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Posts tagged: out-of-body experience

Book Review — “Heaven is for Real”

While walking through the grocery store this past weekend, I ran across a fairly new book entitled Heaven is for Real for Kids: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back. It was published in 2010 and became #1 on the NY Times best seller list in March 2011, with more than 1.5 million copies sold to date. What caught my attention was that the book is about a boy named Colton who had a near death experience when he was not quite four years old. Over the next year or so, Colton periodically and spontaneously related intriguing bits of information about his experience in “Heaven”, including meeting his great grandfather (who died before Colton was born), his miscarried sister (who no one had told him about), angels, Gabriel, Jesus, Mary and even God.

I am an avid fan of books which discuss near death experiences, life-between-lives, and the struggle to be born into a physical life. I especially appreciate when such events are related by small children, as I consider that such children typically apply very little filtering (personal bias) in terms of the information received — aside from being a child observer with limited understanding and a limited vocabulary. Very young children still have memories of their spiritual existence before physical life began, and many continue to communicate with “spirit friends” until age five or even later.

Such is the case with Colton Burpo. I see this young boy as an honest conveyor of what he experienced, observed and was told while visiting the Soul Side. This is a very important perspective, for any such information which is considered to be credible must be balanced against my own spiritual beliefs. In some cases, this can lead to a transcending spiritual experience that can shake, and perhaps subsequently strengthen, the foundation of personal faith, just as it shook the bedrock of faith for Colton’s father and mother.

The events which unfold in the book are related by Colton’s father, Todd Burpo, who is the pastor at Crossroads Wesleyan Church in the small farming town of Imperial, Nebraska, USA. The town of Imperial and parishioners from other small regional towns play an important role in Colton’s experience and somewhat miraculous recovery. Their generosity and prayer remind us that there is no such thing as spiritual coincidence; everything happens for a reason, and so most blessings happen in response to personal and community requests through prayer. Read More…

Q&A — Body and Soul Relationships, 09/21/2011

[From time to time I receive questions through email or blog comments about spiritual and soul therapy issues. I know in my heart that these delightful inquiries from a few kind people actually respond to similar questions by many participants in The Soul Channel. So I have decided to share portions of the questions and responses without identifying the source of the inquiry.]

Question:

If the soul is eternal and the physical body is finite, then it seems that the soul joins a body and goes along for the ride during a physical life. In this respect, the soul could be seen as a parasite on, or within, the physical body. If this is remotely correct, then it leads to a troubling question: Can a physical body exist without a soul and, if so, how would it behave or live differently than a body with a soul?

Edited Response:

There are two components to this inquiry, which was received as a comment from a participant to The Soul Channel. The first is the concept of a ‘parasitic relationship’ between the soul and the physical body; or do they have a synergistic symbiotic relationship? The second component is the integrated question of the ability of the body to exist without a soul. Read More…

Q&A — Spontaneous Meditation, 9/13/2011

[From time to time I receive questions through email or blog comments about spiritual and soul therapy issues. I know in my heart that these delightful inquiries from a few kind people actually respond to similar questions by many participants in The Soul Channel. So I have decided to share portions of the responses without identifying the source of the inquiry.]

Question:

I wanted to ask for your guidance in meditation. As far as I understood, all studies and therapies lead to meditation anyway as it is a universal way to obtain knowledge of yourself and heal yourself psychologically and physically. For some people it is quite natural to go into this state of consciousness, but for me it is not like that. I believe I experienced something called ‘spontaneous meditation’, which occurs a couple of minutes before falling asleep and in the pre-awakening state. Sometimes it amounts to vibrations; sometimes I have a strange feeling that I can see my body from aside laying in the bed or sitting. But it is not meditation.

Edited Response:

Although the inquiry is about meditation, the discussion focuses more toward near-dream states and out-of-body experiences. From a clinical perspective, the normal, alert state of mind is the ‘beta’ level of consciousness. As brain activities slow (fewer cycles per second of vibration), we move into the ‘alpha’ level of consciousness; as this progresses, the control by the conscious mind becomes shared with the unconscious mind, which is the ‘gateway to the soul.’ This transition from beta to alpha consciousness is the near-dream state (perhaps a fantasy state) and applies whether in bed preparing for sleep or simply sitting somewhere and day-dreaming or even fantasizing. It is also a brief moment in time when interesting things happen to your senses, which seem momentarily trapped between two worlds — literally between two states of consciousness and two competing states of control. Read More…

“Thank you for participating in The Soul Channel!” — John