A son wrote an account of what his father told him about his near death experience. He sent it to me. The father has since passed away. The NDE was not complicated and followed the theme of many other NDEs, but I record it here to demonstrate how there must have been more people who have had life-changing spiritual episodes; those who didn’t write about their near death experience, didn’t proselytize it to others, and generally didn’t share their journey to the other side, except within a small family circle.
The Story His Father Told Him
Vernell told his son about his near death experience that happen to him in the 1980s. His son wrote what his father told him:
“He said he first became aware of being above his body looking down at the doctors and staff trying to revive him after a massive heart attack, although fascinated he stated his attention was immediately drawn to a gentle pulling sensation as he became aware of being in a bluish gray hallway or tunnel; he compared it to what it might look like if you flew through a rain cloud or thunderstorm. He felt no fear only a sense of freedom and a peculiar warmth which he noticed seemed to be coming from a light at the end of the hall, or tunnel, which he said gave him a great sense of peace. as he came to what he described as “the edge of the light.” He became aware of being in a field, it was very beautiful seemingly endless, and surrounded by other fields, rivers, streams, trees, flowers, birds, and he wondered if this was some type of garden, like Eden in the bible, (he was raised fundamentalist Christian) he then became aware of a presence to his right, he looked and saw his mother, who had passed many years before; she was like his guide for much of the remaining experience, he noticed that with his mother was another being, which he thought to be an angel, a brilliant white light being, to his left.”[i]
As in other accounts, Vernell, in the act of dying, felt himself free of his physical body. His spirit detached from that cumbersome container and floated up to a better world. A world free of bad intentions, stress, envy, and hate. Instead, he experienced a vibrant nature, a feeling of harmony swept over him. He had returned to where he came from.
Then he spotted his mother; she had made the transition out of her body years before, and now she was there to greet him. One more point of love to add to the atmosphere of peace.
Vernell also saw a luminous essence, which he took to be an angel. Spiritism explains what Vernell sensed – high spirits are bright, because they reflect the love that is around and inside them. Hence, the brilliant white light of love emanating from the angel next to his mother, precluded Vernell from seeing the actual person. If Vernell was on the same spiritual level as the angel, he would perceive the true image of the angel – a picture of a normal person, but one flushed with love. One day, after more lives of learning and training on earth, Vernell too, will shine.
The Idea of the Fire
After recognizing his mother and her high spirit companion, he looked down and noticed a fiery place. Vernell was brought up a fundamentalist Christian. Hence, he had preconceived ideas about heaven and hell. Therefore when he peered into the flames he saw:
“Slightly beneath them he saw a very large fire. The angel pointed in the direction of the fire so he looked closer; he noticed the flames were rolling, cresting, just like waves on the ocean and realized he was looking at a lake of fire. Curious as to whether or not this was hell, he looked for people in the flames, he saw no people but did see monstrous grotesque looking beings he took to be demons.”[ii]
Vernell didn’t see demons, he saw people who became what they thought of themselves. People that had passed over from their physical life; who had not learned the path to the light. That love and fraternity was to be cherished and exercised more than greed and envy. That doing for others is to be preferred over taking.
The Law of Affinity, the process set by the Divine Laws of the Supreme Intelligence, places people together. In like groups, with similar characteristics and beliefs. Hell – Spiritism calls it the Dark Abyss – is a temporary place for those who have self-selected their destination; within it, they are given time and experiences to choose a higher road.
The Dark Abyss isn’t a mass of eternal flame, or an ongoing series of torture chambers. It is organized. Brought together by the very people who most of us would never want to associate with or place ourselves under their direction. In the book Liberation, the spirit Andre Luiz is told how hell is structured:
“It’s hard for a lot of people to understand the intelligent regimentation of evil spirits. Nevertheless, it’s logical and natural. If we are still a long ways from holiness in spite of the lofty purposes that have been guiding us, what can be said about miserable brothers and sisters who have willingly let themselves be caught in the web of ignorance and wickedness? They haven’t grasped the fact that there is a region that is higher than the physical sphere, to which they are still bound by strong ties. Since they are entangled in forces of a low vibrational level, they cannot grasp the beauty of the higher life, and as fragile, sick mentalities bow down in humiliation, the spirits of impiety impose their rule on them. They organize them into large communities and guide then on the dark foundations of hatred and quiet desperation. They organize veritable cities that house huge phalanxes of souls, who, ashamed of themselves, flee before any manifestation of the divine light. Children of rebellion and darkness gather there by the thousands, seeking self-preservation and supporting one another.”[iii]
Vernell saw what he thought hell was like. He wasn’t ready to see it as it is. The demons he detected, hideous human-like objects that are a favorite of any horror film, are, like the characters in the movie, normal souls, who have been transformed. In our real world by clever make-up and masks, in the other world, by their own deeds and thoughts.
Again, in the book Liberation, there is a scene, witnessed by the spirit Andre Luiz, where a woman is on trial in a courtroom in hell. The judge, a former Catholic Pope who rejected heaven because he wasn’t honored there according to his desires, descended to the Dark Abyss to become a magistrate of the recently passed who appeared in his dark domain.
He pointed to a woman in the waiting docket and bellowed:
“’Come here! Come here!’
Looking hypnotized, the poor wretch obeyed the order, emerged from the crowd and placed herself under the forceful rays of his attention.
‘Confess! Confess!’ ordered the ruthless judge, aware of the fragile and passive being he was addressing.
The poor woman smote her breast, as if reciting the Confiteor, and cried out in sorrow:
‘Forgive me! Forgive me, O my God!’
As if under the power of some mysterious drug that made her expose her innermost self to all of us, she spoke in a loud, halting voice:
‘I killed four innocent little children … and I hired the murder of my unbearable husband … But my crime is a living monster. It persecuted me while I was in the physical body … I tried to run from it by every means possible, but it was useless … and the more I tried to drown my wretchedness in ‘drinking for pleasure,’ the more I wallowed … in the mire of my own self.’
Suddenly, appearing to experience the interference of loathsome memories, she clamored:
‘I want wine! Wine! Pleasure!’
In a forceful demonstration of power, the judge stated triumphantly:
‘How can prayers and tears liberate such a human beast?’
Then, fixing the radiations from his fearsome look on her, he proclaimed peremptorily:
‘She has condemned herself! She is nothing but a she-wolf, a wolf, a wolf…’
As he repeated those words, as if trying to persuade her to feel like an animal, I saw the deeply impressionable woman’s face begin to change. Her mouth twisted, the neck curved spontaneously forward, and her eyes changed in their sockets. Her face took on a wolf-like look.
In that display of power, I was obviously witnessing the effect of hypnotism on her perispiritual body.
Gubio explained in a whisper:
‘Remorse is, of course, a blessing that leads us to make amends, but it is also a breach through which one’s creditor’s demands payment. Hardness congeals our sensibility for a certain amount of time; and yet, a time always comes when remorse opens our mental life to the jolts of our own emissions coming back to us.’”[iv]
Gubio, the good spirit that was the leader of the expedition to the Dark Abyss, explained to Andre Luiz, that the murderous woman, would one day find her way back to redemption. While for the time being, until she found the strength to repair herself, she would appear misshapen to all who viewed her.
If Vernell saw her through the bright flames of the fire, he would have seen a werewolf, a creature not fully human and not a wolf. Not a demon, but a woman who had performed malicious acts, and was now paying a terrible price.
But Vernell didn’t see the woman who transformed herself into a wolf-like creature … he saw something more disturbing: “He saw his then wife and two sons walking toward the flames.”[v]
No other information was given about Vernell’s first wife and their two sons – but, I am confident that what he witnessed was a sign. A warning of what could be, if his family stayed on their present course. It doesn’t take evil intentions to live in the Lower Zone or the Dark Abyss when one’s life on earth is complete. It only entails a selfishness, a deep tie to material goods, and an unwillingness to look beyond oneself to the good of others.
Adhering to the rules of our society, where the accumulation of wealth and objects are more important that an aura of love and fraternity … where a complete rejection of acknowledging any supreme moral authority is demanded – or you are negatively labeled – is enough to bind you to the earth and blind you to the possibility of a loving heaven above.
And acts of love and charity must come from the heart. Public displays of charity are meaningless, for they are meant to draw attention. A famous 18th century medium, Emanuel Swedenborg, who visited heaven and the lower zones around the earth, writes:
“If the thought and intent are good, then the deeds and works are good; but if the thought and intent are evil, then the deeds and works are evil, even though they may look-alike in outward form.”[vi]
If we learn anything from Spiritism, it is that all we have, all we really are, is the sum total of our thoughts and memories from the distant past until this moment. We take nothing else with us, because any material object eventually decays and disappears; while our immortal spirit remains.
Swedenborg gives some examples;
“Take for example behaving honestly and fairly with an associate. One person can behave honestly and fairly with someone else in order to seem honest and fair for the sake of self and to gain respect; another person can do the same for the sake of worldly profit; a third for reward and credit; a fourth to curry friendship; a fifth out of fear of the law and loss of reputation and office; a sixth to enlist people in his or her cause, even if it is an evil one; a seventh in order to mislead and others for still other reasons.”[vii]
The only basis of thought that should be the cause of behaving honestly and fairly is the love of what is true and fair.
“His attention was again pulled toward the light he had first seen. He knew the light was something divine but saw no face, and heard no sound but did feel what he described as a love beyond imagination. Another being appeared which he took to be the Christ, this being did speak and said with a smile, ‘Welcome home, but it’s not your time, yet’, and then seemed to give him some sort of blessing or impartation, he was then taken by the hand by his mother who also said, ‘It’s not your time yet son, do you understand?’ He answered, ‘I think so.’ – and found himself back in the hall or tunnel, then he became aware of his body as if a wave of electricity flowed from head to toe which he said was his spirit going back into his body. He was of coursed revived.”[viii]
Vernell was sent a message. He was allowed to glimpse what lay on the other side. The side where we shall spend the vast majority of our eternal life. The dimension where love reigns.
If you would like to learn more about Spiritism, read my book, Spiritism 101 – The 3rd Revelation. You will learn that you are an immortal soul in a quest for perfection. That your life on earth is part of that learning process.
I have more analysis of NDEs in my book, What Really Happens During Near Death Experiences – According to Spiritism. Read what others were told and what vital messages they brought back with them from the spirit realm.
I have also finished my latest book interpreting near death experiences, The Spirit World Talks to Us – 12 Near Death and Other Experiences. Learn more about the spirit realm and how we all fit into a master plan.
Gaskins, A. (2016, June 6). Father’s NDE. Bainbridge Island, WA, USA.
Swedenborg, E. (2011). A Swedenborg Sampler. West Chester, PA: Swedenborg Foundation Press.
Xavier, F. C. (2013). Liberation. Brasilia (DF), Brazil: International Spiritist Council.
[i] Gaskins, A. Father’s NDE, e-mail on June 6, 2016
[ii] Gaskins, A. Father’s NDE, e-mail on June 6, 2016
[iii] Xavier, F. C., Liberation, EDICEI, pp. 27-28
[iv] Xavier, F. C., Liberation, EDICEI, pp. 71-72
[v] Gaskins, A. Father’s NDE, e-mail on June 6, 2016
[vi] Swedenborg, E, A Swedenborg Sampler, Swedenborg Foundation Press, p. 47
[vii] Swedenborg, E, A Swedenborg Sampler, Swedenborg Foundation Press, p. 47
[viii] Gaskins, A. Father’s NDE, e-mail on June 6, 2016