Elizabeth Krohn, an old friend of Whitley’s and popular Dreamland guest, is the primary author of the book Changed in a Flash: One Woman’s Near-Death Experience and Why a Scholar Thinks It Empowers Us All, which she wrote with Jeffrey Kripal. Her book reflects on the experience she had when she was fatally struck by lightning in 1988, and the influence it has had on the way she lives life now. She is also one of the recent winners of the Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies essay contest, and the only winner who drew on their own personal near-death experience in their essay.

Elizabeth begins the show with what may be best description of an NDE in the history of Dreamland. This deep and searching interview mines Elizabeth’s wisdom on topics such as why we must return to the physical world after we die and how we might finally break free of the cycle of reincarnation.

Whitley’s careful questioning and Elizabeth’s insightful answers offer a window into an experience we will all eventually know, which is what makes this such an important conversation. This brilliant discussion will change the way you think about death – and perhaps life too!

To read Elizabeth’s and the other winning Bigelow essays, click here.

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  1. Robert Munro speaks about ‘the belief system territories’ reporting that his out-of-body journeys allowed him to experience the vastness of these territories in what we humans call the afterlife. Belief is the key word here – what we believe here in this game will dictate our lifestyle beyond death. Conditioning often cements our beliefs while living human lives, so constant assessment and review while here can be very helpful

  2. I always look at a person’s bookcase when in the background. I smiled immediately as I noticed a hardcover set of the Harry Potter books (behind her right shoulder). Of course, you cannot see titles, but I have the exact same set on a bookcase next to me, and could compare the dust covers. Perfect match. A trivial issue, but this allowed me to approach the interview with a sense of warmth towards her instead of my usual cranky Old Boomer cynicism.

    1. You’re a good bloke Will. I read your comments and you are straight to the point, never rude, always fluid and clearly reaching for more understanding of the world like everyone else.

  3. Elizabeth was great. Not sure I agree with the whole be good and go to heaven thing. How do u judge that? Are there different levels of good and bad. My whole concept from all I have read and listened to is about unconditional love. We go through this earth life to learn lessons of free will and the other lives we live continuously learning these lesson of unconditional love and forgiveness. To be “good” has the religious religion thing that is so judgmental. All in all enjoyed this episode and Whitleys questions and thoughts. Loving my Unknown Country subscription!

    1. If there is reincarnation, I wonder if we each come here with a different learning curriculum or mission. One person may come to learn about unconditional love by being born into a family that provides this lesson. Another may come to an abusive family to learn independence, where unconditional love plays almost no part in the curriculum. For me, at this late stage in life, I believe it is about serving others (instead of being served) and learning how to merge love with wisdom, since love without wisdom can get you in a lot of trouble, as we see from so many broken hearts. But Wisdom without love gives us faceless bureaucracies and concentration camps.

  4. People from the Western religions always assume that a spiritual being is God. Eastern religions posit a much more complex cosmology with ascended masters and other beings. Metaphysics teaches that we each have a Higher Self that meets us at death. Ironically, I just found it rather “small” (in the sense of simplifying reality to just us and God) to assume that she was talking directly to God in the form of her grandfather when it could have been an angelic being assigned to her “case” but with a level of unconditional love and wisdom we usually only associate with God.

    1. Thanks for your wise thoughts. I was thinking along the same lines.

  5. What is heaven? It could be a billion or trillion different dimensions, unique even to each person. So when she referenced going to heaven, I wonder if she sees this as the 1 size fits all heaven of Judaism or Christianity or perhaps an incredibly complex layering of realities best suited to our level of clarity or “ascension”? I look forward to her book and reading Jeffrey’s take on all this. I always wonder if there is a rush on a particular book title after a DREAMLAND episode. When an episode was about the author of ANGELS AND ALIENS, this used book sold out on Amazon from resellers for any price below $65. I had coincidently been looking at resale for this book before the episode aired since I had lent my copy and never got it back. I later found a copy for about $15 once the excitement had died down.

    1. Heaven? I once heard an old sailor say that a gateway to heaven stood at every street corner in foreign ports.

      In my honest opinion, that’s a much nicer, kinder and more forgiving description of such a scene than many often allow.

      Maybe Heaven asks us all to sail away into the sunset for a bit before warmly welcoming us back, to then sit down with us and hear about our adventures?


  6. Whitley..if we plan a life before we come here & Hitler planned his evil..why would he be punished when he passed..he agreed to do evil!! I’m not saying he didn’t need to be punished just the agreements issue before we come..maybe there is no agreement for “evil??


  7. Author

    Anne always used to say that when we experience synchronicities, we are on our life’s plan. I don’t think that there is any guarantee that we will stay on the plan we make, if indeed that is what happens.

  8. This interview went quickly for me. Thanks for the heads up re the interference. It made it easier to ignore.
    Any chance of getting Elizabeth to do a video chat?
    Thank you Whitley and Elizabeth🙂

  9. I was interested in the part of the discussion which covered eye witness statements. There is a vast amount of academic literature on this topic and the broad conclusion is that memories are unreliable. For example a researcher talked to people who were victims of the London Tube bombings of July 7 2005. People who were in the same tube carriage gave different and contradictory accounts of what happened.

  10. So great to hear her story again with additional details. I’m always prone to suspect that our labels for things like “higher self”, “God”, “Heaven”, and what have you are still being considered from current perspectives here, steeped in the illusion of separation. I don’t assume it is necessary individual illusion however. It may be that illusion is somewhat collective, so that we can’t quite “break the spell” until something breaks us so to speak. Perhaps this is why those who’ve been through trauma (including NDEs themselves) are more likely to remember these realities that in some ways part of us has never left. Perhaps the part outside “particle” space and linear time. God and the visitors are both”us” and not us, depending on frequency. As our world experiences intensifying upheavals, we may finally not just observe light peaking through the cracked cosmic egg, but finally see what the larger fuss is all about and get airborne ourselves in time.

    1. PS As a nearby (and possibly near) death experiencer, I have to agree with Elizabeth when she postulates that we likely agree to many events before we are borne. Ones which would be poorly described as “a fun time”. Also, how she points out that we all have been “chosen” for especially moving encounters at some point in our lives. Dr. Kenneth Ring did an outstanding job studying many NDE accounts as well of course, with Whitley penning the foreword to one of his most insightful books that ties this genre together with Visitor encounters. Has he ever been invited as a Dreamland guest??

  11. In the discussions about the afterlife, reincarnation and so forth I find that there seems to be, in many people, a sort of inconsistency or lack of ability to fully commit to the worldview implied by the ideas they seem to have about it. Specifically, I’m talking about Whitley’s digression into “what happens to Hitler and Putin in the afterlife.” If we take on the view that this world is a school and that we map out in some way what our role will be, then doesn’t that also hold true for everyone, including those considered to be monsters? Doesn’t it imply that the material reality is in some form a sort of instructional drama where death and suffering are part of the entire range of experiences through which we are taught and moreover that souls take on the material role of perpetrator or victim with intention? In this view the implication is that the apparent morality of the material world does not necessarily apply in the immaterial one. So the question is : why should the underlying soul that incarnated as Hitler to (apparently) serve some instructional purpose be necessarily extinguished upon death? What is the cutoff between a spirit that makes it to the afterlife and one that is supposedly “rubbed out”?

  12. Author

    When Anne said “nothing” I assumed they disappeared. I don’t see why it couldn’t be as you suggest instead.

    1. This discussion has me ruminating on one idea that I often go back to again and again: What if the being that we call God is fully and completely alone? What if all of creation – all of us as projections of God akin to dream characters – are an attempt to stave off an unfathomable sense of loneliness from having found no other like itself?
      Maybe in the timeless immaterial world such an idea has no meaning; I hope that’s the case because I find it to be chilling and immeasurably sad.

  13. Was there a pre-birth agreement/soul contract for Hitler and he fulfilled his life plan?
    Was it important for humanity that he become our go-to reference for embodiment of evil?

    Or perhaps there was no soul for anything to happen to?

    1. As objectionable as the thought may be to our incarnate sensibilities, sense of morality and justice, if we take these speculations to the next level, we can’t necessarily rule out the possibility that the soul behind him might have actually been one that was quite advanced to take on such a heavy burden. These are the sorts of implications that I personally wrestle with and make me stay up at night when it comes to interpreting these various afterlife accounts.

  14. Absolutely loved this interview, and bought the book on Kindle in a flash after it was over. I’m a very slow, methodical reader, and I’m only up through the opening pages of chapter 7 so far, but this book is a flipping home run. WOW. So many things I’m resonating with here.

    So much thanks, Elizabeth, Jeff and Whitley.

    1. Yep, into the intro and first chapter of Jeff’s half of the book. This is … quite something. Quite something so good.

      Came across this,

      “Some of the best and most popular science fiction writers of all time had jaw-dropping paranormal experiences, and that’s why they wrote the stories they wrote.”

      And immediately wondered if Jeff knows about the paranormal experience that happened to Frank Herbert, which inspired him to write the main ideas in Dune, regarding precognition. I *really* think Jeff must know about this experience of Herbert’s…

      Anyways, I’m dying to see where this goes. The setup to this point is – for me – pure catnip. Lordy!!!

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