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Similar to "The Fourfold Vision" Jane Sherwood, author of "The Country Beyond".

Michael,
I think your analysis is essentially correct. It makes sense based on what we know.

However, it does imply that there is a moral element that is critical to the universe - or else there'd be no "judgment". I'm ok wit that and actually heavily lean toward thinking it's true. But that further implies that the universe is not just information. More like information + something else (Love? Pure energy? Ecstasy?). Like the judgment is all about what you did to contribute to spiritual advancement via more better info and Love, etc. We know the Being of light sometimes evaluates people against such a standard during NDEs. True, the being is forgiving. The forgiveness may be because the visitor still has a "body of vitality".

Eric wrote, "We know the Being of light sometimes evaluates people against such a standard during NDEs. True, the being is forgiving. The forgiveness may be because the visitor still has a 'body of vitality'."

I doubt the vehicle of vitality has much to do with it, since deceased persons, communicating through mediums, describe the Judgment in the same terms (comprehensive, fair, and loving). And those people presumably had shed the vehicle of vitality before undergoing the Judgment.

My belief is that the Judgment is carried out by the Higher Self, which naturally will be patient and forgiving toward the lower self — which is, after all, intimately connected to it.

Incidentally, I don’t like the term "vehicle of vitality," which sounds awkward to me. Crookall uses this term to make clear that this entity is not so much a body as an envelope. He suggests that the discarded vehicle of vitality, persisting for a while on its own, may be mistaken for an actual spirit by those who perceive it psychically. Essentially it’s the same concept as the "astral shell," which is said to be cast off and to continue for a time as an empty form. Some ghosts that engage in mindless repetitive actions may also be discarded astral shells.

As an additional note, it’s interesting that many primitive religions, such as the religion of the Greeks in the Homeric Age, see the afterlife as a shadowy place inhabited by confused, lethargic spirits. This corresponds to the initial stage of death, when the Soul Body, still enshrouded by the astral shell (vehicle of vitality), exists in a dreamlike or sleepy state of confusion. Since this is the first phase of postmortem existence, and the phase that is closest to earthly conditions, it’s the one most likely to produce communications and other evidence. Unfortunately these communications can give the impression that postmortem survival is a dreary affair, which was the view of those ancients who believed in Hades or Sheol.

There's something about the idea of development and growth that you seems odd to me. In an eternal reality, wouldn't we have actualized the highest state of progress possible in the absolute present?

I sometimes wonder if all of this is just for the sake of experience. A huge playful exercise. Within that exercise some beings develop a narrative of progress, development, the hero's journey. Maybe we can merge with the mind of god, but I suspect not long after we would restart the adventure again. Some people might want to hold out reincarnation and merger with all that is, and hang somewhere in the middle, individuated.

The only arguement I can see that would explain the idea of progress is that two of the profound forces in nature are will and representation. The will of individuated beings to be able to do more, for more "power", might be related with "love", or understanding, or realizing the interconnectedness of all phenomena.

When mystics, oobers, nders, come back and say its all part of a plan, I suspect that its not an actual plan, it's just that everything that is, is an expression of reality, and as such there's nothing else it should be.

"In an eternal reality, wouldn't we have actualized the highest state of progress possible in the absolute present?"- Ollie

Can you learn to drive a car without actually getting in the car, getting behind the wheel, and driving it? Is it enough to read a book about or watch a video or even watch someone else drive the car? No, the only way to learn how to drive a car is by actually getting behind the wheel and driving it.

Can you learn to ride a bicycle without actually getting on the bicycle and riding it? Can you watch someone ride a bike and then say "I know how to ride a bike?" Nope, same thing. The only way to learn how to ride a bike is by actually getting on the bike and riding it.

Or how about flying an airplane? Can you learn to fly a plane without actually sitting in the pilot's seat and flying it? Nope again. The only way to learn how to fly a plane is by getting in the plane, sitting in the pilot's seat, and flying it. Reading a book or manual or watching someone else to it is not sufficient.

Or how about making love to another person? If you've watched a movie of someone making love can you say that you know how it feels to make love to another person? Nope, you don't know. The only way to really know what it is like to make love to another person is by actually doing it. Finding someone that is willing to make love to you and doing it.

The same thing is true of being pure consciousness, "soul stuff", and knowing what it is like to be inside a body and be in control of it, the parameters of that body, what "out there" looks and feels like. If you are soul stuff and have never been in a body you wouldn't have a clue what it was like to be in a body and be in control of it. And if you were watching that body move around you wouldn't be able to understand what was going on, or what that person felt, as they lived their lives.

The alternative would be to be pure consciousness, filling space, but never knowing what it was like to be alive, inside a body and limited to that body, to eat or taste food, to smell, to touch, to see, or to hear. There are certain things that the only way to really know them is you have to experience them. Just reading a book or hearing about or even watching someone else do it is not enough.

That is why a newborn baby kicks around and stuffs things in its mouth and is intent on experiencing the world around it. It is "tasting the world" in order to learn all the physical things it came here to learn.

This Earth life is a school and we simply learn here the things here that can't be learned in heaven. We are soul stuff having a physical experience. The soul's lessons are embedded in our everyday lives and it is holistically imprinted with what it needs to learn regardless of who we are, or where we live, or even what we believe. Belief is irrelevant. We are here simply to live, that's all, just live.

Ollie,
I think I understand your comment and I agree that what we all experience in this reality might be a "huge playful exercise." I would want to emphasize the playful part of it as I think from a higher perspective a life experience is meant to be fun. Now I know it doesn't sometimes feel like it is fun when one is in the middle of it, but looking on from the outside perhaps it is just a gigantic play with many characters all acting out their parts, playing their roles with all of its joys and woes, feeling the eternal drama of 'good' and 'evil' and having the experience of being alive in physical form.

Over and above all of that perhaps there is a spiritual evolution going on. That is, undeveloped spirits start low on the evolutionary scale, slowly develop through a myriad of other forms until the spirit achieves some status of ultimate spiritual development, perhaps by merging with the mind of god as you put it. Those that accept the theory of reincarnation or transmigration of souls will understand this.

On the spiritual levels there seems to be great light and overwhelming joy and love and though there may be a momentary experience at darker levels for some entities, it seems that all spirit entities have an opportunity, if they will accept it, to rise above the darkness into the light and a blissful existence.

I think that we have the propensity to take life too seriously. - AOD

Michael.
"Incidentally, I don’t like the term "vehicle of vitality," which sounds awkward to me."

I was thinking of it being the same thing as what the Chinese say they are working on with acupuncture. It seems that it serves a similar function. Of course it might not be. It is vague terminology after all.

"My belief is that the Judgment is carried out by the Higher Self, which naturally will be patient and forgiving toward the lower self — which is, after all, intimately connected to it. "

I'm inclined to agree, generally. However, it seems that there are some who's deeds and/or thoughts were so abhorrent - even to their own higher self - that they hide from this "judgment". which seems to cause problems like being earth bound or stuck in hellish regions of the astral. OBE experiencers have seen them there as have some NDErs. We know that there are vicious poltergeists and spirits that possess people. So there must be exceptions to the functioning of the judgment process. I was just trying to work with Crookall's explanation to see how such deviations might occur.

\\AOD says, "Ollie, I think I understand your comment and I agree that what we all experience in this reality might be a "huge playful exercise."//
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Sometimes not so playful or fun. When we lived in East Tennessee I used to drive to Middlesboro, Kentucky sometime, which is very near Cumberland Gap, because it was beautiful up there. But that's not the point of this post.

There was a family up there in Middlesboro, KY that had been in a house trailer fire and had been badly burned. One time I was shopping at the Kroger Grocery store and that family were in there shopping. The little boys hair was gone and their faces were badly burned and scarred and the mother was also horrendously burned. I felt so bad for them. The little boys heads had cracks or lesions in skin that had not healed completely and it looked so painful. Life can be unfair and unkind and painful and devastating and downright torturous.

In fact most of us here in the western developed world don't have a clue what it is like to struggle the way that a lot of third world people struggle. There are people in Asia that struggle to earn enough money to buy a bag of rice to eat in a day. They earn a few dollars and they spend the majority of their income on food whereas the average person in the United States spends less than 16% of their income on food.

All the spiritual stuff that we say this life is about? Most people can't afford the luxury of sitting around staring at their belly button contemplating why we are here or what life is about. They are too busy just trying to survive.

Whatever we are here for it has to be universal which means it applies to everyone at every time, and it has to be taught holistically which means that the lessons are embedded in our everyday lives, while we just go about the business of living, and there has to be an understandable reason that makes sense "why", and those lessons have to be imprinted on us without us even realizing that we are learning something - because the majority of people lead lives of quiet desperation and don't sit around mediating about spiritual things.

But what we do all experience and "learn" is duality and separation, time and space, being in a body - and limited by that body, the parameters of that body and how to control it, and make memories of what it was like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time Universe. All of which are things that can't be learned in heaven because the physics of heaven (as described by numerous near death experiencers) is very different from the physics that we normally experience here.

"There is no distance here. So time does not exist." Excerpt from Mark H's NDE https://www.nderf.org/Experiences/1mark_h_nde.html

"I had the realization that I was everywhere at the same time...and I mean everywhere." Excerpt from Carl Turner's transcendental experience http://www.beyondreligion.com/su_personal/dreamsvisions-kundalini.htm

Four bodies sounds like a bit of over-complication to me. Having a body and a soul sounds reasonable enough without adding more that we have yet to confirm in any way.

Well, Crookall was trying to work out an organizational scheme that would make sense of the various accounts. What he found was that people reporting leaving the physical body, often being veiled or befogged for a while, then achieving clarity, and later ascending to a state of still greater clarity.

So he posited four bodies — physical body, aura or astral shell, soul body, and spirit body.

Although somewhat complicated, this formulation does make sense of many disparate phenomena, such as the confusion of earthbound spirits, apparitions that seem mechanical and lifeless, the two different life reviews, the tunnel, the silver cord, the often confused or surreal accounts of astral projectors (still enshrouded in the astral shell), ectoplasm (seen as drawn from the astral shell/aura), the difficulty of spirit communications (because the soul body must enveil itself in the medium's aura, restricting lucidity), the idea that the frequency of "vibrations" increases as each body is shed, and other things.

I suspicion the only thing that is real is consciousness. And that everything else is just a projection from one universal consciousness.

Excerpt from Michelle M's NDE description, "I remember understanding the others here, as if the others here were a part of me too. As if, all of it was just a vast expression of me. But it wasn't just me, it was - gosh this is so hard to explain - it was as if we were all the same. As if, consciousness were like a huge being. The easiest way to explain it would be as if all things are all different parts of the same body, so to speak." https://www.nderf.org/Experiences/1michelle_m_nde.html

"... apparitions that seem mechanical and lifeless." Yes, there seems to be a lot of anecdotes about such things. I'm a fan of 19th century English ghost stories and these mechanical apparitions seem to figure in a lot of them. The opposite are the interactive apparitions who appear conscious and alive (in sense). Perhaps the "four bodies" theory does explain this.

Also, this probably belongs in Michael's Tunnel post, but it also struck me that in so many NDEs, the directive of "You must go back, it's not your time, etc." is very prevalent, it's almost a cliche. Now how exactly if NDEs are hallucinations could so many people be experiencing something so similar?

Michael Talbot in his book The Holographic says these repetitive apparitions are holographic projections from the collective unconscious. As are things like Sasquatch, Yeti, Marian visions, UFO's, etc. He has some interesting stories in his book The Holographic Universe about people seeing visions of the past, like a park in France, and one time a guy stepped out his door and saw a road that had existed in the past. It has something to do with evoking emotion and stored collective memories.

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/mom-shocked-security-camera-appears-show-ghost-dead-son-felt-like-letting-know-happy-heaven-012223630.html

Maybe use of the term "body" is appropriate. If the above linked story is not a hoax, then something is solid enough to set off security cam sensors.

That’s an interesting observation Kathleen. Almost all of the NDEs I have read and especially those reported on video say exactly that. “It’s not your time!” - AOD

I got to thinking Kathleen. If an NDE were a dream or hallucination generated by the subconscious mind or a dying brain then why do many of those who report an NDE say that they were told " It is not your time. You have to go back."

Now there is a lot to think about in that statement.

When I am dreaming I have never had anyone in the dream tell me that I have to wake up, that I can't continue dreaming or sleeping. I always just 'wake up' with no direction from anyone. I just 'pop' awake. No one tells me I have to "wake up" or anything like that, I just wake up! Why doesn't an NDE-er just 'wake up' without so much folderal about it.

NDE-ers often say how uncomfortable it was getting back in their body. Why should that be if they were just dreaming or hallucinating since people are already in their body when they dream?

If NDE-ers are told they have to "go back" then they must have come from somewhere and will have to travel back to whence they came. That doesn't seem very dreamlike to me especially when so many NDE-ers say that and no one is told that in a true dream. In dreams I have never had a sense of travelling anywhere and then having to go back, travelling through a tunnel and then struggling to get back into my body, with a loss of lightness or freedom of being. In dreams I am 'just there' and then somewhere else or 'not there'. I don't have a sense of travelling.

And why do some people argue about going back, saying they want to stay. I can't recall that I have ever argued with any dream phantasm about waking up or not waking up.

And it's not their time to do what? Not their time to die? Not their time to go forward? What would that mean in a dream;"It's not my time?"

Very interesting I should say! - AOD

Michael,

There is some critical commentary of Robert Crookall by Simeon Edmunds in his book "Spiritualism: A Critical Survey".

I was wondering if you had chance to review this book at some point. Edmunds was skeptical of most paranormal phenomena (about 98% he considered fraudulent in mediumship) but his book should not be confused with debunking zealots.

Thanks, Matthew. I haven’t heard of that book or that author. 98% of mediumship is fraudulent? That sounds like way too high an estimate if he means consciously, intentionally fraudulent. Even M. Lamar Keene, author of The Psychic Mafia and a former fraudulent medium himself, said that many of the fakes were self-deluded and really believed they had special powers. Ray Hyman, the famous skeptic, has said that self-delusion among psychics is probably at least as common as outright fraud.

As for Crookall, I certainly don’t think he’s above criticism. He interlards his modern examples with Bible quotations, which he interprets in spiritualist terms. He relies, in part, on the writings of Max Freedom Long, who claimed he had been told details of the original religion of the Hawaiian islands; Long's work has been severely criticized, and it's possible that the "native traditions" he wrote about were his own invention. For some of his anecdotes about astral projection and NDEs, Crookall draws on letters sent to him by correspondents interested in his work; the contents of those letters may have been inspired or at least influenced by Crookall's previous writings. I’m sure other criticisms are possible.

But then, any book can be picked apart if one has a desire to do so. One can easily disregard the Bible quotes, the Hawaiian material, and the anecdotes conveyed in letters, and still find a wealth of information from other sources. The main thrust of Crookall's work seems valid and important to me.

\\"Ray Hyman, the famous skeptic, has said that self-delusion among psychics is probably at least as common as outright fraud." - Michael Prescott//
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The thing about it is that it doesn't have to be "either all true or all lies." Even a reading by any individual medium can be made up of a little bit of psychic stuff with a whole lot of filler. And with a whole lot of New Agey goop that sounds ridiculous if you really think about it.

I heard and saw a Church of Christ preacher one time hold up the bible during a sermon and say "It's either all true or all lies!" I was nineteen years old at the time so I didn't think much about it at the time but now that I'm a whole lot older, and hopefully wiser, I realize that there can be a kernel of truth buried deep beneath a whole lot of embellishment, told out of sequence, borrowed from other religions, and New Age belief. But it's not either all true or all lies. Some if can be true and impressive.

Some of it can be good stuff and some of it can be added to stretch out the time of the reading; make it seem like it is more than it is. Glimpses of eternity which unfortunately becomes buried in a whole lot of nonsense.

AOD, yes, there are so many similarities in NDEs:

1) Subject is told they must go back
2) Subject gets very upset because they don't wish to go back,as they are so happy
3) Subject often sees their dead body from above and doesn't "want to get back into that"
4) Subject is made to review their life, but in a gentle non-judgmental way
5) Subject often sees how their actions affected another person for good or bad, or how they made others feel
6) Intense feeling of freedom and joy; any feeling of bodily discomfort is completely gone; some subjects who are blind report being able to see
7) Subject sees intense light and brightness, like nothing they've ever experienced
8) Subject encounters deceased, welcoming relatives, friends, and pets, all of whom look healthy and younger
9) Subject sees a tunnel with a bright light at the end of it; some say they travel above earth into space among the stars and planets before entering the tunnel
10) Many but not all subjects encounter Jesus or angels; others encounter welcoming persons
11) Subject may find themself in a beautiful summer-time garden, or in a beautiful white city

There are probably more, but these are the ones I know, and are repeated in many NDEs.

\\"10) Many but not all subjects encounter Jesus or angels;" - Kathleen//
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I'm pretty certain people have these NDEs and come back from them and then sit and stew on what happened to them. They see a light and they say there was a person in that light. Or the light seemed to be conscious and was full of love. If they were raised in a Christian culture, or in the case of Betty Eadie who was raised in a Christian orphanage, they get it fixed in their mind that the Light must have been Jesus Christ. How do they know it was Jesus? Because the Light had all the attributes that Jesus was supposed to have.

Now I keep talking about no separation and oneness and connectedness. What does that mean? It means that yes, the Light was Jesus Christ, but it was also every other religious figure, and in fact, every other consciousness in the Universe all rolled into one. It was not only Jesus but it was also me, you, my mom and dad and sisters and brother, living and dead, and maybe even some aliens from Alpha Centauri. So if you asked the Light if it was Jesus the answer would be "yes, I'm Jesus", but it is also you and everyone you know, and will know, and every President, and Adolph Hitler and his buddies, and "all that is" because in holographic film everything is infinitely interconnected and nothing is separate from anything else.

So yes, they saw angels and religious figures, because those angels and religious figures are based on someone who lived and have been deified and turned into gods. Or like Emmanuel Swedenborg says, angels were once people - which means that if I see someone on the other side they might look like an angel but they could also be my mom or dad or one of my aunts or uncles or grandparents....

Excerpt from Mellen Benedict's NDE:
"The Light kept changing into different figures, like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, mandalas, archetypal images and signs. I asked the Light, "What is going on here? Please, Light, clarify yourself for me. I really want to know the reality of the situation." I cannot really say the exact words, because it was sort of telepathy. The Light responded. The information transferred to me was that your beliefs shape the kind of feedback you are getting before the Light. If you were a Buddhist or Catholic or Fundamentalist, you get a feedback loop of your own stuff."

https://www.near-death.com/reincarnation/experiences/mellen-thomas-benedict.html


Art,
Here is an interesting quote from Francis Grierson, early 20th century musician, writer, medium and spiritist:

“Certainly no man can call himself a thinker who refuses to do battle with the mysterious forces which encompass us around about as palpable as the air we breathe. If there were no mysteries there would be no such thing as science, and if book-learning contained all practical wisdom there would be no such thing as intuition. Everything is like everything else. There is but one source, but an infinite variety of appearances. The soul of the universe is one --- its manifestations are without limit in variation. Phenomena produce mystery; the whole conscious world is engaged in the unraveling of mystery.”- AOD

Michael,

Interesting and informative post!

It seems to me that sometimes there is speculation by those outside the Afterlife (i.e., we as yet living) who come up with some very reasonable speculation that is nevertheless not corroborated much by ADCs, etc. Let me put it another way. If we are correct about these things, one would end up having to conclude that we understand the nature and structure of the Afterlife better than those who are actually in it.

One example is the concept of the Higher Self. I don't know of any ADCs or NDEs (though my knowledge is very limited) that *directly* say, "Then the Higher Self appeared, did XYZ." Nor do NDErs seem to be indicating something that is equivalent to the concept of the Higher Self but are merely lacking the same or equivalent terminology. Wouldn't it be odd if they have experienced the "Being of Light" but we ended up understanding such a being better than they did?

Don't get me wrong. The concept of the Higher Self is nearly universal in current New Age thought. I don't reject it. I rather like it. But I do find it odd that it is not reported by people who have actually experienced the Afterlife to some degree or other.

Crookall's speculations seem similar to me. They are very reasonable, but they don't seem directly attested to by the actual experiencers.

Which is not to say that we can puzzle together a full picture of the Afterlife from NDEs and ADCs. As yet, we cannot. But I am conflicted as to what the roles and weights should be in figuring out the Big Picture of testimony and philosophy.

The Light encompasses "all that is." That is the nature of holographic film. Each piece contains the whole. The physics of "heaven" is very different from what we normally experience here. This place, this holographic projection, is the "place of separation." That is what we experience here, lots and lots of it.

I am often amazed at how effective internet message boards are for experiencing separation. People will sit and argue for days about pretty much everything. I sometimes like to say that duality and separation seem to be inherent and inescapable properties of our Universe. We don't have to go looking for them, they will find us all on their own.

But NDE'ers say the other side felt like home. So when they experienced this strange feeling of oneness and connectedness it didn't seem wrong. Something instantly happens to us when we make contact with that light. It is like our consciousness is "plugged into" the other side so all that love, connectedness and oneness, that 360 vision, more colors than normal, communicating telepathically, access to "all knowledge", lack of time and space, etc. doesn't seem strange. It feels like home.

Sometimes atheist/skeptic/materialists will sometimes make snarky belittling comments about heaven like "don't we get bored there?" Or, they'll make a comment about what about babies who die, or something similar, and it's because they haven't read enough and don't understand that the physics of heaven is very different from here. They can't comprehend time and space being different from where we are now, or the implications of being totally connected and one. Children will have just as much access to that universal collective consciousness which is so often described in NDEs as an adult that has crossed over.

The things that separate us in this life simply don't exist on the other side; and as far as being "bored" on the other side? They should have read Mark Horton's NDE when it was still posted because that didn't sound boring to me. How can one be bored when we can be anywhere and anytime in the Universe, and possibly the multiverse, and experience everything about that time or place? Simply by focusing our consciousness on another part of the hologram we will be "seeing" and full experiencing "all that is" somewhere else in the Universe?

The link to Mark Horton's NDE no longer works. There are several links to people describing Mark Horton's NDE but his own personal long description of his NDE seems to be no longer posted anywhere on the internet.

Matt wrote, "I don't know of any ADCs or NDEs (though my knowledge is very limited) that *directly* say, 'Then the Higher Self appeared, did XYZ.'"

I don't know if any of them use those words, but the Seth communications seem to say as much.

One of the points made by Crookall is that the vast majority of postmortem communications come from people who are still in a realm of thought-forms and illusion, to varying degrees. Some are enveiled by the "vehicle of vitality" (energy body), while others inhabit the so-called Summerland environment. The deceased F.W.H. Myers, purportedly channeled in Geraldine Cummins' books, called Summerland the "plane of illusion" and compared it to the mythological land of the Lotus Eaters (who were perpetually entranced because of the mind-altering effects of the lotus plants).

One of the more famous – or infamous – claims made by a postmortem communicator is found in the book "Raymond," by Sir Oliver Lodge. The deceased Raymond claims that he and his friends in the afterlife enjoy whiskey and cigars. This statement was widely ridiculed when the book came out, and continues to be ridiculed to this day. And yet there is enough evidential material in the book to make it difficult to dismiss outright. The solution may be that the recently deceased Raymond was still inhabiting a world of thought-forms based on his earthly memories. Indeed, later communications attributed to the same source say as much.

In short, we may be wrong to expect deep insights from most communicators. The majority of them are still in a transitional state and may be more confused than we think. As they progress higher, they see things more clearly, but they are also much less prone to communicate with us. At least that's one way of looking at it.

Mellen Benedict had rather Buddhist leanings so he interpreted his NDE experience in light of his buddhist beliefs. Which does use the words "higher self."

We interpret everything we have experienced in life in light of the culture in which we are raised. People who have NDEs come back from the other side with all these experiences and they are confused and so they sit and stew on it, and roll it over and over in their minds, and it takes time to process all that information that they saw and felt and experienced but the only thing they have to make sense of it is who they are, which includes everything they formerly believed.

We do the exact same thing when we read the New Testament which was written two thousand years ago but then it gets filtered through our 21st Century brains and who knows if what we believe is anywhere near or close to what a 1st Century Christian believed? Modern Western Christianity may be light years away from what 1st Century Christians believed?

Art, it might be what you wrote, that we see what we expect to see. Jane Roberts wrote that this is how it is in one of her Seth books.

On the other hand, adamant atheists have reported that they have encountered Jesus. I also came upon the story of a Muslim Palestinian fighter who says Jesus visited him in jail and he subsequently became a Christian convert. He didn't have an NDE, but wow, he really was convinced that Jesus came to him.

Of course, not everyone encounters him, even Christians.

And then of course there are the few - who knows how many - who have experienced hell in their NDE. One interesting hellish NDE involved a physician who stated he had been "living fast," "dating a lot of women" and "partying." His "transgressions" seemed a little tame in the great scheme of sin, but who knows? Those who do a lot of drugs and alcohol often report hellish NDEs.

I find Art’s points to be very important. Have any of the more rational or intellectual spiritualists tried to explain existence in terms of the broad history of hominids (humans and our immediate, upright ancestors) and the relatively lack of self-actualization available to people before recent centuries?

Robert Darnton, in his explorations of French cultural history, noted, for example, that French peasants of the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, when dreaming of magic, tended to want a full stomach above all else! Not very metaphysical.

I’ve had some issues in my life, which I think most people would agree are legitimate trials, and which I in turn hope to have spiritual value, but at the same time I’ve never even come close to even living in Western poverty, let alone a hand-to-mouth or otherwise grinding existence of many in the world.

I can’t ignore the evidence of a spiritual reality, but it’s just so hard to even speculate at the ‘why’ of it all.

\\"On the other hand, adamant atheists have reported that they have encountered Jesus." - Kathleen//
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We are not just who we are "right now" but also the entirety of who we were when we were 3,4,5,6,... years old. Our consciousness is the collective entirety of our entire lives. You go to Sunday School when you're a little kid and all this stuff gets downloaded into your little brain and it is there forever. Nothing is lost. It's all there.

All the things we label ourselves with gets tossed out the window after we cross over and make contact with that Light. Everyone is healed when they enter that Light. Or like one little girl said after she came back from an NDE, "everything good is in that Light."

Howard Storm, the famous atheist that wrote his negative NDE talked about seeing demons and them chewing on him and all kinds of stuff. If he was an atheist where did that come from? Howard Storm was from Kentucky, the home of the Pentecostal and fundamentalist churches. This stuff gets ingrained in kids heads from a very early age, and "downloaded" into their subconscious, and then later these kids grow up and think "this is ridiculous" and label themselves as atheists. If you've read Howard Storm's NDE description he says that he went to Sunday School so at some point in his life he was introduced to Christian imagery and it was in his brain from an early age.

Remember in the Tibetan Book of the Dead the Llama reading the book to the newly departed says to him "do not be afraid of the demons you encounter because they are only projections from your own mind."

But what happens to them when they finally die... and find themselves still alive and then they think to themselves "what happens to atheists when they die?" So Howard Storm conjured up those demons because he thought to himself "I'm a bad person, mean, and atheist, so I should be in hell." But after a little bit he got tired of the demons and greyness and called out for God and the Light and the Light appeared and took him out of the pentecostal hell he had dreamed up for himself.

Excerpt from Howard Storm's NDE, "Then a most unusual thing happened. I heard very clearly, once again in my own voice, something that I had learned in nursery Sunday School. It was the little song, "Jesus loves me, yes I know ..." and it kept repeating. I don't know why, but all of a sudden I wanted to believe that. Not having anything left, I wanted to cling to that thought. And I, inside, screamed, "Jesus, please save me." https://www.near-death.com/experiences/notable/howard-storm.html

"As a man thinketh in his heart so is he." (proverbs) We find what we think we should find. Betty Eadie found Jesus because that is who she thought the Light should be... because that Light had all the attributes she expected Jesus to have.

By the way the majority of negative NDEs turn positive before they are over. That is if they last long enough; if they don't get dragged back here too fast they call out for the Light and the Light appears and they get rescued. The condition is temporary.

Excerpt from Mellen Benedict's NDE description, "The Light responded. The information transferred to me was that your beliefs shape the kind of feedback you are getting before the Light. If you were a Buddhist or Catholic or Fundamentalist, you get a feedback loop of your own stuff." https://www.near-death.com/reincarnation/experiences/mellen-thomas-benedict.html

Remember that Mellen Benedict thought of himself as a Buddhist so he describes his NDE in light of his own beliefs. We all do this. In fact it is how we see life.

Michael,

Good points. It may be that we cannot depend on NDEs and ADCs for the most advanced information.

Art, I'm not stating that who these people encounter IS really Jesus, just that meeting Jesus is a feature of many NDEs. The ultimate test would be to examine the NDEs of remote, un-contacted tribes.

One question is, what would be the point of people's beliefs shaping the content of their NDE? What would be the mechanism involved? Why not just go straight to the higher plane? If I can handle dying, why couldn't I handle going straight to a higher plane, why would I have to stop off in Summerland first? (Personally, I would rather be in Summerland forever, a place where it seems earthly life is realized in a perfect form that we only get glimpses of on earth. That also seems to make more sense to me.)

NDEs in different cultural contexts have different imagology (hardly any life-review; no emphasis on love etc:). The Japanese have similar, yet different contents; Muslims hardly anything.
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/23c7/f37c0899b665364c0ad3fa737edeffe5295e.pdf
-A Comparative Analysis of Japanese
and Western NDEs; https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3701/f2236acd1eaa7e4e20b95862d8a047b15e9d.pdf - The Search for Muslim
Near-Death Experiences

Bardon,

The Druze (mostly in Lebanon) have a lot of reincarnation cases; some that include memories of the death experience in the previous life. Maybe Muslims are reluctant to discuss NDEs due to culture factors.

BTW, Parhev! Tu Hai es? Eem anun e tashjian (I use a nom de plum on the internet).

This article, which is in part a response to the study by Kreps linked in Bardon's comment, claims that Muslim NDEs are not uncommon:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261697430_Near-death_experiences_among_a_sample_of_Iranian_Muslims

Some other cases are presented here:

https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461743/m2/1/high_res_d/29-1%20Final%203%20Nahm.pdf

"Why not just go straight to the higher plane?" - Kathleen

I'm really sorry but I don't buy into "higher planes". Unnecessarily complicated. If we live in a holographic universe there is only "here" - the holographic projection and "there" - the original holographic film. That's it, here and there. When people die they transition to the original holographic film that our Universe is projected from.

We don't need the original object that the laser takes a picture of... it's all information, code like on a computer. The original object doesn't need to exist if it's all made of information.

The holographic universe theory explains everything. http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html I don't need pre birth memories, or higher planes, reincarnation, etc. It's all easily explained by the connectedness and oneness of holographic film. Those things are just by products of the holographic nature of our universe.

And I think NDEs are more reliable sources of information for the other side than Mediums. The parts from NDEs that fit what I have read in popular Science books about quantum physics and the holographic universe is too coincidental to be an accident. AKA, "consilience."

I believe that only a small portion of what comes out of Medium's mouths is from the other side. Filler to fill up the void. Like pretty much everything else in this life, some of it's real and some of it's not. A small glimmer from the other side.

By the way, "classic NDE" field has not much more to offer. It's all more or less the same in past half a century. Grand old man of this all, Raymond Moody, has moved to ordinary conscious witnesses of shared dying experiences, something immensely more spectacular. See his "Glimpses of Eternity", pdf here: http://gen.lib.rus.ec/book/index.php?md5=7A8D0E807616C028D248C8CC4E306772

\\"By the way, "classic NDE" field has not much more to offer." Bardon//
----------------

I know what the other side is going to be like because I understand the implications of what it means for us to live in a holographic universe. I understand what the connectedness and oneness of "heaven" means and why it exists. I understand why NDEer's can see 360 degrees at once and why they have "all knowledge" and why they say they say things like "I was the Universe" or "me and the Universe were one." I know why they say it was "realer than real" or "more real than normal." I also understand communicating telepathically and buildings made out of knowledge and thoughts being things and matter being an implication of consciousness.

It's all easily understood and explained by the holographic universe theory, but in order to understand the connection and corroboration between NDEs and the holographic universe theory... you have to read about it. I have spent the last 19 years of my life, since the year 2000, reading hundreds of books on popular physics and quantum physics and the holographic universe theory and NDEs and deathbed visions and nearing death awareness and terminal lucidity, etc.

And I'm not saying that I disbelieve the evidence for reincarnation, only that the implications of what that evidence means is misinterpreted as to what it means. And some of what Mediums say is "true" but it is only a glimmer - and the rest is filler, New Age beliefs repeated over and over so many times that people accept it that it must be real because they've heard it so often. Trying to explain why people feel like they've been there before when in truth it's all just a byproduct of the oneness and connectedness of living in a holographic universe.

"I remember understanding the others here, as if the others here were a part of me too. As if, all of it was just a vast expression of me. But it wasn't just me, it was - gosh this is so hard to explain - it was as if we were all the same. As if, consciousness were like a huge being. The easiest way to explain it would be as if all things are all different parts of the same body, so to speak." Excerpt from Michelle M's NDE, https://www.nderf.org/Experiences/1michelle_m_nde.html

I swear, it seems as though every year, some are getting more and more desperate for materialist explanations for things like NDEs. Maybe it’s just me.
This was just posted 2 days ago. Prevalence of near-death experiences and REM sleep intrusion in 1034 adults from 35 countries.

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2019/01/28/532341.full.pdf

Art,
How does a holographic universe explain birthmarks carried over from a past life. How does it explain unlearned languages, skills etc. and feelings of the opposite sex? - AOD

Art, the problem I have with the holographic universe idea, despite its usefulness in some ways, is that a great deal of evidence has to be disregarded in order to make it true. The idea, as I understand it, is that immediately upon dying, the person becomes one with everything and achieves a phenomenally evolved state of awareness, transcending anything known on earth.

But most NDEs are not of the transcendent type; comparatively few are like Mark Horton's. And most mediumistic communications don’t show a vastly expanded consciousness. The bulk of the evidence points to a postmortem state that is (at least initially) not very different from our earthly state, both in terms of consciousness and environment. Moreover, if death means an immediate, dramatic expansion of consciousness to almost omniscient dimensions, it’s hard to see the point in reincarnation — yet the evidence for reincarnation, especially cases of children who spontaneously report past lives, is very strong.

The other issue is that if experiencing separation while incarnated is all that matters, then there’s no moral purpose to life. Everybody experiences separation, whether they are selfless humanitarians or serial killers. Yet the life review reported by many NDErs has a strong moral component. And perhaps the most consistent message of NDErs and "spirits" communicating through mediums is that we are sent here to learn and accomplish certain things, and that our incarnation was successful to the extent that we actually followed through on our plan. In other words, there’s more involved than just showing up.

\\"How does a holographic universe explain birthmarks carried over from a past life. How does it explain unlearned languages, skills etc. and feelings of the opposite sex? - AOD"//
-----------------

Okay, let's start with birthmarks. I remember reading one NDE where the guy said they went into a library or a "hall of learning." He said that it seemed to him that the building itself was "made of knowledge." A.J.Ayers, a famous atheist while talking to journalist about his NDE said "you know it was strange but my thoughts became persons." Mark H (not the same person as Mark Horton) said in his NDE that he thought of a mountain he saw as a child and the child appeared. Quantum physicists knew from early on that there was a connection between consciousness and how sub atomic particles appeared; it seems that it take consciousness to collapse the quantum wave into a particle.

So these kids that supposedly have birthmarks? If everything is made of consciousness and if they are tuning into someone else's memories then it is possible that those birthmarks are "made of knowledge." It's like a radio that is tuned between stations. And when those kids get older they start to forget those memories because they have developed their own sense of self. They become their own person, a separate unique individual.

If we are all connected and one our separateness is an illusion, an illusion created to teach us about what it means to be separate and become a separate unique individual - which is something that may not be able to be learned while in heaven due to those overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness that so many near death experiencers describe.

So homosexuality is just another way we experience separation in this life. If we have heterosexual then "duality and separation" would dictate that there would also be homosexuals. It's just another way of experiencing separation. Male versus female, fat versus thin, black versus white, different cultures, language, height, weight, looks, color of hair, language, dialects, wealth, I.Q., sexual orientation, etc. are just ways we experience separation in this life in order to teach the soul what it means and how it feels to be separate. Separation in every way possible. Why? Because it has to be so ingrained in us so that after we cross over into heaven we don't lose our sense of self and just merge back into the Oneness of the other side.

And if you read The Universe as a Hologram you'd understand what I mean by the oneness and connectedness of holographic film. Heaven is the original holographic film that our universe is projected from.

This side is just the projection. A temporary place, a school, that we come to learn a few simply lessons before we shed these physical bodies and transition to heaven.

I don't put a whole lot of stock into mediumistic communication. A little bit of it is "real" from the other side, but like Myers said "it's like talking to an obtuse secretary through a frosted glass." Most of what comes out of Mediums mouth is filler, stuff they blather on about in order to fill up the entire reading. They get little glimpses and make up a story from that.

And a lot of that New Age stuff has been around a long time and most of it I believe is wrong. No different levels, no pre birth memories, no reincarnation, etc. All that stuff can be explained as a by product of the oneness and connectedness of holographic film. We are all connected and our separation is an illusion. An illusion created so we'll experience separation. Lots and lots of separation. Separation to teach the soul what separation is and what it means, looks, and feels.

If I have a DVD of a movie and as I watch that movie I identify with one of the characters does that mean I was that character?

And those different scenes in the DVD of a movie I can just click on which scene I want to see is that similar to what Mark Horton describes in his NDE description? He says "all I had done was have the merest fleeting thought of the place and I was there." Just like what Mark H said when he thought of a mountain and then it appeared, or when A.J. Ayer said that his thoughts became persons. Whatever part of the hologram you focus your attention on is what you experience. Howard Storm thought he was a bad person and he remembered those pentecostal lessons he learned when he was little and he conjured up demons, and when he called out to the Light the Light appeared.

There is a field of dreams of those close to death. Maybe not so spectacular, but definitely worthy of attention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbnBe-vXGQM

It just seems to me, Art, that you’re cherry-picking the evidence you like and ignoring the rest. This could make sense if you picked only the strongest evidence and omitted the weaker stuff, or if you included multiply attested claims and disregarded the outliers.

Instead you seem to be dispensing with much of the best evidence and focusing on outliers like the Mark Horton NDE — which, as far as I know, was never independently investigated or documented; it’s just a story someone told on a website. Who can say if it even happened? Anyone can make claims online. Look at all the scammers claiming to be Nigerian princes.

Meanwhile there’s a host of carefully investigated NDEs that don’t have transcendent elements. The "classic" NDE identified by Moody and refined by Kenneth Ring and others doesn’t have any striking transcendental qualities — a point made by Jenny Wade in her excellent book Changes of Mind, in which she expresses disappointment at the relatively prosaic content of most NDEs in contrast to the exalted heights of mystical experiences. What Wade calls "unity consciousness" (which roughly corresponds to Horton's NDE) is all but unknown in the NDE literature.

It may be the case that mystics with highly advanced consciousness will experience an NDE (or an actual dying experience) of the transcendent type, but it’s safe to say that the vast majority of us will not.

Thank you Art for sharing your belief system. I have purchased "The Holographic Universe" by Michael Talbot at your suggestion and have read it although my poor memory has not retained any of it. I have a difficult time believing that there is "film' somewhere and think that the holographic film explanation is still too materialistic for my tastes. You make reference to "a lot of New Age stuff" but I really don't know what exactly that is. I think that "New Age" is an outdated term that needs to be relegated to the trash bin. It doesn't define anything.

As far as birthmarks go, I don't know why any infant still in the womb or new-born infant would be tuning in to any one else's body-injury memories caused by gun shots, knife wounds, ax wounds or machine accident wounds and to what end? And, as they grow older the memories are forgotten but the birthmarks usually remain, e.g. missing fingers.

I don't know why we would need to learn about separateness as the reason for a physical experience when there is so much more non-physical things to learn about through relationships, experiencing and doing. I don't agree that all of the many things you list as examples of separation have anything to do with being a separate person. Many of those examples are just yang and yin of oriental philosophies. - AOD

Art,
You seem to denigrate “mediumistic communication”. Perhaps any and all communication with entities from ‘the other side’ could be labeled as “mediumistic communication”. Am I to disregard it all? Yes, Meyers may have said it’s like seeing through a glass darkly, but that is the nature of spirit communication and he himself communicated through that glass by dictating his thoughts through medium Geraldine Cummins.

With access to the internet we are fortunate to be able to see and hear many modern mediums in action. I know, I know that you might label them as “New Age” but living mediums like John Edward, Christopher Stiller, George Anderson, Lisa Williams and others seem to be quite accurate in much of the information they provide. In my view, they provide more valid information than what we are told by mediums of yore, now long gone. There are many videos of these mediums in action on YouTube. I recommend viewing them all before discounting what they do. Some of the hits of John Edward and Christopher Stiller are beyond belief. I would not say that they provide a lot of “filler” or “blather” about anything. I have viewed a great many of them and I do not consider myself to be a credulous person, to the contrary I think I am an irascible old fart, a true skeptic if ever there was one, but I consider these modern mediums to have advanced mediumistic communication with “the other side”. There could be, of course other explanations for the information they receive but they do put on a good show that I find believable. - AOD

Could you elaborate some on the book by Jenny Wade

Thanks

Kris, I provided a summary of the book here:

https://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2006/08/changes_of_mind.html

Commandments for Scientists by Leo Szilard: "Speak to all men as you do to yourself, with no concern for the effect you make, so that you do not shut them out from your world; lest in isolation the meaning of life slips out of sight and you lose the belief in the perfection of creation."

My beliefs are my beliefs. I don't believe it matters what I believe - or anyone else believes about life after death. We aren't saved by what we believe. It is what it is.

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