Midnight in the Desert with Dave Schrader – June 20, 2019
“You’ve opened my eyes tonight, honestly. In 13 years of doing paranormal talk radio and 51 and a half years of life looking for answers, you’ve certainly given me a new perspective on how I can slow my life down and start to enjoy it. And it’s got to be in those moments of really enjoying the moment as it occurs. Realizing who’s life you impact and in what way. It doesn’t have to be deep and wide. It can just be in being kind, whether you want to or not. It will make you feel better at the end of the day when your mind takes that mental tally. “
— Dave Schrader, host of Midnight in the Desert
“This segment is very profound. I’m actually weeping and feeling deep joy as I listen to David reading experiencers’ stories, especially the one about the young boy and the tree. I will definitely be buying his book as I’ve just turned 72 and realize my mortality is closer than ever. I’ve always believed in an afterlife but have begun to worry and question what follows our physical life here. I need this book. Please thank David for this study and for passing along these stories. It all makes so much sense that the answer to what is my purpose is simply to be thoughtful, loving, and kind.”
— Linda from Ontario, Canada, a listener who commented on the show while it was being broadcast
• The Purpose of Life as Revealed by NDEs from Around the World (book)
• Near-Death Experiences On The Purpose Of Life
• Hellish And Distressing Near-Death Experiences
• Near-Death Experiences on the Power of Prayer
• Angels and Near-Death Experiences
• Near-Death Experiences on the Importance of Plants, Animals & the Earth
• Heavenly Humor
• Near-Death Experiences Absolutely, Positively NOT Caused By Malfunctioning Brains
Skeptiko with Alex Tsakiris – Tuesday, May 28, 2019
David Sunfellow: Jeffrey Long, his research very much supports the idea that there are these hellish realms. In fact, here’s a quote from him that says, “The most frightening things that I’ve encountered in my life are not from fictional books or scary movies, but from near-death experiences with hellish content.” So he’s not saying there’s no hell, he’s just saying that God is not sending people to hell, which is a common theme among near-death experiencers as a whole.
Alex Tsakiris: I think they’re saying something else. The way I read this data is, “there are a lot of scary movies out there and you may have to watch a scary movie,” that may on your path to help your overall learning and guiding of your soul to where it needs to be, but don’t take the fucking scary movie too seriously. That’s what data comes through, over and over again and says. And that’s what I guess I’m saying about Jeff Long, is yeah, what you said is technical true, but his overall conclusion is that it’s not anything to be feared, it’s part of your soul’s experience. It’s a small movie that you will walk into an walk out of.
This is a deep dive into NDE research and how we might use it to better understand who are we, why are we here and how we should make decisions around those questions.
David is a terrific guest, whose decades of work in this field gives him a unique vantage point to reveal the big picture takeaways from these experiences.
David Sunfellow: My niece one time asked me, “What is it about near-death experiences that you’ve learned something new, I mean, didn’t you already know this stuff?” and my answer was, “I learned two things from near-death experiences that I didn’t learn from the other things. The first thing was a full picture of how all the pieces fit together and the second thing was, the emphasis that near-death experiences give to certain aspects of our life and the main thing that leaps to mind is the idea that the little things in life are the big things.”
Stick around, my conversation with David Sunfellow is coming up next on Skeptiko.
Postscript: David added the following in an email to me:
One thing I wish I would have said during the interview concerning hellish experiences is that the reality of these experiences tends to be reported in the same way that their heavenly counterparts are reported: the experiences that people have in hellish realms feels far more real to them than the reality of this world. Experiencers also typically report that the positive and negative thoughts and actions of their earthly lives are reflected back to them in the afterlife with far more intensity than they experienced them in this world. Meaning, it’s probably a good idea to conduct ourselves in this world with as much awareness as we can.
We probably should have also mentioned that while hellish experiences tend to be very unpleasant in the beginning, over time, as people strive to understand and integrate them, they turn out to be deeply positive and transformative. That’s not emphasized enough. Nor is the over-riding, corresponding lesson: all of the challenges we face in life (including visits to hell) are gifts that are designed to help us become better, deeper, more full-blown beings.
One last point: while I agree with you that NDEs, as a whole, definitely stress the importance of not taking things too seriously; of not getting too caught up in the drama of life (including the drama of hellish realms and experiences), this perspective arises from the first pillar of NDEs that I mentioned: Encounters with The Light. This is a Big Picture perspective. It is absolutely vital that we understand and internalize this. But it is also important to understand and internalize the second pillar perspective, which is championed by life reviews. Cavalier or dismissive attitudes towards life and its challenges, including visits to hell, can also get us into trouble. Strident examples of this include declaring that since the world is a dream, we should cultivate a detached, uncaring attitude toward all the imaginary people, beings, and experiences we have here. My take on this is that the most helpful perspective is one that balances and integrates these two great pillars, which, of course, relates to a bunch of kindred archetypes: balancing the male and female, yin and yang, east and west, light and dark… We apparently need them both to be balanced and healthy.