Proof and Belief
“I found you when searching for near-death experiences and found a website that shared a link to your website. The many stories I have read of NDE and OBE have been very inspiring and comforting. As of lately, however, they have brought me fear and uncertainty. What I mean is that I’m no longer sure if they are real or not. I’m always a believer, but the last few months have been a chaotic time for me. I first began to question whether or not homeosexuality was okay. Then I began to question my own opinions on all sorts of topics. But then came the longest and harshest topic that I thought I would never face again, God and the afterlife. I first did some research on different religions and their views of God and what happens when we die. This didn’t do for me. So I asked God if he was there or if he truly cared about me. I was lead to NDE. First, I was amazed and humbled from so many stories, how they told of a bright light and strong sense of love. I believed them and decided to see the research behind them.
“I’ll admit that I was only looking for information that supported NDE. I was glad and fascinated about the research suggesting that we survive our physical death. It even came an obsession of mine. However, I became discouraged by comments and articles that dismissed them as dreams, hallucinations, and wishful thinking. So, I started to look for quantum physics for its strange findings. At first I thought it may help, but again, comments and articles discouraged me. Though, to be honest, I guess I should’ve known better since I’m not all that knowledgeable, let alone an expert, on these things. Now I’m scared that these wonderful visions make just clever hallucinations created by the brain. I’m afraid that atheists and materialists may be right that there is no God and that when we die, we die and that’s it. I’m also afraid that many attitudes of scientists and their physical findings have turned me away from science, a subject that I once enjoyed. NDE and OBE are becoming a false hope for me.
“All I want to do is continue believing in God, spend time with my family, and know that when I’m old and my time is up, I can still be with my family in a new reality/heaven. I don’t want to always rely on science and experts for everything. Sometimes, I feel that the only real way for me to find out if there is an afterlife is to die and experience it. But I promised myself that wouldn’t do anything radical for the sake of my family, the thought persists and is very tempting. I feel that my doubt and depression is driving me insane! Not to mention, my family is starting to become worried about me. I want to believe, but I’m afraid of false hope and being called crazy and gullible. I’m hoping that you can give some advice. Sincerely, Karol.”
Every one of the objections by naysayers has been repudiated in scientific, clinical studies. None of the naysayers, not a single one of them, has done their own study to any appreciable degree; none have researched both children and adults, including cases that arise from babies and toddlers who remember; none have researched the pattern of both physiological and psychological aftereffects. It is the aftereffects that validate the experience, not the other way around. In other words, naysayers focus on “piece-meal,” none have focused on the whole phenomenon as it exists. The research you want is available. Read Irreducible Mind. There are many others. No question: the near-death phenomenon (both experience and aftereffects) is real.
The challenge is with what the public thinks about the stories. They are incredible….but…..few, if any, write about unpleasant or frightening (hellish) experiences. Those exist too. Some of the more heavenly stories are either exaggerated or could use a good editor. There’s a lot of emotion involved here: the tendency of any human being is to describe whatever happened in familiar terms. That means there are cultural and language constraints that may bias the account, no matter how honest the experiencer. Remember, aftereffects can be very hard to deal with. There’s no magic here.
To have a larger/better perspective of what you’ve been reading and hearing, there are three books that may be helpful to you: The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences (an encyclopedia of the field but written in a fun way), Near-Death Experiences: The Rests of The Story (a summary of my research), and Dying to Know You: Proof of God in The Near-Death Experience (the collective voice speaking about the collective experience - from thousands of adults and children).
The idea of God is supported and “proven” in near-death experiences, but not necessarily the God of Holy Writ. What children and adults see/meet/feel is a God much bigger than that, much more powerful - a challenge to what most people say they believe (pro or con). Once you get a better perspective on the subject, you might want to explore metaphysical or mystical churches. I am referring there especially to Unity Churches and Centers of Spiritual Living (formerly Science of Mind). Both offer writings, teachings, and understandings that are in line with the majority of near-death experiencers and what they now know.
Have heart. What you seek is far more accessible than your searches have led you to believe. Blessings, PMH