Media Watch for December 2008
Phenomenology: Studies of how mediums experience receiving information are being conducted at the Windbridge Institute. The study of how things are experienced by the experiencer is called phenomenology. In their first study, Phenomenology I, Windbridge researchers along with Dr. Adam Rock qualitatively analyzed research mediums’ answers to the questionnaire item “Describe in as much detail as possible your experiences while communicating with the deceased.” A peer-reviewed paper detailing the results will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Scientific Exploration. In brief, the researchers found that the mediums most often reported experiencing the deceased in multiple ways including seeing and hearing the deceased, smelling fragrances associated with the deceased’s physical life, feeling ailments or causes of death, and changes in emotional feelings.
From: Winds of Change Vol 1, The Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential, Issue 1 Spring 2008, www.windbridge.org/index.htm
The Power of Collective Meditation: An annual trend in Washington DC is that crime levels rise in the summer as the temperature gets hotter. People stay out later, are more agitated, get into more fights and the crime rate goes up. In 1993 John Hagelin, director of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace, brought together a large number of practicing meditators and trained even more. When the group reached 2,500 people there was a statistically significant drop in crime.
The group had predicted a twenty percent drop in crime and actually achieved a twenty-five percent drop. Just before the study the chief of police went on television and said something like, “It’s going to take a foot of snow in June to reduce crime by twenty percent.” But he allowed his department to participate in the experiment by collecting and analyzing the data. In the end, the police department signed on as one of the authors of a published paper. This is not just a one-time occurrence, an overwhelming number of papers have documented more than sixty experiments of group meditation’s positive effect on reducing conflict.
From: Institute of Noetic Sciences, Shift magazine, No 15 “The Power of The Collective,” by John Hagelin http://istpp.org/pdf/Shift-PoweroftheCollective.pdf
You Take Nothing With You: The actress Jane Seymour, well known for the movie Somewhere in Time, treats every day as if it’s her last after a near-death experience twenty years ago. An allergic reaction to antibiotic medicine on a film shoot in Spain almost killed the actress, and the scrape with death profoundly changed her whole outlook on life. Seymour explains, “I saw the white light and I saw, from the corner of the room, them trying to resuscitate me and I saw a syringe with blood in it. It did change my whole life because, when you die, I realized you take nothing with you except for what you’ve done.”
From: www.contactmusic.com , Jane Seymour - Near Death Experience Changed Seymour
NDE Causes Dramatic Transformations: Karlis Osis and Erlendur Haraldsson found no straightforward relationship between religiousness and deathbed visions. The researchers did find that an individual’s belief system influenced the interpretation of the experience. Near-death experiences (NDE) may not be influenced by prior religious belief; however, several studies have documented that for many, an NDE permanently and dramatically alters their attitudes, beliefs and values, often leading to beneficial personal transformations. Near-death experiencers tend to see themselves as integral parts of a benevolent and purposeful universe in which personal gain, particularly at others expense, is no longer relevant. Aftereffects most often reported include increases in spirituality concern for others, and appreciation of life, a heightened sense of purpose, and decreases in the fear of death, materialistic attitudes and competitiveness.
From: Institute of Noetic Sciences, Shift No. 17 “The Mystical Impact of Near-Death Experiences” by Bruce Greyson
The Near-Death Experience: Raymond Moody found fifteen recurring elements in near death experiences. These were: hearing yourself pronounced dead, being out of your body, a feeling of peace, seeing a dark tunnel, encountering a bright light or being of light, hearing unusual noises, a panoramic life review, meeting spiritual beings, a realm where all knowledge exists, ineffability, cities of light, a realm of bewildered spirits, a supernatural rescue, a boundary or border and returning to your body. Moody reported that no two NDE experiences were the same and no experience in his collection included more than twelve of these fifteen elements. He also noted that no one element appeared in every narrative and that the order in which elements appeared varied from one account to the next.
From: Institute of Noetic Sciences, Shift No 17, “The Mystical Impact of Near-Death Experiences,” by Bruce Greyson
Near-Death Experiences are Under-Reported: The NDE study done by Dr. Penny Sartori in Wales found that NDEs are an under-reported phenomenon. Only two NDEs in her study were spontaneously reported to staff members. These were deep NDEs, as they incorporated many of the NDE elements, and the experiences had sufficient impact to motivate the individuals to relate the experience to others. The remaining thirteen NDEs in her study would not have been disclosed had the patients not been interviewed.
Under-reporting is further supported by three patients who reported a NDE, yet died very soon after. It is possible that patients, who briefly recover from a life threatening illness, may have experienced a NDE during the acute phase of their illness but do not regain their health sufficiently in order to report it.
From: The Scientific and Medical Network, www.scimednet.org , “A Long-Term Prospective Study to Investigate the Incidence and Phenomenology of Near-Death Experiences in a Welsh Intensive Therapy Unit,” by Penny Sartori, PhD
“My Religion Isn’t the Only Way:” A recent survey by the Pew Forum of 35,000 adults found that seventy percent of the American’s interviewed believed that other faiths can lead to eternal life and sixty-eight percent said that there was more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their own religion. Fifty-seven percent of evangelical church attendee’s surveyed also believed many religions could lead to eternal life. This is in direct conflict with traditional evangelical teaching. The survey found American’s to be strongly religious: ninety-two percent believe in God, seventy-four percent believe in life after death and sixty-three percent say their respective scriptures are the word of God.
One shocking finding was twenty-one percent of self-identified atheists said they believed in God or a universal spirit, with eight percent “absolutely certain” of it. Pew senior fellow, John Green, says this may mean that “Many people who identify as atheists may not be telling us they don’t believe in God, they may be telling us they don’t like organized religion.”
More than most groups, Catholics break with their church, and not just on issues like abortion and homosexuality. Only six in ten Catholics described God as “a person with whom people can have a relationship”—which the church teaches—while three in ten described God as an “impersonal force.”
From: CBS News, “Americans: My Religion Isn’t The Only Way,” www.cbsnews.com
Lily Dale in the News: In August, Time Magazine ran an article titled, “Lessons from the Spirit World,” by Nancy Gibbs. The article focused on Lily Dale with quotes from NSAC President Lelia Cutler and historian Ron Nagy Gibbs has authored over 100 Time stories and has covered the last four presidential campaigns. Along with news, Gibbs focuses on stories exploring the intersections of religion, values and politics. The article was positive and will attract more visitors to Lily Dale.
From: Time Magazine, www.time.com
Dolphin Rescues Beached Whales: In New Zealand a group of people were trying in vain to get two beached pygmy sperm whales back out to sea and all were ready to give up when Moko, a local dolphin known for playing with swimmers, appeared and led the whales to safety. Conservation Department office Malcolm Smith was quoted as saying “I’ve never heard of anything like this before. It was amazing … I don’t speak whale and I don’t speak dolphin, but there was obviously something that went on because the two whales changed their attitude from being quite distressed to following the dolphin quite willingly and directly along the beach and straight out to sea.”
From: BBC news, “NZ dolphin rescues beached whales,” http://news.bbc.co.uk
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