Categories
God Is With Us Religion

Chapter 15: Scientific Investigation of the “Dark Side”

By Dr. Ken R. Vincent

HomeChapter 7Chapter 16
DedicationChapter 8Chapter 17
ForewordChapter 9Appendix A
Chapter 1Chapter 10Appendix B
Chapter 2Chapter 11References
Chapter 3Chapter 12About Ken
Chapter 4Chapter 13Resources
Chapter 5Chapter 14Permissions
Chapter 6Chapter 15Acknowledge
God Is With Us Index

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Spiritually Transformative Experiences
  2. Surveys of Spiritually Transformative Experiences
  3. Judgment and Afterlife in Ancient and Modern World Religions
  4. Near-Death Experiences
  5. Deathbed Visions
  6. After-Death Communications
  7. Religious /Spiritual /Mystical Experiences
  8. Hell is for Rehabilitation and is Not Eternal
  9. Conclusion
  10. References

1. Introduction to Spiritually Transformative Experiences

Religious experiences, currently known by the term, “Spiritually Transformative Experiences” (STEs) have been studied scientifically for the past 150 years by social scientists and biomedical researchers. For purposes of this study, Spiritually Transformative Experiences have been divided into four categories:

(1) Religious /Spiritual /Mystical Experiences (RSMEs)
(2) Near-Death Experiences (NDEs)
(3) Death-Bed Visions (DBVs)
(4) After-Death Communications (ADCs)

While most reported STEs are “positive” in that they are pleasant and provide clarity or insight, a significant minority of reported cases are “negative” in that they are frightening. As indicated by the word, “Transformative,” the most consistent characteristic of both positive and negative STEs is that they change people’s lives.

Most of you know me as a Professor of Psychology, but you may not realize that my main research focus over the past 20 years has been to ascertain the role that religious experience plays in the human psyche. The material I research can usually be found in no more than one or two chapters of a Psychology of Religion textbook. Just let me remind you again: Research into Spiritual Experiences CAN BE and IS conducted using the same criteria that we use to investigate any other psychological phenomena (Vincent, 2006). These include:

(1) Case studies of transpersonal experience

(2) Sociological surveys that tell who and what percentage of the population have STEs

(3) Psychological tests that measure not only the mental health of the individual but also evaluate the depth of mystical experiences

(4) Biomedical and neuroscience testing, including the EEG, PET-scan, and functional MRI to, in some cases, document genuine altered states of consciousness and demonstrate that mystical experiences are not just wishful thinking; additionally EEGs and EKGs allow us to document death in NDEs that occur in hospitals

(5) Sociological and psychological investigations that assess the after-effects these experiences have on people

(6) Controlled experimental research (such as Pahnke‘s experiment testing psychedelics) (Smith, 2000, pp. 99-105)

Even though we are talking about human experience that is basically “religious” in nature, scientists have a legitimate role to investigate it using all the tools of analysis at our disposal. In this way, we separate ourselves from the sensational and fictitious accounts of the National Enquirer and gradually move toward a greater understanding of the broad spectrum of human experience.

2. Surveys of Spiritually Transformative Experiences

Current research documents the following facts:

(1) A large percentage of the population have experienced STEs.

(2) The overwhelming majority of those having STEs are mentally normal and not psychotic.

(3) STEs change people’s lives for the better (Vincent, 2006).

To date, research has shown that negative STEs are far less common than positive ones.

In his initial study of 3,000 cases of STEs sent to the Religious Experience Research Centre (RERC) (formerly at Oxford; now at University of Wales Lampeter), Sir Alister Hardy (1979, p. 28) found 4% negative.

Somewhat later, using 4,000 cases at the RERC, Merete Jakobsen (1999, p. iv) also found 4% negative experiences.

Recently, Zinzhong Yao and Paul Badham (2007, pp. 9,45-46) of the RERC found in studying 3,196 Chinese that 56.7% had religious experiences, but only 8.5% of them were negative. They compared this to a 1987 British survey which found 12% negative experiences (Yao & Badham 2007, p. 185).

Regarding NDEs, in a monumental analysis of over 21 studies, Nancy Evans Bush (2006) found 17.2% of them to be negative.

Also, most researchers of STEs feel that the numbers are under-reported because of the stigma sometimes associated with having a negative STE.

3. Judgment and Afterlife in Ancient and Modern World Religions

Do Spiritually Transformative Experiences prove the existence of a God who interacts with us personally? Do encounters with dead humans prove the existence of an afterlife? From my perspective, they point in that direction for this reason:

Virtually all religions have their genesis in the Spiritually Transformative Experience of their founder.

Also, the subsequent theology of virtually all ancient and contemporary religions includes some form of Judgment by Divine Beings and subsequent relegation to Heaven or Hell based on the ratio of good to bad deeds of the deceased person while on Earth. Hell, of course, is the ultimate experience of the “Dark Side.”

Before we go any further, it is important to realize that when one studies the experiential aspect of comparative religion that:

The angels, saints, and jinn of the West = The “gods” of the East.

This is because they perform the same function. This will become apparent as we look at some variations in cultural expectations surrounding Judgment.

In Ancient Egypt, we have a Judgment in the Book of the Dead whereby the heart of the deceased is weighed against a feather, and woe to those whose heart is heavy with sin! This Judgment is presided over by the savior god Osiris and his wife Isis (Budge, 1895/1967, pp. 253-261).

Later, in Zoroastrianism (the religion of the Magi), Judgment is conducted by three angels whose duty is to weigh the good deeds against the bad deeds of the deceased. If his or her life reflects an overwhelming preponderance of GOOD deeds, they are allowed to proceed across a WIDE bridge; if the deceased has been more evil than good, the bridge becomes narrow, and he or she falls into hell.

This same bridge imagery lives on in Shiite Islam where it is the job of the Angel Gabriel to hold the divine scales of Judgment (Vincent, 1999, pp.5-6; Masumian, 1995, p.79).

In Judaism, according to the Book of Daniel (Daniel 12:1-3), the Archangel Michael holds the scales of Judgment on which the deeds of the deceased are weighed.

In Medieval Christian artwork, the Archangel Michael still holds the scales, but Jesus sits above him as judge.

Now let us move from West to East. In Hinduism and its children, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, Yamaraj (King Yama) is the judge of the dead. In all these religions, weighing your good deeds against your bad deeds on the divine scales of justice determines not only whether or not you go to heaven or hell in the intermediate state but also the status of your next life after reincarnation (Masumian, 1995, pp.5-7, 143). To me, reincarnation is the only major theological difference in world religions. The East has it, and in the West, reincarnation is only a minority position (such as in the Christianity of the Gnostics and the Islamic sect of the Druze).

We see these same themes repeated in the Native American religions of North America, Mezzo-America, and South America where the themes of Paradise and Punishment are repeated (Nigosian, 2000, pp. 382, 384).

In virtually all religions, assignment of the deceased to the “Dark Side” is either:

(1) determined by God’s emissaries, or
(2) determined by the natural law of the universe.

4. Near-Death Experiences

Now let us look at the “Dark Side” of the NDE. In an article in Psychiatry journal, Bruce Greyson and Nancy Evans Bush (1992) identified three types of negative NDEs:

(1) The first type is the NDE that is initially frightening but later turns positive, most often after the person calls out to God or God’s emissary.

(2) The second type is a non-existent or “eternal void” experience — in other words, an existential hell.

(3) The third type is a “graphic and hellish landscape and entities.” In her book Blessing in Disguise, Dr. Barbara Rommer (2000, p. 87-96) adds a fourth category of a frightening life-review.

The following two examples describe distressing near-death experiences that turn positive. (Note that both contain graphic imagery of hell.)

“I was in hell … I cried up to God, and it was by the power of God and the mercy of God that I was permitted to come back.” (Rommer, 2000, p. 42)

“God, I’m not ready, please help me … I remember when I screamed (this), an arm shot out of the sky and grabbed my hand at the last second. I was falling off the end of the funnel, the lights flashing; and the heat was really something.” (Greyson & Bush, 1992, p. 100)

Next is an example of both the void and a frightening life review:

“It was not peaceful, much baggage, much unfinished business. All things are connected. You are not your body, you are a soul. Mine was in limbo. I knew I would be in limbo for a long time. I had a life review and was sent to the void. The life review was so disquieting. I saw many different ways my life could have taken. I saw my past life in there and other past lives I was unable to recall.” (Vincent, 1994, p. 119)

It is interesting to note that these experiences are highly similar despite differences in time or culture. Thomas Harriot (who was a member of the Jamestown Colony in 17th Century Virginia) recorded two stories of NDEs told to him by the Roanoke Indians which, significantly, took place prior to the arrival of the British settlers. The first story told of an Indian who died and was buried; the next day, the grave seemed to move, and he was dug up. He told of being very near a terrible place of torment, but the gods saved him and let him come back to life to teach his friends what they should do to avoid hell. The second story was similar, except that in this story, the Indian went to Paradise (Baym, pp. 76 – 80).

James McClenon (1991) discusses NDEs in Medieval China and Japan. In one case, he tells of a ruler named Muh who died but revived 2-1/2 days later. He told of meeting the Emperor of Heaven, hearing beautiful music, seeing 10,000 dances, and returning to life with prophetic information. Prof. McClenon notes that these Medieval Taoist NDEs resemble modern ones.

5. Deathbed Visions

The next example describes the death-bed vision of a 7th Century Mahayana (Northern) Buddhist. They believe that the Amida Buddha is a “savior god” who can rescue you from hell and take you to the pure land of bliss. Once there, you can work out your final ascent to Nirvana under blissful conditions:

“A butcher is dying. He first has a vision of hell, whereupon he was terrified into chanting the name of ‘Amida;’ He then had a vision of the Amida Buddha offering him a lotus seat and passed peacefully away.” (McClenon, 1994, p.176)

6. After-Death Communications

If a negative after-death communication is delivered by a stranger, he or she is properly termed a “ghost!” If it comes from some super-human entity, it is usually called a “demon.” The following two examples are taken from Merete Jakobsen’s Negative Spiritual Experiences: Encounters with Evil (pp.17, 21).

The first is an evil presence in a British house:

“This evil presence was masculine and seemed to come from the wall facing me, nearer and nearer as though straining to get me. I saw nothing but the blackness of the room, as my sister had (previously), but although it is 20 years or more ago, I’ll never disbelieve that there are powers of evil. A very violent family had lived there.”

The second account is Danish and takes place in the woods:

“As we progressed, I found several dead birds along the path. We reached an open space where there had been a bonfire. I felt more and more anxious and eventually said to my husband, ‘I don’t know how you feel, but I have a sense of evil and horror in this wood.’ My husband said he had not wanted to tell me, but he had heard that a satanic cult had used the wood. I wanted to go home immediately. I find it extraordinary that human evil can change the whole atmosphere in a large wood.”

7. Religious /Spiritual /Mystical Experiences

There are ancient and modern accounts of tours of the afterlife. St. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12 tells us of his out-of-body experience in which he is transported to the third level of heaven. Mohammed in Sura 17:1 of the Quran, tells us of his out-of-body experience in which he also is transported to heaven.

Other religious figures in history have had encounters with evil, including Jesus’ encounter with Satan recorded in the Synoptic Gospels and Buddha’s encounter with the demon, Mara. The following is St. Teresa of Avila‘s account of her mystical experience of hell:

“The entrance, I thought, resembled a very long, narrow passage like a furnace, very low, dark and closely confined; the ground seemed to be full of water which looked like filthy, evil-smelling mud, and in it were many wicked-looking reptiles. At the end, there was a hollow place scooped out of a wall like a cupboard, and it was there that I found myself in close confinement. But the sight of all this was pleasant by comparison to what I felt there … I felt a fire within my soul, the nature of which I am utterly incapable of describing … The fact is that I cannot find words to describe that interior fire and that despair which is greater than the most grievous torture and pains … There was no light, and everything was in the blackest darkness” (Bush, 2002)

There are accounts of individuals who are given tours of both heaven and hell. One is the story of Arda Viraf, a 9th Century follower of the religion of the Magi who was given hensbane (a non-hallucinogenic drug) that put him in a coma for several days. (Segal, 2004, pp.195-196) The Magi had chosen him for this holy quest because of his righteousness. He awoke to tell of his tour of heaven and hell. The psychiatrist George Ritchie (1998, pp.37-41) who had an NDE in 1943 tells of visiting hellish realms invisible but on the earth-plane, as well as tours of other realms where people were trapped because of their own desires. All around these lost souls were Beings of Light just waiting to assist them out of their hellish state. During his NDE, Ritchie reports that he was given this tour by Jesus Christ himself!

Regarding mystical religious experiences, Merete Jakobsen (1999, p.52) notes that evil encounters are terminated when the person calls upon God or God’s emissary, usually through prayer.

8. Hell is for Rehabilitation and is Not Eternal

Is there a way out of hell? Most (but not all) religious experience researchers think so. Both Nancy Evans Bush (2002) and Barbara Rommer (2000, p. 27) note that these negative NDEs are for instruction and are thought to be a “wake-up call” to those who have them. This echoes the purpose of hellish experience as expressed in the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Evans-Wentz, pp. 28-68).

Both the Northern Buddhist and Universalist Christian traditions have saviors (Amida Buddha and Jesus) who rescue people from hell (Vincent, 2005, p. 8). In the New Testament book of 1 Peter (1 Peter 3:18-20; 1 Peter 4:6, NRSV), it is stated that Jesus descended into hell after his crucifixion but before his resurrection:

“For Christ also suffered for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey.” (1 Peter 3:18-20, NRSV)

“For this reason, the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is, they might live in the spirit as God does.” (1 Peter 4:6, NRSV)

It would seem from modern NDE accounts like some of those mentioned above; Jesus is still rescuing people from hell (Vincent, 2003). There is also an interesting 18th Century autobiographical NDE account by Dr. George de Benneville who died of a “consumption-like” illness and revived at his wake 42 hours later (Vincent & Morgan, 2006). He told of seeing angels rescuing people from hell, after they had repented.

As in the Buddhist DBV above, the Amida Buddha stands ready to save any human who finds him or herself in hell if they call out to him as few as ten times (Nigosian, 2000, p.89). It should be noted that in all of the Eastern religions, hell is not permanent but is a method for instruction. In the West, this was the view of the Christian church for its first 500 years but has become a minority view since that time (Hanson, 1899/2007, p. 139-141). In Islam, there are a few references in the Hadith to the view that hell is not permanent, but this view is held by only a few of the Sufis (Vincent, 2005, p. 12).

9. Conclusion

Only 150 years ago, scientific research into STEs began. The scientific methods used to do this research are the same as those used to research any other social or biomedical phenomena. We now know that, like positive STEs, negative STEs are widespread, that they occur in people who are normal and not mentally ill, and that they change people’s lives for the better. While it may be too early to reach any final theological conclusions from this data, it would appear that there is a universal underpinning to the religions of the world, that humans are accountable for their actions, and that nothing good is ever lost.

10. References

Baym, N. (Ed.) (1998). Norton anthology of American literature, vol. 1. New York: W. W. Norton.

Budge, E, A, W, (1967/1895). The Egyptian book of the dead: The papyrus of Ani in the British Museum. New York: Dover Publications.

Bush, N. E. (2002). Afterward: Making meaning after a frightening near-death experience. Journal of Near-Death Studies, 21 (2), 99-133. Reprinted with Permission.

Bush, N. E. (2006). Distressing western near-death experiences: Research summary. Paper presented at the IANDS Conference, M.D. Anderson Hospital, Houston (DVD available from: www.iands.org).

Evans-Wentz, W. Y. (ed.) (1957). The Tibetan book of the dead: Or the after-death experiences on the bardo plane, according to Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup’s English Rendering. London, England: Oxford University Press. (Original work published 11th century)

Greyson, B., and Bush, N. E. (1992). Distressing Near-Death Experiences. Psychiatry, 55, 95-110.

Hanson, J. W. (2007/1899) Universalism, the prevailing doctrine of the Christian Church during its first five hundred years. San Diego: St Alban Press.

Hardy, A. (1997). The spiritual nature of man: A study of contemporary religious experience. Oxford, England: The Religious Experience Research Centre. (Original work published 1979).

Jakobsen, M. D. (1999). Negative spiritual experiences: Encounters with evil. Lampeter, Wales: Religious Experience Research Centre.

Masumian, F. (1995). Life Ater Death: A Study of the Afterlife in World Religions. Oxford, England: One World.

McClenon, J. (1991). Near-death folklore in medieval China and Japan: A comparative analysis. Asian Folklore Society, 50, 319-342.

McClenon, J. (1994). Wondrous events: Foundations of religious beliefs. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Nigosian, S. A. (2000). World religions: A historical approach (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Ritchie, G.G. (1998). Ordered to return: My life after dying. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Co.

Rommer, B. R. (2000). Blessing in Disguise: Another Side of the Near-Death Experience. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn.

Segal, A. F. (2004). Life after death: A history of the afterlife in the religions of the West. New York, NY: Doubleday.

Smith, H. (2000). Cleansing the doors of perception: The religious significance of entheogenic plants and chemical. New York, NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam.

Vincent, K. R. & Morgan, J. (2006). An 18th century near-death experience: The case of George de Benneville. Journal of near-death studies, 25 (1), 35-48. Reprinted with Permission.

Vincent, K. R. (1994). Visions of God from the Near-Death Experience. Burdett, NY: Larson.

Vincent, K. R. (1999). The Magi: From Zoroaster to the “Three Wise Men.” North Richland Hills, TX: Bibal Press.

Vincent, K. R. (2003). The near-death experience and Christian Universalism. Journal of near-death studies, 22, 57-71. Reprinted with Permission.

Vincent, K. R. (2005). Magic, deeds, and Universalism: Afterlife in the world’s religions. Universalist Herald, 156 (4), 5-8,12)

Vincent, K. R. (2006). The search for God and afterlife in the age of science. Paper presented at the IANDS Conference, M.D. Anderson Hospital, Houston (CD available from: www.iands.org)

Yao, X & Badham, P. (2007). Religious experience in contemporary China. Cardiff: University of Wales.

Categories
God Is With Us Religion

Chapter 6: Resurrection Appearances of Jesus as After-Death Communication

By Dr. Ken R. Vincent

HomeChapter 7Chapter 16
DedicationChapter 8Chapter 17
ForewordChapter 9Appendix A
Chapter 1Chapter 10Appendix B
Chapter 2Chapter 11References
Chapter 3Chapter 12About Ken
Chapter 4Chapter 13Resources
Chapter 5Chapter 14Permissions
Chapter 6Chapter 15Acknowledge
God Is With Us Index

Table of Contents

  1. Abstract and Keywords
  2. Introduction to Jesus’ Resurrection and ADCs
  3. Paul’s ADC with Jesus
  4. Peter’s Description of Jesus’ Resurrection as Spiritual
  5. Resurrection ADCs of Jesus in the Four Gospels
  6. Resurrection ADCs of Jesus in the Acts of the Apostles
  7. The Nine Categories of Jesus’ Resurrection Appearances
  8. Ancient ADCs of Jesus Compared with Modern ADCs of Jesus
    a. He Appeared to Individuals
    b. He Appeared to Small Groups and Large Groups
    c. Sometimes Jesus’ Former Friends Did Not Recognize Him
    d. Sometimes People Touched Jesus
    e. In One Account, Mary Magdalene was Asked Not to Touch Jesus
    f. Jesus Appeared and Disappeared Instantly and Walked Through Locked Doors
    g. Jesus Broke Bread, Served Breakfast, and Ate!
    h. Jesus Used His Psychic Powers – To Predict Where To Catch Fish
    i. Jesus Converted People (Like St. Paul)
  9. Veridical Cases of ADCs
  10. Aftereffects of ADCs
  11. Conclusion
  12. References

1. Abstract and Keywords

ABSTRACT: Scientific research into after-death communication began at the end of the 19th century. During this early period, psychical researcher James Hyslop and theologian Rudolph Otto wrote about the resurrection of Jesus as a visionary/spiritual experience – as opposed to a physical, “bodily” resurrection. More recently, liberal theologians and religious experience researchers have also favored this view. The purpose of this article is to:

a. Underscore the fact that the resurrection of Jesus as an after-death communication is solidly based in the only first-hand account of Paul and the verified secondary accounts of Peter and James (1 Corinthians 15:5–8) in the New Testament.

b. Demonstrate that, although a physical resurrection is implied by the Gospel writers because of the empty tomb, the appearance stories of Jesus are more in accord with the phenomenology of modern after-death communications by Jesus, other divine figures, and ordinary people.

KEYWORDS: resurrection, Jesus, after-death communication, visions, apparitions

2. Introduction to Jesus’ Resurrection and ADCs

Easter is a day when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus; it is an occasion much more significant than their celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas. Resurrection literally means “rising from the dead and coming back to life.” Emory University professor Luke Timothy Johnson (1998, p. 11) has gone so far as to call the resurrection the “grounding for the entire Christian life.”

Was Jesus raised in a spiritual body or a physical body? In most traditional Christian churches, listeners will hear of a physical, bodily resurrection; in fact, a 2005 Newsweek (2009) poll found that half of Americans believe in a physical resurrection. This inference is based on the stories of Easter morning in the four Gospels, which relate that Jesus’ body was not in the burial tomb when Mary Magdalene (present in all Gospel accounts), accompanied by one or more women (in other Gospel accounts), arrived there. This view has been perpetuated by millions of Christians since the 4th century who learned to recite from the Apostle’s Creed the phrase, “… resurrection of the body and life everlasting.”

Interestingly, the same 2005 Newsweek poll (2009) showed one-third of Americans think that Jesus’ resurrection was a spiritual one! My purpose is to present this view as the authentic one, first, because it is more consistent with the New Testament accounts, and second, because it is most compatible with scientific research into spiritually transformative experiences over the past 125 years. As a religious experience researcher myself, I am convinced that mystical religious experiences are a normal part of a healthy, non-psychotic human life and that the religious experiences of Jesus represent the same phenomena as those of all people, despite time or culture.

In the early 20th century, philosopher and psychical researcher James Hyslop (1908, p. 383) and theologian Rudolph Otto (1950, pp. 222–229) began to see the resurrection of Jesus as a visionary/spiritual experience – what is now called an after-death communication (ADC). More recently, liberal theologians (Funk & the Jesus Seminar, 1998, pp. 449–495) and religious experience researchers (Wiebe, 1997, pp. 106–107; 121; 212-222) have favored a spiritual resurrection over a physical resurrection.

“An after-death communication (ADC) is a spiritual experience that occurs when someone is connected directly and spontaneously by a deceased family member or friend” (Guggenheim & Guggenheim, 1996, p 15).

Guggenheim and Guggenheim (1996) acknowledged that Jesus and his mother Mary are the best-known ADCs but elected not to make the comparison for fear of offending Christians (p. 11). Obviously, I have included Jesus, his mother Mary, and other divine beings, as that is the purpose of this paper.

3. Paul’s ADC with Jesus

In the New Testament, Paul has the distinction of being the earliest writer, as well as the only writer to give a first-person account of Jesus’ resurrection. Paul’s ADC with Jesus occurred about four years after Jesus’ death, and he wrote about this experience about 20 years later (White, 2004, pp. 150, 172). Paul was not a follower during Jesus’ lifetime but became one of the most influential Apostles, having enormous influence over the direction of early Christianity, especially in the West. Paul’s letters also provide the only verified second-hand reports of the resurrection – those of Peter, an early disciple of Jesus, and James, the brother of Jesus, whom Paul had met. These are Paul’s own words:

“He (Jesus) appeared to Cephas (Peter) and to the Twelve. Then he appeared to more than 500 brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the Apostles. Last of all, as one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” (1 Corinthians 15:5-8 NRSV)

About 80 years after the death of Jesus (White, 2004, p. 252), Luke – widely accepted to be the author of the Acts of the Apostles – tried to suggest that Paul’s experience of Jesus was somehow different from the appearances of Jesus to his former earthly companions. Luke clearly explained that he was a compiler of stories that were handed down to him (Luke 1:1-3). Luke’s accounts of Jesus appearing to Paul in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 9:3–9; Acts 22:4–16; Acts 26:9–18) are somewhat contradictory, but in all three accounts Paul saw a “light from heaven” and heard the voice of Jesus. Although this experience sounds like a modern ADC (Fox, 2008, p 41-43), it does not square with Paul’s own first-person account that:

a. He had “seen Jesus our Lord” (1 Corinthians 9:1 NRSV).

b. “God … was pleased to reveal his Son to me” (Galatians 1:15-16).

c. “He [Jesus] appeared also to me” (1 Corinthians 15:8b).

Paul stated definitely that his ADC from Jesus was identical to that of the others (1 Corinthians 15:5–8 NRSV). Paul was equally adamant that resurrected bodies are spiritual in nature:

“It is sown in a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:44 NRSV).

He emphasized the point that:

“Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:50 NRSV).

In other words, Paul knew nothing about a physical resurrection of Jesus. Many years after Paul’s letters were written, the writers of the Gospels implied a physical resurrection of Jesus because of the empty tomb. In reality, the empty tomb adds nothing (Funk et al., 1998, p. 463), as no one saw Jesus revive and walk out of the tomb, and no one saw anyone remove Jesus’ body as was later claimed (Matthew 28:11–15).

4. Peter’s Description of Jesus’ Resurrection as Spiritual

Written about 50-65 years after Jesus’ death under the name of Peter (White, 2004, p. 274), the First Letter of Peter also presents a spiritual resurrection. It states:

“He [Christ] was put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18b NRSV).

5. Resurrection ADCs of Jesus in the Four Gospels

The Gospel of Mark is the earliest, written about 40-45 years after Jesus’ death (White, 2004, p. 233). Its original ending had no resurrection appearances but ended with the mystery of an empty tomb. Much later, resurrection stories were added to Mark that appear to be a synopsis of those in the other three Gospels (Funk et al., 1998, pp. 465-467).

The Gospel of Matthew, written 50-60 years after the death of Jesus (White, 2004, p. 244), has a pre-resurrection story at the time of Jesus’ death stating that:

“The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many” (Matthew 27:52–53 NRSV).

The writer of Matthew had Jesus appear first to Mary Magdalene and the “other Mary” who took hold of his feet and worshiped him. The second ADC of Jesus was placed in Galilee where he appeared to his 11 disciples:

“When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” [emphasis added] (Matthew 28:9-10, Matthew 28:17 NRSV).

The Gospel of Luke, written 60-70 years after the death of Jesus (White, 2004, p. 252), told of two of Jesus’ Apostles meeting Jesus while walking on the road to Emmaus. Luke said that their “… eyes were kept from recognizing him.” After talking to Jesus and inviting him to supper, he broke bread, they recognized him, and he vanished from their sight. Later he appeared to the Apostles and asked them to touch him. Luke reported that Jesus stood among the disciples suddenly, saying:

“Peace be with you,” and the disciples were startled and terrified and “thought they were seeing a ghost.” Then he ate a piece of fish (Luke 24).

The Gospel of John, written 65-90 years after the death of Jesus (White, 2004, p. 310), includes many other appearance stories. When Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, she did not recognize him until he spoke her name. Unlike the Gospel of Matthew in which Mary Magdalene touched Jesus, Jesus told Mary not to touch him. Jesus later appeared suddenly in a locked room to all the Apostles but Thomas. Because Thomas doubted their story, Jesus appeared again to the Apostles while Thomas was present and asked Thomas to touch the wound in his side. Later, Jesus appeared to seven Apostles who were fishing in the Sea of Tiberias; they hadn’t caught anything, and Jesus – using his psychic ability – told them where to cast their nets. They then recognized him, and Jesus served them fish and bread (John 20-21).

6. Resurrection ADCs of Jesus in the Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of the Apostles was written 80 years after Jesus’ death (White, 2004, p. 252). It states that Jesus appeared to people for 40 days, after which he ascended to Heaven on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1). (This is curious because there is a previous Ascension story in Luke [Luke 24:50–53].)

What is the purpose of placing the Ascension story 40 days after Easter, if Jesus was raised up to God on Easter Day? A problem exists only for those advocating a “physical body” scenario. Using Paul’s view – which is the modern view – that Jesus’ resurrection was an ADC, no explanation is needed because spiritual beings can appear at will from the afterlife whether the percipient is an ancient who viewed heaven as “above the earth” or a modern who views heaven as “another reality.”

7. The Nine Categories of Jesus’ Resurrection Appearances

In summary, I have identified nine categories of Jesus’ resurrection appearances in the accounts of the New Testament:

a. He appeared to individuals.

b. He appeared to small groups and large groups.

c. Sometimes Jesus’ former friends did not recognize him.

d. Sometimes people touched Jesus.

e. In one account, Mary Magdalene was asked not to touch Jesus.

f. Jesus appeared and disappeared instantly; he walked through locked doors.

g. Jesus broke bread, served breakfast, and ate!

h. Jesus used his psychic powers – to predict where to catch fish.

i. Jesus converted people (like St. Paul).

All of these behaviors exhibited by the resurrected Jesus have been reported throughout history. Turning now to modern accounts of after-death appearances of Jesus, other divine figures, and ordinary people, such accounts demonstrate that all of the above nine behaviors exhibited in the New Testament are present in modern-day accounts by non-psychotic individuals and verified by modern religious experience researchers.

8. Ancient ADCs of Jesus Compared with Modern ADCs of Jesus

a. He Appeared to Individuals

The following is a 20th century account by a British woman:

“All at once I felt someone near me, a Presence entered this little room of which I became immediately conscious. This feeling or second sense could be very frightening, but I was not afraid or alarmed. I saw in my mind our Blessed Saviour, and the picture of Him has never left me.” (Maxwell & Tschudin, 2005, p. 115)

b. He Appeared to Small Groups and Large Groups

Post-death visions seen by more than one person – whether the vision is a religious figure or an ordinary person – are well-documented (Guggenheim & Guggenheim, 1996, pp. 285-300; Kalish & Reynolds, 1973; Myers, 1903, pp. 62-65; Wiebe, 1997, pp. 15-88). In a study of 434 residents of Los Angeles, including persons of Black, European, Japanese, and Mexican origins:

“… slightly over 2% reported post-death encounters that were part of the reality of another person present at the time” (Kalish & Reynolds, 1973, p. 219).

In a study of 400 mystical experiences that involved light, 2.5% involved multiple witnesses (Fox, 2008, p. 64).

In the following account, a woman and her husband-to-be shared a vision of Jesus while they were walking in the moonlight:

“Then the figure emerged, a most brilliant sight. We were both speechless, but not afraid, it was so beautiful. The figure, Jesus Christ, glided onto the centre of the road while we were on rough pavement … We still remember every detail, but our views on religion have deepened; although, still, we are not too religious.” (Maxwell & Tschudin, 2005, pp. 77-78)

c. Sometimes Jesus’ Former Friends Did Not Recognize Him

On the Road to Emmaus:

“Their eyes were kept from recognizing him” (Luke 24:16).

Modern people have also experienced visions of Jesus in disguise (Migliore, 2009, pp. 137–139).

The following is a woman’s vision of Jesus while she was meditating:

“I went forward, alone, toward an old man who stood at the very end of the rose-covered arches. I stopped before him. He asked me if ministry was what I really wanted. I replied affirmatively. He then used his thumb to make the sign of the cross on my forehead, my hands, my feet, my lips, and over my heart – in that order. Then he said, ‘Go in peace.’ I wondered who he was. He looked at me with sad eyes and said, ‘Don’t you know me?’ With his words, the illusion of the old man fell away, and I realized that he was Christ” (Sparrow, 1995, pp. 150–151).

d. Sometimes People Touched Jesus

In one account, a woman touches Jesus’ hair (Sparrow, 1995, p. 32). Ordinary people also come back from the dead, and their loved ones report having touched them:

“After the sudden death of my husband about nine years ago, I had several experiences, which proved to me that there is a life after death. I am not a Spiritualist, nor a Churchgoer, but I try to follow Jesus, and I am a great believer in meditation, as a way to God. After his passing, I both saw and spoke to my husband and held his hand. This hand was strong and not at all ghost-like, nor was his appearance. I was alone at the time, so no medium there to act as a link. Probably this is not a detail to prove God’s existence, but to me, it indeed did.” (Hardy, 1997, p. 47)

John Hick (2006, p. 34) noted that other holy figures have appeared to their followers and provided an account of a young Hindu embracing Lord Krishna. In a study of 293 widows and widowers, W. Dewi Rees found not only that slightly less than half of them had contact with their deceased spouse but also that 2.7% actually touched them (Fenwick & Fenwick, 2008, p. 121).

e. In One Account, Mary Magdalene was Asked Not to Touch Jesus

This next modern visionary account is of a woman’s dead husband:

“Not long afterwards, I awoke shaking violently from head to foot. He had appeared to me, radiant, smiling, his usual happy self. I had impulsively gone forward to greet him, saying, ‘Do you know – I’ve just been having a dream.’ Something stopped me before I touched him – he was there, completely himself, but of a different ‘substance.’ I drew back, as it were, looking in through a frame, to another dimension. I stopped, and said to him, ‘I know, I understand.’ This experience, following his death, has given me great comfort…” (Hardy, 1997, p. 47).

f. Jesus Appeared and Disappeared Instantly and Walked Through Locked Doors

Modern visions of Jesus include his appearance to Charles Finney, a 19th century minister:

“There was no fire or light in the room; nevertheless, it appeared as if it were perfectly light. As I went in and shut the door, it seemed as if I met the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. It did not occur to me that it was a wholly mental state; it seemed that I saw him as I would see any other man.” (Bucke, 1991, p. 288)

g. Jesus Broke Bread, Served Breakfast, and Ate!

In Visions of Jesus, Phillip Wiebe (1997, p. 43) recounted a modern story of Jesus offering wine.

In his book, Long March to Freedom, Tom Hargrove (1995, pp. 277, 334) described his experience of being held captive by the FARC in Colombia. In the book, Tom briefly described his vision of Jesus, and he was kind enough to send me an expanded account of this encounter:

“Terribly depressed, I went to El Templo on May 26. Alone by my broken cross of bamboo, I started to cry. Then something strange happened. Was it a religious experience or a hunger-induced hallucination? I don’t know. But I thought I saw an ephemeral, bearded man walking from the woods to El Templo. I described him in my diary as having a Kris Kristofferson beard, and wearing jeans, red plaid flannel shirt, high leather boots – the lace-up kind.

“The man came closer, and his face seemed exactly that of the stereotyped Jesus whose portrait hangs on Sunday School walls. He laughed, and told me to sit on a log.

“‘I’m sorry I was crying,’ I said.

“‘You can cry here whenever you wish,’ the man replied.

“Then somehow, he opened a liter bottle of Gallo Hearty Burgundy and poured two crystal goblets of red wine.

“We drank, then he said he must leave, but maybe we could visit again. He added (I wrote in my diary), but I might include him more when I’m having fun after I leave here.

“That ephemeral man walked back into the forest, and I was alone again. I had never before and have never again had such an experience. What made it still stranger was (that) I have never remotely thought of Jesus dressed in jeans, red flannel shirt, and lumberjack boots.” (Tom Hargrove, personal communication, August 23, 2002)

When I questioned Tom, he said:

“If Jesus had been dressed in robes and sandals, I would be less inclined to think it’s real. It’s the only story that I have a hard time telling. It didn’t change me, but it sure enough impressed me. I guess it did make a big difference to me.” (Tom Hargrove, personal communication, August 23, 2002)

h. Jesus Used His Psychic Powers – To Predict Where To Catch Fish

In this example, Jesus’ Mother Mary also appears to have had psychic powers. After giving a talk on the scientific study of the paranormal a few years ago, a colleague (personal communication, October 31, 2001) came to tell me of her grandmother’s vision of the Virgin Mary. In Galveston’s Hurricane of 1900, her grandmother’s family fled to the third floor of their house as the water rose almost to that level. Her grandmother prayed the rosary, and the Virgin Mary appeared to her and told her they would be spared. The water then began to recede.

i. Jesus Converted People (Like St. Paul)

According to one account, a Jew had an encounter with Jesus, after which he converted to Christianity and went on to become a bishop (Rankin, 2008, pp. 101-102). A modern account involves an atheist who saw Jesus and then became a believing Christian (Maxwell & Tschudin, 2005, pp. 104-105). Mark Fox (2008, pp. 41-42) cited a Hindu who had a vision of Jesus and then converted to Christianity.

The following account is from a woman who was worried about the fate of her dead brother because he had not become a Christian. Five months after his death, she reported:

“I looked up off to my right, my brother was there with the Lord! They were life-sized very very real, very solid and distinct and three-dimensional. They were very close, shoulder-to-shoulder, and I only saw the upper portion of them. Leon (her brother) was facing me, the Lord was wearing a robe and facing him, and they were both smiling. My brother appeared younger than when he died and looked very healthy. Nothing needed to be said – Leon was with the Lord and that’s all I wanted to know.” (Guggenheim & Guggenheim, 1996, p. 309)

This story echoes the great Universalist passage:

“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL people to myself” [emphasis added] (John 12:32).

9. Veridical Cases of ADCs

The validity of an ADC is greatly enhanced when the experience can be verified by others. These “veridical” cases of mystical religious experiences occur when more than one person sees the vision at the same time or when the vision imparts information that would not or could not have been known to the person who experienced the vision (Fox, 2008, pp. 57-77; Maxwell & Tschudin, 2005, p. 78; Myers, 1903, pp. 40-42).

10. Aftereffects of ADCs

To me, the most impressive aftereffect of any mystical/religious/spiritual experience – including ADCs – is how they have changed people’s lives for the better (Hardy, 1997, pp. 101-103; Hay, 1987, p. 157; Hick, 2006, pp. 51, 206; Maxwell & Tschudin, 2005, pp. 36-44; Yao & Badham, 2007, p. 45). Mother Teresa heard the voice of Jesus asking her to serve the poor in India (Rankin, 2008, p. 206). When Martin Luther King was wavering about his commitment to the Civil Rights movement, he heard the voice of Jesus giving him reassurance and courage to go on (Marsh, 2005).

The next two 20th-century accounts are from David Parke, a Unitarian Universalist minister. The first occurred after his wife had a stillborn child:

“Late at night, under a soft October rain, a Christ-like presence entered my life that night as if to say, ‘David, your baby is with God, and you and your bride will recover from this loss, and you will become parents again.’ In faith, I saw in my mind’s eye my unborn son rising on a sunbeam to Heaven. I never doubted that God in Christ came to me and spoke to me that night.” (David Parke, personal communication, January 22, 2010)

His second experience took place the following year when he was a young divinity student at the University of Chicago:

“Then mid-way through my first year, the crucified Christ appeared to me in my dormitory room. For those few moments – I do not know for how long – Jesus Christ crucified occupied my entire personal horizon. His tragic visage and piercing eyes penetrated to the bottom of my soul. He did not speak. I did not speak. Although unspoken, the message was clear:

“I come from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Your life is your own, but it is also God’s. Do not be diverted by self-indulgence and concern for the opinions of others. You are called to minister – and to minister is to suffer as I have suffered. Give yourself to those who come to you in brokenness. Listen to them. Heal them. Love them. You can do less, but more than this you cannot do. I am with you always.”

“You will understand, friends, that other than my own birth and the birth of my children, this was the most important moment of my life.” [emphasis added]. (David Parke, personal communication, January 22, 2010)

11. Conclusion

Based on the evidence of modern accounts of ADCs of Jesus, other divine beings, and ordinary people, it is apparent that the resurrection appearances of Jesus in the Gospels resemble the modern ones. Modern liberal biblical scholars, such as the Jesus Seminar, see the empty tomb story as a later development (Funk et al., 1998, p. 462).

Recent scholarship into spiritually transformative experiences – including ADCs – indicates that they are quite common in the general population in the U.S., Europe, and China (Argyle, 2000, pp. 47-59; Fenwick & Fenwick, 2008, pp. 120-121; Yao & Badham, 2007, pp. 184-192). Although ordinary people appear to their loved ones – usually only one or two – Jesus has continued to appear throughout the ages both to those who love him and to others.

Although ADCs of Jesus, other divine figures, and ordinary people – both ancient and modern – do not prove afterlife, they definitely point to it and show a continuity of experience that is part of the phenomenological reality of humanity. This phenomenon is a source of great comfort to me, and I hope it is to other people who are skeptical of a physical resurrection.

12. References

Argyle, M. (2000). Psychology and Religion: An Introduction. New York, NY: Routledge.

Bucke, R. M. (1931). Cosmic consciousness: A study in the evolution of the human mind. New York, NY: E. F. Dutton. (Original work published 1931).

Fenwick, P., & Fenwick, E. (2008). The art of dying. New York, NY: Continuum.

Fox, M. (2008). Spiritual encounters with unusual light phenomena: Lightforms. Cardiff, Wales: University of Wales Press.

Funk, RW., and The Jesus Seminar. (1998). The acts of Jesus: The search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco.

Guggenheim, B., & Guggenheim, J. (1996). Hello from heaven: A new field of research-after-death communication confirms that life and love are eternal. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Hardy, A. (1997). The spiritual nature of man: A study of contemporary religious experience. Oxford, England: The Religious Experience Research Centre. (Original work published 1979).

Hargrove, T. (1995). Long march to freedom: Tom Hargrove’s own story of his kidnapping by Colombian narco-guerrillas. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.

Hay, D. (1987). Exploring inner space: Scientists and religious experience. London, England: Mowbray.

Hick, J. (2006). The new frontier of religion and science: Religious experience, neuroscience, and the transcendent. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillian.

Hyslop, J. H. (1908). Psychical research and the resurrection. London, England: T. Fisher Unwin.

Johnson, L. T. (1998). Living Jesus: Learning the heart of the gospel. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

International Association for Near-Death Studies (2002). Journal of Near-Death Studies, 30(3), Spring 2012 2012 IANDS. Reprinted with Permission.

Kalish, R. A. & Reynolds, D. K. (1973) Phenomenological reality and post-death contact. Journal for the scientific study of religion, 12,2, 209–221.

Marsh, C. Receiving the call. Retrieved from: www.beliefnet.com

Maxwell, M., & Tschudin, V. (2005). Seeing the invisible: Modern religious and other transcendent experiences. Ceredigion, Wales: Religious Experience Research Centre. (Original work published 1990)

Migliore, V. (2009). A measure of heaven: Near-death experience data analysis. Folsom, CA: Blossom Hill Books.

Myers, F. W. H. (1915). Human personality and its survival of bodily death. London, England: Logmans, Green. (Original work published 1903)

Newsweek. (2009). God’s miraculous makeover. Newsweek, 153(5), 12.

Otto, R. (1950). The idea of the holy: An inquiry into the non-rational factor in the idea of the divine and its relation to the rational. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. (Original work published 1917)

Rankin, M. (2008). An introduction to religious and spiritual experience. London, England: Continuum International.

Sparrow, G. S. (1995). I am with you always: True stories of encounters with Jesus. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

White, L. M. (2004). From Jesus to Christianity: How four generations of visionaries and storytellers created the New Testament and Christian faith. New York, NY: HarperSanFrancisco.

Wiebe, D. H. (1997). Visions of Jesus: Direct encounters from the New Testament to today. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Yao, X & Badham, P. (2007). Religious experience in contemporary China. Cardiff: University of Wales.

Categories
After-Death Communications Paranormal

After-Death Communications

According to ground-breaking after-death communications (ADCs) researchers Bill and Judy Guggenheim (www.after-death.com), ADCs are defined as:

“A spiritual experience that occurs when someone is contacted directly and spontaneously by a family member or friend who has died. An ADC is a direct experience because no psychics, mediums, therapists, rituals, or devices are involved. And an ADC is a spontaneous event because our deceased loved ones always choose when, where, and how they will contact us.”

Their research was published in their book “Hello From Heaven: A New Field of Research, After-Death Communication Confirms That Life and Love Are Eternal“. The authors’ research confirms that these spiritual experiences offer hope, love, and comfort for thousands of people. More than 350 first-hand accounts of those whose lives have been changed and even protected by messages or signs from the deceased are documented in their book. The Guggenheims conservatively estimate at least 60 million Americans — or 20% of the population of the United States — have had one or more ADC experiences. And some polls indicate the actual numbers are double these figures — that more than 125 million Americans, or 43% of the population, have had an ADC. As a result, after-death communications appear to be the most common form of spiritual experiences that people have. If you had an ADC and would like to share it with the world — or if you would like to read more ADC testimonies — visit Dr. Jeffrey and Jody Long’s After-Death Communication Research Foundation website (ADCRF.org).

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to After-Death Communications (ADCs)
  2. The Twelve Types of ADCs
  3. The Most Frequent Messages Expressed During an ADC
  4. Recommended Steps For Inducing an ADC
  5. Examples of actual cases of ADCs reported in the Guggenheim study
    a. Tragedy Foretold: A Visual ADC
    b. More Than One Witness: An Example of a Verified Visual ADC
    c. A Sinner Goes To Heaven: A Visual ADC
    d. Healing a Vengeful Heart: A Visual ADC
    e. An Experience Validated: A Visual ADC
    f. A Dream of Hope: An ADC During Sleep
    g. Excessive Grief Holds a Loved One Back: Hearing a Voice ADC
    h. Stepping Into a Vision: An Out-of-Body ADC
  6. More Examples of Types of ADCs Reported in the Guggenheim Study
    a. OBE ADCs: Out-of-Body Communications
    b. Evidential ADCs: Communications of Validation
    c. ADCs for Protecting the Living from Harm
    d. Prophetic Death ADCs: Receiving Information of Death in Advance
    e. Visual ADCs of Partial Appearances
    f. Visual ADCs of Full Appearances
    g. ADCs of Physical Phenomenon: Poltergeist Activity
    h. Fearful ADCs: Unintentional Fearful Contact
    i. Symbolic ADCs: Butterflies, Rainbows and Synchronicity
    j. Olfactory ADCs: Smelling Their Fragrance
    k. Auditory ADCs: Hearing Their Voice
    l. Tactile ADCs: Feeling Their Touch
    m. Telephone ADCs: Phone Calls from Beyond
    n. Sleep-State ADCs: Contact During Dreams
  7. Kevin Williams and his family’s ADCs of their mother

1. Introduction to After-Death Communications (ADCs)

Have you been contacted by a loved one who has died? An after-death communication (ADC) is defined as an experience occurring when a person is contacted directly and spontaneously by a loved one who has died. ADCs are probably as old as human history and may explain why ancient cavemen buried their dead in ways suggesting they were aware of their afterlife. However, the Guggenheim’s study of ADCs during the twentieth century was the first complete study and analysis of this phenomenon. ADCs are extremely common all over the world and are discussed openly and freely. Between 1988 and 1995, the Guggenheim’s interviewed 2,000 people from all over the U.S. and Canada, ranging in age from children to the elderly, who experienced an ADC. They came from diverse educational, social, economic, religious, occupational backgrounds. The Guggenheim’s conservative estimate is that at least 50 million Americans (or 20% of the population) have had one or more ADC experiences. In their study, they collected more than 3,300 firsthand accounts of ADCs from people who spontaneously and directly had such communications. No third parties such as hypnotists, psychics, mediums, or devices of any kind were involved.

2. The twelve types of ADCs

Based upon the Guggenheim’s ADC research, below are the 12 most frequent types of ADCs people report having with their deceased loved ones:

  1. Sensing a Presence: This is the most common form of contact. However, many people generally discount such experiences, thinking it is just their imagination. But ADCs are the sudden, distinct feeling that a deceased loved one is nearby even though they cannot be seen or heard. ADCs are usually felt during the days and weeks immediately after the death; but people can have them months and even years later.
  2. Hearing a Voice: Some people report hearing an external voice; the same voice heard when the person was alive and speaking to them. The majority of such communications occur through telepathy where the voice of the loved one is heard in the mind and not audible to others. When two-way communications are involved, they are usually through telepathy and an entire conversation is possible this way.
  3. Feeling a Touch: This type of ADC involves feeling a loved one touching you with their hand, or placing their arm around your back or shoulders for reassurance and comfort. It may feel like a caress, a tap, a stroke, a pat, a kiss, or even a hug. These are all forms of love, affection, and nurturing. Often times such reassurances occur when the deceased loved one is aware of the tremendous grief from the one being touched.
  4. Smelling a Fragrance: Sometimes the ADC occurs by means of a sudden sense of smelling the fragrance of your loved one’s favorite cologne, after-shave lotion, or perfume. Other common fragrance reported are: flowers (especially roses), bath powders, tobacco products, favorite foods, and his or her personal scent. The human sense of smell is the best source for memories no matter how distant.
  5. Visual Experiences: ADCs such as these include a wide variety of visual experiences and are divided into two categories: partial visualizations and full visualizations. Such appearances can range from seeing a “transparent mist” to seeing an “absolutely solid” vision of a loved one with many gradations in between. It may be only the head and shoulders of a loved one, or it may be a full appearance where the entire body can appear completely solid. Some visual ADCs occur in the bedroom, next to or at the foot of the bed. Other such ADCs can occur virtually anywhere. The loved one typically expresses love and reassurance with a radiant smile and often with a bright light surrounding them. Loved ones who died from devastating illnesses or accidents, even with missing limbs or demented minds, virtually always appear healed and whole regardless of how they died. In such cases, the loved one often appears visually in order to communicate this message. Verbal communication may also take place, but not always.
  6. Visions: These ADCs occur where an image of a deceased loved one can be seen as a “photo” either two-dimensionally or three-dimensional like a hologram. They may also appear as a movie suspended in the air. Visions such as these usually occur in radiant colors either externally with your eyes open or internally in your mind. Audio communication may occur, especially while meditating.
  7. Twilight Experiences: Such ADCs occur while the experiencer is in an alpha brain-wave state: such as when waking up, or just falling asleep, praying or meditating. This type of ADC may involve any or all of the above types of ADCs while in this state of consciousness.
  8. ADCs During Sleep: Sleep-state ADCs are much more lucid, vivid, intense, colorful, and real than normal dreams; and they are very common. Both one-way and two-way communications can occur and are typical. Usually the loved one is there with you in person in a dream situation rather than in a more usual dream experience. These ADCs are not symbolic, confusing, jumbled or fragmented as usual dreams are.
  9. Out-of-Body ADCs: These ADCs occur while you are asleep or in a meditative state and involve a dramatic out-of-body experience where you visit your loved one lives in the afterlife. These are extremely intense, lucid and resemble near-death experiences. The afterlife environment usually contain beautiful flowers, butterflies, colorful bushes and trees, radiant lighting, otherworldly representations of nature and are filled with love, joy and happiness.
  10. Telephone Calls: Strange as it may seem, this type of ADCs can occur while asleep or wide awake. The phone rings and you answer it. Then you hear a loved one giving you a short message. Two-way conversations have been reported. The loved one’s voice will usually be clear but may seem far away. If you are awake when it occurs, you will probably not hear a disconnect sound or a dial tone when the call is completed.
  11. Physical Phenomena: People who are bereaved often report receiving a wide variety of physical signs from their loved one including: lights blinking on and off; mechanical objects being turned on; photographs and various other items being moved or turned over; or a wide variety of so-called poltergeist activity.
  12. Symbolic ADCs: People frequently ask God or their loved one for a sign they still exist. Many report receiving such a sign, though it may take some time to arrive. Occasionally these signs are so subtle they may be overlooked, or they may be discounted as a mere coincidence. Common signs include: butterflies, rainbows, many species of birds and animals, flowers, and a variety of inanimate objects such as coins and pictures.

3. The most frequent messages expressed during an ADC

According to the Guggenheim’s research, the purpose of these visits and signs from the “Other Side” are to give comfort and reassurance to surviving families or friends who are grieving. They want to convey the message that they’re still alive, that you’ll be reunited with them when it’s your time to die, and they’ll be there to greet you when you do. The most frequent messages expressed verbally or non-verbally during an ADC include the following:

“I’m okay … I’m fine … Everything is okay … Don’t worry about me … Don’t grieve for me … Please let me go … I’m happy … Everything will be all right … Go on with your life … Please forgive … Thank you … I’ll always be there for you … I’m watching over you … I’ll see you again … I love you … Good-bye”

You may be asked to pass along a message to somebody else. The Guggenheims recommend writing down such messages verbatim and to hand deliver it, if possible. Such an action may help the recipient far more than one realizes.

Nearly all ADCs reported are joyful and uplifting encounters that can reduce grief, provide lasting comfort and hope, and accelerate emotional and spiritual healing. The Guggenheims encourage people to trust their own experiences and to accept them as being authentic afterlife communications. People who are aware of this ADC phenomenon generally have no trouble accepting and dealing with it. Unfortunately, some people react with fear when they have such an experience which usually stems from ignorance. They may be startled by the “paranormal” aspect of it, or fear they are “losing their mind” or “going crazy.” Other people might find it difficult to incorporate their ADC with their philosophical, religious, or non-religious beliefs.

Obviously, not everyone are not always contacted by a loved one who has died. The reasons for this are unknown; but it appears that anger, fear, and prolonged grief can inhibit the possibility of having one.

4. Recommended steps for inducing an ADC

Based upon the Guggenheim’s ADC research, they recommend the following:

a. Ask for a sign from heaven that your deceased loved one continues to exist.

b. Pray for them and others who are affected by the death, including yourself.

c. Learn how to meditate, especially if you are recently bereaved or have unresolved grief. Meditation enables a person to relax and soften any negative feelings you may have. It reduces depression, improves your ability to function, and facilitates the healing process. Deep relaxation exercises also allows a person to get in touch with their inner self and intuitive senses. You may even have an ADC while meditating.

The Guggenheim’s ADC research reveals how ADCs are a natural and normal part of life. ADCs have been recorded in ancient religious texts such as the Bible where they are mostly mentioned as dream state ADCs. The Book of Revelation appears to be the record of an out-of-body ADC where John of Patmos is actually taken to heaven. ADCs deserve to have the same common knowledge and acceptance as NDEs. For most people, an ADC from a deceased loved one is a profound and sacred experience that will be cherished for the rest of their lives. ADCs can also expand one’s understanding of life, death, and life after death. They are consistent in communicating this critical spiritual message: “Life and love lasts forever and does not end with death.”

Another technique to induce ADCs is a method discovered by Dr. Allan Botkin (www.induced-adc.com). He began experimenting with variations of a relatively new and very powerful psychological treatment called Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). He discovered, by accident, how one variation of EMDR reliably induces an experience almost all patients believed was authentic spiritual contact with the deceased. Dr. Botkin believes the most important aspect of this discovery is its clinical application: it simply works and it gives relief to people who are suffering from the loss of a loved one.

5. Examples of actual cases of ADCs reported in the Guggenheim study

a. Tragedy foretold: a visual ADC experience

Christine Baker, a 37 year old real estate manager in Florida, had a blessing of compassion bestowed upon her at the precise instant she truly needed it. Here is what she experienced:

Our fourteen-year-old daughter, Heather, was spending the night at her girlfriend’s house. My husband and I had gone to bed at 11:00. I was asleep when the telephone rang and woke me up about 1:00. A dispatcher on the other end said, “Mrs. Baker, the police are at your front door. Would you please answer it?”

I said, “Okay,” and hung up the phone and kind of just sat there on the side of the bed. I was thinking, “Did I leave the light on in the car or what?”

I put my robe on and was zipping it up as I got to the door of our bedroom. In the hallway, I could see Heather and her grandfather, whom she had been very close to. But he had been dead for six years! They were standing in the air, and he had his arm around her. They were very solid, and I could see them just as clear as day. It stunned me! I kind of shook my head and thought, “Why am I seeing Dad with Heather?”

Then Dad said, “She’s okay, Baby. I have her. She’s fine!”

He was my father-in-law and he always called me “Baby.” It was his voice – I could hear him. Dad was smiling at me and was very peaceful. They were both very happy. I shook my head again in amazement.

The minute I opened the front door, the police were standing there, and they asked me to sit down. I said, “Tell me what’s wrong. Please, just tell me!”

They told me Heather had been killed in a tragic car accident. I realized later that Dad was trying to lessen the blow for me, and I knew Heather must be with him. This experience has helped me in accepting the loss of my only child.

b. More than one witness: an example of a verified visual ADC

Benjamin, age 21, works in the publishing business in Iowa. He and his wife, Mollie, age 20, reported having a virtually identical after-death communication with his mother just a few days after she died of cancer.

Mollie’s Testimony:

The night of his mother’s funeral, my husband, Ben, and I went to her house and visited with his family. We were there quite late. As we got back in the car, I looked at the front door. I saw his mother standing in the open doorway waving good-bye to us! She looked very peaceful, very healthy, and younger. In times past, when we would visit her, she always stood by that door and waved good-bye. So this was just like she had done many times before.

I looked over to Ben and said, “Did you …?” and he started crying real hard. I realized we had both seen his mother at the same time, but Ben wasn’t able to speak. As soon as I looked over to him, she was gone.

I think the reason I was allowed to see his mother was for confirmation for Ben so he would know she was not a figment of his imagination.

Benjamin’s Testimony:

The day of my mother’s funeral, my wife, Mollie, and I visited my cousin and her husband at Mother’s house. We stayed well into the night, and then Mollie and I got into the car. I put the key in the ignition, and as I did I looked up. About ten yards away, I saw my mother standing in the doorway behind the clear glass storm door! She would always stand in the doorway out of kindness and courtesy to make sure we had gotten safely to the car. This was a common practice of hers – I had seen it a thousand times.

The inside door was open so the light from the house was illuminating Mother from the back, and the porch light was illuminating her from the front. She appeared to be in good health and was very solid. She was there waving good-bye. She seemed relieved – less tired, less stressful. I got the definite impression that this was a “don’t worry” type of message.

Instantly, I had a tremendous physical feeling, almost like being pinned to the ground. It was like a wave came over me and went completely through me from head to toe. It seemed like an eternity, yet it seemed like a split second. I tried to speak but I couldn’t. At the same time, Mollie said, “Ben, I just saw your mother in the doorway!”

I bowed my head and said, “So did I,” and I began to cry.

That was the first time I had shed any tears over my mother’s death. I have never wept so hard in my entire life. And I felt a sense of relief, like “good-bye for now.”

c. A sinner goes to heaven: a visual ADC

Emily, an office manager in New York, was deeply concerned about her brother, Leon, after he died of cancer at age 49. Her is her description of her experience:

Leon was not a religious man, and when he was dying of cancer, I decided I would try to get him to accept Jesus into his life before he passed over. The Lord had made a big difference in my life, and I wanted my brother to be with him, too. But when Leon died, he still had not accepted the Lord into his life, and that really worried me. I was so fearful he was in hell, and I just couldn’t accept that. I prayed about it a lot, and I told everybody how worried I was. I had many, many other people praying for my brother, too, and each day I asked for some sign that Leon was finally with Jesus.

About five months later, I was driving home from my sister’s house one afternoon. It had been raining hard with thunder and lightning, when suddenly the storm started to clear and the clouds separated. A vivid ray of sunshine came down through the clouds, and when I looked up off to my right, my brother was there with the Lord!

They were life-sized – very, very real, very solid and distinct and three-dimensional. They were very close, shoulder to shoulder, and I only saw the upper portion of them. Leon was facing me, the Lord was wearing a robe and facing him, and they were both smiling. My brother appeared younger than when he died and looked very healthy. Nothing needed to be said – Leon was with the Lord, and that’s all I wanted to know.

That was so wonderful! I was so relieved to finally have my answer, and I was so thankful. It was absolutely total relief for me because I knew Leon was finally at peace and with Jesus. I had assumed you could not be saved once you died. I suggest that anyone who is under the same assumption I was to not give up their prayer vigil. I think prayers finally made it possible for my brother to be with the Lord.

I gained an awful lot from this experience, and my own walk with the Lord became that much stronger. Anything is possible through the Lord. I believed it before, but now I know there is nothing that is impossible!”

d. Healing a vengeful heart: a visual ADC

Glen is a mail carrier in the Southwest. He had this spiritually transformative after-death communication with his son, Ron, age 21, who was murdered, and with Ron’s mother, Helen, who had died of cancer 16 years earlier. The following is his description of the experience.

My son, Ron, was killed on a Monday night, but I didn’t find out about his death until Tuesday morning. The next day, because it was a homicide and I was the next of kin, I had to go down and identify his body. That’s probably the hardest thing I ever did in my life. This image of him lying on the table in the morgue remained whenever I would think about my son. It would come speeding to the front of my consciousness, and that’s all I could see – this ugly, dirty picture of my boy.

On Thursday, I woke up about 4:00 in the morning and raised up and looked at the alarm clock. Suddenly, Ron was there standing in front of me! It was like there was a floodlight in back of him, but I could see all of him clearly. He was dressed in a T-shirt and blue jeans. He looked solid, he looked real! When he smiled at me, I knew he was in perfect health. His teeth were all beautifully formed and totally white. Before he was killed his teeth were chipped and discolored.

Then he brought his mother, Helen, to me. When I buried her body sixteen years earlier, I buried her in my mind too. I didn’t believe in God, and I didn’t believe in an afterlife or heaven. I didn’t believe in anything except this life. Ron and Helen were holding hands. She looked perfectly healthy with all of her hair. She had lost her hair to chemo and radiation treatments. Now she looked like I remembered her when we were first married. She was in a flowing dress and looked very pretty.

I said, “Helen, I’m sorry. I forgot…”

And she said to me, “I understand, Glen.”

She understood that I had forgotten about her. Then she was gone, and I could hear myself sobbing. Ron smiled again, and I realized that my son was in heaven or that he was going to go to heaven. I filled up with a glow – I’ve never known a feeling like that before. I felt like I was going to bust all over – I felt so good!

All of a sudden, I believed! I knew that God, Jesus, the Holy Ghost, the saints, and everything that I had been taught was true! I just knew it. Then Ron said, “No hatred, no anger, Dad,” and he repeated it, “No hatred, no anger.”

I think he was trying to tell me he didn’t hate anybody and wasn’t angry with anybody. And he didn’t want me to hate or be angry with anybody either. Ron also said, “Don’t worry about me. I’m happy.”

That made me feel good, and I asked him if he would be there to meet me when I die. He said, “Hey, Dad, I’m just a rookie here. I don’t know!”

Then my present wife, Linda, who was sleeping beside me, woke up and touched my arm. That ended my experience with Ron. Even though I could no longer see or communicate with my son, I felt so euphoric, so at peace.

A month or so later, I thought, “What if it was the devil that did all this?”

Then I kind of slapped myself in the face and said, “Hey stupid, why would the devil do something like that to turn you away from him?”

Satan had me in his grasp for about forty years. Now I know that God is a lot stronger than the devil. After Ron was murdered, I was going to terminate the man that killed him. I was going to make sure that man’s life was ended. Now I don’t feel that way anymore. I feel sorry for him because he has to live every waking minute with the fact he murdered my boy. You can’t believe how happy I am that my son is in heaven with his mother! This experience changed my life. It opened my eyes. It made me know that there is a God and there is a heaven and he created all of us.

e. An experience validated: a visual ADC

Leslie, age 39, is a volunteer worker in Virginia. She had this happy reunion with her father 4 months after he died of cancer. This is her description of her experience:

I had just gone to bed and turned the light off when I saw my father standing in the doorway! All the lights were out in the house, yet I could see him very clearly because there was a glow around him. I kept thinking, “This is really Daddy! This is really him!”

I was so excited that I sat up and said, “Daddy!”

I wanted to go over and touch him, and I started to get out of bed. He smiled and said, “No, you cannot touch me now.”

I began to cry and kept saying, “Let me come to you.”

He said, “No, you can’t do that. But I want you to know that I am all right. Everything is fine. I am always with you.”

Then he paused and said, “I have to go look in on your mother and Curtis now.”

Curtis is my son, and he and my mother were in the next room. I got up and followed my father to the hallway. But he disappeared – he just faded away. So I went back to bed and kept saying to myself, “This is just your grief. Daddy wasn’t really here.”

Then I finally fell asleep after tossing and turning for quite some time. The next morning I got up, and Curtis, who was three, almost four at the time, came out in the hallway. He said, “Mommy, I saw Granddaddy last night!”

My mouth fell open and I said, “You did?”

He said, “Yes! He came in my room. He was standing by my bed.”

How could a three year old come up with that? I questioned him, “Were you dreaming?”

He said, “No, Mommy. I had my eyes open. I was awake. I saw him!”

So then I knew that Daddy had to have actually been there. There was no way to refute what had happened. It was a wonderful experience for me because I learned that love continues on.

f. A dream of hope: an ADC during sleep

Gwen, an artist in Maryland, had a dream and this after-death communication after her 22 year old son, Christopher, died when his neck was broken in a motorcycle accident. Her experience is as follows:

The day after Christopher’s funeral, I was feeling so awful. I was in a terrible state! The next day, while everybody was out, I was going to take sleeping pills in order to be with my son. That’s how low I was.

That night I had a dream. I was in a place that was very light, and there was soft music playing in the air. I’ve never heard such instruments or such music – it was beautiful. Stretching out from me as far as I could see was this big table covered with a white cloth. On the table were gold dishes with food. Everything was very attractively arranged like you would see on an ocean liner. There were a lot of people there walking around very slowly. Some were helping themselves to the food, and they all looked very happy. Everybody was dressed in long robes of different colors. It was such a beautiful, peaceful, happy scene!

Then I heard Christopher say, “Mom,” and when I turned, he was standing there! He had on a white robe and a large gold cross on his chest. He was all shiny with light and seemed very happy. It was such a joy to be with my son again! Christopher had a big plate of food, and he held it out to me as he said, “Mom, this is for you.”

He seemed very proud to be giving me this food. Then Christopher smiled and turned his head to each side to show me that his neck was no longer broken.

I woke up knowing deep in my heart that I had actually been with my son. And I threw the sleeping pills away at once! Christopher saved my life – I’d swear to it! I’ll believe it until the day I die. And I feel when it’s my time, he’ll be there for me.

Whenever I’m down, I think of this experience, and it lifts me up again.

g. Excessive grief holds a loved one back: hearing a voice ADC

Neil is a retired mail carrier in Mississippi. His 19-year-old son, Ken, died suddenly in his sleep from heart arrhythmia.

For about a year and a half, I couldn’t turn Ken loose because I couldn’t believe that he was gone. I figured if I could just hold on to him someway, I could bring him back.

I always planted beautiful flowers at my son’s grave and kept them watered. One day, I was at the cemetery pulling weeds out of them. I was kneeling down when, out of the clear blue. Ken’s voice came to me. It was happy and real joyful. I heard him externally, so loud and clear, like he was standing there, and I felt his presence. I raised up on my knees and looked around, but there was nobody else in the cemetery.

Ken said, “Dad, it’s me! I wish you would turn me loose so that I could enjoy where I am. You and Mom always taught me and brought me up to be with God. Now you’re keeping me from Him and from enjoying heaven. I cannot reach the fulfillment that God wants for me because you’re holding me back. I would appreciate it if you would just turn me loose and let me enjoy it here.”

He told me that he was perfect in God’s sight. And he described how beautiful and how peaceful it was there. I just busted out crying because I couldn’t believe it. Then I realized. “Who am I to hold him back from what God would want him to do?” So I said, “All right, Ken. This is it then. Son, I’m going to turn you loose and let you go.”

I’m not saying it was easy, but I knew that it was the right thing to do. I had almost hated God before. Then I just sat there and cried and asked God’s forgiveness. And when I did, the whole burden in my heart raised up off of me – it felt like a ten-pound ball leaving. All the pain left, and I felt so much peace in my heart. This reaffirmed my whole faith, and since that day I have drawn a lot closer to God than I had ever been.

When Ken came to me, it all changed. This put everything into perspective. From that day on, it’s been better. It still hurts but not like it was. Now I can look at Ken’s picture and say, “Son, I love you,” and go right on with my day.

h. Stepping into a vision: an out-of-body ADC

Daniel, a social worker in Minnesota, had this illuminating series of ADC visions on four consecutive nights following the death of his 28-year-old wife, Kathy, from cancer:

When I went to bed the night after my wife died, I was just so tired and drained. As I tried to relax, my mind raced with thoughts. Suddenly, a radiant picture of Kathy popped into my head. Her image was there even when I opened my eyes. I felt such a peace and sense of presence. Kathy was so beautiful, with perfect features, wearing a brilliant, white flowing dress. She was more radiant than any time I had ever known her! She had her beautiful, long brown hair again, as she had prior to chemotherapy and radiation. I was so absorbed by her striking beauty!

We talked telepathically, and Kathy said she was very, very happy and that she had met her grandpa and grandma and other relatives too. I told her I loved her and how glad I was that she had gone on and didn’t have to suffer anymore. We enjoyed each other for quite awhile, and I thanked her for being there for roe. As her image faded, I recalled that Kathy had promised to be with me when I needed her.

The second night, after the wake, I felt numb as I lay down in bed. Thoughts started running nonstop through my mind – wonderings about Kathy and if everything we had done for her was okay. Again, I felt her presence and had a beautiful vision of Kathy wearing an even brighter and lighter flowing gown. Light radiated around her, behind her, and from her. She said she had met some more friends and relatives and was very busy. I told her she should go meet St. Francis, since he had meant a lot to her, and she said she would.

We talked about the kids, and Kathy assured me that she would be nearby and not to worry. She thanked me for taking care of her, and I thanked her for trusting me with her care. Then I just drifted off to sleep.

The next day we buried Kathy, and my mind could not comprehend all that had happened. As I went to sleep that night, again this wonderful vision of Kathy returned. She appeared more and more radiant and bright, almost as if a pure light was taking over her body.I asked her what heaven was like, and she replied, “I am so happy here. There are no barriers between us. We can experience totally the goodness we have in ourselves and the goodness we behold in each other. We grow through the experience of coming to know totally the goodness that is in each one here. Our capacity to know goodness is increased, and we are freer yet to know greater goodness in others we meet. I can’t wait for you to know this love and freedom!” We continued to share our thoughts until the vision faded.

The fourth night, as I lay down to sleep, the vision returned. With my eyes open or closed, it was there just as before – except there was less of Kathy visible and more bright light. She said, “Come with me. I want to show you something,” and I somehow stepped into the vision. We moved down a little path to the base of a big valley, with two tall, rugged mountain ranges on each side leading to a summit up the valley far away.

“This is life,” she said. “The paths are many through the valley, and you will meet many people. Each will have their own ideas of what is right and wrong, so just enjoy them for who they are. Some of us get to go to the front of the line. Others have to spend a lifetime working their way along the paths to the top.”

Then Kathy’s features slowly disappeared into a bright, white light at the head of the valley. She was totally enveloped in that light, and the light just disappeared into a similar light at the top of the mountain. It was not as if Kathy was leaving me – it was as though she was in the light, she was the light, and there were no bounds to that light. The light radiated from her to me, and the experience of that light would never leave because now it is a part of me. There was no sense of loss when the visions stopped. These experiences were so vivid and real and reassuring that I had no doubts or questions about them. They seemed complete and whole in and of themselves.

6. More Examples of Types of ADCs Reported in the Guggenheim Study

a. OBE ADCs: Out-of-Body Communications

Out-of-body ADCs (or OBE ADCs for short) sound very much like near-death experiences (NDEs), but there is one extremely important difference. All the people who had these OBE ADCs were in good health and were not in any kind of physical danger or close to dying when they made their trip. OBE ADCs come from people who stated they had contact with a deceased relative or friend during an out-of-body experience. Spontaneous OBE ADCs can occur while you are awake, in the alpha state, or when you are asleep. They are extremely vivid, intense, colorful, and vibrant experiences that people often say are “more real than life itself.”

The following account is an example of an OBE ADC.

Ellie is a dam processor in Michigan who attained a new understanding of life four months after her son, Don, was killed in an automobile accident at age 26:

I had gone to bed and had my eyes closed, but I know I wasn’t asleep. Then I noticed I was moving towards a tiny pinpoint of light. I was in a tunnel and the light was getting bigger and brighter, but it didn’t hurt my eyes. I knew this wasn’t an NDE because I wasn’t even sick!

This intensely bright light was peaceful and comforting – I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It seemed to pull me towards it, and I could see the outline of a figure in a flowing robe with his hands outstretched like he was welcoming me.

As I came closer, I could tell it was my son, Don! He was in this light. I heard Don’s voice in my head very firmly say, “Stop! It’s not your time yet, Mom. Go back! I’m all right and you have much to do.”

I don’t remember going back down the tunnel. The light just pulled away from me and disappeared, and than I was fully awake. I had never thought about my own mortality before, but now I’m not afraid of death. I know that someday, when my work is done here, I’ll be with Don again.

This certainly sounds like a typical NDE account, and just like many NDErs, Ellie was emphatically told, “It’s not your time yet.” This supports the theory that physical life on Earth is a school, and we are not ready for graduation until we have completed all our courses. Our primary spiritual lessons seem to be learning how to love and serve one another.

b. Evidential ADCs: Communications of Validation

Some of the most fascinating ADCs from the Guggenheim’s research are ADCs which are evidential, that is, when the experiencer learns something they did not know and had no way of knowing before. For instance, the experiencer may be told the location of an object that is lost which is later confirmed by acting upon the information and finding the missing item. Such veridical ADCs assure the experiencer that their contact with their deceased loved one was genuine. All sorts of evidential information can be received from deceased loved ones in this manner. However, their true intention seems to be to convince the experiencer that there is life after death and they are watching over you with loving kindness.

The following account is an example of an evidential ADC.

Debra is a 48-year-old psychologist in Florida. She assisted her grandfather with some unfinished business after he died very suddenly from a heart attack:

After my mother called and told we my grandfather had died, I lay down in bed to pray for him and say good-bye. With my eyes closed, I received a message from him telepathically that was very strong and very specific.

Grandpa said, “In my apartment there is a credenza. In the left-hand top drawer there is a yellow legal tablet. It contains a list of stocks and bonds. Some need to be sold immediately. It is imperative that your father get this information!”

He was very intense and very eager to impart this knowledge. There was no endearment at all – he was strictly business. This was very much in character for my grandfather. I got up and called my mother and told her my experience. A few days later, I found out my father had gone to Grandpa’s apartment and looked in the credenza. The legal pad was exactly where Grandpa said it would be. It contained a list of securities, just ache had told me.

I don’t know what my father did about those stocks and bonds – we never discussed it. The only thing my father ever said was, “There must be something to this, Debra, because you had no way of knowing about that list.”

It’s likely Debra entered a semi-meditative state while praying for her grandfather. This can be a very effective way to have an ADC experience.

c. ADCs for Protecting the Living from Harm

Nearly all ADCs are inspired by the ongoing love and concern your deceased relatives and friends feel for you. It is, therefore, understandable that they might attempt to protect you from time to time, especially if you are facing imminent physical danger or some other threat to your well-being. There is no stronger personal evidence that an ADC is real than having your life actually protected or saved by one. And imagine how fulfilled your deceased family members and friends must feel when they accomplish a successful intervention.

The following account is an example of an ADC of a deceased loved one protecting a living loved one from harm.

Bernice is a writer in the Northwest whose son, Gene, gave her some strong advice about three years after he took his life at age 32 when he was terminally ill with Hodgkin’s disease:

The Captain of the Golden Odyssey sent us an invitation to go on their Mediterranean cruise in the spring of 1977. My husband wanted to go, and he asked me to make the reservations.

The next morning I got all dressed up to go to the travel agency. Halfway to the car, I heard my son, Gene, say, “Mom, you must not take that plane to Athens.”

My son’s voice was very calm, but he made me feel we mustn’t go. So I turned right around and went back in the house. That night I told my husband what had happened. He accepted it, and we didn’t make the reservations.

On the night we would have taken the plane From Los Angeles to Athens, I sat in our living room and felt sad that we weren’t going. The next day the same plane took off from Tenerife in the Canary Islands and collided with a Dutch KLM airliner. It was the greatest passenger plane crash in history – 581 people were killed!

This account suggests that our deceased loved ones may have foreknowledge of some human events and, if appropriate, can alert us to life-threatening situation, Perhaps they are telling us indirectly that it is not yet our time to die, as NDErs are frequently told. The implications of this theory are far-reaching because they support the belief that each of us has a spiritual purpose for our life and enough time to fulfill it.

d. Prophetic Death ADCs: Receiving Information of Death in Advance

Some ADCs occur when a deceased loved one contacts the experiencer before they actually learn of their death. That is, first an ADC occurs where the experiencer receives the news of a loved one’s death; then, at a later time (usually very soon), the experiencer is informed that indeed their loved one has died.

The following account is an example of a prophetic death ADC.

Dominic is a 38-year-old physician in Florida who had an ADC while he and a classmate isolated themselves in a country cottage to study for their medical school examinations:

While my friend and I were studying. I experienced the extremely strong and distinctive smell of a medication that my mother used on Grandmother – camphor and alcohol. This home remedy was used as a cold compress that was applied to her forehead when she was feeling weak. There was definitely no alcohol or camphor in the cottage. Yet the odor was so strong that I told my friend I believed my grandmother had just died.

He sort of brushed it off, but noted the time when it happened, 10:10 a.m. Shortly after that, I felt the very peaceful presence of my grandmother. I realized that something extraordinary was happening! The whole feeling was that she was saying, “Good-bye. Don’t worry. Everything is fine.”

Grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease. In the last months of her life, she was incoherent. But when I felt her presence, she was the person I had known before she became ill. She left me with a sense of relief and serenity and peace.

When I went home that day, my mother was waiting for me. She said. “Your grandmother has taken a turn for the worse.”

I told her, “Don’t worry. I know what happened. She died at 10:10 this morning.”

Then my mother confirmed that my grandmother had died at exactly that time.

e. Visual ADCs of Partial Appearances

Some ADCs occur as only a partial appearance of their deceased loved one. That is, they were able to see only a part of their body, or if they saw the entire body, it appeared to be less solid. These accounts describe seeing a loved one in one of the following ways: as a bright light, as a face in a bright light, only the upper portion of a body, or as a complete body ranging in solidity from a transparent mist to not quite solid.

The following account is an example of a visual ADC of partial appearance.

Rosalyn, a 39 year old chemical dependency counselor in Washington, had the healing power of prayer and forgiveness dramatically revealed to her:

Uncle Mickey came to live with us when I was seven years old after my parents divorced. He was an active alcoholic, and my mother was trying to help him out. But he sexually abused me during the two years he lived with us, and this was emotionally very traumatic for me. By the time I was seventeen, I was an active alcoholic myself. And at eighteen, I was very heavily into drugs. I drank and drugged for years, and then I sobered up.

In order to stay sober, I had to go back through my past and look at the people, places, and things that had harmed me. I had to be as honest as I could about the effect those things had on my life. I also needed to make peace with my uncle because I chose to believe that if he had been sober he wouldn’t have abused me. So I wrote Uncle Mickey a letter and told him how I felt and told him that I held nothing against him. But I don’t know if he ever received it. Over the years, I asked the Lord to let my love cover that sin for my uncle.

In the spring of this year, I was sleeping and woke up. I turned over and Jesus and Uncle Mickey were next to my bed! I only saw their heads and shoulders, and there was a light behind both of them. There was an overwhelming presence of love and a seriousness too. The Lord was asking me a question that I heard in my mind. There was authority and power and yet a gentleness in his voice.

Jesus said, “Do you hold anything against this man?”

I told him, “No, I don’t.”

Then Jesus turned and looked at my uncle and said, “Neither do I hold anything against him.”

I knew then Uncle Mickey was at peace and was with the Lord – and that he was free. A couple of days later, I got a letter from my mother that said Uncle Mickey had died.

f. Visual ADCs of Full Appearances

In visual ADCs involving the full appearance of the deceased loved one, the experiencer sees their deceased loved one’s complete body which looks absolutely solid and real. Such ADCs often show the deceased as being healed and whole, regardless of their age when they died or their cause of death. Nearly all such apparitions appear much happier and freer than when they were wearing a physical body. Such full appearance by a deceased loved one is generally a very healing event where experiencers gain a new mental/emotional portrait which can replace any old, painful memories they may have.

The following account is an example of a visual ADC of full appearances.

Deborah, a medical researcher in Kentucky, felt grateful when her brother, Joseph, returned after he died of cancer at age 44:

I was a card-carrying skeptic before this experience. I’d had dreams about my brother, but this wasn’t a dream. About three months after Joseph died, I was asleep in bed with my husband. I felt somebody shaking my leg to wake me up. I looked over, and there was Joseph sitting on the edge of the bed with his hand on my leg.

He looked real, like any living person sitting there. He looked great! He radiated a warm, yellowish white light like an aura. He looked very calm and peaceful. He hugged me – I felt his hug – it felt wonderful and warm and loving. And I smelled his cologne too.

Joseph told me, “I am all right, and you shouldn’t be unhappy. Everything is all right. It is beautiful where I am.”

I talked to him with thoughts, and I told him I loved him. Then he just gradually faded away. I felt relief because I didn’t have to worry anymore about my brother being all right.

A number of interviews the Guggenheims conducted began with a statement similar to Deborah’s, “I was a card-carrying skeptic before I had this experience …” Their research reveals that having prior belief in ADCs is not a requirement for having communication with a deceased loved one, as Deborah’s special encounter with her brother clearly indicates.

g. ADCs of Physical Phenomenon: Poltergeist Activity

Many people have an ADC involving unusual physical or “poltergeist” occurrences following the death of a relative or friend which the Guggenheim’s call “ADCs of physical phenomena.” Examples include lights being turned on and off; radios, stereos, televisions, and other electrical devices being turned on; mechanical objects being activated; pictures and other items being moved; and a long list of similar happenings.

The following account is an example of an ADC of physical phenomenon.

Mildred is a retired real estate agent in Florida who reported these affectionate incidents after her husband, Albert, died from cancer at age 70:

One time when Albert was still living, we were cutting up, just kidding each other. I said, “If you die before I do, come back and do something so I will know that it’s you.”

We had two little ceramic dogs. We kept them sitting on the windowsill in the kitchen. Everybody that knew us knew that when we were upset with each other, we would move the dogs apart, separating them. And whenever we were happy, they were kissing each other, snuggled up. Even the kids, when they came home, would go to the kitchen window to see how these little dogs were getting along.

A few days after Albert died, I was standing at the sink in the kitchen looking at the windowsill. His little dog was knocked over. Since I live alone, I thought, “I wonder how it got knocked down?”

So I picked his dog up and put it back with the faces snuggled together. Then I didn’t think anymore about it. About three days later, his little dog was turned backwards, walking away from my little dog. They were about six inches apart! Then I understood that Albert wanted me to know that he had to leave me. This really happened! But sometimes you are scared to tell people things like this for fear they will think you are nuts!

Albert chose a very familiar and trusted method to convey his message. Their long-standing form of nonverbal communication allowed Mildred to easily comprehend his intended meaning, “Now it’s time for me to say good-bye.”

h. Fearful ADCs: Unintentional Fearful Contact

Almost all ADCs are positive, joyful, and uplifting events, and they generally accelerate spiritual growth. But for a variety of reasons, some people may experience fear when one occurs. Many people have never heard of ADCs, so if they have one, they may think they are going crazy or losing their mind. This is especially true if they are bereaved and don’t have a support system which accepts the possibility of ADCs. Adults who have an ADC may have difficulty reconciling it with their own personal philosophy or religions beliefs. Young children may become confused when they attempt to tell their experiences to their parents, who don’t believe them. But based upon the Guggenheim’s research, it is not the content of an ADC that is fearful; but rather the experiencer’s reaction to it.

As the following example clearly illustrates, the intentions of the deceased loved one seem as positive as other ADCs.

Charlotte is a 43-year-old nurse in New Jersey who became a widow when her husband, Glen, died of cancer:

The night Glen died, I needed to talk to someone. So I sat down in the living room and called my girlfriend, Joni, who lived next door. As I was talking with her on the phone, I saw Glen standing right in front of me, just inches away!

He was as solid as a rock, and I couldn’t see through him. But he didn’t look the way he did when he was sick – he looked absolutely healthy! Glen leaned down and put his hand on my knee and said, “Charlotte, it’s me. I’m okay. Everything’s all right. I don’t have any more pain. I feel great!”

Well, all I did was scream! He scared the daylights out of me! And the more I screamed, the more he said, “It’s okay, Charlotte. It’s okay. It’s okay. You don’t have to worry about me. I’m okay!”

That was it, and then Glen just kind of evaporated. I sat there frozen in my chair – spellbound with disbelief! Joni wondered what on Earth had happened. So she came over and we talked, and gradually I calmed down.

Though Charlotte was shocked when she saw Glen and felt his touch, he was probably equally unprepared for her hysterical reaction. The intention of our deceased loved ones who appear to us in an ADC is certainly not to frighten us.

i. Symbolic ADCs: Butterflies, Rainbows and Synchronicity

Many people report receiving a “sign from heaven” which affirms their deceased loved one has survived death and continues to live on the afterlife. The Guggenheim’s call these “symbolic ADCs” or “ADC signs.” They are a relatively common type of ADC. Some people are given a sign spontaneously as a gift, while others ask or pray to receive one. Depending upon one’s belief system, a person may ask their deceased loved one to give them a sign, or they may pray to God or the “universe” for one. Typical symbolic ADCs include butterflies, rainbows, flowers, many different species of birds and other animals, and any number of inanimate objects. Whether a sign comes immediately or takes days or weeks to arrive, most people intuitively recognize their sign right away and feel it was intended just for them. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross often spoke of the numerous drawings of butterflies she saw in the barracks at Hitler’s concentration camps in Europe. These lasting symbols of hope were scratched into the wooden walls by courageous children and adults during the Holocaust. Today, pictures of butterflies can be found throughout almost every hospice. This symbol is also used extensively by many grief counselors, spiritual centers, and support groups for the bereaved.

The following account is an example of a symbolic ADC.

Al is a retired New York police officer now living in Florida who had this unforgettable contact ten months after his daughter, Diana, died in an automobile accident when she was 17 years old:

On the Fourth of July, we were up at our summer home in Pennsylvania. I was there with my wife and her aunt, her uncle, and her cousin. We were sitting out on the lounge chairs, and I was having a cigar. This butterfly just happened to be flying around. I looked at it and right away thought of my daughter, Diana. I thought, “If it’s you, Diana, come down and tell me.” And it did!

Immediately, the butterfly landed on my finger! It waked up and down on my finger, then onto my hand, back and forth. I could even see its little feelers moving. I couldn’t believe it! My wife sort of looked at me – I think she knew what I was thinking.

I finished my cigar and got up. The butterfly stayed right on my hand. I walked all the way to the house, went to the kitchen sink, and drank a glass of water. The butterfly was still with me – I couldn’t believe this! I said, “Well. I gotta go take a shower. You gotta go outside.”

I opened the door and went out on the deck. I sort of pushed the butterfly with my finger and it flew off. I watched it fly away, down the yard. It was just unbelievable! Never had a butterfly landed on me before.

Then I went in to take a shower and cried. I really didn’t know that the butterfly had any significance to The Compassionate Friends until I went to their annual conference a few days later. During the opening ceremony, I realized, “Oh, my God! Their symbol is the butterfly!”

Founded in 1969, The Compassionate Friends has more than 650 local chapters throughout the United States and Canada. It is the largest self-help organization for bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents in the world.

j. Olfactory ADCs: Smelling Their Fragrance

Some ADCs involve smelling a fragrance associated with a specific deceased loved one. They are a relatively common type of ADC and the Guggenheims call them “olfactory ADCs.” Typical scents include the fragrance of a perfume, cologne, or aftershave lotion; the essence of roses or other flowers; and the aroma of a food, beverage, tobacco, or commercial product. The variety of odors that can be identified is virtually unlimited. During such ADCs, people reported smelling a fragrance which was clearly out of context with their surroundings. The room or area they were in was suddenly filled with a particular aroma, but it had no physical source. Occasionally, two or more people who are together in the same place at the same time can smell this scent. In fact, according to the Guggenheims, an olfactory ADC is the one type of after-death communication that is most often shared by a group of people.

The following account is an example of an olfactory ADC.

Lorraine is employed by an optometrist in New York whose daughter, Tammy, was 25 years old when she was killed in an automobile accident:

When my daughter, Tammy, went to the Bahamas, she bought me a bracelet and a necklace. The night that she died, she had the bracelet on and it was destroyed. For over two years since the accident, I had been trying to find a new bracelet to match my necklace. I would have paid anything for it! It was nighttime, and we were coming out of one of the attractions at Epcot Center at Walt Disney World. My other daughter, her friend, and my husband were with me. My daughter turned to me and said, “Ma, do you smell that?”

I said, “Oh, yeah!”

We were smelling the Gloria Vanderbilt perfume that Tammy always wore! But as we looked around, there was nobody near us. Her girlfriend smelled it too and said, “Why don’t we go in here?”

So we all went into the store and I began browsing in the front. My daughter called, “Ma! Ma! Come back here!”

I went to the back of the store, where they were selling jewelry. And there was the bracelet – the exact match to my necklace from Tammy! It was unbelievable!

It seems reasonable to assume that Tammy wanted to replace her mother’s bracelet and found a clever way to provide it.

k. Auditory ADCs: Hearing Their Voice

Receiving a verbal message, by hearing the voice of a deceased loved one, is also a very common type of ADCs. The Guggenheims call them “auditory ADCs.” Some people report hearing an audible voice from an external source, that is, they heard the voice through their ears the same way they would hear any other person talking to them. But most people report hearing a voice internally – inside their head – and are equally certain the voice originated from a source outside of them.

The following account is an auditory ADC experienced as an external source.

Philip is a psychiatrist in Kentucky who was caught off guard when he heard from his 15-year-old daughter, Tina, after she died in an automobile accident:

Tina had friends all over the city. We didn’t realize how involved she had been with so many kids. She was quite a force for good in the community. She had told one of her friends from Sunday school that if she should die, she would like everyone to have a party for her and not to mourn. Her friend reminded us of this statement.

So the night of Tina’s funeral, we had a very large gathering at our home with 200 to 300 kids, some with their parents. It was wall-to-wall people! I was passing through the hallway downstairs when I heard Tina say, “I love you, Daddy!”

I wheeled around because this was an audible, external voice. I am a board-certified psychiatrist, and I’m not given to hearing things that are not there. Having lived my professional career as a pretty hardheaded scientific person, I really hadn’t expected this! However, this experience took a good bit of the sting out of the loss because you know you really haven’t lost them.

l. Tactile ADCs: Feeling Their Touch

Some ADCs involve feeling a physical touch by a deceased loved one. Overall, this type of ADC is relatively less common. The Guggenheims call them “tactile ADCs.” Such ADCs usually are felt as a light tap, a gentle touch, a soft caress, a tender kiss, a comforting arm around the shoulder, or an all-embracing hug. Feeling a touch is a very intimate kind of ADC and it seems they take place only between people who have had a very close relationship. The deceased loved one returns for the purpose of conveying affection and providing encouragement to the experiencer.

The following account is an example of a tactile ADC.

Gail is a nurse in Pennsylvania who was filled with new hope six weeks after her two sons, Matt, age 26, and Eric, age 24, were killed together in an automobile accident:

Every night I would go out and sit on the steps of my front porch and just cry and cry and cry. I was having such a hard time, and I had been doing this for so long. One night in the middle of October, I was looking at the moon, when all of a sudden, I felt this real warmth. I felt Matt to my left and Eric to my right with their arms around my shoulders. I knew Matt was to my left because he was so much taller – Matt was 6’4″ and Eric was about 5’11”.

I heard them saying, “Mom. it’s all right. We’re fine. Just don’t worry. Everything’s going to be okay.”

I felt a peace that I hadn’t felt since their deaths. It just lifted me so. I felt a real relief when they said they were okay and that I shouldn’t grieve so much. That was a turning point tor me, and I gradually began to sleep easier.

Few people can imagine the utter despair of a bereaved parent who has endured the death of two or more grown children. Gail received a triple blessing when both her sons let her know they were still together and were all right.

m. Telephone ADCs: Phone Calls from Beyond

Imagine hearing the phone ringing, and when you answer it, you have a two-way conversation with the voice of a deceased loved one. The Guggenheims call these experiences “telephone ADCs,” or “ADC phone calls,” and they may take place while the experiencer is sound asleep or wide awake. They are the least common type of ADC for obvious reasons. Receiving a telephone call and having a conversation with a deceased loved one while you are sleeping is like a “sleep-state ADC” except the conversation takes place by phone rather than meeting face-to-face. In awake telephone ADCs, the deceased’s voice may sound strong and clear, or it may seem to be coming from far away. After the call is completed, the experiencer doesn’t hear the receiver at the other end being hung up or even a dial tone. Instead, the phone will be silent as though the line had been cut.

The following account is an example of a telephone ADC while awake.

Ellyn is a human resources manager in Nevada who had this phone ADC after her 12-year-old daughter, Ashley, died of leukemia:

This was more than three years after Ashley died. I was going through a real bad health problem. I had been diagnosed with a lung disease, and I was afraid I was going to die too. That night, I was making spaghetti on the stove and the phone rang. I picked it up and I heard this little voice say. “Mommy!”

I thought, “What? Who is playing this terrible joke?”

So I asked, “Please, who is this?”

She said, “This is Ashley. What are you doing, Mommy?”

I said, “Ashley? I’m cooking.”

And she said, “You’re making my favorite meal. You’re making spaghetti!”

It was Ashley’s voice – she sounded strong and healthy – and nobody could imitate her voice.

At that point I thought I was crazy, but no one knew what I was cooking for dinner because it was a spur-of-the-moment thing to make spaghetti. Then I asked her, “Ashley, are you okay?”]

And she said, “Mommy, I’m okay. I just called to tell you that you’re going to be okay too.”

Then the phone went dead. There was no dial tone. No noise. Nothing. I just sat there with the phone in my hand for the longest time. I had lung surgery six months later.

A month ago I went to the doctor. My blood count was normal for the first time in three years, and next month he’ll start weaning me off my medication. Ashley was right – she told we I was going to be okay!

No wonder Ellyn was stunned! Not only did she hear Ashley’s voice on the telephone three years after her death, but she couldn’t begin to find a rational explanation for how anyone could possibly know she was cooking spaghetti at that very moment.

n. Sleep-State ADCs: Contact During Dreams

Many people report having been contacted by a deceased loved one while they were sound asleep. Because they didn’t have any other name for their experience, they usually called it a “dream.” However, most quickly added, “But it just wasn’t like an ordinary dream.” The Guggenheim’s call these experiences “sleep-state ADCs,” and they are a very common type of ADC.

There are many significant differences between an ordinary dream and a sleep-state ADC. A dream is generally fragmented, jumbled, filled with symbolism, and incomplete in various ways. Though some are very intense emotionally, they typically have a quality of unreality about them and are often soon forgotten.

In contrast, sleep-state ADCs feel like actual face-to-face visits with deceased loved ones. They are much more orderly, colorful, vivid, and memorable than most dreams. In fact, some may be ADC visions that occur during sleep.

You can read several accounts of sleep-state ADCs on the Dreams and NDEs web page.

7. Kevin Williams and his family’s ADCs of their mother

My family began receiving after-death communications from my beloved mother which began two days after her tragic death and continued for several years after. Family members and I received a variety of ADCs from her in the form of synchronistic dreams of her, an ADC where I suddenly felt her strong presence around me, audio synchronicities of her favorite song “Moon River,” and many other type of synchronicities for a number of years. Taken all together, it clearly shows how my mother wanted everyone in my family to know that her death was not the end of her. My mother believed in NDEs and ADCs and was always very proud of my research and website. Before my mother’s death in November of 2001, I read many books on the subject of ADCs for many years. When unusual events began happening to my family after my mother’s death, I knew immediately knew were receiving ADCs from my mother and began documenting them. You can read about my and my family’s ADCs at my ADC Synchronicities Page.

Categories
Philosophy Skepticism and NDEs

Skeptical Argument: People Don’t Actually Survive Death

Skeptic’s Argument: “With great trepidation, I allowed myself the thought that the resurrection of Christ didn’t accord with science. Death, by definition, is a permanent and irreversible biological state. Later, that quiet tremor became a defiant reality testing rallying cry, as I boldly said: ‘I believe that Jesus Christ was killed, period.'”

Kevin Williams, B.Sc.: “Unless Jesus was beamed up by a UFO, I came to a similar conclusion myself about the resurrection of Christ in that he probably did not rise bodily from the grave. All the visitations of Jesus after his death described in the Bible can be interpreted as being the phenomenon known today as after-death communications (ADCs). As a very liberal Christian, I don’t see any need to believe in resurrection (or any religious dogma for that matter) to live a spiritual life of loving other people. In fact, the concept of resurrection did not originate with Christianity or Judaism but by the ancient Persians. This fact usually comes as a big surprise to Christians when they learn about this.

“However, I do disagree that there exists conclusive, scientific proof either way of the existence or non-existence of an afterlife – especially when there is a mountain of circumstantial evidence, albeit mostly anecdotal, suggesting the possibility of the survival of consciousness after death.

“From modern research of after-death communications, it is apparent that multitudes of people throughout history have reported experiences of some form of visitation by deceased loved ones. These are often very subtle experiences spontaneously occurring in a variety of ways including: suddenly hearing a voice, smelling a fragrance, having a lucid dream, experiencing synchronicity, or even full-blown apparitions of the deceased. My entire family experienced this phenomenon when my mother died in a tragic car accident. So because of my own experiences and related research, it is apparent to me that the appearances of Jesus to his disciples after his death were ADCs all along. This doesn’t mean Jesus didn’t actually communicate with his disciples in some way after his death. It only suggests there is a modern interpretation of these matters. Even so, I see no advantage in knowing whether Jesus’ body died permanently, or resurrected, or reincarnated. It has no special advantage to me in my endeavor to live a spiritual life.”

Categories
Parapsychology

How To Talk To The Dead

Would you like to have a word with your long-departed mother? How about experiencing a hug from your deceased grandfather? The world’s foremost expert on the near-death experience and the afterlife says he did just that, and you can too, simply by using a mirror and following the easy guidelines offered by Dr. Raymond Moody below. Moody’s technique involves gazing into a large mirror, an ancient technique to receive visions. For example, the great seer Nostradamus used this method to see into the future. Here is Dr. Moody’s method:

Dr. Raymond Moody’s After-Death Communications Method

  1. Get into a serene state of mind by eliminating caffeine and dairy products the day before your encounter. Eat simply, such as only fruit and vegetables.
  2. Go to the quietest part of your home. Leave your wristwatch and all jewelry off. Wear only loose, comfortable clothing. It is important to find a comfortable place where you can truly relax. Unplug clocks and phones in that room so as not to be disturbed. The goal is to ease the transition into an altered state of awareness. Posture is important. Sit in a comfortable chair that will support the back of your head, even if you are deeply relaxed. Place a large mirror in front of your chair and arrange it so that you can gaze into it without having to hold your eyes at an uncomfortable angle.
  3. Create a mood by soothing yourself with beauty for about 15 minutes by looking or listening to works of art. Art alone is enough to induce altered states in many people. Soft music can go far to stimulate awareness.
  4. Gather photographs and personal items of your departed loved one around you. Touch them and remember your loved ones fondly. It is important to imprint that person firmly in your mind. Doing so shouldn’t be too difficult. A family album filled with great memories stirs up the conscious as well as the unconscious mind. Family films and videos do the same thing. Some people use articles of clothing associated with the person. Such items include fishing poles, woodworking tools, chess sets, pipes, glasses, old letters, and so on. Anything associated with that person is an effective way of bringing up memories and feelings.
  5. In the twilight of the day, light a candle and place it behind you. Dim light from behind usually works the best, although you will have to experiment until you get the lighting just right. The twilight hours is a time that seems to better inspire altered states in many people. Later, when you become more proficient, you will find that mirror gazing is possible even in bright lights.
  6. The technique of mirror gazing itself is remarkably easy. Seated comfortably, relax and gaze into the clear depth of the mirror without trying to see anything. Some compare this to looking off into the distance. Properly relaxed, your arms will feel very heavy and the tips of your fingers will tingle as though charged slightly by electricity. This tingling feeling almost always signals the beginning of the hypnagogic state (altered consciousness).
  7. The mirror will most likely become cloudy now. Some people report an image that resembles the sky on a cloudy day. Others say that the mirror becomes darker. Whatever the case, this change in the clarity of the mirror signals you that the visions are about to appear.
  8. Do not direct the experience at first or pose particular questions when the visions appear. It is best to first watch them unfold passively. Just let the images flow. Attempting to guide the images decrease the likelihood that one will see images in the mirror. After you have become more adept at mirror gazing, putting specific questions into your mind before entering the trance state can be very helpful, especially if your object is self-exploration or self-understanding. Attempting to direct images after they have begun will usually cause them to fade away. Why this happens Dr. Moody is not sure, but his guess is that conscious thought brings you out of the hypnagogic state of mind where these images occur.

How long do the images last? Usually less than a minute, especially for those unable to stay relaxed. Some of Dr. Moody’s subjects have been able to maintain images for as long as ten minutes on their first attempt. The more proficient you become at mirror gazing, the longer you will see images in the mirror.

Sometimes you may see nothing yet hear the departed person talk or feel his or her touch. Some may experience all the sensations of a given person, or location, without actually seeing anything. Sometimes, like Nostradamus, you may have the sensation of passing into the mirror, or the images may actually come out to be with you. Whatever the case, it will be obvious when the visionary experience starts and when it is over.

Dr. Moody recommends that you record the experience immediately after the session as you would a dream. Write it down in as much detail as possible. Careful record keeping will help you know what to expect the next time you mirror gaze. It will also show differences between sessions and will eventually let you know how to get the most out of your mirror-gazing experience. Recording your experiences will also help you remember them as they really were.

If the visions do not occur during a session, then it is necessary to consider some of the possible factors involved. The most common reason for failing to see anything is trying too hard. People sometimes report that the visions miraculously begin after they give up, or at least after they entertain thoughts of doing so. Distractions are another common reason that visions fail to take place. These can include outside noise and physical discomfort. Perhaps the room is too hot or too cold, or maybe it is just too noisy. Distractions also take place in the form of diet. Some people simply cannot have visionary experiences after eating a heavy meal, though a light one is recommended since it elevates your blood sugar and keeps you from focusing on your hunger.

Dr. Moody also emphasizes that exercise is an important component of relaxation. Most people are far more relaxed after even gentle exercise and have lower blood pressure and a slower heart rate to prove it. If you are having difficulty relaxing, or letting your mind wander while mirror gazing, it might be due to a lack of exercise.

Some people even use meditation and consider the visions an interesting by-product.

Categories
Psychology Triggers of NDEs

The Trigger of Psychomanteum: Dr. Raymond Moody’s Research

Would you like to have a word with your long-departed mother? How about experiencing a hug from your deceased grandfather? The world’s foremost expert on the near-death experience, Dr. Raymond Moody, experienced a hug from his deceased grandfather by using an ancient technique involving a “psychomanteum“. This technique involves gazing into a large mirror in order to receive after-death communications (ADCs) from deceased loved ones. The great prophet Nostradamus used such a reflective device to experience out-of-body travels into the future. This article describes Raymond Moody’s method in inducing after-death communications.

Dr. Raymond Moody’s Method to Induce ADCs

  1. Food: Get into a serene state of mind by eliminating caffeine and dairy products the day before your encounter. Eat simply, such as only fruit and vegetables.
  2. Location: Go to the quietest part of your home. It is important to find a comfortable place where you can truly relax. Unplug clocks and phones in that room so as not to be disturbed.
  3. Clothing: Leave your wristwatch and all jewelry off. Wear only loose, comfortable clothing.
  4. Mirror: Place a large mirror in front of comfortable chair and arrange it so that you can gaze into it without having to hold your eyes at an uncomfortable angle.
  5. Chair: Sit in your chair. Be sure that it supports the back of your head, even if you are deeply relaxed.
  6. Awareness: The goal is to ease the transition into an altered state of awareness.
  7. Posture: A relaxed posture is important.
  8. Mood: Create a mood by soothing yourself with beauty for about 15 minutes by looking or listening to works of art. Art alone is enough to induce altered states in many people. Soft music can go far to stimulate awareness.
  9. Memories: Gather photographs and personal items of your departed loved one around you. Touch them and remember your loved ones fondly. It is important to imprint that person firmly in your mind. Doing so shouldn’t be too difficult. A family album filled with great memories stirs up the conscious as well as the unconscious mind. Family films and videos do the same thing. Some people use articles of clothing associated with the person. Such items include fishing poles, woodworking tools, chess sets, pipes, glasses, old letters, and so on. Anything associated with that person is an effective way of bringing up memories and feelings.
  10. Light: In the twilight of the day, light a candle and place it behind you. Dim light from behind usually works the best, although you will have to experiment until you get the lighting just right. The twilight hours is a time that seems to better inspire altered states in many people. Later, when you become more proficient, you will find that mirror gazing is possible even in bright lights.

The technique of mirror gazing itself is remarkably easy. Seated comfortably, relax and gaze into the clear depth of the mirror without trying to see anything. Some compare this to looking off into the distance. Properly relaxed, your arms will feel very heavy and the tips of your fingers will tingle as though charged slightly by electricity. This tingling feeling almost always signals the beginning of the hypnagogic state (altered consciousness).

The mirror will most likely become cloudy now. Some people report an image that resembles the sky on a cloudy day. Others say that the mirror becomes darker. Whatever the case, this change in the clarity of the mirror signals you that the visions are about to appear.

Do not direct the experience at first or pose particular questions when the visions appear. It is best to first watch them unfold passively. Just let the images flow. Attempting to guide the images decrease the likelihood that one will see images in the mirror. After you have become more adept at mirror gazing, putting specific questions into your mind before entering the trance state can be very helpful, especially if your object is self-exploration or self-understanding. Attempting to direct images after they have begun will usually cause them to fade away. Why this happens Dr. Moody is not sure, but his guess is that conscious thought brings you out of the hypnagogic state of mind where these images occur.

How long do the images last? Usually less than a minute, especially for those unable to stay relaxed. Some of Dr. Moody’s subjects have been able to maintain images for as long as ten minutes on their first attempt. The more proficient you become at mirror gazing, the longer you will see images in the mirror.

Sometimes you may see nothing yet hear the departed person talk or feel his or her touch. Some may experience all the sensations of a given person, or location, without actually seeing anything. Sometimes, like Nostradamus, you may have the sensation of passing into the mirror, or the images may actually come out to be with you. Whatever the case, it will be obvious when the visionary experience starts and when it is over.

Dr. Moody recommends that you record the experience immediately after the session as you would a dream. Write it down in as much detail as possible. Careful record keeping will help you know what to expect the next time you mirror gaze. It will also show differences between sessions and will eventually let you know how to get the most out of your mirror-gazing experience. Recording your experiences will also help you remember them as they really were.

If the visions do not occur during a session, then it is necessary to consider some of the possible factors involved. The most common reason for failing to see anything is trying too hard. People sometimes report that the visions miraculously begin after they give up, or at least after they entertain thoughts of doing so. Distractions are another common reason that visions fail to take place. These can include outside noise and physical discomfort. Perhaps the room is too hot or too cold, or maybe it is just too noisy. Distractions also take place in the form of diet. Some people simply cannot have visionary experiences after eating a heavy meal, though a light one is recommended since it elevates your blood sugar and keeps you from focusing on your hunger.

Dr. Moody also emphasizes that exercise is an important component of relaxation. Most people are far more relaxed after even gentle exercise and have lower blood pressure and a slower heart rate to prove it. If you are having difficulty relaxing, or letting your mind wander while mirror gazing, it might be due to a lack of exercise

Categories
Psychology Synchronicity and ADCs

The Psychedelic, Psychotic, Psychic and Spiritual Visions of Kevin Williams

Non-ordinary states of consciousness can be best explained in context of a theory of consciousness described in the NDE documentary entitled Life After Death. A psychiatrist in the documentary, named Dr. Stanislav Grof, M.D., is one of the leading researchers in non-ordinary states of consciousness. In the documentary, he explains a theory of consciousness based on these non-ordinary states. His theory suggests consciousness may not even be localized in the skull. He theorizes how the brain may actually function as a “reducing valve” reducing the cosmic energy and input which continually bombards our skull much in the same way radio signals bombard a radio receiver. Using the same analogy. our consciousness may be a product of this reducing function much like a radio broadcast heard on the radio. When this reducing function is altered (through triggers such as psychedelics, psychosis, etc.) or even shut down completely (when producing an NDE), the cosmic input which once made up our consciousness is then free to expand. This expansion may explain the various types of non-ordinary states of consciousness.

Table of Contents

  1. My Psychedelic Experience With LSD
  2. My Christian Spiritual Experiences
    a. An Analogy Describing My Born Again Experience
    b. My Observations of Someone’s Religious Vision
    c. My Observations of a Group Religious Vision
  3. My Manic Depressive Psychotic Hallucinations
    a. Dr. George Ritchie’s NDE Observations of Earthbound Souls
    b. Howard Storm’s NDE of Experiencing Earthbound Souls
    c. My Analysis of Dr. George Ritchie and Howard Storm’s Earthbound Experiences
  4. My Pre-Birth Memory of My Mission From God
  5. My Past-Life Memory as My Grandmother’s Father

1. My Psychedelic Experience With LSD

My only experience with LSD occurred during the 70’s while in college. Although it was a very pleasurable experience for me, I can’t recommend that people try it because the quality of a psychedelic experience depends on personal and situational factors.

I ingested a half of a stamp of microdot that a friend gave me one night and spent the evening alone in my room listened to my favorite music. Before I took the acid, I was feeling very good anyway and had no problems on my mind. The acid multiplied these good feelings and made the music which I was listening to (The Eagles, Poco, James Taylor, etc.) virtually come alive. I was totally immersed into the music and experienced it in a way I never have before. I spent hours with my eyes closed fantasizing and being the music. It is just a completely different level of awareness and feeling.

In the 70’s, drugs were not an unusual thing to do. I also experimented with lesser mind-altering drugs such as pot, hash, speed and alcohol. I have had hallucinations while using these drugs as well. Although I am not really proud of the experimenting I did, my experience with mind-altering and hallucinogenic drugs turned out to be a blessing later in life when I had to begin learning to deal with psychotic hallucinations from the bipolar disorder mental illness I was born with and which manifested itself afterward.

There are many published studies of psychedelics and how they create temporary distortions of reality, alterations of body image, and disorientation as to time and place. An experience with a psychedelic generally convinces people that so-called reality is not the same for everyone and that it depends upon a person’s own perception and perspective (among other factors). This is also supported by such sources as quantum physics, Tibetan Buddhism, and near-death experiences (among other sources). When I left college, I left my experimentation with mind-altering drugs behind and I left with a better understanding of my own mind and reality. And before the 70’s were over, I had a new kind of visionary experience – of the religious kind.

2. My Christian Spiritual Experiences

Spiritual experiences, such as psychic or near-death experiences, do not distort reality as do psychedelics. These spiritual experiences result in a heightened state of mind with clarity and no distortions. My first spiritual experience occurred to me after reading the Gospel of John for the first time in my life. It is an experience commonly known as a “born again” experience or a religious conversion. For years, I didn’t have the concepts or words to describe this experience. But over the years, after learning more about my own mind and non-ordinary conscious states, I discovered a better way to define it. I define it as my born-again “walk-in” reincarnation experience.

a. An Analogy Describing My Born Again Experience

Before my born again experience, I was living inside a bubble all of my life and was not aware it. While inside my bubble, I believed anyone who was a Christian was either a religious fanatic or self-deluded. I believed the Bible was just a fairy-tale book not worthy of any kind of serious study. Then my born again Christian brother challenged me to read the Gospel of John — the most beautiful book I have ever read in my life. Upon finishing the gospel, I realized the bubble I was living in had “popped” and I had become a completely different person — a more spiritual person. And because I became a completely different person, I believe the “born again” experience should actually be called the “walk-in” experience — a type of reincarnation experience. I know this because my Higher (“angel”) Self “walked” into my body and kicked out my lower (“animalistic”) self which had been living inside the bubble. So in less time than it took for me to read the Gospel of John, I had transformed from a “hell-raising party animal” to a person embracing Christian fundamentalism — a strict and narrow mindset which many people who are “spiritual but not religious” refer to as “Spirituality 101.” Later I discovered the true role of all religions and about true spirituality in near-death experiences which led me to even greater levels of spirituality. Interesting enough, Jesus also referred to the born-again experience in terms of reincarnation — or “resurrection” as it was called in Jesus’ day. See John 3:3-7 where Jesus explains the difference between spiritual resurrection (i.e., born of the Holy Spirit) and physical resurrection (being born of water, of the flesh, childbirth, reincarnation).

b. My Observations of Someone’s Religious Vision

I also had paranormal religious experiences that happened to me. When I was in college, I was discussing the Book of Revelation in my apartment with my college roommate who was becoming interested in Christianity. While I was talking about the second coming of Christ, my friend’s eyes got really big in fear and he fell to the floor. I asked him what was wrong. He saw Jesus enter my apartment by walking through the front door. It was a brief but powerful vision because I knew he was sincere. But I didn’t see a thing. I believe it was his born again experience.

c. My Observations of a Group Religious Vision

I had an extended discussion about Bible prophecy with six college freshman who were becoming interested in Christianity. I was showing them how the Bible foretells a future war in the Middle East over Jerusalem, the second coming, the rapture, and a thousand year peace on Earth. I was good at this and I could tell it was having an impact them based on their excitement level. When our discussion finished, they all left in the same car.

Roughly a half-hour later, they all came back and looking like they all saw a ghost or UFO. I couldn’t understand how a group of college men could be freaking out like a bunch of children in the dark. Then they told me what happened.

They were driving out of town and into the barren countryside when, in the distance, they saw a man standing on the side of the road. By the time they passed him by, they were stunned because the man looked and was dressed like Jesus, complete with white robe and beard. Because they were out in the barren countryside, it was very unusual for anyone to be out there – not to mention a man looking like that. They were so baffled by what they saw that they had to turn the car around to get a second look. But the man was nowhere to be found. The man had vanished. Combined with our previous discussion about prophecy and the second coming of Jesus, I believe what they experienced was a group conversion experience.

My experiences with hallucinations, spiritual conversion, and my budding interest in a new phenomenon called “near-death experiences,” helped me understand and cope with the next level of altered states of conscious experience which were to come to me alone with the 80’s.

3. My Manic Depressive Psychotic Hallucinations

Beginning in 1980, I began to have yearly bouts of depression that would happen at the same time every year like clockwork. They would last as long as a month. At first, the bouts were minor. I thought they were just personality problems. I didn’t know what they were. But as they became more severe, frightening hallucinations would occur – hearing voices, seeing distorted faces, and religious delusions involving hell, demons, and the devil.

Then in 1989, I had a bout that was so severe it became a major crisis and caused me to seriously contemplate suicide for the first time in my life.

After weeks of being depressed, I was growing increasingly paranoid and began having delusions. At this time, I didn’t know what was happening to me, I didn’t know I had an illness. Because of my fundamentalist beliefs at the time, I thought I was under attack by demonic forces. I thought I was having a personality problem which brought on this spiritual battle with my mind. Delusions and hallucinations, such as hearing voices in my mind that were not mine, reading the minds of people around me, people could merely look at my face and know what I was thinking, and coincidences that would occur which seemed to reinforce my delusions.

Trying to sleep was a living hell, so I went for days without sleep. Trying to sleep meant being assaulted by what I thought were “demons” (I believe now they were earthbound human souls), contemplating homelessness and even suicide, Jesus appeared in my mind and the assault on my mind stopped. I had been laying in bed for days with no energy to do much else but hug my pillow and fight a battle in my head. Finally, I decided to just give up fighting completely and I knew this would mean demonic possession of my body and mind. But something else happened instead:

I laid there on my bed, hugging my pillow, and decided to surrender to the demons. I didn’t care what happened. To my surprise, I had a sudden realization that I was laying prone before the feet of Jesus with my arms around his ankles – hanging on for dear life just as one would hang on to a lifesaver. No demons were around. Jesus calmed the raging storm in my mind. My mind was as clear and as calm as a sea of glass. He didn’t say a word and he didn’t have to. The message was perfectly clear. At that time, I realized that Jesus was giving me the peace and clarity of mind to understand that something was going horribly wrong with my mind – that I was insane and needed a psychiatrist.

Important Note: It took Jesus to appear in my mind before I would seek the help of a psychiatrist. Admitting to yourself (and maybe even to family members) that something is wrong with your mind and you need a psychiatrist is the biggest hurdle a mentally ill person – or anyone – ever has to make. Once you are able to acknowledge or understand the problem, the recovery process begins. Then, you can receive medications that will immediately help you sleep and be less anxious. Antidepressants take longer to work, but other medication can ease much of the problems associated with depression. After admitting the problem, the rest of the way becomes much easier by comparison – believe me.

The thought of being mentally ill brought all the images of Hollywood to mind: Charles Manson, straight-jackets, insane asylums, lobotomies, brain electrocutions.

Instead, what I found instead was: a doctor who knew exactly what was wrong, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder which is a genetic mood disorder, and prescriptions for medications – many of which began working that day.

In later years, as my illness fully manifested, I would have bouts mania or psychotic depression that would require visits to a psychiatric hospital – the psych ward – where my medicine could be adjusted and myself monitored. The longest stay in the hospital for me was about a month. It was nothing like Hollywood portrays. When I first knew I had to check in to a psych ward, as I mentioned before, all the images of Hollywood movies came to my mind: being committed against my will for life, people walking around in a medicated stupor, retarded-like people staring at you, sadistic medical technicians, insane laughter, Jack Nicholson with a lobotomy, torture therapy, rats, filth, bugs. Instead, what I found was: a normal hospital environment, normal-looking people with mental problems, regular doctor visits, group discussions, recreation rooms, and 24 hour care.

Since I was first diagnosed, I have been on medications which make the bouts less severe and the hallucinations infrequent. My only regret is that I went untreated for more than 10 years. I could have saved myself a lot of headaches (This is a lesson for those suffering depression. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you’ll feel better.)

One brief note: Years later, I came across both Dr. George Ritchie’s NDE account and Howard Storm’s NDE account of a realm in hell, where they described a kind of battlefield of human souls who were locked into harmful mind-sets. Reading these accounts for the first time frightened me because they are remarkable description of the battle I had in my mind with “demons” while I was in a state of profound psychotic depression. Below are excerpts of what I am referring to:

a. Dr. George Ritchie’s NDE Observations of Earthbound Souls

Dr. George Ritchie’s near-death experience excerpt of hell’s battlefield which is a good description of my battle with “demons” during a psychotic hallucination. It was a psychotic depression that caused me to hallucinate very frightening religious images. But mostly it was a battle for my very sanity and for what I thought was the possession of my soul:

“So far in our journeying we had visited places where the living and the dead existed side by side: indeed where disembodied beings, completely unsuspected by the living, hovered right on top of the physical things and people where their desire was focused.

“Now, however, although we were apparently still somewhere on the surface of the Earth, I could see no living man or woman. The plain was crowded, even jammed with hordes of ghostly discarnate beings; nowhere was there a solid, light-surrounded person to be seen. All of these thousands of people were apparently no more substantial than I myself. And they were the most frustrated, the angriest, the most completely miserable beings I had ever laid eyes on. “Lord Jesus!” I cried. ‘Where are we?’

“At first I thought we were looking at some great battlefield. Everywhere spirits were locked in what looked like fights to the death, writhing, punching, gouging. No weapons of any sort, I saw as I looked closer, only bare hands and feet and teeth. And then I noticed that no one was apparently being injured. There was no blood, no bodies strewed on the ground. A blow that ought to have eliminated an opponent would leave him exactly as before. If I suspected that I was seeing hell, now I was sure of it. These creatures seemed locked into habits of mind and emotion, into hatred, lust, destructive thought-patterns.

“Even more hideous than the bites and kicks they exchanged, were the sexual abuses many were performing in feverish pantomime. Perversions I had never dreamed of were being vainly attempted all around us. It was impossible to tell if the howls of frustration which reached us were actual sounds or only the transference of despairing thoughts. Indeed in this disembodied world it didn’t seem to matter. Whatever anyone thought, however fleetingly or unwillingly, was instantly apparent to all around him, more completely than words could have expressed it, faster than sound waves could have carried it. And the thoughts most frequently communicated had to do with the superior knowledge, or abilities, or background of the thinker.

“‘I told you so!’ “I always knew!’

“‘Didn’t I warn you!’ were shrieked into the echoing air over and over. With a feeling of sick familiarity I recognized here my own thinking. In these yelps of envy and wounded self-importance I heard myself all too well. Once again, however, no condemnation came from the presence at my side, only a compassion for these unhappy creatures that was breaking his heart.

What was keeping them here? Why didn’t each one just get up and leave? I could see no reason why the person being screamed at by that man with the contorted face didn’t simply walk away. Or why that young woman didn’t put a thousand miles between herself and the other one who was so furiously beating her with insubstantial fists? They couldn’t actually hold onto their victims, any of these insanely angry beings. There were no fences. Nothing apparently prevented them from simply going off alone.

“Unless – unless there was no alone in this realm of disembodied spirits. No private corners in a universe where there were no walls. No place that was not inhabited by other beings to whom one was totally exposed at all times. What was it going to be like, I thought with sudden panic, to live forever where my most private thoughts were not private at all? No disguising them, no covering them up, no way to pretend I was anything but what I actually was. How unbearable. Unless of course everyone around me had the same kind of thoughts – Unless there was a kind of consolation in finding others as loathsome as one’s self, even if all we could do was hurl our venom at each other.

“Perhaps this was the explanation for this hideous plain. Perhaps in the course of eons or of seconds, each creature here had sought out the company of others as pride and hate-filled as himself, until together they formed this society of the damned. Perhaps it was not Jesus who had abandoned them, but they who had fled from the light that showed up their darkness. There were beings arguing over some religious or political point, trying to kill the ones who did not agree with them. I thought when I saw this: “No wonder our world is in such a mess and we have had so many tragic religious wars. No wonder this was breaking Christ’s heart, the one who came to teach us peace and love.”

b. Howard Storm’s NDE of Experiencing Earthbound Souls

The following is an excerpt of Howard Storm’s near-death experience of hell’s “battlefield” which is a good description of the “hand-to-hand combat” with harmful earthbound souls whom I fought in my mind during a psychotic hallucination:

“Finally, I told them that I wouldn’t go any farther. At that time they changed completely. They became much more aggressive and insisted that I was going with them. A number of them began to push and shove me, and I responded by hitting back at them. A wild orgy of frenzied taunting, screaming and hitting ensued. I fought like a wild man. All the while it was obvious that they were having great fun. It seemed to be, almost, a game for them, with me as the center-piece of their amusement. My pain became their pleasure. They seemed to want to make me hurt by clawing at me and biting me. Whenever I would get one off me, there were five more to replace the one.

“By this time it was almost complete darkness, and I had the sense that instead of there being twenty or thirty, there were an innumerable host of them. Each one seemed set on coming in for the sport they got from hurting me. My attempts to fight back only provoked greater merriment. They began to physically humiliate me in the most degrading ways. As I continued to fight on and on, I was aware that they weren’t in any hurry to win. They were playing with me just as a cat plays with a mouse. Every new assault brought howls of cacophony. Then at some point, they began to tear off pieces of my flesh. To my horror I realized I was being taken apart and eaten alive, slowly, so that their entertainment would last as long a possible.

“At no time did I ever have any sense that the beings who seduced and attacked me were anything other than human beings. The best way I can describe them is to think of the worst imaginable person stripped of every impulse to do good. Some of them seemed to be able to tell others what to do, but I had no sense of any structure or hierarchy in an organizational sense. They didn’t appear to be controlled or directed by anyone. Basically they were a mob of beings totally driven by unbridled cruelty and passions.

“During our struggle I noticed that they seemed to feel no pain. Other than that they appeared to possess no special non-human or super-human abilities. Although during my initial experience with them I assumed that they were clothed, in our intimate physical contact I never felt any clothing whatsoever.

“Fighting well and hard for a long time, ultimately I was spent. Lying there exhausted amongst them, they began to calm down since I was no longer the amusement that I had been. Most of the beings gave up in disappointment because I was no longer amusing, but a few still picked and gnawed at me and ridiculed me for no longer being any fun. By this time I had been pretty much taken apart. People were still picking at me, occasionally, and I just lay there all torn up, unable to resist.

“Exactly what happened was … and I’m not going to try and explain this. From inside of me I felt a voice, my voice, say, ‘Pray to God.’ My mind responded to that, ‘I don’t pray. I don’t know how to pray.’ This is a guy lying on the ground in the darkness surrounded by what appeared to be dozens if not hundreds and hundreds of vicious creatures who had just torn him up. The situation seemed utterly hopeless, and I seemed beyond any possible help whether I believed in God or not.

“The voice again told me to pray to God. It was a dilemma since I didn’t know how. The voice told me a third time to pray to God. I started saying things like, ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want … God bless America’ and anything else that seemed to have a religious connotation. And these people went into a frenzy, as if I had thrown boiling oil all over them. They began yelling and screaming at me, telling me to quit, that there was no God, and no one could hear me. While they screamed and yelled obscenities, they also began backing away from me as if I were poison. As they were retreating, they became more rabid, cursing and screaming that what I was saying was worthless and that I was a coward.

“I screamed back at them, ‘Our Father who art in heaven,’ and similar ideas. This continued for some time until, suddenly, I was aware that they had left. It was dark, and I was alone yelling things that sounded churchy. It was pleasing to me that these churchy sayings had such an effect on those awful beings.

“Lying there for a long time, I was in such a state of hopelessness, and blackness, and despair, that I had no way of measuring how long it was. I was just lying there in an unknown place all torn and ripped. And I had no strength; it was all gone. It seemed as if I were sort of fading out, that any effort on my part would expend the last energy I had. My conscious sense was that I was perishing, or just sinking into the darkness.

“Now I didn’t know if I was even in the world. But I did know that I was here. I was real, all my senses worked too painfully well. I didn’t know how I had arrived here. There was no direction to follow even if I had been physically able to move. The agony that I had suffered during the day was nothing compared to what I was feeling now. I knew then that this was the absolute end of my existence, and it was more horrible than anything I could possibly have imagined.

“Then a most unusual thing happened. I heard very clearly, once again in my own voice, something that I had learned in nursery Sunday School. It was the little song, ‘Jesus loves me, yes I know …’ and it kept repeating. I don’t know why, but all of a sudden I wanted to believe that. Not having anything left, I wanted to cling to that thought. And I, inside, screamed, ‘Jesus, please save me.’

“That thought was screamed with every ounce of strength and feeling left in me. When I did that, I saw, off in the darkness somewhere, the tiniest little star. Not knowing what it was, I presumed it must be a comet or a meteor, because it was moving rapidly. Then I realized it was coming toward me. It was getting very bright, rapidly. When the light came near, its radiance spilled over me, and I just rose up not with my effort I just lifted up. Then I saw and I saw this very plainly I saw all my wounds, all my tears, all my brokenness, melt away. And I became whole in this radiance.”

c. My Analysis of Dr. George Ritchie and Howard Storm’s Earthbound Experiences

These two descriptions of a hellish battlefield in the realm of thought are remarkable descriptions of what I believed was happening to me while in a state of profound psychotic depression. This is one of the reason’s why these two NDEs are at the top of my list for being the most credible from my perspective.

By the time of my after-death communication (ADC) of my mother, I was a self-proclaimed expert on hallucinations. Not only had I lost my fear of the hellish hallucinations I have experienced, I was understanding them in light of near-death experiences. People have near-death experiences and religious visions from manic depressive hallucinations.

4. My Pre-Birth Memory of My Mission From God

In the early 60s when I was a child, I used to play with a old, broken television set. For some reason, I knew that I could rebuild it into a machine that would answer any questions that people put to it – like an oracle. This idea of mine was very strong in my head when I was a kid and eventually I didn’t think anymore about it. When I went to college in the 70’s, I took a computer programming class and, at that time, there were no personal computers or computer monitors – only huge mainframe computers and teletypewriters with no monitors. Then, personal computers with television-like monitors came out, and I believe that was the beginning of the fruition of my childhood oracle idea involving televisions. Then, I went back to college to further my education right when the Internet was beginning to take off. I learned the technology behind the Internet, how to create websites, and got my BS degree in Computer Science. While I was taking a class on website design, something reminded me of my childhood oracle idea. At some point in college, as I was learning web design, I knew I was going to create a website on the Internet devoted to what I have been learning about NDEs. And I began to believe that this was the fulfillment of my childhood idea. In 1996, I began this NDE website (www.near-death.com) with the knowledge that I was fulfilling that childhood idea of working on a computer that acts as an oracle which will answer questions put to it and present the results in a television format. What I ended up creating was create a large database of NDE information on the Internet for anyone to do keyword searches on from their personal computers.

People who have NDEs are sometimes given information about their mission in life learned before they were born. We are all on a mission from God in this world whether we realize it or not. And as the years go by, I become more and more satisfied that I am fulfilling my mission by doing just what I am doing now with this website. And I believe my childhood idea was an early memory of my mission. You can read more information about pre-birth memories on my website.

5. My Past-Life Memory as My Grandmother’s Father

When I moved up to northern California from southern California in 1995, I moved in with my grandparents (who were in their late 80s then) temporarily until I could figure out where to go next. But, I ended up staying with them to finishing my last semester in college which I did. At some point, I knew that if I didn’t move out, I would end up taking care of them to the end. I eventually made the decision that I would stay with them to the end. I loved them very much and there where more like parents to me than grandparents. My grandparents and I go way back to when I was a child in the early 60’s and I have many fond memories of them. My grandmother and I had a lot in common. We were both manic depressives who experienced suicidal depressions. She was a fundamentalist Christian and we loved to sit and talk about the Bible. Although she thought my NDE books were “nutty” and even worse, our religious faith had a lot in common. Over the years, I attempted to persuade her from the Bible that when people die, they don’t sleep in their graves and they don’t come out like Frankenstein when Jesus comes. Their idea of death was the traditional view and it was not a good view to have when you’re almost into your 90s.

As the years went by, her health began to deteriorate to the point where she couldn’t take care of herself anymore. It was a slow deterioration and I spent several years moving her around, putting her on the toilet, changing her diapers, etc… It was a labor of love because I loved her so much and we didn’t want to put her in a nursing home. I am a big person and she was not. I found myself talking and thinking of her as more of a daughter of mine that I never had. I was on temporary state disability and almost on permanent federal disability, so I had plenty of time and opportunity to help her all the way to the end. But eventually, her health problems became so severe that we had to put her in a nursing home. After about a year of being there, she died. It was October 2002.

But years before her death, while I was her full-time caregiver, she told me about her father for whom I knew virtually nothing about. She told me about his alcohol problem which caused a lot family problems. He used to make his own beer which many people around the turn of the century did. He even did a little bootlegging. My grandmother told me that her father’s brother owned a bar and both of them had a drinking problem. Eventually, her father lost his job and spent family money on booze. He was eventually kicked out of the house because my grandmother’s mother just had enough. He made many attempts to try to get back into the family, but my grandmother’s mother would not permit it. He would show up at the door and even try to sneak into the house. The final time he showed up with a gun to his head. When he was refused entry, he shot and killed himself in front of his family.

While my grandmother was telling me about her father, a very strong realization was occurring in my mind. As she was talking about him, I remember thinking that it seemed as though she was talking about me. I say this for many reasons. First of all, while she was describing her father and his life, it became obvious to me that he was manic depressive and it was probably from him that my grandmother and I inherited the gene for depression. The combination of alcohol, suicide, genetic predisposition, and his behavior, all made me understand his problem and attempts to self-medicate. But also, I identified with him because I had dealt with my own similar problems with alcohol, suicidal depression, strange behavior, and relations with women. However, it was the fact that I was taking care of my grandmother in her last final years at the time that made this past life realization a reality. If I am the reincarnation of my grandmother’s father, then this explains why I ended up in the position of taking care of my grandmother. I was paying the karmic debt I owed her from my previous life as her father when she was a young girl and I killed himself in this manner. All this went through my mind while my grandmother told me the story about her father. It was much more than an epiphany. And the whole situation made perfect sense: my strong love and feelings for my grandmother, my manic depressive struggles, my former alcohol and drug problems, my episodes of suicidal psychosis, my feelings for her as a daughter, and being her caregiver for the last seven years of her life.

Although I cannot prove that I am the reincarnation of my great grandfather Henry Bollinger (which doesn’t really matter anyway because this life is the one we must focus on), I am convinced that everyone has a past life. NDE insights suggests that past lives generally stay within the family. Birds of a feather flock together. Before learning about Henry Bollinger, I used to wonder who I might have been in a past life. I didn’t seem to really fit anyone in my family’s past who fit the bill. But on the day that my grandmother told me the story about her father, I became aware that she was talking about a man who failed her as a father by killing himself, but who came back to redeem himself at the end of her life to care for her when she really needed it the most – in her final years.

You can read more about reincarnation in Christianity and past-life memories on my website.

Categories
Psychology Synchronicity and ADCs

The Odds of My ADC Synchronicity Occurring By Chance

You don’t need to do the math to understand that the probability of turning a TV on at random and hearing the song Moon River is extremely minuscule. An exact figure would not be possible I believe; but it is possible to calculate an approximation. The chart below displays the events and a description of what needs to be calculated.

Table of Contents

  1. The Equations to Calculate Probability and Odds
  2. Determine the Events Which Made This “Moon River” Synchronicity Happen
  3. Calculate the Probability of Waking Up and Getting Out of Bed at Exactly the Right Time
  4. Calculate the Probability of Turning the TV on After Getting Out of Bed
  5. Calculate the Probability of Turning the TV On with the Correct Channel Already Set
  6. Calculate the Probability of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Being on the TV Channel at That Time
  7. Calculate the Probability of “Moon River” Playing On “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” At Exactly the Right Time
  8. Calculate the Probability and Odds of All These Events Occurring
  9. Comparing the Odds of My “Moon River” Synchronicity with Being Struck By Lightning

1. The Equations to Calculate Probability and Odds

Odds Equation

The “odds” in favor of an event is the ratio of the number of ways the outcome CAN occur to the number of ways the outcome CANNOT occur.

2. Determine the Events Which Made This “Moon River” Synchronicity Happen

Solution: Determine the events quantifying the “Moon River” Synchronicity and calculate the probabilities. I got out of bed in the morning and turned on the TV. The movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” happened to be playing and the song “Moon River” began to play at the very beginning.

a. Let “getting out of bed” = Event (Out of Bed) = The event of waking up and immediately getting out of bed in the morning between 8am and 10am

Let P (Out of Bed) = The probability of waking up and immediately getting out of bed in the morning between 8am and 10am

b. Let “Turning the TV on” = Event (Turn TV on) = The event of turning the TV on immediately after getting out of bed.

Let P (Turn TV on) = The probability of turning the TV on immediately after getting out of bed

c. Let the correct TV Channel = Event (Correct Channel) = The event that the TV happens to be set at just the correct channel that “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is playing on when the TV is turned on.

Let P (Correct Channel) = The probability that the TV happens to be set at just the correct channel that “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is playing on when the TV is turned on.

d. Let “Breakfast at Tiffany’s playing on the TV” = Event (Tiffany on) = The event that the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” happens to be playing on the TV when when turned on

Let P (Tiffany on) = The probability that the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” happens to be playing on the TV when when turned on

e. Let the “event of the song Moon River plays at the beginning of the song” = Event (Moon River) = The event that the song “Moon River” happens to begin playing from the very beginning of the song

Let P (Moon River) = The probability that the song “Moon River” happens to begin playing from the very beginning of the song

f. Let “all the above events” occurring = Event (All) = The event of waking up, getting out of bed, turning the TV on, and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is on, and “Moon River” begins to play from the beginning.

Let P (All Events) = The probability of waking up, getting out of bed, turning the TV on, and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is on, and “Moon River” begins to play from the beginning

g. Determine the probability equation of all these events occurring:

P (All Events) = P (Out of Bed) multiplied by P (Turn TV on) multiplied by P (Correct Channel) multiplied by P (Tiffany on) multiplied by P (Moon River)

h. Determine the odds equation of P (All Events) occurring:

Odds (All Events) = P (All Events) divided by 1 – P (All Events)

3. Calculate P (Out of Bed) the Probability of Waking Up and Getting Out of Bed at Exactly the Right Time

Conditions: I don’t remember exactly what time it was when I got out of bed that morning on July 2, 2002. I didn’t have a job at the time and I wasn’t using an alarm clock. However, the vast majority of the time when I wake up and get out of bed is anywhere between 8 am and 10 am. And I am fairly sure this was the time frame that morning.

Problem: What is the probability of waking up and getting out of bed at any particular minute between 8 am and 10 am?

Solution: There are 1200 seconds between 8 am and 10 am. The probability of getting out of bed at any particular minute between 8 -10 am is equal to the probability equation below:

4. Calculate P (Turn TV on) the Probability of Turning the TV on After Getting Out of Bed

Conditions: My morning ritual of getting up in the morning is very routine. The moment I am out of bed, I immediately have three things to do and I don’t always do them in the same order. (1) Head for the bathroom. (2) Turn the TV on. (3) Put on my clothes. It is equally likely that I will immediately do any one of these three things first, depending on certain conditions. So, in mathematical terms, for every three mornings, I immediately turn on the TV first.

Problem: What is the probability of turning the TV on after getting out of bed?

Solution: I have estimate that about one third of the time, I immediately turn the TV on when I wake up and get out of bed. That is 1 out of every 3 mornings, I immediately turn the TV on. So, the probability equation is below:

5. Calculate P (Correct Channel) the Probability of Turning the TV On with the Correct Channel Already Set

Conditions: I do not select a TV channel before I turn on the TV. I just turn it on to whatever channel it was set on the last time I shut the TV off. I have Comcast cable TV with hundreds of channels; but most of the channels are garbage in my opinion. However, there are only 11 channels that I like and regularly watch. I don’t watch anything outside of those channels.

Problem: What is the probability of my TV already being set to the channel that “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” happens to be on?

Solution: I only watch 11 cable channels and anyone of them could have equally been the channel that came on that morning. So the probability equation is below:

6. Calculate P (Tiffany on) the Probability of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Being on the TV Channel at That Time

Conditions: At this time, I have never seen “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” before. However, I certainly have heard the song “Moon River” many times. So when I turned the TV on that morning and heard the song begin to play, I was completely flabbergasted to say the least. That song was sung at my mother’s memorial only days before. It was her song. And the night before, I had an awesome after-death communication of my mother when I spontaneously felt her enormous presence for about an hour. So waking up the next morning and hearing “Moon River” when I turned on the TV that morning was a coincidence of really beyond measure.

Problem: For any given day of that month of July, 2002, what is the probability that “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” would be playing on TV on that day?

Solution: Getting an exact probability for this problem is virtually impossible because I would need to know exactly how many days in July of 2002 the movie played. However, for the sake of getting at least an approximation, let us assume “Breakfast at Tiffany’s played only once in that month of July. This is a fair assumption because the movies I watch normally don’t repeat at another time in the same day or month. So the probability equation is below:

7. Calculate P (Moon River) the Probability of “Moon River” Playing On “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” At Exactly the Right Time

Conditions: When I woke up and turned the TV on, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” happened to be on at exactly at the time the song “Moon River” began to play.

Problem: What is the probability of “Moon River” playing from the beginning on “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”?

Solution: The movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is 115 minutes long. The song “Moon River” is played in its instrumental version only two times in the movie. It plays one time during the film’s opening titles, and another time at the end of the movie. So the probability equation is below:

8. Calculate the Probability and Odds of All These Events Occurring

Conditions: When I woke up, I immediately got out of bed and turned the TV on. The movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” just happened to be on at that time. Immediately the song “Moon River” began to play from the very beginning.

Problem: What is the probability of waking up, immediately getting out of bed and turned the TV on and the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” happens to be on and immediately the song “Moon River” begins to play from the very beginning?

Solution: The probability equation is below:

9. Comparing the Odds of My “Moon River” Synchronicity with Being Struck By Lightning

In conclusion, the approximate odds of getting out of bed in the morning, turning the TV on, with the correct channel “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to be on and the song “Moon River” playing from the very beginning is approximately 1 in 6.5 million. This is an extremely long shot when you compare these odds with other odds. The odds of being struck by lightning is 1 in 5 million!

Categories
Psychology Synchronicity and ADCs

The After-Death Visitation of My Mother

My mother died on November 24, 2001, in the winter when the frozen Montana soil makes funerals and burials impractical. So her memorial and funeral was set for June 22, 2002. I was living in California at the time recovering from another bout of bipolar disorder mania and depression after a stay in a VA psych ward. As the day of Mom’s funeral approached, the more I realized how it would be the most emotional experience of my life, probably too emotional for my mental health, perhaps leading to another stay the psych ward. It had been several years since I had been to my Mom’s home. But she wasn’t there anymore. Her ashes were there. And her presence would be everywhere. So I decided to do the safe thing and stay home. Still, I was sick to my stomach over the decision. Thankfully, my father provided me a videotape of everything. Watching my Mom’s memorial and funeral on video gave me the ability experience it while remain emotionally removed from everything on the video.

Table of Contents

  1. My Spontaneous After-Death Communication of My Mother
  2. The Song “Moon River” and ADC Synchronicity
  3. Interesting Facts About the Song “Moon River”
  4. My Metaphysical Synchronicity With the Moon

1. My Spontaneous After-Death Communication of My Mother

Four days after viewing my Mom’s memorial video, on July 1, 2002, I was sitting alone in my room watching a television show which was a modern version of Candid Camera – except they do cruel tricks on people. I watched as they were playing mind games on an unsuspecting victim who looked remarkably like my twin brother Steve. I was reminded of my brother’s situation and all the pain and grief that he and his wife had been going through. No one was suffering more over the accident than Steve and his family. Along with their grief over Mom, they had to deal with permanent injuries, and lost employment – not to mention the loss of other things that cannot be valued.

As I thought about my brother, the mind games they were playing on the man on TV was bringing him to tears. Seeing this man in tears, who looked remarkably like my brother, made me cry.

Then something very bizarre but wonderful happened to me. I suddenly felt what I can only describe as a large invisible beam of energy made of pure love and happiness hit my chest. This entire experience did not involve any of my five senses. The beam remained focused over my heart as it poured this powerful energy of heavenly bliss into me. Wonderful feelings of intense love and ecstasy such as I have never felt before was filling and transforming my heart, mind and soul. I sensed this beam was coming from the sky, through the ceiling, and into my chest. I wasn’t too concerned about what it was at the time because it felt incredibly good. As it poured in, I grabbed my chest in ecstasy to let as much of this beam of love and happiness in as possible. I remember having a passing thought of concern that this must be some kind of a gigantic manic depressive episode that I have never experienced before. But the wonderful feelings I was experiencing made me dismiss that thought quickly. The strange transformational feeling I was experiencing began slowly from around place where the beam was entering my chest. Then it slowly spread out from my chest to the rest of my body. I remember thinking how it felt like a man of stone coming to life. I remember thinking that God must be jump-starting my heart. This wonderful and magical feeling lasted at least a minute.

Then, at the height of this ecstasy, came the astounding realization in my mind’s eye that my mother was standing next to me. “Oh, Mom!” I cried. Having nothing to grab onto, I intuitively wrapped my arms around myself and felt her hugging me. Any sorrow remaining within me from losing her, just burst right out of me. At the same time, she filled me to overflowing with heaven which she brought with her. Everything I wanted to say to her, since the day she died, came out of me to her in my mind as well.

Although my five senses didn’t detect her, her presence around me was so strong that I didn’t need to use them. The combination of her strong presence and love, and the ecstatic feelings I was having, elevated my awareness to a degree that I was using senses reserved for hallucinations which I was well experienced with. But this was no drug or psychotic hallucination I have ever experienced. Being with her again made me suddenly realize how long I had been without her. This led to the strange realization that, since her death, I had been slowing forgetting about the feeling of being around her – her presence – without even knowing it. I realized this is how people are able to live the rest of their lives without their loved ones. Over time, we just naturally forget. That momentary thought was unsettling and only her strong presence with me took that thought immediately away.

I had the astonishing realization of my mother knowing from heaven I was despairing over my brother and somehow a “door” was opened allowing her to visit and comfort me. I also understood this became a reality because I was open to the possibility, and would want it to happen, and could handle it if it did happen. So she moved heaven and earth to make it happen. I also realized it was too much for her to bear knowing I was grieving about Steve and his family this way. Along with her sheer force of will, the door was opened for her to visit me from the Other Side. I also felt her communications with us from the Other Side was something she strongly wanted to do.

As I basked in her presence, tears of both joy and sorrow flowed out of me at the same time. As she was cuddling me, I transformed into her little boy again. I could view my relationship with my mother from a perspective I never knew before — from the vantage point of my whole life — all at once. For the rest of that night, I was her child. Memories and feelings I had of my childhood flooded my heart and mind.

Although our communication was mostly non-verbal, I remember moments of strongly hearing her voice in my mind. But most of my experience with her occurred on a conscious level too deep for me to recall. But I do remember her telling me these words:

Momma’s here. I’m here to make everything alright. I’m still here.

I understood her words to mean, although she was in heaven, she is still here with us and aware of what’s going on. And right now, she came back to earth to comfort me and bring heaven to me. I felt her presence multiplied to such a degree, it felt like I was in heaven just being with her again. And I wanted this feeling to last forever. I wanted to be with her forever. I wanted her to take me to heaven. But I also knew this was physically impossible.

I overflowed with heaven from her presence; and thanked God and Mom for allowing it to happen.

I knew this was also a goodbye — the goodbye I couldn’t have before she died.

I also realized my mother allowed me to catch a glimpse of heaven and the love awaiting us there when we meet again.

I was not aware of exactly how long my visitation with my mother lasted, but my guess was about an hour or so. And this heavenly experience didn’t just end abruptly. Everything gradually returned back to normal until eventually I couldn’t feel her presence in the room anymore. But within me, my mother had filled my heart and soul with tremendous happiness and love.

I spent the rest of that magical night contemplating what happened. I knew my mother visited me in an after-death communication because I have read so much about them. Now I have experienced what I have been reading about all these years. This experience with my mother made me even more interested in after-death communications.

But because of my own personal experience with psychedelic, psychotic, and psychic (spiritual) hallucinations, I knew the visitation experience with my mother was a form of hallucination. As I said earlier, none of my five senses were involved — only my intuitive and spiritual senses were involved — and this is why I view this as a form of hallucination. But it was a spontaneous hallucination on a massive scale and this is what makes it different than any hallucination I have ever experienced. Hallucinations don’t happen spontaneously unless there is a drug involved or psychosis present. My experience was more like the religious ecstasies I have read about; so I don’t consider them miracles either. Miracles by definition are impossible; but I know these kind of experiences are possible. Even if my mother had materialized in front of me, and I could see her with my own eyes, I would not consider it a miracle. Historical records and recent studies into after-death communications are filled with such accounts of actual materializations. For my mother’s visitation to a miracle, she would have had to leave something physical behind — such as her heavenly shoe or ring. Now that would be a miracle!

My mother didn’t leave me a ring, but she left me with something far more meaningful to me. And I found it only hours later when I woke up the next morning.

2. The Song “Moon River” and ADC Synchronicity

The next morning, I awoke with wonderful thoughts and feelings of my mother and her visit only hours ago. I laid there in bed awhile thinking about how all the happiness I was experiencing might put me in danger of becoming manic — the other side of manic depression marked by elevated mood. I decided I would see my doctor just to be safe.

I then got out of bed and turned on the television set which is something I often do. What happened next was far more difficult for me to believe than my visitation with my mother just hours earlier. What happened when I turned on the TV was practically a miracle.

When I turned the TV set on, immediately the song Moon River began to play! Time seemed to momentarily stop as my jaw hit the floor. I couldn’t believe my ears! By pure coincidence, I turned the TV on to a movie that just happened to play the song Moon River – my mother’s song! This song was also sung by my brother at my mother’s memorial only nine days prior. By randomly turning the TV set on to the song Moon River, I had just experienced the “Mother of all Synchronistic Coincidences” — pun intended. And at the time, I didn’t need to do the math to know how improbable such an event could occur at random. Later, I calculated the odds of turning a TV on anytime at random and hearing the song Moon River in a movie. The odds of this happening at random is over 1 in 6.5 million. By comparison, the odds of being struck by lightning by pure chance is 1 in 5 million. I also discovered that the movie appearing on the TV that morning was called Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The cable records are there to prove it.

When Moon River began to play, I picked up my metaphorical jaw off the floor, sat down in my chair, and let the message of Moon River flow. It was Henri Mancini’s orchestra playing the song and I hadn’t heard this version of Moon River since I was a child listening to it on my mother’s stereo. And it moved me to my very soul. I also knew I would have to see my doctor after this because I knew this was the closest thing to a miracle I have ever experienced. And I feared mania would carry me away – and it was pure heaven.

Hearing the song Moon River that morning meant so many things to me. It was a “sign” from God. It was certainly proof to my mind there was indeed life after death. It was physical confirmation validating my spiritual experience with my mother was a physical reality. It was the biggest coincidence — a synchronicity — that ever happened to me. Just hours before, my mother visited me. Just four days before, I watched my brother sing Moon River on videotape. Nine days before, he sang Moon River at our mother’s memorial. Eleven days before, my sister remembered for the first time since childhood, Moon River as our mother’s favorite song. The message is clear — my mother is still alive though she is physically dead.

3. Interesting Facts About the Song Moon River

Moon River is a beautiful song from the early 60’s which my mother identified with as a young mother. For me, the song represents a time of innocence for my family and for America in general. Those were the illusionary days of Ozzie and Harriet, Leave it to Beaver, and My Three Sons — before the political assassinations, the Vietnam war, and the social upheaval came and blew all the illusions away.

Moon River

Moon River, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you’re going,
I’m going your way.

Two drifters, off to see the world.
There’s such a lot of world to see.
We’re after the same rainbow’s end,
waiting round the bend,
my huckleberry friend.
Moon River, and me.

— Lyrics by Johnny Mercer, Music by Henry Mancini

After the very first screening of the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the president of Paramount paced around the room, puffing on a cigar, and said, “Well, I’ll tell you one thing, you can get rid of the song.” Thankfully, Audrey Hepburn was there and to her credit, stood up and said, “Over my dead body.”

Henri Mancini’s version of Moon River won the Academy Award in 1962 for Best Original Song.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Paramount, 1961) starred Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard and was directed by Blake Edwards. The screenplay was written by George Axelrod based on a novel by Truman Capote. The song Moon River was sung in the movie by Audrey Hepburn.

What is meant by “my huckleberry friend” in the song Moon River? In the book entitled, Our Huckleberry Friend: The Life, Times and Lyrics of Johnny Mercer, it describes how Johnny and his friends would enjoy spending the summers picking wild huckleberries (i.e., blueberries) by a river now known as Moon River. They would put the huckleberries in pails and bring them home to put in ice cream. So this was the origin of “my huckleberry friend” — not about Huckleberry Finn as many people erroneous believe. It was just Johnny as a little boy with his friends enjoying themselves as they picked huckleberries.

Other movies with the song Moon River in it include: The Godfather, Ocean’s Eleven (2001), The Presidio, Born on the Fourth of July, and The Brotherhood.

You can also listen to a clip of the song “Moon River” as performed by Henri Mancini.

4. My Metaphysical Synchronicity With the Moon

My close association with the moon and Moon River intrigues me. I am a moon child born under the sign of Cancer. Moon children are said to be very emotional almost to the point of being unable to control themselves which is often true of me. My manic depressive illness has a connection with the moon. Mental illness was thought by the ancients to be caused by the moon (lunatic = luna = moon). My heavenly visit with my mother occurred in July under the sign of Cancer.

The month of November of 2001, the month of my mother’s death, was unique in that two full moons occurred within that month. This astronomical configuration is termed a “Blue Moon” and it occurs once in approximately once every two and a half years. During November 2001 the first full moon fell in Taurus on the 1st of the month and on the 30th of November Gemini was graced with the second or “Blue Moon”. According to astrologers, the November 2001 Blue Moon would strongly influence the signs of Taurus, Gemini, Scorpio and Sagittarius. My mother was born under the sign of Taurus.

I had my astrological birth chart created by a professional astrologer many years ago. I asked her how fraternal twin brothers, such as my brother and I, who were different in personality and tastes (unlike some identical twins) could somehow be connected to a similar birth chart. She explained how minor differences between birth time in minutes or hours can affect a birth chart. She also explained how one brother’s birth chart can be interpreted using Sun-sign astrological principles and the other using Moon-sign astrology. I clearly fall under a Moon-sign interpretation.

Because I am a male Cancer and moon child, this means the moon also rules my relationship with my mother and other important females in my life. This astrological principle certainly applies to me. I also have a sister and step-mother are moon children.

In astrological terms, the moon represents a general reflection of what humans have been in past lives. Because I have strong memories of some of my past life identities, this astrological principle certainly applies to me.

Considering my connection to my mother is so strong, and my astrological connection with the moon is so strong, and our connection with Moon River is so strong, this may explain why my “Moon River experience” was so strong and why Moon River had such a positive effect on healing the grief of losing the central component of my family, and why Moon River shows how my connection to my mother will never be broken.

Categories
Psychology Synchronicity and ADCs

My Transition Through Grief of Losing My Mother

Many people know how the death of a loved one can be one of the most difficult experiences anyone can ever have in life. I never knew what losing a loved one meant until I my mother died in 2001. Before this time, I was focused primarily upon the ecstasy experienced by people who experienced death and the afterlife during a near-death experience (NDE). Near-death experiencers (NDErs) tell us there is nothing better on Earth than being dead. I remember one particular experiencer saying it is the living who dwell in the land of death. On the Other Side is eternal life. I heard one particular NDEr say, “You will never be more dead than you are right now.” Other NDErs have expressed a similar thought, such as, no matter how good life on Earth can be, it is a miserable cesspool compared to heaven. One experiencer, Dr. Dianne Morrissey, eloquently put it this way:

“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)

I love this quote so much, it was the inspiration for the title of my book Nothing Better Than Death. Ironically and sadly, while I was writing this book, my mother died in a car accident. My twin brother was severely injured and his wife broke her back almost killing her.

Before she died, I had never before experienced the death of someone so close to me whom I loved so much. I was confident that when the day came for me to experience such a loss, the knowledge in my head which I obtained from NDE books would protect my heart from grief. But I was wrong. When it came to death, I was an expert on the Other Side. But when my mother died, I realized how retarded I was about death on this side of life.

For a long time, I would advise grieving mothers they should try not grieve too much over their lost children because unnaturally excessive grief can hinder their child’s progression on the Other Side. (I cringe every time I think about this because I gave this advice to a great number of people). Although I believe this advice to be correct, it wasn’t until I experienced profound grief myself that I realized how cold and clinical such advice is. I viewed grief as the enemy – not death. I mistakenly believed profound grief could be avoided by becoming properly educated in NDE research. And I assumed people who were already grieving over a loss just needed some NDE education, which I believed would be enough to help them.

But when my own mother died, I eventually learned how untrue all this was. My real education concerning grief began. It would end with me still believing death is the next best thing on Earth (with love at number one.) But now I knew this holds true only for those who have died. For surviving family and friends, death can be a living hell on Earth.

My delusion of NDE education protecting people from grief vanished along with my mother. It was an education on life and death which can’t be taught in classes or learned in books. It can only be learned through the “School of Hard Knocks.” My grief over the loss of my mother was a difficult journey of self-examination which began with extreme denial. Then my denial was eventually penetrated by painful reality checks which bombarded my mind. As my delusions became dispelled, reality and grief began to set in. Grief turned into depression. Depression turned into suicidal depression. But with the help of adjustments to my antidepressant regime and stays in the psych ward, I made it through and recovered. Then, one night my mother suddenly visited me in spirit in an experience called an after-death communication.

When the car accident happened on November 24, 2001, and I learned my had mother died, I was more excited by the fact she had made the ultimate transition than I was over the fact she was gone. After all, everyone returns to “Home” to God when their time is ready, and it was her time. She had graduated. Even when my father broke the news to me about the accident, I didn’t really know at first how to react because my initial feeling was, “Wow, Mom’s in heaven! That’s great! She’s with Jesus!” All those many wonderful hours my mother and I spent watching near-death documentary videos together and now she actually made the transition herself! I was envious.

When our family gathered together to comfort one another, I was a little embarrassed about my mania. Mania is a very elevated, elated, and expansive mood which can lead to psychosis and serious hallucinations for a manic depressive such as myself. I was proud of the fact that I was happy about her death because it meant I passed the test: I really do believe there is nothing better than death. I was not devastated by death! Not even the death of my own mother! After all, what was there to be devastated about? In my mind, my mother’s death was the equivalent of her being freed from San Quentin prison after serving a lifetime of hard labor. And not only this, I believed it was the equivalent of her being transported to Hawaii where I will someday soon join her. What is there to be devastated about?

It wasn’t very long before the mania subsided, the denial faded, and the full reality of losing my mother really meant began to sink in. Ultimately, my delusions of grandeur came crashing down like the mythological Satan falling like lightning from heaven and I fell into a pit of emotional hell. The full magnitude of my loss began to sink painfully into my head and no amount of lithium was going to stop it. The reality checks entered my brain until the full realization came:

She is gone from this world forever. I am never going to see her in this world again. Life will never be the same without her. I will have to live without her for the rest of my life. Only death can reunite us. That may take a lifetime. I wish I were dead now.

My illusions of there being nothing better in this world than death began to crack. Although I was already on many medications for depression, they did not prevent the coming depression, although it may have made it less severe. The loss of my mother triggered a chemical imbalance in my brain which led to depression. The sooner a person visits their doctor at the first signs of depression, the sooner they will get relief. In my case, because I have manic depression and was in danger of psychosis, I checked myself into the psych ward. Because of my mental illness, checking myself into a psych ward was something I had done several times before in my life so it was not a big deal.

At this point, I want to emphasize how critical it is to see a doctor at the first signs of depression. You will save yourself and your family a lot of pain and suffering. Unfortunately, many people are either not aware of the signs or decide to go untreated. Based on my own experience, the highest hurdle I ever had to get myself over was to admit there is something wrong with my mind — to admit I needed to see a “psychiatrist” – to admit I may need to go to a hospital for the mind. People with other physical illnesses, such as cancer patients or heart patients, generally don’t have this hurdle.

The signs of depression are not always obvious at first. But left untreated, these signs can get much worse. They are: profound sadness and hopelessness, sleep problems (too much or too little), loss of energy (you don’t have the energy to even get out of bed), loss of concentration, loss of appetite, and loss of sex drive. In severe cases, there may be: suicidal thoughts, paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations. Seeking a doctor’s help can literally be a lifesaver at this point. The following is my description of severe depression:

Depression is so disabling, you have absolutely no energy to think, move, sleep, or take the medicine needed to get well. Depression feels like falling into a 30-foot deep grave and realizing there is no way out and that it’s never going to end. Utter darkness surrounds you as profound sadness, misery and confusion descends upon your mind like a thick fog. It is a devastating mental, emotional, and physical hell, comparable to becoming a zombie, one of the living dead. Depression feels like the death of your spirit; leaving you feeling like an empty corpse with all hope lost forever. As time drags on, you feel like you are rotting away mentally and physically. Left untreated, the illness can get progressively worse. You may begin hearing frightening voices in your head which you are convinced are not your own. If you believe in Satan, your reality might transform into what you believe is a demonic world of persecution involving self-condemnation, self-judgment, self-loathing, and self-delusion. You may feel like demons are everywhere trying to possess your corpse. Your mind can be dragged through the very gates of insanity where the voices of hell, frightening apparitions, bizarre delusions, and reality becomes an endless loony tune show playing out in your head and all around you. The mental, emotional and spiritual torment can become so overwhelming, suicide becomes like a friend and death a welcome way out. All the while, your loved ones may be wondering why you can’t get out of bed. Nobody knows or understands what’s happening to you — not even yourself. They wonder why you can’t just “snap out of it.” Even worse, if you do give in to suicide, your loved ones will die a thousand deaths wondering why. And then your living hell will probably become your after death hell as well.

The unfortunate thing about medicine for depression is that they don’t work immediately. It may take up to a month before the medicine begins to take effect. However, medications for many of the symptoms of depression work immediately: such as medicine for anxiety, insomnia and psychosis. This is why it is best to seek help right away and not wait.

Don’t Believe The Bull Crap About Shock Treatments Being Harmful

There is only one treatment for severe depression I know works within days and sometimes immediately. It is electroconvulsive therapy (or ECT or electroshock treatments or “shock treatments”). This treatment has received a very bad reputation from uninformed people in the media and politics – but especially from the movie “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” It is very unfortunate how this movie had such a damaging effect upon the psychiatric community because of the movie’s misrepresentation of ECT. And it wasn’t like mental illness had a good reputation to begin with either. The hysteria this movie created ultimately resulted in ECT almost being eliminated entirely as a treatment during the 1970’s. The price paid to make a few Hollywood people rich was the needlessly suffering of millions of mentally ill people who couldn’t get access to ECT thanks to the tremendous falsehoods and misconceptions this movie created. The PR damage can be seen even to this day.

The Truth Is This: Electroconvulsive therapy is safer than taking aspirin. The amount of electricity used in this procedure is very tiny. Heart patients get their hearts resuscitated with a far more amount of electricity than ECT. Electroconvulsive therapy saves lives as well because it can prevent people from committing suicide instantly. The procedure is performed while the patient is asleep under anesthetic so there is absolutely no pain involved. Relief from a catatonic depression can be instantaneous using ECT. This occurred to my grandmother (who was also bipolar) after she underwent ECT after suffering catatonic depression for weeks. I cannot praise ECT enough! In fact, my psychiatrist has informed me how my bipolar disorder will likely get worse as I get older like my grandmother. I will not hesitate to have ECT treatment for myself because of the “miraculous” affect it has in immediately ending severe depression. If you have a loved one for whom ECT is recommended, do not hesitate to have it done. It is a life-saver and you’re loved one with thank you for it!