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What I am Reading: Dying To Be Me; Could Be Life Changer for Many

by John on 09/04/2015

Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani could be a life-changer for many of you.

It is for me. In many ways, it clarified my views on religion, healthcare, and being informed in today’s multi-media special-interest world. You might say she affirmed Informed Not Inflamed from the other side. (I won’t say it because it is too boastful.)

Some proof on the depths of this book: usually I post rolling reviews after reading a number of chapters, but not this time. I finished listening to Dying To Be Me in two workout sessions.

My business partner, Susan Anzalone, who recommended the book says it helped her coping with the sudden death of a close friend. Susan will be on my radio show soon to tell us more.

I could write volumes here about the depths this book took me. If you are curious about life and the hereafter, you too will find many things within your own existence to celebrate.

Anita Moorjani had a near death experience. She was in a coma due to cancer seemingly hours away from dying. But her experience “going to the other side” revealed lessons to a healthy and happier life — which led to her amazing recovery.

Granted, her recovery has been deemed miraculous as tumors the size of lemons apparently disappeared in days. Will that happen for everyone? I doubt it. However, the lessons from her recovery can be used by everyone – for physical and mental healing — without going through a near-death experience.

Here are my takes:

  • After reading this book, you will probably question the religious institutions we have today.

Although many faiths share the same truths Moorjani found, many religions fails to live up to them. Is this a knock on religion? No. Religion serves a purpose in society; it brings order to life. However, religion has shown to be inadequate to most of us in our personal and spiritual lives.

Look at the recent Pew Survey that shows people leaving institutional religion for other forms of Christian worship. Too many churches seem to be money-makers or political fronts that keep themselves in existence by, as Jonathan Haidt says in his book, The Righteous Mind, binding and blinding their followers. As a result, people today are searching for more things that religion cannot give.

Moorjani reveals some things that traditional religion has touched on, but in my estimation is not practiced enough. First, religion is about unconditional love. She felt that in her NDE (near death experience). She also found that God is more a state of being — not a particular deity or person that each religion takes as their own. In essence, God – or the state of God – is within you. Going to a pastor or minister, or even to Google, for answers is OK, but the best source is to first look within yourself.

Moorjani infers that heaven and hell are both here on earth – and we decide which is which for ourselves. The afterlife is really a state of being where judgement does not exist — that connects you to everybody in your life and in the world. She describes it as an amazing peaceful, blissful feeling. In addition, she is at peace and in harmony with people who had either caused her stress or had been cruel to her in her past. As Ernest Dowson says in his great poem They Are Not Long:

Love and desire and hate;
I think they have no portion in us after
We pass the gate.

  • Moorjani’s revelations from the other side also has great relevance to our healthcare where both our physical and mental/emotional health are connected.

She believes that her cancer was caused by anxiety about not being who she should be. She was not living her life “fearlessly.” When she understood this, she began to recover.

Moorjani talks about creating a society where we heal people physically and psychologically. She says we should not condemn the criminal or terrorist but try to heal them since their crime shows something drastically wrong with them that needs to be healed. She says she would forgive them which is similar to the young man whose mother was killed in the massacre in Charleston who forgave that killer.

This also brings great solace to people who have lost loved ones. Although she had lost her father, she was able to communicate with him during her near death experience.
Too many times, we lose people without telling them how much we love them. But Moorjani seems to say that you will all be reunited. You’ll also be reunited with people who have wronged you and you will be OK with them.

  • This book is not about forming a new religion.

It’s about creating a healthy state of mind, and a healthy world. Moorjani is NOT creating a church where she will live in $100 million mansion funded by followers. In fact, she writes about downsizing her life so that she can follow her life goal of sharing her message and her husband’s desire to run his own business.

  • Moorjani has great insight into healthcare.

I recently spent a lot of time with some new age doctors whose research clarifies that 80% of what ails us can be cured or controlled by lifestyle changes. A big part of that healing is reducing stress. Moorjani would agree. She talks about her rejection of traditional Indian culture wanting her to be a subservient woman and how she felt like a failure for years. She also obsessed about friends who died from cancer that stressed her out. She believes those two pressure points in her life caused her to not living fearlessly, and thus caused her cancer.

  • This book also has great implications for us as citizens of the world who vote and decide how our society will be governed.

Moorjani believes you need to be open to many ideas while being skeptical of dogmas and dictates placed on us by politicians. I would say that includes people who post on social media about their political beliefs that either have little or no research or even those with some affirmation that could change. When you stand pat on your beliefs, you stop learning. Trying to convince someone you are right is usually a waste of time only causing more problems than solutions.

This is the Informed Not Inflamed message brought back from the other side. (Too boastful? Sorry.) When I read some hate-filled posts attacking someone’s political stands, I see what Moorjani feels: the person posting the hate is the one who has problems with their beliefs. That’s why I try to refrain from demeaning points of view but try to offer an alternative with facts and experience. (If I fail at this, please point it out to me in the future.)

But if you go back to Moorjani’s vision of the afterlife where there is no judgement and we are all connected as one, then why do we separate ourselves with the weakly defined terms like Democrats or Republicans let alone separating ourselves based on the color of our skin?

  • Moorjani confirms this higher state of communication – in my estimation — should and can exist – especially on social media.

She talks about understanding the difference between beliefs and awareness. When you are aware, she says, you don’t have to defend your beliefs. She writes that strongly held beliefs limit us, while being skeptical opens us up to limitless possibilities. This is so true in today’s world that is overloaded with information and data that can alter our beliefs and our way of life.

I look at the religious stands on contraceptive. They are archaic and they are hurting the world. We have too many people with too few resources which is why we are seeing so many wars that are displacing hundreds of thousands of people. You can scream religious ideology as the cause, but the true cause is over-population and a lack of resources and most religions fail to acknowledge this.

So on a personal level, while you are on social media sharing your ideas, you should be trying to attain a state of awareness of the world and the people you’re communicating with rather than spending your time defending your beliefs, because what happens is this: your beliefs begin to control you.

That’s why I always mention here: if you are conservative, you need to be looking at liberal ideas. If you were a liberal, then you need to be looking at conservative ideas. You don’t have to agree with them but you have to accept them as their ideas and at least consider those ideas might be right for someone else. It also makes you more aware of the world and its intricacies.

It’s something to think about before you send that politically incendiary post.

Clearly we have seen over the last 20 years neither side of the political debate has the answers. In fact, both sides have become so entrenched they can’t find any answers or solutions. The reality is this: if we had used our common sense we would solve many problems today.

What’s worse, our leaders today don’t even know what our problems are just as Moorjani’s doctors treated her cancer as a symptom while not trying to find the cause. So, while we have an immigration catastrophe in Europe, many people blame the Europeans. No one stops to blame the Arab governments who have caused this disaster or the oil that caused the wars that led to these human disasters. We keep talking about low productivity here in the United States. The problems are an aging society and an increase in technology. Yet we blame illegal immigrants coming into this country.

These problems can be resolved especially if more of us realize the answers are within us. Moorjani shows us this by making us realize no matter how poorly we think of ourselves, we should realize within us there is greatness.

  • This book has some literary equivalents.

Her vision of the afterlife is very similar to Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Although Wilder’s afterlife vision is dourer, Moorjani’s is happy and blissful.

Moorjani’s themes also coincide with, in my estimation, the greatest poem ever written, The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot. Elliot talks about time present being a part of time past and future. Moorjani has that same suspension of linear time as she talks about being with her father who had died while also knowing that her brother who was alive was traveling to be near her bedside. Moorjani talks about her frustration with words to adequately articulate what she has experienced, as does Eliot when he talks about words “cracking” and “missing the meaning.”

The confusion continues with her and Eliot because at times her vision reveals a pre-ordained nature to our existence. Time present is part of time future. But Moorjani also sees Free Will as a major choice. While in her coma, her dead father tells her she has to decide whether to stay or go back to her life and fulfill what her life mission is – which she does.

  • But the biggest lesson the book gives you is this: laugh a lot, be happy, and find your purpose in life.

Your thoughts?

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