Last night I was reading Venture Inward, ARE’s excellent magazine. Generally, I start on page one and read through to the end-which I did last night. When I was done, I went back and re-read Larry Dossey’s article on The Transformative Potential of a Global Near-Death Experience.  Compelling group of thinkers.

In 1985 I read a book that so engaged me, spoke to my heart and soul that I made an all out effort to locate and talk with the author. I became a super fan of this man’s philosophical take on consciousness and philosophy.  The book was The Final Choice: Playing the Survival Game by Michael Grosso published by Stillpoint Publishing in 1985. I marked, underlined and wrote in the margins-something I rarely ever do, because books are sacred objects to me. The new issue Final Choice: Death or Transcendence? was edited and published by White Crow Books in 2017.

I’d had the same ideas based on my experiences with Dr. George Ritchie back in the late 60s and early 70s-what if we all had NDEs, wouldn’t that change everything? But no one, especially me, had put together all the complexities and philosophical aspects to bring it all together like Dr. Grosso managed to accomplish.  I knew that the Near-Death Experience was the path to human consciousness changing for the better.  I just didn’t know how only one or two people I’d met that had the experience would be able to bring about that change. Of course, now, NDEs are mainstream.

From Venture Inward, Dr. Dossey quoting Grosso: “I looked around at our fear-and-greed driven world and thought that maybe something like the near-death experience could be the template for the needed transformation. The question I kept asking: Are we approaching a time when events of such enormous proportions may jolt the collective consciousness into new forms of awareness, perhaps a more vital sense of human solidarity?”

In 1992 I attended a conference in Prague, Czechoslovakia while Vaclav Havel was at the height of his power. To me he was a true mystic and transformer and while writing poetry, plays and books – he was also first president of the Czech Republic.

From Dr. Dossey’s article in Venture Inward– at a speech Mr. Havel gave at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1994: “In today’s multicultural world, the truly reliable path to coexistence, to peaceful coexistence and creative cooperation, must start from what is at the root of all cultures and what lies infinitely deeper in human hearts and minds than political opinion, convictions, antipathies, or sympathies- it must be rooted in self-transcendence: Transcendence as a hand reached out to those close to us, to foreigners, to the human community, to all living creatures, to nature, to the universe.

Transcendence as a deeply and joyously experienced need to be in harmony even with what we ourselves are not, what we do not understand, what seems distant from us in time and space but with which we are nevertheless mysteriously linked because, together with us, all this constitutes a single world. Transcendence is the only real alternative to extinction. “

Dr. Ritchie often spoke about his Near-Death Experience and how every deed, every thought, every intention separates us or unites us. Builds connections or breaks them. We are One; we are united even when we fight it.

Dr. Grosso’s carefully researched and written book, Final Choice, examines transformation, myths, out-of body experiences, near-death and the apocalypse. Throughout he defines what it is to be human and the possibilities to move to the next level.

Another piece in Venture Inward was from Dean Radin, Ph.D. His take where we are now-from his book Real Magic: “Given the many challenges faced by the modern world, I believe we would all benefit by encouraging the unprejudiced study of real magic, especially because this topic is really about gaining a better understanding of the nature of consciousness. Indeed a case can be made that expanding what we know about consciousness may be a prerequisite for humanity to evolve from our present adolescent phase-which like all adolescence is chronically permeated by angst and emotion-to a more mature phase where concepts like wellness for all and peace on earth become genuine, realistic possibilities. “

Last night, around 10-11 PM, I wrote a most thoughtful, wise and appreciative blog to say what Dr. Dossey article has meant to me but, alas, it was all in my head.  This morning I can’t remember exactly how I put those words into form.  It was much better than what I’ve written here.

I am grateful to be reminded of Michael Grosso’s Final Choice and Vaclav Havel’s speeches.

My spirit was fed, my soul enlarged.  I am grateful for these three wise men teachers.

Sandra Martin

June 29, 2020