Light at Death

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Quote:William Peters, M.Ed., MFT, is a licensed psychotherapist at the Family Therapy Institute in Santa Barbara, specializing in end-of-life counseling as a means toward psycho-spiritual evolution. He is author of At Heaven’s Door: What Shared Journeys to the Afterlife Teach About Dying Well and Living Better. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Shared Crossing Project where he and his research team collect and study extraordinary end-of-life experiences through the Shared Crossing Research Initiative. His website is sharedcrossing.com.

He explains that experiences with the light occur in about 75% of near-death experiences (NDEs) and 25% of shared death experiences (SDEs). The light seems to be a destination in the NDE. There are more presentations of light in the SDE. The light acts as a portal or bridge that come down as cylinders. Light beings may come out of the light to greet the dying. The SDE experiencer may accompany the dying up cascades of light or observe their loved one ascend into the light. He shares ways to have a SDE with a loved one or a pet. He says that the light is synonymous with love and consciousness and is a sacred unifying source found in spiritual traditions.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2022-10-05, 06:03 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: He says that the light is synonymous with love and consciousness and is a sacred unifying source found in spiritual traditions.


That could have come from Peter Fenwick.
(This post was last modified: 2022-10-05, 04:08 PM by tim. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2022-10-05, 06:03 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote:

It strikes me as a major discontinuity or contradiction, this common-enough description of the wonderful Light at death, with the gloomy assessment that it is possible to come up with based solely on the intellect considering the logical and rational implications of the apparently arbitrary and non-human decisions often made by the soul between lives regarding the prevalant experiences of the next incarnation (that is, prevalantly negative, presumably for learning purposes), and regarding the apparent temporaryness or evanescence  of the human in the overall process. 

I can only conclude that either the Light is an elaborate deception engineered by the soul, or there are major limitations to the usefulness of reason and the intellect, in areas evidently beyond their purview. I prefer the latter. The deception idea seems at least on the surface to be ridiculous.
(This post was last modified: 2022-10-06, 09:21 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 3 times in total.)
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(2022-10-06, 08:22 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: It strikes me as a major discontinuity or contradiction, this common-enough description of the wonderful Light at death, with the gloomy assessment that it is possible to come up with based solely on the intellect considering the logical and rational implications of the apparently arbitrary and non-human decisions often made by the soul between lives regarding the prevalant experiences of the next incarnation (that is, prevalantly negative, presumably for learning purposes), and regarding the apparent temporaryness or evanescence  of the human in the overall process. 

I can only conclude that either the Light is an elaborate deception engineered by the soul, or there are major limitations to the usefulness of reason and the intellect, in areas evidently beyond their purview. I prefer the latter. The deception idea seems at least on the surface to be ridiculous.

The whole Light-is-a-trap / Soul-trap idea seems rather ridiculous, frankly.

It's not based on any personal experiences that have been studied by comparing them with the NDEs of others, nor the past life memories of others. It's based on nothing more than ancient Gnostic religious beliefs mixed with modern New Age fear-based ideology that is at the opposite extreme to the New Age love and light mantra.

They tell people to not go into the Light... leaving them with no meaningful alternatives. Most ironically, these fear-based beliefs will cause people to trap themselves, out of fear of being trapped.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
~ Carl Jung


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(2022-10-07, 06:47 AM)Valmar Wrote: The whole Light-is-a-trap / Soul-trap idea seems rather ridiculous, frankly.

It's not based on any personal experiences that have been studied by comparing them with the NDEs of others, nor the past life memories of others. It's based on nothing more than ancient Gnostic religious beliefs mixed with modern New Age fear-based ideology that is at the opposite extreme to the New Age love and light mantra.

They tell people to not go into the Light... leaving them with no meaningful alternatives. Most ironically, these fear-based beliefs will cause people to trap themselves, out of fear of being trapped.

I somewhat agree with you, but there still is the strange conflict between the love and light mantra (certainly bolstered by very numerous personal experiences), and the results of sheer reason and logic (the intellect) applied to the problems of vast human suffering combined with reincarnation, and the nature of the human self versus that of the soul.
(This post was last modified: 2022-10-07, 08:53 AM by nbtruthman. Edited 6 times in total.)
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(2022-10-07, 08:46 AM)nbtruthman Wrote: I somewhat agree with you, but there still is the strange conflict between the love and light mantra (certainly bolstered by very numerous personal experiences), and the results of sheer reason and logic (the intellect) applied to the problems of vast human suffering combined with reincarnation, and the nature of the human self versus that of the soul.

"Reason" and "logic" are all nice and good, but they're very subjective things, ultimately. When your individualized reasoning and logic line up with someone else's reasoning and logic, then there is agreement, there is intersubjectivity, but there is not any objective thing independent of the individuals in question.

When it comes to the problems of human suffering, reincarnation, or human-self vs soul-self, reason and logic alone aren't nearly enough. The unfortunate reality is that reason and logic have their basis in emotion. Emotion is a far more raw and intimate mental expression, while logic and reason are built on those foundations, being constructs. Emotion can sweep away reason and logic in a heartbeat.

Human suffering is very much deep-seated in the sphere of emotion, and requires a solution of the same sort ~ emotional. It demands that the individual who is suffering dig to the roots of those emotions, by feeling and sensing. Logic and reason simply can't go there, as there is no logic or reason involved at such depths, nor in the absolute majority of emotional-based issues. Granted, there may be exceptions, but I'm not personally aware of them.

Reincarnation... this is also not something that human logic and reason can deal with, because it is ultimately beyond human thought or comprehension. Reincarnation happens for reasons that are beyond human thought and comprehension. Reincarnation is something the Soul-self does, not the human-self.

Nor can reason and logic truly touch on the nature of the Soul, something so far beyond human comprehension, nevermind get to the root of what it means to be human. What is it to be human, in the most profound sense? No human has ever arrived at an answer. All I can conclude is that while we are within the ocean of humanity, we can never comprehend the nature of the ocean.

Please note that I am an advocate of reason and logic ~ where they are applicable. But where it comes to areas where I cannot take reason and logic, I leave them behind, as I've learned that they simply can't be used to examine everything. There are too many things that defy reason and logic.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
~ Carl Jung


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(2022-10-07, 09:41 AM)Valmar Wrote: Reincarnation happens for reasons that are beyond human thought and comprehension.

Good post ! I think that is likely true when you actually arrive here and realise what a tough place it is compared to the perfection one had just willingly (?) abandoned. I suspect it makes sense up there.  

Nbtruthman quite understandably wants an answer as to why there is so much suffering?

I don't see how there can't be suffering. One of the very most emotive problems is children getting cancer. Terrible. But why are they contracting it. Maybe it's something we're responsible for, not "god", as Stephen Fry likes to scream.  Okay, god, please make it impossible for children to get cancer.

Done. Now what about all the rest of the dire events that happen to children. How about we get rid of bodies of water and "god" flattened the mountains for us lest a child falls off the side of one at the seaside? I'm being facetious to make the point. How could suffering be eradicated ? Has anyone got a blueprint for a guaranteed life without any pain ?  

And if reincarnation is true and I believe it is, what are children exactly ? They are returning spirits that have been through all this many times before. I'm not advocating that we should live our lives thinking like that. Not for a minute.

We must always regard children the way we do because the game we are playing (or maybe playing) requires it. It would be absurd and plain wrong to start talking and treating them like 'adults' in a child's body.
(This post was last modified: 2022-10-07, 03:00 PM by tim. Edited 7 times in total.)
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(2022-10-07, 02:54 PM)tim Wrote: Good post ! I think that is likely true when you actually arrive here and realise what a tough place it is compared to the perfection one had just willingly (?) abandoned. I suspect it makes sense up there.  

Nbtruthman quite understandably wants an answer as to why there is so much suffering?

I don't see how there can't be suffering. One of the very most emotive problems is children getting cancer. Terrible. But why are they contracting it. Maybe it's something we're responsible for, not "god", as Stephen Fry likes to scream.  Okay, god, please make it impossible for children to get cancer.

Done. Now what about all the rest of the dire events that happen to children. How about we get rid of bodies of water and "god" flattened the mountains for us lest a child falls off the side of one at the seaside? I'm being facetious to make the point. How could suffering be eradicated ? Has anyone got a blueprint for a guaranteed life without any pain ?  

And if reincarnation is true and I believe it is, what are children exactly ? They are returning spirits that have been through all this many times before. I'm not advocating that we should live our lives thinking like that. Not for a minute.

We must always regard children the way we do because the game we are playing (or maybe playing) requires it. It would be absurd and plain wrong to start talking and treating them like 'adults' in a child's body.

I think the issue - for myself at least - is I can readily imagine a world that lacks a large degree of suffering. Not to get too dark, but angels (or whatever divine messengers) preventing exploitation of children - purposefully not getting into details but surely we all watch the news - would be a big step in the right direction?

I just see this life's chaotic elements as extending into the afterlife, though some spiritual safe havens seem to exist on the other side. Admittedly that probably seems somewhat video-gamey or something from Dungeons and Dragons but it's the only way I can reconcile what happens in this world with the observed light/order/love in the next.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(2022-10-07, 04:28 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: but angels (or whatever divine messengers) preventing exploitation of children - purposefully not getting into details but surely we all watch the news - would be a big step in the right direction?

We humans should prevent the exploitation of children.  It absolutely should not happen but it does (and the reasons for that are of course multiple and complicated). As to supernatural intervention, that does seem to occur but it also doesn't seem to occur enough. But how could it?

(2022-10-07, 04:28 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote:  I can readily imagine a world that lacks a large degree of suffering.

Maybe this particular world used to lack the enormous suffering we see. Maybe it's our fault collectively down the aeons. Basically, I don't know.
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(2022-10-07, 02:54 PM)tim Wrote: Good post ! I think that is likely true when you actually arrive here and realise what a tough place it is compared to the perfection one had just willingly (?) abandoned. I suspect it makes sense up there.  

Nbtruthman quite understandably wants an answer as to why there is so much suffering?

I don't see how there can't be suffering. One of the very most emotive problems is children getting cancer. Terrible. But why are they contracting it. Maybe it's something we're responsible for, not "god", as Stephen Fry likes to scream.  Okay, god, please make it impossible for children to get cancer.

Done. Now what about all the rest of the dire events that happen to children. How about we get rid of bodies of water and "god" flattened the mountains for us lest a child falls off the side of one at the seaside? I'm being facetious to make the point. How could suffering be eradicated ? Has anyone got a blueprint for a guaranteed life without any pain ?  

And if reincarnation is true and I believe it is, what are children exactly ? They are returning spirits that have been through all this many times before. I'm not advocating that we should live our lives thinking like that. Not for a minute.

We must always regard children the way we do because the game we are playing (or maybe playing) requires it. It would be absurd and plain wrong to start talking and treating them like 'adults' in a child's body.

The only way I have been able to make any sense of mankind's suffering is to invoke a form of theodicity, an elaborate rationalization of the problem. From my short piece already posted:

The basic approach is to combine various arguments that mankind’s suffering is an inevitable accompaniment of our greatest blessings and benefits, the result of a vast number of intricate tradeoffs in the design or our Reality. Tradeoffs made absolutely necessary by there being countless areas where some of the original “design requirements” conflict with others due to the immutable absolute laws of logic. So that there inevitably had to be a “give and take”.

Why pain, suffering and evil? Main points:

(1) There is the observed regularity of natural law. The basic laws of physics appear to be cleverly designed to create conditions suitable for human life and development. It can be surmised that this intricate fine-tuned design is inherently a series of tradeoffs and balances, allowing and fostering human existence but also inevitably allowing “natural evil” to regularly occur. In other words, the best solution to the overall “system requirements” (which include furnishing manifold opportunities for humans to experience and achieve) inherently includes natural effects that cause suffering to human beings. This regularity has very many advantages to mankind, making science possible, for instance. Hence natural immutable laws of physics and derived chemistry and so-on that inevitably result in natural disasters and disease, for instance. I know - this seems a stretch, but try to design a system and an evolutionary process (however this evolution really happens) while at the same time preventing effects inimical to human beings (like natural disasters and disease).

This points out that there may be logical and fundamental limitations to God’s creativity. Maybe even He can’t 100% satisfy all the requirements simultaneously. Maybe He doesn’t have (or choose to have) complete control over nature and over the free will of humans, because that would interfere with the essential requirements for creative and fulfilling human life. After all, human achievement requires imperfection and adverse conditions to exist as a natural part of human life.

(2) There is the obvious need for human free will as one of the most important “design requirements”. This inevitably leads to vast amounts of suffering caused by evil acts of humans to each other. Unfortunately, there is no way to get around that one, except to make humans “zombies” or robots, which would defeat the whole purpose of human existence.

(3) Some suffering is necessary to enable us to experience life in its fullest and to achieve the most. Often it is through suffering that we experience the deepest love of family and friends. “The man who has never experienced any setbacks or disappointments invariably is a shallow person, while one who has suffered is usually better able to empathize with others. Some of the closest and most beautiful relationships occur between people who have suffered similar sorrows.”

Sure, God or angels could always step in to prevent the many evils that creep in with this highly optimized, tradeoff-applied, scheme, but such a corrective process applied from outside the system would subvert most of the advantages of the "design requirements" mentioned above. The powers that be evidently decided that this cost in the value of the human experience would be too great.

Of course, all of this partial rationalization is still not really entirely satisfactory from the human standpoint, but in my view the souls and other spirits and God itself disagree. We can complain, but of course that doesn't get us anywhere. This sort of rationalization seems to me to be the only plausible way I can think of to "reconcile what happens in this world with the observed light/order/love in the next" (Sci's words).
(This post was last modified: 2022-10-07, 06:29 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 7 times in total.)
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