PureInsight | May 26, 2003
Tales from the Practice of Medicine: Life on the Other Side
[PureInsight.org] Mark was a one of my good friends who often lent me a generous helping hand, even in my darkest hours.
One day, I suddenly learned that Mark was about to depart this world. He was diagnosed with advanced-stage brain cancer. By the time I learned the bad news, the doctor said that he only had one week to live. By then the doctor had already removed all the tubes attached to his body and also removed the suspended, intravenous transfusion bottles. They were awaiting the flicker of life to become extinguished. All his friends had come to see him for the last time. His relatives watched him, bidding him a tearful farewell. A week passed, but he was still breathing!
It looked as if Mark had departed from this world, but had part way returned to life. The nurses were puzzled that Mark could survive without eating, drinking, or any infusion of fluids.
During that period of time I was so busy that I was unable to fly to what he lived and goodbye to him in person. So I called his family once a day to follow up on his condition. They kept vigil by his bedside. Several times I asked his family to put the telephone receiver next to his ear and spoke to him for a long time in that manner. According to his wife who sat beside him during our conversations, Mark appeared to be listening to my words attentively although he did not utter a word.
Finally, Mark's nurse announced that he would depart from this world within 24 hours. Coincidentally my work at hand was postponed, so I immediately rushed to the airport, hoping to say a goodbye to him while there was still time.
It was already night time when I arrived in this certain city. I rushed to his home, straight from the airport. They were all waiting for me. As soon as I saw Mark, I noticed that the familiar face I once knew had shrunk so much that it became distorted. What truly amazed everyone there was that Mark, who was thought to be completely unconscious, when he heard my voice did suddenly exclaim, "Oh! You have arrived!"
His wife quickly covered her mouth to prevent herself from screaming out of shock. "Oh! My God! He has been conscious all the time! He has been waiting for you."
I lightly raised my hand, signaling her to be still.
"Mark, are you ready to go?" I asked him.
"In that case, what made you hold on until now?"
Mark was silent for a while before he began to share a very touching experience.
"I had already gone there. Each of us will go to a different place when our life comes to an end. At first I went to a place where there was no sun or night, a place of eternal daytime. There was no sound, except for some very slight and gentle, echoing music when there was a slight vibration in the air. Few people were there. They did not speak to each other when they met. They simply glanced at each other before they disappeared. The flowers were beautiful, but they were very different from those here on earth as they would never wither or die. All lives in that place are immortal. I knew I had lost my way and wandered into that place because I knew did not belong there. While I hesitated to leave I heard a voice saying, 'This is not your destination.' I wished to stay there, but I knew I could not stay because my moral level did not reach the required standard. Therefore, I knelt down and prayed in my heart, "Heavenly Father, I have already stepped out of the human realm, not knowing where to go. Please guide me toward my final destination." Time did not exist there. Everything was still, but in my heart I knew that everything was in the hands of the Creator and he was listening to my prayer."
Then my hands began to sweat. If it were not for the swinging pendulum of the clock on the wall, which reminded me of existence in this tangible world, I would have forgotten where I was.
"What happened next?" I asked.
"Then I began to talk to myself: 'Today is the end of my life. All of my affairs in the human world will soon end. This heavily laden and highly pressured heart of mine is about to be freed. Everything that used to be extremely important to me no longer carries any significance for me. I will no longer be restrained by time. I will no longer need to criticize myself from my conscience when I make a wrong choice between truth and falsehood. It is high time I spoke the truth from my heart. How uncomfortably I have lived throughout my life! When I got up in the morning, I became a different person when I finished dressing. When I said things, they were pretentious even to my own ears. As I washed and shaved my face, I saw a mask in the mirror. In the evening after I returned home I felt like a clown puppet, stripped of my costume, with many strings still attached to my body, manipulated by others. Anyone could easily pull a string and drag me toward a direction he desired. Oh! How painful it was to be unable to control my own life. Only now when my life is coming to an end do I realized that I could have actually owned, controlled and governed my life. I should not have wasted even a minute or second on doing anything against my conscience, or wasted energy on anything that betrayed my conscience…
I am telling you this because I know how much you tried to lead me toward the path of cultivation. But I never really believed in cultivation, although I respected your choice of spiritual belief. It was not until I had been there and back that I truly understood why you wanted to live your life that way. Please, remember one thing: one day when you see a beautiful butterfly hovering over your head, that would be me!"
Several hours later Mark passed away.
I watched him for a long time in silence...
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/5/5/21480.html