Is there an Afterlife or is it just wishful thinking? –Diane Goble

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Chapter Nine

Spiritual, but not Religious

What makes people think that they are somehow exempt?

Dear Diane,

While the topic of whether or not there is an ‘afterlife’ is all very interesting, I cannot help but wonder if this is nothing more than a case of wishful thinking on the part of those who cannot accept the inevitability of life’s end. It also raises the question of whether such an outcome (‘life’ after death) is even desirable. Maybe it’s just me, but I find the notion of ‘eternal life’ to be an abhorrent one, and by the way, what is the ultimate objective to all of this endless evolution of ‘the soul’ (whatever that is)? ‘Perfection’? ‘Oneness’? Does anyone know, and if not why not? Nothing in nature is half-eternal, and by this I mean that there is nothing in nature that has a beginning but no ending, so my question is this: what makes people think that they are somehow exempt from this rule?

Paul

• • • • •

Dear Paul,

It’s certainly a question pondered by many.

Personally I was quite comfortable not believing in an after life. My younger sister was killed when I was 10 and although I had after death communication with her I dismissed it as an adult and convinced myself dead was dead. I wasn’t religious, didn’t go to church, and was at least agnostic when this strange experience happened to me and it was so real, so amazing, so wondrous, so inexplicable, so loving that it profoundly changed me.

I tried unsuccessfully to explain what happened but I couldn’t find the words. Everyone acted like I was crazy, babbling nonsense. So I denied it and repressed it for years. Had it been a dream or wishful thinking, it never would have come back and demanded expression. Why would I put myself out there if it hadn’t happened? I returned to life with a mission to open others to the light that there is more to life than we’ve been led to believe… this was not where my life was going before this happened to me.

I’m not trying to force my perspective on anyone, just share what happened to me and let them draw their own conclusions… but I gotta tell you, I see a lot of miserable people out there in the world who think they have all the answers while I love my life. I live this calm, peaceful, serene, happy, joyful life filled with love and beauty, fully aware that while I may die at any moment, my life continues to evolve in other dimensions of a Universe that is so vast that eternity is not long enough.

What we “do” as spiritual beings in the afterlife is beyond human understanding but I promise you, it’s not boring (Possibility: As spiritual beings, we are co-creators of the physical universe). We are so far removed from anything resembling the physical dimension at this point that “life” as a human being is inconceivable just as “a being filled with the Love of God” is beyond human comprehension. We are energy, we are light, we only exist as human beings when we pass through the physical dimension… for a moment.

We are not human beings… we are spiritual beings having human experiences… we are in the world but not of it. “People” aren’t exempt, only spiritual beings are eternal.

Bless you on your spiritual path.

Peace & Joy!

Diane

• • • • •

Dear Diane,

When I wrote my little letter in your guestbook I didn’t really expect that I would receive a response from anyone to what I had discussed within it, but this is really a pleasant surprise – thank you :). You may perhaps have deduced from my comments that I am far too cynical, and a little too demanding in the level of proof I require before accepting something as a reality. The truth of the matter is that I am not really as closed-minded as that letter may suggest, and after having looked over it again I’m kind of embarrassed by it. Of all the phenomena which could be, for want of a better term, classed as ‘New Age’ (I hope that term does not offend you – I myself can’t stand it), the research results and/or evidence that has been gathered thus far regarding NDE’s actually indicates that there is, in fact, much more to life than merely this present physical existence of ours. This is a topic which should be discussed openly, without any fear of ridicule or derision on the part of self-proclaimed sceptics, who have their own ulterior motives for silencing debate on this, and many other, issues. I hope that my letter has had more of a positive impact than a negative one to this overall debate.

Once again, thank you for responding to my message and, of course, for telling me, a complete stranger, about the life-altering experience you had.

God bless, all the best, and bye….

Paul

• • •

THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS

This book contains emails from people all over the world who wanted to ask questions of a Near-Death Experiencer–

maybe you have a similar question and will find the answer you are seeking here.

• • • • •

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Why am I having panic attacks over fear of dying?

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Excerpt from

Chapter Two

Panic attacks over fear of dying

Dear Diane,

I am a 34-year-old mother of two, fairly healthy ( I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since 1987) I am a Christian and believe the Bible is God inspired and that what it tells me about death and dying are true. The problem is I suffer with depression and anxiety and with that, overwhelming thoughts of myself or family members dying. I feel guilt because it seems as though I have a lack of “faith.” I wake up thinking about dying and go to sleep thinking about it. I can’t do ANYTHING without thinking is this the day I will die? I am no longer working because of the panic attacks I have and I have a hard time being productive during the day because I am in fear all the time. I am under a doctor’s care and in no way suicidal. I am not sure of your beliefs (spiritual,) but as a Christian could your experience help me?

I look forward to your reply.

Kate

• • • • • • •

Dear Kate,

I suggest you read more NDE stories, many of them are by Christians, to reassure yourself. I’d guess you are like most religious people who accept what they are told but don’t really believe it. They will tell you to have faith, because they can’t prove anything, and that doubt is a weakness, but doubt is telling you that what you’ve been told to believe doesn’t fit– isn’t right, and should lead you to further seeking for the truth. Your anxiety and panic stem from fear of the unknown. Near-death experiencers have made it known. There is nothing to fear because we (the essence of who we are) do not die.

We are spiritual beings having human experiences.

The Bible may be God-inspired, but God didn’t stop inspiring, nor just start inspiring, 2,000 years ago. And there is always a deeper meaning in its words to inspire us to further understanding. This I realized during my NDE during which it all made perfect sense. I won’t tell you anything that can’t be found in the Bible– if you can draw the deeper meaning from the words. Kate, there is no death. Only our bodies die. We simply step out of them when they no longer serve us and go on with our lives in full consciousness, finally remembering who we really are, and that there is so much more to life that we simply forgot when we ensouled a human body.

We have a body, but we are not this body.

We are in the world, but not of it.

This is Jesus’ message.

He also said that we can do all that he could do… and more.

The best thing we can do, knowing that we may well die before we take our next breath, is to live life to the fullest in every moment. When our body ceases to function, we are quickly filled with the overwhelming, unconditional love of God and have complete understanding of All That Is. Yet there is little joy at that wonderful moment if we have regrets that we didn’t live our life to the fullest because we feared something that wasn’t real.

Learning meditation, practicing deep breathing, would be very helpful to overcome depression-anxiety-panic attacks.

Prayer is talking to God; meditation is listening to God.

You will meet God in the Silence of your mind and find the answers you are seeking. Knowing that you do not die and nothing can really hurt you, will help you battle the demons that you have conjured up from the religious dogma you have accepted. The demons are not real, only God’s Love is real.

Peace & Joy!

Diane

AmazonCoverThis book contains emails from people all over the world who wanted to ask questions of a Near-Death Experiencer–

maybe you have a similar question and will find the answer you are seeking here.

Questions about suicide

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THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO

COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS

Readers’ questions to a near-death experiencer at BeyondtheVeil.net

I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing all your experiences and knowledge with the world. You see, you were partly responsible for saving my life. — Shawn

Chapter Eight

Suicide

*I had a glimpse

*Teenage angst

I am 16 years old and have had..oh, about 20 suicide attempts. I am terrified of growing up and what the future holds for me. I am always saying “we’re all going to die anyways, what’s the point of me even being here?”

*I hate myself, I want to die

*Life has passed me by

*Suicide or prison

I have a friend who might be facing a very lengthy prison sentence and he is likely to take his own life to avoid this.

*Is suicide wrong?

*Suicide to reunite with beloved

*I’m thinking about suicide

*My son’s suicide

…you see he took his life in front of me and I couldn’t stop him. he took his life over a girl… now i feel that i have no purpose here anymore…

*My husband killed himself… is he OK?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Cosmic Consciousness

is available exclusively on Kindle

It is time… WAKE UP! new ebook by near-death afterlife experiencer

THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS

by Diane Goble

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(Photo by Cat Connor)

Available March 1st on Kindle exclusively at Amazon.com

When Diane Goble began developing her first website in 1996 to talk about her near-death experience by drowning during a white water rafting accident in 1971, she had no idea she would eventually connect with millions of people all over the world with her message from the other side that

“WE DON’T DIE!”

She received emails from thousands of people from 140 different countries, from ages 16 to 94, from all religions, as well as skeptics, all wanting to ask her about her experience, what she learned, her perspective on the meaning of life and God– spiritual seekers hoping for answers to questions they’ve never dared ask before, wanting confirmation that there is more to life beyond this life, and that we get to see our loved ones again.

But even more, these people wanted to share their pain and spiritual angst with someone who understood and wouldn’t judge them. They poured out their hearts and many found their souls.

For the next 10 years, Diane’s spiritual path became responding to all those emails and allowing the message to come through her to her keyboard. She expanded her website to include lessons and resources for spiritual seekers, as well as for healers and caregivers. On her online Seekers Open Forum page, she posted many of the emails she received and her responses, and invited others to share in the discussions. There weren’t as many trolls back then but she wasn’t afraid to take them on and had quite a few provocative exchanges.

As it turned out, a lot of people asked similar questions about the same subjects so rather than continue to personally respond to everyone and repeat her answers, she grouped similar questions and put a sampling from various subjects into this book to provide a variety of perspectives about similar topics, such as

Near-Death Experiences, Fear of Death, Grief, The Afterlife, Paranormal Experiences, Reincarnation, Suicide, and Spiritual but not Religious.

It is her hope that making this information more available at this time will encourage further conversations that will lead to more people on the planet waking up… becoming aware that there is more to “life” than we’ve been led to believe… that we have become mental prisoners of lies forced upon us by those who need to keep us dumb slaves so they can become more wealthy and powerful… that we are brainwashed into becoming warriors willing to die for the military industrial complex as if it were an honorable thing to do… that we are lolled into complacency by the media so we won’t notice what’s really going on right in front of our eyes. If we realized who we really are, they couldn’t control us.

“If we’re going to save the planet and Humanity,” she says, “now is as good a time as any before. Just as things couldn’t get any worse, the wave is cresting. The turmoil is at it’s height. The Shift is happening. Those who are already awake, need to awaken others to Cosmic Consciousness— the Realization that We Are One… that we are all in this together.”

Open your heart… Expand your Awareness… Imagine Peace…

Whatever else you believe, do everything with Love, Forgiveness, Gratitude

Comments from emailers–

Thank you SO much for your kind and thoughtful response. You are a nurturing soul… I am very eager to get a handle on this… I often feel that I am not from around here … or don’t want to be here … not like wanting to be dead, just not wanting to be on earth.        –Molly

What a relief to communicate with someone who understands how I feel. I have just been in the garden contemplating things. You have hit the nail on the head in so many ways.   –Lenny

Thank you Diane for your courage to speak out. I never wanted to say much about it [childhood NDE] because I felt people would think I was crazy. Now I’m grown and live a good life and I treat people like I want to be treated. — Bobbie

I very much enjoy your words and outlook, I think you really are here to calm humanities fear of death. What an awesome life mission to have. –Pete

You have no idea how glad I was receiving your email! Just the thought that you actually took the time to answer me shows what a caring and lovely person you are. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I continue reading your site and I printed all its contents, which filled a thick binder. It is for me like a Bible and whenever I feel down or scared I consult it giving me comfort. –Maria

I was moved to tears. Some how I wanted to cry with joy for what I was reading. I was so deeply touched by your insights some how you’ve articulated so many things I’ve felt.     –Sonny

I needed focusing into what I was already aware of and you helped. Thank you soooo much!! –Carly

…your site certainly came into my view at the exact time period in which I could not have needed it more. Thank you for your courage in sharing your story, and for the manner in which you decided to share it. –Patricia

Your Q&A approach covers every question that I had before I had thought of them yet. “Nothing on Earth Had Prepared Me For the Reality of Life After Death” (Chapter One) was the most profound, insightful piece of writing I have yet found in all of the NDE books I have read. I know how impossible it is to put NDE subjects in relatable or fresh terms, but I think you succeeded. –RJ

Thank you so much for your reply. It is the BEST explanation I have had. — Laurie

… thank you for responding to my message and, of course, for telling me, a complete stranger, about the life-altering experience you had. –Paul

… please accept A Heartfelt Thank you for your inspirational site! It is encouraging to connect with one who is walking their talk as a living example of truth/god in action! expressing it-self in physical form! –Donna

… you have a wonderful website and your words are most comforting for those of us that fear disease and death. —Bob

Thank you for this site. This site will always benefit people. —Dave

I will also remain very thankful that our paths crossed. You were right when you wrote on your website about the fact that there are no accidents. I was led to the site for a reason, and thanks to your kindness and patience I understand that reason much better today that I thought possible. Thank you again… you are a very kind soul indeed… —Kaleb

I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing all your experiences and knowledge with the world. You see, you were partly responsible for saving my life. — Shawn

You have articulated my own thoughts much better than I have been able to myself… –Greta

I just found your web site since I just woke up this morning and am gratified to find it. I have been crying a cry of recognition reading the feelings and experiences of your other Emailers. –Mike

I’ve been a confused Christian for 31 years and within a week of reading from your website I feel a newfound joy in wanting to understand the soul’s purpose, journey, etc. in a positive way. –Adam

I appreciate your willingness to respond to people about your experience and what you have learned. Your response put into words a gut feeling I have had for a long time. Thank you! –Scott

When I read your email, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. It’s like I always knew that but was afraid to think it because it’s not what I was brought up to believe. I’m so grateful to you for opening my eyes. –Marianne

Read about my Near-Death Experience Here

Assisted Suicide vs. Aid-in-dying: Word Wars

“Assisted suicide” vs. “Aid in Dying”: They both mean the same thing in the context of the right of a person to make his or her own decisions about his or her own end of life, but some self-righteous, narrow-minded, dogmatic religious fanatics who are obstinately convinced of the superiority or correctness of their own opinions and prejudices against those who hold different opinions seem to think that if they stir peoples’ emotions up they can win this battle and prevent those who want this choice from being able to have it legally and without prejudice.

It has been shown that words make a difference. Words evoke emotions based on beliefs. In polls where people are asked if they approve of Death With Dignity Acts, the results are skewed against when the word “suicide” is used in place of “aid in dying.” It is an emotional issue that plays with peoples’ fears and insecurities, not just about the meaning in this life but in the next life. Self-righteous religious people hold up their beliefs about the sanctity of life to guilt vulnerable, frightened people into needless suffering at the end of life. They are trying to legislate their version of morality as if they were right and the majority of people who are in favor of Death With Dignity are all wrong.

This one guy who regularly spews his right-to-life platitudes and insists, in his most recent blog, that “aid in dying” is a euphemism for “assisted suicide” is particularly annoying the way he twists the truth to fit his beliefs. HIS beliefs! The man seems to have no compassion, just opinions about what’s right for the rest of us. Just because he hasn’t evolved consciously enough to realize the difference between a distraught person who wants to end his or her life and a dying person who doesn’t want to die but makes an informed decision to leave his body on his or her own terms doesn’t mean he won’t have his Aha! moment on his own death bed and have a change of heart.

It doesn’t really matter whether it’s called aid in dying or assisted suicide. Quibbling over semantics is just a smokescreen. A dying person who knows when this body no longer serves the soul and is ready to go home is the determinant factor.

Just a suggestion but instead of using fear tactics, put your energy into seeing to it that good laws are passed in all states that will protect people from having death forced upon them because they are senile or poor or severely disabled or by external forces and empower assisting physicians to fulfill requests for prescriptions.

We are already doing a good job of killing people with all our air, water and land pollution; not paying attention to climate changes; cutting funding to social programs; and not caring about the homeless or victims of the economic downturn, or the mentally ill who are cast adrift. Aside from all the murders and mass shootings, people in this country are starving to death, freezing to death, dying in the streets, in our forests, in rivers, in the ocean, jumping off bridges because they aren’t able to survive in this economic climate. Nobody seems to care about these people. And yet some people want to stop other people from being able to self-administer prescribed medicine to shorten a dying process they find unbearable. Tch. Tch.

 

Death With Dignity– right or wrong?

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The thing about laws in this country is that there is a separation between Church and State. To me that means just because some church or religion has a rule about something based on their beliefs that doesn’t make it a law of the land. They can’t impose their beliefs on the rest of us. They may express their opinion, and it should be taken into consideration in debates, but they can’t bully the rest of us with their derogatory statements or by pouring money into negative advertising to get their own way.

Calling aid-in-dying “assisted suicide” is inflammatory and demeaning to people who are dying. It is heinous attempt to frighten people, who are already frightened because they or someone they know may be dying, to coerce them into thinking they would be committing murder or suicide, let alone incurring God’s wrath. These may be the kind of tactics some people use to scare people into supporting their cause, but they do not speak for the majority as polls have so often shown.

It’s all well and good that certain religious groups want to protect vulnerable people from being murdered for convenience (and they should be), but to impose their view of morality on others, especially in personal and family matters, is beyond arrogance and presumption.

There are people who believe in the sanctity of life– that it is a gift from God and only God determines the time of death.

There are people who believe taking one’s own life is a sin, punishable by eternal damnation.

There are people who believe suffering has some redemptive value and should not be interfered with by hastening death.

There are people who believe when life is over, that’s it, dust to dust– so it does not matter what you do while you’re here. There is no God, no Heaven, no Hell. The ones with the most toys while they’re here, win.

There are those who believe one must follow the practices of a certain religion to get into “heaven” or be rewarded.

There are those who believe in a loving and forgiving God who welcomes everyone home.

There are those who believe that leaving one’s body is an adventure we get to go on at the end of this life, who look forward to their transition.

There are those who believe we are light beings who pass in and out of physical environments and less dense dimensions of the Universe as part of a greater journey, and death is just a transformation.

How do we take into account all these different beliefs when creating laws to regulate end-of-life procedures while protecting the vulnerable?

We give patients the right to make their own decisions, according to their own beliefs, regarding the care and treatment of their own body at the end of their lives, including when to end their own lives if they so choose… with the caveat that it’s a well-considered, educated decision. But it’s their business, not mine or yours or anybody else’s… least of all the government or the hospital or insurance companies or any religious group.

Protections need to be in place to prevent force or coercion. Hopefully we’ve learned from the atrocities and genocides of the past and have no need to repeat them. The elderly, the terminally-ill and people with disabilities need to make their wishes for future healthcare planning known while they are capable of doing so. They get to choose.

Those who want to do everything, try everything, fight on no matter what or how long, should write that in their Advance Directives. People who choose no treatment or to stop treatments and let nature take its course should have that written down.

Those who want to opt out early should be able to request a prescription for life-ending medication and not be forced to starve themselves to death or suffer unbearable agony. It has to be written down and Advance Healthcare Directives have to be honored.

This whole thing about whether a dying person asking for a lethal prescription is depressed is just ridiculous. They’re not just having a bad day, their boyfriend didn’t just break up with them, they don’t want to die… they are dying. Their doctor has told them there is nothing else to be done… go home, get your affairs in order, call hospice, you have 6 months or less to live. They have thought long and hard about this and made their decision with a clear mind before they made their request. And statistics show that most people who make the request don’t end up taking the pills. Just knowing they had the option was the comfort they needed and they are able to die peacefully at home in their own bed.

Then we have doctors who are against participating in assisting a dying patient by writing a prescription knowing if the patient takes it, it will end his life. They have their oath of do no harm, give no poison. They became doctors to heal people, not to kill them. Even though doctors and nurses are presumably the most qualified to administer drugs, the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists say it is contrary to the Hippocratic Oath and would erode the public trust in medical professionals.

When it comes to capital punishment, medical ethics prevent doctors from participating in executions and they apply the same rationale to dying people not on death row. What often happens in prisons is that lethal injections are carried out by inexperienced technicians which increases the possibility of mistakes that can cause complications. What happens at home without proper medical care, when people take matters into their own hands, is often botched suicide attempts with dire consequences.

What is needed is a new medical specialty to insure proper administration of life-ending drugs and personal attention to  patients to assure a peaceful transition according to their last wishes. Patients need to be fully informed of procedures, effects, timelines, and so on, and the family about what to expect and how to plan by a competent, comforting person. This could be retired doctors or nurses who have the compassion to help people die on their own terms because prescriptions can be written and proper assistance rendered, and certain regulations need to be in place to assure death with dignity. We can work this out so medical care doesn’t end until after death.

It isn’t a matter of right or wrong; it’s a matter of choice.

• • •

 

A Near-Death Experience Beyond the Veil

near death experience

Diane Goble

Born September 19, 1941 • NDE July 18, 1971

During the summer of 1971, just before I turned 30, I was with my husband John and our three young children in the mountains of northern Georgia while he was working with the camera crew of the movie “Deliverance.” On weekends, some of the cast and crew, and their families would take the 4-person rubber rafts out on the river for a little R&R.

They filmed on the same part of the Chattooga River we rafted on and, of the eight of us on this particular Sunday afternoon, July 18, 1971, four of us, including John and I, had rafted down this stretch once before. But the river was different this time. The water level was lower from several days of no rain; different paths had to be taken through the many rapids we encountered on this 5 hour journey. Sometimes the water level was so low, we had to portage the rafts and gear or take a different path through the rocks and around the fallen trees.

chattooga

This was the case at the last set of rapids at Woodall Shoals. We couldn’t go around the far right side that we had traversed previously. It was either portage 100 yards over the rocks down the riverbank or take our chances over the hydraulic.

A “hydraulic” is a churning white water phenomena caused by a deep hole beneath a waterfall, this time with about a 5-6 foot drop due to low water level. It tends to suck anything that crosses over into itself and not let go unless it can be quickly and cleanly cleared. There were a couple of broken kayaks along the shore attesting to its destructive powers.

I learned recently from experienced kayaker, Doug Woodward, who worked on the movie as a wrangler and stunt double, that this is the most dangerous section of the Chattooga River (Wherever Waters Flow, p. 183) and a number of people have drowned there since “Deliverance” attracted adventurers to the river.

We read the river and figured out how to get a raft into the current and head directly through the rocks and over the hydraulic. We took everything out of the raft John, my 16-year old sister JoAnn, Skip Cosper’s wife and Jon Voigt’s standin were in, and put it all in the raft I was in with Wally Worsley and Sue Dwiggens (Production Manager & his assistant), and Skip Cosper (Assistant Director). This included coolers, cameras, extra oars and life vests, shoes, clothes, sunscreen, etc.

We positioned their raft into the current, shoved them off and over they went with no problems. Hoops and shouts were heard as they negotiated the rest of the rapids toward the calm pool below. We turned to each other and agreed that went so well that we’d just jump in and follow them so they wouldn’t have to make the trip back up and carry all the gear back down.

What we failed to consider was that the four of us guided their raft and shoved it head first into the current. We walked our raft into the stream, and before we were all in the raft the current grabbed it and swung it into the current as we scrambled to get inside, grab our oars and begin paddling. The raft quickly spun around and was sucked backwards between the boulders and down the waterfall, but instead of sliding across the hydraulic, the tail of the raft plunged into the water, knocking Sue out immediately. Wally and Skip were hanging on inside the raft but I was straddling the side facing the waterfall, trying to hang on to the slippery rubber, reaching for something to hang onto.

The front, now back end of the raft smashed down to the base and the raft was stuck there. Water would fill the inside of the raft which would then buck, throwing the water and everything inside out. It was like riding a bucking bronco (not something I was familiar with). I felt myself slipping off the edge and being pulled down by the waterfall. One of the men grabbed my arm at the last second as I was going over but now I was caught between the raft and the rocks, with the force of the waterfall pouring down on my head and the circulating action of the hydraulic pushing me up and sucking me down. They were trying to pull me back into the raft, but the most they could do was enable me to catch an occasional quick breath before I was sucked down again. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place!

During the three or four minutes of all this happening, my mind had been racing… oh, my god, oh, my god, oh my god… and then a peaceful feeling came over me as very consciously and very calmly, I knew I was going to die. It was just a matter of how. There was no more panic or fear. Being smashed against the rocks was painful and slow, so I rationalized that drowning would be the better choice. The next time the water pushed me up and Wally or Skip pulled me up enough that my head was above the water, I yelled Let go. I heard him yell, Are you sure? I shouted Yes! And he did.

I felt the water pull me under and I relaxed into it. I knew there was no point in struggling. I didn’t try to hold my breath. As I breathed in the water, everything quickly went black.

For a moment…

The next thing I knew I was vividly conscious, well above the river and the tree tops looking down at the raft stuck against the rocks below. I saw Wally and Skip, still struggling to hold onto the raft, looking into the water for my body to come out from underneath. I saw Sue’s body rushing downstream. I watched John and JoAnn and the others, including people who had been picnicking down by the calm pool, as they were running back up the hill to find out why all the debris had arrived in the calm pool.

I watched John climb out onto a rock in the river. He couldn’t hear what the two men still in the raft were shouting to him over the roar of the water. He had no idea where I was or what had happened, but he knew I was missing. He looked as if he wanted to jump in to try to find me and I suddenly found myself at his side trying to stop him because he wasn’t much of a swimmer and I knew there was no point. When I reached out to stop him, my arm went right through his body. I looked at my arm, which appeared to be translucent, and thought… oh, my god, I’m dead!

In that instant, the physical world fell away and total knowledge of reality appeared to me. I saw the multi-dimensionality of the universe. My consciousness expanded so far beyond the physical plane that I was no longer aware of it, nor of having a body. I was so much a part of it all, there was no distinction, no duality. It appeared as a brilliant flash of light and I was allowed to see into it for a brief moment and experience a feeling of love so profound, powerful and overwhelming that I can only describe it as Pure Bliss (even though that doesn’t begin to describe it).

And, suddenly, I was whisked away and found myself traveling rapidly through a vortex toward a beautiful white light in the far, far distance. I continued to experience an overwhelming feeling of love within me and around me. There was no fear, no anxiety, no worry. I was filled with joy. I had no sense of being in a body, no feeling of limitations or boundaries; no regret that I was leaving my life. Yet, I was still me and aware that I was having this amazing experience.

My consciousness was flooded with memories of past lives and I remembered that I had made this journey many times before. I knew I was going home. Reincarnation and karma suddenly made perfect sense! I understood the Oneness of the Universe and that “God” is more than any religion ever taught (and yet all religions contain some grain of truth). The message of the Bible suddenly made complete sense to me and it wasn’t what religions taught.

God is not a human-like being sitting on a throne surrounded by angels singing praises and disembodied souls worshipping some Lord God Almighty while awaiting some Judgment Day. There is not a Heaven or a Hell for these souls to be sent to depending on whether they followed the rules or believed in this god/religion or another (these are human concepts). I saw that “God” is the Light from which every thing comes forth, of which all things are created. God is the Source of All That Is and we are the quintessence of God. We are God unfolding. Expressions of God. God Self-realizing. These are the only ways I can (now) explain it.

Before long, I realized I wasn’t alone. There was a presence, which I can only describe as a Loving Being of Light, traveling beside me… at the speed of light! Yet it was as if we were standing still. This being knew all about me and still loved me unconditionally. There was no sense of judgment or need for forgiveness. There was a sense of timelessness to all of this, everything happening at once rather than a sequence of events.

This presence had no form or countenance but was pure energy. We communicated mentally, telepathically. This was someone I have always known and I knew that as soon as I sensed the presence of this being. Yet I cannot now tell you who it was with a name. I didn’t have the sense that it was any familiar religious figure or deceased relative, but rather a special friend who is always with me wherever I am, throughout many lifetimes on earth and otherwise; perhaps, my guardian angel. This Being told me that I had a choice about going back. I thought, no, no, no, I want this to go on forever!

Suddenly, we burst into the white light and a whole new reality was revealed to me, similar in appearance to the physical world, but, in this higher vibration, more colorful, more beautiful, more amazing. I saw plants, trees, mountains, lakes, animals, and shimmering crystal-like buildings, some very large and ornate. There was no sun but light was everywhere; no shadows, no darkness. Also nothing seemed solid, rather always changing; borders weren’t well-defined. There were no edges.

I saw beings moving around, light beings going about their daily lives in groups. They didn’t have physical bodies, but they were distinct fields of energy. Some of them had features that made them appear human-like but most were featureless beings of light. They didn’t walk, they floated.

I didn’t see any vehicles of transportation. I was told they traveled by thought. Think about where you want to be and you’re there! They have lives much like ours, but without the struggles and sorrows, those are human dramas we create when our egos are in play. Here there is only love, peace and joy… by no means boring as human minds/insatiable egos might anticipate.

I had many questions and they were all telepathically answered by the Being of Light as soon as they occurred to me. We traveled over healing centers where I was told new souls come after the death of their human body to readjust to spiritual life without a physical body. Healer souls are there to acclimate new souls (somewhat comparable to physicians and hospitals on earth). We have to relearn how to control our higher mental faculties, which bring us whatever we desire immediately.

I was shown how we are working to develop this ability as humans, but it’s more difficult to manipulate matter. Some things, I learned, are easier or harder in different dimensions because of energy, matter and the time/space continuum. This is due to the process of development of beings who are both human and divine with higher consciousness. We are working on this both in the spiritual dimensions and as physical beings. The evolution of consciousness is the next step in human development.

We also traveled over areas where souls live their daily lives, where families gather and entertainment abounds. We no more lie around waiting for Judgment Day than play harps all day long, nor are there virgins and wine awaiting others as gifts for any human sacrifice.

There are musicians and choirs, and beautiful music can always be heard. They are also artists, dancers, singers, inventors, builders, healers, creators of magical things… things they will manifest in their next lifetime in a physical world. True, we don’t have to work or earn a living nor are there masters or slaves. Instead we are able to manifest everything we desire and are free to express our creativity and love for each other in many ways. Sex? That’s a physical thing; love is magical!

We left the areas that could be called “cities” (although nothing like suburbia on earth) where souls existed in small groups and we traveled across vast stretches of green hills where animals grazed in small herds. We passed over many rivers and lakes, fields of colorful flowers, and many varieties of trees. We approached a cluster of crystal-shaped spires, which grew taller as we approached until it looked like a city of very tall, crystallized skyscrapers.

Again, the Being of Light told me it was my choice to stay or go, but that there was more for me to do as Diane if I chose to continue with that life. Still reluctant to leave, I was told that if I chose to go back, I would be given certain knowledge to take back with me to share with others. I was told I wouldn’t remember everything at first because Diane had more work to do in order to make sense of it all but that it would gradually come back and I would know when humanity would be open to receive the teachings.

That didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me but after much discussion about this mission, I agreed to go back and, with that, suddenly found myself at the base of a tall conical-shaped building; so tall, it seemed to go up forever. I was told this was the Hall of Knowledge.

I entered the building (was sucked into it) and flew, spiraling upwards, through what appeared to be shelves, like in a library, of many millions of books and scrolls, and I flew through them all. It wasn’t just that I was absorbing knowledge as I traveled through/within this timeless state, but I was also sitting at the feet of the masters hearing their teachings directly from their mouths.

At the same time I seemed to be moving very fast and looking ahead I saw the pointed top of this structure coming closer and wondered how to stop. At the point of reaching the spire, I burst through it into a kaleidoscope of sparkling colors, like shards of glass shattering, flying slowly away from me in all directions and, at the same time, my head popped out of the water.

My body was down river about 100 yards from the raft rapidly approaching the calm pool and everything was back at frantic speed in real time. The sounds of the raging river, the feeling of being out of control, of having to take a breath, the commotion of the water all around me, brought me back to the physical world.

I immediately became aware of where I was and grabbed for the nearest rock. I was able to pull myself up and I coughed up a lot of water,  but needed no medical attention– which was a good thing because we were miles through the forest to the nearest road which was still in the middle of nowhere.

I noticed Sue and Wally were both clinging to rocks in the river near me and I could see that Skip was still in the raft stuck in the hydraulic looking around for me. It was only when my head popped up that John saw me and made his way down river. He helped me out of the water and (recently) told me that I muttered something about having been somewhere else but that was about all I said.

I was in a state of shock not only because of what my body had just experienced in the river, but what I experienced consciously after I inhaled the water and drowned. Those around me assumed I was dead and were looking for my body to wash down the river. Once I was back in my body, I was awestruck, speechless, blown away. I had never heard of anything like this happening to anyone. I could hardly speak much less begin to try to put this ineffable experience into words. The peace. The beauty. The love. The returning home. The remembering who I was… who we really are, what this is all about…

I don’t know how long my body was swirling around under the raft or how long it took my body to travel from point A to point B; no one was looking at their watch at the time. It could have been a minute or two or five or ten, it seemed to me that I was on the other side for days, years… a thousand years. There was no time where I was.

I can’t say that I was clinically dead, perhaps hypothermic because the water was quite cold, but I have no memory of struggling under the water or trying to hold my breath until I reached the surface. (I’ve been a swimmer, water skier, scuba diver, and surfer, so I’ve had plenty of close calls under water before when I thought I might die  before I reached the surface, but nothing like this. Those other times I remember perfectly well struggling to reach the surface, my lungs about to burst from trying not to inhale the water, totally aware of my physical experience, and I never had an out-of-body-experience.)

What I do remember during the time my body was at the mercy of the river under the raft or traveling through the rapids until the moment my head popped out of the water is what I have told you. The local river experts suggested the reason I survived was that I surrendered to the river… which I did.

I walked around in a state of shock for months afterwards, not knowing how to describe my experience nor integrate it into my life. When I did try to tell someone what I experienced, I was patted on the head and told to forget it, that I was lucky to be alive… or maybe I shouldn’t tell too many people or they might think I’m crazy, which is why I suppressed the memory and tried to get on with my life. Now I would say I had PTSD, then I just felt like I was walking around with a ticking time bomb inside me.

It wasn’t until 15 or so years later that I picked up a book titled Strangers Among Us by Ruth Montgomery which described similar experiences that I finally knew I wasn’t alone… or crazy. It was some time after that I learned of Raymond Moody’s book, Life After Life, which defined the near-death experience (NDE), and it actually became acceptable to talk about it for the first time. Then I found IANDS (International Association of Near-Death Studies) and felt absolved.

What happens after death is so unspeakably glorious that our imagination and our feelings do not suffice to form even an approximate conception of it. The dissolution of our time-bound form in eternity brings no loss of meaning.
–C.G. Jung, Psychiatrist and Near-death Experiencer

My life changed immediately and drastically after that day in the river and I went through some very tough times because I didn’t know what was happening to me, including a divorce (John had no clue what I was going through after the NDE and just thought I must be crazy), child custody battles, trying to find a job after not working for almost ten years, being single again. At one point someone I thought cared about me tried to kill me in several different ways. I was forced to change my name and move a number of times, including across country because he threatened to kill me if I tried to leave him, to the point I had no money, no friends and was basically homeless.

My kundalini was running amuck causing depression and suicidal thoughts and I had no idea what the problem was. I had another profound spiritual experience as I sat meditating, contemplating suicide by an overdose of pills, where I found myself in a dark void clinging to a rope that was fraying above me. I could have waited for it to break and fallen into the dark abyss below or climb above it toward the light and save myself. I suddenly remembered when I was in the 5th grade I was the only girl who could climb the rope in gym class all the way to the ceiling and I climbed up that rope as fast as I could because I decided I wanted to live!

My dark night of the soul led me on a long, winding path, to becoming a seeker of my higher purpose. I knew there was a reason I chose to come back when I was on the other side, but, once back in body, it was a mystery to me I even had a purpose. My life was in such a mess, what purpose could there possibly be, I wondered. I was overwhelmed by existential angst.

A series of coincidences and synchronicities led me to go back to school (7 years later) at age 37 to study psychology. After 5 years, I had a BA and MS in psychology and have been a counselor ever since. In college, I realized the significance of the library I flew through during my NDE. All the books I studied while at the university, it was as if I had read them already, and had no trouble making the Dean’s List most semesters, in spite of working part time (cleaning houses, dog sitting, tutoring, typing) and raising three teenagers as a single mother.

I began my metaphysical studies several years after graduation, reading every metaphysical, religious and spiritual book I could get my hands on, and talked with many teachers and gurus over the years. I began meditating a few years after my NDE, mainly to deal with stress, but eventually, by getting my kundalini under control, learned to reach and maintain a higher level of consciousness in every day life. I became an ordained minister and a spiritual counselor, and earned another master’s degree in Clinical Hypnotherapy, which lead me to past-life regression as a therapy. My education beyond the veil continues to this day and has evolved my thinking into a higher consciousness perspective.

My purpose for coming back manifested in writing Sitting in the Lotus Blossom in 1989 (it is now available as an ebook), during which time I was a Hospice volunteer, followed by Through the Tunnel: A Traveler’s Guide to Spiritual Rebirth in 1992 (out of print).

I began my web site BeyondtheVeil.net in 1996. In 2008, I developed an online training course for people who wish to teach others to be Transition Guides and have trained a number of very special spiritual midwives for the dying. Training is still available… contact me for information if you are interested.

In 2011, I put some of the conversations I had with visitors to this web site over about 12 years into two ebooks, Conversations With a Near-Death Experiencer and More Conversations With a Near-Death Experiencer. In 2012, I released a new ebook titled How to Die Consciously: Secrets from Beyond the Veil so anyone could learn the practice of conscious dying for themselves or to help their loved ones prepare for transition. In 2013, I revised some of the spiritual lessons from my web site and put them into two ebooks, The Path to Peace & Joy: a practical meditation and Reincarnation and the Evolution of Consciousness.

As a psychospiritual counselor for almost 30 years, my mission is to empower people with the tools and information they need to see beyond the veil. Becoming someone’s guru or making someone dependent upon me for his or her spiritual enrichment has never been the goal of my work. I want everyone to be his or her own guru, his or her own spiritual seeker. My role is simply to try to awaken my readers  to the possibility that there is more to life than we’ve been led to believe and it needs to be investigated if you want to evolve your consciousness.

I look forward to the glorious experience of returning home when my work here is finished, but I’m not in any hurry. I still have a lot to do here on earth before it’s time to leave this body, and continue my education and development on the other side. In the meantime, I’m here to help those in need of spiritual uplifting from a near-death perspective. As I find myself in need of financial support in my senior years (because I have rarely charged for my time and expertise in the past), if you contact me for a consultation, I request a donation equal in value to the benefit you feel you receive following our interactions.

Now… I realize this near-death experience was part of my soul’s pre-birth plan to return home at some point in this life so that “Diane” would remember this secret teaching (the kind we forget during birth) and contribute to releasing it to the rest of the world. The secret is that there is nothing to fear… we don’t die… only the body dies but our consciousness is of our soul, which is eternal and lives many human lifetimes attending the University of Life on Earth through its process of spiritual development. We become physical beings to learn and to grow and to express unconditional love as we evolve toward God-Consciousness.

© 1996-2014 Diane Goble

Corroboration #1

When I returned from a quick trip west for my daughter’s wedding, I heard enthusiastic reports of the fun to be had on the river. The second unit crew had made an excursion trying to retrieve a camera lost on the river, and although their search was unproductive, they had a great time shooting the rapids at Woodall Shoals. I was easily persuaded to join Sue and Assistant Director Skip Cosper on the adventure.

On July 18, a Sunday, we headed out with two rafts and a group including me and Sue. The rapids at Woodall Shoals had a “hydraulic” in the center section, we had been told by river men, but the right side was not too difficult to navigate. The first raft went that way with no trouble, but the second, our group, was not so lucky: we went right into the hydraulic.

Though the raft stayed upright, it was tossed violently into the air and Diane (Goble) Connor, wife of an assistant cameraman, was immediately thrown overboard. Skip and I grabbed her and lost her more than once. Then, seeing her pulled under the raft and ejected downstream, I took the initiative and dove in. I struggled mightily as long as I could before surrendering, totally exhausted and ready to meet my Maker. Then I, too, was sucked under the raft and spit out downstream where Diane and Sue were surviving swimmingly. Later, our river experts told us we survived because we gave up the struggle and let the river have its own way.

~Excerpt from From Oz to E.T. Wally Worsley’s Half-Century in Hollywood. A Memoir in collaboration with Sue Dwiggins Worsley, Edited by Charles Ziarko (Scarecrow Press, London, 1997, page 110-11).

Corraboration #2

When John first saw us out in the middle of the river, Wally was trying to hold onto my arm and Skip was trying to help, the waterfall was pouring down on my head, and my body was going up and down between the raft and the rocks. He saw Sue floating down river. He and my sister were standing on the rocks in the river across from us but we were too far out into the center for him to reach without getting caught in the current. His thought was that I was not going to make it and he needed to stay alive for the children so he wasn’t going to jump in.

I’m thinking in my version when I say I came down to his side to stop him from going into the river and drowning too, that he got my message. He says he heard me yell to Wally to let go and when he did, I was sucked under by the hydraulic force and he thought I was gone because he didn’t see my body come up nor did he see me struggling in the current or floating downstream (I had become one with the river). He kept looking around the raft for my head to pop up but it never did, then Wally jumped out of the raft and when John looked down river, he saw me hanging onto a rock. He says he ran down to where I was and pulled me out of the water.

What I remember is getting out of the water feeling fine, and then helping to get the raft unstuck from the hydraulic by jumping back in the water to grab the rope that was tied to the raft and whipping back and forth in the current so we could all pull the raft out… and that Skip was still in the raft. My husband’s memory is fuzzy on that. JoAnn, who was about 16 at the time, didn’t have clear memories of details.

John remembers me telling him something about going to another place and then coming back, but I wasn’t very articulate about it and he just dismissed it as some sort of confusion during the ordeal (poor thing, she must be in delirious!).

He said there was quite a roasting on the bus the next morning on the way to location about a bunch of idiots shooting the rapids and almost getting people killed!

• • •

Ken Ring (Lessons From the Light) interviews a number of near-death experiencers, and presents twelve insights that sum up their new attitude, proposing that, if you were actually to live by them, you would become a truly free person:

1. There is a reason for everything that happens.

2. Find your own purpose in life.

3. Do not be a slave to time.

4. Appreciate things for what they are.

5. Do not allow yourself to be dominated by the thoughts or expectations of others.

6. Do not be concerned with what others think of you.

7. Remember, you are not your body.

8. Don’t fear pain or death.

9. Be open to life and live it to its fullest.

10. Money and material things are not particularly important in the scheme of things.

11. Helping others is what counts in life.

12. Do not trouble yourself with competition – just enjoy the show.

• • •

Regina Meredith of Gaiamtv.com interviews Diane Goble  (2009)

 

 

 

 

Physicians, Nurses & Pharmacists and Assisted Dying

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Physicians, Nurses, Pharmacists & Assisted Dying

Trying to come up with a Death with Dignity law that will cover all the contingencies and please all the stakeholders is next to impossible, but it is a process and we have to start somewhere. My interest is in encouraging the discussion so the best laws will be written to protect all of us while giving us the freedom to make our own healthcare choices.

The laws in Oregon and Washington are showing that fears of wholesale murder haven’t materialized. Old people are not lining up along the highways at the state line to be killed. The slippery slope is holding. But there are still issues that need to be addressed to improve the law and stop the legal battles that only hurt the patients while filling the pockets of lawyers and the media.

Physicians have been polled in states where the law has been brought to the attention of the voters and a good many of them don’t want to participate. If a patient asked, they would say no.

Some claim allegiance to an oath written around 400 BC, 100 years after Hippocratesdeath, during a time when citizens were being fed to lions and butchered in the streets, that says Primum non nocere (Latin for “First, do no harm”). Actually it didn’t quite say that originally, but “I will keep them from harm and injustice.” I don’t think that has the same meaning today.

It’s hard to believe 2400 years later that an educated person would swear an oath to Apollo Physician, Asclepius, Hygieia, Panacea, and all the gods and goddess… of the Greco-Roman pantheon (at which time it was believed the earth was flat and all else was on a dome that revolved around it). No wonder they came to have a God-complex!

Hippocrates was considered the father of medicine during the time the Roman Empire was at war with just about everyone else as they conquered the lands around the Mediterranean. He was the first to recognize that illnesses come from natural causes and were not punishment from the gods, and he promoted natural healing and disapproved of the use of potent drugs. At the time, dissection was taboo in Greece so he didn’t know much about anatomy or how symptoms related to disease.  Their values and lives were quite different and more people died violent deaths than suffered debilitating and long-term chronic diseases like people today face. Then, 40 was old.

The truth is most medical school graduates today either don’t swear any kind of oath or use a more modern version, but let’s consider do no harm. Some synonyms for “harm”– (deliberately inflicted) hurt, pain, trauma; also wrong, wickedness, iniquity, sin. So it seems physicians don’t consider it harmful to allow a patient to suffer in agony for days or weeks as they are dying, but they do consider it harmful to end a dying person’s suffering by hastening his or her impending and inevitable death by a few days when that is what the person wishes.

Seems to me forcing patients to stay alive for more torture and medical insults is deliberately inflicted hurt, pain and trauma. A sin? Oh, please, save us from the beliefs of people who seek to impose the will of their imaginary gods and goddesses on the rest of us.

So apparently, according to some, helping to relieve someone, who is in the process of dying, from unbearable suffering or pain is doing harm. Really? Have you ever sat with a loved one who is dying that way, begging to die, begging for that little pill to set them free?  (See my article “The Right to Die” [1979])

The other part of the oath some physicians invoke states: I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.So when Socrates, considered the wisest man in Greece at this same time, was sentenced to death for speaking his mind, he gladly accepted the hemlock and his death rather than face exile. I wonder what Hippocrates thought about that. And here we are today debating about whether a person can choose to die or not when faced with death. Is one right and one wrong or are both right and the law should allow for individual choice?

The Hippocratic Oath also states To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art – if they desire to learn it – without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but to no one else. So it’s a paternalistic, sexist document– and when was the last time anyone saw a physician who didn’t charge fees?

I don’t think we should throw the baby out with the bath water but can we get over this Hippocratic Oath defense and get practical? This is 2013, laws (and oaths) need to be relevant to the times and we need to get up to speed.

People who are conscious as they are slowly dying often see their loved ones waiting for them on the other side (read any books by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross). They’ve been traveling back and forth, out of their body, between one world and another, for days or weeks and are excited about going home.  One’s final struggle is between wanting to stay and wanting to go. Some refuse to give up and fight to the end, and that is their choice; however when one is ready to go, when one requests it, let them go. The end is the same. It’s what’s in between that needs to be addressed.

Seems to me cruel and unusual punishment to force dying people to stay alive when they are ready to go, and it’s not just about pain relief. Some religious people believe suffering is part of life and seem to imply the more one suffers, the better. They believe in the “sanctity” of human life because they believe there is only one life. What if they are wrong… like the Greeks and Romans were wrong concerning Zeus and Juno and their brood?

As long as we identify with our body, we want to stay in it but once we realize we are more than our body, that we are spiritual beings temporarily living as humans in a physical world, we get the whole picture and realize that we don’t die when our bodies die…that our conscious awareness continues after our bodies give out. We just wake up, step out and move on.

My feeling is that to be done compassionately, and to dispel many of the concerns brought up by other stakeholders, a physician should be committed to his or her patients until the end. That means if a patient declines further medical treatment and requests assistance with dying, a physician should rightly be at the bedside supporting, informing, preparing, administering and monitoring until that patient expires.

I’ve read about doctors who abandon their patients to hospice when they think there’s nothing more to be done. This could be expected of surgeons whose forte is surgery, who see patients as organs or diseases, but greater compassion is expected of primary care physicians who may know the family as well as his or her patients.

Palliative care and hospice care should be given as options from the beginning of the diagnostic process and offered as a choice along with invasive options,  drug therapies and clinical trials. Patients don’t seem to realize they can opt for no treatment or to stop treatment at any time. Doctors don’t bring these issues up unless patients ask when they are uncomfortable talking about death as if it meant giving up.

There’s concern about the accuracy of a “6 months to live” prognosis. Hospice patients often outlive their 6 months because they get so much comfort and attention from the highly compassionate hospice caregivers that they live longer. Instead of spending one’s last months having more surgeries, more treatments, more side effects from drugs, more pain and suffering only to die hooked up in the ICU, patients could have the opportunity to have well thought out end-of-life conversations with their families. They may get palliative care so they are pain-free and able to fill out Advance Healthcare Directives, complete their bucket list, write their memoirs, wrap up unfinished business, complete their life review and give away treasures to family before transitioning to hospice care where they get to say goodbye to loved ones and have a going away party before they pass peacefully (with or without assistance).

When doctors treat their patients holistically, there’s still a lot that can be done when it comes to healing body-mind and soul. Physicians generally just haven’t been taught how to deal with death with their patients. There were no courses in med school until recently due to all this controversy, but lately things are changing and new physicians are finding courses available to help them relate to their patients as people and understand death as merely a transformation of energy. In my opinion, those who have already graduated need some continuing education classes.

Do I think “physicians” are the ones who should ultimately fill this role? Not necessarily. As I just mentioned, they’re not trained for it and it doesn’t fit their mindset. The whole physician-training process needs to include dying in a holistic healthcare continuum for their attitude to change. MDs may be the only ones who are permitted to prescribe the medication, but a newly-designated medical specialist (e.g. MD or RN with PhD in Thanatology) could be at the bedside to protect the patient’s interests following certain guidelines and carry out his or her end-of-life wishes for a quick and peaceful release.

This way, someone capable would be at the bedside if anything goes wrong (e.g. patient falls asleep before ingesting all meds, patient throws up meds, something goes wrong with an IV line), as well as pronounce the patient and sign the necessary paperwork. Just as it takes great compassion to be with the dying as a hospice nurse but not all nurses have the passion to become hospice nurses, only certain physicians will have the sensitivity necessary to assist patients who request assistance with a quick and peaceful pre-planned death.

They may be those women and men who realize death of the body is just a transition, a transformation of energy from one state to another with continuation of consciousness, and that assisting the dying to have a peaceful and meaningful experience helps to heal the soul as it is leaving the body.

Polls show that a lot of nurses are opposed to participating as well. Back before the November election in Massachusetts last year, an organization of nurses put out a statement of opposition to passage of the Death with Dignity Act. Hospice nurses who are more attuned to the needs of the dying could develop a transition guide specialty, but they would have to shift their mindset beyond only stopping eating and drinking being acceptable. It’s OK for a person to starve to death over a week or two along with their other ailments, aches and pains as they are dying? It’s OK to pump them full of morphine so they are comatose for days? It’s OK to force people to live but not OK to allow them a peaceful passing? It’s not OK to be OK with dying and wanting to speed up the process if one is dying anyway? Hmmmmm….

There’s a wonderful book by two hospice nurses, Peggy Callanan and Nancy Kelly, Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying, in which they talk about their experiences at the bedsides of hundreds of people as they were dying. They describe how wonderful and how terrible it can be for the dying and for the families in different circumstances. For some people, they say “I’m going now,” close their eyes and take their last breath.  For some, it’s like a fight to the finish to rip the soul out of the body. We don’t know how it will be when it’s our time, but those who have gotten their prescription say they take comfort in knowing that they have the option if they decide to exercise their desire for death with dignity. It doesn’t mean they will, in fact, most do not. Some have a peaceful death without it. Some wait too long and are not able to take it without assistance.

The other issue that comes up here is euthanasia, which means a physician or another person administers the lethal dose either by mouth or injection. This is where it gets tricky with the law because it’s considered murder to kill another person. It’s not illegal to commit suicide, but no one can legally help you do it. You don’t want your relatives to be put in prison for helping you out but you may be incapable of doing it yourself. That whole thing with Final Exit and the helium bag over the head– it’s just insane that a person should be forced to resort to such measures, but it’s got to be better than blowing one’s brains out.

For people facing Alzheimer’s, should they be eligible for a dignified, peaceful death before succumbing to the agony of losing their mind? For someone dealing with MS or ALS or locked-in syndrome, should they be eligible for assistance if they decide they want out of their progressively worsening condition? I don’t think people should be required to live that way if they don’t want to… whatever their reasons. If they’re OK with it, fine… live on.  I certainly don’t believe in wholesale killing of the elderly and disabled, and am fully aware of Hitler and others like him, which is why I believe we need good laws to protect the vulnerable but still allow freedom of choice. This is still America, not Nazi Germany.

As for people in a vegetative coma, if it were me… just shoot me now! But I stress the importance of filling out Advance Healthcare Directives at an early age because you never know what accident, medical procedure or infection might suddenly put you there and leave your loved ones with gut-wrenching decisions about the care of your body because they don’t know what you would have wanted or some well-meaning organization steps in and decides you must be kept alive because you might wake up 20 years from now… and some people do, and loved ones tend to hold out for that hope. You need to decide how long to wait before it’s OK with you to pull the plug.

Perhaps we need a new definition of murder? My dictionary says– “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.” Could we just add— without consent? So if a person consents to euthanasia, it wouldn’t be unlawful. Or if the definition exempted ending of life under the care of a physician at patient’s request. It just seems to me that a simple injection would be easier on a person than swallowing all those pills now required for the process and that a responsible person should be there to make sure all goes well, no mistakes, no question the person made his or her own decision willingly, and that the death was peaceful. And who else’s business is it besides a patient and his/her doctor any way? This paternalism is getting really boring.

Another voice is the pharmacist. Now some of them are citing religious or moral values that say assisted-suicide is murder and we’re not going to dispense these prescriptions so people can kill themselves. I don’t know that they have a right to question a physician’s judgment or not fill a prescription. They fill all those prescriptions for psychotropic drugs so many people are hooked on without question turning us into a nation of prescription drug addicts who often overdose, but someone who wants out early at the end of their life must be denied because some pharmacist doesn’t think it’s right or it goes against his beliefs. I don’t think so.

They dying patients are the ones who suffer when these people force their judgments and beliefs on vulnerable people who just want control over their own lives and a peaceful death. Religious organizations and moral absolutists pour money into negative propaganda to scare people into thinking someone wants to make it easy to kill off old, sick and disabled people thereby denying the rights of dying people who are capable of making their own end-of-life decisions. They squash support for personal freedom in healthcare instead of funding educational programs to help people make informed decisions about their end-of-life healthcare options. They have their priorities backwards. Help to strengthen the law to protect the vulnerable but don’t force your beliefs and opinions on people you don’t even know.

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COMING NEXT: Discussion about The New England Journal of Medicine open forum about whether physician-assisted suicide should be permitted or not in a particular case scenario.

How to Die Consciously

My latest ebook, “How to Die Consciously: Secrets from Beyond the Veil,” is the result of a series of books and I hope the last of them. One can only rewrite so many times!

I originally wrote and self-published it as “Through the Tunnel: A Traveler’s Guide to Spiritual Rebirth” in 1992 which is now out-of-print. I wrote it during a time I was studying about the Greater Mystery Schools and eastern religions, (Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Masonry, Rosicrucian, Hermetic, Theosophy, Tibetan, Buddhist, Confucius, Hinduism) which were built on esoteric truths of the ancient past… that which was concealed from the average man and  provided insight into nature, the physical universe and the spiritual realm. Similarly, Jesus spoke in parables for the average man and only shared the deeper secrets with his disciples. Although I tried to tone it down, it was still very esoteric. Even as I was writing it, I knew I would have to rewrite it some day in more modern terms. Nevertheless, I sold or gave away most of the 5,000 copies I ordered.

In 2007, I began putting together a course to train people to be Transition Guide Trainers. I’d been a hospice volunteer for a number of years and felt something was missing from just being there medically and spiritually for people at the end of their lives. I had been taking care of my mother during her last years and got first-hand experience being a 24-7 caregiver. While I was working on my web site, she became interested in what I was doing but was rigidly ensconced in her Christian Science beliefs up to the time she died unconsciously in 2006. She did say about my near-death experience that she hoped I was right but still had a hard time accepting it. However shortly before she died, she had a brief moment of lucidity and exclaimed, “Oh, no. I’ve wasted my life!” I saw her smiling happily and doing the Charleston on the other side after she crossed over!

Toward the end, while she was still able to think rationally, she and I talked quite a bit about her life, her loves, her loses. Losing her daughter, my younger sister, was a turning point for both of us. She never got over that tragedy. It was her best friend’s son (they were both 8 years old) who swung the golf club that Bobbie was standing too close to. It hit her in the temple. She stumbled from the 18th tee down to a sand trap by the green where she collapsed and never regained consciousness. Mom had no one but God to be angry at for taking her child. Her death strained my parents’ relationship and they grew apart even though they had two more children to try to make up for their loss. Then he left her to raise them alone. So she had a lot of issues to deal with that she never dealt with before and we were able to talk about some of it before she no longer could remember. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to forgive or let go of her anger and so she took it with her into the oblivion that followed a stroke from which she never recovered.

I realized this is what “dying” is all about. Letting go of anger and attachments. Forgiving others and our selves. Expressing gratitude and love. Reconciling our past. Finding peace. We get so caught up in fighting the disease or stalling the aging process, grasping at straws as if we can cheat death, throwing money at treatments that might give us a few more days or hours, than suddenly it’s too late. We have a stroke or our body dies and we didn’t get to say I love you or I forgive you or where we stashed the insurance policy.

It was at this point that I realized the extent of my mission… my reason for coming back from the peace and love in the Light. It was to reassert that we don’t die… that “life” continues after the death of the body and that we can prepare ourselves for our transition so that our soul receives the most benefit from the experience of moving into the Light. It’s not about religion or whether one believes in God or not. It just is what it is.

And so I developed a training program to teach people a method of dying consciously that anyone can integrate into their belief system at any time in their lives because the truth is, we are all going to make the trip. It doesn’t mean one has to be awake or even conscious, although to fully participate would be the ideal, but to be aware of what’s going on when our soul leaves our body as it dies and transforms into a being of light… into the essence of who we truly are.

I trained a number of people who became interested as I was developing the training course and I marketed it to hospices and death educators. Guess what? They wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. They had their rules and their biases, and this was way too much over their academic heads and medical bastions.

I then focused my marketing to alternative therapists and healers such as massage therapists, yoga teachers, chiropractors, light/energy workers, ministers and more spiritually minded folks. I generated a lot of interest and developed a mailing list to which I sent a monthly newsletter… the problem was, none of these people had any money.

Now I have to say something about money. Apparently I’m not supposed to be able to charge for anything to do. People apparently think God is supposed to support me but the  big guy has apparently chosen not to because I’ve been doing this kind of work starting with my web site since 1996, that’s 16 years. People seemed to think I should give away my work and not profit from it even though it was costing me… oh, let’s be frugal and say thousands of dollars a year for internet, domains, hosting, software, printing, DVDs, etc. and then there’s my time… 12 to 14 hours a day for zip, nada, zero $. I was working ho-hum jobs, which is how I was able to get things started but the last 2 years my mother was with me I had to stop working outside because she couldn’t be left alone. Once I had to move her into a board and care home, I had ended up homeless and had to file bankruptcy. But did I stop helping people who asked for my help? No, I did not.

Sorry, had to get that off my chest… and will continue this another day.

Death and dying is my favorite subject

Well, maybe I’m exarggerating. My favorite subject is my grandchildren but I actually get to spend more time talking and writing about death and dying. It’s something that may happen to someone who dies and comes back, and wants to understand what the heck that was all about!.

I’m compelled to tell people about my experience and let them know that death is not such a terrible thing. Not because I think we should all commit mass suicide like lemmings, but because once you realize it’s actually a really cool experience and that we don’t really die, it takes the fear out of living one’s life to the fullest. And that’s what we should all be doing, having a great time while we have a body to explore and experience nature and each other in this strange physical world.

I started my website A Near-Death Experience Beyond the Veil… back in 1996 before most people knew what a web site was. It wasn’t too long before I was getting around 80,000 hits a month from people all over the world… from 140 different countries according to my stats.

My site became a resource center containing thousands of books and links about death, dying, life after life, reincarnation, different religious beliefs, end-of-life caregiving and related topics. It became a full-time (non-paying) job for me to keep up with the email I got from people wanting to ask their existential questions. Many said they never knew who to ask and then they found me.

Last year I put some of those correspondences into 2 ebooks because many people have similar questions and I thought it might be helpful to make them more public. “Conversations with a Near-Death Experiencer” contains dialogs about Near-Death Experiences, Death & Dying, Fear about Death, Grief, Reincarnation, and Suicide.”More Conversations with a Near-Death Experiencer” contains dialogs about Spirituality.

          

I’m not about starting a new religion or discrediting anyone’s belief system I believe we should always compare and contrast new information with long-held beliefs. If it fits, great! If not, throw it out. Don’t start a war over it just because you disagree. This is about my truth as I perceive it. If you’ve made up your mind and don’t want to be confused by other possible realities, don’t read any further.

My perspective is that of a human being who died and came back to this life with a mission from my soul to communicate knowledge I was told will be helpful to the evolution of human consciousness. For the past 40 years, since my NDE in 1971 at age 30,  I’ve been studying on many levels (from esoteric to scientific) to understand my spiritual mission as a human and to translate that knowledge received from the Divine into human understanding. Basically, we are here to grow and to learn, and to overcome our self-imposed limitations because we are more, much more than we have allowed ourselves to imagine. I am just a humble messenger.

My website and my books have been my means of communication and I will continue to write about them and that information on this blog. I hope you will join in when discussions are relevant to your seeking. I won’t engage with people who already think they have all the answers and just want to argue. I won’t pretend to be All-Knowing. If I don’t know, I’ll tell you I don’t know. I don’t claim to have all the answers but I do have many resources I can point you to on my web site for your deeper seeking.

I have decided not to do any more public speaking or hold any workshops, do any more training or any private counseling. My focus will be on writing. I hope to have a new ebook ready for upload in the next month or so, and I’ll be talking a bit about that on this blog. And I think it’s time I did a major update on my web site, which I’ve neglected of late. I’ll be talking about my progress.

I will also be blogging about articles, videos and other related information that catch my attention while surfing the web. I will be writing about what’s happening with Death With Dignity laws, which I’m in favor of, and the attempts to block it. I may even rant about the latest political nonsense or other ridiculous things that go on in the world. You’ll find I can become quite cheeky about certain topics.

If you’d like to support my continued work so I can keep a roof over my head and gas in the car, please consider buying my books and recommending them to your friends and families. You can check them out, even read about 25% free before deciding to purchase. They are also available through other ebook retailers, just search my name for a list of my ebooks.

You can also help spread the word about my books by returning to where you purchased them and writing a review or writing your comments here on my blog page, and telling your friends to check out my blog.

Namaste!