The Gifts of Experience
Note: Phil and his wife are such beautiful Souls and have so much to share that we asked them to start writing down some of their vast experiences so that others may learn from them… Enjoy!! Celest and David
Death: Why Be Afraid – It’s Just Part Of The Journey
I have read articles and books where people have said they have had near death experiences and I can only believe that what they are relating is true. It does get me to wondering what qualifies as a near death experience. Does it require that one be in a hospital setting during a major illness or as a result of an accident and the heart stops and the doctors and nurses work feverishly to restore the heart function? Or can it be a more subtle experience like coming through a car accident with no visible injuries or surviving an open heart operation by a talented surgeon who takes five and half hours put in five bypasses? I don’t know.
For arguments sake, let’s say that all of the above would qualify. Then when I do a review of my present incarnation and I start counting, I think Wow! I guess I have had more than a few.
My earliest remembering was while swimming at a family reunion when I was about 6-7 years old. I had just gotten to the raft in deep water (wasn’t much of a swimmer then) and I missed grabbing the raft and down I went. What is strange is that at the time I don’t remember how long I was down in the water under the raft. I do know that I went down a couple of times and that I worked very hard to get out from under the raft and grab the edge. I hung on for dear life coughing up water all the time. No one saw this happening even though there were others on the raft facing away from me. Was this escaping death? I don’t know, maybe just a scared kid.
A few years later we were traveling in a car returning home from the big city. I was with my two brothers and two other friends when the car went out of control traveling about 55 miles an hour. We did a complete u-turn in the middle of the highway and hit a telephone truck on the shoulder of the highway that was headed in the opposite direction from what we were originally traveling. The truck ended up in the ditch and we ended up tipped over on the passenger side of the car on the shoulder of the road. One person was injured but that was all. Does this experience qualify?
Years later after a tour in the military and while taking a break from college to earn more money to continue my education, I worked in the farming community in the Upper Midwest. I had a temporary job working for Green Giant harvesting peas. Green Giant has a brand of peas that are called Le Sueur peas that are smaller and are more tender then regular peas. The issue with harvesting these peas is that they are a 55 day crop and when they are mature you have only 6 hours to harvest them before they get too big. And when the weather turns very warm you have to just keep going. When we had a break in the weather, I had been driving a tractor pulling a harvester for over 30 hours straight. I had to drive 25 miles to reach the farmstead where I was staying at the time. Well I made 23 miles just fine, but I suspect that I had slept off and on for the last five of those miles. I finally just fell asleep and ran off the left side of the country road I was traveling on. I woke up when my front left fender hit a mail box and I promptly went back to sleep. I did pull the steering wheel to the right which caused the back end of my ’61 Corvair to slide into the ditch. Then when the back end hit a culvert the car rolled over and proceeded to go end over end. The car ended up on the shoulder facing the opposite direction. That’s when I woke up and said, “Well dummy, you finally did it.” I got hit in the head by the back seat cushion but no other injuries. As a side note, I had just installed seat belts about six weeks earlier and that is probably what saved me. There wasn’t a square foot of the car that didn’t have a dent in it. I think this one should qualify as a near death experience.
Many years later, actually late December 2004, my son-in-law, grandson and I were buying some lumber with which to construct a deck. We had bought 16 foot treated lumber and were hauling half of it on a ten foot single axel trailer. (I know what you technical engineers are thinking right now: “What an idiot!” And you would be correct!) We stopped to get an ice cream treat and my grandson requested that he be allowed to sit in the front seat. On the way to the store he had been buckled into the rear seat of the pickup. We had just gotten on the freeway to make the 32 mile trek to the farm and were just starting to get up to speed. I began to notice a bouncing of the trailer (sure because 10 feet of the lumber was behind the axel of the trailer causing the load to lift the tongue of the trailer and the back of the pickup). The bouncing got worse fast and the trailer started swaying as we were going around a slight curve to the left. The trailer proceeded to pass me on the right pulling the truck around and into the median where the whole shebang rolled over and ended up with the truck lying on the driver’s side and the trailer upside down with the lumber still securely attached. (Someone sure knows how to tie ropes.) No one got hurt. A couple of EMTs were behind us and saw the accident and were right there to help us out of the truck. At exactly that part of the freeway the median was just wide enough to contain the truck and trailer without getting into the oncoming traffic. And another 20 feet up the road and we would have gone down into an opening of the underpass. As we were standing in the median with the EMTs, checking us out, and the highway patrol assessing the situation, my grandson (who was 6 at the time) came up to me and said, “Grandpa, what were you thinking?” Apparently he will make a good engineer someday because he had the right assessment of my ignorance. Again I think this incident also qualifies as a near death experience.
And then there was the experience of having to have a surgeon alter the plumbing of my cardiac arteries. After the results of the heart catheter were known the surgeon came in to inform me that my eight blockages could be taken care of with five bypasses. He told me that since one of the blockages was on the backside of the heart they would have to crack my chest, put me on a machine to keep the blood flowing while they worked on the heart. He said it would be an easy operation taking about 5 to 6 hours but that there was still a risk as with any invasive procedure. He said he had openings (no pun intended) on Wednesday or Saturday and what would I prefer. I told him Wednesday sounded good to me and we went ahead. All throughout the prepping for the operation my wife was beside me. I remember waking up at one minute after midnight with the ICU nurse and respiratory therapist saying; “Mr. .…, wake up — we need to take an X-Ray of your chest .. turn over on your right side.” Yea, right! That is exactly the last thing I wanted to do. You know when a doctor or nurse asked you to evaluate your pain level by having you give a number from 1 to 10 and you give them a 6 when they know you are really hurting. They question you that you may be estimating a little low. Well I tell them that a 10 is when you wake up from open heart surgery and they want you to roll over on your right side to do an X-ray. THAT IS A 10!!
When I recalled all of these experiences as I was writing them, it suddenly came to me that there was one important feeling that was missing during the majority of these experiences. There was no fear. Only the panic during the swimming incident, but otherwise there wasn’t anything to be afraid of during any of the accidents. Was it because I knew subconsciously that I was going to be protected and okay? Were there conditions present at the time adding to this subconscious feeling? The telephone truck just happened to be sitting on the shoulder where our car would hit it broadside instead of rolling over and over into the adjoining fields. This happened in the 50’s and there were no seat belts even on the drawing boards at that time. And recall that I had just put in seat belts in the ’61 Corvair six weeks prior to the accident. And heavy rains prior to the freeway accident had made the median very soft which seemed to suck the front end of the truck into the mud and thus not allowing us to roll through the median into oncoming traffic. My grandson was sitting up front between my son-in-law and myself so we could protect him. The skill of the surgeon was such that he was able to perform the operation without a hitch. He was a renowned expert at repairing valves while the heart was functioning and not on a heart bypass machine.
Quite a list of events I added to my pre-birth agreement wouldn’t you say? As I look at the list from my present vantage point in this incarnation, I wonder why I had such a list. I know that God agreed with me (probably after a lot of counseling that maybe I should shorten it a little) and since He gives us free will, He went with my selections. And I thank Him frequently that He either selected me to be here on Terra at this time or that He granted my request to be here at this time.
BUT, what if one of these incidents had ended up with my death? The experiences gained up to that point would have added to the thousands of experiences from past incarnations. Maybe this lifetime’s experience is added to similar experiences from a past lifetime, but with just a little twist in the circumstances, and thus the creation of new experiences. But I don’t think I want another cardiac artery bypass experience again. No more 10’s for me.
My mother-in-law had a multitude of health problems during her long lifetime. And during the acute phases of the various conditions, she was afraid that she would die. She had hip replacements, bypass operations and heart congestion. It was the latter that ultimately caused her death. She had had a series of setbacks from the CHF and she passed over during the last episode. My father-in-law, her children and I were present at the time. I recall her telling my wife that she knew why we were there, but that didn’t mean that she liked it. A few days before we had arrived, she had told her son, that she knew she was dying and she was no longer afraid of dying. She passed over with her husband and children at her side. I know this may sound funny to some, but it was the most beautiful experience I have ever witnessed.
Now here is the sad part. She was at peace and unafraid of death at the end of her life. Just imagine if she had such a belief throughout her life. What additional joy she would have experienced and how free from the fear of dying she would have been.
Life is for living with love and joy and helping others. Do everything that you can do in your lifetime to minimize the fear of death in your life. It wastes way too much energy that you can use in your daily life to see the goodness of the surrounding landscape. When you view newscasts that seem to always highlight the negative, don’t go into fear. Just view it with a detachment that comes from knowing that you are where you are supposed to be at any time in your present incarnation.
Live in joy, not fear! And be ready for that list of unexpected circumstances that you inserted into your pre-birth agreement. Remember the old phrase that came from a long ago TV game show,“You Asked For It”. So when these experiences come, stay focused on the object of this incarnation… this is your experiencing… enjoy it or endure it for what it is, but don’t go into fear.
Until the next time, Phil
The Gifts of Experience / www.awakenedhearts.com