The latest book I'm reading is called, Proof of Heaven, by Eben Alexander, M.D.
A quick and unprofessional synopsis of this story is that he is a neurosurgeon who fell into a (spontaneous meningitis caused) coma. For the five days he was lifeless, he experienced an afterlife or "journey of heaven," even though his brain had completely shut down. He was brain dead. The chances of him coming out of the coma into a non-vegetative state were so slim to none that doctors and his family prepared themselves to let him go.
Many coma patients remember journeys while they were unconscious but none can claim them to be "afterlife" like Dr. Alexander's experience. The difference is that he is the only known patient who had this experience while 100% brain dead; meaning his body was kept alive with machines even though his brain was completely shut down.
I can't succinctly speak of the afterlife he saw, heard, or felt. The one theme in his story is that he cannot accurately describe how much acceptance, love, and compassion he felt from Om (how he referred to God). He said words do not do the depth of it all any justice whatsoever. He described our brains as not the origin of consciousness, but instead the filtering agents that block out knowledge/memory of other realms.
He also spoke of different levels or realms he "elevated" or "descended" into depending on how how much of himself (not as Eben, just as a self in general) or his ego he could forget. He described the last level as the most beautiful thing, where you could taste the color blue, see the tang of lemon, and feel a bird's call from the sky. In other words, all senses collided. In a great way. Time wasn't linear like it is here. It was this hard to describe layered up mosaic of powerful knowledge, indescribable beauty, and utter peace.
Yea, man. I am down with that realm.
Although I'm only halfway through the book, I find myself intrigued by his concept of layers we must "graduate" to get to a pure world of love and compassion.
What does a level feel like? Is each level different for each spirit? Would it be Ariel floats and Dumbo rides for children taken too soon? Is it a mosh pit with a private Kurt Cobain concert for teenagers who expired before their time? Is it soaking up the sun in a double wide rocker (like those at Cracker Barrel) for very tired and worn out souls?
My pure world would be a curvy expanse of wildflowers streaked with one lane of dog angels launching themselves toward my smiling face. And warm chocolate chip cookies at the ready.
What would yours be?
In thinking of these other dimensions of altruistic acceptance and ego-less-ness, I am reminded how offensively human I am.
Despite trying to have a flawless mommy day it has yet to happen.
Spilled milk in my van still pisses me off. I still snarl when my family yell-talks over our dinner table like the winner gets a sitcom deal...or a Kit Kat, respectively. Abby whining at all ever sends rusty nails down my skull. Grayson's migraines frustrate and terrify me to no end. Andy's occasional grouchy is met with a cold shoulder instead of a back rub. The dogs don't get me upset but that's because I'm half Labrador myself.
No matter how much I try to be the best version of myself in the morning, I end each night with I love you and an I'm sorry every single time.
It will be a long, long, earthly journey for the likes of hormonal me if Dr. Alexander's story holds true.
Maybe that's the point. Lessons learned here are hard, repetitive, and shouty because the reward is a ride through heaven chaperoned by mind-reading angels who take you straight to Om when you can leave you behind.