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Edgar Cayce Paranormal

John Van Auken’s Research of Edgar Cayce on Consciousness

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

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

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

Table of Contents

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

1. Introduction to consciousness and reincarnation

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

2. The beginning of consciousness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. The universal law of karmic memory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. The division of consciousness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. The consequences of the division

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

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

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

6. Thoughts are things. Thoughts are real.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Articles Science

Near-Death Experience of Space, Time, and Consciousness

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

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

Table of Contents

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

1. Frozen Time Theory (FTT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Possible Enablers and Barriers to Dimensional Perception

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

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

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

5. Definitions of Now

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

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

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

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

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

8. A Postulate Set Governing Existential Knowledge

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

9. What is Consciousness?

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

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

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

11. Conclusions

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

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

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

A Frequency Analysis for a Sample of NDE Reports

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

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

Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

Categories
Edgar Cayce Paranormal

John Van Auken’s Research of Edgar Cayce on Soul and Spirit

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

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

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The spirit
  3. The soul
  4. Experiencing soul
  5. Experiencing spirit
  6. Understanding the mind
  7. The ideal is the mind’s navigator
  8. Thoughts are things
  9. Watch self pass by
  10. The subliminal mind
  11. Subconscious: the police
  12. Levels of Consciousness

1. Introduction

Edgar Cayce Readings @ 1971, 1993-2017
by the Edgar Cayce Foundation
All Rights Reserved

From Edgar Cayce’s deep attunement to the Universal Consciousness, he saw a clear distinction between spirit and soul; something most of us do not see. Cayce felt that it would:

“… be best that these be classified, that these be not misunderstood in their relations one to another.” [Edgar Cayce reading 5756-4]

Let’s consider these two aspects of our being, which are so often overshadowed by our physical aspect.

2. The spirit

According to Cayce, spirit is the life force, the vital spark that animates life. He said:

“Spirit is the spark, or portion of the Divine that is in every entity.” [Edgar Cayce reading 3744-5]

But spirit is not just a force. It is a consciousness with individualness, though not nearly as individual as we are in our physical condition. Jesus tells the woman at the well that:

“God is a spirit, and seeks same to worship Him.” (Jesus Christ, John 4:23)

[This is] a call for us to get into our spirit if we would really connect with God. According to Cayce, our spirit self is, has been, and always will be before the throne of God. It is perfect, unblemished, made in the image of Elohim, as recorded in Genesis 1. Cayce says that it is a thing apart from anything earthy, and does not descend into the realms of Earth unless we lift ourselves up to it and connect with it. Even then, it remains shielded from earthly influences.

That spark Cayce spoke of is the light and life of mind, or consciousness. Within the one, universal, collective mind of God are infinite points of consciousness, spirits like the Great Spirit. The consciousness of our spirit is the superconscious, a level of consciousness that is nearly indistinguishable from God’s consciousness. Psalm 82 expresses the situation in the spirit realm this way:

“God stands in the congregation of God; He judges among the gods; and later, You are gods, sons of the Most High.” (Psalms 82:1-6)

It’s important to realize that these sons are spirits, not bodies; male and female energies are combined. As Jesus explained:

“In heaven there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage.” (Jesus Christ, Matthew 22:30)

The phrase the congregation of God reflects how intimately connected the godlings are to their Creator. This collective nature of the Creator is also expressed in the use of the plural word Elohim for the name of God. The Creator includes all of life; nothing exists outside of the Whole. Fascinatingly, the author of Genesis changes the name of God in the second chapter to Yahweh Elohim, which most English Bibles translate as Lord God. It is this aspect of God that creates our soul self, different from the spirit self that Elohim made in Genesis 1:26. Yahweh Elohim forms us from the dust of the ground and breathes the breath of life into us, and we become living souls (Genesis 2:7).

3. The soul

Cayce sees soul as the developing portion of our whole nature. It is ever changing, growing, and learning, and uses free will to explore, create, test, discover, and more. Soul is the ultimate companion to the Creator; a true companion, because it has the free will to choose to be a companion or not. The soul is also uniquely able to bridge the gulf between the spirit realms and the physical realms, between our divine, godly self and our earthly self. The mind of the soul is the subconscious. It may operate independently of the Collective Consciousness of the Creator. (At least, it is allowed to think it does. After all, there is no way to actually be outside of the Whole.) Or, it may act in harmony and conscious at-onement with the Collective Consciousness.

Question: “Mr. Cayce, what is the soul of a body?” Cayce: “That which the Maker gave to every entity or individual in the beginning, and which is seeking the home again or place of the Maker.” [Edgar Cayce reading 3744-1]

Cayce: “All souls were created in the beginning, and are finding their way back to whence they came.” Question: “Where does the soul go when fully developed?” Cayce: “To its Maker.” [Edgar Cayce reading 3744-5]

From Cayce’s perspective:

“The study of subconscious, subliminal, psychic, soul forces, is and should be the great study for the human family. Through self, man will understand his Maker when he understands his relationship to his Maker. He will only understand that through himself. What one thinks continually, they become; what one cherishes in their heart and mind they make a part of the pulsation of their heart, through their own blood cells, and build in their own physical, that which his spirit and soul must feed upon.” [Edgar Cayce reading 3744-5]

I found Cayce’s comments on death and communicating with the dead to be helpful in understanding spirit and soul. For example, consider this reading:

“When the soul passes from the physical body, the subconscious mind, which never forgets, is then as the sensuous mind of the soul body; the spirit or superconscious mind becomes the subconscious of the soul. While incarnate, the sensuous mind is what we call the conscious mind. But after death or, for that matter, even during sleep (for Cayce says, sleep is a shadow of death), the active mind becomes the soul’s mind, the subconscious.” [Edgar Cayce reading 5756-4]

Question: “Is it possible for this body, Edgar Cayce, in this state to communicate with anyone who has passed into the spirit world?” Cayce: “The spirit of all that have passed from the physical realm remain about the realm until their development carries them onward or are returned [reincarnated] for their development here. When they are in the realm of communication or remain within this sphere, any may be communicated with. There are thousands about us here at present.” [Edgar Cayce reading 3744-1]

That’s an unsettling thought, isn’t it? But the key point here is the phases of development that may lead us back into incarnate life or on beyond this sphere altogether and out of the reach of communication. I remember a reading he gave to Mort Blumenthal in which Mort was regularly communicating with his deceased father through his dreams. On one occasion, Cayce informed Mort that his father had actually moved beyond this world, but Mort could still use the dream image of his father as a symbol for good advice. In another reading for Mort, Cayce explained that the waxen figures Mort had seen in one of his deeper dreams were the remnant casings left behind by entities that had moved beyond this world and the realms around it.

4. Experiencing soul

A few years ago I decided to follow Cayce’s example and try to get into a deep attunement to the Universal Consciousness to better understand the difference between my soul and me. Over a period of a month I came to feel (that’s the best word I can use to describe how the knowing or understanding came to me) what the difference was. It was paradoxically a significant difference, and yet these two aspects of myself were very, very close to one another. One morning as I was awaking from a dream, I experienced firsthand the difference between my outer self and my soul self. I’ve shared this many times, but it seems appropriate to repeat here.

I was dreaming a fascinating dream. As I came closer to waking consciousness, I realized how full my bladder was and decided to go empty it, then come back to bed and process the dream. Of course, when I returned to bed, the dream was gone. I had absolutely no recollection of its content. As I lay there, wondering how this could be possible, the dream content returned! At that very moment I knew I had slipped back into my soul-self, my subconscious, and there was the dream. So subtle was the veil between my inner and outer self that I did not notice when I moved from one to the other. Yet, so opaque was the veil that I could not see back through it to my dreaming soul-mind. That was a great breakthrough for me. From that day on I worked at developing my ability to distinguish when I was shifting from conscious self to subconscious self, from earthly person to soul. But I also wanted to know firsthand the difference between my soul self and my spirit.

5. Experiencing spirit

A Cayce reading explaining the Biblical Book of the Revelation helped me understand the nature of our spirit. In his explanation Cayce noted that twice in the revelation the disciple John saw an angel appear, whom he bowed down to worship. But the angel would have none of this, saying:

“Do not do that. I am one of your brothers in this work. Worship God.” (Revelation 19:10; 22:9)

Cayce explained that the godly-looking being, that angel, was in fact the spirit-self of Peter, who had promised John that he would endeavor to contact him after his demise. If we could see one another in our true spirit-self, we would appear so godly that we would bow down and worship. Yet, our spirit-self would retain enough of its individualness to speak to and guide us, as Peter did to John. Amazing, isn’t it? Of course, it is just this kind of talk that gets the evangelical Christians upset with us. We are saying that some aspect of us is in the image and likeness of God and is a godling within the one Most High God. The subtle but key point here is that we are not saying that we are God. Rather, we are a portion of God, our Creator. Cayce put it this way for Mort:

“Know that not only God is God… but self is a part of that Oneness.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-181]

In my effort to personally experience my spirit self, I used the methods and maps that Cayce gave for going from physical consciousness through dimensions of consciousness to spiritual consciousness. I published an article on this in Venture Inward several years ago, subsequently wrote a book about it (Spiritual Breakthrough), and later wrote an illustrated manual (Passage in Consciousness). By practicing these methods I did experience what I perceived to be superconsciousness, a level of consciousness in proximity to or in oneness with God’s Universal Consciousness. During these sessions, which can be compared to deep meditation, I at times retained a sense of individualness while in the collective, universal condition. But at other times, I lost all sense of individualness and only after attempting to regain a sense of myself did I realize that I had lost individual consciousness, which caused me some concern about this practice. However, Cayce reassuringly explained to the practitioners he guided that they would indeed lose consciousness at times but that if they kept practicing, they would ultimately maintain semi-consciousness or even full consciousness during the transitions into the higher states of consciousness.

For me, it was as if my consciousness turned off a gravitational force that somehow maintained selfness, allowing my mind to slip into an infinite vacuum much like the difference between a contained planetary atmosphere and infinite, airless outer space. I assume this is what the Eastern seekers mean by entering the Void.

Miraculously, I was somehow able to turn the gravitational force of self-consciousness back on and recompose myself in a relatively sane and Earth-relevant condition. But, as so many near-death experience people report, once having touched the dimensions beyond this world, you are never quite the same.

Some sessions contained imagery beautiful, ethereal imagery. But some sessions were simply a matter of feeling a shift from individual, finite perception to universal, infinite awareness. Some sessions were quite energizing, invigorating, and inspiring; while other sessions were as still, quiet, and lifeless as death. Coming out of one of these death-like sessions required long transition times before normal consciousness and physical activity could be regained. It could take me from twenty minutes to two days to get back to my normal self again, depending, I suppose, on many factors, including how much I really wanted or needed to get back to my normal self.

The effects of these practice sessions were profound. Though I still had my daily personal issues to deal with my weaknesses and strengths, and certainly my karma I always felt that I had seen the other side of the mountain. Therefore, nothing could keep me from knowing that all was going to work out well in the end, despite how hard or disappointing the journey might be now. Paradise did exist. I knew it firsthand.

Stuart Dean, the manager of A.R.E.’s Study Group department, had a similar experience. He explained that he simply wanted to attune to the Source, had about ten different ways to describe that, but decided to just ask God to do it for him. And He did. Dean described what happened:

“I immediately found myself in a beautiful place, right next to the Light and Presence of God, where we are all living traces of His movement, yet still Him in essence. We are ourselves, yet also Him. I could feel it! All unique, but still Him. We all were open both to God and to connecting with each other, and there was nothing else except this! This was prior to inner and outer worlds, prior to space and time, prior to existence itself! This is the place where there are no limits, where peace is not yet disturbed, where surrender is natural, and where our life is wholly our relatedness to each other and to God. Then it came to me that these are our spirits, as opposed to our souls, which grow and develop. As spirits, we are eternally young, perfect, innocent, and happy. We are completely light and completely love. I felt like the first generation of the Sons of God, and that we still are, at our core, these spirits around the Throne. Creative energies before creation; with feelings of perfect willingness to cooperate with every other spirit, knowing that we are all units of One Love. I have always felt fairly close to my soul, but I never thought I would actually connect with my spirit. Now that I have, I can hardly get over how childlike and unafraid my spirit is, and how perfectly open it is to other people, recognizing them as Pure Selves, like itself. This is like having a little piece of God with me all the time.” (Stuart Dean, the manager of A.R.E.’s Study Group department)

I think this is the distinctive difference between the spirit and the soul. The soul is on a journey with many twists and turns in the road of life. But the spirit is high above the road, overarching it from beginning to end, and knows the peace that passes understanding, the contentment that is never shaken, the Paradise that is ours to enjoy forever. The great thing about this is that we may experience the Paradise while still on the road! The flesh is heavy and weak, but the spirit is willing and waiting. With a few simple techniques, a longing heart, and trust in God’s promise to meet us if we seek Him/Her, we can take a break from the often lonesome road and enter into the congregation of God.

6. Understanding the mind

From his deep attunement to the Mind of God, that Universal Consciousness, Edgar Cayce stated that mind is the light, the builder, and the bridge to liberation and enlightenment. Here is his perspective on the mind:

“The Spirit moved … and there was Light – Mind. The Light became the light of men.” [Edgar Cayce reading 1947-3]

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. How? The Mind of God moved, and matter, form, came into being. Mind, then, in God the Father, is the builder. How much more, then, would or should Mind be the builder in the experience of those that have put on Christ or God, in Him, in His coming into the Earth?” [Edgar Cayce reading 262-78]

“Each entity finds itself in a three-dimensional phase of existence or experience: the world without, the world within, and the mind that may span or bridge the two.” [Edgar Cayce reading 1100-26]

He explained that life, all life, begins in the spirit, which is the creative force that brings all into existence. Then mind takes this life essence, and builds with it. Finally, the physical is the result:

“Mind the builder, the spirit the creator, the material [is] that created. Great truth! Keep it before you.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-374]

It certainly is a powerful concept to keep before us. All outer things have their origin in the unseen spiritual forces, then find expression in the mind, and ultimately appear out here in the physical. So often we physical beings think that the outer, physical forces are the more powerful. But Cayce frequently encouraged us to accept that:

“… the unseen forces are greater than the seen.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-243]

If we want to change something, it must begin in the spirit and the mind.

“That you think, that you put your Mind to work upon, to live upon, to feed upon, to live with, to abide with, to associate with in the mind, that your soul-body becomes! That is the law. That is the destiny.” [Edgar Cayce reading 262-78]

He expands upon this:

“Mind [is] the builder, the appreciator, the paralleler, the drawer of conclusions, the chooser…” – Edgar Cayce

And, Cayce says, mind is driven by the ideal.

7. The ideal is the mind’s navigator

“As you contemplate, as you meditate, as you look upon the Mind, know the Mind has many windows. And as you look out of your inner self, know where you are looking, [where] you are seeking. What is your ideal? What would you have your mind-body to become?” [Edgar Cayce reading 262-78]

In a deep contemplation session on this teaching, my deeper mind saw the ancient boat of Pharaoh, with its twenty-four oarsmen and the navigator’s hut on the bow. As I sought to know the meaning of this imagery, Cayce’s teaching about the twelve nobles before the Throne of God in the Book of the Revelation came to mind. He said that they represent the twelve paired cranial nerves (24) in our own heads! As these nerves turn their attention away from worldly pursuits and toward heavenly ones, they bring a new heaven and a new Earth, meaning a new mind, a new body. As I reflected on this, I realized that the twenty-four oarsmen on Pharaoh’s boat represented these same nerves and their ability to bring us across the barrier that the Nile River represented, that barrier between what the Egyptians called the land of the living, which is the place of the physically incarnate, and the land of the dead, the realm of the spiritually living. I realized that the navigator was indeed the ideal held as we sought to cross the barrier between this world and the spiritual.

“That upon which it [the mind] feeds it becomes. The most important experience of this or any individual entity is to first know what is the ideal — spiritually. Who and what is your pattern?” [Edgar Cayce reading 357-13]

Cayce frequently said that Christ is the consciousness and Jesus is the pattern. Jesus, for Cayce, is the ideal pattern for humans to use to build their own mind — just as one would use a pattern to make clothes from new fabric. Jesus exemplified a human at-one-with God and making that oneness manifest in his life among others. Cayce often noted that Jesus simply went around doing good according to God’s inner guidance to Him. An ideal way for all of us to live.

We have covered the topic of ideals in detail in a previous issue, but for our purposes here, consider this from Cayce:

“What, then, is an ideal? As concerning your fellow man, He gave, ‘As you would that others do to you, do you even so to them’; take no thought, worry not, be not overanxious about the body. For He knows what you have need of. In the place you are, in the consciousness in which you find yourself, is that which is needed today, now, for your greater, your better, your more wonderful unfoldment. This is that attitude of mind that puts away hates, malice, anxiety, jealousy. And it creates in their stead the fruits of the spirit: love, patience, mercy, longsuffering, kindness, gentleness. Against these there is no law. They break down barriers; they bring peace and harmony; they bring the outlook upon life of not finding fault because someone forgot, someone’s judgment was bad, someone was selfish today. These you can over-look, for so did He.” [Edgar Cayce reading 357-13]

Such a state of attitude, of mind, toward life sets up a powerful map for navigating oneself through the day’s challenges and opportunities. This is an ideal, a navigational star by which to guide oneself each day. With this ideal, the mind approaches every obstacle, every crosscurrent, every undertow, and winds its way through them by holding to the ideal, the map set before us as the best way. This is the power of an ideal held by mind as we live life. Yet, as we grow and learn, we may see the need to adjust our ideal. Cayce encouraged us to write our ideals down, but to do so in pencil. As we gain a greater understanding we see over the next mountain, we gain an increasingly better perspective of the whole truth, the way, and we adjust our ideal accordingly.

8. Thoughts are things

Another fundamental Cayce teaching is:

“Thoughts are things, and as their currents run they become miracles or crimes in the experiences of individual life.” [Edgar Cayce reading 906-3]

For the deeply attuned Cayce, thoughts were as real as actions. In fact, during his readings from the Book of Life, he had to strain to determine whether the person he was reading for had actually done something or had just thought about doing it!

“Thoughts are things; just as the Mind is as concrete as a post or tree … and the Akashic Record, the Book of Life, records them as such.” [Edgar Cayce reading 1581-1]

This is a hard one to hear. The first time I read it, it pained me to think how many times my thoughts had done harm to another and placed a negative influence in the Collective Mind. Watching our thoughts is important.

9. Watch self pass by

Cayce was once asked: How may I learn to know self as I am known? He answered:

“Being able to literally stand aside and watch self pass by! Take the time to occasionally be sufficiently introspective of that, that may happen in self’s relation to others, to see the reactions of others as to that as was done by self; for no man lives to himself, no man dies to himself … Be able, then, to see self as others see you. Stand aside and watch self pass by!” [Edgar Cayce reading 262-9]

This is a powerful learning tool. For Cayce, this was not just good mental advice, it was good physical advice:

“If the body will watch self and the reactions of the various foods or preparations, and draw a comparison from what may be termed a combination of all the various authorities, then the body will find what is best for self. See?” [Edgar Cayce reading 278-2]

Want to know the best diet for yourself? Watch how the various foods and cooking methods affect you. This information will be better than anyone else can give you, because it is revealed in your own body.

10. The subliminal mind

Dreams and meditations are two of Cayce most recommended means for fully engaging the power of our minds. According to Cayce, our subliminal mind will engage with our outer mind to review and discuss all influences:

“In this there is seen both the action of the subconscious and subliminal mind and the physical mind, reasoning together, as it were, of the past, present, and future conditions as relating to the mental attitude of the entity; for, as is seen in the final analysis of the real Mind, the Builder, and as this is presented in the view of the dreams, the meditations of the entity in those days when the inner consciousness of the entity built in the mental forces those conditions as would bring the great joy, peace, and happiness to the entity, these, as we see, took on physical forms in the mental aspirations of the entity.” – Edgar Cayce

Seek within ourselves through dreams, meditations, and deep reflections, and our subliminal mind will convey the insights.

Even God will help, as seen in this Cayce reading:

“Thus the individual entity finds … that the first creation of God, the mind, is the way; or the way through which light may come to the entity from the Father. Even as He brought to remembrance the promise, for memory brought in the light of consciousness is the outpouring of spirit. (Memory is the mind of the soul.) Keep not only the body clean, the mind pure, but in the light of the spiritual forces as aid — keep in at-onement with same.” – Edgar Cayce (Note: The parenthetical statement about memory is Cayce’s.)

11. Subconscious: the police

“The only real guide that may be relied upon is that subconscious force that is as the police to the entity, both in the physical, material, and in the spiritual realms. And, as this [the subconscious] will guide and direct the entity, in that same way and manner as the police in their regular capacity … in the physical life.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-243]

What a fascinating concept. Our subconscious is our conscience, our policing power.

“That is, the police, the subconscious mind, represent the law that guides, directs, and that way upon which the entity, which any entity, may rely for the enforcement of that which will keep in peace, in war, in any condition, that straight way for the best interest of each and every individual.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-243]

However, even as physical police departments can become corrupt, so can our subconscious police become misdirected by powerful suggestions of self-doubt, self-condemnation.

“In the same way and manner as these (the police) may become subject to all of the vicissitudes that are ever present within the conditions in life, so may the subconscious forces, misdirected, misguided, or seeking to belittle the self … through its experience in the Earth’s realm.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-243]

The only way to protect against this misdirection is to hold to a higher ideal that lifts us beyond our self-doubt, self-condemnation. God does not condemn us. God has erected no barrier. Self is the only obstacle to full enlightenment and reunion.

12. Levels of Consciousness

Cayce identifies three levels of consciousness or dimensions of mind: (1) conscious, (2) subconscious, and (3) superconscious.

Conscious mind is the level that we are most familiar with. It is the level within which our personality and three-dimensional self develops and has much of its activity.

The subconscious is that part of our minds that bridges the outer self with the spiritual self. According to Cayce, the subconscious is both in the body, through the autonomic system, and beyond the body, in the soul realms of telepathy, non-physical life, and timelessness. This mind is the mind of the soul, says Cayce. As the mind of our outer self is the conscious mind and that portion containing our personality, so the subconscious mind contains our developing individuality, which Cayce identifies as our true self.

The superconscious level is the portion made in the image of the Creator, as recorded in Genesis. It is that portion of us that is a god or godling, as the ancient Egyptians termed it. Cayce explained that the superconscious is a thing apart from anything earthly, and only makes its presence known or is knowable when the soul-self lifts itself and portions of the conscious mind up into the vast, expansive level that is the superconscious. This is the portion of our being that Cayce referred to when he said that:

“… not only God is God, but self is a part of that oneness.” [Edgar Cayce reading 900-181]

To know the superconscious, Cayce says one must learn to achieve deep levels of meditation. He said that if a dream feels more like a vision than a dream, then it most likely originated from this highest level of consciousness.

At death, the conscious mind is gradually absorbed into the subconscious (the mind of the surviving soul), and the subconscious becomes the operative mind, with the superconscious now in the position the subconscious held while we were incarnate. Later, upon reincarnation, the subconscious projects another portion of itself into the newly developing outer, three-dimensional mind. Intuitions, knowings, and psychic perceptions come from the projected subconscious. Cayce explains that not all of the subconscious is projected; some of it remains in very high levels of perception and activity. But the portion that is in the body maintains the autonomic systems of the body (respiration, circulation, digestion, etc.) and the seven spiritual centers or chakras, which correspond with the seven endocrine glands.

We may feel that we do not know our subconscious soul-self, but we do, and we are comfortable with it. For example, when we are waking with a dream, but notice that our bladder is full and go empty it, only to return to the bed with no recall of the dream, then we have just experienced our two selves. One is the dreaming mind, the subconscious soul-mind, and the other is in charge of the bladder and the central nervous system that moves the body to the bathroom (somatic system). Yet, notice how comfortable we were in the dream state. Notice how we felt that WE were dreaming. That is because this is the true self, and we know it well. Yet, there is a veil that drops when we move outward, a veil that is opaque. The outer self cannot see back through that veil, cannot recall the contents of the dream, because it never had the dream and was only awakened when the physical body needed to move. Now you can see how we can die to this body and this world, and still live, still be active. Sleep, the shadow of death, is that condition in miniature each night.

Mind is our true nature. It is that portion of us that lives forever. What would it be like to live our lives as minds in bodies, rather than bodies with minds? Surprisingly, Cayce considered the mind to be a savior, a redeemer. It is that portion of our being that can mend and restore us. Let’s engage our minds and fully awaken to our spiritual selves.

Categories
Evidence Science

Quantum Theory Supports Near-Death Experiences

Scientific knowledge is always in a state of flux. New scientific discoveries come along and overthrow long-held hypotheses. A good example of this is the attempt by humanity to explain the phenomenon of light. Before the dawn of science, humanity relied on religious experience and philosophy to understand light and the cosmos. The Bible declares the universe began when God said, “Let there be light.” Ancient religious texts throughout history have associated light with divine consciousness – a consciousness from which everything, including all other consciousness, originated. The Bible declares, “God is light.” Eminent physicist, David Bohm, viewed all matter as “condensed” or “frozen light.” Physicist Stephen Hawking once stated ,”When you break subatomic particles down to their most elemental level, you are left with nothing but pure light.” Science discovered light was pervasive at the beginning of the universe. Scientists recently discovered the so-called “God Particle” – the particle which bestows mass upon all other particles. This particle is very crucial to physics because it is our final understanding of the structure of all matter. Albert Einstein‘s great equation E=mc2 (where E is for energy, m for mass and c is the speed of light) describes the awesome power and energy holding all atoms together. Surprisingly, the Bible supports Einstein’s equation when it declares: “God is the invisible power holding all things together.” This transcendent view of consciousness is the basis for major world religions. So it shouldn’t be surprising why top quantum physicists were influenced by religion. Erwin Schrodinger, for example, studied Hinduism; Werner Heisenberg looked into Plato’s theory of the ancient Greeks; Niels Bohr was drawn to the Tao; Wolfgang Pauli to the Kabbalah; and Max Plank to Christianity.

Table of Contents

  1. The holistic merger of science and spirituality
  2. Quantum physics and the NDE
  3. Quantum interconnectivity and the NDE
  4. The holographic universe and the NDE
  5. The holonomic brain and the NDE
  6. Quantum consciousness and the NDE
  7. Nonlocal consciousness and the God spot
  8. Quantum superposition and the NDE
  9. The many-worlds theory and the NDE
  10. The many-minds theory and the NDE
  11. The zero-point field and the NDE
  12. Black hole physics and the NDE
  13. Biocentrism and the NDE
  14. Subjective experiences and the NDE
  15. Scientific articles on NDEs and its relationship to physics

1. The holistic merger of science and spirituality

The scientific discovery of the nature of light is the cornerstone of modern physics and natural law. It is also the cornerstone of near-death studies and modern consciousness research. Over the centuries, science has yielded some very unusual, almost “god-like,” properties of light. The recently discovered “God particle” – the elusive particle which gives mass to every other particle – is one of the greatest discoveries in science. Light was pervasive at the time of the Big Bang. Light is the fastest thing in the universe and travels at 671 million miles per hour. It takes an infinite amount of energy to move an object to the speed of light. At the speed of light, the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously. If a person could travel at the speed of light, they would become immortal. There is also the quantum theory of superposition where matter can exist in more than one dimension at the same time – making anomalous phenomena such as NDEs and OBEs possible. Physicists have experimentally demonstrated how two particles can be separated, and no matter by how far apart they are (even a billion miles apart), a change in one particle instantly creates a simultaneous change in the other as if they were connected. This phenomenon called “quantum entanglement” which Einstein called “spooky actions from a distance” and is suggestive of an underlying reality which physicists have not yet been able to explain although there are many theories. Light also has a “dual personality” existing as both a particle and a wave. The reason we can see anything at all is because our mere observation of things converts light waves into light particles thereby making human consciousness the main factor when it comes to reality.

Carl Jung (1875-1961) the Swiss psychologist and near-death experiencer who founded analytical psychology, is best known for his psychological concepts including archetypes, the collective unconscious, dream analysis, and synchronicity. His interest in philosophy and metaphysics led many to view him as a mystic. Following discussions with both Albert Einstein and Wolfgang Pauli (two founding fathers of quantum physics) Jung believed there were parallels between synchronicity and the relativity of time and its connection to consciousness.

Scientists are discovering how objective reality is more of an illusion than a reality. At deeper levels, everything – atoms, cells, molecules, plants, animals, and people participate in a connected flowing web of information. At the quantum level, the observer becomes a part of the observed and the distinction between observer and object disappears. Space and time are concepts we bring with us to the quantum level but they do not seem to exist there. Time flows both forward and backward symmetrically according to relativity – a concept making time travel a possibility. And because all matter, including our brains and bodies, are mostly composed of empty space because of the structure of atoms held together by atomic energy, a metaphysical case can be made that we are mostly composed of non-physical “spirit.” At the quantum level, location becomes nonlocal and everything can be thought of as being in no particular place at no particular time. What we “see” out there has more to do with our own consciousness and subjective experience than anything “out there”. In light of these findings, we must conclude the notion of objective reality is in error. Physicists are discovering laws of physics are the laws of our own minds.

One of the most compelling theories is called the holographic principle which defines the universe as a single, gigantic hologram where everything is connected to everything else including our minds. The holographic principle is supported by one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century, David Bohm, who began the holomovement in physics. Neurophysiologist Karl Pribram synchronistically arrived at a holographic model of the mind and brain at the same time as David Bohm developed the holomovement in physics. Surprisingly, these holographic models may be the basis for all mystical experiences including the NDE. These holographic models are part of a new emerging paradigm called “holism” which is the opposite of reductionism. It is the paradigm where all natural systems – physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, etc. – and their properties, should be viewed as a whole and not the sum of its parts. A corresponding theory of quantum consciousness was developed by the joint work of theoretical physicist, Sir Roger Penrose, and anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff. Like David Bohm and Karl Pribram before them, Penrose and Hameroff developed their theories synchronistically. Penrose approached the problem of consciousness from the view point of mathematics, while Hameroff approached it from his career in anesthesia which gave him an interest in brain structures. Quantum consciousness is the theory of an underlying consciousness connecting everyone and everything and is based upon quantum fields being interpreted as extending infinitely in space.

Carl Jung referred to this connection between all life as the “collective unconscious” also known as the “collective subconscious.” Jung theorized how synchronicity serves a role similar to dreams, with the purpose of shifting a person’s egocentric conscious thinking to greater wholeness. Jung was transfixed by the idea of life not being a series of random events but rather an expression of a deeper order, which he and Wolfgang Pauli referred to as “one world” – a term referring to the concept of an underlying unified reality of the universe from which everything emerges and returns to. Jung believed this principle of an underlying “world” can express itself through synchronicity and is the basis for quantum mysticism. Quantum theories such as the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and its corresponding many-minds theory supports this new paradigm. These quantum theories also supports the theory of quantum immortality which theoretically makes the immortality of a non-physical “soul” possible. If one views consciousness as a fundamental, non-physical, part of the universe, it becomes possible to conceive of consciousness continuing to exist after the death in a parallel universe. These quantum and holographic paradigms assume anomalous phenomena such as NDEs to certainly be within the realm of possibilities.

2. Quantum physics and the NDE

Just as surprising is how NDE encounters with an otherworldly light correspond with the new paradigm found in the principles of quantum physics. Classical mechanics involving observing, theorizing, and predicting doesn’t work very well when it comes to understanding light, consciousness, and subjective experiences – especially when it concerns the NDE. The old paradigm allowed materialists and skeptics to dismiss NDEs as being caused by brain anomalies – even though the cause of NDEs is not relevant to whether the experience is a real afterlife experience or not. Nevertheless, recent NDE studies have ruled out brain anomalies. Anyway, brain anomalies are side-effects of the near-death experience and not the cause of them. Skeptics must confront their unscientific logical fallacy of claiming NDEs are either hallucinations or are impossible since the brain is the origin of consciousness and a dead brain produces nothing. Even if one assumes NDEs to be merely a chemical reaction in the brain, there is no human experience of any description which cannot simply be reduced to a biological process, but this in no way offsets the meaning these experiences have for those who have them – whether it’s falling in love, or grieving, or having a baby, or coming close to death and having a transcendental experience.

3. Quantum interconnectivity and the NDE

Theoretical quantum physics supports the notion of our universe as being a conscious universe of which all other consciousness is a fractal. Many scientists no longer believe in a randomly generated universe from some sort of primal dust. Nobel prize winning molecular biologist Christian de Duve describes the universe as having a cosmic imperative to develop conscious life. The very structure of molecules composing living creatures dictates the evolution of conscious life. Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle agreed how the fundamental laws of the universe governing the creation of planets, suns and galaxies implies conscious life will be the end result of those universal laws. Evolutionary biologist Rupert Sheldrake goes even further, describing how “morphic forms” – patterns of energy which first exist in the universe – results in life. If these compelling theories are true, then it is possible to apply them to other dimensions of reality made up of other elementary subatomic particles. Anomalous phenomena such as NDEs then becomes less like “fantasy” and more like the perceptions of conscious beings in other realties which can be predicted by modern science. NDEs may simply be clinical applications of the experiments physicists have discovered in the lab.

For example, a European astrophysicist by the name of Metod Saniga used NDE research to develop a mathematical model of time which seems to offer solutions to problems vexing scholars since Einstein. In brief, Dr. Saniga takes seriously the testimony of NDErs when they describe experiences in a realm where “time stops” and where some of them “see the past, present, and future all at once.” Dr. Saniga describes this realm as “the Pure Present.” Dr. Saniga used these anomalous experiences to describe a single mathematical model which can account for both the conventional and the extraordinary ways humans experience time.

4. The holographic universe and the NDE

The father of the new paradigm, Albert Einstein, may have had the old paradigm in mind when he said, “All knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it.” The old paradigm denies a whole range of valid subjective experiences such as NDEs, OBEs, and mystical experiences. Severe cracks in the old paradigm began to appear when, in 1982, a research team led by physicist Alain Aspect performed what may turn out to be one of the most important experiments of the 20th century. They discovered subatomic particles were able to remain in contact with one another regardless of the distance separating them – even if the distance is billions of miles. Aspect’s findings seemed to violate the long-held theory of the impossibility of faster-than-light travel. These findings are suggestive of a deeper level of reality where all things in the universe are infinitely interconnected. Aspect’s findings influenced one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century, David Bohm, to develop a profound mathematical theory where all the apparent separateness in the universe to be an illusion. Bohm’s theory, ultimately known as the Holographic Principle, describes the universe to be a gigantic and splendidly detailed hologram.

An example of a hologram appears in the movie “Star Wars” when an illusionary holographic image of Princess Lea was projected by the robot R2D2. The notion of reality as illusionary goes back to ancient indigenous people who believed existence to be a dream or an illusion. Modern developments in science have led theoretical physicists to view reality in a similar manner – a reality composed of a matrix, grids, virtual reality, simulation and holograms.

A holographic universe explains the supersymmetry found in the universe and suggests how, at the quantum level, everything – atoms, cells, molecules, plants, animals, and people participate in a connected flowing web of information. For example, the electrons in a carbon atom in the human brain are connected to the subatomic particles comprising every other human brains – even with every star in the sky. All of nature can ultimately be viewed as one seamless web. In a holographic universe, time and space become an illusion. The past, present, and future all exist simultaneously suggesting the possibility of science to someday be able to reach into the holographic level of reality and extract scenes from the long-forgotten past – a phenomenon which has already been documented in NDE research from the life review.

Another aspect of a holographic universe is the mathematical proof of every part of a hologram contains all the information possessed by the whole. If we try to take apart something constructed holographically, we will not get the pieces of which it is made, we will only get smaller wholes. This “whole in every part” nature of a holographic universe may be the basis for mystical experiences such as the NDE. It also agrees with the view of eastern mysticism: all consciousness exists as a part of a single Whole and a single Whole within all consciousness. This holographic paradigm supports mathematical principles found in fractal geometry and the metaphysical concept of non-physical fractal souls existing in a fractal universe. A holographic universe could theoretically be viewed as a Matrix bringing into existence everything else in our universe: all matter and energy – from atoms, to solar systems, to galaxies, etc. Such a Matrix could be viewed as a kind of cosmic storehouse of “All That Is” or the metaphysical concept of an “akashic field.” Such a Matrix of “all information” could also be the basis for the NDE life review. David Bohm believed a holographic level of reality may be a “mere stage” beyond which lies “an infinity of further development.” According to physicist Fred Alan Wolf, NDEs can be explained using a holographic model where death is merely a shifting of a person’s consciousness from one dimension of the hologram to another. Craig Hogan, a physicist at Fermilab, generated even more interest in a holographic universe when he discovered proof of a holographic universe in the data of a gravitational wave detector.

Profound evidence supporting the fractal nature of consciousness within a fractal universe can be seen the image on the right. On March 16, 2006, the journal Nature published a report of the discovery of an unprecedented elongated double helix nebula (see the image on the right) near the center of our Milky Way galaxy using observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. According to Mark Morris, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, said, “Nobody has ever seen anything like that before in the cosmic realm. Most nebulae are either spiral galaxies full of stars or formless amorphous conglomerations of dust and gas – space weather. What we see indicates a high degree of order.” Notice how closely the DNA molecule looks like a fractal of this nebula.

Other evidence supporting the fractal nature of consciousness can be seen in the images on the left. Mark Miller, a doctoral student at Brandeis University, researched how particular types of neurons in the brain are connected to one another. By staining thin slices of a mouse’s brain, Miller could then identify the connections visually. The result can be seen in the image on the left labeled “The Brain Cell” (courtesy of Dr. Clifford Pickover) showing three neuron cells on the left (two red and one yellow) and their connections. By comparing The Brain Cell image with The Universe image, we can easily see how these objects have the same structure. This begs the questions, “Do we exist within a gigantic brain?” and “Is the law of physics merely the laws of our own minds?” Learn more about the fractal nature of reality in Dr. Pickover’s outstanding book The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection. His other books, The Math Book and The Medical Book, are equally outstanding. Visit his main website and Twitter site.

The Universe image above was created by an international group of astrophysicists called The Virgo Consortium using a computer simulation to recreate how the universe grew and evolved. The image is a snapshot of the present universe featuring a large cluster of galaxies (bright yellow) surrounded by thousands of stars, galaxies and dark matter. There are several theories of the universe within particle physics called “brane cosmology” where “brane” is a reference to “membrane” in M-Theory. In theoretical physics, a “brane” is a mathematical concept where our four-dimensional universe is restricted to a “brane” inside a higher-dimensional space composed of eleven theoretical dimensions – the three dimensions we can see, plus the dimension of time, plus the seven extra dimensions we can’t see but M-theory theorizes are all around us. Surprisingly, the number of these dimensions agree with the number of “afterlife realms” described by NDEs and the major ancient religions of the world.

The Internet image on the left is a visualization of the Internet showing the various routes through a portion of the Internet. Notice how the structure of a brain cell is the same as the structure of the Internet and the universe. Is this merely a coincidence? Or do these images graphically demonstrate the ancient principle of “as above, so below.” The Internet image was generated by The Opte Project (pronounced op-tee which is Latin word for “optical”) started by Barrett Lyon whose goal was to make an accurate representation of the extent of the Internet using visual graphics. The project was started in October 2003 in an effort to provide a useful network mapping of the Internet for the purposes of helping students learn more about the Internet. This map can also be used to visualize sites of disasters in the world by citing the significant destruction of Internet capabilities after a disaster. It can also be used as a gauge for the growth of the Internet and the areas of growth. But it also shows how the structure of the Internet is developing along the same lines as the structures of the human brain and the universe. The Universe image is featured at the Boston Museum of Science, the Museum of Modern Art and the Louvre.

5. The holonomic brain and the NDE

This “holistic” view of reality (as opposed to reductionist theories) can also be applied to the human brain. The holographic principle was a catalyst towards a theory of quantum consciousness called the “holonomic brain theory” which explains how the brain encodes memories in a holographic manner. This theory originated from neurophysiologist Karl Pribram who synchronistically arrived at a holographic model of the mind at the same time David Bohm was developing a holographic model of the universe. Taken all together, this holographic model is part of a new emerging paradigm called “holism.” Holism is the principle of a whole system being more than just the sum of its parts. The best way to study the behavior of many complex systems is to treat it as a whole.

One of the most amazing things about the human thinking process is how every piece of information seems instantly cross-correlated with every other piece of information within the brain – another feature intrinsic to the hologram. Because every portion of a hologram is infinitely interconnected with every other portion, the human brain is perhaps nature’s supreme example of a cross-correlated, holistic system.

A holistic storage of memory in the brain becomes more understandable in light of Pribram’s holographic model of the brain. Another holistic property of the brain is how it is able to translate the avalanche of frequencies it receives via the senses (light frequencies, sound frequencies, etc.) into the concrete world of our perceptions. Consciousness and perception processes sources of light energy. Encoding and decoding light frequencies is precisely what a hologram does best. Just as a hologram functions as a lens which translates meaningless blurs of frequencies into a coherent image, Pribram theorizes the brain also comprises a lens (e.g., the eye) and uses holographic principles to mathematically convert frequencies received by the senses into the inner world of our perceptions. An impressive body of evidence suggests the brain uses holographic principles to perform its operations. Pribram’s theory, in fact, has gained increasing support among neurophysiologists.

6. Quantum consciousness and the NDE

A corresponding theory of quantum consciousness known as Orchestrated Objective Reduction (Orch-OR) was developed by the joint work of theoretical physicist, was developed by the joint work of theoretical physicist, Sir Roger Penrose, and anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff. Like David Bohm and Karl Pribram before them, Penrose and Hameroff developed their theories synchronistically. Penrose approached the problem of consciousness from the view point of mathematics, while Hameroff approached it from his career in anesthesia which gave him an interest in brain structures.

Mainstream theories assume consciousness emerged from the brain, so they focus particularly on complex computation at synapses allowing communication between neurons. Orch-OR assumes classical physics cannot fully explain consciousness. In the June 1994 issue of Discover Magazine, an article ran called “Quantum Consciousness” about how consciousness and quantum physics are intimately connected. This theory suggests consciousness can be found inside the microtubules of brain cells. At death, the information energy inside these microtubules – what some people refer to as the “soul” – doesn’t disappear; but instead, is retained in the universe. One of the fundamental laws in physics, the first law of thermodynamics, is energy cannot be created nor destroyed – it can only be converted. So if consciousness is indeed a form of energy, then according to the first law of thermodynamics, consciousness cannot be destroyed. Instead, it is converted into something else.

On September 6, 2011, National Geographic published the article, “9/11 and Global Consciousness” about how random number generators at Princeton University’s Global Consciousness Project detected a dramatic spike around the world before the time of the terrorist attack – an indication of global consciousness. The director of the project, Dr. Roger D. Nelson, describes in a YouTube video the details of this event. The media paid relatively little attention to this project until Nelson published his paper, “Coherent Consciousness and Reduced Randomness: Correlations on September 11, 2001.

These findings of a global consciousness are also supported NDE experiencers such as Ned Dougherty. During his NDE, Dougherty received visions of the future and were published six months before the September 11th terrorist attack. Here is what the prophecy stated as published in his book “Fast Lane to Heaven“:

“A major terrorist attack may befall New York City or Washington, DC, severely impacting the way we live in the United States.” (Ned Dougherty)

This prophecy given to Ned Dougherty is just one of the visions of the future he received during his NDE. Other near-death experiencers, such as Dannion Brinkley, were also visions of terrorist attack in New York and Washington. In fact, a great number of NDEs involve visions the future.

The old materialistic paradigm, prevalent mostly in the West, disregards the possibility of out-of-body dimensions; whereas, the new paradigm supports them. For this reason, open-minded scientists have acknowledged the time is now to abandon the old paradigm and focus on the new one. Disregarding the old paradigm became even more reasonable when, in December of 2001, The Lancet (the United Kingdom’s highly respected journal of medicine) published the results of a study by Dr. Pim van Lommel showing 18 percent of clinically dead patients having NDEs. Lommel’s study documented verified events observed by such patients from a perspective removed from their bodies – called “veridical perception” – suggesting the existence of a transcendent consciousness. Such studies beg the question of why the scientific community at large remains mostly silent about these facts. Perhaps this is the reason why.

Science may never be able to answer the question of whether or not consciousness survives bodily death; but current near-death studies, such as The AWARE Study (AWAreness during REsuscitation) is trying to find out. The director of this study, Dr. Sam Parnia M.D., is a critical care physician and director of resuscitation research at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York. Dr. Parnia is recognized as an authority on the scientific study of death, the human mind–brain relationship, and near-death experience. Dr. Parnia is also the author of What Happens When We Die (2006) and Erasing Death: The Science That is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death (2013). In the late 90s, Dr. Parnia and Dr. Peter Fenwick he set up the first study of NDEs in the UK. Since then, they have published several articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals [1] [2] [3] in the field of near-death studies. Since Dr. Parnia has been part of the AWARE study, launched by The Human Consciousness Project, twenty-five participating hospitals across Europe and North America have been examining reports of patients after their clinical death, several of whom are expected to have an out-of-body experience with physical perceptions of their surroundings. A major objective of the AWARE study is to test whether the perceptions reported by these patients can be verified. One method involves a visual target being placed near the ceiling where it can only be seen by someone reading it from above; patients who report OBEs are then asked to describe it. Read about the latest update of this study.

7. Nonlocal consciousness and the God spot

Consciousness and the possibility of its survival after death is perhaps the final frontier of science. Although a large body of knowledge exists about the brain, “The brain has not explained the mind fully” according to renowned brain surgeon Wilder Penfield. Materialistic science has yet to produce a conclusive model of consciousness. This is mainly due to its inability to quantify first-person, subjective experiences. Materialism views only objective, observable experiments verifiable by third parties to be valid. The current scientific method relies only upon repeatable experiments to verify a hypothesis; but its limit is reached when quantifying consciousness. Mainstream materialistic scientists claim consciousness is produced entirely by the brain. This is analogous to claiming television sounds and images are produced entirely by television sets, despite the fact television sounds and images are produced by TV stations transmitting nonlocal radio waves. This analogy describes consciousness based not upon the brain, but the brain based upon consciousness. There are a multitude of anomalous phenomena including NDEs which cannot be explained using the scientific method. These anomalous phenomena provides a theoretical basis for a nonlocal model of consciousness while materialistic scientists are unable to explain how immaterial, conscious, subjective experiences can arises from a material brain.

Medical scientists have discovered areas within the brain collectively known as the “God Spot” which permits communication with cosmic information outside of material bodies. Theoretical physicists call this “quantum nonlocality.” Psychologists call it the “collective unconscious.” Hindus call it “Brahman.” Buddhists call it “Nirvana.” Jews call it “Shekhinah.” Christians call it the “Holy Spirit“; Christ and his disciples are called the “light of the world.” New age adherents call it the “Higher Consciousness.” According to Dr. Melvin Morse, the children he has resuscitated from death simply call it “God.”

8. Quantum superposition and the NDE

Atoms and sub-atomic particles can exist in two or more locations simultaneously as multiple coexisting possibilities known as quantum superposition. The reason why we do not see quantum superpositions on a large scale in everyday life is known as the “measurement problem” which has led to various interpretations of quantum mechanics. Early experiments by quantum pioneer Niels Bohr and others seemed to show how quantum superpositions, when measured by a machine, stayed as multiple possibilities until a conscious human observed the results. Bohr concluded “conscious observation collapses the probability wave function” and unobserved superpositions continue to exist until being observed, at which time they too are collapsed to particular random states. According to Bohr, this “consciousness causes the collapse” of quantum possibilities places consciousness within the realm of science. But materialistic science views consciousness strictly on classical physics rejecting the possibility of quantum nonlocality in consciousness and equates the mind with the brain. Perhaps this is the reason Bohr made his famous statement, “Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.”

However, recent evidence linking biological functions to quantum processes supports the possibility of consciousness having nonlocal quantum functions in the brain. This suggests the nature of conscious experience requires a world view in which consciousness has irreducible components of reality. This interpretation defines superpositions becoming separations in reality with each possibility evolving its own distinct universe – giving a multitude of universes. The difference between this theory and Bohr’s interpretation is how the separations are randomly selected from among the superpositioned possibilities. The superposition of these locations can then viewed as separations in the very fabric of reality. This theory posits such conditions have evolved within the brain – inside brain neurons – where microtubules process quantum superpositions giving us our subjective reality. This quantum process within the brain may be the basis for consciousness transcending and surviving physical death as revealed in NDEs. In such altered states, the quantum process of superpositions may shift consciousness to different dimensions of higher frequencies. When NDEs occur, it is possible the quantum information of which consciousness is made of could shift to an existence outside the brain nonlocally. This supports the idea of the mind not being a material brain.

9. The many-worlds theory and the NDE

An important principle of quantum physics is how human observation cannot be predicted absolutely. Instead, there’s a range of possible observations to chose from in the form of probability waves each having a different probability and reality. With every thought, observation and action we make, we are constantly choosing just one of these possible probabilities of reality. One mainstream explanation for this is the “many-worlds interpretation” where each of these possible observations corresponds to a different universe within a “multiverse.” This theory describes the existence of an infinite number of universes – including our own – which comprises all reality. This theory includes possible universe(s) where death doesn’t exist, for example. The theory includes all possible universes existing at the same time despite what happens in any of them. Many-worlds theorizes our continuous choice of reality from possible probabilities does not collapse the universal wave function of all the other possible probabilities. Many-worlds implies all possible alternative histories and futures are real. Before the many-worlds interpretation, reality had always been viewed as a single unfolding history. Many-worlds, however, views reality as a many-branched tree, wherein every possible quantum outcome is realized. In many-worlds, every possible outcome of every event defines or exists in its own universe.

This many-worlds interpretation supports the NDE phenomenon called “flash-forward” where the experiencer is shown visions of possible futures should the experiencer decide to remain in the light or return to life. This phenomenon has been reported to occur to convince the experiencer to return their life because of an incomplete mission in life. One great example is found in the NDE testimony of Karen Schaeffer:

“I could feel myself becoming lighter each moment. In a fit of fear and panic I began crying. No, I couldn’t be dead. What would happen to my son? … In an embrace of love, they calmed me by showing me that my son, my entire family would be okay after my death. My mother could lean on my grandmother. It would take time, but she would heal. My husband, hurt, sad, and lonely would also heal and eventually find love once again … I was shown my funeral … But wait, my son. I couldn’t leave my son … I was told others would be a mother for me. First grandparents, and then they showed me Jake’s life … I saw a new mom for Jake when he was about 7 or 8 … I couldn’t let go of my human life … Finally, my hysteria was calmed by a higher spirit who seemed to envelop me in love. My guides were instructed to allow me to return.” (Karen Schaeffer)

Dr. Kenneth Ring described two kinds of precognitive visions in the NDE: (1) the personal “flash-forward” and the (2) “prophetic vision.” A third category, defined by NDE researcher Craig Lundahl is the “otherworld personal future revelation” (OPFR). The OPFR resembles the personal flash-forward in how it previews the experiencer’s personal future, but differs from the personal flash-forward in how it is delivered to the experiencer by another personage in the otherworld rather than appearing in the visual imagery of a life review. The OPFR differs from the prophetic vision in having a personal rather than planetary focus. Lundahl cites four historic accounts to illustrate major features of the OPFR: (1) entrance into the otherworld, (2) encounter with (3) others who foretell the experiencer’s future, and (4) later occurrence of the foretold events.

10. The many-minds theory and the NDE

The many-minds interpretation of quantum mechanics is an extension of the many-worlds interpretation by proposing distinctions between worlds should be made at the level of the mind of an individual observer. This is the principle supporting the theory of quantum immortality – an interpretation of quantum mechanics which theoretically makes it possible for a human observer to have a continuous infinity of minds in communicating parallel universes. These observer states may then be assumed to correspond to definite states of awareness (i.e., many minds) as in the classical description of observation. In order to make this theory work, the mind must be a property which can separate from the body as suggested in NDEs and OBEs.

11. The zero-point field and the NDE

In quantum theory, the “zero-point field” is a quantum vacuum state or “void” which generally contains nothing but electromagnetic waves and particles popping into and out of existence. A zero-point field of the universe is supportive of the holographic principle where consciousness and memories are not localized in the brain but are distributed throughout a holographic universe. Brains, acting as receivers, access certain frequencies of quantum information to process. This universal zero-point field describes the world and universe as a dynamic web where everything is connected, where consciousness influences matter and creates reality, and where all things are possible. According to Albert Einstein, “Space and time are modes in which we think, not conditions in which we live.”

Dr. Ervin Laszlo, twice nominated for the Nobel Prize, is an integral theorist and champion of this zero-point field as instrumental when understanding consciousness and the universe. Laszlo is generally recognized as the founder of systems philosophy who emphasizes the importance of establishing a holistic perspective on the world and man through quantum consciousness. Lazlo’s groundbreaking book, “Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything” makes a compelling case for the zero-point field to be the substance of the entire universe. It can theoretically be viewed as the source of all consciousness and matter in the universe. Using the Hindu concept of a “cosmic memory” called the “akashic records,” Laszlo theorizes the zero-point field to be the fundamental energy and information-carrying field of the universe, past and present, including all possible parallel universes. Laszlo describes how such an informational field explains why the universe appears to be fine-tuned as to form conscious life forms. Laszlo’s zero-point akashic field theory solves several problems in quantum physics from nonlocality to quantum entanglement.

Laszlo’s theory agrees with revelations from the Christian mystic Edgar Cayce. When Cayce was asked where he received his psychic information, he answered it was from “the intelligent infinity” as it is “brought into intelligent energy” as a gateway to view the present. Cayce acknowledged this “gateway” to be equivalent to the Hindu concept of the “akashic records” and the Christian concept of the “Book of Life.” Cayce revealed these otherworldly records are stored in a heavenly “Hall of Records” which corresponds to the so-called “Temple of Knowledge” or the “Temple of Wisdom” appearing in many NDE testimonials.

Dr. Laszlo’s theory is supported by important scientific research. For example, biologist Paul Pietsch experimented with salamanders to locate where memories are stored in the brain. He removed their brains, grinded them up, even shuffling their brains around, and then placed them back in their heads. The astonishing result was their memories where unaffected although their brains were demolished. Pietsch’s conclusion was memory was not a local phenomenon, but is linked to something outside their bodies. His findings were published in his book, Shufflebrain: The Quest for the Hologramic Mind.

Neuroanatomist Harold Burr conducted similar experiments with salamanders and discovered a field of light surrounding their unfertilized eggs in the shape of an adult salamander. Burr also noticed fields of light surrounding plant seeds taking the shape of mature plants. Burr’s research supports Pietsch’s findings of physical bodies being connected to a surrounding energy field. Burr’s findings where published in his book, The Fields of Life: Our Links with the Universe. This energy field may account for the salamander parts growing back when they are removed. This energy field may also explain why human amputees sometimes feel “phantom pain” from their amputated body part as described by NDE expert Robert Mays. This energy field also supports the phenomenon of people having undergone organ transplants taking on certain memories from the organ donor. The discovery of an “electromagnetic zero-point field” lends credibility to the possibility of having vast memory storage capabilities outside of the physical body. Phenomena such as these can be best understood if the zero point field can be “tapped” as a storage location for information and energy which can be accessed at any time.

This zero point field has parallels to “the void” and the “Omega Point” described in near-death research and championed by the near-death expert Dr. Kenneth Ring in his book, “Heading Toward Omega: The Search for the Meaning of Near-Death Experiences.” One example is the Omega Point is found in the NDE of Olaf Swenson who experienced a timeless spaceless realm when he nearly died of a botched tonsillectomy at age 14. He states:

“Suddenly I rolled into a ball and smashed into another reality. The forces that brought me through the barrier were terrific. I was on the other side. I realized that the boundary between life and death is a strange creation of our own mind, very real (from the side of the living), and yet insignificant.”

Swenson felt he was floating in a universe with no boundaries.

“I had total comprehension of everything. I stood at the annihilation point, a bright orange light. As I felt my mind transported back to my body, I thought, please let me remember this new theory of relativity.”

The information Swenson gained during his NDE inspired him to develop over 100 patents in molecular chemistry. (Dr. Kenneth Ring)

12. Black hole physics and the NDE

In the 1970s, Stephen Hawking put forward a theory of black holes which appeared to violate a major principle of physics – the law of the conservation of information – because it implied quantum information can permanently disappear within a black hole with the exception of “Hawking radiation.” Hawking’s inconsistent theory led to what was called the “Black Hole Information Paradox.” Physicist Leonard Susskind (pictured on the left) later solved this paradox with his development of M-theory using the holographic principle to show how information entering the edge of a black hole is not lost, but can entirely be contained on the surface of the horizon in a holographic manner. Susskind’s theory solved the paradox because the nature of a hologram’s two-dimensional information structure can be “painted” on the edge of the black hole thereby giving a three-dimensional black hole where quantum information is not lost. Susskind’s solution to the information paradox led to wide-spread acceptance of the holographic principle.

David Bohm was convinced all matter in the universe, including our physical body, is composed of light in a condensed “frozen” state. NDE experiencers have often described their spirit bodies as “bodies of light.” During an NDE the experiencer transitions from the material world which operates at speeds less than the speed of light to a dimension which operates at faster-than-light speed. The NDE experiencer may first observe the earth or the universe from space before this transition. In transitioning from the material to the spiritual dimension, the experiencer may first enter a “NDE tunnel” much in the same way a “body of light” might experience what astrophysicists call a “black hole.” As previously mentioned, Leonard Susskind’s theory of black holes allows for light particles to travel through a black hole without being destroyed. At faster-than-light speed, a “body of light” could enter into a time and spaceless dimension where this body of light can move forward and backward through space-time. This NDE tunnel, like a black hole, appears to be a “portal” to another dimension of reality.

In the late 1980’s, theoretical physicist Kip Thorne described how objects known as wormholes can exist in space which theoretically allows for time travel. Such wormholes could essentially be two connecting black holes whose mouths make up a tear in the fabric of space-time. NDE experiencers have observed such a tunnel described as “two huge tornadoes appear in the form of an immense hourglass” (P.M.H. Atwater, Beyond the Light.) The upper tornado spins clockwise and outward, while the lower tornado spins counter-clockwise and inward which is an excellent description of a wormhole. The Science Channel documentary “Through The Wormhole” has an excellent segment on NDEs. Rev. George Rodonaia‘s also has an excellent description of this NDE/Black Hole:

“I was so happy to be in the light. And I understood what the light meant. I learned that all the physical rules for human life were nothing when compared to this unitive reality. I also came to see that a black hole is only another part of that infinity which is light. I came to see that reality is everywhere. That it is not simply the earthly life but the infinite life. Everything is not only connected together, everything is also one. So I felt a wholeness with the light, a sense that all is right with me and the universe.” (Rev. George Rodonaia)

13. Biocentrism and the NDE

Dr. Robert Lanza is considered one of the leading scientists in the world. He is a medical researcher at the forefront of developments in cloning, organ transplantation, and stem-cell transplantation. His mentors described him as a “genius” and the “Bill Gates of Science.” As a young preteen, Lanza caught the attention of Harvard Medical School researchers when he successfully altered the genetics of chickens as a class project. Eventually, he was discovered and mentored by such scientific giants as psychologist B.F. Skinner, immunologist Jonas Salk, and heart transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard. A Fulbright Scholar, Lanza was part of the team cloning the world’s first human embryo for the purpose of generating stem cells. Dr. Lanza’s work has been crucial to our understanding stem cell biology. A year after receiving his medical degree Lanza published a book on heart transplantation. In 2009, he published a book entitled, “Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe.” Reviews of his work include Nobel laureate E. Donnall Thomas who stated “Any short statement does not do justice to such a scholarly work. The work is a scholarly consideration of science and philosophy bringing biology into the central role in unifying the whole.”

Biocentrism‘s main tenet is biology being the most important science in understanding life and the universe. Other sciences require a more deeper understanding of biology – specifically life and consciousness – to make their theories of everything complete. The areas of biological research playing a central role in understanding life and consciousness must include neuroscience, brain anatomy, NDE and OBE consciousness studies, and even artificial intelligence – all of which will eventually force materialistic scientists to seriously confront the issues biocentricism raises. Robert Lanza also uses his theory of Biocentrism to explain the possibility of consciousness surviving death by such articles as: (1)What Is It Like After You Die?,” (2)Is Death the End? Experiments Suggest You Create Time,” (3)Does Death Exist?: Life Is Forever, Says Theory,” and (4)What Happens When You Die? Evidence Suggests Time Simply Reboots.”

Biocentrism also explains a major scientific paradox of how the laws of physics fits so precisely allowing for conscious life to exist. There are over 200 precise parameters in physics describing the universe which suggests the universe is fine-tuned for an environment which life and consciousness requires. There are four explanations for this paradox: (1) it is an astonishingly improbable coincidence, (2) God created it – an explanation which science cannot quantify even if it is true, (3) the “Anthropic Principle” which assumes a fine-tuned universe exists because this is just the way it is, and (4) Biocentrism’s theory of a biologically aware universe created by biologically aware life. Physician Deepak Chopra agrees with biocentrism being “consistent with the most ancient wisdom traditions of the world which says that consciousness conceives, governs, and becomes a physical world. It is the ground of our Being in which both subjective and objective reality come into existence.”

14. Subjective experiences and the NDE

Physicalism is a theory which posits only physical things exist. Materialism is a related theory which posits only matter and energy exist; and everything is composed of these materials; and all phenomena are the result of physical interactions. In other words, reality is limited to states of energy and matter. Applied to consciousness, it holds that all aspects of subjective experience is explainable purely by objective states within a physical brain. But the problem with materialism, as applied to the consciousness, is it does not distinguish between mind and brain. This explanation problem of materialism suggests there exists a metaphysical, non-physical component to subjective experiences philosophically known as “qualia“.

The person who has arguably done more to support the subjective nature of consciousness is Dr. David Chalmers, the distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Consciousness in Australia, who specializes in the area of philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. Chalmers has authored an amazing number of resources on topics related to consciousness and philosophy. He is the author of a directory of online philosophy papers, and co-directed the development of a wealth of online philosophy articles called PhilPapers. Chalmers is also the blogmaster of Fragments of Consciousness and the author of the book, “The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory.”

Chalmers defined this explanatory problem of materialism as the “hard problem of consciousness.” Chalmers illustrated this problem using the thought experiment of a “brain in a vat” (see the graphic on the left). If a person’s brain is suspended in a vat of life-sustaining liquid and its neurons connected to a supercomputer providing it with electrical impulses identical to those the brain normally receives, the computer could then simulate reality and the person with the “disembodied” brain could continue to have perfectly normal conscious experiences without being related to objects or events in the real world. In this case, because the experience of being in a vat and the experience of being in a skull would be identical, it would impossible to tell from the brain’s perspective of whether it is in a skull or a vat. Yet when the brain is in a skull and running on a beach, most of the brain’s beliefs may be true. But when the brain is in a vat, the brain’s beliefs are completely false. Therefore, because the brain cannot make such a distinction, there cannot be solid ground for the brain to believe anything it believes.

This Brain-in-a-Vat Argument is similar to the “Dream Argument” which suggests the brain’s ability to create simulated realities during REM sleep means there is a statistical likelihood of our own reality being simulated. Lucid dreams also supports this. There is also a long philosophical and scientific history to the underlying thesis of reality being an illusion which is centered on the assumption we do not experience the environment itself but rather a projection of it created by our own minds. A serious academic debate within the field of transhumanism centers around a related argument called the “Simulation Argument” which proposes reality to be a simulation and our current paradigm of reality to be an illusion. Physicists have even developed a scientific experiment to determine if our universe is a computer simulation. Also, as previously mentioned, several interpretations of quantum mechanics, such as the Holographic Principle, suggests our perception of reality to be holographically an illusion.

Near-death studies supports these arguments and goes even further. The life review process is often described by NDE experiencers in terms of viewing “television-like” screen(s) where they review every second of their life instantaneously – including the perceptions of everyone on earth they ever came into contact with throughout their life. Another aspect of NDEs supporting simulism is the out-of-body component to the NDE. Experiencers have described out-of-body conditions where they view their physical body from above in a different “body” – a phenomenon known as autoscopy. Sometimes these perceptions are verified later by third-parties – a phenomenon known as veridical perception. Veridical dreams have also been reported. See [1] [2] [3]. Veridical NDEs are reports of veridical perception during the out-of-body component of the NDE which are later confirmed to be accurate. See [4] [5] [6] [7]. Often, these perceptions are very detailed and specific. Some reports of veridical out-of-body perception involve detailed observation of events too distant for the physical body to perceive. See [8] [9] [10]. Also, while some NDE experiencers are having their out-of-body component, they may become aware of an even “higher” version of themselves (see Dr. Dianne Morrissey’s NDE for a good example). This also explains why some NDE experiencers have reported seeing “higher versions” of living people on earth. See Carl Jung’s NDE for the ultimate example where he sees the “avatar” of his friend during his NDE. While such evidence may not persuade the skeptics, the millions of individuals who have experienced an NDE are absolutely convinced of consciousness surviving bodily death.

Near-death studies contain multiple reports of veridical perception of events which were outside the range of the NDE experiencer’s sensory perception and, therefore, of brain mediation (See Sabom, 1998; Ring, 2006; Sharp, 2003; Ring & Cooper, 2008; and van Lommel, van Wees, Meyers, & Elfferich, 2001). In some cases, such perceptions occur while the NDE experiencer is experiencing the brain inactivity following within 10 seconds of cessation of heartbeat (van Lommel et al, 2001). Over 100 such cases are published on www.iands.org, www.nderf.org, www.oberf.org and www.near-death.com. More discussion of veridical perception is presented in a response to the article entitled, “Does the Arousal System Contribute to Near-Death Experience?: A Response” (PDF). in the Journal of Near-Death Studies. Taken altogether, the evidence strongly suggests the possibility of NDE and OBE perception occurring without the help of the physical senses or the brain. Therefore, for skeptics to refer to NDEs and OBEs in general as “illusions” or “delusions” is jumping the gun. Mainstream materialistic scientists have yet to fully quantify the mind; while near-death researchers provide veridical evidence reported in NDEs and OBEs as examples suggesting the mind can function independent of the physical brain. According to veridical NDE experts Jan Holden and Jeffrey Long:

“Even if future research convincingly demonstrated that electrical stimulation of a particular area of the brain consistently induced typical OBEs, this finding would not explain veridical perception associated with OBEs.” (Jan Holden and Jeffrey Long)

One particular NDE experiencer, a neurosurgeon by the name of Eben Alexander III, MD, FACS, (also www.eternea.org) has a profound understanding of the physiological aspects to the NDE he experienced. Dr. Alexander currently practices with a private neurosurgical group in Lynchburg, Va., and travels extensively, making presentations about revelations from his coma experience elucidating the nature of consciousness. According to Dr. Alexander:

“… the reductive materialist (physicalist) model, on which conventional science is based, is fundamentally flawed. At its core, it intentionally ignores what I believe is the fundament of all existence – the nature of consciousness … From their [Albert Einstein, Neils Bohr and Erwin Schrodinger] experiments one could infer that consciousness has a definite role in creating reality. And those experimental results have only become more bizarre in recent years. (Witness the “quantum eraser experiment” performed in 2000.) I believe that the core of that mystery is that consciousness itself is deeply rooted in quantum processes.

“Even the physicists and scientists who proselytize the materialistic model have been forced to the edge of the precipice. They must now admit to knowing just a little bit about 4% of the material universe they know exists, but must confess to being totally “in the dark” about the other 96 percent. And that doesn’t even begin to address the even grander component that is home to the “consciousness” that I believe to be the basis of it all.

“That we can know things beyond the ken of the “normal” channels is incontrovertible. An excellent resource for any scientist who still seeks proof of that reality is the rigorous 800-page analysis and review of all manner of extended consciousness, “Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century.” This magnum opus from the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia catalogues a wide variety of empirical phenomena that appear difficult or impossible to accommodate within the standard physicalist way of looking at things. Phenomena covered include, in particular, NDEs occurring under conditions such as deep general anesthesia and cardiac arrest that – like my coma – should prevent occurrence of any experience whatsoever, let alone the profound sorts of experiences that frequently do occur. Also noteworthy, the American Institute of Physics sponsored meetings in 2006 and 2011 covering the physical science of such extraordinary channels of knowledge.” (Dr. Eben Alexander III)

Such quantum eraser experiments mentioned by Dr. Alexander reveal an astonishing fact about how consciousness is the supreme factor in quantum physics. These experiments reveal how an experimenter is able to successfully chose and predict the random outcome of an event even after the outcome has already taken place. They prove how the outcome of such experiments – whether a photon of light is a wave or a particle – can be predicted after the fact by the experimenter making a random mental choice of the experiment’s outcome. In other words, the experimenter’s after the fact choice of the outcome actually determines the experiment’s outcome. These astonishing findings dramatically suggest the possibility of our choices made today may determine the outcome of the past.

For these reasons and more, consciousness cannot be explained entirely as objective events experienced the brain. Consciousness must also be explained in terms of the subjective events experienced in the brain. This leads to such questions as, “Why is there a personal, subjective component to experience?” and “Why aren’t we all philosophical zombies?” This “brain in a vat” argument shows how subjective experience cannot be reduced to the functional properties of physical processes in the brain. A complete definition of consciousness must include a component describing subjective, conscious experiences which have not been explained in materialistic terms. This brain in a vat argument is a contemporary version of the argument given in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

The dream argument also applies to the subjective nature of NDEs and OBEs championed by Dr. Vernon Neppe, Director of the Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute. In his paper, “Reality Begins with Consciousness: A Paradigm Shift that Works,” Neppe uses a hypothesis on the neurophysiological implications of parapsychology of:

“… a timeless, spaceless universe in which all things or events exist but in a more dormant sense, where drugs such as LSD may free the cerebral cortex from the ‘modulating effect of the brain stem reticular activating system,’ allowing the cortex to run free.'” (Dr. Vernon Neppe)

Neppe described the possibility where, under such circumstances, an individual exposed to a purely mental universe, independent of matter, containing all mental events, may experience overlap or be entangled with the physical universe. This is supported by similarities existing between elements of NDEs and the quantum field concept of subjectivity. They suggest all events are related and influence each other instantaneously and in reciprocity, and only subjectivity remains..

These arguments of subjectivity support the holistic paradigm of the illusionary “separation” between the subjective observer’s experience and the objective object being observed. Because the old materialistic paradigm is unable to explain conscious experiences, it leads many scientists to simply ignore it altogether as being a problem. This ignorance is demonstrated by pseudoskeptics (such as “old paradigm cops“) of anomalous conscious experiences and by materialistic critics of subjective experiences including NDEs and OBEs. Materialism cannot explain how consciousness arises from “goo” or how atoms in the brain comprises consciousness. The new holistic paradigm views reality to be in the eye and mind of the observer/beholder. Philosopher Thomas Nagel also makes a compelling case against materialism, in principle, developing an objective explanation of consciousness.

15. Scientific articles on NDEs and its relationship to quantum physics

Beck, TE & Colli, J.G. (2003). A Quantum Biomechanical Basis for Near-Death Life Reviews. Journal of Near-Death Studies.

Belaustegui, GD. (2010). Phenomenology of the Transcendence of Space-time Coordinates: Evidence from Death Announcements. Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche.

Brian, RA. (2003). What can Elementary Particles Tell Us About the World in Which We Live? NeuroQuantology..

Brumblay, RJ. (2003). Hyperdimensional Perspectives in Out-of-Body and Near-Death Experiences. Journal of Near-Death Studies.

Facco, E.& Agrillo, C. Near-Death Experiences Between Science and Prejudice. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Fracasso, C., Friedman, H. (2012). Electromagnetic Aftereffects of NDEs: A Preliminary Report on a Series of Studies Currently Under Way. Journal of Transpersonal Research.

Greene, FG. (2003). At the Edge of Eternity’s Shadows: Scaling the Fractal Continuum from Lower into Higher Space. Journal of Near-Death Studies.

Greyson, B. (2011). Cosmological Implications of Near-Death Experiences. Journal of Cosmology.

Hameroff, S., Chopra, D. (2012). The “Quantum Soul”: A Scientific Hypothesis. Exploring Frontiers of the Mind-Brain Relationship.

Jourdan, JP. (2011). Near-Death Experiences and the 5th Dimensional Spatio-Temporal Perspective. Journal of Cosmology.

Laws, E Perry. (2010). Near Death Experiences: A New Algorithmic Approach to Verifying Consciousness Outside the Brain. NeuroQuantology.

Lundahl, CR & Gibson, AS. (2000). Near-Death Studies and Modern Physics. Journal of Near-Death Studies.

Mays, RG & Mays, SB. (2011). A Theory of Mind and Brain that Solves the “Hard Problem” of Consciousness. The Center for Consciousness Studies.

Mukherjee, K. (2012). Three Cases of NDE. Is it Physiology, Physics or Philosophy? Annals of Neurosciences.

Pilotti, j. (2011). Consciousness and Physics: Towards a Scientific Proof that Consciousness is in Space-Time Beyond The Brain. Journal of Transpersonal Research.

Pratt, D. (2007). Consciousness, Causality, and Quantum Physics. NeuroQuantology.

Ratner, J (2012). Radiant Minds: Scientists Explore the Dimensions of Consciousness. NeuroQuantology.

Ray, K. & Roy, MK. (2010). A Theoretical Basis for Surges of Electroencephalogram Activity and Vivid Mental Sensation During Near-Death Experience. International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology.

van Lommel, P. (2006). NDE, Consciousness, and the Brain: A New Concept About the Continuity of Our Consciousness Based on Recent Scientific Research on NDE in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest. World Futures.

van Lommel, P. (2013). Non-Local Consciousness: A Concept Based on Scientific Research on NDEs During Cardiac Arrest. Journal of Consciousness Studies.

Venselaar, M. (2012). The Physics of Near-Death Experiences: A Five-Phase Theory. Noetic Now Journal.

Categories
Articles Science

A Theory Accounting for the Occurrence of All NDEs

A number of theories have been offered to account for the occurrence of near-death experiences (NDEs). The large majority of them suffer from a common problem which is a narrow focus on a single physiological condition. A second problem is that there are good arguments against each of them. For example, a widely quoted theory is that NDEs result from an insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain. However, Sherwin Nuland (1994), a surgeon, pointed out that: “When the brain has been starved of oxygen for longer than the critical two to four minutes, its injury becomes irreversible.” (p. 40)

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Theory That Accounts For the Occurrence of All NDEs
  3. The Spirit Mind “Takes Charge”
  4. Support For the Free Will of the Spirit Theory
  5. Questions For Skeptics
  6. References

1. Introduction

There have been many NDEs during which the brain was starved of oxygen for a much longer time than the critical two to four minutes without the near-death experiencers (NDErs) suffering any noticeable brain damage. Another serious short-coming of that theory is that it fails to account for the many NDEs that have occurred when the brain was not being starved of oxygen.

Concerning theories that NDEs are produced by hallucinogenic drugs, Peter Fenwick, a neuropsychiatrist, was quoted as saying:

“The difficulty with those theories is that when you create these wonderful states by taking drugs, you’re conscious. In the near-death experience, you are unconscious. One of the things we know about brain function in unconsciousness is that you cannot create images and if you do, you cannot remember them … But, yet, after one of these experiences (an NDE), you come out with clear, lucid memories … This is a real puzzle for science. I have not yet seen any good scientific explanation which can explain that fact.” (6)

One could advance the theory that whenever any one of the many physiological conditions that have been associated with NDEs is present, the body sends signals to the brain that are perceived in the brain as the body being in great danger, and an NDE occurs. While such a theory includes a wide variety of conditions that are often associated with NDEs, it does not account for NDEs that occur under circumstances in which the body is obviously not in any danger. P.M.H. Atwater (1994), in quoting the results of a survey by the International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS), reported that 37 percent of 229 responders to an IANDS questionnaire had their NDEs:

“… in a setting unrelated to anything that could be construed as life threatening.” (p. 90)

The current afterlife theory is based mainly on the belief that NDEs are real. Those who accept that theory are much less concerned about the causes of NDEs than they are about what happens during the NDE and how the lives of many NDErs are transformed in the years following their NDE. A major problem with the afterlife theory is difficulty in providing hard evidence to support it. Critics of the afterlife theory say supporters provide little evidence to support it other than thousands of anecdotal reports of NDEs, which are often referred to as “pseudoscientific” evidence.

Probably the most unusual of all people who have ever had one or more NDEs was Edgar Cayce (1877-1945), a celebrated psychic during most of his adulthood, and who was said to have had about 14,000 NDEs through self-hypnosis. (3) A plausible theory should account for Cayce’s multitude of NDEs, which evidently occurred on demand. A few people have reported having multiple spontaneous NDEs, or perhaps more appropriately, out-of-body experiences (OBEs), seemingly without an underlying cause, and they believed at an early age that everybody had such experiences. Jerry Gross reported that he had multiple spontaneous NDEs as a child and learned to confide only in his grandmother, who also had multiple spontaneous NDEs. (8) Charles Tart was asked by an unidentified young woman to be studied in his sleep lab in order to learn more about her frequent spontaneous NDEs. (13) I’m not aware of a current theory that includes an explanation of the causes of multiple NDEs that occur while the experiencer is undergoing self-hypnosis and frequent spontaneous NDEs, or OBEs, that seemingly occur without a cause.

2. The Theory That Accounts For the Occurrence of All NDEs

A plausible NDE theory should not only include an explanation of what leads to an NDE in some people, it should also include an explanation of why the majority of people do not have an NDE when they are in the same circumstances as those who do have an NDE. An example of such a theory, which is an afterlife theory, is what I call the “Free Will of The Spirit” theory. It is based on the ideas that each of us has a spirit form (soul) with a spirit mind that had free will prior to entering our physical body, it has free will during its stay in our physical body, and it has free will after it departs the body during an NDE, and at some point near death.

In a critique of Susan Blackmore’s “dying brain” theory, i.e., NDEs result from dying brain cells, the unidentified critic stated that:

“What requires an explanation is HOW the spirit interfaces with the body and WHAT causes an interruption or severance of this connection.” (14)

With respect to what causes a severance of the connection between the physical body and the spirit, the free will of the spirit theory leads to the obvious conclusion that the severance is caused by the spirit – it has free will and it can depart the physical body whenever it deems it advisable to do so, for a wide variety of reason, or simply because it chooses to do so.

It is important to note that spirits’ free will does not enable them to choose early in the NDE the type of NDE (heavenly, hellish, combination hellish/heavenly, or neither heavenly nor hellish) that they will have. Certainly, if spirits had such a choice, very few, or none, would choose to have a hellish NDE. Neither can spirits choose such things as whether or not they will go through a tunnel toward a bright light, meet certain beings, have a life review, hear beautiful music, see sparkling cities, and visit beautiful meadows during the NDE. How, or by whom, aspects of the NDE such as these are determined is another missing piece of the NDE puzzle.

With respect to how the spirit interfaces with the body, the physical brain and the spirit mind evidently interface in such a way that whatever the physical brain experiences, learns, and feels, the spirit mind also does those things because once the spirit separates from the physical body, NDErs report that the spirit mind functions much as the physical brain functioned prior to the NDE. The reports of NDErs indicate the spirit mind possesses the same knowledge the physical brain possesses (but it sometimes gains much new knowledge during the NDE), the same personality – including a sense of humor, feelings of anger, fear, and love, an inclination to argue, and a desire for adventure. Tom Sawyer stated that during his NDE, he had all of his five senses, which were heightened, and all of his personality characteristics. (12) Other NDErs have concurred on these points.

3. The Spirit Mind “Takes Charge”

Most people believe that spirits never go OBE while the body is living and then depart exactly at the right moment prior to actual death. While the majority of spirits evidently do that, the reports of thousands of NDErs indicate that isn’t the case with many others. As indicated above, some spirits choose to go OBE only once prior to actual death–resulting in only one NDE. A few others choose to go OBE a few times before death – resulting in an equal number of NDEs. Very few choose to depart dozens, hundreds, or thousands of times prior to actual death — as did Jerry Gross‘, the unidentified student’s, and Edgar Cayce’s, all of whom were mentioned above.

A spirit may choose to depart the body for various reasons and under a wide variety of circumstances, such as, when the physical brain is experiencing extreme fear, when the spirit mind senses the physical body is in a life-threatening situation from an impending accident, or immediately after the accident and severe injuries have occurred to the physical body, when drugs such as ketamine and LSD are being used, whenever the brain is being starved of oxygen under any circumstance (such as loss of blood, smoke inhalation, and near drowning), when the brain is undergoing electrical stimulation, preceding seizures, during moments of sexual and religious ecstasy, when it is being coaxed in some way (as it might be during self-hypnosis and meditation), or for other reasons.

As their OBE is getting underway, many NDErs reported they were very surprised upon realizing they were OBE and the body below them was their own. Some also reported they were very surprised when they realized the severe pain they had been feeling prior to the NDE was gone and had been replaced with a feeling of well-being, peace, and contentment. Some reported they couldn’t understand why they were unable to communicate with medical personnel who were working frantically on their body to save their life. Many reported they were also surprised when they realized their concept of time no longer existed. Surprises such as these are good indications the spirit mind had assumed control, or had superseded the consciousness of the physical brain, prior to or at the beginning of the NDE.

Probably the most convincing evidence that the spirit mind has superseded the physical brain can be found in the unexpected movements of NDErs during the early part of their NDE. Many NDErs have reported movements such as these:

“Suddenly, and without warning, I found myself floating above the light fixture near the ceiling.”

“I found myself out in the waiting room and my parents were there.”

“Then I found myself outside the building.”

“I felt myself moving toward a small white light in the distance and I somehow knew that was my destination.”

If we don’t accept realistic reports of unexpected movements such as these as evidence there is a spirit mind, and it has superseded the conscious mind (but the conscious mind is a willing partner), then we find ourselves in the position of needing to explain how the large majority of NDErs are in almost total agreement in relating such movements and thoughts during the early stages of their NDE.

Although the physical brain and the spirit mind interface in such a way that they almost work as one, the memory of the physical brain occasionally comes to the forefront. For example, many NDErs reported that upon first seeing a light being they identified as God, the light emanating from Him was brighter than one can imagine, or describe, and they had concern that such a bright light would severely damage their eyes. They either soon realized that, in their spirit form, they didn’t have physical eyes, or they quickly found that the extremely bright light did not cause “eye” problems. Thoughts such as these are indications that the memory of the physical brain is present during the NDE.

Soon after reaching heaven, many NDErs think:

“I’m home! I know I’ve been here before. This is where I belong, and I never want to leave!”

The spirit mind is surely the only type of consciousness that can make such claims.

4. Support For the Free Will of the Spirit Theory

Edgar Cayce, through one or more of his thousands of NDEs, learned that:

“Souls were given the power of free will so that they would not remain simply a part of the individuality of God.” (3)

Some NDErs offered support for Cayce’s belief in telling about their sojourn to heaven. While there they learned that spirits they met in heaven had free will, and one way the spirits exercised their free will was by choosing the parents of the child whose embryo, or fetus, they would enter. (Williams, p. 112) The NDErs also found out they had free will while engaging in instantaneous telepathic communication with beings they met in heaven. Some reported they were given the choice of staying in heaven or returning to their physical body. David Oakford was strongly encouraged to return to his body but he wanted to stay in heaven. He was finally allowed to choose, and he said it:

“… was really the hardest decision I would ever have to make … Without the free will to return, I would not be here doing what I am doing.” (11)

There are many other NDE reports that indicate the spirits of NDErs had free will and they exercised it. Most of those reports involved heavenly NDEs. Cecil, age 10, said:

“I had the feeling that if I went with them (three beings) there would be no coming back ….”

He exercised his free will and chose not to accompany them. Another being then asked him:

“Why do you hesitate?”

Cecil replied, “Well, there’s some things I want to know first.” (4)

David Goines, at age 13, reported:

“… [the light being’s] hands stretched out to me and a voice said, ‘Will you come unto me?’ I said, ‘No, I still have many things I must do.'” (7)

Jeanie Dicus reported:

“He (Jesus) kind of grinned, I guess I was amusing him, and he answered, ‘You want to be reincarnated?’ ‘Hey, give me a break,’ I yelled (only I made no sound). ‘I just died. Don’t I get a chance to rest?’ [Jesus said], ‘Take it easy, hold on, it’s alright. You can change your mind at any time.'” (5)

Rene Turner was told that her time to die had come, but she was so concerned about who would care for her seven-month-old child that she resisted the beings who gave her that news. She expressed her strong desire to return to her body, but the beings persisted. She reported that:

“Finally, my hysteria (caused by her dilemma) was calmed by a higher spirit who seemed to envelop me in love. My guides were instructed to allow me to return.” (Williams, p. 43)

Reports such as these reflect the spirits of NDErs did have free will in that they had many opportunities to make choices. They not only felt free in making choices, when they met with resistance, they sometimes argued to get their way, and sometimes they got it.

Melvin Morse (1990) stated that he:

“… reexamined a generation of scientific research into higher brain function and … found that the soul (spirit) hypothesis explains many “unexplained” events. It explains out-of-body experiences, the sensation of leaving the body and accurately describing details outside of the body’s field of view. Events … (that) are virtually impossible to explain if we do not believe in a consciousness separate from our bodies that could be called a soul.” (p. 258)

For those who accept “pseudoscientific” evidence, such as the above, the free will of the spirit theory enables us to answer questions such as these:

(1) Why do some people have one or more NDEs and others have none?

(2) Why do some things “trigger” an NDE in some people and not in others?

(3) Why do a few people have many spontaneous NDEs?

(4) Why do NDEs occur under such a wide variety of conditions?

(5) How can NDErs claim to have traveled to nearby and far away places and telepathically communicated with other beings in some of those places?

(6) How can NDErs gain information during an NDE (that later turns out to be true) that they could not have gained any other way?

(7) Why do some NDErs, upon reaching heaven, feel they have been there before and have come back home?

5. Questions For Skeptics

It is easy for those who reject thousands of anecdotal reports, such as those above, to assert that NDEs aren’t real and then feel their belief relieves them of the responsibility of having to consider pertinent questions related to NDEs. However, the descriptions of NDEs, by both adults and children, are now so numerous, so consistent in so many respects, and so compelling that they can no longer be casually dismissed. Those who embrace a physiological, or other non-afterlife theory, need to explain how their favorite theory helps to answer questions such as these:

(1) How can NDErs form much more vivid images during an NDE when the physical brain is believed to be unconscious than are formed during consciousness?

(2) During the early stages of an NDE, most NDErs see their physical body in the exact position and circumstances in which it actually is during their NDE: lying in a bed, under water, in a wrecked vehicle, being loaded into and transported in an ambulance, undergoing surgery, etc.? What is the explanation for that?

(3) Why do many NDErs report that, upon reaching what they believe to be heaven, they have the feeling they have been there before and have come back home?

(4) One would expect many adults and children NDErs to be either in great awe or fear upon meeting beings that they are certain are God and Jesus (or other major religious figures). Very few adults and children have reported that to be the case. Instead of being in awe or fear, the large majority of NDErs reported they felt overwhelming love in the presence of those beings. Furthermore, an examination of their NDE reports showed their telepathic communications with those awesome beings to be very normal or ordinary. How can these things be explained?

(5) Why is it that a large majority of NDEs, including those of atheists and other non-believers, involve common afterlife beings, places, and events, such as God, Jesus, deceased relatives, heaven, hell, and reincarnation?

(6) Decades after having an NDE, many NDErs remember it as clearly as if it “happened yesterday.” How can that be explained?

Those who believe the growing mountain of “pseudoscientific” evidence is not convincing, and believe NDEs are not real, are also asked to provide an answer to this question:

What kind of consciousness has a motive and the ability to create in the spirit mind extremely vivid but phony images that are so realistic that the human brain later perceives the phony images to be so real that major life-changes are made by NDErs because of those images?

Surely, neither the physical brain nor the spirit mind has anything to gain from creating such realistic, very vivid and long-lasting phony images. Neither does the devil – if there is such a being.

6. References

(1) Atwater, P.M.H. (1994), Beyond the Light, New York, Avon

(2) Benedict, Mellen-Thomas

(3) Cayce, Edgar

(4) Cecil’s NDE

(5) Dicus, Jeanie

(6) Fenwick, Peter

(7) Goines, David

(8) Gross, Jerry

(9) Morse, Melvin (1990). Closer to the Light, Boston, G.K. Hall.

(10) Nuland, Sherwin (1994) How We Die, New York, Knopf.

(11) Oakford, David

(12) Sawyer, Tom

(13) Tart, Charles

(14) Unidentified Critic

(15) Williams, Kevin (2002), Nothing Better Than Death, Xlibris.

Categories
Articles Science

Soulmates and Consciousness: New Understanding from NDE Research

The following article is by Jody A. Long, J.D., from the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF), webmaster of : www.nderf.org; www.adcrf.org; www.oberf.org; P.O. Box 23367, Tacoma, WA, 98093, (253) 568-7777 home; (253) 831-3008 cell; or (253) 572-1330 work, email: blueheron78@yahoo.com

Reprint requests may be sent to Jody A. Long, J.D. at the above address.

ABSTRACT:  This is part one of an ongoing study on Soulmates. Those who experience a near death experience frequently talk about the importance of relationships. This study an introductory article on Soulmates that gives background information on consciousness. Discussed is the big picture of how consciousness studies, NDEs, and relationships are related to the Soulmate study.

KEYWORDS:  near-death experience; soulmates; soul mates; consciousness, relatives, soul, religious figures, soul cluster group

For purposes of this study, Soulmates is defined as “a loving relationship involving positive co-creation and manifesting spiritual growth” (Long, 2002). The focal points of this definition are that love is manifested through the relationship and that each person is able to grow in consciousness as a consequence of the relationship. The definition used for determining a near-death experience (NDE) is:

“A lucid experience associated with perceived consciousness apart from the body occurring at the time of actual or threatened imminent death.”

All people who have an NDE, experience a separation of consciousness from their body, whether they are aware of the actual separation or not. Experiencers also experience a fairly consistent set of circumstances and emotions that they report after resuscitation. Since the study of NDE is so connected to consciousness, a foundational understanding of consciousness is vital to the study of NDE. The study of consciousness is integrally connected to the way we process information on Earth. Moreover, information processing is the golden key to unlocking some of the mysteries as to what our purpose on Earth may be, what our true human nature is and what we might be capable of achieving with these new understandings.

As a bit of background, at the IANDS annual conference in 2000, Dr. Jeff Long and I gave a presentation on our research findings regarding Soulmates. I recently started to write up the presentation. One of the main questions I wanted to find out is if, by including the new data, the results of the study would still hold. It turned out that we had over two times the data as when we started. Every question analyzed had such a wealth of information contained in each sub-category that it was impossible to just write-up the Soulmate presentation. Therefore, I have chosen to write a series of papers based upon the new data and then write a culmination paper on soulmate understandings incorporating the findings of the separate papers.

For the study, NDEs were collected via a web form questionnaire on the website www.nderf.org and the resulting answers were analyzed (Long, 2002). From these patterns certain principles were derived that led to the unifying theory of spirit defined as the development of the soul in the process of returning to our natural spiritual state.

Soulmates is a necessary component of soul development. Experiencers identified the most important principals as:

  1. That everything and everyone is connected;
  2. Recognition that the other side is home;
  3. Unconditional love;
  4. Support from both sides of the veil for our soul development;
  5. Lessons on reconnection; and
  6. That Soulmates is one aspect of individuals feeling connected to a supreme creative being.

These principals were derived from the most commonly reported elements concerning relationships. Questions reviewed were those asking about encounters with beings (familiar and unfamiliar), comments about relationships, emotions, feelings, interconnectedness, and universal purpose or order.

Therefore, the series of papers will analyze answers to the questions of what beings were seen on the other side, what experiencers perceive as our purpose on Earth, what changes they made after returning to Earth, and explore the emotional content of the NDEs. Concepts derived from these papers will, in turn, be used to sum up the NDE perspective on Soulmates as reflected against the backdrop of consciousness studies because how we process information is key to integrating NDEs with our Earthly reality.

Consciousness

One aspect of consciousness is how we process information. Most people think that our memories are stored in the brain, much like a hard drive in a computer with 100% available recall. Many cannot understand that if a person claims to have consciousness apart from the body and the brain is flat lined, how can a person recall their NDE? This is a good point, but easily understood when one understands the nature of memories, the way we process information, and the way we recall that information.

There have been several recent studies on consciousness. One current theory is that consciousness is where the memories are stored, not in the brain as previously thought (Berkovich, 2001). Berkovich is in the forefront of scientists who is exploring the theory that as an information storage unit, the brain cannot possibly hold all the information that is required to function in our society. Consequently, scientist are considering the alternative that the brain is more of an accessing unit much like a radio receiver. The actual storage place is somewhere else, and NDEs would strongly suggest that place is the consciousness that survives the body.

Recent findings have shown that we typically store information as a core memory attached to an emotion and then file it in a concept area in the brain (Ornstein, 1991). When we retrieve our memories, we are programmed to “fill in the gaps.” Therefore brain memories rarely are 100% totally accurate. Even Freud noticed that memories are stored by attaching emotion to them (p. 89). Emotions organize how we store and access information in the brain.

Recalled memory will be reconstructed using the brain preference for order and stability. The memory will have a certain order to it and will generally be re-told in a way that subjectively makes sense to the individual. Analogous to a computer hard drive, we retrieve the memory chunk of information, by accessing a particular emotional “directory” in a certain part of the brain. Then the memory chunk is connected to one or several information chunks and the brain makes up the most logical story to connect the separate information chunks. This means that the information is integrated into an existing subjective framework of reality.

That being said, the experiencers typically report life reviews that contain every thought, deed, and how we made others feel. Vivid NDE examples, also noted in the landmark NDE Dutch study by van Lommel, contain memories during physical death of events categorized as veridical perception (van Lommel, 2001, p. 2043). Experiencers were accurately reporting events they witnessed while in the out of body state during the time they coded. They couldn’t possibly know what the doctors, staff, or relatives were saying in the same or another room. Nonetheless, experiencers were privy to actual conversations and events. Dr. Ken Ring‘s study showed that blind people can see during their NDE (Ring, 1999). There are reports from child experiencers that can recall NDEs like they happened yesterday. The youngest NDE reported to NDERF was at age 18 months old. The woman stated, “These experiences have stayed crystal clear and as fresh as when they occurred.”

These reported events cannot be explained by conventional “brain” theories, such as brain chemistry, anoxia, random firings of a dying brain, false memories, or wishful thinking. The model that best fits the data would suggest that the stream of consciousness that leaves the body does act like a computer hard drive with 100% memory recall. This is unlike the way the brain processes routine information. When consciousness returns to the body, it takes years to have those intense memories of the NDE to funnel through to the brain and to be integrated with the current Earthly reality framework (van Lommel, p. 2043).

My hypothesis is that NDE is such an intense experience that it may create access to consciousness memories and therefore imprints in the brain in a manner similar to what is known as a “flashbulb moment” (Ornstein, p. 88). Flashbulb moments are times when the brain takes a picture of a particular instance; usually occurring in times of heightened sensory and emotional input or life-threatening moments. These memories are then ingrained in the brain and the person can recall the event like it happened yesterday. This type of memory is much different than the way we store and recall routine information. I would suggest that duality exists between brain and consciousness (mind) because both serve two very different but necessarily integrated functions.

The NDE is almost always reported in terms of a highly emotional experience. Perhaps via the mechanism of emotion, consciousness (and the memories contained therein) is more readily accessed by the brain. Most of the time, the NDE recollection is so far outside of mainstream reality experience, that it may well take years for a person to process the NDE memory and integrate it into their existing reality framework in a manner that it can be communicated to self and others.

With consciousness and the way we process information as the backdrop, we can look at the way experiencers process information, reintegrate it into their lives, and springboard the process into a spiritually transformative event. As mentioned above, experiencers typically will report their experience in terms of emotion and relationships. For many, this integration will change their focus from an Earthly, material world to that of spiritual and relationships. Therefore, this information processing may well be a major component of consciousness that survives the body. Further study is necessary to understand what types of information are retained and what part of the experience motivates the experiencers to change which behaviors on Earth. Some of the new soulmate research will yield clues that answer some of these questions.

References

Berkovich, S. (2001) www.nderf.org

Berkovich, S (2001) www.arxiv.org

Berkovich, S (2001) www.seas.gwu.edu

Berkovich, S (2001) www.seas.gwu.edu

Long, J. and Long, J. (2002) www.nderf.org, www.adcrf.org

Ornstein, R. (1991) The Evolution of Consciousness, The Origins of the Way We Think, Simon & Schuster, New York NY.

Ring, K. and Cooper S. (1999) Mindsight: Near-Death and Out–of-Body Experiences In the Blind, William James Center for Consciousness Studies.

van Lommel, P. et al. (2001) Near-Death Experience In Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A Prospective Study in the Netherlands, The Lancet, 358, 2039-2042.

Categories
Articles Science

Lessons From Near-Death Experiences About the Fourth Dimension

The following article is by Jody A. Long, J.D., from the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, webmaster of : www.nderf.org; www.adcrf.org; www.oberf.org; P.O. Box 23367, Tacoma, WA, 98093, (253) 568-7777 home; (253) 831-3008 cell; or (253) 572-1330 work email: blueheron78@yahoo.com

Reprint requests may be sent to Jody A. Long, J.D. at the above address.

ABSTRACT:  From near-death experience research, a model that fits the data is that consciousness (synonymous to soul) is a fourth dimensional construct. This concept necessarily affects the way we view time and how we integrate consciousness with our three dimensional, Earth reality. Our science, religion, and society are all affected by how we perceive our Earth reality. This paper attempts to explain the fourth dimension by analogizing to one, two, and three dimensional concepts to what experiencers are telling us about their fourth dimensional experiences.

KEYWORDS: fourth dimension, third dimension, time, soul, consciousness

As I sit here on this windy, rainy day, I have much to think about after reading the book by A.T. Schofield, M.D. published in 1888. Dr. Schofield takes the analogies of one, two and three-dimensional worlds and then theorizes on how to conceive of a fourth dimension. Interestingly, he also draws analogies on how entities living in the first, second and third dimensions would religiously view entities from other dimensions. Ultimately, the discussion is a scientific glimpse of the fourth dimension through the eyes of spirit. One can easily see that NDEs, typically described as profoundly spiritual experiences, are glimpses of the fourth dimension and perhaps not so far removed from science as we normally think.

What this paper will do is to delve into the fourth dimension by using examples from one, two, and three-dimensional worlds. Altered states of consciousness are explored as a possible avenue to understanding the different dimensions. Social and religious implications of the different scenarios are discussed. Lastly, the fourth dimension is reviewed in terms of what we observe from studying the near death experience (NDE) and the out of body experience (OBE). Of necessity, a new paradigm is presented that uses observations from the fourth-dimensional medium.

Physical Constructs From One, Two, and Three Dimensional Worlds

One of the most helpful things to understanding the fourth dimension is to visualize other dimensions using common, every day items. It then makes it easier to understand the analogy between the third dimensional world and the fourth by using this method. For me, common items consisted of office supplies. An unfolded paper clip could represent a line. A pencil is also a good representation of a line. A piece of paper can be used to represent a two-dimensional realm. The paper I used was initially part of a sticky-note pad. The third dimension can be easily represented by using the sticky-note pad because the two dimensional paper then has the added dimension of thickness. A ream of paper or a tablet of paper can serve the same function. Now, visualize yourself as a being inside of the paper clip. You are free to move back and forth, but can only see others in the line as a point. Next, take the piece of paper and imagine yourself as being on that paper. You can see four lines. But, then if you view the piece of paper as a three-dimensional being, the piece of paper has two sides (a top and a bottom) that are not necessarily realized when viewing the note from a two-dimensional perspective.

Another way to look at this would be to imagine that the two-dimensional being resided on the surface (plane) of the water in a tub or a sink; Then imagine moving a ball closer to the surface of the water. At first, there would be intersection in the form of a point when the ball first touched the water. The point would then turn into a circle, necessarily changing size as the ball started to submerge beneath the surface of the water.

A two-dimensional being might be able to conceive of a third-dimension. However, most in the two-dimensional world would find it futile unless they had a construct such as mathematics. Although the mathematical proof would be there, it is still hard to conceive of other dimensions since there is no visual imagery or verbal language constructs within our three dimensional world to fit other, higher dimensional models.

The two-dimensional being would never be able to comprehend the existence of the sphere by viewing it from the two-dimensional realm because all that could be perceived is a curved line. However, if the being abstracted the thought process and understood mathematics, he might be able to extrapolate that the line forms a circle. He could walk around the circle to understand its existence, but would never be able to view the whole circle at once.

There are two ways that the two dimensional being could understand the total reality of the piece of paper in relation to other dimensions of existence. One, is to be taken out of the two-dimensional world so that the piece of paper could be viewed from all angles, including the top and the bottom of the paper; Or two, the sphere could try to communicate with the two-dimensional being and explain the greater reality. For the two-dimensional being to advance in personal understanding, communication would necessarily imply that the two-dimensional being is open enough to hear of other worlds, or had the ability to alter his state of consciousness to experience the three-dimensional world on a first-hand basis.

In my mind, I conceptualize another dimension in terms of the sticky-note pad. I can take the piece of paper on the top and wrap it around until it touches the bottom of the last piece of paper. I then have a circular slice of what could be a smaller portion of a cone or a sphere shape. I can imagine an infinite number of two dimensional pieces of paper within this circular slice as they radiate from the center where the glue attaches the individual papers together.

To convert the image to a three dimensional concept, I make the square pieces of paper into a round shape so it resembles a sphere. Then I can imagine an infinite number of three dimensional slices of paper aligned in an infinite number of angles or different axis radiating from the center. Each alignment of the paper would represent a different three dimensional reality. In order to convert the third dimensional representation into a fourth dimensional reality, you would string an infinite number of three dimensional spheres together. Conventional wisdom tells us that the fourth dimension represents time. So, instead of the spherical three dimensional balls being strung together in a spatial alignment using depth as the common denominator; we would use the backdrop of time to string the three dimensional balls together.

Social and Communication Constructs of Other Dimensions

There are many aspects to social constructs that arise from physically understanding other dimensions. What we observe in our third dimensional world is that ideology changed as the religious dogma incorporated new ideas of our relationship to the universe around us. At certain times in our three-dimensional history, it was a novel concept that Earth was not the center of the universe, that the Earth was not flat, or that other larger galaxies and smaller worlds consisting of microbes and viruses exist. The church, after realizing that it couldn’t suppress the new discoveries, backed down on denouncing and persecuting the heretic individuals. The world of established science had also ridiculed people such great thinkers as Galileo, Kelvin, Pasteur, Lister, Jenner, Edison and Einstein (Schmicker, 2000). They said that it was ludicrous to say that creatures, forces, or particles existed that we couldn’t see, or to think that whole cities could be lit with electricity. Our world has been revolutionized by the inventions promulgated by these discoveries. We can now conceive of possible other worlds in other galaxies, fight diseases, and travel the seven seas without falling off the edge of the world.

Consider what would happen if a person shaped as a three-dimensional sphere wanted to become visible to the two-dimensional being. The three-dimensional sphere would necessarily be invisible until she placed herself into the exact plane where the two-dimensional can see her. It goes without saying that, from our third-dimensional viewpoint, we would consider it closed-minded for the two-dimensional being to say that we or the sphere-being do not exist because we are invisible to the two dimensional being.

Another concept is that the two-dimensional being would not have scientific proof unless one from the three-dimension directly intersects with the two-dimensional field of vision. This would be an arbitrary process unless the third-dimensional being was willing to cooperate in being studied or the two-dimensional being had reliable mastery over transcending the limitations of the two-dimensional world. Partial mastery would score as misses because the two-dimensional being could end up on other pieces of paper in the sticky-note stack; analogous to entering other two-dimensional realities. It would be far easier for a two- dimensional being to talk about other two-dimensional planes and relate that experience to other two-dimensional beings, than it would be to enter and explain the third-dimensional reality to two-dimensional beings.

It is interesting that Dr. Schofield speculated that communication would come from hearing those in the fourth dimension, not with physical ears, but from within the self. Communication as described in NDEs is virtually always telepathic. Another wonderful insight was that the reaction of the person residing in the paperclip or pencil line would not believe the communication with the person on the paper plane.

Another important concept is that ideological beliefs of the line person may have pre-existing religious boundaries incompatible with two-dimensional reality. For instance, there might be a pre-existing belief system that reinforces the status quo by saying it is a sin or it is work of the devil to believe anything other than what is taught by the line church. Another example could be a religious-based misconception of the nature of the extra dimension. Here, a religious belief of the line person may be that God created the line person in his own image. Thereby, all types of moral constraints are attached to God based on the fact that he intended us to be like him. However, as three-dimensional beings, we can see that the line person’s conception of God leaves out the third dimension of depth of what God’s image would look like to us. The moral constraints are independent social constructs to maintain order in the line person’s world, yet attributed to God as the ultimate authority.

Just as the preceding section discusses aspects of dimensions between one, two, and three dimensional worlds, we can analogize our three dimensional world to that of the fourth (or greater) dimensions. Mathematically, we can prove many other dimensions and computer extrapolate what they might look like.

Because of the lack of understanding of the two-dimensional world, the line person would consider the experience mystical and attribute it to religious figures. From there, the line person could:

  1. Shut the experience out and pretend it didn’t happen,
  2. Privately continue to learn from the plane person, or
  3. Try to communicate the experience to other line persons and risk ridicule and/or suppression of the newly discovered reality.

In summary, the way we physically construct our world has profound implications as to how we order society. We perceive our reality based upon time-honored ideologies that may not be valid when viewed from a different paradigm. What science and religion may demand as proof of the fourth dimension may be skewed according to social norms and social constructs. Only by thinking outside of the three-dimensional box will be able to advance in consciousness and to understand our true nature. That being said, let us turn our attention to what a fourth dimension might look like to three dimensional beings, like ourselves.

The Fourth Dimension

We become aware of the fourth (or greater) dimensions, first by what we can mathematically abstract: secondly, by anomalies we observe on Earth when those of other dimensions choose to intersect with our particular three dimensional Earth reality: and thirdly by the observation and personal experiences of others who talk of the particular ability of the soul to transcend across the various dimensions.

The mathematical extrapolations have been done and there are many good articles on the internet and some even have pictures. We know that the fourth dimension exists in theory, just as the two dimensional person could theorize about the lines of a circle.

There is a wide range of human experiences that fit into the category of spiritually transformative events. Many attribute this to genuine religious experiences, while many others discount the experiences as work of the devil or a medically sick mind. Given the way that a one or two dimensional being would react to us, it is understandable how three dimensional beings would view an interaction from a fourth (or greater) dimensional being. Furthermore, we would hear a fourth dimensional being in our mind and would not necessarily be aware of their existence unless that being chose to interact with us. Interaction could only occur by intersecting our world in our waking or a state of altered consciousness. That does not mean that failure to intersect with us means the fourth dimensional being does not exist. It also may be part of the reason why many clinical studies fail. There could be a component co-creation that is necessary with the other side’s cooperation in order for us to be able to understand the fourth dimension.

We have observed that humans can enter into altered states of consciousness. The near death experience (NDE) is defined as, the reported memory of all impressions during the special state of consciousness, including specific elements such as out-of-body experience, pleasant feelings, and seeing a tunnel, a light, deceased relatives, or a life review (Pim von Lommel, 2001). Although there is no clear consensus of what constitutes an NDE, there are specific patterns of events that a person lucidly recalls that happened at or near the time of clinical death (Long, 2002).

Moreover, out of body experiences (OBE) are common during NDE. An OBE can be defined as an experience in which a person seems to perceive the world from a location outside of the physical body (French, 2001, p. 2010). A person is in an altered state of consciousness during an OBE. The one thing that is missing from this definition, distinguishing OBEs from psychotic events, is the lucid nature of the OBE (Long, 2002). The out of body experience is a fairly common phenomenon since it occurs in 14-34% of the population depending on which study you look at. It would be ludicrous to say that up to one third of the human population are mental illness deviants: When in fact, this is such a common phenomena.

NDEs and OBEs are analogous to the changing states of consciousness that enabled the two dimensional being to transcend and be able to comprehend our three dimensional world. By changing the state of consciousness, the being was free to see the top or the bottom of the piece of paper instead of just lines in a plane.

What is commonly reported during NDEs and OBEs is that sense perception is vivid and enhanced, colors vibrant, sounds are alive, time is very different on the other side, there is unconditional love, communication is all-knowing, and we are all interconnected with one another (Long, 2002). One cannot help but wonder if the common scientific explanation of time as the fourth dimension variable is a misconception. In reality, the fourth dimension may be spatially related to us through our interconnections with each other. Near-death experiencers and some out-of-body experiencers are able to glimpse a world held together by unconditional love as a matrix for communication, a way of life, and total knowledge. Time may only represent a small part of the connection matrix of the fourth dimension.

Crucial to our understanding of the fourth dimension would be an open mind to the communication we receive from the fourth dimension. As with our communication with a two dimensional being, it would be necessary for us to distinguish between social constraints and concepts as presented from the fourth dimension. This means that religious dogma, and scientific obstinacy would need to be temporarily suspended for true understanding to occur.

When the mind is in altered states of consciousness, near-death experiencers and out-of-body experiencers report that there is a part of the body that is capable of experiencing other dimensions. The most extreme observation is the NDE where consciousness survives death. The fact that consciousness can transcend our earthly reality, may mean that consciousness itself is not confined to this particular three dimensional reality which is unlike our physical bodies. If consciousness were actually part of a fourth (or greater) dimension, then our social structure would change based upon the truths of the greater reality.

For instance, our individual consciousness could be described analogous to the fourth dimensional sphere that intersects our earthly plane. That fourth dimensional sphere only has one slice of itself that intersects with the water surface at one instance in time. Therefore, it would not be unreasonable to assume that a fourth dimensional soul would also have the same capability analogous to the sphere.

From our earthly viewpoint, we could see the phenomena in terms similar to reincarnation. However, from the fourth dimensional view, it would look like one soul intersecting with several slices of paper at the same time. What the soul personifies as one being intersecting at one point in time in our physical reality, can essentially be several beings intersecting at different points in time. Yet, all the beings are part of the same soul experience. What one being necessarily does at any point along that time line, would affect the other beings backwards and forwards in time because they are all interconnected as part of the same stream of consciousness.

The observed pattern of NDEs is that unconditional love is the universal language in the third and fourth (or greater) dimensions. This also appears to be part of the universal matrix that ties dimensions together. Many people who read the NDE accounts to conceptualize what the fourth dimension holds are likely to be frustrated. It would be hard to understand what the fourth dimension is about until we truly understand the common language of unconditional love. This requires tolerance, patience, and teaching others in their own language so they truly understand unconditional love. We can then develop the interconnected language to understand what is next in our evolution as one of God’s cherished creations. We also need the wisdom and humility to understand that no single person will have the answer, be it a scientist or a spiritualist.

References

— French, C. (2001) Commentary, The Lancet, 358, 2010.

— Long, J. and Long, J. (2002) www.nderf.org, www.oberf.org, www.adcrf.org

— Schmicker, M. (2000) Best Evidence, Writers Club Press, Lincoln NE, pp.32-34.

— van Lommel, P. et al. (2001) Near Death Experience In Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A Prospective Study in the Netherlands, The Lancet, 358, 2039-2042.