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I have had chronic depression for some years now, and since I’ve entered my golden years, I find my depression has worsened. These are the reasons:
1. In retirement I find nothing to look forward to.
2. I lack a sense of purpose and meaning.
3. I’m bored.
I have perhaps ten more years of productive life, and I will not spend it like this. Life should be meaningful, challenging and joyful. I am determined to resume full enjoyment of my life, but I need to figure out how to do that.
Ever since I read Dr. Raymond Moody’s book “Life After Life,” I have been fascinated with the Near Death Experience, or NDE. NDE’s have happened to many thousands of people and these experiences display common characteristics that repeat over and over, from person to person.
One of my favorite television shows is on the Biography Channel, “I Survived…Beyond and Back.” It is shown on Sundays in the evening. It presents three NDE’s at a time from three different people who experienced clinical death. Here are some of the common themes:
1. A person experiences clinical death due to an accident, heart attack or other cause. Almost immediately they experience leaving their physical body. The find themselves looking down on their unconscious body, of floating around just like a ghost. At the same time they feel utterly at peace, completely unafraid.
2. Shortly, they see a very bright light moving towards them. It is unusually beautiful and seems to convey a sense of complete and unconditional love.
3. They see loved ones who have passed away before them. These loved ones look better than they ever did before — young, healthy and fit. Handsome men and beautiful women. It’s as if these persons have somehow been republished into their greatest possible self.
4. One of these persons suddenly tells the NDE voyager that “It’s not your time, you have to go back.” The NDE person says that he doesn’t want to go back, that he loves it in this place and wants to stay. However, it’s not his call. The loved one then places his hands on the NDE person’s shoulders and pushes him or her backwards. The NDE person then falls back into his body.
5. Re-entering the physical body is described as very unpleasant. One man said it was like being forced to put on some soiled and dirty clothes. Another said it felt like he was being forced through a screen mesh. The body is now seen as very confining, very small, crowded and uncomfortable.
You can explain it away until you’re blue in the face: I believe in the afterlife. The NDE for me is all the proof I need.
You can watch some of Bio’s most recent episodes online at this link.
A good friend recently related what is probably a common story. It was about his young nephew, a five year old boy at the time. One morning the little boy got up and told his father that grandma had died in the night. She had come to him in a dream and told him that she had died, that it didn’t hurt, that she was all right, and there was no reason to worry or be upset about her.
The boy’s father (my friend’s brother) was angry and scolded the little boy for telling such an outrageous, offensive story. He asked the little boy to take it back, but the little boy wouldn’t do it. He saw what he saw.
The kid’s father tried calling grandma (what better way to disprove his son’s wild story), but the phone just rang and rang. Finally, the father decided to drive over to grandma’s and check on her.
He arrived at grandma’s house, let himself in with a key, and found grandma sitting in a love seat, wrapped in a towel as if she had just stepped out of the shower. She was dead, apparently of a heart attack.
I haven’t posted in two years! Sorry about that. I have updated my info so I can be reached by email now — at gwcpa1 “at” gmail.com.
My older brother is a believing Christian and was giving me a hard time about my sinful open mind and I got tired of fighting with him about it.
The truth is this: I am not a Christian, nor am I a member of any organized religion. I am not, however, an atheist — not even close. I am enamored with Carl J. Jung’s approach to God and the afterlife (if one exists), which was to learn as much as he could through personal experience. More about that later.
In the next few days I will attempt to update the format and theme of this blog so that they are more pleasing and effective.
Grown men are not above new toys, though it takes a lot to impress me these days. But when my old Razor cell phone started konking out, my wife suggested an iPhone. She got it for me and boy, is it slick. The big screen, the internet access, the resolution of the camera, the fact you can use it to store songs and access all of your email accounts — well, need I say more.
I think of myself as pretty high-tech as I love computers and software; however, I have a blind spot for text messages. I could never figure out how to create one on my old cell phones and did not have the motivation to try. With the iPhone it’s easy (as long as you’re texting another iPhone). You just bring up one of your contacts and press “text message;” a little keyboard pops up and you one-finger type your message and press “send.” No weird codes or other hoops to jump through.
My son in Studio City, Nick, doesn’t often respond to my email or phone calls, but when I text-messaged him, a few minutes later I heard the ding! and he had responded, thrilled that I had an iPhone too.