Full title: Dying to Wake Up: A Doctor’s Voyage into the Afterlife and the Wisdom He Brought Back
Rajiv Parti was living a materialistic dream with the house, car, and beautiful wife to prove it. But, the many things in his life didn’t bring him comfort when he developed prostate cancer and a bunch of unfortunate side effects from the surgery to remove it. Addicted to pain pills and disconnected from the people around him, Dr. Parti underwent emergency surgery and experienced something so incredible, that when he woke up, he completely changed his life, developed a new form of holistic health treatment, and gave up many of the possessions that were weighing him down. This is the memoir about that experience and Dr. Parti shares it in the hopes that it will change the reader’s life or at least bring comfort to those who are struggling in their current life experience.
Like many of the other memoirs I’ve read by medical professionals, Dr. Parti talks about the completely scientific view he had of the soul, which is to say, if you couldn’t see it and measure it, then it doesn’t exist. Also, working on the technological edge of medical breakthroughs in the treatment of various diseases, had given him an invincible feeling. This experience blew that attitude away: “Feeling like a master of the universe is easy in the world of modern medicine. … Maybe it’s a sense of cheating death for others that gives us cardiac surgical teams the vague feeling that we can overcome our own death. Of course that isn’t true. … Reality popped that myth for me.” pg 10
In his near death experience, Dr. Parti not only encountered his father, but also a huge crowd of his ancestors. They shared messages of forgiveness and love: “Love is the most important thing there is, my grandfather communicated to me. I am glad to let you know that simple truth while you can still make change in your earthly life.” pg 44 But his time on the other side wasn’t all light and love, Dr. Parti also had the (fairly rare) experience of seeing hell and the suffering souls within it. This is entirely my opinion, but I think that the detached manner in which Dr. Parti was living his life brought forth a major wake-up call from the spirit world. He saw hell first and then heaven and, in a way, that could be a metaphor for his life experience. I don’t believe in “hell” myself other than the nightmare that people can create in their own minds and lives, but, I didn’t experience it like Dr. Parti did. This memoir does not focus on the hell portion of the narrative, but, with the rarity of that experience, it could have. That, in itself, says something.
When Dr. Parti “comes back”, he knows that he wants to start a new life and a new focus, but he doesn’t know how. The information for developing a new type of medicine comes to him slowly during meditation: “What is (the new mode of healing) anyway?” “…It is how nonpharmacological treatments in combination with drugs can heal things like depression and addiction and other diseases. It’s about searching one’s own soul to fight back against the hollowness that pharmaceuticals alone or alcohol and illegal drugs create or don’t really fill.”pg 91. He eventually develops meditations and lifestyle changes as well as a manifesto for treatment. To me, the most fascinating part of this memoir was the communication between himself and the spirit world once he was back.
For readers who are unfamiliar with near death experiences, Dr. Parti provides a broad background with some of the major historical figures who went through it. Like Jung: “(Carl) Jung’s NDE led to a split with Sigmund Freud, who believed that spiritual experiences were fantasies. Jung, however, considered spirituality an important part of our well-being saying that life has purpose beyond material goals and that our main task, the path we should all be on, is the one that leads to our own connection with the universe.” pg 124
Ultimately uplifting and empowering, Dying to Wake Up is another excellent entry into the literature about near death experiences. Recommended for anyone who questions why we are here or what comes after. Some further reading: Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart, Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing, or Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences
Thanks for reading!