Two Compelling Reasons For Paying Serious Attention To Near-Death Experiences
1. While near-death experiences have profoundly influenced human beings, and human history, since the beginning, in recent decades they have turned into a global phenomenon. Whereas most spiritual paths, religions, and philosophical movements trace back to one visionary, modern near-death experiences are now being reported by millions of people all over the world — children and old people, rich and poor, educated and illiterate, believers and non-believers, atheists and materialists. The heavens are literally pouring down on us, providing us with so much data that we now have the ability to not only collect this information, but actually separate, to a large degree, the universal themes of these experiences from the personal and cultural conditioning they come wrapped in. The only other universal experience I am aware of that comes close to matching the consistent universality of NDEs are non-dual states of consciousness. Dreams, visions, out-of-body experiences, channelings, shamanic experiences, UFO encounters, hypnotic regressions, and other spiritually transformative experiences are also universal experiences, but they tend to contain less voltage, consistency, and clarity than NDEs.
2. Sorry to quote the New Testament, but I think it is strikingly relevant. In Matthew and Luke there are stories of John the Baptist doubting if Jesus was the messiah the Jews had been expecting. Jesus reportedly answered: “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”
The point being that near-death experiences are not only coming to us as a universal revelation, but they also contain serious firepower, which is one of the ways we can determine if they are valid experiences or not. Whereas other religious, spiritual, and philosophical systems (and other kinds of paranormal experiences) may (or may not) have the power to change lives for the better, NDEs are consistently packed with reality-defying miracles of all kinds. There is, in other words, no other human experience that delivers profoundly changed lives so consistently — at least none that I am aware of. I think that’s why NDEs have generated so much interest. We intuit that there is something about NDEs that is akin to angels knocking our personal and collective doors. While people are still trying to deny the evidence of their presence, the NDE angles are becoming increasingly difficult ignore, shoo away, or dismiss as the product of malfunctioning brains. Something new and important is happening here.
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