You don't need to be declared clinically dead to experience an NDE. Nor must you experience many of Raymond Moody's nine elements, including a life review, an out-of-body experience, encounters with deceased loved ones, and a decision to return to one's body. The key is whether you return from the experience permanently transformed.
Life After Near Death profiles a dozen cases of specific cognitive and physiological near-death aftereffects, including newfound musical and artistic talents, mathematical gifts, enhanced hearing, elevated IQ, improved eyesight, spontaneous healing, and electrical sensitivity. It explores new evidence to shed light on this phenomenon and reveals for the first time:
Life After Near Death offers a new, science-based paradigm to unravel the NDE and our assumptions regarding the afterlife. Although you can return from an NDE, you will never return to your former life.
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Debra Diamond is a former Wall Street money manager and artist who left a high-profile life to pursue one of purpose and spirituality. In 2008, she had a transformational experience that left her with unconventional powers as a clairvoyant and medium. As an investment professional, Debra was a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a regular commentator on CNBC. She was profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Baltimore Sun. She has an MBA from George Washington University and is a graduate of Christie's Education and the Jung Institute. The mother of three sons, Debra splits her time between Taos, New Mexico, and the East Coast.
Read an Excerpt
My Introduction Into the World of Spirit
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious."
— Albert Einstein
I thought about the events that led me to where I was. I'd come a long way.
I was born in Ohio and spent most of my youth there. Mom was an elementary school teacher and Dad was an entrepreneur. I was a good student, on the honor roll, and enrolled in college when I was 17, graduating after three years. I received a master's degree at the age of 22. I was always on the fast track. A reporter from the Baltimore Sun once said, "Being early — sometimes very early — has been the story of Mrs. Diamond's life," in a feature article about me.
After I received my MBA, I was hired as an analyst for an investment firm. For 20 years, I was a busy person, with 10 balls in the air all the time, a husband, and three kids. I didn't have time to sit down and philosophize and sort it all out. By then, I'd had a successful career on Wall Street investing and doing commentary on CNBC. I'd done many things: venture capitalist, served on boards, helped companies start businesses, and mentored others.
When I was in the investment business, I realized I had a leg up. I knew things. It was a knowing that came in instantly. I took it for granted that I had good intuition and I was involved in a career that involved intuitive hunches. That's how I explained it: good intuition. My boss used to say, "Debra, you have good instincts," and I decided that must be the answer. I didn't know how else to understand it. No part of the Wall Street vocabulary included New Age vocabulary. Although you might hear "Go with your gut" or "What do your instincts tell you?" there's no place for spirituality in this dollars and cents business.
I didn't tell anyone that I knew things — how an industry might grow, how a company was going to do, what a management team was like. I encountered skepticism my first few years in the business, but after a few years of me being ahead of the pack, others began to listen. They would scratch their heads and say, "We don't know how you do it, but keep going." I was referred to as "an absolutely gifted investor, with remarkable intuitions."
A New York Classroom and a Visit From the Afterlife
In 2008, I had a spiritual experience that left me forever changed. As a way to gain context for that, I began to study energy work and developed a practice. In the process, I began to "listen" for my clients and have used my abilities since then in a variety of ways.
I've always had an interest in developing my intuition and thought it would be fun to learn a few tricks to tune it up. A workshop in New York on intuition development seemed interesting when it first came to my attention, but every time I considered signing up, something else came up. Now I know: I wasn't ready. When we're ready, Spirit puts it in front of us. Finally, the time seemed right, and I signed up for the class in November 2008.
It was a weekend class in Midtown Manhattan near Penn Station. This will be fun, I thought. I'll get in touch with my senses, learn to trust my hunches — the inklings we all have.
Twenty-five students were in the class, which included men and women. Some had experience; others were novices. The teacher was an academic who had written several books on spirituality and Eastern religion. I relaxed as we began our work. We practiced a few exercises in mental telepathy, learning to communicate without the use of sound or visual clues and kept things light.
We had been working for a few hours, practicing meditation techniques, when we took a break. I was surprised when we returned and the class took a different turn.
"Now we're going to do a séance," the teacher announced.
A séance? No way. This is not what I signed up for, I thought as I looked at the class description. Calling in the dead? I thought this was an intuition development class. New mindfulness techniques. How to tune in to your gut. Maybe a few exercises with cards.
I couldn't escape. I was a member of the class. Well, I'll just do it and that will be that, I thought. Nothing's going to happen anyway.
"I'll tell you what to do if you see someone," the teacher offered. I watched and listened as she explained that if a person who had passed over appeared in the corner of the room, they were probably associated with an individual seated in that corner. If we saw someone, we should ask if anyone in the class could identify that person. Interesting, I thought, but not relevant, since I'm not going to see anyone. I figured we'd do this and then move on to the next exercise.
My idea of a séance was pretty limited. I imagined blowing trumpets and the class seated around a table in a darkened room. Perhaps there would be some rapping. I looked around for a crystal ball. Nope. We were just in a dingy classroom on the eighth floor of an office building.
The teacher explained how we should approach this. There was a procedure to it. Okay, I thought. She said she'd put us in a meditative state and if we saw anything, to let her know and she'd help us. Fine. I'll meditate and then we'll move on to the next exercise, I decided.
I closed my eyes and listened as the teacher sent us into a relaxed state. I slowed my breathing and listened to her instructions to relax my body and soften my heart. I felt my head drop to my chest and I slumped in my seat. I was relaxed but aware that my back was sore from sitting in the straight-back chair.
I felt a few light sensations but quickly dismissed them. I was warm, which I attributed to the room. (It was a warm day in New York and the teacher suggested we keep the windows closed since the street noise may bother us.) I felt a slight tingling. The earth didn't shake. The room was silent. Nothing out of the ordinary happened.
And then the teacher said we could open our eyes. If we "saw" anything, we should let her know. I sat up.
"Did anyone 'see' anything?" she asked.
I looked around the room. All the students looked at each other. No one raised their hand. I raised my hand.
"Yes, Debra? What do you see?" she asked.
"I see about 50 people," I said.
Everyone gasped. I would have gasped, too, except I was busy looking at my brother's niece, who had passed away a year earlier. She was sitting on a white fence and looked happy. A white pony was beside her. (She had been an equestrian.) In the corner of the room, a man with a handlebar mustache flashed me a broad smile. A football player caught a pass in the middle of the room. My aunt was laughing up a storm in front of me. There were others I did not know, including 42nd Street showgirls prancing through the center of the room. A pushcart peddler crossed in front of me.
Everyone looked real. It didn't register to me that I was looking at people who had passed over. They all seemed eager to talk. Only later did I fully realize these individuals were not alive.
The teacher asked me what I saw.
When I described the man with the handlebar mustache and the broad, white smile, a woman in the corner began to sob. She spoke up and identified the man as her fiancé, who had passed away two years earlier. The teacher asked if he had any message for her.
I said I would check, even though I didn't know exactly what to do. I asked if he had a message and he said, "I died."
"He died," I said. (I have to say I've gotten much better since then.)
The woman in the corner continued to cry. Later she asked if she could show me a picture of her fiancé during our break. She had pictures on her cell phone. Could I identify him?
"Sure," I said, never doubting that I could do that.
At the break, she flipped through her pictures.
"That one!" I said, pointing to a man with a handlebar mustache, dark hair, and a broad smile. "That's him!"
She began to cry again. She had wanted to hear from him since his death and said she was now at ease, knowing he had communicated with her. She gave me a big hug and thanked me. I helped to facilitate a contact she so badly wanted. I helped her in a meaningful way.
I stopped to consider this.
I had done something important. I had never done anything in my career on Wall Street that elicited that kind of response. In the investment business, your job is to outmaneuver the stock market, outthink other strategists, or outperform the averages. It's all about the money. Helping someone is not part of your mission.
Life would never be the same.
A New Way of Life
Despite the rewards, I hadn't asked for this ability and was not seeking it. I called one of my sons on my way home to Baltimore that Sunday night. I have three sons, but this particular one is very skeptical and always scores high on logic tests. I related the story of what happened in the class. He didn't say a word and didn't interrupt. When I was finished, he said. "Well, that makes sense. We're just energy, and the energy has to go somewhere."
His explanation put my experience in a context I could understand, although I was still bewildered by the events.
I didn't tell anyone what happened that weekend. Most of the people I knew worked on Wall Street, and none of them would have understood or believed me. They would have rolled their eyes or, even worse, laughed at me. I didn't want to look crazy, so I kept quiet.
I can't let my life go in this direction, I resolved. I have to control this.
A boomerang had been launched at me. I tried to dodge it, but somehow it stuck anyway. There was no going back.
Was I crazy? I didn't think so. Had I done anything to provoke this? Was I making it up? My mind sorted through all the possibilities. How would I go on with my life now that this door had been opened? Did I pretend it didn't happen? Shove it behind a curtain? I couldn't.
I am a down-to-earth, practical person — a hard-nosed businesswoman. I find the idea that I am defined as a psychic uncomfortable. This wasn't something I ever considered for my life. It was not something I dreamed about or wanted.
I'm not ready for this.
I tried not to think about it, but somehow it's not that easy.
That summer, I decided to leave Baltimore — my home — to visit Taos, New Mexico. My plan was to paint there for two months.
Two years later, I was still there. That's not uncommon for Taos. When you meet the locals and ask how long they've been there, they say, "Oh, I came for a weekend — 20 years ago." For artists, creatives, and spiritualists, the place exerts a magnetic hold.
In Taos, I relaxed about what happened to me and who I was. Without even realizing it, I began to accept it.
It was time, Spirit decided, for me to work with this energy. I relaxed and gave a nod to Spirit.
I began to train, take workshops, and study under practitioners, including teachers at the Arthur Findlay College in the UK. I was starting to grow and learn about my strengths as I made my way in this new world. My intuition, which had hastily departed after the experience in New York — driven away by fear, returned. With some distance and perspective, I realized I didn't see making money as an end-all and be-all for my existence.
Without this initial thrust into the world of Spirit, I would have remained a smart business lady focused on making money. I would not have examined near-death experiences and nothing in my life over the past eight years would have transpired. I was thrust into the world of spirituality with all the subtlety of a cyclone.
Life After Near Death describes the events as they occurred to me and as I experienced them as I was led into the world of the NDE. I wrote this story as it unfolded. No longer did I spend my days placing orders for millions of dollars or listening to the latest takeover rumors on Wall Street or leads on hot IPOs. No longer did I attend extravagant cocktail receptions, jet overseas to meet clients, or attend conferences in exotic locales. Instead, I used my talents to explore unanswered questions that concern all of us.
I became comfortable with my new gifts as the years passed. In Taos, when someone asks what you do, and you say, "I'm a psychic," they say, "Me too!" It was okay to do this work — at least for the time being.
Several years passed and I became part of the Taos community. I had my writing group, my knitting group, and my volunteer work at SOMOS, the literary society. I made many wonderful friends, people very different from the money managers and analysts I knew in my former life. The East Coast seemed very far away.
Taos served as a kind of dividing line between one life and another. I evolved from a reluctant initiate into the world of spirituality to make use of the gifts I'd been given. Since then, I've done readings, taught workshops, and been a speaker. My work is focused on helping others. If, 10 years ago, someone had told me that I would be doing this work, I never would have believed them.
Just as I knew there was no turning back from settling in Taos when I first arrived, a few years later I recognized my time in Taos would be ending soon.
Would I put the world of Taos behind me? Would this be the finale of my journey into the metaphysical life?
Before I left Taos, I decided to journey with a Shaman in Santa Fe on an inner quest to retrieve information from an unseen dimension — a type of spiritual consultation.
On the Shamanic journey, I was shown my childhood: a young girl who would not be coaxed into anything — who always chose her own path. I was shown a map of the United States, and in particular a city in the Southwest. I didn't know where the city was — or even which state — but I knew it wasn't New Mexico, California, or Texas. The city was lit up like a marquee. I sensed that Spirit was trying to show me something, even if I didn't know exactly what it was. I filed the information away, reminding myself to pay attention to clues about this unknown destination.
A few months after the Shamanic journey, I returned home to Baltimore. I spent my time writing and painting, catching up with friends, and visiting my family. Soon I was approached by a woman who had "died" at 36 from a cardiac arrest and came back to life, baffling her doctors. She had heard about me and asked if I would read for her. It was a traditional reading, not an NDE reading, and soon other readings followed. Before long, through word-of- mouth, I was reading for others, many of them professionals in the Mid- Atlantic.
The months passed, I was busy, and winter arrived. The clear, crisp air and the mysterious, penetrating nighttime darkness of New Mexico were in the past. It was gray and damp in Baltimore. I'd had it up to my eyeballs with the cold. I'd read about the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, which takes place each year in February. Pleasant days in Tucson beckoned.
Why not? I thought.
Going Deeper Into the World of NDEs
Soon, I packed my bags. I planned to add a few tools to my spiritual tool box and enjoy Tucson's sunny skies and temperate winter.
I arrived at my hotel in the Catalina Foothills, the dry air warm against my skin. As I unpacked, my cell phone vibrated with a text message from a friend. I looked down.
Do you know Dr. Gary Schwartz, a prominent scholar at the intersection of science and spirituality?
I Googled him. Gary Schwartz received his PhD from Harvard and was director of the Yale Psychophysiology Center and the Yale Behavioral Medicine Clinic, prior to moving to Arizona to do research at the University of Arizona's Veritas Laboratory. Dr. Schwartz conducts investigative research using mediums to demonstrate Spirit's role for guidance.
Gary Schwartz sounded interesting, like someone I would enjoy meeting one day.
I uncapped a bottle of water and opened the Arizona Daily Star, the Tucson daily newspaper, and stopped. There was a full-page announcement: Dr. Gary Schwartz would be speaking the following evening at the Unity Church about a mile from where I was staying. The room was warm and, as I fanned myself, I thought about the chances of that coincidence.
Not likely, I concluded.
The next night I sat in the front row of the Unity Church as a breeze ruffled the colorful flags in the sanctuary overhead. I listened as Dr. Schwartz presented his evidence about proof of Spirit. At the end of his presentation, another speaker stepped forward and made an announcement. The next evening there would be a meeting for the local near-death experience group. Why not? I'll go to that, too.
The next night I was back in the chapel, listening as Dave Bennett explained how he had been a commercial diver 20 years earlier, when he drowned on a job. While "dead," he peeked into the future and experienced a paradigm shift. Later, Dave discovered he had stage-four cancer, from which he fully recovered. I listened as he explained his experience. I was intrigued. After the presentation, I exited the church into the warm February evening and thought about what I heard. There was more to this near-death experience, I was convinced.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Life After Near Death"
Copyright © 2016 Debra Diamond.
Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part I My Background 21
Chapter 1 My Introduction Into the World of Spirit 23
Part II Stories of Transformation 33
Chapter 2 Javier Pereza and Physiological Transformation: Newfound Athletic Talent 35
Chapter 3 Barbara Whitfield and Physiological Transformation: Electrical Interference 45
Chapter 4 Lewis Brown Griggs and Physiological Transformation: Bodily Protection 56
Chapter 5 Ragiv Parti and Physiological Transformation: Spontaneous Healing 67
Chapter 6 Dan Rhema and Dr. Robert Magrisso and Cognitive Transformation: Artistic Ability 77
Chapter 7 Lyla and Cognitive Transformation: Composer/Songwriter 94
Part III Stepping Back: Examining the Reality of the NDE 99
Chapter 8 Why You Don't Want to Experience an NDE 101
Chapter 9 The Self-Supporting NDE Community 108
Part IV Going Deeper: More Complex NDE After-Effects 113
Chapter 10 Ken Ebert and Physiological Transformation: Enhanced Hearing; and Robert Bare and Physiological Transformation: Enhanced Vision 115
Chapter 11 Lynnclaire Dennis and Cognitive Transformation: Sacred Geometry 126
Chapter 12 Marissa and Cognitive Transformation: Musical Talent 134
Chapter 13 Mark Jacoby and Physiological Transformation: Electromagnetic Sensitivity 144
Chapter 14 Mary Ann Mernaugh and Cognitive Transformation: Enhanced IQ 154
Chapter 15 Ana Callan and Cognitive Transformation: Poetry and Verse 162
Part V The Big Picture: The Universe Entwined in Our Experiences 173
Chapter 16 Manifestation and Intent: How Do They Influence NDEs? 175
Chapter 17 The Meaning of Consciousness in the NDE Experience 188
Chapter 18 Everything Is Energy 196
Chapter 19 A New Paradigm to Explain the NDE 203
Chapter 20 What Experiences Have Learned, What I Have Learned, and What We Can All Learn Moving Forward 206
Appendix A The Terminology and Definition of a NDE 211
Appendix B Research Methodology 215
Chapter Notes 219
About the Author 239