Mar 28, 2012

What Happens to Gay People After They Die: NDE's of LGBT People

Spring is here at last in Prague, the weather is glorious, the city is glowing and all's right with the world - for a brief moment, that is.

I haven't been blogging for a while - too caught up in directing my last play production at my present school, Agatha Chrisite's And Then There Were None, in which a deranged judge takes it upon himself to pass judgement upon, sentence and execute nine individuals for crimes he has decided they are guilty of. What makes this such an interesting play is that his attitude resembles so much the judgmental, angry god of Christian fundamentalism. And in fact, in the case of one Emily Brent, who spouts the Bible at her fellow guests at Indian Lodge as one by one they are dispatched, Christie has brilliantly caricatured the rigid self righteousness and mean-spiritedness of much religious fundamentalism today. Miss Brent drives a poor, desperate, pregnant girl out of her boarding house and into the night with no place of refuge. Shortly thereafter, the poor girl drowns herself in despair. It is one of the few genuine 'crimes' committed by any of the characters in the play, and it is a crime of angry, self righteous judgementalism, assuming that 'God' is on your side.

The novel upon which the play is based was first published in 1939, but it's insights into this kind of vicious misappropriation of religion and the bible are still all too valid - as a brief look at the insanity on display in the US at the moment (regarding gay marriage and contraception) makes all too clear. 

Which brings me to the subject of this posting:

Some time ago a kindly reader sent me some fascinating links to Near Death Experience research involving gay people. Who would have thought to have made such a study, but several have in fact been made and they are utterly fascinating, inspiring - and completely unsurprising to anyone with a healthy, genuine connection to the divine indwelling within the human heart. The picture of divinity that emerges from these gay/lesbian NDE's is of a loving, non judgmental Presence who is not particularly interested in our sex lives, but vitally interested in our love lives. Sex is just not that important 'on the other side' except as an expression of love or manipulation.

Of course, none of these accounts would convince anyone of a fundamentalist bent who needs to believe God passes judgement on gay people. Such individuals would just assume that 'we' had made all this stuff up. Which is why I direct you to these links for some very moving stories of encounters with the Loving Spirits beyond death.

I've included one NDE account of a gay man below, but first you might want to check out these wonderful links.

First - the very common sense summation of discoveries regarding gay people made by NDE research, taken from Dr. Liz Dale's NDE research:

NDE Analysis of Homosexuality

Countless near-death experiences describe the unconditional love that God has for everyone. This, of course, includes gays and lesbians. Just the fact that God created so many homosexuals (approximately 10% of the population) should be enough proof for any reasonable person. Unfortunately, there are people out there who, out of ignorance, fear, and bigotry, persecute them by treating them as second class citizens.

The following insights comes from near-death testimonies concerning bigotry. These insights show how homosexuality is just as natural as heterosexuality and is certainly not offensive to God as some religious texts claim.

  Creed, race, gender, and sexual preference have no real meaning to God. No matter who we are, we were all children joined under one God. The only rule is God's true law "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." (P.M.H. Atwater)

  Those religions which claim superiority over others, or exclude people for various reasons, go against God's law that we love one another as we love ourselves. (Sandra Rogers)

  God is really only concerned about what is within us, our heart and spirituality, not our sexual preference. The way to heaven is through love for everyone unconditionally. We do not go to heaven by worshipping Jesus, or by believing in his name, or by believing in the cross, or by accepting him as our Savior. We grow to heaven by creating heaven within us by practicing the unconditional love of Jesus for everyone no matter who they are. (Kevin Williams' research)

  There is no one religion just as there is no "chosen" people or person. We are all children of God in the sense that we are all souls of God's creation. What counts is what comes from the heart, not what one professes to believe. The most difficult thing for a person who has been deeply steeped in a particular religious tradition is to realize that the form alone is not what elevates a person; it is the heart. (PMH Atwater)

  It also needs to be recognized that not all teachings described as religious are beneficial. Religion which is judgmental, prejudicial, critical, and narrow may impede the spirit's natural growth. It is love, not religion, which creates spiritual growth. Where religion teaches love, there is growth. Where religion impedes love, there is stagnation. (Nora Spurgin)

Dr. Liz Dale's groundbreaking research:

This is the first book to examine the NDEs of gays and lesbians. One gay man was told that God creates homosexuals. Another gay man was told that his sexuality was a gift from God. This groundbreaking research will open your eyes and heart to God's perspective of homosexuality.

What about sexually diverse people?
If this world was to ever find out just a small amount of what sexually diverse (gay) people are here to do on this planet, there would never be one single wisecrack or hurtful remark made ever again. Instead there would be great respect! People who speak disrespectful things about people of this orientation ... enact judgment, and do so from a place of unenlightenment, insecurity, ego and socially induced prejudice. Some may use mistranslated scriptures taught to them, not by the Holy Spirit ... but by fear-filled human beings. Many will choose to sustain a Divinely unsupported satanic hate-based rage against these children of God, rather than using Love to bring understanding and healing between both peoples. Christ said, THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT IS THAT WE ARE TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER! When people sling condemnation, judgment and bitterness at others, they are not practicing the great commandment. They are allowing their Souls to fall into darkness.

Next, an inspiring posting from the quite wonderful blog-site, Gay Family Values

Christian Andreason is one such experiencer who brought his questions about his sexual orientation with him when he died. Andreason has quite a long account and his experience has alot of traditional religious imagery intermixed with non traditional imagery and being a musician, his NDE is filled with themes surrounding music. Andreason, also ambivelant about his sexuality, asks a very hesitant question of his guide:

When I got to Heaven, one of the first things I asked was about the very issue of bisexuality, as it had caused me a great deal of concern my whole life. My lady guide walked me to a room that had a large screen in it. On the screen, I saw two forms of Light conjoining with one another in the act of making Love. My guide then asked me to tell her which was the male and which was the female? I said, "I dunno!" She smiled at me and said it does not matter. She went on to say that the two Lights were what God saw when he looked upon us. She explained that God always sees us as our higher selves and that gender is a very temporary thing that will not be around forever. It was further explained to me that God himself is both a Mother essence and a Father essence to us, therefore; God fully understands our attractions for members of similar genders. It was told to me (or rather I was reminded) that there are no mistakes in the way each of us were made. God knew what each of us would be challenged and blessed with. We each act according to our heart (or developed Soul center) and as we mature Spiritually, we come up higher each time. 
Liz Dale , a San Francisco based psychologist and near death researcher has been focusing her work on the near death experiences of gays and lesbians. here book "Crossing Over and Coming Home" contains about twenty accounts of near death experiences soley from gay and lesbian experiencers. One of the books accounts happened in 1991. Andre, a sound technician and musician from the San Francisco area, gives this very detailed account that began with a ruptured appendix. During his account, which turnes from a trip to Guerneville Ca into a mountain assent into heaven. Along the way, he askes his spiritual companions a fatefull question:
4:44 P.M. once again we began my review of my life. This time, I could see all the self-doubt that I had in my life centered around the question of my being of any worth to god, since I was a gay man. It was then that I mustered up the courage to ask these beings something I could sence they were waiting for me to ask. I asked, "Is it o.k. to be gay?" and they laughed and said, "who do you think made gay people?" I remember us laughing for what seemed like 1000 years. I felt like I fit in for the first time in my entire life....completely fit in.
Next, the personal NDE of a gay talk show host, Reece Manley.

Raised evangelical, Manley said he has had personal experience with a religion that taught him fear.

"Spiritual abuse is real," Manley said, adding, "I show people different ways to express spirituality."

As a pastoral counselor, Manley works with people who were raised in what he describes as religions based on fear. He said the God he observed in the place he called heaven during his near-death experience was a God of acceptance.

Manley works with those who grew up in religions like his own because, he said, he understands their background.

Despite that background that might have kept him in the closet longer, he came out early.
"It’s just too much work to hide," he said. 

He said his near-death experience taught him that God embraces gay people. He saw many friends who had died of AIDS as bright lights. But he also saw some dark lights and those were evil people who did harm to others in this life.

And as a Christian writer, he said that he learned from his experience that God embraces people of all faiths. "I saw friends who were not Christian who were there and at peace," he said.

Manley expects his new book, "All Gays Go to Heaven," to be published later this year. In it, he recounts the story of his recovery from his near-death experience while explaining his view of God as accepting of all, no matter what religion, sexual orientation or sexual identity.

Finally, two valuable resources: Near Death Experiences and the Afterlife and Near Death Experience Research Foundation.

And to wrap up, here is one account from Liz Dale's book:

A Gay Man's Near-Death Experience