inner life






Near-Death Experiences

Near-death experiences are fascinating, not because they necessarily resemble the process of death but because of the similarity among the accounts of those who have had these close encounters with death.

Taking tremendous liberties and speaking strictly from my own understanding, I would interpret a NDE as a very specific kind of out of body experience. From the perspective of a conscious individual, what is different about a NDE and a drug-induced or spiritually-attained out of body experience is that the NDE is "involuntary." Such experiences generally occur as a result of a trauma: an accident, lightning strike, suicide attempt, or serious illness or operation. When a physician is present during a NDE, the patient is perceived as dead, and if the doctor uses language to express this opinion, the patient not only hears what the doctor has said but is often confused because he or she does not "feel dead" and does not therefore believe the doctor. Most patients not only remember everything that was said "over their dead bodies," but they vividly recall the sensation of being able to look at their bodies as if outside of the body, usually hovering over the body.

The patient then goes on a life altering journey through a tunnel of light where he meets people who have already passed on, always people well-known to the patient such as family and friends. Then, and this to me is the most important common denominator of all near death experiences, the patient meets a very holy being who understands and accepts him exactly as he is. The patient gets a quick tour of heaven and then is shown what life would be like if he returns to earth. Most people do not want to leave because heaven is obviously so much nicer than earth; but the patient is shown unfinished work, often revolving around relationships with others that need to be more loving. Some are shown destinies as persons who can help relieve the world of its fear of death or who can explain heaven to those who lack faith. NDEs are always deeply transformative, and they end the fear of death for everyone who has had such an experience.

What we learn from spontaneous remissions and NDEs is that what seems to be is not necessarily the whole story. One can seem to be very ill, even dead, but so long as the soul has not abandoned the body, the medical facts can change in an instant. I had a near-death experience, as a child. I saw my life pass before me in a flash, something reported by others as well though often dismissed by doctors as some kind of neurological phenomenon.

I have been privileged to have witnessed quite a number of spontaneous remissions, mostly with paralysis and only somewhat more rarely with cancer. Still, I have had the great good fortune and blessing to have seen a few cancer patients who were literally at Death's door turn around and go on to live meaningful lives.

Each such experience is intensely personal and usually quite private. What I tell patients is that the soul creates life and soul takes it away. Sometimes I go one sentence further and say that disease never killed anyone, only the soul can snap the silver cord and plunge us into another dimension of awareness.

Permanent cure entails the discovery of the magic and mystery that make life inspiring. As I reflect on the people I know who have been truly cured, not people who have survived or experienced long remissions but people who are really free of cancer, I see that all are functioning at a higher level of insight and creativity than before their illness. Many achieved their breakthroughs suddenly as a result of what might be called revelation; others achieved this gradually through spiritual practices that raised their focus from, to quote another author, "the mundane to the magnificent." I personally believe that there is a transcendental aspect to these quantum shifts of consciousness and that the focus entails a shift from overabsorption in the self to a greater level of selflessness and commitment to love.

Fate Audio Cassettes
Today, I try to facilitate insights that are comparable to NDEs by using music therapy, guided visualization, altered states of consciousness, and meditation.



Ingrid Naiman
9 April 2006


Recommended Video:

Life After Life by Raymood Moody





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Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2001, 2006, and 2014


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