Recapitulation During Near–Death Experience
An extraordinary phenomenon occurs at the moment of death. When neural activity ceases and the brain shuts down, a portal opens between dimensions. The veils between the worlds part,enabling the dying person to enter into the world of Spirit. When a person has unfinished business in this world, she is unable to step easily through this portal. We cannot carry our worldly identity into the beyond. Remember that dying represents the loss of our job, our husband, our wife, our friends, our family, our house, and the loss of everything that we know. It is complete deconstruction.
A person who is weighed down by strong negative emotions tied to unresolved issues remains bound to the Earth. This soul has to go through a very intensive life review—or Recapitulation—as soon as she arrives on the other side. Some people who have had a near–death experience recall a panoramic life review—very detailed and comprehensive —even though it occurred in only minutes of Earth time. When the person does not return to the physical body, it can seem to take years. The toxic energies accumulated through a lifetime in the Luminous Energy Field have to be combusted in an atmosphere where there is little air, which makes this clearing more difficult to accomplish. All energy, even toxic energy, is composed of light and this light is released through the process of combustion and reabsorbed by the Luminous Energy Field.
The vast majority of reports in the literature on near–death experiences recount positive experiences. Yet cardiologist Maurice Rollins interviewed patients on the operating table immediately after they were resuscitated and found that many of them had ghastly experiences. Many of their descriptions were similar to the bardo realm of “hell” written about in the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Within a short period of time, however, they forgot about these painful, frightening encounters.
Raymond Moody, one of the foremost investigators of near–death experiences, states: “The judgment in the cases I studied came not from the beings of light, who seemed to love and accept these people anyway, but rather from within the individuals being judged.” We are the accused, the defendant, the judge, and the jury all at once. How ready are we to forgive ourselves?
In the literature from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, life review occurs in the bardo planes or what we call purgatory. We go through a dark tunnel and are met by celestial beings to face our judgment day. It is in these domains where we cleanse, a very slow process of soul-searching that may provoke painful memories and deep emotions. It is important to deal with whatever unfinished business is revealed out of the past as it is those issues that keep our luminous bodies earthbound.
Recapitulation During the Dying Process:
Recapitulation offers your loved one the opportunity to tell you her story. Having the opportunity to tell one’s story has cathartic and healing power. It is the equivalent of doing your life review before you have actually died. It is about saying the “I love yous,” and “I forgive yous” that have not been expressed during the course of a lifetime. You would be surprised at the healing power of these simple words. They are very difficult to say from the other side. So it is important to say them before judgment day. Recapitulation can happen in this lifetime. The sooner you commence the life review for your loved one who is dying and the more extensive it is, the easier the transition will be. Sometimes it is difficult to begin this conversation, especially if you have not had an intimate dialogue with your loved one in years. Find an entry point for dialogue. A way to initiate this sharing may be to imagine you are both sitting beside a river and see what memories come floating down. Being with her in this way may provide the support needed to bring closure to the life events that present themselves.
Assist the dying person in telling her “story.” Be a quiet compassionate witness without judgment or comment, and just listen to what she has to share. When was she disappointed in herself, was of service, loved, or held regrets? Give her as much time as she needs, encouraging her to express her thoughts and feelings. Assist your loved one to let go of any feelings of having been wronged or having wronged anyone else. What does she remember, and sense? Help her recognize that she is the hardest judge–looking at the ways she could have honored others and didn’t, or ways she hurt others. Help her to forgive herself as she would forgive others, compassionately and without judgment. It’s not about your forgiveness, but that she forgives herself. Lastly, ask her how she would like to be remembered. What are the stories she would like her grandchildren to remember her by? Recapitulation brings closure through forgiveness. Tremendous forgiveness can occur in the Recapitulation process. But do not expect to be a miracle worker and think that you can achieve in a few hours the healing that could not be accomplished in a lifetime. People tend to die in the same way that they have lived. Dying is a profoundly emotional experience for everyone involved, and it tends to bring back memories and feelings about the entire life of the person. If she was an angry person throughout life, there may well be unresolved anger when people gather at the end.
You can facilitate the assistance of other family members and friends in the life review when fitting. Family dynamics of the past tend to be magnified in such stressful circumstances. Be careful not to react to them or take them personally.
Powerful realizations often come uninvited as one approaches death, such as: we could have lived differently, loved more fully, and forgiven more readily. Anger over “what could have been” is not being directed toward you personally. Make it okay for your loved one to voice her feelings, and respond to her anger with physical comfort and support. Hold your loved one’s hand as she cries or expresses her ire. Be an unshakable source of unconditional love and support even in a storm of rage. The more willing your loved one is to forgive herself; the more quickly her rage will turn into compassion.
If your loved one’s condition is critical and she has not been informed of this, by all means let her know. Most people know anyway. They can feel the change in attitude among the family members present—the new quietness in the room, the hushed voices, the forced smiles. It is best to be direct, yet gentle and compassionate. Your straightforwardness will give your loved one permission to be open and disclosing with you. She will know that she can count on you to speak the truth.