What are Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and how do they fit in with Christianity? For over 40 years, the author, Ivan Rudolph, has been conducting interviews, studying hundreds of accounts and now has clarity about this mysterious phenomenon. The truth is surprising, exciting, and ultimately relevant for everyone. Did you know that there are at least 16 million Americans who have had an NDE, including celebrities like Goldie Hawn, Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Taylor, Nikki Sixx, Burt Reynolds, and many others? Did you know that they are a part of a huge family of 350 million
For those who make them, how did you decide your New Year Resolutions? For those who didn’t, what do you hope 2019 will bring? Thinking back helps us to plan forward more successfully, providing we are brutally honest. To be successful we need not only to review 2018, but all of our lives up to now. One of the more startling things that happens to all of us in the afterlife is a comprehensive life review in fascinating detail once our consciousness (spirit) leaves our body. This is different from a physical memory on Earth because it includes all sorts of information and events we had forgotten, generally presented to us in 3D. There are thousands of written reports of this process recorded by returnees from an NDE – these are not judgements but are instead opportunities to produce New Life Resolutions on return to Earth. The commonest resolution held out to returnees is to Love – more widely, deeply, and comprehensively. This must be the centrepoint, the heart, not just of our New Year Resolutions in 2019, but of our whole lives going forward.
Life is great, and the exciting news is that it definitely continues after death!! Even some scientific studies are showing Consciousness survives death, for example the statistically significant longitudinal AWARE study. Thousands of accounts given by reliable witnesses testify the same – any unprejudiced court of law would have to declare our lives continue after death! I have given a number of examples carefully chosen as reliable witnesses in Chapter 1 of “Living Beyond: Making Sense of Near Death Experiences”. Pam’s is just one. Death is not something to avoid thinking about – the afterlife can be very exciting and brilliant for most of us. The majority of NDErs have not wanted to return to Earth. One striking feature of NDErs I have interviewed is that they no longer fear death – and so we can discuss it as an inevitable event in our lives without flinching, as I do in my book. In fact, the first few emails of commendation I received from readers were about how “Living Beyond” had helped them when losing a loved one, and two days ago I received a letter from a doctor wanting to read “Living Beyond” because she is unsure what to say to family members when a patient has died.
I hope you enjoy your Christmas gifts now and into the future. Supposing you were born blind like Vicky Umipeg—what is the greatest gift you might enjoy being given regardless of whether at Christmas or not? Or the rap artist Jason, who was shot through his eyes by a drug-crazed addict on a spree, and has been permanently blind on Earth ever since? What gift might Vicky and Jason desire most? What happened to Vicky and to Jason during their NDEs, and since, is not what you might have anticipated. We can ponder the reasons as we read their accounts.
Rhoda Fryer was a teaching colleague of mine who enjoyed the highest of personal reputations. She was recognised for her exacting standards of personal behaviour, reliability, consciousness and honesty and would be considered an exemplary witness in any court of law. Consequently when she began to tell me about her NDE (near death experience) I was all ears. There were some extraordinary features to her experiences I am sure will interest you. By the way, why not consider giving a copy of Living Beyond: Making Sense of Near Death Experiences to any adults for whom you have been struggling to think of a good Christmas present? Christmas provides a wonderful opportunity for reading.
I ended my previous Bubble with the child Amy being seen floating face downwards after drowning in a swimming pool. After her mother (nurse) and grandfather managed to revive her, she described her rescue from the pool despite floating face downwards! It was obviously her spirit suspended above her body that saw the details. After hearing and reading experiences such as Amy's, I am convinced that children that have extended NDEs do so in pleasant circumstances, which is a comfort to all parents who have lost a little one. My book "Living Beyond—Making Sense of Near Death Experiences" records some of these accounts.
I have found during interviews that NDEs can be very brief afterlife experiences, during which the spirit leaves the body and watches it down below, before re-entering it soon afterwards and life then continues on earth. There are many thousands of these readily available to researchers, kind of like “here is another ho-hum account”. Some NDEs are more extensive, however, and during interviews can reveal more about the afterlife, while others have interesting associated circumstances that deserve more careful thought than usual. I will spend some time on these fascinating and exciting examples in my December bubbles. The one I will quote today is from my interviews with Denis Cooper, taken from p6 of the opening chapter of my book “Living Beyond: Making Sense of Near Death Experiences”. By the way, why not consider giving a copy of this book to any adults for whom you have been struggling to think of a good Christmas present? Christmas provides an opportunity for reading.
This last weekend Brenda and I were at a Christian conference. We began discussing NDEs with two close friends. The husband said he knew these things happened, having read “Living Beyond”, but he couldn’t see their long-term value. Brenda mentioned the atheists who have returned and now believe in the God they had encountered in the afterlife, some having become very effective ministers. Our friend, a rather cynical medical doctor, nodded—but I felt did not accept this evidence of changed lives. Later during the conference, I heard a delegate say he had died for 6 hours following surgery. I asked him whether he had had an NDE that he could remember, Yes, he had. I set up 5 minutes with him after dinner before Brenda and I drove away. In that short time, he explained how he had interacted with Jesus during his NDE and had consequently become a Christian. Another delegate who overheard tearfully testified that she had also become a Christian because of a similar interaction with Jesus, and the compassion she saw in his eyes for her. The doctor had already left the dining hall, but we asked his wife to please tell him what these two enthusiastic Christians had said.
A brief background to LB and why I wrote it can be seen on this youtube: • youtu.be/RQJSRJDAhRE Before visiting the USA from Australia earlier this year, I was told a cult of celebrity existed there; but I did not find that in particular. What I did notice was a Cult of Democrats and one of Republicans! In the brief excerpt I have chosen for todays bubble, THE FIRST FROM CHAPTER 1, I mention some celebs who had a near death experience (NDE) – there have been more recent examples since I gathered that information, but the good thing about recording celebs is that they are famous already and generally very rich such that their accounts are readily believable - they are not on the make. They can make some impressive witnesses!
2 Minutes! That is all you will get if you are a lucky author. 2 Minutes! For a prospective customer to pick up your book and make a quick decision whether to buy it or not. Is the Title interesting or not? Does the Front Cover pic capture attention and illustrate the title adequately? Most customers will then flick around to the back cover. Do endorsements support the book impressively? If you have gone for a second pic on the back instead of endorsements, does it grab attention and interest? They may then glance at your Preface or Foreword or both. If these show how different and interesting your book is—you could get a sale—perhaps. Two minutes only – if you are lucky.
INTERVIEWING RETURNEES FROM A NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE My book “Living Beyond” took years of gathering information because it is an analysis of the overall situation pertaining to Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and not simply a single account, of which there are already many good ones out there, but also a number that are unreliable. During the years of gathering information, I have had the privilege of interviewing leading people who make the perceptive and reliable witnesses I was seeking. Dale Black is no exception. I first decided to contact Dale after reading his insightful book “Fight to Heaven”. Dale along with two others died when the plane he was in crashed into, ironically, an impressive memorial to deceased aviators at a cemetery. Dale subsequently had a prolonged NDE that he described on his return from death. He has lived an impeccable life since such that I consider him a fine upstanding witness whose intelligent testimony would be given great weight in any court of law. Consequently, following our Skype interview and correspondence, I asked him to read and the write the Foreword to “Living Beyond”. I was delighted when Dale accepted. What he wrote follows. Thanks again Dale.
When I began researching Near Death Experiences (NDEs) many years ago, I had many questions about venue—where were these phenomena taking place? In the mind? Hallucinations perhaps? How far could I trust the impressions of the returnees? Happily, one of the earliest NDErs I spoke with was an intelligent Christian missionary named Bob Bosworth, who had died in a car crash. His NDE helped to give me direction. It had not taken place in Heaven although the Heavenly City could be seen afar off, but in a garden or Paradise region—part of what the Bible identifies as Hades. The venue is Hades before Judgement, and Heaven (or Hell) only after Judgement.
One advantage of books you have written is that they can put you in touch with people you once knew but would not otherwise have met up with again. “Living Beyond” has both put me in touch with folk I would not have otherwise have known, and also re-established contact with others from the past. An example is an ex-pupil of mine from Malawi. Now happily married and living in Germany, her daughter had a near death experience (NDE) and she wanted to chat about it, which we did using Skype. Later her daughter came out from Germany to Australia as part of her training to become a doctor (she has now qualified) and I was able to interview her about her NDE and put the interview on my website ivanrudolph.com. She reminded me so much of her mum at a similar age and was a delight to have in our home! Recently Brenda and I chatted again on Skype with my ex-pupil, now a Pharmacist, and met over the airways her intelligent and sensitive CEO husband. She was able to backfill about a situation that had happened at school in Blantyre, about which I knew nothing, but which I found very interesting. See what you think.
This is a common response of true atheists a few moments after they have died, but then find their consciousness (spirit) has survived against all their arguments and previous beliefs. Experience trumps theory after all!! Some of their accounts of what happened next to them and how they took it can be quite amusing. We will look at what one of these atheists reported on return to Life - a Russian who had been executed by the secret police and who revived in the morgue many hours later.
It seems easier nowadays for people to speak openly to me as an interviewer of returnees from a Near Death Experience (NDE). When I began gathering information about this phenomenon more than 40 years ago, people were very hesitant to talk about it, and some still are—despite my using only first names without express permission to use full names! Their families don’t generally want them to be identified because of family associations – “You know the Joneses? I am told John has gone strange, claimed he met with God during a Near Death Experience. Bit weird, isn’t it?” This is very sad because when the details are brought out into the open, others who have perhaps been suffering in secret can be helped! I commented recently in an article on Tricia’s NDE, and here is her response to me: “I am amazed when my story spreads some hope in this world. I knew I wasn’t meant to keep it to myself.” She is so right! People need to hear clearly what really happens at death, so that they know what to expect and fear of death can be quelled and vanquished. Only your body dies, your consciousness (spirit) continues in a series of adventures — as you can read about in my book “Living Beyond: Making Sense of Near Death Experiences”.
Interviewing and investigating over the years different returnees from a near death experience (NDE), I was surprised how many had traumatic returns. This was not what popular books were suggesting - but these had been written by returnees who had reintegrated successfully. Many had not, even years later - and in my estimation some never would. This troubled me, and still does. Neither professional psychologists nor churches are purposely tackling the trauma being experienced by them. And we are talking thousands of unhappy people here.
Last week, to my delight, I was interviewed unsolicited for a Science and Religion program. Here is a 3 minute clip that launches the program. Please copy/paste the link into Google Title top bar (not search bar) and hit return. https://youtu.be/RQJSRJDAhRE How will I feel when I watch my life being played out similar to watching a movie, in front of one or more viewers? How will you feel at your Life Review? The differences from most movies is that viewers can see and feel what each person saw and felt at whatever incident is being recorded - starting often from birth. Take your birth as an example - we see the family, doctor, medical staff, family members, mother etc, what they were seeing, but also what they were thinking and feeling. These deeper "insights" make a massive point of difference with movies. I have viewed so many Life Review reports that I have been able to make generalisations. Each new one makes me personally uncomfortable—I have much to answer for.
Recently a friend of ours had an unpleasant experience and wondered whether it had been an NDE? I asked her to describe what had happened. From her description I was able to reassure her beyond all doubt that her experience had not been an NDE - and explain to her why it wasn't. I suspect changes to the strong medication she is on had been the cause—but whatever lay behind it, it definitely was NOT an NDE! How can I be so sure? She has not been the first to ask whether what had happened was an NDE, so I have had to think through this issue carefully. 40 years of interviews, study and reading testimonies have clarified for me the distinctives of a true NDE from dreams, halucinations, drug trips and suchlike.
There are many wonderful experiences recorded by returnees from an NDE, but others can become depressed mainly through rejection, and others proceed with symptoms similar to PTSD, according to a doctor friend who is also a qualified counsellor. Some even commit suicide. I hope "Living Beyond" is rescuing some who feel trapped somewhere in that unhappy progression. I used my knowledge of the afterlife to help one would-be suicide; a young man and cousin of a friend who asked me to try to prevent him taking his own life. Other counselling did not seem to be working. I began where most would, explaining that suicide is a terrible thing for those left behind. I quickly went to an extra dimension he had not considered previously. His rock star hero had committed suicide and he wanted to follow suit. I told him about life after death and that it was not pleasant for suicides, and how he would not meet up with his hero anyway because a distinctive with suicides is often their separation from others, perhaps providing time for contemplation. His cousin told me he changed his mind about suicide. After some years had passed she assured me his life had turned out happily.
Not everyone who begins an NDE will progress as far as the Life Review before returning. For those who do, Jesus often presents the Life Review, but others may do too—including God the Father, an angel, or on rare occasions an ancestor after introducing themselves. Jesus also sometimes takes the spirit of the person who has died on a tour or meets them in the stunning gardens or Paradise and talks with them there, so the venue and nature of their interactions with Jesus can vary tremendously. I began my interest and early research of NDEs long before I became a Christian, but was surprised how many returnees claimed to have met Jesus in the afterlife—and none I spoke to claimed to have met Buddha, or Mohammed, or any other founder of a religion. "Strange", I thought, but when I became a Christian I at last could understand this. And since then I have paid particular attention to how returnees have described their interaction with Jesus and in what he said to them. Others have also been interested, and I first prepared this article for Charisma Magazine. Of many possible examples, I will describe 3 in this Bubble as each one illustrates different things about Jesus. Others are described in my book "Living Beyond: Making Sense of Near Death Experiences".
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