In the near death group I am in, almost every day someone comes into the group worried about afterlife judgement, either for themselves or a loved one. Many have been taught that suicide is the unforgivable sin. Some think that if you don’t believe in God, God is going to send you to Hell simply for not believing in Him. Judgement, condemnation, not measuring up, being less than acceptable- all of these are so baked into our society that for the early part of my life I literally wished I had not been born because I knew I could never live up to the standard. Apparently I’m not the only one carrying around this fear of not being good enough.
Even if we’ve broken free of traditional religion, there is a New Age belief that we’re here on missions and we can pass or fail the mission. Some believe there are councils who grade us and decide if we come back and what our next assignment is. Almost endless reincarnation is a softer version of the old religious belief. God doesn’t cast us into Hell, but a council might send us back to a life of poverty or suffering so we can learn first hand what we did to others. I can just hear the schoolmaster from “Another Brick In The Wall” roaring “Wrong, do it again!”. We’re still trying to meet some standard outside of ourselves before we can get break free of the cycle.
Very common in NDEs is the experience of a life review or “judgement” if you will. In this experience you are shown you life, but more than just a movie, you feel what the person you interacted with felt when you did what you did. You realize that you are that person you hurt. You are that person you helped. You feel it from their perspective. Some have reported they feel the “ripple” effect several levels. out. If you cause someone to feel good, they will pass that on, etc. Random acts of kindness are more important than we think; as are acts of cruelty. That act you do today impacts that person, the person he interacts with and comes back to you in your life review where you will feel it. What we are told is there is no judgement from God or the others. Jesus’ words “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” seem to be literally true. You will judge you. You’re serving someone all right. You’re accountable to someone. You’re accountable to yourself.
Once we get it, really get it, that we are God and God is us; once we know that the person across from us because he is part of God and so are we, we come to a realization. Yes, you gotta serve somebody, as Boby Dylan wrote after his conversion to Christianity. We serve God by serving humanity. We serve humanity by serving ourselves, because we are one in the same. When we lift others, we lift ourselves.