The Silver Cord and the Near-Death
Babies are born
into this world with an umbilical cord
connecting them to the life-giving source
of the mother which is disconnected
after birth. People die and enter the
spirit world with an "umbilical-like
cord" connecting their spirit body
to the life-giving source of the physical
body which is disconnected after death.
Many near-death and out-of-body experiencers
have described seeing this "umbilical-like
cord" connecting their spirit body
to their physical body. Many religious
traditions describe this spirit-body
connecting cord which is commonly known
as the "silver cord." Just
as the baby's umbilical cord must
be severed for the baby to experience
life, the silver cord must be severed
for the spirit body to experience spiritual
life. It is believed that the near-death
experience does not involve the silver
cord becoming severed; otherwise, the
near-death experience would then become
irreversible bodily death.
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Introduction to the silver cord
The silver cord has been described as being smooth, very
long, very bright, like an elastic cable made of light,
about an inch wide, sparkling like a tinsel on a Christmas
tree, and attached to one of several possible locations
on the physical body. During the dying process, as the spirit
body leaves the physical body and moves farther away it,
the silver cord becomes thinner as it is stretched to its
limit and becomes severed. When this occurs, the spirit
body is released from being attached to the physical body.
At this point, it becomes impossible for the spirit body
to ever return to the physical body. For this reason, we
can define "irreversible death" as that point
when the silver cord becomes stretched to its limit and
severed. This is the so-called "point of no return."
This boundary point may also be accompanied by the appearance
of a particular landmark representing a boundary such as
a river, a wall, a fence, or a canyon. Once this barrier
is crossed, the near-death experience becomes an irreversible
Many experiencers have felt the pull
of the silver cord when it is stretched near its limit.
They often describe the experience as being instantly retracted
to their physical body - like stretching a rubber band to
near its limit and then releasing one end of it.
This silver cord
is our spirit body's "lifeline" to our physical
body in the same way that our umbilical cord is our "lifeline"
to our mother's body during the birth process.
During the death
process, should the physical body be subjected to a violent
death, such as in a severe car accident, the silver cord
is severed before the impact preventing the pain that is
experienced by the physical body from being felt by the
The existence of the silver cord is even mentioned in the
"Remember him - before
the silver cord is
severed, or the golden bowl
is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the
spring, or the wheel broken at the well, and the
dust returns to the ground it came from, and the
spirit returns to God who gave it."
the notes of the
Episcopal Daily Lectionaries Online website,
comes this translation:
bowl suspended by the silver cord was a
symbol of life; the snapping of the cord
and the breaking of the bowl, a symbol of
death. The pitcher ... the broken pulley:
another pair of metaphors for life and its
From the editorial pages of the
comes this translation of the silver cord and golden
6 appears to use two metaphors to speak
of death. The first is of a silver chord
and a golden bowl most likely the bowl
was used as an oil light, suspended
by a chord. Dying is compared to the
breaking of this chord and the crashing
of the bowl down to the ground, whereupon
it shatters and its light is extinguished.
Second, death is compared to a pitcher
used to draw water at a well. Death
is like the breaking of this pitcher
and the pulley which was used to let
it down. No more water can be drawn;
death has conquered.
is interesting that both of these images,
the symbols of water and light, are
used elsewhere in the scriptures as
metaphors for life. The consequence
of this termination of life is the decaying
process by which the dust returns to
the earth. The spirit, in a reversal
of Genesis 2, "returns unto God
who gave it." This is what death
is all about: the shattering of all
man's hope, and the cessation of everything
that he was and stood for."
The following are insights concerning the silver cord from
NDErs profiled on this website.
Edgar Cayce's encounter
with the Angel of Death:
While preparing to undergo one of his otherworldly
Edgar Cayce had lost consciousness and had a
dream. Usually, he would travel through a tunnel
toward the light. But in this instance, he met the
Angel of Death and learned about the silver cord.
The following is his experience described in his
"As I went out, I realized
that I had contacted Death, as a personality, as
an individual or as a being. Realizing this, I remarked
"You are not as ordinarily
pictured - with a black mask or hood, or as a skeleton,
or like Father Time with the sickle. Instead, you
are fair, rose-cheeked, robust - and you have a
pair of shears or scissors."
In fact, I had to look twice
at the feet or limbs, or even at the body to see
it take shape.
The Angel of Death replied:
Death is not what many seem to think. It's not the
horrible thing which is often pictured. Just a change
- just a visit. The shears or scissors are indeed
the implements most representative of life and death
to man. These indeed unite by dividing - and divide
by uniting. The cord does not, as usually thought,
extend from the center - but is broken from the
head, the forehead - that soft portion we see pulsate
in the infant.
"Hence we see old people,
unbeknown to themselves, gain strength from youth
by kissing there; and youth gains wisdom by such
the vibrations may be raised to such an extent as
to rekindle or reconnect the cord, even as the Master
did with the son of the widow of Nain. For he did
not take him by the hand (which was bound to the
body as was the custom of the day), but rather stroked
him on the head - and the body took life of Life
itself! So, you see, the silver cord may be broken
- but the vibration ...'" (Edgar
Dr. Dianne Morrissey's
"I saw a long
silver cord coming out of my spirit body, right
through the cheese cloth-like fabric I was wearing.
The cord extended down and out in front of me, and
as I turned around, I saw that the silver cord draped
around and behind me, like an umbilical cord. I
followed it through the two hallway walls and into
my den, where I saw it attached to the back of the
head of my physical body. The cord was about an
inch wide and sparkled like Christmas tree tinsel!
... As soon as I saw that silver cord was attached
to my physical body, my spirit was thrust into a
dark tunnel." (Dr.
Atwater's NDE research:
Dr. PMH Atwater's book,
Beyond the Light,
the near-death account of Alice Morrison-Mays is
given. Alice described her return to her physical
body from a near-death experience. She remembers
entering her physical body through the silver cord:
instantly I felt reentry into my body through the
silver cord at the top of my head. There was something
akin to a physical bump. As soon as I entered, I
heard someone near me say, 'Oh, we've got her back.'
I was told I had two pieces of placenta as large
as grapefruits removed." (Alice
Susan Blackmore's OBE:
Susan Blackmore, a former parapsychologist with
heavy skeptical leanings, is considered one of the
world's leading authorities on OBEs and NDEs. She
herself had an OBE while attending Oxford University
during the early 1970s. By her own admission she
"spent much of the time stoned, experimenting with
During her first year at Oxford
she had a OBE after several hours on the Ouija board
while stoned on marijuana. The experience also occurred
during a period of her life when sleep deprivation
was common for her. She describes herself as having
been in "a fairly peculiar state of mind"
when she had the OBE.
During her OBE, Blackmore went
down a tunnel of trees toward a light, floated on
the ceiling and observed her body below, saw a silver
cord connecting her floating astral body, floated
out of the building around Oxford and then over
England, and finally across the Atlantic to New
After hovering around New York,
Blackmore floated back to her room in Oxford where
she became very small and entered her body's toes.
Then she grew very big, as big as a planet at first,
and then she filled the solar system and finally
she became as large as the universe.
Her experience with the silver
cord is right out of traditional occult literature
on astral projection. (Susan
Parnia's NDE research:
A patient of Dr. Parnia was 2 years old
when he had a seizure and his heart stopped.
His parents contacted Dr. Parnia after the
boy drew a picture of himself as if out
of his body looking down at himself.
was drawn like there was a balloon
stuck to him. When they asked what
the balloon was he said, "When
you die you see a bright light and
you are connected to a cord.
wasn't even three when had the experience,"
Parnia said. (Dr.
Sylvan Muldoon's childhood
OBE: Sylvan Muldoon's
first conscious projection occurred when he was
12 years old. He
awoke in the middle of the night to find himself
conscious, but not knowing where he was, and apparently
unable to move, a condition he later called astral
Gradually the sensation of
floating took over, and then a rapid up-and-down
vibration and a tremendous pressure in the back
of his head. Out of this nightmare of sensations
the boy's hearing gradually began to return and
then his sight, by which he could see that he was
floating in the room above his bed.
force took hold of him and pulled him from horizontal
to vertical. He saw his double lying quietly asleep
on the bed, and between the two of them stretched
an elastic-like cable which joined the back of the
head of his conscious self, to a spot between the
eyes of the body in bed, six feet of so away.
Swaying and pulling against
the cord, Muldoon tried to walk to another room
to wake someone, but found that he passed right
through the door, and through the bodies of other
sleepers too, when he tried to shake or clutch them.
Frightened, he roamed around the house for what
seemed like fifteen minutes, and then slowly the
pull of the cord increased and he found himself
being pulled back to his body. Everything went in
reverse. He tipped back to horizontal, again became
cataleptic, felt the same vibrations and then, with
a jerk, dropped back into the body. He was awake
and alive again. (Sylvan
was suddenly floating above my body, with a strange
cord attaching me and my physical body. I had read
about that and so I knew it was normal. I started
to float around after practice, mostly around my
basement. So I went upstairs to see if any one was
there, and I found my sister in the kitchen, I touched
her face and she looked straight at me.
"I thought for a moment
she had seen me. But she walked right through me
and turned up the thermostat. That's when I realized
my cord was gone! Not even a whist of it was left.
So I thought about reconnecting with my body to
go back but nothing happened. I knew for sure I
was stuck. Gone. No one would know what happened
"I went back down to the
basement to see what I looked like from the outside.
There he sat. The most beautiful man I had ever
seen. He motioned for me to come toward him and
so I did. He told me to float just above my body
and he would help me. I laid there and suddenly
I felt as if I was being pulled back down into my
body. Before I could thank him I woke up ... I knew
I had met an angel." (Caroline Graham)
A boy, woke up and got out of bed during the night.
Whilst walking along a hallway he became "aware
that something was amiss." On turning around
and looking back toward the way he had come he saw
what appeared to be a thin cord of light leading
from him back to his bedroom. Naturally concerned,
he followed the cord back to his bedroom only to
discover that he was still asleep in his bed. He
had no recollection of how he returned to his physical
above is a typical example of an out-of-body experience
during sleep, which, happens to everyone. The one
unusual aspect of this case is that the boy woke
up whilst he was astral traveling and became alarmed.
Debbie Doe's NDE:
The silver cord protects us in many ways. At the
time of a violent death, like a severe auto accident,
the silver cord is severed before impact so the
person will feel no pain. That really brought a
lot of comfort to me to know that my son did not
feel pain at the time of his death. During the dying
process, the cord becomes thinner to where it finally
is severed. The soul is released. (Debbie
I had my first child I had the experience of being
out of my body and hovering above it attached to
a thick cord." (Mrs.
was literally so bright that I could not sustain
the gaze so I turned away. At that moment I noticed
a silver cord, attached around the navel area going
down, down, down to a person I saw lying on my bed.
It was me! I had a curious non-interest in it."
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4. Locations on the body where the silver cord
an OBE or NDE, experiencers see their
silver cord attached to the following
locations on their physical body:
Attached to their
Cayce's NDE: "The
cord does not, as usually thought,
extend from the center - but
is broken from the head,
- that soft portion we see pulsate
in the infant. Hence we see
old people, unbeknown to themselves,
gain strength from youth by
kissing there; and youth gains
wisdom by such kisses."
Muldoon's OBE: "He
saw his double lying quietly
asleep on the bed, and between
the two of them stretched an
elastic-like cable which joined
the back of the head of his
a spot between the eyes of the
in bed, six feet of so away."
Attached to the BACK
of their HEAD:
Dianne Morrissey's NDE: "I
followed it [the cord] through
the two hallway walls and into
my den, where I saw it
to the back of the head
of my physical body."(Dr.
Attached to the
TOP of their
Morrison-May's NDE: "Almost
instantly I felt reentry into
my body through the silver cord
the top of my head."
Attached to their CHEST:
Ballabene's NDE: "Out
of the body, at a distance of
about 1m or 1.5m I turned around,
face to the physical body. As
usual in near-body distance
I was without visual perception
and in absolute darkness.
a touch on my breast
I reached out for it and felt
something with smooth surface
formed like a cone,
at the basis (breast) ca. 15
getting smaller to a diameter
of about 5cm at a body-distance
of about 30cm. At this diameter
(5cm) it transformed to a cord,
leading in direction of the
physical body. In all other
OBE's of the type of "stepping-out-in-trance"
I paid no attention to the silver
cord, but at a certain distance
(ca. 50m) I felt a pull. Then
I was stopped as if tied and
fixed at my backside. Instantly
I was retracted to the physical
body. This happened very often
and reduced my expeditions to
a short duration, frustrating
Attached to their ABDOMEN:
Maggi's NDE: "At
that moment I noticed a silver
around the navel area
going down, down, down to a
person I saw lying on my bed.
It was me! I had a curious non-interest
in it." (Joni
Attached to their BACK:
experiences coming soon.
Although this is not a complete list, these
are the locations that I have come across in
5. Locations on the body where the spirit
re-enters in NDEs
Many near-death and out-of-body
experiencers have described leaving and entering
their physical bodies at a particular location
on their physical body. Not everyone leaves
and enters their physical body at the same location.
These are the main locations on the physical
body that I have across in my research:
Experiencers who left and/or re-entering
through the TOP of
Smith's NDE: "At
that point I felt something
leave my body. It was a whoosh.
It went up through
top of my head.
I could feel it and I could
hear it. Just a gentle whoosh.
At that point I found myself
standing in a kind of gray mist.
Then I knew I had died."
Yensen's NDE: "I
felt as if I were coming loose
from my body! While I believed
that my body was me, I knew
instinctively that if I separated
from it, I'd be dead! My soul
and body started separating
again and continued to separate
until I felt a short, sharp
pain in my heart, which felt
as if something had been torn
loose. Then slowly and softly
I rose out through
top of my head."
Reynolds' NDE: "The
next thing I recall was the
sound: It was a Natural "D."
As I listened to the sound,
I felt it was pulling me out
of the top of my head. The further
out of my body I got, the more
clear the tone became. I had
the impression it was like a
road, a frequency that you go
on ... I remember seeing several
things in the operating room
when I was looking down."
was up all night using drugs.
I overdosed and went into convulsions.
Just before it hit me,
shot out of the top of my head
and lingered only moments while
everyone freaked out. Then I
was in a dark cobblestone tunnel
that seemed wet. I was a sphere
illuminating everything around
Experiencers who left and/or re-entering
through their CHEST
Eadie's NDE: "I
heard a soft buzzing sound in
my head and continued to sink
until I felt my body become
still and lifeless. Then I felt
a surge of energy. It was almost
as if I felt a pop or release
inside me, and
was suddenly drawn out through
my chest and pulled upward,
as if by a giant magnet. My
first impression was that I
was free. There was nothing
unnatural about the experience."
Birkin's NDE: "One
evening, I had an experience
of the most incredible feeling.
It felt as if every nerve in
my body was alive with energy.
This was accompanied by the
most wonderful feeling of bliss.
As the feeling enveloped me,
I found myself leaving my body.
I found myself
my own chest area
looking up at what I knew
my crown charka.
I could see a light ahead of
me. All of a sudden I became
frightened to move. I actually
thought I was dying, and for
a few seconds, I fought the
sensation. I was describing
to Peter what I was going through.
I was still physically there
in body, but my soul, spirit,
whatever you want to call it,
was no longer there.
was within my own chest cavity."
exited my chest. Its
hard to describe exactly what
it was or what it felt like
but it was a real presence,
a definite feeling. Perhaps
terms like "life force"
or "energy" come closest
to trying to describe what it
was, but it seemed to contain
my personality as well. Again,
its extremely difficult to describe
except that it was a real sensation
of something immaterial leaving
my physical body. This "force",
for lack of a better word, then
positioned itself in the corner
of the bathroom ceiling (the
bathroom was in darkness) and
I stared down on my own motionless
body, skinny and frail and apparently
Experiencers who left and/or re-entering
through their ABDOMEN
Gotti's NDE: "The
nurse yelled, 'We're losing
her,' and at the sound of distress
I was propelled upward. The
farther up I went, the brighter
the Light became. Two cherubs
appeared, one on either side
of me, and we slowly drifted
to the corner of the ceiling.
We communicated through mental
telepathy, which is faster and
more efficient than mere words.
They told me they were Escort
Angels and had come to take
me Home. But before we could
go, I had to look at the body
I was leaving behind. She was
twenty-five years old and in
perfect health, except for the
loss of blood and spirit. I
determined that the situation
was not serious enough, and
than an instant I reentered
my physical body through the
navel. I was back on
earth and suffering from Homesickness."
Russell's OBE: "I
was intensely aware of an atom
in my mind. I visualized the
atom's nucleus with the electrons
spinning around the core as
though they had a consciousness
and knew exactly what they were
to do ... Without warning, my
vision changed. I was now viewing
our solar system with the sun
in the center and the planets
spinning around ... The visions
continued to expand until I
felt as though I was looking
at the micro and macro universe
simultaneously ... It was so
it hit me in the center of my
gut. 'Your being is intricately
connected with the operation
of the universe!' ... I know
when it comes to the universe
I'm smaller than a speck of
dust. So how could my being
have anything to do with the
operation of the universe? ...
It is through our connection
with this Oneness that we each
play a part in the operation
of the universe ... Next, I
felt as though
an umbilical cord in my stomach,
connecting me to the presence.
It was then I heard actual words.
The words were external to me
and seemed to come from my right.
The voice said, "This is
where you came from and this
is where you will return."
Experiencers who left and/or re-entering
through their FEET
Blackmore described traveling
down a tunnel of trees toward
a light, floating on the ceiling,
and observing her body below,
seeing a silver cord connecting
her floating astral body, floating
out of the building and then
over England, and finally floating
across the Atlantic to New York.
After hovering around New York,
Blackmore floated back to her
room in Oxford where she became
very small and
her body's toes.
Then she grew very big, as big
as a planet at first, and then
she filled the solar system
and finally she became as large
as the universe. This expansion
of consciousness which fills
the universe can be found in
many NDEs including that of
Foreman's NDE: "I
could look down on my whole
body," he later reported. "One
medic was applying electric
paddles to my chest to shock
me back and shouting Breathe,
you son of a bitch, breathe.'"
They stabbed needles into his
lungs to extract fluid and injected
adrenaline direct into the heart.
Foreman says he saw his entire
life pass in seconds: being
in the womb, the ceremony of
his Christening, an embarrassing
incident as a small boy when
he soiled his pants. He heard
a loud rushing noise and appeared
to be speeding through a dark
tunnel with a light of unbearable
brightness at the end. This
light took human form and he
received a message, though not
in words, "You must go
back." The tunnel experience
happened in reverse. Because
of its radioactive status, Foreman's
body had been taken to a cleaning
room. He had a feeling that
painfully through his toes
and when he spoke, the medics
were totally shocked. (Jack
Malec's OBE: "I
threw myself on the bed and
gave up. Tossing & turning
and wishing I were of good health.
Suddenly, while still awake-not
zapped out of my body through
my feet! Imagine a vacuum
sweeper on the soles of my feet.
Looking down I saw my body still
laying on the bed! I felt no
fear and no emotions other than
questioning why I was up here
looking down there at my body."
The connection between the chakras,
the silver cord, and the afterlife realms
There is a correlation between
The location of the spiritual centers
within the body
The location on the body where people
leave and/or return to their body during
an NDE or OBE
The location on the body where the
silver cord is connected
The location of a particular afterlife
NDE research reveals how the
of the human body have corresponding spiritual centers
within the body which are
to a particular
by means of the silver cord. This endocrine gland/silver
cord system is our physical, mental and spiritual connection
with afterlife realms.
the human body is a receiver of cosmic energy (like
a radio) for which we are able to connect with
spiritual realms in the afterlife.
This "receiver" aspect of the human body is
made up of a system of endocrine glands within our body
(see chart on the left) which are points of contact
to an associated system of spiritual energy centers
in the East) which are collectively called the "subtle"
simply the "soul").
The soul body is the "vehicle" by which people
for example. Near-death experiencers such as Cayce and
have described how our solar system is actually a physical
representation of our higher spirit body. This revelation
forces can influence us here on earth.
The soul body is also the
energetic form of the physical body. The spiritual centers
of the soul body are points of contact where the physical,
emotional, and spiritual aspects of the body come together.
Each spiritual center associated with an endocrine gland
is also a point of contact to a particular invisible
afterlife realm represented physically by one of the
planets of our solar system (see the chart below). Cayce
identified a particular afterlife realm by giving it
the same name as its corresponding planets in our solar
system. For example, the planet Jupiter is the 5th planet
from the sun and is the physical manifestation of an
invisible afterlife realm that is 7th in the afterlife
- the "master" gland of the body - is associated
with the "third
in Eastern religions and is the point of contact connecting
our physical body to 7th afterlife realm represented
physically by the planet Jupiter.
spiritual energy center corresponds to one of the
seven notes on a musical scale:
C, D, E, F, G, A, B. Each spiritual center also corresponds
to a color on the
of which there are seven: red, orange, yellow, green,
blue, indigo, violet (or white). The positive and negative "vibes"
a person is outwardly exposed to in life can influence
the inward functioning of the endocrine glands and their
corresponding spiritual center. The dominant vibration
- positive or negative - within a person's body reflects
which spiritual center is dominant within a person's
life. It is the dominant vibration of a person's life
- body and spirit - which determines the level of the
corresponding afterlife realm they have attained. Certain
yoga meditation techniques (such as chanting mantras)
have been used in the East to raise the quality of the
spiritual energy vibration to help heal the mind, body