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OUT OF MIND » PERCEPTUAL AWARENESS » OTHER DIMENSIONAL » Deathbed Visions, Reincarnation and the Afterlife

Deathbed Visions, Reincarnation and the Afterlife

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Deathbed Visions, Reincarnation and the Afterlife


Deathbed Visions, Reincarnation and the Afterlife Erlendur-Deathbed-Visions-674x450
Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson (Courtesy of Erlendur Haraldsson) Background: (SisterF/iStock)


Deathbed Visions: Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson Discusses His Research
 
By Tara MacIsaac


Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Iceland, asked approximately 700 physicians and nurses what they had heard from their patients concerning deathbed visions.

Many people, shortly before they died, reported seeing deceased friends or family members who said they were there to help them pass to the afterlife. The dying patients would often become happy to go and their fears dissipated as a result of the visions.

It was Haraldsson’s first major study. In 1977, his book “At the Hour of Death,” co-authored with Dr. Karlis Osis, was published. Now in his 80s, Haraldsson looks back on a long career of similar research—including studies on people who claim contact with the dead, past-life memories, and supernatural abilities.


Are Deathbed Visions Real?

“Technically speaking, they were or are hallucinations,” he said during a Skype video interview from his home in Iceland. He spoke calmly and cheerfully amid book-lined walls, with copies of his own books at hand to hold up to the camera as he discussed them with Epoch Times. “We define hallucinations as visions that are not seen by others. … So from a technical point-of-view, they are or may be hallucinations. But from another point-of-view … in some ways they were also realistic.”

The deathbed visions are realistic in that they involve real people the patient knew. The visions are also clear, rational, and surprisingly uniform.


“In Haraldsson’s study, almost 500 terminally ill patients in the United States and India reported similar experiences of being offered help to the other side.”


In Haraldsson’s study, almost 500 terminally ill patients in the United States and India reported similar experiences of being offered help to the other side. The experiences were the same independent of cultural influences and independent of the types of illnesses or medications administered.

Haraldsson referenced a 1926 book by Sir William Barrett titled “Deathbed Visions.” It was the first major publication on the topic, and it included some cases in which the dying people seemed to acquire knowledge they could not have come to by ordinary means.

The patients recognized spirits, unaware that these people had actually died. Barrett wrote: “These cases form, perhaps, one of the most cogent arguments for survival after death, as the evidential value and veridical (truth telling) character of these visions of the dying is greatly enhanced when the fact is undeniably established that the dying person was wholly ignorant of the decease of the person he or she so vividly sees.”

A more recent study confirmed some of Haraldsson’s findings. Neuropsychiatrist Peter Fenwick interviewed a large number of hospice caretakers in England. He found deathbed visions to be common and independent of factors (related to illness or medication) expected to cause hallucinations.


Contact With the Dead

Haraldsson did a survey in Iceland in 1974, asking “Have you ever felt that you were in touch with someone who has died?”

“To my surprise, 31 percent of a large sample of 900 people answered ‘yes,'” he said. Others, including the late sociologist Andrew Greeley, asked similar questions and received similar results.


"Surveys in Europe found about 25 percent of people reported contact with the dead."


Surveys in Europe found about 25 percent of people reported contact with the dead. Other surveys in North America and Europe have found anywhere from 10 to 40 percent of respondents believe they have had contact with the dead.

Seeking further details, Haraldsson asked qualitative questions about these experiences.

He found, for example, that 67 percent of these contacts were visual, 28 percent were auditory, 13 percent were tactile, and 5 percent were olfactory.

He gave an example of an olfactory experience.


Deathbed Visions, Reincarnation and the Afterlife 2012a-Departed-2-580x856
(Courtesy of Erlendur Haraldsson)


A woman was in the kitchen of her home in a small fishing village in southern Iceland. She thought she saw someone pass by the open kitchen door, but no one was there. A strong smell of alcohol arose.

When her husband came home he also noticed the strong smell and asked her if someone had been to visit. Neither of them could account for the smell.

They later found out that the man from whom they had recently bought the house had fallen into the sea and drowned at about the same time the woman experienced these strange sensations.

They later found out that the man from whom they had recently bought the house had fallen into the sea and drowned at about the same time the woman experienced these strange sensations.

The man was an alcoholic, and she attributed the sensations to his presence.

When Haraldsson was a student in Copenhagen, he had a ghostly encounter of his own in a room he rented from an elderly lady.

“Sometimes when I was going to sleep, I felt there was a man who came to the door and looked at me very observantly and keenly, like he was wondering ‘Who is this fellow?’ This happened several times.

“If this had happened to me in recent years, after I became interested in scientific study of this phenomenon, I would have asked the old lady about who had lived in that room before or if she was a widow—I didn’t even know that.” If he were able to identify anyone who may have been the ghost, he would have then asked to see a photo of him.

Haraldsson has had freedom to pursue these studies at the University of Iceland. As for the reactions of his colleagues: “Some were supportive, some didn’t like it, some were skeptical.”

 “I just wish that there would be more scientists who would be interested in conducting studies of this kind,” he said. “Some people shy away from it … they think it will harm their reputation. But that hinders progress in this area.”


Reincarnation and Psychic Research: Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson Discusses
 
Deathbed Visions, Reincarnation and the Afterlife Erlendur-Reincarnation-674x450
Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson (Courtesy of Erlendur Haraldsson) Background: (Spectral-Design/iStock)


Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Iceland, has picked up where early 20th century scholars left off in the investigation of an Icelandic medium’s claim to supernatural abilities.

Haraldsson found a ghost.

He was doing research for his book, “Indridi Indridason: The Icelandic Physical Medium,” published in October 2015. And, delving into public records, he found documentation of a real person who matched the description of a spirit said to appear during Indridason’s séances. 

In the account, a human figure appeared in a pillar of light during one of Indridason’s séances. The man identified himself as Fabrikant Jensen (“Fabrikant” means manufacturer). He spoke Danish and told of a factory fire in Copenhagen, Denmark. Jensen appeared to Indridason again a few days later and said he had six siblings, was not married, and had no children.

At the time, news from Denmark came to Iceland by ship at lengthy intervals. There were no other means of communication to Iceland. The séance occurred on Nov. 24, 1905. The next ship carrying news from Copenhagen arrived shortly before Christmas.

When it arrived, it brought newspapers reporting that a factory caught fire on Nov. 24, the day of the séance.

No one had tried to verify the existence of a “Fabrikant Jensen” until Haraldsson delved into the public records in Copenhagen. He found a man who matched Jensen’s description precisely, and this man had lived two doors down from the factory that caught fire. He died in 1898, seven years before the fire.


"Haraldsson delved into the public records in Copenhagen. He found a man who matched Jensen’s description precisely."



Deathbed Visions, Reincarnation and the Afterlife Indridi
Icelandic medium Indridi Indridason (1883–1912). (Public Domain)


 “[Indridason] was investigated very thoroughly by very competent investigators, so there is a lot of available material on him,” Haraldsson said. For example, Gudmundur Hannesson, a physician who later became a professor at the University of Iceland, brought Indridason to his own house, stripped him and made him change into his own clothes, and prohibited any of Indridason’s associates from coming with him. The strange phenomena still occurred.

Indridason reportedly levitated during séances. Voices of deceased people were frequently heard in various parts of the séance room, along with other supernormal occurrences. A few years ago, more detailed accounts from the séances emerged, giving Haraldsson additional fuel for his research.


Changing Water to Petrol?

The Indian spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba similarly attracted Haraldsson’s attention. Sai Baba purportedly performed supernatural feats, but refused to take part in tests Haraldsson proposed to scientifically verify his abilities. He did, however, give Haraldsson ample opportunities to observe him.

Haraldsson interviewed a great number of people who lived with Sai Baba in different periods of his life. They found no normal explanation for the phenomena, which included producing rare objects on demand and changing liquids of one kind to another, such as water into petrol.


Deathbed Visions, Reincarnation and the Afterlife INDRIDI-COVER-LARGE-2
(Courtesy of Erlendur Haraldsson)


Haraldsson also interviewed prominent skeptics who he said had little to offer. His time with Sai Baba is described in his book, “Modern Miracles: Sathya Sai Baba, The Story of a Modern Day Prophet.”


Past-Life Memories Verified

In Sri Lanka, Haraldsson collaborated with the late Dr. Ian Stevenson to interview children who reported past-life memories. Haraldsson and Stevenson looked to “solve” these cases when the details were sufficient to track down a person whose life matched the memories.

For example, a girl born in 1982 in Elpitiya, southwestern Sri Lanka, started talking at the age of 2 about a previous life in the city of Akuressa, some 60 miles away.

She said her family name was Nanayakkara in this past life, and that she had died by drowning after falling in the water when walking over a narrow suspension footbridge close to her home. She said she was pregnant at the time and that her husband had jumped into the river to rescue her but did not succeed.

She gave various other details that provided Haraldsson and his colleagues with what they needed to try to verify her case.

They went to Akuressa and learned of a woman by the name of Nanayakkara whose life and death matched these details. They checked coroner’s records to corroborate the testimonies of the dead woman’s friends and family. She had been pregnant when she drowned.


"Children usually start to talk about their past-life memories when they are 2 to 3 years old."


His reincarnation research also brought Haraldsson to Lebanon. Belief in reincarnation is common in both Sri Lanka and Lebanon, so the parents are more likely to report what their children say about past lives, instead of dismissing it as fancy.

Children usually start to talk about their past-life memories when they are 2 to 3 years old. Dr. Jim Tucker at the University of Virginia has been conducting similar research involving American children and has had similar results. 

It seems the reincarnations usually occur within the same country. “The children … would remember a life in their own country and also in quite recent time—maybe a year or two or three or four before they were born. I cannot recall any case where children would claim to have lived in distant countries or in distant centuries,” Haraldsson said.

“There were no Cleopatras or anything of that sort. … They would remember the lives of ordinary people.”



Follow @TaraMacIsaac on Twitter, visit the Epoch Times Beyond Science page on Facebook, and subscribe to the Beyond Science newsletter to continue exploring ancient mysteries and the new frontiers of science!

From The Epoch Times @ http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1953612-deathbed-visions-dr-erlendur-haraldsson-discusses-his-research/ and http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1953879-reincarnation-and-psychic-research-dr-erlendur-haraldsson-discusses/


Thanks to: http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com



  

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