Near-Death Experience (NDE) -How Can You Know It Really Happens?

Perhaps there is no greater mystery than that which explains where one goes upon physical death.  Philosophers such as Plato and Socrates have made postulations.  Religious and spiritual leaders pose even more explanations.  Interestingly, the answer has been written on cave walls, in ancient art, in literature, and depicted in popular culture; all in plain view.

Since the beginning of time ordinary people of every ilk have claimed to have experienced passing from this life to the next and returned to tell the tale of their adventure.  People report having seen a tunnel of light, being met by spirit beings, seeing and communicating with deceased loved ones, having experienced a massive white light that exudes pure love, and more.  Some have even reported the complete opposite of this experience having been met with darkness, evil, and denigration.  No matter what the experience, afterward, generally people convey the message that the choices one makes in this life shape the experiences one will have upon death.  They go further to say that life continues outside the physical body in a non-physical, eternal form.  Sceptics of every sort have tried to debunk such experiences with arguments of brain synapses, the heart not yet failed, and many other intellectual contortions. The interesting point to be made is that from the beginning of the human experience people have reported leaving the body and returning with accounts of the knowledge they have gained.

Ascent of the Blessed is a Hieronymus Bosch painting made after 1490. It can be found in the Palazzo Ducale, in VeniceItaly, and depicts the NDE account in vivid detail.  A more recent account comes from Dr. Eben Alexander, a sceptic of such matters and neurosurgeon, who was brain dead for a week and kept alive by medical means.  He returns to account having left the body to discover the great mystery that awaits anyone in the human experience.  From long past to recent times, there have been thousands of accounts of these experience throughout humanity, all with similar themes.  So how can one really know such an experience has occurred?

For those who have had the experience of becoming a non-physical form of one’s self and then returning into the physical form, it’s a permanent, life-changing event.  There is a personality change that renders the physical being immensely different for having had the experience.  There’s also a noticeable change in one’s physical appearance.  There is calmness in the face, a gentle demeanour, joy that exudes the body, and deep peace in the eyes.  This transformation is one that is clearly recognized by others who have had a similar experience.

After a true NDE the changes are shockingly noticeable.  The changes are so profound they often lead to relationship damage or dissolution because the person who has had the NDE is literally unrecognizable.  If someone was achievement striving and competitive they can become agreeable, accepting and co-operative.  If they were angry and aggressive, they become loving and peaceful.  People who have had an NDE also feel the need to help others or to contribute to something greater than them.  The focus is no longer on the self and what it can gain.

The changes that come with an NDE appear to be intense, long-lasting, completely out of character for the person, and enduring.  What is most enduring is the memory of how it felt to be merged with the light.  One never forgets seeing one’s own body from the ceiling, seeing things from a vantage point unknown to the physical body alone.  When it happens, the changes can be so dramatic there is no doubt something phenomenal has occurred.

After meeting the world that exists beyond the physical body, one can never really go back fully to the physical world.  It’s an unforgettable, profound experience that does not fade.  From that point on the feeling of being in a space of pure light, extreme love unknown in physical form, and a mystery revealed, does not disappear.  So the only way to know someone has had a near-death experience is by having had one and recognizing the transformation in another; one becomes part of a private club, so to speak. When you’re in the club you know it and when you’re not, you have no idea what it means to be in it. I personally could not ever go back to knowing the world as it was after my own near death nearly 20 years ago.  I cannot pretend the world was what I thought it was prior to the event.  The veil had been lifted.

The need to share what lies ahead after death becomes a driving force in life and is evidenced everywhere once awareness of the experience is had.  Paintings, plays, modern writings, ancient writings, songs, movies, and more, all divulge the answer.  They are all revealing the secret of the eternal experience after physical form.  All worldly matters of illness, relationships, finances, and even suffering, are but a world playing a part within a much larger world.  Once you know the secret, you see it everywhere.

For my ally is the force, and a powerful ally it is.  Life creates it, makes it grow.  Its energy surrounds us and binds us.  Luminous beings we are. Not this crude matter.   Yoda

With Love, for that is all there really is.


Teresa L. DeCicco, PhD is a university professor, research and author of Psychology.  Her newest book “Living Beyond the Five Senses” is available at the “BUY NOW” button at the top of the page and in bookstores everywhere.

See more of her work on her youtube channel:



Religion or Science…Why Do I Have To Choose?

There has been a long standing debate on the notion of choosing between religion and science for one’s own belief system.  From the origin of life to what occurs upon death, people have made the issue mutually exclusive; either they believe in science or religion, and they have pitted them against each other.  I often hear people say they don’t believe in religion because they rely on science for the answers.  Similarly, people who belong to a religious group negate notions of evolution or scientific findings, even in the face of clear facts.  Both positions have always perplexed me, even as a child, I did not see why it had to be one way or the other.  Perhaps there is another way of looking at this age old question that includes both orientations into one explanation.

Firstly, religion can be defined as belonging to a group that follows a doctrine.  Everyone who belongs to this group believes the doctrine to be true and right for them.  On the other hand, spirituality is a personal and private quest for understanding one’s purpose and meaning in life.  People who are religious can also be spiritual, as these are not mutually exclusive.  Those who define themselves as spiritual however need not belong to any particular religious group but will find a belief system that resonates with them.

Given this, scientific inquiry can be entertained by anyone who holds spiritual values, that is, their own private, personal journey inward.  Similarly, people who have a spiritual quest can certainly belong to a religious group and be open to scientific findings.  There does not have to be any contradiction here.  The only time contradiction occurs is when one is steadfast in one camp or the other without opening the mind to entertaining another way.  I realize for some this is a tall order but even the steadfast Catholic Church has done it over the centuries.

While many years ago some priests were excommunicated for their scientific findings, the church itself has evolved with science.  The first person to postulate the Big Bang Theory was a priest of Catholic Origin and this is also the case with many other scientific contributions.  Other religious groups have also stated that religion and science do not contradict; the Catholic Church is not alone on this stance.  Many scientific researchers have also stated that religion, spirituality, and science do not contradict.  It’s a matter of opening the mind to include new ideas in a new way that do not conflict with one’s own personal belief system.

So by looking at spirituality, religion, and science in a more inclusive manner one can decide for him or herself where the boundaries lie.  Herein lies the rub.  One must think for him or herself and by educating one’s self can come to a conclusion that feels right.  The simple categorization of religion and science does not cut it.  Spirituality, spirituality and religion, spirituality and science, spirituality and religion and science, religion, science, and finally, religion and science, are all viable options.  It’s simply a matter of finding one’s place in the options available.  The question of choosing between science and religion is just too simple to be viable.  It’s like asking someone to choose between apples and oranges when in reality, they can really have both.

With Love and Openness


Teresa L. DeCicco, PhD is the author of numerous scientific papers and books.  Her current book “Living Beyond the Five Senses” is available at the “BUY NOW” button at the top of the page and in bookstores everywhere.


The Artist’s Way: Rejecting Criticism, Finding Success

Whether it be writing, painting, photography, music, acting, or any other calling to create art, there will be critics along the way that stop us dead in our tracks.  This is explained beautifully in The Artists’ Way by Julia Cameron, who provides a guide to getting us unblocked and onto creating the art of our choice.  I personally, have had many critics along the way who have used every tactic imaginable to stop me from being creative.  Some confront harshly with words that are meant to inflict deep wounds.  Others are much gentler in their delivery but use a tactic that is equally effective.  No matter how it’s carried or why, the result is that artists are left unable to write, sing, paint, dance or act because critics deliver lethal blows.

In terms of criticism, I first make the distinction between true criticism and helpful feedback.  Helpful feedback is something that I can use to propel my work forward.  Criticism leaves me in shock.  Helpful feedback gives me something to think about; a new idea, a new way of looking at things, even if I don’t like it, it is helpful.  Criticism stops me from moving at all; it leaves me immobilized.  In the face of true criticism there are two important aspects I have learned to assimilate into my own creative process. One is to recognize when I should reject the criticism and two, when to work with it so it helps me grow.  With the help of Julia Cameron’s book, which I use over and over again, I have often emerged more creative and much stronger for having had unkind criticism thrown my way.

I first ask myself if the person delivering the criticism is extremely successful in their own right.  I look at their work and I examine closely the notion that they may be a mentor for me.  If the person has written more books, or sold more songs, or has acclimations far greater than mine, then I pay attention.  If this is not the case, then as Julia Cameron points out, the person is most likely a “Blocked Artist”.  This is someone who wishes they could write.  Wishes they could paint.  Wishes they could do whatever it is they are criticizing but either don’t have the talent or the determination to develop it.  Blocked artists are very dangerous for artists because they act like artists and they carry an air of superiority but have never really proven themselves in the art they are criticising.  Having determined the category within which the critic belongs, I move forward with the criticism as a spring-board to learn something new or, I move away with complete disinterest in feeding a negative force.

Secondly, I look at how the message was delivered.  Was it in a kind and loving way? Did the person use degrading language? Did the person have to back-track once their true intention was revealed?  Did he or she apologize?  If the blow was unkind in any way I quickly disregard it.  It’s most likely that the comment was about them and not about me.  I don’t try to analyze it or give it any energy at all; I decided years ago that unkind advice has no place in my life.  I drop it and move on.

Lastly, I think about all the times critics have helped me move forward. They have helped me turn away from certain paths to find a better place to develop and present my writing.  Without rude, mean-spirited, harsh critics I would not have found my way or pushed myself toward being better at what I love to do.  Critics have actually helped shape my career because they provide a fork in the road of creativity; one road is stagnation and the other is the artists’ way.  The way that has something positive to share, something that uplifts or helps others, something that feeds curiosity, expands the mind, frees emotions and makes me feel joyous in every aspect of my life.

With Love and Gratitude,


Teresa L. DeCicco, PhD is the author of “Living Beyond the Five Senses” available at the “BUY NOW” button at the top of the page and in bookstores everywhere


Eat your Chi: New Food for A New Planet

Chi (definition)-natural energy, life force, or energy flow

As living creatures we gain and store our energy source mainly through the foods we eat.  Luckily, the planet provides abundant sources of this energy with the food choices we ingest. This energy then becomes who we are, literally.  It becomes our hair, our skin, our organs, and provides the fuel for us to navigate through our lives.  Since we are unable to eat the sun’s energy directly, we eat it through the absorption of sunlight in plants and through the food chain.  Sadly, much of our food is now empty of energy and as such, has become Chi-less, dead food.  Dead food is that which has been processed, grown with toxic farming practices, or prepared with the sole intent of low cost and high profit.  All of these and more have led to the consumption of food with little or no energetic value other than high fat and refined sugar.

We are what we eat and with this being so, we should have the ability to transform ourselves with the foods we ingest.  Food that is contaminated with chemicals and negative food preparation (grilling in fat that is harmful to the body or mass-production of food that depletes it of all nutrients) should be visible on our faces, in our bodies and in our minds.  However, the opposite should also be true.  Food that provides uncontaminated solar and nutrient power should also put a glow on our faces and a skip in our step.

That being the case, I came across a woman who is preparing food with this very notion in mind.  Suzanne Cazelais of Oui Desserts! in Canada has created delicious treats that are carefully thought out and meticulously prepared.  Her delicious treats are made to provide an incredible taste experience with high voltage energy from natural, planet-safe foods.  Here is a case in point:  a summer treat of “Power Pops” are making their mark and sweeping the food revolution like a hurricane.  Working within the consciousness of the current tradition of eating ice cream and popsicles, she has created gluten free, dairy free, planet-friendly, high-energy deliciousness that makes us feel great!  This is a movement that should not be missed.

Popsicles explode with flavours of watermelon, Blueberry, Thai Basil, Banana and more.  Chocolate fudge pops are made without milk and are thick and delicious and incredible.  This is the new food for the new planet.  Not only are these a treat that uplift the mind, body and spirit, Ms. Cazelais has shown us that we can rethink food so as to enjoy it and uplift ourselves.  Food can have it all so there’s no sense of denying ourselves anything in hopes of better eating.  She has shown us that we can enjoy the pleasure of eating to the max while taking care of our energy by eating the most delicious, body-friendly foods the planet has to offer.  We can eat our Chi in the form of cakes, brownies, cookies, popsicles and fudge bars from Oui! Desserts.  All of this and more, when we rethink how food can be prepared with higher consciousness that respects the earth and our bodies (not to mention it’s fun and delicious to eat).  If we truly are what we eat, then we can have our cake and eat it too but we have to rethink our food choices and become aware of what we ingest.  Thank you to Ms. Cazelais for showing us a new and exciting way to eat our Chi.

You can check out Oui! Desserts at  or

Have yourself a delicious day!


Teresa L. DeCicco, PhD is the author of “Living Beyond the Five Senses” available at the BUY NOW button at the top of the page and in bookstores everywhere

Power Pops