The auditorium in the Humanities building filled with a scattered crowd of students, professors, and Ocala residents that were interested in knowing the real meaning behind the film “Life after Life”. On Nov. 16, 2015, the film was shown and hosted by the Humanities and Science department to spotlight near-death experiences during this round of Mega-Monday.
The film was an hour long, with speckled moments of CF’s own Dr. Olsen, philosophy/humanities professor, speaking emphatically about near-death experiences and out-of-body experiences. With the film being held during Student Activity hour, the hosts were kind enough to offer free food for all that came to the event.
Many of the attendees had never heard of or been closely associated with near-death experiences (NDEs) or out-of-body experiences (OBEs).
“This is the first type of event I have attended about this type of subject,” Reagan Martin, nursing major, said.
Martin is a student of Olsen’s and she noted that she was happy that she was able to be enrolled in one of his classes this semester since Olsen is going to be retiring after this semester.
“He’s always throwing little nuggets of wisdom at us during class,” Martin said.
Six different people were spotlighted in the film, based on the novel by Raymond Moody, to tell about their experiences with near-death and out-of-body experiences. A near-death experience (NDE) is a type of experience that is unusual, but Olsen noted that 1 out of 5 people have this type of experience. The experience takes place just on the brink of death and may include, but is not limited to beings of light, great pain, tunnels, and the sight of relatives.
OBEs are noted experiences where the person experiencing it can see their body as they float up to the ceiling, stand or walk with their body, or even sit near their body.
Olsen himself has had experiences with these subjects throughout his life, which makes him considerably more passionate about NDEs and OBEs than the average person.
“I had a peri-natal or Near-Birth Experience that has been very significant to me in my growth and development over the years,” said Olsen. “And I have had countless out-of-body experiences (OBEs).”
All six of the folks in “Life after Life” were declared dead, some even for more than twenty-four hours, from various ways such as suicide, diseases, and even oddities like K.G.B.s. All of these people had a similar experience during their time of being declared dead.
In terms of the similar experience, it was noted that all of these people felt an indescribable and unconditional sense of love, bright light, and they all even heard living people around them say things like “we lost him” or “she’s dead.”
“I left feeling moved, refreshed,” said Brittany Rogers, CF alumni. “Olsen said the film has changed people’s lives and I can understand why; loving one another and gaining knowledge and understanding is a known universal need, but the fact that that message is what these people brought back with them from the other side makes it that much clearer.”
The film closed with Olsen noting how extremely important forgiveness is, and that it is usually a remembered necessity after an NDE or OBE.
“NDEs and their associated OBEs are important indicators of the importance of a spiritual life in which one treats all life with the most profound respect,” said Olsen. “People who have NDEs grow in their quest to know, and to manifest loving kindness in the world. In opening our eyes to this truly fascinating and prevalent phenomenon, we open ourselves to a deeper, broader and inclusive acceptance of others.”
Many left with hard-copies of the event flyers that would continue throughout the week where Olsen would be lecturing about NDEs and OBEs. His last event of the week will be on Nov. 19, from 7-8:30 p.m., in the Webber Center. The lecture will be on highlights from other lecture tours he has held in France, England, Wales, and Peru. Anyone is welcome to attend the event, free of charge, and a reception will follow.
Story by: Ashleigh Mcvey