Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crossing Back

Michael Prescott posted another interesting near-death experience (NDE) story on his blog.  The story is about Noelle McNeil, who suffered brain injuries in horse riding accident.  Here is an excerpt he quoted from the newspaper story he found the article in:

McNeil was diagnosed with diffuse axonal injury in which many of the connections of the brain were severed. She said less than 3 percent of such patients make meaningful recoveries ...
[But] while her family and community and community prayed for a bedside miracle, the comatose McNeil was on an otherworldly journey. McNeil said she remembers leaving her body, gliding over brightly lit clouds into a brightly lit place where she encountered her Uncle Joe, her father's brother, who had died several years before.
"I asked Joe if this was heaven," McNeil explains in her book Heaven Exists. "He said yes. I asked if I could go back because I did not want to leave my life yet. I had so much more left I want to do."
Communicating telepathically, she said, Uncle Joe ultimately told her she could return to her body. He promised she would recover but told her it would take a long time.
"I had been to heaven and now I would have a glimpse of what hell is -- waking up to find myself totally debilitated in a hospital, unable to eat, walk or function in any real sense," she wrote.
McNeil returned to her body, but she had a long period of recovery ahead of her.

One aspect of her story that I found interesting was that she asked if she could return to her body.  In many of the NDE accounts I have read, the NDErs were content to stay in the spiritual realm.  Some didn't want to return but were told it was not their time yet (or something to that effect).  McNeil wanted to return to her physical body though.  When I thought about her story some more, I wondered if others may have asked to return to their physical bodies but were denied their request.  Could a situation like that possibly result in an 'intelligent haunting' (the type of haunting where the ghost seems to be aware of what's going on around it)?   Intelligent hauntings are commonly thought to be the ghost of a dead person.  If true, could these ghosts be haunting a location because they were denied a request to return to their physical body?  Could they have chosen to defiantly remain in a location familiar to them instead of crossing over?

I'm not claiming to know the answers to those questions, but I figured if someone could ask to return to her physical body and have her request granted, then theoretically, I figure that it may also be possible that similar requests could be denied in some instances.


  1. That's a very good question! My father didn't want to return when he had his NDE. He was happy and content and pain-free. Of course, in his situation, a huge amount of his family was on the other side awaiting him. I would think perhaps this woman had her Uncle Joe, but no one else of consequence on that side. I would suppose the request most often would occur if the body is still viable. I would think a bombing victim, for example, might not have a body to reside within and may have cut the "cord" to the body by the action of the body no longer being a receptacle and so there is no chance to ask if they can return, they already sense they cannot reinhabit the body. The question of intelligent hauntings being related to this situation is a good correlation. I think my problem with the whole concept of spirit form of humans is that there must a purpose for such a state of being in which we never needed the body in the first place. If there is a purpose, than endless wanderings around the human world seem like they would be restricted for purposes of going on to the next level of existence. In other words, as I like to say, Heaven would not be so careless as to allow stragglers...

  2. I've tossed around some ideas in my mind concerning what the purpose of the physical body is, however, I've never been able to settle on any specific idea. One possibility I've considered is that the physical body is sort of like a shell or cocoon. Maybe the spirit develops to a certain point and then sheds its cocoon.

    I've also considered there isn't necessarily a purpose to having a physical body per se, but maybe there is a reason we have a physical body. Not sure I know or could explain what that reason is though. But I figure there must be one or the other, even if I don't for sure what it is.

    Another idea I've considered is that maybe the physical reality is sort of an illusion. The idea sort of makes sense in my mind, but it's difficult to try to describe it to someone else...but I'll give it a shot.

    Essentially, we experience reality in our mind. Our eyes don't see, they transmit light signals to the brain. Our ears don't hear, they transmit sound waves to the brain. Our skin doesn't really 'feel' anything, it's the nerves beneath the skin that transmit the sensation to the brain. Our five senses are interpreted entirely in the brain. So if our human experience is being experienced entirely in our brain...what if everything that we think is physical is actually a sort of illusion that is occurring in our mind? It's not that everything and everyone is imaginary, but maybe how we think we are experiencing reality isn't really what reality is. The closest similarity I can think of to help illustrate my point is the movie The Matrix. In the movie, people are attached to a massive computer system that connects them all to a false reality called the matrix. In the real world, everybody is attached to the computer, but the world they are experiencing in their mind appears to be the real world them...even though it's not. The people in the matrix are not illusions, they are all real people, but they don't realize they are interacting with each other in a simulated world. What if what we are experiencing physically is a world sort of like the matrix (although, unlike the movie, I think the 'matrix' would be something more spiritual, instead of a massive computer program)? Unlike the people in the movie though, I don't know that we are actually asleep per se, but how we interact with each other and the world may be something similar to the simulated reality of the matrix. I don't know if that makes sense, but I don't really know of a better way to describe it in words.

    But like I said, these are just ideas, and I'm not even sure which idea I like. For all I know, there may be a better idea that I haven't even considered. Maybe it's not even something we are capable of comprehending (yet).

    As for the stragglers, I wonder if people really have to 'go' anywhere after death. From the Biblical perspective, Paradise was on earth originally, in the Garden of Eden (although Paradise might be more of a state of mind than an actual 'place'). Adam and Eve were expelled from Paradise, but, thousands of years later, Jesus told the criminal on the cross that he would be in Paradise with him that day. I think Paradise and heaven have sort of become synonymous with each other, but as I've said before, heaven translates to sky. So is Paradise in heaven? I think it is...although I don't know that Paradise is limited to heaven (the sky). If Paradise is more or less a state of mind, then maybe some of those who have entered Paradise have done so without having to go up into the sky.

  3. Oh, and just on more point out about the purpose or reason for having a physical body. I'm not sure what the purpose or reason is, but I don't think suicide is necessarily an easy 'escape' from the physical body. Islamic extremism and certain cults (i.e. Jim Jones, Heavens Gate)have glorified suicide as a quick ticket to Paradise, but in general, most religions and belief systems throughout history have been opposed to suicide. I think there may be reason for that opposition. Even though spirits are apparently capable of existing without a physical body, I think the physical body is very much a part of who and what we are, even if only for certain period of time. With that in mind, committing suicide would essentially be doing harm to yourself, a very negative action. It's one thing for a person to die naturally or from an accident - those are not intentional acts of violence against themselves. I doubt suicides 'burn in hell' after crossing over, but I think it's possible they may find out they still have some more 'growing' to do before they find the peace they were presumably looking for.