Besides the nice, luminous, blissful accounts of what we call now ‘NDEs’, Humankind’s stories of a hellish afterlife world are also aplenty, but receive less attention. They too are a reality that is still being experienced and reported, though.
She happened to meet a few NDErs long before she herself had her own three NDEs in 1977. At the time she met them the topic wasn’t yet the well-known, abundantly researched one that it has grown into, so she wasn’t even aware yet that such phenomena existed at all. But later on when she herself became an experiencer and then turned into a researcher on the topic, she mentioned those strange four cases in the early chapters of both her first two books, ‘Coming Back to Life’ (1988) and ‘Beyond the Light’ (1994), so strong an impact those four practically identical stories had had on her. Here is how another researcher recently summed up the facts she related:
‘Within a span of only two days, according to P.M.H. Atwater, the same hellish NDE vision was independently witnessed by four strangers :
“A landscape of barren, rolling hills filled to overflowing with nude, zombie-like people standing elbow-to-elbow doing nothing but staring straight at [the NDErs].”
– NDEr and Researcher Phyllis Atwater.’
When in 1984 I founded the Laboratory of Evolution and started its Specialized Library, ‘Coming Back to Life’ has been one of the very first books I selected and bought with the first official budget the Centre received to buy books. Her story of these four cases impressed me, and stayed in my consciousness.
Robert Monroe’s second book, Far Journeys, was published in 1985, and soon was one of our further acquisitions.s
In 1994, Atwater’s second book was hardly published that it rejoined the first one on our Library’s shelves… but not before I had read it myself! When I found in it the same story again that had already impressed and puzzled me so much in her first book, it suddenly struck me that the description of their ‘hellish’ vision by the four independent persons reminded me very much of something described by Bob Monroe in his ‘Far Journeys’…
Here is his account of what happened to him one night while having one of his now regular, intended OBEs, in which he in his subtle body was able to go much further out than in the first period: he had realized that his rational mind was holding him back, so he had inwardly relinquished any control from his mind, and had entrusted himself instead fully to his Total Self, who would probably know better than just staying put in the vicinity of his body or his house. After that, with his Total Self in charge as the new Navigator guiding him, Bob had found himself way out into space, visiting other dimensions of Reality he had never known consciously before and meeting beings of all kinds, including humans either permanently out of their bodies or, just like himself, temporarily so.
In the extract from ‘Far Journeys’ which follows, Bob starts with establishing for his readers the meaning of the special vocabulary he finds himself forced to use for describing those encounters , as he is faced with the necessity of giving some ‘Out of the Body’ equivalent of our usual ‘In the Body’ feelings, physical reactions and words; the dialogues, spontaneously all telepathic in that new environment, are indicated between parentheses as no such words were actually spoken … Conversations rendered in that unusual way become quite an interesting form of new ‘language’, as you will see when Bob proceeds to describe the actual scene that unfolded (whenever something is underlined, it will be by me). Here begins Bob’s text:
Part II, Chapter 7 – Surveys and Schematics, p.77-78:
“The following is a deliberately free translation of nonverbal communication. To compound the rendering, most if not all represents the transposing of non-time-space events and ambience into replicas of conscious human physical experience. Thus a “humanizing” process is used extensively in the retelling—which may increase comprehension and simultaneously reduce accuracy. To abet the method, a few specific words are utilized in a different context to provide a connotation not so totally unlike their common definition. You can’t report “he said” or “he walked” or “she smiled”— because it wasn’t that way, the physical equipment wasn’t available. Instead, here are parts of the “replica” vocabulary:
(Definition of some expressions used in this vocabulary)
Time-Space Illusion (TSI): An anomaly among the “standard” energy systems, which includes the entire physical universe
M Band: Part of energy spectrum commonly used for thought, not electromagnetic, electrical, magnetic, nucleonic, etc. M Band noise is caused by uncontrolled thought.
Ident: Mental name or “address,” i.e., energy pattern of item
Rote: Thought ball. A “packet” of thought/mentation, total memory: Knowledge, Information, Experience, History
Run the rote: To recall portions of Rote after receipt of total
CLICK!: Instantaneous change in consciousness
(Description of emotions/inner states experienced and reactions expressed)
Percept: Insight Intuition Understand
Closed: Tune down (or out) external stimuli
Blank: Don’t understand
Turn in: Consider, think over
Vibrate: Show emotion
Smooth: Get it together, in charge of self
Dulled: Lost interest
Lighted: Happy, idea, enthusiasm
Rolled: Amused, laughed
Curl: Organized energy, usually intelligent, local slang
Plied: The way things are, goes with the territory
A Homing Device loosely called “Ident” was utilized; this was like a Signal you could follow to the source of that Place or Being.
One of the earliest discoveries made in the new mode of Let-Somebody-Else-Do-the-Driving was that I had more than one nonphysical body.(…)
(Another post to come about that later…)
Another early result of my new navigator (my Total Self?) was remembering the going-to-class format. This came after my usual out-of-body separation process, releasing to such guidance, and without much movement finding myself among a crowd of gray forms. “Crowd” means so many they seemed to fade into the distance. All were focused in one direction, and none seemed to notice my arrival—except one, brighter, than the others. It approached me and stopped.
It opened—with words! In my consciousness.
(Glad you’re back, Bob. You’ve missed quite a few sessions.)
I flickered. (Well, uh, I’ve been busy.)
The form focused. (You’re different. You haven’t been on drugs or alcohol, have you?)
I opened wide. (I’ve lost a lot of rote, or I can’t pull it out. Where am I?)
The form rolled. (I guess you have! You’re back at Sleeper’s Class.)
I turned inward, and the percept came out bright and clear. Sleeper’s Classes—attended by countless humans during a portion of their deep sleep, during the sleeping out-of-body period. The only limitation was, that such sleep could not be distorted by chemicals, it had to be natural. How many times I had been here long before I knew it, before I knew anything about OOBEs and the like! I just didn’t remember, when I woke up, like everyone else.
If anything leaked through, it was attributed to a dream, inspiration, idea, or imagination. And I knew my instructor. (Hi, Bill.)
Bill rolled. (Took you long enough. Want me to plug you in?)
I flickered. (Well, I don’t know. You see, I think I am different. I’m not asleep.)
Bill blanked slightly, then lighted. (Oh, you’re one of those. How did that happen?)
I plied. (I don’t know. It just did.)
Bill turned inward, then opened. (That means you don’t belong here anymore. Too bad. You were one of my star pupils.)
I flickered. (You’re sure about that? About my not belonging?)
Bill smoothed. (I’ve had them before. It doesn’t work out. Your type gets impatient, bored. The biz kids, the OOB-ers, busy, busy, busy.)
I smoothed carefully. (How about plugging me in one last time? As long as I’m here.)
Bill dulled. (You probably know it already. Can’t change the program.)
I opened wide. (Try me.)
Bill flickered and tossed me a rote. I opened it easily…
CLICK (Сhange of wave/frequency – world)!
I folded the rote and tucked it in me, turned to Bill. (That’s pretty good. Seems familiar.)
Bill plied. (It ought to. You must have picked it up a couple hundred classes back.)
I opened. (Bill, if I don’t belong here, where do I go?)
(I don’t know. I don’t have the slightest percept on that.)
(There must be classes for, uh, mavericks like me.)
Bill plied. (I’m sure there are. I got to go make my rounds now. Drop in for a visit if you feel like it. I’m two rings out.)
I opened wide. (Sure, Bill.)
He turned and faded into the host of Gray Forms, and with nothing better to pull me, I rotated and dived back for the physical. Reentry was normal.”
So here is my own conclusion as a researcher: the four people met by P.M.H. Atwater all stumbled upon the ‘Sleepers’ Class’ they were never aware they too attended in their sleep at another time of their life!…
Now why did precisely those four persons happen to go there during their NDE remains a mystery for me, and I guess for all the other researchers as well; but at least the vision that scared each of them so much that they interpreted it as a vision of ‘Hell’, can now be understood, I would say, quite differently, in an actually not scary way at all.
Of course it is easy to see why it could be interpreted as scary: the surprise, the unexpected sight, the zombie-like appearance of all those people standing there, the fact that they were all staring in one direction, which in one of the four cases at least happened to seem to be the direction of the NDEr, the fact that they had no idea what that strange scene was and why they found themselves there, so many reasons to panic and interpret the scene as more threatening than it actually was. And as it obviously wasn’t Heaven, then automatically they thought it must be Hell – a Hell of some kind, even if it wasn’t quite the same kind of Hell that is usually described. With our mental activity that knows basically only the contraries, the extremes, nothing in between, as a result nothing even simply different than those extremes is imagined or envisaged.
They were all heart patients, all hospitalized in the same place, the St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, Idaho, and on the same floor. I wonder if anyone checked or could still check the records to see at what time of the day each one of those four patients had been operated upon (if all had been) and at what time each of them had had her/his NDE. Perhaps it was at night, and then when going out of their body their consciousness automatically went straight to the usual destination, the ‘Sleepers’ Class’?…
I would like very much to ask these questions particularly to P.M.H. Atwater. Perhaps I should send her this article of mine, and see what she says?…