In the weeks around Halloween I am looking at death by blogging about all things from burial sites and ghost stories to examining our attitudes to death. Here are some details of a study into near-death experiences and two lectures on the subject that are taking place in London this month.
Dr Penny Sartori worked as an intensive care staff nurse for 17 years and decided to use her experience to undertake the UK’s first long-term study of near-death experiences. She was awarded a PhD in 2005 for her research. Here is are some more details I've been sent about it:
While previous research has been unable to verify events that have been reported, more recent hospital research is showing that NDEs can no longer be dismissed as hallucinations or aberrations of a dying brain. Penny draws from experiences she witnessed during her long nursing career, along with many other examples from people who have contacted her to share their stories. One such story comes from Jules, who had a near-death experience over 22 years ago, while she was unconscious in the A and E department of a large hospital.
“According to the medics I was only ‘out’ for a few minutes,” says Jules, “but it seemed so much longer. As I was slipping in and out of consciousness I remember hearing the doctor say there was nothing more they could do. Then I realised that I was out of my body and floating upwards towards the ceiling of the hospital room and I watched the doctors and nurses moving around my body in the bed down below.”
Jules felt very calm and peaceful and then seemed to be pulled up through the ceiling and moved off somewhere else at incredible speed. She found herself flying down a long tunnel at great speed and could feel the wind rushing through her hair.
“I was incredibly calm and peaceful; there was no fear at all. It was like being enveloped in a warm bubble bath or blanket of sheer calm, bliss and peace. It was like nothing I can ever adequately describe, nor anything I have ever experienced on earth.”
At the end of the tunnel she found herself floating on crystal clear air alongside a high stone wall. What was the other side of the stone wall was the most amazing place she could ever imagine. It was breathtakingly beautiful with lovely scenery – trees, meadows and hills. The colours were incredibly bright and iridescent; it was like no other place on earth. Amidst the landscape was an interesting building.
“It was quite simple, almost like a cross between a gazebo and a domed temple. The most intense golden light was flowing out through this building and I know that everyone had to go into this building at some point.”
She could also see lots of people sitting on benches which were dotted all around this beautiful landscape. They were all sitting peacefully chatting away as if this was some sort of waiting area. Jules then floated towards a large wooden gate. She could see a figure by the gate and as she got closer realised it was her grandmother who had passed away when Jules was only 5 years of age. She looked radiant and totally alive. She hugged Jules who then felt the most incredible love, peace and happiness.Jules’ story features in Dr Penny Sartori’s book, Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences: How Understanding NDEs Can Help Us Live More Fully.
“I clearly remember all of this like it just happened this morning. My grandmother spoke and it was as if she was talking directly to my brain/mind. She gave me a clear message ‘We are not ready for you yet,’ then ‘You have to go back’ and finally ‘There is something you have to do. Your purpose.’ Then in a split second I was ‘floated’ backwards and I watched my grandmother fade in the distance. I felt myself going back into my body which coincided with a thud, and this is when I apparently woke and regained my vital signs on the hospital bed.”
Dr Penny is also running two lectures in London this month in which she will highlight the positive effects a near-death experience can have on a person’s life.
On Friday 24 October, at 7pm, she is giving a talk at The College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2EB. Tickets cost: £10/£12 and advance booking is advised. For more details call 020 7589 3292 or visit https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/
She is also giving a lecture at the Mind Body Soul Experience at Olympia Central on Sunday 26 October from 3.15pm - 4.45pm and the cost is£5. You will need a ticket to get into the show too, but you can enter a competition to try to win free three-day tickets to the Mind Body Soul Experience London that I'm running on my blog here: http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2014/09/competition-reminder-mind-body-soul.html
The Mind Body Soul Experience is at Olympia Central, London, on 24, 25 and 26 October, 2014. Online admission costs per day are £10 for adults and £8 for concessions, on-the-door admissions are £12/£10. The show has a huge variety of free performances, demonstrations and talks to see as well as a marketplace and some workshops and lectures with an extra ticket price. You can find out more and register for a free show guide at: www.mbsevents.co.uk