In 1974, as a result of Ptomaine poisoning, I had what I later discovered was a Near-Death Experience (NDE). It frightened the life out of me.
At that time, there was no information about this most profound, mind-blowing, spiritual experience. I was convinced I had developed a psychosis and was waiting with much trepidation for the next episode. Fortunately, it did not appear.
However, what did appear was a book written by Dr. Raymond Moody called “Life after Life”. I read it in 2 days and found it most therapeutic. It did 2 things for me, first, to my great relief, I found I was not the only one to have an NDE. I was not alone and second, even better, it was clear I had not developed a psychosis.
There are many many accounts, articles and books about the NDE, including 123,000,000 references on Google. The most compelling, I think, is the book by Dr. Eben Alexander, “Proof of Heaven.”
Being a brain surgeon, he was uniquely qualified to comment in medical terms about his NDE and how the deteriorated condition of his brain would preclude any activity in the cerebral cortex and therefore any form of awareness.
But as the book explains; he was still aware, sentient, cognizant of his surrounding and still had intent. Just as if he was conscious. Anyone with an inquiring mind will ask the obvious question, “How can that happen?” That was the question I asked myself after my NDE.
How it happened
My NDE was not deep; I had only three of the nineteen aspects identified by researchers such as the Near Death Research Foundation and the International Assn. for Near-Death Studies, (IANDS) so I will not dwell on the details here. That is not the subject of this article.
However, the experience did, like many others, alter my paradigm or worldview, the nature of the universe and the Divine. All very profound.
To me, my NDE was so unusual, unexpected and strange that I was left with many questions, not least of which is what, exactly, happened to me and how? What was the modus operandi of this experience? How can someone be conscious and aware and be medically unconscious at the same time? I decided to research my NDE in detail.
I have considerable experience as an insurance claims investigator/adjuster, which was excellent training for investigating and researching this whole subject. My work in claims taught me that almost nothing is ever exactly as it first appears and the truth must make sense. Another useful attribute is that I am like a little kid, I want to know everything.
One of the first aspects of the NDE is being aware one is out of one’s body and floating around and looking down on the physical body. In order to do that, there must be something containing the consciousness that is not physical.
I conclude this because I have found no reports of people seeing something floating around when someone is having an NDE. So my research concentrated on this particular aspect.
My first clue came from a book I borrowed from the library at the College of Psychic Studies in London UK. I asked the librarian what she recommended for a first time visitor. She told me, “Just close your eyes for a moment them reach out and choose the first book you touch.”
I did and the book I picked was “Journey’s Out of Body” by Robert Monroe, stories of a man who could leave his body at will and travel wherever he wanted.
He started the Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia, to continue his research. I start to believe something when the experiment can be repeated and his certainly could. So this confirmed the phenomenon is real but it still didn’t tell me what the modus operandi was. The consciousness must be contained in something.
My next clues came from two experiments undertaken by two people a world apart. The first was Dr. W. Tiller, Professor Emeritus at UC Berkley. His experiment showed there was more to consciousness than meets the eye.
He discovered that conscious thought has the ability to alter physical matter. He was able to alter the pH of water simply by direct thought at the container. He called this ability Psychoenergetics.
The other experiment was one undertaken by Masaru Emoto of Yokohama Japan. He discovered that the formation of ice crystals could be affected and manipulated, again, by thought alone.
What is the connection between thought and consciousness?
If matter can be affected by thought, it follows that thought must have or be energy. So what is the connection between thought and consciousness? The answer seems to be quite complicated and appears to be an extensive subject. However, there is a consensus that without physical consciousness, there is no thought. This is where it gets interesting.
During an NDE, the person is usually physically unconscious, quite often under anaesthesia, but has reported they have become conscious when they leave their body and can think, are aware and have intent as if they were physically conscious.
We can, therefore, conclude this consciousness is the same no matter what the physical condition of the body. The next question is: how can the consciousness leave the body? We know it is or has energy, but we need more information.