Near Death Experiences (NDE)
In 1975 a new book hit the bookshelves, The author was a Dr. Raymond Moody and the name of the book was called ‘Life After Life’ . It caused a huge stir, and was very controversial for it’s time. I remember it was a talking point at our small hospital for some months.
I personally could not put this book down. After I read the book, at the very beginning of my nursing career, I promised myself that I would always listen without judgement to my patients who may have experienced this for themselves, who wanted to talk about it, and I kept my word.
This episode is about Near Death Experiences and will be longer than the past episodes as I have a very interesting guest tonight with us – Ned Matinnia – who runs a Facebook group called ‘Near Death Experiences’, which he started, in order to educate people about what this is, and to provide a safe place for those who have had an NDE to be able to talk about what they experienced.
In 1979 I was in Guatemala, in my early 20’s, working as a health care missionary, teaching basic health care and nutrition. I woke one morning knowing something was terribly wrong at home in New Zealand. It was an absolute soul deep feeling of dread and knowing. The following day I got the news that my father had a massive heart attack and died. Distraught, I phoned home to discover that the information actually wasn’t wrong. That yes, he had indeed had a massive heart attack and died. That was correct, that they had called his time of death, but then he resuscitated. Physically from that time on until his death in 1985, he was an invalid reliant on almost continuous oxygen.
It wasn’t until I returned home to New Zealand that I was able to see him and he told me what had happened to him during the time that he had been pronounced dead and came back to life. My father had what is called a Near Death Experience or NDE for short.
My Father’s Near Death Experience
My father had his initial heart attack then they got him to the hospital and he had another even larger than the first. During this heart attack he was clinically dead and they had timed him (the time he was officially pronounced dead by medical staff).
Dad told me that initially he saw himself floating out of his body – watching the medical team working frantically to save him… He did not realize at first that it was his body, but he said he actually felt an emotional disconnect from it. Like he was merely looking at a discarded piece of clothing. He felt no pain, no concerns, no attachment to his body.
Then a light in the corner of the room caught his attention. He said it was extremely bright – brighter than any light he had seen in this world, but it did not hurt his eyes. That it turned into a tunnel, and he was drawn into it. He found himself travelling along this tunnel and when he came out the other side he found himself in the most beautiful field.
He struggled to explain to me the brightness of the colours of everything – and how much clearer and brighter they were, than in this world.
My Father found himself in this most beautiful field with stunning flowers and stream separating the field. He said that the colours were all so vivid, like he was seeing them for the very first time ever – And the variety of them far surpassed anything we had here.
He said that he could almost smell and taste the colours, which I thought was really interesting. So he walked in the grass – enjoying the warmth of the bright light on his body and the feelings and smells of all the flowers, butterflies that were flying around, when he noticed a stream in the distance and was drawn to it. He said he walked over to this stream and the water in the stream was so clear and vivid in colour with a soft, sandy bottom.
On the other side of the stream he could see a figure standing there – apparently waiting on him. At first he could not make out clearly who it was – as it was indistinct, but as he got closer the form turned into a loved one he recognized. I cannot precisely recall who he said it was, It was either his mum or a beloved brother who died some years earlier.
As he got to the stream he attempted to start to cross it, but the figure on the other side told him that he could not cross. That his time in the physical body was not yet over, and that he had to return. Dad cried when he explained to me the peace and love he felt there – Unconditional love and he did not want to return to his body. He does not recall transitioning back to his body – but remembers taking a deep breath, feeling tremendous pain, and suddenly being surrounded by the medical team, looking shocked down at him. As they would, after all he had been pronounced dead. Until his passing, he never ever forgot the sense of peace and unconditional love he felt during his NDE and would tear up whenever he thought about it.
What precisely is an NDE?
Dr Raymond Moody was the first person to create the term Near Death Experience in his book I mentioned earlier. Since his pioneering work, many researchers have studied this subject. The way or reasons people died, what happened during their period of clinical death, and the after effects of their NDE.
Basically, an NDE is a very distinct and subjective experience that some people report after a near-death encounter. In this encounter, a person is generally either clinically dead (by medical terms), or extremely close to death. The circumstances of this encounter can be from, serious illness or injury – like for example a car accident, childbirth, suicide, or during military battles either as a soldier or a civilian. Or as in …. Aimee’s case, a horse riding accident:
Aimee: I was riding horses. I was out in Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains, and the horse that I was riding was also very well trained, race-horse. I was with five other riders. What happened was, we were lost. So, they nominated me to get to the top of the mountain and figure out where we were, so I was going to triangulate it.
So I took the horse up, and it was an old logging trail. What ended up happening was I got to the top so I could see where we were, and figure out that the ranch is that way. I didn’t realize that there was a cabin behind me. Somebody came out of the cabin and slammed the door, and spooked the horse. I was up on top of a hill.
Oh, you might have seen “The Man From Snowy River”? It was really close to that. The first time that I saw that movie, I was white-knuckled and my Dad came over and pulled my hands off the chair, and said “You’re ok Amiee. It’s alright, don’t worry about it.” Because, I was redoing that entire ride.
It was probably a quarter of a mile, and it was around trees and over, and at the bottom there was this huge pine tree. The horse went one way, and I went the other way. I had my arm like that to protect my head. But you know, obviously – I mean, full stop – gallop. It took two and a half hours to get the paramedics into where I was. They had, my friends had to get out to the highway first. Because this is in nineteen-eighty, there’s no cell phones.
So they had to go on out and find somebody to call the paramedics, so it – then they got the four-wheeled drive ambulance stuck in the mud, because it was monsoon season. So, they had to hike in and hike me out on a stretcher.
What I remember, is looking down at the body and saying; “Yeah, nobody’s gonna want to live there!” And the being that was beside me said; “No, no… That’s yours!” Then, I’m in the body again. Now the four days afterwards that I’m having surgery and I’m on liquid valium, I’m being told all of these things. I have – I knew that I had two little girls. I did not know that I was married.
So this man came into the hospital and he’s saying; “Aimee, Aimee, are you ok?” and I went; “Yeah, sure fine! Who are you?” That doesn’t do good things for a ten-year marriage, it really doesn’t!
Mary: No it doesn’t.
Aimee: So I went home with a man that my children told me I was married to. I went home with this guy that I didn’t have any memory of at all. And, was there for two years, until finally I said; “No, no, I think I’m done now. It’s been real – ok…Have a nice life!” I called it a day at that point in time. I was able to pick up in his dreams, that he was really and truly thinking about how to put me away. Cause obviously, things were manifesting around me all the time. All I had to do was think of something and it was right there for me, immediately.
Marianne: You had your Near Death Experience. You were out of your body. You saw this being. What did the being look like? Can you remember what he looked like or did you just…?
Aimee: Gold, gold, just gold. Just…just, but I heard voices. See, so I heard – and I still to this day, not voices persay, but when I touch something it creates a connection inside of me. So what I hear is chaos or coherence. So something is in balance or it’s not in balance.
Aimee: So that’s how I can work with people I am doing healing work with, is that I hear coherence in the body. Or I’ll have… you know, I said to my guides years ago that really, nobody listens. Oh, yeah, maybe I should say this… So, I still had my arm in a cast, so I was still married. Three, four months, I guess, after my near death experience – which I didn’t know what it was. I had amnesia. I had at least partial amnesia, um about, who was around me.
Aimee: And, I knew that I could walk and talk… I had seen the accident, about ten days before it happened. I was working with horses. So what in my thought process was – is, if I continue to do this I’ll probably break a bone somewhere. You know, if I’m working with horses.
So, I remember going through my entire body and saying; “OK! Can’t break a leg. Not going to break the spine – You know, I’m right handed so I can’t break that, my right arm, my right hand, I can’t break that. So maybe my left arm, and maybe a little concussion.” So I set it up and agreed to it, alright.
When the accident happened, I had partial amnesia, for a long, long, long time. Years, I had it, and it’s taken me years, working with medicine people, and various healing methods and modalities in order to regain some semblance of that. But for a long, long, long time, when you – when someone was speaking with me, it was Aimee one, or it was Aimee two. And Aimee two was the one doing all of the energetic work and Aimee one was the one taking care of the kids.
Aimee: I remember watching my children playing in the living room, and being on a phone with a friend. But I also had conversations in isolated places of my head. That I was interactive with at the same time. Finally, I pulled the phone away from my head and I said; “Listen! No body does this down here. So it needs to be quiet, alright?” Bam! The voices went away.
Marianne: Oh that was smart. Setting boundaries.
Aimee: Yeah, you know that was crazy-making. If he knew that I was interactive in seven different conversations, I’m in an institution, and that’s not my path. So yeah, that’s pretty much the way it went for many, many years.
Marianne: So you woke up from your NDE and you had – like, your head trauma and you had your broken arm, and you woke up with extra abilities you did not have before your NDE?
Aimee: Yeah, yeah. I’m … do you know what synesthesia is?
Aimee: Ok, I’m synesthetic on three, no four out of the five senses.
Marianne: Can you explain that for people who might be listening, who don’t know what that is?
Aimee: Sure. Synesthesia is like a slurring of the sense’s boundaries. So people see, or feel, or taste, or touch, or smell. But there are, usually there are discreet walls between those senses. I have, pretty much, no walls there. So, in order to be able to function in a world – in Manhattan, ok, where it’s incredibly noisy – I mean, unbelievably noisy. Hundreds of thousands of people around – and, I was hearing conversations all the time. Finally, I just had to set it up, so that I have the ability to turn up, or to turn down those voices. So when I do the readings, you know for people, I turn it up so that I can hear or see what’s going on for my client. But then, I have to turn it back down again because it really and truly is an insane place to live without boundaries.
Marianne: Oh yeah, I totally get that. (talking together) Mary and I can both understand that cause…
Marianne: You have to have, you have to have that boundary otherwise it’s like a radio going around in your mind twenty-four hours a day, it’s just, you can’t live like that.
Mary: Yep – crazy making. It really is.
Aimee: Yeah. It is absolutely. So I set the boundaries.
Aimee: I set up a control factor and I put it together. It’s kind of, sort of like like a Star Trek headquarters, control room, and so I have senses that I have set up on computer scales, so I can turn it up, or turn it down.
Marianne: Yeah. I totally get that.
Aimee: Yeah, it just made more sense to me to do it that way.
Marianne: Oh absolutely – and I really like your Star Trek reference.
Many Near Death Experiencers have said that the term near-death is not correct, as they were pronounced clinically dead, and therefore, were dead – not merely near-death.
Sometimes people who are experiencing episodes of profound grief, or who may be in deep meditation, have described experiences similar, but these people were in no way near death, and therefore I personally would just say it was an out of body experience and not the subject of this episode.
There seem to be two types of NDE experiences that people tend to report. Ones- like my Dad’s that involve mostly feelings of love and joy, immense peace, or even bliss. Alternatively a very small number have distressing ones, with feelings of terror, anger, isolation and even guilt. Both types say that their experiences were even more real than life here in this dimension.
Stages of NDE’s
Dr. Moody identified 9 stages to an NDE – but of course NDE are individual to each person experiencing it and not every person who has one of these experiences, has all 9 stages. But most have shared commonalities. They can report
- A Strange Sound: A buzzing, or ringing noise, while having a sense of being dead.
- Peace and Painlessness: While people are dying, they may be in intense pain, but as soon as they leave the body the pain vanishes and they experience peace.
- Out-of-Body Experience: The dying often has the sensation of rising up and floating above their own body while it is surrounded by a medical team, and watching it down below, while feeling comfortable. They experience the feeling of being in a spiritual body that appears to be a sort of living energy field.
- The Tunnel Experience: The next experience is that of being drawn into darkness through a tunnel, at an extremely high speed, until reaching a realm of radiant golden-white light
- Rising Rapidly into the Heavens: Instead of a tunnel, some people report rising suddenly into the heavens and seeing the Earth and the celestial sphere as they would be seen by astronauts in space.
- People of Light: Once on the other side of the tunnel, or after they have risen into the heavens, the dying meet people who glow with an inner light. Often they find that friends and relatives who have already died are there to greet them.
- The Being of Light: After meeting the people of light, the dying often meet a powerful spiritual being whom some have identified as God, Jesus, or some religious figure.
- The Life Review: The Being of Light presents the dying with a panoramic review of everything they have ever done. That is, they relive every act they have ever done to other people and come away feeling that love is the most important thing in life.
- Reluctance to Return: The Being of Light sometimes tells the dying that they must return to life. Other times, they are given a choice of staying or returning. In either case, they are reluctant to return. The people who choose to return do so only because of loved ones they do not wish to leave behind.
So those are the phases, identified by Dr. Moody in his research. An NDE can include any combination of phases, and the phases can occur in any order. The phases can even overlap, seeming to occur at the same time. Also, any two people describing the same general phase will describe differences between their two experiences. They as previously mentioned are personal to the person experiencing them.
It is estimated that between 12% and 40% of people who go through a near-death episode will later say they had an NDE. So that is not a small amount of experiencers at all. Children who have NDEs experience the same things, but in far simpler forms and are not influenced in their experiences by their cultures as some adults perhaps are. People who had an NDE as a child generally report feeling different from most children whilst growing up
People who have had an NDE during a suicide attempt also are particularly interesting. An important finding from research is that, although ordinarily a person who has attempted suicide is more likely to try again, suicide attempters who had an NDE are much less likely to try again. They say they have learned that their lives have purpose. They see life as a gift. When they face hard times, they believe their job is to deal with the problem constructively. They see all life experiences as opportunities to deepen their ability to love and to increase their knowledge.
Musical interlude: And that was Reverie: by ghost. copyright 2010 Licensed under Creative Commons. For more information see my podcast website www.walkingtheshadowlands.com.
Interview with Ned Matinnia
Ned: My background. Born in the mid 80’s, so a time when I think the culture here in the US was slowly opening up. Decades earlier it was extremely dangerous [to talk about your NDE] almost – for people who had an NDE to open up about it. So I think it was in that process of – the 80’s was a kind of very interesting, wacky time people were sort of opening up. It was kind of the shift of that, and so as a kid I was very sensitive and shy, and I was almost afraid. I was extremely afraid of people, I would hide in the hallway if we had company over, like a party in the house, and I was just afraid of all the visitors. And I always felt like a kind of an alien here on earth, and I felt like “What am I here for anyway?”, you know, it seems like kind of a… kind of a… I don’t want to say primitive place, but it’s a place where there’s so much drama like in society, in governments, in people. There’s just so much lies and so much, just lack of harmony, lack of intelligence. It seemed like. So as a kid even, I would always think about these things, you know, which is not common for a kid to kind of think about you know? And I’ve learned since then that NDE children, who’ve had NDE’s and often times when they’ve come back, they’re extremely – they’re almost like adults. They’re very mature and aware of things and so I kind of grew up like that.
I remember on the playground at school, extremely shy and kind of alone, I was picked on, I became a depressed kid, and everything like that and eventually as a teenager I thought why am I here? Is there any purpose to being on earth at all, because my family, I love them, but felt like it was still, I felt like there was a sensitivity in me that they couldn’t nurture or understand? Like I felt, even with my family there was something missing, like some kind of love or some kind of support missing. I’ve always been a curious person, I want to understand how things are, how they work, and why things happen so naturally, then once I found science I was wow, this is fascinating. You know once somebody goes on the path of science, and you’ll hear this from a lot of doctors and people who – even Eban Alexander the famous neurosurgeon who had his own NDE, he said, this is common. He went in there having faith in a spiritual background, but basically they taught it out of him. They trained it out of him. They said, oh no, the brain creates all this and all those other ideas are just make believe, hallucinations. And so, that kind of happened to me a little bit and I learned about atheism and that there is no evidence of a higher power, there is no evidence of a soul, so I’m like ok – if that’s what the experts are saying, and so…
I just reached a point in high school, where I was so depressed and I felt like an alien, I felt alone without anyone on my wavelength to say hi look! I see you! I hear you! I’m with you! There wasn’t anything like that. And so I thought about why am I here anyway? What good is it if I’m living, If I’m not happy and so I thought about committing suicide. I thought, especially as an atheist – well there is no meaning, there is no purpose! There is no God or soul or anything. So there is no purpose at all, so who cares if I kill myself? That’s kind of the idea that I had, and I thought well even if my parents are sad, well it’ll only be temporary, then they’ll die and nothing happened at all – it’s like who cares?
But then I started searching, it was like well you know? There has to be some kind of answers you know? So I started reading books and spirituality – I looked at different religions. I looked at the bible. I looked at Hinduism, Daoism, I took classes on world religions. You see – oh the big picture, a lot of them have common threads, but they all talk about love, and they all talk about compassion and how God is beyond a name. You can’t box him, it, her, in anywhere – It’s more than we can ever imagine, so that got me kind of curious and so…
All that was like theory, you know? Ok, so well that’s the theory, but after I heard about a friend who talked to a psychic and she actually told me “Hey Ned, do you want a reading? I know a psychic.” I was curious. I was like wow! Fascinating. You know as a scientist kind of mind, I want to see if there’s anything, any information that’s accurate. So I said ok, yeah.
She was actually all the way across the country in Florida, so this was on the phone. I called her in Florida. She didn’t know anything about me, and she told me things about my personality, and my future – but also her main message – reflecting on it, was obviously from spirit, was cheer up! Don’t be so negative. ‘Cause, I was extremely hard on myself – now, I’ve come a long way, I used to be in a shell – a hermit. I used to be afraid of this kind of a talk, I’d be terrified of it. So, it’s been a process of that.
Marianne: So you had a meeting with this clairvoyant, who kind of set you on your path really didn’t she? – or at least got you to change your perspective on how you looked at the world.
Ned: Yeah, because it was like wow you know? She talked about how a lot of intuitives or people who have this, you know she had it since a child and she actually sees dead people, or spirits, even just like in her office. She has, she puts crystals at her desk to like, keep her energy good and in my mind as a teenager I was thinking wow there are invisible people all around, that I can’t even see and it was fascinating you know? And so through that psychic and then I heard about Near Death Experiences. I read Dr. Raymond Moody’s book ‘Life After Life’ and it was extremely inspiring.
It was kind of like at that point I found the answer, I found ok, there is love out there in the Universe. There is a purpose, and at that point I didn’t have any thought of suicide anymore. ‘Cause, I’m like well I have a purpose, and so I’m at least going to try that while I’m here.
Marianne: That book by Dr. Raymond Moody is an excellent book. I remember, it came out in 1975. I had been into my hospital based nursing training, for about a year at that stage. When I read it, it had a profound effect on me and from there on in, I promised myself that I would be really open to listening to whatever my patients wanted to talk about, I wouldn’t be judgemental and I would simply allow them to express themselves in a safe environment.
You read his book on NDE’s and it turned your life around. Tell me about your Facebook Group and how it came about following on from Dr Moody’s book and your epiphany.
Ned: It was an epiphany over time, because I read his book and became obsessed. I started looking for other books and then I found on YouTube, a lot of people who had NDE’s, they record themselves on YouTube and I’m like, I watched their videos and I’m just like wow! I’m so… I’m amazed – they talk about the love, they talk about how we’re all here, we’re all one, so it’s about – It’s not about religion, I should add the divisive beliefs. Ones that say, these people are good, these people are bad. It isn’t about all that, it isn’t about the rules – you must do this otherwise you’re going to be punished. You learn what life is actually about, so it’s a process.
So I saw a lot of these videos, and then in the year 2012 I heard about IANDS, which is [the] International Association for Near Death Studies. And, I heard about it. I think it was like in August. Found the website and it said the next conference is Labour day weekend. I don’t know… That’s end of September. So it was August and I heard about it and because of how passionate I was about NDE’s, I felt like it was… basically saved my life. It was my reason for living and I felt like I wanna just get this message out to as many people as I can. ‘Cause, it’s important. This is why, we’re here. I brought a plane ticket and attended the conference there. It was in Arizona, in Phoenix.
I met a lot of the people I saw on YouTube, as I was watching it, and I was like wow! I think that was the year, Eben Alexander was there, that was his first year, where he had proof of heaven and a bunch of other people. Mellen-Thomas Bendict was there. Damion Brinkley was there. People that you hear about and I was like wow! Their stories and the people – all the hugs in the hallway. So, I had that, you know the whole almost entering into the family of Near Death Experiencers.
It was a year after that, which was September of 2013, that I have Facebook and I thought – You know what? This information in these articles and videos is so is valuable, I wanna just make a group on Facebook and I’m posting them. As I find them, I’ll share them. And when I started it, it was just me, like I was the only one in it. I thought about it as just a way to organize these articles and things. Over time, people started joining it, and then it kind of took off on it’s own, like I never did any promotion or asking people to kind of join, it just kind of… People found it, and their friends on Facebook would see a post and then get curious about it and join. So it just kind of avalanched. Just I think, an indicator of public curiosity and readiness for this topic.
Marianne: Right… And so now you have something like 33,000 members is that correct?
Ned: Almost yeah. I think it’s just over 32,000. But yeah, it’s a lot of people and its kind of like since I like started it in 2013 it’s been about – what is it? Six years now? And, it’s a constant thing, cause its like, it becomes a part of your life, ‘cause, you wake up and you check – you have to approve the post, you have to add members. If there are people who are bickering or something you have to kind of handle that. So everyday it’s just a part, it becomes a part of your life. But, it’s important. Now you see a lot of NDEers who are becoming authors, and they’re speaking in the media and supporting that and just helping this message get out there in the world.
Marianne: That’s really awesome what you are doing and I think it’s so important that people have a place where they feel safe to be able to talk about something that is so incredibly and profoundly life – changing for so many people. I understand what you’re saying about groups, because I run a Facebook group myself called Walking the Shadowlands. Which is how this podcast got started to begin with, it was at the member’s suggestions. It certainly doesn’t have nearly as many members as you do but there’s quite a bit of work behind the scenes that people aren’t aware of.
Over the time you’ve run this group Ned have you noticed any, sort of like, patterns emerging amongst the people who have shared their NDE’s?
Ned: That’s a good question yeah, there are many patterns and well also I wanna add, it seems like a lot of the posts seem to be from people who haven’t had NDE’s but they’re curious, they’re like what is that? And then they ask about how, you know, because of their religion – their family taught them about hell and they’re afraid of hell they say. They come in and say “Is there really a hell?”
and… Excellent to have people who have actually been there to answer their questions.
So a lot of it – I think of it sometimes as on Facebook and even in the internet, there are many NDE groups and I feel like this one that I created is almost like NDE 101. It’s like introduction for the public who never heard about these and they come in and they’re like – they’re asking all these questions. But then in terms of the NDErs, yeah a lot of them share. A huger pattern is that the message of love and important how we treat each other, and also that everything is ok you know. Like, we easily stress out, we see the headlines and we see people running the show, and there’s a lot of drama, and a lot of people are scared. They’re thinking… well, I mean it just increases the stress in people when they turn on the TV, or look in the paper – and everything is just stressful. And, a big message of NDEs is that everything is, is in a higher order and… But also, and what is interesting is that question about any patterns in the group – a big one is that you see how even how similar a lot of NDEs are, everyone is still like a person, it’s who they are. So it’s almost like you can have a liberal person, a conservative person – both had NDEs and have come back and are still have particular views and politics, and sometimes, disagreements. And it’s about handling them in a better way because ultimately, it’s perhaps our task here on earth as humanity, is to iron out these differences because one thing that NDErs all say is about love and so its like ok – How can we live that more?
Marianne: That’s a really valid point. A star person once said to me back in the early 80’s – “Marianne. When you do everything, you must do it from your heart. When you think, think from your heart. When you talk, talk from your heart. When you act, act from your heart.” And really, that’s just all about love isn’t it? That’s just all about love. So it’s really wonderful that most of your members who have had an NDE come back with pretty much that sort of message.
Ned: Right, and I think – well also a big one is nature, so that love each other, and also the earth.
Marianne: Protecting the earth and looking after her?
Ned: Right, right! Because nature is us, and I’ve heard several NDErs talk about how, you know how the native peoples who are a lot closer in the earth… heard it said how we can learn a lot from them.
Marianne: Yes! Yes, absolutely I agree with that. Now in terms of… So you’ve talked about the messages they come back with – love and protecting the earth. What about the commonalities that most experiencers see? For example; like my Father that I talked about earlier in the episode. Are there any specific commonalities that they might see?
Ned: Yes, a lot of them meet loved ones. Family members or even people that – in their family that they never met or heard about. Like a child who sees a Grandpa who passed away before they were born. And so, you see a lot of family members. A lot of Jesus, and this is something to, ‘cause some people will see Jesus or will see other beings who have that love and sometimes this is a perfect opportunity in a group. You know in a group when people – some people are very – love Jesus, and other people are very kind of have had an upbringing that perhaps had religion imposed on them and so when they hear Jesus, it kind of hurts them you know? The memories of rules and the restrictions on them. And so it’s about kind of bridging that and reminding everyone that ….. (unaudible name) whole message anyway was about love and that power and that sacredness
Marianne: On that point Ned. If you were of the Christian religion you might see Jesus, but if you were of any other religion you might see whatever figure had significance to you? Would that be fair to say?
Ned: Yeah, and I think like, I think even more common is seeing – let’s say – guides or angels. Who are powerful, but without names. It’s just like people will call it the light and perhaps a lot of people will say that’s God. It’s a perfect name ‘cause it’s a powerful thing. It knows all about you, and so it’s a common theme about either loved ones or religious figures. Or figures without names who are very powerful.
Trisha Barker – her NDE happened in an operating table. It was these angels who were – I think she said – about nine feet tall. And, I’ve heard a lot of other NDErs, Nancy Ryans, talk about these tall beings who are extremely intelligent, extremely powerful – and they healed her. It’s almost like the person doesn’t know who they are but, just that they’re in good hands and are being taken care of, and protected, and healed like that.
Marianne: That’s really awesome isn’t it? Aimee who was sharing her NDA with me, said she saw a being, that this being had no discernable features and was just composed of golden light.
Ned: And I wanna add, that’s a common – yeah. Beings who are just so intense energy, so bright that the person can’t even see them, They’re just a strong energy and they’re just overpowering. They look at them and it’s almost blinding, but that light and that power is love.
Marianne: Have you observed that people, once they’ve had their NDE’s come back changed? Or perhaps with abilities they did not have before?
Ned: Yes, yeah! It’s a common after effect in NDEs. And so people will talk about like they can’t wear watches because they keep stopping or they, they’ll often – they’ve had a lot of electrical issues with computers or gadgets. And also a lot of people will come back and they have a lot more knowing of the future, or knowing certain things about people and so it’s a common after effect to, to really open up one’s intuition, and psychic senses. It’s very common.
Marianne: Certainly, that happened with Damion Brinkley didn’t it?
Ned: Oh yeah, yeah and he, just like a lot of people, he started… I think it was him, or someone else, but I was listening to an interview (Lenin E?)… and he said, he became so sensitive to the energy of other people, in their minds, he could hear, could hear their conversations in their mind. He could feel their energy. If he was in an apartment building or hotel, it would be hard for him because all of the rooms around him, he could hear what was in their heads. So his way of escaping that was going out into nature, kind of on his own. And yeah, so it’s interesting how that kind of happens. And also it’s common for people if that does happen, if they pray about it and ask like this is overwhelming, I have a hard time with this, oftentimes the angels are listening and they’ll dial it down a little bit.
Marianne: Oh that’s really cool. I know the lady I mentioned previously had a very similar thing happen with her and she had to ask for it to be toned down so she could live in this reality. It was just too difficult for her. So that’s actually really interesting. Obviously, creating this Facebook group has been a really positive experience for you, and it’s helped you to find your path pretty much – well, it is your path, obviously.
Ned: Definitely, and I feel in the past year especially, I’ve had a lot of changes in my life. Moving across the country and new friends and habits and situations… So I’ve actually been on Facebook a lot less this year, than I have been for many years and so it’s almost like I’ve been… You know the group is the largest it’s ever been and yet I’m the most detached from it. A lot of people tell me, well this is valuable, it’s important, and it’s like yeah I feel that. ‘Cause, I feel like my purpose, like ever since I heard about NDEs, they basically saved my life. Is… but, I want to be like an amplifier and broadcast the message out there, so people like, will hear it, because the public is still very… For lack of a better word – it’s yeah, ignorant about it, and not in a bad way, but they just, they don’t have any idea.
Or, a lot of people will say – “Oh I heard about those. Those are hallucinations!” They’ll just, you know…. The scientists. It seems like every year or months will put out articles. Oh you know – we have figured out what causes these NDEs. It’s lack of oxygen, or it’s carbon dioxide. Or when the brain dies, it kind of briefly puts out a lot of electrical energy and so, the electrical energy is what the NDE is. We have it all figured out.
But yet, these articles and these scientists completely ignore the most important evidence in these. Is that people will actually will hear things, and see things, that are impossible at the time of the clinical death without any heartbeat. Without any of the oxygen in the brain. Without any brain activity. And even if people argue over was the brain actually dead or not at that time, people are seeing things – like down the hall, other places. In operations where their eyes are completely covered, they actually have loud clickers in their ears. This often happens in surgeries, I think, up to one hundred decibels. I think, because it can help them measure the brain activity.
And there’s a case of this in particular, Pamela Reynolds. This was in the early nineties. But even people who are completely out and they’re completely covered up, are observing things, are seeing things, are hearing things. And we just talked about this thing called intuition, and people hearing other people’s thoughts and feelings. It happens after their NDE but not before then. The scientists keep on acting like there is no… there isn’t anything like intuition, there is no soul. They’re just kind of basically, closed off to all this – and this isn’t all scientists, but this is kind of the current mainstream – you know, the current party line. But, there are scientists out there who are actually studying this honestly, and they’re actually listening to people who have had these. You know when you mentioned how as a nurse with your patients you would actually listen, so I think, overtime that population is growing.
Marianne: Yeah, and I know before I started looking at this episode, I did a lot of research. I always do, probably about 10 – 30 hours for each show in total. Because I want to give a balanced view as much as I can, without overtly trying to let my personal biases influence what I am saying. Of course, some do creep through, this is really hard to prevent.
I did read about the scientists and what you were talking about during my research, and I thought well, science as we currently understand it, can’t explain everything. For example, what about that neuroscientist who had his NDE? This was a scientifically trained professional, who worked in the field of neurosurgery. Who specialised in all things to do with the brain. He studied them for a living.
I agree with you about the scientists, they only look at empherical evidence. Things they can touch and feel…
Ned: Ah true. But, even more than that. A lot of them, I don’t know if they’re intentionally dishonest, or they just have these huge blinders on, because – because, there’s evidence and it’s increasing all the time, and they’re just not even looking at it. They’re just kind of shrugging and acting as if it’s just worthless. Eben Alexander, the neurosurgeon who we’ve talked about, he often, he mentions a book out there. It’s called ‘Irreducible Minds. Consciousness for the 21st Century”. It’s all about verified, peer-reviewed cases. I think it’s like either six hundred or eight hundred pages of like, all kinds of studies, all kinds of research.
Evidence is out there and it’s been increasingly growing. And, it’s almost like… you think about why… Like you hear a lot of people say “Well if this was real, it would be front page headlines all over the world, and we’d all change overnight!” And yet that isn’t what happens, because you look at people who are in charge and people often care unfortunately, do care about power and profit. They tend to end up in power, and so the people who are in charge of things often times – not always, ‘cause, there are definitely exceptions. But a lot of them are not thinking about, let’s say – overall good will or living in the heart. They’re kind of focused on the bottom line. They’re focused on profit and so, and so, I have a feeling that a big reason that these and a whole lot of other truths out there, which are kind of still being kept underground – like are actively being kind of kept under a lid is because of more selfish motives of… ‘Cause, if it’s all about love, and it’s all about helping each other, the people who have a lot of power, who don’t like that whole idea of fairness and equality, they kind of like things as they are. Which is, at least in the US is becoming extremely unequal. I think it’s the most unequal income and wealth distribution, either ever, or since like the late eighteen hundreds. The whole trend is for the people who have all the wealth to keep on taking more of it. And everyone one else, struggling harder with two jobs, or three jobs – and you think about it, it’s becoming so hard for a lot of people, which is the opposite message of NDEs about how we’re all in this together, and we’re all here to help each other.
Marianne: Right. That’s a very valid point and I think that what you are doing is really wonderful. I think it’s absolutely awesome that you give people this platform that they can feel safe enough to express their views and their feelings and their experiences – and it normalizes it. It brings it out from the shadows. I mentioned the name of your group prior to this interview, perhaps you would like to tell us all again what the name of your group is, so they can find you on Facebook. ‘Cause, I feel pretty sure that after this episode airs, you will get a few more members joining you.
Ned: Cool yeah. Well, my group on Facebook, if you just enter in ‘Near Death Experiences’ and it’ll be a group in there. It has a picture of stars, and it’ll mention about thirty-two thousand members and so if you see that one, that’s it. There’s also other NDE groups out there, just in case anyone wonders if it’s a competition or anything. It isn’t like that at all. Like, I support and sometimes I mention other groups and this is a good reminder for people – my group is completely open. It’s actually public. So if people are afraid of posting there because of their family, it isn’t the best place for that. It’s more, it’s open intentionally, because the whole purpose is to wake up humanity, is to let this information out there, but there are other NDE groups on Facebook which are closed. So you have to ask to join, and anything you share in there is private. Which I’m in a lot of those also and I support them, but mine is just Near Death Experiences, and it’s open and public.
Marianne: People can always post anonymously in your group anyway, couldn’t they?
Ned: Actually, that’s a good point, because sometimes people message me and tell me “Hey could you post this for me?”, and I’ll post it anonymously.
Marianne: Yeah, so there’s always ways around it. That’s good to know. I really like your group, and some of the experiences people have shared on there are very, very touching. I know that it has helped so many people. For you Ned, has running this group made you reassess your values or core beliefs in any way?
Ned: Well it constantly challenges what I – I won’t say challenges, but it’s an exercise in diplomacy, because, ‘cause, you have to I guess – handle or work with people from all over. People who are extremely Christian, fundamentalist even. People who are extremely bitter about religion, and so are sensitive about it. You have to handle people who are political, who you know, think that this way is the right way. You have to kind of bridge all these kind of diverse people.
So I guess this whole topic is teaching me about actually living and applying the message of love. Whoever it is, if it’s a person who’s in trouble with drugs, and has been in jail, and has mental challenges, and who’s in there wanting help and helping them. And, helping someone – helping people from all over, and truly from the unconditional love. I’m trying my best to kind of apply that. Where it’s the internet and people often love to sometimes argue. It just happens on the internet, so yeah…
Marianne: You also answered my next question which was going to be has this experience currently impacted the way you live your life here and now?
Ned: It definitely – yeah, yeah, and I guess even further is that it, it…. You know you hear a lot and I think what’s awesome in my group is, and other groups like this is, like you said, how it helps too normalise it for people. And so, people sometimes will talk about how their family doesn’t understand it, or that, or they actually had a separation because often times when people have these, they get inspired to actually follow their hearts. A lot of our culture isn’t about that yet, isn’t about following your heart. It’s about well you need to do this, because these are the expectations on you, and this is how we have always had it. And even though we’re kind of miserable like this, this is just how it is.
And they’re like “No. I died. I saw a better vision, and I’m going to follow my heart!”, and so it’s sometimes almost like refugees. You know, they’re helping each other because, because they have to find new friends or family you know. And I guess, it supports me, because it’s like I also over time I’m becoming more courageous, to follow my heart like that. Even if it is unconventional, or people won’t understand it.
Marianne: So are there any messages, or anything that you’ve observed in your group that you might like to pass onto listeners that might be useful to them?
Ned: Well, I guess a big one… I’ll answer like three of the most common questions people will ask who are joining and they haven’t seen the conversations but… A lot of people ask, are there pets in heaven? Are animals in heaven? And the answer is yes. A lot of NDEs, they actually feature in their pets. Like I there was a, there was a man – I think he had his NDE when he was in his fifties, and yet, when he was on the other side, I think his puppy who he had when he was a kid, jumped up at him. And was welcoming him home and so yes, our pets are definitely over there. And just as loving and cherished.
And then two. People ask about hell a lot. I don’t know how it is, how common it is in New Zealand or Australia and that whole area, for people to kind of focus on hell. But, especially here in the American south, where hell is a big thing, and so people are terrified of hell. So the answer is, no there isn’t a hell that you have to be afraid of. However, you hear all kinds of NDEs, and sometimes there are painful parts of them. Sometimes, it’s a little scary. There are reasons for this and so… whether the person was on drugs – either recreational or prescription, can have an effect on the NDE at least on the initial part of it. However, it seems like every single case I’ve seen that started off as scary, always as it went in deeper, the lights always appeared. But if they asked for help, if they surrender, because a lot of people who have the biggest fear are holding on tightly, and if they just ask for help. If they say, Universe – God – Angels – Grandpa whoever, I’m scared, help me, and it will come. So don’t fear hell. Life isn’t about avoiding hell. Like a lot of fundamentalists, that’s how they live. It’s like the whole purpose of life is to avoid hell. Um no! That’s not what NDEs are teaching us.
And then, final question is about suicide, and people will ask “Well, what will happen to suicides?” Either because they had a loved one who suicided, and they’re afraid of it. They hope that their loved one is ok. So many NDEs of suicides were extremely beautiful. Healing, and it isn’t about uh oh I – someone I know suicided and they’re going to end up in hell. It’s not like that at all. It’s about love and it’s about learning here on earth and so even if a person had a hard time, they will have help on the other side. Just send them love, prayers and they hear it. It’s truly about love.
Marianne: Thank you for that Ned, that’s something that constantly comes up in my Facebook group Walking the Shadowlands. Members that have lost a loved one through suicide, or a friend, and that’s what I always tell them, because that’s what I know. As a medium I have worked with a lot of souls that have crossed over, people who have committed suicide – and that is what they always say to me – I was met with nothing but unconditional love. Unconditional love, no judgement for what I had done, just unconditional love and healing. So to hear that from your perspective, that really validates what I have told members, and I know that will help a lot of people who may be currently going through this, or still struggling and healing from losing someone they love in this manner.
Is there anything else you might like to add?
Ned: I guess, I guess I just want to add that the whole message of NDEs and that we’re all in this together. A common thing, is the life review, and not every NDE has this. And I want to add also, because people wonder, well this person had an NDE and didn’t have a life review. Just because some NDE didn’t have some things that a different one had, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It’s almost like there’s all kind of NDEs. Some are extremely brief, a person is in the operating table and they’re floating on the ceiling and they’re looking around, and then they’re back in. Extremely brief.
Some are very deep and detailed and the person ends up in a whole different universe and a whole different realm and they learn things and all this, and so… I think a key is to look at the bigger picture of a lot of NDEs. It isn’t about fixating on one to have all the answers. It’s looking at all of this, and you see the message. Often times, NDE is extremely personal, for that particular person – and so it’s what they needed the most. But others they have more common, or universal messages for us all.
But, the biggest one of those is love and we’re all in this together. How we treat others is important, because a lot of like… We talked earlier about the mainstream and still kind of shrugs these off as hallucinations and it’s also like in the mainstream to think about how we treat others isn’t important. Or is based on the status – Oh this person is rich, so this person is more valuable than this other person, who is homeless. NDEs teach us we’re all equal and if you look at the message of all religions, if you could boil it down, they talk about love. They talk about the whole golden rule, which is exactly what people find in their NDEs and so I guess it’s a reminder, to be kind.
There’s a quote that goes; “Be kind for every person you meet, is fighting a hard battle.” We never know what people are dealing with physically or emotionally, so be kind because that could be you.
Marianne: That’s really profound Ned, pretty profound.
To close off, I would like to thank you so very much for your time and your energy in speaking with us for this episode on NDE’s, for sharing your journey and your learning from it with us all. It’s been a really, really interesting conversation, at least for me and I trust for our listeners also. I know for many listeners it may raise a lot of questions that perhaps they had not considered before and for others, it will answer a lot and perhaps give needed peace to some. So thank you so very much Ned, for your time.
Ned: Thank you. I loved it, loved it. Loved it Marianne.
In this episode we have focused on Near Death Experiences, how they first came into mainstream awareness, how the term was coined, a bit of research done in them and what they are – along with the effects they have on the experiencers. We have listened to Ned talk so passionately about what he has learned during the years he has run his NDE support group on Facebook.
I personally feel that this is an area that needs to have more coverage and more attention, so I was very happy to have this opportunity to talk with Ned today and I have thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with him.
Join us next week when we are going to have an episode solely on peoples encounters with ghosts. So make sure you have your lights low and cuddle up in a warm blanket ready to listen…
See you then.
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