Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Unprecedented Muslim Call For Peace With Christians

By Peter Graff Thu Oct 11, 10:37 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - More than 130 Muslim scholars from around the globe called on Thursday for peace and understanding between Islam and Christianity, saying "the very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake."

In an unprecedented letter to Pope Benedict and other Christian leaders, 138 Muslim scholars said finding common ground between the world's biggest faiths was not simply a matter for polite dialogue between religious leaders.

"If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace. With the terrible weaponry of the modern world; with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the world's inhabitants," the scholars wrote.

"Our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake," they wrote, adding that Islam and Christianity already agreed that love of God and neighbor were the two most important commandments of their faiths.

. . .Such a joint letter is unprecedented in Islam, which has no central authority that speaks on behalf of all worshippers.

The list of signatories includes senior figures throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. They represent Sunni, Shi'ite and Sufi schools of Islam.

Among them were the grand muftis of Egypt, Palestine, Oman, Jordan, Syria, Bosnia and Russia and many imams and scholars. War-torn Iraq was represented by both Shi'ites and Sunnis.

Mustafa Cagrici, the mufti who prayed with Benedict in Istanbul's Blue Mosque last year, was also on the list, as was the popular Egyptian television preacher Amr Khaled.


The letter was addressed to the Pope, leaders of Orthodox Christian churches, Anglican leader Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the heads of the world alliances of the Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist and Reformed churches.

Williams said he welcomed it as "indicative of the kind of relationship for which we yearn in all parts of the world."

"The call to respect, peace and goodwill should now be taken up by Christians and Muslims at all levels and in all countries," he said.

A Vatican official in Rome said the Roman Catholic Church would not comment until it had time to read the letter.

Aref Ali Nayed, one of the signatories and a senior adviser to the Cambridge Interfaith Program at Cambridge University in Britain, said the signatories represented the "99.9 percent of Muslims" who follow mainstream schools and oppose extremism.

"In Islam we have had a problem for some time now where the mainstream voices are drowned out by a minority that choose violence," he said.

Nayed said organizers of the letter had set up an ad hoc network among Muslim leaders that could lead to more cooperation in future.

"These people don't take their signatures lightly," he said. "We are trying to institutionalize this so we don't lose it."

The overture to Christians could be followed by similar letters addressed to Jews or secularists, he added.

Pope Benedict sparked Muslim protests last year with a speech hinting Islam was violent and irrational. It prompted 38 Muslim scholars to write a letter challenging his view of Islam and accepting his call for serious Christian-Muslim dialogue.

Benedict repeatedly expressed regret for the reaction to the speech, but stopped short of a clear apology sought by Muslims.

The new letter argues in theological terms, giving quotes from the Koran and the Bible that show both Christianity and Islam considered love of God as their greatest commandment and love of neighbor as the second greatest.

"The basis for this peace and understanding already exists," it said.

"It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths:
love of the one God and love of the neighbor."

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Mayan Calendar and 2013

I've been following the chatter amongst folks about prophecy and the Mayan Calendar. Please keep in context that most of the ancient calendars from far-flung groups around our planet are turning at about the same time as the Mayan, that long-standing prophecy for this time in our history points to major changes that coincide with calendar predictions. With astrology, the same. No matter what tradition you explore, you find basically the same time - we are smack in the middle of The Great Shifting. In astrology we understand this as a turn of the Great Cosmic Year (a 25,920-year cycle). In my book, "Beyond the Indigo Children," I talk about this at length. Within the next several weeks, I'll have a DVD to offer on my website that is a filmed version of a talk I gave about this subject.

This is not the end of the world, nor does the Mayan Calendar indicate any such thing. It is the end of a huge cycle, far bigger than the Great Cosmic Year. To the Mayan elders, it is the end to styles/trends/pulsations/energy factors/life rhythms/weather patterns as we have known them. We live on. The world goes on. But the way we do things, what we believe, how we function, the way we respond to each other and the challenges we face - all of that will alter and alter some more. The old way of thinking and living, that is what is coming to an end - maybe not overnight - but certainly during this timeframe, which will stretch on for many years to come.

We are about to enter what is called the final Fifth Night of the Mayan Calendar. This occurs around the third week of this November and lasts for several years (I think until 2010 or 2011 - although some may argue this). The Fifth Night as a patterning is considered a time of destruction where the old way of doing things is overturned, making way for a new order. During previous Fifth Nights, historically, the following occurred: the Dark Ages, the Great Depression, Nazism, Stalinism, the Holocaust, WWII, the Korean War, the dropping of the atomic and hydrogen bombs. It has been predicated for this last "gasp" of Fifth Night energy, we may see the collapse of the international monetary system and the beginning of the end to values mediated by the left hemisphere of the brain. Following the Fifth Night, we then enter a period of Renaissance, the beginning of the Sixth Day and the flowering of unity consciousness.

I tend to be a little careful about claiming that a Golden Age will soon flower, arising as if a phoenix-bird from the ashes of what went before. And I tend to hesitate about this because of what I found with the children who had undergone near-death states, and were a part of my research (refer to "The New Children and Near-Death Experiences"). Of the 277 in my research base, a little less than a third of them were quite adamant about why they were here. To a child they would say, "I'm here for the changes." When I pressed them as to what that might mean, they would describe times of change so tremendous that the earth would need all the help it could get, and so would the people who lived on earth. You can't get timing with any reliability with kids, so I asked them to describe what they would look like when these big changes came. They would either say they were adults with older children of their own or grandparents with grandchildren. I pulled out my handy-dandy calculator and did some figuring, projecting ahead in concert with the age they were now and the age they would probably be when a scenario like this could be expected. The result was the span of years from 2013 through 2029 when they said the biggest earth changes would occur.

Now, that is very interesting to me as a researcher, but what was even more interesting was when I read the book "Generations" by William Strauss and Neil Howe. They're my favorite of the generational researchers and I consider this book of theirs a "bible" in the field. Toward the back of the book they projected ahead with future generational cycles and the kinds of pressures these groups might face. In essence, the years between 2013 and 2029 were the time they felt when the United States would be faced with the greatest challenge to its continuance ever, a time of great achievement and indescribable tragedy. They warned that the energy within this timeframe could equal that of the major wars we have faced, all put together. It is a sobering passage - WHICH MATCHES THE SAME TIMEFRAME THE CHILDREN DESCRIBED!

When people get excited about 2011 and 2012, I find myself now doing a backstep and saying "We'll see." Commonsense alone tells us that if major infrastructures and belief patterns change, there will be a span of time afterward for "the dust to settle." We see this truth with near-death experiences and with other types of consciousness transformations.....yes, the event which tips us happens in a second and our world is forever changed because of it.....but those aftereffects take some time to adjust to and integrate. At least a minimum of seven years in my research (which has been verified in the largest clinical, prospective study ever done on near-death Holland..and published in The Lancet medical journal).

Huge changes in our society and everyone else's society have already happened, are happening now, and will soon expand and accelerate in ways that will be spectacular, surprising, wonderful, and troubling. And when these flips and turn-arounds seem to simmer down - the really big ones will start. It is that timeframe from 2013 through 2029 that concerns me the most, after the ancient calendars have rolled over.

Hopefully, all of us, certainly people who read this blog, have discovered by now the value of intuition. Learning to listen, trust and expand one's intuition can enrich life incredibly. It is my belief that once intuition is accepted as the equal of intellect, once the silence of presence, of feeling, of the heart in step with the mind, becomes normal to us - once we model this, teach it, live it, then the challenge of change will be easier to handle. We will be more prepared and others too, calmer, more centered, ready to ride the waves of whatever our tomorrows may bring with joy instead of fear.

Blessings to all, PMH

Thursday, October 04, 2007

NDEs and the Divinatory Arts

This topic concerns what is seen by many people as a conflict between the fact that I am an astrologer and intuitive counselor as well as a serious researcher of near-death states. Society still considers this a no-no, and amounts to a breach of ethics in some scientific circles. I used to “hide” my other interests because of this, until I finally realized there is no conflict here and no reason for me to apologize to anyone. Here is a question/answer session I had recently. It will give you a opportunity to explore both the pros and cons with this issue. PMH


“I am writing about something on your website that is confusing and disappointing. You say that you are involved in astrology and can be hired to perform astrological readings. Astrology seems to be based on superstition. This is in contrast with your research on near-death experiences (NDEs) which seems to be careful, extensive, and unbiased. And, NDE research and findings are dealing with ultimate truths.

I recently read a book by Dr. Kenneth Ring entitled Lessons from the Light. In this book, Dr. Ring mentions your work and briefly describes your NDEs. I was impressed with what he said of you. I am also impressed with what I learned about you from other sources. Since Dr. Ring referred to your books, I purchased one them, Beyond the Light, and I am half way through reading it. I don’t recall finding references to astrology in your book, Dr. Ring’s book, or books by Dr. Raymond Moody that I read years ago.

I read your book and Dr. Ring’s book for two reasons. First, I am very curious about the subjects. Second, the NDE accounts and discussion make me more hopeful during the bad times I am going through. But, finding mention of astrology on your website was disappointing and reduced the impact of your book. Now, I don’t know what to think about your research and conclusions.

Why would you be involved with both NDEs and astrology? If you have time, I would appreciate your comments on this.” …Rand


I am sorry you feel disappointed in my references to astrology or the fact that I am an astrologer. Certainly, many people practice a form of astrology that is based on superstition, assumptions, wishes, or for a myriad of other biases. This misunderstanding about astrology has dogged its existence for more years than I can count. Fortunately for me, I had very good teachers at the onset who made it clear that predictions and pie-in-the-sky promises had no place in true astrology. Astrology is both a science (based on mathematical configurations) and an artform (based on intuition and an understanding of the influence of patterns). As a science, often referred to as "divine science," it focuses on time in the sense of the growth and maturity of human beings and how various trends and changing pressures might affect people. I liken an astrological chart to a road map - nothing more. It shows where your dirt roads are, mountain passes, highways, ponds, rivers, living spaces, but it never (under any condition) tells you where to go or what to do with your life. Those choices are up to you and you alone. Astrology merely "paints pictures" and gives you a better sense of your various assets and liabilities and how you might best use what you have to improve your life. It is also very helpful in understanding the masses and why history repeats itself.

There are many systems of astrology - some not based on math at all, but on animals and their traits, or on the flow of energy (called "dragon's breath"). I am acquainted with these, but choose not to practice any of them. Even though some of the other systems of astrology seem "far out," ridiculous, or just plain stupid, there is a truth that underlies them - in fact all of them - and that is throughout humankind and our planet earth there is a pulse, a beat, a rhythm to all things. Call it planet-influenced, God-led, the science of day/night and the influence of weather, or the outworking of human belief, this rhythm exists. There are many ways of plugging into this rhythm. Some use divination to do so, others dreams - maybe intuition, psychic visions, prayer, religious ceremony, vision quests, the divinatory arts, psychic phenomena, to mention just a few.

I make no apology for the fact that I am an astrologer, a numerologist, and a rune caster. These are aspects of the divinatory arts, particular systems that work well with me and enable me to ensure that my ego will not be involved when others seek my counsel, that I can stay focused on the individual and through that focus remain steady in my devotion to God and that which enhances, honors, and respects the higher orders of love, truth, and joy. I was an astrologer and a numerologist before I died, more of a technician, really. Afterward, I could no longer practice as I did before. I threw out all the rules and regulations I previously used, and simply flowed into the larger picture of what these practices were set up to show. It was that larger picture, that deeper truth, which spoke to me and drives me still. I pray and meditate before any session and dedicate my work solely to God and whatever is best for the highest good of that person and all concerned with that person. Please do not compare me with other divinatory practitioners. I am not interested in the business of these crafts, nor in impressing anyone or playing games. My job as I see it is to serve the Greater Good.

In the early days of setting up my website, my webmaster and I discussed how this could be done. Would my website be dedicated entirely to my research of near-death states? Would I mention my other involvements? Would I stay clear of anything intuitive or psychic? Would featuring both sides of my life, the many sides of my life, lessen my reputation as a researcher of near-death states? This situation was a tough one. I prayed about it for days, and then finally just surrendered to God. Thy Will, not my will. I came to realize that the only self I can be is my whole self. I am a disciplined researcher who follows a strict protocol and cross-checks everything I do: I am a practitioner of the divinatory arts who allows the wisdom within to surface when others can be aided by my doing so: I am a deeply passionate spiritual being who, through prayer and meditation, chooses to put God first in my life. I am also a wife, mother, grandmother, and floor scrubber who takes great delight in clean floors and made beds and a sense of order inside and outside. I love plants and I can hear them speak. I love life because I can hear and see and interact with and focus on the reality which supports that which we think of as life. I can see through things and have a sense of future and timing (not because I am an astrologer, but because I can flow in rhythm to the pulse of creation and all created things). My three near-death experiences changed me in substantial ways. It is my hope and prayer that people will come to accept all of me. I have no desire to hide or pretend or ignore. I am who I am. Although I have great respect for the divinatory arts and things "psychic, my life is God's life, and I am very happy. I hope you are too.

Perhaps this brief explanation will be helpful to you. Truly, my work as a researcher could not possibly be verified by clinical studies, as is now occurring, if I were superstition-bound and only interested in flaunting my ego to impress people. I am grateful my research has proved to be of significance worldwide, and that my more intimate moments in counseling/reading situations has proven to comfort and heal. This humbles me more than I can say.

Blessings, PMH

Summarizing the Near-Death Experience


I am trying out something new this time with my column, and that is sharing with you an interchange I had with the publishers of Epoca Magazine, Brazil. They are planning on running an article about me and my newest, The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences: The Ultimate Guide to What Happens When We Die (Hampton Roads), in a forthcoming issue. They sent me a list of questions, which I endeavored to answer to the best of my ability. As you might suspect, there is no way in a single e-mail message to address the fullness of any given subject. All I did, all anyone can do, is summarize. Keep that in mind as you read the answers I submitted to each of their questions. Blessings, PMH

1. Why did I decide to write about near-death experiences? I made no such decision. During my third near-death experience, after the segment where the innerworkings of creation and consciousness were revealed to me, a voice spoke. This was not like an angel voice or a guide or guardian. It was a voice that so filled the universe that it was as if all of creation were but the outer expression of it’s magnificence. I called it The Voice Like None Other, and it was my sense that this Voice was of God. The Voice said: “Test revelation. You are to do the research. One book for each death.” It showed me what that meant, named books two and three but not book one, and then told me what was to be in each book. How long this task might take or what might be involved in doing it was not mentioned. I returned to life infused with this mission. It was why I was alive. It was why I returned from death. It was what I had to do. I began my research in November of 1978, and have worked on this project non-stop since then. My research base now numbers nearly 4,000 adults and children. I had never heard of Raymond Moody nor his best selling book. I simply began doing what was for me to do, using police investigative techniques as my protocol. My background is that of a cop’s kid being raised in a police station. My dad started teaching me police investigative techniques at the age of nine, and he was very strict. That means I have been very disciplined in doing what I have done, working on the average of a six-day week, 10 hours per day, sometimes longer. Let me be very clear here – I do not just write about near- death experiences (and please be careful to put the hyphen between “near” and “death,” otherwise you are referring to another condition altogether). I am a researcher of near-death states - the experience, the aftereffects, and the implications. I do not stray from that position or my goal.

2. Why is it important to write about this subject? Near-death experiences are unlike other transformative states in the sense that they occur to anyone of any age, and usually under conditions of surgery, accident, illness, or some form of violence. That means medical or emergency staff is present, or family, or other people – who can give third-party testimony to what occurred. This is critically important because during the cessation of vital signs and flattened brain-wave activity, there is still clear and coherent consciousness that is unobstructed, active, and unlimited in what it can cover and comprehend. This fact alone challenges all that we know about the brain and about the human body – while at the same time affirming what mystics have been saying for thousands of years: that we are more than our bodies, that we continue to live in some form after death, and that there is far more to life than we could possibly imagine. Today, the near-death experience is the number one choice of scientists in the world to study consciousness itself: what it is and where it might reside.

3. What is the main idea of your book, its proposal? “The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences” is written for busy people on the goal who want information in short chunks without having to read the whole book to understand what they are reading. It is filled with side-bars, cartoons, drawings, and charts, not to mention riveting stories about people near-to death or who have actually died then were revived or resuscitated. These stories and drawings from both adults and children show scenes of an afterlife, out-of-body experiences, spirit beings of various kinds. These stories challenge us in how we feel about heaven and hell, and what we believe about our lives and how we might best live them. The book’s job is to bring the entire field of near-death studies up-to-date circa 2007 with what is now known to be true or not true. It does not contain just my work, but covers the work of others including that of skeptics. With four prospective clinical studies done in three countries, and countless papers now published in peer- reviewed journals, the field of study has come of age. Questions of oxygen deprivation, drugged hallucinations, and so forth have been discounted. Although some questions remain about embellishments and deep-brain structures, other objections to the reality of near-death states and their significance have been put to rest. That makes The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences seminal in its power to set things straight and cover the entire field, along with the various myths which have sprung around it, as never before. It also makes the subject of spirituality and the underlying reason for life itself a top priority.

4. Do I believe this kind of experience has a scientific explanation? There is no denying the scientific links one can make to various aspects of the near-death experience. I am now engaged in completing my theoretical model which will show specifically what I have noticed and what I think that means. However, no science, no theory, no experiment, no argument of any kind – none of this – can explain nor map the entire phenomenon, what causes it, or why. We in the research community can only show links, involvements, but we cannot verify cause. And no scientific researcher, none of them, has ever considered or worked with the entire phenomenon in any meaningful way, nor with numbers of experiencers that could supply a reasonable and viable research base. Remember, it is the aftereffects that verify the experience. And there is a pattern to the aftereffects, which are both physiological and psychological. You cannot talk about, argue, prove or disprove anything about the experience without also including the pattern of aftereffects, the effect that has on the experiencer, the long- term impact, plus what all of this implies about life as well as death.

5 In my opinion, how can near-death experiences be explained? They cannot be fully explained, not even spiritually, let alone scientifically. We are all different and the reason things happen to us are because of differing factors and conditions. What I can say as a researcher is that I have noticed that these types of experiences usually happen to people who somehow most “need” them – either because of factors in their life or because of what is not in their life, like a reverence for the spiritual or even a willingness to recognize the higher callings possible with a connection to Divinity and things sacred, beautiful, and worthy. With the little ones, it’s sometimes as if they had their experience for the benefit of their parents or their care-givers – yet – as they age, they too can be affected and in a deep manner by what happened to them as a baby or as a young child. Experiencers say “It’s all about love. God is, death isn’t.” If we take them at their word and truly recognize how they are changed afterward, we must then face ourselves and ask who we have helped in our lives and what we have done to make our world a better place because we were here. Near-death experiences seem to be about being honest with ourselves and making a place in our lives for all that love means.