52% of the people who participated in the NDERF survey reported that they had encountered an unearthly realm during their experience Near-Death Experience. They describe “Elsewhere” as a place where consciousness experiences superlucidity and clarity.
“I realized that I understood everything with a great clarity and superlucidity I had never experienced before.” (Long & Perry, pg. 258)
For the purpose of this essay, I will simply refer to this place or places as “Elsewhere”.
What makes superlucidity possible is how information is exchanged between consciousnesses. We all know that communicating with words alone leaves a lot open to interpretation. I can tell you that I feel “comfortable”, but what exactly does that mean? Words mean different things to different people. Even when we agree on their definition, often they still fail to convey the nuances of our ideas. Take the word Love, for example. There are seven different words for Love in Hebrew. Clearly there is a difference between the love of a parent towards their child and the relationship between two lovers. How do you say that with one single word for Love? Communicating with images alone would be opening ourselves to even more misinterpretation. Although an image can be tremendously powerful, we need words to provide context. Now imagine if you could not only combine words and images, but you could also know what the person you are communicating with was feeling, this would leave no doubt as to what they were trying to communicate to you. It would be like communicating in what I call 3 dimensions of communication simultaneously; word, images and feeling. There is also a fourth factor that contributes to this superlucidity which I will explain shortly.
Even with just the three I mentioned, you can understand why it is impossible to deceive or be deceived in “Elsewhere”. You perceive things as they actually are. Your thoughts are open to everyone as their thoughts are to you. You are acutely aware that you are inseparably connected to everyone and everything around you.
When we say that something is in its “nature”, we are talking about qualities that are inherent within it. If this way of communicating is our nature, then we must assume that we still continue to communicate this way even when we are in the body, although we’re not aware of it.
One of the most life altering parts of near-death experiences is what has come to be known as the Life Review. A Life Review is where, upon death, the person reviews the entirety of his or her life in chronological sequence. Life Reviews are so much more than just watching a reality television show of your life because what accompanies this life review is also an empathic understanding of how our actions and words affected the lives of the people that we encountered, both in a positive and a negative way.
“While in the light I had a life review and saw everything I ever did in my life, every thought, word, deed, action, inaction was shown to me. Everything I ever thought, did, said, hated, helped, did not help, should have helped was shown in front of me. How mean I’d been to people, how I could have helped them, how mean I was (unintentionally also) to animals! Yes! Even the animals had had feelings.” (Long & Perry, pg. 189)
Clearly there are no hidden cameramen recording our lives. So where did all of this information come from? Where was all of this information being stored? How was it collected? The answer is simple. It was being collected and stored and is then replayed from the unmitigated memory of our consciousness. You are remembering your life as your consciousness recorded it.
“Most of the earlier moments in my life…I had long forgotten about until this happened.” (Long & Perry, pg. 109)
Memory is the fourth reason why there is superlucidity in “Elsewhere”. One of the limitations of the brain is the ability to retrieve the information stored in it and only it becomes more difficult with age. Neuroscientist studying the biological functioning of the brain now tell us that memory in the brain isn’t like a file on a computer, but our memories actually changed every single time we retrieve the information. The new “edited” memory is tagged as “real” only to be changed yet again the next time we retrieve the information. Essentially it’s impossible for the brain to remember things correctly because we are always adding our current understandings to them. “Memory is more like a story that is edited every time we tell it.” (MIT Technology Review, Hall, 2013)
Our memories, when our consciousness isn’t working through the brain, never forgets anything. It has no trouble recalling all of the information from every moment of your life, in fact, of every single life you have ever lived anywhere at any time. And more importantly, it doesn’t change when we retrieve it.
Even while connected to the brain, our consciousness is still collecting information like it always does. It is recording not only what occurred, but information on how we made those around us feel. It is no doubt still sharing information and communicating with others; what is different is that we have learned to place more emphasis on the information received through the physical senses, and as a result, have grown insensitive to and out of practice with tuning into the information within our own consciousness. When or if the information from our consciousness does rise to our awareness we have been taught to consider this information is less reliable, a product of our imagination or by one of my favorite words…coincidence.
The definition of Coincidence in the World English Dictionary is: a chance occurrence of events remarkable either for being simultaneous or for apparently being connected. Coincidence is one of my favorite words because it is a word that describes an idea so vital to self-deception that without it, self-deception would be difficult indeed. I am not saying that coincidence doesn’t happen. I am just saying that if I am right about the nature of consciousness, coincidence is far less common that we think.
Imagine you’re driving home, and while you are driving suddenly picture of your friend pops into your head. The assumption is that idea of your friend originated within you. This idea might’ve been triggered by perhaps a song playing on the radio or a landmark that you might’ve passed on the road. We never assume that the reason that thought jumped into your head was because your friend was thinking of you and you are aware of it because of your relationship to them because we think that is impossible.
But is it?
How many times have you picked up the phone to call someone only to have them call you? And you have been thinking about them all day, and they tell you that they have been thinking about you, as well. And you say, “What a coincidence!”
And these are just examples where the other person can actually confirm that they were thinking of us. 99% of the time this occurs and there are no confirmations at all, which means we continue along secure in our belief that we are always the origin of thoughts in our heads.
All I am suggesting is that using the human brain doesn’t change what you are. It is only a filter; that filter gives us an opportunity to practice self-deception. Everything you can do during a near-death experience you are capable of doing within the human body. You don’t need to get hit by a bus or be administered the wrong dosage of anesthesia to understand your nature. You are not your brain. You are not your body.
My friend Jean was never taught how to tune into the information that she gets, she just did it intuitively. In fact, she was told time and time again that everyone can do these things. It’s just that people want to forget. She was 20-years-old before she learned that everyone wasn’t doing the sorts of things that she was. And when she learned this, it came as quite a shock. She had just assumed communicating this way was like sex, everyone is doing it, and it was just not something that most people talked about. How she came to the realization that the overwhelming majority of people were not doing these things is actually a very funny story that I will save for another time.
Communicating with words, images and empathic acumen is ideal for learning but not so much for demonstrating or testing what you have learned. Testing in an environment of superlucidity would be like taking a math test with the correct answers written on the palm of your hand. Actually, the best way to evaluate what you have learned is by practicing self-deception, and then experiencing the consequences of those choices.
This is where the material life comes in.
Experiencing life through the human brain with all of its limitations and cognitive biases makes it particularly conducive to of all things, self-deception. As children, our brains are not fully developed. It is during this time when our consciousness is acclimating itself to using the brain to manipulate our physical body that we gradually shift into placing a greater importance on the information collected through the body. It’s part of survival. When the body needs nourishment, it lets us know as hunger pangs. Ignore them at your own peril. When you hear a sudden loud noise, it startles you. This information is essential to survival, and let’s face it, if you want to continue using the body you pay attention to what it tells you. Consciousness doesn’t need to be nourished with food, clothed or sheltered from the elements. If our priorities were reversed and we placed more emphasis on the information obtained by our consciousness over information obtained from the body, we wouldn’t survive terribly long. How long would a child live that never acknowledged when it was hungry, thirsty, ill, too warm or too cold or injured?
Everything we have learned “Elsewhere” is still within us, we just let ourselves forget where we learned it, creating the perfect setting to examine ourselves.
Here is an example,
Have you ever doused a cat with gasoline and set it on fire to watch it burn to death?
Because it is wrong to be that cruel to another living thing.
Really? Who taught you that? Did your mother or father ever pull you aside one afternoon and have a long talk with you about how it is wrong to immolate a cat?
So you just knew it was wrong without anyone having to sit you down and teach you that it was wrong, correct?
What we carry within us into each life are the principles that we have learned, not the where or how we learned them.
There are many variations of this quote, so I am not sure whom to attribute it to but essentially it says, “Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.”
“Each must choose his “own” path and experience his life’s choices and the end results of those choices. This is God’s way, and God’s way of teaching what is correct for each to develop spiritually.” – Reading from October 31, 1983
What we come here to work on is whatever is most likely to prevent us from loving ourselves or others.
What the human brain does best is help us to experience self-deception which shows us who we truly are so that we can work towards growing into what we can become.
To be continued…