In this interview, you are introduced to author Peter Panagore. Peter, who had two near-death experiences (NDEs), one while climbing mountains in Canada, shares a captivating journey that reshaped his perspective on life, death, and spirituality.
Transcript of the interview
Peter Panagore 0:00
I was shown the immense love that exists inside of all of the universe itself, woven into the universe is this light that is in everything I saw the light being made, and that everyone was as valued as me. This love was larger than all of the universe is the universe if the universe if the universe, this immense love was larger than that aimed at me, aimed at all of us
Jannecke Øinæs 0:33
Hello, Peter, a warm welcome to the show.
Peter Panagore 0:37
Thank you Jannecke, I'm really pleased to be here, I'm across the Atlantic, I'm waving,
Jannecke Øinæs 0:42
right and I'm all the way up in Norway. And we are going to have a deep conversation about the afterlife today. It's something I'm really curious about and my audience as well. And I'm know that you've had some pretty amazing and profound near death experiences that have really changed you. And you've written the book, heaven is beautiful, which is really good news, I find. It gives so much hope to share these stories. And to me, I've never experienced the afterlife. But hearing all these stories, I really are starting to believe on a deep, deep level that life will go on. And before we go into your stories, I would love to know like Where were you coming from before you died? The first time when it comes to spiritual beliefs like did you have a spiritual background at all?
Peter Panagore 1:35
I did, I had a I had what I consider a religious background and a spiritual background and they didn't 100% overlap. I was raised Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox. I went to Catholic high school, I went to both churches because it was a mixed marriage. But I had mystical experiences starting as a child. And so I had a something that set me up for these events. But I didn't know that at the time.
Jannecke Øinæs 2:03
That is interesting, because I've heard that before that people who have had these near death experiences often have some mystical experiences, which we might come back to. But first I would love for you to share what happened. I think this happened way back when when you were 20 that you actually died. I was
Peter Panagore 2:20
20 I was an exchange student from my university to another university and that winter I went ice climbing in Western Canada in the Rocky Mountains in a place called lower weeping wall. I had gotten eight days of snow caving before that and I'd been a winter camper and backpacker and National Ski Patrol member so of winter was my element. I had been a mountaineer, but I'd never ice climbed. And my partner Tim was a certified lead climber. And we agreed to go on this climb and I I made a mistake, I made a judgment error. I chose to climb with an axe and a hammer. I did climb I made it all the way up. But my choice slowed our climbed down significantly twice as long to reach the top as every other team on the ice that day, which put us at the top at dark. The sun set, the temperature dropped about 30 degrees. In minutes. Hypothermia set in rapidly, our bodies began twitching with every muscle moving independent of every other muscle. And we knew that we were in deep trouble. And that night throughout the night, I could tell you the whole saga of the high adventure survival. But I'd like to summarize it by saying that hypothermia steals your reason as it freezes you. And what that meant was we encountered problems that we created as a result of choices we made as hypothermia advanced and froze our brains so that they cease to function as efficiently as they did before and our bodies simultaneously we lost our was a continuation of losing coordination throughout the night. It was digits freezing, I have all my digits. I there some of them are numb and some of them aren't. And hypothermia is a slow moving disaster. It was in the dark on cliffs, roped to each other with precipitous falls to our side and dissents that left us in closer to where we wanted to go. But also deeper into time and the deeper we went into time, the less energy we had, and the colder it got through the night and the more are difficult it became to move. I should say that at the top of the climb, when we first arrived as the sunset, we knew we were going to die we'd known we were going to die for a few hours, it became apparent that was going to be what might happen to us. And when we sat there with our legs swinging off the ledge when it first began, it was Move or Die. That was the choice. And so we had to move through the darkness of the night, as everything got worse. And we got more tired and we have less energy and my my eyeballs were freezing. It's a hard thing to say, mean what I mean, but I've never felt such a thing before. And I found inside myself throughout the night and my my climbing partner Tim, was in the same situation I was in. But as I found myself driving myself forward through the night with willpower that I did not know that I had, that then became this human instinct that was much deeper than my own interior, willful drive, suddenly, I tapped into this part of my brain where I was animal in survival. And I had, it wasn't like I was trying to funnel my mind into survival anymore. My mind was funneled into survival in a physical way. That is, still is the depth of my willpower that I have never reached again. It's something that was well, it was survival or die. And so we made our dissents. And we got to our last repel, and now we're standing on a ledge and in the mountain our iron pins epoxy din with rings and carabiners and straps with karabiners were harnessed in. And Tim is to my left, where 100 150 feet up. Its way deep into the night getting closer to dawn, our hypothermia has seriously advanced, we were so little we had so little energy that we didn't speak unless it was absolutely necessary. And we didn't move unless it was absolutely necessary. So here we are, we're on the ledge. I'm I have the rope, it's tight, it's tight to my harness, I have the other called the bitter end. It's just a bitter end out around the corner of this crag back up the repel, we just come down and grab the rope. And it jammed on, like three inches, six inches, I couldn't move it. It was done. We were done. I couldn't release the rope. I couldn't climb back up. And hypothermia continued to advance. We couldn't get down and we couldn't go up. And so to get to the near death experience, I had this drive. And then suddenly this animalistic drive when I when my reasonable mind was left on my reasoning mind, I became aware that I this was the end, and I was not getting off of this cliff. When that happened. I had this piece descend on me of acceptance. And this acceptance included thoughts of the Divine thoughts of my parents and my family. And especially my parents who had my sister had run away but for us it was a vanishing. And it broke my family have lots of families have trauma, lots of families get broken. I was in Montana and Alberta, Canada to get away from that situation. But I bet it broke my parents hearts, my mom in particular and and then I began to fall asleep. And I would crash to the rock and stand back up a bunch of times. And I stood back up this last time. And as I stood up back up this last time I had this dark circle around my vision, like a spotlight. And I was in the middle of it but it was my vision that was in the middle of it and it began to collapse very rapidly. And as it closed into my face. I thought to myself am I falling asleep again. Sleep had been coming like a curtain dropping. This was a compression a compression, a tightening of my vision and as it closed I thought, am I falling asleep? And then I awoke it and not in a way that I'd ever ever woken before I awoke to a darkness that was in front of me that extended into a distance that is inconceivable the size of the universe and nothing in it. And I am aware of myself, but I don't understand what's going on. I know that I've separated from my body. I know that I am outside myself. I know that I am confused but not afraid. Haven't had these other mystical acts. experiences this prepared me, but I didn't understand it and way far in the far distance, the furthest distance this pinprick of light appeared and came rushing toward me. And it, it enveloped me and communicated to me. I'm taking you. And I resisted because I didn't understand what was going on. But it took me anyway. And and then I was separated, people talk about the silver cord of connection, I had no connection to my physical body, it was gone. And I was a being shaped like a human, but not made of molecules or energy or anything like that I was made. And people say light. Well, I'll say light. But this is all metaphoric. I didn't have a brain. I wasn't thinking in language. conceptualization was not what it was going on for me. And I was a beam of light made of photons inside of this angelic being that I knew and was telling me and showing me intelligence, and power and love, and have a very long experience. And I want to make sure that I'm giving you what you need to hear. So I'm going to cut out a whole lot of things that happened. I mentioned that I went through a purgative fire of Divine Love, where all of my
previous actions in my life I experienced from the point of view of the person I had caused these pains to witnessing it from their inside and feeling their feelings simultaneous to me, feeling that same experience, from my point of view, simultaneous to the divine being, speaking love to me, making love to me, calling me into being showing me myself, showing me the truth of what I had just lived, but showing me this forgiveness and love that had always been in existence. I figured when I was a kid, that I would be judged, because that's what the religion taught me. But no, I was not I judged myself in proportion to the unlimited and in this proportion to the Unlimited, I saw myself as impure, but only you comparison to infinite purity, who was who was love itself. And as I listened to this love itself, calling me into being into the now I turned my self toward it, this tidal wave of, of luminosity, irresistible to me immense, powerful. And I was awash in did and I inflated in with it inside of me. And inside of me, I became it, but less than it more than it I'd ever been. But I having known myself, it was showing me myself, I saw myself as a as a single photon, before a field of photons that was infinitely deep and tall and deep and wide. And it I was super positioned with it. I was entangled with that I was separate from it, I was outside of it, but I was the same as it was made of septillion photons, all of them a singular intelligence, all of them one, all of them many, and I was one of the many. And I was also separated from it and I saw my self as a as a lower a lower self than my photon, where I was like a huge baguette with kebab Spears stuck in it. And each kebab spear was an incarnation of my living life. They're all simultaneous, but none of them were me. They were all connected to me. But the baguette was much bigger than the skewers, and many skewers, bigger baguette and yet, even the baguette, this oversoul of myself was was cruder and more limited than this photonic sense of myself. I I'm going to cut to even the further Chase and say that I made a choice to come back. I was shown the immense love that exists inside of all of the universe itself woven into the universe is this light that is in everything I saw the light being made from the darkness the infinite darkness into which I couldn't see where it poured out love into everything there is included including me, but and more so many than all the universe and then showed me all of humanity and that everyone was as valued as me. And this golden light inside of us. All of us, this love this voice speaking to me, I love you. I love you, I've always loved you, I call you into being through love. This love was larger than all of the universes that were pouring out of it's it's infinitely dark belly, universe if the universe if the universe, this immense love was larger than that aimed at me, aimed at all of us. And then I saw my parents faces. And I saw parallel lives, I saw their life without me, Mom and Dad, I saw their life with me, mom and dad, with me, alive, they had less suffering, still a lot of suffering. Trauma does that. But without me, multiple multiply 10 times more. And the meanwhile the voice was calling me, come home, come home to us, we'd love you to come home to us. And that, but it gave me this choice. And I said, Do I have to stay here? And if I if I, if I go back? Can I come back here? And the voice said, yes, if you go back, you come back here to this state of being to this understanding of my own near universe. I want to say universality, but it's it's not infinite universality. It's a more limited form of this, this immensity of intelligence, that is all things and makes all things exist now, right now, and always, and I said, then, then I choose to live my life and the voice said you won't live your life and sent me back. And I had a compression experience where I became more and more layered and denser and denser, more material, and then suddenly, in front of me, were a million doorways with tunnels and, and in the center of all of these doorways, and these concentric circles were was like a beam of white light that was immense. And it came out of the infinite itself. And I couldn't even see back into the heaven I had been in, but I could see the darkness and the light coming from it, illuminating these doorways. And the light was more intense closer to the to the center of the of the light itself as it went out through the doorways to get faded, faded, faded, faded. And the voice said to me this angelic being which also was the divine itself somehow reduced for me. It said to me choose and and I thought creativity writing a little bohemian life, a life of the heart, a life of humanity. I wanted to be human enough to be a flawed messenger of light. And I don't know why I chose that. But I did. And it was inside the outside rim of the light itself, not in it but outside it. And I traveled down this tunnel and I saw all these doorways and all these doorways led to all these other tunnels were through all these other doors that I had the million dollars I had seen they're all these tunnels that I could choices that I could meet through all of them in in the center of the mall was still the light and then I was at my body and I I saw my body hanging on the cliff kind of off the edge now strapped in and Tim my partner was down close to me I couldn't hear anything but I could see him holding me and shaking me and I could I was very objective was like oh who's that? What's going on? And and then this angelic being pierced the chest was called zoom in close, pierces the chest, opens it up and stuffs me and it's horrendous pain I had no pain on the other side there was pain did not exist no suffering all healing or love bliss joy, adoration, understanding knowledge, illumination, wholeness truth of self and now I'm in El again of suffering and I am inside this thing I haven't chosen it and I look back up through this opening I can see this angelic being and and then I see it close and now I'm inside and my and I feel my brain this brain I should in my brain it be it was my brain but and I knew that it was my brain but it was also this other thing and it felt like we're up like a like a motor turning right. And and my hearing comes back and I hear screaming and I feel shaking. And I'm in wracked with pain because everything hurts now, and I opened my eyes and Tim's close don't died who died or died screaming at me. And he sees me with my eyes open and he says you're dead. I thought you were dead. We're dead after we're done. And he pulls me up. And he's talking. And he's talking and he's talking to me. And I don't have any idea who I am. I don't know who he is, I don't know where I am. I just know that I hurt. I know that, that I'm in this form that I don't understand. Because now I'm confused. I know I am this other thing. What am I doing here? And how do I get out of it? And, and the road came free. We descended and we self treated for hypothermia. And we survived. I came back an entirely different person than I had been the day before. And all of my earlier childhood mystical experiences kind of came into focus all at once. Like, oh, that's what that was. And from that point on, I kept this a secret for close to 20 years, I pursued my education, I changed course in my careers radically, and pursued an education in mysticism and ended up getting ordained in a liberal denomination hiding out in the church, practicing kriya yoga, and studying my teachers from around the world. And in here I am with an had an intermission in between that Intellivision.
Jannecke Øinæs 21:20
Wow, that is quite an amazing story. I have written down many questions, Sarah, because there's so much to this. The last thing you said was quite interesting. I haven't heard that before that when you come back from this afterlife experience that you don't know who you are. So how long did that last
Peter Panagore 21:41
20 3040 years. It was much more intense in the beginning. What I what I knew was that I was inhabiting my body. My consciousness separated from my physical form. I knew that when I came back that I was living inside of this. And to me, it felt like a, like a biological robot. I felt like I had my software in the Cloud. I was living in the cloud. And by I had an app inside of me, but I was trapped in the app, like, but I could see myself above. And I could see myself seeing through this. But I was also trapped here. And and so I had to readjust my psychology. One of the things that look, this is a universalism for mysticism. This is in the literature around the world, deep mystical experiences, our personality and character and psychologically shattering. They shatter your psychology, they not only it's not just a new perspective, it's an end of self, and a new self that comes back. And the new self is a mix of heaven and earth. And it's a mix of of the parts of Earth. Okay. I didn't I still had allergies. I still had dyslexia. I you know, I didn't come back. I still have spoke the way I spoke. And everybody from my point of view misperceived me, they misperceived me because they couldn't see that I had changed. But the whole entire world around me, was made of light. There was light leaking through everyone and everything, everywhere, all the time. And it didn't just come from the outside, it came from the inside, there was this inner thing that was happening. That was a noise inside me. That was showing me the world as it was. And that was super isolating.
Jannecke Øinæs 23:40
Oh, I can't imagine now. Did you have all your memories coming? In the end? Like slowly but surely.
Peter Panagore 23:48
Yeah, I figured out who I was and what I was doing. And, and oh, yeah, I'm Peter. And I'm on this. This is Tim. And these are people that I know. And this is my family, and there's my dog. But it was I was never me again. I was never I've never been me again.
Jannecke Øinæs 24:09
But what I find interesting is that you actually source or this angel said, Come here, stay here. Because in the near death experiences that I've heard, they often seems like the divine wants you to go back and it's the opposite. Like the person wants to stay there. And I'm curious about that. If you have thoughts, why would they want you to stay? And my other thought was also it seemed like, I believe that we have soul contracts that we plan our lives. But it seems like you sort of planned a whole new life that you were sort of starting again, like which door to take, but you had to go down to the same body and the same parents but you could choose like who you would be
Peter Panagore 24:57
right? Without with millions of choice. He says that I didn't. And it turns out that the that my interior choices, it was like, like Harry Potter's Castle, my interior choices opened the door. And I didn't know what that was behind these doors. All I knew is the choice that I made. And that's the door that opened, I didn't like choose a door, I made choices and the door opened. And, and and then showed me myself. I
lost, I lost the beginning of your question. What was your beginning question?
Jannecke Øinæs 25:33
Yeah, I was sort of curious about why you were going like why the divine wanted you to stay? Yeah.
Peter Panagore 25:39
So Right. So second time I died in 2015 have a heart attack, my family has a congenital heart issue. And so I died in 2015 on in the ambulance on the way I chose again, to come back. I my perspective isn't human. I'm not I'm my my, my plan of my life, human is more or less an incidental to the larger self. The larger self is the the orientation that I saw. On the other side for me. And so my coming back, I did live a new life. I'm two, I'm now in life 3.0. But when I first came back, I was in 2.0. And there was relationship to 1.0. But 2.0 was, you know, 6000 gigabyte, upgrade. So it was related, but the software was completely different. And the the result was the, my my singular desire to go back because I thought I made a mistake and should have stayed. But the reason why I came back the second time, and the reason why I chose to come back the first time is because of timelessness. In, I knew the now notice. And I knew that that in my higher self experience. When I finally die, the knowingness will return in an instant as if I had never left. And so the only endurance I need is through time itself. And so I know I know where I'm from, and I know to whom I belong, and I know where I belong. And where I belong is where I'm from. It's my Higher Self that is always, always not, I'm not just here, I am there. I am always there. And I'm always made of the same divine substance. And so, my, I know that I had a life contract when I came here, okay, so so this is not to say that in this particular life, that I made a deal. And the deal that I made was that I saw in my first, my very first mystical experience when I was five years old. I was I won't tell the whole story, but I was five years old, and I was in Christian language raptured by an angelic being who sounded like Niagara sounded like a huge waterfall crashing, that so much so much noise, but the noise was beautiful noise but it was still really loud and it snatched me from my body brought me up an elevator shaft to us five years old, to, to, through the atmosphere, I could see our house, through the atmosphere into this darkness, the same darkness that I was in, in my transition from my space between is a kind of not quite the fullness of the Divine void, but also the divine void wasn't quite the heaven I got to when I when I died, but I in this space, the angelic beings surrounded me as an orb of light. And and I was in the what people refer to as the void. This is all metaphor. And the divine was the void itself. And I was had a light body and I could see my human form. And the divine showed me itself to me outside of this of this orb, and brought me into the full darkness and showed in yet I still had this like child form of light. Although I knew that I was not the human child. I experienced this infinity and then I was plucked, I was stuck back in this orb. And then it showed me it poured into the orb, the void poured poured in showed me 10,000 forms of all these different colors and shapes and materials and non materials. And it said to me, we have a deal, don't we? And I was like oh yeah, we do. I made a deal that I belong to you and I work for you in this lifetime. And out I went Back to the body again. And so I never I knew that that was true. As a child, I knew that I was not my body. I couldn't tell anybody because I didn't. I didn't know how. And in this life I have now in 3.0, I'm trying to be a chose to be a messenger. When I came back, I chose that that was part of a chose communication. Writing is communication. And the message that I was given, is the one that I have always given, no matter whether I wore a mask in public or not. I masked for 20 years, nobody in my church knew that this happened to me. I wasn't a believer in Christianity, I worked in Christianity, love is and was my soul connection. And and now I'm finally just talking about it plainly, as plainly as I can, that humanity is, beloved, we're not alone in being beloved, we're not alone. We're not alone in being Beloved. But we are beloved, everyone is beloved,
Jannecke Øinæs 31:14
I want to ask a question to drop down into my mind. I think I've been thinking about it before. So I believe in reincarnation, that we have several lives. And then I'm thinking, is this happening every time we go back to heaven, that is sort of, oh my goodness, this, this shock that I still exist, and we have this these divine experiences, and then we go back, and we go into a new life again, and then we die again, is like, Oh, my goodness, it seems like this is something that is occurring after each lifetime. And I'm wondering why we are not instantly remembering that, oh, that was just that life. And here we go again, like it seems like there is this huge process of understanding that, oh, I made this deal to go down to this planet. But if we've had 1000s of lives, it seems like that's a heavy process to go through again and again.
Peter Panagore 32:17
But it's only from the human point of view. It's it's a burden while you're here, it's a burden. But if the Orient if, if everything we do in life and our spiritual if everything we do in our spiritual life is about our physical life, then we are in a way in trapping, helping to entrap ourselves here. The orientation of the of the masters of like Kabir, Rumi, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Jesus, the whole, the whole schmear of them, they're all singleness masters, they're all in the yoga sutras. They're all in in pursuit of the singleness itself. And this in pursuit of the the higher light itself gives us even in this life of freedom from the suffering, I still hurt, okay, like I fell off my bike a couple of weeks ago, and it frickin hurt. So there's that it doesn't eliminate that. But what it does eliminate is the attachment to the idea of life after life after life. Because I saw into two of my previous lives, I was in their bodies, looking through their eyes. And what I might take away from that was, I'm not them, I am this higher self. And this higher self then becomes my pursuit and in the pursuit of this higher self, and unwilling to do anything, be anywhere, go anywhere, be anyone in order to be back into the unit of state of the divine being, my my my goal isn't lifetime to lifetime. My goal is the loss of all physical form, and a return into the oneness of being itself. Because only in there am I actually fully myself and, and nothing exists in the universe, everything is like a reduction of the unlimited. Everything is a reduction of the of the Creator of all things. It's in our suffering is a is a natural result. That is universally true. It's not we're not the chickadees and whales suffer. So do so to star systems that get too close to black holes. It is it is it's the nature of the universe itself to be broken. It is both broken and hole simultaneously. And the burden to live is a burden to live and I I've spent a lot of my career working in domestic violence. And that's what I did. And I saw the worst of humanity. And it didn't doing the light doesn't relieve that kind of suffering. No seeing the light, well, that enables a community to help the people who need help. But it also gives a I've attended many deaths. And the people who have found the light in life has easier deaths, because they foresee their own transition. And so what it does no matter your circumstance, no matter where you are in the world, the the, the, the growth of the understanding of the higher self enables a superpower in life. Because when you see the light inside yourself in the now, which is the only place that can be seen, you then begin to see the light inside of other people. And, and not only other people, but animals, and plants, and nature. And and then there's this reinforcing that happens, the more people that have this light, the more people around you that share the light with you, because it multiplies itself in communities. And it doesn't have to be a formal community. It can just be people on the internet zooming in it is because the light is always present. And the more people that find it inside themselves in its presence, the more it shares itself in the world. And so all together, there is a potential for a nudge to relieve the world of its own selfishness.
Jannecke Øinæs 36:34
You might have just answered the question. But one of my viewers were asking, is awakening available to us all in every incarnation?
Peter Panagore 36:49
Well, I think maybe no. I think maybe no, because maybe it's DNA because I because here's there was a study that was produced. Marjorie, Dr. Marjorie woollacott, presented at the International Association for near death studies conference two years ago, I introduced her and her her numbers are these 60% of mourners experience and after death visitation, which means that 40% Don't, um, those of those 40%, who don't. There are, there's a large percentage of people who who never have mystical experiences. And maybe it's DNA, maybe there's some kind of nano tubule in the brain. Maybe there's the god spot in the brain. Dr. Andrew Newberg is checking this out, his studies are fabulous. But that maybe there's a God spot in the brain, where there is a connection between the neurology of a human brain and the higher self, some kind of quantum interface sort of thing. And I don't know what it is. But I do know that my consciousness doesn't arise in my brain, my consciousness inhabits this form. And so, incarnation to incarnation, my I don't have any statistics on it. And I don't know whether I can make a smart, I don't know if it's smart for me to guess. But I'm gonna guess anyway, and say that I know people who just can't see, and I can't make them see, I can share, I can share the divine energy the best I can, which is the true communication of it anyway, it's not about language or stories, or talking. It's about the Divine Presence itself. And there are just people who I know who just can't, and don't, but maybe
Jannecke Øinæs 38:37
they're not supposed to maybe that is in their deal or plan. Because they might be wanting to experience being an atheist, like how that is like,
Peter Panagore 38:52
for him in the end, it doesn't matter. So so like, I am not an evangelist, okay. I don't care. I cared if people thought that I was insane. I cared that people that because I'm a rational person, I have very analytical mind. I, I, I get tools in my head. And I didn't want to be I didn't want to be shamed. And I didn't want to be rejected and I didn't want to lose the possibility of a career or, or anything like that. So it kept my mouth shut. But but but here's, here's the thing. Every single incarnation is in service to the whole original self, every single one of them. And in that the plan, the plan of lifetime to lifetime and that's what I'm really trying to talk about here. The plan from lifetime to lifetime is secondary to the orientation of the return to the divine being so so in one lifetime. I one of the lifetimes I saw was like a lizard or lizard person, I don't have any idea what it was but I was not a human being okay. It was like maybe it was a dinosaur baby or so. I think I don't know. But I don't know what I was. And what I saw of mice of the world was entirely alien to me, and didn't understand it. And I had no reference for it. And I was definitely not a believer that I couldn't believe then because it didn't have the capacity to think. And so the whole idea, the human brain is any sort of determinative for what should or shouldn't be, I am suspicious of
Jannecke Øinæs 40:35
that is interesting in itself that you say that you are lizard, because a lot of people are wondering about that. I think, can I reincarnate as a butterfly. But you're saying that really, that is possible that we can reincarnate through all sorts of forms,
Peter Panagore 40:53
I think that there's no limitation to the unlimited. And that, as I looked at my incarnations, I didn't, I only saw the two of them, there were lots many of the 1000 of them anyway, I had lots of them. But I only saw the two of them. There was a chronology to them, like they had a line of this bag of baguette, it was a, but from my point of view, they were in timelessness, they were all happening simultaneously. They're all happening simultaneously. And so so there was a sequence to them, the sequence wasn't like, with a leather measuring tape. The sequence was like the connective form of the sequence was myself. I am, I am that which is being incarnated. And my incarnations were were tiny slivers in the baguette, and which they influenced, they were present. But they were not the thing itself. And so
Jannecke Øinæs 41:52
it's just interesting, I thought, you know, that you would start to maybe incarnate, a bacteria, and then you would evolve as a plate.
Peter Panagore 42:04
Maybe it maybe that's the truth. I don't, I only know what I know. And I don't like to speculate on what I don't know. Because Because I only could come back with this much. Right, and I came back with my brain is too small to contain what I saw over there, it's continually revealing itself to me over my lifetime. It's not, it's not just something that happened back then it's a present thing now, that the more I'm looking like, for instance, I've never used my interior eye to look at the angelic being, I was always looking past the angelic being, who has always being stuffed back into my body. And the more I look at this thing, in my meditation in my inner eye, when I told my story, I The more I look at it, the more substance it has shape it has. And so I I think that the perspective that I came back with is always as a learner, not as a knower, I know that what I know is that I'm known, I know that I'm known by the Knower. And I and I came back with a with a cup full of sugar, and, or half a cup of sugar, but I have a cup of space. And so there's more sugar being put in sweetener to myself. And that rather than focus on the things of the world, and I still live in the world, I you know, I have a mortgage and I get a car and get kids and all that stuff. The more I focus on the Divine Self, the more present it becomes, for me, the more present it becomes for me the the richer my life becomes way beyond money.
Jannecke Øinæs 43:43
Yeah, but that makes sense. You know, because I have come across some guests who have said that they knew everything that they sort of got,
Peter Panagore 43:51
I did. I had everything I knew everything I wanted, I wanted to know, my question was at a single question. And my question was, I want to understand every single thing in the universe like top to bottom, everything I want to know quantum I want to know molecules, I want to know atoms, and I want to know biology and chemistry, I want to know I downloaded right into me, boom. And that's when I understood the structure of the, of the suffering of humanity in the context of the limited form and the limited form display it has this immensity to it it's not just what the physical world that has all this energy levels to it, and chemistry levels to it.
Jannecke Øinæs 44:31
But you you said that you didn't know everything
Peter Panagore 44:34
I did, but I but I can't bring it back with me. And even when I knew everything, even when I didn't have a brain, my brain, I had no brain. I had no I had, if my brain is is a megabyte of space, My soul is what's above it. gigabytes, you know, what's the terabytes? What's the largest it's humongous capacity for not only knowledge, but for understand and data, but even so, in that state of being, I still could not see into the depth of infinity. Infinity itself still lay beyond my vision, I couldn't comprehend the wholeness, because I was outside of it. And even though I was super positioned in it, because I had my being in it. So why am I telling you this? I telling you this because a mistake that humans make is a focus in our lives. And not do I pay attention to my life, I have to, you know, get a life. But spiritually, I aim myself for that which I already am. And in that place, and the pursuit of the giver, instead of the gifts, I find an abundance comes to me, people talk about abundance, and I have a I don't have I don't have a million dollars in the bank. I don't have an abundance of gold. I have an abundance of this divine energy, which I am. And this in and of itself, is my relief for my own suffering as I live in the world. I mean, as I sit here right now, you know, I've got a twinge in my back. I'm like, oh, there's a torture my back. It doesn't take away that sort of stuff. It it changes one's pursuit,
Jannecke Øinæs 46:29
and gives peace, perhaps.
Peter Panagore 46:33
Peace that lives peace, that that is i Okay, so my body still has physiological reaction. If I'm walking down a dark alley, and somebody pulls a gun on me, I get a spike of adrenaline, right? I'm like, Whoa, someone's gotta go. But I had a gun on me, I had a gun on my heart, at an airport in Central America by a guard, safety off, figure on the finger on the trigger. And this piece was with me, it's with me because I know that I am not going to die. I am not afraid of dying. And so this this, there comes an abundance with this. And it is it can be cultivated, through practices, lots of different kinds of meditative practices, that helps the cultivation of this piece. But this piece then begins to live inside oneself. It doesn't make one perfect. When you know, I got upset last night in my mom's going into assisted living, and I got a little upset about something and I still have human emotions. But this piece grows.
Jannecke Øinæs 47:49
I wanted to ask you, do you have any tip for those who are watching now who haven't had mystical experiences near death experiences? Where can they start to cultivate this piece?
Peter Panagore 48:03
It comes through action. The peace comes through action. And the action comes in two ways. The first action is a life of ritualized practice of meditation, and a ritualized practice of meditation. That, whose aim is that the end of attachment to self, not the end of self, the self, the egoic mind will survive. But it's the attachment to the egoic mind, that a practice of meditation or tai chi, or some sort of form of practice, where breath in mind, aim at a single thought. And that single thought is eventually going to drop away, and you're left just with breath. And it's, it is a cumulative sort of thing. Meditation is simple and difficult. It's difficult because the mind wanders, it's simple, because the solution is easy. Breath and Word together. You breathe in with your words, you breathe out with your words, you lock your words to your breath, and every time your mind wanders, you keep focused there and, and within a few weeks of practice, what normally happens is that there's a moment of peace, a moment of silence, a moment of the end of the Yap ring of the self, where we're this darkness that can't be grasped is a place to sit inside of. And once that, that one thing happens, it's food to keep you on your journey. Once you know that thing, then you can continue to develop that thing. So that's practice is practical. And there are this sometimes it comes through awakening just happens. It just does. Why you and why not me? I don't know. And then there's this other way that is a shamanic and traditional and it He's being studied at universities that are psychedelics, and they have end of the have end of duality experiences that are being quantified and defined and provable, that these things have not only historical context, but current context, but also because they're powerful to be used with caution and with safety. But they do have end of duality experiences that are life changing.
Jannecke Øinæs 50:28
Peter, I have three questions that I ask all my guests and my first one is what is self love to you?
Peter Panagore 50:38
Has nothing to do with me as a person has everything to do with and of my attachment to myself, and my polishing my inner eye and aiming my inner eye at the divine that sees me. My Self Love is the my love of the Divine that loves me.
Jannecke Øinæs 50:56
And what is happiness to you?
Peter Panagore 50:59
That's a good one. Happiness only has come to me recently in my life. After I died the second time when I accepted my place here on Earth, and my job here to do and then I stopped mourning for the other side, and started having even more fun. Happiness is being in nature with people I love, and having the joy of the radiant presence feed me and us.
Jannecke Øinæs 51:31
What is the deeper meaning of life from your perspective?
Peter Panagore 51:37
You're not from here. Love is all that matters. If you never awaken all you need is love. Love is the treasure of life, and the treasure of heaven. And every ounce you give away comes back to you tenfold and every ounce given to you is yours to keep.
Jannecke Øinæs 51:52
Hmm, this was profound. Thank you so much. Where can people find you and what is it that you're offering? I know you're an author, and I think you have some courses would you like to share?
Peter Panagore 52:04
I offer primarily helping people adjust to their awakening their mystical experiences, their near death experiences, all types of spiritual experiences. I help people who have suicidality, and who are in domestic crisis. I teach on Tuesday mornings a private zoom group on kriya yoga. I teach publicly on Zoom to meditations. And on Sunday morning I run a non church mysticism no doctrine, no dogma, I have a near death experience perspective on the deconstruction of Western Christianity through the through the Upanishads and the Vedas and a whole bunch other stuff. I tried to make it simple and fun. And I am at Peter panagora dot love.
Jannecke Øinæs 52:52
Beautiful. Thank you so much for coming to the show. Today was such a joy and an honor.
Peter Panagore 52:58
I am so happy to be here today. It's my pleasure and my honor. May God bless you with the source gives you strength. May the light be inside you always
The novice climber who died
Peter’s life-altering encounter with death occurred in March of 1980, during an ice-climbing expedition on the renowned Lower Weeping Wall in Alberta, Canada. Despite being a novice climber, he embarked on this perilous adventure with an experienced partner. However, as the day turned into night, exhaustion and hypothermia left them stranded on the mountainside. It was here that Peter Panagore died.
During the moments he spent on the other side, Peter had a profound NDE. He described an experience that encompassed heavenly realms. In the midst of this journey, he felt an overwhelming, all-encompassing love that transcended universes. He was presented with choices – whether to stay or return to life. While a beckoning voice encouraged him to stay, he recognized that his parents’ lives would become more challenging if he did. He glimpsed various doors of possibility and had the opportunity to select the qualities for his new life. In the heart of this extraordinary experience, there was a radiant light, and through one of the doors, he returned to life.
Choosing Love Overstay
This transformative NDE profoundly altered Peter’s trajectory in life. It drove him to pursue a master’s degree at Yale Divinity School, focusing on systematic theology and Christian mysticism. This unique blend of education, coupled with three decades of meditative practice and two decades of working with the dying and grieving, gave him a distinct perspective on subjects like heaven, God, death, love, and hope.
From Climber to Mystic
Peter Panagore has since shared his story with audiences worldwide, offering a message of hope to those who fear death, those in despair, and those grieving. His books, including Heaven Is Beautiful* and Two Minutes for God: Quick Fixes for the Spirit*, have touched countless hearts. Currently, he is working on his third book, “Modern Mysticism and You.”
Peter’s life experiences and spiritual insights provide profound hope and inspiration to anyone grappling with the mysteries of existence, death, and the divine.
As an accomplished author and speaker, Peter Panagore continues to reach out to others, sharing his extraordinary journey and spreading a message of love, hope, and understanding.
Listen to the podcast version
Links & Resources
*These are affiliate links