‘I crossed over’: Survivors of near-death experiences share ‘afterlife’ stories

http://www.today.com/health/i-crossed-over-survivors-near-death-experiences-share-afterlife-stories-t12841
For many, the question of what happens when we die is a mysterious one — a recent TODAY survey found that 55 percent of people are absolutely certain there is an afterlife, 37 percent are not certain, and 8 percent are certain there isn’t an afterlife.

But for some who have been through near-death experiences, the question has a clear answer.

2d274908104759-anita-birthday-jimmys02-blocks_desktop_small_d2eda64319ea3b12413135611f4ab5f1.today-inline-largeTake public speaker Anita Moorjani, who shared her story with Maria Shriver on TODAY.”I believe that I died, yes — that I crossed over into the afterlife and back,” said Moorjani, adding that the afterlife is “like being in a really unlimited space and time.”

Diagnosed with lymphoma in 2002, Moorjani — who considers herself more spiritual than religious — was losing her cancer battle, withering down to just 85 pounds and battling tumors from the base of her skull to her abdomen. She slipped into a coma in February 2006.
She says that’s when she died and crossed over to an afterlife.
bookcover_5bc4c9a5c7f5b4b07e912e458455d0e9.today-inline-med“I felt as though I was above my body,” she said. “It was like I had 360-degree peripheral vision of the whole area around. But not just in the room where my body was in, but beyond the room.”
According to Moorjani, the author of the new book “Dying To Be Me”, she was reunited in that state with her late father, who told her to turn back.
“He said that I’ve gone as far as I can, and if I go any further, I won’t be able to turn back,” she said. “But I felt I didn’t want to turn back, because it was so beautiful. It was just incredible, because, for the first time, all the pain had gone. All the discomfort had gone. All the fear was gone. I just felt so incredible. And I felt as though I was enveloped in this feeling of just love. Unconditional love.”
Citing an “incredible clarity where everything started to make sense,” she said she decided to return to her body because she believed “it would heal very, very quickly.” It did.
“Within four days, my tumors shrunk by 70 percent, and the doctors were shocked,” she said. “And I kept telling everyone that, ‘I know I’m going to be okay. I know it’s not my time to die.'”
Moorjani isn’t alone in connecting a “crossing over” experience to healing.

Diagnosed at age 4 with a chronic digestive disorder, 8-year-old Annabel Beam experienced intense pain and frequent hospital visits. “She was always so sweet and gracious,” her father, Kevin, told TODAY. “She wasn’t making a big deal out of it, and she was suffering in silence.”But the suffering started to overwhelm Annabel.

2d274908104372-annabel-crop-blocks_desktop_small_f046aaed4f3a3b7e66d12704a6170891.today-inline-large“I told my mom, ‘Mama, I want to die, and go to heaven with Jesus where there is no more pain. I don’t want to be in this much pain for the rest of my life,'” she said. “And so I was so committed to just giving up that sometimes whenever I couldn’t sleep I’d kinda try and figure out what would happen if I did die. Then I decided, my mom would come with me. My dad would stay and watch my sisters.”

Annabel’s mother, Christy, refused to believe what she’d heard. “I remember thinking, ‘That’s not what she said,'” Christy recalled. “She doesn’t know anything about giving up. She’s a fighter.”

Days later, Annabel said she fell 30 feet from a tree branch that cracked while she was sitting on it with her sister, Abbie. She claims that after bumping her head three times on the way down and falling into the hollowed-out base of the tree, she died and went to heaven.

Read an excerpt of Annabel’s story from ‘Miracles from Heaven’ here

2d274908104020-miraclesfromheaven-coverimage-blocks_desktop_x_small_926349c54839cc4981c490e004826a38.today-inline-med“It was really bright, and I sat on Jesus’ lap and he told me, ‘Whenever the firefighters get you out, there will be nothing wrong with you,'” Annabel recalled. “And I asked him if I could stay and he said, ‘No, I have plans you need to fulfill on Earth that you cannot fulfill in heaven.'”

“She was very matter-of-fact: very ‘This is what happened,’ not at all animated, just, ‘Here are the facts,'” Christy said. “And then she stopped talking, and looked out the window for the rest of the trip.”

Now symptom-free, Annabel has gone from taking 10 daily medications to none. She fell 30 feet head first, without any injuries or one bug bite,” her mom said. “She came out of that tree hours later wet, muddy, and with scratches. And she’s well.”

The tree, which recently toppled due to weather, remains in the Beam family front yard, beside a cross Kevin carved after the accident.

“I’m glad that I didn’t ever try and cut it down,” he said. “I do think that this tree was actively involved in a miracle.”

His wife — who turned Annabel’s story into the book “Miracles from Heaven” — agreed. “It had a purpose,” Christy said. “It was a vessel.”

Annabel, who continues to climb trees, feels fortunate. “Most kids aren’t ever healed,” she said. “And so anytime I see [the tree], I’m just grateful, and happy.”

Why Seeing The Dead Isn’t Always Believing

http://whitecrowbooks.com/michaeltymn/entry/why_seeing_the_dead_isnt_always_believing/

Michael Tymn blog on White Crow Books

Posted on 19 October 2015, 12:05

Jurgen ZieweIn his recently released book, Vistas of Infinity, Jurgen Ziewe (below) gives details of his many out-of-body experiences (OBEs) and exploration of other realms of existence.  “I, personally, have spent many hundreds of hours in full walking awareness outside of my body on the flip-side of physical life and meticuloulsy recorded what I found in my diaries over a period of more than forty years,” Ziewe offers in the Introduction of the book, subtitled How to Enjoy Life When You Are Dead.

During one of his early OBEs, Ziewe visited his deceased mother.  “The only way I recognized my mother was by her aura and the feeling of her,” he writes. “Nothing of her outer appearance was anything that resembled the woman who had reared me and who I had known all my life.  It was as if she had undergone a total make-over, including cosmetic surgery, and redesigned every single detail of her appearance.  I was struggling to find any characteristic at all which reminded me of her externally.”  Accompanying his mother was his aunt, both women old, wrinkled and worn down when they departed this life but both appearing vivaciously young when Ziewe encountered them in another realm of existence.

“I had met my mother not all that long ago and had grown accustomed to the fact that it was only too easy to change your looks in these post-Earth life dimensions and how difficult it must be to maintain the same appearance in a world which was so much determined by thoughts and the feelings of the people who lived there,” he says of a later visit with his mother.  Later in the book, he mentions that he did not have one meeting with his mother in which she looked the same as in the previous meeting.

When I further discussed this with Ziewe by email, he added:  “I noticed people on the astral level manifest their states of minds and inner feelings in their appearance as well as their new assumed identity.”  He referred to a chapter in his book in which he describes meeting a horribly disfigured woman during an OBE.  As he was to find out, the woman was a prostitute who had died from a heroin overdoes.  She did not realize she had “died” until Ziewe informed her. In effect, the woman’s state of mind had manifested in her appearance.

“On the higher, positive levels, humans have an angelic beauty and are often mistaken for angels, but that doesn’t mean their appearance does not change with their intent or a shift of inner feelings,” Ziewe further explained.

In reading Ziewe’s explanation of this, I thought about the experience of Dr. C. J. Ducasse, a philosophy professor at Brown University for 32 years, as he reported it in his 1961 book, A Critical Examination Of The Belief in a Life After Death.  For some two hours, under very good red light, Ducasse observed 18 different materializations, all of them recognized by others in attendance.  In some cases, the materialized entities spoke with the sitters and caressed them.  Finally a materialized form came to Ducasse and spoke to him, but he did not recognize her.  When he asked her to identify herself, she replied that she was his mother. “She did not, however, speak, act, or in the least resemble my mother,” Ducasse wrote. “This was not a disappointment to me since I had gone there for purposes not of consolation but of observation.”  The friend who had taken Ducasse to the circle informed him that his mother had materialized on a number of occasions and that the form sometimes looked like her and sometimes it did not.

kingIn his 1952 book, New Light on Survival, Roy Dixon-Smith, a British military officer, told of his deceased wife Betty materializing with two different mediums.  Because of the “ectoplasmic wrapping,” he could not confirm that it was Betty (right) on the first such materialization, although the voice, shape, and features all appeared to be hers. With the second medium, Minnie Harrison, he clearly recognized Betty and kissed her before he observed her form sink to the floor at his feet, where it dissolved with the last wisp of it drawn into the materialization cabinet.

marryatDr. John King, a Toronto physician who founded the Canadian Society for Psychical Research, reported on mind-boggling sittings with Joseph Jonson of Toledo, Ohio, during 1911, in his 1920 book, Dawn of the Awakened Mind. His deceased wife, May, materialized on three different sittings with Jonson, but King noted that she appeared shorter than her normal height in the first sitting.  In the second and third sittings she appeared at her normal height, while her form, features, voice, and mannerisms were all that he had become familiar with over his 25-year marriage. She spoke of some very personal matters, things which King said were beyond any research by the medium.  Like Dixon-Smith, King observed his wife’s form dissolve and seemingly disappear into the floor in front of him.

In her 1892 book There is No Death, Florence Marryat, a popular writer of that era, tells of a sitting with a materialization medium in which an old family friend, John Powles, communicated but initially declined to materialize.  Peter, the medium’s spirit control, explained that “he doesn’t want to show himself because he’s not a bit like what he used to be.”  However, when Marryat persuaded him to show himself, she saw only a face that didn’t resemble her old friend in the slightest.  She wrote that it was “hard, stiff, and unlifelike.”  Powles then told her to sit with the medium again and he would try to do better the next time.  At the next sitting, Powles appeared as Marryat remembered him. “The face of John Powles appeared, very different from the time before, as he had his own features and complexion, but his hair and beard (which were auburn during life) appeared phosphoric, as though made of living fire,” Marryat wrote.

After dying in the Titanic disaster of 1912, William T. Stead, a renowned author and social activist, began communicating through several mediums. He explained that there were souls on his side who had the power of sensing people (mediums) who could be used for communication.  One such soul helped him find mediums and showed him how to make his presence known.  It was explained to him that he had to visualize himself among the people in the flesh and imagine that he was standing there in the flesh with a strong light thrown upon himself.  “Hold the visualization very deliberately and in detail, and keep it fixed upon my mind, that at that moment I was there and they were conscious of it,” Stead explained the process.

Stead added that the people at one sitting were able to see only his face because he had seen himself as only a face.  “I imagined the part they would recognize me by.”  It was in the same way he was able to get a message through.  He stood by the medium, concentrated his mind on a short sentence, and repeated it with much emphasis and deliberation until he could hear part of it spoken through the medium.

Communicating through the mediumship of Gladys Osborne Leonard, Claude Kelway-Bamber, a British pilot killed in the Great War, told his mother that he had to concentrate and will his spirit body to stiffen and consolidate before attempting to communicate with her, and it was not until he had absolute mental command over himself in every detail could he even begin. “I had to learn how to locate in my mind the exact place or distance from my mind to where my toes would be,” he explained, “for I must set the mental picture to get exactly five toes on each foot.  I must then switch off and yet retain the idea while I think of what the top of my head looks like.  I do all this because as soon as I get in touch with these atmospheric forces I have to hold myself together strongly to resist them.  Now, if I am not in a hurry to reach my destination, I do not trouble to do anything further than to keep a clear picture of myself in the proportions in which I appear in my own sphere, and I project my thoughts all the time to the place to which I am going, but the first consideration is always my body.  If I were in a great hurry, directly I started, I should get the picture of myself very clear, and then I should quickly but gradually contract my body from within; only an advanced spirit can do this, not a newcomer.  I begin by drawing my whole consciousness within myself, and in so doing I draw upward and onward each part of my body, making myself very self-centered and brining my extremities nearer to my consciousness.  I have told you my body is made of atoms, but because they are minutely fine I can actually consolidate them into very small space; there is so much God-force holding them together.  When I get near my destination, I gradually and consciously expand my body to normal dimensions.  I only contract my body in this way for emergency traveling, and I know spirits who lave been here many years and who cannot do it; it is only intended for those who have serious and special work to do, in which case it is expedient.”

In effect, we have two different situations here – the OBEs reported by Ziewe in which the spirit’s state of advancement appears to govern the spirit’s appearance, and the mediumship experience in which the materializing spirit has to project a picture of himself as he recalls himself looking when in the flesh into the ectoplasm.  The latter apparently isn’t always that easy and takes some practice by the materializing spirit.

The two situations are not in conflict with each other, since the mediumship experience seems to confirm what Ziewe says about appearance – that is, it is not the same as when in the material life.  It is a matter of recalling the image and projecting it so that those present at the sitting will recognize the spirit as a former loved one or friend.  Dr. Charles Richet, a Nobel Prize winner in medicine, reported speaking with a spirit and asking him to show himself, but the spirit replied that he could not show himself as he could not remember what he looked like when in the flesh.

All that may be too much for the debunker or the person who assumes that celestial conditions must match the terrestrial to accept, but for the more open-minded person it helps turn nonsense into sense.

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die is published by White Crow Books. His latest book, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife is now available on Amazon and other online book stores. His latest book Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I is published by White Crow Books.

Next blog post:  November 8

The Significance of End-of-Life Dreams and Visions

http://spiritualityhealth.com/blog/traci-pedersen/significance-end-life-dreams-and-visions#at_pco=smlrebh-1.0&at_si=55fafa42035620f2&at_ab=per-12&at_pos=3&at_tot=4

lightthroughtreesFor many of us, an amazing phenomenon will occur in the final weeks before taking our last breath: we will experience an end-of-life dream or vision (ELDV). Experts have typically estimated that approximately 50-60% of people who are dying experience these comforting dreams and visions, and yet, according to a new study which interviewed Hospice patients, those statistics may be even higher, at nearly 90%. The findings are both astonishing and comforting.

For the study, researchers from Daemen College and Hospice Buffalo conducted a total of 453 interviews with 66 Hospice patients over a period of 18 months. The study is the first to document ELDVs directly from patients during their final days.

On a daily basis, the patients were asked to report any dreams or visions they had experienced, whether they occurred while they were awake or asleep, their content and frequency, how real they seemed, and if they were comforting or discomforting. Of the 66 participants, 59 individuals were included in the study. Of these, an overwhelming 88% experienced at least one dream or vision.

According to the findings, 72% of all ELDVs involved seeing and/or communicating with a deceased loved one, with most receiving loving reassurance or guidance of some kind. ELDVs that involved deceased loved ones, or even deceased pets, were reported by patients as being far more comforting than ELDVs of loved ones who were still alive. ELDVs of deceased loved ones became more and more common as patients grew closer to death.

Interestingly, 39% of ELDVs involved a theme of going away or preparing to go somewhere. Overwhelmingly, patients reported that they had gained a sense of ‘personal meaningfulness’ as a direct result of their ELDVs and, when the time came, these patients almost always experienced calm and peaceful deaths.

In one example, a 76 year old patient dreamed about being a boy again, smelling his mother’s perfume, and hearing her soothing voice saying ‘I love you.’ He had another dream about his father giving him valuable life lessons and feeling as though his father approved of him.

Unfortunately, some ELDVs are written off by others as delirium or hallucinations; ELDVs, however, have several features in stark contrast to delirium. For example, ELDVs are often experienced in patients with heightened acuity and clear consciousness; they are also recalled with extreme ease. In fact, many dreams are so clear and intense that the dream crosses from the sleep state and into waking reality. In contrast to delirium, ELDVs also result in a sense of inner peace and acceptance.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care, include the following facts:
• 45.3% of ELDVs occur during sleep
• 15.7% of ELDVs occur while awake
• 39.1%of ELDVs occur while awake and asleep (sometimes starting as an intense dream and continuing as a vision into waking hours.)
• 28% of ELDVs were of past meaningful experiences
• Nearly 99% of patients said the ELDV felt very real; not foggy or imaginary
• There was a notable absence of dreams featuring religious figures
Overwhelmingly, patients who experience ELDVs lose their fear of death and gain soothing insights into their mortality. The experience of dying is transformed from a scary and puzzling event into a natural process wrapped in comfort and complete acceptance.

Traci Pedersen is a professional freelance writer who specializes in psychology, science, health, and spiritual themes. Some of her most recent work includes covering the latest research news in science and psychology, writing science chapter books for elementary students, and developing teacher resource books. When she is not researching and writing, she is spending time with her family, reading anything and everything, and going to the beach as often as possible.