The only thing that is set in stone about any of our lives is the fact that we are going to pass on. For this reason, and probably many others, our resulting death and the after-life have always been of great importance in the way that we live. Ancient civilisations have had many conditions to ensure the safe passage into the after-life, and modern religions continue to follow this path declaring that your ultimate resting place will be determined by your actions in this life.
As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Eben Alexander was very sceptical about his patients’ after-life experiences, believing that they were hallucinations caused by the stress of being seriously ill. His beliefs were shattered, however, after he found himself in a week-long coma due to contracting bacterial meningitis of the brain.
His book ‘Proof of Heaven’ details how Dr. Alexander entered a world of complete peace, in which he was unaware of his previous life. He believed that his family’s vigil and prayers were what brought him back and, surpassing everything else, the fact that his 10 year old son still needed his guidance.
Another person who has written a detailed account of her time away from this life is Anita Moorjani. The book entitled ‘Dying to Be Me’ tells about how she fell into a coma due to having a very serious case of lymphoma, with cancer tumours over a significant percentage of her body. Her recovery seemed impossible and she welcomed passing on, because of the immediate loss of the pain she had been experiencing for so long.
Moorjani describes her experience as ‘like being in a really unlimited time and space.’ She was met by her deceased father who encouraged her to return, because of the amount of things that she still had left to do in this life. She came back knowing that she would recover quickly and completely, and did, much to the astonishment of her doctors.
People who have had these brief, or extended, after-life experiences often report a very similar sequence of events. It normally starts with a bright light that they feel compelled to approach. Many of them are also aware of floating above their bodies, and looking down at themselves and the other people that are in the same room as them. During this time they are also able to hear and see everything around, even if it is happening some distance away.
Other people have the experience of their lives literally flashing before their eyes, especially the incidents that affected them significantly, both good and bad. Most of those that temporarily pass away are greeted by their loved ones who went before them. As a part of the welcoming committee they are surrounded by their angels, or guardians.
Perhaps the most vivid recollection that everybody has is the immense feeling of peace and unconditional love. This makes them very reluctant to return but those that have unfinished business are either pulled or sent back, normally by their loved ones.
All of these experiences are directly related to our concept of what heaven is supposed to be. Where then is the hell that many of us are so afraid of? I guess we all have to decide the answer to that question for ourselves.