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90 Minutes of Perfection

Essay by   •  November 19, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,675 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,560 Views

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90 Minutes of Perfection

Any pain to be suffered comes first. Instinctively you fight to live. The conscious mind does not believe any other reality could possibly exist beside the earth. We have been trained since birth to live. Life tells us who we are and we accept it's telling. Your body wants to live and will fight to survive. Your body goes limp. Your heart stops. No more air flows in or out. You lose sight, feeling, and movement - although the ability to hear goes last. Identity ceases. The "you" that you once were becomes only a memory. There is no pain at the moment of death. Only peaceful silence. . . calm. . . quiet. But you still exist. It is easy not to breathe. In fact, it is easier and more comfortable not to breathe than to breathe. The biggest surprise for most people in dying is to realize that dying does not end life. Whether darkness or light comes next, or some kind of event, be it positive, negative, or somewhere in-between, expected or unexpected, the biggest surprise of all is to realize you are still you. You can still think, you can still remember, you can still see, hear, move, reason, wonder, feel, question, and tell jokes. You are still alive, very much alive. "Actually, you're more alive after death than at any time since you were last born. Only the way of all this is different; different because you no longer wear a dense body to filter and amplify the various sensations you had once regarded as the only valid indicators of what constitutes life."(Atwater) You had always been taught one has to wear a body to live. "The only thing dying does is help you release, slough off, and discard the "jacket" you once wore."(Atwater) When you die you lose your body. That's all there is to it. Nothing else is lost.

Don Piper is someone that died. He was in an accident where he was hit head on by an 18-wheeler on a small bridge over the Trinity River. When emergency personnel found no pulse he was covered up and was waiting on the justice of the peace to pronounce him dead. "Piper remembers nothing of the accident, but everything about heaven." (Vara) While he was dead, Piper experiences this unimaginable trip to heaven and titled his book 90 Minutes In Heaven.

90 Minutes in Heaven is not a typical story. It does not follow the ideal literary scheme. There is no rising action, there is no climax, or even a plot reader's can follow. What is the book then? It is a recollection of survival, a display of undeniable strength and compassion. This book is how Don Piper died, went to Heaven, and returned. Don discusses the wreck, his journey to heaven, his return to earth and then his recovery. However, Mr. Piper is not a proclaimed author, nor is he an English professor. He is a Baptist minister who wanted to share his experience with the people of this world. There are so many ways to approach the subject of Don's near death experience but there is only one way to examine the experience. The way Don Piper wanted everyone too. He wanted everyone that read the story to believe and to have hope. He wanted us to smile, and he wanted us to cry. He believed that because he had this experience that we are all stronger and we should not try to hide the awesome powers God has. Don Piper's near-death experience is a true story.

When researching Don's trip to heaven it is not classified as an "out of body experience" but a "near death experience." The Near-Death Experience (NDE) may be defined as "A lucid experience associated with perceived consciousness apart from the body occurring at the time of actual or threatened imminent death." (Long) Or and experience an individual had while they were clinically dead. Where as the out of body experience or OBE is more closely related to dreams and meditation trips. Some encounters with OBE's are when a person is high, or hallucinating. Don Piper was definitely not hallucinating nor was he dreaming. His accounts of heaven and his findings were not drug induced. NDE's are happening everyday, even though Don's story may be unique; other individuals who have had NDE's surround him. A Gallup Poll in 1992 led to an estimate that 13 million Americans had experienced a NDE. The population of the United States in 1992 was approximately 260 million, leading to an estimate of NDE prevalence of 13 million/260 million, or 5%. His experiences while in Heaven are somewhat related to other recollections people have had while "dead." Many people report of seeing the light. One woman recounts that when she found herself in the light, "the feeling just became more and more and more ecstatic and glorious and perfect.... If you took the one thousand best things that ever happened to you in your life and multiplied by a million, maybe you could get close to this feeling." (Atwater) Another man wrote, "then there was peace. Peace, but in order to give an idea of what one means by that, the letters would have to be written thousands of miles high in soft glowing colors. It is a complete happiness, total happiness, beyond the realm of happiness." (Atwater) Reverend Piper did not see a light nor did he traverse down a dark tunnel. He does not remember fading away or coming back and he heard nothing. The next moment of awareness he was standing in heaven. He did find himself standing in front of a "large shimmery

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