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International Association for Near-Death Studies
http://www.iands.org/ ^ | IANDS

Posted on 02/22/2002 2:42:20 PM PST by restornu

A near-death experience (NDE) is one of the most powerful emotional and psychological events known. This site is provided as a public service to give reliable information about near-death experiences, along with resources for more information and support.

The Near-Death Experience
When the bleeding wouldn't stop, Bill knew he was dying. "I was going, but I felt totally at peace. There was a golden kind of light, brighter than the sun, but it didn't hurt my eyes. I never wanted anything as much as to go into that light, but something or somebody-it felt like my dad, who died when I was a kid-communicated to me, 'It isn't your time. You must go back to finish what you have to do in your life.' The next thing I knew, I was slammed back into my body. It felt like a wet sock, and the pain was just awful." For Marilyn, in the emergency room with a heart attack, the pain suddenly stopped. "All at once I just popped out of my body and floated up to the ceiling. I could see dust on top of the light fixtures, and I thought, 'Boy, somebody's going to catch it for this!' I could see doctors working on someone on the table, when all of a sudden I realized it was me-I mean, my body. I thought it was kind of silly they were working so hard. My family was waiting down the hall, and I wished my kids could stop crying; I wanted to let them know I was fine, but they couldn't hear me. Then it seemed I had to get back, that it was my job to take care of them, see them grow up okay." When the car stopped flipping, Kurt thought he had been thrown into outer space. "I was alone, all by myself out in the universe. I could hear noises, sort of like moans, and I could see these figures in the distance. They seemed to be people wearing some kind of robe, and they were faceless. They were in torment. I don't know why I think that, except it just seemed that way. They were helpless and gesturing to me to join them. Then I was realizing it would be like that forever. Something-I don't know what-was sending me a message, something about making a choice. I don't really remember it exactly. Being there was so horrible I can't even describe it. That was fourteen years ago, and I still can't figure out what I ever did to deserve it." What Bill, Marilyn and Kurt have shared are near-death experiences. NDEs have occurred throughout history, in all parts of the world. It is even possible that experiences like these helped to create the world's ideas about heaven and hell, or at least about what may happen at or after death. What is a Near-Death Experience (NDE)? Although most people who have come close to death say they remember nothing, a third or more may later report that "something happened." That "something" might be a near-death experience, an NDE.

No two NDEs are identical, but within a group of experiences a pattern becomes evident. The pattern (and any single experience) includes one or more of these things: Feeling that the "self" has left the body and is hovering overhead. The person may later be able to describe who was where and what happened, sometimes in detail. Moving through a dark space or tunnel. Experiencing intensely powerful emotions, ranging from bliss to terror. Encountering a light. It is usually described as golden or white, and as being magnetic and loving; occasionally it is perceived as a reflection of the fires of hell. Receiving some variant of the message "It is not yet your time." Meeting others: may be deceased loved ones, recognized from life or not; sacred beings; unidentified entities and/or "beings of light"; sometimes symbols from one's own or other religious traditions. A life review, seeing and re-experiencing major and trivial events of one's life, sometimes from the perspective of the other people involved, and coming to some conclusion about the adequacy of that life and what changes are needed. Having a sense of understanding everything, of knowing how the universe works. Reaching a boundary-a cliff, fence, water, some kind of barrier that may not be crossed if one is to return to life. In some cases, entering a city or library. Rarely, receiving previously unknown information about one's life-i.e., adoption or hidden parentage, deceased siblings. Decision to return may be voluntary or involuntary. If voluntary, usually associated with unfinished responsibilities. Returning to the body. Most NDEs are pleasant, but others are deeply frightening. The Experience The near-death experience (NDE) is among the most powerful experiences that a person can have, one of a family of experiences which may occur with or without being close to death. It may permanently alter a person's perceptions of what is real and important. One most extraordinary aspect of NDEs is that the underlying pattern seems unaffected by a person's culture or belief system, religion, race, education, or any other known variable, although the way in which the NDE is described varies according to the person's background and vocabulary. There is no evidence that the type of experience is related to whether the person is conventionally religious or not, or has lived a "good" or "bad" life according to his/her society's standards (although an NDE often strongly affects how life is lived after the experience).

An experience may include the feeling of being out of the physical body, moving through a darkness or tunnel, encountering the presences of deceased loved ones and other entities, and an indescribable light or menacing darkness. Many people say they have glimpsed the pattern and meaning of life and the universe, or have been given information beyond ordinary human capacities. For most people the experience is joyful beyond words, although others tell of unpleasant or terrifying experiences. When adequately understood every type of NDE reveals issues of deep significance to the life of the individual and to humankind in general.

Is It Real?
Medical technology may bring survivors, but science is not able to explain what happened in the process. Like all human experiences, the NDE no doubt has a biologically-based trigger; yet its impact is most often felt as a psychological or spiritual event. For people who believe that only physical events can be real, the NDE - or even the idea of such a thing - may be disturbing or seem ludicrous.

Yet the phenomenon cannot be dismissed just because we cannot explain it. A 1982 Gallup Poll estimated that at least eight million adults in the US alone have had an NDE; the figure is now believed to be closer to thirteen million. Experiences have been reported through the centuries, from many cultures and religious traditions.

Whatever the near-death experience is, it is neither recent nor local. Something happens, and it changes peoples lives.

What Does It Mean?
Many people believe that the NDE proves there is life after death in a literal sense. To others, more cautious, the experience is not "proof," but it suggests that some aspect of human consciousness may be independent of the body and may survive physical death. To others, the NDE defines a value system based on care for others, knowledge, and service. Whether one sees the meaning of the NDE as religious or secular, there is much to learn.

Commonalities
Research has shown that NDEs in Western civilization occur with similar frequency and content to people of both genders and of all ages, races, levels of education, socioeconomic levels, spiritual/religious affiliations (or non-affiliation), sexual orientations (gay/lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual), and precipitating circumstances (illness, accident, suicide, medical procedure, etc.). Research in non-Western cultures has not been as extensive but suggests that beneath great variation in specific NDE content, certain universal or very common themes may be present, such as a border or boundary between dimensions or domains of existence and one or more supernatural entities or beings. If you have had a similar experience... Additional information about distressing NDEs. NDEs in children. NDE aftereffects. Sample NDE accounts. Answers to frequently asked questions.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS:
Have you or know of someone that have had a NDE-
1 posted on 02/22/2002 2:42:20 PM PST by restornu
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To: restornu
I know someone who knows someone.
2 posted on 02/22/2002 2:44:07 PM PST by weikel
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To: restornu
bump
3 posted on 02/22/2002 2:47:21 PM PST by NorseWood
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To: restornu
I met a guy 25 years ago who was in a car wreck and woke up on the slab with a tag on his toe. He described a similar experience typical in cases like this.
4 posted on 02/22/2002 3:15:30 PM PST by agitator
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To: restornu
Let me play Devil's Advocate here, not because I think this, but because I want the life after death to be true...

Is it possible, because we are all wired in the brain the same basic way, that a brain, starved of oxygen and losing brain cells, in a total systematic way, shuts down enough functions that a vivid dream-like state is induced that all the NDE have in common? In other words, could the NDE be simply a matter of the brain's last moments showing our consciousness breaking down? I have read about people who deprived of all sensorary experience in experiments having visions, feeling people or things touching them, voices heard, etc.

Anyway, it would be nice to have my hypothesis above disproved.

5 posted on 02/22/2002 3:24:32 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: restornu
I did! In 1985. And I now have absolutely no doubt that there is a God and heavan.

Most beautiful and peaceful experience I can ever imagine!

And that is all I am going to say about it!

6 posted on 02/22/2002 4:50:23 PM PST by Chapita
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To: Alas Babylon!
Think about this in 1972 I was home sleeping and had a dream or OBE about my boyfriend who was dying of Cancer in the Hospital - What happen was on Oct 19 I saw him floating on the ceiling of his hospital room he was weaving in and out beyond the ceiling I told him to come down he was going to hurt himself he keep saying it was alright see! see! as he would float through the ceiling in and over.

That morning I got a call he passed away.

Another time I was working in apt building with 145 units this tenant who was a Doctor that many thought was peculiar stop by the desk to tell me not to talk unkind of him, he was very concern what others thought of him. Little did I know he had been dead for a week - Yet he appeared in front of me, the body was discovered the next day, because tenants complained of an foul odor coming from his apt.

7 posted on 02/22/2002 5:22:29 PM PST by restornu
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To: Ironword; 2sheep; Thinkin' Gal; Luis Gonzalez; William Wallace; Victoria Delsoul; cyn; Weirdad
ponder this
8 posted on 02/23/2002 12:04:13 PM PST by restornu
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To: Tallhappy, .30Carbine, Jmouse007, Prodigal Daughter, A_Rabid_Fetus
Ponder this
9 posted on 02/23/2002 12:05:10 PM PST by restornu
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To: restornu
Try reading "Life after Life" by Moody, which recounts a number of NDE's - and deals with the various objections.

Or, if you're interested in OBE's (Out of Body experiences) try the Monroe Institute at http://www.monroeinstitute.org/

10 posted on 02/23/2002 12:09:18 PM PST by neutrino
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To: restornu
bttt
11 posted on 02/23/2002 12:11:34 PM PST by WillaJohns
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To: neutrino
Did you see my post # 5
12 posted on 02/23/2002 12:13:12 PM PST by restornu
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To: restornu
Yes - and as I recall, the Moody book addresses that pretty well. I apologize for not having the book at hand, otherwise I would provide you with a quotation.

The Monroe Institute is interesting because a fellow named Bob Monroe started having OBE's and wrote 3 books on the subject. He, being a rational sort, was concerned about the illusion factor, as well as the possibility that he was having some sort of illusion/delusion, and he addressed those concerns in his books. Some of his experiences were bizarre, so take it with a grain of salt.

I will say that I've tried some of their tapes/CDs and they will put you to sleep very effectively. The pain control and mental focus tapes worked well also. So it does seem that they've got some good ideas....

13 posted on 02/23/2002 12:21:41 PM PST by neutrino
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To: neutrino
That photo in OBE reminds me of what I read that we here on earth see in 3-D,

but the NDE & OBE see in many multi-dimention

Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife

14 posted on 02/23/2002 12:23:09 PM PST by restornu
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To: restornu
I have had the experiences of being "visited" by "grandparents" who passed away, the earliest happened when I was 8, and happened the exact moment that my grandpa died in another state unbeknownst to us. The thing we have to be careful of is that demons masquerade as ghosts of our loved ones. Ghost experiences I believe usually lead people to "want more" so they contact psychics to find out more about their loved ones. If a psychic gives you a good word about a relative, they give you a bad word about something else.

If we call ourselves Christians and get involved in the occult, no matter how innocent it seems, we always bring a curse on ourselves. On the other hand, if we obey God, love Him, repent of occult involvement, He will give us supernatural experiences that are so life changing and so awesome. Once I saw four angels surrounding my toddler's bed, about 9 feet tall. I could see that the two facing me had swords in their hands, and when I saw them, I remember not just the joy and peace, but I remember thinking how different it was from seeing "spirits". If you see the supposed "spirit of a loved one", you want to see them again to feel close to them or to find out something. When I saw angels, I thought, I never need to see another angel again. In fact, I prayed to the Lord to let someone else see them that needed comfort instead of my ever seeing them again. It was enough just to know that He wanted me to feel comfort at that moment and I wanted to worship Him not the angels.

Some excellent books to read are:

The Beautiful Side of Evil This book almost paralleled my life experiences
Window to Heaven This book was written by an agnostic turned believer, pediatric oncologist who saw children have NDEs
To Hell and Back about good and hellish NDEs
Visions Beyond the Veil

15 posted on 02/23/2002 5:14:34 PM PST by Prodigal Daughter
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To: restornu; Alas Babylon!
For those interested in alternative explanations:

http://skepdic.com/nde.html (cut and paste)

16 posted on 02/23/2002 5:27:11 PM PST by US admirer
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To: US admirer,Ironword; 2sheep; Thinkin' Gal; Luis Gonzalez; William Wallace; Victoria Delsoul; cyn...
Do you know how many spirits are in the room with you right now, and how far back they to in time when they were living here?
17 posted on 02/23/2002 6:12:57 PM PST by restornu
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To: restornu
Well I'll take a guess- 229?
18 posted on 02/23/2002 6:30:16 PM PST by US admirer
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To: restornu
Many people believe that the NDE proves there is life after death in a literal sense. To others, more cautious, the experience is not "proof," but it suggests that some aspect of human consciousness may be independent of the body and may survive physical death. To others, the NDE defines a value system based on care for others, knowledge, and service. Whether one sees the meaning of the NDE as religious or secular, there is much to learn.

Very interesting, article. Thanks very much.


19 posted on 02/23/2002 6:47:18 PM PST by Victoria Delsoul
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: Victoria Delsoul
Victoria I love your signiture - Unique!

See post #14 She was dead -Pam Reynolds read her story.

Beyond brain death
Pam Reynolds' near-death experience

22 posted on 02/23/2002 7:30:02 PM PST by restornu
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To: Victoria Delsoul
Victoria!  Good grief!   There's a pen writing your name over and over on my compute screen!   Are you having an OBE?

Am I having an OBE?

Is my Mac having an OBE (Out of Byte Experience)?

23 posted on 02/23/2002 7:39:07 PM PST by jigsaw
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To: restornu
"Do you know how many spirits are in the room with you right now?"

Dude, I just felt like the kid from "The Sixth Sense"!

24 posted on 02/23/2002 7:39:10 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez
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To: restornu
The testimony of John Engelbrecht:

His sickness began on the second Friday in Advent, in the year 1622. As he was on that day at the church, and in the afternoon sermon he become very sorrowful and low in spirit, on account of there being so few people in the church, and the coldness that was prevailing among mankind to hear the word of God.

After returning from church he soon went to bed, on account of his trials and agony of soul, where he was taken with such a loathing of corporeal nourishment that he could neither take drink, nor victuals, which soon deprived him of all strength, so that he expected his end to be very near. Therefore he desired that the Lord’s Supper might be administered to him, which was granted, the minister remaining and praying with him. The agony of his soul increasing to that height, that he screamed so loud that his voice was heard in the second and third houses, which brought together a great many people, who all fell on their knees, and cried to God that he would have mercy on that poor man, and deliver him from his soul destroying pain.--Public prayers likewise were made in all the churches in the city for him, that God would be pleased to grant him a free pardon of all his sins, wherewith Satan had beset him. He said he felt the pains in his body as if many knives were stabbing his heart. Especially, Satan troubled him greatly with his thoughts, that he from a youth was cast off from the Lord, and that there was no mercy for him. Moreover, Satan told him, he did not know if he was elected or not, but his lips were continually saying these words “the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sins, and, dear Jesus, into thy hands do I commit my soul, for thou, O Lord, hast redeemed it.”

And as he had not taken any nourishment, from Friday before the second in Advent until the Thursday following, and all the time suffered great agony of soul and great pain of body; he perceived, at about 12 o’clock at noon, that he was struck with death; first at his feet;--and in the twelve following hours, he lost his senses one after another, first his legs and hands became stiff, and then his body, so that he had no feeling in the, then he lost his speech, then his mouth was closed, which had no feeling; but when his eyes were closed the stroke was so hard that he felt it very much, but his hearing did not leave him till the last, as he could hear when they prayed with him, and saying how cold and stiff are his legs. His hearing had not left him at 11 o’clock in the night, as he heard the Watchmen of the city cry at that hour.

About midnight he appeared to the by-standers to be dead, and his mother made preparation to have him laid out, when at this time, his spirit by the mighty power of God, was carried before hell and into heaven. As soon as he lost his hearing, he thought he was taken up bodily, and carried by the Spirit, swifter than an arrow could fly, before hell, where he saw an extraordinary darkness, such as cannot be compared with any thing of the kind in this world, and there was such a stench and smell, as cannot be expressed, and in that darkness he heard a great number of awful voices, crying out, “Oh, ye mountains, fall on us, and ye hills, cover us and hide us from the presence of the Lord. Wo! wo! wo! unto us, damned to all eternity!”

As he was before hell, the devils beset and told him, that he was a damned and lost person, and cast off from the Lord forever and he must dwell with them, and they were ready to snatch him into hell; then spake he in the Spirit, although my heart and all devils condemn me, thou, O Lord, my Heavenly Father, cannot condemn me, because of thy great and unspeakable love; because thou, O Lord, hath planted me as a vine to everlasting life; for that purpose thou gavest, Heavenly Father, thy only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for me, and to give his precious blood a ransom for my sins, which he gave not only to me but to all that believe on him. As he thus spake, the darkness vanished away, the voices were no more heard, and also the stench and smoke were lost, and all was still. Then appeared to him the blessed Spirit, who conveyed him into the clear light of the majesty of heaven, there he saw the company of holy angels, and the company of the apostles, around the throne of God, singing and making music with heavenly tongues.

He was then commanded by a holy angel from the Lord, to go into the world again and make known to the people what he had seen and heard, before hell and in heaven; the first to the warnings of the wicked, the latter to the comforting and strengthening of the sorrowful in heart. His understanding was so enlightened that he understood the whole Bible, and received particular commands that he should tell the people that they should repent with a true heart sorrowing repentance, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and have a lively faith, which is proved by love and good words; that the Lord had determined to suffer no longer, with the self-righteous and hypocrites, who were so prevailing in the world; for it was decreed by a counsel of the Holy Trinity, that “no man should see Christ fact to fact in eternity who had not seen him in heart, in faith, and in the spirit in this world.” Also it was told him that there were many in the world who acknowledge Christ with their mouths, but whose hearts were far from him, which their fruits daily prove, because there is no love in the world, but all is hypocrisy and duplicity; no man doing to his neighbor as he would be done by; for as a candle cannot burn without giving light, nor the sun shine without splendor. nor the fire without heat, or a good tree without good fruit; no more can there be true faith without true love. To his orders were annexed these blessings and threatenings, that if he should be faithful and do as he was commanded, he should return to the place of light and glory; but on the other hand, if he should prove unfaithful, he should return to the place of darkness.

His Guide conducted him from the place of light and felicity of Almighty God, back into the world again; he then began to feel that he was coming to life, and thought that he was laid on his bed again; his hearing returned to him; then his eyes began to move, so that he could see again, and in twelve hours he was brought to life, in the same manner as he died.

As soon as he perceived his feet had strength and were able to bear him, he arose from his bed, and felt as strong as he ever was before in his life. He would have gone out immediately to do his duty as he was commanded, but the people present would not suffer him; not knowing how to proceed with him, as they were unacquainted with the affairs that had happened to him in his vision. Seeing that they would not permit him to go out, he sent for the minister who had been with him in his sickness, and who was very much astonished to see him in such a wonderful frame of health and so much the more, as it was one without any aid of medicine or nourishment, but by the power of Almighty God alone.

Found HERE

25 posted on 02/24/2002 3:18:04 AM PST by .30Carbine
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To: US admirer
There were some experiments to recreate NDE's in the laboratory and it couldn't be done.
26 posted on 02/24/2002 8:34:32 AM PST by Prodigal Daughter
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To: Central Scrutiniser; restornu
Paul writes in the New Testament of a man who had an OBE. It's very important when you have an OBE to test the spirits. Besides the Bible, Rebecca Brown, M.D.'s, books on spiritual warfare are a good place to start reading about testing the spirits, and in the meantime, if you have an OBE, say: "I rebuke any evil spirit in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" and see "what's really what." (and don't just say "Jesus" or "Christ", there are millions of those.)
27 posted on 02/24/2002 8:40:34 AM PST by Prodigal Daughter
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To: restornu; RobertFrost
I've read that hellish NDE's are underreported because people tell researchers that don't want to discuss them, but P.M. Atwater estimates in her research they are one in seven.

Into the Dark
Classic NDE's center on entering a heavenly realm, and are believed to provide a foretaste of a more permanent state of rapture that may greet us when we finally leave our bodies for ever. In many ways, the NDE has vindicated the age-old belief in heaven - but has it also done the same for hell?

Raymond Moody's pioneering research into NDEs failed to come up with reports of a realm that matched the 'fire and brimstone' concept of hell. At first it seemed that this must be because there is no hell. Nearly all his respondents described it not technically an afterlife, then certainly an otherlife, that was synonymous with heaven. It seemed as if virtually every brush with death automatically guaranteed a visit to a place of celestial music, poignant encounters with loved ones in a stunningly beautiful environment, and sensations of ineffable joy and comfort. Soon, however, darker hints emerged that suggested that the temporary cessation of a heartbeat did not, as previously thought, guarantee entry into paradise.

Within two years of publishing his Life After Life, Raymond Moddy wrote of people who had experienced less-than-heavenly realms when clinically dead. he reported that several of his original pool of respondents had encountered even more distressing and through-provoking planes of existence, which some went to far as to call a 'realm of bewildered spirits.'

In his Reflections on Life After Life (1977), Dr. Moody recounts the experience of one of his correspondents who had entered a very different world from the expected heaven of most NDEs.

"These bewildered people? I don't know exactly where I saw them...But as I was going by, there was this area that was dull - this is in contrast to the brilliant light. The figures were more humanized than the rest of them were. If you stop to think of it in that respect, but neither were they in quite human form as we are.

What you would think of as their head was bent downward; they had sad, depressed looks; they seemed to shuffle, as someone would on a chain gang. I don't know what they were, but they looked washed out, dull, grey. And they seemed to be forever shuffling and moving around, not knowing where they were going, not knowing who to follow, or what to look for."

These depressed people didn't even raise their heads as he went by. They appeared to be too apathetic to be curious about the newcomer or to do anything to change their own dreadfully bleak prospects. He says:

"They seemed to be thinking, 'Well, it's all over with. What am I doing? What's it all about?' Just this absolute, crushed, hopeless demeanor - not knowing what to do or where to go or who they were or anything else.

They seemed to be for ever moving, rather than just sitting, but in no special direction. They would start straight, then veer to the left and take a few steps and veer back to the right. And absolutely nothing to do. Searching, for what they were searching I don't know." One suspects that the inhabitants of that hopeless world didn't know what they were searching for either. All hope, motivation and determination had been wiped out. Clearly, the sense of oppression and hopelessness that accompanied this experience was intense and lasting, but was it a real astral visit to anotherrealm, or just a kind of a dream? The dream-like sense of oppression also comes through clearly in this report from Amannda, whose NDE in 1986 happened as a result of an accidental drug overdose:

"I had a huge feeling of unease as I seemed to be high up, looking down at my body. I knew something wasn't right...the scene seemed to fizzle out into a greyish mist, and I felt so depressed all of a sudden that I wanted to call out for my mother like a little child. There was a bit of a breeze, but such damp, stuffy air! It smelled awful, a misxture of bad drains and mildew. It was a neglected place, a place of decay where things were forgotten and left to rot.

How can I describe that dreadful place? It's difficult because it was somehow in my mind as well as 'out there' before my eyes - although, of course, I'd left my body behind. But it was a sort of large cave, full of broken greyish rocks and a grey-brown dust.

I looked round, and the terrible feeling of hopelessness got to me. I could hear a sort of sobbing and moaning from deeper into the cave somewhere, and then I saw a man sitting on a rock quite close to me. He was almost transparent, completely colorless like a ghost. He looked up at me with an expression of complete despair. I;ll never foreget it. He didn't say anything, but he didn't have to. We were both condemned to that place and there was nothing we could do about it. At that point I was revived by the paramedics, and the first thing I did was get a lungful of good, clean air. And as soon as I could I had a bath to wash off the memory of that place. Perhaps it wasn't actually hell, but it came very close."

Although several people had admitted to Raymond Moody that their NDEs were in quite a different category to the heavenly variety, his published work certainly never stress this kind of experience. Indeed, the whole concept of the 'negative NDE' was apparantly marginalized by the early researchers, and is still largely sidelined, or even totally ignored today.

Another gentlemen experienced this:

"All I can remember is falling over the edge of the trestle. The locomotive engineer watched me go all the way down into the water. The next thing I knew I was standing near a shoreline of a great ocean of fire. It happened to be what the Bible says it is in Revelations 21:8...It was the most awesome sight one could ever see this side of final judgment."

Welch then experienced a replay of his whole life - the classic panoramic life review - and encountered a Christ-like figure who talked to him. Almost immediately afterwards he was revived by his colleagues.

The Soul's Glimpse of Hell

Spiritualists believe that most ordinary people find themselves in the ideoplastic world known as "Summerland" when they die. But this is not the destination for everyone; some are earthbound and some enter the dark, unhappy plane called "Winterland."

Here, drunkards, gluttons and drug addicts mill around aimlessly, seeking the object of their obsession but never finding or possessing it. They may look through the window of a bar or restaurant and see the tantalizing displays of food and drink, but it is always just out of their reach. Similarly, the drug abuser will only catch glimpses of the ever-elusive fix, and suffer unrelieved withdrawal symptoms.

This type of judgment may seem draconian to our enlightened erea, when addictions are seen as illnesses to be treated, not punished. However, it is stressed that those in Winterland are given every opportunity to leave. Kind emissaries from the heavenly regions are on hand to take the inmates out of that profoundly miserable existence into the light - if they are willing to give up their obsessions. We are told that some do leave Winterland in this way, but many choose to remain in the hell of their own making.

In her Return from Death, British psychologist Dr. Margot Grey writes:

"While the principal emphasis in most reports of near-death research has been on the celestial quality of the experience, I nevertheless found indications that pointed to the fact that negative encounters, while infrequent, do definitely exist.

In her study the first describes what happened to a woman who had a brush with death while undergoing a routine hysterectomy.

"I went to St. Giles Hospital in London to have an operation. Sometime while I was under the anaesthetic, I became aware that I was hovering above my body looking down at myself on the operating table. I felt very frightened and began to panic. I wondered why I was no longer in my body and thought I must be dead. I next found myself in a very frightening place, which I am sure was hell. I was looking down into a large pit, which was full of swirling grey mist and there were all these hands and arms reaching up and trying to grab hold of me and drag me in there. There was a terrible wailing noise, full of desperation. Then suddenly I found myself rushing through this dark tunnel and I found myself back in my body in the hospital bed. As I went back into my body it felt like an elastic cord, which had been stretched to its limit and then let go. I sort of snapped back again and everything seemed to vibrate with the impact."

The other case in point cited by Dr. Grey was described as follows:

I was working in the nursing home where I have a part-time job. I am a partially trained nurse. I had spent the day on the beach. It was a glorious hot day, but I am used to the heat having lived in the Sudan for about 16 years. I was in the kitchen supervising the evening suppers, when I was overcome by the heat from the Aga cookers. I rushed outside the back door feeling faint and sick. I remember going down three or four steps. I don't remember falling, but the next thing that happened was that I had this experience.

I found myself in a place surround by mist. I felt I was in hell. there was a big pit with vapor coming out and there were arms and hands coming out trying to grab mine...I was terrified that these hands were going to claw hold of me and pull me into the pit with them. As I lay there worrying about what would happen next, an enormous lion bounded towards me from the other side and I let out a scream. I was not afraid of the lion, but felt somehow he would unsettle me and push me into this dreadful pit. I remained in a state of semi-consciousness for about three days. I have never believed in hell. I feel God would never create such a place. But it was very hot down there and the vapor of steam was very hot. At the time I did not think very much about it, but in the intervening years I have realized both good and evil exist. The experience has transformed my life.

The similarities with the previous case are striking: the large pit and clawing arms and hands, the all-pervading sense of doom-laden terror. In fact Dr. Grey's research suggests that it is possible to discern a consistent pattern among nightmare NDEs. In Return from Death, Dr. Grey lists the states of the prototypical negative/hellish NDE as follows:

Phase 1. The subject feels fear and feelings of panic instead of peace and joyfulness.
Phase 2. Just as with the more classic NDE, the subject experiences leaving the body.
Phase 3. Again similar to the classic NDE, the dying person enters into a dark region or void.
Phase 4. Instead of experiencing the presence of comforting religious figures, friendly deceased relatives, or a great white light, the subject is overwhelmed by a sense of foreboding and senses the presence of an evil force.
Phase 5. The subject finally enters a hellish environment, which is completely different from the beautiful and peaceful Elysium (heaven) of the classic NDE.

Case Study: Dream of Desolation:

"A few years ago I saw a television documentary about the Yorkshire Ripper (an infamous serial killer of women) and I wondered why his terrible murders didn't get to me as much as say, what Jack the Ripper (another infamous serial killer) did all those years before. I tried to be shocked, but somehow my imagination hadn't grasped the enormity of his crimes.

I went to bed puzzled and immediately had a dream...unlike any I have ever had before or since. Dream? Really it was more like a vision and immediate ...I wil never forget it. I was in a landscape of utter desolation. There was a low wind blowing warm and cloying - and there were cinders underfoot. It was a place of no color as if all the life had been drained out it, and I felt alone...So sad and afraid, I can hardly describe it. I looked around and saw a long shallow pit with people packed into it, just like sardines in a tin. At the end nearest to me was Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, his face absolutely white with horror, like someone beyond mere pain. A man dressed completely in black walked up to the pit with a long metal implement of some sort and prodded Sutcliffe and a few others. They all uttered...it makes me go cold to remember it ... a sort of sighing grown...it went through me...it contained all their pain and loneliness...then all the people in the pit turned over together, absolutely as one...they had no choice, they were complete prisoners...and in a few moments they were prodded again and turned over once more, all moaning together. It was a terrible spectacle.

I had the strong feeling that these were not people to be pitied, although in othr circumstances it would have been a piteous sight. And there was something odd: there was only one 'torturer' prodding them with a rod - they weren't tied up or anything. I mean they could easily have got up and ran off. it was as if I was shown that they had somehow complied with this punishment, or couldn't imagine any way out of it ...Yes, there was a strong feeling that they could have escaped, but somehow didn't understand how to. Suddenly a man with a kind face came into view and stood right in front of me, looking straight into my face. He said with deliberate emphasis: 'You see, there is evil and it is rewarded in hell.'

Shuddering, I woke up. Even though it was a dream, to this day I believe I had been shown the reality of evil and the horror of hell.

28 posted on 02/24/2002 9:07:24 AM PST by Prodigal Daughter
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To: jigsaw
LOL! Let's try something different, then. How about this?


29 posted on 02/24/2002 9:58:02 AM PST by Victoria Delsoul
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