Friday, April 29, 2005

Tim's NDE

I was so excited when I read this entry in Love Works Daily that I asked its author Tim Henry if I could add it to my blog. He said yes! (Yes is such a wonderful word to hear.)

If you’ve read my blog much, you know that I am intrigued by the life review process that many NDErs talk about. This NDE feature shows up repeated in Kenneth Ring’s excellent book, Lessons from the Light. It also appears in some of the talks that NDErs give at Seattle IANDS.

As Tim Henry’s account shows, the life review is a phenomenon that takes place out of time as we know it. While people are in the process of dying, they step out of physical world time and enter another place where they can have an amazingly minutiae-filled review of every second they spent on earth.

Some people suggest that they live every single second all over again. While they are doing this, they are also absorbing an incredible amount of data about the universe. Any question they want an answer to gets answered.

Here’s is Tim’s account in his own words:

Food For Thought:

For along time now I've had the strange ability to see a little bit into the future.

I refer to it as, seeing "one day ahead".

Sometimes it is a few moments ahead.

Sometimes it is months ahead.

I can predict certain things with uncanny precision.


The problem with it seem to be that I only get to see whatever time period has been provided to me...and nothing more.

For example, I may be able to see clearly what happens for a few months, and then after that I see nothing.

Or I may be able to see the result of something…like…someone falls down…but not see BEFORE it…to see WHY they fall down.

Sometimes I see only the result…sometimes only the cause.

It makes decision making regarding these "visions" very difficult, because I KNOW that I don't have all the facts, all the information.

There was a time that I did.

And this is all a true story…as Ripley (from the magazine…not from the Aliens movies) once said…"Believe it or not".

Once upon a time, I died.


Not for long…but I was electrocuted for a few seconds and I died.

I have never been the same person since, and many times I wish I was.

Before my daughter was born, and before I got divorced from my first wife, I was working in a restaurant as a cook in a fast paced short order kitchen.

The orders were stacking up, and Patti (that's my first wife) and I were running the restaurant alone. She was the waitress…I was the cook. Just the two of us.

I got in way too much of a hurry, and when I ran out of grated cheese for a taco salad. I grabbed a block of cheese, grabbed a wet rag to protect my hand, grabbed a big steel knife, and proceeded to cut right through the big block of cheese.

And right into a 220 Volt power cord.

The knife stuck into the cheese and the power cord…both hands on the blade of the big steel knife with a wet rag...and


For the next few seconds, I was toast. Heart stopped, end of story.

The next thing I knew, I was on the ground...and soon an ambulance had arrived.

Patti came to my aid and comforted me (much to the upset of the restaurant owner —"how dare I die and inconvenience his customers!!!"), and soon I was being checked out, and was physically much better.

I was never the same inside.

I started having panic attacks and nightmares. My fears and phobias got much worse. Over the course of the next several years, I just became a mess.

One morning in the early 1990's, I was remembering that incident and thinking…I was really, really angry.

Why was I so angry???

Was I angry at the burger shop owner….at Patti….at myself? Why was I so angry?

Then, while I was meditating (a practice I didn't begin until the 90s), it all came back to me….the entire experience.

I was pissed because it had ALL BEEN TAKEN AWAY.

I remembered the sensation of falling head first into a black hole. Falling and falling and falling.

And while I fell, a voice in my head kept asking...Is it all finished? Is there anything left to do? Do you have anything left to reconcile? Anything you regret?

I don't know where the voice was coming from...could have been my own brain…

But regardless, as I fell and fell and fell…I did a complete inventory of my life…each time with the questions following…

So…someone picked on you at school…is that over now? So…you took something that didn't belong to you…has it been repaid? So…you said something unkind to your mother…Did you apologize?

Well, it seemed like it took days...and the falling and the question were exhausting. (remember…the memory of it…and the experience of it…took seconds…but it seemed like eternities)

Finally….and I say finally…the questions stopped. I had come up with a reconciliation for each item as it passed before my eyes…questions were over.

And there was a long silence.

I thought to myself …Now What?

The voice answered…What do you want to do?


What do you want to do?

Well…I'd like to stop falling…(that one seemed obvious!)

NO, the voice answered, now that we are done, what would you REALLY like to do?.....

Ok...I guess if I am going to be doing this for a long time…I think I would like…to…


I opened my mouth to sing the first note...

And Kaboom…I was standing on the ground in the most colorful place I had ever seen.

I am colorblind, so the colors were breathtaking and overwhelmed me.

The sound that came out of my mouth was the most perfectly tuned harmonic chord of every possible note and variation and vibration.

When I looked around me, there were plants and animals and we could communicate without words.

I had a very nice dialogue with a frog who gave the advice, "Don't make it so difficult...Just Hop."

Another with an owl that put the words "Love Works" into my head.

Yet another with a tree that expressed deep sadness about how poorly plants and animals communicate…and that talking with a tree is as simple as talking with a person. It's simply the sharing of the electrical vibration within all living beings.

And revelation after revelation, I was realizing that I had access to ALL the answers. I had complete understanding of the universe. I had returned to the source from which all things
come….and to which all things go.

Complete. Absolute. Enlightenment.

For those few seconds, I stood there in that restaurant kitchen, in pure bliss, fully connected with every other atom in the universe.

And then…I hit the floor.

For years, I had forgotten those few seconds...because they contained so
Much...but now I remembered.

And I CLEARLY remember hitting that floor...and being scared...but being really, really angry.




I lost memory of almost everything that happened during the experience as soon as I hit the floor….and for a while…the event itself.

My heart started beating again normally. I was breathing. I was no longer connected with the entire universe any more.

I felt incredibly alone...and extremely lonely…and very, very angry.

In the years following my first recollection of the near-death experience, I have begun to remember more…little bits here and there. It's as though a part of my brain that wasn't working before is now turned on.

Sometimes, I can explain complete scientific concepts…that I have never read about or have any experience with. Sometimes, I can sense feelings and emotions hundreds of miles away. Sometimes, I see pictures in my head of things that haven't happened yet.

Sometimes, I have such clarity about how things works, and what is important, that
I can hardly stand myself.

Other times, I feel crazy as a loon.

I still feel alone sometimes...and sometimes very angry.

I don't know WHY I got that little peak into the ethers.

I do know that I can't wait to continue my journey, after this body has fulfilled it's usefulness.

But I am also, oh so happy to be ALIVE! We are here to do something, and as long as we are breathing, we have a purpose, and we have no right to interfere with it.

What EXACTLY that is…I can't actually tell you...

Or maybe...sometimes I can...

But then, of course, even if I could tell you.....

We'd just be getting...


Believe it...or not!


If I had just read Tim’s account and no one else’s, I might be suspicious of his sanity. Yet having read many accounts and hearing people at IANDS groups talking about their life reviews and the “reality” they experienced in other dimensions, I have arrived at a place where I tell science “prove it’s not so.”

I’ve heard echoes of just about every aspect of Tim’s NDE expressed by others, including the anger. This is especially true of those who have experienced intense injuries and a bunch of surgeries and whose life is filled with daily excruciating pain. Yet despite all that pain they are also grateful to be alive and especially grateful to know that there is so much out there waiting to be experienced.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

“What Is Death?” = “What Is Life?”

In a strange way, focusing on the question of what death is also focuses attention to the question of what life is. You can’t have one without the other.

It’s a question central to my novel, The Big If. My protagonist, Benjamin Fields, has conversations with what he considers to be an imaginary woman. However, as Chloe predicts his future on numerous occasions, Benjamin (cue the eerie music) wonders if this imaginary woman is more than total fiction:

Voices. So many voices inside. Which ones should I listen to? Voices from memories? The voice of reason? The Voice of America? The voice of inspiration? Chloe was an extraordinary entity babbling in my mind, but was her voice real? Was facing her voice facing reality or was it facing a growing, expanding psychosis borne of betrayal and too many nights spent alone in bed?

It all comes back to death, I told myself (and any spirit entity within listening range.) If we pass through life one time and fade to black at its conclusion, we’re off the hook. We can do anything we want. Life is an orgy of opportunity. We can gorge on sweet treats, feast on intoxicants, then fuck our remaining brains away in a fireworks spectacular. Nothing stops us from taking the curves at high speed. We can lie, cheat, steal, kill. We can fly hijacked airliners into tall buildings or torch innocent people in subways. We can strangle diversity and individuality with corporate branding and profiteering. We can steal our neighbor’s newspaper and applaud when our dogs poop on their lawns. We can beat each other unmercifully with knives or fists or gossip or competition. We can seduce other people’s spouses or drag folks into our shit piles to make us feel superior. If life is a free ride with no penalty box or no hope of survival or no stairway to heaven, what’s the point? What do you get for good behavior? Why not just claw and scrape our way through the garbage heap?

Here’s the guessing game part—what if we
don’t fade to black? What if we dissolve from one reality to another? What if how we spend our lives in this physical world determines where we end up in the next world? I wish dead people sent postcards back. Having a wonderful time. Can’t wait to see you here. Why is the afterlife such a mighty question mark? What point is the Universe making by being so stingy with proof of the Big Picture? Just imagine if for one day all the living people on earth could see dead people walking. Gawking at us. Even ignoring us. If I saw all that ectoplasm, I’d change my ways. For one thing, I would quit jerking off. Not that I have anything against jerking off—as Woody Allen said, it’s sex with someone I love—but I wouldn’t do it for an audience. Not unless one or two of them stripped and joined me. But then it wouldn’t be solo. Then it would be consensual sensuality. Consensuality. Nor would I work the same job if I knew for sure that death wasn’t a ghastly slide to blackout. Then I morally couldn’t participate in my role to convince juries to award the big bucks in death cases. It’s just not as effective: “Well, Billy isn’t really dead. He’s basking in the light with all his angel friends.” Pain and suffering won’t pay as handsomely if the defense proves that a perceived tragedy is actually a karmic debt slapped on the barrelhead.

I get so excited thinking about the ramifications of the near-death experience and what it could mean to our world if we paid attention to the mounting anecdotal evidence of a whole lot of people saying that death is a fantasy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Addicted to Death

The more I ponder the subject, the more I see that we as a culture are addicted to death. We cannot live without it. Death is our security blanket that keeps us from applying in-depth investigative techniques to figure out what’s going on.

I come to this conclusion after countless hours reading about the insights and adventures of people who have had classic near-death experiences (NDEs). When these people died, albeit temporarily, their conscious minds left their bodies. Once they were resuscitated, they had awesome stories to tell, although they often encountered statements like, “Oh, that was just the drugs, dear.”

Addicted to death means that we are resisting the massive anecdotal evidence piling up that death is a transformation, not a termination. We like the mortality system as it is. We prefer our scary stories of pain and suffering.

Here are some likely social changes I see if we paid more attention to NDErs and research proved them right.

Old Age. If we thought more about death as a leap into another world, our obsession with youth and beauty would fade. Old age currently represents a closer proximity to the grave, life’s garbage pit, rather than a gateway to a bold new adventure.

War. If there truly is no death, then the war dead are really the war living—just living somewhere else. If we understood with more clarity what happens to dead soldiers (and to the people who send soldiers off to war) we might change our warrior paradigms.

Pain and suffering. Much angst exists because we believe that we only go around once. Use it or lose it. We’re conditioned to think we’re sunk when we lose it. No, say NDErs. We get it back—and much, much more. Learn from each stage of life and each challenge.

The News. If science ever got around to proving that death doesn’t truly kill us, we wouldn’t have such scary, demoralizing infotainment as we get in the average newscast. We’d have to change the whole cynical story to match an updated concept of reality.

Materialism. Research shows that most people returning from classic NDEs lose interest in acquiring possessions and amassing wealth. They become more focused on helping others and improving the world. What do they experience that turns them around?

The economy. Fear of death and losing drive our economy. Marketers everywhere pester us with visions of the horrible empty lives we’ll lead if we don’t buy something. You won’t be such a potential victim of marketers when your reality is not so fear-driven.

Crime. Many NDErs have an exhausting life review when out of the body. They return eager to make amends and lead productive lives. If life reviews were more commonly portrayed in our culture, potential criminals might think twice before hurting others—knowing they’d really just be hurting themselves.

Sex. Whether love creation or procreation, sex in our culture is too often morbidly focused on physical activity. When you engage in it from the perspective of being an immortal soul, not just a guy or gal in a body, amazing things happen.

Of course, you needn’t wait for society to change before you do. You can pursue your own life philosophy any time you want. Once you start poking around you see that all sorts of people are walking independent paths through the cosmic forest, taking responsibility for creating the reality their soul encourages them to create.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Identity Theft and Woo-Woo

I recently took an unexpected trip to the San Francisco Bay Area. I had no computer access, so I spent a lot of time walking around thinking.

One of the things I thought about was identity theft.

How woo-woo is that? Well, plenty when you think abut it.

The more I read and listen to accounts of near-death experiences, the more I see real-world applications for this information, especially if scientific research ever comes closer to proving that consciousness survives bodily death and there’s a whole lot more to reality than what we’re taught in grade school. As research comes closer to proving that there is no death, the impact on crime could be enormous.

Identity thieves do their work on the sly, believing that no one is watching them. They are shielded by the comfort of the darkness of secrecy. They usually have no personal connection to the person whose identity they steal. They believe that he only real victim is the credit card company, that impersonal corporate entity the lives in a skyscraper in a big city.

I have been reading a lot about life reviews in different books on near-death experiences. In life reviews, not only do you step outside of time and relive everything you ever did, thought, and felt, you experience anything that anyone experienced as a result of your existence.

That identity thief who steals money under the wrap of secrecy will experience all the pain s/he caused.

The basis for the golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) turns out not to be just a religious precept; it’s great advice for the life review. If you want to have a pleasant life review, you’ll do good things. You’ll help and love people.

Contrary to what most of us automatically assume, life reviews are not intended to judge or punish us. They really just are, like gravity just is. It’s natural law, not a criminal trial. It is intended to lead to understanding, not to punishment—unlike our criminal justice system.

A substantial number of near-death experiencers come back to this plane and either privately or publicly share stories about their life review. A life review is a wake-up call about what the purpose is of life on earth. If a person has done bad, s/he is shown in a heightened empathy state why that wasn’t the best choice to make. The life review also informs the person what led to those choices. Most of us don’t make poor choices because we are delighted to pursue anti-social behavior. We do it often because that’s the only route we see.

Identity thieves, say the research, are frequently drug addicts. They do what they do because they feel trapped by their addictions.

I contend that this is not much different from a countless variety of corporate entities that with less than noble intentions manipulate people into spending money. Are those fast foods really healthy? Are those pharmaceuticals really as good for people as the press releases say? Do cigarette companies really have the best interests of humanity at heart? Do insurance companies really care about being there for people in need? Do religious leaders really have the good of the flock in mind?

All the phony baloney stuff comes out in the life review.

Another point of the life review is that every time you commit a crime against humanity, you’re also committing it against yourself. If people suffer as a result of what you do, you, in turn, feel all of their suffering as if it was your own—and it literally becomes your own in the spirit world.

As I scan the philosophical horizon, I see that there is an enormous force field that keeps our society from seriously investigating the near-death experience phenomenon. I can see why. If the composite picture that I get from reading about these experiences holds water, many social institutions would leak big time. Many of us are taught to resist change. We like the status quos, even when it makes us miserable. At least we know where we stand.

On the other hand, wouldn’t it create an interesting world if science really did prove that consciousness survives death—and as a result more people and corporations started behaving in a way they’d appreciate in some far-off life review?