Is There Really an Afterlife?

OBE's, NDE's, lucid dreams, and the like...

Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby Webwanderer » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:53 pm

PMH Atwater asks and explores this question with an NDE background of her own and a suggestion that a little different perspective brings additional clarity to our present experience. Reading this article inspired a little more tweaking of my own perspective and a coinciding shift in experience. Enjoy and feel free to comment.

http://www.cinemind.com/atwater/resources/PDFs/Articles/ASPS2008.pdf

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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:54 am

Oh webby... please you and others who read this link, please share your thoughts. What shift did it have in perspective and experiences for you - please share.

I've only just started getting to the 'anomolies' and had to 'step away' from my computer. the one about the simultaneous sibling from the 'future' in the world of 'form' within the eternal 'now' - it 'niggles' with the understanding that this all makes perfect sense in the light, but not here. The things it speaks to of my experiences 'here' are the things that would get me a nice white, warm coat, with locked folded sleeves across my chest. :wink:

I only got two pages into it and …. ‘niggle’ (pay attention!!!!)

Quote: Yensen described the people there as young-looking and lively, yet possessing a weightless grace in their movements. Their bodies were somewhat translucent, so was the grass and trees; their clothing minimal. One man told him:
“Everything over here is pure. The elements don’t mix or break down as they do on earth. Everything is kept in place by an all-pervading Master Vibration, which prevents aging. That’s why things don’t get dirty, or wear out, and why everything looks so bright and new.” Yensen learned how heaven could be eternal from this man (Atwater, 1994, 53-55).

…could this be why learning about the 92 elements that make up everything in the physical world by combination (compounds) is ....it's not just 'attracting' me, it's creating a clarity of understanding of the 'cycles' of the 'life' of everything that comes and changes and in form.

Then God questioned if Hamilton wanted to return to the physical world. “I do want to return,” he said. God asked why. “I said I would help my mother whom my father had left with four children and one on the way. God kind of chuckled and asked for the real reason. I said I would leave the earth a little better than I found it. ‘Then you may return with some of the knowledge of the things you have learned, but the rest will be veiled for a time. Live in such a way that you will not feel bad when you return here again.’ I woke up face down in the mud of the river bottom and was ‘lifted’ to the top” (Atwater, 1991 and 2003, 45-47).


I love that he 'notices' that from the mud he was lifted to the top, but that some things are still 'muddied' from his view - my take. The live in such a way that.... is heart felt

This below is more akin to my experience, with differences (of course) – I didn’t feel it as intense or burning, more just blissfully, forever perfectly, ‘now’.
“Time ceased to exist. Past and future were completely nonexistent. I was traveling in an intense, burning ‘now.’ ‘Now’ was everything. I ceased to be a noun (person, place, or thing) and became a verb (an action). I was Ray-ing, instead of Ray. I was given a huge message. The Being told me, ‘This is Who You Really Are,’ as the Universe opened up to me. I could not tell the difference between myself and the infinite galaxies. I became all-powerful and all-knowing – yet I was still Ray.


Oooh webby, you left this bit out the last time you quoted this ‘Ray’ –
I became one with Love times a million, billion, trillion forever and ever.

We were made of the same stuff! Every Being that had ever existed in
all of Creation was now part of this Greater Whole Being called God. I was one with all of them, and yet I was still Ray – all-powerful, little old me!

The ‘became love times a million billion trillion forever and ever’ lol!!!! YES!!
The ‘was now part of’ – it always is, it’s just that he wasn’t aware of it before that (forever and ever) ‘now’. This is the bit that brings such joy, such love, such ‘blurring the lines between us’ = empathy – this realisation.

This is Who You Really Are,’ thundered the Light. It looked like a galaxy
except the points of light were not stars, they were Beings. Every Being there was singing this incredibly beautiful music and praising God.

- the music – the singing ‘vibration’ the energy of choosing love over fear, the spiderweb of connectedness the globs of light… : )

“After some indefinite length of Now-ness, I was told that I must go back. I was given another message that was very important. I was told I may return anytime I wished to. Coming back to my body felt like I was stuffed into a vessel of pain and exhaustion.” Kinman was very clear that this was not like any drug experience. This was truth – he was shown the way things really are (Atwater, 2007, 35-36)”.


I’d have to agree with Kinman.

Tannis Prouten: “Very rapidly I was enveloped within this most divine, living, golden-white light, my HOME. The joy, bliss, humility, awe were beyond human capability to bear. The LIGHT was an infinite, loving, accepting BEING without form. IT had personality. IT communicated with me telepathically. IT was pure TRUTH.”

As the intensity of her experience increased, she came to realize:
“I was the LIGHT and the LIGHT was me. I was still a unique, separate, point of consciousness with the same sense of humor and awareness that I had always had, but the paradox is that I was MORE. I had become homogeneous with the LIGHT. I was all love, wisdom, truth, peace, joy, for all eternity. Human words fail to express this experience. Not only was the message of my true nature conveyed to me telepathically, but I experienced the SPIRIT of the message – I felt IT with every speck of my being. There was absolutely no possibility of hiding, distorting information, or lying in communicating with the LIGHT. I fell madly in love with the SPIRIT OF TRUTH! There was no concept of space or time in the GREATER REALITY. All takes place or exists in the ETERNAL NOW. That is my last conscious memory of the experience” (Atwater, 2007, 26-28).


And I’d have to agree with Tannis. Laughing/smiling/joy - I “fell madly in love with the spirit of truth” too.

I'm still reading it, walking away from it, returning to it.
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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby runstrails » Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:37 am

I really enjoyed reading it WW. Thanks!

A point for discussion: It seems to me that the concept of the soul comes up often in NDE accounts. We appear to have a soul identity which experiences the afterlife or gets re-incarnated as another form. The soul makes a kind of journey through these lives learning lessons (evolving and eventually merging with God or Oneness or Self). On the other hand, in non-duality/advaita/ enlightenment, the soul appears to be bypassed and there is just the experience of Oneness.

So, my question is: If Source/Self/Oneness has already been realized during life, then I wonder how an NDE might be different? Have you ever come across such an account?
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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:09 am

Runstrails said: On the other hand, in non-duality/advaita/ enlightenment, the soul appears to be bypassed and there is just the experience of Oneness.


What is experiencing the Oneness trails?
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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:46 am

runstrails wrote:So, my question is: If Source/Self/Oneness has already been realized during life, then I wonder how an NDE might be different? Have you ever come across such an account?

I wonder how many, if any, have actually, fully realized Oneness/Self/Source while in (physical) life. I think many, on this forum and throughout history, have had wonderfully expansive awakenings, but to suggest that they have had the same merging with the light, and the overwhelming unconditional love, as many NDE'rs have reported seems a stretch. I read a lot, and have done so for decades, but nothing in the literature seems to compare with the experiences reported by NDE'rs.

Seekers of truth often have life changing revelations. Just as often, not so much. How often however, do they report the level of clarity and love, and with the consistency, reported by those who have the NDE? More often than not seekers develop new philosophies for living based on insights from years of meditation and search. NDE'rs are commonly changed in an instant. Old habits may prevail for a time, but the experience, regardless of further search, increasingly influences them for the rest of their human life.

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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:46 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:Oh webby... please you and others who read this link, please share your thoughts. What shift did it have in perspective and experiences for you - please share.

Hmm... How does one explain a shift in perspective in a way that gives a sense of the experience when those who may read it do not hold a similar perspective to that from which the shift/tweak occurred? I'm not suggesting that I'm right and others are wrong, but we all have the sense that our purview reflects the way things are. No matter. I sense that the bulk of life's potential understandings are yet beyond my current life view so I couldn't possibly be 'right' - maybe just relative to my own perceptual context.

That being said I'll try to explain. As most who have read my postings are aware I sense that there is a great deal more to life than this physical experience. That does not say that this experience is of no or little value. On the contrary, this human experience, this physical reality, this limited environment, is unique in its potential for consciousness evolution. We all know there is no teacher so potent as direct experience. It is in this environment that cause and effect, pain and suffering, compassion and love, play out in a way that motivates the experiencer to ask and understand why at such a fundamental level, isolated from any possibility of escape from the experience.

The very intensity of human experience, with its isolation from our greater sense of being, creates a world view that excludes any real perception from our root understanding and our source of being - at least for a time. Somewhere in the evolutionary process perception and perspective begins to shift. Now it's always in motion in any case, but I'm referring specifically to a shift towards a perspective from our origins. Some get a kick in the shorts by virtue of an NDE. Others follow a path of search and insight. In either case there comes a sense that life in form has valuable purpose whether it's seen or not.

I've had this sense of life for some time now, but it continues to grow in clarity. This article I posted here brought to me an insight in perspective in that life here is not different than it is in any other frame of reference. The experience is different, certainly unique, but life is life. There is no afterlife as such, as that is simply a reference born of an attachment to a bodily form, a physical perspective. But that body will eventually wear out and no longer be able to support the life that perceives through it. That life however will not be affected - at least not as far as its continued existence is concerned. Life, conscious life, is forever. It may get absorbed into some greater life on an ever ascending scale, a life that may well have projected the human expression in the first place, but life and its evolving conscious perspective continues unabated.

So, as I truly get a sense of this, and I am getting some steady glimpses, life is flashing presence in a way that alters my reference/relationship to all human experience. What happens in the/my world it seems, matters far less than my relationship to it. I'm not distancing myself from it, I'm simply connecting with it in a different way - one that seems more naturally compassionate and accepting. No doubt there is still a long way to go in this next step in awakening, but it's very satisfying to see it at all.

I am recognizing that living the life of a human being is different than living the life of an eternal being. Life is forever. Understand, I'm only yet getting glimpses of it, but these glimpses are tweaking my perspective in favor of the eternal.

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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:52 am

I see you've responded to me webby, but this was in response to your response to 'trails.
...
I don't think you have to be 'enlightened' or an nde'er to experience and BE unconditional love, that which we really are. Children and animals in particular manage to BE unselfconsciously - and yet who's to say they don't have a better understanding than any of us.

I've no doubt my nde impacted upon me in ways that will affect me forever, but I have to say, so did the immediate experiences of bursts of unconditional love that I was absolutely aware of at the time they happened prior to the nde, and 'noticed' in my life review to that point and in every instance of that sort of unconditional love experience since.

eg my really feeling the love in a young boy shaking my hand in his very sincere offer of friendship forever, and my very real and sincere acceptance of that friendship on an immense, forever scale; the little beggar girl's kindness melting our hearts together again immensely and forever, everybody's love for everybody ever expressed in thought, in deed, in feeling, particularly those that overcome fear to express love - the resonance of it is ETERNAL because it is expressing who we really are - it is the expression - the outer resonance of who we really are, what the ALL is.

The difference might be, I didn't know how important it was to the All - until I realised that in the light (nde).

It's why I keep saying it is, but isn't important. Creation, the ALL will eternally BE rising opportunities to express itself - love- consciousness - light, whether they are or not noticed, ridden-enacted on this plane - even the rising/giving of the opportunity is the ALL expressing it's eternal energy/creation/love - already in action.

Whether a surfer or a dolphin or anything notices and catches a wave - riding and 'experiencing' the power of the energy creating the wave - the wave still rises and falls expressing itself interacting with every pure element and all of the compounds of everything it 'touches' or affects.

The impact of the interaction is eternal, therefore the resonance of the interaction is also eternal, therefore the interacton is eternal.

Whether a kite or a bird or anything notices and catches an air surge (whatever you call them) the air surge is still expressing itself, still interacting in creation.

Whether anyone catches and rides love expanding... the love will still express itself.

And it is but isn't important if you are aware that it is, but isn't, important.

One who knows zip-zero about 'consciousness' is consciousness personified when they are being unconditional love.
Someone consciously being unconditional love, hmmm that's tasty too - but no more, no less beautiful and powerful than an innocent BEING who/what they truly are.

It's like a smile in the wave at the hoot of the surfer or inner thrill of the dolphin (or even better both together) riding the wave. The three become aware of the oneness that they already are. That is love expressing itself - through us.

Anyone who ever allows themselves to merge to be at one with any 'thing' on a different level, will likely be so blown away from their own 'separate-ego' sense of themself that they may not even be able to explain it on another denser level, in the same way that nde'ers have a hard time explaining it.

But that will also change them forever and impact on their life and raise the vibration of the ALL eternally. Someone feeling the pang of love for a newborn for the first time - that feeling.

I guess I'm saying you don't have to 'die' to become aware of this. But, that's just from my pov which is somewhat skewed now I guess.

But I definitely felt it pre-nde, and even pre-searching for any understanding on any conscious level. I was at one and pure love shaking that little boy's hand, receiving a kiss on the cheek from a beggar girl, or any one of millions of other examples and they would have impacted on me for the rest of my life with or without the nde. As I said what I didn't know is that it impacts on the ALL because I am one with the ALL, so if someone comes to that conclusion via another path, maybe they are capable of being it in the same way.

sharing love in any circumstance is - to the degree that we can feel it in our more 'dense' state equally resonant and important as the love I felt in and with the light.

Absolutely.
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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:28 am

webby said: How does one explain a shift in perspective in a way that gives a sense of the experience when those who may read it do not hold a similar perspective to that from which the shift/tweak occurred?

((hug)) we do our best within our ability to respond, and let the universe handle the rest.

As most who have read my postings are aware I sense that there is a great deal more to life than this physical experience. That does not say that this experience is of no or little value. On the contrary, this human experience, this physical reality, this limited environment, is unique in its potential for consciousness evolution. We all know there is no teacher so potent as direct experience. It is in this environment that cause and effect, pain and suffering, compassion and love, play out in a way that motivates the experiencer to ask and understand why at such a fundamental level, isolated from any possibility of escape from the experience.

"Wisdom is knowledge,gained through experience and implemented with love" - Traci Harding.

This article I posted here brought to me an insight in perspective in that life here is not different than it is in any other frame of reference. The experience is different, certainly unique, but life is life. There is no afterlife as such, as that is simply a reference born of an attachment to a bodily form, a physical perspective. But that body will eventually wear out and no longer be able to support the life that perceives through it. That life however will not be affected - at least not as far as its continued existence is concerned. Life, conscious life, is forever. It may get absorbed into some greater life on an ever ascending scale, a life that may well have projected the human expression in the first place, but life and its evolving conscious perspective continues unabated.

YES!! When some folks say there is no 'life', there is no 'death', there is no you, it 'feels' empty of love-awareness sometimes and maybe it's because words have resonance for me, using the 'positive' connotations of eternal ever evolving LIFE as you have webby, YES!!

I am recognizing that living the life of a human being is different than living the life of an eternal being. Life is forever. Understand, I'm only yet getting glimpses of it, but these glimpses are tweaking my perspective in favor of the eternal.


What if it was no different like you just mentioned above? The 'no difference' is in terms of your relationship to it, which is a wonderful 'noticing' you've had as the one area you can BE in.

What you are capable of having in terms of your relationship to it, in eternal life, you are capable of having in terms of your relationship to it, here.

I'm not saying that's an easy path, it does likely require looking at and accepting tweaks in the journey. But, the bliss in the light is within, not without, we didn't leave it behind when we came.
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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby Natalie » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:35 am

This video suggests that there may be a link between our beliefs prior to the NDE and how the NDE's will play out. The journalist is Bob Woodruff, a bomb exploded near his face while reporting on the war in Iraq and he suffered a traumatic brain injury. I didn't know he had a NDE as a result. WW, have you read accounts of athiests having religious NDE's? I would like to read some. I really enjoyed reading the link provided and smiiley's account as well. :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt0w7KF9eT0
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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby runstrails » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:21 am

smileyjen wrote:
But, the bliss in the light is within, not without, we didn't leave it behind when we came.

Simply beautiful.
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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby ZenDrumming » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:07 am

Thanks for the great read, WW. I don't really have anything more to contribute, other than to just say that my perspective has also shifted a bit since reading this.
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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:19 am

Natalie wrote: WW, have you read accounts of athiests having religious NDE's? I would like to read some.


There are lots of atheist NDE accounts. Here are a few you might find interesting.

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/judaism02.html

http://www.near-death.com/storm.html

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/reincarnation03.html

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/evidence10.html

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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:39 am

smiileyjen wrote:
I am recognizing that living the life of a human being is different than living the life of an eternal being. Life is forever. Understand, I'm only yet getting glimpses of it, but these glimpses are tweaking my perspective in favor of the eternal.


What if it was no different like you just mentioned above? The 'no difference' is in terms of your relationship to it, which is a wonderful 'noticing' you've had as the one area you can BE in.

What you are capable of having in terms of your relationship to it, in eternal life, you are capable of having in terms of your relationship to it, here.

I'm not saying that's an easy path, it does likely require looking at and accepting tweaks in the journey. But, the bliss in the light is within, not without, we didn't leave it behind when we came.


What I'm suggesting is that there is a difference in perspective, and therefore experience, when one sees life through the eyes of ego. As I said earlier, life is eternal. However, once one sees through the ego identification, that one is freed up to regain the perspective of the eternal being. That's not necessarily an automatic shift. For me at least, it comes in experiential revelations. Insight built upon insight, each bringing a bit more clarity and understanding.

PMH Atwater's article is just the latest to peal off another layer of misperception. And I'm not even suggesting that it's necessary to benefit from life in human form. It's just one more awakening that opens the door to a more natural state of being.

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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:06 am

What was the misperception it peeled off webby?

(leaving room for you between my thoughts)



...as an aside, it's funny isn't it - near death experience is the totally 'wrong' description lol!!
Eternal life/oneness experience is much closer.
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Re: Is There Really an Afterlife?

Postby snowheight » Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:39 am

smiileyjen101 wrote: it's funny isn't it - near death experience is the totally 'wrong' description lol!!
Eternal life/oneness experience is much closer.


Yes isn't that one of the concepts that emerges when one contemplates true nature -- Who is it that dies? Is there death for what we realize ourselves to be? -- the obvious answers are: no, what is changeless from moment-to-moment is indivisible, and yes, there is an end to a body and a mind and a brain.

Webwanderer wrote:I wonder how many, if any, have actually, fully realized Oneness/Self/Source while in (physical) life. I think many, on this forum and throughout history, have had wonderfully expansive awakenings, but to suggest that they have had the same merging with the light, and the overwhelming unconditional love, as many NDE'rs have reported seems a stretch.


By definition an experience in which the heart and breath stops is something one either has had or not and is unique in and of itself by that respect if no other.

Whether we ask (and who honestly hasn't?):

Webwanderer wrote: Is There Really an Afterlife?


or instead ask the related questions of what is beyond the mind? what is beyond the material? and, of course, what does it matter what we apparently do during our lifetimes? ... the conversations in answer are all very similar -- there is something very profound, very simple, as close to us as our eyelashes and yet not visible to us that it might not be possible to even name much less understand. One might be as skeptical or as tone-deaf to these accounts as one might and still be able to find that common ground based on contemplation of the implications of awakening.

----

Thanks for the link and the insight into your progression on this 'Wanderer. Much of what I was attempting to convey in a few disagreements we've had on this topic previously was an expression of this idea that a linear conception of life is a limited conception. ("Findings in the field of near-death studies, though, are beginning to challenge not only traditional but non-traditional beliefs as well ... Scenarios are reported that openly defy the idea of an afterlife as an end point or a dwelling place or a platform for progressive states of learning."). To be honest I did enjoy reading the accounts but about 3/4 of the way through I found the mind starting to rest in a very old and deep place, kindling hope about physical death not being the end, and not in some sense of giving up on or accepting of who or what I really am.

----

Natalie wrote:This video suggests that there may be a link between our beliefs prior to the NDE and how the NDE's will play out.


Hey Nat' here is a fun idea -- in this world we are all somewhat constrained to share certain aspects of reality based on the laws of nature, yet this continued unique perspective that the NDE'rs report seems to be free of this constraint. So what constraints are there? Could it be that this leads us back to another conversation about choice and the impact of apparent action that we have on the whole during this life? Careful! There is nuance here! "Choice" is not the same thing as (shhhh! i'm gonna' whisper now, and spell it like a swear word!: fr&& w!||)
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.
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