PMH Atwater is an international authority on near-death states and the author of eighteen books. She experienced three NDEs herself, within three months, and is currently writing a book on her life ‘before’ she died.
A near-death experience can happen to anyone at any time. It can completely turn you around and alter or change your view of life and induce a different worldview. That difference can either help or confuse you, but eventually, it will lead to a different outlook on the world we live in.
What is the scientific definition of a near-death state?
“The near-death experience is an intense awareness, sense or experience of other worldliness, whether pleasant or unpleasant, that happens to people who are at the edge of death. It is of such magnitude, that most experiencers are deeply affected, many to the point of making many changes in their lives afterwards.
Consistently found in a near-death experience: Out of body experiences, clear enhanced consciousness, self-identity with emotions, cognition (thought perception), full use of faculties and intact memories – all of this happening while the brain is not working.”
Would you say one can live life ‘to the fullest’ after an NDE – there is no unknown, so no fear?
We are talking about a person who is either dead or almost dead. During that period, they are amazingly conscious, perhaps in another dimension, but are conscious nevertheless. Most people, when they come back, are surprised and have difficulty dealing with their experience. Some manage fairly well but most take strain.
There is a whole list of after effects, some of which can be easy at first. However, when ‘normality’ is resumed – with your family and job, people can find that it’s not always that easy. For the average adult it takes 7-10 years to integrate the experience and for the average child it takes 20-40 years. It takes longer for a child because children will compensate rather than integrate.
My most recent book The Forever Angels, I recommend to anyone who wants to understand better what a child goes through after an NDE, or for child experiencers. A child, from birth to the age of five, has no before. They are therefore unable to compare to anything.
After their experience, many of them can be happy, flamboyant and ready to go. They are then confronted with this world of ours that just doesn’t match what they know and where they were. Children have therefore, I feel, the toughest time of all. It is very hard for them to integrate, and some of them never do.
In your many years of experience and research, what does an NDE leave behind for the individual concerned, generally speaking?
After a near-death experience, the first thing that one has to relearn is how to talk and how to think and this can be a very long process. Experiencers are seeing the world from a very different view point and when they try to converse that, it tends to come across in a very different way. Others won’t necessarily understand what the experiencers are trying to express.
In my own personal experience, and some time after my own NDEs, my oldest daughter said to me in the kitchen,,,”I like you now…You’re much easier to talk to ..But you’re not my mum..And I want my mum back!”
We searched for that woman for decades but she was gone and we never did find her. I am not the same mum that I was. I am coming from a different vibration, view point and way of living in the world. Therefore I don’t talk or think the same way. This is what all experiencers go through.
Some of the after effects, to mention only a few; significant changes in brain structure and function, changes in the nervous system, changes in the digestive system and skin sensitivity. These are the big changes.
People come back more loving, more forgiving and with little or no fear. Many experiencers become ministers, doctors or teachers, whatever they are led to do, and often this is of a healing nature, or helping other people to live better lives.
Do you believe that NDEs are a ‘necessity’ for those who ‘endure’ them, for whatever reason?
What I would like to do is to give a pattern of ‘befores’ as I found there to be during my many years of research.
What has caught my eye is that which occurs during major life junctures; when a decision is needed to be made or at times of dissatisfaction, disappointment, frustration, when feeling hurried all the time or excessively strained or while running a tight ship insisting on personal control. As lifestyle maintenance toppled, one’s ability to keep it going, alongside pushing limits at work and at play, when demanding and strict rules limit one’s beliefs and activities without existence of meaningful goals, or in strong denial, or during happy times when that was really just a facade, or simply being overly complacent.
What I saw with all of this – there was a pattern of ‘before’ – is that somehow all the experiencers that I have researched seemed to be over the top stressed. This seemed to be the grounding for something like a near-death experience. I found this over and over again. If this answers the question..? Perhaps.
In your experience, do children and adults manifest their emotions in a similar fashion post NDE?
As I mentioned earlier, it depends on the age of the child. The younger children often don’t integrate at all. An older child of nine or ten has more of a memory and therefore is easier for that child to integrate, as it is for adults.
I have an example of a child experiencer. I recently received a call from a NYC cop in his late forties. He was crying. He had finished reading The Forever Angels and told me he had had an NDE at the age of two. He had never integrated his experience because he didn’t know what it was, where he had been and why he was so different. For the first time in his life he could understand why he was so different to others.
His perception of the human element was learnt through copying his parents, teachers, siblings and friends at school. None of this matched with what he knew. Only when he read The Forever Angels did he realize there was nothing wrong with him, and could understand why he thought and lived his life differently to others.
Energy is multilayered – can you elaborate?
After a near-death experience, how do you find the layers or the energy? In my book Future Memory, I talk a lot about this. I could identify at least 12 positive layers and 12 negative layers and there was no top or bottom. There are different vibrations, or levels according to vibration (again no top, no bottom). What I saw in this is that this whole theory of heaven and hell is purely of our own making. For example, we don’t play Harp forever in Heaven, just as we don’t fry forever in Hell.
As we learn the more positive or the more negative, we begin to wake up to the fact that we determine the makeup of who we are by our own behavior and by our own consciousness. And according to our own sense of forgiveness or learning, we can advance or decline. It is how quickly we learn and advance or how quickly we refuse to learn and allow stubbornness and blindness in our own worth and in our own value.
What most people discover in a near-death experience is their soul. We advance or decline according to how we accept and are able to deal with that we are co-creators with the Creator. This is really who we are and what defines our goal.
Life becomes more and more exciting if we wake up and smell the roses. If we don’t, life can be more troublesome, and we can be exposed to more problems with illness – illness can occur regardless but how we deal with the illness makes all the difference.
What do you recall being the most extraordinary case you have ever researched?
There are many that stand out but I am going to refer to a case concerning Walter Russell. The Russell Museum in Waynesboro, Virginia, is the home of Walter’s legacy. Russell’s work is carried under the banner of University of Science and Philosophy. His case was in the 1800s and early 1900s. He had a different near-death experience every seven years until I believe he was 49.
He learned more and more from each experience until the big one, which was a full illumination. He came back so filled with the knowledge of the what and why in life that he couldn’t even hold a pencil.
His family thought him insane and was going to get him committed to an asylum. His friends were able to help and nurse him and get him away from his family while he regained his ability to think and speak. When he was able to do this, he became the most incredible genius you can imagine.
He wrote many books, one of my favorite’s being The Universal One. Step by step, page by page, degree by degree, he tells us what the earth plane is, what life is, what the universe is, how it functions and why it’s here. He frequented the likes of Einstein at the time and questioned some of his theories. His work is so overwhelming that most people can’t even begin to understand what he was able to share, speak of and draw.
I can name you many incredible near-death experiences, but I cannot name you anyone that went as far and did as much as Walter Russell. I will be speaking at The Russell Museum on the 10th March.
What can we learn from near-death experiences?
Death does not end life. Only the scenery changes at death. Many departed loved ones (pets, birds, angels) will provide light that can predominate and that is impossible to describe. We are all more capable and smarter than we think we are. Mind is endless. Only thoughts limit. Everyone is psychic, creative, inventive and loved. Life is worth its living. There is a central source of existence. Some call this God, Allah or one of the other hundreds of names for Deity.
All healing is based on the willingness to change. So is forgiveness. Prayer is real and it works. Children see prayer as a bright or rainbow banded light that passes from sender to receiver. Love is the only standard that exists and choice is the only process.