Psychedelics and the Near Death Experience?
QUESTION: "I have read accounts of people who have taken LSD (musicians and artists, particularly) who say it profoundly changed their lives. So hallucinations can have that effect. What is the difference, then, between the brain during an NDE and the brain on say, LSD?"
ANSWER: "The difference is that brain chemistry is affected by LSD. During a near-death experience (NDE), consciousness leaves the brain. Consciousness survives death and is eternal. Having experienced both, I have some expertise.
During my NDE, (which happened forty years ago when I drowned at the age of thirty), I was part of the experience, involved in it, participating in it, one with it. There was never any fear, only overwhelming love and peace. It was more a remembering, it all came back to me, of having done this all before, knowing I was going home, an experience of having complete knowledge of the Whole/Source/God.
About 15 years later, I tried LSD a few times, also Psilocybin mushrooms and Ecstasy (MDMA). This was shortly after I found out that what I had was called a "near-death experience." Before that I didn't know what to call it and never talked about it because I was afraid people would think I was crazy or possessed. Then I started reading about other people having similar experiences.
The psychedelic experiences were as different from my NDE as looking into a fish tank and SCUBA diving around coral reefs in Nassau. The only thing similar was the out-of-body experience and exploring another dimension of the multi-verse. A big difference is between seeing and being. LSD showed me a mechanical, Newtonian universe. Mushrooms more of a fairy land, full of interesting, magical creatures from etheric to earthy or underground. Ecstasy was an exploration of my inner being from a loving perspective. All fun and exotic, but nothing profound, ineffable, meaningful, esoteric like the NDE; from which I returned with knowledge of particle physics and galactic motion (and I'm no scientist).
Forty years later, I remember no details about anything from any of the half a dozen psychedelic experiences I had; yet I remember every detail, feeling, and emotion from my NDE. It changed the course of my life, my personality, my interests, my beliefs, and my future. I know my purpose in this life and I live it. I have no fear of death; I know what happens next! The drugs did nothing but provide a few hours of meaningless entertainment."
Diane Goble (Monday, June 25th, 2012)