After Omega

Kenneth Ring. Heading Towards Omega. William Morrow, 1984.
Kenneth Ring, author of Life and Death one of the pioneering studies of the Near Death Experience, here presents a study of the after-effects of 'deep' NDEs, in which the experient entered a transcendental realm. The similarities with UFO contactees, in the description of sometimes science-fictional, supra-celestial worlds, the difficulties of readjustment (King reports a considerable number of NDE experiencers end up divorcing their spouses, or at least wanting to), the claims of spiritual insight, personality growth, and the development of shamanic wild talents, are startling.

Like contactees, some are given the secret of the universe, which they promptly forget on returning to a mundane state of consciousness. Others are given flash-forwards of their personal lives and the world's future - the latter being heavy on the standard pop occult apocalyptophilia about disastrous earthquakes the nuclear war due in April 1 1988 and etc., to be followed by a golden age. One experiencer, T.S., a garage mechanic, developed an interest in quantum mechanics, though as with many contactees, it is doubtful whether his claims to superior knowledge could be verified. NDE investigators tend to come across the type of experiences which fit their preconceptions: the fundamentalist Maurice Rawlings came across visions of heaven and hell and calls to repentance; 'new ager' King finds messages which confirm his beliefs that NDEs are generated by the rising of the kundalini power, and are signposts on the road to a new stage of humanity a la Childhood's End, the Omega of the title.

 Had King studied Western fairy-lore with the same avidity that he has studied the Eastern religions, pop Californian style, he would have been forewarned against the seductive enchantments of Magonia, and may have paused before proclaiming death as a great adventure and endorsing such 'revelations' as: " ... whatever was happening, the wars, famine, etc. was OK, every thing was perfect. Somehow it was part of the perfection that we didn't have to be concerned about at all", that nuclear holocaust is not only inevitable but desirable and necessary so the new age can emerge - though to be fair, King does cavil at that. -- Peter Rogerson. Magonia 23, July 1986.

No comments: