A collection of powerful, life-changing quotes from people who have had near-death experiences, as well as those who have researched this very important topic.
“Two of the most common changes following an NDE are increases in a sense of social justice and in the desire to help others.”
— Page 3, The Gifts of Near-Death Experiences: You Don’t Have to Die to Experience Your True Home, by Sheila Fabricant Linn, Dennis Linn, Matthew Linn, quoting NDE Researcher Dr. Pim van Lommel
“People who have had NDEs tend to be especially sensitive to their physical environment after they return. They are less able to tolerate anything that is inconsistent with the intensely vital, life-giving energy of the other realm. Thus, they have more adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals, other drugs, and alcohol than previously. Many avoid foods that contain chemicals or artificial sweeteners and prefer organic foods instead. Some become vegetarians. They seek out nature and fresh air. This sensitivity extends to sounds. Many NDEs include music, and NDErs typically feel drawn to music that resonates with their experience. They prefer natural, gentle, melodious sounds and take more pleasure than before in classical or soothing music. They dislike loud, jarring noise.”
“When NDErs return, they tend to gravitate toward whatever is most consistent with physical wholeness, and they usually treat their bodies with greater love and care. For example, they are attracted to alternative medicine, perhaps because it tries to help the body remember its innate wisdom and balance by working with the body’s energy systems, rather than by manipulating the body with drugs. Perhaps this shift is a reflection of a change in the energetic frequency of the NDEr, who has returned from an immersion in the highest frequencies of the universe. The person will then be drawn toward what matches that higher frequency. Alternative medicine may be a better match because it emphasizes energetic (or frequency-based) methods of healing… Thus, when NDErs try to avoid chemicals in the form of pharmaceuticals, perhaps they are simply seeking out what best matches them and avoiding what does not.
“Similarly, non-organic food has usually been treated with chemicals that are alien to and unrecognizable by the body. These chemicals degrade the food’s natural energy, whereas whole organic foods retain more of the energy of life. Since we are made of energy in the form of light, our bodies know the difference. NDErs may be more consciously aware of and sensitive to the energy in substances such as food, since they are likely more aware of the energy in the form of light that constitutes themselves and all things. Thus, NDErs may change their diet. They may also make other changes, such as giving up smoking or drinking, exercising more, and living as close to the earth as possible.”
“After eight years, people with an NDE scored significantly higher in the following areas: showing emotions; less interest in the opinion of others; accepting others; compassion for others; involvement in family; less appreciation of money and possessions; increase in the importance of nature and environment; less interest in a higher standard of living; appreciation of ordinary things; sense of social justice; inner meaning of life; decline in church attendance; increased interest in spirituality; less fear of death; less fear of dying; and increase in belief in life after death. These different levels of change are a consequence of the NDE and not of surviving a cardiac arrest.”
— NDE Researcher Dr. Pim van Lommel, Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience
“Merely learning about the near-death experience has effects similar to those reported by NDErs.”
“For me personally, I’m showing more love to others now than before I started my near-death-experience studies. My understanding of near-death experiences has made me a better doctor. I face life with more courage and confidence. I believe NDErs really do bring back a piece of the afterlife. When NDErs share their remarkable experiences, I believe a piece of the afterlife, in some mysterious way, becomes available to us all.”
“The thesis of this book is that simply immersing ourselves in NDEs, by listening to accounts of them, reading about them, and so forth, can bring about some of the same changes in ourselves as those described in NDErs in the previous chapters. This has been our experience.”
“‘It’s like climbing right inside a movie of your life,’ says one Near-Deather. ‘Every moment from every year of your life is played back in complete sensory detail. Total, total recall. And it all happens in an instant….’ During this instantaneous and panoramic remembrance NDRers reexperience all the emotions, the joys and sorrows, that accompany all of the events in their life. More than that, they feel all of the emotions of the people with whom they have interacted as well. They feel the happiness of all the individuals to whom they’ve been kind. If they have committed a hurtful act, they become acutely aware of the pain their victim felt as a result of their thoughtlessness. And no event seems to be too trivial to be exempt….
“Whitton has uncovered evidence that thoughtless acts are not the only things that cause individuals remorse during the life review. Under hypnosis his subjects reported that failed dreams and aspirations — things they had hoped to accomplish during their life but had not — also caused them pangs of sadness.”
— Author Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe
“Consider the story of a former Nazi who hurt people in big ways, by killing them in concentration camps. He had an NDE while he was in a coma. The coma lasted forty-eight hours, but it seemed to him that it lasted a lifetime. He was in a dark cave with Nazi and Roman soldiers who had been responsible for mass killings. After a while, he saw a different part of the place where light was shining, and there were the people he had killed. He wanted to ask their forgiveness. He heard that he had already been forgiven, and that now he only needed to forgive himself. He felt unable do this, and so he was allowed to feel the pain and suffering he had caused each of his victims. Afterward, all these people comforted him. ‘He was bathed in unconditional love; it permeated his entire being.’ Then he awoke from his coma.
“Whether we have hurt others in small ways… or in horrific ways… our actions do have consequences, and at some point we will be asked to face whatever pain we have caused. Yet, accounts of NDEs consistently indicate that this has nothing to do with judgment or punishment. The life review takes place in an environment of infinite, unconditional love. The NDEr can ask that the life review stop temporarily if it becomes overwhelming, and she or he can rest for a while in unconditional love before going on. The reason for facing the harm we have done to others is so that we learn from our mistakes and grow in love and compassion, including compassion for ourselves.
“The life review encourages us to realize that everything we do affects all other creatures.”
“I’m not asking you to believe anything. I’m simply telling you what I believe. And I have no idea what the next life will be like. Whatever I saw was only from the doorway, so to speak. But it was enough to convince me totally of two things from that moment on: One, that our consciousness does not cease with physical death; that it becomes, in fact, keener and more aware than ever. And secondly, that how we spend our time on earth, the kind of relationships we build, is vastly more important than we can know.”
“For the first time in my life, I could see! I was stunned. This time I did not see the things that I had seen before. This time I saw every word, thought and action deemed unimportant, insignificant to man. Yet, I now understood the things in life that mattered most to God. It wasn’t material things, or money, or degrees, or even titles I had garnered. God deems those things insignificant, unimportant. They were the loving things I did from the goodness of my heart that were the most important. Until God revealed these to me. I had been completely unaware of them.
“I saw myself helping an elderly person with their groceries, comforting a friend in need, saying something kind when others were mean, standing up for the unwanted, advocating for those who wouldn’t find their voice, and being a patient listener who those who desperately needed to be heard.
“It was giving the homeless money when I didn’t have money to give and putting others, often complete strangers, first over my own needs because my heart told me it was the right thing to do. It was having a huge heart for all animals, giving love to them, rescuing and caring for them in times of need.
“I felt the immediate effect of my words, thoughts and actions on others. A great majority of these things I did not remember I had done because they were mostly things I did when no one was looking.
“But God was looking.
“I understood in that moment, that these things were displays of love, kindness and compassion. They were the only things that mattered in God’s eyes. They all required love. Love was the answer to everything!
“God placed in my heart the value of the little things, the loving things we did for each other.”
“Every word, thought and action, no matter how small, affected everyone and everything. I had no idea of the power and consequences of my thoughts, my words and actions. I knew it was imperative that I remember this if I returned to earth. I had it all wrong! I hadn’t given importance to the “little things” and how each of my words, thoughts and actions affected others.”
“Then, my angel showed me a second vision, a scene I’d forgotten. I now saw myself at 17, when I’d worked at a convalescent hospital after school. I had grown fond of a toothless old woman who was no longer able to speak clearly, and who never had visitors. She liked to suck on graham crackers before going to bed, but no one wanted to serve her because when she had finished, she would drool as she kissed the entire length of the arm of the person feeding her. While others avoided her, I willingly fed her the cookies she adored, seeing how happy this made her.
“When that scene was replayed for me, I felt as if every loving spirit in God’s kingdom was thanking me in unison. I was amazed that such an act could have meant so much to God — and to me. I felt humbled and very honored.”
— NDEr Dianne Morrissey / Source
“One example of my life review was when I was a little kid. We were traveling by car and stopped somewhere along the way. There was a river not far from the road and I was asked to go and bring some water in a bucket from that river. I went to fill up the bucket but on my way back, I felt that the bucket was way too heavy for me. I decided to empty some of the water to make the bucket lighter. Instead of emptying the water right there, I noticed a tree that was alone by itself in a dry patch of land. I took the effort to go out of my way to that tree and emptied some of the water at the tree base. I even waited there a few seconds to make sure the water is soaked in the soil and is absorbed. In my life review, I received such an applaud and joy for this simple act that it is unbelievable. It was like all the spirits in the Universe were filled with joy from this simple act and were telling me we are proud of you. That simple act seemed to be one of the best things I had ever done in my life! This was strange to me, because I didn’t think this little act was a big deal and thought I had done much more important and bigger things. However, it was shown to me that what I had done was extremely valuable because I had done it purely from the heart, with absolutely no expectation for my own gain.
“Another example of my life review was when I was a 10 years old boy. I had bullied and mercilessly beaten another boy who was also around my age. He felt tortured and deeply hurt. In my life review, I saw that scene again. The boy was crying in physical and deep emotional pain. As he was walking in the street crying and going back home, he radiated negative energy which affected everything around him and on the path. People and even birds, trees, and flies received this negative energy from him, which kept propagating throughout the Universe. Even rocks on the side of the street were affected by his pain. I saw that everything is alive and our way of grouping things in categories of ‘alive’ and ‘not alive’ is only from our limited physical point of view. In reality everything is alive. I felt all of the pain and hurt that I had inflicted upon him inside of myself. When this boy went home to his parents, I saw the impact that seeing him in that state had on his parents. I felt the feeling and pain it created in them and how it affected their behavior from that point forward. I saw that as a result of this action, his parents would be always more worried when their son was out of home or if he was a few minutes late.
“I saw that whenever I had done something good to anyone or anything, that I had done it to myself. And whenever I had hurt someone, I had done it to myself while actually doing that person a favor because they would receive some form of compensation or help from the Universe as a result. This universal gift would be bigger than the damage I had caused to them…”
— NDEr Mohammad Z
“I live life with what are generally considered eccentricities because I see what isn’t seen by others. For instance I insist on keeping part of our yard as a micro-habitat in which birds, bees, insects, wild flowers and mammals can thrive. My neighbors only see an un-mown lawn.”
— NDEr Peter Panagore
“I was able to look down and see myself, my own body. And then I experienced this light… this love, this joy, this peace… and then I also had what’s called a ‘life review.’ I went through all the episodes of my life where I had basically hurt other people. So I would go through episodes when I would be angry at my mother. I would experience it; I would be on the receiving end of my anger. I would be inside my mother and experience her pain. So I would experience the consequences of my actions. I also went back all the way back to forth grade where I was teasing a small girl. And this is something I had totally forgotten. She was a younger classmate, maybe second or third grade, and I was teasing her. She was against the wall and I was calling her names. But now I was inside her body; I was receiving my own actions. And not only was I feeling her pain, I was also seeing the future: how she as a person would become more shy and inward as a consequence of my actions. And not only that, I would also feel the pain of her parents for realizing that their child would become inward, shy, and closed as a person. So I was basically experiencing the full consequences of my actions. It’s like a chain. It was not just like I was teasing this little girl and she was sad. It was also her parent’s sadness. Because everybody has hope and love for their children; they want them to grow and bloom in life. So I experienced the full cycle, the chain of my actions… You really understand the consequences of your actions; you really understand what is harmful and what is hurtful to other people.”
“Many events in my life I experienced, but not from how I remembered it, but from the point of view… [of] how the people, animals, environment experienced it around me. I felt it as my own. The times I had made others happy, and sad, I felt it all as they did. It was very apparent that every single thought, word, and action affects everything around us and indeed the entire universe. Trees, plants, animals too. I have been a long-term vegetarian since about 18 years old and I know this was appreciated and is a good choice in life. Spiritually it seemed to show proof of respect for all life, and even seemed to balance some of the negative and wicked things I have done in my life. In the life review we judge ourselves; no one else does. The light/god did not. But with no ego left — and no lies — we can’t hide from what we have done and feel remorse and shame, especially in the presence of this love and light. Some of the things in life we think of as important don’t seem to be so important there. But some of the insignificant things from the material human perspective are very important spiritually.”
— NDEr Justin U
“I heard a voice say to me ‘You have not fulfilled your purpose here.’
“And I said, ‘What was my purpose?’… I didn’t have a clue. I truly didn’t have a clue — how to live, what life was about, what it was to be a man, what my goals or purpose could have been. So I said ‘What was my purpose?’
“And this voice says to me, ‘The same as every man. You were put on the Earth to take care of the Earth…’ We, as men, are here to take care of the Earth. That’s one of our responsibilities, as men. It was very personal. He said, ‘You’re not to strip mine the Earth. You’re not to pollute the Earth. You’re not to destroy your home.’ And I was being indicted because I was responsible. I was a litterer. I was one that didn’t care about nature or the environment at all. And this was a beautiful home that God had created for me to live and enjoy.
“And He said, ‘Secondly, you’re here for the animals. They look up to you. You’re the one with the spirit. You’re the one with reason, with intelligence, with the strength to change things, the ability to protect them and take care of them and do for them. They don’t have that ability. And yet you destroy species after species.’ And I knew that I was responsible, partly responsible. I had hunted for sport. I had no concern for animals. I never showed any compassion — I didn’t have any compassion for animals or men.
“And He said, ‘Thirdly and most importantly, you’re here for each other. And you — this imperative, YOU — I sent to be part of the answer. You’ve just been part of the problem…’ And He began to try to teach me…”
— NDEr Oliver John Calvert
“…it seemed no sooner than I’d arrived there that [my mother] told me I couldn’t stay, that I had to go back. That really upset me. You wouldn’t know it by how I’m always joking about things, but my life is not that easy. My husband, he’s a good man, but he’s not always an easy man to live with. He’s pretty hard to please, so I really didn’t want to come back, quite honestly. I don’t want him to know that, but it would have been so much easier to stay there where I was, with my mother. So I was not happy at all when she told me I had to go back. I was pretty sad really. I even tried pleading with her to let me stay. I told her, ‘It’s my life, I should get to choose. I should have a say-so.’ Then she told me, ‘It’s not that you don’t get to choose. Part of you, in fact, is choosing and participating in this decision. It would be easy for you to choose to stay here, but you understand on a level you can’t quite comprehend just now that there is more from your family relationships you need to experience and learn. And more they need to learn from you. When choosing is not an act of escape but an act of completion, then you will stay.’ I knew what she said was true, but in that moment, it didn’t make it any easier…”
— A patient discussing what she learned during her NDE in Dr. Laurin Bellg’s book Near Death in the ICU: Stories from Patients Near Death and Why We Should Listen to Them
“Every moment of every day God is present to me. I feel less isolated, but there are times that I know that my thinking and eccentric behavior makes me the strange one. I like to be out in nature, because out in nature, the purity of God’s spirit pervades all things, plants, water, sky, stone, and animals. Out there, I feel most at home.
“One day when I was in Manhattan for a few days of work, I went out for a long walk and I prayed. I began to feel the spirit of peace, of contentment and presence that I feel when I walk in the woods and I realized that it was coming from the people around me on the sidewalks. They were nature and radiating the presence of [God] as a tree would, as stone might, as a songbird’s song does. I walked for hours through the mass of humanity as if immersed in the wilderness where the spirit of God is strongest.”
— NDEr Peter Panagore
“God is love, we are all his children; no faith, religion, government or organization we create on Earth has the right to claim their influence and power comes from Him. Even more so if they cause our fellow human beings injury… One more important fact you need to know. Individuals are much more important to God than the organizations they belong to. We are all responsible for our personal actions. No church, government, organization, or whatever has a hold on the keys to heaven. You already possess the key to heaven in your heart simply because you are God’s child. Every religious organization that exists on this Earth is flawed in some way. Let the worshiper beware. If you really want God to acknowledge you then find a place to be completely alone, call out to Him with all of your personal pride pushed aside, and open your heart. Think about the love you have received from others, and protect that love. It is your most valuable possession.”
— NDEr Leonard K
“Let it be known that the life that leads to heaven is not one of withdrawal from the world but a life in the world, and that a life of piety apart from a life of thoughtfulness (which is possible only in the world) does not lead to heaven at all. Rather, it is a life of thoughtfulness, a life of behaving honestly and fairly in every duty, every affair, every task, from our deeper nature and therefore from a heavenly source.”
— Emanuel Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell, 353
“Our abiding character after death is determined by the quality of our life of thoughtfulness in the world. Heavenly bliss flows from the Lord into a life of thoughtfulness. No one is let into heaven simply by thinking, but by intending and doing together with thinking. Unless doing what is good is united to intending what is good and thinking what is good, there is no salvation and no union of our inner person with our outer.”
— Emanuel Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell, 353
“I have never interviewed anyone who had a near-death experience who told me that they came back to make more money or to spend more time at their jobs away from their families… Instead, they become convinced that they need to be more loving and kind. They react to their experience by living life to its fullest. They believe their lives have a purpose, even if that purpose is obscure to them. Invariably it involves concepts such as love of family or service to others. They seem to know that the love they create while living will be reflected and radiated back to them when they die.”
— Researcher Melvin Morse, M.D., from his book, Parting Visions
“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.”
— Researcher Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
“What do I think happens when we die? I think we enter into another stage of existence or another state of consciousness that is so extraordinarily different from the reality we have here in the physical world that the language we have is not yet adequate to describe this other state of existence or consciousness. Based on what I have heard from thousands of people, we enter into a realm of joy, light, peace, and love in which we discover that the process of knowledge does not stop when we die. Instead, the process of learning and development goes on for eternity.”
— Researcher Raymond Moody, from his book Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife
“I looked up and I saw this light; it wasn’t a normal light, it was different. It was luminescent. And it grew. I kept looking at it like, ‘What is that?’ Then it grew large and I went into it.
“I went into this tunnel, and I came into this room that was just beautiful. God held me, He called me by name, and He told me, ‘Mary Jo, you can’t stay.’ And I wanted to stay. I protested. I said, ‘I can’t stay? Why not?’ And I started talking about all the reasons; I was a good wife, I was a good mother, I did 24-hour care with cancer patients.
“And He said, ‘Let me ask you one thing — have you ever loved another the way you’ve been loved here?’ And I said, ‘No, it’s impossible. I’m a human.’ And then He just held me and said, ‘You can do better.’ ”
— NDEr Mary Jo Rapini
“God’s not particularly interested in our material success in this world, but He’s interested in our relationships — how much we love one another — that’s what God cares about. And if you are doing you’re very best, no matter how humble it is, to love one another, God is EXTREMELY PLEASED with what you are doing.”
— NDEr Howard Storm
“It’s all about relationships.”
— NDEr Tina Angeli
“Then my focus shifted again and it was all of the entire universe — the complete, entire universe. So humongous! At the same time, I don’t know how, but I could see the smallest, tiniest particle. What the universe is made out of. It was this massive, uniform field of particles. At the tiniest level, the tiniest particle, smaller than anything we can record, it was pure white, sort of a radiant light. This particle was pure energy. But more than that, this particle that everything in the entire universe is made out of, is LOVE! A tangible love that is the stuff of God. It just blew me away! It was awesome.”
— Near-Death-Like Experiencer Mary Deioma
“When he [Jesus] told me that I had to come back to the world and I was trying to convince him not to send me back…, I asked him what would I do if I came back… Before he had a chance to answer, I said you know I am an artist and I would like to build a shrine for you… I would make this shrine so big and beautiful and bizarre that people would come from all over the world out of curiosity to see what it was about. And what they would find was it would be about you. And that would make them think about you. That’s what I would like to do if I came back.
“He said, I would rather you didn’t do that.
“And I said, WHAT?!! People have been building shrines to you forever. There are lots of shrines. Why can’t I build a shrine? I would like to build a shrine.
“He said you spent so much of your life hiding out in the studio, avoiding people, I would prefer it if you didn’t avoid people by building this big shrine… I don’t really care about shrines. People like to build shrines. I understand that. It makes them feel good. It does absolutely nothing for me or for God. We don’t have any use for them whatsoever. If that’s what amuses you, I guess that’s what you gotta do. But don’t do it for me. Don’t deceive yourself into thinking it’s something I want or need, because I don’t.
“I’m like, OK, you shot down my idea, what’s you’re idea of what would I do?
“And he said, love the person that you’re with.
“And I said, OK, great, I’ll do that. No problem. What do you want me to do?
“He said, I just told you what I want you to do: love the person that you’re with.
“And I said, Yeah, but after I do that, what do you really want me to do?
“No, that is what I want you to do: love the person that you’re with.
“I said well, that’s simple enough, that’s easy, I can do that.
“And he said, oh really. Well, that’s what I want you to do. That’s enough.
“And I said, how is it enough?
“He said, if you do that, you’ll change the world.
“And I said, oh, you want me to change the world?!
“Exactly, that’s why put you in the world in the first place: to change the world.
“Well you know there’s been a lot of people that have tried to change the world and they usually turn out really pretty badly. I can think of examples like Adolph Hitler, and Joseph Stalin, and Mao Tse-tung. All of them wanted to change the world and they made it worse. If I go back and try and change the world, why isn’t it possible that I could a lot of terrible mistakes and make the world a worse place?
“The way that I want you to change the world is by loving the person you are with.
“Wait a minute, that’s a contradiction. You want me to change the world but you just want me to love the person I’m with?
“Yes, that’s the plan; that’s The Big Plan… If you love the person that you’re with, then they will go out and love the person that they’re with, and they will go out and love the person they’re with and it will be like a chain reaction and love will conquer the world and everyone will love one another. That’s God’s Big Plan.
“It’s not going to work.
“Why won’t it work?
“I love the person I’m with. They walk across the street and get run over by a truck. Everyone gets angry and upset.
“Yeah, that happens. But it’s really God’s plan and nothing is going to stop it. It’s going to happen.
“Even if you had a million people, I don’t think it’s going to happen.
“There’s more than a million people in the plan…
“Well, from what I know of the world, you don’t have enough.
“Actually, we have all the angels in the plan. There’s a lot of them. There are more angels than there are people in the world… There are millions of people. There are all the angels. There’s God. It’s inevitable. The plan is going to happen.
“If that’s your plan, I’ll do it, but I just don’t really see much hope for it.
“[And Jesus said], you don’t know enough to see how it’s going to happen.
“So, my solution to everything is to love one another. And when I read the Bible and found out that that was written in the Bible as Jesus’ commandment: this is my commandment, that you love one another… that’s the program. I have tried to be part of that program… So, I personally have no big plan other than to be loving.
“The only fly in the ointment was that I thought it was going to be easy, and it turns out to be the hardest thing I have ever done. It sounds so simple, but it’s really difficult. It’s easy for me to love my mother because she was a really nice woman and she was a very loving woman. It’s not hard to love someone who is really good and really loving. But what do you do with someone who is difficult, or really nasty? Those are hard people to love.
“And what does it mean to love someone? Sometimes to love someone means you need to incarcerate them. And that’s not a lot of fun. Sometimes loving someone means you have to put as much distance between them and you as possible and tell them to never call you. And that’s not a lot of fun. Loving someone sounds so simple but it is very difficult…”
— Excerpted from Part 3 (03:00 – 10:25) of near-death experiencer Howard Storm’s interview Matt Cline: “The Redemption of Howard Storm”. To listen to all four parts, go here.
“Kindness is God’s love in action.”
— What The Light told NDEr Shekina Rose
“I thought that after the experience I was going to be a saint, and never have temptation, never sin and never have any faults. To my horror, I found out that wasn’t true at all.”
“After my near-death experience, I wrongly assumed that I was going to be a saint. That I would not have a temper, anger, or lust, or make mistakes at all. That somehow I had been elevated to this superior person. To my horror, I found out that wasn’t the case at all.”
“I was a raging fanatic. I drove my wife and my two teenage children very far away from me by being so obnoxious about their conversion.”
“One of the issues I’ve had for years and years since is that I get really frustrated that I can’t feel God on command in every situation anymore. I don’t live in bliss all the time like I did after my NDE. This ‘failing’ of mine has caused me a lot of distress. I couldn’t make sense of why I would be given such a vision, such an experience, such a profound awakening, only to lose it, or have it yanked away, leaving me only with a memory of what I used to know and live and feel…”
“My NDE left me with the knowledge that my life was a sham! My relationships — pretend. I’ve spent 40 years since then being open and willing to learn more about my self, others, and the God of my Understanding.”
“I’ve been on this journey for 40 years. I had my NDE in 1975. I see the NDE as the beginning and this journey is an adventure that never ends. Enlightenment is a fantasy — as soon as someone announces they are enlightened they ‘fall’ because the label energizes the ego.”
“I know that other people have not seen Jesus – they have seen a being of light. Jesus is a being of light; it’s the same; he’s the light of The Creator to me, according to my experience. He said to me, ‘Yvonne, I love my babies.’ And when he [said] ‘my babies’, he meant… ‘I love humanity, I love humanity, I love my babies…’ It means every one of us regardless of where we come from – our life, our gender, our race, anything happening in our life, he loves everybody completely, and perfectly. And I said, ‘Oh yeah, I know, you were Jesus. You came on Earth to teach love, so no wonder.’ That’s what I was thinking. And then he said to me, ‘I’ll show you how.’ And when he said that, he took my heart and put my heart into his heart and we became one. And it was a complete oneness… we merged together, as one. For a few minutes I could actually feel each emotion Jesus had for humanity. And that’s the moment I cannot express with human words. It is way beyond any vocabulary we have. Imagine billions and billions of waves of compassion and love and forgiveness and kindness and goodness and light and purity — waves going for Earth and carrying us through, lifting us through. It’s difficult to explain that one experience. It was just beyond this world… There’s a prayer Jesus said when he was on Earth. He said ‘God let us be one like you and I are one…’ And that is exactly what I felt and experienced.”
— From Yvonne Sneeden’s interview with Lee Witting of NDE Radio
“Don’t worry about yourself. You’ll be fine. Help other people.”
“Since that near-death experience, it has completely changed me. I’m not judgmental anymore. I don’t live in fear anymore. I don’t hate myself anymore. I don’t beat myself up anymore because I know from my own experience… GOD IS LIFE. It has completely changed my way of looking at the world…”
“It seemed impossible that I could be loved and accepted just as I was in that moment. Released from the burden of self-punishment, embraced in the wholeness of this forgiving presence, I was enveloped in joy. I seemed to become transparent, the light of divine love flowing through me. Then I heard the sound of soft, benevolent laughter, which felt like the wise and gentle smile of the Buddha. Again I was surprised and perplexed; I had not expected to hear laughter from a divine force. It rained over me like soft petals. Then it said: ‘My child, you mustn’t take things so seriously. You are just part of an evolutionary chain, in which all life evolves at different stages of development. You are only human. You need not judge yourself so harshly. Be gentle with yourself.’ I had gotten only the slightest glimpse of the limitless realms beyond the finite boundaries of the world we inhabit. I was eager to learn more.”
— NDEr Lee Thornton
“I was VERY much aware of my earthly life. There was no separation except that in that other ‘dimension’ I was suddenly aware of EVERYTHING — all the connections, all the ‘whys’ and the answers to the whys of my former life. It’s as if all this life I had been in a state of half awareness, or amnesia, wandering around asking ‘Who I am? Why am I? Why is this so hard? Why why why???’ and in that other realm the picture was finally complete. I got all the answers, or I remembered all the answers.
“And yes there was significant insight into others who I was in relationship with at the time, in particular, my step-mother. I was shown, or could see, her whole life, her struggles, her fears, and all that had made her into who she was. And I could finally see her abusiveness was not about me being a ‘bad’ kid. It was ALL because of her fears, her own earthly amnesia, and her struggles, insecurity, etc. I saw that she had been abused herself growing up. And in the end I could only feel great compassion and even admiration for her (after having seen the truth of her life, her fears, etc.) that she had been through so much pain, and that she bravely chose her life knowing it would be confusing and that happiness would be elusive, but that there were important people she needed to touch, and important experiences she needed to have. And I saw that its pretty much exactly the same for ALL human beings on earth in this way. We are all blind and scared while we are here. We do our best, and it’s all understood and our mistakes are forgiven once we have our expanded spiritual awareness back.”
– NDEr Amphianda Baskett
“In this non-physical state of being, there is a profound sense of belonging. Everything about everyone that exists is not only accepted, but admired, respected, recognized and celebrated. There is a cooperative, co-passion for being that permeates everything I experienced. Everything there is effortless. It is just so easy. It’s blissful. And it’s filled with a joy that is so fundamental it’s only really remarkable from outside of that state of being. So image that everything you have ever thought, imagined, experienced, dreamed, or created was recognized to be valuable to you yourself and to everyone else — to all that exists. Imagine that no matter what you do or how you express yourself, you belong and are valued. This is true. What was known to me, what was so basic as to be assumed was just that: that we are each intrinsically valuable and everything we experience matters, not just to ourselves but to each other and to All That Is.
“I use the phrase ‘All That Is’ instead of God, Source, Universe, whatever — a lot of those words have personal connotations that limit my ideas. And so when I say ‘All That Is’ it includes all that is. That’s the term that I’ll be using.
“My experience is that we are always within and expressions of All That Is which is a beautiful Force of infinity curious and creative energy and awareness. How can we be anything but perfect? We are All That Is just as much as It is us. We are created by It; It creates us. We participate in It; It participates in us. We extend It and It extends us. We are each individual expressions of this single infinite awareness. We are one. And we are each perfect exactly as we are.
“We’re so used to thinking in terms of hierarchies. The healer is more important that the addict. The teacher is more important than the arms dealer. These hierarchies of values are not real. I don’t care how dull, or weird, or messed up we think our lives are here in the physical world, I can assure you that all of us are having a valuable experience. And I don’t care how special we think we are, we are each uniquely special. Every single one of us. Our experience extends and enhances everything that exists. We are each infinity creative beings having an amazing experience just by being here.
“From the perspective out of body, it was understood that it takes some skill to even exist in the physical body, in the physical world. It takes a skill of focus to maintain consciousness within a physical body and then to participate in a collective, cooperative, creative experience of being in this physical world. So we’re all amazing. We’re all jet pilots flying 50 feet off the deck upside down. We are very cool. Just by showing up here, just by showing up.”
— NDEr Natalie Sudman
“We are the projected children of the mind of God, the Spirit made flesh. We are the expression of the Spirit and ultimately co-participants of creation in an ever increasing, ever expanding, ever diversified, unceasing continuum. God can create infinitely. How does God create divine Spirit in infinite varieties that have never existed and are beyond manipulation? If you make a piece of art of any inanimate object, it just sits there; it doesn’t have any life. But if you give birth to a child, the child develops a life of its own. If becomes different from you. God has created a universe that not only has sufficient energy, but also is becoming infinitely more complex every single moment, richer and more varied in terms of Spirit, experience, emotion, thought. God is enjoying being every one of God’s creations.”
“Then I asked a question. All I remember are the answers. A voice boomed so loudly that it could make the universe explode. It said: ‘Everything is one. There is no past. There is no future. There is only now. And not only that, but every possible outcome for every possible situation is occurring at the same time.’ The last statement I couldn’t quite understand. I was shown an example of being at an intersection behind the wheel of a car and going straight, turning right, turning left, hitting the building on the corner, hitting a light post, going straight up into the air, burrowing into the asphalt — all at the same time. Every possibility was occurring at the same instant whether I did it or not…”
— From an anonymous NDE account posted on the IANDS website
“I saw all people as ‘energy’, and depending where our energy level was, that was the world we created for ourselves. The understanding I gained from this was that if cancer was not in our ‘energy’, then it was not in our reality. If feeling good about ourselves was in our energy, then our reality would be positive. If cancer was in our energy, then even if we eradicated it with modern medicine, it would soon come back. But if we cleared it from our energy, the physical body would soon follow. None of us are as ‘real’ or physical as we think we are. From what I saw, it looked like we are energy first, and physical is only a result of expressing our energy. And we can change our physical reality if we change our energy. (Some people have mentioned I use the term ‘Vibration’). For me, personally, I was made to feel that in order to keep my energy/vibration level up, I only had to live in the moment, enjoy every moment of life, and use each moment to elevate the next moment (which then elevates my future). It is in that moment of elevating your energy level that you can change your future (like my test results). It sounds very simplistic, but it felt very deep when I was experiencing the understanding of it.”
— NDEr Anita Moorjani
“In his presence I felt like I was ‘home’ in a sense that I have never known before. I saw that my true essence is the energy of love, but as we reviewed my life together, I came to understand how I had removed myself from the benefits and bliss of love through anger. I saw how important it is to project feelings of love because other people can either benefit from or be negatively affected by my energy.
“I also came to understand that heaven isn’t a place that you enter but a frequency that you attain. Being in the presence of White Light was ‘heaven.’ It was the greatest feeling I had ever experienced or dreamed was possible. Having that feeling again is what I strive for — not going to a place. The feeling, the energy I experienced became ‘the place.’
“I understood that you take yourself with you wherever you go. Your own consciousness has to change in order to experience the higher frequencies of love, peace, joy, bliss, and tranquility, which I felt a part of.
“So I begged for the opportunity to do just that. I wanted to return because I knew that my consciousness didn’t mesh with the unconditional love I was experiencing. I knew that I had to become more loving in order to experience this indescribable love permanently.”
Takeaways from the quote above:
• Heaven is a frequency
• In order to be in heaven, we need to learn how to vibrate at the same frequency that heaven does
• The primary vibration of heaven is love; therefore the more loving we can become, the more heavenly states of consciousness we experience
• It’s by learning to be a loving person IN THIS WORLD that we gain the ability to live in a heavenly state of consciousness PERMANENTLY. Simply dipping in and out of heavenly states of consciousness gives us a taste of heaven, but doesn’t allow us to permanently stay in those states. This appears to be one of the mains reason we keep getting sent back to this world:
1. We can’t stay in higher states of consciousness until we have developed a consciousness that vibrates, all the time, at higher frequencies.
2. Our souls want to be here so we can learn how to do that.
“I now know that a lot more exists than we are consciously aware of or capable of understanding. Each day, I am understanding more and more since the NDE. I am finding out that there are things I now feel I ‘know’ or ‘understand’, which I never did before. The best example I can think of is: imagine there is a huge warehouse, which is dark, and you live in this warehouse with one flashlight. Everything you know about this warehouse is seen through the light of this one small flashlight. Whenever you want to look for something, you may or may not find it, but it does not mean the thing does not exist. It is there, but you just haven’t flashed your light on it. You can only see what your light is focused on. Then one day, someone flicks on a lightswitch, and for the first time, you can see the whole warehouse. The vastness of it is almost overwhelming, you can’t see all the way to the end, and you know there is more than what you can see. But you do see how all the products are lined up on all the shelves, and you notice just how many different things there are in the warehouse which you never noticed, never even conceived having existed, yet they do, simultaneously with the things you know existed (those are the things your flashlight had been able to find). Then, even when the light switch goes back off, nothing can take away the understanding and clarity of your experience. Even though you are back to one flashlight, you now know how to look for things. You know what is possible, and you even know what to look for. You start viewing things differently, and it is from this new springboard that your experiences start to happen. And so I find that in my daily life, I am referring referring to different aspects of my experience at different times, and I am understanding things in a different way, and knowing things I did not know I knew.”
— NDEr Anita Moorjani
Realizing My Magnificence Means Accepting All My Feelings And Emotions
Question: What I found most interesting in Anita’s account is that she talks about the information she got about the influence of her inner attitude on her life. Now if I understood that correctly it is about somehow being totally in tune or such … something like being totally yourself. I would appreciate if she could say more about that. To me, this is actually the key issue about the NDE. What can we gain from it to live life in a better way?
Anita Moorjani: Oh, this one is easy! The number one lesson I learned is that it’s really important to always be me, and to value myself. For me, this insight was the key to understanding why I had cancer. Now I’m not saying I know why others get cancer. But in my case, my biggest insight was that my inability to value myself was one of the key elements that fed my own cancer.
Living in a world where I learned to believe that I am not lovable enough, not deserving enough, and not perfect enough, until and unless I could live up to some unrealistic expectation of what it means to be perfect, is a big part of what caused my body to become sick and fall apart. I bought into a fictitious belief of what it means to be perfect. But my experience caused me to become aware of the fact that I was never less than perfect or less than magnificent. I just thought I was, and thinking and believing these untruths is what eventually drove me to become sick. I had been spending my life, up to that point, trying to attain something I already was.
Also, I used to mistakenly think that “positive thinking” is all that is required to lead a positive life. I learned, however, that it is far more important to be yourself than it is to be positive. And sometimes, being yourself does not necessarily mean being positive, and it’s important to know that that’s ok too.
I agree that it’s good to find things in life to feel positive about, and it’s wonderful if we are able to cultivate a disposition where we can easily find things to feel positive and grateful for. But I have learned to be careful not to deny myself the right to feel bad, negative, angry, etc, when I am really feeling that way. It’s not always easy to be positive, especially if things are not going well at a particular time. So it’s even worse when we are adding to a bad situation by judging our negative feelings about the situation!
Prior to my experience, I would have suppressed those emotions and not allowed myself to express them, because I would have judged them as being negative. I always thought I had to be positive. But by suppressing these emotions, I was denying a very real part of myself. In essence, I was sending a message to myself that parts of my being were not deserving of being expressed. And as I continued to deny these emotions, they only became bigger. As you probably already know, what you suppress only pushes against you even harder. So over a period of time, it became harder and harder to keep those negative emotions under wrap. Which means, it became harder and harder to be the positive person I was trying so hard to be, because I was just so focused on trying to suppress the negative emotions! Trying to stay positive then just becomes an energy drain.
Realizing my magnificence means accepting all my feelings and emotions (and not just the positive ones) without judging them. None of our emotions are actually negative. We only judge and label them so. I have since learned to embrace all my feelings and emotions without judgment, and this makes it much easier for me to be a happier, lighter and more positive person, and relieves me of the burden of trying to be positive during times when I don’t actually feel that way.
“If something ever happened to me again, I would give faith healers and healers the first chance; I would give a miracle the first chance… If someone was all wired up and everything, I would bring a whole bunch of healers in the room, some manifestors, and let them have a go at it. I traveled the world studying these things and I’ve seen people healed of the most amazing things by holy water, holy places, holy men, holy women, and holy moly. I would give a miracle the first chance… the universe is one giant miracle and you are a part of that!”
— NDEr Mellen-Thomas Benedict
“This near-death experience had two significant effects on his life. First, Tom says, it completely removed any fear of dying. Even more extraordinary is what happened to his right hand, which had been frozen since birth into a claw-like position. (This had been noted on his hospital admission form, and his sister has since signed a statement confirming it.) Yet, in front of me, soon after his near-death experience, Tom opened and flexed that same hand. This should not have been physiologically possible, as the tendons had permanently contracted. What had caused this sudden, seemingly spontaneous healing? Even now, science has no answers. But when you study near-death experiences, as I have for the past couple of decades, you grow used to phenomena that defy all rational explanation…”
To read more quotes from Dr. Sartori’s book, go here.
“Ever since the experience, I have carried a terrific sense of urgency to share it with the lonely, discouraged and dis-eased people such as alcoholics, drug addicts and the social outcast. I have shared what I have learned from this and other training experiences with my patients and audiences, the knowledge that a God of love loves us regardless of our race, creed, or color. I have received many letters and have had patients say that my sharing my experiences with them has either saved them from committing suicide or completely turned their lives around because it gave them a much better understanding of God’s love and plan for their lives. I realize I have had to inject much of my own personal history into this book, but I do so because I hope the reader will come to realize, if God can put up with a ‘knucklehead’ like myself, then He certainly can love and forgive others.”
“The Light kept changing into different figures, like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, mandalas, archetypal images and signs. I asked the Light, “What is going on here? Please, Light, clarify yourself for me… The Light responded. The information transferred to me was that during your life after death experience your beliefs shape the kind of feedback you are getting before the Light. If you were a Buddhist or Catholic or Fundamentalist, you get a feedback loop of your own stuff. You have a chance to look at it and examine it, but most people do not. As the Light revealed itself to me, I became aware that what I was really seeing was our higher Self matrix.”
— NDEr Mellen-Thomas Benedict
“When I had my near-death experience I went and I arrived with a being of light. And I wrote it down as soon as I came back. The being of light did not identify he or she or itself as being male, female or otherwise. It was definitely a personal being. It did not identify itself as Krishna, Buddha, Christ, Jesus, Allah or whatever…none of that. It did not identify itself as being any of that. And a very interesting discussion I had with a gentleman, Sam is his name. That’s the name he’s chosen to have. He tortured himself using the Lakota Sioux vision quest of hanging himself by his muscles from a tree, and spikes in his chest. He did all of those things because that made sense to him. And he passed over to the other side. He literally had a near-death experience by scaring himself out of his body through too much pain. And he met up with the Light. And he said, ‘Who are you?’ And the Light said, ‘Who do you want me to be?’ And that was his experience. And so taking his experience and my experience where the Light doesn’t identify itself, what Sam’s really saying there is if you think it’s Jesus, it’s Jesus. If you think it’s Buddha, it’s Buddha…whatever you think, that’s what the Light is. But the truth is, the Light is just a being of light.”
— NDEr Dr. Alan Hugenot
“One of my questions to the light was, ‘What is heaven?”‘
“I was given a tour of all the heavens that have been created: the Nirvanas, the Happy Hunting Grounds, all of them. I went through them. These are thought form creations that we have created…
“I saw the Christian heaven. We expect it to be a beautiful place, and you stand in front of the throne, worshipping forever. I tried it. It is boring! … It is childlike. I do not mean to offend anyone. Some heavens are very interesting, and some are very boring. I found the ancient ones to be more interesting, like the Native American ones, the Happy Hunting Grounds. The Egyptians have fantastic ones. It goes on and on. There are so many of them. In each of them there is a fractal that is your particular interpretation, unless you are part of the group soul that believes in only the God of a particular religion. Then you are very close, in the same ball park together. But even then, each is a little bit different…”
— NDEr Mellen-Thomas Benedict
“During my near-death experience I had a descent into what you might call Hell, and it was very surprising. I did not see Satan or evil. My descent into Hell was a descent into each person’s customized human misery, ignorance, and darkness of not knowing. It seemed like a miserable eternity. But each of the millions of souls around me had a little star of light always available. But no one seemed to pay attention to it. They were so consumed with their own grief, trauma and misery. But, after what seemed an eternity, I started calling out to that Light, like a child calling to a parent for help. Then the Light opened up and formed a tunnel that came right to me and insulated me from all that fear and pain… The Light came to me and turned into a huge golden angel… Then I was taken to the Light.”
— NDEr Mellen-Thomas Benedict
“I heard music, which was more beautiful than anything I had ever heard before. It was then that I noticed everything had its own pitch or sound. The trees had a sound, the leaves on the trees had their own sound, the grass had a sound, the rocks had their own sound, the water had yet another sound, and so on; and, when you take all of those individual sounds and put them all together, it sounded like the most magnificent symphony and choir ever created, and what’s even more amazing, was, everything and everyone in Heaven was singing praises to God. It just poured out of every leaf, rock, blade of grass, every bird. It was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. I can still hear it, even now, after all these years. It is like a song in the wind. Every now and then, I still hear the Heavenly music, as the breeze blows through the leaves on the trees. It carries me back there and I feel that deep, all encompassing love again. It heals my soul and my spirit soars. There is no time in Heaven, so I have no idea how long it took for each different step of this journey.”
— From an anonymous NDE account posted on the IANDS website
What is the difference between the brain during an NDE and the brain on say, LSD?
“The difference is brain chemistry is affected by LSD. During a NDE experience, consciousness leaves the brain. Consciousness survives death and is eternal. Having experienced both, I have some expertise.
“During my NDE (40 years ago at age 30, I drowned), I was part of the experience, involved in it, participating in it, one with it. There was never any fear, only overwhelming love and peace. It was more a remembering, it all came back to me, of having done this all before, knowing I was going home, an experience of having complete knowledge of the Whole/Source/God.
“About 15 years later, I tried LSD a few times, also mushrooms and MDMA. This was shortly after I found out what I had was called a ‘near-death experience.’ Before that I didn’t know what to call it and never talked about it because I was afraid people would think I was crazy — or possessed. Then I started reading about other people having similar experiences.
“The psychedelic experiences were as different from my NDE as looking into a fish tank and SCUBA diving around coral reefs in Nassau. The only thing similar was the out-of-body experience and exploring another dimension of the multi-verse. A big difference is between seeing and being. LSD showed me a mechanical, Newtonian universe. Mushrooms more of a fairy land, full of interesting, magical creatures from etheric to earthy, underground. Ecstasy was an exploration of my inner being from a loving perspective. All fun and exotic, but nothing profound, ineffable, meaningful, esoteric like the NDE. I returned with knowledge of particle physics and galactic motion (and I’m no scientist).
“Forty years later, I remember no details from any of about half a dozen psychedelic experiences and every detail, feeling, and emotion from my NDE. It changed the course of my life, my personality, my interests, my beliefs, my future. I know my purpose in this life and I live it. I have no fear of death, I know what happens next! The drugs did nothing but provide a few hours of meaningless entertainment.”
— NDEr Diane Goble
“In one of my visits with the Light I was told that the near-death experience… would become more and more popular and it would have an affect on the entire world when a critical mass was hit and all these people have died and come back and are telling you that there is a lot more going on than we think.”
“The other side is not all it is cracked up to be. There’s a lot you can’t do on the other side. There’s a perfect combination though. A body without spirit is a wasteland and a spirit without a body is a wasteland. And we are the perfect matrix of body and spirit. With body and spirit, you can have it all.”
“Everyone has direct access. Everyone is directly connected to The Source that we all are. There are many ways to get there. There are many ways to experience this. It is as natural as breathing, as natural as sunlight. What we have to realize is that we all have that direct connection. Some can do it through meditation. Some through song and dance. There is a million ways to do it. And no one is ever cut off, or ever will be cut off from The Source that we come from. To really focus it we must — and this is a lesson I had to learn — you must come into a space where you love your life and then everything can flow…”
“God gave everything to us, everything is here — this is where it’s at. And what we are into now is God’s exploration of God through us. People are so busy trying to become God that they ought to realize that we are already God and God is becoming us. That’s what it is really about. When I realized this, I was finished with the void, and wanted to return to this creation…”
— NDEr Mellen-Thomas Benedict
“The ‘knowings’ I received while living in the afterlife taught me a new model of our relationship with our Creator. I was shown that Source is an all-loving, and not controlling, immense intelligent energy field with emotions, imagination, and life of its own. Source has an innate personality or set of character traits that are immutable and constitute its ‘core’ consciousness. In addition, Source has created within its own mind all of the personalities/characters that we call ‘souls.’ “
— NDEr Nanci Danison, from her May 7, 2013 newsletter
“He looked down at me and he said, ‘you’re not supposed to be here. It’s not time for you to be here.’
“And I remember looking up at him and saying, ‘but I want to be here’… With all my heart, I wanted to be there. I wanted to go home. I was happy.
“And he took a pause and… you could see him thinking about something and deciding whether to say something. And with that… there was a picture placed in my head of a memory of my original agreement of why I had come to Earth to begin with. It was like I remembered and I went, ‘Oh, right. Right…’
“One of the things that bothers me so tremendously about the metaphysical movement, in lieu of my experience and in lieu of what I was shown… if there is any message I can give, it’s not about meditating and leaving your body and taking your Light Being out of this Earth. Indeed, not. It is about bringing the Light into this Earth. Stay here. Be an anchor. Let the Light come in through you into this world. Don’t abandon this world. We need you. We need you here. We need you to be present. And we need you to be open, with an open heart… Everybody must be open. To bring this new age in, it is about opening your heart and letting it sing through you. It is coming! And it is a matter of all of us. Just open your heart and let It come in. Don’t leave. Don’t meditate and think this place is a bad place and we’re going to get out of here. This is a wonderful place. And it’s going to get even more wonderful. You’re here to anchor the Light so It can come into this dimension and be here.”
— NDEr Anne Horn
“Everything was miraculous. Everything was so miraculous. Every moment. Every breath that’s happening. Every connection that we make personally is just the most beautiful, miraculous thing. If we could see what was really going on behind all of this and how much is involved in each one of us and how beautiful it really is — the bigger picture — we would really just be in awe all the time, which I can see why maybe we need not to be in this state all the time because I couldn’t even function. I was going from laughing to crying and things like that. People could have legitimately said ‘She needs to be locked up’ and I would probably understand…”
“I wanted to see what The Light was doing, so I turned to see what The Light was doing. It was doing everything. The Light is everywhere. The Light is everything. Every plant. Every person… So The Light is everything. God is everywhere… So I no longer had fear… So I started pushing me in my practices. My meditation practices. My voluntary wandering in the wood practices… I got myself into some amazing jackpots, but I didn’t panic. Ever. And things happened. The last 25 years with Susie — together we’ve had so many extraordinary adventures. We’ve been in so many jackpots you can’t image… We drove from Montreal to Panama one summer. It took us 18 days and in that we were inside of two hurricanes and three earthquakes and then when we got there we were isolated inside of a small valley because all the bridges had collapsed… for five weeks. And yet we’ll still talk about it as the best vacation we ever had. Every single thing you can imagine as disastrous, wasn’t. It just worked out. People were kind. Everything was good. Disaster for me in a wheelchair is being alone in the wood and I’m trying to see over some hill and because of how my wheelchair is I can’t go any further. I can’t go backwards. I can’t go to the left. I can’t go to the right or I’ll fall. And picking myself back up is very, very difficult and there’s nobody else around and the sun is falling down. What do you do? What do you do? Well, you laugh for being such a jerk to get yourself in that position in the first place and in that laughter something happens… If you panic, not only are you in a jackpot, but now you’re panicking. That doesn’t help. No. No. Things happen. Solutions occur.”
“Unlike spiritual paths that arose from the ideas and inner experiences of lone, isolated human beings, the path presented by near-death experiences is emerging as a direct, grassroots revelation that millions of people from all over the world are receiving and sharing. If we explore this newly emerging path deeply enough, we discover that all religions, philosophies, and cultures are honored; that science and spirituality are celebrated; that both the human and spiritual side of our natures are cherished and embraced. In short, near-death experiences present us with a universal, all-inclusive, perfectly integrated spiritual path that revolves around three core truths: 1. We are all one; 2. Love is the essence of life; 3. We are here, in this world, to become perfect embodiments of the divine.”
“He (Allah) had Christians in Paradise. Moslems in Paradise. Jews in Paradise. And people who had no recognizable faith in God. We need to learn that…”
— Electa, a Moslem woman, describing what she saw in her near-death experience
“I think it is an important issue because the one thing that does strike me a lot is when you look at the contemporary near-death experience accounts, overwhelmingly what these people say beyond all the scholarly chit-chat is hey man, it’s about love. It’s about this indescribable but universally relatable feeling of love. That’s what it’s about. Forget everything else…It was about love. That does seem to come through universally, and I think that has a strong moral kind-of message behind it. How does that relate to what you’re finding cross-culturally. Does it fit or does it not fit?”
Dr. Gregory Shushan:
“I think it does in some ways. In a lot of Native American accounts, people were sent back in order to tell others about the glories of the afterlife. There are also many accounts where some kind of traditional ritual has changed, often for the better — against sacrifice for example, because during the experience the person was given a new belief or ritual and told that the old one has to change. There might not always be specifically ‘love’ as an explicit concept expressed in these texts, but there is often change for the better. The afterlife is seen as a place of wisdom, and a place of renewal, where people undergo purification and ritual bathing. So I think it can be related, even if the word ‘love’ or a comparable word isn’t always used.”
“I am profoundly moved and persuaded by the near-death experience.”
“To dwell on the nature of the afterlife may divert us from paying attention to THIS life, where the lessons from the Light need to be practiced… The true promise of the NDE is not so much what it suggests about an afterlife — as inspiring and comforting as those glimpses are — but what it says about how to live NOW… to learn from NDErs about how to live, or how to live better, with greater self-awareness, self-compassion, and concern for others. Live well, and death will take care of itself.”
Excerpted from “Vital Signs”, the newsletter of the International Association for the Near-Death Studies, Inc. (IANDS), Spring 2012 Issue (Volume 31, Number 1)
Question: What’s the single most important thing that sticks with you from the last 30 years of NDE exploration?
Dr. Raymond Moody: “That’s a big one… You know, I think of something recent that I see as very important. I’ve sensed in the last five years or so that the scoffers are on the defensive… They’ve been rattled when I see them in the debates… there’s not this abrasive aggressiveness you used to see. It’s rather more like they feel they don’t know where they are and all their old arguments have run out.
“I think there’s been a turnaround in where the scoffers are now… they are on the defensive. I saw Sanjay Gupta on CNN a few months ago talking about NDEs with a skeptic… the guy was definitely intimidated by the physicians who were standing there saying “Holy Mackerel, what IS this?” And, you know, they were the experts on neurophysiology, so the pseudo-skeptic couldn’t really come back. So, confronted with your question, that’s what immediately comes to mind. I think we’ve seen the turn-around, where the ball is in their court to come up with something.”
“Roger [Ebert] looked beautiful. He looked really beautiful. I don’t know how to describe it, but he looked peaceful, and he looked young.
“The one thing people might be surprised about — Roger said that he didn’t know if he could believe in God. He had his doubts. But toward the end, something really interesting happened. That week before Roger passed away, I would see him and he would talk about having visited this other place. I thought he was hallucinating. I thought they were giving him too much medication. But the day before he passed away, he wrote me a note: ‘This is all an elaborate hoax.’ I asked him, ‘What’s a hoax?’ And he was talking about this world, this place. He said it was all an illusion. I thought he was just confused. But he was not confused. He wasn’t visiting heaven, not the way we think of heaven. He described it as a vastness that you can’t even imagine. It was a place where the past, present, and future were happening all at once…”
— Roger Ebert’s wife, Chaz, on his final moments as reported in Esquire’s December 24, 2013 article “Oral Histories Of 2013: Roger Ebert’s Wife, Chaz, On His Final Moments”
“As always, discrimination and discernment must be exercised, because even in “the near-death world”… there are persons, including some NDErs, who are not always what they seem, or who suffer from obvious self-inflation or other grandiose tendencies that any prudent person would do well to eschew immediately… Please remember something that should be obvious: NDErs, though they may have seen the Light, are still human and have human failings. Not they, but only the Light should be exalted. So do not let your enthusiasm for these teachings and for what the Light represents blind you to possible excesses in its name.”
“Many NDErs feel compelled to rush out and share their experiences before grounding and integrating them. In my experience, this is usually a bad idea. It’s better to ground these experiences in our everyday lives before sharing them with the world. There are several reasons for this. Here are two big ones:
“1. It takes time to fully understand what happened and be able to explain it in a way that is truly helpful to others. If we share things too soon, we can promote ideas and practices that are only partially understood. We might return knowing, for example, that the world is a dream. And then create huge problems for ourselves and others by suggesting that everyone and everything we encounter in this world is of no importance; that caring for dream bodies, paying dream bills, and interacting with dream people is a waste of time. Or we may return knowing that everything is perfect just the way it is and create imbalances by refusing to improve ourselves, help others, address social ills, take care of the planet, or change anything.
“2. There is also the danger of creating more instability in our lives and personalities. This can happen as the result of attracting adoring followers who reflect back to us how great we are when we don’t have the development to keep our egos in check.
“In a similar vein, we can also attract opportunities that can package us into best-selling authors, circuit speakers, and television personalities.
“Many people are tempted by this because they think a best-selling book, or an appearance on a popular television show will make everything better. No, that’s not the way it works. If we have done the inner work, then we don’t need — and won’t be desperately seeking — the accolades the world offers. If, on the other, we haven’t done the work, then we tend to crave outer recognition — and when it comes, our lives and personalities can become train wrecks. We simply won’t have the development necessary to channel all the energy these kind of opportunities pour into our lives and personalities.
“When NDErs are sent back and told that part of their purpose is to share their stories with the world, I think they misunderstand this to mean that they are supposed to write a book, become a public speaker, make a movie, be interviewed on talks shows and news programs. It may mean this, but the deeper, truer meaning, may be for them to become embodiments of the love and light they experienced on the other side. The best way to tell their story, in other words, is to become living embodiments of it. If books, movies, and other expressions arise out of them embodying their experiences, they will be able to handle everything in a solid way. If, on the other hand, they seek to manifest these things before they have developed their personalities, dealt with shadow issues, and grounded their experiences in the day-to-day grind of life, then trouble, along with a deep sense of confusion, frustration, and emptiness, are likely to follow.”
“I hear from people all the time who want to have near-death experiences. They want to experience an NDE so they can experience the positive aftereffects that are associated with these experiences. They forget, or may not know, that many negative or challenging aftereffects are also associated with NDEs, not the least of which is learning how to integrate the newfound energies and visions into their day-to-day lives and personalities.
“Another fact that is often overlooked is the greater the distance between our earthly personality and the heights we reach during a spiritual experience, the greater the reckoning when we return.
“Because of this, my advice is simple: don’t waste your time pining for near-death experiences (or any other kind of spiritually transformative experience). Instead, do the daily, challenging, unglamorous work of becoming a better, kinder, healthier, more loving and compassionate person. Step-by-step, little-by-little. And let the spiritual experiences take care of themselves.
“This is not to say that there isn’t a place for life-changing spiritual experiences. There is. Sometimes we are so lost or stuck that we need to get struck by lightning. That’s what is needed to break us free and get us back on track. Or perhaps we need a good shock to help us change course and head off in new directions.
“But generally speaking, unless we’ve built a consciousness that can handle, channel, and ground high voltage spiritual experiences, these experiences will blow fuses all over the place and there will be a lot of cleanup work to do once the smoke clears.”
“Due to the overwhelming percentage of loving and warm experiences reported in near-death experiences (NDEs), I occasionally receive e-mails from people, often in a depression, wondering if they should try suicide in order to induce one. I immediately respond: ‘Absolutely not!’ I encourage those who are depressed to seek counseling and also to discuss their life issues with their health-care team. People who had near-death experiences as a result of suicide attempts almost uniformly later believe that their suicide attempts were serious mistakes. An NDE should never be sought by creating a life-threatening event.”
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