Real Life Experience
Thomas Benedict is an
artist who survived a near death experience in 1982. He was dead
for over an hour and a half and during that time, he "rose
up out of his body and went into the Light." Curious about
the Universe, he was taken far into the remote depths of
existence, and even beyond, into the energetic Void of
Nothingness behind the Big Bang. Dr. Kenneth Ring has said,
"His story is one of the most remarkable I have encountered
in my extensive research on near death experiences."
THE ROAD TO DEATH.
In 1982 I died from
terminal cancer. My condition was non operable. I chose not to
have chemotherapy. I was given six to eight months to live.
Before this time, I had become increasingly despondent over the
nuclear crisis, the ecology crisis, and so forth. I came to
believe that nature had made a mistake that we were probably a
cancerous organism on the planet, And that is what eventually
killed me. Before my death, I tried all sorts of alternative
healing methods. None helped.
So I determined that this
was between me and God. I had never really considered God.
Neither was I into any kind of spirituality, but my approaching
death sent me on a quest for more information about spirituality
and alternative healing. I read various religions and
philosophies. They gave hope that there was something on the
I had no medical insurance,
so my life savings went overnight on tests. Unwilling to do my
family into this, I determined to handle this myself I ended up
in hospice care and was blessed with an angel for my hospice
caretaker, whom I will call "Anne." She stayed with me
through all that was to follow. It lasted about eighteen months.
THE LIGHT OF GOD.
I woke up about 4:30 am and
I knew that this was it. I was going to die. I called a few
friends and said good bye. I woke up Anne and made her promise
that my dead body would remain undisturbed for six hours, since
I had read that all kinds of interesting things happen when you
die. I went back to sleep. The next thing I remember, I was
fully aware and standing up. Yet my body was lying in the bed. I
seemed to be surrounded by darkness, yet I could see every room
in the house, and the roof, and even under the house. A Light
shone I turned toward it, and was aware of its similarity to
what others have described in near‑death experiences. It
was magnificent and tangible, alluring. I wanted to go towards
that Light like I might want to go into my ideal mother's or
father's arms. As I moved towards the Light, I knew that if I
went into the Light, I would be dead. So I said/felt,
"Please wait. I would like to talk to you before I
The entire experience
halted. I discovered that I was in control of the entire
experience. My request was honoured. I had conversations with
the Light. That's the best way I can describe it. The Light
changed into different figures, like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna,
mandalas, archetypal images and signs. I asked in a kind of
telepathy, "What is going on here?"
The information transmitted
was that our beliefs shape the kind of feedback we receive: If
you are a Buddhist or Catholic or Fundamentalist, you get a
feedback loop of your own images. I became aware of a Higher
Self-matrix, a conduit to the Source. We all have a Higher Self,
or an oversoul part of our being, a conduit. All Higher Selves
are connected as one being. All humans are connected as one
being. We are literally the same being. It was the most
beautiful thing I have ever seen. It was like all the love
you've every wanted, and it was the kind of love that cures,
I was ready to go at that
time. I said "I am ready, take me. " Then the Light
turned into the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen: a
mandala of human souls on this planet. I saw that we are the
most beautiful creations - elegant, exotic ... everything. I
just cannot say enough about how it changed my opinion of human
beings in an instant,
I said/thought/felt, "
Oh, God, I didn't realize." I was astonished to find that
there was no evil in any soul. People may do terrible things out
of ignorance and lack, but no soul is evil. What all people
seek, what sustains them, is love, the Light told me. What
distorts people is a lack of love. The revelations went on and
on, 1 asked, "Does this mean that humankind will be
saved?" Like a trumpet blast with a shower of spiraling
lights, the Light "spoke," saying, "You save,
redeem and heal yourself You always have and always will. You
were created with the power to do so from before the beginning
of the world." In that instant I realized that WE HAVE
ALREADY BEEN SAVED; this is what the "Second Coming"
is about. I thanked the Light of God with all my heart. The best
thing I could come up with was: "Oh dear God, dear
Universe, dear Great Self, I love my Life. "
The Light seemed to breathe
me in even more deeply, absorbing me. I entered into another
realm more profound than the last, and was aware of an enormous
stream of Light, vast and fall, deep. I asked what it was. The
Light answered, "This is the RIVER OF LIFE. Drink of this
manna water to your heart's content." I drank deeply, in
THE VOID OF NOTHINGNESS.
Suddenly I seemed to be
rocketing away from the planet on this stream of Life. I saw the
earth fly away, The solar system, whizzed by and disappeared, I
flew through the center of the galaxy, absorbing more knowledge
as I went. I learned that this galaxy, and all of the Universe,
is bursting with many different varieties of life. I saw many
worlds. We are not alone in this Universe. It seemed as if all
the creations in the Universe soared past me and vanished in a
speck of Light.
Almost immediately, a
second Light appeared. As I passed into the second Light, I
could perceive forever, beyond Infinity, I was in the Void,
pre-Creation, the beginning of time, the first Word or
vibration. I rested in the Eye of Creation and it seemed that I
touched the Face of God. It was not a religious feeling. I was
simply at One with Absolute Life and Consciousness. It would
take me years to assimilate the Void experience, It was less
than nothing, yet greater than anything.
Creation is God exploring
God's Self through every way imaginable. Through every piece of
hair on your head, through every leaf on every tree, through
every atom. God is exploring God's Self. I saw everything as the
Self of all. God is here. That's what it is all about.
Everything is made of light; everything is alive.
THE LIGHT OF LOVE.
I rode the stream directly
into the center of the Light. I felt embraced by the Light as it
took me in with its breath again. And the truth was obvious that
there is no death; that nothing is born and nothing dies; that
we are immortal beings, part of a natural living system that
recycles itself endlessly. I was never told that I had to come
back. I just knew that I would. It was only natural, from what I
As I began my return to the
life cycle, it never crossed my mind, nor was I told that I
would return to the same body. It did not matter. I had complete
trust in the Light and the Life process. As the stream merged
with the great Light, I asked never to forget the revelations
and the feelings of what I had learned on the other side. I
thought of myself as a human again and I was happy to be that.
From what I have seen, I would be happy to be an atom in this
universe. An atom. So to be the human part of God... this is the
most fantastic blessing.
It is a blessing beyond our
wildest estimation of what blessing can be. For each and every
one of us to be the human part of this experience is awesome,
and magnificent. Each and every one of us, no matter where we
are, screwed up or not, is a blessing to the planet, right where
So I went through the
reincarnation process expecting to be a baby somewhere. But I
reincarnated back into this body. I was so surprised when I
opened my eyes, to be back in this body, back in my room with
someone looking over me, crying her eyes out. It was
"Anne," my hospice caretaker. She had found me dead
thirty minutes before. We do not know how long I was dead, only
that she found me thirty minutes before. She had honored my wish
to have my newly dead body left alone. She can verify that I
really was dead. It was not a near-death experience, I believe I
probably experienced death itself for at least an hour and a
half when I awakened and saw the light outside. Confused, I
tried to get up to go to it, but I fell out of the bed. She
heard a loud ''clunk', ran in and found me on the floor.
When I recovered, I was
surprised and awed about what had happened. I had no memory at
first of the experience. I kept slipping out of this world and
kept asking, "Am I alive?" This world seemed more like
a dream than that one.
Within three days, I was
feeling normal again, clearer, yet different than ever before.
My memories of the journey came back later. But from my return I
could find nothing wrong with any human being I had ever seen.
Previous to my death I was judgmental, believing that people
were really screwed up, everyone but me.
About three months later a
friend said I should get tested for the cancer. So I got the
scans and so forth. I felt healthy. I still remember the doctor
at the clinic looking at the "before" and
"after" scans. He said, I can find no sign of cancer
now." "A miracle?" I asked. "No," he
answered. These things happen ... spontaneous remission."
He seemed unimpressed. But I was impressed, and knew it was a
The Great Mystery of life
has little to do with intelligence. The Universe is not an
intellectual process. The intellect is helpful; but our hearts
are the wiser part of ourselves. Since my return I have
experienced the Light spontaneously, and I have learned how to
get to that space almost any time in my meditation. You can also
do this. You do not have to die first. You are wired for it
The body is the most
magnificent Light being there is. The body is a universe of
incredible Light. Spirit is not pushing us to dissolve this
body, We don't need to commune with God; God is communing with
us in every moment. I asked God: "What is the best religion
on the planet? Which one is right?" God said with great
love: I don't care." What an incredible grace. It does not
matter what religion we are. Religions come and they go. They
change. Buddhism has not been here forever, Catholicism has not
been here forever, and they are all about to become more
enlightened. More light is coming into all systems now.
Many will resist and fight
about it, one religion against the next, believing that only
they are right. When God said, I don't care," I understood
that it is for us to care about, because we are the caring
beings. The Source does not care if you are Protestant,
Buddhist, or Jew. Each is a reflection, a facet of the whole. I
wish that all religions would realize it and let each other be.
It is not the end of separate religions, but live and let live.
Each has a different view. And it all adds up to the big
I went over to the other
side with a lot of fears about toxic waste, nuclear missiles,
the population explosion, and the rain forest. I came back
loving every single problem. I love nuclear waste. I love the
mushroom cloud; this is the holiest mandala that we have
manifested to date, as an archetype. More than any religion or
philosophy on Earth, that terrible, wonderful cloud brought us
together all of a sudden, to a new level of consciousness.
Knowing that maybe we can blow up the planet fifty times, or 500
times, we finally realize that maybe we are all here together
now, For a period they had to keep setting off more bombs to get
it into us. Then we started saying, "we do not need this
any more." Now we are actually in a safer world than we
have ever been in, and it is going to get safer.
So I came back loving toxic
waste, because it brought us together. These things are so big.
Clearing of the rain forest will slow down, and in fifty years
there will be more trees on the planet than in a long time. If
you are into ecology, go for it; you are that part of the system
that is becoming aware. Go for it with all your might, but do
not be depressed or disheartened. Earth is in the process of
domesticating itself and we are cells on that Body. Population
increase is getting very close to the optimal range of energy to
cause a shift in consciousness. That shift in consciousness will
change politics, money, energy.
What happens when we dream?
We are multi-dimensional beings. We can access that through
lucid dreaming. In fact, this Universe is God's dream. One of
the things that I saw is that we humans are a speck on a planet
that is a speck in a galaxy that is a speck. Those are giant
systems out there, and we are in sort of an average system. But
human beings are already legendary throughout the cosmos of
consciousness. The little bitty human being of Earth/Gaia is
legendary. One of the things that we are legendary for is
dreaming. We are legendary dreamers. In fact, the whole Cosmos
has been looking for the meaning of life. The meaning of it all
and it was the little dreamer who came up with the best answer
ever. We dreamed it up. So dreams are important.
After dying and coming
back, I really respect life and death. In our DNA experiments we
may have opened the door to a great secret. Soon we will be able
to live as long as we want to live in this body. After living
150 years or so, there will be an intuitive soul sense that you
will want to change channels. Living forever in one body is not
as creative as reincarnation, as transferring energy in this
fantastic vortex of energy that we are in.
We are actually going to
see the wisdom of life and death, and enjoy it. As it is now, we
have already been alive forever.
Here’s to life!!