Following this conference, upon return home, I decided
to reconnoiter into all of the plentiful information available
about the Near Death Experience (NDE) and the Out-of-Body
Experience (OBE). I felt more inclined, now that I knew
that these "paranormal" occurrences boasted of a bit more
solid acceptance by scientists.
OBEs were actually under consideration by governments,
mainly by clandestine units. I remember one of my
analysands making mention that he had such an experience
when he was young. He noted that one night while dozing
off, he suddenly knew that he was floating outside of his
body. Scared silly, he instinctively knew that he was going
to die if he didn't get back into his body. Flailing about,
with seemingly no body, he did manage to return to his body.
Anyway, he told me that all through this experience he was
fully conscious of himself.
The poor fellow was so disturbed by this OBE that he went
to his local physician. The doctor said that he must have
stopped breathing while asleep--and said no more. My
analysand sadly said that no doubt his doctor put a "black
mark" on his medical record. Sadly, too, I did the same,
which at the time reflected my ignorance and perhaps
bigotry at the time.
As for NDEs, well they have been well publicized all over
the world. I found the more interesting studies of such
put out by M.D. cardiologists. Of course some of these
"scientific" studies regarding NDEs tried to explain them
away by noting that certain physiological conditions
stressed by the onset of death could cause the symptoms
described in the NDE.
Putting down all these studies, I began to wonder that
maybe we psychologists and physicians are *not* listening
to our patients! We have been denying their experience,
even though they tell us over and over that they are not
imagining such, that the experience is incredibly real to
them. We oft demand proof without ever giving it a
chance to emerge.
Anyway, I started toying with the idea about how I might
somehow connect the OBE and the NDE with past-life
visions, on into the concept of Reincarnation. Essentially
I was trying to fit all this so-called paranormal experience
into a package that might connect with soul development.