Highly Recommended Books
One of the most sweeping and comprehensive books ever written about near-death experiences, this book features 140 experiencers and 24 researchers sharing their personal accounts, life experiences, and hard-earned wisdom. With a focus on applying the wisdom of NDEs to everyday life, this book covers everything from encounters with The Divine and Life Reviews to suicide, shadow issues, apocalyptic predictions, and how to create Heaven on Earth. A must read for everyone interested in understanding the depth, breadth, and life-changing firepower of NDEs. Designed to study, cherish, and share, this book is a companion to David Sunfellow’s previous book, The Purpose Of Life As Revealed By Near-Death Experiences From Around The World.
Paperback copies are available here.
PDF copies, which can be downloaded immediately, are available here.
Every day, all over the world, an increasing number of people are reporting near-death experiences (and related phenomena). This book is a collection of the best stories and quotes that David Sunfellow has come across in 40-plus years of studying NDEs. It shines a bright light on the universal truths that are championed by NDEs and reveals, in life-changing technicolor, how to apply these truths to our everyday lives.
This book was first published under the title Love The Person You’re With. All 60 chapters of that book are included in this one. 31 additional chapters have been added. The book is being published under a new title to reach more people. New content has been added to explore some topics in greater depth. Other tweaks, including enhanced references, have been added to make the book easier to read, remember, and study.
The book includes stories and quotes from 52 experiencers and 10 researchers, including Howard Storm, Tom Sawyer, Reinee Pasarow, Dianne Morrissey, Oliver John Calvert, Erica McKenzie, Andy Petro, Amy Call, Mary Jo Rapini, Anne Horn, Ellyn Dye, Mellen-Thomas Benedict, Ryan Rampton, Natalie Sudman, Amphianda Baskett, Mary Neal, Julie Aubier, Julian of Norwich, Barbara Harris Whitfield, Anita Moorjani, Jeff Olsen, Cami Renfrow, Louisa Peck, Ana Cecilia, Peter Panagore, Alon Anava, Tricia Barker, Samuel Bercholz, Arthur Yensen, George Ritchie, Linda Stewart, Cecil Willy, Lorna Byrne, Rene Jorgensen, Mary Deioma, Krystal Winzer, David Sunfellow, Kenneth Ring, Laurin Bellg, Jeffrey Long, Sheila, Dennis, and Matthew Linn, Kevin Williams, Barbara R. Rommer, and John W. Price.
Along with fantastic content, this book has a companion website that showcases the experiencers, researchers, and remarkable videos that are featured in the book.
“This is one jewel of a book, a real treasure. I have been recommending it to everyone I know. For anyone who wants to learn what near-death experiences are all about, this is the book for you.”
— Near-death experience researcher Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., author of Lessons from the Light
“This author has taken the best quotes from the most articulate experiencers and organized them into an easily understandable collection of what is really quite ineffable. This is an amazing contribution. I highly recommend this book! It stands out from the growing collection of books in this genre because it gets to the heart of the matter! It has taken on and brought us the Soul of the NDE. And the author doesn’t hide from the dark places. This book brings it all together.”
— Near-death experiencer, researcher, and author Barbara Harris Whitfield
“This book is not only well worth the read, absorbing its psycho-spiritual information may be the closest thing to having a near-death experience without going through the risk and pain. Thank you David for synthesizing all these great life-changing experiences!”
— Charles Whitfield, M.D., physician, psychotherapist, and author of the best-selling book Healing the Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families
“The near-death experience phenomena that David has so meticulously curated in this book may possibly be a glimpse into the next stage of human evolution. Anyone seeking higher truth and consciousness will benefit from this easy to digest ‘cream of the crop’ NDE compilation.”
— Jon Michael, Sedona Interfaith Fellowship Music Minister
The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences is the encyclopedia of this phenomenon, including crucial research regarding the experience, its aftereffects, and the implications for all of us who someday will shed this mortal coil. This book explores the possibility of the soul, God, other worlds, heaven and hell, the afterlife, religion, and the purpose of life. It investigates and reports on the power of changed lives, the expansion of normal faculties, and the importance of spirituality. With drawings, cartoons, and sidebars from experts, The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences is also simple and accessible, designed for the busy reader who wants quick little nuggets of wisdom. If you want to know what lies ahead, this book gives you a road map while exploring and affirming the presence of a spirit and the ultimate power of love.
“This book by P.M.H. Atwater is to me the definitive work on near-death experiences, and stands somewhere between being a Bible for the field and an encyclopedia of it. It is a tremendous achievement — and it’s warm, compulsively readable, engaging, provocative, and fun as well. Were I a hat wearer, I would doff mine to the ground to Atwater in admiration of her monumental contribution to our understanding of near-death experiences.”
— Kenneth Ring, PhD, author of many books including Lessons from the Light
“Nobody is certain why one person experiences a near-death episode and another doesn’t. Still, researchers have discovered a few conditions that seem to have a bearing on who may undergo such an episode:
“• The closer you are to physical death (as opposed to being in a coma, unconscious, or simply scared out of your wits), the more likely you are to have a near-death experience, especially if you have surrendered to the prospect of dying.
“• The fewer drugs in your system, the better, as drugs actually impede the phenomenon and can lead to hallucinations that are a far cry from the lucidity and clarity of the real thing.
“• If you are at a critical juncture in your life, or have paid little heed to spiritual matters, you are a prime candidate, since those who lead balanced, happy lives centered around worship and service to others do not report as many episodes.”
“Out-of-body experiences can happen to anyone — children as well as adults — at any time, anywhere. People can even be taught how to have them through the use of certain relaxation and visualization techniques. But while out-of-body-experiences are not unique to a near-death experience, the out-of-body component to near-death states is said to be much more intense, vivid, and detailed than those that occur naturally or because of a learned skill.”
“Excluded almost entirely from public view are unpleasant and hellish scenes, feelings of distress, threatening beings, flashes of light and dark, complicated and lengthy involvement with otherworldly teachers, experiments with matter and creation, short trips that seem to have little meaning, disembodied voices, historical backgrounds, and so forth. These are as much a part of many individuals’ near-death states as the more familiar elements.”
Lessons from the Light: What We Can Learn from the Near-Death Experience
By Kenneth Ring, Evelyn Elsaesser Valarino
From The Forward:
“If any one person can claim to be an authority on near-death experiences (NDEs) without having had one, that person must surely be Kenneth Ring. After Raymond Moody sowed the seeds of modern near-death research by coining the term “NDE” in his 1975 Life After Life, it was Ken who watered and nurtured them till they grew into a self-sustaining phenomenon. It was Ken who was the first president of that band of scattered researchers who formed the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) 20 years ago. It was Ken’s office at the University of Connecticut that housed the organizations volunteers, phones, and growing archives for its precarious first decade. And it was Ken who founded the only scholarly journal for near-death studies and organized symposia on NDEs at annual meetings of mainstream academic societies.
“If anyone has interviewed more NDErs than Ken — and I don’t know that anyone has — then surely no one has done it with the depth, open-mindedness, and insight as he. For many years, Ken’s home was known to experiencers across the country as “The Near-Death Hotel,” where itinerant NDErs trying to rediscover their place in this world could and did “drop by” and end up staying however long it took. And each one to whom Ken opened his home in return opened his or her heart and added to Ken’s growing comprehension of the true essence of the NDE. No other researcher has been able to meld the large-scale controlled study with the passionate friendships, the philosophical theories with the intuitive understandings, the command of the scholarly literature with the personal stories. And more importantly, no other researcher has been able to transmit to the rest of us the true meaning and impact of near-death phenomena for our planet…”
— From The Foreword by Dr. Bruce Greyson
“The capstone of Kenneth Ring’s career, this book is the distillation of all that death can teach the living. Ring’s loving voice turns harrowing and resplendent near-death stories never published before into a practical guide that motivates through its sheer heart-gripping beauty. No reader will ever be able to think of life in the same way again after reading this book.”
— Jenny Wade, Ph.D., author of Changes of Mind: A Holononic Theory of the Evolution of Consciousness
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
This is the only book that systematically encourages the reader to create a spiritual and psychological healing practice based on NDEs. Each chapter includes an account of a fascinating NDE, followed by a series of questions, meditations, exercises, and video links. The reader is encouraged to contemplate these stories and their own lives. It is truly a profound guide to both living and dying.
Here’s an example of the kind of helpful insights and practical exercises that this outstanding book contains: A Life Review Every Day.
“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.”
“We live in a community in which many people have different political opinions, values, religious beliefs, and lifestyles than ourselves… In our experience, NDEs have the power to unite us as no other topic can, and to help us form immediate heart and soul connections with people to whom we might otherwise struggle to relate.”
Additional excerpts are posted here.
10 Life-Changing Lessons from Heaven
By Jeff Janssen
“Throughout this book you will learn from over 130 near-death experiencers who graciously share their experiences and insights from their extraordinary visits to heaven through their talks, videos, books, and one-on-one interviews with me. I have included so many of their powerful quotes and testimonials in an effort to capture their profound experience as well as reinforce the principles from so many different perspectives.”
“It is high time we stop being merely mesmerized and intrigued by NDE stories and start putting their profound, powerful, and practical lessons into practice.”
“God’s Final Exam questions have nothing to do with the amount of money in our bank account, the size of our house, or how many awards we might have won. NDErs tell us the value and significance of our time on Earth all comes down to one thing: how well have we loved. Ultimately, God wants and challenges us to be love, give love, and receive love in everything we do. Earth is then indeed a spiritual development school where we experientially learn how to more fully and unconditionally love ourselves and others. It is our primary purpose in coming here and, in the end, we judge and grade ourselves on how well we have truly learned to give and receive love.”
The world’s leading expert on near-death experiences reveals his journey toward rethinking the nature of death, life, and the continuity of consciousness.
Cases of remarkable experiences on the threshold of death have been reported since ancient times, and are described today by 10% of people whose hearts stop. The medical world has generally ignored these “near-death experiences,” dismissing them as “tricks of the brain” or wishful thinking. But after his patients started describing events that he could not just sweep under the rug, Dr. Bruce Greyson began to investigate.
As a physician without a religious belief system, he approached near-death experiences from a scientific perspective. In After, he shares the transformative lessons he has learned over four decades of research. Our culture has tended to view dying as the end of our consciousness, the end of our existence — a dreaded prospect that for many people evokes fear and anxiety.
But Dr. Greyson shows how scientific revelations about the dying process can support an alternative theory. Dying could be the threshold between one form of consciousness and another, not an ending but a transition. This new perspective on the nature of death can transform the fear of dying that pervades our culture into a healthy view of it as one more milestone in the course of our lives. After challenges us to open our minds to these experiences and to what they can teach us, and in so doing, expand our understanding of consciousness and of what it means to be human.
God and the Afterlife: The Groundbreaking New Evidence for God and Near-Death Experience
By Jeffrey Long, Paul Perry
Based on the largest near-death experience study in history, involving 3,000 people from diverse backgrounds and religious traditions, including nonbelievers, God and the Afterlife presents startling evidence that a Supreme Being exists — and there is amazing consistency about what he is like.
In his bestselling book Evidence of the Afterlife, Dr. Jefferey Long showed us that there is a strong scientific case for life after death. Now, he goes further, revealing evidence that God is real. At the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, Dr. Long studied the stories of thousands of people who have journeyed to the afterlife. Though there are a wide variety of differences in how people experience NDEs — some see a bright light, others go through a tunnel, still others experience a review of their life — he discovered that many of the accounts shared a remarkably similar description of God; a Supreme Being who radiated love and grace.
Expanding on his analysis begun in Evidence of the Afterlife, God and the Afterlife is the first intensive exploration of the people who have reported going to the frontier of heaven, met God, and have returned to share their journey. Groundbreaking and profound, it provides new insight into the human experience and expands our notions of mortality, offering possibility, hope, and comfort.
Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences
By Jeffrey Long, Paul Perry
“I felt the hustle and unrest of the hallway of a hospital. I watched the doctors and nurses as they went about their duties. I moved with ease all around them. I realized none of them were aware of me. They could not see me, but – wow – could I see them!
“My perceptions were expanded. I knew each person I saw perfectly. I knew their joys and their sorrows. I knew their love, their hate, their pain, and their secrets. I knew everything about them, every detail, every motivation, and every outcome. I knew every emotion they were feeling, and I knew intuitively why they were feeling it. In an instant, with no contemplation, I knew them as well as I knew myself. I knew their hearts…
“… I felt spontaneous, intense love for each and every one of them. Not a romantic love, but a perfect, compassionate love…”
“I moved about the hospital with ease, pausing to take in the beauty of the people I was encountering. I felt their true essence and marveled at the connection I had to each of them, even though I had never met them before…
“Most of my life, I had actually avoided people. Now, everyone I saw was truly my brother or sister. In fact it went even deeper than that. THEY were, in a strange sense, ME! We were all connected pieces in a huge puzzle of oneness.
“Words Jesus had said rushed to my recollection: ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these brethren ye have done it unto me.’ Was he talking about the awareness I was experiencing? Did he feel the same thing I was feeling? Was this how he walked the earth, in the consciousness of knowing each individual soul at this deep level of love?
“I realized he didn’t see himself as better than the beggar or the prisoner; he knew he was one with them. He knew them perfectly, in the same way I was experiencing the strangers I saw. We are all linked and equal in God’s eyes. I was seeing it, feeling it, and experiencing it.”
— Pages 35-37
• “To what degree have you learned to love?”
• We are all one
• God knows and loves everyone very personally
• We are loved, cherished, and honored
• Everything happens for a reason; there is purpose in every circumstance; there are no accidents
• We help create our experiences
• We are all here to learn
• We experience life in a way that makes us more godlike
• Everyone is on their own unique journey
• Don’t judge anyone
• In every situation we encounter, especially the challenging ones, choose joy; choose to see every experience positively; as opportunities to learn, grow, deepen, love
• Treasure the simple things
• True peace can only be found from the inside out (looking to people and things to fill the emptiness of our souls is painful and futile)
• One of the best ways to ease our pain is to reach out and be fully present for others
• In order to know another person’s heart, we must first know our own
• Our bodies are temples of the divine
• Our hearts know the answer to whatever questions we have
• No one truly dies; no one is ever lost
• Glimpses of eternity sometimes make things more difficult in this world
• Pay attention to dreams (this is not said, but implied by the significant role dreams have played in Jeff’s journey)
For more information about NDEr Jeff Olsen, go here.
Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing
By Anita Moorjani
Advice from Anita’s Book:
• Love yourself unconditionally
• Be yourself fearlessly
• Be aware of your inner self talk
• How we feel about ourselves is more important than positive thinking
• Be honest with yourself and your feelings; don’t suppress or bottle yourself up
• Don’t give away your power
• Turn within for answers
• Follow your own unique path (which is different from everyone else’s)
• Suspend beliefs; open up to the universe, to what is — and to the unknown and unexpected
• Focus on being your full self here, in this world; rather than seeking to leave this world for other realms
• Love every part of yourself (ego, intellect, body, spirit); Every aspect of yourself is perfect
• Enjoy yourself
• Don’t take life too seriously
• Laugh often, especially at ourselves
• Look at the emotions behind everyday decisions and actions. Do things based on a passion and a zest for living; avoid doing anything out of fear
• Because time is fluid and everything is happening right now, the past can be changed in the present moment and future potentials can be tapped into
Quotes from Anita’s Book (pdf)
For more information about NDEr Anita Moorjani, go here.
The near-death experience that inspired the modern day near-death experience movement.
Return from Tomorrow
By George G. Ritchie, Elizabeth Sherrill
“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.”
— NDEr George G. Ritchie, M.D.
For more information about Dr. George Ritchie, go here.
My Descent Into Death: A Second Chance at Life
By Howard Storm
“The only reason I could bear to proceed with the life review was because of their love for me. No matter what we watched me do in life, they communicated their love for me, even as they expressed their disapproval of the things I did.”
Interested In Relationships
“The angels and Jesus had no interest in the track meet competitions I won or lost. They were interested in the relationships and how we encouraged or hurt one another.”
“God is not particularly interested in human sexual expression. God is interested in how we love one another and doesn’t want us to exploit one another.”
“It is impossible to love another person unless we love ourselves. Without the love of God, it is impossible to love ourselves because every human being is aware of their flawed nature and sinfulness.”
“The only authentic love in this world is achieved when there is a balance between love of God, love of neighbor, and love of self.”
“Our purpose is to know and do God’s will in this life, and we do this when we love one another as God loves us. Every person, without exception, needs to be loved by us. This is the most difficult and most important lesson of our life.”
Other Life in The Universe
“I asked them if there were other worlds. And they said, yes, the universe is full of other worlds — and there are other dimensions of other physical universes and those are full of other worlds.”
Diversity of Heavens
“Each person is escorted toward heaven according to his or her life, culture, and spiritual level.”
For more information about NDEr Howard Storm, go here.
Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife
By Eben Alexander, MD
Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.
Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion — and in essence makes us human — shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.
Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.
Before Alexander underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. Today Alexander is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.
For more information about NDEr Dr. Eben Alexander, go here.
Application of Impossible Things – My Near Death Experience in Iraq
By Natalie Sudman
There have been many, many people killed and maimed by bomb explosions during the war in Iraq. This is the amazing story of a woman who survived a near fatal explosion. Incredibly, that was only the beginning of her story. During the event, she experienced a NDE (Near Death Experience). She retained vivid memories of going to the spirit side and from that unique out-of-body perspective; she helped celestial beings put her body back together so she could return to life. She wanted to share what the experience was like as viewed from the spirit side. A true tale of survival and courage, sure to empower others who read it.
“From the physical perspective, it’s appropriate to agree upon limits of behavior in order to create a harmonious collective experience. It may also be necessary because we’ve built our reality into a structure that discourages or overlooks personal understanding and consistent awareness of our Whole Selves (and so, our participation in All That Is) within our physical lives. Our judgments on behavior, then, are valid from this physical perspective and functional only within it. We try to curtail the actions of a burglar, a murderer, or a rapist, with good reason. It’s a judgment on the physical action, and an attempt to minimize detrimental effects on the general harmony of the physical world, our collective conscious experience.
“From expanded awareness every action is understood to express creativity, have meaning, and influence the balance and order of the whole of All That Is. From my experiences in expanded awareness, it appears to me that no being is considered evil or bad. Actions of a being may be understood to be disruptive, inharmonious, or detrimental to the creative flow within any one reality, but the creativity of an action could be understood as valid — perhaps even necessary or useful — regardless of the overall disruption. Actions of a being may be understood as likely to look disruptive or evil from within a physical perspective while being considered beautiful, necessary, or valuable creative action from the perspective of expanded awareness and thus good in every way.
“Here’s a simplistic (or simplified, though not necessarily simple) example. From our perspective, we’re generally unable to perceive or understand fully the roles that a Whole Self may choose to take on upon entering a body, but from expanded awareness it can be seen that someone may agree to act in a certain way in order to assist others in experiencing something. As outrageous as it may seem to our perspective in the physical, the man who built the bomb that blew me up may have performed that action at my own request. This is not to imply that because it was at my request, his actions are acceptable within the physical world and ought to be overlooked. The role may have been agreed upon in order for the bomber himself to experience what it’s like to be chased, arrested, detained, or killed for the violence he visited on others. The bomber’s actions don’t have to be condoned in the physical world because he and I as Whole Selves agreed to blow me up; we all keep playing our roles within the context of the physical (the collective reality that we as Whole Selves have chosen to focus upon and participate in) according to what we think is good and right.
“That as a Whole Being I actually chose to be blown up flies in the face of more than one cultural base assumption. We generally assume that things happen to us and that there are many things that we simply can’t control. Accidents happen, mistakes are made, some people are lucky, and some are not. My experience simply doesn’t support this base assumption. Whether consciously aware of it in the physical mind or not, my Whole Self is fully aware of every experience as a cooperative effort between my focused awareness within the physical world, my Whole Self, and other individual Selves. I craft my physical experiences. Things don’t happen to me without my consent; they happen because I created, co-created, or agreed to experience them.
“Just to complicate matters in one (of many) directions, from expanded awareness, it is understood that beings can become so focused within one reality that they entirely (temporarily) lose track of their Whole Selves. Within that disconnect, they can cause all sorts of disruption through focused but non-cooperative action. This isn’t a cause for punishment; it’s a cause for healing.”
For more information about NDEr Natalie Sudman, go here.
“This is the true story of how I tried to kill myself only to learn to love myself and be happy because my near death experience (NDE) was the best thing that ever happened to me. My NDE amazed me. I didn’t think such things were possible. I never expected to meet God or those I call my guardian angels, but I did. And I never expected to be able to communicate with my guardian angels on an ongoing basis as a result. BOOM! is the true story of my life before and after my NDE from jumping out of a moving car. BOOM! also includes insights and guidance from my guardian angels on the spiritual realms and how to improve our lives on earth.”
I asked [God], “Is there anything you want me to tell these people when I go back to Earth?”
“Go and tell everyone that I love them.”
“I prefer my type of music but my angels will telepathically suggest a song I know they like. I put it on. That’s a way I can spend time with them. Our music tastes overlap. I might be vibing to my music and they’ll tell me, ‘That song’s alright,’ but when I put on a song they like, I can feel them jamming. They get happy. They get excited. My angels like soulful music, music about love. The songs they don’t like as much are materialistic songs, the songs only about money.”
“During my NDE, I learned that God likes cleanliness in the sense that we treat ourselves and our surroundings with respect. When we love ourselves and others, we naturally want to be at our best. Aunt Sara, at the bottom of it, was vicious towards others because she was unhappy with herself. She didn’t want to keep her place neat or throw anything out. In time, she became indifferent to paying bills to the point where all utilities got cut off. This was all a reflection of her troubles on the inside.”
“I became more accepting and understanding of others than ever before. Many people are confused and it’s not their fault. Not everyone in life knows their purpose but that is fine. God still loves them. Everybody is here for a reason, and those reasons are huge. This is true for each and every one of us. It’s humbling when you realize this.”
“One time, my angels gave me specific messages on humility. Being humble is being strong enough to accept imperfections in yourself and in others. The first key to humility is to appreciate what people do for you. Tell people how important they are to you. Tell them you love them. They just may need to hear it at the exact time that you are around. Don’t hold back. Next, respect people’s views, no matter what their backgrounds, races, or religions. Even if you disagree with an opinion, understand that there is always a reason why people act or think the way they do. No one is perfect. If we were perfect, we would be boring. The last key to being humble is forgiveness. Continue to do good to people even when they screw you over. The best way to kill hate is to love someone. Just because someone is a certain way does not mean you have to be the same way. You don’t have to be bigger but you have to be smarter and wiser. Show love. Hate will come back to you if you show hate. Misery is the result. That is no way for anyone to live.”
“Many people ask how my life is different after my NDE. I am happier and more at peace. Many things that bothered me before don’t bother me now. In situations where I might get mad at someone in the past, I now see their reason for doing what they did. I am not afraid of dying or of hell anymore. I enjoy life instead of worrying about what others think of me. My experience taught me how to treat people, not through rules or guidelines, but simply based on the love I feel within. I feel more compassion for other people and so much more empathy. Although I never liked hurting anyone’s feelings before, that feeling is now much stronger. I don’t like telling a lie and can’t tell one without feeling like a piece of shit afterwards.”
“My spiritual side is like a free-spirited hippie wearing rainbow colors and talking about peace, the type of person I didn’t consider myself before. There are many people who have spiritual tendencies and don’t even know it. A spiritual person doesn’t judge you, no matter how you look. Spiritual people don’t see appearances. We see spirits and we see the good in even the most damaged person. A spiritual person tries to get better every day. I am very open to learning about new opinions and ideas, especially spiritual ones. Anything that has you searching for God is what it’s all about. Trying to help people is the main objective of life and becomes your mission. I want to motivate people who went through the same things that I did.”
“After my NDE, I can sense the spiritual realm all around us. I automatically pay attention to it.”
“I now perceive nature differently too. Whenever I look at tree or a plant, I notice little aspects that I never saw before. I feel how alive plants are on many levels. I notice whenever plants are sick or dying. They are precious to me and I even talk to them. Animals seem different too. I notice how similar they are to humans. In the quiet pauses between the barks of dogs and meows of cats, I hear them communicating certain words and thoughts. And I pay attention to the purity of my drinking water. Whenever I go by a lake, I feel the presence of God very strongly. There are reminders of my NDE everywhere.”
Answers from Heaven: The Near-Death Experiences of Reinee Pasarow
By Reinee Pasarow
This is a true story about the near death experience of a woman who died three times and was sent back three times. During her second NDE, her burning questions regarding the fate of mankind were answered.
“This being showed me the development of humankind from the beginning of time to some point in the future. This was shown in a holographic sense; in a way that we cannot really perceive in this plane of existence. I perceived, as an archetypal individual, the stages of mankind’s development. It was as though I was some sort of time traveler, experiencing life in the various stages of man’s development as if I were one of them, living amongst them. I felt the Neanderthal — how brutish, dark, needy, and self-centered man was at that particular stage of existence. I felt the conniving politicality of the Romans who thought they were all-powerful in the days of Christ. I felt the great surge of hope surrounding the development of the scientific revolution during the time of the Renaissance. I was impressed with the importance of our new rationality. Then I moved to the current time…
“I became aware that now, in this age, we exist on the precipice of the greatest choice, and the greatest step in our development as a human race. This is the most critical point in our evolution that has ever occurred on the face of this planet. We now have to make the choice as individuals and as a people, to establish unity, peace, and harmony throughout the world. Human beings HAVE to learn how to live together peacefully. Humanity MUST deal with all the obstacles to unity before a new era of universal peace will come. This is the step where we humans will learn how to become truly spiritual human beings on this earth.
“I then saw that there was a small group of people who I knew to be THE JUST — this was the title in words. These people, The Just, were working diligently, striving to bring about peace and unity, to bring about a new way of being and relating. They were trying to develop a new spiritual-social reality which is sorely needed at this point in time. They were striving to bring hope to the world. These people were not powerful. They were not wealthy. They did not have tremendous institutions or powers of influence. They were young and struggling.
“In the process of their struggle to build a new civilization, simultaneously with this wonderful process, there was a great chaos and destruction going throughout the world. People were becoming more and more divided along lines of nationality, skin color, economics, politics, gender, and religion. I saw people holding on passionately to their divisive ideas. People began to polarize, to fight and wage wars all over the world and to be filled with hatred. There was a great destruction of our moral fiber and our love for one another. I saw all of our systems and institutions breaking down into chaos: governments, our educational systems, religious institutions, financial, medical, scientific — all of these systems were breaking down to the point that society was becoming reduced to bands of people acting like ravenous wolves. People were roving the streets filled with hatred, selfishness, and darkness. This terrible sense of division and polarization, especially of race and religion, evolved to the point that every religion was fighting every other religion on the face of the planet — except for the religion of The Just.
“The vision of the future I received during my near-death experience was one of tremendous upheaval in the world as a result of our general ignorance of TRUE reality. The ultimate reality is our spiritual reality — that constant, lasting, abiding reality that doesn’t change with the whims, fancies, and vicissitudes of the human world. I was informed that humanity was breaking the laws of the universe, and as a result of this would suffer. The suffering was not due to vengeance of an indignant God, but rather like the pain one might suffer as a result of arrogantly defying the law of gravity. It was to be an inevitable, educational cleansing of the Earth that would creep up upon its inhabitants, who would try to hide blindly in the institutions of politics, science, and religion. Humanity, I was told, was consumed by the cancers of arrogance, materialism, racism, selfishness, greed, chauvinism, and separatist thinking. I saw sense turning to nonsense, and calamity, in the end, turning to providence.
“With this destruction came the destruction of our physical environment, because we were totally unaware of our impact upon physical reality. Along with this great polarization and division among the people, I also saw a great breakdown in love, and that brought a great breakdown of our natural systems. First a hole appeared in the sky, and then the sky broke. The earth began to fracture, to break apart, reflecting the polarization and breaking apart of human society. The sky, and then the earth, broke and shattered as a result of our toxic and polluted hearts. Love is so VERY CRITICAL to our wellbeing as a people, and a lack of it only brings destruction.
“At the end of this general period of transition, humanity was to be ‘born anew’ with a new sense of our place in the universe. The birth process, however, as in all kingdoms, was exquisitely painful. Humanity would emerge humbled yet educated, peaceful, and, at last, unified.”
To learn more about near-death experiencer Reinee Pasarow, go here.
A Guided Tour of Hell: A Graphic Memoir
by Samuel Bercholz (Author), Pema Namdol Thaye (Illustrator)
Take a trip through the realms of hell with a man whose temporary visitor’s pass gave him a horrifying — and enlightening — preview of its torments. This true account of Sam Bercholz’s near-death experience has more in common with Dante’s Inferno than it does with any of the popular feel-good stories of what happens when we die. In the aftermath of heart surgery, Sam, a longtime Buddhist practitioner and teacher, is surprised to find himself in the lowest realms of karmic rebirth, where he is sent to gain insight into human suffering. Under the guidance of a luminous being, Sam’s encounters with a series of hell-beings trapped in repetitious rounds of misery and delusion reveal to him how an individual’s own habits of fiery hatred and icy disdain, of grasping desire and nihilistic ennui, are the source of horrific agonies that pound consciousness for seemingly endless cycles of time. Comforted by the compassion of a winged goddess and sustained by the kindness of his Buddhist teachers, Sam eventually emerges from his ordeal with renewed faith that even the worst hell contains the seed of wakefulness. His story is offered, along with the modernist illustrations of a master of Tibetan sacred arts, in order to share what can be learned about awakening from our own self-created hells and helping others to find relief and liberation from theirs.
Click here to read several excerpts from this important book.
Heading Toward Omega was the first to examine in detail the aftereffects of the near-death experiences, which represents a key to their meaning. In this three-year intensive study of near-death survivors, Dr. Ring showed that near-death experiences tend to lead to a total transformation of a person’s attitudes, beliefs and values and are often catalysts for spiritual awakening. Indeed it is possible that such experiences, now known to have occurred to many millions of people around the world, may collectively herald the birth of a higher consciousness for all humanity.
Click here to read an excerpt from this important book.
Glimpses of Eternity: An Investigation Into Shared Death Experiences
By Raymond A., Jr. Moody
Shared-death experiences (SDE) have been documented by the Society for Psychical Research in London since the late 1800s. Peter Fenwick, MD, and Elizabeth Fenwick, RN, who research end-of-life phenomena, have collected hundreds of shared-death experiences in the United Kingdom and in Northern Europe. Dr. Raymond Moody formally coined the term “shared-death experience” in his 2009 book, Glimpses of Eternity. Previously, the phenomena now identified as the shared-death experience was associated with death-bed visions (William Barrett), death-bed coincidences (Fenwick), and other extraordinary end-of-life phenomena.
The core elements of the shared-death experience are remarkably similar to those of the near-death experience (NDE). Although no single SDE has included all of the elements listed below, and although no two SDE’s are exactly the same, a person who experiences even one or two of these elements receives profound benefits from their SDE. The following elements may characterize shared-death experiences:
• Mist at death
• Hearing beautiful music
• Change in the geometry of the room
• Strong Upward Pull on the Body
• Shared Out-of-Body Experience
• Seeing a Mystical Light
• Empathically Co-living the Life Review of the Dying Person
• Greeted by Beings of Light
• Encountering Heavenly Realms
• Boundary in the Heavenly Realm
Preliminary research from Shared Crossing Research Initiative and Dr. Raymond Moody’s research has shown that the shared death experience offers many benefits, including:
• Dramatic grief reduction, knowing that the one who has died is actually alive and well in the afterlife
• Greatly reduced fear and apprehension of death
• Increased belief in an afterlife
• A deeper understanding and refocusing on one’s purpose in this life
Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife
By Raymond Moody with Paul Perry
The bestselling author of Life After Life, Raymond Moody, offers a stunning, myth-busting memoir of everything he has learned in a lifetime studying “the other side” and our connection to it. The grandfather of the NDE (near death experience) movement, Raymond Moody has, in the words of Dr. Larry Dossey, author of The Power of Premonitions, “radically changed the way modern humans think about the afterlife.” Paranormal is “a thrilling and inspiring literary experience. Anyone who is not grateful for Moody’s immense contribution to human welfare ought to check his pulse.”
Loved: A Transcendent Journey
By Mary Deioma
“Mary Deioma’s book, ‘Loved: A Transcendent Journey’ is something special. Based on direct, personal experiences, Mary tackles life’s big questions with authority, clarity, humility, honesty, and a refreshing sense of humor. In a mere 148 pages, she offers a sophisticated understanding of the nature and purpose of heaven and hell, clears up confusion about The Void that so many near-death experiencers have experienced, provides a helpful seven-level framework to conceptualize the nature of reality, explores the malleable nature of time and how healing can be initiated by revisiting old wounds in the present, discusses why some experiential states of consciousness are more accurate — and trustable — than others, discusses the complicated nature of premonitions and future events, and offers practical insights as to how to use all this information in our day-to-day lives. The first bit of magic is acquiring this information. The second bit of magic is explaining it simply and clearly. And the third bit of magic is compressing it all into a small book that is personable, engaging and easy to understand. Everyone who seeks to answer life’s big questions should own, read, and ponder this jewel of a book.”
— David Sunfellow
The Self Does Not Die: Verified Paranormal Phenomena from Near-Death Experiences
By Titus Rivas, Anny Dirven, Rudolf H. Smit, Robert G. Mays, Janice Miner Holden
Are near-death experiences (NDEs) just elaborate hallucinations produced by a dying brain? Or the exuberant fantasies of attention-seeking narcissists? As the accounts in this book abundantly demonstrate: Neither!
This book contains over 100 reliable, often firsthand accounts of perceptions during NDEs that were later verified as accurate by independent sources. These near-death experiencers were everyday people from all over the world — many of whom were clinically dead, unable to see or hear, and yet able to perceive new vistas of a world beyond the senses and even beyond death.
The Self Does Not Die is a trailblazing effort to present the most confirmed cases of consciousness beyond death ever compiled. In these cases, the authors have gone back to the original sources, the people involved in each case, whenever possible, rather than relying on secondhand sources. In so doing, they have assembled a unique collection of empirical data that any scholar worthy of the name must take into account.
By carefully studying and describing many convincing and corroborated cases, during cardiac arrest and other cases, the authors conclude that there are good reasons to assume that our consciousness does not always coincide with the functioning of our brain: Enhanced consciousness can sometimes be experienced separately from the body.
This book is a must read for anyone wanting to know more about this fascinating subject with its implications about the very nature of human consciousness and its survival of physical death. It has the potential to radically change the currently still widely accepted materialist paradigm in science.
Foundations of Near-Death Research: A Conceptual and Phenomenological Map
By Alexander Batthyany
This volume is the first of a new book series that draws on landmark articles published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies (JNDS) to provide an overview of the past four decades of basic research within the field of near-death studies.
The anthology of which this volume is part covers the broad spectrum of scientific and academic work published by the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) and addresses, arguably, some of the most pressing and relevant questions on the nature of near-death experiences (NDEs). By presenting research over the past nearly forty years, this book also offers insights into the history and foundation of ideas within near-death research.
This volume provides a systematic overview — a map — of what scholars have achieved so far within conceptual and phenomenological research in the field. It identifies how nearly forgotten or neglected earlier research trends might inspire and enrich current research and points toward areas still left to be covered. The focus of the chapters moves consecutively from articles on epistemology — How do we approach the phenomenon of NDEs?, to phenomenology — What is the experience of an NDE like?, to ontology — What are NDEs, and who has them?, and, finally, to the wider implications — What do NDEs really mean?.
“For all serious students and scholars interested in the field of near-death studies, this collection of some of the most important articles published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies over the last nearly forty years is a must — an indispensable and invaluable resource. Of particular value is the brilliant and incisive historical overview of the field by the editor of this volume, Alexander Batthyány.”
— Near-death experience researcher Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., author of Lessons from the Light
“This incredibly insightful book is long overdue. The ground-breaking articles presented in this volume informed how future near-death research was conducted and enabled refinement of methods. A ‘must read’ for anyone interested in this field.”
— Penny Sartori, PhD, author of The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences
Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience
By Pim van Lommel
“Dr. Pim van Lommel’s Consciousness Beyond Life is an exciting, informative, and thorough overview of near-death experiences. As one of the foremost experts in the field, his work moves us closer to rational comprehension of human kind’s deepest mystery — life after death.”
— Raymond A. Moody MD,PhD, author of Life After Life
“Most books on NDEs only touch on some of the ideas that are presented, but the distinctive contribution of this book is that it presents and defends a complete theory of consciousness…. What a brilliant, erudite and magisterial book. A magnificent achievement, clearly a landmark book. ”
— Dr. Kenneth Ring, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Connecticut
“Consciousness Beyond Life confronts the apparent enigma of clear thinking, accurate perception, and enhanced memory in people who are clinically dead. This rigorous and provocative book may change our ideas about the mind and how we practice medicine.”
— Bruce Greyson, M.D., Carlson Professor of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine
“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.”
Near-Death Experience in Indigenous Religions
By Gregory Shushan
Near-death experiences are known around the world and throughout human history. They are sometimes reported by individuals who have revived from a period of clinical death or near-death and they typically feature sensations of leaving the body, entering and emerging from darkness, meeting deceased friends and relatives, encountering beings of light, judgment of one’s earthly life, feelings of oneness, and reaching barriers, only to return to the body. Those who have NDEs almost invariably understand them as having profound spiritual or religious significance.
In this book, Gregory Shushan explores the relationship between NDEs, shamanism, and beliefs about the afterlife in traditional indigenous societies in Africa, North America, and Oceania. Drawing on historical accounts of the earliest encounters with explorers, missionaries, and ethnologists, this study addresses questions such as: Do ideas about the afterlife commonly originate in NDEs? What role does culture play in how people experience and interpret NDEs? How can we account for cross-cultural similarities and differences between afterlife beliefs? Though NDEs are universal, Shushan shows that how they are actually experienced and interpreted varies by region and culture. In North America, they were commonly valorized, and attempts were made to replicate them through shamanic rituals. In Africa, however, they were largely considered aberrational events with links to possession or sorcery. In Oceania, Micronesia corresponded more to the African model, while Australia had a greater focus on afterlife journey shamanism, and Polynesia and Melanesia showed an almost casual acceptance of the phenomenon as reflected in numerous myths, legends, and historical accounts.
This study examines the continuum of similarities and differences between NDEs, shamanism, and afterlife beliefs in dozens of cultures throughout these regions. In the process, it makes a valuable contribution to our knowledge about the origins of afterlife beliefs around the world and the significance of related experiences in human history.
“In 1789, the American naturalist William Bartram wrote that all Native people he had encountered (primarily Cherokee and Muscogee) believed in the existence of an immortal soul that survives physical death in an afterlife of rewards and punishments as determined by earthly behavior. In addition, they related an abundance of stories of men that have been dead or thought dead for many hours and days… these people have always returned to life with doctrines and admonitions tending to encourage and enforce virtue and morality.”
“[In the early 1800’s, a Chippewa] hunter named Gitshee Gauzinee died after an illness… After four days he revived and related how he had traveled on ‘the path of the dead’ for three days… he met spirits on their way to the land of the dead, overburdened with supplies such as kettles, weapons, and food… His account led to a change in the funerary practices of his people, reducing the grave goods interred with the dead so that they would have an easier journey with less to carry.”
“Given (1) the quality of experiential narratives that are thematically consistent with the cross-cultural model of NDEs, (2) the repeated examples of these experiences leading to innovations in religious beliefs and practices, and (3) the numerous indigenous statements that beliefs arose from such experiences, it is clear that Native American afterlife beliefs were typically grounded in such experiences, which were culturally and individually processed, interpreted, shared, and elaborated over time.”
The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation
By Janice Miner Holden, Bruce Greyson, Debbie James
Excerpt from Chapter 1: The Field of Near-Death Studies: Past, Present, and Future
“In 1975, Raymond Moody, then a medical student, published the book Life After Life. In it, he coined the term ‘near-death experience’ and the acronym ‘NDE,’ and he introduced the phenomenon of NDEs to the public and most professionals. His book marked the opening of the contemporary field of near-death studies. Even in that book, however, Moody noted that writers had recorded NDEs going back as far as ancient texts. It is now clear that accounts can be found in humankind’s earliest writings, including the Bible, Plato’s Dialogues, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
“As that list of texts suggests, it is also now known that NDEs have been described across cultures, not only in the literature of Western culture but also in the folklore of Native American, South Pacific Islander, and East and Central Asian cultures and in the literature of non-Western cultures. Indeed, accounts of near-death and out-of-body experiences can be found in the oral traditions and written literature of about 95 percent of the world’s cultures (Sheils 1978).
“More recently, over 150 years before Moody’s book, several authors explored the phenomenon that would later be named NDE-some of these people being, literally, explorers. In 1825, Henry Schoolcraft described an account in his book Travels in the Central Portion of the Mississippi Valley. In 1872, David Livingstone, of ‘Dr. Livingstone, I presume’ fame, described what we now call an NDE in his book Adventures and Discoveries in the Interior of Africa. Just one year later, Samuel Woodworth Cozzens related an account in his book The Marvelous Country: Three Years in Arizona and New Mexico. Before 1900, at least six other authors (Barrow 1848; Clarke 1878; Little 1881; Munck 1887; Winslow 1868) published books containing NDE accounts. Among these was Frances Power Cobbe’s 1882 book The Peak in Darien; in it, she recounted NDEs in which the experiencers encountered deceased people who were not at the time known to be deceased.
“In the 19th century, accounts of NDEs also appeared in the Western professional literature of both medicine and psychical research. In the periodical literature, physician A. S. Wiltse published a description of an NDE in his 1889 article in the Saint Louis Medical and Surgical Journal. Accounts in the medical literature tended to focus on the effects of these phenomena, with the apparent goals of warning physicians not to declare patients dead prematurely and of helping survivors readjust to life after reviving. Accounts in the psychical research literature tended to focus on accurate perceptions of experiencers while ‘they’ were ostensibly out of their bodies, with the apparent goals of elucidating the relationship between mind and body and providing supportive evidence for the possibility that some part of humans may survive bodily death.
“Beginning in the 19th century, Western investigators moved beyond individual case reports into collections of cases, which allowed analysis of features that appeared to comprise consistent patterns across individuals. Among these were Mormon collections of NDEs that were not published for the general public until the 20th century (Lundahl 1979, 1993-94). In Albert von St. Gallen Heim’s 1892 article in the Yearbook of the Swiss Alpine Club, he described 30 NDEs, primarily from climbers who had fallen while climbing, as he had done. In the first two decades of the 20th century, psychical researcher James Hyslop published a series of articles describing the phenomenology of ‘visions of the dying.’ For two decades beginning in 1971, Russell Noyes and his colleagues published a series of articles in the psychiatric literature describing ‘depersonalization in the face of life-threatening danger,’ including paradoxical hyperalertness and mystical consciousness. In 1975, German theologian Johann Christoph Hampe published a book describing the primary phenomenological features of NDEs; it was published in English in 1979. Indeed, before Moody’s book in 1975, in the scholarly Western periodical literature alone, over 25 authors had published over 30articles addressing NDEs (Holden and Christian 2005b). When Life after Life first appeared, it quickly became a bestseller. As of 2001, over 13 million copies had been sold, and the book had been translated into 26 languages (E. Russo, personal communication, August 10, 2006). This book ushered in the modern era of near-death research in which NDEs were identified as a discrete phenomenon rather than as a type of depersonalization, a special case of out-of-body experience, or a variety of religious epiphany. In the intervening 30 years, the topic of NDEs has continued to generate curiosity and has sustained interest such that researchers and theoreticians around the world have investigated and written on the topic. Thus, not only have NDEs occurred throughout history and across cultures but also the study of them has become increasingly international…”
1. The Field of Near-Death Studies: Past, Present, and Future
2. Pleasurable Western Adult Near-Death Experiences: Features, Circumstances, and Incidence
3. Aftereffects of Pleasurable Western Adult Near-Death Experiences
4. Distressing Western Near-Death Experiences: Finding a Way through the Abyss
5. “Trailing Clouds of Glory”: The Near-Death Experiences of Western Children and Teens
6. Characteristics of Western Near-Death Experiencers
7. Census of Non-Western Near-Death Experiences to 2005: Observations and Critical Reflections
8. World Religions and Near-Death Experiences
Highly Recommended Movies
Resurrection is a 1980 film which tells the story of a woman who survives the car accident and discovers that a near-death experience has given her the power to heal other people. Ellen Burstyn delivers a tour-de-force performance as the modern-day miracle in this unforgettable story. It stars Ellen Burstyn, Sam Shepard, Richard Farnsworth, Roberts Blossom and Eva LeGallienne. The movie was nominated for two Academy Awards; one for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Ellen Burstyn) and another for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Eva LeGallienne).
An inspired movie that humorously illustrates many of the core truths championed by near-death experiences. Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, transforms from an arrogant and egocentric TV weatherman into a Christ figure. And he does it, true to life, in the same sloppy, humorous, convoluted way that most of us do.
“Miracles From Heaven” is based on the true story of the Beam family. When Christy (Jennifer Garner) discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) has a rare, incurable disease, she becomes a ferocious advocate for her daughter’s healing as she searches for a solution. After Anna has a freak accident, an extraordinary miracle unfolds in the wake of her dramatic rescue that leaves medical specialists mystified, her family restored, and their community inspired.
To learn more about NDEr Annabel Beam and her new book and movie, go here.