BOOK REVIEW: Dying to Be Me, My Journey from Cancer to Near Death, to True Healing

Dying to Be Me, My Journey from Cancer to Near Death, to True Healing, a book written by Anita Moorjani.

As an amazing, spiritually oriented autobiography, Anita Moorjani has given us such a gift in Dying to Be Me, My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing. Because of the experiences that she relates in this book, Anita has been hailed as “the embodiment of truth” that we are children of the universe and have the insight, if we are open to it, to live this life with courage and audacity.

Dealing with death is not a new experience for me, and I was fearful of reading Dying To Be Me, when Hay House Publishing sent it to me for review. I just lost my only child (daughter, age 36) two years ago. Was this going to open up those painful wounds? I have accepted her passing, at least in part. And as a wonderful author, Maria Houston, author of Hannah’s Gift, Lessons Fully Lived has said, “Grief has become a part of me, not something I needed to get through.” So I’ve been able to honor the grief, not ignore it.

But I was surprised when I started reading Moorjani’s story. It is not a book about death necessarily, but about re-connecting with the universal love that we come into this life with, and living Life in Love. Somehow we get sidetracked into believing what others have said about us, and what we mistakenly believe about ourselves. And in doing so, we lose the sense of that love.

Moorjani gracefully portrays her life story. By sharing her experience, it becomes easier to see how we can become preoccupied and confused by other people’s perceptions of ourselves. She relates her early life as the child of a Hindu family living in Hong Kong, and schooling in a strict British Catholic setting. Her life consisted of contradictions at every turn as she tried to fit in.  As Moorjani puts it, “Soon, I found myself locked in my own cage of fear and desperation, where my experience of life was getting smaller and smaller.”

After coming of age, embarking on her own career, and meeting the man she would marry, Anita still held subconscious fear of life and self-expression. She ended up getting cancer. During the next few years, battling her own disease, she lost both a dear friend and brother-in-law to cancer who each had slowly declined from treatment. Her illness continued to deteriorate and eventually she ended up in an emergency situation at the hospital. Her body had shut down and she was dying.

Anita was aware of everything, even though the doctors said she was in a coma. She became so sensitive to everything. She could feel her husband’s emotions, recognized the nurse and doctor’s conversation about her condition. But she couldn’t understand why she was unable to comfort her mother. Everything going on in the medical area revolved around her. But she seemed to be above it. She was floating above, but still right in the middle of the action.

Here is Moorjani’s account of this near-death, coma-state: “I was more acutely aware of all that was going on around me than I’ve ever been in a normal physical state. I wasn’t using my five biological senses, yet I was keenly taking everything in, much more so than if I’d been using my physical organs. It was as though another, completely different type of perception kicked in, and more than just perceive, I seemed to also encompass everything that was happening, as thought I was slowly merging with it all.”

Much of the book deals with Moorjani’s Near Death Experience (NDE), recovery and illumination. The illumination is what I find most interesting. It consisted of the extreme feeling or sensation of being completely enfolded in the arms of Love. The more Anita tried to explain the feeling of unconditional love; the more it became apparent that it was something that actually could not be explained, at least in human terms. You know the saying, “You had to be there”? It seems to me that actually being there (in NDE) is the only time you would be able to completely understand what she really was experiencing.

Anita was able, in this sensation of love, to realize that she is perfect just the way she is: that there is no such thing as judgment, or fault, or guilt. Experience in the human body is just that – experience. Spending all her life feeling like she was not good enough was simply wasted time and energy. She could have been moving through her life in complete confidence. Why had she chosen to feel inadequate? That seems to be one reason she returned to her physical body after the NDE: to understand that God is All, that she is All. There is no separation. And she was to live confidently thereafter. She was to share this glorious information with as many people as she could.

At this stage, Wayne Dyer, author and spiritual teacher, came into play. He became acquainted with Anita’s experience and situation. He encouraged her to write the book, Dying to Be Me, and was instrumental in having it published.

And so, we move back to the beginning of this blog: the part where I said I was fearful of reading it. Yes, the book speaks of death. Yes, it opened old emotional wounds of my daughter’s passing. But, we all experience death as part of life. It is the natural transition. Some of us live through much more than others do. But this book, Anita’s account of her NDE, gives me solace in knowing that my daughter is in that indescribable state of love. Of course, I knew it on many levels already. But to hear it from someone who was actually there makes a major difference in how I understand it.

If you or someone you know has moved through a place of grief, after losing someone in their life, then I whole-heartedly guarantee that they will find peace in this book. If you have ever entertained the idea of what it is like on “the other side,” then this book is for you. But most of all, if you intend on truly living your life this time around, then the book for your inspiration is Dying to Be Me, My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Health.

You can find the book from this review at these fine booksellers:

Amazon Books

Barnes & Noble Books

Hay House Publishing

Indigo Books

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hay House Publishing for review purposes. My opinion of this book here is unbiased, reflecting my honest judgment of the product.

“I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts!” Ghostbusters and Dan Aykroyd

 Guess what? There are whispers of a new Ghostbuster movie, and it looks as if it is in the works. But somehow is taking longer than usual. Not sure why, but maybe producer/director conflicts.

Dan Aykroyd announced a few months into 2012 that Bill Murray was not going to appear in Ghostbusters III, and at this point the film had been indefinitely suspended. Harold Ramis (who is part of the writing team with Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg) said that the four main cast members from the original film may have minor on-screen roles: “The concept is that the old Ghostbusters would appear in the film in some mentor capacity”. Aykroyd said Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis felt there had to be a way to do it without Murray.

Aykroyd’s comments about Murray leaving were that Stupnitsky and Eisenberg “wrote Bill the comic role of a lifetime, and the new Ghostbusters and the old are all well represented in it”; they wrote a “strong first draft”. In February 2012, Aykroyd said “The script must be perfect. We cannot release a film that is any less than that. We have more work to do.”

Dan Aykroyd originally created the role of Dr. Peter Venkman (Ghostbusters 1984) with John Belushi in mind, but had to rewrite the part for Bill Murray after Belushi died. So that particular role has had a certain “strange energy” about it from the beginning.

One of the best parts of the movie is the representation of ectoplasm (the special energy used by spirits and ghosts to manifest themselves). It is represented by animated slim in different parts of the film. The green ghost (Slimer) is affectionately referred to as the ghost of John Belushi. Aykroyd grew up in a spiritualist household and was able to represent many true-to-life aspects of ghosts and the spirit world.

Alas, as of February 2012, a third feature film of Ghostbusters remains in what is known as “development hell”. Development hell refers to a period of time during that this film is trapped in development. A film takes an especially long time to start production, or never does.

Since the first movie was released on June 8, 1984 and made $238,632,124 just in the United States, and the American Film Institute ranked Ghostbusters 28th in its AFI’s 100 Years…100 Laughs list of film comedies, we know that it would be a mistake NOT to finish the third chapter in the Ghostbuster saga! In this case, we must assume that Ghostbusters III will be done just on time!

For those interested in Dan Aykroyd’s family history, you may want to check out his father’s book:

A History of Ghosts:The True Story of Séances, Mediums, Ghosts, and Ghostbusters,  2009 by Peter Aykroyd. This book chronicled the family’s historical involvement in the Spiritualist Movement. Dan Aykroyd wrote the introduction and accompanied his father on a series of promotional activities. Aykroyd also read the introduction for the audio version of the book.

Blessings to you until my next post!

Melissa Leath (Balboa Press, a division of Hay House Publishing)