Elucidating the “Meaning of Life” can best be approached through application of the ancient directive: “Know yourself.” To fathom the depths of this suggestion, it helps to view the boundaries of self as false and misleading. The physical universe is a small subset of the much grander aspects of the spiritual universe, of which we are all a part. And, more than just a part, in a holographic sense, our conscious existence is a crucial aspect of all existence, ultimately identical with all of the universe.
There is one consciousness of which all life is an integral part, and it is the fundamental substrate out of which emerges everything else in all of existence. Each of us is as a holographic reflection of the entire self-aware universe, unlimited in our capabilities. The entire universe exists to serve as the stage on which the drama of sentient life unfolds, and we each participate in that much grander process, that in its most robust form is the “evolution of consciousness” about which Pierre Teilhard de Chardin so eloquently wrote.
In some sense, labeling this realm “soul school” emphasizes that existence is all about learning, and teaching. We are all participants, but it makes more sense to take the broadest view possible—to see all of the participating souls and soul groups, and all of their trials and tribulations, to be the course material for this grand process of understanding, of coming to “know oneself.”
Much of the confusion in our attempts to understand existence arises from our false sense of separation, from analyzing a small portion of the universe (i.e. ourselves) as independent from the universe. Such false separation leads to confusion and distortion. It is much better to take the broadest view possible—of our soul groups’ members over many incarnations, to view all of our human interactions and relationships as a meaningful construct of learning and teaching—with the core currency of those lessons steeped in Love as the common denominator.
The ultimate “meaning” thus emerges from this process of learning and teaching, of finding that the ultimate moral compass in our efforts is the most ideal application of unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance and mercy – for ourselves, our neighbors, our “enemies,” indeed for all fellow beings throughout creation. This unconditional love has infinite power to heal, whether the healing involves the individual, the soul group, or much larger groups of sentient life throughout the cosmos. The microcosm of existence in each of our lives is thus reflected as the raison d’être for the entirety of existence.
~Eben Alexander III MD spent over 25 years as an academic neurosurgeon, including 15 years at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, the Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Over those years he has personally dealt with hundreds of patients suffering from severe alterations in their level of consciousness. In his academic career he has authored or co-authored over 150 chapters and papers in peer reviewed journals, and made over 200 presentations at conferences and medical centers around the world. He thought he had a very good idea of how the brain generates consciousness, mind and spirit. A transcendental Near-Death Experience (NDE) during a week-long coma from an inexplicable brain infection changed all of that– completely.
He has spent the last seven years since his NDE reconciling his rich spiritual experience with contemporary physics and cosmology. He discovered that by probing deeply into our own consciousness, we transcend the limits of the human brain, and of the physical-material realm.
A pioneering scientist and thought leader in consciousness studies, Dr. Alexander has been a guest on Dr. Oz, Oprah, and many other national and international media programs. His books, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife and The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife, have collectively spent more than two years atop the New York Times and international bestseller lists.
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