Saturday, July 31, 2021

NDE reports do not clearly identify a "place"

Bruce Greyson writes: On the day after her thirty-fifth birthday, without any warning, Róisín Fitzpatrick suffered a brain hemorrhage that left her in a life-threatening situation in the intensive care unit. She described for me the near-death experience she had in the ICU: “I became pure energy and realized that ‘I’ still existed even though I was no longer an individual person in my physical body. Instead, I had merged to become one with a greater, light-filled consciousness. 

“There was no beginning or end, no start or finish, no life or death, no ‘out there’ or ‘in here.’ It made absolutely no difference if I was in my body; it was not even relevant because I had become at one with this incredibly potent, highly charged field of energy. 

“Surrounded by a hushed silence, I became enveloped by undulating waves of opalescent and crystalline light. Simultaneously, there was a feeling of love and bliss that extended on to infinity. From this place everything was possible because only love, joy, peace, and creative potential were real. My understanding of ‘reality’ was turned 180 degrees when I learned that at our deepest level of consciousness, we are energy beings of pure love and light who are temporarily residing in physical bodies.”

Greyson adds: Because half of the experiencers in my research could not describe a “place” they had gone in their NDEs, and there was little consistency in the descriptions of the other half who did describe a “place,” none of these images can be called “typical” of NDEs.

Greyson, Bruce. After (p. 148-49). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Friday, July 30, 2021

NDE survivors say experience was "definitely real"

Bruce Greyson reports: "Jayne Smith, who had an NDE at age twenty-three during a bad reaction to anesthesia during childbirth, told me, 'Never, ever did I think it might have been a dream. I knew that it was true and real, more real than any other thing I’ve ever known.' LeaAnn Carroll developed a massive blood clot in her lung at age thirty-one that stopped her heart. She said about her NDE, 'My death experience is more real to me than life. Nancy Evans Bush, who had an NDE at age twenty-seven during a bad reaction to nitrous oxide, said, 'Yes, it was more real than real: absolute reality.' Susan Litton, who had an NDE at age twenty-nine, told me, 'There was no sense of doubt whatsoever. Everything had a sense of being more real than anything that would normally be experienced in the physical world as we know it.' Chris Matt, who had an NDE when he rolled his car over at age twenty-one, said, 'I have no doubt that it was real. It was vastly more real than anything we experience here.' Yolaine Stout, who attempted suicide at the age of thirty-one, said, 'This was more real than anything on earth. By comparison, my life in my body had been a dream.'

Greyson adds: "Their memories of the NDE had more detail, more clarity, more context, and more intense feelings than memories of real events. And that is exactly what people had been telling me for decades—that their NDEs were more real to them than everyday experiences. On the other hand, for people who had come close to death but didn’t have an NDE, their memories of the event were not recalled as more real than other real events. Two other research teams, in Belgium and in Italy, came up with the same results."

Greyson, Bruce. After (pp. 96-97). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Greyson explains the purposes of his "NDE Scale"

I wanted to bring some logical order to the study of near-death experiences. To tackle this problem, I developed the NDE Scale in the early 1980s as a way to standardize what we mean by the term “near-death experience.” I started with a list of the eighty features most often mentioned in the literature on NDEs and sent this list to a large sample of experiencers. Then, through a series of repeated assessments by experiencers and other researchers, with the help of statistical analyses, I whittled the scale down to a more manageable list of sixteen features.

So the NDE Scale is not a measure of how deeply an experiencer may be affected. It’s simply a tool that researchers can use to make sure they’re investigating the same experience. And in the thirty-eight years since it was first published, the NDE Scale has stood the test of time, having been translated into more than twenty languages and used in hundreds of studies around the world.

Twenty years after this scale was published, and long after it had become accepted as the standard tool of NDE researchers worldwide, I was challenged by two skeptical scholars I didn’t know: Rense Lange, a statistician from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, and Jim Houran, a psychologist then at the University of Adelaide in Australia. These scholars had no previous interest in NDEs but were applying a complicated statistical test to various scales that had been developed by other researchers—and in the process “debunking” some of them. They wanted me to give them the raw responses on the scale that I had collected from around three hundred people who had come close to death and let them carry out their sophisticated statistical test on the data to see whether the NDE Scale was valid. 

Apprehensive, I had reservations about working with them. I’d already put years of work into this scale, and it had become accepted by scholars around the world. I wasn’t familiar with the statistical test they wanted to carry out. I didn’t know whether it was a good test, and whether my scale would hold up under it. What if the scale failed the test? Would it cast doubt on all my work with NDEs? Would it ruin my credibility and my career as a scientist? 

On the other hand, if the NDE Scale was faulty, I certainly wanted to know that! How could I refuse to share my data and put my scale to the test? If I was truly a skeptic, how could I be skeptical of other people’s ideas but not my own? I’d met too many academics who called themselves “skeptics” but refused to look at any evidence that might challenge their own beliefs. Could I swallow my pride—and my fear of failing—and expose my data to an independent test? That’s what intellectual honesty required. That’s what a true skeptic would do.

That’s what my father, had he still been alive, would have wanted me to do. I handed over all my data on the NDE Scale, the responses of hundreds of people who’d had near-death experiences and waited for the results from Rense and Jim. As the months went by, I had many fitful nights second-guessing my decision to subject my work to that scrutiny. But each morning, in the light of day, I knew that it was the right thing to do. To my great relief, their analysis ended up confirming the validity of the NDE Scale. 

It showed that the scale measured one consistent experience that was the same for men and women and for people of all ages, across many cultures. NDE Scale scores were the same no matter how many years had passed since the experience. I heaved a huge sigh of relief. My NDE Scale—and by extension NDEs themselves—had been given the stamp of credibility by a team of skeptics who not only had no stake in near-death experiences but would have been happy to discredit them.

Greyson, Bruce. After (pp. 54-56). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

NDE researcher Bruce Greyson: life reviews

Among all the participants in my research, a quarter reported a life review. Some experiencers told me that their entire lives flashed before their eyes, from birth to the present or in reverse order. Others said that they were able to view different scenes from their lives at will. The vast majority described this life review as more vivid than ordinary memories. Some experiencers told me that they were shown images from their past, as on a movie screen or on pages in a book. But many, like Tom, reported that they re-experienced these past events as if they were still happening, with all the original sensations and feelings. 

Three-fourths of those who had a life review said that it changed their ideas of what things are important in life. Half of those who had a life review experienced a sense of judgment, most often judging themselves, about the rightness or wrongness of their actions. And more than half experienced these past events not only through their own eyes, but also—like Tom—from the viewpoints of others, feeling those other people’s emotions as well as their own.

Greyson, Bruce. After (pp. 39-42). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Tom Sawyer's NDE life review

Bruce Greyson reports that Tom described, at some point during the NDE that followed, reliving painful incidents from earlier in his life: “I experienced a total life review. The best way to describe it is to give you an example. When I was around eight years old, my father told me to mow the lawn and cut the weeds in the yard. Aunt Gay, my mother’s sister, lived in the cottage out back. She was always fun to be with. Certainly all the kids thought she was a cool person to know. She had described to me her plans for some wildflowers that grew on little vines in the backyard. ‘Leave them alone now, Tommy,’ she said. 

“However, my father told me to mow the lawn and cut the weeds. Now, I could have explained to my father that Aunt Gay wanted the weeds left to grow in this particular area. Or I could have explained to Aunt Gay that Father had just told me to mow the lawn and said to cut that patch of weeds. Or, I could methodically and deliberately go ahead and mow the yard and cut the weeds. I did that. I deliberately decided to be bad, to be malicious. 

My Aunt Gay never said a word to me; nothing was ever mentioned. I thought, ‘Wow, I got away with it.’ End of story. “Guess what? I not only relived it in my life review, but I relived every exact thought and attitude; even the air temperature and things that I couldn’t have possibly measured when I was eight years old. For example, at the time, I wasn’t aware of how many mosquitoes were in the area. In the life review, I could have counted the mosquitoes. Everything was more accurate than could possibly be perceived in the reality of the original event. I experienced things that cannot be perceived. I watched me mowing the lawn from straight above, anywhere from several hundred to a couple of thousand feet, as though I were a camera. I watched all of that. My life review was absolutely, positively, everything basically from the first breath of life right through the accident. It was that panoramic view. It was everything.”

Bruce Greyson, After (2021), 39-40.

Monday, July 26, 2021

An extraordinary NDE life review

Barbara Harris Whitfield had an NDE at age thirty-two when she suffered respiratory complications while immobilized after back surgery. She described a life review in which she re-experienced abusive childhood events from the perspective of other people involved: “As I left my body, I again went out into the darkness. Looking down and off to the right, I saw myself in a bubble—in the circle bed—crying. Then I looked up and to the left, and I saw my one-year-old self in another bubble—facedown in my crib—crying just as hard. I decided I didn’t want to be the thirty-two-year-old Barbara anymore; I’d go to the baby. As I moved away from my thirty-two-year-old body in the circle bed, I felt as though I released myself from this lifetime. As I did, I became aware of an Energy that was wrapping itself around me and going through me, permeating me, holding up every molecule of my being. 

“In every scene of my life review I could feel again what I had felt at various times in my life. And I could feel everything everyone else felt as a consequence of my actions. Some of it felt good and some of it felt awful. All of this translated into knowledge, and I learned—oh, how I learned! The information was flowing at an incredible breakneck speed that probably would have burned me up if it weren’t for the extraordinary Energy holding me. The information came in, and then love neutralized my judgments against myself. I received all information about every scene—my perceptions and feelings—and anyone else’s perceptions and feelings who were in the scene. 

"There was no good and no bad. There was only me and my loved ones from this life trying to be, or just trying to survive. “I went to the baby I was seeing to my upper left in the darkness. Picture the baby being in a bubble and that bubble in the center of a cloud of thousands and thousands of bubbles. In each bubble was another scene in my life. As I moved toward the baby, it was as though I was bobbing through the bubbles. At the same time there was a linear sequence in which I relived thirty-two years of my life. I could hear myself saying, ‘No wonder, no wonder.’ 

"I now believe my ‘no wonders’ meant ‘No wonder you are the way you are now. Look what was done to you when you were a little girl.’ “My mother had been dependent on drugs, angry, and abusive. I saw all this childhood trauma again, in my life review, but I didn’t see it in little bits and pieces, the way I had remembered it as an adult. I saw and experienced it just as I had lived it at the time it first happened. Not only was I me, I was also my mother. And my dad. And my brother. We were all one. I now felt my mother’s pain and neglect from her childhood. She wasn’t trying to be mean. She didn’t know how to be loving or kind. She didn’t know how to love. She didn’t understand what life is really all about. And she was still angry from her own childhood, angry because they were poor and because her father had grand mal seizures almost every day until he died when she was eleven. And then she was angry because he left her. 

“Everything came flooding back. I witnessed my brother’s rage at my mother’s abuse, and then his turning around and giving it to me. I saw how we were all connected in this dance that started with my mother. I saw how her physical body expressed her emotional pain. I could hear myself saying, ‘No wonder, no wonder.’ I could now feel that she abused me because she hated herself. “I saw how I had given up myself in order to survive. I forgot that I was a child. I became my mother’s mother. I suddenly knew that my mother had had the same thing happen to her in her childhood. She took care of her father during his seizures, and as a child she gave herself up to take care of him. As children, she and I both became anything and everything others needed. As my life review continued, I also saw my mother’s soul, how painful her life was, how lost she was. In my life review I saw she was a good person caught in helplessness. I saw her beauty, her humanity, and her needs that had gone unattended to in her own childhood. I loved her and understood her. We may have been trapped, but we were still souls connected in our dance of life by an Energy source that had created us. 

“As my life review continued, I got married and had my own children and saw that I was on the edge of repeating the cycle of abuse and trauma that I had experienced as a child. I was becoming like my mother. As my life unfolded before my eyes, I witnessed how severely I had treated myself because that was the behavior shown and taught to me as a child. I realized that the only big mistake I had made in my life of thirty-two years was that I had never learned to love myself.”

Greyson, Bruce. After (pp. 42-44). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Sir Francis Beaufort NDE life reviews

Greyson writes: "As I looked for research that had already been done on life reviews, I discovered that this was also not a new phenomenon. In 1791, when British rear admiral Sir Francis Beaufort was only a seventeen-year-old midshipman, he fell off a boat into Portsmouth Harbor on the southern coast of England. Unfortunately, he had not yet learned to swim. After exhausting himself struggling to breathe, he lost consciousness and immediately experienced a feeling of calmness and noticed changes in his thinking. He later described it this way: “From the moment that all exertion ceased—which I imagine was the immediate consequence of complete suffocation—a calm feeling of the most perfect tranquility superseded the previous tumultuous sensations—it might be called apathy, certainly not resignation. Though the senses were thus deadened, not so the mind; its activity seemed to be invigorated, in a ratio which defies all description, for thought rose above thought with a rapidity of succession that is not only indescribable, but probably inconceivable by anyone who has not himself been in a similar situation. 

“The course of those thoughts I can even now in great measure retrace—the event which had just taken place—the awkwardness that had produced it—were the first series of reflections that occurred. They took then a wider range—our last cruise—a former voyage, and shipwreck—my school—the progress I had made there, and the time I had misspent—and even all my boyish pursuits and adventures. Thus traveling backward, every past incident of my life seemed to glance across my recollection in retrograde succession; not, however, in mere outline, as here stated, but the picture filled up with every minute and collateral feature. In short, the whole period of my existence seemed to be placed before me in a kind of panoramic review, and each act of it seemed to be accompanied by a consciousness of right or wrong, or by some reflection on its cause or its consequences; indeed, many trifling events which had been long forgotten then crowded into my imagination, and with the character of recent familiarity.” Beaufort described his thoughts not only speeding up but encompassing every single incident in his life and judging every action as right or wrong. Many of the experiencers who shared their stories with me described this kind of life review."

Greyson, Bruce. After (pp. 37-38). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Heightened sensations in near-death experiences

In addition to their thoughts being faster and clearer than usual, many experiencers also report that their senses, like vision and hearing, were more vivid than usual. Jayne Smith had an NDE at age twenty-three during a bad reaction to anesthesia during childbirth. She described for me her senses during that experience: “I found myself in a meadow, mind cleared, identity intact, and once more aware of having a body. And this was a beautiful green meadow with beautiful flowers, beautiful colors, lit again with this glorious, radiant light, like no light we’ve ever seen, but there was sky, grass, flowers that had colors that I’d never seen before. And I remember so well looking at them and thinking, ‘I have never seen some of these colors!’ And wonder of wonders, I realized I was seeing the inner light of all the growing things, just utter glory in color. It was not reflected light, but a gentle, inner glow that shone from each and every plant. Overhead, the sky was clear and blue, the light infinitely more beautiful than any light we know.”

Gregg Nome, who drowned when his inner tube capsized going over a waterfall, described for me the remarkable heightening of his senses: “Suddenly, I could hear and see as never before. The sound of the waterfall was just so crisp and clear that it really is indescribable. Two years before this, my right ear had been injured when somebody threw a large, powerful firecracker into a bar where I was listening to a band, and it exploded right next to my head. But now, in my NDE, I could hear perfectly clearly. And my sight was even more beautiful. I felt as if I had been limited by my physical senses for all these years. Sights that were very far away from me were as clear as sights that were very close, and this was at the same time. There was no blurriness in my vision whatsoever.” Gregg found not only his vision more vivid than usual but his damaged hearing restored and all his physical senses heightened. Two-thirds of the experiencers in my research reported extraordinarily vivid sensations in their NDEs.

Greyson, Bruce. After (pp. 34-35). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Dr. Bruce Greyson notes time distortion in NDEs

Joe Geraci, a thirty-six-year-old policeman who almost bled to death after surgery, described this sense in his NDE: “I knew what it was like to experience eternity, where there was no time. It’s the hardest thing to try and describe to someone. How do you describe a state of timelessness, where there’s nothing progressing from one point to another, where it’s all there, and you’re totally immersed in it? It didn’t matter to me if it was three minutes or five that I was gone. That question is only relevant to here.” For Joe, time not only slowed down, but seemed to disappear entirely. Many people who have had NDEs describe a sense of timelessness. Some of them say that time still existed, but that the NDE seemed to be outside the flow of time.

Everything in their NDE seemed to be happening at once, or they seemed to move forward and backward in time. Others say that they realized in the NDE that time no longer existed, that the very concept of time became meaningless. Among all the people who shared their near-death experiences with me, three-fourths reported a change in their sense of time, and more than half said that they had a sense of timelessness in their NDEs. 

I noticed that this slowing or stopping of time, along with the speeding up of thought processes, were more common in NDEs that couldn’t have been anticipated, as in sudden car accidents or in heart attacks in apparently healthy people. They were less likely in NDEs that might have been anticipated, as in medical crises in people who knew they had a fatal disease or in people who tried to take their own lives. 

When these changes in thinking and the sense of time do occur, they often appear at the beginning of NDEs, and seem to be brought on by becoming aware of the threat of death. This connection between time slowing down and the suddenness of the close brush with death is something I could have discovered only by analyzing a large sample of NDEs.

Greyson, Bruce. After (p. 30-33). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

NDE life review of firefighter Bill Hernlund

Dr. Bruce Greyson writes: "The flames were well over two hundred feet high by the time Bill Hernlund, a twenty-three-year-old crash-rescue firefighter in the US Air Force, pulled his truck up to the rear of the burning plane. The first explosion knocked him off-balance. He fell down but was uninjured, so he scrambled back to his feet to continue fighting the fire. But then the fire ignited a second, much more powerful explosion. The burst of flames, metal, and cables launched him backward, slamming him against the side of his truck. With the second explosion, he felt pain in his head and chest, he tasted blood, and he couldn’t breathe. He passed out before he hit the ground. Bill went on to have an elaborate near-death experience. This was in 1970, years before Raymond Moody’s book gave the experience a name, and when Bill had recovered and tried to share his account with his doctor, he was referred for psychiatric help. Bill then kept the NDE to himself until, almost two decades later, he discovered a local support group affiliated with the International Association for Near-Death Studies.

Greyson says this is how Bill described his experience. "I felt a lifting sensation and saw two of my buddies carrying one of the unconscious firefighters away. Somehow, I knew who the helpers were, even though they were wearing aluminized suits with hoods on, but I didn’t know who they were dragging. I yelled out, ‘Hey, Dan, Jim, help me!’ but they couldn’t hear me. Then I realized that because I was the only fireman in that position, and also because my pain, taste, and smell were gone, that must be my body they were dragging away. I could see everything much more clearly and felt warm, safe, and peaceful. “There was a roaring noise like an explosion, but duller and more prolonged. I saw Dan and Jim get knocked down on top of my body. I was in darkness, but fully conscious and vividly aware of my surroundings. I was in some kind of tunnel that looked like what a tornado funnel would be from the inside: there was a light in the distance and I saw the spiraling strings of blue-green light coming and going like the aurora borealis

“The light was drawing me to it. I moved exceptionally fast down the tunnel and it took no time at all to reach it. It seemed that time was different or nonexistent there, wherever ‘there’ was. The light was emanating from a being that was giving off a very brilliant light as part of his essence. He was beautiful to look at, and projected the feelings of unconditional love and peace. I also sensed other beings there, but I did not see any because I could not take my attention from the Light Being. He asked me several questions all at the same time, impressions projected at me instead of verbal word-by-word sentences. He asked: ‘How do you feel about your life?’ and ‘How did you treat other people?’ 

As he asked, every single event of my life from earliest childhood to the plane crash projected in front of me. There were details concerning people and things that I had forgotten about long ago. I was not proud of some of my dealings with other people, but the light was quick to forgive all of my errors. He told me to ‘be in peace’ and said that my work in this world was not done yet, and that I had to go back, and I was gone. “I was back in my body again. I do not remember traveling there. The pain was back and I smelled the odor of jet fuel and heard sirens and explosions. The doctors and medics were busy with Dan, Jim, and the B-52 crewmen, but not noticing me. Later, I found out that they looked at me long enough to see that I was dead, and turned their attention to those that they could help."

Bruce Greyson, After: A Doctor Explores What Near-Death Experiences Reveal about Life and Beyond (St. Martin’s Essentials, 2021), 27-28.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Report from Dr. Bruce Greyson's book "After"

Janice Blouse, whose heart stopped at age twenty-eight when she vomited large amounts of blood from multiple stomach ulcers, told Greyson: “I was always a professed atheist, but after my experience I know there is God. He was waiting at the end of the tunnel, and somehow I know this. I felt a peace and tranquility I had never known. I find it very reassuring now, because I know our spirit does outlive our body, and that dying is a very pleasant experience.”


Greyson, Bruce. After (p. 158). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

"My experience of death was wonderful."

Hilda Middleton reports in Peter Fenwick's The Truth in the Light: "In 1986 I was rushed into Bradford Royal Infirmary and underwent emergency surgery. I spent five weeks in intensive care, then a further four months in a ward. My experience of death was wonderful. Down a tunnel with a very bright light at the end. Animals, pictures, everything was so beautiful and all the colors were shades of delicate pink, yellow, blue etc. I was overwhelmed with joy. I truly believe I was on the brink of death. I cannot have made up a story like this. I was told a long time afterwards by my relatives that I did die at the time I entered the intensive care unit, but it was not to be. I heard my dad’s voice calling me back. I was on the critical list. No hope was given to my family and now here I am with my life. My experience has had a profound effect on my life. I thank the Lord for every new day, but if death is the wonderful experience I had, I’m not afraid of death."


Monday, July 19, 2021

At peace despite life-threatening accident

I instantly found myself above the accident in a distance that was three to four times tree height. The accident occurred outside and although I saw my horse get up and my trainer run toward someone on the ground, I did not realize that it was me. I did not feel scared or confused. I felt calm and curious about the activities below. I was too high up to see the people in enough detail to identify them. I felt as if my back was against a barrier. I knew the barrier was not visible to me; but, if I turned around and examined it, that I would move through it. I did not question this knowledge.

Beings, loved ones, or friends did not meet me. I did not see 'the light'. The feeling of total calm and peace did engulf me. My focus moved from the people, and I found myself very curious about a row of pine trees along the right fence line and how it looked. I remember thinking, 'So, that is what they look like from up here!' In actuality, I don't recall ever wondering about this before. But, at this moment, the trees were far more interesting than the people. Suddenly and with no warning, I was in my body.

I was covered in blood from a head wound. My trainer was cradling me in his arms. I could hear an ambulance approaching the stable and then drive past and the sirens faded as they drove away unable to locate us at first. Normally, I would have been terrified that I was going to die. But I had a peace over me. I simply and truly knew that I would be fine. Not only that I would be fine, that I was fine.

The ambulance eventually found us and I was taken to a hospital where it was determined that I had a broken collar bone, a major laceration on my temple, a severe concussion and severe road rash on my back and legs from the force of my body crushing the plywood coup jump. I cannot state how improbable it was that I survived this accident. How was my back not snapped in half by the force of a 1500 pound horse crushing me while my back hit a 4 foot high wooden pyramid shaped coup and then the 2 of us fell to the ground once it collapsed. I walked away that night from the hospital.

The gift that I received was dΘjα vu that at times is so powerful that I can tell someone exactly what will be said and who will enter the room. It is very disorienting because I truly feel that I have already done this. Not just once, but over and over like I am on a loop reel. I can't explain this adequately and the incidents I have no control over when they occur or why it happens on the most ridiculous events, very trivial events, but important. For years, I did not realize what happened to me until I heard of stories about others that did not see the light. So glad I am not alone., #7105


Sunday, July 18, 2021

Lisa Tesch survives three near-death experiences

The first NDE was totally unexpected, it was a beautiful day and I was feeling well. It was an event that took place without any warning, when I felt an eerie feeling I cried out to Jesus to save me. When my head hit the floor, I felt an intense pain in my head.

Suddenly, my spirit left my body and floated up into the rafters of the old farmhouse. From there it went to the next level where I was lovingly embraced into this beautiful golden amber light, I felt totally protected, loved, and I became one with the Light: totally and completely. There are really no words to express the intense and complete love I felt. When my Spirit re-entered my body there was no one around, it was as though the Lord breathed Life back into me. The difficult part was not having anyone at such an age to share this with. No one would have understood it; this was something I had to put in the back of my mind. It was sacred and it was Holy. To this day, I still struggle in sharing all three of my stories to a degree, because unless one goes through it, it is difficult to express the depths of love one receives. When I came-to after my first experience, I was sad that I was back here on earth. I struggled with that, I was never told I would be coming back, but like the event itself, it was done without warning.

The other two NDE's made me aware of the fact that Life and Death is more than precious, death can come without ANY warning, that we need to be ready, at any time. It has also helped me in the grieving process when I lost my dad, and other members of my family or friends that I have loved. It is a reassurance that there is so much more waiting for them. I was ten years old and suffered from a sudden death episode. My head hit the floor and I felt the pain of the impact. Instantly my spirit lifted out of my body and up into the old rafters of the farm house, for what was a very short time.

Then I began being lifted up into this glorious golden light, it was like a golden/amber colored bubble of pure love, no pain, joy, peace, happiness, contentment. I had no thoughts of what had taken place. I was totally embraced in what I believe was the arms of the living God. I became one with Him. Every thought was telepathic, I had never felt such an intense love, then as a leaf falls from a tree, I began to look down, and when I did, my spirit began to re-enter my body and what has been 41 years of discomfort. Being only ten, I tried my best to understand what took place, but I had no one with whom to share my story. It would become my sacred secret. I was afraid that if I had shared my story, I would be called crazy; so I remained quiet.

What I didn’t know at the time was when my head hit the floor I had cracked the back of my skull: this was later confirmed by x-rays. The second life and death experience took place in California in 1982, at that time I was 19 years old. I had moved to California, hoping to start a new beginning from the previous 19 years. One hot summer day, some family and friends decided to go behind one of the homes where there was a river. It was quite cold and very deep. I did not know how to swim, I had never been taught. But my friends had been life guards and had reassured me that they would be nearby if I needed any help. I jumped into the frigid waters, not understanding that I should not have swallowed water. I managed to get to the top twice, on the third attempt I suddenly saw what appeared before my eyes as an old movie screen of my life being played out: from the very day of my birth, all the way to what would have been my funeral. As I watched my family crying, I cried out, ‘No! No!’ Instantly, I was lifted up out of the water and brought to shore, where everyone was quite concerned. I never told anyone what I had seen, but was told I had jumped into a current and went quite a long distance before they could get to me.

The third NDE took place in Florida. I was now a wife and mother and was having a medical procedure called an angiogram, which needed to be performed. I was quite concerned about the test. (My Dad had died from the same procedure many years earlier.) I asked the doctors if there was any other test that could be done, instead, to receive their answers. The answer was ‘no’. The day of the test was one filled with anxiety for me, and I was constantly being reassured that I would be fine and they do this all the time, as I was in a Heart Center. As the procedure began, I moaned with the discomfort I was feeling, as I continued to pray silently. I suddenly recognized that everything went pitch black. I felt no pain whatsoever. I was wondering what was taking place.

In seconds, I could hear the voices in the surgical unit where I felt my spirit lifted higher and higher until it popped out of my body and lifted up into the ceiling. I could see the room filled with doctors and nurses. My gown was torn off my body. Another female nurse came quickly to the side of the bed with a large bowl of iodine and a sponge and began to start rubbing my chest down, while another large man was on top of my body with his hands hitting my chest. Then he began pressing down on it. None of it hurt and I was amused by everything I was seeing. I realized that they were about to cut open my chest, once I realized that, I thought, ‘Wow, recovery is really going to hurt!’ I didn't more than think that, when I heard an audible voice, ‘Lisa, open your eyes!’ This was repeated three times, when I was finally able to open my eyes.

I was told by the medical staff that I went into V-tach and coded. [Editor’s Note: V-tach is a rapid heartbeat of more than 100 beats per minutes.] The procedure that was only to take an hour, took several hours. It was aborted, giving us no answers. In the 41 years since I had my first NDE, I have felt strongly that love is truly the greatest gift we can give to one another as well as receive: to embrace life., 3519 Lisa T. 69188  See


Saturday, July 17, 2021

Ben knew he was ready for heaven

I am recording this experience on behalf of our son, Ben, who shared this NDE with us many times. He also shared it with the world in a YouTube video titled 'This is my story.' He passed away 17 days after his NDE, so he is not here to relay this experience himself. I am describing ONLY what he shared with us, his family. These are the words Ben shared with us on several occasions:

'I was walking from one class to the next (during his senior year in high school). The hall was really crowded. I knew I was about to faint, so I sat down on a bench in the Commons (a large gathering area in the middle of the high school). The next thing I know is that the EMS were above me working on me. I saw them put the defibrillator pads on my chest and saw that they were about to administer the shock. I passed out again.'

NOTE: The school nurse was at Ben's side by this time and verified in public documentation that he had already been 3 minutes without a pulse or breathing. She had already administered CPR to him, as did the school security officer. EMS had finally arrived by this time and was setting up the defibrillator. Ben had been passed out the entire time and was 'purple' according to the school nurse. So it is unclear how he could 'see' the EMS and what they were doing.

'I immediately found myself in a white room. It was pitch white. I also heard the quietest quiet I had ever heard. It was the most peace I had ever felt, just like the peace I felt when I was four when an angel had comforted me (after a 45 minute emergency in which Ben's blood sugar dropped to 14). I was in this pitch white room in front of a big mirror. I heard the lyrics from some music. It was the best sound ever. Better than any speakers I've ever heard. Kid Cudi (a rapper) was with me. I saw our reflection in a big mirror that was in front of me and thought we looked really, really good!! I couldn't believe how good we looked! I began to see my whole life play out in front of me in that mirror. I saw my whole life, everything I had done, and was proud of myself. It was the BEST feeling!

Kid Cudi put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Are you ready?' I said, 'Yes' and thought I was going on to heaven. Instead, I found myself back on the floor at school. It was so cold and bright. The brightness hurt my eyes. The white room was whiter and brighter but hadn't hurt my eyes. I wish I never would have come back and wish I could have just stayed there (in that peaceful white place). I think it was the waiting room to heaven, and I think God gave me that experience so I wouldn't be afraid of dying. #8975

Friday, July 16, 2021

Wife of deceased husband "feels" his presence

Julie, wife of Randy, who died while watching TV from his reclining chair, called Dr. Amatuzio to talk with her about her extraordinary experience.

“I had something happen to me after Randy died. I haven’t dared tell anyone about it, but Randy came to visit me.”

“Really!” I said.

“Yes. Really, he did. . . .”

“Tell me about it,” I said, feeling a shiver go through me.

“Well, as you probably know, Randy and I were married for seventeen years, and during all that wonderful time, we never spent a night apart. That first night after he died, I slept on the living room couch. We have two kids, a boy, twelve, and a girl, fourteen. I wanted to hear them if they were up during the night—and I wanted to be near his recliner. I didn’t sleep well at all, In face, I didn’t sleep at all. The second night, I gathered up my courage and lay down in our bed. I tossed and turned all night. You know, I could smell him on the sheets, and all I could really do was weep.”

As I listened to her, I thought of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s words in her book Living Until We Say Goodbye: "If we dare to love, we must have the courage to grieve."

Julie continued, “I was exhausted, numbly making funeral arrangements. The third night, when I got back in our bed, I started crying all over again. I’d reach for him and he wasn’t there. I think I finally fell asleep around 3 AM. At about 4 AM, I was awakened by the sound of footsteps in the hall. I sat up in bed, listening, thinking it might be my son. I had closed our bedroom door so that my sobbing wouldn’t wake up the children. Doctor, the next thing that happened was the most amazing thing that has ever happened in my life.” She paused and I waited.

“It was Randy; those were his footsteps. I saw him walk right through our bedroom door. It was dark. I don’t even have a nightlight, and I could see him clearly; he just glowed! He had a wonderful smile on his face and walked right up to the bed. I could believe my eyes. I was shocked! We talked for a long time. He told me what to do with our children and their future plans. We talked about finances and the property that I couldn’t see until I had that damn death certificate!” (I now began to understand her urgency and anger over the death certificate.) 

“But that was not all. I felt so calm, so reassured, so okay in his presence, for the first time in almost four days. I told him I didn’t want him to leave and what he said then will last be a lifetime. He sat on the bed next to me and put his hand on my shoulder. He wiped the tears from my eyes and told me that our love would be forever—that whenever I needed him, to just think of him and he would com rushing to my side. He told me that I would feel his presence and love in my life many times and in many ways and that he would be there to help our children throughout their own lives. I can’t even put it all into words, Doctor. There are no words to describe the comfort that I felt . . . but there is more.

“When we finished talking, I felt overwhelmed and wrapped up in his love. As I said, we had never slept apart and always slept wrapped together like spoons. As far-fetched as this sounds, Randy then lay down in bed beside me and wrapped his arms around me.” 

Her voice shaking a little, she added, “I felt the weight of his body and the warmth of it. I slept soundly and contentedly for the first time in three days.”

“My, my, what a marvelous experience!” I said.

“Yes, when I awakened the next morning, I was overwhelmed and, most of all, comforted. I could feel that he was gone, but when I think of him now, I feel a warmth around my back and neck. I know that is his love.”

In Janis Amatuzio, Forever Ours: Real Stories of Immortality and Living (New World Library, 2004), 111-113.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Dr. Robert Cole convinced of God's existence

At first, it was the Light, a brilliant, white light, without reflection and without glare. Then, the feeling... of quiet jubilation, of peace and incredible serenity enveloping me. It was not ecstasy or any feeling I could identify, except perhaps glory in the warmest most positive sense of the word. 

It was not at all similar to what I had experienced as an Air Force Medical Officer taking the USAF Physiological Training Program on 5 May 1960 at Lackland Air Force Base for flight officers and deliberately hyperventilating to see how that felt, and then, later deliberately taking off my Oxygen mask at a simulated (flight chamber) low oxygen, high altitude (? 20,000 feet) and experiencing the exhilaration of mild hypoxia as well as the other symptoms which occur physiologically during hypoxia and learning how to differentiate hyperventilation from hypoxia which is obviously important if you are flying at high altitudes or landing a plane.

During this time of jubilation and peace and serenity, I heard nothing, felt nothing, smelled nothing and had had no sense of pain and no sense of having a physical being. I did have the “feeling” that I was conversing with God and that I was being given important insights and facts about the nature of our being and the reasons for our existence that I must not forget and which I must communicate to others because of their incredible importance. I was given the impression that there is a God, a loving God and that it was the same God for all people.

There was more, I know that was communicated but I have little memory of anything specific. I do remember that somehow it was conveyed to me that it was not my time yet, and I had to return, that there was more for me "to be" and this was differentiated from anything I had to do.

I then started hearing very loud and unpleasant sounds- of paper ripping (in retrospect, possibly sterile envelopes of gauze pads) and then voices, men and women speaking in low murmurs- and then a voice saying “it’s almost time for lunch” and then another saying “he’s had a respiratory arrest”. I was still not feeling any pain and not seeing anything at all (the white light had vanished).

My recuperation was slow and I spent about 4 weeks in the hospital (and then 4 weeks in a rehab hospital.) While in the hospital ICU I attempted to “check” myself out to see if indeed my “experience” which I recalled immediately, was because I was brain damaged secondary to hypoxia. (I am a physician with formal training in neurology and psychiatry).

I remember that my thinking initially was confused, that I could not remember the last six presidents, or subtract 7 from 100 or spell world backwards. Finally, however, I had the wits to ask what pills they were giving me and realized I had the right to refuse the haloperidol and other sedating pills they were giving me.

Soon, I was able to remember the past 6 presidents, to subtract 7’s from 100, spell world backwards and I did not feel I was hearing or seeing things that were not actually there, but I remained reluctant to share my “experience” until I was safely home. Even then I was reluctant to share my experience except with those I trusted and whom I trusted would tell me if what I was saying seemed psychotic or brain damaged or if I was behaving in a peculiar manner.

Since my surgical recovery, I have resumed practice as a Psychiatrist and now include, as part of my history, taking a few non-directive questions regarding any unusual experiences people might have had during an accident or a surgical procedure. I’ve also have had two patients spontaneously report to me what they had previously told no one, and wrote out reports for me that are variants of my own experience, but they had said nothing previously for fear of being called 'crazy' (Neither patient was being treated by me for a psychotic illness).

Was my experience secondary to a flooding of my temporal lobe, or God Spot activated by ketamines, a potentially hallucinogenic chemical, as some suggest? The cross-cultural nature of the experiences confuses rather than clarify… some cultures see caves, other tunnels of light. Could it indeed have been secondary to hypoxia? My own experience with hypoxia in a tightly controlled environment in the Air Force was not in any way comparable to the feelings I experienced while seeing the 'light'.

Could there be micro-tubules or fields of energy that envelope each of us and in which our 'spirit' resides when we physically die, even if the 'death' is brief as in the Near Death Experiences?

Or, leaving the most imponderable for last, was it a true 'religious' experience proving the existence of God?

I have just become aware of a study by scientists at the University of Chicago-- soon to be published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, finding that most US doctors believe in God and in an afterlife. 76% of 1,004 physicians surveyed said they believe in God and 59% believed in some form of after-life. My own belief, prior to my respiratory arrest/NDE, included believing in God, but with a strong conviction that the way to demonstrate this was to be helpful to my fellow man while alive and with no feeling that I would be rewarded in an after-life for my deeds for I did not believe in an after-life.

Somehow, after my respiratory arrest/NDE, I awakened with the firm conviction that there is a God, a gentle forgiving God, and the same God for all of Mankind. Was I so terrified by my close encounter with Death that I mentally had to configure this strong conviction? I certainly have no memories of anything frightening during my 'experience'. My awakening and subsequent slow recovery were distinctly unpleasant, but I am perplexed by my subsequent total conviction of God’s existence., 4473. 1/27/2018. NDE 16095  

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Experience of the Great Presence

I miscarried the baby in the hospital and though I was very sad about the event, I felt that all was meant to be. As if I've never wanted to name the Divine as I would like to refer to Him as: The Great Presence.

Two nurses came to take me up a few stairs to for an internal exam. As we went up I felt myself begin to reel backwards and off I went round and round through space. I stopped spinning and began flying past planets and stars, I flew through the rings of Saturn seeing massive rocks and dust particles right before my eyes, I was marveling at the astounding beauty and laughing about how no one on Earth would believe my experience. It all felt so wonderful, so exactly perfect, I was an astronaut, a fabulous free spirit of joy! I was filled with indescribable joy and love for all of creation from the vastness of space to the smallest of all nano-expressions!

Then suddenly I was above my body, which lay on a stretcher, wearing a white hospital gown, I looked at my body and knew it wasn't the real me, it was the thing I had been caught inside, and now I was free! Oh and how I felt such happiness! The joy was all-pervading, it was the real world, pain, suffering, loss, and all illusionary experience that we like to get all knotted up about. Everything was becoming clear to me. Oh and the nurses were calling my name, one was crying tears, another was saying ''oh my God, we've lost her!’ meanwhile I was above them thinking ‘what silly Billy’s, they were making all that fuss, wondering why they couldn't see me and just know that all was perfectly fabulous!’ Then I saw a window, which was open about 6 inches wide, and I thought, 'Wow, I wonder if I can fit through there’, then instantly I was in another state.

I was flying through Goldenness: pure, serene, and delightful Goldenness. Oh, wow! I was held by this serenity for the longest time, I couldn't do anything except be with It and It with me. It was inside me. It was me. It was in and with everyone and everything. It had always been in and with everything. It was and is Truth, Love, Compassion, Joy, and All. This Goldenness held all information. It was the One Mind. It contained the creation of all of everything ever created. I felt, I experienced everything that has ever been and ever shall be. All is simultaneously occurring. There is no past or future. It all just IS.

There is no way to describe the immaculate beauty of this experience, though every day for the last 35 years I wish I could find a way. Bliss, is a mere descriptive word, yet does not give to you what I wish I could, but yes ‘bliss’ is close, in a way. I saw and experienced every single detail of my present life up to that moment, like watching a movie yet starring as the main character simultaneously. This made me feel quite sad, as I had not lived my life in a state of serene joy, and felt ashamed.

Ashamed that I had not realized how imperative it is for one to be incredibly happy in this life, no matter the circumstances. The pain, the fear: no matter what! All our material conflicts of body and mind are quite unimportant in the state of ultimate freedom and blissful awareness to which we shall all return. I felt I had been unfaithful to The Great Presence, who like a divinely loving Mother, who I had let down. I was my own judge. Yet I was this love simultaneously. I saw how all of Humanity has walked with eyes cast low to the Earth, not opening wide to the beauty of the one loving presence of Golden peace. This peace is one in which we truly live, yet do not see. I saw how sadness overcomes those who cannot forgive themselves or others; and on their day of an awakened mind, they too shall be ashamed and slowly sink to a lower experience.

I saw how in being uplifted we could all ascend to the true joy together as a loving family of Beings beyond a human life in mundane-ness. I saw how there is a level of fear so ingrained in some, it's hard to look at, and yet they too, can find a way through to peacefulness. I saw how things will change, yet only after massive suffering and yet I saw, too, that it is possible to end suffering. I saw that I had a purpose and that all beings have purpose. I saw we are not separate; we are the entire One. I saw that we must have all the courage possible to achieve this fabulous unity. It is highly possible.

I felt and experienced all of creation as an Omni-experience, there was no time involved at any level. I saw it is so simple it cannot be expressed; it is best to let the mind be still and then it may occur of itself. It was such a feeling of raised joy I was in. In the distance, a Great Presence appeared which is the most Ultimate of Holiness emanating extraordinary Brilliance! This Great Presence is the Heart of all of everything: we are but foolish children! I put my arms out to try to fly and saw that there were rainbows of colors: I was a rainbow being. I was made of light and color: I was overjoyed! I thought I can fly to the Great Presence before me and unite with the purity of all that is, was, and ever shall be. That was my heart’s desire, to be at one with the Great Presence which 'they' call God, and yet I dare not announce a name to that which is beyond naming.

I begin to fly and move closer to that beauteous sight and begin to feel the Great Presence pervade my very core, as if my entirety is exploding into love. Then a great powerful voice, which seems to echo in all directions and vibrates through to my very soul, declares: ‘It is not your time’, whereupon I feel such sorrow and in my mind, I am saying ‘No, no, no. Please don't make me go back’, for I do not want to return to this Earth, ever again. I awake in the hospital bed two days later and cry in heartache that I am here on Earth again. I have never felt at home here on earth. I have been alone with this and many other amazing and profound experiences for which I struggle to find anyone to which I can connect.

I do hope my experience is of some help, and I wish I could re-write it so I don't leave anything out, but I am afraid that would take a long time as there is too much to explain here. But since then I have been living as if in a double life, for no one would believe me if I told them everything I have seen. 
NDERF.ORG, #6992

Gödel's reasons for an afterlife

Alexander T. Englert, “We'll meet again,” Aeon , Jan 2, 2024,