Blind People and NDEs
I learned in the 1970s that patients during operations could see events during their OBEs when their physical eyes remained closed, and could describe occurrences at a distance even in another room, such as Rhoda Fryer had been able to. But could this ability to see in the afterlife apply even to blind people, I wondered more recently? A number of convincing reports indicate that this can indeed happen.
Researchers Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper became interested in the extraordinary phenomenon of sight in the afterlife. They conducted a study on blind people who had had NDEs. These people reported experiences that included similar aspects to the traditional NDE, such as watching doctors operate on them as well as otherworldly perceptions such as radiant light, angels, deceased relatives etc. That their reports included watching occurrences on Earth was the most startling fact to emerge. Reliable eyewitnesses at the time corroborated their testimony. In fact, 80% of the blind NDErs interviewed recorded things they saw during their NDEs that they could not possibly have seen through their sightless physical eyes.
To give you a 'feel' of what their NDEs were like, I will briefly quote Vicki Umipeg's20 account. She was blind because her optic nerves had been completely destroyed at birth because of excess of oxygen delivered to her in an incubator. Vicki said she had a hard time relating to sight, as it was entirely novel to her.
"I've never seen anything: no light, no shadows, no nothing... And in my dreams I don't see any visual impressions. It's just taste, touch, sound, and smell, but no visual impressions of anything."
After dying, she found herself floating upwards and viewing with perfect clarity the scene in the emergency room below, where a frantic medical team worked feverishly to revive her. They were the first people she had ever seen.
Nor had she seen herself previously!
" was quite tall and thin at that time. And I recognised at first that it was a body, but I didn't even know that the body was mine initially. Then I perceived that I was up on the ceiling, and I thought, 'Well, that's kind of weird. What am I doing up here?' I thought, 'Well, this must be me. Am I dead?... I just briefly saw this body, and I knew that it was mine because I was not in my body."
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