If we always have free will, why can't we decide when it's time to leave this world?
Question: "I have a deep interest in life and death questions since early age, and I never thought of death as something scary. But as I read more and more on this topic, including your works and the website, www.nderf.org, one question remains unclear to me.
"If we always have our choice, our free will, and can decide whether we should return to this life or no, why then cannot we decide when it's our time to leave from this world?
"Some time ago I understood I have absolutely no interest in this world; it seems like a child's garden to me and I'm really wishing to leave and develop and help in other places - but I'm still here as you can see. It's been about five years I am asking God to let me go, saying I've changed my plans and I do not want just another earthly life, and that I'm too tired to live in a world where there are constant wars and destruction going on. I am a peaceful person and just cannot think of having children here, since it's too cruel a place.
"If I made myself clear, why am I still here? I am definitely not going to play the role that was intended initially, before my NDE, and I don't want to be just an observer. I want to live my own life. Why is my choice not respected, nor am I given any hints about the situation?"...Lelia
ANSWER: You sure ask really big questions, Lelia, the kind that no one can really answer. I can share some observations I have made throughout my life, however, and through the process of research, that may hopefully prove to be of interest to you.
** Near-death experiencers who choose to stay on the Other Side and not return to their earthly life, are sent back anyway. It seems as if our choice is not really a choice. We are sent back if "it isn't our time to die and stay dead." Case in point is the story of Tom Sawyer (yes, that really is his name). He was crushed when supports broke while he was trying to repair a vehicle. The beings he met on the Other Side asked if he wanted to stay or return to the life he had just left. He was quite adamant about his choice to stay, then awoke in his body as paramedics were trying to save him. He was angry about this for some time.
** People who want to die seldom die when they want to. Those who chose to hurry the process and/or commit suicide are seldom successful, and often wind up having to deal with problems far greater than if they had continued on uninterrupted with the life they had. The wiser choice seems to be to "work it through" while still inside your body.
** Experiencers of transformative states (the near-death experience among them), usually become hyper-aware of spiritual forces afterward and of the soul and the importance of spirituality. In that awareness, most of them come to know that the soul, their soul, is directive in their life and the chief architect of it. They speak of their personality as if it were their "lower or lesser self," and of their soul as if it were their "higher or more refined self." Although the lower-self personality, our ego, makes choices all the time, it is the higher self or soul that strives to keep the ego on track so the purpose of the life, their life, can be fulfilled.
** The soul appears to be connected more directly with the Godhead and more in charge of the "curriculum" we learn and move through during our lifetime. Merging more with the soul or becoming aligned with it seems to be a major goal of spiritual development, and as such is a component of the aftereffects from transformative states of consciousness. The more attuned we become to our true nature, the more we merge with our soul and live from that level of conscious awareness. Some call this enlightenment, but I rather consider it to be a natural step in spiritual maturity. This higher form of awareness gives us the opportunity to "see beyond the view," and come to recognize infinite realities and types and dimensions and spaces and kinds of life and living beyond what our faculties normally tell us. Many times this inner truth reveals what we might call "past lives" or other forms of ourselves that may need "brushing up," changing, redesigning, or experiencing from another point of view. It seems that we do not move up (or out) in our progression toward spiritual maturity until we have completed what we planned or agreed to do from that greater consciousness. Example: if you want to hurry your death along and are tired of living, either the action you take to do this won't work or you mess up your life and body and have to repair them (which is no fun), or you pop right back into another body and have to relive everything all over again - only this time it will be harder to do. The consensus is: either stick with your "original" program or improve it. And the way you do that is to grab ahold of your life and begin the conscious decision of agreeing to transform everything, and that means you as well.
** By the way, the late Edgar Cayce, one of the greatest psychics who has ever lived, indicated repeatedly that we choose the date and conditions of our birth (and that means who will be our parents), and we also choose the date and conditions of our death (which makes one wonder about accidents - are they really "accidental" or just how does this all work?).
** You might read my books, "We Live Forever" and "Future Memory," for a broader view of the soul, soul cycles, and soul relationships, and what transformative states of consciousness can reveal about greater realities than the three dimensions we usually interact with. No matter how you feel about the world of today, or what is gong on in your life, there is always another way to view things and another truth involved. Transformative, prayerful, and meditative states open wide these "larger doors" of perception. You might also investigate opportunities for spiritual development (called the journey within), like: "A Search for God Study Groups" with the A.R.E. (Association for Research and Enlightenment). Should you be interested in what they have to offer as an organization, their study groups, conferences, and classes, call 1-800-333-4499. Ask for their free introductory material. This organization is based on the psychic readings of the late Edgar Cayce. There are many other groups around of various types including church groups, metaphysical and spiritual centers, that offer "think again" and "higher truth" classes. Wonderful magazines are now available, like: "Science of Mind," "Venture Inward," "Unity Magazine," "Light of Consciousness," and "Ode" (the magazine of intelligent optimists).
I hope these ideas are helpful to you. PMH
1. You no longer have to travel to hear one of my talks. Four "sound files" are now available on my new "Tele Presence Page" on my website. Walks With Thunder, a shaman who was a child experiencer of a near-death states, is the moderator The two I did with him will surprise you. You get $5 off if you do your download by February 1st.
2. If you love animals, and especially if you have a pet now or lost one, please get the small, self-published book, "Angels in Disguise." It was written by near-death experiencer, A. R. Hartung (Alexa). I've read a number of books by animal communicators, but I don't remember any of them being as homey, down-to-earth, and comforting as this one. Since Alexa published it herself, you need to write her for more information (as to price and shipping costs). Write: A. R. Hartung, 121 Erskine Drive, Conway, SC 29526. A brief version of her near-death episode is located in the back of the book. A very special publication.
3. For the last several years, IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies) has sponsored a spiritual retreat for near-death experiencers. "Pearls of Wisdom" presentation is what the people who have attended put together as a way of speaking their truth, what they learned from dying and experiencing the phenomenon. To access this collection of "Pearls of Wisdom" link to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89SIKkiqyKs. You may also want to access the youtube presentation of David Bennett, an experiencer who facilitates an IANDS group in upper New York State, at http://www.youtube.com/user/DavesDharmaTalk.
4. This time of year for as long as I can remember, perhaps for eons, actually, there always emerges a time of endings, closing down, shutting doors, and retreating more into the deeper reaches of self and the world around us. Businesses lay off workers, an inordinate number of people die (this year, many who seemed far too young left), and we are called upon to reassess and reexamine our lives. There are many wonderful books, classes, workshops, church and meditative programs able to give aid and comfort for the "darkest" nights of winter solstice. If loved ones have died or are dying, check around your area for the rebirth of "Threshold Choirs." As an individual dies, this type of choir can "sing them out." Incredibly spiritual and loving, I highly recommend Threshold Choirs. In the Charlottesville, Virginia, area, two people to contact about this type of choir, and/or how to start one, are: Lynn Pribus at Pribus@earthlink.net, and The Threshold Choir of Charlottesville at firstname.lastname@example.org. The nationwide website is www.thresholdchoir.com. You might also want to use the CD presentation called "As You Die," which I prepared several decades ago, and is distributed by the Catholic networking group, Focus Videos, at www.focustv.com - or you can get it directly from me at www.pmhatwater.com. It is available in both CD and DVD forms.
This year the energies are especially potent for reexamining everything, not just one's self. Our governments, our banks, our businesses, our health-care sources, our pocketbooks, make it plain that we cannot go on living the way that we have. We must downscale and reinvent. We can and we will. Book publishing, bookstores, and researchers such as myself are also being impacted. Still, I have every confidence the hunger to learn will continue - that is why I have a new Tele Presence Page - and that is why I keep on writing. There is too much to share to be silent and too much joy and love to keep things bottled up.
Blessings to all, PMH