August 28, 2022
Volume 3 Number 6

We are more than our current physical bodies and circumstances!

Exploring Past Life Stories, The Power of Our Thoughts, and What Happens When We Die

by Shari Harris


Just Who Do We Think We Are?
Dr. Raymond Moody Says...

"When I began my research into near-death experiences in 1968, I was a skeptic and an atheist. Now I am neither.

What convinced me after 50 years of investigating near-death experiences?

As an M.D. and a Doctor of Philosophy, I could no longer deny the survival of consciousness after hearing thousands of accounts from patients and doctors."
Quote from Dr. Raymond Moody's website
Dr. Eben Alexander Says...

"Physical death may be an inevitable part of the human journey, but it isn't the end."

"I learned firsthand during my coma journey in November, 2008, that death is the most transformative, awareness-expanding event we will each experience -- not the end of existence, but a new beginning."
From an email advertisement by Eben Alexander, 8-18-2022.

"My coma taught me many things. First and foremost, near-death experiences...reveal crucial truths about the nature of existence. [My] experience clearly revealed that we are conscious in spite of our brain – that, in fact, consciousness is at the root of all existence."
Quotes from Dr. Eben Alexander's website
Jeffery Olsen Says...

"I was gone from the scene of the accident...and had slipped from the nightmare into the quietness of pure nothing. Bright-white light encircled me..., energized with pure, unconditional love. I realized...all the pain was gone."

"I was in a different place. This was a place of joy. It was home. It felt real.... I was not a floating orb or ethereal energy; I was myself. The same as I had always been, only now bathed in this familiar and amazing light."

"There was an ancient awareness, as if I had always been in this place."

[This place] "made my earthly existence seem like a foggy dream. What I was experiencing was far more real, far more tangible, and far more alive than anything I had ever known."

Jeffery C. Olsen, Knowing: Memoirs of a Journey Beyond the Veil, p. 40 Kindle Edition

In today's issue, I am highlighting a topic that fascinates me and I hope you also: near-death experiences (NDEs). I believe that this is an area where we can learn more about who we really are and especially about what happens to us when we die.

I'm sure that you have read about near-death experiences. There are many books written about them, and since the mid 1970s, many people have been willing to tell their stories about what happened when they almost died.

Dr. Raymond Moody's book, Life After Life published in 1975, was the first book I read about NDEs. When it was first published, I remember being thrilled with the reports that Dr. Moody had collected and described. To me at that time, it verified what I'd been taught in Sunday School that life after death was true!

Dr. Moody's work was just the beginning. He inspired other researchers, and since 1975 many more books and resources about near-death experiences have been published. I chose two NDE stories to include here because of their amazing revelations and their relatively recent publication dates.

One of those, Proof of Heaven, written by Dr. Eben Alexander in 2012 about his own NDE, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. Dr. Alexander's amazing experience while in a coma proved to him that his consciousness exists beyond his brain, which at that time showed no activity and was deemed to be dead. The effect of the NDE was eventually life-changing for Alexander.

A more recent book, Knowing, written in 2018, is a report of an NDE experienced by Jeffery Olsen during an accident in which he lost a leg and his wife and youngest son were killed. It's fascinating that he describes how, during the NDE, he met and communicated with his just deceased wife who told him he had to go back to care for their surviving son.

Later in the emergency room while the ER team was working to save Olsen's life, another life-changing phenomenon occurred. Olsen's wife appeared to Dr. Jeff O'Driscoll, silently communicating her gratitude to the doctors for helping her husband. Dr. Driscoll has written a book about the event and his resulting lifelong friendship with Olsen. The book is titled Not Yet: Near-Life Experiences & Lessons Learned.

Even though the people who have told their stories of dying and coming back did not go all the way into the "afterlife," we do get glimpses of what they experienced before they reached a border they couldn't cross. I believe the similar experiences of many people with varying beliefs and many walks of life offer genuine clues to the reality of an afterlife and what will happen to us when it is our time to transition.

Be well and enjoy your amazing life! Choose joy!
Sending my love,
What Do NDEs Teach Us About Death?
Similarities exist in near-death experiences
despite a person's religion or beliefs.

When Raymond Moody wrote Life After Life in 1975, he had collected over 150 cases of near-death experiences in which he interviewed the people who reported them and verified their statements with medical personnel and family members. Up to this time, people tended to not speak about these types of experiences except perhaps to close family members for fear of being thought to be unstable or having their story not believed. Dr. Moody actually coined the phrase "near-death experience."

In the personal experiences reported in Dr. Moody's book, he found similarities, and he identified fifteen separate elements which occurred again and again. Not every report contained all the elements, but all fifteen were common enough to be included in his list.
What do we experience when we die?
Fifteen elements from NDEs collected by Dr. Raymond Moody

difficulty expressing the experience; having no words to convey what they want to say

Hearing the News
hearing a doctor or bystander pronounce them dead 

Feelings of Peace and Quiet
pain vanishing and having extremely pleasant feelings

The Noise
hearing various unusual auditory sensations--a buzzing noise, or a loud ringing,
a click, a banging, bells tingling, or a whistling sound like the wind

The Dark Tunnel
 sensation of being pulled rapidly through a dark space, such as a cave, a well,
a tunnel, a vacuum, a void, a valley, or a cylinder

Out of the Body
surprised to find themselves looking down on their own body and
watching doctors working to save them; having anxiety/confusion; some report no feelings
for their physical body; finding themselves in a spiritual body difficult to describe

Meeting Others 
aware of other spiritual beings nearby, some persons they know who have died;
sometimes meeting "guardian spirits"

The Being of Light 
seeing an indescribably bright light that emanates unconditional love and warmth
and is identified as a spiritual being from their religion such as Christ

The Review 
experiencing a panoramic review of their life for reflection 

The Border or Limit
reaching a point beyond which they cannot go  

Coming Back 
most don't want to come back to their bodies but decide to for family or other reasons

Telling Others  
most resolve to keep quiet about their experience except to close relatives

Effects on Lives 
lives are changed, broadened; seek knowledge, want more meaning,
feel life is more precious, want to be more loving and spiritual

New Views of Death 
profound effect on view of death; no longer afraid

what they see when out of body is corroborated by doctors and family
who are baffled that the person saw and heard things that happened

Below is a wonderful five-minute video by
Dr. Raymond Moody speaking about his NDEs.

Consciousness exists beyond our brains
and survives death.

Before experiencing an NDE, Dr. Alexander could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with belief in heaven, God, or the soul. He believed that the "soul" or "life force" was a product of brain chemistry. He thought NDEs were simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress. Today he believes that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.

During his NDE, Dr. Alexander’s brain was attacked by an extremely rare virus. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion and in essence makes us human shut down completely. He lay in a hospital bed in a deep coma for seven days. As his doctors weighed the possibility of stopping treatment, he awakened.
While in the coma, Alexander's brain was essentially "dead" but he remained conscious as he journeyed beyond this world and met an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of "super-physical existence". There he met the "Divine source of the universe itself."

His book, Proof of Heaven, describes the powerful effect his NDE had on his life and beliefs and how the very emotional and surprising experiences influenced his career and his future. Dr. Alexander has dedicated himself to sharing information about near-death experiences and other spiritually-transformative experiences and what they teach us about consciousness, the life force, and the nature of reality.

His latest book on the subject of consciousness and reality, Living in a Mindful Universe: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Heart of Consciousness, co-authored with Karen Newell, was released in 2017. 

He writes, "Before my coma, I would say I was an open-minded skeptic... [I am] now far more open and see possibilities for a worldview that is more comprehensive, a worldview that fully accepts the frontier science emerging from quantum physics and cosmology."

"The main thrust of modern scientific studies of consciousness is revealing that we are spiritual beings living in a spiritual universe."
Paraphrased and quoted from Dr. Eben Alexander's website:
Death is not the end but merely a transition to another realm. Communication with deceased loved ones across the realms is possible.

Jeffery Olsen's courage and inspiring recovery helps the reader truly appreciate the gift of life and his experience conveys confidence that life is not over when we die. His out-of-body, near-death, and after-death communication events have given him a purpose for sharing his story and gratitude for life.

After a horrific automobile accident took the lives of his wife and youngest son and inflicting life-threatening injuries to Olsen (including the amputation of his left leg), he found the courage to survive over eighteen surgeries.
At the time of his accident, he experienced incredible out-of-body and near-death experiences, bringing him life-changing insights as he struggled to heal and raise his surviving son. He has integrated these experiences with healing modalities and now shares those with others as he works to bring forth awareness, healing and oneness.

Olsen was reluctant to tell his story. It took him fifteen years to publish his first book, I Knew Their Hearts, in 2012. His second, Beyond Mile Marker 80, followed two years later. Olsen is now a best-selling author who inspires audiences with his intriguing story of perseverance and inner strength.

Summarized from Jeffery C. Olsen, Knowing: Memoirs of a Journey Beyond the Veil, 2018

"One glorious takeaway from my near-death experience is my knowledge that life truly never ends, and yet, what really matters is today. My near-death experience is not nearly as important as my Life Experience and what I came here to learn in every sacred moment of the eternal continuum of now."

Jeffery C. Olsen in the Forward to
Not Yet: Near-Life Experiences & Lessons Learned, Dr. Jeff O'Driscoll
My Message

I have three primary topics about which I collect authors' thoughts and which I love to share with others who are interested. I feel that the world will be more loving and inclusive when these ideas are better understood, and individuals will have more clarity about who they are and why they are here. My focus is on The Afterlife, Reincarnation, and The Law of Attraction which are expressed in my statement of belief:

Just Who Do We Think We Are?
Shari Says...

I believe we are eternal spiritual beings who are currently
living one of our many lives on Earth and who are the co-creators
of our experiences through our thoughts and beliefs.
Shari Harris
More Thoughts about The Afterlife

"Mainly, I have learned that what we call death may not be the end of our awareness, nor our sense of self, nor our relationship to others. Our consciousness does exist outside of time and space and the confines of our bodies." (p. 91)

"The similarities between descriptions of NDEs, intermission memories, and end-of-life experiences reinforce the possible reality of another realm or nonphysical dimension where consciousness dwells after death. I believe that these interconnections give weight to the survival hypothesis." (p.133) 
Leslie Kean, Surviving Death

"Everything in my experience tells me that we outlast our bodies. We move on. We keep going. We are bigger than our bodies. What defines us is what we take with us once we leave our bodies behind--our joys, our dreams, our loves, our consciousness." (p. 8)

"The Other Side, then, is the place our souls go when our bodies give out." (p. 8)

Laura Lynne Jackson, The Light Between Us

"In my analogy, mortality falls between the curtains of our mortal bodies. On our left is birth, and on our right, death. We set aside a portion of our glory to be here, to learn and experience and grow. The light and glory spills into this realm as souls pass through the veil. Sometimes souls are coming, and sometimes they're going. Occasionally they hover between.

Once in a while, a person from either side draws back the veil without passing through, giving a glimpse of eternity independent of birth or death. In each of these scenarios, when we experience the light, we stand a little nearer to the glorious life that once was ours and will be again. For that reason, I call them Near-Life Experiences."

Dr. Jeff O'Driscoll, Not Yet: Near-Life Experiences & Lessons Learned, 2017, p.8 Kindle Edition
Good things are happening in the world
that we may not have heard about! Shari

About Future Crunch: "We are a team of science communicators based in Melbourne, Australia. We curate stories of good news, mind-blowing science, human progress, and we support small charities using science and technology to make the world a better place. More than 40,000 people subscribe to our free, fortnightly email newsletter." ( There is also an in-depth subscription newsletter.
Just a few good news items from the August 24th, 2022, issue:

A non-profit group, RIP Medical Debts, has relieved 3.6 million low-income patients in the United States of their healthcare debts. The initiative, developed by two former debt collectors, involves the company buying bundles of delinquent hospital bills but instead of profiting from customers, clearing their debt. NPR
An epic 18-day health campaign carried out in Somalia in May 2022 distributed preventative worm medicine to around 2.48 million school-aged children and adults. Officials say that country is on track to eliminate schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminth infections as public health problems by 2025. WHO
Schoolchildren across California will be eligible for free breakfast and lunch when they return to class in September, regardless of their family’s immigration status or income level. It's the first state in the US to implement the program for any student requesting a meal. Several cities including New York, Boston, and Chicago, also have free meal initiatives in place. USA Today
A landmark conservation agreement between Indigenous communities, NGOs, and governments in Pastaza, Ecuador, will protect the country’s largest and most biodiverse forest from mining. The agreement recognises the integral role Indigenous communities play in the fight against climate change. Pastaza’s forests capture a whopping 858 million tonnes of carbon annually. Euro News
More on the Inflation Reduction Act (how could we resist)? Its $369 billion for climate and energy spending by 2030 is by far the largest such investment in US history. It's a lot of money, except China and Europe are spending even more. China is already spending almost the same as that every year, and Europe will spend almost twice as much by 2027. Bloomberg
Although it’s attracted little attention, the bipartisan CHIPS Act, signed into law just a few days before the IRA, contains an estimated $67 billion for clean energy R&D and climate resilience. On its own, that makes it one of the largest climate bills ever passed by Congress. Atlantic
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to friends who may be interested!
Others are welcome to sign up.
Previous Issues of
"Just Who Do We Think We Are?"
are available on
Shari's website under the "My Two Cents" tab.
1-30-22: Just who Do We Think We Are? Vol. 3 #1/Gregg Braden: The Science of Self Empowerment
2-28-22: Just Who Do We Think We Are? Vol. 3 #2/Do We Plan Our Lives Before Birth?
4-17-22: Just Who Do We Think We Are? Vol. 3 #3/What is Channeling?
6-14-22: Just Who Do We Think We Are? Vol.3 #4/ Are Civil War Reenactors Remembering a Past Life?
7-31-22: Just Who Do We Think We Are? Vol. 3 #5/Lee Mitchell/Past Life Regression