Humanity’s search for afterlife has continued over the centuries. After interviewing my dear friend Mari about her near death experience, I became very interested in the phenomenon of Near Death Experiences (NDEs). Regardless of whether one believes in the explanations of NDEs as neurochemical or neurological manifestations of the dying brain or continuation of human consciousness after the physical death of the brain and body, the NDE accounts are powerful reminders to live our lives with meaning, love and compassion. Living with meaning, purpose and compassion is especially challenging in our current times.
I am very honored to present my interview with Jody Long, the webmaster of over 20 years of the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (nderf.org). NDERF is a very popular website with accounts of NDEs in over 23 languages and research articles. Jody Long is an attorney, licensed in Washington, New Mexico, Louisiana, and the Navajo Nation. Jody discussed her philosophy of living with love and compassion in the here and now as she reported hearing themes of unconditional love in people’s accounts of NDES.
Jody discussed that she became interested about NDEs after her husband, Dr. Jeffrey Long, a radiation oncologist, studied this phenomenon and he and a colleague wrote the best selling book, Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences. Dr. Long presented his research and book in different media outlets, such as, NBC Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show, National Geographic television, and the History Channel. Dr. Long established the Near Death Experience Research Foundation. Jody discussed helping with “Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near Death Experiences,” the New York Times best selling NDE book. She has written “From Soul to Soulmate: Bridges from Near Death Experience Wisdom” and “God’s Fingerprints: Impressions of Near Death Experiences,” which was the first book of its genre published in mainland China.
This post includes my interview with Jody Long. She is very generous in sharing her wisdom and knowledge about the NDE phenomenon. She is very warm, engaging and has a wealth of information about the NDE phenomenon. Jody also emphasizes NDES as “human experiences” transcending different religious, spiritual, and cross cultural wisdom traditions. Her work on the website is a labor of love and she is passionate that knowledge garnered from the NDES can transform our world. I love her passion and enthusiasm on the subject matter.
Here is the link for the interview with Jody:
I read a few journal articles by Dr. Bruce Greyson, mentioned by Jody, about the question of NDES overlapping with mental illness. Dr. Bruce Greyson is a professor emeritus of psychiatry and neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia and he has also studied the NDE phenomenon extensively. In The Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association, Dr. Bruce Greyson (2013) wrote in his article, “Getting Comfortable With Near Death Experiences: An Overview of Near-Death Experiences” that although reports of NDES may contain features which resemble responses to severe trauma encounters by people, researchers have found that people who report NDES are largely psychologically healthy. Dr. Bruce Greyson (1997) estimates that NDEs are more common than previously thought, estimating that 5 percent of the American population may have experienced this phenomenon. He outlined this in his article, “The Near -Death Experience as a Focus of Clinical Attention” in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. As mentioned by Jody in the interview, Dr. Greyson discussed a code for religious or spiritual problem in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV). Dr. Greyson reviewed four cases where people with NDES had difficulty integrating these experiences into their lives. For example, in some of the case studies, people struggled with their NDES being inconsistent with their current values. In one of the case studies, the person who experienced an NDE reported frustration because she could not find the deep unconditional love experienced in the NDE in other human relationships and she expressed attachment to the entities in the NDE, which people could not replicate in her life. More research about facilitating people to integrate NDES in their lives is critical.
HOPE READERS ENJOY MY INTERVIEW WITH JODY. A VERY BIG THANK YOU TO JODY FOR SHARING HER WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE ON NDES.
Please note that this is not a therapy site. Please consult mental health professionals and medical professionals as needed.