Article “at Odds…. Missing?” November 21, 2016 by Steve Beckow



death-33In case anyone has the same  , I post the answer to one from M. on the article, “Doctor Swears He Saw a Glimpse of Hell.” (1)

I probably should have anchored the article with more of an intro, as M suggests. I apologize. Thanks for the correction.

M: First know that I’m a big fan. I acknowledge the courage that you have to write such personal experiences and post them here. I have found this site to be interesting, uplifting and consistent.

Until today.

With barely an explanation in the preamble you posted “Doctor Swears He Saw a Glimpse of Hell.” You said this fits into your maps of heaven. You NEED to expand on that before posting an article like this. I found this to be at such odds with everything you’ve posted before. And on the same day you posted a John Smallman article who clearly doesn’t believe in hell.

I read the doctor article then took some time to let it sink in but feel there wasn’t enough explanation as to why you would post this on a site that promotes love and lack of suffering and limitation. It’s the only article I’ve ever read on this site that I’ve felt was at odds with all the rest.

Am I missing something here?


In responding, please be aware that I really don’t have time to go back and reread the account of the doctor’s OOBE. We’ll have to go on my approximate memory. I asked M to allow me to answer online because I think the subject is of general interest.

S: M,

I can’t tell you if you might be missing something. I can only really tell you how the article impacted me.  And it impacted me a great deal, for these reasons.

(1) Writing New Maps of Heaven involved not only studying the afterlife but looking in on adjacent fields, one of which was out-of-body experiences.  I myself had an OOBE in 1977 so I read the doctor’s account with some interest from that perspective.

(2) The doctor’s experience took him from moral lassitude and complacency to dharmic involvement with his son. That’s worth celebrating.

(3) If I recall correctly (because I don’t have time to go back and reread the original article, I’m afraid, much as I’d like to; just too busy), he was shown a vision, as I was shown a vision in 1987. So again we share a common experience.

I know how the realized knowledge conveyed by a vision can stop a person dead in their tracks and change the course of their lives. Mine did. (2) I haven’t stopped talking about the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost/Brahman, Atman and Shakti – whom I saw in that vision – ever since. So I know the power of visions. (3)

At the same time, visions are different than the place itself; in this case, than the landscape we know as the Dark Planes or Winterlands, which to most of us is what the word “hell” refers to.

Visions can be whatever they are. But the Dark Planes actually exist and the folks there actually lead the most gloomy and unfortunate of lives. In standing on the brink of hell, the doctor did not go the Dark Planes. He wasn’t shown the misshapen creatures that exist in that dank, dense lower astral region.

As I recall, some of the elements of his vision don’t accord with the “hell” depicted in New Maps of Heaven.

The two need not accord. The vision is fashioned by … well, we don’t know who fashions our visions, really. They can present whatever they want to us – gargoyles, demons, satanic figures, fallen angels.  The place itself – the Dark Planes – has a definite form, which the vision does not have to reproduce or accord with.

Any lack of agreement is fine with me.  Behind the surface features, I know what he’s pointing to. He was shown such a strong vision that it altered his life (that means it must have been realized knowledge) and he wants to share it with us.

This particular vision, probably provided by his guides, was likely designed to scare the living daylights out of him, to scare him straight.  And it did scare him straight.

A story like this could only be told by an out-of-body traveller. People on the other side of life (the afterlife, Astral Plane, Fourth Dimension) … well, they’re already committed. They’ve left the body permanently. No being scared straight for them. (4) They’re not going back into a physical body and continuing with their lives, as the doctor did.

(4) In the time away from his body, as I recall, the doctor realized that he was not the body. I’ve had that realization myself during my 1977 OOBE. I was entering my body and said, “What is this?” I was like gossamer and this other thing that I’d returned to was like India rubber. What was I getting into?


Melodramatic perhaps, but you get the picture: The emotional truth. Credit:

And I realized at that moment that I was not “this” whatever it was, this dense, thick tank of a body (see graphic, left).

I was the consciousness, the blithe spirit entering into the body and then transferring itself as consciousness to beyond or outside the skin.

Once the transfer of consciousness was complete, it utterly lost touch with its gossamer nature. It was consciousness inside a thundering machine .

Seeing this, knowing this at a realized level frees one from the fear of death. Only the body will die and I’ll be fine. What’s to fear about death? I get to be free again.

This revelation of the knowledge that the doctor was not the body may slip by some people. But it was another significant element of his story for me.

By the way, an OOBE is the easiest way to come to the realization “I am not the body.”

All of this was wrapped up in the one telling. I found it a very good and rich read.

I get that it may not have moved you and I’m OK with that. But it very much resonated with me.




(1) At

(2) For a description of that experience, see “The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment – Ch. 13 – Epilogue” at

(3) Krishnamurti also does, as he reveals here:

“The really important thing is … the knowledge of God’s plan for men. For God has a plan, and that plan is evolution. When once a man has seen that and really knows it, he cannot help working for it and making himself one with it, because it is so glorious, so beautiful.” (J. Krishnamurti, At the Feet of the Master. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974; c1910, 17.)

(4) Except in the full-life review called “the Judgment.” See

Shortlink :