Glimpses of Eternity

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The rendering above was painted in 1980 by Durdana Khan years after her "visit to the stars" where she found herself in a beautiful paradise following her clinical death when she was two and a half years old in 1968.

The word ‘paradise' came from the original Persian and was later adopted by the Greeks. It literally means, "land of the blessed" and was thought to represent a place of beautiful gardens. By age two and a half, Durdana had been partly paralyzed, intermittently blind and in constant pain without much hope for survival. Her father who was a physician was heart broken about her condition. When she passed from this life on that fateful autumn morning in the Himalayan foothills, she had been technically and scientifically dead for 15 minutes when she suddenly revived claiming to have visited a beautiful garden in the stars where apples, grapes, and pomegranates grew and where there were four streams of white, brown, blue and green. Concepts of this type of heavenly garden are depicted in the Koran but Durdana was not raised as a Muslim nor had she ever attended a mosque.

Durdana underwent extensive questioning about her experience to which she vehemently acknowledged that she not only visited the beautiful garden but was also in the company of her deceased grandfather, great grandmother and another woman who she claimed resembled her own mother. She further stated that she told her relatives that she needed to leave the garden because she heard her father calling her saying, "Come back, my child, come back!" Her grandfather replied to her that they would have to ask God if she could return to her father. She claimed that God then asked her if she wanted to go back to which she replied, "I have to - my Daddy is calling me." After God told her to "go", the child said she came down, down, down from the stars and back to her parents. When her parents repeatedly questioned her about what God looked like the only answer she would give was that He was "blue" and formless.

Shortly after her experience, Durdana underwent an operation and during her convalescence she and her mother visited one of her father's uncles. While at the uncle's home, Durdana correctly identified a photo of her great grandmother who she had never seen except for her visit to the stars. According to the family there were only two photos of the great grandmother both of which were kept at the uncle's house. This was Durdana's first visit to her great uncle's home and her first experience in viewing the photo.

Later Durdana's family moved to London and in the 1980's Durdana appeared on British television with pictures she had painted of the garden in the stars. The day after the broadcast Durdana's father was contacted by one of his patients, Rachel Goldsmith who told him that she had a similar experience of death when she was in a German concentration camp. She claimed to have visited the same garden with the four streams. Rachel and Durdana eventually met to discuss their experiences which were identical. Rachel was also able to fill in and describe details that Durdana had remembered but left out of her paintings.

Is there proof from beyond? Since time began humankind has held fast to the belief that individual identity survives after the death of the physical body. Although no one can possibly know exactly what this entails, there are those who claim they have seen glimpses of a hereafter. Are these glimpses merely reflections of human desires or are they something more?

Distinguished psychologist Carl Gustav Jung made no secret about his interest in the concept of an afterlife. Jung believed that the immortality of the soul could never be proven however he also believed that telepathy between this earthly world and the next could take place. Jung did in fact have his own personal experiences to support this belief.

One night while lying in bed, Jung was thinking about a friend's funeral he had attended the day before. Suddenly he envisioned his deceased friend standing at the foot of his bed looking down at him. The friend then went to the door and beckoned Jung to follow. In his mind's eye or imagination, Jung complied and followed the vision out of the house, into the street, and finally into the friend's house where he was directed into the library. The friend then climbed on top of a stool and pointed to a specific book that sat on the second shelf to the top of a bookcase. The vision abruptly ended at this point.

Jung consumed with curiosity paid a visit to the friend's widow the next day asking to be taken into the library. Jung had never seen the library but once inside he recognized everything - just as he had seen in the vision. Stepping on to the stool, he located the book his friend had been pointing to ... The Legacy of Death by Emile Zola. Was this a message to Jung letting him know that Death is not the end but just part of the legacy of the eternal circle of life? Jung had other similar experiences in his lifetime but did not speak about them claiming, "I prefer not to communicate too many of my experiences. They would confront the scientific world with too many problems." 1

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Keanu Reeves visits Hell in
CONSTANTINE.
 
If we accept the concept that the universe was created with balance then we must ponder that if there is a great paradise available for souls there must also be a lesser realm. In Phenomenon psychic author Sylvia Browne speaks of three places our spirits can go after the death of the body and at the end of an incarnation. These three are: Paradise called the Other Side, the Holding place which is somewhat reminiscent of Christian Purgatory, and the Left Door which for all intent and purpose is Hell.
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Nicholson chooses the Dark Side in The Shining.
Those who are candidates for the Left Door have lived their earth life on the Dark Side and have voluntarily turned themselves away from Source or God. The reincarnative process for those who go to the Left Door is interesting. These individuals are not allowed the luxury of choosing whether or when to return to earth for a new incarnation. Instead they travel straight from their bodies at death right back in utero. According to Sylvia these individuals are “… on a self-inflicted horseshoe shaped journey that leaves them as dark at birth as they were at death in their previous life.” 2 She further believes that “Dark Side” individuals will have countless “dark incarnations” because basically the die has been cast.
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Fire demon from Curse of the Demon.
There are many cases of near death experience (NDE) where individuals have had glimpses of both Paradise and the Underworld and have communicated what they saw. Rather than experiencing a feeling of peace while being lifted up, some of these individuals experience a feeling of being dragged downward towards a black pit by demonic creatures. Others experience a “void” where all feeling is gone and where all hope for further lives is lost. The writer Dante for example imagined Hell to be a frozen lake where all feelings died.
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The frozen lake of Hell in Dante's Inferno.

In Journey of Souls, Dr. Michael Newton relates that according to his case studies in past life regression there is only one spirit world where all souls go after earthly death. He states, "Those of my subjects who have been impeded by evil report that souls whose influence was too weak to turn aside a human impulse to harm others will go into seclusion upon reentering the spirit world. I have also noticed that those beginner souls who are habitually associated with intensely negative human conduct in their first series of lives must endure individual spiritual isolation ... they are placed together in their own group to intensify learning under close supervision. This is not a punishment, but rather a kind of purgatory for the restructuring of self awareness with these souls." 3

Renowned paranormal investigator and author Brad Steiger defines Hell as a negation of all virtues and pleasures. He says, "Rather than a specific place, it seems to be more of a condition, or state of being, that embodies the summation of all misdirected energies such as greed, lust, malice, hate, and jealously." 4 According to some of his case studies and interviews another opinion is that, a newly deceased person goes to a type of ‘paradise' which is like a gathering place for the newly departed. Some individuals claim that this is a resting place and has nothing to do with whether an individual lived a good or bad life but is rather a first step before moving on. The question is - moving on to where? That is something we will all one day come to know.

1 Facts and Fallacies. Reader's Digest Association Inc. 1988. 379.
2 Browne, Sylvia. "Phenomenon." New York: Dutton. 2005. 163.
3 Newton, Michael. "Journey of Souls." St. Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications. 2003. 49.
4 Steiger, Brad. "Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places." Canton, Michigan: Visible Ink Press. 2003. 196.