AN EXAMINATION OF NDEs

The Near Death Experience (NDE) is not officially a part of Spiritualism, however, it fits all the criteria to be considered Spiritualism. That is the belief in the continuity of life after physical death, and the communication between spirits and mortals, as evidenced by the vast number of accounts of After Death Communications (ADC).

The frequency of NDE’s experienced by patients has been greatly increased in the past 25 years due to advanced resuscitation techniques developed by modern medicine. Cardiac arrest is the most prevalent condition whereby NDE’s are produced, and is the same as clinical death when there is no detectable cardiac output, no respiratory effort, and brainstem reflex is absent. The pupils will be dilated the blood pressure will have fallen to zero, and the patient will be declared clinically dead.

The flat electroencephalogram (EEG), indicating no brain activity during cardiac arrest and the high incidence of brain damage afterwards both point to the conclusion that the unconsciousness in cardiac arrest is total. It cannot be argued that there are portions of the brain that remain functional or there is a confusional onset and offset. There is no brain-based functioning memory, and everything that constructs the physical world is, in fact, shut down. There is no possibility of the brain creating any images, the memory is significantly impaired not functioning properly during this time. It should be impossible to have clearly structured and lucid experiences, and because of brain damage one should not be able to remember any experiences which occurred during this time. That raises difficult questions because the NDE subjects claim that their out of body experience occurred during this state of unconsciousness, and science maintains this is not possible.

As far as science is concerned the NDE cannot occur at the point the heart stops, or at any point during the period of unconsciousness. There are real difficulties for science to accept that the NDE happens when the subjects say it does. There is real significance in the timing of the NDE for both neuroscience as well as for the overall understanding of the NDE. Nevertheless, double blind, randomized, controlled trials on many aspects of spiritual medicine are now being conducted. The role of spirituality in medicine has become a legitimate and frequent subject of empirical research.

NDE research was pioneered by Raymond A. Moody, Jr. M.D., a philosopher, psychologist, physician and author who coined the term “Near Death Experience” in 1975. He is most widely known for his lectures and published works on what he terms neardeath- experience psychology, and for his best-selling book Life After Life. Born June 30, 1944, his research purports to explore what happens when a person dies and goes to another world, and returns to tell about it.

While an undergraduate at the University of Virginia in 1965, Moody encountered psychiatrist, Dr. George Ritchie. Dr. Ritchie told him about an incident in which he believed he had journeyed at the age of twenty to the afterlife while clinically dead for nearly nine minutes. Dr. Moody began documenting similar accounts by other people who had experienced clinical death and discovered that many of them experienced shared common features such as: the feeling of being out of one’s body, the sensation of traveling through a tunnel, encountering dead relatives and experiencing a bright light.

Throughout civilized history, knowledge of what consciousness is has become increasingly essential to a deeper understanding of the human experience. Consciousness was a field of study amoung the first Greek philosophers and early religious mystics. Today, there are a growing number of scientists, including physicists who agree that consciousness has its own separate reality from that of the functioning human brain.

The Near Death Experience may be defined as a lucid experience associated with perceived consciousness apart from the body, occurring at the time of actual or threatened imminent death. NDEs are relatively common, and it is clear that an NDE is not a hallucination or mental dysfunction. While some have a detailed and prolonged experience, others have a shorter and less dramatic NDE. The experience always seems to be significant and meaningful to the experiencer. No two NDEs are identical the features will vary from case to case, but within a group of experiences certain patterns have become evident. Researchers have identified the common elements that define near death experiences.

Common NDE Elements

1. Life threatening event - The threat may be real or perceived, physical or psychological along with a sense or awareness of being dead.
2. Separation of consciousness - Sensation of viewing surroundings from a place other than the physical body. Some see their body from a distance feeling as if the "self" is hovering above their body, while experiencing a sense of well-being and painlessness. It is the soul that leaves the physical body during an NDE, which contains the consciousness and all the faculties of that consciousness - the mind, the intellect, the reasoning powers, the memory, the conscience, the senses and the emotions. During an NDE, the soul remains attached to an etheric or silver cord, which connects the soul to the central nervous system of the body. This cord affords the person the opportunity to return to the body, however, once permanent death occurs this cord is severed and there is no return.
3. Remote viewing - The ability to observe and hear details of events that are a distance away, Commonly viewing the efforts of the medical team trying to resuscitation their body from a position above. The details of the resuscitation efforts expressed when the person is snapped-back into their body are often confirmed by those who were present. They can be astonishingly accurate and mystifying, and can even include the pronouncement of “death”.
4. The tunnel - Being drawn up into a dark tunnel described as a swirling, whirling void, but they themselves did not turn. The tunnel turned around them as they floated through it. Occasionally, another being will accompany the traveler through this passage, though usually it is travelled alone. A bright light is usually seen at the end, which is the destination of the journey through the tunnel. The tunnel is a portal to the afterlife or spirit world, its purpose is to insulate travellers from seeing the penalties being paid by those who inhabit the level nearest the earth “the first sphere”. This sphere is not a heavenly place for the conditions its inhabitants must endure are commensurate with the crimes they have committed on the earth. It is therefore essential that NDE subjects, as well as new spirits avoid such sights because it could be confusing and even frightening.
5. A bright light - A rapid movement toward, and an immersion in a bright light is always reported. This is thought to be the light that emanates from the bright greeting place as well as the light of the bright beings that come to greet the NDE traveller or new spirit. These beings are often perceived as dressed in white robes and described as intensely loving. The spiritual beings and the loved ones are covered by an energy field known as the etheric or spirit body. This energy body replaces the physical body for use in the afterlife, and is what gives the spirit it’s features that make the spirit person recognizable to family and friends who have passed before. The spirit body is the covering and protector of the soul and portrayer of the soul’s condition, which can improve in appearance as the condition of the soul improves.
6. A life review - Often, the experiencers are presented with a rapid panoramic review of their lives commonly described as "seeing one's life flash before one's eyes". This review is very rapid with details of the significant events that shaped the person’s life and affected others. This review passes before them at hyper-speed on the inner screen of their mind. Some experiencers have received previously unknown information about their life, an adoption, hidden parentage or a secret deceased sibling. The life review takes place on the way to the afterlife or spirit world and may be the persons first spiritual experience, which can be the beginning of a consciousness awakening.
7. Seeing or visiting beautiful locations - Some experiencers see beautiful cities, gardens, pastoral scenes and shiny bodies of water. The landscapes are always described as very beautiful, and usually include wonderful flowers. Botanists reported that the colours were most vivid, though interestingly, they saw no new species only the ones that they had already known. This heavenly place is where people go because of their goodness, virtue, compassion, generosity, caring, empathy, diligence, thoughtfulness, patience and loving kindness.
8. Intense emotions - Experiencing intensely powerful emotions that may include a sense of peace and calm, intense feeling of unconditional love and acceptance, exulted ecstasy or fear and terror.
9. Hearing sounds - Some experiencers report hearing a variety of unusual but distinctive sounds. They are described as pleasant, musical, buzzing or ringing. In particular was the heavenly music and wonderful birdsong.
10. Universal order - Some experiencers acquire a sense of deep understanding of the nature of the universe and the meaning and purpose of life.
11. Reaching a boundary - The boundary may be a gate, cliff, fence, water or some other barrier that the experiencer perceives may not be crossed if they are to return to their body. Approaching a border, and making a decision to return to one's body is often accompanied by a reluctance. The reports by NDE subjects reaching a boundary or barrier coincides with Padgett’s spirit literature. These locals have barriers that are just as strictly drawn as those of the nations of the earth. They are impenetrable to spirits who live in the spheres below, however, all spirits have the privilege to traverse their own plane of habitation and visit the levels below all the way down to the earthplane for a limited time only. Accordingly, a spirit cannot go above its home plane until it has made either intellectual or spiritual progress improving its soul condition, raising its vibration to become comparable to the higher vibration plane above.
12. Future events - Although rare, some experience a flash forward in time to witness themselves and events that may take place in their lives in the future.
13. Decision to return - The decision to return to the physical body may be voluntary or involuntary. If voluntary, the decision to return is often made following discussion with spiritual beings and is often associated with unfinished life responsibilities. If involuntary, feelings of sadness, loss, depression and anxiety may follow. Once returned to the body there can be physical pain associated with the life threatening injury.
14. Difficulty in explaining the NDE - Ordinary language often is inadequate to describe the extraordinary sights and experiences during an NDE.
15. Special gifts - Some experiencers report psychic or other supernatural abilities after an NDE that they did not have prior. What might be described as an opening of their sixth-sense.
16. Changes of attitude and belief - Loss of the fear of death, a belief in God and a more loving attitude often follows an NDE. Some NDE experiencers establish more loving relationships. Others find their change in beliefs has altered their relationship dynamic with family and friends resulting in conflict over the validity of their NDE and new belief system.
17. Cultural belief - The cultural beliefs that are held by the individual appears to dictate at least in part the nature of the phenomena experienced during the NDE, and in particular the later interpretation of the events experienced.
18. Feeling of coming home - It is only natural for people to feel that they have come home during an NDE, this is because their soul existed in the spirit world previous to being incarnated into a physical body on the earth. Prior to incarnation, the soul was a substantial conscious entity, though without visible form, yet having a distinct personality, making each soul different from every other. The soul is the true person, the created consciousness - the ego - and the result of intelligent design.
19. Heightened senses - When the soul is out of the body during an NDE, the senses become heightened because they are no longer encumbered by the functionality of the physical organs to manifest them within the gross physical world. This is because the senses do not originate in the body or the physical organs, but instead, are seated in the soul. This is why the blind can see and the deaf can hear when in the afterlife. The only impediments that are taken to the spirit world are the psychological and emotional ones, which of course can be healed. Otherwise, the soul is whole and the spirit body perfect with all of its faculties and senses intact. This model also applies to those who experience the states of clear consciousness, heightened awareness and intense emotions.
20. Reunion with family and friends - Once a person has emerged from the tunnel, he or she will be met by family and friends and welcomed with unconditional love at a beautiful bright greeting place used specifically for the reunion. The welcoming is important, whether it be a near death or permanent death because most people are ill prepared for the afterlife. An example is some new spirits do not believe that they have died and left the earth behind, but instead, think that what they are experiencing is all a dream. A function of family and friends is to help the new spirit adjust to the spirit life until they are comfortable with the transition and can be left on their own. In some cases spirit loved ones do not wait, but go to the hospital or sickbed to escort the loved one to its new spiritual home.
21. Reports of structures - NDE accounts of shimmering cities with buildings made of a translucent alabaster-like substance are not illusions, but are real and lasting according to Padgett’s writings. Spirit homes have furnishings and contain all the things necessary for a spirit’s happiness. They may have lovely gardens with variegated plants and trees and a stream or small lake.

Distressing NDEs

A small percentage of NDE subjects express having distressing experiences, and were frightened or even terrified. They have visited or viewed dark and depressing places or were accosted by hostile presences. In contrast to common belief, attempted suicides do not lead more often to unpleasant NDEs than do deaths from natural causes. People describe distressing NDEs much less often than pleasurable ones. The following are the four types of distressing NDEs in the order of the most frequently reported.

1. The powerlessness type - A feeling of being powerless during the experience, resisting and becoming afraid.
2. The nothingness type - People say they felt as though they did not exist or completely alone in a total and eternal void.
3. The torment type - They say they were in ugly or scary locals, with annoying noises, noxious odors, frightening creatures and a multitude of spirits in great distress. These places are thought to be the hell where one goes to work out his or her indiscretions, addictions, fears, guilt, regrets, anger, arrogance, self-pity or whatever else that is blocking one’s spiritual growth.
4. The worthlessness type - This is when they felt judged negatively by a higher power during a life review. There is no condemnation only the working out of misjudgments, mistakes, misalignments or misappropriations. One can come to grips with the reality of consequences - that every action has a reaction, and that what is inflicted on another can be returned in kind.

Some distressing NDE experiencers said that once they gave up fighting the distressing NDE and surrendered to it, or once they sincerely asked for help their distressing NDE became a pleasant one. Only very rarely have NDE experiencers said that their pleasurable experience turned into distressing one. Research has shown that there was not association between NDEs and religiosity or prior brushes with death. This suggests the occurrence of NDEs is not influenced by psychopathology, by religious denomination or by prior expectations of a pleasant dying process and a continued existence. According to a study by Dr. Bruce Greyson in 2006, there is little association between NDEs and prior psychiatric treatment, prior suicidal behavior or a family history of such behavior.

NDE After-Effects

NDEs are associated with changes in personality and outlook on life. Amoung these changes are found a greater appreciation for life, higher self-esteem, greater compassion for others, less concern for acquiring material wealth, a heightened sense of purpose and self-understanding, desire to learn, elevated spirituality, greater ecological sensitivity, increased planetary concern and being more intuitive. Changes may also include increased sensitivity with a diminished tolerance of light, alcohol and drugs, accompanied by a feeling that ones brain has been amplified with increased capacity, and a sense that the entire brain is now being used rather than the normal small portion. However, not all after-effects are beneficial for Dr. Greyson describes circumstances where changes in attitudes and behaviour can lead to psychosocial and psychospiritual problems. Often these are described as a difficulty adjusting to ordinary life in the wake of the near-death experience.

NDE Clinical Circumstances

Peter Fenwick, M.D., F.R.C.Psych., is senior lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London, and associated with the Mental Health Group at the University of Southampton. In the past ten years, a major and relatively rapid shift is underway in the field of medicine. Medical professionals have gone from looking upon spirituality with a skeptical if not cynical eye, to embracing it enthusiastically. Some of the developments are the number of American medical schools teaching courses on spirituality in medicine was only three in 1995, but grew to forty by 1998, and reached a hundred in 2001. The new generation of doctors that are now qualifying have had spirituality ingrained in them at an early stage in their medical training. In 1999, the British Psychological Society, the main academic psychological institution in Britain, started a section on transpersonal (spiritual) psychology. In the year 2000, the Royal College of Psychiatrists was persuaded to bring in a special interest group in spiritual psychiatry. That group has been the fastest growing with 800 psychiatrists in Britain joining the section in less than four years. Double blind, randomized, controlled trials on many aspects of spiritual medicine are now being conducted. The role of spirituality in medicine has become a legitimate and frequent subject of empirical research.

Clinical circumstances associated with near-death experiences include: cardiac arrest during myocardial infarction (clinical death), shock in postpartum, loss of blood or perioperative complications, septic or anaphylactic shock, electrocution, coma resulting from traumatic brain damage, intracerebral hemorrhage or cerebral infarction, attempted suicide, near-drowning, asphyxia, apnea and serious depression.

Frequency of NDE occurrences

A Gallup Poll in 1992 estimated that 13 million Americans have experienced an NDE. This is due in part to advances in medicine whereby more defibrillators and pacemakers are being implanted into hearts. As the heart often stops during this procedure, this means an increase in the number of people who are going to be clinically dead and have an NDE. Research indicates approximately 30% of all people facing a life threatening event will experience an NDE.

Near-death experiences are reported by an estimated 200,000 Americans each year, studies around the world suggest NDEs are a common human experience. They have been recorded in the folklore of many cultures, and reported by people from diverse backgrounds and in widely varying circumstances.

The earliest known description of a near-death experience was recounted by Plato in his Myth of Er, found at the end of Book Ten of The Republic, which was written in 420 B.C. Accounts can be found in the folklore and writings of European, Middle Eastern, African, East Indian, East Asian, Pacific and Native American cultures.

A survey of 2,000 people in Germany published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies in 2011 found 4% had experienced an NDE. Surveys taken in the US, Australia and Germany suggest that up to 15% of the population have had NDEs.

A large study conducted in the Netherlands showed that 18% of people who suffered cardiac arrest and were pronounced clinically dead had reported an NDE.

NDEs occur in people of all walks of life, nationalities, races and religions. Ordinary people and the famous have experienced NDEs. Amoung the well-known are Sharon Stone, Peter Sellers, Burt Reynolds, Jane Seymour, Donald Sutherland, Tony Bennett and Elizabeth Taylor.

Shared Death Experiences (SDE)

Shared death experiences have been documented in research by the British Society for Psychical Research (SPR) since the late 1800s. Peter Fenwick, MD, and Elizabeth Fenwick, RN, who research end-of-life phenomena, have collected hundreds of shared death experiences in the United Kingdom and Northern Europe.

Dr. Raymond Moody formally coined the term “Shared Death Experience” in his 2009 book, Glimpses of Eternity. Previously, the phenomena now identified as the Shared-Death Experience was associated with Death-Bed Visions (William Barrett), Death-Bed Coincidences (Fenwick), and other extraordinary end-of-life phenomena. Dr. Moody has studied shared-death experiences beginning in 1973, but more intensively since about 1980. At present, he has interviewed hundreds of people who had extraordinary experiences or alterations of consciousness - while attending someone else’s death.

Shared death experiences occur in a small percentage of NDE cases and in permeant death cases. Onlookers at the bedside of the dying often have profound spiritual experiences. The onlookers interpret their experiences as an empathic co-living with the person who is passing away. They can include death-bed visions and near-death experiences that family, friends and caregivers witness with the person who is dying.

In terms of the core elements, shared-death experiences are indistinguishable from classic neardeath experiences. That is, the components of the two types of experiences are the same. Furthermore, narratives are all there is in assessing the meaning of such experiences. Hence, there is no clear basis for saying that near-death experiences and shared-death experiences are distinct phenomena. This implies that neurophysiological explanations of near-death experiences are not adequate.

Commonly Reported SDE Experiences

1. Seeing the dying person's spirit rising from their body. Onlookers say they see a roundish entity, often described as a golden-grayish mist, rise from the upper part of the body. In some cases the onlookers describe this as a transparent replica of the person who has died.
2. Accompanying the dying person part-way toward the light. Onlookers say they leave their body, rise above it, and travel part of the way through a tunnel. They do not travel as far as the person who died, who goes to the end of the tunnel and enters the light.
3. Experiencing a change in the geometry of the room, as if the room transfigured in form or appearance. Onlookers say that when someone died the room changed into another realm that did not operate by the rules of three-dimensional geometry. For example, they say they found themselves out of their bodies and viewing the room from an impossible angle. Sometimes, it seems that the cubical hospital room took on the configuration of a funnel. However, they say that this alternate geometry is impossible to describe in words of ordinary language.
4. Hearing beautiful music. Onlookers sometimes report that when the person died they heard beautiful music that they could not find words to adequately describe it.
5. Seeing a brilliant light. Onlookers say that they are engulfed in an intensely bright light of love and comfort that filled the room as someone died.
6. Perceiving spirits entering the room. Onlookers say they see apparitions, apparently of the dying person's deceased loved ones enter the room around the point of death.
7. Empathically co-living the life review of a dying person, but is not invasive. Onlookers view images or scenes of the life of the person who is passing away. Sometimes, this takes the form of a holographic panorama that surrounds the bed of the dying. 8. Dying person telepathically communicates with bystanders.

Benefits of the SDE

The Shared Death Experience can be a transformative experience having far-reaching and positive implications for the bystander.
1. A dramatic reduction in grief knowing that the one who has passed remains alive and well in the afterlife.
2. Increased belief in an afterlife and reduced fear or apprehension of their own future death.
3. A deeper understanding and refocusing of one’s purpose in life.
4. Greater compassion and appreciation for their loved one’s life,

After-Death Communications (ADC)

An After-Death Communication is a paranormal or supernatural experience that occurs when one is contacted directly and spontaneously by a deceased family member or friend. An ADC is a direct experience because no psychics, mediums, therapists, rituals or devices are involved. An ADC is a spontaneous event because deceased loved ones always determine when, where and how they will make contact.

Bill Guggenheim is a pioneer in the field of After-Death Communication (ADC) experiences. He is considered to be the "father of ADC research”, and has written and spoken on this subject for more than 25 years. In 1977, he attended a five-day “Life, Death and Transition Workshop" with Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, which affected him profoundly. In the years that followed Bill sought answers to some of mankind's oldest and most profound questions. Is there life after death? Do we enter a new dimension or level of existence when our physical life is over? Will we be reunited with our family members and friends who have died? Is it possible for our deceased loved ones to communicate with us from the beyond?

ADC Research History

During a seven year study Bill and Judy Guggenheim interviewed 2,000 people living in all 50 American states and the 10 Canadian provinces. More than 3,300 firsthand accounts were collected from people who believe they have been contacted by a deceased relative or friend. The subjects range in age from children 8 years to the elderly 92 years old, and represent diverse social, educational, economic, occupational and religious backgrounds. It is conservatively estimated that at least 60 million Americans have had one or more ADC experiences. As a result, after-death communications are thought to be the most common form of spiritual experience people have.

Of course there are numerous critics of ADCs. Many atheists, agnostics and skeptics insist ADCs can not be true, and they even refuse to examine the evidence. They assert ADCs are merely griefinduced hallucinations based upon wish fulfillment, imagination, fantasies and emotional needs. Some conservative religious leaders preach that ADCs are satanic or demonic and conflict with the teachings of their faith.

Categories of ADC evidence

1. ADCs before the news - Numerous experiencers report having an ADC contact before they learned of a sudden or unexpected passing of a loved one. Frequently, the time of the passing coincides with the time of the ADC.
2. ADCs years later - Some people have an ADC experience years after the death of their loved one. In addition, the longer the ADC after the transition, typically the more important is the message.
3. Evidential ADCs - Many ADC experiences are evidential because they provide specific information that the experiencer did not know before the ADC. For example, they may be told the location of something of emotional or financial value that has been lost, which they were looking for and were not able to find.
4. ADCs for protection - In many cases a person’s life and property are literally protected or saved because of information they are given during an ADC. Bill Guggenheim was advised by his deceased father to “go outside and check the swimming pool,” and when he did, he rescued his 21 month-old son, Jon who was drowning. This category includes people who received protection from potential automobile and aircraft accidents, medical emergencies, criminal activities, industrial accidents, a building fire and undiagnosed health problems. These accounts provide very compelling evidence that deceased loved ones are indeed watching over us, and can intervene. If told to “slow down”, “stop your car”, “drive a different route” or “check the car” by a voice, do so which could avert an accident. This is equally true if alerted to call or check on someone, do so regardless of the hour, a life may be saved.
5. ADCs for suicide intervention - This category includes firsthand accounts of people who were planning to take their life, but because a deceased loved one came to them they changed their mind. It is interesting to note that 60% of ADC experiencers who came back to help someone with suicidal intentions had died from taking their own life.
6. ADCs with a witness - Occasionally two or more people are together when they both experience an ADC. These ADCs attest to the validity and credibility of after-death communication, and confirm that ADCs are objective experiences and not merely subjective.

Types of ADCs

Based upon Guggenheim’s research, the following are descriptions of the thirteen most frequent types of after-death communication people have reported with deceased loved ones. These may occur individually or in combination, and can happen at home, at work, at a funeral, in a car or virtually anywhere any time.

1. Sensing a presence - This is the most common form of contact, though many people discount the experiences thinking it is just their imagination. A distinct feeling that a loved one is close, but they can’t be seen or heard. Most often a loved one can be felt in the days and weeks after their death or it can be months or years later.
2. Hearing a voice - Some people state they hear an external audible voice just the same as when a living person is speaking to them. During two-way communication it’s usually by telepathy, which is also called “mind-to-mind” contact or thought transference. A large percentage of these type of messages are brief and to the point, like a telegram of twenty-five words or less, but a few can have entire conversations by telepathy.
3. Feeling a touch - People who have a very close physical and emotional relationship recognize the distinctive and familiar touch of a departed family member or friend. One may feel a loved one’s touch with his or her hand, an arm place around one’s shoulders, back or waist to comfort and reassure. Also, feeling a tap, pat, caress, stroke, kiss or even a hug are all forms of affection and nurturing.
4. Smelling a fragrance - The smell of a relative or friends favorite cologne, after shave, perfume or other aromas related to the person like: flowers, bath products, favorite foods, tobacco smoke and the persons personal scent. When two or more people are together they may share this type of ADC experience.
5. Visual appearances - There are a wide variety of visual appearances, which are divided into two general categories partial visual and full visual. Partial appearances include seeing just a colored light, an outline of their body or just the head and shoulders. The person may be transparent, translucent or nearly solid. Quite a few visual ADCs occur in the bedroom next to or at the foot of the bed.
6. Full appearances - A loved one may make a full appearance of his or her entire body, and that person will look lifelike. Typically, he or she will be expressing love, well being, and happiness with a radiant smile. They always appear healed and whole regardless of the trauma of their death. It is quite common to see people who died in their later years return at a much younger age often in the prime of life. Verbal communication may take place but not always. Their purpose is to reassure loved ones, provide comfort and relief that they are all right and that there is no need to be concerned about them.
7. ADC visions - One may see an image of a deceased loved one in a picture that is either two-dimensional and flat or three-dimensional like a hologram. It is like seeing a 35mm slide or a movie suspended in the air. They are usually in radiant colours and may be seen externally with eyes open or internally in the mind with eyes closed.
8. twilight ADCs - This type of ADC takes place in the alpha state of consciousness, when very relaxed, falling asleep, waking up, meditating or praying.
9. Sleep-state ADCs - These are much more vivid, intense, colourful and real than ordinary dreams. They are common with one-way and two-way communications. One feels a loved one is present and an actual visit is taking place. Sleep-state ADCs are not jumbled, filled with symbols or fragmented the way dreams often are. There are endless possibilities of what may occur during this type of contact and are called "visitation dreams”.
10. Out-of-body ADCs - Out-of-Body Experiences occur while asleep or in a deep meditative state. They are very dramatic experiences during which one leaves the physical body and visits loved ones in a place nearby, at another location or in a dimension of the spirit world. The latter contains beautiful flowers, birds and butterflies, lovely gardens and stately trees, sparkling water and other magnificent aspects of nature. It is a place filled with love, happiness, peace and joy. Out-of-body travel is accomplished at the speed of thought, and is like a near-death experience, but those who have them are in good physical health at the time.
11. Telephone ADCs - The phone will ring, and a deceased loved one will give a short message. Two-way conversations are also possible and the voice will usually be clear, but may sound far away. When the call on the phone is completed, it will seem that the line has been severed for there will not be a hang-up sound, a disconnect click or a dial tone.
12. Physical phenomena ADCs - Those who are bereaved often report receiving a wide variety of physical signs from their deceased relative or friend such as: lights or lamps blinking on and off, radios, televisions, stereos, mechanical objects and toys being activated. Also, photographs, pictures and various other items being moved or turned over. Messages are sometimes left on computers, telephone answering machines and other electronic devices.
13. Symbolic ADCs - People frequently ask a higher power, a religious figure, the universe or their deceased loved one for a sign that he or she still exists. Many receive such a sign, though it may take a while. Occasionally these signs are so subtle they can be missed or they may be discounted as mere coincidences. Common signs include: butterflies, rainbows, many species of birds and animals, flowers, numerous kinds of inanimate objects such as coins, feathers and pictures just appearing.

According to Guggenheim’s research the purpose of these visits, contacts and signs by those who have left their physical body is to offer comfort, reassurance and hope to family members and friends. They want them to know that they are still alive, and that someday in the future they will be reunited with them. They want to reassure them that they will be there to meet and greet them and perhaps assist them during their transition.

Beyond the NDE

NDEs and ADCs offer valuable insights into the mechanism of death. However, they have their limitations because the NDE experiencer only goes as far as the greeting place, and not into the interior of the spirit world. It is my belief that James Padgett’s spirit communications offer the most comprehensive and credible accounts of the afterlife available from inhabitants of all levels of the spirit world. His writings offer insights that extend beyond what the NDE subjects are privy to during their brief journeys. Padgett’s mediumistic work represents a spiritual revelation whose purpose is not just to validate the existence of the afterlife, but to explain its workings, describe its environments, and reveal its laws and the function of its justice system. The communicating spirits objective is to impart the knowledge of their world to advance our world, and to alleviate the fear of death. I believe that the spirit communications that Padgett received will be of interest and offer you additional knowledge of the afterlife.

Alan Ross