Update on 1/19/19: My memoir, Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformation, can be pre-ordered now. It is a #1 new release in several categories. I would love it if you helped me make near-death experiences more mainstream.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:15-16
During My NDE: From the perspective of the spiritual world, all was more light-filled than in this environment. There was no darkness, only light, beauty, love, and understanding. Looking down at the earth, it was evident that certain people were clouded by a shadow which appeared to be fear. Fear sometimes prevented others from opening up to those around them, and that is how I lived before my near-death experience. I didn’t trust others, having been badly wounded. I felt jaded in my early twenties, skeptical of others, and closed off. I didn’t believe in the magic of life or the possibility of spiritual transformation in a single moment until I experienced it myself.
I didn’t spend a lot of my time on the other side examining darkness, but I did clearly see that the light/divine light doesn’t concern itself with darkness and only wants to spread light. I know that when we say darkness, we sometimes mean evil—the intent to hurt others physically, psychologically, psychically, or otherwise. It doesn’t matter if people hurt others out of their own pain because plenty of people in the same amount of pain or greater amounts of pain do not spread more pain across the earth. They either endure their pain or they work to heal their pain and the pain of others. Though I didn’t spend much time examining darkness, I have certainly seen plenty of it after returning to my body. Darkness can be expressed in the form of jealousy, envy, rage, lust, anger, bitterness, abuse, etc. I always think that people should step back from their situations and see the bigger picture when caught up in negative cycles. For instance, if they could only think about how they might live their lives if they had a day, thirty minutes, or ten minutes left, wouldn’t they choose to enjoy their own life more deeply and not cause harm in the lives of others?
In my personal life, I have seen how another person’s lies and vengefulness can destroy some of my own happiness and goodwill for a time. As I had to call the police and talk with officials at a D.A.’s office over a particular woman’s harassment, wild accusations, and lies, my world became filled with fear and panic. However, I learned that detectives and others are insightful and aware of those who are lying. In the middle of drama, it can feel as if darkness and fear and win, but it is always possible to return to peace and a light-filled life away from the drama, fear, and darkness of other’s creations. I know that darkness and fear stays localized and contained. It does not win in the long-run. It does not prevail.
Early pioneers in gang rehabilitation brought gang members into hospice centers. After watching people die, the reality of how short our lives actually became a powerful lesson for some of these young men. Just as an NDE can change a person’s life forever, the reality of how short our lives are can also change people. With a short time remaining, who would choose to harm others, cause fear in others, or otherwise do damage on an earth full of beauty and possibility? Wouldn’t those with this awareness simply enjoy the beauty surrounding them?
Which is More Powerful? Is darkness more powerful than light? Absolutely not, but it appears that way sometimes when living in the shadow of fear. For some reason, the topic of light and darkness brings me back to my childhood roots of Christianity. Beautiful, poetic passages in the Bible say quite a lot about darkness vs. light, and of course, many people have been comforted by the frequently recited Psalms 23. This passage tells us that there is no reason to fear anything because our souls can be restored and guided toward righteousness, and “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,/I fear no evil, for You are with me; / Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. / You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; / You have anointed my head with oil; / My cup overflows. / Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, / And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
Even from a vaguely scientific perspective (and science is not my background), I have read that light is a particle/wave, and darkness/shadow is the absence of it. It seems that light wins by existing, being there in the middle of tragedy and in the middle of everything painful in this world. Light reduces darkness to shadows and specific, localized areas. Darkness is not more powerful than light, though fear and the intent to cause fear in others can do localized damage.
From an archetypal perspective, I think of light as intellectual illumination. Perhaps, that is why I love education and teaching. There is always a possibility that a light will come on in someone’s mind and in someone’s life outside of the classroom. Sometimes, this light will be the beginning of hope or the possibility of rebuilding one’s life. Sometimes, light is simply the removal of the fear of the unknown or a decrease in hopelessness and a belief in one’s personal power.
All these perspectives back up my overall understanding of light and darkness when I was outside of my body and examining humanity and the ways we all come together on earth. There is always misunderstanding between people, and this misunderstanding comes from the shadows of fear and distrust, but light dispels darkness. It will take a majority of us and an awful lot of light to dispel the fear and anger on this planet, but my work is for the light, for love, and for understanding between people.