I came across a great quote today in an interview with Pim van Lommel in the Volkskrant, which was this:
“What we think about death determines how we live.”
— Dag Hämmerskjold
I think to a large extent it is true. The Christian belief of one life and then heaven or hell has shaped Western living to a large extent, people live with more urgency than in a Hindu country such as India, where the vast majority of people believe in reincarnation. Even Buddhism, which also has this belief in endless lives, is at its core driven by the idea of wanting release from endless Samsara.
So what are we to believe about death? The only source which I believe is credible about this are the people who have had a near-death experience (NDE). I read a book which was a collection of NDE’er interviews and statements not just about their experience, but how it left them feeling, how they processed it in their lives (In Harmony with the Light, Robert Coppes). For many of them this took years, and it was a life-changing event, many of them still have extraordinary intuitions.
Most NDEers talk about tunnels, beautiful landscapes, an overwhelming feeling of love, life reviews, seeing deceased loved ones again, and finally being sent back to complete their task on Earth. Often they feel loss and sadness, that they had to leave the beauty of that place. But what they return to do is not free themselves from Samsara, their goals are seemingly more ordinary, and they are not afraid of death anymore.
It just strikes me, that we need to consider again, in the light of near-death experiences, what we want from our life path… maybe in the spirit of the New Year, we might want to look at our motivations again.