EDITOR – I was intrigued by Jane Seymour’s interview with Joe Duffy in the first episode of RTE’s new Meaning of Life series.
Regardless of whether one believes in an afterlife, it’s interesting that most people who have a Near Death Experience (NDE) say their lives have been changed for the better by what happened to them during that mysterious time period during which they were declared clinically ‘dead.’
Even a hard core atheist or materialist who flatly refuses to even contemplate survival of bodily death might be impressed by the largely positive after-effects of an NDE.
They might of course scoff at people like Jane Seymour whose spiritual beliefs have been strengthened by the experience, but it’s worth bearing in mind that there’s evidence pointing to something other than hallucination, or confusion caused by medication, going on when people undergo these encounters.
For example, there are the cases of people hovering over their temporarily ‘dead’ physical bodies and hearing what the doctors and nurses are saying, and observing other activity in the vicinity of their mortal selves … all this at a time they were ‘dead’, or at least unable to perceive via their audio or visual senses in the normal way.
And there are the cases where a person’s brain had ‘shut down’ for the duration of the NDE, so that one can’t argue that they were dreaming or hallucinating, as one might when it is the heart that has stopped.
Could it be that NDEs show that human consciousness can exist independently of the brain and that it can survive the death of the body?
We’ll all find out some day what happens at the point of death, but in the meantime I think it does no harm to look at the evidence that there could be an afterlife, and that therefore life here on earth does take on a new meaning.
Jane Seymour spoke of her feeling that making a difference means everything in life and that, in her view, it’s the only thing we take with us to that other place when we depart.
We can certainly make a difference right now by helping to save the planet from the cocktail of man-made evils that threaten to destroy it.
Even if there’s an afterlife elsewhere (fingers crossed), we still need to preserve this little part of the universe for those who come after us, and for the many plant, animal and marine species that share it with us.
Callan, Co Kilkenny.
President was right to decline invite
EDITOR – For half a century Catholics were imprisoned in politically constructed ghettoes in the North of Ireland where they were denied equal rights to housing jobs and also denied the right to vote themselves out of their predicament.
When they tried in the civil rights movement they were shot and battered off their own streets by the British Army RUC and loyalists.
Northern nationalists do not require knowledge of what happened in 1916 and the War of Independence to sustain hostility to the North of Ireland State they lived in through it all.
For President Higgins to accept an invitation to commemorate the centenary of Northern Ireland is to endorse partition from 1921 with its carefully cultivated carve-up until Stormont came about in 1972. Unionists enjoyed the the exclusive trappings of economic and political hegemony, by refusing to concede the democratic principle of power-sharing up until recent times. The President of Ireland was correct in declining the invitation and not to endorse partition on this island of Ireland, which cost so many lives.
Cash to discourage objections
EDITOR – I read with interest your recent article on local schools and communities getting cash from windfarm developers.
It made me recall Mafia or criminal gangs doling out funds to discourage local objections to their activities.
The purpose is the exact same – applying moral and public pressure to discourage locals from objecting to windfarms.
I also recall a story by Emma Connolly in 2018 in your paper, under the headline ‘Energy firms: are they saving rural Ireland or buying up our support?’ which made this very point.
But the windfarm promoters are being very successful in their approach – in large part because many other members of the ‘fourth estate’ ask no questions but instead celebrate this behaviour.
It would be nice to see some searching questions, from other media, asked of both the windfarm promoters and also the bodies that are so open to taking these ‘donations’.
Leixlip, Co Kildare.
I’d tell politicians where to stick their €5
EDITOR – Once again as Budget time approaches, we hear talk of €5 a week increase for pensioners. Just €5? What an insult – taking into account the increases that have occurred.
Yet our ‘self serving’ politicians have no problem increasing their own income (including local councillors) and on occasions creating well paying (including allowances and ‘perks’) positions for ‘friends and acquaintances.’
Although a pensioner I am not in receipt of an Irish State pension.
If I was, I would tell those politicians where to put the €5 and it wouldn’t be into a post office savings account.
Michael A Moriarty,