Q and A with P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D. (Hon.)

An In-Depth Look at the Near-Death Phenomenon

November 2005

P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D., is one of the original researchers in the field of near-death studies, having begun her work in 1978. She is one of the very few top NDE researchers who have actually had an NDE . Her website is filled with very interesting NDE research information and articles of hers. Her contribution to near-death studies is considered to be one of the most important as her first two books, Beyond the Light and Coming Back to Life, are deemed the Bibles of the near-death experience by researchers and a multitude of experiencers and enthusiasts. Using her firm understanding of police investigative techniques as a protocol, she has specialized in original fieldwork and research that also included sessions with significant others. Her findings are contained in six books (see right). Some of her findings have now been clinically verified. Her research is referenced in the distinguished Lancet medical journal, December 15, 2001 (the landmark Dutch study by Pim van Lommel, M.D.).

ANNOUNCEMENT: "Beyond the Indigo Children: The New Children and the Coming of the Fifth World" hit bookstores September 28th. Get a copy. I know you will be surprised by what is in the book! It is now time for all of us to move beyond labels such as indigo, crystal, star, sky, cosmic, and psychic, and take a real look at the REAL children now entering our world - and the Great Shifting occurring everywhere!

ANNOUNCEMENT: There are near-death groups meeting all over the world. Most are Friends of IANDS and/or cooperating organizations. I receive reports from several of them, mostly those in Europe. One of them is IANDS-Germany, which meets in Munich. Thomas Angerpointner, M.D., a specialist in children's surgery, said the group is now investigating the spiritual aspects including near-death experiences in intensive care. Dr. Michael Schroter-Kunhardt will be giving a talk on this to professionals who work in an intensive care unit. I wanted you all to know about this so you will realize that these experiences are global, affecting millions of adults and children. They are not the province of the U.S. media, nor are they fodder for paranormal investigators or psychics.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Regardless of what anyone may claim, near-death experiences happen broadly, especially to those without vital signs and at death's door. They are very real, and continue to defy anyone's idea of what might cause them. There is not a single explanation any skeptic can offer that has not been successfully overturned and disproven. Conversely, no proponent of the phenomenon can explain the episodes, either. Kenneth Ring, Ph.D. stated that near-death experiences were spiritual experiences. Perhaps he's right. We really don't know for certain one way or another. We know what they are not, but as yet we do not know what they are.

The latest estimate of occurrence from the research community is 18% - that's 18% of the population in general, regardless of country. Think about that - 18%. It doesn't seem like a large figure until you begin to realize how many millions that includes. Truly, 18% is an awesome number. Research of the near-death phenomenon is still in its infancy. Remember that.

ANNOUNCEMENT: There is a most unusual book out now about a near-death experience. I wrote a review about it that I would like to share with you:

"Talking with Angel: About Illness, Death and Survival," by Evelyn Elsaesser-Valarino. Floris Books, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2005.

"You'll remember Evelyn Elsaesser-Valarino as the collaborator with Kenneth Ring on "Lessons from the Light: What We Can Learn from the Near-Death Experience." She has spent over 20 years studying the subject, written another book about it; yet this time she makes a significant departure - writing a novel about a young girl dying of leukemia. Well, not exactly a novel. The book reads more like a journal, one so intimate, so personal, so filled with conflict and puzzlement and hear and love, that you find yourself 'inside' the nameless girl, not caring so much who she is as what she thinks, feels, during the crucial moments of ebbing life.

"Angel is a talking doll, and at first that's a difficult concept to accept. But it doesn't take long to adjust to British mannerisms and accent, and accept as real and wonderful the special doll made for her by her deceased grandmother ... a doll of infinite wisdom and knowledge. When her illness worsens, a fellow patient dies, only to revive after having had a near-death experience. The description of that episode, how it affected the boy who had it, and ultimately how it transformed the young girl, is among the most riveting accounts I have yet read about the phenomenon and its aftereffects. The book is simply incredible. Highly recommended for older children, parents, and anyone coming to grips with life and death issues - regardless of age - and that include medical people and grief counselors." -- PMH


"A woman whose sister had an abortion years ago, then in recent years became very religious and was feeling guilty and troubled about the abortion she once had, contacted me to see if there were any insights in near-death research that might help her sister.

"I have never really done much research about abortions except that I know the Bible is actually pro-choice because of all the abortions "God" caused in the Old Testament, and the abortions which the prophet Moses prayed would happen to Israel's enemies which "God" answered (See 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14). And I know about the story of Josiane Antonette who had an abortion which resulted in a near-death experience - a wonderful one. I am pro-choice myself and believe NDErs in general support pro-choice. But to find out, I spent most of the day searching case histories concerning abortions and miscarriages. I stumbled across one particular near-death experience involving a miscarriage that, truly, was one of the best cases I had ever heard of. It was so full of insights, so very touching, it just "blew" me away. Then I discovered to my complete amazement that I had been reading about your near-death experience. You!

"One of the many aspects to your testimony that amazed me was that you chose not to have an abortion, yet you stated that you would defend any woman's right to choose to have one. This was all the confirmation I needed to answer the woman concerned about her sister. But, I'd like to ask you, is there an NDE -position on abortion? What have you found in your research?" -- Kevin Williams


"Goodness me, seldom do I ever talk about my own near-death experiences. I am glad that what I went through touched you and helped you in the manner that it did. My story is in Chapter Two of "Coming Back to Life," a brief version appears in "We Live Forever." Several websites including my own also carry the story. The revelations I received, most of them, are in two chapters of the book "Future Memory." I was one of the few who was able to remember details. No book contains my whole story, and no book ever will. Somethings do not need to be said. I am working on a confessional, though, that focuses on afterward, what I had to deal with once the near-death experiences were over. It is embarrassingly uncomfortable for me to do, yet I feel compelled in its writing. We'll see if I can finish it, and if I do, if any publisher will touch it.

"I discuss abortions, missing twins, miscarriages, and that sort of thing in-depth in my book "The New Children and Near-Death Experiences." Episodes children have reveal all kinds of things - some we applaud because their stories seem to confirm our most cherished beliefs, and others send shock waves through us because they challenge us in ways that are troubling. Pay attention to these findings: out of the 277 in my study of children, half could remember their birth (and according to the mothers I met with, the kids were accurate, even about things they absolutely could not have known), and one-third had pre-birth memory. And that pre-birth memory began for most around the seventh month in utero, the time when medical science tells us that the fetus responds to pain like a birthed child. These pre-birth cases are so revealing and so powerful that they have caused me to back-off from any support of third trimester abortions. Traditions around the world tell us that the soul enters at birth. What if that is wrong? What if the soul enters to stay somewhere between the sixth to seventh month? Many of my adult cases noted full memory at conception, yet seldom did I ever run across this with child experiencers. Their memories in the womb could be traced to events that occurred when the mother was further along in her pregnancy.

"The missing key to understanding the possible "why" behind abortions/miscarriages I believe centers around the will of the soul. When we are talking about abortions, for instance, we tend to focus on the mother's wishes and what would be best for her. My research has shown me that the real issue is not the mother's, it is the soul's. What does the soul want? Is the soul willing to leave and cooperate with the mother's wishes, or, does it want to stay? Does the soul have a special destiny to fulfill and in need of this particular mother and father's genes to accomplish the task? We cannot make arbitrary decisions based solely on law when considering abortions. If we are wise, we will move our thoughts and attitudes up a "notch" or two vibrationally and attempt to contact the soul. This can be done through prayer, meditation, or in dreams. If you really seek to contact the soul knowing that an answer will come forth to questions asked, what you want will happen.

"Early-on in my research I asked two questions of the adult experiencers I had sessions with. I asked what they felt about suicide and abortion. The majority said no to both. No! I suspect that the reason they felt this way is that the majority were exposed to the soul during their episode. This open, expansive view and different way of thinking forever changes how they look at finite, earthplane matters. Often they strive to see through the "eyes" of the soul, afterward, rather than their own eyes. This can inspire pro-choice thinking, certainly, but more often than not, it causes experiencers to shift their point of view to things spiritual rather than earthy or personality-based. The soul's will becomes a priority when this occurs ... and the soul thrives on honesty and forgiveness. Blame is foreign to its existence." -- PMH


"A few years ago, I began reading books and articles about near-death experiences. One thing that I found very interesting was that following a near-death experience many people reported they where more spiritual and less religious.

"About two years ago, my wife and I changed churches. I learned a few weeks ago that the mission statement of the new church is: "To be a faithful, growing church that demonstrates true community, deep Christian spirituality, and a passion for justice." (Micah 6:8)

"How do the beliefs and behaviors of someone who is deeply or highly spiritual differ from someone who is minimally spiritual?

"Thank you for considering my question." -- John


"In order to address your question, John, with any fairness, I think we first need to define what is meant by religion. In doing so, the qualities that constitute spirituality will become more apparent.

"Any religion is a systematized approach to spiritual development based on set standards or dogmas, which may or may not alter as the religion evolves. Don't be distracted, however, by what appears restrictive, for the very purpose of religion is to provide the protection of community support and moral development, and the guidance of metaphors to describe what seems mysterious. At the core of all religions is that moment of enlightenment, that mystical revelation and sacred teaching from which the religion itself grew and prospered. Sometimes called The Mysteries, Secret Teachings, or The Holy of Holies, this heart and soul of religion is exquisite and is as viable and true today as when first revealed. Most near-death experiencers and others so transformed seem unaware of this undiluted, pure source of inspiration. This inner core is NOT dogmatic, egotistical, opinionated, or political. Although often veiled in cumbersome symbology and myth, it is universally true and honest and uplifting.

"There is not a religion you can name that does not have this mystical wellspring at its core. The "light" of this enlightenment comes from a personal, intimate relationship with God or Deity. Revelation is direct; inner knowing becomes an outworking of this relationship. One can be spiritual without being religious. One can also be religious without being spiritual. Perhaps being both is the better way, yet that is debatable. Depends on the individual.

"Two-thirds of the experiencers in my research (nearly 4,000 by now) left established churches after their episode. Of those who stayed in a church environment, they usually became more evangelical and passionate, striving to change their church and enliven it with gifts of spirit. I have noticed overtime, though, that the majority of those who left religion behind, came right back after a decade or so, but this time preferring the more metaphysical type of churches like Unity (based on the writings of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore) or Religious Science (based on the writings of Ernest Holmes). Many dedicated themselves to the spiritual studies possible in meditation groups, Buddhism, Native American practices/shamanism, or Friends (Quakers).

"Obvious here, at least to me, is that near-death experiencers, almost to a person, prefer personal involvement in their preference for worship and an intimacy in their relationship to God. They no longer respond well to being told what to believe; rather, their desire shifts to one of becoming a living example of what they know to be true. In that sense they can appear more mission-oriented in their approach.

"I don't know if I have answered your question exactly, but I hope I have given you enough information to reconsider what you asked. What religionists seem to forget, and near-death experiencers come to remember, is that the awareness of God's Presence is an inside job. Our head, what we think, can never direct us in matters of the spirit. Only our heart, what we feel. That's where experiencers shine ... heart wisdom.

Many blessings,

P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D.
www.cinemind.com/atwater & www.pmhatwater.com

Contact P.M.H. Atwater

Article Archives
  NDEs & Proof   Deathless NDEs
  When Children Die   The Difference Between Soul & Spirit
  Evil People & the Afterlife   NDErs & Divination
  Spirituality & Enlightenment   Attacks from the Dark Side
  Accidents Versus Predestination   Guidance from Your Higher Self
  The Interface Between Soul and Brain   An After-Death Communication
  Funeral Home Awakenings   NDEs as Transformative Experiences
  Evolution & the NDE   Alzheimers & Death
  The Difference Between OBEs & NDEs   An After-Death Communication
  When Does the Soul Leave the Body?   Are There NDEs by the Blind?
  Is Death Predetermined?   NDE Peacefulness
  Strange NDE After-Effects   Can You Explain Reincarnation?
  PMH's Trip to Istanbul   Revelations and Prophecy
  The NDEs of Fundamentalists   The NDE and Abortion
  Physical After-Effects of the NDE  

"We cannot keep the life we have on the Earth realm, not our possessions or attachments or relationships. What we can keep is our memories and our feelings of what we have integrated into our heart of hearts from the experience of being here, plus the love we have shared with others." - P.M.H. Atwater

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Books by

P.M.H. Atwater

Beyond the Indigo Children

by P.M.H. Atwater

P. M. H. Atwater connects the arrival of the Indigo Children with the fulfillment of the Fifth World of the Mayan Calendar and other great prophecies, providing detailed information about the world changes that will take place before and after December 21, 2012, and the worldwide ascension of energy now occurring, which will take humanity to the next level of development.

We Live Forever: The Real Truth About Death

by P.M.H. Atwater

P.M.H. Atwater gives details and deep insights into what really happens when you die and what it truly means. She also explores such mysteries as heaven and hell, the soul's existence after death, and the power of prayer.

The New Children and Near-Death Experiences

by P.M.H. Atwater

An in-depth study of children who have experienced an NDE and the pattern of aftereffects which follow. Atwater notes that the child who returns from an NDE is not the same child as before, but is a "remodeled, rewired, reconfigured, refined version of the original." Atwater shows that understanding the NDEs of children can help us prepare for a quantum leap in the evolution of humanity.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Near-Death Experiences

by P.M.H. Atwater

This 480-page single source book contains all information pertinent to the NDE phenomenon, both positive and negative, as seen from 360 degrees, including new cases and new research, combined in a lively yet respectful style, with five appendices. This book is the "encyclopedia" of the NDE and is the most comprehensive book in the field of NDE studies.

Beyond the Light: The Mysteries and Revelations of Near-Death Experiences

by P.M.H. Atwater

An in-depth investigation of the dynamics of NDE states based on over 3,000 interviews with NDE survivors over a 16-year period. These survivors include adults and children from a variety of racial and cultural backgrounds. Atwater describes the 4 types of NDEs and the basic profile of the survivors of each type. Included are descriptions of NDE-like episodes and other anomalies, the full range of NDE after-effects, "the light" of enlightenment, revelations which NDE survivors bring back, plus a host of material on topics like electrical sensitivity, black angels, and brain shift.

Coming Back to Life: The After-Effects of the Near-Death Experience

by P.M.H. Atwater

Based on extensive interviews with over 200 NDE survivors and thousands of their friends and relatives. Atwater, herself a survivor of 3 NDEs, examines the major after-effects which survivors experience, including: a shifted view of physical reality and disorientation in the world of time and space; expanded intuitive and psychic abilities; spiritual transformation; difficulty with communication and relationships and an inability to personalize emotions and feelings, especially those of love.

Future Memory

by P.M.H. Atwater

"Future memory" allows people who have an NDE to "live" life in advance and remember the experience in detail when something triggers that
memory. Atwater has experienced the future memory process firsthand following her own three NDEs. She shows how these "rehearsals" for future events differ from other modes of futuristic awareness such as clairvoyance, precognition, and deja vu. Atwater describes how the unifying and permanent effect of the NDE is a "brain shift" which may be at the very core of existence itself and indicative of higher evolutionary

Children of the New Millennium

by P.M.H. Atwater

This groundbreaking book is the first serious look at the NDEs of children. Atwater believes these millennial children - who possess heightened sensory and empathic abilities acquired at birth or as a result of the NDE - herald the presence of a new race of people on Earth. Atwater explores how these special children will dramatically impact the human condition by helping humankind rediscover the spiritual truths needed to survive in our radically changing world.

Videos by

P.M.H. Atwater

Beyond the Light

featuring P.M.H. Atwater

This video is the startling revelation from P.M.H. Atwater who shares her three, life-changing, NDEs with host Mary Lou McCall. Atwater underwent a transformation to a higher level of consciousness and returned with a message of unconditional love for mankind.

As You Die

featuring P.M.H. Atwater

Available in CD-ROM, DVD, and VHS formats! Atwater leads people through the wonderful journey which begins as one lays hovering between life and death, then leads them away from any fear and despair towards a peace and unconquerable hope, knowing that as we die ... we live forever!

Ebook by

P.M.H. Atwater

A Book of Columns

by P.M.H. Atwater

This ebook contains all of P.M.H. Atwater's columns from the IANDS newsletter "Vital Signs" from June of 1981 until 2004. Proceeds go to support IANDS and its mission.