— D. J. Enright or perhaps Julian Barnes, or was it Thomas Nagel? Possibly all three.
For me, death is the one appalling fact that defines life; unless you are constantly aware of it, you cannot begin to understand what life’s about. Only a couple of nights ago, there came again that alarmed and alarming moment, of being pitchforked back into consciousness, awake, alone, utterly alone, beating pillow with fist and shouting, “Oh no Oh no OH NO” in an endless wail, the horror of the moment. I say to myself, “Can’t you face down death?” Can’t you at least protest against it more interestingly than that? For God’s sake, you’re a writer; you do words. We know that extreme physical pain drives out language; it’s dispiriting to learn that mental pain does the same.
No, that’s not me talking. You should know that by now.
Any guesses? The title of this essay should give you a hint since it’s the title of a book he published about ten years ago.
OK, he’s English. Primarily known as a novelist. Winner of the Man Booker Prize and many other literary honors.
He’s Julian Barnes, and he has a dread of death.
The account above, which I’ve condensed from the original, is just one example of what Barnes, who is an avid Francophile, likes to call le réveil mortel – an awakening with a...
The first thing I remember was the urgent sound of a woman's voice. "I'm not getting a pulse!" she said. "I'm not getting a pulse." Though I don't remember actually seeing her, I turned in her direction and said, with some irritation, "Of course you're getting a pulse or I wouldn't be speaking!" But she ignored me and continued to talk about my pulse.
This made no sense. Again, speaking very slowly for emphasis, I corrected her, "You must be getting a pulse or I wouldn't be speaking." In fact, I said, I felt fine. Really good. Come to think of it, I'd never felt better, or more alive. I was healthy and whole, calm and together for the very first time in my life. Though I still couldn't see, I could hear everything - mostly the scramble of many voices talking all at once - but especially the tone of worry in the woman's voice. It didn't bother me.
Nor was I offended by everyone's refusal to listen to me or notice that I was OK. I let it go. I let everything go. It was easy to give up and be quiet, easy to surrender. I just slipped away, as if I was falling asleep without being drowsy first. I had no fear, no sense of alarm or panic. It was like being carried someplace that was inviting, comfortable, and safe - like my warmest childhood memories of being carried to bed by one of my parents.
There was that same sense of security, of being taken to a place where I could rest, and be cared for. Where I would be...
A funny thing happened to me on the road toward death.
I got sidetracked and wound up taking a detour.
These days, it seems, I am being courted, and my life, at least my professional life, appears to be heading in a new and unexpected direction. If this keeps up, it is even possible that I will have to put my death on hold.
The first thing that caused a change in my life in the last couple of months has to do with my archive. You may remember that I have already written about my archival agonies and how I wound up being stuck with more than fifty boxes of my stuff and had no idea what was to become of it, much less what was to become of me.
Well, at least I now know the answer to my first quandary.
In May, I received a most surprising letter from the archivist at the University of West Georgia to whom I had written in what I thought was probably a vain hope that she might be interested in my holdings. I had selected this university because I already knew that it had just the kind of archival resources I was looking for and was open to research dealing with the paranormal.
I had almost given up hearing back from the archivist after several weeks had passed since I had sent my letter of inquiry, but then I received this note, after speaking to the archivist at last:
“It was wonderful to speak to you today. I just read the August 28, 1988 New York Times interview. [She was referring to an article about me and my work.] It shows, as I have heard from listening to you, your curiosity about the human experience and your care for humans. I deeply...
Her friends call her "the atheist who went to heaven."
While cycling on her usual route, Nancy Rynes was run over by a distracted driver of a SUV. Nancy was pinned between the vehicle and the road. As she was pulled across the pavement, she had what she calls dual consciousness. While she was being dragged underneath the vehicle screaming in pain, she was also watching the whole accident unfold from above as she desperately hung onto life.
During surgery, Nancy Rynes died, but she recalled "awakening" to a beautiful landscape with a hillside covered in flowers and trees and a mountain range in the distance. Nancy experienced a sense of peace and love and welcoming that she had never felt before. "I knew something was different. It was not panic or fear. I was just a little confused. 'I must have died,' I thought to myself, 'but, then, why am I here? I don't believe in any of this!"
We did have discussions related to her experience in the operating room, and she sticks out in my mind because I could not come up with any other explanation other than a real near-death experience [NDE]— I remember her seeing this as a life changing blessing.- Nancy's physician Dr. Trojanovich
Nancy Rynes grew up in a Catholic family but eventually distanced herself from the church, considering herself an atheist. She explains, however, that during her NDE, she was clearly "welcomed into heaven."
She heard the words, "This is your...
Many people embark on the spiritual path in response to a personal tragedy. My journey began after the death of my stepdaughter, Susan, who was struck by lightning. Since then, my worldview and my understanding of reality have expanded far beyond that which I held for the majority of my life. I used to hope this life wasn't all there is. I used to believe there was more than meets the eye and that all we see is organized and coordinated by an intelligent Source beyond our current understanding.
I don't believe that anymore. I KNOW it's true. Belief leaves room for doubt; knowing comes from personal experience.
As a result of Susan’s passing, I discovered the ability to discern evidential details from people whose physical bodies have died. I readily engage in real-time, two-way interactions with sentient beings at a level beyond our own which clearly show that consciousness continues after the transition called death. I know that all of us can have such adventures in consciousness because all of our perceptions and experiences arise from the same infinite field of intelligence and information.
These daily interactions with realms in which love is recognized as the connective and collective essence have changed me irreversibly. It is impossible to sit in this Presence and not know that peace and joy are readily accessible to all of us. I have no desire to go back to the emotional roller coaster ride I used to experience. I'll take balance over turmoil any day.
These changes haven't been without adjustment. The other day I set the newspaper aside after...
In this video excerpt, Dr. Long shares what he has learned about the kinds of encounters people describe during near-death experiences. Dr Long's findings are based on the largest near-death experience study in history, involving 3,000 people from diverse backgrounds and religious traditions, including nonbelievers.
Although there are a wide variety of differences in how people experience NDEs--some see a bright light, others go through a tunnel, still others experience a review of their life--many report meeting deceased family and friends and communicating "non-linguistically" with them. Those encounters are the focus of this short video.
Want to learn more about Dr. Jeffrey Long and what he has learned from his extensive investigation into near-death experiences? Come check him out at the 2nd Annual NDE Summit.
**nderf.org has a new updated website that is wonderful. If you have not seen it yet, take a peek. There are so many great resources based on years of formal research.
Suzanne Giesemann is a former U.S. Navy Commander who served as a commanding officer and as aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Suzanne’s gift of communication with those on the other side has been recognized as highly credible by noted afterlife researchers.
What happens after the body stops working? The soul continues experiencing life and evolving from those experiences. I’ve enjoyed many opportunities to connect family members on both sides of the veil. Those who have crossed repeatedly show us that they are still very much involved in their family’s lives.
I fondly recall receiving an email from a woman who learned that I would be speaking at a conference in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She inquired if it would be possible to meet with me in person at that time to connect with family members who had passed. I noticed that she did not provide her full name and her email address appeared to be a temporary one. I smiled at her efforts to remain...
Who hasn’t wished they could ask a departed loved one for advice, heal an unresolved rift, or even just ask where their grandmother’s strand of pearls is hidden? The best psychic mediums know what solace such messages can provide. They also know that communication with those on the other side can be cultivated by anyone with a sincere and open heart.
In Signs from the Other Side: Opening to the Spirit World beloved psychic medium Bill Philipps illuminates all of this for readers by demystifying what he does and providing step-by-step guidance that allows readers to receive afterlife communications themselves. We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book.
No matter what your beliefs, all you need to be able to recognize signs from heaven are an open mind and heart.
Opening your mind to receiving signs simply means believing it can happen. If you have faith in God or in the next life, you are already ahead of the game. If you don’t have a deep-rooted faith in God or in anything else, don’t fret; you...
One of the things that makes waiting to die a somewhat bittersweet experience is my girlfriend Lauren, though I’m sure she would object to being called “a thing.” No, she is both my dream girl and the answer to this old man’s unspoken prayers. I don’t know how I would have survived these past few years without her loving care and all the many things she has done for me during this time to keep the ship of Ring afloat. So it sometimes makes me melancholy when I think that when I die, I will have to leave her behind since the practice of suttee does not seem to be in her repertoire. I will miss her dearly when the time comes for me to take up residence elsewhere.
Lauren and I met online in March, 2015, just as she was about to leave her home in Piedmont, California in order to join her son, Rob, a flight surgeon in the Navy, in Florida where he was to get his “wings.” Lauren is, like me, an e-mail junkie, and in the first month of our correspondence, before we had met, we exchanged no fewer than 200 messages, some quite lengthy. I had obviously met my match and the epistolary girl of my dreams. We fell in love writing to each other, but of course we didn’t even know each other — we were only words on a screen. All she knew about me by then was that I had apparently been married a dozen times and had had innumerable affairs. I feared this one would turn out to be an affair to dismember.
Lauren is a therapist and like all therapists she had been seeing one for years. Of course, it’s a game all therapists play...
Weeks before Raymond and I launched The University of Heaven, I started seeing social media posts from a near-death experiencer named Tricia Barker. She was launching the First Online NDE Summit with a beautiful high-definition image of a river with rolling hills and billowing clouds.
"That image is beautiful," I thought, intrigued by the woman who posted it.
I soon found out that the river in the image came from Tricia's near-death experience, and the idea of creating online summits grew from what she learned of her purpose in life during her NDE. "I was told to go back and become a teacher and start the Universe School, " Tricia explained.
After recovering from the injuries related to the life-threatening car accident that led to her NDE, Tricia did, indeed, become a teacher. Part of her teaching duties included creating online courses, so it seemed a natural fit for her to bring her gifts and call for teaching to the Internet. Tricia saw the potential of online instruction to offer greater access to high-risk students such as new mothers, head of households working more than one job and adults with learning challenges.
And more recently, she expanded her identity as a teacher to reach out to others to teach about the healing power of the light within ourselves to overcome some of life's biggest adversities. Tricia's life's lessons are shared in Angels in the OR, her recently published book about her near-death experience and the challenges and blessings...