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Departing Visions

Sometimes I get caught up in the scientific debates for and against the validity of the near-death experience (NDE), and forget what a profound experience it is for those that it happens to. So I always enjoy hearing first-hand testimony – here’s a nicely done video with a Los Angeles group of NDErs:

For most of those that experience, there is no debate…and is there any point in doing so for them? (Hat tip)

  1. One of my childhood friends
    One of my childhood friends with whom I have recently reconnected after a 40 years’ break told me that he had a heart attack and a near death experience back in the 1990’s. It had a profound effect on him and caused him to quit drinking and generally clean up his dissolute ways. What is striking though is how according to our mutual friends he has slowly relapsed back to being a crude jerk. He may have more spiritual insight now and a belief in the afterlife, but his core personality did not competely transform. It could be that he has just “forgotten” in the emotional sense what he saw and felt. It is very hard to change and stay changed, and memory is fickle.

    1. Reinforcing the Light
      Interesting about your friend, although sad. The spiritual literature is replete with stories of people who have “enlightenment” experiences only to lose sight of their initial insight and fall back into previous ways. It’s one of the reasons why traditions like Zen talk about the importance of constantly reinforcing (not to mention building upon) that enlightenment experience and not just resting on one’s laurels, as it were. (In fact, some teachers go so far as to say that the enlightenment experience itself–like a truly profound psychotropic experience–is relatively meaningless in itself, if one does nothing with it.)

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