One detail that stood out to me in just about all of the NDE stories I read is that virtually all of those who had experienced a NDE came back to say that the experience was more real and more vivid than anything they had experienced in this life. Indeed, a central theme in A Course In Miracles is that this life is a dream, and it is not real:
“You have chosen a sleep in which you have had bad dreams, but the sleep is not real and God calls you to awake.” T-6.IV.6.
“You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality.” T-10.I.2.
Do you remember the movie, Inception from 2010? It was a heist thriller in which the perpetrators of the heist would enter the dream world of their targets to implant thoughts that would instigate the behaviors necessary in their targets to pull off their heists. There were dreams within dreams within dreams—multiple levels of dreams, with each level down being more chaotic than the one above it. To escape from a dream and return to the level above, the dreamer would kill himself. (This is a method certainly NOT recommended in THIS dream!) Cobb would carry a token with him that would help him determine if he was in a dream or in “real” life—a top that would not topple over in a dream level. At the end of the movie, supposedly in “real” life, he spins his top. It spins and spins and spins. In the final moment of the movie, it is just beginning to wobble. If you look on the Internet, you will find many discussions of whether the top ever actually fell over or if what Cobb thought was real was really just a dream, too.
Shakespeare seemed to be trying to tell us so much when he wrote:
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” Macbeth
“Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.” The Tempest
I have pondered the idea that perhaps what many experience in their NDEs is actually a dream level above this one, more real than this life and yet still a dream itself. If we were to awaken fully, I do not think we would reincarnate and fall into yet another dream, as so many who have NDEs say we do.
This idea of life being just a dream is key to the process of forgiveness. It is the first step in the process. It is key to recognizing that nothing has actually happened.