FDE, My Experience.Although Iíve never had an NDE I did have what I call an FDE.
A Fear of Death Experience. About 9 years ago at the age of 37 all the illusions of physical security we are programmed into believing collapsed. I went through a period when the visceral knowledge of "death at any instant" produced an "unnerving" fear. Although there was nothing physically wrong with me or my close family at the time the pinpoint of sure death had suddenly opened to a gaping abyss.
Although I could still function it was a terrifying time. We are brought up with the delusion in the west that society will come through and insure your bodily survival for some time anyway. When that delusion disappears and the eventual and imminent dissolution of all you Love is the only reality then life seems pointless.
Fortunately this was also a satori event for in my despair it also literally struck me what "I" really was and what everyone else was too. Not an individualized consciousness at all but one big "field of consciousness" looking at the Universe from different viewpoints! An incredible awakening and one which mitigates the fear of death since it is obvious that "I" or consciousness really exists everywhere irrespective of any particular physical body.
The next couple of years I read as much as I could about NDEís as well as branching out to philosophy and the intersection of science with mysticism. The book "Zen Physics" by David Darling and Alan Wattsí book "The Book ≠ On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are" now form the cornerstone of my outlook on life and I donít hesitate to share this new knowledge when it seems appropriate.
Indeed when logical reasoning and philosophy so fully explain what is going on in the world can there be any doubt?
There are several thought experiments I have contemplated over the years. And actually this exact thought experiment shows up in Darlings book "Soul Search" though itís been in "my" mind long before I read the book.
The materialist/reductionist might say that there are just patterns of molecules giving rise to individualized consciousness.
If this is true then science should theoretically be able to locate and perhaps replicate specifically which atoms in my brain create my consciousness vs. your consciousness.
In addition given the vastness of the Universe shouldnít that random pattern be repeated somewhere else right now! In others words shouldnít "I" be conscious in more than one place simultaneously?
In addition if we accept a hypothesis of infinite parallel universes which has been proposed, shouldnít my individualized consciousness show up some where else in all that? Where is the rule that given everything is random and uniform that an individualized consciousness canít be replicated at another location?
If Iím sleeping and an exact duplicate of my body is re-created elsewhere and both wake up. Then where am I located? If atomic structure gives rise to consciousness then I should find myself in the confusing situation of being conscious in two different locations simultaneously.
If the materialist answer is that I would still only be conscious in my original location and "someone else" is conscious over there then atomic structure canít be giving rise to consciousness.
The fact of an overall Cosmic Consciousness looking at the Universe from different viewpoints fits the observation that "I" seem to be in only one place at one time.
This also fits the observations by NDEírs that we are all really "One".
The world certainly would be different if everyone realized that what they do, they do to themselves in the most literal sense possible!
As I move through the world now Iím very careful in what I do and say and find it easy to Love all unconditionally. The FDE had the same effect as an NDE.
I still have bouts of fearing death. Intellectual knowledge cannot match the experience. During these times I read as much as possible about NDEís and it brings some calm.
I hope to have some transcendent experience before my actual transition occurs.