11/05/13 Class Notes
By David Sunfellow
As always, the class began with a few moments of silence. After our quiet time together, we talked about how inspiring how our last dream group was. Then we gave some brief updates on what is happening with The Center. One of the biggest pieces of news is that The Center’s new website is almost ready. It will be announced along with the video we made of Robert Perry’s talk on the parallels between “A Course In Miracles” and near-death experiences. We will also be launching a fundraiser the same time. Stay tuned!
Alexandra’s Dream: Become Advocates For One Another
We began this evening’s class with Alexandra, my partner, sharing a very insightful dream. Her dream illustrated why dreams are playing a central role in the work we are doing: 1. Dreams offer us a way to get helpful guidance; 2. Dreams, like near-death experiences, have intentionally: they come to shape us into more loving, caring, present, connected, healthy, happy, well-rounded human beings.
The backdrop to Alexandra’s dream is that we — she and I — were arguing about how to approach a particular issue. While we made headway, each trying to understand and make room for the other person’s perspective, we were not able to fully be there for each other. Our needs conflicted with one another and we couldn’t find a way to move ahead. That night, Alexandra went to sleep pondering the situation, asking for help. She felt the dream picked up where we had left off, and fully developed the direction that we needed to move in.
In her dream 6 or 7 pairs of people were all arguing about vital issues. One person, for example, needed to visit a seriously ill relative, but doing so conflicted with the needs of their partner who had another, equally important thing that they needed to do. If one person was able to do what they needed to do, it looked like the other partner’s needs would not be met. And this led to a further problem. If you were the partner that got your needs met, you would then have to live with the harm your actions caused your partner. You may have prevented your partner from visiting their sick loved one, for example, just before they died. So the whole situation was a mess, and the arguing went on and on.
In the dream, Alexandra was not paired up with anyone, and at one point she had an idea. Each person was to get a pen and paper, and write out the other person’s side, as if they were the other person. Each person was “to become an advocate for the other.” This was the big line that was emphasized in the dream. In other words, instead of each partner defensively championing their particular needs, they were encouraged to step inside the shoes of the other and become an advocate for them and their needs. It was only after this was done that each pair would then come back together and try to then come up with a solution. The feeling was that in doing this, probably neither party would get exactly what they said they needed. Instead, because each had “lived” in their own world and the other person’s, there would be a deeper understanding that would lead to what things were vital and what things weren’t as important. New solutions would emerge that would allow previously paralyzed, unworkable situations to resolve themselves in ways that would generally meet the needs of both partners. None of the people wanted to do this process because they had already spent a lot of time arguing, but they knew if they didn’t, what was important to them wouldn’t happen, so they were willing to try. Although in the dream, Alexandra wasn’t there to see how it all turned out, she had the feeling that it worked.
Alexandra’s dream reminded me of a Pathwork quote that has played a significant role in my life. That quote encouraged a similar approach and also said that magic would happen if people who were in conflict made a sincere effort to see and honor one another’s perspective. I will include the Pathwork quote below. Alexandra’s dream takes the process to a deeper level though. More than simply trying and to see and understand another person’s perspective, her dream encourages us to become “advocates” for one another, actually taking on the other person’s needs as if they were our own. Near-death experiences champion a similar perspective by constantly stressing that we are all one — and that the more our thoughts and actions towards one another reflect this reality, the better things will be for everyone.
What is the Truth of the Matter?
From Pathwork Guide Lecture 143
“The more the man strives to prove his friend wrong, the more friction is created. He believes that by proving himself right and the friend wrong, the friend will finally accept and love him again and all will be well. When this does not occur, he misinterprets it and tries harder; he thinks he has not sufficiently proven that he is right and the other wrong. The rift widens and his anxiety increases. The more weapons he uses in his effort to win the fight, the deeper into difficulty he gets, until he actually damages himself and the other and acts against his own best interest. He is now faced with a further conflict which has arisen out of the first error and dualistic split. In order to avoid a total rift, with all its real and imagined dangers — for real damage has begun to be wrought — he is now faced with the alternatives of having to give in to appease and avoid damage to himself, or to continue fighting. Since he is still convinced that there is a right and a wrong, appeasement robs him of self-respect. Whether he uses this ‘solution’ or not, he will be torn between the two alternatives: fighting or submitting. Both create tension, anxiety, and inner and outer disadvantages.
“The act which appears to be the most difficult for a man to perform but which, in reality, is the easiest and most unstrained act possible, is to ask, ‘What is the truth of the matter?’ The moment an individual is more bent on the truth than on proving that he is right, he contacts the Divine principle or transcendent, unified truth. If the desire to be in truth is genuine, inspiration must come forth. No matter how much circumstances seem to point in one direction, man must be willing to relinquish and question that what he sees is all there is to the issue. This generous act of integrity opens the way to the Real Self. This act will be easier to perform when man contemplates that it is not necessarily a question of either/or, but that there may be aspects of right in the other and of wrong in himself that, so far, he has not seen because his attention was not directed to this eventuality.
“With this approach to a problem, man immediately opens the way to enter into the unified plane of existence and to be moved by the Real Self. This immediately releases an energy which is distinctly felt when this act is committed in a deep, and sincere way. It also brings release of tension. What he then finds out is always totally different from both what he hoped for and feared on the dualistic plane. He finds that he is not as right and innocent as he thought, nor as wrong as he feared, nor is the opponent. He soon discovers aspects in the matter that he never saw before, although they were not necessarily concealed. He understands exactly how the quarrel came into existence in the first place, what led to it, its history before its actual manifestation. With this he gains insight into the nature of the relationship, he learns about himself and the other and he increases his understanding of the laws of communication. The more vision he thus gains, the freer, stronger, and more secure he feels.”
For more information on the Pathwork Lectures, go here:
NDEr Ben Breedlove: ‘When Will Heaven Begin?’
Ben Breedlove’s sister, Ally, has written a new book about her brother. After narrowly avoiding death three times, Ben, 18, lost his life on Christmas night in 2012 after suffering from a heart attack. But not before he recorded a YouTube video about his life and near-death experiences. After Ben’s death, his video — and story — went viral. To date, Part 1 of his video has been watched by over 8 MILLION people. What follows is an interview with Ben’s family on the Today Show, links to Ally Breedlove’s new book, Ben’s two viral videos, and a video of Ally speaking at Ben’s memorial service. For more information about Ben and his near-death experience, go here.
‘When Will The Heaven Begin?’: A Near-Death Experience Strengthens A Young Man’s Faith
October 30, 2013
NDEr Crystal McVea: ‘Waking Up In Heaven’
Near-death experiencer Crystal McVea has published a new book called “Waking Up In Heaven.” Here’s a video of Crystal describing her experience…
To learn more, go here:
Crystal McVea, Author, Says She Smelled God During Near-Death Experience In Surgery
By Meredith Bennett-Smith
April 3, 2013
Former Skeptic Who Says She Died And Went To Heaven Describes Talking With God
By Billy Hallowell
October 26, 2013
Crystal McVea Claims She Spoke With God in Near-Death Episode
By Linzie Janis
October 28, 2013
Gay & Lesbian NDEs
Gay Porn Star Found Christ After Near-Death Experience
By Amy Macmillan
Christianity Today Australia
October 14, 2013
The essence of the story above is that a former gay porn star, Joseph Sciambra had a near-death experience and came back believing that a gay lifestyle was “ugly and dirty” and also “ultimately sad and tragic… for almost everyone involved”. While the same could be said for any lifestyle — homosexual, heterosexual, bi-sexual, you-name-it — that focused more on selfish, carnal excesses than building loving relationships, this particular experiencer apparently ended up feeling that gay lifestyles of all stripes were harmful and misguided. To his credit, he also felt it was important for Christians not to be judgmental of homosexuals. But that didn’t prevent him from supporting “reparative therapy,” which is a form of therapy designed to help people overcome same-sex attractions. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Being someone who experienced extreme suffering and trauma during his years in the gay porn scene, Joseph defends reparative therapy — a form of therapy designed to help people with unwanted same-sex attractions move on from them and which gay advocates have sought in recent times to ban.
He told LifeSiteNews: “I know Heaven wept when I had to see so many young men buried because of disease and suicide. It was a waste. And, that was evil.”
Joseph was asked what message he thinks Christians should be sending to homosexuals and he suggests one that does not come across as judgmental but makes them feel welcome.
He responded: “I have seen many unhappy and searching gay men and women turned off to Christianity because of an over-zealous Christian who showed them condemnation, but no love.
“As I discovered, when a gay person is contemplating leaving the lifestyle, they often just want a disinterested friend; i.e. someone that doesn’t want or demand something from them. Therefore, the way to approach such a person is not with worry or questions, but with reassurances of love.”
According to Joseph, many other gay men have confided in him about their own tragic experiences in the gay lifestyle. He sees this as an opportunity to express real Christ-like love for them and share his own story of how God’s eternal love saved him from years of self-inflicted trauma.
He added: “One must always remember that these are deeply wounded and suffering people: they need your sympathy, compassion, and prayers.”
Joseph’s extreme reaction to gays and lesbians — that all such behavior is sinful, not just those aspects of it that are excessive and unloving — flies in the face of many other gay and lesbian reports. As Kevin Williams, the creator of Near-Death.com notes:
“Anyone who has grown up on a farm or ranch, as I have, knows that farm animals frequently exhibit homosexual behavior. These facts of nature and of God discredits self-righteous religious beliefs that homosexuality is merely a choice, a sin and a lifestyle which people can easily chose to abandon. Near-death and metaphysical evidence shows people are born the way they are for a higher purpose known to God and our Higher Selves. It also makes logical sense that God creates and loves everyone unconditionally no matter what their sexuality.”
To find out more about what kind of near-death experiences that gays and lesbians are reporting, go here.
Along with using this opportunity to give everyone more information about gay and lesbian near-death experiences, it is also important to drive home the point, once again, that the things people experience on the other side of life are filtered through their personal development, beliefs, biases, cultural conditioning, religious training, and what have you. As we deepen and expand, so, too, does our understanding of our experiences and the way we apply these understandings in this world.
The Power of Love; We Are All Connected
I often play videos in the class that illustrate the core truths presented by near-death experiences. Here are two we watched this week…
Photographer Proves Strangers Are Friends You Haven’t Met Yet
Why Gratitude Makes Ourselves (& Others) Healthier & Happier
Gratitude shows up in the 12th circle of “The Formula for Creating Heaven on Earth” — in the “Miracles: Master This World Through Love” circle. That’s because gratitude (or the lack thereof) plays a major role in the lives of NDErs (and everyone else). If you listen to NDE stories carefully, it turns out that NDErs return to this world leaning in one of two directions, and sometimes bouncing back and forth between the two. They tend to be angry, resentful, and upset for being kicked out of Heaven and sent back to this world, or they tend to be grateful for the opportunity to be alive, in a human body, with more potential than ever to love others and do good. Of these two paths, the second path is obviously the healthier one. Learning how to welcome challenges is far more effective than avoiding them — especially when the monsters of this world all turn into angels when they are fully embraced. A positive, enthusiastic, grateful attitude is, therefore, very important. Science, it turns out, also has a lot to say about the power of gratitude when it comes to living healthy, happy, fulfilling lives in this world. Here’s a recent article that outlines some of the benefits:
The Neuroscience Of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier
By Ocean Robbins
October 30, 2013
The key points are:
• Cultivating an attitude of gratitude makes us happier and healthier.
• Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can lead to increased goodwill towards others.
• Expressing gratitude contributes to the health and happiness of the people we interact with.
• Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can lead to better sleep, more exercise, and feeling more positive about our lives.
• Unless a couple is able to maintain a high ratio of positive to negative encounters (5:1 or greater), it is likely the marriage will end.
• Keep a daily journal of three things you are thankful for. This works well first thing in the morning, or just before you go to bed.
• Make it a practice to tell a spouse, partner or friend something you appreciate about them every day.
• Look in the mirror when you are brushing your teeth, and think about something you have done well recently or something you like about yourself.
I read the summary above in class, then played the second video that I am including below (we didn’t have time to play both of them).
• Make a list, every day, of at least three things you are grateful for.
• And for those who wanted to score extra credit, do what the video suggested: Write someone who is important to us a letter of appreciation, then call them and read it to them.
We’ll report next week how well we did with these exercises.
NDEr Anita Moorjani: Inner Guidance & Food
“I was a strict vegetarian. I consumed only organic foods and was into macrobiotics, vitamin supplements, and wheatgrass juice — and that was before I got sick. I thought that everything caused cancer, from microwaves to preservatives. I used to eat very healthfully, but I did so out of fear.”
After her NDE and miraculous healing, Anita said that she started eating whatever she was drawn to and focused more on enjoying her food than the kinds of food she ate. She also encouraged her readers to do the same. If you have watched Anita’s talks and interviews, you have probably heard Anita jokingly encourage her audience to lighten up and, if all else fails, eat chocolate. In August we learned that the wear and tear of traveling around the world, including restaurant eating, caused Anita, and her husband, Danny, to start a 30-day detox program. More recently, Anita mentioned that she was feeling “really, really run down and weak” and found that her energy returned when she changed her diet. This is important information. That’s because The Formula encourages us to live balanced lives — or, said another way, to cultivate healthy relationships with everyone and everything: with our bodies, our minds, our emotions, our fellow human beings, the plants and animals we share this world with, the environment, the unseen forcers of life, etc. When it comes to our bodies, that means giving them the care they need to function properly in this world. It also means choosing to eat food that is not only healthy, but that has been grown and produced in healthy ways. Everything, in other words, affects everything else. If we focus too much or too little on one area of our lives, imbalances are bound to emerge. Dis-ease, or feeling uncomfortable — physically, mentally, emotionally — is usually a red flag letting us know that some aspect of our life is out of balance.
The Formula also suggests that while peak experiences can create miracles of all kinds, those miracles — including miraculous healings and health — can’t be sustained until we have step-by-step built a perfect container for our Divine nature. In other words, while we can all visit heavenly states of consciousness, we can only stay there to the degree that our human natures have been developed, purified, and perfected. And in this world, that takes time. And work. And patience.
Back to Anita. We listened to the interview that Anita did with Jannecke Øinæs and focused on two things: 1. The importance of turning within and discovering what our particular body needs to be healthy; 2. The importance of paying attention to the needs of our body and not thinking that a strength in one area of our life — a positive, cheerful attitude, for example — is enough to sustain system-wide health. Each area (relationship) of our life requires its own kind of special attention. We watched the following interview 25:30 until 26:26.
“I went through a phase where I was feeling really, really run down and weak and so I was going on the internet and looking for things that could increase my energy… Old habit – go on the internet and look for things that increase my energy. I was trying everything. It wasn’t working. I was feeling weaker. And so I thought how silly of me: I talk to people about getting in touch with themselves; I should be taking my own advice. So I tuned in. And I saw… the visions that came up were protein based foods. I saw eggs. I saw salmon. I saw chicken. And I thought, ‘Oh, my body is starved for protein and all I had to do was eat protein. I ate boiled eggs. I ate salmon. And the energy just came back almost instantly. Funny thing is I don’t know why I don’t get images of ice cream and chocolate…”
NDEr Reinee Pasarow
We spent the remainder of this class watching NDEr Reinee Pasarow describe her near-death experience. We began 22:33 and stopped at 46:39.
Here’s a 5-minute clip of one of the most important parts of this video:
To learn more about what some NDErs have to say about the future, including apocalyptic predictions, go here.
Our next NDE class will take place on Tuesday, November 12th from 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM at the MSV-NHNE Community Center.
The Mustard Seed Venture – NewHeavenNewEarth Community Center
82 Saddlerock Circle
Sedona, AZ 86336
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.”
“The Formula for Creating Heaven on Earth” or “The Formula” was introduced in David Sunfellow’s two-part YouTube presentation called “How Near-Death Experiences Are Changing The World.” The goal has been to identify the universal truths presented by near-death experiences and wrestle them into “a formula” that we can use to transform our lives. Version 2.1 can be downloaded here (pdf). The Formula’s Circling Worksheet can be downloaded here (pdf).
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.