It is possible to walk through the land of the dead and live to tell the tale.
All it takes is a breath.
As anyone who’s sat at the bottom of the swimming pool knows, it isn’t long before the body demands air.
First, it’s a dull ache in the pit of the stomach. Then a moan, rising and filling the chest. A few seconds later and it pushes at the neck and face. Alarm bells start to ring.
Wait a little longer, and every nerve begins wailing and clanging; eyes bulging; veins wide blue and bursting through the skin in a desperate hunt for oxygen.
That is where most of us give in.
But beyond that — across the wailing river of blood — there is calm.
Any of the world’s four dozen professional free-divers can confirm it.
The body slips into a different realm, and we find that we don’t need to breathe at all.
It’s the same calm that was there before the Universe took its first breath. And the same peace that will meet us with our last.
Just remember to come back while you can!