The momentum of conventional neurology takes people along habitual ways from which very few seem to release themselves. The result is that there is no room in their psychology for bringing in wider perspectives about life’s journey. What predominates the daily awareness is the ego’s utilitarian approach to everything that the mind touches. This affects even our relationship with the near and dear ones. Most of us deal with them through the image we have about them rather than be alive to their presence and let compassion flow towards them. This patternized behavior hardens people to the point of being heavily grounded in self-importance leading to lack of empathy and erosion of sympathy. This neglect ends in deep compunction and grief when a close relative or friend passes away. It also leads to anguish when our own last hour approaches; it would then be difficult to leave with a feeling of completeness.
Reflection on the last hour can help us pay attention to our present life and be alive to the others – a kind of soul-level contact with them. Such a relationship is more than just caring for them – it brings in an atmosphere of sacredness in our being with people, animals and nature. There is unconditional love towards all allowing empathy to play a role in our dealings. Naturally, when the final end closes in on us, we will have a feeling of completeness in the way we lived.
While discussing near death experiences, one of the participants said, “If I am told that I have only two more days to live, I would spend that time apologizing to all those whom I had hurt in one way or another.” That expression is indeed significant with regard to the tenor of this article. Somehow, while we function in the habitual psychology, we take people for granted and compassion does not manifest itself in our dealings. That is where reflection on the issue of leaving the earthly life with a completeness feeling can bring about the transformation needed to treat everyone and everything with abundant feeling for them.
The International Association for NDEs (iands.org) published a letter to the editor by Mr. Stephen Latimer in their newsletter Vital Signs (Vol. 32, No 1). Stephen lost his son David at the age of 20 due to cancer. His presentation on what he went through is indeed very moving. Towards the end he says, “In conclusion I would like to say these events are not made up by a father clinging to a lost child – they were real and true, and I believe they were a gift from David to help me cope with this loss. It is also a story to tell others I have met, to give comfort and hope to especially the many people I meet who are about to lose someone or who are coping with loss themselves.” We can imagine what Stephen went through and, if we are to face such situations the right way, we should wake up early enough so that we treat everyone with compassion while they are still hale and healthy. Our mental stance during the last hour would then be one of serenity.
Sometimes, we read melodramatic stories or watch such movies. They can also push us into pensive reflections on what we should do now so that, when the last hour comes, we can leave with a feeling of completeness. In this connection, the reader may look into a story by Rabindranath Tagore of India entitled “The Home Coming”. It can have deep impact on us.
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