Published in Pawtucket Times, November 9, 2012
We’ve heard it before – “don’t sweat the small stuff”, “do not fear death…only the unlived life”, “live your life to the fullest”. Anita Moorjani, 50, only knows the truth behind these familiar sayings all too well because of a Near Death Experience (NDE) she had in 2006.
In Moorjani’s book, Dying to be Me: My Journey From Cancer To Near Death, To True Healing, published in 2012 by Hay Houses, USA, the Hong Kong-resident recounts stories of her childhood, being raised Hindu while residing in a largely Chinese and British society in Hong Kong. Throughout her adult life, she faced challenges to find a profession, eventually found her one true love, husband Danny, and eventually fought her devastating cancer, which lead to her death, but ultimately came back to life and became healed, an outcome that today baffles the medical world.
The 191 page inspirational tome tells how Moorjani fought against Stage IV lymphoma for almost four years, ultimately a terminal disease that spread from the base of her skull, which traveled over her neck and down to her abdomen. Her body was riddled with malignant tumors, “some the size of lemons”, she recalls.
As a result of her near death experience, and the publicity generated by her book, Moorjani now speaks at conferences and events around the world to share her insights gained from her Near Death Experience. She is also a frequent guest at The University of Hong Kong’s department of behavioral sciences speaking on topics such as dealing with terminal illness, facing death, and the psychology of spiritual beliefs.
By the morning of February 2, 2006, Moorjani was wheel-chair bound, on oxygen and receiving full-time care at home. She was sliding in and out of consciousness while experiencing breathing difficulties due to fluid in her lungs. Her body was swollen with open skin lesions and she was soon admitted to the local hospital in a coma. Her outcome was grim, and the attending physician informed her husband that he did not expect her to survive for another 36 hours.
Now in the ICU and having been in a coma for nearly 20 hours, the forty-four year old woman’s vital organs began to fail. In fact, she was ultimately pronounced dead. Moorjani recalls entering into a “NDE”, having a spiritual epiphany while on the other side of death’s veil. She came to understand the ultimate cause of her devastating medical condition, which she reports as “being fearful of life”. When she chose to return to her physical body, Moorjani knew that she indeed had the power to heal her body of the spreading cancer, knowing with certainty that this medical miracle would occur.
Over a six month period after her NDE, Moorjani was given chemotherapy, even though every medical test revealed no trace of cancer. A lymph node biopsy also revealed no cancer in any of her lymph nodes.
. Like millions of others who have reported NDE, Moorjani had experienced many of its classic traits. She recalls having “an extreme sense of peace and well-being, an intense feeling of unconditional love”, and became reunited with deceased family and friends and spiritual guides.
Her book noted that even in a coma in this very deep NDE, she was acutely aware of her surroundings. She heard a physician tell her husband, outside her room in the corridor, that her organs were failing and she would not last the night. In her NDE she knew that her brother was on a plane coming to say his goodbyes, too.
On the other side, Moorjani recounts in this book how she received profound knowledge about her life, mission and purpose of life with an understanding of the nature of the universe as well. When the terminally ill woman approached the boundary of no return, she remembers she had a decision to make, to stay and sever ties with her sickly body, or come back to heal and accomplish her life’s mission. Choosing to voluntarily return to her disease-ridden body, upon regaining consciousness, she knew that her body would be quickly healed of cancerous tumors. She was released from the hospital within weeks, without a trace of cancer in her body.
With an increased belief in the God-force within, no longer would Moorjani fear death, and this experience fueled her desire to confront life fearlessly.
NDE Is a Common Occurrence
Over the years, Jeffrey Long, M.D., a leading NDE researcher, has documented over 3,000 NDEs, posted on the www.nderf.org website. The practicing radiation oncologist says that this data base is by far the largest collection of NDEs, available in 22 languages, that is publicly accessible. Readers from over 100 different foreign countries access Dr. Long’s web site monthly. Over 300,000 pages are read from this website every month.
Meanwhile, Dr. Long’s website, notes that although most people who come near death do not remember anything, around 18% later report that “something happened.” That “something” is often a near-death experience NDE, says Long. He notes a 1993 Gallop Poll estimated that 12 to 15 million Americans personally experienced a NDE. As of 2001, almost 600 adults per day across the nation experience an NDE.
According to Dr. Long, who penned the New York Times bestseller, Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences, Moorjani’s, NDE is “one of the most profound NDEs ever reported. The insights that she received during her NDE are profound, yet corroborated by the insights of many other NDErs.”
Dr. Long noted, “I have carefully reviewed Anita Moorjani’s incredible recovery and NDE. It is medically inexplicable. Doctor’s don’t like to use the term ‘miracle’, but that is the best word to describe her experience.”
While he did not review her original medical records, one physician did. In an email and a press release, promoting a workshop to discuss Moorjani’s rapid remission from an advanced stage of cancer, Dr. Peter Ko, an oncologist who reviewed her medical records did not attribute her dramatic recovery to her chemotherapy. “Based on what we have learned about cancer cell behaviors, I speculate that something (non-physical…”information”?) either switched off the mutated genes from expressing, or signaled them to a programmed cell death. The exact mechanism is unknown to us, but not likely to be the result of cytotoxic drugs.”
Lessons Learned from Beyond the Veil
Moorjani now believes that her cancer manifested in her physical body due to the fear of being herself, displeasing others, not measuring up to their expectations andthe fear of living life to the fullest. In fact, it was being “fearful of everything,” said the internationally recognized writer, that blocked her greater essence from healing the physical body.
“Only when I realized my own magnificence, my own perfection, my own self worth as a beautiful child of the universe, was I able to let go of fear and embrace life with all its uncertainties, ambiguities, joys, sorrows, and challenges. Seeing myself as perfection, as an exquisite manifestation of life, led to my healing,” she said.
Moreover, a prevalent part of her experience was the realization that we are all interconnected and when she was not in her body she was able to clearly see this.
Finally, “laughter and a good sense of humor can be your best medicine” – Moorjani recommends not to take your life too seriously, just “Learn to lighten up and laugh. Don’t be afraid of just being yourself.”
For more information about Moorjani’s NDE and her philosophies of living life fearlessly, or to purchase her book, go to www.anitamoorjani.com,
Herb Weiss, LRI ’12, is a Pawtucket-based freelance writer who covers aging, health care and medical issues. He be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org