Near-death experiences narrowly conceived and out-of-body experiences widely conceived, offer us perhaps one of the few ways we can satisfy ourselves, before death, of the existence of the soul, the afterlife, and the entire spiritual side of things. Here Anita Moorjani narrates and answers questions on her own near-death experience during treatment for cancer. Thanks to Kathleen.
Dying to Be Me
This is the original NDE description that Anita Moorjani submitted to The Near Death Research Foundation in August 2006. The owner of the site, Dr. Jeffrey Long, an oncologist, contacted Anita within hours of her submitting it, asking follow up questions, which are below the the experience description. Shortly after, this story went viral, spreading to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world via email.
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. In December 1995, she married her husband and soulmate, Danny, who loves her unconditionally.
I had end stage cancer (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma), and was being cared for at home. I was connected to an oxygen tank, and had a full time nurse. But on this morning, February 2nd 2006, I did not wake up. I had fallen into a coma. My husband called my doctor who said I needed to be rushed to hospital. The senior oncologist looked at me and told my husband that it was now the end, and that my organs were now shutting down. I would probably not make it beyond the next 36 hours. However, the oncologist said he would do whatever he could but prepared my husband that I would most likely not make it, as my organs were no longer functioning. They determined this because my body started to swell up, and I had open skin lesions. They started me on a cocktail of medication on a drip, and poked me with tubes and pipes for nourishment, drugs and oxygen.
I thought that I was drifting in and out of consciousness during this time, because I was aware of everything that was going on around me. But it was confirmed to me later by my family and the doctors that I was in a coma the whole time. I saw and heard the conversations between my husband and the doctors taking place outside my room, about 40 feet away down a hallway. I was later able to verify this conversation to my shocked husband. Then I actually “crossed over” to another dimension, where I was engulfed in a total feeling of love. I also experienced extreme clarity of why I had the cancer, why I had come into this life in the first place, what role everyone in my family played in my life in the grand scheme of things, and generally how life works. The clarity and understanding I obtained in this state is almost indescribable. Words seem to limit the experience – I was at a place where I understood how much more there is than what we are able to conceive in our 3-dimensional world. I realized what a gift life was, and that I was surrounded by loving spiritual beings, who were always around me even when I did not know it.
The amount of love I felt was overwhelming, and from this perspective, I knew how powerful I am, and saw the amazing possibilities we as humans are capable of achieving during a physical life. I found out that my purpose now would be to live “heaven on earth” using this new understanding, and also to share this knowledge with other people. However I had the choice of whether to come back into life, or go towards death. I was made to understand that it was not my time, but I always had the choice, and if I chose death, I would not be experiencing a lot of the gifts that the rest of my life still held in store. At first, I did not want to come back, because my body was very sick, and I did not want to come back into this body as the organs had already stopped functioning and I had all these open skin lesions. But it seemed that almost immediately, I became aware that if I chose life, my body would heal very quickly. I would see a difference in not months or weeks, but days!
I then started to understand how illnesses start on an energetic level before they become physical. If I chose to go into life, the cancer would be gone from my energy, and my physical body would catch up very quickly. I then understood that when people have medical treatments for illnesses, it rids the illness only from their body but not from their energy so the illness returns. I realized if I went back, it would be with a very healthy energy. Then the physical body would catch up to the energetic conditions very quickly and permanently. I seemed to become aware that this applies to anything, not only illnesses – physical conditions, psychological conditions, etc. I became aware that everything going on in our lives was dependant on this energy around us, created by us. Nothing was real – we created our surroundings, our conditions, etc. depending where this “energy” was at. The clarity I felt around how we get what we do was phenomenal! It’s all about where we are energetically. I somehow knew that I was going to see “proof” of this first hand if I returned back to my body.
It felt as though I was drifting in and out between the two worlds, this physical world and the other side, but every time I drifted into the “other side”, I seemed to go deeper and experienced more “scenes”. There was one where I saw how my life had touched all the people in it – it was sort of like a tapestry and I saw how I affected everyone’s lives around me. There was another scene where I saw my brother on a plane, having heard the news I was dying, coming to see me (this was verified to me as when I started to come round, my brother was there, having just got off a plane). I then saw a glimpse of my brother and me and somehow seemed to understand it was a previous life, where I was much older than him and was like a mother to him (in this life, he is older than me). I saw in that life I was very protective towards him. I suddenly became aware he was on the plane to come and see me, and felt “I can’t do this to him – can’t let him come and see me dead”. Then I also saw how my husband’s purpose was linked to mine, and how we had decided to come and experience this life together. If I went, he would probably follow soon after.
In addition, I seemed to understand that, as tests had been taken for my organ functions (and the results were not out yet), that if I chose life, the results would show that my organs were functioning normally. If I chose death, the results would show organ failure as the cause of death, due to cancer. I was able to change the outcome of the tests by my choice!
I made my choice, and as I started to wake up (in a very confused state, as I could not at that time tell which side of the veil I was on), the doctors came rushing into the room with big smiles on their faces saying to my family “Good news – we got the results and her organs are functioning – we can’t believe it!! Her body really did seem like it had shut down!”
After that, I began to recover rapidly. The doctors had been waiting for me to become stable before doing a lymph node biopsy to track the type of cancer cells, and they could not even find a lymph node big enough to suggest cancer (upon entering the hospital my body was filled with swollen lymph nodes and tumors the size of lemons, from the base of my skull all the way to my lower abdomen). They did a bone marrow biopsy, again to find the cancer activity so they could adjust the chemotherapy according to the disease, and there wasn’t any in the bone marrow. The doctors were very confused, but put it down to me suddenly responding to the chemo. Because they themselves were unable to understand what was going on, they made me undergo test after test, all of which I passed with flying colors, and clearing every test empowered me even more! I had a full body scan, and because they could not find anything, they made the radiologist repeat it again!!!!
Because of my experience, I am now sharing with everyone I know that miracles are possible in your life every day. After what I have seen, I realize that absolutely anything is possible, and that we did not come here to suffer. Life is supposed to be great, and we are very, very loved. The way I look at life has changed dramatically, and I am so glad to have been given a second chance to experience “heaven on earth”.
Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words?
Yes. The experience was much more than words can express. Putting words to it makes the experience smaller and more limited. What I saw, perceived, and felt, and the clarity I experienced about life, was more than anything we are able to conceive, so words have not been created to describe it.
At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event?
I was dying of cancer, and the doctors had said I only had about 36 hours to live. It was at this point where I started drifting between another dimension and this one.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?
Probably at the time when I was given the choice whether to go back.
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal every day consciousness and alertness?
More consciousness and alertness than normal
If your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience was different from your normal every day consciousness and alertness, please explain:
Even though I was in a coma, I seemed to be going in and out of consciousness, so I was aware of both “sides”. I was also aware of conversations taking place outside the room, beyond my earshot.
Did your vision differ in any way from your normal, everyday vision (in any aspect, such as clarity, field of vision, colors, brightness, depth perception degree of solidness/transparency of objects, etc.)?
Yes I was aware that I was still in the room – even though to others, my eyes were closed and I was not awake, I was still able to “see” everyone in the room, and at the same time experience the other dimension, as if it existed simultaneously.
Did your hearing differ in any way from your normal, everyday hearing (in any aspect, such as clarity, ability to recognize source of sound, pitch, loudness, etc.)?
Yes. I was able to hear what was being said by the doctors and my family outside the room, well out of earshot.
Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body?
What emotions did you feel during the experience?
Felt tremendous love, more than anything I have experienced on earth. I felt very loved, like no matter what I did, I would still be loved. I did not have to do anything to deserve it or prove myself.
Did you meet or see any other beings?
Yes. I was surrounded by many beings, including my father and my best friend who had passed on. I did not recognize the other beings, but I knew they loved me very much and were protecting me. I became aware that they were there all the time, even when I was not aware of it.
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later?
Yes. I saw and heard a conversation taking place between my doctor and my husband outside of my room and down a hallway. I saw my brother on a plane coming to see me. Both of these were verified, including the conversation beween my doctor and husband, which I repeated word for word.
Did you have any sense of altered space or time?
Yes. I felt I was in the other dimension a lot longer than I really was. The amount I saw and learned would have taken a lot longer in this dimension. Also, with the medical tests that were done, even though the tests were done, the results were dependant on my choice of whether to come back into life or not. That really changed my concept of time!!
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose?
Yes. The clarity was amazing! I understood why I had the cancer, I understood how people get what they do, and I understood that life is a gift, but we don’t realize it. I understood that we are very, very loved, no matter what. We don’t have to do anything to prove ourselves to god, and there is no “heaven” or “hell”. I realized we create our own heaven or hell here on earth, and I learned the key ingredients for creating my own heaven on earth!
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure?
Yes. I reached the point where I felt I had to make the choice whether to go back to life or onward into death. My best friend was there (who had died of cancer 2 years before) and she told me that this was as far as I could go or I would not be able to turn back. “You have come to the edge. This is as far as you can go” she said. “Now go back and live your life fully and fearlessly”.
Did you become aware of future events?
Yes. I was aware my body would heal very quickly, and it did. I was aware that all the tests would show phenomenal results, and they did. They found no trace of any disease on my scans, my biopsies, etc. My organs are functioning normally, my appetite came back, and I was made aware all of this would happen. It has only been 6 months since my NDE, and I am still awaiting all the other gifts that were shown to me. However, I can see my life changing in a direction where all of this is very possible. One of the things I saw was a very long life ahead of me!
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience?
Yes. I have been much more intuitive since the experience. When I am alone, I often get the awareness of being surrounded by beings (the same beings I felt when I crossed over), and being very, very loved – that same feeling I got during the NDE.
Have you shared this experience with others?
Yes. Within days after it happened, as soon as I was well enough to talk, I started sharing it with my close family members – my husband, my brother (who I had seen on the plane), my mother. We were all very emotional and in tears. And the were all shocked with my account of events, the test results which I knew would be normal because I chose to come back, the conversations I “heard”. Then they saw the speed of my recovery, the shock of the doctors who could no longer find any trace of cancer – it has changed my whole family. I also shared with my best friend who has been by me during this experience, and it has changed her life too. Going out and meeting people after coming out of hospital changed a lot of people, because the last they saw or heard of me, I was on my death bed! I had looked very, very sick, and could not walk or breath properly at that time. Now I looked totally healthy and normal. The first time I walked into a group gathering after coming out of hospital, everyone’s jaw dropped. They looked at me as if they had seen a ghost. They could not believe how quickly I had recovered – everyone thought I was going to die! Then I shared my experience with everyone in the room, and all of them believed me because they had seen the “before” and “after”. Some of them said I had changed their lives.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience?
Yes. I have read about NDEs but never expected to experience one. My NDE felt completely different to anything I have read because there was no light, tunnel, no religious figure, and I did not see my whole life flash before my eyes. While I was experiencing it, I had no idea that I was experiencing an NDE or an out of body experience. It felt very normal at the time. It was only after that I realized I had slipped to another dimension.
How did you view the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened:
Experience was definitely real I knew it was real because nothing else could explain the miraculous way my cancer just disappeared from my body!!! (I have the scans and medical tests to prove it)! And the charge I felt from the empowerment and the understanding – nothing else could explain the shift I felt in my way of thinking!
Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you?
The whole thing was very powerful – I cannot imagine anything more empowering happening to me. However, two main things impacted me – one was being able to change the outcome of the test results. That made me realize that nothing is solid (or real). We can change anything. The second thing, even more impacting, is how my body went from being almost dead from cancer to totally healthy without a trace of illness in such a short time! It not only makes me feel that everything (including cancer) is not real (a shift in consciousness made it disappear!) but it also makes me feel very powerful, and I have a totally different understanding of life now.
How do you currently view the reality of your experience:
Experience was definitely real. First of all, I am enjoying the wonders of my healthy body. I haven’t felt this way in a while! Secondly, I feel very “connected” in a way I never have before. Sort of “guided”. I don’t feel afraid of anything anymore. I know I won’t die until I complete everything I came here to do. And even then, I am not afraid of death. Many, many more “coincidences” have been occurring in my life since the experience (hence the “guided” feeling). Things have been falling into my lap when I have wanted them, the right people call, I have been bumping into the right people, getting e-mails which answer questions I need answered, etc. Life has just become a lot easier, however it has only been a few months since I have been well. I am still feeling very high, and at the moment am still feeling the reality of the whole thing.
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes. I have become even closer to my family, but my social circle has changed. A lot of my old friends have drifted away from me because I am not the same person they used to know, but I have made a few new friends since this experience, who know and accept who I am now.
Have your religious beliefs/practices changed specifically as a result of your experience?
Uncertain. I was never very religious to begin with. I still don’t believe in any particular religion, however this experience has transformed my “belief” in the afterlife into “knowledge” that it is really true (gnosis).
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience?
Yes. I am able to go back to that “connected” feeling of being loved, and feeling the other beings surrounding me, particularly when I am sitting still in a quiet environment.
Did the questions asked and information you provided so far accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?