Something to think about
By Mark Dohle.
I know that the "Near Death Experience" is something
that brings out strong reactions in many as to the meaning
of the experience. With many books pro and con being written
on the subject, of which I have read the majority over the
past 30 years or so. Also the NDE can be abused by those
writing about it, acting as if it is some new revelation,
or using their own religious bias to back up one certain
interpretation. Which of course is normal, we do tend to
incorporate information into our preconceive belief system
and to reject what does not agree with it. Both believers
and unbelievers do it; I do it, that I know for sure. So
objectivity is not always easy, or perhaps impossible, would
be the key word. So to look at a phenomenon and actually
learn something new from it can be harder than expected.
There is however one aspect of the "Near Death Experience"
that got my attention from the beginning, and has been something
that has intrigued me ever since. It is not the tunnel of
light, nor the so-called communication from dead relatives
or other entities, as interesting as they are, nor the prophecies,
some of which are, to put it bluntly ‘crazy'.
Also it is not the effect the NDE's have on those who experience
them. Though all the above is interesting and worthy of
What drew my attention is the experience labeled "the
life review". It is really quite fascinating and I
guess depending on ones life, can be either terrifying or
pleasant. I would imagine for most it would somewhere in
the middle. What happens, is the one experiencing these
phenomena, will relive his or her influence on those that
they have come into contact with during their life. The
‘other' becomes ‘them'; what the other experienced;
they also had to live through. Pain, pleasure, joy and sorrow,
all were felt to the limit, everything they did to others
had to be lived through as the first person. Truly an interesting
part of the NDE, and perhaps the most important, at least
for me, others may not think so at all.
What does this mean? About life, about how we live, justice
and mercy and most importantly, what does it say about ‘all'
the others in our lives? It certainly could point to some
new understanding of what our boundaries are and our connection
with others; perhaps something about the Mind itself. It
also points to the reality of the importance that should
be given in how we simply treat others, for in the end it
says something about who we are, and also how on some deep
level, how we actually relate to ourselves.
The wife beater will experience the pain, shame and psychological
fragmentation of his victim. The rapist will experience
the same from his victim or victims. Petty actions will
be relived in the first person. Also the joy we give others
will also be experienced, nothing perhaps is lost, and we
each must experience all of our lives and the consequences
of our actions. Why if this is true, must this be gotten
Perhaps the major source of pain in the world is our lack
of understanding of the reality of others, that they are
real, not just objects put here for ones personal enjoyment,
or be used and then discarded. Why is it that injustices
committed against others can be smiled at, or receive no
reaction whatsoever, yet when it happens perhaps to us we
Is it because others are in reality not ‘real'? Perhaps
not to understand the absolute reality of the other as another
‘Self" is a form of sleep walking through life
and the NDE is a wake up call to understanding the essential
unity that we all have. So what we do to others, we in reality
also do to ourselves?
For me the ‘life review' is not a punishment but
a wake up call. Maybe because we really don't believe (if
Christian) what Jesus really said: "Whatever you do
to the least, you do to me". I wonder if that were
really believed, studied, meditated upon and really believed,
what would happen. I guess the "golden rule" would
take on a whole new meaning: Treat others as you yourself
would want to be treated, because it is really another ‘you'
or ‘self' that you relate to". In the end it
is Christ, and Christ is God (again if you are a Christian),
and Christ relates to the least, so therefore you are Christ
by participation in grace, a union profound, intimate beyond
Well, I think language breaks down when talking about the
union we have with God, it can only be experienced not explained.
It is also easy to be misinterpreted when trying to delve
into this reality. So perhaps a deep look into what others
tell us about the ‘life review' can be helpful.