The Other Side and Doors of Perception
"I recently sent you a query, so, sorry to bother you again, but I came across this today and find it incredibly interesting with regard to NDE's. It is the Buddhist Wheel of Life. I expect what with you being such an extensive researcher, you will have come across it yourself before.
"It has so many parallels with NDE's. I have read about - the blissful states (heaven), the hellish states, etc. What surprises me is that according to Buddhists, even the heavenly realms are not permanent states of existence - to achieve true liberation you have to completely leave the wheel of existence (as Buddha is depicted in the top right of the picture of the wheel).
"I find it almost disturbing the way beings are trapped in this existence and I start to think why is existence this way at all. But it definitely makes me see why it is important to let go of attachments, and try to do the best you can in this life. I think I read before you said that there is no way to prove what happens after death, but it would be interesting to hear your opinion on this."...Jenny
Jenny, many near-death researchers noticed this right off and wrote about it extensively. Among them is Kenneth Ring. Yes, the similarity is remarkable - except when you view it through the lens of material that has been collected regarding near-death experiences. Then the pattern deviates. How it deviates concerns third-party verifications of details in the individual's episode (information they absolutely could not have known but did, even more remarkable with child experiencers), and the pattern of physiological and psychological aftereffects that with most experiencers becomes life-long.
The implication here, and it is a strong one, is that for experiencers the phenomenon leads to a transformation of consciousness. For some, this transformation is more extreme than for others, still, not just changes are referred to here, but a transformation!
As concerns heaven and hell, study the narratives. Clearly, neither one is an end place. The model you are given is that of numerous layers of the more dense energy levels and the same for the lighter-finer energy levels. What seems to exist on the Other Side, is an open-ended system. . . that operates according to need/intention/choice/willingness/forgiveness/- love. We get what we need, say experiencers, to further our growth and learning. Please refer to my book "We Live Forever: The Real Truth About Death" for a more in-depth description of "heaven" and "hell."
Think about this and what such a reality might mean. Any open-ended system supports and encourages growth. What exists on the Other Side of death? No one knows for certain. But this much is known: narratives from near-death experiencers are just as valuable as those from meditating monks and spiritual adepts. It's the same territory - as seen from differing viewpoints. PMH
"I would be very grateful if you could answer the following questions: 1. Why should anyone lose consciousness when they are dealt a severe blow to the brain/body, or when put under general anesthesia? Why does such a phenomenon as 'unconsciousness' even exist if 'we' are capable of existing - memories and all intact - separately from our physical bodies?
Surely if changes to the brain-body system can lead to changes in our level of consciousness, our memories, and so on, then this strongly suggests that 'we,' our memories and our consciousness, are dependent on the physical body? This dependence ultimately suggests that when the physical body ceases to function, we are no more.
Why should a soul lose consciousness when the bodily functions cease to operate properly?
2. If 'near-death experiences' are evidence of an afterlife, why doesn't everybody 'near death' have such an experience? Why do some have an NDE, and not others? Many thanks"...David
David, you are asking the type of questions I do not have the expertise to answer. Remember, I am not a doctor of medicine. I can, however, share this with you: the soul's condition and how it operates is not dependent on our physical bodies. So, when you speak of consciousness, I am at a loss to say anything that might be meaningful to you. Surely you must know that the brain never sleeps and is always processing data and input regardless of whether or not we are "awake." There is a lot of evidence that tells us an unconscious person, or one in coma, can still see, hear, and respond to faculties of perception and what is perceived...as if fully conscious. In other words, you cannot turn off the brain. How and why we are aware of being conscious seems to depend on other factors only a physician could explain to you.
Near-death experiences teach us many things, and open up our "doors of perception" above and beyond what we think is true. They "spread our lens" of what is possible. Nobody knows why some people have them and others do not. Speculation is that the answer has to do with the soul and the soul's needs for growth and maturity. The basis for this speculation is that almost all experiencers, after their episode, say: "I got what I needed." Hence, a growth factor is involved and on a higher or different level of being. PMH
. . . Reservations are filling up fast for the "Spiritual Retreat for Near-Death Experiencers," July 15-18, in Missouri. I am surprised at how eager people are to attend this Retreat. There are only eight spaces left. So, if you want to come, do the following: Access this website to learn more about it: http://neardeathexperiencers.org . You can register at this site.
Contact for more information: Linda Jacquin at firstname.lastname@example.org Bill Taylor at email@example.com Dave Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org
I attended the first Retreat, and I can personally recommend how very good they are and how incredibly wonderful the site is where this is held.
. . . The annual Conference of International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) is in Denver, CO this year. The dates are September 1-5 if you want to stay for the whole thing. Reserve now. I did, and yes I'm going. Full information plus registration is on their website at www.iands.org, or you can contact the office of IANDS at email@example.com or call them at (919) 383-7940. Papers are still being solicited, so, get busy right now with your plans.