Update 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.
Guest Post—Ethan Michael Carter
I’m excited to share a guest post today. When I started blogging, I set an intention to find other NDErs who recently journeyed to the other side. My wish was granted when I connected with Ethan Michael Carter who told me about his eight recent deaths due to brain aneurysms. I feel blessed to be one the first people to hear his story, and I’m pleased to share a few of his insights and afterlife experiences with you.
I stood beside the brook and let my surroundings wrap themselves around me, warming me in a blanket of their calmness. The water was a fragile hue of turquoises that fluctuated from deep to feint, much like the light sweep of a painter’s brush.
As it seeped and sneaked smoothly past all obstacles, the aqua even managed to hurdle the rivers boulders too. Twigs span freely as they moved along the liquid carpet, tracing a path from where they were now, right back to the mountain trees from which they originated. The brook flowed over the pebbled riverbed and sounded airy, loud and busy.
In the background, the mountains stood silently in the background, touching the sky with their high reaching majesty. And upon their lofty peaks lay peppered snow, delivered by nature to form elegant halos around the jagged heights.
From an expansive gash in a nearby rock face, a waterfall flowed without end. It looked like a continuous slide of silky-blue that decorated the mountain, highlighted only by the ice crystals that hemmed the water with silver. A distant and heavy sound emanated from the waterfall, sounding like the steady and continuous roll of a hundred drums. Glinting brightly with eye-squinting brightness, the slide of water generously fed the river.
To say I was in awe, would be an understatement.
Taking in a breath of perspective, I looked back at the swirling brook. The run off from the ice made it appear varnish clear and the surface glinted as if dream dust had been scattered over it, giving the water a glassy clarity.
My concentration flickered as some speckled trout drifted under the shady eaves of the bank, flicking their tails with elegant ease. Each time a fly happened to come to close, the trout would explode out of the water with dynamic efficiency. I could see them in almost slow motion, arcing in the air with their glistening bodies, performing their personal ballet in the river; all before landing back in the water with a plunking sound, and darting to the shadowy depths with their catch already stored safely within their bellies. The symphony and grace of the water seemed magical to me in that very brief, yet very meaningful moment.
It was a beautiful moment, but I had no idea where I was.
I did not know where I was, but I knew what I was, I was dead.
This beautiful place was what I call the Other Realm.
This was not my first time here. I had been to this realm many times. Back in Earth’s material world where I had come from, I had been suffering from brain aneurysms. I had had many episodes; some had been severe enough to cause brain bleeds and ruptures. These ruptures and bleeds on the brain had sometimes been so severe that they had caused my organs to shut down, and for me to die.
In total I had suffered 8 of these deaths so far.
Most of them would bring me to a huge house located by a hillside in what looked like Southern California, but was obviously not. I knew this as whenever I would leave that huge house, the inhabitants of the area were beings with faces made of light.
Light would emanate from every one of their orifices, and the light was as bright as car headlights, forcing me to avoid looking directly at them for too long.
On my first few visits, this would cause me great fear and discomfort. But by the fifth visit, I became accustomed to talking to these beings comfortably, if not casually, by addressing their chest regions as opposed to their faces.
The beings themselves looked like we did. Clothed, and with distinct personalities. I guess some people would call them “Spirits” or “Angels” but I prefer the term “Souls” or “Realmers.”
One of these Realmers was a man… being… called Caleb.
He stood tall at well over 6 feet tall, maybe even 7 feet. He wore a black T-shirt, unbuttoned black and white plaid half sleeve shirt, and blue jeans with black work boots. He was well muscled and his forearms revealed lean and sinewy muscle. Both forearms were decorated by a mix of scars and black tribal tattoos; tattoos that played off strikingly against the natural whiteness of his skin. His brown hair was of medium length, and his face — when I could bare to look at the light that he emanated long enough — revealed an unkempt stubble of browny grey. His voice was deep and raggedy, and he had an American accent. He had a very angry demeanor as his default setting, and a dark sense of humor.
I had met with Caleb twice. But it felt like I’d known him for a long time. You see, time means little between this world and the next. Our concept of time being linear is both laughable and simplistic when compared to the Universal understanding that Souls in the Other Realm have. In a lot of ways, our concepts feel like child’s play to them. Our greatest theories seem like the musings of children having tea parties with imaginary friends and just as imaginary food. But, just as we would humor a child, the Other Realmers view us with love and compassion; with an understanding of our misconceptions that is enlightening.
Each time I had died on Earth, my heart had stopped between 3 to 7 minutes (our time). However, each of those minutes had felt like weeks to me, weeks spent in the other realm.
Caleb was a warrior Soul. And one that could appear to me in any way that he chose. I had not known this on our first meeting and this fact was introduced to me in a very harsh and painful way.
Before meeting Caleb, I had encountered Realmers of peace and tranquility. Each previous death experience that had brought me to this realm had brought me warmth, compassion, fun and laughter.
But my first meeting with Caleb was very different. On my first meeting with him I was beaten so badly that I thought I may have found myself in “Hell.”
However, it turned out, or he told me after beating me, that his purpose was to address my fears and weaknesses — all with the aim of strengthening me. I also found that with Caleb, you must earn the right to enjoy your surroundings; something only earned by facing and conquering a fear.
Below I have listed some of the lessons that Caleb has taught me recently and my reflections on them.
Fear is restlessness, and restlessness is the enemy of peace.
Makes a lot of sense really. Fear is a trigger and takes you out of the moment. It forces you to focus on your physical and emotional reaction to it. You can’t expect to have peace within a moment if you are unable to observe a moment, especially if you’re too busy being a puppet to fear.
If you act with only the result in mind, you will fall and you will fail.
On the surface this may sound like nonsense because there are countless examples of where someone wanted something, endured obstacles, but their desire of the end result kept them motivated until they got what they wanted.
However, I feel this statement holds true because the expectations of an end result can often discourage and downplay the process in getting there.
Rather than setting an end result of say losing 15 to 20 pounds of weight in a month and then gauging our success on whether or not that was accomplished, wouldn’t it be easier to just choose to begin to take care of our bodies by working out? Therefore, adopting a healthy lifestyle and putting our focus on the journey and not the destination. This way we alleviate pressure and fear (see above) and create habits that will naturally lead to weight loss (or whatever you desire) in a more natural way.
Stale thinking, will hurt you.
Who told you that you’d fail in your own business? Who told you that you just couldn’t learn a language, or travel? Who told you that you can only jump at a certain height, or that you’re just not “lucky” or “talented” to do the things you want?
Whoever told you these things/ planted these ideas in your head; did they set them in stone within your heart and soul?
Too often we let past results dictate what our mind and bodies can achieve.
Understand that who you were, doesn’t have to be who you are. Our lives and our existences are all in constant motion, so make sure you are too.
You can and should be — evolving.
Rushing kills enjoyment
Having a rushed/ busy mentality prevents us from experiencing the moment.
We all lead busy lives. Lives that often result in us multi-tasking (eating on the go, talking while we work, etc.)
This lesson from Caleb enforced the importance to take time to fully experience one thing at a time. No matter how mundane or complicated the task we might just be surprised by how much it has to offer when we fully give ourselves to it.
Cowards fear defeat.
Don’t run away from defeat; in fact, stop evaluating everything as a win/ loss, or success/ failure.
In the human experience, we take something out of everything. It just seems to be a lot easier to value and enjoy what we take when it gets coupled with a favorable result. Imagine we didn’t evaluate all of our results and instead focused on what we took from the experience regardless. That would mean we would always be learning, and doing so without attachment to results.
Lead your thoughts.
Most people are led by their thoughts and therefore are actually a slave to them.
It is important to observe your thoughts, and be aware of them because thoughts are POWERFUL.
We are creative beings in this realm and in the Other Realm. The essence or building blocks of that creativity are found in our thoughts.
The thoughts we have become magnetized and will attract like thoughts, situations and experiences into our lives. So it is of vital importance to keep your mind aimed on only (ONLY) the things you desire, else you will attract that which you do not desire.
So, taking charge and leading your thoughts, is a very profound step.
Blindness to life
“There is never anything going on,” or “life is boring.” How many times have you thought and felt like this?
We’ve all experienced this at times to varying degrees, but the truth of the matter is that even in the most boring of moments there is plenty going on. Next time you find yourself “bored” take the time to truly observe your surroundings. Take the time to realize that your very existence alone, is a miracle in itself.
Thinking like this (leading your thoughts) will bring very interesting and exciting things into your life.
Everything has a purpose.
Even the most difficult, challenging or emotionally engaging experiences in life have a greater purpose and servitude to our existence. It’s our choice whether we want to look internally and find it, or continue to dwell on the outward experience it created.
It’s ok to die, as long as you lived.
Death does not equal sadness. Sadness equals the fact that some people never live.
A lot of people find a great deal of peace and strength in death.
For many people, death is a lot more of a profound experience than what many of us call daily life.
This is can be for two reasons:
- They realize that life is not limited to this current form and realm
- They just plain old have had enough of life
Unfortunately, many more people succumb to number 2, than they do to number 1.
You must live life and not let it slip by while you’re too busy existing.
Never give up what you love.
Don’t give up what you love, find love in what you do. The idea of giving up something that you love only stems from a disappointment in how it has worked out thus far. Rather than letting the past bury you, find the love in what you do and realize that no matter how it plays out, it is a part of you.
“What if I can’t?” is futile.
That’s the future, throw it out. All we have and can impact is this moment. Why would we let thoughts about a future moment hold us back from doing something that in this moment we would like to do.
Our “wants” are what hurt us.
Getting caught up in wants leads to nothing but suffering. When we don’t get what we want, we define this as “suffering.”
When we do get what we want, we quickly suffer because we can’t hold onto it as it either slips from our grasp or loses its previous value shortly after we attain it.
Ethan Michael Carter has worked as a professional ghost writer, author, fight choreographer, and stage actor. Currently, he works as a screenwriter. Check out more of his fascinating biography here. And if you would like to read more about his afterlife experiences, here is a recent post on his blog https://livemorethanyouexist.com/
You can also follow him on Twitter
Photograph of stream by Alan and Marcia Socolik http://alan-and-marciasocolik.pixels.com/