DYING TO BE ME
TO NEAR DEATH,
TO TRUE HEALING
By ANITA MOORJANI
[as it appeared in the June 2012 Newsletter]
Review by Reja Joy Green
“It was as though every moment held infinite possibilities,
and where I was at that point in time was a culmination of every decision,
every choice, and every thought of my entire life.
My many fears and my great power had manifested as this disease.”
When I read this paragraph in Anita Moorjani’s book “DYING TO BE ME: MY JOURNEY FROM CANCER, TO NEAR DEATH, TO TRUE HEALING” it reminded me of what my husband and I often say to participants as we begin our presentations on A Course in Miracles [ACIM]. We express the idea that absolutely every decision they have made in their lives has culminated in bringing them to this room and to this moment. Likewise, every decision I have ever made in my life has brought me to writing this review in this moment and all of the decisions you have EVER made have brought you to this moment in which you are reading it.
It was the next sentence in that paragraph that stopped my mind for a moment:
“My many fears and my great power had manifested as this disease.”
Yes, I have learned and have experienced fear as a power capable of manifesting dis-ease. This is quite understandable. And yet the second part of this sentence was an idea that might even go unnoticed if the reader were looking from their regular, comfortable, point of view. Such a concept may not be understandable and so glossed over. “…my great power had manifested as this disease.” What did Anita mean by this? Why would our POWER manifest as a disease?
To answer this we may want to start with Anita’s experience of ‘disease’. A dear friend [Soni] and also her brother in law had contracted cancer and had perished from the disease. When this happened Anita became deathly afraid of getting sick herself and also afraid of the medical treatment when she saw how it had ravaged her friend’s body and had not prevented her death. In her study of cancer, Anita learned that cancer could come from many activities: the polluted air we breathe, the pesticides and preservatives in our food, the chemicals in the water we drink, even the negative thoughts that we think. Her fear only increased.
And then the inevitable happened. In 2002 Anita was diagnosed with cancer. Since conventional, western style medicine had not helped her friend, Anita tried alternative methods:
“I tried faith healing, praying, meditation, and energy-healing sessions. I read every book I could get my hands on about cancer, learning every possible connotation given to the disease. I worked on forgiveness therapy, and forgave everyone I knew—then forgave them again. I traveled through India and China, meeting Buddhist monks, Indian yogis, and enlightened masters, hoping that they’d help me find answers that would lead to healing. I tried being vegan, meditating on mountaintops, yoga, ayurveda, chakra balancing, Chinese herbal medicine, pranic healing, and Chi Gong. But despite all this, my cancer just kept getting worse.” (Kindle Edition, pp. 133-134).
It was at the point of imminent total organ failure, after a four year battle, that Anita’s fight was over. She completely surrendered to – what turned out to be – REALITY.
In this amazing book, DYING TO BE ME, Anita chronicles her life before her diagnosis in Part I, when she developed a limiting and fear-filled thought system based on years of harassment and abuse for being seen as ‘different’. She shares how she became completely ‘other centered’ and continually struggled to fit in and be accepted and yet the result was always a deep sense of unworthiness.
Part II chronicles her journey to death and back. Anita describes the “Near Death Experience” [NDE] itself, and what happened next. “Being healed of cancer and working to find a new place in the world has been a surprising, challenging, and exhilarating journey!
In this section, Anita describes how she felt after the NDE when she was aware of a connection with everyone in her life, including those at the hospital:
“I felt as though I were connected to them all at a deep level and knew everything they were feeling and thinking, almost as though we shared the same mind.” (pp. 83-84)
As a Course in Miracles student, reading this is a wonderful affirmation of what we are learning in the Course which teaches: ‘minds are joined’.
Part III is an expression of Anita’s understanding of “healing, the way the world is today, and how we can live as a reflection of who we really are, allowing our magnificence to shine through.”
When the end came, and Anita finally let go completely she took the leap of faith, and was buoyed up by the LOVE that she knew herself to BE. That’s when she realized,
“My many fears and my great power had manifested as this disease.” (p. 70)
Anita shares more about the Power manifesting as disease in the Question and Answer area at the end of her book:
“I had this understanding: Ooh, I see—it didn’t happen to me, because in truth, I’m never a victim. The cancer is just my own unexpressed power and energy! It turned inward against my body, rather than outward. I knew it wasn’t a punishment or anything like that. It was just my own life force expressing itself as cancer because I didn’t allow it to manifest as the magnificent, powerful force of Anita.” (p. 165)
When I read this I recalled a portion of the ACIM TEXT which teaches us:
“The mind chose to divide itself when it willed to create both its own levels and the ability to perceive, but it could not entirely separate itself from the Soul because it is from the Soul that it derives its whole power to create. Even in miscreation will is affirming its Source or it would merely cease to be. This is impossible because it is part of the Soul which God created and which is therefore eternal.” ACIM OrEd.Tx.3.45
We derive our power to create from our Soul which is eternal and to which we are eternally connected. There is only one Power and we are given free will to use that Power. When it doesn’t have an avenue of expression it will turn within.
In Anita’s NDE, she came to realize that it was her self-identity which caused the POWER to turn inward:
“I believe that my cancer was related to my self-identity, and it feels as though it was my body’s way of telling me that my soul was grieving for the loss of its own worth—of its identity. If I’d known the truth of who I actually am, I wouldn’t have gotten cancer!” (p. 180)
And Lesson 136 in A Course in Miracles tells us:
“Sickness is a defense against the truth.
I will accept the truth of what I am
And let my mind be wholly healed today.”
Time is also amazing when viewed from within the NDE.
“Time felt different in that realm, too, and I felt all moments at once. I was aware of everything that pertained to me—past, present, and future—simultaneously. I became conscious of what seemed to be simultaneous lives playing out.” (p. 67)
In ACIM we learn that time is an illusion.
“Only eternity is real. Why not use the illusion of time constructively?” ACIM OrEd.Tx.1.26
“It is in the reality of now, without past or future, that the beginning of the appreciation of eternity lies. For only now is here, and it presents the opportunities for the holy encounters in which salvation can be found”. ACIM OrEd.Tx.12.30
Anita comes to the realization that Now is the only time there is and how it holds our ‘salvation’!
“But if all time and experience exist right now, and we’re simply moving through it as we express our magnificence in a physical world, then we have nothing to fear. We don’t have to live in anxiety about what comes next. We can recognize the energy that we’re already a part of, and we can be love in every aspect of our lives. It’s unfortunate that we keep searching outside ourselves for answers—in religion, medicine, scientific study, books, and other people. We think the truth is somewhere out there, still elusive. Yet by doing this, we’re only getting more and more lost, appearing to move from who we truly are. The entire universe is within us.” (p. 144)
And as Course students we are well aware of the dictum:
“Seek not outside yourself. The search implies you are not whole within and fear to look upon your devastation and prefer to seek outside yourself for what you are.” ACIM OrEd.Tx.29.46
“Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time.” ACIM Manual for Teachers, #24, 6
This book by Anita Moorjani is such an amazing gift of love. I am so deeply grateful for her willingness to heal others by sharing her experience of healing. Anita had tried ‘forgiveness’ as a healing method for her ‘cancer’ and it had failed. She was using the paradigm of thinking something needed to be forgiven, although forgiveness is only called for once there is condemnation.
In her NDE, Anita experienced that we are seemingly suffering from another type of cancer and that is the cancer of the mind which shows up as our condemnation of others for the evil they have done. Anita shares that in the NDE:
“There’s absolutely no condemnation in that realm, because there’s nothing to condemn—we’re all pure consciousness. On the other side, there’s total clarity about why we are the way we are and why we did anything we did, no matter how unethical it felt in life. I believe that those who hurt others only do so out of their own pain and their feelings of limitation and separation. Perpetrators of acts such as rape and murder are far removed from even having an inkling of their own magnificence.” (p. 169)
This experience of the light beyond the apparent brought Anita the realization that, there is no longer “Us and them”:
“Criminals have lost their center, and what they’re doing to others is actually a reflection of how they feel inside about themselves. We like to think of perpetrators and victims as ‘them’ and ‘us,’ but there is no ‘them.’ It’s all us!
“When we realize this, we feel only connection with everyone and everything. I understood that in the other realm, we’re all One. We’re all the same.” (p. 170)
Synchronistic-ly, today’s ACIM Lesson tells us:
“Christ’s vision has one law. It does not look upon a body and mistake it for the Son whom God created. It beholds a light beyond the body, an idea beyond what can be touched, a purity undimmed by errors, pitiful mistakes, and fearful thoughts of guilt from dreams of sin. It sees no separation. And it looks on everyone, on every circumstance, all happenings, and all events without the slightest fading of the light it sees.” ACIM Lesson 158
Anita shared in her book that she went from an ‘outside-in’ view of reality to an ‘inside-out’ view. She wrote that she used to think that the external world was real and “that I had to work within its confines”. With this view she realized she had given her power away to the outside world and that external events had the ability to control her. “Even illness was an external event that just ‘happened’ to me randomly.”
Anita then writes:
“However, after my NDE, I began to see myself as a divine and integral part of the greater Whole. This includes everything in the entire universe, everything that has ever existed and ever will, and it’s all connected. I realized that I was at the center of this universe, and knew that we all express from our perspective, as we’re each at the center of this great cosmic web.” (p. 113)
Reading these words puts me once again in touch with the essence of Who I AM.
It seems only appropriate to end this article with the very last words in Anita’s book which are the truly inspiring and always make me cry to read them.
In the Question and Answer section the Questions was:
“If there were a message or lesson from your NDE that you wish everyone could know or understand, something that you wish you could shout out from the rooftops, what would that be?”
And Anita answers with all the Love in her Heart:
“ I would want you to know that every part of you is magnificent—your ego, intellect, body, and spirit. It’s who you are—a beautiful product of this Universe’s creation. Every aspect of you is perfect. There’s nothing to let go, nothing to forgive, nothing to attain. You already are everything you need to be. It can seem so complicated, but it’s not.
“If a religion makes you feel lesser than its deities, then you’ve either misinterpreted it or it’s not doing a good job of teaching you the truth. If a guru, teacher, or master makes you feel that you aren’t “yet” enlightened and still have more to “learn,” “release,” or “let go of” before getting there, then they’re not doing a good job of teaching you who you truly are, or you’re misunderstanding them.
“Remind everyone close to you to be themselves, and tell them that you love them just the way they are! They’re perfect and so are you. There’s nothing not to love. Most suffering stems from feeling “less than.” You aren’t less than anything or anyone! You are complete.
“The only thing you need to learn is that you already are what you’re seeking to attain. Just express your uniqueness fearlessly, with abandon! That’s why you’re made the way you are, and that’s why you’re here in the physical world. (pp. 182-183)
P.S. “As though to confirm my realization, I became aware of both my father and Soni communicating to me: Now that you know the truth of who you really are, go back and live your life fearlessly!” (p. 76).
And she is!!
I believe that the greatest truths of the universe don’t lie outside,
in the study of the stars and the planets.
They lie deep within us, in the magnificence of our heart, mind, and soul.
Until we understand what is within,
we can’t understand what is without.
I share my story here in the hope of touching your heart in some way
and reminding you of your own magnificence.
~ Anita Moorjani
Near Death Experience Research Foundation [NDERF] INTERVIEW
with Anita Moorjani
Anita Moorjani was born in Singapore and then lived in Sri Lanka until she was 2 years old. An ethnic Sindhi woman from India, her family then moved to Hong Kong where she grew up speaking fluent Sindhi, Cantonese and English, as well as being conversant with a multitude of cultural idioms. She was educated in English schools in Hong Kong and later studied in England before returning to Hong Kong to take up a senior management position for a French fashion company where she traveled all over the world using her multi-cultural, multilingual background in a variety of business and social settings.