Robert Greene’s Stroke & Near-Death Experience

Robert Greene’s Stroke and Near-Death Experience

Robert Greene shares his harrowing experience of suffering a stroke and the insights he gained from his near-death experience.

The incident occurred on August 17, 2018, while Greene was driving with his wife.

As he started to experience strange sensations and his voice sounded different, his wife urged him to pull over.

Greene’s memory of the event is hazy, but he recalls getting out of the car before his wife pulled him back in, and then everything went blank.

Greene’s wife called 911, recognizing the signs of a stroke. Emergency responders arrived, cut open Greene’s shirt, and intubated him to clear the blood clot blocking the flow to his brain.

He was rushed to the hospital, where he regained consciousness on a gurney, initially wondering if he had died.

Through this near-death experience, Greene gained a new perspective on the dying process. He believes that people who have had similar experiences have glimpsed a reality that differs from the illusion created by the brain.

According to Greene, the brain constructs a seamless version of reality, including the sense of self, time progression, and colors. However, when one is dying, this construction is scrambled, revealing a different truth.

Greene experienced a sense of not having a single, consistent self but rather multiple competing selves.

He also had a distorted perception of time, with minutes feeling like mere seconds. The experience taught him that the brain determines everything and that damage to the brain can significantly alter one’s thinking and perception.

Although the stroke has taken away many things Greene loved in life, it has also provided him with valuable insights. He emphasizes the importance of studying the dying process, as it can teach us a great deal about life and the nature of reality.

Appreciation and Urgency After a Near-Death Experience

Greene candidly discussed the challenges he faced in the aftermath of his stroke, from the frustration of simple tasks taking much longer to the envy he felt watching others engage in activities he once enjoyed.

However, through this adversity, he discovered the importance of gratitude and finding joy in the present moment.

As he observed the world around him from a more sedentary position, Greene began to notice and appreciate the beauty in the smallest details, such as butterflies in his garden. He realized that while others might take these simple pleasures for granted, his heightened awareness allowed him to extract every ounce of joy from them.

Greene’s near-death experience also led him to contemplate the incredible unlikelihood of human existence.

He marveled at the countless evolutionary bottlenecks our species had to overcome and the astronomical odds of each individual being born. This realization instilled in him a profound sense of awe and gratitude for the gift of life.

Through his journey, Greene discovered that while his stroke had taken away certain abilities, it had also granted him new perspectives and appreciation.

He found bliss in the limited time he could dedicate to writing his new book, cherishing every moment of the process.

Greene’s message is clear: life is precious and can be taken away at any moment. He urges others to appreciate the simple things they may take for granted and to find gratitude in the present.

By sharing his story, he hopes to inspire people to embrace a sense of urgency – not to take on more pressure, but to pursue their purpose and pay deeper attention to the world around them.

“Death Ground”: Harnessing the Power of Necessity

Greene drew inspiration from ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu and the idea that an army facing a dire situation will fight with unparalleled ferocity.

Greene likened the concept of “death ground” to the sensation of barometric pressure, where the necessity to act is pressing in on an individual from all sides.

When faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge or a life-threatening situation, people often find a reserve of energy and focus that they never knew they possessed.

The author cited the example of a mountain climber who, after suffering a severe injury and facing a looming storm, managed to summon an incredible amount of adrenaline and energy to navigate his way to safety.

This experience, Greene noted, was so profound that the climber spent the next two decades trying to recreate that feeling of heightened awareness and capability.

Greene argued that many people fall into the trap of believing they have ample time to achieve their goals, leading to procrastination and a lack of urgency. However, he emphasized that the reality is far different, and that individuals should cultivate a sense of urgency in their lives, recognizing that they could face unexpected challenges or even death at any moment.

By placing oneself on “death ground” and embracing the pressure of necessity, Greene suggested that individuals can tap into a well of energy and focus that would otherwise remain dormant.

This heightened state of awareness and drive can lead to remarkable achievements and personal growth.

Greene’s insights into the power of urgency and the concept of “death ground” serve as a powerful reminder to seize the moment and approach life with a sense of purpose and intensity.

By harnessing the power of necessity, individuals can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and achieve their goals with a newfound sense of clarity and determination.

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