My mission, as I have shared in previous blog posts, is to bring Heaven on Earth and to help others do so as well. I have been actively claiming that as my mission this past year. But what do I mean by heaven and what does heaven mean to you?
When I was doing research recently, I came across a number of books with “heaven” in the title. Many relate to experiences of those who came close to dying, but returned to life in their same body. Others focus on the theology of heaven and who has access (or not) once we shuffle off this “mortal coil”. Some relate to experiences of individuals who choose past life regressions to deal with current life issues.
Although there is no agreement among theologians and scientists, neither can escape the reality that evidence of very similar experiences is mounting in support of concept of life after life that is at least as good as any religious depiction – and one that is not as exclusive as religious authorities have espoused. In fact, the experience of life after life in a human body seems quite inclusive and welcoming to even those who were not believers of any sort before having a near death experience (NDE).
One of the premier experts on NDEs, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, performed over 20,000 case studies of NDEs. She never published them because she believed that believers would believe without the evidence, and non-believers won’t believe no matter what proof is offered to them. I was amazed to find out that this psychiatrist who is now widely esteemed was hounded by criticizers through most of her career. She almost gave up her studies because of her attackers. Thankfully, she continued because she could see how her patients benefitted from her services. Other medical professionals were afraid to take care of the dying and thought those who talked about NDEs were crazy or hallucinating.
A more recent expert on NDEs is Dr. Eban Alexander, a neurosurgeon who had his own NDE which he described in his book, Proof of Heaven. He thought the particular circumstances of his NDE would refute the alleged scientific explanation that they were only a creation of the neocortex. Since his experience occurred while his neocortex was not functioning due to bacterial meningitis, he thought that his experience might convince the medical community to take the growing evidence more seriously. He seems to be finding many of the blocks that Dr. Kubler-Ross encountered. Critics are still doubting that NDE portrayals, which are so numerous and so similar, hold any truth.
In his second book, Map of Heaven, Dr. Alexander makes a case for why it is important for each of us to understand that there is more to life than what we know in our physical bodies. He says, “Without knowledge of the larger geography of where we came from and where we are going again when our physical bodies die, we are lost.” My take on this is that understanding heaven is integral to our understanding life. If we separate and compartmentalize the two, we deprive ourselves of the esoteric aspects of life that are available to us. The qualities of peace, love, joy, and harmony grow as we recognize that heaven is part of our earthly experience. Keeping them separate is an artificial construction that is based in denial of truth we can know through our internal senses.
That is why I believe it is so important for each of us to actually live Heaven on Earth – to find ways to know peace, love, joy, and harmony in our daily lives, recognizing that these are the gifts of Spirit that await us after death and yet are accessible to us here and now.
Having said that, I recognize that living Heaven on Earth is not easy. I find challenges all the time. However, when I catch myself feeling angry, sad, or discouraged, I find a way to turn it around – not always in an instant, but what helps me is to know that there is so much more to life than this physical existence. Pioneers like Drs. Kubler-Ross and Alexander have helped show us the truth. It is up to us to use the evidence to life better – for ourselves and others.
Namaste and Happy New Year. Hope 2015 brings a lot of Heaven your way.