The Shift and my own shift…

Near Death Experiences

When you have a near death experience (NDE) or I guess brush with death your meant to act or feel a certain way it would seem. I don’t seem to be acting or feeling that way (what ever way its meant to be) some suggest I might get posttraumatic stress disorder in years to come. If this is true, I’m certainly not looking forward to re-experiencing the original trauma through flashbacks.

I remember back in July last year talking to my social worker (I assume they get you one after a dramatic experience just in-case you decide to do something silly) the one and only time. He came to my flat and we talked generally about everything and how I felt. It was ok if a little weird (most of the conversation centered around my anger for the way I was treated at the hospital), but he said something which made me think.

Obviously I don’t remember exactly what he said but basically it was something like “such an experience will make you re-evaluate your life and your faith.” To which I answered… “Like faith as in God?” he answered, “…yes I turned to god when something like this happened to me for example.”

That was the last time I saw him really, not because he was bad. Just didn’t really need him. I’ve been figuring stuff out myself in my own time but to be honest I’ve not really been thinking about turning to god or anything like that. But every once in a while I come up against (for a better word) something which makes me think (not necessarily in favor of god or religion).

Bobby

This time, it was when I went to the Thinking Digital university/workshop on happie.st with Bobby Patterson. I wasn’t looking for happiness or even seeking happiness, since the near death experience I’ve come to appreciate life on a totally different level.

Its hard to explain… but I’ll try

I view life on a slightly amazed scale. The miracle of life is so precious and I’m in totally ore we even exist at all (thanks to evolution). We scuttle around and worry so much about our own problems while the rhythm of life marches on regardless.

Our brains are wildly complex and able to conjure up the greatest dreams and darkest nightmares. The mind can set you free or imprison you for life.

Its genuinely a wonder and thirst for life…

And I’m reminded of this quote… (no idea who from)

Your just a thought away from changing your life…

So when Bobby talked about happie.st and some of the thinking behind and why, it struck a cord with me and my recent thinking.

One of the many links he suggested was a link to a film called the shift by Wayne Dyer

From the creators of You Can Heal Your Life: The Movie comes a compelling portrait of three modern lives in need of new direction and new meaning. In his first-ever movie, Wayne Dyer explores the spiritual journey in the second half of life when we long to find the purpose that is our unique contribution to the world. The powerful shift from the ego constructs we are taught early in life by parents and society—which promote an emphasis on achievement and accumulation—are shown in contrast to a life of meaning, focused on serving and giving back. Filmed on coastal California’s spectacular Monterey Peninsula, The Shift captures every person’s mid-life longing for a more purposeful, soul-directed life.

I watched the shift and I thought about it. I wasn’t sure quite what to say about it.

It felt quite religious in parts but in other not so much. There’s a air of cheesy self helpness to it but actually its not as bad as it would seem to be. The hard thing is wanting to know, what its end game (as such) is? I felt looking at Wayne Dyer’s wikipedia page would help, and it did. The interesting parts included…

Although Dyer resisted the spiritual tag, by the 1990s he was altering his message to include more components of spirituality, in Real Magic, and higher consciousness, in Your Sacred Self.

My belief is that the truth is a truth until you organize it, and then becomes a lie. I don’t think that Jesus was teaching Christianity, Jesus was teaching kindness, love, concern, and peace. What I tell people is don’t be Christian, be Christ-like. Don’t be Buddhist, be Buddha-like. [cited interview]

“Religion is orthodoxy, rules and historical scriptures maintained by people over long periods of time. Generally people are raised to obey the customs and practices of that religion without question. These are customs and expectations from outside the person and do not fit my definition of spiritual.” [cited post]

I feel that should be going for this self help stuff, but I’m still feeling very uneasy about it. Some of the things from the shift are interesting but the overall tone is closer to something I can imagine someone with an agenda or religious view would have. I’ve certainly not damaged the part of my brain which deals with rational thought thats for sure. I expect Dyer if he read this and saw me, would suggest its ego talking but I certainly don’t think it is.

Anyway, I didn’t quite know what to think at the end but I certainly felt a bit like oh well thats a shame…

I guess I’m hardly changed in certain ways but forever changed in others. I do feel like I should be more changed that I actually am, but maybe thats the fighting response holding on to what I am or something… Who knows…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.