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A NHNE Special Article:
Friday, January 6, 1995
(From News Brief 4)
By David Sunfellow
© Copyright 1995 By NewHeavenNewEarth
Published By NewHeavenNewEarth / firstname.lastname@example.org
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"I have never interviewed anyone who had a near-death experience who told me that they came back to make more money or to spend more time at their jobs away from their families... Instead, they become convinced that they need to be more loving and kind. They react to their experience by living life to its fullest. They believe their lives have a purpose, even if that purpose is obscure to them. Invariably it involves concepts such as love of family or service to others. They seem to know that the love they create while living will be reflected and radiated back to them when they die."
Melvin Morse, M.D. From His New Book, "Parting Visions"
By David Sunfellow
All right, we're all familiar with near-death experiences. We've heard how people leave their bodies, pass through long, dark tunnels, encounter dead loved ones and radiant beings of light, endure panoramic, sometimes painful, reviews of their life, and are so overwhelmed with the love of God that they don't want to return to earth. We've also heard that these experiences permanently change the lives of those who have them and, what's more, that this growing phenomenon might be contributing to a global awakening of sorts. There can't be anything else to say, can there? Hasn't this topic been examined from every possible angle?
PARTING VISIONS, a new book by best-selling author Melvin Morse, M.D., takes a penetrating look at the experience of death from the standpoint of everyone involved, not just the person who is dying. The book examines near-death experiences, after-death visitations, premonitions of death and a host of other issues surrounding the experience of dying.
Morse is the author of two other best-selling books on the near-death experience: TRANSFORMED BY THE LIGHT (a book that examines the powerful effect of near-death experiences on people's lives), and CLOSER TO THE LIGHT (a book that examines the near-death experiences of children). What follows are a few of the conclusions found in PARTING VISIONS. Many of these conclusions are based on Morse's own clinical research:
- Death-related visions are one of the most common paranormal events in our lives. More than 10% of the population has had a vision of some kind related to death--in particular visions related to the deaths of loved ones.
- The majority of parents whose children die, have visions of their child within a year of their child's death. Among other things, these visions help relieve the terrible grief most parents experience. Such visions also tend to initiate major changes in the parent's life, such as a renewed faith in God and a belief in life after death.
- After-death visions are more common in people whose marriages are happy.
- After-death visions are more common in marriages with children.
- Weeks before death, dying patients consistently have vivid visions of deceased relatives and another world.
- Death-related visions and experiences are often shared by more than one person. There are, for instance, numerous instances when those attending a person's death also see or experience visions of some kind.
- Angels are an integral part of visions of all kinds. At least 50% of the children in Morse's studies saw "Guardian Angels" as a part of their near-death experiences.
- We are usually conscious during our deaths, even though we are perceived to be comatose by those around us. We can see and hear all the events taking place in the immediate vicinity of our bodies.
- People who undergo near-death experiences are transformed in a number of ways. Their fear of death diminishes. Their love of life increases. They have four times the number of verifiable psychic experiences as the population at large. They give more money to charity. They take fewer over-the-counter medications. They exercise and meditate more. They eat more vegetables. Their physical bodies, in particular the electromagnetic fields surrounding their bodies, are changed.
- People who have near-death experiences aren't the only ones that are changed. People who hear about their experiences are also changed. Morse sighted research indicating that people who were exposed to information about near-death experiences had an increased belief in life after death as well as an increased desire to love others. Other research conducted on attempted suicide victims, revealed that very few of those who were exposed to near-death information attempted to kill themselves again, while attempted suicide victims who weren't exposed to such information often tried to end their lives again.
- Contrary to the traditional medical position that death-related visions are the product of medication, sensory deprivation and/or physical, mental and emotional imbalances, Morse presents increasingly overwhelming evidence that death-related visions are, in fact, a normal and natural part of life.
- Deathbed visions are not the product of wish fulfillment. Such visions often do not unfold the way the visionary expects, nor do they conform to traditional views of what Heaven, hell, Jesus, angels and other conventional archetypes should look like.
- According to Morse, and other researchers, the right temporal lobe of the human brain is designed to transmit and/or produce paranormal experiences. Morse and other scientists believe that this side of the human brain can be cultivated and developed in much the same way that the left side of the brain can be. When it is cultivated, as it is in other cultures, paranormal experiences and abilities become a normal part of earthly experience.
- When the right side of the human brain is probed during surgery, it can produce out-of-body experiences, psychic experiences, feelings of deja' vu and mystical experiences. Artificial stimulation and/or seizures to this part of the brain can also cause classic near-death experiences. These experiences, which include the tunnel experience and our personal vision of heaven, can sometimes be played, again and again, apparently without meaning.
- Dr. Joseph Atkinson, a specialist in gastroenterology, created a carbon-dioxide therapy that allowed his patients to access the core issues of their personalities which he believed was the true cause of their physical ailments. Atkinson's therapy, which involved having patients inhale a carbon-dioxide mixture (called THE MEDUNA MIXTURE), triggered classic near-death experiences. Patients frequently felt that they were dying and reported moving up a tunnel and seeing a bright light. Many of Atkinson's patients also experienced the same kind of permanent changes in personality that accompany traditional near-death experiences. Although Morse claims that Atkinson was so successful that both he and his colleagues believed their therapy should be made available as an inexpensive alternative to psychotherapy, it never was accepted by the medical community at large. It was used for twenty years after World War II and then discontinued when Atkinson retired.
- Not all near-death experiences are heavenly. Although less common, some near-death experiences can be dark, painful and downright hellish. Morse believes that these kinds of experiences usually come to people who have lived especially dark lives.
- Morse believes that other kinds of mystical experiences and encounters with the Divine can have the same kind of permanent, life-changing effect as near-death experiences.
- Pointing out that 30 to 60% of all health care expenses occur in the last few days of a person's life, Morse believes that billions of dollars could be saved if death was viewed as a natural, normal, acceptable part of the human experience. More importantly, if a more holistic view of death were adopted by our culture, then patients who had reached the point of death could be allowed to die peacefully, with their dignity intact, rather than be subjected to a battery of last minute high-tech efforts to keep them alive for a few more days or minutes.
- Morse also mentioned that ongoing studies in the use of prayer to speed healing have turned up remarkable results. Not only do patients that are prayed for by others get well faster, but so do patients who are prayed for by others who have no knowledge that others are praying for them.
In searching to see if some kind of precognitive dreams and visions were more dependable than others in predicting death and other events, Morse discovered that there were, indeed, a series of elements that reliable visions had in common. According to Morse, dreams and/or visions that have at least two of the following elements are especially likely to be followed by real events:
- The dream or vision has a real or hyper-real quality about it. It somehow conveys a sense of ultimate reality.
- Sights and sounds are superimposed over ordinary reality. Mists may form, voices may be heard, angels and spirits may be seen in a real room or in the midst of a crowd of real people.
- The dream or vision is extremely intense, often unlike anything ever experienced before. They are so vivid that they cannot be forgotten.
- The dream or vision is coherent and contains information that has meaning for other people as well as for the one experiencing the vision. The dream or vision in question can be clearly described and understood by others.
- A mystical white light or a spiritual being of light is involved in the dream or vision. According to Morse, the presence of white light and/or beings of light is the hallmark of very deep spiritual experiences.
And, finally, PARTING VISIONS contains an exhaustive list of over 200 cutting-edge books, scientific papers, research articles and other resources dealing with the topics mentioned above.
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