Christian: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Hindu: Do naught to others which would cause you pain if done to you.

Buddhist: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

Jewish: What thou thyself hates, do to no man.

Confucian: What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others.

Bahá’í: And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose for thou for thy neighbor that which thou chooses for thyself.

I’ve come across these stories from time to time and am facinated by them. 
I decided to put this collection together in the hope that those who find this web page 
will discover them to be as enlightening and healing as I have.

Make sure to check out the kicker at the end of this page . . . !

– F.P.

Elane Durham died at Chicago’s Mercy Hospital in 1976.  Father Stanley Cebrzynski administered her “Last Rites” as her body was being prepared for the morgue. But as her body lay on the gurney, her spirit traveled beyond the veil. This is part of her experience:

In my “review” I was shown all the times when I had acted indifferently or even cruelly toward my younger brother—the times I had let him take the blame for my childhood mischief, or the times I had hurt him in some other way. For instance, I remembered once when I had thrown a small block of wood off a stair railing and hit him, and had felt quite indifferent to his pain. Now I found myself experiencing his pain, his feelings of intimidation and all the insecurities he felt in having me as an older sister, and suddenly I understood him better, probably, than he had ever understood himself.

I also knew that it was because of my later efforts to love and nurture and protect him, as well as my other siblings when our family was suffering and finally disintegrating—and my constant prayers of repentance, that I now merited the Lord’s complete forgiveness.  For I was completely forgiven, and I knew it!

The following story from (International Association for Near-Death Studies)
(People who submit stories to this site have their names kept as anonymous.) (Original account here)

I saw my entry into the world, one childhood memory after another as distinct and as clear as if each were really happening. There was a doctor with a round mirror attached to his head on a band. I was jumping in my crib. Most things were pleasant to see, some things made me very embarrassed. In fact, revolution and guilt took away any good feelings, making me so very sorry for certain things I had said or done. I hadn’t just seen what I had done, but I felt and knew the repercussions of my actions. I felt the injury or pain of those who suffered because of my selfish or inappropriate behavior. 

For example, four years earlier, a friend and I had gone down town to a nightclub. Once the dancing stopped and the bar closed, they served breakfast. My friend had ditched me. I was alone and in no condition to drive. About 2:30 a.m. a guy came in for breakfast, and I struck up a conversation with him. He was about 23, had just gotten off work, and was very nice. I was deliberately doing and saying anything to get him to agree to drive me in my car to the north end (about 35 miles) so I could be close to home. I invited him to a party, and he agreed. When we got to my friend’s house in the north end, I told him to wait outside. I went in and hid, leaving him miles from home and not knowing anyone in the middle of the night. After a while he came to the door sort of pleading to speak with me; my friends shut him out. Fortunately, the friend who ditched me showed up minutes later, and the guy that she pulled up with agreed to give the guy who drove my car a ride back to the nightclub. I never gave this incident a moment of thought after it had happened. But, during the review of my life, I was grieved to see how totally selfish, thoughtless and downright cruel I had been.  I felt his complete panic and fear, and his change as he became less trusting. I was sickened. I had such total guilt that I tried to pull my view away. I was being pounded with the fears, pain, injuries, and anger I had caused in others, and the repercussions that had been passed on and on. I literally turned inside myself and as if going through a cleansing, turned outright again. These things were all behind me now, but I would know them and be with this knowledge.

This short video explains a perfect example of this principle:

The following account is taken from the book There Is No Death: The Extraordinary True Experience of Sarah LaNelle Menet. 


At that moment I started thinking about all of the things that I had done in my life. As the thoughts formed in my mind, a window seemed to open before me and my life’s review began. The window appeared to be several inches wide and opened like a scroll in front of me. It was as if someone had a video that ran at fast-forward, showing my entire life from my birth until the moment I arrived in the spirit world. It only took seconds, and yet I was doing more than just watching the events of my life pass by. With each event I not only saw my actions, but I heard the thoughts I was thinking and felt what I was feeling at the time. I was reliving each experience, only this time I could see all that was happening around me as well. I could see and feel what those I interacted with were seeing and feeling. I could actually feel their pain or joy and understand what they were thinking as they reacted to my actions. For me, this was not a pleasant experience. 

There were some good things I had done in life but very few. I began to feel sick and full of pain because of the things I had done and the pains of the heart I had inflicted upon others. Despair set in because I felt sure I would never be able to undo any of my misdeeds. As I viewed my life, there was no doubt in me about what was good or bad. I could no longer lie to myself or anyone else about my feelings or motives. The worst parts of the review were when I had intentionally hurt someone else. Somehow the emotions of the moment combined, and I felt not only my anguish but also the pain felt by others. I was in misery. 

Quickly I came to understand two very important concepts: The first was that I alone am responsible for my actions. When I had my life’s review, I could not blame others for what I had done. Each of us decides his or her actions. Even if you had been abused, as I was, there would be no excuse for treating others the same way. 

The second was that our thoughts, words, and actions are extremely powerful and have an effect upon more people than we realize. Like the far-reaching ripples in a pond after a rock is thrown in, the effects of our actions touch people that we are not even aware of. But unlike the ripples in a pond, the ripples or effects of our life’s actions also come back to us, for good or bad. If we have had good thoughts and actions that helped and lifted others, we will feel the benefits as they ripple back to us. Unfortunately the opposite is also true. Acts of unkindness and cruelty will have their negative impact upon us as well. 

As I watched the actions of my life in review, I became ashamed of many of the things I had done and began to feel the pain personally that I inflicted upon others during the course of my life. To help give understanding to some degree of what I was feeling, I will relate one small incident. Believe me when I say that there were many things worse than this one episode, but hopefully it will show the pain caused by one seemingly insignificant event and also help in understanding what I felt at that time. 

During my life this one incident seemed insignificant. I had mistreated a girl I knew while living in one of my “foster” homes. I had long forgotten her and what I had done to her, but now in my review it was all there. I remembered every action and every cruelty. 

At the time I was 14 years old and enjoying the greatest happiness I had ever known living with Joanne and her family. When I moved into their home I owned a few cotton dresses (which I had sewn myself which were in very poor condition) and a pair of tennis shoes. Joanne and her sisters had nice clothes that appeared absolutely perfect to me. Upon my arrival Joanne threw open her closet doors and said, “What is mine is now yours. Wear anything you want.” This seemed incredible to me and so different from my past experiences, but I was grateful and began sharing this lovely wardrobe. My new “sister” was very popular at school and her church and was always surrounded by lots of friends. Since I was now part of her family, I was included in the popular groups. 

During this time, another girl that the world would consider unattractive was attending both our school and church. She was overweight and had dark, bushy eyebrows as well as a rough complexion and some visible facial hair. 

Everyone in our popular crowd made fun of Rachel. She was the object of many rude comments and jokes, Though Joanne and I never said anything to her face as many others did (and thank God I was never that cruel), we were unkind behind her back. We purposely excluded her from almost all of the activities that we were involved in, including social gatherings that took place in my new home. In short, we were not very nice to her, and my hypocrisy and lack of kindness came through very loud and clear during my life’s review. Here I was a skinny, little, poor, white-trash girl that, through the mercy of one kind, religious family, had been taken in, dressed up, and accepted into the “in” group. We, my sister and I, had shut out another. 

I never before realized how much I hurt Rachel by my actions, but during my life’s review, I could feel the pain and heartache she felt as my insensitive actions affected her. I remembered one particular time when we snubbed her badly. Suddenly the pain of this one unkind act was so great for me to bear that I began to understand to a very small degree the agony of pain experienced by Jesus as he felt the sins of the world. My spirit-body felt as though it would disintegrate, so great was the pain I felt over this one memory. I hope that someday I can ask her forgiveness in person. I look at people very differently now than I did before I learned this valuable lesson. Our appearances here on earth are only temporary. Everyone’s spirit is beautiful. I no longer see anyone as unattractive. 

Since my return to mortality I have attempted to right as many of the wrongs as I possibly could. I have found people that I harmed in various ways — those I had gossiped or lied about — and humbly asked their forgiveness. A couple of years ago I visited a “foster” mother. She had been very mean to me while in her home. During this visit I was able to turn that experience around for good. Hopefully these steps will erase some of those events from my future life’s review. 

I still cannot forget what I felt as I watched my life’s recording, but I realized that what I felt that day was only a small glimpse of what I would have felt had I passed through the “film” to remain permanently in the spirit world. I saw incidents and events in that review that I had completely forgotten, including those so small that they seemed insignificant, yet there they were—every detail, good or bad, pertaining to my probation while on earth. 

There are still things in my life left undone, so to speak, which cause me great pain—mistakes I cannot make right with others—and so I have asked the Lord in prayer to please help me and forgive me for those things I cannot change. The greatest challenge I face is to forgive myself as I remember vividly the details of my life prior to my earthly departure.

In 1978, Thomas Sawyer was an avowed agnostic until his pickup truck fell on him and crushed his chest flat. He was 
clinically dead for 15 minutes, yet he came back to tell about his strange experience of going through a tunnel, meeting a “light that was God,” and being sent back to tell people about death and the unconditional love of God. The following are excerpts from Thomas Sawyer and Sydney Farr’s excellent book entitled What Tom Sawyer Learned From Dying.
(Original account here)

I know that I experienced a total life review, but I have never been able to fit it properly into any of that basic chronology. It had to have happened from the center of the tunnel or the movement within the tunnel, prior to what I call the confrontation with the light. And the best way to describe it is to give you an example.

When I was around eight years old my father told me to mow the law and cut the weeds in the yard. We had a cottage in the back and a double house in the front. Aunt Gay, my mother’s sister, lived in the cottage out back. Aunt Gay is a very delightful person; she’s a friend of mine as well as my aunt. Aunt Gay was very clever, as was my mother I’m sure it’s a genealogical trait! Everybody liked Aunt Gay. She was always fun to be with. Certainly all the kids thought she was a cool person to know. She had described to me her plans for some wild flowers that grew on little vines in the backyard. 

“Leave them alone now, Tom,” she said, “and as soon as they blossom we’ll make tiaras for all the girls, and flower necklaces for some of the guys.”

And then everybody could pitch in and she’d teach them how to weave such things. That was typical of her. We were looking forward to that.

However, my father told me to mow the lawn and cut the weeds. Now, I had several choices. I could explain to my father that Aunt Gay wanted the weeds left to grow in this particular area. If he said to cut them all, I could have explained to Aunt Gay that father had just told me to mow the lawn and said to cut that patch of weeds. I could ask if she wanted to make her request to my father. Or, I could methodically and deliberately go ahead and mow the yard and cut the weeds. I did that. Well, worse that that, I even came up with a name for the job. I called it “Operation Chop-Chop.” I deliberately decided to be bad, to be malicious. 

And I went ahead, feeling the authority that my father gave me when he told me to cut the grass and the weeds. 

I thought, “Wow, I got away with it; I did it. And if Aunt Gay ever says anything I’ll just tell her father told me to do it. Or if father asks me I’ll say, ‘well that’s what you told me to do.’ ” 

And I would be vindicated. It would be okay; it would be a perfect Operation Chop-Chop. End of story. My Aunt Gay never said a word to me; nothing was every mentioned; I got away with it totally.

Guess what? I not only relived it in my life review, but I relived every exact thought and attitude; even the air temperature and things that I couldn’t have possibly measured when I was eight years old. For example, I wasn’t aware of how many mosquitoes were in the area. In the life review, I could have counted the mosquitoes. Everything was more accurate than could possibly be perceived in the reality of the original event.

I not only re-experienced my eight-year-old attitude and the kind of excitement and joy of getting away with something, but I was also observing this entire event as a thirty-three-year-old adult; with the wisdom and philosophy I was able to attain by that time. But it was more than that.

I also experienced it exactly as though I was Aunt Gay, several days later after the weeds had been cut, when she walked out the back door. I knew the series of thoughts that bounced back and forth in her mind. 

“Oh my goodness, what has happened? Oh well, he must have forgotten. But he couldn’t have forgotten, everyone was looking forward to . . .Oh no, knock it off. Tommy is a good boy. He’s never done anything like that. I love him so! Oh, come on, cut it out. Gee, it was so important. He had to know . . . he couldn’t have known.”

Back and forth, back and forth, between thinking of the possibility, and saying to herself, “Well, it is possible. No, Tommy isn’t like that. It doesn’t matter anyway, I love him. I’ll never mention it. God forbid, if he did forget and I remind him, that will hurt his feelings. But I think that he did, though. Should I confront him with it and just ask him?”

Thought-pattern after thought-pattern. What I’m telling you is, I was in my Aunt Gay’s body, I was in her eyes, I was in her emotions, I was in her unanswered questions. I experienced the disappointment, the humiliation. It was very devastating to me. It changed my attitude quite a bit as I experienced it.

I experienced things that cannot be perceived. I watched me mowing the law from straight above, anywhere from several hundred to a couple of thousand feet, as though I were a camera. I watched all of that. I was able to perceive and feel and know everything about my Aunt Gay regarding our relationship in that general time frame and regarding Operation Chop-Chop.

In addition to this—and what is probably more important, spiritually speaking — I was able to observe the scene, absolutely, positively, unconditionally. In other words, not with the horrendous emotional ill-feelings that my Aunt Gay experienced not knowing for sure, and yet being afraid to question for fear that she would inflict some kind of disease, or ill feelings on my part. God forbid, if I did it by accident and her reminder would hurt my feelings. And yet she experienced hurt in losing the flowering weeds, not being able to do the things for all the children she had promised, and constantly questioning whether I could have done it on purpose. I did experience that in this unconditional way, with this unconditional love that is only God’s eyes, or the eyes of Jesus Christ, or the light of Jesus, or the light of Buddha enlightened, the spiritual entity.

It is that combination that is God unconditionally, not “Boy, Tom, you sure did a good rip-off,” or “There, Tom, now do you feel bad enough?” Or, “You sure were bad.” 

None of that, only, as in the eyes of God, simple, pure, scientific observation, complete, totally, non-attachment. No judgmental aspect whatever. This is simultaneous with the total devastation of what I created in my aunt’s life. And the arrogance, the snide little thoughts, the bad feelings, and the excitement of what I created in my own life at that young age, that was one event.

I wish that I could tell you how it really felt and what the life review is like, but I’ll never be able to do it accurately. I’m hoping to give you just a slight inkling of what is available to each and every one of you. Will you be totally devastated by the crap you’ve brought into other people’s lives? Or will you be equally enlightened and uplifted by the love and joy that you have shared in other people’s lives?

Well, guess what? It pretty much averages itself out. You will be responsible for yourself, judging and reliving what you have done to everything and everybody in very far-reaching ways. Very small, seemingly inconsequential things such as the day when I, nine years old, walked through Seneca Park and loved the appearance of a tree. In my life review I could experience a bit of what the tree experienced in my loving it, two little photons of love and adoration. It was somewhat like the leaves acknowledging my presence. Can a tree experience that? Yes, it can. Don’t go kicking trees anymore!

You do have that effect on plants. You do have an effect on animals. You do have an effect on the universe. And in your life review you’ll be the universe and experience yourself in what you call your lifetime and how it affects the universe. In your life review you’ll be yourself absolutely, in every aspect of time, in every event, in the over-all scheme of things in your lifetime. Your life.

During this life review I experienced what I can only describe as “in the eyes of Jesus Christ.” Meaning, I watched and observed this entire event as if I were in the eyes of Jesus Christ. Which means unconditionally.

Mohammad Z, an Iranian man, “died” at age 26, in 1977. (Original account here)

He shares: 

“One example of my life review was when I was a little kid. We were traveling by car and stopped somewhere along the way. There was a river not far from the road and I was asked to go and bring some water in a bucket from that river. I went to fill up the bucket but on my way back, I felt that the bucket was way too heavy for me. I decided to empty some of the water to make the bucket lighter. Instead of emptying the water right there, I noticed a tree that was alone by itself in a dry patch of land. I took the effort to go out of my way to that tree and emptied some of the water at the tree base. I even waited there a few seconds to make sure the water is soaked in the soil and is absorbed. In my life review, I received such an applaud and joy for this simple act that it is unbelievable. It was like all the spirits in the Universe were filled with joy from this simple act and were telling me we are proud of you. That simple act seemed to be one of the best things I had ever done in my life! This was strange to me, because I didn’t think this little act was a big deal and thought I had done much more important and bigger things. However, it was shown to me that what I had done was extremely valuable because I had done it purely from the heart, with absolutely no expectation for my own gain.

“Another example of my life review was when I was a 10 years old boy. I had bullied and mercilessly beaten another boy who was also around my age. He felt tortured and deeply hurt. In my life review, I saw that scene again. The boy was crying in physical and deep emotional pain. As he was walking in the street crying and going back home, he radiated negative energy which affected everything around him and on the path. People and even birds, trees, and flies received this negative energy from him, which kept propagating throughout the Universe. Even rocks on the side of the street were affected by his pain. I saw that everything is alive and our way of grouping things in categories of ‘alive’ and ‘not alive’ is only from our limited physical point of view. In reality everything is alive. I felt all of the pain and hurt that I had inflicted upon him inside of myself. When this boy went home to his parents, I saw the impact that seeing him in that state had on his parents. I felt the feeling and pain it created in them and how it affected their behavior from that point forward. I saw that as a result of this action, his parents would be always more worried when their son was out of home or if he was a few minutes late.

“I saw that whenever I had done something good to anyone or anything, that I had done it to myself. And whenever I had hurt someone, I had done it to myself while actually doing that person a favor because they would receive some form of compensation or help from the Universe as a result. This universal gift would be bigger than the damage I had caused to them.”

I highly recommend watching this episode of The Twilight Zone, titled “Deaths-Head Revisited,” written by Rod Sterling. It illustrates so well the stories shared on this site. 

What I find interesting is that I never really watch The Twilight Zone and have probably seen all of 3 or so episodes in my whole life. While I was working on this website I “coincidentally” stumbled across this episode when I was flipping channels one night…

This plot description is from Wikipedia:

[From the episode “Deaths-Head Revisited”] — Gunther Lutze, a former captain in the SS, returns to the ruins of Dachau concentration camp to relive the memories of his time as its commandant during WWII. He revels in the recollections of the torment he inflicted on the inmates, remembering with a cold smile the suffering he was responsible for. As he walks around the gallows and prepares to leave, he is surprised to see Alfred Becker, one of the camp’s inmates. As they talk, Becker relentlessly dogs Lutze with the reality of his grossly inhumane treatment of the inmates, while Lutze stubbornly and unemotionally insists that he was ‘only carrying out his orders’ and had no idea that the Third Reich planned to exterminate Jews. Becker and several other inmates later put Lutze on trial for crimes against humanity and find him guilty. Before Becker can pronounce the sentence, Lutze remembers that he killed Becker 17 years ago on the night US troops came close to Dachau, and realizes that Becker, as well as all the men who witnessed his trial, are ghosts. As punishment and atonement, Lutze is made to undergo the same horrors he had imposed on the inmates. He is not physically touched; rather, he experiences the pain in his mind . . .

Death’s-Head Revisited (Dir. Don Medford, 1961) from CAJ on Vimeo.

In light of these experiences, consider these eye-opening scriptural passages:

” . . . And now remember, remember, . . . whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free. He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you.” (1)

” . . . because their hearts are corrupted, and the things which they are willing to bring upon others, and love to have others suffer, may come upon themselves to the very uttermost; that they may be disappointed also, and their hopes may be cut off…” (2)

” . . . Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness. . . . the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish—good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful. Therefore . . . see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again. For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all.” (3)

(1) Helaman 14:29-31 (Book of Mormon) 

(2) Doctrine & Covenants 121:13–14

(3) Alma 41: 10-15 (Book of Mormon)

Without any of these types of stories or a belief in an afterlife with consequences, the Golden Rule is 100% essential to act with empathy and compassion toward each other. 

With a knowledge of these stories, it is interesting to contemplate this reality: 

The Golden Rule:

Do unto others as you would have them to unto you . . .
what you do unto others will de done unto you.

Copyright February 2013
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