National Geographic News
A photo of the gravestone of William Penn, English Quaker and founder of Pennsylvania.

Thanks to CPR, people can be revived after being dead for up to an hour. Author Judy Bachrach calls them "death travelers" in her new book.

Photograph by Time Life Pictures/Getty

Simon Worrall

for National Geographic

Published September 3, 2014

They can fly through walls or circle the planets, turn into pure light or meet long-dead relatives. Many have blissful experiences of universal love. Most do not want to return to the living. When they do, they're often endowed with special powers: They can predict the future or intuit people's thoughts.

Many end up unhappy and divorced, rejected by their loved ones or colleagues, burdened with a knowledge they often dare not share. They are the "death travelers."

Book Talk

If this sounds like the movie Flatliners or a science fiction novel by J. G. Ballard, it isn't. These are the testimonies of people who have had near death experiences (NDEs) and returned from the other side to tell the tale.

Journalist Judy Bachrach decided to listen to their stories, and on the way cure her own terror of death.

Here she talks about how advances in medicine are enabling us to raise the dead, why the scientific and religious communities are hostile to the idea of NDEs, and how a British traffic controller returned from the dead with the ability to predict the stock market.

Your book, Glimpsing Heaven: The Stories and Science of Life After Death, opens with you volunteering to work in a hospice. Why?

The person who put the idea in my head was former First Lady Barbara Bush, whose own daughter had died in hospice at the age of four. One of my best friends was dying of cancer. We were both at the time 32 [years old], and I couldn't get over it. I was terrified of death, and I was terrified of her dying. So I decided to start working in a hospice to get over my terror of death.

Until the 20th century, death was determined by holding a mirror to a patient's mouth. If it didn't mist over, the person was dead. We now live in what you call the "age of Lazarus." Can you explain?

Everybody who's been revived by CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation—and there are more and more of us—is a formerly dead person. We walk every single day among the formerly dead. Death is no longer simply the cessation of breath or heartbeat or even brain stem activity. These days people can be dead for up to an hour and come back among us and have memories. I call them "death travelers" in the book.

One scientist you spoke to suggests that NDEs may simply result from the brain shutting down, like a computer—that, for instance, the brilliant light often perceived at the end of a tunnel is caused by loss of blood or hypoxia, lack of oxygen. How do you counter these arguments?

The problem with the lack of oxygen explanation is that when there is a lack of oxygen, our recollections are fuzzy and sometimes non-existent. The less oxygen you have, the less you remember. But the people who have died, and recall their death travels, describe things in a very clear, concise, and structured way. Lack of oxygen would mean you barely remember anything.

Most death travelers don't want to return to the living, and when they do, they find it is a painful experience. Tell us about Tony Cicoria.

Tony Cicoria is a neurosurgeon from upstate New York. He was like the rest of us once upon a time. He believed death was death, and that was the end. Then he got struck by lightning. He was on a picnic with his family, talking to his mother on the telephone, when a bolt of lightning hit the phone. The next thing he knew, he was lying on the ground saying to himself, "Oh, my God, I'm dead."

The way he knew he was dead is because he saw his mother-in-law screaming at him. And he called out to her and said, "I'm here! I'm here!" But she didn't hear anything.

Next he was traveling up a flight of steps without walking. He became a bolt of blue light and managed to go through a building. He flew through walls, and he saw his little kids having their faces painted. Right after that, he felt somebody thumping on his chest.

A nurse who was in the vicinity was thumping on his chest. But he did not want to come back to life. Very much like other death travelers, he wanted to stay dead. Being dead is evidently a very interesting experience. And exciting.

You suggest there is a difference between brain function and consciousness. Can you talk about that idea?

This is an area where a lot more scientific research has to be done: that the brain is possibly, and I'm emphasizing the "possibly," not the only area of consciousness. That even when the brain is shut down, on certain occasions consciousness endures. One of the doctors I interviewed, a cardiologist in Holland, believes that consciousness may go on forever. So the postulate among some scientists is that the brain is not the only locus of thought, which is very interesting.

You coin several new terms in the book. What's a Galileo?

I call the scientists who are involved in research into death travel "Galileos" because, like Galileo himself, who was persecuted by the Inquisition for explaining his theories about the universe, scientists involved in research into what occurs after death are also being persecuted. They're denied tenure. They're told that they're inferior scientists and doctors. They're mocked. Anthony Cicoria, the man who was struck by lightning, didn't tell any of his fellow surgeons about his experience for something like 20 years.

Why do you think the scientific community is so hostile to the idea of NDEs?

It's a really good question. I think the scientific community is very much like I used to be. Journalists tend not to be very religious, we tend not to be very credulous, and we tend to believe the worst possible scenario, which, in this case, is nothing. The scientific community is very materialistic. If you can't see it and you can't measure it, it doesn't exist.

When I gave a speech at the NIH [National Institutes of Health], I talked with the top neurologist there. I said, "Are you doing research on what used to be called near death experiences?" He looked at me like I was crazy. He said, "Why? Does it cure anything?"

The Christian Church is also not very keen on this area of inquiry. Why is that?

I think that religion, very much like science, likes to rely on everything that's gone on before. If your grandfather believed something, then you want to believe it. If the scientists who came before you want to believe something, then you believe in it. Because the options for those who deviate are very scary.

Most of the people I interviewed got divorced. That is not uncommon among death travelers. You come back and tell your husband or lover or wife what went on, and they look at you like you're nuts. It's a very scary thing to come back and say, "I remember what happened after death."

The Christian Church, or the Jewish faith, whichever we're talking about, also have very specific views of what life after death should involve. Everybody I interviewed deviated from the traditional theological views. They didn't see angels necessarily. They don't float in heaven. It's not some happy-clappy area of the universe. It's far more complicated—and interesting—than that.

One of the curious facts I discovered reading your book is that women are far less optimistic about their chances of going to heaven than men are. Why is that?

This was told to me by a monk who died by drowning and then returned. Obviously, he'd had a good deal of experience with people confiding in him and confessing. I think it's because women are very self-critical. We're very hard on ourselves. Nothing is ever good enough about us. We're not smart enough. We're not beautiful enough. Look at what we do to our bodies and our faces in the name of perfection! And I think that applies to our chances of getting, if you will, into heaven.

A photo of the book
For her new book, journalist Judy Bachrach collected the testimonies of people who had near death experiences and returned to tell the tale.
Photograph Courtesy of National Geographic Books

Why is it important for you to believe that there is life after death?

It was not important for me, at all, to believe. I'm a journalist. I don't go around thinking, "I really hope there's life after death." Indeed, at the beginning I was the opposite—I didn't want to believe. Yes, death was a source of terror. For me, the worst thing that could happen was nothingness. I would have far preferred to hear that Satan was waiting for me than to learn that there was nothing. But I was absolutely positive that there was nothing after death—that the curtain descends, and that's it. Act III. It's over. The stage is black.

And when I first ventured into this strange area of research, I was pretty sure, just as you said, that it was all the result of oxygen deprivation and that these were hallucinations. It was only after I discovered that it can't be the result of oxygen deprivation, and these were not hallucinations, that I realized I had to change my views. That's a very difficult thing to do, particularly when you're past adolescence. But every bit of evidence, every single person I interviewed, forced me to change my views. It was something I did quite unwillingly and with a good deal of skepticism.

What I tried to do, as a journalist, was simply record what these people say happened. All I know is what I've reported, which is, when you die, that is not the end. Stuff goes on. That, to me, is weird. But it's true.

Did engaging with this research make you want to die?

No! Nothing makes me want to die! But it did make me less fearful of dying. It was a long process, though. After the first 20 or 30 interviews, I was still terrified of death. All these people were telling me stuff that I never believed could happen. But gradually I came to accept that what they said was true. So I'm a little less terrified of death now.

You say that having an NDE often invests people with special powers. Tell us about the British air traffic controller.

[Laughs] The British air traffic controller makes me laugh. He told a person I interviewed, a British neuropsychiatrist named Dr. Fenwick, that he had a death experience. Oddly enough, as a result of this death experience, he became terrific at picking and choosing stocks. [Laughs]

The psychiatrist goes, "Uh-huh." The guy says, "Yeah, you really should invest in British Telecom."

Dr. Fenwick says, "Uh, yeah. Right." And of course the stock soars right after that!

Usually these powers involve perceptual abilities, though, [such as] the ability to know what other people are thinking, the ability know what's going to happen next. So they're usually less materialistic than this gentleman's powers. [Laughs] But, hey, whatever floats your boat.

NDEs are, surely, not the same as a complete death experience. These are generally short episodes not lasting more than an hour and often in hospital settings. No one, as far as I know, has returned from the dead after a long period of time and told us about it. Do we know any more than we did before about what will actually happen when we die?

What's happening now is revolutionary. If you'd told somebody a hundred years ago that they could die for an hour and come back and tell you what happened, that would have been in the realm of theology or philosophy. But now it's in the realm of the real world.

It's absolutely true that we don't know what happens, say, after six days being dead. All we know now—and that's one of the reasons I think it's important for scientists to investigate far more—is what happens up to an hour.

How did your friends and peers in the journalistic world react to you writing this book?

It depends who they are. Some of them looked at me like, "Oh, OK. You're nuts. I never really thought you were before. But now I know you are."

Others, because National Geographic is publishing the book, said, "Oh, National Geographic! It must be true then." [Laughs] My religious journalist friends said, "Thank God you're doing it. You were always such a skeptic and a cynic."

I have to say that I fall into none of those categories. I'm just a journalist doing what journalists do. I'm interviewing people and trying to find out what is true.

After writing this book, can you say with any more certainty what death is?

Yes, I can. I can say that death is an adventure, which to me is the oddest thing in the world. It takes you from this Earth, this ordinary Earth, into extraordinary places.

One of the experiences I describe is of the renowned psychologist Carl Jung, who died when he had a heart attack in his 60s. He was ultimately revived, and came back describing, in great detail, how he had seen the universe.

One of the people I interviewed had a similar experience. And that shocked the hell out of me because that's the kind of experience I would love to have. Like an astronaut's delight. You're up there. You can move toward planets or away from planets. You can see the Earth. It's gorgeous. It's interesting. And it doesn't cost a thing.

Simon Worrall curates Book Talk. Follow him on Twitter or at simonworrallauthor.com.

119 comments
uli c.
uli c.

Any Scientist is concerned with the material world - i.e. with things as they are right now for the majority of people. It is not a 'Scientists' job to speculate on an 'afterlife'. There actually is no afterlife - because there is obviously no death either. Being terrified by something that is imagined (hasn't actually been experienced) is a kind of insanity.


I personally had various experiences...and - as an agnostic - I was fortunate enough that one of them included "Jesus Christ". By the way - as we get 'sucked' back into our bodies - I can honestly say - that it was equal to the most disgusting thing I remember - like living in a damp/dark/moldy yucky cave. Don't get to attached to your bodies - they are nothing to write home about :).


The big, black VOID! - yes - it is there and it's not hell, it is however - infinite. There won't be a silver light or any other bright light shining at the end...because there is no end...the VOID means that your energy levels dropped below a certain frequency into a kind of equilibrium - you are now perceiving the cause of all causes....infinite blackness!!!! Buddhism calls it 'Nirvana"...







Sally DuPerron
Sally DuPerron

My question for Judy.  Did you find that the person's NDE was directly related to his or her religious or spiritual beliefs?  Such as if on one were religious they saw Jesus?  Or if one was more spiritual the perhaps experienced a life review?

Mary Martinelli
Mary Martinelli

To begin with science, lets take DNA.  DNA is a code.  Codes MUST be written. No atoms collided and created DNA. There is no evolution, just creation.  God has written our Owner's Manual, the bible.  If Ms Bachrach has read the bible she would see Jesus gave the apostle Paul a glimpse of heaven.  We don't kick around the universe after death.  When one of the thieves who hung on the cross beside Jesus, told Jesus he did indeed believe Jesus was the son of God, Jesus said, "Today you will be with me in paradise."  He didn't tell the thief he would be floating in the cosmos. He didn't tell him he would float in purgatory as the Catholic Church does.  It is simply this: "Absent in the body, present with the Lord".  I do believe these near death experiences.  In knowing God, I do not fear death.  God is a loving God.  He is a God of beauty.  It's no coincidence that as no two people born have the same fingerprints, no two snowflakes are identical and every snowflake is absolutely perfect.

Mark LaPorta
Mark LaPorta

CAUTION
Much of the "science" on this subject is SELF-SERVING!

Dale Rys
Dale Rys

hello....first off we're not talking about the body..we are talking about the soul....once we get that right..the soul lives on!

Sarah F
Sarah F

@Judy Bachrach Fascinating book, thank you. If you haven't already, you may want to interview Dr. Robert Lanza, who authored "Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe." His book touches on many of the same topics as yours (primarily the everlasting nature of consciousness) fueled by our latest scientific understandings of biology and physics. 

Carson Spratt
Carson Spratt

Where do you get off calling "happy-clappy floating in heaven" the traditional theological view? Have you ever read Dante's Paradiso? C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce? I think you are perhaps confusing a view that never existed outside this century (stereotypical clouds and harps) with the vast and vastly wiser tradition of the Christian church.

Honestly, do your research.

Sandra  Champlain
Sandra Champlain

I too have had a terrible fear of dying. I had to personally find out how I can overcome it. My dad died of cancer and other than overcoming grief , I had to enlighten myself with such a topic that most people avoid to delve deeper.


I have written a book and I host a popular podcast on iTunes called We Don't Die. I interview people who have had NDEs in the hope that there stories shed some form of enlightenment to those who seek it. Here's the link : itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/we-dont-die/id905138487


I will definitely buy your book and leave a review as learning is never ending. 


Judy I would be honored to have you on my show. It would be a great platform to share your journey as well as getting more people aware of your book. What do you think? 


Sandra 

sandrachamplain@gmail.com



prem suthar
prem suthar

 In  Hindu scripture "Bhagwad Geeta As it is " by  A.C. Bhakti Vedant Shrila prabhupad,  chapter four, Lord krishna says to Arjun that you and I have taken many births. In second chapter he says that you and I have been existing before present birth and will continue to exist after present birth.  We are not this body. We are soul- part and parcel of supreme soul. Because soul is eternal we are eternal. Just like man  gives up old and warn out clothes  to accept new one, soul assume new bodies based on karmas in present life. Author and her research work  is supporting Hindu scriptures which talk about life  after death. Author touches up on concept of consciousness which is related to soul. It is said in bhagwad geeta that supreme soul resides in hear of everyone. That is supported by author when she talks that consciousnesses lives beyond brain.

Obviously certain people do not want to believe in author's work since it makes their shops closed and their vested interests vanished.

David Morris
David Morris

As one who had a NDE - and then researched it extensively, I disagree with quite a bit that is said here. For one, science is HOW we get answers, NOT 'beliefs'. But the second and most important one to note is why is there no mention whatsoever of those who died and had NO 'visions' or memories whatsoever??

The answer here is stunning simplistic: lack of oxygen. A NDE 'vision' is much like a pilot who goes too high without oxygen. Your brain will NOT function correctly and you will hallucinate.That's really all it is when people 'see' long lost relatives' and such. It's all been recreated in a lab. It is no 'big secret' either.

We also know a body doesn't die 'at once' - it dies in stages as oxygen is depleted from the body. It isn't painful as the brain lacking oxygen itself can't really sense 'pain'.

In a nutshell, it's not 'visions' however - it's hallucinations.

www nnn
www nnn

Ms. Bachrach,


Do you have any experience from people who committed suice and revised?  If not, in your next book, could you please find these people and ask them for their experience?


Thank you.

Dan Winter
Dan Winter

symmetry sequence seen by near death experiencers 'kluver form constant" 

www.goldenmean.info/immortality

confirm the dna braid sequence appropriate for implosive compression/distribution - how aura coherence becomes projectible ``( it is also noteable how 'ray moody' recent work documents how surgeons have confirmed that near death visions are contagious ..

Vincent M.
Vincent M.

one argument for NDE's is that a brain with no blood flow/oxygen cannot function and hence cannot form new memories. That might not be so


"It's long been assumed that once the brain is cut off from its blood supply, it stops functioning, says Jimo Borjigin, a molecular neurologist at the University of Michigan. And some people reason that if the brain is no longer functioning, it can't possibly be the source of near-death experiences, lending credence to a more supernatural explanation for the phenomenon.
...
Borjigin, Wang and their colleagues decided to take EEG (electroencephalogram) readings of nine rats while they were awake, under anesthesia and undergoing cardiac arrest.

...

The team found several signs of conscious activity in all nine of the dying rats' brains. First off, within the first 30 seconds after cardiac arrest, there was a sharp increase in gamma frequency power. But it wasn't just random firing — neurons across the brain fired synchronously. Previous research has suggested that this "gamma coherence" underlies conscious perception, such as when you focus all your attention on understanding something.

"But what is really interesting is that the coherence [in the dying rats] is more than two-fold higher than in their waking state," Borjigin said. "This suggests that after cardiac arrest, there is a kind of hyper-consciousness in the brain, with all of the neurons acting together in far more coherence than normal.
...

Taken together, the evidence suggests that the brain is capable of well-organized electrical activity — specifically conscious processing — immediately following cardiac arrest, despite the fact that the brain experiences a sharp decrease in oxygen, and was previously thought to be non-functional during this time."

http://io9.com/a-new-scientific-explanation-for-near-death-experiences-1110395345

Vincent M.
Vincent M.

There are accounts of NDE's from non christians like hindus and aboriginal people. The fact that their NDE's reflect their religion/culture like hindu gods appearing instead of angels is a good indication that either there are many afterlifes, one for each religion or it really is all in the brain. Did the author interview non christians?

Some medications like ketamine can also recreate NDE's

Greg Wais
Greg Wais

This is the basis for full immersion baptism. Ancient "Baptists" would drown an adherant after a series of teachings. Then they would  breath "New Life" into them.(CPR) The baptized had a vivid NDE and their life would be changed forever.


Robert Murray
Robert Murray

Looks like a great book, one that will hopefully shape our understanding that life/lifeforce is not extinguishable. Our cycle as physical beings is birth and death, but life carries on, it seems. I had a NDE within a dream several months ago. Everyone I share it with remarked that one doesn't normally die in their dreams. It was quite similar to some of the stories you related in this interview.

I look forward to reading this. Is there a digital/Kindle version in the works?

Lou Perry
Lou Perry

I had an unfortunate Near Death Experience. As I was travelling towards the white light through the tunnel I got a speeding ticket!

Debbie Fuller
Debbie Fuller

I have worked in long term care facilities for a long time and ave many, many, many stories along the same lines. I'm getting this book, sounds great! Thanks.


Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen

I would like to know how nde compares in different cultures.  When 18th/19th C people saw devils, White people saw black or red ones while Blacks saw white ones.  Do near death experiences change from culture to culture?

Murat K.
Murat K.

Only recently scientists came up with hocus pocus explanations for the phenomenon as a lack of oxygen in the brain. NDEs have been documented for decades, what am I saying, for centuries since Platon, with thousands of witnesses interviewed, telling all the same amazing stories. It goes for good NDEs as well as bad NDEs. 

I even feel quite frustrated because I drowned in the sea when I was a kid but can't remember a damn thing. No white light, no tunnel, no dead relatives telling me sweet things or this universal feeling of love. There are zillion of books in libraries and bookstores about the topic of life after death. Why write another book about it? 

THOMAS OCONNOR
THOMAS OCONNOR

Judy,


"Look at what we do to our bodies and our faces in the name of perfection!"


I am divorced (since remarried) from a woman that for a time worked in an Insurance office. From Monday through Friday it was the same ritual with her. Wake up, shower, get dressed (she preferred skirts and tops to dresses) and apply makeup before having her coffee. One morning she puts on a skirt and top, looks in the mirror, and says this combination doesn't work. So she changes her top and says: "That's better". A couple of weeks later she applied the identical outfit that she had rejected only weeks before and thought it looked great. 


Sometimes I really feel for you women...seriously. Most men, like myself, are a whole lot less self-conscious in respect to their overall appearance.


Tom

Phil Biggs
Phil Biggs

I'm a skeptic with a deep belief in science. Science tells me that there is still a great deal we do not understand. What happens after death is one thing we still don't truly comprehend. Sounds like this book is shining light on the subject. Can't wait to read it!

M. Ramdeo-Cook
M. Ramdeo-Cook

I'm definitely going to buy this book. I've always been curious about this and I like that the author leaves it up to you to form your own opinion based on facts presented.  

Philip Olson
Philip Olson

I had a NDE when I was eight years old.  I always felt I returned because I did not know I was allowed to stay away.  I find this odd and wonder about whether or not it was a physical experience and I just didn't finish the death.

I became an idiot savant at that time, which is a physical thing and has a long history not associated with near death experiences.

Never did go mystical about it and expect when I finally die I will be completely dead.

The brain is a complex organ and simple answers to complicated events are not final.

Nevin John
Nevin John

Is it something like you see in the movie Insidious?! :D

Judy Bachrach
Judy Bachrach

@Simon Worrall In fact, Sam Parnia, an emergency room physician who is the author of that fascinating study and actually got funding for it from the University of California at Irvine, features prominently in GLIMPSING HEAVEN. He was practically the first person I interviewed, and has had a number of patients who died, were resuscitated, and returned with memories of death travels.

Judy Bachrach
Judy Bachrach

@Sally DuPerron Actually no, interestingly. The people who died and were resuscitated were of all religions and some were atheists. It didn't seem to matter. The religious -- or the individuals who were brought with a specific religion -- went on death travels, but no one I interviewed, with one single exception, saw Jesus (and that individual simply was close to death but didn't die). The atheists I interviewed who died also went on death travels. Every instance was unique to the individual -- none were exactly the same. By the way my book Glimpsing Heaven, deals mainly with death experiences, not near death.

I'm not saying Jesus is necessarily absent from death experiences, just that the 100 I interviewed didn't happen to see Jesus when they were dead.

Judy Bachrach
Judy Bachrach

@Mark LaPorta  Actually, the science in the book comes from established neuroscientists and emergency room physicians

Mary Martinelli
Mary Martinelli

@Dale Rys Exactly Dale:  The bible is our owner's manual.  NO secret there.  We don't kick around the universe after death.  "Absent in the body, present with the Lord."

Judy Bachrach
Judy Bachrach

@Carson Spratt Dante's Paradiso is not the traditional theological view as accepted today. It was -- is-- a beautiful, poetic and imaginative work. But it is not the commonly held view of consciousness after death in our modern society. And by the way, clouds and angels are not a modern invention 

Renaissance and Baroque art are packed with both!

D Beard
D Beard

@David Morris You seem to be jumping to a belief system instead of drawing conclusions based upon facts.  Read up on the experiences those who are starting to pass out have.  Then read up on NDEs.  You will find they have very little in common.  Read up on what an hallucination is, and then read accounts of NDEs.  Hallucinations are not lucid.  Keep looking at the facts, but a good scientist does not start with conjecture as you have done.

D Beard
D Beard

@www nnn If you check out the http://www.nderf.org web site, you will find many stories documented first hand including ones from people who attempted suicide.  Interestingly, their experiences are not all that much different, although the NDE does often have a healing effect, at least initially, where those people begin to value life again.

Judy Bachrach
Judy Bachrach

@www nnn No, unfortunately I do not have any information about people who committed suicide and then were resuscitated. But it is a worthy area of investigation.

D Beard
D Beard

@Vincent M. I would be interested to know more, but what I do know is that if you were to put your hands around my neck and squeeze, I would lose oxygen to the brain and quickly lose consciousness (i.e., awareness of the events around me).  There have been reports of Dr.'s pronouncing people dead on the operating table who were hooked up to brain wave monitoring equipment.  The brain waves go flat, the heart beat is flat, they are essentially dead, and yet people can report floating around the room and hearing conversations that they were physically unable to hear according to medical science.  Very strange.   While there may be a variety of explanations for such experiences, it is certainly worthy of study. 

Judy Bachrach
Judy Bachrach

@Vincent M. I read about this in a scientific journal. It's most interesting. They are now trying to examine human consciousness and brain patterns after cardiac arrest. The results aren't yet in (and the research very difficult to accomplish, as you can imagine...)


D Beard
D Beard

@Vincent M. Actually, there is no correlation between prior religious beliefs and whether someone has an NDE or what the content of the NDE is.  Read up on the variety of cases out there and you'll see what I mean.  I do believe that if I saw a strange being of light and love, I might think it was Jesus because of my background while another might interpret it as Buddha.  Our perceptions and experiences and history shape how one tries to put into words that which is difficult to express in words (a common claim by NDEers. 

M P
M P

@Robert Murray  I too had a dream where I saw tiny globes of bluish light in a row across from me, I seemed to know them and knew that if I touched them I would be one of them on their side. The touching would be like an electric contact, and somehow at that point I came back. The most amazing thing is that I too was just like them and was thinking with telepathy with them.

Gaelle Saraiva
Gaelle Saraiva

@Robert Murray My father had a similar experience during a dream as well. My father told me that after traveling in a tunnel of light he heard a voice asking what was his birthday. However, my father had been registered a few days after his birth, which was not uncommon at that time. So, he unintentionally gave the wrong date of birth and he was sent back to our side I guess.


Judy Bachrach
Judy Bachrach

@Robert Murray Yes, there is a digital version on Amazon as well as paperback and hardcover. Thanks for asking, Robert!


Vincent M.
Vincent M.

@Ted Olsen There are accounts of NDE's from non christians like hindus and aboriginal people. The fact that their NDE's reflect their religion/culture like hindu gods appearing instead of angels is a good indication that either there are many afterlifes, one for each religion, or it really is all invented the brain. 

Judy Bachrach
Judy Bachrach

@Ted Olsen  From what I gather, the answer is yes, death experiences do change from culture to culture. It will be the subject of my next book, in fact. Not enough research done yet, but I intend to get as many anecdotes and speak to as many people as possible in Japan, China, India. Dr. Bruce Greyson, a psychiatrist at the University of Virginia has done some research on the subject, I do believe. And Pim van Lommel, a Dutch cardiologist, writes that some Japanese who have been revived through CPR report moving from one world to the next via a river...


D Beard
D Beard

@Murat K. That is one thing that cannot seem to be explained, "Why do some people have an NDE and others do not".  There is no correlation based upon faith or health of the person at the time. There does seem to be an increased frequency in NDEs among those who have heart attacks and those who drown, but even that is not cut and dry.

Blake Rosenvall
Blake Rosenvall

@Judy Bachrach @www nnn You should also consider a religious angle.  The Mormons, for example, don't believe life started at birth but rather that all of creation is here as sort of a school to teach us and then at death we return to where we came from.  Oh yea and that our form with hands and legs etc is part of our eternal nature.

Ed Carp
Ed Carp

@Judy Bachrach @Ted Olsen With all due respect, why should I buy this book? There are literally hundreds of books written about NDEs, and all of them are essentially the same - anecdotes of NDEs by people. Even specialist books have been written, including several discussing the subject of NDEs from survivors of suicide attempts, of NDEs from people of various faiths and various cultural and nationalistic backgrounds. I suppose that there are lots of books out there written about NDEs that you weren't aware of before you wrote yours. Why reinvent the wheel? What's new in your book that I would want to buy it?


I'm not trying to be insulting, but why one more book about NDEs that seems to be in large part just a rehash of what's already been written before by folks like Dr. Raymond Moody, Kenneth Ring, and Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross?

Mary Martinelli
Mary Martinelli

@Judy Bachrach @Ted Olsen Why don't you read the bible and get the answers from the Creator? God has no equal and He has no opposite.  All humans are created.  Satan was created, therefore he is not opposite God.  E verything and everyone has been created.  God is infinite.  But....when you make a living selling books then you speak to "people" 

Ed Carp
Ed Carp

@Mary Martinelli @Judy Bachrach @Ted Olsen Mary, your responses indicate that you believe that the bible is actually God speaking to the Jews, that the bible is 100% factually correct, and that there are no other books that have ever been written that are God speaking to Man.


God was speaking to the Jews, not Western man. If we actually believe that the bible is 100% accurate (an idea that is easily disproven),then Jesus himself talked about reincarnation and about other people and other groups that he taught that are not recorded in the bible.


Out of the tens of thousands of years that humans have been on this planet, and the billions of people that have lived, and the hundreds of thousands of spiritual and religious books that have been written, to think that the bible is the only source of truth is incredibly simplistic and narrow-minded, not to mention completely untrue.


I would suggest that you stop reading the bible for a while and do what the bible actually suggests to do - stop listening to man, stop reading, and ask God directly. God does not live in the bible. The bible is not "God's Word" (see John 1 for proof). You don't have to read a book (or throw it in other people's faces) to get truth.

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