I’ve been friends with two people who experienced “near death experiences” and lived to tell of them. And I’ve had two of my own, sorta.
One friend was a school mate back in about 5-6th grade. He was shot in the head–he claimed accidentally afterwards. He told me (this is my vague recollection years later) that he saw a stair way going up, and somebody he couldn’t recognize standing at the top, and everything was light and happy. He claimed he absolutely wasn’t afraid to die after the experience. He later (within a year or two) died of an apparent gunshot wound to the head.
Another, a client of mine, was being shocked by electrical current and thought he was being electrocuted. Some ungodly large amount of voltage was coursing through him, due to the negligence of U.S. employees at a top secret underground installation in Loudoun Co, VA (where the big shots are supposed to go in case of nuclear, er I mean nukuler, attacks). But I digress. That’s a story for a different post. He claimed to have seen three heavenly beings standing there as he was being electrocuted out in the middle of nowhere. He took them to be The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost/Spirit. I didn’t criticize his theology because it didn’t square with mine. He even tried to get his story published in Reader’s Digest.
Mine is different. I was mowing a lawn on a huge lawn mower (bigger than the norm, but not a full fledged tractor). I was about 10-12, workin for a widow lady. I was mowing a steep hill horizontally instead of vertically. It was so steep I had to lean up into the hill to keep from falling. But one time, it was so steep the mower tilted so much that two wheels on the upward side came off the ground, and I fell off to the downward side. I sat there in a heap, dumbfounded as to how that could have happened. I felt a sharp poke, and that caused me to look up in time to see the tractor still hovering above me on two wheels. This happened in a split second. I quickly scrambled out of the way just before the mower crashed right where my head was, and it did 2-3 more complete rollovers before it came to rest at the bottom. I know I would have been killed but for the poke I felt.
When I was 20 me and two friends were driving from the FL keys to Michigan, about a 28 hr trip. Half way through, I was asleep sitting in the back seat, two friends in front. Suddenly, I felt a distinct poke, or electric shock, or something. I opened my eyes to see both in the front seat sound asleep. I hollared in time to wake them up and keep us from careening off the interstate at 75 mph. Some might think it was a coincidence, but I’ll go to my grave thinking something/somebody was looking out for me.
Anybody else care to share any stories/experiences?
UVA to study them. Finally something from the Wahoos that we can actually use. ; )
MEDIA GENERAL NEWS SERVICE
Published: December 3, 2008
The University of Virginia hopes to take part in what is billed as the world’s first large-scale scientific study of near-death experiences.
Bruce Greyson, a psychiatry professor and director of U.Va.’s Division of Perceptual Studies, has studied and written extensively on the subject over 30 years. Much of his professional and scholarly life has been dedicated to near-death studies.
But Greyson said he remains perplexed by the phenomenon.
“I can’t say I understand it,” he said. But so many have experienced near death and described it consistently, and “it has a profound effect on them.”
Greyson is not alone.
The phenomenon has prompted a group of international scientists and physicians known as The Human Consciousness Project to launch AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation), which it bills as “the world’s first large-scale scientific study of what happens when we die and the relationship between mind and brain during clinical death.”
The U.Va. Medical Center is one of numerous U.S. and European hospitals planning to participate in the study. Greyson and U.Va.’s Dr. Robert O’Connor are running the research locally.
The study will involve patients who go into cardiac-arrest and whose hearts stop and are artificially restarted. Researchers will monitor the extent of “brain death” in the patients. They will also place items in locations visible only from high above the patients — aimed at determining if they undergo out-of-body experiences during resuscitation.
The patients who later agree to take part in the study will be interviewed.
Numerous studies on near-death experiences have been conducted in recent years, including one done at U.Va. Hospital by Greyson in 2001.
During the 30-month study involving 1,595 people, researchers found that 10 percent of cardiac-arrest patients reported near-death experiences.
Greyson hopes the new study will reveal more information, but he understands the complexity of the subject.
“There are a lot of things you can’t study directly,” he said. “You can’t study love directly, you can’t study anger directly. But you can study their effects and make inferences about them.”