Is it true that bad people get bad experiences and good people get good ones? I have been arguing against this bit of conventional wisdom for quite a few years now, claiming that there is simply no evidence to support it.
The view that good gets good and bad gets bad is an outgrowth of “what everybody knows,” or the conventional wisdom. Every known culture is loaded with these conclusions that people get what they deserve, the assumptions that have shaped human thinking for thousands of years: the dutiful person will be rewarded and the wicked punished, the diligent worker becomes rich and the idle is destined for poverty, prosperity is given to those who do right and catastrophe befalls the wrongdoer. If you routinely kill the biggest antelope or own the big house in the best neighborhood, it must be because you deserve it; the guy eating prairie dog or struggling along in the trailer park must live wrong.
We all know of situations in which that simply doesn’t hold up. But the conviction remains. Ask a half-dozen people at the post office or supermarket what kind of people they think would have a distressing near-death experience. One recent comment is that “Some people seem to have hellish experiences for no apparent reason, but most have done evil things…The distressing NDEs I’ve seen have been by males who were bullies and a female who was atheist and an agnostic.” So, not only are they seen as people who do evil things, they are atheists and agnostics as well. No conscience and no God or spirituality. Wow.
Into this scene comes Marilyn Mendoza, a Louisiana woman with a PhD in counseling and a curiosity about what it is like to die in prison. She also wondered if the deathbed visions of dying felons might be especially difficult. So far as anyone knows, deathbed visions differ from near-death experiences only in the fact that their experiencers don’t come back afterwards. Otherwise, the descriptions are virtually identical. Mendoza’s findings are therefore applicable to the study of near-death experiences and are reported in the latest issue of the IANDS newsletter, Vital Signs. http://iands.org
Her study population is housed at Angola, one of the most notorious of U.S. prisons. In her words, “Angola is a maximum security prison that has been called the bloodiest prison in America. It houses 5,000+ men whose crimes range from murder, rape, and armed robbery to drug offenses. The majority of men who come to Angola die there. Prisoners, like many of us, not only have a fear of dying alone but have an even greater fear of dying in prison.”
This is a population almost guaranteed to produce distressing experiences of all types. Not only have they all “done evil things,” but they approach dying in great fear. And as Mendoza puts it, “What better population to explore the question of who is likely to have distressing [experiences] than a population of murderers and rapists?”
One humane quality that makes Angola exceptional is that it is one of seventeen U.S. prisons to have a hospice staffed by inmate volunteers. It was they who provided the information for Mendoza’s research. What she discovered was this:
“Twenty-nine inmate volunteers were interviewed with a range of experiences with the dying from five months to 13 years…Volunteers were asked, ‘Of the dying you have been with, have any of them talked about unusual experiences or seeing people, places, or things that you could not see?’ Twenty-six of the 29 volunteers said ‘yes’…not everyone had [one] that they were aware of, but the vast majority of the men did.”
I am adding the emphasis in this next paragraph:
“As is common with most people, the majority of the [experiences] the caretakers described were pleasant. The most frequently seen visions were of family members. Caretakers reported that the dying saw mothers, grandmothers, sons, fathers, and other family members. The dying spoke of people waiting for them and calling them to come home. They told the caretakers about waiting for a bus and walking through a gate. One even spoke of seeing family coming to get him in a Cadillac. The dying also spoke of angels, beautiful gardens, gates and the Light. The men stared at corners of the room, at the wall and the ceiling. They reached for and called out to the deceased they saw. In other words, the dying prisoners saw and experienced the same things as the general population.
“The inmate volunteers did talk about some patients who were bitter and angry until they took their last breath. They were angry at everyone and everything, but especially at death. Only one account was given for a distressing experience for a patient.
I say it again, with renewed confidence:
There is not a shred of evidence that good people get good experiences and bad people get bad experiences. The conviction that types of NDEs and deathbed visions are tied to moral qualities and behaviors simply does not hold up. If it’s true at Angola, it’s true enough for me.
Dave Woods says
The only constant factor of this life process we live through in our physical bodies is change. This was taught to me by a drug addict in a city park.
catastrophic changes in our lives happen to so called good people and bad people alike. there’s no escape for good or bad. Natural disasters beyond our control illustrate this.
As with hurricane Katrina, climate change, and economic disaster, these events seem almost impersonal, and have no regard for who’s good or bad.
The people responsible for economic disaster who profit from it, and are untouched buy it, learn the least. The person who has to find a constructive way to deal with it learns the most.
I have taught as a volunteer in prison, and have also had lots of street experience.
Just or unjust, an experience is created that forces us to learn, and what we’ve learned is all we’ll take with us when our physical bodies die, and we return.
Perhaps both “good” and “bad” in all their various forms are equally necessary in the way this process functions. I have learned deep constructive lessons from “Bad” people that I could have learned nowhere else. .
Just because most of these convicts and other bad people reported pleasant NDE’s or deathbed visions, doesn’t mean that’s the place where they’ll stay permanently. Catholic saints and Marian messages have mentioned that one of greatest pain for the souls in hell is having been able to see Heaven and God in his glory and knowing that they won’t be able to take part of it. Basically what they are reporting is just the beginning of their afterlife. We don’t know how was their judgement and where will it be their final place.
Nan Bush says
True for all such experiences, I think. Thanks for an interesting comment.
Anita das says
We humans try to imagine what God is like and how He responds. We cannot fathom the love, mercy, compassion that contains God. It is beyond our limited knowledge and understanding and even “saints” are not able to penetrate some mysteries! We will only know when we are in His presence and I believe God can forgive a true remorseful soul who comes to Him begging for forgiveness!
During the so-called ‘life review’ many people report feeling the effect of their actions on others. So a rapist for instance would experence what his victim experienced, including the pain and distress it caused in the long run. That would be hell enough if you ask me!
If you have ever recorded EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon) the picture simply breaks down to:
1) When you die, you are supposed to “go somewhere.”
2) If you lived your life “incorrectly” – you don’t go anywhere – you stay here where you came from.
The overall picture seems to imply that those who “remain here” do not stay here forever, and length of time would be based on how long it takes to “learn” what you should have learned here while alive.
Part of this picture would be based on the fact that the “problems” people have while living here are connected to brain malfunction; you live your life according to the data supplied to you by your brain. If said brain is not working correctly, you can’t be responsible for the outcome, however, you still need to learn what needs to be learned, so you will stay here for as long as it takes to accomplish this task.
The overall picture shows:
1) A percentage of spirits “trying to get it right.”
2) A percentage still in the “wise-ass” category.
3) And a group who seem to REFUSE to get it right.
This third group is responsible for LARGE PERCENTAGE of the “bedroom experiences” people have while asleep in the context of the “UFO” phenomenon. In other words, that isn’t ET in your bedroom (or your sleeping head) – that’s a “ghost.”
Another reference to these spirits would be found in Brian Weiss’ book Many Lives, Many Masters. Catherine’s brain had been manipulated since childhood (which seems to be the pattern regarding the topic of reincarnation). She said they were “Master Spirits.” The psychological (human) picture is narcissism and sociopathy, with the still existent picture of a total disregard for empathic humans, and a deception picture that has run in our history since phase two of this mental control began C 4000 BC.
Regarding EVPs, it’s at this point people want to “hear” mine, and I say get your own; welcome to constructivism. Get a free voice recorder for your phone, and take time to see who is out there. Just remember one thing … there are spirits out there who are trying, however, there are some really pissed-off spirits out there too, and attitude problems / lying and deception is still “no problem” for them.
From this point try a connection to negative near-death experiences. Are you being shown something to give you a broader picture of what’s going on? I’m going to let you in on a little secret … “whoever” out there is not going to tell you anything – the picture is based on clues given, and the constructivist method of teaching and learning.
Nan’s “yin-yang” experience was a constructivist teaching method. Objective? Put it together, for as long as it takes, and you’ll know what they want you to know. (The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see. Alexandra K. Trenfor)
“I found it instant holocaust.”
“There is a gift in these experiences. Now, it’s not a gift we want to get, but if we’re stubborn and hang in there, we work through a lot of issues. We come to discover our religious faith in incredibly deep ways that we couldn’t if we just dazzled around on the happy level. So what I’m trying to do is go beyond the idea that pain = bad = punishment = hell = eternity = despair. Because the alternative to despair I think is joy, which is different than happiness. But the paradoxical nature of this is that in order to get to real joy, we have to be able to accept suffering as part of us. And I know that sounds bizarre. But I didn’t make up the rules. . . and it just seems to work that way.”
Welcome to constructivism.
So, if we go back to the beginning of this post:
“Is it true that bad people get bad experiences and good people get good ones? I have been arguing against this bit of conventional wisdom for quite a few years now, claiming that there is simply no evidence to support it.”
You are shown what you are shown … and the idea is to figure it out based on ALL the data you can get your hands on. 😀
Nan Bush says
Jim, my appreciation for a fascinating comment! Constructivism is indeed a great learning approach, though it can take practically forever to arrive at a conclusion! (That’s me speaking not only about my NDE learning but also as a former classroom teacher.) I suppose one can think of the quest as a guarantee of long life expectancy. Of course, there’s always the frustration of never knowing how solid this particular conclusion is, as there’s often nothing to which to compare or contrast it. But that’s assuming that one answer may be “righter” than another…which in a postmodern sense is probably beside the point.
Another question is whether the “Master Spirits” are external or internal to the psyche. And has your constructive curiosity led you to finding the mysterious Alexandra K. Trenfor?
I’m going to try italics here – dunno if it’ll work.
[i]Constructivism is indeed a great learning approach, though it can take practically forever to arrive at a conclusion! (That’s me speaking not only about my NDE learning but also as a former classroom teacher.) [/i]
I agree, my experiences have covered a time period of 60 years.
[i]I suppose one can think of the quest as a guarantee of long life expectancy. Of course, there’s always the frustration of never knowing how solid this particular conclusion is, as there’s often nothing to which to compare or contrast it. But that’s assuming that one answer may be “righter” than another…which in a postmodern sense is probably beside the point.[/i]
I didn’t even know what constructivism was until I tripped over it one day. I was like – ahhh … now I get it LOL.
As far as never knowing the solidity of the conclusions, as long as you stay within he parameters of hard data, and realize there is always more to find and the picture is always in flux, you’re golden. Then there’s the problem of “unknown subject” which doesn’t help. From my perspective, your experience makes sense. Yin Yang? Really? Gee, I wonder what “whoever” was trying to say? Yin yang – two halves of a whole – there’s the good side … and – the bad side? Sounds like constructivist hint to me. For example, how many people have been lied to regarding some “spiritual event” that never happened? Then there’s the “paranormal” side of the UFO subject – and more problems than we can deal with. I wonder what’s going on 😀
[i]Another question is whether the “Master Spirits” are external or internal to the psyche. And has your constructive curiosity led you to finding the mysterious Alexandra K. Trenfor?[/i]
As far as the “Master Spirits” go, just taking the overall context of that one story where they were mentioned as such, a study of the base outline of reincarnation boils down to this, which is from my notes:
Another example of paranormal deception is what we call reincarnation. This one I am going to leave up to you to look into, but the premise begins here: If the religious elite had already spent a good three thousand (phase 2) years confusing the masses, what does that say about the very late arrival of a new belief like reincarnation?
[b]Since one of the main beliefs in Hinduism is that the consequences of your past decisions have determined your present state, reincarnation plays a huge role in the prevention of people revolting against the caste system.
Reincarnation was created by the Aryans in order to justify the oppressive behavior they were imposing on the natives and to keep the people from rising up against the system. Reincarnation bolsters caste oppression in two ways. It justifies injustice, and deflects hopes for progress from this life to a “next life.” For the people on top of the caste system (the Brahmins), reincarnation justifies why they get the privilege of high-class birth. Those privileges were earned through virtuous behaviors in their past lives, and a privileged birth proves that one deserves privilege. For the people on the bottom, the Shudras and the untouchables, reincarnation justifies why they suffer for their low birth.[/b]
The idea would be to identify exactly what these Master Spirits were, in this case, telling Catherine. Their addition of hard data “proof” that was aimed at Brian Weiss should also be considered, and this helps identify the “real” aspect of the presented picture.
The historical picture needs to be looked at as well, and the above quote is a good place to start. In my own work I have identified two “phases” of attempted mental control, phase one was shut down C 7200 BC, and phase two was never stopped. Welcome to the world we live in.
So if what these “Master Spirits” were saying can be confirmed as a lie, and the data points that way, then who are they really? If all that is out there are the dead who “didn’t make it” to where they were supposed to go, then they are ex-human beings identifiable via a psychological picture known as antisocial personality disorder … the same disorder they had while alive. They evidently have NO empathy for us, because they lie straight to our faces – and don’t care. The fact they present themselves as MASTER Spirits (EGO), would open the door rather wide for a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. This is the exact same disorder that can be seen when this picture emerged in Egypt for example, when ONE MAN stood before the masses, claimed to be a GOD of all things, and expected everyone to bow, reverence him, and build his comfortable empire. When they were done for the day, they could go back to their dirt-huts and sleep.
According to Dr Sam Vaknin:
Religious authority allows the narcissist to indulge his sadistic urges and to exercise his misogynism freely and openly. Such a narcissist is likely to taunt and torment his followers, hector and chastise them, humiliate and berate them, abuse them spiritually, or even sexually. The narcissist whose source of authority is religious is looking for obedient and unquestioning slaves upon whom to exercise his capricious and wicked mastery. The narcissist transforms even the most innocuous and pure religious sentiments into a cultish ritual and a virulent hierarchy. He preys on the gullible. His flock becomes his hostages.
Religious authority also secures the narcissist’s Narcissistic Supply. His co-religionists, members of his congregation, his parish, his constituency, his audience – are transformed into loyal and stable sources of Narcissistic Supply. They obey his commands, heed his admonitions, follow his creed, admire his personality, applaud his personal traits, satisfy his needs (sometimes even his carnal desires), revere and idolize him.
Regarding these “Master Spirits” … do we see a connecting ego-based picture? Master? Really? And lies too – STILL taking advantage of the people whose minds they have destroyed over the last 6000 years.
Nan, your subject and my subject are coming in from two different directions … but our target is the same – life. “They” aren’t going to tell us what’s going on … but we can get hints, and we have. Somehow we need to put this picture together … evidently, if they are hinting, it can be done.
Nan Bush says
Jim, you’re holding me hostage! Every time I start thinking, “Gosh, I’ve been going over this same stuff for 33 years (53 since my NDE), and I’ve said everything I know; surely it’s time to quit, read trashy novels, go walk on the beach…,” along comes a conversation like this one, and I can’t bear to think of leaving!
What a great conversation! Will go through it again tomorrow and get back to you. That’s y’all, and okay, other trusties, you’ve got time to chime in.
I don’t have a story to really tell I read things cause i was super close to my mom she died suddenly in her sleep taking way to many pills I just ask myself every day is she happy is she painless now does she hear me or see me
Nan Bush says
Kisa, I hope you still talk to your mom. And then just go very quiet inside and feel your feelings. She will know.
I feel like there’s some great deception in all these near death experiences. If you analyze close enough, you’ll see the disturbing and wide range of nonsense they contain. Light says there is no hell or evil, relatives can morph as Jesus, Buddha or any other deity that they might be comfortable with. A few experiences mentioned how these “good” beings such as relatives, etc eventually shapeshift into demons and started to chase them, drag them or trap them, etc. My point being here is the Bible gives a clear warning. Satan can fool us and appear as an angel of light. If he can fools us on earth, what are the chances that he can also do the same in the afterlife? The cruel reality of this is that many people bury their death thinking happily that they must be in heaven when in reality they are left alone fending for themselves against demons. Prayer, sacrifices and other helps a lot and must be done for some time after they died. The process of death takes time. Also remember satan’s translation is “the accuser”. He accuses our brethren not just in life but also seeks his opportunity after death.
Nan Bush says
Mariestrella, thank you for expressing your concern. Of course discernment is always required, as we are warned in the Sermon on the Mount: “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:15–20.) It is important, though, that Jesus said this in response to accusations much like yours–that he was performing his miracles and healings by the power of the devil. “This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils,” they protested. (Matt. 12:24.) The scribes and Pharisees were devout men, worried because it seemed that this new rabbi was moving outside the lines of their tradition. Yet we look at that situation knowing that the attempts to discredit him would be futile and that his work has stood the test of time and has borne good fruit in the lives of millions of people. Adopting dark suspicions uncritically may also be a dangerous temptation.
Throughout my years of reading and studying NDEs. I don’t believe anyone is ever judged by anyone other than themselves. Love is the supreme ruler and force in the universe and that love is also unconditional. I do believe we reap what we sow because we are all one and to hurt another is to hurt the self but no one is condemned. Everyone no matter their past will always have a chance to grow.
Nan Bush says
Thank you, Tom. Lots of experiencers will agree with you.
I believe in NDEs and an afterlife but the aspect I find most disturbing is that genuine evil people (not just people we think are evil because they didn’t like us, etc) do not seem to be punished in the afterlife. Does Hitler or Mao just get a quickie life review and are then sent off to their cloud to “grow”? If that’s so, I will be disappointed in God.
Nan Bush says
John, you are not alone in that discomfort! It seems indefensible that genuine evil might be ignored. It seems to me helpful to think in terms of consequences rather than punishment. Punishment comes from the outside, while consequences are a natural result of one’s own actions. Some NDErs say that in a life review they felt the emotions of the people they had hurt. Suppose that occurs when a person who has done evil re-encounters the situation from the perspective of the victims. The perpetrator of evil would certainly suffer, but it would not be from an external cruelty but simply from his own behavior. Does that help your disappointment?
I have often wondered why some people report remorse over scenes in their past life, while others insist that there is no judgement, no sense of good or evil in the life review. So does that perhaps reflect the differences in the level of awareness, and development of the conscience of the individual involved?
Nan Bush says
Elisabeth, you’re probably on the right track about differences in background, understanding, development…lots of starting places from which to develop an explanation. Thanks.
Any fatal event can be rather stressful, a light at the end of death may be true or untrue only more technological advancement can tell us the facts.
Nan Bush says
And if more technological advancement doesn’t tell us the facts, dying probably will! Thanks for your comment.
Morgan Hart says
Well there’s always the problem, too, of who is “good” or “bad”, especially when it comes to reviewing an entire lifetime. One of the last scenes (big spoiler alert) of the famous Series of Unfortunate Events books is that the recurring villain Count Olaf is nearing death and has the chance to help an innocent person. One of the orphans dramatically says, “[sic] for just once in your life, do something NOBLE!” To which Olaf cocks his head in utter confusion and says, “what are you talking about? I’ve done plenty of noble things. I won several prestigious acting awards, and I even adopted you three brats when your parents were burned alive.” His self-perception was heroism, over the same events that the children viewed as villainy.
Nan Bush says
Always the tension! Thanks for your comment.