Anita Moorjani

I have been reading about near-death experiences for over thirty years. I have found them fascinating from the first encounter. While not obsessively looking for such stories, I have avidly read them when encountering them. And I have listened to a few first-hand accounts  from experiencers of such phenomena.

Thus, when this book was recommended to me, I was interested, but also a bit blase. Yeah, yeah, another near-death account. But this book is different. It grabbed me in a way that most other accounts have not.

The book: Dying to be Me: my journey from cancer, to near death, to true healing. Written by Anita Moorjani, published by Hay House, 2012.

Certainly one of the aspects of this story which appealed to me was the fact that Anita is not a Christian!! While raised Hindu, she does not profess any one particular religion today. And her story does not “fit” into any one religious tradition. She was born of Hindu parents in Singapore, grew up in Hong Kong from the age of two, raised by a Chinese, Buddhist nanny, and attended Catholic school. As a child attempting to deal with the confusing messages of these conflicting traditions, her mother reassured her. “My mother pulled me close and said, ‘Don’t be scared, Beta. No one really knows the truth–not even Sister Mary. Religion is just a path for finding truth: Religion is not truth. It is just a path. And different people follow different paths.'” (p 18)

While her near-death experience was profound, one of the most intense I have ever read, it is what she learned from this experience, what she brought back with her, that is really the core of the story. She was very happily married, in her twenties, when she was diagnosed with cancer. After several years of battling this disease, using many modalities, she was on the verge of death. And, of course, died. While in the astral realm she was given a choice to come back to earth or to remain in heaven. She encountered her father and her best friend, both of whom had died in the previous few years. She experienced the absolutely peaceful and wonderful unconditional love which pervades that dimension. She also fully understood that she had much work yet to do in her incarnation as Anita. So she chose to return to her disease-ravaged body.

The ends to which her body had deteriorated while under attack by the cancer were extreme. So when she returned with the assurance that she would be completely healed of the cancer her case attracted world-wide attention among the medical community. This was the opening of an opportunity for her to reach many, many people with her story of what life is like on the other side.

Anita is so completely non-defensive and unassuming that her story is very easy to accept. She has no hidden agenda. She simply wants people to know and understand what death and the afterlife is all about. She wants people to hear what she learned from the Divine while clinically dead. Here is a rather lengthy quote illustrating this:

Since my NDE, I’ve learned that strongly held ideologies actually work against me. Needing to operate out of concrete beliefs limits my experiences because it keeps me within the realm of only what I know–and my knowledge is limited. And if I restrict myself to only what I’m able to conceive, I’m holding back my potential and what I allow into my life. However, if I can accept that my understanding is incomplete, and if I’m able to be comfortable with uncertainty, this opens me up to the realm of infinite possibilites.


I’ve found that subsequent to my NDE, I’m  at my strongest when I’m able to let go, when I suspend my beliefs as well as disbeliefs, and leave myself open to all possibilities. That also seems to be when I’m able to experience the most internal clarity and synchronicities. My sense is that the very act of needing certainty is a hindrance to experiencing greater levels of awareness. In contrast, the process of letting go and releasing all attachment to any belief or outcome is cathartic and healing. The dichotomy is that for true healing to occur, I must let go of the need to be healed and just enjoy and trust in the ride that is life. (p 137f)

This is only a small sampling of what you will get when you read this story. And read it you must! The entire book is filled with wisdom from on high, coming through the words of Anita Moorjani. (I have had several friends say they have heard Anita interviewed on radio and TV. If you ever get a chance to hear her, or see her in person, definitely take the opportunity. I understand some of her previous interviews are available on line. A quick search ought to bring these up.) Certainly go out and obtain her book. I wasn’t even half-way through my library-loaned book when my wife and I decided to buy our own copy. It really is a great story, filled with gentle wisdom.

Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy

Christopher Hayes is a commentator on MSNBC. He is articulate, thoughtful, and thought-provoking; I enjoy listening to him. Thus, when it was announced on TV that he had written a book, I sought it out. It did not “grab” me as I had expected it to, but it is worth reading.

The basic premise is that when the U.S. was established, it was in response to the aristocracy ruling Europe at the time. Rulers came to power based not on their own credentials but as a result of their birth family. In the U.S. a democracy was established seeking to redress the wrongs resulting from aristocracy. The result was what has come to be labelled a “meritocracy”. In a meritocracy, people are put into positions of power and responsibility based on their merits. The most qualified, best equipped people are the ones chosen to rule. Supposedly!

Meritocracy seems to work best at the beginning. But once people are in positions of power the human tendency is to attempt to solidify that position. The people in power generally seek to strengthen their hold on power, and begin to make decisions which will determine who will succeed them. Over time, meritocracy becomes once again a system of rule by the elites.

Hayes goes to some lengths outlining how this happened at his high school. He attended one of the top high schools in the nation, located in New York City. To get in, students must attain certain grades on exams. What has happened over the years is that an industry has grown up which prepares students for these exams. These preparatory programs cost huge dollars, and so the student population over time becomes very elite. Sure, anyone can apply to take the exams, but those with the best (and usually the most expensive) training are the ones who score the highest, and are enrolled. What began as an equality of opportunity, where bright kids from public schools across all socio-economic sectors could get in, ended up being quite the reverse.

Hayes uses this school as an example of what is happening, and what has happened, in the U.S. And that very system has a built-in failure. The elites now in power in the U.S. due to their wealth and family connections are bound to fall. The system itself cannot continue the way it is; it will implode. “The Iron Law of Meritocracy means that over time, the inequality that such a system celebrates and prizes will lead to its dissolution.” (p 222)

What America needs to do, says Hayes, is spend much more effort working to achieve true equality. “Equality of opportunity [which is hugely championed in the U.S.] and equality of outcome are not the same thing.” (p 222) “Clearly I’m not saying we should do whatever it takes to ensure a perfect equality of outcomes.” (p 223) But much, much more needs to be done to move toward more equality of outcomes. And, says Hayes, creating a more equitable society is an achievable goal. It has been done in some places, notably in Latin America since the 1990s.

Working toward income equality is one place to begin to seek solutions. “But with the exception of England, every other industrialized democracy has higher levels of income equality than the United States.” (p 224) The way to achieve better income equality is through taxation. Anyone paying attention to the politics of our neighbour to the south knows how difficult the issue of taxation is. The Republican Party’s desire to decrease taxes for the very rich is absolutely the wrong way to go if the country wants to be a more equitable one. “In other words, the tax system, the most straightforward means of restraining inequality, has been subverted, so as to become a tool for maintaining and expanding it.” (p 226)

The above is just a small example of many good things Christopher Hayes has to say about American politics and society. It is worth the read, even if it isn’t particularly “grabbing”.