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This blog is about---You! Each and every post is about you. Use it to challenge your usual patterns, as a tool for self-discovery, to stimulate your thinking, to learn about yourself and to answer your questions about others.

Friday, October 22, 2010

They Lived To Tell About It

                                                 Near-death experiences.
 Nearly none of us can escape the worry about the end of our own life.  Some feelings are universally, or nearly so,---shared:  We fear death, we dread it, we hope, when it happens that it is quick, we wish for a pain-free death, and sometimes we try to deny our mortality.  These and other feelings of apprehension emerge for most of us in unguarded moments.

Last week I attended a lecture given by David E. Presti of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley a man who has been awarded two PhDs.  I think we can safely say that this is a serious person, a scientist, a person who conducts clinical research, a studious individual.  So, what he had to offer us in his presentation titled, "Anomalous Psychological Phenomena:  Clinical Utility and Relevance to Neuroscience of Mind" can be viewed, not as wishful thinking, but as serious and sensible information.

It turns out that well-credentialed, educated scholars have been researching near-death-experiences for the last 25 years.  In part, this consists of reports by people who either nearly died from a physiological problem (such as a heart attack) or,  people who were in dire accidents.  Interestingly, these individuals, independent of one another report all the same things.  How reassuring it is to find that their mental state at the moment of death contained the following experiences:
~Elimination of pain and fear
~A sense of peace and well-being
~The complete life review
~An encounter with the divine
~Enhanced mental function
Is this not a mental state within which one might realize resolution?

In addition, these interviewees reported the sense of leaving the body, visions of deceased loved ones, a feeling that they were approaching a border but were then pulled back, and other phenomena.  If you demonstrate an interest in the topic, I will write again and include the remaining details.
A book on this topic that was recommended by Dr. Presti, Remarks on Fatal Falls is written by a man, Albert von st. Gallen Heim, who studied people who fell off of mountains.  They knew they were in a fatal fall, that they would die.  They were falling at high speed, in an uncontrolled manner, hitting boulders on the way down and yet, they felt no pain.  They felt:
This state, this matchless experience is, of course, not something that can be self-created.  It is, apparently what will happen, to each of us, but we cannot pick the how nor the when.

The gift to you is to know that the last few seconds of life are not terrifying.  This information may be relieving not only for our own fears for yourself but, also, helpful when thinking about loved ones we have lost.  So, stay in the present, be you, live out your potential and, be not afraid!

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