Monday, June 01, 2009

If Suffering is an Illusion, isn't Joy? ...and Are There NDE Prodigies?


"If eternity is so perfect, why am I currently in a state where it seems terrifying to me?"...Justine


Because you have yet to shift your focus from the external world to the internal one. That can take time. Try a meditation class or contemplative exercises. Or, maybe visit a Unity Church or a Center of Spiritual Living, if either is near. Sometimes just playing tapes in your car as you drive to and fro will open up other avenues of thinking and feeling, or, taking a yoga class. As long as you believe that the world around you in your only source of truth, you will never be satisfied with your life or how you feel. I can only offer suggestions and perspective. Action, the willingness to proceed and discover, is up to you. PMH


"I really appreciate your answer, but I have one more question. Isn't embracing the idea that perception is illusion, just embracing the idea that everything is meaningless? If suffering is an illusion, isn't joy? If everything is empty and one, how are we to spend our time? Wouldn't anyone be miserable just sitting still and feeling the Oneness of everything for all time? I guess the only meaning I understand is happiness and fulfillment, which seem impossible in a universe of constant flux. Is there a point after which we can feel only bliss?"...Justine


My dear Justine, if nothing else, please take up contemplation, then prayer and meditation. Begin there. Everything is real and not real at the same time. It all depends on how you view it. Everything has meaning and is purposeful, even if it seems as if it could not be so. Whatever we do, whoever we become, fills out, expands or changes our trajectory - where we are headed in the ultimate scheme of things. Nothing is wasted. Nothing. And nothing is forgotten - it just changes in meaning and purpose as we change. Emptiness is so full that it is bursting at the "seams" with potential and possibility. And there is such fascination and wonder in every "drop" of creation that boredom is non-existent. How can I possibly explain a rose to you if all you have ever seen throughout the years of your living are weeds? How can I possibly show you God's Love, The Love That Holds The Universe Together, if all you have ever known are expectations and the feelings that accompany them?

This e-mail can't do it for you. Instead, allow your heart to speak to you. Allow what is already within you to surface. There can be no other way, no other proof, no other truth for you, but that which arises from the wellspring of wisdom inside your inner self. True life, true living, true joy, begins when you do. PMH


"I've been obsessed with NDEs over the past few years now, and something interesting struck me while I was thinking about them today. I've noticed that people who've been close to death/died multiple times, either always seem to have an NDE or they never do. I have yet to come across an NDEr who's died multiple times who hasn't had an NDE during his or her deaths. I know that you've had three NDEs yourself. I find this interesting; my guess regarding this thought is that perhaps some people are born with some prodigy ability to induce at least an out-of-body experience (even if they're not aware of it), just as certain people are prodigies in other areas such as music, cooking, sports, etc."...Ronnie


Well, maybe. Really there's no way any of us can prove your idea one way or another. I have encountered people who died multiple times and did not have an NDE in either one of them and felt cheated that they didn't. I have run across people who had multiple experiences, then went through other death events but did not experience any more near-death states. I have met people who seemed to alternate in the sense that in one death event they had a near-death experience, the next they did not, then they did again, and then they did not. The one with the most near-death experiences in my research base was a man who had 23 of them. He was in his early forties when I met him. He was not expected to live at birth, then went on to have serious complications and difficulties that continued throughout his life. At each crisis, he had another NDE, without fail. I asked him why, and he said something to the affect that each one gave him the energy and the courage he needed to keep on living. . . they were like "vitamin pills" for him, or "life-shocks." So, if you just look at his case, your theory falls apart. He wasn't "born" to have near-death experiences. That they happened, kept him alive. PMH


* The International Association For Near-Death Studies (IANDS) now has available an online course covering the near-death phenomenon. Called "Near-Death Experience: An Online Educational Course," it is designed primarily for healthcare professionals, but can be used by anyone. CEU credits are currently available for some; later on for people nationwide. Dubed the "best-ever introductory course," you can see for yourself by accessing this address:
Anyone interested should contact IANDS directly at

* Dates have been set for future near-death experiencer retreats at The Mercy Center, St. Louis, MO. These dates are:

  • July 15-18, 2010
  • May 12-15, 2011
  • April 27-30, 2012

IANDS sponsors these highly successful spiritual retreats, led by Linda Jacquin, Dave Bennett, and Bill Taylor. The website to learn more about experiencer retreats is To reach those in charge, contact:

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