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My Nde, Or My Bad Dream?


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First of all, I hope everyone welcomes me back. I've been out making a perfect ass out of myself, I've realized, seeking to define God in some kind of bizarre New Agey way and trying to fit into a box that wasn't particularly comfortable. Basically, a lot of New Age doctrines don't appeal to me. I don't like the idea of always loving everything, ecstatic dancing and singing, puffing weeds to see God's face, and belonging to the "other world" rather than "this world". If anything I've come to the conclusion that I rather enjoy everyday life for what it is, not for its auras of bliss. I've learned to live with and appreciate cleaning the house, being frustrated, running late, spending time in gardens, etc. I don't want to see it through the eyes of a guru, Krishna, or a spiritual genius. I see it through my own eyes, and it's life and it's beautiful with all its flaws. I've grown just like any other person, and the fact that I don't meditate myself into disappearing every day doesn't make me spiritually retarded. If other people dig that, that's cool with me, but I personally don't think completely distancing myself from the real world, the ones I love, and just natural human life in general is necessarily a good or enlightened thing.

 

Now I would say that my experience among the crystal bearers hasn't been all bad. I've learned to really recognize the right of other things to live. Not in a monist way - I don't wander around trying to convince myself that I'm one with everything or seeking the transcendental experience that proves it. I'm just able to see a flower as a flower, as a living thing, and it's cool, and I'm cool, and I can appreciate it, rather than pass it by without another thought. I've also found myself more considerate - now when I meet the pissed-off girl behind the McDonald's counter, I can say to myself, "I've been there, she's just having a shitty day" rather than get pissed myself. I'm come to realize that fact that most of the time (as opposed to all the time, as New Agers would believe) getting angry and resentful is neither warranted for nor improves anything. Basically I've learned to be more understanding, but at the same time I haven't "developed" to the point of turning the other cheek every time, or not caring about anything.

 

Because of this I've always been looked down on by other New Agers for not being spiritually developed enough. For example, I was never interested in dissolving completely into God, which means completely ceasing to exist as an individual and just having God basically eat you and being digested as love, kind of. I also remain disgusted by reincarnation. I didn't see the love and potential in it that other New Agers went on and on about; I personally consider disappearing altogether after death to be preferable to being born again.

 

Now I'm not saying anyone is wrong. If someone wants to become one with Shiva, so be it. I won't stop them, so long as they don't stop me from being a normal person (I don't mean that in a condescending way at all). I've always felt there's a place for everyone, and if there's a God, there must be a reason we're not all obsessed with him 24/7 - maybe that's because we're not really supposed to be.

 

I've always been interested in NDEs. In all honesty I wasn't in love with all of them. I enjoyed those ones that mentioned happiness, meeting up with people, friends and pets, and just enjoying a peaceful, productive afterlife in a timeless paradise. Others, not so much. I didn't like the ones that involved "merging", finding oneself suddenly completely unconcerned with loved ones, and basically the ones that described a non-being ground of being (or whatever they call it). I personally felt that it seemed rather self-righteous, since one became God and rose above all the petty little thoughts most people have. Also, people came from them with a mission to evangelize all they'd learned (and been allowed to remember) on the other side.

 

I was reading a few of the hippy-trippy examples posted online. It's definitely true that websites that feature extensive NDE research also typically feature ads to have your evil eye removed, so I was confused since the people telling the story seemed so convinced of its reality, but it was just so bizarre.

 

That night I ended up having one of the most terrifying dreams of my life. I've always had vivid dreams, due to my drug prescriptions, and I've had ones that involved "talking with God", being "bathed in love" and other such features, that felt very "real" at the time. I for one recall that many New Agers say the world that we see in dreams and in the afterlife are one and the same, but I say nay, simply because my bizarre dreams are a common side-effect of my medication. Since it can be proven that my experiences in dreams are colored by whatever pills (and thus interaction of chemicals) I'm taking, I very much doubt I'm in some mysterious cosmic land. To be sure dreams are an internal world, but not a mysterious one - they're the result of our mind acting up. So, even though these dreams were "real", I was always able to wake up and realize it was just a dream. I've also had dreams involving lucidity and sleep paralysis, and again, while especially the latter seem real, when I awake I'm relieved it was all fantasy.

 

But this nightmare felt more "real" then ever. It wasn't so much the events in the dream as the emotions. I felt that God was a cheater who brought people into heaven to claim they weren't spiritually elevated and karmically pure enough, separate them from their families, that the whole "ultimate secret of life" New Agers keep finding out about in the NDEs turned out to be a terrible, empty thing, and that God gives people a short respite in heaven just to push them back out to "re-learn some more".

 

This dream's emotional baggage was unbelievable. I ended up with a full-blown panic attack and was unable to eat mostly anything for about two days. I was terrified that I wasn't good enough, that I'd be ripped away from those I love - I got incredibly weepy and clingy with my mother and dogs - and overall was psychologically destroyed. My "NDE dream" was truly a nightmare, and for some reason I couldn't shake this one off. It was so terrifying I couldn't just let it slip away as "just a dream". The horror was that heaven was just as it was described to me, the opposite of what I viewed as a fulfilling, purposeful existence, and there was no escaping it. Due to "life review" and not being and living as Christ, I've felt scared as hell about being angry, wanting material things, etc. I have not been angry since but I think it is because of this fear.

 

Since that dream a few days ago I have been desperately searching as to why I shouldn't take these things (NDEs) seriously, to calm myself down. Here's a few reasons:

 

1. People come back with lessons they're meant to teach everyone, but what they teach is nothing new that we haven't heard before. "Live in peace", etc.

2. People come back with different experiences. Now these experiences are of course subjective, and I'm willing to admit that perhaps some of the afterlife is customized for those who experience it. However, there are some teachings given as universal that are contrary to each other. For example, one person may claim that they discovered that each person on Earth has lived millions of lives, whereas another one says they discovered that reincarnation is a myth. Which is true? Is God playing games with us?

3. Not everyone near death undergoes this experience - in fact, only a relatively small percentage do. How come the others don't? Are they not blessed enough, or not believing enough? Are they not as close to death as the others?

4. Why are the experiences the same in certain visual patterns and experiential features but never exactly the same? One person says the person greeting him was Grandma; the next says it was the alien Sheelbza.

5.No one actually comes back from true death. "Clinical death" is one thing, but true death is quite another that can take quite some time to undergo completely. If such is the case, one needs to keep in mind that persons always return from NDEs within minutes or hours, not several days later.

6. Although the experiences with ketamine and LSD don't satisfy everyone, they do prove that the deepest mystical experiences can be brought on by drugs. So, if drugs or alteration of the brain is involved, we cannot be certain that the experience happened outside of such influences. In fact as I said above I've had lucid dreams and very vivid experiences with the understanding that they are merely drug-influenced. Perhaps that is the difference between being aware of a hallucination and not recognizing it as such.

7. Not everyone who has a NDE has it near death. Some people have it when they're scared, which suggests a psychological basis because God would most likely know better that you weren't actually dying, although it could possibly be said you could scare your soul out of your body. That being said, why do some people have them in their sleep or during sex? (Because their sex is AMAZING?)

8. Why is it that upon arriving in heaven we're exposed to such a plethora of amazing paradoxes and cosmic truths? If earthly experience is so drenched in ignorance and mistakes, why does it exist anyway?

9. In terms of reincarnation, all I can say is, Why? You could say that there are essential lessons to be learned on Earth, but that suggests that heaven is not a realm of infinite possibility, since lessons cannot be learned there. Secondly, how many lessons do you recall from your past lives? Do you remember as a child ever just assuming that a basic fact of life is just that (such as, "don't cut people down", or any of the other deep maxims NDEs give us), without being taught? Or were you ignorant as shit as a kid? It seems that child psychologists don't mention children just knowing any such thing but rather that children have to learn everything from square one. If God sends us back to Earth after erasing our memories like that, I would have to say that God is a bastard.

10. As for children remembering "past lives", haven't you ever 1) remembered dreams as facts as a child, or 2) had an overactive imagination? (My own brother claimed to live in a doghouse in a past life when he was around 3.) It's an often-made claim that children are some amazing source of truth and esotericism, but the fact is they're just like everyone else. Chances are the reasons most peoples' pre-lives are not matched up to real people in the past is because no one has ever bothered to do so. Billions of people have lived on earth and you'll find one that matches if you look, trust me.

11. Last of all, so much of the "facts" that are brought back are bullshit. I remember one in which a person was taught the secrets of the Ancient Egyptians and the pyramids - very mystical stuff, and the other predictions that never came true.

 

Still, the "realness" of my own experience disturbs me. I wish very much the New Age description of God, life and the universe is not real or accurate. Rather I like the old-fashioned plain old world with love and hate, happiness and sadness, and an afterlife that promised rest and togetherness, rather than one that speaks of never-ending cycles of on and off existence. I've finally come face-to-face with the fact that I was lying to myself about New Age, that it's pretty much glorifying oneself as God's equal, while looking down on everyone else. (It's pitying them, you see, for their ignorance and trapped in the darkness, so it's actually proof of their compassion). I am also bothered by how "real" others insist their experiences are, and what convictions they carry about them. Also I'm struck by how they describe them as realer than real and unlike anything else, and how it changes their lives. So I looked around to wherever I could find some more answers. Here are my questions:

 

1. Have there ever been any studies on who exactly is more likely to have an NDE - are they more susceptible to hallucinations and fantasy?

2. Are there any other cases of hallucinations that are this clear, lucid, and rememberable? Any others that change people's lives?

 

I hope you guys can help me with my traumatic dream. I know I'm being a silly baby but I'd appreciate your input.

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Because of this I've always been looked down on by other New Agers for not being spiritually developed enough.

Funny, I was discussing this just tonight. Those claiming enlightenment and spiritual advancement are often the most judgmental and thin skinned of all the religious types. Some of the largest egos reside in the land of no egos.

 

Anyway, NDE seems to be in the eye of the beholder. It's an article of faith still, even after decades of study.

 

1. Have there ever been any studies on who exactly is more likely to have an NDE - are they more susceptible to hallucinations and fantasy?

None that I know of. Those who claim to have had an experience seem to be diverse.

 

 

2. Are there any other cases of hallucinations that are this clear, lucid, and rememberable? Any others that change people's lives?

I can recall LSD trips from four decades ago but I can't remember what I had for breakfast :grin:

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I recall making love to a redhead that was a religious experience! If I hadn't of left before her husband got home, it would have been a Near Death Experience!

 

Honestly, though, I did have a NDE when I was having surgery but I never saw any relatives, just a wide open fields and hills of rich dark green grass, and the sky was an absolute blue. The way I know I wasn't dead was because I met a stranger who resembled Jesus and when I asked him if he was, he said, 'No but everyone who comes through here seems to think I am!' He rolled his eyes and looked really pissed that he had wear his Jesus-mask for one more noodle-headed christian. He even told me I was not dead and wasn't coming back there for 'a while.'

 

I really believe that christians embellish a lot of their own dreams in order to raise themselves another notch on the xtian food chain.

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So it didn't effect you at all? Usually people turn into chakra-rollers or, especially women, become pastel pant suit-wearers who dig big hair and silk flowers and talking about the Eternal Oneness or whatever.

 

I have to wonder how much NDEs are effected by expectation and culture, and if so, how much that has to do with their relative "reality". Perhaps the complex known as "our beliefs" isn't just what we alone hold in conviction but also what we're heard from others. As in, "I don't believe in Jesus, but other people talk about meeting him at death; therefore, my brain sees Jesus because it cannot think of another alternative at this moment."

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I don't know what it could have affected? I was already a fire-breathing fundy. The NDE may have helped me overcome my dependence on christianity? The NDE really didn't have much impact other than being one more story to tell at parties.

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  • 4 months later...

You know, I've been reading up on this NDE stuff as part of anthropological study (me being a big important smart college girl and all), and it seems that the experience has changed over time. People in the Middle Ages described horrific afterlives, surrounded by fire and brimstone and all that is unholy, because the hellish aspect of religion was more emphasized then. Albeit many descriptions of NDEs were likely to be embellished or even outright fabrications, due to the spirit of the times, just as people who reported seeing heaven described it as some marble hall where saints sang to God for all eternity. (I suppose life in the Middle Ages sometimes got so bad that sitting through a church service for all time sounded rather preferable.)

 

But the New Agey concept of NDEs and the encounter with the Nonjudging, All-Loving Entity has increasingly made little sense to me. At the time I thought it was great, since it meant I could do pretty much anything I wanted as long as I did so with the attitude that I was an enlightened being (that is, I could call you an asshole and smack your face after you make an innocent remark, because I saw, with my inner eye, your intention and as your self-appointed guru I needed to educate you). But later on, it occurred to me that this basically makes all life's sufferings meaningless. For me personally, if there is a reason suffering exists in the world, it has to be the development of compassion. However, if, upon arriving in Heaven, I'm told that all the wrongs I perpetrated might seem ghastly to me, but are not even lapses in goodness as far as the Creator is concerned, I can come down to one conclusion: God doesn't care. If it's a divine guilt-trip that's being laid on me through my own feelings of distress over what I've done, then, if I have total freedom just as the New Agers tell me, I can tell it to fuck off and feel damn pleased with whatever sins I committed. In the long run, God isn't bothered by the fact that I hurt other people. So God isn't bothered when other people hurt me. This could be interpreted in the sense that I, too, should learn not to be pained at, well, pain, but it also means that whatever I do to others doesn't matter either. At the end of the day, God still loves me. Even though I'm a prick.

 

And yet, the whole sense of "stages" and "elevation" keep coming up. If I'm perfect just as I am, and God isn't judging me, then why should I have to go back? If there's no wrong or right, or if like the Hindus say my soul is untouchable, then why would I need to "learn" more? (I didn't read enough Sylvia Browne?) If I had to choose a particular afterlife that made the most sense, I'd have to choose the traditional one.

 

Sometimes I think the phrase about opening your mind until your brains fall out is really true. New Agers might live in a rose-colored world of peace and divine powers, but who are they really? If we call them flakes, they consider it a compliment. Are they really that attuned into "reality" and "awareness", or are they the farthest thing from it?

 

My doc put me on prephrenazine, and I can say that I no longer have divine-tinted dreams anymore. Let me tell you, looking back on them is something. I absolutely, positively spoke with God. I asked God questions and He'd answer me. I felt the most intense feelings of love and peace, almost as though I would burst with bliss and happiness. I didn't see any relatives or anything, although I did see people and pets that I loved. Usually in these situations I was with another person, and we were both journeying on this magical plane together. God was always a being of light, and He never really spoke with a voice, just with thought. And I felt 100% - at the time - that I was being given very special treatment due to my status as a spiritual person.

 

But it was all a dream.

 

I'm not going to say whether an afterlife exists or not - that's not in my right to say - but I will say that my dreams and NDEs don't account for it. It is hopes, fears, and chemicals that supply all of that. We will never know until we die, because no one - I repeat no one - that has been 100% dead has ever come back. If that were so, people would come back to life after days instead of hours.

 

Sorry to ramble.

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Maybe I'm wrong but it seems like you're confusing NDE's (near death experiences) with lucid dreams. I've had lucid dreams and yes, I think they are often "realer than real". They do shape what I think about reality. But it's just my opinion so I can't say whether or not it's empirical reality. Whether or not there is an empirical afterlife (which I can't say one way or the other, just what I believe which is pretty much pointless for what you're asking here), you have mentioned you're on medications and that will definitely affect your dreams. Even if there is an afterlife and even if your dream was some kind of "glimpse", there is no reason to think it wouldn't be seriously altered by the medications you're on. Either, way, though, whatever your experiences, you're the only one who can interpret them. You aren't required to think they mean anything at all.

 

A friend of mine talks about dreams in two different ways. She believes there are "brain smoothies" (weird mishmash of stuff in our subconscious), and DREAMS.

 

From the context of your post, it seems like you might think (or fear) you had a DREAM. Even if that were the case, I definitely think your medications could interfere with the "signal" so to speak, so I wouldn't worry about it. You can think it was just a dream and nothing more, or you can think it was a DREAM with drug interaction. But I don't think an argument could be made for it being a DREAM without any caveats, given the medication issue. I hope this helps.

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So it didn't effect you at all? Usually people turn into chakra-rollers or, especially women, become pastel pant suit-wearers who dig big hair and silk flowers and talking about the Eternal Oneness or whatever.

 

I have to wonder how much NDEs are effected by expectation and culture, and if so, how much that has to do with their relative "reality". Perhaps the complex known as "our beliefs" isn't just what we alone hold in conviction but also what we're heard from others. As in, "I don't believe in Jesus, but other people talk about meeting him at death; therefore, my brain sees Jesus because it cannot think of another alternative at this moment."

 

 

IF NDE's are a real experience beyond hallucination I think people might still see who/what they expect or want to see. People have NDE's all over the world. Some see Jesus. Some see Buddha. Some see Grandma. I put in a request for Michael Jackson... from the Bad era. tongue.png

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