About NDE Experiences
Cherie Sutherland is a near-death researcher with a number of books out on this experience. She is always a worthwhile read. Her book on children’s NDEs is similarly worth reading (Children of the Light). Lots of fascinating insights from these accounts.
She quotes this excerpt from William Wordsworth at the front of this book:
“Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come,
From God, who is our home”
Reminds me of the Catholic theologian who said, “We come from love, we exist in love, and we return to love in the end”. Our true home.
The Scottish boy who lived before, quite amazing…
There 5 parts, about 10 min each. Appears to be a British TV program.I don’t think Heaven/Nirvana is a final destination. I think it’s a rest stop and R&R! More fuel for the planet diver theory….it’s about adventure!
I was a kid when the Bridey Murphy story first broke, and became a fabulous hit, with the book, and later movie. It is directly germane to all this NDE discussion, and you should review it:
It also closely, after the fact, follows the Helen Keller/Frost King story. Briefly, Helen Keller wrote a story as her own, which is remarkably similar to another story that she had heard, possibly as a young child. Serious charges of plagiarism were made, with a vigorous battle thereon, later characterized by Mark Twain as “owlishly idiotic and grotesque.”
Both of these incidents point up the SERIOUS flaw of relying on subjective personal accounts of perceptions which are being described as “near death experiences.” When I was still in college in the early 60’s, there was a fellow student much interested in such phenomena, and my memory is vague, but as I recall, he attributed some of this to birth experiences where one emerges into the light – presumably an experience common to nearly everyone who was born in a dark room.
As an agnostic, I can entertain interpretations where actual objective facts are in scant supply. But in all the discussion and attribution going on here, it occurred to me that at least some one here has considered a lot more than what I am calling attention to. I’m curious, as usual.
Herb, the rip roaring debate goes on, as does all sorts of research. Note for instance Sam Parnia’s group and world-wide project. And of course, we have noted repeatedly Van Lommel’s summary of research and sceptical counter arguments.
As you look at the research, the explanations, the many varied accounts themselves, you come up with some personal guidelines as to what elements appear truthful and what comes down to subjective personal interpretation (though still based on some reality), and what is shaped by memory and culture and belief, and on and on.
For myself, I have found an endless source of good insight, much of if affirming personal belief from my own study and reflection on varied issues. What the NDEs do is offer some more personal detail (filling out things we have thought of) and for that we can be thankful.
Most important to paying attention to this still emerging phenomenon, is laying a death blow to humanity’s long held fear of dying and death. This is liberating, and it is liberating many to live more fully now. This may presage some significant shift or advance in public human consciousness… Who knows.
Even more important than the above, is that this NDE thing is once again reviving a focus on unconditional love, something long ago advocated by that Palestinian sage, a profound insight and message that was buried by subsequent Christianity.
As to the varied personal features in NDEs that seem strange at times, even corny and excessively religious, well, there are some good explanations found throughout varied books on the subject. Howard Storm offers this (My Descent Into Death), “(on people taken from this world and introduced to the wonder and power of God)…there are as many entry points into heaven as there are individuals. Each person is escorted toward heaven according to his or her life, culture, and spiritual level. One person may be in a beautiful field, another may be in a magnificent castle, another in a setting in their grandparent’s home. God and the angels, for the specific comfort and beginning edification of that person, individually create each setting. It is difficult for us to understand and believe how much God cares about and respects our individuality…we will grow and be transformed”. And this after sections on love and that God does not control or coerce.
That suits well my understanding of the nature of true love. And so even if I cringe at some of the things I read in these accounts, I am willing to grant that it may be what someone else needs for where they are.
This does not mean we accept it all as ‘truth’. No. A lot of this stuff has to be challenged and exposed for what it is. And some are using their accounts to push the same old, same old. Brutal mythology that only perpetuated darkness here and should not be allowed to continue unchallenged. Some of it has nothing in common with unconditional love and the brilliance of this light. So as in all things, we use our powers of discernment. According to where we are in our own journeys.
And go easy on those who differ.