One of the ambitions of this podcast is to span the border between science and spirituality. Could one have a more apt experience for that endeavor than to physically die but yet retain a high level of consciousness, come back to life to tell about it and decide to work as a scientist? That is Ingrid Honkala’s story.
Ingrid’s near death experience, already at the age of three, has had a profound impact on her life. She technically drowned, but during those minutes of physical death she felt complete peace, absolute presence and agelessness. ”For the first time in my short life I felt home”.
The memories are still crystal clear. ”It’s not like a dream. And it’s not just memories, it’s a sense of still feeling it.”
After her NDE, she was endowed with new gifts, a new perspective on life and contact with beings of light who have guided her since.
”I now knew how to read and write, and when I went to school I realized i didn’t need to learn the things that were being taught, I was just remembering them.”
But during her early years she struggled to fit into the mainstream.
”I was looking at other children and I couldn't relate. I knew I had always existed. They didn’t know anything.”
However, she chose a scientific career and became a successful marine biologist and oceanographer, working for the Colombian and the American navies and for Nasa.
People asked Ingrid Honkala: How could you decide to become a marine scientist after you almost drowned? Weren't you afraid of water? ”It was the opposite. Drowning brought me to see the light.”
We are here to experience polarity and contrast, Ingrid thinks. ”Life is not meant to make us happy in the outside world. Who said that? Life is meant to challenge us so that we can find happiness within ourselves. To stop looking without.”
”In the depth of you, there is no persona, no name. The deepest parts of the ocean are not aware of the waves on the surface.”
”The more you misalign from the present, the more you suffer, because you're living a life of expectations. You want ’something else’.”
People ask how it is possible to bridge science and spirituality. Well, that separation is only in the mind, explains Ingrid:
”Spirituality is not a belief. It’s science, because it's experiential. It’s drinking the orange juice, not describing the ingredients and how to make it.”
Here’s Ingrid's book ”A Brightly Guided Life. Here’s her website.
If you want more testimonials from scientists who had NDE’s, listen to Dr Eben Alexander in episode 24.