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Experiences Group

May Eulitt’s and Her Two Companions Group NDE

The following group NDE appears in the International Association for Near-Death Studies publication Vital Signs (Volume XIX, No. 3, 2000) and is described in a greater way in May Eulitt’s and Dr. Stephen Hoyer’s book, Fireweaver: The Story of a Life, a Near-Death, and Beyond.

May finally made the transition into spirit on February 19, 2002, due to complications following a surgical procedure to repair one of her heart valves. She was 52 years old. The following is her near-death experience as described to Dr. Stephen Hoyer:

During the fall of 1971, when I was 22 years old, I shared a near-death experience with my cousin, James, and his best friend, Rashad, who was from India. Both young men were on a break from school and were staying with my family on our farm. One afternoon the three of us went to the cornfield to cut fodder. To get to the field we had to go through a metal gate, and we took turns climbing down to open and shut it. By late afternoon a storm started brewing in the west, and we decided to quit for the day. It was James’ turn to open the gate, and as he did so, he reached up for my arm to climb back up onto the wagon. I was leaning the wrong way, and his weight pulled me toward him. Rashad grabbed my other arm to steady me, and we were in just this position when the lightening hit us.

I saw the lightning sparkle along the top of the gate. The next thing we knew, we were in a large room or hall made of dark stone. The ceiling was so high and the gloom was so thick we couldn’t see the top. There were no furnishings or wall hangings, just cold, black stone all around. I knew I should be afraid, but I just felt peaceful, floating along there in the gloom with my two friends in the great, dark hall. The stately walls of this place loomed above us and seemed to radiate both great power and also great masculinity. I remember thinking it would have suited King Arthur. It was at that point that I realized that the three of us were united in thought and body. Images of Arthur came to me from James and Rashad. James saw only a cosmic version of the king. Rashad seemed to [be] envisioning himself in the time of Arthur. As we all became conscious of each other’s thoughts, I suddenly knew James and Rashad better than I have ever known anyone else.

We realized there was light coming into the chamber from an archway at one end. It was more than just light. It was a golden, embracing warmth. It gave off a feeling of peace and contentment more intense than anything we had ever felt. We were drawn toward it. We weren’t talking, but we were communicating with each other on some other level, seeing through each other’s eyes. As we came to the archway and passed through, we entered a beautiful valley.

There were meadows and tree-lined hills that led to tall mountains in the distance. Everything glistened with golden sparks of light.

We saw that the sparkling lights were tiny, transparent bubbles that drifted in the air and sparkled on the grass. We realized that each tiny sparkle was a soul. To me, the valley appeared to be Heaven, but at the same time I knew that James and Rashad were seeing it differently. James saw it as the Gulf of Souls. Rashad saw it as Nirvana, and somehow we knew all this without speaking. The light began gathering at the far end of the valley, and slowly, out of the mist, a pure white being began to materialize. I saw an angel with a strong, bright face, but not like you’d usually imagine. She was closer to a strong, Viking Valkyrie. I knew she was the special angel that watches over the women of my family, and I perceived her name to be Hellena. James saw this same being as his late father, a career Naval officer, in a white dress uniform. Rashad perceived the being to be the Enlightened One, or Buddha.

The being spoke first to Rashad and welcomed him. He said that Rashad’s time on Earth was done. He was worthy now of Nirvana. Rashad asked why James and I were there and was told that we were part of the reason why he was worthy of Nirvana. His two great friends loved him so much that they had willingly accompanied him on his last journey. At the same time, however, James received a different message. He had been worried about what his father would think about his anti-war protest activities, and his father told him he was proud of him for standing up for what he believed. He knew he was not a coward because a coward would not have made this journey with Rashad. I received yet another message in which Hellena told me she was glad I had remembered the example of strength, honesty, wisdom, and loyalty taught to me by my family.

We spent what seemed like an eternity in this place as we talked to our separate, yet joined, entities. They said they appeared to us in this way because back in the real world we were physically joined when the lightning struck us. They said it also symbolized the joining of all religions and doctrines. They said I would live to see a new age of tolerance, that the souls and hearts of humanity would be joined as the three of us were.

The guides taught us that doctrine and creed and race meant nothing. No matter what we believed we were all children joined under one God, and that the only rule was God’s true law – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We should treat all people as if they were a part of our soul because they were. All living things in the universe were connected to one another. They said that soon humanity would mature enough to assume a higher place in the universal scheme of things, but until then we must learn acceptance and tolerance and love for each other. They said there would come a new age when people would not be able to endure seeing others homeless and hungry. We would realize that only by helping each other could we truly help ourselves.

Eventually we were told that it was time to go. We would not be allowed to stay longer because it was not yet time for me or for James, only for Rashad. The enlightened one told Rashad he would have a little time before he returned to take care of his worldly affairs. James’ father told him he would return to this place soon after Rashad, but the two of them had to go back for now so that I could. I said I would willing stay here in this valley with them, but Hellena told me that I had not fulfilled my destiny; that I had children yet unborn.

We drifted slowly toward the archway. The pull became stronger and we were literally thrown back into the world. We floated for a while there, hovering above our bodies. Some of my cousins had been in the next field and had seen what had happened. We saw them all come running to where we lay. James and Rashad’s hands were still stuck to my arms. We saw my cousins pry their fingers loose so they could turn Rashad over to help him.

When our hands were pried loose, James and I re-entered our bodies. We felt as if we were on fire, but it turned out that we had only minor injuries. Rashad, it seemed, being on the end, had taken most of the charge. The doctors said that the lightning had caused damage to his heart, lungs, and liver. He remained in the hospital for several weeks. During that time, tests revealed that James had a brain tumor that would eventually claim his life.

As soon as Rashad could travel, James took him home to India. He offered to stay, but Rashad told him that he wished solitude for his final time. Rashad took on the life of the Ascetic, in the Vedic tradition. He asked his wife to stay with her family because he wanted his last days to be spent in spiritual awakenings. About a year and a half later, on a cold day in January, Rashad returned to Nirvana. James and I knew when his soul left the world without being told.

James lived about three years after he found out he had the brain tumor. He gave most of his considerable inheritance to a charity that educated young people in India. I, on the other hand, have survived for another thirty years (so far) with the knowledge that this experience which I shared with my closest friends has been a guiding force in my life. I strive every day to meet my destiny, whatever it may be, with the same quiet dignity and resolution they showed when they met theirs. They have truly been my pathfinders, and I know that the connection I shared with them so long ago is the same connection we all share. We just sometimes fail to realize it.

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Exceptional Experiences

P.M.H. Atwater’s Near-Death Experiences

P.M.H. Atwater, L.H.D., Ph.D. (Hon.) (pmhatwater.hypermart.net and www.amazon.com) survived three death events that produced three different near-death experiences in 1977. Visit Atwater’s Q & A Blog and her NDE News Blog. Sign up for her free online newsletter. She is one of the original researchers of the near-death phenomenon, having begun her work in 1978. Today, her contribution to the field of near-death studies is considered on par with those of Raymond Moody and Kenneth Ring. Her first two books, Coming Back to Life (2008) and Beyond the Light (2009), are considered the “Bibles” of the NDE. With the publication of Future Memory (2013), she has expanded her work into areas of brain development that call for a reconsideration of what is presently known about transformation consciousness. She has done extensive research into the aftereffects and the analysis of common elements of the NDE. Her research into children’s NDEs led to her writing the book Children of the New Millennium (1999). Her latest book, The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences (2014), is in my opinion the most comprehensive book on the subject of NDEs to date. She is an NDE expert and the author of many other wonderful books including: The Forever Angels (2019), The Animal Lights Series of Children’s Books (2019), A Manual for Developing Humans (2017), Dying to Know You (2014), Children of the Fifth World (2012), NDEs, The Rest of the Story (2011), I Died Three Times in 1977 (2011), Beyond the Indigo Children (2005), We Live Forever (2004), The New Children and NDEs (2003), and Goddess Runes (1996).The following are P.M.H. Atwater’s insights into the NDE from her book, Beyond the Light.

Table of Contents

1. What It Feels Like To Die
2. What Death Is
3. What Existence Is
4. The Realness of God
5. The Big Picture
6. The Four Types of NDEs

1. What It Feels Like To Die

Any pain to be suffered comes first. Instinctively you fight to live. That is automatic.

It is inconceivable to the conscious mind that any other reality could possibly exist beside the Earth-world of matter bounded by time and space. We are used to it. We have been trained since birth to live and thrive in it. We know ourselves to be ourselves by the external stimuli we receive. Life tells us who we are and we accept its telling. That, too, is automatic and to be expected.

Your body goes limp. Your heart stops. No more air flows in or out. You lose sight, feeling and movement – although the ability to hear goes last. Identity ceases. The “you” that you once were becomes only a memory.

There is no pain at the moment of death. Only peaceful silence … calm … quiet. But you still exist. It is easy not to breathe. In fact, it is easier, more comfortable, and infinitely more natural not to breathe than to breathe.

The biggest surprise for most people in dying is to realize that dying does not end life. Whether darkness or light comes next, or some kind of event, be it positive, negative, or somewhere in between, expected or unexpected, the biggest surprise of all is to realize you are still you.

You can still think, you can still remember, you can still see, hear, move, reason, wonder, feel, question, and tell jokes – if you wish.

You are still alive, very much alive. Actually, you’re more alive after death than at any time since you were last born. Only the way of all this is different; different because you no longer wear a dense body to filter and amplify the various sensations you had once regarded as the only valid indicators of what constitutes life. You had always been taught one has to wear a body to live.

If you expect to die when you die you will be disappointed.

The only thing dying does is help you release, slough off, and discard the “jacket” you once wore (more commonly referred to as a body). When you die you lose your body. That’s all there is to it. Nothing else is lost.

You are not your body. It is just something you wear for a while, because living in the Earth realm is infinitely more meaningful and more involved if you are encased in its trappings and subject to its rules.

2. What Death Is

There is a step-up of energy at the moment of death, an increase in speed as if you are suddenly vibrating faster than before.

Using radio as an analogy, this speed-up is comparable to having lived all your life at a certain radio frequency when all of a sudden someone or something comes along and flips the dial. That flip shifts you to different frequency. The original frequency where you once existed is still there. It did not change. Everything is still just the same as it was. Only you changed, only you speeded up to allow entry into the next radio frequency on the dial.

As is true with all radios and radio stations, there can be bleed-overs or distortions of transmission signals due to interference patterns. These can allow or force frequencies to coexist or co-mingle for indefinite periods of time. Normally, most shifts up the dial are fast and efficient; but, occasionally, one can run into interference, perhaps from a strong emotion, a sense of duty, or a need to fulfill a vow, or keep a promise.

This interference could allow coexistence of frequencies for a few seconds, days, or even years (perhaps explaining hauntings); but, sooner or later, eventually, every given vibrational frequency will seek out or be nudged to where it belongs.

You fit your particular spot on the dial by your speed of vibration. You cannot coexist forever where you do not belong.

Who can say how many spots there are on the dial or how many frequencies there are to inhabit? No one knows.

You shift frequencies in dying. You switch over to life on another wavelength. You are still a spot on the dial but you move up or down a notch or two.

You don’t die when you die. You shift your consciousness and speed of vibration.

3. What Existence Is

Time and space, as we know them, exist only on the Earth realm. When you leave the Earth realm, you leave such constraints.

There are realms and dimensions of existence without number, ranging from the slower, more dense vibrations of form to higher, finer streams of non-energetic currents. And there is more beyond that, realities that cannot be measured or described in the convenience of mathematics or mind-play.

Hell refers to levels of negative thought-forms that reside in close proximity to the Earth realm. It is where we go to work out, or remain within, our hang-ups, addictions, fears, guilt, angers, rage, regrets, self-pity, arrogance, or whatever else blocks us from the power of our own light. We stay in hell (and there are many divisions to this vibratory level) for however long best serves our development. There is no condemnation here, only the outworking of our own misjudgments, mistakes, misalignments, or misappropriations (what some people call sin). In hell, we have the opportunity to either revel in our folly or come to grips with the reality of consequences – that every action has a reaction, what is inflicted on another can be returned in kind. We experience the “flip side” of our despair or our demands, “living through” the extremes of whatever we dread. This is not a “punishment for our sins” but a confrontation with any distortion of our sense of values and priorities. We do not leave until we have changed our attitudes and perceptions.

Heaven is a term used to describe levels of positive thought-forms that reside in close proximity to the Earth realm. It is where we go to recognize or enjoy our worth, talents, abilities, joys, courage, generosity, caring, empathy, giving-ness, virtue, cheer, diligence, thoughtfulness, patience, loving kindness, or whatever else reveals the power of our own light. We stay in heaven (and there are many divisions to this vibratory level) for however long best serves our development. There is a sense of benefit here, as if one has found one’s true home and all is well (what some people call “recess”, or a time of rewards). In heaven, we have the opportunity to assess our progress as a soul, to evaluate pros and cons and outcomes, to remember all truths including that of our real identity. We experience the glory of love and the power of forgiveness.

This is not an end point, but, rather, the realization of our purpose in creation’s story, how we fit, and what possibilities for future growth and learning exist. We do not leave until we are ready for our next advancement either in the world of form or beyond it.

No one knows how vast creation is … only that it has always been and will always be. Shapes and embodiments change and alter, substance is recycled, but existence exists, as does energy.

Existence is life, never ending and ongoing, forever and ever eternal. Yet its only true movement (without the distortion time and space give) is expansion and contraction, as if the existence that exists were capable of breathing. What appears as a progression, a time-line of starts and stops and ever-changing variations, is but an overleaf, an illusion, that helps us to focus on whatever spot on the dial we currently inhabit so we will accomplish what we set out to do (or at least have an opportunity to), and not be distracted by The Truth that undergirds reality.

Using television as an analogy, the picture we enjoy seeing, the progression of a storyline with characters acting out a script, is but a trick of perception. What exists, what is really there, is quite literally one electron at a time (with black and white, and three at a time with color) fired from the back of the television tube to the screen to be illuminated once it hits the screen as a tiny dot. The continuous barrage of electrons-turned-into-dots creates the appearance of images, as scanning lines roll from top to bottom separating information coming in (new dots) from information fading out (old dots). You adjust the vertical hold on your set, not to remove strange bars appearing in the picture, but to place all screen activity within the range of your own perceptual preference. A television picture tube is nothing more than a “gun” that fires electrons at a screen. Your mind connects the electron dots into the picture images you think you see, while it totally ignores the true reality of what actually undergirds the operation. The way television operates, at least in our daily experience of it, is an illusion.

Existence is a lot like television. What exists, what really exists, can’t be fathomed by how it appears to operate or what it seems to be.

4. The Realness of God

God is.

God is the one presence, the one power, the one force and source of all. There are no competitors to God, no reality existent outside of God. God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (present everywhere). There is no place where God is not, simply because nothing exists without God.

God is neither a man nor a woman nor a thing.

God is no one’s father or mother or benefactor. These terms are used only to help us understand relationships – ours to God – not to establish a more human type of parentage. We use such terms as a matter of convenience or because it is comforting to do so. We call ourselves children of God because we do not know what else to call ourselves, and it seems as good a term as any to use. We are made in the image of God, not in the sense of physical appearance, but with respect to the power of our souls and the potential of our minds. God is the Creator; we are co-creators. It would be more appropriate and more in line with Truth, if we called ourselves extensions of God or, perhaps, thoughts in the Mind of God. It would even be appropriate to use another name for God, like The Force, The One, The All, The Is-ness, The One Mind, The Source, or whatever conveys that sense of deity that is without limitation or boundary, beyond what can be comprehended.

While God is more than any name, protocol, hierarchy, concept, or grandiosity could describe or define; God truly is as near as our next breath – as close as our next thought. We are part of God and existent with God. A belief in separation, that we could possibly exist and have our being apart from God, is the only real sin. This belief is of our own making. God has not decreed separation; this we did ourselves by our own perception that somehow, some way, we could transcend That Which Cannot Be Transcended.

God is not dependent on our belief, for our belief or disbelief in God does not affect God – only us.

God is not a member of any church or religion. It is the churches and the religions that are members within the vastness and the glory that is God. There is no one religion just as there is no “chosen” people or person, nor any single way of regarding what cannot be fully comprehended. We are all “sons of God” in the sense that we are all souls of God’s creation, without gender, without form, without nationality, complete and whole and perfect as we explore the never-endingness of God’s wonderment. A spark from the essence of All God Is resides in each and every one of us has an unbreakable connection, that thread or cord that ensures we remain a part of That Which We Could Never Leave.

The splendorous joy of recognizing and acknowledging our special-ness, our greatness, as creations of God and as co-creators with God, is akin to being engulfed by overwhelming floodtides of God’s Glorious Love.

5. The Big Picture

There is no sense of “crime and punishment” in God’s Light, only the clear, complete, and total knowing that you are loved unconditionally and fully – right now and forever more.

Truth in this light, God’s Light, is so powerful and so piercing, there is no way you could lie, exaggerate, avoid, or deny what you have done with God’s gift to you, the gift of an embodied life in the Earth realm replete with abundant opportunities to learn and develop and grow – be the best that you can be. This gift, the Earth life God gives us, comes with a catch: We are to give the gift back.

We cannot keep the life we have on the Earth realm, not our possessions or attachments or relationships. What we can keep is our memories and our feelings of what we have integrated into our heart of hearts from the experience of being here, plus the love we have shared with others. This that we can keep enriches God’s experience of us as well as enriching our experience of ourselves and one another. How joyful this is depends on what we did about who we are.

Each gain or loss anyone makes affects everyone else to some degree. That’s because we are connected, somehow, as sparks from the Mind of God. Everything created either has a soul (independent power mass) or is capable of being ensouled (from out of the group power mass). Because human forms contain larger portions of a soul mass than many other types of form, they represent opportunities of greater diversity, challenge, and involvement. Yet even animals, minerals, plants, and planets, enfold degrees of ensoulment replete with intelligence, feeling, and volition. Density of structure or shape may seem to deny this, but the creative fire is ever-present, nonetheless.

All souls are holy in God’s Light, and all souls are loved.

And all souls have a purpose for their existence and a reason for being who or what they are.

Whatever form a soul empowers “fits” in creation’s story, for each soul has a job to do, a position to fill in the greater scheme of things.

And all souls evolve. Nothing stays as it is because nothing is static, regardless of how “otherwise” conditions may appear to be.

Evolution is not restricted to linear progression. It only seems so.

Thus, the drama of creation’s story is unbounded – neither limited by our perception of it, nor by our ability or lack of ability to comprehend it. This drama is as stupendous as it is terrifying, as awesome as it is wonderful, as miraculous as it is mysterious, as beautiful as it is the ultimate act of all-consuming love. To witness even a glimpse of such glory, to know the Real Truth of it, leaves a mark so deep and so profound you are forever uplifted and transformed.

You return from your NDE knowing we affect each other because we are all part of each other, and that we affect all parts of creation because all parts of creation interweave and interrelate with all other parts. Any sense of aloneness or separation dissolves in the Light of such knowing.

We each matter. And we are each challenged to “wake up” and realize that we matter. Once we so awaken, our task is to act accordingly.

To know is not enough. We must express that knowing. How we do that is up to us.

Although we are each connected to the other and to all others, we are individual in our choices, in the power of our will, and in the product or result or consequence of our ever having breathed a breath in the Earth realm. The responsibility we have for this totality of our being-ness is as freeing and exciting as it is humbling. And it represents high adventure.

The greatest fear we have in living out our Earth life is not what might happen to us, but what might be expected from us if we recognized who we are.

6. The Four Types of NDEs

P.M.H. Atwater has identified four distinctive types of NDEs. She discovered elements similar to those described by Moody and Ring but different patterning from what was billed as the classical version; each pattern type was accompanied by a subtle psychological profile suggestive of other forces that might be present. These four types have consistently held up throughout two decades of interviews, observations, and analysis regardless of a person’s age, education, gender, culture, or religion. In her book, Beyond the Light, P.M.H. Atwater used separate chapters to discuss each of the four types. Below is a shorter rendition of the scenario patterns.

a. Initial Experience (Sometimes referred to as the “nonexperience”)

Involves elements such as a loving nothingness, the living dark, a friendly voice, or a brief out-of-body episode. Usually experienced by those who seem to need the least amount of evidence for proof of survival, or who need the least amount of shakeup in their life at that point in time. Often, this becomes a “seed” experience or an introduction to other ways of perceiving and recognizing reality. Incident rate: 76% with child experiencers, 20% with adult experiencers.

b. Unpleasant or Hell-like Experience (Inner cleansing and self-confrontation)

Encounter with a threatening void or stark limbo or hellish purgatory, or scenes of a startling and unexpected indifference, even “hauntings” from one’s own past. Usually experienced by those who seem to have deeply suppressed or repressed guilt, fears, and angers and/or those who expect some kind of punishment or discomfort after death. Incident rate: 3% with child experiencers, 15% with adult experiencers.

c. Pleasant or Heaven-like Experience (Reassurance and self-validation)

Heaven-like scenarios of loving family reunions with those who have died previously, reassuring religious figures or light beings, validation that life counts, affirmative and inspiring dialogue. Usually experienced by those who most need to know how loved they are and how important life is and how every effort has a purpose in the overall scheme of things. Incident rate: 19% with child experiencers, 47% with adult experiencers.

d. Transcendent Experience (Expansive revelations, alternate realities)

Exposure to otherworldly dimensions and scenes beyond the individual’s frame of reference; sometimes includes revelations of greater truths. Seldom personal in content. Usually experienced by those who are ready for a mind-stretching challenge and/or individuals who are more apt to utilize (to whatever degree) the truths that are revealed to them. Incident rate: 2% with child experiencers, 18% with adult experiencers.

Note: P.M.H. Atwater has noticed that all four types can occur at the same time during an NDE, can exist in varying combinations, or can spread out across a series of episodes for a particular individual. Generally speaking, however, each represents a distinctive type of experience occurring but once to a given person.

Categories
Edgar Cayce Paranormal

John Van Auken’s Research of Edgar Cayce on Consciousness

John Van Auken (www.johnvanauken.com) is a former director of the Association of Research and Enlightenment, the Edgar Cayce Research Foundation. He is editor of the newsletter Living in the Light and author of many books, audio tapes, and videos. He’s an expert in Egyptian, Hebrew, and Christian mysticism, and is a skillful teacher of meditation from kundalini to his unique passage in consciousness. He practices the techniques he teaches and has become a popular speaker, leading retreats, workshops, and tours, and writes regularly as a columnist.

John Van Auken is the author of many outstanding books on the Cayce readings including: Born Again & Again (1996), Spiritual Breakthrough: Handbook to God-Consciousness (1996), Ancient Egyptian Mysticism and Its Relevance Today (1999), Ancient South America (2002), Edgar Cayce’s Atlantis (2006), From Karma to Grace (2010), Edgar Cayce and the Kabbalah (2010), Toward a Deeper Meditation (2007), Edgar Cayce’s Tales of Egypt (2011), 2038: The Great Pyramid Timeline Prophecy (2012), Edgar Cayce on the Spiritual Forces Within You (2014), Edgar Cayce’s Amazing Interpretation of The Revelation (2015), Hidden Teachings of Jesus (2015), Reincarnation & Karma (2015), A Broader View of Jesus Christ (2015), Edgar Cayce on the Mysterious Essenes (2016), Passage in Consciousness (2016), Prophecies Converging in Our Times (2017), Ancient Egyptian Visions of Our Soul Life (2018), and Edgar Cayce and the Secret of the Golden Flower (2020).

The following is a discussion concerning consciousness and how it relates to reincarnation. It is an excellent explanation of reincarnation that dispels many myths that people have about it. One particular myth is that people are forced to reincarnate immediately after death in the manner that some eastern religions teach. This myth is dispelled by many NDE testimonials which suggest that reincarnation is not bound by time nor is it necessarily a linear cycle. Time as we know it does not exist in the realm of the NDE. A soul can spend an “eternity of eternities” in the afterlife realms after death before deciding to incarnate again. Below is an excerpt from John Van Auken’s outstanding book, Reincarnation: Born Again and Again.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to consciousness and reincarnation
  2. The beginning of consciousness
  3. The universal law of karmic memory
  4. The division of consciousness
  5. The consequences of the division
  6. Thoughts are things. Thoughts are real.

1. Introduction to consciousness and reincarnation

This source of answers to the mysteries of life has no unifying name for its body of knowledge. Various parts of its principal concepts are actually scattered throughout different cultures and countries with no central collection point for the ideas. Because of this, and because many of its ideas are not widely known (often the adherents of these ideas have purposefully withheld them from the public), this school of thought can be referred to as the “secret teachings.” But it is not a single school of thought; rather, it’s a hodgepodge of concepts from many diverse and often unrelated sources that reveal a very similar view of life and its meaning.

2. The beginning of consciousness

Science might categorize the secret teachings as metaphysical, meaning “beyond the known laws and observations of physics.” Religion might refer to them as mystical, meaning that they belong to a collection of thought considered too mysterious to consider or of dubious origin.

It’s interesting to note that the great religions had sects that knew of and ascribed to some or all of the secret teachings. In Islam it was the Sufis; in Judaism it was the Kabbalists; in early Christianity it was the Gnostics and later, from the Middle Ages through the Reformation to even modern times, the many Christian mystics.

Science, too, has had its adherents to concepts held by the secret teachings. Many quantum physicists have written about theories of life beyond the physically observable. In the field of medicine, doctors have found that some patients, who have been declared dead and later revived have had near-death experiences that confirm many of the concepts found in the secret teachings.

According to the secret teachings, the universe was not first created out of matter, but existed prior to material creation in spirit form. Imagine a consciousness similar to our own, except that this first consciousness was boundless, a Universal Consciousness. This is God. At some point, the Universal Consciousness desired to express itself. It began to conceive, to imagine, and to express Its inner promptings. And so the creation began light, sound … eventually stars, galaxies, trees, and rivers. This point in creation was still prior to the physical creation of the universe that science records. This was a realm of thought; no physical forms existed, only thoughts in the consciousness of the Universe. The physical universe had not yet been created.

According to the secret teachings, there came a point in this creation where the Creator’s Consciousness desired to bring forth companions, creatures like unto Itself that would share in this expression of life. In order for the creatures to be more than creations, they had to possess individual consciousness and freedom so that they could choose to be companions. Otherwise, they would only have been servants of the Original Consciousness. So within the One Universal Consciousness many individual points of consciousness were awakened and given freedom.

It’s important for us to realize that at this point in our existence we did not have physical bodies. All of what has just been described occurred within the Mind of God. Consequently, its “form” resembled that of thought rather than physical objects. In the very beginning we were individual points of consciousness within the one great Universal Consciousness.

At first we were quiet, our wills content to observe the wonders of the spiritual creation as they flowed from the Mind of God. In these early periods we were so much a part of the Creator’s Consciousness that we were one with It, virtually indistinguishable from It. However, it wasn’t long before some of us began to use our wills and express ourselves. At first, we simply imitated the Creator, but eventually we gained experience, and with experience came knowledge and confidence. Then, we truly began to create on our own, adding new realms to the spiritual creation, much like a second voice adds to a song by singing harmony with the main melody.

This was exactly why we had been created to share in and contribute to the great expression of life and to be Its companions. To fulfill this purpose we were created in the image of the Creator: consciousness with freedom, capable of conceiving, perceiving, and remembering; capable of communicating directly with the Creator and the other companions.

Consciousness and free will were the greatest qualities given any creation, but they came with equally great responsibility for their use or misuse. Of course, the all-knowing Universal One knew the potential dangers in giving beings complete freedom to do as they desired. However, the potential joy of sharing life with true companions, not servants, was deemed worth the risk. Therefore, each of these new free-willed beings would simply have to learn to take charge of themselves and to subdue harmful desires in order to live in harmony with the other companions and the Creator. To do otherwise would only bring chaos, suffering, and separation.

Unfortunately, chaos came. As we continued to use our godly powers, we became more fascinated with them. We began to focus more and more on our own creations and became less concerned with and attentive to their harmony with the Creator, with the Whole. The more we thought of just ourselves and our own desires with less regard for the Whole, the more self-centered we became, eventually perceiving ourselves as separate from the Whole.

Of course, this sense of separation was all in our minds, so to speak, because there really was no way we could exist outside of the Whole because everything was of spirit. It was more a result of our sustained focus of attention on ourselves and our self-interests that resulted in a heightened sense of a distinct and separate self.

This was the beginning of trouble. It led to a very long fall for us. A fall that eventually left us feeling alone and separated from the rest of life, even to the point that we, who were actually companions and co-creators with the Universal Creator, today come to think of ourselves as little more than dust-like creatures, descendants of apes and inhabitants of a planet on the outskirts of a typical galaxy in the endless and diverse universe.

3. The universal law of karmic memory

This chaos occurred in spirit when no physical universe existed. To know ourselves and yet be one with the Whole was the ideal condition, but the centering of awareness on self alone resulted in a sense of separation from the Whole. The more we exercised our individual consciousness and free will for self-interest, self-gratification, self-glorification, and self-consciousness, the more we heightened our sense of self apart from the Whole.

The resulting loss of contact with the Source of our life and the purpose of our existence was the beginning of darkness and evil, which is ignorance. Without a clear sense of our relationship to the rest of life, many of us began to use free will in ways that were never meant to be. Others simply let themselves be carried along with the current of life, abdicating their free will to the will of others. In both cases, these were things that would make it very difficult for us to be companions to the Creator.

However, the Creator foresaw this potential and, prior to creating companions, It created a Universal Law: Whatever one did with its free will, it must experience the consequences. The law was not intended as punishment or retribution for offenses, but as a tool for education and enlightenment. Thus, as we used our freedom, we experienced the effects. In this we came to understand and learn.

Interestingly, both science and religion recognize this law. In science it is often stated, “For every action there is an equal and opposing reaction.” Its religious counterparts are, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”; “As you sow, so shall you reap”; and “As you do unto others, it will be done unto you.” Even today’s common knowledge expresses this principle in the saying, “What goes around, comes around.”

This is the law of karma, of cause and effect. It was, and is, the great teacher of the companions-to-be and it is an integral part of the secret teachings. Once this law was established, the Creator conceived and freed countless independent points of consciousness within Its own infinite consciousness and the companions came into being, each conscious and free. What a trembling wonder it must have been in those first moments!

Again, it’s important to realize that the companions were not physical bodies. They were like “ideas” in the mind of the Creator that were given freedom to be independently conscious. As they used their freedom, they developed into unique points of thought, feeling, desire, expression, and memory. Each was slightly different from the other by virtue of its different vantage point within the Universal Consciousness. Each companion had a spirit, mind, and a soul. Spirit is the essence of life. Remember the condition of the Creator before the creation; alive yet still. This is Spirit. It is the living stillness in the midst of activity. So often we identify life with motion, but the essence of life was there before the motion. Spirit is the essence of life.

Life in motion, or the power to move and shape ideas and even physical forms out of spirit, is mind. Mind is the sculptor, the builder who conceives, imagines, and shapes ideas out of the essence of life. Spirit is life; Mind is the power to use it.

Each of the companions had spirit and mind. As they used their life forces, they developed experiences, memories, desires, fears, etc. This caused them to become unique from one another each having its own collection of experiences and aspirations; each its own story. This individual aspect of the companion is its soul. Soul is the sum total of all that the companion had done with its free-will consciousness. It’s the companion’s story, its complex of memories. All of the companions have spirit and mind, but each developed a unique soul, because each built a different collection of memories and experiences, resulting in different desires, hopes, and attitudes about life. Thus, spirit is the life force, mind is the power to use it, and soul is the being that develops. All are one in consciousness.

4. The division of consciousness

The creation then progressed from essence to thought, thought into thought-form, and from thought-form into particle-form or atomic-form; in other words, matter. There are many realms to life. One of these realms is the three-dimensional physical form, as we know it today.

The companions, filled with their newfound consciousness and freedom, went out into the vast universe to experience life and to learn about themselves, the Creator, and their relationship to it. In their travels through the cosmos, some of the companions entered the three-dimensional influences of the planet Earth where they entered into physical form for the first time. Here they became so encapsulated in the physical that they began to identify themselves more with their form than with their consciousness. They began to think of themselves as physical entities rather than free, living consciousness. Incredibly, they began to think they were only terrestrial beings and their celestial origins began to be forgotten. Form was so substantial, so captivating that it was difficult to hold on to the more delicate reality of spirit-thoughts, pure point of consciousness in a Universal Consciousness.

To have an individual body was also the ultimate in self-identity and self-expression. It then had the power to separate the individual from the Whole and the formless spirit-thoughts of higher realms.

Strong identification with the physical made the companions subject to the laws of nature, and, of course, a part of nature’s cycle is death. The body would come to life according to the laws of nature, live for a time, and then die. In their original state, the companions were continually alive, but those that began to strongly identify with their physical bodies were now affected by death. Since they thought they were their bodies, they considered themselves dead when their bodies died.

This led to great confusion, and when the companions who had not become involved in the material universe saw what had happened to the others, they decided to help those in the flesh regain their former state. However, it was not going to be easy.

In addition to the influences of the physical dimension, the souls were building reaction patterns (karmic patterns) with their willful activities in the physical universe. According to Universal Law, these actions had to be met properly met in the physical universe where they had been initiated. The more one acted in the physical dimension, the more one built debts that had to be met in the physical. Death changed nothing except those with karmic debts to be paid had to pay them by incarnating into another physical body. The result of this was reincarnation.

Another effect of entering the physical dimension was the division of consciousness. According to the secret teachings, as an individual entered deeper into the physical, its consciousness separated into three divisions of awareness. Two of these divisions we acknowledge today: the conscious and subconscious. The first entails the physical realm where the human body required a three-dimensional consciousness to function. It has become the part of our consciousness we are most familiar with, what we have come to call the conscious mind. Many of us would consider it to actually be the “I” or “me” of ourselves. It is within this part of consciousness that we experience physical life, and our personalities are developed.

The second part of consciousness is shadow-like while one is incarnate in the physical dimension. It lives life as a shadow, always there, listening, watching, remembering, and only occasionally making its profound and sometimes frightening presence known. We have come to call this part of our consciousness the subconscious mind. From out of this area come dreams, intuitions, unseen motivations, and deepest memories.

According to many teachings, the subconscious is the realm of the soul that uses the conscious mind as a mechanism for manifesting in the physical realm through the five senses. Often the thoughts and interests of the conscious mind, combined with the desires of the body, become so strong and dominant that only its activities seem important and real; the subconscious seems illusionary and unrelated to outer life. But in truth, the real life is occurring in the subconscious.

The third area of the now divided consciousness is the most universal. It is the part we can perceive and commune with the Universal Consciousness. We have different names for it: the Collective Mind, the Universal Mind, the Collective Unconsciousness, and the superconsciousness (spirit).

The more one’s attention moves into the conscious mind, the more narrow and limited the focus and awareness becomes. The more one moves toward the superconsciousness, the more one becomes aware of the Whole, the Universal Forces, the Creator.

It may be more difficult to perceive the infinite when one is grossly involved in the finite, but the Universal Consciousness and the potential for attuning oneself to It remains. Curiously, access to it is through the inner consciousness of the incarnate individual and not outside of it, making it a very mysterious passage for a physical being.

In time, however, the companions trapped in the physical dimension could again become aware of the difference between terrestrial and celestial life. They could again come to know their original state and purpose, and regain their celestial birthright of companionship with the Creator. In time they could again come to realize that the conditions in their present physical life were the result of their free-will actions and choices before the present life.

If the companions trapped in the physical dimension could genuinely begin to believe that the physical cannot possibly be all there is to life, they could begin the long journey back from form to spirit, a very difficult journey. In many ways we, as human beings, are no longer spirit. Flesh has become very much a part of us, not just physically but mentally as well. Even when we are out of the body (through death, deep sleep, or some altered state such as meditation), bodily manifestation is still very much a part of us. Otherwise, there would certainly be no reincarnation. We would simply leave the physical dimension and never return.

The great paradox of humankind is that we are now both spirit and flesh. That’s like saying we are a combination of oil and water, two substances which do not combine. The mystical analogy would more properly be fire and water; these, too, don’t combine. How can anything be made up of two substances that are impossible to combine? Yet, such is the nature of humanity. We are constantly forced to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable: mercy with justice, cooperation with independence, unity with diversity, tradition with change, feeling with thought, love with truth, and on and on.

5. The consequences of the division

In order to fully appreciate the secret teachings, we need to understand how the Universal Law of cause and effect works. It’s easy to say that the experiences in one’s life are the result of past activities, but the forces of this law are greater than we may first imagine.

Every action, every thought, every idle word sets up reactions, according to the Universal Law. When one thinks a thought, that thought makes an impression on the Universal Consciousness. Nothing is lost or done in secret. Everything is done within the Universal Consciousness, and the Whole is affected by it (as well as all others within the Whole).

This isn’t easy for us to believe, living in our own little worlds. The words “secret”, “private”, “alone”, and “separate” are active words in our vocabulary. This is due to our current separation in consciousness from the Whole. In the higher realms of consciousness, there is no space. Things and people are not separate, but part of a Whole. All is actually One. All is within the Whole. By increasing the focus on self, we have created the illusion of a self separated from the rest of life, but it just isn’t so. Our individual actions and thoughts make an impact on the Mind of the Universal One (the Whole).

6. Thoughts are things. Thoughts are real.

Reactions to past thoughts and actions become our fate, destiny, and karma. An individual’s fate is simply the rebounding effects of previous choices remembered by its soul. The reason the effects of these previous choices often seem unfair to the conscious mind is because the personality doesn’t see beyond its own life for sources of current conditions.

As companions of God, we are free to live and choose and grow almost as we desire, but not without being subject to the Universal, Spiritual law. Through meeting our thoughts, actions, and words we learn to discern wisdom from folly, lasting strength from weakness, and true life from illusion. In turn we become more able to fulfill our ultimate purpose for existing: to be a companion to the Universal Creator. The law is actually a magnificent tool for perfect learning. It is completely impersonal everyone experiences it equally and for the purpose of enlightenment.

The law of karma is not some fierce god in the sky keeping track of everything so that it can zap people when they least expect it. Most karmic reactions, in fact, come from the individual’s own deep memory of what it has done.

Karma has been described as memory. Karma is memory coming to consciousness again. What has occurred in the past is recalled and has an effect on the present. Now, the recollection may not surface to the conscious level; the personality may have no awareness of the memory, in fact. Yet, it exists at the deeper, soul level. Nevertheless, the soul sees through the same eyes as the personality and is reminded of its past use of free will and consciousness. Naturally, some of these memories will be compatible with the Universal Mind and some will not. Memory is an important concept in understanding how the law of karma works.

As a soul draws closer to the Universal Mind, it becomes aware that some of its memories are not compatible with the Creator, and since its ultimate purpose for being is companionship with the Creator, it seeks out opportunities to resolve these incompatible memories.

Suppose a soul criticizes another soul among its peers and behind its back. As it becomes more aware of its true nature, it will recall this wrong and, because of its incompatibility with the Creator, will seek to correct it. Now, the resolution could take many forms. The soul might seek out an opportunity to work closely with the injured soul as a supporter, assistant, publicist, agent, or the like. Or perhaps it would seek to re-create the original scene putting itself in a position to criticize the other soul again in front of the same peers. The test would be to see if the soul would choose not to criticize this time, even if it meant a certain loss of position for itself. Throughout all this the soul grows wiser and more compatible with the Creator.

If, however, a soul has gotten so far away from its true nature that it has no conscience, then the law of karma can become a formidable obstacle to any further free-will action. Such a soul becomes surrounded by its karma; everywhere it turns, it meets the terrible effects of its previous action and thoughts. Yet, even a soul who has gotten in this pathetic situation can return to perfection because there is no total condemnation from the Creator or the law. If the soul turns away from its self-centeredness and begins acting, reacting, thinking, and speaking like a companion to the Universe, then the law is just as perfect as it is with error; and the reactions begin to build and establish a new destiny for that soul.

Karma is memory. As one recalls or relives situations, one meets self again, and a new decision point, or crossroads, is presented to the soul. In life, “good” would be equated with compatible, harmonious actions and thoughts which consider the needs and desires of others, along with self’s needs and desires. “Evil” would be equated with actions and thoughts that are motivated by a self-orientation that pays little or no attention to the needs and desires of others and the Whole. Metaphysically speaking, good results in oneness, and evil results in a sense of separation. Decisions in one’s life could be approached by evaluating which choices promote greater oneness and which promote separation.

One must meet every bit of one’s karma. However, there is a way that it can be modified, softened, even ameliorated. If a soul, knowing another soul has wronged it, forgives that soul and holds no lingering resentment perhaps has even forgotten the wrong in the depths of its forgiveness and understanding then it begins to take hold of the power of forgiveness. The more it forgives, the more it perceives and understands forgiveness. Then, when it approaches the Universal Consciousness and realizes it possesses memories that are incompatible with It, forgiveness is much more viable, removing the barrier of separation. The law is so precise (what one gives one receives; no exceptions) that if one begins having mercy on and forgiveness of others, one begins to receive mercy and forgiveness upon oneself. Unless, of course, one refuses to forgive oneself.

All of one’s karma has to be met. And yet, no soul is given more than it can bear to carry this is the paradoxical blessing hidden in the limitations of time and space. A soul is given the time it needs to turn away from its selfish ways and, like the prodigal son, return home to a feast of joy and welcome from our Creator. Reincarnation is not a way to avoid judgment and responsibility; it is a way to allow the soul enough time to correct its mistakes and develop itself.

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Edgar Cayce Paranormal

Edgar Cayce on Dreams

Edgar Cayce was able to obtain virtually an unlimited amount of knowledge on a multitude of subjects. One of these subjects was dreams and dream interpretation. Cayce was able to astound people by interpreting their dreams and giving them insight into their psyche, lives and even past lives. Cayce revealed that dreams are actually journeys into the spirit world. Cayce once said:

“Dreams, visions, impressions, to the entity in the normal sleeping state are the presentations of the experiences necessary for the development, if the entity would apply them in the physical life. These may be taken as warnings, as advice, as conditions to be met, conditions to be viewed in a way and manner as lessons, as truths, as they are presented in the various ways and manners.” (Edgar Cayce)

Table of Contents

  1. The nature of dreams and dreaming
  2. Edgar Cayce on dreams
  3. Dream analysis tips from Edgar Cayce
  4. Dream and afterlife connection links
  5. Edgar Cayce on interpreting your dreams

1. The nature of dreams and dreaming

Each night the average person spends approximately ninety minutes in REM dream state. Some of us can remember all or most of our dreams, and others have trouble remembering even a snippet from one of their nightly sojourns. Ancient religious traditions held that it is your spiritual soul which creates your dreams and leaves the body to travel to other realms and meet other souls. They and other ancient cultures, including the Greeks, erected dream temples for seekers to find guidance about their lives. Many times purification rituals as well as other rites of preparation were performed by the seeker prior to entering the temple and the dream state. Upon awakening, the seeker consulted with the temple dream interpreters.

The dream state is an experimental playground which gives you a chance to explore and express emotions without the usual inhibitions you may display in your waking life. Dreams provide an avenue of expression for that part of yourself that knows both your history and your potential as a spiritual being. They are another way the universe provides guidance about relationships, careers, and health problems. Through dreams you may find answers to your spiritual questions and even receive encouragement to some challenge in your life. While some dreams may allow you to release bottled emotions from your day’s activities, others can lead to profound insights in a psychological or spiritual way.

However, Carl Jung said dreams are “the main source of all of our knowledge about symbolism.” This means that the messages you receive from your dreams are expressed symbolically and must be interpreted to find their true meanings. According to Jung, rarely do the symbols in dreams have just one meaning. And when interpreting the messages in your dreams, he suggests going with your first hunch, relying on your intuitive abilities, before applying more rational methods of dream interpretation.

Mark Thurston, former executive director for Edgar Cayce’s research foundation and author of the book, Dreams: Tonight’s Answers for Tomorrow’s Questions, says, “A dream symbol is the very best way for your unconscious self to communicate to your conscious self. The particular image chosen – be it an object, a person, an animal, or whatever – has shades of meaning and personal associations that make it the best communicator of some truth about yourself.”

Cayce believed that our dreams serve several functions. Somatic dreams – dreams referring to the body – are extremely important to be mindful of. Very often dreams will offer solutions to health problems. For example, one man was plagued with food allergies for many years, but was unable to find the source of his discomfort. Then one night he went to bed and he dreamed of a can of coffee. He quit drinking coffee and his symptoms disappeared.

Cayce also believed that deceased friends and family members do occasionally visit us in our dream state. These occurrences may offer direct communication with those people or allow us to resolve our feelings about their death. The person may also represent some aspect of ourselves.

One man reports that occasionally he hears a voice in his dreams. This voice usually is loud and strong and is not associated with any characters in his dreams. “Typically, I’m told something very specific to do or not to do,” he relates. “I know this is God speaking to me – loud and clear. And I know I’d better listen.”

Morton Blumenthal, who received more dream interpretations from Cayce than anyone else – often reported dreams of a disembodied voice, which offered counsel. Cayce usually indicated this was input from the Creative Forces, God. For example, in one dream, Blumenthal dreamt of a figure leading him by the hand, and a voice which said, “The Lord will lead you – but you must …” He had forgotten the rest of what was said to him, but Cayce interpreted it as follows:

“As in this, as is seen, again and again, the entity receives that reassurance of the higher forces guiding, guarding, and directing the entity in its actions, as it were, with the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.”

Blumenthal also had a fascinating dream in which God came to visit him. To the dreamer’s surprise, God was a modern businessman. Cayce’s interpretation pointed out that God was someone with whom we can “do business.” God is not only transcendent but also actively involved in human affairs. It was a powerful message and, in a sense, a wonderful revelation from the divine.

2. Edgar Cayce on dreams

The following is an excerpt from the excellent book by Harmon Bro entitled Cayce on Dreams.

During the dreaming state of sleep, we experience the different levels of consciousness and receive input from the different realms of the spirit world. Through dreaming, we have special access to our spirit within. According to the Cayce readings, there is not a question we can ask which cannot be answered from the depths of our inner consciousness when the proper attunement is made.

A dream may be of a physical, mental, or spiritual nature and may deal with all manner of psychic manifestations. These include dream telepathy, clairvoyance, prophetic visions, out of body traveling, remembrance of past lives, communication with beings in other realms including deceased friends and relatives, spirit guides, angels, Christ, and even the voice of God. Dreams can also give invaluable information on the status of the body.

All subconscious minds are in contact with one another. Through the subconscious, dreams may place us in attunement with those in the physical realm or those in the spiritual realm. We may be visited in the night by discarnate entities for many reasons: they may seek to give us assurance about their well-being in other realms of existence; they may come seeking our aid through prayer; they may come to bring us information which may be very helpful or limited; or they may come to influence us with their own desires or perspectives, which may be helpful or harmful. For example, there are dream reports of deceased relatives appearing and giving instructions about where to find a will or a lost object.

The events we experience in the third-dimension are, as it were, a “past condition” because this dimension is simply a projection or a reflection of what is being built at another higher level. Therefore, when we tune into these higher levels, as we may in dreams, we become aware of what is being built, and what may be projected into the physical in the future. Nothing of importance happens to us that is not foreshadowed in our dreams. Which is not to say that all dreams are precognitive or that the exact detail of everything we experience is given earlier in dreams. However, the word “foreshadowed” suggests that we may glimpse and be warned of what we are building now which may come into manifestation later. We call these dreams “precognitive” or “prophetic.”

Just as the angels spoke to people in dreams in the times of the Bible, the spirit world still speaks to people to this day. Some people came to Cayce with dreams of Christ. None was told that it was simply his imagination, but all were assured they were indeed in touch with him.

There is no dimension of human life, whether social, financial, emotional or physical, mental or spiritual with which the dream may not on occasion deal. Dreams may encourage or reprimand, instruct or deceive, inspire or seduce, guide or confuse. The potential for an immense array of experiences in consciousness is always there. What we actually receive depends upon our attitudes, motivations, the measure of our attunement, and the extent to which we have made applicable what was received in earlier dreams and in waking experiences.

Many people came to Cayce to have their dreams interpreted. An example was the dream of a young man about his father-in-law, who had recently taken his own life. In the dream a voice commented: “He is the most uncomfortable fellow in the world.”

Then the dreamer was shown his own baby crying for food. The image was to convey the dead man’s hunger for guidance and spiritual sustenance, said Cayce. The next night the dreamer heard the man’s own voice, together with “a wandering impression of restlessness.” The voice said: “I seek rest. I want to leave and be with my family down there.”

Again Cayce said the dream contact had been authentic, showing the dreamer how much his prayers were needed for the father-in-law, who was still an “earthbound discarnate“. He added that the reason the discarnate was turning towards people in earthly life was that “the lessons are learned from that realm, see?” It was a point Cayce often made, that souls who had once entered the Earth had to learn their final lessons in the Earth, where will is called into play in a fashion different from existence on other realms.

Yet contact between the dead and the living can be joyous. Sometimes it occurs because the dead want to show the living what death is like, to take away their fear and grief. Exploring the possible reality of such contact, one dreamer had her side pinched by a discarnate friend, so vividly that she screamed in fright, while another had his toe pulled when he asked for it – and did not ask again.

One dream took a man inside the brain of a woman dying of cancer, a relative, and showed him precisely what a relief death was, when it finally came. A later dream also showed him how a soul feels when awakening to consciousness after death.

Discarnates are not only rewarded by recognition from the living, they can experience the joy of teaching the living. They can also, in relatively unusual cases, work directly with the living for the fulfillment of worthy causes. The dead differ from the living only in this respect: they are in a permanently subconscious state because the conscious mind of the physical body no longer exists. But the body is an expendable shell, and all else is intact. On the astral level of existence, the subconscious mind (soul) replaces the conscious mind of the soul, and the superconscious mind (spirit) replaces the subconscious.

Hence, in dreams, we find that communication with those who have passed on is more logical than the average person is able to comprehend. The following are more excerpts from spirit communications in dreams as told to Edgar Cayce and interpreted:

One man related to Cayce: “Both my mother and father [deceased] came to me and were so glad to see me, but then they told me my sister had committed suicide.”

Cayce replied in trance: “This dream presents to the entity, through the mother and father both dead, the thoughts being entertained by the sister because of dissatisfaction to meet properly the conditions in her life. And as seen, the father and mother depend upon you to so instruct, to so direct, and to so counsel your sister. Give the sister spiritual counsel so that she may better understand, thereby enabling her to grow; otherwise, detrimental experiences will destroy her. Suicide is in her mind. Remember, too, that thoughts are deeds in the mental realm, and they increase or mar the activities of the higher self.” (Cayce Reading 136-70)

A woman related to Cayce this dream: “I dreamed my mother told me I should warn Aunt Helen against an accident between an automobile and a streetcar. My mother then became ill.”

Cayce replied in trance: “This is a warning. Tell Aunt Helen about it. If she observes the warning, and stays out of automobiles and streetcars until the waning of the moon, it will not happen. Warn her, then, for this is a direct communication from one in the spiritual realm to one in the physical realm. This attunement is made when the conscious mind is subjugated, as in meditation or in sleep, and an attunement with the universal forces is established. This is also an illustration of the ability of those in the spiritual realm to see the future.” (Cayce Reading 136-48)

Perhaps the most common dream experience in spirit communication according to Cayce is related by the message which in essence says: “I am fine and happy. Your grief, however, is holding me back and making me sad. You can help me greatly by trying to overcome your sorrow. You must stop grieving!”

3. Dream analysis tips from Edgar Cayce

• Keep a notebook beside the bed. Record your dreams as soon as possible after waking.

• Suggest to yourself every night as you fall asleep, “I will remember my dreams.”

• If you wake during the night, write down the main symbols, and the entire dream will usually come back in the morning.

• Practice keen observation in your dreams through self-suggestion prior to sleep.

• Look for these components in your dreams: the setting, the people, the action, the color, the feeling, and the words.

• Work on analyzing your dreams every day, otherwise their progression will be difficult to assess.

• If dreams are illogical, three reasons are possible:

  1. Only the fragments of the dream have been recalled.
  2. The dream is reflecting something illogical in the dreamer’s life.
  3. Mental blocks have erased your recall.

• If you are unable to decipher an important dream, suggest to yourself, before your next sleep, that the dream repeat itself more clearly.

Nightmares, which bring with them an inability to move or cry out, usually indicate the wrong diet. To end the nightmarish dreams change your diet.

• Dreams that are unchanged through the years indicate the dreamer’s resistance to change.

• Dreams of ill health can be either literal or symbolic warnings.

• When a problem confronts you, ask by prayer for guidance to be sent to you through your dreams.

• Be practical in your interpretations. Always look first for a lesson. What have you refused to face or been ignoring?

• Observe carefully recurrent dreams, as well as the serially progressive ones. These often illustrate progress or failure.

• Dreams are the reaction of the inner self to daytime activity and often show the way out of the dilemma. So relate them to current activity, because dreams may be retrospective as well as prospective.

• Dreams come to guide and help, not to amuse. They direct your attention to errors of omission and commission and offer encouragement for right endeavors. They also give us the opportunity to pray for others and to help them bear their burdens.

• If you receive an unusual message, reduce it to common terms. See if the symbolism of the Bible can be of help in interpreting the dream.

• Look for past-life experiences in your dreams. These manifest themselves not only in color, but in the proper costume and setting of their period. They come to warn you against repeating the same old mistakes; to explain your relationship and reactions to certain people and places; to reduce your confusions; to enable you to better understand life.

• Do not fear conversation with the so-called “dead” in dreams. If the communication is one-sided, it denotes telepathy. If both participate, it may be an actual encounter of bodiless consciousness.

• Dreams are primarily about self. Only a few dreams relate to family, friends, and world events.

• Watch for mental telepathy in dreams.

• Remember, persistence is necessary to learn any new language, and dream symbols are the forgotten language of the subconscious.

• Give daily thanks to God for all things and use daily prayer to improve the quality and reception of your dreams.

4. Dream and afterlife connections links

(a) Edgar Cayce’s Dream Interpretation of the Book of Revelation

(b) Dreams and the Afterlife Connection

(c) A Dream Induced Near-Death Experience

(d) Kevin Williams’ After-Death Communication Dream

5. Edgar Cayce on interpreting your dreams

It would seem that sensory experiences are permanently recorded by our subconscious mind, even though we remain consciously unaware of them. Under hypnosis, eyewitnesses to a crime are able to recall detailed facts that they had previously been unable to remember. Asleep or awake, the subconscious, like the tape recorder, registers continuously. This is because the senses are aware of the inner self which never sleeps. This may also explain why associations with some symbols appearing in dreams are difficult to interpret – they are not consciously observed.

Dreams symbols, such as a house, a bird, or a friend, always represent much more than that which first meets the eye. This is why the beginner can benefit from help received from those who have made a serious study of dreams. Carl Jung voiced much the same thought when he said that, if one understands symbols, one can understand the dream as much by empathy as by formal analysis.

The ideal, however, is for the individual himself to learn to understand his dreams by writing them down. Dreams are more easily understood in series. Dream researchers have discovered that three or even four of the dreams each night often relate to the same basic problem or subject, but in different symbols.

It is also helpful not only to pray for guidance, but also to learn to meditate. Meditation, which is the art of listening with the ego subdued, improves the clarity of dreams, expands the consciousness, and encourages extrasensory perceptions by breaking down the barriers between the conscious mind and the subconscious and superconscious.

Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of symbology is that it is a universal language, teaching and preserving permanent basic truths. What shorthand is to words, symbology is to ideas. This is especially true of religious concepts.

According to Edgar Cayce, the Book of Revelation is a compilation of the Apostle John’s dreams and visions while he was in exile. It illustrates his growth in consciousness as he sought, through meditation and prayer, to fully comprehend the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in his life.

Categories
Articles Science

Near-Death Experience of Space, Time, and Consciousness

Jack H. Hiler, Ph.D., J.D., is the author of the book, Near-Death Experience of Space, Time, and Consciousness: How the World Was Created and Functions (2019) and the author of a series of papers in the Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research (2019). Based on many thousands of out-of-body experiences associated with the near-death experience, and correspondence of the experience to principles from Relativity Theory and quantum mechanics, the nature of existence and the role of consciousness are analyzed and a theory is proposed. This theory hypothesizes that there is a universal field of consciousness in which the individual consciousness (spirit and soul) functions both in life and in eternity, before and after an Earth life. Whereas standard science holds that the material reality we observe is fundamental, and regards consciousness as an epiphenomenon or unreal, Dr. Hiller’s theory proposed here explains why consciousness is fundamental, and supports the material reality we normally perceive.

Dr. Hiller has an unusual breadth of knowledge across psychology, math, computers, and physics. He started out as a bench level scientist in the Department of the Army, after having earned his Ph.D., and having served as a private in the Marines, and in the Army as an officer with a Captain’s rank. Dr. Hiller was eventually promoted from GS 13, 14, and 15 to super grade as the Director of the Army Research Institute (ARI) Training Systems R&D Lab, and as Associate Director of ARI which he ran from 1986-96. At the time, the Training lab was the world’s largest with around 120 in-house Ph.D.s and a comparable number working on supporting contracts. The ARI has drastically shrunk over the years. In 1996, Dr. Hiller was promoted to the Director for Human Systems Integration (HSI) in the Pentagon where he had policy and budget review oversight for all human related research and studies, along with another super grade position with protocol of a two-star General. Dr. Hiller retired from the Department of the Army in 1998. In 1999, Dr. Hiller went to work for Northrop Grumman Corp as a senior scientist and was promoted after a few months to Division Chief Scientist with about 1,500 computer programmers and many Ph.Ds in information sciences, electronics engineering, math, and physics. After a few years, Dr. Hiller was honored as Distinguished Technical Fellow. Dr. Hiller retired in 2010. The following is an overview of Dr. Hiller’s book, Near-Death Experience of Space, Time, and Consciousness: How the World Was Created and Functions, his Frozen Time Theory (FTT), and his recent NDE research.

Table of Contents

  1. Frozen Time Theory (FTT)
  2. Universal Consciousness Underlies All of Reality: a Tripartite Domain Theory
  3. Possible Enablers and Barriers to Dimensional Perception
  4. Analysis of the Differential Perception of Time in the Second and Third Domains
  5. Definitions of Now
  6. An Absolute Limitation to the Rational Analysis of Experience, Consciousness, and World Origin: the Principle of Interior Unknowability
  7. Review of Carlo Rovelli’s Book: The Order of Time
  8. A Postulate Set Governing Existential Knowledge
  9. What is Consciousness?
  10. A Theory of Knowledge: The Transcendental and the Mundane

1. Frozen Time Theory (FTT)

Frozen Time Theory (FTT) reports discovery of a reliable, but surprising, feature of the out-of-body experience (OBE) reports associated with traumatic near-death experiences (NDE). At the instant of a severe trauma, such as a heart attack or violent vehicle collision, the suffering individuals report being puzzled about what has happened, as they are suddenly viewing their environment from a different perspective. Typically, they are now located above their body, so that they no longer see through their eyes, but see from a different location. There was no apparent transition in consciousness or conscious perception to cue separation of consciousness from their body leading to their confusion over what had just happened. The lack of any distinctive transition for consciousness and conscious perception from the normal bodily state to consciousness and conscious perception during the OBE strongly implies that it is not the brain itself that is generating conscious experience. They also then start to notice that the nature of their sight has changed, as they can see through objects, can focus to the atomic level or out to the cosmos, and see in 360 degrees. Individuals who have been born blind also report experiencing this remarkable manner of perception. Realization develops that they have been effectively knocked dead, but still remain conscious.

A striking feature of OBE perception is that all entities observed exhibit consciousness, not only relatives and friends who have passed, and angels, but rocks, grass, flowers, trees, animals — even water. This experience is consistent with the ancient philosophy of panpsychism.

One of the great mysteries remaining for the psychology, neurology, and philosophy of perception is termed the issue of qualia, i.e., how can we perceive different qualities such as vision with different colors, sounds, and fragrances, but do so without the brain exhibiting differential structures for processing information after the senses have transduced energies to electrochemical energies in neurons. In the frontal lobes, where we believe perception is present, no differential structures or processes are found there corresponding to the differential qualities of perception. The FTT hypothesizes that the consciousness experienced during the OBE exists in a field or domain of consciousness in which individual entities share their existence without boundaries. Thus, FTT hypothesizes that perception during normal perception for the body and brain occurs not in the brain itself, but in the consciousness (soul) that had been attached to the normal body. The differential qualities of perception are dependent on how the field of consciousness functions, not on the brain producing the qualities of perception we experience.

One of the most interesting features of the OBE is the feeling that time no longer runs, and during the OBE it is reported that they have simultaneously viewed past scenes, their current environment, and future scenes. In addition, all entities viewed, including their own “body,” glow with the appearance of being made of light. The FTT relates the absence of time running, i.e., frozen time, with the formulation of Special Relativity that photons do not experience time. Thus, FTT hypothesizes that time during the OBE translates to a fourth spatial dimension, such that the past, present, and future correspond to differing locations in the domain of consciousness.

2. Universal Consciousness Underlies All of Reality: a Tripartite Domain Theory

In the FTT, I had accepted from the NDE reports that there existed two realities, our normal domain of reality associated with the paradigm of materialism, and an alternative domain of experience characterized as a field of consciousness in which all entities experienced appeared to be made of light, and time did not run.

An obvious question was about how these two domains might be related. Were they causally independent of each other, even if somehow correlated across time, or might they even be causally linked? Based on the NDE reports and the curious phenomenon of quantum entanglement, what Einstein spoofed about as “spooky action at a distance,” I inferred that our material reality was connected to the domain of consciousness. The NDE reports reliably stated that all thought of movement was capable of instantaneity, so if entangled particles existed in the domain of consciousness as well as the material domain, their instant communication would be accounted for.

Another question was about the possibility for a third domain. Was there anything that might have preceded the material and consciousness domains? The hypothesis that seemed best was that there initially existed a domain of pure consciousness in which nothing else existed, not light, not space, not time. This initial domain might be termed, in common with most religions, as God. This speculation is in fact consistent with the Old Testament according to which all that existed at first was God alone. God’s first act of creation was light. After light, He created the firmament, or material world. Thus, a tripartite domain theory was formed that is consistent with NDE reporting and the Old Testament. The relationships among the three domains are shown by the Venn diagram below. God is represented as Domain 1; the world of consciousness which includes light is the 2nd Domain; and the physical world we occupy is Domain 3.

3. Possible Enablers and Barriers to Dimensional Perception

The FTT and Tripartite domain papers acknowledge that our ordinary perception in our material domain separates time as an abstraction with space having three extended spatial dimensions. But in the second domain, as defined to be filled with consciousness and entities made of light, it was hypothesized that time also exists as an extended spatial dimension, so that different times in the material domain would correspond to different locations — without time running. This paper analyzes why common sense regards time in the material domain to have a different character than space. The analysis keys off of Edward Abbott’s clever Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions satire. It is argued that, while common sense regards space as perceptible, but time is regarded as an imperceptible abstract concept only, when time is termed “duration,” perception of time and space are equally abstract, and equally perceptible for the objects of sense-perception in the material domain.

4. Analysis of the Differential Perception of Time in the Second and Third Domains

This paper analyzes how perception of time progression (i.e., time is perceived to run) occurs in the material 3rd Domain, but does not occur in the 2nd Domain of consciousness to which the 3rd Domain is connected. The argument is made that perception of time depends on the domain being experienced.

5. Definitions of Now

In philosophy and psychology, some argue that only “now” exists, the past has forever gone, and the future is yet to be. Given the importance of “now,” alternative definitions are presented and discussed.

6. An Absolute Limitation to the Rational Analysis of Experience, Consciousness, and World Origin: the Principle of Interior Unknowability

After working for approximately a decade to produce a defensible theory for how the world came to be, I realized that I had made zero progress. I questioned why that effort was entirely futile, and came to an interesting conclusion — the question itself implied an observational framework external to a Creation event, but scientists could never in principle locate externally as “privileged observers” to be able to see what happened. Thus, a new postulate for the metaphysics of creation was defined. This postulate was termed the Principle of Interior Unknowability (PIU). It was argued that the PIU stands on two legs of support. The first leg is an analogy posed about fishes born in a fish tank having no opportunity ever to locate outside of their tank. From their interior location in the tank, they (or scientists in the material world) would never be able to learn where it came from or how it was made; the same argument applies if the world were instead conceptualized to be infinite with no boundaries. The second leg is a conjectured analogy with Kurt Godel’s Theorem of Undecidability, developed while he was working on his Incompleteness Theorems. This leg of the argument for the PIU reasons that postulates, axioms or assumptions based on internal observations of our world, applied to mathematically model its creation, are susceptible to creating a paradox (historically known as the Liars Paradox) by self-reference. To escape the potential for producing a valueless or misleading paradox, information would have to be gathered external to a system to be used for modeling its creation. Nevertheless, as pointed out by my friend Neil Siegel, a great deal of scientifically valid and useful information may indeed be acquired within the material world, despite the barrier to knowledge acquisition about creation postulated by the PIU.

7. Review of Carlo Rovelli’s Book: The Order of Time

Loop quantum gravity physicist Carlo Rovelli published an entertaining book that explained his preference for denying the utility of a time variable in physics, and even in psychology. This book review identifies points of agreement, but notably points of disagreement.

8. A Postulate Set Governing Existential Knowledge

In an earlier chapter, 6., the Principle of Interior Unknowability (PIU) was defined as a postulate which excluded any possibility for scientists to observe the conditions of the origin of the world, or to be able to infer from information collected within our material world how the world was constructed with any certainty, or “where it might have come from.” In this chapter, three additional Postulates are defined. One of these concerns the nature of existential reality, and states there are two domains for knowledge exploration: (1) the material domain in which we normally perceive the world, and (2) the domain of consciousness that underlies consciousness and conscious perception that may become available during the NDE/OBE or by meditation. This is the Postulate Governing Existence (PGE). The PGE defines the consciousness domain as fundamental. The third postulate is the Postulate Governing Knowledge (PGK) which defines knowledge to be incorporated in consciousness. As was also explained in Chapter 2 on Universal Consciousness, all individual entities possess consciousness, and “”knowledge” is information incorporated into their consciousness. The fourth postulate affirms DescartesMind-Body Dualism that mind and brain ordinarily communicate, despite being different in kind. This is the Postulate for Mind-Body Dualism (PMBD).The set of four postulates governs the nature of Existential Knowledge (EK). With the EK as a set theoretic foundation, the potential for extra-sensory phenomena is explainable. We may summarize that the nature of any and all knowledge about existence, EK, is a function of PIU, PGE, PGK, and PMBD.

9. What is Consciousness?

A brief historical review of the concept of consciousness is provided from the perspectives of philosophy, psychology, and neurology. The weaknesses in traditional analyses of the nature of consciousness are explained, followed by a synthesis of consciousness (with mind and soul) based on the previous eight chapters. The 2nd Domain of consciousness is recognized as the foundation for how the 3rd Domain of materialism functions. It was concluded that the reality of what consciousness is and how it is known denies any useful ability to define it by reference to objectively observable experience, so it must be regarded as an indefinable, primitive term.

10. A Theory of Knowledge: The Transcendental and the Mundane

Knowledge is analyzed to fit two main classifications: (1) the Transcendental idealized forms as described by Plato, and (2) the mundane experiences generated by the body/brain living in the material world. Knowledge of each of the two types is examined for how it is acquired (from the 2nd Domain) or learned by sense-perception experienced in the 3rd Domain. Knowledge learned through life in the 3rd Domain is unreliable because of imperfections in our sense-perception mechanisms, and because memory storage and retrieval are prone to intervening learning distortions and aging processes. By contrast, knowledge acquired directly from or while in the 2nd Domain is perfectly accurate and not subjected to any aging process because time does not run in the 2nd Domain.

11. Conclusions

Overall, the text argues that Creation and “consciousness” fundamentally exist beyond the boundaries of conventionally acquirable scientific knowledge. The specific arguments employed made use of analogy and the Liar’s Paradox to support an out-of-bounds conclusion defined by the Principle of Interior Unknowability (PIU), and appear to be novel for the metaphysics literature. The NDE reports demonstrate a high degree of perceptual consistency for the OBE experience, such as time no longer perceived as running, all entities perceived to be made of light, and actions driven by thought perceived as instantaneous; all of these perceptions were found to be consistent with Relativity Theory and quantum mechanics. A theoretical foundation was laid for the reality of paranormal phenomena. It was found from the review of over 4,000 NDE reports available on the NDERF.org and IANDS.org web sites that the NDEs were dominated by experiencing the light and love of a God Creator, even for those who were agnostic or atheist before their NDE. Based on these NDE reports and the neo-Platonic concept of Transcendental knowledge having been provided to the human conscience, a proposed code of conduct was included in the Annex. The quest to develop knowledge about Creation and consciousness ends in a conclusion that, by our being immersed in them, they are not ever directly observable by us as material beings. However, conventional science is plagued by those who either seek to deny their existence, or instead seek to scientifically describe and explain them, whereas the PIU shows that both of such opposing perspectives are wrong.

12. Dr. Hiller’s Near-Death Experience Study

On February 3, 2020, Dr. Hiller completed an NDE study involving an analysis of the most recently archived NDE reports (62 total) on NDERF.org to develop a sample frequency estimate for experiencing God, Jesus, and other major religious figures. As a side note, when Dr. Hiller discusses OBE reports, he tends to report the experience as “experience” instead of as “perception.” He states the reason for this distinction flows from how he proposed to solve the issue of “qualia” in perception, following Eben Alexander‘s reporting about his OBE as experiencing everything as his being a part of everything, as opposed to how we look at things as separated observers in this material domain to achieve perception.

A Frequency Analysis for a Sample of NDE Reports

An analysis of the most recently archived NDE reports (62 total) on NDERF.org at was performed to develop a sample frequency estimate for experiencing God, Jesus, and other major religious figures. Nine categories of information were defined for coding as representing an experience or not:

  1. Agnostic, atheist, New Age, or nothing before the NDE
  2. Christian affiliation
  3. Non Christian to include Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist
  4. Experience of a mystical light
  5. Experiencing God as a huge zone of light that enveloped the spirit
  6. Experiencing God as a being with personality
  7. Experiencing Jesus as a personality
  8. No experience of light or a deity, just an OBE
  9. A hellish experience.

Results

Unfortunately for “purely clean” scoring, these categories proved not to be mutually exclusive, as multiple elements were reported for the experience; for example, in one report there was a mystical light at first, then it developed into a huge zone of brilliant light recognized as God, and then Jesus was also experienced, so 4., 5., and 7. were scored.

One unanticipated finding was a glaring disproportion of NDEs for those who did not profess belief in God. According to a 2017 USA research estimate by Pew reported by The Atlantic 63% definitely believe in God regardless of religious affiliation, leaving 37% who do not or are uncertain. A recent academic study estimated that 26% of Americans do not believe in God. So, it’s fair to set 37% as a baseline estimate of the agnostic/atheist percentage. In this sample of 62 NDE reports, 56% were agnostic or atheist or not willing to commit to belief in God (category 1). A test to estimate if 56% is statistically significantly different from 37% (using 26% would have produced a higher level of statistical significance) yielded a Z value (2.6) which is significant for a reliable difference at a probability of less than .009, which is a stronger result than the .05 level generally used to decide if there were a reliable difference. Thus, it appears that NDEs are more frequent for those who did not already have belief in God, implying that they were getting a wake-up call for a life course correction.

There were four Muslims in this sample. Two experienced only a mystical light, and the other two had an OBE without an experience of God. Muhammad was not experienced.

There was one Buddhist and his experience was in category 5 of immersion in a huge zone of light that produced “incredible joy.” He did not see any image of Buddha, but decided it was apt to label this light as Buddha.

Jesus was reported to have been experienced by 13% (including one by the only Jewish respondent), while God was experienced (from categories 5 and 6) by 29%, with two experiences as personal. There were two hellish experiences reported.

One striking result was the dominance of category 4, the experience of mystical light in which they were immersed by 63% of the reports. I interpret this as support for the Tripartite Domain theory (see Near-Death Experience of Space, Time, and Consciousness) theorizing that the 2nd Domain (which is Heaven) is a universal field of consciousness functioning as a medium for light, with all entities existing in this Domain manifesting as forms of light.

Conclusion

This pilot study appears to warrant further research to increase the sample size and scope of investigation about the perceptions and implications for deities occurring in near-death, spiritually transformative, and out-of-body experiences.

Categories
Experiences Group

Steven Ridenhour and His Girlfriend’s Group NDE

The following information about group NDEs comes from P.M.H. Atwater’s books “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Near-Death Experiences” page 163-165 and “Beyond The Light” pages 60-63. Atwater writes:

“Another variant on death by degrees concerns shared experiences between experiencers. These incidents challenge the overall significance of any need factor a sole individual might have, and threaten the underpinning of any scientific argument that body processes explain near-death states.” (P.M.H. Atwater)

Table of Contents

  1. When Two or More People Die Together
  2. Atwater’s Otherworldly Insights From Group NDEs
  3. Steven Ridenhour and His Girlfriend’s Group NDE

1. When Two or More People Die Together

From time to time you hear about a couple who both die — in a car accident, for example — and have a near-death episode in which they see one another, and one says to the other, “I must stay, but you need to return.” And, indeed, only one comes back. I’ve encountered this with married couples and with parent/child duos. Since only one lives, it, impossible to verify the full account. All you can deal with is the single survivor and his or her response to the event and the ensuing aftereffects.

I have encountered other people, though, who reported scenarios that appeared so similar it’s as if they were shared. This oddity happened in two ways:

(1) They were either all at the same location within the same time span, or (2) They were miles and years apart.

In my own case, two of my “deaths” happened in January of 1977, the other in March. I have since met a dozen other people whose experiences were to much akin to my first and last one, it’s as if we each lived through exactly the same thing. Later, I met 51 other individuals who also had three near-death episodes in 1977, with before and after conditions similar to mine — even though we “died” in different months and experienced different scenarios.

2. Atwater’s Otherworldly Insights From Group NDEs

Occasionally in research you run across cases of multiple deaths and multiple miracles, where, somehow, all of those who were dead revive. I have noticed a fascinating peculiarity in those I have investigated, and that is if one of the people involved reports having had a near-death episode, they all will — even if the multiple parties have yet to speak with each other or divulge what happened to them with anyone else. Once they do get together and compare accounts, they are shocked to discover they each experienced a near-death state and how similar each one is to the other (although precise details may vary).

3. Steven Ridenhour and His Girlfriend’s Group NDE

It happened one bright sunshiny day in the summer of 1973. Steven B. Ridenhour of Charlottesville, Virginia, and his girlfriend, Debbie, decided to go to the rapids at the “bullhole,” part of the river that flows behind an old cotton mill in Cooleemee, North Carolina. Both had been smoking pot and were bored. Their decision to run the knee-high rapids meant that they had to start at the beginning of the rock incline, on down about 20 feet, and start skiing barefooted until they reached the moss beds. The sport could have been great fun, but not on this trip.

“We smoked another joint and then headed toward the rapids. Debbie begins laughing, and the next thing I know we’re overtaken by laughter. The giggling stops as we’re swept off our feet and dragged downriver.

“Debbie cries out, ‘Steven I can’t swim. I’m drowning.’

“I feel powerless because I can’t get to her and I’m yelling, ‘Hang on, don’t panic,’ when I take a tremendous mouthful of water. Without any warning, time, as I know it, stops.

“The water has a golden glow and I find myself just floating as without gravity, feeling very warm and comfortable. I’m floating in a vertical position with my arms outstretched and my head laying on my left shoulder. I feel totally at peace and full of serenity in this timeless space.

“Next I go through a past-life review. It was like looking at a very fast slide show of my past life, and I do mean fast, like seconds. I don’t quite understand the significance of all the events that were shown to me, but I’m sure there is some importance.

“When this ended, it was as if I was floating very high up and looking down at a funeral. Suddenly I realized that I was looking at myself in a casket. I saw myself dressed in a black tux with a white shirt and a red rose on my left lapel. Standing around me were my immediate family and significant friends.

“Then, as if some powerful force wrapped around me, I was thrust out of the water, gasping for air. There was Debbie within arm’s reach. I grabbed her by the back of her hair and I was able to get us both over to the rocks and out of the water.

“After lying on the rocks for a while, I glance over at Debbie and it’s like looking at a ghost. As she describes what she went through, it became apparent that we both had the same experience underwater – the golden glow, the serenity, seeing our lives flash before us, floating over a funeral, and seeing ourselves in a casket. That is the only time we ever talked about it. I haven’t seen or talked with Debbie since.”

For the next eleven years, Ridenhour tried practically every drug in the universe in an attempt to recapture the euphoria of his near-death experience, but to no avail. All he found was loneliness, prisons, and a failed marriage. He entered a treatment center for drug and alcohol abuse in December 1984, and has been in various stages of recovery ever since. Finally, he was able to find a counselor who knew something about the phenomenon he had experienced and she put him in touch with a near-death researcher. He told his story, then quickly disappeared – unable to face the truth of what he had been through.

It wasn’t until 1993, after suppressing the aftereffects of his experience for a total of twenty years, that Ridenhour found himself flat on his back because of a work-related injury and with no choice but to surrender.

“My life started changing right then and I can’t stop it, so I’m opening up my heart and my soul to see where this takes me.”

Ridenhour is now in nurse’s training, determined to repay society for his previous mistakes and to help heal people.

His youth was wrapped around horrific incidents of child abuse and abandonment. He grew up thinking he was unlovable and bad. His near-death experience so challenged this distorted self-image that, although he wanted the euphoria back, he could not accept the rest of it. Confused and frightened by the incident, he flung himself into a seemingly endless nightmare of self-destruction.

“None of the drugs worked,” he confessed. “They couldn’t even come close to matching my near-death experience.”

Later he was stunned to learn that many of the problems he had afterward are in fact typical aftereffects of the phenomenon.

“I thought it was all me. I never made the connection between my experience and why I felt so lost. It took getting injured at work before I stopped trying to run away and just relaxed and let all that love and joy back, and the golden glow. I had no choice, really. I had to accept the truth that there is a power in me, and I can use it to help others.”

Drug and alcohol free, Ridenhour has helped to organize an IANDS chapter in the Washington, D.C., area, one of many dedicated to providing informational meetings for near-death survivors and the interested public.

According to NDE expert, Janice Holden, in her book “Near-Death Experiences While Drowning” — where she also documents this group NDE – Debbie and Steven were reunited many years later when they were both guests on a television show. In front of the cameras, Debbie confirmed Steven’s memories of the incident, including that their separate near-death episodes were virtually identical.

Categories
Parapsychology

Dr. Carla Wills-Brandon’s Deathbed Visions Research

Deathbed Visions (DBVs) – also known as “nearing death awareness” – refer to paranormal experiences occurring to people who are dying. There are many examples of deathbed phenomena in both non-fiction and fictional literature, which suggests that these occurrences have been noted by cultures around the world for centuries, although scientific study of them is relatively recent. Recent research by Neuropsychiatrist Peter Fenwick and Elizabeth Fenwick published in their book, The Art of Dying, collated examples of unusual happenings at the time of someone’s death. The dying person may report seeing deceased relatives or friends and having conversations with them or be overcome with a feeling of joy and happiness. If we accept deathbed visions at face value they provide glimpses of what awaits us when we ourselves make the transition. The following are some true accounts of deathbed visions from Dr. Carla Wills-Brandon’s research (www.carlawillsbrandon.com) into deathbed visions from her book, One Last Hug Before I Go. Included in this article are deathbed accounts from Sir William Barrett in his classic book entitled Death-Bed Visions: The Psychical Experiences of the Dying.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Deathbed Visions
  2. Examples of Cases of Deathbed Visions from Dr. Carla Wills-Brandon’s Research
    a. A Dying Mother’s Deathbed Vision
    b. A Dying Uncle’s Deathbed Vision
    c. John’s Preview of Heaven
    d. It’s My Time To Die
    e. It Felt So Good
  3. Examples of Cases of Deathbed Visions from Sir William Barrett’s Research and Others
    a. Visions of the Dying Who Are Greeted By People Unknown To Them To Be Dead
    b. Deathbed Visions Seen by the Dying and by Others Present
    c. Other Types of Deathbed Visions Reported by Sir William Barrett
  4. Links to Deathbed Vision Articles, Videos and Books

1. Introduction to Deathbed Visions

Staff working in hospices frequently relate paranormal occurrences around the time of a patient’s death. According to a study published in the American Journal of Hospice & Palliative care, The Incidence of Deathbed Communications and Their Impact on the Dying Process by Dr. Madelaine Lawrence and Dr. Elizabeth Repede, hospice nurses identified 363 incidences of DBCs, with the typical hospice nurse sees approximately five patients a month with deathbed communication (DBC). Lawrence and Repede prefer “deathbed communications” (DBCs) rather than “deathbed visions” because some communication is auditory and some tactile in addition to being visual. The purpose of their study was to determine the incidence of DBCs during the 30 days before death and their impact on the dying process. A total of 60 hospice chart audits and 75 survey responses by hospice nurses across the United States were analyzed. In all, 89% of the hospice nurses reported patients who experienced a DBC had a peaceful and calm death, with only 40.5% reporting a peaceful and calm death without the DBC. According to their study, these DBCs have a positive impact on the dying process but are underreported in patient records and under described in textbooks.

2. Examples of Cases of Deathbed Visions from Dr. Carla Wills-Brandon’s Research

a. A Dying Mother’s Deathbed Vision

My mother had been in and out of hospitals over the last year, near death at each admission. She was coherent and not delusional. She had congestive heart failure and lung and kidney cancer spread throughout her body. One morning in the hospital room, about 2 a.m. when all was quiet, my mother stared out the door of her room and into the hall that led to the nurse’s station and the other patient’s rooms.

I said, “Momma, what do you see?”

And she said, “Don’t you see them? They walk the hall day and night. They are dead.”

“She said this with quiet calmness. The revelation of this statement might send fear into some, but my mother and I had seen spiritual visions many years prior, so this statement was not a shock for me to hear, or for her to see. I, however, this time, I did not see them. This small conversation was not mentioned again. Her surgeon said there was no point in treatment as the cancer had spread throughout her body. He said she might have six months to live, at the most; maybe three months. I brought her home to die. She passed four weeks later.

The night of her (unexpected) passing, she was restless and anxious. Although my mother was a spiritual person, she had been in denial throughout her illness and declining health. She did not want to die, therefore she would not acknowledge the prognosis or her condition. She always talked as if she were going to get well and making plans of things to do in the coming spring.

About 7:30 p.m. she asked to be carried out to the enclosed front porch. It was winter and cold. But, she insisted and by this time, I would not deny my mother any request. I wrapped her in blankets and made her as comfortable as possible. My mother was an invalid and could not support herself in anyway without help. A few minutes before 8 p.m. she said, “I have to go. They’re here. They’re waiting for me.”

Her face glowed and the color returned to her pale face as she attempted to raise herself and stand up. Her last words were, “I have to go. It is beautiful!”

And she then passed at 8 p.m.

b. A Dying Uncle’s Deathbed Vision

I found the subject of deathbed visions oddly reassuring as my favorite uncle died this morning at 7:30 a.m. CST. He has been ill with terminal cancer for over two years now and we knew the end was near. My aunt said he knew it was time to go and asked his son-in-law to cut his hair and trim his beard last night, then asked to be bathed.

My aunt sat with him all night. A few hours before he died he said, “Uncle Charley, you’re here! I can’t believe it!”

He proceeded to talk to uncle Charley right up to the end, and told my aunt that Uncle Charley had come to help him over to the other side. His Uncle Charley was his favorite uncle, and is the only significant other in my uncle’s life who has passed on. So I believe Uncle Charley did come to take Uncle Timmy to the other side, and it brings me great comfort.

c. John’s Preview of Heaven

John was an eleven-year-old patient of Melvin Morse who was dying of lymphoma. In his last days, he was hospitalized with severe, untreatable pneumonia. Though he was having difficulty breathing and was in constant pain, he was given very few drugs such as morphine and Valium because they made breathing more difficult.

Three days before John died, a circle of loved ones gathered around his bed. They were startled when John suddenly sat upright and announced that Jesus was in the room. He then asked for everyone to pray for him.

At about three a.m., John sat up again, startling the four people who had gathered around the bed to pray.

“There are beautiful colors in the sky!” he shouted. “There are beautiful colors and more colors. You can double jump up here, double jump!”

At four a.m. an extraordinary event occurred. They were joined by a woman who said that she had received a strong premonition that she had to visit John right away. She was not known to John’s parents, but her son was a playmate of John’s. She had no explanation for why she would suddenly visit John at four a.m. except to explain that she had had a vivid dream about John and had felt a need to visit him that was overpowering.

By dawn, it seemed that life was almost over for John. His breathing was labored, and his heart was pounding like that of a marathon runner’s. Even then, little John had more to communicate. Opening his eyes wide, he asked his grieving parents to “let me go.”

“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “I’ve seen God, angels, and shepherds. I see the white horse.”

As sick as he was, John still begged his family not to feel sorry for him. He had seen where he was going, and it was a joyous and wondrous place.

“It’s wonderful. It’s beautiful,” he said, his hand held out in front of him. Soon he laid back and fell asleep. John never regained consciousness and died two days later.

John’s visions and the incidents surrounding them intrigued Dr. Morse. John’s mother believes that through God’s mediation, John communicated with his friend’s mother. Although she knew he had been hospitalized, it was during the period of his most powerful visions that she had her vision of John. Although Dr. Morse has nothing scientific to base it on, Dr. Morse believes coincidence was too great for these periods of vision activity not to be connected in some way.

d. It’s My Time To Die

The following deathbed account was told to Melvin Morse by a physician in Utah.

A five-year-old boy was in a coma, dying from a malignant brain tumor. He had been in the coma for three weeks and was surrounded almost the entire time by his family. They encircled his bed and prayed constantly for his recovery, taking only brief breaks to eat and rest. At the end of the third week, the pastor of the family’s church came into the hospital room and told them a remarkable story. He’d had a dream, he said, in which the boy told him:

“It’s my time to die. You must tell my parents to quit praying. I am supposed to go now.”

The pastor was nervous about delivering this message to the family. Still, he said, it was a message too vivid to ignore.

“It’s as though he was right there in the room, talking to me face to face.”

The family members accepted the minister’s dream as a message from their son. They prayed, they touched his comatose body, and they told him that he would be missed, but he had permission to die. Suddenly, the boy regained consciousness. He thanked his family for letting him go and told them he would be dying soon. He died the next day.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this story is its cathartic nature. This family was allowed to assuage its grief because they knew that their son was ready to die. Their resentment of life’s process and of God’s will was replaced by the assurance that something mystical had taken place.

e. It Felt So Good

The following report comes from Carla Wills-Brandon’s research and provides us with a beautiful example of how medical personnel can use these visions to positively assist in the dying process.

Our son passed over on August 4, 1997. I believe he did have deathbed visions. The first one happened after he had a seizure. His heart stopped, and after he came back to life, he seemed all right. But then he looked at me and said, “Mom, what happened to me?”

I didn’t want to scare him, so I told him he had fainted. He replied, “Whatever happened to me was wonderful! It felt so good! I liked that!”
When my husband visited with the doctor he told him what our son had said. The doctor said to him, “You do know that what your son experienced was a near-death experience.”

When the second vision took place, my son had been unconscious for over an hour. Suddenly, he sat up in an upright position! This happened very quickly. We were so shocked, we didn’t say a word to him. We thought, “My God, he came out of it!” so we just sat and stared.

He looked toward the foot of his bed and then up. He was looking as though he were seeing more than one person. He turned his head slightly from side to side. The look on his face was like he was confused with what he was staring at. Then, after a few minutes, he laid back down and looked very peaceful. He returned to his unconscious state and at this point all we could do was hold him. Not long after that, our son went into cardiac arrest and passed on.

3. Examples of Cases of Deathbed Visions from Sir William Barrett’s Research and Others

a. Visions of the Dying Who Are Greeted By People Unknown To Them To Be Dead

There are instances where the dying person is unaware of the previous death of a loved one, and is therefore astonished to find on their deathbed a vision of that deceased loved one whom the dying person believes to be still alive. These cases are, perhaps, one of the most convincing arguments for survival after death, as the accuracy of these deathbed visions are greatly enhanced when the fact is undeniably established that the dying person was completely ignorant of the death of the person they so vividly see. Such deathbed visions are also known as “Peak in Darien” experiences after a book by that name published in 1882 by Frances Power Cobbe (1822-1904) an Irish writer, social reformer and leading suffragette. The title of her book, “Peak in Darien” and the name of “Peak in Darien” deathbed visions, are taken from a poem entitled On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer by the English romantic poet, John Keats (1795-1821), who referred to the shock of the Spaniards, who, after sailing the Atlantic Ocean and scaling a peak in Darien (in what is now the Panama Canal), expected to see a continent but were awestruck when confronted instead with another ocean – the Pacific Ocean. People on their deathbeds are similarly awestruck when they meet a recently deceased person of whose death neither they nor anyone around them had any knowledge. Such “Peak in Darien” deathbed visions exclude the possibility of the vision being a hallucination related to the experiencer’s expectations. Frances Cobbe describes this phenomenon as follows:

“The dying person is lying quietly, when suddenly, in the very act of expiring, he looks up – sometimes starts up in bed – and gazes on (what appears to be) vacancy, with an expression of astonishment, sometimes developing instantly into joy, and sometimes cut short in the first emotion of solemn wonder and awe. If the dying man were to see some utterly – unexpected but instantly recognized vision, causing him a great surprise, or rapturous joy, his face could not better reveal the fact. The very instant this phenomenon occurs, death is actually taking place, and the eyes glaze even while they gaze at the unknown sight.”

Another “Peak in Darien” deathbed vision example comes from Frances Cobbe documents is an incident of a very striking nature:

“A dying lady, exhibiting the aspect of joyful surprise, spoke of seeing, one after another, three of her brothers who had been long dead, and then apparently recognized last of all a fourth brother, who was believed by the bystanders to be still living in India. The coupling of his name with that of his dead brothers excited such awe and horror in the mind of one of the persons present that she rushed from the room. In due course of time letters were received announcing the death of the brother in India, which had occurred some time before his dying sister seemed to recognize him.”

Sir William F. Barrett (1844-1925), an English physicist and parapsychologist, documented a “Peak in Darien” deathbed case in Chapter 2 of his book entitled Death-Bed Visions: The Psychical Experiences of the Dying. This case is a well authenticated one and comes from the distinguished doctor of divinity and Unitarian minister, Dr. Minot J. Savage (1841-1918), with whom Barrett was acquainted. Dr. Savage recorded the following case in one of James Hyslop books entitled Psychical Research and the Resurrection and was confirmed by Barrett as follows:

“Dr. Savage told me personally of the facts and gave me the names and addresses of the persons on whose authority he tells the incidents.”

Dr. Savage narrates, as follows:

“In a neighboring city were two little girls, Jennie and Edith, one about eight years of age and the other but a little older. They were schoolmates and intimate friends. In June, 1889, both were taken ill of diphtheria. At noon on Wednesday Jennie died. Then the parents of Edith, and her physician as well, took particular pains to keep from her the fact that her little playmate was gone. They feared the effect of the knowledge on her own condition. To prove that they succeeded and that she did not know, it may be mentioned that on Saturday, June 8th, at noon, just before she became unconscious of all that was passing about her, she selected two of her photographs to be sent to Jennie, and also told her attendants to bid her good-bye. She died at half-past six o’clock on the evening of Saturday, June 8th. She had roused and bidden her friends good-bye, and was talking of dying, and seemed to have no fear. She appeared to see one and another of the friends she knew were dead. So far it was like other similar cases. But now suddenly, and with every appearance of surprise, she turned to her father and exclaimed: “Why, papa, I am going to take Jennie with me!” Then she added, “Why, papa! you did not tell me that Jennie was here!” And immediately she reached out her arms as if in welcome, and said: “Oh, Jennie, I’m so glad you are here!'”

Another “Peak in Darien” deathbed vision was documented by the pioneering parapsychology researchers Edmund Gurney and Frederic W. H. Myers who described the case of John Alkin Ogle, who, an hour before he died, saw his brother who had died 16 years earlier, calling him by name. Ogle then called out in surprise, “George Hanley!,” which was the name of a casual acquaintance in a village 40 miles away, before expiring. His mother, who was visiting from Hanley’s village, then confirmed that Hanley had died 10 days earlier, a fact that no one else in the room had known.

“Peak in Darien” experiences are not limited to deathbed visions as they occur in NDEs as well. In a paper by Dr. Bruce Greyson from the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia entitled, Seeing Dead People Not Known to Have Died: Peak in Darien Experiences (PDF), Greyson argues that in his collection of 665 NDEs, 138 (21%) included a meeting with a deceased person. Greyson reports in his paper, published in the academic journal “Anthropology and Humanism,” many examples, including that of Physician K. M. Dale who related the case of 9-year-old Eddie Cuomo:

“… whose fever finally broke after nearly 36 hours of anxious vigil on the part of his parents and hospital personnel. As soon as he opened his eyes, at 3:00 in the morning, Eddie urgently told his parents that he had been to heaven, where he saw his deceased Grandpa Cuomo, Auntie Rosa, and Uncle Lorenzo. Then Eddie added that he also saw his 19-year-old sister Teresa, who told him he had to go back. His father became agitated, because he had spoken with Teresa, who was attending college in Vermont, just two nights ago. Later that morning, when Eddie’s parents telephoned the college, they learned that Teresa had been killed in an automobile accident just after midnight, and that college officials had tried unsuccessfully to reach the Cuomos at their home to inform them of the tragic news.”

Dr. Greyson cites many other such examples which can be read online on Michael Prescott’s Blog including cases in which the deceased person seen was someone whom the experiencer had never known.

b. Deathbed Visions Seen by the Dying and by Others Present

Deathbed visions of the dying that are also viewed by person(s) present at the scene are called shared death experiences (SDEs), a term coined by Dr. Raymond Moody in his book entitled Glimpses of Eternity: An Investigation Into Shared Death Experiences. One very credible example of a SDE is the documented deathbed vision of the American poet, Horace Traubel (1858-1919), who is best known as the literary executor and biographer of his friend, famous poet Walt Whitman (1819 -1892), about whom he compiled nine volumes entitled “With Walt Whitman in Camden.” It is taken from a fuller narrative in the Journal of American Society of Psychical Research (1921, Vol. XV, pp. 114-123). An abridged account of the incident comes from Flora MacDonald Denison, who was present at Traubel’s deathbed, and was published in the April-May issue of a Magazine entitled, The Sunset of Bon Echo (PDF) as follows:

“All day on August 28th Horace was very low spirited. Anne’s illness and the going of the Bains was too much for him. Mildred was with him a good deal and we decided not to leave him a minute. He had been brought in from the veranda but absolutely radiant, and on seeing me, he called out: ‘Look, look, Flora, quick, quick, he is going.’ ‘What, Horace,’ I said, ‘what do you see? I cannot see anyone.’ ‘Why just over the rock Walt appeared, head and shoulders and hat on in a golden glory – brilliant and splendid. He reassured me – beckoned to me, and spoke to me. I heard his voice but did not understand all, he said, only ‘Come on.'” Frank Bain soon came in and he repeated the story to him. All the rest of the evening Horace was uplifted and happy. So often Horace would say, ‘Do not despise me for my weakness,’ but now he was quite confident, even jocular, as I handed him a drink. On the night of September 3rd Horace was very low. I stayed for a few hours with him. Once his eyes rolled; I thought he was dying, but he just wanted me to turn him. As I did so, he listened and seemed to hear something. Then he said: ‘I hear Walt’s voice, he is talking to me.’ ‘I said, ‘What does he say?’ ‘He said, ‘Walt says, ‘Come on, come on.’ ‘After a time he said, ‘Flora, I see them all about me, Bob and Bucke and Walt and the rest.’ Colonel Cosgrave had been with Horace in the afternoon and had seen Walt on the opposite side of the bed, and felt his presence. Then Walt passed through the bed and touched the Colonel’s hand, which was in his pocket. The contact was like an electric shock. Horace was also aware of Walt’s visible presence and said so. There was no gloom about the house. No one seemed depressed. A feeling of triumph, of pride, and of exultation permeated the atmosphere.”

Afterwards, a letter from Colonel Cosgrave was received by the American Society of Psychical Research confirming the statement given by Flora Denison above.

c. Other Types of Deathbed Visions Reported by Sir William Barrett

Barrett has also documented cases in Chapter 4 of his book where visions are seen by living people of persons who are dying from a great distance away from them. According to Barrett, in such cases the soul of the dying appears to be transported to a different place on Earth where they are able to be with living loved one(s) from a remote distance. Barrett referred to such cases as “travelling clairvoyance” and numerous well-attested facts of this kind have been collected in a two-volume classic entitled Phantasms of the Living by parapsychology researchers Edmund Gurney and Frederic W. H. Myers along with an opponent of spiritualism and well-known psychical investigator Frank Podmore. The modern term for such deathbed visions are called “empathetic death experiences.” According to Peter Fenwick in his book, The Art of Dying, people associated with the dying person have not only reported empathetic death visions of the dying person when they are many miles away; but they have also reported suddenly sensing the feelings of a loved one on the verge of death many miles away, the experience of pets howling or behaving as if someone has arrived when no one is visible, and having clocks stop and electrical devices spontaneously switching themselves on or malfunctioning in some way. A similar phenomenon can, called after-death communications (ADCs), can occur long after a loved one has died and a living person related to the deceased suddenly sees an apparition of the deceased or experiences some form of contact with them. The webmaster of this website, Kevin Williams and members of his family, experienced for several years ADCs of their deceased mother in the form of multiple synchronicity.

In Chapter 5 of Barrett’s book, he documents instances where music is heard at the time of death by the dying or by persons present at a deathbed. One example is a case published in the Journal of the Society of Psychical Research (Vol. IV, p. 181.) In this instance, the subject was a deaf mute by the name of John Britton who was taken dangerously ill with rheumatic fever which caused his hands and fingers (which were his only means of conversation) to become so swollen he could not use them, greatly to the distress of his relatives to whom he could not make known his wants nor his sufferings. The narrator was Mr. S. Allen of Steward of Haileybury College and a brother-in-law of John Britton who stated how the doctor, believing John would not recover, sent for members of his family. He adds that when he and his wife were in a room below John’s bedroom, they were greatly surprised to hear music coming from upstairs and ran up at once to find out what it was. He narrates as follows:

“We found Jack lying on his back with his eyes fixed on the ceiling, and his face lighted up with the brightest of smiles. After a little while Jack awoke and used the words ‘Heaven’ and ‘beautiful’ as well as he could by means of his lips and facial expression. As he became more conscious he also told us in the same manner that his brother Tom and his sister Harriet were coming to see him. This we considered very unlikely as they lived some distance off, but shortly afterwards a cab drove up from which they alighted. They had sent no intimation of their coming, nor had anyone else. After Jack’s partial recovery, when he was able to write or converse upon his fingers, he told us that he had been allowed to see into Heaven and to hear most beautiful music.” Mr. Allen asked: ‘How did John know that Tom and Harriet were travelling, and how could he have heard these musical sounds which we also heard?’ Mr. Allen remarked that the music could not have come from next door or from the street and gave a rough description of his house to show it was not in a row of houses nor could the music be due to any normal cause. Mrs. Allen confirms her husband’s statement and said she heard the sounds of singing which came from her brother’s bedroom and that when she entered the bedroom he was in a comatose state and smiling. His lips were moving as if he were in conversation with someone; but no sound came from them. Mrs. Allen continues: ‘When he had recovered sufficiently to use his hands he told me more details of what he had seen, and used the words ‘beautiful music.’ She adds that her brother died a few years later, and stated how: ‘The nurse and I were watching in the room, my brother was looking just as he did on the former occasion, smiling, and he said quite distinctly and articulately ‘Angels’ and ‘Home.'”

In Chapter 6 of Barrett’s book, he documents instances where living people observe of the spirit of a dying person leaving the body. According to Barrett:

“Many well authenticated cases are on record where the relatives of a person, watching by the deathbed, have seen at the moment of death a cloudy form rising from the body of the deceased and hovering for a time in the room and then passing away.”

Barrett gives an example of such a case from a letter sent to him by a well-known dignitary of a Church in New South Wales in which he describes the death of his son a few years ago. He wrote that at about 3.30 pm,

“… something rise as it were from his face like a delicate veil or mist, and slowly pass away.” He adds: ‘We were deeply impressed and remarked, ‘How wonderful! Surely that must be the departure of his spirit.’ We were not at all distracted so as to be mistaken in what we saw.'”

4. Links to Deathbed Vision Articles, Videos and Books

  1. The Official Site of Dr. Carla Wills-Brandon – (carlawillsbrandon.com)
  2. End of Life Experiences and “Deathbed Visions” – (victorzammit.com)
  3. The Deathbed Research of Dr. Carla Wills-Brandon – (near-death.com)
  4. Did Steve Jobs Have a Death-Bed Vision? – (dailygrail.com)
  5. Do the Dead Greet the Dying? – (cnn.com)
  6. General Nursing Discussion Forum: Death Bed Visions – (allnurses.com)
  7. Near-Death Experiences and Nearing Death Awareness in the Terminally Ill – (iands.org)
  8. Near-Death Experiences, Deathbed Visions, and Past-Life Memories: A Convergence in Support of van Lommel’s Consciousness Beyond Life (Journal of Near-Death Studies) – (iands.org)
  9. Deathbed Phenomena and Their Effect on a Palliative Care Team: A Pilot Study – (sagepub.com)
  10. End-of-life Experiences: Reaching Out for Compassion, Communication, and Connection-Meaning of Deathbed Visions and Coincidences – (sagepub.com)
  11. Deathbed Phenomena: Its Role in Peaceful Death and Terminal Restlessness – (sagepub.com)
  12. One Last Hug Before I Go: The Mystery and Meaning of Deathbed Visions (Book by Dr. Carla Wills-Brandon) – (amazon.com)
  13. Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying (Book by Callanan & Kelley) – (amazon.com)
  14. When the Dying Speak: How to Listen to and Learn from Those Facing Death (Book by Wooten-Green & Champlin) – (amazon.com)
Categories
Resources

Nothing Better Than Death: Insights from Sixty-Two NDEs

Nothing Better Than Death is a comprehensive analysis of the near-death experiences profiled on this website. This book provides complete NDE testimonials, summaries of various NDEs, NDE research conclusions, a question and answer section, an analysis of NDEs and Christian doctrines, famous quotations about life and death, an NDE bibliography, book notes, a list of NDE resources on the Internet, and a list of NDE support groups associated with IANDS.org – the International Association for Near-Death Studies.

The unusual title of this book, “Nothing Better Than Death,” was inspired by NDE experiencer Dr. Dianne Morrissey who once said:

“If I lived a billion years more, in my body or yours, there’s not a single experience on Earth that could ever be as good as being dead. Nothing.” (Dr. Dianne Morrissey)

Having read every NDE book I could get my hands on, I didn’t want to create just another NDE book. My motivation was to give readers a large variety of information about NDEs challenging both the seasoned NDE enthusiast as well as the novice. This book gives readers the means to understand the NDE phenomenon from the perspective of a large number of some of the most profound NDEs ever documented. My hope is that you will enjoy this book, my labor of love, and that you will be truly blessed by the heavenly insights within it.

Purchase “Nothing Better Than Death”

All sales and Royalties from this book go directly to IANDS.org:
Nothing Better Than Death Paperback Amazon.com $15.98

Paperbook: 340 pages
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (October 2002)
ISBN-10: 1401064124
ISBN-13: 9781401064129
Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches

Categories
Resources

Gilles Bedard’s Near-Death Experience and Music Research

Gilles Bedard is a near-death experiencer and specialist in contemplative music. From 1982 to 1997, he worked as journalist, concert, radio and record producer. His knowledge and expertise, combined with the thoroughness of his research, have made him Canada’s New Age music specialist and one of the genre’s most active proponents on the international scene. Through the years, Gilles has developed a unique way of working with music. After years of research and experimentation, he has created Inerson, a set of practices that enable people to develop their potential through music. His study of the psycho-spiritual dimension of death and dying has taught him that the sacredness of life is found in the simplest things of our everyday lives. Since 1990, Gilles has worked as counselor for near-death experiencers and has given individual and group workshops and seminars.

Table of Contents

  1. Gilles Bedard’s Near-Death Experience
  2. Gilles Bedard’s Analysis of NDE Music Based on His NDE
  3. A List of Music Approaching the Sound of the NDE

1. Gilles Bedard’s Near-Death Experience

The doctors at Sacré-Coeur hospital in Cartierville, Quebec, just north of Montreal, did not expect Gilles Bédard to live. Ravaged by a severe intestinal disorder for nearly five months, the 19-year-old five-foot, eight-inch Bédard weighed just 75 lb. on November 17, 1973, when he developed a 105º fever and lapsed into a coma. A priest administered last rites, and Bédard’s parents were at his bedside. But he recovered, and in the months that followed he had vivid recollection of his glimpse of what he calls an afterlife. Now 38 and living in Montreal, Bédard told deputy Chief Researcher Sharon Doyle Driedger that the experience has affected his life profoundly, leading him to his present career, as a producer of New Age music. The following is the account of his journey beyond death:

“All day long, I went in and out of a coma. Around 2 a.m., the doctors came and put me on my back to examine me. Then I saw a round light at the ceiling. I felt as if I were looking at the moon. Suddenly, I couldn’t see any walls. Then I saw myself from the ceiling. I was nine feet higher than my body and I was looking down at the people around me. It was very strange. I had never experienced anything like it. I could see myself, the people around me, the doctors, the nurse, my family, but I felt no emotion. It was just like watching television.

“In the blink of an eye, my vision expanded and I went into a place like a cosmos where there were twelve people standing in a half-circle. They were all pure white lights and they had no faces. Beyond them was a tunnel. I wasn’t afraid. I somehow knew these people although they weren’t family or people I could recognize. It was as if they were waiting for me. I asked them what was happening, and they told me, ‘You are not going to die. You are going back to Earth. You have something to do.’ I asked them what it was, and as soon as I asked it was as if I knew the answer. They said I would know what I had to do when the time came. At that moment, I could sense the future and I realized I had the choice to do what I wanted to do. I felt pure peace.

“What I remembered most is the music I heard when I was out of my body. It was fascinating. It was hard to tell how long the experience lasted. It could have been five seconds or half an hour. When I came back into my body, it felt very small. But it was OK. I felt calm, very warm. When I came to, around 5 a.m., I felt ready for a party. It was as if nothing had happened to me. I didn’t remember the experience at that time. But a month after I left the hospital, I had another one.

“During the night, I had a sensation of falling into a tunnel. Going into it, I knew I was about to die, but just before arriving at the end of the tunnel, I woke up. It was not a dream. It was real. And it was then that I remembered the earlier experience. After I left the hospital I felt secure, as if I were in a large protective bubble. I knew I could cross the street without looking and not be hurt.

“During my convalescence, I began to remember the special sound I had heard on the other side. It was slow and calm, like very deep breathing. At this period, I had a vision. I was with a sage in the mountains and we were looking into a valley and he said, ‘You are going to bring this music to the people.’ Then one day, a few years later, I heard the special sound on an album by Steve Roach, a composer of electronic music. I had always been interested in music. I played the guitar and performed in a small rock group with some friends, but after I discovered that album I turned to electronic music.

“Later, in 1988, I met Roach at a New Age music conference. There I found out that as a motorcycle driver, he had had a near-death experience. He said that when he wrote music, he tried to re-create the music he heard when he was in the light. I kept the experience to myself for a long time because I didn’t know who to tell and I didn’t want to be considered a freak. I am not afraid to talk about it now because people have heard about near-death experiences and it isn’t as shocking. It happened to me and it changed my life. If people don’t believe me, that’s OK. I’m not a salesman for near-death experiences.

“I’m an ordinary guy. I’m into reality. The near-death experience was not a mystical experience. It was a major step that helped in my life. It opened a new dimension for me, a new way of thinking. It changed my relationships with other people, with friends, with people near me, because I realized that it’s not other people who create your unhappiness. My near-death experience opened me to the possibilities of life. I know that I am going to live a long time. But I am not afraid of death now because I know what it is. People are afraid to die because they don’t know what’s there. But now I know that life will continue after death.”

2. Gilles Bedard’s Analysis of NDE Music Based on His NDE

Gilles Bedard analyzes the sound her heard from his NDE:

“Based on my experience, I would say that people usually have a romanticized view of the music heard during near-death experiences. That’s why most people think first of new age music, harp or soothing music. From the outside, it would seem like that, but the music experienced from within is deeper and more profound than that. When I first heard the music of Tangerine Dream (www.tangerinedream-music.com) (“Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares” from their CD called “Pheadra“) in 1974, I thought that was almost it. But ten years later, when I heard Structures from Silence from Steve Roach (www.steveroach.com), I recognized the sound I heard on the Other Side. The music of Steve Roach is by far the most accurate and closest to the real sound of the near-death experience. When you go to the source of that sound, you then find yourself beyond the emotional side that we usually associate with the music on Earth. In my twenty-five years of research, on the television and radio programs I was invited to, I played that music and hundreds of people ‘recognized’ this particular sound. This happened also at the IANDS conference.

“The music of Constance Demby (www.ConstanceDemby.com), especially the piece “Celestial Communion” from her album Set Free is the musical illustration of being bathed into the light. For many of the people who assisted at my conferences, that piece unfolded on many occasions, as a souvenir of the near-death experience for those who lived one.

“If you would like to explore the music of the near-death experience, here are some suggestions. These are a part of my workshop Sound Quest to Omega that recreates the near-death experience in music. Each listening has that power, if I may say so, to unveil forgotten memories. Each listening takes you beyond to the Source of the light. Some people who have never had a near-death experience and who came to my workshops, experienced a light experience through this music similar to the near-death experience, but without dying.”

3. A List of Music Approaching the Sound of the NDE

Here is a list of music which Gilles Bedard says approaches the sound of his near-death experience:

(1) To prepare yourself for the experience, listen to “Structures from Silence” by Steve Roach. It will convey to you the light within.

(2) For being in the presence of the light and feeling its energy, listen to “The Other Side” by Steve Roach from the CD “Dreamtime Return.”

(3) For being one with the light, listen to “The Unfolding” from Duality by Lisa Gerrard (www.LisaGerrard.com) and Pieter Bourke.

(4) For being bathed in the light, listen to “Celestial Communion” from Set Free by Constance Demby.

(5) For a glimpse of eternity, listen to “The Graceful Sky” from Cavern of Sirens by Steve Roach and Vidna Obmana (www.vidnaobmana.be).

(6) For remembering, listen to “Dante’s Prayer” from Book of Secrets by Loreena McKennitt (www.LoreenaMcKennitt.com).

“There is much music available to give you this feeling but first you must be aware of the cleansing and the sound quest to go beyond to the Source of the light in Sound. You have to go beyond the esthetic aspect of music to the source of the power of sound. This is what I’m doing in the workshops. People surrendering to the sound will themselves have a very deep experience.

“While giving my Inerson workshops over the last 10 years, I have seen powerful catharses and profound transformations in people. Some have commented that the workshop opens a door within them that not only shuts itself after they’ve crossed its threshold, but disappears behind, leading them to follow the call towards their soul within the sound. And once they have surrendered to the sound’s resonance, they find the courage and determination to travel the path of profound transformation unfolding in front of them, a labyrinth of choices and consequences.

“What I share with you through Inerson is a way to connect yourself, to attune your whole being to the sound current. Thirty years ago, I didn’t know what to expect from the sound, except that there was a direction, a call to follow. I was drawn towards that call. Over my years of listening, I’ve found a way to probe into the sound, to access and experience sacred inner realms, allowing myself to be touched by the unknown, to be surprised by the sound. The music, or should I rather say, the sound I heard in my NDE, and which is now an integral part of my life, is the expression of consciousness, the manifestation of the Void in the Light, the Sound Current, the breath of the Universe, the breath of God.

“I hope that this music will give you a glimpse of what I heard in my near-death experience.”

Be sure to read the article NDE and Music Research Conclusions.