More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process and sheds light on euthanasia, suicide, near-death experience, and spirit visits after the passing of a loved one. ___________________________________________
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Is Steve Irwin really guiding Bindi from the "other side?" Paul McCartney believes Linda's spirit lives on!
What happens after we die? This is life's greatest mystery. Is there a life after death or is it something we have created in order to cope with the inevitable?
There are those who have died and experienced a Near Death Experience (NDE), have returned and are now certain that we are so much more than our physical bodies. A NDE is usually described as a lifting away from the body and being able to view one's self from above accompanied by a euphoric calmness as the spirit travels down a tunnel with a bright light in the center and the certainty that there is another dimension once the light is reached.
On the "Near Death Experience Research Foundation" website there is an account of an NDE recorded by Anita M. a cancer patient from Hong Kong who claims such an event took place as she "died" in hospital and doctors were frantically trying to bring her back. Drifting in and out of consciousness she could feel her spirit leaving her body. As she crossed over she felt this other dimension was actually the real world and felt free and powerful connected to something much greater, "I thought that I knew a lot more than when I was in my body", she says, "I was surrounded by loving beings, people who I seemed to know but I could not recognize from this lifetime and I was aware that they were around me all the time even when I was in the physical body and I didn't even realize then that they were looking after me all the time in the three dimensional world."
She claims her awareness was so heightened she could hear conversations between her family and the medical staff 40 feet away, which she later verified, "It's not that I could see through walls, it's just that when I wanted to know something I could see it straight away, the understanding, the visual came to me immediately. There was no such thing as time lag or separation, everything was simultaneously happening at once and it depended on what I wanted to focus. Unreal as it sounds when I was there; I felt that was the real world, not the physical. There was understanding and clarity. If only I had known this when I was in my body. I was aware that I had a choice whether to go back and return to my body. Knowing that this was real I also knew that if I was to go back to my sick body that I would be healed immediately, my body would express what spirit now knows."
Anita described her state as one of pure joy and that she was loved no matter what. She did not have to do anything to earn this love and this is something that stayed with her when she returned, "All I had to do was be myself. If everybody realized that you don't have to do anything, just the fact that you exist is enough, that knowing would alter your vibrations and this can subsequently change your life."
The Rev. Gino Concetti chief theological commentator for the Vatican newspaper "L'Osservatore Romano" said the Catholic Church is opposed to the raising of spirits but claims communication is possible between those who live on earth and those who live in a "state of eternal repose", and suggested dead loved ones could be responsible for impulses and manifestations such as in dreams. John Hooper published the reverend's comments in the "London Observer Service" in January 1997.
Gwen Carden wrote of these three accounts in "The National Enquirer" on December 22, 1998:
Her dead grandfather urged a college student to lock all the windows in a dream. She did so and discovered the next day that a room nearby had been broken into the previous night.
The mother of 9 month old baby awoke one night to see her dead mother standing by her bed looking worried as she led her to the child's bedroom. The young mum checked on her baby and discovered she had been choking on a piece of plastic.
A woman had a vision of her father who told her, "It is beautiful over here, I'm alright so don't you worry!" He laughed as he added," Now I don't have to pay for all the furniture your Mum and sister bought." A few minutes later she received a phone call informing her that her father had just died of a heart attack and received a letter not long after saying that her Mum and sister had purchased a house full of furniture on the night their Dad died.
Does life indeed continue to a world beyond? The closest proof we have are only the recollections of NDEs such as Anita M's but there have been scientists investigating such phenomenon. As it was reported on BBC News in the UK, they say they have found evidence to suggest that consciousness can continue after the brain has ceased to function.
Neurological experts have challenged these findings. Dr Sam Parnia of Southampton General Hospital in the U.K. says the consciousness is independent of the brain and no one can fully understand how the brain generates thoughts. Under examination the brain contains cells like any other who produce chemicals but there is no evidence of their capability to create the phenomenon of thought that we have. He says that the brain is needed to manifest the mind similar to a how a television set can transmit what are essentially waves in the air.
There is skepticism from sources such as The Skeptic Society and Dr Chris Freeman a consultant psychiatrist at Royal Edinburgh Hospital in the U.K. Dr Freeman claims that these experiences possibly occurred during the recovery or just before cardiac arrest and there is very little evidence that they happened when the brain was shut down.
Dr John Happs president of "Western Australian Skeptics" claims the following,"NDEs are quite commonplace and I have actually experienced them myself on at least two occasions. NDEs are very real and occur when the brain is starved of oxygen. The phenomenon has been well and truly explained in medical terms. The brain starts to shut down when oxygen is limited and peripheral vision slowly fails. That explains why people report a tunnel effect with a bright light in the center. That is exactly what I experienced when, as a competitor in judo tournaments, I was strangled into unconsciousness. There have been many reported NDEs, as you might expect although few individuals would be aware of what is happening to them from a physiological perspective so they imagine they are traveling down a tunnel towards a bright light. Add a few singing angels and an imaginative link between earth and heaven and you have a great story."
John Perkins from "Atheist Society", Melbourne, Australia says, "I believe the phenomenon exists, but not that it represents any evidence for, or experience of, an afterlife. Humans have minds, not souls. In death, the mind stops working. To believe otherwise is just superstition or willful self deception. If souls existed after death, there would be 100 billion of them hanging out somewhere, for ever. Would you really want to go there?"
The one thing that seems apparent is that there is "something" controlling the universe such as nature itself and it is a difficult concept to understand that a person's essence can just die. Birth and coincidences may well be real miracles, although there is scientific and rational explanation for both. For most, it is part of the purpose of life to continue to question the meaning of our existence and to strive for the realization that we are lovable just because we exist. It is certainly something worth pondering and who knows? Perhaps if we practice a little more kindness each day our "vibrations" may lift enough for us to perceive some answers. Or at least we would be working towards making this world right here a better place.
A Soul's Journey Peter Richelieu
Life After Life Dr Raymond Moody, Jr., M.D.
Reaching For The Other Side Dawn Hill
Edge of Reality Dawn Hill
Lifting The Veil Dawn Hill
My Very Own NDE: A Skeptical Look Martin Bridgstock life member of Australian Skeptics published on page 16 summer 2003 edition of The Skeptic quarterly journal volume 23
Spook Science Tackles The Afterlife Mary Roach
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For more information, you might enjoy reading the complete book More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife. Purchase on Amazon.com