Life & Style

Anita Moorjani on Dying To Be Me at TEDxBayArea (Full Transcript)

But in the next instant, it felt as if I completely understood that now that I knew what I knew, and because I understood what caused the cancer, I knew that if I chose to go back to my body, my body would heal very, very quickly. And so, in that moment, I made the decision to go back, and I heard as though my father and my best friend said to me, “Now that you know the truth of who you really are, go back and live your life fearlessly.”

And it was in those moments that I woke up from the coma. And my family was so relieved to see me. And the doctors, they couldn’t explain it. The doctors were there, and they were surprised, but they were being very, very cautious, because there was no way of knowing; I was still so weak. There was no way for anyone to know whether I was going to stay out of the coma, or heal, or go back.

But I knew I was going to be fine, and I was telling my whole family, “I’m going to be fine, I know I’m going to be fine. It’s not my time.”

Within five days, the tumors in my body had shrunk by 70%. After five weeks, I was released from the hospital to go home. I was completely cancer free.


Now, what has happened is that I’ve had to pick up my life from that point, and as you can imagine, my life feels completely different. It changed my view of the world. That experience changed my view of our physical bodies, of my physical body, of illness, and how I perceive the world. I found it very difficult to integrate back into life again, after that experience.


And the best way I can think of to explain what it feels like would be to use metaphors. And a metaphor that I like to use is one of a warehouse. I’d like you to imagine, if you will, that we are in a totally darkened warehouse that’s pitch black. Just imagine that right now, you’re in a warehouse that’s completely pitch black, and you can’t see anything because it’s so dark. You can’t see anything in front of you, anywhere.

But imagine that in your hand, you hold a little flashlight. Just a little flashlight. And you switch on that flashlight, and with that flashlight, you navigate your way through the dark. And you use just the beam of that little flashlight to navigate your way in the dark. And everything that you see in the warehouse is only what you can see with the beam of that flashlight.


Now imagine if the beam is shining over there, all you see is what’s over there. Everything else is in darkness. You shine the beam over there, and all you see is that spot there. Everything else is in darkness except for the light of the beam.


Now imagine one day big floodlights go on so the whole warehouse is illuminated, and you realize this warehouse is huge. It’s bigger than you’ve ever imagined it to be. And it’s lined with shelves, and shelves, and shelves of all kinds of different things. Every kind of thing you can imagine, and things you can’t even imagine, all exist on these shelves, side by side by side. Some of these things are beautiful, some not so beautiful, some large, some small, some things in colors you’ve never ever seen before, colors you’ve never imagined to exist, and some things that are strange and funny looking, all exist side by side. And you’ve seen some of them before with your flashlight, but many of them you’ve never seen before because your flashlight had never shone on them.


Now imagine if the lights go back off again, and you’re back to one flashlight. Now, even though all of you can see is what you see with the one flashlight, the beam of one flashlight, at least you now know there is so much more that exists simultaneously and alongside the things that you can’t see. You now know that just because you cannot see them, you cannot experience it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. You now know that because you’ve had that experience. That’s what it feels like to me.

It feels like so much more exists than what we believe, so much more exists than what we have experienced. It’s just beyond our flashlight.


And just to help you understand that a little bit better, I’d like to try a little game, a little experiment with you. I want you to look around the room and find everything you can that is shades of red, everything from red to burgundy. Just look around and commit it to your memory, as many as possible commit it to your memory. Because I’m going to ask you to recall it.


Close your eyes, face to front. Now how many things can you recall that are blue in color? Almost none. Think about it, almost none.

Now open your eyes and look around. See how many blue things there were that exist alongside the red, but you didn’t even notice it, you didn’t see it. Why? Because you weren’t aware of it. The beam of that flashlight, what is that? That is your awareness. That beam is your awareness. When you flash your awareness on something, it becomes your reality, it becomes what you experience. There can be something else that’s right under your nose, but if your flashlight is not shining on it, you won’t even notice it; you won’t even be aware of it.

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By Pangambam S

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