|Photo Copyright Janet Cameron|
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Transformed by the Light - a Study of Near-Death Experience
Dr. Melvin Morse,MD, in the book written with Paul Perry, Transformed by the Light, says that the near-death experience does not resemble drug-induced hallucinations, transient psychosis, schizophrenia, psychotic breaks, anaesthetic reactions or dreams. Nor is it like any medically-described hallucinations. He says:
"The near-death experience is a logical and orderly event that involves floating out of the body, entering into darkness and experiencing a wonderful and indescribable light."
Dr. Morse explains that, unlike people who hallucinate or experience episodes of mental illness, those who encounter a near-death experience feel in control of their situation and are not detached from their being.
Transformed by the Light is a powerful and convincing book, although Dr. Morse admits that the results were not widely accepted by the medical community. One of the problems is that we still do not yet know enough about these experiences.
"The irony of science," says Dr. Morse, "is that the scientific method sometimes destroys our ability to study a phenomenon."
To back-up his statement, Dr. Morse cites the now well-known phenomenon of how, by observing an experiment, its outcome can actually be changed.
Dr. Morse has worked extensively with children, including at the Seattle Children's Hospital.
NDE Case Studies
This is an account of Dr. Morse's first encounter with an NDE child. In 1982, while working at an Idaho clinic, Dr. Morse helped to revive a young girl who had got into difficulties in a community swimming people. After she recovered, she gave a joyful description of her encounter with death, finally telling the doctor not to worry, because heaven was fun.
The following is an independent case, and not taken from Dr. Morse's book. An Eastbourne nurse, Jeanette Atkinson, was eighteen-years-old when she had her near-death experience.
Jeanette had suffered a blood clot in her leg and the main vessels to her arteries became clogged, preventing her body from receiving oxygen. The doctors were not hopeful and did not expect the young woman to recover. But she did and here is her experience in her own words:
"The first thing I noticed was that the world changed. The light became softer but clearer. Suddenly there was no pain. All I could see was my body from the chest downwards, and I noticed that the time was 9.00pm. In an instant I found myself looking at the ceiling. It was only a few inches away. I remember thinking it was about time they cleaned the dust from the striplights."
Common Factors in Near-Death Experience
NDE's do vary from one person to another, but there are factors that are repeated in a number of cases. Many people lose their fear of death. They say they value themselves and others far more and that they feel a need to help out wherever they can. Like Jeanette, many people hear themselves pronounced dead, leave their body with a sense of great peace and then begin to move through a dark tunnel towards a bright and inviting light. Some even report meeting up with their long-lost friends and relatives.
One of the most inspiring quotations from Dr. Morse's book is the following: "When I died I felt free of all things that had bothered me on earth. But when the doctors brought me back I felt free of them, too."
The following statement appears in the medical journal The Lancet:
"One study found that 8 to 12 percent of 344 patients resuscitated after suffering cardiac arrest had NDEs (near-death experiences) and about 18% remembered some part of what happened when they were clinically dead."
A Natural Process
Dr. Morse's main aim in working with NDE patients is to help them, but he refuses to write these experiences off as particularly "New Age" or spiritual experiences. Instead, he insists that they are "...a natural and normal part of the dying process and have profound implications for those of us who work with death and dying." Also, they happen to perfectly ordinary people - ordinary people who manage to survive an extraordinary experience.
Dr. Morse is working on localising the area of the brain that is responsible for spiritual visions and he believes it may be something to do with the right temporal lobe. His latest book is entitled: Where God Lives.
· Transformed by the Light, Dr. Melvin Morse, with Paul Perry, Pitakus, 2001.
· The Lancet, 15 December 2001.
· Partly adapted from Paranormal Eastbourne, Janet Cameron, Amberley Publishing, 2010.