My reading and subsequent thinking on this book has been circuitous. Michael strongly recommended the book to me many months ago, probably re my cancer, our shared interest in NDE, and the degree of congruence between his and Anita’s reality-view. It took months for the book to be ready for me at the public library. After reading a few chapters my reading of Dying To Be Me was supplanted by other books. Although interesting, Anita’s “normal” life covered in the first quarter of the book was not highly relevant. I also had just read Oliver Sacks review of another NDE book. Then the book had to be returned to the library and was stacked to go yesterday. However, I got quite ill/weak and was confined to bed, where I pushed through the book, discovering ideas of importance that I am motivated to take a few minutes here to report on my thinking. 1/19/2013 12:17 PM
I will divide my comments into four topics:
I can only comment on the book, and speculate on its accuracy. It was written many years after the NDE experience, and although I don’t sense any intentional deception, I must question how the tone of the book wasn’t influenced by the “movement” (re Dyer) to feature it in their promotions.
I briefly goggled any critiques, but found only a critiqe of Susan Blackmore’s DYING TO LIVE, by Greg Stone. I’ve heard Blackmore talk at Tucson Consciousness conferences. Her DYING TO LIVE is a brain-focused “speculative explanation” of NDE, much as Sacks.
1) Anita’s life prior to and after her Cancer/NDE experience.
Anita was a creative, intelligent, self-willed child being raised in the confluence of conflicting cultures and religious dogmas; which she implies put a strain of “fear” on her and was one contributor to her cancer. Yet, behaviorally she managed quite well in both family and work.
I was surprised in reading that after the NDE/CancerCure she was not immediately caught up in promoting – although the book implies she did submit to requests for lectures and studies. She pulled away from persons who were a drag on her but went on to clarify her new Reality-View – which she attempts to share in this book.
2) Anita’s cancer remission
I am not familiar with the literature on radical cancer remission as cited in the book. It is truly miraculous, if actually occurring as reported. The book mentions and even quotes extensively from her medical records – but we don’t have access to them. In retrospect, how much in the book is weaving a good story and how much “factual” from a medical perspective?
Human biological systems have the power for self-healing – and many medical practices are directed towards activating and enabling self-healing. The claim that all Anita’s basic systems were so shut down Is hard to believe they could be foundational to self-healing – reflects the often inaccuracy of medical data. [Eloise’s liver was “dead” according to her surgeon, yet it was able to heal with the help of medication.]
I noticed no mention of the exit of toxic material from her shrinking tumors; but this may have been in the actual medical records. When searching for alternative “cures” for my own cancer I discovered this issue. For those “cures” that claim to literally “blow up” all cancer cells, the remnants of those cells confuses medical tests for cancer and temporarily indicate a rapid increase in cancer – which upsets medical experts.
What can catalyze such spectacular self-healing remains a mystery and it well could be a holistic phenomenon manifesting consciously as a NDE. It remains a very important datum that such phenomena can occur.
3) Anita’s NDE as reported in her book
I am not familiar with the NDE literature and the great variety of reported experiences. I am well aware of the great difficulty in reporting such experience; both on the intrinsic difficulty and that the reports are given well after the experience.
I noted that Anita’s NDE was not a standard OBE. She saw/heard conversations away from her body, but gave no indication of having a perspective for these viewings.
Although Anita later concludes that her inner-self linking with the universal gave here the strength to “return”, almost all reports of her NDE were of “external events” viewed from her unique “inner” perspective. Where Anita was present in the NDE it was in commenting to herself about these events (mostly conversations among family and medical persons).
Anita’s metaphor of the dark warehouse with a single flashlight (normal reality) with all lights turned on (NDE) was reminencent of my introduction for Mission_2000 where I described reality as a massive labyrinth (I was a spelunker) with ONE COHERENT painting on all surfaces – and again equipped with a single light (capable of tight focus or broad field). In Mission_2000 I made no claim for an ability to “turn on the lights” – even if we had we couldn’t view all rooms in the labyrinth concurrently.
I resonated with Anita’s interpretation of how “time” was not present in her NDE reality. In her reports she was aware there was much more to see/hear, but her experiences were “one at a time” although not “arranged in time”. Anita hinted to have access in her NDE to cosmic realities, but all specifically reported were very local and very personally meaningful content. That there was context to her experiences was not acknowledged, during the NDE or later, on analysis.
I remain open, even expect, “psychic connectivity” between mind/brains that go beyond our contemporary physics-based science. That we can suddenly leap from a local connectivity network – even as vast as all humans, living and dead – to a galaxy filled cosmos (even multi-universes) with a diversity of life/mind forms is an arrogant stretch of the human imagination. At this stage of our knowledge I am not immediately driven to seek “beyond” explanations as the powers of life/mind/spirit systems are only beginning to be revealed. At the same time, I am well aware the Occam’s Razor is NOT a scientific principle but a social-power device of establishments to eliminate alternative and threatening speculations. Thus, we should not limit our study to the workings of the brain (as we currently know it).
A NBE may have content that was not in the body/mind of the person prior to the NBE, but – at this time – I take as first approach – that the experience is filtered through the mind/brain processes of person having the NBE. I have yet to see any evidence to even suggest otherwise, although it certainly stretches the power of human cognition well beyond the ordinary.
4) Anita’s Reality-Views in relation to Larry/nuet
What stuck me hard and pushed me into the book was a strong identification with Anita’s NBE (and conclusions) and Larry’s encounter with nuet and his subsequent Reality-Views. Larry has never had any experience even coming close to an OBE or NDE – even his Eureka insights are experiential tame compared with reports of others whose experiences are filled with sensory content (which Larry lacks in all sensory modalities). Anita’s interpretation of reincarnation experiences is the same as mine, they are “shared experiences”, not one being becoming another.
I resonated with Anita’s view that there are no good or bad persons. Even terrorists must be compassionately comprehended. This is consistent with my view that WE ARE WORLDS and that although each human has “agency” it is not of the type of conscious will to control/command one’s life.
OTOH I find Anita’s summation very limiting, but due to a deep, knotted confusion. Her Reality-View is static, it includes no evolution or emergence – all is in a static “perfection” of pure love – and the only problem is not recognizing this state. She can’t have it both ways – acknowledging the many apparent evils of human societal systems and believing they will but “evaporate – as did her cancer” once we ALL recognize that the material is but a product of our imaginations. This implies a linear causality, that is hardly evident if we acknowledge our experiences “as they are and not as we want them to be”.
I find my energy, hope, and joy in POTENTIAL, not in some ancient and hidden fixed reality. Anita rejects the conflicting dogmas of religions, but attempts to distil some ultimate truths from them all. What if all religions contain some Perennial Truths that are only HALF truths – and ultimately dangerous if left that way. I have no issue with techniques of avoiding fear, (except for it’s ALERT message) accentuating love, in assisting our still embryonic species coming to terms with the new reality our emergence is creating. What I do FEAR is our weakness to sink back into a false comfort of EXCEPTIONALISM, whether it be “American”, “Western Sci/Tech”, or “Spiritual Absolutism”. Is this a wish to return to the comfort of the womb?