A few years ago when I was heavily into astral projection and lucid dreaming I had a bizarre experience. I had a very vivid and unusual dream, where I encountered the father of a good friend of my sister's, who had died two days previously. Now while I to was friendly with this person, the father I had only met a few times, and he wasn't someone I was in any way close too, knew well or ever really thought about if I'm honest. I'm stating this as in a way, (due to confirmation bias) I would expect it would be more likely to have dreams with deceased friends or relatives.
In this dream, I encountered this guy, he was lying on the couch in my family home living room (I was living and working elsewhere) and he seemed to be dazed and confused, I got the impression he did not know where he was or what was going on. For whatever reason I got the strong impression I needed to comfort and reassure him, I put my hand on his forehead and told he and his family would be ok. It was only later that I stumbled across dream researcher's Ryan Hurd's classifications of "Big dreams"...those certain dreaming events in life that are far above and beyond "normal" dreaming in terms of depth and impact. Everything about that dream...interestingly including the physical contact...seemed to align it as one of these dreams, and unlike many dreams I've had, I've never forgotten it. My sister told her friend and she said how I described him was very similar to the state he was in the week before he died (maybe not that profound). Personally, this was an interesting outlier experience for me. Talking to more esoteric people, they consider this example a classical soul retrieval/assistance exercise...that I was exploring my consciousness at the time through astral projection and lucid dreaming exercises so I was more open to such things.
Earlier this year I had some breakthrough experiences with 5-MeO-DMT in the form of Bufo alvarius toad secretion. These experiences would turn out to be the most profound and earth shattering of my life to date. Scientifically speaking, I underwent what would be classified as a "complete mystical experience", following inhalation of the vapour, which within a few seconds completely annihilated my individual concept of self. While it is very hard to put this experience into words, among other things I experienced absolute, boundless infinity, complete cosmic oneness with the universe, and resonated with a state of universal consciousness. This universal consciousness/infinity may be somewhat easier in some respects to simply label "God" and it greatly surprises me to say this is the best approximation of what I encountered, along with the realisation that I am...EVERYTHING is...that, and a part of that. It really seems to me, in the wake of these experiences...the insights of which have remained with me...rather than being an individual being having this experience of consciousness, in fact I'm an individual facet of a much, much greater consciousness, having this unique, individual, subjective experience. Of course I cannot "prove" this to anyone else, and can't say I have any interest in doing so...this is something that can only be experienced directly. But it took me by surprise, I was not brought up in a religious household, always considered myself agnostic, and am a man of science.
Regarding what happens at death, I'm not sure what happens, but in a sense I'm more agnostic about what may happen than I've ever been. I assure you no one can know, or does know for sure, despite their assertions. I do find it a little funny when people express fear about existing in a purposeless purgatory for all eternity on death of the body. This seems to be quite the assumptive leap, in claiming to know how the afterlife works (there's a great deal we don't know about life itself, including perhaps the greatest mystery of all, consciousness). Looking at the Near Death Experiences, they take the view that life is an experience by which we learn, expand, grow, evolve, love. If there is anything more after life, I don't see why this process would end (and going back to a previous point, I do find the Christian conception of Heaven far, far worse as that sounds very dull to me...non-existence sounds better).
Some musings on death (and the afterlife) by 5-MeO-DMT psychonaut Dr Martin Ball that may be of interest.
Reset: How have your psychedelic experiences [with 5-MeO-DMT] affected your relationship to the idea of dying? Are you afraid of death?
MB: Oh, not at all. I feel like I’ve been through death many times with 5-meO. I understand the process. I enjoy it. It’s like, “Oh, I just get to let go!” Death is the ultimate thing that you don’t need to do anything about — you just let it happen to you.
Before my first 5-meO-DMT experience, I used to wonder a lot about, “Well, is there an afterlife, or is there reincarnation, or is death the end of the experience?” With my acceptance of the reality that everything is God — I’m God, you’re God, it’s all God, all the time — the idea that I could somehow destroy myself just became laughable. So, death isn’t necessarily the end, but it is the end of my individual experience as Martin. That’s kind of sad, because I enjoy the experience of being Martin, but it’s also kind of liberating, because life comes with all kinds of hardships, responsibilities, and things you need to do moment-to-moment and day-by-day. It puts it more into the context of, this is all just a gift, because this is my one opportunity to experience life as Martin. Maybe I should just enjoy it, make the most out of it. And since I know that everything is God, I’m not really afraid of anything at this point. I’m not really looking for physical pain or suffering, but I don’t have unnecessary anxieties, I don’t worry about things anymore. I’m not concerned about the state of my soul or spirit anymore.
I also don’t believe in an afterlife, because that’s going to be the end of Martin. Martin is just a character that’s held together by this body that I’m inhabiting at this moment, and when this body’s gone, Martin is gone. And that’s great, because that means all of Martin’s concerns are gone as well. It’s kind of like the eternal vacation, in a sense. But, see, the irony is that even though Martin is gone, the true I doesn’t ever go anywhere, because God is reality, and just because Martin disappears doesn’t mean reality is going to disappear. I am still here. I’ve always been here. I always will be here. It’s just that one life, that precious gift of experiencing myself as a human being, as this particular person known as Martin — that will be done. That will be over. That makes it precious! It makes it infinitely valuable. And from the personal perspective as well as the God perspective, I can say, “Look, I went to all this trouble to evolve this universe and evolve human beings so that I could experience myself as this one person for one life.” This is a statement that’s true for everyone, so I’m not claiming that it’s unique for the Martin character, but from my perspective as Martin, that’s a true statement: Wow, I must really love myself a lot to give myself this gift and this experience… and to put an expiration date on it! Because without an expiration date, nothing has value or meaning. Because everything is God, nothing is any more valuable than anything else, but from the individual, embodied perspective, whether I have a glass of water when I’m thirsty — that becomes very, very valuable, because there are energetic consequences for this embodiment based on what I experience within my reality and what is available to me. So everything becomes so, so precious. The beauty and the horror, it’s all something to savor. Everything is beautiful, no matter how horrible it is. I just love it — I love being alive. I love being, and I love everything and everyone. It’s so liberating just to love everyone rather than to have conditions on it… which doesn’t necessarily mean that I personally like everyone, but I’ve become very comfortable with the fact that I actually love everyone, because I love myself. And if I’m God, and if everyone is God, then that means I love everyone.
Edited by Samwise, 03 October 2017 - 12:09 PM.