60 Years After My Near Death Experience (NDE): Metaphors and Paradigms

October 20th, 2017

7:15am: Check-in, Coffee/tea
7:30-9:40am: Featured Program/Discussion


Robert Caplan, MSWHost: Barry Erdman

About The Presentation

This presentation will address my Near Death Experience at the age of 20, while working as a plane captain on the flight deck of the USS Forrestal. I’ll speak about the out of body awareness of Being and outline what I was shown as the essence of my human experience and the dimensions of Love (with a capital L).

This presentation will address the arc of my experience from my birth, placement in an orphanage as an infant and three boarding schools before the age of 12. At 20, I experienced a dramatic NDE working as a plane captain (not pilot) on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal. I will speak directly of my experience from the perspective of both my cultural socialization and the out of body awareness of Being – the direct knowing (revelations) of my purpose for being physical, social, and mystical. Having recently turned 80, I will reflect on my life and share insights on how it has been transformed by this dramatic early experience, as well as address aspects of relationship, ego identity, purpose and personal evolution.

About the Presenter

Robert Caplan, MSW, studied and trained in secular psychotherapy, pastoral counseling and hospice service and has taught at all levels from kindergarten through college. He was a communications trainer for a national company, working with parents, teachers, clergy, therapists, law enforcement personnel and executives in the United States and Canada.  Robert has also owned and managed several businesses.

From 1992 to 1996, Robert taught Adult Development in the Transpersonal Counseling psychology program at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. He served for 14 years as a volunteer chaplain at the Boulder Community Hospital.

Robert’s mission is sharing his life’s story as an inspirational speaker and seminar leader, presenting programs that enhance personal creativity through social, psychological and spiritual awareness. He offers personal consulting to individuals who seek guidance, understanding and acceptance of near death experiences (NDE) and other life transition challenges, including individual and small group support for returning veterans.

Robert holds a BS in Science Education and Masters in Social Work, both from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He practiced psychotherapy for ten years before moving to Colorado in 1977. He had been a member of IANDS (International Association for Near Death Studies for 30 years. 

A father, stepfather and grandfather, Robert lives in Boulder, Colorado

Additional Resources


KGNU Radio Interview aired 10/19/17

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