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Planet-Quaking Thunderclap: Paradigm Shift for the Near Death Experience,
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This review is from: Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing (Hardcover)
This is, in my opinion, the best book ever published in the English language (and I suspect any language) of a single near death experience. It may also be one of the most important books ever published on the way we treat and view ourselves. I have known the author personally for several years, but the above statement (and others like it below) are not a result of this. Rather, the exact reverse is the case: Anita's scintillating honesty, her authenticity on all aspects of her experience, the love and integrity of commitment between Anita and Danny (her husband) who saw her through the entire ordeal of cancer, her compassion and care for the healing of others through the self-realizing of their own Magnificence, her intelligent, playful, wholesomely un-guru-like personality in the wake of such an extraordinary event having happened to a human being, is precisely what generated the friendship. When I had a most difficult and delicate personal issue to deal with a few years ago, I chose Anita to confide in, even though we had not known each other very long. I disclose this fact only to illustrate how highly I rate this person's integrity and authenticity.
Those who know me on the NDE circuit know that I can also be a real stickler for evidence in the claims made for remarkable experiences (on this issue, more below), but with Anita it was just, purely and simply, never an issue. There is something about this kind of sincerity and honesty that just shines straight through, by the shortest path, like rays beaming through a stained glass window. I knew it. I saw it. And like the rays through the window, no one needed to say "we need to do some research to see if that is sunlight."
Anita is not a saint or an Ascended Master. I believe she would be horrified to be regarded as either. She is a real human being, not a Levitating Adept. She can be funny, silly, and just too plain fond of chocolate and ice cream, like the rest of us. In fact, I'm not yet *entirely* convinced that she didn't come back from the other side just for the ice cream...but that's another story.
Okay, so to the book. We've come a long way since Dante's Inferno haven't we? Sinners punished in an obsessive and disturbingly peculiar hierarchy of levels, each described in a kind of manic, fascinated detail (this is the Inferno, of course). Anita's book is like the absolute antipodes of the `Inferno'. Instead of a world in which we are already corrupt, fallen, sinful, begging for salvation, stamped on the foreheads with cosmic wrongness from the moment of our birth, Dying To Be Me inverts this picture and says no, that's all wrong. We are not miserable, "sinful", imperfect fleshly contraptions groveling at the divine chair for admission and redemption, in the hope that some pittance of grace will be tossed our way like pennies showered from the gloved and complacent hand of some passing monarch. Rather we ARE the divine, both occupant and chair, as well as tapestries, draperies, and the entire royal chamber. We don't need to seek grace because we are the grace that we seek. We don't need to hunt down, Sherlock Holmes style, the light of the divine, because the very act of arduous seeking blinds us to noticing ourselves as a powerful source of emission. This is Anita's message. How could we ever have fallen, before, for such a dysfunctional and crippling view of life and the cosmos? As if universal force creates us to pity us? To crush us down? To emphasize our smallness? The central message of this book is that we should simply *allow* the essential nature that nature herself intends for us.
For myself, the section on Anita's younger years in Hong Kong really helped fill in some blanks and bring to life the whole picture for me. Everything from eating at the Bladerunner-esque Dai Pai Dong in the street, to sipping tea from little cups with tigers or dragons on them, to the vivid depiction of the `hungry ghost festival" and leaving empty seats at the dinner table for the famished dead. More importantly, based on what I hear in this section, it now seems a lot more evident to me, from the patterns she discloses of her childhood, that her fear really was a principal causal factor in her illness. You can sense its systemic presence through all the chapters of her childhood; it is there always, like a crouching bear, this sense of inadequacy, of trying constantly to measure up to essentially impossible and unreasonable standards, and of course (at that stage of life) failing.
Turning to the issue of evidence, I don't think it is the most important thing in this case, but it is important enough in the subject at large, I feel, that I would like to mention it. The field of near death research is not without its problems. There are bogus experiences in circulation. Claims of medical events that evaporate when the least investigative pressure is brought to bear on them. These claims subtly (or not so subtly) undermine accounts like Anita's, because the public and the endless ranks of armchair experts, a nontrivial portion of which would still dearly like to dismiss ALL these experiences as not worth the paper they are printed on, are apt to tar all with the one brush. Well, the present account is not one of these. In fact, in terms of medical evidence presented, again even though I don't consider it the most important element of Anita's experience by far, it simply does not get any better than this in a published volume. The places and the doctors involved are named in the text. A full, detailed report written by a cancer specialist is included in the text. This is the only published near death experience I have seen, anywhere, EVER, that has got this right, and I have taken the trouble to make myself familiar with the great majority of them. The only comparison that even approaches was the case of Pam Reynolds, but that did not involve an anomalous healing. The evidential status of Anita Moorjani's case is singular and impeccable.
The cancer reversal is (in our worldly thinking anyway) the most remarkable aspect of Anita's story. The aforementioned cancer specialist had this to say in his report:
**minor spoiler alert**
"Based on my own experience and opinions of several colleagues, I am unable to attribute her dramatic recovery to her chemotherapy. Based on what we have learned about cancer cell behaviors, I speculate that something (non-physical..."information"?) either switched off the mutated genes from expressing, or signaled them to a programmed cell death. The exact mechanism is unknown to us, but not likely to be the result of cytotoxic drugs."
I have some background in biology, and genetics, and it is scarcely possible to overemphasize the significance of what is being said in this statement. But here's the problem: just another "medical fixit" is not going to solve this conundrum. There is *not going to be* an undiscovered protocol, a daring surgical procedure, a new type of scanner, an inrush of nanobots, a new cocktail of drugs worthy of being shaken and stirred by Tom Cruise...that is going to solve this matter. Because Anita was healed, self-healed, by direct unobstructed agency of the same universal life principle acting in her and through her, as gave rise to genes and bodies and doctors in the first place. All attempts to hunt the snark down other rabbit holes will finally lead to frustration. That was the "information" provided to the system. When Anita's consciousness was aligned in the native state with this universal source of life, aligned like Atman-Brahman, she said "I/We want to live", and since it was the universe itself that was saying it, there could scarcely be any dissenters.
Once that happened, what took place in the cells of the body was merely like "handing a clerk some forms to sign." The miracle was not that she was healed. Nothing short of a miracle, either on this earth or off it, could have *stopped* her from being healed.
This is the secret passage that medicine needs to explore, with humility and sincerity, if it really wants to deepen its potency for the ability to heal. Medicine has had its successes, and we should applaud those successes, but the fact is, even in a simple case such as bone-knitting, that nature does the healing, and we simply help to clear its path. That doesn't mean that we can't do anything. It doesn't mean there aren't intriguing possibilities and new directions to explore. But it does mean that just another mechanism, just another medicine, is not going to cut it. If the cause is in a high level (meaning-rich) expression or thwarted expression of the life principle, colloquially what we call the "spiritual", then messing around with pharmaceuticals and high tech instruments will be like trying to get rid of political corruption by deleting names from the telephone book.
Anita's particular cancer seems to have had this kind of cause. Now we live in a complex world of multifactorial causes. No one, and I'm sure Anita would agree with this, should conclude that the same cause holds in every case. BUT, even in those other cases, with different causes, such as ageing, exposure to radiation, or even other diseases altogether, so much unexpected light may in the future be shed even on those cases by open-minded pursuit of this type of case, that a whole-hearted exploration is more than worth the doing. There is more to all this than just some new age fad. In the fifties, a boy was cured, by treatment with hypnosis, of congenital icthyosiform erythroderma of Brocq, a hideous condition capable of causing almost total skin coverage of hard, horned scale (icthyosis). There's a thread here. The consciousness cannot be left out of the picture, not if we really want to get to grips with this. And this is surely the most important direction in which Anita's account should launch us: how others can also be brought to this kind of healing. But it is not just the technique that will have to change; it is the people behind the gloves...and this is not a concept that Western Medics are used to.
I was also glad of the way that Anita placed the emphasis on this life, and not the "afterlife". Although not everyone will agree with me here, I think another signal breakthrough of Anita's case, and her book, is that it begins to wrest the near death experience away from the somewhat clammy hands of the "life after death" brigade, with which it has "too long languished", to coin a phrase. Again, the message of Anita's experience is not some hurried affair in which we frown our way through life as quickly as possible, like so many grim commuters with the brims of our hats pulled down low against the rain, in order to get to some promised land "elsewhere". Life, the universal creative principle, is pouring itself in to *this* world, to this universe, to the now. It is pouring itself IN, with passion, with vigor, not OUT. On this point I agree with Anita absolutely, and it has been my own view for a long time. "The main show" as the author states it, is "here", not "there". This doesn't mean that an extraordinary state or harmony and fulfillment is impossible. It simply means that we have been too hasty (as the Ents would say) in assuming that life was seeking it, building it, elsewhere, and not right here in the universe of action and expression. I think, myself, that this offers a much healthier vision of the near death experience, and Anita's experience may signal a turning point in the way that said experience is glossed and understood in society. Rather than a portal to a realm that is in some sense an idealized continuation of our human life, experiences such as Anita's suggest more that the near death event is a kind of interface between the dynamic, active, expressing realm of being (the "here") and the underlying Fundament or potential which is the high octane source behind it all. But the Fundament isn't satisfied just being potential. It wants to be active, it wants to express, it wants the "here". Thus Anita, the universe as Anita, realized not only that she wanted to come back, but that it was good to come back; it was good and joyous to express again as Anita Moorjani. In a sense, the needy hankering after an afterlife, like all needy hankering, short-circuits this joyousness. We need to trust that the Fundament is simply always there. It's not going anywhere. We will always be it.
I don't agree with absolutely everything that Anita says. For instance, the commentary on rapists and murderers was not particularly convincing to me, for reasons I won't indulge to go into here. But I don't think Anita would mind this. As I say, she is not a guru and I suggest that people don't treat her as such. She does not have the answer to everything, nor should she be expected to. That's a bit too much responsibility for one person! And after all, one of the very reasons we may all be different is precisely because each one of us is capable of bringing unique contributions, and insights, to the structure of existence and this magical (though admittedly sometimes confounding) thing called life.
However, that is a minor matter. I do in fact agree with the great majority of what Anita says, a situation that I can honestly say has occurred only about two or three times in forty years of reading.
Make no mistake. You will count on the fingers of one hand the number of times a book like this, an opportunity like this, presents itself to you in your lifetime. I won't quite go so far as to say that you should drop everything and read this book. No wait: actually, I *will* go that far...you should drop everything and read this book. No, really. I'm not kidding. No...REALLY, I'm not kidding. I am extremely selective in what I choose to endorse, and this is, without qualification, my biggest endorsement ever. I'm even slightly embarrassed because it is so out of character for me. Anita is not in this for the money. But from me to you, for the few dollars you spend on this book, I personally guarantee you that it will repay its value one hundred fold before you even reach the back cover. Don't say I didn't warn you.
I am proud to call Anita Moorjani my friend. And I am profoundly glad she is in the world...first for Danny, and secondly for the world.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 2, 2012 4:50:29 PM PDT
Victorious Indeed says:
very articulate and detailed review, you are not such a bad writer yourself. I have seen YT videos of Anita with Wayne dyer and I understand what you mean when you say she is un-guru like. Wayne Dyer is a guru-like personality, she comes across as a sincere regular human being.
Posted on Sep 1, 2012 11:31:51 PM PDT
P. Itano says:
Nice review. I especially like you mentioning how Anita may have come back for the ice cream.
I've listened to a few interviews with Anita (most enjoyed 2 by Lilou Mace) and agree that Anita is refreshingly down to earth believable. She seems to be the kind of person one would love to call 'friend.' In this regards, and others, you are very fortunate, as you seem to know.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2012 11:36:06 PM PDT
P. Itano says:
I hate to say it, but I agree with your view of Wayne Dyer. He's a bit too guru like, for my tastes too. BUT,... his books, and especially his first one 'Your Erroneous Zones' very much helped me turn my early life around 180 degrees. So, I try to put aside his guru-ness and just get the valuable content of his messages.
Anita is definitely wonderful to listen to.
Posted on Mar 25, 2015 9:54:50 PM PDT
hi marineboy. i remember you were in discussion with anita on the old NDERF forum website in late 2006. they've since changed their forum and that discussion between you and her is no longer there. do you still have that original conversation? it was very insightful and included valuable insight which she didn't include in her book. i have a chronic illness and would really appreciate getting a copy of that discussion if you would be so kind to share it with me (if you have it). thanks so much for your time in advance.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2015 2:38:23 PM PDT
Glenn W. Cooper says:
Marineboy ... I also remember you from the NDERF forum (I was "Rimbaud") and miss that forum dearly. I remember you started a blog but I don't have the link. Do you still have that blog?
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