Yesterday, I happened to chance upon the “Idiot’s Guide to Life After Death” and it discusses the Near Death Experiences and then what happens after death. It was after reading the learnings from such experiences that I finally understood how true all the philosophical underpinnings of Vedanta is. First, of all lets see how people change after such an experience and it will give you a perspective into the basic and core teachings of the Masters. The book lists two set of changes – One it calls “Positive” and second it called “Negative”. I think this classification is very superfluous and it will become clear to you when you read both the sets. So, lets read them:
The people after the NDEs have this change:
– a Deeper love of life
– no fear of death
– more charitable and sympathetic towards others fellow human beings
– less attachment to people, places, and things
– becoming more accepting and forgiving of others’ flaws
– living in the present becomes a primary concern.
The people after the NDEs have these changes too:
– Depression as they’ve seen the other side as being the ultimate peace and happiness
– less attachment to their spouse
– less concern for the future
– a complete lack of distrust; trusting others to a fault; they want to express nothing but love for their fellow human beings.
Here is an example of ONE of the experiences that was recounted also explains why they have these feelings: (experience of Arthur):
At that moment, he felt a comfort around him – warmth, quietness and a sense of soothing calm. He remembers having what he describes as chimes and bells (my comments: see where the chimes and bells in temples and churches come from? As well as all the music!). He recollects that “they are wonderful sounds, but there was no melody”.
Another interesting thing that I found was that NONE of the people saw anything called “hell”. All they could see was a compassionate, warm and loving light in many different configurations. There is no negativity in the purest form of consciousness! That love is the love of Jesus, Buddha, Guru Nanak, Krishna.. it is just pure love.. absolute and compassionate and unconditional!! And this has been my belief after understanding what Krishnamurthi and Vasistha have said in their teachings – there is no negativity to the Universal Consciousness in its purest form. It is true that there is a lot of negativity in the world/creation that we live in.. but this negativity is given a value of negative by US when we assign the web of CAUSE AND EFFECT or causality to everything that we see!
Finally, the experiences also do illustrate that the souls meet whatever one covets so much here in this life! So, if you love Jesus and think He is the God.. then He is who you will meet; and if you believe you will meet your Guru, then you will meet Him. But that has little bearing on what will happen to you thereafter!
What happens thereafter is basically based on YOUR deeds. And the basis of what is “good” or “bad” is not the same as that based on morality that we live by here. As one person recounted her bad deeds flashed before her but she did not see one where she had shoplifted. However, she saw instances where she knowingly and unknowingly HURT people through word or deed!
I was reading the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali and Swami Satchidananda says the word “Ahimsa” has nothing to do with violence as in English. Himsa is NOT killing but “GIVING PAIN”! I completely agree! Otherwise, as profound that Gita is and amazingly consistent (same for Yoga Vasistha), Krishna and Vasistha (or the authors of these – if they are stories) could not have talked of killing and YET, made “Ahimsa” a coveted aim! So, Killing is different from giving pain!
Another interesting that the NDEs in the book on Idiot’s Life After Death recounted was that you could “meet” your soul mate when you go to the other side. But this soul mate could be the soul mate of many other souls! So, if your soul mate was your wife – she may have been the wife of many earlier. In that case, one person said that monogamy is NOT a concept “there”! The love is universal and without limits – if you can understand that concept!
Love and soul mates have nothing to do with marriage and monogamy or even man and women relationship! The entire debate in the US on the gay relationships, therefore, and the linkage to Religion and how Jesus really diminishes the greatness of Jesus and God… because such people do not understand the VERY core of Universal Consciousness!!
Morality, as we know it, therefore is just situational and contextual. It has NOTHING whatsoever to do with Spirituality.
Here are some other accounts of NDEs from around the web (I have provided the links as well):
He stood beside me and directed me to look to my left, where I was replaying my life’s less complementary moments, I relived those moments and felt not only what I had done but also the hurt I had caused, some of the things I would have never imagined could have caused pain, I was surprised that some things I may have worried about, like shoplifting a chocolate as a child, were not there whilst casual remarks which caused hurt unknown to me at the time were counted, when I became burdened with guilt I was directed to other events which gave joy to others, although I felt unworthy it seemed the balance was in my favour, I received great Love. (link)
Emerging from that void I was suddenly aware of being above the scene of the accident, I wasn’t at all concerned about what had just happened. I seemed to just take it all in, my mind seemed . . . as I said earlier “my first thought was ” . . . but, I now realise the thinking process was completely different, it was like every thought happened at once, all was resolved and my mind became uncluttered . . . hmmmm (that’s the first time I’ve coined that phrase for it, but it seems appropriate). There was no BS left.
I did think about people I’d left behind, I just took it for granted that “they’d” understand soon enough themselves anyway. (I didn’t think about my mum or my girlfriend per se, it was more of a collective thing).
The night was dark, but I could see very clearly, floating around tree top level, I wasn’t aware of possesing a body, but seemed to still have binocular vision, it was the middle of winter, but I wasn’t aware of the cold. I had everything I needed.
As far as “I” was concerned “I” had my freedom, I had no idea what was going to happen next, but I couldn’t wait, I was on my way. There seemed no urgency about what was happening either, no deadlines, no time limits.
The next I remember was seeming to become part of everything but moving with huge fluorescent light structures that formed waves and were perfect in size and movement and the light was perfect. For some reason everything seemed to all of a sudden make sense the world myself everything was answered in an instant and it seemed I knew everything. There were no beings but energy like myself that was part of everything and there was no coolness or heat or wind or anything just perfect fluorescent lights that controlled all the structure and gently everything moved in waves . I then just remember coming back and the Dr and everyone was standing over me panicking and the pain started to come back again. (link)
My next awareness was of being submerged and cradled in a warm, wavy wafting motion at the opening of a tunnel. The tunnel had billowy soft sides and was well lit, with the tunnel dimensions decreasing and brightness increasing as it got closer to a single bright light. I heard this wonderful soft music. There was no sense of fright or anxiety. I was very curious as to where the music was coming from, but the end of the tunnel was opaque and I could not see. The light seemed to be just out of arms length, and I was aware that I just had to reach beyond the opaqueness to get to the light. The source of the music was at the light as well and seemed to be approaching more clarity at the light source. ( link )
There was this light shining. I turned toward the light. The light was very similar to what many other people have described in their near-death experiences. It was so magnificent. It is tangible; you can feel it. It is alluring; you want to go to it like you would want to go to your ideal mother’s or father’s arms.
As I began to move toward the light, I knew intuitively that if I went to the light, I would be dead.
So as I was moving toward the light I said, “Please wait a minute, just hold on a second here. I want to think about this; I would like to talk to you before I go.”
To my surprise, the entire experience halted at that point. You are indeed in control of your near-death experience. You are not on a roller coaster ride. So my request was honored and I had some conversations with the light. The light kept changing into different figures, like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, mandalas, archetypal images and signs.
I asked the light, “What is going on here? Please, light, clarify yourself for me. I really want to know the reality of the situation.”
I cannot really say the exact words, because it was sort of telepathy. The light responded. The information transferred to me was that your beliefs shape the kind of feedback you are getting before the light. If you were a Buddhist or Catholic or Fundamentalist, you get a feedback loop of your own stuff. You have a chance to look at it and examine it, but most people do not.
As the light revealed itself to me, I became aware that what I was really seeing was our Higher Self matrix. The only thing I can tell you is that it turned into a matrix, a mandala of human souls, and what I saw was that what we call our Higher Self in each of us is a matrix. It’s also a conduit to the Source; each one of us comes directly, as a direct experience from the Source. We all have a Higher Self, or an oversoul part of our being. It revealed itself to me in its truest energy form. The only way I can really describe it is that the being of the Higher Self is more like a conduit. It did not look like that, but it is a direct connection to the Source that each and every one of us has. We are directly connected to the Source. (link)