People who undergo near-death experiences (NDE) often report that they die temporarily to see Jesus, God, Buddha, Gurus, or so forth. These people often return to life to become less religious but more spiritual. However, people who go into a hellish realm in their near-death experiences often return to become highly religious, even becoming pastors and church ministers.
According to the movie, After Death, one man’s near-death experience brought him into hell: Howard Storm. He had thought he was a good guy, but he questioned this view in the hell realm where unthinkable things happened to him. He realized that he (like me!) had strained relationships with his family, so he took ownership, even crying out for Jesus. White light and Jesus appeared, taking him to a heavenly realm. I believe that’s because when Howard Storm was in hell, he took accountability for his wrongs, not making excuses or blaming others. Therefore, his hell turned into heaven, and after that, he was freed to return to this earthly existence to tell his tale and become Reverend Storm, a church minister.
I saw on YouTube an NDE of another fellow in hell, where demons threw sticks at him. What did he do? He threw sticks back. Like Dantes’s Inferno, this drew him further into hell, where the sticks turned into stones and then into bats the more he retaliated. And the demons took great pleasure in his suffering. The moral is that vengeance, retaliation, or hate draws us further into a hellish realm. In this man’s NDE, a young child appeared and said to the beleaguered man, “You still have time.” He was brought back to this existence for a second chance.
Another fellow from the movie After Death reported plummeting into a hellish nightmare. The more he tried arguing that he was a good person, the faster he plummeted. The moral? Don’t try to justify the conflict we endure, at least never by blaming the other; instead, we must take full ownership and responsibility for our roles in every conflict.
According to some NDE stories, negative thoughts snowball. That is hell. So, when we experience negative self-talk, we must not engage it. One person who had an NDE felt all the negative thoughts of everyone in the hellish realm. Sometimes, I have thoughts I don’t consciously will—they arise out of nowhere, don’t make sense, and don’t even remotely apply to my life, but cause distress nevertheless. I like to not attach to them but rise above into a state of love. Regardless, one of the most prominent morals I’ve gleaned from these NDEs is to not leave this world with any trace of hate in our hearts. So, the solution is to turn hatred into love while we are in this world. That love is called wisdom, which combines knowledge (or learning life lessons) with unconditional love.
I believe all our struggles are intended for us to grow toward a higher place of love. So, how might we ensure we don’t get cast into a hellish realm? I think I’ve encountered one solution: We’ve got to escape hell and enter heaven while here on Earth. We’ve got to reject all negative thoughts, refuse to put down others (not even jokingly) and stop all expectations and demands of others. Instead, we should focus on love and kindness toward every living being. We must continuously seek goodness, or the light, for our slightest thoughts, good or bad, impact hundreds of others.
If we can come to a place of love for all, even in the hell realm, we will, I believe, arrive at that blissful place of pure, unconditional love, no matter what religion we follow. Saint Catherine of Siena summed up my desired role in this life: selflessness, which is not thinking less of ourselves but of ourselves less. That’s a hallmark of the right attitude in my mind: the desire to serve and support others. And if infinite carnations exist, all of us on Earth, all creation, will eventually arrive in the blissful, indescribable state of pure, unconditional love.