I've got to admit that I often don't understand people! The other day I wrote a post that, in my mind, was anything but controversial. From my perspective, I was merely restating what many others have said for eons. The main premise was that none of us truly can understand what death entails simply because the actual experience of it is beyond our ability to comprehend.
Yet, it was this rather innocuous post that has generated a good deal of rancor with some readers!
The way I look at things is that, in order to understand something fully, you must experience it yourself. Someone can tell you what hang gliding or bungee jumping is like, but you won't really "get it" until you do it.
I know lots of people who thought they understood what it would feel like to become a parent for the first time and, in every single instance, they later told me that what they imagined paled in comparison to the actual event itself.
When my mother was dying of cancer 20 years ago, I worked very diligently to prepare myself for her impending death. I sort of went through a dry run of all the emotions I expected I would feel. I spent a lot of time in my own version of meditation. Yet, for all my efforts to prepare myself, I found I wasn't really prepared at all. When the heart monitor flatlined and my mom breathed her last breath, I realized there is no way truly to prepare for the feelings of loss that wash over a person at that singular moment.
Whether anyone else ever has died and "returned from the dead" is irrelevant (which is not to suggest that I think this has ever happened). If this had actually occurred, it is relevant solely to that specific individual. It has no impact on me or anyone else. It doesn't inform our own subjective experience.
To be certain, this individual could use language to describe what it was like for him/her to be alive, dead and then alive again. But this would in no way help you or I to KNOW within our being what such an experience genuinely entailed. For me, the reason for this is both simple and clear -- it is something we each must experience for ourselves.
The obvious problem is that, unless you believe that people die and then return to the living, death of the conscious you is a one-time experience (IF you even experience it at all). Once you understand it fully (IF you ever understand it), it's done and the conscious self of you never experiences it again.