At the point a trauma surgeon was working on a patient, he had the flow of oxygen cut off to his brain? Maybe, he thought, he'd been going at the problem all wrong. As another of his favorite philosophers, David Hume, wrote, "By the mere light of reason, it seems difficult to prove the Immortality of the Soul; the arguments for it are commonly derived either from metaphysical topics, or moral and physical.
If death is a gradual, rather than instantaneous, process, he asks the audience, wouldn't people in the process of dying have some insight into the process of crossing over if that is, in fact, what's happening to them? Unfortunately, a lot of them seem to be speaking nothing but gibberish. You, the skeptic, have seen this. At the time, it kind of freaked you out.
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But Moody has a plan to deal with that, too. He has found a hospice worker who studied linguistics who is going to try to find some logic in the rantings of the terminally ill. But he has already established a policy of having an open mind. This person had something happen to them that is medically impossible. Who am I to contradict them? I haven't been in this situation, but supposing I had? The first rule of Eckankar is that we don't talk about Eckankar, at least not to the press, at least not without authorization from the group leader, who happens to be at a wake today.
Of all the ironies!
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Pages of information and a sealed envelope of spiritual exercises, once eagerly proffered, are reclaimed once the woman behind the table in the conference bookstore bothers to notice the words Riverfront Times on your name badge. They can't keep you from checking out the website , though, and thus you learn that Eckankar is a religion of light and sound whose members connect with God through a song called "HU" pronounced like the word hue.
There's also discussion of past lives, dreams and "soul travel," which seems to be another term for "out-of-body experience. Other ECK Centers sponsor wholesome activities such as ice-cream socials. The secrecy makes you suspect that this is a front. Eckankar is clearly a sinister shadow organization bent on world domination. Raymond Moody isn't the only person at the conference who's trying to study metaphysical phenomena in a scientific way.
Julie Beischel and her husband Mark Boccuzzi have established the Windbridge Institute in Tucson to perform scientific studies — using a thorough scientific method, with control groups and hypotheses — on mediums. Like a lot of people at the conference, Beischel's interest in the afterlife was precipitated by a death, in this case her mother, who committed suicide when Beischel was in grad school.
Beischel was studying pharmacology and toxicology she eventually got her PhD and turned to existing scientific literature to try to understand what happens after death. Eventually she hit on mediumship. The studies at the Windbridge Institute operate under the assumption that mediums really do talk to the dead.
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Beischel says each of the twenty mediums she works with went through a rigorous blind testing process. They're not getting the information from normal sources. The data demonstrates that they seem to be communicating with the dead. Now Beischel is trying to determine whether there is something in a medium's psychological or physiological makeup that makes them particularly susceptible to a conversation with a dead person.
She has already administered the Myers-Briggs personality test the vast majority are type NF: intuitive and feeling and plans to do blood tests before and after readings to see if there are any changes. None of the mediums gets paid for working with the center, so they have no incentive to lie. That's all very well, you think, except that this whole thing is predicated on living people talking to dead people. And seeing dead people. Also animals.
Terri Daniel says that at last year's conference, medium Suzane Northrop saw two horses gallop through the hotel ballroom. A conference attendee claimed them; it had, apparently, been a bad year for his stable. First up is Roland Comtois. He discovered his psychic abilities at age ten in when his recently deceased grandmother appeared in his bedroom. It was my grandmother! Since he has written down the messages on large sheets of purple paper and hopes that, eventually, he'll encounter the people the messages are intended for.
Tell 'em I hate 'em! I'm here because it's my mission. Then the messages start coming, fast and furious. Comtois speaks quickly, almost hypnotically, sometimes sobbing, his Rhode Island accent thickening at more intense moments. He likes to razz you, he says, it gives him something to do, he says, he loves you, he says. He turns his attention to a young woman sitting in the back row. He says he wants me to talk to you about the wedding ring.
He wants to give you another one, he says. He shoulda bought it himself, he says. Comtois points to her companion, an older woman sitting next to her. He's got a lot to say. When you're sitting on the edge of the bed at a. He did what he had to do, he says. He had no pain, he says, no suffering. He didn't feel that. They carried him across to the other plane. It's his heart and soul. You were his soulmate from the minute he saw you, he says. He loved you from the second you met. Comtois goes on like this for an hour. Aside from a few people crying, the whole room is silent.
Everyone is mesmerized. You begin to understand why mediumship was such great entertainment back in the 19th century.
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Evidently this room is packed with dead people jostling for Comtois' attention. A lot of them have the same message to deliver — that they're fine now and no longer in pain and that they send lots and lots of love. Either the afterlife is very uneventful, or people send very similar messages when they're short on time and individual attention. Afterward you find the recipient of the most specific message, the girl with the ring. Her name is Sarah Treanor. He died in a helicopter crash last year.
The older woman, Claudia Briell, is his mother. They traveled here from Texas. They spoke to Comtois briefly in the conference bookstore yesterday and mentioned that Andrew had been a helicopter pilot, but they never said anything about the ring specifically that Andrew had commissioned Briell to buy it or about the crash.
In the middle is a scribbled squiggle, which could be identified as the path of a helicopter rotor.
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Treanor and Briell start crying again, and you feel like crying with them — though mostly because you can't imagine what it's like to lose someone so suddenly and miss them so desperately. One of Julie Beischel's planned studies is about grief and mediums, specifically whether messages from the dead really do help the bereaved. Based on what you see here, it does seem to help, at least in the short run. Suzane Northrop is more plainspoken and blunt than Comtois. The dead people she sees are sometimes demanding and rude — a pair visited earlier today while she was taking a shower — and sometimes kind of gross.
Northrop usually identifies people by calling out names and seeing who responds, though one audience member's mother makes herself known by singing "Goodnight, Irene," the same song she used to sing to him when he was small. Some people come in bringing animals. A little girl tells her mother that she's wearing lipstick and is that OK? A man tells his sister he's grateful she buried him with their mother. A young boy holding a fishing pole tells his mother he visits his father on his boat all the time and they go fishing.
A man asks his mother if his living brother Bobby is taking good care of her, or does he need an ass-kicking? Scientifically, it makes one of the most resounding cases, as he constructed a research study across a series of hospitals that was ultimately published in The Lancet in In this entirely improbable memoir, Anita Moorjani tells the story of complete and miraculous recovery from end-stage lymphoma—in short, while in a coma suffering from organ shut-down, after four years of being ravaged by the disease, she had a near-death experience.
While on the other side, it was made clear to her that she had the power to heal herself, if she began to acknowledge and honor her own worth. It might sound too crazy to be true, but her journey is medically documented and has been verified by other doctors. Her NDE, first appeared on Dr. For those who are interested in pondering that line between death and irreversible death, this book by Sam Parnia, M.
Parnia and his team also constructed the AWARE AWAreness during REsuscitation study , where they tasked multiple hospitals with placing objects that could only be seen from vantage points accessible to out-of-body-experiences, so he is interested, too, in the question of whether our soul does in fact survive death. For more from Parnia, click here. Radiation oncologist Jeffrey Long, M. For more from Long, click here. Written by a cross-functional team of psychologists and psychical researchers—the lead author is Edward F. Kelly Ph. In other words, they offer evidence that refutes the idea that the brain could create consciousness.
Raymond Moody, M. His book, from , delves into the common themes that emerged, the medical impossibility of these experiences being powered by flat-lined brains, and what he believes they point to about the afterlife and consciousness. Eben Alexander, M. He touches on what we do know and do not know about the functions of the brain, and then goes on to explore everything from mediumship, to quantum theory, to Ayahuasca, to binaural beats.
With His infinite power, our Creator is always with us. At this point you — the skeptic who has already read Alexander's book and who refuses to accept that the singular experience of this one arrogant man is irrevocable proof for everyone that Heaven does exist, plus his absolute certainty about his vision and his refusal even to consider other explanations for it, plus the fact that his speech about the Creator sounds remarkably close the Christian proselytizing and will be the only mention of a Creator you will hear all day; the afterlife, after all, is for everyone, even non-Christians and atheists — are thoroughly tired of scientific proof of Heaven.
Astral projection, the art of a controlled out-of-body experience, sounds almost magical. You can go anywhere and see anyone, even if they're dead, because death is the ultimate out-of-body experience. Plus, you get to fly! Buhlman has written several books about out-of-body experiences and has come up with 40 different techniques to develop the ability to do it.
It's a complicated process, involving mantras and raised energy levels and spiritual vibrations, but Buhlman swears that once you learn, it's immensely rewarding. Your fear burns away. You're like an onion being peeled. You feel all your crap and id issues being peeled off. It's liberating. Once you leave your body, your spiritual form appears as you perceive yourself. In Buhlman's case, he's 30 years younger with a full head of hair and much thinner. The problem is, if you prolong your out-of-body experience, your extremities start to melt.
You become a globe of consciousness with degree vision, and then you become a pinpoint. You have unlimited abilities. It's amazing.
You have the capability to assume any form. It's beyond the mind to comprehend what capabilities we have. Most people are so locked in to their physical bodies. Buhlman tried to prolong his out-of-body experiences indefinitely two years ago when he had stage-four cancer of the lymph nodes and wanted to escape the intense pain. He discovered that they can only last indefinitely if you're dead. The best thing about out-of-body experiences is that anyone can have them, in theory. You don't have to have a rare form of bacterial meningitis. You just have to practice by doing daily exercises and make a habit of looking for openings between conscious states, like when you're falling asleep.
By God, I want to have an out-of-body experience! Buhlman can't promise that it won't happen without a lot of work, but he happens to be a hypnotist, too, so he asks Bardenheier and the other participants in the workshop to close their eyes and envision a stone wall upon which they will carve — with a chisel or with power tools — the words "I intend to have an out-of-body experience. Afterward you mention to Buhlman that you find his democratic and no-nonsense approach to something that, objectively, sounds sort of nonsensical, refreshing. Christina Poteros actually has had a near-death experience, but she calls it a death experience.
It was beautiful. Afterward she trained as a shaman, in Peru and at a seminar with the Dalai Lama in Madison, Wisconsin, so she could help other people "cross over," as she puts it, with grace, and to let them know that death is nothing to be afraid of. In the conference bookstore, she's also selling handmade jewelry and photos and paintings of her travels, both on earth and in other realms. Fear is the absence of love.
If there's love, it's all good. Poteros remembers two experiences in particular. The other was with a fifteen-year-old cocker spaniel named Abby. In both cases she sat with the dying and cleaned their chakras and then held them and comforted them until they passed. They both crossed peacefully.
Poteros says a few other things about soul journeys and chakras, but after a few minutes you start to think that that's just her language, what rhetoricians would called her "mode of discourse. So you try to translate her language into yours. And this — you're pretty sure — is what she's saying:. This is the third annual Afterlife Awareness Conference. Terri Daniel, a hospice worker and interfaith chaplain who lives in Oregon, organized the first one two years ago in order to provide an outlet for bereaved parents — herself included — who were curious about what Daniel calls "alternative healing practices" and the possibility of communicating with their dead children.
It's about 5 p. You figure she has earned it: She planned and executed this whole thing singlehandedly and can't get through a conversation without someone running up with another question or a quick status report about one of the sessions. Between interruptions Daniel explains that the conference has expanded from bereavement to include discussions about spiritual explanation and scientific proof of spiritual phenomena. It's OK.
She takes a sip of wine and continues. What makes it different is that it combines shamans and clergy and scientists and medical doctors in the same room, and they're all aligned with the same idea. Isn't that a good quote to use to end your story? Raymond Moody is your man, though if you ask him, he will give all the credit to Plato, one of his favorite philosophers, who started investigating the afterlife 2, years before Moody was born. Moody began his formal investigation in , when he was still a medical student at the University of Virginia.
At that point he already had a PhD in philosophy and specialized in logic. But when a friend told him about his own near-death experience, Moody was intrigued. He began seeking out other people who'd had near-death experiences. Since the advent of CPR in the s, there were a lot more than there had been previously. The doctors and nurses he knew were more than happy to hook him up. It didn't seem strange to them, Moody says, because they were more familiar with death than the average person.
In his first book, Life After Life , Moody outlines the typical near-death experience like a medical case, listing and describing each phase. He has read Oliver Sacks' work about hallucinations, and he admits Sacks may have a point: He knows that hallucinations can seem real, realer than real. But he's not sure Sacks' argument is philosophically sound. Besides, as he tells the conference attendees during his keynote address, he hasn't been able to find any medical explanation for the shared-death experience, a cousin to the near-death experience that happens to healthy people in close proximity to other people who are dying.
They too see the tunnel and the light and the waiting relatives and, in the case of one of Moody's interviewees, watch the entire life review. The oxygen flow to their brain isn't impaired. They're perfectly fine. It was his investigation of the shared-death experience that pushed Moody over the edge.
He tells the story of a trauma surgeon who was working on a man who had been in a horrific car crash that killed his wife. The surgeon knew the patient was going to be OK, though, because he followed him through the tunnel and into the light and then the patient's wife appeared to tell him so. At the point a trauma surgeon was working on a patient, he had the flow of oxygen cut off to his brain? Maybe, he thought, he'd been going at the problem all wrong. As another of his favorite philosophers, David Hume, wrote, "By the mere light of reason, it seems difficult to prove the Immortality of the Soul; the arguments for it are commonly derived either from metaphysical topics, or moral and physical.
If death is a gradual, rather than instantaneous, process, he asks the audience, wouldn't people in the process of dying have some insight into the process of crossing over if that is, in fact, what's happening to them? Unfortunately, a lot of them seem to be speaking nothing but gibberish. You, the skeptic, have seen this.
roamafar.trailblazer.outdoorsy.co/byfen-wie-man-kauft.php At the time, it kind of freaked you out. But Moody has a plan to deal with that, too. He has found a hospice worker who studied linguistics who is going to try to find some logic in the rantings of the terminally ill. But he has already established a policy of having an open mind. This person had something happen to them that is medically impossible. Who am I to contradict them? I haven't been in this situation, but supposing I had? The first rule of Eckankar is that we don't talk about Eckankar, at least not to the press, at least not without authorization from the group leader, who happens to be at a wake today.
Of all the ironies! Pages of information and a sealed envelope of spiritual exercises, once eagerly proffered, are reclaimed once the woman behind the table in the conference bookstore bothers to notice the words Riverfront Times on your name badge. They can't keep you from checking out the website , though, and thus you learn that Eckankar is a religion of light and sound whose members connect with God through a song called "HU" pronounced like the word hue.
There's also discussion of past lives, dreams and "soul travel," which seems to be another term for "out-of-body experience.
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