Updated: 14 November 2012
MASTER INDEX of articles written, posted online or recommended by Alex Paterson
It has become clear over the past few decades that a significant number of people have experienced what would appear to be the beginning of the physical death process, but for a variety of reasons have elected not to continue on with the process and 'returned' to the physical realm to tell the tale. Such an experience is known as a Near Death Experience (NDE). Practically all who have experienced a Near Dear Experience report the event to be the most beautiful and profound experience of their life and in this respect my case is no different.
When I was about eight or nine years old I was kicked in the chest by a horse which briefly stopped my heart from beating. I found myself in a state of indescribable bliss, bathed in wave upon wave of unconditional love that has no counterpart in this realm. I instinctively 'knew' that I was 'home'. I also 'knew' that I was infinite (in the true sense of the word), that I was immortal, that I was the Universe in its entirety and that 'I' was the author of it all. The 'knowing' I speak of transcended the doubt one experiences in the physical realm. And I 'knew' all this from the perspective of a nine year old child who, prior to the experience, had not developed any notions about God, the Universe, infinity or immortality. The 'knowing' I speak of was all very matter of fact as in I clearly remember thinking at the time; "well of course I am the author of it all; who else could it be!" Interestingly enough, there was no paradox associated with the revelatory nature of the experience because I deep down I 'knew' I was simply remembering something I had always known. 1
The bliss pervading the experience was accompanied be an incredible vibrancy to my senses of perception. Thus the colors, sounds, tastes, feelings and emotions all seemed manifestly 'more', yet paradoxically I have no actual recollection of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or feeling anything as the experience had no context within the 'rules' of the physical universe. 2
Words do not go close to describing the profound nature of the experience or the bliss pervading it. The experience was the most 'real' I have ever experienced in my current life and as such it was literally 'life changing'. 3
I didn't see the tunnel of light referred to by so many others who have a NDE and with an audible "whoosh" I snapped back into the pain, heaviness and 'greyness' of this reality, with a group of terrified people around me shaking my physical body.
Years later I asked my spirit guides why I had been blessed to have such an experience, to which they answered; "so you would remember from within the physical realm who you really are prior to developing any false ideas about it."
There is a delicious irony in all this. Most people perceive 'death' as one of the worst evils they could experience in their lives (whether it be their own death or that of loved ones) yet if the Near Death Experiences (NDE) had by so many are anywhere near the 'truth', then the most beautiful experience a human being is ever going to have in this life is his or her own death. The irony of the perceived worst being the best highlights the cosmic humour which seems to underlie the 'Game' associated with experience in this realm.
Perhaps not unsurprisingly I have little fear of death now and in a sense I actually look forward to it, although that does not imply that I have suicidal tendencies.
NOTE: For another excellent insight into the nature of God and the
Universe I recommend readers read Mellen-Thomas Benedict's account of
his Near Death Experience at:
Alex Paterson (2000)
1. The 'knowing' I speak of is the closest to an absolute state of being I suspect a human can experience from within the realms of perception. To this end I was conscious of the 'Absolute' even though I was not absolutely conscious. The 'Absolute' is infinite, unchanging (i.e. timeless) and beyond process and therefore has no counterpoint. The 'Absolute' transcends the dictomy that defines the realms of perception and as such really can't really be experienced, let alone conceptualized, by the human mind. This is the reason why I say "I was conscious of the 'Absolute' even though I was not absolutely conscious."
2. It needs to be understood that like all realms of perception, the physical universe is defined by 'limits' associated with the interplay of so called opposites (i.e. duality) such as here versus there, up versus down, big versus small, hot versus cold, positive versus negative, good versus evil, positive versus negative etc. However, being infinite the 'Absolute' transcends all the so called limits of the realms of perception.
3. The author of 'The Big Book of Near Death Experiences', P.M.H Atwater who has personally had three NDEs in her current life has this to say about the effect an NDE has on the experiencer;
"As a researcher, I can assure you that any type of near-death
experience can be life-changing. But as an experiencer, I can
positively affirm that being bathed in The Light on the other side of
death is more than life changing. That light is the very essence, heart
and soul, the all-consuming consumption of ecstasy. It is a million
suns of compressed love dissolving everything unto itself, annihilating
thought and cell, vaporizing humanness and history, into the one great
brilliance of all that is and all that ever was and all that ever will
be. You know its God. No one has to tell you. You know. You no
longer believe in God, for belief implies doubt. There is no more
doubt. None. You now know God. And you know that you know. And you are
never the same again. And you know who you are - a child of God,
a cell in The Greater Body, an extension of The One Force, and
expression from The One Mind. No more can you forget your identity, or
deny or ignore or pretend it away. There is One, and you are of the
One. One. The Light does that to you. While not every experiencer
speaks of God as I have here, the majority do. And almost to a person
they gravitate toward a more spiritual viewpoint, preferring to
recognize that which is sacred as an integral part of their everyday
Source: page 95 'The Big Book of Near Death Experiences' by P.M.H Atwater
P.M.H Atwater's description above regarding her NDEs encapsulates exactly what I experienced in my NDE, especially her reference to the lack of any doubt about being in the presence of God during the experience. As she said; "You know its God. No one has to tell you. You know."
Wikipedia article about P.M.H Atwater: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._M._H._Atwater
MASTER INDEX of articles written, posted online or recommended by Alex Paterson
Copyright © Alex Paterson 1999
Alex PATERSON is an Australian citizen by birth. He writes articles and advises on issues pertaining to aviation, politics, sociology, the environment, sustainable farming, history, computers, natural health therapies, esoteric teachings and spirituality.
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