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Death and Departure
S. (Subject): Oh, my god! I'm not really dead--am I? I mean, my body is dead--I can see it below me--but I'm floating ... I can look down and see my body lying flat in the hospital bed. Everyone around me thinks I'm dead, but I'm not. I want to shout, hey, I'm not really dead! This is so incredible ... the nurses are pulling a sheet over my head ... people I know are crying. I'm supposed to be dead, but I'm still alive! It's strange, because my body is absolutely dead while I'm moving around it from above. I'm alive!
THESE are the words spoken by a man in deep hypnosis, reliving a death experience. His words come in short, excited bursts and are full of awe, as he sees and feels what it is like to be a spirit newly separated from a physical body. This man is my client and I have just assisted him in recreating a past life death scene while he lies back in a comfortable recliner chair. A little earlier, following my instructions during his trance induction, this subject was age-regressed in a return to childhood memories. His subconscious perceptions gradually coalesced as we worked together to reach his mother's womb.
I then prepared him for a jump back into the mists of time by the visual use of protective shielding. When we completed this important step of mental conditioning, I moved my subject through an imaginary time tunnel to his last life on Earth. It was a short life because he had died suddenly from the influenza epidemic of 1918.
As the initial shock of seeing himself die and feeling his soul floating out of his body begins to wear off a little, my client adjusts more readily to the visual images in his mind. Since a small part of the conscious, critical portion of his mind is still functioning, he realizes he is recreating a former experience. It takes a bit longer than usual since this subject is a younger soul and not so used to the cycles of birth, death, and rebirth as are many of my other clients.
Yet, within a few moments he settles in and begins to respond with greater confidence to my questions. I quickly raise this subject's subconscious hypnotic level into the superconscious state. Now he is ready to talk to me about the spirit world, and I ask what is happening to him.
S: Well ... I'm rising up higher ... still floating ... looking back at my body. It's like watching a movie, only I'm in it! The doctor is comforting my wife and daughter. My wife is sobbing (subject wiggles with discomfort in his chair). I'm trying to reach into her mind ... to tell her everything is all right with me. She is so overcome by grief I'm not getting through. I want her to know my suffering is gone ... I'm free of my body ... I don't need it any more ... that I will wait for her. I want her to know that ... but she is ... not listening to me. Oh, I'm moving away now ...
And so, guided by a series of commands, my client starts the process of moving further into the spirit world. It is a road many others have traveled in the security of my office. Typically, as memories in the superconscious state expand, subjects in hypnosis become more connected to the spiritual passageway. As the session moves forward, the subject's mental pictures are more easily translated into words. Short descriptive phrases lead to detailed explanations of what it is like to enter the spirit world.
We have a great deal of documentation, including observations from medical personnel, which describes the out-of-body near-death experiences of people severely injured in accidents. These people were considered clinically dead before medical efforts brought them back from the other side. Souls are quite capable of leaving and returning to their host bodies, particularly in life-threatening situations when the body is dying. People tell of hovering over their bodies, especially in hospitals, watching doctors perform life-saving procedures on them. In time these memories fade after they return to life.
In the early stages of hypnosis regression into past lives, the descriptions of subjects mentally going through their past deaths do not contradict the reported statements of people who have actually died in this life for a few minutes. The difference between these two groups of people is that subjects in hypnosis are not remembering their experiences of temporary death. People in a deep trance state are capable of describing what life is like after permanent physical death.
What are the similarities of afterlife recollection between people reporting on their out-of-body experiences as a result of a temporary physical trauma and a subject in hypnosis recalling death in a past life? Both find themselves floating around their bodies in a strange way, trying to touch solid objects which dematerialize in front of them. Both kinds of reporters say they are frustrated in their attempts to talk to living people who don't respond. Both state they feel a pulling sensation away from the place where they died and experience relaxation and curiosity rather than fear.
All these people report a euphoric sense of freedom and brightness around them. Some of my subjects see brilliant whiteness totally surrounding them at the moment of death, while others observe the brightness is farther away from an area of darker space through which they are being pulled. This is often referred to as the tunnel effect, and has become well known with the public.
My second case will take us further into the death experience than Case 1. The subject here is a man in his sixties describing to me the events of his death as a young woman called Sally, who was killed by Kiowa Indians in an attack on a wagon train in 1866. Although this case and the last one relate death experiences after their most immediate past lives, a particular death date in history has no special relevance because it is recent. I find no significant differences between ancient and modern times in terms of graphic spirit world recall, or the quality of lessons learned.
I should also say the average subject in trance has an uncanny ability to zero in on the dates and geographic locations of many past lives. This is true even in earlier periods of human civilization, when national borders and place names were different than exist today. Former names, dates, and locations may not always be easily recalled in every past life, but descriptions about returning to the spirit world and life in that world are consistently vivid.
The scene in Case 2 opens on the American southern plains right after an arrow has struck Sally in the neck at close range. I am always careful with death scenes involving violent trauma in past lives because the subconscious mind often still retains these experiences. The subject in this case came to me because of a lifetime of throat discomfort. Release therapy and deprogramming is usually required in these cases. In all past life recall, I use the time around death for quiet review and place the subject in observer status to soften pain and emotion.
Dr. N: Are you in great pain from the arrow?
S: Yes ... the point has torn my throat ... I'm dying (subject begins to whisper while holding his hands at the throat). I'm choking ... blood pouring down ... Will (husband) is holding me ... the pain ... terrible ... I'm getting out now ... it's over, anyway.
Note: Souls often leave their human hosts moments before actual death when their bodies are in great pain. Who can blame them? Nevertheless, they do stay close by the dying body. After calming techniques, I raise this subject from the subconscious to the superconscious level for the transition to spiritual memories.
Dr. N: All right, Sally, you have accepted being killed by these Indians. Will you please describe to me the exact sensation you feel at the time of death?
S: Like ... a force ... of some kind ... pushing me up out of my body.
Dr. N: Pushing you? Out where?
S: I'm ejected out the top of my head.
Dr. N: And what was pushed out?
Dr. N: Describe what "me" means. What does the thing that is you look like going out of the head of your body?
S: (pause) Like a ... pinpoint of light ... radiating ...
Dr. N: How do you radiate light?
S: From ... my energy. I look sort of transparent white ... my soul ...
Dr. N: And does this energy light stay the same after leaving your body?
S: (pause) I seem to grow a little ... as I move around.
Dr. N: If your light expands, then what do you look like now?
S: A ... wispy ... string ... hanging ...
Dr. N: And what does the process of moving out of your body actually feel like to you?
S: Well, it's as if I shed my skin ... peeling a banana. I just lose my body in one swoosh!
Dr. N: Is the feeling unpleasant?
S: Oh no! It's wonderful to feel so free with no more pain, but ... I am ... disoriented ... I didn't expect to die ... (sadness is creeping into my client's voice and I want him to stay focused on his soul for a minute more, rather than what is taking place on the ground with his body)
Dr. N: I understand, Sally. You are feeling a little displacement at the moment as a soul. This is normal in your situation for what you have just gone through. Listen and respond to my questions. You said you were floating. Are you able to move around freely right after death?
S: It's strange ... it's as if I'm suspended in air that isn't air ... there are no limits ... no gravity ... I'm weightless.
Dr. N: You mean it's sort of like being in a vacuum for you?
S: Yes ... nothing around me is a solid mass. There are no obstacles to bump into ... I'm drifting ...
Dr. N: Can you control your movements--where you are going?
S: Yes ... I can do some of that ... but there is ... a pulling ... into a bright whiteness ... it's so bright!
Dr. N: Is the intensity of whiteness the same everywhere?
S: Brighter ... away from me ... it's a little darker white ... gray ... in the direction of my body ... (starts to cry) oh, my poor body ... I'm not ready to leave yet, (subject pulls back in his chair as if he is resisting something)
Dr. N: It's all right, Sally, I'm with you. I want you to relax and tell me if the force that took you out of your head at the moment of death is still pulling you away, and if you can stop it.
S: (pause) When I was free of my body the pulling lessened. Now, I feel a nudge ... drawing me away from my body ... I don't want to go yet ... but, something wants me to go soon ...
Dr. N: I understand, Sally, but I suspect you are learning you have some element of control. How would you describe this thing that is pulling you?
S: A ... kind of magnetic ... force ... but ... I want to stay a little longer ...
Dr. N: Can your soul resist this pulling sensation for as long as you want?
S: (there is a long pause while the subject appears to be carrying on an internal debate with himself in his former life as Sally) Yes, I can, if I really want to stay. (subject starts to cry) Oh, it's awful what those savages did to my body. There is blood all over my pretty blue dress ... my husband Will is trying to hold me and still fight with our friends against the Kiowa.
Note: I reinforce the imagery of a protective shield around this subject, which is so important as a foundation to calming procedures. Sally's soul is still hovering over her body after I move the scene forward in time to when the Indians are driven off by the wagon train rifles.
Dr. N: Sally, what is your husband doing right after the attack?
S: Oh, good ... he isn't hurt ... but ... (with sadness) he is holding my body ... crying over me ... there is nothing he can do for me, but he doesn't seem to realize that yet. I'm cold, but his hands are around my face ... kissing me.
Dr. N: And what are you doing at this moment?
S: I'm over Will's head. I'm trying to console him. I want him to feel my love is not really gone ... I want him to know he has not lost me forever and that I will see him again.
Dr. N: Are your messages getting through?
S: There is so much grief, but he ... feels my essence ... I know it. Our friends are around him ... and they separate us finally ... they want to reform the wagons and get started again.
Dr. N: And what is going on now with your soul?
S: I'm still resisting the pulling sensation ... I want to stay.
Dr. N: Why is that?
S: Well, I know I'm dead ... but I'm not ready to leave Will yet and ... I want to watch them bury me.
Dr. N: Do you see or feel any other spiritual entity around you at this moment?
S: (pause) They are near ... soon I will see them ... I feel their love as I want Will to feel mine ... they are waiting until I'm ready.
Dr. N: As time passes, are you able to comfort Will?
S: I'm trying to reach inside his mind.
Dr. N: And are you successful?
S: (pause) I ... think a little ... he feels me ... he realizes ... love ...
Dr. N: All right, Sally, now we are going to move forward in relative time again. Do you see your wagon train friends placing your body in some kind of grave?
S: (voice is more confident) Yes, they have buried me. It's time for me to go ... they are coming for me now ... I'm moving ... into a brighter light ...
Contrary to what some people believe, souls often have little interest in what happens to their bodies once they are physically dead. This is not callousness over personal situations and the people they leave behind on Earth, but an acknowledgement of these souls to the finality of mortal death. They have a desire to hurry on their way to the beauty of the spirit world.
However, many other souls want to hover around the place where they died for a few Earth days, usually until after their funerals. Time is apparently accelerated for souls and days on Earth may be only minutes to them. There are a variety of motivations for the lingering soul. For instance, someone who has been murdered or killed unexpectedly in an accident often does not want to leave right away. I find these souls are frequently bewildered or angry. The hovering soul syndrome is particularly true of deaths with young people.
To abruptly detach from a human form, even after a long illness, is still a jolt to the average soul and this too may make the soul reluctant to depart at the moment of death. There is also something symbolic about the normal three- to five-day funeral arrangement periods for souls. Souls really have no morbid curiosity to see themselves buried because emotions in the spirit world are not the same as we experience here on Earth. Yet, I find soul entities appreciate the respect given to the memory of their physical life by surviving relatives and friends.
As we saw in the last case, there is one basic reason for many spirits not wanting to immediately leave the place of their physical death. This comes from a desire to mentally reach out to comfort loved ones before progressing further into the spirit world. Those who have just died are not devastated about their death, because they know those left on Earth will see them again in the spirit world and probably later in other lives as well. On the other hand, mourners at a funeral generally feel they have lost a loved one forever.
During hypnosis, my subjects do recall frustration at being unable to effectively use their energy to mentally touch a human being who is unreceptive due to shock and grief. Emotional trauma of the living may overwhelm their inner minds to such an extent that their mental capabilities to communicate with souls are inhibited. When a newly departed soul does find a way to give solace to the living--however briefly--they usually are satisfied and want to then move on quickly away from Earth's astral plane.
I had a typical example of spiritual consolation in my own life. My mother died suddenly from a heart attack. During her burial service, my sister and I were so filled with sadness our minds were numb at the ceremony. A few hours later we returned to my mother's empty house with our spouses and decided to take a needed rest. My sister and I must have reached the receptive Alpha state at about the same time. Appearing in two separate rooms, my mother came through our subconscious minds as a dream-like brush of whiteness above our heads. Reaching out, she smiled, indicating her acceptance of death and current well-being. Then she floated away. Lasting only seconds, this act was a meaningful form of closure, causing both of us to release into a sound sleep of the Delta state.
We are capable of feeling the comforting presence of the souls of lost loved ones, especially during or right after funerals. For spiritual communication to come through the shock of mourning it is necessary to try to relax and clear your mind, at least for short periods. At these moments our receptivity to a paranormal experience is more open to receive positive communications of love, forgiveness, hope, encouragement, and the reassurance your loved one is in a good place.
When a widow with young children says to me, "A part of my husband comes to me during the difficult times" I believe her. My clients tell me as souls they are able to help those on Earth connect their inner minds to the spirit world itself. As it has been wisely said, people are not really gone as long as they are remembered by those left on Earth. In the chapters ahead, we will see how specific memory is a reflection of our own soul, while collective memories are the atoms of pure energy for all souls. Death does not break our continuity with the immortal soul of those we love simply because they have lost the physical personhood of a mortal body. Despite their many activities, these departed souls are still able to reach us if called upon.
Occasionally, a disturbed spirit does not want to leave the Earth after physical death. This is due to some unresolved problem which has had a severe impact on its consciousness. In these abnormal cases, help is available from higher, caring entities who can assist in the adjustment process from the other side. We also have the means to aid disturbed spirits in letting go on Earth, as well. I will have more to say about troubled souls in Chapter Four, but the enigma of ghosts portrayed in books and movies has been greatly overblown.
How should we best prepare for our own death? Our lives may be short or long, healthy or sick, but there comes that time when we all must meet death in a way suited for us. If we have had a long illness leading to death, there is time to adequately prepare the mind once initial shock, denial, and depression have passed. The mind takes a short cut through this sort of progression when we face death suddenly. As the end of our physical life draws near, each of us has the capacity to fuse with our higher consciousness. Dying is the easiest period in our lives for spiritual awareness, when we can sense our soul is connected to the eternity of time.
Although there are dying people who find acceptance to be more difficult than resignation, caregivers working around the dying say most everyone acquires a peaceful detachment near the end. I believe dying people are given access to a supreme knowledge of eternal consciousness and this frequently shows in their faces. Many of these people realize something universal is out there waiting and it will be good.
Dying people are undergoing a metamorphosis of separation by their souls from an adopted body. People associate death as losing our life force, when actually the opposite is true. We forfeit our body in death, but our eternal life energy unites with the force of a divine oversoul. Death is not darkness, but light.
My clients say after recalling former death experiences they are so filled with rediscovered freedom from their earthbound bodies that they are anxious to get started on their spiritual journey to a place of peace and familiarity. In the cases which follow, we will learn what life is like for them in afterlife.