Professional reference to the literary piece Dying to be me

Author: Viera Diešková


Author: Anita Moorjani
Translated (into Slovak): Michal Zidor
Year of publication: 2013


Therapeutic goals: to help persons with a life-threatening diagnosis to see this disease in relation to their fear, to admit the possibility of spontaneous healing, to recover, to find the meaning of life and to discover the need for self-love
Recommended age group: 15-80 years
Secondary target group: medical educators, social workers, nurses, doctors, psychologists, relatives

Brief content of the work:

The author of the unique book Anita Moorjani survived clinical death, she describes her own experiences, feelings, how her perception of the world and life changed afterwards. She was born to Indian parents in Singapore and they moved to Hong Kong when she was 2 years old. Thanks to her home environment and British education, she understood Indian, Chinese, and English lifestyles. She learned fluent English, Cantonese with an Indian dialect, and French at school. She worked for many years in Hong Kong for various global companies, until her 2002 they diagnosed cancer. She was treated for it for 4 years and then her body completely failed. But she didn’t die, she fell into a coma in which all her pain disappeared, she was beautiful and she could sense what the people around her were saying, she just couldn’t speak herself. Only then did she understand that she was dying.

In the introduction to the book, Anita states that her main goal for writing was so that others do not have to go through what she went through. After the experience of clinical death, she perceived a new direction in her life and understood that one of the reasons why she decided to stay in the earthly life (she could choose to leave) was that by writing and talking about her experience, she could help others. Her story in the book begins with a description of her childhood at the crossroads of many cultures and incompatible beliefs. She explained that this fueled the fear that manifested in her illness. In the second part of the book, she addressed clinical death itself, which she experienced and understood at the time. In the third part of the book, she writes about what she learned along the way, how we humans can live to reflect who we really are and allow our magnificence to manifest in life. Anita does not want to introduce any new religion, only to help. People do not need to experience clinical death to heal. In the book, she writes about the emotional and psychological triggering mechanisms that contributed to her tumor formation. He hopes that by identifying them in himself, a person can reduce or eliminate his chance of getting the disease. Even though every person is different, Anita wants to “feel the spark of magnificence” in him, which can help him live his life in joy.

More details on the content:

In the first part of the book, Anita describes her life with her parents and brother in India and Hong Kong, they also went to Hindu temples. When she grew up, according to Indian customs, her parents tried to find a groom. There was even an engagement with a good-looking man who was to become her husband, and she also got to know his family. Anita found out then that she could not adapt to their ideas about a bride – she has dreams that she would like to realize – to be employed, to travel. Therefore, she breaks off the engagement and the Indian community condemns her for it. After that, Anita becomes independent, builds her working career, fulfills her dreams. Although she is not thinking about marriage – she eventually gets married (1995) because she met an Indian man who fully understands her and a great love develops between them. Anita found a life partner who will stand by her in every situation.

She and her husband Danny have built a beautiful life together. In 2001, Sonia, Anita’s best friend, and her brother-in-law were diagnosed with cancer, and they quickly lost their battle with the disease. Anita felt afraid of this disease and in In 2002, she also got cancer. She fought against her with Danny until 2006, it was a very difficult time for both of them. Then Anita’s body gave up and she fell into a coma. In this state, she clearly perceived everything around her, but not with her senses.

She was aware of all the medical procedures on her body, she felt the hopelessness and resignation of the family who stood by her in the hospital. She felt free and light, all pain and suffering gone. At the same time, as if something was pulling her away, but she knew that everything was going according to plan. It was as if she was expanding into the environment, love, joy and wonder were pouring into her, she had a feeling of pure, unconditional love. She felt her father’s presence, she also talked to him without words, connected with the essence of her friend Soni, and felt her unconditional love. Anita’s body healed itself in the coma. She understood who she really is, was able to look at herself with new eyes and saw that she is a beautiful cosmic being. All the insights and knowledge that Anita came to in the state of clinical death are difficult to describe here, several are presented in the book.

Description of the possibilities of therapeutic work:

All of Anita Moorjani’s authentic insights can be therapeutic. Not just how she was experiencing a state of clinical death. Her whole story of healing and finding the meaning of life was to reach thousands, millions of people, and synchronicities, “random” events and meetings of people who passed it on contributed to its spread. Anita (p. 121) “allowed the Holy Spirit to work through her”, she became an instrument in God’s hands in a way she could not even imagine before. This book and the fact that a review was created, which is read by experts on the web, is proof of that.

The essential thing that Anita realized during her clinical death was that (p. 135) “the whole universe consists of unconditional love” and she is the manifestation of that. She understood that being yourself means being love. That’s the lesson that saved her life. And not only hers, because she discovered: “if I am the love that I really am, it is enough to heal myself and other people” (p.74). Further (p.140) he explains what the “infinite self” means and how it is connected to the “Universal Energy”. Understanding this has healing effects. If we live based on our mind and are focused only on doing – we lose touch with the infinite self. When we consider our feelings and perceive our being, we act in accordance with our soul (p. 143). When we understand our own magnificence and live from our true essence – love, we do not need to cause pain to anyone. Anita herself explains it better in this book, which we have labeled as self-help. It is good if people who work in helping professions understand this – with their knowledge, they can make the path to recovery easier for their clients and themselves.

Description of experience from own work with the work:

I pointed out the book to several of my friends who were fighting a serious illness. They followed the author’s life story with admiration, they found a lot of inspiring thoughts there and it helped them manage their illness. Here is a summary of the most important knowledge they gained for themselves from the book:

After overcoming clinical death, the author realized that in order to heal the body, it is necessary to show the beauty of one’s soul, to live according to one’s heart and to speak one’s own truth always with love for oneself and only through this love, which exceeds the dimension of human being. According to the author, “God is not a being, but a state of being” (p. 66) – through this love, felt in one’s own divine nature, it is possible to develop love for others, because in reality, even through a certain physical separation in human form, “we are all One and each of us affects the collective Whole” (p. 68).

Like the author, those who still had enough time for it came to the realization that oncological disease was not a punishment for something they had done wrong, or some kind of karma, but only the culmination of all decisions, choices and thoughts throughout life, when all fear and at the same time enormous inner strength manifested as a disease (p. 68). It was supposed to help a person stop and change his way of life so far, so that he could start living a more beautiful and better life in full, unconditional love and compassion for himself and others. It raises the question of the meaning of being for a person, when he examines his old beliefs in relation to the way of life until then.

The author likens her change to returning home – that is, to the original true state of being, in the same, yet internally, positively lovingly changed human body. The healing caused her to “finally allow her soul to surface” (p.132). It was enough – to allow myself to be myself without judgment or the feeling that “I am flawed” – because being love and being my true self are one and the same. Father and Soni said to Anita in a coma: “And now that you know who you really are (love) go back and live your life without fear!” If a person feels an uplifting being, doing does not kill him (p. 146). In other words, whoever does what makes him happy, what arouses joy and passion in him, brings to the surface the best of himself, that is, to love oneself unconditionally (p. 154). If you are honest with yourself, how you feel about yourself is more of a defining quality of life than trying to be positive (p. 153). Every positive thing you bring to yourself, you also bring to the whole (p. 151). In other words, when I cooperate with life and do not go against it, I am the strongest (p. 134). 

In a way, indirectly for future as well as current therapists, Moorjani conveys that people who commit dangerous acts and harm themselves or others are full of confusion, frustration, pain, as well as self-hatred. A person who realizes himself fully and is truly happy would never do such a thing (p. 103). In order to commit such crimes, one must be emotionally ill, which is actually quite similar to cancer. However, she noticed that those who have this type of “mental” cancer are looked down upon in our society, therefore they have no chance at all to have anyone practically help them in their condition, which in turn only worsens their illness. By taking them this way, we are only allowing the “cancer” to grow in our society and it is important that we create a society that promotes mental health along with physical (p. 104). A company that could “touch the spark” in people like Anita Moorjani.


It didn’t pass language editing!


The recommendation created by:
PhDr.Viera Diešková, CSc., Bratislava, Slovakia, Last update: June 12, 2023
The recommendation from Slovak to English translated by: Mária Trechová, Workplace: PRO SKIZP – Association for support of Slovak Chamber of Physicists, Laboratory Diagnosticians, Language Speech Therapists and Therapeutic Educators, c. a. Bratislava, Slovakia
Recommended citation method:
Diešková Viera, 2023. Odborná referencia a zdieľanie skúseností k literárnemu dielu Umrieť a nájsť seba  od autorky Anity Moorjani. [Professional reference and sharing of experiences for the literary work Die and find yourself by the author Anita Moorjani.] In Kotrbová, K. et al: Bratislava: PRO SKIZP – Association to support the development of the Slovak Chamber of Clinical Physics, Laboratory Diagnosticians, Language Speech Therapists and Therapeutic Pedagogues, 2023.  ISBN 978-80-974667-0-1 Available on:


The contribution was created thanks to support from the European Union Erasmus+ program, Key action 2 – Cooperation between organizations and institutions, KA210 – Small partnerships for cooperation in the field of education and training. Project name “Prototype of online teaching aid for bibliotherapy”, project number 2022-1-SK01-KA210-VET-000082483. It represents the opinion of the author and the European Commission is not responsible for any use of the information contained therein.

Additional information


Dying to be Me – My journey from cancer and clinical death
until complete healing
Author: Anita Moorjani
From the English edition in 2012 translated into Slovak by Michal Zidor
Release year: 2013
First edition
Publisher: Eastone Books, Bratislava
Number of pages: 180
ISBN 978-80-8109-213-8
Literary genre: Autobiography – self-help book