Wednesday, April 15, 2009

BOOK TALK: Secrets of the Light: Lessons from Heaven

Secrets of the Light: Lessons from Hea

Many writers have written books and articles about what they learned from near-death experiences, but no one has become quite so well known about near death as Dannion Brinkley, who has experienced three such forays into the afterlife. His first was recorded in the book, and film, Saved by the Light. His recent book, Secrets of the Light: Lessons from Heaven (Harper One, 2008) updates his experiences. Brinkley intends this book to share the lessons he learned in the afterlife so that others can better understand their purpose in life as well as what to expect in the afterlife. These lessons are ones that can be helpful to us all.

Brinkley makes it clear that his near-death experiences changed him drastically from a self-centered individual into a compassionate person who learned that the most important thing in life was love and helping others. A surprising insight is that “the universe does not recognize the difference between light and dark or good and evil. Therefore, we must.” Through Brinkley and his experiences, we learn that “we will act as our own judge and jury” when we die, and “in the end, we alone will hold ourselves accountable for our every thought, word and deed.” This reminds us that “each choice we make in life creates a consequence we will eventually have to face.” Such reminders can help us recognize our own responsibility in what we think and do in our lives. It can help us get beyond the usual “blaming” that so many do throughout their existence.
Like many other teachers, Brinkley warns that it is time for humanity to evolve.
The Beings who taught him lessons and showed him possible future outcomes on Earth told him that we need to “return our collective consciousness to the reality of love.”

The author notes that in his life he had “relished holding on to my grudges.” But Brinkley learned from his “celestial teachers” that he needed to forgive himself and then he “needed to forgive everyone else.” On his day in Heaven, he understood that “we are on Earth for only one reason: to act as the living reflection and expression of divine love.” That is our very purpose for being.

In Brinkley’s third visit to the afterlife he was stunned with some of the revelations. One such revelation was that “we live in different dimensions, and . . . many realities exist beyond this one.” It was also impressed upon him “just how vitally important the work we do on Earth is in the greater scheme of things.” Key to this point, and one that is referenced by many current spiritual teachers, is “that the evolution of every one of us, along with humankind as a whole, has an unmistakable and mighty impact on the overall development of the entire universe.” Most people today are so involved with their own little (or big) personal problems that they can’t even imagine that they could be playing an important part in the Plan for the Universe. What was even more astonishing to Brinkley was to learn that we are “multidimensional beings” and that “aspects of us are doing this powerful work in several places at once.” The author found this information difficult to digest, but in his studies he has discovered that “the Greeks, Assyrians, Egyptians, Babylonians, and even the Mayans all wrote of the different levels existing between the here and Hereafter.”

The most disturbing lesson Brinkley describes is his experience in a kind of netherworld, one that seems to exist somewhere between Earth and the afterlife, where many souls linger in a kind of purgatory, “reliving their last days on Earth, over and over.” Some of these are people who have died violent deaths, or soldiers, or people who had died in senseless acts of military violence. Brinkley tries desperately “to understand the reason those people were held hostage to agony.” He finally discerns that what keeps people from the light is their own will or attitude. He sees that “one must have an open, loving, cheerful disposition toward life” and to “maintain a belief that life is a gift to be generously shared and vigorously celebrated.” Brinkley says to readers, “If there is just one lesson from Heaven you could commit to memory, let it be this: our thoughts create our attitudes, and together they create the quality of life we experience—both here and in the Hereafter.”

In one chapter, Brinkley discusses what he learned about 2012, the much discussed date of the end of the Mayan calendar. While on his third journey to Heaven, he was shown “Boxes of Knowledge.” He reports, “It is my conviction, based on the scenes from the Boxes of Knowledge, that by 2012 humanity will experience unprecedented mental and spiritual transformations, coinciding precisely with the Earth’s passage through great physical upheaval.” This time will involve a “dramatic shift in consciousness” in which “we will embrace an awareness of the companion spheres of life all around us.” He notes that during these transformative times, “Conscious cooperation with spiritual transformation is the best way I’ve found to proactively live a rewarding life in a manner that honors the eternal soul.”

To help humanity move in this positive direction, Dannion Brinkley presents a Fourfold Path to Power:
The Power in Love
The Power in Belief
The Power in Choice
The Power in Prayer

First, he learned that “love is the most powerful force in the universe.” This isn’t personal sentiment that he is talking about. He saw “first-hand that love is a divine, living energy of unparalleled might and magnificence.” He says, unequivocally, that “love is the unwavering path leading to . . . spiritual fulfillment.” As a result, “it behooves us to remain conscious of the thoughts we allow ourselves to contemplate. Love creates more love. Loving thoughts create a more loving world.” Brinkley recommends “deep, conscious breathing” as the “best way to center ourselves in the heart of love.” He recommends meditation, gratitude, and prayers of appreciation as part of our daily spiritual practices.

He calls “Life a matter of choice.” He says, “I learned in Heaven that we have a human responsibility to be spiritual in nature, and a spiritual responsibility to be human.” He admits that it isn’t easy to be cheerful and optimistic in today’s life and global situations. But he urges that “we must make the conscious choice not to get caught up in the hypnotic hype of hopelessness.” He begins to emphasize the importance of intention, noting that “the reason we do something is far more important than the act itself.” The intention motivating us to take action determines the spiritual effectiveness of that action. He says he was “shown that everything will continue to move at a much faster rate over the next four to six years. . . at an accelerated speed.” This will make our choices ever more difficult and challenging, and yet it becomes ever more important how we make those choices.

In regard to the Power of Belief, Brinkley says that “staunch belief in something greater than ourselves is an essential building block in the construction of a personal reality.” From his personal experiences, however, Brinkley has become “infused with a spiritual understanding of our eternal oneness with the infinite nature of divine love.” He points out that “What you do in this life, based on a belief in the love and perfection of eternal life, decides the quality of life awaiting you in the Hereafter.”

The Power of Prayer came to be acknowledged by the author following one of his near-death experiences. He experienced how it worked to save his life: “Once the prayers of the caring millions started going out into the ethers on my behalf, everything shifted.” Later, he researched the scientific studies of the effectiveness of prayers. He found that the term “willful, conscious intent” was highly appropriate to define prayer’s “far-reaching medical and spiritual applications. Once again, then, we find in this book, an emphasis on the importance of intention. The author emphasizes, “What we do in our lives is not as important as why we do it. . . . This is the true measure of a soul.”

The final section of the Dannion Brinkley’s book is called “The Seven Lessons from Heaven.” These chapters delineate the seven major truths he learned in the afterlife during his three near-death experiences. His discussions identify those truths and he explains how readers can use them to enhance their health, happiness, and prosperity.

The First Lesson tells us that “We are great, powerful, and mighty spiritual beings of light, living in a physical world with dignity, direction, and purpose.” That may be a difficult one for most people to accept, given all the difficulties and problems most of us struggle with each day. But Brinkley says we need to recognize that “everything is eternally interconnected in the oneness of Spirit.” He emphasizes that “Every single thing that one of us thinks, says, or does impacts all the rest of humanity on one level or another.” He urges us to stop and ponder that message.

Lesson Two says we chose to come here! Not only did we choose to come here to Earth and to live at this time, but we came “in order to make changes for the betterment of humanity. . . . Each of us has designed our life with as many obstacles and challenges as we could create along with a variety of options and possibilities to overcome those same challenges.” This idea, too, may not set well with readers who love to put the blame on everybody else for their difficulties. Brinkley notes that “very few answers to our spiritual inquiries can be found externally.” It is important to try to discover what our mission is. But when we do so, it puts us in the position of responsibility for what we do. Brinkley says he was shown in Heaven “that only the best and the brightest souls have chosen to come into the physical realm at this point in history.” So we need to accept that “we are the bravest of the brave.” Brinkley says that “collectively, we have come to save the world from the destructive ramifications of humanity’s inferior nature of greed, violence, and the need to conquer.”

Lesson Three is that “we were chosen to come here.” It may seem strange, even contradictory, to say that we “chose” and “were chosen,” but this is what Brinkley was taught during his ND experiences. He says, “The truth is we have actually been entrusted with the fate of the world.” Again, this may be difficult to accept. It is quite obvious that “the way we are living now isn’t working. If we are to endure, a change in the way we think is necessary.” Those of us here on the Earth at this time have this great divine mission—to save the world from ourselves! This is ironic and certainly challenging. What can we do?
Brinkley says, “The small acts of spontaneous love and compassion are most highly treasured in the eyes of Spirit.” And it is most important to “Judge not.”

Lesson Four has to do with talents. Every person born on Earth is here for a reason and comes in with talents to share. “One vital aspect of living this life is discovering and developing the wisest use of these talents in order to produce the greatest potential for good.” Now that is something to ponder. So often we use our talents just for ourselves—to gain fame, to get money, recognition, or even personal enlightenment. But in this lesson we are getting the message that those talents are intended to help the world in some way. One wise message from the author is that “True joy in life comes from living in the moment while learning to bloom where you are planted, even if you think you’re not where you should be.”

Lesson Five involves living in the present moment. The author suggests that we “Do not strive; simply accept your divine destiny.” He points out that quantum science is proving that time and space are nonexistent. He says that “in Heaven, what we perceive to be the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously.” Another thing we need to work on is to “balance polarity.” He says, “What holds us back is our belief in duality. . . Contrary to what we have been told, the light does not need the dark to exist.” We do not need darkness in ourselves. “Our personal renunciation of fear, doubt, and negativity in our thoughts, words, and actions will in turn cause darkness in the world to diminish.”

Lesson Six confirms that we existed before we came into this world. “Every lesson necessary for our soul’s growth [was] scrupulously planned in [that] divine realm.” Brinkley repeats again that “we enter the physical realm to actively participate in the execution of the divine plan for spiritual evolution.”
Lesson Seven continues this idea: “There is a world that exists after this one. In fact, it is the same world we left to come here.” When we return to that world we go to the area (level) that is appropriate for our development. Brinkley says, “According to divine protocol, all souls entering Heaven from the physical realm . . . are classified and categorized according to their level of consciousness and final destination.” The good news for all of us is that “Everything is going to turn out just the way Spirit has planned it. . . unfolding universal perfection is an absolute given.”

Dannion Brinkley’s concluding chapter describes what he calls the “Panoramic Life Review.” He explains that when we die and pass over to the Hereafter, we have a panoramic life review in which we literally relive our life in a 360-degree panorama, “experiencing everything that has ever happened.” He explains that he experienced this each time he had his near-death. He says that “What matters are not the mistakes you made; what matters to Spirit is how often you were willing to help others through your love, kindness, and compassion.” Once again we are told that “making a difference in the lives of others is the spiritual foundation of our human existence.” Moreover, “the greater the number of spontaneous loving moments we perpetuate here, the higher the levels of consciousness we will inhabit when we reach the Hereafter.” In order to best prepare for this end of life review, Brinkley suggests steps each reader can use to do a daily life review. One important part of this daily life review is to “count your blessings.”

Finally, Brinkley encourages us to see every obstacle in life as an
”opportunity for spiritual evolution.” He asks us to remember that “nothing we do in life is done [or should be done] for self-gratification.” He also reminds us that “Your every thought, word, and action has an effect on, and is affected by, the thoughts, words, and actions of everyone else. . . . Unity consciousness is the ultimate goal of this era in human history. . . . It only takes the conscious efforts of a compassionate heart to make the world a better place—one living act at a time. Spirit expands as we do.”

This is a book that can remind us all why we are here and what we need to do about it.


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