Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Change & Transition

I'm sitting in my new abode here in Vermont and reading a book by Dr. Pam Kircher, Love is the Link, that's centred on her NDE as well as her practice as a hospice physician. She's made a number of references as to the importance of going into the silence and withdrawing from the distractions of the world and the daily routine and responsibilities we're burdened with. How interesting that I've been yanked from my normal working world as a result of this move and the fact, for example, that I've got no internet connection!

The majority of my work revolves around my being on line and in constant communication with others. Then there's the writing and website work I must do and keep up-to-date, since I do a weekly radio show and am constantly applying updates as things occur. Now, with the fact that I cannot be on line for a good while, the silence is quite striking. Everyone is going to have to wait to hear from me or for me to do my usual routine of the telecommuting. I'm 'out of commission' for now and it is a time to go within and listen to the message from the divine and allow myself to flow into this new chapter of my life.

Even the mobile reception is nearly nil so this, too, forces me into the silence. What's interesting is that I really love the silence ... but feel such a profound obligation to be 'at the ready' for all those who need me. Indeed, it never occurs to me to take a day off or to go on holiday; I only think about my work in being of service to others and always available to them!

Why is this? Is it because I make good $£ doing so? Heck, NO! I make hardly any $£ at all, because most of my work is strictly a labour of love and does not involve generating $£. I am very poor when it comes to $£, but that is no reflection of my true worth or value. But here I am—feeling such an urgent need to be at the beck and call of anyone who may need me ... that I don't think about taking time off for Juliet and to simply ... Be.

But now I am, as it's been imposed on me. Take a holiday, Juliet! It's time you did so! Everyone will simply have to wait. Besides, good things come to those who wait! It's true ... and with Mercury still in retrograde (Rx), it's a time to 'go back' and take inventory of our lives and the inner workings of our psyche and do much-needed evaluation and gain the clarity needed to start a new chapter on good footing.

I have always been a very reflective and introspective individual and not one to be in the middle of social settings—much preferring my own company and to be in nature. When I was contemplating my next move, I asked that if I cannot live on or by the ocean, then I want to be situated in the mountains and on a lake. Well, guess what! I'm now in a small town on the Canadian border that's surrounded by Lake Memphremagog and the beautiful green mountains that Vermont is noted for! I walk to the corner of my road and look down and there's the lake—a stunning lake, the majority of which is in Quebec. I walk along this beautiful body of water and never fail to be in utter awe—between taking the breathtaking view of the lake, the mountains that surround it, and the 'skyscape' above.

I've had enough of the big city. I've found that I've become less tolerant of cities in recent years and, in fact, have never been a fan of cities—other than to visit them. Sadly, American cities are notoriously so filthy and riddled with crime ... and talk about not having any opportunity to go into any silence! How can one do so when there's constant noise--sirens, car horns and 'drive-by-radios', yelling, traffic and so on?

So many thoughts and metaphors have gone through my head of late. I've been aware of the trauma of moving house—which is really no different than dying in so many ways. Think about it: when you're preparing to move house, haven't you gone through such uncertainty as a result of being suspended in the process of the move—no longer living at 'Point A' yet not living at 'Point B' either—that, for an instant, you may question if you might actually be preparing to cross over? That has certainly been the case with me—numerous times when moving house—and especially when things just don't seem to want to work out. I've found that a number of people go through this—at least more mature people that I've spoken with and with whom I've compared notes.

It is interesting to ponder my work that's centred on death, dying, NDEs and the Afterlife and the similarities it has to the process of moving house. There's always that profound feeling of uncertainty that comes with moving house and with transitioning to the Other Side. In reality, they are no different—other than that the physical body is discarded in death, not just unneeded possessions. However, and this is a very important point, every ending is followed by a new beginning! When we cross over, we do not become static, motionless, inanimate beings who are non-existent! It is always the cycle of life-death-life where death is just the ending of one chapter that is immediately followed by a new one! Nothing dies; it just changes form and frequency, that's all. Death is merely a passageway into a new realm. That's why a lot of us won't even use the word 'death', as we prefer to use the more accurate term, 'transition', because that's exactly what it is.

Another analogy that I've oft times used is that of the caterpillar that spends a portion of its life only knowing how to tread the ground, then it must spin a cocoon and withdraw into the deep dark silence ... until it one day emerges a glorious winged creature! It must pull away from all that it has known up until the point prior to spinning the cocoon; then it must enter it and go into the silence alone and in a state of total trust. But let's think about that for a moment. These simple seemingly 'lowly' creatures are so in harmony with their own natural rhythms and flow and what they must do as they unfold in their little lives ... that I'd venture to conclude that it never occurs to them to be worried or frightened; they instinctively know what to do and are absolutely fine with it! Granted, the caterpillar doesn't have a clue what 'butterfly' is, but there's something in its innate nature that allows it to flow into the process that will ultimately manifest as this magnificent winged creature. It doesn't fight and resist the 'death of caterpillar' so that it can be re-birthed as 'butterfly'. It just knows when the time has come for this transition and withdraws to spin the cocoon. And even being birthed as a butterfly is traumatic and fraught with great effort and pain. However, it's through this severe challenge that the wings are given the strength they need in order to fly. Everything in the evolutionary process has got its purpose and meaning.

Yet, as human beings, with the power to reason, we are plagued with fear and worry all the time—living in so little trust in the divine flow and feeling like we've constantly got to be in control. Yet we spin ourselves off into the wrong direction so much of the time, because we're such manipulators by nature and we often fail to see or perceive the bigger picture. We've got to make things happen rather than allowing things to unfold in their natural process. And this is what gets us into trouble...

During my transcendent NDE in the mid 70s, I experienced no fear or worry. I was so full of trust and being constantly enveloped in unconditional love, there was, indeed, no room for fear. I knew in no uncertain terms that everything was evolving exactly as it should and that everything would be just fine. Another thing I learned—which I've mentioned a number of times—is that fear is an acquired state, not a natural one. That is due, sadly, to the fact that the human species has been controlled and manipulated from cradle to grave for thousands of years ... and fear was introduced to us through such manipulation. If this planet were truly centred in love, there'd be no place for fear—none!

Let's face it: so many of the thoughts we have aren't even our own! They're manufactured and programmed into us by outside sources. Then we parrot what's been programmed into us without even realising it. We're taught that we're powerless, sinful, worthless, insignificant, helpless, uncomely, and so on. Just look at these words. Do you see one word that reflect love? I think not. They're all about fear and keeping us locked in fear. In such a mental state, of course we're not going to have an ounce of trust anywhere in our psyche, because we're too centred in fear and 'oh-my-god-what-am-I-going-to-do' syndrome. But it's not about 'doing'; it's about 'being' and 'flow' that can only be accomplished when we're centred in love.

Again, during my NDEs, I only knew love and honestly never had a care! The peace that I felt as a result cannot be compared to anything experienced on this plane—not even sitting by the lake and listening to the breeze blowing through the trees and the lapping water and the call of a distant bird with the sunbeams streaming through the clouds.

It is not our fault that we've been manipulated by a host of sinister agents who control this planet, but it is within our power to take responsibility as to how we choose to deal with this—to call their bluff and turn away from the lies that we've been forced-fed and to resolutely turn to love and having that rule our lives rather than fear being at the helm. We do not have to believe what we've been told; we do not have to believe in the lies and myths that are only there to mislead and confuse and disempower us in the first place.

It's very interesting to me that these sinister forces seem completely sold on keeping us from entering the cocoon and going through with the natural process of evolving into magnificent beings! We're so very close to entering that state, yet we stop short of it, because we're so afraid of change and the unknown. We hold back and opt not to take that quantum leap of faith and delve into uncharted or unknown territory. In our frail minds, we've got to hold fast to what is familiar and we refuse to change or grow!

I've got a friend who's so attached to everything past, he'll even hold on to things that are broken! He just can't let go, because he perceives himself as losing power or his sense of self if he does. Yet he's the loveliest person and a joy to know. He's lived in the same house for a quarter century and I, on the other hand, move every few months! At least, that's been the case for past few years. Alas, I just did move number twelve since 2003!

I'm not advocating moving house every few months ... but I've had to accept that there's a divine reason for all of this change and it's certainly had a way of keeping me in the present and ready for new endeavours and not being allowed to be 'stuck' or 'attached' in my life. People, places and things have always so easily been removed from me all my life—whether they were dear and meaningful to me or not. It didn't matter. I've always had to change and grow. I didn't come here to 'loiter'; I came here to get something done—something that's in service to others--so that is bound to carry me to unknown places and situations.

Now, I have been moved into somewhat of a cocoon ... and who knows how many layers there may be to it! Yet, one thing was made clear to me during my NDEs: the LightSource is the ultimate power who's always going to see me through—regardless of what may appear on the surface. If we experience set-backs and delays (which I certainly have been dealing with now), we've got to realise that there's a very good reason for it. There is a divine order at work here, but it's not going to function according to the agenda set by our own egos.

We are multi-dimensional beings who actually reside on different dimensions simultaneously and we need to be in sync with our soul and what it dictates. Our soul is aware of Source and the flow of the 'multiverses' that it resides in, so there's a lot more to take into account than just the physical persona residing on planet Earth. Haven't you had something inside nagging at you to wait a moment or go in a different direction than what you'd originally wanted to do—only to find out that the delay or change of direction saved your life? That was your soul speaking to you and offering you higher wisdom, because of its constant and aware link to Source! This is nothing to baulk at here.

That's another thing that the powers-that-be don't want us to know: that we're always connected to Source and have got the capacity to engage in dialogue with the Light and possess great awareness. Have you noticed how anything that hints at intuition or being 'psychic' is regarded as 'evil' or 'of the devil'? It's because this is yet another ploy to keep us dumbed down and locked in ignorance. If being aware were not demonised and we were encouraged to use our minds to their full potential—and not just 10% of it—we'd be enormously powerful beings with the capacity to break the spell of fear and servitude once and for all.

Fear is the by-product of a host of lies that have been shoved down our cosmic throats since time immemorial and it's now time to cough up that poison and claim back our divinity, which is our rightful heritage. We are divine in essence. We are 'Sourcebeams' that are always radiating from and connected not only to Source, but to one another and all life. This is another thing that is so apparent to many of us who experience near-death states. When we can detach from the ego-mind and the physical body—which isn't 'who' we are anyway—we see a much broader picture of what is real and we remember who we are and what we're made of. Oh, it's such a joy! Consequently, many of us come back to this plane indifferent towards materialism and, instead, opting to do work that's centred in service to others. We recognise the divine in all life and feel a gleaming responsibility to love and support all life, because it's part of us. We are all One.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Dr. Peter Fenwick on Toward The Light

On 30 September I had the honour of interviewing Dr. Peter Fenwick on Toward The Light. Alas, if I were to have a 'hero' in the medical field, Dr. Fenwick would definitely qualify as one, as he's done a tremendous amount of work over the years to validate the NDE as authentic and real—it not being some sort of hallucination or the product of a 'dying brain'.

I first met Dr. Fenwick at the annual IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies) conference in Chicago in 2004. He gave a most compelling lecture on the nature of NDEs as he detailed the extensive research that he's done over the years.

I remember sitting next to PMH Atwater during his lecture and she and I were both so animated and excited with everything that came out of his mouth. It was quite something to behold two white-haired ladies bobbing up and down like two excited children. Given that we're both NDErs—ones who truly believe in the legitimacy and validity of the NDE—we were truly excited that Dr. Fenwick gave very clear, concise details about how and why the NDE is real, when it occurs and how it is distinctly different from a hallucination. He also pointed out that the lucid clarity that occurs with an NDE is something that is maintained by the experiencer and does not become a faint memory over time; nor does it become distorted as a hallucination does.

Dr. Fenwick provided a 'powerpoint' presentation that featured detailed graphs, dialogues from patients—including a child who'd had a near-death experience—and other images and illustrations.

During our interview, he recapped a lot of this data and shared it with the listening audience.

Dr. Fenwick got into the NDE research as a result of a patient who'd come to him regarding a cardiac catheter that had gone wrong. He became unconscious and he left his body; then he watched the resuscitation process and was very frightened by the whole thing. He was told by the physicians that they'd have to do it again, but he wasn't about to endure another traumatic ordeal, so he simply left the hospital. This patient only told Dr. Fenwick and his wife, Elizabeth, about the NDE that he had had. This took place in 1986.

This triggered Dr. Fenwick's research with Margo Grey who did extensive research into the NDE.

Peter participated in a film centred on NDEs on a QED documentary on BBC Television in 1987. He and his wife wrote a book called The Truth and the Light. As a result of all this he received over a 1000 eMails and letters thanking him for his work in this documentary.

He said that there are several reasons why the NDE is valid as occurring during a flat-line. He's done a number of studies. For example, he found a person, Penny Satori (sp?), who just finished her Ph.D and she conducted a study where she invited cardiac patients to describe their OBEs and then rate them. Through these studies, they were able to determine that those who claimed to be OBE during a resuscitation, actually did accurately describe the resuscitation process.

A third of the people that Penny worked with, had NDEs that included an OBE. Peter points out that people are only interested in their bodies when they're floating above them. They don't look round the room—only focusing on their bodies. That's why targets are placed near where the patient is situated, so that they will be seen whilst the patient is out-of-body.

Dr. Fenwick has been working on these studies a lot over the past five years. He's working with Dr. Sam Parnia where they've planted targets in the rooms, for example, where one has had a cardiac arrest and they've set this up in 18-20 hospitals throughout the UK. These targets are placed in strategic locations where one can easily spot and identify them whilst out-of-body during a near-death episode, then report what they saw afterwards.

I asked him about his being open with hospital staff about NDEs and their research projects. He explained that the ethics committee is extremely important and they get permission from them to conduct these studies and have been granted them. There are resuscitation officers who are brought in whenever anyone has a cardiac arrest and they preside over each patient and work in the resuscitation process and also report to the physicians.

He's also working on researching the DBP (deathbed phenomena) with different hospitals and it's so moving, really. He's realised that in our western culture, we're so unaware of the state of mind of the dying person. This is when I brought up the article that I'd written entitled, The Dying Process ~ From an Experiencers Perspective and how this all ties in to what is actually occurring during the dying process. I describe in clear detail what is actually happening to one as one is dying and this also includes how ones consciousness shifts and expands as one prepares to transition and what occurs after one transitions.

Peter observed that, a week before a person dies, one is greeted by deceased loved ones who are there specifically to help the person through the dying process. What the loved ones say—along with the response of the dying person—is very accurate. The dying person will then say something like, "Tomorrow, I'll be going on a journey with so-and-so," and that is exactly what has happened. Peter did a TV show in England about this and, once again, he received a thousand eMails from people who've given examples of DBVs and there's also the phenomena of deathbed coincidences.

At the moment of death, the dying person communicates telepathically with another family member and indicates that he or she is dying, but is okay. A person sees the dying person and is reassured that s/he is okay. The mind of dying individuals is able to connect with ones they love at the moment of death and it is reassuring to the living.

Often the body of the dying person is surrounded by light at the moment of death. There are great things that happen. Dr. Fenwick was pointing out that people's clocks often stop when one crosses over—not just digital ones, but mechanical ones as well. Bells will go off and animals will also react. It's indeed a deep and complex phenomena.

Dr Fenwick is working with a nurse, Sue, and another lovely nurse, Hillary, who are working in palliative care in hospitals and nursing homes as well. He explained that the staff in nursing homes are very unwilling to talk about this subject—a real reluctance to talk about it—as if it's 'taboo'. Many of the staff feel that they've not been trained property about the dying process, so they avoid it. We talked about this issue and the fact that there need to be more training in the area of death and dying and to face it squarely and not regard it as something 'taboo' or to fear.

It's not right to think that the dying are 'hallucinating', etc. Dr. Fenwick is a strong advocate of the validity of the DBP and asks for reports from staff regarding what they observe with the dying and does outreach after one year's time to find out what's occurred with the dying.

Dr. Fenwick is putting together a model of by which people can go into hospitals and different facilities and talk about these phenomena as well as to create a pamphlet. I offered him the use of my article in support of this endeavour. He also wants to create a CD that features stories/accounts of experiencers.

He points out that story after story after story are all so consistent and knowing that they've got to be valid in every way.

He explains that, when a deceased person comes to visit the dying person, it's always for a very specific reason—not for fun or entertainment. The dialogue is meaningful and to the point—usually with the deceased relative letting the dying person know that s/he's come to accompany him or her Home.

I was mentioning the fact that when people are on the verge of death, their ego is dissipated and they're not going to fabricate anything. They're very honest, open and authentic. Peter talks about the importance of 'dying well'. It's very important, for example, to resolve issues with loved ones before one transitions. If there are issues within relationships, for example, these need to be resolved before one transitions.

Another thing that happens is that dying people indicate that this is not the end and they're aware of the fact that they're just making a transition into a new or different realm. Sometimes it also happens that, when a dying person is visited by a deceased loved one who's come to assist one in transitioning, he or she may not be ready, so the deceased person will say, "All right, I'll be back for you tomorrow" and the dying person knows when he or she will transition. Death is very structured process.

Many eMails that Dr. Fenwick received addressed what happens at the moment of death. In the Tibetan culture, one talks about the mental state of the dying and the sequence of things that they see and experience. A dying person will first see a sort of mirage, then smoke, then appearances of sparks or fireflies; then the dying person stops breathing, then comes the orange light, then white light, then the living blackness, loss of consciousness and then moving into a higher state of consciousness and switching to a higher vibrational frequency.

Next we got onto the topic of the content of NDE accounts by recent NDErs as opposed to those who had NDEs before knowledge of NDEs even existed or was well circulated. Dr. Fenwick did a survey centred on NDEs and took 500 out of the 2000 NDE contacts he had and asked them: "What did you know about the NDE at the time of your experience?" and 98% of them had never come across it and didn't know anything about it at all. He also informed me that there really was no difference between the accounts of those who'd had NDEs with no prior knowledge of them and those who did have prior knowledge.

He states that over 70% of people who've had NDEs were transformed by their experiences and positively so.

Next, he explained that 'hallucination' is a psychiatric term where someone experiences a sensory experience that is nothing to do with what is going on outside someone. This is very different from what occurs during near-death states.

In cases when the heart has stopped, the cardiac arrest is an excellent model for validating the NDE. The clinical definition of death is when there's no pulse, no respiration and fixed dilated pupils. Yet it is during such states that, after resuscitation, people report being fully aware of the resuscitation process—among other things. The NDE is not a confusional experience; they're very clear.

Dr. Fenwick points out the fact that the NDE actually occurs whilst one is clinically dead—not before or afterwards. When people faint, they lose consciousness very quickly and when people come out of the unconscious state, they're very confused; so none of these states would coincide with the NDE.

He's now working on a book compiling people's experiences as well as the target research. I'm certain that it will be another powerful statement validating the NDE as real and rich with meaning.

I'm truly blessed to have had Dr. Fenwick on Toward The Light. He was so gentle and full of compassion and deep knowing with every word he spoke. I am so pleased and grateful to see what is considered credible evidence in favour of the NDE reaching countless individuals worldwide. Peter is such a tremendous source of inspiration to me ... with all of the work that he's done in this field. What he has done is huge and he's creating a legacy that will change the way we view death and dying that will impact humanity for years to come.