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The Near Death "Experience"

by Daniel Neiman from S. Korea
e-mail:  danneiman@gmail.com

In this article I wish to explore the depth and beauty of the experience of the NDE. What I mean by this is to paint a portrayal of "what it's like" to have an NDE. Obviously, the limitations of language and the human mind makes such an effort difficult, but we can at least explain the experience conceptually, regardless of whether or not we can actually comprehend it fully. What I mean to say is that I know explaining the experience will never fully do justice to actually having such an experience. In any event, this is my attempt to do just that. I hope you enjoy its beauty and richness as much as I do.

Just Before Death Often at the time of imminent death, we are given instructions as to what we should do. Take the following case for instance:

"I poised myself sitting upright against the wall near the glass pane I had just broken, I rested my right arm in my lap and each time I took a breath my arm would gurgle. I figured if the ambulance was called at the time I broke the glass they were over 15 minutes away from me, when I knew I had about 8 minutes left. I thought to clamp the wound but a voice in my head said "lie still, your fine!" (Padraic R)

Here is another case of a woman who tried to commit suicide by downing alcohol mixed with sleeping pills. However, she then regrets the decision and tries to fight to stay alive. But again, a voice instructs her on what to do:

"I kept saying, no, this isn't happening. I won't die, [I] can't be dying if I am talking, my eyes are open, here I am. People like me, don't die, I can't let her [grandmother] see me lying in bed, cold, and sick. With my eyes open, please don't let me die, not like this. But, I literally heard a voice, that said, lie back, as I began to walk myself to bed, I remember, gazing profoundly in space. Literally, you know how people give blank stares, when they are thinking really, really hard about something? The difference with me, was my mind was blank, and each part of me was shutting down physically and I felt this. I just could not die this way. But the voice, told me to lie back. Lie down, and wait." (Nicole's)

Sometimes fighting death is counter productive, if it's too late to save yourself, or it's your time to go. So, in both of these cases the voice instructs the person to lie down, to stop fighting death because it is inevitable. In these 2 cases of course, death was not final and they were given a chance to return. This may or may not be the case depending on the situation and whether or not it is your time to go. It's at least comforting to know that we are not alone at the point of death. We always have someone on the other side watching out for us.

Out-of-Body Experience The NDE itself varies in its composition. However, a common first element is the out-of-body experience:

"Suddenly I found my mind floating outside of my body. It stopped just above and behind the nurse on my right. I could see the back of the nurse and beyond her the delivery table and other hospital personnel gathered around the table. I remember seeing the back of the cap the nurse wore that covered her hair -- like a shower cap -- and the ties on the back of her gown. It was interesting that the nurse blocked my view of the face of the body on the delivery table. I was not the least bit afraid; in fact, I was absolutely intrigued by the experience as it unfolded." (Clio P)

In this example we see that the transition period of consciousness from inside the body to outside the body may not be perceived, as she reports suddenly finding herself outside of her body. Once outside the body though, we see that ones mind, or consciousness, is still able to perceive the physical world. Also, one is normally not afraid during the experience. One would think that if they suddenly found themselves outside of their bodies, it would be a shocking and fearful experience. But, in most NDE cases, it just seems natural. In fact, she reports that it's quite an interesting experience. The next example will give us an idea of just what we are. What is our essence that leaves the body?

"After that breath I went black, everything was dark. I don't know how much time had lapsed when I was out of my body. I didn't feel or remember leaving my body but it was like I was just there, I was standing over my body with my spirit/soul feet and ankles in my dead bodies head, I was looking down at myself but didn't remember being hurt, I had no idea I was dead or injured. I was now a translucent shadow with hands, feet, a whole body but it was made of energy, power, and strength. I looked at my right arm and made a fist. I looked at my left arm and made a fist. I felt so strong and powerful. I was energy." (Paul G)

Here we get a feel for just what our essence is that leaves the body. We can see from this account that we still have a body, but no longer a physical one. Instead, we have a body of light/energy. We exist as spiritual energy, or conscious energy if you like. We may still assume a human form with arms, head, and legs. However, our energy is no longer a part of the physical body. Sometimes, our spiritual body doesn't take the human form exactly, but only a general outline of it, and sometimes not at all. For example, another NDEer, William, says that, "I had a body, but it didn't have definition, a hand but no fingers, legs and feet, but no toes." (William R) It doesn't really matter, because it's all energy. Take whatever form you like! When your consciousness is outside of the body, you can still hear, see, feel, and experience things. The difference is that outside the body you can no longer interact with the physical world. For instance, if you tried to turn a doorknob, your hand would simply go right through the door. If you were screaming at someone, they could not here you. That is why we have a physical body during life, in order to interact with physical reality. Here is an example from a soldier who was driving in Vietnam when his vehicle was hit by a mortar shell:

"I floated above my body and didn't feel any pain. I couldn't believe that I could still think, see, hear and even smell. I tried to feel the pulse of my own body below me but much to my shock my fingers went through my own neck. I knew I was seriously hurt. A Corpsman, I only knew as Skip, showed up and I felt the sense of relief. He began calling my name and asking me if I could hear him. I suddenly was looking eye to eye with him and answering his questions although he could not hear me. I noticed that he was bending very low over my body, yet we were eye to eye. It was then that I noticed, much to my amazement, that most of whatever body that I was now in, was in the ground. Only my chest, shoulders, neck and head were above ground." (Soldier)

This soldier, in his out-of-body state, is now able to pass freely through physical structures, including the earth and his own physical body, and he is no longer able to communicate with others that are still alive because they are not attuned to that level of vibration, or energy. Although you may not be able to interact with physical reality any longer, outside of your body your perceptions are greatly heightened. You can hear, see, and feel at a much deeper level than before, and the clarity and speed of perception is greatly enhanced because you no longer have to work through the dense physical medium of the human body to experience. Also, awareness and mental capacities are expanded. No longer is sight limited to what is in front of you. In the out-of-body state, you can view things all around you at the same time as if you had eyes everywhere on your body. Similarly, you may hear things that would normally be too far away to hear. The ability to think and experience many things at once is also common. Moreover, perception is not limited to the immediate environment. In fact, it seems that whatever you focus your thought on, no matter where it is, will be brought to your awareness. So, although you can't interact with the physical world, you can still experience it at a much more profound level, and the hindrances of the body are gone. To illustrate the nature of perception we will again look at Padraic's NDE, picking up just after he has left the body:

"I said earlier that I knew that I was but I didn't know just what I was, I could see and hear and feel and experience, experiences came to me with lightening speed and clarity. As my consciousness expanded I moved physically, at one moment I was above the earth and began to forget my family, my own name, that I had a finger on my hand. I passed through 4 dimensions about as thick as a piece of paper. As I moved away from the earth I could feel "life tones" of space and of other planets, I then came in contact with a "life force" not as advanced as our own, they expressed the emotion "love" to me both individually and collectively." (Padraic R)

Padraic describes being able to see, hear, and feel with great clarity and speed of perception. Furthermore, he is able to experience things at a whole new level. As he says, he could feel the "life tones" of the planets and other beings. In essence, we can experience things at a much deeper, more energetic level, in the out-of-body state. The subtle energies of life, such as the energy of plants, planets, and animals are much more salient in the out-of-body state.

Not only is the speed and clarity of perception heightened, but thought and awareness are also heightened. Here are a few quotes on this matter:

"I felt super-aware and could see farther and think faster." (Jewel H) "I was suddenly able to "think" hundreds or thousands of times faster--and with greater clarity--than is humanly normal; or possible." (Daniel A)

"I could think in 5 different directions at once, the expansion of my experience was greater than I've ever experienced in life." (Padraic R)

We see from these brief quotes that one can now think at lightning fast speed, and also think many streams of thought at once. You could be thinking about your situation, what you're going to do tomorrow, how your mother will feel if you died, the funny parts of a movie you like, and a problem with a coworker all at once, with great speed and clarity. This goes to show that the normal limitations on perception, thought, and experience posed by the human body disappear in the out-of-body state. To explore more about out-of-body experience, here is another, more detailed out-of-body experience of Duane, who died while on a rafting trip with his daughters:

"Then as if I was a toddler and my father had grabbed me by my Osh-Kosh overalls and lifted me over his head I was standing several feet above the water. I could feel the sun shining down warming my face but no longer was it to bright to look at. The gentle breeze was comforting. My thoughts turned to the sound it made rustling through the vibrant green leaves of a large tree to my left. My focus on the tree left me actually feeling the breeze blowing through the leaves as if the leaves were my fingers and the tree was a part of me. All of my senses were heightened color brighter sight crisper and better defined the smells and slight mist of water on my skin were wonderful. A bird began to sing behind me and as the melody gained my attention it was as if the trees and brush hiding it parted and I had full view of this tiny creature. Not only could it be seen and heard but I could feel that the bird was happy even joyous just to exist and this feeling became a part of me. Although much of what was going on around me was to my left, right or behind me I did not have to turn to witness it for I could see a full three-hundred and sixty degrees around me comprehending many things going on in the immediate vicinity at once." (Duane's)

This is a truly incredible experience. Duane even remarks that the "slight mist of water on my skin were wonderful." He's speaking as if he still has a physical body. Of course, as we saw earlier, he now has a body of light/energy. However, this body of light can still project a human form and experience. Notice that his experience is thought directed. All Duane has to do is to focus on the wind blowing through the leaves and he is then able to consciously connect to that energy, and experience the wind from the leaves perspective. Similarly, when he focuses his attention on the singing bird, he is able to pick up the energy of the bird and connect with it so that he actually feels the bird's happiness within himself. We get our first instance of telepathic communication in this account. Telepathic communication is done through what I like to call "direct energy transference." This is the natural way we communicate in our spiritual form. The energy of the bird's happiness is directly transferred to, or picked up by, Duane as he focuses his attention on it. In the same vein, the energy of the wind blowing through the leaves is directly transferred to, or picked up by, him so that he feels what it is like to be the leaves. In the out-of-body state, we can connect consciously with anything or anyone and experience from the others perspective. However, thought directed experience is only one aspect of his experience. He says that all of his senses, including sight, feeling, hearing, and smell, were heightened and crystal clear. Furthermore, he can see a full 360 degrees at once and comprehend many things going on at once. Again, this account goes to show that awareness and perception are heightened to a great degree. Here is another account which gives us an idea of perception and experience in the out-of-body state:

". . .I strike the side of my head on the metal rim of a desk in the row next to me as I fall off my seat. The next thing I know, I am pulled out of my body from the back, like someone has yanked my soul out painlessly but very abruptly - or my consciousness - who I am, in other words - by the back of my neck. Without seeing where I am going or headed, I find myself outside the school building, across the street from it, looking at it from what appears to be a position some dozen feet up in the air and somewhat to the left of the front of the school. I can see the 2nd-story window of the classroom where I was. But I do not ask myself what has happened or why I am suddenly where I find myself. I am passive but comfortable and very aware of the colors and details of this ordinary landscape before me - unlike a dream, this landscape reflects the type of day it was before I fainted, sunny, blue skies, afternoon, locale. (one of the reasons I will never be convinced this was a dream.) The colors are extra vivid, the sensation of being aware fully of this day and landscape all encompassing. I take in the scene all at once, not just what is before me but around me and behind me." (PJ's)

After exiting that annoying little body, she is now up in the air outside of her school. Colors are now more vivid and perception is altogether different. Instead of just seeing what's in front of her, like Duane, she now has 360 degree spherical vision and is able to take in everything at once. It's like being able to see with every part of your body and doing so all at once. More than just sight, this experience encompasses all of the senses. It’s like the environment around her is a bundle of energy and information that, like a sponge, she can just absorb all at once. Every aspect of her environment can be experienced clearly and vividly, simultaneously. As an example, think of standing in a field and experiencing all there is to experience, including the feel of the wind blowing against your skin, the warmth of the sun, the sound of trees rustling in the wind, birds singing, the smell of the flowers, the sight of everything, etc..., but being able to focus on all of these aspects at the same time and with great clarity. So, just as you are able to think many different streams of thought at once, you can also focus on and be aware of many sensations/sights all at once. Continuing on . . .

"Then I am aware of the class change bell ringing and I observe students walking from one of the outlet school buildings towards the main building. The thing that I find curious about this later is that as I focus on these students, I do not see them with the same sense of recognition that I did in regular awareness - instead a part of me - my vision, I think - telescopes right up to them while the rest of me remains back at the same vantage point in the air. I am aware of what each particular student that I focus on is thinking and feeling - in fact I sense what it is to be that person - but I do not regard this information as I would in regular consciousness. I mean, at that age had someone come up to me and said you will have this ability to know what someone else is thinking or feeling, I would have been downright gleeful, even mischievous about it. But at this point, for whatever reason, I am passive and at peace with what is going on and there is certainly no desire to take advantage of or manipulate any situation." (PJ's)

Here we have another example of the thought directed nature of out-of-body experience. Whatever we focus our thought on seems to come to us, or we got to it--whatever the case may be. In our previous example, when Duane focused his attention on the joyous singing bird, the bird came into full view even though there were trees in the way that would normally have blocked his view. It was as if he, or part of him, was suddenly there with the bird. When she focuses on the students, her awareness is at once in the air outside the school and with the students on the ground. This is an example of bi-location, or being in more than one place at once, which also is found in some NDE reports. Furthermore, by focusing on the students she is able to consciously connect with their energy to the extent that she says, "I sense what it is to be that person." Similarly with Duane, he could feel the birds’ joy as it sang and sensed what it was like to be the bird. So, just by thinking about something it can be brought into your awareness and by focusing on something you can connect with its energy and literally experience what it is like to be that person/thing. Remember, all thought and emotion is a form of energy. All psychic awareness such as telepathy and clairvoyance is an ability to connect with energy. Consciousness in its natural state, free of a physical body, is able to do this naturally. This is yet another example of direct energy transference, where the energy of your focus is directly transmitted to you in its pure form, unfiltered by the sensory organs of the human body. In the last example we got our first instance of bi-location, or the ability to be in more than one place at once. As she said, "I do not see them with the same sense of recognition that I did in regular awareness - instead a part of me - my vision, I think - telescopes right up to them while the rest of me remains back at the same vantage point in the air" (PJ's). She was at once with the students on the ground and in the air above the school. Here is another example of bi-location taken even further:

"Death was so quick. One moment, heavy and in pain, cold and frightened. And in the next moment, I felt as if someone had taken a key and unlocked a heavy armor to drop it off me. I was free, alive, warm and so full of love. I multi-located all at once. I was with my husband, with my mother who was driving to get Larry, with Larry, with my dad at NBC-TV where he worked, with each of my two sisters at work and one at school and my brother at school. I was also with my doctor as he drove to the hospital and told him the entrance he came in. I was able to tell each [of] their thoughts, what exactly each was doing during the time frame I was dead. I was with each and any other person interacting with them, also with these people as they moved about to do what had to be done. I even went with a pediatrics nurse to the basement of the hospital to get whole plasma. That is how much I was able to multi-locate. BUT, I was also looking down on the San Fernando Valley as if in an airplane enjoying the view. And at the same time, I was looking down at the earth, and we had NOT gone to space yet." (Diane's)

Now, she may not actually be in all those places at once, just aware of every place at once. On the other hand, when you focus your awareness on something, part of you may actually appear there. Whatever the case, she is able to experience all aspects of these places including what the people there are thinking. So, for all practical purposes, it's as if she was actually there. The mechanics of how that would be possible, I'll leave up to the quantum physicists out there to explain. This case again shows the expansion of awareness to not only include your immediate environment, but literally anything you put your mind to! Finally, here is one more account of an NDE that can give us a sense of how things are experienced in this state, this time not on earth, but in a spiritual dimension:

"When I died on the operating table for the first time, I didn't realize I was dead. There was no out of body experience, no tunnels, no light at the end of the tunnel, no spirits, nothing. I was out of my body and just popped into the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Light is not visual there. The senses are all-encompassing impressions flooded into my being all at once. The experience is so intense, that it is hard to explain because it doesn't follow a logical sequence and it is totally wrapped up in emotion. Words are far too limited to explain, but I am doing my best to try to say what happened. The senses are extremely heightened and don't really work like they do here. Words are completely inadequate, because all the senses are wrapped up in each other. We have the largest vocabulary on earth based on describing events in terms of what we see. Although I felt the experience, I can best describe it in terms of vision. The grass was so green it hurt to look at it, and it felt so good! I could even taste the grass by feeling it, it tasted like watermelon. Walking on the grass was wonderful, it was an incredible feeling. The best way I can describe it was, OH MY GOD! WOW!!! The sense of smell was not with the nose. It was more like it permeated through my cheekbones under my eye, like smelling through the sinuses." (Bill W's)

Note first that he is not on the physical Earth while experiencing this scene. As he said, he just popped into another dimension, one in which there is a landscape of sorts. This is often the case that people experience Earth-like landscapes in a spiritual dimension. However, the purity and the energy of the life forms here are much greater than their physical counterparts. What I want to focus on though, is how things are experienced. He says, the senses are all wrapped up in each other. So, when you encounter something, you don't see it or smell it, or hear it; you experience it! Everything is energy. What Bill is experiencing is the "essence" of the grass, complete with all the sensory information of sight, smell, taste, sound, etc... It is like a complete package of energy, where you at once experience all aspects of it. The energy just radiates out to you and comes into your being. This spiritual dimension, where there are Earth-like landscapes that appear in energetic form, comes up time and time again in NDE's. The next case is of a 12 year old who died for a short time due to spinal meningitis. After departing from her body, this is what she experienced :

"In an instant, I was in another place. Total darkness. I was on a path and without anyone telling me, I knew the way to where I was going. I was all alone yet eager to get to the place at the end of the road. I began walking briskly. As I got about 3 inches away from my final destination, I was standing before a window that was as big as a theater screen, except it led to another world that looked like earth must have looked in the Garden of Eden. I stood at the point where the path ended and the "window" began. I peeked around to see if I could see other children but I couldn't find any. I stared at the rolling hills that had perfectly cut green grass--greener than any grass I've ever seen here on earth. I wanted to roll up and down the hills but that meant I had to step inside the "window". I was afraid that there were other children hiding inside the "window" and would jump out to surprise me and scare me. In order to get to the hills, I also would have to cross a shallow stream of crystal clear water. That didn't bother me though. Somehow I knew that this was truly a place of paradise." (Rosemary's )

Rosemary, like Bill, just pops into this other dimension where she encounters a window. The "window" represents an entrance into another, more heavenly, dimension where there are rolling hills with perfect grass and crystal clear water. This sounds a lot like Bill's experience just above, where one enters a spiritual dimension where everything exists in perfect form. However, this time she doesn't actually enter this heavenly domain. The window is like a doorway into this other world. Its just a shame Plato isnt around to read these accounts, as they seem to give justification for his beloved Forms. So far we've learned that once outside of the body, all limitations imposed by being in a human body vanish. We exist as conscious energy. Our sensory abilities are still there, but are sometimes tied up with each other. So, you may be able to experience many different aspects of an object at once, such as taste, smell, sight, and feeling. Furthermore, out of the body you are able to experience things with great clarity and speed. Your awareness is heightened so that you can experience many things at once. Also, your ability to think is heightened by the ability to think many streams of thought at once, with lightening speed. Finally, you can direct your experience via thought. If you focus on something, you will automatically find yourself there, experiencing the object of your thought, even so far as to become as one with that object, and experience from its point of view (conscious entanglement). Communication with other beings in the out-of-body state is done via telepathy, which is more than just language. Telepathy involves direct energy transference. Here is an example from Duane, who died while on a rafting trip with his daughters. Duane, you will remember, was the one who connected with the birds singing. Well, now he hears a voice:

"As I stood in awe of what was going on a voice came, clear as the voice of one very near you, asking me "what do you want to do?" Turning my attention to the sight before me I began to take a survey as it were checking to see what could be done. My youngest daughter was just climbing out of the water some seventy-five yards downstream near the raft. The oldest had already walked some thirty or forty yards along the rocky bank upstream of the raft. I on the other hand was here and my lifeless body there, which was no problem for me as my old life was as much of a dream to me at the moment as the afterlife is to most of us now. No feelings of pain or sorrow only such peace and love as few have ever known. After gathering this information it was like I simply bundled it up in a neat little package, added a bit of no comprehend, and handed it to the entity that had asked the question . The response was immediate "What do you want to do?" and the answer much the same as the survey was taken again. As I looked at my eldest daughter, whom I found out later was trying to guide the older boys to what then was my lifeless body, it was as if someone took me and threw me inside of her. I saw from her eyes, heard with her ears, and understood all that she knew and felt at that moment, but was only a bystander in her world. This twelve-year-old faced with this terrible situation was about as calm and logical as anyone could possibly be. My sister is ok now, she had also fallen from the raft and been caught in the same undertow but had a life jacket on so was safe, the other girls are ok too. Now I have to save my dad. These were her immediate thoughts. Then as fast as I had been introduced into my daughters' world I was returned to my own and stood above the water in the same spot as before. The voice came again, "What do you want to do?" It asked. Finally I understood I needed to choose between the icon before me of raising my daughters and the life I had so recently left. Or this new existence and a life I knew was with my heavenly father for I could feel his love emanating from a point up and to my left just behind me. A love that reminded me of the peace and contentment one feels as a small child being rocked gently in the arms of their mother after a perfect day. So strong was this feeling of love, peace and well being that I was torn as to what should be done. There was no coercion for me to choose this or that nor was I led to believe that one choice would be better than the other. The matter was entirely up to me. Knowing that my daughters really did need me, and how much I truly loved them, I almost reluctantly made the choice to return and do all in my power to raise them the best I could. To communicate this decision I simply took all the information and feelings gathered and handed it as a whole to my friend whom was never seen. Saying that "I wanted this," that is the icon before me and all that it represented." (Duane's)

Each time Duane communicates to this unseen being, he does it by bundling up all of his thoughts at the time, including feelings, and handing it to the entity as a whole. This level of communication is much deeper than the communication via words that we are used to because you can communicate exactly what you are thinking and experiencing, like a bundle of energy. There is no room for miscommunication in such a situation because the other being experiences exactly what you are thinking and feeling, via a direct energy transference. There is no medium to go through. In life we have to take our thoughts and feelings and communicate them via body language and spoken word. But in the afterlife, we simply take those thoughts and feelings and transmit them to the receiver so that they experience the thought and feeling exactly. We also see here that he is given help with his decision. Specifically, he is "thrown into" his daughters body. He then experiences everything she is experiencing. However, it's not a complete union because he states, "I saw from her eyes, heard with her ears, and understood all that she knew and felt at that moment, but was only a bystander in her world." So, he is still a distinct consciousness and is aware of that, but he is totally synchronized and in tune with his daughter's consciousness so that he is able to experience everything that she is. This is very similar to the person before who focused their attention on the students and could experience their thoughts and feelings. After this encounter, he realizes that his daughters need him on this Earth and chooses to stay. This is often the case where the decision to return is influenced by a higher being who communicates our purpose to us . The next example is of the flow of energy between spirits in another dimension. Here is the account of what happened after Barry died:

"I was immediately taken up into a black void, where I began to see what I somehow instinctively knew were beings that had once been human. They were all composed of a condensed group of rainbow colored lights, but nothing that in any way appeared human. I could feel their thoughts like a cool breeze passing right through me. My own identity appeared to also be composed of light and I noticed that my light had the ability to reach any where I wanted . . ." (Barry W's)

Again, we have another example of direct energy transference. He seems to be in another dimension with other souls, and he is experiencing a direct flow of energy. As another beings' light reaches him, he can feel their thoughts like a cool breeze. On the same token, he can project his light anywhere he wants. So, he could project his light to you and then you could feel his "energy", including what he's thinking or trying to communicate. It seems as if there is a free flow of energy where he's at. It's all light energy in the out-of-body state, and especially in more spiritual dimensions.

Spiritual Beings Spiritual Beings are another very common element in NDEs. There are literally an array of types of beings one can encounter after death. Sometimes these beings are people we know that have previously died, some are people in our family who have previously died but whom we didn't know such as a great grandfather, some are like spirit guides, some are beings from other dimensions or planets, some are other spirits, and others are high level spiritual beings with great love, knowledge and power. Let's start with the experience of a high level spiritual figure. The higher the level, the greater the degree of love and knowledge they possess.

"There was a door in front of me and I could hear joyous laughter coming from inside the door coming from too many people! I had this uncontrollable desire to step inside the door and meet all those souls! [. . .]This man comes from the door. I don't think I can find the right words to describe him here. His eyes were like an endless sea of love; too bright to look at his eyes I thought. However, I started to get used to it! I know him, I thought! I KNOW HIM! I've been knowing him for 1,000 years! A thousand years is nothing here, too short! No, I've been knowing him for 10,000 years! Hmm, 10,000 means nothing here, time doesn't exist! He smiled at me while having those thoughts, nothing is hidden here, everything is revealed. He knew exactly what I was thinking with immense clarity and I love him, I love him so much, so much love. I couldn't take it any more, I thought I would explode like a balloon. He was gazing at me with this infinite love, infinite compassion and infinite peace. I clearly sensed that everything I've ever done in this life was recorded and he knew every little detail. He knows me and he loves me beyond description and he knows I am trying to remember who he is, because I forgot, as if I am waking up from a deep dream trying to adjust to reality." (Jesse N's)

In this account, there is a door that leads to another dimension, possibly heaven? We're not sure, but it is reminiscent of the "window" that led to the paradisiacal realm reported by Rosemary. This door also seems to open up into a place of peace and purity, as he hears souls rejoicing inside. However, this time Jesse is met by a spiritual being that emanates infinite love, compassion, and peace. This being seems to know his every thought and every detail of his life. Continuing on. . .

"That's what it felt like, waking up from a dream, waking up to who I truly am and this life was nothing but a dream! In that glorious moment, I had one desire and one desire alone, to come back to this life and have this experience of rebirth while on a physical body. So he touched me on the forehead, smiling that compassionate smile, a smile of unlimited love deeper than any ocean you can think, knowing we'll meet again and probably...again, sending me back to my physical body I just left for about five minutes of our earthly time. I found my friend resuscitating me. I was back! I am back, knowing we all live forever, joined together by this great LIFE that orchestrates all physical life to the tune of LOVE! The tune of spiritual evolution that everybody takes a part; everything that we meant to experience we do...eventually! God bless!" (Jesse N's)

After Jesse makes the decision to return to life, the being touches her on the forehead, thereby sending her back to her body. After such an encounter, as you can imagine, she comes back to this life invigorated! She has just been filled with a tremendous source of love beyond anything we can imagine. And indeed, her final words say it all - "we all live forever, joined together by this great LIFE that orchestrates all physical life to the tune of LOVE! The tune of spiritual evolution that everybody takes a part; everything that we meant to experience we do...eventually! God bless!" (Jesse N's ) She is in a sense saying that we all create our own experience, and that this life is orchestrated by Love. We are here to experience both the loss and the acquisition of Love. There is an evolution of Love taking place on the planet. Through Love, our evolution continues. Here is another encounter with a high-level spiritual figure:

"And I saw, just in front of me a very tall BEING, wholly made of light, with a dazzling whiteness, and all over much longer light rays that radiated from him, the sweetness of that place was intense, all of a sudden I've been overwhelmed by a feeling I can only describe as the strongest, purest love, a feeling similar to what we feel on Earth when we are much in love, that kind of vibration that makes us vibrate with all our being, when at last you meet or you know you are going to meet with your soulmate. I wish that everybody would feel that love at least once in their life. Anyway, this feeling-emotion was multiplied by 100, it was an indescribable emotional orgasm, I really thought then that I was dying, but of pleasure. It was quite unbearable, it totally overwhelmed me, I felt, though, it was only a tiny part of what he was able, and that he was very cautious, but for me it exceeded all I could conceive. I understood that it was what He felt that I felt, not an emotion of mine, and this love so intense was the love he had for all mankind, not for me. That a so powerful being could love us to such an extent, us, so primitive beings, that astounded me, let alone an atheist like me who believed what he saw, and thought that religions were just ancestral remnants of Man's quest for explaining his incomprehensible existence. He made explanations to me without words, but with a voice. That was very odd and his voice had immense sweetness, but strangely, an incommensurable power emanated from it, I sensed in him a limitless power, but first of all his will, I felt it was very powerful in me, the weight of each word he said sounded like implacable, he radiated an incredible power. He said that it was totally minor, that our intentions are most important to them. This is the question they systematically ask: What was your intention? Believe my words, whatever your religion, they see everything. But more important, they are much more forgiving about our worldly flesh state than Companies and Denominations which are here on Earth though. One thing I deeply felt too is that he doesn't like suicide at all, unless you have very serious reasons for that. Their sense of empathy has no limit." (Leo P's)

These beings, whoever they may be, seem to hold incredible love and compassion for all of mankind. Their power is so immense! They radiate Love of such a high degree that it is experienced as pure ecstasy. It is interesting to note that the knowledge he gains from this being is that what is most important is not what we do, but our intention in doing it. Do we have a loving intention or a selfish intention when we act? I think this is the real key, do we act selfishly, trying only to satisfy our own desires, or do we act out of love for the good of our neighbor, for their benefit alone? This account reveals the ambiguity and blurriness of distinguishing Beings of Light from the actual Source Light, which we will get to later on. They are both perceived to hold all knowledge, be infinitely loving, and powerful. The degree of difference in these areas seems indistinguishable by us. The only difference is in the way the Light is perceived, as a single being, sometimes with human form, or as the ALL, this sort of collective consciousness and source of everything in the universe. Even the Source Light is perceived as a Being, since it is at the same time One single Being, and the many souls it gives existence to. But more on that later. What it comes down to is a question of whether the being encountered is an Angel or highly evolved soul, or is it the actual Source Light of existence itself? They both embody the same qualities, so it becomes hard to tell in some cases. In the next example we will take a look at communication with Angels/spirit guides. We will pick up Bill's account from before, the one who experienced the heavenly landscape where he could taste the grass.

"Then three yellow lights came forth. They came from the left side of an unbelievably intensely colored green pine tree (color of maple leaf in summer time with light coming through it). I got the feeling of yellow and the taste of lemonade. Not yellow like a banana, but it was more the emotion and feeling of yellow. Sort of like a flame dancing on top of a candle during an emotional dinner and also like the feeling of warm yellow sunshine. I didn't really see them, but I knew they were there. I can't really call them entities, angels, or devils. They were more like presences. These presences were more like potential battery power, they were energy, that was just there. I didn't hear with my ears. Rather I heard in the middle of my head, close to the back of the frontal lobe. The presence on my right, communicated telepathically to me. Communication is not with words as we know it. This being communicated a feeling with the gist of the meaning, you can stay if you want, or you can go back. But if you go back, you have to do something; I knew that I had to go back for a reason. The reason was more like I was not done yet, not because I have to do something. This is hard to explain, but it is like if you are the boss, something has to be done, but who's going to do it? I elected to come back and finish a few tasks." (Bill W's)

Even in the spiritual realms it seems that we still project a body as Bill mentions hearing in the middle of his head. These beings he encounters are interesting in that he can't really pinpoint who they are. They are just energetic presences that communicate with him via telepathy, or direct energy transference. As he puts it, they communicate a feeling, not words. However, that feeling has meaning, and as such can be interpreted into words. The meaning was that he was not yet done with his life on Earth. Maybe he has things to accomplish, or maybe some other person or persons still need him. Who these beings are is a mystery, but I will hereby label them as angels/spiritual guides because that's what they seem like. They don't communicate the kind of overwhelming Love and Power that the highest level spiritual beings communicate. However, they do seem very loving and know that he needs to go back. Spiritual guides are beings that watch over us and monitor our progress as we go through each life. They then help us create the experiences we need in order to learn our lessons and help us plan for each life. Again, there is no way to know for sure who these beings actually are. This is however, my best guess. In the next example we will take a look at communication with both a deceased relative, pet, and spiritual guide.

"I sat down trying to gather my thoughts when I saw my dog Bruce walking over to me. Yes, my old dog who died when I was young. Don't know how I knew it was him but I just felt in my heart that it was him, the way he used to look, he came over to me and we cuddled for about a minute when this figure appeared a few feet in front of me. I didn't recognize him (yes, it was a him), he came over and sat down next to me petting Bruce. He was wearing a suit but from maybe the early 1900's era, about 40 yrs in appearance, black hair, but I never felt any fear, or suspicion around him however my intuition said he is related to me in some form. His voice was so soothing, he said to me, "John are you happy?" Just, am I happy. "Yes" was the reply. Then he got up and went for a walk, don't know why. I felt like I needed to follow him. I could feel the grass, smell the air and feel the cool wind against my face. Even here birds sing, the sun was as bright as any a day I could recall, the grass was far greener, just everything was more visible and everything felt alive, like I could feel everything's energy pulsating against my own which felt totally wonderful." (Johnathon's)

Although Johnathon doesn't specifically know this figure from the 1900's, he perceives that he is related to him. Conjecture leads us to guess that this is a deceased relative, albeit unknown to him in his Earthly life. We again get a sense for how things are experienced in this more spiritual dimension. Everything feels "alive" Johnathon reports. Everything is very vibrant and he can feel the "energy" of all the life forms. He is in a dimension that is more energetic than the physical world we inhabit. Continuing on. . .

"I remember walking with him stroking Bruce as we strolled about. He said he is taking me to a special place were someone is waiting for me. He spoke in length about life, stressing the importance of goodwill to all creatures, he also explained that there is more life in the universe than one can hope to understand and where we are going is a meeting place. About maybe a few moments [later] I could see other people walking about, some were kissing, cuddling, people were laughing being happy and I could actually feel their happiness inside my belly, yes my belly. It felt so right, so strong and I know everyone could feel my love, sort of like everybody sharing their experiences with everyone around." (Johnathon's)

Just as he can feel the energy of all the life forms around him, he feels the feelings felt by other "human" spirits that are around. He can literally feel their happiness within himself. Again, we must realize that everything in this universe is energy and this energy can be communicated to others. In this other spiritual dimension it seems that the barriers to communication are broken down. Everything in this dimension exists as pure energy, so the transference of energy is effortless. There is no dense matter to work through as in the material world. So, when you encounter something in this other dimension, whether it be a blade of grass or another human

spirit, you automatically pick up their energy and feel it inside of you. Continuing on, Johnathon finally meets his spirit guide:

"We stopped beside a large oak tree. Under the oak tree there was this woman sitting down looking at me. She was dressed like the days of the roman empire, long flowing white robe but of shear beauty. [She had] long red curly hair down to her knees. Bruce ran over to her and I followed. There were no introductions, but I felt like I knew her already. She informed me that I need to go back as my time is not up. I remember sighing and looking at the ground in sadness. Then I remember her waving at me and I also recall myself screaming for Bruce to come with me, I remember crying that I want to stay. When suddenly, like a dream, I woke up inside a helicopter with this huge needle in my chest. I know what you have read might sound unbelievable what I truly believe in what I experienced." (Johnathon's)

This deceased relative of Johathon's, from presumably the 1900's era, takes Johanthon to this other being. She is wearing a white robe and Johanthon feels like he knows her already. However, he doesn't say that he feels related to her as if she was a relative of his current life. She communicates the fact that he must go back because his time is not up. This being sounds very much like a spirit guide, someone you know from in-between lives, who keeps track of your progress, or spiritual evolution. She knows that it is not yet his time to go and instructs him to go back. Bill W also experienced an encounter with a deceased relative. Here is his account:

"I was overjoyed to recognize Meme, my grandmother. She looked like pictures I had seen in the photo album the day before she got married. She was young, healthy, and vibrant. She has always been very special to me as she was the only one who truly loved me for me. I didn't have to do anything, she just loved me because I was born. One of the first things to occur to me was to ask why I was here. Meme was highly religious, and I was not. I was wondering why we were both in the same place. Then Meme communicated to me, 'Billy, you can't come in. You can't stay, you have to go back.'" (Bill W's)

I quote this experience mainly to show that in the spiritual world people usually project an image of themselves as they were when they were at their best. Instead of taking on the appearance of an old grandmother, she takes on an appearance of herself in her prime, just before she was married. In Johathon's experience, the deceased relative he encountered took on the appearance of a man about 40 years old. Likewise, that's the image he chooses to present. Finally, I will present an extraordinary case of a man who "popped" into another universe after he died and found himself on a planet in that universe! There he meets a being who shares knowledge with him, shows him around the planet a little, and informs him that he must go back. We pick up his experience as he is traveling through a tunnel:

"The tunnel never changed perspective. I felt as if I was falling into it at amazing speed, but the tunnel appeared to be falling with me as I never seemed to close in on it. There was an ever increasing sound enveloping below me. It was a strange, metallic, "Shirp shirp!"..like when swords meet in battle. As odd as that description sounds...then again, "Shirp shirp, PING!". That ping scared the hell out of me as it was so loud and direct it shook me to the core, if I still had one. I realized that maybe I was on my way to hell, and this was the sound of Satan's bullwhip. It doesn't make sense now, but that's the thought that occurred to me. There was a loud, SHHHHHHHIP. Like air being blown out of a balloon...suddenly. A white all encompassing light...white and bright as anything I could describe, though not painful to the eyes. This faded, oddly, to a white sand beach...I thought maybe this would be heaven. I scanned my horizon, it was the most beautiful beach imaginable...literally. I believe that everyone's version of the afterlife is custom fitted to that person. This was my construct. I suddenly was aware of another presence. There was a man, in his late forties with a three day beard growth. I felt normal now. I felt as I had before, with my body intact. I asked him, "are you God"? He said in broken English, "No, me llama Es' Peco". I don't speak Spanish, so I may have spelled that wrong. I was struck with a feeling of absurdity. I have died and gone on to spend eternity with an immigrant named Peco'? Who can't even speak English? I did a gut check to try and ascertain if I was in fact dead. Either I'm dead, or this is one hell of a buzz, I thought. Not laughing, but just registering it to myself. Suddenly Peco began to talk to me, not in words, but in pictures and concepts that he relayed to me via mind speak, or telepathy..but I think telepathy supposedly worked the way verbal communication did...regardless." (Chris D)

Again, we get an example of direct energy transference, where images and concepts are transferred directly to the recipient's mind without the need to speak these concepts in language and have the recipient interpret that language. It is a much more direct form of communication that hopefully one day we will all attain as our evolution on this Earth continues. However, in our out-of-body state, this form of communication comes natural to us. Continuing on. . .

"I asked in my head if there is reincarnation, and he answered to the positive by showing me some of my former lives, I could see different aspects of these lives and they were not familiar, but they were strangely comforting. Like looking at a younger brother or something...too odd to describe. I asked Peco where we were and he showed me a mental picture of a planet more green than blue. He minded me the word, "Midus 22". I asked him if this was another world and he answered back that it not only was another planet, but another dimension parallel to my own. I asked if this planet was inhabited and he just nodded, as to say 'over there'. I turned around and saw a family interacting much as they would on Earth. They were throwing giant green stones that were shaped in spheres. I marveled at their strength and Peco minded to me that it was the way gravity affected certain objects, not the strength of the children. I was astounded. I asked Peco how long it took me to get to Midus, high school physics taught me that you could not travel faster than the speed of light. Peco looked at the watch on his arm, shook it, held it to his ear, and then shrugged in a totally annoying way. Even in the afterlife, I thought. He minded me that I had not traveled distances, but through dimensions. He gave me a brief lesson using rudimentary examples. In my mind I saw a bed sheet. Objects rolling around, traveling to different places on the sheet. Large objects make an indent in the sheet, this is an objects gravity. Large objects, making a large indent, have other small objects rolling into it. Apparently in an orbit; of sorts. Then he took a dagger, in my mind, and stabbed the sheet. Sticking his finger through the sheet, he then pointed at me. So I had not traveled a distance to get to Midus, I had traveled through the fabric of space/time. So this is death I thought. Coool. Odd, I know. But that was an appropriate response at the time. This was all done without speaking." (Chris D's)

So, larger objects make a dent in the fabric of space and time and pull things to them, which we know as gravity. However, if you pierce through the fabric you will enter another dimension entirely. Continuing on. . .

"To make a long story shorter. Peco and I spent time walking around, he explained different aspects of the alien environment. It was nice. It was a very pleasant planet. Like Montana in the spring time. I began to feel a burning sensation in my chest; the most intense pain of my life/afterlife. Peco sent me a message. He told me that it was not my time yet; He relayed that though we had spent over an hour together, time was not proportionate between this universe and my own, so only a short time had passed on earth. I thought to him a thanks before I had a sense of falling. Not the sudden and intense acceleration as before, just like falling a great distance. I woke up on earth to my friend's mother, who was a nurse at the local hospital, performing CPR on my body." (Chris D's)

The pain Chris feels in his chest prior to his return is probably the pain of his body, as he is starting to reconnect with it. At this point, his guide Peco, knows that he must go back and tells Chris that it isn't his time yet. At first glance this account seems a little absurd. Even Chris thinks so! Here he is on this beautiful planet with a guy named Peco that speaks Spanish, and to top it all off, it's in another dimension. It's actually somewhat funny because of the absurdity. However, it is important to remember that some physicists postulate that there could be an infinite number of other "universes", or "dimensions." If this is the case, then all possibilities must exist and this account becomes entirely plausible. This universe that Chris penetrates is one of the many possibilities that has parallels to our universe, such as similar types of beings and languages. However, there are many differences, such as the planet being more green than blue, and gravity being different.

The Light Now, let's turn our attention to the experience of the Light. This light is experienced as the Source of all existence, holding all knowledge, and emanating infinite love, knowledge, and compassion. This is different from the high level spiritual beings reported above in that this Light is not experienced as a being with form, but more like an expansive collective consciousness and source of all energy. It is the source Light from which all souls were created and the universe itself was created. In the next experience we will get a feel for this Light:

"I finally came to the end and floated into a place which was overwhelmed by a radiant white light that seemed to embody all the concepts of love. A love which was unconditional and like a mother has for a child. It was definitely a warm joyful presence, the same one that drew me into the tunnel in the first place. It seemed like a giant force field or energy that radiated all the good and noble emotions known to man. [. . .] I knew in my heart that this was God. Words can't describe my awe in this presence. It seemed like I became part of The Light and then the Light became part of me. We were one. I suddenly understood, without question, how interconnected we all are with each other, God and all life forms in the Universe." (Mary's)

It's interesting how she describes this Light as a "giant force field or energy." She describes this field of energy as radiating and embodying unconditional Love. She seems to intuitively know that this is God, the source of all existence. For a time she becomes a part of the Light, as if absorbed by it. Then she becomes a distinct consciousness again, but feels that the Light is a part of her. The Light is in us and we are in the Light. She realizes how everything is interconnected because everything is a part of this one Great Light! Here is another account from a woman named Jayne of being in the Light:

"[. . .] the mist started being infiltrated with enormous light and the light just got brighter and brighter and brighter and, it is so bright but it doesn't hurt your eyes, but it's brighter than anything you've ever encountered in your whole life. At that point, I had no consciousness anymore of having a body. It was just pure consciousness. And this enormously bright light seemed almost to cradle me. I just seemed to exist in it and be part of it and be nurtured by it and the feeling just became more and more and more ecstatic and glorious and perfect. And everything about it was--if you took the one thousand best things that ever happened to you in your life and multiplied by a million, maybe you could get close to this feeling, I don't know. But you're just engulfed by it and you begin to know a lot of things. I remember I knew that everything, everywhere in the universe was OK, that the plan was perfect. That whatever was happening--the wars, famine, whatever--was OK. Everything was perfect. Somehow it was all part of the perfection, that we didn't have to be concerned about it at all. And the whole time I was in this state, it seemed infinite. It was timeless. I was just an infinite being in perfection. And love and safety and security and knowing that nothing could happen to you and you're home forever. That you're safe forever. And that everybody else was." (Ring, 62)

Indeed, we're always safe in the Light, because the Light is truly who we are. That reunion with our Source is the most ecstatic thing imaginable as she succinctly describes. As in Mary's case, she also loses sense of her self and becomes one with the Light. She says it just engulfs you. As she says, "I was just an infinite being in perfection." We are the Light and the Light is us. The Light exists as the One and Many at the same time. The fact that we are all pieces of this one great Light is spelled out by the thoughts of one NDEer after her experience:

"[Now] I think of God as a tremendous source of energy, like the nucleus of something enormous and that we are all just separate atoms from this nucleus. I think that God is in every one of us; we are God." (Ring 151)

The other aspect of Jayne's encounter with the light pertains to the knowledge that she gained. She describes how she gained the knowledge that everything that happens in the world is Ok. The evil in the world exists for a reason. It manifests as part of the lessons we have to learn. This is not to say that we should stand for evil and not fight it. We should always follow the ways of love and the heart. However, there will always be that evil and it is there for a reason; it is part of the perfect plan. In our ignorance we may question whether such a plan that allows evil is perfect. But think for a second if there was no evil in the world, only Love and Goodness. Would there be a need for life? Would we understand love in the absence of any suffering? Would we understand compassion and forgiveness? The negative aspects of life provide the contrast we need in order to have a greater understanding of love, compassion, and forgiveness. Indeed, it provides us with a greater understanding of ourselves. Furthermore, she states that she knew everything. And as further accounts will expound, the Light does know All, and for a time while we are engulfed by it, we too know ALL. She realizes that everything is perfect, because everything is actually a part of that One great Light, and that Light is perfect; it is only Love. No matter what happens on Earth, we always exist in a state of perfection in the Light and we may all return there after death.

Before turning to the knowledge gained from the Light, let's continue our excursion into the relationship between us and the Light. The next example will go into even more detail of this relationship we have to the Light:

"The state of consciousness that then prevailed was as to the normal waking state as the normal waking state is to a dream. Whatever It was, It was peaceful, omnipresent (temporally and spatially), omniscient, and absorbed everything into an indivisible Whole. The entire universe past, present, and future collapsed down to a single Center upon which everything depends for its existence. It is That which does not change. It is the "Light" of Pure Consciousness which illuminates all things. It is the ultimate meaning of the enigmatic Biblical passage, "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light" (Matt. 6:22). It is the great Nothing-for it includes all things, and therefore, is Itself not a thing. That's how It gets to be the All-in-All. Furthermore, there was (and still is) absolutely no doubt as to Its authenticity anymore than one would doubt upon awakening from a dream that the waking state is "real" and that the dream was "just a dream." In short, God Himself took over my reins in the sense that "I" no longer existed as a distinct entity-only He exists, There was an overwhelming feeling of bliss, love, compassion, and strangely enough a foudroyant sense of déjà vu. The knowledge obtained that the True Home and the True Self of all things had been miraculously revealed." (When Time Stood Still)

He's speaking in very mystical terms here to describe God, or the Source. He describes how, immersed in the Light, he as an individual being, no longer existed. Only God existed in that moment; there was no other. In essence, he is experiencing himself as the One. This is the great paradox - we are both individual units of consciousness (light) and the consciousness of All, or the Light itself. The light manifests itself as many, but is at the same time one indivisible whole. As the Light, he feels bliss, love, and compassion to the highest degree. He also has a sense of déjà vu, like he knows the Light and has been there before and experienced everything he is now experiencing. He calls it his True Home. Continuing on. . .

"The events of my life up to that point were unhurriedly and nonjudgmentally reviewed in great detail-not in chronological order, but somehow

all at once-although some events were emphasized more intensely than others. Subsequently, "I" was allowed to exist again (there was no choice in the matter-it simply happened) and was given the opportunity to be aware of anything that I wanted to be aware of with the understanding that time was not a factor; indeed, there was "all the time in the world." (When Time Stood Still)

At first, he is in complete union with this Light, so that he no longer existed as an individual being. Then, he is finally allowed to exist as an individual consciousness again. It goes to show you that although our consciousness may be separate for a time to experience our lives, we are always One with the Light. It is our True Home and True Self. Also, notice that he said there was "all the time in the world." The Light exists in a state of timelessness where past present and future exist simultaneously. It is the ground of all existence, that which at the same time projects all existence past, present, and future and which contains it all within Itself as an indivisible Whole. Finally, before turning to the knowledge gained in the Light, here is one more account that gives us a sense of the perfection and timelessness of the light:

"Everything was white, I was bathing in this white. Time was suspended, I found myself in a state of supreme serenity. I was where I had to be, I was feeling so calm, in a state of total perfection and fullness. This state seemed to last for ages if I can say so because time simply didn't exist." (Phillippe R)

The Light is the infinite, timeless, and unchanging ground upon which all creation rests. Creation is just a play, given power by the Light, the ground of all existence. Once the play is finished, we go back to this Light, which is our true Home. There we know all things and exist in a state of perfection. This life is but a play that we have created in order to experience part of our infinite possibility. It won't last forever, but the Light, with infinite wisdom, love, and compassion, is always there and waiting for us to return, as we are pieces of this great Light. Now, let's turn our attention specifically to the knowledge that is conveyed by the Light.

"During this time, the light just radiated a sense of peace and joy to me. It was very positive. I was so happy to be in the light. And I understood what the light meant. I learned that all the physical rules for human life were nothing when compared to this universal reality. I also came to see that a black hole is only another part of that infinity which is light. I came to see that reality is everywhere.

This is not simply the earthly life but the infinite life. Everything is not only connected together, everything is also one. So I felt a wholeness with the light, a sense that all is right with me and the universe." (Dr. Rodonaia's)

Again, as before with Jayne's account, we get a sense that from this higher perspective that everything is connected together and exists in a state of perfection. The things we think of as evil are all part of the perfect plan. We just don't have the knowledge to see it that way. He says that all things are "part of that infinity which is light." So, everything is light, and light is everywhere. Therefore, everything is connected by this Light, and indeed One with it. Because really, the Light is all that exists. Even in the darkness, there is light, it is only hidden from sight. Here is another account of knowledge gained in the Light:

"[. . .] then became immersed in infinite peace; bliss; ecstasy. Unimaginable love; understanding so great, powerful; so awesome as to be humanly incomprehensible. While I was there (and only there), access was given to knowledge; "everything that ever was, is, and will be." The true nature of the universe was suddenly clear as a bell, like a giant jigsaw puzzle. It seemed to have a perfect order to it...in fact, it was evident that I was soon to become part of it. I was about to join the entity which could only be described as... God; so vast in dimension and scope only biblical words can come close to describing. I wasn't able to retain the knowledge given; the human brain is much too primitive and limited to house it. This intelligence requires an entirely different dimension to exist and comprehend. Yet it is part of our three dimensions as well...just hidden out of view of our 5 senses. Yet I retain enough to remember the sheer awe." (Daniel A)

What knowledge is revealed in the Light? Quite simply, All Knowledge. The light holds all knowledge; everything that ever was, is, or will be is known by the Light. The Light is the source of all possibilities and is ultimately in control of all that happens. From this account, we again see that everything is perfect and as it should be. As he says, "The true nature of the universe was suddenly clear [. . .] It seemed to have a perfect order to it." We see from all these accounts that in all the chaos of the world, there is an underlying order to it and that from this higher perspective, everything is perfect. It is only because of our limited perspectives and knowledge that we see imperfection in the world.

Life Review The next important part of the Near-Death Experience is the Life Review. This is an instantaneous review of all the events in your life from birth to death, but can also contain elements of past or future lives. Sometimes the review is done from a detached perspective, where you experience the scenes from your life playing out before you, but don't judge yourself or feel any sadness or remorse for your actions. Other times the life review is much more learning oriented where you experience the thoughts and emotions of yourself and others. You judge yourself and feel not only the sadness you caused in others, but also the joy that you caused also. Often it is focused on learning how your actions affected others in life. First, we'll take a look at a couple examples of a detached life review:

"At some point, I underwent what has been called the "life-review process," for I saw my life from beginning to end all at once. I participated in the real life dramas of my life, almost like a holographic image of my life going on before me - no sense of past, present or future, just now and the reality of my life. It wasn't as though it started with birth and ran along to my life at the University of Moscow. It all appeared at once. There I was. This was my life. I didn't experience any sense of guilt or remorse for things I'd done. I didn't feel one way or another about my failures, faults or achievements. All I felt was my life for what it is. And I was content with that. I accepted my life for what it is." (Dr. Rodonaia's)

Rodonaia describes how he experienced his life "all at once." In other words, he experienced his life as a whole. He doesn't experience one scene at a time, but he views his entire life all at the same time. So, every moment of his life is present within the 3-D holographic image playing out before him. Remember from our examination of the out-of-body experience that when out-of-body you can think many different streams of thought at once and experience many different things at once, all with great clarity. The life review imitates this process in that people can experience every scene from their life all at the same time. He doesn't judge himself during this review. He just kind of accepts his life for what it was. Here is another example of this type of review:

"This seemed to be a natural progression; there was an automatic review of my entire life--every event ever experienced complete with emotions (but viewed objectively)--rolling in front and around like a panoramic movie. From birth to death, in a linear fashion, observed without sadness or remorse. Yet in "earth time" it only took (in my best estimation) a quarter second. Yet it seemed to be weeks spent replaying my life." (Daniel A)

Daniel doesn't specifically state whether or not all the events of his life existed in the panoramic review at the same time, but from his description it would seem like a good possibility, as he states that he had "an automatic review of my entire life [. . .] rolling in front and around like a panoramic movie." He says that he experienced each event complete with emotions, but did not feel any sadness or remorse for the things he had done. Instead he views those events from a detached, objective position. In both of the previous cases, the soul of the person did not judge the life being reviewed. They simply experienced it again. Now we will take a look at some life-reviews where one does judge their actions, thereby having a sense of remorse over the mistakes they made. At the same time they experience joy over the good things they did. Here is one such account:

"He stood beside me and directed me to look to my left, where I was replaying my life's less complementary moments, I re-lived those moments and felt not only what I had done but also the hurt I had caused, some of the things I would have never imagined could have caused pain, I was surprised that some things I may have worried about, like shoplifting a chocolate as a child, were not there whilst casual remarks which caused hurt unknown to me at the time were counted, when I became burdened with guilt I was directed to other events which gave joy to others, although I felt unworthy it seemed the balance was in my favor, I received great Love." (Australia)

There is a compassionate being with her as she reviews the life. This being is always loving and supportive during the life review process. The important thing to gleam from this experience is that she not only felt her emotions over the events in her life, but also the emotions she caused in others by the things she did or said. So, you will feel not only the joy you felt during life, but the joy that you gave to others through your actions or words. On the same token, the hurt that you have caused others will be felt by you as well. Furthermore, you experience from the other persons perspective, as the next account will show:

"The next thing I knew I was seeing a sleeping baby I knew to be me. I watched with fascination as I saw the highlights of each stage of my life. It was like seeing a circular movie screen and many different scenes flashing by at tremendous speeds. Somehow I was able to see and grasp not only what was happening, but the feelings I was experiencing at the time as well as the emotions I caused in others. I watched and felt my mother's shame as she bore me out of wedlock right up to the elation of love and the crushing pain of rejection and betrayal. I understood the fear and insecurities of the man that caused my pain and his own guilt upon breaking up with me upon learning of my pregnancy. I felt every good or bad deed I had ever done and it's consequences upon others. It was a difficult time for me, but I was supported by unconditional love and weathered the painful parts." (Mary's)

Again, the "movie" of our life encircles us as we relive moments from that life. However, this is a multi-level life review where she experiences not only her feelings, but also the feelings of significant people in her life. In the life review, you can experience things from all aspects. You can experience what you were thinking or feeling during a situation and you can also experience from the other persons perspective during that time. So, if you are angry at someone for breaking up with you, you can experience what you felt and thought during that time and also experience how the other person felt and what they thought. Therefore, you can understand the intentions behind their decision. In essence, you can experience the event as if you were actually them. Even though this review is painful, Mary is supported by unconditional Love. It is often the case that the life review takes place in the company of a loving, supporting being. During the life review, we do the judging. God, or the being of Light that is with us, only loves and supports us. The life review, therefore, is not about being judged for heaven or hell, only about learning the consequences of our actions. Now, another extraordinary account of the Life Review that enlightens us on possibly how our memories are stored. We pick up his experience after he has made the decision to travel through the cosmos when out-of-body:

"I already fancied traveling through [the] cosmos, then, an infinitely powerful and firm power grabbed me from below, it did not hurt me though, it pulled me downwards, I just stand face to face with a very vague face, in mid air, I just saw the face. Whereas I felt so sad and relinquished, with incredible kindness and humor, that made me feel indescribable hilarity and joy, he said to me,

- Hi! What are you lugging behind?

He referred to a small outgrowth I had behind my head, at the place where would have been a bag that one would bear on ones shoulders. As I did not feel this outgrowth before, turning around, I felt that I got connected, it was some kind of backups of my memories over my whole life, like icons, you just had to look at one to view the memory under the form of a small movie, however, by touching it I could also enter it, and I felt the emotion of the memory. Hiding my surprise, I don't know why, I said to myself, Gee! - I told him, Some memories? - You don't need it anymore! - But these memories are just what I want to keep! - Why? - To remind me where I come from. I want to explore the universe! Hey! Then he looked at my whole bag, all memories I had brought with me, or we rather looked both at it, I felt somewhat ashamed, but he steadily reassured me, I felt that he did not really give any importance to what he saw, he just looked at what was there, he did not judge anything. I still do not understand why I should not bring anything with me, otherwise I guess I would not relate it anymore now. However, the more I spoke with this face, the more my memories seemed childish and of no actual interest to me. I had no idea of the size." (Leo P's)

This example gives credence to the idea that our memories are not localized in the brain, but are instead stored in consciousness. He experiences his memories as like a little outgrowth of his spirit. For a physical analogy, it's like he's carrying around a little hard drive of all his memories. At first he is not aware of this "luggage", but after being informed of it from this kindly being, he is able to connect with his memories. He describes being able to watch the memories by looking at one; like a little movie clip. But then he says he is able to enter into the memory by touching it, thereby experiencing it as if he was back in his body, feeling the emotions and thoughts of the time. Continuing on, this being enters into one of his memories with him...

"All of a sudden, I was not this luminescent vapor anymore, but myself, in my body, 20 years younger though. With me was a man wearing a white tunic, about 5'7" tall, black eyed, a metis, I sensed he was uneasy. He went ahead, I followed him, I knew where he was going, I knew the place well. I wondered why he had such a humble look, and why he seemed so awkward. Again I felt he had sensed my thoughts, without turning back and myself still following him, I suddenly saw that he had tiny radiant white light flashes on the back of his neck, on his shoulders, it was splendid. I had the feeling to be in a Hollywood movie, and we were in a place where, when I was younger, I had been scared one night while [I] was going home and walking through a park. He said:

- What are we here for? He asked that to me, whereas I did nothing, but I understood that he indeed meant: why this scene was so present in me. I didn't even know myself. There in darkness, there was something, I was scared and I felt the same fear as I did then, I rather felt I had been scared though, because now and for long I am not scared by darkness anymore. But this friend went and had a look in darkness, he came back, dashing, lifting his feet high in tall grass, which was not easy with a tunic, I refrained laughing with difficulty. -"There's nothing there!" he said with a disappointed look on his face," (Leo P's)

Leo all of a sudden finds himself back in his 20 year old body, re-experiencing a scene from his life. At the same time he is experiencing his 20 year old self and emotions, he is also his older self after he died. It's reminiscent of Duane who was thrown into his daughters body to experience everything she was experiencing, but yet was not his daughter. He was still able to analyze from his perspective. So too, Leo is completely synchronized with his 20-year old self memory so that everything that younger self experiences is experienced by him, but he is still his current "self," and as such is able to think and analyze from his current perspective. The being who is with Leo chooses to enter this memory with him because he has a strong emotional connection to it, due to the fear he experienced then. Therefore, the memory is stronger. The being checks the darkness and comes back to report that there was nothing to be scared of after all. To understand what's going on, think of the Harry Potter series where memories are stored in a bowl of swirling light. Harry and Dumbledore can swirl the bowl around and pick a memory that is stored in it and then enter that memory. They are there as bystanders, unable to change anything in the memory or interact with anyone. However, they are able to see the scene exactly as it took place, like actually being there again. The only difference this time is that Leo is able to experience his 20 year old self again. So, his current consciousness is able to enter into his 20 year old self to experience what he felt then. However, he still retains his current self and respective thoughts and feelings. The ability to consciously synchronize with anything else, to experience from its point of view, is truly remarkable and borne out by many different NDEs. Next he finishes his life-review:

"Right then, I felt so stupid, not daring to tell him I knew it, but he was so kind. He took me onboard for a complete tour of my life, at such a speed that I hardly had enough time to see and feel the most striking moments. It was incredible, as if he was connected in a network with me. Still at a surprising speed, nothing to do with a dream in which image speed is so slow compared to it, it's like upgrading from 20 Mhz to 20 Ghz (for PC experts), I could not keep up with movement speed, after I was tossed in all directions, everything stopped at once." (Leo P)

Imagine experiencing every moment of your life over again in a single second. That's the kind of speed with which we may review our life. It's almost impossible to comprehend the intensity of such an experience. Next we will see an example of a life preview. Keep in mind that this next account is of a woman who died after failing to do her own abortion in her apartment. We took a look at her life review before, and now we pick up Mary's account just after she has had her life review:

"I was asked telepathically about whether I wanted to stay or return to my former life in the "Earth School". I fell to my knees in order to show my desire to stay with Him. He showed me a beautiful shiny bubble which floated next to me. In it I saw a tiny baby nursing at a breast. The baby became a toddler and begun walking toward me still inside the bubble. Then the imagine of a young boy turned into a teenager and he continued to age until he was a full grown man. Who is that? I asked. Your son Michael, was the reply. I recall feeling very relieved that I hadn't destroyed his chance at life. A flood of fearful thoughts crowded into my mind. I wasn't even married and could barely support myself, how could I raise a son? Could he ever forget or forgive me for trying to abort him at four months into life? How could I ever do this alone without help? I saw a flash of myself with a man I knew to be my future husband and he was holding the 2 year old boy I saw in the picture. For the first time, I allowed myself to feel love for the baby I was carrying. All the embarrassment, complications and hardships I had used to rationalize my abortion seemed very weak and selfish." (Mary's)

Mary is shown the reason she must go back to earth, to deliver her son Michael. Not only is she shown her future son, but she is also shown her future husband who she has not yet met at the time of her NDE. This account shows us that God has a plan for our life. We can choose to fear and worry, or we can choose to hope, give love, and keep pushing through life. It's not the events in our life that matter, but our perspective on those events. Sometimes we are thinking so negatively about life, but something good could be awaiting us in the near future, as her loving husband was to help take care of her son. So, in essence, we can choose to fear that our situation will not get better, or have hope that tomorrow will be a better day and that God will give us what we need to survive. Never stop praying! Let's take a look at one more account of a life preview. Here is a deeply moving account of someone who hated their life and decided to end it all. It shows us that we all need to wake up sometimes and see the purpose in our lives:

"I was shown a panoramic view of my life. The last five years which had become so burdened with alcohol abuse were the most painful things, the most painful memories I could even imagine. I was shown a picture of the effect that alcohol had caused on my young children's life and the effect that it would cause in their future. I saw the sorrow that my children would feel at the loss of their family and me. I was shown that their mother would not take good care of them and eventually they would be put into a foster home. I also was given a preview on how my alcoholism would influence my children's life if I continued to drink in the matter of what I had become accustomed to and stayed in that family relationship. I saw that all three children, two boys and a girl, would follow my poor example and each would eventually use the bottle to escape life's day to day on-going stresses until each would then in turn become alcoholics also. The sight of my precious young daughter growing up, marrying a fellow alcoholic, who would eventually beat her and force incestuous relationships on their four daughters, was more than I could stand. It was like a slap in the face. A huge reality check. I saw that if I shaped up my act and began behaving like a responsible father and role model, all three children would grow up to be happy and

productive. That doesn't mean completely free of the struggles of everyday life, but they would have a chance at making their own way, independent of any substance abuse. I saw how my oldest son was going to be able to become an important influential person in his time if I stayed around and behaved like a real father. I saw the down side of this future if I stayed in their relationship as the drunken weak father that he would eventually turn to drugs and end up in prison for crimes that he committed while trying to get money for drugs. It was terrifying to me and I decided right then and there this was not what I wanted for my children, or myself. I was shown if I continued as a hopeless, pathetic drunk that I would not be able to escape. Having to relive all the trials and traumas that brought me right up to the point of suicide, I would have to face those again in another life and it just seemed more terrifying than I even wanted to admit. I cried. The being of light seemed to understand that I was filled with a sense of remorse, compassion and loving. He said in a stern voice but that was still like a father speaking to a son, "Your life is not to do with as you please. Did you create yourself, give yourself life? No. Neither can you choose death." I couldn't speak, I couldn't think, I cried even more. This presence in voice must be the Holy Spirit sent to me. I thought. The voice, now softer continued, "I'm not done with you, your work isn't finished, go back and do what you were meant to do." (Suicide's)

I end with this account because it is so touching and teaches us so much. He is shown the many different paths that, not only his life, but the lives of his children will take, all based on his actions. This is a succinct account that shows the deep inner connections that we have to others in our lives. Thinking about the reverberations outward to the people his children will later interact with and the families they will affect, we see that our actions do have a major impact on the lives of many others. We all need to keep in mind that we don't live on an island alone. We may perceive our lives as meaningless or destroyed, but there are still people who need us and there is still a purpose for our being here. No matter what our circumstances, we can't just think about ourselves. We must think of those others who need us and do our best, not just for us, but for them. If we don't learn to love and overcome the adversity in our lives now, then we will have to repeat those same trials and traumas in future lives until we do. Just remember, as long as you're still here, no matter in what condition, you are here for a reason and there is a purpose for you.

References:

Near-Death Experience Research Foundation. http://www.nderf.org/site_index.htm 

Australia - http://www.nderf.org/Australia NDE.htm  

Barry W's - http://www.nderf.org/barry_w's_nde.htm

Bill W's - http://www.nderf.org/bill_w's_nde.htm 

Chris D's - http://www.nderf.org/chris_d's_nde.htm 

Clio P - http://www.nderf.org/clio_p_nde.htm 

Daniel A - http://www.nderf.org/daniel_a_nde.htm 

Diane's - http://www.nderf.org/Diane_nde.htm 

Dr. Rodonaia's - http://www.nderf.org/GeorgeRodonaia's_nde.htm 

Duane's - http://www.nderf.org/Duane's NDE.htm 

Jesse N's - http://www.nderf.org/jesse_n_nde.htm 

Jewel H - http://www.nderf.org/jewel_h_nde.htm 

Jonathon's - http://www.nderf.org/johnathon's_nde.htm 

Leo P's - http://www.nderf.org/leo_p's_nde.htm 

Mary's - http://www.nderf.org/mary's_NDE.htm 

Nicole's - http://www.nderf.org/nicole's_nde.htm 

Padraic R - http://www.nderf.org/padraic_r_nde.htm

Paul G - http://www.nderf.org/paul_g_nde.htm

Phillippe R - http://www.nderf.org/philippe_r_nde.htm 

PJ's - http://www.nderf.org/PJ's NDE.htm 

Rosemary's - http://www.nderf.org/Rosemary's_nde.htm 

Soldier's - http://www.nderf.org/soldier's_nde.htm

Suicide's - http://www.nderf.org/suicide'.htm 

When Time Stood Still - http://www.nderf.org/When_Time_Stood_Still.htm 

Ring, Kenneth. (1984). "Heading Toward Omega." Morrow: New York.