Near-Death Experiences Handbook (4):From negative to positive

PureInsight | January 5, 2001

Yvonne Malik felt that she had to pass through 'humanity's fear and ignorance' during her NDE, and that in the end she was 'allowed' to return because she wanted to show others that life after death does exist:
I seemed to be in some outside place which was dark, or almost black, and I was going towards an even blacker area. I wasn't running but was moving; aiming to go up the side of a black mountain; in the dark going upwards.

Although it was so dark, I could 'see' that I was passing or being passed by a lot of men and women who were all rushing in the opposite direction away from me.

They were telling me in both an apathetic and angry way, not to go in the direction I was going because there was nothing there, that I was a fool, that it was useless and led nowhere.

Suddenly it was as if I were up on top of the mountain on a kind of plateau, it wasn't cold and there was no wind. I could see the tops of other mountain ranges and valleys, but was too high up to see people.

I was surrounded by light, it was golden yellow, very bright and seemed to become brighter and whiter. There was no need to squint as it was not painful.

Words are only useful when used to describe parallels - in this case words do not seem to work. The light itself had a personality, it was joy (an old-fashioned word). The air itself seemed to be full of love and joy.

Although I did not look around, I felt strongly aware that two 'guardians' were standing just behind me on my left. It seemed to be that I should not turn around to see them, but as I felt so sure of their presence, it did not seem important to try to do so. I had the definite feeling also, that they had great wisdom and compassion.

They seemed to 'tell' me that I could stay there in this absolutely wonderful place/experience if I wished. I do not know why on earth I said, No, and that I must go back to tell others just how wonderful it was and that it was untrue that there was nothing beyond the dark.

The essence of the NDE is the negative shock to consciousness that forces a transition to a higher level:

Confronting symbolic death
Confrontation with the issue of death is a pivotal part of the transformation process and an integral component of most spiritual emergencies. It is often part of a powerful death-rebirth cycle in which what is actually dying is old ways of being that are inhibiting an individual's growth. From this point of view, everyone dies in some form many times during the course of a lifetime. In many traditions, the notion of 'dying before dying' is essential to spiritual advancement. Coming to terms with the fact of death as part of the continuity of life is seen as tremendously liberating, releasing one from the fear of death and opening one to the experience of immortality. As the seventeenth-century Christian monk, Abraham a Santa Clara wrote: 'A man who dies before he dies does not die when he dies.'
From 'The Stormy Search for the Self' by Christina and Stanislav Grof, Mandala/Harper Collins, 1991, ISBN 1 85274 103 1.

Swami Muktananda described how he moved from terror of 'death' to a fearless rebirth:

From terror to fearlessness
I was terrified of death. My prana (breath, life force) ceased. My mind functioned no longer. I felt that my prana was passing out of my body. I lost all power over my body. Like a dying man, whose mouth is agape and arms outstretched, I emitted a strange noise and collapsed on the floor. I lost consciousness completely.
I got up after about an hour and a half and felt amused, saying to myself 'I died a short while ago, but I am alive again!' I stood up feeling deep calm, love, and joy. I realized that I had experienced death. Now that I knew what it meant to die, death ceased to have any more terror. I became completely fearless.

From 'Play of Consciousness' by Swami Muktananda.

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