Dr. P.M.H. Atwater's Near-Death
L.H.D., Ph.D. (Hon.)
survived three death events that produced
three different near-death experiences
in 1977. She is one of the original
researchers of the near-death phenomenon,
having begun her work in 1978. Today,
her contribution to the field of near-death
studies is considered on par with those
of Raymond Moody and Ken Ring. Her first
are considered the "Bibles"
of the NDE. With the publication of
she has expanded her work into areas
of brain development that call for a
reconsideration of what is presently
known about transformation consciousness.
She has done extensive research into
and the analysis of
of the NDE. Her research into
led to her writing,
of the New Millennium.
Her latest book,
Idiot's Guide to NDEs,
is in my opinion the most comprehensive
book on the subject of NDEs to date.
The following are P.M.H. Atwater's insights
into the NDE from her book, Beyond the
What It Feels Like To Die
pain to be suffered comes first. Instinctively
you fight to live. That is automatic.
inconceivable to the conscious mind that any
other reality could possibly exist beside the
Earth-world of matter bounded by time and space.
We are used to it. We have been trained since
birth to live and thrive in it. We know ourselves
to be ourselves by the external stimuli we receive.
Life tells us who we are and we accept its telling.
That, too, is automatic and to be expected.
body goes limp. Your heart stops. No more air
flows in or out. You lose sight, feeling and
movement - although the ability to hear
goes last. Identity ceases. The "you"
that you once were becomes only a memory.
is no pain at the moment of death. Only peaceful
silence ... calm ... quiet. But you still exist.
It is easy not to breathe. In fact, it is easier,
more comfortable, and infinitely more natural
not to breathe than to breathe.
biggest surprise for most people in dying is
to realize that dying does not end life. Whether
darkness or light comes next, or some kind of
event, be it positive, negative, or somewhere
in between, expected or unexpected, the biggest
surprise of all is to realize you are still
can still think, you can still remember, you
can still see, hear, move, reason, wonder, feel,
question, and tell jokes - if you wish.
are still alive, very much alive. Actually,
you're more alive after death than at any time
since you were last born. Only the way of all
this is different; different because you no
longer wear a dense body to filter and amplify
the various sensations you had once regarded
as the only valid indicators of what constitutes
life. You had always been taught one has to
wear a body to live.
expect to die when you die you will be disappointed.
The only thing dying
does is help you release, slough off, and discard
the "jacket" you once wore
referred to as a body).
When you die you lose your body. That's
all there is to it. Nothing else is lost.
are not your body. It is just something you
wear for a while, because living in the Earth
realm is infinitely more meaningful and more
involved if you are encased in its trappings
and subject to its rules.
What Death Is
is a step-up of energy at the moment of death,
an increase in speed as if you are suddenly
vibrating faster than before.
radio as an analogy, this speed-up is comparable
to having lived all your life at a certain radio
frequency when all of a sudden someone or something
comes along and flips the dial.
That flip shifts you
to different frequency. The original
frequency where you once existed is still there.
It did not change. Everything is still just
the same as it was. Only you changed, only you
speeded up to allow entry into the next radio
frequency on the dial.
true with all radios and radio stations, there
can be bleed-overs or distortions of transmission
signals due to interference patterns. These
can allow or force frequencies to coexist or
co-mingle for indefinite periods of time. Normally,
most shifts up the dial are fast and efficient;
but, occasionally, one can run into interference,
perhaps from a strong emotion, a sense of duty,
or a need to fulfill a vow, or keep a promise.
interference could allow coexistence of frequencies
for a few seconds, days, or even years (perhaps
explaining hauntings); but, sooner or later,
eventually, every given vibrational frequency
will seek out or be nudged to where it belongs.
fit your particular spot on the dial by your
speed of vibration. You cannot coexist forever
where you do not belong.
can say how many spots there are on the dial
or how many frequencies there are to inhabit?
No one knows.
shift frequencies in dying. You switch over
to life on another wavelength. You are still
a spot on the dial but you move up or down a
notch or two.
don't die when you die. You shift your consciousness
and speed of vibration.
all death is ... a shift.
What Existence Is
and space, as we know them, exist only on the
Earth realm. When you leave the Earth realm,
you leave such constraints.
are realms and dimensions of existence without
number, ranging from the slower, more dense
vibrations of form to higher, finer streams
of non-energetic currents. And there is more
beyond that, realities that cannot be measured
or described in the convenience of mathematics
refers to levels of negative thought-forms that
reside in close proximity to the Earth realm.
It is where we go to work out, or remain within,
our hang-ups, addictions, fears, guilt, angers,
rage, regrets, self-pity, arrogance, or whatever
else blocks us from the power of our own light.
We stay in hell (and there are many divisions
to this vibratory level) for however long best
serves our development. There is no condemnation
here, only the outworking of our own misjudgments,
mistakes, misalignments, or misappropriations
(what some people call sin). In hell, we have
the opportunity to either revel in our folly
or come to grips with the reality of consequences
- that every action has a reaction, what
is inflicted on another can be returned in kind.
We experience the "flip side" of our
despair or our demands, "living through"
the extremes of whatever we dread. This is not
a "punishment for our sins" but a
confrontation with any distortion of our sense
of values and priorities. We do not leave until
we have changed our attitudes and perceptions.
is a term used to describe levels of positive
thought-forms that reside in close proximity
to the Earth realm. It is where we go to recognize
or enjoy our worth, talents, abilities, joys,
courage, generosity, caring, empathy, giving-ness,
virtue, cheer, diligence, thoughtfulness, patience,
loving kindness, or whatever else reveals the
power of our own light. We stay in heaven (and
there are many divisions to this vibratory level)
for however long best serves our development.
There is a sense of benefit here, as if one
has found one's true home and all is well (what
some people call "recess", or a time of rewards).
In heaven, we have the opportunity to assess
our progress as a soul, to evaluate pros and
cons and outcomes, to remember all truths including
that of our real identity. We experience the
glory of love and the power of forgiveness.
is not an end point, but, rather, the realization
of our purpose in creation's story, how we fit,
and what possibilities for future growth and
learning exist. We do not leave until we are
ready for our next advancement either in the
world of form or beyond it.
knows how vast creation is ... only that it
has always been and will always be. Shapes and
embodiments change and alter, substance is recycled,
but existence exists, as does energy.
is life, never ending and ongoing, forever and
ever eternal. Yet its only true movement (without
the distortion time and space give) is expansion
and contraction, as if the existence that exists
were capable of breathing. What appears as a
progression, a time-line of starts and stops
and ever-changing variations, is but an overleaf,
an illusion, that helps us to focus on whatever
spot on the dial we currently inhabit so we
will accomplish what we set out to do (or at
least have an opportunity to), and not
be distracted by The Truth that undergirds reality.
television as an analogy, the picture we enjoy
seeing, the progression of a storyline with
characters acting out a script, is but a trick
of perception. What exists, what is really there,
is quite literally one electron at a time (with
black and white, and three at a time with color) fired
from the back of the television tube to the
screen to be illuminated once it hits the screen
as a tiny dot. The continuous barrage of electrons-turned-into-dots
creates the appearance of images, as scanning
lines roll from top to bottom separating information
coming in (new dots) from information fading
out (old dots). You adjust the vertical
hold on your set, not to remove strange bars
appearing in the picture, but to place all screen
activity within the range of your own perceptual
preference. A television picture tube is nothing
more than a "gun" that fires electrons
at a screen. Your mind connects the electron
dots into the picture images you think you see,
while it totally ignores the true reality of
what actually undergirds the operation. The
way television operates, at least in our daily
experience of it, is an illusion.
is a lot like television. What exists, what
really exists, can't be fathomed by how it appears
to operate or what it seems to be.
The Realness of God
is the one presence, the one power, the one
force and source of all. There are no competitors
to God, no reality existent outside of God.
God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient
(all knowing), and omnipresent (present
everywhere). There is no place where God is
not, simply because nothing exists without God.
is neither a man nor a woman nor a thing.
is no one's father or mother or benefactor.
These terms are used only to help us understand
relationships - ours to God - not
to establish a more human type of parentage.
We use such terms as a matter of convenience
or because it is comforting to do so. We call
ourselves children of God because we do not
know what else to call ourselves, and it seems
as good a term as any to use. We are made in
the image of God, not in the sense of physical
appearance, but with respect to the power of
our souls and the potential of our minds. God
is the Creator; we are co-creators. It would
be more appropriate and more in line with Truth,
if we called ourselves extensions of God or,
perhaps, thoughts in the Mind of God. It would
even be appropriate to use another name for
God, like The Force, The One, The All, The Is-ness,
The One Mind, The Source, or whatever conveys
that sense of deity that is without limitation
or boundary, beyond what can be comprehended.
God is more than any name, protocol, hierarchy,
concept, or grandiosity could describe or define;
God truly is as near as our next breath - as
close as our next thought. We are part of God
and existent with God. A belief in separation,
that we could possibly exist and have our being
apart from God, is the only real sin. This belief
is of our own making. God has not decreed separation;
this we did ourselves by our own perception
that somehow, some way, we could transcend That
Which Cannot Be Transcended.
is not dependent on our belief, for our belief
or disbelief in God does not affect God - only
is not a member of any church or religion. It
is the churches and the religions that are members
within the vastness and the glory that is God.
There is no one religion just as there is no "chosen"
people or person, nor any single way of regarding
what cannot be fully comprehended. We are all "sons"
of God in the sense that we are all souls of
God's creation, without gender, without form,
without nationality, complete and whole and
perfect as we explore the never-endingness of
God's wonderment. A spark from the essence of
All God Is resides in each and every one of
us has an unbreakable connection, that thread
or cord that ensures we remain a part of That
Which We Could Never Leave.
splendorous joy of recognizing and acknowledging
our special-ness, our greatness, as creations
of God and as co-creators with God, is akin
to being engulfed by overwhelming floodtides
of God's Glorious Love.
The Big Picture
is no sense of "crime and punishment"
in God's Light, only the clear, complete, and
total knowing that you are loved unconditionally
and fully - right now and forever more.
in this light, God's Light, is so powerful and
so piercing, there is no way you could lie,
exaggerate, avoid, or deny what you have done
with God's gift to you, the gift of an embodied
life in the Earth realm replete with abundant
opportunities to learn and develop and grow -
be the best that you can be. This gift, the
Earth life God gives us, comes with a catch:
We are to give the gift back.
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. This that
we can keep enriches God's experience of us
as well as enriching our experience of ourselves
and one another. How joyful this is depends
on what we did about who we are.
gain or loss anyone makes affects everyone else
to some degree. That's because we are connected,
somehow, as sparks from the Mind of God. Everything
created either has a soul (independent power
mass) or is capable of being ensouled (from
out of the group power mass). Because
human forms contain larger portions of a soul
mass than many other types of form, they represent
opportunities of greater diversity, challenge,
and involvement. Yet even animals, minerals,
plants, and planets, enfold degrees of ensoulment
replete with intelligence, feeling, and volition.
Density of structure or shape may seem to deny
this, but the creative fire is ever-present,
souls are holy in God's Light, and all souls
all souls have a purpose for their existence
and a reason for being who or what they are.
form a soul empowers "fits" in creation's
story, for each soul has a job to do, a position
to fill in the greater scheme of things.
all souls evolve. Nothing stays as it is because
nothing is static, regardless of how "otherwise"
conditions may appear to be.
is not restricted to linear progression. It
only seems so.
the drama of creation's story is unbounded -
neither limited by our perception of it, nor
by our ability or lack of ability to comprehend
it. This drama is as stupendous as it is terrifying,
as awesome as it is wonderful, as miraculous
as it is mysterious, as beautiful as it is the
ultimate act of all-consuming love. To witness
even a glimpse of such glory, to know the Real
Truth of it, leaves a mark so deep and so profound
you are forever uplifted and transformed.
return from your NDE knowing we affect each
other because we are all part of each other,
and that we affect all parts of creation because
all parts of creation interweave and interrelate
with all other parts. Any sense of aloneness
or separation dissolves in the Light of such
matter. And we are each challenged to "wake
up" and realize that we matter. Once we
so awaken, our task is to act accordingly.
is not enough. We must express that knowing.
How we do that is up to us.
we are each connected to the other and to all
others, we are individual in our choices, in
the power of our will, and in the product or
result or consequence of our ever having breathed
a breath in the Earth realm. The responsibility
we have for this totality of our being-ness
is as freeing and exciting as it is humbling.
And it represents high adventure.
greatest fear we have in living out our Earth
life is not what might happen to us, but what
might be expected from us if we recognized who
The Four Types of NDEs
P.M.H. Atwater has identified
four distinctive types of NDEs. She discovered
elements similar to those described by Moody
and Ring but different patterning from what
was billed as the classical version; each pattern
type was accompanied by a subtle psychological
profile suggestive of other forces that might
be present. These four types have consistently
held up throughout two decades of interviews,
observations, and analysis regardless of a person's
age, education, gender, culture, or religion.
In her book, Beyond the Light, P.M.H. Atwater
used separate chapters to discuss each of the
four types. Below is a shorter rendition of
the scenario patterns.
a. Initial Experience
(Sometimes referred to as the "nonexperience")
Involves elements such
as a loving nothingness, the living dark, a
friendly voice, or a brief out-of-body episode.
Usually experienced by those who seem to need
the least amount of evidence for proof of survival,
or who need the least amount of shakeup in their
life at that point in time. Often, this becomes
a "seed" experience or an introduction
to other ways of perceiving and recognizing
reality. Incident rate: 76% with child experiencers,
20% with adult experiencers.
b. Unpleasant or
Hell-like Experience (Inner cleansing
Encounter with a threatening
void or stark limbo or hellish purgatory, or
scenes of a startling and unexpected indifference,
even "hauntings" from one's own past.
Usually experienced by those who seem to have
deeply suppressed or repressed guilt, fears,
and angers and/or those who expect some kind
of punishment or discomfort after death. Incident
rate: 3% with child experiencers, 15% with adult
c. Pleasant or Heaven-like
Experience (Reassurance and self-validation)
of loving family reunions with those who have
died previously, reassuring religious figures
or light beings, validation that life counts,
affirmative and inspiring dialogue. Usually
experienced by those who most need to know how
loved they are and how important life is and
how every effort has a purpose in the overall
scheme of things. Incident rate: 19% with child
experiencers, 47% with adult experiencers.
d. Transcendent Experience
(Expansive revelations, alternate realities)
to otherworldly dimensions and scenes beyond
the individual's frame of reference; sometimes
includes revelations of greater truths. Seldom
personal in content. Usually experienced by
those who are ready for a mind-stretching challenge
and/or individuals who are more apt to utilize
(to whatever degree) the truths that are revealed
to them. Incident rate: 2% with child experiencers,
18% with adult experiencers.
Note: P.M.H. Atwater
has noticed that all four types can occur at
the same time during an NDE, can exist in varying
combinations, or can spread out across a series
of episodes for a particular individual. Generally
speaking, however, each represents a distinctive
type of experience occurring but once to a given
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
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
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
The Complete Idiot's Guide to
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
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.
by P.M.H. Atwater
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.
Ebook by P.M.H. Atwater
A Book of Columns
by P.M.H. Atwater
ebook contains all
of P.M.H. Atwater's
columns from the
IANDS newsletter "Vital
from June of 1981
until 2004. Proceeds
go to support IANDS
and its mission.