After a near-death experience (NDE), people who return from the afterlife often comment on the wonderful music they heard in heaven. Music is a powerful force for well-being, they report, because musical sound waves help bring people into harmony with God and each other. Here’s why NDE survivors incorporate music into their daily lives — and how we can benefit from doing so, as well.
Imagine the last time you heard music that resonated so deeply in your soul that it stirred up deep emotions and moved you to smile or cry. Now imagine music so extraordinary that its impact on you is far more powerful than that — music that connects with you so deeply that you become a part of it as you hear its complex sounds and join its praise to the universe’s Creator. That’s the kind of heavenly music that people describe in near-death experience stories. They report angels singing and wonderful music known as the “music of the spheres,” which expresses creation’s harmony in the form of celestial vibrations.
Music is indeed a universal language that connects all people and other parts of creation — including angels — together. Since everyone and everything in the universe vibrates, the sound vibrations of music affect the core of every aspect of the universe that God has made. Musical sounds are built into the fabric of creation, helping to connect all parts of it in harmony.
“Music is well said to be the speech of angels,” Scottish author Thomas Carlyle famously said. Music plays a vital role in angelic work acting as messengers between God and human beings.
In his book Heaven, Randy Alcorn writes that, “Music is transcendent — a bridge between this world and another.”
The DNA in the human body’s cells “emits and receives both phonons and photons — electromagnetic waves of sound and light,” writes NDE researcher P.M.H. Atwater in her book Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story: What They Teach Us About Living, Dying, and Our True Purpose. “… Today DNA is considered a text, a keyboard, a musical score that follows the rules of grammar and language. … our bodies are made of light and sound at the most primal level, and so are the worlds of spirit and the structures of matter. Life and death are coded in the language of light and sound. We stumble upon this coding in near-death states, not knowing what we’ve found until we come to realize that the essence of otherworlds, of origin, is implanted in our very genes.”
Music of the Spheres
Constantly playing in the background of many NDEs are sounds that some people call “music of the spheres” – musical vibrations that emanate from every part of heaven. Angels, people, animals, plants, water, rocks — everyone and everything is alive with music and expressing God’s creative energy in musical form.
“During many near-death scenarios a distinct kind of music is heard unlike that on earth; dubbed ‘music of the spheres’ for lack of a better term,” Atwater writes in Near-Death Experiences. “… Background sound and melody (similar to ‘hoomi’ singing/bell-like overtone harmonics) are present in the majority of near-death experiences.”
The ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras originated the music of the spheres concept to explain the structure underlying the entire universe, and the ancient Greek author Plotinus wrote about it in the Ennead: “If the stars pass a blessed existence in their vision of the life inherent in their souls, and if, by force of their souls’ tendency to become one … they are like the strings of a lyre, which, being struck in tune, sing a melody in some natural scale.”
Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of people who love angels, wrote about the work angels do transmitting God’s creative energy throughout creation through means such as the music of the spheres. He wrote in the Summa Theologica that “everything that moves in nature is moved by the Ruler; the angels transmit the motion to the spheres.”
Praising the Creator
The essence of the music that people hear during NDEs is a message of praise to God for creating and sustaining every part of a vast and awe-inspiring universe. Angels and other spirits (like people who have died and gone to heaven) all participate together in praising God through the music.
“The songs emphasize God’s greatness, justice, truth, holiness, and uniqueness,” Alcorn writes in Heaven.
The world’s most used religious text, the Bible, describes musical worship of God happening in heaven often, and describes the power of that sound in a Book of Isaiah story about seraphim angels worshiping God that the prophet Isaiah hears through clairaudience while in a temple on Earth: “At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke” (Isaiah 6:4).
All the music that people report hearing in NDEs harmonizes in sounds that are never discordant but instead merge beautifully into a unified whole.
In his book An Inquiry into the Existence of Guardian Angels: A Journalist’s Investigative Report, Pierre Jovanovic includes an NDE story from a man whose guardian angel took him to a heavenly concert: “This time we were audience to a choir of angels singing. Angels were totally outside my reality at the time, yet somehow I knew these beautiful beings to be angelic. They sang the most lovely and extraordinary music I had ever heard. They were identical, each equally beautiful.”
Don Piper recalls in 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life (his book with Cecil Murphey) how much he enjoyed the musical harmony he heard during his NDE: “I didn’t just hear music. It seemed as if I were part of the music – and it played in and through my body. I stood still, and yet I felt embraced by the sounds. … The melodies of praise filled the atmosphere. The nonstop intensity and endless variety overwhelmed me. … The celestial tunes surpassed any I had ever heard. I couldn’t calculate the number of songs – perhaps thousands – offered up simultaneously, and yet there was no chaos, because I had the capacity to hear each one and discern the lyrics and melody.”
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