12/17/13 Class Notes
By David Sunfellow
As always, the class began with a few moments of silence. After our quiet time together, I let everyone know that the internet is now up and running at the Center! In the near future, Alexandra will be at the Center during the day. When that happens, the Center will be a great place for like-minded people to hang out with one another and use the Center’s internet connection.
NHNE’s Winter 2014 Fundraising Video
The class began with me sharing NHNE’s Winter 2014 Fundraising Video, which featured many members of our local community clean and paint the Center.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjhEguNX-Mk
If you would like to help support the work we are doing, click here.
A Tour of NHNE’s Online NDE Resources
After playing the fundraising video, I spent a few minutes using our new internet connection to take the class on tour of NHNE’s online NDE resources. Here’s a quick list:
MSV-NHNE Community Center Website
That’s where you are now.
NHNE NDE YouTube Channel
NHNE NDE on Facebook
NHNE NDE on Google+
NHNE NDE on Twitter
The Story of Michael Morton
The remainder of the class was spent learning about and discussing the very interesting case of Michael Morton, which has many important things in common with near-death experiences.
After being wrongly convicted of murdering his wife, Michael spent 25 years in prison. CNN’s Special: An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story did an outstanding job covering Michael’s story. About half way through, after describing, in detail, how Michael ended up in prison, CNN talked about Michael being angry, vengeful, lost, and broken — until, in desperation, he called out for God to help him. A few days after his heartfelt prayer, Michael had a mystical experience where he was swept up into the presence of God. According to Michael, he was “literally and figuratively swept up into the Light”. Shortly after that, everything started to change. Whereas before Michael was completely ignored by the justice system, now the wheels started to turn so the wrongs that had been done to him could be rectified. After I provided an overview of Michael’s case (click here to learn more), we watched the following two videos:
CNN Trailer: An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story
A CNN News Report About Michael Morton
We watched from 4:25 until the end on this video.
Here’s a quick list of the parallels between Michael’s experience and NDEs that jumped out at me:
1. A desperate, heartfelt prayer caused massive changes in Michael’s life.
Near-death experiences teach us that prayer is a super power. They also teach us that most of the misery we suffer in life is self-inflicted — and there are angels and other spiritual forces waiting to help us if we will stop wallowing in our own self-created hells long enough to look up and sincerely ask for help.
2. An encounter with God completely changed him. That inner transformation, in turn, led to massive changes in his life. Whereas the first 15 years of Michael’s life in prison, he was stuck, angry, and consumed with thoughts of hatred and revenge, the next 10 years were overshadowed by God, patience, acceptance, and magic.
Encounters with God also transform the lives of near-death experiencers.
3. While in prison Michael made efforts to lighten the burdens of others by reaching out to them in simple ways. One inmate described how Michael left ice cream for him when no one else cared. On the day of his release, Michael’s fellow inmates celebrated his release by gathering together and cheering for him.
Near-death experiences repeatedly remind us that “it’s the little things in life” — small acts of kindness, thoughtfulness, and caring — that are the most important.
4. Michael left prison with a deep, positive, cheerful attitude towards life and a healthy appreciation for and acceptance of the injustices that had befallen him.
Near-death experiences teach us that gratitude is another super power.
5. While affirming that he felt it was important that failings of the justice system be fixed, Michael asked that the people responsible for those failings be treated “gently”.
Near-death experiences encourage the same general attitude: they remind us that we will be held accountable for our actions. They also encourage us to be patient, forgiving, and non-judgmental towards one another.
6. Once Michael got out of prison, he appreciated everything more fully: colors, pets, small children, associating with good people, good food, a nice bed, soft clothes that fit…
When near-death experiencers return to this world, they are often intensely aware of and grateful for the beauty of this world, especially as it appears in the ordinary, every day things that most humans overlook and/or take for granted.
7. Michael’s experience ended up sparking major reforms in the criminal justice system.
Near-death experiences remind us that our actions, both large and small, effect the entire universe. They also remind us that every single person has a mission.
8. We create our own realities.
Michael’s positive and negative attitudes as well as his connection with God — and, early on, lack of connection with God — clearly shaped his experiences in the world. The same is true for us. We are, absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt the creators of our own realities. Our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings not only determine how long we stay stuck in challenging and unpleasant situations, but also how quickly we create new, more healthy, happy, and wholesome ones.
9. Injustice does not exist. Everyone signs up for what they experience.
While we don’t know why Michael and all the other people in his life story played the roles they did, we do know from near-death experiences that everyone — those who are abused as well as those who are the abusers — all agree on their roles before birth. Near-death experiences also make it clear that while these reasons may remain obscure to us while we are living in this world, they become crystal clear to us on the other side. After near-death experiencer Barbara Whitfield was shown the forces that led to her being born as the daughter of a mentally ill mother, she repeatedly marveled to herself “No wonder. No wonder. No wonder…”
While preparing for the class, I had a nagging feeling that there was something else going on with Morton’s story that I was missing. After watching Catherine Hayward describe her near-death experience, all the pieces fell in place.
Four things occurred to me after watching Catherine’s video:
1. Many NDErs report feeling the same way Catherine did after her experience. She was enraged that she was forced to leave Heaven and return to Earth. Earth, in other words, FELT LIKE A PRISON! In comparison to how things feel on the other side, this world, complete with all its lacks, limitations, and challenges, can feel very confining and unpleasant indeed.
2. Catherine’s efforts to avoid being sent back to Earth failed in the same way that Michael’s efforts to get out of prison failed. Ditto for thousands, perhaps millions of other near-death experiencers. Regardless of how much they protest and complain, they still get sent back to Earth.
3. What turned the tide for Catherine was a second encounter with God. That encounter, like unto the encounter that Michael had, helped her develop a more mature, loving, accepting, and ultimately grateful attitude. Knowing that God was with them, and that there were important lessons for them to learn and missions for them to accomplish, both Catherine and Michael accepted their limitations and began working with them, rather than fighting against them. In Catherine’s case, this led to a life threatening illness being healed and her getting married. In Michael’s case, this led to him being released from prison, vindicated of a crime he didn’t commit, being re-united with his son, and important changes being initiated in the criminal justice system. Michael’s experience also led to others being held accountable for the harm they had caused.
4. The challenging process we go through turns us from spoiled children (as Catherine described her initial interaction with God) and/or selfish, materialistic people (as Michael was described in various news accounts) into more mature, caring, compassionate, grateful, present, beautiful human beings.
CNN’s special report ended with Michael sharing words of wisdom:
“Now, everything is different for me. The conundrums of life; the philosophical paradoxes; the metaphysical problems, I feel like I get it now. I understand suffering and unfairness. I can’t think of anything better to receive than that. I’m good with this — this world, what’s happening to me, where I’m going, what I’m doing. And I know three little simple things now because of that:
“1. God exists
“2. He’s wise, smarter than I am
“3. He loves me
“If you know those three things, what’s your problem?”
To learn more about Michael Morton and his story, go here.
Our next NDE class will take place on Tuesday, January 7th 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.