11/27/12 Sedona NDE Class Notes
11/28/12 Class Notes
“One of my questions to the light was, ‘What is heaven?”‘
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
11/27/12 Sedona NDE Class NotesNov 29
11/28/12 Class Notes
By David Sunfellow
This week’s class began with a few minutes of silence. Then I shared the following news and updates…
In December we will be focusing exclusively on NDEs. No dream classes. You can download a December calendar (pdf) by clicking here.
Class Mailing List
I have created a special mailing list for people interested in our local classes. To be included on this list, send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be included on NHNE’s NDE Mailing List. Members of this list will be notified of upcoming classes, presentations, and special Sedona events. I will also let the folks on this list know when new content has been added to this website.
For fast-breaking news, information, and links pertaining to general NDE topics, visit NHNE NDE on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. You may also want to check out NHNE’s NDE news archive on NHNE Pulse.
Dr. Eben Alexander
The past few weeks Dr. Eben Alexander has been everywhere promoting his new best-selling book, “Proof of Heaven“. Of special interest was his appearance on the Dr. Oz Show and his upcoming appearance on Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” program.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander was a man of science until a near-death experience changed his entire perspective on life and faith. Now, Dr. Alexander is opening up to Oprah about what he says he saw in heaven and meeting God. “Super Soul Sunday” with Dr. Eben Alexander airs December 2 at 11 a.m. ET/PT on OWN. Super Soul Sunday Website
For more information on Dr. Eben Alexander, go here.
NDEr David Milarch & Archangel Ancient Tree Archive
We learned about NDEr David Milarch in a previous class. His non-profit organization Archangel Ancient Tree Archive has announced plans to restore an old growth forest on the southern Oregon coast with exact genetic duplicates of some of the largest champion redwood and sequoia trees in the world. David will lead a team in the historic planting, which will help preserve the genetics of the largest and oldest living organisms on Earth in an effort to assist with the migration of the species during coming climate changes. Timed to take advantage of the seasonal rainy season, the planting will occur on December 4th, 2012, at Ocean Mountain Ranch, 65 miles north of the California border, located in the headwaters of the Port Orford Community Stewardship Area overlooking old growth forest and the first marine reserve on the Oregon coast. David and his efforts to reforest the world are the subject of a new book by New York Times science writer Jim Robbins entitled The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet. The book documents Archangel’s and Milarch’s mission to clone the champion trees of the world –- the largest, the hardiest, the ones that have survived millennia and are the most resilient to climate change — and create a kind of Noah’s ark of tree genetics.
To learn more about David, his NDE, and his work, go here.
NHNE Pulse has a new resource page for Emanuel Swedenborg. Along with being one of humankind’s smartest, most creative and innovative people, Swedenborg is also considered to be one of the most spiritually aware human beings who ever lived. Here’s what a few prominent people had to say Swedenborg:
“The correlations between what Swedenborg writes of some of his spiritual experiences and what those who have come back from close calls with death report is amazing.” — Raymond Moody, author of Life After Life
“People who have had near-death experiences peek through the door of the after-life, but Swedenborg explored the whole house.” — Kenneth Ring, founder of International Association for Near Death Studies (I.A.N.D.S.)
“The most remarkable step in the religious history of recent ages is that made by the genius of Swedenborg.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I admire Swedenborg as a great scientist and a great mystic at the same time. His life and work have always been of great interest to me.” — Carl Jung, Psychologist
“Let me explain why Swedenborg merits scrutiny. It is a fact that the greatest poets and prose writers have borrowed liberally from him. The list is long: first Blake, as his direct spiritual descendant; then Goethe, a fervent reader of Swedenborg (as was Kant followed by Edgar Allan Poe, Baudelaire, Balzac, Mickiewicz, Slowacki, Emerson, Dostoevsky….” — Czeslaw Milosz, 1980 Nobel Prize, Literature
You can learn more about Swedenborg by going here. We will be studying him in future classes.
Resurrection is a 1980 film which tells the story of a woman who survives the car accident and discovers that a near-death experience has given her the power to heal other people. Ellen Burstyn delivers a tour-de-force performance as the modern-day miracle in this unforgettable story. The movie was nominated for two Academy Awards; one for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Ellen Burstyn) and another for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Eva LeGallienne). We watched this movie together several weeks ago. I’m mentioning it again so that those of you who missed it, can watch it online. Here’s where to go.
NDEs Absolutely, Positively NOT Caused By Malfunctioning Brains
While many “experts” continue to suggest that malfunctioning brains produce near-death experiences, the evidence is now overwhelming that this is not the case. I have a resource page up on Pulse that includes some of the best evidence available that “NDEs Absolutely, Positively NOT Caused By Malfunctioning Brains“. This page is constantly updated with new information. The most recent update includes a link to an article that Dr. Eben Alexander wrote for Newsweek that addresses his many critics.
NDEr Alon Anava
After I finished sharing the previous news and updates, we jumped into the main event: sharing and discussing the remarkable near-death experience of Alon Anava. In this class, we watched the first half of Alon’s video (from 00:00 to 49:13). We’ll watch the second half next Tuesday.
Alon’s video begins with shots of him walking around, dressed as an orthodox Jew. Then we see Alon performing orthodox Jewish rituals. Most of us are familiar with the prayer shawl and Jewish cap he wears. But what is that box on his head? And the black leather strap he wraps around his arm? They are called Tefillin. Wikipedia describes them this way:
“Tefillin are a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah, which are worn by observant Jews during weekday morning prayers. The hand-tefillin, or shel yad, is placed on the upper arm, and the strap wrapped around the arm, hand and fingers; while the head-tefillin, or shel rosh, is placed above the forehead. The Torah commands that they should be worn to serve as a “sign” and “remembrance” that God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. Maimonides details of the sanctity of tefillin and writes that “as long as the tefillin are on the head and on the arm of a man, he is modest and God-fearing and will not be attracted by hilarity or idle talk; he will have no evil thoughts, but will devote all his thoughts to truth and righteousness.” The Sefer ha-Chinuch (14th century) adds that the purpose of tefillin is to help subjugate a person’s worldly desires and encourage spiritual development. Joseph Caro (16th century) explains that tefillin are placed on the arm adjacent to the heart and on the head above the brain to demonstrate that these two major organs are willing to perform the service of God.”
Here are a couple photos that show us more clearly what these items look like:
Alon’s experience is quite remarkable for several reasons.
First, Alon’s NDE includes many classic NDE elements, such as an inability to describe the experience in earthly terms, an out-of-the-body experience, a suspension of time and space as we know it, the startling recognition that the world is an illusion, an encounter with God who appears as a great Light, a godlike awareness of a building full of people and things, a pleasurable experience of God’s all-knowingness, a visit to hell, an encounter with an “angel of death”, a meeting with a great council of elders, a life review, receiving a specific mission, and the need to return to Earth to fulfill his purpose.
Second, Alon’s NDE includes some very rare experiences, such as becoming one with “the girl” he was with when he died and reliving her entire life. Another very unusual aspect of Alon’s NDE is that HE NEVER ONCE MENTIONS LOVE! While most NDErs report being overwhelmed with love — in particular, God’s unconditional and often very personal love for them and everyone else, the God that Alon encounters is a God of light, information, and pleasure. Alon also uses foreboding imagery to describe this God (at one point in his story, Alon describes the appearance of God as a great light that blocked out everything in the same way that the giant UFOs did in the movie, “Independence Day”). Alon’s God also appears to be more interested in Jews, than Gentiles.
Which brings us to the third aspect of Alon’s NDE which is really interesting. As you listen to Alon, you may see, as I did, the Old Testament come alive. Unlike the New Testament, which champions an intensely personal God of unconditional love and forgiveness for ALL people — and of living more the spirit of the law than the letter — the Old Testament champions a God of commandments that must be strictly obeyed. The centerpiece of Alon’s experience is being dragged into a hellish realm by a being of darkness because of the bad life he had lived. After being judged harshly by a great council of Jewish elders, the only way Alon can save himself from being returned to hell was to return to Earth and live a life of strict moral conduct.
Anyone who studies NDEs discovers that people experience all kinds of realms on the other side. These realms are reportedly created by us personally and in cooperation with large groups of souls who share similar beliefs and who are at levels of development similar to our own. NDEr Mellen-Thomas Benedict describes this process like this:
“One of my questions to the light was, ‘What is heaven?”‘
“I was given a tour of all the heavens that have been created: the Nirvanas, the Happy Hunting Grounds, all of them. I went through them. These are thought form creations that we have created…
“I saw the Christian heaven. We expect it to be a beautiful place, and you stand in front of the throne, worshipping forever… Some heavens are very interesting, and some are very boring. I found the ancient ones to be more interesting, like the Native American ones, the Happy Hunting Grounds. The Egyptians have fantastic ones. It goes on and on. There are so many of them. In each of them there is a fractal that is your particular interpretation, unless you are part of the group soul that believes in only the God of a particular religion. Then you are very close, in the same ball park together. But even then, each is a little bit different…”
“During my near-death experience I had a descent into what you might call Hell, and it was very surprising. I did not see Satan or evil. My descent into Hell was a descent into each person’s customized human misery, ignorance, and darkness of not knowing. It seemed like a miserable eternity. But each of the millions of souls around me had a little star of light always available. But no one seemed to pay attention to it. They were so consumed with their own grief, trauma and misery. But, after what seemed an eternity, I started calling out to that Light, like a child calling to a parent for help. Then the Light opened up and formed a tunnel that came right to me and insulated me from all that fear and pain…”
Keep this in mind as you watch and listen to Alon describe his experience. Alon’s NDE may be a dramatic window into the kind of experiences that probably shaped ancient Judaism, and which continue to be experienced by people today who are at this level of development. It also provides deep insight into why people who have these kind of experiences feel so motivated to think and act the way they do: unless they live pure lives, in strict obedience to the laws God and His messengers, they are in very real danger of being cast into the kind of hellish realm that terrorized Alon.
Lots of food for thought here…
To learn more about Alon Anava, go here.
Our next NDE class will take place Tuesday, December 4th, from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at St. Andrew’s (see below for directions). We will watch and discuss the second part of Alon’s video. See you there!
A Newly Emerging Spiritual Path
Unlike spiritual paths that arose from the ideas and inner experiences of lone, isolated human beings, the path presented by near-death experiences is emerging as a direct, grassroots revelation that millions of people from all over the world are receiving and sharing. If we explore this newly emerging path deeply enough, we discover that all religions, philosophies, and cultures are honored; that science and spirituality are celebrated; that both the human and spiritual side of our natures are cherished and embraced. In short, near-death experiences present us with a universal, all-inclusive, perfectly integrated spiritual path that revolves around three core truths: 1. We are all one; 2. Love is the essence of life; 3. We are here, in this world, to become perfect embodiments of the divine.
Donations & Discussions
The materials created for this class are available, free of charge, to whomever is interested. If you would like to support this work, you can make a tax-deductible donation by clicking here. If you would like to participate in conversations with other people who share an interest in this work, we encourage you to join The Mustard Seed Venture Network. This ongoing, evolving, cutting-edge work is co-sponsored by NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE) and The Mustard Seed Venture.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
100 Arroyo Pinon Drive
Sedona, AZ 86336