Blind People and NDEs
I learned in the 1970s that patients during operations could see events during their OBEs when their physical eyes remained closed, and could describe occurrences at a distance even in another room, such as Rhoda Fryer had been able to. But could this ability to see in the afterlife apply even to blind people, I wondered more recently? A number of convincing reports indicate that this can indeed happen.
Researchers Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper became interested in the extraordinary phenomenon of sight in the afterlife. They conducted a study on blind people who had had NDEs. These people reported experiences that included similar aspects to the traditional NDE, such as watching doctors operate on them as well as otherworldly perceptions such as radiant light, angels, deceased relatives etc. That their reports included watching occurrences on Earth was the most startling fact to emerge. Reliable eyewitnesses at the time corroborated their testimony. In fact, 80% of the blind NDErs interviewed recorded things they saw during their NDEs that they could not possibly have seen through their sightless physical eyes.
To give you a 'feel' of what their NDEs were like, I will briefly quote Vicki Umipeg's20 account. She was blind because her optic nerves had been completely destroyed at birth because of excess of oxygen delivered to her in an incubator. Vicki said she had a hard time relating to sight, as it was entirely novel to her.
"I've never seen anything: no light, no shadows, no nothing... And in my dreams I don't see any visual impressions. It's just taste, touch, sound, and smell, but no visual impressions of anything."
After dying, she found herself floating upwards and viewing with perfect clarity the scene in the emergency room below, where a frantic medical team worked feverishly to revive her. They were the first people she had ever seen.
Nor had she seen herself previously!
" was quite tall and thin at that time. And I recognised at first that it was a body, but I didn't even know that the body was mine initially. Then I perceived that I was up on the ceiling, and I thought, 'Well, that's kind of weird. What am I doing up here?' I thought, 'Well, this must be me. Am I dead?... I just briefly saw this body, and I knew that it was mine because I was not in my body."
Vicki also recognised the ring that she wore on her finger, which was of unusual design, having orange blossoms on the corners of it. That ring confirmed her identification of herself!
She then found herself going up through the ceilings of the hospital until she was above the roof of the building itself. During this time she had a brief panoramic view of her surroundings. She felt exhilarated, and enjoyed tremendously the freedom of movement she was experiencing, unfamiliar to one congenitally blind.
Vicki then experienced seeing the beautiful flowers and trees of Paradise. She also met again dead friends who had preceded her, including two children aged 11 and 6 who had both been blind. She was delighted to find they could also see now! They were no longer children, but in their prime: happy, healthy and bright.
Vicki's NDE was truly extraordinary. She has returned to being blind on Earth, but recalls with joy the beautiful people and places that await her.
I have read of similar cases to Vicki's; an unusual one was featured on national TV7. It involved a young rap artist, Jason, shot twice in the face in a random shooting at a gas station by a man on drugs. The gunman was subsequently arrested and sentenced to six years in jail. Tragically, the bullets permanently destroyed Jason's sight: ‘My retinas have been separated, both of them. The bullet burned out my pupils.’ However, his spirit hovering above the car which was rushing him to hospital could see all the details. Here are his words, with my emphasis on words that illustrate his ability to see:
"I was levitating above the car, and looking down at myself. And the car was moving, and I was moving with the car. I could see my head leant against the window – I see the blood. There was an incredible amount of blood dripping down my face. (Doctors did CPR at the hospital while family and concerned friends gathered.)
I was still floating. I was still levitating, looking down at myself. I knew that was me, but at the same time I knew that this was me too!
All of a sudden, my thought patterns picked back up, my head 'popped back'. I returned to normal. Coming back into my body, I felt – total pain. I can feel the blood dripping down my face, and I kept trying to adjust my eyesight to see what was going wrong. It wasn't happening."
He did not realise yet that he had been blinded. He then died a second time in hospital and experienced a second NDE.
"I was outside myself – definitely. Standing there, looking at myself on this stretcher, I had no fear. I had no feeling of hurt anymore – no pain – I felt happy!"
Soon afterwards, a voice told Jason it was not yet his time and that he must return. At once, he found himself in his body again. Two difficult years learning to live as a blind man followed. He went back to school, and is now a teacher. Wow!
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