I am a card carrying member of the “International Association for Near Death Studies.” I have never had a “near death” experience myself, but I love reading about and hearing about those who have had one. The “near death” experience gives us the best clue yet as to what happens when we die.
For those who have never heard of this phenomenon, the “near death” experience has to do with people who have been ruled clinically dead (although briefly) and then come back to life again, as we know it. The experiences that such individuals have had “on the other side” give us a hint, a preview of what we are all to expect during the initial stages, at least, of the Great Transition.
Much of the preliminary research in this regard has been done by Raymond Moody and Elizabeth Kubler Ross. They were the individuals who have collated the first hand accounts of those who have “died” and have come back to life as we know it.
Those reporting “near death” experiences give remarkably similar reports , all independent of hearing what others have said. They all, all, report that their experiences have been positive. They “return” feeling more peaceful, loving, joyful and less materialistic. The experiences are so positive that many say that they were actually reluctant to return to the consciousness of everyday life.
What has not been reported as much, however, is that their overall experience has been a bittersweet one. The biggest difficulty has been trying to adjust upon “re-entry.” The reasons for their difficulties teach us a lot about the true nature of reality.
In her book about her own “near death” experience, Phyllis Atwater lists some of the problematical aspects of returning to consensus reality. Among the difficulties listed are: 1) the inability to recognize and comprehend boundaries, rules and limits; 2) expanded/enhanced intuitive, psychic, non-spatial and non-linear experiences; and 3) a different feeling of one’s physical self, a kind of knowing that we live in and “wear” our bodies.
What struck me immediately upon reading the list is that these are some of the same experiences and difficulties that spiritual journeyors who are still “in the body” report when they try to come back to the “real world” after having had a mystical experience. Those who have never had such an experience are extremely uncomfortable, even threatened, if one tries to communicate what life feels like on a deeper level. Why? Because such experiences threaten the very underpinnings of consensus reality.
It is uncomfortable and even painful at times to live in a three dimensional world when one has experienced a fourth dimension. Yet who among us who has passed through the “eye of the needle” would ever want to go back to the boring, consensus model of reality? Very few. Yet, as great as our awakening may have been, there is a price to be paid. In some ways, we are fated to live the rest of our lives as strangers in a strange land.
Next posting: We Are Not Solid
To sign up to be notified each time there is a new posting, click onto the Follow icon at the bottom of any page (on your desktop or laptop) and enter your e-mail address.