Where God Lives: The Science of the Paranormal and How Our Brains are Linked to the Universe

Where God Lives: The Science of the Paranormal and How Our Brains are Linked to the Universe

by Melvin Morse, Paul Perry


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061095047
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/04/2001
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 522,043
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.47(d)

About the Author

Melvin Morse has co- written the bestsellers Closer to the Light and Transformed by the Light.

He is a practicing pediatrician in Seattle, Washington.

Paul Perry is an internationally bestselling author who has co-written nine books on near-death experiences.

Read an Excerpt

The Near Death Picnic

It was good to see the kids again, the ones who were the subjects of my initial research into the occurrence of near death experiences (NDEs) in children. Their stories were first told seven years ago in Closer to the Light and fifteen years after my encounter with Katie, the young lady whose remarkable story launched me on this path of exploration. Seeing them again, I couldn't believe how much they'd grown and changed, but that's how it is with kids, isn't it?

They had been arriving all afternoon with their families to visit with my wife and me. We had the perfect place for a picnic—plenty of open space for games, horses to ride, a pond, barns to explore, and fields to walk in. This was one of many such picnics we'd had for these children who'd crossed the threshold of death and lived to tell their miraculous stories. These picnics were an opportunity to catch up and have a good time but, more important, they were a chance to learn how the NDEs they'd had as small children influenced who they were today.

Judging from everything I'd seen and heard so far, their lives were unfolding in remarkable ways. As a group, these young people were different from their peers. Different, not just because they nearly died when they were young, but because of the unique perceptions and outlooks that their NDEs had brought to them.

The commonly perceived boundaries of personal growth and potential seem to be irrelevant to them. They possess intuitive and empathetic natures that put them in touch with aspects of our world about which most of us only dream. Their NDEs have given them a variety of unusual abilities,like telepathy or the power to perceive the future.

They also stand out for other, more obvious reasons. They're a solid, steady group. In growing up, they've managed to avoid many of the pitfalls in judgment that have ensnared others their age. Not one of the girls in this group of thirty is pregnant, nor is anyone addicted to drugs or alcohol. All are achievers in their own way.

There's a lesson we can all learn from these children, one which those of us who haven't had an NDE can appreciate. It is a lesson of mystical unity with the universe. These children have often expressed to me such ideas as “I learned that we are all connected,” “I learned that everything is important,” “I see pieces of that light everywhere.” These children describe precisely the same insights as those of the mystics who are present in virtually every society throughout human history.

This awareness is encouraging. Not only do they tell me that mystical experiences transform people, but they represent a change in thinking, a paradigm shift, about the end of life and its implications.

Scientist and author James Burke has detailed many of these paradigm shifts in human consciousness over thousands of years. He points out that the changes occur through the process of new data being discovered that are not explainable under the old world view of what is real.

These new facts, often discovered by chance or serendipity, lead to a tension in which the old order is vigorously defended by a dying generation of scientists and philosophers even as new ideas emerge. Change is never easy and is rarely welcomed by those who are comfortable with the familiar and are in positions of power.

The Science of Change

Those in the field of science are no exception to these prejudices. Even so, change is part of the important process of scientific progress. Take the Viennese obstetrician Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis. In 1861, he showed conclusively that women were dying of childbirth fever because physicians didn't wash their hands between autopsies and deliveries. In the absence of a “germ theory,” they saw no reason to. Semmelweis's ideas about the existence of invisible agents of disease were laughable to right-thinking scientists of the day.

It took fifty years for hand-washing to catch on. It took the invention of the microscope, Lister's invention of the germ theory, and, finally, a younger generation of scientists before hand-washing became standard procedure. This younger generation was able to see clinical data objectively—women who were attended to by physicians who washed their hands had better outcomes than those with doctors who didn't wash their hands. A change in clinical practice followed.

A more recent example of a discovery changing medicine is the finding in the early nineties that a common bacteria caused most cases of ulcers, and not high levels of stress, as was thought for so many years. This discovery, not widely accepted in the beginning by most doctors, has completely changed the treatment of ulcers. Now most cases of ulcers are treated rapidly and successfully with antibiotics instead of with surgery, antacids, and changes in diet that do not work.

The bottom line is that a paradigm shift occurs only when the old theory cannot explain new scientific data. And yet, new facts can only be understood and accepted once there is a scientific theory and framework in which to place them.

In the 1700s, French peasants reported strange sightings—rocks that came from the sky. Even though their accounts of this phenomenon were well documented, it wasn't until scientific theory progressed enough to understand planetary motion around the sun, and gravity, that scientists accepted that meteors were real.

The same is true of reports of ball lightning. Such sightings were similarly dismissed as hallucinations or mass hysteria despite astute observations by such reliable sources as airline pilots. Not until theoretical physics progressed to explain the phenomenon did it receive acceptance among the general scientific community.

The same is true with the NDE studies I conducted at Children's Hospital in Seattle. I collected information from children who nearly died and who shared with me their observations and encounters at the point of death. Their experiences have many common denominators—a sense of leaving their physical bodies, having contact with a consciousness even though their physical bodies were clinically dead, and encountering an all-knowing, loving being that most of the children call God. They also experienced the sensation of bright light and recall encounters and conversations with dead relatives.

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