It would be great to know if there is life beyond the end of the physical life. In most cases, it is a “one way ticket”, so there is no real way to find out. Some however have been lucky to be “sent back” to physicality after they experienced the existence beyond bodily life. There are people who refute Near Death Experience (NDE) despite the overwhelming experiences and evidence to the contrary. Most significant being that of Pam Reynolds.
So looking at the decidedly transformational experiences of the “Other Side”, one wonders – if we take off the social context, the familial and national context, the ups and downs of life.. then what is it that remains most significant? What is it that drives our lives and that can ultimately – at the end of it all.. stand us in good stead when the body is gone?
To understand this, I went through the stories of Near Death Experiences of many of the “NDErs” (those who have experienced NDE). There are many commonalities to their experience. And although the belief systems or lack of it, did impact what and how you saw.. the basic elements remained very similar. There have been differences in some cases, but we will look at some of the significant insights of the similar experiences and see if we can learn and apply something during our lives, what we may know after death.
The most fascinating aspect that I found was – people had a major brain/life transformation. Mostly people changed for the good but some became depressed at “coming back” because the “Other side” was so blissful!
Let us look at some of the observations of the NDErs on life and how we live. In fact, it is interesting to revisit things that we, in our infinite wisdom somehow consider to be very important for a “good human being” and those that we think are bad. What is also interesting is to see how this is brought to bear upon the NDErs during the experience.
Life Lessons from near death experiences
Realization and experiences of NDErs post their experience are:1
How much did you love? It is not about what deeds you did or did not do. Whether you thought they were good or bad. The Light, which seems like a being (“God” per some), “asks” (not verbally, yet senses-wise one can “hear”) about the engagement of love. Love that was given to others selflessly. The common factor in the NDEs is the “Life Review” – where the entire life plays in front of you like a movie – not as an admonishment or praise, but for one to “face facts”. The times when love was expressed by the NDEr in their life were found to be the ones which give the most “pleasant” experience during this process. Interestingly, not only are the actions replayed, but also the motives! Motive gets as much importance as the action.2
Life is a precious gift! This is brought home most to the NDErs who committed suicide. These people come back with a renewed sense of life and a realization as well as determination not to do anything like suicide.
Suicide near-death episodes can lay to rest problems and conflicts, explain away confusions, and emphasize the need to remain embodied. Experiencers usually return with a feeling that suicide solves nothing, and they are notably renewed and refreshed by that feeling, using their near-death event as a source of courage, strength, and inspiration. (Source)
Interestingly, the “light being” also does “ask” something to this effect – How was the precious gift of life used? The obvious “expectation” in this question, given the predominance and importance of “love” is that one would have spent time loving others and everything/everyone one came in contact with.3
Include everyone as you. The “Life Review” despite being non-judgmental and not for fault-finding, does leave one with a lot of “after taste.” One realizes the full ramifications of the actions taken and motives used during one’s life. This is accentuated when while one is seeing “The Movie”. During this situation, the NDEr feels one with the others who were impacted by his/her actions.
Instantly becoming everyone you came in contact with in your entire life (feeling their emotions, thinking their thoughts, living their experiences, learning their motives behind their actions). (Source)
Complete inclusion of the others as one itself, is what makes the whole Life Review experience so much more potent. If you were a being, who could feel what the other is feeling.. be what the other is… then it would be interesting to know if you would still do the actions you did?4
Either Detached or Fully Engaged, but not attached to world. This is the strangest phenomenon that occurs. Those who were hard-driving achievers and materialistic people suddenly become relaxed and laid back. As if nothing matters now. They suddenly find their prior ways totally meaningless. On the other hand, those who were “uncommitted” all of a sudden work with verve and energy, to make everything they do count. It is as if one wants to live every moment usefully! In both the cases it is about one’s effort, motives and impact one has, as opposed to what one gets out of the world.5
Flowering of Humanity as opposed to “Code of conduct.” This is another interesting finding. Given how so many religions emphasize upon edicts and codes of conducts, most NDErs lose interest in “living by the code.” Instead something beautiful and transformational happens within them! They become “child-like” in their disposition. Not stupid or idiotic but just more trusting and inclusive. Trusting even when deceived or dinged for it.
Familiar codes of conduct can lose relevance or disappear altogether as unlimited avenues of interest and inquiry take priority. This new frame of reference can infuse NDErs with such an accepting nature that they can and do display childlike naivety. With the fading of previous norms and standards, basic cautions and discernments can also fade. (Source)
It is as if “getting ahead” of the other has lost meaning. Most importantly for us, we need to let our innate humanity guide our actions as opposed to some arbitrarily laid out norms.6
Knowledge of Self and Existence. During that experience, one finds a state where one is in “touch” with the entire knowledge in the cosmos. All that is to know about self and the universe is available. This has lead to increased intelligence in NDErs upon return and also more hunger for knowledge. It is as if one is trying to make up for the “real time access” to the Ultimate Cosmic Knowledge that one had in that state. So inherently, what is most interesting is that the attachment to the body, takes away the possibility of “touch” with Cosmic Knowledge that one gets as soon as one is not in the body. The lesson is that we have the access to the cosmic knowledge as it is inherent in us. We just need to let it work through us. If we can keep the influence of our bodily limitations aside, the apparatus that can access the Cosmic knowledge will function naturally.
Takeaways from NDEs that can change your lives:
How can we use them to make our lives more in tune with our “Cosmic Selves?”
- Love profusely: If love is the currency of the life beyond, and if the “Being of Light” is compassionate, warm and loving, then loving selflessly becomes the most important way to live. Indians have called it “Bhakti.” Bhakti at its highest becomes a love that is naive and child-like. Something that one takes to after having experienced the “Compassionate Being of Light.”
- Life is important. Live it fully: Life… the throbbing piece of life in everyone is far more important than the emotions, prejudices, excuses and arguments one uses to evaluate life. To appreciate the importance of life, one has to be in tune with the life energy itself. Those who look at life and its importance post their NDE take a different way and timeline. They no longer waste any minute
- Include everyone within your self: People have to be taught to “Love thy neighbor”, but are never taught that one should “Love thy kid”. Why? Because “thy kid” is thine. “Yours.” The only way one is expressing one’s humanity – factors of love, compassion etc – is when one is related. That too via the pressure of social and religious edicts and morals. If one were to include everyone into themselves, then they would let every action of theirs be an expression of their inherent humanity – which includes compassion and love. The superior way to live is fairly obvious. Inclusion of others is the only way one can be honest and loving with them.
- Access to Cosmic Knowledge, let it manifest: If the body is the only thing in the way of accessing the cosmic knowledge, then there is a “self” within, that remains alive after the body is gone. The body being the only thing that stands in the way of accessing that knowledge. That knowledge of Cosmic reality is potent enough and alive enough to work through you, if you let it perform.
- Accepting of everyone: If one becomes accepting after NDE to the point of a fault, it’s because for someone who has come in touch with the “Being of Light”, this is the most “Intelligent” way to live.