Deathbed Visions, Reincarnation and the Afterlife
Deathbed Visions: Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson Discusses His Research
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?
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.”
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
“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."
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.
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.
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
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."
“[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?
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.
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
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."
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.”
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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/
For more information about past lives research see http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/search/label/reincaration
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