I’ve not written about what happened when I was admitted to hospital in July of this year (2020), of the experience of dying and being brought back to life. The month leading up to my admission was a month of extreme pain. My GP was not helpful, possibly because I was not communicating well, but he didn’t pick up how serious it was, nor did he connect it with cancer, so all he offered me was Amitriptyline to take at night, which was entirely useless. I didn’t realise it was cancer related as I hadn’t the remotest idea that it might be a new aggressive cancer and I therefore did not contact the hospital, but I knew I had a hospital appointment later in the month and felt I needed to endure till then and to just get to that appointment.
I became more and more unwell as the days passed and on the day of the appointment I had one obsessive thought, to just get there. It was utter madness, but I drove myself to the hospital and knew I was dying. I managed to walk to the ward and waited till I was called, by which time I was barely conscious. The specialist got me to lay down on an examination bed and put a fan on me as I was burning up and then got me admitted immediately.
I drifted off into a white neutral space and observed that all the stuff of life was falling away from me, feelings and emotions, curiosity and intellectual consideration, the ability to move my limbs and to physically feel, everything that a human body requires to function was being stripped away and I understood dispassionately that none of that stuff was required wherever I was going. I did sense another realm, like another universe, not a physical universe, perhaps another dimension and I sensed a ‘Purpose’, something huge that was behind everything. I was also aware of other dimensions as if there were an infinite number of dimensions or universes, but I only sensed them and had no idea what they were, nor any (human) curiosity about them.
I then lost all consciousness and knew nothing until I awoke in a hospital bed in a state of bliss, a sublime joy that was all consuming. I was back, but remade. I was aware that all the necessary faculties for being a human being had been returned to me and yet I was a very different creature to the one that I had been.
I have lived with depression all my life and I could see that it was no longer there, I sensed where it had been but it had healed completely. I had learnt to live with depression and to regard it as a friend with many lessons that it taught me over the years, but its job was done.
I was also aware that the near death experience was a kind of graduation and that I was on a new life journey for whatever time is left to me.
It is now November and the bliss to which I awakened has subsided and I am plodding along in a body that has required Chemotherapy to deal with the aggressive secondary lymphatic cancer which so nearly robbed me of life. Dealing with the effects of reduced cognitive function (Chemo-fog or Chemo-brain, whatever name it’s given) has proved to be an intense challenge, not least because the head of Oncology denies it even exists, calling it a ‘subconscious projection of anxiety’ on my part.
Be that as it may, I find myself striving to recapture or return to the level of consciousness that I experienced on my return to life. It was a profound experience and yet here I am back in, and distracted by, the world of things and stuff and extraordinary nonsense (and madness) that is the world of today. I am very aware that we humans are locked into a physical world mindset, lacking the vision of, or for, anything else. I can see that time itself is a feature of the physical universe, yet I am befuddled by the absurdity of the notion that this is all there is. The universe as we know it is a place of wonders and our physical bodies are made of stuff formed in the hearts of super novas. Even that thought is a dimension that few are aware of or even consider as we grub for food and shelter and the necessities and adornments of life.
Here’s a thing, though, I make miniature dioramas with little signs on them of the Earth and the words, ‘You are here’. They are both an amusing little joke and true and it pleases me to make them and yet, once made, I have no further interest in them, so I give them away. I have no interest in selling them, it is much more fun to gift them to people, but that has turned into something of a challenge as people can’t get their heads around the idea of just giving away something that I have invested a fair amount of time in creating and am also happy to pay for postage and packing to send them off to their new homes.
It is absurd to say they are free, they’re not, they cost me time and effort and money, but I have no desire to pass that cost on. That’s a qualitative choice I’ve made for the fun of it, for my own personal pleasure. People don’t get it and there is no reason why they should, yet some people can’t accept it either and I get endless suggestions on how I ‘ought’ to charge for them or ask for donations.
There’s no debate here, I simply won’t do it and that’s the end of it. It’s settled in my mind, and therefore the problem to be grappled with isn’t mine and it’s not my challenge to address, it’s ‘yours’ (whoever ‘you’ may be). Those little dioramas are, then, a challenge to the world mindset, and that is a much bigger deal and so a part of me is now being intentionally provocative, challenging the world’s values in such tiny things and, I have to say, increasing my enjoyment and pleasure no end.
Is it such a big deal? Well , yes it is, it’s a huge deal on which the whole world runs. So I’ll end this with words from Bob Marley’s – Redemption Song: “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.”
Love and peace.
Keith Lindsay-Cameron. 20 November 2020.