I had my closest encounter with death during a state of disembodied consciousness.
Careening into an iridescent pulsating mass of vitality suspended in the illusion of nothingness, I marveled as innumerable spirits traveled continuously in and out of a gigantic composition of light. Stunned at the sight of such awe-inspiring activity, I experienced an overwhelming sense of healing and renewal. Here, in this miraculous space, the perpetual cycle of Life was eternally nourished. Joy, liberation, and bliss filled my soul with unbridled simultaneity.
As I approached the light, I found myself enveloped in the warm acceptance and limitless support of true Unconditional Love. Lost in the clarity and detachment of pure wisdom, my spirit was suddenly jolted by the feeling of intense separation. My soul was being ripped by its seams.
Amidst the barrage of lightning speed action, I captured a glimpse of cohesive thought. I became aware that If I went any further, I would leave my body permanently and move into a rebirthing phase. The clean slate of reincarnation was attractive but the opportunity to live as Wendel Matthews would be lost forever. In this moment, I cried from the depths of my being calling out for my daughter and humanity. Instantaneously, I was rushed back into my body entering through the top of my head.
The prospect of imminent death re-invigorated my soul and renewed my sense of purpose.
68% of Americans are afraid of death(1). However, I’ve learned that death is a growth opportunity whether it be the loss of a loved one or the acceptance of your own unavoidable passing. Death promotes maturity as close encounters with it tend to organically shift our perspective, compelling us to cherish the life connections we value most. These shifts in perspective often lead to personal transformation. Major breakthroughs happen when we face our fear of death.
P.M.H Atwater conducted a study on 3,277 Near Death Experiencers and found that almost 99% of experiencers no longer feared death(2). These people lost their fear of death because they discovered that death is actually rebirth. In other words, they realized there is no death. Instead, there is only life and what we view as death is the just the transfer of life into a different form. We never die, we simply transform. Just as life is continuous and infinite, so are we.
Many are aware of this mystical transformation of life and commonly refer to it as reincarnation. Numerous children and adults have reported remembering past lives. Several doctors and psychiatrists have spent decades studying the phenomenon including the well-known Dr. Ian Stevenson who wrote 20 Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. However, despite the wealth of information available highlighting veridical near death experiences (in which experiencers acquire verifiable information they could not have obtained by any other means) only about 25% of Americans believe in reincarnation(3). As a result, many suffer from undue stress believing that the journey is over once this lifetime ends.
This begs the question: Is it necessary to have a Near Death Experience to overcome the fear of death? The answer is no. For thousands of years, story has been the most effective way to teach survival skills and share strategies for dealing with life’s challenges. We gain a wealth of knowledge from the stories of each other’s lives. Openness to learning from each other’s experience is key to the acquisition and application of wisdom. Healthy openness comes when you trust yourself, tune into your heart and take what speaks to you.
Science’s inability to prospectively test and prove that reincarnation is real does not invalidate all of the medical and personal accounts of the human experience that provide evidence supporting reincarnation as a real phenomenon. A little bit of research will expose the truth you seek.
Inspiration is found in the beautiful irony of not knowing when this lifetime will end. Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, you only have one chance to be you in this moment right now. Death’s inevitable yet unpredictable nature can compel you to embrace the precious nature of each moment. Let the prospect of death inspire you to try new things, perform age-defying tasks, and share wisdom with those who can benefit from your experience. Live well.