Gratitude Saves the Day When Death Lurks at Crossroad

We live each day as if our life is about to start tomorrow. Today it’s only the rehearsal. Today, we experiment with negative emotions, toxic thoughts and harmful behaviours.

Tomorrow, the real life will start. In the real life, we feel happiness and meaningfulness, we will observe our thoughts without identifying ourselves with them and we will have a healthy life.

Tomorrow never comes. All we have is today, when we feel trapped in something like a mouse wheel, where we have no energy or willingness to get away from. Until something tragic happens. Something that shakes up our emotions and thoughts and forces us to contemplate the face of death from few inches distance.

We feel small and helpless in face of destiny, like a newborn baby in the arms of the midwife. A tiny bit of regret creeps into our hearts.

Why didn’t I live intensely up until today?

Why did I keep procrastinating the day when I laugh and love wholeheartedly, when I accept myself as I am, and when I would do what represents me the most?

Why?

The tragedy comes unexpectedly today and there may not be tomorrow. Is it Life or Death who is going to win by the end of the day?

In such a day, we have the opportunity to reinvent how to live. When contemplating upon death, I chose to breathe from the very core of myself. I chose to search for the strength to love and hope.

One ordinary afternoon, my phone rang and the friendly voice at the other end announced, in a hesitating tone, that my father and a close friend had a car accident. “They are in the ambulance. The doors to the ambulance closed before I had the have a chance to see your dad, I don’t know how he is. I did see your friend. She looked quite pale.”

In that moment, I instinctively returned to the core of myself, which is FAITH. As the pain in the heart was growing stronger, faith became a necessity, like the air that I was breathing.

Faith, the belief that we come from the same source and we have a deep, yet unexplored, connection with this source, was like an anchor in the sea of uncertainty.

After faith, human connection turned out to be the second pillar of stability. Talking with people who cared and praying together were immediate responses to the bad news.

In the following days, while struggling to accept that the car accident happened and choking in emotional pain, I had a moment of illumination when I felt gratitude about the goodness in my life. I started counting three things I felt blessed for the day. The blessings were small things, like being embraced by my child or feeling the sun rays on my cheeks. Small experiences of life, with a tremendous healing effect on my suffering.

My father survived the car accident. Our friend didn’t.

They say that time heals. Tomorrow I will accept that the tragic accident happened. Today, I thank for having my father alive. Also, I cherish the memory of our friend and feel grateful for having met her, a force of life and embodiment of joy.

Today is time to love, laugh and be kind with whoever crosses my path.   

 

A New Kind of Gratefulness

At the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013, I have experienced a strong feeling of gratitude for a group of people I have never met but whose sacrifice had a tremendous influence on my destiny. This group of people are the ones who rebelled against the Communist regime in Romania in December 1989. They risked their lives for the right to live in a democratic country.

The protests took place from 16 December to 22 December when unarmed people rioted against the guns, tanks, and anti-terrorist troops (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_Revolution_of_1989). I don’t know how they must have felt or what must have been the last thoughts in the minds of the protesters who lost their lives during the protests. It took 1104 deaths and 3352 injured protestants to take Ceausescu down.

Starting with that bloody December 1989, Romanian people had the right to freedom of speech and expression. I am one of them and each December, I feel indebted to light a candle for those people who died so that I can have the life that I have now.

Life is such a dynamic network of connections between people. While we focus on our mini universes, there are moments when our actions benefit other person’s life. Our souls are connected at a higher level of existence and in this life, our lives are pieces of a big puzzle of humanity.

At the beginning of a new year, I have my heart full of gratitude for being part of this puzzle of humanity and I hope that one day, my actions are going to bring positive changes into other persons lives. Happy New Year! :)

Can ‘Proof’ and ‘Heaven’ Be Used in the Same Context?

Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey in the Afterlife” – this is the title of the book that doctor Eben Alexander wrote to describe the Near Death Experience (NDE) that he had during the seven days of coma caused by bacterial meningitis.

Before reading the book, I read an online article which shortly related the breaking news: Heaven is real and doctor Eben Alexander has visited it during NDE. The article reminded me of a book I started reading two years ago. This other book is called “Soili’s Journey, A Journal of a Consciousness – Channelled by Terttu Tolvanen”. Finally, someone who died found a way to inform about the life that there is after death. In case you wonder about the relationship between Terttu and Soili, they had been colleagues and friends for over 30 years.

Yes, I know, most people would not even open the book. Two years ago, I saw it as an opportunity to test what my instinct would say about the contents of the book. Now, I read again some bits to make sure I remember the details. Soili contacted Terttu through automatic writing very shortly after she had passed away in order to wish happy birthday to Terttu. After few weeks of this type of communication, Soili informed Terttu that she would like to write a book to inform everyone about her journey into the spirit world. “My message is that life goes on. It only changes form. Nothing is constant, neither does anything disappear. All is energy,  movement, evolution, so don’t stop.”

“Hell- is there one?” – this is one of the topics she tackles. Her reply is that hell is the internal state of a person during a lifetime and it is not a permanent state.

Soili informs about different levels of evolution and vibration. For example, she talks about a visit to the fifth higher level, “I am on a visit to the fifth level, to see what life is like here. On this level of vibration there are a great number of beings from other planets. They are on a mission to observe the situation on Earth and do research”. This sounded more like a script of a science fiction movie.

What did my instinct tell about Soili’s Journey? The thought that it is a mere fantasy clouded too much the instinct both the first time and the second time when I read the book. My instinct could not give a straight answer whether it is a fantasy or not, as I would have expected. Instead, I felt too overwhelmed with all the information and I stopped reading.

As for doctor Alexander’s book, in addition to the title, his profession as a neurosurgeon intrigued me as much as it probably intrigued other persons. Unlike other people, I bought the book. I wanted to read what a neurosurgeon has to say about life after death.

“Proof of Heaven” reads like a story for grownups. Doctor Alexander’s life story intertwines with details on how the meningitis affected his brain and with the experience of his inner self in the higher levels of existence. The emotional story of his fight between life and death kept me reading breathless during hours of night until I finished it.

From the medical point of view, it is a miracle that doctor Alexander is still alive and his brains recovered. He is a lucky man to have survived a disease which kills people.

From the spiritual point of view, he returns with a message of love and a reminder of connectedness. On the wings of a butterfly and in the company of the guardian angel, he travels between three dimensions of Heaven: The Realm of the Earthworm’sEye View, the Gateway, and the Core. While having no memory of his earthly identity, he experiences divine joy and acceptance. Towards the end of the book, the guardian angel turns out to be his dead sister whom he had never met in the earthy life

The ultimate message of the book is that the material based focus of science has shifted the focus of the humankind from the central mystery of the universe – the human consciousness. “The ascendence of the scientific method based solely in the physical realm over the past four hundred years presents a major problem: we have lost touch with the deep mystery at the center of existence – our consciousness.” Before sharing the lessons that he learned during the time he visited Heaven, doctor Alexander writes pages of proof of the reality of his NDE based on the main argument that the cortex was not functioning during coma. Yet, as the counter arguments showed, his proof is faulty.

How can he be sure that the NDE took place when his cortex was not functioning? What if everything that he calls NDE experience is but the rambling of the mind in the transition stage from the inactive cortex to the almost normal consciousness? This transition stage could last for hours or days, according to Steven Novella. (http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/proof-of-heaven/)

In The Guardian, Peter Stanford writes that ” … his account contains just about heavenly cliche known to humankind … this book sounds like pretty run-of-the-mill near-death experience literature”. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/11/dr-eben-alexander-proves-need-heaven)

I understand doctor Eben Alexander’s decision to write a book based on the most transforming life experience – the experience of wining the fight against death. In order to make sense of what has happened, anyone in his shoes would have wanted to talk about it, write it down and share it with the rest of the world.

But I did have difficulty to accept the reality of the NDE for two reasons. The first one, just like Peter Stanford, I could not help thinking that doctor Eben Alexander’s description of the spiritual beings he encountered and the world they live in are the result of the Biblical and New Age beliefs. The second reason for not believing in the reality of the NDE is my instinct. The description did not sound authentic in the depth of my being.

Then again, I didn’t have any doubt regarding the feelings of joy and love that he felt during coma. There is this belief coming from my inner self, according to which this is how we feel when the Divine embraces us. So, I believe doctor Eben Alexander was helped by angels and other spiritual guides for milliseconds.

In conclusion, doctor Alexander’s spiritual experience doesn’t need to be proved. It only needs to be believed based on what the instinct tells to each person who reads his book.

Doctor Alexander’s spiritual experience can’t be proved. Proof belongs to science and materialism. In my view, doctor Alexander did not provide any proof, but an extensive explanation of why he believes in the reality of his NDE. People who have not lived any spiritual experiences won’t be convinced by any explanations, unless someone invents a formula to put spiritual experiences into numbers and show that 1+1=2. And even then, someone else will find a way to show that 1+1=3.

Spirituality is discovered by the soul, by each of us whenever we are allowed to have access a higher level of understanding of life, death and the universe. Doctor Alexander’s documentation of his unique experience is valuable from a spiritual and medical point of view. But it has nothing to do with science! The truth of spirituality is beyond the realms of science.

PS 1. Do I believe in NDEs? I don’t know. I guess I am one of the persons that belongs to the middle camp that doctor Alexander was talking about. The camp of people who are open to hear about NDEs.

PS 2. We will all find out the Truth the day when we leave this world. When we do, maybe we will have time to laugh at our attempts to find the Truth in this lifetime when moving on to higher levels of existence. Or we won’t have the time and we will step into nothingness like the ones before and after us.