Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Echoes From Eternity

Have you ever wanted to find out more about something, but couldn't find a good source for it? One of the little old ladies I visit teach lent me this book so I read it, with a bit of a skeptical eye. It is about Near Death Experiences, NDEs. I do believe in them, I think they happen, but analysing them seems a bit self-fulfilling.

This is an LDS book, written for an LDS author. The author tries to prove his openness to other religions, but the point is, this book was published by an LDS imprint and is very Utah-centric.
It was interesting, there are some very cool stories in it. Of course a lot of times these stories feel like either something that should be told around the campfire or are so personal maybe they shouldn't be in an open format at all. I know if I had this kind of experience I wouldn't put it out where anyone could see it, pearls before swine and all that.

After reading it I wanted to know what non-Christians, particularly ones not from North America or even Europe saw in NDEs. I figured if the data is unbiased people from other cultures should have them in similar rates to the people in Utah who were interviewed for this book. So I did what everyone in the 21st century does when you want more information, I googled non-christian NDEs. And found an amazing amount of crap. Most of the first articles were Evangelical sites showing how from the few non Christian accounts they have, that all non-Christians were possessed and saw demonic visions. I won't give specifics, but I was offended on behalf of all the people so labelled.

I had to give up and just accept something the author points out, all NDEs are different. There are some trends, but even those are not overwhelming. Maybe, just maybe, the Lord knows each of his children and when they have this kind of experience, it is tailored to their individual needs, understanding and expectations. The one thing that was demonstrated in every one of the stories told is that the Lord loves his children.

Echoes From Eternity. Arvin. S. Gibson. Horizon Publishers. 1998

1 comment:

jendoop said...

I like your ultimate conclusion. Last night there was a piece on nightline about reincarnation. It reminded me of your view on reincarnation- that God is too loving to make us repeat life over and over again.

Do you know about Google Scholar? It is a search engine of scholarly journal articles. I find it very handy for my Writing class.