Skip to comments.International Association for Near-Death Studies
Posted on 02/22/2002 2:42:20 PM PST by restornu
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See post #14 She was dead -Pam Reynolds read her story.
Beyond brain death
Pam Reynolds' near-death experience
Am I having an OBE?
Is my Mac having an OBE (Out of Byte Experience)?
Dude, I just felt like the kid from "The Sixth Sense"!
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 Lords 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 oclock 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 oclock 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.
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.
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