03/05/13 NDE Class Notes


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Previous Class Notes & Materials

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03/05/13 Class Notes
By David Sunfellow

This week’s class began with a few minutes of silence. Then I shared recent NDE-related news with the class.

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March Calendar

March-2013-NHNE-NDE-Calendar-525

You can download a copy of our March calendar here (pdf). Notice the red print on the calendar? On March 23rd, Anita Moorjani will be in Sedona with us. And next month The Mustard Seed Venture is having a garage sale. If you would like donate any goods or volunteer, you can contact Alexandra at mustardseedventure@gmail.com.

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Dream Basics Handout

sunfellow-dream-basics

After months of wanting to have something we can hand out to people who attend our monthly dream class, I finally put together a two-page handout called “Dream Basics.” The handout covers a lot of ground in a short space. Among other things, it describes why dreams are important, how to remember them, how to interpret them, and how to use them to transform your life. Click here to download a copy (pdf). Our next dream class is Tuesday, March 26th.

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NDEr Anita Moorjani Coming To Sedona!

anita-main-image-small-2

We’ve been busily letting everyone in Sedona and our surrounding communities know that Anita Moorjani is coming to Sedona. To find out more about this special event and/or to order tickets before they are sold out, go here.

For those of you who are unable to see Anita in Sedona, Anita will also be speaking in Tucson and Phoenix. On Thursday, March 21, Anita will be speaking at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. On Friday, March 22nd, Anita will be speaking at Unity Church in Phoenix.

What kind of impact does Anita and her story have on people? Here’s a video of an enthusiastic anchorwoman interviewing Anita in the Philippines. I played from 20:50 to 23:12 during the class.

To find out more about Anita and her amazing story, go here.

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NDEr Dr. Eben Alexander Speaking in Tucson & Phoenix

event_125116092

While NDEr Dr. Eben Alexander won’t be making it to Sedona this time around, he will be speaking in Tucson on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. He will also be speaking at at Unity Church in Phoenix on Friday, March 15th.

To find out more about Dr. Alexander and his amazing story, go here.

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Raymond Moody Interviews Dr. Eben Alexander

eben-alexander-arrow

A new video has been posted online in which Dr. Raymond Moody, the father of the near-death experience movement, and Dr. Eben Alexander, author of the New York Times’ number one bestseller “Proof of Heaven,” discuss Dr. Alexander’s NDE and NDEs in general. Unfortunately, this two-hour discussion is not available for free. The cost to view this video is 7.99 per person. The video is located here.

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IANDS 2013 CONFERENCE

iands-logo

The International Association of Near-Death Studies, Inc. (IANDS) has announced their annual conference. This year’s conference is called “Loss, Grief and the Discovery of Hope: Stories and Studies from Near-Death Experiences.” It will take place August 29 – September 1 at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, VA. For more information, go here.

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Dr. Sam Parnia In The News

sam-parnia

In an effort to get the word out about his new book, “Erasing Death,” Dr. Sam Parnia has been appearing on many different television and radio shows. Here are a few:

Terry Gross Interviews Dr. Sam Parnia

EXCERPT:

“…these experiences have been described from all over the world; people with different cultures, different backgrounds — whether they be atheists, whether they have a particular religious faith, or somewhere in between — and even children who are sometimes too young to have any concept of what — or understanding of, you know, the concepts of an afterlife or what happens when we die, etc. Yet the message of the experience is remarkably universal, and it tends not to be frightening to people. It tends to be very positive and upbeat, certainly for those who’ve gone through a natural process of death.

“Now, where I do like to definitely highlight caution is in the case of people who’ve tried to commit suicide who somehow, we’ve managed to bring back — and believe me, we get those. Those people tended to have had, in my experience, very frightening and disturbing experiences that I would definitely warn people off doing that. But those, at least, who’ve died through natural causes, they — I don’t think they should be afraid of death. We understand what happens when people die, and that’s the one conclusion that I think we can make.”

Dr. Sam Parnia on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory

Dr. Sam Parnia on The Today Show

NDEr Don Piper and Mary Jo Rapini were also featured in the Today Show coverage.

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Vinny Eastwood Interviews Mellen-Thomas Benedict

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fl8sUNz_clg

To learn more about Mellen-Thomas, go here.

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Revealing Heaven: The Christian Case for Near Death Experience
By John W. Price

In previous classes I mentioned that Reverend John W. Price had published a new book called “Revealing Heaven: The Christian Case for Near Death Experience.”  Based, in part, on the glowing reviews that Dr. Jeffrey Long and Dr. Eben Alexander gave the book, I bought a copy and read it. Here’s a brief summary of the things I found interesting about the book:

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– I thought it was very helpful for Price to point out the power of sharing NDEs and say that discovering this changed both his life, as well as the lives of the people he shared NDEs with — especially people who were dying or grieving. On page 21 he writes:

“The near-death experiences allowed me to communicate what awaits us after we die — more effectively and articulately than any homily or sermon ever could. I felt incredibly fortunate to have heard these stories. I understood their inherent power… For the first time, I realized, I was in possession of a set of pastoral and spiritual tools with which to work.”

This is an important reminder for all of us. There is power in near-death experiences. Where sermons, talking, and philosophizing about life and death can put people to sleep, real stories, of real people being radically transformed by near-death experiences, can instill hope, lift spirits, and, in some cases, work miracles.

– I applaud Price for mentioning that many minsters, churches, and Christians are close-minded to near-death experiences. He also admitted that he was guilty of dismissing NDEs when he first encountered them. He made up for this oversight by spending the rest of his life promoting them!

– If you are wondering if the Old and New Testament have anything to say about near-death experiences, Price spent some time exploring this. Although I don’t trust his scholarship, I did appreciate him listing and discussing the portions of the Bible where he felt NDEs had made an appearance. As you might expect, Price believes that the strongest references trace back to the Apostle Paul.

– Price includes several stories of what happened to people he knew who had NDEs. Price reports that one woman, named Ella, had a near-death experience that first changed her and then, by extension, helped change an entire church. I thought this was a good example of how God works in the real world, by often converting the meanest and most close-minded among us to become messengers and embodiments of his message (St. Paul is also a good example of this).

– I found the stories that Price told about hellfire preachers who had NDEs especially interesting. After their NDEs, Price reports how some fire and damnation preachers returned to preach about a God of love and forgiveness and were promptly abandoned by their congregations! Their congregations preferred an Old Testament version of God who hated both sin AND sinners. There’s some food for deep thought here.

– Price pointed out that “many Christian doctrines” were challenged by NDEs. On page 97, Price writes:

“Many people report that things they had been told not to do on earth were not even issues during the review and certainly did not require forgiveness. This includes dancing, drinking alcohol (moderately, presumably), swearing, masterbation, homosexual sex, using birth control, skipping church, not being baptised, not being an active member of a church, and even not being a Christian.”

Those are a few of the things I liked about Price’s book. What I didn’t like was how sloppy Price handled some of his facts. On page 47, for example, Price writes:

 “At some point after the moment of one’s death, God reviews in full a person’s life, just as Alberto had said. Later, I would realize this is a common occurrence in almost every near-death experience.”

First of all, we don’t know if “God” reviews IN FULL everyone’s life after we die. And the life review is definitely NOT a common occurrence in “ALMOST EVERY NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE”. Dr. Jeffrey Long, who bases his estimates on the largest collection of NDEs in the world, indicates that only 22.2 percent of NDErs report life reviews.

Price also repeatedly says and suggests that mean people are going to have hellish experiences, rather than heavenly ones — and bases this strong opinion on 12 distressing near-death experiences, 9 of which were reported by people he considered mean and cruel. Significantly, he doesn’t tell us anything about the three people who had distressing experiences who apparently weren’t mean and cruel. While I believe there is a kernel of truth in this line of reasoning, I don’t think nine people make the case, nor do I think it is appropriate to try and make a case for this when you exclude experiences that challenge your hypothesis.

Is this a book I would personally recommend?

To people who are educated about NDEs and think deeply about this subject, no.

To Christians — in particular, to Christian fundamentalists — yes, I think this book might be very helpful for them!

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The Miracle-Working Power of Seeing, Speaking & Living The Truth

We spent the rest of our class time together discussing one of the most interesting — and powerful — aspects of life reviews: they show us, often to our great surprise, what is actually true about ourselves, about our interactions with others, about God, about life itself.

Why are so many NDErs surprised by what they are shown in their life reviews? Because most of us have been programmed from birth by lies. On a daily basis, we are bombarded with big lies like these:

• Money, material possessions, power, and status are what’s important

• The material universe is all there is

• God doesn’t exist

• Life has no purpose

• Life, in all its astonishing diversity, is not connected, nor is it aware of anything other than itself and its immediate surroundings

• We can harm plants, animals, eco-systems, and other human beings without hurting ourselves, especially if the plants, animals, eco-systems, and other human beings in question are out of sight

• Only actions have consequences in this world (thoughts and feelings are largely inconsequential)

• We (and everyone else) are limited, breakable, mortal beings

• We only have one life to live

• We are alone in the world, and universe

• We can’t talk to God and/or commune with spiritual forces (because they don’t exist — or if they do exist, we are too dense and unimportant to deserve their attention)

• Other people and things (parents, childhoods, societies) are responsible for our misfortunes (and fortunes); we are victims of life and do not create our own realities

And big lies, lead to smaller lies:

• Since there is no God, no higher laws that govern life, and no way for us to personally connect with such things, we need experts — doctors, lawyers, politicians, priests — to tell us what to do

The list goes on.

On all levels — personally, interpersonally, and globally — we live, move, and breathe in lies. And we just don’t believe the lies we are told; we also make up our own, and inject them, like viruses, into the bloodstream of humankind.

Near-death experiences turn the tables on all of this. Here are four instructive examples.

Near Death Gives A Paralyzed Man The Strength to Walk Again
By Nesita Kwan
NBC Chicago
January 22, 2013

Original Link

Steve Fanning Says during his near death experience that he went through a life review, and when he awoke, it had a tremendous affect on the way he would continue to live…

“It wasn’t like watching it on a television, or in a movie. It was actually being there again, and re-experiencing it, feeling everything that I was feeling… and thinking at the time. But simultaneously experiencing it from two other points of view,” explained Fanning.

Fanning and others who’ve described near death experiences call this a life review. It left him with a horrible sense of self judgment as he saw how “I was buying into my own lies” about how well he believed he had lived his life, and how right he had been.

“I felt like a failure as a human being,” Fanning said. The spirit accompanying him offered cold comfort, communicating the message that “it’s alright, that’s what humans do. Humans tell themselves lies and believe them and don’t think of other people,” he explained…

Now, he says he frequently thinks about his brush with death, and it’s a constant reminder to be kinder and more understanding.

“I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t think about it. It’s the bedrock of my life, of trying to keep in mind the lessons I’ve learned and how I want to be.”

Howard Storm

Here’s a quote from Howard Storm’s book, “My Descent Into Death”:

“The angels and Jesus shared their feelings of joy with me when love was expressed, and they shared their disappointment and sadness when we hurt one another… I excelled in the shot put and discus for a track coach who gave me acceptance and approval. The angels and Jesus had no interest in the track meet competitions I won or lost. They were interested in the relationships and how we encouraged or hurt one another…”

“I had to turn away numerous times when I saw myself treating my children in unloving ways. The most unloving thing that I did was to be at times so obsessed with my concerns that I was indifferent to their needs. I am sorry for the occasions that I was impatient or cruel to my daughter and son. The most disturbing behaviors I witnessed in my life review were the times when I cared more about my career as an artist and college professor than about their need to be loved. The emotional abandonment of my children was devastating to review. It was horrifying to see how I had become so much like my father, putting status and success above everything else.”

“The only reason I could bear to proceed with the life review was because of their love for me. No matter what we watched me do in my life, they communicated their love for me, even as they expressed their disapproval of things I did.”

For more information about Howard Storm, go here.

Dr. George Ritchie

NDErs universally report that it is impossible to lie on the other side of the veil. We watched from 04:37 to 05:55 in the video below. This is where Dr. George Ritchie declares:

“Now over there in that realm, there is no such thing as hypocrisy because one of the first things you become aware of is that the other being is totally aware of what you think, so you can’t think one thing and say another. There’s no such thing as misunderstanding what he meant. And yet, here was a being that knew everything about me and he totally accepted me and he totally loved me. Now that blew my mind!”

For more information about Dr. George Ritchie, go here.

Anita Moorjani

In an interview that Anita Moorjani did with Rick Archer, Anita describes how when she returned to this world after her near-death experience, she saw everything differently. She saw how the world was full of sleeping people who were controlled by fear, as she had been. The powers of the world told people what to believe and how to feel. And most people followed along like sheep. According to Anita, the world is pathologically afraid of everything.

To communicate how the materialistic, money-driven world around us is constantly brainwashing us, I tracked down a scene from the 1988 American science fiction-horror film by John Carpenter called “They Live”. We watched from 0:32:06 to 0:34:22. I’ve posted the entire movie here for you sci-fi fans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J01yY4Xi3hI

After watching the clip from “They Live”, we switched gears to a more personal level: How we see (and don’t see) the people we interact with every day.

So where do all these threads lead? I used this quote from the Pathwork lectures of Eva Pierrakos to summarize what we need to do to break the magic spell:

“This path demands from you that which most people are least willing to give: Truthfulness with the self, exposure of what exists now, elimination of masks and pretenses, and the experience of one’s naked vulnerability. It is a tall order, and yet it is the only real way that leads to genuine peace and wholeness.”

— From Pathwork Guide Lecture 204

To flesh out what, exactly, an honest life looks like, the Pathwork material indicates that there are two main things most humans are doing all the time: we are either falsely presenting ourselves as overly sick, needy, incompetent, and dependent, or we are trying to present ourselves as supermen and women who have our act together all the time.

“Each living individual has the understandable tendency to want to appear superior when he deals with his fellow creatures. He hides his faults, he hides his shortcomings and he wants to show his best side. Why? This is because he craves admiration, he craves acceptance, and he craves love. He thinks that showing his best side will bring him love. And yet all of you know that if you want to receive love, you have to give it first. Do you really give love by impressing other people? In effect, this is what you actually believe consciously and subconsciously. On the other hand, you very decidedly give love in the deepest sense if you give and show yourself as you really are, without any masks…

“If you show yourself as you really are, with all your weaknesses and without any pretense, you make a great and generous gift; your brother or sister will say and feel, ‘Well, he is not any better than I am,’ and it will give him a lift. He will relax, will feel less lonely. Then do you know what will happen? You will receive in this way exactly what you have set out to gain: love, admiration.”

— From Pathwork Guide Lecture 17

As we worked our way step-by-step through the above stories, videos, quotes, and ideas, a lively discussion followed.

To wrap things up, it’s clear from near-death experiences that lives can change, healings can take place, and miracles can happen when we learn to see, speak, and live truthfully. So what’s preventing us from do this? In a word: development.

In order to see things as they really are, and successfully resist the inner and outer programming that constantly encourages us to live like zombies, we need to develop a consciousness that can stay connected, 24-7, to Reality. And that requires daily practice.

While I didn’t have enough time to share these things in class, here are a few daily practices that I believe can help us begin to live truthful, healthy lives:

1. Spend time, daily, connecting with God

2. Feel the love that God has for us and allow that love to grow into a genuine, heartfelt love for ourselves and others

3. Find ways to express kindness every day (small, simple acts of kindness that require us to be fully present for another human being are better than loud, showy acts that lack presence)

4. Become conscious of the thoughts, feelings, and other inner currents that are running through us throughout the day, and make a conscious effort to align these forces with the highest within us (keep in mind that if we aren’t controlling the forces within us, someone or something else is)

5. Practice seeing and telling the truth in patient, caring, centered ways — first with ourselves, then with others

6. Spend time reading about, and/or in the physical presence of people who have tapped into the Reality we are seeking to embody more fully in our lives

7. Avoid the hypnotic, brainwashing aspects of today’s media that engender fear, fly in the face of Reality, and turn people into disconnected, unthinking zombies

8. Spend time in nature

9. Actively look for, acknowledge, and help anchor the beauty in everyone and everything we encounter

10. Remember and work with our dreams (which are plugged into deeper realities and also truth tellers of the highest order)

11. Take care of our body and strive to live balanced, healthy lives

12. Join deeply with other human beings

13. Actively work on the infantile, wounded, undeveloped, shadowy, largely unseen aspects of ourselves that go largely unnoticed when we are alone, but become glaringly apparent in the presence of other human beings

14. Practice these things every day, with patience and persistence

The items in the list above are drawn from “The Formula for Creating Heaven on Earth” that I’ve been working on. There are important reasons why each of the practices in this list can help us become more conscious. In addition, these practices all work together in surprising ways. We’ll examine all of these things in greater depth in future classes.

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Class Assignment

We ended this week’s class with an assignment. In the coming week take time to sit down, get quiet, and imagine yourself experiencing a life review. During your life review, where do you see yourself being dishonest? Focus on the largest areas first, and search for ways you can reverse the tide and begin bringing health and healing into these areas. Come to class next week prepared to share what you learned from this exercise.

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Future Classes

Our next NDE class will take place on Tuesday, March 12th from 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM at St. Andrew’s (see below for directions).

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A Newly Emerging Spiritual Path

Unlike spiritual paths that arose from the ideas and inner experiences of lone, isolated human beings, the path presented by near-death experiences is emerging as a direct, grassroots revelation that millions of people from all over the world are receiving and sharing. If we explore this newly emerging path deeply enough, we discover that all religions, philosophies, and cultures are honored; that science and spirituality are celebrated; that both the human and spiritual side of our natures are cherished and embraced. In short, near-death experiences present us with a universal, all-inclusive, perfectly integrated spiritual path that revolves around three core truths: 1. We are all one; 2. Love is the essence of life; 3. We are here, in this world, to become perfect embodiments of the divine. 

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Donations & Discussions

The materials created for this class are available, free of charge, to whomever is interested. If you would like to support this work, you can make a tax-deductible donation by clicking here. If you would like to participate in conversations with other people who share an interest in this work, we encourage you to join The Mustard Seed Venture Network. This ongoing, evolving, cutting-edge work is co-sponsored by NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE) and The Mustard Seed Venture.

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St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
100 Arroyo Pinon Drive
Sedona, AZ 86336
(928) 282-4457

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3 Responses to “03/05/13 NDE Class Notes”


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