01/21/14 Class Notes
By David Sunfellow
As always, the class began with a few moments of silence. After our quiet time together, Alexandra gave an update on the January 24-26th Mustard Seed Venture Indoor Rummage Sale. Then I gave a quick update on recent and upcoming events featuring NDE Dr. Rajiv Parti (see below).
Dr. Rajiv Parti Speaking Engagements
Dr. Rajiv Parti with Dr. Raymond Moody
Life, Death, Near Death and Beyond: An Exploration
March 6 to 9, 2014
• Ram Dass & Bodhi Be – Compassionate Hospice and Conscious Green Burial
• Patrick McCollum, Kimberly Clark Sharp & Ellie Schamber – Near Death Experiences (NDEs)
• Dan Drasin – Electronic Communications from the Departed
• Jamie Butler & Wendy Grace – Mediumship and Communication with the Departed
• Raphael – Music for Inter-dimensional Communicating
• Elan Goldbart and Jonathan Buetler – Organic Farm Tour
• Lori Grace – Conference Host & Facilitator
For more information, click here.
What If God Got Bored
By Alan Watts
Cosmology and Consciousness Conference – Mind and Matter
Dr. Bruce Greyson
After watching the videos linked above, we watched three excerpts from a 2011 talk given by NDE researcher, Dr. Bruce Greyson. Greyson, who is considered “the father of research in near-death experiences”, is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia. He is the co-author of Irreducible Mind (2007), co-editor of The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences (2009), and creator of “The Greyson Scale“, which is often used to measure various aspects of near-death experiences. This tour-de-force presentation focuses on scientific evidence that suggests that consciousness exists without a brain. Specifically, Greyson explores four areas:
1. Deathbed recovery of lost consciousness
2. Complex consciousness with minimal brain
3. Near-neath experiences
4. Memories of a past life
The first excerpt we listened in class provides an overview of the discoveries that have been made in these four areas. That clip runs from 1:02:00 until 1:03:28.
The second excerpt pertains to complex consciousness existing in people who have little or no brains! That clip runs from 23:50 until 28:34.
In the final excerpt, Greyson discusses what he, personally, thinks about reincarnation. That clip runs from 1:22:10 until 1:23:50. Here is a transcript of the final clip:
“What is my personal view of rebirth? Many of the cases that we have are unexplainable in terms of western medicine, but they are also unexplainable in terms of the reincarnation hypothesis. Sometimes you will see two children who seem to remember the same past life. Sometimes you will see a child who remembers the past life of someone who died when the child was six months old, so the two lives overlap. So it is not a clear model that we can follow. When I talk to near-death experiencers, they always say — when they start out explaining their experience – they say first words cannot explain my experience. I cannot describe it for you. And then I say, ‘that’s great, tell me all about it.’ So we force them to tell us what they experience and we know that they are not telling us what they experience; they’re putting into words things that don’t fit into words. And I think the same is true of the rebirth memories. What actually happens is something that we – that our brains – cannot understand. So the models that we come up with do not really approach the reality. So if you ask me what I believe, I say that what happens after death is something that I can’t possibly understand while I’m in this brain.”
Dean Radin Interviews Dr. Bruce Greyson
Dr. Bruce Greyson (left), Dean Radin (right)
Next we listened to portions of an interview that Dean Radin conducted with Bruce Greyson. The complete interview is located here. You can also listen to and/or download an MP3 version here. Here are the excerpts we listened to, including transcripts of those comments.
09:00 – 10:25
Bruce Greyson: “If you try to bring about a near-death experience, it’s not likely that you will actually have one. If you look at the content, the process of a near-death experience, one of the critical factors often seems to be letting go, giving up control, or having control arrested from you. Sometimes people will report approaching death and trying very hard to stay alive, trying very hard to stay in control, and fighting very hard against loosing control. And at some point they get exhausted and give in and just let go. And when they let go they are able to have this experience. And we find that those people who are able to let go are the ones who have the more elaborate experiences and have the more profound aftereffects. So if you are trying to bring about a near-death experience – and people have tried this with drugs, with various other means – you are not actually letting go, you’re not giving up control, you’re trying to maintain control. And I think that works against actually having the experience.”
34:56 – 36:16
Call in Question: “I would like to know how the study of this subject has changed you over time personally; how has this affected you personally…”
Bruce Greyson: “Most people who have near-death experiences talk about the profound changes in their attitudes, values, and beliefs afterwards. Most profoundly, they are no longer afraid of dying, but they also become more open in many other ways. I think some of that has rubbed off on me. You can’t listen to these stories year after year and not be affected… I don’t think I have the aftereffects of a near-death experience, but I think I am much less afraid of dying than I was before I started all this work. I’m much more open to other possibilities. There is a sense of meaning and purpose in the world that near-death experiencers seem to have that they didn’t have before and I think I’ve gotten some of that; the sense that things do really happen for a purpose; that there is something that we all have in common that I wasn’t aware of before I did all this work.”
36:48 – 38:10
Bruce Greyson: “I did a study once looking at people who had made suicide attempts and either did or didn’t have near-death experiences. I would interview them right after the suicide attempt and then every month thereafter. And there were some people who right after the suicide attempt told me that nothing had happened. And then a month or two later, they would say, you know, now that I’ve gotten to know you a bit, I think I can tell you that I did actually leave my body. And maybe four or five months later they would say, well now that I know you’re not going to make fun of me for this, I’ll tell you what really happened. They’ll tell me about seeing a deceased loved one. And then a year later they’ll say, Now that I know that you’re not going to treat me like I’m crazy, let me tell you what really happened. And they’ll tell you about meeting Jesus. And they keep telling you more and more as they start to trust you more and more. And there are some near-death experiencers that I’ve known for 30 years who I’m sure have not yet told me the more personal parts that they just can’t share. Some things are just too personal and… it would profane the experience by sharing it with somebody else.”
Dean Radin: “That’s interesting because it does suggest then that the percentage of people who report near-death experiences may be a vast underestimate.”
Bruce Greyson: “That’s right. I think that’s true.”
Arthur Yensen’s Near-Death Experience
Finally with listened to and discussed the 1932 near-death experience of Arthur Yensen. Along with the very interesting NDE that Yensen experienced, what makes his NDE especially interesting is that it took place DECADES BEFORE near-death experiences were popularized by Dr. Raymond Moody with the publication of his 1975 best-selling book, Life After Life. Here’s how near-death.com describes Yensen:
“Arthur Yensen was another near-death experiencer who received knowledge of reincarnation. In August of 1932, Yensen, a university graduate, geologist, and staunch -materialist -turned -syndicated -cartoonist, decided to take some time off to research his weekly cartoon strip, “ADVENTUROUS WILLIE WISPO.” Since his main character was a hobo, Yensen became a hobo for a time, blending in with the over sixteen million unemployed at that time in our nation’s Great Depression. He bummed rides from Chicago through Minnesota, until a young man in a convertible coupe picked him up on the way to Winnipeg. Going too fast for the road conditions, the car hit a three-foot-high ridge of oiled gravel and flipped into a series of violent somersaults. Both men were catapulted through the cloth top before the car smashed into a ditch. The driver escaped unharmed, but Yensen was injured, losing consciousness just as two female spectators rushed to his aid. After seeing the afterlife during this near-death experience, he later learned that telling others about his NDE often brought criticism, especially from the church. But there were those who would listen and as time wore on, more and more people would ask him about it. Finally in 1955, Arthur Yensen published a report of his near-death experience after much public interest. His booklet entitled “I Saw Heaven” describes his NDE and gives answers to questions he was always asked…”
For more information about Arthur Yensen and his near-death experience, go here.
We listen to the following video from 17:53 until 30:03.
Our next NDE class will take place on Tuesday, February 4th, from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM at the MSV-NHNE Community Center.
The Mustard Seed Venture – NewHeavenNewEarth Community Center
82 Saddlerock Circle
Sedona, AZ 86336
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.”
“The Formula for Creating Heaven on Earth” or “The Formula” was introduced in David Sunfellow’s two-part YouTube presentation called “How Near-Death Experiences Are Changing The World.” The goal has been to identify the universal truths presented by near-death experiences and wrestle them into “a formula” that we can use to transform our lives. Version 2.1 can be downloaded here (pdf). The Formula’s Circling Worksheet can be downloaded here (pdf).
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. This ongoing, evolving, cutting-edge work is co-sponsored by NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE) and The Mustard Seed Venture.