My Life-after-Death Experience with Lai Tsi
The ECK Masters of the Ancient Order of the Vairagi have been with mankind since time immemorial, always ready to aid the spiritual seeker in his quest for God Consciousness. As many of us know through our inner experiences, we have been under the tutelage of these timeless sages in past lives and continue to be helped by the Vairagi Adepts even today. Over ten years ago I received my proof of life-after-death from the ECK Master Lai Tsi, guardian of the sacred teachings of the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad at the Temple of Golden Wisdom in the spiritual city of Arhirit. The following events occurred in 1976, while I was a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and stationed at Camp Pendleton, California.
April 1, 1976: Tonight the first of the dreams began. I should have realized the significance of today's date, since April Fools' Day is a traditional day of playing practical jokes on people. Little did I know that the joke would soon be on me. It's hard to believe, but even ten years after those dreams I still remember each one in vivid detail.
Tonight I was chased by evil men who tied me to a stake and killed me. As my body died on the ground, I was suddenly released from that physical shell. Aren't you supposed to really be dead if you die in your dreams, I remember asking myself?
A moment later, Lai Tsi appeared at my side. I recall the warmth emanating from this great being and the perfect knowledge that we had been together before. He taught me a valuable lesson on the art of dying that night, and I knew that he was merely reminding me of what Soul already knows: Death is the greatest illusion of all.
This first lesson was more real than the waking reality that I knew as a sergeant in the Marine Corps, and I recall the great disorientation I felt upon emerging from the dream state. I can still hear myself asking out loud, upon awakening, "Was that a dream or real?"
April 30, 1976: It has now been thirty days since the first dream. Every night since April 1, I have died a sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent, death; but always a death in full color and stereo. In these dreams I would find myself looking down at my lifeless physical body and feeling absolutely wonderful at the release of Soul.
In tonight's episode, I was thrown out of an airplane. As soon as my body landed on the ground, Lai Tsi appeared. He continued my education on the true meaning of life and the unlimited options we possess as Soul in reaching the Sugmad (God). I remember slowly waking up on the morning of May 1, feeling both joy and sorrow. I knew within myself that this was the last lesson with this beloved ECK Master. It was time to put my training into practice, although I had no idea how to apply this newfound knowledge.
May 1, 1976: Today I have exactly forty-six days left until I get out of the Marine Corps. Thank God! It seemed I would never get out. I have been having trouble with my wisdom teeth, so I checked into the dental clinic and had all four removed.
May 2, 1976: Something is not quite right. I am not sure what, butoh well, I'll find out soon enough.
May 10, 1976: Now I am sure what is wrong: the dentist botched my minor surgery. The left side of my face has a swollen lump the size of a tennis ball, and I have a green streak of color running from my neck down to my collarbone. I go to sick bay but am told there is nothing to worry about. My inner voice gently urges me to get other help, but I ignore it. After all, a military doctor wouldn't lie to me, would he?
May 12, 1976: Today is my birthday. Happy birthday to me. My sternum has now turned dangerously gangrenous. I have systemic blood poisoning but don't know it yet. I do know the doctors are giving me the runaround. This is something serious.
Previous to this experience, I would have accepted no responsibility for my illness and "let the ECK take care of it." However, this time I listened to my inner voice, which instructed me to march into the colonel's office and lift up my shirt. Now this is something I would not normally do, since it could lead to a court-martial, but I did it anyway, and my colonel almost passed out when he saw my green sternum. He personally took me down to sick bay to see a real doctor. The cyst on my face was drained, I was given an antibiotic and sent home.
1:00 p.m.: I took the antibiotics ten minutes ago but still feel terrible. I lie down on my couch to rest, and just as I am about to pass out, I hear the voice of another ECK Master, Paul Twitchell, as clear as a bell. He is saying, "If you do not listen to what I say, you will die!"
3:00 p.m.: I wake up. I am dripping with sweat and get sick several times. Paul Twitchell's voice echoes in my apartment once again. "You have five minutes to get an ambulance!" he says in no uncertain terms. I laugh and sarcastically reply to the ethers about me, "Yeah, right!" I get sick again. "You now have four minutes!" This time I listened to his warning.
The rest is a blur of action: walking next door to the gas station; calling the paramedics; passing out in the driveway; regaining consciousness in the ambulance; the paramedic trying to be funny by asking, "Having a good birthday?"; being taken into the emergency room. It is now 7:00 p.m. Just as the doctor is about to see me, a man is wheeled in who has been kicked in the head by a horse. Since I am no longer considered at risk, I am taken into a side room while the doctor treats the injured man. I look up at the clock; it is 7:10 p.m. Two more minutes and I will be twenty-two years old.
7:12 p.m.: A cold numbness starts crawling up my feet. Uh-oh, I've experienced this before in my dreams. As soon as the coldness reaches my chest, I find my consciousness has shifted to the inside of my crown chakra, located at the top of my head. It is a strange sensation to look down at the interior of my body. An instant later, I find myself being pulled right out through the top of my head! The title of Paul Twitchell's biography, In My Soul I Am Free, takes on new meaning. I later found out I was clinically dead at that moment. Happy birthday!
Throughout his literature, Paul Twitchell describes the Soul experience in very vivid terms. All I can say is that no words do justice to the experience, as he also points out in his various books. As Soul, I was a 360-degree viewpoint, traveling through a tunnel of light. It was incredible! I arrived at a grassy knoll, overlooking a yellow sea and felt a tremendous presence of love surround me. I remembered being taught to send out love as soon as someone crosses over the threshold of death, and as soon as I did this myself, I was surrounded by hundreds of beings, all of whom I had known in previous incarnations.
Lai Tsi emerged from this circle of great love and communicated to me, "As you know, your physical body no longer functions in your previous world. But you have a choice. You can remain here with us and continue your experiences, or you can go back to your physical body and live out the life you planned. The choice is yours."
Before I continue with this story, I must confirm that, as it is said in the Eckankar teachings, thoughts manifest instantly in the higher worlds.
As Lai Tsi and the others hovered over the grassy knoll, I clearly remember thinking, Well, I only have five weeks left in the Marine Corps.
Instantaneously, I was transported back into my physical body. The heaviness of my physical shell was immense after experiencing life as Soul, and I cursed myself thoroughly for what I had doneweighing the five more weeks in the Marines against a blissful life in heaven. After I was through cursing, however, I opened my eyes to pitch darkness, and Lai Tsi's voice said to me, "Did you think we would let you die when you had decided to live?" As his merry laughter trailed off into the ethers, I regained my vision to see a worried nurse standing over me, giving an injection. You should have seen the strange way she looked at me when I opened my eyes and started laughing!
Lai Tsi gave me an invaluable lesson about life and death, and to this day I try to live life as fully as possible. I have my proof of life after death, as taught to me by the great spiritual ECK Master Lai Tsi, and that's something no one can ever take away.
Excerpted from Earth to God, Come In Please . . . , Book 1, copyright © 1991 ECKANKAR. All rights reserved.