Our brain, according to an increasing number of experts, acts as a "reducing valve" to prevent us from being overwhelmed by the infinite amount of information that surrounds us. The efficiency of this reducing function differs for each individual, resulting in very different perspectives.
An extremely inefficient reducing valve can result in data overload, making navigating the world impossible. However, an extremely efficient reducing valve can give a false sense of certainty that one's extremely narrow worldview is accurate & all encompassing - that nothing outside of it can possibly exist. There are very popular secular ("scientism") and religious versions of such dogmatism. Simplified, easy-to-understand models of reality, to which everyone must conform, provides a temporary hiding place from reality - which is awe-inspiringly complex & ever-changing!
Between these two extremes, is an infinite range of possibilities: markedly increased perceptual awareness, amazing creativity, & incredible skills in every arena: communication, visual arts, music, math, etc.
Some instantly shut down & walk away when faced with above-average skills & capacities. Their narrow, rigid, mechanical worldview & identity would be shattered if they were to admit that extra-ordinary things can & do occur. No amount of data, evidence, or reasoning can cure this fearful emotional reaction, any more than it's possible to reason people out of a phobia.
All of us have a (mostly unexamined) small box with walls or 'boundaries' - whatever's inside, we accept as 'real' & safe; everything outside, 'can't be real' & is terrifying. I've noticed that those who seem to have the most rigid boundaries, around the smallest 'box' are the most susceptible to having their boundaries / box blown wide apart by trauma eg a good friend & devoted family-man, who was rigidly anti-religious, unexpectedly lost his prestigious, high-paying job. He then suddenly abandoned his wife & children, joined a religious cult, changed his name, and moved to another continent.
Many events can & will rock our world, both mundane (eg accidents) and "out of the ordinary" (eg NDEs) : http://www.johnlovas.com/2021/03/fascinating-overlap.html What's critical is learning to respond to shocks to our system in a way that transforms us into wise elders, instead of shrinking & hardening us into bitter victims!
Wise maturation involves progressively expanding our horizons, opening up our mind & hearts, and exploring the ever-expanding, wondrous universe - our 'box' endlessly enlarging, its 'walls' / 'boundaries' becoming more & more porous to all that is.
“People have accessed the higher realms through near death experiences, through mystical encounters, or through meditation. Others have had a sudden insight or ‘aha’ moment. All doors lead to the same place: a transcendent recognition that our true nature is spiritual, not physical. There often is a simultaneous awareness that we are all interconnected and that we are somehow manifestations of one energy.”
Brian L. Weiss, Amy E. Weiss. ”Miracles Happen. The Transformational Healing Power of Past-Life Memories.” HarperOne, 2012.
Natalie Sudman's near death experience (NDE) carries a wonderfully liberating, uplifting message for those of us with the 'bandwidth' to hear it:
"I’ll try to describe some of the qualities & perspectives that were present in all the environments that I experienced (in my NDE). …
In this non-physical state of being, there’s a profound sense of belonging. Everything about everyone that exists is not only accepted, but admired, respected, recognized & celebrated. There’s a cooperative co-passion for being that permeates everything that I experienced.
Everything there is effortless. It is just so easy. It’s blissful, and it’s filled with a joy that is so fundamental, it’s only really remarkable from outside of that state of being.
So imagine that everything you have ever thought, imagined, experienced, dreamed or created, was recognized to be valuable to you yourself and everyone else, to all that exists. Imagine that no matter what you do or how you express yourself, you belong and are valued. This is true. What was known to me, what was so basic as to be assumed was just that. That we are each intrinsically valuable, and everything we experience matters, not just to ourselves but to each other, and to all that is.
I use the phrase ‘all that is’ instead of God, Source, Universe, whatever – a lot of those words have just personal connotations that limit my ideas. And so when I say ‘all that is,’ it includes all that is. That’s the term that I’ll be using.
My experience is that we are always within and expressions of all that is, which is a beautiful force of infinitely curious and creative energy & awareness. How can we be anything but perfect. We are all that is, just as much as it is us. We are created by it; it creates us. We participate in it; it participates in us. We extend it; and it extends us. We are each individual expressions of the single infinite awareness. We are one. And we are each perfect, exactly as we are.”
My Near Death Experience in Iraq - Natalie Sudman : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8lQs1MccoU&t=225s
Natalie Sudman. "Amplification of Impossible Things. My Near Death Experience in Iraq." Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2012. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!