Reclusive Duck Woman. Artist. Writer. GR Refugee.
The near death experience the author recounts in Return from Tomorrow corresponds with the messages behind The Tibetan Book of the Dead, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Mystery religions of ancient Greece and Egypt, and countless other near death experiences documented since earliest times.
In the case of the author of Return from Tomorrow, the psychopomp (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopomp ) or Benevolent Deity who accompanied his time on the bardo, assumed the form of Jesus, following the author's own mental thought forms. A Hindu may perhaps see Krishna, an ancient Egyptian Osiris, an ancient Greek perhaps Orpheus. Some people of no religion have reported seeing just the beatific light itself.
I think it rather sad when I see people using this nde as validation for the righteous exclusity of their own faith. I don't think that's the message behind it. It's to rise above pettiness and the constant demands of our child-like egos, and in this way to die before death. To live with mindful awareness, therefore avoiding unhealthy attachments and negative emotions such as rage and envy. And to treat all in the universe with love and respect, regardless of whether they are of the same species, race, gender, faith or religion as you. After all as author Ram Dass says: "We're all just walking each other home."
Also, don't pass out in bars. That scene was bloody awful. And it seems that giving up smoking before death is a pretty good idea too. What a bummer to have that craving as a spirit...