08/28/12 Class Notes
By David Sunfellow
This week’s class began with a few minutes of silence. Then I shared the most important NDE-related news and events I am aware of that have taken place since last we met. Here is a quick summary of what I shared…
A Sister Group In North Carolina
What I’ve been anticipating has become a reality: we now have a sister group in Winston-Salem, North Carolina – The Triad IANDS Support Group! After discovering that we had designed our local class so that other groups could follow along, Sandy B., the leader of the group, who is also helping me administer NHNE’s NDE Network, had this to say:
“You are a Godsend to me! I am so grateful for the information, handouts, and links that you shared with me. Our local Triad IANDS Support Group watched and loved your video presentation: How Near-Death Experiences Are Changing the World. And now you have shared continued classes for further study.
“A couple members in our group have read Anita Moorjani’s book, including myself, and they wanted to discuss it. We seem to be on the same track schedule as you are, and I am so thankful to view over your notes and materials about her book.
“I am so thrilled that I immediately decided to follow along with your class. I’ll let you know how it turns out.”
Welcome Triad IANDS Support Group! I look forward to great things coming from working together.
Phase Two: A Dynamic Dream Group
One of the fundamental truths presented in “The Formula” is that we must all develop the ability to receive guidance directly from God/Spirit/our Higher Selves. Another critical component of The Formula is understanding that whatever inner guidance we receive is inescapably distorted by our conditioning, woundings, level of development, biology, and many other forces. Along with a sincere desire to know the truth and a constant turning towards the Divine for help, one of the most effective ways we have to discern the path that is best for us is to join with other seekers, who often see what we do not. Which leads to another fundamental truth presented by The Formula: life has been designed to promote and, indeed, insist on relationship. In order to be truly healthy, happy, and whole, we must join with others. Only then do hidden dimensions of our psyche reveal themselves; only then do whole pictures emerge; only then does the guidance we receive from on High become truly whole, balanced, and effective.
Our Dream Group is designed to help all of us learn how to form direct, personal relationships with the Divine through using dreams, and to learn how to do dream work with each other in a way that is truly transformative. Our dream group will eventually incorporate other ways of receiving guidance and emphasize the idea that God/Spirit is communicating with us all the time in many different ways. We will also be using group prayer and The VisionQuest Game to tap the healing power of relationships.
Our Dream Group will take place the first and third Tuesday of every month, in between our bi-monthly NDE classes. The first class begins September 18th. Location to be determined.
2012 IANDS Conference
The International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) is holding their annual conference THIS WEEKEND in Scottsdale from August 30 to September 2, 2012. Speakers at this year’s event include such notables as Dr. Eben Alexander, Mellen-Thomas Benedict, David Bennett, Dannion Brinkley, Ellen Dye, and Jan Holden. For more information about this exciting, speaker-packed event, go here.
2012 ACISTE Conference
The American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE) is holding its annual conference from October 18-20 in San Mateo, California. The theme of this year’s conference is “Therapeutic Issues of Spiritually Transformative Experiences”. For more information, go here.
2012-2013 Tucson IANDS Guest Speaker Series
Tucson is home to one of the country’s most dynamic IANDS groups. This year, they are hosting a series of great NDE speakers, including Dr. Mary Neal, Jeff Olsen, and Dr. Eben Alexander. To find out when these speakers are coming to Arizona, download this flyer (pdf).
NDEr Dr. Eben Alexander’s New Book
On August 28th, Dr. Eben Alexander’s Facebook page included the following notice:
“On the eve of the Beijing Book Fair, Beijing Fonghong Media Co., LTD. just signed for publishing rights in the People’s Republic of China (the 15th country involved in publishing Dr. Alexander’s book), and a deal for publishing in Taiwan is imminent.”
Dr. Raymond Moody has this to say about Eben’s near-death experience:
“Dr Eben Alexander’s near-death experience is the most astounding I have heard in more than four decades of studying this phenomenon. In my opinion, Dr Alexander is living proof of an afterlife… For me, it is difficult to shake the feeling that his experience was somehow divinely ordained.”
According to Eben’s website, “Proof of Heaven” will be available October 23, 2012 in North America; the same book will be published by Piatkus in the UK November 1, 2012 as “Into the Afterlife: A Neurosugeon’s Near-Death Experience and Spiritual Awakening”. Publishing arrangements have been made in the US & Canada (Simon & Schuster), Brazil (Sextante), the UK (Little, Brown/Piatkus), Germany (Ansata/Random House), Czech Republic/Slovakia, Russia (Centrepolygraph), The Netherlands (Bruna), Romania (RAO), Japan (Hayakawa), Australia – New Zealand (MacMillan), South Korea (Gimm-Young), the People’s Republic of China (Beijing Fonghong Media Co. Ltd), with ongoing interest among publishers in France, Israel, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The UK rights include India, Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore, among others.
NDEr Jeff Olsen’s New Book
Jeff Olsen’s new book “I Knew Their Hearts: The Amazing True Story of Jeff Olsen’s Journey Beyond the Veil to Learn the Silent Language of the Heart” is currently available for pre-order at Amazon.com for $12.99, and will ship September 11, 2012. In 1997, Jeff experienced a horrific automobile accident which inflicted multiple life-threatening injuries, including crushing both his legs. He had 18 surgeries and spent six months in the hospital. His left leg was amputated above the knee. The most devastating outcome of the accident was the loss of his wife and youngest son, both killed instantly. Overwhelmed by his own injuries, Jeff had a profound near-death experience in which he met his wife on the other side, who told him he couldn’t stay and had to return. Having that glimpse into heaven gave him the courage he needed to carry on and care for his living son. For more information about Jeff’s near-death experience, go here.
7-Year-Old, Ari Hallmark, Publishes Book About Her Near-Death Experience
Ari Hallmark was 6 years old last year when an EF-4 tornado killed five members of her family, but she vividly remembers the horror and destruction. She remembers cows flying through the air, trucks hitting the house, glass breaking all around her. And she remembers taking a quick trip to Heaven. Ari tells her story in a new book she co-authored. For more information, go here.
William Bray on Skeptiko
While the NDE movement is full of wonderful stories and inspiring people, it also has people who are making stories up and/or claiming to be something they are not. There are also many people who have authentic experiences who have difficulty understanding and integrating these experiences in their earthly lives. Once we finish exploring The Life Review, we’ll be wading into these issues with a passion. Among other things, we’ll be exploring distressing near-death experiences, spiritual bypassing, and shadow work. In anticipation of these meaty discussions, here’s an example of the kind of thing that fellow seekers are wrestling with now.
Enrique Vargas of Skeptiko writes:
“A few weeks back I had the pleasure and the privilege to sit in as a guest host for Skeptiko interviewing a very interesting guest, William Bray, author of the book ”Quantum Physics, Near Death Experiences, Eternal Consciousness, Religion, and the Human Soul”. After the interview various Skeptiko listeners raised questions regarding W. Bray’s scientific credentials, considering that the book deals with various very specialized aspects of quantum mechanics. This type of inquiries (proof of title, peer-reviewed publications, etc) is very common and completely legitimate for those publishing books on science and making public claims. So far William Bray has been unwilling to provide proof of his academic qualifications, or work-related credentials. In the truly skeptical and impartial spirit of Skeptiko, I can no longer stand behind the claims of William Bray unless/until he’s able to verify these claims regarding his credentials.”
You can find a Skeptico reader/listener discussion concerning this situation posted here.
To bring this story closer to home, William used to be a member of NHNE’s NDE Network, but after stirring up trouble by making false and inflammatory accusations against other members of the network, I let him know that this kind of behavior was unacceptable and he left. While my heart is full of compassion for the struggles we all face on the spiritual path, and while I am always seeking to understand, heal, and integrate the shadow aspects of myself and others, I think it is critically important that dark side issues be illuminated, explored and discussed. Because of this, NHNE is 100 percent committed to telling the truth, helping others do likewise, and calling into question stories and personages that are less than forthright.
Near-Death Experiences, Signs, Synchronicities, & CMPEs
The are many “markers” that distinguish near-death experiences from other kinds of experiences. One of those markers is that the Force behind NDEs has clear intentions for us. There is a plan, in other words, and we all have our parts to play in it. Moreover, this Force is not passive. Instead of simply standing on the sidelines doing nothing, this Force, in a myriad of forms, is active, personal, and engaged. It appears to us, for example, in intuitions, visions, voices, and dreams. Another place is in signs and synchronicities. To find out more about this important topic, I encourage you to take a look at this post from Robert Perry, who is the author of “Signs: A New Approach to Coincidence, Synchronicity, Guidance, Life Purpose, and God’s Plan”. In it, Robert, with help from NDEr Barbara Whitfield, discusses how “The Consciousness That Is ‘Talking To Us’ In A CMPE” appears to be the same consciousness that is encountered in near-death experiences.
David Milarch: An Example Of NDE-Inspiration At Work In The World
Many people who have near-death experiences realize that they came to Earth with a purpose; there is a reason they were born — and a reason they are sent back. But what is it? Upon returning to Earth, most can’t remember. But a few do. Take, for example, David Milarch. His story is a tangible example of someone who had a near-death experience, returned with a specific mission, and is now doing something that could, in a very big and tangible way, help save the planet.
We all know the Earth (and all the plants, animals, humans that call it home) is in trouble. But how, exactly, can we get ourselves out of the mess we are in? According to David, angels told him that the Earth was in trouble; its trees were dying, and without them, human life was in jeopardy. The solution, they said, was to clone the champion trees of the world — the largest, the hardiest, the ones that had survived millennia and were most resilient to climate change — and create a kind of Noah’s ark of tree genetics. David is an example of what can happen when an spiritually-inspired vision touches someone who dedicates their life to bringing that vision into manifestation. Notice while you watch this video that nothing is said about the near-death experience that inspired David’s work. The only hint you get is from the name of David’s organization “Archangel Ancient Tree Archive”. For the background story, which includes more information about David, his near-death experience, and his work, go here.
Lilou Mace Interviews Anita Moorjani A Year Later
Our classes began by exploring the amazing near-death experience of Anita Moorjani. Lilou Mace interviewed Anita before her book, “Dying To Be Me”, was published and now, a year later, interviews her again. These are two of the best interviews I’ve seen with Anita. In the first interview, she tells her story; in the second, she discusses some of the things that have transpired since then. To encourage the members of our local class to watch these inspiring interviews, I played two clips from the most recent video. The first clip runs from 7:58 to 12:18 while the second clip runs from 28:40 to 33:13. If you are a group leader who wants to play these clips for your class, and don’t have time to play both of them, I suggest playing the second one. I strongly advise everyone who has an interest in NDEs to watch both interviews though, all the way through. Anita’s second and most recent interview is posted first. You can find out all about Anita by going here. The notes I created to study Antia’s NDE and book are located here.
The Life Review Discussion Postponed; Don Wolf Shares His NDE
After sharing the above news, it was time to continue our discussions on “The Light & The Life Review”. Specifically, we were going to explore “5. We Are All Born With A Special Purpose” and “6. Life Reviews From God’s Perspective” in the Life Review section. Those plans were set aside when an unexpected visitor showed up who had a near-death experience that he wanted to share.
Don Wolf is a Sedona resident. Don begins his story talking about his work as a biochemist and repeated encounters with angelic beings who, Don says, gave him various healing formulas. Further into the story, Don recounts how a near-terminal illness, coupled with suicidal tendencies, resulted in a near-death experience that changed his life. To listen to Don’s story, click here (MP3).
When Don finished sharing his story, we were out of time, so the group shared a few minutes of quiet together and the class ended.
Note to other groups and group leaders: While very interesting, Don’s talk took 40 minutes of our class time. In the future, I will be screening personal stories before they are shared with the whole group (unless lightning strikes, and I feel inwardly nudged to do otherwise).
IMPORTANT UPDATE CONCERNING DON WOLF
Since publishing this summary, I have been contacted by two different people who have told me that Don is a career con-man. While I don’t have the time or interest to wade into the controversies surrounding Don, a few quick searches did produce comments from several different people that call Don’s credibility into question. Here’s a quick sample:
“Frank Dearborn was not ever an MD, therefore could not lose his license. He was a carpenter in Reno, NV living there more than 20 years with his family. He was storing and distributing illegal and unapproved drugs in sheds on property located on Fawn Lane — no $3 million laboratory. The investigation and arrest were conducted by the FDA, US Marshall’s and US Customs.
“None of the educational claims, credentials or licenses of being an MD, Veterinarian, Homeopath, Naturopath, Biochemist, Bio-Physicist, or advanced degrees including PhD are valid.
“Everything that I wrote in my review that was deleted is a matter of public record backed by federal court documents and other official government documents ie Bureau of Prisons. There are 818 pages of federal court records and these comments are only the surface.
“There is no “Medicine Wolf” with the history, credentials or experience as claimed by Frank Dearborn.
“This is a constructed alias of Frank Dearborn and #11 or #12 of known alias’ of this man. This alias first appeared in Payson, AZ in late 2003. Before that, the only Native American alias used by this person was “Running Deer” used while he was violating Supervised Release in Quincy, CA while employed as manager of the American Indian Trading Post. This was prior to becoming a fugitive for 18 months and being returned to prison.
“Other known alias’ of Frank Dearborn include Fran Anthony, Dr Fran Anthony, Ron St Germaine, Francis St Germaine, Dr Francis St Germaine, Rusty St Germaine, Donald “Rusty” Barnett, Dean Allen Webster, Dr Lee Mandell, Running Deer, Don Wolf, Dawn Wolf, Dr Ronald Wolf, MD, PhD, Dr Don Wolf, Dr Dawn Wolf MD, PhD, Medicine Wolf, Dr Medicine Wolf, Don Medicine Wolf, Dawn Medicine Wolf and Dr Don Medicine Wolf.
“The purpose of alias’ used by criminals is for the purpose of misrepresentation, fraud and to avoid discovery.
“According to his birth certificate, Bureau of Prison records, federal records and US Census records, Dearborn is Caucasian and was born in the Northeastern US. His testimony in Phoenix District Court October 7th and a name change request filed in Arizona Superior Court verifies this. His claims of being Iroquois and Native American are fictitious — including that he was born and raised on a reservation.
“Dearborn claims that he is a combat veteran of two wars — Korea and Vietnam. He claims to have been wounded 3 times (3 Purple Hearts), was a Captain in the Special Forces, and tells extreme stories of combat. None of this is true. This has been confirmed by the POW Network with access to records of military awards (Purple Hearts) including all persons who served in the Special Forces and combat veterans of Vietnam. He has stolen honor by these false claims attempting to be someone who he is not…”
What are we to make of this? One of my take-aways is this: The NDE world is just as full of mixed up people as the world at large, maybe more so. It is, therefore, important to measure a person’s claims along with the rest of their lives. What kind of person are they? Can their accounts be verified? Are they who they say they are? Do they tell the truth? What kind of mark have they left on the lives of those they have touched?
If others are speaking ill of a particular person, it is also important to know something about them. What are their agendas? Are they telling the truth? Are they credible sources?
Bottom line: you now know what I know. My/our time can probably be better spent examining stories that are not awash in controversy.
Our Next Class is Tuesday, September 11, 7:00 – 8:30 PM, at St. Andrew’s
On Tuesday, September 11th, we will pick up from where we left off. Once we have finished exploring The Life Review part of “The Light & The Light Review” (pdf), we’ll be ready to take a look at the dark side! Synchronistically, our dream group will start about the same time. I say “synchronistically” because dreams are masters at illuminating the dark side of human nature. Stay tuned.
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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St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
100 Arroyo Pinon Drive
Sedona, AZ 86336