Several years ago while in the practice of medicine in Enoree, South Carolina, I came across a book by Robert Moody, M.D. entitled Life After Life. If you haven't read this book, I strongly urge you to do so. It was a book that helped to change my life. The book concerns a study by Dr. Moody of medical patients who have been dead for various periods of time and then resuscitated, many by CPR methods. These patients all tell remarkably similar experiences occurring during the time that they were clinically dead.
I will go no further at this point in describing these experiences so as not to spoil the book for those of you who have not read it. However, there is one aspect of those experiences that really set me thinking. At a certain point in their experiences these patients reported that they came to be in the presence of an absolutely brilliant light. The light radiated warmth and love, and none of the patients--realizing now that there were dead--desired to be apart from the light or to return to physical life! While in the presence of this light, the patients saw their lives quickly flash past them. Every act, every action rapidly flashing before them and yet every detail was recognized. At times during the review the light would ask of the patient what he or she had learned from this or that particular act or action. The light inquired as to what the patient may have learned from this experience or that experience. The patients felt shame...or a discomfort for behavior that appeared to be unacceptable to the light.
I was troubled by this for I am a man of the physical sciences. Trained to be objective and trust in only what can be measured and described in physical terms. Or in mathematical terms. Could there really be, then, an aspect of the individual that does survive the physical death of the organism itself? A quality within each of us that transcends the physical reality we see around us? And could it be that each of us through some quality that will survive our death be queried as to our attitudes, our behavior, and our actions during our physical life? How might it change us to know that every decision and every action we do in this life will be reviewed for us in the presence of some brilliant and loving light?
If this is the case, might we--we of intellect, reason, and abstract thought--consider the possibility that we have learned of this review of our lives while we are still in this life in order to prepare us for it? In other words, have we received a warning through the survival of these patients? Is the light itself trying to get a message to us by allowing these patients to survive? If this is a message or a warning, so to speak, then surely the message stems from a compassionate being. For surprise is strikingly a weapon used by an enemy in attack. But a warning--in a sense--is always sent out of concern. Thus, this message--if that be what it is--could only originate from a compassionate force beyond this reality. Or at the least a concerned being. And concern never springs from hate. It can only spring from love. The experience of these patients in being confronted by a warm and loving brilliance who examines their individual lives implies that the existence of a life or state that transcends the physical--so ingrained in humanity from our earliest beginnings--may be a reality after all. And their survival to tell us may be a warning from the light.
But wait a minute! My objective reasoning, my training in the sciences makes me shameful for even considering such flourishes of the whimsical! There is no objective evidence of such an existence! There is no truly objective evidence of such a being of light so described by these patients! But then, there really would not be any physical evidence of such an existence or of such a light. After all, they are not physical to begin with. But I will tell you one thing, it might not be such a bad idea if every one of us tried--every time we made a decision or performed some action--to consider if the consequences of our decision or the consequences of our behavior will produce good or ill, will be truly fair or unfair, and rendered out of love and concern. And it might not be a bad idea if we stop and think before we act that at some point our act will be examined and reviewed by some...being...some warm and loving light that exists in another reality. We might behave differently if we really believed that each of us will be held accountable for our behavior in this life. I wonder how different the world would be if each of us took just a brief second to consider the consequences of our actions on our fellows. And ultimately on that quality in each of us that just might survive the physical life.
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