Blog # 50: Near Death Experiences

I am a card carrying member of the “International Association for Near Death Studies.” I have never had a “near death” experience myself, but I love reading about and hearing about those who have had one. The “near death” experience gives us the best clue yet as to what happens when we die.

For those who have never heard of this phenomenon, the “near death” experience has to do with people who have been ruled clinically dead (although briefly) and then come back to life again, as we know it. The experiences that such individuals have had “on the other side” give us a hint, a preview of what we are all to expect during the initial stages, at least, of the Great Transition.

Much of the preliminary research in this regard has been done by Raymond Moody and Elizabeth Kubler Ross. They were the individuals who have collated the first hand accounts of those who have “died” and have come back to life as we know it.

Those reporting “near death” experiences give remarkably similar reports , all independent of hearing what others have said. They all, all, report that their experiences have been positive. They “return” feeling more peaceful, loving, joyful and less materialistic. The experiences are so positive that many say that they were actually reluctant to return to the consciousness of everyday life.

What has not been reported as much, however, is that their overall experience has been a bittersweet one. The biggest difficulty has been trying to adjust upon “re-entry.” The reasons for their difficulties teach us a lot about the true nature of reality.

In her book about her own “near death” experience, Phyllis Atwater lists some of the problematical aspects of returning to consensus reality. Among the difficulties listed are: 1) the inability to recognize and comprehend boundaries, rules and limits; 2) expanded/enhanced intuitive, psychic, non-spatial and non-linear experiences; and 3) a different feeling of one’s physical self, a kind of knowing that we live in and “wear” our bodies.

What struck me immediately upon reading the list is that these are some of the same experiences and difficulties that spiritual journeyors who are still “in the body” report when they try to come back to the “real world” after having had a mystical experience. Those who have never had such an experience are extremely uncomfortable, even threatened, if one tries to communicate what life feels like on a deeper level. Why? Because such experiences threaten the very underpinnings of consensus reality.

It is uncomfortable and even painful at times to live in a three dimensional world when one has experienced a fourth dimension. Yet who among us who has passed through the “eye of the needle” would ever want to go back to the boring, consensus model of reality? Very few. Yet, as great as our awakening may have been, there is a price to be paid. In some ways, we are fated to live the rest of our lives as strangers in a strange land.

Next posting: We Are Not Solid

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4 responses to “Blog # 50: Near Death Experiences

  1. Jane Selleck Bush

    Have always been interested in this phenomenon – and do know people to whom this has happened. It has not ever happened to me. Am also interested in what I call near life experiences. Example: when my grandson was born, his 6 yr old sister was very very taken by him. They had long “eye locks” where they would just look at each other. She used to get in the crib with him. She knew when her mother was pregnant that the new baby would be a boy and she also knew his name. We were all very interested in how this happened. Her explanation floored us: we picked each other, she said, and we talked all the time when we were in the clouds. Near life experience. I know many of these first hand.

    Thank you for your postings. I look forward to them all.


  2. Matter is neither created nor destroyed. As one of my students put it, it is a “zero sum” game. No person ever dies (only forms die), but people do not come from nothing either! In some way, our psyches have been developing for 15 billion years. If we “come from God”, does this not mean that our souls have existed in some way before?


  3. NDEs and “the other side of the veil” have been my interest since a very small child. My own experience resulted in a deep seated “knowing” that all is well, all is love, and we are much more than our ego self. Here is a link to Carl Jung’s NDE:


  4. The few people I know that experienced NDEs have varying degrees of the three attributes listed but #2 seems the most pronounced in the people I know. And Yes we are incarnate drops of the “ocean” of God suffering from the illusion that we are separate. We have always been in some form but the ego that is Tom Cormier in this manifestation is temporary. When we transition we return to the “ocean” where nothing is lost.


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