|After Death Communications are NOT
Death Bed Visions, Near Death Experiences, or
Being a Responsible Researcher
Carla Wills-Brandon, Ph.D.
For the last twenty five years, I have been investigating a phenomenon
known as the death-bed vision. Along with this I have also researched
the psychological impact of reported communications from the
deceased. I have listened to close to two thousand death-related
communication accounts from individuals from every walk of life,
around the globe. In doing this, I have been privileged to hear some
amazing stories. Being a clinical trauma specialist for close to thirty
years, my work has rotated around extreme trauma, death, dying, the
psychology of spirituality and the process of grieving. One would think
after so many years, I would have reached "burn-out," but my interest in
the psychology of these very human experiences continues.
Death-bed visions, as reported by not only the dying but those who
care for them, along with communications from the deceased, as
reported by survivors, cross all races, creeds, religions, socio-economic
groups, age ranges and genders. These two specific types of reported
encounters, along with those of a similar nature, have a historical legacy
in both literature and science. Many of you who are currently reading
this article have made wonderful contributions to the study of such
phenomenon, while others are contemplating how they can add to the
credibility of the field. Everyone is needed to further and expand on
At the turn of the last century, researchers openly investigated the
constituents which made up such encounters. Within the populations of
the time, near death experiences (NDEs), communications after death
(now popularly termed ADC), pre-death or death-bed visions (DBVs)
and premonitions where part of popular culture and spirituality.
With the advent of the measurable "cause and effect" method of
scientific investigation, experiences such as the above were no longer of
interest to modern researchers. Such encounters were difficult to
measure with the "cause and effect" mode of scientific exploration.
Over the last decade, there has been an increase in interest in this area
of the human experience. More investigators are taking the risk and
returning to the exploration of age old questions like, does
consciousness survive physical death? And if so, what can this tell us
about the human living experience? Being an investigator in this field,
and the author of several books and numerous articles discussing such
topics, I’m often asked to review manuscripts for publication, along with
Doctoral or Master’s projects. Over the years this has been interesting
work for me. I’ve enjoyed watching the field grow as the next
generation of authors and researchers begin to flourish. Unfortunately, in
recent years I’ve noticed a new trend.
Some authors are combining the many aspects of communication from
deceased individuals under the ADC umbrella and I must say I have a
great deal of concern about this. On certain websites dedicated to the
ADC experience, deathbed visions and near death experiences are
listed as "after death communications." This minimizes the work of
individuals like Moody, Grey, and Ring, who were some of the first to
investigate NDEs. Such "lumping" also takes credit from death bed
vision investigators like Barrett, Osis and Haraldsson. The need to place
all death communication experiences into one category steals from all of
us the opportunity to appreciate the specific nuances each form of
contact has to offer.
A departing vision takes place before actual death occurs. It cannot be
seen as an after death communication, because "after death" is what it
implies. As author, researcher and founding member of the International
Association for Near Death Studies John White recently put it,
"With the DBV, the distinction is very simple and unquestionable: the
time of death of the percipient and the perceived. If the percipient had
the experience while the perceived was still alive, it is by definition a
DBV. If the percipient had the experience after the perceived was
deceased, it is then by definition an ADC."
Precognition of death is a precognitive experience and it too occurs
before, not after, a death. ADCs are events which occur after a death.
The authors and researchers who have put not only DBVs and NDEs
into the category of the after death communication, but precognitive
experiences, need direction from the more experienced generation of
investigators. Otherwise, such combining of experiences will dilute not
only the units of measure which define the significance of the ADC, but
will minimize the uniqueness of the other types of pre death experiences.
Death phobia permeates Western culture and more research is needed,
but if investigators are not cautious with regard to their specific
definitions of the topics they are exploring and discussing, the field as a
whole will lose credibility.
Because these accounts are spontaneous and difficult to measure
quantitatively, caution must be taken in how they are reported.
Continuing to look for consistency from experiencer to experiencer will
be well worth while, but it will become difficult if the different types of
experience are blended into one common death related paranormal
With reference to this new trend, exploration into the similarities is
essential, but I hope in the future the differences within the specific
categories will also be respected. Personally, I utilize the idea of the
"spiritually transformative experience" when attempting to discuss all
encounters at one time.
Another area of investigation which is in need of further responsible
exploration and inclusion by new authors and researches involves a
category for the disruptive psychological consequences these
encounters often produce for the experiencer. In past research, this area
of the experience was almost always explored. Sadly, some of today’s
new investigators and authors are not trained as clinicians and in their
writings they neglect discussing this aspect of these encounters. The
tendency is to focus on flowery positives, with limited regard for the
emotional difficulties experiencers must often confront. In a few writings,
I have even seen grief negated or extremely minimized, not by
experiencers, but with assumptions made by authors.
With regard to the death-bed vision, near death experience,
precognition, sense of universal connection and communications from
the deceased, in my last book, "A Glimpse of Heaven," I focused in on
the often neglected aspect of initial psychological disruption for the
experiencer. Many experiencers report they physically feel different or
suffer physical ailments after such encounters. Reported psychological
difficulty, such as confusion, feeling alienated, or depressed, spiritually
lost, intense mood swings, along with a host of emotional issues, can
occur after an encounter. This consequence sadly often appears to be
neglected by new investigators and authors. The arena of difficult
psychological consequences and emotional restructuring, both of which
can create years of discomfort for experiencers, must be more
prominent in future books and research papers.
The survivalist field of investigation is full of challenges and all of us need
to be working together to give credence to what we have discovered
within our own unique, but similar, explorations and research. Being
involved in this arena of the human experience can be exciting and
rewarding, but we must also be responsible. Inaccurate data reporting,
minimization of the importance of each area of study and an over
zealous ego, demanding credit where credit is not due, can impact all of
When I began investigating the departing visions of the dying and those
who are connected to them, I quickly learned several things. I
immediately discovered that those investigators who came before me
had built a foundation upon which I could stand. For this, I will forever
be grateful. Without the ground breaking contributions of these brave
souls, I would not have had a "beginning." I must respect the gifts I have
so freely received.
Secondly, I discovered this journey was a "we" experience, not a "me"
experience. With this knowledge I have tried to be a team player,
adding to the field, understanding I’m not "inventing the wheel." All I’m
doing is fine tuning one very small spoke of the wheel.
Thirdly, I am responsible. If I see research which is inaccurate or
minimizing of the investigations of others, I can’t "hide out" and ignore
what is happening. If I do this, I’m no longer a part of the solution.
Instead, I’m only contributing to a possible blossoming problem, which
in the end could discredit us all.
|THE NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE:
A Major Shift in What We Know About the
There has been a major shift in the field of Near-Death
Studies. A revolution is under way.
From the author of THE BIG BOOK OF
NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES: THE ULTIMATE
GUIDE TO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE,
researcher of near-death states since 1978, explorer of
spiritual transformations since 1966, author of over
thirteen books, P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D. takes us from
the days where the myths of "the light at the end of the
tunnel" and "the religion of the resuscitated"
dominated the sensationalization of near-death
experiences, to the scientific studies of today. The
near-death phenomenon is now the number one choice
of scientists worldwide to study consciousness itself.
Join the members of Virginia 's Chrysalis in
Waynesboro , VA , for this special presentation taped
on October 17, 2007 that synergizes the entire subject,
and brings us up-to-date with the new material and
new findings that are "rocking" the field.
It is now known that out-of-body experiences, the dead
coming back, visitors from other realms, otherworldly
journeys, are normal and typical to the experience, and
are no longer regarded as signs of oxygen deprivation,
the dying brain, or hallucinatory episodes. Over 100
medical schools offer classes that cover the
phenomenon; medical teams the world over are
increasingly alert to the importance of such
occurrences. They have the power to change lives and
even alter one's physiology, sometimes to remarkable
degrees. The near-death experience continues to
amaze and surprise everyone!
Order your copy today from PMH's Online Bookshop!
The Website of P.M.H. Atwater
Available for talks and workshops,
personal sessions, readings, and prayer service.
Check out my Appearance Schedule for an engagement
Also explore 'the Marketplace,' for some wonderful
|The NDE Paradigm:
Living in Alignment with Cosmic Consciousness
Send responses to: JDbourdon@comcast.net
No event in this world is more life-altering to an individual than the
near-death experience. For every experiencer, the world is never
again interpreted in the same way because it is no longer seen as
the primary field of existence. The NDE results in undeniable self-
knowledge and self-realization of the true nature of our existence
and the purpose of life.
While experiencers have no doubt whatsoever that they have
encountered the primary field of existence, attempts to prove the
validity and value of NDEs fall short. This remains so even though
tens of millions have had NDEs – people from every region in the
world, at every age, from every religion or no religion, from people
living "good" to "bad" lives.
Intellectual musings about NDEs falter because there literally are
no words to describe the dimension that is encountered, the
language used can be misinterpreted and, in any case, any
intellectual case for the NDE can only be a theory. Meanwhile,
scientific experiments that primarily focus on the physiological
processes associated with NDEs miss its very essence. Even
scientific explorations that acknowledge the NDE essence as non-
physical provide no guidance as to how to use this knowledge.
While NDEs differ in many ways, and those differences should not
be discounted, the overwhelming commonalties are more
important, and form the basis of the NDE Paradigm. The true
measure of the power and cosmic truth of the near-death
experience are the resulting unprecedented and irreversible changes
in experiencer belief and behavior.
Living the NDE Paradigm provides far more impressive proof of
NDE validity than any intellectual belief or scientific experiment
because the positive changes in one’s life are monumental in
nature, personally undeniable. . . and inevitable. They are
inevitable because once the doors to cosmic consciousness are
opened, significant changes (see RESULTS) begin immediately
The more the Paradigm is applied, the greater the life
transformation. In short, living the NDE Paradigm replicates the
essence of the NDE experience… without the practitioner suffering
Because living the NDE Paradigm does not necessitate a great deal
of intellectual/scientific knowledge, it is accessible by all mentally
healthy people. Every single moment of life, every thought, is an
opportunity to apply - or not apply - the Paradigm. The wisdom of
choosing to apply the Paradigm becomes self-evident, especially to
non-experiencers, who will see the changes in their lives.
NDEs give experiencers knowledge. . . but not necessarily
wisdom. A person confused by life before a NDE may be even
more confused afterward. Experiencers know they must apply the
knowledge they received to this dimension – an extremely
challenging task that necessitates personal decision-making. Living
the NDE Paradigm does not eliminate that task – or its difficulty -
but helps one by providing a coherent plan for integrating NDEs
into this dimension.
The NDE Paradigm is a spiritual compass that provides direction
without dogma – it is a truth, not the truth. It is based on cosmic
consciousness, which underlies all spiritual truths. Practitioners
must always think for themselves and adjust and expand upon the
Paradigm in light of their own life journey. The NDE Paradigm
cannot be lived on remote control, because it demands personal
involvement. There can, and should be, other versions of the
Believing in the Paradigm will accomplish nothing; only the effort
to apply it in its entirety will achieve results.
THE NDE PARADIGM
1. This is not the primary dimension of existence. Any moment
you are not aware of this, you are not living the NDE Paradigm.
The primary field of existence is one of unconditional love and
compassion. "God" is everything, collectively. You co-create the
universe with "god." You are not apart from "god;" you are a part
2. You are, in essence, a vibration – or wave, or energy – a
manifestation of unconditional love. The wording does not matter,
the word "vibration" is only an approximation, because the
vibration you are is not a neutral energy, but rather one that is
love, compassion, and a knowingness of existence. When you die,
what remains eternal and living will be the real you – a vibration.
3. Your mission on earth is to improve/evolve/self-realize your
vibration. You do not control anything or anyone else; your focus
must be on yourself. You improve your vibration through love –
including self-love – and compassion. "Acting" nice is of no benefit.
4. You are not here to improve or "save" this world. This world
was designed to be as it is, even with the brutality and harshness it
offers. However, by living the Paradigm of love and compassion,
you will by definition improve the world. But you must
concentrate on yourself.
5. Intentions, rather than deeds or beliefs, are what matter. Deeds
have consequences in this dimension; in the primary dimension
they matter only insofar as they are the result of intention. When
you die, your true intentions, motivations and thoughts from every
moment of your life will be known to you. These vibrations will be
the measure of your life. Your accomplishments or failures in
material terms - or your station in life, from beginning to end - will
mean nothing. The events in your life are never rewards or
6. There is no judgement when you die, save for self-judgement.
You will not be punished by some external god. You served god –
and vice versa – by taking this mission, and it is understood in the
next dimension just how difficult – and "unwinnable" – this life is.
The very concept of "sins" is wrong; you have instead made
mistakes from which to learn.
7. Every moment of your life has meaning. You will be challenged
– and every challenge, every difficulty, every setback, should be
viewed as an opportunity to achieve your mission of growth.
8. The NDE Paradigm will not prevent difficult experiences –
indeed, the Paradigm guarantees you will face challenges, some of
which cannot be overcome. Struggle is one avenue to growth.
9. Joy, pleasure, happiness - all these are also avenues of growth.
Blissful moments improve your vibration; they are to be
maximized. An infinite number of sources for joy are always
available – but while life challenges are provided, happiness must
be sought. Recognize and celebrate the simplest life pleasures at
every opportunity. Identify with and delight in the happiness of
others; making these connections helps all achieve the life mission.
10. You chose to accept this mission in the earthly dimension –
knowing of the difficult nature of existence in this dimension. As
we are all connected, you may have even chosen a sacrificial life in
order to provide others with opportunities for growth. A child that
lives for but a day has served his/her mission.
11. Love and have compassion for yourself and others. Recognize
that we have all taken on this difficult mission.
12. Do not judge others. Your mission is to take the situation you
are presented with and to act in accordance with the Paradigm.
Nothing anyone does makes you respond in a certain way, it is
your choice alone. The fact that someone is doing something that
seems hurtful to you or others is first and foremost an opportunity
for you to improve your vibration through non-judgement. Non-
judgement does not preclude taking action, however. That is a
choice you are free to make, and then your mission will be to
apply the Paradigm to the consequences. All experience is
knowledge to be converted into wisdom.
13. You must not judge yourself and – as you should do with
others – look at every thought and action that falls short of living
the Paradigm as a mistake rather than a sin; more importantly, as
an opportunity from which to learn. In the primary dimension, you
will not be punished by any external force for even your worst
moments; it serves no purpose to judge/punish yourself in this
dimension. You will, however, feel the full weight of everything
you’ve lived – from thoughts to actions – and not just know but
EXPERIENCE exactly how these affected others. You will hold
yourself accountable, measuring the success of your mission in life
in terms of the love and compassion you provided to others. Your
shortcomings are necessary for growth; it is guaranteed you will
fall short at times, perhaps your entire life. But failing to learn from
these mistakes will only assure you will repeat these patterns.
14. Recognize that we are all at different points of our mission.
The behavior of someone else at this particular time is part of their
mission; your mission in encountering them at this time is to react
in accordance with the Paradigm. Do not expect anything of
anyone; demand only of yourself. You cannot control what
happens to you; you can only control your reaction to those events.
15. Look for every opportunity to help others through word or
deed – not for a cosmic reward, but out of genuine love and
compassion. Every time you do so, you improve your vibration
and thus fulfill your mission.
16. Focus on the journey, not the destination – this life is not all
there is. There is no destination to be reached in this lifetime, thus
you cannot fall short of reaching it. When this life ends, the
17. Self-insight is crucial to living the NDE Paradigm. If you
cannot follow these actions, or are confused or seriously conflicted
in the attempt, your body/mind may be broken, and you should
consult with others, including medical personnel.
18. You will see life more clearly than ever before, because you
will be in accordance with cosmic consciousness. You will be more
mentally well-balanced than ever before.
19. When you interpret life through the Paradigm, you will re-
assess all you have done in your life. Guilt – and fear of
punishment – is eliminated.
20. Every moment of your life has meaning when you live the
Paradigm. Every thought matters, and is an opportunity for
growth. Everything makes sense, including setbacks.
21. You will come at every decision in life from the soundest
foundation possible. Even if a decision you make does not yield
success, you will not agonize over it because you made the best
choices you could.
22. Living the Paradigm will NOT prevent challenges or a difficult
life. It will not provide material success. It will not guarantee
happiness – but it will provide the best balm possible in challenging
times because you will correctly understand what is actually
happening. And in this, eventually, it will guarantee serenity even
in the face of what was previously thought of as unbearable.
23. The love and compassion you provide to others primarily
serves you - because in the act of letting love flow through you,
you are also its recipient. But this act will also attract love and
24. You will reduce or eliminate the re-occurring mistakes of
your life. Life-long bad habits, actions or thoughts will give way to
radically different, life-enhancing changes. These changes, over
time, will become the automatic, default reactions of your life.
25. You will feel a greater connection with other people –
even those you do not speak or directly interact with – because of
26. You will reduce anger and frustration by not judging
others – or humanity or the world at large - and instead recognize
they are on their own unique mission, and that even horrific
mistakes are fundamentally necessary for the world to serve its
These women are brazen
They are tough,
independent and smart.
They waited for no one.
Someone needed to
compile a list of
The time has come
Click on the link above
|Father: Son's Spirit Saved My
- Four weeks after a tragic fire claimed a 4-year-old boy,
the boy's father talks about his efforts to save his son and
the supernatural guidance that he said saved his life. Jamie
Hughes said that he thought he would die, trapped in his
burning house. He said he would have died had the spirit of
the son he was trying to save not guided him.
For Hughes and his wife Christa, there is no escaping the
Four weeks ago an early-morning fire destroyed their
Butler, Ky., home and killed their son Billy.
Billy's parents said they were in the bedroom when they
realized the house was on fire. Jamie Hughes said he told
his wife to jump out the bedroom window, then threw two
blankets over his head and started searching for Billy.
He said he was almost immediately overcome by flames,
and at one point stumbling into a pile of burning clothes,
disfiguring one of his hands.
"I looked at my hand for a split second and forgot about it.
That quick. Because I had one mission in mind, and that
was finding my son," said Hughes.
But as the inferno grew, Hughes said realized there was no
way his son was still alive.
"I could hear everything. I could hear the house burning, I
could hear the house creaking," said Hughes. "And then I
hear this little voice."
He said the voice continued speaking.
"I hear this little voice say, 'Get out. Daddy get out.' And I
about went to my knees," said Hughes.
He said he found a window, and punched it with his one
good hand, but it didn't break.
"I hear this little voice again, 'Daddy get out.' The next time
I hit the window it busted," said Hughes.
As he climbed from the burning house, he said he looked
back one last time.
"I turn around and I see -- I see two shadows standing on
the stairwell. One was my son and one was my father I lost
two years ago," said Hughes. "That let me know that my
son was fine."
Hughes spent the next three weeks in the burn unit,
mourning his son.
"It's a hard thing to deal with," said Hughes.
He said he's not sure why he keeps coming back to the
scene of the tragedy, other than the fact that memories are
all he has left.
"I mean I know he's not here. He's in heaven with my dad
and the rest of my family. But, I mean, it's hard -- it's
home," said Hughes.
Investigators said they still haven't figured out what caused
The Hughes family has relied on the support of the
community to get back on their feet. A benefit has been
planned for this Saturday at St. Xavier church in Falmouth.
STORY ON MSNBC
|EXCELLENT CASSIC GERMAN DOCUMENTARY
NOW IN ENGLISH
|<<<This documentary was part of a National Television Series in Germany
|GERMAN ORIGINAL VIDEO VERSION OF TODESERFARUNG.
DOCUMENTARY FOR ARTE TELEVISION (EU)
|TELEVISION INTERVIEW WITH MEL AND PMH ATWATER
|ENGLISH VIDEO VERSION OF TODESERFARUNG. DIMENSION PSI
DOCUMENTARY MADE BY ARTE TELEVISION (EU)
|^ Click on the Link Above ^