Saturday, January 24, 2009

Near Death Experience

This NYT article on the experiences of the people aboard the flight aborted in the Hudson River reminded me of something I did that I wish I hadn't done. But first, let me say, I have studied NDE's or Near Death Experiences since the 1960's when Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote her ground-breaking book On Death and Dying. Since that time I have read many many books on the subject. One book written in 1925 (name escapes me) in which two physicians, working together, documented several dear death experiences of their patients. One stood out to me of a mother, dying slowly of blood loss after giving birth, passing back and forth between the world of the living and the world of the dead. She kept speaking to her sister, calling her by name and conversing with her, not knowing that the sister had actually died a few days earlier, but that information had been kept from her because of her condition. These doctors could not explain the phenomenon we now know as near death experiences. But they documented several, and believed that this was a glimpse of what we could expect when we die.

There have been many books written on the subject, as technology has changed, and we are able to bring back to life many more individuals who would not have made it in previous generations. It is really fascinating work. Children, not having the information in order to lie, give the same account of an adult resuscitated after some trauma. Which brings me to the reason of the first sentence of this blog. Have you ever done something, and while you are doing it, there is a little voice telling you that you should not do this, that it is a mistake? Well this happened to me on our last move. I came across all my college work in Human Development & Family Studies, all my research, papers, etc., and threw it away. Now, most will say, why not? How long are you supposed to keep that stuff, anyway? Well, at the time I felt the same way. NOW that I want to start a book, I wish I had all those papers, and especially all the documentation and hours and hours of time spent in the library doing research and substantiation. 

I think now is the time to write about near death experiences, as well as, many other ideas that I have on the lifespan. But now, I have to start from scratch, when much of what I had written could have been used in some way now. So next time you hear that little voice, or that loud voice that some of the pilots had heard in the story in the NYT, listen to it. Pause, and even if you don't believe in all that "stuff", ask yourself why. It may be in the future that the question is answered.


susan said...

I'm sorry you lost all your previous documents but that could also be viewed as just one of those things. Stuff vanishes and whether it was by accident or mistaken decision there's little difference. Perhaps you could ask people online to share their stories about NDE's with you. It could provide some interesting results worthy of publication.

California Girl said...

"Listen to your inner voice." This is what they teach you in yoga practice. Your inner voice is your best and truest advisor. The hardest part is trusting it and, for some, hearing it. But if you hear it, believe it.

I have an old yoga book by Eric Schiffman who taught guest yoga classes for my teacher in San Diego. He writes about the inner voice in a beautiful way and gives advice on how to learn to listen for it. He gives an example of driving in a car. Your instinct, or inner voice, tells you to turn even though your destination is straight ahead. Perhaps it tells you not to go see a certain movie or not to turn on the radio but just enjoy the quiet. He emphasizes that you find out what happens when you do listen and follow the instinct or directive.

I've always trusted my instincts without knowing why. After reading his book, I began to have a better understanding of what I was reacting to and fine tuning it with practice.

Something so seemingly trivial as whether or not to throw away a piece of paper is important if your voice tells you not to. Every time I ignore mine, I learn a lesson!

Lover of Life said...

Thanks for the great advice from both of you. It is clear that you both are in tune with that inner voice. I am going to get that book, California Girl, and also think about asking some questions of readers. Again, thanks to both of you.

Faithful said...

I, too, know to always listen to my "little voice" and considerate it to be either my intuition, a guide, or an angel, helping me to make the right choice for me. (as I usually have regrets when I don't) I would like to read E. Schiffman's book also, California Girl, do you remember the book's name?

California Girl said...

It is "Moving Into Stillness" and it is worth the read. It's essentially a primer on yoga poses but he writes extensively on his experience and learning from the beginning. I hope you enjoy it.

Barry said...

My mother had a NDE before I ws born and often told us about it long before Raymond Moody wrote his book.

So I have no doubt about such experiences. Although I've had nothing like it myself.

Lover of Life said...

I would love to hear the story, Barry. Maybe you could do a story about it. I do enjoy your stories!