Our lives can be enriched by paying attention to the wider consciousness beyond the limited cocoon within which our habitual mind revolves. We get a glimpse of its greatness by looking into the descriptions of Oneness in that pervasive awareness.

Consciousness, the basis for our being aware of the world and the Universe, has many levels. These levels are characterized by different intensities of awareness. At a certain level, such as that in the animal, the intensity is not as much as in man. Among the animals themselves, there are various degrees of awareness. That is how the chimpanzee is able to respond better in terms of memory and interpretation than most other animals. The higher level of awareness in man has helped him understand nature’s ways, harness nature’s energies to his advantage and protect himself against many destructive forces. However, as of now, the awareness in the common man has not evolved on this planet sufficiently to transcend the ego. That is how ego plays a dominant role currently, even in the field of religion.

An exception to this scenario is the state of Enlightenment in which awareness attains its fullness and the evolution of consciousness reaches its culmination. That state has been named variously as Satori, Liberation, Nirvana, Advaita and so on. Satori is a Zen Buddhist term. Advaita, meaning non-duality, is a Sanskrit word that describes the state as an expansive consciousness in which the oneness of all is experienced. However, the atmosphere is not yet strong enough for the general order of things to be governed by deepening awareness and its holistic content. As of now, ideas of individual salvation and personal aggrandizement govern the human psychology.

Deep interest in understanding the vaster consciousness augments a spiritual journey that enriches our life to the point of being in affectionate communion with everyone and everything on this planet. Our daily chores, official work and items of responsibility – all of them get loving attention. However, just like playing the violin cannot be perfected in a day, the art of understanding the expansive consciousness also needs sustained interest and patience.

People who show interest in the direction of what lies beyond the apparent bring in a natural austerity in their lives. It chimes in with the love with which they attend to their daily matters. Then, strangely, circumstances in life transform themselves into supporting their movement towards the vaster consciousness. Troubling issues begin to ease off. One releases oneself from self-centered activities, be it in the name of social fame or religion. Attention moves towards non-sectarian spirituality. In this connection, we read a passage by Patricia Basset given in the IANDS Newsletter (Vol. 31, No. 1). What she writes about her NDE in the following lines is relevant to this article:

“My journey made sense, and a lightness of being began to grace my soul. I was truly home, safe on shore, warmed and nurtured in the Light. Opening up to the experience has heightened my awareness of the many gifts I was given during my visit to the other side, including a keen sensitivity to sound and light, deep understanding, compassion, intuition, and insights to help others on their journey. I possess a comforting lack of the fear of death, a dedicated belief in the afterlife and all the peace and love we have to look forward to. There will be freedom from this physical temple we are temporarily bound by, and a final merging with the Light in all its beauty, silence and wisdom.”

Again, there was an article entitled "I Died at 10.52 AM" in the October 1974 issue of the Reader's Digest by Victor Solow describing the Advaitic aspect of the wider consciousness. Victor says that, even after several years past his NDE, a recurrent nostalgia remains for the other reality, that condition of indescribable stillness and quiet where the ‘I' is part of a harmonious whole. The memory softens his old drives for possession, approval and success.

Thus, we see the expansive awareness in those who were thrown into the other dimension due to NDE (or similar phenomena). Understanding the essence of that consciousness, we perceive the meaning behind natural spirituality and move on to higher dimensions of living. Related items are covered in the website: http://spirituality.yolasite.com

Author's Bio: 

Gopalakrishnan T. Chandrasekaran was born in Madras (now Chennai), India. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978; served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait.
Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled “In Quest of the Deeper Self” is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.
Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. He lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in the southern part of India, with his wife Banumathy who also received her doctoral degree from the North Carolina State University, in Organic Chemistry. Now they are both retired and currently involved in developing a fruit farm at a village 20 km from their residence. They have a daughter and son who are both married and settled.
Blog: http://nde-thedeeperself.blogspot.com