The other lives after this life

Mado Martínez, Spanish anthropologist and writer.

Perhaps the Austrian poet Karl Skala is right when, in one of his delirious verses, he mentions death as an awakening; to what could also be conceived as an important and inevitable state towards uncertain and therefore unknown worlds. Although this metaphor seems a somewhat abstract appreciation, which perhaps presumes to be superstitious, it possibly still maintains an essential principle, especially when we try to solve one of the most controversial enigmas that has caused so much obsession in many of us mortals: What happens when we leave this life?

Although the question is somewhat complex to resolve, an impressive demonstration based on multiple experiences (which may well be unpredictable and at the same time true) exposed in different times, places, contexts and beliefs, aims to clarify or, on the contrary, greatly expand plus that confusing enigma such as death, and are defined in the journalistic and scientific work of the Spanish anthropologist, philologist and novelist Mado Martínez called The Proof: Near-Death Experiences and Messages from the Beyond. Written with an abundant investigative effort in terms of references, one of the most striking aspects that this work produces is that it in no way tries to appear mystical, much less to force readers to believe in both religious and scientific dogma about the possible lives that exist after leaving this life. On the contrary, it is more of an invitation to explore each of the situations described there, in order to get closer to those dimensions in which many people say they have experienced during that specific moment in which they had a cold contact with death and were able to come back to life.

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In principle, the testimonials immersed in each page may cause some incredulity in the readers, even more so if some of them tend to seem implausible, far from all reason. But when there is a large amount of background and each one glimpses a margin of similarity, mainly in those incredible moments in which several people claim to have visited places impregnated with great peace, embellished by a dazzling nature and maintaining continuous communication with supernatural beings, makes it necessary to get out of understandable skepticism, at least to begin to question the magnitude of such events and the impact they have on the people who relate them. Mado Martínez does not recreate death to justify a divine existence but to exemplify, through various approaches, the reactions of these people during and after confronting their brief passage through those “possible worlds”. Another striking aspect of The proof is its methodological rigor. Mado Martínez does not always emphasize this research in a common area, but rather covers a wide variety of disciplines that are supported both in bibliography and in theoretical justification, which means that the anecdotal does not prevail in its content, much less pretend to stagnate in mysticism. . For this reason, the reader will be left with an important challenge: to question or refute each impression sustained in this interdisciplinary work, not so much to modify his perception of the other life after death, but to confront his beliefs with the events captured and in such a way enrich this problem from numerous approaches.

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The work makes up several chapters framed in three specific scenarios: the first, testimonies referring to near-death experiences (in its acronym ECM); the second, out-of-body or out-of-body experiences (ECF), and the third, near-death communications (CCM). In the case of the NDEs, it composes a series of testimonies in which several people, after surviving an accident, tragedy or illness, eloquently state having visited heavenly or hellish places as they are usually defined in the various religious creeds. But the impressions of these survivors are not only limited to a calm atmosphere, of absolute peace, or on the contrary of constant horror and suffering; they also face unique states of revelation that, on their return to this life, they must gallantly endure through supernatural abilities. For example: the inevitable prediction of the death of a loved one, with specific times and scenarios; the resolution of a crime, the knowledge of a tragedy, the fate of some mortals, among others, which establish an important link with the mysteries of our existence. For the particular testimonies of the EFC, many people assure that they were able to witness the unique moment in which their souls left their bodies, ascended quickly or slowly and could contemplate even the smallest details of the place. What is shocking about this finding is recognizing how even blind people on earth acquire the ability to see with what could be called the eyes of the soul: the color of the walls, the faces of the doctors, the words that are said, it is more, even the insignificant objects that are abandoned on the roof of some house or building, thus establishing a special intrigue about the existence of an afterlife. It is a period in which there is no notion of time and the hours seem to be reduced to unique moments, perhaps glorious, before entering that unknown dimension. Quite the opposite occurs with CCMs. In these, the experiences seem spectral and fantastic. People who say they have experienced these events say they were able to maintain contact with their loved ones, even when they knew their bodies were in a sorry state, on the verge of death. In the best style of a horror story, those experiences in which the mortals themselves had visual and verbal contact with the souls of those beings are also highlighted, even taking into account that they were in a hospital bed, in a coma. or dying.

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I take advantage of these lines to add one more experience, which occurred in 1999. It is an ECM. My mother had been declared pre-eclampsia during my brother’s pregnancy. Given this novelty, it was very difficult for either of them to survive the course of childbirth. At the moment of giving birth, my mother, fainted by the complex birth of my brother, with the last strength she had left, made the first act of maternal love by giving her second child a welcoming kiss and then losing the knowledge. The voices of the doctors shouting: “She’s leaving us, she’s leaving us!” Distant echoed in her head like an abrupt and definitive goodbye to this world. Despite the years, her memory accurately portrays each of the details that happened after her brief passage through the afterlife. She says that an immense light blinded her for an instant and then dragged her before the presence of a man dressed in white, with a bushy beard, whose imposing appearance contrasted with her kind and ineffable tone of voice. My mother, recognizing the man, maintained a necessary silence and the first airs of a peace that she had never experienced before germinated inside her. The man gave her the opportunity to place her index finger on what she noticed was a white sheet, but with the irrevocable condition that if she did, she would stay in that place forever. When she observed the wide forest adorned with a unique nature and the presence of her deceased relatives calling her insistently, she was carried away by that unique state of tranquility. However, when he was about to take the first step and press his finger to enjoy that dreamed eternity for many mortals, a shrill voice came out of nowhere and began to cry out his name with incisive desperation: it was his eldest son who asked him screaming not to leave him. My mother, recognizing that voice, immediately turned her gaze to the mysterious man and flatly refused to stay because in her spiritual memory she still had the responsibility of caring for two children and not leaving a widowed husband. The man barely nodded and, in the face of my mother’s reluctance, she gave him the opportunity to enjoy the harmony of that place a little. She comments that she recognized the face of her sister who had died many years ago, whose admirable beauty awakened the love extinguished by time and by the bitterness of tragedy. Her aunts, who were pious on earth, spoke to her with an indescribable serenity that captivated her. Passing through a thin bridge, she perceived the heartbreaking cries of some of her cousins ​​crying out for mercy; in her words the suffering of an endless anguish was highlighted. She says that she saw one of them, specifically the one who had been killed, that her expression of pain still highlighted the huge hole in her throat where a bullet had passed through her in a fight. She never knew how long it took her in that place, where everything was absolute tranquility, the truth was that when she recognized the call of the mysterious man, she felt that her farewell occurred in a blink. Her soul entered through a kind of door and the light gradually faded away. Upon her return, my mother barely opened her eyes. She was again in the hospital. Confused and perplexed, her paradise was reduced to the incisive voices of the doctors yelling, “We’ve got her again!” In the midst of her weakness, she noticed that the pain in her body represented her definitive triumph in knowing that she still had the privilege of accompanying us for a longer time in this temporary passage such as life.

The other lives after this life