Shared Death Experiences
June 13, 2011
I've been doing some reading and re-charging batteries. One book I looked at is Glimpses of Eternity, Raymond Moody's latest collection of NDE anecdotes. This describes what he calls 'shared death experiences', where family and friends of a sick person themselves experience some kind of event at the moment of the patient's passing. Most probably fall into the category of 'deathbed visions'. However there are also a few near-death experiences in which the living get to see what the dying are experiencing.
This addressed a question I've been asking about the life panorama, which appears both in NDE reports and in communications through mediums. It's said that you can access your entire life, and that it's spread out in front of you like a diorama, so you can enter into each memory and relive it. But I wondered, does that mean anyone can access the same memories? Are you an open book for anyone you associate with to read? And if so, how would you feel about that?
The concept of privacy does seem to exist in afterlife accounts, where people describe being able to withdraw from company if they feel the need. On the other hand, when they are with others they can't conceal anything they are thinking, which is as obvious as if they were jabbering out loud.
Here's a an account given to Moody by a woman whose shared life review with her husband was vivid and contained images and events that she had previously been unaware of. It occurred when her husband died of cancer.
I was beside him the whole time in the hospital and was holding onto him when he died. When he did, he went right through my body. It felt like an electric sensation, like when you get your finger in the electrical socket, only much more gentle.
Anyway, when that happened our whole life sprang up around us and just kind of swallowed up the hospital room and everything in it in an instant. There was light all around: a bright, white light that I immediately knew - and Johnny knew - was Christ.
Everything we ever did was there in that light. Plus I saw things about Johnny... I saw him doing things before we were married. You might think that some of it might be embarrassing or personal, and it was. But there was no need for privacy, as strange as that might seem. These were things that Johnny did before we were married. Still, I saw him with girls when he was very young. Later I searched for them in his high school yearbook and was able to find them, just based on what I saw during the life review during his death.
In the middle of this life review, I saw myself there holding onto his dead body, which didn't make me feel bad because he was also completely alive, right beside me, viewing our life together.
By the way, the life review was like a 'wraparound'. I don't know how else to describe it. It was a wraparound scene of everything Johnny and I experienced together or apart. There is no way I could even put it into words other than to say that all of this was in a flash, right there at the bedside where my husband died.
Then, right in the middle of this review, the child that we lost to a miscarriage when I was still a teenager stepped forth and embraced us. She was not a figure of a person exactly as you would see a human being, but more the outline or sweet, loving presence of a little girl. The upshot of her being there any issues we ever had regarding her loss were made whole and resolved. I was reminded of the verse from the Bible about ' the peace that passeth all understanding'. That's how I felt when she was there.
One of the funny things about this wraparound view of our life was that we had gone to Atlanta in the seventh grade, to the state capital, where there was a diorama. So at one point we were watching this wraparound and watching ourselves in another wraparound - a diorama - where we stood side-by-side as kids. I burst out laughing and Johnny laughed too, right there beside me.
Another thing that was strange about this wraparound was that in certain parts of it were panels or dividers that kept us from seeing all of it I don't have the words to this, but the screens or panels kept particular parts of both of our lives invisible. I don't know what was behind them but I do know that these were thoughts from Christ, who said that someday we would be able to see behind those panels too.
Quite a striking account. I'm struck by the statement that yes, some of it was 'embarrassing and personal' but at the same time there was no need for privacy. I tend to assume that when the time comes we won't be judgmental about our private goings on, or those of other people - and that we'll see all that in a different light.
Here's another, by a woman in her seventies describing her experience of tending to her dying mother. As her mother died the light in the room suddenly became much brighter and more intense and she felt a rocking motion through her whole body. She then found herself seeing the room from a diferent angle, from above and to the left side of the bed instead of from the right side.
This rocking forward motion was very comfortable, and not at all like a shudder and especially not like when a car you are riding in lurches to the side and you get nauseous. I did not feel uncomfortable but in fact the opposite; I felt far more comfortable and peaceful than I ever felt in my life.
I don't know whether I was out of my body or not because all the other things that were going on held my attention. I was just glued to scenes from my mother's life that were flashing throughout the room or around the bed. I cannot even tell whether the room was there any more or if it was, there was a whole section of it I hadn't noticed before. I would compare it to the surprise you would have if you had lived in the same house for many years, but one day you opened up at it and found a big secret compartment you didn't know about. This thing seemed so strange and yet perfectly natural at the same time.
The scenes that were flashing around in midair contained things that had happened to my mother, some of which I remembered and others that I didn't. I could see her looking at the scenes to, and she sure recognised all of them, as I could tell by her expression as she watched. This all happened at once so there is no way of telling it that matches the situation.
The scenes of my mother's life reminded me of old-fashioned flashbulbs going off. When they did, I saw scenes of her life like in one of the 3-D movies of the 1950s.
By the time the flashes of her life were going on, she was out of her body. I saw my father, who passed seven years before, standing there where the head of the bed would have been. By this point the bed was kind of irrelevant and my father was coaching my mother out of the body. I looked right into his face and a recognition of love passed between us, but he went right back to focusing on my mother. He looked like a young man, although he was 79 when he died. There was a glow about or all through him - very vibrant. He was full of life.
One of his favourite expressions was 'Look alive!' and he sure did look alive when he was coaching my mother out of her body. A part of her that was transparent just stood right up, going through her body, and she and my father glided off into the light and disappeared.
The room sort of rocked again, or my body did, but this time backward in the opposite direction and then everything went back to normal.
I felt great tenderness from my mother and father. This entire event overflowed with love and kindness. Since that day I wonder: Is the world we live in just a figment of our imagination?
Glimpses of Eternity is quite a slim volume, and much of the later part is taken up with old research into deathbed-visions. So it seems there's not a lot of material to make an identifiable category of shared NDEs. I certainly haven't come across anything like it before and I suspect it's quite rare. But I'd be interested to hear of any other experiences like these.
This is on my list of books to reread. Needless to say, this one will be very hard to shove into the dying brain. We now need Augustine or Woerlee to provide our how it could have been scenario.
Posted by: Kris | June 14, 2011 at 12:43 AM
Posted by: Matt Rouge | June 14, 2011 at 07:52 AM
Robert, when I read the book, I thought a lot about the issue you mentioned at the end: "not a lot of material to make an identifiable category of shared NDEs." Let me offer my thoughts on that.
First, Moody's term, as you say in your title, is shared death experience, not shared NEAR-death experience. And he's got a point: People are apparently sharing in the experience of someone who does not come back.
Second, it seems to me that there were two very different classes of experience he reports. One was people in the room observing something nonphysical that seemingly relates to the process of the dying person leaving the body. This includes seeing a mist rise from the body, feeling energy associated with the person's passing, experiencing the geometry of the room change, and hearing otherworldly music.
But the other class is where the person in the room seems to share in what the dying person is actually experiencing. This includes the really extreme elements of seemingly being out of the body with the dying person, sharing their life review, passing through a tunnel with them, and entering an afterlife domain with them.
It seems clear that one person's experience can and sometimes does partake of both classes, but still I think it's helpful to separate them. Observing something associated with the person's death seems different than sharing in (or apparently sharing in) what that person experiences upon passing.
I had the impression that the first class was the more common one and that the second was the more rare. However, it is frustratingly impossible from the book to answer that question.
I wrote a review of the book for a friend's website (http://nhne-pulse.org/book-review-glimpses-of-eternity/). In that review, I mention contacting Jeffrey Long, author of Evidence of the Afterlife and host of the NDERF website. He said, “We have received a number of shared death experiences over the years, and they can be as detailed as Raymond is reporting. For several decades, Raymond asked audiences that he talked to if they would share their shared death experiences with him. Thus he ended up with many.”
Also, Moody's wife responded to my review and said, "We want to thank you for the kind and honest review of Glimpses of Eternity. All of the stories in Glimpses were told directly to Raymond, recorded by him, or written down by the person who experienced them, then given to Raymond for the book. We have literally hundreds more. I guess in total we have well over a thousand of these very profound stories of people who seem to share or co-live the dying experience. Many years of research and thought went in to this book, we are glad you liked it."
I also was emailed an old article from the Journal of Near-Death Studies by Allan Kellehear which was partly on what he called shared NDEs, and which is clearly the same phenomenon.
I have regrets about how the information was presented--too popularized. However, from what I have read and heard I do think this category of experience deserves its own designation. They aren't just deathbed visions, because people in the room are having their own corresponding experiences. And they obviously aren't just NDEs--they are DEs that someone in the room (someone not near death) seems to be directly participating in. In other words, no one involved is near death. They are either dying or nowhere close.
So I finished the book feeling like a new class of paranormal experience had been unearthed, one that must have been right under our noses all along. In fact, in hindsight, I realized that I had already encountered some of them in what I considered NDE accounts. For instance, one account mentions how a young girl in a hospital is left alone at night and is extremely frightened. She leaves her body and ends up, in her account, unexpectedly helping a classmate of hers into the light (something she could do because she herself had momentarily entered the light a previous NDE). She found out the next day that this body had been admitted to the same hospital (I think for a car accident) and had indeed died that night. So here was one of Moody's shared death experiences. I had watched the video of it, while not realizing what I was watching strayed outside the bounds of NDEs. Actually, my wife watched it too and said "I wonder if that happens often, if two people encounter each other in the midst of their NDEs."
Anyway, I suspect that there are a lot of classes of paranormal experiences that are still undiscovered, or only partically or recently discovered. (I put my CMPEs in that category, for instance.)
Posted by: Robert Perry | June 14, 2011 at 12:18 PM
Oops, just reread what I wrote and in second to last paragraph, it should say "this boy had been admitted," not "this body."
Posted by: Robert Perry | June 14, 2011 at 12:20 PM
Another excellent post, Robert!
Just in case anyone missed it, Gerald Woerlee has posted his review of Chris Carter's Science and the NDE at Amazon.com -
Gerry gives it 2 stars, after giving Van Lommel and Jeffrey Long 1 star apiece. Perhaps we're winning him over ;-)
Posted by: David | June 14, 2011 at 10:28 PM
Dr Woerlee is still going about the Pam Reynold's case!! Even Keith Augustine jumped off that sinking ship!
As it is I have earned Woerlee's emnity by utterly refuting him on that case. ( Kris vs Gerry)
Posted by: Kris | June 15, 2011 at 12:02 AM
A great example shared NDE in action from the Khoisan trance healing culture is when the cable t.v. travel host Andrew Zimmern visited a traditional Bushmen village of the Juntwazee (Zimmern's spelling) to join in their hunting/gathering cuisine. Zimmern got an experience, a rare moment shown on cable t.v., much more than he expected:
Toward what I believed to be the end of the evening, Xaxe, a great hunter, healer, and shaman, laid hands on me....I felt the energy, his energy, surge through my body. He had his hands on me for about twenty-five or thirty seconds, but it felt like he had only touched me for a split second. Time stood still. I literally had a short out of body experience. I could see him touching me from just above my body, almost like I was floating six feet off the ground, watching myself. All of a sudden I was back in my body observing an image of him thumbing through the book that contained all the pictures and moments in my life. I saw images of my childhood I hadn't remembered in years, pictures of my mother and me walking on a beach and shelling, very strong images. At the time, both during his touch and immediately afterward, I described it as him flipping through the pages of my life....Later the next morning, I spoke with Xaxe about the trance dance. He told me he wanted access to me in a way that was not possible through a translator....Xaxe's curiosity was such a caring, loving gesture....When he detached from me it felt like someone was unplugging a lamp from a wall socket. As he let go of me and continued to dance around the fire, I spontaneously burst into uncontrollable tears....I had been stripped to my emotional core, completely stunned by what I had witnessed so up close and personal.
Andrew Zimmern, The Bizarre Truth: how I walked out the door mouth first – and came back shaking my head (Random House, 2009), 234-5.
Posted by: drew hempel | June 15, 2011 at 07:05 AM
'I guess in total we have well over a thousand of these very profound stories of people who seem to share or co-live the dying experience. Many years of research and thought went in to this book' - Interesting, and I agree with what you say in your review - it's frustrating that so little of that is reflected in the book itself. The scale of the phenomenon is as important to know as that it exists at all.
Posted by: Robert McLuhan | June 15, 2011 at 09:55 AM
Robert, I think the presumption behind the way the book was written was that readers just wanted to read inspiring stories. While I am sure that is true of a lot of readers, I also think it does not meet the genuine needs of many other readers.
Posted by: Robert Perry | June 15, 2011 at 11:40 AM
There is another situation where this type of experience has been shared, and none of the living parties involved were knocking at deaths door.
Induced After Death Communication, pioneered by American Psychiatrist Allan L. Botkin, Psy.D, has been flying under the radar for about twenty years now. It uses a variation of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) therapy, which is pretty much mainstream, to induce communication with deceased loved ones, and it is nothing like mediumship. It seems to be the equivalent of inducing a near death experience-like communication with loved ones who have died.
In some of the sessions, observers that are emotionally close to the client report experiencing the same vision that the client sees, and on occasion, this can also happen with the therapist.
The history and practice of this therapy is too involved to get into here, but the ultra short story is that Dr. Botkin discovered it while treating Vietnam Veterans suffering from PTSD while he was working at a U.S. Veterans Administration hospital. Near-hopeless cases were 'cured' after only two or three sessions.
He has since moved on and trained several hundred other therapists, whose practice can be found throughout the U.S. and other countries.
As you can imagine, Dr. Botkin has had to play a passive "I don't know how this works, all I know is that it does work" game with the mainstream medical establishment for a while now. To advocate a spiritual aspect, or to make a claim of actual afterlife communication can be professional poison.
At the same time, he doesn't want to see the therapy degenerate into another New Age fad. However, he seems to be getting braver with the passage of time, armed with a larger, healthier database of cases.
I was quite sceptical of it at first, but the more I've checked into it, the more credibility it seems to have. For instance, my first rule with any of this stuff is to 'follow the money'. Dr. Bothkin charges about $200.00 per session, which is actually average, if not a little on the lower end for a Psychiatrist practicing in a major U.S. city. SOme of his trainee's may charge less.
Also, he recommends only three sessions. Three sessions are warp 7 speed for any psychiatric therapy, anywhere. No dragging on for years, hoping for progress.
More sessions beyond the recommended three may be available if needed, but he discourages excessive use beyond the therapeutic level. Sounds more like a labor of love than a get rich scam to me.
Check it out...
Link to a video about IADC:
Link to Dr. Botkins website:
Posted by: RabbitDawg | June 15, 2011 at 11:59 PM
BTW, the shared experience part isn't mentioned in the video or on his website, but he does discuss it in his book.
Posted by: RabbitDawg | June 16, 2011 at 12:20 AM
Small but important point. Allan L. Botkin PsyD
is a Psychologist, not a Psychiatrist. As a Psychologist myself, I am enthusiastic about his work and I totally understand the fine line that he must walk in presenting his material to our mainstream psychiatric and psychological communities. After 30 years in my profession, I no longer care what my colleagues think. I know what I have seen and heard from my patients who often tell me that they would have never shared this kind of material with other mental health providers out of fear of being labelled psychotic or as confabulating these events.The fact that I am not only open to their experiences but knowledgeable and validating that others have had similar experiences is often met with tears of relief. Psychology in America had a great beginning with William James Radical Empiricism in the 1890's and then "disappeared from the field" for about 75 years until the reemergence of Phenomenology and Consciousness Studies over the past 20 years. Hooray! Unfortunately, I will have retired by the time the really exciting stuff becomes mainstream and once again acceptable as "experiences worth studying and taking seriously". I learn from my patients.
Posted by: Rick49 | June 16, 2011 at 02:23 AM
Sorry, the Psychiatrist part was my misinterpretation of his Dr. Botkin's "Psy.D." title.
Yup, a Doctorate degree in psychology is not the same thing as a medical doctor who specializes in practicing psychology. From what I've seen, depending on the situation, the former can be better. More practical therapy, fewer masking drugs.
Posted by: RabbitDawg | June 16, 2011 at 03:48 AM
Some of my patients may be on psychotropic medications but as a Psychologist I do not have prescription privileges and thus consult with a prescribing MD who is usually, but not always, a Psychiatrist.After spending 30 years in clinicalparanormal experiences possess neither the quality nor the criteria that would/should require psychopharmacological interventions.
Many Psychiatrists and Psychologists have no idea of how to treat this kind of material. It is simply out of the Psychiatric mental health "Reality Tunnel". It is usually ignored and forgotten by the puzzled practitioner even if a patient has come to trust the practitioner enough to share their experience. It is seldom to never taught or mentioned in medical or graduate training programs. When this type of material is expressed by patients in clinical practice, they are simply off the practitioner's "radar screen" and are either invisible or when "treated" or shoved into the category of hallucinations, hysteria, confabulations,clumsily squeezing the experiences into known diagnostic criteria like trying to "fit a size 10 foot into a size 8 shoe".
Psychologist's who study belief systems,cultural conditioning, memory and perception,and cognitive dissonance theory have studied how "forgetting" and "not seeing" occurs in human beings for at least 50 years. The irony is that practicing Psychologists and Psychiatrists seldom heed their academic colleagues experimental and theoretical advice. Someone like Dr Botkin is walking a fine line professionally and I admire his work with EMDR relative to this subject. I am familiar with EMDR and other types of hypnotic techniques and find them to be extremely useful. We, as practitioners, are only dealing with the tip of the iceberg. "Mesmerism" i.e. hypnosis, was discovered in the 18th century but 'pooh poohed'. viewed as exotic but not necessarily therapeutically helpful despite several demonstrations of surgeries performed without the use of anesthetics, and became just a parlor room magician's trick for close to 100 years before returning the the mainstream mental health practice community.
You are right about Psychologists getting more information from a patient because we spend a great deal more time 'face to face" in the therapy room with patients. For example, if I am seeing a patient 1 hour a week for 6 months that adds up to 24 hours. A Psychiatrist attending the same patient over the same period, may on average, spend 1 to 2 hours with them. That is an enormous difference and reflects the Psychologist's ability to uncover material represented in this article.
Posted by: Rick49 | June 16, 2011 at 12:42 PM
So true, Rick. When NDEr's try to share their experience with many psychiatric professionals, they do so at their own peril, especially if their Doctor perceives that the patient is becoming "obsessive". Various psychotropic drugs and useless therapy's may be used, leading a patient who lacks proper support to wonder if maybe they really aren't 'crazy'. The patients whose unsympathetic Doctors only ignore their experiences are the lucky ones.
One thing, IADC is not hypnosis. It may have a waking REM connection, but then, even if it does, that only gets to a physiological detail. Patients report the same vivid clarity as Near Death Experiencer's, and then there's always the shared experience phenomenon...
Posted by: RabbitDawg | June 16, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Interesting stuff, I'll check out the Botkin links.
'I know what I have seen and heard from my patients who often tell me that they would have never shared this kind of material with other mental health providers out of fear of being labelled psychotic or as confabulating these events.'
Rick, I'm trying to get a sense of how prevalent opposition to anomalous/psychic experiences is among psychologists and other mental health professionals. I know it was through most of the last century, but I thought it might have softened a bit with all the publicity around near-death experiences for instance (which seems to have been the case with doctors and nurses, who are less likely to try to convince patients who have such an experience that it was imagination/hallucination/stress). From the sound of it things haven't changed much, though.
Posted by: Robert McLuhan | June 16, 2011 at 06:44 PM
I would say that there is more openness and discussion of paranormal and NDE phenomena in the public sphere of Psychology. I see more continuing education workshops that openly address paranormal,NDE, lucid dreams,and mediumship as a "dissociative phenomena"that openly explores altered states, multiple selves within the personality.
Psychology has largely accepted Mindfulness and has reframed Buddhist Psychology into a western, more secularized academic language.Happiness Psychology is also quite hot academically.
I live in a University town in the middle of rural Central Pennsylvania and have scaled down my practice over the past 2/3 years. I cannot speak for other mental health providers such as Social Workers, Family Therapists and Addiction Counselors but I am quite willing to bet that I am the only Psychologist within a 100 mile radius who has a working knowledge and expertise in paranormal phenomena that falls outside the standard diagnostic criteria of DSM IV-R. I have a thorough knowledge of all types of psychopathology having worked in psychiatric hospitals for nearly 2 decades, treated thousands of patients, sat in multidisciplinary treatment teams with Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Social Workers and Nurses, and I feel quite equipped in discriminating between "normal" ranges of psychoses, dissociative and personality disorders. I have one other colleague and one Psychiatrist within my geographic area that I can discuss poltergeist phenomena, mediumship,NDE's etc
Posted by: rick49 | June 17, 2011 at 09:21 PM
Second try on this one--In her 2002 book, "Forever Ours," Janis Amatuzio, M.D. reported on a case in which two men admitted to a hospital emergency room both expired. One was brought back, however, with defibrilation paddles. According to the doctor, he was "dead" for 15 minutes. He reported that he and the other victim hovered above all the confusion going on over their bodies and conversed. They then went through the wall toward some dazzling light. The other person went into the light, but the NDEr turned back. I guess this would qualify as a shared-death experience.
Posted by: Michael Tymn | June 17, 2011 at 09:35 PM
BTW Robert, I enjoyed your book immensely. It would be wonderful if we had the chance for a face to face conversation should I travel to your Isle or you find yourself somewhere in the northeast quadrant of the USA. Your book resonated with me on a number of levels and I can verify that paranormal experiences have been reported to me consistently over the past 30 years. Some very interesting events have occurred in my therapy office and although over the past 2 years I have taken the public stance that I am no longer taking new patients, somehow a new patient gets on to my schedule and invariably their treatment issues are of a psycho-spiritual nature (Stan Grof's term Spiritual Emergency)and most of the time paranormal phenomena comes up spontaneously in the therapy material in much greater frequency than my previous 25-28 years of practice. I do not advertise my practice or expertise in these areas and on paper I appear to be a run of the mill Psychologist treating standard clinical problems such as depression, anxiety, loss, couples and group therapy etc. Yet the increased prevalence of paranormal material presented in sessions has been remarkable. Interesting....
Posted by: rick49 | June 17, 2011 at 09:43 PM
My last post...I promise. I highly recommend the book "The Natural Depth of Man" and "The Presence of Spirits in Madness" by the late psychologist Wilson Van Dusen. He spent 17 years at Mendocino State Hospital in California in the late 1950's and 60's. His work with patients presenting with visual and auditory hallucinations is absolutely fascinating and courageous given the spirit of mainstream psychology at the time. He also wrote an excellent biography of the Swedish Mystic Scientist Emanuel Swedenborg.
Van Dusen was a pioneer and a true open minded empiricist who actively engaged with his patients' hallucinatory entities uncovering extraordinary material regarding the nature of consciousness and the human personality. I too spent 17 years in a private psychiatric hospital and encountered many of the same findings. Unfortunately I did not know about Van Dusen's work at the time. If I had known about his work, I would have engaged in some of the same type of inquiry and investigation that Van Dusen performed. I have had a patient who recently presented with what had been labelled as psychotic auditory and visual hallucinations by treating professionals over the past 15 years. with whom I have been able to follow Van Dusen's line of inquiry and have had extraordinary results. The patient is clearly psychic in temperament and had been experiencing poltergeist phenomena, spontaneous visual apparitions,and both positive and negative entities. A positive entity spontaneously manifested in one of our sessions and began to "download" metaphysical messages and healing light to my patient as he sat with eyes closed, attempting to verbalize to me what was being conveyed to him. He described the information as it was "downloaded" as coming to him as "meaning packets" that were coming to him telepathically too fast to verbalize.
The information that he conveyed to me that he could verbalize was of a metaphysical content well beyond the understanding and comprehension of my patient. He described it as "healing light" of immense intelligence. It was extraordinary to sit in my therapy room listening to a patient that I spent several hundred therapy hours convey what I might label as Hermetic Philosophy and elements of the Perennial Philosophy (Aldous Huxley's term). He has no interest in philosophy or the paranormal, never reads,lives alone and has worked in the radio business since he graduated from high school in 1970. I was astounded!
Posted by: rick49 | June 17, 2011 at 10:36 PM
" It was extraordinary to sit in my therapy room listening to a patient that I spent several hundred therapy hours convey what I might label as Hermetic Philosophy and elements of the Perennial Philosophy (Aldous Huxley's term)."
Rick49, that's fascinating. Reminds me of Brian Weiss's account of how he opened up to the paranormal through a patient of his who, under hypnosis, suddenly began channeling metaphysical insights (and also gave Weiss detailed personal information about himself she couldn't have known through normal means). And Grof talks about giving LSD to spiritually naive patients who start talking in depth about reincarnation and other esoteric matters.
Posted by: Bruce | June 18, 2011 at 05:15 AM
Yes Bruce, I did think about Weiss's account. Stan Grof has been a voice in the wilderness in the psyhciatric profession too. In my case, the patient went into a spontaneous dissociative state, one can call it hypnotic or medium trance, while we were talking about something else.
Interestingly, I once found myself receiving telepathic, high energy packets or boluses of metaphysical information (something about the relationship between individual and group soul) of while coming out of a sleep state in the pompnagogic state. The state between waking and sleep is called the hypnagocic state is is basically identical to the pompnagogic. I had this experience sometime before it occurred in my therapy room. When it occurred with my patient I recognized his experience immediately. The source of these boluses of information seemed to resonate with me and it felt as if it was working with me. I understood the information although my patient stated that he had "no clue" and that he felt that there was so much information that he stated that he intuitively knew that he was storing it in his "memory banks" for some later time.
I can't rule out that my patient wasn't telepathically in touch with aspects of my own mind, whether it was a manifestation of his Higher Self (as Jung came to see his own Higher Self projected as an entity he named Philomen) or a source ontologically separate. Of course that's always" the question" from Hodgeson, Myers and even to Weiss, and it may only be a question given our linguistic limitations of thinking about Consciousness.
Posted by: rick49 | June 18, 2011 at 02:16 PM
"high energy packets or boluses of metaphysical information"
I have no personal experience of that phenomenon, but I've heard a similar description from many, varied, sources.
"I can't rule out that my patient wasn't telepathically in touch with aspects of my own mind"
Wouldn't you agree that ultimately, there's only ONE mind, anyway?
Posted by: Bruce | June 18, 2011 at 07:42 PM
Yes I agree that All is One Mind and is the play of infinite creativity of the One Divine Subjective Awareness.
I was speaking from the relative level of our Universe in which The Divine Imagination creates the current rule set of this particular "virtual reality" and requires 'forgetting Oneness" and creates the brilliant illusion of separation and limitation.
From an Infinite standpoint there is no telepathy, there is only Subjectivity.
Posted by: rick49 | June 19, 2011 at 04:29 AM
'From an Infinite standpoint there is no telepathy, there is only Subjectivity."
That's a good way of saying it!
Posted by: Bruce | June 19, 2011 at 06:14 AM
"It's said that you can access your entire life, and that it's spread out in front of you like a diorama, so you can enter into each memory and relive it. But I wondered, does that mean anyone can access the same memories? . . . And if so, how would you feel about that?"
Interesting point, Robert. I know that on a day to day basis, I'd be embarrassed for others to know what I'm thinking much of the time. And my reluctance, I think, boils down to the fear of losing love.
But the life review is usually described as taking place in the presence of a guide who loves us unconditionally, which of course has a profound effect on how experiencers feel about themselves.
So my guess is, in that context, what's to fear? And I think that's born out by the woman who said:
"You might think that some of it might be embarrassing or personal, and it was. But there was no need for privacy, as strange as that might seem."
(I'm certain she meant *potentially* embarrassing.)
As I suspect you did, I found those shared life reviews to be quite touching--a final chance for loved ones to see aspects of the dying person they may have kept hidden from view.
By the way, I agree with Robert Perry that though the cases may have been few, Moody does really seem to have accomplished once again what he does so well: pick a phenomenon, put a name to it, and make you feel like he's sharing something shiny and new.
Posted by: Bruce | June 19, 2011 at 07:12 AM
Hi Rick – thanks for your comments, I’ll certainly check out Van Dusen. Would love to travel to the US and meet with like-minded folks like yourself, and will do one of these days.
The case you describe is extraordinary, and I wonder how often something like this happens in a patient-therapist situation. It seems to me that clinical psychology/psychiatry in a certain sense is at the interface between humans and the paranormal, but just doesn’t have the terms and language to recognise it. Perhaps one day it will and it’s interesting to speculate how transformed the profession would then be.
Posted by: Robert McLuhan | June 20, 2011 at 08:24 PM
Rick49 and this article are mindblowing. I have had shared death experiences a few times. I don't know how to link to a column I posted on Unexplained Mysteries called ErieLeary, The Capacity To Become Another by Mariev Finnegan. Please, if you would read it, I write about my capacity of spontaneously becoming another. As a stranger to myself, I have shared the death experience with another. I see everything as interconnected, holographic, as in each piece contains the whole. Many times I've shared the death experience.
Posted by: Mary Finnegan | June 21, 2011 at 04:14 AM
Well here is a synchronicity for you Mary Finnegan...I was born in Erie Pennsylvania. I lived there until I was 18.
Posted by: rick49 | June 21, 2011 at 11:57 AM