Monday, January 25, 2010

Incontrovertible Scientific Proof of NDEs?


"I have read a few of your books with great interest ("Beyond the Light," "Future Memory," and "The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences"). I was brought up to believe there is more to life (and the afterlife) than can be experienced with the five senses, but as time goes on, I find that increasingly difficult to believe.

"I have lost many loved ones to death, starting with my mother when I was eight years old. I used to believe (and, of course, would love to believe) that living creatures, including human beings, survive death in some shape or form that preserves consciousness.

"Nonetheless, in spite of the evidence put forward in your books, I find it extremely hard to believe that people who 'die' and have NDEs are really truly dead. Is it not possible that on some deep level, unmeasurable by current scientific instruments, their brains are actually alive and the NDE is being produced by a distant corner of their (still living) brain/mind?

"A few years ago, I watched a documentary that detailed the experience of a woman whose brain - if I understand it correctly - was rendered completely inactive by doctors while she underwent brain surgery. It appeared that they had somehow stopped blood flow to her brain. She had a profound NDE. But how was her brain made totally inactive without killing her or rendering her brain-dead?

"In trying to find answers to questions of life and death, I have encountered charlatans - cold-reading mediums, for example - and increasingly feel that grieving people are a wonderful, if utterly immoral, target market for people unscrupulous enough to exploit their pain by offering apparent - but untruthful - comfort that their loved ones are still around in another dimension.

"If you have any references that provide incontrovertible scientific proof that near-death experiencers are, in actual fact, dead when they have NDEs, I'd be very interested to read them. I so want to believe in the truth of an afterlife but I don't want to put my faith in a chimera."...Mary


There is no such thing as incontrovertible proof of life after death. Doesn't exist. So, let's move past the impossible and look at what does exist.

The case you are referring to is that of Pam Reynolds. Yes, it is true, she was virtually killed by her doctors. I mean that. Nothing was working nor could it work. It is a very risky surgery that was performed on her. To my knowledge, this surgery has only been performed a few times. The risk is - what if they cannot bring her back and in tack without brain damage? Pam took that risk. The surgery was successful. What is amazing about her case, not just that she had a near-death experience and could see and hear what was going on in the surgery room, but that she evidenced CONTINUOUS CONSCIOUSNESS during the entire time of her surgery. This is unique to the near-death phenomenon. Many are clinically dead, as dead as anyone can tell, when they later revive and tell what happened to them. (Refer to your copy of "Beyond the Light" and the case of George Rodonaia, and Ricky Bradshaw, and Mellen-Thomas Benedict, and Margaret Fields Kean - all stunning cases with ample third-party verification of details.)

I have no doubt that parts of the brain are involved in near-death states, not as causal, but as participatory in setting up the process itself. How can this be if the brain has flat-lined? This is where the issue becomes utterly fascinating. It is my sense, from my own work, that somehow conditions are preset or set up before actual death ensues. I say this because of what I have personally noticed about tracking brain function - not as a thinking brain - but with parts of the brain - the way the limbic system and pre-frontals, temporal lobes and pineal gland act. I know there's something going on here, and this is exactly what I will be discussing in-depth in the book I am now writing - my 10th and last book about my near-death research, where I complete my theoretical model and tie things together. So, I cannot be more specific at this time. Sorry about that. But I do want to emphasize, the brain is not causal in near-death states. That "something else" that is involved is the soul. And that "something else" must be broached. We must talk about the soul. If we don't, we will be tossing away one of the most important causal happenings present.

Can people see the dead as alive or at least highly mobile. Yes. I can. So can thousands of others, especially child experiencers. I have often threatened to put up a sign on our front door that would read: "Welcome, whether you wear a body or not." I haven't done it yet, though. Maybe someday I will. Thus, to me, seeing the dearly departed is nothing new nor is it unusual. It is my life. I can't imagine this to be any different. It does not happen often, only when appropriate. What happens more often with me is seeing energy beings, or just the energy fields themselves. That for me is an everyday occurrence. And it is valid - what I see and feel and hear and taste and touch. Most near-death experiencers come back with enhanced abilities of various types. I am no exception. The IANDS Conference held in San Diego in October of 2009 was the first time the organization has tackled the subject of enhanced abilities in a public venue. I delivered a paper on the subject while there, that is now posted on my website in the Article Section.

Do people take advantage of enhanced abilities to make money? You bet they do, and even some near-death experiencers. (My paper addressed this and it talks about discernment.) Most mediums do give out a little here and a little there - seldom more than just enough to imply truth. I have yet to see a medium, especially stage mediums, who do anything remarkable. What sells the public is their mystique, and sometimes their giving nature. I give readings myself (not as a typical psychic or medium). You can read up about what I offer on my website in the section on Consultations. I am very practical, down-to-earth, and make it clear to my clients that I do not have a crystal ball. All I can offer is another viewpoint to their questions, and give trends, suggestions, ideas, and dialogue. If they want a medium, I advise them to go somewhere else. The readings I have given, paid for my research (that's where the money I used came from), and they gave me an opportunity to serve the Higher Good. I am a Prayer Chaplain (no charge for my services), and I am devoted to the healing possible in every moment and the joy available to those who are willing to accept the truth of their being.

No one can convince you of anything. Nor would I even try. You can only see for yourself, cross-check, search, cross-check again, then traverse those 18 inches from your head to your heart and see what you find when you get there. Just consider me a scruffy, honest researcher who chooses to work with both halves of my brain, not just one.

Blessings, always. PMH


If you are not signed up for my free Newsletter service, you might consider doing so. Just get on my website at and scroll down to the bottom of the Home Page. You sign up there. Simple. This list is not used for anything else, so relax about having your address tossed about. There is no schedule for the newsletters. I only send them out when there is something of note I want to share with you. In the last month, though, I've sent out three (that's unusual). Of the last two, one was about some terrific 2010 calendars plus some comments on 2010; and the other was about the new DVD "Dying to Live" - very well done, about one woman's near-death experience, what she learned, and did about it. Thanks, PMH

Labels: , ,

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Death Does Not End Life


"I recently completed your book, 'The New Children and Near-Death Experiences,' as part of my own personal research this summer in an attempt to provide answers (answers that I am afraid are impossible to actually get) as to where my twin baby girls are.

"I know you are a very busy woman, and according to the website, unlikely to see this e-mail anytime soon - but I felt compelled to reach out to you, something I usually don't do. I read a part of your book that discussed when consciousness enters into the physical form during development in the womb. I was hoping maybe you could provide more, specifically on this point. Nearly three years ago to the day, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant. We had just moved out of state to a town where we knew no one. I was working full time. My husband was embarking on school, and we had a 2 1/2 year old little boy. We had our hands full. The pregnancy was unusual from the start and demanded that I be given an ultrasound as soon as possible (my first pregnancy had ended in miscarriage at seven weeks, so I was very nervous). The ultrasound revealed at nine weeks that I was carrying twins and that they were sharing a placenta. Later ultrasound at 16 weeks showed that they were girls (we named them Emme - which is Hawaiian for 'love,' and Josi, which means 'God made room for one more'). At 18 weeks we were diagnosed with Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), with Josi being the donor twin and Emme being the receiver. At 20 weeks I flew to Texas for a procedure that had the potential of correcting the placental problem. At 23 weeks I had the procedure, which unfortunately, was unsuccessful, and in the process we made the decision to 'interrupt' Emme's pregnancy in order to give Josi the best chance for survival. I flew home two days later, and six days after that (I was 24 weeks pregnant), I went into preterm labor (it was Christmas Eve) and delivered Josi on Christmas morning. Officially, she had a faint pulse after delivery, but was pronounced dead soon after.

"Dr. Atwater, I have spent the past three years wondering why. Why didn't all the prayer work? Why weren't they saved? Did they suffer? Did they know how hard I tried and how much faith I had? I am having a very hard time recovering. I do not much subscribe to those who put off my girls as simply 'they were not meant to be' - because they very much were 'being,' I know. I felt them. My little girl, Quinn, was conceived three months after the loss of my twins. Her due date was originally one day before the loss of Emme and one week before Christmas (she ended up coming two weeks early). I want to enjoy her for her, so much. But I keep getting hung up. What is so odd is that Quinn's time of conception is actually exactly when my husband and I had originally planned to try for our next child - so like clockwork. She is such an interesting little girl. She just turned 19 months old, so unlike her brother or my husband, or myself. She is just a beautiful mystery. I hope maybe one day, she will tell me something about my twins - as some of the experiencers you discuss in your book were able to see, talk to, or meet their "spirit" siblings. I guess my questions are these: did my girls possess consciousness prior to their deaths? Will I see them again? if they have been moved to another life will I not be granted the opportunity to know them?

"Thank you, Dr. Atwater. I thoroughly enjoyed your book and the glimpse of what could be beyond was very comforting."...Mim


Mim, no one can answer your questions. Not really. Not even mediums. But I can give you something to think about.

Missing twins, or twins that died, tend to show up in near-death experiences of either the mother or the father, sometimes in those of siblings. You have read "The New Children and Near-Death Experiences" so you already know that. When they show up in these episodes, they are always alive with light, bright, clear, happy and healthy looking, and more than ready to comfort their loved ones and just "be around" for a while. Sometimes they appear as children. Most of the time they appear at the age they would have been now had they lived.

From what I have seen, I have no hesitation in saying that death does not end life. On some level, somewhere, your twins are very much alive in spirit. Why they came and then left so abruptly is the sticking point, because I cannot say why they left. Perhaps there was something for you to learn from the experience. Perhaps there was something they needed to learn from the experience. You know, we usually think in terms of our own needs and comforts, and not in terms of theirs - those who left us. They are learning and growing too, not just us. It is appropriate to say - maybe they needed this experience. Even if you never know the real "why," you can know this: their coming and going was no accident. As you put it so well, these children were loved, and they came on waves of love. Please know that, maybe, just maybe, they left on wings of love. Love brought them in. Love let them go. Mothers learn this sooner or later - that love fulfills itself, that love alone is enough. Our ideas about love, what we want, what we expect, is not what love is or how it functions. Love, true love, obeys a Higher Law and a Greater Calling.

I would never say "it was meant to be." Who knows if that was the case? It is more honest to say, "Love fulfilled itself and it's own calling with my babies. In love and deep gratitude, I bless the existence they once had and I bless the foreverness in spirit they have always had and still do. I know that someday I will see them again, know them, in whatever form is best at whatever time is blessed. I thank them for their brief visit and I release them for the continuance of their Highest Good. I have gained from them. They have gained from me. Thank you God for the deep mysteries of life and of death, and for the privilege of being a conduit of life's blessedness in all its glory and wonder."

In my book, "We Live Forever," I talk a lot about the soul and how it has its own agenda. We as personalities have an awareness that is unique to us. But on the soul level, that higher part of us, there is a knowingness that transcends what we can conceive of. It is on the level of soul that answers lie. I urge you to read that book, and, of the cases I present, pay special attention to the two girls who died in an automobile accident just before they were to graduate from high school. Their story will help you to better understand and appreciate the soul level and how it operates. What we call a tragedy, the master calls a butterfly (I believe this phrase came from the book, "Illusions," by Richard Bach--well worth reading).

You already have two dear children. Give them a chance and they will show you what love is. It is no accident that two left. And, it is no accident that two have stayed. You and your husband are blessed, Mim. Two in bodies, two in spirit. Such Grace. When they ask me about my grandchildren, I always say I have four wearing bodies and one in spirit. This is the truth. Don't ever deny truth. Spirit is just as lively as bodies are, and just as loving. Blessings, PMH


*** For Child Experiencers of Near-Death States: Jenny Moores, MA, is still looking for volunteers for her doctoral study. If you are interested in being a part of this work, contact her at or call her at (559) 801-2381.

*** For occasional news from me on various subjects, be certain you are signed up to receive my e-newsletters. One just went out about trends in our new decade and about some wonderful 2010 calendars. Ask for it when you sign up. A free service. Access my website at, or contact my webmaster directly at webmaster at

Labels: , , ,