I’ve never personally been through an NDE (though I’ve had a few close calls in my life!)…but I’m fascinated with all explorations and perception of the real…and the limits of human experience, including intuition and extra-sensual experiences. What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be alive? How are we each part of all that exists, and what exactly does it mean to be intelligent? Is intelligence limited to what we classify as living beings with brains?
As I have explored my personal relationship to reality through the years, I have come to understand that the real resides outside of science, religion, or any type of analysis that attempts to take things apart and reduce them to a set of rules. Reality is a constant flux in which everything that we can either invent or perceive is in a certain sense alive, because everything that we can conceive of or perceive is connected and part of the mind-space-time continuum.
As humans like to think of ourselves as rational beings, we tend to divide things into classifications. We also tend to separate ourselves from one another and from experience. The stories we tell ourselves and one another about our lives are just that: stories. What we call personal identity or culture, nationalism…everything we experience from the time we are small are all part of personal and collective fictions that we weave and that we cleave to…if we lose part of that to which we are attached, we suffer, because we believe we live in a continuity of time.
This is where the NDE comes in and helps us to understand reality in a new way. People who have experienced a crossroads between death and life have in some way been allowed to experience the mind outside of the confines of the brain and body. There is a web-site (Near Death Experience Research Foundation) where you can read summaries of Near Death Experiences from people of all ages and cultures around the world. From accounts I have read, including Proof of Heaven, by neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, and Dying to Be Me, by Anita Moorjani, the mind is not contained by the brain. Once liberated from fear and the limitations by which we are conditioned to view our self and our life, we can heal our bodies and free our minds from fear and other constraints.
Many of the people who have experienced an NDE understand that human suffering is universally created by our way of perceiving life. Is it possible to live without the limitations of culture, identity, religion, to be freed of conditioning and live the full creative potential of each moment?