Near Death Experiences – A State of Consciousness beyond the Five Senses
Author: TC Gopalakrishnan
The psychological confinement to the region of the five-sense reports is responsible for many of the unhappy situations. Those who go through a Near Death Experience sense the depth and the beauty of the afterlife perceptions beyond the mind.
This article is an earnest attempt to invite people to look into the matter of expansive consciousness beyond the conventional awareness. Not all of us can have a near death experience (NDE), but studying the messages (from those who have had one) we are able to have a glimpse of that consciousness. Then, our approach to daily life undergoes transformation based on the wider perceptions. Such perceptions help us have a candid relationship with Divinity. (In contrast, the self-serving activities through the practices of sectarian worship use God to one’s own satisfaction and security). Our relationship with all, and especially with our near and dear ones, become imbued with tenderness and empathy.
Now, we look at the messages from an episode of NDE. In general, the NDE messages take us into a different realm and that is how we step out of the conventional rut from which we all function. Religious affiliations serve only to sustain the ego-demands and keep us in that rut. The following NDE make us understand something about the universal consciousness beyond the mind.
Sensing from Consciousness: An interesting case study on NDE was reported by Jean Ritchie in her book on NDEs. In 1981, Milly Bull had a NDE when her car was hit by another so hard that it turned over three times and ended up on its roof. She was driving from Edmonton to Enfield at half past eleven at night. After the thud, Milly remembered a bright, gentle light spilling out all over the scene. She then watched from above, seeing herself scrambling around in the upturned car, climbing out of a window and crawling up a bank. Soon after, she moved back into her body and could remember the arrival of the ambulance. The remarkable thing about Milly floating above the scene of the crash is that she was able to view the car that hit her. She could see the make, color and the registration number – none of which would have been possible from inside the wreck of her car. By the time she came out of the window, the car had sped on. Let us also remember the fact that it was around midnight time. The only explanation there can be is that when we leave the body we are able to observe from a pervasive state of consciousness and not by using the senses. That state is not hampered even by the night’s darkness. With the information that Milly gave them, the police were able to trace and arrest the driver, and he was subsequently prosecuted.
Milly said she could clearly remember the lovely feeling she had after she floated above, looking down on herself. There was no pain at all. It was very peaceful and calm and she had a strange feeling of belonging to that consciousness. However, she felt that it is not her time and slipped back into her body. She became convinced that there is a time for each of us and until that time we will survive and pass over everything, no matter how hard the circumstances are. She said she had changed since the crash – a happier, more relaxed person to the point that she can face her own ending and that of her close relatives with wisdom and equanimity.
Once we understand the value of the universal consciousness, we begin to explore into it like a true investigator whose only interest is in finding out what lies beyond the apparent – no self-serving activity would result from it, even though an endemic transformation would take place. Related issues are covered in this website on spirituality.
About the Author
The Author: T.C. Gopalakrishnan was born in Madras (now Chennai), India, in 1941. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978. He served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait. Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled ‘In Quest of the Deeper Self’ is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.
Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies. He presented a paper at the 2011 conference of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. Functions as a freelance counselor for peaceful living. He lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in south India, with his family. Now he and his wife are both retired and currently involved in developing a fruit farm at a village 20 km from their residence.
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