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This as probably been discused before, read on though please tell me your thoughts now that you are not bound by WTS teachings (or maybe you still are)......................
Glad you mention this, I was going to start a thread with a topic on near death or out of body experiences.
A couple of weeks ago on British TV there was a program all about this subject (I hope any UK posters who saw this will comment), it was quite balanced, and it looked at both sides of the argument.
I was so moved by the stories of those who claimed to have "seen the light" that I had to tape it for my JW wife. After watching it, even she had to agree that the WT doctrine could be wrong.
One specialist said that all those who have had this experience, afterwards it as changed their lives for the good. They become less worried about materialistic things and concentrate on family life, love, and compassion and become more humanitarian. They all become spiritually focused in life. One man gave up it lucrative job in the city , apologised to those he had wrong, asked their forgiveness and now lives in a modest home. His career as has done an about turn; he works as a councillor for people with serious problems.
Most of the examples mentioned seeing themselves looking down on their bodies (all pronounced clinically dead). Even though they could not see or hear what was going on around them, they could relate to the hospital staff later what was done and said, were instrument was kept etc; to the astonishment of the staff that were in the operating theatre at the time.
They mentioned being pulled to a bright light, which felt like going over a hill in a car at high speed. When they got into the light, they all mentioned feeling intense love all around them; one person said that this was the place of all knowledge. There were relatives waiting for them, one lady asked if the light they were standing in was God! The answer was that the light was the breath of God. She said here uncle told her, it was not her time and she had to go back. This lady did not want to go back, but her uncle argued the point and took her back to the operating theatre. She said he pushed her back and her body jumped on the table, she was back!
The one experience that really got me was of a Lady who had been blind from birth, had never seen the world around her, and could not explain what light was even, before her experience that is. She describe similar to the above, as she came out of her body she could see! She said she could see her self, what was going on around her (again to the amassment of the hospital staff), her body void of life etc. She went up through the roof, could describe cars, trees, birds, you name it. To cut the story short she when "to the light", but was brought back again.
I cannot remember the figures but out of a study of hundreds of people who had been clinically dead/near death and brought back that, the ones conducting the study said that a big percentage of them had had out of body experiences!
It made me realise and gave me a sense of peace and contentment to know that beyond this life, life I believe does go on. After coming out of the Borganisation, it is comforting to know, God is BIGGER ( if you know what I mean) than we were lead to believe as Witnesses.
Wow my posts are getting longer for a change!
Your thoughts on out of Body experiences?
Wow,,,,,,,,, that is amazing!!!!!!!
I so want to believe that is true. What really got me, is the blind lady you spoke about,,,,,,,,,how she could see the things she had never seen before.
My grandmother saw something, and at the time I was JW and thought she must have dreamed this.
She was not on mind altering medications, or incoherant, she was talking as logically as ever, but weaker. She said that a month ago , before this last hospital stay, that she saw her mom and dad, and my grandfather, Johnny, all whom had passed away, in a wagon,,,,,,and that she wanted to go with them ,,,,,,to heaven. But she said that my grandpa ,told her it was not time yet , that he would come and get her when it was time.
She said that she saw him again, earlier that day in a vision or dream or something, and that this time he said it was alright for her to go with them this time. I was in the room with my dad and one of my aunts and we were the last to talk to her ... a few hours later she died.
Now I have to wonder if she REALLY did see that ........it would be the most comforting thing in the world to me right now to be able to have the faith again. I just want to be able to tell my children that when I die, I am going to a better place. And I want them to believe it, that we will be together again.
Funny thing thou, I can almost except that going to heaven is a possibility but I still can't imagine a hellfire.
My mother who DA herself last year after becoming a born again christian, told me that her Mother (my Nan), had experienced the same thing. When she was about to die she spoke of seeing "dead" family members welcoming her.
At that time my mother didn't really think about it (this happened years ago). It was only when I told her about the program that she told me about the above.
I find it more comforting to think that when someone dies they will go "home" rather than be gone into non existance, like WTS teaches.
It makes sense now Jesus words to the thief dieing at the side of him......"Truly I tell you, 'TODAY' you will be with me in Paradise".
You don't necessarily have to die to have "out of body" experiences. In the 1970s, the Menninger Clinic conducted experiments on a "Spiritual Adept" named Swami Rama. He was able to raise his heart rate from 70 to 300 through mental control. During that experiment, one of the researchers casually asked if he could stop his heart completely. He responded to the question by doing exactly that; causing much panic among the attending physicians. After a minute or so, he restarted his heart and was able to describe in detail what was taking place in the room next door and the Operating Room suite above on the next floor. Deepak Chopra, in his book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, opines that death results when we lose awareness of our physical connection to our bodies.
A man I once worked with had a serious operation. At one point his heart stopped and he was Clinically dead. He said that he could see them working on his body. He then was floating above his family in the waiting room. He knew what they were saying word for word. He then saw his father is a very bright light. His father had passed away years before. His father told him that he must go back that it was not his time. He said that he felt like he was being in a vaccum going back into his body. The next thing he remembered was waking up in the recovery room.
He latter told his mom that he heard his sister telling her how they had cut school years before and went to the lake with friends. He said that his mom was in complete shock as his sister had told her about this in the waiting room. I asked his mom about this when she came to the resturant one evening and she verified hhis story.
I have always been interested in this topic. Im not sure what to believe, but I think anythings possible. I was alone in the room with with my aunt while she was dying and she was speaking to someone, but I didnt recognize the name. It wierded me out a little so I mentioned it to my JW aunt and she replied, "Oh she must have been confused from lack of oxygene, that women has been dead for years."
People will argue, but I believe there could definatly be some type of existance after death.
I believe, Qwerty. I now believe in reincarnation. I didn't as little as a year ago.
When I was young, my Nana appeared to me. That made me believe in ghosts. When I was older, I read Katharine Kubler-Ross' book on Near Death Experiences (NDE) and found it fascinating. I put that aside when I converted (as an adult - ouch!) to JWism. Well, at least the JW's believe in the spirit realm, angels and demons and such, right? I am now at a point where I believe that everything about my spiritual quests in life was meant to bring me to this point in my life. This from a person who never truly accepted that "God has a Plan."
When the elders were so merciless about visiting my friend Jann, a DF'd sister who was in ICU and whom I felt I could not visit, even though my heart ached to, I really began searching the Scriptures because I felt that the elders had NOT behaved in a Christlike way. Jan was raising two teenage daughters alone.
I felt sick going to meetings thereafter, and I decided to take to heart the Society's exhortation to "read God's Word the Bible daily." The more I read, the less I thought the JWs were disseminating Bible "truths." I searched for a new church, while doing token service at the KH.
The new church home I found proved to be a blessing. I even found a couple there who disbelieved the Trinity, as I did. The pastor didn't care. There was a Women's Bible Study group which was wonderful and warm and who prayed for one another. When I went to my DA announcement meeting, I was less nervous because I knew the women in this group were praying for me to be calm and courageous. I knew because I had requested them to do so at the previous night's meeting. :)
At that same church, during Communion reflection one Sunday, I started out praying to Jehovah and wound up praying to Jesus. This was startling to me. But all in all, it felt okay. I became comfortable with it. Not just praying THROUGH Jesus, but praying TO Jesus. I still disbelieved the Trinity, however.
Later, I joined a special study group at that same church, and became turned off as I saw the same kind of "fit into our mold or else" type of thinking emerging among the participants as happened at the Kingdom Hall. I quit that study group and faded from that church.
Meanwhile, now that Jann saw me as really free from JW-thinking (after I shared Crisis of Conscience with her), she related her own Near Death Experience during that time when she had congestive heart failure and her kidneys shut down. (The incident that brought me and our other friend Dee to implore the elders to visit her in ICU.) She floated out of her body and to a group of light beings who were warm and wise and welcoming and who told her she still had unfinished work to do on Earth. She was PISSED!!!! She told me it was so wonderful there that she didn't want to come back. Even now she feels cheated in a way. She knows that her daughters still need her and that there is something she must still accomplish in this life, but she's now on dialysis and her quality of life stinks and she just wants to get back there to that wonderful place.
Well, the above alone, was enough to give me pause for thought. I wasn't even sure there WAS a God anymore, let alone one who cared, but Jann assured me there was. I wasn't sure what happened after death, but now here Jann was telling me there really was a 'heaven' of some sort. So there IS a soul. So that soul DOES live on. But there was more to come.
I had a nephew, Micheal, who died when he was 2 years old and 3 months. They called it SIDS at the time, even though now they would not have, as 2 years is too old for that diagnosis. The real cause of death remains a mystery. My sister, Michael's mother, died in 1993.
A few months ago, my mother revealed to me that my niece, my brother's daughter, Chloe, had come up to her one day, put her hands on my mother's face, looked her straight in the eye, and told her, "Grandma, I'm Michael."
Well, you could have picked me right up off the floor when I heard that! But the thing is, at that stage in my life I was open to the possibility that Chloe really COULD be Michael.
Apparently, Chloe had been claiming she was a boy for quite some time now. (She is 3.) When my mother shared what Chloe had said to her with my brother, Chloe's father, he told my mother he believed it, because Chloe had told him the same thing a few weeks before this. Since then, Chloe has made some incredible and true statements about life as Michael.
"she was on the bed in my rooom and she looked at the rocking chair (the maple one) she granma you rocked me in that chair when I was little. I looke at her in amazement and she said yes you did when I was like maddie .I asked her what her name was then . she said chloe but I was a boy. "
OK, so here's the thing: My mother NEVER rocked Chloe in that chair when she was "like Maddie" (Her younger sister, who is 13 months old), because my brother and mother were estranged when Chloe was that age. (They now live at my mother's as my brother is quite sick.) I had had lunch with Jann that very day and mentioned that my mother still had the rocking chair she rocked Michael in during his last illness (1974). It used to be in our living room. My mother and Michael and his older brother were very close, because my sister fled from an abusive husband when still pregnant with Michael and lived with us after he was born for over a year.
Another thing: Chloe's mother Michelle took a night shift job shortly after they moved in with my mother (last June). Chloe would be inconsolable when my brother left to drive her mom to work. ONLY my mother could calm her, not my brother upon his return, not her older step-sister, she sobbed for grandma. The night Michael died, my sister had car trouble and so my mother drove her to work. I couldn't babysit that night (I had plans), so a friend of mine from another 'crowd' stood in for me. Could Chloe feel insecure about her mother doing night shift work in this present life because of the past?
Meanwhile, I picked up a book about "Children's Past Lives." I wasn't even in the bookstore for that. I was on a mission to get the Alvin Maker series to read along with Valis here. But while at Barnes & Noble, I decided to check out Reincarnation and the book fairly jumped into my hands.
As I read the book and another related one, I have a -- to me -- incredible insight. Suppose there IS one Almighty God, and suppose we do reincarnate. The eastern religions teach that there are several planes in the world that is Life Between Life and we evolve from one plane through another. Those who are more enlightened are Masters. These Masters have different personalities. Could Jesus have been, not God reincarnate, but a Master sent to bring a special message of love to humankind? Were Buddha and Mohammed also Masters? Is the present Dalai Lama another Master come to earth to teach us the power of Love? That is what I think at the moment. And thus, I can even understand how the Trinity could make sense. Because the goal is to get to the Source of the Light -- to eventually spend all eternity with God.
The belief in reincarnation means that we ARE immortal. The JWs have it all wrong. We ALL are immortal. We all have more than one chance to live good lives, to make up for past wrongs, to learn, to evolve, to finally bask in the glory of God, a mere portion of which feels so warm and wonderful to Out of Body Experiencers. How comforting to know that we go on. How comforting to know that the souls who die can spend some time hovering around earth to comfort their left behind relatives. How comforting to know that we CHOOSE our next lives after the "life flashing before our eyes" review. How comforting to know we will see dead loved ones again and we may even choose to reincarnate again with a soulmate, or return to Earth within our previous family circle.
So, I decided to go meet Chloe. See what, if anything she would say to me. Within an hour of my arrival, she bent down to get right in my face (I was sitting on the floor) and said, "You're my Auntie Brenda, right? You used to watch me all the time when my mommy and my ... ... my ... daddy brought me to you, when I was little, like Maddie. You used to watch me when I was a baby."
Again, I had only met Chloe once before. She was 1 month old at the time. I had not seen her since, since we live 600 miles apart. But, as "Auntee", (I was the only Aunt my nephews Tom and Michael had, as their dad had 2 brothers), I watched my nephews VERY often. As I said, my sister left an abusive husband and came to live with us when Tom was not yet two and she was pregnant with Michael. I was 16 when Michael was born, and I babysat the kids all the time, as both my parents worked and so did my sister. (My brother is 4 years younger than I.)
Also, my sister attended a course for a real estate sales license while pregnant with Michael. (My mother owned an agency.) There she met a guy who was NOT Michael's "daddy", but who eventually became my sister's common-law husband. Hence, to me anyway, Chloe/Michael's confusion as to who brought him/her to me for babysitting once my sister moved out of our house into an apartment in the neighboring town several months before Michael's death.
So yeah, I believe. And now I also believe that I was brought in baby steps by some Higher Power to this point in my life where I am able to accept that Chloe is Michael reincarnated and that the human soul does live on. As a JW, I would never have been open to the possibility, let alone be able to rejoice that Michael is back.
Thanks everyone so far.... Arghhhhh I double posted! I am reading your posts, I should have kept up with everybody's posts.
Outnfree....... Wow thanks for taking, what would be to me ages to post your (my) thoughts.
I started reading yours, but the wife had made our evening meal, so I had to stop.
I will carry on in the morning (Sunday).
i always wonder, if the dead are reicarnated, or we go to heaven(i refuse to believe in a hellfire-it is a horrible belief that anyone would torture someone with fire forever-)then why haven't more of us had contact with our relatives? I know if i was departed and able, i would certainly watch over my children and care for them. And if able, i would make contact with them.
I have had OOB experiences , but believe it was due to a disassociative state. I once experminted with astral travel and later met someone later who said they had "seen' me on my travel. I used to have a reoccuring sort of dream that seemed to be a past life.Who knows what that was all about.
This is such a difficult area, is it possible that the suggestibilty of the person, influnced this. I once watched a program where -if u will -ghost busters_ went in to film . Many of the hotel occupants had seen ghosts, but the scheptic, who spent the night, saw nothing, and had never seen anything.
Many people believe that the OOB experiences people have near death are due to chemicals in the brain that cause them to hallucinate.This does not seem unreasonable, humans hallucinate .
I would like to believe, but have a lot of doubts,a and think some things can be explained by various states of mind a person could be in.
Outnfree ,,,,,,,,,, that is very amazing what you said. I am at a crossroads in my own beliefs right now and have no clue to where I will be in a few months on all of it.
I have started reading the Bible again,,,,,starting in Matthew,,,,, I am at chapter 7,,,,,,, so far not one word about an earthly paradise,,,,,,,,but so many times ,,,,,,,"the kindgdom of the heavens " is mentioned as a reward for good deeds...At least that is what I get out of it so far. I have also read ,,,about going to hell. Which I would hate to believe. I want to believe in the heaven idea,,,, we all go there when we die,,sounds really great......but I wonder if I take heaven literally, then I should also take the hell literally........errrrrrr, I just need to read more I am sure ,,,,,, maybe read it over and over, until all the JW grime is out of the way. I know I need to have an open mind and let the spirit move me to understanding , so , hopefully that will come to me.
Right after we buried my mother,,,,,,,, I had a dream she came to me,,,,,,,, in my dream I was aware that she was contacting me,,, she said that , she could only stay with me for 3 days, and she would help me to move on from her suicide. I swear , of all the lucid dreaming I have, my dreams are always very realistic anyway,,,,,,,,,,but this one dream was like no other. I could feel her, I could smell the final net hairspray she wore, and it was the most comforting feeling I ever had in my life.
I was a JW when this happened and I was sure it couldnt be true, my mom didnt come to me , it may have even been the demons!!!!!!! I tried to even convince myself that it was just me ,,,,,,playing the role of my mother to comfort myself. The later , I think may be a possibility also...... but surely it wasnt demons.... But the dream did bother me because I was not raised nor did I believe this to be true.
I can't explain it, but now I wonder if she did come to me? I have had a few dreams similiar to this, the last one was several months ago, and she was older than I ,,,,even thou I am older now than she was when she died......(hope that makes sense),,,,,,,and we were sitting in a car talking,,,,talking like she was very much alive, but not here either. She and I were discussing how we both wish she would have kept our family home and not let dad sell it. How that if we could have kept that house, maybe things would be better,,,,,maybe she wouldnt have felt so lost. But we talked like if she was reflecting over the mistakes she made and I told her the things I wished we would have done.
I have a few more stories about my dreams but ,,,,,,,,,lol, I hesitate to tell them all,,,,,,,for surely some would think I am a total nut case....... I only claim to be a nut case half of the time....lol.