Born Again: Spiritual Awakening And Near-Death Experiences

June 27, 2012

Near-death survivors tell us stories of out of body experiences and spiritual awakening. How could it be possible for near-death experiences to result into religious experiences that would totally transform a person? Is it really possible to attain enlightenment through this experience?

Most people would perceive that spiritual awakening is associated with religious persona’s, like saints, yogis, and lamas. Therefore, ordinary people experiencing spiritual awakening can be both fascinating and frightening for some. There are some who intentionally journey towards enlightenment through meditation, yoga and other traditions and rituals. But there are others who experience spiritual awakening on their death-bed.

In an essay written by Dr. David San Filippo titled Religious Interpretations of NDEs, he stated that a “near-death experience (NDE) is a conscious experience in which the individual experiences a sense of being detached from the physical world during the process of physiological dying.”

Medically, near-death experiences as described by Dr. Filippo, is when the patient cannot breathe making the muscles in the heart to fail and powerful substances are released. Also, NDE survivors say that they would have an out-of-the-body experience, where the spirit or the soul detaches itself from the body. During these detachment, survivors can experience seeing darkness or the light, meeting spiritual and divine people, and somehow judging their lives.

In a survey performed in 1991, there were 13 million Americans or 5 percent of the population who report that they have experienced an NDE. Near-death experiences and spiritual awakening after them can actually transcend any culture and religion. Regardless, if the patient believes in the divine or Supreme Being, near-death experience could happen.

What happens during a near-death experience?

The survivor first feels a sense of being dead and peace. The soul or the spirit separates from the body and meets with different entities which have already passed away like family, friends, even angels and religious persona. The spirit seems to be rising into the air and encounter a Light which is often associated with the Supreme Being, whether it is God or Allah.

The survivor then senses what happened to their life and judges it. Commonly, the survivors feel reluctant on going back to the world of living. Survivors cannot sense any time or anything that would restrict them from going wherever they want.

There are significant psychological effects of these near-death experiences to the survivors. According to Dr. P.M.H. Atwater (People are dramatically Changed by NDEs), here are some the psychological effects which can also be somewhat referred to enlightenment or spiritual awakening:

• Unconditional love- NDE survivors turn themselves into fully loving and generous people who would wonder and express themselves to each person they see.
• Timelessness – survivors begin to follow the “flow” and tend to ignore schedules and time frames. They would shift their focus and give more importance on the present.
• Psychic – some survivors would wake up or return to the world of the living with heightened senses or extrasensory perception.
• The soul- survivors would show more interest on reincarnation and would later on accept this concept regardless of their previous belief. Since they have experienced the soul or the spirit separating from the body, they understand that the body is nothing but a coffer for the soul.
• Communication- NDE survivors display the use of new language or new vocabularies which is totally different with what they are used to speaking before.

These effects of NDE can be treated as spiritual awakening since the person transforms into a new person.

Following the Steps for Spiritual Awakening

June 16, 2012

People at times refer to it as a great realization. Sometimes it is known as a state of enlightenment. Whatever it might be called, the state of spiritual awakening is something that people realize. Some will offer guidelines and by following the steps for spiritual awakening will you only reach that state of enlightened spirit. And through these steps, people will soon realize or reach that level of awareness, enlightenment or spirituality. Some will argue, otherwise, saying that the awakening is a deep and often philosophical experience where man realizes his own true nature and finds ways how to maintain a balance life relative to his environment and thus only happens unplanned and often unexpectedly.

Depending on the line of thought, the approach, and the kind of book you’re reading or the teacher you’re following reaching spiritual awakening follows several rules or much more like guidelines. Some require complicated steps while others just require several kinds of meditations and the awakening you’re seeking will come eventually. Nonetheless, there are times where people need some guidance for attaining an awakened spirit. May it be specific steps or generic principles, people find it easier to reach a state of enlightenment.

Preparing yourself is a very good way to begin. Whether you believe in a step by step process or you only accept the fact the spiritual awakening happens only in a natural and more spontaneous way, preparing your self brings you closer to that goal. How? Believing truthfully that a certain level of awakening is possible is surely something that you should accept first. One should look deep down into oneself and recognizing your shortcomings and problems and identifying how they can relate to you and your environment.

As you discover more of yourself, take the opportunity to understand reality as well. Place yourself in the world you live in and see how you relate to it given all the things that you learned about yourself so far. Attaining an awakened or enlightened spirit comes from understanding the nature of the world and how you react to it and how you can impact it.

Learn the process of healing. Once issues and problems have been clearly identified, take the path of healing not only focusing on healing oneself but also promoting healing to others as well. This is an important aspect of reaching an awakened or enlightened state. Achieving balance is another. Balance with both the physical body and the spirit is the ideal state that we should aim for.

These are merely musings of what and how I think we prepare ourselves for that awakening of spirit. Like what I mentioned earlier, how your reach that state is relative. We can go on arguing for a whole day on the various steps or approaches on how enlightenment can be achieved and we forget that the whole point is having reached that level of consciousness. For me following steps for spiritual awakening is okay as long as you reached that state. Having received a sudden gush of spiritual enlightenment is also fine with me. The important thing is reaching that level. It doesn’t really matter anymore how you managed to do it, but rather what you can do now that you have reached that level. That I think is the more important issue that we need to address.