Who are we, really? Do we survive physical death? Can our consciousness transcend physical decay? There are no bigger questions and there is no shortage of answers.
For more than twenty years cardiologist Pim van Lommel has researched the science behind near-death experiences (NDEs) in clients who made it through a heart attack. In 2001, he and his team released a research paper on Near Death Experiences in the The Lancet, a distinguished medical journal . He later authored the book Consciousness Beyond Life, a bestseller, in 2010.
The NDE is a genuine experience that can not be reduced to mere imagination, psychosis or even oxygen deprivation. Dr. Van Lommel reveals how our awareness is not necessarily correlated with brain functioning. After implementing various controls and painstaking corroboration, he and his team have been able to demonstrate that awareness does indeed survive bodily death.
1 thought on “Consciousness and Near Death Experiences”
When my middle sone, David, was five years old, he became violently ill. I stayed awake taking care of him for five days and nights before the doctor decided to hospitalize him. That’s when we learned that David had contracted aplastic anemia, a fatal disease of the immune system.
I was relieved he was being taken care of in the hospital, because I was exhausted. While I was upset by the diagnosis, I was too tired even to think about it. Like Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, I decided to think about it tomorrow. My husband, Art, wanted to escape the pain by going to a drive-in movie. I went along with him, knowing I could sleep at the drive in.
We went to see a horrible movie, “Blood Island,” and parked on the front row. I guess the intensity took me over the edge, because I had a heart attack. I couldn’t breath. I could inhale, but it didn’t feel like I was getting any oxygen. The world faded out. Art said my heart stopped beating for several minutes. He thought I was dead. Perhaps I did.
I had a fantastic experience! I heard beautiful, other worldly, music, and then my guardian angel appeared. I knew I was dying, but I resisted death out of concern for my children. What would happen to them? My angel showed me that my children would be fine without me. After I knew my children would be all right, I felt at peace and free to walk into the light. There was nothing I wanted more than to go Home to God. The light was so beautiful and compelling.
However, just as I started to leave, I remembered that I hadn’t accomplished my life’s goal. My goal was to become love. My guardian angel suggested that I could become love as of that moment and fulfill my mission. This was a wonderful and welcome solution. I rejoiced and started to accept her solution, when I suddenly had a deeper realization. “No!” I exclaimed. “I need to become love and live it.”
My guardian angel understood my need, but she cautioned me about what lay ahead if I decided to return to life. She showed me how my personal growth had come from my environment. I had been moved along by the currents of life, without really choosing my own destiny. Nothing in life was going to force me to grow if things stayed the same. I could just vegetate and get by on past accomplishments without making any real progress.
She told me the only way I could continue to grow was by choice. I would have to choose to create changes and opportunities for growth in my life, instead of just doing what came easy to me. I agreed to live my life by choice from that time forward, creating opportunities for growth.
With that thought, I was suddenly back in my body, experiencing a lot of pain. My husband was bending over me, frantically trying to force me to breath. I gasped for air and got it. I felt weak, but I knew I was all right. I didn’t need to see a doctor. I wasn’t sick. The only purpose for my dying experience was so that I might begin to live.
I had also learned that death wasn’t to be feared. Death was merely the process of being transformed into light. The Light was beautiful and compelling. The music was like none I had ever heard before. I had truly wanted to walk into the Light. Only my life’s purpose brought me back. I no longer feared my own or my son’s death. That changed everything.
I took a fresh look at what I was to do about David. I prayed and asked God for guidance. I had learned a lot about healing in the past few years. I had learned enough to know that healing the body is not always appropriate. Perhaps it was time for David to make a transition to the other side. Because of my new experience with death, I knew it wasn’t anything to be afraid of. I wanted to know God’s plan for David? Was he to be healed or make a transition? I didn’t want to interfere with God’s plan. I loved David more than I wanted to hang on to him.
I wanted to know what was best for David, so I prayed for an answer. Then I heard the still small voice inside me saying,“You don’t have to know what is best for David. All you have to do is love him. If he is to be healed, your love will heal him, and if he is to make a transition, your love will help him make the transition.” How simple was the answer. I fell into a peaceful sleep. God was asking me to do something I knew how to do . . . love. That day he “went into what the doctor called remission” and today, almost 45 years later, he is a fantastic father and has given me 3 wonderful grandchildren.