Written By: Wendell Krossa
A couple of insights from the NDE files, insights for life (from The Journey Home by Philip Berman). One is from Howard Storm’s NDE: He is referring to the life review he experienced in the presence of several “beings of light”. “They slowed down and zoomed in on specific moments…All the things that I’d worked to achieve meant nothing to them. I could feel their feelings of sorrow and joy about various aspects of my life. They didn’t look down on my achievements, mind you, they just didn’t respond to them. What they responded to was how I’d interacted with other people”.
Another woman on her NDE: “I rapidly moved from sheer terror and overwhelming fear for my life to a profound knowledge that I would die. Ironically, with that knowledge came the deepest sense of peace and serenity that I have ever encountered. It was as though I had moved from the periphery of my being- the body that contained me- to the very center of myself, a place that was imperturbable, totally quiet and at rest…completely calm”. That true self at our core. The real us.
On the ineffability of these experiences: “the great brilliant white light that is God…I am unable to recapture the wonderful euphoric feeling which the presence of God provides…I was often struck by the deep levels of frustration they felt in their efforts to describe the nature of this divine presence…It is just impossible for me to describe the beauty of what I saw…I realize that no matter how large a force I envisioned, it was still too limited to encompass God. I found that it is not possible to imagine God, and that it is okay to not know something, to be unable to define (and therefore limit) something…they are trying to describe what cannot be described, in the only way available to them- in terms of the here and now…are painfully aware that words, similes, and analogies simply cannot do justice…any of the many images of beauty and splendour they put forth are nothing more than an attempt to describe the unutterably magnificent…Ultimate Reality is totally ineffable…silence is the only proper posture (the apophatic tradition in theology)”.
Here’s an interesting point from Philip Berman’s book The Journey Home: What Near-Death Experiences teach us about life. He refers to the research of Swiss geologist Albert Heim who looked at the NDEs of mountain climbers who had serious falls. His is helpful information for loved ones of people dying.
One of Heim’s most important findings showed that death by falling was “actually a far more painful experience for onlookers and relatives than it is for victims themselves…95% of fall survivors told him they felt calm and joyful during their falls…they had, so to speak, fallen into heaven…they went through stages, beginning with enhanced and accelerated mental activity, an unusually clear perception of the outcome, an expanded sense of time, and a sudden life review. The culminating experience was a powerful moment of joy and supernatural beauty… no grief was felt, nor was there paralyzing fright of the sort that can happen in instances of lesser danger…there was no anxiety, no trace of despair, nor pain… but rather seriousness, profound acceptance, and a dominant mental quickness and sense of surety”.
I thought of this in relation to 9/11 and those who jumped from the burning towers. It left some horrific images for all of us.
Heim’s insight is important in relation to such apparently horrible deaths, “The process of dying is far more frightening to onlookers than it is for the dying themselves”. This is valuable information for relatives and people who counsel relatives of dying people. Other NDEs also affirm that the dying process while looking unpleasant for onlookers, may be very different for the dying- the release of consciousness from the body, freedom from pain, entry into peace, light and love.
Click on the link below to view a video of a personal experience of NDE.