A Short(ish) Video Course on Near-Death Experiences

Are you interested in near-death experiences, but don’t have hundreds of hours to wade through thousands of books and videos to get a solid idea of what they’re all about?

Garret Weeks - Journey of Desire

Garret Weeks

Garret Weeks has done the work for you in his ongoing YouTube video series, Journey of Desire.

Garret has watched over 4,000 videos of people recounting their near-death experiences, not to mention reading many books on the subject. He’s also read what Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) reports about the afterlife. This puts him in an ideal position to provide a short(ish) course summarizing what near-death experiences tell us about the afterlife and the spiritual realms, about the incredibly loving and wise nature of God, and about our relationship with God.

So far, Garret has posted eleven videos ranging from ten to thirty-five minutes in length. They start with a basic introduction to near-death experiences and the spiritual world. And they get better and better from there!

These are basic talking-head videos. Though they’re not packed with fancy graphics, Garret has a lively and enjoyable speaking style. And since the information is contained almost entirely in the audio, it’s possible to listen while doing other things, and get all of the beautiful information he has to offer.

The most recent video (at the time I am posting this), titled “8A-What is MISSING in ALL Near Death Experiences?” is my favorite so far. It provides a wonderful assurance, based on the reports of thousands of near-death experiencers, that God is love. God is not angry at us, and will not send us to hell or force us into anything against our will. Where we live to eternity is 100% our choice, based on what we truly love and desire.

For the full series, see the JourneyOfDesire channel on YouTube.


Lee Woofenden is an ordained minister, writer, editor, translator, and teacher. He enjoys taking spiritual insights from the Bible and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and putting them into plain English as guides for everyday life.

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11 comments on “A Short(ish) Video Course on Near-Death Experiences
  1. Garret Weeks says:

    Hello Lee, Thank you for reviewing my YT Channel on your Spiritual Insights for EveryDay Life blog! Your summary of what my YT channel is all about is quite accurate – trying to help people learn from Near Death Experiencer’s quickly – saving them the hundreds of hours it would take to watch all those NDE videos themselves. A lot of visitors to my channel have also found my playlists helpful: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmVWy0K5xJgaAWbeapktjvA/playlists

    These are the ‘best of the best’ NDE Testimonies on Youtube that people can listen to themselves – and decide for themselves whether the AfterLife is a scary place or a wonderful place to look forward to at the end of their time on the earth.

    What is interesting about my story, is that I have come from a strongly conservative Evangelical Christian background, then I started to research all these Near Death Experiences, then I realized my theology had to change – because much of what I was taught in Sunday School could no longer be considered true now that I’ve heard from 1,000’s of eye-witnesses that have been to the next life and come back to tell us what it is like. So I had a major problem: What do I believe now?? In my search for answers, I came across Swedenborg and discovered, to my surprise, that pretty much everything Swedenborg says entirely agrees with the what the Near Death Experiencer’s tell us.

    But that still left many questions about the Bible – and why was my original understanding of what the Bible said so badly mistaken. Was the Bible wrong and the Swedenborg & NDE Testimonies right? That’s when I discovered Lee Woofenden’s wonderful Spiritual Insights blog – with clear and logical arguments, Lee is demonstrating the biblical basis for Swedenborg’s theology, and showing us how and when the modern day ‘religion’ of Christianity got corrupted from the original meaning of the Scriptures. So now, for me, I’m happy to report that all 3 are in agreement: Near Death Testimonies = Swedenborg’s Teachings = what the Bible ACTUALLY says, NOT what we were TOLD it says (by my well-meaning, but equally lied-to, Sunday School teachers.)

    The only thing left for us to do now is get Lee his own YouTube channel 😉 so that the biblical basis for Swedenborg’s teachings (and 1,000’s of NDE Testimonies) can reassure those of us who have begun to question whether the Bible got it wrong or if it was our religious teachers who taught us the Bible who got it wrong.

    Thanks again, Lee, for reviewing my YT channel on your blog. You are doing some amazing work here – I know lot’s of people (myself included) who have had a “crisis of BELIEFS” – who need to hear how a correct understanding of the bible is actually in perfect agreement with what Swedenborg taught and what the NDE’ers are reporting to us everyday. -Garret

    • Lee says:

      Hi Garret,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your good and kind comments.

      As I was watching your video series, and enjoying your lucid explanations of the spiritual world based on the reports of near-death experiencers, and your occasional elucidation of various Bible passages, here’s what kept coming to mind:

      Swedenborg himself, when he wrote his explanations of the Bible, often said that without knowing what the spiritual world is like, he would not have been able to understand the true, deeper meaning of the Bible. That deeper meaning, he often said, is the way that the angels understand the Bible. So when you reinterpreted (compared to traditional Christian views) various Bible passages in the light of NDEers experiences, it made perfect sense that the spiritual light from the other world would illuminate the real meaning of the Bible. In fact, for me this was one of the most exciting confirmations I received from your videos!

      About getting my own YouTube channel, that is already part of the plan! It may take us a little longer to get there, but we do plan to move into video next year, and begin reaching out that way as well.

      Meanwhile, on my personal YouTube channel I’ve already done readings for video of a couple of the articles here, and may add more for those who prefer listening over reading:
      Once we start up a dedicated YouTube channel for Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life, we’ll start posting livelier videos that take better advantage of what video can do.

      And about the Bible, if you haven’t yet, please take a look at this article, which I think you will find helpful:
      How God Speaks in the Bible to Us Boneheads

  2. Rob says:

    Have there been any NDEs where a person absolutely rejected the embrace of the Light? Doesn’t Swedenborg say that there are those who reject God and cast themselves to hell; but I’ve never read any account of that (though, who would admit such a thing?).

    • Lee says:

      Hi Rob,

      Garret does talk about that in some of the videos. Not everyone wants to be near the light. And when they don’t, they tend to go to dark places.

    • Garret Weeks says:

      Yes, that is the case – there is a continuum of receptivity that people have towards the Being of Light. Some just enter a wonderfully loved state and commune with the Being of Light for long time. Others feel His love, but stay at arm’s length. Still others completely change the subject. What’s interesting is this: As someone trained in counseling, I can almost predict what a person will do when they meet the Being of Light (most understand ‘It’ as ‘God’). See, each NDE story begins with about 5-10 minutes of introduction while they describe how the died. During that time, if you know what to look for, you can hear the condition of their heart, and what they pay attention too. Some are scientists and only want the facts. Others approach the Being of Light as innocent, pure-in-heart, trusting souls with eagerness and curiosity. Still others are daring and want to ‘dive into’ the Being of Light and ask if they can literally ‘come inside.’

      The ones that mostly tend to ‘change the subject’ – quite literally – when they sense the intense love shining off the Being of Light – are usually the ‘just the facts’ type people. They show little interest in any experience the Being of Light would wish to show them. And they immediately start asking mundane and uninteresting questions about starlight and star dust and ape on planet earth and meteors (no joke). These are very disappointing NDE’s to listen too because then after they meet the Being of Light they quickly move off into visions of literally atoms and bosons and gluons and leptons (sub-atomic particles).

      Many people get the chance to meet the Being of Light – He seems quite eager to meet us and smile upon us – and He delights seeing us like a Father would welcome a newborn child into His world. However, what happens next is ENTIRELY up to the person who is standing before Him. And God shows no disappointment if they ‘change the subject’ and want ‘out / away’ from Him. He just let’s the move on to their next focus of interest and He doesn’t show the slightest anger or hurt that they don’t ‘want Him.’ Never is this principle of absolute respect for a person’s expressed wishes ever violated. Except if they are ‘sucked back down the tunnel of Light’ back into their Body. That they don’t have any control over when they are on the other side.

      So the answer is: Everyone responds / receives the Love shining off the Being of Light completely in their own unique ways. Some just bask in the warmth, others start to crack jokes with the Being of Light and share in God’s sense of humor, others ‘dive into’ the Light (literally – like a swan dive into a giant lake), many will argue with Him and blame Him and try to lie to Him. Others will just acknowledge that He appears as a Big Ball of Intense White Light, and then literally get interested in some minuscule detail off to the side – inquiring about meaningless jibberish. They come back with the least amount of transformation – and often live a reclusive life with few friends.

      There are actually 2 questions that need to be answered – meeting the Being of Light takes place in a completely different place / realm than a person’s Life Review. The Being of Light doesn’t really appear at the Life Review – but His ‘wisdom and understanding does.’ The Life Review is conducted by our Spirit Guides (angels) who were (some believe) assigned to us since birth (or even before birth). People react to their Life Reviews in many ways. Some are exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to experience the ‘truth’ of their life, and others can remain rather stoic about it, not really being changed by the whole experience. However, those accounts are quite rare. The majority of people are massively and eternally transformed by their Life Review. But, you can also refuse to learn anything at your Life Review if you wish. It is hard to do – they make it REALLY hard to flunk the course. One could say that all of our 70+ years on the earth are just preparation for our Life Review – which is really where all the interesting stuff happens. The Life Review being the same as ‘the Biblical judgment’ – as I would understand it.

      Everything I wrote above is a true and factual description of what is reported by Near Death Experiencers. It may or may not agree with what Swedenborg teaches on this matter. I’m not entirely sure what Swedenborg says about this. I do know this: Regardless of how a person responds to the Being of Light, and regardless of how they accept the lessons available in their Life Review, neither of these 2 common NDE events actually determines WHERE a person ends up. And we do not know where they end up because NDE’s are not ‘that extensive.’ NDE’s are very informative, fully transformative, mostly for learning and growing and enabling us to fulfill our Life Purpose when we return to the earth, but they do not describe our ‘final state’ – not at all. It is all ‘in flux’ still – too early to tell – the jury is not back yet on our life. We are just beginning the process of finding out who we are and what we are made of and where we will be most comfortable in the next life. So to ask a question like “Do we see anyone rejecting God (yes, I’ve seen that before) and casting themselves into Hell” is to mistake the whole Afterlife as a ‘once for all’ end-of-life event. The better way to see it is this: Hellish experiences often happen BEFORE a person can even approach the Being of Light or their Life Review (which comes after meeting the Being of Light). And those ‘hellish experiences’ are often people working something out that is problematic in their belief systems. Which lasts for a while, but then they move through it and make it to the next stop on their journey. Still, that isn’t the ‘ultimate destination’ – it is all the necessary steps in preparation for the Afterlife. People can grow and change and completely turn the direction of their Life around right in the middle of their NDE (this is very often the case).

      This verse comes to mind: Malachi 3:2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap (laundry detergent). 3 He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

      Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Malachi+3%3A2-4&version=NASB

      Basically think of the NDE as the wash cycle on your washing machine. We don’t yet know whether the dirt and muck and grime will come out in the wash or if after the drying cycle, the clothes will still be full of stains and spots. So the final state can not yet be determined – too much is happening and everything is still in flux. God isn’t finished with us yet – and He’s still doing everything He can to redeem us and make us Holy throughout the entire NDE. Still, people can and do resist all the opportunities they are given, and like a perfect Gentleman, God and the angels respond with, “Let it be done unto you as you wish.” (They never violate this.) So yes, people will be able to cast themselves into hell at the end of the day, but generally that is not immediately apparent just by listening to their NDE testimonies alone. I hope this answered your question! -Garret

  3. Rob says:

    Seven years or so ago I had a dream where I was a small child, and I was flooded with golden light, pouring into me laterally. I felt an overwhelming feeling of unconditional love and bliss. I was disappointed to wake up. I can’t imagine myself ever turning away from that; it seemed like what my deepest heart yearned for. I can’t imagine anyone turning from that. And I have a lot of character flaws, including resentment and even hate.

  4. Brian says:

    Thanks for highlighting these videos! Lots of good and important information there. I will continue to watch.

  5. sparky480 says:

    It’s been a while since I posted anything on here. All I have to say is near-death experiences actually frighten me, even the so-called positive ones. I used to read about various near-death experiences on Kevin Williams website, and a common theme was if some people did not choose to return to some lousy life scenarios, like falling off of scaffolding and being crippled, they’d be forced in reincarnate again into the same scenario. Many also felt that life was a game, with soul contracts. Reincarnation appears to be a major theme with near-death experiences. Even if NDEs aren’t actual physical death because the silver chord isn’t severed, they have to be a glimpse of something.

    • Lee says:

      Hi sparky480,

      Good to hear from you again. Sorry to hear that you’re still struggling with the depressing and frightening theory of bodily reincarnation. I know we’ve discussed this before, so I won’t go into any lengthy response. Here, once again, is my article on reincarnation:

      The Bible, Emanuel Swedenborg, and Reincarnation

      Bodily reincarnation and deterministic karma are the Eastern religion equivalents of Western Christian fundamentalism. They represent a low-level, materialistic misunderstanding of teachings in the Eastern scriptures that are really about spiritual rebirth and the spiritual consequences of our actions, not about physical reincarnation and material-world payback.

      It is true that some people who have NDEs, or study them, think they support reincarnation. Years ago when I posted the above video review, I had a conversation with Garret Weeks about this. He knows a lot more about NDEs than I do. And he said that NDEs overall really don’t support reincarnation.

      The problem is that if people get deep enough into an NDE to spend a bit of time in the spiritual world, they commonly come in contact with spirits in the world of spirits—the place between heaven and hell where people first arrive after they die—not with angels. And the spirits in the world of spirits have all the same mistaken beliefs that they did in the world. Plenty of them believe in reincarnation just as they did on earth, and they assure NDE visitors that reincarnation is a real thing, even though it does not, in fact, happen.

      I recommend reading my reincarnation article once again to strengthen yourself against the false and materialistic idea that we are physically reincarnated. Also, do watch Mr. Weeks’s YouTube videos about NDEs. They are excellent. Perhaps they will help to allay some of your fears.

      Meanwhile, Godspeed on your spiritual journey.

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