A Conversation with The Linns

Enjoy the conversation below with Sheila Fabricant Linn, Dennis Linn & Matthew Linn about near-death experiences and their book, The Gifts of Near-Death Experiences.

What is a near-death experience?

A near-death experience is an experience in which people who appear to be dead or in danger of death leave their body, find themselves fully conscious in another realm, and then return to this life. The stages of an NDE may include:  separation of consciousness from the physical body; heightened senses; intense feelings of peace and love; passing into or through a tunnel; encountering a brilliant and loving light; encountering other beings, such as mystical beings or deceased relatives and friends; an altered sense of space and time; a review of every moment of one’s life in which there is no judgment and only love; visiting unworldly realms; an experience of universal knowledge; encountering a boundary or barrier; returning to one’s body, often with a new sense of the purpose of one’s life.

How common are near-death experiences?

Near-death experiences are common, well-documented, and similar across cultures throughout the world.  Current estimates are that between four and fifteen percent of the world’s population have had an NDE.  Therefore, almost everyone has either had one or knows someone else who has had one.

Why do you think people are so interested in near-death experiences?

The general public has been interested in near-death experiences since the publication of Raymond Moody’s book Life After Life in 1975. In the years following, these experiences have been studied extensively and many more books have appeared on the topic. Interest in them has only grown, in part because modern resuscitation techniques have allowed more people to return to life and have also given NDEs increased credibility in the medical community.

At one level, some of the fascination with NDEs may be because they often result in great leaps in personal growth. At another, deeper level, we believe NDEs remind us of where we came from. Many people who have had NDEs report recognizing the realm in which they find themselves, and describe it as their “real home,” the home they knew before their life on earth and the home to which they will return.

What are the typical effects of a near-death experience?

NDEs often result in great leaps in personal growth. For example, even sociopaths may return from an NDE with a conscience and a capacity for genuine love. The after effects of NDEs have been carefully researched and typically include loss of the fear of death, healing of deep hurts, increase in self-esteem and compassion for others, a sense of union with all things, an increased sense of social justice and concern for the environment, and a clearer sense of how to fulfill one’s purpose in life.  People who have had NDEs typically change their vocation by moving away from a focus on material success and moving toward service to others and care for all life.

How has writing this book affected you personally?

Writing this book has confirmed our memory of coming from the place described by people who have had near-death experiences, and given us a more abiding perspective on the gift of our life here.

We always knew there was life after death, but writing this has also helped us look forward even more to returning to the place from which we came, and meeting loved ones who have already gone on.  Thus, any fear of death we had has diminished.

We are also more aware that everything counts and nothing is lost.  Often when we are making a decision about how to handle a situation, we ask ourselves, “Am I doing the most loving thing, and how will I feel about this decision look during my life review?”

Most of all, writing this book has helped us own our true size, as we grow in the awareness that comes to many NDErs that we ourselves are the Light and we are love. 

Who is this book for?    

All three of us are introverts, and parties or other social gatherings can be an ordeal for us.  Our usual strategy is to find at least one person we know well, and stay near that person.  Since we began writing this book, we have found ourselves walking into a room full of people and discovering that we could have a meaningful conversation with anyone there.  As soon as someone asks us what we are doing currently, and we tell them we are reading and writing about near-death experiences, their eyes widen, their attention seems to focus, and they start asking questions.  Almost always, they know someone who has had an NDE, and surprisingly often they have had one themselves.  Even the skeptics seem fascinated.  So, we believe this book is for anyone.

This book is also for people in caring professions such as nursing, medicine, hospice, counseling and psychotherapy, ministry, spiritual companioning, education, etc.

The NDE transcends culture and religion, while encompassing the fundamental teachings of all religions, so much so that Dr. Ring has called it “the universal donor.”  Therefore, we have written The Gifts of Near-Death Experiences in a way that we hope will have universal appeal.   We believe the NDE, with its consistent message of love and peace, is an important source of healing for our world at this time.  We want this book to be part of that healing.

Sheila Fabricant Linn, Dennis and Matthew Linn work together as a team, integrating physical, emotional, and spiritual wholeness. They have taught courses on processes for healing around the world. They are the authors of 23 books, including 2 books for children and those who care for them. These books have sold over a million copies in English and have been translated into more than 20 languages. Dennis and Sheila live in Colorado with their son, John. Matt lives in a Jesuit community in Minnesota. Visit them at www.linnministries.org.


“Something Out There” – A Conversation with Bryan Sykes

Enjoy the conversation below with Bryan Sykes about the search for Bigfoot and his book, Bigfoot, Yeti and the Last Neanderthal.

Why did you, a well-known scientist, embark on the project in the first place?

Basically, like a lot of people, I was curious to know the answer to the question–Do these creatures exist? And I had the DNA tools to answer it.

Why did you risk your reputation by working in such a murky field?

I agree it is an eccentric topic to pick, but I always thought it fell well within the sphere of proper scientific enquiry. I would not have embarked on this project when I was younger.

What did your colleagues think of your decision?

Some thought I was crazy, but a reassuring number of very senior colleagues, like me, it fell well within the realm of science.

Did you have other reasons other than curiosity?

Yes, I was frustrated that so many media report of samples sent to labs for DNA tests were never followed up–and the results were never published. It was all very unsatisfactory. I was also irritated by those in the Bigfoot community who declared that they had been “rejected by science.” Science doesn’t reject anything, just examines the evidence.

There have been well-publicized accounts, for example the Sasquatch Genome Project, of identification by DNA of Bigfoot as a hybrid between humans and other animals. What is your opinion?

This work was never published in a proper peer-reviewed journal. What I saw of the project I thought was very poor science. I set out to publish the results in a mainstream journal and have done just that. (Sykes BC et al., Proc. R. Soc. B 2014 281 20140843)

What did the results show you?

In general, the hairs attributed to yetis and Bigfoot etc., by collectors were from a range of common animals living in their normal range. There were bears, raccoons, wolves, deer, even a porcupine and also feral domestics like cattle and horse. The two unexpected results: The first as from a “yeti mummy” from the Himalayas which was a genetic match to a polar bear; and the second was from Zana, an “apewoman” from the Causasus mountains captured in the mid-nineteenth century whose DNA was a total surprise. I am doing further work to make sense of it.

How did the Bigfoot community react to your findings?

In different ways. No doubt some were disappointed that I had identified their precious hair as coming from a bear, etc. A few directed that disappointment at was me, which was unreasonable. All I had done was to identify what they had given me.

But most reacted by welcoming the fact that there was now a scientifically acceptable way of proving what they believed to be “out there” and returned to their researched with renewed enthusiasm and determination to find the real thing…

Will you be continuing with this research?

No, other than finishing off the Zana work. Though I had not disproved the existence of yeti and Bigfoot, and never could, I just don’t think there is enough to work on, at the moment anyway. That said, I would be very interested to analyze what I call the “Golden Hair” — a genuine yeti or Bigfoot with an unimpeachable provenance.

What is your opinion about future research?

Bigfoot researchers are very enthusiastic and dedicated but there is a third unanswered question after “Does Bigfoot exist?” and “What is it?” and that is “Who’s paying?” Properly done, genetic analysis is expensive.

Do you believe the Bigfoot exists?

I was very careful not to form an opinion while I was doing the project and, as I have said “let the DNA do the talking.” However, I was impressed with many people I met especially those who had seen something in good light, did not want publicity and had nothing to fain. So, yes, I do there there may well be “something out there.” But my opinion doesn’t count for much. I need to see the evidence.

Bryan Sykes is a Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Wolfson College. He has been involved in a number of high-profile cases dealing with ancient DNA, including those of “Otzi the Iceman,” a well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BC and “Cheddar Man,” the remains of a man found in Cheddar Gorge, from approximately 7,150 BC. It is Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton. Professor Sykes in best known outside the community of geneticists for his bestselling books on the investigation of human history and pre-history through studies of mitochondrial DNA.


A Conversation with Mike Herbert, ND

Mike Herbert, ND, answers questions about his book, Stay Healthy During Chemo.

What are the 5 steps a patient can take to stay healthy during chemo?

  • Step 1: Change your thinking and develop an attitude focused on healing (the emotional framework.)
  • Step 2: Detoxify to promote healing from the inside out.
  • Step 3: Eat the best foods to create a healing chemistry in your body.
  • Step 4: Supplement your diet correctly to support the healing momentum.
  • Step 5: Exercise and rest to speed the healing process.

Why is nutrition a critical part of staying healthy during chemotherapy?

Nutrition supports all cells. When undergoing chemotherapy, our body requires nutritional support more than ever to protect the healthy cells and vital organs. Optimal health starts with correct nutrition because what we eat changes the body’s chemistry and the environment where the cancer is living. Change is needed for a positive outcome.

Why are most cancer patients placed on a non-restricted diet by their nutritionist or oncologist?

Most people lose weight during the chemotherapy process and oncologist often recommend high-calorie foods like milkshakes and pasta. These may keep the person from losing weight, but does not help the healing process towards being cancer free. It’s always best to eat foods that have high nutritional value, not just high in calories.

Why is it critical to eliminate sugars from your diet before, during and after chemotherapy?

Sugar is cancer food; it feeds cancer cells. Medical science has known for decades that sugar is fast energy for cells and speeds up the cellular duplication process. To reverse this process, it’s best to avoid all sugar sources and foods that turn into sugar like simple carbohydrates.

What do you recommend to eat and drink on days a patient is having a chemo treatment?

Eating the right foods is crucial for optimal health even on a chemo day. I recommend easy to digest foods like steamed veggies with brown rice or quinoa and large amounts of liquids, like green tea, peppermint tea, or purified water. Drinking a half a gallon to a gallon of water-like liquids flushes out toxins that may otherwise stay in the body.

What are some of your favorite recipes in the book?

It’s hard to narrow down 100-plus recipes to just a few personal favorites. My top picks are: The Blueberry Smoothie, Lentil Squash soup, Mediterranean spinach with pine nuts and raisins, Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw, Chia and Banana Pudding, and soft almond cookies are tasty and nutritious.

Mike Herbert is a PhD naturopath with more than 15 years in practice as a wellness consultant, with a particular emphasis on nutrition and natural healing. When his life was touched by cancer, he turned his full attention to investigating cutting-edge studies on the link between cancer and nutrition. He is the author of Stay Healthy During Chemo.