Sunday, August 29, 2010


This blog is mostly dedicated to questions and answers as concerns the near-death phenomenon and related subjects. I am deeply concerned with sustainability, eco-gardens, real seeds (not the Monsanto kind), and how to protect our food and farms. So, occasionally, I'll carry something about those subjects, too. This time, though, I received two stories about the coming of death and manifestations after death, that are so touching I want very much to share them with you. ~PMH

The first is an e-mail from Oswald, and the second is an article Eben wrote.


Dear Dr. Atwater:

In March of this year, I sent the following three e-mails to my children about my wife Joan, who died on February 24, 2008, after a marriage of 55 years. She appeared in my bedroom at 4:00 am on March 3, 2010 looking her natural self and bathed in light. Is this unusual?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010: "I spoke to Sheila today and told her about seeing Joan around 4 this morning. I woke up, opened my eyes, and there she was - standing in full view by the standard lamp near the wardrobe, bathed in light, looking at a notebook not unlike our little phone book, solidly three-dimensional, not at all ethereal, intent on what she was doing, her body moving in keeping with what she was doing. I stared for a moment, thought I would not like to disturb her, or be caught staring at her, so I closed my eyes for a few seconds. When I opened them again, she was gone and the room was in darkness, except for the glow from pilot lights and modem."

Sunday, March 14, 2010: "It will not surprise you to hear that not a day passes without my thinking about March 3rd. Nothing remotely like this has ever happened to me before. Quite frankly I never thought it ever could, though there have been days during Quaker meetings for worship when I would open my eyes and wonder whether I would see Joan there, just as Dorrett had seen Helen in meeting for worship, standing beside her, completely herself, after she died. With me, too, it just seemed perfectly natural that Joan should be there; and since she was always such a caring, loving person, her presence was as reassuring and comforting as it has always been."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010: "I have to tell you that I continue to reflect on what I saw on March 3rd. It was not a dream. It was not an "out-of-body" experience - since I remained firmly rooted to my bed throughout. It was an external event with a clearly defined series of observations. I woke up, opened my eyes, saw what I did, had a few thoughts about it, closed my eyes, then opened them again. A very ordinary sequence of movements and an extraordinary glimpse into another dimension of time and space. Why I was privileged to see this I do not know, but it has been a truly humbling experience. The prevailing memory is that there was so much light. Joan bathed in light. It brings to mind the countless stories of people who have had near-death experiences, about which there are numerous websites. What it says for me is that Joan is alive and well and enjoying what she now does. Perhaps even an angel?"

I would be grateful for your views on this episode. Your "The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences" has been very helpful. Thank you, Oswald


If you're wondering what I said to Oswald, please know that I assured him that his sighting of his beloved wife is fairly normal. These types of sightings and other related "visitations" are far more common than we are told. I suggested that he read "Hello from Heaven," a wonderful book about this type of thing based on careful, objective interviews by Bill Guggenheim and Judith Guggenheim.


(Explanation: Eben is in his eighties and has had a series of heart attacks, so many that his doctors are puzzled as to why he is still alive. Eben has always been a visionary: as a city planner he designed a green belt walkway around Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Rivanna River, during a time when nobody did anything like that for city residents. His goal is to write a book, "little stories" as he calls them, about his long life. His book is almost finished. Here is an article he wrote about it.)

For the last three years I have enjoyed writing little stories of my family and personal adventures in my life as a gift to my family. As a mound of manuscripts piled up from my computer, with stories that have been generated by the thoughts and recollections of events I have enjoyed from the past, I have been encouraged by my three children to put them together in a small book that will preserve them for future readers, family, and friends.

Yesterday (Monday, March 29, 2010) my three dear children had nearly finished preparing my manuscript for publication. My daughter, a professor who teaches advanced English composition at a university near Richmond, had led the challenge of preparing my nearly 100 stories (a lifetime of adventures!) for taking it to the printers. Teamed up with her two brothers, Gary and Greg, they had put the finishing touches necessary to get it ready for printing as a polished, finished work. She has had years of experience as a teacher, English professor, and editor who has gotten her own works published in distinguished journals.

Her brother Gary was similarly experienced in the latest technologies in publishing electronic manuscripts on the Internet. Their younger brother, Greg, was "in the loop" for local sources of the technologies necessary to make our plans come to reality: 20 printed, bound copies for family and local friends, and unlimited access to free copies on the Internet. Gary had, the day before, completed the electronic scanning of my 100+page manuscript with the scanner available here at the Jefferson Heights office.

Gayla, over the last week, led a last-minute search of our voluminous collection of family photographs for an attractive addition of color and black and white photos to spice up the text. All week we had given sysyphean efforts to get everything ready for the "printing." Gayla took the entire text with improvements to Richmond, after making final changes to the electronically-stored text! (These changes should greatly improve the professional appearance of the text.)

About 12:00 noon, Monday, I finally called Gayla with my two pages of new text on Gary. I fumbled an attempt to send it to her as an e-mail enclosure. We switched to a verbatim transmission by phone, with Gayla writing it down word-for-word.

I realized that, in a very real sense, we were racing to beat my possible passing! The Hospice nurses were, almost literally, waiting outside my door. They would be here tomorrow.

I looked up and saw that my grandfather clock had just stopped:

The pendulum now hung inert. Fragments of the nursey rhyme about the Grandfather's clock sprang instantly to mind:

"My grandfather's clock, where it stood on the shelf,
Tick, tock, tick, tock.

90 years without stumbling,
Tick, tock, tick, tock.

90 years without fumbling,
Tick, tock, tick, tock.

But it stopped short, never to go again
When the old man died."

This failure of my grandfather clock, a precious inheritance from my dear "Uncle" Dimick," I had never experienced before.

With stunned surprise, I instinctively checked my pulse to make sure I was still alive and conscious, rose from my chair, walked over to the clock, opened the glass door, and started the pendulum back into its familiar swing.


I want to live to be 100, I thought, and returned to my work in progress.

Tears of gratitude flowed for those three heroes I call "my kids." How proud their mother would have been of them this day!

(I encourage every senior citizen, if at all possible, to either write a book about their life, or at least record on paper or CD some of their stories. This is so important. Even if family is gone, those stories are still history, contributions to the life of community as it passes to the next generation. Our histories, our thoughts, what we did or didn't do, all of it matters. . . because we matter. Hear me when I say: write your book! Thank you, PMH)


Take Action for better food and farm policy

Please sign this petition. I did, and I hope you will, too. ~PMH

If you're interested in better food & farm policy, consider taking 30 seconds to sign the petition to the US Department of Justice asking them to fully enforce pro-competition laws already on the books and break up the corporate monopolies that have hijacked our food system-- destroying the livelihoods of farmers across the country, bringing us the monstrosities that we know as factory farms (or CAFOs), and making our food supply less safe and more prone to price spikes like those that sparked the 2008 global Food Crisis. This is only one part of a large problem, but it is a significant part.

2010 IANDS Conference - Mysteries of Near-Death Experiences

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Lives Transformed and 'Brain Shifts'


"I am a 51-year-old Dutch male from the town of Beilen in the north of the Netherlands. For 36 years I have been reading and talking and philosophizing about NDEs, OBEs, and other spiritual subjects. Currently, I am in the process of reading your very interesting and rewarding book, 'The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences.'

"I am writing you this e-mail to ask you a remarkable question: Did you ever in your research of the phenomenon of the near-death experience come across the story (or stories) of psychopaths, who had one? Do you think that the very intense, telepathic and loving communion with The Light of Love could have a life long healing effect on a psychopath and turn him into a respectful and responsible citizen?

"Of course he would have to go through a very intense and highly emotional life review to experience all the hurt, the terror, and the fear he had inflicted on his victims. I am looking forward to your reply." ....Robert


Well, Robert, that's a question I have not considered before. Psychopaths, no; but those with multiple personalities, various other forms of mental illness, manic depressives, hired killers, and those who were suicidal - yes, many of them. You could argue that a hired killer must be a psychopath, but I do not know that for certain in those cases that I did investigate.

In my book, "Beyond the Light," I talk about several cases of those who were suicidal or who had mental problems, and also in "The New Children and Near-Death Experiences" (especially with those children who were diagnosed with multiple personalities).

What was stunning to me, as per cases with hired hit-men and other such criminals, was how uplifting their episodes incredibly, even horrific, their life reviews were. You would think they would have had a hellish scenario. No. (Maybe one or two did, but the vast majority did not.) That was surprise number one.

Surprise number two was the extensiveness of their life review. Now, that part was hell in the sense of what they had to live through (yes, I said "live") - everything they ever did to another that was hurtful, and then be that person to feel that person's pain and what that person went through, and then be that person's significant others and live what they went through. I mean every pain, blow, betrayal, torture, confusion, depression, despair, and so forth. Life reviews can be like that, but for the criminal element, they can be exceptionally horrible.

Before everyone nods "ah, justice at last," let me add an important observation: as horrific as life reviews can be, the individual viewing/living through one is able to handle this experience in a somewhat detached, objective way. Yes, they suffer. Yes, they feel the pain quite literally. Still, it's as if some part of them, maybe their soul, knows that whatever happened during that lifetime can be used for the greater good, that something beneficial can come out, that nothing (good or bad, large or small) is ever wasted. We can change. We can grow. We can benefit in some manner and use that benefit to fuel a determination to do things better or different next time. And, yes, there is a strong sense of "next time." And for those criminal types I was able to revisit, they did indeed transform their lives afterward, very much for the better, and in remarkable ways that would inspire anyone.

If nothing else, the near-death phenomenon shows us that there is no such thing as a life that is lost. There is redemption, but not always in the manner our traditions and religions teach. Blessings, PMH


"I read with great interest the information on brain shift that appears on your website. I know you've associated it with near-death experiences and other events, but there is one instance/situation I didn't see and I'd like to ask if my circumstances could apply.

"I lost both of my parents in an automobile accident two years ago. They were in Intensive Care for a few days until they passed; my father one day, my mother the next. I was with both of them and, needless to say, it was surreal.

"I must say that ever since I could remember, I feared death (especially my parents'). I truly lost my fear after I witnessed their passing. I wanted to let you know that so many of the characteristics of 'brain shift' that you listed are things I've experienced in the past two years. I have told some close friends that I've experienced a type of 'detachment' (not completely here, not elsewhere). I had almost completely given up meat (it has no appeal) and create meals with vegetables and grains. My creative output (I do market research) has definitely improved. I'm less timid and able to share my thoughts, writings, and ideas.

"Dr. Atwater, do you think that 'brain shift' could be a result of this experience? Have you heard of anything similar?"....Margaret


I am now finishing off Phase III of the Brain Shift/Spirit Shift Model, by writing my 10th and last book about my near-death findings. The book comes out late January, 2011, in hardcover, from Hampton/Red Wheel and is called "Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story."

What most people do not realize is that I did this type of research long before I ever died or heard anything about "near-death experiences." In this previous work done in the sixties and early seventies, I found the same or virtually the same pattern true then for anyone who had undergone an impactual transformation of consciousness, be it from a spiritual awakening or from a vision quest or kundalini breakthrough, or Baptism of the Holy Spirit, or whatever. The important thing here is intensity, and how the intensity of our experiences in life affect the limbic system, frontal lobes, brain structure and function, our digestive and nervous systems, our heart and skin sensitivity. There is no way anyone can undergo a spiritual transformation without it affecting one's body. Not possible. One can also understand this by understanding colloidal conditions in water, the stirring of water and reversal of that stirring, and how that creates colloids. (Yes, I explain this in-depth in the book.) Should this intrigue you, you might read my book "Future Memory," as it broaches these topics in a deeper way than I can do with this e-mail. I might warn you, however, that "Future Memory" is really not a book - it is a labyrinth. In order for the book to make sense, once you start reading it, stay on the path (don't skip around). A labyrinth is meant to be walked as it winds. The book is no exception to that. You may find the material in the book quite helpful. Did your parent's death begin the process of a brain shift/spirit shift for you? Sounds to me like it did. Now would be a good time for you to study the aftereffects pattern and where that might lead you. Enjoy your journey. It will take you to places you never dreamed of before. Blessings, PMH


******* Sign up now for my free newsletters. Just go to the bottom of the Home Page of my website at, and fill out name and e-mail address. Addresses are kept confidential and not shared with anyone. I will be doing more and more newsletters - sometimes articles or book suggestions or tips, or...........just personal sharings. Come aboard!

******* Don't miss the terrific conference on near-death experiences September 2-4 in Denver, Colorado. Put on by the International Association For Near-Death Studies (IANDS), it will feature some of the best researchers in the field, including Dr. Pim van Lommel from the Netherlands, all manner of talks and sharings, experiencer panels, timely material on the aftereffects and how that affects experiencers and their families, special talks by Mellen-Thomas Benedict, Maggie Callanan, Dr. Melvin Morse, Dr. Jeffrey Long, myself, Kimberly Clark-Sharp, and many others. The theme this year is "Mysteries of Near-Death Experiences." Register today at It will be held at the Red Lion Hotel, Denver Central. See you there!!!!!!!!!!

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