Imagine you are a patient in a hospital and surgery is being performed on you. You are sound asleep. You were sound asleep long before they wheeled into the operating room. But while you are asleep something very strange happens. During the operation, you are suddenly awakened to find yourself floating near the ceiling! Down below are the doctors working on your body (as in the cartoon on the left). You see a strange sign hanging from the ceiling which says “Popsicles are in bloom.” You watch as the doctor puts the electric paddles on your chest. You have a wonderful peaceful feeling which you have never had before. The doctors give your body a shock and you are back in your body sound asleep again. Later, you awaken in your hospital room and tell the doctor about your out-of-body experience and the weird “Popsicles are in bloom” sign. The doctor smiles and tells you, “Your heart stopped during surgery and we had to revive you.” The doctor then explains to you, “You are part of a near-death study and you just had a near-death experience. You are the first patient who has ever read that sign. That sign can only be read by someone reading it from the vantage point of the ceiling. And because you were able to read this sign and tell us about it, you have proven scientifically that the mind can function outside of the brain and body. A great scientific discovery has just occurred. Congratulations. You have proven scientifically that consciousness transcends our physical body and death. Your validated out-of-body perception during your near-death experience (NDE) has won you the Nobel Prize. As you will read below, there are many NDEs which come very close to providing such evidence. Indeed, it is only a matter of time.
1. How NDEs will prove the survival of consciousness after death
Someday, someone is going to have a near-death experience and observe a scientifically controlled test object, such as a sign like “You are dead” which can only be seen if the observer is actually outside of their body. However , this is only the first step. Researchers must also do the following:
(1) Prove that consciousness can transcend the body by perceiving verifiable events while out of the body.
(2) The next step is the same as the first step except it occurs while the body is verifiably “dead” (i.e., clinical and brain death).
(3) Once the above can be proven, all the skeptics will have to admit that consciousness survives death.
It may surprise some people to know that these kind of studies are going on right at this moment. Indeed, it is only a matter of time when someone tells a doctor they saw the “You are dead” sign. For test purposes, however, the sign will probably say something more cryptic to insure the uniqueness of such an event.
2. Examples of out-of-body visual perception
A large number of near-death experiencers have witnessed verifiable events occurring outside of their body. Unfortunately, such evidence does not constitute “scientific evidence.” The reason is because scientific evidence involves replication of the experience and the existence of strict controls over the events being witnessed. However, the example I gave at the beginning of this page is the kind of test environment which can provide such scientific evidence. Many examples of anecdotal evidence of verifiable perception are provided on this web page.
The following are three of the most interesting out-of-body testimonies from three NDEs which I have on my website. They are from the near-death experiences of Dr. Dianne Morrissey, Dr. George Ritchie, and Reinee Pasarow. They are exceptional because they are NDEs involving an extended out-of-body phase, when the experiencer observed events happening around their body.
a. Dr. Dianne Morrissey’s NDE and out-of-body perception
Dr. Dianne Morrissey is the author of the books You Can See The Light and Anyone Can See the Light. She describes her beautiful NDE in detail in her YouTube video entitled Soul Journeys Beyond the Light. It is one of the best videos I have ever seen.
When Dianne was twenty-eight years old, she was electrocuted and had a very profound NDE. The following is the out-of-body aspect of her NDE reprinted by permission from her book Anyone Can See the Light.
“I bent over to pick up the plastic tubing. As I began to straighten up, I accidentally bumped the tubing on the edge of the tank. The water suddenly squirted across my face – the pain was so sharp, it felt as if a knife where slitting my cheek! I screamed from the shock and pain, then felt a moment of temporary relief as the water crossed over my molars. My reprieve was short-lived, however, as the electrified water rushed into my mouth.
“As my body bent over in shock, I had the most uncanny knowledge that death was ahead of me. I began to mourn the loss of everything I’d known: the earth, my home, my friends – all that I’d been aware of, all that I loved. Everything I’d believed to be true and lasting was slipping away from me. I was face to face with death, face to face with the unknown.
“My body was thrown backwards and to one side by the current. My body crashed to the floor, thrown with such force that my head went right through the drywall, about a foot above the floor. I never felt the injuries, however, because I was no longer in my body. I was actually watching my electrocution from above! How could I be out of my body and still be alive? I wondered, astonished.
“Suddenly, I was aware that I was inside a vast, seemingly infinite blackness. I wasn’t sure where this blackness was in relationship to the earth, but for some reason I was unafraid. My blackout period was brief, for I now found myself back in my home, but in a new form. I was transparent, yet I still looked like me.
“How elated I felt! Now, out of my body, I had no worries, no cares. Never had I felt like this when I was “alive”. My entire spirit body was transparent, and I was inside a glowing white light that extended about three feet around me. At that moment, an awareness overtook me – I am not my physical body! This realization made me feel so free, so wonderful! My spirit was glowing with a white light that illuminated the entire room.
“Then, I was up near the ceiling again. Everything still looked the same – the furnishings, the walls – but there was a new awareness about the dimension to the scene – it had become transparent. I could see everything more clearly than ever before, and like a scientist, I found myself looking at life through a microscope, discovering minuscule particles of matter normally invisible.
“I was now aware of the absence of physical sensations, yet I was feeling a heightened sense of awareness such as I’d never felt while alive. I knew I was different from the “Dianne” I had been, but I also knew I was “me”. It was similar to looking at your reflection in a mirror; you know you’re not the reflection, but it does appear to be you.
“Now, I saw that everything was shrouded by a mist. Despite a lack of gravity, I could easily control my direction, and when I moved into the living room, I noticed that I had just walked through the glass coffee table. Wow! How did I do that? I marveled.
“Tuffy (her dog) suddenly entered the den and began nipping at my face and pawing at my arm, trying to get my body to wake up. I knew that his relentless attempts to awaken my physical body wouldn’t work, yet I was proud of him for trying, and even hoped his efforts might work. I wondered where his chum, Penny, was, and suddenly I was next to her in the backyard. I opened my mouth to talk to her and felt my tongue moving, but no sounds came out. I could distinctly hear my voice, and then realized it was coming from my mind. I tried several times to get Penny’s attention, yelling, “Penny, can you see me? Penny, can you hear me?” Apparently she didn’t, because there was no response.
“Next, I walked around my backyard. As I looked through the walls of my house toward the front sidewalk, I noticed a man walking down the street. Eagerly, I flew to him, right through the walls, and tried to get his attention. Staring deeply into his eyes, I said forcefully, “Can you help me? I need help.” Then I tried to shake his shoulders, but he still didn’t notice me. Frustrated, I tried to touch his shoulder to get him to look at me, and my hand went through his upper right shoulder blade and out his back. This startled me.
“What am I to do? I wondered, becoming upset when I realized that the man could neither see nor hear me. Instantly, I was back in my yard again, Penny beside me. I noticed that whenever I felt any apprehension, I was instantly moved to a place of greater comfort.
“On the way back to the den, I stopped right in the middle of the wall between rooms. I sensed that I was to look down at something fantastic, and as I gazed downward, I saw a long silver cord coming out of my spirit body, right through the cheesecloth-like fabric I was wearing. The cord extended down and out in front of me, and as I turned around, I saw that the silver cord draped around and behind me, like an umbilical cord. I followed it through the two hallway walls and into my den, where I saw it attached to the back of the head of my physical body. The cord was about an inch wide and sparkled like Christmas tree tinsel.
“As soon as I saw that the silver cord was attached to my physical body, my spirit body was thrust into a dark tunnel. I moved through it with great speed, traveling faster than I could have imagined possible. Although the tunnel was filled with an all consuming darkness, I felt peaceful and unafraid.” (Dr. Dianne Morrissey)
b. Dr. George Ritchie’s NDE and out-of-body perception
In 1943, Dr. George Ritchie died of pneumonia and nine minutes later returned to life to tell about it. The following is the account of the out-of-body aspect of his NDE excerpted from his excellent book Return From Tomorrow. His follow-up book is My Life After Dying.
“The men let go of my arms … I heard a click and a whirr. The whirr went on and on. It was getting louder. The whirr was inside my head and my knees were made of rubber. They were bending and I was falling and all the time the whirr grew louder. I sat up with a start. What time was it? I looked at the bedside table but they’d taken the clock away. In fact, where was any of my stuff?
“I jumped out of bed in alarm, looking for my clothes. My uniform wasn’t on the chair. I turned around, then froze. Someone was lying in that bed. I took a step closer. He was quite a young man, with short brown hair, lying very still. But, the thing was impossible! I myself had just gotten out of that bed! For a moment I wrestled with the mystery of it. It was too strange to think about – and anyway I didn’t have the time.
“I went back past the offices and stepped out into the corridor. A sergeant was coming along it carrying an instrument tray covered with a cloth. Probably he didn’t know anything, but I was so glad to find someone awake that I started toward him.
“‘Excuse me, Sergeant,’ I said. ‘You haven’t seen the ward boy for this unit, have you?’
“He didn’t answer. Didn’t even glance at me. He just kept coming, straight at me, not slowing down.
“‘Look out!’ I yelled, jumping out of his way.
“The next minute he was past me, walking away down the corridor as if he had never seen me, though how we had kept from colliding I didn’t know. And then I saw something that gave me a new idea. Farther down the corridor was one of the heavy metal doors that led to the outside. I hurried toward it. Even if I had missed that train, I’d find some way of getting to Richmond!
“Almost without knowing it I found myself outside, racing swiftly along, traveling faster in fact than I’d ever moved in my life. Looking down I was astonished to see not the ground, but the tops of mesquite bushes beneath me. Already Camp Barkeley seemed to be far behind me as I sped over the dark frozen desert. My mind kept telling me that what I was doing was impossible, and yet … it was happening. I was going to Richmond; somehow I had known that from the moment I burst through that hospital door. Going to Richmond a hundred times faster than any train on earth could take me.
“Almost immediately I noticed myself slowing down. Just below me now, where two streets came together, I caught a flickering blue glow. It came from a neon sign over the door of a red-roofed one-story building with a Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer sign propped in the front window. Cafe, the jittering letters over the door read, and from the windows light streamed onto the pavement. Staring down at it, I realized I had stopped moving altogether. Finding myself somehow suspended fifty feet in the air was an even stranger feeling than the whirlwind flight had been. But I had no time to puzzle over it, for down the sidewalk toward the all-night cafe a man came briskly walking. At least, I thought, I could find out from him what town this was and in what direction I was heading. Even as the idea occurred to me – as though thought and motion had become the same thing – I found myself down on the sidewalk, hurrying along at the stranger’s side. He was a civilian, maybe forty or forty-five, wearing a topcoat but no hat. He was obviously thinking hard about something because he never glanced my way as I fell into step beside him.
“‘Can you tell me please,’ I said, ‘What city this is?’
“He kept right on walking.
“‘Please sir!’ I said, speaking louder, ‘I’m a stranger here and I’d appreciate it if …’
“We reached the cafe and he turned, reaching for the door handle. Was the fellow deaf? I put out my left hand to tap his shoulder. There was nothing there.
“I stood there in front of the door, gaping after him as he opened it and disappeared inside. It had been like touching thin air. Like no one had been there at all. And yet I had distinctly seen him, even to the beginnings of a black stubble on his chin where he needed a shave.
“I backed away from the mystery of the substance-less man and leaned up against the guy wire of a telephone pole to think things through. My body went through that guy wire as though it too had not been there.
“There on the sidewalk of that unknown city, I did some incredulous thinking. The strangest, most difficult thinking I had ever done. The man in the cafe, this telephone pole … suppose they were perfectly normal. Suppose I was the one who was – changed, somehow. What if in some impossible, unimaginable way, I lost my … hardness. My ability to grasp things, to make contact with the world. Even to be seen! The fellow just now. It was obvious he never saw or heard me.
“And suddenly I remembered the young man I had seen in the bed in that little hospital room. What if that had been … me? Or anyhow, the material, concrete part of myself that in some unexplainable way I’d gotten separated from. What if the form which I had left lying in the hospital room in Texas was my own?
“And if it were, how could I get back to it again? Why had I ever rushed off so unthinkingly?
“I was moving again, speeding away from the city. Below me was the broad river. I appeared to be going back, back in the direction I had come from, and it seemed to me I was flashing across space even faster than before. Hills, lakes, farms slipped away beneath me as I sped in an unswerving straight line over the dark nighttime land. I was standing in front of the base hospital.
“And so began one of the strangest searches that can ever have taken place: the search for myself. From one ward to another of that enormous complex I rushed, pausing in each small room, stooping over the occupant of the bed, hurrying on.
“I backed toward the doorway. The man in that bed was dead! I felt the same reluctance I had the previous time at being in a room with a dead person. But … if that was my ring, then – then it was me, the separated part of me, lying under that sheet. Did that mean that I was …
“It was the first time in this entire experience that the word death occurred to me in connection with what was happening.
“But I wasn’t dead! How could I be dead and still be awake? Thinking. Experiencing. Death was different. Death was … I didn’t know. Blanking out. Nothingness. I was me, wide awake, only without a physical body to function in.
“Frantically I clawed at the sheet, trying to draw it back, trying to uncover the figure on the bed. All my efforts did not even stir a breeze in the silent little room.
“Suddenly I was aware that it was brighter, a lot brighter, than it had been. I stared in astonishment as the brightness increased, coming from nowhere, seeming to shine everywhere at once. All the light bulbs in the ward couldn’t give off that much light. All the bulbs in the world couldn’t! It was impossibly bright. It was like a million welders’ lamps all blazing at once.
“‘I’m glad I don’t have physical eyes at this moment,’ I thought. ‘This light would destroy the retina in a tenth of a second.’
“‘No, I corrected myself, not the light. He. He would be too bright to look at.’
“For now I saw that it was not light but a man who had entered the room, or rather, a man made out of light, though this seemed no more possible to my mind than the incredible intensity of the brightness that made up his form.” (Dr. George Ritchie)
c. Reinee Pasarow’s NDE and out-of-body perception
Reinee Pasarow was as a teenager when she had an NDE after she became unconscious following an allergic food reaction. While outside of her body, she could sense every sound, every action and even every thought of the persons people around her. She observed two firemen’s frantic efforts to revive her. All the events she witnessed while out of her body – the conversations, the actions of the persons involved, the hospital scene – happened exactly as she remembered them. Furthermore, aspects of her OBE have been reported by other people who have had OBEs which is remarkable because this type of information was something she did not know about at the time and would read about later.
“Then, just like that (clapping her hands), I became a ball of light or energy in the midst of this crowd that was circling a body. I became massively aware, unlike any awareness I had had during physical existence. I was not really aware of myself. I was aware of everyone around me. I was aware of my mother and my neighbors, and my friends and the firemen and what they were thinking and what they were feeling and what they were hoping and what they were praying. This was such a pummeling input of emotion and information that I was all at once overwhelmed and confused, and rather disoriented.
“I followed their attention to something on the sidewalk and I looked at a body on the sidewalk. I looked at the curve of the wrist bone and I recognized it. I remember looking at it and thinking, “That looks so much like my wrist bone.” And then I became aware that the thing on the sidewalk, that thing that suddenly became a piece of meat to me, was what I had identified as myself before, but had no connection with it other than that I had been with it for a very long time. But it had nothing to do with me because suddenly, I was more of a person than I had ever been before. I was more conscious than I could ever be. I was free of the limitations of being a physical being.
“I looked at my body and I was repulsed with the grief and the tumult around it and with the very idea that I had ever considered something physical to be my reality, to be a human reality.
“And with that (taps the table) again like this, I was bumped way up, up above some light wires. From that point I could watch everyone beneath me, but I was not as closely associated with them, [but] I was completely feeling everything they were feeling.
“I watched my mother and a boy come out of the house and up the hill which I could not have seen physically. I was very sad for my mother. I was very sad for my friend who kept calling me. And I was very sad for the child who had come out of the house. I was very sad that he would think I was dead. So my concern was for them. I spent my time observing them and calling to them – calling to them that everything was as it should be, that everything was fine, that I was free, that it was wonderful, that I loved them and that they loved me and that the bond, unlike physical bonds, would never be destroyed. I tried to communicate this to them over and over again and I realized that I had no mouth. I had no body. They could not hear what I was saying to them. I would have to leave them in the same hands I had left myself in the process of dying. With that I turned away, just sort of like a ball, just turned away.
“My attention turned away lovingly but knowing that there was nothing I could do. I turned away from them and began to pull up. I became aware (it was as if I were a camera on a space ship or something) of our place, my particular little street and then my particular little town. I kept pulling up and up and up to a point where I could observe the whole earth. This was wonderful!
[After Reinee’s visit to heaven, she returns to where her body is located.]
“With a terribly hard crash, I became aware of the scene I had left earlier – the fire trucks, and now an ambulance. There were men who were picking up my body and loading it into the ambulance. I was in a state of complete grief. I felt that I had become Eve and was cast out of the garden of Eden.
“As I was descending down this tunnel, my heart was already attached to my home beyond. I was begging not to leave. I crashed down into this realm of existence and was suddenly confused by time and space. It was as if I had never existed physically. I was suddenly disoriented. My concern was for my mother, because she was by herself and she was losing a sixteen year old daughter. She knew that this was happening because the ambulance attendant looked at the driver in front and said, “DOA. DOA,” which means of course dead on arrival. The driver turned off the siren and slowed down the ambulance. Before, he had been driving in a very reckless manner.
“We were coming out of the mountains. As we did that, my concern was for the pain of my mother. I simple wanted to comfort her and to wrap my soul around her. To assuage the loss of a daughter, the loss of a child, I found myself simply praying for her.
“I followed the ambulance to the hospital and I watched as my body was unloaded. My mother followed the gurney into the emergency room. I watched as the first doctor went to work on me. I wasn’t particularly interested in the first doctor because the first doctor had, that day, been through motorcycle accidents coming out of the mountains. He had been through a very long day and he was not concerned with someone who had been brought in dead on arrival. He had no connection with me. He didn’t care and had no affection. So I had no interest in watching what he did because my interest was based on affection and love.
“I then left the emergency room and was above my mother and some friends who had followed her into the other room. I again tried to communicate with them. I tried to let them know that, “This is a very joyous occasion. I am dead on arrival. Hopefully all would go well. They are never going to be able to revive me. I was going to be dead now. Death had become life to me. Death was not something to be frightened of, but something to look forward to.”
“What happened then was the first doctor pronounced me dead and was sending my body off to the morgue. My own personal physician, who was a country doctor and a very gruff man, stormed into the emergency room in a tuxedo with his black bag. He looked at the nurse on the phone who was calling the morgue, and looked at the doctor who was washing his hands, and looked at my [covered] body and said, “What the hell happened here? Where is the patient?” They said, “She was dead on arrival.” He said, “The hell she was.” He proceeded to scream at the other nurse who was sort of standing off in the corner, “I want injections of adrenaline. Bring them to me immediately and come over here and assist me.” He began to go to work on my body. He began to beat on the chest and began to shock. I was simply terrified by this turn of events and disgusted that they would treat a body so brutally.
“All of a sudden I sort of became protective towards my body, even though I wanted nothing to do with it. I began to be protective. They could at least be nice about it. But they were beating on my chest and shocking my body, but I was up in the corner of the emergency room accompanied by other essences who were keeping me contained in that emergency room.” (Reinee Pasarow)
3. Verified out-of-body perception In NDEs
The “holy grail” of NDE research is finding an undeniable answer to the question of whether consciousness can survive bodily death. But before this can be answered, researchers must first determine whether consciousness can transcend the brain and function outside of it. One way is to discover this is to examine those NDEs which are “veridical” (i.e., verified). Veridical NDEs occur when the experiencer acquires verifiable information which they could not have obtained by any normal means. Often, near-death experiencers report witnessing events that happen at some distant location away from their body, such as another room of the hospital. If the events witnessed by the experiencer at the distant location can be verified to have occurred, then veridical perception would be said to have taken place. It would provide very compelling evidence that NDEs are experiences outside of the physical body. NDE research is coming very close to providing such undeniable evidence. What follows are some examples.
a. Pam Reynolds’ verified out-of-body perception
In Dr. Michael Sabom’s book, Light and Death, he includes the NDE account of a woman named Pam Reynolds who underwent a rare operation to remove a giant basilar artery aneurysm in her brain that seriously threatened her life. The surgical procedure used to remove the aneurysm is known as “hypothermic cardiac arrest” or “standstill.” Pam’s body temperature was lowered to 60 degrees, her heartbeat and breathing were stopped, her brain waves were flattened, and all the blood was drained from her head. For all practical purposes, she was put to death. After removing the aneurysm, she was restored to life. But, during the time that Pam was in standstill, she experienced a profound NDE. Her remarkably detailed veridical out-of-body observations of her surgery were later verified to be very accurate. Pam’s case is considered to be one of the strongest cases of veridical perception evidence in NDE research because of her ability to describe the unique surgical instruments and procedures used and her ability to describe in detail these events while she was clinically and brain dead. The following is the out-of-body aspect of her NDE in her own words.
“The next thing I recall was the sound: It was a Natural “D.” As I listened to the sound, I felt it was pulling me out of the top of my head. The further out of my body I got, the more clear the tone became. I had the impression it was like a road, a frequency that you go on … I remember seeing several things in the operating room when I was looking down. It was the most aware that I think that I have ever been in my entire life …I was metaphorically sitting on [the doctor’s] shoulder. It was not like normal vision. It was brighter and more focused and clearer than normal vision … There was so much in the operating room that I didn’t recognize, and so many people.
“I thought the way they had my head shaved was very peculiar. I expected them to take all of the hair, but they did not …
“The saw-thing that I hated the sound of looked like an electric toothbrush and it had a dent in it, a groove at the top where the saw appeared to go into the handle, but it didn’t … And the saw had interchangeable blades, too, but these blades were in what looked like a socket wrench case … I heard the saw crank up. I didn’t see them use it on my head, but I think I heard it being used on something. It was humming at a relatively high pitch and then all of a sudden it went Brrrrrrrrr! like that.
“Someone said something about my veins and arteries being very small. I believe it was a female voice and that it was Dr. Murray, but I’m not sure. She was the cardiologist. I remember thinking that I should have told her about that … I remember the heart-lung machine. I didn’t like the respirator … I remember a lot of tools and instruments that I did not readily recognize.
“There was a sensation like being pulled, but not against your will. I was going on my own accord because I wanted to go. I have different metaphors to try to explain this. It was like the Wizard of Oz – being taken up in a tornado vortex, only you’re not spinning around like you’ve got vertigo. You’re very focused and you have a place to go. The feeling was like going up in an elevator real fast. And there was a sensation, but it wasn’t a bodily, physical sensation. It was like a tunnel but it wasn’t a tunnel.”
[Pam meets her deceased relatives and then must return to her body.]
“But then I got to the end of it and saw the thing, my body. I didn’t want to get into it … It looked terrible, like a train wreck. It looked like what it was: dead. I believe it was covered. It scared me and I didn’t want to look at it. It was communicated to me that it was like jumping into a swimming pool. No problem, just jump right into the swimming pool. I didn’t want to, but I guess I was late or something because he [the uncle] pushed me. I felt a definite repelling and at the same time a pulling from the body. The body was pulling and the tunnel was pushing … It was like diving into a pool of ice water … It hurt! When I came back, they were playing Hotel California and the line was “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” I mentioned [later] to Dr. Brown that that was incredibly insensitive and he told me that I needed to sleep more.” (Pam Reynolds)
b. Dr. Charles Tart’s case of verified out-of-body perception
Dr. Charles T. Tart (www.issc-taste.org and www.paradigm-sys.com) is a transpersonal psychologist and parapsychologist known for his psychological work on the nature of consciousness (particularly altered states of consciousness), as one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology, and for his research in scientific parapsychology. He served as an instructor in psychiatry in the School of Medicine of the University of Virginia, and as a consultant on government funded parapsychological research at the Stanford Research Institute. Dr. Tart, the author of The End of Materialism, is known for his experimental work in autoscopic out-of-body and near-death experiences. He was also a professor of psychology at the University of California at Davis. Dr. Tart published an article in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research which documents the OBE of a young woman who was one of his research subjects. What makes this particular OBE remarkable is that she was able to leave her physical body and read a 5-digit number from a significant distance and correctly give it to him upon return. This is one of best examples of a veridical OBE occurring under laboratory conditions. Read the article here.
c. Reverend George Rodonaia’s NDE and verified out-of-body perception
The book entitled, The Self Does Not Die: Verified Paranormal Phenomena from Near-Death Experiences, by Titus Rivas, Anny Dirven, Rudolf H. Smit, Robert Mays, and Janice Holden, documents P.M.H. Atwater‘s research into George Rodonaia’s extraordinary case of veridical out-of-body telepathic perception of an injured infant and George’s wife during his NDE from Atwater’s book Beyond The Light. The following is an excerpt.
“When Rodonaia thought of his body, he saw it lying in the morgue. He remembered everything that had happened. He was also able to ‘see’ the thoughts and emotions of his wife, Nino, and of the people who had been involved in the accident. It was as if they had their thoughts ‘inside of him.’ He then wanted to find out the ‘truth’ of those thoughts and emotions. By expressing a longing for greater knowledge, he was confronted by mental images of existence and thus became acquainted with thousands of years of history.
“When he returned to his body in the morgue, he was drawn to a nearby hospital, where the wife of a friend had just had a baby. The newborn was constantly crying. He examined the baby, a girl. His ‘eyes’ were like X-rays that could look right through the little body. This ability enabled him to draw the conclusion that the baby had broken its hip during delivery. He spoke to her, ‘Don’t cry. Nobody understands you.’ The baby was so astonished by his presence that she immediately stopped crying. According to Rodonaia, children are able to see and hear transmaterial apparitions. The child reacted to him, he believes, because he was ‘a physical reality’ to her.
“After three days, when the autopsy of Rodonaia’s body was just getting under way, he succeeded in opening his eyes. At first, the doctors thought it was a reflex, but Rodonaia appeared to have actually come back from the dead, even though his death and his frigid condition had both been confirmed. He was in poor condition physically, but after three days, the first words he spoke were about the baby that urgently needed help. X-rays of the baby confirmed that he was right.
“At one point, Atwater interviewed Rodonaia’s wife, Nino, who stated that during his NDE, Rodonaia had actually witnessed what she had seen. According to Nino, he had actually had telepathic contact with her. In an email dated July 28, 2015, Atwater wrote Rivas the following about this aspect of the case:
“George told me that as part of his near-death experience, among the many things he could do was to be able to enter the minds of all his friends and find out whether or not they were really friends. During this entry process, he also entered the mind of this wife, Nino. When he did, he both saw and heard his wife picking out his grave site. As she stood there looking at the grave site, in her head, she pictured several men she would consider being her next husband. She made a list for herself of their various qualities, pro and con, to decide which one would be the most suitable.
“After George revived and his tongue shrunk back to its normal size so George could talk (this took three days), George greeted his wife. He told her about the grave site scenario. He described everything she saw there. Then he told her everything she thought about while there, the specific men she was considering to be her next husband and [the] list she was making in her mind about their various pros and cons. He was correct in every detail. This so freaked her out that she refused to have much to do with him for a year. I had no sense that this was telepathic, but real, physically real, as if George’s mind was physically inside his wife’s mind. He saw what she saw. He also saw what she thought.
“When I met Nino and both children, I asked Nino if I could talk to her about that incident at the grave site and her list of qualities of the men she was considering marrying. She described the incident for me and that all of this was done in the privacy of her own mind. She only thought about the men and their various qualities. The list was her own. When her suddenly, newly alive, formerly dead husband talked about that personal moment at the grave site, named the men she thought about, and then went on to ‘read’ the list back to her that she made for each man, she was utterly shocked at his accuracy and how he could even do this. This shock was felt as if an affront against her right to privacy, the intimate privacy of her own mind. I asked if it was true that she would have little or nothing to do with him for a year. She said, yes, it was true. She could not sleep in the same room with him. When I asked why, her answer was: ‘I no longer had the privacy of my own mind. This was very hard to take.'” (The Self Does Not Die, p.130-132)
Nino also confirmed what happened at the hospital, the first words he said after his tongue swelling went down, of his friend’s wife having just given birth to a daughter, he told the doctors to get right up to the maternity ward and X-ray that baby’s hip, that it had been broken by the attending nurse who had dropped the baby. George was a doctor himself and he described the hip break in detail. The doctors rushed up to the maternity ward, had the baby X-rayed and found the break exactly as described by George. They then confronted the nurse with what they found and she admitted to dropping the baby. She was immediately fired (George Rodonaia).
d. Dr. Pim van Lommel’s case of verified out-of-body perception
In January of 2001, near-death experiences and near-death research earned greater scientific respect and credibility when the findings of a particular NDE study were published. The distinguished British medical journal The Lancet published a paper by Dr. Pim van Lommel (PDF) of the Rijnstate Hospital in the Netherlands on the first large-scale study of NDEs which he conducted.
His study began in 1988 and lasted 13 years. It included 344 survivors of cardiac arrest from 10 Dutch hospitals. Of these 344 survivors, 18 percent experienced an NDE. And because Lommel and his staff conducted follow-up interviews with these patients over many years, they were able to rule out such factors as anoxia, seizures, medication, etc. Lommel’s findings confirmed prior research findings conducted by other near-death researchers. It confirmed that NDEs are real and they cannot be explained by physiological or psychological causes alone. Lommel also accepted the implication that consciousness survives death and that consciousness is not completely dependent upon the brain.
Lommel noted that only 10 seconds after the heart stops beating, the electroencephalogram goes dead. At this point, there is no activity in the brain cortex and the brain cannot manufacture visions. Within 10 minutes, brain stem activity ceases and irreparable brain damage can occur. However, Lommel notes that some patients still reported being conscious at this point. One particular example cited by Lommel is a man who came into the hospital already blue from a lack of oxygen. The hospital staff spent 90 minutes trying to resuscitate him, using artificial respiration, heart massage and defibrillation, before they could move him to intensive care where he was remained in a coma for a week with brain damage. But when the patient regained consciousness, he was able to describe events that occurred around him while he was brain damaged and out of his body. This veridical evidence comes from a coronary-care-unit nurse who reported the veridical out-of-body experience of the comatose patient:
“During a night shift an ambulance brings in a 44-year-old cyanotic, comatose man into the coronary care unit. He had been found about an hour before in a meadow by passers-by. After admission, he receives artificial respiration without intubation, while heart massage and defibrillation are also applied. When we wanted to intubate the patient, he turns out to have dentures in his mouth. I remove these upper dentures and put them onto the crash car. Meanwhile, we continue extensive CPR. After about an hour and a half the patient has sufficient heart rhythm and blood pressure, but he is still ventilated and intubated, and he is still comatose. He is transferred to the intensive care unit to continue the necessary artificial respiration. Only after more than a week do I meet again with the patient, who is by now back on the cardiac ward. I distribute his medication. The moment he sees me he says:
“Oh, that nurse knows where my dentures are.”
“I am very surprised.”
Then he elucidates: “Yes, you were there when I was brought into hospital and you took my dentures out of my mouth and put them onto that car, it had all these bottles on it and there was this sliding drawer underneath and there you put my teeth.”
“I was especially amazed because I remembered this happening while the man was in deep coma and in the process of CPR. When I asked further, it appeared the man had seen himself lying in bed, that he had perceived from above how nurses and doctors had been busy with CPR. He was also able to describe correctly and in detail the small room in which he had been resuscitated as well as the appearance of those present like myself. At the time that he observed the situation he had been very much afraid that we would stop CPR and that he would die. And it is true that we had been very negative about the patient’s prognosis due to his very poor medical condition when admitted. The patient tells me that he desperately and unsuccessfully tried to make it clear to us that he was still alive and that we should continue CPR. He is deeply impressed by his experience and says he is no longer afraid of death. Four weeks later he left hospital as a healthy man.” (Dr. Pim Van Lommel)
4. Miscellaneous NDE testimonies on out-of-body perception
Jane Seymour: The famous movie actress who starred in the television series “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” describes the following out-of-body experience during her NDE:
“I literally left my body. I had this feeling that I could see myself on the bed, with people grouped around me. I remember them all trying to resuscitate me. I was above them, in the corner of the room looking down. I saw people putting needles in me, trying to hold me down, doing things.” (Jane Seymour)
Vicki Umipeg: In Dr. Kenneth Ring‘s book, Mindsight, he documents his research concerning NDEs in people born blind. One of his subjects, Vicki Umipeg, told Dr. Ring that she found herself floating above her body in the emergency room of a hospital following an automobile accident and saw for the first time in her life. She was aware of being up near the ceiling watching a male doctor and a female nurse working on her body, which she viewed from her elevated position. Vicki has a clear recollection of how she came to the realization that this was her own body below her:
“I knew it was me … I was pretty thin then. I was quite tall and thin at that point. And I recognized at first that it was a body, but I didn’t even know that it was mine initially. Then I perceived that I was up on the ceiling, and I thought, ‘Well, that’s kind of weird. What am I doing up here?’ I thought, ‘Well, this must be me. Am I dead? …’ I just briefly saw this body, and … I knew that it was mine because I wasn’t in mine.” In addition, she was able to note certain further identifying features indicating that the body she was observing was certainly her own: “I think I was wearing the plain gold band on my right ring finger and my father’s wedding ring next to it. But my wedding ring I definitely saw … That was the one I noticed the most because it’s most unusual. It has orange blossoms on the corners of it.” (Vicki Umipeg)
Brad Steiger: The author of the NDE book One with the Light experienced the following event during his NDE:
On an August day in 1947, 11-year-old Brad Steiger nearly died of multiple skull fractures after being caught in the metallic blades of a piece of machinery on his family’s Iowa farm. He felt his “essential self” drift away from his body. He watched his sister run for help and realized he was simultaneously in his father’s arms being carried from the field, and above himself, observing. (Brad Steiger)
“I began to look around, to roll over in midair. Below me was my own body, thrown across the bed. My shoes were smoking and the telephone was melted in my hand. I could see Sandy run into the room. She stood over the bed and looked at me with a dazed expression, the kind you might find on the parent of a child found floating face down in a swimming pool.” (Dannion Brinkley)
Kimberly Clark Sharp: In a paper published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies concerning veridical NDE evidence, Dr. Kenneth Ring included perhaps the most famous case of veridical observation in NDE research at that time. Kimberly Clark Sharp first documented the NDE of a woman named Maria in her book, After The Light.
“Maria was a migrant worker who, while visiting friends in Seattle, had a severe heart attack. She was rushed to Harborview Hospital and placed in the coronary care unit. A few days later, she had a cardiac arrest and an unusual out-of-body experience. At one point in this experience, she found herself outside the hospital and spotted a single tennis shoe on the ledge of the north side of the third floor of the building. Maria not only was able to indicate the whereabouts of this oddly situated object, but was able to provide precise details concerning its appearance, such as that its little toe area was worn and one of its laces was stuck underneath its heel. Upon hearing Maria’s story, Clark, with some considerable degree of skepticism and metaphysical misgiving, went to the location described to see whether any such shoe could be found. Indeed it was, just where and precisely as Maria had described it, except that from the window through which Clark was able to see it, the details of its appearance that Maria had specified could not be discerned. Clark concluded, “The only way she could have had such a perspective was if she had been floating right outside and at very close range to the tennis shoe. I retrieved the shoe and brought it back to Maria; it was very concrete evidence for me.” (Clark, 1984, p. 243).
Dr. Kenneth Ring: A study on veridical perception in NDEs was conducted by Dr. Kenneth Ring and Madeline Lawrence. It included the 1985 account of Kathy Milne who was working as a nurse at Hartford Hospital. Milne had already been interested in NDEs, and one day found herself talking to a woman who had been resuscitated and who had an NDE. Following a telephone interview with Kenneth Ring on August 24, 1992, she described the following account in a letter:
“She told me how she floated up over her body, viewed the resuscitation effort for a short time and then felt herself being pulled up through several floors of the hospital. She then found herself above the roof and realized she was looking at the skyline of Hartford. She marveled at how interesting this view was and out of the corner of her eye she saw a red object. It turned out to be a shoe … [S]he thought about the shoe… and suddenly, she felt “sucked up” a blackened hole. The rest of her NDE account was fairly typical, as I remember. “I was relating this to a [skeptical] resident who in a mocking manner left. Apparently, he got a janitor to get him onto the roof. When I saw him later than day, he had a red shoe and he became a believer, too.”” (K. Milne, personal communication, October 19,1992)
After Dr. Ring’s initial interview with Milne, he made a point of inquiring whether she had ever heard of the case of Maria’s shoe [as described in the introduction above]. Not only was she unfamiliar with it, but she was utterly amazed to hear of another story so similar to the one she had just recounted to Dr. Ring. It remains an unanswered question as to how these isolated shoes arrived at their unlikely perches for later viewing by astonished NDErs and their baffled investigators.
Dr. Joyce Harmon: In the summer of 1982, Dr. Joyce Harmon, a surgical intensive care unit (ICU) nurse at Hartford Hospital, returned to work after a vacation. On that vacation she had purchased a new pair of plaid shoelaces, which she happened to be wearing on her first day back at the hospital. That day, she was involved in resuscitating a patient, a woman she didn’t know, by giving her medicine. The resuscitation was successful and the next day Harmon chanced to see the patient, whereupon they had a conversation, the gist of which (not necessarily a verbatim account) is as follows:
“The patient, upon seeing Harmon, volunteered, ‘Oh, you’re the one with the plaid shoelaces!’
“‘What?’ Harmon replied, astonished. She says she distinctly remembers feeling the hair on her neck rise.’
“‘I saw them,’ the woman continued. ‘I was watching what was happening yesterday when I died. I was up above.'” (J. Harmon, personal communication, August 28, 1992)
P.M.H. Atwater: The following is one of P.M.H. Atwater‘s case studies from her book Beyond the Light which is not only veridical, it is highly suggestive of the survival of consciousness after death. Atwater has stated that this testimonial has been verified by relatives of the experiencer involved. Here is the excerpt:
“I spoke of Margaret Fields Kean who nearly died in 1978 after being hospitalized for about three weeks with severe phlebitis. A blood clot had passed to her heart and lungs and she became deathly ill. Then she was given injections for nausea that, due to the blood thinners she had previously received, caused internal hemorrhaging. Pandemonium reigned as she slipped away. While absent from her body, she witnessed the scene below her, then heard and saw people in the waiting room down the hall – right through the walls – as well as nurses at their station. She also knew their thoughts. Margaret went on to have a transcendent near-death experience in which she instantly knew and understood many things; her future, and that she would become a healer. This completely contradicted her vision of herself at that moment in her life, for she was content being a super-mom farm wife who rode horses, taught Bible classes, led 4-H and Girl Scout groups, gardened, canned, and baked bread. A healer? Ridiculous! Yet, when Margaret revived, she immediately began to heal other patients in the room around her by ‘reaching out’ to them. Then, she ‘projected’ into the isolation room of a white boy charred black by severe burns. She ‘sat’ next to him on the bed, introduced herself, and proceeded to counsel him about his purpose in life. She told him it was okay if he chose to die as God was loving and he had nothing to fear. Months later, while continuing her recovery and still in great pain, Margaret was attending a horse show when a couple, hearing the loudspeaker announce her daughter’s name as a winner, sought her out. They were parents of the severely burned boy. Before he died, he had told them about meeting Margaret and relayed all the wonderful truths she had told him about God and about life. The parents were thrilled to have finally located her so they could say thanks for what she had done for their son. The dying boy had identified her by name – even though the two had never physically seen each other or verbally spoken in any manner, nor had any nurse known that the two had ever communicated, nor had it been possible that Margaret ever could have known if the isolation room was even occupied much less who might be there.” (P.M.H. Atwater)
Dr. Kenneth Ring: Dr. Kenneth Ring reported in a scholarly paper one of the most interesting case of verified out-of-body perception. In the late 1970s, Sue Saunders was working at Hartford Hospital as a respiratory therapist and had the following experience resuscitating a patient:
“One day she was helping to resuscitate a 60-ish man in the emergency room whose electrocardiogram had gone flat. Medics were shocking him repeatedly with no results. Saunders was trying to give him oxygen. In the middle of the resuscitation, someone else took over for her and she left. A couple of days later, she encountered this patient in the ICU. He spontaneously commented, ‘You looked so much better in your yellow top.’ She, like Harmon, was so shocked at this remark that she got goose-bumps, for she had been wearing a yellow smock the previous day. ‘Yeah,’ the man continued, I saw you. You had something over your face and you were pushing air into me. And I saw your yellow smock..”” (S. Saunders, personal communication, August 28, 1992)
Saunders confirmed that she had had something over her face – a mask – and that she had worn the yellow smock while trying to give him oxygen, while he was unconscious and without a heartbeat. Saunders confirmed that she had had something over her face – a mask – and that she had worn the yellow smock while trying to give him oxygen, while he was unconscious and without a heartbeat. According to Dr. Ring, this case attests to these three important observations:
a. Patients who claim to have out-of-body experiences while near-death sometimes describe unusual objects that they could not have known about by normal means.
b. These objects can later be shown to have existed in the form and location indicated by the patients’ testimony.
c. Hearing this testimony has a strong emotional and cognitive effect on the caregivers involved, either strengthening their pre-existing belief in the authenticity of NDE accounts or occasioning a kind of on-the-spot conversion.
Source: Ring, Kenneth, Ph.D. & Lawrence, Madeline, R.N., Ph.D. “Further evidence for veridical perception during near-death experiences” (PDF), Journal of Near-Death Studies, 1993 11 (4)223-229.
Robert Pastorelli: “I was in excruciating pain. Then, in the next second, there was no pain. Suddenly I realized I was out of my body. I was floating above myself, looking down at my unconscious body lying in the hospital emergency room with my eyes closed. I could see tubes down my nose and throat. I knew I was dying and I thought, ‘Well, this must be death.’ I even saw a priest giving me the last rites. But it was the most peaceful feeling in the world. Then I saw my father starting to faint out of grief. Two nurses grabbed him and sat him down in a chair across the room. When I looked down and saw my father’s pain it had an effect on me. I firmly believe that at that moment I made a decision to live, not die. The next thing I knew I was waking up back in my body. Later, in the recovery room, when I was fully conscious, I told my father what had happened, his fainting and all. He was astounded.” (Robert Pastorelli)
In P.M.H. Atwater‘s book, Children of the New Millennium, an interesting case of verified out-of-body perception is documented about a woman named Lynn whose observations during her near-death experience were later proven to be true, including the black and Asian doctors on the operating team.
“The next thing I knew I was floating around the ceiling looking down on my body. My chest was open wide and I could see my internal organs. I remember thinking how odd it was that my organs were a beautiful pearl gray, not at all like the bright red chucks in the horror flicks I loved to watch. I also noticed there was a black doctor and an Oriental one on the operating team. The reason this stuck in my mind is that I was brought up in a very white middle-class neighborhood, and I had seen black schoolteachers but never a black doctor. I’d met the operating team the day before, but they were all white. Suddenly, I had to move on, so I floated into the waiting room, where my parents were. My father had his head buried in my mother’s lap. He was kneeling at her feet, his arms wrapped around her waist, and he was sobbing. My mother was stroking his head, whispering to him. This scene shocked me, as my father was not prone to showing emotions. Once I realize they would be fine, I felt myself pulled into a horizontal tunnel.” (Lynn)
David Goines: “I remember the fear of impact (getting hit), however, I have no recollection of the impact or having my body become totally integrated with the bicycle, nor hurtling over sixty feet through the air and landing in the canal. My next memory was quite a scene in the hospital emergency room. It was the most unique experience of my earthly life. Unique, because I was observing my own body in the emergency room and all the activity going on, except that I was not in my body. I was above it all – looking down. I was feeling no pain. Everyone was very busy. I knew by their activity that I was in serious trouble. There was much discussion about how to extract me from the tangled wreckage of my bike and/or whether they would need to leave me in it until I was stabilized enough to try. I could see and hear everything. It was gruesome. It was frightening. They finally decided they had me stable enough to get rid of the bike and they called for a welding specialist to bring a torch to help cut me out of the bike. Thank God my body seemed to be unconscious. All of this would have been quite enough for my young mind to endure – until one nurse, whom I knew, said to another, ‘Well – it certainly makes you wonder if it is worth saving this mess.’ She nearly scared me to death! At that moment, it was more than I could stand above and watch. I wanted to run away from this scene. I needed to escape. Quickly, I turned, took one step through the wall so to speak and found myself in total darkness.” (David Goines)
David Oakford: “I called out to my friends and nobody came. I tried to unplug the stereo but that did not work either. Every time I tried to touch the cord to unplug it I could not grasp it. It just kept on playing “LA Woman” and the sound rattled my very being. I ran all over the house calling for my friends, yelling repeatedly that the music was too loud but I was not heard. I pleaded for the music to be turned down. I tried to go outside but I could not feel the doorknob. I could see the daylight outside but could not go outside. I ended up hiding in the bathroom in an unsuccessful attempt to escape the noise. I looked in the mirror and could not see myself. That frightened me greatly. I went back into the family room and saw my body sitting in the chair. It looked like I was sleeping. I wondered how I could be looking at myself. I got a bit scared then because I could see me from outside of me, from all different angles except from the inside angle I was used to seeing myself. I was alone. I was confused and very scared. I tried to get back into my body but could not. I could not touch the ground either. I was floating. I rose up into a spot above my body and kind of just hung there. I could no longer move. I called out for help and nobody came. I tried to go out the door but like the stereo I could not touch the doorknob.” (David Oakford)
Kimberly Clark Sharp: “I was going back. I knew it. I was already on the way. I was on a trajectory headed straight for my body. That’s when I saw my body for the first time, and when I realized I was no longer a part of it. Until this moment, I’d only seen myself straight on, as we usually do, in mirrors and photographs. Now I was jolted by the strange sight of me in profile from four feet away. I looked at my body, the body I knew so well, and was surprised by my detachment. I felt the same sort of gratitude toward my body that I had for my old winter coat when I put it away in the spring. It had served me well, but I no longer needed it. I had absolutely no attachment to it. Whatever constituted the self I knew as me was no longer there. My essence, my consciousness, my memories, my personality were outside, not in, that prison of flesh.” (Kimberly Clark Sharp)
Dr. Liz Dale’s research subject: “Immediately after the impact from falling forward onto the metal grating, I felt myself floating up, out of my body, and hovering above my body and all the people who were watching it, and who seemed paralyzed by shock and horror at what had happened. I think they pretty much assumed that I was dead. I remember looking down and seeing my body three-dimensionally for the first time. And it was such a shock, because we never see ourselves except in a one-dimensional mirror reflection, or a photograph. But I felt no pain at all; I felt completely whole and free, and I thought, ‘This is who I really am.’ I saw my physical body, all crumpled and bloody and lifeless; and this enormous wave of compassion washed over me and I wanted to tell all of the bystanders that everything was going to be OK and not to be sad or alarmed. Then suddenly I felt myself being pulled, literally at the speed of light, farther from the physical earth, and I saw all of the people on the planet simultaneously in that one moment. I saw people in China and Sweden and Uruguay; I saw people sleeping and dreaming; I saw people preparing food in their homes and in restaurants; people traveling in all manner of transportation, to and from work and school and appointments; I saw children playing together, and bankers and teachers and factory workers at their jobs. I saw mothers giving birth to children, which was especially beautiful and moving to me.” (Dr. Liz Dale)
Howard Storm: “For a time there was a sense of being unconscious or asleep. I’m not sure how long it lasted, but I felt really strange, and I opened my eyes. To my surprise I was standing up next to the bed, and I was looking at my body laying in the bed. My first reaction was, ‘This is crazy! I can’t be standing here looking down at myself. That’s not possible.’ This wasn’t what I expected, this wasn’t right. Why was I still alive? I wanted oblivion. Yet I was looking at a thing that was my body, and it just didn’t have that much meaning to me. Now knowing what was happening, I became upset. I started yelling and screaming at my wife, and she just sat there like a stone. She didn’t look at me, she didn’t move and I kept screaming profanities to get her to pay attention. Being confused, upset, and angry, I tried to get the attention of my room-mate, with the same result. He didn’t react. I wanted this to be a dream, and I kept saying to myself, ‘This has got to be a dream.’ But I knew that it wasn’t a dream. I became aware that strangely I felt more alert, more aware, more alive than I had ever felt in my entire life. All my senses were extremely acute. Everything felt tingly and alive. The floor was cool and my bare feet felt moist and clammy. This had to be real.” (Howard Storm)
P.M.H. Atwater: “The pain ebbed by as I rose steadily upward, again stopping at the light fixture, only this time in the living room. I looked down, recognizing the body on the floor as mine. There was no confusion this time. My situation was clearly defined. Good God, I’m dead! Time and space ended for me after gazing for what seemed endless minutes at my body. It made no movement. There was no breathing. No response. When I was satisfied that it was dead, there came a joyous euphoria, like a prisoner being released from a long jail sentence. I danced and danced around the light bulb, singing like a child. It was finally over. I was free.” (P.M.H. Atwater)
Grace Bubulka: “I was then looking down from above the left foot area of my bed. The distance from my bed was as though I was against the ceiling corner. I could see the backs of the staff to the left of my bed and the faces of my doctors and the Filipino nurse. I was exasperated with them and with my futile attempt to connect with them. I had no strong feelings about my body lying on the bed. It was almost unfamiliar to me.” (Grace Bubulka)
Laurelynn Martin: “I awakened and found myself floating above my body, off to the right side, looking down, watching the attempts of the medical team trying to revive the lifeless form below. I viewed the scene with detachment. The surgical team was frantic. The color red was everywhere, splattered on their gowns, splattered on the floor, and a bright pool of a flowing red substance, in the now wide open abdominal cavity. At that moment, I didn’t make the connection that the body being worked on was my own! It didn’t matter anyway. I was in a state of floating freedom, experiencing no pain and having a great time. I wanted to shout to the distressed people below, “Hey, I’m okay. It’s fantastic up here,” but they were so intent on their work, I didn’t want to interrupt their efforts. I had traveled to another realm of total and absolute peace. With no physical body my movement was unencumbered. Thought was the avenue for travel. I floated up through blackness where there was no fear, no pain, no misunderstandings, but instead a sense of well-being. I was enveloped by total bliss in an atmosphere of unconditional love and acceptance.” (Laurelynn Martin)
Josiane Antonette: “Am I outside myself observing? I see my body and its pain. I look at my feet; they are pale and lifeless. My legs cannot move. My face is white and drawn … Now I’m on the hospital room ceiling gazing down! Everything appears so small: I see my bed; my body looks small and colorless; the people around the bed are tiny. Overwhelming grief and sorrow fill the room, and yet I feel completely disconnected from the scene below me. I hover nearer and look at the strange form lying on the bed. I feel compassion beyond words. I understand everything, but I have no feeling of attachment to anyone. I look at each person standing at the bedside and feel tremendous love. I want to say to them, ‘I’m all right. You don’t have to worry. I’m all right. Look at me! I’m fine!'” (Josiane Antonette)
Rev. Kenneth Hagin: “My heart stopped beating. This numbness spread to my feet, my ankles, my knees, my hips, my stomach, my heart and I leaped out of my body. I did not lose consciousness; I leaped out of my body like a diver would leap off a diving board into a swimming pool. I knew I was outside my body. I could see my family in the room, but I couldn’t contact them. I began to descend down, down, into a pit, like you’d go down into a well, cavern or cave … Then, like a suction from above, I floated up, head first, through the darkness. Before I got to the top, I could see the light. I’ve been down in a well: it was like you were way down in a well and could see the light up above. I came up on the porch of my grandpa’s house. Then I went through the wall not through the door, and not through the window through the wall, and seemed to leap inside my body like a man would slip his foot inside his boot in the morning time. Before I leaped inside my body, I could see my grandmother sitting on the edge of the bed holding me in her arms. When I got inside my body, I could communicate with her. ‘I felt myself slipping,’ I said, ‘Granny, I’m going again. You’ve been a second mother to me when Momma was ill.’ My heart stopped for a second time. I leaped out of my body and began to descend: down, down, down … And then I was pulled up, head first. I could see the lights of the earth above me before I came up out of the pit. The only difference this time was that I came up at the foot of the bed. For a second time I stood there. I could see my body lying there on the bed. I could see Grandma as she sat there holding me in her arms.” [Here Hagin says goodbye to his family] “I left a word for each one of them, and my heart stopped the third time. I could feel the circulation as it cut off. Suddenly my toes went numb. Faster than you can snap your fingers, my toes, feet, ankles, knees, hips, stomach and heart went dead and I leaped out of my body and began to descend …”” [Hagin then enters his body again and recovers from his illness.] (Rev. Kenneth Hagin)
Ricky Randolph: “I felt myself leaving my body. I was floating a few feet in the air above the river. I looked on my body with mixed feelings. I was bleeding from my mouth, nose, ears, and saw a trickle of blood underneath me on the boulder. As I was reflecting on the state of my body, I felt a pulling and began to rise very fast. I was traveling at a high rate of speed upwards through the atmosphere.” (Ricky Randolph)
Rexella Van Impe: The wife of television evangelist Dr. Jack Van Impe, Rexella, was injured in a car accident in Brussels in 1982. She discovered herself outside of her body watching her husband crying as he held her in his arms. The experience was told in their video, “Heaven: An Out-of-Body Adventure?” [This videotape, produced in 1992, is available through JVI Ministries, POB 7004, Troy, MI, USA 48007.]
Chris Taylor: “On September 1993, I was at Papworth Hospital having my aortic valve replaced. I left my body and watched the surgeon operating on me. He was a bit of a maverick and had a red and white check head cover. He was listening to Meat Loaf’s ‘Bat out of hell’ and invisible drumming to it. He splashed some blood on one of the nurses. She got angry. I asked him about this and he confirmed it by stating that I could not have seen this due to the screen around my face. On November 2001, I rushed back to Papworth with a dissecting aorta which is usually fatal. My son had seen me have the attack and my profound pain. He was scared and had tears streaming down his face. He made me promise that I would not die. I promised him. I underwent 10 hours of emergency surgery at the end of which my heart failed to spontaneously restart. The surgeon manually manipulated my heart for 26 minutes. At some stage in the procedure I left my body with a whooshing sound. I then was floating toward a bright light. All around me was a gray cloud-type thick fog. It had texture. The closer I approached the light I became aware of a fundamental sense of purity. I could feel my pain falling away. I became aware of PURE LOVE, peace, tranquility. I could hear voices that were welcoming me without speaking specific words; but, I understood that this was natural and normal. I also knew that I was leaving the two people I love the most – my wife and son. I was then aware of my son to my left sitting on a chair and sobbing into his hands. My wife walked up to him to comfort him. He said he was scared and my wife assured him I was strong and would live. He calmly said, ‘I’m not scared of Dad dying. I know he will not die. He promised me and DAD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES. I then painfully zipped back into my body. Imagine being cold and wet, longing for a warm shower. Imagine taking off those cold wet clothes and getting into the shower. Now imagine getting back into the clothes. Got the message? When I came to, 28 hours later, my wife was told I was in a coma and brain dead. I was so angry for days. I was angry I had lived. That may sound weird but that is, in brief, my story. Two things: This experience has left me feeling over powered spiritually. Secondly, I am a Police Inspector and not prone to flights of fancy.” (Chris Taylor)
Nadia McCaffrey: “I was out of my body. I floated there for awhile, and looked down at lifeless body on the gurney. However, the real me had become a comfortable glowing shape. For a while, I watched on as the nurses and doctors worked quickly to revive me. Then, I lost interest and my attention turned towards a long dark tunnel.” (Nadia McCaffrey)
Beverly Brodsky: “I found myself floating on the ceiling over the bed looking down at my unconscious body. I barely had time to realize the glorious strangeness of the situation – that I was me but not in my body – when I was joined by a radiant being bathed in a shimmering white glow.” (Beverly Brodsky)
Jan Price: “I remember being surprised as I observed the full heart arrest taking place. I suppose we never really think of ourselves as dying, but obviously I had died because I wasn’t in my body anymore. (Jan Price)
Norman Paulsen: “There is my body lying at the foot of the telephone pole, covered with blankets. Without sensation, I enter it again. My eyes open to see concerned faces looking down upon me.” (Norman Paulsen)
Valvita Jones: “Feeling so peaceful and free, I started moving upward. I realized my body was below me, and I vaguely remember observing efforts by the medical team to revive it. My main interest was that I was above the room. I was not even in the room but in the first sky. I say first sky in the heavens, because it seemed as though there were three heavens that I passed through.” (Valvita Jones)
Laura: “After this infinite moment had passed, there began a battle for my life between the angels in heaven and the doctors on earth. Every time the doctors pounded on my chest, my spirit was sucked into my body for a split second, only to be pulled back again by the angels. They held me by my feet, struggling to keep me from coming back. Finally, the doctors pounded one last time. I heard an angel say, “They’re stronger than we are,” and I was sucked back into my body, sat up, screamed, and passed out.” (Laura)
Caroline Sharp: “It is now almost 34 years ago, but with amazing clarity, I can remember the emotions I went through as I hovered above my body. It was a total euphoric happiness. Feeling totally unconcerned and faintly amused, I watched the two nurses and doctor working to resuscitate my lifeless body. I could relate with extreme clarity the actions they took in this procedure.” (Caroline Sharp)
Mrs. Walters: “When I had my first child I had the experience of being out of my body and hovering above it attached to a thick cord. I could see myself on the bed and the doctor who was in a panic. I could also see the nurse and the instruments on a trolley in the corner of the room. The only way I could have seen the instrument was from the angle I was in. I would not have been able to see them from the bed. I remember thinking it was wonderful to be free of that cumbersome body and not really caring what happened to it.” (Mrs. Walters)
Randy Gehling: “I didn’t really know what had hit me. I just seemed to go flying through the air. And then a really funny thing happened. A part of me – I guess my soul – just kept flying, and I saw my body smash into the ground. I knew it had to hurt to land that hard, so I was happy that I was where I was – wherever that was. When I got a little higher, I saw that it had been Kurt’s car that had hit me. I always told him that he drove too fast in the neighborhood.” (Randy Gehling)
Jeanie Dicus: “I was floating above my body. I saw green shower caps. The people in the room all wore those stupid caps. There were five or six caps and they were panicky. Their fear was so thick I could feel it. I kept thinking, “Hey, I’m okay, don’t worry,” but they didn’t get my message. This was a little frustrating. I found myself in the right-hand corner of the room. I lifted my arm and stretched. I had been immobile for so long. It felt like I had taken off a body girdle, and it was so delicious to get out of that cramped body.” (Jeanie Dicus)
Peter Sellers: “Well, I felt myself leave my body. I just floated out of my physical form and I saw them cart my body away to the hospital. I went with it. (Peter Sellers)
Elaine Durham: “When I got to the hospital, it was not as if I was on the gurney look up, but I was moving, not necessarily walking, but I was at eye level along the right side of the gurney. And there was my body on it, but I did not have any relationship at all to that body.” (Elaine Durham)
An Accountant: “The next thing I remember was looking down on my body in the intensive care unit. I don’t know how I got in there, but they were working on me. There was this young doctor in a white coat and two nurses and a black fellow in a white uniform and he was doing most of the work on me. This black fellow was shoving down on my chest and someone else was breathing for me and they were yelling to get this and that!’ I learned later that this black fellow was a male nurse on the ward. I had never seen him before. I even remember the black bow tie he was wearing. Next thing I remember was going through this dark passage.” (An Accountant)
Helen: “I remember clearly floating up above myself, and looking down on my body. It was connected to numerous machines. I could see the drip and the oxygen mask. I could see the doctors working to restart my heart with electronic pads. I could see that my parents were there. It felt very peaceful, much better than where I had been before. I was bathed in warmth and light, and the calm was almost tangible. I felt it was up to me to decide where I wanted to be, up there or back in my body, but the peace was so overwhelming that I knew I wanted to stay.” (Helen)
Carter Mills: A massive load of compressed cardboard Carter Mills was loading, slipped out of control, slamming him against a steel pole. He remembers a sharp pain, collapsing, being in a black void, then finding himself floating in a prone position twelve feet above his crumpled body. He saw and heard people running around, yelling for an ambulance and saying, “Don’t touch him, give him air.” His body went from white to blue; there was no breath. The sight filled him with awe. “I’m here, my body is there. How did this happen?” Not understanding how he could suddenly be airborne, Carter attempted to reenter his body. Crawling downward in swim-like strokes, he had almost reached his goal when a gentle but firm hand tugged his right arm. When he looked up, there were two angels replete with robes, wings, bare feet, and streaming hair – no color but opaque white – and no particular gender. (Carter Mills)
John Star: “Suddenly the world was calm and clear. I could see the shoreline, still in the distance and noticed the sun shining overhead. It seemed brighter than usual. When I looked down I got the surprise of my life. There was my body, still swimming toward shore, moving as straight and smooth as a motor boat. I watched for a while, indifferent to the plight of my body. I was far more concerned with trying to figure out where I was.” (John Star)
Michael: “And then something exited my chest. Its hard to describe exactly what it was or what it felt like but it was a real presence, a definite feeling. Perhaps terms like “life force” or “energy” come closest to trying to describe what it was, but it seemed to contain my personality as well. Again, its extremely difficult to describe except that it was a real sensation of something immaterial leaving my physical body. This “force”, for lack of a better word, then positioned itself in the corner of the bathroom ceiling (the bathroom was in darkness) and I stared down on my own motionless body, skinny and frail and apparently lifeless. This force which seemed to contain something of me certainly an awareness that “I” was no longer in my body, then moved at an amazing speed through somewhere black, like space in its vastness.” (Michael)
Ida Acosta: “I was drifting in and out of my body, from darkness into light, simultaneously. There were sounds demanding that I leave my wonderful bliss to come back to life. Doctors calling my name. I looked upon it all with a strange indifference. And I could see myself. I could hear a machine beeping. People were slapping me, shaking me, tossing me around, sticking things into me, and I just didn’t care. I was in bliss and I really just wanted to die, because at that moment I realized there was no death. It was exactly like drifting into the best sleep ever.” (Ida Acosta)
Rose A.: “On this one day I found that part of me had separated from my physical body and had risen above my body to the ceiling. From above, I saw myself lying face down on the carpeting. Everything was so clear mentally and there was no pain; I sensed that the physical body was that which felt pain, that which would also hamper one’s clarity of thinking. This other part of me, a spiritual me or a soul me, was so much more at peace being outside of the physical me. I knew that if my mother had entered the bedroom at that point, she would not have gotten a response from my physical body, but I would want her to know that everything was all right with me.” (Rose A.)
Karen Floyd: “At this time, I had floated out of my body. I was floating just below the ceiling of the car looking down at myself on the seat of the car. I remember thinking how strange it was that I was up here when my body was still on the car seat! I could see my friend driving and looking back and talking to me. I also noticed that I didn’t feel bad anymore.” (Karen Floyd)
Sharon: “Sometime during the night I ‘woke up’ to find myself against the ceiling. I was literally floating and I could see myself from the chest up. I remember feeling no discomfort, such as heat or cold, just a nice peaceful feeling. While I was wondering why I was able to float against the ceiling, I looked down and saw myself sleeping on my back. This was strange enough, but the strangest part was how I thought of myself on the bed. I thought of myself in the third-person. I remember distinctly thinking, ‘She is running out of air’ and ‘There is no oxygen in this room.’ I did not think this in a state of panic, more like a peaceful concern for the body. The next thing I knew, I was hurling toward my body.” (Sharon)
Jerriann Massey: “Three times she fought her way through the murky water and surfaced to suck air, she said. “The third time back under, I was out of my body. It was like when you are wearing pants way too tight and you take them off. Now, you can relax and breathe. That’s what it felt like.” (Jerriann Massey)
Alise: “At the height of the pain I left my body. I saw my body on the bed and tried to communicate to those tending to it but finally gave up and left out the roof of the hospital. I felt like a traitor as they were working very hard on my body but I did not want it any more. I did not want to go back. So I left very quickly and what was foremost in my mind was that I knew exactly where to go. There was no tunnel or light or anything, I just knew where to go and went. Like going ‘home’. Getting ‘out’ of my body was like going through a magnetic field. Each magnet was attracted to the other and then to another and another until the first was attracted to the last and then I was free. I knew I had just gone through the elements of the earth that made up my physical body. This registered in my brain as pain but it wasn’t pain exactly but the process of going through the elements and overcoming gravity.” (Alise)
Martha A. St. Claire: As she began to drown, Martha remembers entering into a kind of dream-like state she feels was the beginning of her near-death experience. She states, “All of a sudden, I was out of my body watching myself being pulled along and thinking, ‘This is really incredible. This is really quite amazing.'” (Martha A. St. Claire)
Mr. Thermal: “Before we got into the cars we had there, the lightening bolt came through a board in the side of the barn and got me. I felt myself falling but it didn’t hurt. Then I noticed I was above myself looking down at me. My body was actually smoking. I watched one guy jump from the wagon he was on, to the ground. On his way over to me, it seemed like it took him 10 minutes to land. Everyone was moving so slow. I was speaking out loud. I could hear myself, but it seemed the others couldn’t. I saw them gathering around me trying to wake me up, but I was awake. I was above them. I tried to look at my hands but couldn’t see them. I knew they were there. I could feel them move. And I could feel my feet too, but again, my body was on the ground right beneath me.” (Mr. Thermal)
Elizabeth: “His smile was wide and bright, as he took hold of my left arm, and we began to drift downward. It was comforting and safe to be with him, as we passed by stars in the night sky, drifting through clouds. I eventually could see my town and the top of my house. We drifted through the roof, entering my bedroom. At the ceiling, I noticed my daughter, still sleeping soundly. But then I noticed something else; I noticed another body next to hers. When we reach the floor, I realized it was my own. I was completely confused. He gently lifted me, placing me back into my body. I immediately jumped out of bed reaching for him. But by now, his light was escaping through the window, until finally completely gone. I sat on the edge of my bed, still engulfed with such joy. I took hold of my head, saying over and over again in my mind, I will not forget, I will not forget.” (Elizabeth)
John Powell: “He then brought me again to this earth. When I saw my body lying on the bed I did not want to enter it again for I felt so happy out of it that I could not bear the thought of entering it again, but he said, ‘Enter,’ and I had to obey.” (John Powell)
Sherry Gideon: “The last thing that happened was when I watched my spirit descend back into my body. I could suddenly see myself lying on my bed. I could feel a light coming through the window that was so powerful beyond words. As I watched my spirit return to this body on the bed. I could hear the last words spoken to me: “You must help the world to understand that they must give of themselves freely without expecting and love is all there is!” (Sherry Gideon)
Bruce Budden: “I could see my body lying on the lawn and a few cars and people around the scene … The next thing I recall is almost like energizing over top of my physical body. I moved closer and was hovering a foot or so over my body. I then slowly turned over and then started sinking down into my body. The electrical energy of my spirit started flowing back into my physical body. As I was doing this, this almost sense of transformation, the feeling of being in the pure spirit form started changing to the feelings of the earthly realm. There was a great sense of heaviness, I felt the physical emotions starting to return, along with the emotions of the human animal. The next thing I recall is opening my eyes and seeing the lights of the cars around me and I looked around to find the light I was just in front of but I couldn’t find it. Then it hit me, damn, I’m back. At that point I passed out.” (Bruce Budden)
Vicki Moyer: “During my experience, I was standing in a beautiful garden and saw Jesus. He was sitting on a stone bench. We both were dressed in biblical gown and wore sandals. Jesus let me see through a dimension to where my body being operated on in surgery. I could see it. I remember how I felt. I felt like my body was only a shell and that it was not the true me. I felt like this was me, my soul. I remember him letting me hear my friends and love ones pray for me.” (Vicki Moyer)
Dr. Habermas and Moreland’s research: Dr. Gary Habermas and J.P. Moreland documented two cases of veridical perception in their book, Immortality, The Other Side of Death. The first case was a young girl named Katie who nearly drowned in a pool. After being resuscitated in the emergency room, a CAT scan showed she had massive brain swelling. She was attached to an artificial lung to keep her breathing and given a ten percent chance of survival. Three days later, she completely recovered and told a remarkable story. Though she had been profoundly comatose, with her eyes closed throughout her entire treatment, she gave exact details regarding the physical features of her doctors, the hospital rooms in which she had been treated, and the medical procedures her doctors employed to save her. Amazingly, she was also able to describe, in minute detail, what her family was doing at home, awaiting news of her status, while she lie in the hospital! Then, Katie said she met Jesus and the heavenly Father. Their second case involves a five-year-old boy named Rick who suffered from meningitis. As Rick was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, he decided to stay behind. He later reported seeing his father crying in the car while he drove the family to the hospital. Rick then rushed to the hospital arriving before the ambulance. He saw hospital orderlies move a young girl out of the room he would be occupying. Rick’s memories were corroborated by his family, and were particularly amazing due to the fact that he was comatose before he was taken in the ambulance and for several days afterward. (Habermas and Moreland)
Guenter Wagner: “Suddenly it dawned on me that I was out of my body. It must have happened the moment this oozing stopped. I saw a body lying on the floor, which could only belong to me. I was shivering and I quickly wanted to return to my body and its warmth when I heard someone say, ‘Stop! Before going back, see what it is like outside!’ However, I did not pay any attention to the voice. Although I could not see any physical body but my own, this voice was quite near. Then I heard it again, this time it was begging me very earnestly, ‘Please, do not go back, I beseech you. Why do you not want to discover your new faculties first? You may still go back if you do not like them.’ I hesitated. After all, this voice was right. Why shouldn’t I give it a try? On that the voice said quickly, ‘Test your mind! If you do you will discover that you can think in a way you have never experienced before.’ The voice was right again. I could think very lucidly indeed, and I was able to understand very quickly with a directness that did not leave a trace of doubt. Then I heard the voice again, ‘If you are willing to stay outside of your body, you will make a wonderful journey and you will see many interesting things. However, you must decide quickly! So hurry up!’ Eventually I began to consider the whole situation. It was really up to me whether I wanted to return to my body and live the life on earth with all its limitations and with all its joy or to stay outside in this condition of clear thinking. The voice again urged me to hurry up and to tell him whether I had made up my mind. I gave in. I decided to stay outside and I instantly realized that my body had to die, meaning total destruction by decay. I thought to myself, “How sad for my mother!’ As for me, I did not feel any regrets, because my body was now only a wrapper to me, a burden of which I freed myself the moment I had decided to stay outside. Presently I realized that I was able to move freely about in a way I had never experienced before. I was floating right through the walls of our house (I saw my mother in front of the kitchen stove cooking a meal) and up into the sky. In the distance, I saw a great shining ball, which was the sun. I felt irresistibly attracted to it by its brightness and I wanted to go right into it. No sooner had I thought this when I hit something that catapulted me far out into blackness. I tried once more, but it all happened again. I quickly learned that there had to be an invisible barrier that I could only approach but not overcome. Then the Being of Light was gone. One of the other beings brought me back to earth. I do not know how. I only heard, while being tucked back into my body, a snapping sound like the sound that can be heard when you put the lid on top of a mess tin securing it with the catch.” (Guenter Wagner)
5. The out-of-body phenomenon of consciousness expansion
Many NDE testimonies involve the experiencer describing how their consciousness expanded until it fills the entire universe – even beyond. This phenomenon has been described as literally becoming the universe by near-death experiencers. This concept of a universal and transcendental consciousness agrees with the metaphysical notion of how the universe exerts an influence upon us astrologically. I have found several NDEs on my website that provide evidence of veridical consciousness expansion. What is interesting is how this phenomenon supports a current theory of consciousness held by a prominent consciousness researcher which will be explained after presenting these excerpts from NDE testimony of how consciousness expands after death and allows for veridical observation outside of the body to take place.
a. Near-death experiencers on consciousness expansion
Mellen-Thomas Benedict: “Suddenly I seemed to be rocketing away from the planet on this stream of life. I saw the earth fly away. The solar system, in all its splendor, whizzed by and disappeared. At faster than light speed, I flew through the center of the galaxy, absorbing more knowledge as I went. I learned that this galaxy, and all of the Universe, is bursting with many different varieties of LIFE. I saw many worlds. The good news is that we are not alone in this Universe! As I rode this stream of consciousness through the center of the galaxy, the stream was expanding in awesome fractal waves of energy. The super clusters of galaxies with all their ancient wisdom flew by. At first I thought I was going somewhere; actually traveling. But then I realized that, as the stream was expanding, my own consciousness was also expanding to take in everything in the Universe!” (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)
Virginia Rivers: “The stars seemed to fly past me so rapidly that they formed a tunnel around me. I began to sense awareness, knowledge. The farther forward I was propelled the more knowledge I received. My mind felt like a sponge, growing and expanding in size with each addition. The knowledge came in single words and in whole idea blocks. I just seemed to be able to understand everything as it was being soaked up or absorbed. I could feel my mind expanding and absorbing and each new piece of information somehow seemed to belong. It was as if I had known already but forgotten or mislaid it, as if it were waiting here for me to pick it up on my way by.” (Virginia Rivers)
Thomas Sawyer: “And in your life review you’ll be the universe and experience yourself in what you call your lifetime and how it affects the universe.” (Thomas Sawyer)
Jayne Smith: “I was involved in this tremendous pouring forth of gratitude and joy and as that was going inside me, this white light began to infiltrate my consciousness. It came into me. It seemed I went out into it. I expanded into it as it came into my field of consciousness.” (Jayne Smith)
Josiane Antonette: “My presence fills the room. And now I feel my presence in every room in the hospital. Even the tiniest space in the hospital is filled with this presence that is me. I sense myself beyond the hospital, above the city, even encompassing earth. I am melting into the universe. I am everywhere at once.” (Josiane Antonette)
Rudolf Steiner: “Stage by stage we expand into the planetary spheres, like light that has been contained within a darkened glass, when finally uncovered and released goes out into the boundless universe. The moral disposition we carry over with us allows or prevents us from moving on in a conscious manner. Seeing how we expand toward the stars and planets after death, it’s no wonder we look at the night sky in awe with feelings of reverence and maybe even memories.” (Rudolf Steiner)
Margaret Tweddell: “I felt caught up in all of this to the very depths of my being. I felt myself expanding and expanding until I thought, “I’m going to burst!” The moment I thought, “I’m going to burst!”, I suddenly found myself alone, back where this being had met me, and he had gone.” (Margaret Tweddell)
b. NDE researchers on NDE consciousness expansion
Dr. Stanislav Grof’s research: “I had my training as a psychiatrist, a physician and then as a Freudian analyst. When I became interested in non-ordinary states and started serving powerful mystical experiences, also having some myself, my first idea was that it (consciousness) has to be hard-wired in the brain. I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how something like that is possible. Today, I came to the conclusion that [consciousness] is not coming from the brain. In that sense, it supports what Aldous Huxley believed after he had some powerful psychedelic experiences and was trying to link them to the brain. He came to the conclusion that maybe the brain acts as a kind of reducing valve that actually protects us from too much cosmic input.
“So, I don’t see, for example, that experiences of archetypal realms, heavens, paradises, experiences of archetypal beings, such as deities, demons from different cultures, that people typically have in these states that they can be somehow explained as something that comes from the brain. I don’t think you can locate the source of consciousness. I am quite sure it is not in the brain not inside of the skull. It actually, according to my experience, would lie beyond time and space, so it is not localizable. You actually come to the source of consciousness when you dissolve any categories that imply separation, individuality, time, space and so on. You just experience it as a presence. People who have these experiences can either perceive that source or they can actually become the source, completely dissolved and experience that source. But such categories as time and space, localization coordinates, are not relevant for that experience. You actually have a sense that the concepts of time and space come from that place. They are generated by that place; but, the cosmic source itself, the cosmic consciousness cannot be located certainly not in the material world.” (Dr. Stanislav Grof, from the NDE video, Life After Death, Episode 8, Wellspring Media)
Dr. Peter Fenwick’s NDE research: Dr. Peter Fenwick is a neuropsychiatrist and the leading authority in Britain on NDEs who has described how the NDEs are unique to any other state of consciousness. In the documentary, “Into the Unknown: Strange But True,” Dr. Fenwick explains:
“In the NDE, you are unconscious. One of the things we know about brain function in unconsciousness, is that you cannot create images and if you do, you cannot remember them … The brain isn’t functioning. It’s not there. It’s destroyed. It’s abnormal. But, yet, it can produce these very clear experiences [NDEs] … an unconscious state is when the brain ceases to function. For example, if you faint, you fall to the floor, you don’t know what’s happening and the brain isn’t working. The memory systems are particularly sensitive to unconsciousness. So, you won’t remember anything. But, yet, after one of these experiences [NDEs], you come out with clear, lucid memories … This is a real puzzle for science. I have not yet seen any good scientific explanation which can explain that fact.” (Dr. Peter Fenwick)
Dr. Timothy Leary’s Psychedelic research: “You must be ready to accept the possibility that there is a limitless range of awareness for which we now have no words; that awareness can expand beyond the range of your ego, your self, your familiar identity, beyond everything you have learned, beyond your notions of space and time, beyond the differences which usually separate people from each other and from the world around them.” (Dr. Timothy Leary)
Dr. Susan Blackmore: After hovering around New York, Susan Blackmore floated back to her room in Oxford where she became very small and entered her body’s toes. Then she grew very big, as big as a planet at first, and then she filled the solar system and finally she became as large as the universe. Susan Blackmore believes that consciousness and NDEs are only secretions of the brain – much like a hallucination. If she is correct, then NDEs are nothing more than a mass hallucinations. The problem with this idea is that unconscious brains do not hallucinate. And even if unconscious brains could hallucinate, they would not be able to retain unconscious memories. (Dr. Susan Blackmore)