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濒死之刻的属灵体验,谁都可能会经历

濒死之刻的属灵体验,谁都可能会经历

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人在濒临死亡的时刻会经历些什么?从古至今,无论是西方社会还是东方社会,都有不少关于濒死体验的相关记载。其中,一些生理层面的濒死体验,如“回光返照”现象较多地被观察到,而精神层面的,如“灵魂出窍”则因难以证实或客观观察到而显得神秘。“灵魂出窍”是否确有其事?恐怕难以给出答案。不过,与其纠结于如何证实它的存在,倒不如思考它的存在能够如何更好地为临终关怀服务。

——邹世昌

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濒死之刻的属灵体验,谁都可能会经历

作者:David Harrison

译者:徐嘉茵 & 邵海灵

校对:邹付容

策划:邹世昌

Any patient near to death can have a spiritual experience. I’ve seen it

濒死之刻的属灵体验,谁都可能会经历

In my job as hospital chaplain, I know people don’t have to be religious – these experiences can happen to anyone

我在医院做牧师的时候意识到,人并非一定要有宗教信仰才会有这种体验——这些经历有可能发生在任何人身上。

chaplain/ˈtʃæplɪn/ N. A member of the Christian clergy who does religious work in a place such as a hospital, school, prison, or in the armed forces. 医院、学校、监狱、军队等地执行宗教仪式的神职人员。

I could see that Harry was a little hesitant. After some inconsequential chat he decided to tell me about a strange experience he had had. He didn’t want to tell the doctors because he was worried they would think he was mentally ill. This sort of thing didn’t happen to ordinary people like him.

我能看出哈利有一点犹豫。聊了些无关紧要的事情后,他决定告诉我他经历的一次奇怪体验。他不想告诉医生,因为担心医生会以为他有精神病。对于像他这样的普通人,这种事情还真没有发生过。

He told me: “I was in the room looking down on my body. There were a lot of people around me, looking anxious and talking to me as they connected tubes and injected my body. ‘Come on Harry, fight, stay with us! We are not letting you go that easily.’ I looked on dispassionately as if totally detached from this scene. To my right I could see a beautiful light and was starting to turn towards it. But then I felt myself drawn back into my body and the next thing, I was waking up in intensive care. I almost felt resentful at being brought back.” Harry had had an out-of-body experience.

他告诉我:“当时我正在房间里,俯视着自己的身体。我身边有很多面色焦虑的人,他们一边跟我说话,一边给我接导管、注射药物。‘哈利,加油,一定要留在我们身边啊!我们不会放弃的。’我冷静地看着他们,就好像自己完全跟这个场景无关一样。我往右边看去,看到一束美丽的光,我开始转向它。然而之后我就感到灵魂被拽回了肉体里,接着我就在重症监护室醒来了。我简直有点恨他们,为什么要把我救回来。”哈利有了一次灵魂出窍的经历。

One of the features of my job as a hospital chaplain is that people who are very ill, and those who are approaching their death, tell me about these spiritual experiences. They are very real, often vivid and intense, and anyone can have them. There can be delight and joy, light and a feeling of being loved, or there can be threat, darkness and deep malevolence.

我这份职业(驻院牧师)有一个特点,就是那些病入膏肓和濒临死亡的人们,都会跟我讲述这些属灵方面的经历。它们非常真实,情节生动紧张,而且每个人都可能会经历。这段经历有可能是快乐的、喜悦的、明亮的,会有被爱的感觉;也有可能是场凶兆,充满黑暗和深深的恶意

malevolence /mə’lev(ə)l(ə)ns/ n. a desire to harm other people 恶意、怨恨、狠毒

People may describe them as a glimpse of heaven (or hell); others may feel they have connected with something bigger than themselves. They might use the word “transcendent” (not exclusively a religious word) or refer to God. They may have sensations of being held, of presence, of warmth suffusing them, usually accompanied by a feeling of peace.

人们也许会将这些经历描述为对天堂(或地狱)的惊鸿一瞥;有人或许会觉得他们跟一些超乎本体的东西相连了。他们也许会用“超然”(这不仅仅是一个宗教词汇)一词来描述这种现象,或者提及上帝。在这种状态下,人们可能会有被拥抱的感觉、真实存在的感觉以及被温暖包围的感觉,通常还伴随着心灵的安详与平静。

transcendent/træn’sɛndənt/ adj.beyond and outside the ordinary range of human experience or understanding 超然的

So many people have told me about seeing a dead relative as they were going for an operation or were close to death, and feeling reassured that things would be OK. Relatives have told me how the dying person behaved as if they could see someone else in the room. It wasn’t a look of fear, but of curiosity or even recognition and pleasure. One daughter told me how her mum looked past her and said: “Look – Dad’s here, he’s come for me.” Dad had died years before.

很多人曾告诉我,当他们准备接受手术或者在死亡边缘徘徊时,会看到已经离去的亲人,然后就会感到安心,觉得一切都会没事的。亲属也曾告诉我将死之人会有怎样的行为,似乎他们能看到房里还有其他人的存在。他们的脸上并未显露惊恐,而是面带好奇,甚至是有认出熟人和感到愉悦的迹象。有个女孩告诉我,她的母亲在临死前看着她的后面说:“看,爸爸在这呢,他来接我了。”但爸爸好些年前就已去世了。

I have met a lot of people who tell me they have seen angels. They generally have wings and quite often look like something from a renaissance religious painting, but not always. The type of experience I have heard most often is the glimpse of an afterlife.

很多人跟我说他们看到过天使。天使通常有翅膀,如同文艺复兴时期那些宗教画里的形象,但也并非总是如此。我最常听到的属灵方面的体验,是濒死之刻瞥见他们的来生。

Albert, who had been a gardener, had a particularly vivid one. He found himself by the gates of a beautiful garden. They were made of ornate wrought iron with flowing patterns. It was perfect weather, sunny but not too hot, great for the plants, and he could see the garden stretching into the distance. There were all manner of plants and he felt drawn in. As he walked through the gates there was a glorious scent. He described it as heavenly. There was a special kind of soft light and music coming from somewhere.

阿尔伯特以前是一个花匠,他曾有过一次特别生动的属灵经历。他发现自己站在一个非常漂亮的花园门口,铁质的栅栏上雕着精致的花朵。天气晴朗,日光和煦,但是并不感觉太热,对植物来说刚刚好。他能看见花圃绵延,直到远方。各种花卉争奇斗艳,他不禁想进去看一看。当他穿过铁门时,一股馨香之气袭上来,用他的话说,那是来自天国的香气。他身处一种格外柔和的光芒中,听到有音乐缓缓响起。

As he took in the scene with all his senses he realised he had the choice to stay or step back. He felt that he had better go back for his family and reluctantly dragged himself away. His son told me: “We realise now that this happened when he was having his stroke. We thought we had lost him.”

当他置身于这一场景中,全身心地去感受时,他意识到自己可以选择留下还是离开。他感到自己最好还是回到家人的身边,于是很不情愿地从里面退出来了。他的儿子告诉我:“现在我们才知道,他中风的时候其实是看见了这些。我们还以为他再也醒不过来了。”

Albert believed he glimpsed heaven, the place where he would go when he died. His fear of what happens after death had been removed altogether. He added: “You know what, if I get another chance to go into that garden I am not going to come back.” His son nodded in agreement.

阿尔伯特相信他看见了天堂,那是他死后要去的地方。他对死亡的恐惧一下子全都消除了,因为知道死后他会去哪里。他补充说:“你知道吗,要是我有机会回到那个花园里,我就不再回来了。”他的儿子也点头表示赞同。

A variant of Albert’s story is to be at the end of a long tunnel with a special light at the other end that people feel drawn to. Often there is beautiful music that they have not heard before and cannot properly describe. In all these cases there is an absence of pain and anxiety, and they may feel joy.

这类故事的变体之一,是站在一条又长又深的隧道尽头,有奇异的光芒从彼端照出,吸引人想要走过去。通常他们会听到闻所未闻的天籁之音,绝妙到无法用言语形容。在所有这些案例中,都没有痛苦或焦虑。相反,人们会感到很喜乐。

Whatever your beliefs about these spiritual events, they can be truly transformative. The person having them can be wary of talking about them because of the fear of being disbelieved as irrational, or that others will say their experiences were the product of a diseased mind. That is a shame because they can be so helpful in preparing someone for their death. They can be soothing and healing.

无论你对这些属灵经历的看法是什么,它们都会深刻地改变一个人。经历过这些事的人可能不敢谈论这些事,因为害怕被人看成神经病,或者别人会说他们的经历都是因为生病而导致的幻觉。这种对病人属灵经历的蔑视是很不应该的,因为其实这些经历可以用来帮助别人去面对死亡,有舒缓神经、治愈人心的功效。

I have learnt never to make assumptions about people I am professionally engaged with. Time and again I have been surprised by the experiences people have and who has them. You don’t have to be religious to experience them; they can and do happen to anyone.

我在职业生涯中学会一件事:永远不要对病人的经历妄下论断。一次又一次,我被他们的描述所震惊,不单是因为他们的经历,还因为经历这些事情的是我没想到的人。你不是非得有信仰才会经历这些事。它们可以发生在任何一个人身上。

There is a danger of thoroughly medicalising death when it is a profoundly spiritual experience and unique to each person. In supporting a dying person our role is to be open to whatever their reality is, to travel with them and (as long as it is not harmful) to affirm that experience.

完全用医学观点解释死亡是有危险的,因为它其实是一种深不可测的属灵体验,每个人的经历都独一无二。如果要帮助濒死之人顺利渡过人生的最后一个关口,我们就要对他们所体验到的真实世界保持开放的态度,要与他们并肩同行,并且(只要没害处)对他们的经历予以肯定。

濒死之刻的属灵体验,谁都可能会经历

  • 本文原载于 The Guardian

  • 原文链接:https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/mar/28/patient-death-spiritual-experience-hospital-chaplain

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