Wednesday, April 04, 2018

NDE's & Religion


“Sorry for my English. I’m Brazilian and I’m using google translate. Reading several reports of NDEs, I came across some statements from the NDErs that after their experiences, when reading sacred scriptures such as the Bible, Koran, and others, they came to have a different understanding. “In your research, did you come across such statements?”....Hilton


Yes, this is quite common. In fact, I have yet to come across a single near-death experiencer, regardless of age, that didn’t change their thoughts and feelings about religious books and teachings. 

Some come back tossing aside such books, knowing that what is written inside is either incomplete or in error or mistranslated. Some turn away entirely and no longer are interested in any form of organized religion. Still others come back refreshed and excited about religious texts, filled with new ways of looking at the teachings and/or with new interpretations. This brings new vigor into church settings. 

In my original research with adults (3,000), remained in their church of choice and invariably brought new life into that church. Two-thirds left any form of church altogether, feeling that the spiritual path - a closer more intimate walk with God/Allah/Deity - was what they wanted. I found it interesting, though, maybe about a decade later, many of those who had left a church environment, came back to one. Their choice tended toward metaphysical churches (like Unity or Centers of Spiritual Living: formerly called “Science of Mind” or “Religious Science”), or, any of the more traditional churches that now had a more modern, uplifting/upbeat worship service. 

You may find my book Dying to Know You: Proof of God in the Near-Death Experience helpful here - in knowing more about what adult and child near-death experiencers tend to believe and know afterward. Many blessings, PMH


“I enjoy reading articles on your website. I have a question regarding the soul vs. Buddhist concept of no-self. From reading a lot about NDEs, it seems that we have a soul yet according to Buddhism, we have no-self; no soul. It seems that the Buddha used the methodology of empiricism to look inward, searching for a soul, and concluded there isn’t one. Buddhist believe that our sense of self is nothing more than the composite result of five aggregates; there is no agent, owner or soul existing separate from the aggregates of the body, sensations, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness. Given impermanence and the doctrine of dependent origination, there is nothing to ground belief in an attachment to a permanent self. I have been reading a lot about Buddhism, and I like it, but this doctrine of no-self is causing me a lot of confusion.

“I hate to think the Buddha was incorrect, but could he have used a methodology that was not suitable to detect a soul? Would he have known what to look for, where, and how?

“Accordingly, they believe that we are a continuous composite of “self” based on a line causal continuity over time. With their belief in rebirth, the one reborn is neither the same or different from the previous life. My questions are: Do we have a soul? What is the nature of the soul? Is the soul permanent or does it change? Are the Buddhists incorrect about no-self? How can I reconcile this Buddhist doctrine with what it appears NDEs are telling us - that we do have a soul despite the reasoning they use to say otherwise. . . . what would experience Nirvana? I know I wrote a lot, asked a lot of questions, but this is very confusing and causing me a little unease. Any amount of feedback you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.”....Gene


Hah! You don’t want much, do you? What a raft of questions! Not being a Buddhist scholar, I can only share with you some thoughts.

There is no question in near-death research that we have a soul or higher self. Absolutely no question about that. Proof of this turns up time after time - with young and old and all the inbetweens. Sometimes the soul we are, the soul we blend into, is not necessarily what we thought it would be. That means that on occasion and with some people, the soul is not at all like us in the sense of being a duplicate. The soul itself seems to have its own mind and its own goals. Seldom are these the same as our personality self. The soul is unlimited in how it functions, who it inhabits, or how many it inhabits at any one time. I’ve tried to talk about this in FUTURE MEMORY. I suggest that you read the book as it approaches this type of thing from various angles and may be most helpful to you.

From what I have personally seen, felt, confronted in my own life, and seen with countless others, soul habitations can be multiple. For instance, during the year after I died, I encountered my soul in the body of another. Every time I tried to touch him, I’d see my hand go right through his arm. Eerie to say the least. Downright spooky in fact. I also found my soul in another woman, sensed it in a boulder in a volcanic cone outside of Albuquerque, and journeyed by myself up into the high Sierras outside of Big Pine, California, to sit with and meditate with my “self,” my soul, in a dead Bristle Cone Pine Tree. I must say that finding my tree and spending hours with it was one of the most holy, beautiful, and wondrous things I have ever done. In my case, the whole experience was an experience of God being with God. That time remains with me in all its splendor up to this day.

Not sure if I have helped any. I know reading FUTURE MEMORY will make a difference for you. 

Many blessings, PMH

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