The life review ritual exists in order for us to feel the emotional impact of our behavior from another perspective, both good and bad.
The life review has been commonly encountered in near-death experiences over the last few millennia (occurring in 30% – 60% of all NDEs), no matter what one’s prior faith and belief system. Shortly after departing the physical body, key moments in life are relived in what seems like real time. This can seem as if years have passed, even if just seconds or minutes have passed in earth time.
A fundamental lesson of the life review concerns our ability to become, in essence, those other souls impacted by our actions and thoughts and to experience the feelings, from their perspective, that our actions elicited in others. This process allows us to witness and assess the progress of our spiritual growth, ultimately across multiple lifetimes. It also reveals the false nature of our boundaries of self, and hints that we are all connected through the Collective Mind.
Judgment is not cast upon us from some other “higher” being—we judge ourselves from the more neutral and broader perspective of our own higher soul (often in the ambience of profound love), and we apparently do so more harshly than any third party might. Life reviews help us learn the lessons of life, providing balance and justice to our growth.
Life reviews can affect the decisions we make when planning future lifetimes, as we witness the progress of our growth and choose which lessons we may need to learn next.
During your daily practice, review events of the previous day or week and “relive” any moments you choose in order to more fully understand your role in unfolding events. Review in your mind and heart how others might have felt as a result of your actions and evaluate how you could change your behavior the next time you are in a similar situation.
The Science of Near-Death Experiences by John C. Hagan III, MD
The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences by Janice Holden, et. al.
The Self Does Not Die by Titus Rivas, et. al.
This is a good exercise to do, but it is only in this inverted 3rd dimension we have the good and bad. It is important for us to realize that we are here to play the game of life and each soul comes with a purpose to experience whatever emotions, events, experiences, interactions and that is what we all have been doing. However, now we see that everything that was wrong was presented to us as right and vice versa. So now all these hidden agendas are being exposed. We have to now realize that we not only have to forgive each other in our immediate interactions, but also to forgive OURSELVES and realize you just did the best you could. So there is no need for guilt or shame, but if it helps to reconnect and ask forgiveness from others and yourself, you can then move on and learn to love yourself and attract unconditional love from others as well. A lot of healing can be done of your own body as well as help others heal with this UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! Our body is a fantastic machine which we got without the users manual, as a very sage person Sadhguru is known to say often. So thanks and 💘 to all.
Did we come from the almighty (AUM) due to our free will? Did we choose to come away from the AUM ? Or were we sent for creation to occur?
I believe that the universe exists to support the evolution of consciousness itself, which is nothing more than the grand sum of all sentient beings learning/teaching/growing into their higher forms – together. Thus free will of the soul is crucial. Do not confuse this with the desires/intentions of the ego, which is a structure that supports survival in the physical realm, but is trivial compared to the higher soul, that facet of each of us that is more connected to the primordial mind. The ego/linguistic brain is NOT our consciousness, but only the most obvious presentation of mind to a human being. Thus our higher soul manifests its free will in setting up hardships as milestones in life, and we manifest free will in choosing how to respond to the challenges and difficulties in life, ideally making all choices in relationships through the highest application of love, kindness, forgiveness, compassion, mercy and forgiveness. At highest level, our higher soul merges perfectly with AUM, that primordial consciousness that is actually evolving (as in Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s book Phenomenon of Man).
Sorry to repeat myself. But it cannot be taken that any assumptions can be made, in case they are leading in the wroing direction. The mind is after all a tricky bedfellow and will lead us down a path of its choosing, by decalring it a proper belief, or some other relevant reality, and so making it look as though we are making progress into the inner world, when we are simply running on the spot and going nowhere, even though the experiences seem fantastic, just because they are different from the ones that we are used to having with the limited awareness that we generally have.
What then are the definitions of, Heart, Consciousness.
How is the areness of the various things encountered in these 33 days anything to do with the Consciousness of the Divine. As interesting and different as many of them are how are they connected to Consciousness, to the Divine, to the Heart.
One can imagine ones Heart all one likes, but the reality of the Heart is not an imagination. One can picture and imagine a state of peace, but it is not ther reality of peace. One can imagine that one is conscious but without the reference point of what consciousness is it might just be a different form of awareness.
There is the story of the blind men and the elephant, where each blind man, feeling a different part of the elephant describes the elephant in a very different way. Each of those has a different “consciousness” of the elephant, the seeing person, standing at a distance has a different consciousness, and may be able to describe more of the visual “elephant” than those close up, but they do not have the consciousness of smell and texture that those close up have. Non of them have the consciousness of the elephant, only a part of it.
Is it even possible to have full consiciousness by knowing all the parts. Of course not, there will always be parts theat cannot be known. So what then is Consciousness,.If we are referring to awareness then what are we trying to be aware of and how is the mutitudes of awareness anything to do with Consciousness.
Perhaps, Consciousness and the Heart and other such undeifed terms are the “elephant in the room” or the emporers new clothes” that we should first be addressing.
Would someone care to respond
Hello to all! I find myself being more and more conscious of the impact of my way of being with others. I want to be as loving and kind. I’m taking that forward from my husband who passed away Sept 12th. He was so loving and caring. So, it’s important to me I try to carry those qualities to others. I’ve has the privilege of Eben’s and Karen’s resources as the great influence of some wonderful people in my life and a 12step program for alcoholism.
Still trying to learn how to be patient with New York City traffic… yikes!!
The clue is that you cant learn to be patient with a specific thing, you can only learn to find the peace and tranquility in yourself that is the centre of all patience. Dont forget though that the intrusions from the outside world are only possible to be negated by the direct connection with the Divine. As then we find the potential to see the Divine in everything, including the debris and noise of a large City, If that particualr path of transormationis the one that is appropriate for us. It might be that we are required ot learn something that the noise acts as a catalyst for the development of self.
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I don’t want a quick and painless death. Perhaps slow and possibly painful might be best. I’m going to need some warning as I definitely have some debriefing to do.
The life review is what I’m most apprehensive about. God have mercy on my soul for the pain of done to others that they don’t know of.
What could be more helpful, indicative of loving-kindness, & humbling than a life or lives review? Is there anything more substantial in support of rebirth as true than the review? What in heaven’s name would it be for otherwise? Can you imagine the Creator thinking, “Sheesh! Since these once Earth-bound souls are here to stay after just ONE foray, then I better give them something to do when they first come back, like a review of how how their behavior affected other mortals. This will help them to…wait a minute! They will be reunited in infinite love & peace for eternity, so why bother? I better think of something else!”
Let me express my gratitude for the supremely joyful & intellectually stimulating journey w/ everyone who has made comments. I can’t begin to imagine coming across such an intriguing group of seekers & searchers after truth & love, not to mention Eben & Karen’s generosity in providing this avenue of exploration. I have not experienced such an extended period of unalloyed elation as I have had here since my days of living at Ananda Cooperative Village in California in the mid-80s. May the Almighty bless you & keep you all!
When 17 on vacation in Puerto Rico, I was held under water by a very strong under-current when suddenly I saw clips of my life going backwards very fast. It was like, “This was the Best of Your Life” mini-movie. It was filled with all of the happiest moments! Then the current receded enough for me to get out – with so much sand in my swimming suit that when my bratty little sister saw me come out she said, “Drop crotch!” I told her to be quiet & that I was just happy to be alive!
The most concerning things about life reviews come a bit later in life! Especially pertaining to in-laws! Oh boy! That won’t be fun! Yikes! Perhaps there’s still time to make amends?!
As far as I can tell, we are all in resonance. Anyone who comes in to “teach someone else a lesson” only does that if he/she has something to learn from it themselves. I find that in interactions with others, no rules can truly be written, and to take right action, we must be aligned with our higher consciousness/soul. It is a very curious thing! When I am well aligned, I relate to people very uniquely. For example, ordinarily, I am not territorial. But when my dear neighbor started using a part of my yard, and cutting the grass there and making it all the way he wanted, and it turned into a 5′ x 100′ swath (and letting visitors park there, and dumping a pile of dirt there), I started to feel invaded and I told him (with good feeling and heart and energy) he had to stop doing that and move back onto his own land. Well, there was emotion going on about this for almost a month. His son told me off, but I stood my ground and was pleasant and just said “no.” After all, he has more land than I do anyway; why can’t he use what he has? I wondered at myself, as it appeared I was being selfish, but I didn’t feel selfish. Finally I figured it out. It was really obvious: My neighbor lacked boundaries (and as a caretaker of his ill wife for 13 years, he was in great need of self-care and making boundaries for himself; I finally reminded him of this, as I hugged him and said “no” you can’t appropriate any part of my land). Sure, we are all one, but at this level of reality, it’s all about boundaries, individuality, responsibility, integrity. I would not go tromping into your home and taking whatever I want using “but we are all one” as the reason. That’s fine at the soul level. And at the soul level, we all love one another. But at this level, there are personalities I don’t want in my home. Sorry. So back to the topic: I am very much in observation of my interactions with others and what I do, and I’m aware of when I am being a lesson or a reflector for others. This means that sometimes people have different opinions of me. One person might think I am the most generous person in the world. Another person might think I’m stingy. When I am in tune with my soul, I am alive in the moment and know when a gift of my time or energy or other thing would be well used by a person or if they would only toss it aside. It’s like Jesus talking about pearls and giving them to those who can benefit from them.
Life reviews are good in this earth existence. Since imperfection is a given I review my actions and reactions each evening asking for the gift of grace, then determine to make changes. When my husband transitioned in December 2018, he gifted me the day before with a single statement “Let’s make a Love Affair” which I took as not only a proposal for our continued love across the present two dimensions and further dual after-life existence, but also as his gift of forgiveness for attitudes I had gotten ‘wrong’ this time around. Over the last few months we have sorted through attitudes and situations. Each morning and evening as I say my prayers I ask the Greatness to take the things we haven’t sorted through and hold them gently in safe keeping until which time we will be able to talk them over and come to loving understanding about them. This eases the waste of guilt time and shows committed intent. Then, when I transition I expect we will enjoy each other, as we have ‘here’ in our deep sweet harmony, as we anticipate yet another new beginning. I absolutely refuse to take on responsibility for things outside my control; it’s a complete waste of time and of attention sorely needed to raise the joy vibration of our planet and sentient community as we navigate into what is coming next. As Eben has said ‘All is Well’, so let us go forth in joy, wonder and anticipation.
What a gracious set of teachers. Eben I am so grateful to learn everything you are telling us about, and so very grateful you have found the true understanding of our higher source and graciously explaining in knowledgeable wording how pleasurable the learning was. I guess that may not make sense, but you have explained that you thought your training and expertise was the only thing that had created healing in some of your patients completely void of higher powers. And now you have explained how powerful those higher powers are, after all, that is how you survived. Am I understanding this correctly? Bless you and Karen, you are truly the greatest.
This is a very powerful and humbling excerise, but not easy. “If we could see ourselves as others see us……..”
This concept of life review ourselves makes sense to me when the veil is lifted and we can see our lives and how we’ve impacted others from a place of love and wisdom and divine purpose. My feeling about religious interpretation to this event is that words, pictures, characters and stories are presented by those spiritual writers in the past to present the concepts of “life review” through the means that have made sense to different cultures and people of different eras and this is why there may appear to be some differences. In my own experience, I see a common thread that runs through most of these religious accounts that also threads in with the experiences of those who have had hear death mini-life reviews. I also believe that as spiritual evolving beings, that some individuals are able to understand and experience these spiritual insights in new ways as perhaps many are ready to see and hear this now. But I still see the commonality of the main message. It has been suggested to me that sometimes we go through experiences for our own learning and at other times, we may experience something negative from our perspective (e.g., bullying) as the recipient of something negative, in order to assist someone else’s learning. This reciprocity of spiritual learning makes sense to me. After I have gone through something very challenging myself, (and some healing has occurred for me), I find myself asking… “what was the spiritual purpose of this experience?” The answers do not always come immediately for me, but I do find myself asking the question. As others have said in this discussion, I do believe that we are here to serve the spiritual growth of both ourselves and others. I refer to this as the “earth school” and I do wonder at times, what other schools might exist out there in the universes…
The “life review” is the part of death I have dreaded the most, because the thought of seeing myself inflicting pain on others (as we all have done) is mortifying to me! And even though it is perhaps done in the presence of the very loving Being of Light, I just hate being reminded again of what I have done and what I would never do again. Because I have repented and often regretted things I’ve done that hurt others. In fact, I’ve often thought that one of the first things I want to do when I see my deceased parents again is to apologize for having been a difficult child too many times.
Hello Bonnie, I feel exactly the same as you. I also hate thinking about the pain I have inflicted on others. When I began to reflect on my life as a mature adult, I wished I could go back and do certain things differently or say things in a more loving way. I guess by already thinking over what we have done and said, we know what to expect in the life review to some extent.
I must smile—earlier today I sat in meditation and invited the souls of both my mother and father to be with me and I expressed my love and gratitude and also agonized over the times I was unfeeling or said something sarcastic or hurtful. This is a very wonderful thing to do. They do hear us and know exactly what we are saying and what is in our heart. I have no doubt. At the soul level, we are forever in touch with our loved ones throughout time and space. And this is important, too: to have compassion for your child self. You did the best you knew at the time. Imagine you are a wise, loving parent regarding your past difficult self with a smile of unconditional love. That is the truth of the matter. All straying away from love only brings us back with greater love.
You have given me such a gift. when you write: “we may experience something negative from our perspective (e.g., bullying) as the recipient of something negative, in order to assist someone else’s learning,” you have given me a completely new perspective about something I’ve struggled with for my whole life. When people are unkind to me, I tend to either dwell in a feeling of anger and injustice, or else search to find what I’ve done to bring the unkindness on myself or what I should have done in response, and eventually I wind up in a confused and sad of the futility of bothering to do anything about it at all. This idea gives me a new way to look at it that makes me feel that an injustice done to me isn’t about me at all, and it’s neither my fault, nor even neccessarily my lesson to learn. I have heard this lesson expressed in different ways from spiritual teachers before, and never quite understood it, but the simplicity of your words are a soothing balm of clarity for me, and a precious gift.
Increasingly I’ve become weary and suspicious of this journey concerning reincarnation, the disquieting sounds of the Ommm…during meditation and now the emphatic statement that there is no divine creator who is in judgement of his/her creation. This is totally against all Christian sensibilities. One can embrace many of the 33 day principals for self-discovery, self-reflection and efficient practice of Mindful Meditation without it contradicting one’s faith. You and Doctor Alexander can believe what you want that the soul gets recycled back and forth between dimensions but you really should not be denouncing Christianity.
At some point in a persons spiritual journey, (s)he has to move from being a believer to being is seeker. No religion or philosophy has a monopoly on the Truth. Limiting beliefs creep in somewhere in its development. While a particular religion maybe a good place to start one’s spiritual journey, one must move eventually from a set of external beliefs to faith in one’s own profound experience of the Truth is it is revealed from inside ourselves. We all have much to learn and understandings will deepen as our search continues.
A very articulate response which I wholeheartedly agree with.
Reincarnation was and is in the Bible but the powers that did away with it (Christianity began as part of the government of Rome; the Roman Empire appropriated it politically as being the religion of the state) did not want people to believe they had more than one chance to get it right. Also, the men (politicians) who decided what would be in the Bible (from among the many different Bibles circulating in those times), edited it with an eye to governing the people. Controlling them with fear. It is amazing to me that so many jewels of truth actually did get left in the final draft! As for the om sound—could it be the Word in the beginning, and the Word was with God? Chanting the OM is not really necessary, and it is really a very advanced practice mainly for people seeking liberation (return to God) from the physical while alive. What it comes down to is this: just take what you can use from this program, but no need to throw out the baby with the bath water! Christianity for the larger population is relatively static and simple and not meant for mystics who want to be with God now and not wait until after they die. Remember how Jesus said, “is it not written that ye are Gods? That even greater works shall ye do?” This is one of those jewels I am surprised the politicians let slip through. It is one of the main things the church doesn’t want you to believe or know!
To quote an old Portuguese proverb: “God writes straight with crooked lines”. In one of his readings, psychic Edgar Cayce (1877 – 1945) reported, if reincarnation hand not been removed from the New Testament, Christianity would have remained an esoteric sect, instead of spreading like wildfire across the “known” world to become a major religion. Say what you will, Christianity did pave the way for a more enlightened society we as a people enjoy today, especially in the West. We are very fortunate to have a Spiritual Journey available to us through prayer and meditation without the hassle of any particular dogma. It requires real work, but it is definitely worth it.
Do I understand correctly that you are choosing a Creator who punishes his children for good and evil instead of a loving, caring and kind Creator? I think this 33 day journey is opening our minds to greater truths and a way of looking at things from a perspective which was not forced on us when we were children. A God of Love does not punish us, that is our job, and we do a good job of it.
It would be helpful to you perhaps, to read the Christ Letters pdf on your computer but only if you are open to finding this loving God.
I’m curious about anyone’s insight here to my comment:
1. If it’s true that life here is about learning, I imagine that the learning is not just what I’ve learned from my interactions with others, how I’ve responded in thought and action. I suppose I play a part in other’s learning as well, as unintentional as that may be.
2. After reading a participants post here on another days practice, she said her deceased uncle apologized for having hurt her in life, it was a hard thing he had to do for her learning in this particular lifetime for her. That got me thinking…how can a person’s soul have the “purpose” of hurting someone in this lifetime?
3. I often think “what have I learned from this?”, often on a daily basis, particularly if someone has been unkind, or some other “negative” experience. But, that has me wondering if that’s a pretty egotistical question…especially if perhaps I’m here to teach as well as to learn. Perhaps my question could be “what lesson can this person learn from me?”. That feels too personal as well.
Either way, it feels like such a soup of interaction, people responding to people.
Who in any incident is the soul teacher or the soul student?
I’m thinking that loving thought and action is the ultimate purpose, and the ultimate teaching tool. Hence, the people practicing most loving thought/action are the most evolved and the teachers.
Frankly, I don’t know what to think.
The “life review” is the disappearance of the illusory veil of the third dimension once no longer confined within a body. The veil removed, we see everything from a state of re-union, thus feeling the pain, the joy, etc. from a state of Oneness.
Wow… that’s incredible.
Re-union sounds so refreshing and it’s amazing that this oneness is ever present in everyday reality….
I’m becOMing more aware of this.
A Thank You to Yvonne Valentine, (love your name), who echos my own feelings/experiences. I was asking for clarity and giving gratitude when I walked the Original road on the Camino de Santiago two years ago before getting too far into my 70’s. I was almost shocked when I started reliving some moments of my life when I had been cruel, or uncaring, or otherwise non-charitable. I considered myself a kind and caring person. The realization that I had not even seen this other behavior gave me one of those events for which words are not available in our language. Pain, remorse, guilt, mixed with shame…is there one word for all these? It was a Spiritual Pain and I found that forgiveness was called for, but not easily accepted by me. I had to thank Spirit (?) for giving me this Clarity, then work on the forgiveness part. This walk was called for and I realized then, why it had been so important for me to accomplish.
So wonderful and healing that you walked the Camino de Santiago. I have always thought about it since reading Shirley Mcclain’s book on it.
Thank you Barbara… I’m learning the one word for all of these… growth
In Theosophy (Esoteric Buddhism brought to the West), there is the practice of the’ Chela’s daily ledger’. Where you review the day’s events before sleep. It’s a very good discipline to create an objective view and experience of your personal activities during the day. On a small scale it’s similar to the ‘life review’ you mention.
I try to atone for any actions /ripples I might have given out. Service and paying forwards are great to give out. Awareness and asking for forgiveness is a necessity. I have a great Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness that I say daily, reminds me to forgive others, to ask for forgiveness from others, to accept I am not ready to forgive and to forgive myself.
Thank you Deb… that’s a mighty prayer
now then.. being half way through my 73rd yr.. i have entered/manifested an inner peace/contentment.. however .. now i am experiencing life reviews much of the time.. this is not a bad or good just it happens… the most incidental situations even just pop up .. i live alone now ..happy with this.. but wow going through long ago ..all kinds of … i am programming the next life journey … ALL MUSIC.. JUST SAYING.. I AM GRATEFUL TO KAREN AN EBEN.. FOR KEEPING US ON TRACK …BRAVO
Where it is written “This can seem as if years have passed, even if just seconds or minutes have passed in earth time.” So this will feel like actual years we will be reliving? Hoping for clarification because that sounds painful regardless of the good and bad things we did on earth.
Hi again Craiger – for a fuller presentation of the dimensions of the life review, I would highly recommend The Afterlife of Billy Fingers by Annie Kagan. In the book, Annie’s recently deceased brother finds he is able to communicate with her, and tells her about what he is experiencing. He speaks of spending a lot of “time” exploring his earthly life, to the point of even being able to explore alternative choices not taken during his human life. I found it fascinating, and have read the book through 3 or 4 times now.
Ol thanks Doug, I will check it out, sounds very interesting!
Yes..I do a life review, not daily, but often. It can be quite cringe producing but hopefully when it is time to cross over, I will have atoned for much I will again encounter.
I’ve never liked looking at myself in the mirror. I simply don’t recognize what I remember.
It certainly is a good idea to look in the mirror on a regular basis, to understand what makes us tick, why we think, say and act as we do. The more we could embark upon that sort of reflection, the better humans we could become. It is good to, perhaps, ponder every morning, on the day ahead. I always ask for guidance for presence and awareness of my own intent making the most of every occasion. I find, that this encourages synchronicity.
Wow this is a very helpful exercise…. in my antroposophical medical course I already learnt about the daily retrospect .. also in order to review and relive the essential things from the past day.
Its wonderful to hear from you Eben and Karen that this is truly a helpful tool !
Thank you for sharing🌹