The enlightenment of the Buddha as a near-death experience

Since the mid-twentieth century it began to spread the use of the defibrillator and other manuals, technological and chemical methods of cardiac resuscitation, the once rare mystical journey further than life has become an increasingly frequent phenomenon and known. Joaquín G. Weil writes. Illustration: Javier Farrugia.

Buddha lighting

So much so that, if well at the beginning of the popularization of those phenomena, when they became famous through the books of the Dr. Raimond Moodyreference Mystic (lighting, trance, ecstasy, enlightenment, etc.) was used, now happens to the contrary, and any experience of a spiritual kind tends to compare or even to assimilate with the near death (ECM) experiences.

In this way, the Dutch cardiologist Dr. Pim van Lommel, Perhaps the author of the study so far documented and most comprehensive on the subject, Beyond Life (Past life), It includes almost all possible experience of mystical or spiritual type within this concept of ECM without indigestion.

In parallel, another concept was developed at the same time with obvious similarities: the defined and popularized by Robert Monroe, the out-of-body experience.

Obviously, because we're not talking about a new phenomenon, since ancient times such experiences came receiving some sort of denomination. For example: "ecstasy", which means "output" (the soul from the body); or 'enlightenment', which gives the light some spiritual meaning, point to which we will return later; and also the old "journeys into the world of the dead" or similar names.

Indeed, from the ECM of the soldier Er, which pick up Plato, through ecstatic experiences of the Christian mystics and lightings and satoris of Yogis and meditators Buddhists of all time, as well as numerous spontaneous mystical experiences, such as those that collect William James in his book Varieties of religious experience, the testimonies of spiritual journeys (or as they prefer to call them) are numerous in historical terms, but they were until the end of the 20th century relatively uncommon to statistical or population level.

The ECM and science

In recent times, the study of these phenomena has come precisely from the side of medicine, especially because the doctors are who are facing more frequent and daily transit of life and death. And due to the success of modern resuscitation technologies, increasingly are with the phenomenon of the return from States typically classified as "clinical death" (absence of heart or brain activity), which are in fact real death, not States approximate, although reversible (at least for a few minutes). It is this characteristic of the reversibility of the death which causes the intellectual conflict, because death is usually associated by definition to an irreversible situation.

Dr. George Ritchie, Dr. Raimond Moody, Dr. Kubler-Ross, Dr. Pim van Lommel, Dr. Eben Alexander and a long list of medical professionals have been defined from your own experience, or through statistical and clinical studies the phenomenon of ECM. All of which has had and has practical implications in the evolution of practice and protocols in the States terminal patients in hospitals. At least in the developed countries.

Also during the past century and what they carry, has joined these circumstances indicated a new factor: the development of the quantum physics that, according to the scholars scientists, both from the medical field of physics, it is absolutely coherent and consistent with such spiritual experiences and the ECM.

Indeed, although, from the point of view of ancient materialistic or Newtonian physics, conflict between spiritual experience and science, could now be modern quantum concepts of the inubicuidad, intersubjectivity, interconnection, complementarity, etc fit perfectly with the experiential stories in the ECM, illuminations, or spontaneous ecstasy or those fruits of meditation, which has been pointed out by numerous authors.

What is also amazing on the one hand and quite coherent and logical on the other hand, is the amount and quality of similarities between the ECM and the various mystical stories from different times and cultures. In particular, in addition to those stories - also the Egyptian book of the dead, the Bardo Thödol the Tibetans - he is, also of Plato, together with the story of the soldier Er, own Myth of the cave, that it points out that any possible knowledge in this world is reminiscent of a knowledge previously acquired in a Topus Uranos (or heavenly place) and that our world is a pale reflection of the real world.

By what we know, there are no two equal ECM, although some passages or details tend to occur more or less frequently in many cases: these include, apart from the famous tunnel, the magazine to the events of life, the reencounter with some dear because dead people, contact with light. I write "Light" with capital letters because obviously does not refer to the LED light when we turn on the power switch. Or perhaps Yes are the same light?

Lighting, the realization and the awakening

It is a question that I've done more than one teacher from different traditions when it comes to light the famous Lighting. And this reminds me of the anecdote that has Jodorowsky, When a young woman asks to explain enlightenment. Jodorowsky, then theatre director, among other trades, squints his eyes and starts talking about the understanding, searching, spirituality, etc. Until finally the bewildered young clarifies her is responsible for the lighting in the theatre and it is asking to give you instructions on how to handle it in the next representation.

The spiritual and worldly lighting are the same thing? Some say yes, others no. I'll venture my explanation of the topic. They are the same thing but from different perceptions and different intensity and quality. All the people who have gone through mystical trances or ECM coincide in pointing out the ineffability of the experience. It is impossible to describe it in words, only in a metaphorical and pallidly approximate way. However, all agree that the light is: light. Only that not perceived by the eyes (again States that it does not damage or burns, or blind) but directly by the spirit. In a documentary by the BBC about the ECM tells the amazing case of a blind from birth that perceived (seen) during their experience. Also, as everything in the transmundo, light is of an intensity multiplied to almost infinity.

What they were or are actually the? Buddha or Christ? It is a matter which, almost by definition, is difficult or impossible to elucidate. However, the ECM can give a new perspective on various aspects of philosophy and Buddhist practice.

Contrary to what sometimes say Buddha was not atheist or agnostic or any similar thing. Simply talk with other different concepts of his time (and the past). Worth the paradox, we are speaking of the ineffable (what cannot be discussed). And Buddha or the Pali Canon expressed it in his own way. What is clear is that sometimes the words keep us from know the same things that the words refer.

Anita Moorjani He says that the word "love" (love) cannot express the feeling so grandiose that she received and emanated during your ECM. Another much maybe we could say of the word "God". In one of the hundreds of stories of ECM that I have read or heard, someone asks in the trasmundo: "Light is God?". And you answered: "No. Light is the breath of God."

Among the many possible routes of access to the ECM, incidentally assimilative mode, PIM van Lommel also designates the meditation. With the difference, I might add, that this pathway is not neither unexpected nor involuntary, but fully intentional, in perfect health.

Famous passages of the story of Buddha's enlightenment are also consistent with various aspects of the ECM. A significant detail is the encounter with the not so frequent in the ECM, demonic hordes, but that occur. They represent to fear her as opposed to love. But at the time that is opposed to love, it is conducive to love. In the same way that darkness leads to light, etc.

He says the neurcirujano Dr. Eben Alexander that trasmundo that he has known for their ECM not only is real that is thousands of times more real than ours, as compare a vista movie in a matinee of a cinema in summer, with the radiant Sun that we see out , but multiplied by thousand. Buddha said that this world is illusion. Hence the other term for lighting: Realization. And here again we can return to the Platonic myth of the cavern: our world is a pale reflection of the real. And also another synonym for lighting: the Awakening. Many people after an ECM compared the trip to the transmundo with the awakening from a deep sleep, that would be our life on this earth.

The most important and determinant are, however, the consequences of the ECM, quite consistent with the consequences of the Buddhist highlights (starting with the Buddha himself): an absolute compassion, understanding, or love of the human condition, life and all the lives and people on this earth.

In a nutshell: Light, or God, is almost identical to love. It is love. It is their expression. The meaning of life (and our mission, our great task) is or develop, to the extent of our capabilities, this love. The highest wisdom and truth is love.

To conclude this brief writing for so dense matter: there is almost unanimity in pointing out that it is not necessary to go through an ECM or a mystical trance for get to know. What is needed is to live this life as it is, with simplicity, love and joy. Between this world and the trasmundo, or the more than and more here, there is no distance. As it says Mooji: "Happy, happy, happy..."

God (or La Luz) wants you to be happy. And yoga can be a good instrument to achieve this.

Special meeting

On the subject of this article, the next Saturday April 18, so pioneer in Spain, we will celebrate in YogaSala a meeting entitled: "Meditation as a near-death experience".
YogaSala. Yoga in the Centre of Malaga.
C / Moreno Monroy 5 floor 3, Malaga

Joaquín García Weil (photo: Vito Ruiz)Who is

Joaquín García Weil He graduated in philosophy, yoga teacher, Yoga room Malaga and pedagogical coordinator of the first course with official accreditation in Spain. Practice Yoga for 20 years and teaches it since makes eleven. Is student of the Swami Rudradev (disciple interest of Iyengar), with who has learned in the Yoga Study Center, Rishikesh, India. He has also studied with Dr. Vagish Sastri de Benarés, among other masters.

More information:

YogaSala. Yoga in the Centre of Malaga.
C / Moreno Monroy 5 floor 3. Tlf. 658 19 09 15.

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By • 13 Apr, 2015 • section: Signatures, Joaquín G. Weil