Lynn K. Russell The Wonder of You
Tell You about Yourself
Lynn K. Russell
by Lynn Kathleen Russell
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of Congress Catalogue-in-Publication Data
Wonder of You: What the Near-Death Experience Tells You
Yourself / by Lynn K. Russell
names, details, and circumstances are as they are reported to
author. However, names of those individuals may be changed
omitted to protect the privacy of those mentioned in this
13: 9781480094253 (softcover)
Lynn Kathleen Russell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on
Twitter or through her website:
book is dedicated to
the amazing people who willingly shared
story so that the rest of us could discover
grow in love.
wish to thank Jill Ebsworth and Jean Peiffer; you
caring support, editing, and valuable critiques.
you this book would never have been written.
Long MD, I wish to thank you for the opportunity
do research with you and your wife, Jody. It was
this process that I had the chance to study the
messages being brought back. In addition
willingly offered your ongoing support and interest
you. A special thanks to Barb Cook for your
support, and ideas and also to Carol Malinauskas
your suggestions, assistance, and encouragement.
Wilson, without you this book would never
gotten this far. And to the CreateSpace team
offer my gratitude. Your excellent service, guidance,
ongoing assistance throughout the publishing
was very valuable.
Table of Contents
A Spiritual Experience……………………………………………….………
Messages from Beyond………………………………………………………………
What Happens at Death….……………………………………………………….…..
Were They Really Dead?.………………………………………………………….....
The Wonder of You…………………………………………………………………
You already are all you have dreamed of becoming. That is the message
of this book. Spiritual seekers hear these words coming from many
directions and still some of us wonder how this could be? THE
WONDER OF YOU, What the Near-Death Experience Tells You About
Yourself will guide you to the reality of those words. You are
being offered a gift of truth and love with the understanding that it
is meant for you.
A Spiritual Experience
The world of spirituality was for me a confusing disarray to slosh
around in my search for truth. I think I was born with an overactive
curiosity gene and there were so many directions presenting
themselves for my investigation. As strange as it may seem, although
I was raised in a home that knew no religion, my greatest interest is
It was fortunate I was raised in a nonreligious home as there were no
preconceived ideas of the truth and I was completely free to explore
to my heart’s content. No one told me what not to think, and no
restricting ideas of how the world should look were pushed in my
direction. As each philosophy came my way I freely picked it up, turn
it this way and that, and rattled it a bit to find out what was
inside. I dug down to each religion’s origin and scrutinized the
various components it encompassed until my unbridled curiosity was
satisfied and became free to move on in another direction.
Being raised in a Judeo-Christian country, I naturally explored those
disciplines first and discovered the foundations of the faiths my
personal world had been built upon. Once I understood the history and
development of these religions and how they had evolved as they had,
I carefully put them away and looked into the Christian offshoots:
Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Latter-Day Saints, the Salvation
Army, and Fundamentalist Baptist to name a few.
At the time, I tried bumping my head against the Eastern philosophies
but my teen self could not imagine a world where personal possessions
were not important. Let’s face it, I was the normal Western
teenager and quite frankly thought those guys were nuts.
Interestingly, years later I went back to those beliefs, and can now
see the beauty and depth of the Buddhist path.
Was I just curious or was I on a search for somewhere I would feel at
home? It did not seem to matter and over the years I found many
fascinating concepts within each expression of the spiritual as that
deep place within drove me onward to find answers. Why do I exist?
How does life happen? Is there a higher power? If so, what role does
he/she/it play in our lives?
By 1973 I was a recently divorced, single-parent mother with three
small children. I had returned to school in the hopes of getting a
decent job and providing a home for us. It was spring and I had
finished my second year at college and was looking forward to
summer’s promise of hot sun and a time to relax, before going back
to another year of study. That is when I received a gift that took me
by the hand and led me into the deeper understanding I was seeking.
It was a quiet time at our house as Leah, my oldest daughter, was now
in grade one, Brad, the middle child, attended afternoon
kindergarten, and Wendy, the youngest, was tucked away for an
afternoon nap. At the time this new adventure began my hands were
stuck in hot, sudsy water as I mechanically washed dishes. Suddenly,
as if my mind were taken over by a strange force, I completely lost
awareness of where I was and what I was doing. From the window above
the sink the crabapple tree in the backyard seemed to stretch out to
me. Oddly, the tree had me in an embrace that revealed a bizarre new
reality. Understanding, which was beyond questioning, overwhelmed me
and I knew, deep in the core of me, that the tree out there and I
were one, we were inseparable. In a way I could not comprehend I
indisputably knew the tree and I had become indivisible; we were a
As I flowed along on this current of experience a bottomless pool of
knowledge surrounded me, I somehow knew deep in my gut the essence
within the tree was the same essence as was in me. We shared a
strange inexplicable bond.
Delight and understanding rushed through me and I was filled with
wonder. Within that happiness a contented feeling told me everything
was in its proper place and all was as it should be.
Unaware of the suds dripping on the floor from my hands, I stood
mesmerized while other forms of life went through my mind. Fish and
whales in the ocean, lions and elephants in the wild—all shared
that same life. I actually became the bird sitting in the tree, and
at the same time, I was the bug the bird was about to eat. We were
one single entity expressing itself as life on this planet. The
form each life took was irrelevant as I became completely enmeshed
with the essence of that oneness. In that state it was impossible to
define where the other forms of life ended and I began, because there
were no differences, no separations.
Then, within a microsecond, I became aware of the physical world
around me and the water dripping on the floor.
This happened before most of North America had heard of the term
Oneness. It was also a time when baby boomers were engrossed
in a search for spirituality. Many had turned away from the formal
churches and were exploring the meaning of life. The Beatles visited
ashrams and Friedrich
Nietzsche’s claim “God is dead”
became a familiar chant.
It is difficult to say how long I was caught in that alternate
reality, perhaps a minute, possibly less. It is not surprising that
the effects of that experience offered me a lifetime of learning. Up
to that moment I had sought understanding through the established
faiths. Now another route to spiritual answers opened to me. I knew
the world was not a bunch of separate beings busily living life. I
understood that deep in the core of us all, an amazing connection
waits to be recognized. The fact I did not yet understand what had
happened was not a problem and gave me fodder to chew on in my quest
for the truth.
As it turned out the experience with the tree was the first of a
series of parallel events. A few days later during another quiet
afternoon I busily spot-washed fingerprints from the hall walls. The
quiet house had lulled me into a state of peaceful contemplation of
nothing in particular. Without warning, once more my awareness seemed
to be taken over by a powerful force.
Seconds before I had been washing marks off the walls, suddenly I was
intensely immersed in the awareness of an atom. Without trying
to capture my thoughts and return them to where they had been, I
allowed them to float in this curious direction. Before me was
an atom with its nucleus and electrons spinning around the core. It
was as though each element possessed an independent consciousness and
knew exactly what it needed to do and got busy doing it. The planning
and order within the atom dominated my awareness.
Once my recognition of what I was seeing entered my consciousness the
image transformed as though seeing a new scene in a movie. I was
looking at a representation of our solar system whirling in the
darkness of space. The sun contentedly sat in a semi-stationary
position while the planets busily spun around it in a perpetual game
of tag. Once more my attention seemed to be directed to the
deliberate order, rhythm, and intelligence behind what I was
viewing. Let me clarify; it was not as though an external brain
was operating our solar system, like a wizard with a wand. It was
that this mental capacity was permeated within the solar system
itself. Inexplicably, deep within was a part of me that realized I
already knew this and was simply being reminded that none of what I
was seeing was the result of a lucky accident.
Once more the scene expanded from our local solar system to the Milky
Way galaxy as it spun in a golden pirouette along with sister
galaxies that spun together in an amazing pattern of
synchronicity. Again I knew that none of this was an
error. Nothing, not a single thing, had mistakenly come to be.
As I delighted in this new understanding a realization overtook me
that kept me reeling in wonder for many years. No voice spoke,
yet the knowledge swept through me implanted itself in every cell of
my body. The message was so powerful I was immobilized to dispute or
deny its meaning. "Your being is intricately connected with
the operation of the universe!" it told me.
I could not deny the truth of what I had just learned. It was as real
as the Earth I stood on, as real as my children, or my own name. Yet
a part of me instantly wanted to reject the message and I was caught
in a struggle where disagreement was not possible. The message rang
too true to debate but it scared me with its implications.
Confusion dominated as the experience faded and left me standing in
the hall with a wet rag in my hand. But, I argued, I don’t
have delusions of grandeur. I was completely convinced that when
it came to the universe I was smaller than a speck of dust, smaller
even than a photon. So how could my being have anything to do
with the operation of the universe?
If this information had come to me in a dream or as one of my own
thoughts, I would have been free to dismiss it. Yet the manner in
which it came seemed to deny me that option. I think it was the
realization of the truth of what I had been told that scared me most.
If I accepted this universal connection what would be expected of me?
Would I be responsible to do something I was sure to mess up? I had
lived my life as a retarded person, and had only recently discovered
I did not belong to that assessment. Still, the experience and
accompanying information, seemed to come from a source beyond
A few more days passed before I had the third and last of these
strange events. In contrast to the confusion and fear of the last
communication, this final experience brought with it great serenity
and joy and deeper understanding.
Even now I do not fully understand what happened as I was led into a
world of mystery and incredible joy. As I stood in the middle of the
living room on a quiet afternoon, my arms filled with retrieved toys,
I became acutely aware I was not alone. I could actually feel a
palpable, literal presence in the room with me. My eyes saw nothing
more than the room and furnishings, yet I knew deep in my gut there
was “someone” there. I hesitate to call the presence sharing the
room a being or person because no being I knew could cause what
I felt engulfed in an enormous blanket of love, peace, and joy that
was beamed at and into me from every direction by this mysterious
force. It felt so good that I simply allowed the experience to wash
over me in the hope that it would last forever.
Then, as though an umbilical cord were situated in the center of my
being, I felt a direct connection to the invisible presence. Somehow
I was intricately connected with it in a way I did not understand.
Happily, I basked in the pleasure of the never-ending love and peace.
And it was then I heard actual words.
Unlike the information I had received earlier where impressions and
thoughts were poured into the center of me, this time the words were
clear and as open as a sweet child’s face. They were spoken
directly into my right ear with unmistakable clarity: "This is
where you came from and this is where you will return."
Then as ripples in water calm to nothing the experience was over and
I stood alone in the room with no presence, no voices, and no blanket
of love and joy. Yet the feelings that remained kept me in a
state of bliss for months. I could have walked through a meat grinder
and come out smiling at the other end. Nothing bothered me. The
children’s high-pitched noises usually set my nerves on edge. Not
during those months. They could make silly noises all they wanted,
and I simply existed in a world of pure serenity.
Before this final experience I had been terrified of dying. My mom
believed that once a person died he or she simply disappeared. There
was no confusion or theology to confound the situation we were
nothing more than biological beings, and when that gave out, so did
That was exactly what I was terrified of I did not want to vanish
into nothingness. I wanted to have meaning and purpose and the idea
of being nothing more than a piece of quivering biology sent a
shudder down my spine. With the last of these amazing and
mysterious experiences a new piece fit into the picture and I stopped
being concerned about death. I may not have fully understood how it
worked but I knew with complete surety that when I died I would
continue to exist.
A secondary change happened after my spiritual experiences. All my
life I had been a serious nail biter. My nails were gnawed back
so far that my teeth couldn’t get a hold on what was left. When
I ran out of nail I moved on to chewing the skin around the nails.
They were definitely ugly and often bleeding. After these
beautiful experiences, one day I looked down at my hands and realized
I had nails. Without being aware of it I had stopped biting them
and it just seemed to happen on its own.
It took many years for me to put these spiritual events together and
make coherent sense of them. Gradually a picture of the Oneness
became clear and I began to understand a new reality. Books on
spirituality began to make sense. Two that stood out and gave me
guidance were A Course in Miracles,1
which talked about forgiveness, letting go of the ego, and
seeing ourselves as beautiful beings. Joel Goldsmith’s Parenthesis
talked about our connectedness with all that exists. Since then
additional studies have verified and strengthened what I had learned
from my personal experience.
Messages From Beyond
As far back as humans
first stood wondering at the rising of the sun filling them with its
power, we have been driven to know the answers to our deepest
questions. In our quest to know throughout history, and right up
until today, we have pulled apart everything in our path to learn how
it does what it does. We are driven with an insatiable longing to
discover the secrets of the universe and the role, if any, it has for
us, or we have within it. Our search has instigated us to tinker in
one direction. If we find we are heading the wrong way we drop what
we are doing and eagerly dash off on another path. Our searches have
led to the construction of giant pyramids, powerful organizations,
and numerous holy places scattered throughout the world. Yet our
questions continue to stream into the cosmos in our insatiable
craving for answers.
While we humans love a
mystery and dig our fingers deep into the unknown to find the secrets
within, once an enigma’s underbelly is revealed, and no mystery is
left, there is a feeling of let-down. We convince ourselves there
must be more and wonder what we have missed. Then we poke, stir, and
eventually tear the unknown apart until we come to an understanding.
In the process of our search for spiritual knowledge many
philosophies have evolved that offer their comprehension of order and
stability to reduce our confusion about the universe, our place in
it, and the meaning of life and death.
unearthed a burial site that dated back one hundred thousand years
and were amazed to find the first indication early humans considered
the possibility of an existence beyond this life.3
Deep in a cave the body of a boy was buried with the head of a deer
to take with him on his journey. This burial site illustrates even
then the human struggle for answers to some of our deepest questions
stretching back to a time when we were rubbing sticks together to
to the ongoing mystery of our demise have been a complicated
labyrinth that has been twisted by numerous factors. Like a tall
person shoving in front of a child to see a parade, these factors
have been thrust in our way and blocked our getting to the truth we
seek. Our fears, personal views, religious teachings, cultures, and
demands for proof have become hurdles in the way of finding answers
to our spiritual questions. And, as curious creatures, it is not good
enough to know we live on—we want to know how, where, and what we
will do there? We want it all.
and spiritual leaders have offered their wisdom and sought to tone
down our fears and make everything right by telling us what we want
to know. Many faiths evolved to take on this task and teach us how to
live in order to ensure a good death. Yet these same leaders were
themselves taught by the same thoughts and ideas passed down from
their ancestors. Thus the answers they provided were not much better
than those of the people before them.
luminary teachers throughout history have offered remarkable insights
and sound judgements. But, by the time it filtered down to us it
became like gossip whispered in the ear and passed along until the
last person hears a completely different message than the original.
The first point became confused, misinterpreted, and lost its initial
meaning. Is it possible the wall of
mystery that has stood in our way is finally crumbling? Are we
actually getting answers from those who have been there to our
age-old questions? Are those who have returned from a near-death
experience able to provide us with a new way of seeing? Is it
possible that a direct link to our questions has been offered?
I want to stress it is
not the intention of this book to start a new religion or cult.
Although we may have some questions answered, new ones pop up as
quickly as Kleenex from a box and take us on new quests. Therefore,
while it is my hope that we find some answers to our questions in
this book, be aware this is just one more step along the continuum of
For approximately two
years I was very privileged to do research with Dr. Jeff Long, MD and
his wife Jody Long, JD the owners of the site NDERF.4
Our research was for a book that Dr. Jeff Long has since written,
Evidence of the Afterlife:
The Science of Near-Death Experiences,5
which talks of the scientific investigation into the authenticity of
the near-death experience.
During this research I became like a child at
Christmas hungry for more and more as I tore off the shiny wrapping
and searched each account to discover the gift inside. Every report
was dissected and reassembled into separate elements of that
individual’s experience. With enthusiasm I consumed the stories of
the NDEs in large gulps. By the time I had ingested a few hundred
reports I began to see a pattern. Wait a
minute, I told myself, there’s
something going on here. It seemed that
within these people’s experiences were deeper messages like buried
treasures brought back from beyond the curtain of death. Each crumb
coalesced into an observable and definite understanding and
tantalizing secrets started to peek through.
When the research was
finished I could not stop reading people’s experiences. I have read
around 2,500 reports and my fascination has turned to a deeper
understanding of these secret messages. There is
a hidden legacy being brought back as a marvellous inheritance that
was ours all along. It is the hope of this book to pass this heritage
on to you.
In 1975 Dr. Raymond
Moody published a book that was so shocking and intriguing that many
rushed out to buy a copy of Life After
Dr. Moody courageously presented us
with the first book to reveal what people who had been resuscitated
after dying told about their experience. Over time, he saw that what
they were telling him had amazing repetitious facts that prompted
further questions. If these people had been dead how could they know
what had happened during their operations or the details of attempts
to resuscitate them? His book became so popular that a flood of
people wrote about their personal experiences and added to the
understanding. I too joined the throng as my inquisitiveness sought
answers to the mystery of death. Now, no matter how many near-death
experiences I have had the pleasure of reading, I continue to seek
out new ones. I never tire of them.
Continuing education, it
not stop at the completion of our time in this physical existence.
Those who returned from an NDE explained that the knowledge they
gained was not so much a continuation of their education as it was a
remembering of things they had already known. So much of the
knowledge brought back from the NDEs carefully wrapped in their
memories involved information they felt the world urgently needed to
book are amazing pieces of information and hopefully answers to the
constant questions that just will not go away. Does this knowledge
mean we have all the answers? The answer to these questions is
clearly no. However, much of the religious restrictions of the past
have been removed and we are free to explore and discover. When I
think about the multiple universes science has hypothesized I realize
we have only cracked open the doors to understanding. There are many
journeys beyond those doors to take us to places only our
imaginations can create.
I would like to take a moment to sincerely thank each and every one
of those who opened themselves up to share their experience with us.
Their contributions to our learning has been invaluable and opened us
up to a deeper understanding we have searched for throughout the
As a serious researcher in the field of the near-death experience I
find one trend upsetting. While writing this book I went to YouTube
to watch some NDEs and was both disappointed and astonished to see
what has happened with the subject since my last visit. There were
links to, Ouija boards, crystal gazing, and fundamentalist religious
groups that seem to be vying to take over the subject of near-death.
While I do not want to disqualify anyone’s experience I do want to
stress some important points to consider.
No two people have the exact same experience, no matter how close
they may seem. An atheist may see Jesus and become a Christian, a
Christian may experience something that is similar to the Buddhist
tradition, and a Jew may experience something very different from
what he or she thought. Each individual has the near-death experience
that is right for that specific person. For that reason we may read
of an experience or have our own experience but no one who has had an
NDE can talk with authority about what happened for others who also
had an NDE. For those who want more clarity on this topic I suggest
they go to those studies that use many experiences as their base
rather than one or two.
I feel it is important to talk about the number of reports of
children who died from drowning. Based on the information received at
NDERF, there were two major causes of accidental death with children.
Drowning was highest on the list by far. The other was caused by a
game children at elementary and middle school play. One child presses
on the arteries running up the neck and cut off the blood flow to the
brain causing the first child to pass out. Sometimes this child’s
unconscious state goes beyond becoming insensible.
Within this book subjects that could be sensitive to some people such
as suicide or hellish experiences have been reported anonymously.
However, there are a couple of people who requested I offer links to
their sites or stories, therefore, that information is included in
the notes at the back of the book. In an attempt to be respectful and
sensitive to those who have offered their story I have been careful
not to alter any part of their material except for the occasional
correction of grammar. Most of the testimonies mentioned here come
from NDERF and researcher Kevin Williams’s website.7
I encourage you to visit these sites and I wish you an enjoyable
journey in your explorations.
What Happens at Death
reach out to embrace the threatening cloud of change within our lives
that we fear will sweep us into an unknown abyss. We are convinced
personal change will bring tremors that disturb our stability and
symbolize the death of all we have known, while removing the solid
ground from under our feet. Psychologically, change can represent our
own private death.
young consider death too far away to think about yet it has become
the principal entertainment that now inundates society. It influences
our movies and television and powers our computer games in
an effort to sate an ongoing adrenalin addiction. Munitions
plants sell death like lollypops which seems to lead us to endless
unanswered ethical questions. And, of course, our individual demise
looms over us with an hourglass and sickle.
religious leaders have stood before their congregations with a raised
finger and warnings of the hell and damnation that is sure to be ours
because of the sin we inherited from our ancestors. As large
populations have turned away from these lessons, they have been left
struggling with unanswered questions.
everyone is fearful of dying; some people reach out to embrace death
like a welcomed lover. Those who suffer with disease and pain may
find every moment is an eternity of torture and look to death as a
relief. Others may feel the burden of life too emotionally painful
and look to death as the soothing balm of oblivion. Many others, who
have been touched by the shroud of death during marvellous NDEs,
return to this plane, also welcome their future demise.
advancements have become the alchemy of the future and created many
opportunities to resuscitate patients from death. According to the
NDERF site, 1992 statistics show there were approximately 774 each
day in the United States alone. When we consider the rest of the
world, the number could be thousands if not millions.
Many of those who have
had an NDE have returned with astounding stories of wonder and
mystery. With sparkling eyes and whispers of awe they explain that
the actual experience of dying was simply a transition. They tell of
smoothly stepping from the shore of this life into warm, lapping
waters of the ocean of eternity as trouble-free as leaving one room
and entering another.
Repeatedly those who returned from
death shared stories that at one moment they were in their physical
bodies with all their normal feelings and sensations and the next
moment surprised and delighted to discover they were still alive and
there really is a life after death. Those who sought oblivion through
suicide were astonished to discover they continued after death and
there was no oblivion.
subject of suicide will be dealt with in detail in chapter 6.
In North America death
has been treated as an unnatural invader, an enemy to be conquered.
Today, like a trickled runoff from melting snow, new understanding is
gradually seeping through. Drip by drip we have opened ourselves to
discover that death is far more glorious than we ever thought
possible. When we listen to those who have taken the sojourn into
that alien world, we discover it was the most beautiful and rewarding
experience they have ever known.
It was found in research that although many elements of the
near-death experience were similar no two NDEs were exactly alike. It
was as if he or she were creating a delicious new recipe and had
included their own special ingredients. For example, some people saw
a light right away, while others went through a tunnel first and then
saw the light. Others had no tunnel at all and either found
themselves floating in dark space or immediately went to various
destinations (which we talk about throughout this book).
Many people responded as though they had packed their bodies and
transmitted them through their death experience with them. Reason
told them this could not be as they had seen their bodies left back
in the physical realm. Yet, as though their physical being was a
passport, they metaphorically brought them along to this land with
weird and extraordinarily different rules.
Some people had an irresistible yearning to enter the tunnel while
others simply found themselves zipping through a passageway with no
idea how they had arrived there or what waited at the other end.
Almost everyone reported a sense of profound, penetrating peace that
wrapped them in secure protection with the understanding there was
nothing to fear in this strange existence. True to the variations of
these phenomena some tunnels were a circular swirl of misty gray
cloud that opened wide enough for them to float through while other
individuals found themselves being squeezed through a tight aperture
as though they were toothpaste pushed out of a tube. Numerous folks
compared their flight to astronauts racing through a passageway at
speeds beyond physical possibility, while others were able to stop
and sightsee. Most were aware only of the passageway itself, while
some reported seeing different beings within their tunnel. Let us
take a brief journey through some of the tunnels people experienced.
Stella became a casualty when she was hit by a car and then
watched from above as her body rolled to the side of the street. A
blank space shoved itself into her memory until she realized she was
floating above her body in an ambulance and knew she was being rushed
to the hospital. It seems hard for us to understand her joy when the
ambulance driver lost his way to the hospital.
that point I figured that I would never get to the hospital, but I
was overjoyed! I thought, “But is it already over? How lucky!
Wowwww!” and I entered the tunnel (which I strangely seemed to know
well) and went forward at a vertiginous speed toward home, without
any intention of stopping to observe everything in the tunnel, I just
wanted to go home.
tunnel was semi-transparent and I saw points of light like distant
stars becoming rays of irregular lights, like the headlights on a car
that is speeding down a curved road. My speed kept growing until the
light could no longer reach me and I saw that the tunnel was one
giant curve, but a curve that was barely discernible, yet I could
feel it. Then I was home.
Brian was ten years old on a summer day when the temperatures
were screaming hot. His brother and he begged their mother to be
allowed to go swimming at a local river. After enough nagging to
probably drive the poor woman nuts they finally wore her down and she
gave in. It did not take long for the boys to rush off to join their
friends but instead of going where they promised, to the part of the
river where the current was more controlled the group daringly crept
through a fence into the restricted zone. There was a reason for that
fence—it protected the kids like Brian from a dam whose current was
too strong for him and he drowned.
Then I saw light at the end of the tunnel bursting toward me. My
spirit or soul was caught into the Light Tunnel. I flew through the
light tunnel. I could still remember the feeling even today! The only
description I could give you is that the feeling was almost identical
to the movie Contact—the New Built Ball Spacecraft falling
down the Giant Gyro-Space machine. The actress went through the
tunnel right away and she could see outside space by her “ball
space shuttle.” That's what I saw when I was zoomed through the
tunnel. I could see some universe by the tunnel's transparency. Such
an awesome feeling flying through the tunnel at light-speed.
Now, many years later, Brian says the experience is so fresh in his
mind, he can remember it as if it happened today. Indeed, this is one
of the signatures that stand out throughout the reports people have
sent in. They state they can remember every detail of their
experience as well as they did when it happened even when thirty or
even fifty years have passed.
in the hospital with a miscarriage and was given medication that
caused an allergic reaction. She knew her temperature had risen and
picked up the thermometer on her night table. She does not tell us
what her temperature was but she knew she needed help right away.
Before she was able to call for a nurse she simply slipped away.
I found myself sitting, which I thought was
odd, as I felt I should be standing, in a sort of passage. I called
it an elevator shaft, but really it was more like a curved, fast
moving tunnel, more like a subway than a shaft. But it was not
very wide, and I was comfortable sitting in it. There were no seats,
but one could just seemingly sit in suspension.
The tunnel was surrounded by darkness which
was not surprising for some reason, and the darkness appeared to be
Then as I flowed quickly through this
shaft, I realized there was a soft, glowing light in the distance
ahead. Maybe like city lights appear long before you can see the
city…more like a glow reflecting off the darkness.
rushed to the hospital with a serious infection and in the process of
dying. When she did not respond to medications the doctors decided to
do an operation they knew was quite dangerous and from which she
might not recover. With that in mind, the operation proceeded and she
did die. Her explanation of the tunnel is wonderful and clearly
explains what she felt.
I was being pulled with my back facing in
the direction of the pull and my face facing the Earth. But I don't
recall seeing the Earth. It was a knowing that I was leaving it. It
was not that I was “in a tunnel”, it was that a tunnel was
created around me due to the incredible speed that I was traveling. I
think about it when I see the white marks that a high-speed jet
leaves across the sky. The jet created the marks. It is the same.
There is no fear whatsoever in this experience, even though at this
point there was an unknowing of what was happening. It was at this
time that I realized I had left my body, that I was dead. But I
didn't care that this had happened. I was peaceful.
Not everyone who had an NDE was welcomed via a passageway. As though
they were taking a short-cut an almost equal number of people saw no
tunnel. Like living in a bubble that popped, they instantly found
themselves at their destination. The descriptions of these locations
were as richly varied as marbles in a sack. Several people talked
about a beautiful garden with colors and plants they had never seen
before. Others were instantly surrounded by a gentle glove of perfect
velvet blackness before moving on to a white light. Some folks
mentioned music that was so beautiful it made their heart sing with
As though they were receiving a generous gift every one of their
bodily senses became boosted as they reported the vast improvements.
Superman had nothing on them as they discovered they had become far
superior to what they had been before death. Those who were deaf or
blind in the physical world could hear and see with an acuteness that
was much sharper than anyone on Earth had ever known. It was amazing
to discover that, better than a housefly on the wall, they could see
in all directions at once and hear numerous conversations
simultaneously with full understanding of every one. People with
various disabilities while in their Earth bodies were thrilled to be
With the wonder of a child NDErs were fascinated to communicate
through telepathy as concepts entered their awareness complete and
whole. These thought flooded them at faster-than-lightning speed
while every facet of the subject came through as a clear and perfect
representation of what was being told. It was as if they had jumped
into a swimming pool of information that instantly brought them
complete understanding. Once NDErs adjusted to this form of
communication they found it comprehensive and produced a more
thorough and instant understanding than they had been used to. It was
as if they had immediately ingested whole oceans of information on
Most NDErs were greeted by spirit entities they were sure they had
never seen before. Yet, in a way they could not explain, these
unfamiliar souls seemed as well-known and close as a loved family
member or dear friend. These entities became guides to this strange
world taking their charges at the speed of thought to a glorious
garden or a brilliant city of crystal or gold. Others arrived on
mountaintops or gently floated in a soundless black void permeated
with love and serenity. A large number of people were instantly
surrounded by a brilliant white light. This light was so central to
the near-death experience that we will discuss it in greater detail
As though they had become visiting relatives the majority of the
NDErs were disappointed to discover that they had to return to their
bodies. They reacted to being sent back as though they were being
sent to prison for a life sentence. Repeatedly they pleaded, begged,
and cried not to go back to the physical world. Still, once they
understood the importance of their continuing existence here most
Upon arriving back in their bodies many NDErs experienced a deep
depression and became homesick for the place they had been. Like
starving people they longed to return to the love they had found
beyond this life.
Some people tried to share their experience with others and were told
not to tell anyone because the world would think they were crazy.
Others were told it was just a dream or caused by the medications
they were given or perhaps hallucinations. Today many people within
both the medical profession and the general public have become more
open to exploring information from NDEs.
Let us look at the near-death experience in greater detail and find
the hidden message waiting there for us.
Were They Really Dead?
The preparation for this
book sent me scurrying here and there poking my nose into crevices
and cracks for research information. On occasion someone would ask if
those who had had an NDE were actually dead. Perhaps,
the thinking went, they
were simply on the edge of death and their brains were still
Or they wonder, Could
the near-death experience be a case of lucid dreaming?
(Simply put, lucid dreaming is when a person is dreaming while at the
same time consciously aware of the fact they are dreaming and, in
some cases, they can control what happens within the dream.)
said this of his NDE,
“I'd like to point out that whoever coined
the phrase near-death experience probably never had one. I can
assure you there is nothing halfway or near about dying, even if you
are fortunate enough to come back from such an experience, dying is
Some people find it
accept that a person could be dead and come back. I can understand
their skepticism because for so long we have been told what can or
cannot be. As one student of theology told me to her knowledge, there
was only one person who had died and come back to life.
Dr. Raymond Moody first published his book, Life
After Life, discussion
has revolved around the validity of the events reported by NDErs. In
writing that book he stepped out of the conservative world of
medicine to report his findings with the full knowledge that he would
not be believed and be ridiculed by some of his colleagues.
Fortunately today more and
more health professionals have an unbiased concept of the near-death
experience. On the NDERF website a number of doctors talk of their
own experience with near-death.
To speak to the question of
death or no death I have brought you a few cases where the
individuals involved were clearly dead. In some cases they had even
been sent to the morgue before they came back to life.
The subject of skepticism
is covered later in this book. At this point we are not talking about
doubters but rather establishing the individual having the NDE is in
We do not have a name for this first gentleman
who died in an accident on his farm. He managed to make it from the
mishap to the farmhouse before he collapsed. An ambulance was
immediately called but he died in the hospital. After arguing about
having to return he eventually came back to tell us his experience.
I had heard this wonderful, familiar voice,
“It is not yet your time to be here. You must go back.” I begged
it to please not send me back. And that is when it told me I had a
mission to do. I begged it to please tell me the mission so I could
do it and come back. Then it told me I had to go back and perform my
mission when the time came. I would not know what it was until that
time. Then it would be my time to be there.
I awoke in the hospital. The doctor told me
I should be legally dead and that they were going to bury me in
twelve hours. It had been two and a half hours of death for me. I was
cold and stiff from rigor mortis. The doctor sent me home only to die
again one day.
having flu-like symptoms but his physician was not able to find
anything that agreed with Sammy’s assessment. The doctor gave him a
treadmill stress test where Sammy had a heart attack followed by an
NDE. His near-death experience was very much like many others; he met
with his first wife, who had died earlier, and then went with a
spirit guide and discussed many things. We step into the report at
the point where it is clear he is going to come back.
The only thing I remember from that
conversation is one sentence. I remember it as clear as if I just
heard it. A deep male voice said, “Then it is decided; you're going
back.” At the end of that sentence the medical personnel
defibrillated me the second time. I was slammed back into my body and
I felt the shock with a vengeance. It was as if somebody set off a
small bomb in my chest. My eyes popped open and I saw the back of the
head of the man who did it. I heard him say “conversion” which is
the medical term for reestablishing a cardiac rhythm. The doctor who
administered the stress test said they shocked me twice. The first
time I did not convert.
was a twelve-year-old girl who had spinal
meningitis and after a week of running a constant fever she was sick
and tired of feeling cold, a tactic the hospital was using to bring
down her fever. She covered herself with a terry cloth robe which
raised her temperature over the top and she died. Here she had just
returned to her body from a normal NDE.
I could hear my surroundings gradually
become louder until I was totally back in my body. However, there was
one problem; I was as stiff as a board and could not move. I
obviously had been gone longer than I should have been because my
body was not functioning. My legs, my whole body hurt like someone
had a million pins sticking in my body. My legs hurt the worst as my
blood began to flow again. As I got older, I found out that your
blood begins to thicken after you die. I know this is why I felt such
intense pain in my body. It was like my blood was frozen and was
not clear what brought about her death except to tell us that she had
given birth to her second child and for some reason lost a lot of
blood. It was 1952 and the medical profession did not have the
knowledge, equipment, or CPR skills it has now. When the doctor saw
the blood loss and realized Patti’s heart had stopped the physician
simply gave up on the mother and turned her attention to the baby. As
Patti’s soul left her body she could hear the doctor.
I heard the doctor say she had lost me as I
was losing all my blood and she could not stop it. She made the
remark, “If anyone knows how to pray, they better do it
quickly.” As far as the doctor was concerned, I had lost all my
blood, my vital signs were gone and I was pronounced dead. She
was not even trying to work with me at all and only one nurse
stood by me. The doctor went outside to my grandmother, aunt,
and husband and asked what they wanted done with the body, as I
was gone and she could do nothing about it.
Here Patti was greeted by the white light and a
spirit guide who came to talk to her. The next thing she knew, she
was once again in the hospital outside the delivery room and realized
that she had decided to return to her body.
After I had spoken the words “I choose to
live” meaning come back and live my life in this body, there
was an explosion of Light in the room, and I also spoke the same
words simultaneously from my body. This caused a great stir
among the medics there and they rushed to my side and began to beat
on my extremities and heart area to bring back the circulation and
start my heart beating and my breathing. I had bruise marks on
my body from their attempts to start the circulation again. It
was four hours later that I awoke in my room with five
doctors and nurses looking at me. My doctor said, “You've
really given us a scare.”
Dr. George Rodonaia was
an avowed atheist when he was hit by a car in his homeland of Russia.
At that time he was a medical doctor and a PhD in neuropathology.
When his accident happened he worked as a research psychiatrist at
the University of Moscow.
George had the most amazing death experiences
ever recorded. When he was hit by the car he was immediately killed
and upon his arrival to the hospital his body was sent to the morgue.
He had been in the morgue for three days when an autopsy was begun.
The moment the doctor cut into him, George was quickly shoved back
into his body and returned to life. His NDE is quite extensive and
anyone who wants to read the full account can find it on the NDERF
website or enter George’s name into a search engine; there is a
long list of connections to him. Because his experience was so
amazing and the learning within it so wonderful, I have chosen to
include a little more than just his return. Here are the highlights
of his NDE.
The first thing I remember about my near
death experience, I discovered myself in a realm of total darkness,
yet still somehow aware of my existence as George. I was horrified! I
was shocked to find I still existed. The one thought in my mind was,
“How can I be when I’m not?” That is what troubled me. Then I
remembered Descartes famous line: “I think, therefore, I am.” And
that took a huge burden off me; for it was then I knew for certain I
was still alive, in a very different dimension. Then I thought, “If
I am, why shouldn’t I be positive?”
At this point George was greeted by the Light
where he spent quite a bit of time.
So there I was, flooded with all these good
things and this wonderful experience, when someone begins to cut into
my stomach. Can you imagine? What had happened was that I was taken
to the morgue, pronounced dead and left there for three days. As they
began to cut into my stomach for an autopsy, I felt as though some
great power took hold of my neck and pushed me down. And it was so
powerful that I opened my eyes with this huge sense of pain. My body
was cold and I began to shiver. They immediately stopped the autopsy
and took me to the hospital where I remained for the following nine
months, most of which I spent under a respirator.
After his experience, Dr. Rodonaia went on to
get a PhD in the psychology of religion and became a priest in the
Greek Orthodox Church until he moved to the United States. There he
served as an associate pastor at the
First United Methodist Church in Nederland, Texas.
In October 2004,
Dr. George Rodonaia died for the final time of a massive heart
to the hospital to have gallstones removed when something went wrong
and she died. While her story is short it does make the point that
she was indeed dead. She suddenly found herself outside her body and
was met by her deceased family members. Later she talked to a higher
being and felt the deep love that is common to the NDE. Mandy tells
us that at that point she wanted to stay where she was, but it was
not to be. She was clearly told she had to go back; this is what
Next thing I knew I was being sucked out of
this wonderful place. As I was going back, I saw my doctor hitting my
chest and asking the Lord to help him bring me back. I asked him
about that much later and he asked me how I knew that because he was
saying it to himself. That minute and Twenty-five seconds were more
wonderful than my whole life has been. It was the most incredible
experience I’ve ever had.
was speeding with a group of friends as they headed to a football
game. They were excited because their favourite team was playing. He
was sitting in the window with his legs inside the car and the top
half of his body sticking out of the rear window. That is when he
noticed an animal on the road and they got into an accident in an
effort to avoid the creature. Nadir says he pulled himself into the
car but was killed in the accident anyway.
experience is important to include here; however, English is not his
mother tongue, I took a few liberties editing his report while still
keeping his meaning intact.
I felt that I was so tall, with no weight
out of my body. Right away I saw everything from my past life from
the moment of my birth until the accident. The next thing I’m
walking and looking around and I see others around me. Some of them
looked as though they were waiting for something from me. I saw many
people whom I had mistreated or hurt, and they were looking at me as
if they wanted to take revenge.
Suddenly, without any wish on my part, I
came to an abrupt stop as if there were a compulsory (stop),
although there was a long road and another world in front of me.
Then I felt that my body was so cold; I
don’t know why. Then I felt I was falling from a high cliff; I
didn’t feel the crash to the ground—everything was dark. Then
I realize I had a body and stood up and started to spin. I hit myself
on hard things on the left and right and fell to the ground. It was
very cold, and I again stood up and saw a light and the face of a
man. The man looked at me and escaped, like there was a lion
running after him. Do you know who that man was? He was the man
who was responsible for burying the dead [the
mortician] and I was out of the
fridge. The time? It was timeless; some hours finished as if
minutes, and minutes ran as hours. I learned from the people after I
recovered that I was dead for about thirteen hours.
was in an auto accident and was thrown from the car. While she was
lying on the ground a mysterious thing happened. She could feel
herself being gently held by a man who spoke to her and told her that
she was going to be all right. Two interesting things occurred when
he talked to her, she heard his words in her head like telepathy and
when she asked him who he was, he told her, “I’m just a drover.”
In Diane’s case
she begins her report with waking up in the morgue.
When I woke up in the morgue, I was naked
and paralyzed. The only available light came from the opaque
glass window in a door. Two people stood in the doorway; a nurse
holding the clothes I had had on and my brother-in-law. He said "do
dead people cry”. The nurse looked at me and said "oh, my
At that point Diane was taken to intensive care. She also tells us
that while she was out of her body, she went to the waiting room
where her family was and became annoyed at the conversation she
My mother, sister, and brother-in-law were there. My sister
said, “I wonder if we should stay.” My brother-in-law said, “I
will do whatever you guys want.” My mother said, “Well you know I
don't like hospitals.”
Later my sister and brother-in-law verified the conversation
in the morgue and corridor. Years later, an aunt told me that her
grandfather, my great grandfather, had always said of himself, "I
am just a drover.”
Here we have a few cases
of clear proof that people have actually died and returned from that
state. If you are interested in learning more on the validity of the
NDE there are many more people who have died and been able to watch
the proceedings below them in great detail and then accurately
reported the procedure to their doctors. They also reported highly
personal information like what was being discussed in the operating
room and personal thoughts of the medical staff. Studies by Dr.
have been done with these individuals and the accuracy of what they
saw. Repeatedly, people who had NDEs were able to accurately describe
in fine detail the efforts of the individuals trying to work on them
while those who had not died could only guess (often erroneously) at
what might be done to them during their operations.