Chris Carter's Science and Psychic Phenomena
Distressing Near-Death Experiences

Anders Breivik

Like many people, I've been trying to make sense of the stuff Anders Breivik has been coming out with during his trial. He's clearly a fantasist, but not clinically insane; he knew what he was doing.

Those of us who aspire to some kind of spiritual goal have to discipline ourselves. It requires an act of will to face down selfish desires, impatience, and do the right thing. We also intuitively understand that deliberately to take another human life is wrong, and indeed the most evil act that anyone can commit.

But Breivik was going in the opposite direction. To kill young people in cold blood, he said, he had to steel himself to overcome his sensitive nature. When he had victims in his sights and his finger hesitated on the trigger he kept telling himself that they weren't really innocent; they were working for multi-culturalism, and thereby destroying Norway's precious national identity.

So he wasn't killing out of hatred, like other homicidal nationalists. Quite the contrary, it was out of compassion for his countrymen, whom he thought he was rescuing from a terrible fate. It's scary to think that in some people an idea can have so much force as to overcome the natural aversion to cruelty that many if not most humans feel. It recalls Heinrich Himmler explaining to his SS underlings that the business of butchering other humans - men, women, children, the old and infirm - was bound to be upsetting, but had to be done.

What interests me especially is that Breivik does claim to be religious, at least 'a little bit'. He calls himself a 'militant Christian' and says he believes in an afterlife. He compares himself favourably with the leftwing Bader-Meinhof terrorists - atheists who didn't want to die and weren't prepared to sacrifice themselves. Peversely, although Islam is the enemy, he feels kinship with Islamic suicide bombers because they are prepared to martyr themselves. He says he'd rather live than die, but that he'd prefer execution to the 'pathetic' punishment of the maximum 21-year jail sentence.

As with religious terrorists, I wonder what on earth Breivik thinks the afterlife is about. What kind of existence does he think it is? Does he expect to find his national identity has some holy status in heaven? A Valhalla for Nordic warriors?

Coincidentally I've been dipping into one of Jane Sherwood's books, The Country Beyond. Sherwood lost the love of her life in the 1914-18 war and never got over it. Having tried with little success to make contact with her dead husband 'on the other side' she tried her hand at automatic writing, which eventually worked. The text is based on exchanges she had with her husband and two other individuals about afterlife conditions.

One passage describes a gradual breakdown of barriers.

Nations keep their own languages and customs but they are less defined because movement has become more simple. Thus there is much coming and going among us and our sympathies are wider and knowledge of each other fuller. The language barrier begins to be removed because it is so much easier to pass thought between us. Groups are formed more for the purposes of special interests and occupations than for national reasons and thus we get aggregates of talent of a high level of attainment which cut across all artificial boundaries of nation and class. Here are brotherhoods of mutual interests having a rich and satisfying communal life. Co-operative activity and close and sympathetic human relationships bring into being many of the ideals of the world's dreamers. A social order emerges which brings satisfaction to all its members and enables each to arrive at full self-development.

The spiritual conception of life, beginning here and continuing after physical death, is of the gradual overcoming of separateness. The first step is to cease to glorify it, then look for ways to communicate with other beings, understanding them until the sense of individual boundaries are overcome, and finally we start to merge into groups - maintaining some individuality of our own, yet enriched by closeness of understanding with others.

But for Breivik, as for many people in our world, this process of breaking down barriers is profoundly threatening. For them, the boundaries guarantee their personal identity. If breached, the basis of their beliefs and being are compromised. The self is endangered.

Later in the book one of the communicators talks about the process of 'purgation'. This bears close echoes of the near-death experience, which however did not become known until at least four decades following the book's publication. At first, he says, one's thoughts are concerned with the previous life. Memory is dulled to begin with, but as one becomes used to the conditions the scenes and events of the past life begin to return vividly. But this time they are much more comprehensive.

The difference in this presentiment of the past is that included in it now is the reaction of other people. I find this difficult to explain. Everything that happens to you affects others as well as yourself and every event has therefore as many aspects in reality as there are consciousnesses affected by it.

Now, in this process of recollection, as an incident comes back to one's mind it brings with it the actual feelings, not of oneself alone but of the others who were affected by the event. All their feelings have now to be experienced in oneself as though they were one's own. This means that the effects of deeds on the lives of others must be experienced as intimately as though to do and to suffer the deed were one. Where sorrow and wrong have been inflicted, sorrow and wrong must be felt, not merely known to exist.

Most of our deeds on earth are performed in ignorance of their real bearing on the lives of others. There may be an uneasy sense that others are involved in suffering because of us but we often choose to ignore this. We have understood a situation with our mere intellect and have kept back sympathy which is the beginning of knowing in oneself what this suffering is. So often we have remained in ignorance of the real events we have set going in the lives of others and these things are now gradually revealed to us as a part of our own experience. We have to face the reliving of our whole earth experience in this way.

If this is true, then Breivik has set up a formidable challenge for himself in the next life. He must fully experience the feelings of every one of his seventy-seven victims, and of all their families and friends who were devastated by their loss. In that case, two or three decades in jail would be a mercy, giving him an opportunity to slowly grasp the enormity of what he has done, rather than go directly into a new state of being, where it would crash into him with the force of a speeding truck.

There's always a temptation to feel satisfaction at the idea of a cruel man getting his just desserts, in the next world if not here. It's fair enough to be angry. But if we fully understand the implications we may also feel some compassion. And reflecting further, we realise that we ourselves can't afford to be complacent: we too will have shocks to deal with when the time comes.


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"It's scary to think that in some people an idea can have so much force as to overcome the natural human aversion to cruelty."

What makes you think there is a natural human aversion to cruelty, our Robert? After all, we usually have to teach our children to be more kind and unselfish than they might otherwise choose to be. Would you leave a tiny puppy or kitten alone in the company of a four-year-old child?

This article puts me in mind of the history of political strife in Northern Ireland. Most people there who support violence have grown up knowing no better. They are merely perpetuating a family/community tradition. In short, they are damaged souls who have been taught hatred and/or insensitivity towards others. And, as we all know, damaged people are very damaging. Perhaps Anders Breivik is one such?

Yep, Robert. What could be more hellish for Breivik than to relive the experience of his victims, and to experience the repercussions of his actions? Also, as many deep-experience NDEr's report, he would relive his own thoughts and emotions simultaneously. Somehow, I get a feeling that that would be a double-smack.
Of course, I like to believe that for the genuinely mentally incapacitated and insane, there is healing instead.

I think the best insight into the NDE and its implications for the hereafter comes from Anita Moorjani's,"Dying to be Me", published by Hay House. I'm not sure it's quite as you and Robert imagine, RD. 8)

'What makes you think there is a natural human aversion to cruelty?'

Good point, Julie. I changed this slightly.

My point is that Breivik subscribed to contemporary moral norms, which made it harder for him to carry out these murders. He was having to force himself to be cruel. That makes him a rather unusual specimin.

'I think the best insight into the NDE and its implications for the hereafter comes from Anita Moorjani's,"Dying to be Me", published by Hay House. I'm not sure it's quite as you and Robert imagine'

I think there's room for different perspectives, but thanks for pointing it out, I'll have a look.

Even so, I can't get beyond the feeling that this is a damaged man. Do psychologically healthy and balanced people behave as this man did?

The fact that he said he had to steel himself to overcome his sensitive nature suggests to me that he perhaps doubted his status as a male; felt somehow emasculated; and, like the perpetrators of violence against women, children and animals, got a buzz from feeling in control of others by his ability to destroy.

And, not only that, what/who led him into such an unbalanced perspective with regard to his nationality? His family? His community? Or is he simply a sociopath exhibiting, by his claims of sensitivity, the superficial charm that makes the sociopath so plausible? 8/

I believe it is going to take more than one lifetime for him to absorb the enormity of his actions and I agree that the jail time would be more merciful in theory. Except that I believe there is a pecking order within jail and I doubt he will survive the jailhouse justice.

I don't like this climate of an eye-for-an-eye, really I don't. 8/

Uh, Julie, if you really check out the full spectrum of literature on NDE's, you'll see that there is about as much complexity in them as there is in mediumship. As many as one in five is distressing, if not downright "hellish".
Unfortunately, people with sharply conservative religious agenda's have twisted the interpretation of these negative experiences to the point that most people (understandably) want to ignore them.
For a better perspective of the big picture, check out Nancy Evans-Bush's recent book, Dancing Past the Dark. It gives a more balanced perspective.

I remember Anita Moorjani from her participation on the near-death forum over the past few years, and I love her book Dying to Live. Heck, I'm a "fan" of hers. However, Anita's NDE is a very real depiction of her own individual experience, and of her own understanding gleaned from it.
But it isn't the last word. No individual NDE is.

Yes, I understand you, RD. It's just that Anita's book confirmed, for me, everything that I already believed, intuitively, to be true in relation to the afterlife. I had a mystical experience as a child and the message I was given was exactly the same as that given to us by Anita.

Yes, there might be other, differing, experiences but, for what it's worth, I believe Anita's to be the most definitive. (And, yes, I too have made a careful srudy of NDE's over the years). We live in interesting times. What about the seemingly miraculous recovery of Robin Gibb? I wonder if he'll have a tale to tell. 8)

Oh Julie, I'm going to use a couple of words here that run the risk of being misunderstood, but I'm going to try anyway. :-)

First, you're a Sweetheart. By this, I mean that I read your comments, and it is so obvious that you are the kind of person wants the best for the world. You're straightforward and kind, and although you're not naive, you would greatly appreciate it if the rest of the world were the same way. You know that life isn't fair, but you strive for the best.
I'm not trying to patronize you here, as I believe the world would be a better place with more people like you. In my business, I get cheated periodically because I can't psychologically bear to go around mis-trusting people myself, even though I know dishonest and downright malevolent people exist.
You strike me as being better at discernment than I am.

In the end, I'm inclined to believe that everybody get's "saved". By this, I mean that the universe, and possibly other universes are still in the process of creation. That creation process is infinite - we never "arrive". Otherwise, there would be an end.
But extremely distressing and downright hellish NDE's have been reported, and disquieting descriptions about life have been relayed by spirits from the Other Side.
This may be part of a break down, destroy and rebuild process. Anyone familiar with the basic Shamanic Journey would be familiar with this. For Christians, I would point to what happened to Jesus. Of course, not everyone has the need for a breakdown and rebuild process, and some distressing NDE's may be misinterpretations. The fact is, 80 to 95% of NDE reports are blissfully transcendent. I'm just sayin'...

Sometimes the universe just screams for justice, but it's not for us as individuals to make the call. We can't see the Big Picture.
Bottom line Julie - I think we're both pretty much on the same page.

I might add that I don't see a conflict between the statements "There is no end" and "In the end, we all get saved". Ultimately I believe Light defeats the Dark, and that's where real Life begins to take shape.

I believe this because when I look back over human history, the way we treat each other is slowly getting better. Sure, horrible things take place right now, but when you look back at the overall curve of history, it's as if there is a "Spirit" at work. Slavery was the norm until just a few centuries ago. Horrific, tortuous methods of execution using iron and fire were a fact of life until right around the Reign of Terror. Human rights is a big deal now, but a few centuries ago folks wouldn't know what you were talking about. The list could go on and on, but there's still a lot of work to do.

I agree, we are indeed sisters under the skin, our RD!(Even though I suspect you're a chap.) ;)

Mine's a large chardonnay - with plenty of ice. 8))


This was an interesting read, Robert. Thanks!

I wanted to share my current understanding of what happens in a situation like this. I say “current”, because I’ve found that the ability to understand spiritual truth is a dynamic thing and is constantly changing as our condition (of soul, essentially our ability to love others) does. Anyway, it’s fairly similar to yours, so I shouldn’t have to go into too much detail.

Nothing regarding our mind changes the instant we transition. Our beliefs aren’t instantly changed and the part of us that guides our moral decisions, our soul, works just as well as it did in the physical (you’re using your soul and the intellectual mind that stems from it as it drives your brain to express your existence in the physical). So, were Breivik to lose his physical body today, he would still feel as he does.

When the law of attraction (like attracts like) kicks in, he’ll be bound to the sphere (vibration level) suited for his condition and there he’ll reside until he puts forth the effort to improve. With the physical body no longer inhibiting/filtering memories, he will have the complete recall ability, but his perspective won’t change until he does. When he (most likely) improves, he’ll then see these events with a different sense of right and wrong and subsequently deal with the remorse in stages. So, it’s not exactly a “speeding truck”, but certainly a very lengthy road ahead of him.

I do believe that removing a person capable of harming others in this manner from the physical is potentially more harmful than keeping him in the physical. Spirits can, and do, affect the thoughts of those in the physical. To do harm, they’d simply need to find someone with a sympathetic will to express their desires. In captivity, he’ll have a lot of time to think about his situation and possibly improve it before embarking on the greater part of his life.

Hope this helps!

Very thoughtful posting, Tim. 8)

For what it's worth, I definitely suspect that the worst thing that can happen to us on 'the other side' is that we're billeted with people of like mind. And, as you rightly point out, self-reflection can be a very painful thing. The best depiction I can think of in this context is Victor Hugo's novel Les Miserables.

BTW, meant to ask earlier, Robert. Would you recommend Jane Sherwood's book? I'm tempted to buy a copy because I believe it has a chaper (or two) dealing with purported communications from T.E. Lawrence (who is one of my all-time heroes). 8)

I found this post very moving in more ways than I can possibly describe.

Thank you for sharing this....I can tell you that my heart is moved to pray for this man as well as for all his victims...and I will be making an effort, in a small way, to attempt to save this man's soul and will be writing to him. Please pray for me and for this purpose for we must always remember that Jesus came to save sinners and some of those sinners became the greatest of Saints.

Julie, The Country Beyond is based on communications by automatic writing from three individuals, one of whom is named Scott. But an earlier book, Post-Mortem Journal, deals much more fully with this character, whom she there identifies as Lawrence. So I'd go for that one. But both are well worth reading.

Thanks, Robert. Will do! 8)

Personally I strongly suspect Anders Breivik was brainwashed.

It's not just he had the physical and mental stamina and will to blow his first target up then spend hours driving to the second target the island to carry out the even greater massacre - something even SAS operatives would find taxing.

It's the two odd incidents where in the midst of his murderous fugue state on the island he pauses to allow one kid to live supposedly because he looks young enough to overcome his parental indoctrination and in the case of an older individual supposedly because he has the look of a right winger (in spite of which he still later on shoots him while he's lying down pretending to be dead).

This suggests to me he had a kind of checklist in his head with highly specific details about the sort of characteristics his victims should or shouldn't have so whenever he came across anyone who didn't fully fit the kill profiles he stalled like a computer trying to process a bug in its program.

Even the secret society he was supposedly working on behalf of exhibits many of the sort of preposterous details Project MKULTRA victims were filled with to confuse the issue in the event anyone uncovered the project and tried to expose it.

The fact he now repudiates those details is merely more evidence he may've been programmed using the dreamlike unreality technique used by practioners of Perfect Candidate brainwashing where parents of the cult're expected to bombard their children with unqualified love periodically punctuated by brief episodes of appallingly surreal often sexually based cruelty (including being forced to watch the torture and murder of other kids or even siblings) only to be told the follow morning it was all only a nightmare and they never ever had such and such a pet or such and such a friend or sibling with the result the victim becomes a supremely controllable but completely unwitting psychotic.

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