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Excerpt from

"The Day My

Brain Exploded"

chapter 4:

"The Liquid



  Restrained in my hospital bed, I underwent a spectacular religious revelation that would also remain with me forever. I saw  death.  No, that’s wrong. I saw the afterlife.

Yet rather than seeing the proverbial white light, I entered glorious, deep blue water, and emerged fishlike, making my way through a liquid passage, a magnificent cosmic uterus. I was pushed amidst a thick wetness to seemingly emerge into another life. Dying, it seemed, was as difficult as being born.

The work a newborn endures to leave the womb seemed akin to my struggle; Moving inside the tunnel wasn’t easy.  It was difficult, it was intense. Still, I swam relentlessly, forcing my fish avatar down the watery birth canal, to die and be welcomed to another life.  

I discovered the world after death. But just as I was pushing hardest within the heavy fluid and saw the light ahead, I was stopped—my nurse was slapping my face. It seemed my blood pressure had dropped dangerously low; there was fear for my life.

“Wake up! Wake up!”

My face was being slapped hard by Nurse Hannah.  My eyes opened slowly. The nurse was right above my face, my parents terrified, sitting in red metal chairs around next to my bed.  They were exhaling in relief.  I started screaming. Loudly. So loudly I’m sure Connecticut could hear me.

“I was in her womb! I was swimming in God’s womb!!! I WAS SWIMMING IN HER WOMB!” 

I repeated this, over and over.  It was a mantra that shocked everyone around me.  As if soothing an agitated toddler, I was simply told by the nurse, “Yes, yes, of course you were Ashok.  Now have some soup.”  At the corner of the room, I noticed a plastic bowl of grotesque clear broth languishing on a tray.  She and my parents nodded indulgently.

Their patronization did nothing but infuriate me.  Reminded me of the end of Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy was being calmed down after waking from her time in the Emerald City.

But I knew. I knew that what I experienced was real, no matter the level of their condescension.
My experience of existing past existence revealed a new form of consciousness I had never known.

The liquidity taught me that in death we return to being the fish we were in our mothers’ wombs. And we enter another, far more substantial womb,. Whether this was, indeed, God—as mother, as woman—setting us free once more, or whether the world beyond was a liquid afterlife, I knew that our visions of the hereafter—simple constructs like heaven and hell—meant nothing.

A joy, an exuberance, lay beyond. But it is neither light nor white. It is dark and blue.

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