Manual Revelations of Profound Love: New Insights into the Power of Love from Near-Death Experiences

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That is not how I wanted to turn out to be. That is not what I wanted to learn, just to be brilliant in my head but the rest of my being not involved. So that became a turning point, and at that time I started—. That was a type of near-death experience, would you say? It was a near-death experience. I was at the end of my undergraduate school when I had a traffic accident. But I recognized myself as a body of light, as a body of pure, brilliant light, of different qualities and different intelligences.

From there, I saw, I could go to the body, to the physical world, or I could go to another direction, which seemed totally free, totally peaceful, totally blissful. And out of that body of light, out of that [inaudible] emanated love and joy, that directed me directly to go back to the physical, to go to the world. Because there was something I loved to do and I enjoyed doing, although it would be more difficult. HA: So I think that near-death experience basically brought to consciousness something I was presuming without knowing consciously I was presuming.

I was interested in the truth, but I was seeing it not accurately. And that began the process, because what I experienced in that near-death experience, I was not able to experience in fullness until several years later. It took a lot of practice, a lot of work to be able to experience that purity of consciousness. TS: When you say it took a lot of practice, a lot of work, in these early days, what was the practice that you were doing?

HA: Well, I met many teachers. I worked with teachers, I did lots of meditations and prayers—many things, I followed Tibetan Buddhists, I followed Sufi teachers, I worked with psychologists and therapists, I met Hindu teachers. I did many things for several years. But then, at some point—and also therapy of different kinds.

Basically, I wanted to open up myself. TS: And then you said several years later, there was some type of experience that brought you back into this state of purity that you encountered in the near-death experience. Can you tell us more about that? HA: Well, so I had many experiences when I [was] working with many teachers and traditions.

The presence of true nature, which is [a] self-aware sense of being. And it felt, to me, at that time, [that it was] the beginning, really, of the path. Just that by itself was worth living my life. If I died at that time, I would just be so [excited]. But it turned out that was just the beginning. And after that, details began to be revealed, details about what this presence is about: its qualities, its dimensions, its wisdom.

And presence is what we really are. They talk about lights or awareness or love. But I experienced it as presence. HA: Some teachings emphasize love. Some teachings emphasize devotions. Some teachings emphasize awareness or emptiness. And all of those, I got to learn, at some point, but I learned them through the presence. It is right now, this moment. I was feeling actual pure consciousness or self-aware presence. People, when they experience presence, they will know it. They might mistake it to mean presence of mind, presence of awareness, I am attentive, I am feeling my body.

All these are the facts of presence, not the presence. The presence is the true nature, the spiritual nature itself, the spirit itself manifesting itself, appearing as what I am, recognizing I am the spirit. Not the beginning experience of it, though. But it is, for me, just being with it, being that.

The Story of One Man's Profound Near Death Experience - P1/2

It grew and developed and unfolded and revealed the teaching, and evolved on its own to show me not only [that] I am present, but this presence is love, this presence is peace, this presence is joy, clarity, emptiness, truth. And also, ultimately, it is the nature of everything, the whole universe. So can you help me understand that? What is a true individual? One thing that the presence revealed in time or evolved into or manifested itself as, as part of the teaching, is that reality is—the spiritual world is a whole world. Just like when we think of the physical world, we think of the earth and the planets and galaxies and suns and stars and all of that, and people and forces.

Well, the spiritual universe is like that, too. It has many things in it. At the same time, however, it has its basic ground. Everything is made out of that. The same thing with the spiritual universe. There is the basic ground, through nature, but that manifests itself in many forms, in many ways, that are all pure and authentic just [as] the ground is pure and authentic. And there are many of those qualities—love is one of them.

The feeling of love is not just simply presence. I could feel myself as just pure presence with no qualities, or I could feel this presence as sweet, as melty, as appreciative, as effulgent and giving and generous and beautiful. That makes it—so the presence manifests itself as love, so it forms itself into that. And that is something, I think, is rare in many spiritual teachings. It will be difficult to find it in Eastern teachings. But this person is really the same presence, the same purity, the same perfection that is awareness that is love, but as a person.

Many teachings will, right away, dismiss it as ego because they think it can only be personal ego. But there are teachings [that] know about it, and the Diamond Approach is one of them. TS: How do we understand the difference between our individuality and our ego identity?

How do we know what this true, essential person is? HA: Very simple. There is individuality of ego.

Enduring Love

The ego is, of some kind, an individual entity. And the sense of a real person—it feels like an individual, but I will call it more a person than an individual. And the difference is that the ego, when you experience the individuality of ego, first of all you see it has patterns. There are fixed patterns to the way it thinks, behaves, plans, and the patterns are historical, they have history, they have emotion, they have beliefs, they have ideas. So the individuality of ego—you will find out, when you explore it—it is constructed through history, through our experiences that we went through in our history from childhood, and before childhood.

Throughout our lives we have impressions that affect our consciousness, and from that they become constellated, a sense of being an individual with a certain character. But that individual, [that] character, is bound by its history, by its impressions. It cannot strike out and become and be something outside of those patterns. Now, the individuality though nature, the real person, is not related to history that way. And also, the individual ego, when you explore it, you realize it involves images, beliefs, memories, and emotions and reactions.

Well, the real person has no images or beliefs.

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So that person has, at its command, the knowledge of history without the history patterning or determining or conditioning who one is. So the real person is a person being, a personal presence. Presence is manifesting itself in the personal way that responds to other human beings as persons. So first of all—. HA: Well, I mean, that question is not just related to being a person of presence.

It has to do with spiritual realization in general. All spiritual realization needs to be free from your history. All teachings, not just [mine]. Enlightenment is, by definition, that what you are and what you do right now is informed by history but not constrained by it. HA: Good. We could all tune [into]—but when it comes to personhood, my personhood is different from your personhood. So that sort of puts this discussion of personhood in a different category, because each one of us has our own personhood, yes?

There is uniqueness to the personhood. However, people express it differently, respond to it differently. But love is love. Same thing with personhood. Think of it as a quality, like love or like peace. However, it expresses itself uniquely for each individual.

I cannot not be informed by my history. And [one] lives in the world among the people of the world, who are unaware of the spiritual realm, to find some kind of precious gem that is usually guarded by a monster or a dragon or something. It feels like a pearl. TS: Now, you said, Hameed, that, yes, not many traditions talk about this discovery of personhood and the importance of personhood. Why do you think that is? There are many traditions that talk about it implicitly. Like in Western traditions, they talk about it implicitly. They talk about—if you think of the Sufis—the Sufis, their aim or their ultimate is a complete human being.

A complete human being, for them, is a person. Same thing in the Kabbalah. Now, in the Eastern tradition, they think being the boundless, infinite spirit is it. Because our times, in our Western culture, and the fact of the development—of how Western culture developed in such a way that personal freedom is important, human rights [are] important, and secularism and freedom of choice. All of these things are really qualities of the person, of the real person.

So the West developed it, but developed it not on the spiritual level, developed it to[only] a certain degree. And the real person, for me, is the next step: how to fill out that form with something real, something substantial, something with the real flesh and bones of the person. So the West in general emphasizes the sense of person, but because of the way the thing developed, it became more of the ego person. We need to go to another stage: how the person becomes a real person.

In the East, there are some teachings [that] refer to the precious pearl, like some of the Taoist teachings. And they say it is in the shape of a luminous pearl. You find it in some of the Tibetan iconography, you find pearls all over the place. For years or so, psychology has become such an important part of the culture. The culture is actually more psychological than spiritual or philosophical. Because of psychology, it makes it possible to learn about the person directly, because the real person—as the stories say—you find it in the world.

And our psychology helps us to deal with everyday life in a way that we can handle it—in a good way, in a way that is optimal. And I think for me, in my work, it became very handy, actually, because the personhood [is] in some sense the metabolism of our personal history. All of our personal history, all that we come through, by understanding it, going through it, feeling it, experiencing it, making it conscious—not just witnessing it, really immersing ourselves and understanding—it becomes metabolized, it becomes digested.

And the final outcome of that metabolism is the Personal Essence, the real person. And I wonder if you can talk some about that. So you see, the division between psychology and spirituality, first of all, is a recent development. Maybe it happened [in] the last , years or so.

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Before that, psychology, philosophy, and spirituality were all the same thing. They got divided by the Enlightenment and the Renaissance, [which] developed specialization of sciences; one of them became psychology. Before that, it was part of spiritual work. Any spiritual tradition had its psychology. Like the Sufis have the knowledge of the nafs, of the soul. Kabbalah has the knowledge of the nefesh, the neshamah, which is the further stage of the soul. Same thing with Christianity.

Buddhism had its psychology. So did the yogic psychologies of the Indian tradition. However, now in modern times, we have our own psychology. But traditional teachings distance themselves from modern psychology because it is different than the psychology they use. HA: That brings up the question of our individual consciousness—what the Buddhist Tibetans will call the subtle stream of consciousness, or the Christians will call the soul. Each one of us, we have our own individual consciousness.

And the consciousness is individual. This individual consciousness has many capacities in it and many dimensions or facets to it. It can think, it can feel, it can sense, it can have a spiritual experience, it can be clear or it can be muddled, it can be empty or full, it can expand to become the whole universe or it can contract to just become the physical body.

And this individual consciousness has all of [this] in it: it has the mind, with its thoughts and psychology; it has the heart, with its emotions and the spiritual heart; it has the spirit, with its qualities of radiance and presence. So when we recognize ourselves as this consciousness, these things are not really separate. So it is that recognition that I had. In fact, my original recognition [that] I mentioned to you, when I felt I was connected with all of humanity, I was experiencing presence.

I was experiencing the individual consciousness that was alive and dynamic, that was animating the body, but its core is spiritual, that was connected with all other human individual consciousness. And that consciousness has all of it in it. Because of the beginning experience, I began with a consciousness that was not just pure spirit—because spirit is just a dimension of this consciousness—but has in it a thinking apparatus, has in it the feeling of emotion.

I saw that they were all dimensions of the same being, the same consciousness. So in my mind, it never really got separated because of my experience. Plus the fact [that] I had teachers who also influenced me who were consciously, intentionally, trying to unify psychology and meditation or psychology and spiritual work. I learned mediation of various kinds, I learned prayers, I learned chanting, I learned many kinds of spiritual techniques. However, the inquiry in the Diamond Approach is a very specific kind.

It is imbued, guided by, and pervaded by the presence, with its qualities. And that is, I think, is a new method. And it is a very powerful and amazing method. It is a passionate, deep recollection of life. Throughout the experience, in the ninth stage, one strongly senses an absence of time, a sense of timelessness and even spacelessness. However, the notion of compression or restriction has no bearing on the experience, since it occurs fully to the individual. Ultimately, in the tenth stage of near-death, the person comes upon a kind of barrier, whether as a door, a bridge, or some other hindrance, which apparently separates life in this world from life in the next.

This is the overall picture depicted. To be sure, not every person reporting a near-death experience encounters all these stages, and certainly they do not always occur in the same sequence. Some experience one or two of the events, and some encounter more.

Not a model per se, these stages form more of a general template. How far a person goes into the experience depends on whether the person experienced clinical death and, if so, for how long. The longer one was assumed dead, the deeper and further he or she seems to travel. For some people, this occurs as a growing awareness of all-embracing and loving light encountered in the seventh stage. Others speak of sensing the presence of deceased relatives or friends who come to greet the soul as it drifts away.

Before these possibilities are explored according to the perspective of the Torah, bear in mind that, while simple speculation is for the most part meaningless, save as a mental exercise, there are many who find exploring these issues intriguing and even comforting. To the finite being, the perception of reality—physicality and spirituality—operates on a completely different plane from that of the ethereal, and the chasm dividing the two worlds is irreconcilable and impossible to bridge.

There is much validity to this assumption, and precisely because of this no living being, no matter what his or her expertise or genius, can truly approximate what the afterlife is really like. Even Moses, the greatest of the prophets, declined to offer details regarding what awaits man in the hereafter.

Yet, it is also true that creation was originally patterned in a way that allows the divide to be traversed and the partition to be overcome, albeit for a short period of time. All reality is one, all universes are interlinked and interlaced. What begins as lively spirit manifests later in the process of creation as lame matter. Reification is merely a culmination of the processs that starts with pure, divine energy; later, souls become constituted within three-dimensional, concrete objects.

Revelation is a means through which the transcendent becomes available to the living. The Torah, which was offered at Mount Sinai, is revelation par excellence. Through Torah meditation we are empowered to pierce the veil, lift the screen, and take a peek into a reality that is far beyond and deep within. The transmission of divine wisdom is available through the Torah, accessible for all who will to fathom. Throughout history there were, and there always are, highly sensitive and spiritual individuals who are able to tap into realms of existence that are beyond the immediate.

Quite frankly, the echo of Sinai has never ceased- it is only humanity who has distanced and alienated themselves from this experience, to a point where he is no longer able to hear the voice. Some evolved, extraordinary souls, and occasionally some ordinary souls in extraordinary moments, are able to relive Sinai through being receptive to the deeper truths that are otherwise unnoticed and undetectable- they can perceive the deepest aspects of creation. Death and sleep are closely related, two states of being allied with each other.

The sages of the Talmud teach that sleep is a sixtieth of death. In this sense, sleep is a mini form of death. During these nocturnal journeys, it is possible for the higher levels of the soul to inform the lower ones that remain earthbound. For those who are entirely integrated—aligning the most external of personality with the most internal, those whose outer will expresses their inner will, whose thoughts, speech, and actions are in sync with their innermost soul desires—such people will have a conscious awareness.

Others may also become aware without understanding higher dimensions more intuitively and less consciously. Evidently this body of knowledge is not merely folklore or hyperbole, suggestions or speculation. Instead, these are teachings that have been verified by the direct experience of the transmitter, only to be later transcribed and documented as written testimony. While there is the possibility to interpret these incidents as cases of resuscitation as opposed to resurrection, reviving as opposed to offering new life, traditionally many of these events were viewed as literal resurrections, returning the dead to life.

Beyond resurrection people have been described as undergoing what can be said to be a near-death experience. He spoke of an inverted, reversed universe, where everything appeared to be the opposite of what reality seems to be here on earth: humble people were placed on pedestals, while those who formerly considered themselves superior were seated below. Upon his recovery he told R. Yosi that his soul had in fact left his body, and was brought before the throne of the King. Once the soul leaves the body, it experiences tremendously heightened awareness, both of self and of everything else that is going on near the body.

Even if the near-death experience is not an indication of an after-life, there is still a peculiar phenomenon that science cannot adequately explain. One would expect consciousness to slow and shut down as the physical brain increasingly deadens and unravels-but amazingly, the exact opposite occurs.

Reality appears to be more real, perception more vivid, and there is a total expansion of consciousness. On a metaphysical level, this can be understood as a result of the soul unhinging itself from the constriction of the material brain. When the soul leaves the body, the expansion of awareness is no longer filtered through the ego or the sensory functions, hence awareness is completely lucid and transparent.

The soul perceives everything that is spoken in front of the lifeless body. Even after burial, for the first three days the soul hovers over the body and observes. In the second stage, as the person realizes that he is no longer among the living, a sense of ease, peace, and painlessness sets in. Even if, up to the point of death, fear or apprehension were experienced, the moment a person senses the soul leaving the body there is a complete absence of any anxiety, fright, or panic. Yet this is not always the case.

This depends on the level of spiritual integration a person has attained in the moment of death. Later we will discuss why some—though, optimistically speaking, few in number—experience fear and anguish while their soul wrestles itself out of physical form. For the most part, the transition from one life to the next is smooth, painless, and utterly peaceful.

In the next stage many report hearing an uncomfortable hissing sound. Undoubtedly, however this noise is explained, it has no physical resonance; otherwise everyone around would also hear it. Pleasant acoustic sounds and harmonies appear to represent a sense of cosmic order universally; conversely, acoustic dlssonance and disharmony symbolize an atmosphere of chaos and agony.

While explicit coloration of this experience is not found in its pages, the Talmud does mention sounds that the soul generates when leaving the body, and also speaks of the cosmic noise created by the movement of the celestial spheres. The hissing may be somewhat related to this cosmic sound, and whether it is heard as pleasant or annoying depends on the spiritual stature of the individual. The more distilled, transparent version of the body, which is the guf dak, is the body prototype, the prefiguration that existed as primordial form prior to the emergence of our physical bodies.

Everything a person performs-thoughts, feelings, or actions-has multi-layered and multi-dimensional effects. A mental manifestation, a projected image, is exuded through every action a person does or does not do: positive vibrations emit positivity, while negativity ejects negativity. Mitzvot create a refined ethereal form, while transgressions produce negatively charged energy that infuses the soul and its garments. When people who have experienced near-death speak of an ethereal body that is perfect, without pain or handicaps, it can be assumed that the creator of this body was a good person.

Guf dak has no coarse representation and is therefore barely discernible in physical terms. Whether scientifically observed or not the guf dak, is for the most part undetectable to the physical eye. Sometimes, though, people do get a glimpse of their reality, and occasionally they receive a good deal more than a glimpse.

It is said that, after he passed away, Rabbi Yehudah the Prince would appear every Friday evening in ethereal form and recite kiddush, the preliminary blessings over a cup of wine before the Shabbas meal, for his family. The physical act of saying kiddush involves standing with an overflowing wine cup in one hand, over which blessings are pronounced; the person saying klddush then sits, passing the cup to the other hand and taking a full drink of the wine, before distributing what remains in the cup to the others at the table. This action is tangible, witnessed by all present, so it would be assumed that R.

Yehudah was in some way physically real enough to perform the ritual. The story of R. Some, though not all, phenomena of this nature can be scientifically explained and substantiated. Alternatively, it may also be a case where a soul-or in some instances an angelic figure descends and enwraps itself within a guf dak or a malbush, becoming noticeable to those who experience heightened awareness.

Inevitably this topic opens the door to discussing the general idea of ghosts, spirits, apparitions, phantoms, and all the invisible entities or energies that many feel permeate our own sphere of reality. Those who profess a belief in such entities speak of a sixth sense that resonates and picks up vibrations thrown off by these forces.

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Spirits in this sense are viewed as a presence of the past, specifically expressed. Centuries ago, prior to the modern revolution of science, any force that was indiscernible but somehow felt was attributed to the world of spirits. Accordingly, a fair number of scientifically oriented individuals speak of apparitions as a kind of illusion, a mental image originating in the mind that is projected as an external entity.

Illusory perception is indeed how some authentic interpreters treat a classical biblical tale regarding necromancy. The book of Samuel tells the story of King Saul and the witch. Before a ruler engaged in battle in Biblical times, he would first ask the prophet whether he thought it was a good idea, and the prophet in turn would enter a prophetic state and seek divine guidance. Soon after the demise of the prophet Samuel, the Philistines appeared to be mustering for war.

Saul, having exhausted every possible means to procure divine counsel, felt he was left with no other option but to summon the soul of the Samuel through witchcraft, even though this was against Torah law. Disguising himself as a simple traveler, Saul left his palace and visited a witch. She did not recognize the king, but was able to raise the prophet, and Saul communicated with the departed master. While most traditional commentaries view this episode as a genuine exchange between a deceased soul and a living person, there are some who interpret the incident as a case of elaborate imagination and a piece of chicanery, without a kernel of truth.

Saul experienced an illusory conversation, perceiving it as genuine—he was simply fooled by the witch and his own desires. Besides the work of imagination that may come into play, there is also a rational explanation for sighting spirits, one that is not connected to the supernatural or paranormal. All recordings are made through the imprinting of an image or sound on a certain type of receptive medium.

A visual image, a picture is created when light activates the proper chemicals to produce photochemical reactions. In a photograph, the image is transferred to the medium-first the photosensitive film, which is then converted into a negative, and later it is produced on a sheet of paper. The object appears to be present, when all that is really there is a picture of the object. In a case where photographic images are not feasible, the scientifically minded resort to the idea of illusory perception as a simple, complete explanation. From a spiritual perspective, however, imagination and reality are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

To declare something illusory does not automatically mean that the hallucinated object has no external properties. All illusion can be an unclear, possibly even lucid, vision of something that does in fact exist. For these externally existing objects, the only way they can be perceived is not through the normative ways of thinking-the way the mind processes three-dimensional realities-but through the more imaginative faculties resident in the human being. The next step in the near-death experience is perceived as a tunnel. The tunnel itself is something of an intermediary stage connecting the two very different fields of reality.

Midrashic sources speak of the Machpeila, the burial site of Adam, Eve, the Patriarchs, and most of the Matriarchs. After the soul passes from this world, it journeys through the cave of Machpeila en route to a higher realm of existence. In the stage that follows, one may encounter family and deceased friends as ethereal, lightweight entities, glowing within a radiant light. Angelic figures also make their appearance at this point. Esoteric Torah teachings speak of close relatives, friends, and occasionally teachers, who come to accompany the soul to the place of eternal rest.

They serve as guides to initiate the soul into the universe of bodiless consciousness. Husbands and wives find each other in the afterlife, and generally families reunite come together within gan eden. It goes without saying that there is immense spiritual excitement in heaven when souls realize that their beloved ones are about to join them. The Talmud mentions celebrated historical figures coming to greet souls who may have had aspecial connection with them. References to angels are found throughout the entire body of Torah.

There are arch-angels and there are sub-angels, there are angels that were created at the beginning of time, and there are angels that are continuously being brought into existence throughout the unfolding of time. Some angels were created before humankind, while others are created by humankind. Angels are messengers and transmitters of energy. An angel is a spiritual conduit, a qualitative reality that receives divine plenty from one realm and transmits it to another, and vice versa. Angels are the channels through which divine energy flows upward and downward, ascending and descending.

Essentially, every force of creation is an angel. Being lodged in a three-dimensional universe, a world apprehended with the five constricting senses, man is unable to perceive what operates on other wave frequencies. An angel may embody and project itself to a human being in a human-like form, or for that matter it may assume a malbush, so that man can recognize and identify its presence. Yet these are only assumed forms, and the true, inner essence of angelic reality cannot be distinguished or detected by any physical instrument or operative system.

Angelic and physical reality functions on two dissimilar wavelengths, with polarized, organizing principles and functional rules. There are classic opinions that speak of angels as a refined aspect of fire; others confirm that angels are comprised of distilled fire and wind; and there are yet others who speak of angels existing in any one of the four basic elements: fire, wind, water, or earth.

Still, the majority view holds that angels are divested of all materiality, and all opinions agree that angelic properties, if there are any, are radically different from anything experienced in a three-dimensional universe. For lack of a better way of communicating their characteristics, we may picture the indescribable essence of angels as a pillar of light—for light is the one property that is detectable though physically ungraspable, observable yet elusive and intangible. After a person passes, the soul is welcomed and joined by angels. In fact, there are two or three angels that travel with us throughout life.

These are what we call guardian angels, the angels that walk with us wherever we go. These spiritual manifestations chronicle and retain records of our life, of all our actions, thoughts, words, and experiences. Everything we do, think, or feel creates an energy that assumes an objective reality, and that force itself is an accurate capsule of our life and actions. Every thought, action, and experience, on a cosmic level, gives rise to angelic energy. This arrangement works both ways: positive actions inspire and create positive forces, while negative actions create negative vibrations.

Since angels are identified as light, so are souls.

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Proof of Heaven

Every human being has an individual advocate above, an angelic force that guides, and the image of a person below is a mirror reflection of the angelic image above. To the person dying, radiant lights form a metaphor he employs to express what it felt to experience the full articulation of the soul, unhindered and unrestricted by the body. Besides these ethereal light beings, one of the more prominent experiences of the near-death encounter is sensing the presence of an all-embracing, loving, and warming light-a radiant brightness that many identify with God.

A soul does not leave this realm of existence until God is seen. No soul departs from this world before the appearance of the shechinah, the divine feminine aspect. As a result of the deep longing to reunite with the shechinah, the soul gently passes on and moves onward into the light. Light is employed to capture the ineffable. The inner core, the essence of the Creator, cannot categorically be contextualized or quantified.

No conventional language or poetic imagery can do justice to that which transcends all definitions. Universally, light is used as the image for enlightenment, wisdom, and warmth. Seeing the great light may be one way human beings entrenched in dimensionality can describe what is beyond dimensions. To those souls who feel as one with the light, it is welcoming, emanating unconditional love and comfort, while for those souls who feel disconnected, the very same light appears threatening, overwhelming, and blinding.

At a crucial point, often sometime during the above sequence, the dying person experiences a total life review, where a sort of panoramic view of his or her entire life is replayed. As we have discussed, nothing-and no things- are ever lost. Everything is recorded, and no experience, impression, sensory intake, thought, speech, or action ever vanishes.

All of life is accurately transcribed, and will one day be played back to us. When a soul passes into the next world, all of life is brought in front of him or her to be appraised and reevaluated. Everything resurfaces to consciousness, and at this stage there is an individual assessment of each thought, feeling, or action—and of how they affected the other people around us. Customarily in this life review, everything in life appears at once, without a sequence or progression, and the entire picture of life is on display as one image, as a single snapshot.

Speaking of the life review, one Midrashic source implies that the accompanying angels who travel along with a person throughout life will be the ones to bear witness to his or her behavior. Other sources speak of the soul bearing witness, perceiving a kind of life-trajectory where the soul reviews and estimates its own evolution. Other sources conclude that it is the limbs of the body that actually testify. The point here is that all of life is imprinted on the psyche of the human being: either the encoding is in the surrounding aura, the angel-like energy enveloping us, or in our soul, or perhaps even within our limbs.

Nothing is ever lost, and one day all of life will reappear and once again become manifest. All our memory is received, recorded, and retained in a spiritual place, and perhaps the material brain is nothing more than an antenna that beams and transmits to consciousness selected memory. Everything is registered, and then the brain selectively funnels through and allows to pass only the critical information that it deems essential for our own survival.

As the limiting brain is no more, there can be total recall and a unified measure of consciousness. In a clear state, as such, all of life becomes crystallized, and one is allowed to observe and remember the entire life, the good as well as the opposite: whether the viewing is a pleasant event or not essentially depends on what is being shown. In the course of experiencing a life review, many report appearing in front of something like a board of judgment.

If negativity shows up in the image, a process of cleansing is in order. Life and the hereafter are one seamless whole. What occurs in the afterlife is an extension of what occurred in life. Negativity in this life, whether by omission or commission, by act or by attitude, disconnects the doer from his inner self, and the effects, which are carried over into the next realm of existence, do not allow for soul reengagement and its return to Source. The force that holds the soul from soaring upward, the power that weighs the soul down instead of surging higher, is the gravitational pull of negativity.

Our actions or inactions themselves allow us to fly up or sink us lower, in this life and in the next. Following the journey through life, one is shown a recording of his or her life, as if watching a film, and then is asked to pass a judgment. Since the ego and its appendage, the internal defense mechanism, are fading at this point, the dispensed judgment is objectively offered with openness and fairness.

Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich

Once judgment is given, the soul is informed that the vision was a reflection of its life. The verdict is given by the person, albeit unaware that its verdict was a self-judgment. The moral of this is, tutor yourself to be less judgmental and it will serve you well, in the present and in your afterlife. If you are in the habit of being non-judgmental, when you do pass judgment here, if you do so fairly, in the afterlife you will appraise yourself sympathetically.

There is a life-review after death and before death, during the moments when a person is moving on into the next world. Timelessness is felt throughout the near-death experience, where everything appears to occur instantaneously. Everlastingness is not felt- rather eternity-and there is a marked distinction between the two. Everlastingness is the sequence of time itself, forever unfolding, while eternity lies outside the realm of time. The experience of eternity, as timelessness and spacelessness, is appreciated as a sense of operating in a universe that is unrelated to time or space.