death experiences) following my suicide attempts. In none of those NDEs did I “see” God or anything else. Am I a spiritual ignoramus, or simply experiencing “God” as I understand the phenomena/on? Let me explain myself.
We all grow up with an understanding of the world around us and a religious or secular
explanation for how the world works. Well in every NDE story I’ve heard the person always seems to describe seeing a bright light and their vision of Heaven or a dead relation, etc. I saw the bright light but being an Atheist I surmised my brain cells were dying off! Never did I see a dead relation though or Heaven as it’s popularly represented. Now I confess I was convalescent at the time from a massive drug overdose but I don’t think that should affect me seeing pearly gates and St. Peter or whoever I’m “supposed” to see.
You see, when I reflect back on that experience of lying in my hospital bed in the critical
care area of the Intensive Care Unit, I just *know* there has to be a reason beyond being spiritually obtuse. Surely Atheists aren’t excluded from ‘religious experiences’. Do not start praying for my eternally ‘damned’ soul though just yet!
I think there is a better explanation for my not seeing Heaven’s gates and a dead relative. The reason is we all experience the Infinite differently. If we were raised Hindu or Sikh I’m sure there would be a culturally relevant experience in there for the person encountering a NDE. In my case, I had never attended church and was a total Atheist. If God showed up the same to everyone, regardless of cultural and personal beliefs, do you really think that would work? I don’t. In fact I can’t think of a more “Christian or Judeocentric” way of thinking. Now I’m not discounting or invalidating anyone who has had a “Christian or Judaic NDE”, but I am beginning to think we can’t all experience the same NDE if we believe different things.
Don’t you think “God” would be pragmatic and visit us in a form we would be comfortable with and not be scared of? I do. What reason is there to have the Infinite/Universal Source/God etc. be only one way? There are a number of World religions and likely various ideas of what occurs after death. I suppose all I am saying is be open minded regarding Infinity or God because your beliefs aren’t everyone else’s in the entire world we’re living in.
The Universal Source came to me as light alone because I would not have accepted
anything else! So firm was I in my Atheism Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens would have been proud! “God” is not going to shock us into believing in a Higher Power/Energy/Source etc., what would that achieve? We must all find “the way” that speaks to us in not just our mind but our heart. Is it not more effective to find God on our own terms than be force fed certain beliefs we can’t ‘swallow’?
I don’t normally talk about religion or God because I’m not religious and have more philosophical leanings in my spiritual beliefs than anything. I’m not dogmatic and I don’t think I have the “right” version of the truth. My beliefs are mine alone and I could care less if anyone else shares in them or not. They aren’t up for scrutiny or evaluation. I don’t evaluate anyone else’s beliefs when they aren’t harming anybody. What matters is our beliefs feel right to us in our heart. Our beliefs must resonate with our soul then it doesn’t matter what others believe. So long as we’re respectful and don’t make attacks on others what difference does it make what you believe or I believe?. In my opinion we are all going to the same place. It doesn’t matter to me what name you give your final stop on your journey, so long as you aren’t condemning other people’s choices(provided they aren’t violent or hurtful).
Our world would be so much more peaceful, in my opinion, if we all just agreed to respect each other and treat one another with kindness and love. You don’t even need a religion to be kind and love someone! I ask you to be kind to one another my blogging friends.