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

Immediately after the impact from falling forward onto the metal grating, I felt myself floating up, out of my body, and hovering above my body and all the people who were watching it, and who seemed paralyzed by shock and horror at what had happened. I think they pretty much assumed that I was dead. I remember looking down and seeing my body three-dimensionally for the first time. And it was such a shock, because we never see ourselves except in a one-dimensional mirror reflection, or a photograph. But I felt no pain at all; I felt completely whole and free, and I thought, "This is who I really am."

I saw my physical body, all crumpled and bloody and lifeless; and this enormous wave of compassion washed over me and I wanted to tell all of the bystanders that everything was going to be OK and not to be sad or alarmed.

Then suddenly I felt myself being pulled, literally at the speed of light, farther from the physical Earth, and I saw all of the people on the planet simultaneously in that one moment. I saw people in China and Sweden and Uruguay; I saw people sleeping and dreaming; I saw people preparing food in their homes and in restaurants; people traveling in all manner of transportation, to and from work and school and appointments; I saw children playing together, and bankers and teachers and factory workers at their jobs. I saw mothers giving birth to children, which was especially beautiful and moving to me.

I saw people in hospitals and prisons, mental institutions and nursing homes and orphanages who felt desperately alone and abandoned and afraid. And I saw people painting pictures and planting gardens; writing stories and composing music, and people dancing.

I saw people praying in mosques and temples, synagogues, and churches; and people individually expressing their own silent prayers. I saw indigenous tribes in all different parts of the world drumming and chanting. And God was sending multitudes of angels to the Earth, to assist in answering all of the countless, millions of prayers being offered up at that single moment.

As I seemed to move further into the light, I saw the Earth as though from outer space. It was like a beautiful, shimmering blue and green jewel floating in the cosmos. As I moved closer I saw that the Earth was vibrating and pulsating, as though it was a living, breathing entity and not just some physical mass.

And I thought, "This is Mother Earth; this is our Divine Mother."

But as I looked even closer, I saw that there were terrible wounds and sores on different parts of her body, and that she was gasping for breath, and calling out to God and to her children to stop the killing and destruction and hatefulness - that she was dying and praying for all of us to help her to heal and regenerate. Again I felt overwhelmed by feelings of sadness and compassion, and I desired to hold Mother Earth in my arms - to whisper words of love and hope.

I remember that a part of me felt frustrated and powerless to actually do anything of value - just as I have often felt in my physical body. Yet another part of me felt completely powerful, as though there was nothing that I couldn't accomplish.

At that moment I asked God, "What do you want me to do?"
And the answer that came to me was that I had to go back into my physical body in order to complete certain goals that had already been set into motion.
And I thought, "But I can't go back because my body is too far gone, it's beyond repair."

And I was also afraid that I could never accomplish, with all of my physical limitations, all that I could do as a spirit form, which felt so free and unencumbered.

I remember feeling angry and fearful about going back, after being in all of this light - to have to go back to the darkness. And then I felt the presence of Jesus Christ all around me. The feeling of love was completely overwhelming. I felt as though I was swimming in an ocean of ecstasy.

And I asked him, "Do I really have to go back?"

And his answer was that I was a part of God's divine plan, as is every person, and that my ultimate purpose is to love and serve God and all sentient beings. And I could tell that he understood all of my fear and doubt. And he assured me that I would heal and recover, but that it would be a lifelong process; and that I did have the power within me, only I didn't realize it until now, and that all I had to do was to ask for the courage and strength to persevere in my life and in my work. This particular information held enormous value for me, as I had often questioned whether I would ever really find a place in the world - having always been somewhat of an outsider - a place where my passionate concern regarding so many compelling modern issues could somehow take solid form, and that I could hopefully make even a small difference.

Then Christ said that he would send me guardian angels to aid me in my healing, and to guide and protect me. Then the light became even brighter, and suddenly there were angels everywhere, playing the most transcendentally beautiful music, and singing "Hosanna!" and hymns of praise to God. And some of the angels were crying, which I didn't understand. And Jesus said that the angels were weeping tears of joy for my new life on Earth and that they were also expressing compassion for the hardship I would endure for the rest of my earthly existence. And he said that he had summoned the angels to guide me on my journey back to the Earth, and to my physical body. I remember feeling so grateful that Christ was there to help me try and understand everything that was happening. I also remember feeling that I wasn't afraid anymore; that no one could ever hurt me again. And that I would try my best every day to serve God's will.

I awakened to find two men kneeling over me, with expressions of apprehension and concern on both their faces. For some reason I felt that they might be gay men. They both looked to be in their thirties. I couldn't help but notice how handsome they both were, and that they were beautifully dressed in what appeared to be very expensive business clothes. I remember thinking that they might be some kind of executives working for a corporation, which in fact is exactly what they turned out to be. One of the men obviously had some type of first aid training, and had monitored my vital signs. They informed me that an ambulance was on its way and to try to remain still and not speak, which was easy to do, considering the extent of my injuries. They had both taken off their jackets and laid them over me, and I was horrified to discover that the jackets were covered with blood and completely ruined. I remember feeling embarrassed, and yet enormously grateful for the kindness of these two strangers. Their entire presence was completely warm and comforting, and I felt strangely safe and protected.

They waited alongside me until the ambulance came, and then arrived at the hospital to make sure that I was properly attended to. They visited me in the hospital on two separate occasions. I made a somewhat feeble offer to replace their ruined clothes, but they simply laughed it off, and insisted that the only thing that mattered was that I was alive and more or less in one piece. Again their mere presence filled me with a sense of hope and courage. I felt very strongly that both men symbolized what would prove to be a succession of "angels" that Christ had promised to send me. This, in fact, turned out to be truer than I could possibly have imagined.


Anonymous said...

This was a beautiful truth and I appreciate your efforts in writing this as my son is gay and my 2 brothers are gay. I know my brothers have never felt accepted and were tormented in high school. My sons life was sad because he felt like damaged goods according to the bible interpretations! He is happy now but my brothers never really recovered. Thanks again for this message from God and I've known it too that God would never create a mistake that would cause a painful life except for the reason to inspire compassion from the humans heart. Much appreciation for your life. C

Richard Demma said...

Thank you for the kind words, I'm really gratified the posting had meaning for you in such a personal way. And my apologies for being so late in replying. My prayers and best wishes for all of your family and for a speedy healing of the wounds caused by the church's sin of homophobia.

Anonymous said...

This was very beautiful. Now i know that god has created us for a reason and even if your gay or bisexual you will be accepted in gods arms. God made us to accomplish his plan for us, for us to live, love and have fun but also to still praise the lord, Jesus Christ, our savior.

Unknown said...

his near death is a lie.

Gato said...

God does love all his creatures. He does not love what they do. He has given specific rules for behavior and you disobey them at your peril.
He creates 'victim souls' whose job is to suffer for all humanity. For some reason that seems foolish to man, pain and suffering does spiritual good.
Having gay desires and not being able to act upon them would be suffering.

Briston said...

+ El Tigre: "He creates 'victim souls' whose job is to suffer for all humanity."
That sort of suffering brings overcompensation, and if we consider the work of some masters of Italian Renaissance - Michelangelo, or Leonardo - we can see that they overcame their suffering by artistic creativity that enlightened the whole world. Sexual suppression, which was imposed by the Church gave us some of the finest representatives of humanity. Would be Petr Tchaikovsky's music that great if he were permitted to be gay in the open at that time? So, who will take that niche of "sufferers" when homosexuality will be institutionalized all over the world, and it looks like the world is going in that direction? The world, in order to be saved, needs sensitive and responsible humans... I was touched by that vision of a gay man in his NDE regarding our Mother Earth, suffering from numerous wounds caused by our civilisation.
Do you, people, know that in 32 years - from year 1968 to year 2000 - the world population jumped from 3.5 to 6.5 billion? Who knows, but the homosexuality might be a still unknown mechanism of adjustment in overpopulated world or periods of crisis, especially of pan-world proportions? In a period of crisis - lack of food -, for instance, many male wolfs don't mate, instead they take care of their family's little ones, which is due to massive death of their mothers and fathers... That's just an idea... We still have to ask God about his design behind all this...
Regards and thanks for considering my diatribes... I just like reading about NDEs and NDErs.