Having just watched the film Heaven Is For Real, I was reminded of a conversation I had many years ago with a man who had his own near death experience. At the time, such things just seemed preposterous to me, and I’m now a little ashamed to admit that I was less than kind as I incessantly grilled him. I’ve forgotten most of what he claimed, but amazingly, this film seemed to unlock some of the details, and foremost among them were the words “I know it was real.” I can see him say them; picture the look in his eyes and the angst he was experiencing over my disbelief – an outright rejection with which he was probably accustomed.
Nevertheless, he was completely convinced that every second of the incident was accurate and profoundly true. Nothing could shake or even temper his faith – he knew “it was real.” As I said, I’ve forgotten most of the details, but I clearly remember that he claimed to have visited what he assumed was heaven and that he met several deceased family members; some who had passed before he was born. I also remember that his time was brief there and that he knew he would be revived and returned to the living.
There’s not much you can make of such a tale, especially since these days science offers many convincing explanations that would quickly label the experience an honest hallucination. But the fact is that he had indeed died on an operating table and was gone for several minutes due to an unsuspected issue with the anesthesia. God only knows the kinds of dreamlike thoughts that might occur under anesthesia, and how can we possibly be certain the so-called NDE coincided with the actual moments of temporary death?
My own “NDE” was a total non-event. In fact, my description of flatlining was that of complete and utter nothingness. Since I was not under anesthesia, it does seem very convincing that his “hallucination” was the result of mind altering drugs, while I experienced the real thing. Regardless, I have stated before on this blog that I was aware of my nothingness – a much more difficult experience to describe than a trip through heaven with the family. And yet, no one questions my story. For the most part, people listen intently and then go on about their business. In fact, I have yet to hear a single expression of doubt from anyone, and most people find it interesting.
I guess it’s just easier to see the expressive near death experience as an explainable occurrence based on the right amounts of imagination, brain activity, and drugs. Typically, many of us prefer our real life to be understandable and wholly predictable. Anything else is just too far out for acceptance, and almost any natural explanation is more tolerable than something other-worldly. But “I know it was real,” he said – clear as a bell, and full of confidence, and now, ten thousand EVP later, I find it almost impossible to doubt a single word of the story.
Surely, if I can listen to EVP voices from beyond the veil, the idea of an NDE that can be cogently described is not so farfetched. The notion that we are occasionally chosen to gain momentary and limited access to the next plane seems like an obvious no-brainer to me now, and I owe that guy an apology, I think. But no amount of disbelief from others could alter his resolve then, so I would guess he still stridently believes. Time doesn’t seem to remove the life-altering impact of a near death experience; I’m sure he still knows “it was real.” He’d better. I would think the dangers inherent in denying such a gift might be immense. I certainly wouldn’t do it – no matter how crazy it sounded. Would you?
Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.