2000 Philadelphia

2000 North American Conference

 

July 13 - 15, 2000
Korman Suites Hotel
Philadelphia, PA

 

 

 

 

Note: Presentations are listed in the order that they appeared during the conference.

2000 Philadelphia

     

NDE Anomalies

Kimberly Clark Sharp, M.S.W.

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A child who flies with Jesus, a man who looks down at heaven and up to hell, suicidal NDErs. Some NDEs can challenge the listener considerably more than the "normal" NDE. This presentation addresses strange and unusual NDEs that are just made for the camp-fire.

Survival of Consciousness

Elizabeth Fenske, Ph.D.

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No description of this presentation is currently available

The Value of Stories of NDEs on Reducing the Fear of Death

David San Filippo

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Many human beings, fearing the dying process, the finality of death, and the unknown of after-death, have searched for confirmations other than religious and cultural, to prepare for these eventualities. Contemporary reports of near-death experiences have provided support for many after-death beliefs.

The 12 Steps and the NDE

Karl Williamson & Chris Carson

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The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have been called the most important human achievement of the 20th century (by M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled).  This is because they lead, as do many NDEs, to a spiritual awakening, the absence of which, he and we view as the fundamental problem of the human condition.  Indeed, the inspiration for the 12 steps came about as a result of an NDE-like experience.  And, in fact, a full-blown NDE is similar to the first five of the 12 steps.  We believe that the remaining seven steps can serve as a guide for the NDEr to reintegrate into being in this world.  And the 12 as a whole, a guide for just about anyone trying to be happier.  The 12 Steps have been adapted by many people to address many problems besides alcoholism.  Come hear an informal discussion of what the 12 Steps are and what they have to offer us.

Materials for this session (opens in a new window)

Hello from Heaven

Bill Guggenheim

This is a 2 Tape set.
Download must be ordered as Part 1 & Part 2

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In 1977, we learned about remarkable experiences that often occur after the death of a loved one.  Though they have been reported throughout history, no one had ever given them a name or studied them systematically.  An After-Death Communication or "ADC" is a spiritual experience that takes place when a person is contacted directly and spontaneously by a family member or friend who has died.  No psychics, mediums or devices are involved.

ADC web site (opens in a new window).

Hello from Heaven

Bill Guggenheim


Download Part 2 of 2

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See Part 1 above for description.

Soldiers of the Light: Combat Perspectives on the NDE

Bob Sullivan

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This presentation reports on interviews with combat veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and other operations, who report NDEs when "clinically dead" or close to death as a result of combat operations. Elements of the prototypical NDE were observed, as well as perceptions unique to the combat milieu. Post-war integration of the experience is often difficult and may be delayed during the period of resolution of other war trauma. Audio tape interviews are presented.

Update: Less Than Positive Near-Death Experiences

Barbara Rommer, M.D.

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The "Less Than Positive" (LTP) near-death experience, or frightening near-death experience, is under-reported in large part because the majority of LTP experiencers assume that their account will be met with harsh judgment. I feel that rather than being a tool for intrinsic or extrinsic condemnation, LTP should be viewed as an instrument of spiritual growth. I feel that it has the potential to bring about as much or even more soul growth than the prototypical "Light" experience. More than 18 percent of the 350 cases in my on-going study are LTPs. Divinely positive messages may result from these frightening experiences.

Amazing Grace: Healing Effects of NDEs on Those Dying and Grieving

Bruce J. Horacek, Ph.D.

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Kenneth Ring argued that near-death experiences act as compensatory gifts, helping individuals cope with and understand life's difficulties. He saw NDEs as conferring "amazing grace" on individuals whose lives were spinning out of control toward self-destruction. Expanding that contention, we present evidence of seven categorical situations where participating in or knowledge of NDEs and nearing death awareness experiences serve as healing agents in facing one's own death or the death of a significant other.

Transcending Birth and Death

Irina Gajjar

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This discussion presents evidence of the survival of the human soul from conception through birth, life and death. Our analysis of near-death experiences and other data leads to a consideration of whether or not such evidence validates the theories of reincarnation and karma. Consideration is given not only to near-death experiences and epiphanies that persons have undergone in this lifetime, but also to reconferences of such events from presumed past lifetimes. These questions touch every human being and have far-reaching implications not only for persons facing death, but also for the development of overall mental health, faith, and peace of mind.

Children's Past Lives: Further Evidence for Survival after Death

Carol Bowman

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Many children before the age of seven spontaneously remember their previous lives and deaths. Through their statements, behaviors, and physical characteristics, we can discern what qualities of personality and character transcend physical death and carry forward into a new life. Due to thousands of cases collected and verified by scientific researchers, these memories provide strong evidence for the continuity of life after death.

A Comparative Analysis of the NDE among Gay and Non-Gay Individuals

Jeff Long, M.D. & Liz Dale, Ph.D.

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This session reports a work-in-progress.  A detailed questionnaire has been established on the web site of the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF, www.nderf.org) (opens in a new window) to allow gay NDErs to share their accounts.  Gay and non gay experiencers are asked whether sexual identity played a role in the experience and whether the experience affected their sexual identity.  When enough cases have been collected, statistical comparison of the NDE elements of the gay and non gay groups will be performed.  Conclusions from the data are discussed and directions for future research are presented.

Soul Division: Evidence of Independent Functioning of the Conscious and Unconscious during NDEs

Peter Novak

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For millennia, The Ancient world possessed something that modern culture does not namely, widespread agreement on the nature of death and the afterlife. From Egypt to China to Australia to Alaska, cultures believed that each individual had not one, but two souls, which would permanently separate apart at death unless steps were taken to prevent this division. The ancient world's descriptions of these two souls were often strikingly similar to modern science's descriptions of the conscious and unconscious halves of the human psyche. Modern NDE reports, also seem to reflect just such a division. The "Darkness" stage seems to be perceived or experienced exclusively through the lens of the conscious half of the psyche, while the "Light" stage seems to be experienced exclusively through the unconscious.

Where Do We Go From Here? How Can the NDE be Utilized to Effect Changes in Consciousness?

Diane Corcoran, Ph.D.

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This was an open discussion, facilitated to encourage a broad exchange of ideas on how we might use the NDE to effect changes in consciousness. It is time for experiencers and interested individuals to discuss how the experience could best be used for individual and group purposes.

What NDEs Reveal about the Status of the Aborted, Miscarried and Stillborn

Harold Widdison, Ph.D.

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In the process of interviewing individuals who have had a near-death experience, a significant number reported encountering beings who had been aborted, miscarried or stillborn. While many in the medical professions tend to view a miscarriage or stillbirth as a failure to have a child, these experiencers reported that they discovered that they had lost a child with a distinct identity/personality and that the child considered them to be their mothers/fathers. In some cases, the miscarried/stillborn child informed those parent(s) that their mission was not intended to be on this earth but in the world of spirits. These encounters of NDErs and those who were stillborn/miscarried/aborted raise some intriguing questions about long standing assumptions as to the status of the unborn.

Heaven and Hell, or Limbo?

Peter Novak

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The Contrasting Afterlife Descriptions of NDEs and Past-Life Regressions As Evidence of a Post-Death Division of Consciousness. NDE descriptions of the afterlife often stand in stark contrast to the afterlife descriptions emerging from Past-Life Regression research, which frequently paints the afterlife as an emotionless dark void of pure emptiness. While this void seems to have much in common with the peaceful tunnel experience commonly experienced during the first moments of NDEs, Past Life Regression subjects describe spending vast amounts of time, sometimes years or even decades waiting quietly alone in this passionless limbo, while NDErs commonly report spending only a few fleeting moments in this dark void. I propose that these two quite opposite afterlife models are taking shape in modern afterlife research precisely because two entirely different afterlives are indeed being experienced. The "Dark Void" experience seems to be exactly what a conscious half of the mind would experience if it was separated from the unconscious, and the "Realm of Light"/ "Realm of Bewildered Spirits" experience seems to be exactly what an unconscious half of the mind would experience if it was separated from the conscious mind after death.

Let Love Be Your Legacy

Vanessa Chicca

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There is a force in the universe that has touched many of us directly and transformed our lives. That celestial force is love. NDE and other Spiritual Transformative Experiences often have the key element of this love. This unconditional love is a catalyst that brings about a transformation, impacting both the experiencer and those who come into contact with him. We are being called to implement love in our lives, now. This presentation seeks to explore how we can access this unconditional love and how we can develop a living legacy of love in our lifetime.

Experiencer Panel A

Panel Members

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The experiencer panels are always some of the high points of the conference. Each of the four or so experiencers on the panel tells his or her experience and answers questions from the audience.

My Mission with IANDS

Tom Sawyer

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IANDS' mission has brought worldwide attention to subjects that have been feared or ignored throughout history. IANDS has given credibility to the scholarly study and investigation of deathbed visions, out-of-body experiences, experiences of dying people, as well as the transformative experiences of the witnesses to such phenomena. One aspect of IANDS that has not been noted, to my satisfaction, in literature, television programs, or symposiums is the cultural changes that occur among everyone involved. This is the reason I share some of the details of my NDE and incorporate those details into a history of IANDS, showing how our missions have merged.

A Paradigm Shift on the Horizon: The Role of NDEs in the "New Medicine"

Pamela Kircher, M.D.

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Since Raymond Moody published Life after Life in 1975, NDEs have become increasingly part of human consciousness. Myriad books, television programs, movies, and articles have been written on NDEs, allowing them to become more mainstream, now that people feel freer to talk about them. Other areas of expanding consciousness are contributing to that greater freedom. This talk gives a brief overview of current research in these areas, including reincarnation, power of prayer on healing, influence on plants and inanimate objects by intent, and awareness during unconscious states as in surgery. As science comes to know more about these other areas, it becomes increasingly apparent that NDEs must be understood by the medical profession as common normal phenomena. We are on the brink of a major paradigm shift in our understanding of medicine and healing, and the insistence of NDErs on the reality of their experience has been a major impetus in that direction.

Mediumship: Maintaining Communication with the Other Side

Paul Bernstein, Ph.D., Moderator & Panel Members

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After returning to their body, some NDErs continue to see or hear persons who've remained on the other side of the tunnel. Like so-called 'mediums', these experiencers can feel the presence of a person who had died, and can communicate that person's thoughts and feelings to relatives still alive on this side. Three panelists each describe this communication process from the particular perspective of his/her own life:
  • one NDEr who spontaneously hears from dead relatives of persons who come to him in grief
  • a professional medium who is also a near-death experiencer
  • a scientist who learned to perceive and communicate with the departed even though he was not born with any special talent for this and is not an NDEr.

It's a Wonderful Life Review

Beverly Brodsky

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"I have come with my whole life written upon me." These are the opening words to an unseen God to be pondered in night-long meditation by a Jewish Renewal rabbi on the evening of her ordination. And how true it is in the life review portion of the near-death experience. There we view, through empathic goggles a flawless video of our entire life in which we become all the players of our highest and lowest moments. The perennial Christmas week film "It's a Wonderful Life" reaffirms meaning through angelic intervention to show a suicidal man what the world would be like had he not ever lived. In contrast, in the NDE life review we see what the world is like because we have lived. The lessons of this review are available for all students of the literature, whether you have had such an experience or not. By understanding our ability to create joy or pain, we can reclaim our power, and focus on living our lives by the light of spiritual understanding. With compassion for our mistakes, the life review teaches us to strive to live impeccable lives of increasing mindfulness and awareness of our starring role on this brief stage.

Human Consciousness at the Millennium: The Next Phase

Judith S. Miller, Ph.D.

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This presentation discusses the necessity for experiencers of expanded consciousness (whether NDE or other spiritual opening) to engage in ongoing, in-depth inner transformational work, that incorporates moving through shadow material and learning to identify and integrate the Light. This necessary work is what naturally occurs when one travels the Mystical Path, and is what needs to be done at this next phase in our evolution. The five stages of the mystical path are described. The benefits and difficulties inherent in traveling such a path are also discussed, and resources for assisting in this process are offered.

Research Panel

Panel Members

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A researcher panel consists of several people who are doing research into NDEs talking about their current projects, results, difficulties, etc., with audience participation.

I'm Not Crazy, I Just Died

Linda Jacquin

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Ever been labeled "confused," "hysterical," or even psychologically unstable, when sharing a near-death experience with a member of the medical community? One experiencer's account and what she did.

NDEs and Modern Theories of Consciousness

Rich Borutta

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The enigma of the NDE presents a perplexing challenge as a genuine human experience. In spite of the fact that every living individual will eventually experience death the NDE has remained classified as either a supernatural or religious experience, or has been classified as not a genuine state of consciousness at all. Current advances in medicine and bio-imaging have given us a clearer picture of how the human brain functions, and this evidence has been used to revise models of how consciousness arises in the brain. The NDE is an extreme state of consciousness approaching the limits of and transcending the normal realm of consciousness considered in these studies. Elements of the NDE may provide validation of some of the processes described by these models as well as identifying some physical basis for the experience. The evolution of human cognitive processes should be enhanced by the inclusion and understanding of NDEs in the category of valid human experiences.

The Gay Near-Death Experience

Liz Dale, Ph.D.

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One year before this talk, preliminary findings on Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/ Transgender individuals who participated in a study was presented to the IANDS community in Vancouver, Canada. This first-of-its-kind, gay-identified NDE study examined questionnaires and individual stories for themes of interest. Additional data has been gathered and is presented. Specific areas of review are on recently gathered autobiographical data for 21 subjects, a review of specific themes in stories/questionnaires, sexual identity questions relating to time during the NDE, and sexual identity issues that may have come up after the NDE.

Experiencer Panel B

Panel Members

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The experiencer panels are always some of the high points of the conference. Each of the four or so experiencers on the panel tells his or her experience and answers questions from the audience.

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