I highly recommend a book that is an easy read about a difficult subject – death.
Robert Kopecky, an Emmy-nominated art director, has written HOW TO SURVIVE LIFE (AND DEATH): A Guide for Happiness in This World and Beyond. He does not dwell on the drama of his three near-death experiences and focuses instead on what he learned from them. Without taking himself too seriously, he has serious things to say. Kopecky’s approach to himself, to others, and to life is generous and in an amusing, low-key way he can teach even those of us who have read many of these “survival” books.
“Our science has gotten very good at describing the vastness of time and space, and the incomprehensible tiny world of molecules and sub-atomic particles and the like, but everything in between is made up from millions of years of shared, unfathomable consciousness, and can only really be described consistently by mystics, poets, artists, children, or others who are, on occasion, considered to be completely out of their minds.”
Kopecky learned something about the nature of mind from the top of a telephone pole looking down at the wreck of the car he had been driving. He could see clearly and realized that the body below was his: his mind and his body had separated.
“… (W)hat we call dying is really just the transition that takes place when the bodies we currently inhabit wear out and our spirits exit and move on along. I’m secure in personally bearing witness to that phenomenon. I’ve exited my body a little, I guess, a few times. But if you haven’t experienced that disembodiment that some people have, it can be pretty hard to come to terms with the idea of being two separate parts – an expansive, timeless spiritual self and a material, physical self that’s got a somewhat flexible expiration date.”
There are two reasons to explore states of consciousness – both the ordinary and the non-ordinary ones, both physical awareness and subtle or spiritual awareness.
It changes our current lives and makes dealing with what happens after life – death – easier. Kopecky writes about what happened after he realized that he was “two separate parts,”
“A funny thing happened to me after the power of my Near Death Experiences finally
settled in me: I stopped caring so much about how I look. Don’t get me wrong – I try to be neat. I do bathe on occasion, and I like to think I dress reasonably well, though I guess that’s a matter of taste.”
“What does matter is that you know yourself to be the private, internal you that is part of everything, has come from everything, and is returning to everything in your unique way. And in this unique way, you are just like everyone else, and everyone else is just like you.”
I like the way he expresses the perennial wisdom that, “We are all one.”
And that there are things that really matter much more than how we dress.
Other authors have also written about the change in values and goals that often takes place in the lives of people who experience NDEs. (One of the best is P.M.H. Atwater who published COMING BACK TO LIFE: The After Effects of Near-Death Experiences in 2001.) Kopecky had to leave his body more than once to learn what the body is, and isn’t, and about the true nature of what’s real.
He had to leave material existence to learn that,
“All of the most difficult and damaging parts of life originate in those conditions created by the absence of Love. On the grand scale of things, without the selfish and exploitative parts of human nature that cause so many problems … the Earth and all the people on it would be in pretty wonderful shape.”
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Robert Kopecky’s book was first published in 2014 by Conari Press, an imprint of RedWheel/Weiser, LLC.
You might also like to read Elmer Green On States of Consciousness, in WINN, April 28, 2017.