This is a big day for me. I just finished launching NHNE's new NDE website and the second issue of "The Formula" newsletter. The new website, which will serves as home base for all of NHNE's NDE…Continue
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Tell us a little bit about yourself. (Because of spammers trying to sneak into this network, and because we would actually like to get to know you, we require you to write a few sentences about yourself. What kind of work do you do? What kind of interests do you have? How long have you been interested in near-death experiences? Etc.)
NHNE contains a wealth of information about me, my life experiences, and ever-changing beliefs and perspectives. I'm interested in everything having to do with life's big questions: Who are we? Where are we from? Why are we here? Where are we headed? I'm also interested in everything having to do with human beings and human relationships; planet Earth, especially how we can help heal the planet; and learning everything I can from the insights and life experiences of others. While most of my time is spent on NHNE-related projects, to make a living, I work as a professional photographer and multi-media guru. I am the father of four adult children (three daughters and one son). My partner and longtime companion on the spiritual path is Alexandra Fraser.
With respect to NDEs (and related experiences), here are links to some of the websites and networks that I administer:
Have you ever had a near-death experience (NDE)? If so, please tell us a little bit about it.
Has a friend of family member of yours ever had a near-death experience (NDE), near-death-like experience (NDLE), shared death experience (SDE), or other spiritually transformative experience (STE)? If so, tell us a little bit about that.
Many of my friends have.
Why did you decide to join this network?
In my view, near-death experiences (and other spiritually transformative experiences) have titanic ramifications for both our personal and collective existence. I created this network to serve as a clearing house for the best, most credible, educational, and inspiring stories, videos, books, reports, and related materials. It is also intended to be a place where people who've had NDEs (and related experiences) -- and people who haven't -- can ask questions, and meet others who have a passionate interest in these very important topics.
Great site with a wealth of information. Because of a couple of pressing projects, I haven't been able to spend too much time looking at all of it and I will be leaving on a trip at the end of the month. As soon as I get back, I hope to have more time to fully explore the site. Just a couple of unrelated thoughts off the top of my head.
1) I believe it was Dr. Sam Parnia who came up with the idea to put numbers or secret words around surgery rooms in hospitals, although it seems to me someone else had the idea before him. Of course, the objective is to confirm that someone undergoing surgery had an OBE because he or she couldn't have otherwise seen the number or word. Anyway, my bet is that nothing will ever come of this, or it will be a long time in coming and the pseudoskeptics will use that as evidence that NDEs aren't real. One or two of the reviewers of Dr. Jeffrey Long's book already alluded to this.
As to why I don't think nothing will ever come of it, it just seems that the best evidence comes by chance and when we try to make something happen it just doesn't work. If the experiment doesn't work, I suspect there will also be a number of people who now believe that the NDE is a real OBE who will begin to question their own beliefs.
2) Although I took an interest in NDEs well before I became interested in mediumship, I now lean toward certain types of mediumship as providing better evidence for survival of consciousness than do NDEs. They complement each otherand answer many questions that NDEs do not. I am curious as to what your views are on this. I know there are some people very much interested in NDEs who want nothing to do with mediumship.
Thank you for your comments. Concerning mediumship, I should have said that it once "offered" the best evidence -- evidence which still stands as solid as it was 100 years ago. Of course, most people have not really dug into it as I have. That is one of the reasons I wrote "The Articulate Dead," (available at Amazon.com) to summarize it and make it better understood. Some of it is summarized at http://www.aspsi.org/feat/life_after/tymn/_life_after_death.php#evidence
Of course, Randi, Shermer, et al attempt to discredit it for one reason or another -- mostly they don't understand it and it would be in conflict with their mission -- but it is as solid now as it was 100 years ago.
We don't have that type of mediumship today, primarily, I believe, because of TV and other distractions. In the old days, people had nothing else to do but develop their mediumistic gift and a passive state was much easier achieved.
I could say more, but I think I am running out of space here.
In my haste earlier today, I was a little redundant and didn't completely say what I wanted to. Back around 1851, Victor Hugh, the famous author, was communicating with several spirits through a medium. One of the spirits claimed to be Martin Luther. When Hugo asked him why God doesn't better reveal Himself, this message came through the medium:
“Because doubt is the instrument which forges the human spirit. If the day were to come when the human spirit no longer doubted, the human soul would fly off and leave the plough behind, for it would have acquired wings. The earth would lie fallow. Now, God is the sower and man is the harvester. The celestial seed demands that the human ploughshare remain in the furrow of life.”
Similar messages have come through other credible mediums indicating much the same thing.
Bottom line: If everyone was absolutely certain that this life is part of a much larger life, it would significantly alter the challenge for many people. In effect, we are not supposed to know with absolute certainty. I think that is why the evidence given to us by those early psychical researchers was not more widely accepted and why we probably won't any better evidence than we now have with regard to the NDE.
Thank you for the welcome and for mentioning liking my blog. That kind of writing is something I really enjoy doing. I look forward to getting to know you and soak up the content here. I really miss not having an IANDS group to go to. Seattle is too far away to attend and the Portland group broke up when the facilitator went into the light. I love being able to watch videos of real people sharing their experiences.
The internet feels like a big place, and I feel reluctance about what goes out there. So, I prefer to keep my comments somewhat private. However, I will tell you that in the near-death experience I had, in which Christ came to me, I was quite surprised, since although I grew up as a Christian, I had left the Christian Church when I was 18 (and I had that experience at 43). However, I had a spiritual nature since I was quite young, and I believe I was "tuned" to Christian imagery. At the time of the NDE, I was experiencing intense spiritual longing, and had just attended a week-long spiritual seminar with a group I would study with over the following 3 years. My longing was for Divine Union. Over the following years, I believe, in retrospect, that Christ's teaching to me in that instance was really learning about the personal aspect of love, as an important piece of human development. The message was clear: "I love you, Patricia." Somehow, my trying to "lose the ego" in transpersonal love, wasn't right for me to experience yet. I needed to be individualized or personalized: sort of "me" as a flavor needed to be developed, experienced and appreciated. I had been seeking the "lose your ego and become one with everything" experience I had read about, but this was not my experience; in fact it was quite contrary!
Curiously, in the last few months, I have been reflecting on Christ's unwillingness to use special powers to save himself from the cross. His willingness to be fully embodied in the manifest form without resistance is an on-going contemplation I am learning into. One more thing about that experience was that the illness I had was asthma, which had taken me to the brink several times; however, that was the last time I experienced it in such a severe form. Some kind of healing came from that experience physically and emotionally for me.
Thanks for your ongoing work to keep us informed, enthused and connected.
I respect your comment about the focus in the Integral World being on the ultimate "non-dual" state. All movements have their shadow, and you may be tuned to a kind of shadow in the integral movement that hasn't been articulated. Having said that, I do believe there is some consensus that we must all pass through stages of development. Perhaps the non-dual state cannot be truly arrived at if one tries to skip the task of individuation. One would not be a very good instrument to serve the Whole non-dual symphony if it were even possible. I have only had glimpses into the non-dual state that arose spontaneously, so I don't know for sure. However, if you believe my story would serve others, I'm happy to post it in some other area of the website where others could read it. Would you mind instructing me about where/how to do that?
Sending all good things your way,