Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What is "death" like?

With what seems to be the constant barrage of "death" and "dying" in the media these days, I thought I'd post some links to a few detailed "after-death" experiences various individuals have had for those of you who have never read or heard of a near-death experience.


When we hear of someone dying or watch the media coverage of death, how many wonder to themselves what it must be like?  Imagine if you were one of the marathon runners who died.  What do you think that person went through both during and after death?  What about the people in earthquakes who are crushed to death?  Or those who die of a gunshot wound.  Or the countless that have died from both "natural" and "unnatural" causes?  What do you think they were thinking and feeling?  Imagine yourself being in their shoes and think about the emotions and thoughts that might run through your mind.

Some might view this subject as morbid or scary or something sacred and ignore or avoid anything associated with the word "death" only because they choose to be afraid to understand it.  The fear of death is so strong that most people do not consider what it would be like to go through this phase.  Others choose to believe that death is final and that nothing is experienced afterwards.  These are protective mental reactions because of the strong identity with the body as the only source of life.

Most people's fear of death is related to their belief in the disconnect to their loved ones after their death or the pain of dying.  When you dream, do you feel like you've lost your family or that you are alone?  Most people are unaware that they are not the person they were in life.  In the same way, when someone dies, not everyone automatically associate their identity with who they think they are in life.  The life they lived becomes more like a dream to them in death.  In other words, those who are "alive" may grieve and suffer over a "death", but the "dead" would rather stay "dead" than return to "life" because they are returning to their true self or "home" as many call it.

Who you are in death is not the same as who you are in life.  But if you strongly identify yourself with your identity in life, then it creates problems similar to a person who believes in something so strongly, no amount of "proof" will persuade them otherwise.  In these persons, their death leads to conditions created by their beliefs, including seeing physical places, meeting certain people, or other conditions of the human experience.

My hope for this post is that people who are dealing with death will lose their fears and hysteria about it and start to examine themselves, their thoughts and beliefs, in order to begin healing from the inside.  But more than that, I hope people will start a deeper search for their own inner self through their intuitions, to "know yourself".

So rather than tell you what I think happens, here are some excerpts from http://www.nderf.org that I found to be good descriptive insights from those who have died and returned.  The skeptics may claim they did not die or they hallucinated, but that assumption cannot explain the diversity of persons without any connections, diverse religious/social/philosophical beliefs including those who did not believe in an afterlife, cultural differences, and from different periods of time, who shared their experiences with such similarity of detail.  Others will claim that this is some biological process that occurs prior to death to justify their belief in the exclusivity of physicality.  But in terms of evolution, there would be no purpose for such an experience or any kind of genetic code for this process, since ultimately the skeptic also believes consciousness does not continue upon death, so the dying wouldn't even remember such events.  No matter how hard people will try to debunk these claims, including experiments that claim to have an explanation, there is no study or experiment that can truly disprove people's near-death experience since all experience is subjective.  There have been numerous cases where the person was clinically dead well beyond several minutes with no brain activity, some even for days, before returning to life.  Since the skeptics were not part of those experiences, it's easy for them to deny their validity through humanistic reasoning.  But all events not personally experienced require a choice to believe or not to believe, and this is heavily dependent on each individual's core beliefs.  That's why there is no such thing as a true "objective" truth as even those "objective" truths require personal experience to believe (a blind person's idea of "objective" truth will differ from someone who is not blind), hence the phrase "your belief creates reality".  Here is a video of a researcher explaining how the NDE experience could have been the basis for all religions: "Near-Death Experience and the Origins of Afterlife Beliefs", which I believe is true.

Most of the experiences documented on the NDerf site is of the shallow, brief experience for a number of reasons (mainly because they were not meant to stay "dead" for very long).  Many of these NDE's have someone they know or don't recognize tell them they can return or that they must return.  These other personalities, unbeknownst to the newly dead, most of the time is another personality from their whole self reminding them of their purpose for being physical.  They do not remember as yet because they have not returned to their whole self ("return to the light").  But some have very clear memories of their much deeper experiences that exemplify much of what I believe and have written about these past few years.  I found these anecdotes to be both compelling and inspiring.  Keep in mind that while the anecdotes are written from a humanistic point of view, consciousness is not an aspect of the human form.  The human experience is just one type of experience of consciousness.  This means that when we return to pure consciousness, it is not bound or hindered by the humanistic point of view, which is why our ideas about morality, right and wrong, good and bad, etc. is meaningless after we leave the body.  Those experiences and concepts stay with you as learned wisdom, but they do not define you unless you choose to be defined by them as part of your core beliefs.  That's why the anecdotes vary so much, depending on the individual's core beliefs.

All experience comes from your beliefs and this is evident in many of the NDE's as well, when they perceive peoples and places in the ways they want to perceive or interpret them.  In addition, though the experience of time exists in this reality, a concept where each moment is experienced one after another, in the "natural state" of consciousness, there is no such thing as linear time.  What is expressed in these writings are the perceived events described in a linear fashion by our brains (since it was designed to deal with experience in a system with linear, time progression) in order to make it understandable for us who are in a system with time.  Keep this in mind when you read the different accounts.  The anecdotes I list below are less clouded with personal beliefs (though it can not be completely without personal interpretation), which is why I found them more compelling than the ones where their personal beliefs set the environment and condition, but their overall experiences are no less compelling.

These entries are cut and pasted directly from the website so you'll have to click on the names to get the full write-ups.  These are only a few of the more recent entries, but there are literally thousands of entries at that website as you can see by the entry numbers.  The very earliest entries seem to have much more detailed anecdotes (Archives_1998_2001), but all the "exceptional" entries are available here.

I hope these bring insight and peace to you.

[Added 3/14/2015] Another great NDE.

3899.  Mira S NDE 3/8/2015.  NDE 7602.  What is real is only that, which is permanent and changeless! That which changes, is within the mirage of time, and truly non-existent. Consciousness, however, as a gentle, delicate, smooth, flowing Presence is ever present; even within the human form, above and beyond the mind, as it is the Experience-less-ness underlying all experience. It never changes, never disappears, and it is therefore, the only Reality.’  ‘But if this Consciousness alone is real, the world was an illusion? Then where did it come from?’  ‘Like all manifestation, the world too is the creation of the great illusion or great delusion, which being the Creative aspect of this Supreme Consciousness, or the Lord, is the divine movie-projector of life, in the all-powerful play of the realm of Creation. Just as a mirage in the desert disappears when viewed from a certain perspective, your life as Arti on earth has disappeared, when viewed from the perspective of the Divine Self, where you are now.  
Astounding NDE from a Hindu living in the United States.  Profound spiritual wisdom.

[Added 2/15/2015] Very cool NDE.

3885.  Scott W NDE 2/15/2015.  NDE 7578.    I did feel consciousness forming but not like we know or understand. It was just doing its task. It was doing what it’s supposed to do and that’s all it knew. Then it became clear all of it, all things knew what it was supposed to do.  Something was directing it. I could tell, even though it had consciousness, it seemed as though it had surrendered its Will and accepted it’s truth to the Creator.  Then my Grandma reached for me and took my hand as we started back.  The universe was full, absolutely full of strings of light and energy.  They were pulsing, they were moving, and we were in it, part of it and it a part of us.  DNA stretched for eons; memories, connected, intertwined but all moving according to the Light.  I could see molecules, atoms connecting, intersecting, building and becoming new life forms and consciousnesses.  Galaxies, stars, fish, trees, air, water, man are all patterned forms, built from all over the universe.  Then we were back in the field, but it didn’t stop there. I looked at my Grandmother and the Light.  Everything opened up, illumination poured through me, out of me and in me.  It can’t be changed, or threatened.  It can’t be manipulated, or colored.  There are no Illusions or fairy tales about it.  It’s here.  Each is at its own time, in its own evolution, doing its own reality, living its own consciousness. We are part of it and it a part of us.  We truly have nothing to fear, we are really loved.  There is a power so great, that it can only be called God. 
Exceptional NDE due to cardiac arrest at age 42.  Remarkable experience in heavenly realm.  Astounding spiritual insights.

[Added 6/12/14]  I just read this new one and found it pretty interesting.  While Michael's NDE presents him with "hell" and "Jesus", my personal belief is that these are manifestations of his own ideas about what afterlife is like.  Even though he says he was an atheist at the time, I believe he was really just anti-Christian, which is why his experience has those aspects of Christianity coming true.  But the "true" nature isn't about "heaven", "hell", "Jesus" or any one specific religious ideology.  Non-physical reality is greater than those symbols we recognize.  "Heaven", "hell", and "Jesus" are symbolic representations of a person's mental state of being and the ideal traits of consciousness.

3700.  Michael Joseph NDE  6/9/14 I ended up with a life review, and was escorted around "the other side" by a being who was my guardian angel/teacher  whom I came to call "professor" but he had an incredible sense of humor. I say "he" with tongue in cheek because "he" was neither a he or a she.  I saw what happened to true atheists (apparently I was opened minded enough that I didn't qualify). I got to see various "heavens" and asked to see what "Hell" was like if there was one (and there was but it was nothing like I expected). I even asked to meet Jesus and apologize only to meet a man that was nothing like I expected and was given interesting historical facts I was later able to verify.
Two NDEs as a teenager.  Formerly an atheist.
Lue B's experience, as is the experience of many who encounter "forgotten friends" they do not remember well, typically are those other portions of your whole self that have always been there to help you in your life experiences.  I believe this is true of Lue's "large group of deeply loved friends".  Many times, when we think of guardian angels or spirit guides, they are typically seen as a loving stranger because you do not recognize them from the human perspective, but they are almost always another personality of your whole "soul" entity.  This was what Robert Monroe discovered in his out-of-body experiences (described in his book Ultimate Journey).  This isn't always the case, but the majority of help you get from the "other-side" is from yourself.  Same goes for those who experience a being of pure love.  Most of the time, this being is a part of you, a part of your whole self which you have forgotten, but because of the humanistic beliefs, many assume the being is "God" or "Jesus" (some beings will portray themselves as Jesus in order to help the newly dead transition).  It is your "light" that radiates love and life because you are Light.  You are always working towards your own goal, keeping with the concept of free-will.  No one else forces you to do something.  You always have the final choice to do anything.

3379. Lue B NDE  6/20/13  From Denmark.  Original in Danish, translated to English by RuniEverything was sharper and I could focus on it when I wanted to, colors were clearer and vibrant. My field of view was all around. It was so beautiful and all the colors were unearthly beautiful. I was so happy and calm during all of my near-death experience.  I have hearing loss in my life, I did not have that in death, and I could hear much better than ever in my life. I had no trouble with my hearing; the sounds were beautiful and melodic. The conversations I had with others did not take place with sound, but rather with telepathy. I was completely filled with emotions, such as great joy; deep, deep love; comfort; gratitude; freedom; ‘EVERYTHING is as it should be’ feeling; All is well… 
Amazing NDE where she met her future son.

3291. Robyn NDE  3/14/13  I became ONE with ALL IN EXISTENCE, yet, I had a firm knowing that I was me. ALL was okay, all was LOVE, the purpose of human life is solely for experience and expansion. I was ONE with the doctor, the nurses, my Mom down the hall, the equipment, the sound of the flat line, and all the space in between. I could have raised the doctor's arm up if I wanted to... but here's the important thing: I had zero desire to manipulate his free will. None. But I knew I was capable of controlling the entire situation, it just wasn't in my best interest for me to do so. They were me and I was them.
Profound and exceptional NDE due to overdose of anesthesia.  This is a must read!

3273. Brian T Probable NDE  2/16/13 From Australia  As I came closer, I was overwhelmed by the feeling of pure love, understanding and compassion which emanated from this wondrous entity. This was by far the most wonderful and powerful feeling of my experience. Nothing can truly describe it. This glorious, wonderful entity recognized me, understood perfectly every minute aspect about me, and poured love into me. The love was real, as much a force as a feeling, and immeasurable. Knowing every little thing about me and my life and viewing it along with me, there was a lot of real amusement. This being has a personality. It is fun to be with, delightful, and it has a sense of humor.
Probable NDE due to illicit drug use.  A remarkable and detailed experience that almost certainly was an NDE.

Peter N's entry is a bit long and wordy, but has some very interesting experiences.

3253. Peter N NDE 6584  2/4/13  From Scotland.  I transmitted (communicated) my thought-feeling sense of reverence and thankfulness to this being. It was not necessary for me to do this as it already knew. It did however thank me for this with more love, which I knew it would not have withheld anyway. I surrendered myself to this being, I wanted to be open to this being, I wanted to be so close to this being forever. We united in mutual love. I could not begin to describe the comprehensiveness of this union. There is no union like this in ordinary existence between people on Earth. This is love expressed with no barrier of any form between the direct experience of the love of the other which is now not other. The sensations generated by union in this condition are beyond belief in their scope and in their subtlety. Again, I can only point at it by metaphor.
NDE due to motorcycle accident.  Among the most transcendent NDEs ever reported to NDERF.  Very long account, but a must read!

3236. Barry C NDE  1/14/13  From Canada.  I screamed, "How could you (God) betray and ambush me like this?! I do all of this good stuff and look what you give me!" "You are a lying, double-crossing xxxxxxx!" I yelled, and kicked and punched and swore as best I could. I was screaming and crying, and was even mad that I couldn't curse better. And then, as all of this was going on, I felt something like a warm hand come down and just cradle me. I screamed louder and kicked and hit, and the hand just held me. It exuded the most perfect love and warmth and softness, and absolutely no judgment. But my rage continued because now I had something to fight against and I screamed my lungs out and kicked and hit—and from the hand came a voice. It said in the softest, nicest, most honest, beautiful, trustworthy voice, "Barry, all you need to know is that I love you absolutely, no matter what."
NDE due to multiple injuries as a result of criminal attack.  Includes the angriest tirade at God that we have ever seen in an NDE.  Stunning reminder of God’s unconditional love.

3098. Lori E STE/SOBE. 7/28/12 There to my left on a screen was my life. I could see it! Me! I saw and felt all of my choices in this lifetime. There was absolutely NO judgment attached to it. None. I wasn't judging my life, I was simply seeing it. To the right it was dark, dim. I "felt" like the right side was reserved for when I actually did physically die. I would be privy to it then. It contained all the possibilities of all the angles of all the decisions I had made, played out in a different realm. As if, let's say, I had decided not to get married when I did. What my life would have been—and it actually was played out, but not in a physical way. It was still acted out. It was all the "probables" in life. I asked, in thought, or feeling, not with my voice, why I was here. I was told that it was because I had asked to be there. I knew this voice, as it was comforting and familiar and yet I knew it was God. How was that possible? I immediately questioned the voice about its being female. I had always envisioned "God" to be male. I had expected to be greeted in a male voice. I was shocked to hear/feel that I had chosen this voice, because it was MINE! It was MY voice! I suddenly knew that I was part of the universe.
This is a MUST READ.  Among the most remarkable spiritual experiences ever received.  SOBE with stunning spiritual insights.

This next entry is interesting for me because some of the questions Jean asked were answered in a similar way to what I wrote a few months prior to the NDERF entry, meaning I wrote down the "answers" before I knew what someone else I never met or read had experienced (Here on religion and Here on life purpose to learn through experience).
2932.  Jean R NDE 6166 English expanded version 1/18/12 I then went through a life review. It was all about my relationships with others in this review.  During this, I felt what they felt in my relationship with them.  I felt their love or their pain or their hurt, by things I had done or said to them.  Their hurt or pain made me cringe and I found myself thinking, ""Oooh, I could have done better there.""  But most of what I felt was love, so it was not too bad. No one was judging me during this process.  I felt no disapproval from anyone else...only my own reactions to it all.  That feeling of unconditional love saturating me continued to be there.  I was judging myself, but no one else was judging me in this review� The first question I asked was, "What is the right religion?"  I was told, "They all are.  Each religion is a pathway trying to reach the same place."  I was shown a mountain, with each religious group trying to reach the top...separated from each other by distance...but each one was trying to get to the same place.  I was then told that people choose to be born into whichever religion or group that will help them achieve the lessons they are sent here to learn.  I was told that the earth is like a big school, a place where you can apply spiritual lessons learned and test yourself, under pressure, to see if you can actually "live" what you already know you should do.
Exceptional NDE due to toxic shock syndrome.  Remarkable experiences- a must read!

The next one I just found well after I've written this post, which has some answers that is the same as what I've been writing including the last paragraph below about what God is.

578. Richard L's NDEEnglish expanded version 3/5/05 I looked back at the three people in front of me. These people were ancient. I don't know how I knew that, but I knew that they were "old souls" who watched over my group. We all had "sprung" from them, like children, each going their way yet connected to the source. I felt nothing like judgment of our actions from them. If anything, I felt a kind of amused benevolence from them, like parents watching their children playing. Even at the really bad things we did in our lives, there was no judgment.  The one with the beard spoke to me. "You can ask questions. We will answer them and you will remember. It is important that you do this."  My first question was "Is this heaven?".
An exceptional NDE.  At 8 years old, on bicycle and was struck by car.  Had OBE, could hear and understand thoughts of multiple people simultaneously.  360 degree vision.  Was allowed to ask questions, and remember the answers.  Remarkable spiritual wisdom in responses to the questions.
Here's a top 5 list of people's regrets while in the last days of their life:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

If you notice, all of these relate to being yourself, not being someone you think you must be!  This is the message of love: you are perfect!  You do not need to live for others and don't let others make you feel guilty about this.  We are all connected, we are all One, whether you know it or not.  It isn't about being selfish, it is about experiencing life through your free-will so don't take life so seriously.  I'm not telling you to be mean and hurtful.  I'm telling you to trust yourself and act on your own knowing so that you can see your own goodness.  You can choose to give and share and love out of your own desire, but don't feel you have some obligation, whether social pressures, guilt, or anything other than free-will.  You must trust yourself to be yourself and live the love and light that you are!  Only then can you be happy and satisfied with who you are and thus come to know yourself.  The bible says that "hell" is reserved for the sinners and liars.  The reason why liars go to "hell" is because they are unhappy with themselves, knowing they had not been true to themselves or others.  This creates a personal "hell" because of their inner guilt.  God does not judge; you judge yourself!  So be yourself and be true so that you do not have to live unhappy or guilty.  Forgive yourself of the things that you feel guilty about.  Others may judge you, but you can choose to be free.

If everyone was aware of who and what they are besides their physical body, fear of death would not exist.  This is the truth realized by many who have undergone the deathly transformation temporarily, but also the ancient philosophers such as Plato and Socrates, whose wisdom of such subject matter could not be understood by those who only knew of their identity as physical form.  All would realize that death is merely the result of an individual's desire to end their current life experience.  This is not like a suicide, where the outer ego chooses to end their life out of a desire to escape the lessons of physical reality.

Each life is a blueprint, drafted by each individual before they enter into this reality, and the blueprint is the framework for their experience within life.  But it is not predestination.  In life, each person's choices create new probable futures from which consciousness can choose to make a reality, which is why even suicides are a probable act and most of these are not planned as part of the life experience.  But other choices do come from their inner ego, of which the outer ego may not be fully aware because they do not typically communicate with their whole self.  Many animals are aware of their impending death and make preparations because they retain much of their communication with their whole consciousness.

From a humanistic point of view, this may not be obvious, and so, much fear and grief exists when we experience a death.  But from the point of view of the deceased, once they are re-acclimated back to their Light (thus shedding the humanistic perspective), they ultimately remember why they were born, the life they chose, and why they chose to die the way they did.  Our life experiences, including death, may not be a conscious choice by our human ego, but they are choices born out of free-will at the deeper sub-conscious level.  Nothing is ever thrust upon us.  To "know" this requires knowing what you are and that you are not the body.

Some people might think "no one would want to die like that" or "no one would choose that kind of life or death", but again, this is a natural reaction based on the belief that life only exists in the body.  If you accept that free-will exists, then that free-will cannot be limited to only physical actions.  All actions stem from mental activity, and thus free-will starts from consciousness.  It is only your beliefs about where your consciousness comes from that limits free-will.

Before I end this post, I wanted to mention something in relation to my last post about Jesus' message.  One thing that I think people who follow the bible needs to consider is why there is such a difference between the old testament's portrayal of "God" and Jesus'.  The reason I believe is because, as I said before, "God" is you, your soul is a portion of "God".  The one Source, or All That Is, is greater than the sum of all of us "God"s, and we are a portion of All That Is.  Therefore, I do not like to call Source "God".  In my view, the word "God" is used as a humanistic concept steeped in human qualities by men's fears and misunderstandings.  However, our soul is nothing like that and neither is "God".  It is our human personality that carry those traits, only for the sake of experience.  So I refer to the term "God" as our soul or our entity because our soul is in the image of Source aka "God".  Therefore, anything that represents "God" external to you cannot be "God".  The worshiping of the "one and only God" is in reference to you as the only one who controls yourself.  It is also why Jesus said to pray silently to ourselves rather than loudly in public view because you are asking yourself for help, not some externalize deity.  You alone are the master of yourself, and you are the "God" that helps you.  Though you may not believe you are in control of your destiny in life, the point of the old testament "God" was to say "you are in control".  That is also why "salvation comes from God".  It is you who judge yourself and you must "save" yourself, the saving being knowing yourself not as flesh, but as spirit.  The message of Jesus was trying to clarify this to the people, especially the teachers of the law who taught the wrong message, but they did not understand because their veil of ignorance created their fear of an external "God", one that was destructive and controlling, like men, which required them to avoid "angering God".

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