Dr. Don Morse's Near-Death Experience

By Kevin Williams

 

When he went out for a run one day in 1983, Donald R. Morse, DDS, PhD., a Temple University science professor, was like many of his scientific colleagues, not believing in anything beyond the material world. His views regarding a spiritual world and life after death began to change a few minutes into his workout when he had a near-death experience. At that time, Morse was absolutely certain he was going to die. But when his experience was over, he discovered that he was not actually near death at all. Yet his experience was so profound, it affected him for the rest of his life. In essence, he was reborn. His journey into the spirit realm is a good example of how extreme anxiety can trigger a person into having a near-death experience. It shows that one does not have to be "near death" to have a NDE. As a result of his experience and thorough search for the truth, Morse published his findings into a book entitled, Searching For Eternity: A Scientist's Spiritual Journey to Overcome Death Anxiety. The following is Dr. Morse's NDE testimony in his own words. 

Table of Contents
1.  Don Morse's Near-Death Experience
2.  More About Dr. Don Morse
3.  The Afterlife in Religions: Judaism
 
a.  The Early Biblical Period: Abraham to the Exodus (1800-1250 B.C.): No Afterlife
b.  The Pre-Exilic Biblical Period: Joshua to Babylonian Exile (1250-586 B.C.): Sheol Appears
c.  The Post-Exilic Biblical Period: Babylon Exile to the Hellenistic Era (586-200 B.C.): Sheol Becomes a Temporary Stop-Off Place
d.  The Apocryphal Period: Heaven and Hell
e.  The Rabbinic Period: The Soul's Journey
f.  Medieval Judaism: The Luminous Soul, The Dark Soul
g.  Medieval Jewish Philosophers Tackle the Afterlife
 
I.  Gaon's Immortal Soul
II.  Maimonides' Separate Body and Soul
III.  Gersonides' Two Intellects
IV.  Nahmanides' Two Edens
h.  Kabbalah: The Wondrous Jewish Mysticism
 
I.  The Living Soul
II.  The Voyage of Your Afterlife Soul
III.  The Voyage of Your Afterlife Soul Continues: Reincarnation and Beyond
IV.  Kabbalah, NDEs and Related Psi Phenomena
V.  Hasidism: Mystical Judaism with a "Righteous One"
VI.  Current Jewish Viewpoints
VII.  Kabbalah at the Forefront
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1. Don Morse's Near-Death Experience

I felt myself spinning around and around in ever widening circles. Then the sounds of the world became more and more quiet. Voices of people and songs of birds began to slow down. It seems that the faster I spun, the slower and less distinct the outside sounds became. Then I heard my heartbeat. First, it was very rapid and loud. Then, when it was beating so fast that I thought it would burst in my chest, it began to slow down.  Slower and slower my heart pulsated, and then I could feel it no longer. I quickly fell to the ground, and my heart stopped beating. At least, I no longer heard it. Was I dead? I had no idea, but instead of seeing nothingness, I first saw pitch darkness and then an incredibly bright, white light. It enveloped me so that I could see nothing but this light. I was not afraid. I felt secure, warm, and serene. No one came to greet me but I felt a loving presence around me.

 

Then in rapid succession, I saw my whole life flash before me: the temper tantrums of my childhood, my winning a dart-throwing contest, my hospital bout with colitis, the asthma attacks, the family visits to Stamford, Connecticut, throwing an opposing player out at home plate, shooting a winning basket, crying when the New York Giants lost a baseball game, seeing my father die an agonizing death from lung cancer, getting married on a cloudy day in Brooklyn, honeymooning in Bermuda, seeing each one of my three children being born, watching a developing rainbow in Las Vegas with my wife and children, vacationing with my wife in Rome, doing a surgical procedure on the day John Kennedy was killed, watching my mother wither away from Alzheimer's disease, getting the Temple University research award, falling out of a canoe and later contracting giardiasis, going out for a jog on the hospital grounds, spinning around, and falling to the ground.

 

Then my review abruptly ended, I left my body, flew above the clouds and arrived at the Mt. Eden Cemetery in Valhalla, New York - the same cemetery where my mother and father were buried. At this point, everything was vague. I knew I was being buried, but I couldn't really see it. I just had the feeling it was happening. Just as quickly as I had arrived there, I was gone. Suddenly it was another day. I was reading the obituary column of the Philadelphia Inquirer. I could not discern what was written about me, but I was certain that I saw my name. Strangely, perceiving my funeral and reading my obituary were not frightening. Was it because I had been enveloped by that wonderful light and had felt a caring presence? I don't know, because the next thing I knew, I was back inside the hospital, and felt the sharp pain of an injection.

 

The injection had revived me and brought me to life, so to speak. Had I experienced another realm or was it merely a hallucination? At the time I wasn't sure. Subsequently, I found out that the experiences of observing my funeral and reading my obituary were different than other people's NDEs. However, the darkness followed by the glorious light, the life review, the blissful feelings, and the loving presence surrounding me, were similar to many other NDEs. Most importantly, that NDE set the stage for my journey to overcome death anxiety.

 

After this incredible experience, it was important to find out whether or not I had conquered death anxiety. To do that, I had to continue the spiritual journey.  There would be several paths on the journey and since I had a NDE of sorts myself, I decided that the first path to explore would be NDEs.

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2. More About Dr. Don Morse

Dr. Don Morse muscle man photo. Dr. Don Morse is Professor Emeritus at Temple University in Philadelphia. He is a polymath having graduate degrees in dentistry, endodontology, microbiology, psychology and nutrition. Dr. Morse has been the principal investigator in many research projects involving hypnosis, meditation, acupuncture, and brain wave synchronizers (BWS). Dr. Morse has written over 200 scientific articles and twelve books, including nine non-fiction books - seven of which are on stress and its management. Dr. Morse was President of the Philadelphia Society For Clinical Hypnosis for two years and was Editor-in-Chief of The International Journal of Psychosomatics for ten years. He is presently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Religion and Psychical Research. Dr. Morse has given courses in hypnosis, meditation, BWS, relaxation therapy, stress management, and dealing with death anxiety throughout the United States and in 28 other countries. Dr. Morse is also an avid life extensionalist who believes in maintaining proper exercise and diet. He won the Senior Grand Master title at the 2005 Natural USA Bodybuilding Championships of the Natural Physique Association. He also won the Grand Master Championships at the 2004 Musclemania Nation’s Capitol Bodybuilding Contest.

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3. The Afterlife in Religions: Judaism

Menora. The following is an excerpt of Dr. Don Morse's book Searching For Eternity: A Scientist's Spiritual Journey to Overcome Death Anxiety.

Since the Jewish concepts of God, the soul and its afterlife travels are closest to the findings from NDEs and related psi phenomena, and therefore are of major importance in the personal afterlife concept, these are considered in some detail. The Jewish perspective can be divided into the Early Biblical period, the Pre-exilic Biblical period, the Postexilic Biblical period, the Apocryphal period, the Talmudic and Midrash period, the Medieval period, the Kabbalistic period, the Hasidic period and the current periods.
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a.  The Early Biblical Period: Abraham to the Exodus (1800-1250 B.C.): No Afterlife
In the beginning, Judaism was concerned exclusively with the destiny of the Israelite people as a whole. The fate of the individual Israelite after death was of no concern. In the times of the patriarchs, Moses, and the Israelite tribal confederacy the Hebrew Bible says nothing about the fate of a person after death except that death is considered to be a return to the company of the deceased's family. Although there is no mention of any individual afterlife experience, death is thought to be a gathering to one's ancestors where departed family spirits cohabited within the sacred ancestral society of the family tomb. It was also a common practice then to feed the dead with food and water. The belief was that the living would sustain the dead, and the dead would protect the living.
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b.  The Pre-Exilic Biblical Period: Joshua to Babylonian Exile (1250-586 B.C.): Sheol Appears
The Ten Commandments. In this time period, the concept of death had a changing outlook. It was now explained as a diminution of energy. Vital energy, which was called nefesh, existed in each person. While the individual was alive, nefesh was present dynamically. When the person was sick, nefesh was in a weakened state. At death, nefesh had a maximum loss. Nefesh combines breath, life force, vital energy and spirit. The concept of the individual soul leaving the body at death was unknown since Nefesh is the totality of being. When alive, a person is considered to be a nefesh hayyah: a living nefesh, which is a vital psychophysical being. Once the individual dies, he/she becomes a nefesh met which is basically deanimated energy. The living person stayed with either family, clan, tribe, or nation in the Earthly realm.

Prior to the emergence of this belief, it was accepted that the subterranean dead dwelt in the grave in the family tomb. In this time period, something new was added to accepted thought. Now, it was believed that the graves of the family, tribe, and nation united into an underground place (a subterranean region) known as Sheol. Sheol was considered to be the abode of the ancestral dead. Later in this time period, the Hebrew spiritual leaders believed that the dead descended into the bowels of the Earth into Sheol. In Sheol, an existence of sorts took place, but it was a faded and weakened condition. The beings existing in Sheol were know as rephaim (shades, ghosts, powerless ones, weak ones). However, death was still a group process with all the deceased collectively going to Sheol. Sheol has been compared to the Christian hell as illustrated by: Isaiah 5:14, Isaiah 14:11 and Isaiah 14:15. Nevertheless, Sheol was considered to be neither good nor bad.

At this point in time, God was the personal God of the Israelites, and Sheol was a realm outside of His concern. It was thought that God dwelt in the heavens, humans dwelt in the earth, and the dead dwelt in Sheol. Sheol was not a region of terror or punishment. It was simply where the deceased - rich and poor, saints and sinners - went and where the relations and customs of Earthly life were reenacted. The disembodied beings in Sheol also had the power to be aware of the Earthly realm and interact with the humans there as is shown in 1 Samuel 28:13-14. However, the disembodied entities residing in Sheol were in a weakened and faded condition. Nor was Sheol a pleasant place judging by these descriptions in Job 17:16, Proverbs 8:27, Job 26:5-6 and Proverbs 21:16.
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c.  The Post-Exilic Biblical Period: Babylon Exile to the Hellenistic Era (586-200 B.C.): Sheol Becomes a Temporary Stop-Off Place
Dead Sea Scrolls photo. In this time period, the concept of God changed from being the local God of the Israelites to being the God of the entire universe. As such, He had control of everything including Sheol. This being the case, all deceased people did not have to go to Sheol: Psalm 49:15-16 and Psalm 116:3-6. As previously mentioned, in the pre-exilic biblical period, the deceased could interact with the living, but now that could no longer occur: Psalm 88:7-9 and Job 15:13. In this period, Sheol also became a realm of retribution for the enemies of Israel: Ezekiel 32:17-18. As Sheol became a destiny for the enemies of Israel, it became accepted belief that not every deceased Israelite had to go there. The possibility of a righteous deceased entity that could be with God after death suddenly became possible: Job 20:26. However, there was a further change in the role Sheol played in the afterlife. Sheol took on the role of a temporary stop-off place following death. The righteous deceased who deserved redemption would wait for an undetermined time period in Sheol. Then, when the messiah (redeemer) came, the deceased would be resurrected from the dead (along with their bodies) and enjoy the wonderful messianic kingdom.

As discussed before, a concept of a final resurrection had previously appeared in Zoroastrianism. Here during the postexilic biblical period, at first, it was described as a resurrection of all of Israel. This is shown in Ezekiel 37:1-14. Later, the resurrection of deceased individual entities is addressed in Isaiah 26:19. However, if a person had been evil, resurrection would be unfavorable as described in Daniel 12:2. Therefore, as the biblical time periods came to a close, the Jewish disembodied being was believed to reside in Sheol as a temporary resting place. Upon the arrival of the messiah the disembodied spirit would be united with its physical body and resurrected to enjoy the messianic kingdom. However, if a person was evil during life, his future "reward" would not be blissful. In fact, it could be unpleasant. This belief set the stage for the later idea of heaven and hell as intermediate destinations of the disembodied entity before the arrival of the messianic kingdom and resurrection.
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d.  The Apocryphal Period: Heaven and Hell
The Apocryphal period spans the centuries from 200 B.C. to 200 A.D. During this time, Jewish writers from inside and outside of Palestine produced a collection of literature that was not included in the Hebrew Bible. The collective texts are known as the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha. One of the most complete is 3 Enoch: The Hebrew Book of Enoch. Fifteen of the apocryphal texts are included in the Catholic Bible. The Pseudepigrapha are not included in either Bible. It is in this time period that the belief in an individual soul as separate from the body emerges. Enoch stated that all humans are a part of God's creation. Each person's individual soul represents a piece of God. The belief that was first brought up in the Book of Daniel was now emphasized. That is, there will be separate fates for good and evil people after death. The idea of the dualism of body and soul (with the soul surviving the dead body) is addressed in the apocryphal period literature several times such as in these passages:

"Evildoers will go down into Sheol ... into the place of judgment they will descend. And into the darkness of the depths they will all be removed with a cruel death." (Jubilees 7:29)

"Woe to you who spread evil to your neighbors! ... for you will be slain in Sheol." (1 Enoch 99:11)

"Their bones (the righteous) will rest in the earth and their spirits will increase in joy." (Jubilees 23:31)

Sheol is now described as an assembly place for the deceased souls who wait for the judgment time:

"These beautiful corners are here in order that the spirits of the souls of the dead should assemble into them they are created so that the souls of the children of the people should gather here. They prepared these places in order to put the souls of the people there until their day of their judgment and the appointed time of great judgment is upon them." (1 Enoch 22:3-4)

In this same time period, a new term comes into use: Gehenna. Gehenna was used as a synonym for Sheol, and both terms represent the equivalent of hell:

"In those days, Sheol will return all the deposits which she had received and Gehenna will give back all that which it owes. And He shall choose the righteous and the holy ones from among the risen dead, for the day when they shall be selected and saved has arrived." (1 Enoch 51:1-3)

Sheol also becomes a place of torture - a veritable hell with various punishments such as fire, burning and darkness:

"Woe unto you sinners who are dead! ... You yourselves know that they will bring your souls down to Sheol; and they shall experience evil and great tribulation in darkness, nets, and burning flame." (1 Enoch 103:7)

"And with all their glory and their splendor, and in shame and in slaughter and in great destitution, their spirits shall be cast into the furnace of fire." (1 Enoch 98:3)

"Know that their souls will be made to descend into Sheol, and they shall be wretched in their great tribulation. And into darkness and chains and a burning flame where there is grievous judgment shall your spirits enter; and the great judgment shall be for all the generations of the world. Woe to you, for you shall have no peace." (1 Enoch 63:10)

During this time period, heaven made its first appearance in the apocryphal period literature. In the Hebrew Book of Enoch, it states that not long after Earth's creation, 200 angels fell from heaven to Earth. These fallen angels led humans astray by teaching them secrets about how the universe worked and initiated them into the practice of magic. The fallen angels taught some humans how to perform magical rituals and how other angels could be manipulated. Angels were considered to be alive, and they could appear in various shapes and forms depending upon their purpose and function.

Apocryphal literature started by describing a single heaven, then four heavens, then seven heavens (which in the third heaven includes hell and paradise) and finally the garden of Eden (gam Eden) emerged:

"Be hopeful, because formerly you have pined away through evil and toil. But now, you will shine like the lights of heaven, and you shall be seen; and the windows of heaven will be opened for you... You are about to be making a great rejoicing like the angels of heaven." (1 Enoch 104:2,4)

"When the Holy One, blessed be he, went out from the garden to Eden, and from Eden to the garden, from the garden to the heaven, and from heaven to the garden of Eden, all gazed at the bright image of his Shekhinah (feminine aspect of God) and were unharmed." (3 Enoch 5:5-6)

It is also in this period that a third category of souls is designated. First are the wicked souls who go to Sheol (Gehenna) for punishment. Second are the good souls who go to heaven (paradise, gan eden) for bliss. The third category of souls are the intermediate souls who are partially defiled and can go through post-mortem purification and then can continue on to heaven as is shown here:

"Samkiel (one angel of destruction) is in charge of the souls of the intermediate, to support them and purify them from sin, through the abundant mercies of the Omnipresent One. Zaapiel (another angel of destruction) is appointed to bring down the souls of the wicked from the presence of the Holy One, blessed be he, from the judgment of Schechina to Sheol to punish them with fire in Gehinnom with rods of burning coal." (3 Enoch 44:1-2)

Up to this point in time, there were two concurrently running beliefs regarding the soul. The principal one was that at the end of days when the messiah would come, all worthy souls would be reunited with their physical bodies and live in bliss. Unworthy ones would be condemned to Sheol (Gehenna). However, with the concept of the separation of the soul at death, there arrived the belief that each individual soul had to have a fate until the end-of-days. This was considered to be the plan: Immediately following the soul's emergence from the dead body, seven days would pass during which the soul reviewed and considered its various possible postmortem options. Then the individual souls, dependent upon their merit, were either assigned to abodes reserved for the wicked or the righteous. Each abode had seven realms. The souls remained there until the end-of-days with the ultimate resurrection and final assignment occurred:

"Now, concerning death, the teaching is: When the decisive decree has gone forth from the Most High that a man will die, as the spirit leaves the body to return again to him who gave it, first of all it adores the glory of the Most High. And if one of those who have shown scorn and not kept the way of the Most High, and who have despised his Law, and who have hated those who fear God such spirits shall not enter into habitations but shall immediately wander about in torments, ever grieving and sad in seven ways..." (4 Ezra 7:78-79)

"There shall be a judgment upon all including the righteous. And to all the righteous He will grant peace. He will preserve the elect...They will belong to God and they will prosper and the light of God will shine unto them.... He will destroy the wicked ones and censure all flesh on account of everything that they have done, that which the sinners and the wicked ones committed against him." (1 Enoch 1:8-9)

Hence, it can be seen in the apocryphal time period, the soul achieved a separate identity. The righteous souls would go to heaven. The wicked souls would go to Sheol (Gehennah) the equivalent of hell. The intermediate souls would be purged and, when purified, would go to heaven. At the end of days, when physical resurrection would take place, the souls would leave their temporary resting places for final judgment.
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e.  The Rabbinic Period: The Soul's Journey
The Talmud. The earlier concepts about the soul and its destiny were further elaborated during the rabbinic period of the Talmud and Midrash. This time period lasted from 70 A.D. to 800 A.D. The writings produced during this period were based on interpretations of the Hebrew Bible, the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha plus additional legalistic and moralistic literature and interpretations. They are known as the Talmud (composed of the Mishnah and the Gemara) and the Midrash.

The earliest of these writings was the Mishnah, which was compiled in the late second century A.D. The Gemara was written between the third and fifth centuries A.D. Two separate Talmuds were written, one in Babylonia (the Babylonian Talmud) and one in Jerusalem (the Jerusalem [Palestinian] Talmud). The Midrash is primarily a compilation of interpretations of the Hebrew Bible. Within both Talmud and Midrash are found discussions of the soul and its journeys. The basic concept they assert is that the way a person served God and fulfilled the commandments while alive determined that individual's fate in the afterlife. The relative importance given to this life and the afterlife were sometimes contradictory as shown in the following:

"Better is one hour of bliss in the World to Come (Olam-Ha-Ba) than the whole of life in this world (Olam Ha-Zeh). Better is one hour of repentance and good works in this world (Olam Ha-Zeh) than the whole of life of the World to Come (Olam-Ha-Ba)." (Mishnah Avot, M. Avot:17)

Nevertheless, most often the rabbis stressed the importance of doing good deeds in this life. With regard to the afterlife, for most of the rabbis, the world to come was at the end-of-days when the messiah would arrive. However, some rabbis stressed an immediate afterlife following death as is shown here:

"But there is no basis for the assumption that the world to come will only begin after the destruction of this world. What it does imply is that when the righteous leave this world, they ascend on high...." (Tanhuma, Vayikra 8)

There is also disagreement on whether the soul alone will be judged or whether the body and the soul will be judged together at the time of the resurrection:

"He will overlook the body and censure the soul, and when it pleads, 'Master of the Universe! The two of us sinned alike, so why do You overlook the body and censure me?' He answers, 'The body comes from below where people sin; but you come from above where sin is not committed. Therefore I overlook the body and censure you." (Leviticus Rabbah 4:5)

"The Holy Blessed One puts the soul back into the body and judges them both as a single being. He calls on the heavens to bring forth the soul and he calls on the earth below so that he can judge the body along with it." (Sanhedrin 91a)

The rabbis also discussed various ways that the soul departs the body - with the manner of departure reflecting the type of person involved. A righteous individual would have his soul depart similarly to drawing a hair out of milk, while an evil person would have his soul depart similarly to pulling a tangled rope out of a narrow opening:

"'How does the soul depart?' R. Yohanan said: 'Like rushing waters from a channel (when the sluice bars are raised)'"; R. Hanina said: 'Like swirling waters from a channel;' R. Samuel said: 'Like a moist and inverted thorn tearing its way out of the throat." (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 6:6,1)

Interestingly, recent findings (discussed by Dr. Joanne McMahon at the 1999 Annual Conference of "The Academy of Religion and Psychical Research") have shown that fear and anger accelerate rigor mortis. Normally, upon death, the body's muscles relax. Rigor mortis, a rigid constriction of the muscles of the body, begins between two to six hours after death. However, when people die fearfully or angrily, rigor comes on sooner and is much stronger. A rare and related phenomenon is known as cadaveric spasm. In contrast to rigor mortis, it begins immediately after death. Amazingly, it is brought on by great psychological anxiety or tension. It has been observed in some suicidal deaths. Individuals have been seen grasping branches of trees or shrubs following accidental falling. Soldiers dying on the battlefield sometimes rigidly hold onto their rifles. Could it be that not only evil people - but people who die with anger or great fear - also have their soul depart with a great deal of resistance?

At the moment of death as the soul departs, a noise is supposed to occur. (Some NDErs have reported hearing a noise as they elevated out of their bodies.) This viewpoint is shown here:

"....when the soul departs from the body, the cry goes forth from one end of the world to another, and the voice is not heard." (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer, Chapter 34)

Another phenomenon that has been reported by many NDErs is a life review. This was also discussed by the rabbis:

"When a man is righteous, his righteousness is recorded; when a righteous man arrives at the end of his days, his recording angels precede him into heaven singing his praise ... But when a wicked man dies, a man who did not bring himself to turn in repentance to God, the Holy Blessed One, says to him: Let your soul be blasted in despair! How many times did I call upon you to repent, and you did not." (Pesikta Rabbati 44:8).

It is in the rabbinic literature that the Angel of Death (Malach Hamavet) first appears. Accompanying the Angel of Death was a colleague of his named Dumah, who was the caretaker of the souls of the departed:

[After the Angel of Death takes the soul from an individual's body], "the man dies right away, but his spirit comes out and sits on the tip of his nose until the body begins to decay. As decay sets in, the spirit weeping, cries out to the Holy Blessed One, saying: Master of the universe, where am I to be taken? Immediately Dumah takes the spirit and carries it to the courtyard of the dead, to join the other spirits." (Midrash on Psalm 11:6)

The rabbis believed that even in the grave, one could still feel pain and communicate with both living and heavenly realms. It was in this time period that the belief emerged that, immediately after death, both body and soul went through a process of physical torment. The rabbis also stated that during the first three days after death, the soul remained close to the body:

"For three days after death the soul hovers over the body, intending to reenter it, but as soon as it sees its appearance change, it departs." (Leviticus Rabbah 18:1)

As previously discussed, this is similar to a Zoroastrian belief. In another rabbinical account, it was the first seven days during which the soul remains close to the body:

"All the seven days of mourning the soul goes forth and returns from its former home to its sepulchral abode, and from its sepulchral abode to its former home. After the seven days of mourning, the body begins to breed worms and it decays and returns to dust as it originally was... and returns to the place whence it was given, from heaven, as it is said, And the soul returns unto God who gave it." [Ecclesiastes 12:7] (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer, Chapter 34)

The rabbis used the term Gehenna or Gehinnon as a place for the wicked rather than the previous Sheol. Gehenna was equivalent to hell. However, even a person who sins and merits the punishment of Gehenna can avoid it if he/she repents and does good deeds. It was in this era that the rabbis stated that, in most cases, the time a soul remained in Gehenna was for a maximum of twelve months. However, certain evil doers who showed no sign of repentance could stay there forever. Nevertheless, for the vast majority of souls, Gehenna was a place for purging one's sins and for purification. Afterwards, the soul would go to Gan Eden (the heavenly garden of Eden where the righteous souls dwell).

It is stated in the Midrash that before the righteous can enter Gan Eden they are shown Gehenna and vice versa. (Somewhat related to this is the report of the woman whom I interviewed about her NDE. She said that she had seen a glimpse of hell, but God told her that it was the pit and it wasn't for her.) In this time period, Gan Eden was usually considered a place for the righteous to go during the messianic era. However, it is also mentioned as an after-death destination:

"...these, when they die, I lay down with great honor under the tree of life in Gan Eden; and I give them rest in their graves." (Pesikta Rabbati 50:1)

Here, for the first time, the Midrash describes a place in the highest region of Gan Eden where the souls of the righteous gather. It is known as otzar or "divine treasury":

"Both the souls of the righteous and those of the wicked alike ascend above, but those of the righteous are placed in the divine treasury, while those of the wicked are cast about on earth." (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 3:18)

Somewhat related to the "divine treasury" is the "treasury of life," "bundle of life," or "bond of life." In Hebrew, it is known as tzror ha-hayyim. It was a holding place for souls in the highest spheres of Gan Eden. It is related to the ancient Greek concept of the pre-existence of souls in a transcendent realm. The Midrash also discusses a storehouse of souls where the souls stay prior to being physically embodied. This storehouse is known as "body" (guf). The idea was that all pre-existent souls descended from the guf into physical incarnation. After death, righteous souls returned to otzar (divine treasury).

In the first century A.D., there were two major divisions in Judaism: the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The Sadducees believed that the soul totally ceased to exist at the time of physical death. Hence, their viewpoint was similar to that of Aristotle. The Sadducees, therefore, totally discounted the belief in the afterlife transit of the soul and the resurrection at the end-of-days. They denied the possibility of any postmortem rewards and punishments. In contrast, the Pharisees believed in the afterlife transit of the soul and the end-of-days resurrection. The Pharisees' viewpoint became the predominant one and was adopted by the rabbis in the Talmud and the Midrash. Interestingly, Jesus Christ followed the Pharisees viewpoint of the end-of-days resurrection for mankind. The end-of-days resurrection of the dead was asserted for the righteous:

"More important is a day of rain than the resurrection of the dead, since the Resurrection is for the righteous and not the wicked, whereas rain is for both the righteous and the wicked." (Taanit 7a)

Interestingly, it was generally considered that the end-of-days resurrection would take place in Israel. This is believed yet today by some, who, regardless of where they live, arrange to be buried in Israel. The basis for that is shown in the following passage:

"Those who die outside the land of Israel will not live again and those who die in the land of My delight will live again, but those who do not die there will not." (Ketubbot 111b)

Realizing that this interpretation would create a great problem for all Jews, another Midrash interpretation offered the following solution:

"God will make underground passages for the righteous who, rolling through them like skin bottles will get to the Land of Israel, and when they get to the Land of Israel, God will restore their breath (soul) to them." (Pesikta Rabbati 1:6)

By the end of the rabbinic period, the consensus was that, upon death, the body and soul would undergo a period of physical torment. Then the soul would go to Gehenna for twelve months where purgation of sins and purification would take place. Following this, the soul would travel to Can Eden, where a blissful existence would take place until the end-of-days resurrection.
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f.  Medieval Judaism: The Luminous Soul, The Dark Soul
Adam and Eve being explelled from the Garden. During the medieval time period from about 850 A.D. to 1450 A.D., the major Judaic concepts that hold true today were formulated. The rabbinical concept of physical torment of the body and soul upon death was elaborated upon and was known as judgment of the grave (din ha-keber). Various types of punishment occur. They are known as the pangs of the grave (hibbut ha-keber). The severity of punishment depends upon whether the person had led a moral and righteous life or an immoral and evil life. Some rabbis state that the judgment in the grave is more severe than that in Gehenna.

In this time period, Gehenna becomes interpreted as hell, with all sorts of elaborate punishments depicted for those who had sinned during their lives. The concept was an elaboration of the biblical passage: "...eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." (Exodus 21:24-25).

Just as Gehenna becomes hell, Can Eden becomes heaven with elaborate descriptions of the heavenly realm. In the same way as with punishment for the wicked, the more righteous a person had been in his life, the more wonderful would be the heavenly rewards
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g.  Medieval Jewish Philosophers Tackle the Afterlife
During this same time period, Jewish philosophical writings emerged as a result of a blending of rabbinic viewpoints with Greek, Christian and Arabic philosophies. The principal philosophers of this time were • Saadia Gaon, • Maimonides, • Gersonides and • Nahmanides.
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I.  Gaon's Immortal Soul
The Menora. Saadia Gaon (882-942 A.D.) believed that the soul was created in the human embryo by God and because of this, the soul is immortal. This belief is in conflict with the Talmudic teachings of a pre-existent storehouse of souls (guf). Although Plato believed in the non-material nature of the soul, Saadia Gaon considered that the soul is comprised of a spiritual, transparent substance that is as pure as the heavenly spheres. This soul achieves luminosity as the result of the light it had received from God. This is somewhat related to the brilliant light people reported who have had NDEs.

Although the soul is a unity, it has a three-fold division into nephesh (appetive awareness), ruach (ability to experience emotions such as anger and courage), and neshamah (the ability to have cognition and reasoning). These separate manifestations of the soul occur because of its union with the physical body. At the time of death the soul exists as a unity.

People who were ethical and moral will have a bright and luminous soul. In contrast, Saadia Gaon cited a biblical passage to show that people who were immoral and evil will have a soiled, stained, and darkened soul. The cited biblical passage is the following: "When the wealth of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away; His wealth shall not descend after him. Though while he lived he blessed his soul: Men will praise thee, when thou shalt do well to thyself, It shalt go to the generations of his fathers; They shall never see the light. Man that is in honor understandeth not; He is like the beasts that perish." (Psalm 49:17-21).

The darkness of the soul is reminiscent of the few reports of evil people who had a dark and dismal NDE. Saadia Gaon also believed that while alive, a person is capable of repentance (teshuvah), and the tarnished soul can be purified. However, once a person died, his soul could no longer be purified. The rewards or punishments will take place at the end-of-days. The righteous would have luminescent light in Gan Eden; the wicked would have a burning fire in Gehenna. Saadia Gaon followed the rabbinical concept of a physical reunion of body and soul at the end-of-days. Hence, he did not believe the possibility of reincarnation, during which a soul would enter another body. Here too, is the luminescent light reminiscent of NDEs
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II.  Maimonides' Separate Body and Soul
The Hebrew Tree of Life.  Moses ben Maimon (1135-1204 A.D.) was known as Rambam or most frequently, Maimonides. For Maimonides, the body and soul were completely separate. He said that the pleasures of the spiritual world could not be understood by living people. Maimonides' concept of the soul was similar to that of Aristotle - having three divisions: (1) vegetative (controls procreation and nourishment); (2) sensory (controls imagination, sense perception and movement); and (3) rational (controls reasoning).

At the time of death, the first two aspects of the soul cease. However, the rational and intellectual aspect is retained as the portion of the soul that can understand universal truths and concepts. It is important for the living person to advance intellectually because then, he/she will be able to know the spiritual world and eventually attain immortality of the soul. For people who were moral and righteous, the third part of the soul experiences the bliss of the "World to Come" (olam ha-ba). The World to Come is a spiritual realm that is entered by righteous souls immediately after death.

The blissful state of the soul in the World to Come is incomprehensible for a living person. Maimonides stated that there is no comparison between the bliss of the soul in the hereafter and the feelings of joy, pleasure or even euphoria that living people experience. The spiritual bliss is incomparable and unsearchable. This is also reminiscent of the reports of people who have had a NDE. Almost every one of them has stated that the bliss that they felt in the experience was beyond comprehension and impossible to adequately communicate. Maimonides further stated that people who were evil and wicked would not receive the pleasures of the World to Come. They would be excluded from that domain and remain as isolated matter.

Maimonides, however, still followed the traditional concept that, at the end-of-days, there will be a physical resurrection of body and soul. However, he stated that this resurrection will only be for the righteous. Nevertheless, Maimonides is contradictory in his writings. Sometimes it appears that after death, the righteous soul goes immediately to the blissful World to Come. At other times, his writings stated that the World to Come is an end-of-days event. There is also some confusion about resurrection. Maimonides stated that here will be a physical resurrection of souls with their own bodies, and these resurrected beings will live a long life in the messianic era. Eventually, the resurrected dead will return to the dust. Then, the immortal souls will exit their bodies and continue to exist in a form similar to the angels.
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III.  Gersonides' Two Intellects
Levi Ben Gershom (1288-1344 A.D.) was known as Ralbag by the Jews and Gersonides by the Christians. He considered that each human has two intellects: a human (material) intellect; and an agent (acquired) intellect. When the person dies, the human intellect is lost. The knowledge that was acquired through the use of the human intellect remains as part of the agent intellect and is immortal. So for Gersonides, the soul is the acquired knowledge that becomes part of the agent intellect. No new knowledge can be acquired after death. Therefore, post-death intellectual enjoyment is a reflection of what the person acquired during his/her lifetime. This is similar to Maimonides' viewpoint about the importance of acquired knowledge. These concepts are reflective of the NDEs of many who have reported that they received the message that the attainment of knowledge is very important as a preparation for the afterlife.
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IV.  Nahmanides' Two Edens
Moses Ben Nahman (1194-1270 A.D.) was known as Rambam or most frequently, Nahmanides. He believed that when an individual died, his/her deeds are evaluated and rewarded or punished. The completely righteous souls are immediately inscribed and sealed and enter Gan Eden. Nahmanides mentioned that there are two Gan Edens: a lower one; and a higher one. This concept is elaborated on by the kabbalists (discussed next).

The completely wicked are immediately sealed and sent to Gehenna for their punishment. Punishment is given in proportion to one's deeds. Most souls are in Gehenna for a maximum of twelve months. The thoroughly wicked remain there for many generations. For most souls, after twelve months, they enter Gan Eden, but their experience there is not nearly as blissful as that of the completely righteous. Those souls which are intermediate between the righteous and the wicked cry out in prayer and are sent to a place of tranquility.

The next judgment takes place at the end-of-days when the body and soul are united during resurrection. Hence, unlike Maimonides who makes contradictory statements about the World to Come, for Nahmanides, the righteous go to Gan Eden after death, and remain there until the end-of-days when resurrection of body and soul occurs in the World to Come.

Nahmanides also introduces a new concept known as the "World of Souls" (olam ha-neshamot). This is the realm that the righteous soul enters immediately upon death. (Previously, Nahmanides had considered this to be Gan Eden.) His concept was that at the end-of-days, when the messianic era is ushered in and the resurrection of the dead occurs, then God will create the World to Come. In the World to Come, the bodies will exist along with their souls. The righteous souls will be in a most elevated state in their bodies, and the people will then exist forever and ever. Nahmanides, therefore, disagreed with Maimonides, who considered the World to Come to be an immortal realm - but only for souls.
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h.  Kabbalah: The Wondrous Jewish Mysticism

"A man's good deeds done in this world draw from the celestial resplendency of light a garment with which he may be invested when he comes to appear before the Holy Blessed One. Appareled in that raiment, he is in a state of bliss and feasts his eyes on the radiant effulgence." (Zohar II, 141b) 

The Hebrew Tree of Life colored painting. Kabbalah (Qabala, Cabala) is the major formalized type of Jewish mysticism. It developed in Provence (formerly a separate country, now a part of France) and Spain from the thirteenth-to fifteenth centuries and in Palestine in the sixteenth century. Nevertheless, some believe that it actually originated in ancient Sumer as a religion separate and distinct from Judaism. Babylon succeeded Sumer, and the ancient teachings were then transmitted to the Hebrews who were held captive in Babylon. In this viewpoint, many elements of their ancient religion were incorporated into the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible (the Torah). It is then believed that in the second century, the Jews added to the Kabbalistic lore with a book known as the Sepher Yetzirah.

In the thirteenth century, the principal text of the Kabbalah was written. It is known as the Zohar and is a mystical commentary on the Torah. The Zohar soon came to the attention of Christian scholars and initiated an interest in the Kabbalah by a wide range of European occultists and mystics. Hence, the Kabbalah became an important component of such groups as the Rosicrucians and Freemasons. Others who later incorporated Kabbalistic teachings into their teachings were the Theosophists and the Golden Dawn. Collectively, these groups were known as Anglo-Kabbalah. An essential teaching of the Kabbalah is that those patterns that govern the universe's operation are found in the deepest soul of a human, as well as the forces that drive those patterns.

Before considering the Kabbalistic viewpoint of the afterlife journey of the soul, first it is necessary to consider the Kabbalistic idea of the soul in the living person
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I.  The Living Soul
The Tree of Life in the Ocean. The soul is unified, but it has three levels for most individuals (first considered by Saadia Gaon) and two higher, sublime levels of intuitive cognition that can only be within the reach of a few chosen people. The levels are: (1) Nefesh: This is the lowest level of the soul and is known as appetitive awareness or bioenergetic field. It is the vital energy of the physical body that animates and preserves it. Nefesh originates at the moment of birth. (2) Ruach: This is the second level of the soul and is known as emotional awareness or emotional energy field. Ruah is the emotional or feeling aspect of the soul. (3) Neshamah: This is the third or supernal level of the soul and is known as intellect, transpersonal self and higher mind. Neshamah is the intellectual, mental or thinking aspect. It is a bridge between human and divine levels of the soul. (4) Chayah: This is a subconscious level of the soul and is known as spiritual, divine life force or universal self. Hayyah could be achieved by some during meditation, and it is a connection to the source of Eternal Life, God. (5) Yehidah: This is the highest level of the soul where all the soul's facilities are unified with God. Yehidah is known as essence, innermost uniqueness and transcendental field of light. It can only be achieved by few people while still alive. It would require a very deep level of meditation to possibly reach this level.
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II.  The Voyage of Your Afterlife Soul
The Zohar. Now, let us consider the post-mortem fate of your soul. As you die, you are blessed with a vision of the Shekhinah, the female essence of God. The Shekhinah appears as a formless, radiant image. When your soul sees the Shekhinah, it goes out in joy and love to meet Her. If you had been righteous during life, your soul cleaves and attaches itself to Her. If you had not been righteous, your soul is left behind and mourns for the separation from its body. The radiance and love relationship of the Shekhinah is reminiscent of the NDErs seeing a celestial being of light and feeling intense love.

As you die, the Angel of Death also makes an appearance. If you were virtuous during life, then your soul cannot be harmed by the Angel of Death. If not, then your soul is subjected to punishment. As your soul separates from your body, it has the experience of being welcomed into the post-mortem realms by deceased family members and friends. This is a common manifestation of NDEs.

While dying, you are given a life review, an instant recall of all life occurrences. As previously discussed, this phenomena has been found in other religious traditions. This is another manifestation often observed in NDEs. Now, let us consider the fate of the five integrated components of your soul.

(1) Nefesh: This remains closely attached to your physical body and experiences the pangs of the grave (Hibbut Ha-Kever). This is a 3-to-7 day process. The concept originated in the Talmudic and Midrashic period. Nefesh remains with your dying body.

 

(2) Ruach: The process of separation of your soul from its body is considered to be painful and emotional. However, the pain can be lessened. Dumah, the guardian of the dead, appears to the departing Ruah and asks its name. If your soul remembers its name, that will minimize its struggle to leave your body. This name concept originated in ancient Egypt with the eighth soul (ren). With Kabbalah, Ruah next experiences the "catapult" (kaf ha-kela): your soul is believed to be thrown about or catapulted through the postmortem realms. This can be compared to the rapid upward movement often found in NDEs. As your soul leaves, your body decomposes and separates into four elements. This is similar to the Tibetan Buddhist and Hindu concept of the body's dissolution of its elements of earth, water, fire, and air. Once your soul departs, it becomes enveloped by a separate field of light known as a "transparent body" (guf ha-dak). This again is similar to the NDErs who frequently are surrounded by a brilliant light. However, you would you receive this celestial garment only if you were righteous. If you were wicked, your soul would go naked to its fate. As previously discussed, some non-righteous individuals who had NDEs did not experience the brilliant light, but rather had a hellish experience. Ruah next goes through the twelve-month purgations of Gehenna. However, if you were righteous during life, you wear the celestial garment and do not suffer the torments of Gehenna. In contrast, if you were wicked and never repented, you could remain in Gehenna forever.

These concepts originated in the medieval period. The severity of the purgation depends upon your lifestyle - the more wicked one was, the more severe the punishment. In essence, purgation functions as an abreaction - discharge and catharsis. It is also a time for purification and allows for progressive resolution of painful, incomplete emotions. It could be seen as similar to a prolonged, intensive psychotherapy. It is the process in which Ruah gets to deal with unresolved and unconscious emotional issues. Hence, it can be seen that, if you had led a relatively good life and dealt with the negative emotions such as hate, anger, fear, anxiety and frustrations, very little or any punishment would occur in Gehenna. However, if you failed to learn in life how to deal with these negative emotions, there remains an opportunity to resolve them in the afterlife at Gehenna and still be able to have a blissful afterlife, as is now shown.

From Gehenna, your purified Ruah moves toward healing and transformation, with its next stop being lower gan eden (first mentioned by Nahmanides), which is considered to be the earthly Garden of Eden. It is here that the processes of purification and preparation for entry into upper gan eden occurs. If all goes well, your soul goes to Upper Gan Eden.

(3)  Neshamah: If you were righteous during life, this part of your soul directly enters the sublime regions of Upper Gan Eden (also first mentioned by Nahmanides), which is the realm of heavenly delights. In these regions are schools of learning and understanding. NDErs often revealed that the importance of learning was stressed to them. In Upper Gan Eden, the light is brilliant. Immersion in the divine light source serves to further purify your soul of any lingering psychic recollections of Earthly existence. Your soul then enters the "River of Light" and becomes completely purified and is ready to come before the presence of the Master of the Universe. It is of interest that a few NDErs stated that they ascended into heaven where the light was brilliant beyond description.

(4)  Hayyah and Yehidah: If you are one of the few truly enlightened people, these two aspects of your soul would be linked, and they enter the Bundle of Life or the Bundle of the Living (tzror ha-hayyim), the divine region where all souls are stored. It is also known as the storehouse of souls. This concept originated in the Talmudic and Midrashic period. If you had been an ordinary person, your soul, which had gone through the various other realms and reached Upper Gan Eden thoroughly purified, now enters the tzror ha-hayyim. This is the center where souls are given their assignment for subsequent incarnations. This is based on the Kabbalistic doctrine of GILGUL or reincarnation of souls.
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III.  The Voyage of Your Afterlife Soul Continues: Reincarnation and Beyond
Jacob's dream of the stairway to heaven. Reincarnation is an ancient tradition that has been incorporated into various religious traditions throughout the world. For the kabbalists, reincarnation is for the purpose of the soul's restitution for the wrongdoings of a former life and to attain further perfection. Unlike Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism, the vast majority of kabbalists did not believe in reincarnation into the bodies of animals. For the most part, they did not believe that all souls get reincarnated only those that had some imperfections remaining or had a pressing need to return to Earth.

The idea of reincarnation most probably entered the Kabbalah through the influence of Plato, Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, ancient Gnostics and the Christian Cathars. The kabbalists embraced the widespread Jewish notion of the resurrection of the dead at the end-of-days. If your soul had gone through reincarnation, the predominant belief was that only the last body that had been firmly planted and took root would have physical resurrection.

The end-of-days resurrection is not the ultimate state. The belief is that your fully awakened soul with its spiritualized, resurrected body will have itself fully actualized. This will occur when your soul merges with the source of the Divine Being.

Because of all of the above, for the kabbalists, the idea of death was not distressful or anxiety-provoking. This is because they considered that death was not the end but rather another phase in the continuous process of coming closer to God.
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IV.  Kabbalah, NDEs and Related Psi Phenomena
The Kabbalistic viewpoint is very important to our discussion. The reason is that the Kabbalistic afterlife journey occurrences are similar to many of the components of the NDE and associated psi phenomena. These include: the catapulted surge out of the physical body; the brilliant light; the Celestial Being of Light; meeting deceased relatives and friends; a life review; and learning that love and learning are the most important aspects. Also, that only virtuous people have this splendid afterlife. Evil people have to suffer in their afterlife journey. This is also found in certain NDEs when criminals and people who attempt suicide often have hellish episodes.
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V.  Hasidism: Mystical Judaism With a "Righteous One"
Hasidism is a mystical Jewish movement that was founded in the mid-eighteenth century in the Ukraine by Rabbi Baal Shem Tov. It emphasizes ecstatic devotion and religious fervor over scholarship and legalism. Unique to Hasidism was the concept of the righteous one (the tzaddik). He was considered to be an intermediary between a person and God. The tzaddik was the means through which a divine blessing (shefa) was transmitted to people. The tzaddik was also considered to be a spiritual redeemer of souls. The tzaddik was conceived as a holy man who had the powers to control life and death and to travel in the worlds beyond death in ways similar to that of shamans of many different primitive cultures. Hasidism integrated the concept of the tzaddik with the Kabbalistic viewpoint of the journeys of the postmortem soul. Now, let us consider the current viewpoints.
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VI.  Current Jewish Viewpoints
The major divisions of current Judaism are • Orthodox, • Conservative, • Reform and • Reconstructionist. The Orthodox adheres to strict biblical, Talmudic and Midrashim interpretations. Each successive movement is less strict in its interpretations. Each division has some concept of the afterlife, but much more attention is placed on living one's life fully in God's way. Every year from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, all are judged by God on their deeds for the preceding year, and the result determines whether they will live or die. Nevertheless, with the renewal of interest in spirituality and Kabbalah and concern with life after death, these concepts are becoming more popular in Judaism as a whole.
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VII.  Kabbalah at the Forefront
Of all the Judaic concepts, for afterlife considerations, the Kabbalistic viewpoint is most important. The major lesson learned from Kabbalah is that, you - as a virtuous person - would have the best possibility to reach a blissful afterlife. If you learned how to control your negative emotions (for example, anger, hate, fear, jealousy) by using positive stress management techniques such as meditation and psychological counseling, the need for emotional purging in the afterlife would be greatly decreased, if not eliminated. In addition, if you had stress management training while alive, you would have a shorter and less painful postmortem and would have a better chance to avoid reincarnations. As has been discussed previously, similar viewpoints had been found in a branch of Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and a branch of Buddhism.

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"Why fear death? It is the most beautiful adventure in life." - Charles Frohman

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Books by Dr. Don Morse

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Searching For Eternity:
A Scientist's Spiritual Journey to Overcome Death Anxiety

by Don Morse

Many people experience increasing anxiety as they face this issue as did Dr. Don Morse. Dr. Morse, a scientist who believed in the absolute finality of death, had a NDE that led him on a quest to uncover what science knows about the realities of death. His quest, detailed in this book, led him through the entire realm of science and all of the major religious traditions regarding death. After sifting through modern physics, research on NDEs and related phenomena, and a vast body of religious literature and theories offered by a host of organizations and individuals, Dr. Morse came to an inescapable conclusion: Some form of afterlife must exist. This remarkable book details what modern physics tells us about the underlying nature of the universe and its creation, what virtually every religious and philosophical group tells us about life/death, and results from a host of research findings.

 

Young At 100 book cover

Young at 100:
Successful Longevity Strategies

by Don Morse and Marvin Herring

To live to be 100 is great but not if you're feeble. This book will show you how to be healthy and happy at 100. Other "live to 100" books stress longevity factors, such as exercise, nutrition, relaxation, hormones, and strong relationships. Some authors have written about longevity from research studies; others from investigation of centenarians; and a few from personal experiences. "Young at 100" is based on all three aspects initiated by the author's quest for longevity. Two outstanding athletic and intelligent centenarians (age 103 and 106) are featured. "Young at 100" is the most comprehensive book ever written on living to 100. Chapters include: exercise (all types); nutrition (foods, nutrients, drinks); relaxation techniques; relationships; humor; diversions (hobbies, vacations); sleep; spirituality; anger and anxiety control; overcoming obesity; dealing with smoking, alcohol, and drugs; and avoiding danger. This book should help everyone - young and old. It is written in a down-to-earth style, and to lighten the load it includes humorous stories and relevant illustrations by Dr. Marvin Herring, a renowned cartoonist and exceptional physician.

 

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Nutrition, Stress, and Aging: A Holistic Approach to the Relationships Among Stress and Food Selection, Digestion, Nutrients, Body Weight, Disease, and Longevity

by Don Morse and Robert Pollack

Publisher: Ams Pr Inc (January 1988); Series: Stress in Modern Society; ISBN-10: 0404632688; ISBN-13: 978-0404632687; Hardcover: 244 pages; Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 8.9 inches.

 

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Surviving Stress: Simple, Safe, Strategic Solutions

by Don Morse

Stress is part of being human and has been documented since the caveman era. However in the 21st century, with problems such as terrorism, wars, pollution, unemployment, criminal acts, serious diseases, and excessive divorces, stress is rampant and must be dealt with. First described is the nature of stress and what it can lead to (for example, heart attacks, alcoholism, divorce and death). Then, both negative (for example, drinking, taking drugs, smoking, overeating, and using denial) and positive (for example, exercise, relaxation, consultations, nutrients, humor, and diversions) ways of stress management are presented. After this, the stress associated with the disadvantaged and their caregivers is examined. Finally, stress and the afterlife (if there is one) is considered. A unique aspect of this book is humor. Reducing stress, using humor, is both natural and universal. Humor is displayed in fun-filled, stress-related stories and cartoons, which are an integral part of the book and illustrate points made in the text. They serve two other purposes: (1) give a needed break from the seriousness of the subject matter; and (2) act as a means of reducing stress. The cartoons are by Dr. Marvin Herring, a renowned cartoonist and exceptional physician.

 

The Stress-Free, Anti-Aging Diet book cover

The Stress-Free, Anti-Aging Diet

by Don Morse and Robert Pollack

Publisher: Ams Pr Inc (February 1990); Series: Stress in Modern Society; ISBN-10: 040463270X; ISBN-13: 978-0404632700: Hardcover: 198 pages; Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches.

 

You and God book cover

You and God: The Single Life

by Gwendolyn Elaine Kirkland
and Don Morse

Do you want to overcome the feeling of loneliness? Are you experiencing the battle of loneliness? Are you tired of fighting this feeling and not knowing what to do? You are not alone. Many singles today deal with the feeling of loneliness, thinking their life is empty or that they are missing something because they don't have a mate. How do you deal with the loneliness in your life? You and God, The Single Life, an uplifting book from author Gwendolyn Kirkland, shows you how to step out of flesh and enter into a powerful relationship with God in your loneliness. She shares the steps she took by reconstructing herself and building an intimate relationship with God to help her gain control of the loneliness she felt inside and have victory over it. You'll see how faith, trust and patience in God will cause a major breakthrough in your loneliness and help you to live your single life the way you were meant to.

 

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Electronic Pharmacy of the Mind (Use of Brain Wave Synchronizers and Other Relaxation Methods to Control Stress)

by Don Morse

Publisher: Cryptic Press; Edition: Illustrated; ISBN-10: 1878869027; ISBN-13: 9781878869029; Publication Date: 5/1/1997; Pages: 195.

 

The Woman's World book cover

The Woman's World: A Holistic Approach to Dealing With Stress

by Don Morse and M. Lawrence Furst

Publisher: Ams Pr Inc (September 1988); Series: Stress in Modern Society; ISBN-10: 040463267X; ISBN-13: 978-0404632670; Hardcover: 168 pages; Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches.

 

Women Under Stress book cover

Women Under Stress

by Don Morse

Women Under Stress looks at the special causes of stress at each stage of a woman's life and describes various ways to manage stress. Publisher: Van Nostrand Reinhold (Sept. 1981); ISBN-10: 0442266480; ISBN-13: 978-0442266486; Hardcover: 473 pages; Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.2 x 1.7 inches.

 

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Clinical Endodontology: A Comprehensive Guide to Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

by Don Morse

Publisher: Thomas; First Edition edition (1974); ISBN-10: 0398031215; ISBN-13: 978-0398031213; Unknown Binding: 645 pages.

 

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Stress For Success

by Don Morse and Merrick L. Furst

Stress For Success probes the causes and detrimental physiological and psychological effects of stress, providing a variety of stress coping methods. Publisher: Van Nostrand Reinhold; New edition edition (June 1982); ISBN-10: 0442262280; ISBN-13: 978-0442262280; Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1 inches.

 

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Stress and Relaxation:
Application to Dentistry

by Don Morse and Merrick L. Furst

Publisher: Thomas (1978); ISBN-10: 0398038163; ISBN-13: 978-0398038168; Unknown Binding: 261 pages.

 

Animal Talk book cover

Animal Talk:
An Illustrated Workbook of Animal Sayings

by Don Morse and Marvin Herring

Animal Talk is a book for educators (ESL instructors will find it particularly useful and fun), librarians, puzzle fanatics, animal lovers and anyone fascinated by the intricacies of the English Language. Animal Talk is written in a warm conversational manner, filled with whit and humor on every page. By the time you work your way through Animal Talk, you not only will recognize the intricate relationships between animal and human behavior, but also the subtlety and richness of the imagery animals have brought into everyday speaking and writing. With 100 illustrations of popular and little known sayings, Animal Talk takes you through humorous exercises, page by page, that will expand your working knowledge of this imagery in conversation and literature.

 

Medical Mystery Fiction
by Don Morse

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The Montegra Inheritance

by Don Morse

The lives of Brian and Julie, a young, married couple living in a quiet, English village are thrown into turmoil when international terrorists come looking for Julie as a key to oil money held in a Swiss bank. The husband and his friend, Jack, both veteran commandos of the Falkland dispute, are engaged in defending Julie against unknowns that are bent on kidnaping her. The intrigue gets worse when it is discovered that the terrorists have planted a local resident and employees of the Julie's stepfather for some time. As the money stakes are very high, the terrorists are gambling large amounts of money to paying for people for their use. Any more information will give the story away.

 

Malpractice

Malpractice

by Don Morse

Medical malpractice is a front-page news item that is highlighted in this medical mystery thriller. A young boy goes to see Dr. Artie Rosner for routine dental treatment. The child is given nitrous oxide/oxygen and falls into an intractable coma. Did the dentist do something wrong? Was there a problem with the gases or the gas machine? Did the boy have a contributing medical condition? Whatever the case, a medical malpractice case results. Dr. Rosner's associate, Dr. Mark Procter, helps him in the defense. Outside of the office, Mark gets to know his beautiful dental assistant, Ginny Walker. A romance blossoms, and the two of them become involved in the case. There are exciting trips to South Jersey, Florida, and Costa Rica. You think you know what's happening, but there is more here than meets the eye. It is not until the last quarter of the book that the mystery is solved.

 

Deadly Reaction book cover

Deadly Reaction

by Don Morse

Product Details: Publisher: Cryptic Press; Genre: Fiction; ISBN-10: 1878869000; ISBN-13: 9781878869005; Publication Date: 8/28/1990; Pages: 306; Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.7 x 2.8 cm

 

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It's A Zoo Out There

by Don Morse

It's A Zoo Out There is a humorous, illustrated animal saying book with illustrations by Dr. Marvin Herring.

 

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Eye To Eye

by Don Morse

An unidentified doctor has decided to practice his own brand of euthanasia on unsuspecting senior citizens in North Miami Beach, Fla., using hypnosis to induce them to will themselves to death. Although the deaths are ruled accidental, one victim's daughter, Marilyn Meltzer, suspects foul play. She and her new husband, Hank (both debuted in Deadly Reaction ), private investigators, are hired to find out who or what has made one old man become a zombie. Marilyn hopes the hunt will turn up her father's killer as well. The case takes the Meltzers to Haiti, deep into the mysteries of voodoo. There they narrowly escape premature burial and zombie smoked. Upon their return to the States, they still must identify and then contend with the murderous doctor.