Posted: April 2, 2012;
Updated: Apr 19, 2012 (See comments)
Below are Nick's excerpts from Kenneth Ring's Lessons from the Light: what we can learn from the near-death experience.
NEK: Based on my "DCOE" of August 2001 I have lots of things to say, clarify and extend on about the following and more:
1.0 p.287-8 (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)
"...it was a telepathic understanding... I could feel it... the message was 'Yes, for most people, depending on where you are coming from, it could be Jesus, it could be Buddha, it could be Krishna, whatever... what it is (is it?) really?... it turned into a matrix, a mandala of human souls, and what I saw was that what we call our higher self in each of us is a matrix. It's also a conduit to the source; each one of us comes directly, as a direct experience [from] the source. And it became very clear to me that all the higher selves are connected as one being, all humans are connected as one being, we are actually the same being, different aspects of the same being."
2.0 p.288: "And I was taken into the Light and, to my surprise, through it, poom! Like some kind of sound barrier, so that I went through it. And if you can imagine the higher self being - it looks more like a conduit than a being, a navel cord, or something like that. At the time, it seemed like I was being propelled somewhere. I don't know if I was moving anywhere in space, but suddenly I could see the world fly away. I could see the solar system fly away. I could then see galaxies and - it went on."
2.1. Eventually I got the feeling that I was going through everything that had ever been. I was seeing it all - galaxies became little stars, and superclusters of galaxies, and worlds upon worlds, and energy realms - it was just an amazing sight to behold. And it felt like I was zooming somewhere but I really think it was my consciousness just expanding at such a rapid rate. And it happened so quickly but it was in such detail that there came another light right at me and when I hit this light, it was like I dissolved or something. And I understood at that moment that I passed the big bang. That was the first light ever and I went through the big bang. That's what happened. I went through that membrane into this - what I guess the ancients have called the Void. Suddenly I was in this void and I was aware of everything that had ever been created. It was like I was looking out of God's eyes. I had become God."
2.3. "...And suddenly I knew why every atom was, and I could see everything... And I know something very deep happened there."
2.4. "And then the experience reversed. I went back through the big bang and I understood at that point that everything since the big bang, since what they call the first word, is actually the first vibration. There was a place before any vibration at all."
3.0 p.289 "...this time I could see everything in its energy form, its pure essence, as if I could see you as an atomic form. And it was quite a sight to see the entire universe as we know it as an energy form, and all of it interacting, and all of it having its place and reactions and resonances. It was just an unbelievable dance that was going on."
"...(the matrix of human souls was) more than human souls. Human souls were a part of it. What I saw as I came back through was that whole Gaia thing, and this is before I even knew what Gaia was. I saw that the solar system we live in is our larger, local body. This is our local body and we are much bigger than we imagine. I saw that the solar system is our body. I am a part of this, and the earth is this great created being that we are, and we are the part of it that knows that it is. But we are only that part of it. We are not everything, but we are that part of it that knows that it is.
4.0 p.290 (Ring:) "...(Mellon's) vision is one of absolute wholeness in which all things are connected in a living cosmic web of organic unity."
"Because all things are truly one within this vision of life, we human beings - indeed, all living creatures - are one body indivisible and, as such, not separate from God either, but His every manifestation.
5.0 p.291 (Ring:) "...these voyages to the primordial Light, though taken by only a relative handful of individuals, seem to constitute a shared vision of the ultimate nature of reality. But everyone tells the story somewhat differently, though with similar metaphors."
6.0 p.292 (Howard Storm)
"People who have had near-death experiences...have described encounters with the light as being exposed to complete knowledge. Yet when they are asked what they remember, they recall few if any specifics. That's the way it was for me. At the time, I felt that I was in touch with everything, but subsequently, I couldn't recall the knowledge. And there was a period of time, during my presence in the great light, when I was beyond any thoughts. It is not possible to articulate the exchange that occurred. Simply stated, I knew God loved me."
7.0 p.293 (Norman Paulsen "Christ Consciousness")
"I am expanding as a sphere, moving outward in all directions at an incredible rate... Now there are all around me, creation's light abounding. Yes, your images are floating right through me - star systems, galaxies, universes. I exist in them and they in me... Ecstasy, I feel beyond the limits of all that I have ever conceived. (p. 198)"
7.1. "Now there within me, the image of the great Sphere of Creation appears, floating like an iridescent bubble in the infinite sea of life and consciousness of which I am a part. (p. 199)"
8.0 p.293-4 (Ring:) "Paulsen eventually returns to his body... but comments that as does so, he is aware of universes, galaxies, familiar star systems..."
9.0 p.294 "Here, we have an experience that has some obvious points of commonality with the NDEs I cited earlier in this section, and particularly with that of Mellen-Thomas, who also felt as if he was not so much making a journey through physical space as that his consciousness was expanding so as to encompass everything in the manifested universe until he reached its all-luminous source and, finally, the Void itself. ...it is worth pointing out that it appears to have been triggered by Paulsen's inner assent that he was willing to die, so in a sense it, too, might actually be regarded as a type of NDE in its own right.
Virginia Rivers (it sounds like this account is worth reading): "...the Ultimate Place of Total Realization."
9.1 "...In Ginny's description of her journey, we can see...that the full experience into the very heart of the Light confers every answer to life to the individual and leaves him or her with unshakable knowledge concerning the ultimate lessons we are to learn and practice while living here in a physical body. ..it is time to be entirely candid about the nature of this encounter: It is, in my view simply, undeniably, and incredibly one with God himself.
9.2 "The persons whose stories we are telling in this section have had a direct experience of and a personal revelation from God..."
10.0 p.295 "At that point, she lost consciousness, and her journey to the center of the universe and to the Source of All began."
10.1 "There was total peace; I was surrounded on all sides by a black void... No fear... no pain... just peace and comfort... complete panoramic view in all directions... surge of movement... I began to sense awareness, knowledge... My mind felt like a sponge, growing and expanding in size with each addition... I just seemed to be able to understand everything as it was being soaked up or absorbed. I could feel my mind expanding and absorbing and each new piece of information somehow deemed to belong. It was as if I had known already but forgotten or mislaid it... As each second passed, there was more to learn, answers to questions, meanings and definitions, philosophies, and reasons, histories, mysteries, and so much more, all pouring into my mind."
11.0 p.295-6 "...The love poured into me from all corners of the universe. ...No one spoke to me, nor did I hear voices in my head. The knowledge just seemed to 'BE'... until finally I had arrived at my destination."
12.0 p.296 "At once there was total and absolute awareness. There was not a question I could ask for which I did not already have the answer. ...I could not see God as I can see you. Yet I knew it was Him. A Light, a beauty emitting from within, infinitely in all directions to touch every atom of being. ...It was God, his love, his light, his very essence, the force of creation emanating to the ends of all eternity ...reaching out as a pulsing beacon of love to bring me "Home."
12.1 "Pure unadulterated, unselfish, ever-flowing, unconditional Love. ...(God) never spoke to me in words that I could hear with my ears, yet I heard his thoughts as clearly as words. ...compelling without demand...filled with more love than is possible to describe. ...No experience, no closeness has ever been so complete."
13.0 p.297 (Ring:) "Since she returned to physical life, which has been full of difficulties and challenges for her, Ginny has often expressed puzzlement to me and even deep frustration about what her task in life is."
13.1 (Ring:) "...She was, however, in such a state of despair that she wished only to die, and in a sense, she got her wish - and much more. You will also remember that Beverly is Jewish and that as a child, she had become an atheist...
14.0 p.298 "...There, before me, was the living presence of the Light. Within it I sensed an all-pervading intelligence, wisdom, compassion, love, and truth. There was neither form nor sex to this perfect Being. It... contained everything, as white light contains all the colors of a rainbow when penetrating a prism. And deep within me came an instant and wondrous recognition. I, even I, was facing God."
14.1 "I immediately lashed out at (God) with all the questions I had ever wondered about; all the injustices I had seen in the physical world. ...I discovered that God knows all your thoughts immediately and responds telepathically. My mind was naked; in fact, I became pure mind. The ethereal body which I had traveled in through the tunnel seemed to be no more; it was just my personal intelligence confronting that Universal Mind, which clothed itself in a glorious, living light that was more felt than seen, since no eye could absorb its splendor."
14.2 "...in the process of return, the insights that came so clearly and fully in Heaven were not brought back with me to Earth. ...I do remember this: There was a reason for everything that happened, no matter how awful it appeared in the physical realm. ...Indeed, it appears that all that happens is for a purpose, and that purpose is already known to our eternal self."
"In time the questions ceased, because I suddenly was filled with all the Being's wisdom. I was given more than just the answers to my questions; all knowledge unfolded to me, like the instant blossoming of an infinite number of flowers all at once. I was filled with God's knowledge, and in that precious aspect of (God's) Beingness, I was one with (God). But my journey of discovery was just beginning."
14.3 "Now I was treated to an extraordinary voyage through the universe. ...The impression I have now of this trip is that if felt like the universe is all one grand object woven from the same fabric. Space and time are illusions that hold us to our plane; out there all is present simultaneously. I was a passenger on a Divine spaceship in which the Creator showed me the fullness and beauty of all of (God's) Creation."
15.0 p.298-9 "...Everything faded except for a richly full void in which That and I encompassed All that is. Here, I experienced, in ineffable magnificence, communion with the Light Being. Now I was filled with not just all knowledge, but also with all love. It was as if the Light were poured in and through me. I was God's object of adoration; and from (God's)/our love I drew life and joy beyond imagining. My being was transformed; my delusions, sins, and guilt were forgiven and purged without asking; and now i was Love, primal Being, and bliss. ...It always was, is and shall be."
16.0 p.299 "...I was filled with an ecstasy beyond my wildest dreams. Here, in my body, the pain had all been removed."
16.1 "I felt now as if I had been made anew. I saw wondrous meanings everywhere; everything was alive and full of energy and intelligence."
16.2 "Although it's been twenty years since my heavenly voyage, I have never forgotten it. Nor have I, in the face of ridicule and disbelief, ever doubted its reality. Nothing that intense and life-changing could possibly have been a dream or hallucination. To the contrary, I consider the rest of my life to be a passing fantasy, a brief dream, that will end when I again awaken in the permanent presence of that giver of life and bliss."
16.3 "...And remember also that we are aspects of the one perfect whole, and as such are part of God, and of each other."
16.4 (Ring:) Can there be any doubt that Ginny Rivers and Beverly Brodsky both went to the same place - the Ultimate Source...?"
17.0 p.303 "...Please remember something that should be obvious: NDErs, though they may have seen the Light, are still human and have human failings. Not they, but only the Light should be exalted."Late evening, April 2, 2012:
ENK: Wow! Nick, this is huge! I need time to let it simmer before continuing. And to keep watch on our respective dreams for inner feedback on "intra-personal balance".
Note: Our email messages must have crossed, because Nick responded to my draft proposal for the upcoming Sunstone Symposium on the theme: Mormons and Mormonism as a Political Force, before getting my response to his excerpts from Lessons from the Light, asking for some time to reflect.
See: Father-son Dialogue, Part 3, 2012 Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium..
See: Father-son Dialogue, Part 3, 2012 Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium..