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Music and the Near-Death Experience

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Once I attended a lecture by Dr. Stephen Halpern, the master of music and music physiology. He said something very interesting I will never forget. He said the entire human body is a receiver of sound vibrations. Our ears are not the only organ that is sensitive to sound vibrations. He stated how the chakras (the spiritual centers in the body which are the endocrine glands) are greatly influenced by sound vibrations. For example, our sexual organs (the lowest chakra) are more sensitive to low rhythmic beats. Our heads (the highest chakra) are more sensitive to higher beat-less vibrations. This may explain why music with a low rhythmic beat is so popular among young people with raging sexual hormones. The low rhythmic beat played an important role in the tribal rituals of early human cultures around the world. Spiritual enlightenment occurs when you spiritually activate the body’s chakras from the lowest to the highest using varying levels of vibration and music.

1. Introduction to NDE Music

Lynnclaire Dennis

According to Dr. Joel Funk, a professor of psychology at Plymouth State College in New Hampshire, about 50% of near-death experiencers hear music during their NDE. They describe this music mostly as “music with a beautiful, floating sound.” Dr. Funk played various kinds of music for 60 near-death experiencers and found that they identified New Age style synthesized music as nearest to what they had heard during their NDE. Dr. Funk comments, “Some people burst into tears when they recognize the music of their NDEs.”

Steve Roach of Tucson, Arizona, had an NDE after a bike crash and heard “the most intensely beautiful music you could ever imagine” and decided “to dedicate my life to re-creating the exact same sound.” The result is a record entitled “Structures from Silence.” Says Roach, “Many people contact me after hearing my recordings to tell me that they’ve heard the exact same music during their NDEs.” If you would like to buy Steve Roach’s music and other NDE music, visit Gilles Bedard’s NDE and Music Page is a near-death experiencer and has done some excellent research into the music of the NDE.

2. Summary of the insights concerning NDE music

The universe was created using the tools of music, harmony, and balance. Everything is kept in place by the all pervading vibration of God. Near-death accounts provide many interesting descriptions of the music that is often heard in the spirit realms. Some of these descriptions are: transcendental, unearthly harmonic beauty, angelic, sublimely beautiful, exquisite harmonies, heavenly, a celestial choir of angels, a tone so sublimely perfect, joyous and beat-less melody, an orchestra of voices, the Music of the Spheres, hymns to God, mystical tones, harmonic perfection, music that transcends all thought, bells and wind chimes, celestial symphony, glorious tones and rhythms and melodies, complicated rhythms with unearthly tones, deeper and more profound than new age music, music that is experienced from within, and music that puts Bach to shame. In the spirit realm, gardens sing and colors can be heard. It is a realm where light and sound, color and geometrical patterns are all combined into a totality of harmonic perfection. This is music that is on a level that is beyond hearing. It comes from within the very core of your soul. It is like being on a universal wave length that envelops you totally. NDE music revelations show the great importance that music plays in the universe, in the spirit realms, our souls and God.

3. Dr. Dianne Morrissey’s NDE musical aftereffect

Dr. Dianne Morrissey was a clarinet player for a symphony and a self-proclaimed music snob. All she listened to was classical music and she would not tolerate being around anybody who didn’t. At one time in her life, she had no idea of who The Beatles were. That’s how narrow her musical tastes were. This all changed, of course, when she had an NDE. Dianne’s NDE changed her life so much that she can no longer listen to classical music. She states that the reason is because she can’t stand to remember the music snob she once was and how she used to judge. Since then, Dianne has never picked up the clarinet again to the total disbelievement of her friends. Now, she sees the beauty in all music. Dianne gave up her limited life of classical music and now writes and teaches people how to have out-of-body experiences. (Dr. Dianne Morrissey)

4. Examples of NDE music experiences

There exists some very interesting ideas concerning the music and sound heard during many NDEs. One experiencer, Gilles Bedard was so impressed by the music he heard in his NDE, that he devoted his life to recreating and researching the music he heard. Other experiencers, such as Steve Roach, have done the same. Mr. Roach has produced some very beautiful music that can only be described as transcendental.

“Based on my experience, I would say that people usually have a romanticized view of the music heard during near-death experiences. That’s why most people think first of new age music, harp or soothing music. From the outside, it would seem like that, but the music experienced from within is deeper and more profound than that … When I heard Structures from Silence from Steve Roach, I recognized the sound I heard on the Other Side.” (Gilles Bedard)

“I heard what seemed like millions of little golden bells ringing, tinkling; they rang and rang. Many times since, I’ve heard those bells in the middle of the night. Next I heard humming and then a choir singing. The singing got louder and louder, and it was in a minor key. It was beautiful and in perfect harmony. I also heard stringed instruments.” (Lorraine Tutmarc)

Dr. Richard Eby: “Music surrounded me. It came from all directions. Its harmonic beauty unlike earthly vocal or instrumental sounds was totally undistorted. It flowed unobtrusively like a glassy river, quietly worshipful, excitingly edifying, and totally comforting. It provided a reassuring type of comfort much like a protective blanket that whispered peace and love. I had never sensed anything like it. Perhaps angelic would describe it. This music was sounding within my head, not from an eardrum. Obviously it was not airborne. Most unusual to me was the absence of any beat. Then I realized that without time this heavenly music could have no beat which is a measure of time! I was hearing harmonic perfection, undistorted by any interposed medium between me and its source, as heard mind-to-mind … The music around me suddenly seemed louder. I rushed to a nearby tree and grasped its trunk to my ear: it was singing. I lifted my right elbow to my head; it too emitted the same joyous, beatless melody. Excitedly I stopped to pick some flowers, and found them already in my hand. They too were playing the tune.” (Dr. Richard Eby)

Edgar Cayce revelations: “In the beginning, God desired to self-expression, and desired companionship. Therefore, the cosmos and souls were projected. The cosmos was built with music, arithmetic, and geometry; harmony, system, and balance. The building blocks were the life essence. It was a power sent out from God, which by changing the length of its wave and the rate of its vibration became a pattern of differing forms, substance, and movement. This created the law of diversity which supplied endless designs for the pattern. God played on this law of diversity as a person plays on a piano, producing melodies and arranging them in a symphony. Each design carried within it the plan of its evolution, which was to be accomplished by change. This corresponds to the sound of a note struck on a piano. The sounds of several notes unite to make a chord; chords in turn become phrases; phrases become melodies; melodies intermingle and move back and forth, across and between and around each other, to make a symphony. The music ends as it began, leaving emptiness, but between the beginning and the finish there has been glorious beauty and a great experience.” (Edgar Cayce)

Lynnclaire Dennis: “And then I heard the MUSIC. It was a tone so sublimely perfect that remembering it still brings me to tears. I knew then, and know now, that I was hearing the symphony of angels, the song of the universe, what some have called the Music of the Spheres. All thoughts melted in its melody and everything else ceased to be of any importance. I closed my eyes and began to dance, moving to the resonant vibration that coursed through my essence. The melody seemed to issue from a single point and was composed of one verse, a song whose mystical tone my entire being knew and sang. I bathed in its melody as utter joy filled my being, and as the sound washed over my spirit, I felt all confusion purged from my consciousness … I was once more in my magical gown, moving alone in harmony with the MUSIC. In that moment I chose to merge with that self and began to dance. Each step drew me closer to the Light … The MUSIC, the celestial symphony, continued to fill the air with a psalm of Oneness, played on unseen instruments of peace. (Lynnclaire Dennis)

“Just as the colors of the rainbow show the effects of the different vibrations of light, and the melodies on the piano show the effect of the different notes, so, too, does the entire universe contain various octaves, or rates of vibration. These universal harmonics comprise the different levels of existence.” (Jerry Gross)

“This time we were audience to a choir of angels singing. Angels were totally outside my reality at the time, yet somehow I knew these beautiful beings to be angelic. They sang the most lovely and extraordinary music I had ever heard. They were identical, each equally beautiful.” (Dr. Allan Kellehear)

“Traveling through the tunnel, normal cities and towns can be seen on the sides of the tunnel. As you travel further, you become conscious of sounds, at first indistinct rumblings, then music, laughter, and singing of birds. There is more and more light, the colors become very beautiful, and there is the sound of wonderful music. The houses are left behind; ahead there is only a blending of sound and color.” (Edgar Cayce)

“And the whole garden was singing. The flowers, grass, trees, and other plants filled this place with glorious tones and rhythms and melodies; yet I didn’t hear the music itself. I could feel it somehow on a level beyond my hearing. As my grandmother and I stopped a moment to marvel at the magnificent scene, I said to myself, “Everything here seems to be singing,” which was woefully inadequate to describe what I felt. We simply don’t have language that adequately communicates the beauty of that world.” (RaNelle Wallace)

“I could see all the energy that this solar system generates, and it is an incredible light show! I could hear the Music of the Spheres. Our solar system, as do all celestial bodies, generates a unique matrix of light, sound and vibratory energies. Advanced civilizations from other star systems can spot life as we know it in the universe by the vibratory or energy matrix imprint. It is child’s play. The earth’s Wonder Child (human beings) make an abundance of sound right now, like children playing in the backyard of the universe.” (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)

Vicki Umipeg also began to hear sublimely beautiful and exquisitely harmonious music akin to the sound of wind chimes. With scarcely a noticeable transition, she then discovered she had been sucked head first into a tube and felt that she was being pulled up into it. The enclosure itself was dark, Vicki said, yet she was aware that she was moving toward light. As she reached the opening of the tube, the music that she had heard earlier seemed to be transformed into hymns and she then “rolled out” to find herself lying on grass. (Vicki Umipeg)

“And so I followed Him into other buildings of this domain of thought. We entered a studio where music of a complexity I couldn’t begin to follow was being composed and performed. There were complicated rhythms, tones not on a scale I knew. ‘Why,’ I found myself thinking. ‘Bach is only the beginning!'” (Dr. George Ritchie)

“The stars began to change shapes before my eyes. They began to dance and deliberately draw themselves into intricate designs and colors which I had never seen before. They moved and swayed to a kind of rhythm or music with a quality and beauty I had never heard and yet … remembered. A melody that humans could not possibly have composed, yet was so totally familiar and in complete harmony with the very core of my being. As if it were the rhythm of my existence, the reason for my being. The extravagance of imagery and coloration pulsed in splendid unison with the magnificent ensemble. I felt completely at peace, tranquilized by the vision and the melodic drone. I could have stayed in this place for eternity with this pulse of love and beauty beating throughout my soul. The love poured into me from all corners of the universe.” (Virginia Rivers)

“As we walked toward it, I heard voices. They were melodious, harmonious, blending in chorus and I heard the word, ‘Jesus.’ There were more than four parts to their harmony. I not only heard the singing and felt the singing but I joined the singing. I have always had a girl’s body, but a low boy’s voice. Suddenly I realized I was singing the way I had always wanted to … in high, clear and sweet tones. After a while the music softened, then the unseen voices picked up a new chorus. The voices not only burst forth in more than four parts, but they were in different languages. I was awed by the richness and perfect blending of the words – and I could understand them! I do not know why this was possible except that I was part of a universal experience. The words sung in all the different languages were understandable, but I don’t know how or why. We all seemed to be on some universal wave length. I thought at the time, “I will never forget the melody and these words. But later I could only recall two: Jesus and redeemed.” (Betty Malz)

Dr. Diane Komp, a pediatric oncologist at Yale, was transformed by witnessing children’s’ NDEs, such as that of an 8-year-old with cancer envisioning a school bus driven by Jesus, a 7-year-old leukemia patient hearing a chorus of angels before passing away. “I was an atheist, and it changed my view of spiritual matters,” recalls Komp. “Call it a conversion. I came away convinced that these are real spiritual experiences.” (Dr. Diane Komp)

“Turning back to the interior of the temple, I saw that creative activities were taking place in different areas. There were a number of individuals sitting at easels painting, and I saw one man playing a flutelike instrument that emitted the sweetest of sounds. Farther on, dancers moved with ethereal grace, performing with a lightness impossible to the physical human form. As I watched in utter delight, I became aware that the musical background for this visual feast came from what I would call a celestial choir – an orchestra of voices creating heavenly music for the dance. This Music of the Spheres was indeed singing the praises of the Creator.” (Jan Price)

“Permeating the colors and patterns was sound, countless octaves of sound. It was as though the colors could be heard. It reminded me of bagpipes. Filling the entire region were the droning sounds. Octave upon octave of invigorating, vitalizing sound. It was very subtle, practically imperceptible but immense, it seemed to reach to infinity. Superimposed on this vast life-giving hum, was the melody, which was created by the individual sound of every living thing. Light and sound, color and geometrical patterns were all combined into a totality of harmonic perfection.” (John Star)

“When we first arrived in the Seventh Region we were certain that we had reached our eternal home. So in tune were we with it that there was not even a hint of internal conflict. We could not conceive of any higher order of life than here, from where we were certain the Music of the Spheres originated. Gradually we learn that there are higher realms of life, and we are in yet another stage of growth.” (Harvey Green)

“I am still utterly amazed at what I find here. Utterly amazed! There is love and there is harmony. There is music that transcends all thought. Then I became conscious of different sounds of bells ringing and music. I realized that I had been hearing these bells and music while I was out in space. In the midst of this sound I became aware of the fact that at the present time I may see and I may observe, but my consciousness will have to expand further before I may know how all of this takes place, and why.” (Margaret Tweddell)

“At the time I felt the presence of that extreme love I could also hear beautiful music. I’m not sure if it was instrumental music, but somehow I think it was more massed voices giving that sound. But there were no words – it was more just a resonance of sound.” (Janet)

“Everything began to become peaceful and a type of music without sound played that enveloped me totally – through every cell.” (Kurt Hilden)

“Facing all the splendor made me acutely aware of my lowly condition. My response was, ‘No, you’ve made a mistake, put me back.’ And he [Jesus] said: ‘We don’t make mistakes. You belong.’ Then he called out in a musical tone to the luminous entities who surrounded the great center. Several came and circled around us.” (Howard Storm)

“Just when I thought to speak, to question, the being spoke to me. It’s voice was as a chorus of voices, not male not female, not loud not soft, not deep but perfect and all encompassing.” (Lou Famoso)

“In the bardo of becoming, as well as many other kinds of visions, the mental body will see visions and signs of different realms. A small percentage of those who have survived a near-death experience report visions of inner worlds, paradises, and cities of light with transcendental music.” (Lingza Chokyi)

“I also heard music different music. It was usually like classical music; I like classical music. It wasn’t exactly the music I’ve heard, but it was along that line. It made me relaxed. The fears went away when I listened to it. Again, the feeling of hope, that there’s something better somewhere else (He then became aware of a voice). I think [it was] a woman’s voice, but I didn’t recognize the voice. I just remember that it was a soothing voice. I kind of remember that with the grayness her voice kind of calling, my moving toward it.” (Dr. Kenneth Ring research)

“Everything in the spirit world is kept in place by an all pervading Master-Vibration (God), which prevents aging. That’s why things don’t get dirty, or wear out, and why everything looks so bright and new. This is why heaven is eternal. Our thoughts in heaven are vibrations which are controlled by the Master-Vibration. It neutralizes all negative thoughts and lets you think only the good thoughts, such as love, freedom and happiness. After death people gravitate into homogeneous groups according to the rate of their soul’s vibrations much like throwing a small pebble into a threshing machine, it would go into the box because of its proper size and weight. We are sorted by the high or low vibrations of our soul. Everyone goes where they fit in! High vibrations indicate love and spiritual development, while low vibrations indicate debasement and evil. All one has to do is to love so unselfishly that their soul-vibrations rise high enough to fit into heaven.” (Arthur Yensen)

Out-of-body realms are usually areas of intense experience where the dominant reality is that of light, sound, vibration, motion or emotion. For example, the soul may sense a powerful vibration or sound that causes them to be caught up in that energy. Sometimes these sounds or vibrations propel them at a great speed through a tunnel. They may experience the feeling of inner sounds or vibrations but not the experience of movement and acceleration. Often, such experiences involve hearing spiritual music or sounds, and can be quite ecstatic. These inner sounds along with inner lights can sometimes act as a means of transition between waking experience and some formed inner world. Sounds which occur during conscious transitions out of the body are usually very powerful, and may result in the obliteration of the body image. Some of the sounds which occur are of a spiritual or mystical nature rather than transitional sounds that carry the traveler to a different place. These “higher” spiritual sounds are of a heavenly nature and are ecstatic beyond description. Some sample sounds one may encounter are the sounds of a speeding train, a loud buzzing, a flute, or the sounds of nature like the roar of a waterfall. These sounds or vibrations are of such intensity that they seem to pass right through the body, overpowering the other senses.” (Robert Monroe)