Saturday, April 08, 2006


Yesterday my Baba(grandpa) died; or shall I say that he expired or left us or went to the heavenly abode? Each one of us prefers to avert using the word 'death' explicitly, needless to say, the underlying reason being fear. We are so scared of experiencing death that we repel even thinking of it, don't even use a word connected to it explicitly; sounds cowardly but then who amongst us is brave enough to accept death? We proudly and publicly acknowledge that we don't want in the most dreadful of our dreams to die. The interesting part is that none of us knows what's going to happen once we die. We presume without pondering that death is the dead end of everything. Yes, literally death is the end of life but here it's worth specifying that death is the end of physical earthly life. Does that refer to the existence of some other form of life, or is death, in itself, another form of life? Mythology suggests that death is a doorway to heaven and hell, two different realms having dimensions different from those on earth and emphatically depicts that there is, indeed, a life after death. Does that life(the 2nd one) also have a death associated with it? It's all so confusing! Alright, I accept that there is a dearth of evidence but part of the answer may be obtained by analyzing the unexplained experiences of some people who have been in close proximity with death and almost died but somehow survived. Termed as NDEs or Near Death Experiences, these incidents shed some light on some of the dark and unexplored nooks of our concerns:
  • Feelings of calmness - These feelings may include peacefulness, acceptance of death, emotional and physical comfort.
  • Intense, pure bright light - Sometimes this intense (but not painful) light fills the room. In other cases, the subject sees a light that they feel represents either Heaven or God.
  • Out-of-body experiences (OBE) - The subject feels that he has left his body. He can look down and see it, often describing the sight of doctors working on him. In some cases, the subject's "spirit" then flies out of the room, into the sky and sometimes into space.
  • Entering into another realm or dimension - Depending on the subject's religious beliefs and the nature of the experience, he may perceive this realm as Heaven or, in rare cases, as Hell.
  • Spirit beings - During the OBE, the subject encounters "beings of light," or other representations of spiritual entities. He may perceive these as deceased loved ones, angels, saints or God.
  • The tunnel - Many NDE subjects find themselves in a tunnel with a light at its end. They may encounter spirit beings as they pass through the tunnel.
  • Communication with spirits - Before the NDE ends, many subjects report some form of communication with a spirit being. This is often expressed a "strong male voice" telling them that it is not their time and to go back to their body. Some subjects report being told to choose between going into the light or returning to their earthly body. Others feel they have been compelled to return to their body by a voiceless command, possibly coming from God.
  • Life review - This trait is also called "the panoramic life review." The subject sees his entire life in a flashback. These can be very detailed or very brief. The subject may also perceive some form of judgment by nearby spirit entities.

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