On February 8, 2023, I attended a webinar hosted by International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS). This was my first time attending an IANDS webinar. What took me so long? Even if you haven’t experienced a Near-Death Experience (NDE), you will benefit from the depth and breadth of information from IANDS’ forty years of delving into human consciousness at the limits of life and death. It is at those moments that we come face-to-face with essential questions such as “Why are were here?”
I was a member of IANDS in the past, but I had somehow let my subscription lapse. Thankfully, at the beginning of the year, they reached out to me via email to advertise both their 2023 conference in Arlington, VA, and their upcoming webinars.
My most recent visit to France in November 2022 profoundly affected me and I’d been mulling over the meaning of my life’s journey and the role that my two near-death experiences had played in it. I simply would not be alive today without them. And I’m not saying that lightly. So, I took IANDS’ reaching out to me via email as a call to action and did two things:
- I submitted a proposal for the IANDS conference whose theme is HAS YOUR NDE OR RELATED EXPERIENCE INSPIRED YOU INTO A NEW WAY OF BEING IN THE WORLD? Whether or not my proposal is accepted, I’m grateful to have taken it to heart as the questions that I had to answer helped me formulate what I need to write about.
- I attended the webinar titled WHY ARE WE HERE? hosted by Janice Holden, EdD, and featuring author Sandi Taranto who wrote Dandelion Child.
I’m grateful to Sandi for sharing her experiences. She suffered horrific abuse in the foster system and has powerful things to say about the meaning of life and the role of her NDEs in her own life. I’m also grateful to her for raising the following three important points:
- The memory of the NDE doesn’t change, but our interpretation of it does.
- The problem comes when you describe to others what you experienced during an NDE.
- The problem is not just one of word inadequacy but resides within the narrative structure.
Thank you to all the people involved in IANDS from the start! I found my tribe!
Photo by Diana Orey on Unsplash