Home » Blog » ‘After’ by Dr Bruce Greyson Book of the month Sept 2021

What happens after you die?
This book provides amazing life changing insights to the most profound question ‘What happens after you die?”, but it does so from a very sceptical, grounded and scientific perspective.  

For this reason, ‘After’ is in the top 5 most important books I have ever read!  I never imagined I would say this when I first started reading the book, but the more chapters I read about the author’s scientific research and discoveries the greater became my realisation that for most people reading this book will be life changing! 

Dr Greyson shares 40 years of scientific research studying thousands of people who have reported experiencing a phenomenon called a ‘near death experience’ or an ‘NDE’.

Dr Greyson has led more peer reviewed studies on NDEs (near death experiences) than any other researcher in history.   

It should be noted that NOT ALL people who physically die for a brief period of time before coming back to life have this experience, for most of those that do have an NDE the experience is indescribably, lucid, joyous and life transforming!

Greyson started this 40-year research journey as ‘a sceptic’ who considered it unlikely that there was anything beyond death and he was also sceptical that any scientific research would be able to change his sceptical view.

The reason he was so driven to look at the science of NDEs was an experience Greyson had as a junior doctor. He worked with a patient who had nearly died. After this patient had ‘come back to life’ and regained consciousness from her coma, she told Greyson in vivid detail about a meeting he had had with someone else that happened in another location, whilst she was technically dead in her hospital bed.

She claimed to know these things because she was having an outer body experience where she was looking at her body from above, after which, she floated to another part of the hospital building where she observed Dr Greyson speaking with the young lady who had brought her to hospital. 

This is where Greyson’s NDE research journey began, he would interview thousands of such people over the next 40 years and would find consistent patterns, like with this first case the vast majority of people who reported this NDE state, say it is ‘a state of joyous peace’ most stating that the whole experience appeared more real than anything else they had ever experienced. 

Over a 40-year period, Dr, Greyson has kept in touch with most of his case studies and has followed up with them many years later to find out how they are progressing. 

Just to give you a taste of some of the amazing conclusions from the research data from the thousands of individuals studied following their NDEs. More than 80 percent of NDE participants agreed with the following: 

  • Their NDE was joyous and more real and lucid than anything else they had ever experienced
  • They would have been quite happy to have ‘not come back’
  • Subsequent to their NDE, they now have little or no fear of death
  • They live life more fully following their NDE
  • They are more empathetic to others after their NDE   
  • They are more present and less anxious in their day to day lives 
  • Following their NDE, they lead more deeply rewarding and fulfilling lives than before 

I would be amazed if you read this book and it does not have a significant impact on how you view both your current life and what lies beyond it! 

I believe one of the key reasons we fail to live our lives to the full is our fear of death. Instead of acknowledging death, which is an inevitable aspect of our physical life, most people tend to ignore it and only really think about it when someone that they care for passes away.  

Most of my entrepreneurial clients who have learned ‘The 4 Steps’ spiritual growth program that I teach will be aware that, one of those steps involves the daily practice of ‘embracing your own inevitable death’.  

The premise is, which is borne out by Dr Greyson’s NDE research, is that the more you can embrace your own inevitable death the less fearlessly you live! This involves visualising yourself ‘passing from the physical plain to a greater awareness of the non-physical plain. This is why I have been drawn to research near-death experiences, without question they are our greatest insight for learning about, one of the greatest questions I have ever asked myself “What happens after we physically die?”  

Fulfilment
The book identifies that the vast majority of people who have an NDE have a different outlook on life afterwards and appear to lead much more fulfilling lives.

Any entrepreneur who has worked with me knows that, as much as I am inspired to help them grow a successful business, ‘living a fulfilling life’ is the foundation from which to do this. Without fulfilment, success is nothing other than an empty label used by others.

Over the years I have studied numerous philosophies and cultures and 2 in particular stood out as nurturing a more fulfilling life, the Stoics who date back to ancient Greece and the Samurai, who date back to Japan in the1100s, what I discovered were people who had philosophical practices that appeared to live their lives in a manner that was both fulfilling and fearless.  They lived life to the full and historically were known to be the most fearless warriors, because they had much less fear of death than most.  Many Samurai and most Stoics had a daily practice where they imagined themselves dying and passing on from their physical bodies.

I strongly believe that you do not need to have an NDE to acquire the wisdom that lies within an NDE, understanding other people’s NDEs is a great help. Consistent practice of ‘passing over meditations’ (similar to some meditations practiced by the Stoics and the Samurai) appear to be similarly transformative as NDEs.

The people who had NDEs consistently told Greyson that they no longer feared death and they also no longer feared not having material things. It is this non-attachment to life and to the things in life which paradoxically enables you to enjoy them more fully.

The brain is NOT the mind – the mind is not the brain!
Dr. Greyson has also conducted research projects with eminent nuero scientists that lead to this understanding that ‘your mind is not your brain!’ This leads to the question ‘Where is the mind?’. The author says that during his 40 years of research, he went from being a sceptic to a deeply spiritual person who has learned from all the people he has worked with who have had NDEs to live a more fulfilling life by serving others. 

Thank you, Dr. Bruce Greyson, for doing this research and sharing it. I am certain it will help to enrich and transform many lives!

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