fter listening to cardiologist Dr. Pim van Hommel describe his years of recording near death experience (NDE) accounts from patients in the last post, another doctor – Eben Alexander – actually had a near death experience and he, too, wrote a book about it. The book is “Proof of Heaven”, of which some will be familiar as Eben Alexander published it a few years ago and made all the bestseller lists. Came across a fascinating twenty-minute interview of Dr. Eben Alexander and thought it might be interesting and corroborating to contrast the doctor who worked with patients who’d had NDEs and the doctor who had one himself.
Dr. Pim van Hommel and Dr. Eben Alexander share the view that consciousness is not brain-based – Pim van Pimmel coming to that conclusion based on discussions with NDE patients, Eben Alexander from personal experience. So, this is almost (well, it seems obvious) scientific confirmation, in that their agreement involved both utilizing university-degreed knowledge of medicine in an intense, in-depth study of the phenomena. For Eben Alexander, trying to explain what he experienced as brain-based was the first challenge he faced after returning to his body, then recovering his memory, educational knowledge, ability to speak and remember family, friends and colleagues.
It’s interesting that his brain was the organ in his body which became severely attacked by a type of virus and almost killed him, so, because his brain was totally incapacitated, the NDE – the consciousness traveling – couldn’t have been the work of the brain. He admits to being changed initially, but describes how the real, powerful changes occurred when his medical knowledge returned. At that point he became convinced that consciousness, spirit, or soul represents a “grander entity at the basis of all that exists”, and that “our souls are eternal spiritual being(s)”.
He sees himself and the millions of men and women who’ve shared the near death experience as examples of people who’ve come to completely new understandings that eliminate boundaries between science and spirit; who’ve transcended the falsehood of dogmas in both science and religion. Dr. Alexander stresses that he strongly recommends meditation as a “smoother, more powerful” option over drugs for attaining spiritually transcendent experiences, and that drugs should only be used, if at all, in a “sacred setting”. He sees meditation, which he practices for 2-3 hours a day, as a “cleaner” way to go, and warns that drugs “create distortion” while presenting “very challenging landscapes”.
Along with Dr. Pim van Hommel, Dr. Eben Alexander sees the NDE phenomenon as not a new civilization development but very ancient. The doctors also share views on the high significance of oneness and interconnectedness of all people, all life and all things – all of creation:
“All those religious systems, once you get beyond the dogma and any of the separatist details at the surface, (that) they all converge on the same very powerful unifying principles of manifesting the love of the Creator for the creation. And as I said earlier, the ascendance of our souls and soul groups has everything to do with leaving that notion of self – and importance of self versus no-self – way behind in the dust, and ascending toward that oneness and the love and the compassion and forgiveness. And that’s where this world is headed now”.
“The change that’s coming on this world will be unprecedented and it is all about love and harmony. It’s all about how we are now at a point where the status-quo and continuing with the way we’ve done business, especially in the 20th and early 21st century, is not really compatible with an ongoing, sustainable world. This is coming for a reason… the change is coming for a reason. It involves radical, fundamental change of all our beliefs as stewards of this planet. Just as I always make a big point that we have free will choices, going with love or out of fear, I don’t believe it’s our current destiny to follow a course of planetary suicide. But in fact that’s exactly where this world is headed if we do not change the status-quo”.
“That’s why this conscious awakening is happening now – for a reason. But it does involve very significant change and each one of us becoming personally involved”.
or most men and women who have delved into the topic of near death experiences (NDE), the personal accounts shared by those who have come forward are fascinating, extraordinary, and hope-inspiring. For some the descriptions of those men, women, and children of all ages, backgrounds, and regions of the Earth who’ve had NDEs represents the next profound stage of spiritual evolution for humanity, while some remain skeptical about there being any real significance in the phenomenon.
Whether the reader agrees or not, this writer honestly feels that the NDE is indeed in reality divine revelation. One of the major aspects of the NDE which has led to this perception is the life review described by many NDErs, particularly as that process relates to the teachings of nearly every major religious tradition. The life review of those who go to “the other side” includes both tremendous sadness and regret when seeing those events in the previous lifetime where other human beings became harmed because of actions by the person, and great joy when actions result in the helping of others and/or increase in the world’s stock of love.
Those feelings of sadness and joy dependent on one’s own actions toward others could be seen as the “heaven/hell” of the Bible, the “gardens with rivers flowing underneath/fire” of the Quran, and similar descriptions from spiritual writings of what each human being will experience because of their actions at the time of inevitable death. The life review process in NDEs confirms the concept that the Creator “sees” into each human being’s heart, even though people have the mistaken idea that their “secret” intentions, plans, and schemes are known only to themselves – and their co-conspirators if those “secret” plans become carried out by a group.
If the life review thus far described isn’t astonishing enough, many who’ve experienced them go further by describing the “chain” effect of one’s personal actions on other people. Simple examples include when one harms another or others then the harmed person(s) – because of the original action(s) taken by the responsible person – goes on to act in ways which harm even more people. Similarly good thoughts, words and deeds become multiplied over a type of consequential “chain reaction”.
The person having their life review experiences every result of their action(s), such as in childhood if they physically hurt another child then both the parents’ feelings of concern over the incident become known and felt by the person having the life review – because their action(s) led to the concerns. Compared to the NDE and a seemingly infinite amount of spiritual “storage” of every human being’s living information, today’s technological marvels – most worthy of comparison the great strides in information storage of computers and other communication devices – are minor marvels.
Perhaps the word closest to describing the NDE is awe: “to strike with fear or reverence”. The old cliché goes “there is nothing for certain in life but death and taxes”, although one could debate about taxes for those people and corporations with high-priced lawyers and accountants. It’s interesting to think about what those wealthy individuals, managers of corporations, lawyers, accountants, and willfully ignorant politicians will feel upon experiencing their own life reviews, particularly “secret” actions in the arena of tax evasion. And what lessons could become learned from the NDE phenomenon by those whose “secret” plans include military actions which are devised and carried out absent any understanding of the inescapable spiritual accounting of the great harm done to fellow human beings they are responsible for?
Throughout history, the greatest wisdom conveyed by spiritual messengers has been both of good news and as warning. The NDE phenomenon shares that dual good news/warning aspect of historic spiritual wisdom, but is evolutionary in that many thousands of personal accounts are now available on websites for the entire human race to study, while more specific, profound, and revelatory than most previous wisdom which has become available until now.
In a very real sense, those men, women, and children around the Earth who have shared their experiences are in the same category as history’s greatest spiritual messengers, and humanity’s growing interest and acceptance of those new, evolutionary spiritual messages suggests even more good news/warning truth will become known and understood on a global scale. To predict the length of time until this extremely profound phenomenon comes into the awareness of all human beings and truly transforms life on Earth is as impossible as providing a scientific explanation of the awe-inspiring NDE itself and what they profoundly reveal.
Huston Smith was born in 1919 and is known as one of the world’s leading religious studies scholars. His book “The World’s Religions” has sold over 2 million copies, and he was Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1958 to 1973. In the following interview he shares his thoughts on the NDE, where he admits to not going through the experience, but at the same time pointing out his feeling that NDEs are very important spiritual events and highly significant.
Given that Huston Smith was 94 years old in this interview, viewers can forgive him for delivering his thoughts in a somewhat less rapid manner.
To read hundreds of fascinating personal accounts of NDEs from men, women, and children around the Earth, one can find them on the following websites:
nderf.org – Near Death Experience Research Foundation
iands.org – International Association for Near Death Studies
During the holiday season one can suppose that there is a large increase in the number of men and women who spend time thinking about things spiritual. Days become spent anticipating reunions with family and friends from near and far, thinking about ways to make sure the highest quality time becomes shared, and hoping there are no old arguments or fistfights! Those who have fought battles with alcohol addiction are supremely aware of the past’s lessons learned around New Year’s Eve, where millions voluntarily poison themselves, waking up on New Year’s Day with alcohol sickness – wondering how one could have been so foolish the night before.
I was reminded of a comedian whose name escapes me talking about drinking. The person first thinks about whether to go to the club, decides to go and leave at 9:00, at 9 talks himself into staying for “just two more”, after two more decides that “only two more drinks and I’ll leave”, eventually proposes marriage to the waitress, and later firmly decides that he and his friends are going to drive to Mexico – now. He eventually leaves the club because of closing time, falls asleep in his car and wakes up at 7 AM to a blinding sun – hearing the morning’s noise and chatter, and seeing joggers running in their morning exercise routine.
At this point, feeling like a complete idiot – sicker than a dog – he swears to God that he will never do this again and that, “this time I really mean it!”
So, I hope you take it easy on the booze this holiday season, and do arrange for a “designated driver” or taxi to prevent accidents and harming others if you decide to step out and poison yourself with alcohol. Drinking and driving is strongly discouraged – I thank God that I never harmed anyone but myself in those “glory days” – and I will reiterate that you please take good care with holidays’ alcohol consumption. Good care for yourself, your family, and friends.
Unconditional love and spiritual transformation on Earth… Is there any possibility that the writer may have bitten off a little more than he can chew? Concepts like spiritual transformation and unconditional love are some of the biggest ideas that one can attempt to expound upon, yet let’s see where this may lead.
For me research is mostly a non-academic affair. When reading articles or viewing interviews or documentaries, etc., I will at times note names of men and women mentioned, and then go try to find out more of what those persons have to say and share. Sometimes one will come across certain speeches, interviews, or other forms of communication that seem to make good sense, which leads to more names and researching, and so on.
That was the case here when I found this video of a doctor of anesthetics, Dr. Rajiv Parti, describing his experience associated with having a near death experience (NDE). After reading a personal NDE account in an article by a fellow blogger, I took note of a man’s name from the article, found some productions he had done, and eventually noted and came across Dr. Parti’s address. After listening to him speak, I decided that his story was worthy of sharing with others, as there is definitely a truly profound message that can be gathered from his account.
Before moving on, the thought occurred to me that every single human being’s life story has inherently a truly profound message. Dr. Parti has been forthcoming in his assertion that a person does not necessarily have to have an NDE to become spiritually transformed. Other NDE researchers agree, saying that just reading or hearing about another’s NDE has almost the same effects as actually having one. This can be seen as true with the increasing worldwide interest in the phenomenon, where many books about NDEs are coming to rank high on the world’s bestseller lists.
Is there a connection between rising popularity of all things NDE and a real, worldwide spiritual transformation?
This is a question which many university trained men and women are seriously considering. I have come to believe that there is a very strong connection. Many have come across the idea of the coming together of science and spirituality, seen most visibly in current research in the field of physics, with terms such as non-locality, holographic universe, etc. being discussed and pushing the edge of the scientific envelope, so to speak. While physicists are pushing the envelope in their field of scientific discipline, medical doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists are pushing the envelope is their disciplines as well.
In the area of near death studies.
If I were a betting man, I would guess that almost every man and woman reading these words has come to have at least an out-of-body experience (OBE). OBEs are those “lucid dreams” which are in contrast to normal dreams in that the man or woman perceives them as “more real” – where the time spent in them are felt as special or important in some way. Perhaps some reading this may have done what is termed “astral travel”, (consciously or unconsciously) where a person leaves their physical body and travels around the neighborhood, somewhat like flying as a bird would, afterward feeling a sense of astonishment because “that was really something”.
At present it could be safely said that proof of the real aspect of NDEs is available. One can find veteran doctors testifying that person(s) who have had NDEs have seen and heard things while outside their bodies that should have been impossible while in the physical location and condition they were in. Seeing items that are on top of 10 foot cabinets or rooftops, accurate descriptions of clothing or activities of family members hundreds of miles away while in the hospital, etc. are examples. Hearing and describing conversations on another floor of the hospital or in the homes of family members a few or hundreds of miles away at the time are other examples.
The “Golden Rule” is the way it is
One of the common features of the NDE is where men, women, and children have what is termed a “life review“, where the person views every action and thought of their just lived life – no matter how seemingly insignificant or mundane or inconsequential. What is especially interesting about descriptions of life reviews is the phenomena of feeling in a dual manner. This is where the person feels from both their own perspective, and from the perspective(s) of person(s) who they are interacting with during the moments throughout their life.
For example, let us say during your life review you see and relive an event in the fourth grade where you got into an argument with one of your friends. Perhaps you and your friend eventually got into a physical confrontation and you bloodied your friend’s nose. Now, when you have your life review, you will feel the pain that the friend experienced after you stuck him. Your friend’s pain will be felt by you not only as his physical pain, but any pain including psychological – from his disappointment, and sadness that his good friend would do such a thing.
To add to the profound nature of this dual life review aspect, you will now experience what your friend’s parents are feeling when he goes home and they talk about the incident. When your friend’s parents contact your parents you will feel what your parents felt during that time. When your dad goes to work and discusses the incident with his co-worker, you will know what your dad’s co-worker was thinking. In other words, you will feel the consequences of your first action of punching your friend’s nose all the way down the line of result – until there are no more consequences.
Common to life review descriptions are feelings of sadness for actions which harmed another, while in contrast good feelings come when actions which helped others, or expressions of compassion or love become shared, pointing to the absolute truth of “doing unto others what you would have done to you”.
Now, does this phenomena of near death experiences have the potential to transform life on Earth in truly powerful, “rubber meets the road” ways? An increasing number of men and women around the world believe the answer is yes. I believe as well that the overwhelmingly amazing, profound nature of the near death experience offers humanity the highest spiritual wisdom – now widely available in personal NDE accounts for study by any man, woman, or child on Earth with access to a computer.
Two of the largest collections of NDE accounts on the internet are:
Near Death Experience Research Foundation, found here> – nderf.org
International Association for Near Death Studies, found here> – iands.org
Dr. Rajiv Parti shares his journey in the following video, speaking before men and women at a conference connected with the International Association for Near Death Studies. The video is found at Dr. Parti’s YouTube channel – Rajiv Parti. Thank you, Dr. Parti.
His transformation after having a near death experience is illustrative of transformations in a high percentage of people who have gone to the “other side” and returned to tell about it. Dr. Parti’s description of conversion from a materialistic to spiritual life, from dealing with stress through alcohol to dealing with it through meditative practice, from an emptiness and depression to fullness and bliss, from addiction to recovery, the details of his life journey – all combine to offer a most interesting series of ideas worthy of consideration.
Is an increasingly powerful spiritual transformation occurring now on Earth?
“In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens and giving it to the other.”
– Voltaire (1694-1778)
There is now less than a week till Christmas, when people everywhere celebrate the birth of Jesus. Jesus said, “what you do to the least among you, you do to me”. Obviously, it is impossible to determine what percentage of men and women around the Earth will give serious thought to the message of Christ this holiday season. The children will be tearing into presents (those whose parents can afford to buy them), and for sure some adults will remember the message from Jesus.
One wonders what the soul named Jesus would think of the present day grade deserved by humanity for the level of adherence to the spirit of his “least among you” message. Here at the end of 2013 approaching the new year of 2014, what could be said about the efficacy of mankind’s efforts to eliminate poverty around the world? Living in America, there have been some movements to make known that people at the low-end of the income scale are having a hard time of it.
Recently workers at fast-food restaurants and Walmart have conducted demonstrations to let it be known that the money they are earning is not enough to make ends meet. Many full-time workers have to apply for government aid in the form of food stamps and Medicaid to ensure enough food will be purchased to keep going, and financial aid if they or their family get struck with health emergencies. Many call this situation, where full-time workers need government aid to live, “subsidizing corporations”.
If reports are correct, America ranks last among developed nations in the poverty experienced by its citizens. The man named Jesus wasn’t speaking to “developed” or “developing” nations in particular. He was speaking to all people – at the time there was no such thing as “developed” or “developing” – his was a universal message. It could safely be said that Christ was speaking of the qualities of compassion, generosity, and sharing with one’s fellow-men and women.
His message was one of acknowledgement and knowing that the “other” is yourself in the spiritual context, and that this awareness is the truth – the highest truth of the universe. There is some debate as to whether Jesus alluded to the idea of reincarnation, however the reincarnation concept includes the idea of karma. This idea leads one to ask if it is possible that actions taken by humans with regard to the “least among you” will become the basis for future experiences because of the law of “cause and effect”.
Reports of personal near death experiences (NDE) point to what seems like a common aspect of all NDE accounts where the person has a “life review”. Each personal account, described by men, women, and children from all races, economic status, or backgrounds, has the common life review experience of feeling what others are feeling at every event through the review. So, we could extrapolate and suggest that multi-billionaires will experience joy during their review when they did something loving and compassionate, and not so good when they see the other – the “least among you” – suffering, because he did not help relieve that suffering when it was within his power to do so.
Every human being will eventually pass from this world and, according to some, “meet your maker”. For this writer what occurs at that time has been described in the most detailed way in personal accounts of those who have had an NDE. Without going off on a spiritual/philosophical, academic oriented explanation of the NDE, just let me say that how we treat others in this life will become recorded. It is up to each soul/person how to proceed with spiritual awareness such as this, and no person has the right to interfere with another’s relationship with the Creator/God.
One can certainly note that with regard to “the least among you” the situation on Earth has experienced an economic downturn and conditions which have aggravated an increase in the amount of people slipping into poverty. So, humanity has been challenged with an even greater puzzle of determining actions which reduce or eliminate poverty, especially when the message of Christ and others, related to the “least among you”, is taken into account.
In America, where the minimum wage of $7.25/hour is somewhat large compared to those around the world who have to survive on $1/day, there have been an increasing number of calls for an increase in the minimum wage. How does the American minimum wage – its increase or non-increase – relate to Christ’s words “you do to me”? If the words of Christ reflect absolute truth, the US federal government’s choice on the matter literally determines what the lawmakers in Washington do to/for Jesus Christ.
An increase in the minimum wage is one way to realize spiritual truths in the world. There are a number of available avenues/actions in addition which have the potential of helping those members of humanity who are struggling now in 2013 – moving quickly into 2014.
For those who consider themselves Christian or hold an outlook mirroring the highest spirituality, the present hard financial conditions of Americans – as well as people around the Earth – strikes at the heart of the message from the man whose birth will be universally celebrated in less than a week.
Palestinians are at the heart of the conflict in the M.E Palestinians uprooted by force of arms.. Yet faced immense difficulties have survived, kept alive their history and culture, passed keys of family homes in occupied Palestine from one generation to the next.
This blog is devoted to legal, historical and human rights matters, in which issues of general concern are addressed freely and spontaneously. It is intended to further an informal exchange of views in the democratic spirit of freedom of opinion and respect for the opinions of others, in an effort to understand rather than condemn, to propose constructive solutions rather than grandstand. The perspective is both from inside and outside the box and the added value lies more in the questions than in the answers.