HEAVENLY MUSIC ORIGINATING FROM ONE MIND
Today is April 28, 2012, what would have been my 50th wedding anniversary. We were going to renew our wedding vows but of course, death had other plans for my husband and he died one month before our 49th anniversary. But today I decided to renew my vow to love him for eternity, a vow that honored a lifetime of the cherished love I have for him. But first I have to tell you that yellow roses have special meaning for me because Ched always bought them for me for special occasions when he was alive. I LOVE yellow roses!
Last year on our anniversary, I received the yellow roses through synchronicity and absolutely knew that Ched had a part in bringing them to me. I wrote about that in my latest book, Divine Moments: Ordinary People Having Spiritually Transcendent Experiences. Before he died, my husband made our son promise to bring me yellow roses from Ched so his love would always be with me on those special occasions. My son has kept that promise. However, I didn't mention the anniversary date was coming up soon because we both have a severe virus and I didn't want to put an extra responsibility upon him to get the roses for me. Besides, I knew he probably wouldn't remember our anniversary date unless reminded. I didn't mention it to him.
I have been praying all year for a sign from Ched, something that would let me know he is still aware of my love for him and that he is near. I prayed that Ched would bring me a sign for our anniversary date today.
The following is the answer to my prayers. I have a dear friend in New Jersey who I never met but I love her very much. Her name is Josie Varga. She is an author like myself who is interested in sharing the good news about after-death communications and life beyond death.
Just a few days ago, Josie emailed me and asked me what my address was as she was going to send me something. She gave no hint what she was going to send, but I gave her my address without hesitation. After I gave her my address, I mentioned that April 28th would be my 50th wedding anniversary.
The big day arrives today. I am praying for a sign from Ched on this very emotional day for me. I browse through our wedding album and cry a lot because I miss him so much. A hole in my heart is as large as the city I live in. Yet, I know he is okay. I know he is filled with love, joy, and peace unspeakable, yet it does not soothe the raw emotion of pain that separation has created. I ache to receive a message from him today, but what kind of message, I have no idea. I would leave that up to the mysterious universe. But the day is coming to a close. It's 5:00 pm already and nothing has happened.
Knock, knock. Someone is at the front door. I have a lung virus for weeks now and I look like a distressed haggard, but I answer the door. A young man in a suit is carrying an arrangement of 14 beautiful long-stemmed YELLOW ROSES in a vase of water! He hands the arrangement to me and wishes me a happy anniversary. I am anxious to see who sent these beautiful yellow roses to me so I quickly read the card. It says: Dear Nancy, these roses are not from me; they are from Ched. Happy Anniversary with all his love. I heard a voice telling me to buy you yellow roses. Please call me and I will explain. Love you, Josie
I broke down sobbing from happiness that filled every crevice of my heart. I immediately called Josie and she explained that one day she heard a voice in her head telling her to "buy Nancy yellow roses." She said it stunned her. Why?she wondered. She had no idea why she was supposed to buy me yellow roses! She told her husband about the voice in her head telling her to buy Nancy some yellow roses but she didn't understand why she should do this. She asked her husband what she should do. He told her to go ahead and buy them. So the next thing Josie did was to email me and ask me what my address was. She didn't tell me why she wanted it and I didn't ask. The story played out fully today when the yellow roses arrived at my doorstep.
Remember, Ched contacted Josie to tell her to buy me yellow roses BEFORE she knew my anniversary was coming up in a few days. She listened to that voice in her head and made a decision to buy them for me without knowing why. Only after she asked me for my address, did I tell her that my anniversary was coming up in a few days. I can imagine how Josie must have felt when she learned about my upcoming anniversary and then to know that Ched's spirit contacted her to send me the yellow roses. She must have been overjoyed to be an instrument of love from Ched to me.
It is 45 degrees outside today, rainy, and cold. Even though I have had a bad virus for three weeks, I donned a warm coat, gathered one long-stemmed yellow rose from the arrangement Josie sent; I took Ched's photo, my heart-shaped necklace that contains some of Ched's ashes, his wedding ring, my Bible and a new ring that I would use to renew my vow to love him for eternity. I walked to the memorial garden I created for him where some of his ashes remain and I sat on the bench seat near him. The wind whistled through the tall ash trees and the chilly mist perched on my eyeglasses but I was warmed by the love I was feeling for Ched and for the sign he brought me on this anniversary day to let me know his love is still with me.
Before I left, I thanked God for the amazing gift I received today knowing that love never dies and that even in death, there is a way for our loved ones to touch our lives in a way that defies understanding. The universe is filled with love and when we tap into it, we become transformed by it. I know that happened to me today.
I held my Bible over my heart, closed my eyes and held my index finger over the closed pages of the Bible. I asked God specifically for a message that would let me know that Ched lives again, not that I doubted that, I just wanted God to acknowledge it so I could feel that God was also part of this little ceremony I was having as a testament of my everlasting love for Ched. Moving my finger back and forth above the closed pages of the Bible, I waited for my usual sign to appear. A white light in the corner of my left eye signals me to promptly insert my finger into the closed pages of the Bible. I opened the Bible and my eyes, and asked God to help me understand what I was going to read and then I began reading.
What I was led to by Divine Guidance confirmed to me that God raised Ched from the dead and he lives again. Very specific to what I just asked God about. Acts 9:36-41 talks about a woman who died and her friends laid her in a room which was filled with weeping widows. When Peter arrived he asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed and told the body to Get up! The woman opened her eyes and sat up. He helped her up and called the people in, presenting her to them. The woman died, but was raised up to new life again. This is precisely what God wanted me to know about Ched as well because I was led specifically to that passage after asking God specifically to let me know if Ched lives again!
Now I have never had any formal religious instruction nor have I read the Bible. Therefore, I do not assume to know where these passages are in the Bible to be able to open to a specific passage dealing with what I just prayed about with my eyes shut! Pure and simple, it is a miracle unfolding at that time which works every single time I do this Bible technique. Talk about the love of the Divine ready to help us when we call upon it! This is my method of direct communication with the Light of God. It is an awesome two-way communion of my soul with the Divine that is very specific to what I was just seeking guidance about. In other words, I talk to God first, then God speaks back to me through the specific passages I am led to in the Bible. Answers such as I have just described happen each time I do this technique. It works beyond the mechanics of chance.
Ched must have known that our son would forget that our anniversary was today and I wouldn't receive the yellow roses that Ched always wanted me to have on special occasions. What day could be more special than celebrating what would have been our 50th wedding anniversary today? So he contacted someone who he knew would follow through with his desire to have me receive the yellow roses which mean so much to me. This experience verified for me that his spirit did bring me his message which I had sought for so long.
What makes this message from Ched so awesome is that he was a full-blown skeptic on the subject of life after death. Before he died, I told him to be sure and bring me a message from the other side. He responded by saying, "If there is no life after death, then I won't be able to bring you a message and then you will be wrong and I will be right." Well, I think we now know who is right and who was wrong. I'm so happy he found out for himself that life after death exists and that he was able to bring me that message to me afterall.
The moral of this story is that love never dies. Love between souls who shared a physical life together continues to exist after death. The mystery of the afterlife cannot be understood, only welcomed into the sacredness of the human heart where it can continue to nourish and instill the peace that passeth all understanding.
I cannot say that my heart will never ache again for Ched's physical presence with me on a day to day basis. As long as I am in human form with human needs, I will continue to experience a heartache that only those who have lost a loved one can understand. This pain will never go away until that day when we will be reunited once again in the afterlife. In the meantime, I will continue to write and speak and to witness to the mystery of the unseen in the hope that others will be inspired to understand there is more to our reality than meets the eye. When we are ready to embrace that awareness, the universe will open to us and bring us what we seek.
I write because I must. I write and speak because it is my purpose in life. I have shared this account with you because I must. If you have been touched in some way, look not to praise me. Instead, lift your heart to the universe and thank the Divine love within you that my story has lifted your own heart upwards toward the Divine in some small way. In doing that, my purpose here on earth is acknowledged. Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy account.
Many individuals who came close to death as well as those who were not close to death report having experiences that they interpret as spiritual experiences. There are many terms being used these days to identify these types of experiences. There is the near-death experience (NDE), the near-death-like experience (NDLE), spiritually transformative experience (STE), the out-of body experience (OBE), mystical, and others. Although there are similar features of each experience, no one experience is identical. There is one common thread running through the majority of these experiences, a sudden transformation in which the individual becomes more spiritually oriented along with an increase in their moral values.
According to the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, 50% of Americans have undergone one or more spiritual and religious change experiences. People who experienced transformation said they had been "born again" or had another spiritual or religious experience that changed their lives. These findings were based on a 2004 survey with 1,328 randomly chosen people taking part in the survey which is routinely used by social scientists to study American attitudes and behaviors.
Common characteristics of these transcendent experiences include encounters with religious figures, encountering different realms of reality, communication of some sort that gives the experiencer deeper insight into the meaning of life, a sense of "mission" to fulfill while living out the remainder of one's life here on earth.
It is interesting to note that it is this experience itself that catapults the individual to live their lives less from an ego-centered perspective to one of service to others. A greater capacity to love God, self and others is one of the hallmarks of these transcendent experiences. Other changes that suddenly take place within these individuals include becoming more loving and compassionate, less interest in materialism, reduced fear of death, knowing, rather than believing that life is a continuum, deeply feeling the inter-connectedness of all of creation, a sense of sacredness, an intuitive illumination, and a desire to foster spiritual growth not only in themselves, but to inspire that growth in others as well.
How do we know these spiritual experiences are genuine and not the work of the darkness that keeps us from believing in the Light? Fundamentalists who challenge these experiences often quote the Biblical passage "Satan can be disguised as an angel of light." In fact, shortly after my own near-death-like experience in 1979, one Fundamentalist minister quoted that Biblical passage to me and told me I must never speak of this experience again because Satan was working through me. I replied, "My whole life changed following the miracle of that transcendent experience. God blessed me with it and transformed me so that my sole purpose in life is to share the message of God's unconditional love with others. This experience brought me TO God and I intend to stay there. If Satan was working through me, wouldn't Satan do everything to lead me AWAY from God and discourage me from sharing this good news?" The minister had no reply but simply said, "I will pray for you."
Ever since that experience in 1979, my life has been a life of service to share the miracle of Divine Love for all of us as I was instructed to do. Saint Paul said it best when he said, "by their fruits ye shall know them."
So whatever terminology we use to describe the ineffable experience of the Divine, one thing is certain - these experiences are born of and made of Divine LOVE. Our actions speak for the Truth of our spiritual quest.
If you are a near-death experiencer or had a similar experience called a near-death-like experience, you may be wondering how you can re-adjust to this earthly world again after having been suddenly jolted into an other-worldly realm. As a two-time experiencer, I feel qualified to discuss some of the feelings you may be having following your experience. Sometimes it can be very helpful to know you are not alone and that millions of people have experienced what you did. You are not alone.
One of the first reactions you may have when you return back to physical consciousness is anger at having to come back to this earthly realm. I was very angry and extremely sad that I had to leave the Light of unconditional love and come back. But I also knew that our earthly lives are meant to live with meaning and purpose and patiently, one day we will return "home" again.
Another common reaction is one of humility and the awesome nature of the experience. We ask ourselves "Why me?" and we get no answer.
Are we crazy? No! We are actually mentally healthier than most people following our experience since we have more inner peace, greater self-respect and self-confidence. We function in society very well, hold jobs, have good relationships and have a great appreciation for life. Mental illness has the opposite effect on people. People become depressed, have difficulty holding jobs and basically have a poor quality of life.
You will discover that you no longer fear death. You may have an increase in your religious or spiritual practices. Many experiencers tell us "before my experience I believed, but now I KNOW!" You may also have greater concern for the welfare of others and want to help them in some way. It is not uncommon that many experiencers change careers to go into service careers where they can help others.
Solitude becomes important for us. We prefer quiet moments where we can reflect upon our experience, its meaning for us and humanity at large. We often are bothered by loud noises and become disturbed easily when the TV or radio is on too loud. We may once have been the life of the party but now we prefer to sit and talk engaged in deep conversation with one person. We feel a sense of connection with that one person and an intimacy we could not have shared with others if we had been fluttering around the party like a butterfuly the way we may have previously done.
You may discover latent talents appear following your experience. I received the gift of healing and the ability to write. I never wrote anything but an occasional letter before my experience but afterwards I wrote two published books and am working on another. My friend couldn't draw a straight line with a pencil prior to her NDE but afterwards, she paints in the style of Thomas Kincaid, the painter of Light. Some people develop their intellectual abilities, others compose music, play musical instruments or write when they had no previous ability to do that.
We have an inner peace that most people cannot comprehend. Through the adversities of daily life, we are able to be like a leaf gently floating down a stream and we "go with the flow." We resist fear thoughts that disrupt the inner peace we have found through receiving the gift of this experience. Whatever we face we do so with grace and with the knowledge that all our life experiences are opportunities to help us realize our full potential.
Many experiencers tell us they have a reverence for nature and feel drawn to it like a moth to light. It is not uncommon to hear someone say, "I can feel the life-energy move inside the tree I'm hugging." We can sense an inter-connectedness with all living things and it is this reverence for all of life that to us, is sacred. I personally feel the Divine Presence with me while I am perched on a fallen oak tree in the woods where I live. The sunlight is filtering down through the tall ash trees; the birds are singing to remind me that all is well. My eyes are turned upwards to the clear blue sky and with a tender kiss from the sunlight on my cheeks, that's when I know the Creator is parked right alongside of me on that oak tree stump. I am in Heaven again!
You may find yourself being less interested in materialism for the sake of social status. You enjoy what you have but you aren't as preoccupied with accumulating things. You may find you are hungry and thirsty for knowledge and you may read voraciously or attend lectures on subjects you were not previously interested in. Believe it or not, following my own experience, I developed an interest in quantum physics and cosmology of all things and I never took a physics class in my life.
These are some of the radical changes that can take place in your own life. Some changes will appear suddenly and others will appear later on when the time is right. It takes approximately seven years to fully integrate this experience into your life according to PMH Atwater's research work on NDEs. So be patient with yourself and understand that you are a unique human being and this experience is unique to you. No one else has gone through the identical experience as you...close...but not exactly.
You may be reluctant to tell others about your experience for fear of being ridiculed or thought to be crazy. If you feel the need to tell someone, choose someone you trust who you think will listen to you without judgement. If you are not ready to confide in someone yet, there is help available. The IANDS organization (International Association Near-Death Studies, Inc.) has a website with a lot of good reputable information available for you to peruse. There are also many local IANDS groups around the country and the world where you can go for support, information and fellowship. Go to www.iands.org for more information. I founded and facilitate the Columbus, Ohio IANDS group and I would encourage anyone who might be interested in our group to go to our website for more details. It is www.freewebs.com/iandscolumbus
I would like to direct the following information to those family members, friends, and significant others who know someone who has had a near-death or near-death-like experience. The best thing you can do when someone begins to tell you about their experience is just LISTEN! Avoid the tendency to argue or debate the legitimacy of their experience. Experiencers are very perceptive in recognizing someone's body language which indicates the listener probably is thinking they are "wacky." The experiencer will shut down at that point and refuse to talk further. No one appreciates being labeled or ridiculed so be kind and listen. Ask questions to show your interest.
One of the best things you can do is to learn about these experiences. There are many books on the subject these days. There are many good websites, just google near-death experiences. IANDS website has a wealth of first-rate information and a list of recommended reading.
We have had over thirty years of scientific research in this field and the conclusion is that this experience is REAL and it transforms people's lives in a very positive and loving way. As the Biblical passage says, "by their fruits ye shall know them." Perhaps as we listen carefully to the message that all experiencers came back to share with us, we may find ourselves on a path to self-discovery and humanity will ultimately be elevated to a higher consciousness.
The following is a chapter I wrote for Josie Varga's book, Visits From Heaven from 4th Dimension Press, an imprint of ARE Press. Other chapter contributors for this wonderful book include: Dr. Melvin Morse, George Anderson, Dr. Raymond Moody, John Edward and others. Please see Josie's website for more information: www.josievarga.com
What does it mean to be awakened to our inherent true nature? Why is it important to learn who we really are? For most of us, we think we already know who we are. For instance, we define ourselves by the jobs we have; I'm a chemist; I'm a real estate broker; I'm a mother. Or, I have blond hair and blue eyes and I just graduated from college, or I'm homeless and I'm a cancer survivor.
We are more than our ego's characterization of ourselves. We have a powerful identity which is the very essence of life inhabiting the physical body. It is the soul, the manifestation of the Divine Presence within us. This is our true identity! Our ego nature is our false self. I would like to tell you how I know this for a fact.
In the early 60's I had a near-death experience during childbirth. I had toxemia of pregnancy characterized by extreme edema, high blood pressure resulting in convulsions and death. I woke up in the morgue. Years later, in 1979, I had a deeper and very profound near-death-like experience while delivering a eulogy for a dear friend. Once again, the Light that I experienced during the early 60's during my near-death experience was calling me "home," to experience communion with the Divine and to open my consciousness to wisdom, truth, power and love. I was not close to death, suffering from illness or physical trauma at the time I was delivering the eulogy in 1979, however, I experienced the identical features of a classic near-death experience, proving there are many trigger releasers to this type of transcendent experience with the Light; coming close to death is only one trigger. I experienced the following features of that Sacred event: tremendous peace that can best be described as the 'peace that passeth all understanding'; my spirit-self lifted out of my physical body; I encountered and merged into oneness with the Light of God whose undconditional love is ineffable; I traveled through the dark universe at a tremendous rate of speed; witnessed at least eleven dimensions; timelessness; telepathic communiation; life review; life preview; I was given total knowledge; 12 guides were with me; I wanted to stay but was told I had to return and share what my Great Teacher revealed to me so that I could help humanity raise their consciousness to Light-consciousness: and then I experienced a rapid re-entry back into the physical body, and I was forever transformed from that moment on.
What I saw and what I learned from my Great Teacher during those fifteen minutes "Nancy" was delivering the eulogy, will forever be cherished as the most supreme and sacred event in my entire life. The All-encompassing Presence and my ego-self "I," disappeared into the radiance of the eternal realm. It's sudden onset by the Grace of the Divine Presence instantly transformed my life, clearing from my mind old beliefs, and ushering in the awareness of my authentic true self. I wrote about this experience in great detail in my first book, HearHis Voice: The True Story of a Modern Day Mystical Encounter With God, PublishAmerica, 2005.
Because I promised the Light of God I would help others as I was helped, I was sent back from the loving arms of the Creator to begin sharing the knowledge my Great Teacher revealed to me. I have been actively pursuing this teaching that was placed in my heart ever since my own awakening to help others ascend toward Light or Divine consciousness. There is no greater joy than to spread the Light's message of love and the knowledge that we are each, expressing the One Divine Power through our humanness.
I am well aware that for some people, admitting that my spirit-self was taken up into God's Presence while delivering a eulogy sounds bizarre, if not downright crazy. It may be easy to surmise that I may be a lunatic. Typically, if we don't understand something of a supernatural nature, we have a tendency to label it and once we do that, we don't have to deal with it anymore. We think we have all the answers but we don't. We must remember that our Creator is greater than our little finite minds no matter how many PhD's we may have or how many awards we have been given for our brilliant works. If the Divine Presence seeks us out for a purpose and we are open to receive it, then there is nothing we can do but follow the passion in our heart to serve the Light and our fellow man. This has been my promise to God ever since my experience. So, my advice to you is this. Draw whatever insight from my message that touches your heart. Allow the Spirit that is within the depth of your soul to speak its' own truth to you. For it is in union with Divine Spirit and your own soul that God can move you to the next level of a deeper and more intimate experience of the Sacred within.
I learned from my Great Teacher during my transcendent experience that man's true destiny is to realize the truth of the Divinity of one's self, ever present within the self. The reality of the Presence is so all-encompassing and magnificent that it defies any possible imagined idea of ecstasy. Trying to describe the Divine Presence is like trying to describe a color to a blind person. Many have attempted such an explanation, but all have failed because the Divine is beyond our finite minds and the language humanity has created.
How then, do I attempt to explain the All-encompassing rainbow colors of the Divine Presence within so that people will begin to create a vision of the Ultimate Reality? I can't. No one can. The best I can do with our current language is to inspire people to awaken to the knowledge that is placed directly within every single person so they can discover for themselves the existence of this truth that I personally awakened to. This discovery must be personally experienced; there is no other way. No amount of factual knowledge will convince anyone of its truth unless we inwardly perceive that it is true.
My Great Teacher gave me the seeds of Light to scatter, but I realize that some seeds will fall on fertile, and some on rocky soil. Many teachers strive to instruct others in this quest for understanding the innermost mystery, but we must remember that each person is unique. Just as there are no two fingerprints that are exactly alike, so too, are all individuals set apart in their uniqueness. Each person can perceive only what they are capable of perceiving at whatever level of growth they happen to be at the time. I will describe some of the teachings my Great Teaher infused into my heart during my transcendent experience so that you may begin to take responsibility for your own life transformation, should you choose to embark upon this magnificent Light-filled task.
Following my transcendent experience, my life became a beautiful expression of genuine satisfying happiness and inner peace. Although I have experienced many crisis events in my life since that transcendent experience in 1979, including our house burning to the ground and losing all our material possessions, my husband becoming disabled with very serious health issues and my becoming a caregiver to assist him in however long he remains on this earth, losing our medical insurance, and I could go on and on. But throughout those events, the painful states of anxiety were non-existent. Inner peace prevailed. How is this possible?
The answer to that question is the reason I agreed to write this chapter for this book so that you too, can find the inner peace which is beyond intellectual understanding. A rich and purposeful life is to be found within oneself, no matter what the exterior world throws our way. Make no mistake, when the veils are removed and we finally "see the Light," (pardon the pun), then this glorious Light within, sings its' song of overflowing love, joy and everlasting peace. A new world has been revealed to us and we now dwell within it. The outer world now has no power over us to cause our struggle, suffering, and fears.
I am convinced that within every heart there is a longing for something over and above our observable reality. I believe in every heart there is a yearning for freedom from the darkness of heartaches, frustrations, and guilt, which this harsh world seems to inflict upon us. We believe there must be something better than all this. But what? It is the LIGHT, the indwelling Divinity that we are part of - our true nature, our authentic real self!
Prior to my transcendent experience, I knew nothing about ego, spirituality, and our true nature. I was an average married woman who raised a family and had a thirty-year career as a Cytologist engaged in cancer research at a major university. I was vigorously trained in the scientific method to accept as fact, only that which is verifiable by science and objective reality. However, my transcendent experience with the Light of God was subjective "proof" that a far greater reality beyond our sense world exists. From the deepest Source of Divine Love, I was illumined with the knowledge of man's true nature for the purpose of helping others become aware of something we simply forgot.
Before I discuss the Light and our relationship to the Divine, we must first understand our ego's role in the way we relate to life, our thoughts and feelings, and how our ego causes separation from our true identity, the LIGHT within. The ego is highly motivated to dominate our lives by using fear to condition our minds to claim authorship of all our subjective experiences. Ego reinforces our need to be 'right' at any cost and voraciously clings to its cherished beliefs. We invested a lifetime of living from an egoist perspective because everyone is attached to the hopes and expectations, failings, gains and losses, and human suffering. The 'I' self identifies with roles, titles, and behavior, but this creates the illusion of an independent, separate self. Probably the most tragic consequence of our ego's need for dominance is the fear that 'I' will one day be faced with the prospect of death. This makes the ego very fearful. We haven't been taught that the ego is our false self, the illusion we have about ourselves.
During my transcendent life-transforming experience with the Light of God, I learned there is only one true, authentic Self, our higher Self, the Divinity that we came from belong to, and return to. I was shown how we must peel away the layers of illusion we have about our false self, like the layers of an onion, until we reach down to the core of our true being. There, at the core of our being, the manifestation of perfection shines forth. We have come "home" to the indwelling Divine love, power, healing, and knowing. From this perfection of our true identity, comes self-acceptance, self-expression, and our justification for being, all expressed as the Divine Presence through our true Self on the human level.
How do we peel away the layers of illusion of our false self so we can begin to live a life we were created to live? Remember this. Our ego will resist change. The ego wants to be in charge at all times; that's it nature. It is simply a collection of thoughts, feelings, memories, data, and beliefs, but ego also tries to convince us that this is who are are. Ego motivates us to become insistent, desiring, yearning, greedy, spiteful, fearful, challenging, resentful, angry, contriving, and other negative and destructive traits that dwell in the illusion of our false self.
I don't mean to imply that ego is a bad thing to have or that we need to get rid of it. Certainly, ego has a purpose to fulfill in our daily lives if we are to live in this world of information and knowledge. Our minds need to experiment with ideas, probe, listen, and absorb. The ego only becomes a problem when it convinces us that the world we live in is threatening and chaotic by the various negative thoughts and feelings we become attached to. We have been taught from an early age on that we are separate individuals who need to protect, defend or advance ourselves in some way. We try to impose our agenda on life to satisfy our ego needs at all costs, but in doing that, we experience suffering.
I was shown during my transcendent experience with the Holy One that it is our birthright to become detached from the sorrows of our outer life experiences by living inwardly with the awareness of the Kingdom of Heaven within. This so-called 'Heaven' is our true self, the Divinity that is the Light of the world. Every loving thought, word and deed arising from our true self unites our two worlds together, the physical with the spiritual. Our lives become a manifestation of God's love, healing, harmony, wisdom and power in the midst of all activity on the earth. No matter what our exterior life experiences will be, our interior world embodies all the qualities of the living Light of the Divine. In reality, we are each Divine, not separate, but united as one. This was such an astounding "light-bulb" moment of truth for me during my experience. I understood that our awareness of this truth was essential to a deeper and more profound experience of the Divinity of existence.
Knowing our oneness with the Divine and with all, transforms our egoist life into a life of peace and wisdom. Our inner being has become fearless, aware, and oh, so loving. It is as natural as the sunrise revealing itself in the early morning, shining Light into the shadows of darkness, only moments earlier.
Intellectual understanding of our oneness with the Divine and with all will not result in the consciousness necessary to dwell in this glorious state of awareness. The mind or our ego is not the soul. Only the soul must experience this sacred truth for itself. We cannot force ourselves to believe this. We cannot use willpower to try to destroy the ego's hold over us. The ego is very cunning and clever. It will discourage us every step of the way to pull us away from experiencing the Divine Presence within.
What is needed is simply to understand that the ego holds mistaken beliefs about who we really are. So give the ego a break. Forgive the ego for what it doesn't know. Then all we need to do is learn how to heal the ego's grip over our lives. We do that through our willingness to go deeper within the mystery of our self to surrender our self to the One who calls us "home." I do not believe we can do this by intent or our trying to achieve these results on our own because this only reinforces perception through the ego. Rather, the awareness of the reality of our true nature is facilitated by humility, faith, trust, and the realization that God's grace will bring the result we seek through the various processes necessary for one's spiritual development.
When we invite the Beloved to work with us in shedding the illusion of our false self, we can be assured the Eternal Power which created us can heal us into wholeness in every nook and cranny of our being. The sweet, gentleness of Spirit within, will express the intrinsic qualities of the Divine through all the pathways of our life as we walk lovingly forward with a new life, a life of joy, a life of peace, and a life of grace.
This is not idle talk. This is truth as revealed to me during the miracle of my transcendent experience. It can be your personal truth as well if you accept it. A musician composes exquisite music to be shared with others, not to harbor it all for oneself in the silence of a soundproof room. The musician must share the gift received, otherwise it would not be heard, ever enriching our lives in such a beautiful melodic way. So hear your own music! Know your music! Be your music! You will then know the revelation of what it means to be yourself, your spiritual identity.
We have each been given the connection to the Divine to compose the rest our lives from the symphony of Holy Love, the portal to the unification of Heaven and earth. This is our ultimate fate even if we are presently unaware of this. We are each channels for Light to lift the consciousness of all people. Every word, thought or deed carries the potential for bringing Light into the world with hearts being opened to a strong infiltration of Divine Glory.
Let us each begin the process of self-discovery to expand our capacity to recognize the power of the Divine Presence within, the life that will bring new life to the old life. Let us each open our hearts to find our own love center, the greatest love we have ever known. Begin by claiming the truth that the Divine is individualized in every soul-being and this is given to us by grace. When we can consciously realize this Presence as our true nature, we will no longer condemn any part of our being or anyone else for that matter. The miracle that exists within us is a powerful source of pure, unconditional love. Accept it and grow with it. Your selfhood is Divine. Know it and honor it. Let nothing separate you from this truth!
Every day take the time to reflect upon your Divinity and your true worth, and be grateful to the One who created you to be who you truly are. When the ego sneeks in through the back door of your mind trying to deceive you through false judgments, work to rid yourself of your preconceived ideas of how life ought to be. Forgive the ego for trying to separate you from the truth of your being and allow Spirit's voice within to speak to your heart to heal you of that mistaken notion.
Just as automobiles sometimes need front-end alignment, our thoughts also need alignment to clear our mind from old beliefs and releasing us from past experiences. When we begin to align our life with the Presence within and heal our ego's need for control, we will begin to experience the promise given to us by the One who loves us beyond our imagination, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age."
Go with love, knowing that within you is the wisdom and the guidance to help you begin a new way of living. Love is the answer. Love is the key. God IS Love.
PMH Atwater, world renouned near-death experience researcher and dear friend of mine, gave me permission to post this article she wrote in IANDS national newsletter, Vital Signs, Vol. 27, Number 4, 2008 and on her website www.cinemind.com. I am including this article on my website because I strongly affirm what her concern is regarding some NDErs who embellish their accounts in order to get their books published or for any other ulterior motive, or who teach a "one-size-for-all" interpretation of their experience. Please read this article and become aware that this practice does exist with SOME experiencers. PMH writes:
"I can no longer avoid this topic: revelations from near death experiencers that conflict with each other. Who's right? Who's off base? Whom do you believe? How do we regard what those who come back from the brink of death have to tell us?
People have quarreled over this for decades. It has been my lot to find myself in the middle of such controversy, again and again, and to face other versions of it when experiencers come to me and say: "Will you write the Introduction to my book? I need your name so my book will sell." This happens so often that I feel I must finally speak up and clarify what seems to be at play.
First, let's understand a few things. In the '80's and '90's it was far easier for near-death researchers to write about their findings, and for near-death experiencers to write or find ghostwriters to produce a book about their story. A few of these sold quite well. Some became national and international best-sellers. Raymond Moody's book, Life After Life, opened a mighty big door for millions of people worldwide in the mid-70's.
Today, at a time when the topic of near-death and near-death-like experiences, both research and stories, should be "show-stoppers" with more amazing and pertinent material than ever before in the history of the field - no one wants to read about them, agents are refusing to represent such authors, the newest languish in bookstores. Even the International Association for Near-Death Studies )IANDS), in light of decreasing funding, has had to take drastic steps just to keep afloat (and I might say, these steps are working...yeah!) The public seems to prefer shutting this ever-expanding door, saying "I've heard it all." The truth is, they haven't. What they've had enough of is the basic mythology. What they haven't discovered is how the new work in the field deviates from that mythology, and in doing so, challenges not only the early work but science itself.
Did you know that today, publishers have very little to say about the books they publish, individual covers and titles? Those decisions are now relegated to the advertising arm of the largest bookstore chains. It is these people who tell publishers what manuscripts to take, how they should be rewritten, what cover and title will sell the book. Author's wants are lost in the shuffle. This means that, in today's market, intense pressure is put on experiencers to hike or exaggerate their claims, or to find reviewers who are willing to do it for them. You find some of this with researchers, but not to the extent that you find with experiencers. Either you are willing to become the "property" of the sales machine and have your work sensationalized, or you have little chance of sharing what you feel driven to share - which puts more pressure on reviewers.
Added to this is the religious factor. If your near-death experience follows along and further clarifies tenets common to a particular religious order or denomination, nine chances out of 10, you will have the strength and power of that denomination behind you. The same thing is true with certain tenets of mysticism or spirituality or esoteric traditions. In other words, if you stay within the boundaries of your faith or the philosophy that appeals to you, even without realizing you are doing this, you will have group power to support you.
The near-death phenomenon (which includes the experience, the aftereffects, and the implications) is a valid and real phenomenon that affects millions of adults and children worldwide. No single experiencer (no matter how good a speaker or the reach of personal charisma), no single case, no font of wisdom, nor depth of revelations received, even begins to address the subjects the phenomenon covers - things like life after death, is there a god, what happens to us when we die, is there an actual realm or afterlife people go to, what about heaven and hell, suicides, murder, children's cases, angels and demons, is reincarnation real, is religious dogma of value, what about the differences between religions, animals and what happens to them, is there a purpose to our lives, what about the aftereffects and how they change you even physically, and on and on.
These are deep, heavy issues, that every single person wants answers to --yet no single experiencer can supply all the answers! The power of the near-death phenomenon and what it can tell us can best be found in a synthesis, or summary of the many.
True, just being around an experiencer, or reading experiencer books, can be life-changing. I grant you that. But transferring to any experiencer the role of speaking for everyone else or being the best speaker or having the most to say or holding the record for the most harrowing case or being the most angelic or gifted or blessed or verrified or stunning, is tantamount to self-deception. Guess who is fooling whom?
It is the sum of the many that speaks so loudly. Although individuals can and do reach into our heart of hearts and inspire and uplift us, it is our job, each one of us, to question, look around, and consider what others have to say, as well. It's a tricky day when we allow others to determine what is right for us. That can only be determined by you through a process of prayer, meditation, deep thought, testing, (questioning), and letting go or surrendering to what many call "The God Within." Findings about the near-death experience can help in this process, but they cannot detetrmine for you what is best to believe.
Because this has become such a big issue, I seldom write Introductions for people any more, and I am far fussier about what I review or endorse. Certainly, only the experiencer can ever be the true authority on his or her experience.
Today's "crop" of near-death experiencers are far too willing to come across as blanket authorities on the subject, and they are equally much too anxious to present "one-size-fit's-all" answers to life's greatest questions. I understand this in context with what was actually revealed to them; they desire to remain loyal to that. But sharing that revelation and then giving talks and workshops that extend and dramatize that revelation - well, I cringe sometimes and hold extra tight to the chair.
I do not desire a confrontation with anyone about this, but I do find myself on occasion saying in my head, "Draw me your experience, show me what you mean, is what you are saying now the same as what was revealed to you before?" Yes, downloading occurs - you continue to receive information from "the other side" long after your experience, even years after, but that does not explain "one-size-fits-all answers to life's greatest questions, especially about death. I get queasy sometimes about what we are telling people, how that affects them, even that all is forgiven after you die. That mantra does not mesh with broad-based research in the field. There is far more diversity than that, and no one way things happen.
Near-death experiencers, psychics, and mediums have become big business today - yet none of them can ensure our journey back to source, or, the reunion of self and soul. They add their light to the subject but they cannot illuminate your way. You do that yourself.
As the economy tightens, life can get scary. I grew up during Pearl Harbor and its aftermath. With so many friends and neighbors dying, the war all around me, I found inspiration in nature, the people of our small community in southern Idaho, and the love that spread out its wonder from evey leaf, rock, stalk of celery, and hug. Books were everywhere. Even when folks had hardly a dollar to spare, there were books, radio shows, discussions, debates, questions. We talked to each other and we learned whatever we could - about solutions, about life, about God. Why should it be any different now?