When William Cohen (aka Billy Fingers) woke his sister Annie at dawn, a few weeks after his death, she thought she was dreaming. “It’s me, darling, it’s Billy! I’m drifting weightlessly through gorgeous stars and galaxies and I feel a Divine Presence, a kind, loving, beneficent presence, twinkling all around me. Death isn’t as serious as you think it is. So far, it’s very enjoyable. Couldn’t be better, really.”
Lynn K. Russell share with the Astral Institute her thoughts on the Near Death Experience. Lynn is the author of an excellent book called The Wonder of You.
THE NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE
Near-death experiences is a very large area of study. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to research 2500 NDEs for NDERF (Near-Death Experiences Research Foundation) and was so thrilled by the information that I wrote the book, The Wonder of You, What the Near-Death Experience Tells You About Yourself. Since then, I’ve learned much more and would like to share a bit of that new knowledge with you.
In 2001, international medical journal The Lancet published a 13 year study on Near Death Experiences (NDEs). Their findings were remarkable, to say the least:
“Our results show that medical factors cannot account for the occurrence of NDE. All patients had a cardiac arrest, and were clinically dead with unconsciousness resulting from insufficient blood supply to the brain. In those circumstances, the EEG (a measure of brain electrical activity) becomes flat, and if CPR is not started within 5-10 minutes, irreparable damage is done to the brain and the patient will die.”
Another study comes out of the University of Southampton, where scientists found evidence that awareness can continue for at least several minutes after death. In the scientific world this was thought to be impossible. The study, published in the journal Resuscitation, is the world’s largest of its kind.
Above is a video of Dr. Bruce Greyson speaking at a conference that was held by the United Nations. He is considered to be one of the fathers of near death studies. He is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Science at the University of Virginia.
In the video he describes documented cases of individuals who were clinically dead (showing no brain activity) but observing everything that was happening to them on the medical table below at the same time. He describes how there have been many instances of this – where individuals are able to describe things that should have been impossible for them to have knowledge of. Another significant statement by Dr. Greyson posits that this type of study has been discouraged due to our tendency to view science as completely materialistic. Seeing is believing, so to speak, in the scientific community. It’s unfortunate that just because we cannot explain something through materialistic means, it must be instantly discredited. The simple fact that “consciousness” itself is a non-physical “thing” is troubling for some scientists; as a result of it being non material, they believe it cannot be studied by science.
The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences :
Thirty Years of Investigation
A team of international experts presents the history, recent developments, and controversies in the intriguing study of near-death experience.
A Rare Account of Liberation from Prison
Many people believe that the subject of astral projection can be highly influenced by media and expectations, so when Jack London, the author of White Fang and the Call of the Wild is introduced to a man who discovers the ability to leave his body while in prison with no previous knowledge on the subject. We feel we are given a rare glimpse at a person whose raw experiences in the out of body states are an amazing validation of the experiences.
Jack London’s last published novel before his death tells the story of a prisoner in solitary confinement who escapes the pain of a straitjacket by astral travels. Despite some critics’ assertions that it’s his greatest book, The Star Rover has never been very popular. It was written in 1913-14, when London was probably the most famous writer in America. Yet when published in 1915, it sold fewer copies than any of his previous works and eventually went out of print. It was republished in England in 1967 under the title The Jacket, and appears to only recently have been reprinted in America.
From Prison Reform to Astral Travel
The two main themes are prison reform and astral travel through past lives. When London was 16 years old he was imprisoned for 30 days for vagrancy, “an experience he found so traumatic that he vowed that thenceforward instead of actually living the hobo life which had left him friendless and terrified behind bars, he would only write about it—and doing so get rich and famous.
A reader might think London himself had practiced, or at least was interested in, reincarnation and astral travel. However, it appears London’s mother, a spiritualist who conducted séances, may have been an initial inspiration. “London consciously seems to have felt that these practices were a sham,” wrote Stewart Gabel.
Fiedler relates that London never had an out-of-body experience himself, but learned about it from Ed Morrell, a convicted felon on whom the story is based. While in California’s San Quentin State Prison, Morrell was accused of having a secret stash of dynamite and spent five years in solitary confinement, much of in the jacket, due to the false accusation (the same story as in London’s novel). Morrell inadvertently learned etheric projection while in the jacket, and was able to walk around San Francisco and confirm his experiences were real. (One time he witnessed a shipwreck just off the coast that he later read about in the papers.) His journeys are recounted in his memoirs, The 25th Man – The Strange Story of Ed Morrell, the Hero of Jack London’s Star Rover. Eventually Morrell was released from prison and became an outspoken prison reformer. The words of London’s protagonist Darrell Standing could have been spoken by him:
Solitary confinement, they call it. Men who endure it, call it living death. But through these five years of death-in-life I managed to attain freedom such as few men have ever known. Closest-confined of prisoners, not only did I range the world, but I ranged time. They who immured me for petty years gave to me, all unwittingly, the largess of centuries.
A Quick Guide to Astral Travel
When Standing first starts to have out-of-body experiences (OBOEs), his method is to put his conscious mind to sleep and then let loose his subconscious mind. At first his subconscious was undisciplined and incoherent. Then Ed Morrell—whom London made a character in The Star Rover—teaches him a method that could be straight out of a book on self-hypnosis or astral projection.
In the novel, Morrell is a few cells away from Standing, also in solitary confinement. Unable to talk to each other due to the watchful eye of guards, he teaches Standing how to have a more intense OBO via their secret language of knuckle-rapping on the cell bars. Morrell tells him to will himself to die: Lying on your back, you start with a toe and use your will to make it die, and work your way up the body until your body is completely dead and only the consciousness remains:
The thing you must think and believe is that your body is one thing and your spirit is another thing. You are you, and your body is something else that don’t amount to shucks. Your body don’t count. You’re the boss. You don’t need any body. And thinking and believing all this you proceed to prove it by using your will. You make your body die.
Using this method Standing feels his mind enlarging and time and space expanding until he knows without opening his eyes that he’s no longer in his cell. His heart slows so much he can no longer count the space between its beats. His first experience is among the stars. He then journeys through numerous past lives, which he writes down later on Murderer’s Row. Time passes so quickly in the jacket, he’s no longer afraid of the warden’s constant threats to make him reveal his nonexistent stash of explosives: “Dynamite or curtains!”
The Star Rover Through Time
Many of Standing’s past life experiences are based on actual historical figures. He relives the life of Daniel Foss, who was shipwrecked on a barren island in 1809, lived off seal meat for five years, and later wrote A journal of the shipwreck and sufferings of Daniel Foss. In another life, Standing is a young boy involved in the Mountain Meadows massacre in Utah in 1857, when Mormon settlers conspired with members of the Paiute Indian tribe to slaughter a group of pioneers in covered wagons. Another past life is based on an account written by Hendrick Hamel, who was shipwrecked with other Dutchmen in Korea in the mid-seventeenth century. He was also a friend of Pilate in Rome who discusses divergent views of the afterlife with a devotee of Jesus. Standing eventually concludes Memory is only thing that remains after death—similar to the views of experienced astral traveler Aleister Crowley.
An Ode to the Eternal Feminine
A sense of peace and quiet joy comes at the end of the sometimes-depressing novel, when Standing realizes that in all of his lives, for all the times he fought, risked his life, and even died, it was for the love of woman. It has been for woman that man has tamed the horse, slew the mammoth, and harvested rice and wheat. Even in his heavens, “Valkyrie or houri, man has fain made place for her, for he could see no heaven without her.” Standing continues his praise of the eternal woman:
I conclude that the greatest thing in life, in all lives, to me and to all men, has been woman, is woman, and will be woman so long as the stars drift in the sky and the heavens flux eternal change. Greater than our toil and endeavour, the play of invention and fancy, battle and star-gazing and mystery—greatest of all has been woman.
The Star Rover should have a place on lists of top American novels and top occult novels. Some have said it’s like a collection of short stories delving into all of London’s interests, and each past life is quite fascinating for a general historical overview. Others have compared it to The Count of Monte Cristo. London’s last novel before his untimely death in 1916 at age 40, The Star Rover weaves together social reform, men’s rights, reincarnation, and historical drama, and will be a riveting read to anyone interested in astral travel or past life regression.
The Star Rover is highly recommended reading from the Astral Institute.
Dr. Eben Alexander, author of international phenomenon Proof of Heaven, shares the next phase of his journey to understand the true nature of consciousness and ways to cultivate a state of harmony with the universe and our higher purpose.
In Flatliners, medical students experiment on “near death” experiences that involve past tragedies until the dark consequences begin to jeopardize their lives. In Flatliners, five medical students, hoping to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring and dangerous experiment. By stopping their hearts for short periods of time, each triggers a near-death experience. As the investigation becomes more and more perilous, they are forced to confront the sins of their pasts, as well as contend with the paranormal consequences of trespassing to the other side.
Flatliners, which stars Ellen Page, is a follow-up to the 1990 cult psychological horror of the same name about a group of medical students who seek to find out the truth about the afterlife by subjecting each other to near-death experiences. The original film starred Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts and Kevin Bacon. Sutherland will appear in the sequel.
The trailer for the new film suggests it follows a similar plot to the original, with Page and her fellow students conducting experiments on each other that prompt dangerous paranormal experiences. James Norton (Happy Valley) and Diego Luna (Rogue One) are among the other cast members, while Niels Arden Oplev, who is best known for his work on the original Swedish adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, is on directorial duties.
Source : The Guardian
Higher Self Now
By William Buhlman
Being a long time fan of William Buhlman’s work in the field of Out of Body Experiences, we got in touch to find out about his latest book Higher Self Now!: Accelerating Your Spiritual Evolution; where he explores the subject of developing higher states of consciousness both in and out of the body.
William Buhlman, author of Adventures Beyond the Body: How to Experience Out-of-Body Travel, The Secret of the Soul: Using Out-of-Body Experiences to Understand Our True Nature, and Adventures in the Afterlife. He conducts a six-day intensive OBE workshop at The Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia. His new book, Higher Self Now! details how to create the ideal mindset and preparation for an enlightened spiritual transition from the physical to the non-physical.
Visit the author’s website, www.astralinfo.org for more information.
Nonphysical Energy Dimension
Most of us are taught from birth that if we live a good life and have faith in a religious doctrine we will automatically go to a heavenly paradise. Regrettably, this is a false assumption. At death a great majority of humanity will enter a nonphysical energy dimension existing just out of phase with the physical world. People are met by loved ones, reunited in a pleasant, physical-like environment. The many ills, pains, and harshness of the physical world are a thing of the past. There are no wars, starvation, or death in this new reality. On the surface, the new environment appears perfect and pristine when compared to our past physical existence.
As such, most people remain unaware that countless other realities are available, locations that are far more magnificent and thought-responsive. The physical-like environments that most assume are the ultimate heaven are actually the epidermis of the continuum of dimensions that make up the multidimensional universe. By our own actions we have essentially settled for and accepted the energy reflections of Earth instead of the glorious realities of the higher-vibrational dimensions that are our true spiritual home. With enhanced knowledge we can expand our ability to enter and navigate the countless thought-responsive dimensions of the afterlife. Armed with self- knowledge, we become empowered and can fulfil our destiny as an evolved soul.
Becoming Aware of our Energy
The energy dynamics of the afterlife are completely different than the laws of physics in the physical world. Each thought and emotion is a specific energy frequency. Due to the subtle energetic nature inherent in nonphysical environments, focused thoughts and emotions will mold our reality in the afterlife. Because our state of consciousness determines our afterlife reality, it becomes critical for us to focus on our mindset and our spiritual readiness before our transition. See Chapter 3, Becoming Aware of our Energy Attachments. Our state of consciousness and beliefs directly influences our subtle nonphysical body and the environment we will experience after death. In fact, for over a hundred years metaphysical teachers have referred to the astral body as the emotional body.
Our thoughts can be viewed as personal energy projections that possess the creative power to shape our life. When we recognize this universal truth we can begin to take full responsibility for our individual thought projections. Any low-vibrational energy we hold, such as fear or hatred, can and will negatively influence our current life and our afterlife existence as well. As an awakening soul it is our task to recognize, confront, and remove the restrictive energies to which we cling. This is a central aspect of our growth because at death we carry our complete state of consciousness with us. There is a Twenty One Day Transformation Challenge in Chapter 4 that will help you to identify and address anything that could be blocking you from reaching your highest level of evolution.
There is no escaping our own mental baggage. We create the chains that bind us to the denser energy environments of the universe and we alone are responsible for the afterlife we experience.
Rushing to meet his daughter, Andrew Clover tripped in a secluded, muddy wood and hit his head on a stone. He could feel himself slipping away … Suddenly, he was immersed in a series of visions and realisations about being a father.
It was 7.42 pm, on a wet Tuesday evening. My wife was about to return after two days away. I was uncomfortably aware, however, that the kitchen was strewn with breakfast things, and the wall was decorated with soup. I was desperately cleaning.
My wife called. She wasn’t going to be home for half an hour.
On the upside, the delay would give me more time to pick the pebbledash of Rice Krispies off the bowls. But, in five minutes’ time, my eldest daughter would be getting off a bus, a mile away, and while she’s a very competent girl, she is only 12.
I wanted to go and meet Grace. Equally, I didn’t want to leave the youngest one, home alone. Six-year-old Iris is the one we worry about.
I called my wife to ask what I should do? She was driving. She couldn’t speak. I felt a stab of rage. Did I need my wife to tell me what to do? Come on, I was cursing at myself, you’re such an idiot! Just make a decision!
I made a plan and told it to the relevant person: my middle daughter, 10-year-old Cassady. “Cass,” I whispered, “Mum won’t be home for half an hour. I’ll run and get Grace.”
She smiled. She knew what I was asking. I wanted her to look after Iris. We were both calculating that as Iris was watching Barbie Princess Charm School she wouldn’t be moving.
I ran off. I ran down the drive. Then I decided to take a short cut through the orchard. I quickly realised it was full of muddy puddles and I was incorrectly shod. I was wearing slip-on blue suede shoes. Should I go back and change? (Come on! Just get on with it!) I accelerated angrily.
The path went through a little copse. A branch had fallen across it. Beyond, was a puddle. I tried to leap both branch and puddle and snagged my trousers on the branch. I fell hard. I tried to stop myself falling. My hand skidded in the mud and, turning, I smacked the side of my head on a big stone.
Bang. I was out – out of my body.
I could see myself lying face down in the puddle. I was filled with terror. “Oh God,” I was thinking, “the girls!”
Then, somehow, although my body was lying in the copse, I was in the village. I could see Grace had just got off the bus. She was fine.
Then I found myself in the house. My middle daughter had left the living room. She was coming through the hallway, picking up a hairbrush. She was preparing for bed. She was fine.
Then I went into the living room, and I saw Iris. She had fallen asleep on the sofa. Her nose was running and she looked unwell. She wasn’t fine! I thought: I’ve done something truly awful … will she be all right?
Some people say that when you die you see your life in reverse, but what I saw next – as my body lay unconscious in the copse – was a series of incidents in my life with Iris.
Recently I’d taken her to Disneyland Paris. Now I saw us checking in to the hotel. Our tickets were for the next day, I explained. “So we won’t actually be in Disneyland till the morning.”
She was bewildered. “But Dad,” she said, “we are already at Disneyland!”
During the day, there was only one thing on her mind. My mum had given her £5 and she wanted to know how she was going to spend it. At the end of the day, she walked into the Disney shop and went straight up to an Ariel dress. “How much is this?”
Iris picked up a Cinderella wand and crown set. “How much is this?”
“That’s £19.” She wasn’t disheartened. She found an Ariel pen for £7.50. “Can I afford this?”
“Yes,” I said, “I think you can.”
She was heartbreakingly delighted. Then, getting on the train, she pulled the top off the pen and it broke and rolled under the wheels.
I was seeing this scene again, and feeling desperate. It seemed to sum up all my failings as a father. What have you done? I thought. What have you ever done for this girl? What had I done?
Then I was seeing the games we played together. I saw her as a toddler. She was sitting in her high chair and blowing raspberries and I turned, pretending to be shocked, and shook with laughter.
I was watching this scene, but fading back from it too. I realised that this silly raspberries game had taught her something: she knew could make a noise and get a reaction, and that it would be fun. And I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather have taught her.
As I had that thought, I started to feel terribly sad – God! I was thinking, just how much will I miss Iris? – but at the same time I felt light, as if I were floating away backwards and upwards. I opened my eyes and saw I was swimming up through warm water. I saw sparkling light. I felt a wonderful peace.
Then I heard a voice. “You can’t be here now,” it said. It sounded amused, playful.
Suddenly I felt very, very sick, I felt I was being dragged down, and then, bang …
I was back. I could feel my body hanging heavily around me, all mud and ageing flesh. “Be here,” said the voice, and I felt a prod in my back.
The next thing I knew, I was crawling out of the muddy field. I was choking and coughing, and doing awful things. But, strangely, I felt calm. I was still on my hands and knees feeling very shaky. But I was looking at an ant, which was crawling up a sheath of grass, on which there was a perfect drop of water. Everything seemed beautiful and very alive.
Then Grace appeared.
“Are you OK?” she asked.
How to answer?
“I just slipped,” I said.
“Did you hurt yourself?” she said, alarmed.
“I’m OK,” I reassured her. “I bumped my head and then got up. But for a moment I did think if I didn’t get up, of all the things that I’d miss.”
“What were they?” she asked.
I looked at her. I didn’t know what to say. I realised that one of the things I’d miss from my life was this: being one-to-one with my daughters.
“I can’t tell you now,” I said, getting up.
I still don’t know what happened, on any level – spiritual or physiological. Did I – as I believe – briefly start to asphyxiate in that puddle so that, for perhaps seconds, I was technically dead, during which time I was helped by an angelic being? Or did I just give myself a big bang on the head, during which time a few thoughts flashed through my head?
It didn’t matter. Either way, I liked that angel’s tone and the advice: be here.
As we walked gingerly home, my daughter talked happily about a netball game. She described a move that led to a shot. She really wanted me to picture the scene. She demonstrated the shot, (beautifully, but with a touch of physical comedy). I smiled. I was so there.
Andrew Clover’s novel, The Things I’d Miss, is published by Arrow books. http://www.theguardian.com
What happened to the famous novelist Ernest Hemingway is an example of the typical brief or initial near-death experience. During World War I, Hemingway was wounded by shrapnel while fighting on the banks of the river Piave, near Fossalta, Italy. He convalesced in Milan. In a letter from there to his family, he made this cryptic statement: “Dying is a very simple thing. I’ve looked at death and really I know.” Years later, Hemingway explained to a friend what had occurred on that fateful night in 1918.
“”A big Austrian trench mortar bomb, of the type that used to be called ash cans, exploded in the darkness. I died then. I felt my soul or something coming right out of my body, like you’d pull a silk handkerchief out of a pocket by one corner. It flew around and then came back and went in again and I wasn’t dead anymore.”
Hemingway remained deeply affected by this out-of-body/initial near-death experience throughout his life, and was never again as “hard-boiled” as he once had been. “A FAREWELL TO ARMS” contains a passage where the character Frederic Henry undergoes the same confrontation with death that Hemingway did:
“I ate the end of my piece of cheese and took a swallow of wine. Through the other noise I heard a cough, then came the chuh-chuh-chuh-chuh – then there was a flash, as when a blast-furnace door is swung open, and a roar that started white and went red and on and on in a rushing wind. I tried to breathe but my breath would not come and I felt myself rush bodily out of myself and out and out and out and all the time bodily in the wind. I went out swiftly, all of myself, and I knew I was dead and that it had all been a mistake to think you just died. Then I floated, and instead of going on I felt myself slide back. I breathed and I was back.”
legendary Star Wars director George Lucas surprised the world when he came out with his own personal near death experience
“When I was eighteen I was in an automobile accident and went through a near-death experience. I was actually taken away from the scene, presumed dead, and it wasn’t until I reached the hospital that the doctors revived my heartbeat and brought me back to life. This is the kind of experience that molds people’s beliefs. But I have found that most of my conclusions have evolved from observing life since that time. If I’ve come to know anything, it’s that these questions are as unknowable for us as they would be for a tree or for an ant.”
Jane Seymour was 36 years of age, she had a severe case of the flu and was given an injection of penicillin. She suffered an allergic reaction which led to a near-death experience.
“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. I remember my whole life flashing before my eyes, but I wasn’t thinking about winning Emmys or anything like that. The only thing I cared about was that I wanted to live because I did not want anyone else looking after my children. I was floating up there thinking, “No, I don’t want to die. I’m not ready to leave my kids.” And that was when I said to God, “If you’re there, God, if you really exist and I survive, I will never take your name in vain again.” Although I believe that I “died” for about thirty seconds, I can remember pleading with the doctor to bring me back. I was determined I wasn’t going to die.”
Peter Sellers seated in a Hollywood mockup of a limousine’s back seat while shooting his last great film, “Being There”, he told Shirley MacLaine about his near-death experience which happened in 1964, during the first of a rapid series of eight heart attacks, when his heart stopped and he was clinically dead, he had an out-of-body experience and saw the bright, loving light.
“”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 … I wasn’t frightened or anything like that because I was fine; and it was my body that was in trouble….I looked around myself and I saw an incredibly beautiful bright loving white light above me. I wanted to go to that white light more than anything. I’ve never wanted anything more. I know there was love, real love, on the other side of the light which was attracting me so much. It was kind and loving and I remember thinking ‘That’s God’…”