mental training."
We are energetic beings. What is the quality of your vibrations? Our will is a real physical force that can change the brain. Our will is a real teacher, that teaches in silence (a magnetic force), and develops our being.
After a near-death experience one can become confused, super-sensitive, lose judgment. This is where help or training or education can make a difference. The purpose of any spiritual path is to change your way of being.
Yoga means "yoke," and is part of every religion. Incarnation in earth in a body is purposeful. The most synchronized energy possible is love.
We are consciousness, not bodies. What we evolve into we take with us after death. Quote Joseph Chilton Pearce, "It is our culture that conditions us toward violence."
TIMOTHY J. GREEN, Ph.D. -
"The Near-Death Experience as One of a Variety of Ecstatic Experiences:
The Implications for the Field of Near-Death Studies."
Shamanistic journeys are like near-death experiences. Consciousness exists outside the body in such journeys, and with lucid dreams, out-of-body and near-death experiences.
Near-death experiences are considered an initiation into shamanism.
JEFFREY LONG, M.D. -
Nearly 2,000 near-death experience narratives are now on his website. Each fills out a long questionnaire. His book is "Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences," and with Paul Perry. He considered nine lines of afterlife criteria:
2. Realistic Out-of-Body Observations - 45% had an OBE as part of the NDE. 97.6% of the observations were given without any apparent inaccuracy.
3. Visual near-death experiences in the blind - even if blind from birth, still saw. If born deaf, they heard through telepathy.
4. NDEs under anesthesia - NDEs are typical to those who had no drugs in their system. Those with drugs in system saw more tunnels than those without any.
5. Perfect playback of Life Review - 14% of all NDEs had them; extremely accurate.
6. Family reunion - meeting with deceased loved ones; pets, too. Even surprise encounters. 4% of greeters were alive (not deceased).
7. From the mouths of babes - NDEs in children: age does not affect content.
8. Worldwide consistency - 20 different languages in his research base. Even with non-Western, the pattern is the same. Implications of this are enormous.
9. Changes lives - increased belief in an afterlife, reduced fear of death, value loving relationships, less materialistic, increased belief in God.
Alternative explanations of the near-death phenomenon fail. His next book will be "Evidence of God: Spiritual Content of NDEs and Related Experiences." His website is www.nderf.org.
SCOTT OLSEN, Ph.D. -
Spiritual initiations, near-death experiences, and vision quests have one thing in common. . . intense light. From this comes:
No fear of death
Geometric key to nature (formulas, equations)
Synesthesia (cojoined senses/multiple sensing)
Blind can see
Plato is the world's interpreter of these states. He was an "Initiate" into the Mysteries. One of his papers was on "Platonic Aesthetics." In economy, simplicity, beauty, the divine works. 137 1/2 degrees is the spin of nature, even hurricanes.
One of Olsen books is "The Mathematics of Harmony," about the Golden Ratio.
Most of his talk was in accord with the best slide show I have ever see on this topic. And he was fast, so much so, that you missed more than you could write down. The last I heard, he will be giving a disk of his talk and show to IANDS, so they can make it available to those who want it. I put my name on the waiting list. You might do the same, if you are interested. Contact Rhonda at the IANDS office, email@example.com. By the way, many of the talks were recorded and there are CDs available. In some cases, DVDs are available. Explore this on www.iands.org.
PIM VAN LOMMEL, M.D. -
In my opinion, Pim's work is the best yet done and the largest study so far of near-death experiences. His book, "Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of Near-Death Experiences," is unequalled in medical and scientific research. His project covered 344 patients.
There is now a new concept about continuity of consciousness based on recent scientific research with survivors of cardiac arrest. For most physicians, the near-death experience is incomprehensible, an unknown phenomenon. Patients are afraid to tell of these episodes. Concept of continuity - an altered state of consciousness, with cognition, identity, emotions, memories, and perception. . . independent of a lifeless body with complete loss of brain function!
Says Pim: "Scientific study of NDE pushes us to the limits of our medical and neurophysiological ideas about the range of human consciousness and the mind-brain connection."
Consciousness causes brain activity, not the other way around. Consciousness if a non-local phenomenon. There is NO REDUCTIONIST THEORY that can explain consciousness. "With our current medical and scientific concepts, it seems impossible to explain all aspects of subjective experiences like NDE," explains Pim.
Death, like brain, is a passing from one state of consciousness to another. Endless consciousness is ROOTED in nonlocal space, not observable in our physical world. ONLY WAKING CONSCIOUSNESS PHYSICALLY OCCURS AND CAN BE MEASURED!!! Our brain has a facilitating, and not a producing function.
Said an experiencer: "I can live without my body. But apparently my body cannot live without me."
All information is encoded into electromagnetic fields.
The NDE is a tramatic event: can cause feelings of depression, homesickness, and loneliness. 20% were greatly challenged. Many NDErs had problems with integration. Takes a number of years to integrate.
JANICE HOLDEN, Ed.D. -
It was Rhea White who defined EHEs as "exceptional human experiences." Here's a brief comparison between experiences that are Exceptional and those that are Transpersonal:
Read book, "Through time Into Healing," by Brian Weiss. That will help you get a sense of making your own book about the experiences of your life. Create your own spiritual lifeline. Here are some tips:
Ways to organize your spiritual autobiography:
Suggestions for media to use:
The potential value of your spiritual autobiography:
Imagine what it would be like to read such an autobiography from a grandparent. How much you would learn, how precious it would be to you. These autobiographies are invaluable, important - everyone should consider doing one. Jan showed us hers and read some of it. Really, it was gripping. We all love storytelling. This time, you tell your own story to yourself (and others if you wish). You get to see what mattered to you, touched you, changed your life in small and big ways.
MAGGIE CALLANAN, RN, CRNH -
Since all of us die someday, why do we fear our one shared experience?
Every day live your gift, but prepare for your passing as well. Maggie is a hospice nurse who is often called "The bulldog from God." She spreads the "secret stories" the dying give. We are students, learning from those who have gone on before us. The dying are the teachers; caregivers, docs, professionals, are the students.
Nearing death awareness: expanded awareness that increases as death nears. A symbolic language emerges as the person drifts from this world into the next - occurs without warning, can disrupt vital signs.
What a dying person experiences:
Maggie's first book, "Final Gifts," was co-written with Pat Kelley. She has now come out with her second, "Final Journeys."
Looking at you but through you - is a classic sign of nearing death awareness. Symbolic metaphors begin and they are exact: like "It's time to get in line." Woman whose daughter Susan had predeceased her: "Susan is in line."
What we do that is wrong. We say:
We are so busy treating illness, we never look at the individual's fear. Ask the one who is dying - What does dying mean to you? Pay attention to what people say who are dying. Sometimes, they know more than you do.
Recurring themes with the dying and in their communication:
Be at peace with the wishes of the dying. NEVER close the door to reconciliation within families, with friends and associates. It can occur at the last minute.
CLAUDE SWANSON, Ph.D -
"What Near-Death Experiences Can Teach Science About Higher Dimensions of Consciousness"
Consider higher dimensions of space/time, near-death experiences, physics, aeronautics, fluid dynamics, nanotechnology, remote viewing.
NDE reveals other dimensions described by mystics throughout the ages. Sages have taught that we exist in many worlds at the same time. All creation is governed by Law:
There are no dead planets or barren lands - the astral levels are always there and beings of the astral. Consciousness continues - must include effects of consciousness in physics (as Bohr and Einstein tried to do). William Tiller said "The gauge is raised. . . physics changes."
Our consciousness affects spacetime. Precognition - we know things before they happen. Higher dimensions correspond to more complex "self-orbits." Qigong is an excellent practice, especially in medicine. Auras are made of subtle energy. This energy runs throughout the body. Chi (subtle energy): can change the structure of molecules, change water crystals. Most recent advances from Russia involve time density (Kozyrev, Nicholai - astrophysicists - the 1950s), and with torsion energy - spinning wake can change mass of objects.
For a more detailed understanding of vacuum: it is filled with energy.
Photon pulse = wave packets: the synchronizing principle.
There are parallel universes, not aware of each other. The paranormal is recognized as normal. Synchronized coherent consciousness can change a hologram. Orbs, astral body, ghosts - can exist without matter.
These are bits and pieces of talks, what I could scribble down on paper. If any of this whets your appetite, please contact the IANDS office for an order blank of session recordings, or visit www.iands.org.
Many blessings to all of you! PMH
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