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We Were Once Dead
A live panel of Near Death Experience researchers and survivors
We are in the midst of a huge public awakening to the phenomenon of the Near Death Experience (NDE) and its scientific and spiritual implications.
This panel features special guests Dr. Jeffrey Long (Founder of the Near Death Experience Research Foundation - NDERF), Dr. Jeff O’Driscoll, emergency room physician, and NDE survivors Stephanie Arnold and Maureen Kinsey.
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Adam Jacobs: Good evening all, and welcome to our Near Death Experience panel. My name is Adam Jacobs, and on behalf of the show Beyond Belief, which is a project of Beyond Belief, it gives me great pleasure to be discussing once again this topic with Dr. Jeffrey Long and others. Welcome, Dr. It's so good to have you back here. It's been about six months since we last spoke, and the video that we did is now approaching, I would say, like Woodstock levels of viewership. And I have two questions just to launch right into things; which is one is what explains the massive appeal of this topic right now? And two is, what is the state of play currently? What's changed in the last six months? If anything?
Jeffrey Long: Those are great questions. And again, it's a pleasure to be here. This is going to be an exciting panel. I think it's just about everybody is fascinated with near-death experience because, after all, how can you not be fascinated about wondering what lies beyond death's door? So the topic I think is inherently fascinating, interesting, really to everybody because certainly among the most important questions one can ever ask oneself, is what lies beyond death? What's happened in the last six months? Well, I think there's more and more interest now more than ever before. More people are interested in near-death experience. They're talking about it; they're watching shows like this. So it's certainly exciting times to be sharing and being involved in an important panel like this regarding near-death experience.
Adam Jacobs: It certainly is. And there are hundreds and hundreds of testimonials that are found on your site, and all over YouTube, and we are fortunate tonight to have two actual survivors of near-death experience who I'm very excited to hear from. And I know that the audience will really benefit from hearing their stories. But before we get there, we have another doctor to bring on and join us now. His name is also Jeff. This is Dr. Jeff O’Driscoll, who I just had the pleasure of meeting just a few moments ago who is, was, or is also an emergency room practitioner, have you retired from the emergency room?
Jeff O'Driscoll: I have retired. After 25 years, I've stopped seeing patients.
Adam Jacobs: But in your capacity of observing for more than two decades, what is happening to people in precarious situations and end-of-life scenarios have seen some remarkable things. And I wonder if you might be willing to share with the audience what those experiences are and what you learned from them.
Jeff O'Driscoll: Yes. I was a very academically oriented Western medicine-trained emergency physician who was a staunch believer in science, and I still am, but science couldn't explain some of the experiences I had during my tenure in the emergency department. Sometimes when people would die, I would actually see, actually witness their soul, leave their physical form, and they'd communicate with me before they left this realm. And that happened to me a number of times in the emergency department, but I never spoke about it until after I stopped seeing patients.
Adam Jacobs: And why is that? Did you feel uncomfortable? Did you think people were going to judge you or think you're a little…
Jeff O'Driscoll: I think there was a bit of all of that. There was an apprehension about how I might be viewed by my professional colleagues, how it might impact my career. I didn't have an explanation for it. And sometimes, frankly, it just felt like it was too sacred to speak about. And then, about six months after I stopped seeing patients, I just, something clicked in my psyche, I guess, and it felt like it was okay to share. And so I started to talk about some of my experiences.
Adam Jacobs: So this is actually a show about philosophy ultimately, and our unofficial motto is that “we are striving together for meaning and integrity.” And so, in other words, we're trying to figure out what is going on in life. And the two of you gentlemen have been placed in the unique position of having seen unusual things. And most of us have not experienced death firsthand and certainly have not had the opportunity to explore hundreds of unusual cases that are hard to explain scientifically. But the question I might ask, I'll ask both of you. My understanding theologically, and spiritually is that a soul is a noncorporeal thing. It's not a physical thing. How is it that with human eyes, which are physical, one would be able to observe a soul? And I guess what does it look like, and do you both have cases that you're aware of, a communication that takes place between these departed souls and people who are still living? And if so, how do they do that? Is it through telepathy? Is it some other means? How does that work?
Jeff O'Driscoll: Well, from my perspective, physical site works when magnetic waves go through the cornea and the lens, and they get focused on the rods and cones in the back of the eye that convert those to electrical signals that travel down the optic nerve to the occipital cortex. And then they get converted to an image. When I say I see a soul, it must not be with my physical eyes, or the people that are standing next to me in the room would also see it for me as if I get the image without going through all of those physiologic processes. And I get this more brilliant, more real, more complete image somehow bypassing all of those things. That's what it feels like to me. I can't explain it from a scientific perspective.
Adam Jacobs: Okay. And Dr. Long, have you ever experienced anything like that, or, I'm sure you have reports along those lines.
Jeffrey Long: Yeah, I've never personally experienced that, but just exactly like we heard, we have dozens and dozens of cases. Typically these occur when there's someone in the presence of someone dying and family members and loved ones around the person who's actively dying. We have many, many cases that are just exactly like what you just heard, observations of people that are physically alive but there appears to be a soul, something that is variably described as smoke vapor, often a white light typically departing at the moment of death, not before, after. And there's often can be a sense that people described that soul apart. They can be a sense of love, a sense of connection which is shocking when you are aware that you're right with that person when they're dying. And yet they can have that sense of peace, that sense of love. And it's quite different emotionally from what you'd expect. But certainly, we have literally dozens of people with their own eyes seeing that phenomenon, which is consistent with the soul departing from the dying person.
Adam Jacobs: Okay. So that's profound, I would say. And I think a lot of people would be inspired if they themselves had such an experience or if there was a sufficient number of reports that would give them confidence that such a thing occurs. Because, of course, there are many, many people out there who themselves are without evidence that such a thing happens. There are, of course, millions of people who are convinced or have accepted the idea that the human body is a physical thing and that it just simply disintegrates after it's done. And that's the end of the story.
So the fact that there are scientists out there and researchers and doctors who are willing to come out and say something different is breaking the ice, I think, for a lot of people. And that's part of the appeal is the, it's hugely exciting. The prospect of consciousness surviving death has got to be one of the most significant and profound areas of research I think that exists in the world today, whether or not it's being fully accepted. And Dr. Long and I discussed this at length the last time we spoke, that it's maybe slowly coming into the public embrace, but would you say that in your experience over the last couple of decades, both of you doing this research, is there a softening of people's position? Is the academic community becoming more open? What would you say? Or is there still a very great wall of resistance to all this?
Jeffrey Long: Well, I could tell you that in the over 20 years that I've been involved in researching near-death experiences, I've seen a substantial increased interest, not just among the public, but also among academics, among physicians. There are literally hundreds of articles regarding near-death experience and the type of phenomena of souls leaving the body. Literally, hundreds of articles have been published in some of the leading medical and scientific journals over the last few decades. So it's really, at this point, actually not fringe. It's really mainstream. Major journals are writing about this what is being described regarding your death experiences. There's far more consistency than inconsistency, and there's a basic scientific principle. That's what is real; what's real is consistently observed. And we're seeing that in peer-reviewed academic publications. So between the science that drives this, between the people that have the courage to share their experiences or the experiences of others, and between very important shows like this, I think more people now than ever are aware of near-death experiences and related experiences such as seeing souls depart the moment of death. There's more interest, there's more awareness, and certainly more acceptance of this now than at any time ever.
Adam Jacobs: Great. Okay. Do you want to add on Dr. O'Driscoll?
Jeff O'Driscoll: Oh, I agree with what Dr. Long said. Of course, his website, and his research foundation provides people an opportunity not only to read other people's experiences, but to record their own, which is valuable as Pim van Lommel is a cardiologist in the Netherlands; he did a prospective multi-site study of people had cardiac arrest, and of those that were resuscitated, 20, just under 20% of them reported these out of body near-death experiences. And his article was in a peer-reviewed journal. The Lance had arguably the most respected medical journal in the world. Other studies have shown that people that have catastrophic illness or injury in the ICU, incidents may be as high as 30%. A Gallup poll showed that between 4% and 5% of the general population may have had some similar type of experience. So the means of communication in this day and age, I think, is softening the position and lending more people an opportunity to read, learn, and accept, that this phenomenon actually does exist.
Adam Jacobs: Okay, fantastic. You're obviously both very informed on the topic, and I think the reason I wanted to bring you both on first is to establish a certain credibility that this is not some flighty new age thing. This is the product of actual research with serious people paying attention to it. And as you mentioned, being published in The Lancet and other leading journals lends it additional credence, which I think is extremely important. And it's important for people to know because I think they would be, some people would be shocked that it does appear in peer-reviewed journals, and of course, they can do their own research and find out that that's the case.
But I think even more compelling for some people than knowing that serious research is being done is just simply hearing from the people themselves who have been through it and that they're not crazy and that they're very articulate and can explain very cogently what happened to them. And so I'd like to invite our friend Maureen on right now, who actually we discovered through Dr. Long's website and who had a remarkable near-death experience. And, I'd like to invite you, Maureen, to please share with us, I know we were truncating the length of your talk, unfortunately, but tell us what happened to you.
Maureen Kinsey: Okay, can you everyone hear me well? Yes. I had a profound experience of the energy that I would call angels, and I don't recommend that anyone does this. I should just put a little disclaimer for people not to take their own lives to determine that an energy that might be God or source exists. Because I, unfortunately, took that path. I don't have regrets, but I wouldn't recommend that people do that, that they stay on their medications, and that they get medical treatment. So I just wanted to put that there because that's part of my experience. So I decided in a moment of not rational thought and just having a difficult time to overdose and was a significant overdose, I would say because I took 300 prescription pills and a thousand sleeping pills. So in very short order, I realized that it doesn't sound rational, but I realized that I was dying because I was basically trying to kill off a part of myself that I guess had caused some trauma or drama.
So the crux of my story is I said a prayer. I said a prayer. I told the God of my understanding that I was dying, and I heard a loud, booming voice that told me I had two minutes to live and to leave my apartment or I would die there. So in a very dramatic fashion, I crawled across the floor of my apartment building to a neighbor. The neighbor normally is not home on that night, and I hadn't seen the neighbor in months, and I knocked on her door; she was on the phone, and I said, please call 911. I'm dying. So I only have recall of the EMTs asking me what I had taken and to what hospital I'd like to be transported. I don't have any memory of being in an ambulance or any emergency room in the hospital. So I then had what was a near-death experience, which I consider to be transformative.
I was greeted by energies that I would describe as angels. I didn't actually see wings, but I just felt this profound sense of safety and security and peace beyond anything I could adequately describe or convey in words telepathically. These energy beings that I would call angels started communicating to me that I was safe. I then was taken by, transported by angels to what I would call a triage which would've been something equivalent to a medical facility. I didn't notice anyone around me there, any other beings. And angels would just sense what I needed without asking. It was all communication was telepathic, and they assured me that I would be safe and that I was well. During that experience, I became more and more accustomed to the energy that was there on the other side. I stayed there for a while. I heard what I would recall, and it described to be celestial music.
There was no source that I could identify. The music angels wrapped me in the softest, warmest blankets you could possibly imagine. I was there, I don't know the length of time that I was there in the triage part, but then a different set of energies. So I would say angels came to transport me to another section, that other section I knew just from the angel energy of what I could sense that it was going to be a different experience. So I have what I would describe as a life review I saw incidences in my life and areas of my life and people that I knew very well. I didn't feel as comfortable in the life review because, quite frankly, I wasn't so thrilled at some of the things that I had done or how I had behaved in the past. So I wasn't quite feeling quite so comfortable in that session.
The angels or the energy that I experienced as angels reassured me that it would be okay to review it and that I would be okay. So I went through the life review, and I just kept breathing, kept breathing, kept breathing. And the angels telepathically again asked me just one question, and they asked if I had created joy. And that one was profound. And I even remember what I would call humanly laughing because it was like joy wasn't something that had really been part of my recent experience. And I remember making a joke to them that I remember joy being a dish soap years ago. There was a dish soap that was joy. So that was about the closest that I had come to Joy. So they reassured me telepathically multiple times that there wasn't any reason to feel shame or guilt and just to proceed.
And then, at some point, I felt more comfortable. So I asked them, did I actually die? Am I dead? And they said, well, it depends on how you characterize being dead because your body is dead, but your soul is not. And then I understood that the energy that I was experiencing was my soul. So from there, I felt more reassured, and then I was kind of guided and proceeded onto another phase of the near-death experience. So I proceeded with another set of angels or the energy that I would experience as angels. And I went before what I would call a light council. It was a semi-circle of light beings and energy beings, and I stood before them. And I didn't feel any fear, any judgment, any shame, nothing like that. Nothing existed on the other side for me, that was a representation of what religion or what God had been kind of explained or described to me.
There was no sense of any judgment whatsoever, any shame, any guilt that just did not exist and could not exist in this energy. So I proceeded with my head down because the light was so bright and so magnificent that it was really hard to view even as a soul, and telepathically, that council just asked me a series of questions. So I went through, and they explained things to me that are somewhat personal and probably a little bit longer, but they described basically why a soul would choose to, or a body would choose to kill itself and different ideas and ramifications if someone had done that. And in essence, they explained that, you know, would be frozen and see what was happening. But if you hadn't completed your soul's contract, it would kind of be iffy. So at that point, they asked me profoundly if I wanted to remain or return back to my understanding of what earth was. So I said, and I had thought of my parents pretty specifically there that I would choose to return. So then...
Adam Jacobs: I could listen to this story for another two hours to tell you the truth. But we have this limited time, and I want to get the doctors’ involvement. And where can people hear the entirety of your story if they want to, Maureen?
Maureen Kinsey: Well, actually, I have it posted on NDERF.
Adam Jacobs: Okay, fine. So we'll direct people to that website. I think we already have scrolled it along the bottom, but I want to thank you. And I want to just ask Dr. Long if this is a typical experience that she's describing; is this out of the ordinary? What are, it sounds like there are some of the hallmarks of the classical in your death experiences.
Jeffrey Long: Yeah, this is a typical detailed near-death experience. So, first of all, thanks for sharing that. That takes a lot of courage to share that. I'll say that right off the bat. As she mentioned, communication in a near-death experience is essentially always telepathic. It's not at all like our physical earthly communication, telepathic communication, and indeed is non-physical and typically involves immediate transmission, not only of thought but of context emotions. And it's actually sort of beyond telepathic communication. That's probably the best word. We have. Fascinated also by Maureen’s statement that she didn't feel judgment. That's overwhelmingly typical in near-death experiences very, very uncommonly, is there a sense of external judgment during a near-death experience? So even when there's other beings around, even during a life review, essentially never is that sense of external judgment that awareness that you're dead, that you are a soul.
It'll certainly sounds like a near-death experience. Other beings around you often loving beings; dialoguing and giving a choice certainly is typical of near-death experiences also and a choice that's often given. Do you want to stay in that unearthly, beautifully beautiful realm, or do you want to return to your earthly body? And as you know, Maureen, it just takes a huge amount of courage to make that choice to return back down to the earthly life, that very difficult life you left. So thanks for sharing a very beautiful near-death experience with a lot of things that we see in other near-death experiences. And I might add one very important thing that have had a near-death experience as a consequence of suicide, as you heard, virtually all understand that life is important, it's meaningful, it's significant. And virtually nobody who has a near-death experience as a result of suicide ever attempts suicide again.
Adam Jacobs: Dr. O’Driscoll, I also wanted to ask, is there anything physiological that can explain Maureen's experience? Could this be the product of an oxygen deficiency or some kind of brain trauma, or anything else? As a doctor who knows physiology, would you say that those are possibilities, or did she actually have an authentic transcendental experience?
Jeff O'Driscoll: There are dozens of proposed explanations, physiologic hypotheses to explain near-death experiences. The most common ones include anoxic, brain injury temporal lobe seizures, hallucinations associated with drugs neurotransmitter dumping. There are numerous other explanations. All of these have been looked at, and none of them really hold up to scientific scrutiny when called upon to explain. The fact of the matter is, when it comes right down to it. I think it was in one of Dr. Long's articles that he published that he concluded at the end of his article, the best conclusion we could come to is to simply believe that these people have the experience they described. And so I would second that.
Adam Jacobs: Okay, so from one fascinating account to another, but one that's very different. I've had the pleasure of speaking with Stephanie Arnold on a couple of different occasions, and I'd like to invite her on now as well. And even though she has an entire book, which I recommend, 37 Seconds, that outlines what she's about to tell us, let's see if we can do it in <laugh> five or six minutes. If it's possible.
Stephanie Arnold: I can do it. No problem. Let's do it. Thank you so much for having me again. So I had very detailed premonitions that I was going to die giving birth. They were so detailed. I told everybody, my doctors, nurses, my husband, everybody that I was going to hemorrhage, my organs, were going to combine. The doctors need to give me a hysterectomy that I was going to bleed out, the baby was going to be fine, and I'd be dead on the operating table. And I didn't stop. I spoke about it from the 20-week ultrasound up until the time I gave birth. So told everybody, no one believed me in their defenses. All the tests were negative. I even met with a gynecological oncologist and told him, you're going to give me a hysterectomy when I deliver. And he's like, why would you say that? Have you been on the internet?
And I'm like, well, yes, I have, but this is going to happen. They did an MRI. MRI was negative, and everybody told me to relax. And so then I post on Facebook, if anybody has my blood type, I'm going to need it. I wrote goodbye letters, and I sent goodbye letters. If anybody tells you if you are given a terminal illness and you're given the date of your expiration and tell you to have, enjoy those moments with your family, savor those moments, love those moments. I messed up all of that. I didn't do any of that. I was holding on for dear life. It was like everybody was seeing this open road, and all I could see was an 18-wheeler headed straight for me. So I was desperately trying to save my life. So the day I went in to give birth, my husband was out of town.
And as I'm being wheeled into the operating, I have a daughter. So this wasn't a fear of pregnancy issues. I'd had a baby before, I'd had a C-section before. And on the way to the or my doctor's trying to calm me down and saying, Stephanie, I know Jonathan's not here. You're going to be fine. I even spoke, and one key thing was I spoke to an anesthesiologist, and she's like, she prepared me. And I'm like, I'm like, look, I'm aware what happens when you recover, but what happens in the event that this and this happens? And she said she was startled by that, but they prepare for emergency situations, and therefore I, I'm in good hands, and I was done right, because what else could I do? So I'm being wheeled into the operating room that's ultimately going to give life to my son and going to take mine.
And I'm so confident this is going to happen that the only way that I can explain is I scared myself out of my body because once they deliver Jacob, a very happy, healthy baby boy. Seconds later, I'm dead. And I ended up having a very rare pregnancy complication called an amniotic fluid embolism, where amniotic cells get into the bloodstream, and if you happen to be allergic to it, your body goes into anaphylactic shock. And in most cases, you don't make it. And the first part of it, you go into cardiac arrest. And if you're lucky enough to be resuscitated, then the second part of it starts. And the doctors will remember this word disseminated into a coagulant. I can't remember the freaking word no matter how, so I dunno; menopause, it's the pre-pregnancy brain, I don't know. So then it's basically, thank you, disseminate intravascular coagulation.
And it's basically your body cannot clot your blood, so you bleed out. Your body has 20 units of blood and blood product. I'm O negative. I was given 60 units of blood and blood product to save my life. So all of this happens. My husband comes in, and everything happened exactly the way I said it was going to happen, hysterectomy, hemorrhage, whatever. Months later, I'm trying to help myself with the trauma. I'm on a talk show, and the host says, did you see the light? And I'm like, I don't know, man. They gave me a lot of drugs. I have no idea. And they were like, well, you know what? I thought it was irresponsible of me. First of all, I'm Jewish, and I do have faith in God, but at the same time, I'm like, well, maybe, what am I afraid to say?
If there's a dead end, okay, there's a dead end, but if there's a way to find out, I wanted to find out. And so, I ended up doing regression therapy. Dr. Brian Weiss wrote a book called Many Lives, Many Masters, and it talks about past life regression. I had no interest in knowing about my past lives because I didn't know whether I could prove anything. And I was very much needing to understand how I could see everything months before it happened. And so then I go through this, I videotape it. So I videotaped my therapy, and you can see the therapist going through it. And then she finally, after 30 hours of therapy, gets me back into that moment in the OR and you see my body convulse and shake and go through everything.
I see; wait, which doctor hit the button? Which nurse hit the button for the code? Which nurse jumped on my chest to give me CPR? It was completely out of my experience, what my doctors were doing by my feet, what my daughter was doing in the labor and delivery room, what my husband was wearing when he got off the plane, what my mother when I was in a six-day medically induced coma, what was happening throughout that time. And when I got done, and then I saw hundreds of spirits. Let me just skip over that part because that's what everybody wants to know about, but I saw hundreds of spirits, and so ultimately, I was like, I feel better. And my husband, who's a Ph.D. economist from the University of Chicago.
He's like, how do you know this is not a recalled episode of Grey's Anatomy in me, in your head? And so, fair point. But what he didn't know is that I had everything that he didn't know, but what my doctors know is I had everything on tape. So it wasn't like me saying hearsay, all of this. I took those tapes, and I took them back to the doctors who were present, and I said, does any of this resonate? I saw that there was a second crash cart, and I saw that my own doctor didn't deliver the baby. I saw all of these things, and they said, it's eerie how accurate it is. None of this would've been in your medical file, and you shouldn't know this. I didn't go to medical school. And ultimately, thank God, ultimately they have changed the way they practice medicine because of it. Because they've become fully aware that they're no longer just treating the body during traumas, that consciousness does exist, and that there's someone still there. And that the one thing that they were remiss during this whole trauma is not talking to me.
Adam Jacobs: Very good. Very good. I want to ask the doctors another couple of questions based on your story, Stephanie. Okay. Dr. O’Driscoll, 37 seconds dead. If a cynic was to say, oh, come on, that's not dead. She may have had whatever hallucinations she had, but how can we even consider that clinically dead?
Jeff O'Driscoll: This is a very specious argument because the definition of dead is, in some ways, very ambiguous and different depending on who's involved. The definition of dead, in many cases, comes down to when the physician feels that further resuscitative efforts are futile and gives it a time of death. In emergency medicine, there's an axiom that says they're not dead until they're warm and dead. Because if somebody goes underwater in an icy lake, they might still be resuscitated after 30 minutes of the absence of cardiac activity. So, there's no value in arguing how dead somebody has to be dead or how long they have to be dead before it's effectively dead. What we should be focusing on instead is why are people having these profound experiences and why are only 20% of the people having them? Or is everybody having them, but they don't remember them? Or is there something unusual about the 20% that remember them and talk about them? And why does it take people five to seven years to get comfortable enough to finally talk about it publicly? Why is it such a taboo thing? Why does it change their soul in a deep, powerful, meaningful way? It writes on their soul and changes who they are.
One little point in response to Stephanie's story, because I know Stephanie, one person actually did listen and brought blood into the room, which was instrumental in saving her life. And so her persistent talking about her premonitions did, in fact, save her life because one person did listen, she didn't know they listened, but they wrote it in the chart, bring extra blood. So thank you for sharing, Steph.
Adam Jacobs: Yes, Dr. Long. Yeah. Is premonition part of your studies? How often does it happen? Or is Stephanie's case just very unusual in that she not only had a near-death experience but also predicted it? How often does that happen?
Jeffrey Long: Yeah, yeah, that's a great question. We don't study premonitions formally in our nderf.org website, so I can't really say much more except to say Stephanie's account is very, very unusual to have such a very clear premonition, such a very accurate premonition. So I just have to say, while it, it's rare it happened, and you heard it straight from Stephanie, I think that thought was exciting about her account was her out, what we call out-of-body observations of her team resuscitating her multiple crash carts, the doctor that delivered her that's a hallmark of a true near-death experience. And my research, I found that 96% of the so-called out-of-body observations are accurate down to the finest detail, just like Stephanie shared. And yet this is happening while they're unconscious or clinically dead, even though another good validating point, something skeptics simply cannot respond to. The accuracy of those observations is what Stephanie described so vividly.
Adam Jacobs: So I have one more question just for myself, and then we've gotten a whole pile of questions from the audience for you guys, and I'll just leave the floor open, but these two accounts that we've just heard, and is there any way that you gentlemen can think of that? If you were a critic, if were a cynic and you wanted to make the case for the other side, is there any way that you can, and are there any knockout points that they've made meaning yes, we've talked about the fact that they've observed things that happened in the operating room, and how could that possibly be? Although I suppose that if part of your consciousness was alert, maybe you could perceive something that was going on. Is there any inexplicable at the end of the day inexplicable portion of their accounts that a cynic could not possibly answer and may Oh, I'll open it for all of you guys. Go ahead.
Jeffrey Long: Don't all talk at once, so I'll go ahead and talk. Okay. Right. Hey, it's a medical fact that during a cardiac arrest and hundreds and hundreds of near-death experiences have been described after cardiac arrest; just like we heard from Stephanie, it's very well documented that 10 to 20 seconds, well immediately when your heart stops beating as cardiac arrest or heart stops immediately blood stops flowing to the brain 10 to 20 seconds after blood stops flowing to the brain, the e EEG or electroencephalogram, a measure of brain electrical activity goes absolutely flat. There is no measurable brain electrical activity, and impossible to have any lucid organized conscious experience. And yet that's exactly what happens, not only in Stephanie's account but in hundreds of other people that have had near-death experiences following cardiac arrest. And that's absolutely medically inexplicable, and skeptics have absolutely no explanation that makes any sense for that at all.
Adam Jacobs: Fair enough. Stephanie, did you want to add something? Looked like you did.
Stephanie Arnold: I was saying that I love when skeptics come at me because it doesn't happen often. And the only reason is my background. My background is in TV production. So for me, research was everything. So everything throughout every part of the process, from the premonitions to the Facebook posting to the goodbye letters, to the videotapes of the regression to actually videotaping my doctor's reaction. Cause I don't want time. I mean, I thought I was crazy. So yes, Dr. Jeff O’Driscoll is very right. People usually can be very intimidated to share their stories. At the end of the day, if you're having this profound, impactful experience that can help not only help other people but save lives, then why you? Let's use the evidence that we have and let's share it. Because what you're doing then is you're inserting yourself into this narrative and giving more people more information to believe themselves and to believe the experiences that they've had are real. And the more that we do this, and the more that you have these kinds of shows and these discussions, the less skeptics will approach it from one way, and they'll just approach it another way, which is fear. It's totally fear-based.
Jeff O'Driscoll: Excellent. I Can offer one personal experience that kind of demonstrates what Stephanie was just saying about the power of sharing. I had a patient that was badly injured in a car accident. His wife died in the accident. He was severely injured and was threatened with death. He was flown to my trauma center for care. And when I went into the trauma room, he was unconscious on the gurney, and an army of providers, doctors, and others were taking care of him. And I saw standing above the gurney, his newly deceased wife, who had died in the crash, and she communicated with me I didn't say anything about that. I just sent him off to the operating room or the ICU and never expected to see him again. But a coworker insisted that I go and see him in his hospital room about a month later.
By then, he'd had several surgeries, including having his leg amputated. And I shared with him my experience, which was very unusual because I was very closed mouth about it. And when I shared my experience, he got emotional, and he felt so validated and empowered by my sharing with him that he opened up and told me that while his body was still trapped in the vehicle before he was even extricated from the vehicle, he'd left his physical body and risen up above of the accident and met his deceased wife in this brilliant light above the accident. And she said you have to go back and raise our son because their seven-year-old son had survived the accident. So that's the power of sharing, and why we need to, we don't have to believe it as physicians; we don't even have to believe in an afterlife. What we need to do is acknowledge that something happened and connect people with somebody that can help them process their experience, which is life-changing.
Adam Jacobs: Okay. So I'm going to open up the floor now to questions that we have received, it looks like several dozen, and we won't get through all of them. Obviously, we've relatively limited time left, but let's just see how we do, and anyone, just feel free to jump in. The first question is when a person faces the first moments of death, what do they feel, see and think in that timeframe as well as afterwards. So as only two of you guys have died, I suppose that you should tackle that one.
Maureen Kinsey: Stephanie, you go first.
Stephanie Arnold: The moments before this happened, like I said, I was scared out of my body. I don't even see the truck hit me because I think that the fear was so palpable prior to it happening. So I didn't feel anything in the moment of flatline. I felt nothing most when I came back. It was a very hard landing because when I came back, the whole world shifted, and everybody else, or at least my whole world shifted. I talk about being on low voltage as a kid. I've had premonitions before. Then you flatline, so there's no electricity running through your body. And then when you come back, which I know a lot of near-death experiences happen, you're on high voltage, you feel a lot more, so you're more empathic. So I felt for a very long time until I could ground myself, people's pain experiences death at a much higher frequency than I ever had before.
Maureen Kinsey: I would say I had similar experiences. I felt safe when I was on the other side. I had no question if I was choosing from my heart that, I would be okay. I believe I was healed on the other side because there's absolutely no way someone could ingest 1300 pills and not have any side effects or have any lasting effects. And I'm so very fortunate that I don't have any lasting effects from that. But I believe I had to be healed on the other side in order to return and to be cognizant and normal. So my EMT I had met later a neighbor had met later and said that they'd never seen someone convulsed so much and live. So I consider myself to be something of a miracle, and I really attribute it to saying that prayer, I believe I would not be here in physical form had I not said that prayer and received those instructions from the deity.
Adam Jacobs: Somebody named Michael is asking, are we able to intervene, help or advocate for our loved ones who are alive on this side from the other side?
Maureen Kinsey: Yes, that was my experience and my understanding. They actually explained to me that if I was to return, I would be able to send peace or compassion or any other divine ability or divine quality or attribute to people and be able to assist people that I had known or loved. So that was, for me, that was definitely the case, and that was fully explained to me as part of my choosing to return.
Stephanie Arnold: And I believe that the intuition I had, whether one wants to believe that you're hardwired for it, I believe those premonitions come from someplace, and they helped me from beyond. I was just receptive and uptaking.
Adam Jacobs: So that's what you think they are, you think the premonitions are communications?
Stephanie Arnold: Yeah. I wrote it down in the book that I was like my uncle had passed and for pregnant women have cravings all the time, but the only thing I craved specifically was a Marlboro Red cigarette. And I've never smoked cigarettes before in my life, and I have asthma. So the gynecologist is like, that's a very interesting craving. And so the only person who ever smoked in my life was my uncle Marvin. And when I flatlined, it was exactly who I saw.
Adam Jacobs: Okay. I'm going to combine together two questions, and I know this comes up a lot, is the topic of hell or unfavorable realms. And so somebody named Alex says, I would love to hear from Dr. Long and O’Driscoll for people who went to hell. I guess he's assuming there is one. What were the sins that got them there upon going to hell? Do people become aware of specifically what got them there? And then someone named Angel adds onto that. I'm hoping the panelists will discuss the NDE of people who have been participants in accountable evil acts such as taking another's life, not in war. So is there a bad place? Are people going to suffer for their misdeeds? Are they aware of what those misdeeds are? What do you say?
Jeffrey Long: Okay. Well, I have about 4,000 near-death experiences that I've reviewed that have been shared with the website; if you have a fairly strict criteria for people that are aware of or actually enter a hellish realm, if you will, we've only got two dozen cases, so they are very, very rare. So it's hard to really draw in a lot of experience from near-death experience accounts to really answer those questions directly from those several dozen accounts. That doesn't seem to be that for those few near-death experiences that enter a hellish realm, it doesn't. Seems like there's a sentence there. It's hard to say sometimes these seem to be good people, as best I can tell from the account. And yet they do ultimately go there. I think the real question is why it doesn't seem that some higher power God loving sends them there.
It just seems like that seems to be an important part of their near-death experience, something they specifically needed to experience to learn. It's not unusual for people that encounter a hellish realm to come to the realization after their near-death experience that this was really the only way that they could confront some issues in themselves. Issues of anger, issues of resentment, guilt, and things that they needed to let go of in their life. And they come to recognize they really needed, if you will, a kick in the pants. And that seemed to be a manifestation of some loving, creating a creative force that led to that near-death experience and not a punishing one. I don't think I personally believe in an involuntary permanent hell. And I think I speak on behalf of virtually all other near-death experience researchers as well.
Adam Jacobs: Okay. That's important, I would say. And it seems to be on a lot of people's minds. There were a lot of questions along those lines, so thank you for that answer. Unfortunately, we're running very low on time, although there are tons of these questions that keep coming in. But there is one specifically for Maureen. It says, my son died, died 24 years ago. Is Maureen saying that he could have chosen to come back and didn’t?
Maureen Kinsey: Well, I see it as mine having been a specific scenario for me like Dr. Long had just described. I would say my soul had contracted to have that experience. So I can't speak to other people's experiences when they're meeting there; what I would say is source energy or what I would call God. I can only speak to my own. I would say that there's a profound sense of peace beyond anything we could possibly begin to describe so that many souls that depart or go to the other side will have profound experiences. I just can't speak to that specific one. I really can only speak to my own in that regard.
Jeff O'Driscoll: Some people are given a choice to stay, some people are told that they have to come back, but we have to remember that there's a huge contingent of people out there who didn't come back. And so we don't know whether they were given a choice and, if so, what they chose. So, there's a lot of speculation, but the people that do report on it, many say that they are given a choice, and some are told that they have to return.
Maureen Kinsey: Right? I was given the choice of whether or not to return, but then I was asked whether or not I would be of service, and that was service to my understanding. So that's what I see as my soul and that my source energy or God makes a contract, and then I just am kind of guided. So like Stephanie, when I came back, I was aware of other souls, people and ambulances, and other things like that, and I just began to pray and to send light and energy to those other souls. So it was life-transforming for sure.
I didn't get any sense of punishment whatsoever, just to answer that other Yeah, question. It's a unique soul experience, and it's different for every person, but punishment in that realm really doesn't exist, even in terms of what someone would say is hell. That everything is a choice, and choices are honored as best I can describe it.
Adam Jacobs: Okay. I have time for two more. This is been, I want to say in advance, this has been a wonderful panel. You guys all have so much to add to this conversation. I know that people have benefited from watching this and are probably hungry for more information which we have displayed a lot on the screen tonight. So you can do your own research and find out much more about all the individuals here or all of their own websites and books, and a lot to look into. But two more questions and one is, it says, this is such a fascinating topic and one I've been reading about for years. Those who return from such experiences always stress the calm, beauty, and heightened awareness of their senses while traveling. They also return with a more powerful purpose and relay to us that there's nothing to fear after dying. Do any individuals ever have bad near-death experiences?
Jeffrey Long: I define bad near-death experience. Certainly, people, there's going to be a very, very, very small percentage that come back and have different, what we call after effects, the typical kind of changes that occur after a near-death experience. But as that question applied, the great majority of people have very positive after-effects. They know the importance of loving relationships they fully understand that there's life after death. They typically dramatically reduce their fear of death or lose it altogether more commonly. So these are much more common pattern that we see after people have near-death experiences. But people are other. Very rarely, you'll see people with an increased fear of death, but you're down to probably a percent or two people that have a near-death experience afterward.
Jeff O'Driscoll: I just wanted to point out that these experiences transcend all borders that we're aware of. Socioeconomic borders, religious borders ethnic, they cross all of these borders and happen to people across the world. And there doesn't seem to be any correlation between people that have a good or bad, good or bad near-death experience, with the kind of life they seem to have been living on earth. You take somebody that's traditionally viewed as being a very good person and a good life; they might have a bad experience and vice versa. Some people that are criminals and really what we would think to be unkind, miserable people have beautiful near-death experiences. So it makes it really hard to draw any conclusions about what these things mean.
Adam Jacobs: Yeah, okay. Fair enough. And for our two panelists tonight who have had the very unusual, I know it is not only them but the very unusual experience for most people of actually having died. My question is, having now stared in the face the thing that scares most people in the world the most out of anything that they could be afraid of. Two questions. One is, if you had to do it all over again and you didn't have to die, would you have avoided that experience? And two, what is the main thing that you have learned as a result that you would like everybody to know about life itself?
Maureen Kinsey: Okay. Well, I would like everyone to know that we're connected to a source that's eternal and never-ending. So I can always choose to connect to that source in whatever way I'm guided to do so, or my heart tells me to. I just want people to know that there's hope and there's something beyond them. I believe that we're spiritual beings having a human experience. And for me, that's very much the case. So I'm just more aware, more, I try to be conscious of my choices, and I try just to be of service and of light to people and just try to give them hope and that they're not alone. We're never alone. So we're connected to this great vast source of energy.
Stephanie Arnold: And I agree with a lot of them, what Maureen said, I mean, having to do it over again. No, I wouldn't do it. It's, it wasn't pleasant. But coming back, I recognize the fact of how important it is that with that experience, I'm able to connect deeper with people on a very soulful level; what Maureen was saying, it's like you are, this eliminates all the BS, and it's like, okay, I don't need to talk about how the weather is and what it's really what truly matters in life. And what you see around you isn't all there is because I see more and people that have had near death and people that haven't but that are more perceptive of that energy can feel things at a much higher level. And the last thing philosophically was the rabbi asked me one time, it was about pre-determination and free will, and get into an argument about it all the time.
And I say, I believe pre-determination, which rabbi, I love this, but they're like, well, if it was always in your cards that you were going to survive, then how do you feel about your pre-determination? They're on two totally different paths. I believe one has free will, and it was my own free will that if I was going to survive anyway, how well I survived was due to my free will. My expiration date is my expiration date. So with that in mind for everybody thinking about that, your expiration dates, your expiration date, but if you feel things and you hear things, and you're given that information ahead of time, what would you do? Right.
Adam Jacobs: Well, this has been a very enjoyable conversation for me. It was really a pleasure to hear from you. I know that everyone who sees this, who has seen it, is going to benefit from it in profound ways. So I want to thank you for all of your time this evening, and for taking the time to be with us. I would like to encourage the audience to take a moment to subscribe, like you see on the screen, to our YouTube channel. Always please comment and share to help spread the word and to stay abreast of all the great things we have going on. And there are many things coming up. So please stay in touch with us. And once again, everyone, thank you so much, and good evening to you all.
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