It’s been a while. There have been wonderfully overflowing visits from two of my kids and their grown-up kids, and two out-of-town conferences in which I was a speaker, and a steady stream of hometown obligations including issues of local turmoil but also an exciting weekend-long program of which I was the organizer. And somehow, after the publication of Dancing Past the Dark and almost 100 posts on this blog, it felt as though I had run out of things to say about NDEs and anything else of substance. [Read more…] about Reality and non-reality
Robert and Suzanne Mays are long-time near-death experience researchers who, in their words, “have an interest in exposing and ameliorating injustices that occur from time to time among human beings.” In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS). With their knowledgeability about NDEs and experiencers, the Mays were concerned recently by the highly negative article in Esquire about neurosurgeon Eben Alexander and his best-selling book, Proof of Heaven.
The dismay was caused in part because Dr. Alexander will be one of the keynote speakers at the IANDS 2013 Conference in Arlington, Virginia, August 29 – September 1; he will also participate on a panel of physicians who have had an NDE. If the charges made in the Esquire article were true, Alexander should perhaps be replaced as a speaker. If the charges were not true, conference-goers needed reassurance to that effect. [Read more…] about Esquire distorts facts on Eben Alexander, says NDE researcher
The headline above comes from an August 12 CBS News report (http://is.gd/53gSTe), which continued:
“The brain remains conscious after the heart stops beating, according to University of Michigan researchers. It may even function higher in the moments immediately following cardiac arrest than it does when the body is in a normal state.
The finding supports the shared experience of nearly 20 percent of people who have survived cardiac arrest. These survivors report having internal visions and heightened perception, known as near-death experiences, but the scientific reality of the experience has long been debated. [Read more…] about Near-death experiences aren’t figment of imagination, says study
These most recent posts about the Void have been difficult to read, I know. They stir up all sorts of dreads, old and new, about whether life has meaning, about personal identity, reality and illusion and trickery, about purpose and abandonment and isolation, and–for some of us–about the character of God. The comments here and in my emails have reflected sometimes great distress, and I was finding it difficult to craft an adequate response. For instance (and with her permission), here is Linda:
A person once said to me, “If there is a God, this is all a joke/game.” With anger. I was aghast.
Only to read this [blog post]–that nothing is real and we don’t exist–after an ADC not long ago with my son? Wow. I’d stopped dusting, cleaning and cooking from grieving the loss of my children and my home, I sit and watch cobwebs grow. To read we are not real, no-thing is real ires me. Especially with all the suffering in this “fictional” world.
After my hellish experience I learned it was an illusion. But I rejoiced my life. Many years later I experienced unconditional love. Was that an illusion too?
Over three-plus decades, a starry-eyed media, mostly secular, has done with near-death and similar experience exactly what fundamentalists have done with religion: They have literalized it, presented it journalistically as they would a new archeological find, turned experiences of the indescribable into the prose of factual reporting. And because NDEs so often sound very like traditional teachings about heaven and occasionally hell, not only the experiencers but religious and secular audiences alike take them as literal, factual truth.
Proof of Heaven! they cry. Evidence of Afterlife!
They make for great media. And great media creates stars of experiencers. She was right there, at the gates! He was actually in heaven, saw all this stuff! Wow. Special. You have been to the light; tell us what we are to do! [Read more…] about Hard times on the prophet front: Eben Alexander and his NDE
Last week’s post introduced the late El Collie’s extended commentary about her distressing NDE, an experience of the Void. Here is the conclusion of her article. I have edited paragraph lengths for better readability.
The One, Part III
by El Collie
The knowledge of the One God, One Consciousness—the primordial and eternal Intelligence which is the sustaining force and power of existence—is enshrined by every major religion. Alan Watts, “The records left by those who have known,” wrote Aldous Huxley, “make it abundantly clear that all of them, whether Hindu, Buddhist, Hebrew, Taoist, Christian or Mohammedan, were attempting to describe the same essentially indescribable Fact.” (from the Introduction to Song of God: Bhagavad-Gita).
The essence of awakening to the God/Self is the same for everyone, as evinced by countless firsthand spiritual accounts which uncannily overlap in their descriptions of this sacred territory. Yet the meaning individuals derive from their awakening is colored by their personal background and ability to understand what they have been shown.
[Read more…] about The Void NDE, Part 2