Near-Death Experience Story of Mellen-Thomas Benedic

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In 1982, I died from terminal cancer. My condition was non-operable. I chose not to have chemotherapy. I was given six to eight months to live. Before this time, I had become increasingly despondent over the nuclear crisis, the ecology crisis, and so forth. I came to believe that nature had made a mistake – that we were probably a cancerous organism on the planet. And that is what eventually killed me.

Before my near-death experience, I tried all sorts of alternative healing methods. None helped. So I determined that this was between me and God. I had never really considered God. Neither was I into any kind of spirituality. But my approaching death sent me on a quest for more information about spirituality and alternative healing. I read various religions and philosophies. They gave hope that there was something on the other side.

I had no medical insurance, so my life savings went overnight on tests. Unwilling to drag my family into this, I determined to handle this myself. I ended up in hospice care and was blessed with an angel for my hospice caretaker, whom I will call “Anne.” She stayed with me through all that was to follow.

Into the Light

I woke up about 4:30 am and I knew that this was it. I was going to die. I called a few friends and said good-bye. I woke up Anne and made her promise that my dead body would remain undisturbed for six hours, since I had read that all kinds of interesting things happen when you die. I went back to sleep. The next thing I remember, I was fully aware and standing up. Yet my body was lying in the bed. I seemed to be surrounded by darkness, yet I could see every room in the house, and the roof, and even under the house.

A Light shone. I turned toward it, and was aware of its similarity to what others have described in near-death experiences. It was magnificent and tangible, alluring. I wanted to go towards that Light like I might want to go into my ideal mother’s or father’s arms. As I moved towards the Light, I knew that if I went into the Light, I would be dead. So I said/felt, “Please wait. I would like to talk to you before I go.”

The entire experience halted. I discovered that I was in control of the experience. My request was honored. I had conversations with the Light. That’s the best way I can describe it. The Light changed into different figures, like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, archetypal images and signs. I asked in a kind of telepathy, “What is going on here?”

The information transmitted was that our beliefs shape the kind of feedback we receive. If you are a Buddhist or Catholic or Fundamentalist, you get a feedback loop of your own images. I became aware of a Higher Self matrix, a conduit to the Source. We all have a Higher Self, or an oversoul part of our being, a conduit. All Higher Selves are connected as one being. All humans are connected as one being.

It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It was like all the love you’ve ever wanted, and it was the kind of love that cures, heals, regenerates. I was ready to go at that time. I said “I am ready, take me.” Then the Light turned into the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen: a mandala of human souls on this planet. I saw that we are the most beautiful creations – elegant, exotic … everything.

I just cannot say enough about how it changed my opinion of human beings in an instant. I said/thought/felt, “Oh, God, I didn’t realize.” I was astonished to find that there was no evil in any soul. People may do terrible things out of ignorance and lack, but no soul is evil. “What all people seek – what sustains them – is love,” the Light told me. “What distorts people is a lack of love.”

The revelations went on and on. I asked, “Does this mean that Humankind will be saved?” Like a trumpet blast with a shower of spiraling lights, the Light “spoke,” saying, “You save, redeem and heal yourself. You always have and always will. You were created with the power to do so from before the beginning of the world.” In that instant I realized that we have already been saved.

I thanked the Light of God with all my heart. The best thing I could come up with was: “Oh dear God, dear Universe, dear Great Self, I love my Life.” The Light seemed to breathe me in even more deeply, absorbing me. I entered into another realm more profound than the last, and was aware of an enormous stream of Light, vast and full, deep. I asked what it was. The Light answered, “This is the River of Life. Drink of this manna water to your heart’s content.” I drank deeply, in ecstasy.

The Void of Nothingness

Suddenly I seemed to be rocketing away from the planet on this stream of Life. I saw the earth fly away. The solar system whizzed by and disappeared. I flew through the center of the galaxy, absorbing more knowledge as I went. I learned that this galaxy – and the entire Universe – is bursting with many different varieties of life. I saw many worlds. We are not alone in this Universe. It seemed as if all the creations in the Universe soared past me and

Then a second Light appeared. As I passed into the second Light, I could perceive forever, beyond Infinity. I was in the Void, pre-Creation, the beginning of time, the first Word or vibration. I rested in the Eye of Creation and it seemed that I touched the Face of God. It was not a religious feeling. I was simply at One with Absolute Life and Consciousness.

I rode the stream directly into the center of the Light. I felt embraced by the Light as it took me in with its breath again. And the truth was obvious that there is no death; that nothing is born and nothing dies; that we are immortal beings, part of a natural living system that recycles itself endlessly.

It would take me years to assimilate the Void experience. It was less than nothing, yet greater than anything. Creation is God exploring God’s Self through every way imaginable. Through every piece of hair on your head, through every leaf on every tree, through every atom. God is exploring God’s Self. I saw everything as the Self of all. God is here. That’s what it is all about. Everything is made of light; everything is alive.

The Light of Love

I was never told that I had to come back. I just knew that I would. It was only natural, from what I had seen. As I began my return to the life cycle, it never crossed my mind, nor was I told, that I would return to the same body. It did not matter. I had complete trust in the Light and the Life process.

As the stream merged with the great Light, I asked never to forget the revelations and the feelings of what I had learned on the other side. I thought of myself as a human again and I was happy to be that. From what I have seen, I would be happy to be an atom in this universe. An atom. So to be the human part of God … this is the most fantastic blessing. It is a blessing beyond our wildest imagination of what a blessing can be.

For each and every one of us to be the human part of this experience is awesome, and magnificent. Each and every one of us, no matter where we are, screwed up or not, is a blessing to the planet, right where we are. So I went

But I reincarnated back into this body. I was so surprised when I opened my eyes, to be back in this body, back in my room with someone looking over me, crying her eyes out. It was Anne, my hospice caretaker. She had found me dead thirty minutes before. We do not know how long I was dead, only that she found me thirty minutes before. She had honored my wish to have my newly-dead body left alone. She can verify that I really was dead.

It was not a near-death experience. I believe I probably experienced death itself for at least an hour and a half. When I later awakened and saw the light outside, confused, I tried to get up to go to it, but I fell out of the bed. She heard a loud “clunk”, ran in, and found me on the floor. When I recovered, I was surprised and awed about what had happened. I had no memory at first of the experience. I kept slipping out of this world and kept asking, “Am I alive?” This world seemed more like a dream than that one.

Within three days, I was feeling normal again, clearer, yet different than ever before. My memories of the journey came back later. But from my return I could find nothing wrong with any human being I had ever seen. Previous to my death I was judgmental, believing that people were really screwed up.

About three months later a friend said I should get tested for the cancer. So I got the scans and so forth. I felt healthy. I still remember the doctor at the clinic looking at the “before” and “after” scans. He said, “I can find no sign of cancer now.” “A miracle?” I asked. “No,” he answered. “These things happen … spontaneous remission.” He seemed unimpressed. But I was impressed. I knew it was a miracle.

Lessons Learned

I asked God: “What is the best religion on the planet? Which one is right?” God said with great love: “It doesn’t matter.” What an incredible grace. It does not matter what religion we are. Religions come and they go. They change. Buddhism has not been here forever, Catholicism has not been here forever, and they are all about to become more enlightened. More light is coming into all systems now. Many will resist and fight about it,

When God said, “It doesn’t matter,” I understood that it is for us to care about, because we are the caring beings. The Source does not care if you are Protestant, Buddhist, or Jew. Each is a reflection, a facet of the whole. I wish that all religions would realize it and let each other be. It is not the end of separate religions, but live and let live. Each has a different view, and it all adds up to the big picture.

I went over to the other side with a lot of fears about toxic waste, nuclear missiles, the population explosion, the rain forest. I came back loving every single problem. I love nuclear waste. I love the mushroom cloud; this is the holiest mandala that we have manifested to date, as an archetype. More than any religion or philosophy on Earth, that terrible, wonderful cloud brought

Knowing that maybe we can blow up the planet fifty times, or 500 times, we finally realize that maybe we are all here together now. For a period, they had to keep setting off more bombs to get it into us. Then we started saying, “we do not need this any more.” Now we are actually in a safer world than we have ever been in, and it is going to get even safer.

So I came back loving toxic waste, because it brought us together. These things are so big. Clearing of the rain forest will slow down, and in fifty years there will be more trees on the planet than in a long time. If you are into ecology, go for it; you are that part of the system that is becoming aware. Go for it with all your might, but do not be depressed or disheartened. Earth is in the process of domesticating itself, and we are cells on that Body. Population increase is getting very close to the optimal range of energy to cause a shift in consciousness. That shift in consciousness will change politics, money, energy, and more.

The Great Mystery of life has little to do with intelligence. The Universe is not an intellectual process. The intellect is helpful; but our hearts are the wiser part of ourselves. Since my return I have experienced the Light spontaneously. I have learned how to get to that space almost any time in my meditation. You can also do this. You don’t have to die first. You are wired for it already. The body is the most magnificent Light being there is. The body is a universe of incredible Light. We don’t need to commune with God; God is already communing with us in every moment!

Note: The above text is a concise, slightly edited summary. For the full text of this inspiring near-death experience story, click here. For Mellen-Thomas Benedict’s personal website, see www.mellen-thomas.com. For other amazing near-death experience stories, see Anita’s highly inspiring near-death story at this link. For a rich and inspiring online lesson with other incredible near-death experience stories and more, click here. From PEERS.

The Truth About Your Birth Certificate

Video: How you were monatized by your government through the use of a birth certificate in 8 minutes.

We Must DANCE, PLAY, ENJOY ourselves. TRANSFORM your situation no matter how bad it is. It can be done, EAT WELL, REST, MEDITATE. PROTECT yourself. BECOME a SOUL WARRIOR. Don’t Apoligise for being a DREAMER – we need MORE DREAMERS. PERSIST Resist and ignore the begrudgers, hold firm to your vision. Don’t make up excuses or get caught up in Blame. In the Game of them and Us RESPECT Everyone, even if you dont like them. Enemies are Great Teachers. TRANSCEND, RISE, Reach for the STARS.

Lovers Transcending the Duality Void

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There is much conversation today about gender equality, sensuality, sexuality. We talk about these things because our very deep and ever-present desire is to experience ourselves through love. We want to know love in all of its forms and manifestations… true lovemaking. But to know this, we must know what is within, unite what has been divided, and create what is new.

So to begin, we ask: what is the feminine spirit within and what is the masculine spirit within?

The first answer: they are not two – they have been divided at some point in history, but they are not two. What we must do is take what has been divided (torn apart by conditioning) back, and make it into: one. For those who wish to know the true meaning of oneness, this is it. You cannot have oneness in your outside life, so to speak, if you don’t have it within.

These forces interact within as the creation void: the field of infinite possibilities. These qualities are one within us, sometimes balanced, mostly not. Voids are not easily conquered.

Going about our daily lives, we try to correct that imbalance by interacting with our so-called counterpole. Men will go courting women, and women will go courting men, faintly knowing that who they are courting is themselves… deep within the hidden realms of their soul. So basically, when we look into the mirror reflection of the other, we see our own image on one level, and recognition on another. That seems to be the key to finding ourselves through love.

Such a precious finding has many names: soul mates, twin flames, cosmic souls… yet a sweet, sweet promise of merging into a state of Bliss. And yes, we still sit by the sunlit lake, gazing at its surface… waiting, through endless nights.

The day will come when we merge within ourselves, through our beloved. On that day we truly can speak of cosmic union, twin flames, soul mates… and transcending the absurd matrix parameters for physical love.

We can talk about sex, but sex is very uninteresting. Sensuality is everything. And sensuality can only exist when equals meet and surrender. Trust is the key… trust and non-competition. Equals don’t compete… they accept. The rhythm is: conquering, surrendering, conquering, surrendering.

What has happened to take us off track? We are dual, hetero-centered beings becoming alienated into a gender-bender scare agenda. People are gender scared by design.

Man’s feminine aspect put into context is: introspection, intuition, awareness of the other, awareness of feeling and emotions, a giving sensuality, perception of softness and flow, his ability to perceive the beauty he encounters.

But all too often man’s feminine aspect has gone bent. He opens to the feminine and forgets that he is masculine with power and authority to act. Is this a man, behaving like a wet noodle in a boring restaurant dish with only the parameters of the matrix guiding him the wrong way?

He believes he must be soft, he must go to sensitivity classes, he must debate his femininity with other men, he needs written permission for French kissing… his empowerment is gone. Much can be said about that – but first we will say that he didn’t put himself there.

Who did… what did? We see the bending of an awakening in the 60s and 70s: breast swinging women’s liberators going bezerk on equality. Yes, men and women are equal but men and women cannot be equal if the feminine insists on having the power in the relationship. That’s just a switch from the masculine having the power.

Trading places is not balance, and it’s not interesting any more since: Love doesn’t compete – Love IS the power. It does not insist on the struggle to avoid the surrender and keep up the differences.

When masculine enters feminine space it is not diminished; it is still masculine. The domination of the feminine agenda has caused confusion, the loss of masculine force, and the loss of respect… a very sad situation for all.

Don’t get it wrong here – we see true liberation in women setting themselves free. The liberated context of woman’s masculine aspect is in her ability to act upon self and others through feminine self-knowledge. When the feminine enters masculine space she does not lose her mind – it is a magnetic force of intelligence, spirit and conscious sensuality.

When a woman’s masculine aspect goes wrong she takes up control and becomes hard and competitive; discarding the knowing feminine, transforming her outer look into mirroring the masculine, diminishing her sensuality. It’s a craving for power, and that craving for power discards the knowing deep within her.

Diminished is the woman who does not know… she need not fight, she need not go to war. She can impact a household with the lift of her eyebrow. That is the feminine power – subtle, powerful subtle. And the masculine will stand in awe of that, knowing he has crossed her boundaries. He will not bow down… he will give in. That’s a huge difference, a transcending difference, and she will give in to his signs of discomfort.

So, disempowered man in all of your acquired helplessness, power craving woman pumping gender bender irons in the name of misconcepted equality…

Wake up – is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin.

We’re approaching an end point… gender confusion supported by the matrix, by legislation, by interfering in people’s private lives: diminishing the right to be a man and the right to be a woman and stand proud by it.

Confused is the man who cannot let his eye wander upon a beautiful woman dazzled by her sensuality (which is basically the embodiment of the feminine sacred spirit) – not wanting to engage – just being in awe of it. The muse-effect has fueled much creativity.

Confused is the woman who cannot gaze at the masculine power – not wanting to engage – just to stand in admiration of it. That’s the point of accession. Empowerment, inspiration, sensuality – the joy of being different while knowing deep inside that the difference is just an illusion – it is within reach when we don’t cling to the programming.

What have we with the politically correct conditioning? We have reached the cliff’s edge. Kindergarten children in Sweden are not allowed to refer to each other as he and she. What are they thinking about? The rules are set up by professionals who know that children develop their gender identity at that precise age.

Imagine those children growing up, wanting to have their first kiss, their first relationship. How will they know an approach? Is this a road sign to a trans-agenda? It is the exact opposite of where we need to go – erasing polarities on the outside will result in a state of stasis: gender confused drones who cannot breach the reality gap.

So everybody is suffering here in the genderless matrix – humanoids seeking automatic body movement in order to find release in whichever way programming suggests. If he can’t satisfy you, get a nine volt device instead. If she can’t, see a 20$ hooker or how about an online chat. That is beyond sad, and the revenue and the demand for add-ons is big business.

For the orgasm outcome no heart-centered energy is required. In fact, quite the opposite can be true. There is a pleasure potential, and also a descending potential which we have seen result in some of the greatest suffering that we know of in the world today.

It’s a sad sight to see lovers who cannot open each other into the sensual world, because they plugged into the world of the matrix-defined mechanical body movements.

Nature pulls male and female together in magnetic attraction. We are part of that nature, but we can go beyond that. We can transcend it but we need love in the flesh to show us the way to pleasure a thousand raptures deep – surrendering, transcending, loving, giving it up.

Stepping back from the cliff, we can see the return of romance, balanced male and balanced female, sensuality, beauty in feminine flow, beauty in masculine action, respect, renewed life, lovemaking from heart and all the body – from top to toe – everything embedded. We can be as balanced as we want, depending upon what we want and our willingness to sail the uncharted sea of the divinity in love. This sailing is not instant: it requires time, commitment and effort.

How does sex become lovemaking? The shift is within our intent. When we go from being result oriented to being process oriented the result will follow… if we surrender to it.

We can surrender if we are safe – if we feel safe within our feminine or masculine spirit. It’s true that we may need our partner to guide us to surrender. We cannot expect that two people when they meet are at exactly the same level – let he or she who has traveled the furthest show the way. That becomes a beautiful trust.

In the heart we experience the magnetic attraction of the other polarity through our senses: we look at the beauty, we smell the fragrance, we feel the spirit, we touch the body, we listen to the voice, we resonate with it all. That is why we desire and it should be all we desire.

Evolution is not difficult here… yet finding the courage to forego political correctness and speak up for it seems to be one of our major obstacles. Merging hearts will take us to our love affair with the god within – the feminine and the masculine in oneness – on the inside.

And that is where we started out….

About the Authors

Ida Lawrence is an author, blogger, copywriter and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has contributed to and edited two books on racial justice and human rights, and numerous articles on human rights, self-empowerment and related subjects. Her latest book is entitled The Warrior’s Way to Heaven on Earth. Ida has also published a companion book of blog favorites from http://talk2momz.com/.

Soren Dreier is the author of SorenDreier.com, an excellent blog with mind-blowing perspectives on the modern world.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

The Harvesting of Souls & the Sanskrit Texts

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Are we indeed living in the end of a Cycle of Time, facing a day of reckoning in the Twilight of the Kali Yuga, a PRALAYA meaning ‘Dissolution’ in Sanskrit. The acceptance of this possibility leads to the fear-loaded question of the Harvesting of Souls. The archaic phrase ‘harvesting of souls’ is in fact specious, wrong and misleading. There is only the One. There is only one Soul. We all share the same Soul, the Oneness.

“I am the same in all beings.” [Bhagavad Gita IX.29]

We exist individually as spirit or astral bodies that transmigrate, moving from one material body to another by the law of magnetism. Like attracts like. Our actions, thoughts and consciousness create the subtle or spirit body over hundreds of life times. In Sanskrit the subtle body is called the SHARIRA. Seers and psychics can easily see this body and read its condition.

The word harvesting is also misleading. No one can ‘take’ you or make you do anything unless you yourself have generated a consciousness that resonates with a particular force, a waveform that would then magnetize you into its similar frequency. Therefore a deeper understanding of the mechanics of this process will relieve you of fear and help you to realize why it is imperative to generate a high consciousness at every moment.

The Subtle Body

As you incarnate in Time and Space, you build a subtle body – also termed as the spirit or astral body. In Kashmir Shaivism is called the puryashtaka rupa [Sanskrit]. Like the physical body, the subtle body contains a complex nervous system.

These “nerve currents are called Hita Nadis [Sanskrit] and they are very fine in structure, finer than even the thousandth part of a hair. Through these very fine, subtle nerve currents pass the serum of the essence of the human individual…” [Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, translated with commentaries by Swami Krishnananda and available online].

These subtle nerves store the impressions of our lives and our thoughts. Every thought, every experience is stored in this the subtle body that carries our individual consciousness from one life to another. This individuality is only a temporal ‘appearance’ for beneath all forms of multiplicity is the One, the eternal Real.

It is this aggregate, this cumulative consciousness that determines our next incarnation. Inevitably, inexorably we become that which our actions and thoughts, our own individual consciousness has self-created, self-generated. We alone are responsible. We are drawn to the external holographic manifestations of our own thoughts. There is no one to blame. It is all our doing. We are each a portion of the Oneness playing in Time and Space — like everyone else.

The eternal, imperishable, immutable Oneness assumes a temporal ‘appearance’ in a fragment of Its Self as the individual. When we are born we move into a new physical body and when we leave, meaning die, we do so in this subtle body. The subtle body is our data-collecting vehicle. It carries the five senses and the mind, the impressions (samskaras) of our experiences as “the wind carries scents.” [Bhagavad Gita XV.7 & 8]

Like attracts like!

From an understanding of the subtle body, we realize that no one can ever actually ‘take’ or harvest our soul. Our own consciousness has built the subtle spirit body. We will be magnetized to the-where-and-what it resonates with. Like attracts like – that simple!

Location is determined by your consciousness

Consciousness determines everything. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that the god worshippers go to the gods, the god worlds; those who worship the ancestors go to them, the ancestral realms; those who sacrifice to the spirits go to the spirits (bhutani), the shaman worlds; and those who Know and Become the One merge into That. (BhG IX.25)

There is nothing wrong in any of these forms of worship. However, these approaches are only “partial manifestations of the highest reality.” [Abhinavagupta, Bhagavad Gita VII 21-23]

The Invisible Realms

In previous Cycles of Time, we were not limited to the five senses and we were aware of these off-world realms now invisible to most of us.  As individuals we have played in these realms before. We may have bonds with them. If we humans were created by off-world beings, then it is only reasonable that they will want to salvage what is rightfully theirs – family DNA. However it is up to you to decide what you want and where you want to arrive.

Are the ETs Enlightened?

The so-called extra-terrestrials are merely the inhabitants of the Myriad Realms. They may have grand technologies and may be very pretty, but are they enlightened? If they were enlightened would they be in these phantasmal realms? If they are not enlightened, if they do not have the understanding of the One, if their consciousness has not reached eternal Wisdom, if they have not Become the One – then why do we need them?

The Oneness pervades All. However, these Myriad Realm beings in their countless phantasmal hierarchies do not want us to know that we too are the very Soul permeating this entire universe. Why trust these myriad spirit guides, ETs, etc. if you have no idea who or what they are? You would not walk up to any stranger on the street and give your life over to them, would you? Ask yourself what does ‘saving’ you mean. Exactly where will they take you?

Our Refuge is a Higher Consciousness

If we are facing the end of this Cycle of Time, as many are suggesting and feeling, then our only Refuge is a higher consciousness. Use this time wisely. Do not waste it in fear. You are the Oneness. You are That. As they say in Sanskrit, Tat Twam Asi  – That thou art!

About the Author

V. Susan Ferguson is the author of Inanna Returns, Inanna Hyper-Luminal; her own commentary on the Bhagavad Gita and the Shiva Sutras; and Colony Earth & the Rig Veda. Her website is Metaphysical Musing.

Sources:

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Swami Krishnananda; The Divine Life Society, Uttaranchal, Himalayas, India, 2006.

Abhinavagupta’s Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, GITARTHA SAMGRAHA, Translated from Sanskrit with Introduction & Notes by Boris Marjanovic; Indica Books; 2004, Varanasi India

The Bhagavad Gita, Translated by Winthrop Sargeant, State University of New York Press, 1994

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

 

The Dark Night Of The Soul

Mythology is the Spirit talking to the Mind…
Flickr-Fear-irisb477

Gregg Prescott, M.S., In5D Guest

At some point in your life, you will experience the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ where it seems that everything that can possibly go wrong, will go wrong.  What many people fail to realize is that this is a true blessing.

The ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ occurs when your life appears to hit rock bottom.  You may experience a plethora of ‘bad breaks’ in your personal life, financially, mentally and/or physically.

What typically happens during the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ is that we get so pounded by all of these experiences that we end up reflecting on “Why did this happen to me?”

When The Cleansing Begins

At first, you may feel hatred towards those who contributed to your ‘Dark Night of the Soul’.  You might question the Creator and feel as though your spirit guides and guardian angels have failed you.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Eventually, you realize that you needed to experience everything that you went through in order to grow spiritually.

In time, you will end up surrendering yourself and your ego to whatever the Universe has in store for you as if it is all now in the “Creator’s hands”.  This is where the cleansing begins.

There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
~ Carl Gustav Jung

Your Soul Contract, Guides and Guardian Angels

Before you incarnated here,  you made a soul contract that involved everyone who led you to your ‘Dark Night of the Soul’. When you were on the other side of the veil, you specifically chose these people to help you grow spiritually.  Some of these people may have also had previous karmic relationships with you in which you both needed to try to resolve in this incarnation.

Your spirit guides and guardian angels are with you every second of your life.  When you feel pain and sorrow, they do too.  As much as they want to see you happy, they also realize that you need to experience certain life situations in order to grow spiritually.  Every day, you are being guided in the right direction towards fulfilling your life’s purpose and that guidance includes experiencing the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’.

Letting go of our images of God can be terrifying. It is often the result of an experience of suffering in our lives, when our previous understanding is no longer adequate to give meaning to what has happened to us. When my mother died suddenly in my early thirties, I was thrust into the desert. All of my certainties about God and life were stripped away and I was left raw and frightened. Many people offered trite words and shallow comfort in my grief, they were not willing to sit with me in the darkness, but only hoped to rush me through to a place of light.

This is the mystical experience of the “dark night of the soul,” when old convictions and conformities dissolve into nothingness and we are called to stand naked to the terror of the unknown. We must let the process move through us—one which is much greater than we can comprehend. We can never force our way back to the light. It is only in this place of absolute surrender that the new possibility can emerge. We don’t just have one dark night in our lives, but again and again, as we are called to continue releasing the images we cling to so tightly.

~ Christine Valters Paintner

A Blessing In Disguise…

…you receive.  When you have reached the ‘Dark Night of the Soul,’ you have reached your lowest point in this incarnation.  To that I say, “Congratulations!”  From this day forward, your life will take on a new meaning as you begin to understand why everything HAD to happen the way it did.  Once you come out on the other side of the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ you will gain a new perspective and appreciation of what you had to go through and these experiences will exponentially magnify your spiritual progression.

Typically, many people will experience the loss of ego for the first time in their life during the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’.  This can be a very humbling experience. We typically associate a title or our accomplishments with who we are but fail to see that ultimately, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.  When we lose our ego, we can finally connect to our spiritual essence because we are no longer associating ourselves with society’s preconception (or our own preconception) of who we are.

The ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ gives us a new sense of appreciation for all that is good in life and shows us how little we truly need to be happy.

But the most important aspect gained through the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ is the connectedness we receive through our transformation of consciousness.  It’s as if you are given a new lease on life.  You stop blaming other people and begin to look within for answers.  You learn forgiveness and gratitude. You realize that you needed to have these experiences in order to get you pointed in a new direction that will facilitate your spiritual growth and life purpose.

“It is precisely because we resist the darkness in ourselves that we miss the depths of the loveliness, beauty, brilliance, creativity, and joy that lie at our core.”

~ Thomas Moore, Dark Nights of the Soul

If You Are Currently Experiencing The Dark Night Of The Soul

If you are currently experiencing the ‘Dark Night of the Soul,’ I can assure you that there are much happier and fulfilling days ahead of you.  At some point, you should put your faith in the Creator’s hands and know that you are always being divinely guided toward your life purpose.

Look at where your life has taken you and what direction you are being shown to go.  Try to forgive those who have led you to your ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ as well as forgiving yourself.

Don’t try to force any immediate changes because they will come to you when you are ready. Sometimes during the dark night of the soul, the best thing to do is nothing and just live in the “now”.

While it may not seem like it right now, the people who led you to this point are most likely part of your soul group.  On the other side of the veil, they loved you so much that they volunteered to lead you into the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ if you ever got to the point of where you were veering from your life’s purpose…..even if it meant that they would no longer be part of your life during this incarnation.

The best way to look at the dark night of the soul is to compare it to a butterfly.  Before your dark night, you were a slow moving caterpillar who was limited to a small area because of your lack of mobility.  You didn’t realize how much more you were capable of doing until you spun your cocoon. Once you emerged from your cocoon, you transformed yourself into a beautiful butterfly whose boundaries were limitless! In this analogy, the cocoon is where you do “nothing” except going within.  You are on the verge of a spiritual transformation, so let go of your ego, surrender to the Universe and soon you’ll be spreading your wings in flight!

About the Author

Gregg Prescott, M.S. is the author and host of In5D.com, where this article was originally featured. Please visit his excellent and inspiring website.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

 

One Soul, Many Bodies: The Case for Reincarnation

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What happens to us when we die? It’s a question everyone eventually asks themselves at some point in their life. It transcends racial, social, political, economic and gender lines, making it the one question common to all human beings whether we like it or not.

Yet ever since the first men and woman began pondering their mortality a hundred thousand years ago, the answer has eluded us. What does happen when we die? What becomes of our soul, our mind, our personality – our very essence? For that matter, do we even have such a thing as a soul, or is it all an illusion we have created to give ourselves a sense of permanence and the hope of immortality?

The rationalist answers this query by proclaiming that since we are nothing more than a collection of cells and our brains simply tissue encased within a mantle of bone, nothing can happen to us when we die. The essence, personality, mind – soul – or whatever we wish to call our consciousness, ceases to exist, endowing our time on this planet with no more meaning than that which we choose to give it during our brief sojourn here. This is, of course, the position of the atheist, which is what makes atheism, in my opinion, so easy. It requires nothing because it offers nothing, which strikes me as a fair trade.

To most people, however, this answer is unsatisfactory. It suggests that we are little more than some great cosmic accident and that, consequently, our life has no ultimate purpose, forcing us to contemplate an existence without meaning in a universe that, despite all its beauty and splendour, has no more significance – or ultimate permanence – than a flower that briefly blooms in the spring only to wither and die after a few short days of vibrant life.

I suppose there are people for whom such a prospect is acceptable. It does, after all, tidy things up and make life simply a little game we sentient beings like to play for no particularly good reason other than because we have no choice. Yet something deep within the human heart knows better. We instinctively understand that we are more than the sum of our parts, which is why most people believe their personalities will survive their physical demise in some form and will continue on long after their bones have turned to dust. This, of course, brings us to our second option, which is that the personality/ego/true self/whatever you want to call it does survive the demise of the body to exist – at least for a time – as a separate disembodied consciousness. If this is the case, however, the next question that logically follows is what happens next?

Some believe, for example, that we become ghosts – little more than disembodied spirits aimlessly wandering the Earth, capable of perceiving the physical realm but unable to interact with it in any meaningful way. They can even point to various evidences to support this contention, from reported hauntings to automatic writing, séances, and apparent disembodied spirits caught on film.

While I personally have no problem with the idea of ghosts, I don’t think existing as a disembodied consciousness is truly a viable long-term option for what happens to us. Ghosts always struck me as being transitory; beings stuck on the Earth plane for a time only to ultimately move on and so essentially vanish from our physical realm. As such, even if we are to become ghosts, it will be, at least for the vast majority of us, a brief experience and not our eternity. I suspect we all eventually move on to ‘greener pastures’, so to speak.

Now, however, is where things get more interesting. Most people, regardless of whether they believe in ghosts or not, believe that the essence of who we are – our “soul” if you will – goes some place. Heaven is the favoured destination for most; a place where our conscious personality, no longer shackled to the limitations and burdens of physical existence, survives within a perpetual state of bliss and joy throughout eternity. Some add to this by also embracing a belief in hell; a perpetual state of torment for those who turn to evil and so are doomed to exist forever within a conscious state of agony, regret, and fear.

Both positions, however, suffer from the same problem, and that is that they see our time here on this planet as but a blink of the eye of eternity, with the decisions we make – or fail to make – while in the body having profound and eternal ramifications. Unfortunately, this reduces the physical world to little more than a cosmic hatchery that exists only to birth new souls, each of which will spend a short time in it before winging – or, potentially, plunging – to their ultimate destiny.

While admittedly this idea does manage to make this single life of paramount importance, it also forces one to wonder why a physical realm is necessary at all. If the physical universe exists merely as a vehicle for our creation, why couldn’t the process be circumvented entirely and we be created directly into the spiritual realm – as was supposedly the case with God’s angels?

Why all the unnecessary pain and hardship of a physical existence – especially if there exists the very real danger that we might earn hell through our misdeeds – if the spirit realm is the only destination that awaits us? In such a context, physical existence seems not only pointless but, in many ways, even hazardous.

So where does that leave us? If no Heaven and if no Hell, then what’s left?

There is a third position to consider. It is one that until recently has been largely ignored in the West but has been embraced by literally billions of people around the world for thousands of years. It is the belief that this physical existence is neither insignificant nor transient, but instead is perpetually ongoing. It is the concept that our soul lives on not in some ethereal Eden – or Hades – somewhere, but realises perpetual existence through a process of continual rebirths into the physical realm, making our time on this planet not one single, brief experience, but a repetitive process realised through literally hundreds of lifetimes. It is a timeless belief – one that predates both Christianity and Islam by many centuries – and one that is known by many names in many cultures. It’s been called rebirth, regeneration, transmigration of the soul, even metempsychosis, but is perhaps best known to us today as reincarnation.

Upon first consideration, especially to those who haven’t given the idea great thought, reincarnation may seem to be a foreign or exotic concept, especially to the Western mind steeped in the scientific method and drenched in two thousand years of monotheistic religion. It is something for Hindu holy men to ponder, or New Agers to embrace, but nothing that seems particularly relevant to most Westerners today.

I can easily understand this perspective for it is one I held myself for the first forty years of my life. And the truth be told, it is an Eastern concept – one in vogue more than four millennia before Christ was born and a belief held to by nearly two billion of the world’s population today – making it one of the oldest and most enduring belief systems known to man. In fact, it may be the original post-mortem belief among early humans who probably considered the idea when they began noticing strong similarities between recently born offspring and their deceased ancestors. Perhaps the mannerisms or interests a child displayed reminded one of a deceased loved one or a birthmark mimicked that found on a long-dead grandparent, leading village elders to imagine that the dead ancestor had returned a second time – a not unreasonable assumption in cultures that naturally assumed the soul to be inherently immortal.

Unfortunately, Westerners have traditionally had a tendency to consider foreign or primordial religious concepts as primitive and so reject them out of hand. However, this perception appears to be slowly changing as reincarnationist beliefs have become more prevalent in the West, especially in the last fifty years, and is becoming increasingly popular to ever growing numbers of people.

A Lost Western Tradition of How the Soul Returns

Of course, unbeknownst to most people, reincarnation has always been a part of Western thought. The prospect that the soul repeatedly returns to the flesh flourished in ancient Greece almost three thousand years ago and may have played a far more important role in our development as a civilisation than traditional histories have led us to believe. Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, and Pythagoras all taught and believed in some form of rebirth, the foundations of which were later adopted by the great Roman philosophers Ovid, Virgil, and Cicero, along with a host of other great thinkers of antiquity.

In fact, reincarnationist concepts were so prevalent in the centuries immediately preceding the birth of Christ, that they played a major role in many of the “mystery” religions of the Mediterranean; religions which were themselves to become the template for other later mystical faith systems of the region. Reincarnation, then, far from being a purely foreign concept was, in fact, widespread and may have strongly influenced the shape and thrust of Greek and Roman philosophy.

Even more of a surprise to many people, however, is the fact that reincarnationist concepts were also part of some of the more mystical branches of traditional Western religion, from the Sufis of Islam to the Gnostics of the early centuries of Christianity, and even within the Hasidic and Kabbalist traditions in Judaism. In fact, at times it virtually flourished and, especially in the case of Christianity, almost became the predominant belief system during the first few centuries of the Church’s existence until it was forced underground by the more traditional, non-reincarnationist branches of Christianity. Its proponent’s writings declared heretical and burned, the concept was so successfully suppressed by the Church of Rome that few Christians today even realise it was ever a part of their own faith.

Why was it suppressed? The obvious answer is because it threatened authority. Western religion is largely dependent upon the belief that man is destined to “die once and then be judged” to maintain control. In promising multiple rebirths, however, reincarnation renders the proclamations of the Pope or the Grand Mufti or whomever was the ruling head at the time transitory and, the truth be told, irrelevant. As such, reincarnation threatened the Church’s very livelihood, making it a very dangerous idea that had to be either suppressed or labelled as heretical in order for the Church to maintain its power base. As a result, the concept remained largely unknown outside of Asia for probably seventeen of the last twenty-one centuries.

Its revival in the West was imminent, however, with the arrival of the Age of Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. Once the long forgotten writings of the ancient Greeks again became available and one could hold to previously forbidden ideas without forfeiting their lives, such once forbidden concepts as reincarnation became increasingly popular, especially among the intellectual elite of the era. Amongst those who held to some form of multiple rebirths are such notables as Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, Shakespeare, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Voltaire, among others.

Interpreting What it Means to Reincarnate

However, since its reintroduction into the Western consciousness, reincarnation has undergone a transformation. It is no longer the unending “cycle of life” wheel taught by the Hindus and Buddhists, but has become a “school of higher education” designed to bring us to ever greater levels of spiritual enlightenment. This is why when a Hindu or a Buddhist and their fellow Western reincarnationist talk about the subject, it often appears as though they are speaking two different languages. This is because in some ways they are, which is where the confusion comes in.

To the Hindu, the soul is essentially stuck in a never ending cycle of rebirth which can never be broken due to the continual need to balance one’s karma. In effect, with each incarnation into the flesh, the human personality – a by-product of the underlying soul that birthed it – accumulates a degree of bad karma that must be worked off in order to restore balance to itself. Some of this karma can be worked off in life in the form of good works, but this is seldom sufficient to work off the entire debt, which must be accounted for in the next life by having the soul take on an incarnation that may be more difficult so the ongoing karmic debt can be worked off.

On rare occasions, a life may be so exemplary that the person might be born into a higher station (or caste in Hindu parlance) but as a rule, bad karma tends to outweigh good karma and, in being continually accumulated through each lifetime, adds to the growing debt that remains to be balanced and so perpetuating the rebirth cycle. (Of course, if one accumulates too much bad karma, they may not be reborn as a person at all, but could come back as an animal or even, in some teachings, an inanimate object such as a stone. This belief is called “transmigration of the soul” and is also a major element of Hindu teachings.)

Buddhism, on the other hand, while understanding the process of reincarnation in much the same way as does the Hindu, differs in that it teaches that the cycle of rebirth can be broken through achieving nirvana (literally, enlightenment), at which point the cycle is broken.

Enlightenment means essentially to be become aware of one’s true nature and to the realities contained within the Four Noble Truths as articulated by Gautama Buddha over two thousand years ago. These are: first, to be alive is to suffer due to the imperfection of human nature and the world around us; second, that the cause of suffering is attachment to transient things (in effect, craving or desiring things); third, that one can learn to let go of these attachments; and, finally, that the process of achieving enlightenment is progressive and may itself extend over many lifetimes.

In sharp contrast, to many Western reincarnationists, the purpose of rebirth is to learn the lessons we need to learn in each incarnation in order to advance to the next spiritual level which, while having some similarities to the Buddhist concept of slowly achieving enlightenment over a number of incarnations by practicing the Buddha’s Eightfold Path (right view, right intentions, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration), is actually quite different.

The Buddhist does not believe that one is “learning” new lessons with each lifetime, but simply applying the principles contained within the Eightfold Path until craving, ignorance, delusions and its effects gradually disappear as progress is made towards enlightenment. To the Western mindset, attachment is not seen as the source of the problem (though it does generally acknowledge that an obsessive attachment to things can be detrimental to spiritual growth).

Another significant difference between Eastern and Western concepts of reincarnation have to do with the perception of what it is, exactly, that is reincarnating. The Hindu sees the soul – the divine essence of God – as being the generator of each incarnation, with the individual personality or ego a transient expression of that soul.

In marked contrast, the Buddhist doesn’t believe in individualised souls at all, but believes the sense of self is merely an illusion created by our own perceptions – a conscious “memory” if you will, conceived by our assumption that we exist separately. To the Buddhist, we are all a part of a larger, divine consciousness that has simply taken on the very brief “illusion” that it is separate. The Buddhists compare our sense of existence to the waves upon the ocean; just as a wave is a temporary phenomena caused by wind and currents, our personality is equally as transient and is, upon death, absorbed back into the divine consciousness in the same way that a wave upon the ocean is eventually swallowed up by the ocean itself.

In the West, however, the personality – or ego – is more robust and generally considered immortal. To many, the soul and the personality are considered essentially synonymous, so as a result, when we die, our basic personality – complete with all its memories, life experiences, knowledge, and traits – returns in another body to continue its existence. It may not have a direct memory of its past life – though some people claim to be possess the ability to consciously remember their previous incarnations – but it is essentially the same personality starting life over again in another context.

The personality may experience dramatically new surroundings – for example, it may experience one incarnation as an Indian girl who lived and died in the nineteenth century and then return as a Spanish man in the twentieth century – but it is still the same “person” underlying each “role.” Of course, the experiences and environment it finds itself in through each subsequent incarnation will affect the base personality in both subtle and sometimes substantial ways, but this too is a part of the process. This is why the Westerner sees reincarnation in the context of “lessons.” After all, the Indian girl was able to experience and learn only so much in her short time on Earth, mandating that she return again – this time as a Spanish male – to learn those things she either neglected to learn or hadn’t the opportunity to learn in her previous incarnation.

This makes spiritual enlightenment a type of “to do” list that needs to be checked off in its entirety before we can cease the process of rebirth. (What happens after that is equally open to speculation among Westerners: some imagine we come back as avatars or spiritual teachers; others speculate that we start the process over again on another planet, while still others maintain that we move onto other dimensions. Apparently, the options available to the enlightened soul are extensive.)

I wonder, however, if the truth is not a conglomeration of each of these perceptions? Clearly the Eastern concepts of a parent soul that births each and every individual personality has merit, as does the Buddhist belief in the transient, temporary nature of the ego that is birthed. And the Western concept that we reincarnate until we learn what we need to know also has some validity and seems to parallel in some ways the Buddhist idea that the cycle of rebirth ends upon achieving enlightenment – however one chooses to define the term.

I often wonder if we aren’t all looking upon the same phenomena and not simply seeing only those parts of it that speak to us personally. I suspect our understanding of the purpose for reincarnation is lacking in many ways and may never be entirely complete, though I also believe we are making progress in coming to a fuller appreciation for its complexity and sophistication. Perhaps one day East and West will come together and merge their different perceptions and in so doing, form a complete whole that answers everyone’s questions.

Of course, I recognise that such may sound like a contradictory process. After all, how can there be a soul and yet not a soul, and how can the ego be immortal and yet transient? To combine both Western and Eastern concepts of reincarnation would seem to embrace paradox, but I have found it is often within the complexities of paradox that the truth exists. In fact, it is only our limited ability to understand that makes these apparent contradictions paradoxes in the first place.

I wonder if they would still appear as such were we to find the capacity within ourselves to truly understand on a level our current mental capacity does not permit. On the other hand, perhaps understanding these concepts is not done at a mind level, but on a spiritual level, which is a difficult place for many people to go.

Maybe in the end we were never meant to fully understand how reincarnation works, and that may be where the adventure really begins. Perhaps the question of what happens to us when we die was never meant to be answered but merely explored, for it is in seeking – not necessarily finding – the answer that growth can take place.

It may be, in fact, that it is only in abandoning our need to find the answers that we give them the ability to find us. In effect, we may be like the man who is so busy looking for treasure that he fails to realise he is searching for it within the bowels of a gold mine. Were he to but look up and see the treasure that shimmers all around him, he would realise how silly his fervent quest had been all along. Perhaps we need only do the same.

Jeff Allen Danelek’s latest book The Case for Reincarnation: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Soul (Llewellyn, 2010) is available from all good bookstores or via www.newdawnbooks.info.

If you appreciated this article, please consider a digital subscription to New Dawn.

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A native Minnesotan who currently resides in Colorado, JEFF ALLEN DANELEK has been working as a graphic artist and technical illustrator since leaving the Navy in 1984. He has been writing as a hobby for fifteen years, and enjoys presenting alternative theories on increasingly popular subjects dealing with the strange and inexplicable world around us. Danelek is regularly featured at seminars, conferences, and has been a frequent guest on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and the X-Zone with Rob McConnell. His books include The Case for Ghosts, Atlantis: Lessons from a Prehistoric Civilization, UFOs: The Great Debate, and 2012: Extinction or Utopia: Doomsday Prophecies Explored. His latest book is The Case for Reincarnation: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Soul. Danelek is also a novelist and instructor at Colorado Free University. His website is www.ourcuriousworld.com.

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue 14.

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The Brain Does NOT Create Consciousness

Flickr-space-and-time-NASA

In a recent interview on Waking Times aired on The People’s Voice Network, Dr. Eben Alexander, Harvard Neurosurgeon presents compelling scientific research in the field of consciousness that examines the unfolding reality that the brain does NOT create consciousness. Misleading concepts that focus on reductive materialism have kept us in the dark about the true nature of the human soul and its integral part in our evolution as spiritual beings.

“The old paradigm of birth to death represents an outdated concept that is woefully inadequate in defining the unfolding reality of expanded awareness,” he stated in the interview with Waking Times. “Materialist science is at the end of its days as most scientists are changing their views. The old concepts are soon to be relegated to the same dust bin as ‘the earth is flat’ as we develop a more mature understanding and transcend old beliefs.”

Supported by worldwide research that is now delving into the concepts of string theory that involves a complete reworking of our outdated and limited views of space/time means that we are now entering a phase where science will greatly expand its boundaries. The foundation of the research begins with the clear understanding of the “Soul”, or conscious spirit, that exists outside of the body and is eternal.

“Consciousness is at the core to unfolding all of reality”, states Alexander.

The brain operates the body based on input from the personality, but the higher intelligence, or subconscious, is the mechanism that controls the body, and that is the soul that we have yet to acknowledge or even begin to understand. That is the free will component that exists long after the body stops. Near-death, paranormal, mysticism, past life memories, and akashic records are now a common thread that drives home the conclusion that there exists a soul within the human body that transcends the human experience. As we acknowledge the essence of our soul, we let go of the limitations of the illusional earth-based mentality and reach out to the greater cosmos of life. Many additional realms exist beyond the earth and in other dimensions of time/space. As spiritual beings, we can easily access these places.

Edgar Cayce, the father of holistic medicine, pioneered the concept in modern times that we are indeed “spiritual beings having a human experience”, but this is only a reemergence of what our ancestors already knew.

This time on earth will be one where we all transcend the false boundaries that convince us that we are separate entities and develop the understanding of the oneness that we all share, meaning that we don’t have to be either scientific or spiritual. Merging science and spirituality creates a new foundation for our peaceful coexistence in the greater cosmos.

Read Deborah West’s columns at The New Era Times for her personal views.

References:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/biocentrism/201112/does-the-soul-exist-evidence-says-yes

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/10/29/science-now-proves-reincarnation-a-look-at-the-souls-journey-after-death/

http://www.sott.net/article/271933-Scientists-claim-that-Quantum-Theory-proves-consciousness-moves-to-another-universe-at-death

For more about Dr. Eben Alexander: http://www.eternea.org/

For more about Sacred Acoustics: http://www.sacredacoustics.com/

About the Author

Deborah West worked in corporate public relations and media for over 20 years and is currently a freelancer, reporting on a wide variety of topics including disclosure, ancient and multidimensional civilizations, the the shift in humanity’s consciousness and brings truthful reporting to topics ranging from healthcare to energy. She writes a column called Lost Knowledge at The New Era Times and has a weekly radio show called Lost Knowledge on Tuesdays 3-5pm CST. To see her articles go to:  http://www.tnetimes.com/contributor/deborah_west/92/

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

SOURCE: Waking Times.