Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Group NDE's?

GREETINGS: It's only 5:30 pm and already the sky is black as pitch, the temp warm - unusually so for this time of year - and I find myself back at my computer to handle another question a fine friend asked. You are all friends, you know, and each question sent to me represents another opportunity for souls to connect, to speak, to share, to search and seek.

I've been writing this column since June of 2003. It was Kevin William's idea initially. I had been writing columns for "Vital Signs" mini-magazine, a publication of IANDS, for many years and had retired the post. All those past IANDS columns are now available on a CD through them. If you are interested, plug into their website at www.iands.org and purchase a copy. Interestingly, I began also in a June month for IANDS - the year 1981. That means I've been doing one kind of column or another about near-death and related states for two and a half decades. Never stopped to tally the years....I just keep doing it because it feels right to serve in this manner and to lend a helping hand.

This weekend is Christmas. My husband and I drive to Roanoke to be with his mother and his twin brother Tony and wife Bev. It's our first Christmas without his father. He died unexpectedly and was buried last month with full military honors. We get to be Grief Angels - for the family and for each other. The holidays are magical in so many ways. Two aunts of mine who were important during my growing years also passed. This year, especially in our family and perhaps in yours, life and death mix together and sing within the same chorus of sweet music, bright lights, and the depths of darkness. I witnessed during my three near-death experiences how wondrous darkness is, the counter-point to light, both of them aspects of The Creator's palette as our potential is mapped and colored. I am at home with both swings of existence, as we trade in substance and form between the physical and the spiritual.

I send to you all many blessings and much love. Another year comes. I will continue with these columns throughout 2007. We'll see after that.

Special thanks to Kevin Williams and my webmaster, Steff. They are incredible people with incredible talent, both of them heroes in my book. So, here we go - another question with another answer. Hugs, PMH

QUESTION: "I have a friend who has written a very nice, thoughtful piece about the lives lost on the plane that recently went down near Lexington, Kentucky. Interestingly, his setting is the collective spiritual experience of passengers immediately after their deaths. He asked me to read it and, among other things, specifically comment on one aspect we've learned from near-death experiences: he has their spirits proceeding as a group through the tunnel.

"I told him the group aspect bothered me, that so far as I know the transition is always completely solitary - i.e., even though they died simultaneously, each spirit would proceed individually through a personal tunnel, not in company of any others. Do you recall ever encountering an NDE reporting the experience of more than one person at a time? The nature of the subject seems to inherently exclude group reports, but if any exception exists, I'd like to share it with my friend. There's a lot of love and caring in his motivation. Thanks."....Don

ANSWER: Don, I originally replied to your question last September. As I look over what I sent to you, I see where I assumed the plane crash you were referring to had to do with the tragedy of September 11. In rereading my reply, I think I may have made a mistake, so, I am answering you again.

There are records of mutual and collective "exits," but not in any kind of tunnel, at least not in any research I am familiar with. I urge you to read "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Near-Death Experiences." If you don't have a copy, I think IANDS still has a few left to sell, or you might try your library. There are several sections in the book where I talk about shared, mutual, and group deaths/near-death experiences. For instance, on page 164 and 165 I give a few examples - the first where two friends drowned together and had virtually the same near-death experience in virtually the same way. The second is of an entire crew of twenty firefighters who were trapped by flames and could not escape. All of them suffocated to death, only to be rescued when hope was lost and resuscitated. What is so fascinating about the firefighters is that each one, unbeknownst to the others and in separate hospital rooms, described the same scene of seeing each other leave their bodies and float on up into the air, communicating with each other, noting things in particular - that each one precisely remembered and in detail. They died as a group and they ascended as a group. I have run across this same basic story about relatives who were killed together, as told by those who survived or survived long enough to tell what happened before they too died.

These reports concern leaving the body and immediately after. Of the two friends who drowned together, they each described not only leaving their bodies in the same manner but of witnessing their funerals - although each funeral was of a separate nature with separate families. Since they both were revived, the funerals never happened - but they certainly could have and would have been held in the manner seen.

So what does this tell us? Well, it suggests and strongly so, that people can die together and experience the death process together and leave their bodies together, and can share various aspects of what comes next in a similar fashion. Thus, the idea of your friend that passengers of a crashed airplane could have ascended as a collective is a good one and is grounded in research. Yes, most of us die in a singletary event, our experience our own; yet, even though it can be otherwise (like in a group or a collective), there is nothing to deny that eventually we do indeed separate and are drawn to our individual paths and histories.

However, the idea that a large group of airplane passengers might all leave in the same tunnel, going the same direction, in the same manner, is a little far-fetched. I say that because the "tunnel" component of near-death states is not all that common. It could happen but it's not that likely.

In the original Gallup Poll done in 1982 to determine if many people were even having near-death experiences, and if they were, what were their experiences like.....only 9% of the people reported anything like a tunnel. Only 9%. It wasn't until the media sensationalized Dr. Raymond Moody's book, "Life After Life," that "tunnels" suddenly became popular and more people started to report them. As you know, words are difficult to find to describe what experiencers go through. They really grapple for what words to use and how to say what they saw. Suddenly, thanks to the media, they had a word, "tunnel," that seemed to fit when no other word would. Right afterward, there was a rush to use the word "tunnel" as if it were now a measuring "rod" to determine if an experiencer's episode was truly a valid one. Sad, but true. I've even witnessed experiencers change their description of what happened to them, just so their episode would be "legitimate." They weren't lying, per se - they were trying to be accepted in the only way they knew how. Yes, some people really do experience tunnels in their episode, adults and children; but don't confuse the few who do with the many who do not.

As far as the situation of September 11 and what might have happened to the thousands of souls who exited at the same time, I suggest that you go to my website at www.pmhatwater.com and read my free e-book entitled "The Challenge of September 11." It's an accurate description of what I witnessed when I traveled to New York City as a soul, to help my fellow souls. What of my story could be verified, has been.

Thank you all so much for reading my columns and sending me more questions. God bless you, each one. PMH

Friday, December 08, 2006

Balancing Spirituality with a Corporate Job

QUESTION: "I am struggling with balancing my spirituality with a corporate job. The biggest challenge is 'aggressiveness' and how it is rewarded. This goes against my understanding of 'treating people the way you want to be treated.' Next, I am not sure that I am doing 'enough' versus focused on making money. During your near-death experiences were you shown or given any insight into this area?".......Andy

ANSWER: Not during my near-death experiences. The information I was given and it was extensive, had to do with the innnerworkings of creation and consciousness, and basic living skills. You can find most of what was revealed to me in my book, Future Memory. The last chapter of that book does address to some degree what you are speaking of, as does various other parts of the book.

The challenges of today force us all to re-evaluate what we know to be true, versus the way things are, and the behaviors that are rewarded. None of it seems fair, until you begin to move further within and connect with your own higher mind and heart. Once you begin to do this, it changes the "scenery" and turns things around.

I cannot speak for you, but I can share what I have been learning and still am - and that is, the only person I can change is myself. So, if nothing is working externally for me, that means I need to go further internally as I am somehow, someway, "out of tune." When I go deeper within, let go of any agenda, desire, or wants, release the external completely, I automatically move (without the necessity of a 'decision') toward a central "feel" of balance and wholeness. That feel strengthens me as it spreads throughout my frame. When I return to full consciousness, I know what to do (again, without the need for choice), and I do it. I move with movement. I cease being PMH Atwater with an agenda, and become that which I seek in league with the movement of that which I seek. The full me, the real me, simply moves. Deeds are done. Goals are accomplished. Timelines are met. When I am in this mode, the opinions of others do not matter; failure does not exist; negative treatment passes me by; and I am left awash in joy for the privilege of being, of breath, of the ability to stand and speak and move. I guess you might call this a state of Grace. When my personality gets a little antsy and I find myself faced with overwhelming odds not in my favor, I admit outloud - "I do not know how to handle this, but God knowns. I will go with God." Then, I take the first impulse or impression that comes, check it out with Guidance, breathe deeply, let it sift through my body if it feels appropriate to do so (until I resonate with it), and then I act. When I remember to do this, miracles happen.

Life is disappointing as long as we focus as how disappointing it is. When we shift, move to another vibration or mindset, it is amazing, at least to me, how quickly we can slip into joy and be guided to our next step. That joy we slip into does not save us from disaster or pain, but it does enable us to keep things in perspective and give meaning to that which seems meaningless. Doing this is what enabled me to survive the ten days I had to wait before emergency surgery could take place to fix my seriously injured and broken left wrist, hand, and arm. The injury necessitated a steel plate be inserted and "nailed" in place. Within three weeks, there was no sign on x-rays that my wrist had ever been broken or that the injury had ever taken place (other than the presence of the steel plate). The surgeon was so overwhelmed by this that he ran into my room and hugged me. He said, "This doesn't happen to women of your age. You don't see this type of rapid healing. It doesn't exist." I enjoyed his hug. It felt nice to be greeted that way by the physician who had spent hours sewing me back together again. He asked me how I did it. I replied, "I slipped into joy."

I don't know if any of this makes sense to you. It is how I live my life now, because it is the only way I have yet to discover that consistently works irrespective of circumstances - and feels right.

Blessings, PMH

ANNOUNCEMENTS The Conference IANDS held at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston , TX, October 25-28, 2006, was absolutely incredible! A dream come true for any and all connected with near-death experiences, on any level, in any manner. The theme, "Near-Death Experiences: 30 Years of Research," headlined a series of dynamic presentations - attended by the largest turnout we have ever had of medical physicians, nurses, counselors, and chaplains. Add to that experiencers and researchers and you have attendance figures of over 400 people! Please access the IANDS website for more details about this important event, and information about how to obtain CDs and DVDs of the various talks and panels: www.iands.org.

It is now time to do something about our lack of broad-based research and cross-cultural studies on the near-death phenomenon. We have come a long way, as evidenced by the Houston Conference, but we still have a long way to go. I have sent a proposal to IANDS with the suggestion that a "research packet" be prepared that can be supplied to any individual or group who wants to do research and/or data collection of near-death experiences, but is unclear as to protocol methods and reporting procedures. It is my hope that the idea catches on and something like a "research packet" emerges. The outline of what I suggested follows. Anyone who wishes to comment on this or who has further suggestions to make should contact IANDS directly, at office@iands.org - and reference "Research Packet Suggestions."


I. Different ways of doing Research:

A. Clinical -



Greyson Scale

B. Observational - (this is what I do)

Police Science

Neurolinguistic Style

C. Narrative Collection -

Personal Interviews

By-mail Collections

II. Questionnaires to use if applicable (samples given):

III. How to record case studies:

IV. Submitting case studies:

A. Research Papers

B. Articles

C. Archival Data Collections

V. Where to send finished work and how to use it:

A. IANDS archives

B. Journal of Near-Death Studies

C. Local Sources, including interested Universities,

Medical Schools, etc.

D. Media

I sincerely hope that something real and substantial comes from this proposal that will extend near-death research to an even broader level that truly reaches across all boundaries. Thank you, PMH