Thursday, February 3, 2011

Near Death Experiences!?!?!

In our first meeting for the Spring Semester (with plenty of fresh snow and ice still on the ground :-)), we returned back to the first essential teaching of the Bhagavad-Gita: that we are more than just this temporary body, and that to go deeper, we must understand that we are the soul within. How do we understand this beyond the theoretical or the seemingly mystical or mythological? The realm of experience is where we can understand spiritual knowledge beyond the doubting and misunderstanding nature of our mind, and we framed our first discussion of the semester around one such extraordinary experience: the near-death experience (NDE).

A lot of us are familiar with this phenomenon, which has come from the outskirts of the paranormal to something that is now being seriously accepted and studied by mainstream science, simply because of the compelling nature of the experience and the millions upon millions of people who have experienced an NDE. Check out this video below that we watched during our discussions, which comes from the Discovery Channel, on one of the most well-documented NDE cases, of Pam Reynolds.

How was Pam able to see, hear, and experience her operation even though her body was clinically dead? Who is that seer? As we explored some potential answers to these questions, we considered that the wisdom of the Gita is clearly trying to tell us that this is our spirit, our soul, our actual self, and that we remain and exist and can perceive beyond our earthly body. The near-death experience is one such practical and serious example of this manifest deeper reality, and its evidence can compel us to understand and contemplate our deeper self and our deeper nature as we go through our daily life.

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